In a comment on “The Child Brothel“, commenter Goat writes:

The focus on sex is silly. Sex is not harmful when consented and safe. I don’t like when it is lumped in with drug use, abortion and other objectively harmful activities.

Well, for that matter, drug use is not harmful when it’s safe. That’s what safe means.

There is an inconsistency about attitudes to sex, which is part of the problem I was describing in “The Child Brothel”. Children’s home staff who are looking after teenagers are trying to keep them safe, and if a 15-year-old girl has a girlfriend and is probably having sex with him, they probably aren’t going to see that as a significant problem. However, because it’s technically not allowed, there will be some concealment and deception going on, meaning that if the “boyfriend” turns out to be part of a prostitution gang, that might not be noticed.

That is, I imagine, what lies behind the story I tweeted about shortly before that article: when people go missing from care homes it isn’t treated as a major crisis:

Children were reported missing from council care more than 100 times in a town dogged by child sex scandals.

There are two approaches to that problem: either you accept officially as well as unofficially that the children are going to be having sex, and hope that greater openness means the dangers are reduced, or you more effectively stop them.

My view is that casual, promiscuous, recreational sex is probably workable for an elite with a very solid social structure supporting them, it is damaging for a population as a whole. One of the best lives that a teenage girl from a broken family with no meaningful education or skills could aspire to would be a wife of a decent man with a good career, and an adolescence of casual sex is making her unsuitable for that role. (Yes, that is an unusual opinion, that’s why I call myself a reactionary). Also, by spending the next couple of decades making sex more easily available to men, she is reducing men’s interest in forming families, so making it harder for other women to achieve the role of wife.

As “infowarrior1” suggests in another comment, delaying assumption of adulthood to 18 or later is unnecessary, and I would add that also contributes to cutting that path off from all girls, including those in care. Suggesting to a 14-year-old girl that she save herself for a husband who she won’t marry until she is thirty is obviously preposterous.  Girls without conspicuous educational attainment should usually be married before they are 18. Also, boys should normally be working before they are 18 and so in a position to marry a nice 16 or 17-year old girl by the time they are 21 or 22. The massive bubble in worthless education is maybe the deepest root cause of all our social problems.



The Child Brothel

The child brothel that is liberal Britain is the title of an article by Jane Kelly in the Salisbury Review about the Aylesbury child abuse ring, making very similar points to those I made about Rotherham.

Effectively protecting young people from being sexually exploited requires restricting their freedom in ways which 21st-Century British society is not willing to do. This is true of children of all backgrounds, but is most significant for the marginalised children in care homes or foster homes.

The Daily Mirror reports of Rochdale: Town hit by child sex scandals sees 117 cases of care kids reported missing—but claiming that authorities “fail to understand the risks they face early on” only works if you can somehow explain how to stop teenage kids running away.

As The Children’s Society charity observes, since 16-17 year old children can legally have sex, the powers that the authorities have to protect them from predators are very limited. And while sexual activity with under-16s is prohibited, it is generally winked at among young people, which makes it harder to spot when 14-15 year olds are being exploited.

That Children’s Society link is very much worth reading to get a feel for what I am talking about. There are quotes from victims who go along with abusers because they feel worthless. This, as I wrote before, is the root problem. Controlling the behaviour of teenagers is difficult, but when they believe—probably accurately—that they have no future whatever they do, then the lure of parties, drink, drugs and people paying attention to them is likely to be pretty nearly irresistible. This is the position that a child in a care home, failing at or absent from school, probably never having known an adult with a career other than the staff who have been responsible for her, is in. The problem with making education the most important thing in life is that it leaves those who fail at education with nothing.

Arguably, the logic of harm reduction, as applied to drugs, prostitution, abortion, and so forth, suggests that given that many of these girls (and even boys) are going to spend their lives as de facto whores, they would be better off being kept by responsible adults as legitimate concubines or catamites than being left to make their own black-market arrangements. I’m not seriously advocating that, but it’s a perspective—either society finds a future for these children or it doesn’t. It’s hard to talk about future time orientation without a realistic better future to orient towards.

(I’d love to be proved wrong about this. Are there examples of people with successful careers who grew up in care in Britain? This article finds four, including one fictional character).


With the conviction of six people in connection with child sex abuse in Rotherham, I think it is time to comment on it.

I don’t have detailed knowledge of the situation, beyond press reports and the report from Louise Casey’s enquiry last year, so what follows is to a certain extent informed by prejudice and hearsay. But the same is true of much other commentary on the case, so I think it’s at least worth exposing the differences. Don’t treat the claims below as authoritative.

The view on the outer right is that Rotherham, like sexual violence in Cologne and sex slavery in the Islamic State, is just an expression of Islamic attitudes to women. There is probably a grain of truth in that, but there are far more significant aspects.

The first thing about Rotherham is how enormously fucked up white British working-class society is today. The victims were overwhelmingly girls “in care”, wards of the state living in childrens’ homes or foster homes. A few weren’t, but involving them was the act of stupidity that eventually blew the racket away. It was actual parents who went to the media after the local authorities and the police failed them.

Without intending disrespect towards today’s enlightened, empowered sex-work professionals, the traditional position of a whore was a woman who had nothing of value to offer but her body. It is, in a sense, the default social role of a woman, as manual labourer or bandit are the default social roles of a man. It is an error made by some traditionalists to see the default social role of a woman as being that of wife; that is a role that requires a level of achievement, to become someone that a man with means of supporting a family would choose to keep his house and bear his children. A woman who fails to attain those achievements, and also fails to achieve other marketable abilities, is a whore. She may or may not have sex for money, but she has sex for everything else.

It appears that most girls in care, failed by the wreckage of what used to be family life, do not have either the traditional achievement of potential wife nor the modern achievement of useful education. They are unintentionally, and tragically, raised to be whores. I would be surprised if one in ten reaches their sixteenth birthday virgin. Note this paragraph in particular is an impression based on rumour and hearsay, and might in truth be badly mistaken

It is too easily assumed that the world no longer works this way, since the welfare state will feed and house these girls for their entire lives, and they therefore do not have the economic necessity to sell their bodies like a medieval pauper. But humans don’t work that way—we need to fit a social role, we need to exchange value with other humans in order to validate ourselves. Offering value to others is an essential part of social living, and a girl with nothing of value to offer but her body will offer it, not out of economic necessity but out of emotional necessity. The staff of children’s homes are fully occupied with keeping their charges out of violent situations; stopping them from having boyfriends is out of the question.

As an aside, if the staff taking personal advantage of the situation is more than a rare exceptional incident, then that is because they can see what is in front of them. These girls are available.

Once the available girls were pulled in to the ring’s activities, they were trapped and controlled using violence and threats, as well as drugs and everything else from the standard playbook on how to control and exploit defenceless women. [inserted 27Feb]

So that’s part 1 of the situation: whores from care homes or foster homes. Emphasising this side of the problem isn’t “victim blaming”—it’s not the fault of these girls that they’ve been raised as whores in the rubble of English working-class culture, and it doesn’t mean they deserve any less sympathy or protection. Pretending that everything would have been fine for them were it not for these predatory Pakistanis is doing no favours to the girls in the same situation today.

Part 2 is the gang. This is not a story of immigrant thugs committing violent crime because they’re not part of society. Quite the reverse: the gang was all too integrated into Rotherham’s society, economy and politics. This is straightforward organised crime, with the usual organised crime aspects of political and police connections. In a large immigrant community, like Rotherham’s Pakistanis, those links are easier to form.

One girl said the Hussain brothers “owned” Rotherham, while another told the jury: “The police gave them a free card to do what they wanted.”

So, the organised crime situation is somewhat characteristic of a divided society, and it’s probably also true that the gang saw these white girls as unprotected and available, and did not see Pakistani girls the same way. But in that they were simply being realistic.

If we pull together Rotherham, Cologne and the Raqqa slave-market, they are, as I said, very different, but the common thread is the attitude that a woman without the protection of male family members is there for the taking. You can call that an Islamic attitude if you like, but I tend to think it’s almost a universal attitude, one which Western society has only recently rejected. To make it untrue, rather than merely unfashionable, requires more ruthless and determined state action than Rotherham Metropolitan Borough or the South Yorkshire Police were willing to take.

Which takes us to part 3, the one point where Rotherham and Cologne are exactly alike: the cover-up. For the local government staff, fully indoctrinated into modern leftism, going public with the news that gangs of Pakistanis were systematically raping white girls would be—and has been—a far worse disaster than the abuse itself. The major takeaway from the Casey report a year ago was that, even after the Jay report commissioned by Rotherham Council concluded that over 1400 children had been sexually exploited in the town, the council staff rejected the findings. It could not be true, and anyone who said it was, from The Times to Professor Alexis Jay herself, was part of a racist conspiracy.

For an organized crime ring like the one in Rotherham, anti-racism is just one more weapon available to defend their position. The local government has been controlled by the Labour party for ever, so there is nobody to even oppose the political orthodoxy.

To my mind, the political situation is the biggest problem of all. The Labour Party in towns like Rotherham is dominated by Muslims, and enmeshed in their internal cultural networks, and if those cultural networks include drug dealers and child prostitution rings, then the links are hidden from the national party, whose local representatives are unable to act on or disclose what they know because of anti-racism. The existence of this problem does not require that the immigrants be any worse than the native population; it is a simple consequence of mass immigration combined with democracy. I actually suspect that British society could absorb large numbers of these immigrants without significant damage if it did not give them votes and protected status. But an immigrant community with its own social standards and religion, plus a major voting bloc, plus a native establishment which is afraid to criticise them, is a lethal combination.


27Feb—I’ve added a paragraph; I never intended to imply the girls weren’t victims of horrendous violence and rape, but the account could have been read to imply that.

13Sep2016—Supporting evidence emerged for my view of the situation of children “in care”, from MP Simon Danczuk. I have excerpted his speech to the Commons here

Tribes and Parties

a fashionable opinion

In his recent two-part “paranoid rant” in his own comments section, Scott Alexander once again proved himself, whether he likes it or not, to be one of neoreaction’s most important and effective writers.

The truly significant argument, however, hasn’t received the attention it deserves.

I think of these political differences as secondary to (and proxy for) more complicated tribal/class differences

The modern left is primarily a culture. Its political positions are emanations of that culture, not its central or essential elements. What unites the culture is not any set of political propositions, but the social elements of belonging to an in-group and following a set of fashions.

As far as membership of the culture is concerned, opposing abortion or supporting gun ownership are exactly as bad as listening to Nickelback. Political positions are fashionable or unfashionable first, and subject to rational or ideological analysis second.

This is really important, because of what it says about the motive (or rather, lack of motive) behind the direction of dominant political thought. If Selina Gomez wears a fishtail skirt at the Grammys, that’s not because she wants people to wear fishtail skirts for the rest of 2016, it’s because she wants to be noticed and admired, and other people copying it is just a byproduct of her being more popular than Lady Gaga. Likewise, if Jon Stewart says he wants laws against people owning guns, it doesn’t mean he is actually affected by the law, it just means he thinks that opinion is a good one for him to have. If other people then copy his views, he will be pleased that they are copying him, and that he is therefore a fashion leader, but he won’t be even vaguely aware of what the results of that shift in opinion actually is. That’s much less important than whether people are following him or following the other guy.

Jon Stewart won’t come out for gun control if he thinks it’s stupid, and Selena Gomez won’t wear a dress to the Grammys if she thinks it’s ugly, but in both cases the decision of what is or is not attractive is being made in the context of what other fashionable people are doing, and is validated after the fact by the reaction it gets. Also in both cases being “daring” counts for a lot.

Fashion isn’t random, and neither is political fashion. There is a degree of stability, balanced against a search for newness, and with fairly predictable directions of development and occasional abrupt “shock value” reveals. The way to be a fashion leader is first, to be recognised as fashionable, and then to take the current height of fashion and change it slightly. Changing back to last year’s version doesn’t work, so extending the most recent changes is the best bet.

Most people of course aren’t trying to be fashion leaders, they’re just trying to keep up. The safest way to do that is to simply copy what the fashion leaders have done recently, perhaps after a slight delay to make sure the latest styles didn’t turn out to be seen as mistakes.

The reason it is so important to understand this is that it reveals the irrelevance of actual political positions, and, especially, their consequences. Voting or advocating for a policy is so remote from, first, that policy being enacted, and, second, the eventual effects of the policy that it plays no role in determining what the best policy to advocate for is. Is Emma Watson likely to be directly harmed by calling for refugees to be settled in Britain? Not at all: first, what she says as an individual is very unlikely to make a difference, second, if it does make a difference it is unlikely to affect her, and third, even if it does, it may be years away and the connection from cause to effect is not going to be obvious. And that’s for one of the more spectacularly insane policy positions: most political argument is about much smaller-scale questions of welfare allocation or environmental policy or whatever, where the actual effects of a policy round to zero in the cost-benefit calculation even to six decimal places. This is the Myth of the Rational Voter applied even to politicians and opinion leaders themselves.

If the effect of the policies being driven by the fashionable is to impoverish, damage, or even destroy an entire civilisation, that does not mean that anyone at all actually wants to impoverish, damage or destroy the civilisation. They’re just wearing pretty dresses, participating in the culture, being human. The followers even more, are just adopting good opinions. If Selena Gomez wears a dress, it is a good dress. If the Daily Show assumes a political point of view, it is a good point of view. That’s not a deduction, it’s a definition: good opinions are the opinions of good people. Consequences don’t come into it.

Collapse or Correction

Arthur Harrison suggests that the rise of Trump means that “the collapse” is already happening.

Those of you who are sitting around waiting for the collapse don’t get it – it’s happening NOW.

It may even be ending.

Did you think a collapse would mean that the Internet went down and all the banks stopped running? Were you expecting a Hollywood movie?

Maybe you live in a safe white neighbourhood — maybe the looting hasn’t come to your street.

But there has been looting.

When Rome fell a lot of people didn’t notice — but it fell all the same.

The absolute crisis of confidence in the Occidental elites *is* the collapse.

People like Marine Le Pen and Donald Trump simply are the new elites #NRx was hoping to influence when it theorised the collapse in 2013.

Seriously, what did you think would happen?

Were all the buildings going to spontaneously combust?

You guys wouldn’t know a collapse if it bit you on the ass.

What do we mean when we talk about collapse?  There are actually a couple of different things. One is the decline in certain capabilities of our civilisation.  There’s general agreement that that has been going on for a while, so that isn’t what @AvengingRedHand is talking about. (You can point to the downfall of the old European order with the First World War, or suggest that there was a peak in scientific and technical achievement in the 1970s).

The notion of collapse that Harrison is emphasising is the opportunity for a change in the system of power of the US (and, by extension, US satellites).

So, do the breakdown of order produced by “Black Lives Matter”, and the rejection of elite assumptions exemplified by Donald Trump’s campaign, constitute the end of the status quo, and an opportunity for a restoration or reset?

I don’t think so. It isn’t quite business as usual, but if anything it represents a correction to some recent excesses of the mainstream left. The left through the twentieth century was always a balance between practical power-seeking politicians and enthusiastic puritan youths, and for the last decade the idealists have been gaining the upper hand. This always produces a backlash, but that backlash produces a discrediting of the openly ideological left and a recovery of the realistic strategy-minded left. It also produces narrow but significant victories for the right. What it does not produce is the end of the system.

I think it is reasonable to compare the current situation with the end of the 1970s.  The sixties had produced an excess of idealistic leftism, which had run out of control. The mainstream right had followed the zeitgeist to the extent of accepting a steady growth of welfare, increasing state control of industry, and a foreign policy conciliatory to the Soviet Union and international communism.

The backlash brought a former Democrat with celebrity status and a populist tone to the presidency. Some of the leftist excesses were rolled back temporarily—welfarism, alliance with international leftism—and some others were permanently ended—nationalised industry. But the system didn’t change. The left reorganised, became more sensible, and a decade on began to both recover its losses and make new advances in other areas.

It seems quite possible that 2016 could see a similar backlash and correction to the recent excesses of leftism. It is possible that in some areas—for instance on the immigration issue—there could be a change in policy and attitude that lasts for decades. But that would simply be a shift from the current unsustainable leftist spiral to a more sustainable leftist spiral.

What is more interesting is what the result will be if there is no correction.

Diversity and Tolerance

The fact that the “benefits of diversity” have acquired a theological status in the religion of our enemies should not blind us to the fact that there are, potentially, genuine benefits, as well as costs, of diversity. Some of the arguments are valid.

Those with exceptional contributions to make in society are often exceptional in other ways. They may be self-aggrandising, or alternatively abnormally introverted and unsociable. Their unusual abilities might be related to unusual tastes, those who break through barriers of what is considered achievable may also break barriers of what is considered acceptable. All that whether we are talking about aliens to the culture, from outside, or eccentrics produced by the culture who might as well be aliens.

The social attitude that is conducive to obtaining the benefits of diversity, while not
abandoning the idea of cultural standards, is called Tolerance.

Tolerance is never an absolute. It is not an abdication of judgement, it is a balancing of judgement. Tolerance avoids conflict, gains the benefits of diversity, but risks undermining norms.

If the norms of a society are under threat, tolerance is likely to decline, and necessarily so. If a society is strong and healthy, it can become more tolerant.

Also, those who actually do make oustanding contributions can be rewarded with tolerance of their eccentricities, without those same eccentricities developing into virulent subcultures of their own.

Our society has become much more accepting of diversity, particularly over the last few decades. But that is not a result of increasing tolerance; rather, society has become much less tolerant of any kind of dissent from its norms. Instead of being tolerant of deviance from norms, many norms have been abandoned entirely, and in place of the virtue of tolerance we have the law of equality, identified with justice.

The idea of equality does not have the flexibility and balance that the old idea of tolerance had. If one class of behaviour is equal to another, then there is nothing to
tolerate. In the short run, this looked to be equivalent to a surge of tolerance, but while one can tolerate anything, to a greater or lesser degree, one cannot treat everything as equal. Some norms are found to be essential, and breaking those norms cannot be permitted. Since the language of tolerance has been lost, replaced by the language of equality, the remaining norms get enforced with a pitiless severity. One action will be celebrated as the exercise of equal rights, while another almost identical will be condemned as a crime; there can be no middle ground. Showing people smoking on television is encouraging unhealthy behaviour and must be banned, but showing fat people eating is encouraging unhealthy behaviour, and must be held up as an ideal.

In practical terms, the concept of equality for aliens and deviants has to go. But it should not be replaced with hatred or censoriousness, but with a limited, conditional, and flexible tolerance.

For fun: a Google Ngram of inequality vs intolerance. The same pattern is not seen for equality vs tolerance, but I feel that using the negative words implies that the concepts are the standards: if people are talking more about equality, that doesn’t necessarily mean that equality has a higher status, but if people are talking more about inequality, that implies that equality is seen more as the normal or correct thing.

For more fun: Milo on why being tolerated is better than being equal.


One alternative view of the future

I happened to come across something six months old, which has possibly enormous importance to the culture wars:


[Tweet from Brianna Wu @Spacekatgal 4 Apr 2015. “Gamergate has no place in fandom. Not in videogames, not in comics, and not in sci-fi. This is our culture, not yours. Get the hell out.]

The immediate trigger for this seems to be the Sad Puppies affair at the Hugo awards, where the people who actually buy science fiction tried to push back against the politically-based selections of the voting and committee-sitting class, by organising.

I saw it, of course, because the “conservative” side of the conflict—which I am sympathetic to and whose representatives I am likely to read, despite attempting to hold myself “above” the whole thing—cited it as evidence that they are really the open and tolerant side, while the “liberal” side are the authoritarian and intolerant ones.

The problem is, of course, that to a neoreactionary that is a very off-putting argument. Put this baldly, it is utterly self-defeating.

Whatever my historical sympathies, the side that says “This is our culture, not yours. Get the hell out” deserves to win, and the side that does not and cannot say that deserves to lose. It is pretty much that simple.

The opposition are of course correct that the basis of the SJWs’ claim to ownership of fandom culture—which presumably rests ultimately on their moral superiority as evidenced by their greater commitment to tolerance—is self-contradictory and risible. However, one of the key findings of neoreactionary historiography is that successful and effective rulers have claimed ownership of cultures based on all sorts of unlikely premises: strange women lying in ponds distributing swords, and so forth. What is important is not why they consider themselves superior, it is that they consider themselves superior.

The pessimist tendency of neoreaction has generally taken the liberals at their word that they believe in equality, tolerance, and the rest. What if it is more correct to take the mainstream right at their word that they are the real anti-racists, the real pro-tolerance-and-diversity side? That would mean that the mainstream right is not simply an ineffective opposition to the forces of civilisational decay, it is actually the whole problem; the real enemy. The ascendant liberals, who adopted the slogans of equality and diversity because the previous establishment gave them respect, might abandon them entirely once the whole “they’re the real racists” crowd has dissolved away.

This is opposite to the normal neoreactionary narrative, which has it that conservatism is genuinely, if incoherently and incompetently, opposed to leftism, and that the “real anti-racist” tendency is an example of weak “cuckservative” power-seekers aping the devices of their opponents. But the search for a “true conservative” establishment that openly opposed equality as a principle has forced us further and further back in history. Who remembers that, in his blogging phase, “forever Orange” Moldbug himself had to change sides on the Glorious Revolution?

If conservatism were to go away would the “unprincipled exceptions” continue to be eroded, until society collapses? Or would the cis-feminine softness of the holier-than-thou left metamorphose into a trans-liberal Brianna-Wu-like “Our culture, you fuck off” strongman culture that rejected the Dead-White-Male liberalism of the Founding Fathers and the Kit-Cat Club in favour of a bit of healthy intolerance and cultural uniformity?

I put the odds at less than 50%. Jim’s left-singularity model is still the dominant theory of where liberalism is heading. But this alternative theory is worth throwing out there.