Armas Weekend Reader
5-6 February 2022
From the reading this week: how do we understand the crisis in Europe, is America ready for the (much bigger) crisis in the Pacific, on being men, on being women, introducing Sovietwave. Let’s go —
1) “Over the course of history, societies have chosen different forms of moral currency. In Rome, your virtue was determined by your nobility of ancestry and comportment. In Medieval Europe (and the first two centuries of the American republic, perhaps) piety was the determinant of moral virtue. Today, grievance is America’s moral currency. Understanding this is key to understand exactly what a civil war would be about.”
2) “From almost the moment the Covid-19 pandemic broke out in the city of Wuhan, the medical-research establishment in Washington and London insisted that the virus had emerged naturally. Only conspiracy theorists, they said, would give credence to the idea that the virus had escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Now a string of unearthed emails—the most recent being a batch viewed by the House Oversight and Reform Committee and referred to in its January 11, 2022 letter—is making it seem increasingly likely that there was, in fact, a conspiracy, its aim being to suppress the notion that the virus had emerged from research funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), headed by Anthony Fauci.”
3) “Despite the growing warnings, the U.S. Department of Defense is inadequately prepared for a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.”
4) “There is a growing eagerness on the right to talk frankly about the crisis of masculinity in America, and to defend traditional manliness against an ascendant left that wants to destroy it. A robust defense of manliness is salutary, and long overdue. But it requires defining what manliness is, and what it is for, because not everyone on the right seems to know.”
5) “Republican senators are unmoved by Tucker Carlson’s relentless warpath against support for Ukraine — even as it widens an existing rift in their party.”
6) “[T]he particular character of our emerging intra-elite conflict is historically unprecedented, because it’s heavily female. America has been producing more female than male graduates since the 1970s, and the same has been true in Britain since the 1990s. The imbalance might be relatively slight (though it's grown less so: 60/40 female to male at some elite US colleges now) but over the decades it compounds. The consequence has been, as numerous articles are now pointing out, an increasingly female-skewed ruling class. I put this together with Turchin’s theory of elite overproduction, and Joyce Benenson’s research on female-typical aggression, to suggest that much of what looks like ideological conflict within institutions can plausibly be read as a conflict for increasingly scarce resources conducted in the female key.”
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