Raising the Minimum Wage Leaves Automation-Prone Workers Behind and The Fourth Industrial Revolution

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Study: Raising the Minimum Wage Leaves Automation-Prone Workers Behind

A new study by economists Grace Lordan and David Neumark finds that minimum-wage increases make it likelier that low-skilled workers whose jobs can be automated will become unemployed. The study is especially relevant given two recent trends: first, the incorporation of dramatic minimum-wage hikes into the Democratic doctrine, and second, the continued progress of automation.

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The coincidence of those trends, if Lordan and Neumark are to be believed, does not bode well for low-skilled workers. The study examines the effect of minimum-wage increases on workers whose jobs consist of “routine” tasks, which “involve a repeated sequence of actions, are easily codifiable, and [are] therefore substitutable with technology.” Such jobs exist across a variety of industries, and are especially abundant in finance, retail, manufacturing, and public administration.

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Automating data entry, upholstering, or assembly-line work is easier than automating jobs requiring adaptation to unpredictable conditions or abstract problem-solving. And as the unstoppable march of technical progress continues apace, the technology required to automate those jobs becomes more sophisticated — and less expensive. Raising the minimum wage means raising the cost of labor. But when many workers are performing tasks that can be done more efficiently by computers or machines, management will hesitate to pay them $15 an hour. Sure enough, the authors find, “minimum wage increases cause a statistically significant reallocation of labor away from automatable tasks.” The average numbers are bleak — “a $1 increase in the minimum wage leads to a 0.43 percentage point decrease in the share of automatable jobs done by low-skilled workers” — but the numbers under the hood are even worse. Older workers in manufacturing are hit especially hard, as are women in public administration and blacks in the transportation and manufacturing sectors.

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Increasing the minimum wage also causes workers to switch jobs, adding to the precariat. So, too, does it leave them vulnerable to reductions in hours. Lordan and Neumark see their study as filling a gap in the minimum-wage literature, which they say “usually focuses on very low-skilled workers.” Rather than examining the effect of a wage increase on teenagers, for instance, their analysis takes a look at all the jobs which can feasibly be automated. That’s timely information, and not just for bank tellers: The driverless car, the bricklaying robot, and, further out, Ross the lawyer may render more occupations exposed to the pressures of automation than before.

It’s true that the share of non-routine jobs in our labor force has risen over time as routine jobs have either moved overseas or been automated away. Automation hasn’t cannibalized jobs; it has led to the creation of more opportunities for high-skilled workers. But there’s a swathe of people to whom the modifier “high-skilled” doesn’t currently apply. Balancing the creative destruction brought about by new technology with the need for an employed populace is a difficult challenge that simply raising the minimum wage won’t meet. This study is evidence that raising the minimum wage in a world of automation means fewer low-wage jobs. If we had a national productivity strategy or a coherent approach to immigration, that could be a good thing. Such a counterfactual requires a possible world far away from the one we live in, however. If implemented here, the Democratic “fight for $15” could cause catastrophe for millions.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/451162/minimum-wage-increases-hurt-automation-prone-workers

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The Fourth Industrial Revolution: what it means, how to respond

We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before. We do not yet know just how it will unfold, but one thing is clear: the response to it must be integrated and comprehensive, involving all stakeholders of the global polity, from the public and private sectors to academia and civil society.

The First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production. The Second used electric power to create mass production. The Third used electronics and information technology to automate production. Now a Fourth Industrial Revolution is building on the Third, the digital revolution that has been occurring since the middle of the last century. It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.

There are three reasons why today’s transformations represent not merely a prolongation of the Third Industrial Revolution but rather the arrival of a Fourth and distinct one: velocity, scope, and systems impact. The speed of current breakthroughs has no historical precedent. When compared with previous industrial revolutions, the Fourth is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace. Moreover, it is disrupting almost every industry in every country. And the breadth and depth of these changes herald the transformation of entire systems of production, management, and governance.

Ubiquitous, mobile supercomputing. Artificially-intelligent robots. Self-driving cars. Neuro-technological brain enhancements. Genetic editing. The evidence of dramatic change is all around us and it’s happening at exponential speed.

The possibilities of billions of people connected by mobile devices, with unprecedented processing power, storage capacity, and access to knowledge, are unlimited. And these possibilities will be multiplied by emerging technology breakthroughs in fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage, and quantum computing.

Already, artificial intelligence is all around us, from self-driving cars and drones to virtual assistants and software that translate or invest. Impressive progress has been made in AI in recent years, driven by exponential increases in computing power and by the availability of vast amounts of data, from software used to discover new drugs to algorithms used to predict our cultural interests. Digital fabrication technologies, meanwhile, are interacting with the biological world on a daily basis. Engineers, designers, and architects are combining computational design, additive manufacturing, materials engineering, and synthetic biology to pioneer a symbiosis between microorganisms, our bodies, the products we consume, and even the buildings we inhabit.

The future will focus on the details, customization, personalization, the little things.

Challenges and opportunities

Like the revolutions that preceded it, the Fourth Industrial Revolution has the potential to raise global income levels and improve the quality of life for populations around the world. To date, those who have gained the most from it have been consumers able to afford and access the digital world; technology has made possible new products and services that increase the efficiency and pleasure of our personal lives. Ordering a cab, booking a flight, buying a product, making a payment, listening to music, watching a film, or playing a game—any of these can now be done remotely.

In the future, technological innovation will also lead to a supply-side miracle, with long-term gains in efficiency and productivity. Transportation and communication costs will drop, logistics and global supply chains will become more effective, and the cost of trade will diminish, all of which will open new markets and drive economic growth.

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At the same time, as the economists Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee have pointed out, the revolution could yield greater inequality, particularly in its potential to disrupt labor markets. As automation substitutes for labor across the entire economy, the net displacement of workers by machines might exacerbate the gap between returns to capital and returns to labor. On the other hand, it is also possible that the displacement of workers by technology will, in aggregate, result in a net increase in safe and rewarding jobs.

We cannot foresee at this point which scenario is likely to emerge, and history suggests that the outcome is likely to be some combination of the two. However, I am convinced of one thing—that in the future, talent, more than capital, will represent the critical factor of production. This will give rise to a job market increasingly segregated into “low-skill/low-pay” and “high-skill/high-pay” segments, which in turn will lead to an increase in social tensions.

In addition to being a key economic concern, inequality represents the greatest societal concern associated with the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The largest beneficiaries of innovation tend to be the providers of intellectual and physical capital—the innovators, shareholders, and investors—which explains the rising gap in wealth between those dependent on capital versus labor. Technology is therefore one of the main reasons why incomes have stagnated, or even decreased, for a majority of the population in high-income countries: the demand for highly skilled workers has increased while the demand for workers with less education and lower skills has decreased. The result is a job market with a strong demand at the high and low ends, but a hollowing out of the middle.

This helps explain why so many workers are disillusioned and fearful that their own real incomes and those of their children will continue to stagnate. It also helps explain why middle classes around the world are increasingly experiencing a pervasive sense of dissatisfaction and unfairness. A winner-takes-all economy that offers only limited access to the middle class is a recipe for democratic malaise and dereliction.

Discontent can also be fueled by the pervasiveness of digital technologies and the dynamics of information sharing typified by social media. More than 30 percent of the global population now uses social media platforms to connect, learn, and share information. In an ideal world, these interactions would provide an opportunity for cross-cultural understanding and cohesion. However, they can also create and propagate unrealistic expectations as to what constitutes success for an individual or a group, as well as offer opportunities for extreme ideas and ideologies to spread.

The impact on business

An underlying theme in my conversations with global CEOs and senior business executives is that the acceleration of innovation and the velocity of disruption are hard to comprehend or anticipate and that these drivers constitute a source of constant surprise, even for the best connected and most well informed. Indeed, across all industries, there is clear evidence that the technologies that underpin the Fourth Industrial Revolution are having a major impact on businesses.

On the supply side, many industries are seeing the introduction of new technologies that create entirely new ways of serving existing needs and significantly disrupt existing industry value chains. Disruption is also flowing from agile, innovative competitors who, thanks to access to global digital platforms for research, development, marketing, sales, and distribution, can oust well-established incumbents faster than ever by improving the quality, speed, or price at which value is delivered.

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Major shifts on the demand side are also occurring, as growing transparency, consumer engagement, and new patterns of consumer behavior (increasingly built upon access to mobile networks and data) force companies to adapt the way they design, market, and deliver products and services.

A key trend is the development of technology-enabled platforms that combine both demand and supply to disrupt existing industry structures, such as those we see within the “sharing” or “on demand” economy. These technology platforms, rendered easy to use by the smartphone, convene people, assets, and data—thus creating entirely new ways of consuming goods and services in the process. In addition, they lower the barriers for businesses and individuals to create wealth, altering the personal and professional environments of workers. These new platform businesses are rapidly multiplying into many new services, ranging from laundry to shopping, from chores to parking, from massages to travel.

 

On the whole, there are four main effects that the Fourth Industrial Revolution has on business—on customer expectations, on product enhancement, on collaborative innovation, and on organizational forms. Whether consumers or businesses, customers are increasingly at the epicenter of the economy, which is all about improving how customers are served. Physical products and services, moreover, can now be enhanced with digital capabilities that increase their value. New technologies make assets more durable and resilient, while data and analytics are transforming how they are maintained. A world of customer experiences, data-based services, and asset performance through analytics, meanwhile, requires new forms of collaboration, particularly given the speed at which innovation and disruption are taking place. And the emergence of global platforms and other new business models, finally, means that talent, culture, and organizational forms will have to be rethought.

 

Overall, the inexorable shift from simple digitization (the Third Industrial Revolution) to innovation based on combinations of technologies (the Fourth Industrial Revolution) is forcing companies to reexamine the way they do business. The bottom line, however, is the same: business leaders and senior executives need to understand their changing environment, challenge the assumptions of their operating teams, and relentlessly and continuously innovate.

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The impact on government

As the physical, digital, and biological worlds continue to converge, new technologies and platforms will increasingly enable citizens to engage with governments, voice their opinions, coordinate their efforts, and even circumvent the supervision of public authorities. Simultaneously, governments will gain new technological powers to increase their control over populations, based on pervasive surveillance systems and the ability to control digital infrastructure. On the whole, however, governments will increasingly face pressure to change their current approach to public engagement and policymaking, as their central role of conducting policy diminishes owing to new sources of competition and the redistribution and decentralization of power that new technologies make possible.

 

Ultimately, the ability of government systems and public authorities to adapt will determine their survival. If they prove capable of embracing a world of disruptive change, subjecting their structures to the levels of transparency and efficiency that will enable them to maintain their competitive edge, they will endure. If they cannot evolve, they will face increasing trouble.

 

This will be particularly true in the realm of regulation. Current systems of public policy and decision-making evolved alongside the Second Industrial Revolution, when decision-makers had time to study a specific issue and develop the necessary response or appropriate regulatory framework. The whole process was designed to be linear and mechanistic, following a strict “top down” approach.

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But such an approach is no longer feasible. Given the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s rapid pace of change and broad impacts, legislators and regulators are being challenged to an unprecedented degree and for the most part are proving unable to cope.

How, then, can they preserve the interest of the consumers and the public at large while continuing to support innovation and technological development? By embracing “agile” governance, just as the private sector has increasingly adopted agile responses to software development and business operations more generally. This means regulators must continuously adapt to a new, fast-changing environment, reinventing themselves so they can truly understand what it is they are regulating. To do so, governments and regulatory agencies will need to collaborate closely with business and civil society.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution will also profoundly impact the nature of national and international security, affecting both the probability and the nature of conflict. The history of warfare and international security is the history of technological innovation, and today is no exception. Modern conflicts involving states are increasingly “hybrid” in nature, combining traditional battlefield techniques with elements previously associated with nonstate actors. The distinction between war and peace, combatant and noncombatant, and even violence and nonviolence (think cyberwarfare) is becoming uncomfortably blurry.

 

As this process takes place and new technologies such as autonomous or biological weapons become easier to use, individuals and small groups will increasingly join states in being capable of causing mass harm. This new vulnerability will lead to new fears. But at the same time, advances in technology will create the potential to reduce the scale or impact of violence, through the development of new modes of protection, for example, or greater precision in targeting.

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The impact on people

The Fourth Industrial Revolution, finally, will change not only what we do but also who we are. It will affect our identity and all the issues associated with it: our sense of privacy, our notions of ownership, our consumption patterns, the time we devote to work and leisure, and how we develop our careers, cultivate our skills, meet people, and nurture relationships. It is already changing our health and leading to a “quantified” self, and sooner than we think it may lead to human augmentation. The list is endless because it is bound only by our imagination.

 

I am a great enthusiast and early adopter of technology, but sometimes I wonder whether the inexorable integration of technology in our lives could diminish some of our quintessential human capacities, such as compassion and cooperation. Our relationship with our smartphones is a case in point. Constant connection may deprive us of one of life’s most important assets: the time to pause, reflect, and engage in meaningful conversation.

 

One of the greatest individual challenges posed by new information technologies is privacy. We instinctively understand why it is so essential, yet the tracking and sharing of information about us is a crucial part of the new connectivity. Debates about fundamental issues such as the impact on our inner lives of the loss of control over our data will only intensify in the years ahead. Similarly, the revolutions occurring in biotechnology and AI, which are redefining what it means to be human by pushing back the current thresholds of life span, health, cognition, and capabilities, will compel us to redefine our moral and ethical boundaries.

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Shaping the future

Neither technology nor the disruption that comes with it is an exogenous force over which humans have no control. All of us are responsible for guiding its evolution, in the decisions we make on a daily basis as citizens, consumers, and investors. We should thus grasp the opportunity and power we have to shape the Fourth Industrial Revolution and direct it toward a future that reflects our common objectives and values.

 

To do this, however, we must develop a comprehensive and globally shared view of how technology is affecting our lives and reshaping our economic, social, cultural, and human environments. There has never been a time of greater promise, or one of greater potential peril. Today’s decision-makers, however, are too often trapped in traditional, linear thinking, or too absorbed by the multiple crises demanding their attention, to think strategically about the forces of disruption and innovation shaping our future.

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In the end, it all comes down to people and values. We need to shape a future that works for all of us by putting people first and empowering them. In its most pessimistic, dehumanized form, the Fourth Industrial Revolution may indeed have the potential to “robotize” humanity and thus to deprive us of our heart and soul. But as a complement to the best parts of human nature—creativity, empathy, stewardship—it can also lift humanity into a new collective and moral consciousness based on a shared sense of destiny. It is incumbent on us all to make sure the latter prevails.

This article was first published in Foreign Affairs

Author: Klaus Schwab is Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum

These things are the future, white nationalism needs to adapt and take advantage of what will be the edge we need to overcome all obstacles to the survival of our people.

The Shock of History

The Shock of History

http://www.alternativeright.com/main/the-magazine/the-shock-of-history/

A propos:
Dominique Venner.
Le choc de l’Histoire. Religion, mémoire, identité.
Versailles: Via Romana, September 2011.

 

“The future belongs to those with the longest memory.” –Nietzsche

Conservative thinking, Karl Mannheim notes, is essentially historical thinking—in that it orients to the concrete, to ‘what is’ and ‘what has been’, instead of to ‘what ought to be’ or ‘what can be’. ‘Properly understood’, historical thinking (as créatrice de sens) reveals the ‘Providential’ design evident in the course and test of time.

Some anti-liberals are wont thus to situate their ‘conservative’ project within the frame of Europe’s historical destiny and the higher design informing it.

The most renowned of such historical thinkers (representing what Carolina Armenteros calls the ‘the French idea of history’) was the father of European anti-liberalism, Joseph de Maistre—though he is not our subject.  Rather, it is the foremost contemporary avatar of anti-liberal historical thought: Dominique Venner.

The 75-year-old, French-speaking European of Celt and German descent, father of five, Venner is a historical scholar, a writer of popular histories and of various works on firearms and hunting, as well as the editor of two successful, artfully illustrated historical journals.

But whatever his genre, Venner bears the knightly (or legionnaire) standard of Europe’s multi-millennial heritage—the heritage, he claims, that took form with the blind poet, who is the father of us all—the heritage whose Homeric spirit knows to honor the brave, bare-foot soldiers of the Confederacy and the social banditry of Jesse James—and, most insistently, the heritage that expects a future commensurate with Europe’s incomparable past.

Venner is not your average academic historians; indeed, he’s not an academic at all. His life has been lived out on the last of France’s imperial battlefields; in Parisian street politics, in the outlawed OAS, in prison, and in laying the conceptual foundations of the European New Right; and finally, since his early thirties, in the various libraries, archives, and communal memories he’s searched to produce the 50 books he’s written on the key historical upheavals of the last century or so.

Unsurprisingly, his historical sense is ‘over-determined’—not solely by an  intelligence steeped in the life of the mind, but also by disciplines acquired in those schools of initiands known only to the political soldier.

Venner_Dominique_-_Le_choc_de_lhistoireHis latest book—Le Choc de l’Histoire—is not a work of history per se, but a series of meditations, in the form of a book-long interview (conducted by the historian Pauline Lecomte) on the historical situation presently facing Europeans. These meditations approach their subject in parallel but opposite ways: 1) one approach surveys the contours of Europe’s longue durée—those centuries of growth that made the great oak so venerable—and, in the spirit of the Annales School, reveals her ‘secret permanences’, and, 2) a very different but complementary approach that silhouettes the heroic individuals and individual events (Achilles and the Iliad foremost) exemplifying the Homeric spirit of European man—disclosing his possibilities, and offering him thus an alternative to his programmed extinction.

Venner’s thesis is that: Europeans, after having been militarily, politically, and morally crushed by events largely of their own making, have been lost in sleep (‘in dormition’) for the last half-century and are now—however slowly—beginning to experience a ‘shock of history’ that promises to wake them, as they are forced to defend an identity of which they had previously been almost unconscious.

Like the effect of cascading catastrophes (the accelerating decomposition of America’s world empire, Europe’s Islamic colonization, the chaos-creating nihilism of global capitalism, etc.), the shock of history today is becoming more violent and destructive, making it harder for Europeans to stay lulled in the deep, oblivious sleep that follows a grievous wound to the soul itself—the deep curative sleep prescribed by their horrendous civil wars (1914-1918 and 1939-1945), by the ensuing impositions of the Soviet/American occupation and of the occupation’s collaborationist regimes, and, finally, today, by a demographic tsunami promising to sweep away their kind.

The Sleep

 

The Second European Civil War of 1939-1945, however it is interpreted, resulted in a cataclysmic defeat not just for Hitler’s Germany, but for Europe, much of which, quite literally, was reduced to mounds of smoldering rumble. Then, at Yalta, adding insult to injury, the two extra-European super-powers partitioned the Continent, deprived her states of sovereignty, and proceeded to Americanize or Sovietize the ‘systems’ organizing and managing the new postwar European order.

As Europe’s lands and institutions were assumed by alien interests, her ancient roots severed, and her destiny forgotten, Europeans fell into dormition, losing consciousness of who they were as a people and a civilization—believing, as they were encouraged, that they were simply one people, equal among the world’s many peoples.

Worse, for their unpardonable sins—for what Europeans did to Jews in the war, to Blacks in the slave trade, to non-White peoples in general over the course of the last 500 years—for all the terrible sins Europeans have committed, they are henceforth denied the ‘right’ to be a ‘people’. In the Messianic spirit of Communism and Americanism, the Orwellian occupiers and collaborators have since refused them a common origin (roots), a shared history, a tradition, a destiny. This reduces them to a faceless economic-administrative collectivity, which is expected, in the end, to negate the organic basis of its own existence.

The postwar assault on European identity entailed, however, more than a zombifying campaign of guilt-inducement—though this campaign was massive in scale. Europe after Jahre Null was re-organized according to extra-European models and then overwhelmed with imported forms of mass consumerism and entertainment. At the same time and with perhaps greater severity, she was subject to an unprecedented ‘brain-washing’ (in schools, media, the so-called arts, public institutions, and private corporations)—as all Europe’s family of nations, not just the defeated Germans, were collectively made to bear a crushing guilt—under the pretext of the Shoah or the legacy of colonialism/imperialism/slavery—for sins requiring the most extreme penance. Thus tainted, her memory and identity are now publicly stigmatized,

venner-dominique-2101Venner’s Europe is not, of course, the Soviet/New Class-inspired EU, just as she is not the geographical entity labeled ‘Europe’. Rather than a market, a political/administrative structure, a geographic category—rather even than a race (though in a certain sense it is all about race in the end)—Europe for him is a multi-millennial community of closely-related national families made up of Germans, Celts, Slavs, and others, having the same ancient (Indo-European, Borean, Cro-Magnon) roots of blood and spirit: that is, having the same Thirty-thousand Years of European History and Identity.

This makes his Europe a community with a common civilizational heritage that stretches back to the depths of prehistoric time. Historically, the tradition and identity of this heritage has informed Europe’s representations and values in ways distinguishing/identifying her and her peoples from other civilizations and peoples.

Tradition, though, is not  for Venner the metaphysical abstraction of the perennialists or the historical repository of the Burkeans: it is not something outside history nor is it something forged once and for all in the night of time.

Tradition for him is precisely that which does not pass.  It is the perpetual spirit that makes Europeans who they are and lends meaning to their existence, as they change and grow yet remain always the same. It is the source thus of the ‘secret permanences’ upon which their history is worked out.

Tradition may originate in Prehistory, but Venner claims it is preeminently contemporary—just as every origin represents a novel outburst of being. It serves thus as a people’s inner compass. It directs them to what and whom they are. It renders what was formed and inspired in the past into a continually informed present. It is always new and youthful, something very much before rather than behind them. It embodies the longest memory, integral to their identity, and it anticipates a future true to its origin. Life lived in reference to tradition, Venner insists, is life lived in accordance with the ideal it embodies—the ideal of ‘who we are’.

In one sense, Venner’s Europe is the opposite of the America that has distorted Europe’s fate for the last half-century. But he is no knee-jerk anti-American (though the French, in my view, have good cause to be anti-US). He’s also written several books on the US War of Secession, in which much of America’s Cavalier heritage is admired. Knowing something of the opposed tendencies shaping American ‘national’ life, he’s well aware of the moral abyss separating, say, Jesse James from Jay Gould—and what makes one an exemplar of the European spirit and the other its opposite.

Modeled on the Old Testament, not the Old World, Venner claims America’s New World (both as a prolongation and rejection of Europe) was born of New England Calvinism and secularized in John O’Sullivan’s ‘Manifest Destiny’.

Emboldened by the vast, virgin land of their wilderness enterprise and the absence of traditional authority, America’s Seventeenth-century Anglo-Puritan settlers set out, in the spirit of their radical-democratic Low Church crusade, to disown the colony’s Anglo-European parents—which meant disowning the idea (old as Herodotus) that Europe is ‘the home of liberty and true government’.

Believing herself God’s favorite, this New Zion aspired—as a Promised Land of liberty, equality, fraternity—to jettison Europe’s aesthetic and aristocratic standards for the sake of its religiously-inspired materialism. Hence, the bustling, wealth-accumulating, tradition-opposing character of the American project, which offends every former conception of the Cosmos.

New England, to be sure, is not the whole of America, for the South, among another sections, has a quite different narrative, but it was the Yankee version of the ‘American epic’ that became dominant, and it is thus the Yankee version that everywhere wars on Americans of European descent.

Citing Huntington’s Who Are We?, Venner says US elites (‘cosmocrats’, he calls them) pursue a transnational/universalist vision (privileging global markets and human rights) that opposes every ‘nativist’ sense of nation or culture—a transnational/universalist vision the cosmocrats hope to impose on the whole world. For like Russian Bolsheviks and ‘the Bolsheviks of the Seventeenth century’, these money-worshipping liberal elites hate the Old World and seek a new man, Homo Oeconomicus—unencumbered by roots, nature, or culture—and motivated solely by a quantitative sense of purpose.

As a union whose ‘connections’ are essentially horizontal, contractual, self-serving, and self-centered, America’s cosmocratic system comes, as such, to oppose all resistant forms of historic or organic identity—for the sake of a totalitarian agenda intent on running roughshod over everything that might obstruct the scorch-earth economic logic of its Protestant Ethic and Capitalist Spirit. (In this sense, Europe’s resurgence implies America’s demise).

The Shock

What will awaken Europeans from their sleep? Venner says it will be the shock of history—the shock re-awakening the tradition that made them (and makes them) who they are. Such shocks have, in fact, long shaped their history. Think of the Greeks in their Persian Wars; of Charles Martel’s outnumbered knights against the Caliphate’s vanguard; or of the Christian forces under Starhemberg and Sobieski before the gates of Vienna. Whenever Europe approaches Höderlin’s ‘midnight of the world’, such shocks, it seems, serve historically to mobilize the redeeming memory and will to power inscribed in her tradition.

More than a half-century after the trauma of 1945—and the ensuing Americanization, financialization, and third-worldization of continental life—Europeans are once again experiencing another great life-changing, history-altering shock promising to shake them from dormition.

The present economic crisis and its attending catastrophes (in discrediting the collaborators managing the EU, as well as de-legitimatizing the continent’s various national political systems), combined with the unrelenting, disconcerting Islamization of European life (integral to US strategic interests) are—together—forcing Europeans to re-evaluate a system that destroys the national economy, eliminates borders, ravages the culture, makes community impossible, and programs their extinction as a people. The illusions of prosperity and progress, along with the system’s fun, sex, and money (justifying the prevailing de-Europeanization) are becoming increasingly difficult to entertain. Glimmers of a changing consciousness have, indeed, already been glimpsed on the horizon.

The various nationalist-populist parties stirring everywhere in Europe—parties which are preparing the counter-hegemony that one day will replace Europe’s present American-centric leadership—represent one conspicuous sign of this awakening. A mounting number of identitarian, Christian, secular, and political forces resisting Islam’s, America’s, and the EU’s totalitarian impositions at the local level are another sign.

Europeans, as a consequence, are increasingly posing the question: ‘Who are we?’, as they become more and more conscious—especially in the face of the dietary, vestimentary, familial, sexual, religious, and other differences separating them from Muslims—of what is distinct to their civilization and their people, and why such distinctions are worth defending. Historical revivals, Venner notes, are slow in the making, but once awakened there is usually no going back. This is the point, Venner believes, that Europe is approaching today.

The Unexpected

History is the realm of the unexpected. Venner does not subscribe to notions of historical determinism or necessity. In contrast to Marxists and economic determinists, anti-Semites and Spenglerians, he believes there are no monocausal explanations of history, and unlike liberals such as Fukuyama, he believes there’s no escape from (no ‘end’ to) history.

In history, the future is always unknown. Who would have thought in 1980 that Soviet Russia, which seemed to be overtaking the United States in the ‘70s, would collapse within a decade? Historical fatalities are the fatalities of men’s minds, not those of history.

History, moreover, is the confluence of the given, the circumstantial, and the willful. This makes it always open and hence potentially always a realm of the unexpected. And the unexpected (that instance when great possibilities are momentarily posed) is mastered, Venner councils, only in terms of who we are, which means in terms of the tradition and identity defining our project and informing our encounter with the world.

Hence, the significance now of husbanding our roots, our memory, our tradition, for from them will come our will to power and any possibility of transcendence. It’s not for nothing, Dominique Venner concludes, that we are the sons and daughters of Homer, Ulysses, and Penelope.

What is Independence?

What is Independence?

Obviously, we think this is an important concept, so much so that it is the central theme of our site. But what does it mean? Let’s take a look at the dictionary first:

freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others.

It seems pretty simple, doesn’t it? Would anybody disagree with the notion that we should be free from the control of others? Of course not. To suggest otherwise would imply that we are the property of others, that we are subjects or slaves.

The other parts of the definition all rest on the freedom from control: influence of others isn’t always a bad thing. It is good to sometimes seek advice or guidance from someone else. However, you are still free to choose what to do with that advice, and so you are free to choose how you will let that influence affect you, so long as you are free from control. The same is true of support, aid, or the like. So a more simple definition of independence, cutting down to the root of the issue, would be:

freedom from the control of others.

But why does this simple idea go out the window when we start talking about government?

There are many potential answers to this question. Our society seems to have a general premise that the government is our safe keeper, and without it we would be animals in the wilderness, and utter chaos would rule. Some treat government as if it represents a balance of power against the “corporations” (themselves government enabled entities) who they say would take over and act as governments themselves if it weren’t for our elected representatives. The Founding Fathers treated government  as a necessary evil, that if properly limited could serve to protect our rights, but we all know that lasted about 5 minutes.

So why is it that we would all react with disgust if we saw a person leading around his slaves and making them do his bidding, but we react with joyful celebration when we see the government do the same thing? (Democrats celebrating the enslavement of doctors, for example, or Republicans celebrating the enslavement of the pot smoker.)

Well this is the question of our times and for people who have traveled the philosophical and political journey that leads to Independence it is extremely difficult to understand how anyone could believe that control is OK in the hands of the government, while not OK for anyone else. Hopefully our efforts on this site can expose people to the reality that government is coercion and control of others, and that as such it is evil. Hopefully we can inspire a renewed interest in Independence, so that as the current status quo collapses upon itself, a free society can emerge.

Men of the West aka white guys

Not many of you can be called men, so may be this post should be “boys of the west.” For a people who conquered the world, built mighty empires, fought bloody world wars, and landed on the moon, it seems we have lost our manhood. Is it true the liberal education system has emasculated white males to the point of no return? Where is the warrior spirit of our ancestors? What happened to the european survival instinct?

If I can say one thing, its stop being a bitch! Simple as that! Stand up to them, this includes our women! Be men damn you! Stop cowering like a small child and stand and fight like men, stand and die like men if need be, but don’t lay there and die like dogs! Embrace the inner warrior, if you can’t afford guns and ammo, can you afford a sledge hammer? An axe? I’d rather fight with an axe in combat then my bare hands! Let me tell you if you have not purchased your killing tools then your good as dead anyways, and if you have your stock pile, your probably going to die anyways, buts it better to die a warriors death, killing our racial enemies, then on your knees begging for mercy. I will warn you, they are not known for their mercy, they will torture you, and consume your flesh before all is said and done, take the bastards to hell with you if you must.

The worst thing I have seen in this world is the feminized white male. Let them boys between your legs drop for a change and allow your natural instincts to make some choices for you once in a while, you might be surprised.

This ongoing attack on manhood is what prevents white males from becoming white men, but its an attack we allow to occur. They can’t force you to be a bitch, your doing that all on your own. Next time an enemy challenges you, don’t back down, stand up for our people! Know this, they bleed just like the rest of us, its only a matter of making them bleed! They are not gods, do not fear the parasites, do not fear the tick, the flea, and the tape worm, without us they would soon meet their maker.

Don’t cling to your wives for protection, that’s your job. Show your sons (if you have any) what a real man is. When it comes to our enemies, drop the whole turn the other cheek bullshit, and knock them the f*** out!

Stand up and protect our women! Set an example of strength, god man lose some weight! Spend some time at the gym, eat less garbage, go hiking, eat some meat, weight training, and act like men.

When the times comes do not hesitate to put them down!

Is UN plotting to bring illegal aliens from Libya to Europe?

Is UN plotting to bring illegal aliens from Libya to Europe?

Thousands of sub-Saharan African illegal aliens are in detention centers in Libya. Gaddafi had been processing them for repatriation as part of a large agreement with Italy.

Since problems began in North Africa, illegal aliens have been flooding into Southern Europe creating a major crises. The launching of the Sarkozy/Obama war in Libya has made matters much worse.

Libya just made a deal with the UN to allow aid workers to Tripoli and Misurata. The UN has already commenced the evacuation of as many as 5,000 Philippine oil workers. However, the radical left-wing European media is calling for a “rescue” of detained illegal immigrants in Libya as well.

Italy, Malta, and Greece are at breaking points. Popular anger over EU immigration policies is boiling over.

Now France has openly violated EU immigration law to block the entry of illegal aliens “lawfully” crossing the Italian/French border. This has given the Italians ammunition to go against EU open borders policies as well. France had been blocking illegal aliens along their Mediterranean border and diverting them to Italian Islands. Italy retaliated by given some of them temporary visas so they could legally cross back into France. In return France called up riot police to block their entry.

Meanwhile German officials have already stated that they will not agree to take a share of the new illegal aliens.

One of more straw could break the camels back and lead to open defiance of the EU by Southern Europe over immigration laws.