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DECEMBER DIARY: Out with the Tens, In with the Twenties, Etc
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Out with the Tens…

Another decade slips away, my second full decade of writing web commentary. Honest thanks are in order to the readers, listeners, and organizations who have supported my work these twenty years — yes, including National Review. Thank you!

Speaking of National Review, here was Kyle Smith, who bylines as “critic-at-large” at that organ, writing in the December 28th New York Post. “Nearly everything right now is actually awesome,” exults Kyle in a column titled Suck it, doomsayers! The past decade was the best ever.

As a dyed-in-the-wool pessimist, I naturally demur. I know Kyle read my 2009 book We Are Doomedhe reviewed it for the magazine. Has he forgotten all my warnings about the folly of optimism?

I will grudgingly allow, however, that things might be worse. Wa-a-ay back in the previous decade, in June of 2003, I reviewed a book by Sir Martin Rees, the British Astronomer Royal, then soon to become President of the Royal Society, and so a heavy hitter in modern science. Sir Martin’s book was titled Our Final Hour. For doom’n’gloom it was hard to beat. Sir Martin wrote:

I staked one thousand dollars on a bet: “That by the year 2020 an instance of bioerror or bioterror will have killed a million people.” Of course, I fervently hope to lose this bet. But I honestly do not expect to …

As I write this there are still a few hours left in 2019, but it looks very much as though Sir Martin will be taking out his checkbook.

So no, things aren’t as bad as Sir Martin feared … although, since his fears included the possible annihilation of spacetime, that’s not saying a lot.

In with the Twenties

And now, the Twenties! To a person of my generation — born 1945 (and so not a Boomer, thanks very much) that phrase “the Twenties” has some color.

For my parents’ cohort, the fortysomethings and fiftysomethings of my childhood, the 1920s were their salad days: youth, vigor, adventure, romance, strongly impressed memories. They talked about the Twenties a lot.

I think this was even more the case for Americans. Those years were, for this country, fun, filled with novelty and incident. Movies! (Still silent, of course.) Jazz! Radio! Automobiles! Colorful gangsters! (Sure, they committed homicide a lot, but mostly on each other.) Broadway musicals! Aviation! Flappers! Sexual liberation! It was fun. Historian Paul Johnson, in his book Modern Times, gives his chapter on 1920s America the heading “The Last Arcadia.”

Britain wasn’t quite like that. The Brits enjoyed those same novelties and shared some of the same thrills, but under darker skies.

The main difference was in national self-esteem. Britain came out of World War 1 diminished; America, strengthened. Britain’s war deaths were proportionally fifteen times America’s: two percent of the population, against 0.13 percent. The war had been longer for Britain — 4.3 years against America’s 1.6 — and more grueling, with food shortages and the first air raids.

Britain was also suffering from her tremendous 19th-century success. Smug in possession of a vast empire, the ruling classes lost their vitality. Industry stuck in the mud with outdated equipment and methods. Unemployment was chronic. Paul Johnson gives the following figures for 1921-29, as a percentage of the labor force: 17.0, 14.3, 11.7, 10.3, 11.3, 12.5, 9.7, 10.8. 10.4. Agriculture had been devastated by cheap imports and misguided reforms: the price of agricultural land was in free fall.

The old class system was under siege, too. The mingling enforced by mass wartime mobilization had stirred discontent. Lower-class youngsters resented a social order that, they felt, unfairly excluded them. Young men of spirit lit out for the colonies, as my own father did in 1926.

Still, on a personal level it’s hard to feel anything but affectionate nostalgia for your salad days. In Britain, as in America, there was fun to be had, of kinds not to be had in previous decades. For my parents’ generation the Twenties had a definite glow, some of which I caught by reflection.

Britain’s Coolidge

The truly wonderful thing about that burst of prosperity and fun in 1920s America is that politics had little to do with it. There was in fact not much politics going on. The nation was self-driving, self-energizing.

The emblematic figure here was of course Calvin Coolidge, President from August 1923 to March 1929. Coolidge wasn’t quite as much of a Taoist as he’s been remembered (or as he himself liked to pose), but he was wonderfully laid-back by today’s standards, and even by comparison with his predecessor Woodrow Wilson (“counting out Harding as a cipher only” — Mencken) and his successor Herbert Hoover. Anyone that knows anything at all about Coolidge is familiar with Will Rogers’ quip (variously quoted): “He did nothing, but that’s what people wanted done.”

Here’s a related remark about British statesman Stanley Baldwin, who was Prime Minister from mid-1923 to mid-1929, except for a few months in 1924.

By constitution he was easy-going … While it is going too far to assert, as was asserted, that “Baldwin might have done anything — and did nothing,” there is substance in Lloyd George’s charge that his Government degenerated into one that was “torpid, sleepy, and barren” [Britain’s Prime Ministers by E. Royston Pike, p.389].

Perhaps we have here another instance of the curious parallelism between British and American politics: Brexit-Trump, Thatcher-Reagan, …, Baldwin-Coolidge.

Baldwin, however, did not follow Silent Cal’s wise example of quitting while he was ahead. He served as Prime Minister again in the mid-1930s when rearmament to confront Hitler’s Germany was a major issue. True to form, he did nothing about it, drawing a withering rebuke from Winston Churchill in The Gathering Storm.

ORDER IT NOW

Baldwin — an intelligent, well-read, and eloquent man, and a first cousin to Rudyard Kipling — had a case for his inaction, and tried to make it. (And Pat Buchanan has made it over again in Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War). History, however, including political history, is written by the victors, and Churchill won this one. Baldwin’s reputation has ever since dwelt in the odium of his having failed to stand up to Hitler when he should have.

Totally unjustifiable impulse purchase of the month

A laminator.

I was surprised at how cheap these things are. “I bet I can find uses for that,” I murmured, and clicked on the Buy Now button.

So far I’ve had some mild fun turning family photographs into dinner-table place mats, but I’m sure I’ll think of other things …

Groyper issues

In my November 22nd podcast I took a look at the Groypers, and in particular at Nick Fuentes. I wasn’t impressed. I especially wasn’t impressed by his long-drawn-out mocking of the Holocaust. I concluded:

If this Nick Fuentes guy is representative … the Groypers are headed down the same plug-hole the Alt-Right disappeared into. Like the Alt-Right, they will be easy adversaries for the CultMarx establishment and their Conservatism, Inc. enablers to out-strategize, out-mobilize, out-think, out-spend, out-wit, then chew up and out-spit without breaking a fingernail.

That brought in some mail: nothing abusive — the Dissident Right are a well-mannered crowd — but with a definite more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger coloring to it.

Sample, from a self-identifying Gen Z-er. That’s the cohort following the Millennials. Gen Z are now now 20-25 years old. This young man — I’d really like to have a drink with him, but he’s on the other side of the country — brings up the generation gap:

Gen Z and youth culture is all about dark humor, ironic jokes, and hyperbolic statements made for laughs. I think one could attribute this to a kind of coping mechanism used to laugh in the face of the world Western Gen Z has been handed. The pernicious, hollowed-out job market, college debt, skyrocketing rents, and the near impossibility of owning a home.

I entirely sympathize. As I wrote in Chapter 13 of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism:

If I compare my own life to the lives of my parents, and to the prospects for my children, I am struck by my immense good fortune in having been born when and where I was.

I’m looking at the world from that position of tremendous personal good luck. Gen Z-ers are looking at it from a different angle. Intergenerational incomprehensions are a constant of human affairs, always and everywhere. As the sage observed: “Our tastes greatly alter. The lad does not care for the child’s rattle, and the old man does not care for the young man’s whore.”

Still, there’s a war to be fought, a war for our future generations, and Nick Fuentes is not fighting smart. I could go on at length about this; but most of the things I’d say were said December 10th by David Cole over at Taki’s Magazine. If you want to know any more about what I think, read David’s piece. That’s what I think, or close enough. Some random extracts:

I get the appeal. But take it from the “based Jew”: This is not the hill to die on …

There are plenty of “dangerous” topics that can be intellectually defended from a rightist perspective: interracial crime, race and IQ, and the effects of Third World immigration on a civilized nation. Go to the mat for those. Defend the free-speech rights of Holocaust deniers (as I’ve done for thirty years), but don’t confuse them being censored with them being right …

If you really believe that the entire West is in jeopardy, then the battle is bigger than you and your petty desire to look dangerous and edgy. And if your self-indulgence leads you to advocate baseless, irrational pseudo-history, then you’re part of the problem, not the solution … “final” or otherwise.

I hold the strong belief that no countercultural movement in the West is going to go anywhere unless it can get some smart Jews on board. As one such, the blogger PTT says, there is the opportunity for a strategic alliance. Why blow that opportunity for the sake of a few cheap laughs?

Atrocity inflation

My own issues with the Groypers aside, have the numbers of Holocaust dead been inflated? Was it really six million?

I feel about this question the way I do about the mass of the Higgs boson. I know the durn thing exists; as to the fine quantitative details, I’ll leave them to the investigations of properly-credentialed experts (historians, physicists). Let me know what they come up with. If a lay person offers me strongly-expressed opinions on the matter, I’ll mentally tag that person as a crank.

If it could be proved to me that the number has been inflated, I wouldn’t be much surprised. When some ethny has suffered a mass atrocity, surviving and subsequent co-ethnics always do inflate the numbers. It’s not easy to get attention in this world. Atrocity-wise, bigger numbers get and keep more attention.

Case in point from this month’s news:

China today marked the 82nd anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre.

It has been estimated that more than 300,000 people were slaughtered by Japanese troops in the city of Nanjing, formerly known as Nanking, during the six-week bloodbath from December 13 in 1937.

[8,000 people gather to mourn the victims of Nanjing Massacre in China on 82nd anniversary of the WWII bloodbath that saw “300,000 slaughtered by Japanese troops” by Tracy You; Daily Mail, December 13th 2019].

That was a dreadful business all right, and the behavior of the Japanese was beastly. Is 300,000 the actual number, though? That, says Wikipedia, is “a highly contentious subject.”

Currently, the most reliable and widely agreed upon figures place the total between the broad range of 40,000 to 200,000 massacre victims in the entire Nanking Special Administrative District, though numbers even smaller or larger than this have been put forward by Japanese revisionists and the government of China respectively. Some of the lowest estimates have counted only 10,000 deaths, while some of the highest have counted as many as 430,000 deaths.

(Concerning the re-branding of Nanking as “Nanjing,” I believe I passed the definitive comment back in 1991 when it first became current in English-language books and periodicals: “surely a grave loss to the makers of limericks.”)

ORDER IT NOW

The Chinese have of course some atrocities of their own to answer for, and the publicized numbers there are just as dubious. I’ve been writing sympathetically about the Tibetans since 1984; but the body counts put out by the Tibetan government-in-exile are highly improbable, as I noted when reviewing Patrick French’s book about Tibet:

French … shows how utterly implausible is the figure, now an immutable fixture of exile propaganda, of 1.2 million Tibetans killed by Chinese rule. The true number is, he thinks, more like four or five hundred thousand. That is quite dreadful enough, in a nation of only five million or so …

Dreadful enough to stir my outraged sympathy, but not dreadful enough for the propagandists, I guess.

A small victory in the culture wars

I’m aware of course that “Holocaust denier” is a CultMarx cuss-phrase, like “white supremacist,” used by the nation-wrecking mob to tag dissidents for personal and career destruction. Sometimes they are a tad over-zealous in their application of it, though. This was the case with the tagging of Irish journalist Kevin Myers.

I have some slight acquaintance with Kevin. I’ve read a lot of his stuff and reviewed one of his books; and we have once or twice exchanged emails on topics of common interest. Well, two years ago Kevin got tagged as a Holocaust denier and lost his job as a result. British writer Lionel Shriver (whose novel The Mandibles I commented on in last month’s diary — small world!) tells the full story in a December 21st column at The Spectator.

In Kevin’s case the tag was a plain lie, as he could easily demonstrate. He rose to the challenge and sued RTÉ, the Irish state media outlet — the Irish equivalent of Britain’s BBC, but even more woke.

At the end of November (and so too late for my November Diary) Kevin won his case, or at any rate reached an out-of-court settlement with RTÉ. It included a clear public apology from the broadcaster. We don’t know any other terms of the settlement, but I hope Kevin got a nice fat check from the CultMarx swine.

(“RTÉ” stands for Raidió Teilifís Éireann, which is Irish for “Radio-Television of Ireland.” When I was living there forty years ago, the natives referred to RTÉ using just the middle word, as “the telly-fish.” To my coarse British ears, it sounded like some exotic marine organism.)

Fiction Book of the Month

I hesitate to log in my fiction reading this month as it is of limited interest to anyone other than fellow survivors of 1960s London.

I like my fiction l-o-n-g, so I’m a sucker for trilogies and tetralogies. A friend who knows this recommended Jake Arnott’s The Long Firm Trilogy. I bought it. So far I’ve read the first one and a half of the three novels.

It’s realistic crime fiction — think Elmore Leonard — set in the seedy underworld of 1960s London. I’ve been enjoying it; but then, I was there. If you don’t know who the Kray Twins were, or Harry Roberts, never heard of Johnnie Ray, never bought a bint a Babycham, and are baffled by usages like “knee-trembler” and “drum” (referring to one’s place of abode), much of the books’ charms will be lost on you.

Biography of the month

Six years ago Boris Johnson, now Britain’s Prime Minister, astonished TV audiences in Australia by quoting at length from the Iliad, in Homer’s Greek, during a routine interview. The video clip just came up again, the way these things do, and has been bouncing around Twitter.

Some people have poked fun at Johnson’s pronunciation. I can’t render any judgment. Like Shakespeare, according to his pal Ben Jonson, I have “small Latin and no Greek.”

Not knowing Greek has never bothered me, but I carry a load of guilt about my small Latin. I was flogged through four years of the language at school, and regret not having paid more attention. Of the fragments that remain lodged in my head, most are from poems, so my guilt is strongest where Latin verse is concerned.

For the verse of Catullus, it’s double strength. If you mix at all with real academic Latinists, people who dream in Latin, you know that for them Catullus is the bee’s knees (apis genua). Try out a bit of your high-school Horace or Virgil on one such, he’ll smile encouragingly while glancing at his watch; but if you mention Catullus, he’ll beam with delight, stand up, kick away his chair, and start dancing around the room rattling off lines in Latin until you beg him to stop. Yet my schoolmasters never gave us any Catullus, probably because he’s very frank about sex.

I’ve quoted elsewhere Sellar’s remarks about Latin poetry in the 1911 Britannica entry for Catullus:

The great age of Latin poetry extends from about the year 60 b.c. till the death of Ovid in 17 a.d. There are three marked divisions in this period, each with a distinct character of its own: the first represented by Lucretius and Catullus, the second by Virgil and Horace, the last by Ovid. Force and sincerity are the great characteristics of the first period, maturity of art of the second, facility of the last.

I make occasional vague efforts to plug into the Catullus magic. I put the poet’s elegy for his brother on my website, read not in my schoolboy Latin with the vowel lengths all wrong and em phases on the wrong syl lables, but by a real Latinist. This is probably Catullus’ best-known poem, the one that ends with ave atque vale, “hail and farewell.”

For this month’s occasional vague plug-in effort I’ve been reading Daisy Dunn’s biography of Catullus. This is a pretty audacious project since we have only a handful of external facts about the poet’s life. Even his dates are uncertain. We have the poems, though, quite a lot of them, and most are very personal, so Ms Dunn can put together a story of sorts from some inspired guessing.

She doesn’t hold back on the sexual frankness, quoting in full poems that, even in Latin, can’t be quoted on a family website.

ORDER IT NOW

There is not actually a lot of that in the book, though. Ms Dunn’s main enthusiasm is for Poem 64, the Bedspread Poem, a weird, multiply-convoluted mini-epic inspired by a journey to the Black Sea in 57-56 b.c. This was frontier territory: strange wild landscapes and peoples, connected in the mind of an educated Roman with the old Greek legend of Jason and the Golden Fleece.

Catullus took the connection and ran with it, producing a poem that still today leaves academic Latinists flushed and swooning. (See Charlotte Higgins flush and swoon here.) Daisy Dunn’s book includes her own translation of the poem in an appendix.

What makes the serious Latinists flush and swoon is distant faint music to me, and I suppose always will be. I’m obliged to Ms Dunn, though, for giving some kind of shape to the life of a lovestruck young man — Catullus died at age 30 — who still speaks to the human imagination across twenty-one centuries.

Nonfiction of the Month

Nonfictionwise I’m attracted to big questions about history and society. Examples:

(1) Why did modernity — science, the nation-state, representative government, the idea of progress — emerge from Europe, not China?

(2) What’s the matter with white people, that so many of them seem to hate their own civilization and ancestors?

The first question there is obviously related to the Needham Question. In the words of Joseph Needham himself:

Why did [Chinese] science always remain empirical, and restricted to theories of primitive or mediaeval type? What were the inhibiting factors in their civilisation which prevented the rise of modern science in Asia?

Big, difficult questions, for which we currently have no dispositive answers. I’m hoping for some enlightenment from two books I’ve acquired and just started reading.

For the first question, the one about modernity, I’m reading Walter Scheidel’s Escape from Rome. The author is working the idea that it was Europe’s decisive turning its back on the imperial model following Rome’s fall that eventually brought us modernity.

That’s by no means a new idea in itself; but from the fall of Rome to the rise of modernity is an awful long time. What happened in that time to bring modernity about? Scheidel works the details.

For question (2) I have Kevin MacDonald’s Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition, which of course comes at the issue from a viewpoint of evolutionary psychology.

I’m not very far into either book yet, so I shall report back.

The decade that normalized the f-word

In the zone of culture the Tens were surely, among other things of course, the decade that normalized the f-word.

The BBC plans to rewrite Charles Dickens tonight, complete with the f-word and a scene showing a character urinating on a grave. It has no right to do so.

It is typical of this increasingly cynical, ignorant organisation that it should put four-letter words into the mouth of Ebenezer Scrooge, and invent gross and disturbing scenes in a drama that is bound to be seen by the young and impressionable. [Ignorant BBC plans to rewrite Charles Dickens and put the f-word into the mouth of Ebenezer Scrooge by Peter Hitchens; Daily Mail, December 21st 2019.]

This topic always brings to my mind the old joke about a squaddie narrating one of his off-base adventures.

We wuz stationed in this f***in’ town in f***in’ Germany. One night we all went out to a f***in’ bar. I got talkin’ to this f***in’ woman. She ‘ad a fair bit of f***in’ mileage on ‘er an’ not much f***in’ English, but f***in’ nice-lookin’, anyway, once I’d ‘ad a couple of f***in’ pints. Would I like to go upstairs wiv her, she asked. I said, “You’re f***in’-A I would, Fraulein!” So she led me up the f***in’ stairs, me f***in’ mates all laughin’ an’ cheerin’ at the f***in’ bar. We go to this f***in’ room, and we went in. She shut the f***in’ door, we took off our f***in’ clothes, got on the f***in’ bed, and I ‘ad sexual intercourse wiv ‘er.

An Asian-American Emmett Till

Steve asked: “Who Is the Emmett Till for Asian-American Complainers?” That is: Who is the iconic Asian-American victim marginalized, mocked, insulted, or — like Emmett Till — done to death by evil white supremacists?

Steve suggests that “Mickey Rooney being cast as Mr Yunioshi [i.e. in Breakfast at Tiffany’s] is Emmett Till for Asian-American op-ed grifters.”

My candidate would be Lum You. From the late Willard R. Espy’s An Almanac of Words at Play — absolutely the BEST BATHROOM BOOK EVER — entry for January 31st:

On this day in 1902, my home county of Pacific carried out its only formal capital sentence. It hanged by the neck until dead one Lum You, a Chinese laborer who, the preceding August, for reasons unrecorded, had shot and killed a certain Oscar Bloom. The sheriff, a sociable man, sent favored citizens invitations to the festivities. This example has survived; [Espy includes a copy of the invitation ticket].

If you know where Lum You is interred, tell me; I’d like to raise money for a headstone. It might bear this legend:

I LUM YOU (1873-1902).
WHY YOU NO LUM ME?

Math Corner

My November Math Corner concluded with a puzzle lifted from the Notices of the American Mathematical Society.

I really should try these things before I post them. When I finally, in mid-December, got around to tackling this one, I concluded it is a dud. Explanation here.

Thus chastened, for this month’s brainteaser I’ll offer something straightforward and solid, from the zone of elementary probability theory that back in my sixth-form days we called “perms’n’coms,” i.e. permutations and combinations.

(1) Suppose n balls are randomly thrown into b boxes. What is the probability a given box contains exactly k balls?

If that’s too easy, try this enhanced version:

(2) Suppose a box contains N balls, K of which are red. The remainder are blue. You draw n balls without replacement. What is the probability exactly k of them are red?

The first of those was tweeted last month by Dissident-Right tweeter Synthetic. I tweeted a reply — no peeking! — to which Synthetic responded with the slightly harder second version.

John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him.) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He has had two books published by VDARE.com com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013.

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Political Correctness 
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  1. MEH 0910 says:

    https://home.cern/news/news/physics/cms-measures-higgs-bosons-mass-unprecedented-precision

    When it was first discovered, the particle’s mass was measured to be around 125 gigaelectronvolts (GeV) but it wasn’t known with high precision. Analysis of much more data was needed before reducing the errors in such a measurement. Indeed, ATLAS and CMS have been improving this precision with their respective measurements over the years. Last year, ATLAS measured the Higgs mass to be 124.97 GeV with a precision of 0.24 GeV or 0.19%. Now, the CMS collaboration has announced the most precise measurement so far of this property: 125.35 GeV with a precision of 0.15 GeV, or 0.12%.

  2. I am in the middle of The Mandibles right now, per your recommendation, John Derbyshire. I almost wrote in another comment to bitch you out about it, as the 1st 10 pages or so made me think this Lionel Shriver was some batshit crazy lefty. I almost quit reading, but after picking it up a week later, I realized that the opinions of the characters in the very beginning did not represent the author’s views.

    It’s gotten pretty interesting now, and, though things may not go down the same way as in this book, it sure does a good job illustrating one scenario for preppers to think about. I will say that nobody, but nobody, has conversations such as the characters in this book, EVEN those in families in which the Dad IS an economics professor. That’s just the author’s way of getting across her points, but it just reads as very unrealistic.

    Anyway, as a fan of Silent Cal myself, I appreciate the mention here. I don’t have any music in mind for him, but since British history-rock musician Al Stewart came up under a Sailer post, here is a song called Warren Gamaliel Harding:

    “Warren Gamaliel Harding
    alone in the White House
    watching the sun come up on the morning, of 1921.
    I just want some one to talk to, to talk to.

  3. JimDandy says:

    “Gen Z and youth culture is all about dark humor, ironic jokes, and hyperbolic statements made for laughs. I think one could attribute this to a kind of coping mechanism used to laugh in the face of the world Western Gen Z has been handed. The pernicious, hollowed-out job market, college debt, skyrocketing rents, and the near impossibility of owning a home.”

    I get it. But if they want to succeed they need to show the world that they are truly committed, too. How? The answer is very simple: Ironic dueling scars.

    • Replies: @SFG
  4. SFG says:
    @JimDandy

    People fight with guns now. It’s a lot easier to get more than scars with those.

  5. @Achmed E. Newman

    Wow. I didn’t know Wurr’n had a song written for him. And I’m one of the 17 living persons who has read a biography of Mrs Harding https://tinyurl.com/ru26n5h (tough lady).

    Getting acquainted with that era, I couldn’t remember the right pronunciation for “Gamaliel.” To fix it in my mind, I made a double-dactyl doggerel of it:

    Higgledy-piggledy
    Warren Gamaliel
    Quite unexpectedly
    Gave up the ghost.

    Taciturn Yankee
    Woken from slumber
    Sworn in by father,
    Took up the post.

    You’re welcome!

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  6. 1. the 20s. Americans seem to be infatuated with the jazz age & the 20s (the Prohibition fascination?). Culturally, they seem to overrate that decade, even the mature people: famous literary critic Edmund Wilson (a husband of Mary McCarthy, friend of F.Scott Fitzgerald, Nabokov etc.), a distinguished man of letters, wrote in his diary, somewhere in the early 197os, that he was “man of the 20s”. A very good & salacious chapter on him in Paul Johnson’s “Intellectuals”.

    2. 6 million. In my opinion, probably, too high: perhaps somewhere between 4 and 5 million. Almost all atrocities are numerically pumped-up: Mongols & their allies are supposed to have killed in 1258, during the siege of Baghdad, between 800,000 and 1.5 million people-while doable & Mongols (their forces, at least 70% of them, consisted of Georgians & Armenians, who naturally wanted to exact the revenge against various annoying Muslims) did not have any compunction, it is hard to believe that there were enough victims in the area. The same goes for earlier Genghis Khan’s conquest of Nishapur, Merv, Herat … where historians write of ca. 1 million in each city, which is, demographically, virtually impossible.

    Those figures tend to fluctuate with time. For instance, total WW2 number was long ca. 50 million; then, it rose to 58 or 68; now I’ve read that Russians are toying with total 80 million. Robert Conquest speculated that the figure for Stalin’s Kolyma, 3 million, was too high; now, some pro-Soviet revisionists claim it was “only” 120,000. It is almost certainly higher, but much lower than 3 million.

    As for Jews: the deniers camp has a few big problems.

    Among them- too many non-Jewish eyewitnesses, both German & non-German. Even more- demography & censuses. Where are all those Jews, from France & Netherlands to Czechia, Poland, Ukraine…?

    Some of them emigrated to UK; some to US; some to future Israel (Palestine).

    But- where are others? There is a big demographic hole, too big.

    Then- how that we know numerous famous Jews or people of Jewish extraction who had been killed (or killed themselves) during Nazi persecution: Felix Hausdorff, Max Jacob, Walter Benjamin, Vasily Grossman’s mother, Chekhov’s lover Efros, Jung’s lover Spielrein, Egon Friedell, Freud’s & Kafka’s sisters, Bruno Schulz, Edith Stein …? If there are so many among well-known, what about ordinary, “non-recognizable” people?

    Personally I think that number of Jews murdered in the shoah is somewhat lesser, perhaps 10-20% smaller figure. Also, much more were exterminated by usual methods- shooting, starvation, typhoid, overworked.

    But, there was a plan to eliminate them from the future Reich. And this plan had been carried out to a large extent.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  7. “My own issues with the Groypers aside, have the numbers of Holocaust dead been inflated? Was it really six million?”

    Down from “9 Million” in this film:

  8. anon[429] • Disclaimer says:

    I hold the strong belief that no countercultural movement in the West is going to go anywhere unless it can get some smart Jews on board.

    lol, what could possibly go wrong in an “alliance” with Zionists like Hazony (an actual dual citizen), eh? Doesn’t seem to bother Derbyshire at all that there’s a real risk of a catastrophic war with Iran right now which is caused not least by the completely uncritical pro-Israel stance typical of American right-wingers.
    Groypers are indeed stupid, as is Holocaust denial (which might also be called immoral, callous etc.). But Derbyshire’s tired Anglo boomer takes (“Israel stands for civilization! Those Arabs are barbarians! I’m a Wasp, so philosemitism is just in my nature!”) aren’t any better. One really gets the impression that he’d still be at National Review, if he hadn’t been stupid enough to let slip that he doesn’t like niggers.

    • Agree: sb
    • Replies: @silviosilver
    , @SFG
  9. Exile says:

    “That by the year 2020 an instance of bioerror or bioterror will have killed a million people.”

    Oxycontin – 400,000 direct fatalities, related likely double-plus
    Big-Pharma’s next dozen scandals – stay tuned.
    AIDS and a dozen-plus maladies impossible but for the deification of sexual entropy
    Mass immigration and the resurrection of First World tuberculosis and other Outre Dark maladies.

  10. @Bardon Kaldian

    ‘…Personally I think that number of Jews murdered in the shoah is somewhat lesser, perhaps 10-20% smaller figure. Also, much more were exterminated by usual methods- shooting, starvation, typhoid, overworked…’

    Thinking about it dispassionately, six million was of course a more or less preliminary guess.

    More serious research has produced various figures between 5.1 and 5.7 million, if I recall aright.

    Given the substantial pressure to substantiate the six million figure, and allowing for the incredible ability of people to avoid getting killed, I’d place my money on the actual figure being somewhere between four million and five and a half million. Less than four million would have rendered the five million-odd figures difficult to seriously defend, more than five and a half million would have made it possible to seriously assert the six million figure was accurate.

    As to how the millions were killed, that’s of no significance. The Germans obviously set about putting to death every Jew they could lay their hands on.

    • Troll: utu
  11. @John Derbyshire

    Retroactive thanks, then. ;-}

    I highly recommend pretty much all of Al Stewart’s music. Time Passages is my favorite.

  12. Even his dates are uncertain.

    And what of his pronouns?

  13. @anon

    lol, what could possibly go wrong in an “alliance” with Zionists like Hazony (an actual dual citizen), eh?

    Any compromise with Jews will most likely result in them getting what they want while you compromise.

  14. utu says:

    I hold the strong belief that no countercultural movement in the West is going to go anywhere unless it can get some smart Jews on board. As one such, the blogger PTT says, there is the opportunity for a strategic alliance. Why blow that opportunity for the sake of a few cheap laughs?

    The best way for not blowing the opportunity is to continue blowing which is your forte, Mr. Derbyshire. Keep your teeth clean and have a jar of K-Y Jelly handy for the time when some Jews are ready to step on board.

    • Replies: @John Derbyshire
  15. “I took a look at the Groypers, and in particular at Nick Fuentes. I wasn’t impressed. I especially wasn’t impressed by his long-drawn-out mocking of the Holocaust.” Of course you weren’t. Fuentes and the Groypers have attacked a sacred cow, the cow you worship and fear: http://jewcy.com/post/wrestling_with_derbyshires_law

    “I hold the strong belief that no countercultural movement in the West is going to go anywhere unless it can get some smart Jews on board.” Smart Jews is an oxymoron. The stupid Bret Stephens proved his stupidity by his article about “Jewish genius.” You, as usual, manage to be even stupider than the Joooooz.

    “The Chinese have of course some atrocities of their own to answer for, and the publicized numbers there are just as dubious.” If you mean Mao’s killing spree, the number is about 70 million. Also, in the past 40 years, there have been over 400 million abortions in China. I don’t consider them atrocities. These “atrocities” have destroyed China. Not that China was ever a challenge for the West. The people are too stupid.

    Joooooz, Chinese, Derbyshire. Stupid, stupider and the stupidest.

  16. Derbyshire, there are more than 3 million Muslims in England: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7850073/Muslim-population-England-passes-three-million-mark-time.html

    You need to start writing about this. Do you have any solutions? It’s your mother country.

    Forget about Bojo’s Greek.

    • Replies: @John Derbyshire
  17. SafeNow says:

    I always enjoy Mr. D’s engagingly loose brain, wandering from one place to the next. This was a fun trip, as always. But the unlicensed shrink in me worries about the impulse purchase of the laminator. Does it evince an unconscious feeling of vulnerability; a need for protective cover? Perhaps all of us white males should buy one, as symbolic protection, better than nothing.

    • Replies: @Anon
  18. SFG says:
    @anon

    Derb doesn’t like Nazis–he lived through the Blitz.

    I don’t think you need to get deeper than that.

    Frankly, despite having some tainted ancestry myself, I think a better path forward for a populist right would be to peel off the paler Hispanics–more of them and you can use social conservatism to get Catholics on your side. Trump got 29% of the Hispanic vote and 21% of the Jewish vote.

    Of course, being a little expansive with the definition of ‘white’ might be to your aid–no reason not to get half-Asians or mostly-white Hispanics on your side, for instance.

    The real problem is the loyalty to Israel. There are Jews who aren’t loyal to Israel, but they tend to be SJW types. There are Jews with nationalistic leanings, but they tend to be too pro-Israel, and the real problem is that Israel and America’s interests *have diverged considerably at the present time*. Real Stephen Miller/Paul Gottfried types are too few and far between (and with a decade less of age and a million more of savings, I might have tried to be one myself).

    • Replies: @attilathehen
    , @sb
    , @anon
  19. @SFG

    “no reason not to get half-Asians or mostly-white Hispanics on your side, for instance.”

    Half-Asians likes Derbyshire’s Chinese offspring are anti-white. Mostly white Hispanics are Caucasians if they are high-caste Euro-mestizos. The Latin American caste system if very accurate. Also, high-caste Euro-mestizos identify with Western civilization. Asians, half or not, do not.

    Forget about the Catholic Church. Diversity has collapsed it.

    Are you Jewish? Jews in the West will be sent to Israel. Jews cannot have any political rights in the West.

  20. sb says:
    @SFG

    According to Wikipedia Derb was born on
    3rd June 1945
    I think the Blitz -not to mention the War in Europe -had finished by then

  21. Anon[378] • Disclaimer says:
    @SafeNow

    Be better off with an air fryer, fish and chips will be a dying art what with Islam taking over.

  22. anon[182] • Disclaimer says:
    @SFG

    Derb doesn’t like Nazis–he lived through the Blitz.

    Derbyshire was born in June 1945, after the end of WW2 in Europe and years after the Blitz (and he doesn’t even come from London either). He’s simply a tedious boomer who’s never had an original thought in his life, nothing more to him. And I actually even stated in my previous comment that groypers, Holocaust denial or general glorification of Nazi Germany are stupid. That doesn’t mean Zionist lobbyism in the US isn’t a serious problem (an important factor at least in Trump’s crazy warmongering), but of course a stupid coward like Derbyshire will never even talk about that issue. Much easier to just stick to pedestrian racism about blacks and Mideasterners.

    • Replies: @SFG
  23. SFG says:
    @anon

    Guess I was wrong about the Blitz.

    He did have the balls to get himself fired from National Review for being too honest, which I doubt any of us have done.

    I actually agree with you about AIPAC…and hasn’t Derb started moving Unzward on that issue?

  24. Polymath says:

    (1) (n!/(k!(n-k)!))((1/b)^k)((1-1/b)^(n-k)) binomial theorem
    (2) (K!/(k!(K-k)!))((N-K)!/((n-k)!((N-K)-(n-k))!)/(N!/(n!(N-n)!))

  25. prosa123 says:

    the old man does not care for the young man’s whore

    Robert Kraft never got that message.

  26. @utu

    Plenty of Jews are on board, and have been for years: Paul Gottfried, Michael Hart, Bob Weissberg, Amy Wax, Ilana Mercer, Nicholas Stix, David Cole, … not to mention Ron Unz.

    So next time I meet one of them at a Dissident Right conference, I should tell him to buzz off back to Israel? Or what?

    • Replies: @attilathehen
    , @Truth
  27. ganderson says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Al’s album “Between The Wars” is wonderful- all the songs relate to happenings between 1919 and 1939.
    Here’s my fave:

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  28. @attilathehen

    Been writing about it for 20 years https://www.johnderbyshire.com/Opinions/Britain/ukraceriots.html . Do keyword searches on johnderbyshire.com. Wassa matter, you don’t know how to do site searches?

    • Replies: @attilathehen
  29. ganderson says:

    Happy New Year, JD.

    We here in Western Mass; well at least me, anyway, have a soft spot for Silent Cal, as he attended Amherst College, right around the corner from my house, and was Mayor of Northampton.

    My favorite quote about him, courtesy of the Sage of Baltimore:

    “In what manner he would have performed himself if the holy angels had shoved the Depression forward a couple of years – this we can only guess, and one man’s hazard is as good as another’s. My own is that he would have responded to bad times precisely as he responded to good ones – that is, by pulling down the blinds, stretching his legs upon his desk, and snoozing away the lazy afternoons…. He slept more than any other President, whether by day or by night. Nero fiddled, but Coolidge only snored…. Counting out Harding as a cipher only, Dr. Coolidge was preceded by one World Saver and followed by two more. What enlightened American, having to choose between any of them and another Coolidge, would hesitate for an instant? There were no thrills while he reigned, but neither were there any headaches. He had no ideas, and he was not a nuisance.”

    I want that on my gravestone: “he was not a nuisance.”

  30. @ganderson

    Thank you, Ganderson. That’s one album I don’t have, and I’d never heard Lindy Comes to Town before. Now, from the same time period in pop rock comes a guy who doesn’t have the great history-related lyrics as Al Stewart but has a smoother voice*, Mr. Gerry Rafferty. Though famous for only 3 or 4 hits in the late 1970s (Baker Street being the biggest), this is an example of his best music.

    He’s from Mr. Derbyshire’s neck of the woods, at least the same kingdom – a bit farther north.

    .

    * Smoothest male voice ever in rock/pop music, though he did overlay lots of tracks of his own backing vocals.

    • Replies: @ganderson
  31. @John Derbyshire

    So, you’ve been scribbling about this for 20 years. What have you accomplished?

    You don’t scribble about the illegal Chinese immigrants and Chinese in America stealing our technology. Gee, I wonder why?

    You illegally imported yourself to America. https://www.johnderbyshire.com/Opinions/Straggler/005.html

    You then imported a Chinese woman and had Chinese offspring. You have done nothing to save the West. Your Chinese family has no interest in the West.

    You scribble and babble about the problems the West is facing but refuse to deal with the fact that you have contributed to the West’s problems.

    You will be 75 in June. Help to save the West by cleaning up your genetic waste. Export yourself and your family to China.

  32. @John Derbyshire

    Actually, you and the gang can buzz off to Israel together.

    • Replies: @Rex Little
  33. ganderson says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Bonnie Raitt does a great version of Right Down the Line.

    Here’s another “Street” song, with the great Nicky Hopkins

  34. @attilathehen

    Waitaminit, didn’t you want them to go to China? Make up your mind!

  35. dvorak says:

    Jews know that Fuentes is a potential Father Coughlin, and have tried and failed to co-opt him. (Amusingly, Fuentes was offered a free trip to Israel at the very start of his work, when his videos were receiving only 100 views apiece).

    Fuentes rejects the modern RCC’s embrace of Jews, hewing instead to traditional Catholic doctrine.

    Moldbug: “It strikes me as quite implausible that when our dark age ends and the kings return, if ever, it will be under any banner but the Cross.”

    • Replies: @attilathehen
  36. Truth says:
    @John Derbyshire

    …Well that sort of attitude would definitely set you apart from your peers

  37. @dvorak

    Since Fuentes is a “traditional Catholic,” this means he will OSCULUM INFAME black/Asian priests-popes. Poop Frannie has set the example by smooching the stinky feet of black, Muslim invaders in Europe. Yet, poop Frannie will hit women. The RCC cannot save the West because it is a homosexual, Freemasonic, multi-culti grand lodge. Homo priests, bishops and cardinals (none are Jewish) have taken over the RCC. The pre-Vatican II doctrine about the Jews is moot. Fuentes has to deal with biology, i.e., IQ and its relation to race. The RCC is a universal church and must accept everyone regardless of background. Trad Catholics are insane and have no clue about reality.

    Cucked Western males use the Jews as an excuse for the West’s problems. Cucked Western males refuse to start Western, Christian movements and define the West. The West is not black/Asian/Jewish/Muslim. Using this as a starting point is the only way to start saving the West.

    Hindu India is starting to expel Muslims from their country. Hindu Indians know their history and how how they suffered under Islam. This is enough reason for them to expel the Muslims. The Hindu Indians will allow Christian, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs who fled Muslim countries to stay in India. This is a good decision. These religions are not a threat to Hindus.

    The Han Chinese know that Muslims cause problems so they are almost done exterminating their Muslims. Muslim evilness is all the Chinese need for a reason for their final solution.

    Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism have no theological arguments against Islam. They know Islam is evil because of how Muslims have treated Hindus and Buddhists. In the West, we not only have historical evidence of the evil of Islam, but as Christians we have a theological arguments against Islam. Evil poop Frannie must state that present day Jews are not the chosen and have no covenant with God. He must also state that Islam is a Christian heresy. Instead, he has approved the building of a Satanic temple in Abu Dhabi which will house a church, synagogue and mosque.

    If Fuentes cannot see any of this, he’s useless. Fuentes has to articulate separation and division between Western and non -Western groups. He needs to address dual citizenship (this will solve the JQ in the West).

    The (((Moldbug???))) quote is stupid. We are not in a dark age. We know the facts, but the cucked Western male refuses to act.

    The banner with the Cross will be the Cross of the Orthodox Churches with their racial/ethnic churches.

    • Replies: @Loosely Speaking
  38. @attilathehen

    Attilathehen, your screeds are coarse, demented, and subliterate writings on behalf of claims that might otherwise be occasionally convincing.

    • Replies: @attilathehen
  39. @Loosely Speaking

    So, basically I stated facts. You don’t like the facts because they are scary. You are a cucked Western male.

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