Monthly Archives: November 2015

Was Pharaoh Left Wing?

Mulling over Morgan’s piece of the same title, which recaps a conversation several of us were having about the terms “Left” and “Right.”  Morgan offers up three criteria for telling the difference between them:

Cultural Drive: The Right Wing seeks to drive our culture in one direction, where the Left Wing seeks to drive our culture in the opposite direction. We could pose to each side, or to an opinionated-person of unknown orientation, the following question: Is work just for suckers?

Relationship Between People and Government: Is there such a thing as Natural Law? This leads up to a question that has been asked, for ages, by Americans who couldn’t be bothered to read the Declaration of Independence: Do our rights come from government? And that leads to: What is a “right,” anyway? Is a right a right, if someone else has to pay for you to have it?

Foreign Policy: Liberals don’t define “peace” the way normal people define it. They seem to understand that for a peace to endure, someone has to do some compromising; but they don’t want to be the ones doing it. So if there is peace, but they’re not getting everything they want, then there can’t be any peace. Somehow, this means every military conflict that comes along is the fault of their opposition.

Good stuff, and I agree with all of it.  But there’s a fourth dimension, and that’s where the heart of our friendly disagreement lies.

The more we look into it, the more we return to that pivot-point, like a homing pigeon, which is the difference in consequence. The Right Wing has to work with it, the Left Wing does not. It’s almost as if…I would say, exactly as if…the Left Wing formed its relationship to reality, when it got busted by its mom for taking cookies out of the jar, and pulled a fast one on her with a bit of nonsense about “Actually, I was putting it back.” And that worked, either because the small-em mom wasn’t into confronting them about the obvious falsehood, or she wasn’t the sharpest tool in the drawer.

Whereas the right-winger, in the same situation, ended up having to carve his own switch.

Truth, therefore, to a left-winger is whatever successfully sells the pitch. Belief is a dedication to whatever that “truth” is. It is only the right-winger — and, true, genuine centrists — who see truth as truth, something that is inextricably fastened to consequences. This brings us back to the analogy of “Did I put the lug nuts on the wheel the right way?” It inspires a whole different way of thinking, a whole different direction of thinking.

Again, I agree with this.  But: I think this emphasis on consequences invalidates the idea that Pharaoh — or any but a tiny handful of governments — could be called “Left Wing.”

As Morgan says, folks who don’t adequately address the relationship of facts to consequences is doomed to fail.  Which explains the brief, and usually spectacularly bloody, lifetimes of left-wing regimes.  Consider the Soviet Union.  Life expectancy wasn’t as long in the USSR for obvious reasons, but still, there must have been very many people who saw the red flag go up over St. Petersburg in 1917, and lived to see it come down in 1991.  It wasn’t lack of political will that doomed the Soviet Union — guys like Lenin and Stalin were willing, indeed eager, to inflict every kind of barbarity upon their subjects.  And it wasn’t lack of resources, since Russia was the other superpower.  It failed because facts and consequences didn’t match up.

And that’s the best-case scenario for a fully left wing regime.  With the most indomitable will, and all the resources of a space-faring superpower, you can keep buggering on in the face of reality for…. 74 years.  Three generations (two of them, let us note, fully Sovietized, in case anyone wants to make the argument that “saboteurs” and “wreckers” from the old world caused the USSR’s downfall).  A lifetime’s worth of hell for those poor souls caught in it, but a single human lifespan nonetheless.  The lifespans of other communist regimes were even shorter — without massive subsidies from the USSR, pretty much every communist government worldwide collapsed within a decade (and the ones that didn’t either found a new sugar daddy, as North Korea did with the Chinese, or exist in enforced geographical isolation*).

But that’s not the case with Pharaoh, or any of the other old-timey “dictatorships” under Morgan’s rules.  Egypt, for instance, was conquered a few times before succumbing for good to Alexander the Great, and our records of the very earliest times are pretty spotty, but that still gives us three thousand years or so of Pharaoh’s rule.  The Western Roman Empire hung on for half a millennium, and the Eastern for a thousand years after that.  If you consider the style of rule, as opposed to the names of the rulers, you could make a pretty good argument that the Chinese emperors ruled for about 99% of recorded human history.

Which is not to say that all Roman emperors or Egyptian pharaohs were even competent rulers, let alone good ones.  But such history as we know of those regimes seems to indicate that the reality-averse ones were removed fairly quickly.  Claudius might’ve been every inch the dictator that Caligula was, but he wasn’t crazy.  Reality, in other words, made an impression on him, in a way it simply didn’t on his nephew.  If you want to call Caligula a left-winger, be my guest (he and President Obama certainly seem to have similar opinions of themselves).  But it’s hard to shove the shrewd, practical Claudius into the same boat.

Morgan’s rules do apply to the 20th century, though, and to the French Revolution, i.e. the one previous attempt to put Utopian daydreams into practice.

In brief, I’d say the distinction is more like what Thomas Sowell says in The Vision of the Anointed.  Left-wingers believe there is nothing but this life.  Therefore, all is possible in the here-and-now, and because there’s no supernatural constraints on behavior there are no Natural ones either.  Right-wingers, by contrast, believe in the “Constrained Vision” — we’re bound by Natural Law or, failing that, at least by the laws of basic math.


*That’s why I’m ok with Obama’s decision to normalize relations with Cuba, by the way.  Oh, I know he did it for all the wrong reasons — as with everything He does, it was just another chance to stick his finger in America’s eye.  But the US Navy’s enforced isolation of  Cuba is the only thing that kept Castro in power.  After 1991, he have needed to move to Miami to find Cubans to rule, or doing his best pinata impersonation from the nearest lamppost.

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Why I Write about Bad Ideas from the Victorian Era

Ace of Spades, on our Glorious Leader’s refusal to bomb jihadis:

Terrorists, he’s told us so many times, are merely misled and misinformed creatures who just need some good economic opportunities and maybe some #HashtagUplift from the State Department and then they’ll stop being terrorists…. It’s only the Exalted People who actually count in this world, and who are actually capable of making moral decisions. The Exalted People — the ones on TV, largely — are a sort of breed apart. They are the only people capable of making free choices. This is of course hysterically condescending and elitist, but worse than that, this attitude that ISIS terrorist soldiers are just like the “bitter clingers” of Pennsylvania, clinging to their xenophobia, guns, and religion, and thus are to be pitied and led into enlightenment, is what permits ISIS’ reign of terror.*

* I’ve seen this belief described as “Vulgar Marxism” — the dumbest, crudest distillation of Marxism, the assertion that practically all human choices are actually dictated by economic circumstances.

This isn’t “Vulgar Marxism.”  If anything, it’s more sophisticated than plain ol’ Marxism, because in Karl Marx’s world, there are no free choices whatsoever.  Everyone’s “social being” is determined by his relation to the means of production, and — all together now — “a man’s social being determines his consciousness.”

That would seem to be a problem for Marx’s beloved Revolution, though.  If nobody can overcome the limitations of their class situation, then how is revolution even possible?  But this is only a problem if you haven’t read Marx, or you aren’t a Hegelian philosopher, or if you just subscribe to what we around here like to call “Earth-logic.”  Because, you see, Marx claims that Revolution is inevitable, because History.

Yes, he really says that.  History is a huge, anthropomorphous Force — indeed, it is the only Force — making the world go.  History talks to itself — this process is called “dialectic” — and the result is what happens in the real world.  Hence, “dialectical materialism.”

What Ace is describing is Leninism.  That’s where the whole “Vanguard of the Proletariat” thing comes from.  Marx’s theory was so obviously bonkers that it needed serious modification if it were ever to be put into practice.  For one thing, you’ll notice that being a revolutionary is pointless under Marx’s original theory, since the Revolution will happen regardless.  For another, it’s also impossible, since no one — including all potential revolutionaries, and  Uncle Karl himself — can transcend the cognitive limits of his class situation.  (Hey, it almost sounds like Marxism is the kind of self-contradictory airy-fairy bullshit that only intellectuals could possibly believe!).  So Lenin retconned himself and his merry band of murderous psychopaths into Marx’s original theory by giving them, and only them, the ability to transcend their class situation sufficiently to send the rest of us to the gulag.

It’s important to call it what it is, because that way, you can evaluate the historical record and predict what our latter-day Leninists will do if given the chance.  The New Economic Policy, for example, bears studying… as does its end.

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The Jackboot Corollary

This right here is why I keep saying Fascism — capital F, armbands, cattle cars, the works — is inevitable in America:

It’s tempting to assume that whites are too timid and lost to fight back. Some are, for sure, but action in the streets has a funny way of bringing out the revolutionary in even old men. A big part of what plagues the West is there’s no place for men in modern societies. Rioting Muslim hoards in the streets suddenly will spike the demand for white males willing to crack skulls. The supply will soon follow.

The Z Man has discovered what I’m dubbing the Jackboot Corollary to Say’s Law.  Say’s Law is often misquoted as “supply creates its own demand.”  That’s not actually what it says, and it seems to be more false than not in any case when it comes to economics…. but as a social phenomenon, “supply creates its own demand” works quite well.

There is an oversupply of frustrated manhood in the West — read Roosh V, the guru of “neomasculinity.” His gospel is basically Ward Cleaver-, straight-from-the-1950s-style “be a man” updated for a feminist-dominated world.  He, and a few other clear-eyed ex-Pickup Artists like Heartise and Matt Forney and Vox Day, have realized that most of their readership has no interest in picking up girls — all the convoluted jargon and “sex at dawn” sub-Darwin theorizing of “PUA” is basically fantasy sports.  But unlike fantasy sports, their stuff has real world applications, and there are legions of guys who are willing to do whatever it takes to “be a man” out in the world… if only someone would show them how.

So these guys got into politics, and the minute they start holding Promise Keeper-type rallies, there are your stormtroopers.  The minute the Social Justice Warriors feel threatened by this, they’ll do what they always do — knuckle under, flip sides, and dial their new allegiance up to eleven.  And there are your einsatzkommando.

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Winners Write the Dictionaries, Too

We all know that the winners write the history books.  I suspect that they also write the dictionaries, and because they do, our modern discourse is short a few useful words.  Like “fascism,” for instance.  As Orwell said way back when, these days it just means “something not desirable.”  But that’s only because the Axis were Fascists and they lost the war.  Military defeat invalidates Fascism as a politico-cultural system, we think, so we’ve all agreed to scrap a useful word… and because we lack the words to talk about it, we’re caught completely flat-footed when it comes back around.*

“Barbarism” is another.  The Greeks, Romans, and Chinese knew what a fragile thing civilzation is, so they had a special word for the uncivilized: “Barbarians.”  It didn’t just mean “uncivilized,” though; I don’t think they’d call the basically Stone Age hill tribes that dotted the edges of their world “barbarians,” though they held them in complete contempt.

Rather, a barbarian is one who is actively against civilization.  Barbarians live to pillage and destroy, and if they get inside the gates, they’ll go out of their way to wreck everything beautiful inside your city, even if — it seems, especially if — there’s no portable weath in it.  They love squalor and revel in fillth, and when it comes to religion, the more bloodthirsty the god, the better.  Torture for torture’s sake is a barbarian pastime — maybe their only pastime.

But then Varus got his stupid ass massacred, and Rome fell, and we lost a useful word that’s tailor-made to describe our enemies.  What are ISIS but blue-assed savages capering beyond civilization’s borders?

I got to thinking about this reading the Z Man’s latest:

Islam is a fine religion that brings peace to millions of people around the world. It’s simply incompatible with western civilization. The people who practice Islam want things that are antithetical to western liberalism. Therefore, there can be no mixing of the two. The Mohammedan has to stay in one of the 50 countries that practice Islam and the western liberals must stay in the West. It is why we have separate countries.

And so it was with the Celts and Germans.  Barbarism is anti-civilization, but it is so by choice.  When you read Caesar’s Gallic Wars, you see a very simple, effective, and indeed humane way of dealing with barbarians.  You’re welcome to as much Roman culture as you can stand, Caesar told his defeated adversaries, but in the meantime, you will keep the peace.  Kill and eat each other to your hearts’ content in your own territories, but cross that river and I’ll slaughter you to the last man.  And… when you finally tire of shivering your naked asses off in mud huts, we’ll be here to show you a better way.

I know, I know — this is cultural imperialism.  But you know what?  Just plain old “imperialism” is another useful word that’s long gone.  Consider the British Raj — now those guys knew how to manage a Muslim population!  But they were even better with Hinduism, and that’s another reason “imperialism” needs a second look.

Traveling in South Asia is kinda schizophrenic.  India’s major cities have areas that look quite Western, and the better-off folks who live there have an interesting blend of traditional and Western culture.  Many middle-class and up Indians are vehemently Hindu — for instance, the BJP, the largest in the country and currently the head of state,  is a Hindu nationalist party — but they’re also quite Western in outlook.  Out in the sticks, though, you hear horror stories about the kind of primitivism that led to Napier’s famous remark about suttee:

Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs.

And that, indeed, was one of the primary missions of the Indian Civil Service — to maintain the proper balance of national customs.

The ICS is also the major reason that, among decolonized states, India is among the very few that didn’t devolve into dictatorship.  In Africa, especially, the European powers simply handed over the keys to the first bunch of natives in neckties when they abandoned their colonial possessions; the lunatic rule of educated-past-their-hat-size marxoids like Julius Nyerere and Macias Nguema were the result.  However bad imperialism screwed over the natives, then — and for all the bluster coming from academia, the jury is still out — it was a lot better than post-colonialism.  Think about it:  Would you rather live in Cecil Rhodes’s Rhodesia, or Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe?  Frederick Lugard’s Kenya, or Raila Odinga’s?  The “babus” of the ICS were able to drag the subcontinent into the 20th century.

This is not to say imperialism is the only way to manage barbarians, of course — the Chinese built a wall.  But when Western Civilization’s corpse finishes twitching, and if our descendants ever want to give representative government another go, they’ll need to resuscitate a few of the good old words.


*Forget US politics for a sec.  Find as objective a definition of Fascism as you can.  Then, look at the political and economic structure of the People’s Republic of China.  It’s Mussolini’s wet dream over there, but because we have no other word, we’re forced to use theirs: “Communist.”  Which is useless, both as an aid to understanding Communism and — vastly more important — as a predictor of the PRC’s future behavior.

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Blogging: Just Footnotes to Orwell

Alfred North Whitehead said that all Western philosophy is just a series of footnotes to Plato.  I often feel like blogging is just a series of footnotes to George Orwell.

Via Ace’s overnight thread, Bookworm:

As a writer, I hate passive voice and I hate euphemisms. Any sentence that hides the actor either by removing him entirely from the sentence or by throwing him in at the end as an after thought, and that uses euphemism to turn a heinous act into an anodyne one is a cop-out and a white wash. Examples of these cop outs and white washes include variations of all of these statements:  “French people were killed” or “French people die in attack,”or “Paris hit by terrorist attack,” or simply “Poor France,” or “What a terrible tragedy,” or “Our thoughts are with France.”  Each is a cowardly effort to avoid saying that “Islamic jihadists slaughtered more than 129 people in cold blood and wounded more than double that number.

Leftism lives on euphemism.  As we know, ignorance of history is liberalism’s flux capacitor:

It's what makes faith in socialism possible.

It’s what makes faith in socialism possible.

And in many ways, as Orwell notes and Bookworm reiterates, euphemism is ignorance’s flux capacitor.

Expressed in plain English, Karl Marx’s “ideas” are the kind of gassy pothead nonsense that’d get you kicked out of a community college philosophy club.  But Marx knew what he was doing; he knew exactly what a certain kind of bloodthirsty lunatic would make of his prose, and built it specifically for them.  The abuse of language is pivotal to socialism.  Orwell:

As I have tried to show, modern writing at its worst does not consist in picking out words for the sake of their meaning and inventing images in order to make the meaning clearer. It consists in gumming together long strips of words which have already been set in order by someone else, and making the results presentable by sheer humbug….

…People who write in this manner usually have a general emotional meaning — they dislike one thing and want to express solidarity with another — but they are not interested in the detail of what they are saying. A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: 1. What am I trying to say? 2. What words will express it? 3. What image or idiom will make it clearer? 4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect? And he will probably ask himself two more: 1. Could I put it more shortly? 2. Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly? But you are not obliged to go to all this trouble. You can shirk it by simply throwing your mind open and letting the ready-made phrases come crowding in. They will construct your sentences for you — even think your thoughts for you, to a certain extent — and at need they will perform the important service of partially concealing your meaning even from yourself. It is at this point that the special connection between politics and the debasement of language becomes clear.

Marx said “man’s social being determines his consciousness.”  In plain English, this means “you can only know what society allows you to know,” which is, as Orwell would say, sheer humbug.  Logically, it’s a tautology — A = A.  As a metaphor, it’s meaningless, since if we could only know what “society” allows us to know, society could never change.  As epistemology, it’s self-contradictory — Karl Marx, as a part of society, can only know what it allows him to know, so how does he know that?

But because Marx phrased it that way, and surrounded it with a whole bunch more similarly obfuscatory verbiage, guys like Lenin took it to mean that people are infinitely malleable, because “society” can be changed by force — shoot everyone who isn’t part of Utopia, and whatever’s left is, by definition, Utopia.

Orwell also nailed modern intellectuals’ power-worship.  We tend to write our Islamophile intellectuals off as merely cowards (or, in the case of feminists who don’t say a peep about Islam’s barbarities, horny cowards) , but Orwell argues that’s wrong.  Writing about his fellow English intellectuals’ bizarre predictions for the course of World War II, Orwell says

If one went simply by these instances, one might assume that high intelligence and bad military judgement always go together. However, it is not so simple as that. The English intelligentsia, on the whole, were more defeatist than the mass of the people — and some of them went on being defeatist at a time when the war was quite plainly won — partly because they were better able to visualise the dreary years of warfare that lay ahead. Their morale was worse because their imaginations were stronger. The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it, and if one finds the prospect of a long war intolerable, it is natural to disbelieve in the possibility of victory. But there was more to it than that. There was also the disaffection of large numbers of intellectuals, which made it difficult for them not to side with any country hostile to Britain. And deepest of all, there was admiration — though only in a very few cases conscious admiration — for the power, energy, and cruelty of the Nazi régime. It would be a useful though tedious labour to go through the left-wing press and enumerate all the hostile references to Nazism during the years 1935-45. One would find, I have little doubt, that they reached their high-water mark in 1937-8 and 1944-5, and dropped off noticeably in the years 1939-42 — that is, during the period when Germany seemed to be winning. One would find, also, the same people advocating a compromise peace in 1940 and approving the dismemberment of Germany in 1945. And if one studied the reactions of the English intelligentsia towards the USSR, there, too, one would find genuinely progressive impulses mixed up with admiration for power and cruelty. It would be grossly unfair to suggest that power worship is the only motive for russophile feeling, but it is one motive, and among intellectuals it is probably the strongest one.

Power worship, he notes, makes present trends seem irreversible.  Radical Islam (Nazism, Communism, the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere) goes from triumph to triumph, wiping the floor with so-called democracies; our turn is right around the corner, so best to get on board now.

Note, too, that this explains the smart set’s universal allegiance to Social Justice.  Social Justice, Political Correctness, what-have-you hasn’t suffered a meaningful defeat in 30 years.  One is free to shout the worst imaginable abuse at conservatives while on the company clock, but wear a tacky shirt to work and you’ll get fired, even if you’re one of a few dozen people on the whole planet who can do that particular job.  The SJWs appear invincible.  So, too, with political parties — the Dems lose their share of elections, true, but when they gain power they immediately push through huge, high-visibility programs that affect everyone.  The ideal conservative government, by contrast, would be so small and remote that, as with antebellum America, most citizens’ only contact with it would be at the local post office.  Conservatism is designed to reduce government power, so it’s no wonder that wannabe-intellectuals — power worshipers to a man — vote Democrat.

In that same essay, Orwell nails the quintessentially American parochialism that makes us so baffling to enemies and allies as we blunder about on the world stage.

Whatever happens [in World War II], the United States will survive as a great power, and from the American point of view it does not make much difference whether Europe is dominated by Russia or by Germany. Most Americans who think of the matter at all would prefer to see the world divided between two or three monster states which had reached their natural boundaries and could bargain with one another on economic issues without being troubled by ideological differences. Such a world-picture fits in with the American tendency to admire size for its own sake and to feel that success constitutes justification… It is a ‘tough’ or ‘realistic’ worldview which fits in with the American form of wish-thinking. The almost open admiration for Nazi methods which Burnham shows in the earlier of his two books, and which would seem shocking to almost any English reader, depends ultimately on the fact that the Atlantic is wider than the Channel.

Guys like Steve Sailer argue that the so-called “deep state” (by which he almost certainly means “Teh Jooooos!”) is responsible for the fact that Barack W. Obama’s foreign policy looks remarkably like George Hussein Bush’s.  But it’s simpler than that — Bush and Obama, like Hillary and Romney and just about every other politician of both parties, has no problem with Vlad Putin re-annexing the Ukraine.  They don’t really have a problem with Iran as the Middle East’s nuclear-armed hegemon, either (though, as Sailer types will tell you at migraine-inducing length, Republicans have slightly more of a problem with it because Israel).  They just wish Vlad and the Mullahs wouldn’t be so farshtinkener gauche about it.  Cut a few deals, dial up a few air strikes, send in some special forces, and present it as a fait accompli in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.  That’s how we do it, and everybody makes a few bucks with minimal fuss.  They simply can’t grok that “make a few bucks” isn’t at the top of everyone’s priority list.

Finally, Orwell’s essay “Inside the Whale” nails the infantilization of our politics.  I’ve discussed this before, and a key passage of the essay is worth re-quoting:

Almost certainly we are moving into an age of totalitarian dictatorships—an age in which freedom of thought will be at first a deadly sin and later on a meaningless abstraction. The autonomous individual is going to be stamped out of existence….It seems likely, therefore, that in the remaining years of free speech any novel worth reading will follow more or less along the lines that [Henry] Miller has followed…in implied outlook. The passive attitude will come back, and it will be more consciously passive than before. Progress and reaction have both turned out to be swindles. Seemingly there is nothing left but quietism—robbing reality of its terrors by simply submitting to it. Get inside the whale—or rather, admit you are inside the whale (for you are, of course). Give yourself over to the world-process, stop fighting against it or pretending that you control it; simply accept it, endure it, record it.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the campaign of one Bernard Sanders.

A Bernie Sanders type has been running for president every four years for the last six decades.  Sixties flower children had Gene McCarthy; George McGovern was the kumbayah kid of the 1970s; Ralph Nader captured the moonbat imagination in the 80s and 90s; Dennis Kucinich and his “Department of Peace” hung around in the Bush years… but those guys were all third- or -fourth-party jokes (except McGovern, I guess, though he should have been; the dude carried one state against Tricky Dick Nixon.  In 1972).  It’s only now that a Sanders type — and honest-to-god Socialist, running on out-and-proud Socialism — is finally viable.

Now, before you rush in to tell me that’s because Hillary Clinton is the lousiest, most corrupt candidate this side of Robert Mugabe, please note that she still leads most Republicans in most nationwide polls.  And before you rush in to tell me that’s because the GOP’s candidates are also historically awful, please note that the leader of that pathetic pack may well be Ben Carson…. and if it’s not, it’s Donald Trump.

The American electorate, in other words, is living in fantasyland.  Nobody even pretends to be voting for a competent elected official.  How could they?  The only candidate with significant electoral experience is Sanders, and a Chicago city alderman makes bigger budget decisions, affecting way more people, than a Vermont senator.  Hillary Clinton spends most of her free time dodging subpoenas from her limited government service, and Carson and Trump have never been elected to anything, anywhere.  As late as 1992, the American public would’ve laughed itself into an aneurysm at the proposition that any of these clowns, or all of them combined Voltron-like into one uber-clown, could possibly be qualified for the Presidency of the United States.

As with Europe in the 1930s, America in the 2010s is a place where only national security matters… and these jokers’ main selling point is their utter inexperience in foreign affairs.  Now, y’all know I’m not one to fetishize a resume, but think about it — would you like to sit down at Versailles with Vlad Putin, knowing the tanks are gassed up and ready to roll?  Well, you have exactly as much international relations experience as Carson, Trump, or Sanders, and as we’ve noted, Hillary’s experience is such that it takes the entire MSM working round the clock to keep her out of jail over it.  Meanwhile, on the domestic front, Hillary’s doing her best Evita routine, Trump and Carson are as clueless as they are on foreign policy, and Sanders is promising us an entitlement state that was laughably unaffordable back in 1919, when America made basically all the things in the world and taking charity made you a social pariah.

George Orwell, I’ll remind you, died in 1949.  We are well and truly fucked, amigos.

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The Top Three Signs You Might be a Secret Leftist

Over at House of Eratosthenes, we’re having a discussion about the nature and history of Our Betters, the Liberals.  While I think Morgan and I have reached broad agreement, there are a few things that still need clarification.  And since I’ve always wanted to write one of those Gawker-style clickbait lists, I hereby present

The Top Three Signs You Might be a Secret Leftist:

  1. You think the world is perfectible.

At some point in that discussion thread, we got to talking about Mighty Pharaoh.  Was he a leftist?  Certainly a guy like Ramses exercized total power, but was he a totalitarian?  I say no, because the totalitarian credo — “all within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state” — claims that “the State” can be completely self-sufficient.

That’s not true, and even Ramses, who was raised to believe he was literally a god, knew it.  His main job as Pharaoh was to perform the rituals that kept the Nile flooding regularly.  It didn’t always work, and when the Nile failed to flood, Ramses didn’t send out the propaganda corps to proclaim that the Nile did flood, damn it.  Nor did he send out the secret police to arrest anyone who contradicted the propaganda.  God or not, he accepted some basic limitations on his power.

Leftists don’t do that.  They think there’s nothing their dogma can’t fix.  Take Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein.  Widely regarded as an allegory of the French Revolution, Frankenstein captures the boundless hubris of the Enlightenment — our understanding of Nature is so vast that soon we shall conquer death itself.  Rousseau, Robespierre, and especially their ape, Karl Marx — born just 3 years after Waterloo — promised utopia through political action.

Our modern Leftists are even more extravagant.  Marx only promised paradise to humans.  Just seven years ago, Leftists told us that the Earth itself would heal if only we voted for a half-term junior senator from flyover country.  And as for natures’s remaining imperfections, well, they can simply be legislated out of existence.  George W. Bush isn’t widely regarded as a Leftist, but he overturned one of the fundamental truths of mathematics by decreeing that, with No Child Left Behind, all students shall now be above average.  In much the same way, Our Betters have abolished biology — women have dicks now, and only skin color is heritable…. sorta.donezal

2. You never trust your own lying eyes.

Because if you do, you risk breaking one of the newly minted laws of nature.  Imagine you’re a woman in the restroom with the “Ladies” sign on it.  In walks a 6’2″, well-built former Olympic track star, who whips out his cock in front of the nearest toilet.  Are you going to shriek, then call the cops?  You’d better not, if you’re a Leftist!  Gender is just a social construction, my friend, and dicks and/or balls can be constructed female, too.

So, too, with math.  If George W. Bush could mandate that all children are better than average, it’s child’s play for Barack Obama to add a gazillion-dollar socialized medicine program that will lower taxes and reduce costs.

And above all, you must never, ever follow up on anything, ever.  If you looked at the initiatives of LBJ’s “Great Society,” for example — the War on Poverty and whatnot — it’d sure look like they not only didn’t solve the problems they were supposed to, but they actually made them much, much, much worse.  If you actually interacted with some immigrants, it would appear that Magic Dirt Theory is false, and that a change of latitude doesn’t automatically transform a 70-IQ socialism-worshiping Mestizo subsistence farmer into a Jeffersonian yeoman computer programmer.  You’d notice that, contrary to all your end of the world models, the globe hasn’t warmed at all, the polar ice caps are thicker, and polar bears are thriving.  Not that those things are true, of course — only the words of humanities professors and Democrat politicians are true — but they sure look true, and that causes feelbad.  Never, ever trust your lying eyes.

3. You claim unlimited dictatorial powers for yourself, because you’re the victim of everything.

This last is the hardest for normals to grasp, and getting it is the surest sign you’re a secret Leftist.  Leftists believe that oppression confers moral authority, and moral authority, political authority.  By the transitive property of equality, then, the guy who suffers most at the hands of others wields the most political power.  This is why that Melissa Click idiot at at the University of Missouri can whine about how oppressed she is even as she’s demanding — and receiving! — the services of “muscle” to remove onerous persons from her royal presence.  It’s why feminists who — according to their own theory — should be barefoot, pregnant, and silent in a kitchen somewhere have arrogated to themselves the unlimited right to tell you what to say, hear, do, and think.  It’s why the lily-white Rachel Dolezals of the world are so anxious to pass themselves off as black, even as they scream about how oppressively, unrelentingly awful it is to be black in AmeriKKKa.  It’s why Hillary Clinton is still the odds-on favorite to ride her doddering nincompoop act into the White House in 2016.  Not a day goes by without some awful meanie saying something hurtful about her; that means she deserves the nuclear launch codes.

If any of these three apply to you, please seek help immediately.

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The Bludgeon of the Racism Charge

Not two days after CS1950’s victory on the Mizzou campus, the president of the Missouri Student’s Association posted on facebook that there was a sighting of the KKK on campus, and that he was working with the MUPD and the National Guard over it. Which he, the MUPD, and the National Guard all knew wasn’t true. So he had to apologize for spreading misinformation over social media. This probably happened because his community organizer handlers were distracted by the Melissa Click video … and I wouldn’t be shocked to find out that Ms. Click herself was one of his handlers. But apparently someone caught wind of it and got him to walk it back quickly.

payton fb postThis is the same black student association president at a University he claims has systemic racism and previously posted to facebook that had a truck full of white boys yell racial slurs at him. Lack of response to complaints about this was what got the ball rolling to get the President of the University to resign.

When I had (previous to his false KKK post) suggested to a CS1950 sympathizer that this might have been made up, what I got back was that I was blaming the victim. What was important to him was that I even entertained the allegation. That was an “attack”. It didn’t matter to him if the allegation was true or not. I was “attacking”. And that, in his mind, probably means he sees me as racist now.  It’s a religious axiom of Leftolicism.

It’s that kind of short-circuiting of any critical thought that makes political correctness so dangerous, and so useful to the political left through their community organized network of institutions. We can’t ever solve race problems, because we’re not even allowed to talk about it. When they say they want a dialogue — they’re lying. What they want is a monologue. With them talking, and you required to listen and answer questions “correctly” afterward.

“We demand that the University of Missouri creates and enforces comprehensive racial awareness and inclusion curriculum throughout all campus departments and units, mandatory for all students, faculty, staff, and administration. This curriculum must be vetted, maintained, and overseen by a board comprised of students, staff, and faculty of color.”

The more I think about the whole thing, the more I think that this campaign wasn’t really about racism on campus. A couple of complaints about alleged racial slurs and a dubious poo swastika (update: poostika was real.) I doubt that’s enough to draw the kind of organizing firepower that was brought to bear here. It probably was about another sacred cow of the Left … abortion … or, sorry, they would call it “women’s health”. You see, after the Planned Parenthood videos caused such a stir, the University cut ties with Planned Parenthood, no longer providing them an official backup medical facility that PP must legally have to operate. I think this is what got it started. It would almost certainly have pissed off the radical Melissa Click.

This is probably what drew the ire of the community organizing community. If I were to guess at a likely scenario, community organizers involved with Planned Parenthood decided the University must be taught a lesson, and they got Click and other faculty members and the MSA president involved and hatched a campaign which capitalized on the fallout from Ferguson.

Since the PP controversy does cross political lines it was probably too politically dangerous and likely ineffective to go after scalps using that as an issue. So they picked another, more effective bludgeon, the nuclear bomb of issues — racism. Never let a good crisis go to waste. This is how they work. Don’t believe me, read their own bible, Rules for Radicals. This *is* what they do. Remember when we all scratched our heads wondering what the hell a community organizer was back in ’08? If you don’t know, read the book. It is eye-opening. (Also, ask yourself who pays a community organizer? Not the government. Though these groups do manage to get government money and they’re pissed when you take it from them — the government is not the organizer of community organizers.)

Now here’s how this particular campaign worked. Everyone knows racism exists. (It exists in every country, in every culture – and always has). Virtually nobody in America supports racist behavior. Therefore, it is really non-controversial. But they pretend it is – and anyone who dares criticize them is immediately put on “the other” side. You’re a racist if you are not with us. Ironically it is a testament to the high level of intolerance to racism in this country that this tactic works. You will get massive sympathy and support. Since there ARE racists you can probably find some incident to highlight (or you can even make one up since you can shame any one who questions you) and then subject people to criticism for not responding to it at whatever arbitrary level of condemnation or action you want. No matter what they do, you can claim it is not enough — for what could possibly be worse than racism? It’s the third rail. It’s treated as socially worse than murder. That sounds ridiculous to a serious thinker, but political correctness doesn’t use serious thinkers. It uses the desire for unserious thinkers to wrap themselves in the PC Cloak of Immunity against being considered racist by ceding all intellectual ground on the subject to those using it as a weapon – thereby neutralizing any serious thinkers who dare to speak up about any problems with what you’re doing.

They got their scalps and damaged the University’s credibility, ability to recruit (especially the very people they demand the University work harder to recruit). Mission accomplished.

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Community Organizing in Columbia, MO

Back in 1985 or 86, I – a white, straight male – (unless someone wants to categorize me as a WOP, a Kraut, or a Mackerel Snapper) was walking alone on campus on a Friday or Saturday evening.  Carload of girls cruised by.  A few of them leaned out the window as they all yelled “LOSER!!!!” at me for reasons that aren’t clear to me.

I wasn’t exactly the most self-assured young man.  I’m not gonna lie.  It didn’t feel good.  Hurt, really.  But in the end, it was just a bunch of asshollettes in a car who didn’t know a thing about me but what I looked like, or perhaps that I was walking alone on a Saturday night … or both.

Point being, the world has an abundant supply of assholes and asshollettes.

Always has.

Always will.

I was talking to some people about what just happened on the University of Missouri campus.  And more than one of them seemed to be of the opinion that as long as there’s racism, that means we tolerate it.  I remember a similar discussion on the web about rape recently … when it was pointed out that it was acceptable in some cultures, even sanctioned … to rape women of other religions or cultures especially if they are not living up to those men’s cultural standards for women.  It was pointed out that rape happens here (implying we’re just as bad), — the attitude again was that if it happens here, we must be tolerating it.

Which, of course, is absolutely ridiculous.

One wouldn’t say we tolerate murder.  And yet murder still happens here.

The existence of sociopaths in a society doesn’t mean the society is ill.  The fact that we can identify sociopathic behavior in and of itself means that it is not normal and discouraged.

Now it is alleged that Mizzou’s MSA president … who happens to be black… let’s just stop right there for a minute and let it sink in.  This University … where racism is allegedly pervasive … the Student Association President is black.  Oh.  And gay as well.

But back on topic here.  He alleges that a truck full of white students drove by and shouted racial slurs at him.  I’m not saying it didn’t happen.  See the above personal experience I had.  There are assholes in this world.  But when you get down to the facts here, we don’t know who they were.  We don’t know if they were students.  We don’t even know it really happened, either — again, not saying it didn’t — but that possibility cannot be ignored in any complete assessment of the situation especially considering the numerous fake hate crimes we’ve seen over the years.  Many times perpetrated by activists who don’t feel they’re getting enough attention.

I’ve mentioned before that I read Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals to get an insight into how leftist activism works.  And I got it in spades.

What we just saw here was textbook Alinsky.  Which means this was most likely not a spontaneous reaction by students to a facebook post about a racial slur.

The timeline of events shows there was allegedly a swastika drawn with poo in a dorm bathroom which kicked it off around Sep 14. (Earlier in the year a swastika was actually found scrawled on the wall of another dorm in charcoal.  That kid was expelled and arrested for vandalism). Then there was the truckload of racial slurs.  Followed by another allegation that a drunk student yelled a racial slur as he was passing by a Legion of Black Collegians preparing for a homecoming play.  Then during the homecoming parade, a group calling themselves Concerned Students 1950 blocked the President of the University’s car, claiming that Mr. Wolfe “allowed” his driver to “hit” one of the protesters.  Then a student, affiliated with BlackLivesMatter, decided that he’d go on a hunger strike until Wolfe resigned. Then the big coup for the activists was getting a good chunk of the football team to boycott practices and their games in support of the hunger striker.  Which made it national news.  Which was the goal all along.  And that precipitated Wolfe’s resignation … a big scalp which amplified the story.

Poo swastika.  Very Alinsky.  The inventor of the Fart-In.  Not saying this is what the poopstika was, but personally, I think it’s a better explanation than a person using his own poo (or anyone else’s for that matter) to threaten Jews rather than using a sharpie or spray paint.

From an Alinsky interview in Playboy:

“Another idea I had that almost came to fruition was directed at the Rochester Philharmonic, which was the establishment’s — and Kodak’s — cultural jewel. I suggested we pick a night when the music would be relatively quiet and buy 100 seats. The 100 blacks scheduled to attend the concert would then be treated to a preshow banquet in the community consisting of nothing but huge portions of baked beans. Can you imagine the inevitable consequences within the symphony hall? The concert would be over before the first movement — another Freudian slip — and Rochester would be immortalized as the site of the world’s first fart-in.

PLAYBOY: Aren’t such tactics a bit juvenile and frivolous?

ALINSKY: I’d call them absurd rather than juvenile. But isn’t much of life kind of a theater of the absurd? As far as being frivolous is concerned, I say if a tactic works, it’s not frivolous. Let’s take a closer look at this particular tactic and see what purposes it serves — apart from being fun.

First of all, the fart-in would be completely outside the city fathers’ experience. Demonstrations, confrontations and picketings they’d learned to cope with, but never in their wildest dreams could they envision a flatulent blitzkrieg on their sacred symphony orchestra. It would throw them into complete disarray. Second, the action would make a mockery of the law, because although you could be arrested for throwing a stink bomb, there’s no law on the books against natural bodily functions. Can you imagine a guy being tried in court on charges of first-degree farting? The cops would be paralyzed. Third, when the news got around, everybody who heard it would break out laughing, and the Rochester Philharmonic and the establishment it represents would be rendered totally ridiculous. A fourth benefit of the tactic is that it’s psychically as well as physically satisfying to the participants. What oppressed person doesn’t want, literally or figuratively, to shit on his oppressors? Here was the closest chance they’d have. Such tactics aren’t just cute; they can be useful in driving your opponent up the wall. Very often the most ridiculous tactic can prove the most effective.

As for the Wolfe car “hitting” a protester, watch this video from Monday of CS1950 by Mark Schierbecker and imagine how that probably went down.

UPDATE: You don’t have to imagine it, here’s THAT video:

Alinsky #4 – the Decent Human Being Trip-Up Rule

 “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules. (This is a serious rule. The besieged entity’s very credibility and reputation is at stake, because if activists catch it lying or not living up to its commitments, they can continue to chip away at the damage.)

Arguably, this is what tripped Wolfe up the most.  This combined with not understanding that he was the symbolic target of a coordinated attack.  I seriously doubt he saw this coming until it was too late.

But the timing of all of this seems a little bit like a full-court-press that started in mid September.  The racial slurs.  I do not doubt they happen.  Assholes, remember?  Did they actually happen, conveniently during this short timeframe?  Maybe.  There’s no way it can be proven, though.  And during all of this (Aug 7), the same group protested the Thomas Jefferson statue on campus (Jefferson’s first tombstone is also on campus), calling for its removal.  And after watching the video it is very clear the people were well coordinated and well-trained and/or coached.  With at least two professors (Richard Callahan & Melissa Click — both white) clearly in the organizational forefront.

Alinsky #8

“Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new. (Attack, attack, attack from all sides, never giving the reeling organization a chance to rest, regroup, recover and re-strategize.)

And the timeline was pretty condensed … a couple of months.

Alinsky #7

“A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.” Don’t become old news. (Even radical activists get bored. So to keep them excited and involved, organizers are constantly coming up with new tactics.)

Community organizing was behind this.  This is an extension of BlackLivesMatter, which was very organized by the Community Organizing Community.  This was a manufactured crisis.

Wolfe was just a scalp. He was the chosen target.

Alinsky #12

Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)

Of course, the coup de gras was the football players strike, which was likely precipitated by the hunger strike.

Alinsky #1

“Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.” Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people. “Have-Nots” must build power from flesh and blood. (These are two things of which there is a plentiful supply. Government and corporations always have a difficult time appealing to people, and usually do so almost exclusively with economic arguments.)

The campus chancellor is also stepping down. He was not well-liked by the faculty, especially the more radical ones. And radical ones were involved in this whole operation, there is no doubt — watch that video again … there are two faculty members, one of which was calling for “muscle” in the end to remove the student photojournalism photographer from the venue.  Yeah, Melissa Click’s PhD dissertation from the University of Massachusetts Amherst was about the “commodification of femininity, affluence and whiteness in the Martha Stewart phenomenon.”

If I were looking for an ACORN-ish connection, I think I’d start with Melissa Click.  You know, if I were some sort of investigative journalist interested in the larger story.  Like maybe Sharyl Atkisson?

I know from experience that pressure is high to recruit and retain minority students and faculty — and that this is difficult for various social and economic reasons.  Demand is high.  Response is frustratingly low.  If anything, University campuses, including the University of Missouri, bend over backward to recruit and retain.  American College campuses are the absolute safest places on the planet for minorities, and the University of Missouri is certainly no exception.

But the University’s president, nor its chancellor, can eliminate every anonymous asshole, and — if they happen to be phantom assholes made up by zealous activists, they have zero chance of catching them.

And the only thing we can do about the inevitable assholes, just like the inevitable murderers — is to catch them and punish them as fits the crime.

In the case of the hurler of racial insults, a mere loss of anonymity would probably suffice.  Inappropriate use of free speech may not get you shunned if you hurl insults at a white boy from the country.  But especially on a college campus, the social cost of being a known racial slur-er would be very high.

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Pauline Kael and Me

Pauline Kael didn’t know anyone who voted for Nixon.  I don’t understand the appeal of Ben Carson.  Are we kindred spirits?

Point for: I see this, and my first instinct is to think it helps Trump.  America reached peak Magic Negro fatigue in 2013, and only fear of being called rayciss has kept people from pointing out that Ben Carson is fucking ludicrously unqualified to be President of the United States.  He’s Barack Obama without the accomplishments.  There’s great power in saying the obvious, and it’s obvious that Ben Carson shouldn’t be running for any office higher than city alderman.

Point against: The same piece says that Carson has tied Trump in a South Carolina poll.  Maybe it’s just I and my homies who have reached peak Magic Negro fatigue… because we were immune to the Magic Negro phenomenon in the first place.  There are up to four viable non-Establishment candidates out there (for selected values of “viable,”) and the Magic Negro is thumping the Chick and the Latino by double digits.  Maybe Carson has some logical source of appeal outside of his me-too cult of personality.

What do y’all think?

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Things I Wish Conservatives Understood: WE Are the Bad Guys

Vox Day, commenting on some sobering recent war games:

Whatever happens [in Germany with their self-imposed “refugee” “crisis”], there can be little doubt that the rising European nationalist forces will have the backing of Russia, and probably China as well, as both of those countries clearly recognize the threat the globalist U.S. now poses to world order.

I’m trying to think of a single coherent reason the United States still has any troops anywhere overseas.  The best I can come up with is some high school pep rally shit — “the Delta house has a long tradition of existence to its members and to the community at large.”  What are we protecting Western Europe from?  Communism?

Communism only still exists in places like North Korea, and if the South Koreans don’t want to join them (in South Korea, the commies are to their deep thinkers what jihadis are to ours), they can get their own damn army.  Seems like a pretty simple choice to me — internet cafes vs. intermittent cannibalism — but it’s their choice to make.

German militarism?  Right now, the Kaiser seems like a pretty reasonable, civilized guy, and more and more Europeans are taking a long hard second look at Hitler.  It’s ugly, but that’s my point: Are we really going to use our armed forces as Europe’s attitude police?  No European state can field an army larger than a Boy Scout troop, and they have no transport capacity at all — we have to airlift all our “coalition partners” into the theater in Afghanistan and the Middle East.

There won’t be another general European war, unless you count soccer hooligans going at it over World Cup matches.  The only credible non-American military force in Europe is Russia’s, and here’s point #2: The Russians have no fucking idea what we’re going to do.  We overthrew Ukraine’s government for reasons that still elude me, unless Victoria Nuland’s pwecious widdle feewings are now a national security priority.  We saber-rattle constantly via NATO, but it’s not clear what, if anything, all that bluster is supposed to accomplish.

Worse, Obama loathes the military, and foreign policy is just a distraction from his golf game…. and everybody knows it.  He’s a feckless retard, but more than that, he’s a malignant narcissist.  He sees everything through MSNBC’s camera lenses — put the army at DEFCON One, and the rubes out in flyover country think he’s really getting tough…. but then he goes on NPR and assures the people who matter that Vladimir Putin is our partner in peace, and that all the Army Rangers in their red high heels are too busy attending diversity seminars to even think about fighting.

To real armies, this shit screams "please invade us!"

To real armies, this shit screams “please invade us!”

Nor is the situation likely to get better, no matter who wins in 2016.  Let’s be generous and say that Trump, Carson, Rubio, Sanders, and Clinton are all viable candidates.  Sadly, if “preventing World War III” is your top priority, your best options are the Kumbayah Kids, Carson and Sanders… and they might inadvertently provoke it by unilaterally disarming (Carson is a gun-grabber from way back, and Sanders, bless his senile old soul, really does think you can trade in an aircraft carrier for some inner city midnight basketball programs).  Trump and Rubio might let the missiles fly because they think that’s what they’re supposed to do, and Clinton might do it to show she’s got a bigger dick than any of them.  (Admittedly, Vlad and the Chinese can do whatever they want in the world provided they send a big enough check to her “charitable foundation,” but the danger there is that she might think the US Army is her own personal collection agency).

A coherent policy, forcefully stated by a credible spokesman, prevents all of this.  There’s a reason the whole world went apeshit when Jimmy Carter was president, only to calm down overnight when we elected Reagan.  Reagan was a serious man, with clear views, vigorously expressed.  Jimmy Carter got attacked by a giant swimming rabbit and nearly shit himself.  Pick any of those names up there.  Are they closer to Reagan, or Carter?

A major military power blundering about in blind ignorance is a recipe for disaster.  A military power that’s not nearly as strong as it thinks it is doing that is far worse.  An ignorant, weaker-than-it-thinks power “led” by someone who (at best) can’t be bothered with foreign policy or (at worst) actively loathes the military almost guarantees that something extremely nasty is going to happen sometime soon.

And that’s how the rest of the world views us.

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