Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Secession, groupthink, trashy liberal architecture, and the new ruling class

  • Pat Buchanan: What would Braveheart do? The South Tyrol should be in Austria again; it's the southern outpost of German culture, not the northern one of Italian. Transdnistria should be annexed by Russia (at least many of its people have Russian citizenship now, as far as I know ) or at least have its independence recognized; like the Crimea and the far eastern Ukraine it never should have been split off from the motherland. Not sure Scotland could make it on its own; Salmond wanting to keep the pound seems to say it can't. In 1776 I would have been a Loyalist, hands down. Modern Britain's a different story; lived there. British countries including Canada are more liberal and less religious than America, even anti-religious, not the Burkean high-church places some conservatives think they are (and why aren't they?). So American canadophiles, anglophiles, and europhiles tend to be liberals, not romantic monarchists. Importing the Third World's problems is a bad idea.
  • Steve Sailer's insight: Why are the dumber sportswriters so liberal? Other than mainstream society and especially dying newspapers being pulled that way: the reigning ideology is all about equality; but sports are all about inequality: virtuoso players and teams winning the game or the prize. Also why heavy metal's conservative.
  • Peter Eisenman: "Liberal views have never built anything of any value." Doo-wop/googie architecture (space age,'50s, mid-century) was progressive but the old values still ruled, often making it beautiful.
  • James Burnham’s theory of the managerial elite, a “new class” of “managers” that supplemented the capitalist ruling class of the 19th century, still captures the fundamental truth behind the global system of power.


  1. Scotland reminds me of a close relative who used to be a drug addict- he was a basketcase until his parents, fed up with his manipulation, kicked him out of the house. He moved in with some drug buddies, stole from them for quick cash, and earned a savage beating. The beat-down became the catalyst for his rapidly getting clean and sober, and cutting ties with all his low-life pals. Let the Scots go live on their own for a while, without England to support them and pay for their mistakes. They'll feel pretty rotten before long, but that's the only way to motivate them to make any real reforms. Kick them out of the house and let them take a beating from reality.

    If "No" prevails, though, as appears likely, they really should scrap the devolved Parliament entirely, rather than expand its powers. Either Scotland should have its own government that lives completely on its own revenues, or it shouldn't have any more say in local administration than any other part of the UK. Sadly, I expect they'll end up with the worst of both worlds- a powerful local government that's free to make mistakes, along with English money to go right on paying for them.

  2. Eisenman is something of a paper architect but his links back into the modernist past are pretty obvious: the notorious House VI is pretty much a po-mo version of Rietveld's Schröder House. It's also a deliberate pain-in-the-ass space which is having to be sold as a prestige work of art rather than as a place to live. His more recent stuff tends to head off into Gehry-esque stunt buildings, but then, that's the direction po-mo has been heading in general.

    I tend to discount architects doing social theorizing anyway, seeing as how it all ends up as grist for the next edition of From Bauhaus to Our House, but really, all you have to do is walk around downtown DC to see that either Eisenman is talking nonsense, or he has some secret sense of the word "liberal" that doesn't apply in the real world. John Russell Pope drew up neoclassical buildings for the "liberal" FDR administration as well as for the "conservative" Mellons, after all.


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