Page 1 of 5 [ 72 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next

cyberdad
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Feb 2011
Age: 54
Gender: Male
Posts: 27,710

22 May 2022, 4:27 am

Just curious how many members here have read this book and what they think of Douglas Murray's ideas?

Image



Brictoria
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 12 Aug 2013
Age: 46
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,998
Location: Melbourne, Australia

22 May 2022, 5:09 am

I haven't read it, but it certainly looks like it could be interesting (and, quite possibly, controversial) if for no other reason that to get a different viewpoint on the subjects described within it...

The local library has it on order, so I may have a look at it when it arrives.


_________________
"I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it" - Edith Sitwell

“It's scary how betrayal can never let you trust that person again.” - Garima Soni

"Sometimes I think that this is an era when sanity has become controversial." - Thomas Sowell


cyberdad
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Feb 2011
Age: 54
Gender: Male
Posts: 27,710

22 May 2022, 5:40 am

Anyone curious about it's content can view Douglas Murray's thoughts here



shlaifu
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 May 2014
Age: 38
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,553

22 May 2022, 8:28 am

"Old white men" is a way of thinking, of approaching everything with the mindsets of "It is my god given right to exploit this", "bigger is better", and "it's your fault you didn't become a hedge fund manager, don't blame me".

Attacking old white men for being old white men however is ignoring the social structures they grew up in to become old white men. Hence, attacking those makes total sense.
Sadly the current attack, on a purely cultural level, is flawed. But big corporations, rich people and governments can deal with changing culture and use it to their advantage - everything's fine as long as property laws aren't under attack, or a tax on financial transactions is being instated.

Murray is just butthurt he doesn't get to be a recognized intellectual, to which I say: "you could have been a hedge fund manager. Idiot."


_________________
I can read facial expressions. I did the test.


techstepgenr8tion
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Feb 2005
Age: 42
Gender: Male
Posts: 22,605
Location: The 27th Path of Peh.

22 May 2022, 11:56 am

I haven't had time to read much lately but I've been listening to Murray's interviews off and on since 2015 so I'm familiar with his way of thinking.

If I understand the topic right it's that we're declaring war on Enlightenment values and institutions, pretty much all of the old liberal ideas to which John Stuart Mill is emblematic of. I agree to the extent that so much of what's happening right now looks like braindead populism of the sort that lashes out emotionally rather than making any really good proposals. I get that there's an elite with entrenched power and they're gaining while other people are losing, however I think that the inequality due to extended peacetime is the problem - it does need to be fixed but enlightenment philosophy isn't the culprit - and it's rabid ignorance and even denial of history that has people wanting to foment an anti-enlightenment revolution. The problem there is that Enlightenment ideas and what I've heard referred to as the 'infinite game' is about as good as we can get. The inequality is from unequal outcomes compounding to a critical mass because markets do this over time (think 80/20 rule on steroids). The notion that we're going topple that and get some kind of despotic regime where people who are running in this race are just hoping they'll end up on top while most other people lose (ie. they personally aspire to be oppressing people because status is everything to those who are really convinced that it's all we are), it's crazy and it needs to be criticized.


_________________
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privelege of owning yourself" - Rudyard Kipling


SkinnedWolf
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 18 Mar 2022
Age: 23
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 1,128
Location: China

22 May 2022, 1:45 pm

The book is so new that I can't find it in Chinese channels. And paying for "international channels" is too much of a hassle.
The overview is as follows.

Quote:
An Instant New York Times Bestseller
China has concentration camps now. Why do Westerners claim our sins are unique?

It is now in vogue to celebrate non-Western cultures and disparage Western ones. Some of this is a much-needed reckoning, but much of it fatally undermines the very things that created the greatest, most humane civilization in the world.

In The War on the West, Douglas Murray shows how many well-meaning people have been fooled by hypocritical and inconsistent anti-West rhetoric. After all, if we must discard the ideas of Kant, Hume, and Mill for their opinions on race, shouldn’t we discard Marx, whose work is peppered with racial slurs and anti-Semitism? Embers of racism remain to be stamped out in America, but what about the raging racist inferno in the Middle East and Asia?

It’s not just dishonest scholars who benefit from this intellectual fraud but hostile nations and human rights abusers hoping to distract from their own ongoing villainy. Dictators who slaughter their own people are happy to jump on the “America is a racist country” bandwagon and mimic the language of antiracism and “pro-justice” movements as PR while making authoritarian conquests.

If the West is to survive, it must be defended. The War on the West is not only an incisive takedown of foolish anti-Western arguments but also a rigorous new apologetic for civilization itself.

I don't judge the first paragraph.
I can roughly guess his argument.


Take East Asia, which I am familiar with, as an example. East Asia has indeed historically engaged in excessively intense inter-ethnic warfare, many of which could be considered genocide or cultural genocide.
But there is a lack of sufficient physical differences between these ethnic groups to easily make an ethnic group difficult to identify if cultural exchange occurs.

This pattern was changed by ethnic conflicts that spanned a very large geographic range during the colonial era.
There is a huge difference in appearance and civilization between the two ethnic groups. (You won't see the conflict between hot weapon civilization and stone age civilization in other historical stages)
The two factors of the overly obvious appearance difference and the difference of civilization generation have caused quite a lot of chain reactions. For example, the establishment of the concept of "race".
For other regions, if you don't know what "race" is, it's hard to believe you're "racist". There are many indications that discrimination against blacks in areas that were historically and now almost devoid of blacks is actually the result of an invasion of American culture. Same goes for anti-Semitism.
This means that the historical legacy of this series of chain reactions needs to be treated differently from other historical legacy. (But that doesn't mean it's not stupid to discriminate between cultures form the "pre-racial" era.)
Another factor related to the times, technological development has made the form of ethnic conflict more "special".
More medieval conflicts often end in assimilation and physical annihilation.
But colonial-era labor demands led to the high use of slaves of different races, and there are huge differences in appearance, both of which led to large numbers of identifiable survivors for persecuted groups.
In other words, this is a historical debt that needs to be repaid due to "Insufficient genocide".
The above are statements of fact only and do not contain advice of any kind.


So the US seems to smell more sensitive to black issues than the rest of the "West". This extends to other "inclusiveness" issues as well. I have observed this cultural export from the US to the rest of the West.

One of the analogous examples is the Indian subcontinent. Although there is no huge difference between civilizations.
There are still too stark ethnic differences in appearance, and the institutional legacy associated with them.
It even became part of religion.

I'd be curious about the similarities and differences between the Celtic issues and the Afro/Asian issues in Great Britain today. And the reasons for differences in racial sensitivities between South and North America.


Another possible argument is how the "West" should deal with criticism of other civilizations.

There are three forces here.

A) Unrealistic criticism
That often actually be part of racism/prejudice. The latter is also common in non-colonial areas.

B) Stop all criticism, even cover up criticism from within the respective group.
This was originally a protection for minorities. But in some cases it's overkill. (this also happens in non-colonial areas)
But the legacy of racism seems to have left a more particular influence. That is, a "white savior" mentality.
That is, minorities must be saved/protected/enlightenment by us. This may even, in some cases, create objective malice that a group cannot improve itself and can only rely on protection.

C) People who live relatively well-off cannot imagine the existential challenges faced by poor/backward areas and focus on their moral issues. Or believing that one's more developed/rich must come from one's own superior ideology rather than other factors, so eager to promote one's own ideology.
This is a global universal phenomenon. It happens in an infinite number of dimensions.
But that intersectionality makes things a little awkward when a group associated with a particular ethnicity has inherited more financially from a history of racism.


Quite a number of moral formations have regional and historical contingencies.
But now civilizations that hold one of these morals are overwhelmingly dominant, and cultural export is inevitable.
Sometimes certain regions seem so savage and unreasonable simply because they have received less cultural output from the dominant civilization.

And distinguishing what is contingent morality and what can be considered "universal morality" is a challenging task.
Even, to be honest, the term "people of color" seems rather weird to me.
Imagine a different timeline where East Asians became the dominant civilization and referred to races other than themselves as "people of odor". 8O This is even more scientific than whether there is a "color".



Another slightly embarrassing theory is:
Rapid industrialization is associated with early colonial history, which formed the "West". And the countries that later industrialized had to do with colonization itself or the continued influence of the "West"—and this was obviously not in pure goodwill.
This sometimes makes modernization and westernization somewhat indistinguishable, and nationalists sometimes reject both.

This cultural invasion and technological connection does not only occur at the Western-Other region level.
The same phenomenon happened/happening in the non-Chinese part of the Chinese cultural circle.


_________________
I use English with the help of translation software and apologize for all possible misunderstandings.

The 'skinned wolf' is actually a type of fish

Find communicators about interests please PM me


MaxE
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 2 Sep 2013
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,048
Location: Mid-Atlantic US

22 May 2022, 2:43 pm

Well there's no way I'm reading this book but I did a quick Google to try to understand what the fellow is about. From what Ican tell, he is a vector for all the white supremacist rot that masquerades as contrarian intellectualism and unfortunately appeals to the less privileged among us. To argue against any of his particular theses is a bloody waste of time.

I mean it would at least be more honest to spread crude pictures of wide-nose, thick-lipped pickaninnies, grasping hook-nosed Jews, and buck-toothed slanty-eyed Chinamen wearing conical hats and having their hair in queues, than to appeal to the "intellectual" side of those with few weapons in their cerebral arsenal.

@SkinnedWolf I recommend you get some sleep and find better things to think about when awake.


_________________
My WP story


shlaifu
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 May 2014
Age: 38
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,553

22 May 2022, 3:47 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
The inequality is from unequal outcomes compounding to a critical mass because markets do this over time (think 80/20 rule on steroids). The notion that we're going topple that and get some kind of despotic regime where people who are running in this race are just hoping they'll end up on top while most other people lose (ie. they personally aspire to be oppressing people because status is everything to those who are really convinced that it's all we are), it's crazy and it needs to be criticized.


The other day I watched a youtube about Jordan Peterson fatshaming a woman and crying Neo-Marxist-Postmodernist, then quitting twitter over the response. The playlist went on to one of his talks where states the pareto-principle is a quasi-law of nature, and just look at monopoly: one person inevitably ends up with all the money, and no redistribution is going to fix that because it will trickle up again.

To which I'd like to say: yeah, but in the process of redistribution and trickling up again, people are paying their mortgages and living their lives. ... What exactly are we aiming for.
But also: Monopoly is the best example he could have chosen.
It was originally invented by a socialist and called the landlord's game. One set of rules would lead to a somewhat even distribution of property and basically and endless game.
And the other set of rules would lead to one person ending up with all the wealth.
The Parkers stole the concept, stripped away yhe first set of rules, and thus, the didactic concept of the landlord's game, and publish "Monopoly".
So, the pareto principle in Monopoly only takes effect with one set of rules, and yeah then redistribution would only fix things temporarily. Of course, ehat's wrong with repeatedly fixing things temporarily? It's just called maintenance. How about maintaining society a little? Well, at this point JP would have to admit that there just are people who don't want to maintain society and prefer blaming a quasi-natural law.
You could of course play by the other set, and break this quasi-natural law.

Wtf. Even is a quasi-natural law? It's certainly not *like* a natural law. Because if one of those is broken, it is no longer considered a natural law.


_________________
I can read facial expressions. I did the test.


techstepgenr8tion
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Feb 2005
Age: 42
Gender: Male
Posts: 22,605
Location: The 27th Path of Peh.

22 May 2022, 5:01 pm

shlaifu wrote:
Wtf. Even is a quasi-natural law? It's certainly not *like* a natural law. Because if one of those is broken, it is no longer considered a natural law.

I don't know why it would be quasi-natural either, IMHO it's just natural unless he was trying to pad the bad news for people by adding the quasi- prefix.

The big problem so far in history is we haven't known how to fix inequality other than massive unrest with lots of death where everyone starts out equally poor again (because... well... we haven't figured out how to ask people who've done all of the accumulating and had all of the soldiers and militias 'Can you kindly hand back x% of your stuff?' and have them be like 'Sure, yeah okay! Give me till the end of the week!').

For the way the world runs it's a status race, what people have accumulated is part-in-parcel with their status, and status is something no one gives up willingly (unless they got it for free from their parents or grandparents - in which case sex tapes on ecstasy and reality TV shows supplements some of what they're squandering a bit longer).

The trouble is - we want freedom and I think the message here is - if you want equality there's no freedom, everyone has to be running as fast as they can at turning trees, minerals, etc. into trinkets, accumulating capital goods, otherwise whoever's spending every waking moment of their lives to do that will beat you. The Red Queen's rule about running twice as fast to stay in the same place can be temporarily blockaded by socialist policy but then anyone who doesn't play that game economically overtakes whoever does.

Could there be a patch for that last bit? Possibly, but I think it's going to have to come when the tree of physics, innovation, and business has been so thoroughly picked that everyone alive has to admit that they haven't invented anything and that it's all their parents and grandparents technology, or when the only new inventions are coming from AI. Until then there's status to be gained by doing certain things (at least if you're good looking, tall, not autistic, etc.).

For Pareto distribution though it's like the idea that any time more than one conscious agents interact there will be a power differential by default. Similarly whatever guy has OCD and a really unbalanced sense of what healthy living is will have the more balanced guys calling him boss. It's math, math doesn't care about human happiness, it's just a blunt law of the cosmos. One can try retrofitting systems on top of it that attempt solutions that end up in the whole system blowing up, communism tried that effectively just by putting that power in the one-party system (which wasn't peace either, it was a perpetual witch hunt in response to nothing working and needing 'wreckers' to blame), capitalism just lets things blow up on repeat. I think we'd have to be brought incredibly low as a species, like the edge of extinction, to solve this because until then the people who are winning have no reason to listen to those who aren't winning and even if some of the people who are winning have a moral conscience and want something better then the other people they're competing with at their level won't listen to them, might even encourage them to give up some of their power and hand them victory instead in the status, money, and arms race.


_________________
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privelege of owning yourself" - Rudyard Kipling


shlaifu
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 May 2014
Age: 38
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,553

22 May 2022, 6:36 pm

^^
Confer sovial status to the person contributing most to maintaining society. Shun the tax evader.

We're working on the latter, or as Elon Musk put it: I don't want to be called a billionaire, billionaire is a slur.

Obviously, this goes only so far.
But there are rules we could adopt.
An oversimplified one I came across on the internet was: no one gets to buy a second apartment as long as not everyone has gotten a first one.
Obviously a bit stupid, but there's a kernel in there.

How about legal persons, i.e. corporations, get sent to "jail". Rather than merely paying a fine, they are actually forced to temporarily conduct business. Creditors will be paid from company assets, and if something is left of the company after that period, shareholders can decide what to do.
As a natiral person, there are deterrents from crimes that simply aren't applied to legal persons.

We could do a lot more to enforce the rules we have, instead of throwing our hands in the air in the face of tax evasion and sigh 'pareto principle'.

Or as Indians say: jalta hai. Nothing you can do about it.
Ignoring the fact that they could build sewage systems if they wanted to, rather than have the poorest shovel up their cesspools without any hygiene precautions.


_________________
I can read facial expressions. I did the test.


techstepgenr8tion
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Feb 2005
Age: 42
Gender: Male
Posts: 22,605
Location: The 27th Path of Peh.

22 May 2022, 7:02 pm

shlaifu wrote:
^^
Confer sovial status to the person contributing most to maintaining society. Shun the tax evader.

What do measurements of that look like? Also maintaining by whose political philosophy?

shlaifu wrote:
We could do a lot more to enforce the rules we have, instead of throwing our hands in the air in the face of tax evasion and sigh 'pareto principle'.

I'm afraid I can't follow the logic, they're not the same thing. One's performative inequality (we're screwed on that), the other is hiding money from taxation. Stopping tax evasion would be a matter of making it illegal, difficult but not as difficult as breaking time and space.

It would be great if we could have ways to forcibly break solipsism or solipsism-plays (corruption pinning concepts together for plausible deniability), particularly in politics, but that would imply adding more 'naturalistic' forcing functions of some kind to how we do life on an day-in-day out level. Blockchain creating an accountancy bonanza bight be part of that solution, hopefully we can avoid having too many hard stops on mineral availability or climate disasters but that's another kind of hard stop that we likely take to the face full force.


_________________
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privelege of owning yourself" - Rudyard Kipling


shlaifu
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 May 2014
Age: 38
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,553

22 May 2022, 8:11 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
shlaifu wrote:
^^
Confer sovial status to the person contributing most to maintaining society. Shun the tax evader.

What do measurements of that look like? Also maintaining by whose political philosophy?



That "maintenance" was used in reference to my earlier post in which described the temporary fix of redistributing wealth, if applied in regular intervals, as well... Maintenance of society, to be performed by people who outperform the mass of society by a large margin.
Make an annual award show like the oscars, where all the rich and beautiful mingle and televise it, and celebrate the person who contributed most money to the nation and its people, its infrastructure, its education system.
You could easily do that in Sweden, for example, where tax records are not secret, and anyone can enquire how much taxes the king has paid last year.

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
shlaifu wrote:
We could do a lot more to enforce the rules we have, instead of throwing our hands in the air in the face of tax evasion and sigh 'pareto principle'.

I'm afraid I can't follow the logic, they're not the same thing. One's performative inequality (we're screwed on that), the other is hiding money from taxation. Stopping tax evasion would be a matter of making it illegal, difficult but not as difficult as breaking time and space.


Oh, yeah, I see you weren't following me here, hence the confusion: if there is a way to mitigate the ill effects of performative inequality, not going down that path is akin to throwing your hands up and say "it's performative inequality, you can't fix that". Well, maybe not, but you can still take the measures to mitigate the effects it has on society. Performative inequality need not inevitably lead to a handful of people owning half of the world's wealth, and half of the world's people living in poverty. (Not absolute poverty as defined by the world economic forum or whoever. Colloquial poverty. I'm just trying to illustrate something here).


_________________
I can read facial expressions. I did the test.


Brictoria
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 12 Aug 2013
Age: 46
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,998
Location: Melbourne, Australia

22 May 2022, 9:31 pm

I wonder if this is an example of the subject matter discussed in the book:

Quote:
University sidelines sonnets as 'products of white western culture'

[...]

Shakespeare once wrote that nothing would overcome the “powerful rhyme” of his sonnets, but the writing may be on the wall for the poetic form.

Sonnets have been branded “products of white western culture” and sidelined on a creative writing course, university documents reveal.

Writing the traditional form employed by poets from Petrarch to Auden formed part of an assessment for the University of Salford's creative writing course, but “pre-established literary forms” were reviewed as part of a shakeup to “decolonise the curriculum”.

Sonnets have been sidelined as part of this “decolonising” work, according to internal documents which branded the verse form a product of “white western culture”.

Source: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/05/14/university-bans-sonnets-products-white-western-culture/


_________________
"I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it" - Edith Sitwell

“It's scary how betrayal can never let you trust that person again.” - Garima Soni

"Sometimes I think that this is an era when sanity has become controversial." - Thomas Sowell


Brictoria
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 12 Aug 2013
Age: 46
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,998
Location: Melbourne, Australia

22 May 2022, 9:39 pm

cyberdad wrote:
Just curious how many members here have read this book and what they think of Douglas Murray's ideas?


Does this help?
Quote:
Forget labels like “right wing” & “dark web”, read a book without preconceptions about the author & judge what it actually says. For what it’s worth, I always vote left & I think Douglas Murray’s The War on the West is utterly superb. Please read it with an open mind. Please.

Source: https://twitter.com/RichardDawkins/status/1525792584471281664


_________________
"I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it" - Edith Sitwell

“It's scary how betrayal can never let you trust that person again.” - Garima Soni

"Sometimes I think that this is an era when sanity has become controversial." - Thomas Sowell


Pepe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 11 Jun 2013
Gender: Male
Posts: 22,707
Location: Australia

22 May 2022, 9:43 pm

Brictoria wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
Just curious how many members here have read this book and what they think of Douglas Murray's ideas?


Does this help?
Quote:
Forget labels like “right wing” & “dark web”, read a book without preconceptions about the author & judge what it actually says. For what it’s worth, I always vote left & I think Douglas Murray’s The War on the West is utterly superb. Please read it with an open mind. Please.

Source: https://twitter.com/RichardDawkins/status/1525792584471281664

Dawkins a lefty? I would never have guessed.


_________________
Laughter is the best medicine. Age-appropriate behaviour is an arbitrary NT social construct.
Don't tell me white lies. Gaslight me at your peril. Don't give me your bad attitude. Hypnosis, psychosis. Tomarto, tomayto. There are *4* lights. Honey badger.
If I'm so bad, pass me by. ;)


And one more thing,



Also, as George Carlin said, "I have no stake in the outcome." I'll stick around for the comedy.

"A stranger is a friend gang-stalker you haven't met yet."
Truth may be inconvenient but it is never politically incorrect...The Oracle of Truth has spoken...8)
Read my lips:-I am not a fan of the orange man.-I would never vote for the Republican party given the chance.-I am interested in being objective and rational.


shlaifu
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 May 2014
Age: 38
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,553

23 May 2022, 4:56 am

Brictoria wrote:
I wonder if this is an example of the subject matter discussed in the book:
Quote:
University sidelines sonnets as 'products of white western culture'

[...]

Shakespeare once wrote that nothing would overcome the “powerful rhyme” of his sonnets, but the writing may be on the wall for the poetic form.

Sonnets have been branded “products of white western culture” and sidelined on a creative writing course, university documents reveal.

Writing the traditional form employed by poets from Petrarch to Auden formed part of an assessment for the University of Salford's creative writing course, but “pre-established literary forms” were reviewed as part of a shakeup to “decolonise the curriculum”.

Sonnets have been sidelined as part of this “decolonising” work, according to internal documents which branded the verse form a product of “white western culture”.

Source: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/05/14/university-bans-sonnets-products-white-western-culture/


I googled and couldn't find any other source than the Telegraph, and then read the article.

It says Shakespearean sonnets were dropped from a course called "Writing poems in the 21st century".

This is just right-wing click-bait.


_________________
I can read facial expressions. I did the test.