Monthly Archives: March 2017

The Andrew Jackson Moment

The “Trail of Tears” is, along with Rosa Parks and the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior, the only thing kids learn about in high school history these days.  They especially don’t learn about the followup:  The Cherokee sued the US government to stop their removal.  Chief Justice John Marshall ruled in favor of the Cherokee.  To which Andrew Jackson supposedly replied, “I see Mr. Marshall has made his ruling.  Now, let us see him enforce it.”

President Trump is rapidly approaching an Andrew Jackson moment.  There are reports of Democrat (naturally) congressmen warning Boston-area illegals of a pending ICE raid.  Los Angeles has vowed to nullify federal law.*  And now Seattle is suing the Trump administration over its threats to end federal funding for “sanctuary cities.” “Sanctuary cities,” you’ll recall, are polities whose ruling class have publicly avowed their intention to violate federal law.  As this is the West Coast, the 9th Circus will of course find for the plaintiffs.

History suggests that President Trump will follow Jackson’s precedent.  A quick look around Weimar America 2017 suggests this will make him the most popular politician in several generations.  It also suggests…. well, you know what it suggests.  The Reds and the Browns are already battling in the streets. It’s inevitable; might as well get on with it.


*Hey, remember when that was raaaaaaacist?  Although it’s kinda nice to see Democrats getting back to their roots.

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Moneyball in the Hospital

Further to the Z Man’s latest, excellent piece on health care, let’s talk about baseball.

Betcha didn’t see that coming!

As previously mentionedMoneyball is a 2003 book by financial journalist Michael Lewis, in which he explores the “sabermetric revolution” going on within the Oakland A’s organization.  The A’s’ system is pretty simple, but as its fundamental assumptions go against everything “everybody knows” about scouting ballplayers, the baseball world’s reaction to the book tells you everything you need to know about True Believers.  It’s worth reading the new edition for the afterword, where Lewis details some of the hate he, A’s General Manager Billy Beane, and the A’s organization itself got in the book’s wake.  For the record, none of the following are in any way shape or form the point of Moneyball:

  • There is one correct way to scout baseball players.
  • Billy Beane is the greatest General Manager in baseball history.
  • Michael Lewis is a genius who knows more about baseball than the players.
  • You can build a championship team entirely on paper.

Problem is, Moneyball’s actual thesis is so simple, so commonsensical, so “no shit, Sherlock” that it can’t be right.  Boiled down to its fundamentals, Moneyball’s thesis is:

Nothing else matters in the game of baseball but outs.

You get a maximum of 27 outs in a standard baseball game.  Take the likelihood of a given guy making one of those 27 outs, divide it into his yearly salary, and that’s how much he’s really costing you.

It’s a bit more complicated than that, but not much.  Adam Dunn hits 40 homers a year, but strikes out 200 times a year.  Thanks to those 200 strikeouts, Adam Dunn’s opportunity cost is much greater than his value added — if nothing else, you have 200 less chances to just put the ball in play and see what happens.  Meanwhile, Skinny McNobody hasn’t hit a homer since high school, but walks 100 times a year and rarely strikes out.  So he’s on base at least 100 more times, and anything can happen with a runner on first.  Similarly, a high school kid who throws 95 mph might turn into Roger Clemens…but he probably turns into Steve Dalkowski.*  A college pitcher who couldn’t reach 95 with a bazooka, but with a sub-3.00 ERA, already gets guys out, lots of them, and at a much higher level of competition than the high school phenom ever faced.  That’s why a smart team, a team that has to make every dollar count, drafts Jeremy Brown over Justin Verlander.**

BUUUUUT, everybody in baseball asked, what about fielding?  What about the sac bunt, the stolen base, the suicide squeeze?  What about scouting, for pete’s sake?  Sure, Adam Dunn’s a lifetime .237 hitter and is the #3 strikeout leader in baseball history, but man, you gotta see this guy….

And that’s the problem right there.  Philosophy folks call this a category error; Billy Beane says “we’re not selling jeans here, people.”  Just because the guy looks like a future Hall of Famer doesn’t mean he plays like one, and in fact the Hall of Fame is full of guys who look like big ol’ unathletic dorks.***  The computer can fool you — GIGO — but not like the naked eye can.  As most everyone does with most everything, baseball scouts see what they want to see.

Which brings us to health care.  The Z Man lays down three fundamental truths of health care:

  • No health care plan or system can ever be taken seriously unless it addresses, up front, how it will say “No, you cannot have it” to people who want it.
  • The current insurance model is just a wealth transfer from the middle-class to the health care industry, in order to cover the cost of poor people and the metastasizing layer of people who live off the system.
  • Health services are a massive skimming operation.

Should he come over here and read this, I hope the Z Man knows I mean this in the best possible way: No duh.  You’re the Billy Beane of heath care, dude, and again, I mean that as a very high compliment.  Read Moneyball, and it just seems obvious — like, hit-you-over-the-head, brain-blisteringly obvious — that baseball is about making outs, not selling jeans.  And yet, there are hundreds, probably thousands, of guys — collectively making millions of dollars a year — who don’t see that.  Who, in fact, refuse to see it — in his afterword, Lewis claims lots of baseball people, e.g. ESPN announcer (and Hall of Famer!) Joe Morgan, take pride in not having read his book.  And so the A’s keep fielding a competitive team, year after year, at about 1/100th of the Yankees’ payroll…. and a whole bunch of professional baseball people keep claiming to be baffled by that.

So, too, with all those fools who talk about “health care” as if it’s just the mean ol’ Republicans keeping anyone from getting everything he wants.  Or those fools who insist that socialized medicine will raise quality and lower costs.  Or that there won’t be “death panels.”  Of course there will be death panels!  Needs are infinite; resources are finite.  This seems like the most obvious thing in the world… but it’s not.  Just ask all those baseball scouts whose prospects are now jean models.  Sometimes there’s great value in stating the should-be-obvious, especially now.


*For those un-steeped in baseball history, Dalkowski was the inspiration for “Nuke” LaLoosh (Tim Robbins) in the movie Bull Durham.

**Jeremy Brown is internet famous as Moneyball’s “fat catcher;” Verlander was a high-school fireballer who flamed out, albeit after a brief (and briefly electric) major league career.  The fact that Brown never made it to the Show — and, in fact, most of the ballyhooed Moneyball draft class didn’t — should tell you all you need to know about the predictive power of any system featuring human beings.

*** For non-baseball fans, I give you Greg Maddux, arguably the greatest pitcher of all time.

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 2:  Greg Maddux #31 of the Atlanta Braves looks on from the dugout during the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Veterans Stadium on Sunday, July 2, 1995 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Braves won the game 5-3. (Photo by Rich Pilling/MLB Photos via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Greg Maddux

PHILADELPHIA, PA – JULY 2: Greg Maddux #31 of the Atlanta Braves looks on from the dugout during the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Veterans Stadium on Sunday, July 2, 1995 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Braves won the game 5-3. (Photo by Rich Pilling/MLB Photos via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Greg Maddux

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A Modest Proposal

Recently we had a “Day Without Women,” because Hillary Clinton lost the election or something.  As Morgan points out, it didn’t accomplish much, mostly because the kinds of chicks who could afford to skip work to go block traffic don’t do anything productive anyway.

Which is why I think Lefties should go for the gusto.  Stacy McCain is forever alerting us to feminists who think white people are evil (good gravy, man, how do you stand searching this stuff out?).  I’d like to encourage those feminists, and everyone who retweets, favorites, upvotes, or otherwise expresses approval of these kinds of sentiments, to organize A Day Without White People.  By not using anything built, maintained, or invented by white people, these feminists could show all us evil pale penis people just how totally worthless and unnecessary — and, of course, evil — we really are.  Seeing as how math, science, medicine, the rule of law, etc. are all social constructions anyway, it should be no problem going without them for 24 hours.

That’d show us.  Really, it would.  I’m cowering in terror just thinking about it.

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National Customs

General Sir Charles James Napier, out adding to the Raj, came across a large bonfire and a wailing widow.  He asked the natives to explain, and they told him that this was sati, a time-honored custom in which a man’s widow was burned alive on his corpse’s funeral pyre.  To which Napier supposedly said,

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

We could learn a lot from Sir Charles.

“The self-determination of peoples,” as they called it back in Woodrow Wilson’s day, used to be a staple of Progressivism.  Lenin may be roasting in Hell, but he was right about World War I: Imperialism caused it; specifically, the fact that the existing empires had no where left to imperialize.  Take away the empires, smarter men than Lenin thought, and you’ll cut out a major source of conflict in the world.  What reason does the Austro-Hungarian Empire, for example, have to exist?  It’s an old-and-busted relic of an even older-and-busteder medieval relic, the Holy Roman Empire.  Gavrilo Princip would’ve had no beef with Franz Ferdinand had the Bosnians had their own state.  Woodrow Wilson agreed, and he signed off on the rape of Germany at Versailles in exchange for self-determination in places the rest of the Allies didn’t care about.*

“”””Progressives”””” don’t know their own history, of course, but even if they did, they’d be against self-determination these days, because self-determination accords with human nature and every good Proggie knows people are blank slates.  The rest of us, though, should look long and hard, not at the world we want, but at the world we have.  I was one of those fools who backed our latest imperial adventure in Iraq, on the grounds that

  • somebody had to get slapped around for 9/1, and
  • WMD, which Saddam did have, was as good an excuse as any, so
  • Saddam volunteered.

I figured that “democracy” stuff was just eyewash, because W. was supposed to be a conservative, and conservatives know better.

Shows you what I know.

Iraqis, like most peoples most places, don’t want Western liberal (BIRM x2) democracy and have no idea what to do with it when it’s given to them.  Much of the “alt-right” would say this is because they can’t do democracy, because HBD.  Which is one of the many reasons I can’t get on board with too much of the “alt-right.”  Until you show me a “representative government” chromosome somewhere in the human genome — and I will need a specific spot on the map, boys — I’ll reason as a historian, which tells me that the same forces which transformed blue-assed savages like Boudicca into Gen. Sir Charles James Napier in less than 1900 years are operative everywhere.

Note the time frame, please.  I’m pretty sure “building democracy” can be done nearly anywhere; I’m almost as sure we’ll be under the domination of superintelligent apes by the time we can confirm the hypothesis.

Which leads us to now.  What, exactly, are we going to do in this, year 2017 of the Common Era?

If I were President Trump, I’d find a few pet intellectuals that can’t be traced directly to me, and pay them to remind Proggies of their own history.  Yeah yeah, Wilson was a horrible racist and of course they want his name off his School of Government at Princeton, but most Proggies still think of Woodrow as one of their saints.  Eugene V. Debs liked self-determination too, I’m pretty sure, and you can probably put the Haymarket Square guys in that bucket, too.  Not to mention Lenin and the rest of the Bolshies (self-determination was a steppingstone to communism, sure, but still).  Jonah Goldberg, for example, would be good at this — on the record as anti-Trump; knows his Wilson; can obviously be bought.  Get them thinking about the good ol’ days… then start self-determining for them, with that big beautiful wall.


*As opposed to, say, Palestine.

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Pattern Recognition

Scott Adams has a good blog post on persuasion vs. “science” when it comes to “climate science” (known around these parts as Global Weather).  Adams makes the simple point that it’s pattern recognition, not science as such, that convinces most of us.  The reason being, most of us don’t really get the science.  We can’t do the math, so we have to rely on the track record of those few who can…. and their record stinks.  Adams proposes a three-part test to change his bias (his word) re: climate “science.”  The first, especially, is gold:

Convince me that complex models such as the climate science models have done good jobs in other fields in the past. And the examples have to involve human judgement in the inputs, and lots of iterations. And those models have to have succeeded in predicting the future five years out, or better. If such things exist in other fields, I can be persuaded that climate scientists can do it too. (No fair picking physics models. Those are not filled with human assumptions.)

I know way less math than Scott Adams (he’s got an MBA and did financial modeling for years), but even I see the problem here.  It’s that “human judgment” part.  Humans are endlessly adaptive.  That’s why we’re so evolutionarily successful.

Baseball is a fun example.  Back in 2003, a neat little book called Moneyball hit the shelves.  It’s a 288-page primer on our ability to miss the forest for the trees.  Throw in the hilariously overwrought reactions to the book (and subsequent film) among baseball people, and you can pretty much throw every basic psych textbook out the window.  We can’t go too deep into it here (though that would be a fun series of posts if y’all are interested); the point is, Moneyball’s focus on the quantitative aspects of baseball performance led to a brief fad for crazy, hitter-specific defensive shifts.

ShiftsThat’s a shift put on for Adam Dunn, a famously free-swinging left-handed power hitter.  Every season, Dunn was routinely found at the top of the leader board for home runs, walks, and strikeouts.  There’s math to back it up, of course, but just knowing those three things suggests that if Dunn manages to make contact, it’s going hard to the right side.  If he drops one down the third base line, it’s an accident… and a happy accident at that, since normally when he catches one it goes over the right field fence.  So why not stack the right side of the infield, to guarantee that anything he puts on the ground gets caught?

You don’t have to know baseball to know what happened next… though you do need to understand basic human motivations, so drive-by Lefty readers will want to pay attention here: Dunn adjusted his approach at the plate, and pretty soon nobody shifted for him anymore.  The guy’s a professional athlete, see, which means he doesn’t have a job if he doesn’t get on base.  So for a while there big, free-swinging, homer-blasting Adam Dunn turned into a dinky-dunk singles hitter… until he forced the defense to switch back to playing him straight up, at which point he went back to jacking longballs again.

Pattern recognition is dynamic.  The other guys are looking for patterns, too, and when you spot one of theirs, pretty soon they’ll spot your adjustment…. so they adjust, and you adjust, etc. etc.  The first guy to spot a pattern enjoys a brief run of great success, but it never lasts.  It can’t.  Which is why they’re still playing baseball, despite the “sabermetrics” guys’ best efforts at making a day at the ballpark as much fun as doing your taxes.

And that’s baseball, a game with millions of dollars on the line for every single player, coach, scout, and manager, each and every season.  If they can’t come up with a surefire repeating system, it can’t be done… and it surely can’t be done by “climate scientists,” all of whom have tenure and government grants and get paid — and, of course, lionized by Lefties who fucking love science — no matter if they fail to predict six o’clock at five thirty.  Pattern recognition, see?

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Raj 2.0

There are lots of explanations for Cloud People behavior out there.  I’d like to point out a historical parallel: This is the Raj, version 2.0.  They’re the Indian Civil Service; we’re the Indians.

After the 1857 Mutiny, the British Crown took over the administration of India directly with the Government of India Act.  The East India Company’s civil service was folded into the ICS, and given a new mission: the creation of, as Macaulay expressed it, “a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect.”  These newly “civilized” Indians would uplift the others, eventually preparing the subcontinent for self-government and full membership in the Commonwealth.  Whether or not they actually intended self-government or not — whether stuff like the Ilbert Bill was a real reform, or just eyewash — is beside the point.  Read up on the actions and attitudes of the ICS* — this is what they think of us.

Our Betters in the ruling caste at Washington obviously think of themselves as part of a mission civilisatrice to the benighted natives in flyover country.  Their propagandists — though their powers of expression have fallen as catastrophically far as their educations and powers of thought — leave no doubt that it is the duty of The Better Sort, i.e. themselves, to educate us out of our racist redneck Bible-thumpin’ flag-wavin’ truck-drivin’ cousin-pokin’ ways.  Seriously, this is a typical exercise (if you have a lower tolerance for ivory tower smugness than I do, here’s the hilarious Iowahawk parody).  Not coincidentally, they expect to make a very nice living while they’re at it, just like the ICS’s “griffins” did (an ICS salary was so nice, and the comparative standard of living so high, that every spring a bevy of unattached girls looking for husbands would disembark from every ship that landed at Calcutta.  The old India hands called them “the fishing fleet”).

As a wise man once said, it’s all the same; only the names have changed.  Our “griffins” study international development and gender studies at places like Oberlin, not Greek and Latin at Eton, but the subjects’ usefulness in the real world is similar.  So, too, is the arrogance of the graduates — just as a 19-year-old Etonian with a few semesters’ Punjabi at Haileybury and Fort William considered himself qualified to rule millions of natives in the Deccan**, so our Seven Sisters poetry majors consider themselves qualified to run the Department of Defense.  And, of course, Our Betters so often co-opt a class of greasy little babus like Charles Cooke and Kevin Williamson to serve them drinks at the club, with the promise that maybe someday, old chap, you’ll merit recognition as an honorary member of some ancient order of chivalry (junior grade).

It’s a nice life if you can get it.  Alas, as Orwell knew, it’s not forever.  The only question is, will it end in partition, or Amritsar, or what?


*N.b. the author is Sir David Gilmour, 4th Baronet Gilmour, the historian, not the guitarist for Pink Floyd (though how cool would that be?).

**That’s an inside joke for old India hands.  They don’t speak Punjabi in the Deccan.  You probably didn’t know that… but don’t worry, the guys Her Britannic Majesty sent out to rule over their lives and property usually didn’t, either.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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