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The Accidental Research of David Skarbek’s The Social Order of the Underworld

2,372 words

David Skarbek
The Social Order of the Underworld
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014

As long as academia compels its scholars to write books in which they avoid asking questions about race, discerning readers will ask such questions for them. The Social Order of the Underworld is one such book. Nominally, it is a study which uses economics to explain prison gangs and their function, structure, and behavior. On this account alone, the book is enlightening, engrossing, and at times fascinating. From the perspective of the political Right, The Social Order of the Underworld becomes invaluable for the data it provides, even though author David Skarbek makes no mention of this. Indeed, his work confirms the very basis of much Right-wing – and especially Alt Right – thought: that human beings are fundamentally tribal and racial by nature, and, when placed in situations unconstrained by any official or legal authority, will cluster among themselves and regard out-groups with suspicion.

This is what I call “accidental research.” A scholar uncovers data which bolsters forbidden perspectives and either ignores it all (as Skarbek more or less does), tries to downplay it, or actively argues against it. In either case, we’re richer for having this book on our bookshelves, despite the author not exactly being a hero for the cause.

Skarbek organizes his book almost like a high-level flowchart, with each chapter leading logically, almost inexorably, to the next. Between chapters, he interpolates absorbing anecdotes which are directly apropos to his central thesis: that gang members are for the most part rational actors, and that gangs have formed to meet the inmates’ quite natural need for order, protection, and extra-legal governance. In fact, Skarbek uses his “governance theory” to challenge existing theories explaining the social order in prisons. It’s a specialized field with scant scholarship to be sure, but Skarbek’s novel reliance upon economic models and the respectable amount of data and firsthand accounts he collects must certainly have made some waves in his corner of academia when it was published in 2014. Whether it will have any widespread impact on prison policy remains to be seen.

Skarbek begins with a general description of his governance theory. The second chapter discusses what’s known as “the prison code” and its rise and fall. Chapter three marks the rise of prison gangs, interpreted through the prism of general governance. Chapters four and five deal with the internal workings of the gangs. Chapter six addresses the formidable reach of prison gangs beyond the walls which contain them. And the final chapter contains Skarbek’s conclusions and recommendations for reducing the influence and power of prison gangs. And that’s it. Usually I find books with few but long chapters somewhat tedious or burdensome, but Skarbek, in clear, unpretentious prose, makes it work. That his subject matter is rife with tension, violence, and tragedy certainly helps make this a page-turner as well.

Prior to the 1950s, when white inmates still outnumbered minorities two to one, there were no prison gangs to speak of. Instead, much of the order behind bars was achieved through norms which were eventually consolidated into what’s known as the “convict code.” Prisoners, of course, didn’t have reliable recourse to prison authorities to help solve their problems or administer justice in their dealings. So they looked to the code to help guide their behavior. Skarbek describes the code thusly:

Inmates are to refrain from helping prison or government officials in matters of discipline, and should never give them information of any kind, and especially the kind which may work harm to a fellow prisoner.

In other words, keep cool and don’t be a rat. There’s more to it than this, of course, but these are basically commandments one and two when it comes to pre-gang prisoner conduct. Inmates who respected the code got respect. Those who didn’t, didn’t. And if a certain inmate violated the code often enough, he could face disesteeming, ostracism, or even violence from the other prisoners. None of this was official, of course. Norm-based governance is, if anything, decentralized and informal. Yet for a hundred years, it worked.

Another interesting finding shows how race and ethnicity were downplayed during the age of the convict code. Not only did fewer inmates feel the need for a strong affiliation with distinct groups than today, but many of the informal groups which enforced the code and settled disputes (called “tips” or “cliques”) were interracial. Skarbek quotes novelist, screenwriter, and actor Edward Bunker, who served time at San Quentin in the 1950s:

. . . [A]lthough each race tended to congregate with their own, there was little overt racial tension or hostility. That would change in the decade ahead . . . [W]hat I did for a black friend in the mid-fifties is something I would never have even considered a decade later.

Edward Bunker might be most famous for playing Mr. Blue in Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs in which, early on, he opined about his favorite Madonna songs. He also co-wrote the screenplay for the excellent 1985 prison escape film, Runaway Train, and penned a handful of novels, including the riveting No Beast So Fierce, which was published in 1973.

Skarbek identifies four rapid demographic trends which weakened the convict code in the 1960s and ultimately relegated it to secondary status in the age of prison gangs by the 1970s:

  • The overall increase in the prison population
  • The increase in racial diversity within the prison population
  • The decrease in the average age of the prisoners
  • The increase in the proportion of violent offenders in the prison population

These three changes, more than anything else, caused turmoil in prisons. The relatively smooth social order dictated by the convict code was forever shattered, and inmates now required something stronger and more centralized in order to survive, let alone help solve their problems. Because prison authorities could not provide such services, inmates had no choice but to form gangs.

Skarbek draws certain parallels between the rise of prison gangs and underworld organizations such as the Sicilian and Russian mafias. As described in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas, the Mafia served essentially to “protect people who can’t go to the cops. That’s it. They’re like the police department for wiseguys.” While this is certainly true, prison gangs wield much greater control over prisoners than mafias do over ordinary citizens on the outside. For one, they quite literally keep the peace. In the 1970s, after the initial turbulence caused by the demographic changes listed above, prison violence and riots declined steeply in accordance with the rise of prison gangs. Second, going well beyond the convict code, prison gangs required that inmates set aside former rivalries and swear lifelong allegiance to the gang. Many of these gangs, such as the Mexican Mafia and La Nuestra Familia (the two most powerful Hispanic gangs in California) even have written constitutions, official questionnaires for new inmates, strict by-laws, quasi-military hierarchies, and significant tattoo requirements. Third, while it is not true that every inmate in a particular prison is in a gang, it is true that the majority of inmates are affiliated with them in some way.

Finally, and most importantly, prison gangs revolve entirely around race. Blacks stick with blacks, whites with whites, and Hispanics with Hispanics. Different races will certainly do business with each other (most often over narcotics and other black market contraband) and there are rules of conduct in these circumstances as well. There may even be some wiggle room when it comes to low-level, interracial fraternization, especially during peacetime, when business is booming. However, when the shivs are drawn, the races stick together, no exceptions.

Chapters four and five delve into the inner workings of prison gangs and demonstrate the surprising meticulousness with which they operate. Below is a flowchart illustrating complex relationships and hierarchies found in La Nuestra Familia:

Not shown in this chart is the ingenious check and balance of captain appointments. While a general can construct a hierarchy among his captains, he cannot appoint them except in war. Under normal circumstances, captains can only be appointed by vote among the lieutenants and soldiers. So, if the rank-and-file are displeased with their general, they can elect captains who will be more likely to buck his authority.

While making his case that gangs provide essential governance to prisoners and fill economic niches only found in the joint, Skarbek is not blind to the violence, terror, rape, and abuses gangs inflict on otherwise (for lack of a better word) innocent inmates. Like any political organization, gangs also suffer from corruption and incompetence, which in the long run does much to turn former members into stool pigeons or dropouts – a class of inmate as despised as child molesters. He makes it clear that just because gangs have good reasons to exist does not mean they are always good.

Before concluding his book, Skarbek also answers the mystery of how several hundred incarcerated gang members of a particular gang can wield such fearsome power over the thousands who compose the street gangs in their former neighborhoods. The answer seems straightforward and obvious in hindsight, but it really isn’t. It’s also one of the best reveals of The Social Order of the Underworld, so I will leave it to those who actually read the book to find out.

Even beyond its accidental research, Skarbek’s study has its flaws. For one, it concentrates mostly on Hispanic gangs, with the Aryan Brotherhood coming in a distant second. Perhaps this is because Skarbek intentionally limited his study to gangs in California and Texas, the two states with the largest prison populations. Either way, he doesn’t offer an explanation. Very little attention is devoted to black gangs. Perhaps they’re not as organized as their Hispanic and white counterparts, or perhaps a deeper study of black gangs would challenge some of his conclusions or recommendations. Again, Skarbek does not say.

To any reader on the Right, however, the accidental research of The Social Order of the Underworld screams mainstream academia. Granted, it is not as bad as it could be – Skarbek doesn’t recognize the data’s importance to the Right and then attempt to explain it away (as Nicholas Wade did to some extent in his otherwise excellent A Troublesome Inheritance). Still, I would expect many Right-wing readers to greet The Social Order of the Underworld with the same jumble of gratitude and annoyance they greet any mainstream work which accidentally strengthens their convictions.

Essentially, Skarbek sets a beautiful table, but expects us to eat standing up. He fails to point out that prisons are essentially a microcosm of humanity, and that much of what goes on there has direct parallels throughout history. What did the age of norms have that the age of gangs lack? Quite obviously, a white majority. When whites ran the show in the joint, things were relatively calm and orderly, little centralized governance was required, and race wasn’t a big deal. As soon as whites lost that majority, however, violence and overall thuggery increased, as well as the need for murderous organized crime syndicates to keep prisons from descending into utter chaos.

Skarbek exerts no intellectual effort in explaining why this is, despite there being scholarship that explores this very issue. Kevin MacDonald describes the individualistic and non-clannish nature of whites in his The Culture of Critique, and many of his findings are played out here. Further, a wealth of prison data and scholarly information on racial and IQ differences can be found at American Renaissance, which could also shed a buzzing, yellowish fluorescence over what goes on in prisons. Skarbek seems to take for granted the need for prison gangs in order to construct his governance theory, and neglects to include any potential genetic component for this need.

Furthermore, Skarbek ignores obvious parallels throughout recent history. As white America became less white in the twentieth century, the need for stronger, more centralized government (as promoted by the increasingly non-white Democratic Party) increased, just like it did with prison gangs. Increasing as well was the corruption and abuse which often accompanies such an increase in political power, just like it did with prison gangs. Skarbek pays some lip service to how these tumultuous changes in prisons came on the heels of the Civil Rights movement. But nowhere does he connect the dots between increased Hispanic immigration and black freedom, on one hand, to the rise of violence and racial tribalism in American prisons on the other. For Skarbek, it was racial diversity, among other things, which caused this, not the faults or defects of specific races.

Perhaps there is something uniquely genetic about whites that keep them from needing so much governmental control? Perhaps there is something uniquely genetic about non-whites – blacks and Hispanics, especially – that make them more brutish and violent, thereby increasing their need for governmental control? Skarbek’s data seems to point in this direction, but Skarbek himself seems too well-mannered to actually say so. Instead, he would rather unconvincingly propose that the best way for prisons to get a handle on their gang problem would be to create an environment which lessens the need for the governance gangs provide. In particular, Skarbek calls for the release of more prisoners into society, making prisons more “liberal” when it comes to contraband and other inmate restrictions, and, in general, employing more police in crime-ridden areas. Despite presenting some data to support these recommendations, he fails to realize that if you attempt to artificially limit the prison population, then extra police won’t be able to do much good since there will be fewer places they can put the bad guys after they arrest them. Further, with more liberal policies in prison, criminals won’t have a healthy fear of incarceration, and will therefore have fewer inhibitions when deciding whether or not to commit crimes in the first place. And this says nothing of the problems that an increased number of criminally-minded people roaming in freedom can cause.

Skarbek essentially wishes to foist the problem of gangs back onto the general public and call it a solution, which is doing little more than smearing lipstick on a pig. Along with all the accidental research found in an otherwise valuable book, this kind of pig-headed thinking is, sadly, the least accidental thing about it.

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23 Comments

  1. R_Moreland
    Posted May 21, 2017 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    From Beyond the Black River by Robert E Howard:

    “Barbarism is the natural state of mankind,” the borderer said, still staring somberly at the Cimmerian. “Civilization is unnatural. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarism must always ultimately triumph.”

    What is being described in the prison system reflects what is going on in the bigger picture. The mass migration of third world peoples into the first world results in the formation of tribal, warlord type societies. This can be seen in the gangs which dominate many American inner cities as well as the new European urban No Go zones. Gangs organize around a proven leader, stake out their territory, engage in raiding against competitors, terrorize unwary civilians, and generally disregard the norms of civilization.

    Governments attempt to deal with gangs in the way they would deal with first world criminals:
    * Conservatives speechify about “law and order,” declare wars on crime, and fill up the prison system with more inmates (who then are recruited into ever more fierce gangs).
    * Liberals beat their breasts over inequalities and reduce the gangs to a “problem” which can be “solved” by more social programs and even more expenditure of taxpayer moneys (the failure of generations of such programs goes completely by the boards).

    Some law enforcement officials have described the situation in American cities as a quasi-insurgency, given the extent of gang activity. And we are not just talking about the Bloods & Crips but transnational heavy hitters like MS-13. There’s the terroristic aspect of driveby shootings and many American inner cities have become No Go zones. Cologne and Rotherham need to be seen in light of the mass sexual assaults which are tactics in insurrections from Liberia to South Africa. The various waves of minority rioting in the US and now Europe are as mini-Tet offensives, where the insurgents come out into the open to engage the forces of order, then fade back into their sanctuaries. Regardless of tactical defeats, they continue to gain ground.

    Globally, much of the third world is reverting to warlord type organization. Warlord armies-gangs control the human and physical terrain in both favelas and failed states. The Islamic State is expanding the realm of non-governmental control, and we can note that the countryside of Afghanistan is in the hands of tribal and religious militias, this in the face of massive firepower from Coalition air and ground forces. Libya, once an island of stability, has become a battleground for warring factions as well as a gateway for mass African-Islamic immigration into Europe (and hence more No Go zones, more rioting in the streets of Paris and Malmo, more terrorism and gangbanging, etc.).

    Once upon a time, White people might have viewed third world populations as the barbaric “other,” incapable of assimilating into modern civilization. Allowing a mass third world migration into Europe or America would have been seen as having the same end as the Romans inviting, say, the Vandals to settle in Hispania or Africa. You bring in the “other” without assimilation, and you import their political organization with its warrior code, eventually losing sovereignty in your own country.

    More recently, functioning colonies like Congo and Zimbabwe have been turned over to native populations which were largely tribal and (by the standards of a bygone imperial era) “savage.” Then people wonder why these lands degenerate into tribal conflict, terrorism and Big Man rule. Any kid who stayed up to watch Late Show broadcasts of movies like Zulu and Khartoum understood Howard’s point: there is a gap between the civilized and barbaric, and if you do not defend your own civilization it too will be destroyed by the barbarians.

    But we live in more ideological times. Making the distinction between civilization and barbarism will not gain the candidate any points on their PhD committee nor win any corporate-government grants. If anything, first world elites are motivating the process of barbarism via promoting the various “Spring” revolutions, importing third worlders into Europe-America, holding back the cops in the face of rioting, and using their control of the media to bang the drum for the invaders.

    There’s a lesson to be learned. Expecting the system to defend the interests of White people just may be an exercise in futility these decadent days. Whites need to self-organize, form their own warlord bands, and carve out a space for a new civilization. And in that Whites may create their own triumph.

    • Proofreader
      Posted May 21, 2017 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      In Ideas Have Consequences (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1948), Richard M. Weaver wrote the following on the “bourgeois mentality,” which he thought was “psychopathic in its alienation from reality” (p. 107):

      “It is curious to see how this mentality impresses those brought up under differing conditions. I recall with especial vividness a passage from Walter Hines Page’s The Autobiography of Nicholas Worth. Page, who grew up in the Reconstruction South and later went North to school, had received his earliest impressions in a society where catastrophe and privation had laid bare some of the primal realities, including the existence on evil — a society, too, in which the ‘primitive infection’ of the African race, to use a term employed by Jung, had developed in the white man some psychological cunning. It seemed to Page that his northern acquaintances had ‘minds of logical simplicity.’ Such, I think, must be the feeling of anyone who comes out of a natural environment into one in which education, however lengthy and laborious, is based on bourgeois assumptions about the real character of the world. It is a mind which learns to play with counters and arrives at answers which work — in a bourgeois environment. If we reverse this process and send the ‘mind of logical simplicity’ into regions where mystery and contingency are recognized, we re-enact the plot of Conrad’s Lord Jim. There is a world of terrifying reality to which the tidy moralities of an Anglican parsonage do not seem applicable.”

      White people need to rid themselves of “bourgeois assumptions about the real character of the world.”

    • Leon Haller
      Posted May 23, 2017 at 2:30 am | Permalink

      Brilliant comment. I, too, have long thought that we need to emphasize less “White power” or “White honor” (which concepts mean little to today’s postmodernist douchebags), or even “White culture” (and by implication its superiority and preservation), but rather, how mass Third World immigration is de-civilizing and barbarizing the West (and not merely disrupting us culturally in ways mass-media-absorbing douchebags would fail to appreciate). [I would also add “bankrupting” – Trump rarely if ever mentioned the sheer cost of immigrants, despite such mainstream conservatives groups as the Center for Immigration Studies providing a wealth of data on what a “bad deal” mass immigration is today.]

      The great issue for White activists and old-style conservatives which we still have in our pockets is that of “law and order”. Why are we failing to make clear the obvious linkages between immigration and criminal barbarism? Why don’t White populations intuitively draw the correct conclusions from skyrocketing immigrant crime? What if anything will ever awaken our people? And if, as I have argued, a majority of our people will NEVER be awakened until such time as they shall lack the physical power to save themselves, how can we White Preservationists save OURSELVES, and not just individually, but communally?

  2. Montefrío
    Posted May 21, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Runaway Train, a long-time favorite, is a ZEN movie even as an adapted Kurosawa screen play. Sorry, but it has zero to do with white nationalism and everything to do with spontaneity and free will. I could go on at length about why the movie is not “Nietzschean”, why Oscar Mannheim doesn’t “sacrifice himself” to save anyone (they mean nothing to him), etc., but it’s a beautiful autumn day and I prefer to go back outdoors and enjoy it.

    • Martin
      Posted May 21, 2017 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      Spontaneity and free will, i.e. Dionysian and Apollonian. Mannheim doesn’t sacrifice himself to save anyone, i.e. not Christian.

      Like I said, Nietzschean. Kurosawa may well have intended it as a Zen story, but as for the finished film, Voight’s character is a far better representation of the ubermensch than of the bodhisattva.

      • Montefrío
        Posted May 22, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        Thanks for the comment and observations. I’d venture to say, however, that the “bodhisattva”, while a Mahayana construct, is more closely associated with Tibetan Buddhism than with Zen. Nonetheless, perhaps the time has come for me to re-read Nietzsche, whom I confess to not ever having liked overmuch. Even at 17, Zarathustra seemed a bit over the top.

        I’m surprised you don’t mention Manny’s alter ego: Warden Rankin, the actual “prisoner” in the movie. For my money, the best line was spoken by Eddie, the old school florid-faced railroad traffic manager who replies to the computer kid, the one who got his face shoved in the toilet, when the kid is kvetching that he just doesn’t get that how with all the modern technology (“all this junk” if I recall correctly, while in the background on the teevee a space shot is being shown), things aren’t working, the older guy, in suspenders over a pajama shirt, playing with paperclips, calmly states “Some things just can’t be explained”, a very Zen statement indeed.

        “Ubermensch” is NOT a Zen idea. It’s kind of faggy in fact, and the only thing truly wrong with the movie is that there’s a bit of a faggy undertone. Is the movie a white nationalist movie? Perhaps. I simply don’t know enough about the whole concept to comment with anything approaching authority on it. Some interesting writing on this site, though, and I’m enjoying it.

        • Martin
          Posted May 23, 2017 at 12:37 am | Permalink

          Upon rewatching the film, I have to conclude that there is little to no Zen in it. The comment you reference, “Some things can’t be explained,” might be consistent with a Zen outlook, but it’s so generic that it hardly identifies it as specifically Zen or Buddhist. The only other comment was one by Oscar Mannheim, when he says, “Winning, losing, what’s the difference?” which is like the Buddhist idea of not being attached to loss or gain. But again, even apart from being generic, Mannheim says it in a rather defeatist manner, which is not consistent with one who has transcended such distinctions.

          There is nothing faggy or homoerotic in the film. Other than the effeminate black inmate who holds the sign during the boxing match in the prison, there is neither mention nor hint of homosexuality anywhere, so I don’t know what “faggy undertone” you’re talking about.

          That the Ubermensch is not a Zen idea is both true and irrelevant. It’s not a Sufi idea either, so what? The Mannheim character is an expression of ideas or ideals that are Nietzschean and also inspired by Dostoyevsky. I had forgotten that the film’s director was Andrei Konchalovsky, a Russian filmmaker with a slew of Soviet films behind him before he made this film in 1985. The film takes place in Alaska, and uses the arctic environment to excellent effect.

          Warden Ranken describes Mannheim as a man who “believes in nothing and is capable of anything,” which is a statement of Nietzsche’s idea of active nihilism, substantially developed later by Julius Evola. As if to hammer home the point, Mannheim says to Ranken, “What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger,” a direct quotation from Nietzsche.

          • Montefrío
            Posted May 23, 2017 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

            I failed to make myself clear: the movie is a Zen movie (at least as far as I’m concerned) because its main character ACTS rather than speaks. Zen is also all about training/practice rather than ideas and discussion. The comment I mentioned wasn’t supposed to refer to Zen; I simply liked it because it’s very, very true. “Understanding and “explaining” become irrelevant in the face of experiencing.

            There’s more, but why bother with it?

            The relationships between Manny and Jonah, Manny and the hero-worshipping kid, well… Sorry, but the “blond beast” comment above smacks of faggotry to me, as does pretty much all of the “superman”/”ubermensch” posturing.

            Evola’s “understanding” of Buddhism was deeply flawed (yes, I’ve read his books) and as to his sexuality, well, lots of posturing, and unpleasant and imho unnatural posturing at that.

            I’m all for “race realism”, not in favor of promoting miscegenation, but not unconditionally opposed to it either; hibridization has its merits in some cases. And like it or not, it’s not likely going away.

            I appreciate this site for providing me with well-crafted insights and references to societal ideas outside the mainstream and of considerable intellectual interest, but I’m beginning to conclude that I’ve lived my life (I’m 70) following a different path from that I see being carved out here. I’m an anti-modernist along the lines of Christopher Dawson and Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn (whose work I learned of thanks to neighbor W.F. Buckley) with respect to Europe and its culture and civilization and its importance to human culture and civilization as a whole. That said, European culture and civilization is not the ONLY culture worthy of note: see Joseph Needham’s Science and Civilization in China for an example of what I mean.

            Good luck to you folks, and thanks for your contributions. I suspect most commenters here are far younger than I, so I respectfully submit a suggestion based on long and varied experience: lighten up a bit when taking into account experience versus ideas.

          • Martin
            Posted May 23, 2017 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

            @Montefrio (sorry, there is no reply link on your comment)

            Manny and Jonah are brothers. I’m not sure if that’s supposed to be literal or not, but either way, it’s not homosexual. The relationship between Manny and Buck is that of an older and wiser man to a younger and less experienced one. There is zero hint of pederasty or anything like it. The fact that you read these relationships as faggy indicates that you don’t understand male friendships, or heterosexual male friendships. It’s one of the worst features of the contemporary culture – deconstructing masculinity and admiration for more masculine men – heroes – by always insinuating that it’s somehow gay, and therefore unmanly, which makes most men shudder away from it. Hence the modern idea that the only “real” men are the fat, buffoonish sitcom dads. Or childless hedonist alcoholic skirt-chasers – who will eventually become the former, at best.

            “Splendid blond beast” is Nietzsche’s line, a rather famous one. Some have argued that there is a homosexual element in Nietzsche. Maybe so, I don’t know. But that’s irrelevant to the film. Also irrelevant to this discussion is Evola’s sexuality and his understanding of Buddhism, or lack thereof. I only referenced his understanding of Nietzsche. Mind you I’m not advocating for Nietzsche’s active nihilism, merely arguing that this is what informs the film.

            You seem to consistently conflate my remarks with those of other commenters or with some vague notion about what everyone associated with this site supposedly believes, and thus you end up disagreeing with statements that neither I nor anyone else made. I never said that the film is white nationalist, nor did anyone say anything about other groups not having worthy cultures.

            What you say about valuing experience over ideas is true, and is also a feature that both Zen and Nietzsche’s philosophy have in common.

    • Prester John
      Posted May 22, 2017 at 6:20 am | Permalink

      ” but it’s a beautiful autumn day”

      You might be right, but what I want to know is where you live; it is spring where I am?

      • Montefrío
        Posted May 22, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        Thanks for reply.

        I live in the southern hemisphere, South America, Southern Cone. I have part-Latino grandsons (Mom is a Spanish-Arab-Guaraní mix) but my son and I are Norman Irish/Anglo-Saxon, so given that we also live in a non-totally-white society, I was drawn by curiosity to this site. I moved here 13 years ago for a number of reasons, not least of which was my belief that the multi-culti trend is almost certainly irreversible and one would be wise to best adapt to that projected reality. I thus chose a country that has very, very few blacks and is not likely to have any in the foreseeable future. My two grandsons are very fair-skinned and appear 100% European; their mother looks Mediterranean. The local mestizos are nothing like what one finds in the USA and this village could pass for Mayburrito, USA, given the friendliness of all, the total absence of crime, etc. One needn’t intermarry if one prefers not to, but in many ways, I’m convinced that this area is the final frontier for the West, given that we don’t have the inward migration that is likely to wreck the northern hemisphere.

        • Leon Haller
          Posted May 23, 2017 at 2:12 am | Permalink

          Give it time, pal. Until what I call The Principle of Diversity is decisively (morally) rejected en masse throughout the civilized world, literally nowhere is guaranteed safe forever – or even for very much longer.

          • Montefrío
            Posted May 23, 2017 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

            Thanks for the reply. As far as “give it time” goes, I’ll soon be 71, so I’m not quite sure how much time I have left to give, but my bet is that I’m “safe” where I am and the same will be true for my descendants. By setting up shop here quite some time ago, we’re at present quite well positioned to maintain a reasonably secure and comfortable position in our community. An anecdotal example: we are about to celebrate a major holiday here and the main feature of it is an equestrian parade with the riders in traditional costume; nearly all wear ponchos and wide-brimmed hats, but my three-year-old grandson (blond and blue-eyed) wears a top hat, frock coat and lace-trimmed shirt and his pony is led by a local police officer on foot. That’s viewed as the natural order of things, so I suspect we’ve got some time to keep the run going. I suspect it will last longer than you may think.

            Forever? Perhaps not, but “forever” is beyond my imagination. My guess is we “white” folks down here will manage into the foreseeable future. Up there? I agree it’s best not to count on it. “Diversity” is a runaway train that may prove very difficult to derail.

    • Prester John
      Posted May 22, 2017 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      I also want to point out the subservience of blacks to whites in the movie. At the boxing match it is a black homosexual that is up-and-shaking his booty in Daisy Dukes at the audience. It is a black orderly that is pushing Mannheim around in his wheelchair, and saying “Yes Suh.” It is a dumb black prison guard that Eric Roberts “shines-on” and sneaks Mannheim pass. Blacks are definitely displayed as inferior. So, there are racial elements in this film, and on these alone I will state again that it is a “white nationalist film.” I just saw the most revolting thing here at the library. A mudshark brought her two white daughters to the library, and the nigger just talked to the teenaged girl like she was a piece of shit while the mudshark mother stood around with her head hung down. I’ve gotta go; I am kinda drifting towards a rage.

  3. Jorj
    Posted May 21, 2017 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Excellent review. Would you be willing to disclose that final revelation to a curious reader? I keep thinking about it and my reading list is already long.

    • Spencer Quinn
      Posted May 23, 2017 at 5:45 am | Permalink

      Hi Jorj. The only hint I will give is that it is on page 138. Cheers!

      • Jorj
        Posted May 23, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

        Thanks for the answer. I relented and bought the book and went straight to that area. You were right. It does make sense.

  4. Vick
    Posted May 21, 2017 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Skarbek also did a Ted talk. It’s on YouTube.

  5. Old Bullion
    Posted May 19, 2017 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    So you have an academic who blinds himself to the influence of race on the subject matter in his book. And then an academic institution excludes an Nobel Laureate because he DOESN’T blind himself to the influence of race on human society:
    http://www.vdare.com/posts/nobel-laureate-james-watsons-talk-on-cancer-research-canceled-due-to-more-deplatforming-by-science-denialists

    Perferct! Oh, and by the way, excellent review.

  6. Martin
    Posted May 19, 2017 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Excellent review. If I might quibble a bit, describing prison as a situation “unconstrained by any official or legal authority” is perhaps a poor choice of words. Rather, I think it’s a situation in which, despite literal restraint by legal authority, stress and scarcity causes a reversion to more basic modes of organization and survival.

    One of the unfortunate things about prison gangs’ lifelong allegiance requirement is that it often forces men to continue a life of crime after they’ve been released from prison. A man joins a gang in prison in order to survive. Then, when he’s released, the gang reminds him that he owes them, and so he has to help other gang members in some of their illegal activity. Then he gets busted and goes back to prison. And you can’t even fully blame the gang for wanting more members inside the walls, because for each (racial) gang, numbers are a key to dominance and survival.

    Interesting tidbit about Edward Bunker that he co-wrote Runaway Train. It was originally a screenplay by Akira Kurosawa, and it is quite simply the most Nietzschean film that has ever been made. Jon Voight IS the splendid blond beast. I would like to see Trevor Lynch tackle this one.

    • Prester John
      Posted May 20, 2017 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      Agreed “Runaway Train” is the most Nietzschean prison movie. I have long thought it should be included in the lists of white nationalist films. You have (((Kyle T. Heffner))) bragging that he created the system, and that he would spank that trains big fat ass. You have Stacy Pickren playing a clueless white, blonde, bimbo, assistant to (((Heffner.))) You have T. K. Carter playing a bumbling, black, assistant to (((Heffner.))) You have Jon Voight the Nordic, blond, berserker, beast who is always at war with the system. You have Eric Roberts who is the product of of a younger generation that has been disenfranchised by the Jews. You have the lovely Rebecca De Mornay a white, Nordic, female who is trying to function as man in a traditional man’s job. At the end Voight sacrifices himself so that Roberts, and De Mornay can survive. The only thing wrong with this film is the Jew back in headquarters is allowed to survive.

      • Martin
        Posted May 21, 2017 at 7:27 am | Permalink

        Voight’s character is the best portrayal of Nietzsche’s ubermensch ideal that I’ve seen, with his total dedication to training and his total focus and willpower. Nietzsche referenced Dostoyevsky’s observation in The House of the Dead that the men he met in the Siberian prisons were the toughest men he’d ever encountered.

        My favorite line is when Eric Roberts’ character comes back into the train car, having failed to do what needed to be done. “I can’t do it, I can’t do it,” he says. Voight looks at him contemptuously – and yet with a strange kind of compassion – and says, “You don’t know what you can do.”

        It’s the morality of the Nietzschean system, which Jonathan Bowden spoke of – the weak can be helped to become stronger. That is fundamentally the relationship between those two characters.

        • WWWM
          Posted May 24, 2017 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

          Runaway Train was my favorite movie from when I first saw it as a teenager. No one else I knew could even stand to watch it. Now that others have pointed out the connection to philosophy and racial consciousness, it clears things up for me. Without getting too sappy, it really means a lot that others appreciate this film (that is very hard to find) and interpret in the way they do. Probably never would have figured this out on my own.

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