Where’s the Freakout?

We have a category of posts called “The Grasshopper Lies Heavy.”  Pretentious, I know, but it’s the shortest tag I could think of on the spur of the moment to describe a very weird phenomenon: Stuff that seems to be capital-H History passing by completely unremarked.*

I’ve written almost too many posts to count about how the collapse of a major political party is a big deal.  Here’s one about the collapse of the Democrats.  Here’s one in which I wonder, yet again, why nobody seems bothered by this stuff.  So here’s another one:

Via the Z Man, here’s The Weekly Standard‘s Bill Kristol openly declaring his intention to go 3rd party should Trump win the nomination:

And since nobody believes Trump will go quietly if he doesn’t win the nomination, a major 3rd party run is pretty much inevitable in a few months.  And given that, does anyone think that the Republican Party makes it past 2016?  Trump’s clown show only exists because the “base” — which seems to mean “donors of under six figures” — is so disgusted by the money boys that they’re only voting to stick a finger in their eyes.

Let me repeat that: Pretty much every single Trump vote is a fuck you to the Establishment.  I’ve never met a Trump supporter who can fluently discuss Trump’s positions on the issues, for the simple reason that Trump doesn’t have any.  And let me repeat that: The fountainhead of Trump’s appeal is that he doesn’t have positions, i.e. the first and highest function of a political party.

Does anyone really think all those “fuck you!” voters are just going to go away if GOP 2.0 hands the election to Hillary Clinton?  Right now they’re just fuck you voters; after four years of the Lizard Queen, there will be fuck you secession conventions.

This has happened before, y’all.

Best case scenario — using that term very, very loosely — you get 1912, where Teddy Roosevelt led the Progressive Republicans away into the Bull Moose Party, handing the White House to Woodrow Wilson and starting the fascist era.  American liberty got its lethal injection that year, but hey, at least there weren’t shots fired.

Second best-case scenario is 1852, where the Whig Party simply disappears after it resolutely refuses to take a stand on the only issue that matters.  The Whig candidate that year was Gen. Winfield Scott, a hero of the Mexican War, but the voters joked that General Apathy would be the real winner, since even the Dems couldn’t be bothered to nominate a real candidate (Franklin Pierce, the eventual nominee, was the darkest of dark horses, emerging as a compromise candidate after the horse trading failed for half a dozen other guys).  But hey, the shooting didn’t start for another 8 years, so I guess that’s a win.

Worst case scenario, of course, is the collapse of the Democratic Party in 1860.  People forget that Lincoln won only because the Dems split three ways — proslavery, really proslavery, and silently proslavery.  Lincoln was the “fuck you” candidate in that scenario, the guy you voted for if you were tired of Southern slaveholders in the White House since… well, pretty much since the Adams administration.

As I say, this seems to be a big deal however you slice it.  If you know anything at all about American history, you should be pretty fucking nervous right now.  And yet… nothing.

Weird.

 

 

 

*In the novel The Man in the High Castle, a book called The Grasshopper Lies Heavy told the “alternate” history of WWII in their world, which is what really happened in ours.  So many commentators on the current scene seem to be misreading history so deliberately that I wonder if I somehow got the “alternate” version of the textbook back in high school… the version where there’s clear historical precedent for all this stuff.

He’s Running for President of America

Another article in which the blog-pundit class refuses to get it. Ace of Spades:

I keep saying this: the Middle Class/upwardly mobile/Professional Class sense of propriety (something they take a great deal of pride in) may be silly but many things are silly — and yet they’re still very real.

Trump is pushing a lot of the same buttons that Palin did, and creating minority of people who are intensely passionate about him, while rendering him unacceptable to a majority.

A majority of who, exactly?

Please help me remember: Are polls completely meaningless this time of year, or are they the ironclad truth?  The story changes so wildly and so often that I can’t remember what today’s gospel is.

Either way, though, Trump is not running to be President of the Middle Class. Moreover, I’m routinely informed by Mr. O’Spades himself that the Middle Class is shrinking, that their influence is waning, that “the Middle Class” is just another hocus-pocus word of the punditocracy.  He even reduced it to a slogan: And the Middle Class (TM), said at the end of every Obama or Hillary speech.

Let me say this again: The “professional class” is the problem.  “Propriety” gets you shot by some Muzzie fanatic who posts her aloha snackbar shit on Facebook as she’s gunning you down.  Or running you over with her car.  Or opening fire in a Paris theater.  Or randomly knifing you on the street, on a subway, at a community college.

The majority of America is not And the Middle Class (TM).  The majority of America is, in fact, pretty fucking sick of the “Middle Class” and their bullshit.  I would venture to say that anyone who has an opinion on Megyn Kelly’s intelligence — and Ace of Spades is some kind of Rain Man-level savant on that topic for some reason — is the kind of person the majority of Americans would urge to sit down and STFU, right now if you please.

For every member of the upwardly-mobile professional class Trump loses by his caveman shtick, he gains a redneck.  A redneck who probably hasn’t even thought about voting since 2000, 2004 at the latest.  A redneck who, if he did vote, would probably vote Democrat because he’s in a union, or is on welfare, or needs WIC cards, or thinks he can’t get health insurance any other way.

The Palin comparison, then, is absolutely false.  You can tell because Trump has never been accused of seeing Russia from his house.  Do you remember ever seeing Sarah Palin, the woman herself, on tv?  Most folks’ opinion of Sarah Palin consisted entirely of media talking points.  There was that one flubbed interview on 60 Minutes, but even that didn’t play for long.  People knew about Sarah Palin; nobody knew her.

You can’t get Trump to shut up, and you can’t get the networks to stop showing him, because Trump’s big mouth and the networks’ giant ratings are directly proportional.  Nobody needs some bottle-blonde anchorette bimbo to tell him about Donald Trump; the man himself is on tv twenty-four-fuckin’-seven.

Tl;dr: A traditional primary campaign focuses on jazzing up the party faithful.  But Trump isn’t running a primary campaign — he’s been running the general since day one.  He has skipped “the base” entirely and is preaching directly to the American people.  Liberals love to send me clips of Donald saying “I’m basically a Democrat” in some interview.  Every potential Trump voter has seen them.  And yet he leads, because that’s what “populism” means.  And it’s guys like Ace of Spades, who so disparagingly throw around the “populist” label, who seem to be the most clueless as to what it actually is.

 

Book Recommendations: Weimar Republic

We started Rotten Chestnuts with the idea of providing (among other things) a quick reference guide to lazy liberal bullshit — to reveal, in effect, how many of the things “everybody knows” are no such thing.  As such, and following an offline suggestion of Nate’s, I’m asking everyone to recommend some good, quick background reading in their areas of expertise.

By “expertise,” of course, I don’t necessarily mean “subjects you have degrees and certifications in.”  (Whaddaya think we are, leftists?).  But we — the cobloggers and the four regular readers — are better informed than lots of folks, on lots of different topics.  It would be useful to spread the knowledge.  So I ask you to do the following:

  • Introduce the topic;
  • Suggest a book or two that’s a good intro to it; and
  • Add any background you think we need to see its relevance.

For instance, I know a fair bit about certain aspects of history, so I’ll start with one of my favorite topics, the Weimar Republic.

The Weimar Period ran from the end of World War I (November 1918) to Hitler’s appointment as Reich Chancellor (1933).  It’s relevant to our times in a lot of ways, but especially as it shows how “fringe” parties and ideas can sweep through a democratic system.

Unfortunately, most books on the period take Hitler as their starting point.  That’s the problem with almost all modern German history, actually — the past as prelude to Hitler.  Which is fine when discussing the mechanics of popular elections or propaganda, but they’re easily sidetracked into half-assed psychoanalysis.  Even writers like Sir Ian Kershaw feel the need to put scare quotes around phrases like “Hitler’s ‘worldview'” — as if he didn’t have a coherent set of beliefs.  What you need is context, without a lot of heavy breathing about what Nazism means for the human condition.

The best book I know, then, is Richard J. Evans’s The Coming of the Third Reich.  This covers the politics quickly, clearly, and comprehensively.  It leaves out a lot of the cultural stuff that formed the deep background — and Weimar decadence looks a lot like ours — but the political stuff is much more readily applicable to our own day.

The key idea is legitimacy.  The Weimar Republic, though officially a representative democracy, didn’t actually represent anybody.  Germany as a political nation only existed from the late 19th century.  There was no real democratic tradition.  And nobody really wanted “representation” — what most ordinary Germans wanted, it seems, was to have Bismarck back, guiding the hand of an older and slightly wiser Kaiser.  Throw in a massive depression on top of an economy already shackled by unpayable war reparations, and the whole mechanism of “democracy” started to look like nothing more than a make-work racket for otherwise unemployable bureaucrats.  Meanwhile, the only parties that promised real reform explicitly promised that their #1 reform would be the end of representative democracy.

The elites who ran the “elections” took the one issue people actually cared about — national survival — off the table.  Most Germans were worried that Germany — the ethnic group, the culture, the nation — was being destroyed piecemeal.  Chauvinistic France was robbing Germany’s industry, while hypocrite Britain stole her colonies and vulture America stood by to pick at the corpse of her economy.  The non-communist elites all seemed to be in the pockets of international financiers — often, but by no means always, code for “Jews” — while the communist ones actively campaigned to destroy Germanness in the name of international proletarian revolution.  The Weimar government was absolutely illegitimate — it was imposed by fiat in the hated Versailles treaty; it didn’t represent anybody; the only thing it was good at was destroying its own people’s way of life.  Sound familiar?

Which left the Nazis and their fellow far-right* paramilitaries as the only group that would stand up for Germany.  And, of course, the Nazis had the only leader of note….

 

 

*I know, I know.  But as every book of this kind insists on using “right wing” as a synonym for “nationalist,” you’ll just have to endure it.

The Face that Launched 1,000 Fists

Heh.  Now this is funny.  I only wish they would’ve included this thing:

B-uDP6fWkAE9mr8I find this one of the most baffling phenomena of the internet era.  Pretty much the first thing you learn in any intro history class is that an era’s cultural artifacts are elite-only.  That is, our few visual representations of 17th century France look like this:

Getty-Louis-XIVcpcr2….which doesn’t quiiiiiite capture the life most people were living back then.  Similarly, most peasants — which is to say, most people, period — weren’t listening to Bach, watching Shakespeare’s plays, reading Voltaire’s essays, or philosophizing with Plato.  The point of all that stuff, in fact, was to signal how elite you were.

At least back then, though, elite status had real power backing it.  Nobody was going to tell Louis XIV that he looked like some kind of transvestite dungeon master, because he had a zillion-man army and the Bastille with which to deflect criticism.  And indeed, the point of dressing like that was to overawe the peasantry.  Nobody could afford to dress like that who didn’t have all the resources of an absolute monarchy backing him.

These days, though… I mean, just look at those mincing pajama boys.  Those are our rulers.  We know what their daily lives are like, because they can’t stop bragging about them on Twitter.  They have no leg up on us in education, in talent, in drive, and certainly not in looks.  They are, in fact, the kind of wussy apple-polishers that we red-blooded Americans used to stuff into lockers for their own good.

We know everything about these pussies, but somehow that hasn’t started a revolution.  Life is strange, homies…. life is strange.

The End of the Two-Party System

This is fun!  Evidently the GOP is getting ready for a “brokered” convention.  National Review assures us that this is unlikely, but notes that if the big money boys stick around juuuuust long enough…. nudge nudge, wink wink, here’s lookin’ at you, Yeb.  And you, Marco, a.k.a. the Emergency Backup Yeb.

The idea, of course, is to cornhole Trump at all costs.  If I had the energy, I’d write something about caesarism, since, you know, from the GOP hack’s perspective it’s far better to lose than to win the wrong way.  If it weren’t so depressing, I’d detail how reliably these “anyone but So-and-So” maneuvers end up not only putting So-and-So on the throne, but making him super popular, too.  If I weren’t so sick of it all, I might even indulge in some philosophical speculation about folly and the fanatical avoidance of reality.

But let’s take the easy layup:  Whatever happens, 2016 is the end of the two-party system.

We all know that, whatever pledges to the contrary he may have made, if Teh Donald doesn’t get the Republican nomination, he’s going 3rd party.  He pretty much has to at this point — the Iowa caucuses are 2 months away, and even if he doesn’t win*, there don’t seem to be any realistic scenarios where he loses big.  And, it seems, if Teh Donald does win the nomination, the rest of the GOP is going to go 3rd party.  They’ve all but said so, several times.

And there you have it.  The Republican Party is no more, one way or the other.  Unless everyone gets behind Trump 100%, right now, the GOP is done.

But wait… it gets worse.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say that not only does Trump go 3rd party, but he wins a three-man race between himself, Hillary, and whatever cuck emerges from the rump GOP – probably Rubio at this point.  And that opens the floodgates.  Even Hillary’s campaign people don’t like her — I am of course biased, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an obviously unlikeable candidate thrown up by any party.  And if Trump can do it, why not Sanders?  Just as the GOP fractures into “Cuck” and “Maverick” wings, so the Dems will break into “Socialist” and “Moonbat” wings.

Before fascism finally descends on us, in other words, we might see two or three elections with multiple different parties slugging it out, Euro-style.  That’ll be a hoot.  Pass the popcorn!

 

*He might lose.  I’m pretty familiar with Iowa, and I can assure you that the rest of the country’s complaints about the caucuses are fully justified.  Iowa is a deep red state turned purple by farm subsidies.  That’s why no-hopers like Mike Huckabee and Michele Bachmann clean up there — they can preach the Gospel of Corn Socialism without having to worry how it plays nationally.

Trump: The New Eugene McCarthy

A quick followup on a comment I made here – another parallel for the Trump experience, if you’re still looking for those, is Gene McCarthy in 1968.  RFK’s assassination invalidates a lot of comparisons, but look at what McCarthy did before that — an outsider, he focused popular anger in a way no mainstream politician could.  He shifted the Overton Window so far that, by the end of 1968, the Democrats were the antiwar party…. running against the war they themselves started.

A quick recap:

The sainted JFK put American involvement in Southeast Asia on steroids, culminating with his order to bump off Ngo Dinh Diem in late 1963.

After a suspiciously convenient attack on the USS Maddox in 1964, Congress issued the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, giving Lyndon Johnson a blank check for war.  Which Johnson promptly used — US conventional forces were undertaking offensive ground operations in South Vietnam by early summer 1965.

By the election of 1968, then, the Vietnam War was 100% the Democrats’ baby.  In fact, Richard Nixon ran on an anti-war platform.  Somehow McCarthy got his entire party to reverse course, outflanking Nixon to the left.

To put this in modern terms, it would be like George W. Bush dropping his re-election campaign in 2004 and being replaced by John McCain… who suddenly goes full Cindy Sheehan on the war he himself helped start, and drags the whole party with him.

As I said, the analogy breaks down pretty fast.  McGovern wasn’t the Democratic nominee; Hubert Humphrey was.  (Which may be good news for Marco Rubio).  And there’s no hippy-dippy antiwar movement for both sides to play off — Nixon ran on law-and-order more than anti-war, and Humphrey represented the “Old Left” against the kids’ worst excesses.  But as an example of an out-of-nowhere radical figure galvanizing the debate, it’s one of the more recent ones.  Maybe it’s time for a second look at Gene McCarthy.

Sorry, I just gotta

Apparently Kurt Russell was interviewed by someone (somebody named “Wells”) about “feelings” about guns and Quentin Tarantino.

I do love Kurt’s awesome response, and by that I mean the way he handled the whole interview.  Let it be a lesson to us on how to handle these people.  With ridicule and WTF’s.

But what really got me was this mealy-mouthed, condescending, idiot Wells and some of the absolute crappety crap he spewed from his mouth.

“I’m not talking about politics …” the hell you aren’t! Next sentence he brings up “the gun culture” which is a political construct of the left. To the extent that there is any “gun culture”, the one that’s acting out what he’s talking about is gang culture and jihadis, and the one that is actually real “gun culture” as in your average NRA type … they’re not the ones springing “sudden violence” on people.

Russell: Put some controls? What, so the people, so the people who want to defend themselves can’t?

Wells: No, not so you can’t, just so the idiots can’t get hold of them [so easily], that’s all.

But according to people like Wells, the “idiots” are the people who want guns to protect themselves, let’s be honest here. “We all know that right now, guns is a trope, I mean it’s not a trope it’s a totem, it’s a metaphor that disenfranchised white guys need, it makes them feel good because they’re being surrounded …” — the contempt dripping from his mouth couldn’t me more clear.  And Kurt cuts him off right there.

Russell: You really believe they’re not going to? Are you serious about that? What good will that…? Oh my God! You and I just disagree.”

BOOM!!!!

You want freedom, Mr. Mealy-mouthed liberal? You can’t HANDLE freedom. Go back to your “safe space” where Hans talks Greedo out of shooting altogether by understanding his pain and negotiating an agreement. Jeez!

PC Bizzaro World

I know it’s Melissa Harris-Perry and very few people care what she thinks … but she thinks a lot of things that a lot of other people think.  Things that are wrong-headed.  And our President is one of them.  So it’s relevant.  Here she’s talking about the picture of one of the “suspects” in the San Bernadino shooting.

“Also, right next to it [is] an image of the shooting suspect there in an hijab,” Harris-Perry said. “And the idea that, okay, this is what terrorism looks like, I…for me, that is a difference, and it is a material and meaningful difference in how we…so on the one hand again, I want to be able to talk about what the thing is that is terrorism. On the other hand, I have to reflect that this happens only for specific communities.”

cyclops

Abstract depiction of suspect

This is what denial looks like. You’ve convinced yourself that it can’t possibly have anything to do with the religion itself, and therefore any recognizable fact that might point to it must be questioned past the point of marginalization even though you know it’s staring you right in the face, day after day. This is the woman who did it, this is what she looks like, and, in fact, there are no publicly available pictures of her not in a hijab. If it was a Muslim who saved someone’s life, would it be wrong to show her in a hajib if that’s what she wears? Or are we just going to post generic clipart pictures like the weird cyclops Windows 10 person icon — with news stories with the caption “abstracted depiction of suspect” so nobody gets the “wrong” idea?

Reflect, for a bit, on why “this happens only for specific communities” … and even that is a form of denial. It is one specific community. And that community is the Islamic community. The numbers blow all other causes out of the water. So you bend over backward to relate it in any other way to other violent acts so that you can specifically factor religion out of it so you can retain your worldview. God forbid you alter your worldview to fit the facts. And here’s why.

If you believe in your heart that all religions are equal, you simply cannot answer the question “why is terrorism so disproportionately prevelant in Islam?” You have to go to other explanations, like poverty, oppression, or “climate change”(!?).

Only poverty, oppression, and “climate change” affect people of all religions, and somehow we don’t see people from those other religions killing innocent people (never mind explicitly in the name of their religion) in anything remotely in the same ballpark (or “sport”, for that matter) to the numbers we see out of the Islamic population.

If you admit that one religion can produce a better society than another, you also have to admit that a religion might also produce a better society than one that has none. Or claims to have none. Because we *all* have belief systems, atheist, agnostic, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist … Ba’hai …

And then you’d have to have a serious discussion about it. But political correctness isn’t about talking about things. It’s about avoiding things.

D3 Challenge: That Weird Amnesia Thing

As y’all know, the Dim Devil’s Dictionary (D3) exists to put catchy tags on the characteristically dumb shit lefties do.  I’m nowhere near the wordsmith Morgan is, so I’m asking for your help.  We need a word for the following scenario:

You know how, when you’re tired or stressed, you sometimes think you’ve actually done something you only intended to do?  I’m pretty sleep-deprived these days, and I find this happening all the time.  I walk by the dishwasher, say, and remind myself to flip it on.  Then I get distracted, so the next time I’m in the kitchen I think “oh, don’t forget to start the dishwasher”… but I never actually do, but I think I did, and when I come into the kitchen the next morning, I’m halfway to pouring a glass of OJ before I realize that I’m about to chug down some horrid glop that’s been sitting with the used plates for three days.  Hey, what the heck is wrong with the dishwasher?

I can’t be the only one that happens to….?

Anyway, assuming that’s fairly typical and not just another one of my many endearing quirks, that process — that sort of amnesia-by-intention — could be useful in understanding some  upcoming leftist behavior, and explain some past behavior.

For example, Global Cooling was the hip enviro-scare of the 1970s.  Then it was Global Warming, and now it seems we’re back to Global Cooling again.  The same “science,” with the exact same proposed solution — global socialism, natch — but diametrically opposite conclusions.

Now, no climate “””””scientist””””” worth his grant money is ever going to acknowledge the obvious about the temperatures — that these are natural sun cycles — because that would mean he’s no longer on the government tit.  Similarly, no liberal is going to acknowledge the obvious about the solution — that any excuse for socialism will do — because that would mean they’re just plain ol’ partisans, not deepthinking intellectuals filled with profound mindthoughts.  So what’s a good activist to do?  In order to criticize everyone for being against “science” today, you have to completely forget what “science” said just yesterday!  The stress would cause a lesser brain to explode, and it’s things like this that long led me to conclude that cognitive dissonance is bullshit.

But now I think maybe that intention-amnesia thing is to blame.  Just like I’m sure I turned the dishwasher on, maybe Our Betters, the Liberals, are convinced that they’ve thought it through.  And just as my first thought isn’t “I forgot to turn the dishwasher on,” but instead “gosh, the dishwasher must be broke,” so perhaps the fact that it’s a “”””scientist”””” saying so lets them slide over the contradictions….?

I’m just spitballin’ here, but we all know that they do this.  And we know they’re not lying.  Not really — when confronted with an obvious contradiction in their story, liars get shifty and evasive.  They start talking very, very fast.  Liberals don’t — they double down.  They know we’ve always been at war with Eastasia, damn it.  Perhaps this is the mechanism.

We’re going to see another dramatic example of this here very shortly.  Conservatives, as we know, make sure their principles conform to reality.  This is why you see guys like Ronald Reagan switching parties — “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party,” he famously remarked, “the party left me.”  You never see “progressives” doing this, because they try to make reality conform to their “principles.”  They’re so caught up in their identities as “progressives” that it doesn’t matter a whit what “progressive” means today.  When the zeitgeist changes, they change with it… and as soon as they figure out which way the wind is blowing, they sprint out in front of it, so that they can be the “progressives” again.

Thanks to fine folks like Syed Farook, Tashfeen Malik, and the rampaging rapists currently flooding into Northern Europe, the zeitgeist is about to shift very far, very fast.  I honestly would not be surprised if actual pitchfork-toting mobs started storming faculty lounges.  It won’t be too long before saying “So-and-So likes ‘diversity'” will be the equivalent of calling him a racist today.  And, of course, our “progressives” will have to sprint out in front of that, so that they can be “progressives” again.  Today’s blue-haired bicurious vegan slam poet is tomorrow’s obergruppenfuhrer.

We’re going to need a word for that, the mental process that must happen in the few seconds between peeling off the “Coexist” bumper sticker and pasting on the Confederate flag.

Any suggestions?

Faculty Lounge Follies

Nate Winchester sends along a fun article from Breitbart, comparing Obama to Woodrow Wilson.  It’s worth a read on a lot of levels, not least as a reminder of just how fuckin’ old the new hotness of Progressivism actually is.  Spare a moment of  pity for all those poor college kids, whose $40,000 per year “education” has convinced them Bernie Sanders’s “party like it’s 1909” platform is a radical new innovation.

It’s also worth noting, as the Breitbart piece really doesn’t, how much the farcical nature of Obama’s secondhand Wilsonianism represents the decay of American academic life.  Let’s hop in the wayback machine and set course for the middle of the 19th century….

Woodrow Wilson was born in 1856, just as what you might call “liberal imperialism” was just cranking up.  Educated opinion on the darker races was undergoing a seismic shift.  In British India, for example, the 1857 Mutiny led to the Government of India Act of 1858, replacing the East India Company’s old smash-and-grab system with the Indian Civil Service.  In attitude, if not in practice, the British ran the post-Mutiny Raj like a vast social uplift scheme — the goal, as Macaulay put it, was to transform the people of the Subcontinent into “a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect.”

The problem with this, of course, is that it makes the Empire not just pointless, but evil.  When India becomes macro-Britain, what possible justification can the Queen have for retaining the jewel in her crown?* But that would only be a problem several generations down the line.  For the time being, the pukka sahibs of the ICS could enjoy all the lifestyle benefits of imperialism, and the preening goodfeelz of helping the congenitally helpless.

American “Progressive” attitudes towards blacks worked the same way.  Woodrow Wilson regarded blacks as inferior.  That is to say, he had the typical attitude of his time and class.  Instead of benevolent imperialism, though, American Progressives looked to socialism for their salvation.  Just as the ICS would eventually produce a race of Indian Englishmen, so the benevolent managerialism of guys like Wilson would eventually produce white Negroes… but in the meantime, before that blessed day arrived, one didn’t have to interact with those people as anything but a benefits-dispensing demigod.  It’s self-serving, of course — and it’s worth noting that Soviet propaganda harped on Jim Crow as an inevitable effect of capitalism from the beginning — but it’s not self-contradictory.  Self-defeating, sure…. but not logically impossible, and in the meantime one could make quite a nice living as a court intellectual to the mission civilisatrice.

Modern intellectual discourse on race, though, is painfully unpossible.  Whereas guys like Wilson could — in theory, at least — imagine a time when there would be only one big multi-hued White race, modern academics face a contradiction from the get-go.  As anyone who has spent five minutes on the internet knows, our “Progressives” believe — simultaneously — that

  • there is no such thing as race, and
  • race is the only thing that matters.

And thus the gruesome farce of Rachel Dolezal, where the race-is-just-a-social-construction-Left tied itself in knots explaining how race is not, and can never be, a social construction when a pasty-white honky chick “primarily of Czech, German and Swedish origin,” as the good Lefties at Wikipedia put it, socially constructs herself as a Negress for fun and profit.

I want to repeat this:  You will never, ever get a job in academia — even in the hard sciences — if you do not subscribe to the orthodoxy that race is a social construction.  Simultaneously, the fastest way to become an unperson on campus is to wonder why, if that’s the case, African-American Studies departments exist, except maybe as training grounds for the Rachel Dolezals of the future.  You must, in other words, be able to grok this:

pathanthroIt’s not a challenge most of us can rise to, and it takes many, many years in grad school to keep your head from exploding.**

That‘s the milieu in which President Obama spent his formative years.  Wilson, for all his faults, didn’t believe a manifest impossibility; Obama started with an obvious contradiction and just kept digging.  As Steve Sailer, John Derbyshire, and other badthinkers have argued in detail, Obama’s struggle with His “blackness” has been the organizing motif of his life.  Like his fellow hustlers Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Jeremiah Wright, et al, he can’t pour milk on his corn flakes without noting that milk is white.

All of which explains, I think, Obama’s otherwise baffling policies on…. well, on just about everything.  Just as Wilsonianism only makes sense if you assume that Wilson really was that naive thanks to a lifetime’s cloistering in academia, so Obama’s lunatic grab bag of self-contradictory nonsense falls into place if you accept that, thanks to his academic training, he really can take both sides of an argument.  He organizes his whole day around sticking it to Whitey, yet spends all his mental capital arguing, Macaulay-style, that he’s really uplifting us for our own benefit.

 

 

*Which is the problem with Macaulay’s baby, the Whig Interpretation of History, in general.  Indeed it’s the basic problem of all social uplift schemes, Karl Marx’s most definitely included — what happens to the uplift bureaucracy when they finally complete their mission?  Given a choice between the end of poverty and continued employment as poverty-eradicators, it’s only human for most people to choose the latter… which is of course why the vanguard of the proletariat never gets around to laying down its privileges. And, of course, Karl Marx was a vicious critic of Whig History in general and Macaulay in particular.  As everyone but leftists knows, we don’t hate people who are radically different from us; we save our hottest ire for people who share all our basic assumptions, but run them in a sliiiiiiiightly different direction.

** Hey, maybe that explains the characteristic liberal smirk?  It’s not that they’re self-righteous assholes puffed up from being educated way past their hat size — well, it’s not just that — but rather, that’s the only way to hold their face muscles to keep their brains from leaking out their ears.