September 22, 2012

Request: Thinkers from beyond the Anglosphere?

It's nice to be a native speaker of the world's dominant language, especially since I've never bothered to learn any other languages. However, there are problems with an intellectual monoculture. As physicist Freeman Dyson argued in the 1970s, maybe the Tower of Babel was, on the whole, a good thing. Lots of languages leads to lots of different cultures, which leads to different ideas and ways of doing things, some of which will turn out to be better than others, which can be adopted by others later.

It used to be that some Americans were interested in what was being published in foreign languages. But now we live in a world where Thilo Sarrazin or even Alexander Solzhenitsyn can't get published in America. 

Of course, high quality translation is terribly difficult. For example, in the early 1970s, there was much interest in Solzhenitsyn's books, so there would be a large sale of the American translation. This led to people saying things like, "Well, he's a great man but he's not a great writer." A few years after the American translations, the superior British translations of Solzhenitsyn would appear in America in small editions, and it was pretty obvious that he was a great writer.

Thirty years ago, I knew a UCLA professor named Michael Henry Heim who played a small role in winning the Cold War by doing terrific, sexy translations of the exiled Czech dissident novelist Milan Kundera, such as The Unbearable Lightness of Being and The Book of Laughter and Forgetting. It certainly didn't hurt that at the climax of the Cold War in the 1980s perhaps the most fashionable writer in the world was an anti-Communist (which wouldn't have happened without Heim's quick, deft translations into English.) The 1988 movie of Unbearable Lightness proved that anti-Communists were as handsome as Daniel Day-Lewis and had Juliet Binoche and Lena Olin fighting over them. The next year, as you'll recall, the demoralized Communists just plain gave up.

Professor Heim recently pointed out that these days younger academics in the modern languages seldom get publish-or-perish credit with their tenure committees for translations, even though it's hard to imagine that the original research they do instead is more valuable.

So, what I'm looking for are suggestions for important work from outside the Anglosphere in English (either reasonably well-translated or written in English by somebody from outside the Anglosphere).

For example, I believe there are one or two East Asian economists who have books out in English explaining why the economic theories that seem so indisputable to English-speakers are pretty much laughed at in the booming economies of the East.

Or, here's a contemporary German philosopher named Peter Sloterdijk. Anybody have an informed opinion on whether he's worth the effort?

More suggestions?

212 comments:

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Anonymous said...

Lots of languages leads to lots of different cultures, which leads to different ideas and ways of doing things, some of which will turn out to be better than others, which can be adopted by others later.


Sounds a lot like the argument for multiculturalism. Come, let us celebrate our diversity!

Anonymous said...

http://www.amren.com/news/2012/09/d-c-schools-set-new-achievement-targets-for-students-by-race-and-income/

AC said...

Nick Land is a 50-year-old former lecturer in continental philosophy. He is now an expatriate in Shanghai and has written a fascinating series on political philosophy, called "The Dark Enlightenment"

Articles: http://bo.lt/66gtf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Land

Excerpt: "In much of the Western world, in stark contrast [to first world Asian cities], barbarism has been normalized. It is considered simply obvious that cities have ‘bad areas’ that are not merely impoverished, but lethally menacing to outsiders and residents alike. Visitors are warned to stay away, whilst locals do their best to transform their homes into fortresses, avoid venturing onto the streets after dark, and – especially if young and male — turn to criminal gangs for protection, which further degrades the security of everybody else. Predators control public space, parks are death traps, aggressive menace is celebrated as ‘attitude’, property acquisition is for mugs (or muggers), educational aspiration is ridiculed, and non-criminal business activity is despised as a violation of cultural norms. Every significant mechanism of socio-cultural pressure, from interpreted heritage and peer influences to political rhetoric and economic incentives, is aligned to the deepening of complacent depravity and the ruthless extirpation of every impulse to self-improvement. Quite clearly, these are places where civilization has fundamentally collapsed, and a society that includes them has to some substantial extent failed."

Anonymous said...

There's enough stuff written in English on every topic imaginable to keep you occupied for 100 lifetimes.

Anonymous said...

Schopenhauer complained that Latin was not being used universally among the learned of his time.

Isn't English becoming sort of a world language? Don't most elite in Europe or China speak English?



Anonymous said...

From the link

"The manner in which the newly-born child is detached from the placenta, the most intimate companion of its life thus far, is, according to Sloterdijk, strongly determinative of the child’s future relationship to the world. In a bizarre yet compelling passage, Sloterdijk argues at length that the rise of modern individualism coincides with a “radical devaluation of the placenta” beginning in the eighteenth century. "

This is complete idiocy without a single shred of evidence behind it. There are some arguments that do so much to discredit an author that it becomes rational to ignore everything else he writes. There is no excuse for anyone in 2012 to argue that personality is shaped by placenta.

Baloo said...

Evola, Benoist, etc. over at Counter-Currents.
http://www.counter-currents.com/

Steve Sailer said...

From the review, an explanation of what Sloterdijk is objecting to:

"The conception of the human subject as an individual whose fundamental and essential state is solitude, who is born alone and dies alone (a phrase attributed both to Orson Welles and to Hunter S. Thompson), is pervasive in contemporary thought."

While I certainly defer to the expertise of Orson Welles and Hunter S. Thompson on birthing babies, I have this vague hunch that I, personally, wasn't born alone.

Five Daarstens said...

I read "Can Asians Think", by Kishore Mahbubani. It was a pretty good book, but I think some of the essays were a bit dated.

Anonymous said...

http://biglieonparade.blogspot.com/2012/09/londons-worst-rioter-and-his-spoiled.html

Perfect demonstration of black thug and white feminist socialist alliance.

Anonymous said...

Sounds a lot like the argument for multiculturalism. Come, let us celebrate our diversity!

True multiculturalism requires borders between different cultures, and homogeneity within borders.

What's called "multiculturalism" today is actually multiracial monoculturalism.

Anonymous said...

http://www.economist.com/node/11880594

"Individual voices are brave. But Russia’s intelligentsia, which could be much freer than in the bad old days, is still mealy-mouthed"

And American intellectuals slavish to Zionism aren't?

Anonymous said...

Yuri Slezkine.

Anonymous said...

Ernest Nolte. Joachim Fest.

Anonymous said...

http://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/lyubov-borusyak/who-is-russias-top-intellectual

Olave d'Estienne said...

Hard to beat Leftism Revisited, From de Sade and Marx to Hitler and Pol Pot, by Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn.

Anonymous said...

The contemporary world's English language hegemony is bad. It's why neoliberalism/cultural Marxism dominates and permeates everything. Virtually every "educated" person around the world holds at least some vague neoliberal/cultural Marxist ideas due to English hegemony.

Anonymous said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Pelevin

Anonymous said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/19/books/a-debate-over-karl-ove-knausgaards-my-struggle.html?_r=0

Anonymous said...

http://bombsite.com/issues/79/articles/2481

Anonymous said...

http://qualiajournal.blogspot.com/2010/04/enigma-of-japanese-intellectuals.html

Anonymous said...

"Beyond Human Rights", "The Problem of Democracy" (Arktos) and "Communism and Nazism" by Alain de Benoist.

Average Joe said...

Sounds a lot like the argument for multiculturalism. Come, let us celebrate our diversity!

The problem with multiculturalism is that you are never allowed to point out when any of the non-whites' ideas are bad. To the multiculturalists, the mud-huts of Africa are just as good as anything built by Europeans.

Anonymous said...

http://www.15min.lt/en/article/culture-society/lithuanian-and-polish-intellectuals-to-honor-memory-of-czeslaw-milosz-in-krasnogruda-528-241353

Luke Lea said...

I just finished Er Tai Gau's memoir of life in China's labor camps in the 1950's and 60's. Like Zhang Xianliang Gau was a poet in hell; and like Zhang he produced a piece of world literature superior to anything that came out of the Gulag or Holocaust (with the exception of Promo Levi).

The Chinese can really write. Who knew?

Ex Submarine Officer said...

In much of the Western world, in stark contrast [to first world Asian cities], barbarism has been normalized. It is considered simply obvious that cities have ‘bad areas’ that are not merely impoverished, but lethally menacing to outsiders and residents alike.

This is one of the things I really love about living in Japan, not having "bad" areas where you are taking your life in your hands simply by walking through the area.

It isn't that I'm quaking in fear in the U.S.; rather, this condition just offends my sense of moral order and what constitutes a civilized society.

I suppose that in a nation of 130 million, there may be one or two such places tucked away somewhere, but I've never even been warned about this.

FWIW, preempting this sort of thing was a big factor in the Japanese push to repatriate the Brazilian/Japanese guest workers. They saw the beginnings of "hoods" and took active steps to break this nonsense up.

The fact that this state of warfare exists is such a commonplace to Americans that they more or less assume that this is the natural order of human existence. While most people have heard that Japan is a low crime society, when I tell them that there really aren't any slums/high (violent/random) crime areas where I wouldn't walk in the entire country, they are usually quite surprised, "really, the whole country? Not even Tokyo?".

Nope. There really is a different way to live.

Anonymous said...

anonymous:"The contemporary world's English language hegemony is bad. It's why neoliberalism/cultural Marxism dominates and permeates everything. Virtually every "educated" person around the world holds at least some vague neoliberal/cultural Marxist ideas due to English hegemony."

And this somehow explains the fact that the modern leftist lexicon is almost entirely derived from non-Anglo thinkers (Marx, Hegel, Derrida, Lacan, Foucault, Bathes, Lacan, Heidegger, etc)?Try to thinkk before posting next time.

Anonymous said...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/3496293/Top-100-movie-list-by-French-critics-features-not-one-British-film.html

Anonymous said...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9560326/British-still-giving-hundreds-of-millions-of-pounds-in-aid-to-wealthy-countries.html

Brits not too smart.

Anonymous said...

"Individual voices are brave. But Russia’s intelligentsia, which could be much freer than in the bad old days, is still mealy-mouthed"

anonymous:"And American intellectuals slavish to Zionism aren't?"

American intellectuals, even Jewish ones like Judith Butler, are mostly anti-Zionist; don't confuse the pro-Israel nature of the American media with the beliefs of the extremely leftist American intelligentsia.

Syon

Anonymous said...

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/fl20110306x1.html

Average Joe said...

And American intellectuals slavish to Zionism aren't?

Since most of those intellectuals are Jewish, they are not being slavish but ethnocentric.

Anonymous said...

One rather interesting non Anglosphere thinker is Alain Badiou. Although a committed leftist (like so many Frenchmen, he has a rather bizarre fondness for Mao...), he is vehemently opposed to the multicultural, all cultures are equal nonsense that currently dominates so much Western thinking. For the curious, his ST PAUL: THE FOUNDATION OF UNIVERSALISM is a pretty good place to start.

Syon

Anonymous said...

Ethnogenesis and the Biosphere of Earth by Lev Gumilev. (Full text at the link.)

The son of a great and a near great Russian poets. This is his grand theory on the rise and fall of ethnies. The "Ideas" section of the Wikipedia article doesn't really give it justice. He believed that that ethnicities are biological entities shaped by their environment, a revolutionary idea for his time (or this time). Also, his views on the Jews (a burning topic here) were positively McDonaldesque, so you may like that.

Anonymous said...

And this somehow explains the fact that the modern leftist lexicon is almost entirely derived from non-Anglo thinkers (Marx, Hegel, Derrida, Lacan, Foucault, Bathes, Lacan, Heidegger, etc)?

Heidegger and Hegel aren't leftist per se. Rightists are influenced by them and Heidegger himself was a Nazi.

English hegemony promotes these and other thinkers to push a general neoliberal/cultural Marxist outlook.

Anonymous said...

http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9A0DE0D81E3DF93AA35756C0A960948260

War Horse inspired by this?

Anonymous said...

Since someone posted the fact that the CAHIERS DU CINEMA have released a list of the top 100 films, here is the top 20 in that list:
The French Top 20
1 Citizen Kane, 1941, Orson Welles
2= The Night of the Hunter, 1955, Charles Laughton The Rules of the Game, 1939 (La Règle du jeu), Jean Renoir
4 Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans, 1927, Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau
5 L'Atalante, 1934, Jean Vigo
6 M, 1931, Fritz Lang
7 Singin' in the Rain, 1952, Gene Kelly & Stanley Donen
8 Vertigo, 1958, Alfred Hitchcock
9= Children of Paradise, 1945 (Les Enfants du Paradis), Marcel Carné The Searchers, 1956, John Ford Greed, 1924, Erich von Stroheim
12= Rio Bravo, 1959, Howard Hawkes To Be or Not to Be, 1942, Ernst Lubitsch
14 Tokyo Story, 1953, Yasujiro Ozu
15 Contempt, (Le Mépris) 1963, Jean-Luc Godard
16= Tales of Ugetsu , 1953, Kenji City Lights, 1931, Charlie Chaplin The General, 1927, Buster Keaton Nosferatu the Vampire, 1922, Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau The Music Room, 1958, Satyajit Ray

Syon

Anonymous said...

And, for an inside the Anglosphere comparison, here is the AFI's top 20:

The American Top 20
1 Citizen Kane, 1941, Orson Welles
2 The Godfather, 1972, Francis Ford Coppola
3 Casablanca, 1942, Michael Curtiz
4 Raging Bull, 1980, Martin Scorsese
5 Singin' in the Rain, 1952, Gene Kelly & Stanley Donen
6 Gone With the Wind, 1939, Victor Fleming
7 Lawrence of Arabia, 1962, David Lean
8 Schindler's List, 1993, Steven Spielberg
9 Vertigo, 1958, Alfred Hitchcock
10 Wizard of Oz, 1939, Victor Fleming
11 City Lights, 1931, Charlie Chaplin
12 The Searchers, 1956, John Ford
13 Star Wars, 1977, George Lucas
14 Psycho, 1960, Alfred Hitchcock
15 2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968, Stanley Kubrick
16 Sunset Boulevard, 1950, Billy Wilder
17 The Graduate, 1967, Mike Nichols
18 The General, 1927, Buster Keaton
19 On the Waterfront, 1954, Elia Kazan
20 It's a Wonderful Life, 1946, Frank Capra

Syon

Anonymous said...

"In much of the Western world, in stark contrast [to first world Asian cities], barbarism has been normalized. It is considered simply obvious that cities have ‘bad areas’ that are not merely impoverished, but lethally menacing to outsiders and residents alike."

"I knew a UCLA professor named Michael Henry Heim who played a small role in winning the Cold War..."


A see a link between these two quotes. I happen to have grown up in the USSR. Moscow had no bad neighborhoods during the Soviet period. Nor had any other Soviet cities. I don't remember anyone ever even talking about any crime there. There were no lockers in the school I attended. There were no bike locks anywhere, yet bikes were never stolen. Never a sight of a homeless person in a city of 8 million. I could go on in that vein for a long time.

So really, Steve, you knew a guy who played a small role in introducing barbarism into huge areas of the globe where it hadn't existed before. Congrats!

Anonymous said...

anonymous:"Heidegger and Hegel aren't leftist per se. Rightists are influenced by them and Heidegger himself was a Nazi."

Funny, I never said that Hegel and Heidegger were leftists; I merely said that their thinking is critical to leftism.For example, Derrida is inconceivable without Heidegger.

"English hegemony promotes these and other thinkers to push a general neoliberal/cultural Marxist outlook."

And yet, somehow, these thinkers are all products of the non-Anglo world...which reduces your theory to total rubbish. The Anglosphere is profoundly conservative in temperament; it is the Franco-German world that is radically leftist.

Anonymous said...

anonymous;"A see a link between these two quotes. I happen to have grown up in the USSR. Moscow had no bad neighborhoods during the Soviet period. Nor had any other Soviet cities. I don't remember anyone ever even talking about any crime there. There were no lockers in the school I attended. There were no bike locks anywhere, yet bikes were never stolen. Never a sight of a homeless person in a city of 8 million. I could go on in that vein for a long time.

So really, Steve, you knew a guy who played a small role in introducing barbarism into huge areas of the globe where it hadn't existed before. Congrats!"

Ah, fondness for the good old days of Soviet state oppression! Good to know that Brezhnev (the man, the myth, the legend) still has his fans.

Steve Sailer said...

16 Sunset Boulevard, 1950, Billy Wilder

I just watched that again. Not the 16th best English-language movie ever, but it's not far behind Casablanca and Maltese Falcon for the most memorable half dozen best lines.

Anybody ever notice which post-War novel clearly inspired Sunset Boulevard? I didn't notice it the first time I saw it, but this time the connection was pretty obvious. I went to Google and found a Hedda Hopper column from 1949 with Billy Wilder talking about the link between Sunset Blvd. and this book.

Anonymous said...

Chang Ha-Joon is the Cambridge economist Steve referenced.

Anonymous said...

"Ah, fondness for the good old days of Soviet state oppression!"

It didn't seem like oppression to me or to anyone I know who remembers it first-hand. All the people I'm aware of who remember it first-hand as oppression have one thing in common - I learned about their existence from newspapers and TV.

Anonymous said...

How about Jean Raspail?

bjdubbs said...

Pierre Manent is probably the most important French conservative. In Defense of the Nation State sounds right up the citizenist alley, but I have to admit I haven't read it. Manent is dense, sometimes in a good way and sometimes in a bad way. He's Catholic and a former student of Raymond Aron.

beowulf said...

In terms of economics, the US-British consensus (which bastardizes the work of both Keynes and Hayek) is far different from the one seen in pre-World I Germany, post-World War II Japan and present day China.

Tokyo-based Irish journalist Eamonn Fingleton and American economist (and Chinese govt adviser) Michael Hudson are two of the rare English writers about what Fingleton calls the Manchurian economic model (from when Japan developed its puppet state there in the 1930s).
Fingleton
http://books.google.com/books?id=gMQ3HgoTNskC&pg=PT144&lpg=PT144&dq#v

Hudson
http://michael-hudson.com/2010/07/from-marx-to-goldman-sachs-the-fictions-of-fictitious-capital1/


Anonymous said...

Anon @ 8:33 PM:

A see a link between these two quotes. I happen to have grown up in the USSR. Moscow had no bad neighborhoods during the Soviet period. Nor had any other Soviet cities. I don't remember anyone ever even talking about any crime there. There were no lockers in the school I attended. There were no bike locks anywhere, yet bikes were never stolen. Never a sight of a homeless person in a city of 8 million. I could go on in that vein for a long time.

I am only commenting so that Steve's readers don't fall for this
bucolic picture of the USSR. The guy describes pampered life in the Soviet oasis, Moscow. I also grew up in the USSR and life there was quite different.

I grew up in what here would be called "a gang" (and I had no choice)! Bad neighborhoods were common place and a stranger walking risked quite a bit. Group fights between gangs ("kontora") were regular and common (bicycle chains and cut rubber hoses were weapons of choice; knifes for daily life).
Muggings were common (youth preying on youth; adults were attacked less frequently). Bikes were stolen regularly. Leave one unguarded for 10 min and it will be gone forever.
Homelessness was common but they were picked up by police and kept out of sight. Drunks lying unconscious on a street in public view were nothing special (they too were picked up by police; I've lost count of how many I have helped to keep out of the police's "sobriety centers"). I too could go on in that vein for a long time. Life in the USSR outside Moscow and small circles of privileged elite was not a paradise. How many Steve's readers personally have violent felons as neighbors? Probably none. I personally knew three of them - all living in the same apartment as our family.

True, overall violent crime was probably lower in the USSR but it was spread more evenly. And while there were fewer premeditated murders, accidental murders done in drunken stupor were not uncommon. And iron bars covering on ALL ground floor windows in ALL apartment buildings were not exactly testaments to low burglary rates in the country.

Anonymous said...

"barbarism has been normalized. It is considered simply obvious that cities have ‘bad areas’ "

I was at a travel site and people would ask is this area safe in Paris. Even Paris has bad areas.

People expect this and almost think that big cities have to have bad areas. It's a badge of honor to live in the gritty cities.

It's amazing how cultural marxists some Europeans are.

Here is a quote from one site:

"What is Europe doing? Europe opens the doors to those unfortunate people and tries to keep them safe and give them a life. You know why guys? because they are HUMAN. like us? Living creatures EXACTLY like us.

we are lucky to be born in other geographical coordinates as they. That is all. pure dumb luck.

That they are more likely to commit crimes, is due to our bl.... policies that keeps them illegal and does not permit them to get jobs.

Plus, what they are doing now to Europe (all these pickpocketing) is nothing to what we are doing to them (all these thieving and killing) so take a long breath and relax.

Lots of what we have and are, come from the plundering of tthe African, Asian and American continents.

Most of us, are "illegal immigrants" in our perspective countries. That it was our ancestors and hundreds of years ago, does not mean we should forget where we come from."


http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g188045-i336-k4554211-o10-Pickpockets_on_Swiss_train-Switzerland.html

Five Daarstens said...

When I lived in The Hague, NL, there was not a single street that I would not walk down during the day. The pubs and cafe's were also safe at night. It wasn't crime free, but I felt a lot safer than most American cities and increasingly, suburbs too.

FredR said...

Sloterdijk got in big trouble a little while ago for arguing that, since our current methods of keeping people civilized aren't working so well, we should maybe think about using eugenics. Although he did his best to use obscuring language (in true Straussian fashion), a few people, including Habermas, picked up on what he was saying, and spent a lot of time yelling at him and trying to blacken his reputation.

Anonymous said...

>Ah, fondness for the good old days of
>Soviet state oppression!

How is having to avoid certain areas because of the crime there not oppression?

>And this somehow explains the fact
>that the modern leftist lexicon is
>almost entirely derived from non-Anglo
>thinkers (Marx, Hegel, Derrida, Lacan,
>Foucault, Bathes, Lacan, Heidegger,
>etc)?Try to thinkk before posting next
>time.

So what? The vocabulary of, dunno, Islam, is entirely Arabic, yet did the peoples in Central Asia get Islam from Arabs (rather than Turks)?

Anonymous said...

anonymous:"It didn't seem like oppression to me or to anyone I know who remembers it first-hand. All the people I'm aware of who remember it first-hand as oppression have one thing in common - I learned about their existence from newspapers and TV."

Of course it didn't seem like oppression to you, dear boy (girl?). The average Russian doesn't mind being ruled with an iron hand, and things like freedom of expression are, after all, alien concepts to the Russian world-view. Russians simply lack the Englishman's instinctive need for freedom and liberty.

FredR said...

I read Gumilev, but for some reason I couldn't find much substance in his book, as interesting as the subject was. That big Steppe area near and in Russia has had big world-historical importance, which reading Russians helps remind us of, but other than that I couldn't get much out of him. The fault may be mine, or the translation.

Al said...

"For example, I believe there are one or two East Asian economists who have books out in English explaining why the economic theories that seem so indisputable to English-speakers are pretty much laughed at in the booming economies of the East."

LINK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

http://biglieonparade.blogspot.com/2012/09/londons-worst-rioter-and-his-spoiled.html

This goes to show the paradox of political compassion. Compassion is a big word in politics. Politicians tell us, compassion, compassion, compassion. But to have compassion for one people means to favor them over another group. And that means to turn a blind eye to the suffering of other groups at odds with the group that happens to be the object of our compassion. So, political compassion can make us root for one side while making us heartless and lacking in compassion for other groups. So, our compassion for Jews in Israel has made us cold and heartless to Palestinians. And US strangulated Iraq in the 90s and starved 100,000s of women and children for the sake of Zionist interests. Our 'compassion' for Israelis ironically made us utterly heartless to the suffering of Iraqi women and children. Same thing with the horrendous bombings of Lebanon and Gaza. Our compassion/love for Israel was such that we were filled with utter indifference(even hatred) of all the civilians killed in the bombings.

And our compassion for South African blacks has made us utterly cold to whites who are raped and murdered by blacks. Our compassion for American blacks has made us blind to the white victims of black crime--even when most of the white victims are poor and unprivileged. We have this compassionate image of the Noble Negro as the guy in GREEN MILE. We are so busy weeping for that mythical magic negro that we don't care about all the people raped and murdered by REAL blacks.

In nature, let's suppose we feel compassion for one lion pride over others. So, we help that lion pride and feel good about its well-being, but, in effect, we have blinded ourselves to the harm the favored lion pride may do to other lion prides(and to hyenas).

Universal compassion is impossible in politics because politics, by its very nature, is about struggle and competition for power. So, compassion can be very dangerous in politics. White liberals in Europe are so filled with compassion for blacks that they turn a blind eye to whites who are being hurt by African and Jamaican immigrants who wreak havoc on society.

In the above story, the progressive white girl from a rich family, out of her compassion, aided black looters. She was utterly blind to the victim-hood of those being attacked and harmed by blacks. Her compassion for blacks made her utterly lacking in compassion victims of blacks.
This kind of compassion is dangerous for blacks have become a 'victim group'. Thus, even if individual blacks are louts and do awful things, their actions are seen in the context of victim-hood and resisting oppression.


Anonymous said...

It seems that English has become the official language of PC, therefore anglocentric attitudes are OK in contexts where they might otherwise be verboten.

There is also this amusing concept of 'The West'. It is to some extent a hangover from the Cold War. But what is the use of it now? Is Russia part of the East? Is South Korea part of the West? As near as I can make out, 'the West' these days seems to be an appeal to some kind of anti-Muslim coalition of variously PC states.

Gilbert P

Anonymous said...



Anonymous:"How is having to avoid certain areas because of the crime there not oppression?"

Gosh, guess you don't understand the difference between the "oppression" of having to avoid the bad part of town and the oppression of the Communist system, which pervaded the entirety of the polity. For a useful fictional illustration, try watching THE LIVES OF OTHERS sometime.



"So what? The vocabulary of, dunno, Islam, is entirely Arabic, yet did the peoples in Central Asia get Islam from Arabs (rather than Turks)?"

Dear boy, the concepts of modern leftism would not exist without our French and German friends. Anglo culture (innately conservative) is the only thing holding back Franco-German leftist radicalism. Anglos (unlike Turks) have their own culture that they try to transmit: Adam Smith, Burke, Hume, Locke, etc. At present, it is only the higher reaches of the academic elite (cf Fredric Jameson) who have fallen prey to the Franco-German disease.

9/22/12 9:34 PM

Benjamin I. Espen said...

I'll second Pierre Manent. He has written a number of good works of political philosophy.

Maya said...

"It didn't seem like oppression to me or to anyone I know who remembers it first-hand. All the people I'm aware of who remember it first-hand as oppression have one thing in common - I learned about their existence from newspapers and TV."

Well, now you've met one on the internet. Actually, I was having an awesome childhood, but all the credit is due to my father. But he and his parents weren't as sheltered as I was. Repression and work/death camps weren't fun for those who endured them.

Anonymous said...

"It seems that English has become the official language of PC, therefore anglocentric attitudes are OK in contexts where they might otherwise be verboten.

There is also this amusing concept of 'The West'. It is to some extent a hangover from the Cold War. But what is the use of it now? Is Russia part of the East? Is South Korea part of the West? As near as I can make out, 'the West' these days seems to be an appeal to some kind of anti-Muslim coalition of variously PC states.

Gilbert P"

The Russians are most definitely not part of the West (cf both Spengler and Toynbee); they are Asiatic.

Anonymous said...

And yet, somehow, these thinkers are all products of the non-Anglo world...which reduces your theory to total rubbish. The Anglosphere is profoundly conservative in temperament; it is the Franco-German world that is radically leftist.

It's not a theory. It's a fact.

I'm not talking about the "Anglosphere" so much as post-WWII America. The Brits haven't mattered post-WWII and have just followed America.

"Temperament" doesn't matter, the facts do. The fact is that English language hegemony has dominated and has promoted a neoliberal/cultural Marxist outlook. The only reason anybody knows about various 20th cent. leftist intellectuals like those you mentioned is because they were promoted by English language hegemony.

Anonymous said...

Anglos (unlike Turks) have their own culture that they try to transmit: Adam Smith, Burke, Hume, Locke, etc.

Smith, Hume, and Locke were liberals. They weren't conservative.

Anonymous said...

the Franco-German disease.

Neocon propaganda. Allan Bloom and others pushed this calumny.

Anonymous said...

OK, Steve, which novel is it? I can't find the Hopper article online.

Peter A said...

"Moscow had no bad neighborhoods during the Soviet period. Nor had any other Soviet cities"

Lyubertsi was a nasty prole neighborhood even in the '80s. There was very little street mugging simply because almost no one carried around anything worth stealing - great accomplishment. But there was plenty of rape in the Soviet Union, there were also plenty of sick serial killers like Chikatilo and Dzhumagaliev. The level of organized crime, especially in Tashkent, Odessa or Tbilisi, was very high as well. The USSR was no paradise.

Anonymous said...

I find Slavoj Zizek to be interesting

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zizek

ERM said...

Of course it didn't seem like oppression to you, dear boy (girl?). The average Russian doesn't mind being ruled with an iron hand, and things like freedom of expression are, after all, alien concepts to the Russian world-view. Russians simply lack the Englishman's instinctive need for freedom and liberty.

You fool. Have you been to England lately?

Maya said...

" I happen to have grown up in the USSR. Moscow had no bad neighborhoods during the Soviet period. Nor had any other Soviet cities. I don't remember anyone ever even talking about any crime there. There were no lockers in the school I attended. There were no bike locks anywhere, yet bikes were never stolen. Never a sight of a homeless person in a city of 8 million. I could go on in that vein for a long time."

Somebody jacked my dad's sled. Twice. In kindergarten. There was no bike racks, and nobody left their bikes outside, ever- unless they wanted to get rid of their bike. I had no lockers at my school either, and my coats were stolen several times. To be fair, I'm pretty sure it was just for sport and not out of necessity. When a city is one big dreary dump, that's one way to avoid bad neighborhoods. It sure was nice of the leaders to create equality by lumping professionals with the publicly masturbating alcoholics and forcing them all to live in similarly miserable conditions.

Hey, remember all those playgrounds in different states of disrepair? Remember how some of them had those cute wooden houses so the kids could play "family", but only if the little house wasn't occupied by some wino on his way to alcohol poisoning? Also, all those dark vestibules- in Soviet times there was a strict rule that a fresh light bulb in any building's front entrance had to be stolen within several hours, and the honest Soviets abided- were great places to run into some degenerate or a lovely couple in the throws of passion. I never understood how people could lay down to make love with all that pee on the communal floor. Good times!

Anonymous said...

I really get the sense that there's not much new going on intellectually, anywhere.

Anonymous said...

By all means Steve, please read Bubbles and write a synopsis in human language. I'm pretty dense when it comes to deciphering Academicese. Better you than me.

Making itself intelligible is suicide for philosophy.
Martin Heidegger

Im not even sure what this quote means. Is it "suicide" because it exposes it as a hoax? Is it suicide because it puts an end to further analysis? Is it suicide for Philosophy positions at universities? You see, I can't endure 600 pages of questioning myself like this.

Anonymous said...


>The Russians are most definitely not part of the West

Good! It's 476AD anyway. Speak after me: lā ʾilāha ʾillà l-Lāh, Muḥammadur rasūlu l-Lāh!



Anonymous said...

...or, in your case, "No hay más divinidad que Dios...." :)

Steve Sailer said...

"I find Slavoj Zizek to be interesting"

I'm guessing he's not quite what his fans think he is.

Anonymous said...

Foucalt's pretty good -- try the Dreyfus/Rabinow "Foucault Reader". Also Pierre Bourdieu.

Anonymous said...

>Somebody jacked my dad's sled. Twice. In
>kindergarten

that's a good reason to dismantle (as opposed to reform) a system that, for all it's faults, worked, and at a terrible unprecedented social cost, too.

Anonymous said...

>Dear boy, the concepts of modern leftism would not exist without our French
>and German friends. Anglo culture (innately conservative) is the only thing
>holding back Franco-German leftist radicalism. Anglos (unlike Turks) have
>their own culture that they try to transmit: Adam Smith, Burke, Hume, Locke,
>etc. At present, it is only the higher reaches of the academic elite (cf
>Fredric Jameson) who have fallen prey to the Franco-German disease.

I don't see what this has to do with anything. I was simply pointing out that you can't reason from reason to agency, so to speak, and that the vocabulary may be whatever - continental, Islamic, whatever - that doesn't per se say who the biggest promoters of the respective ideology are.
Oh, and besides, Hume did believe in a strong govt that kept people from doing stuff to one another, whereas modern America is more of an "every man for himself", you (and the oh so "democratic" Russia) make up for the lack of social cohesion with draconic laws and a notoriously overreacting police. THat's not freedom.

Ron Woo said...

"The Russians are most definitely not part of the West (cf both Spengler and Toynbee); they are Asiatic."

I fail to see how they're especially Asiatic, aside from those few centuries of Mongol rule, which was largely conducted from afar.

Their traditional religion was that of the Byzantine Church, and in the 20th century the official ideology they adopted was that of a German Jew.

Maya said...

I don't know much about modern day thinkers. Still, I'm fluent in several languages, and once in awhile, I'll read something phenomenal which doesn't have an English translation. And, then, in a few years, it does.

"Esau" by Meir Shalev, a story of, er, loss of race and loss of inheritance, a modern day tale of Jacob and Esau that takes place in 20th century Palestine.

Also, anything by Andrzej Sapkowski, which right now, in English, seems to be only "Introduction to the Witcher: The Last Wish". And, well, that's not his best, but still very enjoyable, and a good primer for when the meat of Sapkowski's work finally gets translated. The guy writes about human condition and the influence that myths and legends of various kinds still have (and will always have) on gritty realities of life. He does it within the context of historical fiction or fantasy. "The Witcher" series have a cult following in Europe. It's fantasy for people who usually don't bother with fantasy.

"On the Sunny Side of the Street" by Dina Rubina is being translated right now, so any day now. It's a story of a woman who, as a young girl, was evacuated from St Petersburg to Uzbekistan after the 900 day siege of the WWII, close to death. It details her rise as a prominent figure in drug manufacturing and trafficking in that colonial outpost of the Soviet Union. The story is seen through the eyes of that woman's neglected, artistic bastard daughter.

Tertius Lydgate said...

Look to Axis of Evil countries to escape to reach of the Anglosphere. Pepe Escobar here just reports thoughts from Iran's intelligensia (though they seem to be participants in the international community, they have a somewhat different view than conventional wisdom):

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NH22Ak06.html

Or you could listen to popular elected leader Ahmadinejad's upcoming UN speech -- sure to be a bit different than your standard Anglo fare.

bgc said...

@Steve -

I read Sloterdijk's Critique of Cynical Reason in 1988, and several times since.

It contains some astute observations about the modern condition; and about Cynicism throughout history.

The perspective is essentially Nietzschian, flavoured with a very theoretical brand of New Left style Marxism.

However, like most modern non-fiction, it is essentially along essay padded-out into a fair sized, illustrated book.

In the early-mid 2000s I read everything else of Sloterdijk's that had been translated, interviews etc; but concluded that he had nothing more to say than was in Cynical Reason - and was reduced to pretentious and deliberately arcane re-presentations of (mostly) Nietzsche and Heidegger.

*

I would recommend the novels of Icelandic Nobellist Halldor Laxness.

Each novel is distinctly different in flavour, so it may be worth trying more than one. They are very 'philosophical' fictions - in the genre of Thomas Mann or Herman Hesse.

The Fish Can Sing is my favourite, probably; *beautifully* translated by Magnus Magnusson - who was (ironically) a household name in the UK for presenting the long-running TV quiz Mastermind.

Auntie Analogue said...

As for foreign ideas, it seems Esperanto never really caught on, did it?

Seems to me that the only truly great idea imported to the United States has been the radial tire. (If you drove on bias-ply tires before the radial tire came over from France, you know EXACTLY what I mean.)

Kylie said...

"Anybody ever notice which post-War novel clearly inspired Sunset Boulevard? I didn't notice it the first time I saw it, but this time the connection was pretty obvious. I went to Google and found a Hedda Hopper column from 1949 with Billy Wilder talking about the link between Sunset Blvd. and this book."

The inspiration doesn't seem all that clear to me. Sunset Boulevard is full of the living dead but only bracketed, so to speak, by the actual dead. Plus, the infamous morgue scene was cut out. I only read the novel once, though, ploughed through it in a couple of hours and really only remember the name JoyBoy.

You just have this thing for Waugh, like I have for Pasternak.

By the way Doctor Zhivago is my recommendation for something to read written in another language and translated into English. Best novel ever written--though not the best-written novel. Pasternak was a poet, not a novelist. But it's still the best.

Anonymous said...

>Hume
it meant Hobbes. I'm a cretin :(

spandrell said...

“Foucalt's pretty good"

Oh my. French philosophers are the denial of rationality. They are viruses to hack women's brains. Soviet propaganda was more in touch with reality than Focault.

Cail Corishev said...

"I happen to have grown up in the USSR. Moscow had no bad neighborhoods during the Soviet period. Nor had any other Soviet cities. I don't remember anyone ever even talking about any crime there. There were no lockers in the school I attended. There were no bike locks anywhere, yet bikes were never stolen. Never a sight of a homeless person in a city of 8 million."

Ah, that explains why they had to build a wall and have armed soldiers patrolling it -- to keep people out of this utopia. And how they had to have guards follow their athletes whenever they went to "free" countries -- to keep foreign athletes from hiding in their luggage and smuggling themselves into the happy USSR. Thanks for explaining that.

Anonymous said...

Sloterdijk is brilliant. His Spheres trilogy is among the best works of contemporary philosophy. From one of my favorite reviewers of pomo work:

"Spheres by Peter Sloterdijk (1998): This is really a trilogy, of which the first book, Bubbles, came out in 1998. It is a massive and in some respects, old-fashioned attempt to work out a gigantic theory of what Sloterdijk calls “macrospheres,” or cultural containers as extensions of the immune system. Metaphysics, as Sloterdijk says, is rooted in immunology: cultures which suffer a rupture of their spheres, as ours did in the seventeenth century when the crystalline spheres of the ancients were shattered with Copernicus, Kepler, et. al., spiral into anxiety, breakdown and worry. It is no accident, as he says, that Western civilization (is) one of the first societies to operate without a containing macrosphere... In some respects, Sloterdijk’s work is an attempt to bridge the gap between the German pre-WWII macronarrative a la Spengler and Heidegger and French post-modern philosophy, which was based almost entirely on an attempt to deny the validity of such all-encompassing narratives. Sloterdijk is a master of both spheres of discourse, and his work is a sustained attempt to bridge old-fashioned culture morphological concerns with current French theoretical ones."

Ex Submarine Officer said...


Lyubertsi was a nasty prole neighborhood even in the '80s. There was very little street mugging simply because almost no one carried around anything worth stealing - great accomplishment. But there was plenty of rape in the Soviet Union, there were also plenty of sick serial killers like Chikatilo and Dzhumagaliev. The level of organized crime, especially in Tashkent, Odessa or Tbilisi, was very high as well. The USSR was no paradise.


Considering how quickly a murderous and highly competent criminal element engulfed Russia immediately following the dissolution of the USSR, it is pretty hard to believe that the USSR didn't have any crime.

Did these guys just materialize out of nowhere?

Volksverhetzer said...

Umberto Eco is good.

from wikipedia

"Umberto Eco (born 5 January 1932) is an Italian semiotician, essayist, philosopher, literary critic, and novelist. He is best known for his groundbreaking 1980 novel Il nome della rosa (The Name of the Rose), an intellectual mystery combining semiotics in fiction, biblical analysis, medieval studies and literary theory."

As a semiotician he noticed that signs such as ligatures and punctuation don't always match the time the book or manuscript is supposed to have been written, so that the book or manuscript is a forgery or has been tampered with.

He has written a number of articles about the originality of a text, but it is when he has put his theories into novels, that he has founf his greatest success.

It is kind of funny how nobody want to be told that something they believed to be true was false, but if you just explain how it is done in fiction, a huge number wants to buy the books.

Anonymous said...

Maya:

1) Are you still single?

If yes, then

2) Can you cook?

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

"There was no bike racks, and nobody left their bikes outside, ever..."

Well, then nothing you say should be believed. I left my Orlyonok outside all the time. And everyone I knew left their bikes wherever it was convenient for them to do so. The idea that they might be taken couldn't have occurred to us. Imposing such an idea on that time and place would be an anachronism, like that other commenter's identification of Liubertsy as a dangerous place in the 1980s. And by the way, contrary to what he asserted, Liubertsy has never been a neighborhood, of Moscow or of any other city. It's a town in its own right. And I didn't have to look anything up in order to know that. How much can you know about Russia if you're calling freaking Liubertsy a neighborhood?

And I don't believe the multiple coat-stealing story either. I remember that period first-hand. I know what was plausible in it and what wasn't. I also know what the differences between the real thing and its later depictions in movies and on TV are.

AC said...

Lee Kwan Yew, the godfather of Singapore, is a fantastic man to watch. He was educated in Oxford in the leftist post-WWII period, but eventually became convinced that leftist ideas are bunk, and ran Singapore from a unique perspective that led to a desert island having a higher per capita GDP than the US.

Several youtube interviews of note: start here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNhcOwhpR1E

(If you listen very carefully, you may hear a choice quote re: immigration. "If you have just immigration of the fruit pickers, you may not get very far!" Charlie Rose quickly changes the subject, heh.)

Anonymous said...

Pierre Bourdieu and Bruno Latour are fantastic. Don't know yet about Sloterdjik, I'm slogging through it now.

I'm betting you will love Dan Sperber (French cognitive anthropologist).

Anonymous said...

"I'm guessing he's not quite what his fans think he is."

Could be:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Authoritarian_Personality#Responses
(...)
Similarly, Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek wrote, “It is precisely the kind of group loyalty, respect for tradition, and consciousness of differences central to Jewish identity, however, that Horkheimer and Adorno described as mental illness in Gentiles. These writers adopted what eventually became a favorite Soviet tactic against dissidents: anyone whose political views differed from theirs was insane. […] Christian self-denial, and especially sexual repression, caused hatred of the Jews [according to Adorno et al.].”[27]
(...)

Anonymous said...

I can't get over that coat-stealing story. I grew up in Moscow in the late Soviet period. There was snow on the ground for roughly 5 months a year. If your coat was stolen while you were in class, that would have been a pretty big deal. Remember, there were no cell phones back then, so how would you alert your family? -20 C wasn't anything extraordinary - happened all the time - though -10 C was more typical for winter. This was before global warming had hit the higher latitudes.

What I'm saying is that losing one's unattended, unlocked coat could have easily turned into a disaster. Good thing that I'd never heard of anyone ever having to go through that in those times until the commenter Maya showed up.

There were about a thousand pupils in my school. Everybody left their winter coats and shoe bags on hooks in one big dressing room. If you went past it between classes, you'd see a thousand coats hanging there unattended. Never heard of any thefts.

kaganovitch said...

""Anonymous said...

Foucalt's pretty good -- try the Dreyfus/Rabinow "Foucault Reader". Also Pierre Bourdieu."

I think what steve is asking for is under-appreciated untranslated foreign language works, not over-appreciated , multiply translated works like foucalt

Anonymous said...

Beyond the pale?

pat said...

Last week we talked about "The Master" and Scientology which led to some postings on General Semantics and other crackpot notions. One of those other ideas is the notorious Sapir-Worf Hypothesis. Today you are skating pretty close to the Hypothesis - language determines thought.

The Hypothesis is another strain of pop relativism. The simpler, saner attitude toward language is that multiple languages are just noise and should be eliminated ASAP.

There are at least fifty different words in use for the object we call in English a chair. Happily that number is dropping every day. Languages other than English are dying out fast. Actually now that I think about it something like half of all world languages are from New Zealand (or is it New Guinea?) and those mountain tribesmen probably never invented a chair. But the point is still valid.

I used to be fluent in quite a few languages including COBOL, BASIC, FORTRAN, C, and others. I used to know a little APL too. APL is far more interesting than French.

There is a theorem in computer science that any algorithm can be expressed in any computer language if it can express iteration, alternation and sequence. Your paycheck is probably produced in COBOL but it would be the same amount were it coded in Java.

Last week we also discussed opera. As it happens Italian opera - for my money - it sounds better in Russian than it does in German. But in the long run it should only be sung in English - even in Italy.

Most opera houses now project subtitles on a screen above the proscenium. The Met has little screens on seat backs. In the Good Old Days Verdi, Rossini and Donizetti wrote in Italian for Italy and French for France. Germany always produced opera in German until quite recently. Soon it will all be done in English and we won't have to keep looking to the translation screen.

The only reason opera isn't done in English today is because so few of the good ones were written in English. There were more than 2,000 operas written by Americans in English in the nineteenth century. Most of them were about cowboys and indians. Not a single note of a single song survives. The reason so much opera is sung in Italian is simply that Verdi, Rossini, and Puccini spoke that language and no American opera composer was anywhere near as good. Imagine if in order to use an HP calculator you first had to learn Polish for the RPN.

Every so often there is an article in paper about how the last man to speak some language just died and that language died with him. The papers bemoan such events but not me. I always wonder if he was the last one to speak it, who was he speaking it to?

In a world with nuclear weapons we need fewer languages not more.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...


For example, I believe there are one or two East Asian economists who have books out in English explaining why the economic theories that seem so indisputable to English-speakers are pretty much laughed at in the booming economies of the East.


Steve, you big tease.

Give us the names.

Henry Canaday said...

“Kant, Humboldt, Marx, Clausius, Mendel, Nietzsche, Planck, Freud, Einstein, Hitler--for good or ill can any other nation boast a collection of eleven (or even more) individuals who compare with these figures in regard to the enduring influence they have had on modern ways of thought?”

- Peter Watson, “The German Genius”

“The twentieth century should have been the German century.”

- Norman Cantor

Bobby said...

Someone that I have been following for almost 15 years and you might do well to have on your radar is Sergio Sarmiento. Only one book that I know, but he has his daily column Jacque Mate( Check Mate) that Is usually on current Mexican affairs but quite often he delves into world affairs. Not that his revelations are so shockingly original just that someone is applying obviously logical classically liberal positions to Mexican and other problems and in that he seems original. Your daily Sarmiento will leave you a little clearer on events especially Mexican than you were before in just a few short paragraphs.

Here is his bio:

http://www.sergiosarmiento.com/index.php/trayectoria/23-resumen-biografico-largo

Sorry Steve, I don´t think he has ever been regularly translated, but his straight forward and usually uncomplicated daily prose should translate easily.

If you nose around a little at the above link you can find his daily opinion pieces as well as other regular output.

Anonymous said...

Please don't go the Tyler Cowen route with unexplained references to pique curiosity. Who are the economists you mentioned? Someone above surmised Chang Ha-Joon is one.

Karen said...

Buy a set of Rosetta Stone discs and subscribe to their on-line service. I went from zero to reading Spanish newspapers in four months. (I am not fluent, merely competent when I can use a dictionary, but seriously, four months.) This works for French and German too, but might not be so easy with something non-Indo-European. Still, if you want to learn from other languages, learn the language. I have started studying French as well, and expect to be able to speak both languages in two years.

Anonymous said...

The fact that a Nobel prize winner like Alexander Solzhenitsyn won't have his last book published in the Anglo-sphere because expose the Jewish role in the Soviet Union tells all you need to know about the people who rule the English speaking World.

Douglas Reed was right.

Anonymous said...

"For example, I believe there are one or two East Asian economists who have books out in English explaining why the economic theories that seem so indisputable to English-speakers are pretty much laughed at in the booming economies of the East."

LINK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


http://hajoonchang.net/

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

From a Nationalist-Alt-Right perspective, the thinker Gabriele Adinolfi is doing important work in Italy.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8QvcsEIZUk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r19_T46Tvcs&feature=related

Not much intellectual ferment in arab world

Anonymous said...

The Anglosphere is profoundly conservative in temperament; it is the Franco-German world that is radically leftist.


The French claimed, with some justification, that the radicalism which ended in the French Revolution originated in England. No, the Anglosphere is not profoundly conservative in temperament. That's like saying that America and Britain are profoundly conservative in temperament, which is patently false.

Anonymous said...

Anglo culture (innately conservative) is the only thing holding back Franco-German leftist radicalism.


Then it's a strange thing that France and Germany are notably less in thrall to leftist radicalism than are America and Britain.

Campion said...

Anon 9/22/12 9:05 PM has a point. I've known many people who grew up in the USSR and most of them say it wasn't bad, just unsustainable. There were frustrations with idiots who couldn't be fired and lineups for meat that we wouldn't like but not so bad overall.

HaR said...

"But there was plenty of rape in the Soviet Union, there were also plenty of sick serial killers like Chikatilo and Dzhumagaliev"

Christ, I looked up that Dzh guy on Wiki and learned that he was a Jeffrey Dhammer type. I imagined the Soviets must've hung the guy after torturing him for a bit. Actually, he was found not guilty by reason of insanity, and released from his mental institution around 2000.

Incredible. This government of mass murderers that locked people away for speaking their minds found a criminal that they could relate to.

Fellow Traveler in Berkeley said...

"Foucalt's pretty good"

I like what Camille Paglia had to say about this:

"Enough! Enough already of Lacan, Foucault, and Derrida, poured like ketchup over everything!"

Wyandot BBQ said...

My advice is to pick a language at random-something that uses the Latin alphabet and is Germanic or Latin-and get a subscription to one or two magazines of subjects that interest you in it, if you can afford it, and a language learning kit and a dictionary of it. And start plugging away.

If you cannot, go to the library. many libraries have thrown out all foreign language stuff besides Spanish: if yours hasn't, check out and return every single book or as many as possible in every foreign language besides Spanish.

Astonishing progress can be made this way.

Anonymous said...

"So really, Steve, you knew a guy who played a small role in introducing barbarism into huge areas of the globe where it hadn't existed before. Congrats!" - Soviet propaganda with respect to Africa and africans played no small part in getting America to adopt the positions it has.

"For example, I believe there are one or two East Asian economists who have books out in English explaining why the economic theories that seem so indisputable to English-speakers are pretty much laughed at in the booming economies of the East." - We seem determined to project rather than to investigate these days.

Steve Sailer said...

Dear Bruce:

Is there anything short by Sloterdijk that sums up his approach well? Any good long review of his work you can recall?

Anonymous said...

"Wall Street's Loss Can Be Our Gain"

http://prospect.org/article/wall-streets-loss-can-be-our-gain

"The loss of stock wealth means that stockholders have less claim to value of the country's output. The U.S. economy can produce just as much in 2009 as it did in 2008 (in fact somewhat more, because of labor force and productivity growth). If stockholders can demand less because of the reduced value of their stock, then this leaves more for the rest of us.

The most visible evidence of how the loss of stockholder wealth can benefit the rest of us was the sharp decline in consumer prices over the last three months. As a result, real wages rose at almost a 15 percent annual rate in the three months from September through November."


For stock markets to continue to rise at the recent pace of growth, wages would actually have to decline to negative territory (workers pay employers). It might not be as far off as you might think.

Cingoldby said...

''Then it's a strange thing that France and Germany are notably less in thrall to leftist radicalism than are America and Britain.''

Britain is less leftwing than France by quite a significant degree.

C. Van Carter said...

Nicolás Gómez Dávila. Miguel de Unamuno. Alain de Benoist. Bertrand de Jouvenel. Chantal Delsol. Olavo de Carvalho.

C. Van Carter said...

Some contemporary literature translations are subsidized.

Harry Baldwin said...

Of course, high quality translation is terribly difficult. For example, in the early 1970s, there was much interest in Solzhenitsyn's books, so there would be a large sale of the American translation. This led to people saying things like, "Well, he's a great man but he's not a great writer."

I had the same problem when I tried to read the Koran. Is there a translation that makes it sound divinely inspired rather than a tedious screed of the most pedestrian sort?

Anonymous said...

"Britain is less leftwing than France by quite a significant degree."

Which is why Britain banned the hijab while France genuflects at the altar of multiculturalism. Oh, wait...

Anonyia said...

"Britain is less leftwing than France by quite a significant degree. "

Not in the most important sense- France is not as beholden to multiculturalism. Someone like Marine Le Pen would never get as large a proportion of the vote in any Anglosphere country.

Anonymous said...

Several somewhat slightly forgotten books by French intellectuals worth reading (and very readable) come to mind.

On Power its Nature and History of Growth by Bertrand De Jouvenel. Brilliant book on the nature of power and how it grows and changes within any system. Had Nazi sympathies during WWII (despite having at least a partly Jewish background if I recall correctly) and fell out of favor with French intellectuals.

Conservatives and Libertarians who wonder why government never ever shrinks will enjoy this book.

He is considered by many to be one of the first formal “futurists” who tried to systematize the study of predicting future events and technologies (was editor of a magazine in the 1960s devoted to “futurism” I believe).

Big largely unaccredited influence on Foucault who borrowed many of his ideas (at least it seems to me) from De Jouvenel for Foucault’s early more coherent works studying power and its manifestation in the evolution of the idea of insanity and the use of asylums. Both writers of course were influenced by Nietzche and Max Weber.

Another somewhat forgotten good book by a Frenchman is Roland Barthes S/Z. This book may be of special interest to those interested in literary analysis before those Barthes influenced, like Derrida, took it to a silly extreme. If I recall correctly, in the book he takes a short story and interprets it from a variety of perspectives (Marxist, Freudian, etc…) and very convincingly shows that depending on the ideology used very convincing “meanings” of the story can be elicited by the reader. Hence, the now well known idea in French and American literary circles that the reader is, at least in part, also the author of the text.

Finally, Jacques Ellul was a Roman Catholic who wrote a couple of interesting books in the 1970s. One on the nature of technology (from which the Unabomber cribbed ideas for his manifesto) ...and the other on nature of propaganda. Both are well worth reading.

Thanks to all for the good suggestions.

I have already added some books and authors to my “to read” list.

Anonymous said...

Anglo culture (innately conservative) is the only thing holding back Franco-German leftist radicalism.


Then it's a strange thing that France and Germany are notably less in thrall to leftist radicalism than are America and Britain.


Didn't a lot of the European leftists radicals end up coming to America cira WW2? Might this be why the shoe is on the other foot now?

Anonymous said...

F- Western philosophy in any language - it's mostly intellectual wankery. Start reading the Buddhists, or Western expositors of Eastern thought, like Ken Wilber.

PublicSphere said...

Very interesting to see iSteve readers plugging Foucault et al. It suggests that Steve's readership is even broader than I had imagined. I did not expect that many Foucault readers would be Steve readers.

Tim Parks has some pretty interesting things to say about translation and the translated:

Most Favored Nations
interesting stats on what actually gets translated [answer: very little].

Are You the Tim Parks Who...
"I am known in England mainly for light, though hopefully thoughtful non-fiction; in Italy for polemical newspaper articles and a controversial book about soccer; in Germany, Holland, and France, for what I consider my “serious” novels Europa, Destiny, Cleaver; in the USA for literary criticism; and in a smattering of other countries, but also in various academic communities, for my translations and writing on translation."

Sign and Sight [cf. "Sein und Zeit," get it?], while it existed, made valiant efforts to keep up with the latest intellectual trends, as manifested in the culture pages of various "quality" European papers. Its founder, Thierry Chervel, controversially argued for acknowledging English as a European lingua franca. Its failure to obtain continued funding is arguably evidence that EU elites just don't care that much about cross-border intellectual discussion.
Sign and Sight
Thierry Chervel: Let's Talk European!

If you can do German, or use Google Translate, S&S's German parent, Perlentaucher, is a good source of capsule summaries of what the highbrow reviewers at the high-end German papers thought of particular books, like those by Sarrazin or Sloterdijk:

Perlentaucher
Peter Sloterdijk. Sphären. Drei Bände: Blasen. Globen. Schäume.
Thilo Sarrazin. Deutschland schafft sich ab. Wie wir unser Land aufs Spiel setzen

Baloo said...

Oh, Céline, of course. Vonnegut thought highly of him.
Louis-Ferdinand Céline

Anonymous said...

Britain is less leftwing than France by quite a significant degree.

I think this means that in France a private business finds that even the white employees are impossible to fire.

PublicSphere said...

On the more literary side of things, The Complete Review, which as far as I can tell is just one guy, M.A. Orthofer, with very German thoroughness provides RottenTomatoes/ MetaCritic-style summaries of the critical reviews of various novels, in all sorts of original languages.

The Top Rated Books at The Complete Review

Those on the "A+" list include some familiar names, but also maybe less famous ones such as Cao Xuequin.

Also, Three Percent, at the University of Rochester, sets itself the ambition of covering the international literary scene.

"Unfortunately, only about 3% of all books published in the United States are works in translation. That is why we have chosen the name Three Percent for this site. And that 3% figure includes all books in translation—in terms of literary fiction and poetry, the number is actually closer to 0.7%. While that figure obviously represents more books than any one person could read in a year, it’s hardly an impressive number.

"An even greater shame is that only a fraction of the titles that do make their way into English are covered by the mainstream media. So despite the quality of these books, most translations go virtually unnoticed and never find their audience.

"The idealistic hope of Three Percent is to help change that—at least a little bit."

PublicSphere said...

I notice that a lot of the nominations by iSteve readers are anti-communist type authors. Well, Tony Judt, among his other activities, was very serious about the intellectual history of anti-communism, and highlighted the intellectual work of a number of anti-communist French intellectuals, at a time when it was difficult to be such an intellectual.

Tony Judt, Past Imperfect: French Intellectuals, 1944-1956
Judt, Reappraisals: Reflections on the Forgotten Twentieth Century

Raymond Aron would be the prime example, but Judt also wrote about Arthur Koestler, etc. Aron's book, The Opium of the Intellectuals, on the corrosive influence of Marxism (the opiate in question), is much appreciated by U.S. conservatives.

The Opium of the Intellectuals
Roger Kimball on Aron

Aron was a forefather to the steadily growing band of French intellectuals who vigorously critiqued that country's establishment Left. Another example would be Pascal Bruckner, published in English at Sign and Sight:

The Invention of Islamophobia
Enlightenment Fundamentalism or Racism of the Anti-Racists?
Lubricious Puritanism

Communism then, multiculturalism now.

Judt's mentor, François Furet, did a lot to puncture the pious left-wing interpretation of the French Revolution, and then of Communism. His book on the latter, The Passing of an Illusion, is worth a read.

The Passing of an Illusion: The Idea of Communism in the Twentieth Century
review by J. Arch Getty

Anonymous said...

"Britain is less leftwing than France by quite a significant degree."

Anonymous:"Which is why Britain banned the hijab while France genuflects at the altar of multiculturalism. Oh, wait..."

Or maybe it's because Anglos value something called Freedom of Religion...something that the French (ever keen on authoritarian rule) have never really understood.

Syon

Anonymous said...

anonymous:"Then it's a strange thing that France and Germany are notably less in thrall to leftist radicalism than are America and Britain."

MMMM. You have a rather curious understanding of what constitutes "leftist radicalism," then.

Syon

Anonymous said...




anonymous:"The French claimed, with some justification, that the radicalism which ended in the French Revolution originated in England. No, the Anglosphere is not profoundly conservative in temperament. That's like saying that America and Britain are profoundly conservative in temperament, which is patently false."

Of course the Anglos are profoundly conservative, dear boy; the Anglo ideas of capitalism, democracy, private property, empirical science, etc, are part and parcel of our culture, organic growths, as it were. The French, in their typically over-enthusiastic manner, simply tried to adopt notions for which they were not fitted. The result was the French Revolution.

Syon

Anonymous said...

the Franco-German disease.

Anonymous:"Neocon propaganda. Allan Bloom and others pushed this calumny."

Even propagandists are occasionally right, dear boy.

Syon

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"Smith, Hume, and Locke were liberals. They weren't conservative."

Of course they were conservative, dear boy; their thought was simply the distillation of centuries of Anglo experience.It's all in the blood.

Syon

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"It's not a theory. It's a fact."

Ah, if only saying that something is a fact would actually make it so..

"I'm not talking about the "Anglosphere" so much as post-WWII America. The Brits haven't mattered post-WWII and have just followed America."

The "Brits haven't mattered post-WWII"? Dear boy, they are America's only real rivals in cultural influence.

""Temperament" doesn't matter, the facts do. The fact is that English language hegemony has dominated and has promoted a neoliberal/cultural Marxist outlook. The only reason anybody knows about various 20th cent. leftist intellectuals like those you mentioned is because they were promoted by English language hegemony."

Gosh, so if French were still the dominant international language, no one would read Lacan, Derrida, Foucault, Barthes, etc?

Syon

Anonymous said...

"The Russians are most definitely not part of the West (cf both Spengler and Toynbee); they are Asiatic."

Ron Woo:"I fail to see how they're especially Asiatic, aside from those few centuries of Mongol rule, which was largely conducted from afar."

Would you prefer it if I simply called them "Eastern?"

"Their traditional religion was that of the Byzantine Church,"

Which, by definition, makes them non-Western.

"and in the 20th century the official ideology they adopted was that of a German Jew."

Yes, one of their periodic attempts to Westernize themselves (cf Peter the Great). It didn't take.

Syon

Anonymous said...

"I've known many people who grew up in the USSR"

Think of all the poor souls in the USSR who didn't grow up because they were starved to death. Well, dead men tell no tales.

MQ said...

Ha Joon Chang is great but he teaches at Cambridge and his books are writen in English and widely distributed in the Anglosphere. (Look for them at your local Barnes and Noble). Not sure he qualifies as underappreciated foreign writer.

I think Foucault is overrated, but he's not Derrida. He has some historical grounding and a modicum of realism that makes him worth a look. Some of his work is driven by his radical homosexual lifestyle though.

Anonymous said...

http://exiledonline.com/freakonomics-author-steven-levitt-enemy-of-chicago-school-teachers/

Anonymous said...

Joseph Brodsky' essays make for good reading. He was known mainly as a poet, and while Russian-speakers vouch for him I find his poetry doesn't really work in translation; but his essays on politics, literature, life in general (collected in "On Grief and Reason" and another volume whose title escapes me) are lively and thought-provoking. He didn't have a grand system of thought, and he lived and wrote in a Cold War context, so his stuff is not directly relevant and lacks a Grand Theme -- but he's humane and urbane and surprising, and reading him makes you a sharper, clearer thinker.

Although he wrote in English so it's OT, I will mention that everybody should read Jacques Barzun. The man was sort of a living, breathing definition of clear-headed common sense. You may not agree with him on this or that specific, but he generally comes off as _sane_, which is all too rare in intellectuals.

Also, the literary essays of J.L. Borges are quite good. He's known for his puzzling short stories, but his essays are a joy to read: the man was incomparably at home and at ease in all of Western civilization, from Homer to Beckett, as if the whole thing were his living room.

Anonymous said...

Amedeo Molnar's "Les Vaudois au Moyen Age"

The authoritative work on medeival Waldensians (the first Protestants)

(in French)

Anonymous said...

SPeaking of, can any reccommend a good translation of Gulag Archipelago?

Anonymous said...

Herve Ryssen

(aka the French K-Mac)

Vinteuil said...

Foucault never said anything interesting that wasn't better said by Nietzsche. And he was one of the worst, most prolix, & most obscure writers ever to walk the Earth. And that's up against some pretty stiff competition: Heidegger, Adorno, Lacan, Derrida, &c &c &c - the whole continentalist rogues gallery.

His famous essay "What is an Author?" could be summed up by an analytic philosopher in a single sentence: "the names of authors should be treated as definite descriptions rather than rigid operators."

The essay offers no argument whatsoever for this silly claim.

I threw the book at the wall.

Anonymous said...

Both England and France have had plenty of writers who have been enamored with Leftism at one time or another.

The majority of the French population just voted for a socialist last election.

So on economic issues the Left in France is still very healthy.

However, on the issue of multi- culturalism (an idea that interests me more than leftist redistributive policies because it is leading to cultural and racial suicide) the right in England seems almost completely without power or influence.

They have completely rolled over to the powers of PC and you cannot even talk about issues of immigration without risking being incarcerated for a hate crime (at least that is my perception from the U. S.A.).

Isn’t that lady on the bus in Great Britain, Emma West, who spoke out against immigration still in custody and undergoing psychiatric examinations?

On the other hand, the right via Le Pen and other got a sizable number of votes in the last election and even forced Sarkozy to suggest that immigration was not working and would have to be restricted.

At least to me, it seems in public life cultural conservatives have more of a voice in France than in Great Britain where they effectively have none. Even though a couple of BNP were recently elected they are still outliers in Great Britain.

Overall, to me, France seems more conservative now in the sense that it has not completely capitulated to multi-culturalism and political correctness.

Difficult to quantify such views, but based on the news I am receiving that is my impression.

England looks like it is over. France looks like it may still have a chance.

Rohan Swee said...

It's amazing how cultural marxists some Europeans are.

Here is a quote from one site:


Europeans? Marxists? You can see every one of those quotes regurgitated pretty much verbatim in any random online U.S. forum about immigration - very often from self-described "conservatives" and libertarians.

It's not that hard to find anti-immigrationist realtalk on European sites, either.

True, their MSMers are at least as crazy as ours.

Even Paris has bad areas.

Generally associated with burgeoning vibrancy. It would be interesting to quantify how much of the barbarism of Western cities relative to Asian cities (see AC's comment about writer Nick Land) is correlated with said vibrancy.

nsam said...

http://beingdifferentbook.com/

Anonymous said...

" Baloo said...
Oh, Céline, of course. Vonnegut thought highly of him.
Louis-Ferdinand "


I much prefer the Marks translation, it seemed less "translated" than the Manheim translation. Might be hard to find.

Hail said...

Steven Levitt: Enemy of Chicago School Teachers

Author: "Yasha Levine is co-founder the S.H.A.M.E. Project"

Why does it so often seem that American intellectual life is Jewish-dominated?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of, can any reccommend a good translation of Gulag Archipelago?

The Gulag Archipelago is not a kind of fiction where quality of the writing matters that much. And Solzhenitsyn wasn't much of a stylist anyway. So quality of the translation of his works is nowhere near as important as it is with works of Pushkin or Chekhov or Bulgakov. I just checked couple random paragraphs of the first English translation against original and it is perfectly adequate. PDFs are here:

http://archive.org/download/Gulag_Archipelago_I/Gulag_Archipelago_text.pdf

http://archive.org/download/Gulag_Archipelago_II/Gulag_Archipelago_II_text.pdf

http://archive.org/download/Gulag_Archipelago_III/Gulag_Archipelago_III_text.pdf

Incomplete translation of the "200 Years Together" can be found here:

http://www.sunray22b.net/200_years_together.htm

It's too bad that the project seems to have been shut down. I could have contributed few chapters as a volunteer.

Anonymous said...

Look for Bernard Lugan, in the field of Africanism. His counter investigation of the Rwandan genocide, or more recently the Lybian question.

gummomics said...

"For example, I believe there are one or two East Asian economists who have books out in English explaining why the economic theories that seem so indisputable to English-speakers are pretty much laughed at in the booming economies of the East."

Me thinks such thinking has been common in the East for a long time, and Western experts on Asia knew about them.

So, the more important question is why are those books being published in English now? Maybe, it's a way of making Asians dig their own graves. If we are to have a trade war with Asia, why not have Asians point out that Americans are stupid for believing in 'free trade' with nations that don't play fair?
That way, Asians will have laid out the justification for our change in trade policy, and we can be spared the charge of anti-Asian-ism since Asians are the ones who made the case that 'free trade' is stupid.

Anonymous said...

"The Opium of the Intellectuals
Roger Kimball on Aron"

There has been so much written on the
failure of French intellectuals during the Revolution.
Failure of Russian intellectuals since... forever.
Failure of Japanese intellectuals during WWII.
Failure of German intellectuals in the 30s.

But what about failure of Jewish intellectuals in supporting communism, subversion, cultural pollution, radical diversity, weakening of immigration laws, promotion of gay agenda, etc?

Anonymous said...

Larry Summers, Rubin, and etc. The failure of Wall Street Jewish intellectuals.

Iraq War. Failure of Zionist intellectuals.

But it would be 'antisemitic' to point it out.

Anonymous said...

If you have a hunger for incomprehensible foreign literature, a good way to find reviews is to look up some of your favorites on Amazon, pick a review you like and check out the reviewer's critiques of other works. This is also a good way of spotting neocon and Scots-Irish biases.

Even the people-who-bought-this-bought-this-too feature is a little helpful.

Anonymous said...

Mario Vargas Llosa and his son Alvaro Vargas Llosa.

Anonymous said...

failure of Jewish intellectuals in supporting communism, subversion, cultural pollution, radical diversity, weakening of immigration laws, promotion of gay agenda

There are non-Jews who support those items and there are Jews who are opposed to them. Yet in your mind it's all the fault of of the Jews. Celler wasn't the only one in favor of immigration reform. Don't forget Ted Kennedy. I reckon he wasn't Jewish.

Anonymous said...

he's not celebrating diversity. he's saying that having people speak not just english is good because english language stuff is usually PC now.

Anonymous said...

A Brit commenter on English "conservatism" over at Takimag:
Islamic Republic of England
We have the Public Order Act which criminalises absolutely everything the State (via the Crown Prosecution Service) wish to control. You can go to prison for making a comment on facebook. people have been arrested for the 'racially-aggravated' revving of a car engine. Our land is covered with CCTV, and even though we are told the country has no money, the police helicopter fleet is always in the air.

People are scared to speak as they wish, for fear of being locked up or losing their jobs. If you live in council (social) accommodation, you can be evicted for expressing a forbidden opinion.

Britain is not free - is is the first nation-wide panoptican, and has more grasses (paid police informants) than the old Eastern Bloc nations.

Most people put up with the abuse of the State and the behaviour of the favoured minorities either through fear of what will happen if they speak up, or through a feeling that there is no point in fighting as there is no hope of changing anything.

We are the land of the Slave and the home of the Afraid.




http://takimag.com/article/the_islamic_republic_of_england_gavin_mcinnes/print#ixzz27O2QAQmI

Anonymous said...

Most of the modern French intellectuals are scotch-irish: Bernard-Henri Levy, Alain Finkelkrault, Pascal Bruckner, Jean-François Kahn, Guy Sorman, Jean-Daniel Bensaid, Benny Levy, Domnique Moisi and there is many more...

MQ said...

Celler wasn't the only one in favor of immigration reform. Don't forget Ted Kennedy. I reckon he wasn't Jewish.

The notion that 'Jews' were behind the 1964 immigration act is one of the lies constantly floating around the right-wing blogsphere. The Irish was much more significant -- Jack Kennedy and Philip Hart (the lead Senate sponsor) were both key advocates, and more significant in passing the bill than Celler. Then you get LBJ who enthusiastically endorsed and signed the bill. The legislation itself passed by a landslide.

The 1964 immigration act is just one case of why you have to treat far right anti-semitism as based on a kind of pathological paranoia and not on any examination of the facts. Jews would have to be evil geniuses with mystical mind-control powers, or non-Jews would have to be helpless idiots, for Jews to have the role anti-semites ascribe to them in determining every aspect of contemporary American life.

ben tillman said...

I guess there's Eörs Szathmáry, the Hungarian theoretical evolutionary biologist.

Anonymous said...

There are non-Jews who support those items and there are Jews who are opposed to them. Yet in your mind it's all the fault of of the Jews. Celler wasn't the only one in favor of immigration reform. Don't forget Ted Kennedy. I reckon he wasn't Jewish.

The problem is they are heavily represented in the ranks of the left/liberal/progressive ranks and where they are on the opposite side its often an equivocal position.

Anonymous said...

Bernard Lugan is, as another reader has pointed out, brillant.

He has written extensively about Africa (both about the continent as a whole and about particular countries or ethnis, such as Maroco, South Africa, the berbers or Egypt).

Of particular interest to isteve readers: ethnic realities form the core of his analysis. And he´s a hard core anti-immigrationist (not anti-immigrant, as the ever manipulative leftists call people like us).

He was kicked out from academia for his views, but still teaches at some military academies or something.

The problem, however, is that only one of his books is available in English (African legacy: solutions for a community in crisis).

As someone who more or less masters Spanish, French, German and English, my impression is that 85% of the books worth reading (for an international public) are published in English. Maybe 10% are published in French, 4% in German and 1% in Spanish.

As to Sloterdijk: forget about him. He´s mainly a boring charlatan, although he now and then comes up with an un-PC thought, such as eugenics or the idea that we have entered a historical period in which the rich work harder than the poor. But not worth anybody´s time, IMHO.

Anonymous said...

http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2012/sep/20/beijings-dangerous-game/

Chinese elites use Nanking and WWII like Jewish elites use Holocaust in order to maintain supremacy and to fend off all criticism against 'anti-sinites'--just like Jews hysterically condemn all critics of Zionism as 'antisemites' or 'Nazis'.

Chinese game is dangerous but Jewish game is even more dangerous. It led to gulf War, starvation of 100,000s of Iraqi women and children, blowback and 9/11, Afghan war, Iraq War, Libyan War, our support of terrorists in Syria, Israel's illegal possession of 100s of nukes, sanctions on Iran, and maybe another war. And endless oppression of Palestinians.

Though nanking and holocaust were great tragedies, they have been mythologized and milked by cynical powergrabbers among the Chinese and Jewish elites, and we are paying for it.

Anonymous said...

What were some of the biggest ideas or paradigms of second half of 20th century?

Affluent Society?

Personal is Political?

Authenticism?

End of History?

Orientalism? (Said)

How about 21st century?

Clash of Civilizations?

I have an idea with the advance of technology.

Universal Aristocracy. As machines become our slaves, we can all take it easy and live as aristocrats while machines and robots take care of all our needs.



Anonymous said...

It's called anglosphere because of use of English but given the dominance of Jewish thinkers, shouldn't it be called Judeosphere?

I mean how many influential Jamaican or hillbilly thinkers are out there? they speak english.

Severn said...

Of course the Anglos are profoundly conservative, dear boy; the Anglo ideas of capitalism, democracy, private property, empirical science, etc, are part and parcel of our culture, organic growths, as it were. The French, in their typically over-enthusiastic manner, simply tried to adopt notions for which they were not fitted. The result was the French Revolution.


Syon



Are you trying to parody somebody? The relentless use of "dear boy" suggests that you are. (Either that or you're trying to project the image of a simpering homosexual)

Severn said...

The white captain of the English national football (soccer) team was put on trial in a court of law for using racist language.

The racist language he used was the "b-word" - he called a black player "black".

Such is the state of individual liberty and freedom of expression in England in the the 21st century.

It's a damn good thing that they don't believe in "leftist radicalism" like the French and Germans, eh?

Anonymous said...

West will lead East because of the ways of elite intellectualism.

When it comes to educating the masses, East Asia produces more well-learned people than the West. Most people are smart enough to learn but not smart enough to think new thoughts and be brilliant.

So, they'll actually learn more from the Asian system where students are disciplined and must obey teachers and read books assigned to them. And most students know less and are dumber than their teachers.

But really smart kids are often smarter than their teachers--and may even know more. Such people are the real changers of society. IN the West, we shape these kids with the basics, but once they start showing signs of genius, originality, innovative spirit, and inspiration, we let them run free and do their thing.. which is why we have folks like Gates, Jobs, and Zuckerburg(maybe McDonalds should link up with facebook and come up with zuckerburger). And these geniuses, like Mozart in AMADEUS, go off and do their crazy brilliant thing.

East does better than the West in educating dumb to bright kids, but it does a terrible job in educating really smart kids. Instead of nurturing individual genius among the supersmart and letting their talents run free, Asian societies treat them like all the rest. Thus, their geniuses, instead of being allowed to explore and venture out, remains CONTAINED and BOXED.

If Asians figure this out, they'd do much better. Also, Asians seem hostile to the idea that the student could know more than the teachers. So, even very smart kids have to pretend they are dumber than their not-so-great teachers/professors. They hold themselves to make the professors look good. And even when they do great work in the lab, they are quick to give the credit to their superiors even though they themselves did most of the job.

Paradoxically, social inferiors in Asia probably embrace the rigid system of hierarchy. There is at least some semblance of order and balance to the traditional kind of hierarchy. So, no matter how smart or talented someone is, he too has to bow down to the system(instead of acting like he's something special). But under a freer social order, the truly talented and smart will reach the top even faster and may even show off. That will make the inferiors even more resentful.

Anonymous said...

In some ways, there may be more social rage in China, Korea, and even Japan now than in the past due to increase in meritocracy. In the past, there were tons of social injustice but there was at least the comfort of knowing that people next to you were just as badly off as you were. A stinking peasant lived next to stinking peasants. But in the modern order, your next door stinking peasant may strike it rich while you remain a stinking peasant. It was one thing to resent the old established rich whom you barely knew, but it's much more personal when you resent the new rich who, not long ago, was a next door stinker just like you. Thus, you not only feel poor and oppressed but left behind.
A community of shared poverty at least has a sense of solidarity. But a community where some poor folks feel left behind by poor-folks-who-made-it-big may be filled with greater resentment.

Maybe poor white women are worse off than poor black women cuz poor black community has been the norm; also, even though rich blacks do their own thing, they still pretend to lead the black community, and so, even poor black women feel like they belong to a community of blackness.
In contrast, poor white women feel left behind by all those successful white folks. A poor black woman can justify her poverty on the basis of 'white oppression and racism'(and thereby feel no shame about her failure), but a poor white woman has no such comforting excuses for her poverty and failure. She's simply 'poor white trash'. Also, there is no 'white community' to make her feel at home. No white version of Jesse Jackson to make her feel that there are people looking out for her. GOP is for rich whites, not for the 47% of which white trash belong. (Black women are also aided by government jobs galore that favor them over white hos).

Because there has been much social change and rise of meritocracy in Asia resulting in much social resentment, maybe most Asians--who are still not rich--cling to a rigid hierarchical intellectual order as a stabilizing social pillar. That way, even those destined to rise high due to their talent and intelligence will have to rise slowly and painfully and will have to eat 'bitter rice' under the iron heels of superiors. Whatever success they find, it will have come through much pain and struggle. Someone as glib as Zuckerberg and Google boys(who made their success seem so easy) might piss off most Asians. So, Asians prefer Salieris to Mozarts.

When ordinary Americans see one of their own make it rich and famous, they cheer for him. But when Asians see such, they might feel resentment, as if the guy 'didn't pay his dues'. So, the system forces even the very talented to eat humble pie or humble rice. So, they remained boxed.

Anonymous said...

For some reason, Americans prefer the successful who makes success seem easy than those who make success seem hard.

We cheer for the Zucks, Gates, and Trumps.
But we don't like kids of Tiger Mothers. They make success seem like so much darn hard work and drudgery.

Campion said...

For the record, I'm not defending the Soviet system which I know perfectly well was brutal. I'm simply pointing out that for kids who grew up in Moscow under Brezhnev, life was not experienced as being that bad. That's it.

El Supremo said...

Nicolas Gomez Davila.

Colombian conservative philsopher and writer of maxims in the style of Nietzche and LaRouchefoucauld.

Great prose style and a interesting reactionary thinker, who seems to be getting more attention in Europe than the US.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicol%C3%A1s_G%C3%B3mez_D%C3%A1vila

Some examples of his maxims:

"To tolerate does not mean to forget that what we tolerate does not deserve anything more."

"The left claims that the guilty party in a conflict is not the one who covets another’s goods but the one who defends his own."

'The difference between "organic" and "mechanical" in social matters is a moral one: the "organic" is the result of innumerable humble acts; the "mechanical" is the result of one decisive act of arrogance.'

Thomas O. Meehan said...

Steve, your request can be seen as an incentive for some enterprising internet genius to create a very valuable service. An suitably entrepreneurial character operating close to a suitable university could contract translate given texts for a fee. The fee costs cold be offset by grouping translation requests.

Your query could be the genesis of a modest but extremely valuable enterprise.

Anonymous said...

One of the above posters mentioned Ken Wilber the American intellectual who is a Buddhist trying to integrate Eastern and Western thought.

Although an American, I suppose he might not be considered part of the Anglo sphere, because of his unusual approach (and the fact that most readers outside of those interested in new age type stuff or Buddhism might not know who he is… for those reasons I suspect most ISteve readers don’t know of him ).

Anyways, I would second the recommendation, particularly for those interested in Eastern thought.

Wilber has a scientific background in biochemistry, and his books show the type of rigor that you ordinarily do not associate with “new age” writers.

As an introduction, his best book is A Brief History of Everything which is a summary of his ideas postulated at great length in earlier books (n.b. “Brief” for him is a relative term… the book is still around 400 pages or so if my recollection is correct).

It’s very readable, though he does go off on some arcane tangents occasionally.

Surprisingly, for someone popular with the Deepak Chopra crowd, he has some unusually harsh, and insightful, things to say about Feminism, Marxism, and some of the other popular isms (readers who appreciate some of the deeper Catholic conservative philosophers will find some common ground).

Reading the book, which came highly recommended by some new age type friends whose recommendations I usually ignore (with good reason and based on experience), taught me again the lesson that you can’t always judge a book by its cover.

Anonymous said...

The Scots-Irish, dear boy, have my vote if they are out to harm those overrated, condescending Anglos and their "sphere". The Kaiser's something-something?

Anonymous said...

I mentioned Emmanuel Todd in the previous thread [although be forewarned that Explanation of Ideology is out of print, and used copies of it are getting to be difficult to find].

Also, check out the work of the great Soviet/Russian mathematician, Igor Shafarevich - if you want to, then you can skip all the suspense at Wikipedia and just fast-forward straight to the section titled, "Accusations of antisemitism".

Big Bill said...

Syon: "American intellectuals, even Jewish ones like Judith Butler, are mostly anti-Zionist"

Not sure what "anti-Zionist" means. Someone against Jews returning to Zion? Someone critical of Likud? Netanyahu? Does it mean they do not want America to defend Israel like it was the 51st state when the war starts? Does it mean they won't insist it is America's moral duty to absorb all the refugees?

I wouldnt get too stressed, Syon. Every family has its squabbles, but in the end family always comes first.

Anonymous said...

"For the record, I'm not defending the Soviet system which I know perfectly well was brutal. I'm simply pointing out that for kids who grew up in Moscow under Brezhnev, life was not experienced as being that bad. That's it."

I've said it was socialism that destroyed communism. Because of lack of material incentives, communism can only work as a slave economy with ruthless managers wielding the whip. And so, Stalin turned mostly agricultural Russia into an industrial powerhouse almost overnight and even managed to beat mighty Germany.

But beginning in the 60s, the USSR became more humane. There were no more gulag and mass murder. No more ruthless controls.

There was no freedom and no democracy, but as long as you went along, you were mostly left alone.
Previously, people worked hard cuz if they didn't, they could be accused of sabotaging the economy and either be shot or sent to the gulag.
But when things relaxed, you could work like a bum and get away with it. As there were no material incentives to work hard, you did the bare minimum--or not even that--and mostly goofed off on the job.
And since the economy was so inefficient, factories were loathe to fire anyone and so you mostly kept your job no matter how lazy you were.
Also, the state, in the name of socialism, had to provide you with everything. But now that there was no more ruthlessness, people weren't working hard enough to produce products.

So, an economy can work under capitalism with incentives or under communism with the iron whip. Or social-democracy which is capitalism with high taxes.

But soviet communism went from ruthless stalinism(that worked however horribly) to mild socialist-communism which produced less but guaranteed everyone everything. How long could it last?

It was able to last a bit longer due to petro-dollars in the 70s, but even that didn't last long.

Anonymous said...

Just look at the oil workers in SIBERIADE, and you know the system couldn't last long.

Anonymous said...

Igor Shafarevich.

Shafarevich's essays titled Russophobia and "Three thousand year old mystery" (Трехтысячелетняя загадка) resulted in accusations of antisemitism.[18][19][20][21] He completed the Russophobia essay in 1982 and it was initially circulated in samizdat. In the USSR it was first published in 1989.

In the Russophobia essay, referring to Augustin Cochnin's opinions, he argued that great nations experience periods in their history, when small reformist elitist groups ('small nations') that have values that differ fundamentally from the values of the majority of the people, gain upper hand in the society. Yitzhak M. Brudny writes that, in Shafarevich's opinion, Jews represented such a 'small nation' in Russia, and full of hatred against traditional Russian way of life, first played an active role in the terrorist regime of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin and then, during the Perestroika era were trying to implant into Russia the liberal values of the Western world.[22] The ideas expressed in this essay have often been used in radical nationalist circles.[23] He claimed that his sources were writings by Soviet emigrants of Jewish origin.[24] He complained that "Russophobes," who are cunning, hostile, Jewish critics, "dream of transforming Russia into [..] a robot deprived of all elements of human life."[25]

This publication led to the request by the United States National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to Shafarevich to resign his membership, because the NAS charter prohibited stripping an existing membership.[26][27] In an open letter to the NAS, Shafarevich denied that Russophobia is antisemitic.[28]

Accusations of antisemitism have continued, involving Shafarevich's other publications.[29] Semyon Reznik targets the Russophobia essay for its factual inaccuracies, and argues that Shafarevich depicts the murder of Tsar Nicholas II as an example of Jewish ritual murder, and further notes that Shafarevich has assigned Jewish ethnicity to a number of non-Jewish individuals involved in the execution and perpetuates the false claims of graffiti in Yiddish at the murder site,[30] Aron Katsenelinboigen, on the other hand, stated that while there are multiple antisemitic claims in Shafarevich's writings, he stops short of claiming blood libel.[31]

More recently Shafarevich expanded on his views in his book "Three thousand year old mystery". This work was published in Russian in 2002; an introductory section explains the relationship with the Russophobia essay, in the terms that the essay developed from an Appendix to an intended work of wider scope which he started writing in samizdat.[32] It contains further anti-Semitic allegations, as well as attempts at justification of Stalin's repressions directed at Jews (such as executions of the members of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, several writers and poets, etc. in 1947–1953).[33]

Maya said...

Since I already gave a few off topic suggestions regarding literature, here's another one:

Yasmina Reza, a French writer/journalist/dramaturge. I've looked her up to make sure she's been translated to English, and, apparently, she is a big deal here in The States.
"Art" is her play that I enjoyed reading most, and I'd definitely go see a production of it. Basically, it's a comedy about 3 friends and how their relationship is tested when one of them buys a painting for 100,000 euro that's just a canvass covered in white paint. It gets to a point where they all tell each other what they really think about each other's tastes in art and proceed to sharing what they think about each other's wives/fiancees, families, professions, ect. Reza somehow managed to make this play both bitingly sarcastic and heartwarming.

Anonymous said...

The cultural left is much stronger in Britain than France or even Germany, Brtish conservatism is reduced to the London Stock Exchange.

Where is the British version of Thilo Sarrazin or Marine Le Pen?

Maya said...

To the person who grew up in the Soviet Union where all treated each other like brothers and tirelessly worked for the common bright future:

I'm sorry your deity is no more. It sounds like you had something to hold onto and believe in, and that made you happy.
However, you must understand that not everyone saw the world through rose colored glassed with rainbows and unicorns. People were poor. A large chunk of people wasn't honest, just like everywhere. Alcoholism was very much an issue, as always, and that means that quite a few teenagers weren't supervised properly. Actually, most kids weren't supervised at all, after school which means that, at least, some of them were up to no good.

It was scary to walk home from the bus stop or Metro station. Women, both young and those with children, would form a line by the payphone, and each of them would say only a few words into the receiver, "I'm here. Come get me." Then, we'd all wait there for the men in our families to come to the station/bus stop and walk us home. That was a standard part of life.

Soviet Union had quite a few juvenile detention colonies. They were full of youths who committed violent acts, stole regularly, drank publicly and harassed the neighborhood. I'm glad your Orlyonok wasn't stolen. My neighbor's Kama was. She really had to use the bathroom all of a sudden and left it for about 10 minutes. I wasn't allowed to leave my Druzhok unattended for obvious reasons.

And since my stolen coats created such a stir, I'll elaborate...
We left our outwear in those large changing rooms too. None of the ones stolen from me were winter coats- too bulky to carry out, if you're a truant little asshole, trying to not get stopped by the cleaning lady. So the first time, I walked home in early April without a coat... and got whipped by my mother for it because the weather was in the upper 40sF, and she thought that I should've known walking outside without proper clothes was unacceptable. So the next time, my teacher asked some of the kids who lived near me (and for the benefit of those who didn't grow up there, our schools were surrounded by 17 story buildings, so most classmates lived near by) to get me a coat. My mom would come herself instead.

And when some kid had his winter coat stolen (which was more rare, but happened), we did the same thing. Teacher would send a couple of students to either get the kid's parents with another coat, or to get a coat from their own homes to lend it to the poor kid. The office phone was used a couple of times for such occasions too.

Maya said...

">Somebody jacked my dad's sled. Twice. In
>kindergarten

that's a good reason to dismantle (as opposed to reform) a system that, for all it's faults, worked, and at a terrible unprecedented social cost, too."

Nice straw man, comrade. I was merely pointing out that crime, especially petty crime, was a regular part of life in the Soviet Union.

And the system wasn't dismantled. It went belly up because it was unsustainable. It's difficult to create a functioning state, let alone a very large one. It's also very difficult to reform one without major casualties. Real shame about all those people who've suffered as a result and those who are suffering still.

Anonymous said...

"Where is the British version of Thilo Sarrazin or Marine Le Pen?"

John Cleese but then the fool supported Obama.

Anonymous said...

"And since my stolen coats created such a stir, I'll elaborate..."

That wasn't stealing but sharing. The hell with private property.

Bobby said...

Someone upthread mentioned, Mario Vargas Llosa and his son Alvaro Vargas Llosa.

Alvaro in particular is very interesting and accessible( translated). Though I do wonder about his left turn in supporting Ollanta Humala; maybe just pragmatism( probably even ideologues have pragmatic moments)

It occurs to me to mention Hernando de Soto Polar even though my personal knowledge of what he has produced is very sketchy. I think that most of his writing has been translated.

A final offering is Carlos Alberto Montaner whose writings( columns, but he also has many books) I have recently been acquainted with. I doubt most of his writing has been translated but his weekly column appears in the English version of the Miami Herald.

You can find out more about all of these people on Wikipedia.

Anonymous said...

So are you still single?

Thanks.

Stewart said...

"Nick Land is a 50-year-old former lecturer in continental philosophy. He is now an expatriate in Shanghai and has written a fascinating series on political philosophy, called "The Dark Enlightenment"

Articles: http://bo.lt/66gtf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Land

Excerpt: "In much of the Western world, in stark contrast [to first world Asian cities], barbarism has been normalized. It is considered simply obvious that cities have ‘bad areas’ that are not merely impoverished, but lethally menacing to outsiders and residents alike. Visitors are warned to stay away, whilst locals do their best to transform their homes into fortresses, avoid venturing onto the streets after dark, and – especially if young and male — turn to criminal gangs for protection, which further degrades the security of everybody else. Predators control public space, parks are death traps, aggressive menace is celebrated as ‘attitude’, property acquisition is for mugs (or muggers), educational aspiration is ridiculed, and non-criminal business activity is despised as a violation of cultural norms. Every significant mechanism of socio-cultural pressure, from interpreted heritage and peer influences to political rhetoric and economic incentives, is aligned to the deepening of complacent depravity and the ruthless extirpation of every impulse to self-improvement. Quite clearly, these are places where civilization has fundamentally collapsed, and a society that includes them has to some substantial extent failed."


-How many in Shanghai understand that the 'Dark Enlightenment' is actually referring to expanding African-American proportions of the urban populations...

Seer said...

Yakub- this guy is the one who created white people, so he probably has alot of interesting things to say...

ATBOTL said...

"Yakub- this guy is the one who created white people, so he probably has alot of interesting things to say..."

The Nation of Islam was started by a white con artist -- look it up. But he stole the Yakub story from a black guy.

Gringo said...

When I was working in Venezuela, I purchased a copy of Del Buen Salvaje al Buen Revolucionario, written by Carlos Rangel. It helped articulate some discrepancies I had seen between what the progressive catechism in the universities said about Latin America and what I had observed at the ground level in Latin America. In short: Latin America is largely responsible for the way Latin America is, not the United States.

[Tr: From the Good Savage to the Good Revolutionary. When it was published in English, the title got changed to "The Latin Americans: Their Love-Hate Relationship with the United States."]

Anonymous said...

"When I lived in The Hague, NL, there was not a single street that I would not walk down during the day. The pubs and cafe's were also safe at night. It wasn't crime free, but I felt a lot safer than most American cities and increasingly, suburbs too."

There's no street in Victoria, British Columbia I wouldn't walk down during the day, even though the city has a fairly high crime rate by Canadian standards. That's mostly due to a large drug problem - carefully nurtured, it would seem, by bien-pensant social-reform types. Drug addicts don't scare me, even if they sometimes steal my kids' bicycles.

Maya said...

"So are you still single?

Thanks."

Well, seeing how you asked twice...

No, I'm recently and extremely married.

Why? It's because I mentioned "The Witcher" isn't it? No holey in your bologna because I just read the books and don't play computer games. Or is it because I'm Eastern European? Then, also, despair not- I'm neither tall nor blonde nor big breasted.

On the other hand, my little sister has a couple of inches on me, is sort of a dark blonde, an avid gamer and has huge tits. Are you, by chance, a good looking geek on a professional track? I believe that's what she's holding out for.

Anonymous said...

On the other hand, my little sister has a couple of inches on me, is sort of a dark blonde, an avid gamer and has huge tits. Are you, by chance, a good looking geek on a professional track? I believe that's what she's holding out for.

OH HELL YES.

Svigor said...

Ah, that explains why they had to build a wall and have armed soldiers patrolling it -- to keep people out of this utopia. And how they had to have guards follow their athletes whenever they went to "free" countries -- to keep foreign athletes from hiding in their luggage and smuggling themselves into the happy USSR. Thanks for explaining that.

The funny thing is, I've heard many arguments in defense of the PC Regime that were this blatantly sociopathic, 'cept not tongue-in-cheek.

Considering how quickly a murderous and highly competent criminal element engulfed Russia

^ It's a Jewish Mafiya, for those who don't know.

Well, then nothing you say should be believed.

Guy, Maya picked a handle and stuck to it. You're full-anonymous. You have no ground from which to launch an ad hom.

I can't get over that coat-stealing story.

I can't get over your dimness. Don't you know you're shooting yourself in the foot?

Jerry said...

Going to Babadag by Andrzej Stasiuk is an amazing travel book.

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