Friday 24 March 2023


Friedrich Wilhelm von Schelling:

It is no mere hypothesis that beyond the world of light there shines with a radiance unknown to us a world which no longer falls within the sphere of our intuition.

Lockdown was the biggest policy mistake in modern British history. Vast, incalculable damage to economy, education, mental health. Sweden, which didn’t terrorise or shut away its people, now has the LOWEST excess deaths in Europe. Game over.

Philip Weiss this week:

One of my saddest memories of the Iraq war was when I said to my friend the late John Homans, a very shrewd political editor, that I could not vote for Hillary Clinton because she had voted to authorize force, and he said, “You don’t understand, she had to vote for the war.” John was stating the political forces at work in the American establishment in 2002-2003. He was saying it was like being against Mom and apple pie, you just couldn’t be. NY congressman Jerry Nadler said the same thing when he related in 2015 how much “poison” and “demagoguery” had come down on him for voting against the war: “Suffice it to say I took a lot of criticism for my vote, and both my American patriotism and my commitment to Israel were questioned.”

Retired US Colonel Douglas Macgregor:

NATO is no longer truly a defensive alliance. It's become an offensive instrument in the hands of Washington.

[In fact it has not been a defensive alliance since the Kosovo war.]

They say in politics it’s not the offence that gets you, but the cover up. But what’s doing for Boris is the cover up of the cover up.

Are Boris and Brexit both finished? Some commentators are already saying this but I for one wouldn’t count on it. Brexit’s gift of an independent country is safe despite the anomaly of Northern Ireland. We have accountable government. Unlike France for example.

Someone called Tony Annett on Twitter talking about Jordan Peterson. If this is true, I like Jordan Peterson much more than ever.

Replying to @AnthonyMariaOP and @jordanbpeterson
He argues that dominance hierarchies are set in stone, based on nature. He also argues for natural inequalities based on his interpretation of a rule of nature. He might not valorize these hierarchies and inequalities, but he thinks they are natural.


  1. While children and students are told they study history ‘to learn from the mistakes’, one of the most fascinating and striking things about our world is how little learning there is from the greatest of errors. You can read analyses of deterring Prussia/Germany in Whitehall that are practically identical and indistinguishable from 1866, 1870, pre-1914, and the 1930s. You can read history after history of war after war. Human nature and the dynamics of large organisations don’t change so the same problems recur from the start of written history, and nobody can find a way of creating institutions that surmount these problems for long. You may reshape the Prussian General Staff and then reshape the map of Europe but before you know it, you’ve gone from the Elder Moltke working with Bismarck in triumph to his nephew imploding in disaster.

    Everything has its time of growth and decay. This means that we stumble into disaster after disaster where the details change but the fundamental patterns don’t. Covid and Ukraine are just the latest examples.

  2. The growing loss of faith across the West in our institutions, leaders and representatives in recent years is like nothing else I’ve seen in my lifetime. When, I wonder, did that contract begin to expire? Maybe in 2003, when the lies with which the US and UK launched the Iraq war were so blatant that even those telling them seemed unconvinced. Or perhaps when the near-collapse of the global economy in 2008 brought the real impact of Machine globalisation, which had long been felt in the poor parts of the world, home to people in the West. Or maybe in 2016, when Brexit happened and Donald Trump happened and European ‘populism’ happened, and suddenly liberal globalism was under attack in its heartlands. From then on, we learned that populism was fascism and elected presidents were Russian agents and nationhood was white supremacy and free speech was ‘hate speech’, and while we were still trying to work through all that, along came covid and we all fell into the rabbit hole forever...

    The Abbey of Misrule

    1. WMDs were the strongest possible reason not to attack Iraq. I opposed the war but Mrssrs Bush and Blair did not lie about them.

  3. In our view, the most likely outcome of the war in Ukraine is that the world splits into a NATO + Japan/Korea $ zone, containing around 1bn people and with a collective GDP of around $50trn and a non $ zone containing the other 7bn people with an almost equivalent level of GDP, but where all the growth is. Thanks to Zero Interest rates, US private equity is now sitting on $3 trillion of dry powder that will be used within the $ zone to take ownership of the best businesses and thanks to Zero Covid supply chains to outside the $ zone have already been disrupted, allowing for new $ zone chains to be built. Finally, thanks to zero carbon, the US consumer and producer continue to enjoy the cheapest energy within the $ zone and thus will be the biggest beneficiaries of re-shoring and re-industrialisation.

    Continued belligerence, not just against Russia with its cheap commodities, but also against China with its industrial competition, will almost certainly be used to establish a new form of Mercantilism, albeit with ‘free trade’ within the $ zone. Sanctions will act as a common tariff barrier, while ‘Global initiatives’ on tax and regulation will result in a largely common policy framework. This would of course be similar to the policies used by 19th century America, although it would now extend to 99 states, not 50. The rules of course would all be made by the ‘multi national bodies’ like the UN, the WHO and the BIS, but where of course it is the US FDA, the Fed, the SEC and the US State department that actually direct policy. In effect it would be like a reverse takeover of the EU by the US, with Australia, NZ, Japan and Korea added in. As the other NATO members pick up half of the $800bn Pentagon budget to establish the hard borders of the $ zone, (the AUKUS deal on submarines being an obvious example) the US can continue with subsidy programmes like the risibly named Inflation reduction act, which effectively subsidises reshoring to the US in the name of Building (the US) Back Better.

    The 99 states of America, how NATO is set to become a de facto $ zone
    Toscafund HK Limited and Market Thinking Limited

  4. ""You don’t understand, she had to vote for the war." John was stating the political forces at work in the American establishment in 2002-2003. He was saying it was like being against Mom and apple pie, you just couldn’t be."

    No, _he_ does not understand. Everybody has free will. It requires no special qualities to be against a strong tide when your view has some support among people. Real strength is when you defy the world all alone, when you are against Mom and Apple Pie. "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33). Or Luther: "Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht anders." (but granted, he had strong backers).

    Epictetus says that one should not fear what he does not control. One does not control the thoughts and actions of others. So they should not be feared. One controls only one's own acts and thoughts. These are to be feared, one has to fear only oneself, one's own cowardice, lest one fails in holding the opinion one think is right.

  5. Obama, whom you dislike heartily or at least are skeptical of, got a lot of mileage out of voting against the Iraq War. It's not always a symbol of virtue.

    "Lockdown was the biggest policy mistake in modern British history.
    Vast, incalculable damage to economy, education, mental health." - melodramatic statement, no?

    1. I think it's a symbol of both virtue and wisdom but I expect Kim Il Sung did too and Gadaffi and many other bad men. I don't think Obama was so bad - in his first term. I thought the rapprochement with Iran a good idea and saving GM. He ought to have been a mixed-race Ike, binding bhis country together. Instead he used wedge issues like single sex marriage and transgender to divide the country, the opposite of Clinton's triangulation. But I didn't follow his domestic policy until his second term. At least he was charismatic and eloquent - very unlike Hillary or the present wretched incumbent.

    2. Did I say lockdown was the biggest policy mistake in modern history? An absurd overstatement - devolution to Scotland, Wales and NI and mass immigration (especially since 1997) are far bigger mistakes.

    3. 'charismatic and eloquent'

      Obama without Teleprompter