Trump Fires the Entire NFL!!!!! (Wait’ll you read the 6th paragraph!!!!)

I’m always curious when people say “it’s got a national conversation going” … when, exactly, did the national conversation stop? Because it seems to me like we’ve been talking about this for years on end.

To me the real issue is peoples’ perceptions on why there appears to be disparities between police action, including police shootings, of non-whites. There are lots of explanations, and racism on the part of individuals within law enforcement can never (and will, as long as humans are involved) be ruled out. But there are a LOT of other factors to look at, the vast majority of them cultural and exactly zero of them genetic save the genetic correlations (which we all know does not mean causation … and that can be pretty much proven in this case) between the victims and the shootings.

The biggest problem is, no matter how much “whites” acknowledge the issues and how unfair it is to innocent non-whites, the fact remains that as long as the cultural issues prevalent in certain non-white populations persist, a sane and natural correlation between appearance and behavior will continue to exist – and this will contribute to even the most conscientious people, even non-white people will continue to subconsciously use the correlation to make an unfair judgement on an individual (ask Juan Williams … he gave a real, personal illustration of this several years ago and got canned from NPR for being honest about it) .

Which is, lest we forget, what is wrong with racism. It causes us to make unfair judgement on people. It’s the unfair judgement that is actually wrong, the fact that in the case of racism it’s based on ethnicity is actually incidental. I think we’ve gotten so far down the road from this that too many forget this, and try to cure the disease by infecting a different population with the very disease they are allegedly trying to cure.

The answer cannot be arrest quota — as multiple studies have shown, police action corresponds to reports of crime to police, as do subsequent arrests and the occasional shooting. A disproportionate number of reports come from areas dominated by minorities, and they’re generally other people of the same ethnic background as the alleged criminals doing the reporting. Thus it is quite understandable that arrests and shootings are going to be lopsided in that direction. Police haven’t declared open season on minorities, that’s just the narrative given by those who wish to divide us — and believe me, those who wish to divide us do not wish to see this problem solved. There is too much hay to be made from it.

So fast-forward to a football game, where people have come to have a good time. And before every football game there is this tradition that the national anthem is played and everybody gets up and does this ritual action of … unity … honoring the symbol of that which we all supposedly believe in. It’s the one thing, now that the country has been sold on the religion of multi-culturalism, that is left that we can all stand up and say “yeah. THAT.” Even if we sometimes fail to live up to it, that is what we strive for.

Now before I continue, I need to make one thing very clear. The protesters have the inalienable right, protected by the First Amendment – to do whatever they want to do during the National Anthem. I absolutely support that right, and to my knowledge nobody has proposed getting rid of the right to do it.

On the flip side … when you sit it out, when you don’t join in the ritual, what you are telling the 70-100K people in the stadium and the millions of people watching is, “I am not one of you”. Further, since they know why you’re doing it, you are telling them “I think this thing you believe in is fundamentally racist (which means it’s evil), and that means you are all fundamentally racist for believing in it.” That is the worst kind of insult you can hurl at a decent human being. It’s heinous.

Again, they have every right to do it, but  that is the message they are sending regardless of the message the mean to send.

When you tell people, “I am not one of you, and you all suck”, they are probably going to have a negative reaction to that. AND … they have the same right to that reaction as the protesters had in their action.

You cannot simultaneously reject society and expect it to embrace you.

Most of the people in the stands and watching TV are decent human beings who don’t want to see innocent people wrongfully harrassed, accused, arrested, or especially shot. The people behind this movement are telling them that deep down, they don’t really care.

You know how we just went over that wrongful accusation is a bad thing? People tend to have a really negative reaction to it. And when they have a really negative reaction to it, they’re going to stop listening to you.

Trump, for his part, did not cause this division. The rise of the most recent flareup in this happened right here in Missouri in 2015 while Obama was president. Trump … just picked a side. And he was his usual ham-handed self about it. Picking a side in and of itself wasn’t bad. Many valid arguments exist in support of the side he chose. But his language and his tone certainly have been lacking which is no shock to anyone who’s paid attention to him at all.

The NFL’s reaction has been equally bad, because they made it about Trump instead of the issue at hand, and their fans lose here. And they also lose fans.

And the division is made worse, and we are no closer to solving the root cause of all of these problems.

The Technical Intelligentsia

The author of a book I’m reading on the Russian Revolution comes right out and says it was all the fault of non-STEM smart guys.

He doesn’t put it quite that way, of course — he’s a professional historian after all — but he does introduce the Russians’ distinction between types of intellectuals.  In Russia around 1900, the “intellectual” was what he was in Europe in 1700: An independently wealthy dilettante, who could dream up impossible schemes because he’d never have to interact with the grubby proles who would have to implement it.  As Europe went all-in on industrial capitalism, though, this kind of guy disappeared — except for professors of obscure subjects at the very few universities, anyone with anything on the ball went into trade.  They became what the Bolsheviks called “technical intellectuals” — engineers, lawyers, doctors, etc.  Lacking developed industries, Russia didn’t have a “technical intelligentsia” either, and since Russian universities, like Russian cultural life in general, was so heavily censored, there weren’t many job openings in the “literary” intelligentsia either.  Which meant, again, that the only option for these guys to vent their resentment was in Revolution.

The Revolution got more violent, dogmatic, and repressive in direct proportion to the number of these guys in the ranks, the author says, because they weren’t really Marxists — they were envious, frustrated intellectuals, and “Marxism” as they understood it was the best way for them to act out.  Their “Marxism,” like Lenin’s, was a self-contradictory mishmash masquerading as the most rigid orthodoxy.

The results were interesting.  Marx said you had to have industrial capitalism in order to have socialism — largely, it turns out, because you need the “technical intelligentsia” that only capitalism can provide in order to set up “socialist” production.  Since they wanted to skip capitalism, the Bolsheviks were forced to crash out a technical intelligentsia from scratch… but since they were Bolsheviks, they insisted that their indispensable technical experts be paid exactly as much as a factory hand.  And so, of course, anyone with anything on the ball skipped that whole “technical intelligentsia” bit and got himself a Party job, where he could live the life to which he believed himself entitled.

The parallels with our current situation are obvious, so I won’t belabor them.  Rather, I’ll point out that the USSR worked (insofar as it did) because there were enough technical intellectuals who bought into the system to keep it going, and the reason they bought in was that they had a goal — they thought Socialism was a real thing, and they were building it.

After Stalin, of course, it became obvious that Socialism is impossible, and these days we don’t even bother defining a goal.  What do the SJWs actually want?  They don’t know, and the very question would baffle them.  Want a glimpse into our future?  Russia, circa 1995, is probably the closest you’ll get.

Decadence

Somewhere around 1880, Western Civ died.

Lots of folks thought so at the time, anyway, and this attitude produced the aesthetic we variously call Decadence, aestheticism, the Fin de siècleetc., depending on which aspect of it you’re emphasizing.  You know the kind of thing I mean:

Aubrey-Beardsley-Venus-between-Terminal-Gods-1895-Left-The-Cover-of-One-Thousand-Nights-1897-Right-images-via-wikipediaorg

You might not recognize the artist (Aubrey Beardsley), but you know the style.  Decadence (or whatever) is like pr0n — you know it when you see it.  Modern life is anonymous, mechanical, and meaningless, these guys argued, and so there’s nothing left but art for art’s sake.  It can look spectacular — Edward Burne-Jones posters are on every other dorm room wall in America for a reason — but it’s ultimately empty.

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

as a Decadent throwback once put it.

So, too, with their politics, and here’s where it gets interesting.  The Fin de siècle was in love with cloak-and-dagger stuff.  Unshaven black-clad anarchists rioting made Advanced Thinkers moist back then, just as it does now — there’s a reason the Campus Ches and Trust Fund Trotskies all talk like Haymarket Square was just yesterday.  Then as now, they’re in love with the style, the gesture, the look.  It’s cosplay politics — despite the wishcasting of Progressive historians (BIRM), there was no real danger of Western Europe going communist at the turn of the 20th century.  The Revolution happened in Russia for a reason — it’s so far out in Western Civ’s suburbs that it’s practically Mongolia.

History goes in cycles, you know?  We’re 17 years past the turn of the 21st century, but we’re most definitely living in a Fin de siècle culture.  Modern life is anonymous, mechanical, and meaningless, all right — back then it was factory work, today it’s retweets and thumbs-ups, but the dynamic is exactly the same.  And so is the response.  Our politics is all cosplay, too.  It’s entirely gestural.  What does this….organism….want?

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Xzhe doesn’t know, any more than this guy does:

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They’re just gesturing frantically, trying to hold back the dark with funny costumes and rhyming slogans.

And that’s problematic, as the kids these days say, because if we’re condition to think of politics as nothing but gestures — and again, describe one substantive policy proposal either of those two geeks has — then the best-dressed gesturer wins.  And we know who does great with uniforms, armbands, slogans, torchlight parades…..

Law is Not Culture

Post-Obama America is a fascinating place if you’re a student of human folly.  Liberalism is in its death throes — it’ll be a bumpy ride, and not all of us will survive it, but it’ll be a hoot until they cart us off to the reeducation camps.

The Gods of the Copybook headings are coming back, and they are pissed.

One important lesson we’re learning is: Law is not Culture.  Culture matters far more than Law, but since Liberals don’t believe in Culture — ignorant, ahistorical fools that they are, they think it’s all a scam by the Pale Penis People — they’ve tried to reshape humanity by fiat.  It has worked out as well as every other Liberal idea from the past 100 years.

Anyone who has ever been around kids instinctively understands this.  You want Bruiser to be nice to Timmy, but since Bruiser doesn’t want to be nice to Timmy, you have to forbid certain activities… but Bruiser, despite a 70 IQ and the attention span of a gnat, can still think up more misbehaviors that you can forbid.  So you try positive law — instead of not being able to do certain things to Timmy, you make him do other things for Timmy.  But, again, he doesn’t want to do things for Timmy, so he does what you make him in the most obnoxious way possible.  There’s no set of regs you can lay down that will get the result you want; you have to convince Bruiser that being nice to Timmy is an end in itself.

Get the Culture right, and you hardly even need the Law.  But again, Liberals don’t believe in Culture.  They only believe in Words and Power, so it follows that the right combination of words must work.  They have to believe that if we achieve maximum North Korea — everything not compulsory is forbidden — we shall at long last have Utopia.  Their Utopia, where everything is what it appears to be and nothing can ever be different, no, not ever, world without end amen.

At their best, Culture and Law work in tandem; Law is Culture’s boundary.  In Victorian England, for example, homosexuality was outlawed – punishable by ten years in the slammer after 1861; before that it was a death penalty offense.  And yet, seemingly half the British upper crust were gay in the Victorian Era, and they weren’t too subtle about it — it was simply expected that English public schoolboys would choke up on each other’s cricket bat, as it were.  In this instance, the Law existed to police the acceptable barriers of conduct — Oscar Wilde didn’t go to jail for being gay; he went to jail for being vulgar (he’s the one that sued).

Liberals can’t believe that, so they’re forced to fall back on Law.  It won’t end well for them, but it’ll probably end worse for us — the Law will always be with us, but Culture, once it’s gone, is gone forever.

SNUL: The Classic Slum

Over at Z Man’s, “race realism” goes off the rails.  It always does.  Have you noticed?

Z Man’s complaint is against Our Rulers and their belief in what amounts to magic.  The only options for blacks’ lousy social, cultural, and economic performance vs. whites are race, culture, and magic, and since we’ve tried fixing culture and it can’t be race, it must be magic. Thus “critical race theory,” “white privilege,” and the rest, all of which can be summed up “bad juju, boss.”

I’ve got no beef with that.  But, as always, the danger is reductionism (see the comments).  Culture does play a part — a significant part.  For proof, read Theodore Dalrymple’s Life at the Bottom, then Robert Roberts’ The Classic Slum.  Dalrymple’s underclass British whites are indistinguishable from underclass American blacks — from whom, it’s easy to see, they draw much of their worldview, language, and style.  Roberts’ underclass British whites are very obviously proles, but they’re proud, industrious proles.  You could walk down the street at night in Salford; in most British or American cities today, you’d better have SEAL Team 6 escorting you if you venture outside after dark.

What happened, of course, is that clever academics realized we’re all hypocrites, and from that, concluded that the very idea of standards is a major way The Man is keeping us down.  Back in the Jurassic, we believed in God, so men falling short of their proclaimed ideals was no big deal — we’re not angels, we’re all fallen, let him who is without sin cast the first stone and all that.  You’d never hear the following, which my Millennial students all consider the atom bomb of rebuttals:

Parent: Don’t do drugs!

Kid: You did when you were my age!

Back in the days, the parent would say “yeah, and that’s why I’m telling you it’s a bad idea!” and that would be the end of it.

Some of Roberts’ slum-dwellers had kids out of wedlock.  Some of them were alcoholics.  Some were homosexuals.  Some of them had all the modern social pathologies (adjusted for time and place).  And yet, nobody questioned that monogamy, sobriety, heterosexuality, etc. were good things.  If we can’t all practice them as much as we’d like, well, see that “we’re no angels” stuff, above.  It was important to try — you know, for the kids — such that even if you fell short, the kids would see that trying to rise above one’s circumstances is another good-in-itself.

Dalrymple’s slum dwellers have concluded that, since nobody can live up to his standards all the time, it’s stupid to even try…. and they’ll bust a beer bottle over your head if you do.

American blacks believed this once, too… or, if you must be a “race realist” about it, were forced to act as if they believed it by Jim Crow.  Either way, though, culture kept a LOT of pathological misbehavior in check.  It’s a necessary, but not sufficient, cause of social regeneration.

My So-Called Ideology*

A million years ago, a dead white guy said that the greatest threat to civilization was “huge organized forms of self-righteousness.”  He was referring to stuff like Communism and Fascism but — harebrained nihilistic death cults though they were — at least they had a coherent body of thought behind them (yes, Fascism too, if anyone would ever bother to read it).  Today’s huge organized forms of self-righteousness lack even that.

Example: The other day I was driving to work and saw that the town must have an election coming up — there were signs everywhere reading “So-and-So for Mayor.”  The name sounded vaguely familiar, which is odd, because I don’t follow local politics in cities I don’t live in.  So when I had a free moment I googled up So-and-So… and hey, whaddaya know, he’s a failed Congressional candidate from a few years ago, from another district.

Who says politics is just showbiz for ugly people?  This clown is a character actor from central casting, indistinguishable from every other central casting clown Our Rulers see fit to bestow upon our “elections” every few years.  Should he not get elected mayor, So-and-So will no doubt be parachuted into some other town to run for alderman or something.  His resume and biography don’t matter — he once got elected to something, somewhere, so he’s “electable.”  He’ll die in office, and his obituary will gush about “a lifetime of public service”… though it won’t mention all the publics he’s served, since someone might notice that he’s not from any of those places and none of his so-called constituents could pick his mug out of a police lineup.  See also native New Yorker Hillary Clinton, or stalwart Chicagoan Alan Keyes, whose totally Constitutional qualification to run in those districts was “once changed planes at La Guardia and O’Hare,” respectively.

Hillary Clinton is, in fact, far from the worst violator, though since she’s the most prominent lately let’s roll with that.  Does anyone here think Hillary Clinton has any personal convictions at all?  Ideological convictions, I mean, since we all know that she’s deserving of a whole bunch of the other kind — securities fraud, insider trading, espionage, murder one….

To ask is to answer.  Hillary Clinton is out for Hillary Clinton, full stop.  As president, she’d have executive ordered up mandatory school prayer, concealed carry, and NASCAR attendance if someone paid her enough.  She’s more brazen than most — other hags who make noise about Feminism would at least be a little embarrassed to stay married to an out-n-proud philanderer credibly accused of multiple sexual assaults — but it’s a difference of degree, not kind.  “Liberalism” pays better than “Conservatism,” so she’s a Democrat not a Republican.

Actual ideology requires deep reading, sustained thought, and a backbone, three things which very few of our fellow citizens possess — certainly none of the casting-couched mercenaries we call “politicians” do.  Whether that’s a byproduct, or the point, of the modern educational system can and should be debated, but the end result’s the same either way.  What’s the State for, anyway?  Why should the people get to vote on stuff?  Come to think of it, just who are The People, and how did they get here?

Nobody currently occupying, or running for, any political office in the land has any clue.  Which is, as the Smart people say, problematic.

*I was going to shoehorn in some conceit about that old 90s tv show My So-Called Life, but that’s too cute and nobody cares.  But since I haven’t posted any pictures of attractive people recently, here’s Jordan Catalano.

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SNUL: The Eternal Mystery of Liberalism

I got nothin’ much these days, so here’s this:

When you can satisfactorily explain the appeal of Hillary Clinton, you will fathom the liberal mind.

I’m not being sarcastic here.  I understand the following reasons for supporting her candidacy:

  • She’s got dirt on you (this explains half the DNC).
  • She’s going to keep the graft gravy train rolling (this explains the other half).
  • She’s not Donald Trump (remember, MPAI – for lots of folks, politics is sportsball and the Dems are “our team”).
  • You’re a single-issue voter (feminist, abortion zealot).

But those are all tactical choices (for values of “tactical” that include the knee-jerk partisanship of the numbnuts low-info voters that are the majority of both parties’ bases).  But lots of folks sure seemed to be truly, madly, deeply in love with the concept of Hillary Clinton, specifically, as president of the United States.

If you can explain how this reptilian criminal got herself a personality cult without actually having a personality, you have explained modern Leftism.

SNUL: Marxy Marx and the Funky Bunch

Sorry no update lately.  A few quick thoughts on The Z Man’s foray into the Nazi briar patch:

Just as “Nazi” used to mean something real and obvious, so too did “Marxist.”  But just as the Left throws “Nazi” around to mean “anything I don’t like,” so the Right does with “Marxist.”  Of course, this is partly the Left’s own fault, as they themselves throw St. Karl’s name around a lot — your required Intro to Studies class at any college in America is nothing but Marxy Marx and the Funky Bunch, for instance.

But there’s never been a viable Marxist movement in America.  You’d be forgiven for thinking there was if you only read “Progressive” history — which is to say, all academic history written since about 1950 — but it’s wrong.  There are many groaning shelves’ worth of books about labor organizing in the Gilded Age, for example, but

  • a) that’s about as far as it ever got, and
  • b) it wasn’t that far, and
  • c) when you actually look at their evidence, it’s all Judean People’s Front vs. People’s Front of Judea-type tempests in teapots.

In fact, that’s still the burning question for Labor History, lo these many decades later — why was there no viable Marxist movement in America?  (And yes, “Labor History” is a thing, and yes, it’s as insufferable as it sounds).  The answer, of course, is “because Americans, lacking 1500 years of feudal tradition, don’t think of themselves in class categories,” but that must be wrong, because Marx.  So round and round it goes, the only practical effects being: C. Wright Mills‘ books still get on required reading lists in college history classes, and there are some grumpy old men named “Melsor” out there.  The guys who originally pushed this stuff were the “Old Left,” and they’re deader than disco.

The “New Left,” as everyone knows, were the Sixties radicals.  They talked a lot about Marx, too, but their real inspiration was Herbert Marcuse, who said you could screw your way to Enlightenment (and liberate the proles in the process).  Since that required a lot of force — human biology being what it is, and Leftists being the losers they are — the New Left was also all-in on Mao’s style.  They were, if anything, even more economically illiterate than the Old Left (if such a thing be possible), but they didn’t care; they just knew they had to say “Marx” every now and again to keep up their street cred.

Which brings us to the PoMo Left, a.k.a. the Social Justice Warriors.  Their avatar is Barack Obama, who, as the Z Man points out, probably can’t even spell “Marx.”  They’re just old-school Calvinists cosplaying as Bolsheviks — somewhere, somehow, Wrongfans are having Wrongfun, and that must not be tolerated.  And if they get to live like Ottoman pashas in the process, well, vanguard of the proletariat and all that.  There’s no such thing as a Fact, everything’s a Social Construction, nobody’s different from anybody and everyone’s the best at everything, and if you say different, we’ll ruin your life.

Karl Marx has the blood of millions on his hands, but he never said anything that stupid.  Blaming him for SJWs is like blaming the first ape to bash another ape with a rock for ICBMs.

Deep Cover

Yet another “Alt-Right” retard may once have been “Mainstream Left.”  Via Vox Day, the tale of Garon Archer, who, like Jason Kessler, was Occupying Wall Street just a few years ago:

But just a few years ago, Archer appeared in a 2012 YouTube video of an Occupy movement demonstration in Florida, protesting for the arrest of George Zimmerman, who fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida. In the video, Archer – who was himself 17 at the time   – chants slogans against racism and burns a Confederate flag bandanna.

Vox and his gang, of course, assume this is a (((Soros))) astroturf operation.  I dunno.  One of the big problems intelligence services had in the Cold War was finding deep cover operatives.  Anyone good enough at aping the other guy’s lifestyle to pass as an enemy national for long periods of time was at high risk of developing Stockholm Syndrome.  Your average Leftist obviously doesn’t suffer from cognitive dissonance, since without CD Leftism cannot be, but the kind of personality that would Occupy Wall Street just isn’t capable of faking it on the other side.

I suggest another alternative: Today’s SJW is tomorrow’s obergruppenfuhrer.  I could swear I read some dork going off about this just the other day….

Beyond Left and Right

At Z Man’s, an interesting post and discussion about how the old Left/Right paradigm doesn’t work anymore (and what happens to the poor bastards who make their livings off it when it finally dies).  I’ve been interested in this for some time, and we’ve had in-depth discussions about it over at House of Eratosthenes.  Back then, I suggested replacing Left/Right with a series of “buckets,” for lack of a better term (hey, I’m not in Marketing):

Imagine that we set a whole bunch of famous leaders down and gave them a pop quiz: “What is the purpose of government? What is the State for?” Then we sort them into buckets.

One common answer would be “the State exists to create Utopia here on earth,” and guys like Lenin, Hitler, Mao, and Obama would be in that bucket. Their Utopias would all look different, and they’d employ different means to get there, but all those guys would agree that their governments are trying to create a perfect world.

Another bucket contains guys like Oliver Cromwell, Suleiman the Magnificent, Charlemagne, and Ferdinand and Isabella. Their answer is something like “government exists to give greater glory to God, and/or punish His enemies.”

A third bucket is full of guys who answered “the purpose of the State is to give me and my entourage the highest possible standard of living” — Genghis Khan, Louis XVI, pick your ancient empire-builder.

A fourth bucket reads “the State exists to keep the natural world in balance.” Egyptian pharaohs and Confucian emperors fit here — they have to do their daily rituals or the world falls out of whack.

A fifth — very small — bucket reads “Government exists to protect its people’s life, liberty, and property.” Here you find George Washington, Jefferson Davis, William Pitt, and (arguably) guys like Pericles and the consuls of the Roman Republic.

I’d argue that the guys in the “state as utopia” bucket are the Left, and the “protect the people’s rights” bucket are the Right. That leaves the vast majority of all governments that have ever existed in the middle three buckets. Doing it this way, I think, helps clear up some of the confusion about behavior and attitudes — Obama, as you note, behaves as if he believes His presidency has kept the seas from rising, but I don’t think He actually does. Nor do His followers.

It works ok, I think, if you look at governments which have actually existed.  But there’s an even simpler theoretical divide, one that doesn’t assume the existence of The State like my “buckets” theory does: Do men have Natural Rights or not?

If you’re not sure you have an answer, there’s an easy litmus test: Can you give the full Jefferson quote?  The one about Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.  Here’s the complete sentence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The bold part is the key.  Whatever kind of half-assed Theists the more advanced thinkers among the Founders were, it’s clear that they all believed in the traditional conception of Natural Rights — Man is a unique being, which by a kind of special creation alone has Reason, from which flows his Natural Rights (whatever they turn out to be; the history of political philosophy is the attempt to figure that out).  Moreover, it’s obvious that we are this way, and thus have these rights.  Whatever Justice in the abstract turns out to be, whatever the optimum form of the State is, whatever subsidiary rights might flow from the unalienable ones, any answer that conflicts with with the God-given Big Three must be wrong.

That’s Jefferson, mind you.  I disagree with him on lots of things, especially that “pursuit of Happiness” bit — we could’ve been spared a lot of trouble if, when biting John Locke’s philosophy, he’d kept the original wording: Life, Liberty, and Property.  But whatever, the point is: Without a Creator, Natural Rights are meaningless.  No God, no Rights, which is why the Left always mangles the quote.

To their credit (if that’s really the word), the Original Left — those guys in the Estates General that certain spergs are still going on about 200 years later — recognized this.  The Cult of the Supreme Being was a grotesque farce, but Robespierre was smart enough to realize that without some kind of Deity, the Rights of Man and Citizen lost their capital letters and became “whatever we decide not to guillotine you for today.”  Karl Marx saw it, too, and though he was officially a militant atheist, his Capital Letter Stuff — Dialectical Materialism, History, and whatnot — is obviously just God-Lite.  It had to be; otherwise, what’s the point?  If History isn’t really some kind of vengeful god to be propitiated, why wouldn’t you just sit back and wait for the Revolution that St. Karl proclaims inevitable?  As a Russian critic of Lenin’s put it, Marxists are like astronomers, who are mathematically certain an eclipse is coming… and then form a Party and start killing people to make sure it does.

But then Darwin happened, and the Left, with their fucking love of science, finally cottoned to the obvious implications a century and a half later.  If there’s no God, then there’s no History either.  All is atoms and void; life itself is accident and error; and only the strongest survive to mindlessly, pointlessly propagate.  There is, therefore, nothing but Power.  Stripped of all its god-bothering illusions, human life — all actions, from the “noblest” to the “basest” — are just power transactions: Domination, Subordination, and Resistance.  From this, it follows that all human culture, from calculus to concertos, is really just talk — Discourses about Power, which is why everything is, in the PoMo Left’s favorite phrase, a “social construction.”

Which, when you combine it with the special kind of stupidity only a Liberal Arts degree can provide, explains the modern Left’s whole thing.  Because they believe the universe is nothing but Words and Power, your “rights” are whatever we say they are today.  Because they’re stupid, they think “we” and “the government” are the same thing, and the relationship is unidirectional — the government will never decide that “our” “rights” are anything other than what “we” say they are.

That’s your modern political divide, right there.  Are there Natural Rights or not?  The “Right,” to stick with the old-n-busted terminology for a second, for convenience, says “yes,” and wants to be left alone to exercise them.  The “Left” says “no,” and will be happy to have you shot to prove it.

Whatever terms we (see what I did there?) ultimately decide on to name these two sides, that will remain the basic split.  If that results in a theocracy, well, so be it.  The Inquisition will kill you in order to save your soul; the Cheka will kill you because you’re inconvenient, or because you had a rich ancestor, or because they feel like it.  How can you possibly object, comrade?