Category Archives: Culture

Chile: A Well-To-Do People That Wants MORE … Socialism, Not Capitalism

Capitalism, Culture, Democracy, Economy, Egalitarianism, Elections, Free Markets, Race, Socialism

Chile is the country with the highest per capita income and least inequality in all of Latin America,writes Pat Buchanan. “Yet the protesters have succeeded in forcing the elected government to capitulate and write a new constitution.”

The economic issues propelling workers into the streets to protest inequalities of wealth and income are occurring at a time when our world has never been more prosperous. …
Neither authoritarians nor the world’s democracies seem to have found a cure for the maladies that afflict our world’s unhappy citizens. …

What we have in reality is what Pat Buchanan has always warned of:

The ethnic and racial clashes within and between nations seem increasingly beyond the capacity of democratic regimes to resolve peacefully.
As for matters of fundamental belief — political, ideological, religious — the divides here, too, seem to be deepening and widening.

The Economist concurs that Chile has it quite good, writing that it “is the second-richest country in Latin America, thanks in part to its healthy public finances and robust private sector”:

Sebastián Piñera, Chile’s centre-right president, at first took a tough line with the malcontents. “We are at war,” he declared during the rioting. The state’s response was heavy-handed. Although most of the deaths occurred because of arson …

What the people of Chile want, it would appear, is less capitalism and MORE socialism:

Under a model developed by free-market economists during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, who ruled from 1973 to 1990, citizens are expected to save for their own retirement. … In many other countries, public pensions are financed by taxing current workers and giving the money to current pensioners—a system that comes under strain when the population ages. Chileans, by contrast, invest the money they save in privately managed funds. This system has helped Chile manage its public finances and encouraged the development of long-term capital markets, which in turn has boosted economic growth.

IS this good? You bet it’s good.

The conservative Mr Piñera is unlikely to scrap a system which in many ways has served Chile well. It is the second-richest country in Latin America, thanks in part to its healthy public finances and robust private sector.

BUT the people are not interested.

* Image courtesy The Economist.

American Society’s Unnatural Attitude to Aging Naturally

Culture, Ethics, Family, Morality, Pop-Psychology, Psychiatry, Relatives, The Zeitgeist

In “No Country for Old Age,” The Hedgehog Review’s Joseph E. Davis writes, in essence, of the cruel biological reductionism and medicalization of old age, a natural stage of life that ought to be valued:

“When it comes to old age, illness, and death, little remains to us of common meaning or shared social rituals.”

Here are some of many profundities excerpted:

… In our society, to come directly to my point, old age is understood and framed in ways that lead inevitably to its devaluation. Its status is low and arguably is falling.
… old age [is seen as having] no value in itself. ‘Old’ signifies bodily decline, while “success” involves a ceaseless battle to defeat degeneration, and hope is always invested in the prospect of overcoming limits through self-reliance and technological interventions.

There is no space here for stillness or release, no sense of value or consolation in the evening of life. Even cultivating spirituality is framed instrumentally in terms of promoting ‘better physical and mental health in old age.’ An imperative to defeat aging and even death can only consign these realities to fear, shame, and avoidance.

…Representations of old age that add censure and shame to greater dependence and loss of one’s powers can only make matters worse.

… the sociologist Norbert Elias argues that, over time, these weakened bonds and other common features of the later years have been compounded by increased individualization and the isolation of the “ageing and dying from the community of the living.” In contemporary society, Elias argues, older people are “pushed more and more behind the scenes of social life,” a process that intensifies their devaluation, emotional seclusion, and loss of social significance. A physical and institutional sequestering and a pervasive cultural tendency to “conceal the irrevocable finitude of human existence” have made it harder for them and those around them to relate to, understand, and interact with one another. The aged and dying are less likely to receive the help and affection they need, and more prone to different forms of loneliness and painful feelings of irrelevance. “Never before,” Elias writes, “have people died as noiselessly and hygienically as today in [more developed] societies, and never in social conditions so much fostering solitude.”

… Health and longevity are the ends to which remedial action is directed and by which outcomes are evaluated. Even in discussions that include exhortations to build strong connections and communities, loneliness and isolation are treated as individual conditions, and references to community easily coexist with talk of genetic hardwiring, the role of the prefrontal cortex, and the ways in which neural mechanisms might generate feelings of loneliness.

… Typical advice is often some form of self-help: “take a class,” “get a dog,” “volunteer”; build your confidence with social skills training; seek out behavioral therapy. With therapy—highlighted for its positive “impact”—the aged lonely can be helped to see that their low self-worth, perceived isolation, or feelings of being unwanted are probably just cognitive misapprehensions that need to be “restructured.” Once this restructuring is accomplished, the aged can better match what they want in social life with what they have and get on with aging with more success. The status quo can now appear in a new, more uplifting light.

Current constructions of old age in individualistic terms of self-reliance, the fit body, productive accomplishments, or an imperative to deny or defeat aging technologically cannot but deepen our predicament and the need to render it invisible. This is what makes the cultural logic of these constructions irredeemable. They leave us in a cul-de-sac, hemmed in by a predatory commercial culture, a punishing ideology of health, fewer and weaker social ties, an ethic of active striving and mastery, and a mechanistic picture of ourselves. Moving beyond the devaluation of old age requires other orientations and other practices for which we must look elsewhere—to other societies, past or present, and to older traditions. …

… The social orientation of the evening of life need not be individualistic, but toward family and the localization and strengthening of social relations. Similarly, the view of the life cycle need not take its bearings from youth and middle age but from roles and identities appropriate to old age, with their own norms and rewards. These norms and rewards need not be defined in terms of active striving and productivity, but in terms of release, such as from social climbing, and a more contemplative attitude toward the world.

No Country for Old Age,” by Joseph E. Davis, The Hedgehog Review.

UPDATED II (11/8/019): NEW COLUMN: Multiculturalism Elbows Anglo-Americans Out

Conservatism, Culture, Founding Fathers, History, IMMIGRATION, Islam, Judaism & Jews, Multiculturalism

NEW COLUMN is “Multiculturalism Elbows Anglo-Americans Out.” It’s on WND.COM and the Unz Review.

An excerpt:

America is “a society that is and always has been multiethnic and polyglot,” burbled David Frum, in a 2016 exposition. It’s a refrain repeated by centrists like Frum and French (also David), by all lefties and by well-trained faux rightists.

Such dissembling about America having always been multicultural are no more than post hoc justifications for turning the country into a veritable Tower of Babel.

Early America’s colonies were founded by Englishmen in periwigs, speaking different English dialects. They were joined by Irish, Scottish, French, Dutch, German and Swedish Christians, who quickly adopted English as lingua franca.

Not even the woke Wikipedia denies that, “Nearly all colonies and, later, states in the United States, were settled by migration from” one colony to another, with “foreign immigration” generally playing “a minor role after the first initial settlements.”

In other words, population growth was organic, a result of the settlers themselves multiplying and being fruitful, not of a flood of immigrants.

This so-called “multiethnic” dispensation saw early Americans publicly debate and come to a broad agreement on some highly complex, abstract matters of political philosophy, an impossibility today. The colonial community had to be pretty tight to arrive at the Articles of Confederation, followed by the Constitution.

Try as he might, not even the sainted Barack Obama got away with claiming, as he did, that, “Islam had been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding.”

Beyond their heavy involvement in the slave trade and in the Barbary wars—and contrary to Obama’s modern myth-making—Muslims were most certainly not enmeshed in America from its inception.

Moreover, and almost to a man, the learned Founding Father, as chronicled by Laura Rubenfeld of PJ Media, held a dismal view of Islam and its vampiric prophet. 

It gives me great pleasure to break it to my anti-Semitic readers and to Ilhan Omar, the representative from Mogadishu in Minnesota: Jews were around. Early American Jews were of, mostly, Sephardic origins, having hailed from Spain and Portugal. That Jewry has always been more refined and reactionary than their radical, East-European brethren, who arrived much later.

And so we find Jews fighting or financing the War of Independence. Francis Salvador and Haym Solomon come to mind. “The highest ranking Jewish officer of the Colonial forces was Colonel Mordecai Sheftall.” Why, Jews even produced proud Confederate soldiers, the likes of Col. Abraham Charles Myers.

It was to the peaceful Jews of America that George Washington saw fit to promise peace and goodwill in a 1790 address to a synagogue congregation in Newport, Rhode Island.

Descendants of the original inhabitants of the United States of America are certainly not up to dealing with the political aggression brought to the country’s politics by recent immigrants. Come to speak of it, neither are the First Nations, the American Indians, who’re also politically more passive, when compared to the barbarians who’ve joined the Empire, since 1965.

To tether the character of Rep. Ilhan Omar to America’s immigration preferences is perfectly proper. Likewise Rashida Tlaib. The representative from Michigan is a second-generation Palestinian-American, and is every bit as tribal, politically aggressive and reliably leftist as Omar.

By virtue of its main source countries, America’s mass immigration policy privileges individuals like Omar: angry, anti-white, and highly receptive to theories that blacken the West and porcelainize the undeveloped world (a pedagogic poison that is, by the way, hothoused in the U.S.—K to 12 and beyond). …

… READ THE REST. NEW COLUMN is “Multiculturalism Elbows Anglo-Americans Out.” It’s on WND.COM and the Unz Review.

UPDATED (11/8/019):

Joe writes: “Don’t forget Judah P. Benjamin [featured above], Secretary of State for the Confederacy. Southern Jews fought with great valor against Lincoln’s einsatzgruppen.”

Others would have preferred that Benjamin be more of a loser.

UPDATE II:

The Economist, a left-liberal publication, comments on, “The rising clout of Indian-Americans,” and alludes to the passivity of the Ameri-Indians, by comparison, as I did in the column. “There may well be an Indian-American president before there is an American Indian one,” they write.

DRUDGE Clearly Cares Deeply About Animals, All Animals

Conservatism, Culture, Environmentalism & Animal Rights, Ethics, Media, Morality

To his great credit, DRUDGE Report alerts almost daily to stories of abuse of wild and companion animals.

Drudge is also clearly trying to raise consciousness about the destruction of animal habitat at the hands of humans, that is if thematically consistent headlines on the site are any indication.

And DRUDGE does not appear to be one of those ethically challenged individuals who’ll tell you, “I’m a dog person; fuck the lions who’re being culled in canned hunts.”

My impression from following this news aggregator’s headlines for years is that DRUDGE cares deeply about animals and their fate.

Today, the item on Drudge raised awareness about “the complex relationship between humans and animals.”

Yesterday, Drudge linked to a story of a starving elephant made to carry tourists until she dropped dead.  Disgusting culture that would allow this.

I will keep you updated with a daily Drudge on animals.