Sunday, 31 March 2013

Gym Idiots, YouTube Edition!

Someone out there has done us all a tremendous public service by compiling this truly hilarious collection of gym idiots doing what gym idiots do- making themselves look stupid, and making the rest of us collapse with laughter in the process.

Enjoy!


Mere Christianity

Every Easter, Vox Day traditionally posts a quote from Scripture about the miracle of Christ's Resurrection. This Easter was no different- but then Vox posted his own thoughts on what is, and is not, Christianity.

It was, in my opinion, one of his greatest ever posts on any subject.

So much so that I am going to quote that section in its entirety below. See and understand for yourselves that Christianity is, and has always been, about the struggle for Man's redemption. Christianity is, and has always been, about unbreakable faith in the face of monstrous evil. Christianity is, and has always been, about sacrifice in the name of God, in the name of Truth.
 The other day, Moonshadow wrote: "I'm looking forward to your Easter blog post. My circumstances are difficult and I'm in need of some hope. My trust in God has been sorely tested over the years, but it still remains."
One of the great misconceptions of the various flavors of Churchianity is that Jesus Christ is some sort of icon, a magic token that will Make Your Life Better so long as the proper incantations are uttered. The Prosperity Gospel proclaims that Jesus will give you a bigger house and a nicer car. The Liberation Theology declares that Jesus is a divine socialist who came to redistribute wealth on the basis of everyone's needs. The Feminist Gospel asserts that Jesus will relieve women of the oppressive burden of household and sexual drudgery. But regardless of his particular flavor, the Churchian is known for neither his love nor his faith, but his tolerance and his conformity.
This is not Christianity.
We are, all of us, infected by the Churchian disease to some extent. We have all listened to women pastors tell us how safe they feel cuddled in Jesus's strong and protective arms, to televangelists with slicked-back hair promising miracle cures and new jobs, to priests who promise that if we only endorse homosexuality with sufficient enthusiasm, the Church will rise in the estimation of the world and both pews and coffers will be filled again to overflowing.
This is not Christianity. 
Christianity is about the Divine becoming Man amidst blood and animal shit.  Christianity revolves around an innocent man rejected by his people, despised by the elite, declared a criminal by the court, and murdered by the government under the false color of law. Christianity describes a world that is fallen, sinful, and ruled by an evil, sadistic, prideful, immortal liar.
We Christians today are weak. We are soft, fat, and flaccid in our faith. We are the beneficiaries of the greatest explosion of global wealth and one of the longest periods of peace in the history of the world, and we are quite understandably daunted by the sober realization that this Golden Age is rapidly coming to an end. We are lotus eaters, hedonized if not entirely hedonistic, and the soothing whispers of Mammon have enervated our will, our strength, and even our faith. We are the sad and pathetic heirs of the Church Militant, an embarrassment to our predecessors and eminently unworthy of our Lord and Savior.
And yet, we are who we are. We, who worship Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, are the remnants of the victorious Divine Invasion.
On this day many centuries ago, there was little more than twelve frightened and despairing men.  From that small and unprepossessing foundation, the Risen Lord Jesus Christ constructed a Church that brought the Good News to all mankind, that civilized barbarians around the world, that remains the oldest and greatest human institution, and that, despite its corruption and decadence, continues to resist the ever-hungry Gates of Hell.
If God could do that with men like Peter, the denier, and Thomas, the doubter who believed only what he could see, what can He not do with those who are blessed because we have not seen and yet have believed?
Jesus never promised us a rose garden on this earth, ruled by the prince who killed him. He promised that we would be hated. He promised that we would be condemned. He promised that we would see our families and our nations divided. He promised that we would be persecuted. He promised wars and the rumors of wars. And yet, somehow, when what he promised comes to pass, we find ourselves troubled and our faith shaken by the very things that should serve to confirm it.
It is not hard to see why so many people around the world are frightened and losing hope. If you are not concerned, deeply concerned, about the state of the world today, you are either in denial or you are not paying attention. The rule of law itself is dissolving and the collective illusions upon which our civilization depends are rapidly fading away.  We have lost our trust in our institutions, in our traditions, in our ideologies, and in our leaders. We have lost our faith in the certainty of the Worker's Paradise, in the exceptionalism of America, in the inevitability of the shiny, sexy, secular scientopia, and in the idea of peace on Earth through the good will of the globalist bureaucracies.  We have lost our belief in Progress.
We are rapidly coming to understand that there is no hope to be found in Man or the things of Man's making. But the truth is, the historical reality is, there has never been any hope but one. And the foundation of that hope is precisely what we Christians are celebrating today: the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
He is Risen! Christ is Risen!
Truly, He is Risen! 

He is Risen. He is Risen Indeed.

At the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher. 
And behold, there was a great earthquake, for the angel of the Lord descended from Heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow.

And for fear of him the guards shook and became as dead men.

And the angel answered and said unto the women, “Fear ye not, for I know that ye seek Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here, for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and behold, He goeth before you into Galilee. There shall ye see Him. Lo, I have told you.”

And they departed quickly from the sepulcher with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.

And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “All hail.” And they came, and held Him by the feet, and worshiped Him.

Then said Jesus unto them, “Be not afraid. Go tell My brethren to go into Galilee, and there shall they see Me.”

Now when they were going, behold, some of the guards came into the city and reported unto the chief priests all the things that were done.

And when they were assembled with the elders and had taken counsel, they gave a large sum of money unto the soldiers, saying, “Say ye, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we slept.’

And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him and secure you.”

So they took the money, and did as they were taught; and this account is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.

Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee onto a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.

And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.

And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, “All power is given unto Me in Heaven and on earth.

Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” 
Amen.
-- Matthew 28

There is much that is wrong and evil in this world. There is much that stands against the eternal Truth. But let us never forget the sacrifice of one man, made so that evil would never triumph, so that the Word would never be forgotten.

I thank you for visiting, for reading, and for commenting. I write almost entirely for my own amusement and education, but your presence here is a great reward in and of itself. May the blessings and light of God and His Truth bring you peace this Easter.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Book Review: HALO: Silentium by Greg Bear

When it was revealed that Greg Bear would be writing a trilogy of HALO books detailing the history and culture of the Forerunner empire, which holds such an enduring place within the canon of the HALO series, I was deeply sceptical. I had tried reading his book Eon, and found it completely incomprehensible. His writing was bizarre; I couldn't understand what the hell he was describing half the time, his jargon made no sense to me and he had no way of building a convincing image in my head to show me what he was trying to convey. He made the same mistake in his Star Wars novel regarding the origins of Zonama Sekot, so I was not at all happy when I found out that he would be playing such an important role in the HALO canon.

My fears were certainly realised with the first book in the series, HALO: Cryptum. The exact same problems that I have described above plagued that book from beginning to end. I couldn't tell what was happening half the time; it was only thanks to the Halopedia wiki that I had any idea of the plot. I found the idea of the Didact actually being two separate individuals with a shared thought imprint to be quite absurd, and I really did wonder how the hell 343 Industries and Microsoft were going to pull off a coherent HALO 4 storyline with that kind of ridiculous back-story. Things greatly improved with HALO: Silentium, in which the author at least made a real effort to show instead of tell, but it was still a bit of a dog's breakfast, despite telling an incredibly engaging story.

And now we come at last to the third and final book, which shows the Forerunner empire in its death throes, faced by the all-consuming galactic evil of the Flood. I finished this one today, and I'm truly delighted to say that this book succeeds where its predecessors failed. It is a true HALO story, and a truly brilliant work of fiction.

HALO is a big part of my life these days, but the fact is that I arrived quite late to the HALO party. I bought my Xbox back in 2009, mostly because I had always been a Nintendo guy and I just couldn't see any great games for that console. The Wii was at that time already a 3-year-old console, and it just couldn't compete with the sheer graphical power of the Xbox and the Sony PS3. The deciding factor for me, in terms of deciding which one to pick, was of course the HALO series, about which I had heard so much but never actually played. I bought my Xbox and the first three HALO games, thinking that they would be nothing more than fun diversions for a little while.

Truth be told, the first time I played HALO: Combat Evolved, I sucked balls. I was horrible at the game, and I got more and more frustrated to the point where I just stopped playing it, even on Normal difficulty. (Yeah. Seriously. I was that bad.) It took me nearly 8 months to come back around to the idea of playing it. And then, suddenly, it all clicked into place. I blew through HALO: CE in a day, came back and did it again on Heroic difficulty, then proceeded to run wild through HALO 2, HALO 3: ODST, and HALO 3. That last game completely got to me. I'd never played a game so engrossing, so vivid, so incredibly rich and detailed in terms of both gameplay and emotional connection with the characters on the screen. By the time HALO: Reach was released in late 2010, I was a gone case. Even the repeated masochistic misery of playing Reach on Legendary didn't turn me off the series. Hell, I even loved HALO WARS!

This love of HALO has extended to almost all of the additional media released around the franchise. This includes the books, the music, and the graphic novels. I really am what I say- a massive HALO addict. And I have very high standards for the expanded universe fiction. The reality is that most expanded universe fiction is, well, awful. One only has to look at the appalling state of the Star Wars saga's "Fate of the Jedi" series to see that it is very easy to take an amazing universe like the one built by the HALO series and completely screw it up with horrible writing, ridiculous plots, absurd characters, and incomprehensible dialogue.

These mistakes are thankfully missing from this book. The plot twists of HALO 4, in which the Didact reveals himself to be hell-bent on humanity's destruction, finally make sense with this book. In it, the original Didact turns out to be the Master Chief's nemesis in HALO 4- the Ur-Didact, as he is called, and the Didact that activated the Halo array (the IsoDidact) is revealed to be the sane half of the pair. The Librarian's incredibly complex and awe-inspiring plan for humanity, revealed throughout the terminals in HALO 3 and HALO: CE Anniversary, are made concrete for the first time. The mystery surrounding the Forerunners is given real weight and light, while the even more mysterious Precursor civilisation that created both them and humans is revealed to be the very source of the insane evil now confronting the galaxy. The Precursors are the Flood.

This book fills in a huge number of plot holes and questions dating back all the way to the original Bungie trilogy, and does so in a manner that is actually quite coherent. This is no greedy money-grab from ardent fans of the franchise, this is an actual serious attempt at creating a believable in-universe setting for the Master Chief's adventures over 100,000 years after the first firing of the Halo array. The back-story blends as seamlessly as the author could make it with all of the various plot holes, contradictions, and continuity errors that have inevitably plagued the franchise, and sets up the coming HALO 5 story rather nicely- whatever that story turns out to be.

There are flaws in this book, of course. It's still not completely polished, and Greg Bear's immensely irritating "talent" for obfuscation and confusion is still very much in evidence. For instance, when he's describing Precursor artifacts, I still have no idea what the hell they look like, and he plainly doesn't have much talent for describing epic space battles with anything like the skill of, say, David Weber or Timothy Zahn. In fact he largely skips over the battles entirely, focusing instead on the relationships between various characters, such as the Master Builder, the Librarian, and the two Didacts. Somehow, he manages to succeed, despite being in my opinion a rather inferior writer of hard military sci-fi. (To be clear, as far as I can tell, his work in Anvil of Stars and Hammer of the Gods really is exceptional.)

None of this will make the slightest damn bit of sense if you're not a raving fan of the HALO franchise (like me). But, if you are, this book finally lives up to the promise of the original press release by being almost everything it sets out to be. It is grand in scope and scale, yet personal and intimate in its portraits of its characters. It is incredibly readable, yet complex and nuanced. It is, in short, everything that a truly great HALO novel should be.

Verdict: 4.5/5, really solid hard SF read

Deadlifting 101

(Note: in this week's edition of Weekend Linkage, there is a video of one particularly stupid assclown deadlifting with truly horrible form. That video annoyed me so much that I just had to write this. If you ever find yourself working out in the same gym as me, do NOT let me catch you deadlifting like that if you want to be spared a lot of embarrassment.)

IRON WITHOUT, IRON WITHIN!
Deadlifts. My absolute favourite exercise, bar none. There is NO exercise that builds strength, character, courage, and raw explosive power as fast as this one does. If you are lifting weights at ANY level, you are doing yourself a huge disservice if you aren't incorporating deadlifts into your workout at least once a week. Deadlifting is also by far the most primal exercise there is. You are literally hauling huge weights off the ground. It is a test of your mind, body, and will in a way that nothing can match.

That said, deadlifting is bloody dangerous if you aren't careful. I've written this over and over again in my posts concerning strength training and weightlifting- be careful. Form is everything. If you cannot achieve good form on heavy weights, just stop and dial the weight back down until you nail the form every time. I am not joking when I tell you that there is absolutely nothing more painful and debilitating than a lower back injury, short of limb amputation. If you f*** up your back while deadlifting, the pain and the fear that this pain causes will stay with you for months if not years.

So how does one go about deadlifting with good form? Well, the good news is that it is easier than ever to find out.

The basic deadlift movement can be broken down into three major parts: foot placement, starting position, and explosive power.

1. Foot Placement
Check out this video from the good offices of Mark Rippetoe regarding where your feet should be under the bar:

Mark has forgotten more about powerlifting than most men will ever learn in their entire lives. He is absolutely spot on here. The bar should start very, very close to your shins. The bar should bisect your feet right above where the arch of your foot becomes pronounced- right above your shoelaces, in other words. This is very important- the bar should be in contact with your shins during the entire movement upwards, so you might want to wear some long pants if you don't like the feel of that much weight scraping against your shins.

2. Starting Position
The deadlift is not a reverse squat. It is a completely unique exercise. Don't make the mistake of starting with your arse pointing at the sky and your hips high in the air. Your back should not be parallel to the ground, it should be pointing upwards at an angle of between 15 and 20 degrees (depending on your hip placement). Watch the way Mehdi from Stronglifts deadlifts here:



This is a guy who deadlifts 500lbs or more raw. And he's doing it without rounding his lower back. More than anything else, your starting position will determine whether or not you round your lower back. Keep your tailbone away from the bar, raise your hips, tighten your core, and maintain that tightness to prime yourself for the next stage- the actual lift.

3. Explosive Power
Andy Bolton is probably the world's greatest deadlifter, ever. His world record of 1,008lbs with chalk and belt has only been broken very recently. Like most elite powerlifters, Andy pulls with incredible speed off the ground once he's ready to lift. Take a look at how fast he pulled his record-breaking deadlift 5 years ago:

There is no fear, hesitation, or overthinking going on here. The speed of that lift is incredible, especially considering the sheer amount of weight on the bar. Note, however, that Andy is NOT jerking the bar upwards, which would be a huge mistake. He pulls swiftly, cleanly, and with perfect form (well... there is some debate as to whether he rounds his upper back, but let's just say that Andy has exceptional motor control in his back after so many years of powerlifting.)

This is what powerlifters should always aim for. The third stage of deadlifting should happen quickly and cleanly. If you have gotten steps 1 and 2 right, step 3 is a state of no-mind, where outside distractions become irrelevant. It's just you and the bar, and you are limited only by your own natural strength- a limit that you should constantly be seeking to break.

How to Perfect Your Form
There is no shortcut to good form. Reps, reps, and more reps- all at lower weights, where you know that you can handle things easily. Master the basic movement, or it will master you- and I am writing from very painful past personal experience when I say that screwing up this basic lift will destroy your back. Get it right, or pay the price. It is that simple.

My deadlifting workout on Sundays consists of:
  • One set of 5 reps @ 225lbs
  • One set of 5 reps @ 275lbs
  • One set of 5 reps @ 315lbs
  • One set of 3 reps @ 365lbs
  • One set of 1 rep, max weight
  • One set of 1 rep, 405lbs
  • One 30-second static hold at somewhere between 315lbs and 335lbs
That's a decent amount of reps considering I only deadlift once a week. And my lowest warmup weight is still heavier than most men can deadlift as their maximum weight. Two years ago, even to think about doing this would have been flatly impossible. Today, I treat it as routine. I'm regularly hitting 425lbs, and tomorrow I'm going to aim to hit 430lbs or more before I go off for a week's vacation. I tore up my back badly the last time I tried for 445lbs, so I'm taking things slowly, concentrating on form, and improving progressively.

Lift Like You Mean It
Deadlifts are a fundamental exercise. They are simple, powerful, and incredibly motivating- I actually look forward to my brutal Sunday workouts, if only because whenever I deadlift, I am setting a very personal test of character, courage, and strength. The fact that I can pass it means a great deal to me, as it does to any powerlifter. More importantly, once you master deadlifts, more complex and technical exercises like power cleans, clean-and-jerks, and various other Olympic lifts become far easier to break down, analyse, and master.

Weekend Linkage




Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Capital Controls After All

Cyprus attempts to dam the raging river with plywood and gaffer tape:
 The government was expected to decree that cash withdrawals would be limited to €300 a day and Cypriots would not be allowed to transfer their savings overseas.
The measures were designed to prevent a run of the banks, after a tumultuous two weeks in which Cypriots learnt they would lose billions of euros from their accounts in an accord drawn up by the government to secure a €10bn euro bail-out from international lenders.
Businesses and individuals with more than 100,000 euros are in for a massive hit and could see at least 40 per cent of their savings forcibly converted into bank shares.
The two worst hit lenders are Laiki Bank, which is to be dissolved, and Bank of Cyprus, which will absorb Laiki’s assets.
Payroll transactions will be permitted so that businesses can pay their employees.
I don't expect this to be particularly successful, given that Cyprus is a small trade-dependent economy. When Malaysia imposed something similar back in 1997, it had a decent domestic economy with some real natural resources behind it. Cyprus, as far as I can tell, doesn't have anything like that kind of economy.

And hot on the heels of the Cypriot attempt to stem the tide comes speculation about whether governments can, or will, go after your hard assets:
 Roosevelt's 1933 gold raid is well documented but it's often forgotten that in 1966 Britons were banned from holding more than four gold coins or from buying any new ones, unless they held a licence.
It's not just gold that governments can confiscate – pension assets can be in the firing line, although usually only in emerging markets and in extreme circumstances. In recent years, private pension schemes have been nationalised in Argentina and Hungary.
Could such a scenario happen today? It seems unlikely. In the Thirties, the dollar was pegged to gold and confiscation was simply quantitative easing by another name, while gold investment today is a global phenomenon, so policing any enforcement could be an onerous task.
And if they did confiscate all private holdings of gold, would it be enough? Such holdings are worth 1.5pc of world economic output. As the gold standard has been broken, the value of all the world's money is now far in excess of the value of gold stocks. A major financial crisis usually costs a national government around 5pc to 10pc of economic output. So for most countries, confiscation of private gold holdings wouldn't save the day. In Cyprus, with its bloated financial sector, the bill is more like 30pc. Cyprus showed how much more could be raised by an immediate tax on bank accounts. 
Only the most purblind fool would assume that governments will somehow restrain their power and stop themselves from going after the number one monetary alternative out there today. Gold literally is money- it satisfies every single one of the fundamental requirements of a transaction currency. And, unlike paper money, it is not based on credit (a.k.a. "unfulfilled promises"), but on a real, physical substance with real, tangible value. When- not if, but when- paper currencies finally collapse, the first substitute people will use will be gold. And that, more than anything else, makes it an enormous threat to government power. That is precisely why a repeat of Roosevelt's confiscations of private gold are not likely to be repeated- they are certain to be repeated. 

"French Stupidity" is Redundant

I love mocking the French, partly because they just make it so easy for the rest of us. (Full disclosure: I work for and with a French guy, for whom I have immense respect and with whom I have a great rapport; that still doesn't stop me from mocking his country mercilessly, to his face.) And just when you think the Frogs couldn't get more ridiculous, they find a way to top themselves:
Workers at Calais, Dunkirk, Dieppe and Cherbourg are due to stage a 24 hour stoppage from 7am tomorrow.
The stoppage involves members of Force Ouvriere who are responsible for controlling traffic in and out of channel ports.
Talks to settle a pay dispute broke down, threatening a chaotic start to one of the busiest holiday weekends of the year.
A walkout tomorrow will hit freight traffic particularly badly with the knock on over the next few days hitting leisure traffic as well. 
I do wonder if the Frogs realise just how little time their hilariously privileged lives and lifestyles have left. Their country is going bankrupt, and in their colossal hubris, they have insisted on stupidly following the American model of foreign adventuring without any thought to the consequences. Their government's much-vaunted "protections" for their coddled workers are unsustainable. Their unionised workforce is rapidly becoming noncompetitive (not that it was particularly competitive in the first place). Their country is being overrun by immigrants that the French people themselves never invited in and never truly wanted. And their tax rates are fast approaching Sweden's, only without the free-trade open economy that prevents Sweden from becoming a complete basket case.

Truth be told, I rather look forward to France's final and complete collapse, mostly because it will prove what libertarians like me have said all along- that there is a finite limit to the extent to which human stupidity can be borne. And little incidents like this silly strike along the way simply serve to reinforce my longstanding belief in the MPAI principle (as Vox Day would put it); but few people are bigger idiots than the French.

A Sense of Perspective

Edward Thatch is fast becoming one of the best writers in the Manosphere, in my opinion- his recent post on that feeling that you've found "the one" over at Return of Kings was outstanding:
But what makes a man have oneitis? What on earth led me to believe that she was the one that I couldn’t live without? Why would I spend the coming months feeling like death, not talking to other girls, and being so lonely for her? What is this phenomenon that makes us see one woman so differently than all the rest? Barring a few superficial differences in the way women execute sameness, they’re pretty much all the same. We’ve all been in love with “the one” before, and we’ve all lived to be in love again with the next “the one.” So what’s up with the temporary psychosis that makes us view one woman as somehow special?
In 1911, Dr. Mario Ponzo described the geometrical optical illusion we now call the Ponzo Effect. This is where the human mind judges the size of an object based on its background, causing two identical objects to appear vastly different in size based on their surroundings. 
Think of biggest, fullest moon you’ve ever seen, and then think of a night when the full moon seemed tiny in the sky. If you took a pencil in your hand, extended your arm, blocked out the horizon, and judged the size of the big moon and the seemingly smaller moon relative to the eraser, you’d discover they’re the same size. The moon isn’t bigger one night and smaller the next; our perception is different based on the objects surrounding it. When the horizon is in view, the moon just appears bigger, but it’s still the same distance from the earth, and it’s still the same size as on the nights it appears smaller.
That’s oneitis in a nutshell. Some women seem different than others, but only relative to their surroundings. 
He is, of course, correct. If you live your life surrounded by beautiful, kind, and caring women, it takes someone truly amazing to outshine all of the rest. If, however, you spend most of your time alone, or are surrounded by ugly and annoying women during your professional or personal life, then the one pretty and pleasant lass who wanders into your life is going to seem incredible by comparison. It won't matter how vapid, vain, or ill-informed she is; simply by virtue of a lack of perspective, your brain will automatically release endorphins and dopamine just from her very presence, because it has no frame of reference against which to posit a realistic comparison.

It is for exactly this reason that Neil Strauss, Mystery, and others give the advice, "F*** Ten Other Women" (FTOW) in order to get over oneitis. By being around other women, your brain will be forced to adjust, regain perspective, recalibrate itself. There are no shortcuts to this. If you're suffering from oneitis. this is the only way to cure it- not by moping around or wishing for something that, realistically, could never be, but by actively embarking on a project of self-improvement.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Far Too Little, and Far Too Late

Our friends on the Left appear to be waking up to the fact that in ramming multiculturalism, and the ensuing dogmas of white guilt and racism, down the throats of an unwilling West, they might just have committed a gigantic mistake (h/t Vox Day):
Among Left-leaning ‘Hampstead’ liberals like me, there has long been what you might call a ‘discrimination assumption’ when it comes to the highly charged issue of immigration. 
Our instinctive reaction has been that Britain is a relentlessly racist country bent on thwarting the lives of ethnic minorities, that the only decent policy is to throw open our doors to all and that those with doubts about how we run our multi-racial society are guilty of prejudice. 
And that view — echoed in Whitehall, Westminster and town halls around the country — has been the prevailing ideology, setting the tone for the immigration debate...
In many places immigration is working as the textbooks say it should with a degree of harmony, with minorities upwardly mobile and creating interesting new hybrid identities in mixed suburbs. 
But it has also resulted in too many areas in which ethnic minorities lead almost segregated lives — notably in the northern ‘mill towns’ and other declining industrial regions, which in the Sixties and Seventies attracted one of the most clannish minorities of modern times, rural Kashmiri Pakistanis. 
In Leicester and Bradford, almost half of the ethnic population live in what are technically ghettos (defined as areas where minorities form more than two-thirds of the population). Meanwhile, parts of white working-class Britain have been left feeling neither valued nor useful, believing that they have been displaced by newcomers not only in the job market but also in the national story itself. 
Those in the race lobby have been slow to recognise that strong collective identities are legitimate for majorities as well as minorities, for white as well as for black people.
This is perhaps a perfect demonstration of the reason why certain denizens of the Manosphere, such as Anonymous Conservative, regard liberalism as literally a mental disorder. (I do not quite go that far, at least not yet; I tend to view liberals as well-meaning but irrational in the extreme, which I suppose is not that far removed from AC's definition...)

In order to believe the standard liberal tropes about multiculturalism, you literally have to ignore the accumulated weight of 7,000 years' worth of evidence telling you otherwise. It says something about the astonishing willful blindness of these people that they honestly didn't think that the white majority would not offer up some sort of backlash.

It gets better. Here's one of the funniest bits of the entire essay:
Like most white British people of my generation, I am happy living in a multi-racial society. I relish the fact that the immigration-related changes of the past few decades have been overwhelmingly accepted and even celebrated by white Britain. 
Caribbean and Chinese men and women ‘marry out’ in large numbers, and there are many places where a cross-ethnic common life is the norm, especially among younger people. 
But one of the challenges is how to allow older and poorer white people a safe space in which to express a sense of loss and homesickness for the past, without this mood spilling over into racism. 
What, for example, do we say to the elderly white people of the Pollards Hill estate in Merton, in South-West London — which I visited on my travels — many of whom feel displaced and disrupted by the arrival of a large Ghanaian population in recent years? 
If that is not something approaching barking madness, I do not know what is. The idea that the vast majority of white Britons would be happy to have their ancestral homeland invaded by races and cultures that, for better or worse (often better, as it happens) were subjugated under the British Empire, is really quite hilarious.

Good luck trying to trot out the raciss card with me, by the way. I am of mixed race and ethnicity myself. I am a foreigner living in a country that I love, whatever its myriad faults, among a people that simultaneously amuse, infuriate, and amaze me. I am always conscious of the fact that I am a guest in this land, and I have no intention whatsoever to settle down here. The same cannot be said of most immigrants, who bring with them an attitude that their new country is now their home- but who do not abandon their own cultural assumptions and ideas when they come over. How can they? To do so is humanly impossible. And to expect the natives of another land to be comfortable with having their own land invaded by an alien culture is really a bit much.

One final thought on the subject of multiculturalism: liberal one-world types love to proclaim how wonderful it is that foreign invaders can bring their cultures to their new homes, and practise their customs alongside those of the natives. Perhaps the best answer I have ever seen to this particular brand of stupidity came from General Sir Charles Napier. When told of the Indian custom of sati (widow-burning), General Napier responded thusly:
This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs.
It seems safe to say that few, if any, widow-burnings ever took place during the time of Napier's rule in India.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

There Are No Words...




Gym idiots: the only people you can legally mock these days and get away with it. For your amusement and shock, here are several videos of gym idiots doing incredibly stupid things:







And as for my well-advertised loathing of those jackasses who curl in the squat rack, here is the ONE AND ONLY situation in which curling in the rack is acceptable to me, or any other powerlifter:


Ladies, if you look like that in a gym shirt and you insist on taking up my valuable time in the squat rack by curling baby weights... well, I'm not going to hold it against you. Much.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Three Fast and Delicious Paleo Beef Recipes

If you're eating Paleo and living in a primal fashion, beef should be an absolute cornerstone of your diet. There is nothing quite like tearing through a big chunk of grass-fed beef; the combination of protein, fat, and macronutrient content simply cannot be matched by anything other than eggs. Being the unreconstructed carnivore that I've become, I love beef. Here are three very simple, easy, and absolutely delicious recipes that every man should be able to prepare:

Paleo Beef Chili

One of my all-time favourite home-cooked meals. The way I make it conforms to the old Texan saying: "if it has beans in it, it ain't fit to be called chili". This recipe involves roughly 5lbs of meat, vegetables, and fat; it's greasy, spicy, and absolutely mouth-wateringly delicious.

Ingredients:
  • 1lb of grass-fed ground beef
  • 1lb of grass-fed sirloin steak, top roast, rib-eye, London broil, or flank steak
  • 3-4 thick slices of bacon
  • 4 baby Portabello mushroom caps
  • 6 baby carrot sticks (or one really big carrot)
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomato paste (not sauce)
  • 1 small onion
  • 2tbsp grass-fed butter
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2tbsp cumin
  • 1tbsp chili powder
  • 1tbsp paprika or red pepper powder
  • 1tsp coriander powder
Dice up all of the vegetables beforehand. Crush the garlic cloves. Combine with the spices in a bowl. If you don't want to waste time chopping tomatoes, get yourself a can of diced tomatoes (organic or not, I don't really care- I'm a stickler for organic meat, but I generally couldn't care less about vegetables).

Chop up the steak into small diced pieces. Fry the bacon in a pan (do not microwave it, you want to keep the fat in the pan). Once the bacon turns a rich brown colour, remove it and slice it into small pieces. Cook the steak first in the fat until browned on all sides. Remove and place in a bowl. Next, melt the butter in the same pan with the bacon fat. Cook the ground beef in the combined fats until browned. Remove and place in a bowl.

Dump EVERYTHING into a crock pot or electric slow cooker. Stir well until the spices dissolve. Cook on LOW for 8-9 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours. This makes enough food for at least 4 people, so if you're cooking just for yourself, you'll have a LOT of leftovers- even I can't eat that much chili in one sitting, and I always end up going back for seconds and sometimes even thirds. Eat with a glass of fine cabernet and sprinkle some shredded cheddar or mozzarella on top.

STEAK

No woman can call herself a decent cook in my eyes until she knows how to cook steak properly. And every man should be able to cook this. It's the simplest recipe to master, and yet doing so requires constant practise.

Ingredients:
  • 0.7-1.2lbs of grass-fed ribeye
  • 1tsp of ground, crushed, or powdered garlic
  • 1tsp of ground peppercorns
  • 2tsp of McCormick steak/grill spice
Coat the steak liberally in spices. Stick in the fridge for a few hours so that the spices have time to set and form a crust. Heat up a stainless steel pan or cast-iron grill on the highest heat available for 3 minutes and pre-heat an oven to 200 degrees Celsius (about 405 degrees in your ridiculous Farenheit scale). Sear the meat for 2-2.5min on each side, depending on the thickness (the thicker the steak, the longer to sear). Stick the meat in a baking pan in the oven for 5-7min per side. This will get the steak to medium-rare or medium, but timing is everything with steak. Eat with a big salad topped with olives and feta cheese and a well-matured Shiraz.

Beef Stir Fry

This is my idea of a really tasty fast breakfast. There is no real equal for this in terms of taste or nutrition, especially when you've been out for a night of drinking and need something solid and healthy to get your system back in gear.

Ingredients:
  • 1lb of grass-fed beef (preferably sirloin or flank steak) sliced into small pieces
  • 2 baby Portobello mushroom caps
  • 1/2 to 1/4 of a white onion
  • 1/8 of a green or red pepper
  • 4 baby carrots
  • 1/2 of a head of broccoli OR a big handful of spinach
  • 2tbsp of coconut oil
  • 1tbsp of fresh grated ginger- or 1tsp of the powdered stuff
  • 2tbsp of tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
  • 1tsp of chili powder
Dice all the vegetables into really small pieces. Melt the coconut oil in a wok on the highest heat setting available. Dump the meat in and stir-fry rapidly until browned. Remove and stick in a bowl. Dump the vegetables in and stir-fry rapidly until the spinach is fully wilted OR the broccoli is just starting to get a little soft. Stick the meat back in. Add soy sauce and ginger if not added already. Continue stir-frying until well blended. Eat with a big mug of coffee and finish off with a bowl of berries in heavy cream.

Irrational and Angry Atheists

As I indicated in my very first post, I used to be an atheist. While I do not subscribe to any religion in particular per se, I have over the last several years come to accept Christianity's approach to the Word of God to be by far the best approach there is out there, among the myriad different religions. To me, Christianity is about as close to Truth as one can get- when taught properly. I am no expert on Scripture, but what little I have read tells me that Christ was teaching some extraordinarily profound truths some two thousand years ago, and that He was right.

It took some doing to change my perspectives on religion, to be sure. As a teenager, like many other teenagers, I rebelled against what I thought was religion and openly abandoned faith in order to embrace a rationalistic, atheist creed. I thought I was embracing a philosophy devoid of silly superstitious nonsense and full of scientific, rational examinations of the truth. And, like most teenagers, I became openly hostile and angry towards most religions- especially Christianity. It should surprise no one that when I was taught about the Crusades in the 7th Grade, for instance, I was given the usual tropes about the Crusades being a massive, continent-wide campaign of conquest and unprovoked hostility against peace-loving Muslims in the Holy Land.

Yeah, let's just say that I've gotten a few things wrong in my life.

It took a long time for me to come around to the truth of God's power, wisdom, and grace. It took some serious personal crises for me to realise that I was not alone, that the Lord does indeed watch over His children, and that for better or worse, I am and always will be flawed and fallen. But eventually I realised that I was wrong and essentially woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and told myself, "face it, you believe in God". In the days since, I have prayed often to the Lord for forgiveness, wisdom, and grace. I do not know if He is listening- but I believe He is, and that, somehow, is enough.

One of the books that was most essential to this change of attitudes was of course Vox Day's The Irrational Atheist, which was my first introduction to his published works of non-fiction and remains to this day one of the reasons why I hold him in such high regard. Chapter Four remains an insurmountable obstacle for any atheist attempting to challenge Vox's ideas; as far as I'm aware, not one successful atheist rebuttal to its arguments has ever been issued.

So it was with considerable interest that I read Captain Capitalism's recent blog post on the subject of the Angry Atheist:
The Angry Atheist confuses and confounds your average conservative or even your average innocent bystander.  Most people don't know where the visceral hatred Angry Atheists have comes from and are kind of shocked by it.  Most people's thinking is:

"Well, if you're an athiest, then what do you care about religion?  Shouldn't you be some kind of easy, laid back, live and let live sort of guy?  What's with all the hatred, mockery and ridicule of people who just happen to believe in a religion?"

Thus when an unsuspecting person breaches the topic of religion or mentions their particular faith, they are completely blindsided by the ensuing screed delivered to them by the Angry Atheist.
The Captain is himself the son of a preacher, and is an atheist, and his views on God seem to mirror my own shortly before I finally became a believer. Like me, he maintains no particular hostility towards religion and seems to seek only to be left alone. Unlike me, he does not take the final step and accept the existence of a Higher Power, but I'm hardly one to criticise him for that:
First, understand I have no skin in this game.  I couldn't care less what people's religion is.  If there's any problem I have with religion, it's that most participants of all religions do not participate in the religion for anything as noble and selfless as worship or a god, but rather for ulterior and selfish motives.  Finding a spouse, socializing, business connections, belonging to a team, heck, even rationalizing taking over the world.  Whatever the reason it isn't for "god."  But for the few sincere and legitimate practitioners of religion, I respect them and leave them be.  So whether you're a Jew or a Catholic or even an atheist, I don't care.

Second, NAAALT (Not All Atheists Are Like That).  I know the majority of atheists are the laid back, live and let live types.  I have atheist friends and I am certainly no fan of religion.  Remember, we're focusing on the ANGRY Atheists who feel compelled to foist themselves into people's personal religious decisions.  Not Bob at the water cooler who doesn't go to church. 
This distinction is an interesting one, because it's very similar to what Vox does in his book. Vox drew a distinction between what he called Low Church and High Church atheists. Low Church atheists are the types of atheists that you and I know and associate with every day- one of them sits right next to me at work, another one went to university with me. They generally don't care much about religion, and simply don't want to have it forced down their throats. They seek to harm no one, and want nothing much more than to be left alone in their un-belief. And for these Low Church atheists, I have enormous sympathy.

The High Church atheists are the types that get everyone annoyed- those like Richard Dawkins (whose book, The God Delusion, was so poorly written and argued that it turned out to be one of the reasons why I stopped being an atheist), Sam Harris (whose nonsensical arguments about religion being a source of war and suffering have been systematically shredded by Vox and others), and the late Christopher Hitchens. And this is what the Captain describes with uncanny accuracy:
It is no coincidence your average Angry Atheist is also a leftist.  The reason why is that atheism is the easiest religion of them all, requiring no effort, thought, ponderance or work.  You simply "declare" you're one and POOF!  You're in the club and you now "belong."

In this sense, it's the epitome of irony, because the Angry Atheist is simply joining another religion.  It's just not so much an "absence" of religion (as a true laid back atheist would be), it's an "ANTI-religion religion."  They have a vendetta, they have a crusade, they (like all other religion people) now have a purpose and belong to a club - we must destroy other people's religion.  If anything, it's a testament to the most cowardly (and borderline psychotic) mentality of a Crusader-Angry-Atheist because his/her "religion" is simply to destroy something others have built.  They can't just let it be.  And it is here we see the parallels between Angry Atheists and leftists because their psychologies are the same.

First, both are hypocrites.  Leftists and Angry Atheists are such because the average liberal does not "care about the poor" nor does the Angry Atheist "really want to stop cultish and abusive religions."  They are in it first and foremost for themselves.  The leftist will ALWAYS trumpet and parade their ideology first thing in a conversation because that is CORE to their being.  The Angry Atheist will as well.  They claim membership to these groups FOR THEIR EGOS, not for anything as noble as "helping the poor" or "stopping abusive religion."  They are crusaders, and most ironically (again) they are the most devout, zealous, and extreme of religious people.  Their religions just happen to be godless.

Second, both are usually worthless people (I am reminding normal Atheists, this does not include you).  They have no value beyond their religion.  They are too lazy to go and develop a skill, a trade, a career, and develop themselves as a human and live an interesting and productive life.  And instead of enduring or expending the effort, rigor, development, trials, tribulations and challenges in life that would give them a core and worth, they instead claim allegiance to a "holy and noble crusade" they really couldn't less about to fill that hole.  The average leftist joins the Peace Corps and does nothing to help Africans while the Angry Atheist rips on religious people because their liberal arts degree isn't getting them a job.
Spot on. The defining characteristic of High Church atheists is their absurd and completely unrealistic belief that without religion, Man is somehow perfectible. And this marks out their fatal conceit, their fundamental flaw. One of the absolute bedrock principles of Christianity is the conviction that Man is fallen and fallible, and that while perfection is no longer possible, it is possible to achieve a measure of redemption through the Light and Word of God. The belief in the redeeming power of the Lord's Grace is what sets Christianity apart from virtually everything else, as is the belief that God gave His children a truly priceless and awesome gift- the capacity for reason. This idea is not shared by Hinduism, for instance, which adopts a far more fatalistic view of things (well, depending on the Hindu; one of the defining features of Hinduism is that it has absolutely no central structure or belief system). Nor is it shared by Islam, which is less a religion and more a political ideology with a wrathful and contrary god at its centre. Nor is it a feature of Judaism, which embraces Man's Fall but not the view of a loving and caring God. And nor is it a feature of High Church Atheism, which believes that if only Man abandoned faith, he would abandon everything that holds him back from achieving his true potential.

The reality is that faith defines us, because through faith we accept our limitations and instead seek to work with and around them. Without faith, we are lost in a world of darkness. Faith is what gives us comfort, lets us stay the course when there is nothing left, nourishes our souls. Without faith, we are not human.

That, ultimately, is why I stopped being an atheist. I saw that atheism offered neither redemption nor grace nor nourishment. It offered only bitterness and anger, and endless suffering. It is no coincidence that the most destructive regimes in history were openly atheistic. Every Communist nation in history abandoned faith, and in the process abandoned humanity- embracing instead absolute and utter barbarity as the excuse for massacring and starving millions. The death toll associated with atheism is truly horrific- indeed, as Vox himself has said, perhaps his single greatest achievement in the endless debates between the faithful and the faithless is his utter demolition of the argument that religion is responsible for violence and war. Atheism ultimately leads to the destruction of the idea that the life of every man, woman, and child has value- and regardless of the low regard in which I hold most people I encounter daily, I certainly do not wish them harm and do not for one moment advocate debasing their humanity for the sake of creating a "perfect world". 

Libertarians and Ayn Rand

BobWallace has a rather interesting (and extremely long, so if you read it, come prepared with a stiff drink) post on the late Ayn Rand, which is worth reading in full. It presents a libertarian's views of Ayn Rand's philosophy and its major shortcomings. Here are some excerpts to give you an idea of what to expect:
In Atlas Shrugged she had, on one hand, her "perfect" producers, the epitome of which was John Galt (who in his radio rant blames all his problems on everyone else). There are about three dozen of these "perfect" people in Galt's Gulch. (Gack, it would be such a bore.)

But they're not perfect. No one's perfect. So where does Rand -- unconsciously -- project all the evil in the world? Right onto her "looters" and "parasites," all of whom she refers to as "subhumans" living in a "hell." Then she commits genocide and gleefully sacrifices almost the entire population of the world. She projects all hate, rage and envy onto them, scapegoats them, and then engages in a sadistic Hitlerian orgy of hate and destruction and kills off nearly everyone outside of Galt's Gulch.

This is exactly what the Nazis and Socialists tried to do to those they labeled as evil. Rand's beliefs are based on the same human-sacrifice psychology as Nazism and Socialism: consider yourself perfect, blame all evil on others, and kill all of them to save yourselves, leaving only "Utopia." This is why so many people who admire Rand's writings still feel vaguely uncomfortable with Atlas Shrugged. How could she so gleefully rub out the entire world? How could she so cold-bloodedly kill innocent children in the infamous train-tunnel-collapse scene?

The similarities between Atlas Shrugged and The Turner Diaries are embarrassing. Kill the evil people, who are the cause of our problems. Then goodness will reign. The Turner Diaries is easier to see through because it is a much cruder fantasy and much more poorly written. But substitute "looter" and "parasite" for "black" and "Jew" and the similarities become much more obvious.

Rand obviously had something very wrong with her, which she was trying to fix through her writing. The psychiatrist Richard Restak, in his book, The Self Seekers, knew what the problem was: "Homicidal rage is the ultimate measure resorted to in an effort to repair the damaged sense of self." Yikes, that's the plot of Atlas! All that hate, rage and envy were Rand's own feelings she projected onto all her "looters." She took to heart the first rule of writing: "write about what you know." She was engaging in self-therapy through writing. Only it didn't work (the Objectivist psychologist Alan Blumenthal called Objectivism a system of psychotherapy for Rand).
And another one:
What Rand did was to take a not-well-thought-out defense of the free market and place it on a foundation of narcissism and scapegoating. That is what I mean by her "secret teachings." They're hidden underneath her "libertarianism." Her philosophy is a house built not on rock but on sand. No society based on it could ever exist. It couldn't even get off of the ground. And according to the definition I gave above, almost all of her writings are clearly propaganda.

And what her propaganda overwhelmingly condones is the scapegoating of religion, generosity and "collectivism" not as wrong, but actively evil. It doesn't surprise me that so many Randroids support the current war; after all, the victims of our bombs aren't exactly human, according to Objectivism.
My own perspective on the subject is somewhat unusual. I read Atlas Shrugged a little under a year ago, and The Fountainhead about 10 years before that. I spent those intervening years basically coming to almost all of the same conclusions that Rand did about free markets, free people, and government power (basically, Hell Yeah, HELL YEAH, and HELL NO). But, I call myself a libertarian- specifically a paleolibertarian, i.e. a libertarian that believes firmly in national borders and the inviolability of national sovereignty- and not an Objectivist. And it's interesting to note that Bob's criticisms of Rand are very similar indeed to the criticisms leveled at Rand's work by master libertarians like Murray Rothbard, for instance.

My view on the subject is that Bob's criticisms of Rand are generally right on the money. Rand herself, for instance, was a lifelong recipient of Social Security cheques, despite her absolute condemnation of those who leach off the productive. She was also an ardent proponent of offensive warfare against America's enemies- the Ayn Rand Centre for Individual Rights to this day argues that a preemptive strike against America's enemies in the Middle East is thoroughly justified. Rand was not entirely coherent in her thinking, and as Bob points out she definitely took to thinking of herself as a "superior being", partly in order to justify her long-standing affair with close associate Nathaniel Branden (who renamed himself Branden specifically to denote his devotion to Rand's cause- anyone who's ever dealt with an Objectivist knows that they tend to be anything but objective).

There is a lot to like about the Objectivist creed. Like the libertarian ethos, its basic and overriding principle is the Non-Aggression Principle. The NAP was hammered home repeatedly in John Galt's famous, brilliant (and interminably long) speech in Atlas Shrugged:
Whatever may be open to disagreement, there is one act of evil that may not, the act that no man may commit against others and no man may sanction or forgive. So long as men desire to live together, no man may initiate-do you hear me? no man may start-the use of physical force against others.
This is the founding principle, the most fundamental belief, of every libertarian. It is the cornerstone of our entire philosophy. From this, and from the Axiom of Human Action, comes the entire beautiful, brilliant, tangled, infuriatingly complex weave of libertarian and anarchocapitalist philosophy. And if we agree on that much, you would think that libertarians like Bob and I would have plenty in common with Objectivists.

The problem is, though, that Rand's philosophy purports to begin with the NAP- and then completely diverges from it in order to justify all manner of stupidity. While the characters of Atlas Shrugged did not, as far as I can remember, ever commit violence against others without just cause, the Objectivist school of thought has essentially used the concept of Man's rationality and the belief that Man should aim to be a perfectly rational being to justify preemptive war, economic sanctions, and hostility towards anyone who does not share these views.

Objectivism is also implacably opposed towards religion and religious belief. Galt points out repeatedly in his speech, which essentially serves as a 63-page primer on Rand's philosophy within a 1,200-page book that is in itself an often highly repetitive encapsulation of her beliefs, that the Church is responsible for war and the degradation of the human mind. Here I do actually find some sympathy for Rand's point of view. I believe that the version of Christianity taught in most churches today is a bastardised, feminised, severely watered-down version of the Gospel of Christ. I believe that Christ intended for His teachings to elevate Man, not to tie him down into timid self-loathing and pedestalised worship of women. I have the highest reverence and regard for the Word of the Lord as exemplified by the words and deeds of His Son, but I am not at all convinced that most modern Church dogma, as taught through most modern churches, is a faithful interpretation of God's Canon. And the one point that Objectivism should learn from Scripture- that Man is fallen, that perfection and perfectibility are impossible- is completely lost upon Objectivists in their desire to emulate this "perfect man", this John Galt.

The funny thing is, I actually quite like Atlas Shrugged. I have vivid memories of reading through the first third of the book, from the introduction of Dagny Taggart to the destruction of Wyatt's oil fields, in the brilliant sunshine of early spring last year. I couldn't put the book down. The feeling of reading it was one of weightlessness, of absolute and utter fascination with a phenomenal story. I couldn't believe that I had waited ten years to read this book; it was one of the greatest books I had ever read. If Atlas Shrugged had limited itself and its philosophy to just that first third of the book with only minor modifications, it would have been the crowning achievement of its age. Unfortunately, the remainder of the book, while still very good, gets completely bogged down in its incredibly dense and extremely tangled philosophy and its very poor attempts at characterisation. The flaws of the book- wooden characters, stilted dialogue, ridiculously overblown speechifying, heavy-handed and wildly unsuccessful attempts at intellectual heft- bog down the second third of the book, and by the latter third, it's a serious effort to wade through the speeches in order to get to what is still an immensely exciting and interesting story.

Objectivism is a philosophy that simply cannot work in real life, just like many of the more... shall we say, esoteric forms of libertarian thinking. In its condemnation of "inferior beings", as Bob points out quite well, Objectivism opens itself to the same fatal conceit that afflicted other ideologies such as Communism and Nazism when it came to their idealistic visions of the perfectibility of Man and society. In advocating the culling of the weak, or at least of their wholesale abandonment by the strong, Objectivism is not really any different in this regard from Fascism, a philosophy that concerns itself with strength- though in the latter's case we are talking of course about the strength of the collective, not the individual.

What makes libertarianism so unique, and so compatible with the Red Pill crowd, is its emphasis on leaving people the f*** alone. Libertarianism is at its core a very simple creed. It says that as long as people are content to leave each other alone and only engage in voluntary trade, Mankind prospers and civilisation ensues, and men should be left alone to rule over themselves by whatever rules they find to be most readily acceptable. Societies that create rules that respect individual skill and achievement proper. Societies that do not, fail. We have over 7,000 years worth of evidence to show us the validity of these truths. Objectivism is most decidedly not a simple philosophy, taking a complex and often weird mix of Nietszchean nihilism and atheism, a rather extreme and abstract version of free-market economics, and libertarian ethics, sticking it all in a blender, sticking it on High, and then expecting the whole mess to somehow make sense.

In conclusion, if you want a good primer from a libertarian's perspective on Objectivism and Objectivist thinking, head over to Bob's corner of the world and take a look at his writing. He hits on some fundamental truths and interesting philosophical points that will make you sit up and think, even if, like me, you have read Rand's works (of fiction) and enjoyed them. The Manosphere is about more than just rebellion, it's about challenging yourself and your mind, and Bob's post does exactly that.