Masculine Conservatism and Feminine Conservatism

One male, one female, but both represented a very masculine, active conservatism

Contemporary political philosophy suffers from an inability to accurately define terms. Political discussion has been so inundated with lies from all quarters that no-one any longer knows what anyone else is really talking about. This essay makes an attempt to make sense of conservatism by teasing it apart into recognisably masculine and feminine strands.

Like its synonym ‘right-wing’, conservatism is usually equated with a will to keep things the same as they are now. This seems to be naturally implied by the root verb ‘to conserve’. In most cases, this makes a lot of sense. The balance of power has traditionally been held by men, by the religious and by the wealthy, and these are generally the same people who promote and support conservatism.

In some cases, however, it makes less sense. Why, for example, would a conservative support mass immigration to America of low-skilled Mexican workers? Such an action not only fails to conserve the status quo but actively disrupts it. Why also would a conservative support the introduction of government surveillance measures like the PATRIOT Act? Such an action also marks a distinct change of attitude on the part of the American Government towards the people.

One solution to this dilemma is to think in terms of vertical or horizontal dominance hierarchies. Another potential solution follows from the understanding that conservative attitudes divide neatly into two major strains. The basic dichotomy could be considered between active conservatism (or masculine conservatism) and passive (or feminine) conservatism.

The core tenet of masculine conservatism is that people have a moral obligation to take action to impose order; in other words, an obligation to take action to reduce chaos. This is a missionary, evangelical form of conservatism in that it goes out into the world looking for disorder to impose itself upon. It’s an extremely popular sentiment in the New World, because the immigration histories of these countries selected for people willing to impose order upon chaos, on account of that the New World had so much chaos.

Done correctly, this masculine conservatism can lead to a person being able to maintain a complex system at high performance for a long time. A doctor who makes a diagnosis is operating to reduce the chaos in their patient’s body; a mechanic who makes a diagnosis is operating to reduce the chaos in their client’s vehicle.

The core tenet of feminine conservatism is that people have a moral obligation to not change anything, to maintain the status quo. This strand of conservatism is the one that makes appeals to “tradition” so as to justify not changing anything. Change is here seen as disruptive, destructive, stressful – and fundamentally unnecessary.

In an ideal situation, these two impulses overlap so much as to be indistinguishable. After all, if things are already in good order, there’s no pressing reason to change anything, and therefore a desire for the status quo is a desire for good order. Moreover, in such a situation, a desire for good order is a desire for the status quo, so a conservative can simply copy what their forebears did to succeed.

In the situation we have inherited, these two impulses are far away from harmonious co-operation. Another way of expressing this disharmony is to consider it in terms of fault lines within the conservative movement. Anti-conservative forces might target the loci of these divisions between masculine and feminine with agitprop intended to further the divide.

There are two ways to do this. The first is to draw attention to a situation of persisting disorder, because one half of the conservatives will want the situation to persist and the other half will want the disorder to be resolved. The second is to draw attention to a situation of disintegrating order, because one half of the conservatives will see this disintegration as a natural process and the other half will want to retain that which is at risk of being lost.

The two strands of conservatism that this essay considers masculine and feminine are extremely powerful – if they work in unison – but, if they don’t, the overall system is fragile and highly vulnerable to direct pressure from the outside.

*

If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

Why Immigration Is a Weapon Of The Parasitic Rich

The parasitic class has many different strategies for destroying the mutual trust among the people – and opening the borders achieves several of them at once

Many were surprised, and many were not, by the news that the New Zealand Bus Drivers Union was opposing the request of Ritchies to import 110 indentured servants in the form of “migrant bus drivers”. Those who were surprised were those who thought that the union, being comprised ostensibly of leftists, ought to support bringing third-world people in to compete with the indigenous working class, because leftists are supposed to be all about solidarity for poor brown people.

Those who were not surprised were those who understand how reality works. The reality is that Ritchies put in such a low bid for the bus drivers’ contract that they couldn’t fill the positions with Kiwi staff, because the supply of people willing to work at wages that they can’t live off is almost nil. There is now an established precedent, however, for Kiwi employers who can’t find enough local suckers to subsidise their parasitic lifestyles: immigration.

Much like American employers with illegal Mexicans, Kiwi employers have cottoned on to the fact that maximising profitability is a function of minimising wages, and that minimising wages is a function of the leverage the employer has in the negotiation, and that this leverage is vastly increased if the worker is illegally in the country or wholly dependent on the whims of the employer for future work.

Not only does immigration give the local ruling class great power by populating the land with people dependent on them, but it also strengthens their economic position by destroying the leverage that local workers have in employment negotiations. This destruction of leverage is achieved by destroying the amount of trust that people have for each other, because solidarity is necessary to resist the depredations of the parasitic class and solidarity is primarily a matter of trust.

Game theory* tells us about the factors necessary for the evolution of trust.

The first is repeated interaction. People rarely trust others if they believe that they will never meet that other again, and for good reason: it makes sense from a game theory perspective to be more likely to exploit a person who you will never see again, for the reason that they will not be able to take revenge.

The greater the flow of people, the less repeated interaction there is. At one extreme end, there is very little solidarity in an airport terminal, for the reason that the vast majority of interactions here will not be repeated. At the other extreme, there is immense solidarity among members of a pioneer family deep in the Canadian wilderness, for the reason that virtually all interactions will be repeated.

The second important factor is the capacity for social interactions to be non-zero-sum games. In other words, trust only develops when social interactions result in clear mutual benefit. If either side feels like they lost out from the exchange, trust will dissipate.

Many people will make the claim here that immigration grows the overall size of the pie, for the reason that each new immigrant, even if they take up a job, creates at least one job’s worth of demand for other goods and services. This argument is often touted as a counter to the “Lump of Labour Fallacy” and, to that end, it has merit. But this argument ignores the impact of social status on a person’s well-being.

Social status is a zero-sum game in the sense that the higher one person is up the dominance hierarchy, the lower someone else must be. Low social status is extremely stressful – perhaps it wouldn’t have to be experienced as such in an ideal world, but we don’t live in one. In our world, a native person having to accept a lower social status than an immigrant is regularly experienced as a humiliation, for the reason that the native feels pushed out, as if by a cuckoo hatchling.

In a social environment where immigration means that the natives have to accept lower positions (such as an unemployment benefit in lieu of a living wage, as in the case of the indigenous bus drivers in the opening paragraph), there will naturally and understandably be resistance from those natives. This means that forcing it on those natives, against their will, will inevitably have the effect of causing those natives to hate the immigrants instead of trusting them.

The third important factor for the development of trust is to have low levels of miscommunication. As everyone who has spent any time on the Internet knows, clarity and precision are the cornerstones of communication, and when you have hordes of jabbering retards you end up having arguments and fights.

The greater the diversity, the greater the levels of miscommunication. This is because you have more languages and dialects to contend with, and any given person has an upper limit as to how many of these various forms of communication they can master. Exceeding this limit – which is guaranteed to happen if diversity keeps increasing – will cause miscommunication to happen.

Increasing the rates of immigration has the effect of bringing a diverse range of different forms of communication into everyday life, which increases the likelihood of someone misunderstanding someone else. So the greater the levels of immigration, the greater the levels of miscommunication and therefore the lower the levels of trust.

Who benefits from all this destruction of trust? The cheaters. The very same parasite class who entreats the Government to let them import indentured servants instead of paying a fair wage to local workers who are looking for employment. They benefit immensely from the destruction of trust, because an environment of distrust makes the people less able to organise to resist the hoarding of wealth, and this shifts the balance of power in favour of the wealthy.

The greatest trick the rich ever pulled on the poor was to convince them to open the net of solidarity so wide that no-one in it has anything in common with each other any more. The circle of trust has been cast so wide that it has fallen apart, and the traditional ways of re-forming bonds of trust have been destroyed or are severely discouraged.

This makes about as much sense as opening your pantry for the neighbourhood rats and mice to come and take their fill, on the grounds that rodents are disadvantaged compared to humans and therefore solidarity with other humans is a form of supremacism.

* For an outstandingly brilliant demonstration of the basic principles of game theory as it pertains to trust, see http://ncase.me/trust/

*

If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

The Ultimate Evil Is To Continue To Exist

To live is to destroy

You! You are an aggressor! There is no way that you can exist on this planet otherwise. All of us have to carve a niche out of Nature, with violence or treachery, for there is simply no other way to survive. So malicious are you that you commit the ultimate evil – to continue to exist!

Every living creature has a need to metabolise in order to stay warm. This metabolisation requires energy, which means food, which means a need to eat, which means a need to kill. In order to live, you have to kill!

Every bit of food you have ever eaten was a living being that had to be killed so that you could eat it! What right do you have to assert the primacy of your own existence over that of another being, over a fellow creation of God? The morally correct thing to do, in order to avoid bringing suffering into the world, is to lie down and starve to death!

Worse, as a mostly hairless ape, you also have a need for shelter – and there’s no other way to build a house than by carving a space out of Nature for yourself. This means destroying the habitats of other creatures.

150 square metres of floor space means 150 square metres of land on which no forests can grow, and through which no streams can run. It’s 150 square metres worth of trees that had to be chopped down, with all the bird and insect life supported by it destroyed.

Neither can you escape your own energy needs. Driving a car around consumes oil – a finite energy source, and one that has to be extracted at the price of more environmental damage. Reading this website requires electricity, which requires energy. All the goods in your house were shipped to you by transportation methods that required energy.

Collectively, these demands meant even more coal mines put down, even more oil wells sunk, even more valleys wiped out by hydroelectric dams. To use energy is to render parts of the Earth to chaos!

There’s nothing you can do about any of these things! To continue to exist is to destroy – for only through destruction can one continue to exist!

To reproduce causes even more damage. The facts are stark: the single most ecologically destructive move a person can make is to bring another human being into the world – a human who will have to eat, to shelter themselves and to use energy, and at ever-increasing appetites!

Worst of all, merely to keep existing means you run the risk of bringing more conscious life into the world to suffer. Even if you don’t intend to breed, you might meet a certain person who causes a massive dump of some hormone to be released by your brain and then you fall in love and nek minnit you have eight children, all of whom must find their own way to come to terms with the fact that they are mortal creatures in a world of ceaseless slaughter!

If you should stop existing, on the other hand, not only does it become impossible to bring more conscious suffering into the world in the form of human offspring, but one also vacates a niche within the biosphere that can (and will) be occupied by gentler, kinder forms of life.

Think of the biomass of the worms that would eat your corpse!

You should be killed!

*

If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

Buddhism is Incompatible With Abrahamism, But Fully Compatible With Luciferianism

The apotheosis of Buddha came not through grovelling, sadomasochism and superstitious entreaties, but from lucid, rational and brave introspection

The fashionable talk today is about interfaith dialogue. All of sudden, everyone’s trying to emphasise what the world’s various religious traditions have in common. Some even go as far as to say that all religions worship the same God. Despite the absurdity of most of this fashionable lip-flapping, this essay will argue that, at least, Buddhism is compatible with Luciferianism.

Some say the reason for this interfaith dialogue is that talking leads to fewer misunderstandings, which leads to less violence. Leaving aside the fact that Abrahamism causes 99%+ of the world’s religious violence anyway, the problem with Abrahamism is that the more one learns about it, the less one respects it. Even worse, the more time one spends around its followers, the less one respects it.

On the face of it, there are several major ways that Buddhism appears utterly incompatible with Abrahamism. On the other hand, although Buddhism could never find peaceful co-existence with Abrahamism, it could find it with Luciferianism.

The major tenet of Buddhism is that one acts in a way that minimises the suffering of other sentient beings. The principle behind this is compassion, in that the suffering of those other beings is an important thing that ought to be taken into consideration. A related teaching is the interdependence of all things, which cultivates an appreciation of the effects that one’s actions have on the well-being of other creatures.

There are no such concepts in Abrahamism. Working to reduce suffering is incidental to following the directives of God – if homosexuals are to be put to death then so be it. God says so. It matters not whether this action reduces or increases the suffering in the world. Likewise, women have to be put in their place, and non-believers persecuted. Compassion doesn’t come into it; all that matters is submission.

Luciferianism doesn’t really have set instructions for what to do about the suffering of other conscious beings. Cruelty, however, is seen as petty, small-minded, even bestial. The Abrahamic insistence on male infant genital mutilation appalls the Luciferian, who tends to see it as a gross violation of power with superstitious origins.

This attitude of submission (and of forcing submission) is another way in which Buddhism is not compatible with Abrahamism. For example, Buddha said:

“Don’t blindly believe what I say. Don’t believe me because others convince you of my words. Don’t believe anything you see, read, or hear from others, whether of authority, religious teachers or texts. Don’t rely on logic alone, nor speculation. Don’t infer or be deceived by appearances. Find out for yourself what is true and virtuous.”

This is an extremely Luciferian attitude. Here, Buddha appears to be saying explicitly not to worship him, not to see him as something higher. A Luciferian would understand that one cannot take another person for an authority on how we all got here or what we’re doing, while a Buddhist might contend that the nature of God is irrelevant.

By contrast, Abrahamism preaches submission to dogma. Questioning the priest is not the done thing, because he speaks with the authority of God. Whereas a Buddhist teacher will sit at the front of a class and take questions, which are answered honestly, the Abrahamist preaches from a raised pulpit, and takes no questions. Questions imply free-thinking, which is a sin because it correlates negatively with submission.

Buddhism doesn’t demand that anyone bow down to anyone else. There is no self-appointed “God’s Representative on Earth”. A Buddhist would not give any credence to anyone claiming to speak for God, for any reason – the Pope has no more spiritual authority than a schizophrenic street prophet. The shiny silver that high priests are bedecked with will not convince a Buddhist that they know what they’re talking about.

What matters to the Luciferian, like the Buddhist, is a methodology by which truth might be discerned. Abrahamism is not a methodology – it is a dogma. Where the Luciferian and the Buddhist might meet on equal terms to discuss strategies and tactics of mutual interest, the Abrahamist presumes to dictate the truth, and the right to enforce submission to this truth with violence.

It seems like Buddhism appeals to the same sort of people as Luciferianism. It may be that both traditions arose to meet the challenges of their time and place: Buddhism with immense physical poverty, and Luciferianism with suffocating environments of spiritual lies, misdirections and untruths.

Buddhism deals with the lies of the senses and the mind, and Luciferianism with the lies of the Abrahamists. They are both master moralities, in contrast to the slave philosophies of the desert.

*

If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

Kieran Read Quits Rugby For Cricket, Citing Head Injury Concerns

Kieran Read speaks to the media outside his Papakura home this morning

New Zealand and the rugby world have been shocked this morning by the announcement that Kieran Read is retiring from rugby union effective immediately, and has set his sights on making the Black Caps squad “within the next 18-24 months”. Read, who has 108 caps for the All Blacks, told the nation this morning that several years of minor knocks to the head have made him decide that enough is enough, and he has been forced to make decisions with his long-term wellbeing in mind.

Read, who played for the Crusaders as well as the All Blacks, is convalescing from back surgery for a slipped disc. Spending this time with his family, including his two young children, gave him an appreciation for the long-term risks of brain damage from repeated blunt force trauma to the head.

“Rugby is a great game and always will be a great game, and I have had a great career,” Read explained to a media scrum outside his home this morning. “But I have also had a very long career, and a career in an age where rugby players are heavier and faster than ever before. I’ve taken a number of blows to the head in my dozen years as a professional rugby player, and the past few weeks have made me realise the importance of being there for my own kids, in the future, in good mental health.”

Reading from a prepared statement, Read mentioned the recent news coming out of the NFL about the long-term effects of repeated head trauma, and how this, along with increased attention being given to the issue by way of Head Injury Assessment protocols, changed his previously casual attitude. Recent research appears to be suggesting that up to 40% of former NFL players suffer from brain damage – and they have helmets. Rugby players don’t tackle with the head, but rugby is still a collision sport.

“Spending time playing with my kids, and feeling headaches like I do, forced me to ask whether it was necessary to risk further brain injury. I have given my all for the All Blacks and for the various teams I have been involved with, and on balance have decided that it’s time to put my family and my head first.”

Speaking exclusively to VJM Publishing’s Dan McGlashan, Read says that he’s put out the feelers to New Zealand Cricket but isn’t expecting miracles. “I’ve spoken to Hess [Black Caps coach Mike Hesson] and he’s made clear to me that there are no guarantees about selection. I’ll be judged on my merits, primarily as a batsman and initially for my Papakura club side, and we’ll take it from there. No guarantee about any ‘X-Factor’ weighing in my favour like Jeff Wilson got.”

Read was a useful cricketer in his high school days, going as far as representing New Zealand in Under-17 cricket, but felt forced to make the decision to focus solely on rugby as a demanding professional career loomed. In an age of cricket where the importance of defence is minimised in favour of massive hits, the 6’4″, 111kg Read stands in the same category as Chris Gayle and Kevin Pietersen as a man who can swing the willow extremely hard.

It’s not yet known who will replace Read as All Blacks captain, but the front runners are believed to be Crusaders captain Sam Whitelock, who has taken more of a leadership role in recent years, and openside Sam Cane, who captained the All Blacks during their 2015 Rugby World Cup match against Namibia.

*

Dan McGlashan is a regular contributor to VJM Publishing and is the author of Understanding New Zealand.

Should There Be A Ministry of Men’s Affairs?

Life is so much harder for men in New Zealand that they kill themselves at almost three times the rate of women

Many people were shocked, and many were not, by Julie Anne Genter’s comments this week about old white men. Speaking to Cobham Intermediate School pupils, Genter made the point that some of these old white men “need to move on and allow for diversity and new talent.” These statements were made in her capacity as Minister for Women, but if you look at the statistics, it seems like there’s more need for a Minister for Men.

The reason for a Ministry of Women’s Affairs was ostensibly to close the gaps between the well-being of women and men. Since the advent of Abrahamic religion in the West, women have been forced into a subservient role, being forced to take the blame for the fall of man as well as for invoking the horror of Nature. Biblical passages such as Timothy 2:12 instructed Christendom that “I do not permit a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man; she is to remain quiet.”

Ever since these male supremacist religious cults invaded the West, our women have been forced to endure structural abuse. Divorce was banned, forcing women to endure permanent relationships with violent men. Prostitution was banned, denying women natural opportunity for economic advancement. Abortion was banned, forcing women to carry unwanted children to term or else risk a back-alley abortion from a “doctor” with no licence.

By any objective measurement, women had the worst of it for a very long time, and, when we realised this, we tried to make up for it with things like feminism and Ministries for Women’s Affairs. What we’ve been slow to realise is that, now that advantage is mostly a matter of obedience to the political, educational and commerical authorities, women have it better than men in many regards.

Most obviously, women have a much easier time of things in academic settings. Page 38 of the document linked in this paragraph demonstrates that women get better grades in literacy, and page 42 shows that they also get better grades in numeracy. This disparity is even worse for men at university level, which New Zealand women are 40% more likely to participate in.

When men had higher university participation rates than women, the media couldn’t keep quiet about how sexist and evil this state of affairs was. Indeed, this was one of the stated reasons for bringing in a Ministry of Women’s Affairs in the first place. An inequality of outcome in terms of education and gender was simply impermissible, immoral, outrageous.

In 2015, 527 New Zealanders killed themselves, of who 384 were men (72.8%). That means for every Kiwi woman who feels so rejected by society that she is compelled to take her own life, there are almost three Kiwi men who feel the same way. This is greater than the gap between Maori and non-Maori suicide rates, which is itself considered a large enough gap to be a national tragedy that demands immediate action (indeed, there is a Ministry of Maori Development).

So if society is so bad for Maori people that they need their own Ministry, as evidenced by suicide rates, and if society was so bad for women that they needed their own Ministry, as evidenced by tertiary participation rates, then surely there is sufficient cause to say that New Zealand men need someone looking out for them as well?

It’s absurd to claim that women are disadvantaged compared to men because men earn 20% more, when at the same time men are killing themselves at almost 300% the rate of women. It’s doubly absurd when it’s considered that women are benefitting immensely from the way that the pension system is set up, at the expense of predominantly male workers.

If the experience of being a man in New Zealand is so much less pleasant than the experience of being a woman that it carries triple the risk of suicide, it’s time to take steps to redress the balance by instituting a Ministry of Men’s Affairs to make up for all the privilege that women hold.

*

If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

Why Are The English So Poor At Sport?

Sometimes it hurts to be English – especially when playing against Southern Hemisphere sports teams

It could never be said of the English that they are poor sports, but they are poor at sport. Almost astonishingly so. For a nation of 50 million, their historical sporting achievements are dismal: one Soccer World Cup, one Rugby World Cup and a small hatful of Olympic medals are all they have gathered thus far. This article looks at why England is so poor at sport despite massive population and economic advantages over most of their opponents.

There may not be any sport more English than Test match cricket. Not only did England invent the predecessor – first class cricket – but they were also the first to start playing the highest level of the game internationally, with Tests against Australia and South Africa. They’ve been at it the longest, and they have more money behind it than anyone else.

Despite that, their Test cricket record isn’t the greatest. They just got a hiding in their most recent Test – losing by an innings – to New Zealand, a nation with less than a tenth of the population and economic resources. Not only did England lose, but they were bowled out for 58 in their first innings – an outcome that can be rightly described as a humiliation.

Nor was this a fluke – New Zealand are ranked higher than England in Tests, as are Australia, South Africa and India. This outcome is an unlikely as America inventing basketball yet being ranked lower than, say, Argentina.

England doesn’t do any good at rugby union either, despite having invented that also. Although they have been hyped for months by the media as the No. 1 challengers to Steve Hansen’s All Blacks, the English side crashed to 5th place in this year’s Six Nations, a result almost as bad as their group stage exit in the 2015 Rugby World Cup. They are regularly destroyed by teams like New Zealand and Ireland, and this year copped a hiding from Scotland, despite that these nations are but one-tenth of England’s size.

At this point, an Englishman might contend that both cricket and rugby union were relatively niche sports in England and that the major sporting preoccupation was and is, by far, soccer. Australia’s favourite sport is cricket and New Zealand’s is rugby, so those sports attract their best athletes – it’s not surprising they win. England’s best athletes play soccer.

The obvious problem here is that the English don’t do any good at soccer. Despite winning the World Cup in 1966, they haven’t come close since. Nations of similar size and economic power, such as France, Germany and Italy, put English achievements on the soccer field to shame. England hasn’t won a Soccer World Cup in half a century; Germany has won three, Italy two and even Argentina has managed a couple of wins in this time.

England’s best result, in their favourite sport, at any point in the past 50 years was a 4th place finish in 1990. So given the size and power of England, their lack of sporting success demands an explanation.

In essence there are two major reasons why English sporting prowess is so feeble: one eugenic, one spiritual.

The eugenic reason is a question of history. The British Empire was the largest that the world had ever seen, at one point covering one quarter of the world’s land area. Considering that Britain itself is just a small speck off the European coast, it meant that there were enormous new frontiers of land that needed men to work them.

These frontiers needed a certain kind of man. The land was untamed; it needed muscle to clear it and to build the new settlements and roads. Roads had to be dug from hillsides, forests had to be cut down by hand. There were frequent military threats from angry natives, and these needed to met by men with the strength and will to defend a plot of land with violence. Big, strong, tough men.

Over the course of a few centuries, the English divested themselves of their most physically impressive genes, as the carriers of them, being naturally more adventurous, tended to move to the colonies, leaving the sickly, lethargic and weak behind. This means that the modern English population bears all the hallmarks of centuries of dysgenic selection in favour of physical weakness.

The spiritual reason might also be a question of history. For whatever reason, English people no longer have the will to assert themselves. It may be guilt arising from having built a gigantic colonial empire in which many native peoples were brutally oppressed, or it could be residual trauma from many years of horrific warfare over the past century.

In either case, the English people have been so brutalised by their ruling classes over the past millenium that the populace essentially lives in a state of permanent abuse-generated submission, in contrast to the free and easy Aussies and Kiwis. Muslim rape gangs prey on English girls without fear, knowing that the locals are too cowed to do anything about it.

These historical processes have led to a spiritual vacuum, crippling the English from within. It may be that this absence of spirituality has led to English sports teams lacking the will the assert themselves on the sports field.

*

If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

Henry Nicholls is Legitimately Good – Time to Accept It

Hammerin’ Hank Nicholls is inviting comparisons to Andrew Jones with his bulldog tenacity, scoring solid runs despite an ungainly style

Fewer Black Caps players in recent times have come in for more stick than Henry Nicholls. Frequently derided as a passenger, many commentators have been calling for Hesson to get rid of him for good. This article will argue that not only is Nicholls a legitimately good batsman already, but we ought to accept that he’ll be in the Black Caps for a very long time.

Black Caps supporters have been spoiled rotten in recent years. We have Kane Williamson averaging 51, Ross Taylor averaging 47, and a bunch of players like Tom Latham, Jeet Raval and BJ Watling averaging around 40. It’s probably our best ever batting lineup, even surpassing the Wright-Jones-Crowe one of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

It’s so good that we’ve failed to appreciate the quality record that’s slowly being established by our incumbent No. 5, Canterbury’s Henry Nicholls. After 17 Tests, Nicholls has 837 runs at 38.04 – not spectacular on the face of things, but if we look deeper there are some very encouraging trends in those numbers, not least an average of 49.25 over his last ten Tests.

The vast majority of quality international batsmen don’t hit the ground running, as it takes a while to adapt to the top level of the game. Let’s contrast Nicholls’s returns after 17 Tests to the great Kiwi batsmen: Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Martin Crowe et al. After 17 Tests, Williamson averaged a mere 29.80; Crowe 24.88. Taylor did not get thrown in the deep end as young as Williamson and Crowe, but after 17 Tests he was barely ahead of Nicholls, at 39.46.

Tom Latham’s average after 17 Tests was also 39. All this tells us that, even by way of comparison to New Zealand’s best, Nicholls stacks up pretty good. Some might criticise his style, but he’s scoring the runs. Leaving aside the overall numbers, Nicholls has succeeded in playing a number of excellent innings in tough conditions.

His first excellent innings may have been the 116 he scored in the Second Test of South Africa’s 2017 tour to New Zealand. Nicholls came in at 21/3 after the dismissal of Neil Broom and scored a counter-attacking 116. The Black Caps still lost, but Nicholls’s maiden Test century came against incredibly skilled bowling that had already done early damage.

Less heralded is Nicholls’s 76 in this Test against South Africa in South Africa. The Black Caps lost heavily – the reason why Nicholls’s effort is not feted – but it would have been a humiliating loss were it not for the 76 he scored in the Black Caps’ second innings, coming in at 7/4 after Williamson had edged a cut to slip. 76 runs might not be many, but coming in on a tricky wicket against superb bowling when his team’s top order had been obliterated, it was an innings of exquisite skill.

The crowning work was of course this week’s 145* against James Anderson and Stuart Broad, on a pitch where England had been dismissed for 58 and no other batsman had passed 33 aside from Kane Williamson. Anderson came into the match as the world’s No. 1 Test bowler and with conditions expected to suit him, but neither he nor Stuart Broad succeeded in dismissing the Black Caps No. 5.

If one considers these innings in tough conditions alongside Nicholls’s generally excellent shot selection, it seems like he has all the tools, including the most important one – the right mind for the game. His numbers might not be outstanding, and no-one’s claiming that he’s going to be another Williamson, but if he keeps improving at this rate he could fashion an excellent career.

It’s time for Black Caps fans to accept that Henry Nicholls belongs alongside Williamson, Taylor, Latham and BJ Watling as an established batsman in this Black Caps Test side.

*

If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).