Fred Reed is an interesting guy. He doesn’t fit in any obvious ideological box, but he may be on the cusp of going viral if hillbilly intellectualism is on the rise.
This book is a collection of his writings, which have appeared everywhere from Harper’s to The American Conservative and several military publications along the way. It’s also the sort of book that is best reviewed by letting it speak for itself.
Themes in the book range from race realism to anti-feminism to military reporting to a celebration of what Bob Dylan (and John Derbyshire) has called the “old weird America.”
However, if the book is anything, it’s a chronicle of the decline of the US. I pretty sure the columns in the book were written while Reed was in the process of expatriating to Mexico. As he sums it up:
As Empires die, the barbarians usually gather at the gates, preparing a final rush. Unfortunately our savages are already inside. They are in the public schools, the universities, and downtown in the cities. They make our movies, set social policy from afar, instill appropriate values in our children. They do not know that they are savages. They now rule us, and there is nothing we can do about it.
Except watch. Vast disasters make splendid theater. This one is going to be a doozy. . . .
here is a circus worth the admission, a fabulous suicide, more astonishing than the implosion of the Soviet Union. We see a new kink in the historical rope: a dominant culture, the inventor of the modern world, once supreme militarily, in the sciences, commercially, boisterously confident even thirty-five years ago, suddenly and piously drinking hemlock.
Without further ado, here he is on America’s problems, politics, immigration, women, reporters, diversity, the military, race relations, and other random topics. Enjoy.
1) “Much of the unpleasantness of modern life occurs because we will say ‘No’ to almost nothing.”
2) “Is there anything the courts cannot make us do? I doubt it.” . . .
“The problem with being a nation of laws is that whoever controls the laws then controls the nation.”
3) “The news racket ought to be, and was, a trade of honest drunks. . . . Now reporters are New Age, prissy, and censorious. The men wear lingerie and the women don’t know what it is. You can just tell that if you left them in a fern bar, they would nest, talk about multiculturalism, and lay eggs.”
4) “Some call it sophistication but, if so, it’s the sophistication that comes of growing up in a whorehouse. We celebrate casual bastardy, elevate the sleazy and inadequate to high moral principle. We bathe in civilization’s bilges. I think a lot of us notice it.”
5) “Diversity means students who can barely read, don’t want to, and haven’t the foggiest idea what the purpose of a university might be. . . .
“Where I come from, diversity just means you have to lock your bicycle up. And stay in at night, and carry a gun, and watch your daughter and chickens. And I figure that if people loot stores, they just aren’t civilized, and don’t belong among decent folk, and ought to be in jail. . . . Like I say, I’m simple.”
6) “One marvels that a creed widely doubted in private, unsupported by evidence, and manifestly incorrect, can become compulsory in society, shape its policy, and arouse furious support. Radical egalitarianism is such a creed.”
7) “The military has fallen apart. . . . The problem is (1) feminization of military values, (2) recruitment of low-grade women with no commitment to the armed services, and (3) unwillingness to discipline them.”
8) “We have feminized the schools. Worse, the teachers don’t much like boys. . . .
“There is a totalitarian strain in the female psyche. It isn’t evil, at least not in intention. Quite the opposite—in intention.”
“The trick to civilization is channeling male horsepower into useful directions. . . . A man will not try to force girls to play football. A woman will try to force boys to stop playing it.”
9) “Always it is there: The twisted prissy Puritanism, obsessed by the fear of sex, yet determined to discover salaciousness everywhere.”
10) “We need to sit down and talk turkey about this immigration thing, like men, and not act like State Department types. I mean, we’re not transvestites.”
11) “We’re getting the folks who can’t make it in Mexico—the uneducated, the uncultivated, the ones that show signs of staying that way. . . .
“We’re in the middle of learning whether there is anything at all that cannot be inflicted on the American public—whether people with cable TV can rouse themselves to resist, well, anything.”
12) “People don’t care what kind of gummint they got. All’s they want is a four-by-four, two bedrooms that don’t leak too much, a job that doesn’t make them think, and 600 channels on the satellite. Maybe a Bug Zapper and a six-pack on the weekends.”
13) “The browns are more likely to join the whites than oppose them. They assuredly don’t like the blacks. . . . It doesn’t take much listening, or hanging out in Latino eateries, to realize that blacks and Latinos are more likely to be competitors, or even adversaries, than allies. The cultural gap is enormous, their approaches to life and society wildly different.”
14) “If you want to make sense of the Clintons, the best way is to understand them as the revenge of the Confederacy. Nothing else makes them plausible. . . . My guess is that a secret society, in Montgomery or maybe Chattanooga, figured that the South would never Rise Again, but if they could bring the North low enough, it would be the same thing.”
15) “The media will continue to fan the flames of racial discord.”
16) Why Asian women are attractive: “The Asians, without exception, are sleek, well-groomed, and dressed with an understated sexiness that never pushes trashy. . . . Further, the Asians are what were once called ‘ladies,’ a thought repellant to feminists but so very refreshing to men.”
On American women: “As best I can tell, they don’t like being women. Here is the entire problem in five words.”
17) “Perhaps the oddest idea regarding democracy is the belief that more than five people want it. Other curious notions are that it quite exists, or ever did, or is particularly desirable, or likely to endure. . . .
“We have the trappings of elections, the theater of close counts, the excitement of watching the polls–that is, the emotions associated with a tight football season. But what real influence do we have? Can we divert the remotely chosen path of our children’s education, alter or even speak against the flow of immigrants across our borders, question racial preferences? No. These things are decided for us. We can lose our jobs for speaking of them. The more things matter, the less we can say about them.”
18) “A stereotype is the aggregate observation of many people over time, which is why stereotypes are almost always accurate. . . . Stereotyping means recognizing the obvious. In an academic context, or in the public schools, it means noticing that the wrong groups are better at things. This we must never, ever do.”
19) “What if we are wrong? What if different kinds of people just plain don’t want to live together? What if federal bullying, stamping our feet, and holding our breath and turning blue won’t change things? . . .
“Note that most of the internal violence that afflicts nations occurs between ethnic, racial, and religious groups—not between rich and poor, between those who bowl and those who golf, or between the left-handed and the right-handed. . . . Different kinds of people don’t get along. Why do we not recognize this?”
20) “Today men are accountable for their behavior. Women are not. The lack of accountability, seldom clearly recognized, is the bedrock of much of today’s feminist misbehavior, influence, and politics.”
21) “Crime by the underclass is racial, predatory, and very much targeted against whites. The motive is hatred more often than economic gain. . . . The media carefully, systematically, by deliberate policy, hide these truths. . . . During the Cincinnati riots, I heard through police back-channels of blacks pulling white women from cars and beating them. I didn’t write about it. If I had quoted my sources, they would have been fired for talking. Without sources, I’d have been dismissed as engaging in racist fantasy.”
22) “Note that racial policy invariably assumes that blacks are helpless, shiftless, require hand-feeding, and cannot be expected to achieve. Our managers simply use them as a weapon for destroying society.”
23) “The genius of television is that, to shape a people as you want, you don’t need unrestrained governmental authority, nor do you need to tell people what you want of them. Indeed, if you told them what to do, they would be likely to refuse. . . . No. You merely have to show them, over and over, day after day, the behavior you wish to instill. Show them enough mothers of illegitimate children heartwarmingly portrayed. Endlessly broadcast storylines suggesting that excellence is elitist. Constantly air ghetto values and moiling back-alley mobs grunting and thrusting their faces at the camera—and slowly, unconsciously, people will come to accept and then imitate them. Patience is everything. . . . Few call this imperialism. It is, with a vengeance.”