Insanity & Doom Update XII

Item Is Homosexual Practice No Worse Than Any Other Sin?

Why, then, do so many insist on an ‘egalitarian view of sin’? There may be several reasons working together.

First, many Christians are overeager to do whatever they can to soften criticisms from homosexualist advocates. The latter, many of whom are very good at being outraged at anything that disagrees with their agenda, go bonkers when they hear homosexual practice described as a severe sin.

This is from Robert Gagnon, author of the indispensable The Bible and Homosexual Practice, a book which is required reading before commenting on this subject. This link is mainly for reference.

Egalitarianism leads first to the view of sin equality, and then to the idea of no sin, then to the idea of Man as god. And then to The End.

Item 15 Members of ‘Third World Quarterly’ Editorial Board Resign

Fifteen scholars on the editorial board of Third World Quarterly have resigned over the publication of a controversial essay, according to the their resignation letter. Their departures leave the journal, which publishes essays from the field of international studies, short nearly half of its editorial board.

The essay is by Bruce Gilley, a political scientist at Portland State University, and is titled “The Case for Colonialism.” It argues that the idea that Western colonialism harmed colonized countries and their people is largely exaggerated.

He was called a “racist” etc. etc. Sniffy, sniffy. The politicization of politics is dog-bites-man, so the real story here is the faux hissy fit tuned to bring official opinion back into line.

For fun, I read Gilley’s paper (no link), which is harmless. Here’s the Abstract.

For the last 100 years, Western colonialism has had a bad name. It is high time to question this orthodoxy. Western colonialism was, as a general rule, both objectively beneficial and subjectively legitimate in most of the places where it was found, using realistic measures of those concepts. The countries that embraced their colonial inheritance, by and large, did better than those that spurned it. Anti-colonial ideology imposed grave harms on subject peoples and continues to thwart sustained development and a fruitful encounter with modernity in many places. Colonialism can be recovered by weak and fragile states today in three ways: by reclaiming colonial modes of governance; by recolonising some areas; and by creating new Western colonies from scratch.

Gilley points out how well e.g. Singapore is doing. What the paper is not, and the reason I think for the row, is self-flagellating. Just like “climate change”, nothing good can ever have come out of colonialism. To even hint that it wasn’t the ultimate evil is itself said to be evil.

The capper: Academic Article Withdrawn Following “Serious and Credible” Threats of Violence:

The article’s formal withdrawal concludes a month-long controversy that saw its author, Portland State associate professor of political science Bruce Gilley, at the center of an international firestorm culminating in threats of violence against both him and the journal’s editor-in-chief, Shahid Qadir.

Item Are Our Schools Overdosing on Self-Esteem? (ellipsis original).

Our society is hypersensitive about self-esteem. We quake in fear at the slightest hint of hurting someone’s feelings. In elementary classrooms in Ontario where I live there has to be a safe zone for children to have their temper tantrums when the teacher tells them that their behavior is unacceptable. Universities are providing safe zones and trigger warnings so that we don’t hurt someone’s feelings. Modern society has enshrined our emotions and feelings. This is exemplified in our public and many private schools. The assembly didn’t finish with a song giving glory back to God or a hymn in honor of our Blessed Mother—no, rather the students sang a song about…themselves.

What was that about Man as god? Thanks to Father Rickert for the link.

Item Variety: Legacy Radio “Faces a Grim Future”

A new study published today by the head of New York University’s Steinhart Music Business Program casts a sobering outlook on the future of terrestrial radio.

In the 30-page report, Larry Miller argues that traditional radio has failed to engage with Generation Z — people born after 1995 — and that its influence and relevance will continue to be subsumed by digital services unless it upgrades. Key points made in the study include:

*Generation Z, which is projected to account for 40% of all consumers in the U.S. by 2020, shows little interest in traditional media, including radio, having grown up in an on-demand digital environment;

As dooms go, this one is small, but still of interest. The full report is at the link, and it’s conclusion is music music music music, music music: music. The author is right that the kiddies aren’t “discovering” their mind-rotting sounds via radio much anymore, and will do so less in the future. He also warns, correctly I believe, that as newer cars are bought, there will be a further deemphasis on radio, because newer cars will link with people’s thinking suppression devices, as a means to deliver more…music. The author dismisses standard “talk radio” by saying it isn’t music.

Large companies own too many stations, and thus create too many centralized networks, with MBAs responsible for the programming; they also stifle competition, thus helping in their own demise. Local shows, with local features, might restore some radio. Not to a point where loads of money will be made. But enough to make modest livings. The real problem, then, is that the content on (AM) radio is not worth listening to.


  1. So, Singapore is doing just fine. However, to argue good things came out of colonialism is to argue that good things come out of all acts of violence and aggression. It’s all in how you look at the situation.

    Sure, that family was murdered, but didn’t the nurse and the firefighter marry because they met at the scene. How wonderful.

    Such an argument doesn’t rise to a firing offense, in my opinion. Yet it has no justification in a moral or ethnical system — unless your morals and ethics are based on some form of utilitinarianism, where you determine the value of the utils.

    The colonizing power killed 250,000 during its reign. So what? The country is now better off – based on my values. That families still mourn their dead — big deal. Their individual loss is far outweighed by the collective gains, in my opinion, anyway. And my opinion rules.

  2. For what it’s worth, Professor Jordan B Peterson (brilliant fellow, by the way – check out his series of Biblical lectures if you haven’t yet) was talking recently about how young people today are often choosing podcasts – and often those with fairly serious content, and not thought suppression stuff.

    So there’s still some hope 😉 .

  3. England made out pretty well by being colonized by the Romans. Egypt not so well after being colonized by the Arabs. So, much depends on who colonizes whom and when.
    When the British stumbled into control of “Nigeria” (actually, a gallimaufry of three different colonies that were conjoined for administrative convenience) some parts fared better than others. The Igbos and Yorubas set themselves to study the British and the modern state and learned how to manage it. The Hausa set themselves to resist all efforts to deprive them of their right to dominate and rule the Igbos and Yorubas, and the consequences can be seen in the differences today between the north and the south of that country. For that matter, the colonization efforts following the Fulani Jihad of Osman dan Fodio against the Hausa States converted those relatively relaxed city states to a rather more hidebound form of Islam.
    A Telugu friend of mine in India told me once, “We are glad the British left; but we are also glad they came.” After all, the Mughal maharajahs were also colonizers and not nearly as benign and law-bound as their British successors.
    After all, there is also a degree of suffering and death associated with corruption, squalor, and lack of sanitation.

  4. YOS —

    Of course you think that way — you are a collectivist. And collectivism of this sort is easy to swallow since none of your immediate family suffered. It’s the unwashed masses weighed against your vision of utopia.

    Sometimes … sometimes … you have to think beyond yourself and your factual recitation of events and realize India does not speak through your singular Teluga friend. And not everyone agrees with your util valuation — the horror, I know.

    Your view of the benefits reaped by the colonized due to the stabilizing, law-bound, and benign bayonets of the colonizers is the reason many in the US can feel proud and puffed up that the Levant was de-Christianized in the name of democracy. Just as they can feel proud the US has been a major colonial power for 120 years — the Manifest Destiny delusion.

    I suggest you read Trotsky’s Their Morals and Ours to see who else champions your ends-justifies-the-means ideology. However, I do not expect to change your views. You have risen to the heights of the New Neocon Man — a man greater than those who suffer while being forced to bend and break in order to live your sublime vision of utopia.

  5. The Turks and Caicos Islands actually want to become a colony of Canada! I wonder how many other places would happily hitch their wagon to a star in this manner. Meanwhile down at Tim Hortons we are planning to become the next great empire and superpower eh!

  6. YOS —

    I also want to point out your language to defend collectivism. England did not pretty much make out due to Roman conquest. England, in your sense, is a question-begging epithet and a collectivist tool, plus it is a meaningless counter factual argument and an hypostization of geography. I suggest you find England, shake his or her hand, and ask the question of the personal benefits of Roman colonialism. Let me know the response.

  7. That cat in the picture reminds me that I want a cat. Triangle nine t y!

    People don’t think they are God. Perhaps a truly insane individual does. It’s an unconvincing argument of the imbuing motive variety.

    Jim doesn’t understand what the word England means and what the geography and the history means. The ignorant attitude that there’s some kind of conspiracy around the British isles and it’s various titles through time is just silly. The problem is the ignorance and the funny reluctance of only a few nations to use the ‘Great’ just displays both ignorance and churlishness. England in the not so distant past and more currently means the entire shebang. It is largely contextual which word is used.

    By far the best example and most stark case of colonising powers acting in the interests of the people is the case of India and Pakistan. It is not only YOS’s friend who thinks this way.
    It is by far the overriding attitude of the Indians who I met in the country. Strangers and those to whom I was introduced.

    The ones in the Northern Hill country which is admittedly a more civilised part, is very much that they have the comedy and humour bone, maybe from the British or just when they are surrounded by them. They see their past in realistic terms and were thrilled to discover that one of their colleagues was being awarded a British Empire medal of the order of the Garter. . They joked that this might mean they were about to be colonised again. Hooray!

    There are very large Christian populations with strong ties to Britain, Hindus who have strong business ties with other nations thanks to their past associations. As a Brit, and probably and American you receive nothing but smiles in India from the people. To a person in my experience.
    The Indians are mad and charming and hard working, disciplined and sociable. They are generous They are, (outside of more ignorant and untouched areas where some bad practices persist) lovely people. Every day on the roads make whacky races look tame. People should visit before it alters and becomes like the modern cynical west.

    Mark Steyn covered this topic a few weeks ago.
    I love Mark Steyn! Am I allowed to say that without getting into trouble? I don’t care.

  8. Joy —

    Sorry. I tried reading your comment to the end but I kept thinking I was rereading the introduction to Dianetics. And once was enough.

  9. A hypostization? OMG! Of course, everyone understood what region was meant, even if the Angles hadn’t gotten there yet. It’s like “Ur of the Chaldees” in the Bible. And the de-Christianization of the Levant began 14 centuries before the Americans ever thought to look into the place.

    Conquest is never fun for the conquered, but not all colonization proceeds by military conquest — as when the arabs conquered north Africa and the Sudan. Sometimes, as in the Bantu colonization of central and southern Africa in the 1st cent. AD, it comes when a technologically more accomplished people moves in and pushes the indigenous people aside — the pygmies into the forest, the bushmen into the scrublands.

    We could poll the individual Britons whose heads used to decorate the rims of the chariots of their tribal enemies, but certain practical difficulties suggest themselves. When Huayana Capac Inca conquered the Carangues, he beheaded all of the men of fighting age and threw their bodies into the lake, declaring, “Now you are all boys.” I’m sure the Carangues, were there any left, would express disapproval; yet Inca culture is generally considered to have been a high point in the history of South America and we wag the bony finger at the Spaniards because they were better at it.

    It should not be necessary to point out that all such actions are dependent on the receptiveness of individuals. Not every Igbo was an eager adopter of modern ways. The same goes acceptance by Britons of Roman ways. Hellenic culture was largely resisted in the Levant, to the extent that many people there were living at the same technological level even down to the present day. “Benign” ain’t in it. No one supposes that the Han and their spears were “benign” simply because their colonization of Chu and the rest of the South ultimately wrought greater prosperity. That was not the Han intention.

    Naturally, those who must forego their blood feuds, honor killings, head-hunting, suttee, or other cherished customs will regard the colonial power with horror, especially after they have forgotten what things were like before and have settled down in the glow of nostalgia for a Golden Age. They will sing sentimental songs about the IRA, perhaps, or darkies strumming banjos on the old plantation. But a study of post-Roman Britain would be instructive regarding the technical skills that were lost and the mass production that was reduced to poorly-made hand-crafts.

    It is equally painful for those at an advanced level to give up their ways when conquered by more primitive peoples — cf. China under the Mongols. Ibn Khaldûn, who was a proud Egyptian, took note that arab colonization was the greatest catastrophe that Egypt and North Africa ever suffered: what was once the breadbasket of Rome had been turned into a howling desert. And a Persian friend of mine, for all that his family possessed a sheepskin tracing their pedigree to Mohammad himself, told me that the arabs brought Persia only two things: their alphabet and their religion “and we would have been better off without either one.”

    Reflexive anti-colonialism would be more convincing were it not restricted to anti-Western colonialism. About muslim colonialism or Han colonialism or Mughal colonialism, or even the Drang nach Osten or the Bantu colonization of central and southern Africa, one hears very little mention, let alone disapproval.

  10. YOS —

    The “region” is not under question. Unless, of course, you have issues.

    The hypostatization is your implicit proposition that England is an acting agent, separate and above its constituent members — sometime called citizens. An agent that has its own preference scale, which it uses to judge actions ex ante and ex post. That is the essence of collectivism.

    Again, you make armchair arguments and assign values based on your personal scale — ’cause any rational actor has to share your value scale. These you assign to a region you hypostatize as an acting agent. And then you argue as if the agent is the thing, not it’s constituents, with losses and gains accruing the agent.

    That you can’t see beyond the collective is a symptom of … well … collectivism.

    The rest of your post is … ah … lengthy. But not to the point.

    Note: Instead of engaging in counterfactual history, address ethics and morality. You will see things differently.

  11. your implicit proposition that England is an acting agent, separate and above its constituent members — sometime called citizens.

    I do not suggest that England is an “acting agent,” only that the Britons by and large made better use of the opportunities presented to them by the Roman conquest than others have when faced with other conquests. That does not mean that every Briton did so, nor even that they did so presciently at the first sight of advanced Roman science and technology. See Boadicea for details.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “counterfactual” history, since the histories I’ve mentioned are in fact factual so far as I know. In the course of the first century AD, the Bantu speakers did erupt out of West Africa and spread across central and southern Africa with their cattle and iron and plows, driving off the pygmies and bushmen who were natives of those regions. This is not counterfactual at all. I know of no benefit to either the Pygmies or the Bushmen following the Bantu colonization of their land.

    Similarly, the development of a distinctly Romano-British culture that raised cities (Londinium was built by the Romans, not by the British) and had mass production of commodities shows the fruitful hybridization that took place on the island. When the legions were withdrawn, there was a distinct decline in material culture: documents were less well-written, goods were less well-made for a while. Some industries were lost entirely. (But compare that to Ireland, where the Romans never landed and no stone bridges, let alone cities, were built until the vikings came along.)

    Of course, what constituted ethics and morality in those times and places varied as to time and place and once must be careful of committing chronocentrism. They were not, in many cases, Christians, and ought not be held to Christian standards. Yet, people will suffer and die regardless. Does it make so much difference whether they suffer and die by their own hands and the aboriginal squalor and low material culture?

  12. YOS —

    Is the initiation of force ever justified? If, as you are want to claim, the ends justify the means, the initiation of force is justified as long as you can argue the results left the others, so to speak, better off in your judgement. That is a very slippery slope.

    You hypostatize England as an acting agent when you appeal to the region in a collective sense — as if England fared better due to Rome.

    And you also engage in counterfactual argumentation when you imply England pretty much made out due to Roman occupation. You imply those who lived on the British Isles over the intervening years fared better than they would have lived if Rome had not crossed the Channel (ignoring those who perished by the sword, of course).

    You are not being overt, but you never recognize the suffering and deaths that occurred. You simply imply that such ills are easily balanced by the results, as seen by you a few millennia later.

    The views your espouse are the reason many Americans, especially many of those in power, champion our endless wars and colonialism. Only drones and bombs can allow the unwashed to see our city shining on the hill — after the clouds of cordite clear their air, of course).

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