Monday, November 14, 2011 37 Comments

Three poems of Weldon Kees

June 1940 (1943):
It is summer, and treachery blurs with the sounds of midnight,
The lights blink off at the closing of a door,
And I am alone in a warn-out time in wartime,
Thinking of those who were trapped by hysteria before.

Flaubert and Henry James and Owen,
Bourne with his crooked back, Rilke and Lawrence, Joyce --
Gun-shy, annoyers, sick of the kill, the watchers,
Suffered the same attack till it broke them or left its scars.

Now the heroes of March are the sorriest fools of April:
The beaters of drums, the flag-kissing men, whose eyes
Once saw the murder, are washing it clean, accusing:
"You are the cowards! All that we told you before was lies!"

It is summer again, the evening is warm and silent.
The windows are dark and the mountains are miles away.
And the men who were haters of war are mounting the platform.
An idiot wind blows; the conscience dies.

Boris is dead. The fatalist parrot
No longer screams warnings to Avenue A.
He died last week on a rainy day.
He is sadly missed. His spirit was rare.

The cage is empty. The unhooked chain,
His pitiful droppings, the sunflower seeds,
The brass sign, "Boris," are all that remain.
His irritable body is under the weeds.

Like Eliot's world, he went out with a whimper;
Silent for days, with his appetite gone,
He watched the traffic flow by, unheeding,
His universe crumbling, his heart a stone.

No longer will Boris cry, "Out, brief candle!"
Or "Down with tyranny, hate and war!"
To astonished churchgoers and businessmen.
Boris is dead. The porch is a tomb.
And a black wreath decorates the door.

The Bell From Europe (1947):
The tower bell in the Tenth Street Church
Rang out nostalgia for the refugee
Who knew the source of bells by sound.
We liked it, but in ignorance.
One meets authorities on bells infrequently.

Europe alone made bells with such a tone,
Herr Mannheim said. The bell
Struck midnight, and it shook the room.
He had heard bells in Leipzig, Chartres, and Berlin,
Paris, Vienna, Brussels, Rome.
He was a white-faced man with sad enormous eyes.

Reader, for me that bell marked nights
Of restless tossing in this narrow bed,
The quarrels, the slamming of a door,
The kind words, friends for drinks, the books we read,
Breakfasts with streets in rain.
It rang from Europe all the time.
That was what Mannheim said.

It is good to know, now that the bell strikes noon.
In this day's sun, the hedges are Episcopalian
As noon is marked by the twelve iron beats.
The rector moves ruminantly among the gravestones,
As the sound of a dead Europe hangs in the streets.


Anonymous Thrasymachus said...

Good stuff.

November 14, 2011 at 6:25 PM  
Blogger gwern said...

Interesting meter; I can't really figure it out. I thought I saw the pattern but then I didn't.

November 14, 2011 at 6:34 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

"As the sound of a dead Europe hangs in the streets."

Reich 4.0 has failed, having been derailed by debt bearing Greeks.

Long live Reich 5.0!

November 14, 2011 at 8:01 PM  
Blogger Debra said...

Last year I wrote a poem in French about the long agony of the Habsbourg Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, was it ?
My husband reminded me last night that no peace treaty was signed after WW2.
Maybe poetry will save us ?
We should be writing MORE of IT, and less... of the rest...

November 15, 2011 at 2:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not bad for a guy who was part of the New Deal Federal Writer's Project...


November 15, 2011 at 6:53 AM  
Blogger TGGP said...

This is better than the usual poetry, it has rhymes and stuff.

There's a new biography of George Kennan (whom I previously complained about your depiction of), and there's some great elitist quotes in this review.
“I hate democracy; I hate the press. . . . I hate the ‘peepul’; I have become clearly un-American.”
Later on he fantasizes about a "company of robust Russian infantry" driving out Danish hippies.

Mencius also blamed Irving Fisher along with Keynes for bastardizing the previous "orthodox economics" of Mises. Interestingly enough, Mises listed Fisher as being among those who "were successful in perfecting the time-preference theory" after Bohm-Bawerk laid the foundations. Austrians wrote in German and of course weren't "orthodox economics" in America, but Fisher actually helped introduce some of their ideas to an American audience.

November 15, 2011 at 5:15 PM  
Blogger TGGP said...

Mencius' complaint about "Keynes-Fisher macroeconomics" is here.

November 15, 2011 at 5:15 PM  
Blogger Debra said...

Thanks for the long New Yorker article about Kennan.
He reminds me of another interesting man, Jacques Barzun, a French expatriot who is living out his last days in the U.S., historian of ideas. He has written a 900 page testament on the history of the ideas of Western Civilization. (I have finished 2/3 of it.)
On the spoiled, superficial nature of so many Americans...
Eight years or so ago, one of my militant friends, a French history professor at the local university, told me that several American students had come up to him after one of his WW2 lectures, complaining that the photos, the testimony about the camps was traumatizing them... What to say ?
I often think that the simple fact of not physically living on soil where a few grenades, some bones, can be exposed without notice, or not passing by the omnipresent war memorials that tend to REMIND PEOPLE that WW1 left NO WESTERN EUROPEAN FAMILY unscathed, well, maybe some of the superficiality comes from that ?
Who can say ?
On realpolitik..
It is an insoluble question, which boils down to, in my opinion, how much can YOU PERSONALLY stomach in the idea that your far away neighbor is being gassed, chopped up, shot down ?
Globalization has done some funny things with neigborliness though. Personally, I find it hard to feel AS MUCH empathy with people who are tens of thousands of kilometers away from me...
Never forget that we no longer have DRAFT, CITIZEN ARMIES either, so these questions, when you are resorting to mercenaries... well..

November 16, 2011 at 7:56 AM  
Blogger C. Van Carter said...

But now the bell strikes one, strikes one / Strikes one—monotonous and tired. / Or clicks like a sad valise.

Do you think he escaped to Mexico, Moldy?

November 16, 2011 at 1:55 PM  
Blogger gwern said...

Reading WP, it sounds unlikely. His bank book was missing, but he then never made any withdrawals? How did he fund his new life?

November 16, 2011 at 1:57 PM  
Blogger Phoroneus said...

Mencius Moldbug, forgive me but I am suffering from a bout of internet illiteracy and am unable to find a way past the last few posts of an archived month! I often have to use linkbacks from the later articles in order to find these "missing" posts. If either you or your readers have a solution I would much appreciate it.

November 18, 2011 at 6:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


There does appear to be a problem with the blogger archive system such as you described.

Option 1: Google search ""

when you want to bring up all of the posts from January 2009, for example.

Option 2: Go to for a themed archive of posts up to early 2010

Option 3: Download this collection of pdf and kindle files which contains everything that is on the moldbuggery site, in a convenient format if you own a kindle.

November 19, 2011 at 4:10 AM  
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November 21, 2011 at 5:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zero Tolerance Man's blog got hacked, but he has started a new blog at:

American Woman Bitch by the Zero Tolerance Man

Zero Tolerance Man has the most powerful anti-feminist blog on the net, because he is directly attacking feminist women and showing what worthless cunts they truly are.

Here is from his "Why Did I create this website" page:

Because most American women are worthless toilet bowl turds. They are nothing but parasites feeding off the hard work of men. Are men better than women in the USA? ABSOLUTELY. The only thing American women are good for is nagging, complaining, and spending men’s money. Most are not even worth fucking. They suck in bed and thus, have absolutely no value to the good men of the USA.

Please send a link to this blog to all your friends.

November 22, 2011 at 6:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Because most American women are worthless toilet bowl turds. They are nothing but parasites feeding off the hard work of men. Are men better than women in the USA? ABSOLUTELY. The only thing American women are good for is nagging, complaining, and spending men’s money. Most are not even worth fucking. They suck in bed and thus, have absolutely no value to the good men of the USA."

rofl, sounds like a fat faggot beta nerd.

"waaaaah, women have treated me bad, i'm going to write a blog, right after I finish jacking off to this manga porn and eating pizza".

November 24, 2011 at 11:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice poems.

November 25, 2011 at 3:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Moldbug seems to be censoring comments to his previous post.

November 27, 2011 at 10:46 AM  
Blogger Zimri said...

Anon 11/27 10:46 - he's the sovereign here, bitch.

November 28, 2011 at 6:52 PM  
Anonymous josh said...


I think Mencius was largely basing his comments on Fisher on this Rothbard essay:

November 29, 2011 at 8:52 AM  
Anonymous Rollory said...


December 1, 2011 at 7:47 AM  
Blogger TGGP said...

The Rothbard essay points out Fisher's statism (he was also a very weird guy generally speaking), but not too much about his economic ideas and their relation to the Austrian school.

Via an old post from Sister Y, Dorothy Thompson's "fun parlor game": Who Would Go Nazi? From 1941.

December 3, 2011 at 9:02 PM  
Blogger Debra said...

Dorothy Thompson's parlor game ran a little reductionist for my tastes...
She did not take into account that powerful FEAR FACTOR, in my opinion.
I think it is a mistake to consider fascism as a form of government.. Fascism is a form of civilization first.
And lastly, Célimène gets heavily punished at the end of "Le Misanthrope". Third person omniscient point of view is THE DEALER'S prerogative...anybody else's pretension is usurpation.

December 4, 2011 at 1:45 AM  
Anonymous josh said...

Both Moldbug and Rothbard list Fisher as an early proponent of making economics into an empirical science in which the government collects massive amounts of data, creates a bunch of aggregate indexes, and economists tell the government how to create "stability" in the "price level". In other words, "he believes that the amount of money in a country should expand as the country "grows.""

I also found that essay via a link from moldbug, so I know he has read it.

December 4, 2011 at 2:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Moldbug's signal virtue is that he reads.

Thanks for sharing.

December 4, 2011 at 1:17 PM  
Blogger TGGP said...

Is Fisher really novel in that respect? The American Institutionalists were known for collecting lots of data which was mocked by later neoclassicals as "Waiting for either a theory or a fire". And that group was basically doing the same thing as the German "Historical School", the original enemies of the Austrians. Lately, MM himself has begun leaning toward them and away from Mises.

December 4, 2011 at 3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

December 5, 2011 at 2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may wish to close down comments on posts after a few weeks, and put up an email address.

For example this post has hundreds of lines of comment and link spam needing deletion.

December 5, 2011 at 8:44 PM  
Anonymous Kalim Kassam said...

Phoroneus et Phlebas:

Option 4: This Works of Mencius Moldbug site has all the posts from this blog listed & linked chronologically and (crudely) by category

December 5, 2011 at 8:47 PM  
Blogger Gabe Ruth said...

"Among current heads of state who could be considered technocrats are President Felipe Calderón of Mexico, President Sebastián Piñera of Chile, and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia. happens that all three received their ivory tower training at Harvard. Calderón took a record three courses from me."

Derisively highlighted by an old lefty and typographical antinomian. It's fascinating when the political spectrum bends back on itself in certain areas.

The Dorothy Parker article was entertaining, but pretty shallow and irrelevant. The evil of Nazism was how it catered to the basest instincts of a whole people and inflamed them. The cult of the demos meant the elite was unstoppable, for they spoke for The People. As our host has noted, we are well immunized to the character defects of that particular elite, but the cult of the demos is stronger than ever, and will only fall by self destruction.

On another subject: I know I should be beyond caring about elections, Ron Paul will not save us even if he is elected, yada, yada, yada. Maybe my religion makes it difficult for me to dismiss rituals, but I still intend to vote next year. Does anyone else get the feeling that Paul's unelectability has become an article of faith? And not just in the official press, but in places that don't usually toe the party line? My main example is John Derbyshire, who up until recently I regarded as a pretty straight shooter. Do you think not lining up behind National Review's official endorsement is a firing offense?

December 8, 2011 at 7:41 AM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

I have to say, the current post-Hitler crop of antisemites has done an amazing job of getting everything about Jews wrong.

It's enough to make the tribal Jews of the Moldbug persuasion wonder what % of internet antisemites are actually Mossad algorithms trying to undermine American antisemitism from within.

Good job boys:

Jewish ethnocentrism = conservatism.

Jewish assimilation = liberal Anglo-Protestantism.

What a Country

Twenty years after the fall of the USSR, the 1990s wave of Russian-Jewish immigrants is a reliably Republican voting bloc. But as their children assimilate, Russian Jews’ politics get harder to pin down.

Lurking behind these much-discussed reasons for Russian Jewish conservatism is the fact of deeply ingrained Russian xenophobia, which some say the nation’s Jews have internalized despite being an oppressed group themselves. This, say some, makes them more susceptible to the racial dog whistles employed by conservative politicians. Weeks before the 2008 election, Walter Ruby reported for the Jewish Week that he did not have to search Brighton Beach very hard before finding Russian-speaking Jews who subscribed to a Sarah Palin’s view of the United States; one real, one fake; one implicitly white, one not. “The president of such a great country ought to be a real American, by which I mean a white person,” one respondent told Ruby.

December 9, 2011 at 10:12 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Both Moldbug and Rothbard list Fisher as an early proponent of making economics into an empirical science in which the government collects massive amounts of data, creates a bunch of aggregate indexes, and economists tell the government how to create "stability" in the "price level".

Again, you're assigning academics more power than they actual have.

The governments wanted economists to justify big spending plans that there was already support for among important voting blocks such as labor unions.

Fisher and Keynes merely gave their audience what they wanted and would have purchased from some other snake oils salesman.

TGGP is correct that Keynsianism was already in practice before Keynes and would have taken off without his Lordship.

December 9, 2011 at 10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

William D. Hamilton, widely recognized as one of the greatest evolutionary theorists of the 20th century, agreed with the general theme of Kevin MacDonald’s work on the evolutionary biology of Jews:

“It is hard to discern the root in the place where I usually look for roots of our strong emotions, the part deepest in us, our biology and evolution; even a recent treatise on this subject, much as I agree with its general theme, seems to me hardly to reach to this point of the discussion.34,36″

“Recent treatise on this subject” refers to 2 books by MacDonald, A People That Shall Dwell Alone and Separation and Its Discontents, as the citations 34 and 36 indicate.

December 9, 2011 at 11:24 PM  
Anonymous josh said...

"TGGP is correct that Keynsianism was already in practice before Keynes and would have taken off without his Lordship."

Whereas I implied something different?

"Again, you're assigning academics more power than they actual have."

Again, eh? I'll really have to check that habbit.

I think that you are misunderstanding what these academics are. You may as well say that I overestimate the role power of officers in winning a war. True, if it there was no Omar Bradley, there would have been someone else, but it's nonsensical to say that Bradley didn't have power.

I think you need to look into how the finance elites used the great foundations to reorganize and expand the higher education system in line with their (self-serving) ideas about "efficiency" and "nationalism". The result was that the primary function of the university became research, that said research was much more likely to be conducted by a committee, the system was reorganized to prevent "wasteful competition" so that their was only one department focused on, for example, east Asian agricultural policies, and their was the growth of what became known as the pragmatic "social sciences", which were in, essence factories for churning out policy suggestions which carried the prestige of science. Obviously, the lack of competition made this system easily controlled by whoever wrote the grants. This is the network that eventually became the New Deal. In fact, FDR served on the advisory board of the Social Science Research Council in the 1920s, many of whom made up the freshman Brain Trust.

December 10, 2011 at 6:50 AM  
Anonymous josh said...

Further when you say "The governments wanted economists to justify...." to buy off this or that interest group, you need to be careful. The government, that is, the people who actually held political power changed non-contiguously sometime between 1890 and 1933. The party bosses held power via patronage and placed themselves in the Senate so that they had the ability to monitor presidential appointments. The agencies created by FDR were permanent civil service and ad the power to assign their own patronage. This was not a benefit to the old party elite, this was a coup by an extra constitutional, extra party elite that wanted to control the government regardless of party and were sick of being exploited by party bosses that they considered beneath them.

Since the revolution of 1933, there has been an unsurprising blurring of the lines of the inner party financial elite, and the outer party academic elite. Its fair to say that we are ruled by academics today. When I look at the Mike Mann fiasco, I am reminded of nothing so much as M. Ostrogorsky's (recommended and free on Google) treatment of local "primaries" in which the faction of a particular party boss fights to maintain recognition as "the regular" which entitles him to patronage. Just because one party boss would tend to implement similar policies to another doesn't mean the boss isn't in charge. All of the locals are trying to sell their services to the party, and salesmanship matters as well as the product they are selling. That different human beings may occupy these roles will obviously lead to different aggregate outcomes. So obviously, individual academics do in fact have power, just as individual generals do.

December 10, 2011 at 7:04 AM  
Anonymous josh said...

sorry about all of the typos. I never reread what I write before posting.

December 10, 2011 at 7:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks to Josh and UDJ, doing their bit to keep the internets interesting.

December 10, 2011 at 1:36 PM  
Blogger Mitchell said...

Anti-democracy isn't looking so much like the wave of the future, any more - now they're even protesting in Russia.

December 10, 2011 at 5:30 PM  

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