Category Archives: Paleoconservatism

On Sexism, Peter, Paul & Mary & In Praise Of Younger Men

Feminism, Gender, Ilana Mercer, Intelligence, Music, Paleoconservatism, Paleolibertarianism, Sex

Young women today don’t know squat about sexism. Women of my generation can certainly speak to it–all the more so when they still interact, on occasion, with male throwbacks: older, paleoconservative or paleolibertarian men. Why occasionally? Because such older men (or men who’ve continued the old “tradition” of sexism) indiscriminately recoil from the odd woman who is as smart as they are or smarter. In fact, these men have a hard time believing such women exist, even as we stare them in the face.

I’m no fan of things distaff, but individualism demands that one treat a female individual (who’s as smart or smarter than you are) with the respect accorded to a male colleague. I, categorically, have not found this to be the case (except with younger men).

In interacting with Old-School codgers or their acolytes, you’ll find these men talk down to you, scold you as though you were a child, and conduct themselves imperially, as if their un-charismatic, long-winded, me-me-me, solipsistic soliloquies are indisputably superior. How can people lack so in self awareness? Easily: Because many older men are pompous, grew up in an era when their superiority was a given, equate a PhD with intellectual superiority. And so on. Moreover, these Old-Timers are still fortunate enough to enjoy personal and professional support systems which reinforce their mindset.

A recent example that comes to mind (aside personal relationships which will forever remain personal) is an older radio host who asked this writer to come on his program, but not before severely scolding me for not studying (no less) the “work” of an obscure, unknown dabbler, who had recently written a book about … South Africa. The same host also demanded that the little woman (me) find a partner with whom to appear on his little-known show. Kind of like a “Cheech and Chong” duo, for I could not be expected to hold my own without a partner.

Likewise, I recall how Bill O’Reilly never invited Ann Coulter back on his show after the good lady failed to suppress her intellectual superiority and embarrassed Bill. The Fox News hosts are always more comfortable with younger, mediocre, conventional Millennials, who cannot outsmart the egos in the anchor’s chair. That’s the formula on Fox News.

I don’t praise young men enough. But the young editors coming online more than make up for their lack of literary and editorial sensibilities with a natural penchant for treating women as equals. Younger American men are the best in this regard.

The same thought, albeit applied to music, came to mind when watching the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary. Mary was the talent, the star: she had the voice, the stunning, exotic looks and the stage persona. Compared to Mary Travers’ striking looks and sonorous voice, the two strummers, Peter Yarrow and Paul Stookey, sound and look anemic. Yet in many of the trio’s performances, Mary doesn’t even have a dedicated microphone and is treated as a backup singer. On her death, September 16, 2009, this major talent was still described by the New York Times as “the sex appeal of that group,” whose “voice blended seamlessly with those of her colleagues, Peter Yarrow and Paul Stookey.” Essentially, a backup singer.

Crap. Mary Travers was the star of Peter, Paul and Mary. By comparison, the two men (who?) were just plain, wimpy, bloodless warblers, with an annoying nasal twang, and a very average facility with the guitar.

Historian Clyde N. Wilson Reviews ‘The Trump Revolution’

Donald Trump, Elections, Ilana Mercer, Literature, Paleoconservatism, Paleolibertarianism

Dr. Clyde N. Wilson has reviewed “The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed” (June, 2016), in Chronicles magazine, the flagship publication of principled paleoconservatism. “Sounding The Trump” was in the October 2016 issue of Chronicles (subscribe). A short excerpt:

In important ways, a revolutionary process has begun. So argues Ilana Mercer in the best extended analysis yet published of the Trump phenomenon: “Trump is getting an atrophied political system to oscillate” in “an oddly marvelous uprising.” For us revolutionaries there is still a long way to go, but we are entitled to a “modest hope” that “an utterly different political animal, Donald Trump, might actually do some good for the countrymen he genuinely seems to love.”

It is not Trump who is transforming American politics, the author asserts; “it’s the people of America doing the transforming.” Trump is the first politician in a long, long time who has regarded America as a country rather than a “proposition” and has actually spoken to and for “the people.” Far from being “divisive,” his plain speaking has enthusiastically united large numbers of Americans. …

… “White Lives Matter Less” has been, in Mercer’s words, “the creedal pillar” of our public life. Without ungraciousness to any, Trump has shown that it is OK for white Americans to declare that they have had enough of “the pigment burden” that has been piled on their backs. This paleolibertarian author does not disguise her disgust at the fashionable statism, indistinguishable from the collectivist left and without a clue to what “free trade” really means, that passes for libertarianism today. …

… as Mercer points out with tough realism, … In this post-constitutional time, it may be that “the best liberty lovers can look to is action and counter-action, force and counterforce in the service of liberty.” A president hoping for reform will face 160,000 pages of federal laws and regulations and relentless sabotage by the Banksters, Bombers, Bureaucrats, and Busybodies who now govern us. He cannot be a moderate if he hopes to accomplish anything.

On “Mercer’s Menckenesque ability to coin memorable phrases describing the empowered fools of our time,” Professor Wilson’s asks: “Does any contemporary writer do it better?”

Finally, a reviewer with a sense of fun; someone with the good sense to have a hearty chuckle at this verbal swordplay:

Mercer on the media: “news nitworks,” the “War Street Journal,” “idiot’s lantern,” “unsharpened pencil,” “tele-tarts,” a “circle jerk of power brokers,” “one-trick donkeys,” “celebrated mediocrities,” “another banal bloviation,” the “cable commentariat as a cog in the corpulent D.C. fleshpot.”

Mercer on our rulers and would-be rulers: “parasites in waiting”; “nation-building at the point of the bayonet makes [Hillary] barking happy”; “Banana Republicans”; “dwarf-tossing” (William Kristol’s promotion of nonentities as Trump alternatives); the “quaint expectation that voters, not party operatives, would choose the nominee”; the “silent majority that dare not speak its name”; “what our crypto-leftist conservatives are ramming down our proverbial gullets are dogmas, not values”; the “master-servant relationship between Republicans and the Religious Right”; the “think tanks’ industry for the god of war”; “neoconservatives speaking like Tocqueville but acting like Robespierre”; “neoconservatives standing athwart every valid form of American conservatism yelling stop.”

What a review and what an honor! Subscribe to Chronicles here.

Occasionally Neoconservatives Annoy The Left A Little

Conservatism, Education, Left-Liberalism, Neoconservatism, Paleoconservatism, Paleolibertarianism

Jason Riley, of the War Street Journal Editorial Report, was joined by the rest of crew, on Fox News, to swank about being invited and disinvited to speak across the nation’s left-liberal campuses. The rest, Bret Stephens, Mary Kissel, Mary O’Grady, all expressed disinvitation envy.

Following Allan Bloom’s  impressive Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students (1987), neoconservatives have been quite good at addressing multicultural political correctness in the modern academy, the replacement of the Western canon with bogus disciplines—political constructs, really—devoted to relativism, anti-racism, anti-sexism and anti-elitism studies. They were good at pointing out that “current works promoting multiculturalism written by women and minorities had replaced the classics of Western civilization written by the DWEMs, Dead White European Males,” to quote Phyllis Schlafly, in “Advice To College Students: Don’t Major in English.

On freedom of speech, neocon establishment circuit speakers limp along as well (although you won’t hear them introduce the deciding variable: private property. Where? On whose property do you wish to speak?)

For the rest, neocons seldom  challenge students on matters racial (except to blame Democrats and left-liberals for the plight of blacks), on foreign policy (some liberals actually like American military interventionism as much as the neocons), on Islam (OK, except for a few bad Abduls) or on immigration (a net positive).

Jason Riley should try never having been invited in the first place to speak to those campus “conservatives.”

I guess he could argue the marginalized Old Right is just not as smart as he and his neocon buddies. Paul Gottfried’s learned scholarship on American conservatism exposes the neocons as not very smart at all.

Donald Trump has certainly run rings around them.

Political Philosophy Is Not Like Sexual Orientation

Ilana Mercer, Labor, libertarianism, Paleoconservatism, Paleolibertarianism, Political Philosophy

Here’s my one reply to comments at The Unz Review about “The Curious Case of WND’s Vanishing, Veteran Paleolibertarian”:

Political philosophy is not like sexual orientation: You don’t just come out to the world, call yourself a thinker, and expect to be get embraced. You shouldn’t get away with that, although some try and succeed.

You do the bloody hard work, day-in, day-out. You write, you think; you get panned or praised; and you get up and do it again the next day.

You can’t just come out every day and proclaim, ‘I’m a perfect paleolibertarian, I believe everything Murray Rothbard said. Look at me, ain’t I neat, unlike Mercer,” not having written a coherent systematic sentence in your life.

And by systematic I mean, don’t just parrot the greats! The work involves, yes, applying the political philosophy as you see it to the political reality, doing it in fresh, new ways, without fear or favor.

You can’t sit on the fence, lazily, proclaiming your purity; forever suspended between what “is” and what “ought to be,” and revel in your immaculate conception (while throwing stones at me, as so many in this community have done).

In a word, you can’t be lazy, smug; an intellectual nullity that tears the hard-working down (love split infinitives).

As to The Mercer Image posted at The Unz Review: The editor organizes the page and the images on it; not the writer/myself. The Unz Review is a tightly edited website.

Why would anyone familiar with the ways of the press, print or pixels, imagine I posted a picture of myself at The Unz Review. Ridiculous!

The point of the essay is simple. My work over 2 decades (voluminous) speaks for itself. Good or bad.

It is systematic; it is paleolibertarian. Any scholar of substance would locate it squarely in the paleolibertarian tradition. Such a scholar might also distinguish a salient thing that sets this thought apart from some of those surveyed in the volume under discussion. As I wrote in defense of John Derb:

I cop to Western man’s individualist disdain—could it be his weakness?—for race as an organizing principle. For me, the road to freedom lies in beating back the state, so that individuals may regain freedom of association, dominion over property, the absolute right of self-defense; the right to hire, fire, and, generally, associate at will.

As for Israel: Why not ask the Ron Paul 2007 campaign why it commissioned a brief think piece from me and adhered to its tenets pretty well throughout the campaign—until someone likely told Paul that Mercer was un-kosher, and until someone instructed the campaign to quit calling on Mercer?

“Unshackling Israel,” mentioned in “Is Ron Paul Good For Israel?,” was commissioned by the Paul camp and repeated on the Paul campaign trail to good effect.

[SNIP]

The article under discussion: “The Curious Case of WND’s Vanishing, Veteran Paleolibertarian.”