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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 1, organ version]
01 — Intro. That was a snippet of Haydn's Derbyshire March Number One, not the Number Two that I more commonly play; and this is of course your unpredictably genial host John Derbyshire with yet another edition of Radio Derb.
02 — The Uniparty is back in control. Fifteen years ago Thomas Frank published a book titled What's the Matter with Kansas? describing how, in an age of plenty, the political battlefield was no longer economic but cultural.
Left and Right, said Frank, Democrat and Republican, no longer mapped to labor and capital, the Little Guy and the Boss Man, but to globalized elites and conservative traditionalists — what a later writer, David Goodhart, called the Anywheres and the Somewheres.
What was actually happening was a bit more interesting. The Left had turned explicitly anti-white and anti-American. They were throwing all their energy behind a demographic transformation of the country by the importation of tens of millions of nonwhite foreigners.
It quickly dawned on the Right, at least on the big corporations that funded the Right, that this worked for them, too, imported foreign labor being cheaper and more compliant than the native variety. Thus our modern Uniparty was born.
There was a problem for the Right, though. The ongoing demographic transformation was hard for people not to notice. How could Republican politicians square it with the appeals to conservative traditionalism that, according to Thomas Frank, had won them Kansas?
They tried a few lame rhetorical strategies — assuring their voters that, for example, Central American fruit-pickers were natural conservatives. Nobody much was convinced.
By 2016 Republican primary voters had seen through the scam. Faced with a bench of seventeen Presidential hopefuls, sixteen of them cookie-cutter Uniparty types and one renegade TV personality talking a strong conservative-traditionalist game, GOP voters turned their backs on the sixteen and chose the one.
There followed a time of crisis and confusion in the Uniparty. It looked for a while as if they might work through all five stages of grief: from denial, anger, bargaining, and depression to acceptance. By the time they'd gotten to anger, though, wiser heads among them had seen a path back to the status quo ante.
In the eleven years since Thomas Frank's book had come out the Uniparty had taken over key federal institutions: Congress, the bureaucracy, the military, all the legal and advisory councils that condense information into bullet-points for the occupant of the White House to scan. They were firmly established in all the key locations. Trump's election barely made a dent in their power.
It helped greatly that the new President was lazy and politically incompetent, without any strong principles: an empty suit who, in a roomful of serious-looking political professionals, agreed with the last person that spoke.
The Uniparty bosses heaved a collective sigh of relief. This was not going to be hard. The thing they'd most feared — the rise of a populist, patriotic opposition — had indeed come to pass, but in a scattered and formless way: a guerilla underground, not a real army, a nuisance not a threat. The person claiming to be the leader of these guerillas was a paper tiger, easily co-opted to Uniparty goals.
So … Back to business as usual!
03 — What's the matter with Alabama? Those thoughts were prompted by Tuesday's result in Alabama. This was a primary contest to select a Republican candidate who will stand against the junior Senator for that state, Democrat Doug Jones, this November.
One of the candidates in Tuesday's primary contest was Jeff Sessions, former Senator from Alabama and Donald Trump's first Attorney General, having been an early Trump supporter and campaigner. The other candidate was Tommy Tuberville, a former Auburn University football coach who has some dubious financial dealings in his past. Tuberville won the primary, with sixty percent of the vote to Sessions' forty.
In the framing of my previous segment, Tuberville, the winner, was the Uniparty candidate. His very few utterances on matters of policy were bland Uniparty boilerplate. He has never held any elected office, so voters had no kind of political paper trail to go by.
Sessions, by contrast, was the guerilla conservative traditionalist, hated by the Uniparty bosses. Given that, and Tuberville's refusal to take any clear policy positions, and the deeply conservative reputation of the Deep South, how did the Uniparty win this one?
With a full-court press from Donald Trump, that's how. Jeff Sessions, on grounds of principle and, as he believed, legal necessity, recused himself when Attorney General from the Russiagate investigations. Trump, having no principles himself, not even knowing what principles are, Trump could not understand Sessions' recusal. He supposed it must be malicious somehow, and has never forgiven Sessions for it.
Throughout the primary campaign right up to last Tuesday, Trump was energetically promoting Tuberville with tweets and TV ads, while spitting venom at Jeff Sessions. Sessions took it all extraordinarily well, with good humor and a gentlemanly demeanor.
That availed him nothing. Alabama's Republican voters put their trust in Trump, apparently not having noticed that he is now nothing but a Uniparty front man, floundering helplessly in the Swamp he promised us he would drain.
What's the matter with Alabama?
Jeff Sessions, if he'd won this primary, would surely have taken back his Senate seat in November. We should then once again have had a voice in the Senate for demographic stability and firm enforcement of the people's laws.
Instead, we shall either have six more years of Doug Jones or else six years of Tommy Tuberville. The result in either case will be the same, shoring up the programs of the Uniparty: mass amnesty for illegal aliens, expanded guest-worker programs to crush the American middle class, early release of criminals from jail, endless military commitments abroad … the entire globalist package.
Jeff Sessions is 73. It's highly unlikely he has much of a political future. So a decent, clever, useful patriot has been pushed out of our national legislature to make room for one more empty suit, one more congressional seat-warmer, one more obedient glove puppet for the globalist tech-financial elites, the Anywheres.
This was one small skirmish in a mopping-up operation: the Uniparty, with Donald Trump now their willing tool, methodically hunting down and expelling from our public life anyone who dissents from their orthodoxy. They destroyed Steve King; now they've destroyed Jeff Sessions. Kris Kobach, you're next.
04 — Will Poland go Irish? There was a presidential election in Poland last Sunday, with better results for national conservatives than we got from Alabama two days later. Andrzej Duda won another five-year term on behalf of the Law and Justice Party, P-i-S for short.
PiS argues for keeping Poland Polish and Christian, and promotes natalist policies encouraging citizens to have more children. They are, in short, a model for National Conservative parties everywhere. They talk the talk that Donald Trump talked in our 2016 campaign. However, as James Kirkpatrick observed on Tuesday here at VDARE.com, Andrzej Duda, unlike Trump, also walks the walk.
I'll put aside for another time the question as to why we, the U.S.A., don't have a natalist party. Perhaps natalism is racist somehow, I don't know. Instead, let's consider a different question: Will Poland go Irish?
PiS won this runoff election 51 percent to 49. That's a tad below how they did in 2015, when they got 52 percent to 48. That may be statistical noise, or the swing of the electoral pendulum. It may also, though, suggest a slow turn away from ethnonationalism towards globalism.
I've written about the transformation of Ireland from a traditionalist, conservative, Catholic, intensely ethnonationalist place to the Heart of Wokeness celebrating homosexuality, feminism, and mass immigration. Might Poland take the same path?
There are some obvious similarities. Poland is deeply Catholic, as Ireland used to be. Also like Ireland, Poland has spent centuries in the shadow of, and under the occupation of, a more powerful neighbor practicing a different Christianity. Membership of the EU has been good for Poland's economy, as it has been for Ireland's, although the Poles are more willing than the Irish to buck EU social policies.
There are differences, too, though. Poland's powerful, overbearing neighbor is Russia, which is way bigger and more threatening to Poles than, in modern times, Britain has been to the Irish. Russia is not a member of the EU and not, except nominally, a representative democracy. True, Russia is separated from Poland by Belarus and the Ukraine; but given Poland's historical experience, I doubt that is much comfort to the Poles.
So I leave this as a question for any listener who knows today's Poland better than I do — which is to say, pretty much any listener at all. Will Poland go Irish? Will she join the global Empire of enlightened progressivism? I'd be interested to hear opinions.
05 — The quaint charm of old-style liberalism. Bari Weiss, a lesbian Jewish liberal, has resigned from her job as an opinion editor at the New York Times because, she says in her resignation letter, the paper is too woke.
A new consensus has emerged in the press, but perhaps especially at this paper: that truth isn't a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else.
What, she just noticed that?
It's encouraging, I guess, that liberals of the older, slightly more open-minded type are waking up to the totalitarian savagery of the CultMarx Red Guards. I'm observing from a distance, though, having long ago given up on the New York Times.
Are there any mainstream outlets I haven't given up on? Well, I have a subscription to The Economist, have had one for at least twenty years.
This is all that's left of an enthusiasm I had, way back from the 1960s and 1970s, for weekly newsmagazines. Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report: I could never see one of them lying around anywhere without yielding to the urge to pick it up and skim-read through it. The weekly newsmagazines gave you a good brisk way to keep at least superficially up-to-date on just about everything.
Then I got older and my interests narrowed. At the same time the newsmagazines got fluffier and less interesting. I haven't picked up a copy of Time or Newsweek for years. Is U.S. News & World Report even still with us? Oh, yes, I see it is, at any rate in an online version.
I kept up my Economist subscription, though, just for that weekly fix. They cover everywhere and everything; and I suppose there's a lingering appeal in the Britishness of the thing. Their international coverage — on China, for example — isn't bad. I don't read much of the Business and Finance sections, but the occasional bits I do read seem sound. The back-of-the-magazine items — science news, book reviews, the obituary — are literate and often interesting.
Still, I've been finding The Economist's editorial line harder and harder to take. They've been ferociously anti-Trump: not because he's ineffectual and easily rolled — the charges I make against him — but because they still believe him to be an upholder of national sovereignty, which they hate, and a threat to open-borders globalism, which they promote.
On issues relating to human biodiversity they are angrily, aggressively blank-slate. There is no such thing as race; men and women have identical interests and abilities when not corrupted by social pressures; and so on. When the anti-Trump urge coincides with issues of race or sex, The Economist goes full CultMarx: see my Economist Watch column here at VDARE.com following the Charlottesville business in August 2017.
Given all that, I greeted my July 11th issue of The Economist with mixed feelings. Most of the front cover consisted of the word "RACE" in huge letters. Once I got the smaller print in focus, the cover actually said: "The new ideology of RACE and what's wrong with it."
For a fleeting moment I thought the "new ideology" they were talking about might be honest race realism, and that what's wrong with it from The Economist's viewpoint is, of course, that THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS RACE! Then there would be a long, detailed restatement of CultMarx orthodoxy that I wouldn't be bothered to read; but at least they would be acknowledging the existence of sensible race realism, perhaps with no references to Hitler at all.
No such luck. The "new ideology" they're writing about is not race realism but wokeness. Quote:
A dangerous … approach has emerged from American universities. It rejects the liberal notion of progress. It defines everyone by their race, and every action as racist or anti-racist. It is not yet dominant, but it is dynamic and it is spreading out of the academy into everyday life. If it supplants liberal values, then intimidation will chill open debate and sow division to the disadvantage of all, black and white.
There follow pages and pages of CultMarx orthodoxy sure enough: but it's in opposition not to race realism, but to the cranky anti-white obsessions of the wokesters as found in books like Robin DiAngelo's current bestseller White Fragility.
And no, I didn't bother to read it all. I glanced at the text and saw what I expected to see. Poverty is the problem; police brutality is the problem; zoning rules are the problem. Quote:
The household income gap [that is, between blacks and whites] is the same as it was in 1968.
You don't say. That's more than fifty years. Is there anything we haven't tried in those fifty years to make the races come out equal, up to and including stuffing our courts, schools, police departments and corporations with black authority figures and electing a black President?
Still and all, with race hysteria at its current fever pitch, there's a sort of quaint charm in The Economist's old-fashioned liberal naïvety. Fix the schools! Integrate our neighborhoods! Expand the Earned-Income Tax Credit! Everything will come right at last, black and white all equal!
Perhaps they might offer a job to Bari Weiss.
06 — Smithsonian whiteness. Yes, say what you like about the old, Economist style of liberalism, it's nothing like as barking crazy as this newer brand.
Case in point: the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, opened just four years ago on Constitution Avenue in our nation's capital.
A worthy enough enterprise, you may think. Many, many big-money donors agree with you; the museum gets tens of millions of dollars from virtue-purchasing … I beg your pardon, I mean virtue-signaling outfits like American Express, Boeing, Walmart, and Bank of America. Also of course from our federal government, which chipped in $33 million to the museum in fiscal 2019.
Well, the Museum, via its online portal, has been educating us about whiteness. Quote from the header:
White dominant culture, or whiteness, refers to the ways white people and their traditions, attitudes, and ways of life have been normalized over time and are now considered standard practices in the United States.
Scary, huh? What are these peculiar folkways that white people have imposed on our nation? Things like, actual quotes:
Rugged Individualism … self-reliance … the nuclear family … objective, rational linear thinking … history based on Northern European immigrants' experience … the Protestant work ethic … hard work is the key to success …
Good grief! What a perverse, twisted set of values! How people of color must suffer under the oppression of such ideas!
Well, it's easy to laugh. A great many people did laugh after Byron York tweeted out the web page mid-week. It seems to have since been taken down; at least, I can't find it on the museum's website at week end.
The people who made that web page weren't laughing when they made it, though. They were in earnest; they believe this stuff; and the authorities at the Smithsonian — one of our nation's most prestigious cultural and educational institutions — saw nothing wrong with it until the laughing and jeering broke out on Twitter.
That's how far we've come; that's how wide the rot has spread.
I think I'll keep up my Economist subscription for a while longer.
07 — Color-blindness is racist. And if you think that we should maybe just scrap all this obsessing about race and try pure color-blind meritocracy — well, if you think that you are really trying to swim against the current.
Case One: When California voters go to the polls this November they will see on the ballot sheet a proposition to repeal Proposition 209.
What is that? Proposition 209, the one you will be invited to repeal, was passed in 1996. It prohibits the state from discriminating against, or granting preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting. In other words it bans affirmative action.
So California currently, over wide areas of employment, education, and commerce, is constitutionally colorblind. A lot of people don't like that. State Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, a large black lady, especially doesn't like it. Quote from her:
Proposition 209 [that's the one she wants to repeal] has cost women and minority-owned businesses $1.1 billion each year … and has allowed discriminatory hiring and contracting processes to continue unhindered.
Get that? A prohibition on discriminating by race or sex is … discriminatory. If you don't undertand the logic of that it's probably because you've succumbed to objective, rational linear thinking, you white supremacist, you!
Case Two: This one's from the world of classical music. The headline explains itself. New York Times, July 16th, headline: To Make Orchestras More Diverse, End Blind Auditions.
Fifty years ago, after charges of discrimination from some black musicians, the New York Philharmonic, soon followed by other American orchestras, began to hold auditions behind a screen, so that judgment was strictly on musical quality, not influenced by the player's race or sex. Blind auditions.
Alas, it's not working very well. Quote:
In a 2014 study, only 1.8 percent of the players in top ensembles were Black; just 2.5 percent were Latino.
What to do? The Times of course knows. Quote:
If things are to change, ensembles must be able to take proactive steps to address the appalling racial imbalance that remains in their ranks. Blind auditions are no longer tenable.
See that? Color-blindness is racist!
Here's a brief footnote to that second case, also from the world of classical music; and also from July 16th, although this story is from the Washington Post of that date. Headline: That sound you're hearing is classical music's long overdue reckoning with racism.
So we're in the same territory here we were in with that New York Times piece: the appalling racism being practiced by orchestras and opera companies against blacks and Latinos. This one, though, includes a curious little arithmetical oddity that a keen-eyed reader spotted and emailed in to me about. Thank you, Sir!
Here is the oddity. Listen carefully. First the reporter tells us that from 2002 to 2014, the proportion of black musicians in American orchestras, quote, "languished at around 1.8 percent," end quote. That's the same proportion as given in the New York Times story, 1.8 percent. Probably both reporters read the same study.
Hold that in your mind: black musicians in our orchestras, 1.8 percent.
Then, just two sentences later in the same paragraph we get this, quote:
Between 2010 and 2016, black conductors and music directors have accounted for just 2 to 6 percent of the field.
OK, let's do arithmetic. Two divided by 1.8 is 1.11. Six divided by 1.8 is 3.33. Since black musicians as a whole are languishing at 1.8 percent, if 2 to 6 percent of conductors and music directors are black, that means blacks are being promoted out of the orchestra pit into into those more prestigious slots two or three times more than their overall representation would lead you to expect.
But wait. I did some math to reach that conclusion; and math is, as I'm sure the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture would be glad to confirm, white man's ju-ju — a style of objective, rational linear thinking.
Down with white dominant culture! Black lives matter!
09 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: Greenland. We don't get much news out of Greenland. Scanning my Radio Derb archives, I see only two real references. One, from the science news in August 2016, was about the Greenland Shark having been determined to be the longest-lived of all vertebrates — up to 400 years.
Well, here is some actual news about Greenland. Greenland has a capital city, formerly named Gothåb, nowadays named Nuuk. The first of those names, Gothåb, is Danish — it means "Good Hope" — because Greenland is a Danish colony. It's actually billed as an "autonomous territory" within the Kingdom of Denmark; but I'm guessing the autonomy is highly fictitious.
The population of Greenland is twelve percent Danish, the rest Eskimo or mixed-blood Eskimo-Danish. Hence that second name, Nuuk, which is the Eskimo word for "Cape," as a concession to Eskimo sensibilities by the colonial authorities.
OK, so what's the news? Well, there's a big statue of Hans Egede in Nuuk. He was the 18th-century Lutheran missionary who Christianized the locals. Guess what: The statue has been vandalized — splashed with red paint and graffitied with the word "decolonize." Now the Greenlanders are having a vote on whether or not to keep the statue.
Isn't it amazing how these hysterias spread? One day they're vandalizing statues of Andy Jackson in Washington and Winston Churchill in London. Next thing you know, the folk up there in Greenland, on the Arctic Circle, have caught the fever.
I haven't yet heard any chants of "Eskimo Lives Matter!" but it can only be a matter of time.
Item: Still on the statue news, although this is actually a tower, not a statue.
Edinburgh University, up in Scotland, boasts a David Hume Tower, named for the great 18th-century Scottish empiricist philosopher, who both studied and taught at the university. The tower is not actually anything to boast of: It's an ugly modern 14-storey structure with no redeeming features.
Hume was not a slave-owner or a slave-trader. He did, though, once lend money to a friend who may have used some of the money to buy a plantation in the West Indies, one that employed black slaves. That, and one or two mild remarks, routine for his time, about blacks being inferior to whites, is enough to get you canceled nowadays. A student petition to rename the tower already had over a thousand signatures by July 2nd.
Apparently the petitioners want to rename the place "Julius Nyerere Tower," after the first president of independent Tanzania, who attended Edinburgh University around 1950.
All right. Nyerere seems not to have been a bad sort, as African dictators go. I bet he wasn't as much fun as David Hume, though. Here's my favorite Hume quote.
This is from Part IV, Section II of Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature. After a long argument attempting to derive metaphysical truth from our experiences, he concludes that neither mind nor matter can actually exist. Then he turns and laughs at himself. Edited quote:
This sceptical doubt … is a malady, which can never be radically cur'd, but must return upon us every moment, however we may chace it away … Carelessness and in-attention alone can afford us any remedy. For this reason I rely entirely upon them; and take it for granted, whatever may be the reader's opinion at this present moment, that an hour hence he will be persuaded there is both an external and an internal world …
Item: Finally, some creative thinking from the people paid to come up with plans for space exploration.
NASA is planning, how seriously I don't know, to send astronauts back to the moon in 2024. They've teamed up with their opposite number agency in Japan to figure out the logistics.
One issue is, that for a prolonged stay on the Moon's surface, you need a place to live. There have been various ideas about this. Pre-landed pods? Inflatable tents? Caves excavated in crater walls? Sci-fi writers have worked over the possibilities.
Here is what NASA and their Japanese colleagues seem to have settled on: an RV, to be made by Toyota. Quote:
The RV-like rover will hold two people for up to 14 days, allowing them to live and work inside while traveling across the moon.
Now that's good, clever thinking. Having enjoyed a brief experience of the RV lifestyle back in 2017, I can definitely recommend it. Just make sure you have a good seal when you dump the septic tank, guys.
As you may be aware, one of the fronts that's opened up in our ongoing cultural revolution is for the cancellation of national anthems. An op-ed in the July 14th Los Angeles Times by one Jody Rosen calls for banning "The Star-Spangled Banner" on the grounds that Francis Scott Key was a slave-owner. His statue has already been removed from Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.
Across the pond, meanwhile, the annual eight weeks of Promenade Concerts in London's Albert Hall, sponsored by the BBC, traditionally end with the entire audience singing the patriotic songs "Rule, Britannia!" and "Land of Hope and Glory."
This is the famous Last Night of the Proms in early September. "Rule, Britannia!" has been sung for at least the last seventy years; "Land of Hope and Glory" I think for longer than that.
Just how they are going to manage the Proms this year, with the pandemic and all, seems to be still up in the air. With the rise of Black Lives Matter, though, there have been denunciations of those two patriotic classics. Probably they'll get canceled; although the audience at the Last Night of the Proms is a rowdy one, and may not take kindly to the reform. We shall see.
Radio Derb is of course impeccably multicultural. We strive to avoid any offense at all to the sensibilities of anyone at all, anywhere, of any race, nationality, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability status, or Body Mass Index.
In that spirit we shall play you out with a national anthem no-one could possibly object to: "Nunarput Utoqqarsuanngoravit," the national anthem of Greenland. If you know the words, by all means sing along.
There will be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: Unknown Eskimo choir, "Nunarput Utoqqarsuanngoravit."]