I recently visited the old dame of Australian conservative writing, Quadrant.
Allegedly established with CIA money by one of the perpetrators of the Ern Malley hoax, for a long time it reflected anti-communist and anti-progressive thought in the Old Country. Its writers, often former communists themselves, penned screeds against the obsession of the left-wing media with its pet, Triple-R issues: Aboriginal reconciliation, the republic and refugees.
Quadrant’s left-wing counterpoint is The Monthly, which mostly writes about Aboriginal issues and refugees. The republic now takes a back seat to modern Woke obsessions. I think the new R word is race but gender also gets a look in depending upon the fashion of the day.
I hoped to find something intellectually stimulating in Quadrant but instead found it repeating the catechisms of mainstream conservatism: crazy Woke nonsense on campus is crazy Woke nonsense, global warming is bunk, Covid is overblown, plus endless, dull squid ink on the perpetual History Wars regarding Aborigines.
That 2% of the population seems to occupy 20% of the words ever written by white intellectuals on both sides, which is funny because few Aborigines will read a word of it.
Oh, and they obsess over ABC bias of course.
Tell us something we don’t know. This is stodgy, middle-brow stuff that we can hear in 3-minute format from Andrew Bolt on YouTube. [Edit: that link no longer works because Sky News just shitcanned him.]
If I told you there are certain issues never mentioned in Quadrant, my reader would guess those issues without difficulty.
Quadrant is free of any content that might get up the noses of the modern CIA, whether they were ever involved or not. Hard issues like the effects of mass migration, creeping oligarchic power, the grinding collapse of our entire civilization and our slide into totalitarian Hell.
That sort of thing. Issues like ABC bias and whether or not Aborigines farmed fish are angels on a pin.
Perhaps conservative writing was always like that.
In the 60s and 70s they wrote about the Red Menace, the Vietnam War, unions and inflation. In the meantime, immigration reforms and the sexual revolution were quietly undermining our foundations while we physically declined and our cultural output visibly decayed.
In the 80s and 90s they wrote about free trade, university funding and the republic, still not noticing that the nation was slipping from the face of the Earth.
Even now that the consequences are coming to fruition, with family formation plummeting and our WEIRD values in collapse, establishment conservatives seem too committed to arguing about the health of the Great Barrier Reef to notice.
In some posts they seem dimly aware that the West is on the ropes but they don’t understand why. To them, all we need to do is abolish the ABC, build a couple more coal power plants and we’ll be back on track.
Look at the men on both sides, from Keith Windschuttle of Quadrant to Philip Adams of the ABC. They lived their comfortable lives in the glowing embers of the West, never hearing the scratching sound from under the floorboards. Neither can conceive of the challenges facing younger generations – people wondering where it will be safe to live, whether they should flee to the remote countryside or abroad. That such concerns are becoming mainstream would shock them.
I’m sure that neither realize our traditional, Anglo-Saxon liberties have been permanently destroyed, whether they would celebrate or mourn the fact.
The old guard of the Greatest Generation have passed on and those still writing are no spring chickens themselves, mostly being of the Silent Generation. For them and their 60-something proteges, this is an amusing, lifelong continuation of their boyhood student politics, not an existential struggle.
In short, it’s a living. They’ve made a career squabbling and snarking at each other while the real issues slipped safely under the radar.
But am I any different?
Much of this blog is given over to anti-Covidian articles and attacks on Woke madness. How important is this, in the grand scheme of things?
The Covidians are not going to suddenly say, ‘Okay it’s over, you can have all your freedoms back now.” Nothing I say or do will change that fact.
The Woke are not going to suddenly decide that their worldview contradicts all relevant data.
In short, the facts don’t matter.
I forgive those old culture warriors for ignoring the trend towards serial monogamy as they railed against Brezhnev. They simply didn’t know that it was a bridge, not the end point of sexual liberation. I don’t blame them for missing the long-term consequences of the other side of that coin, increased foreign migration to counter falling birth rates.
Mostly I don’t blame them because I’m probably doing the same myself – obsessing over trivialities (in the grand scheme of things) and missing long-term trends that will have a massive impact in the future.
I can’t see all that I wish I could see but I can recognize when I’m flogging a dead horse.
There’s no point saying another word on the Covid madness. For now, the zealots have won and we’re all going to have to live with the consequences. No more posting graphs or analyzing infection fatality rates. No one cares. At this point, everyone either knows the truth or has decided to ignore the truth. I’m done pissing in the wind.
Same with the Church of Woke – what else is there to say? It’s a natural reaction to certain environmental cues. Arguments about religion are always a waste of time and Woke is no exception. It’s pointless writing endless articles about the latest stupidity. I might occasionally poke fun on the Dark Side but it deserves no greater attention than that. After all, how much do I write about Scientology?
I’ve long recognized that retail politics is a crock and not worth any serious thought. I should add Covid and Woke to the list.
From now on, I should consider each topic before writing about it. I should ask myself, is it important? Informative? Entertaining? Not just a recurring circle wank about the latest inanity. There comes a point where obsessing about your enemies becomes an infatuation, like how Saudi Arabia cannot turn its indignant eyes from Iran. Worrying too much about our rulers will distract us from better things.
I won’t always make the right call but I hope this approach will prevent the People’s Blog descending into stodgy, Quadrant-like irrelevance as the world’s sprightly events leave us in the dust of history.
Plus, the copy editing over there is abysmal. When unemployed bloggers in the Third World publish fewer typos, you’ve got to wonder what’s going on.