Megyn Antoinette

I’m trying to come up with a rationale for this brilliant move from Fox News:

Fox News and Google have invited three YouTube personalities to ask questions at the Jan. 28 GOP debate — including a Muslim advocate who describes Donald Trump as a bigot and who visually portrayed him as being in agreement with national socialist Adolf Hitler.

Here’s the visual portrayal in question, in case you’re curious:

Noor-Trump-Hitler-640x480If the candidates tell this loon to get stuffed, it’s wall to wall coverage about how the GOP is racist and sexist.  If they don’t, they’ll have to…. agree with this loon that the GOP is racist and sexist.  Basically, it’s “have you stopped beating your wife yet?”, but five times as long and without even the barest rhetorical form of a question.  This is the kind of cheap, bush-league shit MSNBC would pull if they hosted Republican debates… and the moderator was Rachel Maddow… and she had one night to live.

So why on Earth would Fox News do this to their own party?

I have two guesses, neither complimentary to the intelligence of everyone involved.  The first is something like “Trump chemotherapy.”  The Cuckservatives are so determined to bring down Donald Trump that they’re willing to torpedo their own to do it.  As chemo kills cancer cells just slightly faster than it kills healthy ones, they’re betting that the sight of their boy Marco Rubio slobbering all over this spastic towelhead will be slightly less damaging to him than the sum total of all the other attacks will be to Trump.  It’s stupid — the mere sight of that chick at a supposedly conservative event will probably bump Donald five points in the polls — but at least it’s a bit of strategic thinking.  Stupid, stupid strategic thinking — invading Russia at the end of the summer-level stupid, just to stick with a theme — but not utterly incomprehensible.

The other possible explanation is that the Media really do consider themselves the tastemakers.  That, despite all evidence, they think can simply tell us what we care about, and what this election is supposed to mean.  Their greatest fear is being called racist, so they figure — no, they know — that that’s our biggest fear, too.  On this reading, people who would otherwise be inclined to support Trump’s “deport ’em all” platform will see that being kind and caring and oh so accommodating to folks who want to rape and murder us is truly “who we are,” as that great Republican, George W. Obama, is wont to say.

Maybe it’s a little from column A, a little from column B.  Whatever it is, though, it’s damn entertaining.  I haven’t seen this much concentrated stupidity since nickel beer night at the frat house, or that one time a took a feminism seminar in grad school.  Send in the clowns.  No, all of them — we’re gonna need ’em.

Who is Caesar?

Nate Winchester suggested a logical followup to the “Who is Caesarism For?” post:

Who is Caesar?

Let’s use an illustration.  In the run-up to the American Civil War, abolitionist propaganda increasingly focused on a “Slave Power Conspiracy.”  Slaveholders were a small part of the electorate, they argued, yet every single political dispute seemed to go their way.  The Missouri Compromise, the annexation of Texas, war with Mexico, the Compromise of 1850, the Kansas-Nebraska Act… all seemed designed to add to the number of slave states in the Union.  Slaveholders controlled the Democratic Party, and the few Whigs who won the Presidency, like Zachary Taylor, were slaveholders.  They dominated the Supreme Court, too, and with the Dred Scott decision, they effectively legalized slavery throughout the United States.

All of that is true.  In fact, it under-states the case — while the average slaveholder owned a midsize farm with ten or less slaves, the average slave worked on a plantation with at least 100 others.  Given that only a quarter of Southerners owned slaves, the math is clear: a very few slaveholders owned nearly all the slaves.  How, then, did this tiny fraction of the electorate come to dominate American politics for three generations?

In short, they controlled the discourse.

Take the Democratic Party.  I wrote that slaveholders controlled the Democratic Party, and that’s true… but it wasn’t blatant, and — crucially — most Democrats didn’t think so at the time.  There are countless detailed political histories sitting unread on a college library shelf near you.  Pick one up, and you’ll see all kinds of stuff about “soft-shells” and “hard-shells,” “barn-burners” and “hunkers,” the tariff question, the money issue, the Bank of the United States, Young America, Manifest Destiny…. you can read hundreds and hundreds of pages without ever seeing the word “slavery.”  But when the dust settled after every internal Democratic Party upheaval — and every general election — the slaveholders got their way.  Because Southern senators always closed ranks, something pro-slavery got thrown into every deal, be it an internal Democrat matter or a national issue….

….and nobody ever had to publicly say so, because that was just a part of doing business.  Southern planters (and their money boys in New York City) won all the victories, but the battles took place over the hills and far away.  Such that, by 1852, ridiculous nonentities like Franklin Pierce and Winfield Scott were battling it out over things like who looked prettiest during the Mexican War.

That’s caesarism.  The Elite gets what it wants — in this case, protection and advancement for slavery — while the passions of the potentially revolutionary classes are channeled into petty partisan squabbles.  Caesar, therefore, is the elite who does the channeling, and who — crucially — can’t impose his will without the sham.  The original Caesar, of course, was assassinated, and the caesar of the Slave Power Conspiracy was exposed in 1856… and destroyed by 1865.

“Working Towards the Fuhrer”

Y’all probably already know this, but for the amazingly large number of people who somehow think Hillary Clinton is going to be indicted, here’s a quick primer on how these things work:

One of Herr Hitler’s lasting legacies is a certain style of conspiracy masquerading as a government.  The History Channel gives one the impression that Nazi Germany was fearsomely efficient.  That’s so wrong, it’s almost completely backwards — in a very real sense, the Reich had hardly any “government” at all.

Hitler, like all autocrats, didn’t like to delegate.  Combine that with a philosophical commitment to Social Darwinism, and you’ve got a free-for-all in which the guy who claws his way up to Hitler’s ear gets his way, while everybody else is stuck killing time, waiting for orders that never come.  This applied all the way down the line — guys like Goering and Himmler got millions of men and limitless resources poured into what were, in effect, private armies, while some of the most basic functions of government like transportation languished.

Obviously, this is a terrible way to run a nation.  But it does have two distinct, interrelated advantages for the dictator.  First, it encourages innovation in the lower ranks.  Since it was impossible to get promoted the old-fashioned way, juniors had to resort to drastic measures to get noticed.  Despite the Teutonic “just following orders” caricature, then, low ranking Nazis were surprisingly out-out-the-box thinkers — this is how obscure, pen-pushing junior officers like Adolf Eichmann ended up presiding over programs that moved millions of people.  Senior officers ruthlessly encouraged this attitude, which Sir Ian Kershaw called “working towards the Fuhrer” — the only way to advance in the Reich was to be better than one’s fellows at divining what Hitler wanted, often on the basis of very little (and often seemingly contradictory) evidence…. and delivering it at all costs.

Which plays into the second advantage of such a system for a dictator: Near-complete deniability.  If you’ve ever had the misfortune of dealing with a Holocaust denier (or if you’ve read Richard J. Evans’s excellent Lying about Hitler), you know that there’s no “smoking gun” for the Holocaust; no official kill order over Hitler’s signature.  This fact — and it is a fact — has allowed certain types to spin all kinds of theories about what happened during the war, how much Hitler knew about what might or might not have been happening, etc.  But, of course, “working towards the Fuhrer” is the easiest and most obvious explanation for the overwhelming circumstantial evidence — Hitler didn’t issue such an order, simply because he didn’t have to.  Everyone knew what he wanted, and the spectacular rise of guys like Eichmann was proof.

Of course, the circumstantial evidence against Hitler was (and is) overwhelming.  But: We only have access to all that circumstantial evidence because we won the war.  Without all those captured documents, and complete freedom to peruse them and follow wherever they lead, and millions of eyewitnesses, and a whole bunch of ex-Nazis willing to testify in exchange for plea bargains, the case would’ve been much tougher to make.  Had all of those conditions not been met, the leadership of the Third Reich would have been almost impossible to prosecute.  You could pin just about every individual act on some low-level actor, but even though the higher-ups must have approved, no paper would ever attach to them.  Think of it as a government-wide version of the way mob bosses work — if you don’t have the don actually ordering so-and-so to get whacked, on film and audio, you don’t have a viable prosecution.

So, yeah — Huma Abedin is going to jail.  That’s what all this noise is about.  But if Hillary Clinton is smart — or just not utterly, utterly retarded — she never actually said “cut and paste the classified stuff.”  She certainly never said it in anyone else’s earshot, and not even a Democrat is dumb enough to put it on paper.  She just made a few vague statements, dropped a few fuzzy hints… and let her well-known preferences, and her equally well-known fondness for (shall we say) “creative” solutions, to do the rest.

Since this isn’t Nuremberg, the prosecution’s only chance, then, will be getting Huma and a few others to roll on their boss, which… well, would you?  This woman is still the odds-on favorite to be the next President of the United States.  I’d take the fifteen-to-twenty in the federal pen, secure in the knowledge that a presidential pardon and a nice cushy payoff were already in the works.

I mean, this is, like, Conspiracy 101.

Who is Caesarism For?

A response to RW, below, that has above-the-fold applicability.

RW asks, “Who’s buying into any of this drama-rama?”

The folks who have the most at stake in an actual Revolution.

Caesarism isn’t for “the masses” — they get bread and circuses (=iCrap).  This is the strategy behind the EBT cards — as should be obvious to everyone by now, EBT cards are just anti-riot payoffs.  We provide the ghettopotami with a pretty luxurious lifestyle* in exchange for not burning the inner cities down; urban policing is largely a matter of keeping ghetto dysfunction contained within the ghetto.  This applies to any ghetto you like, including the white ones up the holler and wherever Eminem grew up.  It’s the reason movements like “Black Power” and the KKK never get anywhere — there’s just no point to the revolution they preach, as the risk is very real, but the payoff is….?  They don’t want their “freedom,” and wouldn’t take it if it were offered on a silver platter.

But — and this is important, before you send me the angry caps-lock comments, please read it carefully — most people wouldn’t.  That’s why “bread and circuses” work.  Think about what a Revolution actually entails, even if you aren’t even fighting in the rebel army:

  • disruption of basic services, like food, water, electricity
  • vast fear and uncertainty
  • no money, and no jobs

&c.  And the payoff for all this is….?  Most folks won’t do it.  And most folks wouldn’t take it, even absent the bullet points on that list, because what would you do with it?  Your new nation is likely to be smaller, poorer, shabbier, and colder than the old one…. and plus that, now you actually have to pay attention to stuff, participate in elections, maybe serve on a workers’ council or do a hitch in the militia.  It’s just not worth it to the Tumblr-and-Twitter crowd, to say nothing of the honest-to-god proletariat.  If Caesar is doing his job right, it will never be worth it….and if he’s doing his job wrong, he’s got a whole bunch of much bigger problems.  So: you don’t need the whole caesarism dog-n-pony show to keep the masses docile.  And the proof is: the masses don’t vote.  They might punch whatever ticket the shop steward asks them to, but their hearts aren’t in it.  Most of “the masses” couldn’t name a single branch of government, let alone any of the occupants, and certainly not what any of them actually do.

Similarly, revolution isn’t worth it to the upper classes, or even — crucially — the upper-middle classes.  They have way more to lose in the Revolution but, more importantly, they always have the possibility of moving up under the old regime.  The Managerial Elite always needs some new blood, and everyone knows how to get there — go to the right schools, meet the right people, mouth the right opinions, vote for the right party.  They already lead pretty cushy lives, with a shot at real opulence; they won’t risk it.  They know how the game is really played — at least, they think they do — and since they think they’re in on the con, caesarism isn’t for them either.  They’d be happy to dispense with it, of course, but playing along costs them nothing, and they get a little thrill from putting one over on the rubes.

It’s the downwardly-mobile middle class who have the most skin in the revolution game, and they’ve been the instigators of every revolution in modern times.  Pick any one you like — you’ll find that the leadership always comes from middle-class guys who are absolutely blocked from going up, and in real danger of going down.  This was the case in the English Civil War (artisans and tradesmen), the French Revolution (the Parisian petite bourgeoisie), the revolutions of 1848 (displaced artisans and disgruntled intellectuals), the Russian Revolution (ditto), the Nazi revolution (shopkeepers and ex-NCOs), any “postcolonial” insurgency (the sons of shopkeepers, educated past their hat size in Paris or Moscow)…. Something has to be done to keep these people from realizing that they’re going to be proletarianized anyway, so might as well roll the dice.

Those are the folks who need the sham of representative government.  They have to feel like they have a real chance of effecting change but — alas!! — keep coming up juuuuust short of the requisite number of votes.

An analogy: Think of what would happen to your company if all the senior management went on strike for some reason.  Most of us probably can’t even name our division manager, our regional sales coordinator, our assistant vice president in charge of whatever.  Life for us in the cube farm would go on pretty much as before, but for the assistant associate regional VP of whatever, it’d be devastating — he’d never work in the industry again.  Which is why senior management never goes on strike.

Then think of what happens if the rank-and-file go on strike.  A brief disruption, but then management just fires all the phone monkeys, burger-flippers, wrench-turners, etc. and hires new ones.  No great loss… heck, maybe even a net benefit, as the new guys won’t be nearly so uppity after seeing what happened to the last bunch.

Now, imagine what happens if middle management goes on strike.  I know, I know, we all like to joke about how useless anyone with a title on his business card is, but really think about it for a sec.  Those are the project leaders, the office coordinators, the accounting supervisors… they can’t easily be replaced from outside, and you can’t just promote some phone monkeys either.  The company won’t collapse if the Head of IT quits, and it won’t suffer more than a quarter’s hit if all the tech support drones walk, but if all the team leads go…..

Caesarism, then, is only designed to work on a very small number of people — the lower professional classes, junior army officers and senior NCOs, media types, “intellectuals,” and so on.  You know, the very same people who are now the loudest Trump / Sanders supporters.  The goal is to convince them that the status quo is worth preserving, because the possibility of meaningful change is just over the horizon.  The minute they see that it isn’t, though, they start thinking about worst-case scenarios… and they’re the folks with the skills, brains, and drive to actually get a Revolution done.**

 

 

 

 

*Yes it is, by the standards of 99.99% of human history and 99.7% of the world right now.  Have you seen how illegals live?  And yet they keep coming, as it’s still better than life in their shitholes-of-origin.

** I didn’t want to derail the post by putting it in the main body, but you can see what a Revolutionary looks like by studying the commies.  Remember, one of the main goals of all communist regimes was to export the Revolution, so they had detailed instructions on how to recruit and train professional revolutionaries (called “cadres”).  The best background for a productive cadre was, of course, a disaffected lower-middle-class or upper-working-class “intellectual” who felt stifled — who felt he had no real opportunities for personal and professional advancement, and who felt that nobody appreciated his gifts.  And if that sounds like a pitch-perfect description of an SJW, well, that’s — as the Marxists say — “no accident.”  Here’s how it’s done, by someone who had it done to him.

This is Elizabeth Warren’s Moment

Via Ace of Spades:

EXCLUSIVE: Hillary Clinton’s emails on her unsecured, homebrew server contained intelligence from the U.S. government’s most secretive and highly classified programs, according to an unclassified letter from a top inspector general to senior lawmakers.

Ace thinks the Justice Department won’t indict, and I think so as well.  But if Elizabeth Warren were to “suddenly” enter the race…

Think about it: The Dems know they pretty much have to run a woman this cycle — Diversity Bingo is the only strategy they have left, and “woman” is the only open square remaining on their card.  Bernie Sanders might carry the day against one of the more obvious Cucks — because 99% of former Republicans will simply stay home on election day — but there’s no way he out-demagogues Trump.

And since “being a fake Indian for fun and profit” is a far lesser offense than high treason, she’s about as clean as a Democrat is going to get.  Plus, you know Obama hates Hillary and would love to put the screws to her.  How hard would it be to convince Him, of all people, to be the Savior of the Party by throwing the book at Evita and clearing the decks for Fauxcahontas?

Lizzie, baby… this is your best shot.

[And if you like that, remember: I think Western Civ is fucked anyway.  I just want to get paid while the fires burn… and I work almost as cheap as an “undocumented American.”  I got a million more where that came from.  Call me!]

Book Recommendation: Liberal Fascism

From Gary:

For as long as I can remember, the word “fascist” has been drained of any specific meaning, serving only as an insult with which to slander one’s political opponents. Lots of people (especially on the left) malign their foes with this slur, but it seems few have any idea what fascism actually means.* I suspect a good deal of this is due to intentional misinformation churned out by socialists and communists eager to dissociate themselves from Hitler and the Nazis (and Mussolini to a lesser extent).

Consider, for example, that stupid political spectrum “everyone knows” in which communism appears at the far left, socialism at the “moderate” left, capitalism well to the right and Evil Fascism at the extreme right–as if leftist authoritarianism were the exact opposite of fascist authoritarianism, and free market economies were on a slippery slope to fascist dictatorship. Now there’s one stinking Rotten Chestnut that has earned a place in the compendium of fetid bromides.

Several years ago, I noticed Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism in the local library and checked it out, thinking I might be able to plow through the first 100 pages or so (of about 500 pages) and learn a bit. But I found it so engaging I zipped past page 100 and soon finished the entire book. Along the way I came to believe, among other things, that communism, socialism and fascism are just three variants of “benevolent authoritarianism,” and therefore should be grouped together. The following excerpt from David McCune’s review on Amazon’s page nicely summarizes the book:

For those willing to give Goldberg the chance, he offers the following thesis: that the label fascist has its roots in the governing philosophies of Italy’s National Fascist Party and Germany’s National Socialist (Nazi) Party. He argues that there has been a false duality created between the Soviet Socialists of the USSR and the socialists united under the fascists in Italy and Germany. He argues that the totalitarian impulse, the philosophy of state control of decisions taking priority over individual freedoms, is the core uniting principle behind these movements, and he argues that the ongoing home of such statism is in what has come to be known as the “liberal” politics of the modern progressive movement.

Sometime in the last decade or so, Americans who demand larger and more powerful government traded in the name “liberal” for “progressive,” perhaps sensing that the former had become stale and unpopular while the latter, they imagine, sparkles with the promise of advancement and “progress.” IMHO, this is a good change, unintentionally providing some rare honesty about their program and methods.

Goldberg examines the origins of Progressivism, revealing some of its more unsavory aspects, back when they were forthright about their admiration for Mussolini and fascism, their lust for unlimited power–to do only good, of course–their disdain for individualism and their willingness to ignore the constitution and proper legal procedure to attain their desired ends. To me, one of the most striking things about Liberal Fascism is the large number of enthusiastic quotes about fascism from Progressive writers, artists, celebrities and government officials prior to WW2.

* Orwell said, “The word ‘fascism’ now has no meaning except in so far as it signals ‘something not desirable.’”

Book Recommendations: Lewis, Chesterton, and Practical Theology

From blog-friend Nightfly:

Frank Sheed: Theology for Beginners and Theology and Sanity. Sheed was a Catholic street preacher in England for many years and codified a lot of what he talked about into these two books. The first is the shorter and the second covers a lot of the material in more depth, but both are worthy. Why these books first on the list? Basically, because it covers a lot of basic information about what humanity is, and once you’ve got that, you have a sound basis for figuring out specifics on how to treat ourselves and each other, what problems are likely, and which solutions stand a chance of helping vs. aggravating things.

GK Chesterton: Orthodoxy. The same process Gilbert Keith uses to discuss theology can also apply to reasoning out sound thought in a variety of topics, so it has wide application. The beginning thesis strikes me as very sound advice – the best way to really see something is either to be a true part of it, or else to stand entirely apart. To be in the middle – to be neither hot nor cold, to use another familiar reference – is to miss both the genuine care for a thing and a true objective viewpoint. This strikes me as as good an explanation as any for why so many Millenials, born-and-raised with unprecedented material and cultural benefits, spend all their time attacking the roots of those blessings, despising the country and the culture that made them possible.

CS Lewis: well, just about anything, really. The big ones are the Narnia books and Screwtape, but I’d like to recommend stuff not often paid attention to. If you can lay hands on the Space Trilogy (Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, That Hideous Strength), The Pilgrim’s Regress, or Till We Have Faces, you will have some ripping good yarns that don’t pretend there’s no such thing as faith… and since faith is one of the mainsprings of human thought and action, it makes the books engrossing and the characters convincing, even when you disagree with them.

Where Will the First Coup Be?

Anonymous Conservative notices something odd about European military chiefs predicting chaos:

This is the weirdest aspect of all. These are the men who could just lay down the law, and put all the little rabbits in their place. These men look out, and see the deep clouds of Apocalypse stretching from horizon to horizon. They know what comes after. And yet they too are like lambs led to slaughter.

Not for long.

Nonpartisanship while under arms is one of the core virtues of modern Western militaries, but historically it’s an aberration.  I’d venture to guess that the only thing keeping European generals from at least talking coup over a few beers is the fact that their forces are so small — Wiki says that the whole German army has 59,000 men and 255 aircraft.  They couldn’t occupy a decent-sized province with that few troops.  The same source says the French army tops out at around 111,000 (for the record, the US Army National Guard alone has a paper strength of 350,000).

At some point in the near future, one of those countries’ tiny armies is going to be ordered to open fire on a crowd of civilians.  From Cologne to Copenhagen, European police forces are openly admitting they’ve lost control of large sections of important cities.  What’s left but to call in the army?  And when called, will they come?

Faced with the choice between a potential mutiny of his command, and leading that mutiny, I’m thinking that proud professional officers might be more than tempted to choose the latter…. especially if they’re being ordered to shoot their fellow countrymen on behalf of foreigners, i.e. to abdicate the role of national defense that is the army’s sole purpose.

Where do you think the first coup will come?  Personally, I wonder how Front National‘s doing in the junior officer ranks…..

[Since I’m kinda obliged to provide a Weimar analogy in these types of posts, I’ll note that this is ultimately what brought Hitler the Chancellorship — the Reich president was informed that, in the case of domestic insurrection by the various paramilitaries, the German Army wouldn’t be able to reassert control.  Bringing Hitler into the government was the only way to contain that threat].

Caesarism

She’ll skate, of course, because one doesn’t indict one of The Elite, but when she does, nobody can claim with a straight face that we have a rule of law anymore.  The Constitution, courts, elections, the press… it’s all a sham, and The Elite only put up with the sham because it’s less inconvenient than a straight-up police state.

But not for long, I imagine.