December 17, 2010

The Ennui of the Left

As C. Van Carter of Across Difficult Country pointed out in the comments, Google's new Ngrams website lets you graph the frequency of usage of any of the hundreds of billions of words in Google Books. 

For example, this graph shows how staple words of leftist thought, such as "socialism," "racism," "sexism," "feminism," "discrimination," and "civil rights" have been in decline in published books over the last decade. Socialism peaked in usage around 1976, but most of the others enjoyed their peaks in the 1990s. (To be precise, discrimination had a peak around 1975 and a second one of equal magnitude around 1996. The other four words peaked in the 1990s.) 

Is this just a decline in the proportion of public affairs books published? (These numbers, by the way, are weighted by publications, not by sales.) I don't think so. In contrast, "capitalism" and "conservatism" have been relatively flat since about 1980, and "evolutionary psychology" skyrocketed from 1992 to 2004, then drifted slightly lower. "Darwin" was flat from 1960 to 1990, the shot upwards until about 2005.

That fits my general recollection of hanging around bookstores on my lunch hour: that their was a surge in DiversityThink in books around 1989 to 1995 (perhaps related to the collapse of socialism channeling leftist thought into other directions, perhaps related to the surge during the Crack Era of bad behavior among blacks creating a perceived need for more denunciations of white racism). This era was followed, however, by collective boredom and embarrassment.

The word "diversity" itself zoomed upwards starting in 1989, peaked around 1999, but has only dropped slightly since then. As a non-accusatory happy word, it doesn't inspire as much heretical thought as an accusatory word like "racism," so  it's more likely to endure in exhoratory prose.

We're now well into the Brezhnev Era of DiversityThink, when everybody is bored and cynical about the ruling ideology, but it still has 53,000 tanks, so most people assume it can't be all that off-base.

To get off topic, how about Nabokov v. Borges? Borges, whom Nabokov spoofed as "Osberg" in Ada, has been in the lead in English language books since the early 1960s.

How about Golden Age Sci- Fi writers: Heinlein, Asimov, and Bradbury? They seem to be mentioned: Bradbury first, Asimov second, Heinlein third.

80 comments:

John Craig said...

The use of the word "diversity" itself may not have dropped off much, but it seems the use of the phrase "Our diversity is our strength" has decreased.

I've heard the phrase used sarcastically, i.e., after news of some particularly egregious minority crime, several times. Can't help but think others have, too, and this has had a dampening effect on its usage as a straightforward motto.

agnostic said...

I found the same thing about the death of Marxism, feminism, etc., and the rise of Ev Psych and Darwinism, using academic journals that JSTOR archives. Wrote it up on GNXP a couple years ago, but don't have a link handy.

So, it's probably not due to fewer public affairs books being published. Unlike books, journals (at least at the level of which academic field they cover) keep going on forever.

There really was a shift among those in the field away from the '60s ideologies and toward ideas imported from biology and science generally.

The Bell Curve hysteria was really the last of the really psychotic attacks on social science. Don't forget that the same year, 1994, saw The Language Instinct. In the past 16 years, how many times has Steven Pinker had a pitcher of cold water dumped on him at a conference like E.O. Wilson back in the 1978?

agnostic said...

The ennui of everyone, not just the Left, is probably due to the plummeting level of violence and overall wildness since the early-mid 1990s.

From roughly 1960 to 1990, the order of the universe looked like it was falling apart. That naturally leads people of all ideologies to hold their beliefs more passionately and to act more radically -- if the apocalypse is coming tomorrow, there's no time to mince words or putz around.

When the world gets a lot safer, there's no sense of urgency, so people naturally procrastinate and phrase things more diplomatically.

That also happened during the previous crime wave of roughly 1900 to 1933 -- now those were some real propagandists of the deed, unlike the bored pointy-headed Marxist intellectuals of the falling-crime times of the 1934-1958 period.

Sacco and Vanzetti, Leopold and Loeb, anarchists lobbing bombs on Wall Street, race riots all over the country, the rebirth of the KKK (there was another rebirth during the '60s-'80s), the Red Scare (McCarthyism was a sideshow compared to that), the Scopes Monkey Trial... not a boring time.

It's only during the mid-'30s that intellectuals get bored again and just talk about socialism rather than hurl Molotov cocktails. This reached its peak during the heyday of Existentialism in the '40s and '50s, as well as the cold, rationalist social engineering viewpoint of the New Dealers.

SGOTI said...

We're now well into the Brezhnev Era of DiversityThink, when everybody is bored and cynical about the ruling ideology, but it still has 53,000 tanks, so most people assume it can't be all that off-base.

That is BRILLIANT! I am appropriating that turn of phrase for my own use.

Baloo said...

And then there's "Unity in diversity," which I think I first heard on Star Trek.

My contribution HERE.

Tim of Angle said...

To hell with Bradbury. It's "Heinlein, Azimov, Clarke".

peter A said...

People are starting to notice that after 30 years of discussion of "diversity","affirmative action","racism", etc. very little has changed. The 4,000 strong corporation I work in has 2 African-Americans in second tier leadership positions. In my work as a consultant I've worked with over a hundred corporations in a variety of industries over the last 10 years - I have never met an African-American in any leadership position at any of them. There are almost no blacks in private equity, investment banking or corporate law. Yet at my Ivy league school at least 5% of the class was African-American. Where did they all go? Racism doesn't seem like a good answer anymore - did all of us who had black friends in college suddenly become racist? I think it's dawning on people that for some reason Blacks are not making it in industries that require excellent cognitive ability, and no one really wants to face up to why.

Anonymous said...

Meir Wallach-Finkelstein: Nothing.

Olof Aschberg: Nothing.

Maximilian Shinburn: Nothing.

Emanuel Friend: Nothing.

Indy said...

It could be just that it's harder to make an original contribution to the genre. By the late 90's most of the low handing fruit of novel and interesting things to say about the subject had been exhausted, and most of what we get today is not only ennui or Brezhnevian disillusionment with stagnation and the imperviously of reality to change in our favored direcion, but also a sheer lack of new ideas in terms of policies or explanations of the topic.

Maybe there's a little recycling here and there, maybe some obscure additional insight, but ask yourself, what else, really, is there to say about it - at least - that isn't crimethink taboo?

James said...

capitalization Matters: http://ngrams.googlelabs.com/graph?content=Nabokov,+Borges&year_start=1920&year_end=2008&corpus=0&smoothing=3

Formerly.JP98 said...

Thanks for the heads-up. That's a fun little toy.

Use of the phrase "bell curve" increased gradually between 1960 and 1990, and then shot up dramatically in the mid-90s. It looks like it peaked around 2005 and since then has declined somewhat.

Anonymous said...

The Soviet Union tottered on for decades after everyone realized its system was rotten. That system was a mere economic mistake, they weren't trying to completely bump off their population. We don't have decades. You can always change your economic system, you can't come back from changing your people.

kurt9 said...

We're now well into the Brezhnev Era of DiversityThink

When do we get to the Gorbachev era when glasnost comes into vogue?

Kylie said...

"I've heard the phrase['Our diversity is our strength'] used sarcastically, i.e., after news of some particularly egregious minority crime, several times. Can't help but think others have, too, and this has had a dampening effect on its usage as a straightforward motto."

Yes, this should remind us that ridicule is our strength. The humorless cognitive dissonance of the left's orthodoxy is the gift that keeps on giving. We should make use of it at every opportunity.

Wandrin said...

"that their was a surge in DiversityThink in books around 1989 to 1995 (perhaps related to the collapse of socialism channeling leftist thought into other directions"

Yes, the collapse of the Soviet Union led to a more overt switch to the products of cultural marxism and also green politics. There should be an identical surge in green words at the same time.

Rrrrrroger said...

I thought the chart for "ennui" was interesting. It peaks before 1840 then trends steadily downward until now.

Rhadamanthus said...

We should note that those rankings of SF authors depend on mentions in popular works (not SF fandom).

Bradbury is first because American leftist writers rather perversely love to cite "Fahrenheit 451." American leftist writers preen themselves as victims of anti-intellectual censorship, so they celebrate Fahrenheit 451 even though the society it depicts is really akin to that of Orwell's "1984."

Book reviewers and pseudo-intellectuals who sneer at SF also cite Bradbury because much of his work is dreamy and inaccessible. Those people (wrongly) suppose all SF is like that so they think Bradbury makes a fine example to stand for the rest. Most of those folk have never read any SF except Bradbury, which they were forced to read in high school because "Fahrenheit 451" was in the book.

Asimov is second because he wrote so many non-SF books. For about forty years everyone had heard of Asimov. Asimov probably racked up the highest (quality X quantity) lifetime score of any 20th-Century writer. Also, to Americans his Russian name just sounds science-fiction-y, probably because of the space race, the fact Asimov had an SF magazine named after him, and publicity for that Japanese robot ASIMO.

Steve, you yourself explained about Heinlein a few years ago.

I think if you asked people who actually read SF to rank authors (for their SF only) neither Bradbury nor Asimov would end up in the top three, though both would retain respectable places.

Heliogabalus said...

Speaking of sci-fi writers, how about Philip K. Dick, whose prestige has spiked since his death? Or would a search be complicated by the multiple meanings of "dick"?

spacehabitats said...

Bradbury is the most politically correct of the "big 3".(Think of him as the Alan Alda of Sci-Fi authors.)
Asimov is rather neutral.
Heinlein, on the other hand, is very PC incorrect. He is far too honest and thought provoking. Any continued recognition or fan base that he enjoys has been earned without any help from academia. And the only cinematic versions of his novels have gone out of their way to distort or completely ignore his social commentary. (I still cringe when I think of the way they butchered Starship Troopers.)

Anonymous said...

I'm politically very left-wing. I like unions, an egalitarian social structure, and a non-belligerent foreign policy. But identity politics have been a disaster to the left on every level, and a lot of us know it and say it to each other quietly, even while the publications and blogs repeat the old slogans loudly in public.

Look at how whenever illegal immigration comes up on a big liberal blog (DailyKos, Yglesias), a huge fight breaks out, with a lot of otherwise very liberal people breaking ranks with the acceptable consensus.

Leonard said...

"Racism" was apparently unknown until roughly 1935. (graph)

Anonymous said...

Why isn't anyone writing about The Dream Act? It is coming up for a vote tomorrow in the Senate (Saturday Dec. 18) and we could lose. You should all be phoning and faxing to stop it.

Anonymous said...

At first I thought I could use the chart to demonstrate objectively my theory that Saul Bellow, despite being the most gifted novelist of his time, will not be remembered. And certainly it looks that way. But then I realized that all writers have the same decline. Is this because more other kinds of books are being written? I do feel that literary fiction, in general, is declining in significance. But then I was using full, capitalized names. When you don't, it looks very different, as in your graph for Nabokov and Borges. I think my way is better.

Anonymous said...

Bradbury is a hippie idiot and not a real science-fiction writer.

Mencius Moldbug said...

Why on earth are you cutting your query off at 1920? The same query is much more interesting, in my view, with a start of 1700.

I feel socialism and communism deserve their their own portrait. And we could also inject democracy.

As for the dark meat of the query, we can perhaps express more succinctly what you're trying to say, I think, with this Ngram. Who says a database request can't be controversial?

And finally, here's another fun one. It may surprise you quite a bit if you haven't read much 19th-century work.

But my combined grand champion Ngram, I feel, is this one.

The Ngram above demonstrates clearly that racism is caused by democracy. You'll see that racism first becomes a problem around 1960, about fifteen years after that second big green democracy spike. Ergo: no democracy, no racism. Social scientists everywhere must be made aware of this important discovery!

Mencius Moldbug said...

And don't miss this ferocious monster. Note that the height of the curve in, say, 1970, is by no means zero. Who was using this phrase in 1970? I'll give you jackasses one guess.

Why, it's almost better than Cablegate! I take back everything I ever said about quantitative methods in history.

Rain And said...

It's important to remember that the search tool is case sensitive. If you aren't capitalizing, it's distorting the results.

Mencius Moldbug said...

In other cases, however, the algorithm appears to just be broken.

(This query, last time I checked, shows that Hitler first made it big in the 1820s and came back strong in the 1840s - reaching a nadir around 1923, and thereafter enjoying some modest resurgence. Either the Zorg have been tampering with our timeline again, or Le Goog has some serious systematic OCR problems with older documents.)

Anonymous said...

@ Mencius Moldbug - you need to capitalize the 'H'. Then it shows what you'd expect.

Rain And said...

The comment that follows my warning is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. The algorithm isn't "broken". Capitalize your proper nouns or you'll get distorted charts.

Compare 'hitler' with 'Hitler'.

Baloo said...

Heinlein was unPC in some respects, but very much PC when it comes to race and sex. His attitude there contaminated the thinking of a lot of conservatives and libertarians. He WAS a New Dealer to begin with, remember. No doubt he's in the top group, but top three? Maybe. But I could never understand why Clarke is considered one of the top three. Wells, Burroughs, Niven, Clement, Doc Smith, Piers Anthony, Terry Pratchett, Blish, Laumer, Poul Anderson, Sheckley, Jack Vance — and these are just off the top of my head — each of these could be put forth as belonging in the top three.

dfdasfadsf said...

Mencius, you're one crazy mofo.

I mean what the hell...

http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2010/12/homage-to-slobodan-milosevic.html

PA said...

I'm politically very left-wing. I like unions, an egalitarian social structure, and a non-belligerent foreign policy. But identity politics have been a disaster to the left on every level, and a lot of us know it [...]
Look at how whenever illegal immigration comes up on a big liberal blog (DailyKos, Yglesias), a huge fight breaks out, with a lot of otherwise very liberal people breaking ranks with the acceptable consensus.


Pat Buchanan famously said that America does not have a conservative party.

America also does not have a Left Wing party. It has two Globalist Capital parties.

not a hacker said...

@Peter A:

Your empirical observation is of course accurate but I continue to wonder about the reason. In 1996, the WSJ ran a multi-part series about blacks in the corporate workplace and there was one quote by a 50-something black IBM executive that I found fascinating. He complained, "you have to be unthreatening." Now, I'm situated on the periphery of the business world but my impression is that for everyone of any background, being "unthreatening" is the absolute minimum requirement for admission, so utterly basic that no one emitting a hint of thuggishness would survive the hiring process. For this requirement to be cited as somehow burdensome, even by a single black person, would seem to say something about the requirements for being "authenticly" black. While I'm a bit weak on popular culture, there's abundant evidence, from Shaft to Eddie Murphy to rap to Chris Rock ("Oh you got your PhD? Well, can you kick MY ass?") that projection of menace is central to black communication styles. Don't we have to control for this before we move to IQ?

agnostic said...

About Capitalization, if you want to search as far back as possible, the Picture gets garbled because of that Vogue during the first Half of the 1700s where they capitalized every Noun, like they were writing German or something.

Brent Lane said...

Kylie said...

The humorless cognitive dissonance of the left's orthodoxy is the gift that keeps on giving.


Ha, even before I saw your comment, 'cognitive dissonance' was the first phrase I typed into Ngram. The results were pretty much what you would expect.

Anonymous said...

Steve, you're so wrong about post-WWII USSR. It was culturally conservative in a million ways. Its death was a giant victory for leftism - for gay rights, loose sexual morals, drugs, feminism, violent crime, ugly modernist art, etc. across a huge part of the globe.

Pre-WWII USSR was indeed leftist. It's ignorant to confuse them.

Brent Lane said...

Rain And said...

The comment that follows my warning is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. The algorithm isn't "broken". Capitalize your proper nouns or you'll get distorted charts.

Compare 'hitler' with 'Hitler'.


I did, and it got me to thinking - for what possible reason would the word 'hitler' (lower case 'h') be
included in literary works prior to the 1920s?

That's when I discovered the 'Search in Google Books' tabs, arranged by time periods of strangely variable lengths, at the bottom of the page. Click on these and it brings up the actual scanned pages of the books from which the database was created. That's where I discovered the inordinate amount of noise in the data. This noise takes two forms:

1) Apparently, when a long-running periodical is scanned, it is cataloged under the year of the publication of its initial issue. For example, one of the pre-20th century references to 'hitler' is attributed to the 1971 edition of the Encyclopedia Americana - however, Google Books lists its date of publication as 1829. Strangely, although "Hitler" is clearly capitalized in the text, this reference only shows up in the "hitler" (lower case) search.

2)A more significant source of noise will be familiar to anyone one who has ever tried to search a scanned document for specific text, particularly one that was printed at any time in the distant past: misidentification by the OCR program. Here's an excellent example, once again visible in the 'hitler' search by Moldbug and Rain And.

It's my opinion that this tool, while interesting and fun to explore, frequently provides data that is probably too compromised to provide any significant insights. YMMV.

Anonymous said...

I still cringe when I think of the way they butchered Starship Troopers.

I loved Starship Troopers - it might be the only movie I've seen in my lifetime wherein you get that sickening, visceral sensation in your gut, which says: "Uh-oh, we might actually lose this thing."


Compare 'hitler' with 'Hitler'.

No, compare Schicklgruber and Frankenberger [which produces just about what you'd expect - namely, NOTHING].


That system was a mere economic mistake, they weren't trying to completely bump off their population.

Gotta disagree.

The Gulag isn't a side effect of socialism - the Gulag is the PURPOSE of socialism.

Anonymous said...

I'll give you jackasses one guess.

The Frankfurt School?

wmhde said...

At least three Fortune 500 companies have black CEOs. They are Xerox, American Express , and Merck Pharmaceutical.
To obtain these positions requires hardwork, perseverence, great intelligence and good judgment.

One wonders how far a 49-year-old Barack Obama would have risen if he had chosen to go the corporate route.

Allison said...

Brent Lane,

Thanks for noticing the encyclopedia date.

I did several searches, none with proper nouns, and I found that 4 out of every 5 had this ridiculous spikes around 1829 and 1840something.

It was clear that something was wrong with their algorithm, something really big, and sadly, apparently no one at Google had seemed to notice. My guess was that they'd mis-identified the year of publication for several decades of scanned books--all pushing them to 1 year, or they'd just had some strange divide by zero error.

But I couldn't imagine what books from the 1800s could be creating *SUCH* huge spikes, even if all of them were mislabeled in that year. Several hundred encyclopedia editions answers that question. Thanks!

James Kabala said...

Brent Lane: You are correct. Many books in Google Books are (according to this year-old post) seriously misdated:

"To take [Google Books'] word for it, 1899 was a literary annus mirabilis, which saw the publication of Raymond Chandler's Killer in the Rain, The Portable Dorothy Parker, André Malraux' La Condition Humaine, Stephen King's Christine, The Complete Shorter Fiction of Virginia Woolf, Raymond Williams' Culture and Society, Robert Shelton's biography of Bob Dylan, Fodor's Guide to Nova Scotia, and the Portuguese edition of the book version of Yellow Submarine, to name just a few....

It might seem easy to cherry-pick howlers from a corpus as exensive as this one, but these errors are endemic. Do a search on 'internet' in books written before 1950 and Google Scholar turns up 527 hits."

http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=1701

I assume some bugs have worked out since then, but probably not all.

Anonymous said...

The Schicklgruber and Frankenberger comparison works much better if you remember the comma: Schicklgruber, Frankenberger

Shouting Thomas said...

These comments are hilarious!

I read Sailer regularly because he's simple, straightforward, and he cuts through the bullshit.

Then, the comments!

It's the Smartest Man in the Room Syndrome to the exponential! Genius after genius competing to bullshit one another with garbled, supposedly scholarly syntax and complex (and unintelligible) theories.

How did this happen?

How did Sailer, who I hold in high regard for his simplicity and straightforwardness, acquire this cadre of bullshit artists?

It's unintentionally hilarious!

Steve, your followers don't seem to get your message.

Mr. Anon said...

"Baloo said...

Heinlein was unPC in some respects, but very much PC when it comes to race and sex. His attitude there contaminated the thinking of a lot of conservatives and libertarians. He WAS a New Dealer to begin with, remember. No doubt he's in the top group, but top three? Maybe. But I could never understand why Clarke is considered one of the top three. Wells, Burroughs, Niven, Clement, Doc Smith, Piers Anthony, Terry Pratchett, Blish, Laumer, Poul Anderson, Sheckley, Jack Vance — and these are just off the top of my head — each of these could be put forth as belonging in the top three."

With respect, Mr. Baloo - and I generally agree with you - I think Clarke does belong in the top three, along with Asimov and Heinlein. Clarke's science fiction was actually about science, about the many weird possibilities that a virturally unlimited universe allowed, whereas a lot of science fiction is just social commentary in an exotic setting. Clarke's stories were often impersonal and even amoral - but that reflects the reality of a universe that is (to the irreligious observer) impersonal and amoral. That Clarke is not now more popular is perhaps due to people having heard the allegations about his (reputedly) distasteful and perverted personal life.

Mel Torme said...

How's the use of "Steve Sailor" been doing over the years? Just graph it for us, and, damnit, start the dependent axis at 0 for fuck's sake! ;-)


Oh, how's "for fuck's sake" done over the years? It seems like it came from Australians or something, as I didn't used to hear it or say it. I say it a lot now.

ben tillman said...

I'm politically very left-wing. I like unions, an egalitarian social structure, and a non-belligerent foreign policy.

Those are right-wing positions.

Anonymous said...

"Gotta disagree.

The Gulag isn't a side effect of socialism - the Gulag is the PURPOSE of socialism."


Gotta disagree.

The Gulag was a tool for controlling the population; it was not a tool for wiping it out slowly via race replacement.

Anonymous said...

"Bradbury is the most politically correct of the "big 3".(Think of him as the Alan Alda of Sci-Fi authors.)"

Not really. Bradbury is a 1950s liberal - opposition to Jim Crow is about as radical as he gets, and he's mostly non-political otherwise. In point of fact his opposition to censorship and Political Correctness puts him at odds with the Left. Like George Orwell, Bradbury might be technically "on the left" but he is not "of the Left".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Bradbury#Adaptations_to_other_media

"In 2005, it was reported that Bradbury was upset with filmmaker Michael Moore for using the title Fahrenheit 9/11, which is an allusion to Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, for his documentary about the George W. Bush administration. Bradbury expressed displeasure with Moore's use of the title but stated that his resentment was not politically motivated. Bradbury asserts that he does not want any of the money made by the movie, nor does he believe that he deserves it. He pressured Moore to change the name, but to no avail. Moore called Bradbury two weeks before the film's release to apologize, saying that the film's marketing had been set in motion a long time ago and it was too late to change the title.[36]"

"Asimov is rather neutral."

Only if you ignore the plethora of Old Left assumptions that underlie most of his works.

"Heinlein, on the other hand, is very PC incorrect."

Only very superficially. On race and gender and sexuality he's pretty PC.

"He is far too honest and thought provoking. Any continued recognition or fan base that he enjoys has been earned without any help from academia. And the only cinematic versions of his novels have gone out of their way to distort or completely ignore his social commentary. (I still cringe when I think of the way they butchered Starship Troopers.)"

Heinlein makes liberals uncomfortable on certain topics, but that doesn't make him one of us.

Wandrin said...

@PA
"Pat Buchanan famously said that America does not have a conservative party. America also does not have a Left Wing party. It has two Globalist Capital parties."

Party funding acts as a filter on both parties. They're allowed to disagree but not on those issues most critical to the donors and the globalist donors fund both sides.



@not a hacker
"that projection of menace is central to black communication styles. Don't we have to control for this before we move to IQ?"

This is an important factor in criminal cases or was.


anonymous
"Steve, you're so wrong about post-WWII USSR. It was culturally conservative in a million ways. Its death was a giant victory for leftism"

The post WWII Sovbloc may have been internally socially conservative but they were active in spreading the opposite in the west.

However that's not the point. The point is after the fall of the berlin wall those individuals who had previously expressed their hostility to western civilizarion through economic marxism needed a new vehicle.

That led to economic marxists switching more to PC activism and also the more statist and authoritarian version of green politics (hence the global warming hoax).

Edward said...

Those are right-wing positions

The terms "left wing" and "right wing" have long ceased to make sense, if they ever did.

It is wrong to conceptualised belief along a spectrum. Beliefs are more like networks, a house built with Lego where bits can be broken off and stuck on, and beliefs among groups are more like relationships of people who share similar belief networks. The attempt to shoehorn everyone onto a simple line is a rhetorical exercise used by those who want to divide to rule.

Fred said...

"At least three Fortune 500 companies have black CEOs. They are Xerox, American Express , and Merck Pharmaceutical."

Xerox has embraced diversity more than any other major American corporation. It's also been in decline for decades.

Marc B said...

"While I'm a bit weak on popular culture, there's abundant evidence, from Shaft to Eddie Murphy to rap to Chris Rock ("Oh you got your PhD? Well, can you kick MY ass?") that projection of menace is central to black communication styles. Don't we have to control for this before we move to IQ?"

I am in full agreement, but temperament and social style are harder to quantify, so IQ always steals it's thunder. Driven, self-disciplined, and hard-working people I know personally are more financially successful than the briainacs in my various social circles. I grew up in an era where the goals of black ascendancy via gainful employment and education was the norm, but sometime around 1989 the natives got restless all over again.

Peter a said...

"At least three Fortune 500 companies have black CEOs."

Three out of 500 is not particularly impressive when you're talking about 10% of the population who for 30 years has, supposedly, been given an advantage. So on the one hand even liberals can see that affirmative action and diversity don't seem to be producing the equality of opportunity we were all promised. However, when conservatives talk about white people losing opportunities due to affirmative action that seem so farcical compared to the reality on the ground that very little constructive opposition to our current diversity strategy ever develops. In fact the current strategy helps everyone BUT blacks - it makes white liberals feel good about themselves without doing anything to actually make our society work better for African-americans, and gives white conservatives a policy to demonize that, in fact, never hurts elite conservatives.

Anonymous said...

The Schicklgruber and Frankenberger comparison works much better if you remember the comma: Schicklgruber, Frankenberger

But the point is that in the entire literature, the two names never appear TOGETHER.

This is probably the single most important genealogical factoid of the modern era [now proved just about conclusively by the DNA evidence], and yet no one is aware of it.


The Gulag was a tool for controlling the population; it was not a tool for wiping it out slowly via race replacement.

Again, gotta disagree.

Familiarize yourself with Gareth Jones's recollections of his afternoon spent in the company of Meir Wallach-Finkelstein: the, ah, "Bolsheviks" were purging the Kulaks so as to un-breed [via starvation] that pesky self-reliance gene right out of the population.

"Socialism" is just another name for nihilism which is just another name for Death.

Anonymous said...

"Xerox has embraced diversity more than any other major American corporation. It's also been in decline for decades."

yepppp my dad works there, says it's a PC-embracing worker-hating place for execs to steal from you

Baloo said...

Mr. Anon, you're probably right about Clarke. I'm prejudiced because he's always rubbed me the wrong way. His liberalism is more smug and repulsive (to me) than that of the other two.

And I forgot to mention Vonnegut.

corvinus said...

We're now well into the Brezhnev Era of DiversityThink

When do we get to the Gorbachev era when glasnost comes into vogue?


I think Thilo Sarrazin's book and his recently-earned millions from it suggest that it's not far off, at least in Europe.

corvinus said...

Those are right-wing positions

The terms "left wing" and "right wing" have long ceased to make sense, if they ever did.


Agreed. I'm a hard-core conservative, yet I seem to agree with Bernie Sanders about half the time, it seems. I'll reluctantly call myself "rightist" to save time, but I really do think the terms "left" and "right" should be scrapped.

chebek said...

re: early use of 'politically correct'.

I think Mencius Moldbug probably means the Soviet Union.

Tom in VA said...

I always thought that the big surge in the use of the term "diversity" came after the Grutter v. Bollinger decision that upheld the U. Michigan Law School's use of racial preferences to achieve 'diversity' in the student body. Thus, racially discriminatory policies against whites actually help them by exposing them to a more diverse environment. Hooray!

sums it up said...

Hey Steve, here's something I got from N-Gram:

"Transference," Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works, 16:431- 447; London, Hogarth, 1963; p. 445. * The chronic use of the term "motherfucker" by American Negro slum dwellers is a case in point. ...

Let's put your readers on this - case in point of what?

Simon in London said...

not a hacker:
"there's abundant evidence, from Shaft to Eddie Murphy to rap to Chris Rock ("Oh you got your PhD? Well, can you kick MY ass?") that projection of menace is central to black communication styles"

I'd say that was entirely an African-American thing. I have never seen it in real Africans, and the only non-American blacks who do it are consciously imitating US hip-hop/ghetto-thug culture. Real Africans I'd say are notably non-threatening even in situations where a white Brit would often get angry.

Eg today a black London Underground employer told me and my 3 year old son to go through a ticket barrier which he had opened for us. I went through and my son went to follow me as instructed, but the ticket barrier slammed shut, smashing him in the face. My son is so tough he was just a bit dazed, no crying, but I got angry and called the man an idiot. He remained calm and said something indicating it wasn't his fault but some mysterious flaw in the gate.

Simon in London said...

Shouting Thomas:
"How did this happen?

How did Sailer, who I hold in high regard for his simplicity and straightforwardness, acquire this cadre of bullshit artists?"

Um, because what Sailer does is *hard*? You don't seriously expect our comments to be the equal of his posts? Sailer is one of the greatest talents of his generation, and would probably be famous if not for his un-PC interests. We are just men (and maybe a woman or two), and mostly mediocrities, certainly by comparison.

Anonymous said...

Eastern Europeans are socially pretty conservative, as was the Communist party. Homosexuality, for example, was strongly condemned by the Soviets. High fertility was also promoted.

Communists wanted to represent the values of the peasantry. Many of those values are pretty conservative, as compared to the decadent and hedonistic affluent class.

Modern day leftists don't represent peasants and factory workers anymore, at least not in the West. They represent gays, immigrants, and socially liberal urbanites. So they like hedonism. Of course the minorities and immigrants don't, so you have a lot of fights between minority leftists and white leftists over things like gay marriage.

You can find more socially conservative Communists in places like India or Nepal.

ben tillman said...

However, when conservatives talk about white people losing opportunities due to affirmative action that seem so farcical compared to the reality on the ground....

Au contraire. The reality on the ground in universities makes the loss of opportunites for Whites very clear. Case in point, White men are vastly underrepresented at the Texas Tech med school, and when the topic came up at our office generally apolitical people and lifelong White Texas Democrats agreed that White men are the most-discriminated-against people these days.

Mike Courtman said...

"Racism" was apparently unknown until roughly 1935. (graph)

I suspect prior to 1935, being racist per se wasn't seen as bad unless it was accompanied by actualy bad acts. Something obvious like beating up an innocent person of another race because you don't like the way they look would have been seen as morally wrong, but simply saying you don't like another race wouldn't have been seen as a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

Modern day leftists don't represent peasants and factory workers anymore, at least not in the West. They represent gays, immigrants, and socially liberal urbanites. So they like hedonism. Of course the minorities and immigrants don't, so you have a lot of fights between minority leftists and white leftists over things like gay marriage.

The Left knows that open prostitution, pornography and the celebration of open homosexuality is detrimental to a society. In places where they have total control, the USSR, these vices were frowned upon just like they are by conservatives in the West.

However, in the West where they don't exercise total control and there still exists a traditional culture that opposes them, they push these issues in an attempt to destroy that culture to enable them get more power. I would imagine if they had complete control over the US, they would change their tune on certain issues.

Anonymous said...

The Left knows that open prostitution, pornography and the celebration of open homosexuality is detrimental to a society.

Marx & Engels were very big on this sort of thing [the intentional destruction, by the state, of the family].

And then there was de Sade:

"He initially ingratiated himself with the new political situation after the revolution, supported the Republic, called himself "Citizen Sade" and managed to obtain several official positions despite his aristocratic background... In 1790 he was elected to the National Convention where he represented the far left."

Anonymous said...

http://www.wiesenthal.com/site/pp.asp?c=lsKWLbPJLnF&b=6455757

Shouldn't Nixon have been given an hononary Wiesenthal award in 2010 for his tapes?

SFG said...

Bradbury was probably the closest to the classic liberal litterateur. Even so he still got in trouble for saying girls didn't like computers.

Asimov was for science, and that's pretty much where it started and ended. There was a little bit of Jewish stuff in there, and he hated the Christian Right because they were against science, but most of the problems in his stories get fixed through application of science and technology, not so much large-scale social engineering or compassion. There's an alternate dimensions story he had where the protagonists run into an alternate world where the Nazis won WWII, and the protagonists mostly seem to treat it as a case of a different tribe winning the prehistoric wars. In fact, the End of Eternity timeline has a benevolent dictatorship that intervenes in history to avoid wars, and the protagonists wind up getting rid of it so space travel can blossom (it's complicated).

Heinlein was more like the nerd libertarians of the modern day. Belief in competence and intelligence and freedom and technology, with kinky sex (threes and more!) thrown into the mix for good measure. Lots of modern-day polyamorists use Heinlein as a model. His work has elements of militarism (Starship Troopers) and hippie thought (Stranger in a Strange Land). You're quite right that Hollywood doesn't like the positive view of the military in Starship Troopers and that's why they didn't make a realistic version of it. Frankly I thought it more realistic than Ender's Game (which was probably a response to it); the bugs are trying to kill you, kill them for crying out loud!

Mr. Anon said...

"Baloo said...

Mr. Anon, you're probably right about Clarke. I'm prejudiced because he's always rubbed me the wrong way. His liberalism is more smug and repulsive (to me) than that of the other two."

You are quite right. As I got older, I began to sense that in Clarke. It's also possible that Clarke himself gave more leeway to his liberalism in his writing, as he got older. Asimov, who was a pretty doctinaire New York liberal, at least did not let his outlook so dominate his writing. I'll always like his foundation trilogy.

Anonymous said...

http://www.vdare.com/roberts/101219_reaganomics.htm

"It is the BEFORE-TAX incomes of corporate CEOs that have exploded from 30 times the average wage to 300 times. Annual Wall Street bonuses from extreme debt leverage now exceed the lifetime earnings of workers. To blame the worsening income distribution on tax rate reductions is to ignore the facts."

Yes, yes, yes, someone finally said it.

Anonymous said...

At least three Fortune 500 companies have black CEOs. They are Xerox, American Express , and Merck Pharmaceutical.
To obtain these positions requires hardwork, perseverence, great intelligence and good judgment.


One wonders how far a 49-year-old Barack Obama would have risen if he had chosen to go the corporate route.

Let's not forget that as a corporation becomes larger, it becomes more like government. And megacorps are notorious for their prettyboy yuppie cultism (or in their words, "social skills".

I can see Barack Obama rising very high in the megacorps, being just one more Corporate Ken Doll. I can't see him starting or running a small business. That takes work, perseverence, intelligence, judgment - and a dash of dreaded lily-white autism.

Anonymous said...

I tried all sorts of "big ideas" names and phrases and they all seem to drop off in usage over the 1990s and 2000s. Names like Marx, Freud, Orwell, Huxley, Nietzsche all seem to drop off. I guess everyone was talking about reality TV or the War On Terror.

asdfasdfasdf said...

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/12/21/national/main7171547.shtml?tag=topnews

Get a load of this. US population has exploded to 309 million by 2010BUT the media spin is 'growth is SLOWING'. It's like complaining that a fat person who used to add 10 lbs per week is not adding ONLY 7 lbs per week.

The Omar Thorton case was spun as 'Thorton was the victim' and this demographic story is spun as 'growth is slow'.
There must be a term for this, where the media reports a news story which is obviously one thing but made to seem as if another.

corvinus said...

The Starship Troopers movie is also the only one I've seen that features Argentines, and depicts them as white to boot.

Anonymous said...

http://ngrams.googlelabs.com/graph?content=Australia%2CAmerica%2CBritain%2CCanada%2CNew+Zealand%2CIndia%2CPakistan%2CBangladesh%2CChina%2CGermany&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=0&smoothing=3
You could use ngram to get a grasp on history.

David said...

The racial construction of the term "diversity" is blithely evaded in many workplace contexts. Companies smaller than major corporations most often use "diversity" to mean simple (non-racial) variety.

On CVs, the vogue is to include the phrase "I have a diversity of experience," meaning that one has held more than one job. Salespeople refer to "a diversity of products" and "a diversity of services." Readers can find many more such examples.

On one HR poster I spotted the "we are committed to diversity" blah, which was followed, remarkably, by: "a diversity of water-and-energy-saving commitments, a diversity of ideas, a diversity of resources, and a diversity of career paths." So don't question their commitment to diversity, pal!