26 Comments

On freedom of association, I would recommend this piece on Arendt's foresight here: https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/hannah-arendt-antiracism-little-rock

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Jun 19, 2022Liked by Ed West

Excellent discussion, Mr. West, and I wish you many more paid readers!

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Jun 19, 2022·edited Jun 19, 2022

Good morning from the US! I enjoyed reading the Weekly Round-up. A treat to complement the Sunday croissants, the way the NYT used to before it went insane, starting about 20 years ago.

There is a crisis of experts in the United States. Covid really crystalized it, although the crisis was in the building for a long time. Some might say it dates back to the 2008/09 crash. At first, the economists had failed to predict it, and the policy makers (including Obama) failed to punish the big financial institutions who were behind the greed leading up to the crash, and even worse, rewarded them! Occupy Wall Street seems so quaint these days, barely remembered. But there was genuine anger at the classes of people who'd proclaimed they knew best and had betrayed that trust. And ever since then, the classes of experts and the larger American public seems to have gone into two different trajectory.

Then COVID came along. One could write a million substacks on the failures of experts with COVID, but it's sufficient to say what COVID revealed clearly was how deeply Democratic the American expert classes was and how politically biased they were and how it affected their reaction to COVID in blatantly obvious ways, and perhaps worse, how susceptible they'd become to wokery. A prime example was in 2020 when shutdowns were everywhere and state and national public health authorities were telling people to stay home and avoid crowds and not congregate etc cetera. Quite understandable.

Except, of course, for BLM protests. Somehow that was different. The same public health officials were proclaiming it was just to assemble for the protests as if COVID somehow was excluded from such gatherings.

Nowadays, the usual legacy media sources are filled with stories proclaiming "experts say, studies show, data indicate" without actually saying anything about those "facts" or where they came from or that they are quite often just opinions rather than facts. And we're left with the sudden emergence of public health documents now using pregnant persons and chestfeeding instead of pregnant mothers and breastfeeding. And, of course, the humorous but sad phenomena of experts, including X number of Nobel prize winners, saying inflation won't happen, to inflation is a right wing bogeyman, to inflation is only transitionary, to inflation is real but a good thing, to finally, oops, we've got inflation and it's bad. Meanwhile, many of us are left scratching our heads thinking, we knew inflation comes when you dump trillions of deficit spending into the economy in such a short time period. How come these PhDs and Fed policy wonks didn't know this simple economic lesson taught in Econ 101? Unless, of course, there was a political reason to conveniently ignore this and hope for the best (to be fair, Larry Summers, possibly the best economist in the US, did warn about inflation, but was outright ignored).

Which brings me to a joke someone sent to me, a spoof of the game show Jeopardy:

Trebek: "These include 'experts say,' 'studies show,' 'evidence suggests,' and 'data point toward.'"

Contestant: "What are weasel words from lying shitlibs and fraudulent media?"

Trebek: "Correct. You control the board."

All in all, as a child of academia and who grew up in a world dominated by heavyweight Hopkins doctors and researchers, it's sad to see how the class of experts have morphed into a quasi-religious caste. And like the once-untouchable clerics of the past, they're now inviting their own ridicule, but which they cannot understand either. The danger is when people no longer listen to the experts because of their own pervasive failures and arrogance and petty politics and invented crises, when something does happen that does need expertise, who will trust the experts?

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founding

Great recommendations, Ed.

I’d personally like to read more of your analysis of the crime situation in Britain, depressing as it is. I think you’re making a real contribution to public life by raising the issue and documenting the wilder examples of leniency towards the violently psychopathic. I’d be interested to hear some testimony from people inside the legal profession, maybe a dissident QC or parole person who’d be willing to speak on condition of anonymity etc. Is it just softie judges or is the rot systematic at this point?

Another theme might be ‘Time to Emigrate?’ With opportunities for younger people drying up and the 70s making a comeback (with hints of the 30s), is it time to cut our losses and get out, and if so where? (I speak from personal experience, as I was in China working as a teacher for a few years, and now plan to emigrate again asap).

Keep up the good work.

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A bit late, but I actually liked the first series of Blackadder. I don’t know why Curtis and Atkinson are so down on it.

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Whether it's the ACLU or Stanford University or San Francisco, once populations remove all their conservatives is it really just a matter of time before they eat themselves? Of course the old folks will tell you SF was lost the day Moscone was shot and Feinstein took over, but the unconditional surrender to de-civilization has been something else entirely.

I do look forward to JK Rowling being hounded for her (fictitious) school having a house named after a (fictional) racist. Once they've destroyed all the real schools in the name of progress they'll be coming for the fake ones.

But we deserve this. We didn't stop them with the Confederates even though we all knew better.

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Great round up Ed, don't let it disappear quietly.

"There is a correlation between social liberalism and mental illness". A quick thought: which came first? Do people adopt liberal attitudes due to psychological peculiarity combined with bizarre cultural norms? Or does being a liberal slowly drive you insane? Both?

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good pointers Ed, thanks.

An article I think you & readers of this substack will appreciate is this one https://americanaffairsjournal.org/2022/05/the-eu-after-ukraine/

It would be nice to hear your opinion on 'What is a woman?' documentary that makes the rounds these days, watched last night and still trying to get my head around it - it almost feels like a parody.

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Jun 19, 2022·edited Jun 19, 2022

Good stuff Ed.

As for what to call this new ideology that is everywhere, I really really like Eric Kaufmann's "Left-Modernism," as he lays it out in _Whiteshift_, which is not really intended to be pejorative, just descriptive and precise. Kaufmann has this really good section in the book where he describes how it gets started in not the 1960s, as one might expect, but the 1910s! And with roots in the 19th century.

Here's Curtis Yarvin tracing its ancient history for the three minutes or starting from where I've linked here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OF1jbAjWcw&t=1729s

I've actually seen people attempt to trace the roots of Left-Modernism (i.e., Woke) even further back to things like Martin Luther or the English Civil War, but that's a bit too ambitious for me haha.

Nice to hear that you're a Rick Mayall fan. I think I've watched every episode of The Young Ones all the way through maybe a dozen times. Also this is the best thing Ben Elton's ever done: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yo9_aBj1Z84

Is there still any British comedy like this being made, or is it all Americanized Nish Kumar type sludge now?

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