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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, kazoo version]
01 — Intro. Hmm. It's an interesting question why the kazoo has never been included among the instruments of a standard symphony orchestra; although possibly the question is less interesting now than it was three minutes ago …
Well, well: Radio Derb is on the air! Greetings, listeners, from your rhetorically genial host John Derbyhsire, here with news of the week.
And yes, later on that will include some more news from the Antipodes. Concerning which, I should say, I sold myself somewhat short last week, delivering a long segment about New Zealand without once mentioning the fact that nine years ago I wrote the definitive column about diversity in New Zealand.
It wasn't modesty that caused me to omit mention of that; it was senility. I had forgotten all about it until a faithful reader reminded me. You can read the archived column at my website johnderbyshire.com: go to "Opinions," "Other foreign parts," and scroll down to September 2010.
Enough of this petty self-promotion. Let's see what's going on in the nation's political life.
02 — What divides the two big parties? What actually divides our two main parties? We know of course that Republicans are the Stupid Party while Democrats are the Evil Party; but what are the substantive issues that really separate them?
This has of course varied across historical time. The Republican Party started out sectionalist, as the anti-South Party. They'd prefer me to say "anti-slavery," and to be sure abolitionists had a home in the early party; but so did Free Soil advocates, who just didn't want slavery expanded into new territories but many of whom were indifferent to slavery as a moral issue.
The impression you get from contemporary sources is that most pre-Civil War Republican Party voters wanted blacks to stay in the South, preferably but not necessarily as free citizens; or else be shipped off to black colonies in Africa or the Caribbean. If a Donald Trump had shown up in 1860 promising to build a wall around the slave states, I bet he'd have won in a landslide.
After the Civil War the GOP coasted along for a while as the Party of Victory in that war, then morphed across the turn of the 20th century into the party of capitalism, most especially of the small businessman and his beloved tariffs, while the Democrats drifted leftwards into progressive social reform. The sectionalist stamp was still strong, though, with Democrats solid in the old Confederacy down to the 1960s.
With the great expansion of higher education and knowledge work after WW2 meritocratic elitism began to rise, bearing aloft the standard of essentialist egalitarianism, most especially of race and sex denialism.
This "New Class" easily took over the Democratic Party. Its rise stirred a reaction, though: Richard Nixon's "Silent Majority," Donald Warren's "Middle American Radicals." The old South, where meritocratic elites were thinner on the ground and race realism was strong, swung Republican.
This was a new kind of sectionalism, the beginnings of what I call the Cold Civil War. The sectionalist line no longer cuts cleanly across the nation: it now separates one county from the next, one city district from the next. It cuts through neighborhoods and streets, even through individual families.
That's the history of the two big parties in a nutshell — familiar to all of us, I think.
OK, but what's the key defining issue today? What, more than anything else, separates the two parties? Immigration, that's what.
Back in February, during the congressional fight over funding for Trump's wall, I went to NumbersUSA and looked up the immigration score cards on all the members of the House Appropriations Committee with a voting record. I tweeted out the result.
Executive summary: The 23 Republican members had a spread of ratings, from two members rated A down to one rated F-minus. The median rating for Republicans was B-minus.
Of the 29 Democratic members, one was rated D and two were rated F. The other 26 were all, every one of them, rated F-minus.
B-minus is not actually very impressive from an immigration-patriot point of view. There's considerable squishiness over immigration on the Republican side, due of course to big-money business donors looking to imported workers to keep wages down. The striking thing is the near-total absence of squishiness among the Democrats. F-minus, F-minus, F-minus, F-minus, F-minus, F-minus, … These guys are rock-solid.
It's the defining issue between the parties in our age. As I said in my tweet, we may as well call them the "Immigration Control Party" and the "Open Borders Party."
03 — Nielsen's "on the table." When it comes to Republican squishiness on immigration, the current administration sets the pace. Every week now brings news of some new concession to the business lobbies on legal immigration.
I don't have to go looking for these stories. They pop up every few days. Washington Times, March 29th, headline: DHS to double seasonal guest worker increase. The story tells us that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has approved an extra 30,000 seasonal guest worker visas. That's 15,000 extra over last year's increase.
This increase also comes earlier in the season, which, the report tells us, quote, "will give employers more time to apply and plan," end quote. Well, isn't that nice for them.
Secretary Nielsen is just as worthless on illegal immigration. She showed up on Tucker Carlson's show earlier this week to talk about the tens of thousands of Central Americans coming across our southern border without authorization every month and being released into the U.S.A.
Nielsen emitted billowing clouds of hot air. Sample, on compulsory E-Verify for employers:
[Clip: Carlson: "How about this: Why wouldn't your agency write an executive order, present it to the President, have him sign it, and do it tomorrow?"
Carlson got the same answer on the birthright citizenship executive order the President offered us before last November's elections.
[Clip: Nielsen: "Y'know, Tucker, I think the President's been clear: All of that is on the table."]
And that's where it sits, on the table, turning brown and curling up at the edges like last week's sandwich. On the table.
Madame Secretary, with respect: "On the table" butters no parsnips. Americans are not impressed by things lying uselessly "on the table." We want action — clear, decisive action, like your directive the other day to import 30,000 foreigners to do seasonal work — but we want action for American workers, for American sovereignty, for a demographically stable nation to bequeath to our grandchildren.
When shall we see that clear, decisive action, Madame Secretary? Mr President?
04 — Rev'm Al's alchemy. To judge from the comment threads and Twitter feeds, the most outrageous story of the week for many people was the parade of Democratic Presidential candidates showing up to be seen and give speeches at the annual convention of Al Sharpton's National Action Network.
I'm not sure I'd count myself among the outraged. Where Rev'm Al is concerned, I've long since passed through outrage and come out the other side, into sad head-shaking despair at the errors and follies of mankind.
Sure, Rev'm Al is a preposterous buffoon, and his organization is a brazen, unashamed shakedown racket. It's made Sharpton rich, though.
Two weeks ago I spoke about the Southern Poverty Law Center, and how its principal founder, Morris Dees, has monetarized modern sectionalism, transmuting goodwhite contempt for badwhites into cold cash. Al Sharpton's in the same league as Dees and has performed a similar alchemy, turning white liberal guilt and the practical cowardice of big corporations into silver and gold.
By the phrase "practical cowardice" I mean the reluctance of big corporations to take any kind of a stand against CultMarx enforcers. Those enforcers are mighty in the media, the academy, politics, show business. They can easily stir up goodwhite anger about imaginary or exaggerated offenses, anger that will cost a company customers and revenue.
To take a principled stand against the enforcers and their allies like Sharpton would, as the board of directors see it, be a betrayal of their duty to their shareholders. Better to just pay off Sharpton quietly. From a Marxist point of view it's a kind of jiu-jitsu, turning free-market capitalism against itself.
That's Rev'm Al's alchemy. That's how he's got rich. To be sure, it reflects badly on our society that an illiterate amoral clown like Sharpton can attain such wealth and power — he was a guest at the Obama White House more than a hundred times — but as with Morris Dees, there's a kind of criminal genius there. The sheer brazen audacity of the guy excites … well, not exactly admiration or respect, but a kind of wonder.
P.T. Barnum said: "There's a sucker born every minute." Hearing that, P.T. Barnum's assistant responded with: "So where do all the rest of them come from?"
05 — The Rabbi's funeral. When my wife came to join me in New York City in November 1986, the first job she ever had was sales assistant at a fabric store on the Lower East Side. I still have their business card among my clutter: S.I.G. Fabrics, Inc., 72 Hester Street, proprietor Samuel M. Goldberg.
This was the first time Mrs Derb had lived anywhere outside provincial China. She knew next to nothing about the different ethnicities here in the U.S.A.
Sammy Goldberg's customers were all New York Jews, mostly female, heavily slanted towards the orthodox end of the spectrum. Some of them were Hasidic Jews. My wife marveled at their fertility. If the customer was of child-bearing age, she told me, she was pregnant more often than not. When they brought kids into the store with them, it was in threes, fours, and fives.
This came to mind when I saw news pictures of the funeral in Brooklyn last Tuesday of Rabbi Yisroel Avrohom Portugal, a revered leader of the Hasidim. Rabbi Portugal died at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore on Monday at the age of 95.
The crowd there in Brooklyn on Tuesday was simply tremendous. One estimate of the numbers said 100,000. The sight was all the more remarkable because the men were all in traditional Hasidic dress, black overcoat and hat, the women in long dresses and headscarves. Presumably some of the mourners, now heading into middle age, had been among the tots accompanying Mrs Derbyshire's customers into Sammy Goldberg's establishment 32 years ago.
Hasidic Jews, like many other Orthodox Jews, typically produce large families; the average Hasidic family in the United States has 8 children.
The fertility rate for white women overall in the U.S.A. is 1.67 children per lifetime. For non-Hispanic black women it's 1.82. Hispanic women, 2.01. So the Hasidim are way, way out ahead of us goyim.
It's not just the Hasidim displaying these sensational levels of fertility, of course. Close-knit religious groups of all kinds — Amish, strict Mormons, Salafist Muslims, Christians of the Quiverfull movement, and many others are producing large families. Eric Kaufmann wrote a book about it, which I reviewed nine years ago in Taki's Magazine. Title of the book: Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? Professor Kaufmann's conclusion: yes, they probably shall.
As an Enlightenment guy, a math and science geek who'd make a lousy religious fundamentalist, I have mixed feelings about all this. It's a feature of our times, though, and we should probably pay more attention to it than we do. Tuesday's pictures of those astonishing throngs at the Rabbi's funeral brought it home.
06 — An Australian hero. Down in the antipodes, ripples from the March 15th mosque massacres in New Zealand continue to spread out.
Brenton Tarrant, who committed those massacres, is actually an Australian; so the event generated even more interest in Australia than it would have anyway. That interest has brought forth a hero: Sixty-nine-year-old Fraser Anning, who has a seat in the 76-member Australian Senate.
Senator Anning is … I think the word is "colorful." He is plain-spoken and straightforward in what we used to consider a classically Australian style, although in recent decades the loathsome turbid waters of political correctness and feminized sensitivity have risen and drowned much of the cultural landscape Down Under.
He is culturally conservative: hates homosexuality and abortion, opposes multiculturalism, and — you may want to position yourself near the fainting couch for this one — in his maiden speech to the Senate last year, called for a referendum on re-introducing the White Australia policy that his country practiced up to the 1970s. That policy limited permanent settlement of immigrants to white people.
Senator Anning responded to the New Zealand killings by saying, as quoted in the New York Post, quote:
As always, left-wing politicians and the media will rush to claim that the causes of today's shootings lie with gun laws or those who hold nationalist views but this is all cliched nonsense.
There were condemnations, a motion of censure in the Senate, and a petition to remove Fraser Anning from the Senate (although there is apparently no constitutional way to do that). One young chap was so incensed he snuck up behind the Senator in public and broke an egg over his head. Senator Anning span round deftly and bopped his assailant very accurately on the jaw, twice.
Nothing abashed, this week Senator Anning registered a new party, Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party. He also published a spirited open letter to the Australian Prime Minister — you can read it at the Occidental Observer — defiantly asserting his objections to mass Muslim immigration. Sample quote:
It is a matter of causation, not moral blame, that until recently we were largely immune to this problem because until the 1970s Western populations were, for the most part, ethnically, culturally and religiously homogenous.
You can take issue with Senator Anning's bluntness, and even with his arguments. I, for example, would take issue with his saying that Australians didn't vote for mass immigration and weren't asked.
It is true that in Australia, as here and in Britain, all the big old political parties, with various degrees of honesty, promoted mass Third World immigration. It's also true that there are difficult institutional barriers to getting a new party established.
Still, no-one has to vote for the established parties. I was about to add: "indeed, no-one has to vote at all …" Then I remembered that Australia does in fact have mandatory voting, with a $20 fine if you fail to vote — not a bad idea, in my opinion.
Still, there must have been minor parties people could vote for that didn't push mass immigration. Or voters could have staged a strike — a voter strike! Yet Aussies — like Americans and Brits — went on voting for the major parties. In that default sense, contra Senator Anning, we did wish for it; we did vote for it.
But see what I'm doing there: I'm arguing back, as cogently as space and my abilities permit, against Fraser Anning's points, which he has very cogently expressed. That's what's supposed to happen in a free, self-governing society. We make our points and argue them in public. The one who persuades the most listeners advances to the next round.
Australia's elites are having none of that! They are laboring mightily to silence Senator Anning, just as their counterparts here are laboring to silence dissident voices like ours here at VDARE.com.
Further quote from Senator Anning's open letter:
In order to lock-in permanent mass immigration, you multicultural elitists have annihilated the bedrock principle of Free Speech from our society.
End quote. That was the point where I stood up and cheered.
Strength to your arm, Senator — and to your pen. If you ever find yourself out here on Long Island, the Foster's are on me.
07 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: As I have mentioned before, I have for many years been a big fan, and a big customer, of the Great Courses lecture series — since way back when they called themselves the Teaching Company. To quote from Heather Mac Donald's landmark essay on them:
The company produces only what its market research shows that customers want. And that, it turns out, is a curriculum in the monuments of human thought, taught without the politically correct superiority and self-indulgent theory common in today's colleges.
That was eight years ago, though. Has Great Courses now gone woke? A Radio Derb listener suspects they have, and tells me that one of their newer courses, on research methods, shows disturbing signs of wokeness.
Could be. I recently listened to Professor Pamela Bedore's lecture series titled Great Utopian and Dystopian Works of Literature. I thought she leaned a bit too heavily on feminist themes.
It would be a shame — in fact a disaster — if Great Courses, one of the last surviving refuges from CultMarx academic flim-flam, were to go woke. I'd be interested to hear opinions from other listeners.
I'd be reassured if I heard that Great Courses had hired in Senator Fraser Anning to do some lectures on Australian history … but I won't be holding my breath.
Item: There's a little flap going on here in my home town of Huntington, Long Island. The local high school is doing a production of the 1960s movie musical Thoroughly Modern Millie. The movie was a fluffy but harmless romp, with Julie Andrews in the title role and Mary Tyler Moore and Carol Channing in support.
There is, however, a subplot featuring a white slavery ring: sinister Orientals — the IMDb website actually lists them as "Oriental #1" and "Oriental #2," played by Jack Soo and Pat Morita respectively — kidnap young American orphan girls and ship them to Hong Kong. Uh-oh.
That has Long Island's Chinese people up in arms. Activists are planning some kind of protest or demonstration. I know this because Mrs Derbyshire has been getting calls from one of these activists, trying to enlist her in aid of whatever it is they're planning to do.
I wish them luck. My better half is an intelligent and opinionated person, but far from being an activist. She thinks the whole thing's a bit silly. She has, though, expressed the wish to watch the movie, so I've put it on our Netflix rental list. I shall report back on the consequences, if there are any.
Item: Also on the China beat: What was it happened at Mar-a-Lago the other day, some Chinese woman trying to fake her way in on some bogus documents?
I didn't read the whole story, but my eye was caught by the picture on the Drudge Report of one of those documents. It was all in Chinese, with the title of a conference across the top. Translated, the title meant "International Leadership Elite Forum."
The only reason this got my attention was the Chinese word they used for "leadership": lingxiu. That's one of my favorite synecdoches.
A synecdoche, for those listeners who've forgotten their rhetoric, a synecdoche is a figure of speech in which some part of a thing is used to refer to the whole thing. The classic example is referring to workers in a factory as "hands." Shakespeare uses a lot of synecdoches. One of my favorites is in King John, when Salisbury says of the king that:
We will not … attend the foot
He means of course that they won't attend the king; but Shakespeare reduces the king to just his foot — a powerful synecdoche.
Well, that Chinese word for "leadership," lingxiu, is a synecdoche. Ling is a collar, xiu is a sleeve, so lingxiu means "collars and sleeves." The old Mandarin class in imperial China were the ones with collars and sleeves.
I've often wished we could import this into English, and talk about the collars and sleeves in Washington, DC. It doesn't really work in 21st-century English: We all have collars and sleeves nowadays. It would be neat to find some similar equivalent synecdoche, though. Suggestions gratefully received.
08 — Signoff. That's it, ladies and gents. Thank you for listening, and welcome to Spring. It's bright and breezy here on the island. I've been taking long walks through the quiet, leafy suburban streets.
For my walks in this cool windy weather, I wear a light jacket of the kind called a windbreaker. Mrs Derbyshire likes this word "windbreaker" as much as I like lingxiu. As I'm heading out the door in my windbreaker we have exchanges like the following.
She: You're going out to break some wind, I see.
There will be more from Radio Derb next week. Here's Julie Andrews.
[Music clip: Julie Andrews, "Thoroughly Modern Millie."]