Just in case anybody was concerned, no, I wasn't killed at any of the recent Islamic murders in Europe in the last few weeks. And I really didn't have much to say about it. My last post stood as an almost miraculous oracle of why Islamic murders happen, and why they will continue to do so. And voila, they continued to do so. And of course, as I said, European governments did nothing of importance to address the problem. Because they can't.
But now some days have gone on without further incidents, so it's time to change topics. I could write about Japan, which has gone through two very important elections, elections for the Senate in July 10th, and elections for the governorship of Tokyo in July 31st. The Senate elections gave a large 2/3 majority to the right, which in Japan it's defined as nationalists who want to change the constitution, apparently to, among other changes, delete the clause that "The Emperor has the responsibility to uphold the constitution". So they want nominally absolute monarchy. Nominally, of course, Japan's emperors haven't counted for shit for thousands of years, and the next emperor in line is known to be a wimpy liberal whose wife spends more time shopping in Paris than attending Shinto rituals.
Some say that Japan will go bankrupt before any constitutional change can be decided on; but financial crises do not stop political change: they accelerate it. Usually in a bad way. As things stand, Japan is on course to enter a rightist singularity of ever accelerating nationalist madness. And lack of money will only fuel the fire. Interesting times.
The Tokyo election was somewhat different: the incumbent, recently elected (2 years on the job) governor of Tokyo, Masuzoe, was busted because of misuse of government funds. The dude was spending big money travelling first class, spending weeks on a time on pointless foreign trips. But that's a long standing Tokyo tradition, his predecessor was even worse than him. The guy was completely busted by the media, and he didn't get it. What have I done wrong? The Tokyo bureaucracy obviously loved the guy, who was never around, so they had free hands to do what they pleased; another long standing Japanese political tradition.
The guy did get it coming in many ways. He was a textbook sociopath, narcissistic fuck who has published dozens of inane books about how awesome he is; multiply divorced, is known to have multiple mistresses, all of them with his children, whom he refuses to support. A nasty piece of work he was. But that isn't immediately disqualifying for office; and in any case everybody knew that before the election, and he got the job anyway. So there's no good theory about why suddenly the establishment went against him. As I am a great believer that the face is the mirror of the soul, please take a look at the guy.
The only plausible reason I can think of is that he was in cahoots with the Koreans. Tokyo has a famous issue with a lack of daycare centers; and the guy canceled a daycare center building in order to sell the land for cheap for the construction of a Korean school. Koreans don't have children; nobody has in Tokyo, there's no good rationale for a second Korean school. Obviously this was about money and patronage; first thing the guy did in office was go on a trip to Seoul and bend his back to the Korean president. And that looks bad. Baaad. Bad! in Japan. So powerful forces started to conspire against him; his arrogance made him look bad in the media, who realized that shitting on the guy got them better ratings; one thing led to another, and the guy got busted. Oh well.
So they held new elections a week ago. And it got interesting because the ever-ruling party, the LDP, i.e. the right, the party of Abe, couldn't agree on a candidate, and thus split. The LDP is the ever ruling party of Japan, running the place almost uninterruptedly since 1945. But like I always say about monarchy, the nominal power structure doesn't mean anything. If there's many parties competing for power, people will organize themselves around that. If there's a single party running the place, people will form factions and bicker inside the single party. The amusing thing about the Japanese LDP is that the faction system is formalized: there are nominal factions, which call themselves "factions", which openly meet in congress centers and conspire for their benefit in front of everyone. It's pretty funny.
The divide lines among the LDP are pretty obvious; especially so in regional centers such as the Tokyo council. Basically it seems that the Tokyo legislature is run by this big old corrupt ogre, which runs a huge pork machine which basically controls the whole of Tokyo. Again tell me if he just doesn't look like a big old corrupt ogre.
Well this guy has been running Tokyo for a decade or so, and for this new election he of course wanted to run his own candidate, somebody who was willing to allow him to run his pork machine for a small commission. And so he got some boring old ex-minister, Masuda. What's funny is that this Masuda guy had been Minister of the Interior years ago; and one of the things he did was send huge amounts of money out of Tokyo out into the provinces, in order to help the struggling countryside. "How can you put this guy to run Tokyo? He's the enemy!"
But that was missing the point. The guy as Minister of the Interior did what the Minister of the Interior bureaucrats wanted him to do: get them bigger budgets. And as Governor of Tokyo he presumably would do what the big old corrupt ogre wanted him to do: get him bigger budgets, and help him come up with new bullshit projects with the excuse of the 2020 Olympics, which have already become an obscene money drain.
But surprise, surprise, some other faction of the LDP decided that his couldn't go on. While this big old corrupt ogres go on wasting money on pork, at this rate even Tokyo is going to go bankrupt. No, we need Reform™. We need to cut on bureaucratic waste and entrenched interests. And so this lady, also from the LDP, declared her candidacy. Ms. Koike.
Big old corrupt ogre went batshit crazy. He threatened with firing her from the party, announced that she would get no electoral support. And he sent a memo to all Tokyo party members, saying that if any party member, including their families, supported Ms. Koike, they would be immediately fired. Including family members! Yes, Japan is going back to the middle ages.
The first news reports were that Ms. Koike had effectively committed suicide; she had no party machine, no voter pool, no support from the party. She would lose badly, get expelled from the party, and die the lonely death of a traitor spinster. And those news got the left excited. Because yes, I haven't mentioned it, but Japan does have a left. And as the right is getting righter, the left is getting lefter.
Japan used to have a Soviet-aligned Socialist Party during the Cold War; whose party leaders went to North Korea to celebrate the birthdays of Kim Il Sung and stuff like that. That's besides the official Communist Party, which is still around. The Socialist Party never managed to win an election, and after the Cold War it slowly disintegrated. For a while the remnants formed the Democratic Party, which was supposed to be a modern, Blair-Clinton kind of thing. They never managed to amount to much, but they did win the 2009 election, just in time to preside over the big 2011 Tsunami. Besides the Tsunami they botched everything they did; basically they were dumb, and the bureaucracy sabotaged everything they wanted. So since 2012 the Democratic Party has been dead, completely suppressed by the amazing Abe charisma.
The solution the Democratic Party chose since 2015 was to... ally with the Communist Party. Yep. I've no idea who convinced whom but this madness actually happened, with predictable results. The Democratic Party went full retard on leftist insanity, arguing for increased immigration, voting rights for foreigners, new feminist laws, gaymarriage, abolishing nuclear power, that sort of stuff. Stuff which is not exactly popular right now because Japan is undergoing a rightist singularity as we speak. But the Left is the Left is the Left, and their solution is always to move lefter. So they made an alliance with the Communist Party, and given that the right had split before the Tokyo elections, they thought they stood a chance. So they selected as a candidate this guy, Mr. Torigoe.
Now you can see from his hairstyle, that this guy is a complete douche. He's also a leftist douche. 75 years old, he's a remnant of the old Soviet aligned left, those who were students in the 1960s. He made his living as a leftist journalist, so he had plenty of brand recognition. But the guy also happens to have multiple cancers, and show clear signs of dementia. He's 76 after old. Also, being a leftist douche, he was found to have harassed dozens of young women. Kinda like Sartre and all other famous leftists have always done. I mean, what's the point of being a leftist celebrity if you can't get young pussy through it? That's the actual motivation, ideology is the means to an end.
Anyway, the Democratic and Communist parties thought they could pull a Tokyo governorship with this guy, but the election was so completely inept that they botched it spectacularly. And I mean spectacularly. Mr. Leftist Douche came in third place. The puppet of the Tokyo pork machine came second. And... oh yeah, Ms. Koike the outsider won the election. Reform won the day.
It's unlikely she will be allowed to get away with much; the governor doesn't have that much power. But I don't know; perhaps there are sectors of the Tokyo bureaucracy that she can use for her ends. Bureaucrats play divide and conquer with politicians; a skilled politician has to play divide and conquer with his bureaucrats. Structurally speaking bureaucrats are usually better able to run tight loyal ships to avoid that kind of attacks, while politicians are more vulnerable to it. But Ms. Koike has a reputation for being tough as nails. And yes, she is also hard-right. "Let's change the constitution and have an army"-right.
That shouldn't matter much, but as thing stand today, being a "let's have an army" politician is a fairly good way of gaining support from a wide set of people. There's lots of conspiracies about "secret sects" like Nihon Kaigi that are conspiring to get Japan back into the Middle Ages, which is driving the US foreign policy circles crazy right now; and while it can't get that simple; the fact is that being on the right in Japan pays. So people move to the right. It doesn't pay to go crazy Nazi; there's plenty of those, and they are very unpopular. But a smart degree of rightist signaling gets you a long way. And that's not thanks to media support. The mainstream media is, generally, batshit leftist, and they overwhelmingly supported the rapist leftist douche. What is rightist though, is the internet, and some more fringe sectors of the media, such as news weeklies and the like.
The funny thing is that Schelling points right now, while still functioning as Schelling points, are all slowly shifting in different directions. And that is a worldwide trend. Interesting times.