At the Mountains of Madness

Just as Robert E. Howard’s take on prehistory was closer to the truth than the one promulgated by archaeologists  in the past few decades,  H.P. Lovecraft’s views on insanity were more realistic than the common ones in American popular culture – where people are thought to be driven insane by trauma, where your mum and dad fuck you up by their actions, rather than their genes. Lovecraft worried about hereditary taints ( like being descended from from an ape or the Deep Ones), rather than experiencing poor toilet training or ‘poverty’ that entails richer material circumstances than those of ancient kings.

Lovecraft’s personal experience may have shaped his views: both of his parents died in the same asylum.  He thought the truth would drive a man crazy, but maybe it was the other way around.

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263 Responses to At the Mountains of Madness

  1. magusjanus says:

    Clearly the Trinity test awoke an Old One underneath the North American plate, who began emitting psychic waves of evil corrupting newborn DNA for decades to come leading to mass hysteria and insanity.

    Hopefully the ban on weapons testing will let him slumber again and future generations will wonder wtf happened from 1960->2020s.

  2. Coagulopath says:

    Lovecraft’s idea was to de-emphasise the human experience. The earth isn’t the center of the universe, and the human mind isn’t the center of all possible mind-spaces.

    This seems obvious now, but wasn’t in the 1920s. In most science fiction from the period, the aliens come off as slightly autistic people. There’s always the scene where the bug-eyed monster lusts after our women: human males like attractive girls, so aliens will as well, right?

    In Lovecraft’s work, the cosmos has no center, no reference point. It’s just niches. Humans have found one niche, another intelligence might exist in another, and from the other’s perspective we are different to the point of being unintelligible.

    He was very shy and afraid of disease. He was also quite a bigot, even by the standards of his day. This may have been informed by his philosophy: if humanity exists in a tiny margin of sense and order, any attempts to leave that niche will probably corrupt everything.

    Strangely, he married a Jewish woman. I guess the heart wants what the heart wants. He was born in the wrong time. If he’d lived a century later, he’d be one of those “online thought leaders” with ten thousand Youtube videos who seemingly never showers or leaves the house.

    • gothamette says:

      He married a woman?

    • gothamette says:

      I guess the heart wants what the heart wants

      Speaking of which, Martin Van Creveld’s review of Woody Allen’s book is great.

      • Frau Katze says:

        Have you read anything of Lovecraft? I have not, but I’ve heard of him. According to Wiki, he wrote “weird fiction” and horror. His work must be out of copyright, you can get it all free on Kindle. Except I already have zero time for new reading.

        I’ve never heard of weird fiction either.

        • random observer says:

          Weird fiction was just the catch-all publishing term in vogue at the time in the pulps world. A way to capture existing proto genres like horror and science fiction and emerging ones like Howard’s “sword and sorcery” approach to fantasy. It’s now broken down into seemingly numberless genres and sub genres under more familiar names. Calling something “weird fiction” now would probably mean an attempt to really remix the genres or to be consciously ultra-retro. I bet someone is doing it somewhere. Weird Tales was the house journal, though not the only pulp outlet. There’s a letter from Howard to some publisher using the term, when he observes that he retains the World and British Empire rights to his Weird Fiction.

          I’ve read most of Lovecraft. I never cared for slasher films at one end or trad, staid ghost stories at the other [with exceptions like the film The Others]. Lovecraft I have found quite unsettling – his settings, approach to the universe, characters, bizarre vocabulary choices, ability to create atmosphere. An acquired taste, though. The grisly Michael Whelan covers of 80s editions didn’t help- they gave me the wrong impression.

          There’s a literary critic called Suneel Joshi who has made HPL his main study. Joshi strikes me as a problematic-left figure but a few years ago he returned some award to the SFWA or similar body in protest at a decision to unperson Lovecraft on political grounds, so props. Joshi may be the source of the way I look at Lovecraft. Horror writing and its ancestors seem always to respond to whatever most unsettled their peoples and times- dark demonic forces, disease, extreme nature, animals or, memorably, the power of electricity. Lovecraft exists at the point in which evolution, genetics, deep time geology, and astronomy had first dethroned God and were now dethroning Man, Reason, and the very Earth itself.

          Lovecraft is the horror fiction you get when first confronted with the vast age of the world, the vast scale of the Void, the end of the uniqueness of the human Mind and Soul.

          Personally, if we turn out to be the only sentient life even in this galaxy, I still think that makes humanity mad-cool and important, but I started from a different baseline than Lovecraft.

        • Hugh Mann says:

          Lovecraft wrote in the fantasy/horror intersection, influenced by people like Poe and Lord Dunsany. Best discovered in youth, when you can forgive a sometimes clunky style because of the uniqueness of his ‘gloomiverse’, the world he created, the Old Ones, Great Cthulhu sleeping in his city under the sea, Kadath In The Cold Waste, Innsmouth and Arkham.

          Try The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward or The Dreams In The Witch-House (‘Whether the dreams brought on the fever or the fever brought on the dreams, Walter Gilman did not know’) as an opener. They’re not long.

        • Stephen St Onge says:

          I’ve read lots of Lovecraft. Sometimes he hit, sometimes he whiffed.

          Overall, I think he was a good writer, but people’s reactions to him vary a lot.

          Try “The Color Out of Space” for a good and not very long story.

  3. teageegeepea says:

    Lovecraft might have been worried about inheriting madness from his father. Perhaps he would have been more at ease if he’d known his father had syphilis rather than crazy genes.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Autistic parents leave a double scar though. You wouldn’t deny that would you?

  5. dave chamberlin says:

    I have been an ignorant dilettante following the science of human evolution for forty years and it’s been a lot of fun. Why? Because my own half baked theories have just as much a chance of being closer to the greater truth than the supposed experts. I would have been a crackpot in any other science, but not in the area of recent human evolution. Poor Milford Wolpoff was tarred and feathered for having temerity to even suggest the dastardly theory of multiregional evolution.

    All we have in any quantity from archaic humans is teeth so Wolpoff studied teeth. Guess what he found evidence for. Multiregionalism. Now genetics has come along and supposedly settled the kerfuffle but I am not so sure. Only 2 percent Neanderthal in everyone outside of sub-Saharen Africa and 3 to 6 percent Denisovan in some Austronesians. My opinions on the matter are admittedly ignorant but the experts have a long history of also being bad guessers.

    • Capra Internetensis says:

      I don’t recall Wolpoff being tarred and feathered; his theory was respectable, just ended up being wrong. It’s also the more politically correct: indigenous peoples race-mixing for a million years. As opposed to, you know, a superior race issuing from one continent and defeating all others in the struggle for existence.

      • gcochran9 says:

        I remember wolpoff arguing Stringer’s ideas were racist because of all-conquering replacement, while Wolpoff’s were racist because they suggested the possibility of deep time differences between continental races.

        Good times.

      • dave chamberlin says:

        They pulled out the racism card on Wolpoff and used that to end the careers of people who dared defend him. There is an underlying viciousness in Academia that never makes it to print but is there none the less. There isn’t just a difference in opinion, there is the termination of careers if a professor seeking tenure stands on the wrong side of the line. I agree with you Wolpoff was mostly wrong but respectable but the viciousness behind the scenes because of the axe of not getting tenure being held over everyone’s head was intense. If you could insinuate someone was racist in Academia and make it stick just a little, BAM, career over.

  6. Henry Scrope says:

    ‘They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
    They may not mean to, but they do.
    They fill you with the faults they had
    And add some extra, just for you.’

    Though Larkin also wrote:

    ‘Prison for strikers
    Bring back the cat.
    Kick out the ni**ers,
    How about that?’

    (g’s removed by myself)

    Strange man he was, complex.

    • Pincher Martin says:

      Sexual intercourse began
      In nineteen sixty-three
      (which was rather late for me) –
      Between the end of the “Chatterley” ban
      And the Beatles’ first LP.

      Up to then there’d only been
      A sort of bargaining,
      A wrangle for the ring,
      A shame that started at sixteen
      And spread to everything.

      Then all at once the quarrel sank:
      Everyone felt the same,
      And every life became
      A brilliant breaking of the bank,
      A quite unlosable game.

      So life was never better than
      In nineteen sixty-three
      (Though just too late for me) –
      Between the end of the “Chatterley” ban
      And the Beatles’ first LP.

    • Philip Neal says:

      The so-called working classes
      I want to see them starve,
      Their women stewing grasses,
      Their weekly incomes halve.

    • Philip Neal says:

      When the Russian tanks roll westwards
      What defence for you and me?
      The LSE light rifles?
      Colonel Sloman’s infantry?

  7. Freud was a crackpot, but exactly the sort we wanted at the time, to allow us to talk about sex in public and sneer at those who wouldn’t. Kinsey acquired his data, especially wrt child sexuality, in horrifying ways, but he told lots of people what they wanted to hear, so he was lionised as an intellectual. We get these theories because people want them, and call them forth from the Clevers. When the poor move to the cities, as during the Industrial Revolution, they get seen by writers and educated folks who never knew much about them when they were even hungrier and more more abused back in the rural districts. So you get a Karl Marx (or Dickens) who deplores their terrible lives and he gains a following of folks who agree that such want and deprivation have never been seen before. Except, of course, that it had always be seen before.

    I sometimes think we keep doing a bit better as we go on. I decide in the cold night that we do not.

  8. gothamette says:

    Have you ever heard of Charles Fort, author of The Book of the Damned?

  9. gothamette says:

    Hey, guys, I don’t know how to tell you this but they really have done it. The Jacobins have taken over academia.


    • Charlie says:

      Particle physicists are so smart Greg was going to put them in charge of the coronavirus response.

      It is only a small jump to having them advise us how to respond to the skinculuriots instead.

      • gcochran9 says:

        On the whole they are smart. Sensible, not so much.

        • Frau Katze says:

          Do you think this warrants a separate post? What can we do? Or do you see it as hopeless?

        • Frau Katze says:

          It’s more than academia.

          • gothamette says:

            Way more. The entire NYC cultural establishment kneeled before the looters – but that’s really outside this blog’s general focus.

            • Frau Katze says:

              It is beyond the blog’s general focus but I would welcome somewhere to discuss it. Anywhere there are a group of intelligent people. Maybe Lion?

              This is truly epic.

              I read a lot about the Russian Revolution and the rise of Stalin. I was fascinated by it at one point and read several books on it. The similarities in mindset between then and now are unmistakable.

              Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying devoted their podcast to the topic today. They lived through it at Evergreen… and now to see it writ large!

              Someone asked if they were armed (they take questions). Yes, they are. They think the high rates of gun ownership may be keeping the crazies from the suburbs.

              The situation is different in Canada. Very few people are armed. But our underclass is a lot smaller too. Trudeau joined the Dems in behaving like a fool.

              • Woof says:

                Canada has a rather high level of gun ownership by world standards, and higher than most ‘blue’ states. Any antifa jackass’s raiding a suburb would not be facing many AR-15s ,but rather slower to fire but significantly more powerful hunting rifles. That said Canadians are more docile than Americans and far more tolerant of government overreach. Trudeau is a marxist from a marxist family and acts like it. From arbitrary gun bans, to politicizing and interfering with the independence of the judiciary as well as a despotic instinct to ignore any institutional restraint on his actions, he is a modern ‘man’ of the left and too many fellow Canadians seem fine with it.

              • Frau Katze says:

                @Woof Many Canadians have hunting rifles. There’s a lot of wildlife here.

                Maybe I hang out in the wrong crowd but I have never known anyone who owned a handgun.

                I sure didn’t vote for Trudope. He is an embarrassment and an idiot.

                But he did do one thing that the US might consider: legalize marijuana. We have a single criminal code for the whole country. Apparently in the US, marijuana use is a state issue. A few states have legalized it.

                A lot of the crime blacks are involved in is related to drugs. I wonder if the crime rate would fall. I suppose there are plenty of other drugs.

            • Frau Katze says:

              From WSJ:

              Amazon Suspends Police Use of Its Facial-Recognition Technology

     said it is halting law-enforcement use of its facial-recognition technology for a year following budding congressional moves to regulate such tools amid widespread criticism about racial and gender bias.

              “We hope this one-year moratorium might give Congress enough time to implement appropriate rules, and we stand ready to help if requested,” Amazon said in a blog post.

              • Frau Katze says:

                Well that attempt to embed a tweet didn’t work I guess.

              • j says:

                Bias. There is bias. Facial Recognition Algo is said to misidentify gorillas as African humans and viceversa. It has problems to overcome its gender bias, African ladies (but not only they) are sometimes identified as men.

              • Hugh Mann says:

                Amazon don’t want the police to be able to identify the people raiding brick and mortar stores, Amazon’s competition.

              • horvact says:

                I think it’s interesting that they’re talking about giving Congress the right to implement the legislation. I think it wouldn’t be fair to the tech companies to make them deal with the rules of 50 different jurisdictions, but this is something that would normally be dealt with under state law. The fact that the data is probably going over state lines is probably enough to get the camel’s nose under the tent.

                Getting the machines to tell the difference between males, females and people of various races is a technical problem. Getting them to tell the differences between various kinds of trans people is a social problem, because some of those differences are social constructs with no observable difference. Accurate classification is inherently hard because it is a social problem.

                It’s all moot in the era of covid-19 because you can’t see anyone’s face anyway.

            • Frau Katze says:

              They’re trashing science too.

              In support of #ShutDownSTEM, @AAAS, @NewsfromScience and @ScienceMagazine are listening to members of our community who are sharing resources and discussing ways to eliminate racism and make STEM more inclusive of Black people.— Science Magazine (@ScienceMagazine) June 10, 2020


              • kn83 says:

                “No such tradition has arisen in Islam. Sunni Islam officially closed the books on even looking for loopholes centuries ago.”

                Just so you know, the whole “closed gates of ijtihad” myth has long been debunked.

        • gothamette says:

          Like a certain ethnic group that shall be nameless?

          • gcochran9 says:

            You’ve noticed?

            • gothamette says:

              Sir, literally every family gathering I’ve ever had featured this, as in,
              “How can somebody so smart be so stupid!”
              or “This will not look good for the Eskimos!”
              or “Twelve years of college and he thinks this??”
              and “They should wash his mouth out with kosher soap!”

              • gcochran9 says:

                A question I used to bat around with Henry: can you explain Jewish susceptibility to ideological craziness by their higher IQ alone, or is there more to the story?

              • gothamette says:

                Well, I do have my ideas, but no one’s paying me for them, and I expect that you’d tell me I’m full of shit.

              • gcochran9 says:

                I have not much confidence in any explanatory idea of my own, so shoot.

              • gothamette says:

                The radical loss of identity in the modern world has created many an unmoored and unsound mind. That’s as far as I’m willing to go here.

              • Bonner Tal says:

                I have a theory about that:

                TL;DR: The ability to create a lot of top down synapses quickly supercharges the ability to create just-so-stories. Which is just as useful for finding scientific theories that might turn out correct as for coming up with reasons to believe almost anything.

              • Dieter Kief says:

                High IQ allows to stay clear of the physical side of reality. No bodily experiences, no hardships, no aching back caused by physical labor – and all that supports a mentality that is leaning towards pure intellectual constructs. Which is nice at times, but then, it has it’s downsides too.Pilipp roth writes with a very deep – almost tender – respect for his father, who was a butcher who did physical labor – maybe Roth catched this dynamic – I think this scene is in The Human Stain.
                What I say goes along well with your remarks, gothamette, and with Bonner Thals too.

              • David says:

                “A question I used to bat around with Henry: can you explain Jewish susceptibility to ideological craziness by their higher IQ alone, or is there more to the story.”

                From my extremely empirical perspective of having watched Woodie Allen’s “Annie Hall”, a collection of jewish jokes (hilarious!) and read Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, you could try to blame higher neuroticism [citation needed]!

              • saintonge235 says:

                “A question I used to bat around with Henry: can you explain Jewish susceptibility to ideological craziness by their higher IQ alone, or is there more to the story?”

                High IQ, plus I think normal human tribalism.

                Very high IQ people get contemptuous of others, who can’t see what they do. They start believing things just because because other people don’t believe said things. It makes them feel good to think themselves superior. And they drift into believing that the ideas they manipulate in their heads are better than crude physical reality and more likely true.

                I’ve seen similar attitudes in high-IQ non-Jews.

            • Tom Hart says:

              “A question I used to bat around with Henry: can you explain Jewish susceptibility to ideological craziness by their higher IQ alone, or is there more to the story?”

              The Jewish tradition of interpreting and reinterpreting their scriptures, often seeking loopholes, led to a particular mode of thought that utilises high intelligence to find novel interpretations of documents. I once lived near a Jewish school that wanted to hold classes on Saturdays, like other British schools, so they found an exception in scripture that allowed Jews to work in a fortified compound on the Sabbath; the school strung wire and built a low wall round itself to become a “fort”—and so lessons could go on.

              Playing with words in this way is great for being a lawyer or finding useful ways to get round strict religious laws or becoming a comedian, but it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with reality—or rather it only has to do with perceived social reality. A very intelligent person—intelligent people like novelty and are open to new ideas—who mainly applies their intelligence to verbal interpretation is going to come up with brilliant, plausible ideas that are also hopelessly wrong.

              It strikes me that the Marxist dialectic shows a strong strain of this kind of scriptural interpretation and re-interpretation: Marx famously claimed to have stood Hegel‘s thought the right way up; actually, what he’d done was turn it upside down. The Marxist dialectic produces clever interpretations that, when exposed to empirical test, prove to be moonshine. The entire ideology is, however, captivating to many intelligent people and appears to be a very rational.

              If you’re very intelligent, very good with words, and also love playing with novel interpretations that aren’t strongly tied to empirical reality then—sooner or later—you’re going to come up with very clever interpretations that are convincing but also perverse and/or disconnected from reality.

              • gothamette says:

                Good point. Almost certainly it favored certain mutations, although this is above my pay grade.

                But — the crazy was kept in check by the religion. When the belief in traditional religion shriveled up, the crazy took over.

              • Frau Katze says:

                No such tradition has arisen in Islam. Sunni Islam officially closed the books on even looking for loopholes centuries ago.

                It has not been closed in Shia Islam. But the tradition of powerful Ayatollahs is a brake, although Ayatollahs may differ in certain cases.

                Islam is extremely rule-bound, worse than Judaism.

                So we can’t say a rule-bound religion will necessarily lead to the situation like the Jews, with intelligence being favoured.

          • dave shamberlin says:

            Like a whole generation of fairly bright people that were sloppy with their thinking, and yes many of them were jewish. Fine description of their plight by Cochran, “Smart, sensible not so much.” The lesson to be learned is very bright people can be full of shit. Maybe even more so. The best analogy I can think of is some people get fat and lazy mentally and you can too and no mirror will tell you differently. Mental exercise isn’t just problem solving it’s remaining humble and open minded. The bright aren’t worse true believers in nonsense, they are better ones.

          • Philip Neal says:

            Do you think there is anything in my suggestion that wokeness is a variant of observance? “But trans men don’t menstruate.” What a crass thing to say.. You might as well say “But electricity isn’t fire”. Believing isn’t what you do with it, observing is wht you do with it.

            And am I right in thinking that halakhah does not permit statues of any human being?

    • rgressis says:

      Note that they wrote, “A note from the authors: We understand that there are members of our communities who are engaged in time-sensitive activities due to COVID-19 and that these are a matter of life and death. We do not see continuing these activities as being in conflict with the spirit of the call below.”

      It’s not clear to me why they exempted people research c19 from the strike. Public health experts have already told us that racism is a greater public health crisis than c19, and that, consequently, protesting c19 is more urgent than taking measures to prevent its spread. But: this is clearly a way to protest racism. So why should people researching c19 be exempted from the call to solidarity?

    • Frau Katze says:

      That’s not new. It was used at Evergreen College. Likely older than that.

    • Abelard Lindsey says:

      Do you think the Chinese scientific establishment is going on strike for black people?

      • Frau Katze says:


        Elsewhere in this post I mention the problems caused in the 1960s by draft for the Vietnam war. Ironically, I’m listening to an interview with a man who teaches English there. He is explaining how the Vietnamese are doing with Covid.

        Not quite as well as Taiwan or South Korea, but pretty well.

        They learned from SARS-1, including developing a more cautious attitude to China.

        We had SARS-1 in Canada but learned not a thing. Trudeau didn’t ban flights from China for a long time.

  10. david says:

    Agrarian altruism exploited by neolithic selfishness

  11. Lior says:

    I’m still waiting for the sci-fi where an evil scientist creates clones of himself who creates clones of themselfs because of the ‘high heritability of wanting to clone yourself’.

  12. István Nagy says:

    Hi Greg,
    What is your opinion on Cell editorial?
    “We are the editors of a science journal, committed to publishing and disseminating exciting work across the biological sciences. We are 13 scientists. Not one of us is Black….
    Science has a racism problem…”

    • gcochran9 says:

      Most scientists would hire a purple alien if he could do the work – which may be a mistake. who trusts those guys? They might be people eaters!

      It’s a race problem, not a racism problem.

      • István Nagy says:

        Those guys seem to be illiterates on this topic,They obviously missed even David Reich:
        “I have deep sympathy for the concern that genetic discoveries about differences among populations may be misused to justify racism. But it is precisely because of this sympathy that I am worried that people who deny the possibility of substantial biological differences among populations across a range of traits are digging themselves into an indefensible position, one that will not survive the onslaught of science.
        The average time separation between pairs of human populations since they diverged from common ancestral populations, which is up to around fifty thousand years for some pairs of non-African populations, and up to two hundred thousand years or more for some pairs of sub-Saharan African populations, is far from negligible on the time scale of human evolution. If selection on height and infant head circumference can occur within a couple of thousand years, it seems a bad bet to argue that there cannot be similar average differences in cognitive or behavioral traits. Even if we do not yet know what the differences are, we should prepare our science and our society to be able to deal with the reality of differences instead of sticking our heads in the sand and pretending that differences cannot be discovered. “

        • gothamette says:

          I have deep sympathy for the concern that genetic discoveries about differences among populations may be misused to justify racism. But it is precisely because of this sympathy that I am worried that people who deny the possibility of substantial biological differences among populations across a range of traits are digging themselves into an indefensible position, one that will not survive the onslaught of science.

          It can survive the onslaught of science if they burn it all down.

          In the US, that is. Science will continue to slog on, just not here. Guess where?

      • István Nagy says:

        Nature went full retard, too:
        “The killing of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police department, and President Donald Trump’s crushing of protests across the United States, has angered the world, and led to marches in cities globally. world, and led to marches in cities globally.
        Black people are more likely than white people to die at the hands of the police; more likely to become unemployed; and, as COVID-19 has laid bare, more likely to be burdened with ill health. Black people are similarly marginalized in most nations where they are in the minority.
        We recognize that Nature is one of the white institutions that is responsible for bias in research and scholarship. The enterprise of science has been — and remains — complicit in systemic racism, and it must strive harder to correct those injustices and amplify marginalized voices.
        At Nature, we will redouble our efforts to do so, and commit to establishing a process that will hold us to account on the many changes we need to make.
        In addition, we commit to producing a special issue of the journal, under the guidance of a guest editor, exploring systemic racism in research, research policy and publishing — including investigating Nature’s part in that.

        • Dieter Kief says:

          This Nature quote of yours (thank you) is not too far away from the Cultural Revolution and the Mao-couple.

        • Frau Katze says:

          I can’t stand reading anymore of this. It’s unbelievable.

        • rgressis says:

          What’s funny is that these Nature editors, and almost every group that makes public statements like this, don’t seem to realize what they’re actually committing themselves to. These passages from the article, “Anti-Racism in Higher Education: A Model for Change”, by Allison N. Ash, Redgina Hill, Stephon Risdon, and Alexander Jun are more to the point:

          “Institutional leaders must consider a change from White people filling the overwhelming majority of the highest positions of leadership to increasing the percentage of people of color holding these leadership positions. Throughout this paper we explain this concept as “sharing power.” … The idea of sharing power implies that currently, there is an owner of that power. In other words, proposing that power should be shared across racial lines implies that Whites own the power and should, therefore, benevolently open the leadership doors to allow people of color to enter. To share implies entitlement (i.e., I will graciously give you part of what is actually mine), which does not interrogate the prevailing assumptions of existing power. … we use the term share to highlight that the surrendering and sharing of power, though not a historical practice among Whites, is necessary for institutional equity and inclusivity.” (18-19)

          Notice the thinking in this paragraph: (!) whites have the power; (2) however, they do not hold it justly; (3) consequently, saying that whites should share power is a problematic term–it implies that they should give some of what is rightfully theirs to others. (4) Since it’s not rightfully theirs, though, then we shouldn’t describe what we’re asking for as asking for whites to share power; instead, we should ask for whites to surrender their power. (5) Finally, since their power was not rightfully gained, whites who do surrender their power shouldn’t be praised.

          [Note, some of this thinking is not explicit ((2) and (5), for example, I have inferred from their line “to share implies entitlement”), but I think the way I’ve put it is clearer than the original work and captures the sentiment. (You can read the whole article at]

          Academics don’t know this yet, but the model in store for them is the same as what’s happening with the newspapers: the whites who are in charge must step down. And when they step down, they will not be praised for their selflessness, any more than you would praise a robber who returns your stuff for doing the right thing.

          What about the owners and shareholders? Will Sulzberger give up ownership of the New York Times, no compensation required, to Hannah Nicole-Jones? Will Tim Cook freely give all his Apple shares to black Apple employees? Of course not. (This is why marxists like Adolph Reed thinks that the social justice movement is merely the left-wing of neoliberalism.)

          • gothamette says:

            Hey guys, a revolution is upon us. Don’t laugh, and don’t tell me I’m exaggerating, OK? You and I can disagree on the edges (I happen to think Freud wrote brilliant criticisms of liberal society; he was no fan) but that really doesn’t matter now, does it?

            Not only will they destroy STEM, but they are merrily destroying every cultural institution in the country. The blog-master and the people here may not care much about ballet or symphony orchestras, or museums, but isn’t it nice to live in a society that has them?

            In ten years, they will all be transformed in the image of our new masters.

            • Frau Katze says:

              No, you’re not exaggerating. The servile response – we are so sorry, please take over – is staggering.

              This reminds me of the first wave of Marxists and other extremists of the 1960s. The people running the universities folded like cheap shirts.

              This was when all the “studies” programs were started. There was no resistance. I remember wondering at the time why they caved so easily.

              • gothamette says:

                I remember wondering at the time why they caved so easily.*

                Because they agree with the Jacobins.

              • Frau Katze says:

                @gothamette It must be. Private universities like Harvard succumbed too.

                Of course, the problems in the 1960s were far worse than now, with respect to the blacks and the war in Vietnam. The draft for the war was a strong driver. The protests finally fizzled when the draft ended.

                The situation in the deep south was pretty bad, according to what I read. It wasn’t that violent in the south, as long as blacks “knew their place.” I dated an American man for a while at time. He came to Canada to escape the draft. He said it would be risky to drive through a small southern town with New York plates.

                Still, the ultimate and unsolvable problem, lower IQ and higher tendency to violence for blacks will never go away.

                There was a lot more open racism against other people then. But groups like the Chinese and dot Indians overcame that and have assimilated.

                Not sure about the feather Indians. They are the worst off group in Canada. I think they are brighter than blacks from a IQ standpoint, but the tendency to alcoholism and addiction to other drugs cancel this out. I believe (and have noted elsewhere) that this is genetic and based on late exposure to alcohol. We see a similar (but not as bad) in northern Europeans.

            • Frau Katze says:

              It may be the end of this blog too.

              • gothamette says:


              • gothamette says:

                Sorry, you’re Canadian.


              • Frau Katze says:

                @gothamette Confusion caused by not knowing what I was responding to.

                This current situation has one aspect, a total and complete rejection of race based differences, especially for IQ. The black activists are very clear. Holding such beliefs may become totally verboten.

                But this blog has discussed this in the past. If the activists find out about this, they’ll pressure WordPress to shut it down. They shut a couple of other blogs down not long ago.

              • István Nagy says:

                Please check Eric Weinstein’s thougts on this topic:

              • Frau Katze says:

                @Istvan He’s another candidate for being shut down.. Especially so, given how censorious Youtube is.

                It is not a matter of him being right or wrong. The mob is out for blood. He’s saying things the mob doesn’t want to hear.

                Maybe I’m too pessimistic. I don’t know.

              • gothamette says:

                No, you’re not being too pessimistic. This blog could def be shut down.

                Wix and Weebly have very reasonable plans, $144 per year. Make your own website. Or just pay Godaddy.

                Of course, at some point they will come under pressure to shut down crimethink websites, in which case we’ll all have to go to Unz and share quarters w/the Holocaust deniers.

            • rgressis says:

              Despite what I wrote above, I do think things will not go as you imagine.

              First, here’s my general historiographical orientation: in the medium run, events surprise you. I didn’t expect the coronavirus to change the landscape; I didn’t expect Donald Trump to become president; I didn’t expect the 2008 financial crisis; I didn’t expect 9/11. Each of these black swan events changed the trajectory of American society. It’s easy to expect these putsches to continue apace, forever, but I’d be extremely surprised if this was the new forever.

              Second, though most of our media institutions are becoming more and more overtly partisan (thanks, mainly, to cable TV changing the network model and the Internet changing the print model), and academia is stifling and purging dissent to become even more monocultural than it already is, and K-12 institutions are gradually transforming into parochial schools whose new religious mandate is to educate the heathens into the Bad News of antiracism, and the biggest and most profitable corporations have determined that the best way to make money is to inform their consumers that they, the corporations, are now the patrons of radicalism, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a rest of the country.

              The more there becomes a monolithic purity culture that requires obeisance, the more that a market opens up for people alienated from it. For this alternative to go away, there would have to be fairly radical changes in American society. First, the first amendment would have to be functionally overturned. Government agencies would have to, say, dismantle Fox News, Breitbart, etc., and imprison their most prominent employees. Second, private and charter schools would have to be made illegal (which is, in fact, part of the Black Lives Matter charter–see, and maybe even religious schools too. Third, faculty autonomy would have to be officially scrapped (i.e., faculty would be told that they have to teach the following antiracist resources, and have the following antiracist orienation, in each of their classes). It would take a LOT for that to happen.

              Most important, as I wrote in my previous comment, the ultimate enemy of antiracism is capitalism–the idea that individuals should be allowed to own productive capital. Many of its advocates are quite explicit that racism exists only because of capitalism and that, as long as capitalism exists, racism will exist. But right now they’re not even trying to get the capitalists to step down, let alone criminalize the productive ownership of capital. However, it will be a great deal more difficult for them to convince Jeff Bezos not only to give up his position to a person of color, but also for him to shift control of Amazon over to the workers.

              And if they do get to the point of trying this, other countries can act as repositories for US citizens to flee to. Even when half the world was communist, half the world wasn’t. It would be very difficult to convince all people in the entire world to take on this project at the same time. I don’t see China or Russia, for example, being very subject to this kind of pressure. If the US decides to voluntarily implode, they would be happy to fill the void.

              Keep in mind, moreover, that purity cultures eat their own. You can already see formerly prominent leftists beginning to be sloughed off by the movement. Not only are white editors being forced to resign en masse, but you’re getting public notes of dissent. Matt Yglesias tweeted that he now takes the critiques of college culture more seriously. Katie Herzog and Jesse Singal are on the outs with the left. The economically radical left–Matt Taibbi, Michael Tracey, Glenn Greenwald, Adolph Reed, Chapo Trap House, Red Scare, Ben Burgis–are at odds with the social justice left. To say nothing of the right and the center.

              So all these factors leads me to think that things won’t unfold as your worst nightmares foretell. The worse academia gets, the more that private alternatives will arise to supplant it, and the more that red states will defund their humanities and social science programs. The more that completely sensible opinion is socially shunned and punished with unemployment, the more that people will move away from the most extreme states. The more that police are defunded, abolished, or replaced with community alternatives, the worse that crime will get, and the more people will flee, not to mention that more that black community members will demand the return of policing (this is what happened in the 70s and 80s. See And so on.

              It’s going to be bad for at least 3 months, probably a year, but it would take a lot for a calamity to occur.

              • gothamette says:

                You’re all over the place. You begin by outlining the sheer physical, institutional difficulty of “the movement” to take over all of America, you describe how the Jacobins (that’s what I call them) are phonies because they’ve given up even trying to dethrone capitalism – and then you end by saying, “Well, even if they succeed, Americans will have other countries to flee too.”

                I don’t understand your point.

              • gothamette says:

                You should check out Spencer Wells’ twitter feed. He’s on a 24/7 rant against the US, thinks it’s going to blow up any minute now.

                Wells puts out podcasts with Razib Khan.

              • Frau Katze says:

                I think it’s too early to know what will happen but I trend pessimistic. Maybe you’re too young. You didn’t include the collapse of the USSR in your list of unanticipated events, so that makes you a lot younger than me.

                I am old enough to remember the 1960s radicals. They succeeded all too well.

              • gothamette says:

                You should check out Spencer Wells’ twitter feed. HAe’s on a 24/7 rant against the US, thinks it’s going to blow up any minute now.

                Wells puts out podcasts with Razib Khan.

              • gothamette says:

                Sorry for the double post. I don’t know what happened.

                Of course, none of us knows how this will pan out.

                After thinking about it for a while, I have to admit you’re right about this: the white Antifa types are revolutionary Commies, and mentally unstable, but the BLM guys aren’t anti-capitalist – they just want half the spoils. It’s weird.

              • saintonge235 says:

                “However, it will be a great deal more difficult for them to convince Jeff Bezos not only to give up his position to a person of color, but also for him to shift control of Amazon over to the workers.”

                True, but it will be easy for someone to get Jeff Bezos to pretend to give up his position, while continuing to run things.

                Still, ol’ Jeff may lose his wealth, not to mention his life. But someone else will get his position. All egalitarian utopias become dictatorships. And from the best of motives!

            • saintonge235 says:

              Well of course they will be transformed.

              The Left is a movement that wishes to destroy Western Civilization, seize power, and replace West Civ with something else. That is all it has ever been, and all it can be.

          • gothamette says:

            Academics don’t know this yet, but the model in store for them is the same as what’s happening with the newspapers: the whites who are in charge must step down. And when they step down, they will not be praised for their selflessness, any more than you would praise a robber who returns your stuff for doing the right thing.

            Well, yeah. That’s also true of the New York Philharmonic. They won’t be satisfied until 50% of the musicians are black. And the conductor, of course. And the conductor won’t be able to conduct. They are notoriously dictatorial.

            • rgressis says:

              Re: my point above, I was just saying that a lot more has to happen before our neo-Maoism gets us to true Maoist dangers. It’s highly unlikely. But: even if the highly unlikely comes to pass, there should still be time to flee to other countries, some of which will not themselves be neo-Maoist.

              • gothamette says:

                What other countries? If the US goes down, it takes a lot of other countries with it.

                I don’t see the current situation as Maoist anyway – I see it as late 70s Italy, Red Brigades. Does anyone else remember that?

                I traveled to Italy a couple times in the early 80s as the country was recovering. It was eerie: you’d see phalanxes of heavily armed soldiers, all handsome as Omar Sharif, guarding things. And then around them the ruins of this amazing beauty.

                Well, at least Italy once had a high culture.

          • Frau Katze says:

            Are Chinese and (dot) Indians considered white? There was plenty of them around even back in the early 70s when I was at university.

            I’m told that the large number of Chinese immigrants in Vancouver, BC have resulted in them dominating many STEM classes at the University of BC. Whites are a minority already.

            There aren’t many blacks here, a few directly from Africa, where they were likely high status ones.

            Canada has always used a point system for evaluating potential immigrants. Apparently that’s not the case in the US. Of course, the US has higher status, with ivy league universities and more opportunity for research. Not to mention lower taxes.

      • gothamette says:

        The rot has extended to chemistry. Lubos Motl wrote about a European chem journal that apologized for running an opinion article opposing the SJW madness. I can’t be bothered to look it up, just go to his blog.

      • gothamette says:

        He? He? He?


  13. Warren Notes says:

    I hate the term “Tipping Point,” as much as the author,,but “critical mass” is an objective reality. Using that as a metaphor, the bomb trigger was something inherent in the Cornavirus experience combined with the cluster of videos deemed relevant to the then-nascent BLM movement. Psychologically speaking, of course. But where were the fuel rods gathered?

    There are three answers i see as most likely. I apologize in advance if they don’t sound original.

    First – demographics is destiny.

    Second – most newspapers aren’t thick enough to keep the wind out of a door crack these days, and most have a staff smaller than a landscaping crew. There are no classified ads, no stock quotes, no Major Hoople, no Heloise Hints, and no Ann Landers. They have to pander to sell, which means taking a stand against a mob mentality is O-U-T out. TV news is also a disaster, Walter Cronkite took eons to get up the guts to even curl his lip about the Vietnam War. If he was around today, he’d knee jerk so hard he’d kick off the top off of his desk.

    Meanwhile, we’re endlessly told about what is “trending” on Twitter. Never mind that a Sirius / XM talk show limited to paid subscribers can create a “trend” with a mumbled suggestion. Our current President is the first to speak of a “silent majority” since Nixon, the President who not so coincidentally was in power during his coming-of-age years. For most, the term “Silent Majority” probably conjures up visions of Hee Haw or Lawrence Welk rerun viewers. Maybe so, to some extent, but remember – they’re not contributing to “trending,” because they’re busy working instead of browsing and pecking at their phones. So now they’re REALLY silent.

    We’ve been told that “social media” and the internet has a democratizing effect that the old system didn’t have. Maybe it did, for a moment. but if that happens now, it’s like one voice of reason trying to talk over the screams of a mob. And – corporate censorship on social media platforms is now feeling its new muscles like a horny adolescent boy.

    Third – When we see disruption and chaos in Venezuela or other zues abroad, we routinely attribute it to a “power grab” and the related problem of “corruption.” Do we not see the same thing in important sectors of our own society? I suggest that corruption exists in academia. I tell my children – don’t waste your time asking the average Professor how you can get a job. He or she probably hasn’t had to find one in 10-50 years, and has tenure. Their experience on that question is lacking. They now spend their time as propagandists This applies to the classroom (a place they prefer to avoid) as well as “research.” A perusal of the TITLES of research publications in certain disciplines will leave the sour reek of propaganda in your nostrils. While the U.S. enforces almost no community standards on pornography, they’re very strictly enforced in academia.

    These developments have had a while to slow cook, and the stew stinks like a police car on fire.

    • Frau Katze says:

      South America had seemed to be improving, at least compared to when i was young (‘60s-70s). Venezuela took a heavy blow when the price of oil tanked. Mind you, it all goes back to Chavez taking power.

      Either way, we could easily become corrupt too. And we already are, to some extent. Mass immigration brings in people from corrupt cultures, to make matters worse.

      Will a coronavirus spike be blamed on the riots or on easing up on the lockdown?

    • Panafancypants says:

      I’m 32. There’s been a slow demoralizing propaganda spread around millenials for a few years–everything sucks! Boomers suck! You’ll never buy a house! Don’t have kids! Everything is racist! This combined with people sitting on their butts for most of the day set it off. Now, you can be part of history (and interact with others). I think there’s a kind of religious aspect to it too. Most of my really kooky far-left friends were raised by religious parents, but since they can’t engage in religious behavior and keep their ideals, it gets pushed into mass popular movements. Others are just “hail ants” types lol

      • Hugh Mann says:

        Panafancypants is right, it’s non-stop warfare against young whites by our Emotional Engineers – don’t have kids, eat bugs, live in a pod! Having mortally weakened Christianity, they’ve brilliantly harnessed the religious urges in non-religious kids – taboo, casting out of the congregation, Original White Sin, “I confess to you Almighty Floyd, and to you my brothers and sisters …”

        But outside the West, in the world that’s not gripped by the Great Awokening, China is still spreading her influence, and her manufacturing is now . Both they and Russia must be looking on with a certain amount of schadenfreude as the US implodes. China’s manufacturing output is almost twice that of the US.

        The Russians have been there and done that, of course, in the 1990s. Where’s America’s Putin?

        • Ilya says:

          Very well put. As an aside, I just used the same graphic yesterday, completely coincidentally, when trying to illustrate to my friend how puny Russian industrial capacity has become.

          • NobodyExpectsThe... says:

            But the problem is, that quite a high share of that tiny Russian industrial output, is made of particularly “pointy and razor sharp” things.

            The kind not even the “mighty” Chinese have, and they really want to get their hands on.

            Really wise to push the Ruskies into their arms, Obama, Hillary et al.

            • John says:

              Look, we are a global hegemon. As such we need Russia as our enemy in order to control the Europeans. Without the Russians as an enemy, NATO would cease to function and we would have no reason to be there. Also at the time of Bill Clinton, where we did most of the damage to the Russian relationship, China was not as big an issue. The goal that that time was to eventually break up Russia to smaller countries fighting each other.
              Today, while there are smaller items here and there that the Chinese still lack, for the most part, they have what the Russians have. Even for jet engine development, where arguably the Russians are still ahead, China have a very large number of Russians working for them to develop their numerous jet engine models. In a decade, China will be ahead of the Russians in this area, with or without the blessings from Russia.

              • erewhon says:

                Russia is country of 140 million people, pittance in today’s world.
                It is not going to be competitor of China and it would be suicidal for them to try.
                Realistically, future of Russia is to be Chinese Canada – and there is nothing bad about it. The Chinese are not going to demand that Russians have gay parades in every town and kneel before black drug addicts and criminals.

    • gothamette says:

      Great analysis. And I personally do believe in tipping points.

      One point of disagreement: something inherent in the Cornavirus experience

      Really? South Korea and Israel and New Zealand seem to have come through “the Coronavirus experience” unscathed. Would that “Cornavirus experience” in the US have something to do with the Buffoon-in-Chief?

      • Warren Notes says:

        I don’t think it can be attributed to any one cause. South Korea – very homogeneous population. You had the fuel, but not enough oxygen. We had both. Israel – they have the screws locked down tight, I think. They can’t play around, Too many wolves at the door. New Zealand – also unique and not very huuuuuge.

        Completely agree with Panafancypants. The decline of religion, or at least the concurrent decline in peer pressure to at least give lip service to its values, has created a vacuum. There are other trends, though, WITHIN the major religions. The Catholic problem is obvious – the exposure of long-standing homoerotic havens within the Church. On the Protestant side, we see a plethora of mega-churches and one-shot “nondenominational” churches that would require multidimensional analyses of doctrine, philosophy, and attitudes to even begin to understand. The traditional “mainline” Protestant churches once so familiar to every small town seem to be knocked back on their heels, wondering whether to imitate or go down with the ship. The old main-lines also got caught by surprise by the rapid public acceptance (ultimately, apathy) over gay marriage. This is just my impression, it may not be as bad as I think – I haven’t looked into it very deeply. But it certainly seems like “church shopping” now has a lot more to do with entertainment and finding some people to take the kids off of your hands for a while. Religion doesn’t get the press it used to, but these are issues that are earth-shattering for a lot of people. The younger generation seems to be avoiding the angst by adopting “virtues” determined by…I don’t know what, exactly, but it’s definitely got a “holier than thou” flavor. And they can sleep in on Sunday.

      • Woof says:

        Tipping points are a thing, I remember reading that it only took 25% of the population to become true believers in something to swing the debate in their favor. The problem in the USA is that there are 25% on the looney left and 25% on the nationalist right, likely leading to some sort of radical split.
        As for blaming Trump for Covid-19 it just seems like a cheap shot. He shut down travel from China early, despite screams from the Democrats, and the hardest hit states all seem to be Democrat run. Cuomo in New York mandated that nursing homes admit people with active Covid-19 and he is directly responsible for hundreds and possibly thousands of deaths in his state alone.

        • gothamette says:

          I’ve been commenting here for months. I’m not going to recount everything I’ve said about the little Trump did that was good, and the lot he did that was bad. It wouldn’t make any difference anyway.

          Cuomo is a murderer. Happy?

          • Woof says:

            I was responding to your comment in this thread. The instinct to reflexively blame Trump for everything wrong with the Covid-19 response is both unfair and intellectually lazy. Most of the decisions that save or kill people are made at the state level and some key Democrat governors and officials have proven rather stupid (or evil) so far. Aside from Cuomo, Whitmer in Michigan also forced nursing homes to take Covid patients and, unlike Cuomo, has refused to rescind the order. Pennsylvania’s Democrat Secretary of Health, Rachel Levine gave similar orders, but not before removing dear old mommy to safety first. Thousands died because of these idiots.

            • Panafancypants says:

              I get a weird John Money type off Rachel Levine. I don’t like him at all.

              Almost all the Covid deaths I know personally of are people in nursing homes. My aunt was another one, and she caught it from the hospital after falling. One hospital didn’t even want to try treating her because she was recovering from lung cancer.

              I remember when this started some people called it the “boomer remover” but now those are the same ones that freak out if somebody’s nose slips out of a mask but somehow support mass protests, too. My in-laws were on severe lockdown but don’t care if the wrong kinds of people get sick. I’m not sure if stress tends to make people make wacky decisions, or if it shows who they are, or a little of both.

              Sorry for the random comment. Everyone is driving me nuts right now 😂

            • gothamette says:

              “The instinct to reflexively blame Trump for everything wrong with the Covid-19 response is both unfair and intellectually lazy. ”

              As is the instinct to remove him of all responsibility. I hate them all.

              • Woof says:

                Please point to anything posted that sought to absolve Trump of “all responsibility”. Save your hate for those who used their authority to put active Covid sufferers among those most likely to die from the disease. Cuomo, Whitmer and Levine should be indicted for actions any reasonable person could see would lead to the death of thousands of innocent seniors.

  14. Dieter Kief says:

    Albania – neighboring Italy, with a fifth of its population working in’ in Italy (lots (if not most of them) in Northern Italy) – is doing well too – but nobody notices – Albania has 11 deaths per million- take that (and don’t forget it – it is not just to ignore Albania – they’ve been doing CO-19 wonders there – these are some brave people in a very small and poor country).

  15. Jeff says:

    Their material circumstances are clearly superior to even ancient kings, but might that sometimes be offset with increased exposure to dangerous pollutants? Surely even families with three-car garages living near the leaded ethanol plant could face an elevated risk of cognitive damage, right?

    • Occam's cousin says:

      That’s too far fetched an explanation. Things are much simpler: greed. You don’t compare yourself to people that lived 50 or 30 generations back, not even 2 generations back. It’s all about relative wealth.
      That’s why people rage over virtual stuff in videogames; because everything else is taken for granted.

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  18. Frau Katze says:

    Anyone heard of this phenomenon?

    “But a shadow looms over the global race to develop a pandemic vaccine: a little-known phenomenon called antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE), also known as disease enhancement or immune enhancement.”

    The antibodies create a situation in which for some people, a later infection is not only stopped by the antibodies, it is even worse than what one would expect without a vaccine. It has been noted for SARS-2 and MERS. Search for SARS-1 vaccine was stopped after ADE was observed.

  19. iffen says:

    Everyone seems to be concentrating on the downside: no comedy, no drama, no science, no art. But look at the upside: history will have a golden age as we finally have books detailing the African civilizations that were contemporaries of ancient Greece. There will be an entire field devoted to revealing that the Nubia was the real civilization while the Egyptians were the flash in the pan for a couple hundred years.

    • Frau Katze says:

      Currently the claim (no joke) is that the ancient Egyptians were black.

      • random observer says:

        I can’t remember if it was Black Athena itself or some other writing, but there were two especially interesting theses in the 80s-90s-

        1) The Egyptians were black, the Greeks were just a branch of the Egyptians, therefore the greeks were black, Aristotle was black, and so on. You can still find people in academia who, while we all by now realize that Greek statues were originally painted and have a good idea of their appearance, think that any preference for the unadorned survivals is white racism rooted in the racist Enlightenment. Or, perhaps, that the many bronzes prove that the Romans were black.

        2) The Egyptians were black, Moses could pass for an Egyptian, therefore the Jews were black, therefore all the Biblical figures were black. I think this was at least once linked to thesis 1 by noting that since none of the melange of peoples in the hellenistic middle east every commented on any dramatic visual difference, then the Greeks and Romans must have all been black.

        A year or so ago when Cheddar Man was discovered and found to be 10% of the ancestral DNA of British white people, many concluded that this meant that West Africans not descended from him in the last ten or so millennia must be his heirs and have every right to move to the UK. I drew the opposite conclusion, or none.

        Somehow I can’t imagine the ghosts of the pharaohs regarding all this in a positive light, though they’d probably be more concerned by the state of their tombs.

        As for the rest of this thread, it sounds as though the Xer leftists I knew on campus 30 years ago have finally triumphed, and indeed become the Girondins of their own revolution.

        • Frau Katze says:

          I had forgotten about Black Athena. You are correct.

          Modern Egyptians have tried to set the record straight but they can be safely ignored.

        • Frau Katze says:

          Check out the modern group “Black Hebrew Israelites.” The MSM never talks about them. I heard about them on video by a black Christian, who specializes in trying to get them to become Christians.

      • gcochran9 says:

        About 10% Nubian ancestry, rest similar to the Levant.

        • Frau Katze says:

          It varies… look at the leader of Sudan (further south). He looks about half black.

          • gcochran9 says:

            I’m talking about Egyptians circa 2k years ago. we have the DNA. Today, more like 20% Sub-Saharan ancestry, half Nubian, half West African.

            • Frau Katze says:

              OK. Makes sense. T

            • dave chamberlin says:

              There’s a book in those numbers. But no one wants to hear the results, and it isn’t just Egypt. Genes of greater disease resistance beat back genes of higher intelligence. Oh lordy, censor that man! Get him! We can’t speak that here. bththththth .

              • Frau Katze says:

                Why would genes of lesser intelligence displace genes of resistance? Admittedly, genes of resistance were required. Yellow fever, hookworm (according to “The Germ of Laziness”), malaria – three diseases that sub-Saharan Africans had to live with. Why would this lower intelligence?

                I’m asking in good faith, I honestly don’t know.

                That hookworm was very bad for the whites in the deep south. It incapacitated them, pretty much, creating “white trash” and the word “cracker.” Slaves or not, they could feel better than the white trash.

                It’s unfortunate that they’re getting poorer results with Covid, likely because they’re more susceptible to the whole suite of conditions called metabolic syndrome (overweight, type 2 diabetes, etc.) It must be disheartening. So they’re blaming that on systematic racism.

              • gcochran9 says:

                Fairly often, a gene variant that makes you better at X makes you worse at Y.

              • dave chamberlin says:

                To answer Frau Katze evolution pushes in the direction that rewards it. Everyone assumes high intelligence has always been beneficial and the push is steady and constant in that particular direction but that isn’t so. In different times and different places evolution pushes real hard on gene alleles that give advantages to surviving diseases. It sure rewarded the ashkenazi jews to be smarter but the hard scrabble dirt farmers not so much. At least back to the time of the Phoenicians and probably back to the time of the Yamnaya expansion new terrible diseases were brought back to the European sphere by traders who ventured into equatorial regions and people’s genetic background radically changed. Especially in those areas below the frost line like Egypt. Their overall composition changed becoming more sub Saharan African because other genes hitchhiked on the genes that gave greater disease resistance It is not a radical notion to think that if sub Saharan Africans have a lower IQ than a population that is transformed over 2000 years to be more African would not be as smart. It is not a far out there hypothesis that evolution pushed harder on intelligence above the frost line than below it over the course of many many centuries. More kids being raised to adulthood and forced to leave the family farm and to survive on their own in the growing urban areas should have pushed harder on a higher IQ above the frost line than below it. Recent human evolution is an unwanted truth.

              • Frau Katze says:

                @David I was thinking about evolving in a place with a lot of disease. Anything that threatened your ability to fight off the diseases would quickly turn fatal. Losing a few IQ points wouldn’t have the same urgency.

        • gothamette says:

          I’m surprised it was even that high.

          They claim Nefertiti was black. I mean, look at her. She’s as white as Monica Bellucci, for crying out loud!

          • gothamette says:

            Sorry, that pic is of a reproduction. Pictures of the actual bust are here:


          • John Massey says:

            We don’t have to guess at the skin colour of ancient Egyptians, or even need genomes to tell us – they very obligingly left us eye witness statements in the form of paintings; frescoes, and lots of them. They painted Hittites as white, subSaharan Africans as black, and themselves as reddish brown.

            Case closed.

            The reason why that obese Afro-American woman doesn’t get it is because she has some European admixture, so she is not black like many Africans in Africa are black. Nefertiti was not ‘black’ – the ancient Egyptians had no one drop rule. She was reddish brown, just like all of her contemporaries; maybe somewhat paler than many because she had the luxury of being able to avoid a lot of sun exposure. But she was definitely not white.

            I remember one NBA player who went on a trip to West Africa to visit his roots, so to speak, and on his return he said: “Man, I thought I was black, but those folks are really black.” Exactly.

            If you are interested in the origins of the ancient Egyptians, Spencer Wells and Razib Khan did a good podcast on it. Egyptians now have more SSA ancestry than they had 2,000 years ago.

            Have a close look at the Hittite guy in the chariot in the centre of this picture. He has an arrow sticking out of his butt. I bet that stung.

            • gcochran9 says:

              “The reason why that obese Afro-American woman doesn’t get it”
              that’s not the reason.

              • John Massey says:

                I know. Afrocentrism and blah blah bah…

                But that Hittite guy does have an arrow sticking out of his butt, right? I’m not just imagining things, am I?

              • gothamette says:

                Nefertiti was white. Lower case “w,” which is not a scientific category, it is a common noun that encompasses a variety of groups.
                That “reddish brown” is an indication of class and ethnicity as much as it is a literal depiction of skin tone.Egyptians were darker than Hittites, but not by much.
                My guess is Nefertiti probably had a deep ivory Mediterranean hue.

              • John Massey says:

                If you are not willing to accept the evidence provided by numerous ancient Egyptian artists, how about Herodotus and Aristotle? They described Egyptians as having “dark skin”.

          • pam0606 says:

            Ancient Egyptians more closely related to Europeans than modern Egyptians, scientists claim

      • gothamette says:

        That’s been around for a while.

  20. Frau Katze says:

    Did the riots cause an uptick in Covid cases? An uptick has been seen in California but the NY Times says it’s due to easing the lockdown

    I agree that easing lockdown could well cause new cases. Thus the riots can hide under this.

    From an NYT newsletter:
    After California’s nearly 40 million residents were ordered to stay at home to slow the spread of the coronavirus, people were forced to adapt to a new reality. Every aspect of life as we knew it changed drastically.

    As the state continues to allow businesses to reopen, cases have been steadily increasing, leaving many residents wrestling with what to do.

    The pandemic also underscored the vast disparities that exist in the state. Millions of immigrant families are excluded from federal relief packages. The state’s economy is collapsing, and low-income families have been hit the hardest. California’s unemployment rate is above 20 percent, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

  21. BB753 says:

    What do you know, not only Lovecraft wasn’t woke enough for current standards, but he wasn’t really a serious occultist! The bigot!

  22. dearieme says:

    They’re called “woke” because they get on your wick.

    Though that joke might work better for British males than North American females.

  23. Calvin Hobbes says:

    7 years ago at West Hunter:

    “So relax. We’re not Number One in the funny farm of nations. Not yet.“

    Are we there yet?

  24. j says:

    A follow up study of Wuhan health workers infected by the Covid-19 discovered that they have lost the antigens. Maybe there is no immunity against Covid-19? May be herd immunity is a fantasy?

    • John Massey says:

      Not exactly, J – they did a follow up study of a large cohort (25,000, I think) of Wuhan health workers; they didn’t know how many of them had been infected, and they found only a small % of them had antibodies. So either only a small % of them had actually been infected, or a larger % of them had been infected, but only some of them retained antibodies. In that respect, the study was not too useful.

      • j says:

        It was useful because it revealed that in the very epicenter of epidemic, only a small percentage had antibodies. That means that today Wuhan is defenseless against a new wave of the coronadisease. OK, almost defenseless. The same may apply to Northern Italy and the rest. BTW, the standard treatment is “take two Dexamols (the local version of Acetaminophen) and go to the bed”.

        • gcochran9 says:

          Trust me, you’re smarter than this. There is nothing mysterious: the fraction that contracted in Wuhan just wasn’t very large.

          In parts of Northern Italy, percentage _was large.

        • John Massey says:

          60% of the population of Bergamo have tested positive for antibodies. Could be one of the few places close to herd immunity, if indeed the antibodies confer immunity and if so for how long. It seems no one knows. It seems like this is something important to find out, but I can think of other things important to find out as well that no one seems to be doing.

  25. Frau Katze says:

    This story reports that, somehow, a building (modern condominium) in Calgary, Alberta has 40 people with Covid.

    I know nothing about how air is circulated in such buildings. I’m in a smaller older building that had no noticeable vents.

    But if such buildings circulated air enough to cause 40 cases, why have we only heard of this now? There’s a lot of such buildings.

    It says that 4 units were used for AirBnb, but that’s not unusual. What about hotels?

    • John Massey says:

      A coronavirus can spread through a building via means other than air. Things to look at with a lot of suspicion are the sewerage and drainage systems – whether those systems have been built to standard, or have been altered by the occupants/owners, or whether sewerage pipes might have microcracks in them.

      Another thing: flushing a toilet without closing the lid can cause an aerosol that is carrying a lot of small particles of fecal matter which could be carrying the coronavirus, and exhaust fans in bathrooms or kitchens in other apartments can cause those aerosols to be sucked in through vents.

      All of these things are real things that have happened. It takes a detective job by people who know what they are doing to figure out what has happened.

      Usually the pattern of infections in a building should give a clue – which apartments had people who were infected, and which didn’t.

      An obvious one is transmission taking place in elevators, where social distancing is really not possible. Aside from wearing masks, there really isn’t much you can do about that. People can’t keep climbing 25 flights of stairs to get home all the time.

      • Frau Katze says:

        My sister read a book about SARS 1 and how it spread in a Hong Kong high rise. I didn’t read about it and I can’t recall any details now. Apparently it spread via the plumbing.

        The pattern of the cases would be a big help in figuring it out. It’s a new building, fairly expensive. I hadn’t thought of the ceiling vents in the bathrooms.

        I hope someone’s looking to it.

        • John Massey says:

          Amoy Gardens. No one in HK alive at the time and old enough to be aware of what happened there has ever forgotten it.

          • Frau Katze says:

            Built in the 1920s. The Canadian building is only two years old! I don’t think there have been any deaths so far.

            The building is desirable because it’s close to downtown. I expect they’re mostly young people.

            • John Massey says:

              Eh? 1980s. No one was building 40 storey buildings in HK in the 1920s – nothing like it.

              Standards for building services haven’t changed much since then.

              Australia has discovered it has a massive problem with high rise residential buildings that have been built since the 1990s, because that was when the industry was deregulated, and instead of building designs being checked by municipal councils, they have been checked (allegedly) by independent checkers paid by the developers. It turns out those independent checkers were just selling their signatures on plans without doing the requisite checks, and all of the high rise building stock in Sydney and Melbourne has been constructed sub-standard. Some of the buildings have been declared unsafe to occupy, and apartment owners have been left with the terrible problem that they have apartments that they can’t live in, can’t sell because they are worthless, and are too costly to remedy. In other cases where the defects are not as bad, the owners still face massive bills to remedy the defects.

              I don’t know anything about the system in Canada, I’m just illustrating that, certainly in the case of Australia, newer doesn’t necessarily mean better. The only high rise apartment it is safe for you to buy in Sydney or Melbourne is one that dates back at least until the 1990s.

              That does not apply in HK, but it also doesn’t mean that there is necessarily anything wrong with buildings built in the 1980s. HK has very stringent building regulations, and all plans are checked by the government’s Building Authority. This is often criticised as contributing to the high cost of real estate in HK, but those critics should look at what happened in Australia when they tried to cut costs by deregulating.

              There was nothing wrong with the plumbing detailing in Amoy Gardens. The problem was that owners were not pouring water down the drainage vent pipes at least every 2 weeks to keep the U-bends full of water, which would have been prevented the aerosols carrying coronavirus from being drawn back through the vent pipes into the bathrooms when the exhaust fans in the bathrooms were operated.

              Sorry, it’s a bit of a long story, but one guy in one of the apartments got sick with SARS, and he had bad diarrhea, and didn’t close the toilet lid after he had been, so that created aerosols carrying fecal matter which were then expelled out through the exhaust fan in his bathroom, and then drawn back into the bathroom on the floor immediately above, so people using that bathroom got infected with SARS, and the infection traveled vertically all the way up the building, but only in those apartments that were directly above the apartment of the original guy who was sick. 107 people got infected that way, in Block E.

              And then because a large number of people in the housing estate were carrying SARS, they infected people elsewhere in the estate. In all, 300+ people were infected just in that housing estate. Once the building services engineers did the detective work to find out how it had happened, the Building Authority changed the standard plumbing detailing for high rise buildings in HK so that particular problem could never happen again.

      • Frau Katze says:

        This must be the first case of a building outbreak. Surely we would have heard if this had happened elsewhere.

        Legionnaires was a building thing if I recall, related to the air conditioning.

      • Frau Katze says:

        Thanks for the tips.

  26. John Massey says:

    On a personal note, can I register a strong objection to the term Emotional Engineers? It’s an oxymoron. Thanks.

    • Hugh Mann says:

      It’s a hat-tip to Aldous Huxley, Brave New World. The population, under a single World Government, are divided into castes. Eugenics is key to stability, everyone knows their place, but also key are the slogans, rhymes, media which reinforce each caste’s conditioning. The slogans, rhymes, media are produced at the College Of Emotional Engineering, by Emotional Engineers.

      What’s Hollywood but a college of Emotional Engineering?

      • gcochran9 says:

        There is no eugenics in Brave New World.

        • Anonymous says:

          It’s not clear that they have ongoing improvement (just stability, as Hugh said), but they have breed the castes for their roles:

          Hasn’t it occurred to you that an Epsilon embryo must have an Epsilon environment as well as an Epsilon heredity?

          • avalanche of snowflakes says:

            This is distinction without difference.
            The disparity between the castes in the The Brave New World society is as permanent as if they were born that way. BNW is exactly what the eugenicists wanted, only achieved by different methods.

            • gcochran9 says:

              It was entirely environmental. So, not eugenics. So, you’re wrong.

              • Hugh Mann says:

                Ok, I mis-spoke. The castes are not derived eugenically in the book, although there must have been a founding stock of Alphas. The average white human, even without hard X-rays and alcohol in the womb, was no Bernard Marx or Mustapha Mond, nor was he an Epsilon-Minus semi-moron.

              • Anonymous says:

                This is a quote from the book:

                Hasn’t it occurred to you that an Epsilon embryo must have an Epsilon environment as well as an Epsilon heredity?

  27. Citizen AllenM says:

    I wonder how DC is doing? I do reside in one of the new plague central places, and we are now getting close doing real death panels. Oh well, my 200k in August looks pretty solid, for back of the envelope.

    Of course, the idiot politicians tried to make this go away, and instead will have done a tremendous amount of economic and human damage. Should have let the technocrats run this one, it just doesn’t respond to magical thinking.

    2.1 million still by end of year 3 is now baked in until we get a vaccine.

    Someday this war’s gonna end…

  28. dearieme says:

    “Should have let the technocrats run this one”: I’ve seen the success of Australian policy attributed to the government’s decision to ignore the advice of its medical advisors.

  29. Marcos Flores says:

    Hello Greg, the other day a fellow and I were discussing about a 2019 paper that you probably already know, and in it is indicated that the Fst values for native worldwide human populations is of 26%, this surprised me because previous studies tend to have Fst values not larger that 15% concerning worldwide human populations. Given that you have a lot of experience in this, would you say these results are reliable?
    Here is the paper:

      • Frau Katze says:

        CNN is broadcasting that Mt Rushmore is racist (I’m a Canadian but the unrest in the US is disturbing. I’m in Victoria, BC.)

        • gcochran9 says:

          Funny that CNN never noticed this before. I think it’s great.

        • dearieme says:

          It’s racist that the US has had only one Canadian President. Shocking, don’t you think? And Britain has had only one Canadian Prime Minister. More evidence of appalling anti-Canadian prejudice. Canadian Lives Matter.

          • Frau Katze says:

            I don’t understand your comment. Maybe I was unclear: I’m a friend and it’s awful to see all the destruction.

            • dearieme says:

              It was a satire on the preposterous illogicality of the wokeist creed. Not a successful satire, apparently. Happily everyone loves Canadians. Except Quebecois, obviously.

              Even people who loathe much about the US fedgov can feel unhappy about the destruction being wrought by these “largely peaceful” looters/arsonists/murderers/…

              • Frau Katze says:

                That “peaceful protester” business is of course standard. The crowd that broke into a gated community and began menacing the owners of the house (the case where they owners were armed) were also categorized as protestors.

                I got a cryptic reply from a friend who lives in California (with her daughter in Minneapolis). I sent a link to a video by an ex-con (who converted to Christianity by another prisoner and has left the criminal life behind) He categorized the prison guards into five types, one of which was “sadist.” He explained how the prisoner was completely at the mercy of the guard and had no recourse.

                She wrote back that things were much worse than that, that guards (& police) were also racist. And that black prisoners were singled out. I’m sure some of them are racist but according to the stats I read, such cases like George Floyd weren’t very common.

                But I wasn’t about to argue over it. Likely a BLM supporter.

    • Ivan says:

      Steven Pinker is being cancelled too for his racist views. 382 upstanding human beings from all over the world signed the letter to the Politburo:

      • Frau Katze says:

        I wonder if he will have to go to a re-education camp.

        Or straight to the Gulag. This is how Gulags start.

      • Ivan says:

        The letter may be fake: I see different signatories at different places. It is unlikely that Jackendoff would sign (he is at one place in twitter but not at the reference I gave).

      • dearieme says:

        He should offer to change his name to Steven Blacker.

        • j says:

          No, changing the name will not safe him, on the contrary. Since Darwin there is no way to talk about human biology without offense.

          • Frau Katze says:

            So it would seem. But a vaccine for Covid (should one be successfully developed), in fact vaccines in general, would not seem to lend itself to be considered dangerous to biblical literalists. After all, they’re pretty new. But by some convoluted reasoning some of them have concluded that such a vaccine must be avoided. Something about the Mark of the Beast.


            • j says:

              The human beast has a programmed inhibition to see himself as it is. Aristoteles (and Greeks of the Antiquity in general) wrote books about nature including the number of teeth (women less than men) without actually counting. Medical texts obviously wrong and even the number of human chromosomes could not be ascertained for long. Something is very wrong with the human mind.

              • gcochran9 says:

                To be fair, before the right procedures were developed, counting chromosomes ( looking through an optical microscope) was difficult.

      • Ivan says:

        Apparently, the letter is real. Hard to believe that it’s not some sort of joke in poor taste judging by the letter style and quality. Here’s Jerry Coyne trying to defend Pinker:

        • j says:

          Steven Pinker, of the Blank Slate, the Tabula Rasa, was always very careful to position himself deep inside the frontiers of political correctness. But linguistics is a minefield. Stalin
          – a famous linguist – shot many for criticizing his article “Marxism and Problems of Linguistics”. Pinker dared to demand his students write English and not Ebonics.

          • Ivan says:

            My grandmother who was a teacher at the primary school had this book (“Марксизм и вопросы языкознания”) on her bookshelf — it was obligatory for a teacher to have the book and be able to quote from/refer to it at least until 1953.

            I actually tried to read the book when I got interested in languages, but found it rather dull. I could not finish it though because when my grandmother saw me reading the book, she got quite agitated and burned it ! It was after 1956, and she was not really sure whether she would be punished now for possessing it — she just forgot she had it at the back of the shelf hidden behind other books.

            • j says:

              Congratulations, Ivan, for trying to read Stalin’s book. You and me may be the only trying to. The day before the publication, Marr was the incarnation of Marxist linguistics, and everyone agreed that he made sense. The next day, yes, the very next day, Marr’s theory became wrong and anti-Marxist, and counterrevolutionary. People wrote articles that they always suspected that, and rejected his bourgeois/feudal mentality. Philosophers lectured that objectively, Marr became subversive the minute the Party said so. With Lysenko happened the same, but genetics is a harder science and some resisted and were duly exiled/shot.

              • Ivan says:

                Marr was lucky to die in 1934 from the flu. He was a talented linguist for sure but his Japhetic theory was a bit of an overreach.

                On a minor scale, he tried to introduce Latinized alphabet in the North Caucus but failed (Cyrillic was used instead in some republics except of course Armenia and Georgia). Ironically, Azerbaijan did switch over to Latin recently from Cyrillic perhaps because of Turkish influence.

              • j says:

                Ivan, someone edited wikipedia’s Japhetic note today, possibly you. BTW, the theory of a link between Caucasus and the Middle East peoples may not be totally lunatic, there is a genetic connection between Jews and Armenians, for example. I find it amazing Stalin writing about abstruse linguistic theory. Can you imagine a contemporary politician doing so? Idiocracy is today.

              • Ivan says:

                No, I did not edit the page.

                For sure there is some genetic commonality between NE and NC peoples (e.g. Haber re. Armenians, Druzes, Greeks, Georgians), but not necessarily linguistic unless you are a firm Nostratist 🙂

                Re. Stalin’s linguistic prowess, some think that Chikobava wrote it and being close to the Georgian party boss sneaked his work to Stalin. Given Stalin’s background it is unlikely he had enough knowledge to write it himself.

              • j says:

                I think you are wrong in underestimating Stalin’s intellectual capacity. Before writing about Linguistics, Stalin wrote an important thesis on Marxism and the National Question, Russia being a multinational conglomerate. The national (that is, ethnic) diversity was Russia’s critical issue and ultimately destroyed the Soviet Union. Himself was Transcaucasian Ossetian, not Russian nor Georgian. The Party was made up by talented intellectuals and Stalin was elected their leader, so stupid he was not.

              • Ivan says:

                Oh, I am not saying he was stupid, he was definitely smart as a mafia Don or a modern day Genghis Khan would be, with impeccable survival skills. Just not very gifted as a scientist or a military leader notwithstanding whatever modern day apologists would come up with.

                The Stalin empire existed, not exclusively but primarily, on pervasive fear of being executed for no reason at all essentially, not thanks to some Stalin’s superior managerial genius. Of course there were quite a lot of true believers in the “revolution” (see e.g. Solzhenitzyn for a comprehensive overview) just as there is now the woke crowd in the modern western world or were Nazi supporters in Hitler’s Germany.

                The national diversity did not exist in practice under Stalin because it was ruthlessly suppressed. You do not need to study customs and mores of various peoples inhabiting the empire. Why bother ? Just shoot ’em all if they are not happy about something, or send to Siberia to build something. The facade directed towards west in the shape of various movies, songs, exhibitions celebrating diversity did exist, just ask Walter Durante or the NYT.

                The Soviet Union failed most likely because the ruling elite got lazy and lost appetite to rule and kill to enforce the rule. They could have easily suppressed any nationalistic or economic revolt just as they did in 1962 (“Новочерка́сский расстре́л”). For whatever reason, they got soft and that was that. Masses simply did not matter as they had never done (see Turchin’s The Ages of Discord on elites role).

                He may have been 1/4 Ossetian, but there is not enough evidence to be sure about that.

              • shadow on the wall says:

                When people laugh at “Stalin the great linguist”, they have no idea that Marr was Lysenko-like kook and, in this case, Stalin was on the side of mainstream science.


              • Peter Akuleyev says:

                Ironically, Azerbaijan did switch over to Latin recently from Cyrillic perhaps because of Turkish influence.

                Kazakh is also supposed to be switching to the Latin alphabet. The move seems to be driven by anti-Russian sentiment combined with a desire to be „modern”. One sees this in Serbia as well where young people and advertisers rarely use Cyrillic any more. It is seen as the stodgy government/church script.

          • Ivan says:

            I agree that Chikobava/Stalin’s opus was less of a howler than some Marr’s work, and that arguably it made Soviet linguists lives a bit easier. It does contain some crazy stuff (on dialects, semantics, language evolution, etc), but at a level much more benign than Marr’s ideas. Here’s an ok review by Vinogradov (after the dictator died of course) for those who care:


  30. dearieme says:

    The Neanderthal yarn is fascinating, don’t you think?

    Click to access 2020.07.03.186296v1.full.pdf

  31. Woof says:

    That might be seen as appropriation, a better option might be Steven I’msorryI’mpinkerthanyou

  32. John says:

    Brazilian president got Covid along with 100 odd members of his staff. Unlike when Boris Johnson got hit, there are number of vaccines already on different stage of trial, it seems a no brainer for the president of a country to use this. What do you think is the reason why this is not happening?

  33. shadow on the wall says:

    The Soviet Union failed most likely because the ruling elite got lazy and lost appetite to rule and kill to enforce the rule.

    The Soviet elite knew well what they were doing. They saw one in a century opportunity to privatize everything on one sixth of Earth’s surface and to become capitalists, and took it.
    Everyone who was taking attention understands that fall of USSR was revolution from above, not from below.

    • Ivan says:

      You endow the soviet elite with supernatural strategic planning abilities. No one from the soviet ruling elite in his/her most nightmarish dreams expected the outcome, including Gorbachev who did not benefit much from the SU disintegration financially, btw. They probably hoped for a Chinese model but it was not in the cards they were dealt.

      Looting happened later and was quite opportunistic in nature, with different competing groups of looters, not at all premeditated. Substantial part of the looters was not part of the soviet elite, e.g. Berezovsky.

      • Peter Akuleyev says:

        It was the Soviet elite that started the collapse, but not the people at the very top. Gorbachev et al. fatally underestimated how much loyalty they had in the regions and how little control. As soon as the regional and Soviet Republic elites smelled a chance to carve out their own fiefdoms they took it. This collapse then played out all the way down practically to the level of individual factories. In a country with no private property as soon as the plantation boss stopped watching everyone tried to grab what they could and the whole thing collapsed. It is sort of like the collapse of the Roman Empire sped up.

        And Berezovsky was part of the Soviet elite in a perverse way – the Jewish and Caucasian mafias had started gaining power and influence already under Brezhnev. Organized crime was another source of power that Gorbachev neglected to account for (actually he massively strengthened mafia structures unintentionally with the idiotic dry laws in the mid 80s (Soviet prohibition)).

        • j says:

          I agree that the ultimate cause of the SSSR’s collapse was the Party going soft. The Chinese Party machine-gunned the demonstrators on the Tienanmin Square and is remaking the population of a separatist province.

          • John Massey says:

            No one died in Tiananmen Square.

            • Ivan says:

              That’s a difference without distinction.

              There is some evidence that no one was killed on the square itself. However, the overall death toll according to the ChiComs themselves was about 300. Other sources claim between several hundred and a thousand.

              The Novocherkassk massacre in the SU to suppress labor unrest resulted in 26 deaths plus 7 executed “only”, but enough to quell the revolt.

              The point is that ChiComs did not and do not hesitate to kill and they are still at power, while Soviet Commies got soft and lost control.

              • John Massey says:

                It is a matter of fact. Whether it is a difference without distinction is your opinion.

                My best guess is that you are underestimating the fatalities of civilians + soldiers in Beijing during the period 3-5 June 1989 by quite a large margin.

              • John Massey says:

                Your comment also reveals your ignorance of the purges within the CCP in the aftermath, my point being that not all of the ‘ChiComs’, to use your cheap sleazy American slang, were murderers. It is ironic that the demonstrations were a huge miscalculation; in effect they set back reforms in China by decades.

              • Ivan says:

                “not all of the ‘ChiComs’ … were murderers”

                Your apologia for the murderous regime is duly noted. Nice to know where you stand on the matter.

          • shadow on the wall says:

            The Party going soft on the Party, you mean.
            Soviet Union was overthrown from above, not from below.
            As far as the people were asked, they wanted to preserve the Union till the very end.
            Of course it did not mattered at all.

        • Ivan says:

          Considering Berezovsky, or any Soviet gangster of similar caliber, part of the existing Soviet elite is rather sloppy.

          At best, you can call them counter- or aspiring elite trying to compete with the existing elite for power and influence, but even that would be a stretch since under heavy Soviet suppression of everything criminal underworld did not have any real power and could not compete for power, naturally. Outside bribery and corruption, violent crime in the Soviet times was relatively low until mid 80′. Violent crime exploded (probably doubled) by early 90’s.

          • shadow on the wall says:

            As was already said here, organized crime was indeed growing in importance during Brezhnev’s time, and exploded during Gorby, but Berezovsky was never a “gangster”.

            See BB early life. This is not biography of mobster, and definitely not one of a proletarian man of the people.
            This is biography of one of the top 1% in Soviet society, member of elite by any reasonable definition.


            Boris Abramovich Berezovsky was born in 1946, in Moscow, to Abram Markovich Berezovsky (1911–1979),[25] a Jewish civil engineer in construction works,[26][27] and his wife, Anna Aleksandrovna Gelman (22 November 1923 – 3 September 2013).[28] He studied applied mathematics, receiving his doctorate in 1983.[29] After graduating from the Moscow Forestry Engineering Institute in 1968, Berezovsky worked as an engineer from 1969 till 1987, serving as assistant research officer, research officer and finally the head of a department in the Institute of Control Sciences of the USSR Academy of Sciences.

          • Ivan says:

            Sure, Berezovsky was employed as a middle manager ( заведующий лабораторией) at a research facility in Moscow (ИПУ) until 1987 even though he got his doctorate degree in Computer Science in 1983. Soviet scientists, especially computer scientists, could hardly be considered members of the ruling Soviet elite because they exerted as much influence on rulers decision making as an uneducated peasant from the Tula region, maybe less. As a consolation prize, a typical academic could brag about being a member of “cultural elite”, again possessing zero political influence (as opposed to the powerful role academia is playing in this country especially today).

            In 1989 he probably found his academic life unfulfilling and founded a company (LogoVAZ) through which he managed to loot the Russia’s largest automobile manufacturer. In order to stay alive with a lot of dinero in then economic climate he had to acquire protection(крыша) thus naturally merging with Russia organized crime (probably Chechen and Georgians through his Georgian partner). Paul Khlebnikov wrote a book in 2000 about Berezovsky’s transformation from an obscure scientist to a gangster and now truly a member of the ruling elite (Godfather of the Kremlin: The Decline of Russia in the Age of Gangster Capitalism ). See also Abramovich’s testimony in the HightCourt, specifically about крыша.

  34. shadow on the wall says:

    Am I banned? Am I blocked from replying?
    Just testing.

    • shadow on the wall says:

      So it was not me, it was Trotsky.
      When I tried to post old Leon’s quote where he exactly predicted fall of Soviet Union, the reply was always blocked by Stalinist software.
      This is commendable, this is how true Stalinist vigilance looks like.

  35. j says:

    According S. Pinker, scientists can be recognized by excessively conditioning their sentences. “As far as the people were asked, they wanted to preserve the Union till the very end”, writes the Shadow. He is not only a scientist, a somewhat derogatory label in our days, but also wrong. Baltic peoples were never at ease in the SSSR, Caucasus wanted (and wants) independence, and even Ukraine discovered from midnight to sunrise that they always disliked Russians, stopped understanding Russian and are at war with Russia, aren’t they? And the Jews, they are reading Pushkin aloud but as far from Moscow as possible.

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