Friday, 30 September 2005

Mutualist Blog

by Charles Pooter

Kevin Carson's Mutualist Blog has been my favourite weblog for a while now. The site's byline is "Free Market Anti-Capitalism", which to some may sound confusing or contradictory, but Kevin uses "capitalism" to mean the actually existing economic order, rather than some Randian fantasy. Many libertarians are happy to defend capitalism because they view the current system as an imperfect version of a true free market. Kevin's posts make you realise how wrong this position is and how different a true free market would be to actually existing capitalism. Especially of note are his series of "Vulgar Libertarianism Watch" posts.

Any anti-capitalist who is a fan of Sean Gabb has got to have an interesting take on things. Check out his site or buy his book. I plan to do the latter in the near future.

Sunday, 25 September 2005

ITV's The X Factor is a disgrace

by Charles Pooter

As a rule, in an aristocracy people are born into the position they are likely to occupy for the rest of their lives. The rich are born rich and die rich. The poor are still poor when they die. This is a state of affairs which we should be glad to see reduced. However in an aristocracy the rich are often well-aware of the accidental nature of their wealth. This being the case they often recognise their duty to those less fortunate than themselves and spend much of their time performing charitable acts. Those with any sense of morality would not mock those who, by accident of birth, have less material wealth than themselves.

Britain in the early 21st Century is probably closer to being a true meritocracy than at any time in the past. People who do well assume that they have done well purely by their own efforts. They often feel no need to spend time or money on charity. Some even feel that it is perfectly reasonable to mock those who are less wealthy than themselves because "you make your own luck". But Britain is now a knowledge economy. Hard work will only get you so far. People are largely rewarded for their intelligence and punished for their stupidity.

There is a growing volume of scientific data which suggests that a large component of intelligence is genetic. This is not to say that your IQ is determined entirely by your genes, but that your highest potential IQ is at least affected by hereditary factors. This means that when people are stupid, it really isn't their fault. This is especially true of people who are really stupid, because it would be statistically unlikely for them to have such low IQs due to purely environmental factors. But in Britain today stupidity is the last genetic trait it is acceptable to mock and despise. The underclass are derided as stupid chavs because the blank slate theory is still believed and it is "their own fault".

This brings us to ITV's The X Factor. This disgusting show revels in mocking the afflicted. Every week people with what many euphemistically call "learning difficulties" are paraded in front of Simon Cowell, an Irishman, Ozzy Osbourne's wife and several million viewers to be insulted and humiliated. It is nothing more than a modern version of a freak show. At least in a freak show, the exhibits were paid and were fully cognizant of what they were doing. On The X Factor some of these people clearly do not have the intelligence to give adult consent. Some do not even understand the insults that trip of Cowell's tongue so easily. When a contestant with a recognised disability performs, the panel including Cowell fall over themselves to be polite and understanding (to the extent of being patronising). But because stupidity is "their own fault", no verbal assault is too strong for those unfortunates with the unrecognised disability of low intelligence.

Friday, 16 September 2005

Near genius II

by Ted Hoffman

I think this post is a career high for Bogol.

1st LMWNow Blogger bash

by Ted Hoffman

2 members of the LMWNow blog group (Myself and Dom) will be getting together this evening to discuss important matters, and I hold out the possibilty that the Captain may also be joining us. This will equal the record of 3 LMWNowers in the same room at the same time, if you live near Worcester, email me and learn the hand signal and our reader is welcome to join us.

Thursday, 15 September 2005

Near genius

by Dom Corrigan

Daily I read the Belmont Club, which is as insightful and challenging in its analyses as it is well written. It is my favourite blog.

Aren't you that guy from LMWNow?

by Ted Hoffman

People often stop me in the street and ask, 'do you chaps at lmwnow have a hand signal, one which spells out the initials of the website's name in 3-2-1 fashion, so that readers and contributors could use it when meeting in the street?'.

The answer up until 5 o'clock today was no, we left such things to the guys at Samizdata, with their secret handshakes and matching hats. Things have changed. In a swift single movement the following can be performed.
1) The L is formed with the thumb and index finger of the left hand
2) It is then quickly flipped over, shifted upwards and the middle finger extended to form an M
3) This is simple reversed again to form the W.
4) The now is achieved just by pointing forward. This is symbolic of the word now.

A video would make this clearer, though don't hold your breath.

What now?

by Ted Hoffman

Google have a new blog search engine; into which I typed in the words 'Little man what now'. It turns out we are not the only blog with this name. I'm not feeling 100% today so I've found myself (completely unjustifiable) furious about this. A fury that didn't dissipate on discovering that there are no entries on this new copy cat blog.

As an aside, at the time of writing the top result for this search was for an article in Pervypotter, Harry Potter Sexual Fan Fiction. Which might be worth a visit if you like wizards.

The subtitle for his blog is 'the mumblings of an anti-social library dweller'. Mumblings is a word that comes up a lot in blogs, it is not much of a word, and suggests a certain lack of confidence in the blog's content, were there to be any. Or maybe it is an English underplaying of his hand, and the content is in fact mighty.

Tuesday, 13 September 2005

Teach

by Dom Corrigan

Goodness me. I know that one thing the state education sector is really crying out for is a new swathe of useless teachers, but why aim to attract paedophiles?

"...and you get to hang out with Karim", says the government's advertisement.

Any grown man who wants to "hang out" with someone else's children (or, quite frankly, his own most of the time) is not the sort of person I want teaching my kids. Michael Jackson*, for example, might well be a fine dance teacher, but his considerable abilities are more than outweighed by his alleged propensity to "hang out" with his kiddie friends. The same should go for those less talented than "Sir Michael". After all, they claim to be an equal opportunities employer.

Didn't teaching used to be one of the professions? You know, doctor, lawyer, teacher. Hey ho, I guess unionisation did for that. And to think, non-paedophiles might actually want to teach if the prestige of the "profession" still remained.

Ah, but I digress.



* Is there some version of Godwin's Law for Michael Jackson references?

Friday, 9 September 2005

Quote of the day

by Ted Hoffman

From the Irish Times, via Slugger O'Toole

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if the Republican Party itself will now suffer a setback at the congressional mid-term elections next November.

The answer is almost certainly yes, provided that people outside the disaster zone punish their local representatives for events elsewhere a year previously, both beyond their control and outside their remit, while people inside the disaster zone reward their local representatives for an ongoing calamity they were supposed to prevent.