The River’s Edge

Reorganizing a book shelf the other day, I found a book that I was sure I had read a few years ago, but I had no memory of it. Looking it over, I realized I never did read it, so I put it in the queue. For some reason, I read a lot more in the winter than the summer, so I can knock out a book every few days. The book in question is Why Nations Fail, by economists Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson. It was a big seller back in 2012 when it came out. That’s probably why I bought it, but for some reason I never read it.

The book starts out describing the city of Nogales, which straddles the border between Mexico and the United States. The authors point out that the part of the city on the US side is fairly safe, well organized and reasonably prosperous, for that part of the country. The part of the city on the Mexico side is riddled with corruption, rocket high crime rates and grinding poverty. They quickly point out that the demographics of both halves are about the same, so the only possible explanation for the difference is the institutions.

What they don’t mention is that the Mexican half of Nogales is attached to Mexico, a land full of Mexicans. The American side is attached to a country not full of Mexicans, at least not yet. Nogales is an hour south of Tuscon, which is more than 50% white. Arizona is now 60% non-Hispanic white and only about 4% black. Further, the Hispanic population is mostly the El Norte variety. In other words, it is good demographics that results in those good institutions. They don’t go there. In fact, they never go there.

The book runs through a bunch of examples of how institutions can make or break a society. They even travel back in time to examine how events like revolutions or wars broke old bad institutions, allowing for new good institutions to flourish. The English Civil War comes up multiple times, to explain how the Industrial Revolution started there first. They spend a considerable amount of time talking about colonialism, to explain how the bad institutions created by he West, forever crippled their former colonies.

Again and again, the authors work backwards from present economics, through politics and history to arrive at institutions as the first cause. As a survey of world history, it is very interesting. The authors even accidentally make the point that serendipity has a huge role in history. They call this “critical junctures” and use a bunch of examples where a country’s elite chose poorly. But, they can never ask the question, why did they choose poorly? Instead, they just treat that as the river’s edge, never bothering to go further.

In fact, that’s the reason for the title of this post. The image that kept coming to mind while reading this book is of a group of explorers trying to find their way out of a valley. They keep ending up at the edge of a river. Instead of wading over to the other side, they wander around, sure that there must be some other way out. In this case, the river is culture. The authors stop at culture, never wondering what is beyond it, not because they fear what’s on the other side, but because they don’t seem to think there is another side.

That’s what is so weird about this book. Usually, there is at least one section where the author goes to great pains to acknowledge the arguments from biological realism, but vigorously dismiss them as bad-think. That never happens here. Instead, it’s as if the authors have never considered the possibility that Africa is the way it is because it is full of Africans. Instead, they just repeatedly make the point that poor countries have corrupt institutions, while rich countries have more open public institutions.

For instance, the authors write stuff like “World inequality exists because during the 19th and 20th century some nations were able to take advantage of the Industrial Revolution and the technologies and methods of organization that it brought, while others were unable to do so.” The implication of this is that the Industrial Revolution just happened by magic in England, instead of Botswana. The best they can muster is to point out that the English Civil War accelerated the end of feudalism in England, compared to the Continent.

One of the more comical bits is how they try to explain why Western nations did not fall back into despotism, like European colonies after independence. The answer is what they describe as a virtuous cycle, which is a special brand of magic that makes sure only white countries maintain open institutions.The serendipitous magic creates the inclusive institutions and then the magic of virtuous cycles keeps the magic flowing. Of course, there are the vicious cycles that work the opposite, but only on non-white countries.

It is tempting to think that the people on the blank slate side of the river know the truth, but they just prefer to carry on with the blank slate fantasy. In individual cases, that may be true, but a lot of people truly believe that all people are the same everywhere, despite the mountain of evidence to contrary. Instead of reality causing doubts in their beliefs, they do like Acemoglu and Robinson. They invest all of their time and energy looking for the magic cause that explains reality, without contradicting the blank slate.

The result is we have this great divide in the West. I use the image of a river separating two groups of people. On the blank slate side of the river, they will come to water’s edge, but they never look across it, much less contemplate crossing it. On the other side, the biological realism side, the people wait patiently for the others to cross over, shouting words of encouragement to them. Every once in a while, a ferryman reaches the blank slate side and picks up some people and brings them across the river.

We could use more ferrymen.

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Thorsted
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Thorsted

The late Harvard economist, David Landes addresses culturel differences in economic development in his book “The Wealth and poverty of nations”. He says culture makes all the difference in economic development. His book came out 20.years ago and got a bad review in “The Economist”,-so I had to have it. A book from the same periode is the anthology by Samuel Huntington and Lawrence Harrison called “Culture matters”,- they clearly states that cultural differences is a tabu. The study of the differences between south and north Italy also makes the case of the importance’s of culture, family types, trust and… Read more »

slumlord
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slumlord

Agree, Landes’ book is fantastic. The other interesting take on this was by Niall Ferguson. He recounts how the Chinese Academy of Sciences was given the task by the Central Committee of the Communist party of finding out what made the West so strong. (Note, we all know where the Chinese stand on the IQ rankings)

The guys looked at everything, climate, population, technology etc. Their conclusion……….Christianity. I know this will piss a lot of people off but Landes (Jewish) comes to the same conclusion as well.

Saml Adams
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Saml Adams

Well, simply look at the schism in economic success between Great Britain/Netherlands and the rest of Europe that started in the 1600s. Difference? Both were the most intensely Protestant nations. “Sola Scriptura” had the benefit of also promoting literacy and overall supply of intellectual capital available in both nations.

Alzaebo
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Alzaebo

I have to submit that Chiristianity’s successes are not possible without White peoples. Christianity itself is the expression of whiteness. Not necessarily an external cause, unless you see the Hand at work in molding us as His tool. Either way, whites cause Christianity- it can uplift others, but will not make them a carbon copy of us. Universalism is the fatal deception. Perhaps they are meant for other things. The Father’s house is many mansions, each of many rooms. The saviors think to pack everyone into the same room. Why must you “save” the chaff? It is not meant to… Read more »

Alzaebo
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Alzaebo

PS- both slumlord and Saml make terrific points. The Chinese have their own version of Magic Dirt Theory, because they want to be us. They already have adopted our clothing, our music, our science. The Dutch and British really did break away, didn’t they? The famous Pirate Age was a science war fought on a global scale by explorer navies seeking the secret of navigation- measured longitude. The former Empire of Portugal, Spain, Britain, France, and the Dutch were all duking it out. No one else had done this except China’s Zheng Ho Treasure Fleet. Columbus had a map of… Read more »

Alzaebo
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Alzaebo

Another clue: Astronomy.
Jungle savages with no concept or measurement of time don’t create the advanced astronomical maths of the Mesoamericans.

Undoubtably another artifact of maserotic culture, the stargazing stonemasons who built the ziggerauts of the Bab-el to read the cycles of the heavens.

paul scott
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paul scott

Alzaebo >> There is the theory that the collapse of the Middle Eastern and Hittite cultures in Anatolia was multifactorial. This could include massive climate change, trade collapse across the entire region various, earthquakes, not sure about disease. The sea people from the West, Crete or wherever may have been refugees.

D&D Dave in the Bubble
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D&D Dave in the Bubble

I actually see a river with a fork in it dividing 3 groups of people. The “gimme” side, everybody and their brother standing at the rivers edge yelling for free stuff since they are too lazy to fix up their side of the river. then there is the “workers” side, where there are actually folks with morality and work ethic, trying to improve their side of the river and raise their standard of living. Then there is the “white guilt” side, who constantly demand that the “workers” open up their side of the river to accommodate the “gimme” people. When… Read more »

Mike@Mike.Mike
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Mike@Mike.Mike

A very large number of people that I know, who I would consider to be on the right side of most issues, draw a deep line (deep enough for water to run through… like a river… metaphor!) at race realism. Many of them are boomers, like my parents and their peers, but some are younger. The issue of the blank slate is in part almost a religious issue; because belief in it is faith based, standing in defiance of data and even just simple observation in many cases. The other part is white guilt, of course. I have made the… Read more »

calsdad
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calsdad

Just because “people” is superior to another – does not mean that the superior peoples HAVE TO rule over the inferior peoples. This is a mental defect in the brains of the typical leftist if you ask me. Because there is some part of their world view that impels them to be busybodies and or tyrants who just HAVE TO tell other people what to do. Unfortunately it has become infested thru our culture like a virus that we just can’t get rid of. In my younger days I thought it was some sort of obligation to tell a person… Read more »

cerulean
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cerulean

“Just because “people” is superior to another – does not mean that the superior peoples HAVE TO rule over the inferior peoples. This is a mental defect in the brains of the typical leftist if you ask me.”

Perhaps they believe that superior people actually DO have to rule over others … and in their vast, moral superiority, they are the ones to do the ruling.

The thought of any other kind of superiority trumping their own moral superiority is untenable to them.

Mike@Mike.Mike
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Mike@Mike.Mike

“Just because “people” is superior to another – does not mean that the superior peoples HAVE TO rule over the inferior peoples. ” Exactly right. The end game of HBD, at least to me, is to stop flushing billions of dollars into government programs and just let nature run its course. The smartest kids, regardless of identity, get accepted to college, for example. The other issue is that all these white guilt people seem to think that by reestablishing true freedom of association and ending the government’s propping up of less qualified victim groups, the country will see an immediate… Read more »

Zorost
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Zorost

“…does not mean that the superior peoples HAVE TO rule over the inferior peoples.”

99 times out of 10 if you want to understand why a liberal said something, you need to realize that liberals always project. Whatever a liberal accuses his enemy of is what the liberal is doing or plans to do.

LoveTheDonald
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LoveTheDonald

I think the real motivation for the while guilt folks is to make themselves feel superior by comparison to those of lesser intellect … the best definition of a liberal I’ve ever heard is someone who’s been educated beyond their IQ level. Also, bringing in hoards of low IQ individuals saddles other whites of superior talent and intellect with a burden that “levels the playing field” for the mediocrities that make up the white guilt left.

Alzaebo
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Alzaebo

My gosh, such great, great comments.
Youse guys are just nailing it.

D&D Dave in the Bubble
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D&D Dave in the Bubble

“I have a real problem with the idea that one group of people would be able to reign supreme (note the clear historical reference) over another.” You hit the nail on the head. Human history is full of examples of one group of people reigning supreme over another at one time or another. Not just whites, the Asians, Africans, Middle East, even American Indians had their tribes that would beat down on their weaker brothers for their land and resources. Then enter your 21st Century regressive liberal who thinks all oppressive history was at the hands of white folks. Of… Read more »

Mike@Mike.Mike
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Mike@Mike.Mike

To Dave:
Exactly, I didn’t really go into the obtuseness of the comment, but there are two things about that comment that struck me:
1) Every successful society has to have a dominant culture.
2) My friend is perfectly comfortable with one group of people reigning supreme over another. All it depends upon are the groups we are talking about. In his case, he being a Democrat, he has no problem with coastal elites making policies that dictate to flyover people how they are to live their lives.

Member

The kids can see how ridiculous things are because they are actually ridiculous. Our and our parent’s generations were able to buy into the idea that everyone is equal because the great social experiments hadn’t yet been tried. All the resistance to busing school children across cities was based in ignorance, etc. Well, the experiments were done and we know the results. Young men know now that they might not make it into high level professional schools because of their race, not because everyone is really the same on the inside. They know that all these social programs and the… Read more »

Bunny
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Bunny

I consider myself an HBD curious normie traditionalist. I can’t cross that river due to issues of emphasis and tone. No one who has a passing acquaintance with genetics can buy the total blank slate theory, but there are other factors in play as well. One can’t deny the tremendous influence of culture, institutions, religion, economic conditions, family structure, education, etc. in shaping human diversity. It’s a question of how much is determined by biology, not whether biology is a determinant, perhaps one of several. The tone of some proponents of HBD is also off putting to normies, as it… Read more »

Tully
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Tully

So you ignore the truth because feelings. That is ridiculous. You’re either a woman or a Boomer, or both.

Bunny
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Bunny

Both. I haven’t decided that HBD is entirely true, or at least I haven’t decided that it merits the weight it is given in some arguments. I don’t discount it completely, but I’m not sure what conclusions can reasonably be drawn from it. It’s not ridiculous to wish to be disassociated with unsavory elements. And the truth is there are some unsavory elements that cluster around HBD. I think they may be looking for justification of an irrational hatred, not truth necessarily.

Tully
Guest
Tully

At least you’re honest with yourself. You need to stop with evaluating facts through your feelings. It doesn’t matter one whit how you feel about HBD. It is either true or false. And there is a MOUNTAIN of evidence to indicate that it is true.

Alzaebo
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Alzaebo

So here’s an honest customer, waving at you from the bank, and you spit at them and demand they become…you.

T, that is great marketing.
You must be on the right side of History!

Tully
Guest
Tully

No, I tell them to stop trying to pass off an obviously counterfeit bill, that it doesn’t matter if their feelings tell them that it’s a real bill, and that real currency has pics of Presidents and prominent men from history on it, not Bozo the fucking Clown.

Philhellenic
Guest
Philhellenic

you’re right, Tully, “it is either T or F.” However, it is a fair question to ask, what are the consequences? Yes, your gf may look fat in that dress, but it may not be wise to tell her so. It is conceivable that the benefits of believing, if only temporarily, a noble lie outweighs those of an ignoble truth.

Tully
Guest
Tully

Look around, the “benefits” of that noble lie are easy to see.

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

I didn’t say I disagreed with you, and I don’t. A little sugar makes the medicine easier, is all.
I noticed that when the ladies here speak as women do, the guys are jumping their case.

On the third hand , though, all my nicey-niceness is why we’re in this mess, now innit?

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

No, dammit, that “counterfeit bill with President Bozo” is priceless.

Tully wins! Won that round hands down. Now I must commit seppuku!

Mike@Mike.Mike
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Mike@Mike.Mike

” And the truth is there are some unsavory elements that cluster around HBD. I think they may be looking for justification of an irrational hatred, not truth necessarily.”
This statement is applicable to just about anything. The unsavory elements surrounding blank slate orthodoxy are the billions of dollars stolen from tax payers to fund dead end programs to pull people up to standards they are not biologically capable of meeting.

To me, that theft is a hell of a lot more unsavory than some white guy yelling “KNEE GROW!!” from an HBD comments section.

Zorost
Guest
Zorost

It isn’t an irrational hatred. The Left and its non-white lackeys hate us, and want us dead or enslaved. Hating them back is what will help us to do what is necessary when the time comes. There can be no compromise with “our end goal is to destroy your culture and enslave your children.”

Some interesting data:
what they plan for us:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TMrJDHu_TU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUkT4Z-_xCA

https://heartiste.wordpress.com/diversity-proximity-war-the-reference-list/

http://thealternativehypothesis.org/index.php/2017/03/15/first-worldism-part-5-the-european-revolution/

http://archive.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/articles/2007/08/05/the_downside_of_diversity/

cerulean
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cerulean

Bunny, I’d be interested in hearing some examples of the tone that you find off-putting. Preferably not the most extreme examples, The ones closer to your comfort zone, but outside of it, would help me understand your position better. Which I would like to do.

Bunny
Guest
Bunny

Anything that smacks of eugenics, forced sterilization or let the Africans starve and good riddance. Anything along the lines of white sharia, repeal the 19th Amendment, women just really want to be taken by a “dusky” (that adjective cracks me up) savage, women are only good for making babies. Christianity is a slave religion, progressivism is its inevitable outgrowth. Caricatures of Jews, blacks and Hispanics. Those are all outside my comfort zone. I don’t have time to provide the numerous concrete examples, nor do I want to quote commenters here. And not that commenters should care about offending anyone’s delicate… Read more »

pyrrhus
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pyrrhus

Well, with the African population heading toward 4 billion (according to the UN) and agricultural production plateauing (with decreasing topsoil and fresh water), they are going to starve regardless of your feelings. And they will starve even if you give them YOUR kids’ food….

zreader
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zreader

This is why we don’t like Boomers.

“Aw gee, my nation is transforming into a corrupt banana republic with the demographics to match right before my eyes, but noticing any possible reasons is kinda mean, so I guess I’ll just keep pissing away my children’s birthright. I’ll probably be dead before social security collapses anyways.

Oh I do hope Balkanization isn’t too unpleasant for my grandchildren…”

Bunny
Guest
Bunny

That’s not how I think. I’m all for an immigration moratorium, but my reasoning and the way I would frame the argument are different. No government has the right to replace its people and their culture, even if they were importing angels from heaven to do so, and American citizens never voted for this. We were lied to and double crossed repeatedly on the immigration issue. That’s argument enough.

cerulean
Guest
cerulean

Bunny, thanks for responding to my earlier question to you.

Now I’m wondering how you feel about affirmative action going on for as long as it has. Why do you think this has happened the way it has? (if you don’t mind saying.)

I also wonder if you think things might have been better for women (and / or the culture) before women entered the job market in such large numbers.

Thanks.

Bunny
Guest
Bunny

Is this a survey? Why has affirmative action gone on for as long as it has, hmm. Because, like many other things, it hasn’t been a pressing issue for most people as long as they are doing relatively well. Because there are people in politics and the “race industry” who have an interest in maintaining it. Because those who might object are afraid of being labeled racist and it’s politically untouchable for the same reason. It’s difficult to take back something that’s been given. Notice I didn’t say because blacks are incapable of getting up to speed on their own… Read more »

pyrrhus
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pyrrhus

“It hasn’t been a pressing issue for most people.” You must be living in a different America than I am, where I see bright kids getting screwed over all the time because of affirmative action. Even in the upper middle class, University admissions have been severely affected, and government positions are almost a no go for whites….And we are paying hugely for the results of putting incompetent people in these positions everywhere.

Bunny
Guest
Bunny

I don’t doubt there’s a price paid, but no, it’s not a hot button issue with anyone I personally know. That doesn’t mean there aren’t people for whom it is, of course.

zreader
Guest
zreader

The problem is you are accepting the Left’s moral framing of the immigration question, and then trying to win by standing on principle. You consider the shitlords posting pepe memes (ie, me) to be unsavory, which is not surprising given that you’re a) a woman, and b) a Boomer. That’s your right, but the genteel constitutional “conservatives” who would never dream of making a dindu joke will reliably cuck on immigration when it counts. I’m curious – do you have children? Grandchildren? A preference for a hostile outgroup over one’s own progeny is an aberration, both biologically and historically. Btw,… Read more »

Bunny
Guest
Bunny

Yes, I believe I stated previously that conservatives will cuck away on the immigration question, that they have repeatedly lied to and double crossed their voters, and I don’t accept the left’s moral framing of the issue. I do have children and grandchildren and I certainly don’t have a preference for a supposedly hostile outgroup, but neither do I bear outgroups any animosity. I question the amount of hostility you seem to think they have toward whites-no doubt some exists, but how would you even begin to measure that in toto? All I can say is that has not been… Read more »

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

My thanks to ceulean and bunny.
See, folks, that’s a dialogue between adults, not a pissing contest by frat boys.

Marketing. This is a Narrative war, we’ve got to reach hearts and minds.

zreader
Guest
zreader

One way I’d quantify hostility would be the >90% support from blacks that Democrat politicians receive. Politics is zero-sum, so anybody voting against my interest is de facto hostile to me, whether they think of themselves as such or not. Of course, polar bear hunting is a real thing, and the justified police killing of a violent thug was enough to launch BLM, which has a double digit cop body count, so you could probably measure hostility in other ways as well. If a black man murdered you and was clearly guilty, how confident are you that a black jury… Read more »

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

Double dammit.
Now I must commit seppukku twice!

pyrrhus
Guest
pyrrhus

One can deny most of the “nurture” theories for the simple reason that both human experience and massive amounts of research prove that they are wrong. Of course, that doesn’t matter if egalitarianism is your religion….

Zorost
Guest
Zorost

The problem with civic nationalism is that only whites think it is a great idea. Non-whites in a civic nationalist nation will always be trying to turn it into a nation that caters to them, and to bring in more of their compatriots.

Jim Burnham
Guest
Jim Burnham

It could be that the younger generations are less consumed by white guilt because they can see what their elders’ white guilt has done to them (the younger people). Affirmative action has had a pernicious effect since the 1970’s and does not seem to be losing any sway.

Member

Unfortunately for many countries that river is the river Styx, and the ferrymen will be showing people what might have been had their parents not been so willfully blind.

JamesG
Guest
JamesG

An Argentine man once told me he wished his country had been colonized by the British. In so many words he thought Latin America had so many problems because it was “Latin.”

Member

I live in Argentina and could go and on about that, but I’ll simply offer up a well-known joke down here: God is busily creating South America. When he gets down to the southern cone, he decides to give “Argentina” a long coastline filled with marine resources, an almost entirely temperate climate, some of the best crop and pasture land in the world, oil, mineral resources, vast stretches of flat and easily transitable land, etc., when he pauses. “Hmm, seems a bit unfair to the others, favoring this place so much. What shall I do to balance this? Ah, I… Read more »

james+wilson
Guest
james+wilson

God filled it with Catholic Argentines.

LFMayor
Guest
LFMayor

We could use more mines and shore batteries, maybe some river monitors. If you’re feeling the onset of a Savior complex you might run, don’t walk, and have that dealt with.
The most dynamic, rapidly advancing civilization on record just spent fifty plus years pissin money up the rope of “ ferrying”.
What’s to show for that, except that I’m not typing this on Mars?

Ryan T
Guest
Ryan T

when ferrying the bugmen across the river, beware they aren’t a scorpion

~Traditional

Wolf
Guest
Wolf

Most people I know are on the blank slate side. Not that they give it much thought, it’s just assumed. They think only ignorant tobacco-chewing rednecks from flyover country or nazis believe in racial differences, so why would they contemplate looking across the river, much less dipping their toe in the water? However some friends can be convinced given enough time to talk about bell curves and natural selection and how that relates to real life. You can see the light bulb go on as they see how racial disparities now make sense and the explanations of the blank slate… Read more »

Russtovich
Guest
Russtovich

I’ve posted this here before in one of your earlier posts (and which you were kind enough to actually read, unlike most of the other blogs I’ve posted it at), but I’ll throw it out again.

Sir John Glubb’s ‘The Fate of Empires’ (short 24 page PDF):

http://people.uncw.edu/kozloffm/glubb.pdf

Cheers

Al from da Nort
Guest
Al from da Nort

Russ; I don’t believe that I thanked you last time for posting this reference. It is well worth everyone’s time to read in thinking how to rectify the F’d up rhetoric about politic’s connection to race, ethnicity and culture that we get from The Cloud today. The Cloud’s pronouncements on human nature, and particularly its plasticity, are stupid on their face. OK, now what_? Glubb’s framework describes a ‘great power life cycle’ that seems independent of ‘culture’ and perhaps ‘race/ethnicity’.* Specifically, if he’s right. we are clearly in the ‘decadence’ phase of his historical typology and are ripe for overthrow.… Read more »

Russtovich
Guest
Russtovich

Thanks Al (and thanks to those who replied to my earlier posting here of this link). In fact, this is the only blog that’s taken the time to follow that link. Well done! 🙂

I’m not erudite enough to make further comment, except to say I think what Glubb posits meshes nicely with r/K theory.

Cheers

cerulean
Guest
cerulean

I read it too. Interesting. Thanks Russtovich.

Anonymous White Male
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Anonymous White Male

How is Why Nations Fail any different than Guns, Germs, and Steel? There is a whole industry devoted to propping up the narrative that everyone is the same and only unexplainable accidents determine that one group has an advantage over others. And then that group greedily holds on to their position to prevent utopia from occurring. But, only if they’re White. We will ignore examples of other cultures that did the same thing. One thing that I find laughable about such deluded fools is their opposition to separation. I mean, they hate those that disagree with them, would like to… Read more »

DLS
Guest
DLS

Because of the money. They cannot reach their utopian dreams without pointing their guns at us, and taking our wealth.

Anonymous White Male
Guest
Anonymous White Male

Ah, scraps from the table then.

Rabbi High Comma
Guest
Rabbi High Comma

Access to White people is not a civil right.

Anonymous White Male
Guest
Anonymous White Male

No, more like a Constitutional Right. At least to the men in black robes and the people that think there are 57 different genders and everyone in the world is a potential American citizen.

Roulf
Guest
Roulf

The masses on the blank slate side of the river may be happy to live in fantasyland, but one glance at the cloud people and it’s clear they don’t believe in their own ‘voodoo’. They have no problem with discussing genetics when it suits their purpose. It brings to mind this article I read a few years ago about Egg Donation Studies, pointing out that all the rich couples wanted eggs from smart Swedish girls.

http://slate.me/1BoXc4y

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

This is rather clear in how Europe rebuilt itself after hundreds of years of endless wars. No matter what we went through, things kept getting better. Perhaps in each country, a different degree of improvement, but generally all boats rise on a common tide.

Then consider everywhere Europeans colonized and then what happened after they left. Same is still going on in America; everywhere white-Europeans leave, those cities, towns and neighborhoods eventually decline into ruin.

Question – Could the same be said that Mexico was better off when the Spanish were running things?

DLS
Guest
DLS

I have crossed the river, but now I am standing here not knowing what to do, other than keeping up with Zman posts. Truth is always good, and it is nice to discuss and empathize amongst ourselves. But we cannot undo the impact slavery and open borders had on our demographics. I voted for Trump to try to stem the tide as much as possible, and will continue to vote accordingly. But what else? The welfare state is impossible to roll back, and sometimes I catch myself almost sympathizing from a Christian viewpoint, given the biological realities and the desire… Read more »

merde
Guest
merde

Obvious and undeniable facts seem to draw some across the metaphorical river, but what of those who remain unswayed by reason? How shall they be ferried across? Perhaps we should ask Blank Slaters if they think they have an hereditary predisposition to egalitarianism. It might not work over night but it would plant seeds that the snowflake ego would cherish.

james+wilson
Guest
james+wilson

Tocqueville wrote in 1835, “At this point I remind the reader of the general meaning which I give to the word customs: namely that collection of intellectual and moral characteristics which men bring to the social condition. If, in the course of this book, I have not succeeded in convincing the reader of the importance I attach to the practical experience, behavior, opinions, and, in a word, the customs of Americans, in maintaining their laws, I have failed in the main objective I set myself in writing it. I am convinced that the luckiest of geographical conditions and the best… Read more »

Severian
Guest

Funny thing is, if the Diversoids ever did manage to leave the ivory tower, they’ve got a paradigm case sitting right there, brown as brown can be: India. The Brits actually said, in these words, that they wanted to create “a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect.” And they actually did it, which is why India is the least hellish and 3rd-worldy of all 3rd world hellholes. If changing cultures and institutions can do it, it’s been done in India. But, alas, that too is a “legacy… Read more »

Monty James
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Monty James

“We could use more ferrymen.”

That comprises the call to action. I will remember that sentence for the rest of my life.

Now we must think of a syllabus, or maybe just some good common sense suggestions, for training the ‘ferrymen’.

Al from da Nort
Guest
Al from da Nort

Monty;
Maybe incentives too. IIRC, in the Greco-Roman world you had to provide the dead with a drachma coin to pay the ferryman of the Styx. Usually they put it in the teeth of the dead person. Harder for the grave robbers to get, I guess. Don’t know what happened if you didn’t pay.

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

You stood on the other shore, waving and crying.

Glen Filthie
Guest
Glen Filthie

Gotta look at the demographics and keep them in mind, Z. A major power shift is in the works. Consider: the geriatrics are dying off and none too soon. The elderly greasy hippies, the cat ladies, the cucks and cowards that get their opinions from day time TV featuring Orca Winfrey, Dr. Phil, the cankles of The View, etc. Once they die, the power of the left and their ‘conservative’ lickspittles dies with them. Gen Z has been steeped in three generations of leftist bullshit. There fathers are wimpy soy-boys or outright homos, their mothers are miserable single shrews hooked… Read more »

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

Speaking of rivers, there is always Naipaul’s “A Bend in the River”. I thought that was where Z’s monologue was taking him. A smart cultured guy decides to move to Africa to show them how to run a business. It does not end well.

bad guest
Guest
bad guest

That is a great book. In the same vein, but without a river running through it, is The Coup by Updike

Herr Niemand
Guest
Herr Niemand

In a weird way that river analogy reminds me of the inhabitants of the planet Krikkit in the Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy. The whole planet was surrounded by a dust cloud, so the people of Krikkit never saw stars or any other Celestial feature other than their own sun. As a result, they never even bothered asking themselves if they were alone in the universe since they had no notion of a universe.
Of course once they pierced the cloud and saw the galaxy in all its glory and limitless potential their instinct was to erradicate it.

Issac
Guest
Issac

Conditioning aside, though it is an out-sized factor, this is the upper limit of most deracinated white Americans’ tribal instincts. Pushing an individualist deeper than “culture,” (by which they generally mean trivialities like their taste in music, television, and hobbies) reveals fault-lines deep within their own (lack of) identity.

Observer
Guest
Observer

Our morality & status codes are established by our universities & media.
And they tell us that thinking about human differences is evil & low status. At least partly because the tiny tribe that dominates those institutions doesn’t want people noticing that.
For noticing human differences to become common, it must become moral & high status.
That requires the current morality & status defining institutions reverse course (unlikely) or for us to create new sources of moral & status codes.
Simply being right isn’t going to be enough, if being wrong gives you greater moral & social status.

TomA
Guest
TomA

In a properly functioning ecosystem, neglect of reality (e.g. stupidity) would result in early death and a concomitant failure to reproduce. This makes the species increasingly more intelligent over the long run. However, in an environment of great affluence and non-existent hardship, stupidity may be encouraged and rewarded in the near term if doing so helps the elites remain in power (via vote bribery and dependence addiction). And if you think the solution involves erudite conversation, try talking a meth addict into abstaining.

Zorost
Guest
Zorost

Best book I’ve read re: why societies collapse is:

http://wtf.tw/ref/tainter.pdf

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

Complexity grows until maintaining it consumes too much of a society’s effort.
Rickety bridges, per the Cliff notes.

Does he mention racial proclivities?

bad guest
Guest
bad guest

I wonder what Nogales Mexico would look like if the Mexican government had the ability to print money at will, as the U.S. government currently does. I question the idea that the US has any institutions that exhibit any virtue exceeding that of your average third world s-hole. I have spent time in several s-holes, and it always seemed to me that the fundamental difference in the institutions there, versus the US, was really just a matter of how much cash issued from the top there was spread around. Everybody smiles and does whatever you want as long as they… Read more »

bad guest
Guest
bad guest

So maybe the real reason for the success of certain peoples when contrasted with other peoples is that the successful people are smarter, so they are trickier. They get the less successful people to accept samoleans in payment, and then they print trillions of those samoleans, backed by nothing, no gold, no productive capacity, no assets really. Then they devalue those samoleans. Ha ha. Dumb foreigners! There are endless games that can be played by creative people who issue (and manage) samoleans in a world where the samolean is king, and you have the sole ability to print samoleans whenever… Read more »

Ben
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Ben

The author is assuming that biological realism is true, that it is a proof. It is not. It is a theory, not a theorem. In other words, it is of the same value as and on the same plane as blank slate theory : both are merely theories. It would be more appropriate to say that both have reached the water’s edge, and both have struck out in two different directions. Until biological realism becomes a proof, as in a geometric proof (a squared plus b squared equals c squared) it is merely a theory – just like blank slate… Read more »

Anonymous White Male
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Anonymous White Male

Biological Realism should be about biological reality. What you are postulating is Biological Mental Masturbation. Besides, what biological “proofs” exist that are as inviolate as mathematical proofs? Life exists? Until it doesn’t. Someone holding on to the blank slate theory has no connection with biological reality because they are trying to force reality to conform to a theory, not trying to use evidence to explain reality.

zreader
Guest
zreader

Possibly the dumbest comment I’ve ever seen. Theorems don’t exist in science. They can’t.

paul scott
Guest
paul scott

Excellent. Arrived here again care of Uncle Remus