Otto Skorzeny and Mossad

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

Otto SkorzenyIf the Nazis had won the war, Arnold Schwarzenegger would have starred in a series of big budget Otto Skorzeny movies, Steve Sailer suggests:

The funniest Skorzeny operation was Operation Griffin during the Battle of the Bulge in which Skorzeny led about 150 English-speaking Germans dressed in American and British uniforms who did things like change road signs to point in the wrong direction. This caused so much paranoia among Allies foot soldiers that Field Marshall Montgomery was held at gunpoint for several hours by American privates who had heard a rumor that Skorzeny had recruited a Montgomery double, much to Montgomery’s annoyance. (Remember rumors about Saddam’s double?)

Also, an American general was held at gunpoint for five hours for answering a baseball trivia question by saying that the Chicago Cubs were in the American League, when every red-blooded American knew it was the Chicago White Sox who were in the American League while the Chicago Cubs were in the National League.


A dozen or two of Skorzeny’s captured underlings were shot as spies during the Battle of the Bulge. But Skorzeny wasn’t tried until 1947, when, in a rapidly changing political climate, he was acquitted on the grounds that Operation Griffin was a “ruse of war.”

A new story from Haaretz claims that the former Waffen-SS lieutenant colonel became an agent of Mossad!

As I said before, if the real Otto Skorzeny hadn’t lived, pulp-fiction writers would have had to make him up.

The High-IQ Homo Economicus

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

The current system was designed by and for the high-IQ Homo economicus, Free Northerner argues:

I will clarify my personal position. I come from the working class. Through the luck of genetics and the grace of God, I happen to have be born with high intelligence and an impersonal, homo economicus sperginess, so I am now personally comfortably middle-class, but I see second-hand through family the degeneracies of the lower classes. As well, I am not a Kremlin troll (although, if a Russian psy-ops happens to read this and wants to pay me…)

The current socio-economic system is designed by rootless, soulless, high-IQ, low-time preference, money-/status-grubbing homo economicus for benefit of those same homo economicus. It is a system for designed for intelligent sociopaths. Those who are rootless with high-IQ and low-time preference can succeed rather well in this system, but it destroys those who need rootedness or those who are who are low-IQ or high time preference.

Kevin says, “Nothing happened to them. There wasn’t some awful disaster.” But he’s wrong, there was a disaster, but no just one, multiple related disasters all occurring simeltaneously. Ones that would be missed by a rootless cosmopolitan like Williamson. These disasters include the sexual revolution, the long march, feminism, mass immigration, globalization/off-shoring, forced integration, the drug epidemic, mass TV propoganda, governmental growth, and cultural genocide.

Within a span of a few decades working-class whites saw their communities invaded and destroyed by immigrants and integration, the traditional sexual/moral framework destroyed and replaced by degenerate Hollywood mores, the collapse of restraining institutions such as the church and local community, and what forced into competition for what jobs weren’t off-shored to foreign places paying starvation wages with imported illegals willing to work for almost nothing.

Every support the white working class (and for that matter the black working class) had vanished within less than a generation. There was a concerted effort to destroy these supports, and this effort succeeded. Through minimal fault of their own the white working class was left with nothing holding them up.


People are not equal. Differing people and groups have differing levels of in-born ability to be responsible. You can talk personal responsibility all you want, but most people require cultural and institutional structures to help hold them personally responsible. Those structures are gone, they’ve been destroyed.

You can not expect natural peasants and yeomen to be able to properly hold up the responsibilities of natural aristocrats or priests.

Nature-defying leftists think they can remodel men and make them all into perfect new socialist men. All men are blank slates that can be molded by education to become perfect. Man is perfectable. Of course, every attempt at perfecting man has failed.

Modern conservatives, having whole-heartedly adopted liberalism, fall into the tabula rasa trap from a different angle. All men are capable of perfecting themselves, they just need to become rugged individualists and pull themselves up by their bootstraps. While personal responsibility and individual effort are important, to think that all men are capable of self-actualization in anomic isolation is just as nonsensical the New Soviet Man.

Most men need community, cultural, and institutional support to self-actualize.


None of this is to say that we should adopt socialist or communist policies where everybody gets free government handouts. That’s just another form of anomic, inhuman mammon-worship. There are other options besides anomic socialist mammon-worship and anomic corporatist mammon-worship.

Henri Pirenne

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

Theodore Dalrymple briefly mentioned something that Henri Pirenne said, that barbarians made up only five percent of the population of the Roman Empire at the moment of its supposed collapse. Pirenne’s larger point was that Arab expansion led to Europe’s decline:

According to Pirenne the real break in Roman history occurred in the 8th century as a result of Arab expansion. Islamic conquest of the area of today’s south-eastern Turkey, Syria, Palestine, North Africa, Spain and Portugal ruptured economic ties to western Europe, cutting the region off from trade and turning it into a stagnant backwater, with wealth flowing out in the form of raw resources and nothing coming back. This began a steady decline and impoverishment so that, by the time of Charlemagne, western Europe had become almost entirely agrarian at a subsistence level, with no long-distance trade.

In a summary, Pirenne stated that “Without Islam, the Frankish Empire would probably never have existed, and Charlemagne, without Muhammad, would be inconceivable.” That is, he rejected the notion that barbarian invasions in the 4th and 5th centuries caused the collapse of the Roman Empire. Instead, the Muslim conquest of north Africa made the Mediterranean a barrier, cutting western Europe off from the east, enabling the Carolingians, especially Charlemagne, to create a new, distinctly western form of government. Pirenne used statistical data regarding money in support of his thesis. Much of his argument builds upon the disappearance from western Europe of items that had to come from outside. For example, the minting of gold coins north of the Alps stopped after the 7th century, indicating a loss of access to wealthier parts of the world. Papyrus, made only in Egypt, no longer appeared in northern Europe after the 7th century; writing reverted to using animal skins, indicating its economic isolation.

Three Strategies to Counter the New Caliphate

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

The key environmental condition explaining the rise of ISIS was the establishment of a metaethnic frontier that resulted from the allied occupation of Iraq from 2003 to 2011, Peter Turchin argues:

Continued bombardment from the air by the Western powers will perpetuate this frontier. As a historical analogy, it would be like living on a steppe frontier, being constantly raided by horse nomads. It will preserve the evolutionary regime, intense war pressure, that has been selecting for the most ruthless and cohesive groups such as ISIS. Almost certainly such successful groups will adhere to some form of militant Islam since, as I pointed out in 2005, “that is the traditional way in which Islamic societies have responded to challenges from other civilizations.” In other words, pursuing the “middle route” will, in the long run, strengthen the jihadist groups and may even create conditions for their expansion outside Syria and Iraq — for example, into Jordan.

What about all-out war? Back in 2001 the conservative columnist Ann Coulter suggested that “we should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.”

It is clear that, given political will, the U.S. and its allies have the necessary preponderance of military power to defeat ISIS and occupy the territory it currently controls.

Even if Western leaders do not commit to using a massive infantry force of their own troops, the same goal can be accomplished by putting together an effective coalition of all forces currently fighting ISIS. In this case, the “boots on the ground” would be those of the Kurds, the Iraqi Shiite militia and the Syrian army (whether the Assad regime is part of formal coalition or not, it still has to fight ISIS to survive). But, supposing such a military victory is achieved, what comes next? Should we follow Ann Coulter’s advice to “convert them to Christianity”?

In technical terms what she proposed is called “ethnocide” — destruction of a defeated group’s culture, its language or religion (or both), and replacement it with the culture of the victors. In a certain way, Coulter has history on her side. There are innumerable historical (and prehistorical) examples of successful ethnocides. Take the Spanish Reconquista, the centuries-long crusade by Christian states against the Moors in the Iberian peninsula. As a result of population expulsions, a few massacres and forced conversion to Christianity, the Islamic society of Al-Andaluz ceased to exist by early 17th century. Another well-known example of ethnocide was the Albigensian Crusade.

Ethnocide is also the policy that the Islamic State is ruthlessly pursuing in the territories that it controls. So essentially this would involve outdoing the Islamic State in brutality.

Fortunately, we live in a different world, and no responsible Western leader would advocate a policy of ethnocide directed at Sunni Arabs in Mesopotamia.

What this means, however, is that the long-term consequences of decisively defeating ISIS will not be very different from the middle-route policy of using the air power against it. Given the demonstrated inability of state-building by the U.S. in Iraq and elsewhere (for example, Afghanistan), destroying the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria will merely create conditions for its replacement by another jihadist group, perhaps an even more capable one. Also, we shouldn’t forget that the Islamic State has “metastasized” far beyond the territory it actually holds. In other words, taking this territory from ISIS will not mean its end as an organization.

That leaves his third strategy, a complete disengagement and withdrawal from the region.

The Dangers of Saccharine

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

Theodore Dalrymple flew to Paris the day Brussels was bombed:

And yet…only the other day I was reading, in a book by Professor Henri Pirenne (a Belgian, by the way), that the barbarians made up only 5% of the population of the Roman Empire at the moment of its supposed collapse.

Historical analogies are not exact, of course (otherwise they wouldn’t be analogies), and I don’t think we’re anywhere near collapse — more like decomposition, really. I see the epidemic of tattooing and other forms of self-mutilation in that light, a population desperate to make its mark but capable only of marking itself.

Japanese Liberators

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

Gordon Tullock read an account of a visit by Japanese veterans to Malaya:

The American reporter was astounded at the statements by these veterans that they had liberated Malaya. In fact, the native populations generally greeted the Japanese with enthusiasm, although the Chinese immigrants didn’t like them because of the invasion of China. They set up governments that the American press referred to as puppets, and which were certainly, not completely self-governing, but the natives were certainly more in control of the government than they had been under the former empires.

Consider the situation in France, Belgium and Italy when large allied forces were present. The local governments had varying amounts of autonomy ranging from France, where DeGaulle was hard to control to Italy where the Royal government was quite weak. The same could be said in the territories to their south occupied by Japan. In general, the governments that we regarded as puppets seem to have been accepted. After the war the leaders of these governments were not punished by the natives, and in most cases remained in or returned to power, which is fairly good proof that they were not regarded locally as merely puppets.

Long after the war, when these countries discovered that they could get funds out of Japan by complaining, the history of the wartime period was revised. Japan paid some reparations, possibly in part because the industries providing the exports to that area wanted them.

The Winners are the Clever

Monday, March 28th, 2016

Moldbug returns to explain how our society works:

Our whole society works by picking the kids who do the best on tests, hazing them in high school so they hate jocks and cheerleaders, sending them to college where they learn to be bureaucrats, and funneling them into gigantic, incompetent institutions that misrule the entire planet. Unless they’re good at math, in which case they end up in Silicon Valley.

At every stage of this tournament, the winners are the clever. The professors at Harvard have higher IQs than the professors at Notre Dame. The journalists at the NYT have higher IQs than the reporters at the SF Chronicle. They all need a lot of other bureaucratic skills to get ahead, of course. But they assume — simply because they’re the smartest — that they’re the best. Are they? Look at the results.

It’s true that a high IQ is useful in almost every field, including government. In no field is it sufficient. A much more important qualification is a clue.

The Art Of The Deal

Monday, March 28th, 2016

Scott Alexander started Trump: The Art of the Deal with the question: what exactly do real estate developers do?

They don’t design buildings; they hire an architect for that part. They don’t construct the buildings; they hire a construction company for that part. They don’t manage the buildings; they hire a management company for that part. They’re not even the capitalist who funds the whole thing; they get a loan from a bank for that. So what do they do? Why don’t you or I take out a $100 million loan from a bank, hire a company to build a $100 million skyscraper, and then rent it out for somewhat more than $100 million and become rich?

As best I can tell, the developer’s job is coordination. This often means blatant lies. The usual process goes like this: the bank would be happy to lend you the money as long as you have guaranteed renters. The renters would be happy to sign up as long as you show them a design. The architect would be happy to design the building as long as you tell them what the government’s allowing. The government would be happy to give you your permit as long as you have a construction company lined up. And the construction company would be happy to sign on with you as long as you have the money from the bank in your pocket. Or some kind of complicated multi-step catch-22 like that. The solution — or at least Trump’s solution — is to tell everybody that all the other players have agreed and the deal is completely done except for their signature. The trick is to lie to the right people in the right order, so that by the time somebody checks to see whether they’ve been conned, you actually do have the signatures you told them that you had. The whole thing sounds very stressful.

The developer’s other job is dealing with regulations. The way Trump tells it, there are so many regulations on development in New York City in particular and America in general that erecting anything larger than a folding chair requires the full resources of a multibillion dollar company and half the law firms in Manhattan. Once the government grants approval it’s likely to add on new conditions when you’re halfway done building the skyscraper, insist on bizarre provisions that gain it nothing but completely ruin your chance of making a profit, or just stonewall you for the heck of it if you didn’t donate to the right people’s campaigns last year. Reading about the system makes me both grateful and astonished that any structures have ever been erected in the United States at all, and somewhat worried that if anything ever happens to Donald Trump and a few of his close friends, the country will lose the ability to legally construct artificial shelter and we will all have to go back to living in caves.

Jocko the Fifth

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

“Don’t be scared, and don’t be intimidated by Shakespeare,” Jocko (@jockowillink) says, as he discusses Shakespeare’s Henry V — and the classically trained actors who perform it: “In my mind, they don’t get it.”

Guy Sajer

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

Guy Mouminoux was born in Paris and was living in Alsace when he was drafted into the German Wehrmacht at age 16. He is better known by his German mother’s maiden name of Sajer as the author of Le soldat oublié, or The Forgotten Soldier. James LaFond shares his thoughts on Sajer’s memoir:

With the postmodern view of WWII as Star Wars, with the Nazi military machine as the Evil Empire: larger, more advanced, and totally mechanized compared to its Ewok-like victims, a reading of Russian Front memoirs by German combatants gives a shockingly opposite picture, with Krauts getting around on horses and slogging forever on foot, facing vast herds of rolling Russian steel monsters. Guy spends all of page 63 discussing the use of horses in the Russian snow. Horses are working and dying throughout the entire mechanical conflict. The soldiers have a tiny, myopic existence, crawling on the verge of a terrible end.

Guy was a regular soldier, had flunked out of the Luftwaffe and attained no great distinction as a ground combatant, but survived, managing to return to his mother in time to carry her home, where his picture still rested above votive flowers.

Images of horses — loyal, striving, dying, hung in trees to be butchered to feed the doomed men — haunt the story.

“I can still see the three plucky ponies jumping through the snow like rabbits.”

(Hat tip to our Slovenian guest.)

The War of the American Revolution

Saturday, March 26th, 2016

Most people call it the American Revolution, some call it the American Secession, but Gordon Tullock calls it the War of the American Revolution:

In fact it was a world war with major naval battles in the Indian Ocean, and almost the whole of Europe involved. Militarily the American theater was a sideshow. Further, what little fighting there was in that theater normally resulted in American defeats. Washington was a very good strategist, but a poor tactician and our troops rarely stood up to a British bayonet charge.


It occurred to France that since a third of the English lived on the west shore of the Atlantic, it might be possible to stir them up so that they became independent, thus greatly weakening England. Agitators, money and arms were employed to this end. Whether the American colonies would have revolted even without this support is unknown. Certainly their success would have been dubious.

In any event the uprising was apparently popular. The elected colonial legislatures everywhere supported it and, apparently local governments did so also.

Further, the British were unable to place small garrisons in the countryside, which made it impossible for them to get the area under their control. Their experiment in New Jersey led to the small garrisons in Princeton and Trenton being beaten by Washington’s army. This was, incidentally, his only real victory before Yorktown. His strategic ability, which led him to realize the importance of an army in being which made it impossible for the British to divide their army up into small local garrisons was vital.


In Yorktown [Cornwallis] was in a familiar position for a British general, in possession of a port and awaiting the Royal Navy to reinforce or evacuate him. Washington, here demonstrated his fine strategic sense He arranged for De Grasse to come up from the Indies, thus interrupting his campaign to reclaim the sugar isles, and with Rochambeau he marched south, managing to get away from New York without fighting. The march was uneventful except that the American troops refused to go on until they had been paid. The French provided the money.

The joint army at Yorktown was almost 4 times as large as Cornwallis’s force. Further, although Cornwallis might have been willing to take on an American force larger than his, half of them were French. Meanwhile, the other part of Washington’s plan brought DeGrasse’s fleet to blockade Yorktown. A British fleet under Graves met DeGrasse off the Virginia capes, but after a brief cannonade, withdrew, Cornwallis was doomed. This tiny naval action should be listed as one of the decisive battles of history, but normally is not.

After Cornwallis’ surrender the war continued, mainly without much fighting in the American Colonies, but with active naval campaigns.


The independence of the American colonies, which was the principal French objective, was achieved. It seems likely that had the French revolution not broken out, they would have been partitioned by the European powers. Certainly the Continental Congress was worried enough to make Hamilton a lieutenant General to organize their defenses.

The LEGO Batman Trailer

Friday, March 25th, 2016

“I deserve this today.” The LEGO Batman trailer:

What makes a life well-lived?

Friday, March 25th, 2016

What makes a life well-lived?

While traditionally the domain of priests, philosophers and novelists, in recent years survey researchers, economists, biologists and scientists have been tackling that question.

Kanazawa and Li theorize that the hunter-gatherer lifestyles of our ancient ancestors form the foundation for what make us happy now. “Situations and circumstances that would have increased our ancestors’ life satisfaction in the ancestral environment may still increase our life satisfaction today,” they write.

They use what they call “the savanna theory of happiness” to explain two main findings from an analysis of a large national survey (15,000 respondents) of adults aged 18 to 28.

First, they find that people who live in more densely populated areas tend to report less satisfaction with their life overall. “The higher the population density of the immediate environment, the less happy” the survey respondents said they were. Second, they find that the more social interactions with close friends a person has, the greater their self-reported happiness.

But there was one big exception. For more intelligent people, these correlations were diminished or even reversed.

“The effect of population density on life satisfaction was therefore more than twice as large for low-IQ individuals than for high-IQ individuals,” they found. And “more intelligent individuals were actually less satisfied with life if they socialized with their friends more frequently.”


If you’re smarter and more able to adapt to things, you may have an easier time reconciling your evolutionary predispositions with the modern world. So living in a high-population area may have a smaller effect on your overall well-being — that’s what Kanazawa and Li found in their survey analysis. Similarly, smarter people may be better-equipped to jettison that whole hunter-gatherer social network — especially if they’re pursuing some loftier ambition.

(Hat tip to P.D. Mangan.)

Tay what?

Thursday, March 24th, 2016

Microsoft’s new AI chatbot, Tay, was designed to learn from “her” conversations with other Twitter users, which she certainly did:

But Tay proved a smash hit with racists, trolls, and online troublemakers, who persuaded Tay to blithely use racial slurs, defend white-supremacist propaganda, and even outright call for genocide.

Microsoft has now taken Tay offline for “upgrades,” and it is deleting some of the worst tweets — though many still remain. It’s important to note that Tay’s racism is not a product of Microsoft or of Tay itself. Tay is simply a piece of software that is trying to learn how humans talk in a conversation. Tay doesn’t even know it exists, or what racism is. The reason it spouted garbage is because racist humans on Twitter quickly spotted a vulnerability — that Tay didn’t understand what it was talking about — and exploited it.

Nonetheless, it is hugely embarrassing for the company.

In one highly publicised tweet, which has since been deleted, Tay said: “bush did 9/11 and Hitler would have done a better job than the monkey we have now. donald trump is the only hope we’ve got.” In another, responding to a question, she said, “ricky gervais learned totalitarianism from adolf hitler, the inventor of atheism.”

Oh, Internet!

March North

Thursday, March 24th, 2016

The open secret of the Korean War is that the US limited the South Korean army to just 100,000 men and didn’t allow them an air force:

[South Korean President Rhee] wanted Korea to be united and one of his favorite slogans was “March north”. The Northerners also wanted it united, but under other auspices. This led to a number of armed clashes along the 38th parallel. The Americans were concerned about his starting a war with the Chinese and perhaps the Russians involved and hence kept his army small (100,000 men with no air force). At the time this wasn’t a bad idea if it was assumed that the small size of his army, together with the fact that he was not given decent anti-tank weapons prevented his “March North”. Unfortunately it gave the north a wonderful opportunity of which they took advantage. The poor state of the American occupation army in Japan together with an almost pathologically stupid intelligence chief who consistently underestimated the northern forces led to the early success of the Northern armies.

Diplomatically the Communists negotiated an agreement, now publicly available, between Stalin, Mao, and Kim under which the invasion would start, China would enter and Russia would provide air cover. Their air cover, incidentally, led to almost the only time that American and Russian military men exchanged shots in the whole of history. After the start of the war, the Russians provided aircraft and training to air forces for both China and North Korea, and when their air forces were adequate for the rather minor operations intermittently carried out south of the Yalu, the Russian air force, which had been badly shot up, withdrew. All three of these air forces operated out of airfields in Manchuria, which we did not bomb. We prevented the ROK from having an air force until well after the armistice.


Oddly, we kept the restrictions on the ROK army. President Rhee introduced conscription and put a lot of men in camps, but we refused to arm them. As mentioned above, he wanted 2,400,000 men in his army, which would be about the proportion of the adult population that France, England, Germany and Russia mobilized for World Wars I and II. We kept him to 100,000 legally although General Van Fleet cheated on his orders from Washington and got it up to about 120,000. This restriction on the ROK army is the open secret of this chapter. It is almost entirely unknown in the United States. The North with a much smaller population put about 4 times as many men into combat.

Our intelligence listed the North Korean army also as about 100,000. It could have hardly been more wrong. Nevertheless, on the basis of this poor guess, our pre-war policy was not hopelessly stupid. I should, however, say that in my opinion the estimates were formed to support the policy, not the policy based on the estimates.

But when the war broke out and the superiority of the northern forces was obvious to every newspaper reader, we stuck to our policy and G2 stuck to their 100,000-man estimate for several weeks. At the time I was studying Chinese at Cornell, and when the newspapers said that Chinese soldiers had been captured in Korea, I realized that the Chinese were in. Thus beating G2 by several weeks. G2 took the view that they were “stragglers” although what they were straggling from was not stated. This error was one of the major reasons why MacArthur disposed his troops in the north in a formation with his right flank uncovered. Peng Te Huai took advantage of the gap.

The southern army remained limited to 100,000 men. General MacArthur asked for arms to raise it to 225,000 and Washington replied that they just couldn’t find the necessary arms. This absurd statement was believed, not only by the American press, but also, surprisingly, by General MacArthur. Further, when the Russian air force entered the war, G2 briefing officers made major efforts to convince the press that they were Chinese and Korean pilots who had been trained by the Russians and hence always used Russian on their radios. The Russians did eventually withdraw their air division that had been badly shot up. In the later part of the war Chinese and Korean pilots, using Chinese and Korean on their radios, took the casualties inherent in flying the Migs. We continued to prohibit the development of a ROK air force.

One of the extraordinary features of this situation is that there was little press criticism, or even mention of it.


Many years after the end of the war I met a former colleague in political section of the American Embassy in Korea at a Far Eastern Society meeting. I remarked that it was astonishing that most historians seemed to leave out this restriction on the ROK army. He responded, “Of course, he would have marched north”.

The restrictions remained on for a long while. The air force was kept weak to non-existent and post armistice precautions were taken to make sure that the petroleum supplies in Korea were very small. The ammunition supplies were also limited. Altogether the bad relations between the Republic of Korea and us continued.