Kunstler vs. North

New York

Gary North:

“My objection to Kunstler begins with the title of his website. I choose not to repeat it here. You can click through. http://www.kunstler.com/index.php

He is a Leftist. He is a foul-mouthed Leftist. But the main problem with Kunstler is not that he is one more Leftist critic of the free market. It is that his columns get reproduced on Right-wing sites. He therefore gets credibility. He deserves none. …”

James Howard Kunstler:

“Last week, extreme right-wing, hyper-patriot blogger and “Christian Reconstructionist” Gary North published a piece that bounced around the Web titled “JAMES HOWARD KUNSTLER: FOUL-MOUTHED APOLOGIST FOR THE GOOD OLD BOYS.”

My point, of course was that the chain store business model, and WalMart in particular, has destroyed local Main Street economies all over America, as well as the networks of social relations that went with these economies, in which local business owners employed local people and had to take responsibility for how they treated them. The damage to American civic life ought to be self-evident in the desolation of thousands of crumbling traditional downtowns, the extermination of a whole class of local business owners (and the local institutions they cared for), the funneling of business profits out of every local community to a few corporate bank accounts in distant places, as well as the desecration of the once-rural landscape outside our towns, now a uniformly profaned wilderness of parking lots and the tilt-up warehouses of chain-store commerce.

My further point was that the WalMart model of business now faces its own demise as America contends with the realities of a what will prove to be a permanent energy and capital formation crisis, requiring us to downscale our activities and rebuild fine-grained local networks of economic interdependency. …”

Oddly enough, the classical liberal Gary North accuses James Howard Kunstler of being “a foul-mouthed Leftist” while Kunstler, who is a reactionary who is deeply skeptical of “progress” and who defends “local economic networks” and traditional social relationships, accuses North of being “an extreme right-wing, hyper-patriot blogger and Christian Reconstructionist.”

About Hunter Wallace 12341 Articles
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46 Comments

  1. Wen the drummers and fife played the world turned upside down as the marched out their redoubt to surrender they hit the nail on the head. The world is also inside out.

  2. Disclaimer – Not the “John” above …

    I’ve been a semi-regular reader of “Clusterfuck Nation” for years and even though I viscerally hate the Judaists, Kunstler’s viewpoint on what the hell has gone wrong in the secular world isn’t far off from being 100% correct. As a society we’ve been programmed to be materialistic pigs (Kunstlers relatives taught us to be and we have been quite willing students) and with the adoption of that psychology, we now have no sense of community. The “Walmartization” of the economy and it’s effect on Main Street is prima facia evidence of such and Kuntsler is spot on in his criticism.

    On the other hand North defends the indefensible because of the supposed “economic efficiencies”. He is an open-borders economic libertarian and as much a tool of destruction as those he attacks.

  3. North’s ONLY valid criticism is of Kunstler’s urban-cosmopolitan, copulation-excretion “language.” English language only, please!

  4. Sorry but this:

    “My point, of course was that the chain store business model, and WalMart in particular, has destroyed local Main Street economies all over America, as well as the networks of social relations that went with these economies”

    Is complete bullshit.

    Taxes, regulations, lawsuits, and endless paperwork killed the mom and pop store, You can’t believe some of the rules and regulations you need to follow now, just to open the simplest place. When the place passes from POP to SON, the kids don’t feel all that work is worth it for the risk of being in business and the small profits.

    Small storefront business was already dead. Walmart just stepped into the void that was left behind.

    Thinking about the last 4-5 Walmarts that I know about that have been built recently, they all moved into areas that were already damaged, with empty storefronts and little retail activity left.

  5. “[Kunstler] accuses North of being “an extreme right-wing, hyper-patriot blogger and Christian Reconstructionist.”

    North *is* an extreme right-wing, hyper-patriot blogger and Christian Reconstructionist (an extreme form of Calvinism.) And a highly entertaining one at that. I think North is spot on about economics and our impending default.

  6. These damn, greedy, unscrupulous Jews are the most vile of anything breathing that walks upright. They are so damn full of themselves, and their arrogance and hubris is downright repulsive. Anyone who still believes the myth that they are poor, innocent victims of discrimination and envy has not had enough contact with them. They’ve been wrecking nations for 3,500 years from ancient Egypt to today’s entire Western World. Like the cockroach, they keep breeding and infesting.

    Hey, did you read that Charlie Rangel has introduced legislation (H.R. 748) that will allow Obama to conscript our youngins (18-25), if and when HE needs em? On behalf of the Jews and their lackeys, of course.

  7. Never heard of North. I skimmed both pieces. My first impression of North is that he is not worth reading. Kunstler probably is downplaying factors other than competition from Wal Mart that contributed to the demise of the local store. PF makes some good points. North’s contention that Wal Mart improved the situation because local merchants were a local oligarchy is too stupid for words.

    North seems an example of a conservative who reflexively defends the free market without understanding there is capitalism of production and a capitalism of exploitation. North is defending the latter.

    I think it’s clear in retrospect the fascist economic theoreticians were right.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strasserism

  8. “The damage to American civic life ought to be self-evident in the desolation of thousands of crumbling traditional downtowns.” – It ought to be, but that isn’t the fault of big businesses.

  9. About this:

    Kunstler is right about the costs of a centralized economy.

    I don’t know Hunter, maybe he is right. Centralized Economy is generally, all else being equal, a bad thing. Problem is that as soon as I see someone like Kunstler spout broken-windows logic or anti-walmart stuff I just move on. Partly because I don’t have the time or patience for this nonsense, partly because their entire reasoning is called into question so why continue reading.

  10. Kuntsler is a New York City Jew, try to cover up the crimes of his tribe. The destruction of downtowns a cross America was the result of the Jew push for intergration and desegragation for blacks NOT Walmart.

  11. The magazine shop is part and parcel of civil right too.
    Things made in chinese sweatshops sold to debt laden sheep. While zombies make it tough to go it alone.

  12. If you have lived in a black or hispanic ghetto, as I have, your neighbors, some of whom may pretend to be your friends will steal your stuff if they have 1/2 a chance. But they won’t admit to it, and tell you it was for your own good. They are just sneaky thieves, and low.

    Liberals will steal your shit and tell you that they are actually helping you, making the world a better place, and that your objections are a sign of mental illness, racism and other wrong-thinking maladies.

    I find the former a lot easier to deal with. Which is to say I hate leftist, totally and completely. And in so far as Kunstler is a leftist he’s not a useful critic of things. Because his criticism will always round back to simplistic Marxist and leftist critiques, mostly of “the existing order”. Today he is criticizing WalMart, but if he won that crusade he could easily move onto the “tyranny of heterosexual marriage” or some other lefty clap-trap.

    It’s puzzling that so many right wingers and smart people have been sucked into this bullshit.

  13. Gary North is a smart man, but must be read with circumspection. I once read his recent column wherein he argued that outsourcing and foreign manufacturing are a good thing, since it lowers the prices for goods. He also argued that not as much is made in China as we think, and that according to government economic figures, there are more things made in the US.

    His first point misses the point that while the cost of goods is certainly lowered by using foreign labor, the means for Americans to purchase these goods is also reduced because of increasing unemployment. But Gary has a day job, so it may not be an issue for him.

    His second point challenges common sense, since anecdotal evidence seems to point to the fact that almost everything we buy is made in China. I checked his “government figures” (which were based on gross dollar amounts) and, wouldn’t you know it, they included housing. Well…ye-es, Gary. Houses are big ticket items, and they still made here. But I won’t embarrass you by mentioning the obvious: it is much too cost prohibitive for houses to be made in China and then shipped across the water.

    I could be wrong, but guys like North would probably sell your (maybe not their) first born if they thought they could make a profit out of it. But I don’t want to misunderstand his intellectual good-will. Gary is no doubt a very pious Christian man. I suspect, however, that when the rubber meets the economic road, he’s more Judeo than Christian.

  14. I hate that thing they say all the time: “Americans love cheap goods.”

    In reality, Americans are afraid in a centralized economy of when their next “hit” is going to come, either through corrupt health care, or identity theft, or whatever. So, they “save” by buying cheap stuff.

    Americans HATE cheap stuff.

    And strip mallization. Someone was bitching yesterday about how the grocery stores are being turned into Grand Central Station like venues. Like kiosk shopping, with deli bars, bakers, florists, book stores, turning it into the nyc mall cultures. (And with nothing healthy at all to eat in them).

    A NET who must have been like this Gary North Person, was carrying on recently about how great America is, since it’s not China, and here “you can get anything you want!”

    What a materialist jerk. I can’t get ANYTHING I want, lol. (Peace & quiet, non-alienating cultural experiences, areas without heinous crimes, libraries with books that would interest me instead of cheap “bestsellers” and more)

    And anyway—- we had family who traveled in China, and the way they described the stores was EXACTLY LIKE WAL MART. (warehouses of cheaply made cookie cutter goods).

    It’s just like we used to hear communist countries were—but they arrive at it, in a different way.

  15. Walmart is a symptom of a multicultural breakdown though. It’s part and parcel of the evisceration of genuine subcultures.

    Good point about them moving into Places AFTER smaller vendors are chased away. It’s not always their competition that forces others out of business. It’s literally the coon
    Population that does the damage.

  16. At Stalingrad the Germans and Russians fought over Mag.

    It was a Soviet Walmart before Walmart. Look it up.

  17. One thing to keep in mind about Gary North in this context is that the ‘free market’ is a religious dogma to him. He will promulgate the free market creed regardless of any demonstrated impact to the economy or increased unemployment. No market has ever been sufficiently ‘free’ to measure up in his mind to what a market must be to deserve the title of ‘free’. Every failure in a ‘free’ market is due to that market not really being ‘free’.

    When it comes down to it, his vision of a ‘free’ market has never existed in a large economy nor will it ever exist. It’s very similar to that communist university professor who claims that the nations under Stalin et al were not true communist economies. Thus, any failings with them cannot be put at communism’s doorstep. What most people who rally dogmatically behind ‘isms’ forget is that this is an imperfect world populated by imperfect people. What they see in their mind’s eye will never be real.

  18. Another example – Gary North was 100% absolutely positively certain no way around it that Y2K would literally result in the collapse of civilization. Being in the IT business in the late 90’s and working on the transition to the year 2000, I came across him and his claims. It was quickly apparent he didn’t know what he was talking about. An evening discussion over beer between him and someone in the IT/software industry should have been sufficient to dissuade him from spouting that nonsense.

  19. North’s bio says he has a PhD in history. The way I look at it, I don’t care if he is the second coming of Edward Gibbon. If he’s not perceptive enough to see that in the current context Von Mises and Rothbard’s ideas are a dead end for Western civ he is not worth reading.

    The notion niggers alone ruined small town business is ridiculous. They might have ruined some small towns in the South. The nigger factor doesn’t explain why businesses started shutting down all over the Midwest, North and West in the 70s/80s.

  20. North *is* an extreme right-wing, hyper-patriot blogger and Christian Reconstructionist (an extreme form of Calvinism.) And a highly entertaining one at that. I think North is spot on about economics and our impending default. – Rudel

    Rude- what IS ‘extreme right wing’ these days? Someone who would agree with JFK’s political platform from 1963? Yes, for that is the point I continually make- I AM one of those ‘extreme right wingers’ whose basic economic policy lines up pretty much with the Democratic platform of JFK’s – so, what does this semantic thrust LEFT tell us? That names such as ‘right wing’ mean NOTHING. If Jews and their minions define reality, then the UNreal becomes the new REAL, and we’re all screwed.

    I would also question your presumption that the Christian Reconstruction crowd is an extreme form of Calvinism. I consider them (historically speaking) to BE the only claimants to either a) Protestant Christendom, or b) the heirs of Calvin left standing, since the PCA has now defected to multiculturalism, (as was predicted in the 1980’s) while the PCUSA is nothing more than the UMC with some bagpipes thrown in (very rarely- both groups have pissed on their Celtic forebears), and the Kinists take what Rushdoony (North’s former father-in-law) wrote SERIOUSLY, unlike the rest of America’s “Xtianity.”

    Yes, North was a disciple of Rothbard. So, he’s stuck intellectually in the 1960’s, but do dismiss his insights as you dismiss his person, is criminal. Why side with the God-forsaken JEW, Kunstler, anyway? The enemy of my enemy is my friend. And frankly, I’d eat at a table with North decades before I’d break Matzos with the Kunst.

  21. “I would also question your presumption that the Christian Reconstruction crowd is an extreme form of Calvinism. I consider them (historically speaking) to BE the only claimants to either a) Protestant Christendom, or b) the heirs of Calvin left standing”

    My point exactly. Calvinism has reached its extreme natural limits (again) with Reconstructionism.

    “but do dismiss his insights as you dismiss his person, is criminal.”

    I dismiss neither his insights nor his person. He is a knowledgeable writer and a disciple of the Austrian School with a sense of humor (a difficult combination to find sometimes.)

  22. Jackson:

    Today he is criticizing WalMart, but if he won that crusade he could easily move onto the “tyranny of heterosexual marriage” or some other lefty clap-trap.

    You dont’ read Kunstler very much. He despises the gay marriage debate and bashes it as a distraction from real problems. He’s also been accused of being a racist — see it on teh C-realmpodcast.podomatic.com where thre are accusers, and JHK defends himself. Race the the Long Emergency is undeniably racist, NOT THAT THERE’S ANTYHING WRONG WITH THAT! LOL!

    He calls himself a liberal and a democrat, then bashes modern liberals adn democrats as an insider, more effectively than we can.

  23. Mindweapon-Kievsky writes: “He calls himself a liberal and a democrat, then bashes modern liberals and democrats as an insider, more effectively than we can.”

    Not a brilliant tactic or strategy at all, but only more confusion, I think. North makes a valid criticism of Kunstler’s blog title that, as North implies, marks him clearly as a non-Christian. But I’m not a fan of North either.

  24. Kunstler is a lot closer to truth than North. The notion the that rise of Wal Mart was good for small town America is so comically false and absurd it approaches delusion. I note also that North didn’t have the balls to call Kunstler a Jew choosing instead to go with the tired “he’s a left wing elitist” meme. Kunstler had no problem labeling North a hick Nazi.

  25. “Rudel – Kim Novak – thoughts?”

    It’s not exactly my brain that is stimulated when contemplating Kim. She certainly strikes a fine figure of Slavic womanhood. What a body! Those tits are real.

    In 1976 she gave up on her very bad girl Hollywood ways, married a veterinarian and semi-retired (except for Falcon Crest) to rural Oregon. She’s 80 years old now.

    Given how babe-a-licious a lot of Czech, Baltic, and Russian women are I never understood Der Fuhrer’s hatred of Slavs. They look a lot better to me physically than many Germans; and Prussians look fairly Slavic as does Berlin have a Slavic feel to it compared to a city like Munich.

  26. I just learned who Kim Novak is, but she seems “air-headed” in the interview I watched (watched some of) and I don’t see why popular “thespians” and pop culture in general are important for us to study. Rudel, I always thought it was natural to desire a spouse of “thy own people” (not first cousins, however) and a German or Anglo-Celt should be able to sense that Slavs are different.

  27. There is nearly always a continuum of genetic traits, with few “leaps” or sharp contrasts. Rudel, you noted the “Slavic feel” of Berlin, unlike Bavaria, along the continuum of German grading into Slavic, through Prussia and Poland.

  28. “I don’t see why popular “thespians” and pop culture in general are important for us to study.”

    One would think that they are not, but photos of beautiful movie stars are an aesthetic reference point we can use when discussing physical beauty. Attractiveness and sex appeal are hugely influential in natural selection.

    BTW, first cousin marriages are certainly genetically unhealthy but even second cousin marriages can result in an slightly increased load of pathologically recessive genes. It’s best to marry at least a third cousin for optimal genetic health for the offspring.

    Of course going even farther afield for a mate can yield spectacular results. Here is my favorite Scottish/Hungarian Jewess. Absolutely yummy!

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_0MAh0_Oa3iU/TRGGq54CHrI/AAAAAAAAFiY/zVtUdCErfAg/s1600/Ali+MacGraw+1.jpg

  29. My father was stationed in West Germany in between tours in Vietnam. He occasionally flew provisions into West Berlin. I don’t recall him mentioning Mongols running around and raping kraut women on the other side of the wall.

    There had been a few incidents with American niggers and local bar girls, though.

  30. “I don’t recall him mentioning Mongols running around and raping kraut women on the other side of the wall.”

    It was during and after the Battle of Berlin in 1945 you moron.

  31. “If he’s not perceptive enough to see that in the current context Von Mises and Rothbard’s ideas are a dead end for Western civ he is not worth reading.”

    If you don’t think that the indiscriminate printing of fiat money is the root cause of our financial crisis then you aren’t even awake let alone “perceptive.”

    Please stop posting. You are both economically illiterate and stupid.

  32. Rudel,

    I just looked back at my comment. I didn’t even mention fiat money, not that fiat money is necessarily bad. It has been around since the 18th century.

    Try to keep up.

    Is it senility, or is it Alzheimer’s?

  33. “I just looked back at my comment. I didn’t even mention fiat money’

    ORLY?

    “If he’s not perceptive enough to see that in the current context Von Mises and Rothbard’s ideas are a dead end for Western civ”

    Austrian economics is all about fiat money and why it always leads to a loss of value to the currency. Sound money is not a “dead end” for Western civilization but instead is a sign of a healthy banking system and economy.

    The dollar has lost something like 95% of its value since the establishment of the Federal Reserve Bank and most of the loss has occurred since FDR confiscated all the gold in private hands and when Nixon took us completely off the gold standard on August 15th 1971.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2012/09/04/give-the-gold-standard-its-due/

  34. Both North and Kunstler prove that both sides in an argument can be wrong.

    I seldom read North’s polemics, too much of a fruitcake much of the time, soiling an otherwise pretty good web site, Lewrockwell.com

    Kunstler I can take some of the time, he’s dead on with his evaluation of the Wal-Mart and other similar businesses and their models. The Interstate Highway system, modeled after the National Socialist built Autobahns in Germany, enabled Wal-Mart. Still, I don’t care if they exist, local “Mom ‘n Pop” stores were gouging customers for most of their existence.

    On the other hand, Kunstler is a strong believer in Peak Oil Theory which is, in reality, a hoax perpetrated by the same people continuing the Anthropogenic Global Climate change hoax. There is 500 to 1000 years petroleum resources in known locations within the US borders today, and more will probably be identified in the future. The main issue with US reserves of petroleum is not all of it is located in places with good connections to cost effective transportation systems, such as pipelines and oil tanker ports, and new refineries aren’t being built these days.

    Every southern state ought to have their coastlines and land masses explored for oil reserves, and each southern state should have its own petroleum refinery and petroleum receiving port.

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