Whites Trashed

The Hatfield Clan, credit Wikipedia

Whites Trashed

by Ilana Mercer

The country is fast descending into a Dantean hell. The Circles of Hell to which we’ve been assigned are mass migration, diversity, multiculturalism, and zealous, institutionalized anti-whiteness, with its attendant inversion of long-held societal morals and mores. The guiding ghost of Virgil is nowhere to be found.

To ostensibly shepherd us out of hell, however, assorted serpents have slithered forth. Beware! All the more so when they speak to you from bastions of the establishment—Newsweek is one—as J. D. Vance does in, “True ‘Compassion’ Requires Secure Borders and Stopping Illegal Immigration.” His is the typically conciliatory, “conservative” argument we’ve come to expect from the gilded elite, regarding America’s promiscuous immigration policy, under Republicans and Democrats alike. Vance is the best-selling author of Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, which is a culturally compliant—namely unflattering—account of poor, white America.

Provided your thesis allows for a cozy convergence over agreeable storylines—you are well-positioned to peddle a national bestseller to the left libertarian, neoconservative and pseudo-conservative smart-set. Yes, Vance is a sellout. Not that they were asked for their take, but the archetypical folks depicted in Hillbilly Elegy contend, justifiably, that “Vance [is] not an authentic hillbilly or an example of the working class.” Cassie Chambers Armstrong’s Aunt Ruth, for example. Aunt Ruth didn’t think much of Vance’s endeavor. Her niece is an Appalachian and author of a redeeming tale, Hill Women: Finding Family and a Way Forward in the Appalachian Mountains. “Hillbilly Elegy’s portrayal of Appalachia,” explains Chambers, “is designed to elevate Vance above the community from which he came … it seeks to tell his story in a way that aligns with a simplistic rags-to-riches narrative. Think critically about how that narrative influences the way we are taught to think about poverty, progress, and identity.”

Chambers is perceptively correct. It’s cringe worthy—Uriah Heep slimy—but Vance all but advertises that the Indian-American Brahmin he wed has helped “rid him of his hillbilly ways.” To that end, he tells of a mild exchange with his wife: “Don’t make excuses for weakness. I didn’t get here by making excuses for failure,” he “hollers” at her. These unremarkable, muted words Vance had with wife Usha Chilukuri he frames, self-servingly, as “the baggage of his tumultuous upbringing.”

Self-deprecation over nothing much at all amounts to very clever self-aggrandizement. Vance’s casuistry resembles a kind of Argument From Fake Modesty. Indeed, in smug self-aggrandizement, Vance slimes his hillbilly relatives, even naming names. Credits and kudos go to the Chilukuris, wife Usha’s relatives, for “[teaching] him what a functional family looked like.”

From family unit to family unification policy: when discussing immigration, J. D. Vance is just as nimble. He utters the code words at the door of the Establishment, left and right, and in he goes. Sesame has opened. What are some of the “Open Sesame” magical phrases that get one into polite company, conservative and progressive? First comes the “moral” preening component: “All’s I’m saying, y’all, comes out of the goodness of my hillbilly heart.” Vance opposes the rot of America’s immigration reality simply out of the kindness of his heart: he is at pains to emphasize how he hates that “human traffickers take advantage of the desperate poor of Central America.”

After all, Vance is open, law-abiding, and properly diverse. (Vance’s marriage alone proves his PC credential; although adopting the Right Kind of Baby before running for office is highly recommended.) Yet another part of the Vance celebrity seeking vaudeville is the incessant mention of his “working-class background.” This reflex finds Vance at once eagerly pressing flesh “at roundtable[s]” with CEOs and “communications conglomerates,” during “masters of the universe” events, all the while moaning a lot about his disdain for them.

He mingles with millionaires under “duress” because he’s so very authentic. A member of the gilded, conservative elite by any other name, our hoedown Hillbilly also loves to name-drop. Non-stop: while Vance forgot to brag directly in the Newsweek piece about having married an Indian-American lady, who “rid him of his hillbilly ways“; he brings her up surreptitiously when he touts his connections among conservative cognoscenti: “… my friend (and my wife’s former boss) Brett Kavanaugh [of the] Supreme Court..”

For Vance’s second “Open-Sesame” password into polite company, allow me to excerpt from this writer’s  “The Immigration Scene.” Written in 2006, it proves that not much has changed. Why vote? GOP can RIP: “Everyone (and his dog) currently concurs that we have no problem with legal immigration, only with the illegal variety. It’s now mandatory to pair an objection to the invasion of the American Southwest with an embrace of all forms of legal immigration”.

So you’re clear: Vance opposes illegal immigration alone, even though the effects on the country of the legal and annual importation of over 1 million immigrants from India, China and the Third World are no less pernicious.

All this misplaced compassion—day in and day out, on Fox News, too—is, frankly, nauseating. The job of American policy makers and the auxiliary punditry is not to flaunt their virtue to The World currently on its way to America, but to stick strictly to their mandate—and send them the hell home.

Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She’s the author of Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) & The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed” (June, 2016). She’s currently on Parler, Gab, YouTube & LinkedIn, but has been banned by Facebook and throttled by Twitter

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Gaming the Revolution

The Battle of Lexington, credit Wikimedia

Gaming the Revolution

Mark Wegierski recalls Minuteman: The Second American Revolution

Minuteman: The Second American Revolution is a conflict simulation or board wargame of relatively moderate complexity published in 1976 (the U.S. Bicentennial Year) by Simulations Publications Incorporated (SPI), then the premiere company in the field. The legendary James F. Dunnigan (Jim Dunnigan), one of the founders of SPI, was the main designer. It is today a collectors’ item, although Decision Games, which has acquired rights to most of the SPI game-line, might bring out a revamped edition at some point. Although certain game-mechanics are discussed here, the focus will be on the conceptual framework animating the game, especially in terms of its possible predictive aspects.

The game is played on a map which represents most of North America, on which terrain is regularized into small hexagons (hexes). The main terrain and hex types are “clear”, “rough brush”, “south winter cover”, “north winter cover”, and Major and Minor Population areas. These are meant to represent the main types of terrain significant to conducting insurgency and counterinsurgency in North America. For example, units in severe terrain types during a Winter turn are sometimes eliminated because of lack of supply.

There are 400 counters of various types in this game, though fortunately not all of them are on the map at the same time. Most of the counters represent “units”, which include army divisions and brigades; counterintelligence groups (CIGs); government agents; government informers; rebel minutemen (small, select revolutionary leadership teams); rebel networks; and rebel militia. There are also about 130 other types of counters. These include 40 “special events” markers, which are randomly picked throughout the game and can be used to enhance one’s efforts. “Special events” include enhanced movement for one of your units; increased mobilization efforts; betrayals; and assassination attempts. Other markers represent “riots”, which is one of the main ways for the Rebel Player to augment their forces; “unrest”, which has weaker effects than a riot; “pins”, which is one of the main effects of rebel activity on government military forces); and markers denoting rebel units which “go underground”, meaning they are doubled in defense strength when attacked by government forces, but cannot move or carry out attacks themselves.

The units have several notable characteristics. First of all, unlike in many wargames, the movement allowances do not appear on the units, as they are standardized for different types of formations. For the high-intensity-combat units, which include U.S. army divisions, Canadian army brigades, Mexican army brigades, and Rebel Militia, the two printed values represent attack and defense strength. For government agents, CIGs, rebel minutemen, and rebel networks, the three printed values represent attack strength, defense strength, and build strength, the third value being a quantification of that units’ ability to place new friendly units on the map. Finally, informers have only one value printed on their counter, which can only be used in one defined way against rebels.

The second notable feature of the units is that they are printed on both sides. For high-intensity-combat units, this means that they are initially selected as “untried”, that is, neither player knows their actual strength until they are committed to combat. For the political units it means they have a weaker (unaugmented) and stronger (augmented) side, which economizes on the number of counters needed, and also affords an improved build and conflict-outcome procedure, i.e., flipping the unit up or down as the case may be. Informers are blank on the reverse side.

A third feature is the rather curious use of some well-known names of individuals and organizations for the informers, agents, minutemen, rebel nets, and for rebel militia unit designations. The designer somewhat disingenuously claims that this “simulates the employment of these names as code-names i.e., the units do not actually represent the named organizations and individuals.” While the pseudo-appearance of various famous fictional, and even contemporary figures, as well as of the names of well-known (and currently-existing!) organizations such as the “K of C” (Knights of Columbus) might have some novelty value, it is also often in exceedingly poor taste. Apart from the use of the names of many actually-existing organizations and living persons, four famous Star Trek names are used for informers, while government agents include the names of a number of comic-book heroes. Fortunately for the designer, the product was probably considered too marginal to bring lawsuits from any of the concerned fictional properties, or from actual individuals and actually-existing organizations.

Looking at this mish-mash carefully, one finds that the 1st Rebel faction is mostly led by American Revolutionary War names; its nets are either American patriotic or far-left organizations; and its militia units use WASP names. The 2nd Rebel faction is led mostly by names associated with African-American history; its nets consist mostly of well-known union organization names (e.g., AFL); and its militia units are designated by common American names, two of which are non-WASP. The 3rd Rebel faction consists mostly of names of American labor leaders; while most of the nets are named after African-American organizations; and its militia designations are all WASP, with the curious exception of “Nagy” (referring, of course, to one of the leaders of the 1956 Hungarian Uprising). The Canadian rebel militia is named, if one can believe it, after Trudeau, Pearson, and four prominent hockey players, as well as “Loup Gru”, and “Dieppe”! It is too bad that the game-designer did not attempt to put some method in this madness: eliminating some rather offensive “borrowings”, and perhaps identifying three main Rebel factions: “American patriots”; “American labor”; and “the Rainbow Coalition”.

Let us now turn to the main scenarios of the game. The basic scenario is entitled, “The Enemy Within”. It has some fairly interesting speculation about a period of diminished and diminishing expectations, to take place in the U.S. after about 2015. It sounds in some respects like the period of “Nineties’ retrenchment” in Canada (although not apparently in the United States), e.g., “Some 50% [of people] were either unemployed or vastly underemployed.” Actually, in fact, the U.S. was in a more severe financial and economic crisis in 2008-2009 than was Canada.

At the same time, the idea of the military practically becoming the most important and most prestigious social sector in American society seems strained, and certainly has no applicability to Canada. The designer’s conceptualization ignored the possibility that tyranny in the U.S. is far more likely to emerge from managerial-therapeutic agendas of big-government and big-business, or perhaps from the pronounced trend towards “political correctness”, which might well create “the tyranny of ‘the just’”. Potential lines of conflict along ethnic lines, as well as of the rural hinterland/periphery vs. the urban nodes, are also ignored. The U.S. today is arguably moving in a left-liberal, rather than rightwing direction. Political conflict in the former situation would be highly unlikely to emerge into outright and massive armed struggle. One additional notable element of this game scenario is the possibility of either player calling in up to six foreign intervention divisions, which are provided in the countermix.

There are three main “Alternative Scenarios”. The first of these is the “Partisan” Scenario, which is based on the now-laughable premise of the invasion of America by a “European Socialist Coalition” (shades of that famous movie, Red Dawn!). The scenario is played on the east side of the map, which is considered “under occupation”, after a successful amphibious and airborne ESC invasion of the East Coast. For the purposes of this scenario, the 24 U.S. army divisions in the countermix are used to represent the occupation forces divisions. The ESC gets to use four security divisions as well. As sixteen ESC divisions are tied to garrisoning “the Front Line” along the Mississippi, one suspects the American Partisans are rather likely to achieve their objective of cutting these divisions’ Lines of Communication to the East Coast ports.

The second “Occupation” scenario portrays “North American” resistance to a “European” occupation. There is certainly some kind of American phobia expressed in explicitly referring to “the Europeans” as villains, as, for example, in the following phrase, “most Americans seemed willing to submit their continent to the satellite that Europe wished to make of her.” Not only is there a nonchalant presumption of the co-identity of American, Canadian, and Mexican interests; in actuality, many people in Europe today feel that it is precisely the U.S. that is imposing its will and way of life on Europe (and on the planet as a whole) albeit through cultural rather than military means.

The final scenario, “Civil War”, is the endpoint of this rather curious future-history. Who can make sense of this: “The…partisan leaders…began to exert strong pressure on the President for an isolationist foreign policy and a dramatically reduced Defense budget. The new Progressive Party — formed by the former Partisan leaders — expressed strong Socialist ideals [which they had supposedly just fought against — see above] that were entirely rejected by most Army officers. Many of these officers (and government officials) formed the Constitutionalist Party, which called for the reinstitution of the Constitution of 1787 along traditionalist lines [in the 21st century?].” The curious figure of a “General Albert Sanchez” who launches a coup on October 1 is introduced. About the best thing that can be said about the scenario is that it points to the growing influence of Hispanics in America.

The main feature of the scenario as a game is that initially deployed units can change allegiance, with army divisions possibly converting to rebel militia, rebel networks possibly converting to weak CIGs, and minutemen possibly converting to weak government agents. In other words, the situation is highly chaotic.

The fourth scenario, which has been alluded to above in discussing the three Rebel factions, concerns three or four-player games. In the four-player game, there is an interesting option for a player to become “federalized” for one or more turns, i.e., to collaborate with the government player in attacking other rebels. Also, if the Government player is eliminated, the Rebel player with the most nets becomes the Government player: every Militia unit becomes an army division; every minuteman becomes an agent (to the corresponding strength); and every Net becomes a CIG (to the corresponding strength). The permutations of achieving victory in this kind of multi-cornered struggle become interesting indeed.

Minuteman offers some rather innovative mechanics to simulate unconventional warfare. One obvious omission in the game was airpower, which could have easily been incorporated by the use of air-points augmenting government attack or defense strengths. The helicopter forces for which Americans are so well-known do not explicitly appear. Another obvious omission, naval power, could have been simulated by naval bombardment points available to the government player in hexes adjacent to the sea. Naval-based airpower could also have been easily represented, by having air-points with a limited range of use from sea-hexes. The land-based Government nuclear arsenal, which Rebels would certainly try to sabotage and/or take over, if not actually use, is completely ignored. There are also no provisions for the struggle for U.S. diplomatic and commercial resources abroad that would undoubtedly take place. It was certainly a major oversimplification of the game-design to not take any of these factors into account. Perhaps, however, the whole posited scenario would collapse into complete improbability when taking into consideration the vast preponderance of military force available to the U.S. government. For example, virtually all personnel in the U.S. military, regardless in which branch or support service they serve, probably have sufficient training to fight as land-infantry if necessary, certainly well enough to defeat the average rural “patriot militiaman” or “urban guerilla”. All this suggests a re-design would do well to move the game onto the tracks of social/political/economic, as opposed to military conflict.

The enormous build-up of ponderous military and bureaucratic infrastructures in the late-twentieth century Western societies forever precludes in those societies successful “barricade revolutions” of the nineteenth or early-twentieth century type; or the kinds of military coups typical of Latin American “banana-republics”. Current-day social/political/economic conflict can certainly be very destructive to society, and, while it is accompanied by a degree of what could sardonically be called “street-theatre”, it is not destructive in the obvious way of dissidents being rounded up, people arbitrarily shot by government forces in the streets, etc. The peak of coercive/violent totalitarianism in the “Western world” was probably reached in the regimes of Hitler’s Nazi Germany, and Stalin’s Soviet Union. The dangers of late modernity in current Western societies are of a different nature. Because such dangers are not immediately obvious, they are in some senses even more pernicious. There is certainly more than one way of “skinning the cat”, i.e., of ruining or destroying a society.

One aspect of the game-mechanics that could be debated is the extent to which major urban centers — as opposed to the hinterland — constitute the strongpoints of the revolution. While urban centers are difficult to police and control in the context of late modern liberal democracies (i.e., from the standpoint of legitimate law enforcement), it would seem that an authoritarian, and especially a totalitarian regime, would find control of the cities comparatively far easier to effect. The countryside has always been the natural locale for partisan or guerilla resistance against oppressive or semi-oppressive regimes.

In recent times, in America, there has been a current of speculation about a “second American revolution”. But the American Civil War was itself “a second American Revolution”, both in terms of the South’s attempted secession, and in terms of the subsequent birth of a new America. Michael Lind’s book, The Next American Nation: The New Nationalism and the Fourth American Revolution addresses these questions. Lind also argues that the New Deal and the Sixties’ could be interpreted as two other profoundly revolutionary periods. In 1994, some might have seen Newt Gingrich and his followers as trying to launch another revolution (or, really, counter-revolution).

However, one of the major characteristics of the more recent “new American revolutions” is that they never devolved into armed struggle on a massive scale, although the social transformations engendered have certainly been no less wrenching and far-reaching notwithstanding their more pacific nature.

Although Minuteman may still function reasonably well as a game, its background concept and its premises are today clearly flawed and outdated. Should Decision Games consider re-issuing the game, major work would be required on reconfiguring a coherent background. How is the game to mirror the authentic lines of division of North America today — or possibly, tomorrow? Should the game attempt to show only purely political — as opposed to military — actions? The kind of massive, large-scale military conflict shown in Minuteman appears too hypothetical. If the situation had really gotten to the point where the Government was authoritarian or semi-authoritarian (which would imply a rather unlikely neutering of media criticism), then no patriot militia in the woods, or urban guerillas in the inner-cities, could constitute much of a challenge to it, given the modern military realities. A line of future development whereby a military invasion of America from Europe (or Asia, or anywhere else) would become possible, also seems somewhat hypothetical.

A re-design of the game Minuteman should therefore focus on social/political/economic struggle, with fewer military aspects, or perhaps be set somewhat further in the future. One way of reducing the preponderant military power of the Government would be to conceive the conflict along a dichotomy other than Government vs. Rebels, and have all of the starting military, police, intelligence, and bureaucratic resources and assets both appropriately weakened and “divvied up” between the two or more different factions. The very idea that an entity called “the U.S. Government” could ever achieve a single-minded unity of purpose, seems remote. The pinnacle structures of formal, political national-level leadership — the Federal Presidency, Cabinet, Congress, and the Supreme Court are in themselves extremely labyrinthine, yet they constitute only a small fraction of the persons and possible interests represented in the U.S. Government. Perhaps a resurgence of interest in the game might prompt Decision Games to consider a re-release.

Sociologist Mark Wegierski is a Toronto-based writer and researcher

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Could Vaccine Resisters be WACOed?

David Koresh, RIP, credit Wikipedia

Could Vaccine Resisters be WACOed?

by Ilana Mercer

Because of the natural mutation the clever little RNA strand undergoes—it is clear to anyone with a critical mind that the Covid vaccines will go the way of the flu vaccines: an annual affair if one chooses to make it so. Choice, alas, is quickly becoming a quaint concept in Covid-compliant America.

Vaccine Passports

The possibility of a vaccine passport, a “certification of vaccination that reduces public-health restrictions for their carriers,” has been floated. Unfinessed, it amounts to, “Your Papers, bitte!” While Fox’s Tucker Carlson did term the idea an Orwellian one—it took civil libertarian Glenn Greenwald, the odd-man-out among the authoritarian Left, to place the concept of a vaccine passport in proper perspective. The popular TV host (and perhaps the only good thing on Fox News) had asked Greenwald if he felt a vaccine passport “would work to convince more Americans to get vaccinated.” Continue reading

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History Debunked

Jean-Léon Gerôme, The Slave Market, credit Wikipedia

History Debunked

The Forgotten Slave Trade: The White European Slaves of Islam, Simon Webb, 2021, Pen & Sword, reviewed by Ed Dutton

At time when British people are being increasingly instilled with a sense of guilt about the “slave trade” – which the British, anyway, led the way in abolishing – what an important book Simon Webb’s The Forgotten Slave Trade is. It is also marvellously well-written, incredibly detailed, and brimming with fascinating, and once widely known, facts.

Mr Webb is acutely concerned with “historical erasure,” whereby political ideologues  cause us to forget aspects of history that might make us wary of, in this instance, Multiculturalism or the white guilt that is key to sustaining this. He thus begins by explaining that until quite recently the term “The Slave Trade” did not refer exclusively to the Triangular African slave trade between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. Almost all historic civilizations have pursued slavery, whether the Israelites, the Greeks and Romans, the Saxons, or the Islamic world. Around 10% of English people, in 1066, were slaves. Apparently, 25% of Ancient Greeks were slaves and the scale of this slave trade dwarfed the mere 10 million blacks that were enslaved in the 350 years of the Triangular Trade. The conditions of these forgotten white slaves were also far worse. And this was also dwarfed by the Black enslavement of their own and of the other races of Africa from 2500 BC onwards as the Bantu (Blacks) expanded out of Nigeria and Cameroon. The other races with whom they came into contact, the Pygmies and the Bushmen, were duly enslaved. Indeed, slavery was so accepted in Africa that the colonial British were compelled to tolerate it to “keep the peace” with African natives. Continue reading

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Treason and Patriotism in Postmodern Society

Jacques-Louis David, Oath of the Horatii

Treason and Patriotism in Postmodern Society

by Mark Wegierski

Traditional notions of treason and patriotism have long been important in Canada but have been subject to enormous pressure since the beginning of the twentieth century. English-Canadian identity was ever bound up with the profession of loyalty to the Sovereign or Monarch. A person who failed to profess loyalty to the Sovereign or Monarch was deemed disloyal to Canada. On a number of occasions in recent Canadian history, Québécois nationalists in particular have been accused of treason. What follows is an examination of these accusations in the light of current thinking about what constitutes treason, in Canada and elsewhere.

Ideas of treason and patriotism seem to be most pronounced in traditional societies. The manifest showing of disloyalty to a country or nation, or its chief symbols, has often been met with severe censure or punishment. At the same time, making common cause with one’s nation’s enemies, typically in the forms of espionage, sabotage, or extremely vocal agitation, was often considered “high treason,” punishable by death or long and harsh prison terms. But looking at the history of the second half of the twentieth century and the first two decades of the twenty-first, it is clear that, for Western societies at least, “treason is not what it used to be.” Continue reading

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Shielding

Badge of an LAPD Officer

   Shielding

    by Bill Hartley

The Shield, which ran for seven series as long ago as 2002-8, is deeper than the standard police drama. It explores the nature of corruption, together with the leadership meant to prevent it happening. It is this combination which makes it a cut above the rest, allowing us to see the structural weaknesses in an organisation. Interestingly, whilst it won several awards at the time, it has since been overshadowed by The Wire which on release attracted far less positive critical attention.

The Shield is based on a real life police scandal. Back in the 1990s, Los Angeles police set out to combat a rise in gang crime. They set up Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums, better known as ‘CRASH’, an acronym which was a hostage to fortune. What followed became known as the Rampart Scandal. Seventy officers were investigated for robberies, murder, drug dealing and other crimes. As someone observed, ‘far from dealing with gang crime the LAPD succeeded in creating the most dangerous gang in the city’. It was to cost the city $125 million in damages. Against this background, nothing seems exaggerated about the activities of Vic Mackey and his ‘Strike Team’ in The Shield.

With outstanding characterisation, The Shield poses probing questions about corruption, exploring the term in a range of facets. Vic, the one obvious leader, has succeeded in building a tight knit band of brothers and getting them to accept his warped ethics, where the end justifies the means and often includes a cut of the proceeds. As the series progresses, the viewer realises that whilst Vic’s corruption is clear and unambiguous there are subtler versions to be found. Continue reading

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Virgiliana

Doré Woodcut, Divine Comedy, credit Wikipedia

Virgiliana

The Cambridge Companion to Virgil (2nd Ed.), edited by Fiachra MacGorain and Charles Martindale, Cambridge University Press: 2019. Pp. i-xvi,1-549, reviewed by Darrell Sutton

Arguably the most illustrious writer of Latin literature, Virgil’s classic, the Aeneid, is central to studies of ancient epic. The popular words arma virumque cano (I sing of arms and the man) resonate in every generation. Many people have been to war but few combatants composed melodies depicting their adventures. Other than Homer, had anyone sung of conflict like Virgil? Homer became Virgil’s model centuries later when he composed his Roman tale of quest and conquest, one filled with Gods who proved to be both baneful and benevolent in their dealings with mankind.

The lifeblood of warriors was poured forth in line after line of the Aeneid. It tells of Rome’s history. Although her legends and myths are rendered in an unfinished account, the Aeneid’s rhythms have been scrutinized countless times by expert and layperson alike. Virgil produced other literary creations. Some writers in the past believe he authored Appendix Vergiliana; some do not (see S. Mcgill’s skeptical but erudite paper (chapter 4) on all the pseudepigrapha).

Virgil was grateful to Augustus for restoring to him his lands. And the Bucolica show his gratitude and his interest in pastoral landscapes. Several poems are dedicated to individuals who were of significance to Virgil. The shepherd’s vocation is extoled; the Muse’s love of woodlands is noted at Ecl.I.2. However, some still believe that his Georgics are the best work that he composed, dealing with various departments of farming. Didactic in style, these four poems shine a light on the technics of organic production in bygone days. Daily chores that relate to crop farming, vine plants, herds and bees are described in technical language. Everywhere some type of symbolism finds expression in the poems. Richard F. Thomas averred that “the Georgics is perhaps the most difficult, certainly the most controversial, poem in Roman Literature…” (Virgil: Georgics, Vol.1, Cambridge Press: 1988; p.16). Continue reading

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Canadian Conservatism, a Coroner’s Report

Janus, credit Wikipedia

Canadian Conservatism, a Coroner’s Report

by Mark Wegierski

Canada today, despite its great over-all wealth, is a society of contrasts. While the problem of Quebec separatism which was so central in Canadian history since the 1960s may be fading, new challenges are arising. While Canada is still, to a large extent, a more pleasant place to live than the United States (especially when one compares life in the two countries’ large cities), there are issues looming on the horizon which could present severe challenges to a safe, civil, prosperous life – the permanence of which all too many Canadians today take for granted.

There are a number of significant differences between the Canadian and American societies today, which may have a profound impact on the type of future the countries will have. In the years 2006 to 2015, Canada had a federal Conservative government, while during most of that time, Obama was President of the United States. This was a fairly unusual situation whereby the U.S. arguably had a more left-liberal government than Canada. The comparative fiscal discipline of the Harper Conservatives was striking, when viewed against the fiscal profligacy of the Obama Administration. Liberal Justin Trudeau has been Prime Minister of Canada since 2015, whereas Donald Trump was President of the United States from 2016 to 2020. There appears to be very little prospect of a Trump-like figure arising in Canada. The victory of Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential election created enormous volatility and unpredictability in U.S. politics. However, he was defeated in 2020, in an election that was extremely close in the crucial battleground states. Now that Joe Biden is President, an attempt to enact a revolutionary transformation of America that will forever keep the Republicans out of power at the federal level may be in prospect. Continue reading

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American Foreign Policy Destroyed South Africa

Edmund Burke, studio of Sir Joshua Reynolds, oil on canvas, (1767-1769)

American Foreign Policy Destroyed South Africa

by Ilana Mercer

Certain national-conservative governments in East Europe should be natural allies to conservative policy makers, stateside, if such unicorns existed. Vladimir Putin’s, for example. Before his death, from the safety of exile, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, one of Russia’s bravest and most brilliant sons, praised Putin’s efforts to revive Russia’s traditional Christian and moral heritage. For example:

In October 2010, it was announced that The Gulag Archipelago would become required reading for all Russian high-school students. In a meeting with Solzhenitsyn’s widow, Mr. Putin described The Gulag Archipelago as ‘essential reading’: ‘Without the knowledge of that book, we would lack a full understanding of our country and it would be difficult for us to think about the future.’ …

If [only] the same could be said of the high schools of the United States. (Via The Imaginative Conservative.)

The Russian president patiently tolerates America’s demented, anti-Russia monomania. And, as America sinks into the quick sands of Cultural Marxism, Putin’s inclinations are decidedly reactionary and traditionalist. He prohibited sexual evangelizing by LGBTQ activists. He comes down squarely on the side of the Russian Orthodox church, as when Pussy Riot desecrated the cathedral of Christ the Savior. The Russian leader has also welcomed as refugees persecuted white South Africans, whereas America’s successive governments won’t even officially acknowledge that they’re under threat of extermination. Also, policies to stimulate Russian birthrates have been put in place by the conservative leader. Continue reading

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ENDNOTES, APRIL 2021

Monet, landscape on the Île Saint Martin

ENDNOTES, April 2021

In this edition: Robin Holloway and Peter Seabourne, Piano Trios, Symphonies by Robert Simpson, reviewed by Stuart Millson

Met Stars in Concert, soprano Sonya Yoncheva, streamed from the Baroque library at the Schussenried Cloister, Ulm, Germany, 27th February 2021, reviewed by Leslie Jones 

Peter Seabourne’s Piano Trio of 2018, newly recorded by the Sheva label, is an impressive, challenging, yet ultimately tonal piece of contemporary music – a work of bright, open soundscape, a piece that sits perfectly alongside the music of his teacher, Robin Holloway, whose Piano Trio (2017) also makes a thrilling addition to this new CD. The mysterious solo violin which opens the first movement (first of a series of undivided movements) grips the listener with its noble, distant beauty. The destiny of these two composers seems somehow intertwined, as if they had founded their own ‘school’.

Peter Seabourne began life as a modernist but a moment of re-evaluation and redirection led him to return from the world of the tone-shattering avant-garde to the sound-world of Britten, Tippett and Daniel Jones (the prolific mid-20th-century Welsh composer of string quartets) thence to the studio and composing-room of Robin Holloway and that region of modern music, always connected to the continuum of a recognisable Englishness. Accessible and atmospheric, Seabourne’s trio abandons complicated markings, for movements that are clearly, simply described. The third movement is just ‘Tender and poignant’, a sense of memory and of love beneath an alabaster sky, with the third movement, ‘Fast, joyous, dancing’,  the composer explaining:

‘A coda sees the reappearance of the lyrical passage from the scherzo, transformed (transfigured even) into a majestic hymn. The dance resumes and everyone scampers off over the hill.’

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