When doesn’t the left go too far?

Jordan Peterson: When the left goes too far — the dangerous doctrine of equity

The mantra of Diversity, Inclusivity and Equity (DIE) perhaps constitutes the primary identifying factor of the tiny minority of radical collectivist ideologues that nonetheless have come to dominate the humanities and social sciences in Western universities (and, increasingly, the HR departments of corporations). Of these three, equity is the most egregious, self-righteous, historically-ignorant and dangerous. “Equity” is a term designed to signal “equality,” in some manner, and is a term designed to appeal to the natural human tendency toward fairness, but it does not mean the classic equality of the West, which is equality before the law and equality of opportunity.

Equality before the law means that each citizen will be treated fairly by the criminal justice and judicial systems regardless of their status — and that the state recognizes that each individual has an intrinsic value which serves as a limit to state power, and which the polity must respect. There is likely no more fundamental presumption grounding our culture.

Equality of opportunity is a doctrine of openness predicated on the fact that talent is widely distributed although comparatively rare. This should come as no surprise to anyone, given that some people are much better at doing a given task than others and, because of that, it is in everyone’s selfish interest to allow such talent to come to the fore so that we can all benefit. This means that no one should be arbitrarily denied the possibility of their contribution for reasons unrelated to the task at hand. This is also a fundamental principle of Western culture, particularly in its free-market guise.

Equity is a whole different ballgame. It is based on the idea that the only certain measure of “equality” is outcome—educational, social, and occupational. The equity-pushers axiomatically assume that if all positions at every level of hierarchy in every organization are not occupied by a proportion of the population that is precisely equivalent to that proportion in the general population that systematic prejudice (racism, sexism, homophobia, etc.) must be at play. This assumption has as its corollary the idea that there are perpetrators (the “privileged,” for current or historical reasons) who are unfair beneficiaries of the system or outright perpetrators of prejudice and who must be identified, limited and punished.

There is simply no excuse for this doctrine.

Whether you read the rest is up to you, but you should.

Did McCain and Romney purposely lose to Obama?

It’s a thought that has always stayed at the back of my mind but never gone away. McCain was ahead early on, and then decided to put his campaign on hold. Remember this: McCain Suspends Campaign, Shocks Republicans?

The sound of jaws hitting the floor reverberated in Washington this afternoon when Republican presidential nominee John McCain announced that he would suspend his campaign and asked that Friday’s debate be postponed. Why? Because of the “historic crisis in our financial system,” said McCain, who intends to return to Washington tomorrow to participate in Wall Street bailout negotiations on the Hill.

He then selected as his running mate, the untried and untested Governor of Alaska, who no one would have thought would have been much of a political asset, until she was. And then, when she became the sensation of the season, he cut her dead and pushed her away rather than drawing her in. And as Palin said not long ago: Sarah Palin: McCain admitting he’d rather have had Lieberman as running mate was ‘gut punch’.

Speaking with NBC News and the Daily Mail, Palin, the former vice-presidential candidate, talked about her relationship with the Arizona Republican who is battling terminal brain cancer.

McCain’s new book, which chronicles his career and bid for president in 2008, reportedly includes his regret with not choosing Joe Lieberman, then an independent senator from Connecticut, as his running mate in the 2008 race, which he lost to Barack Obama.

McCain writes in the book that advisers counseled him against choosing Lieberman because of his past as a Democrat.

He cuts dead a star in the making and regrets he didn’t choose a Democrat! He really did not want to win.

Then Romney in 2016. Beats Obama pointless in the first debate without even trying. Still almost wins after lying down in the next two debates and is even ahead at the turn when along comes “Superstorm Sandy”. This is his self-assessment seven months after the election:

Among the things Romney thinks might have actually changed the election appears to be his own comments. He repeatedly referenced his own “mistakes” in the CNN interview. He said he “regrets” his comment about 47 percent of Americans refusing to take responsibility for their lives. He said of Clint Eastwood’s empty-chair moment, “Clint didn’t hurt my campaign, I hurt my campaign a couple times.” He said dealing with the press is hard. “Jokes, for instance, will get you in trouble,” Romney said. “Any time you’re trying to be funny.”

But I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt until this: Romney casts lone GOP vote against Trump judicial pick because of a ‘disparaging’ comment about Obama.

On Tuesday, the Senate voted to confirm Michael J. Truncale of Texas as the United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Texas by a vote of 49-46.

The vote was mostly along party lines in the upper chamber, with Sens. Cassidy, R-La., Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Hirono, D-Hawaii, Kennedy, R-La., Rounds, R-S.D., not voting; there was, however, one party defection, as Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, voted with Democrats against the nominee.

For Romney, it wasn’t a matter of jurisprudence or legal qualifications, but remarks made about former Democratic President Obama Truncale made in 2011, calling him an “un-American imposter.”

He must be the last man alive on the Republican side not to know that this is absolutely true. And it does make me think he really didn’t want to win the election since he never even came close to taking a hard line on Obama and the horrors of his first four years as president. The comments thread at Instapundit says it all.

“Everyone agrees China cheats and ignores WTO rulings”

Conrad Black on Democrats Start To Perceive Debacle They Face, being how almost impregnable PDT’s current election prospects are. But of particular interest are Black’s comments on China-US trade.

In the trade dispute with China, where even the Democratic Senate leader, Chuck Schumer, sides with the president, the United States cannot lose. China’s tremendous economic progress is based on debt-financed infrastructure, dumping cheap goods abroad, especially in the United States, and requiring industrial-intelligence disclosure from sophisticated foreign companies that seek access to Chinese markets.

Everyone agrees that China cheats and ignores World Trade Organization rulings, and practically every trading nation in the world applauds the U.S. president’s stance in this dispute. Eighty percent of the U.S. GDP is domestic commerce, and with a year to reorient itself, it could practically end all imports. China is a debt-ridden house of cards built on what is still a 40% command economy, rotten with official corruption in a country with few natural resources and 300 million people who still live as their ancestors did a thousand years ago.

One more example showing how centralised economies do not and cannot work.

War zones

This is the minor story of the moment at Drudge.

White House reviews military plans against Iran...
'Deploy 120,000 troops'...
Mystery shrouds 'sabotage' of tankers...

This is the major story.


With the media, it’s hard to tell if it’s World War III, or a day in which there was nothing else about Mueller to beat up. But for me, if a tariff war with China is more newsworthy than a potential hot war in the Middle East, there really isn’t much going on.

Soak the poor

The astonishing part about modern macroeconomics is how those whose wealth is most comprehensively plundered through public spending and crony capitalism are the ones who are told that everything is being done on their behalf. Governments spend trillions hiring their friends and colleagues through moneys syphoned off from a proportion of the taxpaying public, but the reality is that everyone who is not on the receiving end is on the paying end, whether one pays taxes or not.

An economy during any relatively short period of time – say over the course of a decade – has only so many goods and services along with only so much physical capital. Those who receive payments from the government, whether public servants or government contractors, get to spend well beyond any productive contributions they make to the economy. Everyone else ends up with less.

It’s how Keynesian economics works. A massive Ponzi scheme, where the poor and middle class are made to subsidise the relatively well off as well as the rich.

You think you are getting free this and free that. But the ones who are creaming off the system are the ones the government is paying on your behalf. Even if you don’t pay a cent in tax, you are paying an enormous cost in allowing others to get rich while you struggle to get by.

And if you think it’s bad now, wait till Modern Monetary Theory becomes the go-to means to finance governments. And we are just one election away from a full roll out in Australia.

“Economic Theory ten years after the crisis”

That’s the title of the paper: Economic Theory ten years after the crisis, written by Droucopoulos Vassilis, Emeritus Professor of Industrial Economics in the Department of Economics at the University of Athens. There must be other such articles around, but this is one of the few I have come across. The abstract:

It is my intention to address, primarily within the scope of mainstream macroeconomic theory, three of the questions making up the main theme of the conference, namely: “How a very problematic theory continues to survive and dominate both the policy and the academic scene. What are the processes in the economy and the society that sustain its dominance? What is the condition of the economic Orthodoxy (particularly under its current form of the New Macroeconomic Consensus, that is the hybrid of mild neoliberalism with conservative New Keynesianism)?”. A good many orthodox economists hold the view that there is no necessity for a paradigm shift. On the contrary, a mere “evolution towards a more pluralistic discipline” would suffice. Hence the title of my talk.

They still don’t get it since variants of Keynesian economics remain as embedded as ever. But what a laugh to see New Keynesian economics described as “conservative”. It must be the modern fashion, and they wonder why nothing works.

The Eurovision Song Contest will be live from Tel Aviv

The only way the Eurovision Song Contest could have ended up in Israel was that enough Europeans voted for the Israeli contestant last year. An absolutely positive sign in its own right. The video is from Andrew Bolt, with this from the comments.

The logic of some of the Left over ‘occupied Palestine’ has always been interesting.

First, there is an assumption that a global economic conspiracy led by some Jewish Americans and Europeans keeps working people poor in the developed world.

Then, there is the contrasting narrative that Palestinians in the early 20th Century were mainly poor farmers, honestly tilling the soil and growing crops to feed their families.

Next, we come to the proposition that a few weird European politicians foisted millions of Jewish diaspora back into the same territories where Palestinians lived.

And then, the inevitable happened, in the ongoing struggle between the two groups.

What is missing is that there have always been Jews in Israel, the geopolitical construction of the entire Middle East was a 20th Century back-of-the-envelope fudge, Israel now gets on well with its rational Arab neighbours in Egypt and Jordan, and encourages Palestinians to live and work peacefully alongside Jews.

What is dangerous is that heavily-armed extremist groups, based in Lebanon, Syria and Iran particularly, are itching to wipe not just Israel but all Jews off the map.

Is that proposition really OK with some hard Leftists?

The whether vane has shifted

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and former deputy leader Julie Bishop at the West Australian Liberal Party campaign rally. Picture: AAP

A good sign indeed of whether the Libs are in with a real chance: Key figures attend Lib rally in WA seat of Swan. That’s from The Oz.

Julie Bishop has heaped praise on Scott Morrison at a Liberal Party rally in Perth this evening.

“Scott’s been campaigning so well. I’m feeling very confident. I’ve been saying for a long time that we will win this election,” Ms Bishop told reporters after the prime minister’s speech.

“Scott’s a very experienced politician and he was a very good Treasurer, and he took on the role of Prime Minister in less than ideal circumstances and he’s done an exceedingly good job.”

And then there’s this in both The Age and the SMH: It took John Howard just one minute to deliver the campaign’s most potent attack on Bill Shorten. And look who’s in the picture.

Then Howard appealed to the voters of Warringah, on Sydney’s northern beaches.

“They’re not the big end of town. I mean, that is an insult to every successful small businessman who has worked hard accumulated a bit and wants to leave it to his kids,” Mr Howard said. “I mean that’s what this country is all about!”

John Howard meets shoppers flanked by Tony Abbott.
John Howard meets shoppers flanked by Tony Abbott.CREDIT:NICK MOIR

It was vintage Howard – a nod to Menzies’ forgotten Australians, a paean to suburban values, indignation for those who denigrate diligence, and yes, just a little bit old-fashioned in his gendered pronouns.

Malcolm, who’s Malcolm?

Steggall’s chickens

Fresh Chicken Wholebird

From the minute I first heard Zali’s name, I automatically associated it with chickens. Nothing personal, just the name. I am apparently not the only one. From Cut and Paste today. And if you keep reading further, you will see that some Green activists have now disguised themselves as plants. It’s appropriate, I suppose, to disguise yourself as a tree or a rose bush if you prefer the Greens, but it does really seem to be going too far, in my own view.

Chicken Man has made his political debut. Jacqueline Maley, The Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday:

A Liberal volunteer supporting Tony Abbott’s campaign for re-election in Warringah has denied he dressed up in a chicken suit in an attempt to derail the rival campaign of independent Zali Steggall. The high-stakes battle for Warringah already involves two “satirical superheroes”: Captain GetUp and more recently Freddie Foreign Money. But in recent weeks a new costumed political superhero has been seen around the electorate: Chicken Man … a person (of indeterminate gender) dressed up in a yellow chicken costume, who keeps showing up at Ms Steggall’s media appearances. Chicken Man seems intent on embarrassing Ms Steggall, brandishing signs which say “Labor for Steggall” and “GetUp for Zali”, which assert associations with Ms Steggall’s campaign that she is keen to dispel.

Tony Abbott tweeted, March 2:

Zali’s Liberal Army (today’s Manly Daily headline) has just two members. Julie Giannesini, who hasn’t been a member since 2007 and when she tried to rejoin late last year was rejected by the Mosman branch because she was so obviously a plant.

The ABC, online, yesterday:

This election, GetUp is focused on unseating conservative stalwarts within the Liberal Party. That’s why it is funnelling resources into the electorates of Liberal MPs Peter Dutton and Mr Abbott. But it says it is not campaigning on behalf of any candidates or parties. Advance Australia has billed itself as “conservative GetUp” and insists it is campaigning in Warringah because GetUp is. “We’re running a campaign to highlight that if people vote for Zali Steggall they’re going to vote for Bill Shorten,” says Gerard Benedet, the group’s director … The anti-Abbott coalition has brought together half a dozen groups across the Warringah electorate. Some are focused on climate change, while others just want to get Mr Abbott out. The coalition was set up by local woman Julie Giannesini. Linking Ms Steggall to GetUp has been a tactic of both the Abbott campaign and Advance Australia. Ms Steggall has hit back, saying: “I have no association with GetUp”.

All I can say is that if Zali really has no association with Get Up, it’s about the only thing positive about her I’ve heard.

The fantastical project of yesterday

Two articles which support each other, but written 140 years apart. First the modern one, just from the other day: Ladies, Stop Trying to Have Sex Like Men which comes with these introductory words:

From college campuses to our nation’s boardrooms, women try to pursue sex the way men often do: no commitment necessary. And they’re getting burned.

Then there is this from 1871: Women’s Rights Women. The first few paras are amazing since, apart from the linguistic style, might have well have been written, like the article above, just the other day.

In our day, innovations march with so rapid a stride that they quite take away one’s breath. The fantastical project of yesterday, which was mentioned only to be ridiculed, is to-day the audacious reform, and will be to-morrow the accomplished fact. Such has been the history of the agitation for “women’s rights,” as they are sophistically called in this country. A few years ago this movement was the especial hobby of a few old women of both sexes, who made themselves the laughing-stock of all sane people by the annual ventilation of their crotchet. Their only recruits were a few of the unfortunates whom nature or fortune had debarred from those triumphs and enjoyments which are the natural ambition of the sex, and who adopted this agitation as the most feasible mode of expressing their spitefulness against the successful competitors. To-day the movement has assumed such dimensions that it challenges the attention of every thoughtful mind.

If we understand the claims of the Women’s Rights women, they are in substance two: that the legislation, at least, of society shall disregard all the natural distinctions of the sexes, and award the same specific rights and franchises to both in every respect; and that woman while in the married state shall be released from every species of conjugal subordination. The assimilation of the garments of the two sexes, their competition in the same industries and professions, and their common access to the same amusements and recreations, are social changes which the “strong-minded” expect to work, each one for herself, when once the obstructions of law are removed from the other points….

The advocates of these “women’s rights” may be expected to win the day, because the premises from which they argue their revolution have been irrevocably admitted by the bulk of the people.

People have been writing about “modern” women since the days of the Roman Empire. I wish everyone the best of luck in pursuing the ends they seek in that brief time we have allotted to ourselves, and I mean that with absolute sincerity. I found this quite apt, although the modern example would be to postpone marriage until well into one’s thirties while still hoping for children, but you will see what I mean.

The philosophy of the Yankee mind is precisely that of the Yankee girl who, when she asked for leave to marry at seventeen, was dissuaded by her mother that she “had married very early and had seen the folly of it.” “Yes; but, Mamma,” replied the daughter, “I want to see the folly of it for myself.”

But if you think that’s up-to-date, try this.

It may be inferred again that the present movement for women’s rights will certainly prevail from the history of its only opponent, Northern conservatism. This is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is to-day one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will to-morrow be forced upon its timidity, and will be succeeded by some third revolution, to be denounced and then adopted in its turn.

Not everything works for everyone, so no matter what the fashion is, there will always be many who want something else. What seems perennial is the desire to experiment with one’s life, a very good thing but dangerous as well.