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Culture War Roundup for the week of December 5, 2022

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December 13, 2022

My friend and I recently got into a lengthy discussion over the topic of interracial dating while having coffee one morning. What made it specifically interesting was the perspective from which we both were perceiving it. I am a white Christian reactionary, and he is a mixed-race homosexual man. We were at a bar the previous night and i had politely declined a black woman's advances, and when asked why in the morning i explained to him that i have a strong preference for white women. I explained that i do find other races of women attractive, including black women, but that i simply cannot picture myself married with a woman of a different race and desired children who resembled myself. I don't usually explain this to people, but he seemed fairly interested.

It is here where he interjected and told me that the way i view interracial relationships were wrong, and that sooner rather than later the west will be a homogenization of all different races. He explained to me of a recent study he had read that said that interracial marriages already encompassed 30% of all marriages and is at upwards of 93% acceptance rate among the population, and both are projected to climb. This shocked me, as I explained to him that within my main communities that are predominately white I still found interracial marriages to be relatively rare through simple observation. I told him there is absolutely no way that is correct, as there is no way 30% of white people are in interracial relationships.

That night I did some more research and found out the realities of it. Now the biggest hurdle is that i can only really make claims based on marriages, there is no data on interracial dating. The data may be far higher when we take that into consideration but i could find nothing to substantiate any definite claims. The claim of 30% is not true. As of 2017 17% of the overall population is in an interracial relationship. There is also a 94% acceptance rate of interracial marriages in aggregate.

It gets more interesting the more you delve into the makeup of the interracial relationships themselves. While definitely seeing an increase, White people have had the lowest growth of interracial marriages in the last forty years. Only about 11% of the white population will intermarry. And the gender disparity between white men and white women who intermarry are exactly the same as they were in 1980.

Among white newlyweds, there is no notable gender gap in intermarriage – 12% of men and 10% of women had married someone of a different race or ethnicity in 2015. The same was true in 1980, when 4% of recently married men and 4% of recently married women had intermarried.

Unlike many other ethnicity's, the intermarriage rates among whites are also constant regardless of education levels.

Among white newlyweds, the likelihood of intermarrying is fairly similar regardless of education level. One-in-ten of those with a high school diploma or less have a spouse of another race or ethnicity, as do 11% of those with some college experience and 12% of those with at least a bachelor’s degree. Rates don’t vary substantially among white newlywed men or women with some college or less, though men with a bachelor’s degree are somewhat more likely to intermarry than comparable women (14% vs. 10%).

For comparison, Black intermarriage rates have tripled since 1980, from 5% to 18%. The most dramatic gap in all the data exists between college educated black men and women.

Black men are twice as likely as black women to have a spouse of a different race or ethnicity (24% vs. 12%).

Also, just as a sidenote that shocked me, 54%! Of US born Asian women marry outside their race.

Overall, while whites have the largest amount of people intermarrying simply due to sheer logistical numbers, they are statistically the least likely to date outside of their race, and relatively equal rates for both men and women. I brought this up to him the next time I saw him, and he was quite shocked at this. He brought up an interesting question.

Considering that the general acceptance of interracial marriage is so high, why is it so relatively rare? We came up with a couple conclusions

  1. There is simply not enough intersection or engagement between different ethnic communities. If you are a certain race, you most often will associate with others of the same ethnicity simply due to family connections/religious affiliations etc.

  2. Most are outwardly accepting of it, but secretly discourage it. This is what I personally think it is, just simply based on my actual experiences. My parents could go on and on about however noble their intentions are, but if I brought home a black woman or a native woman, they would be supportive but be incredibly disappointed. I also see many white women disparaged in friend groups if they date inter-racially as well. I even found studies that suggest this has been measured (Could be misrepresented however)

  1. Religion. Most ethnic groups have different religious beliefs that would be difficult to compromise on if starting a family. It would be difficult if I were to date a Hindu woman for example, because then quickly come into contact with irreconcilable differences. She wants to have a Hindu wedding; I want to make Christian vows. She wishes to raise our child Hindu; I was to raise him Christian. I don’t see any way how these could be reconciled. Most of the successful interracial relationships I’ve ever seen have always had a shared religious belief between them. It just makes everything way easier.

It is also interesting that both my friend and I came into the conversation of interracial marriages with the context that that means some sort of mixture of whites. We never considered that the majority would be between different ethnic groups. It actually came into my head reading this article from refinery.\

While I resent much of the post-modern perspectives about race this is not the place for that, but I couldn’t help but notice that I ended up agreeing on many of her points. We do look at interracial relationships much like the perspectives that she presents. But the fact still remains, even in a period of time that is most likely the most accepting of interracial marriages throughout any point in history, almost to the point of encouragement, Interracial relationships still remain relatively rare.

I would suggest reposting this in the newer culture war roundup thread. Virtually no one will visit this older thread anymore.

This morning, I started thinking about the ethics of AI-generated porn. One of the arguments I've heard against AI-generated porn is that it could be used to generate child porn. That got me thinking: is AI-generated child porn unethical? There are no children involved, so no one is being directly harmed. So the question seems to be how consumption of generated child porn by paedophiles would affect their likelihood to commit paedophilic acts.

One possibility is that consuming the stuff would increase the urge of paedophiles to commit paedophilic acts. Another possibility is it sates some inner urge and makes them less likely to harm children.

Anyone have opinions on this?

There’s also the fact it makes it dramatically more difficult to identify actual child porn.

Before the reports come in - we already disallowed this as a top-level post. Yes, we (multiple mods) suspect trolling (if you're not trolling, @ShockJock, then sorry, but picking a username like that and dropping in with this as your introductory post sure looks and smells like a troll). But we told him he could post it in the CW thread.

List of alleged ex-FBI people working for Twitter.

Quite a lot of names. 16 directors or managers. All hired since the '16 debacle.

Reminds one of the Chinese demand for CPC members being in company management.

Is it random ? Or does this support the claim Twitter is uniquely important in the information landscape as a place where journalists get their stories and hang out.

same thing with fakebook. it's mainly for child exploitation, drugs, kidnapping, stuff like that. Given that twitter is 100% public, unless you make your profile private, just assume anything you tweet will be read by FBI

fakebook. it's mainly for child exploitation, drugs, kidnapping,

No. Facebook was good for creating a social network graph of much of the world.

I presume it can and does facilitate those things, but that could have hardly been the primary objective.

just assume anything you tweet will be read by FBI

We hope so.

There's nothing more fun than dropping sinister, oblique hints about offline conspiracies when talking to people who are known to have an FBI file.

he's saying "trust and safety people at facebook are for combatting child exploitation, drugs, kidnapping", not "facebook is for that"


I was sure it was meant to be a joke.

Btw, to be a good catcher of %x% means you needs to understand %x% MO, become a %x%!

Also you can legally watch materials forbidden to others.

If 'trust and safety people at facebook' are anything like the trust and safety people over at twitter, it could go either way.

Takes one to know one situation.


this clearly is not him saying anything about children being sexy. pedophiles might say things like "children are cute and independent and have personalities and deserve to make choices and love just as much as we do. oppressing them is bad". this is a statement about how a baby crying and exaggerated porn sounds, after being distorted by layers of walls, to him, sound similar. it is not the kind of thing you'd say because you're a pedophile or to signal pedophilia.

like, where in that message does it relate 'having sex' to 'with children'?

also just for context several motteposters (including me), often right-leaning, probably some that you like, have said much, much worse things than that on rdrama - as jokes!

  1. Stereotypical porn sounds are nothing like a baby crying. Baby crying is the worst sound known, it demands attention.

To spell it out for people on the clock, sadistic porn featuring children might sound like a baby crying, for the reason that it's sadistic and involves harming small children, hence the crying.


it is not the kind of thing you'd say because you're a pedophile or to signal pedophilia.

And what kind of thing is that?

What do pedophiles do to signal that they are what they are ?

Is it musing about how kids should have access to sex apps used by adults ?

Wondering aloud, in public, about the age of consent ? Advocating for a lower age of consent ?


probably some that you like, have said much, much worse things than that on rdrama - as jokes!

I'd be surprised. But you're free to dig some up.

this clearly is not him saying anything about children being sexy.

No, he said that on his other account that he scrubbed apparently:

And yeah, apparently, that image can't be uploaded.


Ah, here's the image file it won't upload in the first one:


Chalk it up to your bias and/or blatant hostile misconstruction. To me he's clearly talking about the man being hotter because the man is demonstrating care.

Agree I don’t think twitter hiring a lot of FBI is anything that weird. What’s weird is how color coded and blue tribe the FBI seems to be now. Red tribe seems the FBI as having declared war on them.

Now that the FBI is explicitly labeled a different tribe than Musks it seems as though their assumed to be against him.

yeah, pre-2008 the FBI was solidly red it seemed

They're cops. They're still gonna be solidly red.

The FBI are not police (except FBI Police, but that's a whole 'nother story).

Volunteer reddit moderators purged trump supporters from their subreddits with no institutional backing whatsoever! You'd expect - and did see - the same from progressive twitter moderators without FBI intervention. Most being hired after '16 is explained by most twitter hires as a whole being recently - if a company's exponentially growing employee count (including if it overhires), most employees are recent. Thinking the FBI is somehow a specific central organ that's dictatorially intervening isn't right - are there even any specific pieces of evidence for that - distributed consensus and pressure from all parts of civil society, including your leadership and employees is much more accurate. And 'pressure from leadership and employees' is just being part of it and agreeing!

Also, most of those employees are in 'security', as opposed to 'trust and safety' or similar, and ex-FBI hires make sense for that.

Of course it makes sense you put them in 'security'. They're ex-FBI, duh.

But are they doing actual security, or are they there to ensure compliance ?

The political editor over at Newsweek who got the half-Arab/half-Russian reporter fired was officially doing something related to sports.

His slack activity showed something else.

Because twitter is where marching orders for all the second-hand ideas dealers are handed out.

It's where likes and retweets can be used to reward worthy causes and sink unworthy causes.

Thinking the FBI is somehow a specific central organ that's dictatorially intervening isn't right

The entire plot against Trump was very heavy on FBI people.

FBI apparently orchestrated the J6 farce.

You know, when it comes to you, I can't decide whether you're a reflexive contrarian or something else entirely.

We can read their "experience" tab on linkedin (most of them aren't visible logged out, cba to make a throwaway):

Doug leads the Special Security Support Team for Twitter, managing Corporate Security efforts to detect, assess and mitigate threats to Twitter's most visible employees and events.

Focused on crisis management; business continuity; flexible & remote workforce security; and security training & education for the best flock of rock stars in the world. 💙

• Generate crisis management plans for offices, data centers and events. Lead efforts to test the crisis framework of those plans via tabletop exercises with leaders worldwide.

• Proactively and reactively lead teams to assess and manage global incidents and crises affecting Twitter’s employees, offices and reputation.

• Integrate with global risk teams to assess validity and priority of risks. Utilize intelligence data and findings to drive decisions.

• Collaborate with operational managers to ensure procedures are in place to support and/or minimize risks to employees who are traveling or receiving threats online.

• Responsible for oversight of Twitter’s emergency communications system.


FBI apparently orchestrated the J6 farce. ... You know, when it comes to you, I can't decide whether you're a reflexive contrarian or something else entirely.

To illustrate the point with some hyperbole - If, hypothetically, I was a dark elf silently plotting to dismantle the USG, execute Plan Moldbug, and install BAP as Emperor, it'd still be (if I was talking to other live players who too might take action) worth contesting confused claims about how the Cathedral works and uses power - lest my allies box shadows and spend years on based political projects that accomplish nothing.

You expect Intelligence people to put things like "* And oversees compliance with government directives and assorted 1st Amendment violations" in their LinkedIn?

twitter has "trust and safety" people whose job it is to censor threats, cp, racism, extremism, etc. there are a lot of people who explicitly that. the people that OP linked whose profiles I could view and get information from very clearly laid out security (computer or physical) roles instead.

rewording my question: do you expect them to put a smoking gun in their Linked in profiles?

Them working for T&S isn't a smoking gun though, it'd just be twitter hiring people to do a task they explicitly claim they are doing and intend to do. If an ex-FBI person is 'preventing extremism on twitter', they're just one of a hundred twitter employees doing that, it isn't illegal or anything. Most 'normal' people, and especially the 'cathedral', will just read that as 'fbi person who works at twitter now', and not infer any "government directives" or "1st amendment violations". Despite that, the linked individuals are just twitter hiring people with security skillsets for security roles.

Them working for T&S isn't a smoking gun though,

Nobody said that it is, why are you fixated on it?

FBI apparently orchestrated the J6 farce.

What's the evidence for this?

What's the evidence for this?

Evidence in addition of proven FBI SOP of infiltrating, manipulating and inciting all kinds of "right wing" "racist" "extremist" groups?

What standard of evidence? You are not going to see evidence "beyond reasonable doubt" until documents are declassified (wait few decades) or fall of the regime and opening of archives (good luck waiting for this).

But, for starter, see this twitter thread listing interesting events around this event (sourced from impeccable mainstream sources).

You got me wrong. That was not an adversarial comment. I actually know next to nothing about this whole thing.

From a (very cursory) reading of that twitter thread (God I hate twitter, I hope Elon sinks it soon), it seems as if there were a handful of FBI undercover agents among the Proud Boys, one of the many groups involved in Jan 6. Then there is some far-fetched speculation that they may or may not have been among those people giving orders? Unless I am missing quite a lot, that's fishy, but a far cry from "the FBI orchestrated J6".

Not only FBI, Secret Service and DHS were also informed in advance that Trumpers will spontaneously decide to desecrate the temple of freedom and democracy.

Some non-Twitter links from non-respectable sources digging deep into this rabbit hole.

Meet Ray Epps: The Fed-Protected Provocateur Who Appears To Have Led The Very First 1/6 Attack On The U.S. Capitol

Meet Ray Epps, Part 2

This means Epps came to the Trump speech early in the morning with the sole intention of recruiting a mob to follow on the heels of the Capitol breach team he would personally oversee while Trump was speaking—the very breach team we have covered in this report whose operators would remove the fencing, signage and barricades before the masses would arrive at the Capitol.

Let’s put this all in context:

Ray Epps flew 2,300 miles from Phoenix, Arizona to Washington, DC for a Trump rally, supposedly as a Trump supporter.

Epps arrived at the rally entrance more than two hours early, camped out to constantly shout recruiting instructions about coming to the Capitol after the speech, but then skipped out on the speech itself, because he was too busy personally orchestrating the Big Bang Breach Team that kicked off the riot and tore down the fencing, barricades and signage, which made rallygoers totally unaware of the legal booby trap they had walked into.

Article is one year old, what happened to Ray Epps since then? Arrested and tortured like the rank and file rioters?

Nothing. NYT debunked all crazy conspiracy theories, there is no need to do anything.

During the interview, committee officials said, Mr. Epps said that he was not an F.B.I. informant and denied reports that he had urged protesters to go into the Capitol at the behest of federal law enforcement agencies.

"the fbi has informants in right wing groups and sometimes encourages lone wolf terrorist attacks to pad their arrest and conviction numbers" isn't evidence for "the FBI orchestrated a bunch of people showing up on Jan 6". That there were some informants at Jan 6th doesn't prove much - if J6 was fully organic, the FBI would still want their informants there to inform, and even if those Proud Boy people weren't used as informants at all, they'd still show up to the protest considering they're proudboys.

if you avoid politics, reddit can be tolerable...sometimes.

I feel like every message board has had purges since 2016. Whoever moderates anything has had to decide if their Trump or not Trump. It’s a weird world that things that had a great deal of bipartisanship for decades suddenly found themselves needing to choose a political party. It always felt like it was coming more from blue tribe spaces, but perhaps red tribe has down it too. I feel like any blue tribe tilted space has had full moderation of anyone Trumpy since atleast 2020 (which includes non-Trump lovers who weren’t full on board with every narrative).

Many of the purges occurred BEFORE 2016; it was Gamergate that revealed how deep the rabbithole went.

So I've been spending some time on the radfem pipeline. It's been my opinion for some time that radical feminists, like Marxists, are correct on their analysis of their subjects, with no regard to one might think about their solutions. Take the topic of promiscuity; a trait that was historically seen as far more taboo in women that it was in men. Double standards?

The argument is that the male desire seeks virgin wives and prostitutes. The whores will provide sexual release without reproduction and emotional investment to minimise the demand on men’s resources. On the other hand, virgin wives are meant to provide both sexual and reproductive services but exclusively to him so that his resources and labour are spent on his family and progeny alone. While relations with promiscuous women are intended to be secretive and secondary. Essentially, they play the role of sexual garbage collectors who clear the excesses when no one's watching. This is especially true for fighting men, who are separated from their families for extended periods in foreign places and under hard conditions. They miss female company, they seek comfort, relief from loneliness, sexual desire, and recreation. War-like conditions create a huge demand for such promiscuous women, who either seek financial reward in exchange, or security, or both. And so, when a woman has multiple partners, she is slotted into the whore sub-class automatically. This sub-class doesn't demand respect or commitment, they knows their place and that they're not likely to move up the ladder, and so they're viewed as the lowest value women. And in an age before industrialisation when paternity tests weren't even a twinkle in anyone's eyes, and of constant conflict and strife, such promiscuous women with kids especially would lose out of the support structure. Perhaps these standards did make sense in this period. But what role do such standards play now, in ultra societies like the West, with large populations, high levels of specialisation, divisions of labour, lasting peace and advances in medicine? The breakdown of families comes to mind, which is of course for a myriad reasons, to a point where families are becoming far too expensive to sustain. We still have sufficient demographics and functional infrastructure and institutions to keep civilisation alive, even if we reach SK levels of atomisation.

So here's where I'm less certain; will decadence necessarily mean decline? Or maybe we'll just draw out the inevitable and decline will come very slowly, say over a few centuries? Should we turn to traditional norms to reverse this trend? If so, how can traditional norms become tenable enough to be a potential solution?

Radical feminists have the same simplistic and faulty “analysis” as Marxists. For traditional Marxists, all history is to be analyzed as class struggle between workers and capitalists. Capitalists use their privilege in form of property of capital to allienate workers and politically oppress them in order to perpetuate and reproduce that whole system called capitalism.

For radfems, the history is to be analyzed as a gender struggle between men and women. Men use their male privilege to oppress women to perpetuate the whole system called patriarchy.

To me all these new causes are basically the same recycled template of dialectical leftist conspiracy theory - just with a new name for oppressed and boogiemen. They just change the name for this boogiemen secret power group and for the system they create. What they all share is the Manichean dichotomy of these forces, analysis that is always reduced to simplistic power relations and the name of the whole conspiracy. So you have whites vs POC, white privilege and white supremacy. You have cishetero vs queer people, normalcy and cisheteronormativity and so on.

As with all conspiracy theories, there may be some grains of truth of various sizes in there, you can have some fancy sounding language and so forth. But similarly to any other conspiracy theories, the analysis runs backwards from belief to “arguments”.

And so, when a woman has multiple partners, she is slotted into the whore sub-class automatically

Nope. That's not how it works - a women with very high bodycount are pursued for long term relationships and some with way lower than them are viewed only as warmer, self cleaning flesh lights. The buckets mostly exist. But the criteria for sorting them is not the body count.

This analysis is shallow. Look further, past sociology to biology, evolution, existentialism.

Men and women, life and death. Two-track sexual reproduction, r/k selection, oxytocin, genetic imperatives, labor specialization, class war.

Monogamy is a temporary peace treaty, not a utopian end-state.

Family bonds and the gatekeeping of them rises and falls with the necessity of the family. Peace and prosperity tend to reduce this necessity, which increases the number of people outside functional family structures. If peace continues indefinitely and prosperity increases endlessly, this works fine. But, if either stop, family value increases rapidly and those caught outside are going to have a rough go of things, especially those already marginal in some way. Individualism is a luxury good.

It's been my opinion for some time that radical feminists, like Marxists, are correct on their analysis of their subjects

I disagree in general. Maybe they might be right on some things, but in general their analysis usually suffers from having to always frame things into a position that women are oppressed, even when it doesn't really make sense. They have a whole term for this, "benevolent sexism". When men hold doors for women, to a feminist it's not because society values women and wants to treat women well, it's because society erroneously thinks women are too weak to hold their open doors. When men stand up for women, it's because men think women need their saving, etc. When women get less severe prison sentencing then men, and there are fewer homeless women, it's somehow because society hates women. I think they're way off base in their analyses of these sorts of things.

Well, is it not true that women are often afforded more gentleness and kindness than men would be in many situations, due to a sense that they're physically and mentally weaker? Children are also not punished as harshly when they engage in criminal action and while it would be absurd to suggest this betrays a hatred for children on the part of adults, I think it would be uncontroversial to argue this does stem from a widespread perception that children are the social, intellectual, emotional and to an extent moral inferiors of adults (more innocent, but less able to accurately judge the moral weight of their actions).

To my mind women occupied a position in society quite similar to the one children hold today until fairly recently; considered precious and in need of protection, but also undoubtedly the social inferiors of men. And I think in spite of how socially stigmatised open sexism is against women today, traces of that old arrangement do linger and lead to things like women being treated with kid gloves. While this isn't oppression and is beneficial (a man's life is literally considered less valuable than a woman's, just as an adult's is considered less valuable than a child's) it's not hard to see why feminists would object.

Children are also not punished as harshly when they engage in criminal action and while it would be absurd to suggest this betrays a hatred for children on the part of adults, I think it would be uncontroversial to argue this does stem from a widespread perception that children are the social, intellectual, emotional and to an extent moral inferiors of adults (more innocent, but less able to accurately judge the moral weight of their actions).

Two things can be true at once. We love children and we think they are inept. We don't love them because they are inept. The two are not causally linked.

We don't love them because they are inept.

I'm not sure where I gave the impression I believed that. Maybe it sounded as if I was saying the ineptness of children was the only reason they're not punished as harshly as adults? Of course adults have instinctual feelings of love and protectiveness towards kids independent of their belief in the children's ineptness, and those are part of it too, but much of the argument against trying them as adults centres on their inability to understand the full consequences of their actions. So, you know, it's both - the "benevolent ageism" in this case stems both from love of children and knowledge of their inferior faculties.

Yes, but even if that were the root for the "benevolent sexism" against women (which really is just a euphemism for special treatment), I don't see how you can twist that around and argue that, no really, this massive perk is actually a disadvantage because...?

It is not like this ostensible presumption of female weakness or inferiority works to their disadvantage anywhere. We are not talking about two sides of one coin here. The argument goes like this:

  1. Women have a clear advantage in one specific field

  2. This advantage is really because of disdain for women

  3. No, I can't point to any instances where this disdain has any negative effects for women

  4. The clear advantage is therefore a disadvantage!

  5. QED women are oppressed

I did say it is beneficial and not oppression (I grant feminists would probably disagree with that assessment) but nonetheless if you are a feminist whose goal is to attain for women the same level of respect afforded to men, having men treat you with kid gloves all the time could be seen as patronising, if indeed it does stem from a lack of faith in your abilities. And a lack of faith in your abilities could lead them to be unwilling to trust you with large amounts of power or responsibility. Even just being seen to receive this treatment could reinforce the notion that you need it and couldn't succeed on your own.

I could believe that the special treatment that women receive is patronizing and demeaning if feminists didn't demand it

The other crazy thing about 'benevolent sexism' is that it was necessary! How would women feel if, after women joined the workforce, men had treated them like any other men? Apoplectic. We're not even allowed to mention our dick and balls anymore, let alone slap them onto a table to win an argument and impress the senior partners.

let alone slap them onto a table to win an argument and impress the senior partners

People did that…?

edit: i mean i’m rather taking this metaphorically but out of morbid curiosity…did people really do that?

More comments

Charitably, the core of feminist analysis would be that gender norms exist, and if you fall outside them, you will have a worse life than if you met them. Even if you meet them, there'll be parts of them that meaningfully hurt your well-being. I think few people would argue against this, and it's not a huge leap to go from there to saying that they should be loosened if not dismantled.

Where much feminist analysis falls short is in trying to shove all gender norms into the oppressor/oppressed dynamic. I'd go so far as to say it's self undermining: if women inherently lack all agency in the matter and are just flotsam on the tides of the patriarchy, it removes all recognition of the individual agency women have to dismantle those norms.

To take your analogy at face value:

There is no norm re. drinking hydrofluoric acid. You are free to purchase, free to imbibe, and free to die stupidly.

Likewise gender rolls. Even if they provide some sort of benefit along the lines of not drinking deadly acid, that still doesn't mean they should be enforced. People should be allowed to make idiot decisions as long as they only kill them selves, and let Darwin sort it out on the back end.

Counterpoint- if people for some reason wanted to drink hydrofluoric acid, it would quickly be made illegal. Heroine(far less harmful) is illegal for that reason.

Likewise if we determine that gender roles are necessary and good, then not officially providing state favoritism to them is, from non-libertarian frameworks, no longer the default- it has to be specifically justified.

Not if gender roles are something which requires collective buy in to exist. If so, then defectors are in fact harming the group, and thus something you would want discouraged, in the same way you would want to treat any other tragedy of the commons defector.

So I've been spending some time on the radfem pipeline. It's been my opinion for some time that radical feminists, like Marxists, are correct on their analysis of their subjects, with no regard to one might think about their solutions. Take the topic of promiscuity; a trait that was historically seen as far more taboo in women that it was in men. Double standards?

Yes, but as Aristotle reminds us, unequal treatment of unequal things can be called for. Women stand to lose much more from sex than men and are hence much choosier. Being chosen for sex by a woman translates to "you are so attractive that the risk of carrying your offspring is a price I am either willing to pay or actively seek". Being chosen for sex by a man just means you are above a certain fuckability threshold.

This differential means that women have always been able to garner favours in exchange for (the promise or suggestion of) sex. Most feminist activism after the first wave is about how this transaction is to be structured. The traditional marriage model exchanges security of paternity plus household chores and child rearing for a wholsesale package of protection and provision. Social changes of the past couple of decades have lead to most women now getting most of that for free, via the state taxing (mostly male) productive labour.

So now we have two battlefields: one is to extract more favours for women as a class (favourable hiring conditions, female-exclusive professional perks, female quotas, all kinds of handouts) in exchange for... women existing. And the second is an inter-sex fight: should attractive women be allowed to collect additional favours from men via trading (the promise of) sex away? Isn't that mean to the women who can't or won't do that? And doesn't that lower the exchange rate of sex? This is what it is mostly about, all the window dressing about this being all about the big ol' mean patriarchy is a distraction.

Yes, but as Aristotle reminds us, unequal treatment of unequal things can be called for. Women stand to lose much more from sex than men and are hence much choosier. Being chosen for sex by a woman translates to "you are so attractive that the risk of carrying your offspring is a price I am either willing to pay or actively seek". Being chosen for sex by a man just means you are above a certain fuckability threshold.

This differential means that women have always been able to garner favours in exchange for sex.

And this dynamic of women being able to garner favours in exchange for sex is what leads to the generalised condemnation of promiscuity in women. Contrary to basically all established belief, it is women and not men who stand to gain from the repression of female sexuality. The fact is that restricting women's willingness to provide men with premarital or extramarital sex through several methods serves women's interests in an important way. It restricts men's ability to access sex, and since the supply has been restricted this means women can push the price of sex up to incredible levels (demanding long-term commitment through marriage, transfers of wealth and resources, and so on). The more they restrict their sexuality, the more they can relitigate sex relations in their favour. Even when she is already in a partnership the widespread suppression of female sexuality can benefit her by indirectly restricting her mate's sexuality - it prevents her partner from simply going out and finding another woman (an especially salient risk once she is old and her mate value has declined). So the promiscuous woman is scorned, not primarily by men, but by other women. It is a female sex cartel, a union enforced for the interests of the group as a whole. Here is a blog post containing plenty of evidence in favour of this view.

As a case study that allows us a glimpse into a very extreme version of this dynamic, we can look at the phenomenon of FGM, responsibility for which often erroneously gets shifted onto men. The fact is, the practice is most zealously supported by women, and the female peer group teases girls who have not had the operation. There are studies of men in these countries which do not indicate that they prefer women with the operation (so this can't be argued to be a reflection of their preferences), rather, they actually prize women without the operation because they enjoy sex more. Link. Fieldwork in villages that at the time were newly beginning to adopt FGM as a practice shows that the impetus for the practice comes from the girls themselves. The girls were going out to other villages and getting excisors to cut them regardless of the fact that their parents and the tribal chiefs hated the practice and strongly condemned them for doing so, and over time it became culturally entrenched. Link 2.

All this seems congenial to the theory that the cause of female genital cutting and its subsequent spread likely comes from females themselves, with male acceptance and support for the practice (and their consequent attitudes surrounding it) merely being secondary to and following from widespread female uptake of and support for the practice. Really it's very clear to me that the feminist viewpoint of "patriarchal oppression" is just utterly misleading, and I'm a bit dismayed (though not surprised) that people still give it the time of day.

So the promiscuous woman is scorned, not primarily by men, but by other women.

This always made sense to me and seemed to match what I encountered and saw in the world. That is, until gen-z men started to become visible to me on the internet about 5 years ago, who seemed to be the ones lashing out at women with shaming language about 'thots' and 'thirst-traps' (any women publicly using their good looks on youtube/twitch/etc). By my priors, I would have expected men to be quite fine with women dominating instagram/streaming/asmr/whatever, while some women would be trying to enforce against the defectors with various levels of slut-shaming. And by my reading, the young men aren't simply playing catch-up with new norms and trying to signal their new virtues -- it's more like: "damn you for tempting me to donate my hard earned money!" Am I misreading this as a phenomenon?

I'm pretty certain that this is a selected very online group you're looking at, because the loudest voices on the internet will tend to be people who are not representative of the general population. A huge portion of terminally online people will likely be lonely men who are suffering from lack of sex and companionship and relationships (which I think is something that's very important to people), and who will be frustrated that they can only obtain any semblance of these things through a paywall. They likely see women starting accounts, getting huge amounts of attention from men around the world, and they compare and contrast that with their own situation where they get so little attention that they're tempted to pay for a simulacrum of attention and desire. I can imagine it feels miserable, and it's hard for me not to be at least a little bit sympathetic.

In other words, I think there is a massive difference between the lashing out at Twitch thots you're describing and actually wanting to restrict female sexual behaviour. The lashing out is not because they think women make themselves too sexually accessible and want to restrict their activity, it's precisely because of the opposite reason: because women are not accessible to them. Furthermore, I doubt this attitude can be extrapolated to the general male population out there for the aforementioned reasons, and would caution against any hasty generalisations.

Fieldwork in villages that at the time were newly beginning to adopt FGM as a practice shows that the impetus for the practice comes from the girls themselves.

Forgive me, but I've looked at your links and read your comment multiple times. Do we actually know why girls would go seek out surgery themselves, seemingly believing that it will benefit them individually? It seems that it would be something to be imposed on the young, not something the young volunteer for. Thank you.

It certainly is bizarre, but we can theorise on the reasons why. In both villages covered in the article, male desires certainly do not seem to have driven it. In Myabe, the prevailing view at the time of adoption was that men prefer uncut women as sex partners. Similarly, in Bakum, where the practice was adopted at an earlier date, whether a girl was cut or not had little effect on her ability to marry, and that only changed once the practice was already entrenched. Parents and authority figures do not seem to have been the driving force, either, in fact parents and chiefs were extremely strongly opposed to the practice and its spread. In Bakum, their acceptance and participation in the cutting ceremonies only happened after it was already common. So the pressures leading to its emergence have to come from somewhere else.

Some evidence in the article seems to suggest that other girls do, even at an early stage of adoption of the practice, provide pressure. For example in Myabe, where female genital cutting was a recent phenomenon at the time of the study, "The girls attribute their desire to participate in the cutting ceremonies to pressure from peers and to the spectacle of the coming-out ceremony that follows the period of healing. The event draws a great deal of attention in the village." Although there are few long-term consequences for not getting cut, girls do admit to "teasing friends who opted not to attend" cutting ceremonies, so there is evidence there that seems to suggest that the girls were experiencing some level of soft social pressure from other girls who did have the operation. Similarly, in Bakum, some of the first girls in the village to be cut were taunted by their friends "on the other side of the river" and enticed by them into participating.

It makes sense to me that it would be primarily the female peer group promoting it, and not parents or authorities or some shadowy patriarchal cabal. As mentioned earlier the female peer group at large benefits from restricting female willingness to provide sex and girls would therefore be concerned with getting those in their peer group to adhere to a set of sexuality restrictions. So I think this looks like the organic bottom-up emergence of the "female sex cartel" I mentioned earlier.

Because adolescent girls are extremely susceptible to social pressure?

Incidentally, the west currently has a lot of adolescent girls seeking double mastectomies under the mistaken impression that it will benefit them.

I disagree with what I think the thrust of your post is, namely that social pressures are artificially "restricting" or "repressing" female sexuality. I think it's pretty much entirely biological.

I would hazard to guess that in an imaginary society where female sexuality was completely unfettered and unstigmatized...that female humans would still want sex less than male humans, and would still be choosier in their partners than males. In every mammalian species this dynamic exists, especially for placental mammals - because the investment necessary during pregnancy is so high. Female humans have particularly invasive placentas, very risky pregnancy and birth because of head size, and particularly helpless young that demand an extreme amount of care relative to other mammalian young (even other great apes). It is not surprising, therefore, that female humans have been selected to be discerning rather than horny.

I don't have too much to say here because I don't have too many opinions on how society should look on this issue, but I will note that I always find it pretty funny how people on both ends of an issue (like sex-positives and sex-negatives) will often frame their preferences in terms of how it would benefit women, without too much concern for what that would do to men. On the other hand, a benefit to men is generally framed as negative and generally contextualised with how it would hurt women. It's based on a foundational idea that women are the appropriate beneficiaries of social norms, so rigging the system in women's favour is viewed as legitimate, whereas doing so for men (or even just relaxing women's attempts at rigging things to benefit themselves, like their attempts at artificial price-fixing in the sexual marketplace) is bad.

EDIT: clarity

It’s interesting how even in in this comment you buy utterly into the ‘women as a class’ Marxian conception of “gender conflict”.

Given that this is how the conflict is presented and fought and how its spoils are distributed, it rather becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. What makes it different from other class conflicts though is that there is absolutely no class solidarity on the other side. Men see other men as friends or rivals, not as brothers-in-arms in the sex wars.

For women it's:

Women see other women as friends or rivals, AND as sisters-in-arms in the sex wars.

I agree with a lot of your post, but your actual original premise ("Radical feminism is essentially an unhelpful defensive response to the sexual revolution") is untrue. For two pretty straightforward reasons: One, radical feminism predates the sexual revolution. Two, most of the early radical feminist literature supported sexual liberation, if not outright sexual libertinism. People (in this thread even) who argue the sexual revolution was mostly just a ploy by men to get access to sex are wrong. Not that there's no truth to the idea some men loved the idea of free non-committal sex and supported it for this reason, but the idea that feminism and women more generally did not play an active and leading role in the sexual revolution is false.

Radical feminist ("second wave") texts such as Beauvoir's 1949 The Second Sex, Friedan's 1963 The Feminine Mystique predate or coincide with the beginning of the sexual revolution.

Other, slightly later radical feminist texts, such as Firestone's 1970 The Dialectic of Sex or Millet's 1970 Sexual Politics, call for sexual liberation, either explicitly or implicitly (it's explicit with Firestone, it's more implicit with Millet who says sexual repression of women is an oppressive tool of patriarchy). The idea that radical feminism is a defensive response to the sexual revolution is historical revisionism by more contemporary radical feminists who realise that the sexual revolution actually was negative for women (and the majority of men for that matter, not that it matters to them), but don't actually want to condemn earlier feminists works or the whole political project of feminism so the 'reinterpret' them or otherwise reframe it (most often is the "true sexual liberation has never been tried"). "Men created ('false') sexual liberation for sexual access" is unironically a radical feminist revisionist myth.

So what was Women's Movement, and all the people who supported it then? Just unwitting pawns of Big Sexual Entertainment, too stupid to see their strings being pulled by Hugh Hefner and Hollywood? I don't buy it. Even if Hefner and co did contribute to it (which they did to some small degree), these women and feminists did still have agency. It's also just begging the question of why did women accept the Sexual Liberation narrative, when women had long been the sexual moral arbitrators? Why wasn't Hefner and co suppressed like in any other moral panic that women are so capable of? If you want to attribute it to something than other feminism itself, you're better off looking at birth control, domestic technologies and other technologies in the postwar era.

How about ‘true sexual liberation has been tried at least to some extent, and is inherently exploitative of women (and children), under pretty much any economic system’?

I was making a humorous reference to the 'true communism has never been tried'. Many contemporary radical feminists will still support the notion of a 'sexually liberated society' in the same way communists will support the idea of a communist utopia. The joke being that communism has been tried and failed, and similarly that sexual liberation has been tried and failed. But it doesn't stop the radical feminists continually idealising how next time ("real" sexual liberation) will work.

The women's movement and sexual liberation movements were separate movements, even if parts of them were at times connected and at other times different parts were counterposed to each other. (Many) women accepted the sexual liberation narrative for the same reason many men did: because they wanted to have sex. Some of these women called themselves feminist and others didn't.

Some of these women called themselves feminist and others didn't.

So how many called themselves feminist, how many anti-feminist, and how many rejected to orient themselves on this axis?

Because for any policy, no matter how closely it is associated with some ideology, there were those that wouldn't identify themselves with that ideology, and some that did identify with it, but opposed that policy.

Thus rendering, by your reasoning, any statement that implies a correlation exists between support for X and idenfying as Y, false.

There's also the fact that the dissident right and reactionary logic more generally is outside the mainstream, and women are mostly conformist. Plus their often open misogyny in the true sense of the word- not the sometimes-charming view of women as needing to be taken care of, but something that often fades into outright hatred.

If you find reactionaries with trad values and a victorian view that women need to be protected and taken care of, they often have gender ratios close to even, even if that view entails restricting women's freedom for their own good. I'm not going to claim this view is popular, but it isn't notably less popular among women. It's the hatred of women that drives them away.

almost as little discussed as that the Tianenmen Square protests began as nationalist riots by students who opposed African exchange students sleeping with Chinese women

I think you are confusing these protests with the Nanjing protests of 1988-1989. A common mistake.

There were students who opposed African exchange students at Tiananmen Square, but the preciptating event was the death of Hu Yaobang, who had nothing particularly to do with African exchange students. In fact, there weren't many African exchange students left in China by that point.

By "a direct line of continuity" are you saying that opposition to African students had a profound impact on TS or that it was how TS began?

impossible to decouple them

What do you mean "decouple"?

Take the topic of promiscuity; a trait that was historically seen as far more taboo in women that it was in men. Double standards?

I don't know about that, considering how many of the same feminists will turn around and say it's fine for only women to have reproductive rights since they're the ones that bear the consequences of accidental pregnancy. Surely this should be the same thing?

It seems difficult to argue against that both historically and in the general population today, female promiscuity is viewed less positively than men. Yes, there are small numbers of sex negative feminists who believe male promiscuity is evil and female promiscuity is more or less amoral in the sense of being value neutral. There are larger numbers of people who view male sexuality as potentially threatening within a broader framework where both sexes' promiscuities are viewed as about equal(and some of these people are on the left, with promiscuity viewed positively, while some are on the right, with promiscuity viewed negatively). But most people today still view male promiscuity positively-to-neutrally and female promiscuity negatively. I find that people on the tend to overestimate how woke the general population is(spoiler alert- not very, although they're also not tradcons). And historically the default society tends to think it's very important for women to be virgins at marriage, and for a man, quite strange or very rude to ask.

Yes, many feminists think that women should have reproductive rights and men shouldn't. To be frank, this is mostly about trying to benefit women as a class and not give their opponents ammunition(can you imagine the amount of ammo it would give to the pro-life movement if men had the power to demand their partners get abortions, or otherwise had some legal method of exerting pressure to that effect?), not disapproval of male promiscuity. Demanding men who don't want to be a father be required to get a vasectomy is actually evidence in favor of this model; after all, a vasectomy by definition preserves the ability to have sex while preventing impregnation.

I don't understand your argument.

The breakdown of families comes to mind, which is of course for a myriad reasons, to a point where families are becoming far too expensive to sustain

What does this have to do with men seeking virgin wives and prostitutes?

So here's where I'm less certain; will decadence necessarily mean decline?

What decadence? Decadence of men seeking virgin wives and prostitutes or decadence of men failing to seek virgin wives and prostitutes? Decadence of prostitues not suffering enough consequences from being prostitutes? Decadence in the number of virgin wives? Also what decline? Of fertility? Of families? How does it relate to the topic of men seeking virgin wives and prostitutes?

Should we turn to traditional norms to reverse this trend?

What traditional norms? The traditional norm of men seeking virign wives and prostitutes? And also which trend? And how do they help? And why did these traditional norms go away?

Radfems are wrong about men. Most just want a woman who loves them. The men they hate are a loud minority. Same with incels and so called thots.

Radfems are wrong not only about men, they're also wrong about pretty much the entirety of gender relations and how it operates currently and historically. But I am used to seeing this kind of thing, at this point. It seems to be a general trend even among heterodox communities and the anti-woke that the ideological precepts of their opposition that they're most likely to accept (comparatively speaking) are the feminist ones, which is evident in the utterly bizarre conservative-TERF allyship that seems to be going on at the moment. There's also a similarity in the moral typecasting that feminists and conservatives (and many other people, too) engage in - to them, men are a by default "degenerate" group who need to be reined in and obligated to provide protection to the women around them, and women are a group deserving of special protections. They differ on many things, but on these fundamental perceptions I don't see any difference at all. Even the blank-slatist intersectionalists who believe that men engage in bad behaviour simply because of patriarchal norms still fundamentally engage in the same knee-jerk moral typecasting, they just attribute it to a different cause to make it fit with their blank-slatism.

It seems that if the community isn't an explicitly anti-feminist community (and sometimes even if it is), there's going to be an instinctual legitimacy assigned to feminist claims that doesn't get assigned to any other woke factions because they align with certain entrenched preconceptions and moral judgements that the other woke factions do not appeal to. Any group which is purportedly dedicated to "protecting women" tends to immediately align with most people's sensibilities. No matter how objectionable the rhetoric they churn out is, a base-level feeling of agreement with some of their precepts still seems to exist. There is something profoundly instinctual about the women-are-wonderful effect that makes it exist in most political factions, and it seems to me that any ideology that espouses these base talking points will always have some level of congruence with our knee-jerk beliefs that automatically confers upon it a huge advantage regardless of its validity.

The tradcon-terf alliance really isn't that weird- tradcons have numbers(compared to terfs) and terfs have institutional respectability(compared to tradcons), and they both have a similar goal(tell trans people to pound sand because their interests aren't important). And both of them are historically willing to align with groups they don't like very much to accomplish goals. And terfs judge correctly that tradcons have far less ability to pose an existential threat to them compared to wokes, while tradcons correctly judge that terfs are too abrasive and fractious to actually consolidate power.

Almost all sexual violence is committed by young men.

Years ago, I was surprised to learn that this wasn’t really the case. Maybe historically?

(Note the three- to four-fold difference between lifetime female-victim rape rates and male-victim made-to-penetrate rates, which I would consider “large majority” but not quite “almost all”, and how the 12-month male-victim made-to-penetrate rates are actually higher than female-victim rape rates, comparing table 3.1 to 3.5.

There isn’t a breakdown for 12-month assaults by sex of perpetrator, but if we wanted to use the lifetime rates of perpetration (as shown in tables 3.4 and 3.8) to adjust the 12-month victimization rates so we only include cross-sex victimization, it only makes the rates of victimization between M->F and F->M almost exactly comparable.

I was extremely surprised by this when I dug it up and looked at the stats. I recall that I couldn’t seem to do the same for the 2015 and 2018 reports, because they seem to have removed the 12-month rates and/or the perpetrator sex breakdown. I recall also wanting to find similar statistics for other countries, but that was more difficult, so I gave up.

So for some reason male perpetration has gone down over decades, but female perpetration has gone up, so much so that the sexes are raping each other at similar rates (at least in the US)!

Even given that I might’ve fucked up this very simple analysis, the rates of victimization alone are very different from what we expect from the zeitgeist.)

Yep, I was wondering if I should tackle this topic in my comment but decided it was already lengthy enough as it was and wanted to refrain from unceremoniously burying them in data from the outset. I'm glad someone else brought it up though.

There's not only the NISVS, either, there's other corroborating data which indicates that women are no angels when it comes to sexual offending. For example, here is a 2012 research paper using data from the U.S. Census Bureau's nationally representative National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC, 2001-02). It found in a sample of 43,000 adults little difference in the sex of selfreported sexual perpetrators. Of those who affirmed that they had “ever force[d] someone to have sex … against their will,” 43.6% were female and 56.4% were male.

Young men commit the vast majority of violent crime in every population on earth.

And are we going to acknowledge the flip side of this, too? I always find it a bit surprising how we've gendered violence of all kinds as male (even types of violence which aren't primarily male-perpetrated, like domestic violence) but almost completely fail to acknowledge that most bystanders who go out of their way to risk their lives for somebody else or expose themselves to danger to protect somebody else are also men.

Even in non-dangerous scenarios, you can see greater male helping behaviours in a public context.

"One hundred forty-five experimenters "accidentally" dropped a handful of pencils or coins on 1,497 occasions before a total of 4,813 bystanders in elevators in Columbus, Ohio; Seattle, Washington; and Atlanta, Georgia. In picking up the objects, females received more help than did males, males gave more help than did females, and these differences were greatly exaggerated in Atlanta."

In addition, this study does a review of the literature surrounding gender and helping.

"Many previous studies have found that males are more likely to give help than females and/or that females are more likely to receive it than males (e.g., Bryan and Test, 1967; Ehlert et al., 1973; Gaertner and Bickman, 1971; Graf and Riddle, 1972; Latane, 1970; Morgan, 1973; Penner et al., 1973; Piliavin and Piliavin, 1972; Piliavin et al., 1969; Pomazal and Clore, 1973; Simon, 1971; Werner, 1974; Wispe and Freshly, 1971). A few studies have found no main effects due to sex (Gruder and Cook, 1971; Thayer, 1973) and in one case males were more likely to receive help (Emswiller et al., 1971). Two studies have found cross-sex helping to be more frequent than same-sex helping (Bickman, 1974; Thayer, 1973), one has found same-sex helping to be more common (Werner, 1974), and most have found no difference. Although the relation of sex to helping may depend on the specific type of help requested, it is clear that in the preponderance of settings tested to date, males help more than females, and females receive more help than males."

Heroism is likely mostly engaged in by men. As this article notes:

"To this end, we investigated reactions to newsworthy, exceptional social roles that are often dealt with in the media: hero and murderer. Both social roles attract much attention and have similarly low percentages of women (ca. 10–20%). In the US, only 9% of the recipients of the Carnegie Hero Medal for saving others are women, and in Germany only about 20% of similar medals are awarded to women. This may be because there are fewer women in professions such as firefighters, soldiers, or police officers—jobs involving dangerous situations where jobholders can act heroically."

I would differ from the authors here. Fewer women in dangerous professions is likely not a very big reason for the difference in heroism found between men and women, because the Carnegie Hero Medal excludes from awards of persons such as firefighters whose duties in their regular vocations require heroism, unless the act of heroism is truly outstanding. "The act of rescue must be one in which no full measure of responsibility exists between the rescuer and the rescued, which precludes those whose vocational duties require them to perform such acts, unless the rescues are clearly beyond the line of duty; and members of the immediate family, except in cases of outstanding heroism where the rescuer loses his or her life or is severely injured."

This article in Men's Health notes "nine out of every 10 Carnegie heroes have been men".

"Heroic rescuing behaviour is a male-typical trait in humans ... This study looked at news archives of local papers in the UK in order to discover what kind of characteristics rescuers possess. It was found that males were highly more likely to rescue than females were".,%2C%20violence%20and%20traffic%20accidents

When it comes to men there's very much a misleading tendency to focus on the negative manifestations of their tendency towards public sphere agency and ignore all the positive ways it manifests. I think in the past we had a more balanced viewpoint surrounding it, and there's been a very motivated attempt to stamp out positive perceptions of men due to an idea that these perceptions are problematic. It's very hard for me not to see the slow erasure of positive male qualities from the public discourse as being intentional.

And also the next problem with your point is that it basically ignores the role women play in creating violence. Men are expected to commit violence on behalf of women, and to perform on behalf of women. And you can easily see plenty of instances throughout history of women weaponising that social expectation and openly cajoling men into performing violence against others, as I mentioned in a previous comment of mine. But violence by proxy perpetrated by women is, again, largely a topic that is taboo in the public discourse.

to a point where families are becoming far too expensive to sustain.

Can you expand on why you think families are too expensive to maintain?

will decadence necessarily mean decline?

I believe so, and I think it might take a century or two. The future will belong to the people who "show up" genetically which means eventually the vast majority will have hardcore trad parents and or grandparents, hardcore in the sense that they resisted the current corrosive liberalism by virtue of their personality traits, cultural or religious tradition, or whatever. There was some triumphalism during the age of New Atheism about how fast many faiths were hemorrhaging members, but I think that those were the easy pickings and eventually a hard core will remain, and the numbers will stabilize and then reverse course. Of course, it's possible by then that the groups will be small enough that they can successfully be painted as "dangerous to democracy" by liberals and destroyed with punitive laws, taxation, lawfare, and targeted propaganda. Who knows.

how can traditional norms become tenable enough to be a potential solution?

I've come to believe that this is impossible, or at least unbelievably difficult. Liberalism, scientism, and humanism have thoroughly penetrated every level of education, entertainment, and "common sense" morality, to the point where it's the water in which every westerner has been swimming for at least several generations. This is a trumph for the secular humanist/liberal projects, but unfortunately it turns out that the axioms in which these projects rest lead to beliefs that are incompatible with societal flourishing (while being great for - a certain definition of - atomized individual flourishing). It's hard enough to remain Christian swimming in this water, nevermind trying to convert the fish who believe they are totally at home in it! It would be like parachuting into North Korea and trying to convince a random North Korean farmer --while you are both still in North Korea -- that the U.S. president is actually a good guy and Americans mean them no harm and that they should unilaterally disarm and then engage in trade with the archenemy. Even if the farmer wanted to, the years of slogans, of propaganda, of emotional speeches by the dear leader would make it extremely painful to change his mind, and even if he did, he would be under constant mental and emotional pressure to "deconvert." So it goes with traditional values today. Absent an authoritarian right wing theocratic coup, I think you're out of luck.

I believe so, and I think it might take a century or two. The future will belong to the people who "show up" genetically which means eventually the vast majority will have hardcore trad parents and or grandparents

What about once we get solid tech for 'test-tube babies' or otherwise take out the inconvenience and risk of pregnancy? I don't see this talked about often, but the time is coming. Much of the conceptual work has been done on artificial wombs, what's really holding us back is regulation. To point to your own username, don't you think that this type of advance will change the game when it comes to reproduction?

Color me doubtful on artificial wombs. You basically need to implement an artificial version of every single organ in order to build a proper artificial womb, and all of those other artificial organs will be much more profitable sold to elderly people with deep pockets and failing organs.

That's before you even manage to convince a zygote to implant on your artificial membrane.

And keep in mind, we're having difficulty keeping baby formula on the shelves.

You'll still need people to actually raise the children, and the time and effort required for childrearing is unattractive in a society that offers lots of other pleasures for far, far less commitment.

I suppose test tube babies could have a large impact if we reach a point where the family has been so discredited as an institution that people are comfortable with the government creating and raising children. But even then I imagine there would be objections on progressive grounds -- why create more children in a planet that's already overpopulated? Why not just allow still more immigrants to come in if we simply need more people?

Why would it? Fear of pregnancy is not the main reason for childlessness. "Kids are unaffordable" may or may not be true, but it's not usually intended as a reference to the cost of childbirth.

Modern people who don't have kids don't have them because they don't want to raise them, not because they don't want to make them.

I believe so, and I think it might take a century or two. The future will belong to the people who "show up" genetically which means eventually the vast majority will have hardcore trad parents and or grandparents, hardcore in the sense that they resisted the current corrosive liberalism by virtue of their personality traits, cultural or religious tradition, or whatever.

Do not expect any "religious gene" or "trad gene". If there is any genetic trait that insular religious sects select for in their members, it is going to be WORM type of brain.

"In your childhood, listen carefully to authority figures and never ever in your whole life question what you have learned."

Just like insects on small islands with nowhere to fly tend to lose wings, the new type of human will lose any curiosity or "openness of mind".

I am finding myself increasingly convinced that very few people value such things as "openness of mind" or "freedom" as ends in themselves, anyway. (Some who do tend to be "fools who take things seriously," as I call myself, which would be a type pretty overrepresented here.)

I mean, I, who have at least convinced myself that such things are good, would justify them something like this: freedom (and curiosity and so forth) are important because we can never be perfectly sure that we have things right. We could still be wrong about something terribly important, and so, to avoid trapping ourselves in a Hell of ignorance, we forswear the ability to ever secure ourselves into any supposed Heaven of enlightenment. (After all, reaching such a standard of absolute perfection is infinitely unlikely, so intellectual humility tells me.)

But a lot of people don't share that view of intellectual humility. A lot of people believe that they already do have the way to produce that Heaven on Earth, and if only people would stop disagreeing or disobeying, everything would be perfect. In light of this, "freedom" and "openness of mind" and "intellectual humility" and "democracy" (Erdogan: "Democracy is like a streetcar. When you come to your stop, you get off.") are valued ultimately as pretenses or covers just to keep the current hegemons from cracking down on them long enough to get The Right People with The Right Ideas into power. And after that, it's time to pull the ladder up behind them; slam and lock the door, to ensure that the ways by which the truth came in would never tempt anyone away.

This doesn't even particularly depend on the beliefs themselves: it isn't some flaw unique to the "trad" or to the "woke" or that can't be shared by anyone, really. It's just a question of confidence versus humility: after all, if you really did know for sure the Ultimate Truth, wouldn't all the process of truth-seeking from then on really be just a dangerous temptation from which no good can come, that nobody should be permitted to bother with? Even I would agree, but no matter how sure I am in my beliefs or how important they are to me, I forswear the right to say that I really for sure have the ultimate truth, for if everybody who thought that way before me was wrong - I should be chastened by the fact that the odds are very much against me, so I will give up the right to secure my Heaven so I don't end up creating Hell.

Isn't it pretty well established that likelihood of having religious beliefs, and social conservatism, are both at least partially genetic?

Unfortunately the intellectual commons are just barren nowadays. I think it was a mistake to throw open the doors to allowing everyone to comment on politics/society etc. We should've kept the masses happy with bred and circuses, while a trained aristocratic class a la @2rafa quietly keeps things running in the background.

Ironically it's easier to be liberal when you're in a constrained, elite social group, because you can select for high decouplers.

We should've kept the masses happy with bred and circuses, while a trained aristocratic class a la @2rafa quietly keeps things running in the background.

Be very cautious of endorsing an unaccountable set of leaders, for they may very well decide you and yours are next on the chopping block.

I'm pretty sure it's the trained aristocratic class that's keeping the intellectual commons barren.

When we had a trained aristocratic class, they went all-in on Marxism. This does not strike me as a great idea.

If there is any genetic trait that insular religious sects select for in their members, it is going to be WORM type of brain.

Citation sorely needed. This just sounds like some uncharitable "all religions are cults and believers are just brainless automatons" claptrap.

"In your childhood, listen carefully to authority figures and never ever in your whole life question what you have learned."

But their parents will have spent their entire lives actively resisting and disobeying authority figures to adhere to their traditions? That sounds like the opposite of your 1-dimensional strawman.

As a side note, I've engaged with you several times here and you're only ever abrasive and uncharitable. I'm not really sure what your goal is, but it doesn't seem to be to convince those who may disagree with you, so I'll probably reply less going forward. Feel free to have the last word.

Maybe he phrased it churlishly, but I see what he means. The trads are less defying authority than they are preferring one authority over another. Among the traditionally-minded there are many highly intelligent people. In my little homeschooling circle there are computer programmers, a guy with a phd in engineering physics, a woman with a masters in musical accompaniment, etc. They are also all evangelical Christians. Normally we don’t think of evangelicals as highly-educated, but these people border on hyper-educated. Except that both their education and religious inclination depend on strict adherence to agreed-upon truths. I, a de facto wordcel, show up and try to make conversation about ideas- their ideas! Physics! Music! Code! and it’s the embodiment of the NPC meme. They absolutely cannot think outside their boxes, and even thinking inside their boxes takes the form of mere recitation of principles. If the regeneration of the West ever comes, it will come after the traditionalists’ descendants recreate something like worst aspects of the middle ages. So expect it in 400 years, not 200.

The trads are less defying authority than they are preferring one authority over another.

Is this not equally true of non-trads in general? In the words of the poet:

"I'm an emo kid, non-conforming as can be

you'd be non-conforming too if you were just like me."

Have you seen a general population of normies that actually qualify as "defying authority" or "thinking for themselves" or "persuing individualism" in some truly rigorous sense?

Almost definitionally, no, because normies are ‘people more conformist than the reference group’.

eh, for this purpose, read "normie" as "normal", "not unusual", "not outstanding."

Take the Atheist community. Is it your experience that the average atheist in, say, 2010 was unusually non-conformist?

That's an interesting anecdote, thanks for sharing. I'm not too surprised to hear it since I've come to believe that the overwhelming majority of people are the way you describe. I work in tech in a very blue tribe and progressive company. The engineers here are smart, heck even the salespeople here are pretty smart relative to most salespeople I've met. In my first year here I (perhaps unwisely) tried to discuss ideas with some of my closer colleagues. Each time, I was met with talking points or indifference. I think that the vast majority of people are just uninterested in and/or incapable of contributing to a discussion about complex abstract ideas. Now I mostly talk about TV shows, beer, or people to get along.

If the regeneration of the West ever comes, it will come after the traditionalists’ descendants recreate something like worst aspects of the middle ages.

The "respect for authority" gene can't be mutually exclusive with creativity. If it were, humanity would never have gotten to where it is today. Widespread suspicion and rejection of authority is a very recent and, I suspect, very American phenomenon. The vast majority of people in history just took the authority of their rulers and social betters as a given, and yet somehow they managed to produce beautiful art and novel ideas all the same.

Also, I think this depends heavily on your definition of "regeneration." If it means "a return to liberal secular humanist values, the sexual revolution, and atomized individualism" then yes, I agree. But to me that would be degeneration, not regeneration.

If these supposedly stultified traditionalists built a society based on respect for hierarchy and love of God, county, family, and peace, I would see that as a regeneration of Western society to its former glory. A modern observer might think therewould be less "creative ferment" because there might be no more tumorous postmodern skyscrapers, no more "piss Christ" exhibits, no more international NGOs evangelizing an ever expanding list of "human rights" to coerce societies to ever greater levels of "freedom." But then he might be missing the innovations in classical architecture, the Renaissance in symbolic religious art, or the flourishing of local "intermediate institutions" binding communities and families closer together in a way that is sorely missing in his own time.

Sure, but among my tradcath circle there's many people who have large families and will then talk philosophy or speculative linguistics or musical composition or literature until they're blue in the face. My anecdata is more or less the opposite of yours.

This might be old news.

A Swedish newspaper published a report, ostensibly a leak from RAND that purports to be a cynical summary of what anti-atlanticist Europeans believe to be the US strategy - sabotage Europe by denying it Russian energy, forcing investments and people to leave for the safer haven of US. Example of that is this substack post by disgraced academic Noah Carl.

The report is not very long and could very easily be a fake.

My intuitiojn says I think it's probably a fake, well within the capabilities of some of the less stupid Russian disinfo experts to create. Certainly I can imagine Russian spooks may have at least one or two people like Ilforte, but rabidly nationalist, who could make that up during lunch break.

Anyway has anything to say about it? I'm assuming the newspaper isn't a well-regarded one or a very professional one. But then I've heard very dire things about Swedish journalism, namely that it was extremely well aligned in the service of the 'liberal' left agenda of endless migration and self-hatred. That was years ago, things may have changed.

I remember this being shared in WhatsApp groups. Ilforte has written enough about this document that I have nothing to add.

This, or a similar hoax, has been bouncing around the internet circa March or April, I think. I recall seeing it on /r/stupidpol, /r/credibledefense, /r/moderatepolitics, telegram channels, etc. So other outlets have been aware of it for six months now and have chosen not to push it, including outlets quite friendly to pro-Russian/anti-imperialist viewpoints. Which isn't a perfect test, someone needs to be first and sometimes stuff slips through the cracks. But for a low-tier Swedish newspaper to be the first to push this story seems very lacking in credibility. I could sorta believe they broke it if the leak were fresh, for whatever reason, but I can't believe that they were the only ones to notice this big document bouncing around the internet.

Anyway has anything to say about it?

The alleged article or the sentiment behind it?

The report is very likely a fake, for reasons already mentioned. I will note that the use of roman numerals isn't discrediting in and of itself- RAND does use sometimes publish reports and use roman numerals for the agenda / methodology / executive summary portion before the main report itself- but rather the cover page itself is a red flag. The image claims this is a research report, but RAND Research Reports have a general style of presentation, include front-page opening images and color. You can peruse RAND Research Reports via a search of their website, as the pictures show.

Another formatting red flag is the mis-classification label. The first page graphic- which says this is 'Confidential' under 'January 25, 2022'- is mixing a few things. For one, RAND isn't an American government agency, and while it's a common belief in various circles that it's a distinction without a difference, classification (mis)labeling is one of those areas where it matters. 'Confidential' is an American classification labeling, and when reports are classified, the documents have various formatting requirements such as having the label on each page, and portion-marking individual paragraphs. This is so that the readers can reference various parts of the document at various levels or contexts. If the implicit argument is RAND is part/an extension of the American government, this would be a job-retraining failure. If the more defensible position is that this is something RAND wrote for the government, it would be customer abuse. A lot of companies/groups with regular engagement with governments will develop their own, internal control measures rather than mis-use the government's own classification system.

A third red flag is the front page distribution list. Aside from the placement on the page- above the Executive Summary, which is where the RAND logo is placed? Really?- I assume by WHCS they mean White House Chief of Staff, but that's not an office, and wouldn't be in the same context as three letter agencies. Also conspicuously absent from the distribution list is the Treasury Department- a kind of big omission of any report nominally on economic analysis. Instead, the list is primarily the big spooky externally known 3-letter agencies... when there isn't a need for that information to be on the Executive Summary Page in the first place. That's the sort of information you track on a cover sheet, so you don't need to re-publish a report every time some new office is involved.

Overall, the formatting has a lot of red flags, and most of the potential explanations- 'they didn't follow their usual practices because of the need for secrecy'- ask people to be dumb in different ways. 'This was made by someone who thinks this is how the Americans work' is much more likely...

...not least because the article really doesn't reflect how the American government national-security types think about this general topic, or Europe, and so the report reads like 'this was written by someone who thinks this is how the Americans think,' or even 'this is written by someone who wants other people to think this is how the Americans think.'

The Americans don't talk about the Europeans in terms of 'sovereignty.' The American establishment viewpoint is that the Europeans already have it- it's the anti-American/anti-American-empire-ists who would frame the European alliances as non-sovereign, not a quasi-government report. Nor is a Biden-administration solicited report going to talk about Europe in terms of 'if one day we abandon Europe,' when the opening year of the Biden administration was ABT, or Anything But Trump, with even the exceptions subject to rebranding for the 'we're back' theme. Nor would the US of Jan 2022 been talking about Ukraine causing a 'controlled economic crisis' to plan for the duration of 2022... because the Americans were planning for a relatively quick and short Russia-Ukraine War. The Americans were flowing insurgency-friendly weapons into Ukraine, but not heavier conventional equipment, because of the expectation that Russia would have a conventional victory in short order. Second and third order effects of that would be the expectation that- as happened repeatedly before- German and other European interests would press for normalization of Energy supplies (and even currently, with the gas price cap, set a price above what was generally being charged, ie. not actually capping prices or flow). Broader pushback against sanctions primarily has not happened because Ukraine remained in the fight... but Ukraine remaining in the fight was manifestly not something the Americans were planning on. If Ukraine's government had toppled in the first month, months 2-10 of the war, and all the sanctions discussions that occurred, would have gone very differently.

Meanwhile, the report doesn't identify various things the American national-security types would raise about if it WAS an American product. Like the description of the German economic pillars: that wouldn't be Russian gas and 'cheap French electrical power.' The other pillar would be something akin to 'exports to China,' because that's something the Americans care about far more than French electrical imports, and is relevant to the strategic-level topic. There would be mentions that the German military under-spending, because that's been a long, long on-going complaint from the American perspective that goes hand-in-hand with the Russian energy reliance- both are decades-long-issues that have been persistent issues in mind.

Add to this the plethora of pejorative framings and boo-light words almost specifically driven to incite German/European emotions ('trap,' 'lack of professionalism of current leaders,' 'thanks to our precise action,' the whole 'French dependent on AUKUS' framing)- which just so coincidentally predicted a political context almost a year later after multiple unpredicted inflection points in the Ukraine unforeseeable at the time, which is just so coincidentally being leaked at a time when those framing devices and predictions are most salient to ongoing contexts...

...while also embracing the framing that Ukraine was an American trap, and that Russia was 'provoked' so that it would be 'possible' to declare Russia the aggressor... a report nominally authored in late January 22, when the Russians had already been moving their invasion hardware along the various invasion axis assembly areas in the clear logistical buildup that the American government was publicizing at the time, but that this report makes no reference to...

Obvious false-flag information effort, targeting people who are only vaguely familiar with the alleged participants or Ukrainian context, or stroking the biases of those vulnerable to agreeing by what Stephen Colbert once called the truthiness of it.

To me, this looks like "The Protocols of the Elders of Columbia." What stands out to me most is that it doesn't feel like it's written from the authentic perspective of somebody in on such a scheme: usually, the harms inflicted by one's foes are much less sadistically targeted than one imagines them to be.

The very first paragraph of the Executive Summary has red flags: "the uncontrolled issue of cash" instead of "issuance," "dollar supply" rather than "money supply."

Also, "loss in the position of the Democratic Party in Congress" is odd phrasing, and I doubt that RAND would refer to "costs for us" rather than "costs to the United States."

And "the" is omitted in "a major obstacle to it is growing independence of Germany," and is used unnecessarily in other places. Classic English language learner errors.

It's an error that I believe is more prevalent in Slavs, who don't use that many definite articles. Or any. Not clear. What do you think /u/georgioz ?

Germans probably wouldn't make that many similar errors, on account of them using definite and indefinite articles.

Heinlein's (quite good, actually) book 'Moon is a Harsh Mistress', where the Lunar colony has a significant Russian speaking component is written without using many definite articles.

It's an error that I believe is more prevalent in Slavs, who don't use that many definite articles. Or any. Not clear. What do you think /u/georgioz ?

I'm sure someone will come up with an obscure example of why this is technically wrong*, but I'm a native Polish speaker (and studied Russian for several years, under protest) and AFAIK Slavic languages generally don't use articles, either definite or indefinite.

*Googled it, and apparently Bulgarian and Macedonian sort of do. (Edit: For some reason didn't see the other post that already made this point before replying...)

It's definitely somewhat prevalent, but the error rate drops very quickly with proficiency, so I wouldn't expect anyone able to write a semi-convincing fake of this sort of publication to still struggle with it.

The use of articles varies subtly even between languages who generally use them; Romance languages use articles in many situations in which English does not, and vice versa.

The only Slavic langauges with articles are Bulgarian and Macedonian (which sometimes considered as a dialect of the former) and they don't look similar to types in English etc.

Polish has no articles at all. But more importantly, as I understand, they do not exist in Russian language.

a/an/the is an irritating stuff for me.

Having a brief read of it, I'm inclined to believe it's a fake. Honestly, the grammar in some parts is so odd I don't think it was even written by someone who has English as their first language. Some things that make me suspicious:

1. The page numbering. The pages are numbered using roman numerals rather than the normal arabic characters. This is common for things like the preface to reports but my general experience (admittedly limited) is that executive summaries tend to be part of the main body and numbered appropriately. Additionally there are no page numbers visible on the title page or copyright page but the "Executive Summary" page starts at "iii". It's normal for title pages and copyright pages not to be numbered but they also are generally excluded from the numbering system altogether such that the first page after them ought to be "i", not "iii". Either two numbered pages are missing between the copyright page and the "Executive Summary" titled page or something odd is happening here.

2. Some of the acronyms on the "distribution" line on the title page don't mean anything to me. "Dept. of State", "CIA", "NSA", and "DNC" are all presumably clear enough (although, an odd grouping) but "WHCS" does not seem to be anything I can find with a Google or Wikipedia search and the only ANSA that seems relevant is... an Italian news agency? Of course, just because I can't find any relevant hits doesn't mean they don't exist but I'm not sure what they are supposed to indicate and no likely matches suggest themselves.

3. Grammatical and general formatting problems. For example the final paragraph on page "iii" (which is also a single sentence) reads (emphasis added):

Besides, if the U.S. is for a certain period is engulfed by domestic problems, the Old Europe will be able to more effectively resists the influence of the U.S.-oriented Eastern European countries.

of course, it's possible the repeated "if" is something an editor missed, but it is suggestive. The document uses the "Old Europe" construction in a number of places, apparently intending to mean Western Europe. I've never heard this construction before and would be interested if anyone has examples of other RAND reports that use it. The first paragraph on the last page has the sentence

The scenario under consideration will thus serve to strengthen the national financial condition both indirectly and most directly.

"both indirectly and most directly" is not a construction I have ever read in English and does not read like natural English to me. There are other constructions that seem odd but these were the ones that jumped out the most.

4. The whole thing is written much more... directly... regarding its goal of harming various European countries to the benefit of the US than I would expect. Not that people planning bad things never write them down but this is, like, "notes on a criminal conspiracy" level. I would expect any descriptions of intentions, estimates of results, and desirability, to be written much more circumspectly. With much more room for plausible deniability, especially by an operation like RAND.

  1. The page numbering. The pages are numbered using roman numerals rather than the normal arabic characters. This is common for things like the preface to reports but my general experience (admittedly limited) is that executive summaries tend to be part of the main body and numbered appropriately. Additionally there are no page numbers visible on the title page or copyright page but the "Executive Summary" page starts at "iii". It's normal for title pages and copyright pages not to be numbered but they also are generally excluded from the numbering system altogether such that the first page after them ought to be "i", not "iii". Either two numbered pages are missing between the copyright page and the "Executive Summary" titled page or something odd is happening here.

There are other formatting issues on the pages- RAND doesn't usually put their symbol, or date and (mis-)classification on the Executive Summary page- but I will note that the roman numerals itself isn't off.

RAND regularly has a numbering divide between the main-body of a report, and the pre-body pages that include the copyright page, the agenda, but also the executive summary. Pre-main body material will be in roman numerals, with main body reports in arabic characters. The 'missing' pages would likely have been the Agenda and the Methodology pages... but the implication they were only a page each, on an executive summary this length, is itself a red flag.

Note also that "the Old Europe" is suspect; a native English speaker would not include the article there.

Old Europe is a bit of an odd one since it hasn't really been used prominently in almost two decades, but it got some traction when the Bush admin used this framing to bash France and Germany in comparison to Eastern European countries that supported the Iraq War adventure.

I agreefully with your reply and believe you are right.

Hopefully Ilforte won't be insulted by my OP.

to be written much more circumspectly.

Given the levels of narrative control the US blue state possesses, that is perhaps a prudent attitude that is no longer necessary.

I've been amazed by some of the opinions I've seen - for example, that when FBI pressured Twitter to censor Trump, that was a 2nd amendment violation, but that Trump is the guilty party. It's a very powerful take, a case of 'woke are more correct than the mainstream'. Yes, Trump failed to rein in the deep state and keep it within acceptable limits.

Not that he was ever likely to do so, but doesn't the responsibility lie with the big boss ?

Why would I be insulted? That's all true, down to the trouble with missing or unnecessary articles (I despise the very notion of a definite article). I've been advised to agree to this career path, too.

Might even be flattering – that article is making rounds, apparently. Months ago, I've asked a Swedish guy what he makes of it. His conclusion was the same as the consensus here: BS.

Nevertheless, I think we have enough legitimate leaks and official admissions and absence of satisfactory responses to accusations coming from European figures to tell that such undermining of European economies and sovereignty and poaching of talent is, if not a proactive policy, then certainly not a negative scenario in the eyes of Anglo/American State Security. (We might even suspect that such immediately discredited fakes are part of the master plan to hide the truth, like in Eliezer's Meta-Truther 9/11 story). There are only two decent objections: «what if the europoors figure it out» and «strong Europe benefits the US»; neither is particularly watertight. As Russia grinds itself to fine paste on Ukrainian fortifications, Europeans become increasingly irrelevant, and they don't have a choice of allies anyway – not like they can turn to China; neither will they be of much help in the coming war, so the expected value of prolonging the agony of the Western half of Eurasia and maintaining appearances is below that of quickly reindustrializing the US and dealing with the East.

That's a cynical way of looking at things, but what can I do. Half a year ago I've written on «great replacement» and the same epistemology should apply here – adjusted for greater secrecy and moral particularism of spooks.

Some links from mainstream sources:

  • Wikipedia, The Wolfowitz Doctrine: «Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. … We must maintain the mechanism for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role.»

  • The Guardian, Key US-EU trade pact under threat after more NSA spying allegations Espionage: «The impact of the Der Spiegel allegations may be felt more keenly in Germany than in Brussels. The magazine said Germany was the foremost target for the US surveillance programmes, categorising Washington's key European ally alongside China, Iraq or Saudi Arabia in the intensity of the electronic snooping. … Under the international intelligence agreements, nations are categorised by the US according to their trust level. The US is defined as 'first party' while the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand enjoy 'second party' trusted relationships. Countries such as Germany and France have 'third party', or less trusted, relationships.» Note however that American sources at the time were pooh-poohing this whole narrative.

  • National Review, Lord Ismay, NATO, and the Old-New World Order: «The purpose of the new treaty organization founded in 1952, Ismay asserted, was “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”… Ismay, a favorite of Churchill’s and a military adviser to British governments, had a remarkable sense of history — namely that constants such as historical memory, geography, and national character always transcend the politics of the day. … Lastly in his triad of advice, Ismay referred generically to “Germany” — without specifying a contemporary friendly and allied West Germany, juxtaposed to the Soviet-inspired, Communist, and hostile East Germany. Again, the East–West German fault line existed in Ismay’s time; yet he reduced all those unique differences of his age into a generic “Germany down.” … Once again, if there were not Angela Merkel’s increasingly defiant Germany, it too would have to be created. Some in the United States were troubled that Angela Merkel, from a beer hall in Munich no less, recently lashed out at the United States and promised that Germany might just have to navigate between the U.S. and Russia — quite a thought from a Germany once saved largely by the United States from its own carnivorousness and later likely Communist servitude.»

  • Bloomberg, Macron Accuses US of Trade ‘Double Standard’ Amid Energy Crunch: «“The North American economy is making choices for the sake of attractiveness, which I respect, but they create a double standard” with lower energy prices domestically while selling natural gas to Europe at record prices, Macron said at a news conference in Brussels following a meeting of European Union leaders.»

  • On Twitter, a video of some French guy who's allegedly an Economy Minister: «I think it's time for us Europeans to tell our American friends that we are very concerned about the Inflation Reduction Act and that it could cause the deindustrialization of Europe

  • Peter Zeihan on the same topic: «And so Biden's general position is: you can suck it». A few of my regular opponents are Zeihan stans, share his smug attitude towards Old Worlders, so it's neat to have it on record.

And so on and so forth; if someone is to make the case for EU as an independent pole, I'd rather it was an actual European.

Ultimately it doesn't matter, Europeans have sovereignty but not enough sovereignty to weasel out of this global house of cards collapse. The strong do what they want, and the weak suffer what they must. Putin is generally correct in his theoretical understanding of geopolitics; the only issue is, he ignored most dimensions of strength and was deluded regarding ones he believed all-important.