The moron elite

Twenty two out of twenty three Harvard grads could not explain why the earth gets hotter in summer and cooler in winter.

So I asked my cleaning lady, who has received no science education whatsoever, and very little education. She replied that the days were longer in summer and shorter in winter. I then prompted her “Why are they longer in summer and shorter in winter?”, to which she correctly replied that the earth is tilted with respect to its orbit around the sun.

To be strictly correct she should have said the earth’s axis is tilted with respect to the earth’s orbit, but since she already got “days” correct, unlike the Harvard grads, axis is implied.

The author of this video suggests we need improved science education, but I think that no amount of education can turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse, that what we need is considerably less education, about as much education as my cleaning lady has.

Harvard does not, for the most part, teach anything that matters to anyone other than how to hate whitey.   Universities have been dumbing down since 1870.  They want to be more inclusive, and then adjust their course material to make those included feel more at home.  Which makes them useless.

Ferguson looks at measured elite IQs, concludes that our ruling elite is around IQ 120, and that everyone above IQ 140 is pretty much toast.  “inappropriately excluded”.  It looks to me that the situation is worsening over time, that older members of our elite are generally substantially smarter than recent members of our elite, though all my evidence on this is anecdotal, and people dispute it.

Our elite is being stupidified by avoiding disparate impact.  Anything that filters for smarts has disparate impact on women and blacks.  Also, smart people tend to mansplain – give those affirmative actioned into jobs beyond their competence instructions and advice that they are incapable of following.  Wasenlightened denies this.  I accuse him of false consciousness.   The level of fear at Google seems excessive if Wasenlightened perceptions are accurate.  In an environment where one has a large number of female affirmative action employees, filtering for political correctness is going to filter for stupidity since smart people will be perceived as discriminating against the less smart.

Our universities have been dumbed down so that they no longer teach what high school used to teach.

Academic credentials are not indicators that one has learned anything useful, or indeed learned anything at all, rather they are filters for intelligence and diligence, and, due to degree inflation and the inclusion of women and blacks, very poor filters at the upper end.

Used to be that graduating high school proved you were pretty smart. Now, graduating Harvard does not show you are smart.

I propose degree deflation:

Smart kids can learn in high school maths to calculus and trig, science to special relativity, how to calculate pi from first principles, geography, history of western civilization, and can absorb the western culture and western civilization that university no longer teaches.

I propose that the lower two thirds, pretty much everyone below IQ 106, fails to get a school leaving certificate and leaves school at the start of puberty. The somewhat smarter and more diligent people, IQ 106 to IQ 120, about a quarter of the population, also leave school at the start of puberty, but with a school leaving certificate. The smart people, 120 and up, the top ten percent, graduate high school.   Ten percent of that ten percent, the top one percent, people 135 and up, take a two year university course.

Attempting to use academic credentials to filter to smarter than the top one percent is unlikely to succeed, because of demand for lengthy recreational degrees.  If we try to get an elite smarter than 135, going to need some new filtering mechanism.  Also, using academic credentials as a filter means you are up against the bureaucratic imperative to expand.  If one is supposedly in the business of educating people, one is naturally inclined to claim that the education is beneficial, and can benefit everyone, rather than acting as a filter.  Thus academic institutions have an incentive to subvert their filter function, and thus an incentive to stupidify the elite.

We used to have a public service exam, a requirement for government employment in functions likely to exercise power, that was IQ heavy, though it also tested for diligence by requiring you to memorize a lot of useless nonsense.  Unfortunately, this, of course, had disparate impact.  Simply re-instituting the exam would dramatically improve elite function, and one could simply make it a substantially tougher exam for anyone in the system at a level likely to make policy.   On the other hand, the Chinese mandarinate tried this and it worked extremely badly.   The mandarins were not all that smart.  It is hard to make a filter that works when everyone is trying to game the system.   But it is not as hard as making a filter that works when you are trying to be inclusive.

 

175 Responses to “The moron elite”

  1. spandrell says:

    The Chinese mandarinate worked awesomely. Yeah, they didn’t manage to come up with science and industry; but why would they? Look what that got the old European elite.

    They used their superior minds to enrich themselves and stabilize the empire, which they did until they overbred and there were not enough peasants to support them.

    • B says:

      “Not enough peasants to support them”=low peasant productivity. Low peasant productivity is a result of a lack of science and industry. Which was caused by the mandarinate.

      • spandrell says:

        Lack of science and industry kept the peasants in their place. The scientists and the industrialists were far more dangerous to the landowning class.

        Nothing lasts forever, but the mandarins set up one of the most stable systems in history.

        • With the same GDP/capita in 1950 as it had in 950 according to a published survey I’ve seen.

        • B says:

          The future is a boot stomping on a face…forever.

          That, my friend, is what stability as an ultimate (as opposed to proximate) goal looks like. Rule by backstabbing eunuchs requires massive and constant brutality and breeds resentment among all. What the US has today is very similar, by the way.

          Their system was not really very stable, doing a slow oscillation between tyranny and anarchy. There’s a reason that the free men on their steppe frontier periodically wrecked their shit, despite being massively outnumbered-most of their society’s members had no buy-in.

          Stability is a means to an end, at best.

          • Hidden Author says:

            Yes the U.S. is so much more brutal than Nazis, Communists and jihadists–you know, the people who would have the reins if Uncle Sam didn’t. In fact, since you are a Jew, B, Obama’s gonna eat your babies!

          • B says:

            Go work in a slaughterhouse, a state nursing home/hospital, or a police station/fire station in any big city for half a year. Or any job in a black neighborhood where you interact with the locals. Then come back and talk shit to me.

          • Just sayin' says:

            As a B-hater, I have to admit that B has a point here.

          • spandrell says:

            They didn’t set up the backstabbing eunuchs. That was the imperial house’s way of controlling the mandarinate.

            The steppe men weren’t any freer than anyone else. And when they got to rule, they either made friends with the mandarins, or they had to beat it pretty fast.

            I of course agree ancient China was a brutish and nasty place. But it worked. The mandarins were no fools. China was stable for thousands of years, even if they had a massive war every 250 or so. They spoke the same language, wore the same clothes, and had mostly the same values for all that time.

            While we, with our science and industry, are amusing ourselves to death, being replaced by actually moronic foreigners, all while our political systems slowly evolve into a mandarinate of its own.

            Awesome huh.

          • B says:

            I’ve got haters? That’s a landmark of significance, I guess-a compliment.

            >The steppe men weren’t any freer than anyone else.

            Christopher Beckwith would beg to differ. Of course they were freer. For one, they were armed. For another, they had mobility. For a third, they chose their rulers (up to a point) and were ruled by their kinsmen.

            >And when they got to rule, they either made friends with the mandarins, or they had to beat it pretty fast.

            That is true. On the other hand, I expect that anyone who takes over America will require the services of its own mandarins to run it, which is exactly what Moldbug proposes. Who else will you put in charge of the municipal bureaucracy, Peppermint?

            >I of course agree ancient China was a brutish and nasty place. But it worked.

            For certain values of “worked.”

            >China was stable for thousands of years, even if they had a massive war every 250 or so.

            Not a massive war but a series of wars, imperial dissolution, rebels coming to the throne, foreign barbarian dynasties…I mean, I guess if “stable” means “inhabited by people we’d identify as Chinamen”…

            >They spoke the same language, wore the same clothes, and had mostly the same values for all that time.

            They did not speak the same language, they wrote the same language. Anyway, they’ve got nothing on Pharaonic Egypt. So what?

            >While we, with our science and industry, are amusing ourselves to death, being replaced by actually moronic foreigners, all while our political systems slowly evolve into a mandarinate of its own.

            Well, you guys do suck, I’ll admit that much.

            The foreigners replacing you are not moronic. They’re not as smart as Mandarins. On the other hand, they’re as smart as Chinese peasants, or a large part of those peasants. And if you go by IQ, Mexico is about like Serbia. Well, I’ve been to Serbia, and it’s awesome. I’ve also been to Mexico. Not as awesome as Serbia, but still alright, and much more functional than, say, Birmingham AL, Trenton NJ or what I saw of the British projects.

            As for your political systems, mandarinate would be a step up. These guys are actual eunuchs. According to halacha, a eunuch can’t sit on the Sanhedrin, and neither can an old man, because their hearts are cruel.

          • bomag says:

            The foreigners replacing you are not moronic.

            Civilizationally moronic comes closer to the mark. Not too many people are anxious to recreate Mexico or Serbia.

          • B says:

            >Civilizationally moronic comes closer to the mark. Not too many people are anxious to recreate Mexico or Serbia.

            Have you been to either?

            I’ll take either any day over most cities in the US. I mean that architecturally, in terms of common courtesy and behavior, the ability of the denizens to have a non-Idiocracy-type conversation, etc.

            The typical Mexican/Serb weighs in at below 250 (may no longer be the case in Mexico-fucking gringo influence,) can discuss subjects beyond the latest feetsball tournament in some depth, and knows how to make moonshine, or has a relative that does.

      • Frog Do says:

        You hit a Malthusian limit and then there is a great kill, which also filters for intelligence. I don’t see the problem, as far as breeding a better population goes. Building a long lasting and effective regime basically reduces to how to solve the Malthusian limit problem. So you manufacture Battle Royale or Hunger Games, but on a larger scale, or send troops to fight and die at the border, or something.

        • B says:

          A great kill caused by civilizational collapse doesn’t filter for intelligence. It filters for the ability to survive amoebic dysentery and for a certain type of low cunning.

    • Contaminated NEET says:

      Taiping II now!

    • R7_Rocket says:

      Yeah, they didn’t manage to come up with science and industry; but why would they? Look what that got the old European elite.

      Behead those who insult technology…

      • R7_Rocket says:

        Of course, the SJW would say, “Behead those who insult [insert latest leftist “victim” group here].”

  2. Seamus says:

    Does Jim employ a poor non native house keeper?

  3. bb753 says:

    Not many medicine doctors would make your cut-off point. I guess it all depends on how many doctors you need per 100, 000 inhabitants.

    • Jefferson says:

      Medical doctors would be less necessary and more efficient if you trimmed the bureaucratic state. Also, slightly off-topic, but why does medical school cost money? Shouldn’t that be free to anyone who can qualify?

      • OldStudent says:

        If there is a Cure for All
        Dis-eases
        Why isn’t it free to All?
        What is Disease
        and What is Health?
        Frances is Lyme Disease.

        • Erik says:

          Your combination of repetitiveness and monomaniacal disregard for the topic at hand is approaching the point where I am starting to want you banned.

          • Alan J. Perrick says:

            I suspect that more traditional schools like the Bible colleges have substantially smarter students, albeit with less well recognised degrees. Pensacola Christian was un-accredited for 30 years until 2013. The underlying assumption is that getting red-pilled about sex, as traditional Christians are, means a higher likliness of awareness and subsequent actions regarding other Politically Incorrect heresies of The Cathedral.

            But, it’s a hard to call a Neoreactionist wrong who puts major organs of The Cathedral in his crosshairs…

          • Alan J. Perrick says:

            My comment was intended for the general space below the blogpost, not in this specific thread…

  4. vonbock says:

    To add insult to this particular injury, last year, upper class Harvard students took the “r… biased” 1964 Louisiana Literacy Test for voting in elections and all who tried failed. I took the test and nailed it 30 for 30 in around 10 minutes. PS, I’m no rocket scientist. Just regular degrees from High School and College with GPA’s in the low 3’s, circa the 1970’s.

    • jim says:

      Sounds plausible. Source?

      • Frog Do says:

        Looking at the test, I can see why it causes such problems now. Modern schools are almost like quiz shows, the smart kids are taught to guess what the question will be and give the answer for their imagined version of the question. The dumber kids can’t answer, but what is common to both is that neither read the instructions. I give questions with complicated instructions in my classes and most get them wrong because the students have never been taught to read instructions, only anticipate them.

        • jim says:

          Where is this test so that I can look at it?

            • jim says:

              Pretty easy, but I can see that the dimwits would be befuddled. All the questions have a single clear correct answer. The complaint that some of the questions have no correct answer indicates that those criticizing the test really should not have been allowed to vote.

              Given that a fifth grade education was in those days one hell of a lot tougher than a fifth grade education today, seems about right – which is to say, would mostly pass those would pass fifth grade, and mostly fail those who would fail fifth grade.

              That most Harvard grads could not pass the test is indicative of degree inflation. If they could not pass the test, could not pass the old fifth grade.

          • Greg says:

            The test is probably bogus. First, the source linked by Slate has already removed it:

            …at one time we also displayed a “brain-twister” type Louisiana literacy test. We removed it from this website because it was quite atypical and was probably little used.

            Second, one of the questions has a parenthetical annotation, (original type smaller and first line ended at comma), that indicates that it is a transcription or reconstruction, not an original test.

  5. bomag says:

    Most of Harvard’s damage is done by the faculty. The undergrads are the equivalent of non-native housekeepers, there to be docile and get along.

  6. The Harvard vid is 30 years old.

  7. Glenfilthie says:

    I think you confuse IQ and academic prowess with ability, Jim. I’ve met a few of those in my time and they just don’t develop the critical people skills required to do business

    • Kudzu Bob says:

      You might have a point if this were 1914, but increasingly smart people do business with, marry, and live near other smart people, not the general public. Haven’t you heard of cognitive partitioning?

      • glenfilthie says:

        No I haven’t, Bob. But I have seen more than my share of intellectual poseurs…and supposedly intelligent people saying incredibly stupid things. The students in Jim’s vid need only pick up a book to correct themselves. No amount of education will help men like Noam Chompsky, for example.

        Accomplishment requires more than raw intellect.

        • Kudzu Bob says:

          Read Jim’s piece again, because you missed his point by a country mile. He’s talking about how the elites (by which I assume he means who gets into Ivy League schools, since those are the people who end up running the country) are excluding the very smart, and that the eduction this “elite” is receiving” is of increasingly poor quality. That’s why Harvard students don’t know why the Earth has seasons.

      • peppermint says:

        haven’t you heard of diversity?

        • Kudzu Bob says:

          Diversity? Let’s see, isn’t that something all those high-IQ types who live with each other in Silicon away are always talking among themselves about?

  8. B says:

    All that you need to do to let the biologically smart become actually smart/wise is to leave them alone. They will find each other, cooperate and self-educate.

    On the other hand, if they become smart/wise and get together, they are very dangerous. By definition, there is not enough power and prestige to go around. So it’s necessary to constantly fuck with them and distract them as they develop, to alienate them and teach them learned helplessness, sociopathy, genuflection to their mental and moral inferiors and drudgery. This makes them effectively stupid and dysfunctional, eliminating the threat.

    On the third hand, if you don’t let them become smart/wise, they will not make the stuff your society needs to feed itself and compete successfully with its enemies. Thus, Akademgorodok, or the STEM ghetto, where some curiosity, kitchen dissidence and assortative socialization was allowed.

    On the fourth hand, these containment experiments ultimately fail.

    • Dr. Faust says:

      Social dysfunction and intelligence are correlated.

      http://www.worlddreambank.org/O/OUTSIDRS.HTM

      • Kudzu Bob says:

        Only if highly intelligent people don’t have anybody to talk to who is in their intellectual league, you mean. If you took someone with a 100 IQ and raised him with pygmies that have an average IQ score forty or fifty points lower than his, he probably wouldn’t turn out all that well-adjusted either.

        (If we really do start genetically engineering supergeniuses with IQ scores of 200+, we’re going to have a hard time finding babysitters for them.)

        • B says:

          Smart kids don’t need smart babysitters. They need calm and gentle babysitters. Lots of smart people have been raised by black/mexican nannies or Indian amahs.

          Smart kids don’t even need other smart kids. What they do need is access to smart adults and smart books, and not to be set upon like a rabbit by a pack of idiot greyhounds at sporadic intervals.

          • Kudzu Bob says:

            I used the term “babysitters” metaphorically to mean teachers, parents, and anybody else who plays a role in their care and socialization.

            When and if the first supersmart (200+ IQ) genetically engineered children come into the this world, they will literally be peerless, since even the smartest adults will be retarded compared to them. Will they go mad from loneliness? Worse, will their social estrangement cause them to grow up hating us?

            My own suggestion is that we devise methods of increasing IQ no more than thirty points per generation, to avoid some sort of bad outcome that involves our euthanizing them or their exterminating us.

            • jim says:

              When and if the first supersmart (200+ IQ) genetically engineered children come into the this world,

              I don’t see any technology that will give us supersmart kids. We know how to edit the genetic code, but we do not know what to edit it to.

          • B says:

            They will not go mad from loneliness. I don’t have an IQ of over 200, but am pretty smart. As a child, I used to immensely enjoy talking to working class adults. You can be a smart person and socialize with people much less smart with you about things you both find interesting. See: Feynman.

          • Kudzu Bob says:

            You said yourself that smart kids need smart adults. It would follow that super-smart kids would need super-smart adults.

          • B says:

            Smart adults are good to have.

            On the other hand, Newton seems to have had no mentor figure, yet did OK. Similarly, Lomonosov, Leibniz, etc.

          • Kudzu Bob says:

            Newton’s scientific and mathematical breakthroughs make him one of the greatest intellects of all time, no question, but he also spent an inordinate amount of time on some crazy Bible Code shit and died a virgin. That doesn’t strike me as an obviously optimal outcome.

        • Cloudswrest says:

          In the early ’80s I lived at home and graduated from Rutgers in engineering summa cum laude. I then went to Stanford for an MSEE and lived off campus with roommates from Stanford, Harvard, Brown, etc. My god the intellectual change from living at home in NJ to Palo Alto was like moving from Sub Sahara Africa to Western Europe. I wasn’t expecting this and I was in heaven. So I can relate about having intellectual peers to talk to!

          Charles Murray touches on this subject in The Bell Curve where he mentions if you have personal acquaintances from Harvard, Stanford, etc you are in an extremely tiny fraction of the nations population.

          • jim says:

            I suspect that you would have found a comparable difference surrounded by people doing STEM regardless of university. And a great many Harvard graduates are not doing STEM. Harvard Law is also composed of mighty smart people, but in a great many other areas, not so smart.

    • j says:

      Los Alamos colony worked very nicely, made the bomb in a few months while contact with the enemy was fluid: everything done there was known in Moscow before in Washington.

  9. Alrenous says:

    Would profit greatly by using something less imprecise than ‘elites.’

    The well-paid professions all require credentials. These are of course dumbing down, including STEM fields, though for now they’re resisting the force to a degree.

    Being an entrepreneur doesn’t require credentials. However, they are also suffering since you have to convince the government to let you make stuff, as making things is now illegal. That is, Jobs probably slipped through a crack, and while they’re closing, cracks still exist.

    Being an actual ruler requires sociopathy, but not any credential a sociopath would have issues acquiring. However, winning the sociopath-sociopath competition means the smarter ‘path will win.

    MBTI is wrong. But, it gives you the idea that categories exist and is a useful target for perturbations toward truth. This is also wrong, https://michaelochurch.wordpress.com/2012/09/09/the-3-ladder-system-of-social-class-in-the-u-s/ but it gives you the right idea about categories.

    G1 and G2 are getting stupider. E4 and E3 are getting stupider. E1 is, if anything, getting smarter. E2 is probably too inaccurate even as a metaphor, so I can’t get a good read on it. (L1 would be getting dumber, but they were never that smart to start with.)

  10. Massimo says:

    “Harvard does not, for the most part, teach anything that matters to anyone other than how to hate whitey.” <– This is a dramatic exaggeration. Google "top science advances 2014" and there is real, tangible progress happening in the science world with the US as the global leader that isn't just grades and prestige and political power. I imagine the author reads mostly politics and op-ed writing and I can see how he would get the impression that fancy universities do nothing else, but if you are more deeply following STEM happenings, there are some very super smart people pushing the boundaries of human science.

    • Steve Johnson says:

      Counterpoint:

      http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/28/us-science-cancer-idUSBRE82R12P20120328

      “A former researcher at Amgen Inc has found that many basic studies on cancer — a high proportion of them from university labs — are unreliable, with grim consequences for producing new medicines in the future.

      During a decade as head of global cancer research at Amgen, C. Glenn Begley identified 53 “landmark” publications — papers in top journals, from reputable labs — for his team to reproduce. Begley sought to double-check the findings before trying to build on them for drug development.

      Result: 47 of the 53 could not be replicated. He described his findings in a commentary piece published on Wednesday in the journal Nature.”

      You sure about those advances?

      • jim says:

        Modern “science” is state religion dressed in lab coats.

      • Massimo says:

        It’s easy to find crap. When judging the progress of science we typically just ignore the duds. Finding terrible papers and bogus research doesn’t detract from the real gains being made in synthetic biology or CRISPR/Cas. Also, cancer research doesn’t seem to have big wins, but I suspect that is not due to lack of talent or effort. A quick google gave me this, which is pretty exciting to read: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/346/6216/1444.full

        • jim says:

          Most “real” gains turn out to be bullshit and lies. Official science is not science, but state religion dressed in labcoats.

          To see if scientific progress is real, look for technological progress. The last man on the moon left in 1972, the coolest muscle cars were built in 1973. When the two towers fell, we could not replace them. Our air superiority fighters are less and less superior. Electricity usage per capita peaked in the US in 2007. The Chinese are making technological progress, for example microfiber cloth and cell phone screens, but making that kind of stuff is illegal in the US, if we could do it, which the travails of rebuilding the two towers suggests we cannot.

          • Steve Johnson says:

            Speaking of air superiority fighters:

            http://pogoarchives.org/labyrinth/09/08.pdf

            Even though engines, structures, aerodynamics and microelectronics improved from the time of the F86 to the F18 there has been no actual improvement in combat effectiveness.

            The actual factors for fighter effectiveness are small size (to decrease visibility), light weight (to allow more time in the combat zone), superiority of guns over missiles (no idea if this has been solved with more modern missiles) and cheapness of individual fighters which allows numeric superiority for the same cost.

            Of course the latest US fighter jet is the largest, heaviest, most expensive fighter of all time… and it didn’t initially have a cannon – and apparently won’t have the software necessary to actually fire the retrofitted cannon until 2019.

          • Alrenous says:

            Modern missile technology is a phase change that probably obsoletes cannon in most cases. They’re locked and fired long before the pilots can see each other. Further, dodging them isn’t a skill, it’s a crapshoot, and the odds are bad. It’s more likely that whoever locks first wins before the other guy can react. Cannon are for A-10s, not air superiority. If the F-35 is being fitted for cannon, it’s because a jack of all trades feels better to claim ownership of than a master of one, even though in war that’s suicide.

            That said, yes the fighter is now optimized as a pork channel, not a war machine.

          • Steve Johnson says:

            Part of that objection was anticipated in the report.

            Physics dictates that fighters will always be better off without active radar. The emitting fighter sends out the beam and waits for the reflection to return. The passive listener gets alerted as soon as the radiation makes it to his fighter.

            This means that air to air combat will take place at closer range than you’d think which leads to the above factors being important for air-to-air combat.

          • Erebus says:

            I agree with Massimo. I work professionally with the pharmaceutical sector and also on defense-related projects. From my vantage point, it looks like science is advancing at a relatively rapid clip; too rapid for the burgeoning bureaucracy to keep up with it.

            Most of the irreproducible crap people find tends to be in biology and medicine. There’s a good reason for this: On a molecular level, biology is astonishingly complex, and there’s no way to keep tabs on all of the variables involved in biological and medical experiments. This sums it up: “To grasp the reality of life as it has been revealed by molecular biology, we must magnify a cell a thousand million times until it is twenty kilometers in diameter and resembles a giant airship large enough to cover a great city like London or New York. What we would then see would be an object of unparalleled complexity and adaptive design. On the surface of the cell we would see millions of openings, like the port holes of a vast space ship, opening and closing to allow a continual stream of materials to flow in and out. If we were to enter one of these openings we would find ourselves in a world of supreme technology and bewildering complexity.” – Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, London: Burnett Books, 1985

            Materials science, where I do most of my work, is orders of magnitude less complex. There are less variables to worry about, so we can focus solely on optimizing the properties of materials — and the stuff we’re working on now is astounding. When it reaches the market — hopefully in a few years — it will change entire industries. Recent advances in robotics, VR, computing, and even biology (CRISPR/CAS9) have me even more optimistic for the future of science.

            Our politicians and bureaucrats are the problem. Most of what you’ve mentioned, Jim, are political problems. Politicians gutted NASA to pay for welfare programs. The F-35 program was a debacle — it was mismanaged from start to finish — but we shouldn’t pass judgement on the aircraft’s capabilities until real-world results are in. (There’s a lot of controversy with respect to its stealth capabilities and its combat readiness. I don’t think that this controversy has been settled.) Rebuilding the twin towers tested the will of our political class — and they failed that test utterly — but rest assured that if the will were there, towers twice as high could have been erected in record time. The FDA and its policies stifle innovation and keep a lot of it outside the USA.

            …Problems like this can be laid at the feet of our politicians and the professional civil service.

            But not just them. Neal Stephenson’s take on the insurance industry is accurate: http://www.technologyreview.com/view/427623/neal-stephenson-on-science-fiction-building-towers-20-kilometers-high-and-insurance/
            “…we need to start looking at the non-technological obstacles to these [scientific] advances, citing insurance as a key example. The development of alternative space launch systems has been curtailed by the unwillingness of the insurance industry to underwrite satellite launches on systems for which there is no good model of the risk involved.”

            I’m extremely optimistic with respect to scientific progress. It’s the only thing we have to be optimistic about.

            • jim says:

              Most of what you’ve mentioned, Jim, are political problems. Politicians gutted NASA to pay for welfare programs. The F-35 program was a debacle — it was mismanaged from start to finish — but we shouldn’t pass judgement on the aircraft’s capabilities until real-world results are in. (There’s a lot of controversy with respect to its stealth capabilities and its combat readiness. I don’t think that this controversy has been settled.) Rebuilding the twin towers tested the will of our political class — and they failed that test utterly — but rest assured that if the will were there, towers twice as high could have been erected in record time.

              Yes, political problems, but science and technology is itself politicized. It is not as if we had a bunch of politics free engineering teams who could put stuff together if the word was given.

              Consider the problem that if you have a pacemaker, you need major and life threatening surgery to replace the battery ever few years. Now if we had plutonium 238, we would have pacemakers that outlasted the recipients, and had to be recovered from their bodies when they died. All our plutonium 238 was looted from the collapsing Soviet Union, and now there is not any more. As a result, our most recent spacecraft was launched with a half flat battery.

              OK, you say, making more plutonium 238 is a political problem. We know, in principle, how to make plutonium 238. Both the old United States, and the old Soviet Union, made quite a lot of it. But somehow, it is been quite a while since anyone made any. Make me dictator, and we could make plutonium 238. I would also get the marriage and workforce participation rate up to near a hundred percent, and white fertility up to two or three times replacement. We know how to do these things. But we are not doing them, we are not able to do them without revolutionary and fundamental change in our politics.

          • Erebus says:

            Yes, applied science is highly politicized. The “big projects” — massive infrastructure, space travel, energy/nuclear — are thoroughly and wholly politicized, and are therefore stagnant. The pharmaceutical industry’s R&D model, due to an onerous and ever-increasing regulatory burden, is no longer viable at all. (Adjusted for inflation [!!], it cost an average of $119M to release a drug between 1963 and 1975. From 1970-1982, those costs doubled to an average of $231M. Today it’s between $1-5 billion, and it takes approximately 12 years for approval.) The transportation industry is also subject to laughable regulatory burdens and mandates.

            …Other sectors are less restricted, so the transition from lab experiment to mainstream technology is generally a lot faster.

            I believe that Massimo’s core point — namely that there still are people pushing the boundaries of science — is a very true one. The real-world implementation of new technologies is an entirely different matter — it’s mostly political/regulatory/financial in nature. And, thanks primarily to regulatory creep, there have never been more barriers to technological advancement than there are right now.

          • Massimo says:

            Manned moon landings is not the best measure of science progress. Space exploration has moved away from manned space craft to remotely operated vehicles which makes the most sense. Secondly, other areas of science have generally taken precedence yet space exploration is still progressing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_space_exploration

            1970’s Muscle cars? Now you are being silly. Today’s cars are dramatically more reliable, efficient, and safe than those from the 1970’s.

            The Chinese are making more progress, and that’s great for everyone, but US is still the leader in scientific output.

            Microfiber cloth and cell phone screens are illegal in the USA? You are really sounding crazy.

            • jim says:

              Manufacturing is effectively illegal in the US unless grandfathered in. You can do existing processes, but new and improved processes face an almost impossible regulatory burden. You can improve your software, but you cannot improve your fibers.

              Erebus thinks new materials can go direct to market. Not in the US they cannot.

          • Massimo says:

            Everything is politicized. Universities are laced in politics, infrastructure projects are loaded with government politics, etc. And there are tons of valid points about how different policies are inhibiting or discouraging output. But real progress is happening.

            One field that I find exciting: http://www.nanalyze.com/2015/04/7-gene-editing-companies-investors-should-watch/

            Companies like Editas medicine are blazing trails. You can’t look of your window and see the results yet, but they are making very real progress. And that kind of company is largely happening in the US. Some of their top talent is of Chinese ethnicity, but very US culturally.

            For recent progress, that has already happened, and you can just see it and feel it everywhere, look at the Internet and smartphones. In some ways, that stuff is old news, but remember back in 2007, Steve Ballmer laughed at the iPhone, and there was wide skepticism. Big changes start as a futuristic daydream, then its slow gradual progress met with skepticism, and finally only in hindsight will skepticism subside.

            • jim says:

              Not that interested in gene editing, until we know how to make smarter people. So far, no significant IQ genes detected. Crispr exists right now. Assume it becomes commercially available – that any clinic can buy a crispr kit and edit someone’s genes. What editing are they going to do? We do not know how to edit people’s genes to make them better people.

          • Erebus says:

            @Massimo –

            Everything is politicized, but some things are subject to far more politics than others. This, of course, manifests itself as a heavier regulatory burden.

            Editas is an intriguing proto-company, but without FDA reform, any therapeutics they choose to develop won’t reach the American public for 12-20 years. Let that sink in for a moment. Then consider that even the “fast-tracked” cancer drugs, those designated solely for terminal patients who don’t have any good treatment options, aren’t approved quickly. In their case, the process takes approximately 8 years. The FDA’s approval process is never swift. The “new drugs” set to be released this year were generally discovered 10-12 years ago — and I’m sure that, for various obvious reasons, the regulators may want to take more than 12 years with CRISPR.

            …So I’m not excited about Editas or Caribou. It’s impossible to get excited about companies that are wholly beholden to government apparatchiks. (Another reason: Due to the way the regulations are written, they need to stick to “therapeutics” — they can’t venture into enhancements. They can only market their products as disease treatments or cures. The FDA doesn’t presently have a category for the better-than-normal.)

            I am, however, excited about the prospects for the adoption of CRISPR technology in a much more general sense. Needless to say, due to the political situation, early-adoption is sure to take place outside the USA.

            (I can’t help but feel that CRISPR and subsequent technologies are going to lead to a gene-editing black market, with cyberpunk-style underground clinics in Shanghai and Bangkok.)

            Materials science, AI, and other technical disciplines aren’t so constrained. Where my own work is concerned: We can immediately start selling any new material we develop. Fewer regulations: Faster progress.

          • Massimo says:

            OK, tons of science progress is less controversial areas: material science, battery tech, AI, drones, etc.

            With gene editing, human germline gene editing is strictly forbidden to government funded labs. This is isn’t slowing progress down that much. State universities are making new transgenic strains of mice, zebrafish, and worms every single day. This technology is getting better and better. Studies into proteomics and the function of genes is underway and making progress. This stuff is complicated and progress is slow, but it’s not inhibited by politics. Gene sequencing and information technologies are rapidly advancing and well funded. Genetic engineering of crops has already had huge impact, livestock are next. Transgenic salmon under brand name AquAdavantage is happening and nearly has full FDA approval. The core genetic engineering technologies are getting much better and more reliable.

            Making humans smarter is controversial, gene treatments for something like Tay Sachs will not be controversial. Currently, if a baby is born with Tay Sachs, there is not treatment, and it will die by age 4. Dead babies are really sad. Treatments to save babies from an early death will be less controversial than you think. And they will raise the bar on the general technologies.

            We don’t know exactly which genes make people smart. We do know that regular people have tons of junk DNA and DNA errors. Fixing this relatively obvious stuff will probably have tangible IQ gains. Secondly, we do know genes that make certain parts of the brain larger. We don’t know everything, but I believe we already know enough to make better babies when the gene editing tech is more reliable and stable.

            Lastly, it is completely legal in the US to do germline genetic engineering on humans with private funding. The technology is holding this up not the laws. I don’t think super exciting germline changes are ready to go for private investors to sink money into. That will change. Maybe ten years, maybe twenty. But there will be a millionaire who feels like dropping money on this.

          • Erebus says:

            @Jim

            In addition to preventing genetic diseases, there are quite a few enhancements that very simple gene-editing can impart. For example:

            LRP5 G171V/+ Extra-strong bones

            MSTN -/- Lean muscles

            SCN9A -/- Insensitivity to pain

            ABCC11 -/- Low Odor production

            CCR5, FUT2 -/- Virus resistance

            PCSK9 -/- Low coronary disease

            APP A673T/+ Low Alzheimer’s

            GHR, GH -/- Low cancer

            SLC30A8 -/+ Low T2 Diabetes

            IFIH1 E627X/+ Low T1 Diabetes

            (Source & some discussion of the subject: http://www.ipscell.com/2015/03/georgechurchinterview/)

            There are also a number of more speculative ones — PTP1B as a target for improved insulin sensitivity and metabolic health, TERT for slower aging, etc… There are also quite a few genes associated with intelligence — too damn many at the moment. I wouldn’t be surprised if a clearer picture emerged within the next two or three years.

            As for manufacturing:
            I don’t live in the USA, and I know that it’s a bad place for industry, but I do business with American companies, and I don’t believe that there are any laws preventing the commercialization or deployment of new materials.

            Let’s say you’ve developed a new damage-resistant glass. What’s stopping you from manufacturing it and releasing it for sale? (e.g. for the smartphone and computer industries.) Nothing at all, as far as I can tell. Same goes for new metal alloys, new ceramic materials, polymers, etc. There are certain use-cases that are subject to regulation — but on the whole, there’s no excessive legal or regulatory burden, especially if you sell to businesses instead of to consumers.

            • jim says:

              The ABCC11 gene effects an enormous variety of important things, not only underarm odor. With all of these genes, there are going to be tradeoffs that no one has looked at, instead looking at the most easily measured feature.

              It is not true that there are a large number of genes associated with intelligence. People keep finding genes purportedly associated with intelligence, and then their results are not replicated.

            • jim says:

              I don’t believe that there are any laws preventing the commercialization or deployment of new materials.

              You know how chemistry sets for children got dumbed down until you could eat everything that people were allowed to put in a chemistry set? Well chemistry for adults has suffered something pretty similar, in that pretty much everything of interest or use is now toxic waste, and apt to lead to an invasion of EPA bureaucrats in moonsuits.

              Rather than a list of hazardous wastes, they have a list of non hazardous wastes, and everything else is hazardous waste. Chemicals are Evil! Entertainingly, caustic soda is not hazardous waste, and sulfuric acid is not hazardous waste, but sodium sulfate, because no one had enough incentive to go through the process of getting it listed as non hazardous, is hazardous waste. Let us not tell them what happens when you pour caustic soda and sulfuric acid into the same drain.

              If we did it might provoke an invasion of science bureaucrats in moon suits similar to that suffered by the radioactive boy scout, who supposedly was operating an unlicensed nuclear breeder reactor.

          • Erebus says:

            There are people who live with those mutations — which, in many cases, was how they were identified in the first place. They appear to be mostly, if not entirely, beneficial. It is already possible (in theory) to enhance humans with genetic engineering, and it’s only going to get more interesting. Reason enough to be optimistic, I suppose.

            (Or, rather, it would be reason enough… but given current government regulations, there’s little chance that any form of genetic engineering becomes common in the USA.)

            With respect to the genetic basis of IQ, I found this interesting. I realize it’s not conclusive — and that there are lots of other studies and papers on the subject which may be contradictory, or just of poor quality in general.

            As for manufacturing: Dealing with the EPA is a hassle — but it’s not nearly as stifling nor as expensive as going through the FDA approval process. The EPA is not, or is only very rarely, an insurmountable barrier to development. The availability of chemical reagents has never been better, in general. People still work with extremely hazardous chemicals on a regular basis. In fact, I do a lot of work with beryllium powder, which is superlatively toxic. That chemistry sets for children are now completely harmless may have to do with some specific legislation, or with liability or insurance-related concerns.

            Again, if you’ve developed a new ultra-durable glass — and let’s say, for the sake of argument, that it’s manufactured without the use of dangerous chemicals, and that you’ve got all of your patents and trademarks filed — what’s stopping you from commercializing it? Nothing at all, in my experience. You could start selling it tomorrow.

            • jim says:

              With respect to the genetic basis of IQ, I found this interesting.

              It correctly shows that IQ is genetic – but we already knew that. What it fails to show is which genes have what effect on IQ.

              I do a lot of work with beryllium powder, which is superlatively toxic.

              And your safety procedures are grandfathered in. If you find a new use for beryllium, that requires new safety procedures, you are going to be screwed.

          • Occupant says:

            Erebus:
            “With respect to the genetic basis of IQ, I found this interesting.”

            http://www.nature.com/mp/journal/v20/n2/pdf/mp2014188a.pdf?WT.ec_id=MP-201502

            Jim:
            “It correctly shows that IQ is genetic – but we already knew that. What it fails to show is which genes have what effect on IQ.”

            Pardon?

            The paper says:

            “In this genome-wide association study of general cognitive function in middle and older age, with a total N of 53 949 participants, we report 13 genome-wide significant SNP-based associations in the three genomic regions 6q16.1, 14q12 and 19q13.32. There was one gene-based significant association with the HMGN1 gene located on chromosome 21. We observed association of general cognitive function with four genes previously associated with [Alzheimers Disease] or neuropathological features of [Alzheimers Disease] and related dementias (TOMM40, APOE, MEF2C andABCG1). The results from the meta-analysis are consistent with a polygenic model of inheritance, indicating that many variants of small effect contribute to the additive genetic in fluences on general cognitive function. Using GCTA, we present consistent estimates of the lower bound of the narrow sense heritability of general fluid cognitive function, 0.29 and 0.28, from two of the largest cohorts (ARIC and HRS). We are able to predict, using only common SNP data to create a polygenic score, ~1.2% of the variance in general cognitive function in an independent sample (GS).”

            In other words, researchers have found less than a handful of locations in the human genome that account for a tiny amount of the differences in IQ.

            Since the locations uncovered so far are likely to be low hanging fruit, the total inventory of genome locations involved in IQ differences is likely to include hundreds, if not thousands.

            • jim says:

              What can I say. Re read. “Many genes of small effect” ”
              ‘1.2% of the variance”

              1.2% of the variance, 0.18 IQ points, is too small to be the effect of any specific identifiable gene. They have found that variations in some regions matter more than others, but have not found which particular variations matter.

          • Occupant says:

            “What can I say. Re read.”

            OK. I see. When you say, “It is not true that there are a large number of genes associated with intelligence,” you are not saying that IQ is not polygenetic, you are saying those genes have not been found yet.

            Several years ago Bruce Lahn discovered that MCPH1 is a gene associated with brain size, but additional research found it unrelated to IQ.

            More recently, Eichler and Polleux discovered that extra copies of SRGAP2 are found in humans but not in other primates and other animals. Studies on genetically modified mice show that SRGAP2 governs neuron development. I can’t find any evidence that anyone has looked to see if variations in SRGAP2 are related to variations in IQ.

            http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/2012/05/04/a-duplicated-gene-shaped-human-brain-evolution-and-why-the-genome-project-missed-it/#.VWmgnUZcC5I

            The almost comically long list of coauthors on the paper at nature.com suggest that the taboo against research into the genetics of IQ is weakening.

            • jim says:

              I think the overwhelming majority of the variance in IQ is genetic load – rare genetic variations, which will typically only occur in a handful of individuals in the entire sample population, and which therefore can never be identified by looking at correlations between genes and IQ.

              There are things that in principle we can do to identify and remove genetic load, but these are orders of magnitude beyond present technology.

        • Cloudswrest says:

          It’s somewhat hard to ignore the “duds” a priori. See “Chaffing and winnowing” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaffing_and_winnowing

  11. It is difficult and tiresome to decipher complaints of sexism from women (and “women”), much as it is difficult and tiresome to determine why your small children are hitting each other, and who started it.

    That said, the sexism complaints aired internally at Google:

    – Non-specific “sexism”, just the word, with no details. That was what one person who quit, a person who seemed to have severe personality problems[1], said: “sexism happened.”

    – Women claiming that they not taken seriously, for instance when proposing technical designs.

    – “Shaggy dog” stories about how women in general have a tough time, say on social media.

    I have not seen “mansplaining” mentioned explicitly.

    [1] Such as referring to herself in the first person plural.

    • jim says:

      Curiously missing from your list is sexual harassment. Note that the most famous case of sexual harassment, the pycon incident, appears to have resulted from failure to understand standard technical terms. (“forking”). Girl hears conversations going over her head, feels sexually harassed. Seems to me that the smartest people at Google have a strange tendency to engage in sexual harassment. In the Pycon incident, although “big dongles” was a joking reference to big balls, forking a repository was not in fact sexual.

      • “Note that the most famous case of sexual harassment, the pycon incident, appears to have resulted from failure to understand standard technical terms.”

        I don’t remember this incident having anything to do with Google, am I wrong?

        • jim says:

          It did not have anything to do with google, but is a case where we know what the “sexual harassment” actually was – perhaps the only technology employment case where we know what the “sexual harassment” actually was.

          It is therefore likely that most cases of “sexual harassment” in technological employment are similar.

  12. […] like a few whacks of Based Emperor Jim’s stick to shake one out of […]

  13. Massimo says:

    Fewer regulation, faster progress. Also easier problems, and more monetizable work yields faster progress. I love AI too.

  14. OldStudent says:

    Today is the Anniversary of Frances’s Death
    Pity David was lying.
    I thought only SJW’s lie.
    Violence is Golden, Golden
    I understand that Lyme Disease is cured
    By Homeopathy. How drole.
    An epidemic of the Great Imitator.
    Passed to offspring.
    Like Heart Disease.

  15. spandrell says:

    >B

    It’s funny that you like Beckwith while often criticizing Jim; I find they have a lot in common; precisely the things that you don’t like in Jim.

    Chinese peasants are *way* smarter than mestizos or Subcontinentals. Let alone Arabs and Africans. Way smarter. No contest. I take it you like Serbians, do you like Pakistanis too?

    And the Chinese do speak the same language. Trust me, I actually know something on the topic.

    In 3000 years China has been invaded 4 times by foreigners; only two of those were complete. And the bulk of foreign rule was the Manchu invasion. Once you know the specifics of that it’s really hard to generalize. It was a fluke really. The Manchu were not nomads; they didn’t even really want to conquer the place until Wu Sangui dragged Dorgon in to fight the rebels, and Dorgon realized it was it was a a piece of cake.
    And Manchu rule was only solidified when Kangxi out-Confucianed the Confucians and became the best friends of the Mandarins ever.

    Dynasty turnover in China can be best explained by elite overproduction, which happens everywhere. But China has been the only civilization on earth to always reliably rebuild itself, in a fairly reliable manner. Even the Communist bureaucracy is eerily similar to how the mandarinate worked.

    All while Western civilization kills itself, and you oh so superior Jews keep fighting to see how gives more land to your enemies. For all the superior fertility, it’s getting crowded down there. If you’re worth your salt you’ll take land from your neighbors, not flee to Berlin or New York.

    • B says:

      Beckwith actually seems to be familiar with his primary sources, quotes them chapter and verse, and seems to have read them in the original. Jim makes wild extrapolations about stuff most of his readers know even less than him about.

      I like Serbs and all the other Yugos very much, much more than I like the typical Americans (Western and Wisconsin white trash excluded-I like those guys). I don’t know Pakis well enough to like or dislike, but got the feeling that they would fuck you over if they could-but there are a lot of different kinds of Pakis, and I think I’d probably get on well with the Baluchi ones and the herders up in the mountains, as well as the Pashtuns. I really liked the Afghans, and disliked the Arabs.

      >If you’re worth your salt you’ll take land from your neighbors, not flee to Berlin or New York.

      I live in a settlement with 14 families in Samaria. You’re barking up the wrong tree. Our enemies are cannibalizing each other, and our main brake (the US) seems to be imploding, too. Within the country, everything is moving rightwards, demographically as well. At some point, it will be like with the goat in Waugh’s Scoop.

      It remains to be seen in what shape the Chinese will emerge from sex-selective birth control, one child families and prosperity.

      • spandrell says:

        The primary sources don’t talk about the Mongol comitatus, and Central Eurasians invading Japan. They most certainly don’t say that steppe nomads always wanted to trade freely with settled peoples, and that loot was a last-resort of the peace-loving free people.

        I like the guy, he’s fun to read, but he has a huge axe to grind.

        China had 17m births last year, in an upward trend. They’ll be ok. Don’t know if you’ll be once you actually get a muslim in the white house.

        • B says:

          Beckwith’s footnotes, with sources and quotes, take up half his books.

          What kind of neoreactionary are you? “A Mooslim in the White House”? Will he be writing his own speeches and policy papers, too?

          We got Muslims in charge next door in Jordan and Egypt, and they seem to be ok. I would prefer El Sisi in charge of the US to the current gang of faggots and geriatrics.

      • jim says:

        Beckwith actually seems to be familiar with his primary sources, quotes them chapter and verse, and seems to have read them in the original.

        So does Chomsky seem

        You are a credulous nincompoop. You swallow progressive propaganda and fail to notice the discrepancies. The Bolsheviks were for many years impotent against peasant hostility, entirely failing to rule the countryside. The Bolsheviks laid siege to the cities like a hostile invading army, starving the cities into submission. Obviously they lacked mass support. The Jewish revolutionaries massacred Jewish women and children and terrorized each other

        You think yourself and orthodox Jews rightwing because you successfully lag the Zeitgeist by a few decades, while accepting all the key principles of the ruling Zeitgeist, failing to notice that the Zeitgeist is heading to the destruction of Israel.

        You believe official propaganda on the Russian masses and black Africa, and fail to note its resemblance to official propaganda on the Middle Eastern masses.

        You cannot consistently accept one and reject the other, so you are making an unprincipled exception in favor of Jews, which is the same hypocrisy as fatally weakens the Jewish state and makes it incapable of crushing its enemies, which leads it, Obama like, to spit upon its friends and cuddle to its enemies.

        You accept progressive myth, but selectively, inconsistently, incoherently, and hypocritically reject those parts that will lead to the death of you and everyone like you.

        • B says:

          >So does Chomsky seem

          To you, perhaps. I’ve never been impressed with him.

          You’re just upset that I’ve pointed out that, like the press, you are very convincing in all areas of which I lack personal knowledge.

          >The Bolsheviks were for many years impotent against peasant hostility, entirely failing to rule the countryside. The Bolsheviks laid siege to the cities like a hostile invading army, starving the cities into submission.

          The Bolsheviks crushed peasant rebellions brutally and immediately. Again, see Bryansk. They conquered the vast expanse east of Moscow with a relative handful of troops. They also crushed the Cossacks totally in very short order. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decossackization

          Despite their brutality, the Bolsheviks never faced massive and organized resistance from the peasants. You just don’t read too much about prodrazverstka parties being purposely exterminated en masse. Especially once the Soviets launched NEP, the peasants complied.

          >The Jewish revolutionaries massacred Jewish women and children and terrorized each other

          The Jewish revolutionaries were a prominent minority among the revolutionaries.

          >You think yourself and orthodox Jews rightwing because you successfully lag the Zeitgeist by a few decades, while accepting all the key principles of the ruling Zeitgeist, failing to notice that the Zeitgeist is heading to the destruction of Israel.

          Yes, yes, we are doomed, I know. It’s an old song, but it still sounds good.

          >You believe official propaganda on the Russian masses and black Africa, and fail to note its resemblance to official propaganda on the Middle Eastern masses.

          I believe the evidence of my own eyes and primary sources with regards to all three. You are pretty ignorant of primary sources, so, being disappointed in the official propaganda pseudohistory, decide you can just build your own version instead.

          • jim says:

            >The Bolsheviks were for many years impotent against peasant hostility, entirely failing to rule the countryside. The Bolsheviks laid siege to the cities like a hostile invading army, starving the cities into submission.

            The Bolsheviks crushed peasant rebellions brutally and immediately

            I have seldom found that your sources say what you think they say. The Bolsheviks relationships with the countryside were military and political. They were for a long time unable to maintain an apparatus of government and control in the countryside, and decided that the countryside could wait until they had crushed the cities. And it took them quite a while to crush the cities.

            Despite their brutality, the Bolsheviks never faced massive and organized resistance from the peasants.

            Peasants failed to organize. Neither did they obey. If the peasants failed to organize, neither where the communists able to organize them. The Bolsheviks faced dispersed and unorganized truculent hostility, hostility that overwhelmed their power to deal with it. So, for a time, they did not attempt to deal with it.

            They also crushed the Cossacks totally in very short order

            1919 is not “very short order”, and the fact that the communists basic tactic against the cossacks was the indiscriminate massacre of civilians hints at a distinct lack of mass support.

            Especially once the Soviets launched NEP, the peasants complied.

            Which implicitly admits that the communists failed to control the countryside until they made major concessions to the peasants.

            I notice you completely failed to respond to my point about the road block brigades – that the communists subdued the cities by besieging them and starving them into submission, showing massive lack of “proletarian” support

            Russian movement left was never a mass movement, never bottom up, only astroturf up. Starting with Alexander the Liberator, the government moved ever leftwards, ever faster, until finally it was forced to make the most brutal war upon its subjects in order to drag them along with it. The communist “revolution” was a manifestation of the government making war upon its defenseless and disarmed people, not the people revolting against the government.

            >You believe official propaganda on the Russian masses and black Africa, and fail to note its resemblance to official propaganda on the Middle Eastern masses.

            I believe the evidence of my own eyes and primary sources with regards to all three.

            You don’t believe the primary sources with regard to the Russian masses and black Africa. You believe the officially blessed interpretation of the primary sources. Who built the Great Zimbabwe?

          • B says:

            >I have seldom found that your sources say what you think they say.

            Every time we dug into them, it turns out that the sources say what I think they say, and you have reading comprehension problems (mostly caused by not reading.) Who the hell is Miphtaiah?

            >They were for a long time unable to maintain an apparatus of government and control in the countryside, and decided that the countryside could wait until they had crushed the cities.

            Yes, I suppose those cities sustained themselves with food and other supplies. Wait, no, the Bolsheviks would go and take them as they pleased.

            >And it took them quite a while to crush the cities.

            Oh, yes? Enlighten me, Great Historian, what organized urban resistance did the Bolsheviks face after 1919?

            >Peasants failed to organize. Neither did they obey.

            They provided food and conscripts. What else is required of peasants?

            >1919 is not “very short order”, and the fact that the communists basic tactic against the cossacks was the indiscriminate massacre of civilians hints at a distinct lack of mass support.

            Given how long the Cossacks had been the regime’s police caste and how many of them there were, 1919 is indeed very short order. The Bolsheviks came to power in late 1917 in a few large cities, kicked the living shit out of the Cossacks in Rostov in early 1918 and completely crushed them by early 1919. The Tories in the US lasted much longer. The fact that a huge portion of the Red Army, the 1st Cavalry Army, was made up of Cossack volunteers, should tell you something.

            >Which implicitly admits that the communists failed to control the countryside until they made major concessions to the peasants.

            They had no problem controlling the countryside, but needed the economy to function more efficiently.

            >I notice you completely failed to respond to my point about the road block brigades – that the communists subdued the cities by besieging them and starving them into submission, showing massive lack of “proletarian” support

            Because your point is banal and irrelevant. If you actually knew any history, you’d bring up, for instance, the practice of taking hostages from the population. Still irrelevant. Every revolution involves the application of carrot and stick, and since there aren’t typically a lot of carrots to go around, well…nonetheless, without popular support, a revolution doesn’t work, because your supply lines get eaten up and your military dissolves/deserts.

            >The communist “revolution” was a manifestation of the government making war upon its defenseless and disarmed people, not the people revolting against the government.

            Not what every primary source I’ve read says, and a lot of those primary sources were private diaries or published in France/Germany by refugees from the USSR.

            >You don’t believe the primary sources with regard to the Russian masses and black Africa.

            You ass, I’ve read dozens of primary sources in Russian, most of them Samizdat written by refugees. The picture you paint is not the picture they paint.

            >You believe the officially blessed interpretation of the primary sources. Who built the Great Zimbabwe?

            What does it matter? For sure not the same guys who built Benin. Has any Hebrew script been dug up at the Great Zimbabwe?

            • jim says:

              >I have seldom found that your sources say what you think they say.

              Every time we dug into them, it turns out that the sources say what I think they sa

              You are at best deluded, at worst lying.

              There were hundreds of peasant revolts in Russia as late as 1922. There was total passive resistance, in that the peasants were hiding grain and refusing to grow grain.

              In the time of the Elephantine scrolls, women don’t get to consent to their marriages, the marriage contracts being between the male heads of household. That is not a whole lot changed from the old testament system, and your depiction of the Elephantine papyri is very strange.

              The stuff in the Talmud that you interpret as supporting double dishwashers does not.

              Oh, yes? Enlighten me, Great Historian, what organized urban resistance did the Bolsheviks face after 1919?

              Food blockades of cities were a response to unorganized resistance, which continued all the way to 1922, and arguably longer.

              Kronstadt was organized urban resistance in 1921, and was substantial part a response to the communists blocking food supplies into the city, which was a response to various forms of unorganized resistance enumerated by the Kronstadt rebels.

              Kronstadt was the major organized urban rebellion, but was preceded and followed by hundreds of peasant rebellions.

              The communists were the state terrorizing the people. This was a natural consequence of the state rapidly moving ever leftwards ever faster, starting with Tsar Alexander the Liberator, and the masses not keeping up with the state, which required the state to use increasingly drastic methods against the people, ultimately resulting in the state systematically blocking the supply of food to the cities, the state laying siege to Russian cities, even before the communist coup. Communist methods of repression of the urban proletariat appeared before communists took power.

              Communists took power because the state needed communist methods to crush the people, not the other way around. The state needed communists in order to force the masses into line. The Tsar was discarded because the “progress” that he welcomed and encouraged needed harsher methods of control than monarchy and aristocracy could provide.

          • B says:

            >There were hundreds of peasant revolts in Russia as late as 1922.

            None of these gained scale or posed any serious threat to the Bolsheviks.

            >There was total passive resistance, in that the peasants were hiding grain and refusing to grow grain.

            It is difficult to call this total.

            >In the time of the Elephantine scrolls, women don’t get to consent to their marriages, the marriage contracts being between the male heads of household.

            Their marriage contract says they can divorce upon demand. Even the ex-slave ones.

            >The stuff in the Talmud that you interpret as supporting double dishwashers does not.

            Not this again. The stuff in the Talmud says that a hot liquid transfers taste between dairy and meat utensils (the fish thing in the Mishna). Then the Shulchan Aruch says that this is not a problem if the hot liquid contains lye, which spoils the taste. Then the Rema (his Ashkenazi commentator,) says this is not so. Some in the 21st century go by one version, others by another.

            >Oh, yes? Enlighten me, Great Historian, what organized urban resistance did the Bolsheviks face after 1919?

            >Food blockades of cities were a response to unorganized resistance, which continued all the way to 1922, and arguably longer.

            That doesn’t answer my question. Obviously, when you capture a country in a revolution, you want to control key infrastructure including food, transportation, communications. It’s a non sequitur.

            >Kronstadt was the major organized urban rebellion, but was preceded and followed by hundreds of peasant rebellions.

            Kronstadt was not a city. It was a naval fortress, whose garrison revolted because they wanted to go further leftwards (as it turned out that the revolution was not all it had been cracked up to be.) If that’s the best you can do…

            >The communists were the state terrorizing the people.

            Pity that this brave new interpretation is not shared by any of the primary sources, even those of the Monarchists, Whites and other counterrevolutionaries who escaped and spent decades in exile writing their memoirs and analyses. From Bunin to Solonevich, they all interpreted the Bolsheviks as middle class bourgeois clerks riding on the backs of vile declasse scum.

            • jim says:

              >There were hundreds of peasant revolts in Russia as late as 1922.

              None of these gained scale or posed any serious threat to the Bolsheviks.

              What did pose a major threat to the Bolsheviks was passive resistance by the masses: The refusal to supply grain, pay taxes, or supply conscripts. There was massive resistance from the beginning, and it escalated until the NEP, the NEP being, in large part, the Bolsheviks making major concessions to the peasants.

              Obviously, when you capture a country in a revolution, you want to control key infrastructure including food, transportation, communications.

              If you want to starve the cities, you don’t control the cities. The behavior of the Soviet State, and the state shortly before the communist coup, was the behavior of a state that has lost control of both the cities and the countryside, but retains control of the army, bureaucracy, and police, and is attempting to regain control of the population by military conquest of a hostile, rebellious, and recalcitrant population.

              From Bunin to Solonevich, they all interpreted the Bolsheviks as middle class bourgeois clerks riding on the backs of vile declasse scum.

              Do they? So you say. I have not read them. I have, however, read “Doctor Zhivago”, in which “revolution” is represented by Gintz, Strelnikov, and Liberius, all of whom are arrogant state power crushing the people from high above, all of whom are hated by the masses that they hope to inspire and in whose name they act, and hated for good reason. The character Doctor Zhivago piously takes the revolution at face value, as the masses revolting against repression, but obviously the author does not. That the revolution was by and for the masses is, in the book “Doctor Zhivago”, part delusion, part lie. Gintz is genuinely deluded. Liberius lies.

              While the revolution in Animal Farm starts off as a genuine well intentioned revolution and goes bad, the “Revolution” in Doctor Zhivago was born bad, it was already horribly wrong even before the communist coup.

          • B says:

            >The refusal to supply grain, pay taxes, or supply conscripts.

            Unlike the Whites, who had officers acting as infantry enlisted, the Reds never had a problem with conscripts.

            >There was massive resistance from the beginning, and it escalated until the NEP, the NEP being, in large part, the Bolsheviks making major concessions to the peasants.

            By the time of NEP, there was no mass resistance left except in Central Asia.

            >If you want to starve the cities, you don’t control the cities. The behavior of the Soviet State, and the state shortly before the communist coup, was the behavior of a state that has lost control of both the cities and the countryside, but retains control of the army, bureaucracy, and police, and is attempting to regain control of the population by military conquest of a hostile, rebellious, and recalcitrant population.

            This is simply nonsense. The army had largely disintegrated, losing cohesion and morale (in large part due to Bolshevik subversion.) They had to reorganize everything from scratch. See: Konarmiya. The police and bureaucracy were nonexistent by 1918.

            >Do they? So you say. I have not read them.

            Yes, that much is obvious.

            >I have, however, read “Doctor Zhivago”, in which “revolution” is represented by Gintz, Strelnikov, and Liberius, all of whom are arrogant state power crushing the people from high above, all of whom are hated by the masses that they hope to inspire and in whose name they act, and hated for good reason.

            “I have not read any primary sources on the American Civil War; I did, however, watch Gone With The Wind, twice.”

            “I have not read any primary sources on the American crime wave of the 60s-80s; I have, however, read many Batman comics.”

            The portrait of the revolution that can be seen from primary sources is very simple: the worst of the clerk class, inspired by poorly digested European leftist ideas, leading the worst of the proles and farmers, inspired by the prospect of looting, and sweeping along a vast amount of idealists genuinely believing in the cause.

            I recommend Babel’s Konarmiya as a start.

            >While the revolution in Animal Farm starts off as a genuine well intentioned revolution and goes bad, the “Revolution” in Doctor Zhivago was born bad, it was already horribly wrong even before the communist coup.

            None of that has anything to do with whether they had mass support or not.

            • jim says:

              >There was massive resistance from the beginning, and it escalated until the NEP, the NEP being, in large part, the Bolsheviks making major concessions to the peasants.

              By the time of NEP, there was no mass resistance left except in Central Asia.

              You are just pig ignorant and determined to deny anything that fails to fit with your progressive preconceptions, being progressive in everything that does not directly and immediately lead to the destruction of Israel and and the Jews. You assume history books support you because your attitude is the same attitude as those books, but your facts quite different from what is in the books, for they present highly unprogressive facts with a highly progressive attitude. And then, having taken a stupid ignorant position, you just FUCKING LIE OVER AND OVER AGAIN ABOUT WHAT YOUR SOURCES SAY.

              At the time of the NEP, grain requisitions had largely collapsed, which looks like massive, widespread, and determined resistance, that the peasants had been massively resisting from the beginning and their resistance was escalating and becoming better organized.

              Immediately after I wrote the above words, I googled up the first book I found on the period that had preview, and went to their pages covering the time in dispute: (1921) It fits my recollection and the facts I have been teaching you in this thread:
              “The Soviet State and Society” Page 68:

              … the military bureaucratic apparatus now ranged against rebellious workers and peasants …

              … The writ of centralized state power did not extend much beyond the cities and the partially destroyed rail lines connecting them …

              page 69

              … In Tambov province a major rebellion was gathering pace …

              page 75-76

              On the 22nd of January 1921 owing to the paucity of supplies and the small number of freight trains arriving from the hinterlands the bread ration in Moscow, Petrograd, and other industrial centers was cut by a third and even then there was not enough bread to go around. During the early part of February, not single food shipment reached Moscow.

              page 77

              … No sooner had the factories re-opened than the workers walked of their jobs … proclaimed martial law throughout the city. Only after a week, however, was order restored.

              You fit the Jewish stereotype: Keen on progress for everyone except Jews and Israel, for which you make an unprincipled exception. But the trouble with unprincipled exceptions is that hypocrisy is weak before sincerity. The true and sincere progressives want all Jews to die, especially themselves, and you will lose to them as long you are a progressive who makes unprincipled exceptions for Jews.

              When you lie about Jewish history, I have to look stuff up. But when you lie about Soviet history, I know Soviet history, and know what the sources say without remembering or looking up specific particular sources.

              So, after an exchange where you made one BAREFACED FUCKING LIE AFTER ANOTHER ABOUT WHAT THE HISTORY BOOKS SAY, I finally googled up a Soviet history book – (not quite at random, I was looking for peasant requisitions) – but I knew it would say exactly what I have been telling you. The Soviets failed to control the countryside, the requisitions largely failed, and with the war against the whites largely over, the war against the peasants and workers continued.

          • B says:

            >You assume history books support you because your attitude is the same attitude as those books, but your facts quite different from what is in the books, for they present highly unprogressive facts with a highly progressive attitude.

            Not history books. Primary sources.

            >And then, having taken a stupid ignorant position, you just FUCKING LIE OVER AND OVER AGAIN ABOUT WHAT YOUR SOURCES SAY.

            Calm down there, Sally. Easy on the ALL CAPS BRO.

            >At the time of the NEP, grain requisitions had largely collapsed, which looks like massive, widespread, and determined resistance, that the peasants had been massively resisting from the beginning and their resistance was escalating and becoming better organized.

            No. At the time NEP was passed into law, the Reds had beaten the Whites, Makhno, and everyone except the peasants. They’d taken on all comers and won.

            The Prodrazvyorstka (forced food requisition) collected 100 million poods of bread and fodder in 1918-19, 210 million poods in 1919-20 and 360 million poods in 1920-21. In 1921-22, after they enacted NEP and changed the forced requisition to Prodnalog (a tax,) they collected 240 million poods.

            >… the military bureaucratic apparatus now ranged against rebellious workers and peasants …

            Yes, they had wrecked everyone else, and now needed to consolidate power. But to wreck everyone else, they had used significant support among the masses. To consolidate power, they used the carrot and the stick; the fate of the Tambov and Kronstadt rebellions demonstrated the futility of fighting, and NEP was the carrot.

            >… The writ of centralized state power did not extend much beyond the cities and the partially destroyed rail lines connecting them …

            Amazingly, this did not affect the Bolsheviks’ ability to increase requisitions to an unprecedented level.

            >In Tambov province a major rebellion was gathering pace …

            I mentioned this earlier. I’m not sure why you bring it up like you’ve discovered planetary rotation or something.

            >… No sooner had the factories re-opened than the workers walked of their jobs … proclaimed martial law throughout the city. Only after a week, however, was order restored.

            Exactly.

            >. But when you lie about Soviet history, I know Soviet history,

            Dude, you didn’t even know Kronstadt was a fortress, not a city. That’s something every 6 year old Russian knows.

            >and know what the sources say without remembering or looking up specific particular sources.

            Yeah, I’ll say.

            • jim says:

              >You assume history books support you because your attitude is the same attitude as those books, but your facts quite different from what is in the books, for they present highly unprogressive facts with a highly progressive attitude.

              Not history books. Primary sources.

              You are this great expert who has read all these primary sources on origins of Soviet power and yet strangely, you were entirely unaware that the state was unable to control the countryside until it made major concessions to the peasants in 1922. You repeatedly asserted that the peasants liked the new government and it was able to control the countryside with no problems due to its popularity.

              You are this great expert who has read all these primary sources and yet strangely, you were entirely unaware that the state faced massive resistance from the urban proletariat over the same period.

              When we were arguing about the Talmud and the Old Testament and the Elephantine scrolls, you were perhaps self deceived as to what they said, reading them talmudically to impose a progressive meaning on them. When we were arguing about Russian history, you were not only self deceived, but also you are just simply unfamiliar with it.

              To recap our debate: I made the unusual and highly controversial claim that there was no Russian revolution by the masses, that rather, the state moving ever leftwards, was forced to take increasingly violent action to drag the masses along with it. In support of this controversial proposition I pointed to the well known and uncontroversial facts that the communists took power in a coup based on a handful of powerful people, that the civil war was largely a war by the state against the peasants and the urban workers, that this war began before the communists took power and increased in intensity when they took power. AND YOU WITH GREAT CONFIDENCE DENIED THESE WELL KNOWN AND UNCONTROVERSIAL FACTS

          • B says:

            >You are this great expert who has read all these primary sources on origins of Soviet power and yet strangely, you were entirely unaware that the state was unable to control the countryside until it made major concessions to the peasants in 1922.

            When a state can’t control the countryside, the amount of resources it can get from the countryside DECREASES. The amount of resources requisitioned from the countryside INCREASED steadily until 1922. Is this difficult for you to grasp?

            By the time NEP was enacted in scale, the Tambov Rebellion had been crushed, as had Makhno’s guerrilla army, the Tyumen Rebellion, etc.

            >You repeatedly asserted that the peasants liked the new government and it was able to control the countryside with no problems due to its popularity.

            What I asserted was that the Bolsheviks had significant support among the masses, meaning, the peasants and city workers. And indeed, we see that in Tambov, the rebels had 50K troops, while the Soviets brought in 100K, who came from the peasants and city workers. We see that in 1917, those soldiers refused to fight the Germans, but in 1920, they fought the Poles and in 1921-22 they fought the peasants of Tambov and Western Siberia. That ought to tell you something.

            >You are this great expert who has read all these primary sources and yet strangely, you were entirely unaware that the state faced massive resistance from the urban proletariat over the same period.

            Up front, I said that there were rebellions against the Bolsheviks, which they crushed. You ignored that, then, when the magic of Google revealed that there had been rebellions against the Bolsheviks, started jeering like you’d discovered America. Good job.

            >To recap our debate: I made the unusual and highly controversial claim that there was no Russian revolution by the masses, that rather, the state moving ever leftwards, was forced to take increasingly violent action to drag the masses along with it.

            Yeah, unusual and highly controversial is putting it mildly. Somehow, none of the participants, Red, White, Green or any other color, made this genius observation.

            >In support of this controversial proposition I pointed to the well known and uncontroversial facts that the communists took power in a coup based on a handful of powerful people,

            Based on whom, Lenin who had been hiding out in Switzerland until the Germans shipped him over in a sealed railroad car? Trotsky, writing articles in NYC emigre papers for $15 per week?

            >that the civil war was largely a war by the state against the peasants and the urban workers

            The state’s army in this war being composed, presumably, of hired Swiss mercenaries, reptiloid cyanohemoshapeshifters and effete bohemian artists. Interestingly, the actual eyewitnesses on both sides described them as peasants and lumpenproles, which goes to show you how unreliable the people who were actually there are as witnesses.

            >that this war began before the communists took power and increased in intensity when they took power.

            Interestingly, the state was completely incapable of making these same peasants and urban workers of whom its army and navy had been composed fight or even maintain basic military discipline in 1917. All part of the plot, one supposes.

            • jim says:

              When a state can’t control the countryside, the amount of resources it can get from the countryside DECREASES. The amount of resources requisitioned from the countryside INCREASED steadily until 1922. Is this difficult for you to grasp?

              As usual, you are making up the facts to suit your ideological presuppositions. The communists were less and less able to extract food from the countryside, until they made concessions to the peasants with the NEP in 1922.

              The population of the cities continually declined as people fled communist control to the countryside. Nonetheless the rations did not increase, and frequently decreased. Repeating:
              “The Soviet State and Society” page 75-76 “On the 22nd of January 1921 owing to the paucity of supplies and the small number of freight trains arriving from the hinterlands the bread ration in Moscow, Petrograd, and other industrial centers was cut by a third and even then there was not enough bread to go around. During the early part of February, not single food shipment reached Moscow.” The debate on what became the New Economic Plan implicitly admits a steadily worsening crisis of food supply.

              And indeed, we see that in Tambov, the rebels had 50K troops, while the Soviets brought in 100K, who came from the peasants and city workers.

              Reluctant conscripts with people holding guns at their backs, facing a spontaneous militia. As I said, the state versus the people.

              Yeah, unusual and highly controversial is putting it mildly. Somehow, none of the participants, Red, White, Green or any other color, made this genius observation.

              Boris Pasternak, the author of “Doctor Zhivago”, had a fairly similar point of view to me, though without the underlying theory of the left singularity, and I am sure his view was pretty common. Don’t see anyone calling him out for it except the usual fans of leftism. The substory about Gintz implies that there were lots of revolutionaries who sincerely believed it was an uprising against the state, but they were deluded.

              Gintz thinks he is making revolution of the masses, by the masses, for the masses, but he is not, and the masses do not think that he is.

              “Doctor Zhivago” does not tell us that the Revolution turned bad, but that it was bad from birth, not the revolution that it claimed to be.

              In “Doctor Zhivago” we never see the revolutionaries fighting the state, (because in reality, they never did) nor do we see them fighting the whites, though in fact they did. Rather, the “revolution” is a war by the state against the people. The revolutionaries say the opposite, and to some extent actually believe the opposite, but what they say is not what the book shows us.

          • B says:

            >As usual, you are making up the facts to suit your ideological presuppositions. The communists were less and less able to extract food from the countryside, until they made concessions to the peasants with the NEP in 1922.

            The apparatus responsible for food extraction from the countryside was called “prodrazvyorstka.” Although a scholar of Russian history such as yourself is sure to have known that and I’m just bringing it up for any theoretically remaining reader. If you punch it into Wikipedia, you can see that the amount of food requisitioned grew completely.

            >“The Soviet State and Society” page 75-76 “On the 22nd of January 1921 owing to the paucity of supplies and the small number of freight trains arriving from the hinterlands the bread ration in Moscow, Petrograd, and other industrial centers was cut by a third and even then there was not enough bread to go around. During the early part of February, not single food shipment reached Moscow.”

            Generally speaking, wheat is not gathered in January or February in the Russian climate.

            >Reluctant conscripts with people holding guns at their backs, facing a spontaneous militia. As I said, the state versus the people.

            Reluctant or not, we don’t see massive desertions to the rebels, which is what generally happens when you have a demoralized army that doesn’t want to fight (like in 1941.) We also didn’t see massive desertions to the Whites.

            >Boris Pasternak, the author of “Doctor Zhivago”, had a fairly similar point of view to me, though without the underlying theory of the left singularity, and I am sure his view was pretty common. Don’t see anyone calling him out for it except the usual fans of leftism. The substory about Gintz implies that there were lots of revolutionaries who sincerely believed it was an uprising against the state, but they were deluded.

            As I have said, we don’t study the Civil War by reading Gone With The Wind. I understand this is the only source you have…

            >“Doctor Zhivago” does not tell us that the Revolution turned bad, but that it was bad from birth, not the revolution that it claimed to be.

            It is obvious that the revolution was bad from birth, being fomented by the worst parts of the Russian bourgeoisie and appealing to the worst instincts of the peasants and lumpenproletariat, and being founded on wicked lies. That is not what we are discussing.

            >In “Doctor Zhivago” we never see the revolutionaries fighting the state, (because in reality, they never did) nor do we see them fighting the whites, though in fact they did.

            Doctor Zhivago is a work of fiction.

            In reality, by the time the Communists came to power, “the state” had collapsed through subversion. Parts of it re-emerged as the Whites. The Communists more or less built their own (the Committee hierarchy.)

            • jim says:

              If you punch it into Wikipedia, you can see that the amount of food requisitioned grew completely.

              Grew according to official Soviet statistics.

              Yet somehow, the amount of food that they were actually able to supply to ever fewer people was ever smaller, and their discussions about the policy show an ever worsening sense of crisis. If the amount of food they brought in to the cities doubled in a single year, doubled in 1921, why were rations in the cities cut in that year, and why did not everyone receive their ration?

              appealing to the worst instincts of the peasants and lumpenproletariat

              I see no evidence that it appealed to the peasants or lumpenproletariat, and plenty of evidence that it did not, starting with their failure to control the countryside and the urban insurrections.

              You claim to have evidence that it appealed, but in the past when I have examined your sources, they seldom say what you think they say.

          • B says:

            >Grew according to official Soviet statistics.

            If you have other ones, please share.

            >Yet somehow, the amount of food that they were actually able to supply to ever fewer people was ever smaller, and their discussions about the policy show an ever worsening sense of crisis. If the amount of food they brought in to the cities doubled in a single year, doubled in 1921, why were rations in the city cut in that year, and why did not everyone receive their ration?

            The situation in the cities was bad in 1921 but worse in 1918-1920. By 1921-22 they had no existential threats remaining, and needed to consolidate their power, going from a wartime to a peacetime footing.

            >I see no evidence that it appealed to the peasants or lumpenproletariat, and plenty of evidence that it did not, starting with their failure to control the countryside and the urban insurrections.

            They controlled the countryside and were never seriously threatened. There were no urban insurrections to speak of. Kronstadt was not a city.

            >You claim to have evidence that it appealed, but in the past when I have examined your sources, they seldom say what you think they say.

            Well, after you read at least five memoirs/primary sources of the period from all sides (Reds, Whites, Makhno, the people in the middle,) come on back and we’ll discuss whether they say what I think they say.

            I recommend: Babel’s Konarmiya (a pretty objective view of the Reds,) Makhno’s memoirs, Bunin’s Cursed Days, Solonevich’s memoirs, Zeki Velidi Togan’s autobiography (if you can find a copy in English,) and Bogaevsky’s memoirs. But feel free to choose your own (nonfiction) sources.

            • jim says:

              >Yet somehow, the amount of food that they were actually able to supply to ever fewer people was ever smaller, and their discussions about the policy show an ever worsening sense of crisis. If the amount of food they brought in to the cities doubled in a single year, doubled in 1921, why were rations in the city cut in that year, and why did not everyone receive their ration?

              The situation in the cities was bad in 1921 but worse in 1918-1920.

              You are simply making stuff up. Everything was going to hell in handbasket (ration cuts, and failure to supply rations, workers going on strike and resisting efforts to put them back to work at gunpoint) until they were finally forced to make concessions to the peasants, the NEP. The whites were never the big enemy. From the beginning, before the communists even took power, the workers and the peasants were the big enemy.

          • Mark Citadel says:

            You have to wonder at some point, are Jews even capable of Reaction?

            The Jews were not just a ‘prominent’ minority, they were an absolutely essential minority. One only need to look very close by at the Bela Kun regime in Hungary and how many Jews were involved there. For the rise of Bolshevism in the last century, Jews were instrumental, which was a contributing factor to the bloodshed that followed. Indeed, had Bolshevism not existed and been fomented, no massacres would have occured during the last century in Europe (except for perhaps in the Balkans).

            “We prefer that from our taxes a professor be hired, not a priest. We wish therefore the separation of church from the state. For we do not wish that our forced contribution serve to encourage obscurantism, renunciation, and the spirit of resignation, thanks to which the police regimes are maintained.”

            Jewish, M. Sevastos writing in Opinia in 1919, for the end of the Traditional state.

            As has been pointed out, using any Communist sources of ‘information’ from this period, whether Jewish or not, is folly, because the aim of all such ‘information’ was the destruction of the Traditional state, church, and ethnic divisions. Numbers were fraudulent. Facts were distorted. That was the way of the enemies of the Occident. Only after the fall of these regimes has some measure of truth about them been uncovered.

            • jim says:

              Indeed, had Bolshevism not existed and been fomented, no massacres would have occured during the last century in Europe (except for perhaps in the Balkans).

              Russia was on the path to a left singularity well before Jews became prominent in the process.

              Jews are a natural fit to clerisy type jobs, so if you have universalist evangelist religion that is rapidly gathering political power, Jews will sign up to it and become prominent in it, but it is a process of conversion.

              And the subsequent behavior of the Jewish bolsheviks (purging each other) demonstrated that they were conversos, that to the extent that they were sincere, they, like Marx, came to hate Jews.

              Jews did not cause the leftist singularity, rather, Jewish skills are good fit to cashing in on it.

          • B says:

            >Indeed, had Bolshevism not existed and been fomented, no massacres would have occured during the last century in Europe (except for perhaps in the Balkans).

            Of course. The Europeans are completely incapable of revolutionary massacres and mass atrocities like in the Vendee without Jewish supervision.

            >“We prefer that from our taxes a professor be hired, not a priest. ”

            Whereas non-Jewish Protestants, of course, wished very much for Catholic priests to be hired from their taxes and would never dare call for the separation of church and state.

            >That was the way of the enemies of the Occident.

            Naturally, Protestants and Catholics would never dream of using information as a weapon, or distorting the truth. It’s simply not the way of the Occident. And we see that the non-Jewish Puritans, Nazis and the Soviets after the Jews had been removed from all positions of power, loved truth dearly and never twisted it to serve their aims. It’s simply not the White thing to do.

        • B says:

          >You are simply making stuff up.

          As I said, if you have sources, I would love to read them. With figures.

          >Everything was going to hell in handbasket (ration cuts, and failure to supply rations, workers going on strike and resisting efforts to put them back to work at gunpoint) until they were finally forced to make concessions to the peasants, the NEP.

          What kind of neoreactionary are you? Oh, yeah, the peasants were so effective that only with concessions could they be calmed down. You know, when you have some problems with peasants and you give them stuff, that takes care of it typically. Sure.

          >The whites were never the big enemy. From the beginning, before the communists even took power, the workers and the peasants were the big enemy.

          And the Communists’ armies were made up from Martians? Oh, I understand-the workers and peasants who made up the armies were there completely against their will. Why they didn’t defect en masse to the Whites or the rebels, or turn their weapons against the Communists, etc., is just one of those mysteries, I guess. Must have been Bolshevik mind rays, yeah.

          • jim says:

            >You are simply making stuff up.

            As I said, if you have sources, I would love to read them. With figures.

            There are no reliable figures for what happened under communism, for under communism to be in any sort of contact with reality is apt to get one shot. No one knew what was happening, least of all those in charge. Same situation when I visited Cuba. This is natural and logical consequence of the dialectic method. Communists are not materialists in the sense that scientists are materialists. They think that observables are indeed observable, but should conform to dialectic, rather than thinking that dialectic should conform to observables. They think that reality can be altered, can be made to conform to the party program, by shooting people that notice that reality is not conforming.

            But we do know that in the period to 1922, people were fleeing the cities to the countryside, and rations, always low, were cut further. Therefore the amount of food the communists were able to seize from the countryside was diminishing, and diminishing substantially, no matter what the figures say. This is consistent with reports that communists controlled only the cities and the immediate vicinity of the railway lines.

            >The whites were never the big enemy. From the beginning, before the communists even took power, the workers and the peasants were the big enemy.

            And the Communists’ armies were made up from Martians?

            Conscripts with death squads pointing guns at them.

          • B says:

            >There are no reliable figures for what happened under communism, for under communism to be in any sort of contact with reality is apt to get one shot.

            Doubtful. There were exaggerations and lots of polishing figures, but generally, they were accurate to within an order of magnitude or more. That’s how guys like Amalrik were able to do dissident statistics. Similarly, Hugo Steinhaus deriving German casualty figures from a bare minimum of information using statistical analysis. There were statistics that were massaged and inflated. There were other ones that were pretty accurate.

            >No one knew what was happening, least of all those in charge.

            A system where no one knows what is happening doesn’t conquer and hold a huge empire, doesn’t wreck the Germans and Japanese, doesn’t build nuclear weapons and send people into space. Let’s not exaggerate.

            >They think that observables are indeed observable, but should conform to dialectic, rather than thinking that dialectic should conform to observables.

            This is exactly what I’ve noticed with you. If the facts contradict the theory, so much the worse for the facts. Only in your case, the theory is different.

            >But we do know that in the period to 1922, people were fleeing the cities to the countryside

            Do we? How do we know that, if there are no reliable figures?

            >and rations, always low, were cut further.

            We know that there were a couple of months in 1922 when rations were cut. We don’t know if this was a trend or not.

            >Conscripts with death squads pointing guns at them.

            This is pretty sensationalistic. Every army has military discipline; the term “decimation” doesn’t come from the Soviets. Certainly, when we look at the Konarmiya, the cavalry elite army of the Bolsheviks, we don’t see death squads-those guys would not have stood for it. Certainly, the White Army had military discipline, with executions for deserters, forced conscription, etc. It didn’t help them.

            http://sites.bu.edu/revolutionaryrussia/files/2013/09/Red-Army-Mass-Mobilization.pdf

            These guys say that the Red Army did not largely rely on death squads, that it was rare for deserters to be shot or placed in penal units-typically, they would be returned to reserve units-and that the couple of times the Communists were seriously threatened, the peasants rallied to them:

            The threat of a White victory signalled to the peasants of these regions
            the prospect of losing their newly acquired land to the gentry squires,
            whose sons dominated the officer corps of Denikin’s army. Such
            fears were played on by the Bolsheviks, whose propaganda in the
            countryside presented the Red Army as the sole protector of the
            peasantry’s land gains against the White gentry counter-revolution.
            The fact that so many peasants of central Russia rallied to the
            Red Army on the two occasions when the Whites really threatened
            Moscow – first on the Volga in 1918; and then in the Orel region
            in 1919 – suggests that such propaganda was not without effect. The
            defeat of the Whites was determined, above all, by their failure to
            win over the peasantry of central Russia, because of their opposition
            to the land redistribution of 1917-18. The victory of the Bolsheviks
            was assured by their ability to call on the peasants of these same
            regions whenever the Whites threatened tobreak through from their
            bases in the periphery. The central Russian peasants were bitterly
            opposed to the Bolshevik policies of War Communism, but the fact
            that they would take up arms in defence of Soviet power, when –
            and only when – it was threatened by the Whites, proved decisive
            in determining the outcome of the civil war.

          • B says:

            >You are raving nuts.

            Come on, you can do better than that. Say I’m “problematic” or a shitlord or something.

            >Your source uses duckspeak communist jargon. The first three lines are an absurd, extravagant, and outrageous commie lie, so there is no reason to read the rest of it.

            …or to bring your own sources. Wait, you read Dr. Zhivago, right?

            >The fact that you took this source seriously tells me you don’t know shit about Russia or communism.

            Obviously. If I knew anything, i would agree with your looney tunes interpretation, which was that the CheKa was the Okhranka reborn and their great success at getting the peasants to fight for them where they didn’t fight for the Czar or the Whites is due to mind rays or something.

            >Throughout your lengthy reply, you rely on commie “facts” that are radically inconsistent with observable facts.

            Hatefacts, even.

            • jim says:

              All academic sources on the Soviet Union before the fall were lies, and are now obviously lies, their point of view now quietly and furtively abandoned. No point in debating someone so far out of it that he uses sources that these days the Cathedral is quietly embarrassed by. You don’t know shit about the Soviet Union, and are not interested in finding out. It is like debating a warmist who still defends the hockey stick.

          • B says:

            >All academic sources on the Soviet Union before the fall were lies, and are now obviously lies, their point of view now quietly and furtively abandoned.

            You don’t like memoirs and you don’t like academic sources. Can you point to a reliable source of information? I mean, aside from gazing deeply into your navel.

            >No point in debating someone so far out of it that he uses sources that these days the Cathedral is quietly embarrassed by. You don’t know shit about the Soviet Union, and are not interested in finding out.

            Of course not. I was born there, my family lived through the whole thing, I’ve read stacks of books in Russian written by everyone from victorious Communists to White generals to repentant and purged Commies to anarchists to Panturkic Muslim rebels to defectors from the NKVD/GRU to just plain civilians who escaped during/after the Civil War (all the way to WW2.) Obviously, compared to some ass who skimmed a translation of Dr. Zhivago and went to Cuba once, I know nothing. If I did, I’d bow before your terrific insight.

            • jim says:

              You don’t like memoirs and you don’t like academic sources.

              I like recent academic sources on the Soviet Union, sources from after the fall of the Soviet Union, from after academics got inside information revealing that everything that they had believed with such determination previously was a lie, I like recent sources that don’t use tired old Marxist jargon mechanically as if the Soviet Union had never fallen. I gave you such a source “Soviet State and society”, but, as usual, it had absolutely no affect on you.

              You are absolutely indifferent to evidence or logic.

          • B says:

            >I like recent academic sources on the Soviet Union, sources from after the fall of the Soviet Union,

            There are old pilots and bold pilots, but there are no old, bold pilots. Any recent sources are not primary sources, and any numbers they use come from primary sources from the era of the Soviet Union. Which according to you bear no relation to reality.

            If you have PRIMARY sources (I can provide a definition of “primary”, if you like) that support your assertions-I’d like to see them. Those sources could be Red, White, anarchist, from the US/Japanese/British intervention forces in Russia during the Civil War, from the Czech Legion or Baron Ungern…you have, in other words, an almost infinite selection. You haven’t read any of these sources because you are intellectually lazy, but you’re not humble enough to refrain from proclaiming your uninformed opinion as though it was the last word.

            >from after academics got inside information revealing that everything that they had believed with such determination previously was a lie, I like recent sources that don’t use tired old Marxist jargon mechanically as if the Soviet Union had never fallen.

            The source I quoted is not a Marxist one, particularly, and gives figures which show phenomena not particularly complimentary to the Bolsheviks (massive desertion figures, for instance.)

            >I gave you such a source “Soviet State and society”, but, as usual, it had absolutely no affect on you.

            Do you really not understand what a primary source is?

            >You are absolutely indifferent to evidence or logic.

            Of course. We all know that the best “evidence” is works of fiction and secondary sources from the 1990s, not primary sources from participants in the relevant events. Similarly, when studying the Civil War, we should prefer Gone With The Wind and monographs produced by Black Studies departments in the late 20th century.

            • jim says:

              >I like recent academic sources on the Soviet Union, sources from after the fall of the Soviet Union,

              Any recent sources are not primary sources, and any numbers they use come from primary sources from the era of the Soviet Union. Which according to you bear no relation to reality.

              You have this back to front. Most primary information about the Soviet Union only became available after it fell, and none of it contains numbers and statistics, except in the sense of estimates and guesstimates, because it became obvious that all Soviet numbers are bunkum, including, indeed especially, those numbers that were intended to be only seen by insiders.

              The source I quoted is not a Marxist one,

              The source you quoted is full of Marxist shibboleths, the code phrases that Marxists use to identify themselves to each other.

          • B says:

            >Most primary information about the Soviet Union only became available after it fell, and none of it contains numbers and statistics, except in the sense of estimates and guesstimates, because it became obvious that all Soviet numbers are bunkum, including, indeed especially, those numbers that were intended to be only seen by insiders.

            That’s untrue.

            During the existence of the Soviet Union, there was a steady stream of primary sources published which more or less accurately described the situation accurately.

            In the 20s, these were mostly from Whites and Anarchists who had lost and fled to the West, as well as just plain refugees. The ship of academics exiled in the 20s, for instance.

            In the 30s, there were numerous publications by NKVD/GRU operators who defected to the West, and by refugees who fled to places like Nazi Germany (there was also a large White underground based in Paris with their own Russian-language publications.)

            In the 40s-60s, there were a lot of publications by refugees, some quite high-ranking/observative, that had fled with the Nazi retreat (Karl Poppe is an example, though he didn’t publish memoirs, of an eminently qualified observer who fled in the 1940s and ended up in Seattle. He figured in the Lattimore trial.)

            In the 70s and 80s, there was a flood of Samizdat, much of it published in the West after being smuggled out. Some of this Samizdat, like the work of Amalrik, contained pretty decent quantitative analysis, accurate to at least an order of magnitude. Even in a totalitarian state, enough information is gathered and disseminated that, with statistical analysis, you can gain pretty good insight.

            >The source you quoted is full of Marxist shibboleths, the code phrases that Marxists use to identify themselves to each other.

            If I quoted a source on medieval China, it would of necessity be full of medieval Sinicisms.

            • jim says:

              During the existence of the Soviet Union, there was a steady stream of primary sources published which more or less accurately described the situation accurately.

              You must have heard the Russian joke. An old woman goes to the train station and asks for a ticket to Principle. Is asked why she wants to go to Principle. “Because whenever I try to get something, I am told that in Principle, I am entitled to it.”

              Soviet sources that you could obtain without being shot, Soviet sources that soviet officials could obtain without being shot, described the situation in that wonderful place, Principle.

              Hence the truth could not be known to anyone, least of all to Russians, until the Soviet Union fell.

              In the 40s-60s, there were a lot of publications by refugees, some quite high-ranking/observative, that had fled with the Nazi retreat (Karl Poppe is an example, though he didn’t publish memoirs, of an eminently qualified observer who fled in the 1940s and ended up in Seattle. He figured in the Lattimore trial.)

              In the 70s and 80s, there was a flood of Samizdat, much of it published in the West after being smuggled out

              But you are not relying on samizdat nor on refugee sources, nor are the people you quote relying on refugee sources. Nor did academia accept, or even tolerate, information from refugee or samizdat sources until, with the fall of the Soviet Union, continued denial was rendered difficult, and no longer politically necessary.

          • B says:

            >Soviet sources that you could obtain without being shot, Soviet sources that soviet officials could obtain without being shot, described the situation in that wonderful place, Principle.

            Not really. In general, your post-91 researchers use pre-91 sources (from official archives) as a point of reference. Obviously, those sources are subject to inflation, distortion, etc.

            >Hence the truth could not be known to anyone, least of all to Russians, until the Soviet Union fell.

            Which truth exactly are you referring to?

            >But you are not relying on samizdat nor on refugee sources, nor are the people you quote relying on refugee sources.

            You are an ignoramus.

            I wrote: “Babel’s Konarmiya (a pretty objective view of the Reds,) Makhno’s memoirs, Bunin’s Cursed Days, Solonevich’s memoirs, Zeki Velidi Togan’s autobiography (if you can find a copy in English,) and Bogaevsky’s memoirs.”

            ALL of these are Samizdat or refugee sources, except for Babel’s book, which was published but then banned (Budenny demanded Babel be shot for writing it, and he was in fact shot later). Anybody with the slightest knowledge of the subject would know that. But as I’ve said, you know absolutely nothing.

            >Nor did academia accept, or even tolerate, information from refugee or samizdat sources until, with the fall of the Soviet Union, continued denial was rendered difficult, and no longer politically necessary.

            In this case, the refugees, samizdat and official sources are consistent.: the Red Army consisted overwhelmingly of peasants. They often deserted to go home but didn’t switch sides. The Whites did not enjoy much peasant support, and were forced to use officers as common infantrymen. At the points where they could have turned on the Reds and destroyed them, in 1918 and 1919, the peasants enlisted en masse into the Red Army and did not switch sides. This later bit them in the ass.

            • jim says:

              I wrote: “Babel’s Konarmiya (a pretty objective view of the Reds,) Makhno’s memoirs, Bunin’s Cursed Days, Solonevich’s memoirs, Zeki Velidi Togan’s autobiography (if you can find a copy in English,) and Bogaevsky’s memoirs.”

              You are name dropping, you are not quoting or citing. You don’t know if they support your view that the reds controlled the countryside, that the reds had popular support among workers and peasants, you just assume that they do.

              Babel does not give an objective view of the reds, and you have considerably less reason to suppose he gives an objective view than Pasternak, whom you scornfully dismissed for which much passionate rhetoric, but no logical explanation.

              • jim says:

                Makhno’s memoirs

                I have not read Makhnos memoirs and I do not believe you have either. Trotsky said it was more important to destroy Makhno than to destroy the whites, so I kind of doubt that Makhno gives the benign view of the reds that you do.

                Voline, describing Mahkno’s conflict with the red army tells us: “During this period [1919] the red army had become completely demoralized. In June, all the red army units in the Crimea mutinied.”

                A page later he tells us “The Bolsheviks unleashed their unprecedented violence and repression against the whole of the Ukraine at the end of of november 1920”

                Voline describes a red army that did not control the countryside, and from time to time launched war upon it.

          • B says:

            >You are name dropping, you are not quoting or citing. You don’t know if they support your view that the reds controlled the countryside, that the reds had popular support among workers and peasants, you just assume that they do.

            I read their work and am giving a general summary. I can go back through and find relevant quotes, and then translate to English, at which point you will quibble with every word and tell me it doesn’t mean what it means. This will take about half a month of my spare time, for no clear return.

            As I said-you can go ahead and read the works I named, and then we’ll have something to talk about.

            >Babel does not give an objective view of the reds

            How would you know? You haven’t read him.

            • jim says:

              I read their work and am giving a general summary.

              Fortunately Bunin’s “cursed days” is available in English. So I looked it up and it instantly became obvious you have not read his work, and are not giving a general summary.

              Flipping through it at random I immediately find this depiction of a left wing activist: Page 31.

              “There were ‘meetings’ everywhere. A red haired fellow talked on and on about the injustices of the old regime. His face was freshly powdered and shaven. He had gold fillings in his mouth”

              In other words the activist lecturing those at the meeting is in fact very well off, part of the upper classes, and the meeting is not a meeting, but a lecture.

              Reading on a little further, however, I see he depicts a worker condemning an ensign with all the proper class consciousness a Bolshevik would like to see, and a taxi driver similarly condemning a person so insolent as to own a car. But, in a few more pages, the soldiers are hoping for a German victory to restore order and discipline and get rid of the Bolsheviks.

              He describes a peasant and some soldiers at the ‘meeting’ “They had their doubts about something, or more accurately, everything, and kept shaking their heads suspiciously”

              In other words, he depicts the “revolution” against the old regime as an upper class movement imposed on the masses, to which the masses responded with passivity, reluctance, incomprehension and disbelief.

              Which is what I expected from everything else that I read, consistent with everything else I have read.

              Reading on, I see sporadic acts of class violence, some genuine peasants burn a barn, a soldier threatens an ensign, a taxi driver yells class war based epithets as a result of a traffic accident. But no one seems to love the communists, and on the whole, it is more disorder and looting that class warfare. Lower class violence against upper class people is a problem that troubles him, but it does not seem to be a huge problem. Disorderly government, pillage, and tyranny are the big problems. He is not worried about the soldier stealing stuff, but the officer looting stuff.

              • jim says:

                I read their work and am giving a general summary.

                I just now read bits of Burin’s “Cursed Days” and he says exactly what I have been saying, and you have been denying

                On page 67, speaking to a wealthy and powerful upper class revolutionary, Burin tells him: “The people did not start the Revolution. People like you did…. The people need [your government] like snow in the summertime.”

                He asserts that the the Bolshevik government has absolutely no support among the people. Which is consistent with the optimistic hope that Russia would be conquered by the Germans

          • B says:

            Your blog ate my comment. Can you see if it’s recoverable? I don’t feel like rewriting it.

            It is obvious from Cursed Days that Bunin sees the Bolsheviks as a combination of urban declasse agitators, proles and peasants excited about an orgy of looting, rape and murder.

            Makhno and Voline have an ideological bent where “the People” are good. But you can see by reading closely that “the People” beyond those of Hulyai-Polye and the surrounding area didn’t stick up too much for him.

            • jim says:

              Checked spam and trash, did not find your comment.

              It is obvious from Cursed Days that Bunin sees the Bolsheviks as a combination of urban declasse agitators, proles and peasant

              I have been reading Cursed Days, just not true. He depicts the Bolsheviks as privileged, upper class agitators, hectoring the masses that pay them no attention and do not like them.

              He depicts a some members of the rabble, some workers and peasants, talking class warfare rhetoric, doing a bit of looting and arson here and there, but that is not the Bolsheviks, that is not the revolution Page 67: “The people did not start the Revolution. People like you did”, where, in context, “people like you” are the rich and powerful.

  16. j says:

    “Obviously they (the Bolshevik faction) lacked mass support.”

    More obviously yet they ruled the Soviet Union seventy years, winning all the wars against it. Somebody must have supported them.

    • jim says:

      The party faithful were faithful. Stalin would put them in horrific slave labor camps, and they would on their own initiative engage in study sessions on how wonderful Stalin was.

      • B says:

        If you read Beevor’s Stalingrad, or the reminiscences of Soviet frontline veterans of WW2, you’ll notice that the majority of the masses were faithful to their empire, despite everything. In 1941 they surrendered en masse, but many did so because of organizational collapse. In 1942-45, they did not.

        The same Russians who deserted and fought with the Germans did not demonstrate any such dedication, nor did the Rumanians and so on.

  17. j says:

    J is right: the ruling Zeitgeist are frightening. Almost bad as the Zeitgespenst. Thanks God that we Jews are immune to ghosts (search Balak and his wizard Balaam).

  18. Caprizchka says:

    The schools are operating as designed which is to discourage entrepreneurialism.

    In a technocracy, not a whole lot of smart people are needed, particularly when the end game is for a few to own everything rather than some idealistic utopia where the peasants are happy and the trains run on time.

    However, in order to get maximum propaganda shoved down the maximum number of willing throats, school must be inclusive to all joiners and pleasers, and depressing and repressive to creative and brilliant people who might actually notice that the Emperor has no clothes.

  19. […] takes another look at The Moron Elite. It’s not pretty. Along the way he revisits Michael Ferguson’s The Inappropriately […]

  20. […] moron elite. Related: Re-educating the […]

  21. B says:

    Your blog is eating long comments.

  22. B says:

    Bunin’s view of the masses: 5 examples from the beginning of Cursed Days

    (by the way, in the Russian of the day, a muzhik was a peasant and a baba was a peasant-woman)

    1) Feb 6 1918: a worker, speaking up for the Bolsheviks in a public debate, promises “before the Germans come, we’ll slaughter you all.” Soldiers in the immediate vicinity loudly agree…passerby seeing dispossessed monks chipping ice jeer at them.

    2) Feb 8, 1918: Andrej, the servant of Bunin’s friend, expresses his desire that the “bourgeoisie” be slaughtered. D., a refugee from Simferopol, says that “workers and soldiers” are walking around there literally up to their knees in blood, and that they burned a retired colonel alive.

    3) Feb 9, 1918: in a public square, a prole woman explains to a middle class one that a monastery is just a rock and icons are just some boards across which someone smeared some paint. A “worker” proudly agrees with an old man that the workers have neither G-d nor conscience left. When rebuked that they shot innocent people on the 5th, the worker says “So? You’ve shot innocent people for 300 years!”

    4) March 1: D. says that in Rostov, the Bolsheviks executed 600 volunteer nurses. Bunin adds that it probably wasn’t 600, but anyway they had it coming for glorifying the “Christ-loving muzhiks” who never missed a chance to beat and rape them. We see here that he identifies the Bolsheviks explicitly with the rabble.

    A nobleman’s cook, who fled the peasants who robbed him of everything, says that the noble of the place, Orlov-Davydov, sent the peasants a telegram: “do as you wish, slaughter the livestock, burn the house, cut down the trees. Just leave me a birch so I have something to cut switches from and a pine so I have something from which to hang you.”

    Bunin reminisces of the previous summer, when he and his wife stayed in a village. The peasants constantly committed arson, eventually setting fire to his barn and his neighbor’s stockyard, blaming him for the fire and attempting to burn him alive. After a rumor started that General Kornilov (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lavr_Kornilov
    ) had instituted the death penalty, the peasants calmed down instantly.

    The people are increasingly worried, according to Bunin, that the Germans will come and punish them, which they acknowledge that they deserve on account of their complete swinification.

    5) March 12: Tihonov tells Bunin that the Bolsheviks are amazed that they took and are still in power, that Lunacharsky sayd hey’d only planned a demonstration and never expected this level of success.

    In all this, we have some representatives of the people despondently decrying the revolution, no representatives of the people actively resisting it or calling on others to resist, and lots of representatives of the people actively joining it and enthusiastically committing its worst atrocities or at least cheering them. In general, acting like the black residents of Baltimore during the riots.

    Let’s take some examples from the end of the book (1919):

    1) 10 June: at a popular meeting, a suggestion to “use the bourgeois instead of horses for transporting cargo” earned mass applause.

    2) Anticipating the arrival of Denikin, the Bolsheviks are allowing their cadres to loot stores. Unfortunately, the stores have already been had at by the sailors, who are fond of Martel cognac. “These prison gorillas,” says Bunin, “die not for the revolution but for Martel.” The sailors, needless to say, are representatives of the People par excellence. Does their love for cognac and gold teefuses remind you of anything?

    Bunin says that the sailors sent to Odessa from St. Petersburg have become completely demonic from cocaine, alcohol and lack of discipline, breaking into the jail of the ChK (the predecessor of the NKVD) and killing prisoners for fun, and tells how they killed a mother with her child, shooting him first when she begged to spare her for his sake.

    3) June 11. Foma the janitor tells Bunin: “the soldiers of the Red Army say, ‘all the problems are from the kikes, they are all Communists, but the Bolsheviks are all Russian!’ But I think that the Red Army soldiers themselves are the root of evil. All of them are scumbags, all robbers.”

    Bunin then goes on an extended anthropometric discourse about how rebellion, robbery, murder and disorder are inherent to a large proportion of the Russian people as far back as memory goes, how it’s evidenced by the vile and criminal features one sees among them so often, with their deep-seated eyes, rough jawlines, etc.

    In short, Bunin thought that a significant portion of the Russian people were orcs who loved murder and destruction, and that they didn’t require any death squads to encourage them, but rather took the initiative themselves.

    • jim says:

      1) Feb 6 1918: a worker, speaking up for the Bolsheviks in a public debate, promises “before the Germans come, we’ll slaughter you all.” Soldiers in the immediate vicinity loudly agree…passerby seeing dispossessed monks chipping ice jeer at them.

      2) Feb 8, 1918: Andrej, the servant of Bunin’s friend, expresses his desire that the “bourgeoisie” be slaughtered. D., a refugee from Simferopol, says that “workers and soldiers” are walking around there literally up to their knees in blood, and that they burned a retired colonel alive.

      3) Feb 9, 1918: in a public square, a prole woman explains to a middle class one that a monastery is just a rock and icons are just some boards across which someone smeared some paint. A “worker” proudly agrees with an old man that the workers have neither G-d nor conscience left. When rebuked that they shot innocent people on the 5th, the worker says “So? You’ve shot innocent people for 300 years!”

      That some of the masses where acting out class warfare does not mean the masses made the revolution, or that the masses supported the Bolsheviks, and Bunin explicitly tells us the elite made the revolution, not the masses, and the masses did not support the Bolsheviks.

      2) Anticipating the arrival of Denikin, the Bolsheviks are allowing their cadres to loot stores. Unfortunately, the stores have already been had at by the sailors, who are fond of Martel cognac. “These prison gorillas,” says Bunin, “die not for the revolution but for Martel.” The sailors, needless to say, are representatives of the People par excellence. Does their love for cognac and gold teefuses remind you of anything?

      Similarly, when the Mayor of Baltimore, the New York Times, and the Department of Justice decides to allow Baltimore blacks to riot and incite them to riot, and lo and behold, they do riot, it does not follow that the New York Times is composed of ghetto blacks, or popular among them.

      4) March 1: D. says that in Rostov, the Bolsheviks executed 600 volunteer nurses. Bunin adds that it probably wasn’t 600, but anyway they had it coming for glorifying the “Christ-loving muzhiks” who never missed a chance to beat and rape them. We see here that he identifies the Bolsheviks explicitly with the rabble.

      The Bolsheviks are Christ loving rapists? I don’t think so. Rather Bunin condemns the nurses for their fashionable left wing views. They glorified the rabble, who raped and beat them, thus facilitating the Bolshevik seizure of power (made in the name of the rabble). Classic alliance with far against near. In america one bunch of elite leftists allies with blacks, and another bunch of elite leftists also ally with blacks, yet get screwed over by the first bunch of elite leftists using blacks against them, but the blacks don’t actually have much agency in this. And similarly, the Christ-loving muzhiks don’t have agency in this incident.

      In short, Bunin thought that a significant portion of the Russian people were orcs who loved murder and destruction, and that they didn’t require any death squads to encourage them, but rather took the initiative themselves.\

      The Orcs, however, do require death squads to organize them into a force capable of winning a contest with real humans.

      They are capable of looting and burning, but don’t consciously want to make revolution, nor are they capable of making revolution if they did want to. The Bolsheviks are no more the masses, than the staff of the New York Times are themselves burning Baltimore.

      • B says:

        There’s a big difference between revolution and war. For a revolution, military discipline gets in the way. To make war, it’s absolutely essential.

        Nonetheless, the Whites ALSO had death squads, and it didn’t do them any good. When it didn’t involve personally starving and marching into machine gun fire, a significant portion of the people enthusiastically supported the Bolsheviks. If they hadn’t, the Bolsheviks would have gotten kicked out, and they were amazed that they hadn’t been kicked out.

        Even when it came to personal suffering and death, many of the people were quite willing to do it for the Bolsheviks. For this, I highly recommend Babel’s Konarmiya (Bunin saw the Red Army from the outside, and from a prey perspective, while Babel was in the middle of it). His Red Cossacks are thieves, murderers, gang rapists-and also dedicated warriors for the Reds.

        The Christ-loving thing is Bunin mocking Tolstoy (Bulgakov does as well,) who saw the muzhiks as inherently good and Christian. Bunin sees them as a bunch of swinish villains who take the first opportunity to revolt, murder and destroy, and says this is inherent in their nature.

        From Bunin’s description of the behavior of the masses in the spring and summer of 1917, they didn’t need the Bolsheviks at all for revolution. At the time, Lenin wasn’t even in Russia-he was hiding in Finland. All they needed was a hesitation on the part of their local government, a momentary cessation of the assurance of punishment.

        • jim says:

          When it didn’t involve personally starving and marching into machine gun fire, a significant portion of the people enthusiastically supported the Bolsheviks.

          Bunin does not tell us that. He tells us that orcs will chimp out. This is approved mascot behavior, approved by the Bolsheviks. The Bolsheviks supported the orcs chimping out. Does not follow that the orcs were chimping out to support the Bolsheviks.

          The masses no more supported the Bolsheviks, than the thugs burning down Baltimore support the New York times and the Department of Justice.

          From Bunin’s description of the behavior of the masses in the spring and summer of 1917, they didn’t need the Bolsheviks at all for revolution

          On page 67 He tells us the direct opposite. That the elite made the revolution, not the masses, and the masses did not and do not support the revolutionary government.

          • B says:

            If the sailors and red army did not support the Bolsheviks, the Bolsheviks would have been dead in two or three days. DoJ and the NYT have the pipe hitters from the FBI, NSA, DEA and everyone else, plus the ability to print the only legal tender in the land, plus they’re a Schelling Point. The Bolsheviks did not have any of those things.

          • B says:

            In 1918, there was some dispirited bitching from some of the masses about the Bolsheviks. It was not enthusiastic, unlike the cheering from a larger part of the masses about the chance to slaughter the bourgeoisie, rape, kill and rob. Notably, the representatives of the masses who were bitching were not at all concerned about being arrested and killed by Bolsheviks, although by 1919 that changed. They WERE concerned about being murdered by the soldiers and sailors. And about the Germans showing up and making the Russian people pay for its descent into swinery.

        • jim says:

          Nonetheless, the Whites ALSO had death squads, and it didn’t do them any good.

          The Bolsheviks had the regular army, the state, the bureaucracy, the existing apparatus of coercion. The whites had to recreate the army, the state, and the apparatus of coercion.

          • B says:

            The regular army/navy, as you might notice from Bunin, had turned into a rabble, murdered its officers and lost all semblance of military discipline a year before, and had not recovered it in the spring of 1918-see the part where there’s a rumor that the Germans are going to march on Moscow, and the trains are full of fleeing soldiers. The state was nonexistent. They built a completely new apparatus of coercion-the CheKa.

            • jim says:

              The Cheka, notoriously, had continuity of personnel with the Czars third section, just as today’s FSB has continuity of personnel with the KGB.

              Today, the same priests that were formerly working to substitute Marxism Leninism for Christianity, are now resisting progressive efforts to substitute progressivism for Christianity, and have probably scarcely noticed the change, much as the Chinese mandarinate worked for the Mongols and the Manchu.

            • jim says:

              Bunin depicts the officers getting substantially better loot than the regular soldiers. So the army had not ceased to exist, nor had the regular soldiers revolted against their officers, for the most part. Rather, indiscipline came from the top down.

              In the latter days of the Soviet Union the army took to looting to support itself, resulting in extensive breakdown of discipline, but no one put this breakdown into a story of the ordinary soldiers revolting against their officers to seize power. The decision to loot stuff began at the top, as a desperate measure to keep the army operating, and undermined discipline. Maybe the breakdown during the fall of the Soviet Union revealed class antagonism between officers and men. If so, no one thought to make a big deal out of that, because no one pretended that class antagonism was driving the collapse of the Soviet Union.

          • B says:

            >Bunin depicts the officers getting substantially better loot than the regular soldiers.

            Sorry, are you reading the same Bunin as I am?

            7 February: the former Chief of Staff, General Yanushkewicz, was killed. The revolutionary tribunal ordered him arrested and while he was being convoyed to his prison, one of the four soldiers convoying him shot him.

            A young officer entered the train car and, blushing, said that he didn’t have the money to pay for his ticket.

            9 February: an old general, on Tverskaya Street, is selling something, embarrassed, like a pauper.

            19 February: Drunken soldiers (soldiers always means enlisted here) threw a bomb into the Officers’ Economic Society. 60 or 70 officers killed.

            24 February: an intercepted phone conversation with the Kremlin. The caller has 15 officers and wants instructions. The Kremlin tells him to shoot them.

            2 March: Bunin reads about the sea bottom, which is full of standing corpses: the officers killed by their troops, drowned.

            10 June: Bunin talks about the victims of the revolution, and how those whose skulls are being shattered by the “victorious demos”-the landowners, children, old people, priests and officers, can’t be expected to see its merits objectively. He mentions the revolutionaries cutting the skin off officers’ backs.

            Anybody with any grasp of the revolution’s history knows that the first thing that happened in 1917 was that the soldiers elected their own Executive Committees and murdered their officers (and this process generally started in the rear, in the reserve regiments and navy, and spread to the front.)

            > So the army had not ceased to exist, nor had the regular soldiers revolted against their officers, for the most part. Rather, indiscipline came from the top down.

            This is gibberish. I’m sorry. Every single primary source says the same thing-the soldiers murdered their officers. The Red officers were described by Bunin thusly: a 20 year old punk with gold teeth, a sphincter-like mouth and a shaved head. Eventually, the Reds instituted the Voenspetzy, amnestied officers from the Czar’s regime. There is no English source online, but you can translate the Wikipedia article: https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%92%D0%BE%D0%B5%D0%BD%D1%81%D0%BF%D0%B5%D1%86

            Notice that initially, somewhere from a few hundreds to a few thousand officers joined the Reds, out of an army of millions. Eventually, they estimate that about a fifth of the pre-revolutionary officers ended up with the Reds.
            .

            • jim says:

              You were originally telling a story about the state apparatus disappearing because soldiers spontaneously disobeyed their officers, revolution from the bottom up, the soldiers elect people to lead them.

              Bunin tells a different story – the communists purging insufficiently left wing officers from the army, orders to shoot officers coming from the Kremlin, rather than the spontaneously enraged masses.

              What I read in Bunin about Russia in 1918 is pretty similar to what recently went down in Baltimore. Trouble was created at the top, and the justice department and New York Times then roped in their mascots, the ghetto blacks, to burn some stuff for theatrical purposes. The ghetto blacks in Baltimore politely waited for permission from on high before they engaged in arson and looting. Similarly, the soldiers phone the Kremlin for instructions before shooting their officers.

              Trouble is initiated from above, and the fact that the authorities are able to create trouble is not an indicator that the masses love them, and are willing to create order at the behest of the authorities.

              That the New York Times could get the masses to riot, once they had been given permission to riot by the police and the Mayor, is not an indication that the New York Times and the Department of Justice is composed of ghetto blacks, is loved by ghetto blacks, or is capable of commanding ghetto blacks to do anything useful.

              You are doing the same thing you did with the Old Testament, the Elephantine Paypyri, and the Talmud – you are finding fragments out of context that fit with your picture, and ignoring the fact that document as a whole directly refutes your picture. On page 67 of the English translation, Bunin flatly rejects the interpretation you are placing on his words. He tells us that the revolution came from above, not below, and that the revolutionary government has no support.

              Citing Bunin in support of your theory of the revolution, which is the Marxist account of the Revolution, the enraged masses make revolution from below against the powerful, is like citing Lavoisier in support of phlogiston theory. Lavoisier reports some experimental results consistent with phlogiston theory, some inconsistent with phlogiston theory, and concludes that the active principle is not phlogiston, the hydrogen like reducing agent, but oxygen, the oxidizer. And similarly, Bunin concludes that the active principle making the revolution was the privileged, the elite, and the Kremlin, not the masses.

              Some of Bunin’s account is consistent with the masses having agency in these events, and some of it is inconsistent with the masses having agency. The only story that fits all the facts is the story that he gives: That the masses did not have agency but were abandoned by their betters thus freed to act up, and encouraged to act up.

          • B says:

            >You were originally telling a story about the state apparatus disappearing because soldiers spontaneously disobeyed their officers, revolution from the bottom up, the soldiers elect people to lead them.

            I was not. I originally said that the Bolsheviks had support from the masses, that without this support, they wouldn’t have been able to win the Civil War.

            >Bunin tells a different story – the communists purging insufficiently left wing officers from the army, orders to shoot officers coming from the Kremlin, rather than the spontaneously enraged masses.

            By this point, the 15 officers the guy had were not from his unit. They were not being purged-they had been captured by this unit.

            In 1917, before the Bolsheviks, the army had collapsed due in large part to agitation. The specific form of the collapse was that executive committees, elected by the soldiers, emerged (with lots of help from socialist agitators, mostly not Bolshevik,) and either killed their officers or sent them home. This all happened before the Bolsheviks were a factor in anyone’s considerations-their top leadership was underground at this point, and not even in St. Petersburg/Moscow. Very few officers joined the rebelling soldiers at this stage-perhaps several hundred junior officers.

            When you look at the biographies of the Communist military leadership during and after the revolution, it is rare to find someone who had been an officer in the pre-revolutionary army. If you eliminate junior officers who’d been promoted up through the enlisted ranks, it becomes VERY rare. Guys like Budenny, Voroshilov, Tukhachevsky, Rokossovsky, Apanasenko had been sergeants and junior lieutenants before the Revolution.

            >Similarly, the soldiers phone the Kremlin for instructions before shooting their officers.

            Whoever they were calling at the Kremlin had not been a part of the pre-1918 government.

            >Trouble is initiated from above, and the fact that the authorities are able to create trouble is not an indicator that the masses love them, and are willing to create order at the behest of the authorities.

            In the case of the Bolsheviks, trouble had been initiated from the side, with German money.

            >That the New York Times could get the masses to riot, once they had been given permission to riot by the police and the Mayor, is not an indication that the New York Times and the Department of Justice is composed of ghetto blacks, is loved by ghetto blacks, or is capable of commanding ghetto blacks to do anything useful.

            Well, the Communists were not largely composed of peasants, but were capable of commanding the peasants and workers to do useful things, as evidenced by the fact that they were able to create and supply an army largely consisting of those selfsame workers and peasants and fight a war with that army over several years against about four foreign armies, the Whites and a dozen guerrilla movements.

            >You are doing the same thing you did with the Old Testament, the Elephantine Paypyri, and the Talmud – you are finding fragments out of context that fit with your picture, and ignoring the fact that document as a whole directly refutes your picture.

            This is projection. Until a couple of days ago, you didn’t even know who Bunin was, and now you have the context? Likewise, you had no idea what the Elephantine Papyri was until I told you, at which point you started attempting to instruct me on how to interpret them, what the Jews who’d written them were like, etc.

            >On page 67 of the English translation, Bunin flatly rejects the interpretation you are placing on his words. He tells us that the revolution came from above, not below, and that the revolutionary government has no support.

            I don’t know what’s on page 67. If it’s Bunin quoting some peasant bitching about the Communists, well, I can find you peasants to bitch about anything. If you want to know what Bunin thinks, he says (June 10, 1919) that the “demos” crushed the skulls of officers, priests, children, old people and landholders.

            You do know what demos means, right? I am sure Bunin did, but you I’m not so sure about.

            >Citing Bunin in support of your theory of the revolution, which is the Marxist account of the Revolution, the enraged masses make revolution from below against the powerful,

            I have never said that this is my theory of the revolution. You are creating a strawman. What I said, for the 20th time, is that the Bolsheviks had popular support and could not have survived and won without it.

            >And similarly, Bunin concludes that the active principle making the revolution was the privileged, the elite, and the Kremlin, not the masses.

            By this point, the people in the Kremlin were not the people who’d been there a year ago, nor were they the kind of people who were in the social circles of those people.

            >Some of Bunin’s account is consistent with the masses having agency in these events, and some of it is inconsistent with the masses having agency. The only story that fits all the facts is the story that he gives: That the masses did not have agency but were abandoned by their betters thus freed to act up, and encouraged to act up.

            He doesn’t give that story. In fact, Cursed Days is a diary starting in 1918. Bunin doesn’t much talk about how what happened in 1917 actually happened; he has a couple of reminiscences about particulars. He ends the book with a brief discussion of how many of the people are bastards by nature (the craniometric discourse,) talks about a couple of born criminals as examples, then says:

            В мирное время мы забываем, что мир кишит этими выродками, в мирное время они сидят по тюрьмам, по желтым домам. Но вот наступает время, когда “державный народ” восторжествовал. Двери тюрем и желтых домов раскрываются, архивы сыскных отделений жгутся — начинается вакханалия.

            “In peacetime, we forget that the world swarms with these degenerates, in peacetime they inhabit prisons and insane asylums. But a time comes when the “stately people” [here he is referring to a 1917 poem by Bryusov which talks about the Revolution as a triumph of the people’s will-B] is triumphant. The doors of the prisons and asylums open, the archives of investigative departments [he’s referring to the secret police here-B] burn-a Bacchanal begins.”

            So we can see whose side Bunin would be on in our debate.

  23. B says:

    I’ll be damned-it was not letting me post the comment because of a link.

    • jim says:

      That sounds like the spam filter gone mad

      It lets me publish links, so I cannot easily reproduce the problem, and your stuff did not show up in spam

      I have had a lot of trouble, which I have not been able to fix, with the blog rejecting other people’s html (while accepting my html)

      I am very sorry, have attempted, unsuccessfully, to fix the problem. But there is a mighty big pile of other people’s code in the blog software.

  24. B says:

    I suspect it’s a case of PHP assuming the link is an SQL injection attack.

  25. Beau Geste says:

    http://www.academia.edu/6150184/Handbook_of_Principles_of_Organizational_Behavior

    Have discovered this wonderful book, which Jim and others might like. The first chapter summarizes the effect of general intelligence on job productivity, and some of legal risks of applying it in hiring (though apparently some lawsuits have been successfully defended, by summarizing the evidence linking g with job performance). It also describes case studies, such as a union pressuring a steel mill to stop using GMA test, and the resulting decline.

Leave a Reply