The Virtue of Hypocrisy

When I retired, a retro 1990s fad was just gearing up on campus.  It was an Uncanny Valley kind of experience.  There they were, dressing like day-glo lumberjacks and listening to knockoff BritPop, but still plodding around campus with that peculiarly late-Millennial affect.  You know the one — half secret policeman, half cringing mouse.  Unpleasant, but it got me thinking about my own college years back at the dawn of the Clinton Era.*  We really screwed the pooch, didn’t we?

I’m referring, of course, to Gen X’s patented brand of “irony.”  We’ve talked about this before, but here’s a quick recap: Every middle-class kid born after about 1965 was raised to believe that Authenticity was the thing, the only thing.  Just do what you feel.  Question authority.  Don’t listen to The Man!

The problem, of course, is that we were told this by The Man.

It had a weird, telescoping effect.  On campus, you were surrounded by people who actually were hippies, plus a whole bunch of wild-eyed fanatics who were sure they would’ve made truly excellent hippies if they hadn’t been in elementary school at the time, plus a bunch of kids — these would be your classmates — who thought of “Woodstock” as a brand name, a kind of backpacking-through-Europe, taking-a-year-off-to-find-myself experience that everyone has as a matter of course before settling down to the serious business of making partner at the law firm.

In short: Our parents were stuck in adolescence, and, being adolescents ourselves, we didn’t understand that “Rebellion” wasn’t something the hippies invented.  We wanted to experience sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll, too, but since the Baby Boomers treated those as their exclusive property instead of what they actually are — i.e. the natural impulses of teenagers in all times and places — we had to be all, like, you know, whatever about it.  The Simpsons, performing its invaluable service of presenting a trend already in steep decline as if were fresh, summed it up perfectly:

That was the 1990s.  Faced with a paradox that everything your parents say, do, and believe is lame — according to your parents! — the only safe way is to make sure nobody can figure out exactly what your attitude is at any given instant.  You might end up working 90 hour weeks at the office to pay the nut on the McMansion and the Volvo the same way they did, but at least you’d be, you know, ironic about it.  The ketman of the suburbs.

See what happens when you listen to your elders, kids?

The only way we could truly be different from our parents — truly rebel — is by not giving in to their gross hypocrisy.  A Baby Boomer who was salesman of the year at Tom Hayden’s Porsche dealership would simply power through with a shit-eating grin.  His parents were the WWII generation**, which, like all generations of humanity before it, knew well that hypocrisy is both useful and necessary.  Better a false “good morning!” than a sincere “go to Hell!”, the old proverb says, and it’s true.  Or, if you prefer, more hoity-toity: “Hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue.”  That was La Rochefoucauld, who’d certainly know, but this was pretty much the default setting of humanity from the minute we stopped swinging in trees.  The Boomers knew it, and were fine with it.

Only dumbasses who thought the lead singer of a band named after ejaculate was some kind of messiah would ever have considered making anti-hypocrisy the cornerstone of their worldview.  But we were those dumbasses, and so even though the Road to Shambala still ended with a McMansion in the ‘burbs, we had to sacralize it.  David Brooks, ol’ Mr. Perfect Pants Crease himself, deserves every ounce of the scorn he gets from pretty much everyone, but Bobos in Paradise is still a valuable book.  The only way to live like a pasha without feeling yourself a hypocrite is to spend $400 on a can opener because “it’s good for the earth.”

Moralizing without morals — that’s the Gen X worldview.  Life’s most mundane activities must be infused with transcendental significance…. all while carefully avoiding any implication that a given course of action could in any way be intrinsically better than any other.

The apotheosis of this attitude came in 2003, when all goodthinkers everywhere decided that the best way to protest our Iraq adventure was to call it a “war for oil.”  If it were true — hell, if it were remotely plausible — that a sitting US president really did “lie us into war” to enrich his cronies, it would be the biggest political scandal in modern history.  Revolutions have started over far, far less.  But it wasn’t even remotely plausible, and the people who were screaming loudest about it knew it better than anyone.  They certainly didn’t tell the troops that they were being sent to fight on a lie — though if ever a military coup were justified, it’d be that one — and nobody ever clamored after Dick Cheney’s tax returns.  Nor was there, or will there ever be, any followup.  What’s Halliburton’s bottom line these days?  What was it from, say, 2008 to 2015?  Heck, what’s Halliburton’s stock ticker symbol?

No one on the Left knows.  None of them have ever known.

Nor did the so-called “Right,” for that matter, and that’s the heart of this post (you knew we’d get there eventually).  The reason is simple: They knew the Left was lying, and the Left knew the Left was lying, and the Right knew that the Left knew they were lying, and the Left knew that the Right knew etc., and wasn’t it ironic, dontcha think?  It’s like ra-aa-aaain on your wedding day…

…in other words, 100% manufactured drama from bored, vapid people longing for the flannel-wrapped days of their youth, and if soldiers had to be maimed and killed because the Counting Crows’ reunion tour hadn’t yet come to a city near you, well, that’s what they get for not going to college, as John Kerry — who, being a Boomer and thus exquisitely comfortable with hypocrisy, was for the war before he was against it — once famously proclaimed.  Or it should’ve been famous, anyway, if anyone involved ever actually believed a single word they said.  Ask the so-called “Right,” 2009-2015 version, which was both for and against Obama’s wars for… what were they for again?  Did we ever decide on that?  Or did the statute of limitations expire?  What difference, at this point, does it make?

If hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue, then what do you call our current situation, in which vices are virtues?  The Bobo professor — White, male, heterosexual — who tells his classes that college is nothing but privilege-sustaining indoctrination from White, male, heterosexuals isn’t lying.  He’s not a hypocrite — hypocrisy requires awareness of the gap between one’s words and one’s actions, and that hasn’t been part of our cultural repertoire since before Soundgarden broke up.  They’re just words, just upvotes, just Tweets, just dopamine hits, and everyone, his students most definitely included, knows it.

Ultimately, that’s why Donald Trump drives the Left and the cuck-Right (BIRM, I know) around the bend.  The one thing — the only thing — they never accuse him of is hypocrisy, though it’s the one offense he’s glaringly guilty of.  They can’t, because it would require acknowledging that it’s a good thing for a person to at least try to line up his actions with his words.  An unqualified good, without any interesting “intersectional” exceptions with which to prove how Enlightened you are… and we can’t be having that.  Otherwise what would we get into Twitter slap-fights about?




*1988-2001.  Historians retro-label eras all the time, by the way.  The Biz refers to e.g. “the long 18th century” (1688, the Glorious Revolution, to 1815, Waterloo), and generally dates the 20th century from 1914.  Nobody else calls the slice of time I’m referring to “the Clinton Years” yet, but it’s pretty good shorthand for the culture of the post-Reagan, pre-9/11 world, when everything was “cyber” and people actually said things like “the end of history.”
**I refuse on principle to call them “the Greatest Generation.”
Loading Likes...

HBD State III: Purpose

One of the things that makes George Orwell such a frustrating read is that he’s the kind of comically naive Socialist that only the high-Victorian* English public school system could’ve produced.  He really did seem to think that his fellow countrymen would go back to living in a poor, unimportant, squalid little island on the edge of Europe, if only they knew how bad their lifestyle made things for the poor of Peshawar.

He was wrong about that, but he was right about the second pillar of the educated-twit Socialist worldview: That industrial technique had advanced to the point that, by 1920 or so, everyone everywhere really could have all the basics provided for him.  The problem with Socialism isn’t that it can’t produce the goods — even so crack-brained a regime as Lenin’s managed to get the rations delivered more often than not, most everywhere.  It’s that man does not live by bread alone.  There is simply more to human happiness than food, shoes, and indoor plumbing.

That’s why all collectivist states are mouth-frothingly militaristic.  Jingoism is a feature, not a bug, of both communism and fascism, because both must replace any of life’s other possible purposes with worship of the State. Kim’s North Korea is a perfect example.  Fat Boy could decommission 90% of his army tomorrow, and nobody outside North Korea would care.  The South isn’t going to invade — there’s no SJW like an Asian SJW (if you’ve never had the pleasure of meeting one, thank your lucky stars**), and if Kim did decide to invade the South, pretty much every college-educated kid in Seoul would welcome him with open arms.  The Chinese are the regime’s main props; they certainly wouldn’t care if the Norks demilitarized.  The American Left would care, but only because Trump would brag about it on Twitter, which means that a rogue state tossing its nukes into the sea must be bad bad bad, but that’s beside the point.  But if Kim sent the army home, he and his cronies wouldn’t last a day — the militarization of every aspect of Nork life is the only thing propping them up.

An HBD-aware state would have to do something similar.  We’d need an external enemy on which to focus our national will.  (Turns out Orwell was right about that, too — Oceania will never beat Eastasia, because it can’t beat Eastasia.  If it did, the entire system would collapse).  I’ve suggested a revamped mission civilisatrice, but since that seems to get people worked up, let’s say it’s China doing it.  They’re out there taking up the Yellow Man’s Burden in Africa even as we speak.  Will it work for them?  I dunno, but I know this — if they were smart, they’d start relaxing their persecution of journalists… abroad.  The way to keep martyr types and other such gossipy pests from ruining your society is to turn them loose on somebody else’s.  Let them run around the colonies, reporting abuses.  It’ll keep everyone much, much happier…



*Orwell was born in 1903, which I’m aware technically makes him an Edwardian, not a high-Victorian, but for our purposes it’s the same thing.  Just as Philip Larkin said sexual intercourse began in 1963, so most historians date the end of the 19th century to 1914.
**The Chinese term for Western SJW is baizuo, which is a lovely word we need to put into regular use (yay multiculturalism!!).  And, of course, our baizuo call insufficiently #Woke Asian-Americans “bananas” — yellow on the outside, white on the inside.  Anyone who speaks an East Asian language among the 14 Readers?  I’d love to know what e.g. Singapore Chinese call their own SJWs.
Loading Likes...

Sympathy for Snowflakes

One of the toughest parts of looking at The Past (note capital letters) is grasping the pace of change.  Oversimplifying (but not too much), you’d need to be a PhD-level specialist to determine if a given cultural production dated from the 11th century, or the 14th.  The worldview of most people in most places didn’t change much from 1000 to 1300.  Even in modern times, unless you really know what you’re looking for, a writer from 1830 sounds very much like a writer from 1890.*

Until you get to the 20th century.  Then it’s obvious.

This isn’t “presentism” — the supposed cardinal sin of historical study, in which we project our values onto the past.**  It really is obvious, and you can see it for yourself.  Take Ford Madox Ford.  A hot “Modernist” in his day — he was good friends with Ezra Pound, and promoted all the spastic incomprehensibles of the 1920s — he was nevertheless a man of his time… and his time was the High Victorian Era (born 1873).  Though he served in the Great War, he was a full generation older than his men, and it shows.  Compare his work to Robert Graves’s.  Though both were the most Advanced of Advanced Thinkers — polygamy, Socialism, all that — Graves’s work is recognizably “modern,” while Ford’s reads like the writing of a man who really should’ve spent his life East of Suez, bringing the Bible and the Flag to the wogs.  The world described in such loving detail in a work like Parade’s End — though of course Ford thought he was viciously criticizing it — might as well be Mars.

We’re in the same boat when it comes to those special, special Snowflakes, the Millennials.  A Great War-level change really did hit them, right in their most vulnerable years.  While we — Gen X and older — lived through the dawn of the Internet, we don’t live in the Internet Age (TM).  Not like they do, anyway.  Let me give you an example.

That’s an article in “The American Thinker” (via Ace of Spades’ “morning report'”) by an older Millennial.  The author proclaims himself as such, of course, but even without that we could’ve spotted it straight off.

This generation was noted for its restlessness, lack of direction, and great confusion.  A theme that filled Lost Generation literature of the time was the frivolous wealth of the upper crust.  This generation was unable to settle down, coming home to a nation that had long since filled the places of employment they ahad worked at and did not understand the challenges they faced.

We’re going to forego [sic] here, as we must with anything written by pretty much anyone under the age of 40, especially online.  The first thing to note is the pleonasm: “Lost Generation literature of the time.”  As opposed to, say, Lost Generation literature of the 1980s?  Douglas Coupland, maybe?  The guy who popularized the phrase “Generation X”? (Don’t worry; we’ll be coming back to him).  Pleonasm in itself isn’t bad; I myself often do it, often unconsciously, especially when writing about Marxists and other flavors of flatulent sub-Hegelians (pleonasm is one of their favorite rhetorical devices).

This time, though, it’s someone working himself up to make a grand pronouncement about The Past, someone who knows “Ernest Hemingway” and “Gertrude Stein” were writers in the “Lost Generation,” but hasn’t read a single word they’ve written (though in Stein’s case, at least, nobody would blame him).  See also “long since filled the places of employment they ahad [sic; I can’t help myself] worked at.”  Which is 180 degrees from the history — the “Lost Generation” was lost precisely because it had never held a job.  It grew up in the Army.  Cecil Lewis*** was no “Lost Generation” writer, but he sums their predicament up perfectly:

[World War 1] took me from school at sixteen, it destroyed all hope of University training or apprenticeship to a trade, it deprived me of the only carefree years, and washed me up, inequipped for any serious career, with a Military Cross, a Royal handshake, a six-hundred-pound gratuity, and — I almost forgot to say — my life.

Had he known this, it would’ve strengthened Lafayette’s point considerably.  The first “Lost Generation” had an event they could point to, caused by people they could name.  Steve Jobs was many things, but he was no Kaiser Wilhelm II.  A member of the Lost Generation could point to his war record, derive meaning from it — the Military Cross is a significant achievement (Lewis was a fighter ace who had gone up against the Flying Circus); the King really did shake his hand.  The new “Lost Generation” — henceforth, “Generation Snowflake” — has nothing.  The most significant single event in their lives is 9/11, to which they were passive spectators, because they were in grade school.  (The other cause of all their woes, the Internet, was substantially in place before they were born).

This vast historical ignorance, above all, marks this article out as a Generation Snowflake production.  He continues:

I see a lot of parallels between the Lost Generation of the 20th century and my own Millennial generation.  While the original Lost Generation was a product of a war unlike any other and then an economic crash, the members of the “new” Lost Generation are slightly different.  We all awoke to a new world on September 11, 2001, a world of war and terrorism, that gave birth to unease and fear that we had not seen before.  Seven years later came the crash of 2008.  With the fall of the housing market and the economy at large came new rules for the future of education and job prospects.  Gone was the assurance of a good job after university, and gone was the idea of a stable 9-5 job that one could stay at until retirement.

Leaving aside the peculiarly Millennial combination of bombast and understatement (you’re “slightly different” than the WW1 generation?), let’s focus on the claim that “Gone was the assurance of a good job after university, and gone was the idea of a stable 9-5 job that one could stay at until retirement.”  Hey, remember Douglas Coupland, he of Generation X fame?  That was his major gripe, too, and he was born in 1961 (which actually makes him a very late Baby Boomer by some common measures).  I was there; I remember it well.  It was simply a given that Kids These Days wouldn’t be cogs in the corporate machine, Men in Grey Flannel Suits (there was once a time, kiddos, when that was considered a bad thing, and the Japanese term for such an employee  — salaryman — was a very chic insult to hurl at your overly ambitious corporate-drone buddies who put in all the extra hours at Dewey Cheatham and Howe, LLP).

Another paragraph of this, and then:

For the first time, my generation will be poorer than our parents.  With no promise of a comfortable retirement, many Millennials are taking trips, backpacking, trying to get the most out of life.  They know that life won’t be getting easier or better in the years to come.

Holy tap-dancing Allah, does anyone know how to copyedit anymore?  Kiddo, your generation has always been poorer than your parents.  They’re well into middle age; you’re barely out of college.  You mean “for the first time in history, a generation will be poorer than its parents’ generation” but that’s laughably false — we Gen X’ers were poorer than our parents, too.  Coupland — remember him? — titled one of his very early chapters “Our Parents Had More.”  This has been the gripe of every graduating class of every college in the land since at least 1980.

And then this:

Thanks to the birth and integration of the internet into everyday life, Millennials are writing novels, creating music, authoring articles on everything from the tech field to marketing, and creating new business experiences for themselves.  Millennials are jumping from job experience to job experience, gathering as much knowledge as they can to get a better wage at the next, all the while producing books and freelancing nights and weekends to bring in extra cash.

Leaving aside (Jesus, I should have that phrase on macro) the implication that the Internet came into existence when y’all went off to college — again, it was already substantially there when I went off to college, way back at the dawn of the Clinton Era — I want you to note the tone of easy mastery here.  You’re writing books and freelancing, and creating music, and writing articles, and all this while hopping from salaried job to salaried job?  Back in my day (he said, stroking his long gray beard arthritically), any one of those activities was considered more than enough to fill a day.

Writing a book, for example, takes — or, I guess I should say, took — months or years of study and practice.  Yes, even novels — then as now, the literary wunderkinder who wrote those toast-of-Manhattan-type epics of Modern Literature had the lifespan of mayflies, because no matter how naturally talented he or she may be, someone who’s just out of prep school really doesn’t have anything of importance to say.  Ask Elizabeth Wurtzel.  She had her struggles with post-college, pre-career depression too, I’m told.

Finally, there’s this:

For Millennials, the future is not rosy.  In fact, the news keeps saying how much worse it may get.  Many think Millennials like me are irresponsible and don’t want what our parents had.  (For some, this is true.)  Part of me wants that house on the cul-de-sac with the white picket fence.  Deep inside, I know that it will likely never happen.  Those days have moved on.

I titled this piece “Sympathy for Snowflakes,” and finally we’ve arrived.  The days of life on the cul-de-sac with the white picket fence are indeed gone… but they’ve been gone for thirty years or more.  They were in terminal decline since before Rush started singing about suburbs — that was 1982, if you’re keeping score at home — and what awful conformist hells they are.  Ever heard the phrase “sour grapes?”  I’m not going to say we invented that — after all, anything worth saying was already said by Dead White Males hundreds of years ago — but that’s why Gen X pop culture is full of rants against “conformism.”  Slackers, Mallrats, all of it — sour grapes, buddy.  If you in fact grew up on a cul-de-sac behind a white picket fence, your parents, who must’ve been early Gen Xers, were among the lucky few.

The difference between your generation and mine, Mr. Lafayette, isn’t what we wanted once we matured enough to start actually knowing what we wanted.  It’s that my generation received rigorous-enough educations to figure out that the house on the cul-de-sac with the white picket fence is an aberration, just a flicker of static.  Only one tiny group of people — middle class Americans, born roughly 1945-1965 — ever got to experience it.  Young folks in the 1220s probably lived much as their parents did back in the 1180s, but modern life doesn’t work that way.  These days, everyone makes due with what he has, gets on as best he can.  Your generation, Mr. Lafayette, was taught to regard The Past as one long night of Oppression, and because of that, you never learned to take any lessons from it.

That’s why I’m sympathetic, even as I’m mocking you (but gently, lad, gently).  That’s the real parallel between yourselves and the Lost Generation — it was done to you.  You had no choice, and unlike the Lost Generation, you can’t even pin the blame anywhere.  It just….kinda… happened.  No wonder you feel adrift and powerless.  No wonder “stand up straight” and “clean your room” seem like adages of life-altering wisdom.

So take an old guy’s advice, and READ.  Read just about anything, so long as it’s published before 1950.  Don’t think, don’t analyze, don’t snark, just read it.  The change will come.



*That’s why authors of historical fiction go out of their way to provide dates, or at least touchstones, for their readers: “As you know, Bob, with the Confederacy surrendering just last year, we can finally move on with our lives.”
** Though every academic historian does it.  In fact, “presentism” pretty much is academic history — raking people from The Past over the coals for not hewing chapter and verse to The Current Year’s SJW catechism.
*** I can’t recommend Lewis’s memoir Sagittarius Rising enough.  A lovely, lovely book – anyone with any interest at all in WW1 should read it.
Loading Likes...

NPC Guide Part IV: “Privilege”

It’s been a while since we’ve done one of these, so….

When you come right down to it, the only thing Leftists really believe is what I call the Great Inversion:  Reality is always wrong, such that

  • if the Normals believe it,
  • it’s wrong,
  • because the Normals believe it.

This has been the state of Advanced Thought, the default setting of Friends of Humanity, from the beginning.  Parmenides (6th century BC) knew that Normals believe their own lying eyes when they see things moving out in the real world, so he proclaimed that nothing can move.*  Normals believe that A can’t be not-A at the same time, so Hegel said the universe “overcomes itself” (aufheben) through some mysterious process of “synthesis” in which the same thing is simultaneously A, not-A, and both-A-and-not-A.  Normals believe in sexual dimorphism among the higher animals, so feminists declare that men can have periods.  And so on — see any freshmen humanities seminar at any college in the land for more, oh god so many more, enraging examples.

The key to becoming real is to apply this insight emotionally, not intellectually.

An example will help.  Back in my single days at Flyover State,** I frequented the townie bar; it was the one place I knew I wasn’t going to run into any academic colleagues.  I soon became drinking buddies with a guy who was more or less my polar opposite.  Though a very bright fellow and a fine human being, he’d had the classic trailer trash upbringing — broken home, a bad crowd, petty crimes, drugs, and eventually a stretch in jail.

That right there is what they originally meant by “privilege.”  I looked at my buddy, and all I could think was “there but for the grace of God go I.”  Had our life circumstances been reversed, in all likelihood he’d be the one with the university gig and I’d be the guy stocking shelves at WalMart because that was the only job I could get with a felony arrest record.  I was — I am — deeply privileged to have been born where I was, and when, and to whom.  Of the many gifts I’ve been given over the years, that’s by far the best.  I am profoundly grateful for it.

The Left, on the other hand, insists I should feel guilty.  See what I mean about the Great inversion?

If you’re worried you might be an NPC, use your emotions.  Try feeling the exact opposite thing than what you’re instructed.  In the case of “privilege,” yes, of course it’s “unearned;” that’s right there in the definition (if it’s earned then it’s not “privilege,” it’s “pay,” and if you think about it that way for a moment, you’ll see that SJWs believe it, too — they feel they’ve earned the right to order you around because they’ve spent so much time studying “intersectionality” in graduate school.  Not even professors whine about “professor privilege,” and though every book by an academic feminist contains a many-page disclaimer about how she’s just so awfully sorry she can’t be more inclusive, not one of them has ever given up her nice cushy job so that a POC could have it).

Reverse the Great Inversion.  Feel the opposite of what they tell you to feel, and you’re on the road to becoming real.


*His argument for this is fascinating, as it shows that Lefties have been playing their silly word games long before there was a “Left” to give them tenure for it.  He declares that there is nothing but Matter and Void.  Since nothing can exist in a void, nothing can move into one.  Therefore, all the space that currently exists is occupied by Matter, and since two things can’t inhabit the same space, therefore nothing can move.  The surviving ancient busts of Parmenides don’t show him with blue hair and a nose ring, but they might as well.
**For the newer members of the 14 Regular Readers, “Flyover State” is of course a composite of several different institutions, spread over several geographic areas, as is the “college town” in which it’s located.  The one thing they all have in common is total infestation by this SJW nonsense — it’s as bad in the junior colleges as it is in the Ivy League.
Loading Likes...

The Cold Civil War is Going to Get Worse

People say America is right now stuck in a cold civil war and so far it seems like a fair assessment of the nation.  Many who have noticed this are wondering what we can do to improve the situation.


The problem is: nothing.


Why?  2 factors.


Think a moment about actual, real war. One factor about it is that there is an objective, undeniable metric available to all sides: death.  The side with more deaths, tends to be the side that loses (unless there is a huge population difference but let’s keep things simple right now).  So if your side had several battles in a row where your deaths X > their deaths Y, you’re probably losing.  Conversely if X < Y, you’re on the way to victory.  This also means there is a very clear, well defined end point to the conflict: one side (or both) is entirely dead.


However cultural conflicts do not have such a neat, easy metric to them.  Without a clear metric, things get confusing.  For examples just go around on the web right now to both right-oriented and left-oriented sites.  You will be able to see both sides arguing that they’re losing the culture war.  Now just take a step back and think about it dispassionately (maybe pretend you’re Mr. Spock visiting earth) – how could you tell which side is correct?  Which side is wrong?  Or are both sides correct about losing?  Or wrong?  Which factors and considerations of society & culture matter, and which don’t?  It’s not an easy question to answer and with no obvious end state, it may be one that is not answerable.  Without a clear metric, and both sides convincing themselves they’re losing, it’s easy for both sides to conclude they have nothing to lose.  Desperation has never been much of a motivator in lessening conflicts nor in granting mercy.


The second factor can also be explained by thinking about real war.  How do two sides come to agreements about the “rules” of the conflict?  Why would two sides agree against using poison gas on each other? (for example)  Really think about it – how does that even work when two groups are trying to kill each other?  It works because if one side breaks the treaty, there is an understanding that the other side will do so as well.  If army X uses poison gas, army Y will do the same.  If the consequences are horrible enough there is incentive for both sides to follow the agreement.


But there’s a complication isn’t there?  Modern militaries are made up of thousands – millions of soldiers and support.  Just because the generals agree to not use poison gas, what keeps a random colonel or grunt from using it?  How can the ones in charge keep the rest of their group in line?  If a soldier disobeys the treaty, what usually happens is that the offender is captured by his own side and handed over to the enemy.  This signals to the opponent that the attack was not an official decision, but a rogue choice.  Handing him over is a signal that they want to maintain the treaty and lets him face justice as the enemy sees fit – an enemy that will probably not be as interested in mercy or due process as the offender’s countrymen would be.  (This is what is implied by the line “disavow any knowledge of your actions” in those movies & TV shows – “if you get caught, the enemy can do as they wish.”)  Thus there is incentive in the ranks on both sides to obey the rules and the treaty is maintained.


Where is the equivalent in the modern culture war?  For a culture to exist, there has to be agreed upon boundaries within it and ways of enforcing them.  Modern social networking, has made this impossible.


For a hypothetical example, let’s suppose there was an agreement in politics that the families of politicians should be off limits (especially their kids) unless that family member is also involved in politics.  Sounds fair, right?  Everybody left, right, and center should be able to agree on this, yes?  Of course it will be understood that this is all operating under the treaty example above: if one side goes after family, then it’s fair for the other side to do so, otherwise what’s the point of the agreement?  This should all work perfectly!


Except it won’t.  Why?  Because we have millions (if not billions) of people on social networks with capable search engines.  Name me any rule society wants to agree on and within an hour we can find an example of someone violating it.  Thus the aforementioned rule of decorum would last about one day (probably 30 minutes) until a random somebody would be found violating it.  Which side they belong to would quickly be determined (whether accurate or not is irrelevant) and then the opposite side will begin returning the sentiment in kind.  It won’t stop nor can it ever be stopped because there’s no “general” for one side that can “hand” the offender over to a “general” on the other side in order to maintain the treaty.


Then to top it all off, let’s add in the factor that there is low cost and effort needed to join and use social media.  If anybody can sign up within 5 minutes, then even if we assume that 100% of a side in the culture war behaved according to the decorum treaty with 100% fidelity, the opposing side can have an impostor perform a false flag at minimum cost and set off the cascade of rudeness.


Do you want a practical example?


Recently Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had a video of her college days… I’ve seen some report this was “leaked” but it’s more accurate to say it was already posted to youtube and somebody linked it on twitter where it gained renewed attention.  Let’s look at some quotes from a few articles on this:

An attempt to humiliate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as she was sworn in as the youngest ever US congresswoman has backfired impressively, prompting a huge outpouring of support for her.

There’s nothing remotely scandalous about the video, but that hasn’t stopped right-wing Twitter users from attempting to weaponize it against Ocasio-Cortez, who is a Democratic Socialist.

It’s amusing to think about the mindset of the weirdo conservatives who leaked this, thinking it would make people poke fun at her.

The latest example involved an old video of her in her late teens doing some goofy dances (including a Breakfast Club homage that ought to have been endearing to Gen X-ers).

So some “right-wingers” reacted badly to this video.  Who?  Is this story on instapundit?  Drudge report?  Twitchy?  Not at the time of this writing.  So who “on the right” is saying anything about this video?  Where are the links or examples?  The guardian seems to be the only one to put in that much effort and this is the sum total:

A 30-second video was posted by a Twitter user called AnonymousQ, showing Ocasio-Cortez dancing on the roof of a building while in college.
“Here is America’s favorite commie know-it-all acting like the clueless nitwit she is,” read the post, with the user, who has since deleted their account, claiming it was a “high school video of ‘Sandy’ Ocasio-Cortez”.
But instead of embarrassing Ocasio-Cortez, who was elected to represent New York’s 14th congressional district in November, the video has bolstered her popularity, with many people on social media praising her for being joyful and having fun.
. . .
With the clip, she [AOC] wrote: “I hear the GOP [Republican party] thinks women dancing are scandalous. Wait till they find out Congresswomen dance too! Have a great weekend everyone :)”

“Conservatives” attempted to humiliate Representative Ocasio-Cortez – and by “conservatives” we mean a single recorded tweet from an account which is now deleted so nobody has any way to check whether that user was really conservative or not.  How old was the account?  What was its posting history?  How many followers did it have?  How many likes or retweets did that tweet get?  What were the general replies?


Hm.  We don’t have that information any more.   Instead we just have “conservatives” reported as reacting negatively.  From a single tweet.  By someone that could just as easily have been “liberal” playing the Wounded Gazelle Gambit.


That is why the cold civil war is not going to be getting better any time soon.


Further Reading:
Loading Likes...

The HBD State, Part II

Our Thing is, in its way, as utopian as any SJW fantasy.  We all agree that a civilization built to last — whatever else it does — acknowledges the truths of Human Biodiversity.  But what follows is usually of the “underpants gnome” variety”

  1. acknowledge HBD
  2. ???
  3. utopia!

The utopia being a world in which we’re free of SJW tyranny — nobody from the Federal Bureau of Inclusion kicking in our doors in the middle of the night because we inadvertently called some wingless golden-skinned dragonkin “her.”  I aim to show that an HBD-aware State will, in order to keep us in the style to which we’ve grown accustomed, be at least as intrusive, if not more so, than the SJW version.

Let’s look at some numbers.  I frequently hear “100” cited as the average IQ, and “120” as the number needed to sustain our current level of technological prosperity.  Let’s go with those.  Let’s further stipulate that these numbers are correct, that IQ is adequately predictive of success, and that the problems with IQ measurements have been adequately massaged out.*

I was a Liberal Arts major, but even I know what “average” means.  If 100 is the average IQ… consulting the chart… yep, the incidence is 1.99999999913, which, though I love 11-decimal-place precision as much as the next guy, rounds to “1 in 2.”  Which means that half of the population will be below the line.

The line we’ve stipulated is our floor for the ability to make it in the modern world.

Think about that.

Then take a look at the incidence of 120 IQ.  The optimistic number seems to be “1 in 9;” pessimistic is “1 in 11.”  Splitting the difference — remember, Liberal Arts major, we can do that — gives us 10%.  That’s the fraction of the population which we’ve stipulated is able to keep things going.  I plugged “what is 10% of 50%” into the google machine, and it informs me that the answer is 5.  Which seem to indicate that you’ve got at most 5% of the population that’s capable of sustaining what we’ve already got.  As for actual innovation, I imagine we’re into the fractions-of-percents in very short order.

This suggests — scratch that, it necessitates — one hell of a government-mandated caste system.

First consider the high end.  Vox Day, who is Humanity’s Greatest Genius, loves pointing out that earth-shattering super-intelligences like himself don’t play well with other children.  They’d much rather publish comic books than, say, pore over ballistic missile specs or study traffic-use patterns for welfare cards.  If

  1. 5% is our baseline for simply sustaining what we already have; and
  2. our collective IQ is dropping at an alarming rate; then
  3. that simply won’t do.

The Chinese have no problem dragooning their Competent 5% into maintenance and their Innovative fraction-of-a-fraction into R&D.  We must do the same… or preemptively surrender to the Chinese, which amounts to the same thing, because they’ll do it for us.

Now before you object that the “free market” will take care of this sorting for us, note that it’s the “free market” that got us here in the first place.  Zuckerberg was free to use his talents however he saw fit, and he chose to become Lavrentiy Beria in a hoodie.  Further, as we’ve already noted, it’s the glowing blinky screens of our iCrap that are eroding our intelligence to begin with.

Further yet, it’s the Innovative 0.1% that keep Darwinism from working as it should.  It used to be common among conservative-leaning pundits — way back in the mists of time when there were such things — to point out that the murder rate of, say, Baltimore would be orders of magnitude higher without modern medicine and state-funded emergency services.  The “Social Darwinists” (slight anachronism) saw this well by the middle of the 19th century.  Hell, Thomas Malthus saw it at the tail end of the 18th.  He pointed out that the unfit were breeding like mice, while the fit — who were entirely subsidizing the suicidal overbreeding of the unfit — were themselves having few or no children.  (The so-called “Malthusian catastrophe” was where Darwin got his idea of “natural selection” in the first place).  The “free market,” in other words, was entirely too successful — it threw evolution into reverse.**

Now consider the low end of our IQ curve — 1 in 2 people, if we agree that the word “average” means what it means.  We’ve already stipulated that these folks won’t make it without some industrial assistance, and — “average” meaning average — this will remain true no matter how successful our eugenic efforts are in encouraging the Innovative 0.1% to put down the calculators and get it on once in a while.  No State that extends the franchise to people who by definition can’t hack it will long endure, and if we’re not in it for the long haul, then what’s the point?  Again, we might as well preemptively surrender to the Chinese, who will, again, simply do it for us.  A detailed, implementable plan for managing the 50% of us who are below the line must necessarily be the second step any HBD-aware state takes….

…. right after the first step, which is scrapping the idea that any kind of “representative” government will lead to anything other than a grunting Idiocracy, since, you know, “average” means average.

At least the tv will be funnier.



*I don’t mean the “math be rayciss” blather the blue-haired nose-ringers preach.  Rather, it seems obvious that any IQ measure must measure, in part, the simple ability to pay attention, and that this is largely a learned skill.  I think the people blaming iCrap for the well-observed drop in modern intelligence are mostly right.  The ability to bear down and think a problem through — the very notion that this is a problem requiring sustained thought, rather than just asking Alexa — is mostly cultural.
**see why I joke that I’m the only guy anyone knows who really believes in evolution?  Darwinism has some very unsavory, very obvious consequences that it takes a hell of a lot of work not to notice.


Loading Likes...

Failure Theater, Democrat Edition

Lots of people, myself most certainly included, call the Republicans “the Stupid Party.”  That’s a bit unfair.  Not that the GOP isn’t brain dead — they most certainly are — but the Democrats are equally stupid.  The difference being, of course, that the Media trumpets Republican retardation and stays resolutely mum on Democrat dumbassery.

So this “government shutdown” thing is going to be an interesting test case of the Media’s narrative-shaping power.  As much as the Media tries to paint the “shutdown” as Trump’s fault, even their best efforts can’t hide the fact that it’s the Democrats’ doing.  Trump has offered them ludicrous, base-enraging concessions — the cries that Trump is “just about to cuck!” are as routine on the Right as “the shutdown is causing orphans to starve in the streets!”-style stories are on the Left — but Pelosi et al steadfastly refuse to compromise.  Totally open borders is the hill they’ve chosen to die on, and all the spin in the world can’t hide that it’s their choice….

Or so it seems to anyone who is halfway paying attention.  The question is, how many of us are paying attention, even halfway?  So much of what “everybody knows” is just Media gaslighting.  It has always been this way, of course, but in the pre-Internet days you had to almost be some kind of conspiracy theorist to ferret out the real news.  These days, the Media all but hires skywriters to advertise that they’re the volunteer PR firm for the Democratic Party.  If it ever got to a court of law, “not knowing the Media is just Dem propaganda” would be actionable as “willful negligence.”

It should be interesting, to say the least.  If it becomes obvious to everyone that the Media is losing control of this particular narrative, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see them gin up an “atrocity” to shift everyone’s attention to the shiny new story.  As we’ve seen with all the other recent “active shooter” investigations, nobody’s much interested in learning just how and why these guys do what they do.  Any word on the Las Vegas shooter, for instance?  The biggest mass homicide in American history, and the Media coverage lasted, what, a week?

If Trump holds firm, maybe we should invest in kevlar futures.

Loading Likes...


Dear Readers (all 14 of you),

As we were getting inundated with comment spam, I turned the “discussion” section to “users must be registered and logged in to comment.”

As this was how we’d decided to roll in the first place — and I am the doofus who changed the setting when performing one of WordPress’s patented “blow everything up and start over from scratch” “updates — I take full responsibility for any inconvenience.  Sorry about that.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas.

Loading Likes...

What Would a “Dissident Right” Government Look Like?

A thought experiment.

First, some assumptions.  A reevaluation of the social contract is required.  Hobbes’s version, upon which all modern political theory is based, sounds right: We form governments to protect our physical security; we exchange some of our rights, whether in perpetuity (to the Leviathan) or conditionally (Locke’s version), in order to secure to ourselves and our posterity etc.  But Hobbes’s theory is fatally flawed: The famous State of Nature, the “war of all against all” which we form governments to escape, assumes that all men are equal.  Hobbes doesn’t say that every man is the same — that’s a position so absurd I doubt anyone has seriously held it — but he does say that a rough equality prevails in nature, such that men are functionally equal — the dumb-but-strong guy can’t lord it over the small-but-clever guy, or vice versa, indefinitely, because one will always find a way to kill the other.

That’s just false.  Hobbes knew it, too, which is why, when pressed to describe a people that might actually be in the State of Nature, the best he could come up with was the North American Indians surrounding Plymouth Colony…. which he, and every other educated man in England, knew were hardly rugged individualists.  His conclusion was right — States exist to provide collective physical security — but his premises were wrong.  We can’t make the same mistake.

What, then, is the modern definition of “security”?  

Let’s take Communist China as our “enemy.”  Let’s further stipulate that even if we pared down our defenses to the bare minimum — hardened ICBM launch sites; some missile boats with “dead man switches” that fire automatically if they’re out of contact for a few hours — a Red Dawn-style conventional invasion would be too costly provided the US stays together as a coherent political entity.*  Still, these days “diplomacy by other means” covers a lot more territory than military action.  Defending against cyber threats, currency manipulation, etc. will require a lot more State than the libertarian fantasy would have it — cybersecurity alone has lots of layers that require some active direction from the top.

So: What should the State be doing?

Start with first principles:  It’s obvious that Hobbes was wrong, and that people aren’t roughly equal, in the State of Nature or anywhere else.  See “ICBMs, necessity of,” above.  In Hobbes’s day, you could almost forgive a philosopher for thinking that everyone is roughly equal, because in Hobbes’s day armies still had cavalry staffed by guys with titles like “Sir This” and “Earl That” and “the Duke of The Other Thing.”  Prince Rupert is pretty much your best case scenario there, and he was beaten by a bunch of commoners with muskets, any one of whom could take down the best equipped, most highly trained, bluest-blooded knight just by crooking his finger.  That’s what Hobbes had in mind when he postulated functional equality in the State of Nature.

Modern life. though, is what your Robert Putnam types call “cognitively stratified.”  Our hypothetical war vs. the ChiComs is almost entirely a brainpower war — our geeks vs. theirs.  Prince Rupert with a musket has a 50/50 shot against Joe Schmoe with a musket, but neither of them stands a chance against a stealth drone.  So: a modern State that is serious about its security must do, at minimum, the following:

  • Acknowledge that IQ is real; that it is heritable; and that “society” has next to nothing to do with it
  • Actively channel living people with high IQs into defense fields
  • Encourage high IQ people to breed.

All of that is, of course — sigh — “Social Darwinism,” and we’re all terrible horrible no good very bad people for even reading that phrase.  You’ll also notice that we’re a lot closer to the Leviathan than we’d like, particularly those of us who fancy “freedom” and “individual rights” (whatever those phrases could possibly mean in a world where Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez is obviously being groomed to be President of the United States).  But such is life, at least under the Social Contract, which is the only legitimating philosophy that even slightly, kinda sorta, hypothetically limits the State’s power.  Swim, fish!… or die.

You’ll also notice that the Constitution is null and void under this dispensation.  De jure, I mean, and not just de facto — as one cannot be a part-time missile engineer, or an amateur research chemist, the State will need to compel lifetime service from the most talented fraction of its population.  Whether that’s consistent with the “republican form of government” we’re promised under Article IV, Section 4 can’t be left to the ruminations of Hawaiian Judges, especially since that same sentence also requires the Feds to protect us from foreign invasion, and we know how Hawaiian Judges tend to rule on that.  Either Article IV will need to be amended in such a way that it absolutely cannot be penumbra’d or emanationed into saying its exact opposite, or we’ll need to scrap the whole thing.  The entire history of US jurisprudence from Marbury v. Madison —  in which Mr. Chief Justice Marshall found the notion of “judicial review” buried somewhere in all the stuff the Founders didn’t say but surely must’ve meant to, even though lots of them are still around to ask — suggests the latter as the only prudent course.

Part II later.



*If there really is a Civil War 2.0, of course, the ChiComs will be more than happy to assist their fraternal socialist allies in the People’s Republic of California in fighting off Flyover Country, the New Confederacy, etc.  Which is why I assume the keyboard warriors that populate the “Alt-Right” are all boning up on their Mandarin.  Should Chinese boots ever touch American soil, y’all, they’re going to make the Spetsnaz look like the Vienna Boys Choir.  Trust me, Internet Tough Guys: You do NOT want the shooting to start, no matter how great you think you’d look with Patrick Swayze’s 1980s mullet.
Loading Likes...


As the Left has no principles, only power, we need to put aside our principles, too, and start seeking power for power’s sake.  So we should start thinking about what power is.

Imperial Romans derided Christianity as a religion for women and slaves.  Christians would claim that their religion’s rapid spread under extreme persecution is proof of its truth.  But a naturalistic explanation faces the same problem: How did “a religion for women and slaves” turn into “a religion for manly legionaries” in the space of (at most) 150 years?  That’s pretty impressive now; in a low-tech, low-fi world like the later Roman Empire, it really does seem miraculous.

The answer, I’d argue, has to do with the Romans’ understanding of power.

Roman legions didn’t triumph because Italians were impressive physical specimens.  Ancient accounts go on and on about how huge and strong the barbarians are, and while we can dismiss some of that as propaganda, archaeology seems to confirm that, mano-a-mano, Germans were tougher hombres than their opponents in the legions.  But legionaries were disciplined — a legion whose commander wasn’t a complete fool could triumph over forces much larger than itself, provided the line held.  Iron self-mastery, not brawn, won the day for the Romans, and that’s how they understood power — a true Roman reveals himself by holding the line, no matter what.

In other words: Who has more power than a man utterly willing to die?

The pagan Romans had their “martyrs,” I suppose — men and women who endured awful conditions with unflinching fortitude — but always in the remote past; “Catonian” was more of an epithet than a compliment to people who had known the living Cato.  But the Christians had dozens, hundreds, maybe thousands of people willing to die right now — who seemed fanatically eager for death, in fact.  They actually worshiped their founder’s shameful death — the most shameful of all deaths, and an excruciatingly painful one, too.  No torture could make those people recant.  They died with a prayer on their lips.  What is that, if not ultimate power?

That understanding of power died with Friedrich Nietzsche.  Here’s G.K. Chesterton, ironically arguing against Nietzsche, on courage:

Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die. ‘He that will lose his life, the same shall save it,’ is not a piece of mysticism for saints and heroes. It is a piece of everyday advice for sailors or mountaineers….He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water and yet drink death like wine.*

Courage is self-mastery to the point of death.  Only someone who has faced death — real, immediate, personal death — can truly know if he’s courageous, or a coward.  No matter how much power he has over everyone and everything else, he still doesn’t know if he has power over himself, because he can’t know.

Lacking opportunities to test ourselves — I should say “thankfully lacking opportunities,” as a world war now is the end of the human race — we’ve lost sight of what courage really means.  Instead, we’ve elevated cruelty to its place.  Just as Marxism turns envy from the worst vice (it’s what caused the angels to fall) into the best virtue, so Leninism turns ruthlessness and brutality into sham courage.  It was the Black Cat Milita, not the Bolsheviks, who said “my honor is my loyalty,” but that’s what Lenin meant when he wrote of a “vanguard party” willing to do whatever it takes to further the Revolution.  Leftists think they’re brave when they inflict barbarities on us.

The one ray of hope is: They’re not willing to die for it.  Totalitarian regimes always collapse eventually, because the increase of power after power is, as Nietzsche recognized, ultimately futile.  Only mastery over the self is real power; it’s the only thing that gives life meaning, even to atheistic power-worshipers like Nietzsche.  Mistaking cruelty for courage, our Leftists will eventually rip themselves apart… or someone with nothing left to lose will do it for them.



*I think Chesterton badly misunderstood Nietzsche, but there was a lot of that going around in the early 20th century.  Nietzsche’s works were “edited” beyond recognition by his Nazi shrew of a sister, and poorly translated to boot.



Loading Likes...