Author Archives: Clinton

The Rich Are Different

A statement from Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer about punishing tax avoiders makes obvious his support for arbitrary law enforcement:

He could hardly have made his lack of scruple clearer. What ‘robust action’ has been taken against people who have avoided taxes, a perfectly legal if not always laudable thing to do? Blackmail? Threats? These are, implicitly, the words of a gangster, though the person who uttered them may not be aware of it.

Look Around

On the utterly unavoidable requirement to appreciate the small things (if one is not to be miserable):

A few years ago my wife and I planted some cherry trees on our land in France, and now they are in bloom. The strange thing is that I can stand and look at the blossom, if not for hours (one must not exaggerate), at least for several minutes at a time—and repeatedly. I enjoy watching the bees at their work. I am glad to be alive.

Pity the Poor Politicians

Living under a PC regime is bad enough (“much of that population actually wants to be offended”), but it requires a very particular personality to take it one step further, as politicians do

Most people who speak for more than a few minutes will say something stupid or offensive to someone; and thanks to cameras and microphones, all that a politician says is recordable. In effect, modern politicians live under a totalitarian regime.

Worms Have Rights Too

The Party for the Animals won a few seats in the Dutch parliament, so Dalrymple asks sarcastically: Why not a Bacterial Liberation Front?

We must stop this discrimination between and against species according to merely anthropocentric criteria. We are all—fish, seagulls, porcupines—in it together (by it, I mean life); we have to make the biosphere work, and we shall never do it so long as we believe that some species are more valuable than others. Save the cholera germ, I say!

A Pardon for M. Fillon

The scandal involving French presidential candidate Francois Fillon seems well-timed to fuel the fevered imaginings of conspiracy theorists:

Most people believe in conspiracy theories because they want to do so rather than because the evidence compels belief. Again, this brings the slight consolation that events are under human control, even if that control is malign. And, of course, the conspiracy theorist thinks he has penetrated appearances to reach into the reality of things, which makes him superior to those who have not.

Age of Rage

The politically correct became enraged yet again recently when a judge observed that drunk women make themselves more vulnerable to rapists:

Everyone accepts that it is no excuse for a burglar that a house’s front door has been left open; moreover, a householder has a perfect right to leave his front door open if he so wishes. But equally no one would say that a householder who does not want to be burgled acts prudently if he insists upon exercising his perfect right (a much more perfect right than that to get drunk in public) to leave his front door open.

Sordid but Not Guilty

If you read only one Dalrymple piece this week, I recommend it be this one in City Journal: the story of two English football players charged with rape for engaging in seemingly consensual intercourse with a young woman. Though Dalrymple finds their prosecution absurd, he eloquently indicts almost every individual and group involved, from the principals to the various public institutions to the commentators.

Two Forms of Mass Hysteria

Dalrymple’s definition of political correctness as “communist propaganda writ small” has been widely quoted across the Internet. In Taki’s Magazine, he expands on the idea:

For the greater political correctness’ violation of common sense, the better—at least if its goal is power over men’s minds and conduct. In this sense it is like Communist propaganda of old: The greater the disparity between the claims of that propaganda and the everyday experience of those at whom it was directed, the greater the humiliation suffered by the latter, especially when they were obliged to repeat it, thus destroying their ability to resist, even in the secret corners of their heart. That is why the politically correct insist that everyone uses their language: Unlike what the press is supposed to do, the politically correct speak power to truth.

Taking Out the Rubbish

In Taki’s Magazine Dalrymple takes an American professor to task in the harshest way one can criticize an academic these days: he simply quotes the man’s own writing (below)…

Antiracist writing assessment ecologies explicitly pay close attention to the relationships that make up the ecology, relationships among people, discourses, judgments, artifacts created and circulated. They ask students to reflect upon them, negotiate them, and construct them. Antiracist writing assessment ecologies also self-consciously (re)produce power arrangements in order to examine and perhaps change them. When designing an antiracist writing ecology, a teacher can focus students’ attention on a few of the ecological elements…which inter-are. This means addressing others, such as power relations and the ecological places where students problematize their existential assessment situations.