Freedom of speech: A.Z. Mohamed on the totalitarianism of islam and political correctness

Via the Gatestone Institute, a good piece on political correctness and its similarity with islam in they way they shut down dissenting voices and control the thoughts of others:

Thought-control is necessary for the repression of populations ruled by despotic regimes. That it is proudly and openly being used by self-described liberals and human-rights advocates in free societies is not only hypocritical and shocking; it is a form of aiding and abetting regimes whose ultimate goal is to eradicate Western ideals. The relationship between the two must be recognized for what it is: a marriage made in hell.

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Posted in Cult-Marx Inversion, Freedom of speech, The Mind & Society, The Suicide of the West | Leave a comment

Confirmation bias: Zhou Enlai’s quip about the French Revolution

From a letter to the Financial Times by Jonathan Fenby, Chairman of China Research at TS Lombard:

Sir, The quip from Zhou Enlai that it was “too early to tell about the impact of the French Revolution, cited by Lex (August 24) apropos of fund manager Neil Woodford, must be one of the most misunderstood quotations of the last century.

Speaking to French visitors in Shanghai in 1972, Zhou was referring to France’s student revolt of 1968, not the events of 1789 and thereafter. But the words fit so neatly into the perception of Chinese statesmen taking the long view that they have assumed a life of their own.

The tendency to think of the Chinese as long-term focussed being fixed in our minds, confirmation bias works so as to cause us to interpret their actions and statements as being consistent with this assumption. The tendency is so strong as to generate even the unlikely conclusion that Zhou Enlai is still waiting for the results to come in on a revolution that had happened almost 200 years before.

One interesting implication of Zhou Enlai’s perspective is that he saw the student revolt as being on par with the original French Revolution – assuming he knew what the original French Revolution was [which, his being a revolutionary and having lived, studied and ‘organised’ in France as a young man, I assume is true].

Posted in Mind-sets and Logic-Bubbles, Motivated Reasoning, Problems with perception intuition and judgement | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

False positive: over-zealous securities market regulation in India

Again, from the Financial Times – I’ve been reading a lot and have collected many stories in the last couple of months, but haven’t had time to write them up here – Ham-fisted crackdown sparks Indian companies’ ire:

The directors of Assam Company India, which has been growing tea in northeastern India for 178 years, were shocked recently when trading in its shares was suspended on the grounds that it appeared to be a “shell company”.

It was one of 331 groups, many of them quoted, on a list passed to regulators in June by the central government. This month the Securities and Exchange Board of India ordered that shares in the companies may trade only once a month until the concerns are addressed. the sweeping move was part of a major drive by Narendra Modi’s government to clean up India’s markets, enabling more efficient allocation of capital while reducing corruption and tax evasion.

Market observers have long fretted about the use of dormant companies as vehicles for money laundering, and the government is on a mission to flush them out. In July, finance minister Arun Jaitley boasted that more than 162,000 inactive entities had been deregistered since 2013.

But the fightback from many of this month’s alleged shell companies has been furious, casting doubt on the rigour that the government is applying to this drive.

Assam Company India, which says it has 20,000 employees on its tea estates, claimed that incompetent officials had included it on the list “inadvertently by mistake”.

Another bitter volley, accusing the regulator of acting in a “mechanical and flippant manner”, came from SQS India BFSI: a subsidiary of the German IT group SQS, which is listed on London’s Aim Market …

While their shares have now resumed trading, 10 of the 11 companies have suffered steep falls in their market valuations, reinforcing their claims to have incurred serious damage from regulatory clumsiness.

So, seems like a lazy regulator, responding to a ministerial request, drew a conclusion that shares in shell companies were likely to be lightly traded, and therefore suspended trading in those companies’ shares – not realising that, while all companies that are shell companies have lightly-traded shares, not all companies whose shares are lightly traded are shell companies.

We might characterise this as [yet another] instance of the fallacy of the undistributed middle.

All shell companies have shares that are lightly traded.
The Assam Company India’s shares are lightly traded.
Therefore, Assam Company India is a shell company.

The major and minor premisses are correct [so far as I know – I only read the article and am second-guessing the Indian regulator], but the middle term – shares that are lightly traded – is not distributed in the major premiss. We could re-write the major premiss to distribute the middle term:

All companies that have shares that are lightly traded are shell companies.
The Assam Company India’s shares are lightly traded.
Therefore, Assam Company India is a shell company

but that means that the major premiss is now likely incorrect – as the reaction of companies whose shares have been incorrectly suspended from trading would attest.

So, a failure of logic means that these companies have now suffered significant loss of valuation on the market. The negative of this is that they are now more vulnerable to takeover than they were before, and their shareholders are likely to be unhappy with the directors and managers, regardless of the fact that they aren’t responsible for the incorrect suspension and the subsequent fall in valuation.

On the plus side – there are now some significantly mispriced shares going begging on the Mumbai Stock Exchange. Fortuna fortis favorit, if you have the money.

Posted in Epistemic Rationality, Formal fallacies in reasoning, Instrumental Rationality, Poor reasoning | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Aphorism: Hayek on institutional development

Once the apparatus is established, its future development will be shaped by what those who have chosen to serve it regard as its needs.

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Habituation: Japan and their difficult neighbours

Also seen in the Financial Times on Friday, from Japan, missiles and bad 1980s bands:

There are tow leading answers to why the Nikkei 225 Average only dropped 0.9 per cent in intraday trading on Tuesday despite the heightened risk of war: both of them – unflustered robots and apocalypse ennui – sound like bad 1980s bands [kudos to the author for this line].

The backdrop to the market’s decidedly modest Tuesday sell-off was the dawn flight of a North Korean ballistic missile directly over Japan. Even sober analysis points to an un nerving escalation of an already white-knuckle stand-off: residents across northern Japan were warned to take cover; Japan’s defence minister said more missiles were sure to come; seasoned North Korea watchers suspect the regime may conduct another nuclear test over the next 10 days.

And yet, bar predictable wobble, none of this fundamentally rattled the Japanese stock market. The yen, which ended Tuesday 0.42 per cent weaker against the US dollar rather than running up on the traditional “safe-have” story, also resisted any panic trade. A sub-1 per cent Nikkei dip is what happens when the producer price index undershoots consensus, explains one Tokyo broker, not when the market starts pricing in Armageddon.

Analysts have spent the past couple of days attempting to justify this relative non-reaction, and to put some numbers (along with tips for defence industry stocks) on what future missiles launches, nuclear tests and regional sabre-rattling might do. Some argue that the market reaction to these events has become counter-intuitively more muted as the threat (and Pyongyang’s ever more menacing nuclear capability) has risen. Others point to data showing that Japanese equities and the yen have been consistent in shrugging off the neighbour’s antics …

But apocalypse ennui theory alone does not explain why market reactions have become more muted within the last couple of years. For most of the early 2000w, say analysts, provocation on the scale of Tuesday’s missile would have triggered a 3-4 per cent collapse in the Nikkei.

The striking absence of any panic this week may be because Mr Kim’s antics are now falling on what are, for now at least, the comparatively deaf ears of AI investment strategies and the relentless rise of passive funds. When the Bank of Japan’s Y6tn annual ETF buying is included, around 70 per cent of all net flows of Japan equity this year have been driven by passive, machine and AI strategies, says Wisdom Tree head Jesper Koll.

Flying missiles, blood-curdling rhetoric and school children diving for cover do not scream “sell” to a program that still looks at the Nikkei and detects rising earnings, rising dividends and low interest rates. But that may prove fragile and the risk is clear. For now, the machines are dulling the market’s senses; when humans decide they can no longer resist an Armageddon trade, the momentum-sensitive machine strategies could suddenly turn them very acute.

The article’s argument about the machines being insensitive to geopolitical conditions doesn’t make much sense, to me: if they were sensitive at all, they would have been sensitive this week.

The problem seems to lie in Japanese people’s habituation to the signals from North Korea, a result of years of false alarms and no-one doing anything in response to them. I think this is a mistake: the quality of the signal has changed: Kim Jong-un is now much more dangerous than in the past, both in his intentions and his capabilities. This is no time to be complacent.

Posted in Epistemic Rationality, Mind-sets and Logic-Bubbles, Problems with perception intuition and judgement, Strat. Assumptions v. Tac. Indicators | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Affect Heuristic and Investing

Spotted in the Financial Times on Friday, in an article about Northern Rock [Martin Arnold, ‘Northern Rock investors accuse Treasury of profiting from bailout’, Friday, September 4, 2017]:

Many small shareholders lost their life savings when  Northern Rock was nationalised. Pradeep Chand, a 70-year-old former finance director who advises the shareholder association, switched all of his self-invested personal pension into Northern Rock shares in 2005 “in the belief this was a safe, profitable, provincial UK bank.”

“I had kept buying more as the share price declined hoping to average down and in the belief that once [the Bank of England] loans had been agreed the value would slowly recover over three years,” said Mr Chand, who retired 12 years ago because of heart problems. He lost more than £415,000 on Northern Rock shares and now lives with his son and is dependent on his children to support him.

The affect heuristic has struck before, and now it has struck again.

Posted in Epistemic Rationality, Problems with perception intuition and judgement | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Aphorism: Smith on Predation

I hadn’t seen this in Smith, when I read him, but it is worth quoting:

All for ourselves, and nothing for other people seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind.

 

Posted in 'No True Scotsman' Award, Aphorisms | Leave a comment

Dégringolade

All week, I’ve thought of putting my thoughts on Charlottesville and the aftermath together in a succinct, powerful essay.

But I can’t. Too much of significance has happened, my time and my cognitive resources have been diverted to other, more pressing tasks, and I haven’t yet gotten what happened straight in my head.

So I’ll share some of what I found to be the more impressive interpretations of what has happened.

The first is a comment on an Edward Luce piece that appeared in the Financial Times [I don’t know if the link works, and you may need a subscription to read it]:

The real story here, the huge story of historical importance, just waiting to be told by a competent journalist, isn’t Trump.

The real story is the mass hysteria about him and his supporters, on the part of the left and the establishment, that has been running at fever pitch ever since he announced his candidacy for the presidency, just over two years ago now.

This hysteria is what represents a danger to democracy and ancient freedoms in the Republic.

But many journalists – and it seems all the journalists at the FT – are inside the hysteria, and so they can’t see it.

They are blind to the alt-left’s constant provocation of ordinary Americans, over many years now, of which the demands for removal of statues is just the latest example. Thus they are blind to the realisation that the alt-right and the white nationalists are a response to these constant provocations. They didn’t just emerge in a vacuum.

One reason for the mass hysteria, I think, is disappointed expectations. The analogy I would use is that of the cultural revolution in China. Imagine that, four years into the cultural revolution, Chairman Mao was replaced, by popular vote, with Chiang Kai-Shek. Imagine how the Red Guards would have reacted to that.
Fully aware of the problems with reasoning by analogy, I nevertheless think something along these lines has happened in the US. What the US experienced in Obama’s last term was something akin to the stirrings of a cultural revolution. The alt-left began feeling its oats, testing its power, and pushing against the status quo, only to find that the status quo yielded to every challenge. So they just kept on pushing. The inability of the traditional right – the Republicans – to resist this constant pressure is I think what created the ‘alt-right’ – an alternative to the traditional right. The alt-left pushing created the reaction that we see in Trump, and in the popular movements to protect whatever it is that represents the status quo – free speech one day, statues the next. In Trump and the alt-right, the alt-left has finally found social groups that will stand up to it and resist its pushing. The alt-left, having realised that what it believes is a Crusade of Virtue – with which it thinks no reasonable person could possibly disagree – is being opposed, is beside itself. In their minds, the only people who could oppose such a crusade are society’s most deplorable, and most racist, against which any tactics are justified. Hence, the hysteria and the violence.

At Charlottesville, through the negligence of the authorities, these two groups came into contact, with tragic results.

Academic economist Craig Pirrong calls it the Weimarisation of America: political groups fighting it out on the streets, with the establishment either indifferent to the fighting, or favouring one side over another. If you aren’t alarmed and deeply concerned by this, I think you should be. The centre appears to have given up, and the fringes are starting to assert themselves. This is not good, to put it mildly.
This is the great story of the age, just waiting to be told. But the journalists can’t get their heads around it. They can’t get outside the bubble in which they live. So, for them, it’s all Trump, all the time.

The hypothesis of mass hysteria is a persuasive one for me. It well explains the complete over-reaction to and mis-reading of President Trump’s response to the violence in Charlottesville. Mass hysteria is also the interpretation of events that the perceptive and insightful Scott ‘Dilbert’ Adams has developed, and it is consistent with his thesis which I will call ‘one movie playing, two movies being seen’. Here is a link to his latest blog post on mass hysteria. Please find also here one of his relevant periscope discussions outlining his views (most of them are worth watching). He also provides some perspective here.

As an example of mass hysteria affecting even objectively intelligent people, the well-known, well-connected and consequential – for better or worse – economist Larry Summers has lost his marbles over this issue:

 “President Trump is endorsing white supremacists,  he is ‘uncomfortably close’ to white supremacists… our President is supporting racists”

I don’t have much time for Larry Summers. He was skewered brilliantly by a man who isn’t even an actor in the entertaining film The Social Network, in a scene, drawn from a real life episode where Summers demonstrated that he has no understanding of the role that property rights play in a market economy.  This sort of unwarranted over-reaction simply deepens my contempt.

Because it is over-reaction, and over-reaction is, it seems the essence of mass hysteria. A pure engagement of the limbic system, all deliberative reasoning thrown off. Where was the careful, calm analysis of what actually happened that day, on both sides? Does the existence of bona fide, swastika-carrying Nazis free us from the obligation to think carefully, and to weigh the actions of all involved. Seventy years ago our civilisation partnered with what one might call the world’s premier ‘alt-left’ country to defeat Nazism, overlooking its awful violence for the greater good. In that war, we were fighting for our survival. There seems to be no need to do that now, but that is the tack that the hysterists are taking – overlooking the violence of the alt-left, in order to see Nazis wear all of the opprobrium.

I can’t fathom it. But this is hysteria. It is not meant to be fathomed. It is meant to be avoided where possible, and brought under control where necessary. That so much of the US’ cognitive elite and political establishment has succumbed to it, is deeply troubling. It is even more troubling when you realise that the cause of it is a 70-odd year old businessman and his statements about, essentially, wanting to tighten immigration controls.

That’s it. That’s all he did. And look at the hysteria it has sparked.

We had a precedent in Australia 20 years ago with Pauline Hanson. The left went bananas. Their sensitivity on this topic is acute. And they simply can’t calm down.

Even more troubling is the political violence that it has spawned. Now add in that the authorities are either indifferent to that violence, or supportive of alt-left violence against the alt-right. This is getting very ugly, very quickly. Many have already been injured, and now one is dead. And we haven’t yet hit fever-pitch.

Inside the insanity of the US’ cultural revolution:

Let’s blow up Mount Rushmore

Some good posts:

James Jatras – Death of a Nation

Daisy Luther – How Can We Learn from the Past if We Erase History?

John Whitehead – Chaos in Charlottesville

Jim Quinn – Functional Illiterates Trying to Erase History

An interesting comment from one of Steve Sailer’s readers, Irish Paleo (Sailer’s commentary is also worth reading):

Another thought provoking article. Well done.

A recent topic of iSteve discourse has been the question of whether there are O’Brien or Mustapha Mond-type figures within the elite who know who they are or what they’re doing or whether they are as vapid inside as they are on the surface. The retconning of the past and the bizarre revisions we are seeing of history (e.g. Andrew Jackson – bad, Alexander Hamilton – good) leave me asking whether it is possible that, like the Inner Party in 1984 or the Alpha Double Plus caste in Brave New World, the elites really are string pullers who are beholding the mischief they’ve wrought and feeling satisfied that its all going to plan. My own instinctive answer is almost precisely halfway between an unqualified yes and an unqualified no. Consider the following:

1. There’s clearly been a paradigm shift in the “equality” and “social justice” agendas. In addition to generally becoming madder and more unhinged, which is more or less par for the course, a bizarre pattern seems to be emerging (which has been amply chronicled on this blog) whereby the more historically remote any real legal and institutional impediments to the advancement of women and non-whites becomes, the more embarrassing it has become to them and their sponsors that the principal indices of high status and achievement are still dominated by white males. This, almost by definition, requires hard-boiled equality ideologues to spin ever more bizarre and unbalanced yarns to explain why their utopia has yet to arrive.

2. One of these manifestations has been an increasing resentment of the fact that the history of civilisationally consequential achievement has been so predominantly white and male. In an atmosphere in which there was a broader expectation that the future would differ from the past, this resentment could never reach fever pitch but the last 20 years have been sufficiently disappointing that it represents quite a predictable traumatic response. Equally predictable is that a predominantly white and male establishment would seek to:

(a) point that resentment in sterile directions that will not harm it; and

(b) use it to advance its own agenda where possible.

3. As the SJWs go from asking questions which are respectably current or prospective such as why there aren’t more black CEOs or women coders, to why nothing has been written about the women who signed the Declaration of Independence or the Africans who invented penicillin, the establishment seems, at least on some level, to have concluded that indulging the appetite for “diversity” porn is safer to pursue in the theatres of history (i.e. stuff that happened in the past), celluloid (i.e. stuff that never happened at all) and the social science faculties (stuff that happens outside the real world) than in something like business, finance or systems science research:

(a) which is real and current;

(b) which matters a whole lot; and

(c) in which the consequences of “diversity”-induced screw ups are enormous and reverberative (#OscarsSoWhite may be irritating as hell but to the average Davos denizen #GoldmanSachsSoWhite would be infinitely worse).

4. The logic isn’t hard to understand. If we have to start engaging in pretences such as that Neil deGrasse Tyson is somehow the equal of Stephen Hawking or Sir Andrew Wiles or that Franklin Raines is as competent a financier as John Paulson or that Susan Rice is the academic equal of Samuel Huntington, the real-world consequences will be devastating and perhaps uncontrollable. On the other hand, there is, at the very least, a superficial attractiveness to instead:

(a) allowing the likes of Lin Manuel Miranda to pretend that Alexander Hamilton was black or that George Washington was a trannie or that John Quincy Adams was some kind of Gentile Yentl;

(b) pretending that George Washington Carver was as consequential a scientist as Albert Einstein;

(c) making movies that depict Charlize Theron as having the upper body strength of Arnie in his prime; and/or

(d) giving affirmative action hires like Henry Louis Gates and Cornell West pseudo-academic sinecures and pretending that their positions are somehow equivalent to those of, say, Lawrence Tribe or Bruce Fein.

So hence, the establishment has thrown its weight behind a bizarre plot to apply affirmative action to the past, to fantasy and to parts of reality that don’t matter very much (like African American Studies Departments). The questions is thus: will it work?

5. Guessing from their last project (making Obama the president), the answer is no. The whole idea behind Obama (and his designated female successor Kamala Harris) was that by getting a part-black exotic who was properly acculturated into white liberal norms and making him president, they could somehow induce blacks to stop feeling resentment at their embarrassing achievement deficit relative to whites and Asians (which, thanks to affirmative action and redistributive programmes, is far larger than the equivalent wealth and income gap). It didn’t work because:

(a) blacks and other economically unsuccessful groups seem to have a sort of “cargo cult” belief when it comes to wealth and achievement, that they are somehow prizes allocated to people of certain ethnicities based on their political power;

(b) as a result of (a) above, blacks believed that having one of their own in power would result in a gusher of money, jobs and prizes coming their way;

(c) (b) didn’t happen (in spite of Obama’s best efforts) because that’s not how the world works;

(d) the election of Obama left blacks emboldened but bitterly disappointed (which, historically, is a dangerous combination); and

(e) Obama, Holder and Lynch, with their petulant anti-white fixations fanned the flames instead of coming out with their scripted bromides about reconciliation.

6. This leads me to believe that this move to retcon the history of human achievement will backfire horribly. If you are Elon Musk or Haim Saban, it might seem that getting women and non-whites to argue over who gets credit for achievements of the past or the heroic roles in action movies is a good distraction from attempts to asset strip the most valuable pieces of the western economy out of resentment and jealousy. However, the historical record of Obama-tokenism indicates that the new tokenism will have the same effect. As the likes of Lin Manuel Miranda and the makers of Mad Max movies steal achievements and plaudits from the respective realms of history and reality and allow the “emerging” and “diverse” western world that has little prospect of ever achieving much of its own to wallow in its fantasy of success in proportion to its numbers, it seems likely that:

(a) the “diverse” masses will look at the increasing gap between the image that popular culture projects of them as repositories of “vibrancy” and “brilliance” and the squalid reality of ghetto blasters, foodstamps, 7-11 jobs and tubs of Ben & Jerry’s in lieu of boyfriends and conclude what they always do (namely that the white man is screwing them over);

(b) the heightened anger resulting from the foregoing will invest the mobs of unemployable rioters and professional agitators with more de facto political power; and

(c) they will demand more de jure political (and economic) power (and the prestige that goes with it) so that a lucky few of them can feel like the characters they read about in doctored history books (like black Hamilton) or see in trashy movies (like Wonder Woman or Mad Max).

7. A world run by the coalition of the “diverse” will, of course, be much less competently run than it is now and, much like Detroit and South Africa, infrastructure and social capital will disintegrate. Of course, non-whites are, as history shows, far more reliant on the competent operation of shared frameworks and large institutions like government bodies and multinationals, which means that whites will inevitably adapt better to the emerging chaos (with their independent businesses and gated communities) than non-whites and the race gap in wealth and income (and, in all probability, the sex gap as well) will rise rather than fall and the “diverse” will become even more resentful and (perhaps) even more inclined to blame white males. In such an environment, I don’t fancy the chances of even the wily manipulators that Musk, Saban et al truly are.

8. If Donald Trump successfully puts a stop to this cultural rot then, rather than the populist agitator that he is currently portrayed as being, history will remember him as a plutocratic hero – a far-sighted (and fairly underlyingly conventional) member of the elite who was the first to see the Genesis of his class’s coming downfall and had the vision and wisdom to be the first of its number to do something to prevent it.

And this comment from Sailer, on a later post:

There are always a lot of crazy people in this world. But when highly respectable and influential people allow themselves to go nuts, the nuts can follow along.

Indeed. Where are the adults?

Posted in Cult-Marx Inversion, Democracy and freedom of mind, Epistemic Rationality, Mind-sets and Logic-Bubbles, Narrative and Taboo, The Suicide of the West | Leave a comment

Interesting posts

James Howard Kunstler on how the madness of the Baizuo has finally provoked the blond beast.

We had it shackled, locked in a lead-lined nailed coffin, entombed in a stone mausoleum, for seventy years. And these unspeakables, so righteous in their indignation, have roused it from its slumber, and freed it from its gaol. Dark days ahead.

David Stockman again hits it out of the park with an essay on the US’ intervention in the Middle East.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali brings the world’s attention to Dawa, which she calls the islamic equivalent of the marxists’ ‘long march through the institutions’.

To watch:

  • PBS’ documentary on Iraq – one poor decision after another;
  • PBS’ documentary on NSA surveillance of US citizens in the era of government-created terrorism, parts I and II – truly diabolical.
  • PBSs’ documentary on the financial crisis – even this economics geek learnt a lot from this twopart documentary.
Posted in Critical Thinking, Cult-Marx Inversion, Democracy and freedom of mind, Flotsam and Jetsam, Insights, The Mind & Society | Leave a comment

Europeans shaping the Middle East

Recently, while bored at work waiting for replies to emails, I surfed Infogalactic to the page on Mark Sykes, the Englishman who worked with the Frenchman Picot to draw the lines in the sand that defined the boundaries of a number of countries in the modern Middle East.

Interesting man – his biog is well worth a read. But one thing that really caught my attention was this passage:

Sykes designed the flag of the Arab Revolt, a combination of green, red, black and white. Variations on his design later served as flags of Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Sudan, Kuwait, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates and Palestine,[15] none of which existed as separate nations before the First World War.

Really!

The Arabs had their borders drawn by an Englishman working with a Frenchman, and had the basic design of their national flags – in which they take such pride – by the same Englishman.

Further east, the Persian Shah was encouraged in 1935 by a German – the dubious character of Horace Greely Hjalmar Schacht – that he should ask foreign delegates to call their country Iran, to reflect its people’s origins as Aryans. Hence we have the country called Iran.

Other excerpts from the entry:

Evidence suggests that Sykes had a hand in promoting the Balfour Declaration to the Cabinet issued on 2 November 1917.[27] It stated that: “His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine…”

How on earth anyone thought that was supposed to work is beyond me. The two are completely incompatible: establishing a homeland for the Jewish people could only ever have been at the expense of the rights of ‘existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine’. Interestingly, both the Palestinians and the Zionists knew this, and still know it: hence, the endless tension and frequent violence. Not very bright, Mark.

Sykes was in Paris in connection with peace negotiations in 1919. At the conference, a junior diplomat present, Harold Nicolson, described Sykes’ effect: “It was due to his endless push and perservance, to his enthusiasm and faith, that Arab nationalism and Zionism became two of the most successful of our war causes.”

Yeah. What a success. Again, well done. More evidence for my sad conclusion that World War I was the greatest man-made tragedy ever to befall human civilisation.

Posted in Epistemic Rationality, Flotsam and Jetsam, Goal Rationality | Leave a comment