U.S. Business Itching to Import Cheap Labor

Ilana Mercer

U.S. Business Itching to Import Cheap Labor

By Ilana Mercer

Adroitly, President Trump has optimized outcomes for the American Worker. His is a labor market like no other.

Long overdue in the U.S., a labor market should be one in which firms compete for workers, rather than workers competing for jobs.

“For the first time since data began to be collected in 2000, there are more job openings than there are unemployed workers.” By the Economist’s telling (July 12th, 2018), “Fully 5.8 million more Americans are in work than in December of 2015.”

Best of all, workers are happier than they’ve been for a long time. Continue reading

Posted in Current Affairs and Comment, QR Home | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The English Civil War, part 2

Oliver Cromwell, by Robert Walker

The English Civil War, part 2

By Mark Wegierski

All the aforementioned religious, dynastic, political, social, economic and ethnic tensions flared into armed conflict in the English Civil War. The term “English” is, however, misleading: although the primary focus of operations was England proper (as well as Wales and Cornwall), Scotland was also critical and Cromwell, of course, extended fighting to Ireland in the aftermath of the Civil War itself. The personalities of the two main protagonists were very different. Charles I was “a mild and placid King”, genuinely concerned about the shedding of brotherly blood, with a somewhat quixotic aspect, and a strong streak of pessimism. (Even in his time, the Stuarts were often considered an ill-starred or unlucky dynasty.) This made him a poor politician and military leader. He went to his execution believing that the revulsion it would cause would result in the almost-instantaneous restoration of the monarchy in the person of his son, Charles II. Cromwell, by contrast, was generally able to see to the essence of the matter, utterly convinced of his rightness, never wavering and ruthless in political struggle. He understood the need for a well-drilled, professional force to win the war, and formed the New Model Army as his personal instrument. The heroic but impetuous Cavaliers were no match for its iron drill and discipline. There has been some debate about the character of the New Model Army: were they really “true believers”, fanatically-enthused Puritans, or rather well-drilled and disciplined professional mercenaries, assured of more regular pay than any other force in the war? Continue reading

Posted in Current Affairs and Comment, QR Home | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Bob Woodward’s Yellow Journalism

Still from Citizen Kane

Bob Woodward’s Yellow Journalism 

By Ilana Mercer

It takes no time at all. You listen to Bob Woodward’s halting speech. You read his lumpen prose, and you get right away what undergirds his Trump-phobic tome, Fear: Trump in the White House.

Naively, the president expected to fulfill his revolutionary campaign promises to the American voters, an assumption that threw Woodward and the D.C. elites for a loop.

If past is prologue, voters don’t—and should not—get their way. After all, the views of Trump voters on American power are polar opposites from those held by the permanent state.

What does “Boobus Americanus” know? Nothing! Continue reading

Posted in Current Affairs and Comment, QR Home | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Apartheid, in Perspective, 2

Dr Hendrik Verwoerd

Apartheid, in Perspective, 2

By Ilana Mercer

Monomaniacal Westerners—they have one thing on their minds: it begins with an “R”—have come to think and speak of apartheid as a theory of white supremacy.

It was not.

The policy of “separate development,” as it was admittedly euphemized, was not a theory of racial supremacy, but a strategy for survival.

But first: to understand the fundamental way in which the Afrikaner and American creeds differed early on we must first examine the former’s ideas of what constitutes a nation and a state, respectively.

America, a rib from the British Adam, was built on liberal individualism; but Afrikaner culture was first and foremost grounded in the survival of the Volk. Continue reading

Posted in Current Affairs and Comment, QR Home | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Afua-centrism

Afua Hirsch

Afua-centrism 

Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging, Afua Hirsch, Jonathan Cape, 2018, pp 318, reviewed by Bill Hartley

What is it like to be the descendant of immigrants to Great Britain? Such a person may never have visited the home country of their parents but is made aware on a regular basis that they are different to the majority. Skin colour is of course the great identifier but one can only the imagine the reaction of people like Afua Hirsch, a child of mixed English, German Jewish and Ghanaian ancestry, when asked by some well meaning person; ‘where are you from?’ Or, indeed, when  government departments, prodded by their ‘race relations advisors’, produce forms asking about one’s ethnicity, lumping the descendants of Africans and a host of other nations into a handful of categories such as ‘Black British’. Hirsch shows us the complexities of race and identity from her own perspective, augmented by research into the history of black migration. Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews, Current Affairs and Comment, QR Home | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

ENDNOTES September 2018: Commemorating Debussy

Marc Chagall, The Violinist

ENDNOTES, September 2018
Commemorating Debussy

 by Stuart Millson

Claude Debussy – often referred to as the founder of Impressionism in music – is being commemorated extensively, in the concert hall and on record, in this, the centenary of his death. Born at St. Germain-en-Laye on the 22ndAugust 1862, Debussy was described by The New Oxford Companion to Music as: “… one of the most influential figures of his generation”. He brought to life a new, spell-like style or “timbre” of music – works for orchestra, piano, the opera house, and for odd combinations of chamber instruments (a Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp, for example) which combined a sensuous mysticism, with a sense of fleeting, delicate colour. And in works such as the slow movement of his String Quartet (1893) and Cello Sonata from 1915, a sense of melancholia and regret pervade his astringent sound-world.

His most famous work is, perhaps, the “three symphonic sketches”, La Mer, written between 1903 and 1905, with its famous Jeux de vagues middle-movement, in which maritime light, wave movements and sudden changes of tide and tempo create an atmosphere both exciting and almost supernatural. Yet for all of the work’s haze of colour and intoxicating feeling, Debussy himself did not see himself as the Impressionist of the orchestra. When describing his large-scale Images (brilliantly recorded, incidentally, on the Naxos label some 25 years ago by the Belgian Radio and Television Philharmonic Orchestra under Alexander Rahbari), Debussy stated that he was attempting “…something different, in a sense, realities.Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Matters, QR Home | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Lament for a Nation

 

Poussin, Landscape with a man killed by a snake

Lament for a Nation

By Mark Wegierski

George Parkin Grant (1918-1988) was Canada’s leading traditionalist philosopher. The main expression of George Grant’s thought occurs in four major books: Lament for a Nation: The Defeat of Canadian Nationalism (1965), Technology and Empire: Perspectives on North America (1969), English-Speaking Justice (1974/1985), and Technology and Justice (1986). Philosophy in the Mass Age (1959), and Time as History (1969), are his two major earlier works. Grant was a complex philosophical critic of technology and of America.

Lament for a Nation is one of Grant’s more accessible books and it has remained almost continuously in print in Canada. It expresses a profound pessimism, and certainly does not offer any pat answers in regard to what is to be done to redeem Canada. Lament for a Nation mourns what George Grant sees as the end of real Canadian independence in the 1960s. As Grant tells the story, Canadian Tory Prime Minister John Diefenbaker refused to accept U.S. nuclear weapons on Canadian soil. In the 1963 Canadian federal election, accordingly, all the instrumentalities of the North American managerial capitalist classes were turned against him. Diefenbaker’s lost campaign is characterized in the book as “the last strangled cry of his pre-modern Loyalist ancestors”. Liberal Lester B. Pearson won the election. Continue reading

Posted in Current Affairs and Comment, QR Home | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Apartheid, in Perspective, 1

 

Bust of Paul Kruger

Apartheid, in Perspective, 1

Essay in two parts, by Ilana Mercer

In a recent translation of Tacitus’ Annals, the question was raised as to whether “there were any ‘nations’ in antiquity other than the Jews.” Upon reflection, one suspects that the same question can be posed about the Afrikaners in the modern era.

In fact, in April of 2009, former South African President Jacob Zuma infuriated the “multicultural noise machine” by stating: “Of all the white groups that are in South Africa, it is only the Afrikaners that are truly South Africans in the true sense of the word. Up to this day, they [the Afrikaners] don’t carry two passports, they carry one. They are here to stay.”

Indeed, the Afrikaners fought Africa’s first anticolonial struggles, are native to the land and are not colonists in any normal sense. Yet the liberal world order has only ever singled out Afrikaners for having established apartheid, considered by the Anglo-American-European axis of interventionism to be “one of the world’s most retrogressive colonial systems.” Continue reading

Posted in Current Affairs and Comment, QR Home | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Eisner’s Choice – Reform or Revolution?

Kaiser Wilhelm II

Eisner’s Choice – Reform or Revolution?

Kurt Eisner, a Modern Life, Albert Earle Gurganus, Camden House, 2018, HB, 576 pp., reviewed by LESLIE JONES

Kurt Eisner, a Modern Life, is a fitting title for this compelling biography of the campaigning journalist and critic. Eisner led the bloodless revolution in Bavaria in November 1918 that toppled the Wittelsbach dynasty, thereby “effectively ending both the Second German Empire and the First World War” (p. 2)*. According to the Marxist historian Arthur Rosenberg, Eisner’s objective as head of state of the Bavarian Republic, until his assassination on the 21st of February 1919, was “…the execution of a radical bourgeois revolution…to bring down the military power and dynasties, to secure immediate peace, and to enable an effective democracy…” (Rosenberg, cited p. 440). At least 100,000 mourners followed his funeral cortege.

As Thomas Mann prophetically commented in a diary entry dated November 8th 1918, “Both Munich and Bavaria governed by Jewish scribblers. How long will the city put up with that?” Eisner’s assassin, Lieutenant Anton Graf von Arco auf Valley, considered himself “a loyal monarchist until death!… [and] a loyal Catholic”. “I hate Bolshevism!”, he proclaimed in his testament, “I hate the Jews!” Profound historical forces placed Eisner and Arco-Valley on collision course. Eisner, a secularised Jew and an incisive critic of Weltpolitik and of Prussian-Junker militarism, personified German modernity. His nemesis, conversely, personified monarchist Bavarian politics. He commanded the 5th company of Freikorps organizer Colonel Franz von Epp’s Bavarian King’s Own Regiment. Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews, Current Affairs and Comment, QR Home | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Richard Wagner’s Die Walküre

Brünnhilde

Richard Wagner’s Die Walküre

Richard Wagner’s Die Walküre, Bayreuth Festival, Germany, Saturday 18th August 2018, directed by Frank Castorf, conducted by Plácido Domingo, reviewed by TONY COOPER

In the second part of Wagner’s Ring cycle, Die Walküre (in repertoire from 2013 to 2017 as part of the complete cycle to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Richard Wagner’s birth), Berlin-based, avant-garde theatre director Frank Castorf dumped the opera’s traditional romantic Rhineland setting for the rough-and-tumble world of oil prospecting, transporting the scenario to the city of Baku on the Caspian Sea in pre-Revolutionary Russia. ‘Black Gold’, a political tool like no other, became the treasured Nibelung hoard. Oil, of course, was a big influence on Soviet foreign policy during the Cold War, the era in which Castorf grew up and it remains high on the agenda in Putin’s Russia.

Wotan, played by Swedish bass-baritone John Lundgren, has travelled to the Baku oil-field to assume his new position as boss. Lundgren proved to be an excellent choice for the role delivering a strong and authoritative performance in an interesting and detailed production that employed and merged stagecraft and video work skilfully created by Andreas Deinert and Jens Crull. Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Matters, QR Home | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment