The year that authoritarianism failed
Great snippets for a Sunday morning read with coffee (I'm quite modern these days, it's oatmilk instead of milk). The observation about male/female priorities - men pursue truth, women pursue morals, does ring strongly. The face of DEI is female. The leagues of new VPs of DEI cropping up in every company is as close to 100% female as it can get. What I've noticed and surely not the only person to notice it, is that the major winners in the DEI push of the last few years are black females. Black females in academia, black female activists, black female artists, black females in newly created highly paid corporate jobs just for them, black female appointees (almost all of Biden's black appointees have been female). Heck, even the new Woman King (as shockingly and hypocritically revisionist as it is) is about a black female. One does wonder where are the black males? Kayne West, of course, doesn't qualify. Perhaps this is the most telling evidence that this brave new world is really a world created by women and for women.
Re modernism: it's fabulous on a personal, intimate scale. My favorite houses are quietly contemporary houses surrounded by nature. But on a large scale it's inhuman, dull and ideological rather than passionate. Passion built the cathedrals, ideology, whether soviet or capitalism, built the dreary tower blocks and skyscrapers. I suspect it's because skyscrapers automatically removes all connection to nature and man's role within nature, and even worse, hinders man's relationship with others with these vast, empty plazas and street facades dominated not by little shops and cafes but parking garages and hostile plate glass windows that do nothing to foster socialization and interaction.
I really enjoy these compilations of excerpts and links.
By far the best thing about the Seagrams Building was the Four Seasons Restaurant. I loved the aesthetics of that space; it always had a calming effect on me.
I had surgery a couple days ago, and at the moment I am wacked out on Valium that was given to me to mitigate postoperative discomfort, so it's time for some disinhibited volubility in response to this week's Sunday West, so here goes:
First of all Ed I'd like to note that you are the hardest working man on Substack, given how prolific you are with postings! Most other authors on the platform post once or at most twice a week. I'm in America and am usually still awake from the previous evening (most of my clients are in Tokyo, you see) when you post, so these nearly-daily doses of Westian blackpilling are now my staple bedtime reading.
One often hears comments about "autism" articulated in the way Mr. Hanania does here and they are always amusing to me as I really do have autism IRL. His comments about autism here are cogent and realistic but man he'd get in a lot of trouble with "neurodiversity" activists were any to read them, given that he highlights negative aspects of the disorder.
Looking forward to the Goodwin podcast. I like Matt. Be sure to post a reminder to Twitter when it's available. Will make for good workout listening. I'm guessing that Nigel Farage's libertarianism (when it comes to economic matters; obviously he's anti-libertarian when it comes to things like immigration and borders) would preclude him from filling the Red Tory/Blue Labour void?
Agree about the terminological inexactitude of "woke" in its haphazard application. I'm a big fan of Eric Kaufmann's term "left-modernism" as a particularly precise term for this very specific and quite easily definable ideology. (Ed you and I have discussed before a bit the masterful way Eric traces its history, from its roots in the 19th century through its coalescence into its modern recognizable form in the 1910s during what you memorably termed the "Zeroth Awokening" in Greenwich Village and Provincetown, the 1960s New Left, "political correctness" circa 1990, and Wokeness since about 2012~2013.) Eric is truly da man when it comes to scraping "woke" into something tangible and defined for a more effective apprehension and analysis, and I've suggested to him that he write an entire book on "Left-Modernism."
Okay I was writing these comments one by one as I worked through each segment of this installment of Sunday West and was amused to see Professor Kaufmann pop up just after I wrote the preceding, lol. :D
Authoritarianism is doing very nicely in the West, thank you. We have a wholly controlled press and widespread and ferocious censorship. We have abolished freedom of speech, freedom of debate and freedom of association (much to everyone's delight and relief). Our elections are either "fortified" or meaningless as while we can change personalities, we cannot effect any changes in policy. Any real opposition is crushed and saying the wrongs things about subjects like the great replacement, trannyism or the war on Russia can lead to expulsion from the public square, financial ruin and even prosecution.
I doubt things are this bad in Russia.
For next Sunday: Ben Sixsmith on Hitler hysteria at the Graun (mild pro-natalism presages fascism, of course): https://thecritic.co.uk/political-fever-dreams/
At the risk of sounding like one of those old people who say, 'All pop music today sounds the same!', I've got to say that the Seagram Building looks very much like many other buildings I've seen. Perhaps you have to know it was the first of it's kind, just as it's necessary to know that the Pyramids of Giza weren't hastily thrown up yesterday ('Given enough stones and a bulldozer I could have done that') and that Mills and Boon were copying Wuthering Heights rather than the other way round.
As it happens I am writing an essay for my History group on the aftermath of 1989 and I have a very different take on 9/11 to Richard Hanania (whose Substack I also subscribe to), as follows:-
"The Military-Industrial Complex which President Eisenhower warned us about in his Farewell Speech profited hugely from the Vietnam War and also on the War on Terror declared by George W Bush after 9/11. The Emergency Powers introduced at the same time allowed the US Military to set up secret structures which have been implicated in a variety of nefarious activities ever since, including the creation of the Covid-19 virus in the Wuhan lab. Osama bin Laden famously remarked that "When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse”, implying that the most powerful country in the world was the weak horse. Bin Laden’s actions provoked Bush to undermine America’s own biggest strength – Democracy, as well as to waste trillions to lose wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and America is clearly a weaker horse today than it was in 2001."