American Civility

But for all that, the US is remarkably civil.

To date, 10 people have DIED in the French yellow vests protests. That’s a Charlottesville every few days.

Meanwhile, the US is having a national scandal over some people shouting and sneering at each other.

Moreover, now that we’re on an Americanophile tangent: There’s some chance that the libelled and doxed Catholic high schooler will get very substantial compensation in the coming legal proceedings. This is the positive side of America’s much-criticized litigation culture: Occasionally, malefactors can lose a lot of money. There are few routes to meaningful recourse (i.e. $$$) in the vast majority of countries. On balance, that’s probably a reasonable price to pay for the occasional story of a woman suing McDonald’s for spilling her own coffee.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. One of the downsides of a lawyer culture is that you get all those ridiculous warnings on everything.

    But maybe that is really a plus because they are often funny. We are in a dysgenic trend anyway, and, besides, the written word is not truly a barrier to social Darwinism.

  2. We don’t raise our hands against each other very often, but when we do a lot of people die.

  3. Story of a woman suing McDonald’s for spilling her own coffee.

    That story happened 25 years ago. Everyone still keeps citing it; I guess because there aren’t any more recent examples.

  4. Nah, on a balance the lawyers in the USA are mightily harmful. There are endless number of cases of minorities winning some BS discrimination suite or some guy getting richly deserved strong punch in the face and being rewarded for that.

  5. On balance from a layman perspective, it appears the UK is far more aggressive wrt to libel damages.

    The real damages may come from the threats of assault and worse by several blue checks. That represents a “call to action”.

  6. exiled off mainstreet says

    The reason there are real casualties in France is that there is a real resistance, not a soi-disant anti-fascist fascist resistance.

  7. Joe Stalin says

    On the other hand, Second City Cop blog reports:

    Nice Winter Rahm
    Even six inches of snow can’t stop the Chicago mayhem:

    Gun violence in Chicago has left at least three people dead and eight others wounded since the three-day Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend began Friday evening amid a blustery winter storm.

    And none shot by police so far…but the weekend is still young.

    “Gun violence” = “Felonious Black Gunfire”

  8. Hyperborean says

    MLK holiday
    Gun violence

    It could be worse, they could be trying to honour his memory by hiring prostitutes.

  9. Ali Choudhury says

    There are few routes to meaningful recourse (i.e. $$$) in the vast majority of countries. On balance, that’s probably a reasonable price to pay for the occasional story of a woman suing McDonald’s for spilling her own coffee.

    Indeed. My father-in-law may have had the eyesight in one of his eyes permanently damaged when a rookie surgeon in Pakistan operated on his cataracts and gave up halfway due to not feeling up to it. No means of recourse unless you are connected and one of the elite.


    Lol this for a small riot. 10 deaths is nothing,

    10,000 may mean something resembling seriousness.

  11. On balance, that’s probably a reasonable price to pay for the occasional story of a woman suing McDonald’s for spilling her own coffee.

    Be careful what you wish for, there’s also a decent chance that the ‘It’ s maam’ man could be compensated similarly. I’m not sure how it works in the us, but in the uk, the notion of ‘duty of care’ is subject to the same kind of inflation as PC and disclaimers are considered to be an unfair contract, thus invalid. This fuels administrative bloat in all organisations and drastically increases the cost of any facility or gathering that might be used by the general public.

  12. Because it was the first such ridiculous lawsuit of its kind. In the UK, up until very recently, it was common for victims of low-speed rear end shunts (fender benders) to sue for whiplash. Whiplash injury has no objectively varifiable symptoms and is therefore very easy to fake. No win no fee law firms would hire a “Dr Whiplash Diagnoser” and the burden of proof would be on the defendant (or his insurance company) to refute the claim. With a medical professional’s report in the plaintiff’s favor, this would either be impossible or cost more than the £3000 compensation. Chavs also like to pretend to get food poisoning on holiday.

  13. The same people do the same malpractice in Britain

    Have a look through some of the names

  14. Fake whiplash gangs are a Pakistani thing

  15. Spitting, litter, sidewalk defecation, graffiti, robocalls, leafblowers, aggressively apathetic medical front-office people, hit-and-run drivers, mattress-in-lane, foul-mouthed music, smiles-not —accepted, …don’t get me started. California, of course. Rest of country to follow. Harvard and the other Ivies discriminate against Asian Americans because those students are — get ready for this — decent. If a stockbroker is reading this, is there a company that I could invest in that woukd give me a “pure play” in spittoons?

  16. Deliberately staging crashes with 5 people in a car to get 5x whiplash compo might be a Pakistani thing, but opportunisticly getting a “whipper” in after a 7 mph shunt is equal opps.

  17. Seeing how some at these threads have posted non-subject matter (inclusive of the Ukrainian church issue), here’s an article concerning the Ukrainian Orthodox Church:

  18. anonymous coward says

    Not impressed with the article.

    Here’s the real deal: Ukraine used to have a bunch of schismatic independent ‘patriarchies’ run by a creepy menagerie of characters. Constantinople swooped in and subjugated them; got rid of their independence and forced them into an iron rule by Constantinople.

    This is a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing is that a schism was removed and a bunch of churches went back into a canonical fold. The bad thing is that those responsible for the schisms in the first place weren’t chastised and didn’t learn their lesson. There is significant doubt Constantinople can hold them in check, given that Constantinople itself is a weak creation of the USA and Turkey.

  19. Spisarevski says

    In the US unarmed people get killed by cops all the time without even rioting like in France. Nothing civil about it.

    While I’m on an Americanophobe tangent, their legal system is also shit, even when compared to my corrupt shithole where if someone loses a case, they automatically have to pay the legal fees by default without the innocent victim of a frivolous lawsuit having to file a new case themselves.

  20. Hyperborean says
  21. There was that guy who sued Pepsi for the Harrier Jump Jet. He lost though. Maybe, because it very superficially touched upon the military industrial complex.

  22. Who has destroyed more historical European cities, the Americans or the Nazis?

  23. Dacian Julien Ciolos says

    You are confusing countries. English libel laws allow one get significant amounts of money. American libel laws get you precisely what you lost. So if these children, as suspected, did not lose the scholarship, they will get zilch. Similarly, I don’t think the Diocese will be able to prove a less than 100% enrollment rate, or a need to lower tuition. Zero loss means zero compensation.
    If libel would make you money in American, Trump would have sued left and right.
    But as usual, you are partial when it comes to America.

  24. “In the US unarmed people get killed by cops all the time without even rioting like in France. Nothing civil about it.”

    Not so. Outside handful of sympathetic vics/year, it takes a serious felon acting aggressively criminal to get shot by cops. After Travon, there have been crowdsourced lists of every cop involved shooting, that have confirmed this. Travon, Michael Brown, and younger victims have sealed juvie records.

    The inevitable mistake, if it happens to a black, calls for riotous demonstrations. Blacks have invented the Constitutional right to run from cops without getting shot. Its their singular demand granted by Obama.

  25. No, huge awards for ridiculous claims were that common in the 1990s, especially in Alabama for some reason. One other case that used to be constantly cited but now seems to be forgotten was when someone sued BMW when he discovered that his new car had been repainted.

  26. obwandiyag says

    The kid is an idiot and deserves everything he gets.

    And you are an asshole. I can tell because you are the kind of person who just believes everything he hears on the mass media. Or else you wouldn’t believe the lies you have been fed about the McDonalds coffee suit. The truth of that is the exact opposite of what you have been told. But you are congenitally incapable of allowing anything not official MSM propaganda into your tiny brain.

  27. TelfoedJohn says

    If you think the US is civil you should follow this twitter account: @UppityWilliamP

  28. American libel laws get you precisely what you lost.

    You have never heard of punitive damages?

  29. Outside handful of sympathetic vics/year, it takes a serious felon acting aggressively criminal to get shot by cops.

    Nor really. Approx. 1000 people are killed by police every year which is approx. 50 times higher rate than in Europe. You do not have to act aggressively to be shot. It is enough you piss them off by talking back or refusing to obey. They kill you because they can and then they will cover it up and police officers who do not play along are harassed and fired (*). Police kill with virtual impunity. Only 0.35% of police officers involved in killing ends up being convicted of something like manslaughter.

    Americans’ mentality and attitude to killing by police is completely different than that of Europeans. This is the reason nothing is being done about it. That Blacks (BLM) talked about it was a good thing but that they framed it in racial terms was a bad thing because nothing is going to change. If you want to derail something or compromise something that otherwise would be a legitimate cause frame it in racial terms and it will go away. The police should be retrained and new rules of engagement should be introduced including deescalation procedures however this will not going to happen (+). American like killings and have no qualms about it.

    “The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.” ― D.H. Lawrence

    (*) (+)

    Officer’s Lawsuit Says He Was Fired for Not Shooting to Kill

    Police officer fired for not shooting black suspect wins $175,000

  30. Perhaps, DHL was angry that his decadent book was banned in America.

  31. It was very easy to check that (1) The quote is from 1923 and (2) Lady Chatterley’s Lover is from 1928.

    Try harder if what he said really bothers you.

  32. I have trolled successfully, if I made you work that out.

    But seriously, the ignorant, psuedo-philosophical, and condescending opinion of European writers on Americans used to bother me, until I realized they had such laughable opinions about themselves and each other. These things only belong in comedic writing, unless they are the racial characteristics of broad groups, which can be instructive, but should seldom be attempted in prose.

  33. Here is one humdinger I recall: all Germans are philosophers.

  34. I have trolled successfully, if I made you work that out. – I decided to work it out on a chance that you were full if shit which you were. I usually prefer factual arguments. But since you do not care do not be surprised that you will get more shit from now on.

    Whatever is your problem with European writers I do not care. Tocqueville actually wrote about insecurity and over sensitivity of Americans to slightest criticisms and how they were eager to accept any praise coming from Europeans. As far as the DHL’s observation it is right on the money. There is definitively the killer (cold blooded, remorseless and unreflective) aspect of American soul and you can find its manifestations in many places. It goes to the core. And if you do not see it you either do not know Americans or you are one of them.

    The quote is part of a longer thought:

    “Democracy in America was never the same as Liberty in Europe. In Europe Liberty was a great life-throb. But in America Democracy was always something anti-life. The greatest democrats, like Abraham Lincoln, had always a sacrificial, self-murdering note in their voices. American Democracy was a form of self-murder, always. Or of murdering somebody else… The love, the democracy, the floundering into lust, is a sort of by-play. The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.” – D.H. Lawrence

  35. I’m afraid de Tocqueville was crazy too – just look at what America has become. I believe he said it was impossible? But I have never read him except in excerpts.

  36. I have never read him. – so you should not blame Tocqueville for ‘what America has become’ because nobody in America paid attention to what he wrote but if they did and perhaps they would listen to many warnings he issued concerning the American democracy. He predicted despotic democracy and that tyrany of vox populi will be worse than the tyrany of kings.

    This is insightful: Houellebecq on Tocqueville

  37. Ah well..for the subcontinent, a riot has to have a couple hundred men slaughtered, tens of dozens of girls and women gang-raped then burned alive (never understood the morbid fascination desis have for burning women alive. Has it got something to do with sutee?) or else it ain’t no riot at all

  38. Dacian Julien Soros says

    Have you heard of Gretz vv Welch Inc, which establishes the eed for evidence that the libelous person had committed their deeds knowing that they are spreading a lie, and willing to destroy the other part? How will you show that the evil SJW knew they were lying, when NPR’s retraction piece still sounds like blaming the child? Even today, some of those high schoolers believe what they were told on TV. The SJWs an easily prove the whole planet (including themselves) saw a Catholic thug assaulting an innocent redskin.

  39. Mark P Miller says

    I see this Catholic Boys thing as a net plus and a hopeful harbinger: not only may they get a little windfall, but for all the sturm and drang on the left, the optics here favor our side. The fatigue over yet another numinous negro or aggrieved injun is ever more palpable.

  40. American police utilize Israeli military tactics against American citizens. Problems arise when Israeli “command and control” tactics are used against suspects, quite often due to confusing and conflicting commands issued by multiple police officers.
    The Philip Brailsford murder of Daniel Shaver in a Las Vegas hotel room is but one egregious example of police misbehavior. Daniel Shaver was unarmed, and ordered to crawl on his stomach while ordered to keep his hands behind his back. How anyone can crawl with hands behind his back is beyond comprehension.
    Of course, Daniel Brailsford got away with murder, despite there being bodycam footage of the murder.
    You see, “we are all Palestinians, now”…

  41. wagelaborer says

    The right to sue is in the Constitution because it is the civilized way to solve disputes.
    I thought that Unz readers were all about Western Civilization, instead of gunfights and revenge killings.
    But, apparently their committment is skin deep. When they are given anti-tort propaganda by corporate think tanks, pushing for the rights of corporations to pollute and kill with impunity, they drop all pretense of being proud of white people’s history of law and justice.

  42. His views on the extremes of democracy has a troubling similarity to the current elites dismissal of populism, however, Tocqueville is often quoted so selectively, I may have misjudged him. I see that he has many good points, and accurate predictions.

    Besides, any man who is a fervent segregationist when it comes to North Africans can’t be all bad.

  43. I do not think that influence of Israel military tactics on American police is that critical. Killing people is the simplest thing there is. Americans know how to kill people and they do not need anybody’s advice on how to do it. Americans knew how to kill and practiced killings long before Israel was created.

  44. Bullshit. Steaming pile.

  45. I must respectfully disagree with your assertion that Israeli police tactics do not figure much in American domestic “law enforcement”.
    There was a time when the use of deadly force was seen as a “last resort”, especially when used by “police officers”. If an officer drew his weapon, his superiors would make damn sure that he had a good reason for doing so. Drawing one’s weapon WAS seen as a “last resort”; doing so was seen as a serious “event” and not the minor matter event that it has turned into.
    The “change” in deadly force policy came with the militarization (Israelization) of “law enforcement”; no longer were “police officers” members of the community, dedicated to protecting the community, but have been transformed into “law enforcers”, the changes including establishing an “us vs. them” attitude, in which every ordinary citizen is seen as a potential “enemy”.
    Donning military-style clothing and even military type vehicles and equipment is another aspect of American “law enforcement” that deserves to be reigned in. Utilizing military gear and vehicles further reinforces the “us vs. them” mentality, which has no place in American “law enforcement”.
    “Command and control” strategies are right out of the Israeli playbook–immediate and total compliance with “law enforcement” commands being necessary to avoid injury and even death at the hands of today’s “law enforcement”.
    Even when incontrovertible video and audio evidence is presented, “law enforcement” quite often, gets away with outright murder. Grand juries and petit juries are loathe to convict “law enforcement, no matter how egregious their conduct. Fear of retribution figures into the reluctance to convict “law enforcers” who abuse their power.
    This is the same mindset that is prevalent in Israel, where Palestinians are seen as the “enemy”, no matter how benign.
    I stand by my statements:
    “We are all Palestinians, now”.