The Real Generation Gap

It’s fascinating — and scary — to see how we pay for the sins of our fathers.

The Greatest Generation, having lived through World War II, came to believe there’s no problem that can’t be solved with an application of good old fashioned American firepower.  This brought us Vietnam.

The Baby Boomers, having lived through Vietnam, came to believe there’s no problem that can. This brought us Bosnia, Gulf War I, and the current mess.

Gen X and the Millennials, having lived through the current mess, will probably come to believe that it doesn’t matter, since the Progressives’ kinder gentler smart power war looks exactly like the Neocons’ splashy lazy quasi-imperial war, and the only winners in either case are Halliburton and Lockheed-Martin.

I’m betting that “hey, not my problem, dude” will become the unoffical foreign policy motto of the United States once the kiddos take charge.  It’s going to be a smaller, colder, meaner world, that’s for sure.

In Bizarro World…

…where I’m in charge of propagandizing for ObamaCare, I’d do it something like this:

imagesHi!  I’m Tommy!  Sometimes medical bills get to be too much, even for a successful, male, white professional like myself.  But now, thanks to ObamaCare, I can get the help I need!  Thanks, Democrats!

Have you read up on the 1920s?  If you haven’t, you really should.  That’s when all the coffeehouse Marxists learned what it takes to succeed in the revolutionary game.  World War I showed pretty decisively that the working class, far from being ripe for international socialism, was stupidly patriotic — far more so than the plutocrats and titled twits who sent them to die in their millions in the trenches.  When the revolutions came — Russia 1917-18, Germany 1918-19 — it was because the middle class was finally feeling the pinch the way the lower classes had been since 1914.  So, too, with the fascist turn in the 1920s and 30s –Weimar survived until the second round of hyperinflation and unemployment wiped out the remainder of the middle class.

If present trends continue, we’ll really start feeling the pinch around 2017.  By that time, even the “educated” nitwits in places like Portland will be starting to realize that, to steal Tom Sowell’s wonderful phrase, self-congratulation is a terrible basis for social policy.  We’ll have elected a Magic Negro and a Magic Lesbian by that point, and the economy will still be in the crapper.  It’ll be about then that people start looking around and noticing that some folks were a lot quicker to embrace the wonders of socialism than others, and are doing a lot better with it….

That being the case, should President Hillary! ask me to head up the propaganda division, I’d find the pastiest, prettiest white boy I could find for the face of ObamaCare, and plaster his smarmy mug on every available surface.  Because once the majority of the middle class realizes they will be proletarianized, the shooting starts.  The way to avoid that, as Lenin, Mussolini, and Hitler discovered, is to co-opt the brightest and most ruthless bourgeoisie as vanguards.  They’ll take care of the rest.  (The lower classes will happily stomp faces as stormtroopers, but your revolutionary cadres, the Red Guards and various other vanguards of the proletariat who make the new regime go, are universally middle class).

But while you’re doing that, you need to mollify the rest of ’em, to keep them from noticing the obvious just a little bit longer.  That’s where stockbroker boy up there comes in.

I don’t know if Our Betters are smart enough to actually take this advice — the “educated” bourgeoisie these days, of course, isn’t — but they should.  Time will tell.

Book Recommendation: Europe’s Inner Demons, by Norman Cohn

This got me thinking about this.

I know I’m prejudiced, and I know I’m bigoted in a lot of different ways,” Cuban said in an interview shown at the annual GrowCo convention hosted by Inc. magazine, according to The Tennessean.

“If I see a black kid in a hoodie on my side of the street, I’ll move to the other side of the street. If I see a white guy with a shaved head and tattoos (on the side he now is on), I’ll move back to the other side of the street. None of us have pure thoughts; we all live in glass houses.”

Aaaaaaannnnndd the usual suspects all freak out, because Serious You Guys, Mark Cuban just admitted he’s a raaaaacist.

I actually see this as a hopeful sign.  As Norman Cohn’s wonderful book points out, witch hunts don’t happen when things are going well for the ruling power.  When forces beyond their control threaten their position, elites blame forces literally beyond their control — demons and devils, witches and warlocks.  Can anybody with a working brain and an elementary grasp of the English language truly believe Cuban’s comments “advocate racism,” as (perpetually unnamed) “critics” allege?

After six years of Obama, even the dimmest of the fightin’ fightin’ nutroots must be questioning their entire worldview.  Not even the palace guard media’s best efforts can disguise the fact that the USA is basically a banana republic now.  The elite knows this, so cue the frantic heresy hunts.

Narcissism Will Kill Us

Jammie Wearing Fool, quoting a story at TheHill about the VA scandal:

On the “Daily Show,” Stewart joked that Shinseki’s “mad as hell face” looked “a lot like your, ‘Oh, we’re out of orange juice’ face.”

Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University, said Shinseki is an ineffective front man for the administration’s clean-up efforts — much like Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius during the ObamaCare rollout.

“His affect is impassive and unemotional — a pure technocrat,” Jillson said. “So it looks like when a serious problem is uncovered that has an emotional dimension to it, that they didn’t get it, didn’t care, weren’t moving as forcefully as they should have been.”

JWF sees this as progress, and maybe it is, but notice what all these comments are about: pwecious widdle feewings.  Jon Stewart and this Cal Jillson fellow are suggesting that it’d be all good in the ‘hood if Shinseki just looked madder.

Jonah Goldberg has written about a billion words on this, so I’m paraphrasing him here:  When it comes to brain surgery, I’d much rather have a dispassionate doctor than a passionate plumber holding the scalpel.  Because, you know, feelings aren’t results.

Our culture’s narcissism is terminal. I mean that literally — it’s gonna kill us.  Because what’s the next logical move here?  Obama’s not going to “fix” the VA.  He can’t — the VA is what government-run medicine is.  So he’ll do the only thing he can do, which is to make sure that all his appointees look “madder than hell.”  Endless histrionics, combined with a few splashy firings of mostly low-level, completely redundant underlings.  So not only will the waiting lists and the rationings and the coverups continue — cf. the definition of government medicine — but now even more time will be wasted on showy emotional pabulum.  The docs at the VA will all get a week’s worth of mandatory sensitivity training, in which they too will learn to sham being “mad as hell.”

And meanwhile patients will still die from lack of care, but hey, we’ll all look appropriately upset about it.

Re-Reading Orwell

is a fascinating experience.  He clearly saw the sickness of high-Victorian imperialism, and got the diagnosis mostly right.  As, for that matter, did Lenin.  And, like Lenin, Orwell couldn’t forsee that the capitalist economies, far from being wrecked by war and the loss of empire, would simply rebuild their “prosperity” on the shifting sands of easy credit.  When Lenin railed against “finance capitalism,” he had companies like IG Farben in mind.  He had no idea that Lehman Bros. would wield far more power than industry ever would, or could.

I wonder what Orwell would say now?  For all he railed against the “bearded sandal-wearers, fruit-juice drinkers, and nudists” that gave “the movement” a bad name among the British bourgeoisie in the 30s, his version of Socialism was scarcely less barmy and utopian than theirs.  He saw quite clearly that embracing Socialism would require abandoning the Empire, which would make England once again a poor, shivering, insignificant country on the periphery of Europe… but he thought his fellow countrymen would do it anyway, because social justice.

Sadly, I think the opposite is far more likely.  As the false prosperity of easy credit recedes, the empire-builders will get busy again.  Only this time, there’ll be no high-Victorian blather about a mission civilisatrice Han Chinese technocrats don’t go in for the Yellow Man’s Burden.  And while I personally am quite looking forward to asking Our Betters “what about Booooooosh!!?!!” every day — who says you can’t have fun in a reeducation camp? — I feel sorry for the poor bastards in Africa and Central Asia who will spend their days toiling for folks that think King Leopold’s Ghost is a how-to guide.  Heck, if I were a betting man, I’d put a few bones down on a Russo-Chinese War breaking out here in the next two decades.

A New Category: Gleichschaltung Watch

Because it sure looks like we’re gonna need it.

From Weasel Zippers, via Jeff Goldstein.

US Department of Justice’s “Operation Choke Point” asks banks to identify customers who may be breaking the law or simply doing something government officials don’t like. Banks are then told they must “choke off” those customers’ access to financial services, shutting down their accounts. The secretive operation began in 2013.

Well, there you have it.  As I’ve said so many, many times, It Can’t Happen Here, so there’s nothing to worry about.  Trust our benevolent overlords.

If Hillary! doesn’t like “all within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state” as a 2016 campaign slogan, might I suggest this one?

Miserable Marxists

Via Ace, a great PJ Media column on the Frankfurt School.

I’ve long suspected that most “political philosophy” is just gussied-up personality tics.  (Certainly including mine — I truly, madly, deeply don’t care how you live your life, so long as you don’t make a public nuisance of yourself; the rules are there to make sure I don’t have to care).  Which is depressing on a whole lot of levels.  What would suffice to cheer the Marcuses and Adornos of the world up, if life in beautiful sunny 1950s California couldn’t do it?

Like the man said:

The whole gospel of Karl Marx can be summed up in a single sentence: Hate the man who is better off than you are.

Marxism exists because pathetic losers want to rationalize their failures.  The fact that Adorno wasn’t happy as a clam in California puts the lie to Marxist epistemology.  “It is not consciousness of men that determines their being,” Onkel Karl wrote,  “but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness.”  Adorno’s social being went from Nazi Germany to Malibu and his consciousness remained unchanged.  Therefore, Marxism is false.  QED.

Our best hope, then, is to get the omega males and fugly warpigs of the left a Prozac prescription (and laid, if there be professionals patriotic enough to fall on that grenade for the greater good).  Facts and reason are useless against them.

Today’s Vocabulary Word: Gleichschaltung

Learn it, live it, love it.

From Rhymes with Cars and Girls, the story of a Florida couple fined $746 for practicing private charity:

“If you want to feed people, and you want to do a good, Christian act, we encourage you to coordinate with the social service agencies.”

Josef Goebbels was not available for comment, so here’s Wiki:

Gleichschaltung (German pronunciation: [ˈɡlaɪçʃaltʊŋ]), meaning “coordination”, “making the same”, “bringing into line”), is a Nazi term for the process by which the Nazi regime successively established a system of totalitarian control and coordination over all aspects of society. The historian Richard J. Evans translated the term as “forcible-coordination” in his most recent work on Nazi Germany.

[In case you missed it, the key word is “Nazi.”  Thanks, Wiki!]

The period from 1933 to 1937 was characterized by the systematic elimination of non-Nazi organizations that could potentially influence people, such as trade unions and political parties. Those critical of Hitler’s agenda were suppressed, intimidated or murdered. The regime also assailed the influence of the churches, for example by instituting the Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs under Hanns Kerrl. Organizations that the administration could not eliminate, such as the education system, came under its direct control.

Has Hillary got a 2016 campaign slogan yet?  If not, “All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state” has just the right ring to it.

Climate “Science:” Making the Galileo Fallacy True since 1998

Another climate scientist defects to the skeptics, is purged.

The five contributing scientists submitted the paper to Environmental Research Letters – a highly regarded journal – but were told it had been rejected. A scientist asked by the journal to assess the paper under the peer review process reportedly wrote: ‘It is harmful as it opens the door for oversimplified claims of “errors” and worse from the climate sceptics media side.

At this point, I simply assume anyone who uses a version of “because science” is lying.