Lawrence Auster’s “View From the Right” does not have a functioning comments feature. You have to send him an e-mail. Maybe he’ll post it and maybe he won’t. Recently I sent him a few comments which fell into the latter category, so I figure I’ll put them here.

In response to this thread I wrote

One of the points Mencius Moldbug has made at his blog is that liberalism replaced traditionalism/Christianity, which used to exist in its place. Attempting to attack liberalism with Christianity is like continuing to choose rock when the other guy keeps beating you with paper. He refers to adherents of the old beliefs as the “neutered false opposition” to liberalism which it tolerates because it has overcome it and no longer views it as a threat to its hold on power. Since liberalism has been on a non-stop winning streak against ever weakening traditionalist conservatism, what makes you think you will overcome it? I should note that my own ideology of libertarianism/classical liberalism/limited government has been getting beat just as badly, as described in Bertrand de Jouvenel’s “On Power” (I reviewed it here).

I would also like to add that Mencius’ idea of using anti-clericalist “hyper-atheism” against the fake-atheist left is nothing new. Max Stirner (who I am something of an adherent of) was pulling that when Marx was a nobody. Proudhon was similarly attacking the Blancist state socialists for their internal contradictions before. This tactic has gone nowhere. It is the ideology of the impotent few sniping from the sidelines (which I include myself among).

Lastly, the idea that islam as a belief system is a growing threat which will absorb many liberals is ridiculous. This is what happens when nobody pays any attention to statistics. Muslims like to inflate the number of “reverts” to make themselves look like a “strong horse”. You should read what Razib has to say here. The terrorism problem is drastically inflated (it’s on the level of normal natural disasters rather than an existential threat) and can be pretty much solved as simply as restricting immigration from the countries that produce anti-american terrorists (going after a religion seems like a non-starter to me and ignores the constantly changing nature of what ideology is the biggest threat to our country). In general having limited immigration of skilled workers from a diverse enough variety of countries (as opposed to the heavily spanish-speaking low-skilled variety we have now) that none of them can form their own regions of concentration that make assimilation unnecessary is a desirable goal. The United States has done a considerably better job than Europe when it comes to its muslim immigrants and I think the aforementioned is one reason why.

In another thread they were discussing Orwell and seemed too quick to consider him “one of us”, so I sent a few links:

The most interesting piece I’ve read on George Orwell is here. It is one of the few unflattering things I’ve read about him. I myself have only read Animal Farm, 1984 and Politics and the English Language, all of which I enjoyed.

Another rare example is Isaac Asimov’s review of 1984. I suspect he was irritated to see Orwell attacking the left, but the point about how such a dysfunctional state could operate all that complicated surveillance is a good one. It can be found here.

The last one was not sparked by any post there, but simply something interesting I found and felt like telling him about

I was surprised to find a paper by a couple of libertarian economists that takes seriously Samuel Huntington’s argument that the American Creed that dates from the founding by way of England is eroding, with one major factor being immigration. The authors agree that this is the case and also that the American Creed is a good thing that would be desirable to preserve. Unfortunately they make the assumption that everyone is the same everywhere and it is only different institutions that cause immigrants to be wards of the welfare state rather than engaged in productive activity. There is no discussion of how different cultures influence institutions or how different groups of immigrants behave differently in the United States. They agree with Milton Friedman that open immigration and a welfare state are incompatible, but think that restricting immigration will not actually solve the problem and so that instead we should just go after the welfare state. The one upside of their homo economicus worldview is that they don’t throw around accusations of xenophobia but think of federal immigration restrictions (I am not sure but I think they were more sympathetic to state-level restrictions) as the product of rent-seeking workers who don’t want to be undercut by the competition.

Something makes me suspect that Lawrence won’t comment here, but some other readers may take interest.

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