Today’s SJW is Tomorrow’s Obergruppenfuhrer

or why nothing is anybody’s fault, part III.

As Marxism is Calvinism minus God, so modern “social justice” ideology is Marxism minus Marx.

Calvinism’s two fundamental tenets are:

  1. mankind’s total depravity, and
  2. predestination

Only a tiny fraction of mankind is destined to be Saved; you’ll know you’re one of them if you hate the rest of humanity almost as much as you hate yourself.  Since this is not a psychologically sustainable creed, even for such world-class haters as the Puritans, in practice Calvinism was endless, frantic displacement activity – the famous “Protestant work ethic.”  Drop God, and Puritans become Yankees — dour, hectoring pharisees who call you a whore while they’re fucking you over to make a few bucks.

Marxism’s two fundamental tenets are exactly the same.  Social classes, not God, do the predestining and the hatred gets called “revolutionary consciousness,” but it’s the same thing, with the same result — read any academic Marxist work and try to stay awake through the endless theoretical discussions of A’s version of B’s critique of C’s revision of D’s misunderstanding of the relationship between base and superstructure….

Just as 18th century science killed Calvin’s God, so 20th century history killed Marx’s.  Marx’s nonsense “economics” and sub-Hegelian worship of History are so laughably wrong that hardly anyone without a second PhD can mention them with a straight face.  Drop Marx, and Marxists become Social Justice Warriors — people who know xzhemselves to be on the right side of History, despite also knowing that there are no facts, only discourses.  They become, in effect, nothing but power worshipers.

And that’s where it gets interesting.  Marx’s disciples, e.g. Lenin, were power worshipers too, but they at least had the excuse (if that’s the word) of thinking they’d tapped into a real, existing power — the irresistible Force of History — in the same way the Puritans knew they were Saved.  SJWs know there’s no History; History is, after all, the narrative unfolding of Truth.  There are no facts, only discourses; and hence no Truth, only the provisional “truths” of whatever temporary coalition has the power to enforce them.

These days, of course, the SJWs still believe themselves to be that coalition.  BUT: it doesn’t have to be that way, as they know best of all (not consciously, of course, but in their secret hearts).  How could it be otherwise?  Hence the ongoing apocalyptic freakout over the rise of Donald Trump.  Trump uses language better than they do — Hillary’s campaign, it’s becoming clear, was over from the moment he uttered his famous “because you’d be in jail” quip.  Trump’s coalition might well twist language in such a way that his discourse prevails.

At that point, they’d be consistent with their philosophy — Trump’s discourse triumphed; therefore Trump’s discourse is right.  And so they’ll do what they always do, jump out in front of the parade and pretend to lead it by being More Radical Than Thou.  And so today’s blue-haired bicurious vegan slam poet is tomorrow obergruppenfuhrer.  I give it maybe three more years before they start trading in their pink pussy hats for red and black armbands.


Since about 1975, the most dangerous people in America were those Baby Boomers who never had the opportunity to be hippies.

No, really — picture, insofar as you can, the dream world of the left-liberal Democrat in the Reagan years.  If you don’t remember the Reagan years, go to YouTube and cue up a few After School Specials.  The people who made those thought it would’ve been really groovy to have been a hippie, but alas, they were too young, too busy getting their Master’s Degree, or both, to head to Haight.  Their utopia was a San Francisco walkup, circa 1967, with the Dead on the radio and some righteous bud in the hookah and a lava lamp into which you could, like, staaaaare, man, and contemplate the little universes that might exist in each atom under your fingernail.

Since they never experienced the real thing, they never experienced the downside — the poverty, the STDs*, the “free love” that’s worth exactly what you paid for it.  It was a shitty life, metaphorically and sometimes literally.  Their one brief shining moment was getting George McGovern on the ballot in 1972, where he got his ass handed to him by Tricky Dick Nixon in the (then) second-biggest landslide in American history.  That’s why all the former Sixties radicals got themselves nice capitalist gigs soon after.  Only the ones who were never there kept the flame alive, mostly by hiding out in academia and the media….

….where they spawned Gen X, i.e. the Slackers, i.e. the parents of the Specialist Snowflake generation.

[confidential to Nate et al -- THIS is a bored, concussed-looking girl who can't act who is actually hot

Confidential to Nate et al — THIS is a bored, concussed-looking girl who can’t act who is actually hot.  No, that’s Matt Dillon; I’m talking about the one on the left.

The Clinton Years (effectively, 1988-2001) were a weird time to go to college.  There we were, all ready to Question Authority and Overthrow the System like they told us to.  Problem was,when we got there, we found out that it was the System we were to Overthrow, fully staffed by Authorities we weren’t supposed to Question.  How are you supposed to rebel against your parents’ values when your parents’ only value, expressed in just about every pop culture artifact produced since 1973, was Rebellion?  I was as young, dumb, and horny as every other kid in my dorm, but addled as we were, lots of us couldn’t help noticing that the professor who kept talking about Woodstock like he was there was making a pretty good living as The Man.  We wanted to live the sex drugs and rock’n’roll lifestyle, too, but since nothing is lamer than your parents — this is the crucial part — we had to be all, like, you know, whatever about it.  A slacker was just a hippie who knew that the Road to Shambala ended at a house in the ‘burbs with a Volvo in the garage.

Which brings us to now.  If we got all weirded out because we knew how flower power withers, what are our kids to make of us and our values?

We do have them.  Just as professors who know they would’ve ended the Vietnam War if they hadn’t been in junior high at the time taught us that the key to life is believing in Sixties causes, so we, it seems, have taught our kids to embrace the worst of Nineties-style slacktivism.  Wannabe-hippies were convinced they could follow Marcuse and fuck their way to peace, love, and understanding; we thought the key to life was the fact that there’s no such thing as a fact.  Thus, the passionate nihilism of the Snowflake generation — nobody’s different from anybody and everybody’s the best at everything; I have no idea what my opinions will be tomorrow but I’ll ruin your life today if you disagree with them.

They just want to be Slackers, in the same way our parents wanted to be Hippies.  And since there’s no lower bar than that….

I’m not saying that’s the whole answer (what Slacker would?).  But it explains a lot about Millennials, doesn’t it?



*No, really — the Weathermen, the most radical of Sixties radicals, had mandatory group sex sessions, after which many of them ended up with nonspecific genital lesions they called the “Weather Crud.”  Be sure to bring penicillin while brining down capitalism.

Hot Chicks and Nazis

I can’t speak for the co-bloggers, but my motto is: “give the people what they want.”  So here’s today’s Fascism fix: Like pretty much everything else SJWs get up to these days, the Nazis got there first.  The SJW “justices” who keep blocking Trump’s perfectly Constitutional travel bans are exercising their prerogative; we have, and have had for quite some time, a prerogative state.

Political scientist Ernst Fraenkel argued that the Nazis inherited a system of “normative law” from the Weimar Republic.  “Normative law” is exactly what you think it is — written law, enforced impartially through precedent and reason.  But as National Socialism was supposed to embody the spirit of the German people, sometimes normative law wasn’t enough — to reach the “correct” verdict, judges had to exercise their “prerogative,” essentially legislating from the bench.

Since the rest of the Third Reich worked this way, too — all institutions competed in a ruthless social darwinian struggle for power* — Fraenkel called Nazi Germany a “prerogative state.”  You could get real, impartial justice in the Third Reich, based on written law.  The legendarily efficient civil service functioned much as before, the police were scrupulously fair, and everything functioned as you’d expect in a modern Western state governed by the rule of law….

… so long as your case didn’t conflict with Nazi values.  Then the “prerogative” kicked in.  I trust the parallels to our current situation are obvious, so here’s a hot chick.**

Beautiful-kristen-stewart*this is basically what Ian Kershaw meant by “working towards the Fuhrer.”

** I don’t see it, personally, but she gets a lot of love around here in the comments, so Nate, Nightfly, here ya go.


Or, why nothing is anyone’s fault, part II.

Yesterday‘s post was a brief overview of some of the consequences of Marx’s view that all human culture is nothing but the product of clashing social classes.  Our SJWs don’t know that’s where their “ideas” come from, of course — they’re as ignorant of intellectual history as they are of everything else — but for those of us who like Western Civilization, it’s worth noting that everything SJWs like is just exegesis of the Gospel of Karl Marx.

Science — which, as we know, SJWs not only love, but fucking love — is just a tool of the capitalist class.  Lysenkoism wasn’t a bizarre one-off of Stalin’s personality cult; Mao’s similarly loony ideas contributed to his extra-fun version of the Holodomor.  Pre-Revolutionary biologists came from the wrong class background; Lysenko’s parents were peasants; therefore, Lysenko’s ideas are true.  Everything is a product of class conflict, remember?  Wrong class, wrong ideas — by definition.

See also Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, which introduced the famous “paradigm shift.”  Kuhn doesn’t explicitly argue that scientists are “class enemies,” but his theory is pure Marx for all that — “paradigms,” he says, are incommensurable; you can’t even understand the new paradigm in terms of the old.  Here again, Truth has nothing to do with anything, because there is no Truth, only perspectives.  It’s not clear whether Kuhn considers the hidebound “scientists” of the old paradigm actively evil, or merely deluded (if they can’t understand the new paradigm, how can they be responsible for not accepting it?), but either way it’s clear that once again we see a fundamental mode of human thought being attributed to class conflict, rather than a search for Truth.

E.g. Global Warming Cooling Climate Change Weather.  Under the old paradigm — the one concerned with finding things that are True — anyone claiming to know the exact future state of a complex global system would be laughed out of the lab.  Under the new paradigm, of course, it makes no difference whether or not the claims are “true”  — consensus makes them true, in the same way Ptolemaic astronomy and the humoral theory of medicine were “true” in Renaissance England, and so on.  We wouldn’t say Henry VIII was wrong in getting bled to treat his ulcer, would we?  Henry was keenly interested in medicine; he was acting on the best information available.  That it didn’t work (indeed, couldn’t work) is irrelevant; Henry was behaving scientifically — no quotation marks — within his paradigm, just as surgically excising it while dosing him with antibiotics would be scientific now, within our paradigm.

How one actually moves from one paradigm to another is above my pay grade, just as, when you get right down to it, it was above Kuhn’s — see David Stove for a thorough, vicious examination.  The point, again, is that it doesn’t matter, since Truth has nothing to do with it.  It’s all just politics:

  • The old guard, the elite, the bourgeoisie, whatever you choose to call them, were invested in the old paradigm.
  • Therefore the old paradigm was a tool by which they maintained their class dominance.
  • Therefore the old paradigm is ipso facto wrong, and it doesn’t matter in the slightest what replaces it, as the more dogmatic Kuhnians like Paul Feyerabend, to their…credit, I guess?… admit.*

So who cares what the thermometers actually say?  “Settled science” isn’t just a cant phrase for SJWs; they really think this is the way science is done, and if you disagree, you’re by definition in Big Oil’s pocket.



*no, really: “Voodoo…is case in point. Nobody knows it, everybody uses it as a paradigm of backwardness and confusion. And yet Voodoo has a firm though still not sufficiently understood material basis, and a study of its manifestations can be used to enrich, and perhaps even revise, our knowledge of physiology.”

Why Nothing is Anyone’s Fault

Unless you’re a straight white male, that is.

I’m inspired by this, and The Z Man’s essential knowledge series, to spit out a quick primer on the basic assumptions of the Cult of Modern Liberalism.  The linked piece is an article from “manosphere” site Return of Kings, on how feminism is cultural marxism.  Because I spend so much time around academia, I don’t appreciate how esoteric this stuff really is.  All feminism past Susan B. Anthony has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marxism Inc., and everyone in the ivory tower knows it, so there’s no reason to state it… which means that, when you encounter it in a classroom or on the street, you don’t know what’s behind it. (Feminists themselves don’t know it either, for the most part).

And so on down the line with every item on the Cult’s agenda.  They are all consistent, though of course batshit insane, consequences of Marxism.

Karl Marx infected Western thought with two lethal viruses.  The first, that human society is nothing but the clash of eternally antagonistic social classes, has been exhaustively explored elsewhere; you don’t need any more from me.  (That’s what the Return of Kings article is about — feminists consider all women, from the Queen of England on down, to be a special subset of the proletariat.  Just as the capitalists’ only goal is oppressing the proletariat, so men’s only goal is to oppress women.  Seriously — read your Engels).

The second is a logical consequence of the first, though so breathtaking in its implications that most people don’t want to think about it: If society is nothing but the clash of classes, then all of human culture — especially morality — is relative, because it, too, is nothing but a tool in the neverending class war.

Christians, for example, don’t try to follow Christ’s teachings because they’re True.  There is no Truth; there are only the provisional interests of a given social class.  The bourgeoisie preach Christianity because its “morality” — don’t steal, don’t covet, don’t murder — is good for keeping the proles down.  From this it follows that no Christian actually practices what he preaches, let alone actually believes it; anyone who says he does is either a cynical manipulator or suffering from “false consciousness.”

[Atheists, “brights,” and assorted other sperglords, you’re not off the hook — your endless sophomoric spat with the Magic Sky Fairy and his brain-dead minions keeps you docile in your corner of the internet… just where we bourgeois “believers” want you! You’ll never develop revolutionary consciousness while you’re busy being smug about the Flying Spaghetti Monster! Bwahahahaha!!]

With that, we’re already deep in the Marxists’ twilight schizo conspiracy world.  The One Truth….yeah yeah, I know, there is no such thing as Truth, but this One Thing is indisputably True, don’t ask me how, Marx himself didn’t know, just roll with it:

Everything anyone says or does is, consciously or unconsciously, nothing but a product of his “class situation.”

Freud did Marx a solid here.  Freud demonstrated that much — most — of human behavior is at least partially unconscious.  Humans are not the rational animal; we are seething sacks of unresolved neuroses, most of which were imprinted on us in earliest childhood.  Which confirms the commies’ point: What we think of as “morality,” e.g. rules of conduct based on our perception of Truth, is nothing more than superego, “successful identification with the father figure,” i.e. a social construction of the bourgeoisie.  Freudianism plus Marxism gives you the Frankfurt School, which argued that capitalism makes you crazy (and if you think it doesn’t, that’s “false consciousness”).

With that, you have the basic Leninist attitude, which is the SJW attitude, which is at the root of all evil today.  Marx believed that the “contradictions of capitalism” would give rise to a “revolutionary class” which would battle, and of course defeat, the capitalists and their bourgeois lackeys.  Lenin thought he and his merry band of murderers were that revolutionary class, with its brutal instrumentalist view of morality.  If morality is nothing but a weapon in the neverending class struggle, then anything, anything at all, that furthers the Revolution is justified.

Recognizing this is proof of one’s mental superiority.

Training yourself to actually put it into practice — to commit the “necessary murder” — makes one a superior human being, because now one is freed of God, morality, superego, all the chains of mental slavery loaded on you by the bourgeoisie.  “The urge to destroy is also a creative urge,” Bakunin said, and he meant it – one does not make an omelet, after all, without destroying some eggs.

Not that our modern SJWs know any of this, of course — they’re as ignorant of their own history as they are of everything else.  They’ve got the sneering superiority down pat, though, and they’ve never considered that so-called “morality” could be anything but instrumental.  How could they?  It’s just so obviously a sham; all the smart people say so.  Grant that, and everything else the modern Left loves falls into place:

Feminists love abortion, and I do mean love it — search Stacy McCain’s archives for the ravings of Amanda Marcotte to get a taste (hope you have a strong stomach).  Why?  Because Women are the Proletariat, they’re being oppressed by the Patriarchy, and nothing ties a woman down better than 9 months of crippling pregnancy followed by 18 years with the most fiendishly perfect time-suck ever devised.  Abortion gives women the free time to develop the necessary Revolutionary Consciousness.  Oh, and it riles the god-botherers up — you know, the ones who insist that “morality” is actually moral and not a tool of class war.  Dumbasses!

Brown people can do no wrong, even when their actions break every other tenet of the Church of Liberalism’s faith, because Frantz Fanon says imperialism turned all brown people, everywhere, into a revolutionary class.  And hey, if you want to be consistent about it, you have to admit that the CML’s faith is as instrumentalist as any other…. right? Fanon said ” to shoot down a European is to kill two birds with one stone, to destroy an oppressor and the man he oppresses at the same time.”  He believed it, and so, evidently, do they.

Finally, it explains the lack of cognitive dissonance.  Apologies to Gary, the official Rotten Chestnuts Cognitive Dissonance Czar, for putting you out of a job, but there you have it.  To the Vanguard of the Proletariat, anything and everything is a weapon.  There is no hypocrisy in their world, because to be a hypocrite one must betray one’s principles, and they don’t have any.  The superior man, who knows the truth of Marxist doctrine, knows the only Truth that is, was, or ever could be.  Flip-flopping like a fish — the ability to be for anything and everything before one is against it — is, perversely, a mark of superior intellect.  If you don’t see it, go back and say your catechism again: Human culture is nothing but the clash of economic classes…

SNUL: The Universe is a Simulation

So says Neil “I Fucking Love Science!” deGrasse Tyson, anyway.  I saw this in a comment over at the Z Man’s, and the commenter points out the blisteringly obvious.

So hows about it, “”””Progressives””””??  Anyone wanna explain to me how the universe being a simulation — which, of course, entails a Programmer of the operating system and the hardware on which to run it — isn’t Intelligent Design?

Bonus challenge to the Seven Readers: Should any Proggies wander by here and take up the challenge, how many syllables will it take for them to say “because Intelligent Design is teh stupid, and we’re S-M-R-T Smart, so neener neener neener”?  I’m setting the over/under at 450.

“Chesterton’s Fence” is a Category Error

At least, it often is in the hands of so-called “conservatives.”

If you’re even vaguely right-ish, you’ve heard this quoted dozens of times:

In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.

Problem is, nobody ever focuses on the bolded bit.  This is largely the Left’s fault, no doubt — they want to change so much, so fast, and their “solutions” are so reliably batshit insane, that we assume any given fence will be replaced by a huge federal Department of Fence Replacement, funded (under-funded, natch!) to the tune of seventy zillion dollars, complete with sixteen diversity outreach coordinators and all male employees required to make wee-wee in the little girls’ room.

But it’s not always so.  Sometimes the fence is an obstruction, and that’s true even when Moonbeam says it.  In that case — which, these days, is practically all cases — invoking “Chesterton’s Fence” is a category error.  It’s not about preserving the fence.  It’s about reconstructing the thought process that got the fence built in the first place.  What problem was the fence intended to solve?  And — the necessary, usually completely forgotten followup — is that problem still around?

Take education.  The Ed Biz takes a lot of abuse around here, and if you want to catapult each and every Ed bureaucrat into a swampful of gators, I’ll be first in line to pull the lever.  Buuuuut….. we really do need some kind of federal education standards.  In a globalized knowledge economy — which we all recognize ours is, for good or ill — it’s suicide to leave the Education of the American Worker to the localities.

Liberals are right about the disadvantages students from poor districts face.  Now, again, because Liberals’ “solution” to this problem is always something along the lines of “free iPads and aromatherapy for everyone,” we assume they’re full of crap about the problem, too.  But they’re not.  Something like national standardized testing is really the only way to guarantee “portability” — yes, the rich districts do it with iPads and aromatherapy, while the poor districts do it with one chalkboard and a stick, but both (in theory) train their kids to a minimum standard that can be accepted everywhere.

Now, before you start going off about “free market solutions,” please tell me: How does the market solve this?  How does it even identify the problem?  Even if employers could give prospective employees a comprehensive battery of IQ and general-knowledge tests — and we’ll all be ruled by superintelligent apes before that happens — it’s by no means clear how the losers ended up losing.  Where’s the failure in their education?  Elementary?  Junior high?  College?  And while we’re identifying the problem and retrofitting our ed system — again, assuming this is even possible, given that every locality would have to have the time, money, and will to do it — what happens to the entire generation of potential workers who will never find jobs?  If the NEA is workfare for otherwise unemployable Democrat ed majors, it’s cheaper than actual welfare for the entire generation of students they’re still somehow kinda sorta educating.

I’m not denying that the whole American educational system needs root-and-branch reform.  As I said, tossing every current ed bureaucrat to the gators would be a decent start.  But unless you’re prepared to change the way the entire global economy operates, climate activist-style, we’re stuck with some kind of nationalized education.  The fence is in the wrong place, guarding the wrong land, against a problem that doesn’t exist anymore.


Hot or Not? (Now with Bonus Slave Leia)

Judging by comment traffic and Rotten Chestnuts’ continuing unconscionable exclusion from those “best blogs” lists — 6 years and running! — all y’all are interested in is hot chicks and Fascism (probably in that order).  Let it never be said I’m too good to pander.  Without further ado, can someone among the Seven Readers please explain to me why this is supposed to be attractive?

downloadThat’s the Harry Potter chick showing some skin in Vanity Fair.  To say I’ve seen better is a real understatement.  Not the skin itself — though that’s subpar, too — but… is this gal really supposed to be attractive?  Note the similar jawline and stoner-with-a-concussion expression on Twilight’s Kristen Stewart, another girl I’m told is hot:

kristen-stewart-want-s-to-be-part-of-captain-americaNow, this is not some affected PUA thing, where I criticize some scorchingly hot babe for having “pointy elbows” or something.  Ms. Stewart and Ms. Watson are pretty enough, and wouldn’t lack for male attention at the company happy hour if they were a couple of office drones.  But they’re supposed to be jaw-droppingly gorgeous movie stars.  Sorry, I just don’t see it.

I suspect the Michelle Obama effect.  For political reasons, y’all will recall, the entire media insisted that the former First Lady was just gorgeous, and would pillory anyone who said otherwise.  My guess is that Watson and Stewart are, like Mrs. Obama, juuuust pretty enough to serve as aspirational figures for office workerettes everywhere.  This

7fe3c9a092fa4e6bd2fb890225d3c477is out of reach, but with a little work this

kristen-stewart-in-triangle-bikini-top-photo-u1is within reach.


Oh, yeah…and, um, Nazis.

“My Boyfriend”

Back in college, this girl in our dorm was ostentatious about her “long distance relationship.”  She couldn’t go five minutes without mentioning “my boyfriend.”  She did it so frequently that we just started referring to the guy as “My Boyfriend.”  We’d even tease her about it:  “How’s My Boyfriend today?”  “Have you gotten this week’s letter from My Boyfriend yet?”  I don’t think we ever actually learned the poor bastard’s name.(1)

They did me a solid, this chick and My Boyfriend.  Listening to her, I realized that my first few relationships failed because I was trying to be My Boyfriend, while trying to mold her into My Girlfriend.  I started being myself around girls, and taking them as they came.  Turns out that when you stop trying to force people into templates, you get laid more.

Which is not to say templates are bad.  Templates — roles, social expectations, whatever you choose to call them — are heuristics, like stereotypes, and like stereotypes they’re generally pretty accurate.  We expect the wooer to act in a certain way, the better for us to be wooed.  Knowing the rules — and knowing why, when, and how to break them — is how one displays one’s social savvy.(2)  Take away the templates, and…

….well, that’s just it, isn’t it? Human societies are monkey troops; social roles are hardwired.  Take away the traditional roles — force men to be free, as Rousseau put it — and we just make up new ones for ourselves.  The only difference is, now we have to neurotically reinforce those roles every chance we get, because nobody’s sure the message is being received.  Dorm Girl, of course, was deeply insecure about her relationship with My Boyfriend — that’s why she kept broadcasting her total devotion to him even as she was screwing half the guys in the building.

This must be causing severe damage to kids these days.  Teenage social life is an exercise in differential diagnosis — because I am this (e.g. a stoner), I am not that (a preppie).  It was given that you can try on as many identities as you felt you needed, because everyone was doing it — nobody mocked this week’s preppie for being last week’s burnout, because everyone was something else last week and will be some other thing next week.

At least, that’s how it used to be.  Now everyone’s wonderful just the way they are, and since we’re forbidden under pain of law to notice that some people are different, the old roles make no sense.  It’s equally awesome and affirming to be anything at all — when the headbanger gets the same smiley sticker and lollipop as the head cheerleader, how can you possibly figure out just who the hell you’re supposed to be?

So you end up like this poor SOB.  In case you don’t want to read another long Stacy McCain piece about mentally ill feminist (BIRM) — and you’re doing the Lord’s work, Mr. McCain, but holy guacamole how do you stand it? — this is a tranny insisting that guys who don’t want to date guys dressed like girls are sexist.  I’m confident that Mr./Ms. Dennis isn’t “transsexual.”  I’d bet a fair amount that he’s just a gay guy who went to a rich, impeccably liberal high school where being gay was ostentatiously, obnoxiously just as good as straight.  In a school like that — where everything you say, do, and wear is praised, and not praising them is a hate crime — how does a moody, confused teenager (BIRM) distinguish himself?

By becoming herself.  And then she goes off to a pricey liberal arts school — Whittier College, annual tuition $45,730 — and majors in English, a subject where feelz haven’t been in the same ballpark as realz since Wordsworth, and in which one can recycle for four years the same basic essay about the travails of being one’s very own specially-persecuted self.  Is it any wonder this kid’s a mess?

Yes, under the old dispensation, Mr./Ms. Dennis would’ve been shoved into more than a few lockers.  And that sucks, but… is it worse than a lifetime locked in a self-imposed bubble of hormone-injected solipsism?



(1) n.b. to college guys: Girls who do this are all but begging you to pick them up.  Sure, sure, it’s much easier to do a “long distance relationship” in the social media age, but take it from your elder, kids — there is no such thing as a “long distance relationship” in college.  “I’ve got a boyfriend back home” means one of two things: Either “I’m never sleeping with you, so don’t even try;” or “I’m ready to sleep with you if you have any Game at all.”  What with the “rape culture” and all, I’d be very, very sure which is which… but guys, this is almost always a layup.

(2) That’s really all there is to “Game.”  It’s basically just Method Acting — Daniel Day Lewis (or someone like that) actually lives the character as much as possible (refusing to eat anything but meat he’d killed himself while filming Last of the Mohicans, for example).  A “pickup artist” (or whatever they call themselves these days) studies everything about “alpha males” and actually lives that role as much as possible.  It seems immoral to lots of us, but, sex aside, is it really different from Day Lewis refusing to leave his wheelchair for the entire My Left Foot shoot?

War is Not a Dialogue

I recently finished reading Dereliction of Duty: Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam, by Trump’s newly appointed National Security Adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, and all I could think is “SJWs… SJWs everywhere.”

McMaster’s thesis is simple: The “leadership” styles of Presidents Kennedy and (especially) Johnson allowed Robert McNamara and his self-proclaimed “Whiz Kids” to run the war as if it were an exercise in systems analysis at Harvard Business School.  (Indeed, throughout the war, McNamara would insist, Mitt Romney-like, that we were winning in Vietnam because all the metrics pointed that way).

The key event of the Vietnam War, McMaster shows, didn’t happen in Vietnam at all.  Rather, the Cuban Missile Crisis convinced Kennedy and especially McNamara that the generals had it all wrong.  Instead of launching an invasion of Cuba, as the Pentagon wanted, Kennedy and McNamara thought their blockade of the island “communicated resolve” to Moscow.  Khrushchev backing down convinced the band of “happy little hotdogs” (as the brass sarcastically called them) running the White House that they knew war better than the professionals — “Just because a man is a general doesn’t mean his opinion on military strategy is worth a damn,” Kennedy proclaimed.

McNamara, whose only military experience was as an Air Force logistics officer in World War II, concurred.  He thought wars were about signaling.  His theory of “graduated pressure” relied on tightly controlled military actions, mostly air strikes, to “communicate” with the North Vietnamese.  His overall objective — if, indeed, he had one after Johnson took over — was to convince Ho Chi Minh that continued support for the Viet Cong insurgency in the south wasn’t worth the pain of having some (or all!) of a list of 94 specific targets flattened by American air strikes.

McNamara really did believe that “pressure” could be dialed in — he and Johnson would sit in the Oval Office, poring over a map of North Vietnam and deciding exactly how many sorties should be flown at each individual target, and the precise value of each target as a signal to Ho Chi Minh.  Thus, NVA barracks below a certain line of latitude could be hit, but not the fighter base whose MiGs protected it (and shot down several American and South Vietnamese air force jets).  Throw in LBJ’s oft-stated objective to not “lose in Vietnam” before he got his Great Society passed — he regarded the war as an annoying distraction from his domestic political objectives — and the military never had a chance.  For their part, the generals couldn’t get past inter-service rivalries, and so never came up with a coherent strategy either.  They agreed that a massive conventional campaign was necessary, but couldn’t figure out how to wage one, and so they meekly went along with “graduated pressure,” forever hoping that McNamara would step it up to the point where they could fight a real war.

Which is why I’m cautiously optimistic in our current culture war.

Section break!

Section break!

Big historical changes are rarely obvious as they happen.  Often victory often looks like defeat, for example, and vice versa.  For instance, it’s increasingly clear that Leftism as a coherent political platform died in the Sixties, and Bill Clinton’s 1992 election — seen at the time as the final triumph of the New Left — was actually the last twitch of the corpse.  As the Z Man points out, and a brief glance at Horowitz and Collier will confirm, the so-called “New Left” wasn’t about politics at all.  Sure, they had some barmy ideas they called “communism,” “socialism,” whatever, but in reality they just “wanted to smash things, flip over tables and freak out the squares.”  They were bored little rich kids, afflicted with equal parts white guilt and suburban ennui.  At bottom, most of them were probably just in it for the free love (see the Starr Report for details).

In other words, they’ve always been about virtue signaling, and nothing but virtue signaling.  The problem with that, of course, is that sometimes the enemy doesn’t get the message… and even when he does, it’s rarely the message that’s intended.  Look at Ho Chi Minh.  McNamara was sure he knew exactly what Ho would do, because every time he ran the numbers Ho surrendered.  Meanwhile, the Army ran a different set of numbers — the SIGMA war games — and said Ho would keep fighting.  By the end of SIGMA II, the blue team had 500,000 combat troops in Southeast Asia and was gearing up for a full-scale invasion of North Vietnam.  Turns out that pinprick airstrikes only pissed Ho off and increased the commies’ devotion to the cause.  SIGMA II was played in 1964, by the way — almost a year before the first American boots officially hit the ground at Da Nang.

What is modern Leftism’s objective?  We have no idea, and that’s because they have no idea, either.  Back in the 1960s, they could fight real injustices, and their tactical triumphs looked like long-term strategic victories.  Because Jim Crow was a real evil, and because the Great Society was so huge, the Left’s efforts in the Sixties could be mistaken for dramatic progress towards a coherent goal.  In reality, they were the New Left’s version of American “victories” in Vietnam — air strikes and napalm and artillery and choppers skimming low over the beaches blasting “March of the Valkyries” really look impressive, but when the smoke clears you’re left holding a few square miles of muck in the middle of nowhere that you’ll abandon tomorrow, to do the same thing on another patch of muck somewhere else.

In reality, the Great Society crippled the black family, dooming a majority of African-Americans to generations of poverty — as uber-liberal Daniel Patrick Moynihan recognized as early as 1965.  “Women’s lib,” as it was then called, has been making everyone’s life hell for three generations now, and they still can’t manage to get the gals a lousy 25 cent raise.  And now they’re reduced to cheerleading for mentally ill men in dresses to go wee-wee in the little girls’ room.

Nothing loses a war faster than losing sight of your strategic objective… except never having a strategic objective in the first place.  Social media makes it look like hitting George Soros’s list of 94 targets is really putting the pressure on the Flyover Country Cong, but….to what end?  What’s the objective?

We have one.  They don’t.  Will their firepower beat our clear-headedness?  I dunno, but history suggests the way to bet.