Author: anomalyuk


Party Leadership Elections are Undemocratic


Originally posted on Medium as Jago Couch on Aug 22, 2015. It’s potentially confusing for me to criticize something as “undemocratic”, which is why I didn’t post it here, but the argument of the post is relevant to my recent posts so I now prefer to have it here to refer to.

We’ve all had our laugh at the Labour party’s leadership election, but it’s time to get serious.

“Internal party democracy” is deeply stupid. You could even say it is undemocratic.

The purpose of a party is to provide a choice — one among several — to voters in public elections.

If every party stands for “whatever its members say”, and each party’s membership is open, then there is no reason to expect the parties to differ from each other. No choice would be provided at the public elections.

Not only at the level of voting, but at the level of support (funding, campaigning), each individual can choose which party, if any, is theirs. But that choice can only be made sensibly if the citizen can tell what a party stands for, and what it is likely to stand for in future. To have value, a party has to stand for something specific and reasonably constant. This goal is not consistent with internal democracy.

The ideal organisational form for a party is for it to be run by a small self-selecting clique. That provides both consistency and the possibility of gradual adaptation to changing circumstances. A fixed constitution is not likely to work, and if it did work would completely freeze the party, making it unable to adapt. Any other arrangement (including single-person control) will produce unpredictable changes in position, reducing the value of supporting the party.

Note I’m not arguing against parties having large membership, or against the membership having influence. I am arguing that ordinary potential party members have *greater* influence by being able to join a party with a consistent predictable position, than by having a vote that can be overwhelmed by random motivated entryists. Because membership in a party is and should be voluntary, it is a case where influence should be entirely exerted through the force of “exit”, rather than “voice”. It is better to be a member of a party that is controlled by a small self-selecting clique whose opinions you know and agree with, than to be a member of one which is controlled by a vote of thousands of members, including yourself.

The Labour Party organisation is attempting to be reasonable about choosing which new members should be able to vote, but it is impossible because there is no rationale for allowing any of them to vote at all. If it’s legitimate for a member to change the direction of a party, then it’s legitimate to join the party in order to change its direction.

This contradiction has been brought to a head by Labour’s introduction of very low subscription fees to join as a voting “supporter”, but charging more is not an absolute defence against hostile entryism. It just postpones things until there’s an election which is close enough, and for high enough stakes to make an attack viable. Of course, the internet makes organising such an attack as easy as creating a hashtag.


“To Do” list


Things I need to get around to blogging about. Comments welcome.

  • Better description of how the signalling arms race drives ideology forwards. Lots of stuff exists, spread around here, Jim, Spandrell and Moldbug. Needs pulling together. My recent posts have mostly assumed the process without making the case
  • Want to look up the Yes Minister episode where Humphrey is angling for a retirement position at Oxford. Lots of good stuff on the social milieu of civil service and academia. Also involves Islam, if I remember correctly. The “excellent road” between London and Oxford has a metaphorical significance for NRx
  • Something on the Permanent Government generally. Need a piece for the Neoreactionary Encyclopedia (still a private draft)
  • Dredge up the thing I wrote under another alias about how political parties shouldn’t let members elect leaders and repost it here. Felt at the time it was off-brand but it’s relevant
  • Maybe a “mini” based on my tweet about Naomi Wolf’s good choice of subjects to write about


Democracy advancing or retreating?


It’s a very common trope, on left and right, that the voters are being denied their influence and that democracy is on the decline.

I’m pretty sure the reverse is true: the Western democracies are becoming more democratic as the unprincipled exceptions and institutional arrangements that limited the influence of the voters are eroded.

In particular, the things that are pointed at as undemocratic, such as the attempt to remove Trump, and the failure to execute Brexit, are the second line of defence after democracy has blasted through the barriers that used to exist. Trump could not have made it to the presidential election a decade ago, and though there has always been a majority or close to for leaving the EU, only in 2016 did that become a possibility.

Meta: I’ve decided once again to try to put minor observations on the blog, rather than leaving them in twitter conversations. If you are using a feed reader and liked the old very-low-volume feed, switch to https://blog.anomalyuk.party/category/main/feed and I’ll keep “minis” like this out of the “main” category.


Secrecy is a central issue


I had to explain again in response to a comment on my “Decline of Conspiracy” post that, no, the Cathedral is not a conspiracy. It makes more sense to say that the Cathedral is the opposite of a conspiracy. It is what you get when there are no conspiracies 1.

The word “conspiracy” is basically clickbait, but I’m going to stick with it anyway. Be aware, though, that I don’t mean anything really weird by it. The management of any company is a conspiracy, in that the members discuss plans in private and only publicise them if it is advantageous for them to do so 2. @drethlin pointed out on twitter that HBO were able to keep the secret of the ending of Game of Thrones for months, despite hundreds of people needing to know it to make the episode.

In this sense, conspiracies are normal and common, though not quite as common as they used to be. That was my argument in the earlier piece: that as recently as a decade or so ago, a political party (or at least a faction within it) could agree an agenda in private and make confidential plans to pursue that agenda. That capability seems, since then, to have been lost. The key debates between leading politicians of the same party over what goals should be pursued and what means should be employed to pursue them are carried out in public.

I stand by that point. But on reflection I think it’s a much bigger deal. This is a recent development in a much longer trend. As I wrote yesterday in a comment, the Cathedral is defined by its lack of secrecy. The distinctive role of the universities and the press is to inform the public, and to do so with authoritative status. It is not defined by its ideology. However, its ideological direction is a predictable consequence of its transparency. A public competition for admiration causes a movement to the extreme: the most attractive position is the one just slightly more extreme than the others 3. This is the “holiness spiral”

The breakdown of conspiracy, then, is not just a phenomenon of the last decade that has given us Trump and so on. It is the root cause of the political direction of the last few centuries.

What is the cause of the breakdown of conspiracy? If I had to guess and point at one thing it would be protestantism. That, after all, was largely a move to remove the secrecy from religion 4. Once democracy got going, that removed much more secrecy. But it’s still an ongoing process: democracy until recently was mediated by non-public formal and informal institutions. The opening of the guilds can be seen as part of the same trend. Many of the things I have written about in the past may be related — the decline in personal loyalty, for example.

That produces a feedback loop — a belief in equality and openness brings more decision-making into the public sphere, which leads to holiness spirals, which leads to ever increasing belief in equality and openness. But it seems to me that the openness comes first, and the ideology results from it. The Cathedral is a sociological construct, not an ideological one.

Openness has benefits, of course. The advance of knowledge, and of commerce, were made possible or accelerated by the decline of secrecy. But it’s still useful to keep secrets.

Restating the “decline of conspiracy” argument in this context: until recently, the Cathedral, being fundamentally transparent, was subject to the peacock’s-tail type holiness spiral5 as defined above. Through democracy it caused politics to follow. However, the actual powers of the state were immediately in the hands of the civil service and political parties, who were not transparent, and exerted a moderating influence. There were self-perpetuating groups of powerful people — conspiracies — who could limit the choices open to the electorate and therefore slow the long-term political trends driven by the Cathedral. Today, as a result of internal democracy in political parties (particularly in the UK, a very recent development), and of unmediated channels of communication, those conspiracies have been broken open. A politician today is fundamentally in the same business as a journalist or a professor — he is competing for status by means of public statements. The internal debates of political parties are now public debates. In the past, in order to become a politician, other politicians had to accept you. Now you can be a TV star or a newspaper columnist today, and be a politician tomorrow. The incumbents can’t quietly agree to stop you, any more than they could quietly agree to have pizza for lunch.

Twitter account locked again

April 26, 2019

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The @AnomalyUK twitter account has been locked again, for “suspicious behaviour”. As was the case last year, they only want to verify my mobile phone number (which they have), but for some unspecified technical reason they aren’t able to.

Again as before, the @jagifier account is a good place to look for AnomalyUK-related content. I might dig up the @anomalyuk Gab account again too.

Last time, after a couple of weeks of being “locked”, the account went to being “suspended”, and I was able to appeal against that successfully, so I’m fairly optimistic that will work. I also have support tickets relating to the technical issues, but they weren’t resolved last time

Also like last time, there is no obvious reason at all — not even a bad reason — for being locked. The last tweets were extremely dull replies to Sam Bowman about debating tactics. (and the locking happened within seconds of the last one). There were a couple of earlier tweets on the relationship of voting to the concept of republicanism, but, like the comparison of voting systems to bitcoin proof-of-work that I was tweeting about last time I got locked, these were very abstract and nothing to do with any particular election. Did the phrase “republican fascist” trigger something? (I tweeted: “The republican fascist believes in the right of the people to have a government that represents and serves them, but disdains the process of vote-counting. “)

Update: an email came through, rather delayed, that says “Your account appears to have exhibited automated behavior that violates the Twitter Rules”. I actually think the problem is that I type too fast, possibly combined with “yellow flags” being raised by the subjects that I tweet about.

Update: Fixed same day this time. They say it was a mistake.


Decline of Conspiracy


It’s widely accepted that politics over the past 5–10 years has taken a turn to the crazy. The political debate has moved significantly from questions of economic interest to questions of identity. Unconventional figures are succeeding in elections: Donald Trump is president of the USA, Boris Johnson is joint favourite to be next Prime Minister of Britain.

The chief mechanism of this shift has been the destruction or bypassing of the old centres of power. The institutions and informal hierarchies that used to be important to politics no longer are. Obama was said to have bypassed the Democratic establishment with an internet and grass-roots campaign (though is that really true?) Trump undoubtedly ran against the Republican establishment and won, and his ad-hoc campaign seriously outperformed the institutional support behind the Clinton campaign. 1

Money is still important, in US politics, but the fund-raising establishments that mediated it are much less so. A candidate can appeal to donors directly, whether rich donors in person or large numbers of small donors via the internet. The money isn’t flowing through kingmaker fund-raisers who could influence the direction of a party with other people’s money.

From the other side, donors can get influence through big-name candidates, or through pressure groups that set the media agenda, better than through party institutions.

In the UK it’s access to media rather than money that gave the party establishments real power, but that power has declined in the same way: the old gatekeepers can be bypassed.

These are material causes, but there are also social causes. The political parties were once socially important — politicians believed in the party as a force in society, and as a kind of class consciousness. Politicians in a party were insiders, everyone else was an outsider, and insiders knew what was going on in a way that outsiders didn’t. The important people in the party were those who could organise and persuade in private2. That has faded: the parties have become more diverse in every sense, and there is much less in the way of solidarity and social ties to political institutions. 3

That’s the first element: the loss of power of political institutions. That certainly goes back more than the timescale of 5–10 years that I referred to. But its effects are still playing out. The new, open, meritocratic political mechanisms have given rise to a new style in politics.

When politics was carried out within powerful institutions with social and organisational coherence, political factions could keep secrets. They could plan to carry out actions, and to present arguments, without publicly announcing what they were going to do. Today that is not the case. Because political factions are open and meritocratic, collective decisions can only be reached in public.

The effects go further: because all communication within a faction is essentially public, the only way to advance within the faction is through public statements. If you can plan privately and then act, you can be responsible for the consequences of your actions. If you can only contribute to a public debate, then you are responsible for nothing but your public statements. The loss of institutional power has led, through the loss of secrecy, to a loss of responsibility.

The other significant effect of the loss of secrecy is a catastrophic decline in dishonesty in politics. It’s no longer possible to pretend to adopt a political position but to secretly work against it. It’s not possible to express a claim confidently as a bargaining position, and yet negotiate to minimise the risks. If you have publicly expressed confidence, you have to publicly act in line with that expressed confidence. And you can only act publicly.4

“It is a feature of any large movement that pretending to believe something is effectively the same as believing it.”5 — though size of movement isn’t the whole point, the lack of selection into the movement is as important.

Because there is no longer a line between political insiders and outsiders, a majority of your faction are people who haven’t been selected by anyone and who aren’t necessarily in a position to understand compromise or complexity. Your public statements — and therefore your actual actions — have to be simple, clear and extreme.

The failed coup against Trump is a good example of the phenomenon: If there was an actual conspiracy it was tiny, and most of the work of making the Russia frame stick on Trump was done by people who genuinely believed it was real, and therefore adopted the wrong tactics. At a stretch, it’s possible there was no real conspiracy at all: Hillary and her team were making up excuses for their failure, and some intel people were just nuts (an occupational hazard) or were showing off to their friends. It’s important to understand that the publicly claimed positions get internalised. Even if they start as cynical lies, in the absence of private meetings where everyone agrees, “yes we said that, but it’s not really true”, people end up really believing what they pretend to believe.6

What this means is that the purity spirals that characterise the Cathedral have now migrated directly into party politics itself. In the old model, the “Modern Structure“, the political agenda is ultimately driven by the Cathedral, meaning elite academia and the prestige media. They set the common understandings of the electorate and society, which in turn compel politicians to follow. But as politics shifts from private compromises to public debate, the distinction between media and politics dissolves. Every politician is a pundit, and not really anything more. This development has been going for years 7, but only reaches its full effect when the politicians become conscious of it, or have carried on their whole careers under these conditions.

So that ultimately is the cause of the insanity: The old political class which followed the ideological line produced from the Cathedral but with a delay and a practical, moderating influence, has been dissolved into the Cathedral itself.

The civil service is still—for now—out of this: it can still form policy in quiet and carry it on. It is now the last remaining holdout against true popular democracy. It used to be able to make deals with the political class in private, though. The exposing to the public of all political decision-making has taken that mechanism away from it—the question of “what is the official advice” is now part of the public debate on every major issue. It’s also worth noting that it has always been more directly influenced by the Cathedral proper than the old political class was.


Politics as Entertainment


Note: This is a summary of several posts I wrote in late 2007/early 2008

I was watching Channel 4 news, and what struck me for the first time was that Channel 4 appeared to have a more clearly defined and clearly expressed position on the issue they were reporting than did any of the politicians they were interviewing.

But why should that be surprising? Channel 4 has more resources to devote to policy than does any political party. Channel 4 spends 54 million pounds a year on news, documentary and current affairs programming. The two main parties each spend something like 10 million a year, but most of that is spent not on “content”, but on content distribution – posters, leaflets, etc.

British political parties’ policies are being constructed on an almost totally amateur basis, compared to the media – and I think it shows. There are think tanks, but I don’t think they turn over tens of millions a year.

(It must be noted that in the US they spend a lot more on politics, but don’t seem to get noticeably better policies.)

MPs get paid by the government, which is extra resource to the parties not counted in their budgets, and The civil service plays a role in developing policies for the ruling party, but MPs are paid to be MPs, not to develop policy, and the civil service has its own goals and constraints and is not under the control of the Labour party.

It seems that Channel 4’s 2007 policy on higher education was the product of more research and investment than went into the Labour party’s. It’s also relevant that political parties have an incentive to be vague about policy, whereas media organisations can afford to be more specific and clearer – they gain more by being provocative than by being right. This means that media are in a way more motivated to work out detailed policies than parties are

What does this mean?

First, I should be less sceptical than I have been about the “power of the media”. I previously felt that, since the media is constrained to doing what gets it audience, its independent influence on policy is small. However, if what it needs to do is to provide some alternative policy with which to challenge politicians, but it has relative freedom to choose which alternative to develop, then its independent influence is greater than I had thought.

Next, why is it the case that we (as a society) invest more in reporting politics than we do in politics itself. Either something is seriously screwy, or we value politics as entertainment more than as a way of controlling government. Or both.

I think it’s quite clear that the population does treat politics mostly as entertainment. The resemblance between Question Time and Never Mind the Buzzcocks is too close to ignore. If someone arrived from another planet and had to work out which of the two concerns how the country is governed, I think they might find it tricky. (I think they get similar numbers of viewers). There are even hybrids like Have I Got News For You to make it more difficult still.

Further, I think voters are correct to see politics primarily as entertainment. Since my attempt to construct an argument that voting could have a non-negligible probability of affecting an election – the infamous correlation dodge – died a logical death, I am left with the usual reasons for voting – primarily how doing it makes me feel. Those reasons apply equally well to voting for Big Brother or Strictly Come Dancing.

Boris Johnson’s election as Mayor of London in 2008 is consistent with the theory that politics is a branch of the entertainment industry. Boris won because people liked him on TV, not because they had any confidence he’d do a good job. In fact, it simply doesn’t matter whether he does a good job or not.

Whatever the budget of the GLA, the actual amount of cash he can shift from one activity to another over the next four years is probably on the order of only a few millions. He can change a few buses, approve a few “don’t knife each other, there’s good chaps” posters, approve or deny one or two large buildings.

On the other hand, he will be on television a lot, and get a lot more attention, because now he’s (drum roll) In Government. And if you treat each of his appearances as a light entertainment programme, value it as equivalent to an equally entertaining non-political celebrity appearance, and multiply up the number of such appearances over the four years, his entertainment value to the voters easily outweighs whatever costs might be imposed on the voters if he is a Bad Mayor in a policy sense.

And in fact the predictable cost of Boris vs Ken is near enough zero. Who knows, Boris might even be better. While the predictable difference in entertainment value is huge – not only is Boris more entertaining than Ken on a level playing field, but more importantly the Ken show has run for eight years and we’ve seen all the best bits.

My point is that (a) Boris has been elected because he’s funny and people are bored of Ken, and (b) This is, with apologies to Bryan Caplan, rational voting.

And of course, it is nothing new: Ken was elected in 2000 for just the same good reason.

In conclusion, I think our system of government is one which selects leaders and policies as a byproduct of the entertainment industry. This might not be a bad thing: the traditional alternative is to select leaders and policies as a byproduct of the defense industry, which has its own problems.

Original three posts:


Defining Bioleninism

November 10, 2018

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Setting out to defend the theory of Bioleninism, I found that we do not have a really precise definition. Spandrell set out the concept and discussion followed between those who “got it”. That means that they at least believed they had identified the essential features from the general description.

In order to broaden the discussion of the concept beyond those who immediately siezed on it, it is necessary to spell out exactly what the essential features are.

My proposed definition

  • Bioleninism describes the practices of an organisation
  • Members are preferentially selected for positions of power if they are members of social subgroups which have natural disadvantages
  • The preferential selection is overt, not covert
  • The members who are selected for positions of power on this basis are more reliably loyal to the organisation in its existing form than would be the case if they were selected purely on the basis of ability, because they would not expect to achieve similar status if the organisation were to be replaced or reformed.

The last point is Spandrell’s novel insight of a year ago. Surely an organisation that systematically selected the less able would suffer as a result and fail? The idea is that the extra loyalty that those selected have will compensate the organisation for their lesser effectiveness.

That eerily echoes an argument I put forward in 2012 as a defence of hereditary aristocracy:

The reason for the important people having hereditary peerages is that, when it comes to any kind of power, loyalty is more important than exceptional ability. That’s not to say that incompetence is OK, but if your system of government depends on having people of exceptional ability, then it’s broken. Instead take the most competent people from the pool of those brought up to privilege and loyalty, and if they’re not good enough to, say, run a car company, the solution is not to have a government car company. The Victorian meritocratic civil service was exceptionally effective, but it was a step down the wrong road. The motto of the civil service should be “Good Enough for Government Work” (what’s that in Latin?)

Is aristocratic government then bioleninist? That depends on the part of my proposed definition which remains vague: the “social subgroups which have natural disadvantages”. I left that vague because it has been vague, or treated inconsistently, in the discussions since November 2017. We won’t have a precise definition of bioleninism until we can pin down the concept of “naturally disadvantaged subgroups” more coherently.

Spandrell started out by describing what made the 20th Century communist regimes internally strong:
When Communism took over Russia and China, those were still very poor, semi-traditional societies. Plenty of semi-starved peasants around. So you could run a Leninist party just on class resentments. “Never forget class-struggle”, Mao liked to say. “Never forget you used to be a serf and you’re not one now thanks to me”, he meant.

In this arrangement, the peasant’s low status is not a natural thing, it is merely a social convention. But because it is such a widespread and long-standing social convention, the peasant can reasonably expect it to return if the regime falls. Therefore loyalty.

Bioleninism, in contrast, occurs in societies where the established norm is meritocracy:
If you live in a free society, and your status is determined by your natural performance; then it follows that to build a cohesive Leninist ruling class you need to recruit those who have natural low-status.

The term “Biological Leninism” implies that “natural low status” means actual biological disadvantage, such as womens’ lesser physical strength or some ethnic groups’ lower average intelligence. But there is also mention of “naturally repulsive” groups. Are transexuals really “naturally repulsive”, or is that a social convention? I’m not sure. This seems to be the blurry edge of the definition.

So, let me restate my definition with five points rather than four

  1. Bioleninism describes the practices of an organisation
  2. It depends on a cultural presumption that high ability is a natural qualification for positions of power
  3. Members are preferentially selected for positions of power if they are members of disadvantaged social subgroups, which by (2) means groups of lower average ability
  4. The preferential selection is overt, not covert
  5. The members who are selected for positions of power on this basis are more reliably loyal to the organisation in its existing form than would be the case if they were selected purely on the basis of ability, because they would not expect to achieve similar status if the organisation were to be replaced or reformed.

So that takes out feudalism as a bioleninist system, and concentrates it on the modern era where some concept of equality is culturally established. I think that makes it a more useful classification.

 


Bioleninism, Tokenism and the Apex Fallacy


Responding to the above criticism of the theory of Bioleninism is a useful way of clarifying the theory.

The essence of the theory is that a governing structure can gain stability by appointing to high positions members of groups with naturally lower performance, and that that process is advanced in current Western political systems.

“Natural” low performance is an especially controversial concept, but the criticism embraces it: “[women] are not contributing muscle to maintaining law and order to the same extent”

Whether the same applies to, say, homosexual or Punjabi firemen is debatable. I think the identification of sexually omnivorous firemen as the “wrong” kind of homosexual has a lot of merit.

As to Fulton County Sheriffs, a commenter who does not see Bioleninism as a force might well imagine they would “reconsider”, after the incident of a criminal overpowering a small female deputy and killing 3. A believer in the theory of Bioleninism would imagine the opposite. What’s the first link I see when I search “Fulton County Sheriff”? “A day on the job of Fulton County’s first female sniper“!  . It’s as if effectiveness on the job is not the dominant factor in appointments…

Emphasising the fact that there are still ethnic and cultural minorities in low-status positions is effectively the inverse of the Apex Fallacy  : That there is a phenomenon that takes members of some groups and promotes them to positions of power does not imply that it does not leave other members of those groups behind — even a large majority of those members. Bioleninism is a theory about who is selected for positions of power; those not selected can easily remain with the lowest status of all.

The most interesting alternative view is that Bioleninism appears to be happening but is in fact fake: “If women succeed in taking over half the posts in the cabinet… this just means that the cabinet have changed their role to that of national mascots.” We are looking at Tokenism, not Bioleninism.

Tokenism is absolutely a real phenomenon. It is a different category of phenomenon than Bioleninism, however. Tokenism is in principle an individual motivation. “I am pretending to promote this token person so as to get the reputational benefits of doing so, but I don’t really want to give them any influence”. Bioleninism is an emergent tendency of a political system. A movement which promotes the naturally low-status succeeds because they have loyalty to the system without which they could not possibly achieve the same status. (One of the conditions that gives rise to the phenomenon of Bioleninism is that any rival movement appointing naturally high-status people tends to suffer from problems of lack of loyalty. Other things being equal, it is better to rely on high performers than low performers).

The significance of an emergent tendency, as opposed to an individual motivation, is that nobody needs to believe in or even understand Bioleninism for it to happen. The individual motivations that produce the Bioleninist outcome can be quite unrelated: they can be some theory of Justice, or even be exactly Tokenism. It is a feature of any large movement that pretending to believe something is effectively the same as believing it. The attempt to pretend to believe a thing is what Scott Alexander called “Kolmogorov Complicity”, and he explains why it fails.  . A tight conspiracy of people who trust each other can have a secret agenda and a public agenda. A movement that has to compete in the public square cannot sustain the distinction for very long. If you claim loudly and dishonestly to believe that it is just to appoint women to cabinet, you will be succeeded within your movement by people who are not in on the joke.


A sceptic comments on Bioleninism

November 8, 2018

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Note: The following response to Spandrell’s “Biological Leninism” was posted by one of this blog’s regular commenters in the comment thread of “Hollywood, and Media as a Business”. I’ve pulled it out, with the author’s permission, so that the question of evidence for or against Bioleninism can be discussed properly.

 

A Nonny Mouse says:

I read Spandrell’s rant with amusement, but object to his self-indulgent statement: Who is high status in the West today? Women. Homosexuals. Transexuals. Muslims. Blacks. Obviously this is false. The most that these categories of person can hope is that they enjoy the same status as white, Christian, heterosexual non-transsexual males, but that they enjoy a higher status than them simply is not true.

The conspiracy of evil fat black disabled women and transsexual Muslim paedophiles running our society strikes me as no more of a clear and present danger than the march of bodybuilding male nudists. Here in Merseyside we have not yet learnt to treat these classes of people as our rulers, but rather continue to isolate, pillory and demean them, as this video shows:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIHg5RyU6Mw

The transsexual in question works in a charity shop, not yet having assumed executive power. I was approached by the evil ugly fat black woman yesterday, she asked me for spare change, which I did not give to her. I don’t think she enjoys a particularly high status in our society either.

You see, I am a bit of a Particularist myself. In Ceredigion we had an MP who was half Green and half Welsh Nationalist. My dream team includes people like this. Nor do I see myself as in thrall to the “slogans of the gone-and-forgotten proletarian revolutionaries”.

It would be indiscrete to name the Fire Brigade I worked for, but the Station Officer assured me he had been present when the visiting Margaret Thatcher (Finchley, Con) drank from a cup of tea around which every man in the Station had previously wiped his penis. From this we divine that there was quite a gulf between the ruling Conservative Party and the staff of this useful and necessary public service, but they were not exactly proletarian revolutionaries: one member was quite an enthusiast for the Liberal Democrats, I imagine the rest were satisfied with Labour. Their programme was quite mild and did not include Permanent Cultural Revolutions or liquidation of kulaks: it merely involved banalities such as the continuation of Emergency Services, the imposition of Fire Retardant Cladding, and permanent, pensionable full-hours contracts for Public Service workers.

This was well into the days of enforced diversity, Equal Opportunities and the like. As I recall, in a force of hundreds, we had on our books but three women, one who got pregnant and exited the force, one who, disabled from active service, was permanently on light duties and one who had taken and passed every single examination in Fire Fighting Tech and so passed seamlessly into administration.

Fire-fighting is a not only a male orientated activity, but one which attracts the less cerebral, more physical sort of male. Diversity meant there were White firemen, West Indian, Sikh and Muslim firemen but no Jews, Chinese or Hindus that I noticed.

There was one incident when a cleaning lady walked into a toilet and encountered a Station Officer sodomising one of the firemen. Curiously, instead of being promoted to encourage diversity, they were fired for outraging public decency. It seems to be the wrong kind of homosexuality, an opportunistic indulgence of dirty boys looking for fast, strings-free relief (encouraged perhaps by the intimacies of preparing cups of tea for visiting Home Secretaries), (the choice of the Fire Station for the activity indicating that they both led more conventional lives elsewhere), rather than the life long commitment with right-on demands for equality that constitutes political gayness.

Feminism I don’t see as that much of a threat because it is essentially bipolar and content free. On the one hand we have shrinking violets afraid of men photographing under their skirts, and on the other bull dykes who think they can run the S.A.S. They sort of cancel each other out. I was particularly impressed by a television programme on the unpromising topic of the interviewees for the position of Lighting Engineer at Royal Albert Hall. There were 350 of them, all male. To me this shows that ordinary men’s work—boring and unglamorous—continues to be done by men: it is only when it comes with high prestige and earning capacity that women start clamouring for equality.

If women succeed in taking over half the posts in the cabinet, then that means that the true seat of control lies elsewhere, business or the mafia perhaps. Certain roles, the models for Britannia or Hibernia for example, were always traditionally performed by women. This just means that the cabinet have changed their role to that of national mascots.

But the intrusion of women into the workplace is an ongoing, experimental process: initial enthusiasm often gives way to disillusionment. Either women can do men’s jobs, in which case we have to ask whether we were right to exclude them in the first place, or they cannot, in which case their candidacy will eventually be barred. A good example of this happened in Fulton Co, GA, which appointed as Sheriff’s Deputy a fat black 5́ 2 woman of 51 years and left her in sole charge of 6́ Brian Nichols (also black and extremely ornery) aged 33. He overpowered her, took her gun, and shot the judge and 3 others. One imagines that the appointments committee took notice and altered their practice. Allegations of sexism, sizeism and ageism should not be allowed to sway the appointment of Sheriff’s Deputies, though those of racism can still be investigated.

By contrast however we must consider the case of Det Con Hazel Savage, who obdurately and in the face of opposition from male colleagues insisted on digging up the property of Fred West, who had corrupted the male members of the force by giving them free rides of his missus.

So as I see it there should be an auxiliary female police force: I am prepared to believe that women can make better administrators (less likely to bend the rules) and better interrogators (I have some experience of male police interrogation, as perhaps do you). As the number of female police officers increases, the incidence of rape in the community declines, as does the incidence of workplace flatulence. But it is only in fictional police procedurals with science fiction bionic implants that they are better fighters than men, not because of a Cathedral conspiracy but because these things are written by women. So I still see them as auxiliaries and believe they should be paid less because they are not contributing muscle to maintaining law and order to the same extent.

It has taken considerable discrimination and a formidable colour-bar to maintain the existence of the Black population in the US. In Argentina, which once had slaves on the same scale as the US, only 149,493 (0.3%) out of a total population of 40,117,096 identified themselves as Afro-Argentine in 2010. At one time they were a third of the population in Buenos Aires. African DNA has disappeared into the general population through intermarriage, in the same way that Native American DNA has in the US. In Britain also, Windrush era immigration is in many cases no longer discernable in the current generation. So I would say that Spandrell’s objection to any persons of ebony hue enjoying the status they have earned when they are long standing citizens of the same country as him is an example of unacceptable reactionary bile. He does supply a good example of an undeserving case, but we cannot base a conclusion on a sample of one.

Note: The above response to Spandrell’s “Biological Leninism” was posted by one of this blog’s regular commenters in the comment thread of “Hollywood, and Media as a Business”. I’ve pulled it out, with the author’s permission, so that the question of evidence for or against Bioleninism can be discussed properly. My reaction to this post is “Bioleninism, Tokenism and the Apex Fallacy




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