In Soviet America, Surveys Take YOU!

The now-defunct discipline of “Sovietology” was one of the few areas of the ivory tower in which one was allowed to be an open conservative, so it produced more than its share of colorful incidents.*  One of my favorites was Robert Conquest’s re-titling of his seminal work on Stalin’s purges, The Great Terror.

Originally written in 1968. Conquest was forced to rely on the only information available to historians in those days — official Soviet reports, declassified CIA intercepts, testimony from dissidents and escapees, etc.  He was of course pilloried for decades because of this, since the logical inferences he made, though perfectly consistent with the available sources, went against Socialism, then as now academia’s official ideology.  He stoically endured until the Soviet Union’s collapse and the opening of their archives, which proved him right in just about every respect.  But finally he couldn’t take it any more: When asked by a BBC interviewer what he’d change about his book now, he replied “only the title.  I’d call it I Told You So, You Fucking Fools!”

Alas, it’s not true; the new title was a real suggestion all right, but made on Conquest’s behalf by his friend, the novelist Sir Kingsley Amis.  The point is, this kind of thing has been going on for at least three generations now.  As we all know, “a Liberal ___” is a Liberal first and a ___ only a very distant second, and if there’s ever a conflict between the two — as is inevitable, Reality being what it is — Liberal always wins.  As blogfather Morgan says, the only logical thing to do is paste those “parental advisory” stickers rap albums have onto any and all “research” involving Liberals, because it’s all but guaranteed there’s some fudging going on somewhere.

Which brings to mind another Soviet-era joke.  This one’s not apocryphal; it’s a pun in Russian.  Isvestia means “news;” Pravda means “truth.”  As these were the titles of the two main Soviet newspapers, Ivan Sixpack quipped “there’s no news in the truth, and there’s no truth in the news.”  This has been true in America, too, at least as far back as the Sixties.  As all histories of the period were written by Liberals, based on “news” “reported” by Liberals, it’s all but guaranteed that everything we “know” about the period is wrong.  I’m starting to wonder if there even was a “Vietnam War.”  After all, if they can fake a moon landing, it’s child’s play to fake a war….

The difference between then and now isn’t the Internet, as most people who haven’t thought about it say.  (Seriously, read any political site on the Net, Left or Right.  You’ve got a better chance of spotting Elizabeth Warren’s Cherokee ancestor than you do catching a glimpse of objectivity).  Rather, it’s that the Left, having gotten away with so much for so long, has finally forgotten why they bothered to fake it in the first place.  The kind of gross incompetence on ever-increasing display since 2016 goes beyond hubris; it’s only possible thanks to a historical amnesia so vast, not even the Russians have a word for it.

Liberals used to be great at playing the double game.  They came off as the voice of sweet reason in public, while embracing their “direct action” lunatic fringe in private, because they knew they’d never get called on it.  Should any Leftist politician get caught on camera saying something stupid, the Media would simply burn the tape before the nightly news, just as they were guaranteed not to show all the anarcho-commie banners that made up — indeed, still make up — the majority of “peaceful” Leftwing “protests.”  Meanwhile, the Media could be counted on to distort anything the Right said or did, from making giant pro-life rallies look tiny to only showing photos of infiltrators at Tea Party events.  So long as they didn’t start acting like lunatics on live TV and social media, Liberals were golden.

We all know how that turned out.

That’s why the November elections offer a ray of hope.  Now, I don’t think for a second we can vote our way out of this — sorry to rain on your parade — but the results should be a pretty good bellwether of how screwed we really are right now.  Only the truest of true believers still trust the “Blue Wave” polls… and even they’re backing down (the polls, I mean, not the true believers.  They’ll never stop).  If the official report is “Dems up 5,” then the reality must be closer to “Republicans up 10.”

If the Dems win, or if it’s even a toss-up, we might avoid serious violence for another election cycle, as their tried-and-true tricks worked this one last time.  But if they lose….  since there’s no way to claim “Russian hacking!” about every single race nationwide, violence will be all they have left.  And if the Normals are awake enough to consciously know the entire Media apparatus is lying to them — and what other conclusion could we draw from a “Red Tsunami“? — then when the Left starts shooting, as they must, chances are good the Right will start shooting back.

Or maybe not.  Remember, very few Sovietologists saw the end of the USSR coming.  When these things happen, they happen with blinding speed.  But if I were a betting man, I’d put money on Red… then start fortifying my compound.

 

 

*Funny how that works — Right-Answer disciplines need conservatives to make them work, as we’re discovering as we try to replicate the glories of Soviet science, circa 1950.  They set themselves back decades in biology, for instance, by going all-in on Lysenkoism, because — and ONLY because — Lysenko had the “correct” socio-political background.  If you ever wondered what going to the doctor was like in the USSR circa 1972, wait ten more years, for all the diversity hires to fully take over the med school faculties.
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The Spirit of ’68 – UPDATED

As hard as it is to believe now, Leftists used to be formidable opponents.  When Orwell described the typical Socialist of tremulous old ladies’ imaginations, he was arguing against a stereotype:

The typical Socialist is not, as tremulous old ladies imagine, a ferocious-looking working man with greasy overalls and a raucous voice. He is either a youthful snob-Bolshevik….or, still more typically, a prim little man with a white-collar job, usually a secret teetotaller and often with vegetarian leanings, with a history of Nonconformity behind him, and, above all, with a social position which he has no intention of forfeiting.

Old habits die hard, and old beliefs die harder, so it’s no surprise that people back then thought real Socialists were bomb-throwing rioters who were one strike away from seizing the factories.  Radical politics was a contact sport well into the 20th century (The Road to Wigan Pier was published in 1937, when the Russian Revolution was barely 20 years old).  One could be forgiven for thinking, even then, that the “prim little man with a white-collar job” had a few working-class bruisers he could call on if things got tough, because for quite a while, he actually did.

The Left was formidable on the other end of the spectrum, too.  Back then, a college education meant something — hell, back then a high school education was an achievement.  Have you ever actually read Communist literature?  It’s dense, full of arcane jargon and Capital Letters, charts and graphs, facts and figures.  Even that quintessential 20th century chimera, the New Soviet Man, seemed to have the imprimatur of science — we know now that psychoanalysis is bunk, but the Frankfurt School sure made it look like Socialism was the scientifically proven high road to mental health.   When all you’ve got is a sixth grade education, when you can’t even pronounce things like “Oedipus complex,” you’re going to feel yourself at an insurmountable disadvantage going up against some egghead with a PhD.

The commies knew it, too, which is why the first thing they did when they signed you up for the Party was get you enrolled in some classes.  I bet most of you don’t know that this is what “community colleges” were for, back when the movement got started at the turn of the 20th century.  It’s no accident, as the Marxists back then liked to say, that schools designed to level up the skills of working men and grammar school teachers were immediately taken over by fellow travelers.  The New Soviet Man was supposed to be something like a street-brawling longshoreman with a Master’s degree, and that’s what they set out to build, all over the West.  And it worked, too, surprisingly well, such that intellectually gifted, courageous men like Whittaker Chambers could become high-ranking Communist cadres.

We all know what happened after that: The Baby Boom.  David Horowitz is a good example of the change.  A Red Diaper Baby, Horowitz got all the heavy intellectual training the Old Left invested in its intellectuals; Horowitz can still argue Dialectical Materialism with the best of ’em.  But though he was technically born right before the Baby Boom (1939), he got swept up in its emotional atmosphere — the Ramparts crowd was interested in cultural revolution, not critiques of the forces of production.  They were the leading lights of the New Left, and all the New Left really wanted to do was flip tables, break shit, and freak out the squares — overthrow “The Man” first; figure the rest out later.

Which is the same position we — Our Thing, the “alt-right,” whatever the hell we’re calling it this week — find ourselves in today, comrades.

Section break!

The reason the Old Right was defenseless against the Old Left was that the Old Right, having facts, reason, and 5,000 years of intellectual history on its side, had no idea how to argue against the jargon-spewing fuggernauts trying to turn the whole world into a Worker’s Paradise.  Leftism looks like an argument — a coherent set of propositions, backed up by facts and reason.  It sounds like an argument, a formidable one.  But it’s not an argument.  It’s a set of tautologies.

That’s why the Old Right’s counterarguments fail so brutally.  A tautology is true by definition — e.g. “whatever will be, will be.”  We all know this is just a proverb, a nifty little reminder not to stress out too much about things we can neither predict or control.  Nobody who says “whatever will be, will be” considers it a serious prognostication on a future state of affairs, so nobody considers techniques for refuting “arguments” based on it.  Because what could those possibly even be?

Annnnnd that’s where the Left gets you, because ALL Leftist “arguments” are tautologies.  We’ve all had a good laugh at things like “false consciousness,” or statements like “Sarah Palin isn’t a real woman.”  They’re impossible to take seriously — Sarah Palin is, obviously and undeniably, a woman — so we don’t take them seriously, and we assume the people making them don’t either.  But they do, my friends, they do.  If you don’t believe me, dust off your old Logic 101 textbook and tell me how “Sarah Palin isn’t a real woman” differs from “false consciousness.”  They both run exactly like this:

All women (X) are pro-abortion (Y).  Sarah Palin is not pro-abortion; therefore, Sarah Palin is not a woman.  Or, all capitalist societies (X) are miserable (Y).  The United States is not miserable; therefore, the United States isn’t capitalist… but since that statement contradicts the Scriptures, it must be the case that the undeniably-capitalist United States only seems not-miserable… false consciousness, comrade.

I know, I know, my brain hurts too, and once again, that’s how they get you.  It’s almost impossible for a cognitively normal person to “think” this way, and because the falsity is so glaring, so painful, we assume that we must be missing something.  Maybe if we just immerse ourselves in all that jargon — the “modes of production,” “intersectionality,” and whatnot — we’ll find out what we’re missing, so that we can go back and plug the proper terms into the deduction and prove to the Left that they’re being illogical.

It won’t work, comrades, because it can’t.  You can’t argue against a tautology.*  What ends up happening, of course, is that poring over their Scriptures infects you with Social Justice Toxoplasma, exactly as it’s designed to do.  The Buckley, neocon, National Review brand of “conservatism” is really just Leftism with a few tax cuts attached, because they tried to argue with the Left.

What we need to do is to steal the tactics and worldview of the New Left.

Whatever you want to call them now — the New New Left, the CultMarx Cult, the Cathedral, the Poz — the inmates have been in charge of the asylum for generations.  They’re in the same position the Old Right was back when this whole business started — they’ve been in power so long that they take “being in power” as the natural state of affairs.  Not only don’t they have any arguments for their positions, they don’t know that there ever were any, because they don’t see it in terms of “positions” and “arguments.”  This is just the way things are, and anyone who disagrees is some kind of “hater” — mentally ill; not to be taken seriously; to be treated, confined, or shot, as the situation dictates.

Rules for Radicals is a great book; we should carry it around the way the Red Guards carried Quotations from Chairman Mao.  We should read up on Cloward-Piven, and put it into action.  Cloward-Piven is an attempt to overload American social services by signing up as many people as possible, in order to collapse the economy and spark The Revolution.  Thanks to Sen. Warren, aka Little Rounding Error, aka Pico-hontas, we now know that 1/1024th Mesoamerican (not even actual American Indian!) DNA is sufficient to claim all the Affirmative Action perks our Native brothers are entitled to.  Let’s get every single college student in America on full scholarship — adios, higher ed bubble!

Don’t get caught up in heavy theorizing.  Don’t worry about what comes after The Revolution.  Do what the New Left did — at worst, you’ll end up with tenure at an Ivy League law school and have your name tossed around as a potential Democratic presidential candidate.

 

 

*Seriously, if you read nothing else in your life, read David Stove’s “Idealism: A Victorian Horror Story,” Parts I and II (available in The Plato Cult and Other Philosophical Follies, and yes, you’ll need to buy it, because you need to read both).  Marxism is Idealism; Idealism rests — totally, completely, entirely — on a false “deduction” from a tautology (from “we can only know things as we can know them” to “we can’t know things as they are in themselves”).  As every single flavor of Leftist nonsense is based on Marxism, this destroys every intellectual pretension the Left has ever had.

UPDATE:  If you’re curious about how one lousy little tautology could generate so much murderous nonsense, I’ve attempted to lay it out on a separate page, here.  I can’t do justice to either Stove’s thought nor his prose, but on the upside, it’s free.

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Own Goals

I admit it, I was wrong.  I thought 50% of the reason the Left wins is because they’re impossible to take seriously.  But then Elizabeth “Dances with Socialism” Warren took a DNA test, and now I’m certain it’s more like 75%

When Lieawatha first came to my attention, I thought “surely no one who looks like that would be stupid enough to….”  But of course I was wrong, because that’s why she came to my attention in the first place.

“But given that,” I thought, “surely nobody would be so dumb as to double down on it.”  I was wrong there too, because nevertheless, she persisted.

“Even so,” I said to myself, “surely someone who knows enough about the rules of evidence to get a law degree wouldn’t be so foolish as to take a DNA test, especially when she’s on record saying her grandparents faced discrimination because of their Indian-ness.”  But, there it is.

Will any of this matter to the moonbats when Warren throws her hat in the ring for 2020?  Of course not.  And as for us Normals, we have this weird mental block where we assume that someone who has been so thoroughly humiliated would never dare show herself in public again.  When even Orrin Hatch is bagging on you, for pete’s sake, there’s no hole deep enough to crawl into… or so we Normals think, anyway.

And yet, there’s a better-than-decent chance that this woman ends up the Democratic nominee in 2020, which means, what with the constant immigration and the voter fraud and all, there’s a better-than-decent chance this fucking clown ends up the next President of the United States.

It’s pretty simple, y’all — if facts and reason motivated any significant part of human behavior, there would be no Liberals.  As impossible as these bozos are to take seriously, we can’t afford not to, not even for a second.  Fauxcahontas just scored a huge own goal; we need to put that fucker up on the scoreboard, and keep it there.

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Open Thread

I’m sick.  I’m tired.  I’ve got nothin’.  So what the hell, everyone else seems to do these.  How about an open thread?  What is it that you want to discuss?  Anyone have any post suggestions, comments, concerns?

I can’t speak for Morgan, Phil, etc., but I’m up for whatever.  I enjoy and appreciate all twelve of y’all, not least because we’re all contrarian enough not to let things devolve into a circle jerk.  So….

Open thread.

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The Medium is the Message

I have a naive view of art.  I think it’s made up of two things, the medium and the message.  The medium is the artist’s materials plus his skill.  The message is whatever idea he’s trying to convey with his art.  Simplistic, yes, but it lets you talk about art without resorting to what the British charmingly call “art bollocks.”*

Great art, for instance, doesn’t have to be particularly original to be great.  This

is about as conventional as they come, in both medium (paint on a ceiling) and message (that God loves us).  It’s only the artist’s great skill that makes it great art.  On the other hand, this

has an even simpler medium, but more complex message (Seurat is trying to give us the “out of the corner of your eye” view, which points out just how fuzzy, temporary, and context-dependent our perceptions really are).  It’s great art because it highlights something fundamental about the human condition.  Do all our impressions work this way?

It works in reverse, too.  Just as great art doesn’t have to be a heartbreaking work of staggering genius to be great, so bad art fails not from lack of skill, but because the artist’s skill is used in the service of something false.  That’s why you can spot “socialist realism” a mile away, though tremendous effort and real talent went into its production.

Vasily Orlov, The Nature Hunt (1950)

That’s not bad art because of bad technique, or because the subjects are unattractive.  It’s not even overtly political.  And yet, everything about that painting is wrong.  It’s just false, and you can see it everywhere — the figures’ expressions, their postures, the field, the flowers, even the sunlight seems just slightly off.  It’s like something your grandma would paint after a few courses at the Y — the old bird’s got talent, but doesn’t have anything to say other than “kids were cuter back in my day.”

Which brings us to now, when the medium IS the message, as Marshall McLuhan famously said — the stuff on TV is true, because it’s on TV.  Seriously, try it for yourself.  Have you ever made a sustained effort to not watch TV?  I don’t mean “turn off the idiot box at home” (though that’s a great idea too); I mean don’t watch a glowing screen, period.  It’s nearly impossible.  TVs are everywhere, and they’re magnetic.  Even if you yourself have Catonian self-control, go to the bar and watch others interact.  There are always TVs on at the bar, and no matter what people are doing — drowning their sorrows in whiskey, arguing sports or politics, trying to get laid — you’ll see everyone’s eyes constantly flicking up to the TV in the corner.

Then watch the TV itself.  Being in a bar actually helps here, because you want the sound to be off.  TV is a passive medium — if ever the family really did sit around and watch shows together, those days are long past.  TV is just background noise now, and the people who do the programming most certainly know  it.  You’ll get the message much better if you’re not distracted by the content (McLuhan said the content is just like a piece of raw meat a burglar brings to distract a guard dog).  Is the presenter grim-faced and serious?  Whitey did something bad. Is he chipper and upbeat?  Get ready for a fluff piece about a Magic Negro.  Are there only graphics, words, on the screen of the most visually-dependent medium of all?  The Diversity did something bad.

Which suggests a wonderful line of counterattack.  Betcha didn’t see that coming!!!

Art imitates life, remember?  (For those who remember their Aristotle, this is mimesis (I had to look it up)).  Think of SJWs — by their nose rings ye shall know them.  Whether it’s mimesis or Marshall McLuhan who’s ultimately responsible, the whole SJW “look” is ugliness-for-the-sake-of-ugliness.  The nose-ringers themselves don’t think this, of course; the message they’re trying to convey is that they’re dangerous nonconformist rebels.  But see above — Orlov’s intended message was “communism rules;” the thought that picture actually invokes is along the lines of “I wonder who the Kommissar will shoot first if their flower baskets don’t meet the targets of the Five Year Plan.”

Now, take Herr Sturmbannführer** up there.  That’s a serious, dangerous-looking man, and not just because he’s got an Iron Cross and two lightning bolts on his collar.  He’d still be a panty-dropper even if he were dressed like your typical dude-bro goober.  You see where I’m going with this….

The medium is the message.  I don’t care what Trigglypuff has to say.  She may have all the facts, data, and logic in the world — I know, I know, but let’s stipulate — and I’m still not going to listen, because she looks like Trigglypuff.  Meanwhile, Herr Sturmbannführer impresses me despite myself.  I know what he’s about — one does not rise to high rank in the Waffen-SS without committing a few war crimes — but I can’t help it, I’m curious.  How does a man like this believe something like that?

We need to use this!  Our message is right; our look should be tight.  We can’t all look like panzer commanders, but we don’t have to — SJWs are such deliberately grotesque slobs, all we have to do is dress like we respect ourselves.  Watch our language and habits — don’t get drunk in public, don’t walk around munching on a greasy hamburger, don’t cuss, and for pete’s sake never wear flip flops, tank tops, or sportsball jerseys.

Meanwhile, the standard rebuttal to any and all Leftist hyperventilating on Twitter, Facebook, whatever should be nothing more than: Posting a picture of the hyperventilator.  Your Ace of Spades types, for instance, spend lots of hours online arguing with Matt Yglesias types.  This is Matt Yglesias:

’nuff said.  The medium is the message.

 

 

*The author of that piece, David Thompson, has an excellent blog.
** Yes, I looked it up.  This is, after all, the Internet — I don’t want to get 45 comments from people who can’t see the point because I accidentally called that guy a lieutenant colonel or something.
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What’s the Matter with Kansas Now?

Karl Marx got a few things right — when history repeats itself again, it’s a farce.  Our Guys are Thomas Frank now.

For the benefit of younger readers, Frank’s 2004 tome What’s the Matter with Kansas? was one of those Wild Kingdom-style political documentaries, in which the intrepid Liberal leaves his deep blue enclave and disappears into the Midwestern mists, bringing back strange tales of feral savages who drive pickups, shop at WalMart, and go to church on Sundays.  You know, the kind of thing only a guy who looks like this could write:

It’s a master class in point-missing.  Pay attention, this will be on the midterm:

Out here the gravity of discontent pulls in only one direction: to the right, to the right, further to the right. Strip today’s Kansans of their job security, and they head out to become registered Republicans. Push them off their land, and next thing you know they’re protesting in front of abortion clinics. Squander their life savings on manicures for the CEO, and there’s a good chance they’ll join the John Birch Society. But ask them about the remedies their ancestors proposed (unions, antitrust, public ownership), and you might as well be referring to the days when knighthood was in flower….

The larger interests that the [Democratic Party] wants desperately to court are corporations, capable of generating campaign contributions far outweighing anything raised by organized labor. The way to collect the votes and — more important — the money of these coveted constituencies, “New Democrats” think, is to stand rock-solid on, say, the pro-choice position while making endless concessions on economic issues, on welfare, NAFTA, Social Security, labor law, privatization, deregulation and the rest of it.

Would those corporations that the Democrats are so desperate to court be the same corporations that stripped Kansans of their job security, blew their life savings on CEO manicures, etc.?  The ones the Democrats are bending over and lubing up for, on every issue except abortion?  Or are they different ones?

To me, this sounds like Kansans are just getting on the winning team under the terms of Frank’s own “logic.” I mean, ya know, if “corporations” are going to fuck you over no matter what party you vote for, shouldn’t we salt-of-the-earth types at least vote for the party that isn’t all-in on wholesale baby murder?  But hey, that’s just me; I don’t get paid to write for Harper’s Magazine or get interviewed on NPR.

Whatever, point is, the folks in Our Thing now find ourselves in a very Thomas Frankish position vis a vis places like Kansas.  Like all pantywaist ivory tower soybois who’ve never worked a day in their lives (BIRM at least 3x, I know), Frank assumes that economic issues should always trump cultural ones.  That the eeeeeevil GOP he’s forever railing against also assumes this is so ironic my toes are starting to rust just typing this, but that’s where we are.  The core problem Our Thing faces is: He’s right.  Provided that the latest iCrap has a slightly wider screen, White folks will continue to enable their own extermination.

In fact, economics-over-culture is forcing us to make the same arguments loony Leftists made half a century ago.  I love quoting Orwell on imperialism:

The alternative is to throw the Empire overboard and reduce England to a cold and unimportant little island where we should all have to work very hard and live mainly on herrings and potatoes. That is the very last thing that any left-winger wants. Yet the left-winger continues to feel that he has no moral responsibility for imperialism. He is perfectly ready to accept the products of Empire and to save his soul by sneering at the people who hold the Empire together.

It’s fun to sneer at people like Frank and Orwell — I plead guilty — but we’re on the flipside of the same coin.  Orwell thought his fellow Englishmen would throw over the Empire and go back to shivering, potato-chomping irrelevance if only they knew how bad folks had it in Bangladesh.  We “alt-right” (or whatever the hell we’re calling it this week) seem to think our fellow Americans will happily embrace a 1950s standard of living — in which a whole hell of a lot of homes didn’t even have air conditioning — because Doris Day just shut up and sang.

“No a/c” beats genocide, I’ll cheerfully admit, but what do you think will have to happen before people start thinking those are their choices… IF those are their choices at all?

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The Face You Deserve

The Classical Greeks held that Beauty, Truth, and Goodness are the same thing — the Good is the True, which is the Beautiful.

The old cliche has it that by 50, you have the face you deserve.

Put ’em together, and you have one top shelf COPROP campaign.

It’s no accident that 95% of Liberals are ugly, and that the 5% who aren’t (Hollywood actors and whatnot), are degenerate freaks.  Ugliness — physical, moral, and mental — is a logical outcome of Leftism’s premises, and it always has been.

Stripped of all its formidably dense pseudoscience, Marxism is just Utilitarianism elevated to a religion.  Utilitarianism means “the greatest good for the greatest number.”  Obviously the Plain Janes of both sexes far outnumber the truly attractive people.  The valorization of physical attractiveness, then, causes way more pain to more people than it ameliorates.  Therefore, physical attractiveness is counterrevolutionary, comrade.

Lenin obviously agreed.

Not only that, but the beauty industry — Big Lipstick, let’s call it — is one of those tools of hegemony Antonio Gramsci was always going on about.  It’s impossible to achieve the proper revolutionary consciousness when you’re worried that Mao suits make your butt look big, and that’s just how Big Lipstick wants it.  Same deal for working out and eating right — nobody does it just for the health benefits; if they did, they’d eventually stop talking about their fitness routine, and, of course, no one ever does.  That, too, is a tool of social control, because it reinforces bourgeois values like “self-control.”  So not only is physical attractiveness counterrevolutionary in itself, but so is wanting to appear more attractive than you are.

Last, there’s the fact that the Proletariat is…. well, not to put too fine a point on it, the Proletariat is disgusting.  Factory workers aren’t the heroic, iron-jawed, muscle-bulging supermen of Communist propaganda.  Real factory workers look like this:

Lefties knew it, too, even back then, which is why Theophile Gautier, one of the deans of art-for-art’s-sake, famously proclaimed that “the most useful place in the house is the toilet:”

There is nothing really beautiful save what is of no possible use. Everything useful is ugly, for it expresses a need, and man’s needs are low and disgusting, like his own poor, wretched nature. The most useful place in a house is the toilet.

Faced with that reality, the only thing to do is to make ugliness itself into a political statement, which Bolshevik women, to their… credit? I guess?… got going on right away:

That’s Nadezhda Krupskaya, Lenin’s main squeeze, and she’s actually not too hideous by Bolshevik standards.*  Here’s Emma Goldman, rocking the true revolutionary intellectual look:

See what I mean?  “Fat acceptance,” slutwalks, and all the rest of it follow naturally from Bolshie beliefs.  If you accept — as a good little Dialectical Materialist must — that there’s nothing to human happiness but bread, shoes, and shit, ugliness — physical, moral, mental — becomes a good in itself.  How could it be otherwise?  Only truly useless things can be beautiful, and useless things, by definition, do not further The Revolution.

Too bad for the Bolshies that it’s in our nature to confuse the messenger with the message.  I like to think of myself as an open-minded, tolerant man who takes things as they come, but holy jeeebus, I don’t care what Emma Goldman’s deal is — if she’s for it, I’m against it.  I need bleach for my eyes.

We need to use that.  It’s no coincidence that Ashley Judd and now Taylor Swift are spouting off about Progtard politics — they used to be cute; now they’re not.  See what Social Justice does to you, ladies?  Stay cute – vote Trump.

 

*Alas, nobody refers to Russian women who joined the Party as “bolshe-chicks,” but feel free to use it.

 

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The Taylor Swift Thing

I really couldn’t give a rat’s ass about contemporary pop culture, but the Taylor Swift freakout entertains me a little.  If Our Side had any game at all, we’d be doing something like this:

This is your body before Social Justice.  And this….

…is your body after Social Justice.

The “Game” guys have it right on this one.  There’s no super-secret evil plan here.  Swift is only 28, but pop tarts age in dog years.  If she wants to continue having a career, Swift needs to become a “serious artist,” which as we all know is synonymous with “SJW-cliche-spouting Progtard.”  By coming out (heh heh) in favor of the Democrat at the tail end of a losing race, she’s testing the waters, trying to figure out which way her second career is going to go.  Will she be the new Sarah McLachlan, or will she spend the 2020s opening up for the Indigo Girls?

Remember: Modern politics is almost exclusively aesthetic.  We have the pretty girls.  They have the ugly girls.  Which means they get the formerly pretty girls who hit the Wall at Mach 3.  “Social Justice: It’s What’s For Dinner” would make one hell of a COPROP meme.

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The Liberal Rage Virus

I’ve mentioned it before, but I highly recommend Robert Jay Lifton’s Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism, his study of “brainwashing” in early Mao-era China.  He listed eight criteria for successful “thought reform:”

  1. Milieu Control. This involves the control of information and communication both within the environment and, ultimately, within the individual, resulting in a significant degree of isolation from society at large.
  2. Mystical Manipulation. The manipulation of experiences that appears spontaneous but is, in fact, planned and orchestrated by the group or its leaders in order to demonstrate divine authority, spiritual advancement, or some exceptional talent or insight that sets the leader and/or group apart from humanity, and that allows reinterpretation of historical events, scripture, and other experiences. Coincidences and happenstance oddities are interpreted as omens or prophecies.
  3. Demand for Purity. The world is viewed as black and white and the members are constantly exhorted to conform to the ideology of the group and strive for perfection. The induction of guilt and/or shame is a powerful control device used here.
  4. Confession. Sins, as defined by the group, are to be confessed either to a personal monitor or publicly to the group. There is no confidentiality; members’ “sins,” “attitudes,” and “faults” are discussed and exploited by the leaders.
  5. Sacred Science. The group’s doctrine or ideology is considered to be the ultimate Truth, beyond all questioning or dispute. Truth is not to be found outside the group. The leader, as the spokesperson for God or for all humanity, is likewise above criticism.
  6. Loading the Language. The group interprets or uses words and phrases in new ways so that often the outside world does not understand. This jargon consists of thought-terminating clichés, which serve to alter members’ thought processes to conform to the group’s way of thinking.
  7. Doctrine over person. Members’ personal experiences are subordinated to the sacred science and any contrary experiences must be denied or reinterpreted to fit the ideology of the group.
  8. Dispensing of existence. The group has the prerogative to decide who has the right to exist and who does not. This is usually not literal but means that those in the outside world are not saved, unenlightened, unconscious and they must be converted to the group’s ideology. If they do not join the group or are critical of the group, then they must be rejected by the members. Thus, the outside world loses all credibility. In conjunction, should any member leave the group, he or she must be rejected also.

I did a whole series on this (start here), but it’s worth rehashing here, as at that point we only had six regular readers and now we’re up to twelve (wow, a 100% increase!  We all deserve raises).  We can boil it down to two crucial points:

  1. You can find all of this stuff, right out in the open, at any college in the land.  I’m not exaggerating when I say that Lifton’s eight steps are pretty much just what college IS these days.
  2. It doesn’t have to be “total” to work.

The second point is worth expanding, because of course you can’t go the full Mao on college kids — you have to let ’em off campus sometime.  The best you can reasonably do with the majority of kids is to infect them with Social Justice toxoplasma, a latent infection that flares up intermittently for the rest of your life, like malaria.  As David Stove said of Hegel, you can’t be exposed to very much of this stuff without contracting the habit of thinking the way they want you to think.  “Privilege,” for instance, is everywhere; it’s just part of the human condition.  But it’s lethally easy to start blaming people for their “privilege,” and once you do — even once — you’re infected.

Leftism isn’t a set of doctrines, obviously — the SJW catechism changes daily, without warning, as we’ve all seen.  Nor is it a mindset, a way of thinking, a weltanschauung.  All of those are too all-encompassing, and nobody’s a full-time Leftist, because that’s impossible.  Seriously — you can’t grow potatoes by “thinking” like a Liberal, because that would entail you can grow potatoes whenever you want, regardless of climate or season, so long as the soil is sufficiently #Woke about its “nitrate privilege.”

Leftism only works if you think about it as a latent infection, that flares up when conditions are right.  One of my granddad’s old war buddies, for instance, got malaria courtesy of Emperor Hirohito back in 1944.  Every few years he’d get run down with the flu or whatever, and then, when his constitution was at its lowest, boom!  He’d have malaria again.

Leftism’s like that.  It’s like the rage virus from 28 Days Later, except instead of turning you into a spastic zombie full time, it only flares up when activated.  The point of American “education,” then, is simply to infect you with the virus.  And trust me, I speak from long experience — put the typical kid through all eight of Lifton’s steps, and they will contract SJ toxoplasma.  It’s almost impossible not to.

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Forbidden Thoughts and Common Sense

In The Book of the New Sun (see previous post), the protagonist’s nation is at war with a group called the “Ascians,”  Wolfe swears this shouldn’t be read as “Asians,” but Wolfe saw combat in Korea…. so yeah, they’re the Yellow Hordes, and their “language” consists solely of quotations from government propaganda.  A central episode of the final novel is the narrator listening to a “story” by an Ascian prisoner, told entirely in soundbites from (the far future equivalent of) Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book.

Folks who study totalitarianism call these quotations “thought-terminating cliches,” and while the prisoner is capable of making his meaning known with them, the story he tells is itself a cliche — that of a just man being persecuted, then rescued by The Party.  It’s a neat trick.  Wolfe both humanizes the prisoner, by showing his inventiveness, while also showing that collectivism reduces even the most intelligent, inventive man to thinking in patterns no more complex than a fairy tale.

Orwell tried a different technique in 1984.  The Ascians are window dressing in Wolfe’s books, but Newspeak is central to Orwell’s.  As Orwell explains, Newspeak aims to reduce human thought by reducing vocabulary.  With only a handful of words that have unchanging, concrete meanings, one simply can’t express abstract concepts like “love” or “justice” or “freedom,” and so they cease to exist.

Our modern Ed Biz gurus haven’t gotten quite to either point yet — though not without some serious effort in both directions — but they’ve come up with something equally insidious, that works almost as well: Stuffing students full of disconnected factoids.   Ray Bradbury described it in Fahrenheit 451:

chock them so damned full of ‘facts’ they feel stuffed, but absolutely ‘brilliant’ with information. Then they’ll feel they’re thinking.

That’s modern “education” in a nutshell: Endless praise for the endless regurgitation of “facts”… and punishment for putting any two facts together.

Just to stick with a theme from the Hard Truths, consider two “facts” that “everybody knows” about human beings: 1) We share 96% of our DNA with chimps, and 2) the “theory” of evolution is true.  Now, suppose for the sake of argument that both of them actually are true.  If one were genuinely curious about human origins, one would ask the immediate, obvious question these two facts raise: What’s in the 4%, that gives us language, music, and the Designated Hitter?  There’s only A, C. G, and T, for pete’s sake — which combo do we have, that chimps don’t  have, that lets us paint the Sistine Chapel while their only art form is flinging poo?

But now the punishment kicks in.  I bet some of y’all were even tempted to it yourselves — “whaddaya mean, suppose evolution is true?  What are you, some kind of gap-toothed fundamentalist?”

See what I mean?  You’re Smart for knowing that evolution is true, and you’re Smarter for knowing we share 96% of our DNA with chimps.  Everyone who Fucking Loves Science does!!

It’s not quite Newspeak, but we’re getting there.

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