Monthly Archives: March 2021

The locus of civilization

Last week, we discussed the homes of the three great high civilizations, civilizations that had an Axial Age: https://surakblog.wordpress.com/2021/03/24/what-are-we-trying-to-defend/

Those three homes were:

  • the greater eastern Mediterranean, encompassing Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Levant, Greece, and Persia;
  • India, from the Indus to the Ganges, south across the subcontinent, and north to the Himalayas;
  • China, from the Yellow River to the Yangzi.

Thanks to very large populations, the latter two have remained in some sort of linguistic and religious-spiritual continuity since ancient times. The first homeland of civilization was just small enough to get knocked off course by invaders: the Roman empire. In turn, the Roman empire was changed by its encounter with Greek brilliance and culture, and Jewish and Christian spirituality: https://surakblog.wordpress.com/2021/03/26/the-two-foundations-of-western-civilization/

This collision moved the locus of Western civilization from the eastern Mediterranean to Europe: eventually, to northern and western Europe. Greece ceased its leadership in mathematics and philosophy, and the only major new religion from the Middle East failed to win hearts and minds through gentle example.

So what happened at this point in history? Are we a continuation of classical Western civilization, or are we a new instance of Western civilization, built on the ruins of the previous Western civilization?

Charles Murray’s book Human Accomplishment is a massive study of the greatest accomplishments of humanity for 2800 years, around the world, in the humanities and the sciences. This book would take a full column just to summarize.

Human Accomplishment is full of useful references: lists, graphs, and maps. Below is a map showing the core areas of most human accomplishments in the last 500 years, up to 1950.

This is core Europe: England, France, Germany, and Italy, as well as their closest neighbors: Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Scotland, Switzerland, and small numbers from eastern Europe, Iberia, Russia, and Scandinavia.

This intellectual line could have come to an end easily in the World Wars that wasted so much of European talent, but for the vitality of Europe’s most ambitious offspring, America. According to Murray, the zones of greatest accomplishment in America, up to 1950, appear in the following map.

The new core ranges from Maine to Virgina, across the old midwest (Northwest Territories), and somewhat in California. These areas are largely left-wing now. The most conservative areas created little innovation.

These maps teach me that civilizations can move. Even as leftist society engages in a hysterical paroxysm of self-destruction, after a possible dark age, our civilization can re-emerge elsewhere.

However, Murray’s study of great accomplishments teaches him that four cultural dimensions are required:

  • purpose;
  • autonomy;
  • organizing structure;
  • transcendental goods.

On each of those points, leftist society has surrendered the possibility of future progress. Murray adequately documents the need for a civilization to have purpose, organizing structure, and transcendental goods, all betrayed by secular-humanist anarcho-socialism. Even autonomy is gone from the left’s world.

We can only preserve civilization in a nation that provides intellectual autonomy at the same time it maintains one dominant culture, and punishes fundamental subversion (violence, dangerous drugs, pedophilia and other sexual perversion, socialism, satanism) severely.

“31 Reasons Why I Won’t Take The Vaccine”

This great post came from Gates of Vienna.

31 Reasons Why I Won’t Take the Vaccine

It is attributed to an Israeli rabbi, Chananya Weissman, although I cannot find this article on his website: http://www.chananyaweissman.com/

31 Reasons Why I Won’t Take the Vaccine

by Chananya Weissman

1.It’s not a vaccine. A vaccine by definition provides immunity to a disease. This does not provide immunity to anything. In a best-case scenario, it merely reduces the chance of getting a severe case of a virus if one catches it. Hence, it is a medical treatment, not a vaccine. I do not want to take a medical treatment for an illness I do not have.
2.The drug companies, politicians, medical establishment, and media have joined forces to universally refer to this as a vaccine when it is not one, with the intention of manipulating people into feeling safer about undergoing a medical treatment. Because they are being deceitful, I do not trust them, and want nothing to do with their medical treatment.
3.The presumed benefits of this medical treatment are minimal and would not last long in any case. The establishment acknowledges this, and is already talking about additional shots and ever-increasing numbers of new “vaccines” that would be required on a regular basis. I refuse to turn myself into a chronic patient who receives injections of new pharmaceutical products on a regular basis simply to reduce my chances of getting a severe case of a virus that these injections do not even prevent.
4.I can reduce my chances of getting a severe case of a virus by strengthening my immune system naturally. In the event I catch a virus, there are vitamins and well-established drugs that have had wonderful results in warding off the illness, without the risks and unknowns of this medical treatment.
5.The establishment insists that this medical treatment is safe. They cannot possibly know this because the long-term effects are entirely unknown, and will not be known for many years. They may speculate that it is safe, but it is disingenuous for them to make such a claim that cannot possibly be known. Because they are being disingenuous, I do not trust them, and I want no part of their treatment.
6.The drug companies have zero liability if anything goes wrong, and cannot be sued. Same for the politicians who are pushing this treatment. I will not inject myself with a new, experimental medical device when the people behind it accept no liability or responsibility if something goes wrong. I will not risk my health and my life when they refuse to risk anything.
7.Israel’s Prime Minister has openly admitted that the Israeli people are the world’s laboratory for this experimental treatment. I am not interested in being a guinea pig or donating my body to science.
8.Israel agreed to share medical data of its citizens with a foreign drug company as a fundamental part of their agreement to receive this treatment. I never consented for my personal medical data to be shared with any such entity, nor was I even asked. I will not contribute to this sleazy enterprise.
9.The executives and board members at Pfizer are on record that they have not taken their own treatment, despite all the fanfare and assurances. They are claiming that they would consider it unfair to “cut the line”. This is a preposterous excuse, and it takes an unbelievable amount of chutzpah to even say such a thing. Such a “line” is a figment of their own imagination; if they hogged a couple of injections for themselves no one would cry foul. In addition, billionaires with private jets and private islands are not known for waiting in line until hundreds of millions of peasants all over the world go first to receive anything these billionaires want for themselves.
10.The establishment media have accepted this preposterous excuse without question or concern. Moreover, they laud Pfizer’s executives for their supposed self-sacrifice in not taking their own experimental treatment until we go first. Since they consider us such fools, I do not trust them, and do not want their new treatment. They can have my place in line. I’ll go to the very back of the line.
11.Three facts that must be put together:Bill Gates is touting these vaccines as essential to the survival of the human race.Bill Gates believes the world has too many people and needs to be “depopulated”.Bill Gates, perhaps the richest man in the world, has also not been injected. No rush.Uh, no. I’ll pass on any medical treatments he wants me to take.
12.The establishment has been entirely one-sided in celebrating this treatment. The politicians and media are urging people to take it as both a moral and civic duty. The benefits of the treatment are being greatly exaggerated, the risks are being ignored, and the unknowns are being brushed aside. Because they are being deceitful and manipulative, I will not gamble my personal wellbeing on their integrity.
13.There is an intense propaganda campaign for people to take this treatment. Politicians and celebrities are taking selfies of themselves getting injected (perhaps in some cases pretending to get injected), the media is hyping this as the coolest, smartest, most happy and fun thing to do. It is the most widespread marketing campaign in history. This is not at all appropriate for any medical treatment, let alone a brand new one, and it makes me recoil.
14.The masses are following in tow, posting pictures of themselves getting injected with a drug, feeding the mass peer pressure to do the same. There is something very alarming and sick about this, and I want no part of it. I never took drugs just because “everyone’s doing it” and it’s cool. I’m certainly not going to start now.
 
15.Those who raise concerns about this medical treatment are being bullied, slandered, mocked, censored, ostracized, threatened, and fired from their jobs. This includes medical professionals who have science-based concerns about the drug and caregivers who have witnessed people under their charge suffering horrible reactions and death shortly after being injected. When the establishment is purging good people who risk everything simply to raise concerns about a new medical treatment — even if they don’t outright oppose it — I will trust these brave people over the establishment every time. I cannot think of a single similar case in history when truth and morality turned out to be on the side of the establishment.
16.This is the greatest medical experiment in the history of the human race.
17.It is purposely not being portrayed as the greatest medical experiment in the history of the human race, and the fact that it is a medical experiment at all is being severely downplayed.
18.Were they up front with the masses, very few would agree to participate in such an experiment. Manipulating the masses to participate in a medical experiment under false pretenses violates the foundations of medical ethics and democratic law. I will not allow unethical people who engage in such conduct to inject me with anything.
19.The medical establishment is not informing people about any of this. They have become marketing agents for an experimental drug, serving huge companies and politicians who have made deals with them. This is a direct conflict with their mandate to concern themselves exclusively with the wellbeing of the people under their care. Since the medical establishment has become corrupted, and has become nothing more than a corporate and political tool, I do not trust the experimental drug they want so badly to inject me with.
20.We are being pressured in various ways to get injected, which violates medical ethics and the foundations of democratic society. The best way to get me not to do something is to pressure me to do it.
21.The government has sealed their protocol related to the virus and treatments for THIRTY YEARS. This is information that the public has a right to know, and the government has a responsibility to share. What are they covering up? Do they really expect me to believe that everything is kosher about all this, and that they are concerned first and foremost with my health? The last time they did this was with the Yemenite Children Affair. If you’re not familiar with it, look it up. Now they’re pulling the same shtick. They didn’t fool me the first time, and they’re definitely not fooling me now.
22.The government can share our personal medical data with foreign corporations, but they won’t share their own protocol on the matter with us? I’m out.
23.The establishment has recruited doctors, rabbis, the media, and the masses to harangue people who don’t want to get injected with a new drug. We are being called the worst sort of names. We are being told that we believe in crazy conspiracies, that we are against science, that we are selfish, that we are murderers, that we don’t care about the elderly, that it’s our fault that the government continues to impose draconian restrictions on the public. It’s all because we don’t want to get injected with an experimental treatment, no questions asked. We are even being told that we have a religious obligation to do this, and that we are grave sinners if we do not. They say that if we do not agree to get injected, we should be forced to stay inside our homes forever and be ostracized from public life.
This is horrific, disgusting, a perversion of common sense, morality, and the Torah. It makes me recoil, and only further cements my distrust of these people and my opposition to taking their experimental drug. How dare they?
24.I know of many people who got injected, but none of them studied the science in depth, carefully weighed the potential benefits against the risks, compared this option to other alternatives, was truly informed, and decided this medical treatment was the best option for them. On the contrary, they got injected because of the hype, the propaganda, the pressure, the fear, blind trust in what “the majority of experts” supposedly believed (assuming THEY all studied everything in depth and were completely objective, which is highly dubious), blind trust in what certain influential rabbis urged them to do (ditto the above), or hysterical fear that the only option was getting injected or getting seriously ill from the virus. When I see mass hysteria and cult-like behavior surrounding a medical treatment, I will be extremely suspicious and avoid it.
25.The drug companies have a long and glorious history of causing mass carnage with wonder drugs they thrust on unsuspecting populations, even after serious problems had already become known. Instead of pressing the pause button and halting the marketing of these drugs until these issues could be properly investigated, the drug companies did everything in their power to suppress the information and keep pushing their products. When companies and people have demonstrated such gross lack of concern for human life, I will not trust them when they hype a new wonder drug. This isn’t our first rodeo.
26.Indeed, the horror stories are already coming in at warp speed, but the politicians are not the least bit concerned, the medical establishment is brushing them aside as unrelated or negligible, the media is ignoring it, the drug companies are steaming ahead at full speed, and those who raise a red flag continue to be bullied, censored, and punished. Clearly my life and my wellbeing are not their primary concern. I will not be their next guinea pig in their laboratory. I will not risk being the next “coincidence”.
27.Although many people have died shortly after getting injected — including perfectly healthy young people — we are not allowed to imply that the injection had anything to do with it. Somehow this is anti-science and will cause more people to die. I believe that denying any possible link, abusing people who speculate that there might be a link, and demonstrating not the slightest curiosity to even explore if there might be a link is what is anti-science and could very well cause more people to die. These same people believe I am obligated to get injected as well. No freaking thanks.
28.I am repulsed by the religious, cult-like worship of a pharmaceutical product, and will not participate in this ritual.
29.My “healthcare” provider keeps badgering me to get injected, yet they have provided me no information on this treatment or any possible alternatives. Everything I know I learned from others outside the establishment. Informed consent has become conformed consent. I decline.
30.I see all the lies, corruption, propaganda, manipulation, censorship, bullying, violation of medical ethics, lack of integrity in the scientific process, suppression of inconvenient adverse reactions, dismissal of legitimate concerns, hysteria, cult-like behavior, ignorance, closed-mindedness, fear, medical and political tyranny, concealment of protocols, lack of true concern for human life, lack of respect for basic human rights and freedoms, perversion of the Torah and common sense, demonization of good people, the greatest medical experiment of all time being conducted by greedy, untrustworthy, godless people, the lack of liability for those who demand I risk everything… I see all this and I have decided they can all have my place in line. I will put my trust in God. I will use the mind He blessed me with and trust my natural instincts. Which leads to the final reason which sums up why I will not get “vaccinated.”
31.The whole thing stinks.

The two foundations of Western civilization

The argument is getting more heated. Which is more important in the founding of Western civilization; the Judeo-Christian tradition or the Greco-Roman tradition?

The majority of us who have met on Front Page Magazine are God-fearing. We understandably view a world that has removed the recognition of God as a world without a soul, a world capable of any evil. We have witnessed this in the twentieth century, and we see it today.

A minority of readers have no use, they think, for God. Mankind has no need for fairytales; all ethics can be derived through the use of reason alone; religion has crippled human progress; it is time for humanity to grow up. These individuals, I note ironically, argue their positions with the fervor of evangelists, quoting the hallowed Ayn Rand and her disciples.

These are polemical positions. Is there any evidence that Western civilization required both its traditional foundations to thrive? I would argue yes.

What did the Greco-Roman world give us? Not much but an inquiring mind, mathematics, philosophy, astronomy, navigation, engineering, organization, civil law, a republic, and so on. This world also gave us infanticide and crucifixion. Is that a small price to pay for progress?

Working from home has given us more time for highbrow entertainment. I have become strongly focused recently on the great world epics: the Iliad and Odyssey; the Ramayana and Mahabharata (India); the Journey to the West (China); the Thousand and One Arabian Nights; and so on. Recently, we watched mini-series adaptations of the Odyssey, and the 1001 Nights.

The Odyssey gave us a glimpse into the mind of the Greco-Roman world, and any other polytheist or animist society. The Greek gods (paralleling the Roman and Norse gods) are a quarrelsome, fractious bunch. The best hope of humans is to play one off against the other, and hope they do not find you when they are in a bad mood. In such a chaotic intellectual environment, “the glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome” were surprising achievements.

In contrast, the Judeo-Christian worldview is based on the recognition of one and only one God, Who created the world through His word. Although He is transcendent – “My ways are not your ways; your thoughts are not My thoughts” – His world is subject to one law; one law for nature and one law for man. With one exception: God gave an extra portion of law to Israel, over and above the universal Noahide laws for all mankind.

It would seem very easy for a monotheist society to become dogmatic and stagnant. The early Jewish and Christian societies showed little interest in science.

The results were interesting when the Greco-Roman world collided with the Judeo-Christian world some 2000 years ago. As detailed in the story of Chanukah, some Jews became enamored of the glories of Greek society. More fascinating to me is the gradually increasing interest shown by Roman citizens in both Judaism and Christianity. Clearly, the grandeur of their empire had little to offer spiritually.

Edward Gibbon famously blamed Christianity in part for the fall of the Roman Empire. Well, that, or maybe sexual perversity (against which Christianity would have fought), lead in the pipes of Rome corroding Roman brains and organs, open borders, and global cooling reducing crops.

The champions of objectivism in the Front Page Magazine comments section describe the Renaissance as the light of classical civilization bursting forth from the dogmatic Christian cage of the “Dark Ages”. Those same allegedly dark ages produced Muslim, Jewish (Maimonides), and Christian (Aquinas) philosophers who reconciled monotheism with Aristotle, as well as one of my favorite books: Duties of the Heart.

The Renaissance was the first step, but not the only step, in the birth of the modern world. The second step was the voyages of discovery. The third indispensable step was the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther, for all his flawed anti-Semitism, was the seminal figure in establishing the right of a man to think for himself – as part of his religious expression. It is hard to imagine the discoveries of Copernicus and Galileo making much headway in Europe without the Reformation.

Sir Isaac Newton, arguably one of the greatest minds of human history, understood at a profound level the intertwining of scientific and theological thought. Two hundred years later, Laplace, in discussion with a much wiser Napoleon, casually dismissed the interconnection that Newton understood.

Napoleon was intellectually smarter than some people realize. He proved a very interesting theorem about elementary geometry, one that could be understood by any high school student, but was never proven or even known by even the ancient Greek geometers.

Laplace was explaining to Napoleon his nebular hypothesis for the formation of the solar system, a version of which is accepted by today’s astronomers. Napoleon was familiar with Newton’s attribution of every physical law to God. Napoleon asked Laplace where was God in Laplace’s theory. Laplace replied, “I do not need that hypothesis.”

However, even the agnostic Einstein could not avoid reference to the divine, as modern physics and astronomy have crawled to the very edge of reality, peered over the edge, and seen only the transcendent.

It is the creative tension between the Greco-Roman world and the Judeo-Christian world that has synthesized the greatest civilization in world history.

What are we trying to defend?

Before our furthest ancestors were civilized, they still had lives of meaning. The markers of their lives include fires, cave paintings, and tokens buried with the deceased. These facts alone inform us that these most ancient humans were more than tool-making bipedal primates with stereoscopic vision and opposable thumbs. In fact, they were spiritual beings in their own way.

History took a tremendous turn at the end of the last ice age, however. Larger populations were enabled by the domestication of animals, the cultivation of grains, the weaving of cloth, the division of labor, the organization of government, the invention of the wheel, and the invention of writing. These are some of the hallmarks of what are usually called civilizations, although I think of them as pre-civilized societies.

By bestowing the coveted label of “civilization” so cheaply, historians are able to honor many societies scattered around the world. But those societies are not what I would consider high civilizations.

One more critical step was needed, and that step did not take place all around the world. It was an awakening of sorts, to religion, philosophy, science, and abstraction, which enabled primitive spirituality to grow by the addition of empathy – identification with the other.

Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the more often and steadily we reflect upon them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.

Immanuel Kant: Critique of Practical Reason

No wonder Plato recommended the study of abstract mathematics for political leaders.

The Axial Age was a comparatively short period of human history in which the type of enlightenment discussed above occurred, miraculously, almost simultaneously in three distinct regions. The Axial Age extended over a few centuries in three primary regions, but was focused most intensely in the -6th and -5th centuries (6th and 5th centuries BCE).

  • The first of the three regions was the home of the earliest societies, between the Nile Valley and Mesopotamia (between the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers). Eventually, this region expanded westward to include Greece, and eastward to include Persia.
  • The second region was the area between the Indus Valley and the Ganges Valley, in northern India, eventually expanding eastward to the Brahmaputra, and south across the subcontinent.
  • The third region was the area between the Huang He (Yellow River) and the Yangzi, in eastern China.

During the Axial Age, we find the prophets of the Hebrew Bible, Zoroaster, Buddha, Mahavira, Confucius, Laozi, Pythagoras, Socrates, and others who for the first time asked the question “Why?”, and employed universal reason to solve mundane and ethical problems.

The first of the regions mentioned above, the triangle formed by Greece, Egypt, and Persia, including the eastern Mediterranean, formed the nucleus that eventually gave birth to Western civilization, the greatest of all civilizations.

However, not all societies on earth have passed through their own Axial Age. People living in pre-Axial societies usually are not a good cultural fit as immigrants to the West.

Conversely, for those of us fortunate enough to live in the West, the fruits of the Axial Age are what we aim to defend. Those fruits include the ability to recognize the inalienable rights of life and liberty. Those people, even in the West, who would make war on this heritage, in order to make us “undifferentiated human matter”, in the words of Renaud Camus, are our deadly enemies.

Is there a war against whites or men?

In the past few years, I have had a vague sense of unease regarding relations between citizens. I was brought up with a dogmatic belief, following Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., that one should judge a person by his or her character, not by superficial physical characteristics like the color of a person’s skin, his or her sex, and so on. Moral agency holds that we are all responsible for our own choices and actions, and we are not responsible for the choices and actions of other people with whom we may share superficial physical characteristics.

I still hold that dogmatic belief, even while it is balanced by a lifetime of experience and knowledge of society. There are differences in group averages; that does not prevent me from treating everyone as an individual. This civic creed has not led to the perfect society, but it provides a direction for self-improvement.

Nevertheless, for decades there has been a very gradual attempt to undermine this social consensus with respect to both race and sex. With some guilt, I read books by scholars and journalists documenting a growing rejection of equality of opportunity, in favor of open hostility. Here are some of the works I have read, listed in order of publication.

Michael LevinFeminism and Freedom
Michael LevinWhy Race Matters
Christina Hoff SommersThe War Against Boys
Warren FarrellWhy Men Earn More
Roy F. BaumeisterIs There Anything Good About Men?
Helen SmithMen on Strike
Colin FlahertyWhite Girl Bleed A Lot
Colin FlahertyDon’t Make the Black Kids Angry
Scott GreerNo Campus for White Men
Warren Farrell, John GrayThe Boy Crisis

Does this reading list appear a bit paranoid? Here is some news from the past week.

Professor Criticized Critical Race Theory At University Of Vermont, Now Students Want Him Fired

‘Would I please resign? No. Nope. Not a chance.’ Professor rejects mob’s demand to leave campus

https://www.thecollegefix.com/would-i-please-resign-no-nope-not-a-chance-professor-rejects-mobs-demand-to-leave-campus/

Subversive Education: North Carolina’s largest school district launches a campaign against “whiteness in educational spaces.”

https://www.city-journal.org/critical-race-theory-in-wake-county-nc-schools

You won’t believe how insanely racist this article from “The Root” is: “Whiteness is a pandemic”

https://notthebee.com/article/this-insanely-racist-article-from-the-root-is-basically-calling-for-genocide-against-white-people

Canadian Father JAILED for Violating a Court Order to Use His Trans Child’s Preferred Pronouns

https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/stacey-lennox/2021/03/18/a-canadian-father-is-jailed-for-violating-a-court-order-to-use-his-trans-childs-preferred-pronouns-n1433493

Father jailed after referring to biological female child as his daughter

https://thepostmillennial.com/rob-hoogland-canada-prisoner-of-conscience

There is a rage by non-whites against white women. There is a rage by women against non-white men. But when the target is white men, the left’s coalition unites in apoplexy. The left will be only too happy to observe that white men lie at the intersection of whiteness and masculinity.

The complementary difference between men and women is far more fundamental than that based on race. While there is substantial variability within both sexes, I summarize the averages as follows: men represent controlled power; women represent graceful nurturing. I repeat, this is an average – your results may vary.

Nevertheless, it is not due to hateful oppression that men occupy more positions of leadership, and achieve more marks of excellence and creativity than women – while also committing more crimes. Indeed, one of the taboo subjects in biology is a fairly consistent observation that males of almost any species show considerably more variability than females of the same species. Men have a larger standard deviation in IQ compared to women – thus among men there are more high achievers, and more low achievers. One should not be surprised that men outnumber women among Nobel Prize winners, politicians, CEOs, criminals, and terrorists.

I am very interested in the topic of civilization, and would like to spend some time exploring the topic, especially as ours is beginning to die. We find that civilizations have arisen around the world, among varied races, some to great heights. But the greatest civilization in world history, Western civilization, was built by whites. Any non-white is capable of pledging allegiance to that civilization and contributing to it, and they often do; likewise, any white is capable of undermining that civilization, and they often do.

The discovery of the universal, inalienable rights of mankind; transportation; telecommunication; labor-saving devices; modern medicine; and so on, have been achieved for the most part by white men. For these gifts, the rest of the world will not forgive them. But a world where white men “go Galt” (go on strike) would be an unpleasant world indeed – uncomfortable, and dangerous.

For some reason, the world’s migrants have voted with their feet to leave Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, in favor of America, Australia, Canada, Europe, and other white countries. Before we destroy the world’s greatest civilization, we ought to understand what we are ready to give up.

Comparative international power

What would happen if the United States broke up into two new nations – New America, and Alinsky? How powerful would the new nations be, with respect to each other, and with respect to other countries?

The Mises Institute published several articles addressing the issue of national power, based on ideas developed by Michael Beckley and Paul Bairoch. They came to the conclusion that the simplest metric predicting outcomes in international conflicts is this: multiply the nominal GDP of a country by its nominal GDP per capita.

Beckley found that his metric successfully predicted the outcomes of most of the major prolonged international conflicts in the last 200 years. However, his metric predicts lopsided advantages for the United States versus China, and especially the United States versus Afghanistan. Clearly the Beckley metric exaggerates the importance of conventional warfare.

Nevertheless, I thought it would be a useful exercise to follow the Mises Institute’s lead and use this metric to examine international power as it stands today, as well as the results of a presumed break-up of the United States. Here are three of their articles:

https://mises.org/wire/when-it-comes-national-defense-bigger-isnt-always-better

https://mises.org/wire/no-chinese-wont-invade-america-if-secessionists-succeed

https://mises.org/wire/if-america-splits-what-happens-nukes

For the Mises Institute, the two successor states of the United States have 27 conservative states, and 23 leftist states + DC respectively. Of the purple states I have shown in previous maps, Arizona and Georgia join the conservative grouping; Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin join the leftist grouping. Obviously this split does not consider the issue of regional secessions from states.

I modified the Beckley metric to make the competition between nations somewhat more equal, and therefore more difficult for the more powerful country to achieve a decisive victory. I did so by making two changes. 1) I replaced nominal GDP per capita by PPP (purchasing power parity) GDP per capita; this reflects what may be a higher or lower cost of living in each country. 2) After multiplying nominal GDP by PPP GDP per capita, I took the square root, so that increased GDP is not counted twice in the multiplication.

The result is shown in the map below for currently existing nations. The most powerful nation, the United States, is blue; less powerful nations are green, brown, and red.

Below is a table of the power of the most powerful nations, according to this modified Beckley index, assuming the current power of the United States is 100.

countrypower index
United States100.0
leftist states82.7
conservative states61.6
China44.2
Japan39.5
Germany39.3
United Kingdom29.8
France29.7
Italy23.8
South Korea23.2
Australia22.7
Netherlands19.6
Switzerland19.2
Spain19.0
Russia17.5

On this same scale, Brazil scores 12.3, and India scores 11.1.

Notice that even after a break-up, the two successor states to the United States each remain more powerful than any other nation, so we need not fear an imminent invasion.