James Fulford writes: John Derbyshire is, as VDARE.com editor Peter Brimelow has said, one of the two actual geniuses, or possibly genii, who work for VDARE.com. (The other is Steve Sailer.) We say of him in our writers blurb that he writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him.) He is the author of the 2009 conservative bestseller We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books, including novels, popular mathematics, and Dissident Right punditry.
He’s also an excellent public speaker, as you can see, hear and read, below. We incorporate some of his slides.
John Derbyshire: Thank you, ma’am.
I am John Derbyshire.
That’s very kind, thank you.
And yes, I do have a brief presentation.
And the name is: Are We Doomed?
Back in 2009, I published a book, We Are Doomed.
I actually wanted the title to be, We Are Doomed, Doomed! But the publisher said that was too negative.
The subtitle was Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism. And I was pointing out to American Conservatives that they weren’t succeeding in anything because they had been too optimistic; and that the proper stance for a philosophical conservative is a careful pessimism.
So now, 14 years on, I want to discuss the question: in what direction have we gone since I published that book?
There are people who will tell you we are a Proposition Nation. We believe certain things and that’s what makes us a nation. I say that’s nonsense. You can believe, you can be a yak herder up in the mountains of Tibet and believe all those things, but you’re not an American.
And contrarywise, you can be an American and not believe some of those things. But you’re still an American.
So what is the National Question, who are we?
And there’s a quote from We Are Doomed:
“To put it in the style of John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress—which is a lovely book, but nobody reads it anymore: ’The road of denial leads to the precipice of destruction.’ Didn’t the great utopian experiments of the 20th century teach us that? Apparently not.”
These are the chapter headings in We Are Doomed. I’m just going to dance through a few of them:
So I had a chapter on diversity, a chapter on politics, one on culture, one on sex, one on education, so on.
Here’s a sort of cultural, or cultural-political, timeline for the 14 next years:
From Obama becoming president at the beginning of 2009, through the Arizona law of 2010, that was the law that allowed Arizona state troopers to pull people over and ask them to prove that they weren’t illegal immigrants, which caused much controversy in immigration circles.
And then the DREAM Act failing also in 2010.
The phrase “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” mean anything? That’s what went down when the Gang of Eight Bill died.
And actually, that was what started the movement against any kind of display of the Confederate flag. And I know that because earlier in that month was my 70th birthday, and my wife and I did a tour of Civil War battlefields. That was my birthday present to myself.
The Civil War battlefields all have a guest center where they have displays and little movies you can watch and things you can buy. And these guest centers, including ones run by the Federal Government, all sold Confederate battle flags when I did my Civil War battlefields tour. And I remember watching a crowd of young people, they looked like college students, coming out of one of those guest centers with a huge Confederate flag and waving it about and laughing and dancing around it.
No more [National Park Service Removes Confederate Flag Merchandise From Gift Shops, Newsweek (Reuters), June 25, 2015].
And then Trump’s presidency, his travel ban, the Remain in Mexico order, Title 42 enforced, George Floyd dying, and then Joe Biden becoming president. So that’s a little cultural trip through those 14 years.
Somewhere in there—you can’t get much agreement on exactly where—is The Great Awokening.
But you kind of get a clue that it was in the early 2010s, 2012, 2013. This red line is [PRODUCES COLLAPSIBLE POINTER] [LAUGHTER] (I’m an old school teacher!) [APPLAUSE]
Stop talking at the back there, please! [LAUGHTER]
This red line is the occurrence of phrases like “racism,” “racist,” “xenophobia,” and “white supremacy” in the academic journals, plotted from 1900 to 2020. And you see a sharp upturn in the early 2010s. And the same thing with “sexism,” “sexist,” “misogyny,” “patriarchy,” “toxic masculinity,” they take an upturn in the early 2010s. So that was the Great Awokening.
And I had a chapter on Diversity.
I’m personally, a “salt in the stew” diversitiphile. I like a little diversity.
I grew up in mid-20th century England. The guy who sold us ice cream was an Italian!
And then, when I was in my teens, we got our first Chinese restaurant! And that was good too.
But it was salt in the stew. A little bit of salt spices up the stew. But you really don’t want to dump a whole bag of salt into your stew.
Which is what we seem to want to do.
And I had a chapter on politics.
I had a chapter on culture with a table that I’m still quite proud of, where I counted through the covers of Time magazine, how many in each decade featured a novelist or a poet.
Time only started up midway through the 1920s, but scaled up, there were 16. In the 1930s, there were 13, and so on. Down to the 2020s, when there was just one—that strange young black woman who read the poem at Joe Biden’s Inauguration.
And Sex, yes.
We have become much more feminized in these last 14 years. There was a graph I saw, which I liked very much, but I couldn’t find it when I came to make this presentation, of the sex of Human Resources Managers plotted from back in the 1950s when there started to be Human Resources Managers in corporations. And they were usually men back then. Now they’re overwhelmingly women. I think it’s 71% of HR managers are women.
Here’s a little piece I liked from the book. I’ll just read it for you.
Males are not biologically necessary. Plenty of species manage without them. One family of aquatic organisms called the bdelloid rotifers seem not to have produced any males for about 30 million years, yet they are thriving.
Whiptail lizards in the Arizona desert happily reproduce without sexual intercourse. The shuffling of genes that occurs in heterosexual pairing is useful to our somewhat more complicated species in keeping ahead of diseases and parasites, which base their attack strategies on the commonest genetic patterns of the previous generations. This shuffling can, however, be accomplished by fusing two eggs instead of a sperm and an egg. There are some small points to be cleared up. The placenta produced in egg unions is unsatisfactory—but these problems can no doubt be mastered. Or mistressed.
The Trans revolution, we all know about that. I call it a willful defiance of reality. An astonishing business.
And I had things to say about it in my podcast this week.
Education—a vast sea of lies, waste corruption, and crackpot theorizing. This is, again, me in my 2009 book.
I had a chapter on human nature. I don’t myself have anything to say about human nature, other than what I said in the book.
But I’m friends with Nicholas Wade, who used to write science columns for the New York Times, and everybody was baffled to know why he got away with so much realism on topics like population genetics writing for the New York Times. And I think it was Steve Sailer who suggested that perhaps the main editors of the New York Times didn’t read their science section.
[AUDIENCE LAUGHING] Well, the last time I saw Nicholas, I asked him what he was doing. He said, ’I’m writing a book.” I said, ”What are you writing a book about?” He said, ”I’m writing a book about human nature.”
Okay, so let’s see what comes out of that.
Religion, you really mix things about. Is there an upswing in religious belief? I caught this in the New York Post—that young people are becoming a bit more religious. Generation Z, whatever that is, shows a rising share of young adults having religious faith [Why Generation Z is returning to God, by Carrie Sheffield, April 26, 2023].
But then, the churches are all in on the Trans business, and you’re having Drag Queen shows in between the sermon and the hymns.
Well, I suggest that what we have now is more of a bureaucratic-judicial complex.
We don’t actually have that much of a military complex anymore. In Asia Times the other day, there was a report about that [US faces severe delays in critical future weapons systems , by Gabriel Honrada, June 14, 2023] David Goldman commented that, ”This is what happens when you can count the number of defense contractors on the fingers of one hand.”
This is what happens when you can count the number of defense contractors on the fingers of one hand. https://t.co/LcuLmaPDWM— David P. Goldman (@davidpgoldman) June 14, 2023
We’re not that military anymore.
And of course, immigration. I’ve been having some exchanges with my podcast listeners and readers on something I said about this a couple of weeks ago: “What’s driving Open Borders policy?” And the consensus is it’s ideology.
People pushing Open Borders have a fixed ideological idea. Yes, it’s kind of handy for the Democrats, because they think they’re going to get more voters, and they probably are. And yes, people want cheap labor and so on. But the most fundamental driver is ideology.
So that’s just a quick canter through the last 14 years of our Cultural Revolution.
So I shall return to my seat, and we’ll commence the panel discussion. [APPLAUSE]
[For more on the panel discussion, see JAMES FULFORD: Dems Say They Want To Destroy Whiteness. VDARE.com Wants To Stop Them and JAMES KIRKPATRICK: If GOP Just Did What’s Needed To Win, We’d Be Better Off. But They Prefer Money.]
John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him.) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He has had two books published by VDARE.com com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013.
Readers who wish to donate (tax deductible) funds specifically earmarked for John Derbyshire’s writings at VDARE.com can do so here.