Friday, March 30, 2007

A McDonalds culture.

I personally don’t mind McDonalds. No body forces you to go there. The food is appropriate if you’re on the run, ravenous and need something to eat. It’s cheap and the kids love it. It’s a bit like chocolate, fine as a treat but unhealthy eaten all the time. One of the things I don’t like about McDonalds is its ubiquity. I am not very traveled. But in New Zealand they are everywhere as they are in Europe. I don’t have a problem with McDonalds chasing economic opportunity rather it’s the cultural damage that it brings with it that bothers me

The last thing I wanted to do in Europe was to eat at a McDonalds, because I can eat at one at home. The whole point of traveling is to experience other cultures; not to relive what is at home. But that was the problem, to my mind Europe was too much like home. Standing in Vienna, it struck me that the faces were the same, the scenery was a bit different: I had traveled around the world to experience another backdrop. The injury that a business like McDonalds does to a country such as France is that it makes the place a bit less French and bit more American. Is it such a great idea that France becomes less French when multinationals set their businesses there?

Now most of my friends on the Left would agree that it’s a bad thing. However I feel that they are being hypocritical, for why is the destruction of economic diversity so much worse than the destruction of cultural diversity? Yet my friends on the left have no problems with multiculturalism. In my mind economic multi-nationalism is just as bad as demographic multi-nationalism; in other words multi-culturalism. Our friends on the left are very keen on keeping biological diversity; they are not so keen on cultural diversity. When cultural diversity becomes universal it simultaneously becomes extinct. Japan is the nature it is because it is full of Japanese. If we were to put large minorities of Europeans, Indians and Africans in Japan it would cease to be Japanese, it would become multicultural.

And that’s the problem, traveling will become pointless because of the world will be the same. It will be one big melting pot; its individual flavours indistinguishable from each other.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


“The Earth has a skin and that skin has diseases, one of its diseases is called man.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

My mother ran a spotless house and I suppose I have inherited a legacy of enmity towards dirt and mess: I like things clean. I grew up in an industrial part of town and I can still remember as a child, my disgust at dirty walls, industrial rubbish, polluted creeks and smelly air. I always thought that the men who allowed this to happen were somehow deficient in manners. I always imagined their homes as being grubby, with piles of dishes and washing lying around. Little did I realize that the men who owned these factories, left them, to go to nice tree lined streets, in areas zoned to prevent industrial activities when the evening came.

I think it was Chesterton who once remarked that every movement starts with some disputed truth and invariably ends in error. The environmental movement is one such movement.

I have much sympathy to the environmental movement. The way that many of our ancestors treated the environment was simply abysmal. They poured pollutants down the rivers which we drank from, poisoned the air we breathed and generally left their trash out of site. Many of the great capitalists in the past would think nothing of cutting down a whole forest, fouling a river or wiping out a species in the ever relentless pursuit of greater profit. Afterwards retiring to great estates that would maintain nature in its most pristine if not sometimes contrived forms. Hence it was right that this total disregard of our common environment should have been opposed. But what started out as a noble cause has morphed into an ignoble philosophy.

What irks me with regard to the environmental movement is its quasi religious overtone. Walking on elevated bridges through forest canopy is meant to inspire the same religious awe that the relics of the saints were meant to arouse: A trip to Amazon, equivalent to a pilgrimage to Mecca. Somehow, any disturbance of the way things are is the equivalent of sin. Indeed it is this undertone; that mans presence is sacrilegious to the environment, that rubs me the wrong man. In Christianity man was cast out of the Garden of Eden when he ate from the tree of knowledge. In the environmental movement, paradise was lost when God created man. I suppose Nietzsche could be considered a proto-Greenie.

I take the biblical view that man was put in the Garden of Eden to tend it, not worship it. This means that we have a responsibility towards it and not veneration. We are free to use the resources of nature, provided we do so with good husbandry; for we are the stewards of this Earth and not its owners.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Starting out.

The Sunday Age is always good for a laugh. The story that got me thinking, dealt with the tribulations of a young couple who were having difficulty purchasing a first home. Our aspirant homeowners were having difficulty finding a affordable property in their first choice suburbs of East Melbourne and Richmond. Now for those of you who don’t know Melbourne, East Melbourne is one of the most affluent and expensive inner city suburbs. Richmond has its dingy bits, but it too has quite a bit of very expensive housing and amongst our inner city types carries a bit of prestige.

Now in days of Yore, a young couple would scrimp and save and move into a modest home in a modest suburb and slowly move up. But not our young couple; they were starting at the top.

What got me down about this article was the way these young people felt that there was some sense of injustice in their not being able to afford luxury immediately. This sentiment is not isolated and seems to be a growing contagion, especially amongst the younger generation. I was bought up old school: if you wanted luxuries you saved up till you had enough to purchase them, not the current generation though: Luxury and prestige are a “right” and their inability to afford them a “problem”.

Likewise, there has been much talk of rapidly rising rents. I have quite a few real estate agents as patients; they’re finding it difficult to fill vacancies in rental properties. However the suburbs that I serve don’t carry high status. The “problem” our “progressive paper” harps on about is the high expense of high status housing: Big deal.

There is plenty of cheap housing if one is prepared to accept compromises; the problem is that most of our trendy, eco-friendly inner city types are not. With champagne tastes and beer budgets, the bastards are complaining about the price of caviar. Excuse me for not being sympathetic.

Monday, March 12, 2007

The value of tradition

I am at variance with the mainstream conservative movement when it comes to tradition. Most conservatives seem to have a soft spot for tradition. Many conservatives see it as part of the “continuity of life” or a link with their ancestors. American and British conservatives tend to think of the conservative mission as a project to preserve the “old ideas”: The conservative movement as a sort of intellectual ossuary.
I am convinced that there are others though, who are conservative for aesthetic reasons. Fussiness, traditional modes of conduct, titles and formality give them much pleasure. Recently there was an interesting debate on Right Reason on this very matter;

I value tradition simply because the dead sometimes have quite intelligent things to say. The men and women who lived before us were not all stupid. Their circumstances may have been different, but in their dealings with human nature, things have not changed. So when it comes to issues on how we should live I am quite prepared to give a respectful ear to the opinions of my forefathers. I recognize that they were men and prone to the failings of men: They were not infallible. However where I differ from a significant portion of my conservative colleagues is that where as I give them a respectful ear, they worship them; and Idolatry is a sin.
This worshiping of the old I think has done the conservative cause a lot of damage. The old world was full of problems, the modernist approach was to try to fix them up—usually the wrong way—while the conservative approach was either not fix them up at all or to turn the clock back. Traditionalism is the process of allowing dead people to do your thinking for you, hence I believe that it was justified that the conservatives were called the stupid mans party.

For what it’s worth, my conservatism is rooted in a metaphysical view that was until quite recently, common opinion: That there is a right and wrong which is quite independent of my perception of them. My imperative as a conservative is to live the right way, not the old way. The fact that my forefathers were right on so many issues means that I give them a respectful ear, not a bended knee.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Why not pay the protestors to beat the police up?

Several years ago I had the unfortunate experience of treating an ambulance officer who was injured at the S20 protests approximately 7 years ago. The poor fellow had metal objects—nuts and ball bearings—and had urine thrown at him which had splashed him in the eye. He came in anxious with regard to risk of catching certain diseases. The risk was small I explained but still there. While organising his tests we chatted about the days protests and in no uncertain terms he convinced me that the rioters were at fault and the police remarkably restrained.
Several hours later to my surprise one of the rioters came in, wanting me to document his injuries, which consisted of some minor bruising. He regaled me at length of how the police had attacked the innocent rioters, later on that night when I got home and saw the TV news, the pictures on television seemed to support the paramedics’ view.
Today this in the paper;,21985,21322057-661,00.html.

Why do the police bother?