Tuesday, 29 April 2014

What makes AC/DC the most influential people alive (in the Enriched World)

In my previous post, I argued that it is clear AC/DC must take pride of place as the most influential people alive – at least within the Enriched World.

Most people around me disbelieve my claim that this is the case, though I do not claim myself perfect at explaining verbally why AC/DC are so significant. It is the recent writings of Rod Dreher and Peter Jones that suggest the Enriched World’s views on sexual morality have changed much more rapidly than I can observe from local news, even in my lifetime. To put it another way, the status of suburban Australia as a cloister for people of traditional views is extending long beyond the Bush Senior Era – when I recognised the fact by comparing the culture I was exposed to with what I found going on in the Enriched World – indeed even intensifying.

Dreher makes a major understatement when he says:
“Gay-marriage proponents succeeded so quickly because they showed the public that what they were fighting for was consonant with what most post-1960s Americans already believed about the meaning of sex and marriage.”
What Dreher ignores is how working-class men in Europe came to collectively reject Christianity immediately upon their move “from farm to factory” that James Kurth described as the great movement of the Industrial Revolution. Two reasons for this are:
  1. that children did not provide economic benefits to men working in factories, whereas improved technology did, as Phillip Longman says on page 31 of The Empty Cradle. Major movements to exclude women from working in these dangerous conditions had the effect of creating a near-complete gender divide in worldview. Women remained strongly Christian whereas men outside of the ruling classes generally rejected Christianity because children’s household labour benefitted only women and very wealthy men.
  2. that working-class males in very dense cities observed very wealthy families who possessed much more than they did. Consequently, they wanted to have what these very rich people did and felt that the rewards obtained for their work were unfairly small. Women at home, on the other hand, busy raising children did not observe this and accepted traditional Christian restrictions on what they could and should aspire to.
Socialism, the dominant political view of the working classes over the next five generations, offered generally little more than radical demands for income equalisation and equal suffrage rights, which were strongly opposed by traditional religious groups but were to some extent fitted into each other even by people like Pope Leo XIII. Enriched World working classes, however, over a century and a quarter failed to develop an alternative worldview to that of Christianity – in spite of consistently refusing to accept its ascetic demands in sex and money. Alternative worldviews were certainly developed, but they were too expensive and too hard to read – as I can testify – for the working classes to adopt them.

It is here that AC/DC come in. At a time when laws against homosexuality and abortion unsupported for many generations by the working classes were being repealed, AC/DC’s music put forward in exceedingly simple language a completely new cosmology – one that isolated each individual and pitted him against each other. A song like ‘T.N.T’ which expresses total joy at destroying other people provided much more of a different “cosmic” view of the world and the way it works than the persistent calls for equalisation that the working class had built up over the previous 125 or so years.

If destroying other people be viewed as a good thing like it unquestionably is in ‘T.N.T.’, it negates everything traditional Christianity is supposed by its adherents to stand for – most especially human dignity and the “right to life”. Should destroying other people be celebrated, then nobody whatsoever can possess an inherent “right to life” – if somebody is permitted to kill under this scheme of things, then his or her victim, as well as himself or herself, cannot have any right to live. What such implies is that each person must stand up for himself or herself, and that to avoid the strong having the power to destroy on a massive scale, opportunities must be equalised in the most radical manner possible. Thus, the elimination of any moral restraint against force naturally produces absolutely radical individualism and absolutely radical egalitarianism as necessities to prevent violence at levels far beyond anything known today. Rod Dreher notes that it was 1990 when the religiosity of younger generations fell off dramatically – corresponding with the time when AC/DC’s disciples like Metallica and Pantera (‘(expletive) Hostile’ is the definitive anti-religion rock song) were becoming the mainstream of popular music – as well as with the growth of political rap among other sections of the Enriched World’s workers.

This result really suggests that the influence of heavy metal, grunge and rap has been felt in a radical belief change much more than in the growth of violence as feared in many conservative texts I used to read fifteen years or so ago.

The praises to “rock and roll” that dominate many other AC/DC songs can be seen as a means of disturbing the peace and quiet so essential to traditional religion, as I note here. It is in fact difficult to see what other purpose it could serve in many cases such as ‘High Voltage’ or ‘Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution’ except to rouse the faithful – which itself says something about how intense the power of AC/DC’s music, which proved more consistent in style over time than the Bible or Qur’an ever did.

As Jason Toombs told me nearly a decade ago, AC/DC satisfied a genuine if unspoken need among working class baby boomers for an alternative “cosmology” to Christianity, which they had found oppressive for a very long time. Although AC/DC never followed their disciples like Metallica and Slayer (with the possible exception of ‘This Means War’) into political songs, that their lyrics imply an extremely leftist politics is undeniable, as is the fact that the cosmology they created now dominates the Enriched World’s working classes.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Spell Singer proves Angus Young the most influential person in the Enriched World

The realisation that AC/DC – a band I have known even since a fellow student at Kurrajong on Darling Road graffitied my ruler (or I saw a graffitied ruler) with their name – are perhaps the most influential group of people on modern Enriched World culture is something I took seriously. Whilst I have never found their music that interesting or significant – though speed metal and grunge would never have been the same without them – what AC/DC’s songs say in their lyrics is another story.

Despite a great deal of apologetics to the contrary, many of AC/DC’s songs very clearly preach violence. Apologists claim ‘Shoot to Thrill’ is simply about sex, but even if it is it can only be about violent sex without consent, which negates the whole point of saying it does not legitimise murder. ‘Fire Your Guns’ is actually about sex, but it’s beyond me to believe it’s consensual in any way. Then on the albums Back in Black and For Those About to Rock (We Salute You) are found many songs like ‘Back in Black’ and ‘Inject the Venom’ that clearly legitimise violence or force. Even on their later records there are lines like
Somewhere, there’s a little town called hope/And someday, maybe baby, he’ll inhale that smoke!”
in the song ‘Burning Alive’ which advocates burning down old towns. There there is the film song ‘Big Gun’ which describes with such indifference a serial killer that it literally can – like their earlier work – be said to “see no evil” in serial killers!

The lack of bloody and dark imagery in AC/DC’s songs is noteworthy and totally different from the numerous violent plays, poems and songs of earlier generations. Violence in a song like ‘T.N.T.’ is viewed as a victory to be celebrated, and even more so in the lesser-known ‘Problem Child’:
“And you’re on my list
Dead or alive
I got a .45
And I never miss”
Then there is the “stab him in the back” instruction of ‘Night of the Long Knives’ with its “Who’s your friend and who’s your foe/Who‘s your Judas you don’t know” – harder to interpret than most AC/DC songs but clearly a warning that the addressee faces being murdered. Or ‘Badlands’ from Flick of the Switch, where murder is described as a joyful thrill:
“I’ll stop at nothing, never take me alive”...

“Well I’m guilty
Saddle up my six pack
Ain’t gonna back track
My shooter loaded
Come on girl, I’m gonna give you a thrill” (of dying)
Then in ‘Guns for Hire’, Brian Johnson says he is a “big dictator” and a “gun for hire” who “shoots a woman with desire” – which amounts to being a complete sexual predator – all in a tone so celebratory it could not be mistaken for any older band except the Rolling Stones or Deep Purple – neither of whom actively celebrated violence.

Today, as I discovered a recent article about the arrest of American Christian Peter LaBarbera for opposing abortion and homosexuality and seeing the following response from a woman called Spell Singer (a Wiccan??) who said:
Peter LaBarbera, try that hate speech here and you and I can see who wins in a knife fight. I would enjoy cutting your heart out.
This is alarming for the Enriched World. Regardless of what side one is on in the atheism/Christianity debate, the fact that someone in effect advocates legal rights to kill Christian priests for their belief is alarming.

Such a line suggests firmly that the working and welfare classes of the Enriched World have no desire for tolerance of traditional religion, wish it exterminated completely and accept the most violent means of doing so. Rod Dreher argues strongly that Christianity has virtually collapsed among the American working classes. Christianity never had any foothold among European working males, even when it was the official religion of the state and virtually universal among women, ruling élites and the dwindling peasant classes.

What is revealing about Spell Singer’s message is how it supports my contention that AC/DC – even with Malcolm Young retiring due to a stroke – are the most influential people of the late twentieth century. Singer’s short message could come directly from many AC/DC songs, which as I have shown endlessly advocate murderous force to make sure one gets one’s own way one hundred percent of the time – a desire I myself have struggled against all my life ever since my mother said repeatedly that I was spoilt as a child (with hindsight, I do not deny that I was).

Also present all though AC/DC’s songs is the desire for absolute sexual freedom and lack of responsibility. In almost every song that is not about praising rock and roll, there are tales of a man desiring free sex with a woman without any responsibility. Radical feminists admire this aspect of AC/DC – despite the extreme hatred of women in songs like ‘Shoot to Thrill’ – because it advocates power rather than any type of obedience as is demanded by the Catholic or Orthodox Churches. To put it another way, the feminist’s model of marriage is the same as Angus and Malcolm Young’s – something even Rod Dreher overlooks as badly as I did when I first became alarmed by AC/DC’s explicit glorification of violence for no justification but one’s own desire – and the same as:
“...to believe in one’s individual desires as the locus of authority and self-definition.” Dreher is right that the conflict cannot be engaged in moralistic terms but must make an appeal to fundamental cosmology, which I have been calling the conflict between a pagan Oneist homocosmology opposed to a biblical Twoist heterocosmology.
AC/DC, fifteen years before the 1993 Nation article Dreher notices, produced within their songs a “cosmology” where women did not complement men except to offer pleasure and offered nothing in terms of providing marriage or nurturing, which provided no immediate pleasure. No Christian cosmology ever existed within working class Europeans or New Zealanders, and had dissipated in the Reagan Era among that of the US and Canada. Peter Jones is right that the atheistic (“pagan” or “oneist”) cosmology spread up the social ladder more quickly in the US and Canada than in Europe, and it was AC/DC whose exposure in concerts and on record was responsible for this, as I will explain in my next post.

As a last word, what Spell Singer seems to show is that:
  1. A completely irreligious society will likely be extremely peaceful on the surface, but extremely violent underneath.
    • This can fairly be seen as a consequence of the radical wealth redistribution possible without religious limitations on government
    • Radical wealth redistribution is exceptionally effective at eliminating force from the lower classes when they can effectively vote in people who will reliably provide them with welfare or the luxuries and personal authority they desire
    • It is quite probable that if a wholly secular society suffered major economic decline, it would become exceptionally violent, with murder and suicide rates far in excess of anything seen today
  2. Music and art studies in school need to be re-done to consider the reality that the music of the modern Enriched World is essentially heavy metal, rap and grunge. If people can understand their impact and what their lyrics say they will travel much closer to the real heart of Enriched World culture that studies of classical (“art”) music which is culturally very marginal to put it mildly.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Two major transport disasters and their implications

The past few weeks have been dominated by two major transport disasters, firstly the loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in the southern Indian Ocean, and secondly and more recently the sinking of a South Korean passenger ferry, the Sewol, travelling from Inchŏn to Cheju-do.

Suspicion that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 – which was scheduled to go to Běijīng of all places – was a terrorist attack or even an act of betrayal on the part of its pilots has by no means disappeared from my mind. Unlike with the September 11 terrorists attacks, I know of no messages that might confirm or disprove hypotheses of terrorism, but there is no doubt that many Muslims in Southeast Asia – despite their relatively peaceful reputation vis-à-vis the Islam of Africa and arid Asia – would have the same motivations that brought Muḥammad Atta, Marwan ash-Sheḥḥi, Hani Ḥanjour and Ziad Jarraḥ to carry out the September 11 attacks.

What is troubling, though, is the fact that passengers on the plane did not call relatives for help if and when they realised the plane was off-course. When I have flown in the past, I have generally been able to recognise where I was by looking down – which is not dangerous though I often have nightmares about it – so I imagine more experience air passengers would have known they were going in the wrong direction. This suggests a possibility that something (more potent than the mace used on Flight 11 and Flight 175 on September 11, 2001) was sprayed to prevent the passengers from recognising they were going in the wrong direction – or that the sign not to use “mobile phones of other electronic devices” was not turned off as it normally is.

The sinking of the Sewol by sixty-five-year-old Lee Chun-sŏk has attracted attention via a comparison with Italian captain Francesco Schettino, whose cruise ship Costa Concordia struck a rock and was wrecked in the Mediterranean in 2012. Schettino faces multiple manslaughter charges – still not finalised – yet Lee, who killed fifty-eight people as against thirty-two, may not face manslaughter but merely negligence. Lee deliberately speeded the vessel to cope with delays caused by very wet weather, which makes his offence worse than that of Schettino – though not murder, because unlike (say) with Atta and possibly with flight 370 there was no intent to kill the passengers. Recent news in fact suggests that there were many problems with the Sewol such as overloading that could effect responsibility severely

There are many questions about these two events that I have not asked for a long time beforehand. One of them is whether, as fertility rates decline, people troubled will turn to even more radical politics – as Ross Douthat seems to say about the radical individualism of the Millennial Generation in the Enriched World and seems to be observed in Russia and the Ukraine as we see a potential invasion. It may also be why, as David Goldman suggests in How Civilizations Die: (And Why Islam Is Dying Too), extremism is a natural response when a system cannot respond to social change, as has been ongoing ever since the Industrial Revolution in the Enriched and Tropical Worlds and may be reaching a “critical mass” as more and more nations compete for specialised industrial sectors, whilst a very few monopolise the remaining “high-technology” resources of flat land, aluminum and titanium.

The Sewol disaster may reflect the effects of persistent poor quality and endemic corruption in may parts of the Enriched World – which in turn results naturally from a situation where businesses can become rich by appealing to the very poor or taking advantage of government, as has been characteristics of Asia and Latin America.

We will likely see powerful political radicalism and hostility characterise the Enriched and Tropical Worlds in the future, whilst Australia cloisters itself from these events and moves down a strongly traditional pathway with greater economic growth if at inconceivable environmental costs – which the rest of the world is unlikely to even have the power to demand be paid on an international basis.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

How materialism hinders fertility in the Enriched World

It has long been known by commentators like Oskari Juurikkala that large welfare states – brought about by the demands of the working classes of the Enriched World to equalise their share of wealth and that of women who labour in order to nurture children – inherently produce very low fertility because children become no asset to support the elderly once payment of the wealthy are appropriated for this purpose. Many Austrian-school economists have shown data that – with considerable accuracy but no consideration of the politics involved – demonstrate how Enriched World fertility declines as soon as welfare states grew.

The popular opinion of Austrian economists is that if the Enriched World’s ruling classes could cut back their welfare states, then lowest-low fertility in the Enriched World would be reversed because children would become the asset they were before welfare states were introduced.

Austrian economists spend little time discussing the political pressure that has prevented any Enriched World ruling class from completely dismantling the welfare state as they would recommend. Austrians do admit that the welfare recipients themselves are a major obstacle to this being done, but understate the point because – as Arthur Brooks has shown and my family’s experience with groups like Socialist Alternative and the Democratic Socialist Party confirms – welfare recipients tend to be far to the left politically and extremely militant. With hindsight this is obvious since if they lost any of their welfare payments recipients would not longer be able to afford what they can, and as it stands they cannot afford all they want. Welfare classes of today will likely remove any Enriched World government that passed bills to dismantle the welfare state by violent force, irrespective of whether or not they could vote it out. Even the poorer classes of the Enriched World who do work do not have the distance from the wealthy to avoid persistent envy and consequently belief in radical equalisation has been a constant among Enriched World working classes since their formation.

However, with ‘Roadblocks on the Road to Grandma’s House: Fertility Consequences of Delayed Retirement’, Erich Battistin, Michele de Nadai and Mario Padula have seemingly put an end to the argument that immediate reduction in welfare by the Enriched World will improve its fertility situation. They show, using the example of Italy, that welfare reform has served to extend the working life of old women and reduced the level of care provided to young children. They article shows how the requirement of labour among grandparents means that children receive less care than they would if grandparents did not have to work.

The most telling means by which this is shown is demonstrating that the most “conservative” parts of Italy actually have the worst problems, although the extent of class struggle in the south means that there is the possibility Italy does not constitute anything like the range of political views in the so-called “developed” world (the north of Italy has had perhaps the most intense class war anywhere in the world). Battistin, de Nadai and Padula show that fertility in southern Italy was much higher than in the socialist North for cohorts born before 1970, but is now even lower.

It is however certain that even in Southern Italy – quite unlike Australia – the working masses are extremely resistant to ending the welfare state. No reflection exists on how the welfare state will prove economically and socially costly: envy undoubtedly maintains desire for wealth accumulation amongst both the poor and rich of the Enriched World, as Battistin, de Nadai and Padula show no differences between poor and rich families regarding grandparental requirements.

The radical individualism of the Enriched World certainly disrupts family ties as workers fail to accept mundane low-paying jobs even if it might mean lower prices and greater purchasing power in the long term. As this tendency grows, doing something to halt the decline of the Enriched World’s importance may become impossible before it is noticed.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

How chalcophile enrichment stopped industrialisation

A recent letter from Tim Low and Antoni Milewski presents an interesting picture of Chinese history:

“Hi Anthony (copied to Julien),

Part of our argument w.r.t. extinct Chinese parrots is that China has been disturbed profoundly by humans for far, far longer than the New World. I’ve known for years that the Chinese started using fossil fuels long before Europeans, but now I can put numbers to this. A recent study by John Dodson (Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation in Sydney) and co-authors (The Holocene, doi. org/rw8), investigating a site in northern China, have found evidence that the Chinese were using coal for fuel by 3500 years ago after deforesting the environment to the point of being forced to turn to coal instead. This refers to the Chinese Bronze Age. In fact, the sample at one site dated back much farther than that, to 4600 years ago! Admittedly the study area is unusual in that coal was lying around on the surface, and so mining of coal may have been unnecessary, but even so this shows how early the Chinese began to use fossil fuel – something the Europeans only began in the eighteenth century. However one looks at the fact, it’s clear that the Chinese were ahead of the rest of the world, in burning coal, by not hundreds of years but thousands of years.
All the best,


This story is something that is very surprising to me – although I knew of small-scale uses of coal for a very long time in the Enriched World.

China, like Western Europe, has substantial deposits of coal formed in the Carboniferous when its northwest – apart from the Tiān Shān – was a group of oceanic island arcs that became the Kazakhstan and Junggar Blocks, whilst the North China Craton was cool and humid to give large deposits of peat and muck to form coal that, in spite of intense deposition of sediments from the Tiān Shān and Himalayas, are close to the surface.

The question that begs one is that why China did not gain from using coal as Europe did. When Europe began burning coal, it was able to develop manganese metallurgy, which was the biggest breakthrough since iron was smelted, and which led to the industrial revolution. Europe was also able to develop current electricity, which produced the greatest breakthrough in human technology – lithophile metallurgy – which allowed the basic raw material of the continental crust to be used structurally for the first time and created the first industrial society.

There are two key possibilities:
  1. that coal was burned in China before iron metallurgy developed, so that the Chinese never saw the potential in coal use
    • this begs the question of why China would have lost coal technology in Zhōu times when iron was first smelted there
  2. That China’s depletion in lithophile and even some siderophile elements slowed or halted technological development
    • Modern China, however, does have large deposits of iron ore and manganese; however, these are concentrated in Inner Mongolia or South China away from where Chinese civilisation developed
    • China does lack high-grade deposits of chrome ore, cobalt and nickel, key elements for the development of electrical generation and modern steels
      • in fact, the absence of the use of cobalt and nickel by ancient Enriched World civilisations is a reflection of the concentration of their ores in infertile ophiolitic regions, since cobalt and nickel metallurgy is easier than iron
    • In contrast, China – especially Tibet and surrounding areas – is exceptionally rich in rare chalcophile elements, having a high proportion of reserves of antimony, mercury and tin – all of which have exceptionally high enrichment factors.
This uniform enrichment in chalcophile elements undoubtedly delayed the Industrial Revolution a long way beyond iron metallurgy and the use of coal.

The techniques to extract ferrochrome, cobalt and nickel are the same as iron, so that once coal became available the technology for high-quality steels would already have existed. With cobalt available, magnetic properties needed to generate electricity would have been possible, but China – like Europe, North America and Spanish-speaking Latin America – is too young geologically to have major deposits of those reactive metals needed for an Industrial Revolution or possibly even for experiments with these metals.

Consequently, before the settlement of Australia, any Industrial Revolution would have been out of the question, even had technology with cobalt, nickel and manganese developed much further than it had in 1788.

On the flip side, would Australian settlements have survived and thrived as they have without lithophile metallurgy, or would they have declined beyond, say, the catastrophic 1914 drought??