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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, organ version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Greetings, listeners, from your powerfully genial host John Derbyshire, here with VDARE.com's roundup of the week's events garnished with commentary from a reactionary nationalist point of view.
Normally when I get an email that I think I should comment on, I do so in one of my periodic "From the Email Bag" posts at the VDARE.com website. Last week, though, I got an email that I thought deserves airing in the podcast, so that's where I shall begin.
02 — Government by the mentally ill. Here is an email I got from a reader. I'll give it to you neat. Quote:
Living in Southeast Asia, I sometimes worry about China's encroachment on my life and the way of life of many others in the region. Then, I read another of your columns. I do not want American values to win out in the world; I do not want them in the country of my residence.
Now there's food for thought — for two Radio Derb segments, in fact.
To start where my reader ends: Shall we have to choose between the two soon, or ever?
That I doubt. We're heading to a bipolar world all right, with China and the U.S.A. as lead actors, and other countries in supporting roles. It's unlikely, however, that we'll end up organizing our national affairs in the ChiCom style, or that they will organize their affairs in our style.
It's double unlikely that either thing will come about through invasion and occupation. The ChiComs don't want us as colonial subjects; they just want us buying their goods and keeping out of what they see as their internal affairs. As for us, I think we shall hold true to Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery's Two Rules of War:
I do agree with my reader when he says that the U.S.A. has succumbed to government by the mentally ill. Well-nigh every news story I read about the doings of our federal government confirms it.
Random headline from this week's news, actually from Fox News, October 27th, headline: Biden releases "gender equity" plan that calls for eliminating cash bail.
I tried to read the story that followed, but couldn't make much sense of it. Yes, it's like listening to the babble of a lunatic.
The word "equity" nowadays means that every social subgroup — women, blacks, homosexuals, and so on — is represented in every social outcome — school test results, home ownership, arrests for crime, et cetera — in the same proportions as it exists in the population as a whole. So if thirteen percent of people at large are black, then thirteen percent of neurologists should be black.
And if fifty percent of people overall are female, then fifty percent of jail inmates should be female. Is that what the feds are trying for here? I don't think so; but, as I said, it's hard to tell. Quote from the president.
We will work to end cash bail and reform our pretrial system, recognizing the harm these processes cause, particularly for black women and families.
Does that lead us to "equity" somehow? It's not worth bothering to figure out. These are just the incoherent mumblings of a maniac, uttered in between spells of him howling like a dog and throwing his poop at the wall.
03 — Who has the better authoritarianism? So yes, we're ruled by the mentally ill. And yes, I agree with the other half of my reader's premise: China is not ruled by the mentally ill.
For a while back there, they were. In the 1960s and 1970s, lunatics were in charge of China. The memory lingers, and they are not going back there. You can say all sorts of negative things about the people who rule China today — I've said a lot of them myself — but they are stone cold sane. Not one of them, I am sure, believes that men can get pregnant, or that going easy on criminals will reduce crime, or that a three-trillion-dollar government program will cost nothing.
Having already tried lunacy, the Chinese are not likely to give it another run any time soon. So no, they are not going to adopt our style of governance.
Nor are we going to adopt theirs. Fundamental attitudes are just too different. The principal driving force in American culture today is white ethnomasochism — the hatred felt for their own race by huge numbers of American whites, and the sacralization of other races, especially blacks.
"I've yet to meet someone from China who is ashamed of being Chinese," says my reader. In fifty years of mingling with Chinese people, I have actually encountered a small handful of cases; but no, nothing like enough to have any cultural effect.
Chinese people are happy to be Chinese. There are some ethnic minorities in China, but nobody fawns on them or thinks they are holy. Official Chinese government policy is to keep minorities' ethnic distinctiveness firmly at the level of folk dancing and colorful costumes. Where entire regions are ethnically distinctive — Tibet, East Turkestan, Mongolia — policy is to flood the regions with Chinese settlers and ruthlessly crush separatism.
So who has the better authoritarianism? My reader prefers the sane, proud, meritocratic Chinese authoritarianism to our crazy, ethnomasochistic one all twisted and perverted by quotas for race, sex, and ideology.
I can see his point, and I find myself wondering a lot, which I never used to do. I'm not there yet, though.
Beneath the shiny, uniform surface of ChiCom authoritarianism there is favoritism and corruption, dysfunction and struggles for power, lies and great cruelty. Beneath the chaos and stupidity of our own public affairs, there is still space for liberty, decency, and truth.
The feds may sic the FBI on parents being unruly at school board meetings; but those parents won't get killed to have their organs harvested, as happens to troublemakers in China. Our justice system may dismiss charges against rioters and looters of the sanctified race or favored ideology: in Chinese courts the conviction rate is 99.9 percent across the board. Our regime may lock up harmless protestors for months without trial; but if one of our public intellectuals were to win the Nobel Peace Prize for protesting the regime, he would not die in jail for it.
Neither their system nor ours is anything to be happy about; and it's certainly possible that ten years from now, as things are going both here and there, our liberties will be in worse shape than theirs.
As things stand today, though, I'll take our authoritarianism over theirs. No offense to my reader, who may have the last laugh on me.
04 — China, diversity, and sex. Please don't let me give you the impression that the ChiComs are totally un-woke. They don't have any black people to swoon over and give preferences to, but they do of course have women. So how's sex diversity over there?
Well, here's an interesting story from The New York Times, October 23rd. Headline: She Is Breaking Glass Ceilings in Space, but Facing Sexism on Earth.
Lead character in the story is Colonel Wang Yaping of the Chinese air force. Col. Wang is 41 years old and female, in fact the mother of a 5-year-old girl. On Friday October 15th (although it was Saturday local time) she went into space for a six-month stay on China's space station, the Tiangong, currently under construction 250 miles above the Earth. It's not the lady's first trip into space: in 2013 she spent two weeks in orbit on an earlier prototype of the Tiangong.
And Col. Wang wasn't the first Chinese female in space. That was Liu Yang, another air force pilot, in 2012, to that same earlier prototype of the Tiangong.
The Chinese are way behind here, of course. Our own Sally Ride went into space in 1983; and that was twenty years after Valentina Tereshkova went into orbit in a Soviet capsule. As in other technological spheres, though, while the ChiComs may be behind, they are catching up real fast.
But never mind that boring technology stuff. How woke are they? Is China's astronaut corps fifty-fifty male and female?
Not exactly. Of the pool of 18 astronauts selected for missions to this Tiangong space station, Col. Wang is the lone female. Our own current astronaut corps, by contrast, is almost forty percent female — 17 out of 44. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!
You might think that 44 astronauts is rather a lot considering that the U.S.A., unlike China, does not actually have a space station of our own to go to. We share the International Space Station with Russia, Europe, Japan, and Canada.
Again, though, that's just technology, which isn't important or interesting, except to geeky male types. Our own cadre of geeky male billionaires — Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson — will make sure we keep up with the ChiComs technologically. Equity is what matters!
That New York Times article about Col. Wang is full of sneering little asides about how backward the ChiComs are equity-wise. It notes, for instance, that the Communist Party's Politburo, which actually rules the country, has 25 members, but only one of them is a woman.
Again, however, memories of the Great Cultural Revolution are still warm in the minds of older Chinese like Xi Jinping, whose father was jailed and whose sister committed suicide in those years of lunacy. One of the most prominent of the lunatics in charge back then was Mao Tse-tung's wife, Jiang Qing.
When I think of women with political power I think of Margaret Thatcher, blessed be her memory. When Xi Jinping's thoughts turn that way, he thinks of Jiang Qing.
Back in imperial times, the old Confucian literati were deeply reluctant to give women political power, although women occasionally got it anyway through accidents of palace intrigue. A lot of Chinese today think that Jiang Qing proved the old Confucians were right.
Oh; slight correction there. When I think of women with political power it used to be Margaret Thatcher who came to mind. Now I find it's just as likely to be Nancy Pelosi. [Male scream.]
05 — Population policy. There are actually two things going on here behind the scenes, one a long-term shift that's apparent in all modern societies, the other a recent, more abrupt shift in ChiCom state ideology.
The long-term shift is the one I noted in Chapter Five of my paradigm-shattering book We Are Doomed and has been much written and spoken about by social-science observers and researchers for at least thirty years. To slightly paraphrase from my book:
Modern post-industrial society is taking us back to the age of our remote hunter-gatherer ancestors, before agriculture came up. Once again men and women are egalitarian in our treatment of each other; but our inner Mars and Venus are freer to express themselves without restraint than in those laced-up millennia of agricultural-industrial patriarchy.
End paraphrase. We used not to let women attend universities. Now we do; in fact women are a majority of college students in the U.S.A.
But now take a stroll around your local university in class time, peering in at the composition of classes. Math, computer science, engineering? Not too many females in those classes. Where are they all? Liberal arts, psychology, biology.
When you free people up to pursue their interests, it turns out that males and females have, overall and in the generality, different interests. What. A. Surprise.
That's the long-term modernist shift that's happened in most of the world's nations. The recent, more abrupt shift in ChiCom state ideology has been towards natalism. They are worried about China's cratering fertility, about the prospect of a dwindling number of working-age adults supporting a vast surplus of geezers. We should worry about this too, but we're too stupid and crazy.
The ChiComs are on it. China's one-child policy is long gone. Current state ideology is pro-natalist now, and looks set to become more so. When the country's astronaut-training program got going in earnest one of the officials in charge said only married women should apply because of possible adverse effects of space travel on female fertility.
It's not likely the ChiComs will walk back their population policies all the way to Kinder, Kirche, Küche and start binding women's feet again; and pro-natalist policies in countries less authoritarian than China — Japan, Korea, Singapore, Hungary — have not really delivered … so to speak.
At least the ChiComs have a population policy, though. Just on a scale of political good sense, that puts them way ahead of us.
06 — Elections! A-a-a-and we have elections coming up. My mailbox is full of fliers from candidates promising to set my town to rights, clean out the stables, and — depending on party affiliation — either make the streets safe again and support the boys in blue or advance social justice and give me lots of free stuff.
Do I sound cynical and disillusioned? Yeah, well. I think I know what needs doing, and nobody is going to do very much of it. A candidate on the Republican or Conservative ticket will likely do a bit more of it than the other guy, so that's the way I'll vote. I doubt it'll make much difference, though.
None of my congresscritters is up for election this year, which suits me fine. It means I don't have to think about the slimy, repellent reptiles. I find it harder and harder to think about them in any context without a barf bag handy. Chuck Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand, Tom Suozzi, … Where's the bag?
Over in New York City there is a mayoral election next week, but I'm not a city resident so I don't get to vote. The candidate of the public-sector employee lobbies and uptown limousine liberals is Democrat Eric Adams, so he will most likely win. What the consequences will be if he does win, no-one seems able to figure.
The New York Times ran a strangely unenthusiastic article about Adams on October 23rd. They described him as having, quote:
A comfort with public shape-shifting that would make him the biggest City Hall wild card in decades. He propagates and discards narratives about himself, rarely sweating the details.
The Times also tells us that Adams takes bubble baths with roses. Hoo-kay.
Adams' Republican opponent is Curtis Sliwa, a decent and sensible fellow. New Yorkers, however, don't elect decent and sensible fellows to City Hall until things have gotten so bad that garbage is piled twenty feet high in the streets and hoodlums are fighting with RPGs and flame-throwers up and down Fifth Avenue. Things aren't that bad yet, so Adams will win.
Across the Hudson River in New Jersey, incumbent Governor Phil Murphy is defending against Establishment-GOP candidate Jack Ciattarelli. Murphy is as bad as it gets: a covid Nazi with several thousand nursing-home deaths on his record. Murphy has openly admitted he wants New Jersey to be the California of the East.
In his four years in the Governor's house, Murphy has pretty much accomplished that Californication. He's driven out New Jersey's middle class, leaving it a state of lords and peasants, just like California. The lords want cheap illegal-alien labor and the peasants want free stuff. So, mission accomplished, and Murphy will get re-elected.
The race everyone's most interested in is the one for Governor of Virginia, on account of all the recent ructions over Critical Race Theory in schools, and schoolboys putting on dresses so they can rape girls in the rest rooms, as happened in a Virginia school.
The Democratic candidate in Virginia is Terry McAuliffe, who was Governor of the state from 2014 to 2018. Virginia's state constitution doesn't allow consecutive terms, so McAuliffe has been waiting patiently for four years. He's a far-left authoritarian like Murphy in New Jersey.
In fact he seems to be in competition with Murphy to say, in public, the most shamelessly in-your-face left-authoritarian thing. Murphy entered the competition with that "California of the East" comment. He also, back in 2019, told an interviewer that, quote:
If taxes are your issue, then New Jersey's probably not your state.
Seeking to be even more in-your-face than that, Terry McAuliffe told a debate audience on September 28th that, quote:
I'm not going to let parents come into schools and actually take books out and make their own decisions … I don't think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.
Hey; at least you know where these guys stand.
McAuliffe's opponent in Virginia is another timid Establishment-Republican type, name of Glenn Youngkin. There's nothing much to hope for from Youngkin on the National Question, but he's been polling well since the school-board issue blew up, and may defeat McAuliffe next week. That would be worth a smile.
07 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: Much excitement this weekend in Glasgow, Scotland as COP26 commences on Sunday. COP26: That's short for "The 26th gathering of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change."
The Washington Post report on this opened with the following sentence, quote:
World leaders, negotiators, British royals, celebrities, journalists, activists and demonstrators are descending on Glasgow …
There you have my problem with the whole climate-change circus, right there. British royals … celebrities … activists … demonstrators … When you have all those in one sentence, you know the whole thing is an empty racket. If you put all the British Royals and all the world's celebrities in one room and added up their IQs, I doubt the total would break four digits. This is a conference of airheads.
You can probably include the organizers under that heading. U.N. Secretary General António Guterres said recently that the world is, quote, "seemingly light-years away," end quote, from meeting its climate goals. Does this nitwit even know what a light year is a unit of ?
Royals and celebrities aside — please! — what about those world leaders? According to Business Insider, October 25th, neither Vladimir Putin nor Xi Jinping will attend this conference. Oh. Those two nations account for 32 percent of global CO2 emissions.
So if you want to add another fashionable cause to your résumé while rubbing elbows with Justin Trudeau, Prince Charles, and Matt Damon, by all means join the other airheads in Glasgow. If, on the other hand, you have something more useful to do — which is to say, well-nigh anything at all — save yourself the air fare.
Item: Last week I was crowing over the Pennsylvania School Board Association voting unanimously to withdraw from NSBA, the National School Boards Association, after I had revealed, the previous week, what a nest of anti-white commies the NSBA is.
Ah, the power of Radio Derb! Pretty soon the NSBA commies will have no-one left to talk to — except, I guess, Terry McAuliffe and Comrade Merrick Garland.
If they find time hanging heavy on their hands, it may not be too late to sign up for that airhead conference in Glasgow.
Pope Francis said Sunday he hears the cries of migrants in Libya and appealed for an end to repatriation and the establishment instead of streamlined migration routes.
Streamlined migration routes, yeah. Stick around another ten or fifteen years, Frank, if you can. That will be about when the real floods of humanity get going, from all those desperately poor African countries with current fertility rates of 4, 5, or 6 children per woman into your pleasant European welfare states with fertility rates of 1.4 or 1.5. That'll be Camp of the Saints in earnest.
Assuming I'm still around, I'll be curious to know how your open-borders shtick is going down with the faithful in 2030 or 2035.
Item: Back to New Jersey. Meet Dr Brittney Cooper, a vast shapeless mass of diabetic tissue who is an associate professor at Rutgers University, teaching Women's and Gender Studies and Africana Studies. Prof. Cooper has opinions about us white people. Listen.
[Clip: I think that white people are committed to being villains in the aggregate, right? The real sort of issue here — and y'know, I've heard people sort of say it — One, I think that white people viscerally fear … It's not that white people don't know — right? — what they have done. They know. They fear that there is no other way to be human but the way in which they are human … (Pips)
Those are just some random clips. There are five minutes and change altogether, if you want to hear the whole thing. It's on YouTube. Just put in "Brittney Cooper," B-R-I-T-T-N-E-Y, Brittney.
Rutgers is a respectable public university, supported by New Jersey taxpayers; a seat of knowledge and inquiry, ranked 63 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, fees 25 to 30 thousand dollars a year for in-state undergraduates, current endowment 1.6 billion dollars.
How on earth does an illiterate windbag like Dr Cooper, who plainly knows nothing about human history, get to be an associate professor at Rutgers? Have we really sunk so deep into the mud?
Although come to think of it, mud would be a suitable habitat for Dr Cooper. She'd be right at home there, wallowing in the mud along the Limpopo River with all the other hippos.
Item: October 25th was a melancholy anniversary. It marked fifty years since the General Assembly of the United Nations passed Resolution 2758 giving China's seat in the U.N. to the communists in Peking. Prior to that date the seat had been held by the exiled Nationalist government in Taiwan.
I had spent much of that summer in Taiwan, arriving July 23rd, leaving September 5th. All those weeks, everywhere I went in Taiwan, the stores and public buildings were decorated with banners urging the U.N. not to give China's seat to the Gòngfěi, which is to say the "communist bandits."
The Gòngfěi got their way of course. My friends in Taiwan told me that if I'd stuck around a few more weeks I could have bought a nice apartment in Taipei, the capital, for next to nothing. People assumed that with the U.N. seat lost, the Gòngfěi would be invading any day. Anyone who could leave the island was leaving, and property prices had crashed.
Nowadays the property prices in Taiwan need more digits than the phone numbers, nation calling code included. I should have bought, dammit. Shoulda, coulda, woulda …
08 — Signoff. That's it, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for listening; and New Jerseyans, Virginians, New York City residents, and any others in a place where there's voting next week, go to the polls! — even if your expectations are as low as mine.
In this podcast a year ago I gave a passing mention to the Irish writer Brendan Behan, floruit late 1950s. Behan died in 1964 aged just 41 after years of being continuously drunk. It was Behan who famously described himself as, quote: "A drinker with a writing problem."
Brendan had a younger brother, Dominic Behan. Dominic was a drunk like his brother, but he made it to age 60. I saw him on stage a couple of times in late-1960s Liverpool.
When not drinking, Dominic was a songwriter — quite a prolific one. He basked in the distinction of having fallen out with both Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney over claims that they had stolen songs he wrote … which in fact they had. Here is the second of those songs, recorded here by the man himself, Dominic Behan.
There will be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: Dominic Behan, Liverpool Lou.]