Tucker Carlson Interviewed

One of the few TV talk show hosts I enjoy watching is Tucker Carlson on US Fox News. He’s funny and witty and engaging and insightful. I usually only get to watch him if YouTube suggests that I do. YouTube is always suggesting stuff for me to watch. And quite often I watch it.

Yesterday one of YouTube’s suggestions was Tucker Carlson being interviewed on the Rubin Report, and talking about Trump, mainstream media, and revolution. It was a whole 60 minute conversation between Dave Rubin and Tucker Carlson in 2018, in what seemed to be a room in Rubin’s house, with a couple of armchairs facing each other.

Carlson came over as much more animated than he usually is on his own show. I wondered if he was a bit nervous.

I ended up watching the whole show, and finding it illuminating. And the first most illuminating thing that Carlson said, about 2 minutes in, was this:

TC: What was I like as a kid? Well, I grew up here in southern California, and we lived in Studio City. And I think I’ve always been the same: anti-authoritarian, for the individual against the group. I hate bullies. I hate being bullied more than anything. And I so found myself – and I’ve always been this way – in a scenario where everyone is forced to nod in bovine agreement about something my instinct is to be the one guy who’s like No.

He talked about his father:

TC: My father was a non-conformist, I would say. That’s an understatement. His baseline position was Just because everybody says it doesn’t mean it’s true.

And then 46 minutes in he talks about giving up smoking:

DR: And you’re doing this: No booze , no cigarettes any more.

TC: No!

DR: Have you got any vice?

TC: The booze is easy!

DR: You drink coffee.

TC: I drink a lot – Voltaire levels of coffee. Not quite as impressive effects. And I quit smoking 4 or 5 years ago. I wouldn’t call it a vice, but I’m an enthusiastic user of nicotine gum and lozenges, because I think they really have improved my life, like a lot. I don’t want to endorse the product, but I’m not sure what the downside is of using nicotine. There’s a huge downside from smoking of course: the tar gives you cancer and everything. But I don’t think that we’ve shown that nicotine – for people who don’t have blood pressure problems, and I don’t – hurts you, and I think there’s a lot of evidence that it’s great.

And finally, right at the end.

TC: If you start to think that it’s okay to inflict group punishment on groups, then isn’t that the whole lesson of the 20th century that that’s wrong, that’s a cul-de-sac that ends in bloodshed.

Tucker Carlson (born 1969) is currently 50 years old, and he stopped smoking when he was about 45. That means he was probably smoking for 25 years beforehand, maybe longer. Why did he keep on smoking for so long? And why did he stop?

Why did a guy who hates bullies, and hates being bullied more than anything, and when everyone is forced to nod in bovine agreement about something his instinct is to be the one guy who says No – why did a guy like that stop smoking? Wouldn’t he have been the guy who was going to say about the dangers of smoking: “Just because everybody says it doesn’t mean it’s true”?

And perhaps he was. When I started smoking in 1966, at the age of 18 (thanks to the antismoking Dr W), smoking was perfectly acceptable and perfectly normal. But if Tucker Carlson started smoking at the same age, that would have been in 1987, in California presumably, and smoking was already becoming socially unacceptable, and it was a counter-cultural move for him to start smoking when everyone else was stopping.

So why did he stop smoking 25 years later? Did he suddenly discover something that he hadn’t known for the previous 25 years? Perhaps he had a health scare. I remember an old friend of mine, who’d been smoking for a similar period of time, who stopped dead when he thought he’d had a mild heart attack or something.

I think something must have happened to Tucker to make him give up smoking. It may have been a health scare. Or it may have been his wife (or children) who implored him to stop. Or maybe it was simply because he could no longer carry on smoking in the increasingly antismoking corporate world where smoking was banned pretty much everywhere, and he had to start using nicotine lozenges whether he liked it or not. Something like that. Something must have happened.

In his Wikipedia page he’s reported as saying:

I hate all nanny-state regulations, such as seat belt laws and smoking bans.

So there’s another question that comes out of all this. Tucker must have got a lot of bullying over his smoking from all quarters for pretty much his entire adult life. He’ll know exactly what it’s like. He might even know better than I do. So he knows that “group punishment” is being inflicted on smokers. He’s probably been on the receiving end of it countless numbers of times. So why doesn’t he protest against the group punishment of smokers that’s going on all over the world? 

I have the same question for countless other public figures: You can see what’s happening to smokers. You’ve experienced it yourself. So why don’t you protest?

Perhaps it’s simply that the antismoking wind in the USA blows at such hurricane force that it’s actually impossible to resist? Perhaps you get ‘re-educated’ about tobacco whether you like it or not. And that’s why nobody speaks up for smokers.

And if I keep banging on about the smoking ban, it’s perhaps simply because, living alone like a hermit, without nagging wife and kids, or bullying co-workers, or disapproving friends, I don’t face those hurricane force winds. I can think what I like. I don’t have to bow to peer pressure. And I’m lucky. Very, very lucky.

I’ve focused a bit unfairly on just a few things Tucker Carlson said. But he had a lot of other interesting things to say, about Donald Trump, MSM, and a lot of other stuff. And the title of the book he was plugging speaks for itself: Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution.

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Sic Semper Tyrannis

I don’t usually take much interest in gun control, but I found this article in CD Media pretty shocking:

Virginia Falling To Tyranny

When Democrats took the majority in Virginia the last election, they quickly put on the table a package of radical laws that were set to limit Virginians’ Second Amendment rights, including closing down every shooting range not owned by the government, hindering their ability to form militias, severely limiting gun sale transfers, as well as fresh registration bills.

Within the first 48 hours of taking over the Virginia legislature in 2020, Democrats passed their first of many proposed gun laws and banned the carry of firearms on the property of the state capitol and other government offices.

 The people of Virginia spoke up and declared it would be their last term in office. The government responded with a motion to eliminate voter ID laws.

Virginia decided then that they wouldn’t wait for another election. A petition to remove Governor Northam began circulating as well as other petitions to remove delegates from office. When the petition received almost a third of the signatures needed to recall the governor, a new bill was introduced to raise the amount of signatures needed from 10% of the prevailing vote, to 25%.

Oh, but it doesn’t stop there! Other bills in session in the 2020 legislature:

SJ 6 – Which changes the governor’s term from 4 to 8 years.
SB 399 – Virginia’s electoral votes for president will go to the candidate who has won the national popular vote. It will no longer matter who many Virginians vote for in presidential races.
SJ 9 and SJ 14 – Restores felons’ abilities to vote.
SJ 29 – Changes how Governors, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General are elected. Previously, the candidate receiving the most votes statewide would be elected. Proposed: change to who wins the majority in Congressional districts. In case of a tie, the General Assembly will pick the winner.

The people of Virginia have had enough. A huge pro-gun rally was scheduled for January 20th outside of the state’s capitol building in Richmond. Of course Governor Northam wouldn’t be a proper despot if he just let the people exercise their First and Second Amendment rights so he declared a state of emergency.

The article goes on to say:

This is exactly why the Second Amendment was written and what our forefathers were trying to protect us from. What is even scarier is how rapidly Virginia has gone from more-or-less normal to near-complete tyranny.

This is the tyranny that our Founding Fathers foresaw, which they clearly and repeatedly warned us about it, and for which they made sure our inalienable rights were clearly stated in the Bill of Rights.

Accompanying video:

I don’t think much about gun control, but is Gun Control much different from Tobacco Control? Doesn’t it boil down to one thing: Control? Some people want to control other people. They think they know better than them what’s good for them.

And is Climate Control, with the demonisation of CO2, much different from Gun Control or Tobacco Control? It’s about closing down industrial civilisation.

Aren’t smoking bans a kind of tyranny? In the UK the original proposed smoking ban only applied to pubs serving food, but was extended to all pubs through the intervention of the Chief Medical Officer, Liam Donaldson: the people had no say in it at all. In New York the smoking ban was brought in by a single man: Mayor Michael Bloomberg: the citizens of New York City had no say in it at all. Is it any different anywhere else? Smoking bans are always examples of top down tyrannical control.

Perhaps I should take more interest in Gun Control. We’re living in a time in which an old culture is under attack from all directions. It’s not just smoking. It’s everything else as well. Marriage and the family is under attack. Christianity is under attack. Industrial civilisation is under attack. Language is under attack. While Christians and fathers and gun owners and smokers and car drivers can be attacked separately, and won’t defend each other, they’re easy to defeat. If they all stood together, they’d be invincible.

Sic semper tyrannis (Thus always with tyranny) happens to be the motto of the State of Virginia.

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Childish Myths that We Know Perfectly Well

Sir David Attenborough is a British institution. He’s a 93 year old naturalist and broadcaster. I can’t remember a time when he wasn’t on television, fronting one documentary or other about the natural world of plants and animals.

I don’t remember him as being a particularly political figure, but in recent years he’s become increasingly outspoken about Global Warming. The latest:

“The moment of crisis has come” in efforts to tackle climate change, Sir David Attenborough has warned.

According to the renowned naturalist and broadcaster, “we have been putting things off for year after year”.

“As I speak, south east Australia is on fire. Why? Because the temperatures of the Earth are increasing,” he said.

Sir David’s comments came in a BBC News interview to launch a year of special coverage on the subject of climate change.

He told me it was “palpable nonsense” for some politicians and commentators to suggest that the Australian fires were nothing to do with the world becoming warmer.

“We know perfectly well,” he said, that human activity is behind the heating of the planet…

Another Briton, almost as illustrious as Sir David, is 67 year old polymath Lord Christopher Monckton, who writes:

This will be a long posting, because it is necessary to nail the childish myth that global warming caused the bushfires in Australia. The long, severe drought in Australia, culminating in the most extensive bushfires in recent history, ought to have aroused sympathy for the cattle-ranchers who have lost their livestock and the citizens who have lost their homes. But no. Instead, those who profiteer by asserting that global warming is the cause of every extreme-weather event have rushed to state – falsely – that an “overwhelming scientific consensus” (to cite the Greens’ website) blames the incidence, extent, duration and severity of the drought and bushfires on the somewhat warmer weather caused by our having increased the atmospheric CO2 concentration by about 1 part in 10,000 from 0.03% to 0.04% by volume.

Nearly all of the news media have taken the line that capitalism in general and the non-socialist governing coalition in particular are to blame. Nearly all have failed to mention the true causes of the current firestorm…

So which is it? Do we “know perfectly well” that humans are causing global warming? Or is it just a “childish myth”? Who should you believe: Sir David or Lord Christopher? Both speak with equal conviction.

Is it any wonder if some people will believe one, and some will believe the other? And others will be left confused?

My own inclination is to place more trust in Christopher Monckton than in David Attenborough, because the former has a good understanding of the physics of heat exchange, and the latter does not. Not that this is particularly meaningful, as plenty of climate alarmists also have a good understanding of the physics, and plenty of climate sceptics do not.

My own view is that climate change is a largely imaginary threat, in the same way that environmental tobacco smoke is an imaginary threat. But it seems to be a feature of our time that imaginary threats are built up into terrifying proportions.

I also think that meat, sugar, butter, fat, salt, chocolate, and fast food are imaginary threats.

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WE GOT OUR AIRPORTS BACK

Guest post by Dmitry Kosyrev

There were still no smoking rooms in the Domodedovo airport near Moscow when I was flying away from Russia in early January, but soon they’ll be reopened after seven years’ absence. The amendment to the anti-smoking law has passed both chambers of the Russian parliament and signed by the President on December 28, last year. All that time we, hundreds of people participating in the battle, were keeping our fingers crossed, for fear of some last-minute trouble.

That was a very, very small victory over the huge Tobacco Control machine. But, nevertheless, a victory it was, and, as such, it’s worth a serious study.

Only one man, an MP Mr. Sergey Boyarsky, had authored the relevant amendment. The name Boyarsky is famous all over the land, since Sergey’s father,

Michail Boyarsky, is a revered actor, loved for his role of chevalier d’Artagnan from a movie of the 1970-s. To put it simply, Michail has created a living symbol of a real man and a true warrior for several generations of Russians.

Mr. Boyarsky Sr. is also the honorary President of our all-Russia Movement for Smoker’s Rights. His son is not even a member of the movement. But he is an MP from the ruling United Russia party.

First thing to note in that smoking-room plot is the length of the battle. The Battle of Stalingrad in 1942 was evolving much faster. It took only 8 months to break the back of Hitler’s military might and reverse the course of the whole Second World War. But in the smoking room’s case I’ve heard from reliable sources that “the general consensus have been reached, we’ll open them again” more than a year before the amendment had been finally accepted by the low chamber. And there were also months of fighting the TC before that consensus. The amendment was getting out of the schedule of debates again and again. But it kept getting itself back.

Second thing to keep in mind was Sergei’s non-confrontational tactics. I myself was hopping mad, participating in numerous TV & radio shows on the matter, when Sergey’s face was emerging again on the screens via Skype. I gave up smoking long ago, he was saying. Smoking is bad, he was asserting. But the airports is a special case, we are talking about international norms and customs, broken by the 2013 “the strictest anti-smoking law in the world”. We are not talking about a wholesale murder of that law, Sergei was claiming, but only about correcting certain excesses of it.

Now, if I was an MP, I’d have said that the whole law had to be scrapped, and the lying, inhuman bastards of the TC were to be investigated and maybe jailed. I want a complete denormalization of anti-smoking, not just the airports, I was saying when given the word on the same shows.

But I know well enough that I had no chance of winning all the needed MP votes this way, if I was in Boyarsky’s chair.

I’ve willingly played my role of an extremist in these debates, making Sergey look soft, compromise-prone and realistic against my background. So, we, Russians, are still too willing to follow the general “international trend” on that matter and not ready to step out of the line.

The people voting for the amendment consisted of two categories. The first category thinks just like me, knowing in detail that we are dealing with a huge scam. The second category is not in favor of smoking, but knows well that the bans do not work and create a lot of problems, like dozens of commuters smoking in the airport’s toilets.

It’s common knowledge that several provincial airports never closed their smoking rooms, laws be damned. These were been closed for a short while only when yet another inspection was about to descend on them, and so the inspectors were warning their friends at the airports. The same relates to many other bans, all over the country. The nation is blocking the “bandits” very efficiently.

So, let us look at the third conclusion from our battle experience. The people firmly standing with Sergey all this time were the managers of all the airports of Russia, and also several ministries relentlessly blocking a lot of yet new bans proposed by the Health ministry. In the end, it was they who won the battle, cutting the TC lobby down to size.

And here we have the most precious lesson of the whole story: you can defeat the TC bastards if you have patience and endurance. Their defeat may seem small, but a defeat it is. That’s an event of global importance.

You had to see their desperation and fury at the very fact that the parliament was going to make a step back in fighting smoking, when them, the TC frontpeople, were offering a whole new array of further steps to humiliate millions of smokers. They spoke, they foamed at the mouth, they blasted the Boyarsky’s amendment – and still they lost. So we all know by now they are not all-powerful.

It’s really important for them, the bastards, to move forward, not backward.

If they don’t move forward, their effort is useless. And so every small victory of ours is not so small, after all.

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Pure Political Theatre

American politics is always more exciting than British politics. It’s far more dramatic. British politics is like an Ealing black-and-white comedy B-movie, while American politics is a Hollywood technicolor blockbuster Ben Hur or Bullitt. And in Donald Trump there’s an American president who is a larger-than-life A-list actor in the role, with an A-list wife on his arm. It’s one reason why everyone in Hollywood hates Trump (particularly Robert De Niro): he’s stolen their thunder, and brought Tinseltown to Washington.

Here in Britain we’ve had Brexit, and now the comic Megxit. But next week American politics is going to give us the Impeachment of Donald Trump, opening on Broadway. It’ll probably have a good car chase as well. You can’t do car chases on English country lanes. You need big, wide, rollercoaster roads in San Francisco for that.

I’ve thought that the Democrats in the House of Representatives were just making fools of themselves by sending articles of impeachment to the Senate, where they were just going to be thrown out. But yesterday I read an article in ZeroHedge by Tom Luongo which offered a different perspective:

The Democrats would not be pushing for this if they didn’t think they have the votes in the House and the Senate to get this done. Ignore the conventional wisdom on this. They were wrong in the UK.[about the courts upholding Johnson proroguing Parliament]

They will be wrong here, unless Trump has something else up his sleeve.

His removing John Bolton and refusal to attack Iran is driving the neoconservatives to apoplexy. They want their holy war against the apostate Shi’ites and they will get it. Mike Pence will be their avatar until such time as he can be removed through a sham election in 2020.

If this wasn’t the case they wouldn’t be risking what’s left of their political future defending a senile old man, Joe Biden, who they don’t actually want to be the candidate anyway.

It’s a coup folks.

Might this be true? Might the Republican Senate vote Trump out of office? Could he be gone from the White House in a couple of weeks’ time? Really???

As things stand right now, the conventional wisdom is that Trump is going to be re-elected in November, and the Republicans will very likely win back the House from Democrat control. So why the heck would the Republicans want to remove a popular president, and jeopardise the Republican party’s chances in November? They’d be shooting themselves in the foot.

Tom Luongo’s answer is: The Deep State. Trump may be popular with the American people, but he’s not popular with the Deep State that’s really in control, because he hasn’t started enough wars. And now they’re going to get rid of him, using senators who are more beholden to them than they are to the American people.

If he’s right, then we’re going to find out that there really is an unelected Deep State that can (and will) override the American people’s vote, and topple a sitting president. And if he’s wrong, we’ll find out that there isn’t really a shadowy Deep State running America, but it actually is a functioning republic in which people’s votes really count.

So that’s the underlying plot of this new drama. Is the Deep State going to topple Trump, or will the democratic will of the people prevail? It’s political theatre of the first order. It’s a Shakespeare play. And it’s going to be as gripping as Ben Hur or Bullitt. And it’s going to be real.

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R.I.P. Roger Scruton

Philip Neal has drawn attention to the death of Roger Scruton, and to his paper WHO, WHAT and WHY? Trans-national Government, Legitimacy and the World Health Organisation.

1. Introduction

In this paper I consider a matter of growing concern to all who believe that legislators ought to be accountable to those for whom they legislate. I shall be considering the way in which a political agenda can be promoted without hindrance, once legislative powers are granted to transnational bodies answerable to no national electorate. And I shall focus on one example: the current attempt by the World Health Organisation to impose, through the machinery established by the United Nations, punitive legislation directed against the manufacturers, distributors and users of tobacco products. There are other examples: European Commission directives, which have the force of law regardless of the will of national legislatures, may be used to advance the interests of lobbyists who have no accountability to those upon whom the directives are imposed; while the UN, through its commissions and ancillary institutions, is attempting to shape the law of its member states in accordance with an agenda set by Western pressure groups and political élites.

Nevertheless, the case of the WHO and tobacco is of particular significance, since it shows how an institution with a purpose that few would question can be turned in a wholly new direction, in order to impose the social and political agenda of a handful of activists. The case will therefore set a precedent, not only for further legislation by the WHO, but for an ever-expanding raft of laws imposed on us by unelected, unaccountable and unejectable bureaucrats. The case is also interesting for another reason, in that it raises in an acute form the question of liberty. What philosophical principles govern, or ought to govern, legislation designed to limit our choice of lifestyle? When is such legislation justified, on what grounds, and by what legislative body?

Written in 2000, this was prescient. Did Scruton write any more along these lines when the UK smoking ban came into force in 2007? Perhaps he did, but I have not read it.

Yet he was no friend of tobacco. He was instead the enemy of unrepresentative government.

I like cigars, and will smoke a cigar if someone offers me one. All other forms of tobacco repel me, and I am persuaded that cigarette smoking on a regular basis is harmful. My father died of emphysema, no doubt exacerbated by the many cigarettes he smoked into middle age. He was 74 when he died, however, and had no regrets. I shall try to prevent my own children from smoking — partly because smoking begins as a kind of insolence. I welcome the law which obliges cigarette manufacturers to warn us against their own product, and often think that the same should apply to the manufacturers of junk food, motor cars and televisions. If it were shown that cigarettes posed a threat not merely to the body but also to the mental and moral health of those who smoked them, I would favour more severe restrictions on their sale and use, of the kind that exist (though with increasingly less effect, it has to be said) in order to control drugs like cocaine and heroin. I avoid places here people smoke, unless I am one of them, and am glad that efforts are being made to segregate smokers and to protect children from a habit which is quite reasonably regarded as a vice, and which has been so regarded since Sir Walter Raleigh first brought it from America. In short, I am against tobacco; though not so much as I am against hard drugs, mobile phones or hard-core pornography.

Does smoking really begin as “a kind of insolence”? Perhaps it does when it’s intended to break rules. But if there’s no such intention, where’s the insolence?

And if he was “glad that efforts are being made to segregate smokers”, then perhaps he welcomed the 2007 UK smoking ban as the best effort yet to successfully segregate them, and “protect chiiiildren” from them.

He says quite openly that he’s against tobacco. But it appears that he’s also against a long list of other things that include junk food, motor cars, televisions, hard drugs, mobile phones, and hard-core pornography.

Three of these items are relatively recent technological innovations. Why was he against them? I don’t watch television, but that’s not because I object to the technology, but rather that I object to the fact that TV broadcasters don’t speak to or for people like me. So mine is a political objection. I don’t use phones very much, but that’s not because I object to the technology, but that I object to something that demands that I stop whatever I’m doing to answer it whenever it imperiously rings. I have no objection whatsoever to “junk food”, which is usually hot, tasty, and nutritious, and to which the real objection would seem to be that it is held in hand rather than addressed with knife and fork on a plate on a dinner table. As for hard-core pornography, it consists entirely of pictures, and to object to pictures is no different from objecting to written words. So all in all, I’m not against any of the things that Scruton was against. Nor do I even think that smoking is a “vice”, or if it is then my voluminous tea consumption is equally a “vice”, along with everything else I habitually do.

Can anyone who is against tobacco ever be a staunch defender of it? I somehow doubt it. Which may be why I never thought of him as one of tobacco’s defenders.

Perhaps the explanation is that Scruton was a professor of aesthetics, and his was primarily an aesthetic objection to junk food, motor cars, televisions, hard drugs, mobile phones, and hard-core pornography. And, in the end, isn’t the objection to tobacco by the antismokers in Tobacco Control, when all the pseudo-science is stripped away, also an aesthetic objection? They just don’t like it.

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The Keepers of the Big Stick

We are living in a time of moral chaos. And we’re also living in a time of deepening moral chaos.

There’s nothing new about this. It’s been that way all my life. It didn’t start with my generation. I was born into a world that was already deep in moral chaos.

As evidence all I need do is cite the First and Second World Wars, which took place in the thirty years before I was born. In WW1, millions of young men fought continuously against each other for over four years, and millions of them died. And then, after a brief ‘half time’, they went and did it all over again in WW2. It left all of Europe completely bankrupted. What were they fighting for? Who knows? And most of them didn’t know either. Most of them were drafted into one army or other, shown how to use a rifle, and sent off to fight and die. That such a thing could happen at all is evidence that Europe was already morally bankrupt well before 1914, when the first shots in WW1 were fired. WW1 and WW2 were the consequences of a moral bankruptcy that pre-dated both of them. For it’s from out of a moral vacuum that anyone will assert their right, not with reason and argument but instead with bullets. War grows out of moral vacuums in which people find themselves unable to make their case with words and reason, and can only do so with violence.  When I can’t stop you doing something by using an appeal to reason or principle or custom or precedent, I will stop you doing it with my fists.

In fact, since humans have always been fighting wars, one might say that human civilisation has always been morally bankrupt – morally vacuous – from the outset. There have of course been numerous prophets and teachers throughout that long history, some of whom have left religions which survive to this day, but essentially it’s the man with the biggest stick who is always in charge, and it’s he who decides what’s right and wrong, even if (like the late General Suleimani of Iran) he shows token deference to a nominal spiritual leader (like Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei). And if there are ever prolonged periods of peace and prosperity, there’ll always be a man with a big stick overseeing it. And periods of moral chaos ensue when the man with the big stick loses control, and rival warlords fight to gain control. The prosperous Pax Romana only lasted as long as the Roman legions which protected it.

We’re living these days (in the West at least) in the American Imperium. It’s America that holds the biggest stick right now. And a week or so back it used one of its big sticks to dispatch the man holding Iran’s big stick. For that’s what international relations essentially boil down to: a lot of people waving big sticks at each other, and occasionally hitting each other with them. And it’s always been that way. It was the same way back in the Stone Age. And when any dispute gets intensive enough, the big sticks come out, and the matter is resolved by brute force. It’s standard procedure.

If Europe was already morally bankrupt in 1914, and ready to relinquish its role as Keeper of the World’s Big Stick, the two principal rivals to become the new keepers were very arguably morally pure, because they were both new countries. America is a new country. It’s only been around for a few hundred years. And the Soviet Union was also a new country, one that had re-invented itself. Great hopes were placed in these new countries, as Europe declined and decayed. Both of them laid claim to a moral high ground. One of them – the Soviet Union – is gone now (too many gulags cost it the moral high ground). But the other is now so deeply internally divided (almost in a state of civil war) that it is doubtful whether it will survive much longer. For, as ever, the internal disagreements can’t be expressed in words or reason, and the two sides will just have to fight it out. For America is as morally vacuous as both Europe and the Soviet Union ever were. And it’s morally vacuous because America is the offspring of Europe, and most of its citizens are of European origin, and have European (or rather Christian) values.

It’ll remain like this until us humans finally manage to figure out what’s right from what’s wrong. And that’s something we’ve never managed to do. And it’s not something we look like managing to do any time soon. We are devoid of any sort of moral rationality. What some people think is right (e.g. smoking bans) is what other people think is wrong, and neither side can demonstrate their correctness with irrefutable logic. So, as ever, we can only resolve our moral differences by fighting it out on the battlefield. And that’s why we have all these big sticks. For in the end they are the only way we’ve got to resolve our disputes. And it’s why, instead of developing new moral arguments, we develop new weapons. It’s much easier to construct howitzers than it is to construct convincing arguments. It’s much easier to win the argument with a punch in the face than it is to peacefully persuade an adversary some other way.

But our weapons are now so powerful that they threaten our very existence, and so have become unusable. We can’t afford a global nuclear holocaust. And perhaps when it becomes impossible to enforce at gunpoint any one point of view, it will become imperative as never before to at last develop a moral rationality with which to resolve our disputes.

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