Monthly Archives: June 2018

2 Legit Part 6: Little Timmy, Superfan

Continuing the “America as baseball” metaphor, it’s now time to talk about the little kid with the horrible disease who’s trying not to die before his beloved team finally wins the pennant.

As blogfather Morgan likes to point out, liBeral is just one letter away from liTeral, which is one of the things that makes interactions with them such joys.  Liberals, of course, hate “sportsball” — all that toxic masculinity — and they love pointing out that your beloved Red Sox (or whoever) are just a collection of millionaire mercenaries.  Somewhere in the remote past, it’s true, the guys who suited up for the Boston professional franchise were actually from Boston; today they’re from —let’s see —Venezuela, Mexico, Taiwan, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Aruba…

Nobody’s from there, and certainly nobody stays there — guys like J.J. Watt (to switch sports (and cities) for a sec) are lauded for “staying with the team that drafted him,” and that’s nice… but so is the $100 million contract he got for staying.  Those obnoxious liberals have a point — the modern sports fan experience can get pretty surreal, when you find yourself cheering in April for the guy you were calling a no-talent bum when he played for the other team in October.

Sports teams know it, too, which is one of the reasons they make such a big deal about Little Timmy, Superfan — he of the chemo scarf and the wheelchair.*

I don’t want to belabor the point here, because it should be obvious — superfans like Little Timmy in a very real sense legitimize the team.  Little Timmy has his favorite player, of course — and meeting him is the part of the video that will go viral — but Little Timmy won’t buy his hero’s gear if (when) he gets traded, or let go in free agency.  He’ll be a Red Sox fan until the end.  His favorite player will follow the money (he’s got kids, too), but though individual players come and go, the team remains.  I doubt the players go out there thinking “win this one for Timmy!” — they are, after all, professionals — but the fans sure do… and the fans are what’s important.

____

In other words: If you’re looking for a version of legitimacy that doesn’t rely on the social contract — that doesn’t fall prey to the falsity of Blank-Slate Equalism — this is a way to do it.  Little Timmy, Superfan, is for all intents and purposes a nullity.  The team probably loses money on him, all things considered — that viral video cost more to produce than his parents spent on all his superfan gear, and for obvious reasons he doesn’t get down to the ballpark too often.  He’s a lifelong fan, all right, but he won’t make it to the point where “lifelong fan” has any tangible return for the team.  He’s not going to raise his kids to be fans, because he won’t have any.  His parents, if they were fans in the first place, sure as hell won’t be after he goes.

His “value” — to be brutally instrumentalist for a moment — is entirely symbolic.  The team is a better team, and everyone — players, coaches, and front office suits — are better men, because they somehow earned the superfandom of Little Timmy.

How they did it is irrelevant, since it happens all over the world.  Why it happens is crucial.  A “based” government, run on ruthlessly utilitarian lines by only the most HBD-aware, can work… if it has something to legitimate it.  Blank-Slate Equalism, obviously, won’t do, but superfandom could.  Our government is legitimate because it serves Little Timmy, but most importantly, because it’s beloved by Little Timmy.

 

 

 

*Please note that I’m talking more about the effect here, not the cause.  While I’m sure that the suits think of the bottom line when they give Little Timmy the fan experience of a lifetime, I doubt that’s the only thing they’re thinking about — they really do want to do something nice for Timmy.  And as for the players…. I don’t know any current major leaguers, but I’ve been around a lot of minor leaguers, in several different sports, and almost to a man they genuinely like their fans — especially kids.  They frequently go way above and beyond (especially heartening, when you consider that so many of them are just kids themselves).

 

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Caesar’s Legions

Lots of people in Our Thing — me included — think we’re headed for some serious political violence in the not-too-distant future.  But since people in Our Thing read history, I have to ask: Why aren’t we terrified by this?  There seem to be some obvious things we’re ignoring.  For example:

How’s the Army doing these days?

Most of the regular army, I suppose, is policing the empire overseas.  Which makes the issue doubly important, because that means the National Guard will be the first responders, and will determine how the crackdown goes.  What’s up with them?

I honestly don’t know, but my impression is…. not good.  I remember getting contacted by a Guard recruiter when I was in graduate school — which should tell you something right there, as graduate students are not, by definition, paragons of physical, mental, and emotional fitness.  And as much as I’d like to believe that a 40 year old accountant can put down the pen and pick up the sword at no cost to his military efficiency, I know that the American citizen-soldier myth is just that: A myth.  The idea that half-trained citizens can whup legions of professionals has cost more American lives than smallpox, influenza, and the Designated Hitter rule combined.  For proof, see “every American war ever,” starting with King Phillip’s War (1675, and proportionally as devastating to Plymouth Bay as WW1 was to Germany) and on through our current adventures.

Moreover, as I understand it — and I could well be wrong, please correct me if so — our armed forces have an “up-or-out” promotion policy.  That is, you can get passed over for the next highest rank only once; miss it again, and you’re out.  Which means two things, both horrifying:

  1. The guys in command positions in the Guard are lifers, way better at desk-jockeying than fighting; and
  2. The company grade officers who will be making actual decisions in the field are…. gulp…. Millennials.

Which, on the one hand, means you can probably buy off the new SS (Soy Sissies) with venti half-caff frappucinos… but on the other hand, they’re still Millennials with guns.  Talk about trigger warnings!!! (thank you, thank you, I’ll be here all week, try the veal and don’t forget to tip your server).

And all that’s before you consider the Army’s #WokeAsFuck gender policy.  Lots of platoon leaderettes and company commanderettes out there on the front lines, rounding up badthinkers under the new Commissar Order…. Millennial commanderettes.  Jesus, was On the Beach supposed to be a documentary?

And that’s leaving aside all the… let’s call them “Adjacent-Americans”… currently in our armed forces.  In other words, are we sure these guys will obey orders?  Or not obey orders, depending?

The American military has long prided itself on being apolitical… but so did Turkey’s, and Recep Erdogan thanks you for your custom.  If I were really serious about this Civil War II: Hillary’s Revenge! stuff, I’d start taking a long hard look at the officer corps, particularly frustrated junior staff officers — captains, majors, and lieutenant-colonels staring one-and-done in the face.  How’s the propaga…err, indoctrin…. errr, team building going at West Point these days?  Who’s the American equivalent of the old Soviet divisional Political Officer, and what’s he up to?  If I knew any of these guys, I might “accidentally” send them a link to American Renaissance or something… you know, just to see how it goes.

I still think (as I wrote somewhere) it’ll happen in Europe before it happens here — the whatever-you-call-the-Wehrmacht-these-days being ordered to open fire on a crowd of their fellow countrymen, on behalf of Muslim “refugees.”  How’s their officer corps looking, political-reliability-wise?  There probably aren’t enough soldiers in the Wehrmacht Lite to take over Dusseldorf, much less the whole country, but it only took a few tanks around the Kremlin to settle Yeltsin’s hash.  I’d bet on it there before here, but… we should be looking anyway.

You know, if we’re worried about that kind of thing.

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2 Legit Part 5

Earlier on, I called America’s frontier self-governance “football hooligan democracy.”  “Baseball team democracy” is better, because baseball is a metaphor for America.  (Since it seems we must do the Ken Burns thing, here’s a sepia-toned photograph of old ballplayers.  You’ll have to provide the goopy music yourself, and read this in Morgan Freeman’s voice).

Everything that happens in the game is individual.  The batter, of course, is all alone — it’s just his talent, training, knowledge, and experience versus the talent, training, knowledge, and experience of the opponent’s nine guys.  But everything else that happens is also the sole result of individuals’ talent, training, knowledge, and experience.  Simplifying just a little: The catcher is solely responsible for the type of pitch that’s thrown.  The pitcher alone is responsible for the quality of the pitch (velocity, movement, location).  If the pitch is hit — the sole responsibility of the batter — then the fielder alone is responsible for fielding it.  All of these are individual actions, performed by individuals.

And yet… as anyone who has ever played Little League knows, a baseball team is more than a collection of individuals, doing individual things.  The catcher must know his pitcher.  The right pitch in this situation might be a curveball low and away, but maybe the pitcher doesn’t have it tonight.  The catcher who calls for the curve low and away anyway — because all else equal, the pitcher is capable of throwing that pitch — won’t be a catcher for long (and the pitcher who can’t throw all his pitches consistently, on command, won’t be a pitcher much longer).  The best catch-and-throw in the world from the third baseman is meaningless if the first baseman can’t get to his base in time (or can’t handle the throw when it arrives).  Even the batter — the loneliest guy on the field — has other responsibilities than just trying to hit the ball as hard as he can.  He, too, must know the situation and swing accordingly… or even not swing, as the situation demands.  Here too, even the best hitter who swings away without reference to his team won’t be a hitter for long.

And yet… selfless, team-first guys won’t last, either, unless they’re individually very skilled.  All the euphemisms for selfless, team first guys — “field general,” “player-coach,” or the dreaded “veteran locker room presence” — all decode to “this guy stinks.”  A good manager can work with a certain level of “veteran leadership,” but a team full of great locker room guys will be as bad as — honestly, probably a lot worse than — a team of me-first prima donnas.

I hope this digression into baseball arcana (and I hope foreign readers followed ok) hasn’t obscured two important facts about baseball:

  1. There’s a minimum skill level involved; and
  2. The team has a clear, obvious goal.

The higher up the ladder you go, the more 1) applies.  A small town high school team might have to put the only 9 guys it has out there, regardless of skill level.  Even low-level professional teams, by contrast, are full of top-tier talent.  Every single guy who makes even a low-minor roster was the best player on his team in Little League, in high school, in the whole school district, in fact, if not the entire state… and often the best player on his team in college, too.  There’s nobody playing pro baseball, in other words — no matter how “minor” the league — who isn’t really really really really really good at baseball.*

The political parallel is obvious, and it’s the reason I keep banging on about this “human biodiversity” (HBD) stuff.  Representative government, too, requires a certain “skill level” from its voters.  Are we a small town high school team, or are we the Major Leagues?  As we have enough nuclear weapons to incinerate the solar system, I really hope we’re the Majors.  Which means…..

But let’s not forget 2).  What is our goal?

The political parallel is less obvious: It’s legitimacy.  A baseball team exists to win baseball games.  “Winning baseball games” is the one thing from which all others flow.  No matter how great the team is for the community — and I’m sure the good people of Boonton really loved their ball club (pictured above) — they can’t continue to exist without winning games.  Whatever else our government does, then, it’s core function is….what?  Identify that, then see if the government is actually doing it.

If it is, no problem.  If not… well, ask the guys from Boonton.

 

 

*One of the advantages of going to a third-rate state college, I’ve found, is that you get a much broader experience of people.  My school was full of folks who were “just giving college a try” — lots of ex-military, lots of older folks who were taking classes for self-improvement, etc.  And lots of former minor league baseball players, who went straight from high school to the minors and didn’t make it.  These guys were the ringers on intramural softball teams, and holy guacamole.  I remember playing against a guy who wore huge, clunky braces on both knees.  He’d been a prospect, but suffered one of those horrific injuries that show up on ESPN.  He was still ungodly compared to the rest of us, even the former high school athletes among us — he played shortstop, for instance, even though every single guy on his team could beat him in a foot race.**

**For foreign readers; “Shortstop” is the toughest position to play in baseball.  Even most guys who play shortstop throughout their minor league careers can’t handle it in the Majors.  You need to be very, very fast, with fighter pilot reflexes.

 

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2 Legit Part 4

The question in the last post was: How did 19th century America, which had all the Old World’s beefs and the most disgruntled Old Worlders themselves over here stirring things up, end up becoming America?  Why is, say, Greektown a charming place to get some good souvlaki and not a hotbed of ethnic tension?  The former Frontier is full of towns with names like “New Krakow;” why aren’t they feuding with the “New Konigsberg” just down the road (as they would be — still are — back in Europe)?

The last post suggested an answer: Imagined communities and invented traditions.  Or, put simply: Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet.

“Traditions” are easy to invent.  Current Year America is full of examples, from the smallest to the largest.  Consider Liberals, and their vanguard party, the SJWs.  These people baffle anyone who passed Psych 101.  Isn’t there this thing called “cognitive dissonance?”  Isn’t it supposed to hurt when you believe obviously contradictory things?  Unless it’s only the “woke” who are driving the opioid epidemic, there’s either something wrong with our understanding of CD, or our understanding of Liberals.  (It’s the latter).

We normies look at Liberalism as a set of… well, ideas is stretching it, so let’s say “propositions.”  Propositions like “race is a social construction.”  Taken in isolation, that’s not so strange.  It might even be functionally true*.  But it directly contradicts one of Liberalism’s other dogmas, that race is the only thing that matters.  The only way those two things could possibly harmonize is if we’re getting all worked up about something we know doesn’t exist… which contradicts a third pillar of the Leftist faith, that they’re The Science People.  Does “The Flying Spaghetti Monster” ring a bell?  Ruining people’s lives over made-up crap we know is fake is something only Godbag Christofascists do, amirite?

Instead, look at Liberals as an imagined community.  The “community-based reality” was a fun joke back in the W. Bush years (read the first sentence of that link for a meta-example), but it’s true for all that.  Maybe Millennials missed out on the rah-rah-sis-boom-bah high school experience — too traumatic for the campus ferns or something — but the rest of us remember Friday nights at the stadium.  We weren’t gonna win, and our team wasn’t number one, but there we were anyway, filled with something close to bloodlust.  I can’t stress this enough — nothing is dumber than high school football, but look at how well it works.  Your parents chose to move to the same arbitrarily assigned district at some point in your past, and you’re supposed to be best buddies for life with a large group of random people, because — and only because — their parents also chose to move within the same arbitrarily-defined district at some point in their past.  But… but… but…. Class of ’85 rules!!!!

All the stuff we call “virtue-signaling” is just policing up the boundaries of the imagined community.  Chanting “race is a social construction!” or “there are 37 genders!” on social media is exactly the same as chanting “we’re number one!” down at the stadium.  That race isn’t a social construction, and that there are only two genders, is exactly as relevant as you’re team’s real record (0-8).  The chant — NOT the words of which the chant is composed — is the point.

Which explains all their behavior.  To Liberals, your team’s 0-8 record is irrelevant, because it is irrelevant.  It means exactly nothing that you didn’t win a game, including the big rivalry game to the evil school across town.  For them, politics works exactly the same way.  If it mattered — if the parents of everyone from the losing school got beheaded, Aztec style — then Massachusetts Liberals would take high school football as seriously as Texas conservatives do.  Liberals don’t have to live with the social constructions, which is why they vote how they do.  So long as it’s possible to keep imagining — and facts can intrude a long, looooong way into the fantasy — the imagined community will be more important than any real one.**

The trick, then, is figuring out how to make this work for us.

_____

Baseball is a benign example (European readers, please feel free to substitute “football,” as I suppose the process was the same).  Something like “professional sports” would’ve happened anyway — the leisure class and all that — but baseball, specifically, became the “national game” through savvy marketing.  It was pitched as a “sandlot” game than anyone could play anywhere, at any time, even though that’s not true — soccer and basketball, just to name two, are far less space- and equipment-intensive, plus baseball can only be played in summer (Naismith specifically invented basketball as a year-round sport that could be played with small numbers).  The first baseball heroes were portrayed as everyday joes, even though they weren’t — as several different players point out in The Glory of Their Times (a must-read for any fan, btw), there were proportionally far more college grads playing pro baseball than in the general population.  For every Shoeless Joe Jackson there was an Eppa Rixey, a University of Virginia graduate who was a high school Latin teacher in the offseason.  In an era where the only other popular sport, football, was strictly a college boy’s game, the Shoeless Joes and Dizzy Deans and Honus Wagners were working class heroes — by design.

Once you had that, the rest was easy.  Just as Rixey and Shoeless Joe could’ve peacefully coexisted on the same diamond, so America’s class and ethnic divisions could coexist peacefully in the stands.  You can cue the gooey Ken Burns music here if you’d like, since moron socialists like Burns have been getting moist over the class-leveling effects of baseball since the Gilded Age.  They’re marxoid dopes, but they’re not wrong about this one.

________

You’ll have noticed, of course, that baseball is scalable…. but only if properly done.  It could’ve easily gone the way of English football hooligan culture*** — Pirates fans attacking Phillies fans in the streets whenever their teams play (yeah yeah, I know inter-league play started in 1997; the point still stands).  Why do you think Civil War retrospectives all feature the Blue and the Gray playing baseball (as if it were the same game everywhere), and Union Gen. Abner Doubleday gets the credit for “inventing” it?  Why did the Presidential first pitch start in 1910, just in time for the Civil War’s 50th anniversary?  Why, of all the shots of G.I.s relaxing that photographers could take, do they invariably take pictures of baseball?

“Phillies fan” (or whatever) is constructed as a subset of “baseball fan,” which is constructed as part of American-ness.  Or do you think it’s a coincidence that all the diabetes-inducingly saccharine portrays of baseball — in the movies, in books, on TV — ended early in the Clinton era?  You think Robert Redford would make The Natural (1984) now?  How about Kevin Costner and Field of Dreams (1989)?  Ken Burns’s Baseball was 1994; Major League, The Sandlot… all late 80s or early 90s.  The only Current Year “baseball” movies anyone has heard of — scan that list; ye cats! — are either sappy rom-coms to which baseball is incidental (Summer Catch; Fever Pitch), or glorifications of nerd culture (Moneyball), in which handsome jock Brad Pitt is helpless without a fat dork and his computer.****

You’ll have noticed also, I hope, that this is a possible solution to the legitimacy problem.  That’s the other great thing about baseball — every team has a superfan kid whose fandom is the only thing keeping him going.  He’s excluded from all other forms of social / political participation, but his fandom is reciprocally legitimizing — being a team fan keeps him going, and simultaneously his fandom makes the random collection of mercenary millionaires wearing the jersey this season seem like a meaningful unit……

 

 

*Stipulating, for argument’s sake, that the “superstructure” (as Marxists would say) of culture can override the genetic “base” of behavior.  I personally don’t believe this, but I don’t have the bioscience classwork to argue against it with someone who does.

** Cf. Magic Dirt Theory, Liberals’ explanation for why a horde of 80 IQ Aztec subsistence farmers will turn into 110 IQ customer service reps just by stepping on our side of the Rio Grande.  If America is only an imagined community, this makes sense, since it’s all pretend anyway.

*** Or, at least, the caricatured American understanding of football hooligan culture.  I’ve read Among the Thugs, but I didn’t get the impression this was a mass phenomenon (i.e. that the “firms” are quite small).  Recusant et al, please clue me in here.

**** SJWs are still too busy shitting on Star Wars to go after baseball again, but since white people play it and normies enjoy it, it won’t be long.  Is there a BALCO movie in the chute yet?  They’ll have to cast a white guy as Barry Bonds, but that’s no challenge for the makers of Girl Luke Skywalker (and besides, Mark McGwire and Roger Clemens are whiter than mayo on wonderbread).  I bet we’ll be seeing it by 2020, right in time for the Democrats’ white privilege whining for the election.

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2 Legit Part 3

The question now becomes: Can an “ethno-state” be made?  I think so.

Eric Hobsbawm, Terence Ranger, and Benedict Anderson were all dirty Commies, but their work on “invented traditions” and “imagined communities” says something profound about human group interaction for all that.  It’s actually pretty easy to weld a disparate group of people into a tight unit, zealous for a collective goal.  Boot camp is an extreme example, but it’s easier than that — think of your high school.  The mascot, the fight song, “our” hated rivals from the school across town, all those invented traditions create an imagined community, loyalty to which can span a lifetime.  Check your Facebook account — how many old high school buddies are in your friends list?  Of them, how many still belong to groups like “Class of ’85 Rocks”?  We laugh at Al Bundy telling everyone who will listen about the time he scored three touchdowns in a game back in high school, but the joke only works because everyone knows someone like that.*

In the grand scheme of things, nothing is more meaningless than a high school football game… but there are people who define their whole lives by it.  Imagine what a flag and a national anthem can do!

See, for example, Japan.  Meiji Japan was an imagined community, built on top of an actually existing community.  The genro took the incohate sense of “Japanese-ness” that existed throughout the realm and gave it symbols — the Charter Oath, the Army, the imperial Rescript on Education, the Rising Sun flag, the Emperor himself.  It was astonishingly effective.  In a generation or two, “loyalty to the Emperor” simply was Japanese-ness, despite the fact that Meiji, like all Emperors stretching back into the remote medieval past, was a powerless figurehead.

Of course, Japan was full of Japanese at the time.  But it can be done elsewhere, with a much more heterogeneous population — e.g. the good ol’ U.S. of A.

Forget the huddled masses at Ellis Island, yearning to be free.  Think about the former Confederacy.  North and South were, in 1861, different enough to get into a shooting war with each other.  By 1871, most of the former CSA states were back in the Union, and by 1881 the country was welded together tighter than it had ever been… such that, by 1898, veterans’ groups on both sides were loudest in demanding war with Spain.  40 years after a war that killed more Americans than all the previous wars combined — with hundreds of thousands of veterans still alive (and the most vital voting block in American politics)! — and it was like it had never happened.  Behold the power of the Lost Cause!

Turning Irish, Jews, Italians, Poles, whatever into “white Americans” is child’s play compared to that.  All you need is baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet.

This is the secret to American History that baffles the imagined community of the ivory tower (see footnote below).  Think about the source material.  Europeans are famously fractious — when Groundskeeper Willie says that brothers and sisters are natural enemies, like Englishmen and Scots, or Welshmen and Scots, or Japanese and Scots, or Scots and other Scots (damn Scots! They ruined Scotland!), he’s summing up 19th century Europe…. and we got the worst of the lot (folks who are happy with the way things are going at home don’t emigrate).  The French went to the barricades every time someone invented a new kind of cheese, but despite every conceivable source of friction — national, religious, class, clan — going back hundreds of years, Americans, to the perpetual bewilderment of professional historians, never came close to another revolution.  For every Haymarket Square or Pullman Strike or Pennsylvania Coalfield Strike, there were hundreds of incidents that could’ve spiraled out of control, but didn’t.  Something kept all that in check.

What was it, and can it work again?

 

 

 

*The imagined community “academia” is an ironic meta-example.  Hobsbawm and Ranger were historians, Anderson was a political scientist.  In other words, these were guys who made the study of human interaction their life’s work; they, of all people, should’ve been rock-ribbed conservatives.  But they were Marxists, of course, because they were Professors, and Professors by definition are left wingers.  No matter what their “research” said, in other words, their political commitments to their imagined community always came first — in Hobsbawm’s case, actually admitting, on live TV, that 15-20 million dead would’ve been worth it had Stalin succeeded in creating a real Workers’ Paradise.

 

 

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2 Legit Part 2

Here’s the problem: Any society much bigger than a village needs an organizing myth, and ours — Blank-Slate Equalism — doesn’t work anymore.

Nobody in Current Year America can possibly still think, for one hot second, that “all men are created equal.”  We’re not physically equal — cf. all the boys calling themselves “transgender” and setting records at girls’ track meets.  We’re not mentally equal (insert your SJW IQ joke of choice here).  And as for the proposition that we should be equal, at least under the law (which was ol’ Tom’s plain meaning in the Declaration), take your pick: The judiciary (“bake the cake, bigot!”), the educational system (___ Studies), and the media (everything) are deeply, fanatically committed to the fundamental unequality of men.  And all that’s before you get to modern genetics and what it tells us about heritable group characteristics.

Tl;dr — If I can declare myself a yellow-scaled wingless dragonkin and get a guy fired for not pretending to believe me, Blank-Slate Equalism is dead, no matter what genetics says (and genetics says it’s deader than disco).

And that’s a problem, as the kids these days say, because our entire political system is based on Blank-Slate Equalism.  I’m not going to recap the history of the Social Contract Theory of government (been there, done that, feel free to trawl the archives for book suggestions).  Rather, I’m going to explore some other, failed options for organizing myths, then suggest one you may not have heard of.

First, Athenian democracy.  Whatever Cleisthenes and the gang actually practiced, it wasn’t based on a social contract as we’d understand it.  As you probably remember from your high school Social Studies class, the Greeks were world-class chauvinists.  Aristotle famously ranked women just below slaves on the rationality scale, and the word “barbarian” simply meant “not-Greek.”  You probably couldn’t play a pickup softball game with the total number of Athenian “voters.”  But it didn’t matter, because Athens was so small that Demosthenes himself could come over to your house and personally demagogue you.  Socrates, too, for that matter (he fought at Potidaea).  Athens’s organizing myth, then, was “democracy” in the football hooligan sense — you voluntarily joined up, but mostly just to have a row with the wankers.  Needless to say, this doesn’t work in anyplace bigger than a Greek polis.  (The early Roman Republic worked the same way, and yes, I’m aware that I just called Romulus and Remus the original soccer yobs).

Divine Right Monarchy solves the scale problem.  China, Rome, and Egypt had good runs with this system (the latter for thousands of years).  The problem here is communication speed.  When you’re wading the Euphrates and the Emperor is in Rome, the Cult of the Divine Augustus seems reasonable enough, especially with a few cohorts backing it up.  When communications speed up, though, it becomes too obvious, too fast, for too many people, when the King and the Gods are on the outs.  Pick your typical Early Modern monarch — if that guy is the Anointed of Christ, then Christ done screwed up good.  The English Civil War, for example, happened because Charles I tried to impose the Book of Common Prayer on Scotland, as he believed it was his Divine Right to do.  The Scots disagreed, and ten years later Charles’s anointed head was rolling in the dust.  Divine right monarchs are themselves, personally, the refutation of the theory of Divine Right Monarchy.*

The English Civil War — or, more correctly, the Continent-wide conflagration known for convenience as the Thirty Years’ War, of which it was an offshoot — is a watershed.  The key word in the phrase “Early Modern army” is modern.  Modern armies are equipped with guns.  Guns require discipline, precision, and the ability to function in the field year-round — the exact opposite of the aristocratic ethos.  Infantry is the queen of battles, and he who keeps the most infantry in the field the longest wins.  To do that, you need buy-in from the peasantry.  The Royalists in the English Civil War, for example, were fairly consistently outnumbered, but even when they weren’t, the Roundheads fought better despite a glaring lack of experienced commanders.  Cromwell’s New Model Army was history’s first politicized army, which explains both its remarkable effectiveness and its notorious brutality.

This suggests a third organizing myth: Defense-of-the-realm.  They wouldn’t put it this way, but liability to military service was one of the major underpinnings of the notion of the King-in-Parliament, from which all authority in the UK still theoretically derives.  Well into the 20th century, anyone with the ability to vote would be on the business end of a war, one way or the other (only men could vote, and those men too old to actually serve paid the taxes for those who did).  As the King’s authority ultimately rests on his ability to defend his realm, King-in-Parliament gives everyone a stake (even Hobbes agreed, at least to the first part — though he shuddered at the “-in-Parliament” part, he made his peace with the Protectorate and came home, because an actually existing sovereign power must be sovereign).

Technology makes this one obsolete, though.  America’s realm could be defended by a small navy with tactical nukes, plus a few ICBMs.  (N.b. I’m not saying this should be our national defense posture.  I’m just pointing out that some nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, combined with a steely-eyed determination to use them, would keep the Hun from our shores, and the rest of the world quiet.  Are the Mullahs really willing to risk a limited nuclear exchange over the Straits of Hormuz?  How about China, over Taiwan?  The point is that the days of mass conscription are over, which makes defense-of-the-realm useless as a modern organizing myth).

And…. that’s about it.  Pick your state, and if it qualifies as a state — if it’s not modern Somalia or equivalent, in other words — it will be organized around one of those three, or some combination of them:

Yes, even the USSR — Communism is just your basic Divine Right Monarchy, with “the forces of History” subbed in for “Divine Right” and “the vanguard of the Proletariat” swapped for the drooling idiot inbred aristocracy.

The American Revolution was a conflict between “defense-of-the-realm” and “football hooligan democracy.”  The Colonials were expected to defend the realm, e.g. in the Seven Years’ War, but without being part of the Parliament.  But they couldn’t have been — technical limitations aside (it took at least a month to cross the Atlantic), and leaving aside the fact that they’d still be outvoted on everything, Colonials practiced football hooligan democracy.  British officers in the Seven Years’ War constantly complained about Colonial soldiers.  They’d fight, and could fight well, but only if you negotiated everything beforehand — they left England specifically to get away from bluebloods just ordering them about.  George Washington was a 4th generation American, but most Colonials were recent immigrants (the Colonies’ population quadrupled before 1776).  Football hooligan democracy won — America was a rough frontier society until the Civil War, and well into the Gilded Age the only contact most people had with the Feds was at the post office.

And so on, with one exception: The ethno-state.  Japan is a prime example.  Technically Japan is a Divine Right Monarchy — the current Emperor is the 125th, going all the way back to an offspring of the Sun Goddess — but Japan’s real ruler is “Japanese-ness.”  They went from a backwards feudal empire to a modern world power in a single generation — !!!! — in an all-out effort to preserve Japanese-ness.  They saw the British in Burma, the French in Vietnam, the entire West in China, and saw their future… unless they got into the imperial game themselves.  The Charter Oath was 1868; by 1895 Japan had defeated China in the First Sino-Japanese War; and ten years later they defeated Russia — unquestionably one of the Great Powers — in the Russo-Japanese War.  Japan’s official form of government changed many times over that span, and would change many more, but always with the same goal: The preservation of Japanese-ness.

The ethno-state is the most powerful form of government known.  Ask anyone in the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere — a tiny, virtually resourceless nation, whose armies were sword-wielding samurai so recently that a man born when Perry came could still be alive, conquered pretty much the entire Pacific.  The rights and wrongs (mostly wrongs) of that conquest are irrelevant; focus on the thing itself.  You won’t find Meiji Japan in too many political science textbooks (except, of course, as “Westernization”), but its transformation is nothing short of miraculous.  How did they do it?  And can it be done in the West?

Stay tuned…

 

 

 

*I’m leaving aside, of course, the question of which god or gods sanction the monarch.  This was the Romans’ main problem with Christianity.  The Roman Empire worked on a kind of distributed sovereignty — in return for acknowledging the supreme authority of the Emperor, the Emperor’s administrators would rule you according to your own laws and customs.  But Christians are explicitly stateless.  A Jew, Egyptian, Greek, whatever is still a Jew, Egyptian, Greek, whatever in Rome, and can be tried there as such (or extradited back to his homeland for trial there).  But Christians reject all that, so where and how are they to be tried?  Julian the Apostate had a lot to say on this point — as you might expect from a Roman Emperor.

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The Prerogative State

Ernst Fraenkel, a lawyer in pre-Hitler Germany, called the Nazi regime a “dual state.*”  There were actually two sets of laws operating simultaneously, he said: The normative, which is your standard black-letter law, and the prerogative, which is the law of the Party apparatus.  The second, of course, always outranks the first.  It was possible to get real, objective justice in the 3rd Reich — the legendarily efficient German civil service carried on after the Nazi seizure of power just as it did before (this is one of the key supports in the “they all condoned the Holocaust” school of historiography — if principled bureaucrats didn’t resign after Hitler took power, then there were no principled bureaucrats).  But if your “justice” crossed any of the Party’s political or cultural imperatives, you’d find yourself on the business end of a visit from the men in the leather trench coats.

America has been in the same boat for a long time.  We all know who our real rulers are: The SJWs, and their enablers in government and the judiciary.  For a recent example, see here:

[Portland bakery owner, John] Blomgren’s chronology matches and corroborates [his employees’] version of events. However, having established that his staff had done nothing wrong did not alter Blomgren’s decision to fire them. “In this situation it doesn’t really matter that the two staff members working are not themselves racist because the call they made to deny [student and activist, Lillian Green] service caused her to feel like she had been discriminated against,” his statement explained. “Sometimes impact outweighs intent and when that happens people do need to be held accountable.” The bakery has since deleted this statement and denies firing the employees to “save face or to appease anyone.”

Which is baloney — of course they fired people to appease the SJW lynch mob.  The whole thing is clearly and obviously a racket:  “Nice business ya got here, would be a shame if anyone accused you of racism:”

“I think he’s actually a sociopath,” speculates ‘Alex,’ a Portland-based social justice activist who has worked extensively with Whitten and witnessed his strategic use of baseless accusations of racism to take down opponents and manipulate allies. Fearful of retribution given Whitten’s growing influence, Alex spoke to me on condition of anonymity but provided evidence of their relationship. “He’s created a chilling effect in Portland. People are scared of him and no one knows how to intervene.” Alex expressed sympathy for Blomgren and said Whitten selects his targets carefully — mainly white progressives who are likely to trip over themselves when accused of racism. Some of them offer him money or career opportunities.

That’s the prerogative kicking in.  Blomgren’s employees did absolutely nothing wrong; an objective judge would throw any suit against him out of court.  But there are no objective judges in Portland.  Nor, apparently, are the police willing to do anything about this Cameron Whitten guy.  Justice? Fughettaboudit.  The Left can violate normative law with impunity, because they have the prerogative.

Another great example: The Masterpiece Cake Shop decision.  The decision was not based on whether or not the Constitutionally-guaranteed right of free association applies to private businesses.  Rather, the Court ruled that Colorado’s “civil rights commission” showed undue bias toward the bakers.  The normative law is pretty clear: If you don’t have the right to turn away customers, you’re not really running a business — every former business in America is now a “public accommodation;” the former business owners are, in effect, just employees of the state.  I’m pretty sure a junior high debate club could’ve ruled on this one.

But the Court, obviously, wanted to preserve the Left’s prerogative.  Had they made their decision on normative law, badthinkers from sea to shining sea would have legal cover to spread their badthoughts, in the form of carrying on their daily business activities.

And we can’t be having that.  So the Court made the most ambiguous possible ruling, to make sure it could never be cited as a precedent.

Which brings us to the question the Z Man posed today: What happens when the majority of us wake up to the fact that we’re ruled by midgets?  As Hobbes said, “The power of the mighty hath no foundation but in the opinion and belief of the people.”  What happens when the “opinion and belief” of the people is that we’re really ruled by a few dreadlocked blue-haired nose-ringers and their black-robed peg boys?  A king whose knights refuse to ride to battle on his behalf is just a weirdo in fancy clothes.  There’s even less majesty to a GS-7 down at the courthouse.

It’s really not going to end well… and Our Betters are doing everything they can to hasten the end.

 

*The Dual State is what I call, for lack of a better term, a “skimmer.”  It’s full of irrelevant-to-us detail from 1941, so it’s easy to get lost in that stuff and miss the point.  It’s actually far better to read (as I did) a review, to get the main point.  We really need a better word for this than “skimmer.”  Suggestions?

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Random Quick Takes

I got nothin’, so here’s this.

A Honky in Newark.  “Freelance urban sociology,” as we might call it, is pretty interesting.  I grew up in a major Southern metro, so I got to see all the hyphen-Americans without the hyphen — Chinatown, Little Saigon, Caracas del Norte, and, of course, the 100% Black enclaves.  It’s quite a show.  Cruising through the all-Black areas, it’s hard not to sympathize with Liberals’ “poverty causes crime” mantra.  If you haven’t had this experience yourself, watch a season of  The Wire.  Minus a few regional variations — “lake trout,” snow — The Wire’s Baltimore could be any urban Black area in America.  Season 4, especially, is heartbreaking — what chance in hell do those poor kids have?

And yet…. race.  Always race.  Black Americans are just different, in ways that are obvious to everyone when it’s politically convenient to notice them (e.g. in any African-American Studies program, where this is the bedrock premise).  As your second pass around the block will prove, they’re not Africans — Africans-from-Africa tend to be openly contemptuous of American Blacks, especially when forced to live among them — but they’re not White Americans, either, even when forced to act approximately like them.  The fact that they were forced to act that way, for a full century, pushes folks who know their history pretty far into the “race realism” camp.  Culture isn’t genetics, and genetics isn’t culture, but they have a dialectical relationship — American Blacks are the way they are, one is increasingly forced to conclude, because they can’t be any other way.

And this is where the keyboard warriors of the HBD crowd jump into the comments with things like “end the welfare checks, close the freeways, and the problem takes care of itself.”  And you wonder why you get called Nazis.  You do realize you’re talking about genocide, right?

There’s really only one way to get very different groups to coexist peacefully.  It’s incompatible with a whole bunch of seemingly fundamental-to-Americanness stuff like “representative government.”  This is not the world we want, but it’s the world we have.  Give me a realistic plan to keep the peace when the credit bubble bursts — as it must — that doesn’t involve dictatorship, or you haven’t thought this “HBD” thing through.

Revolt of the Revolting.  Speaking of not thinking things through, here’s some half-assed Nietzsche for you:

The entire social justice/aggrotolerance/equalism movement is a revolt by the ugly and freakish against the beautiful and normal. The ideology has no morality nor purpose and exists only to substantiate in political radicalization the aggrieved spitefulness of life’s losers.

True enough.  This is “slave morality,” and ol’ Friedrich wrote about 100,000 words on it.  Which makes us — “the beautiful and normal,” oxymoronic though that is — the ubermenschen, I suppose.  But Nietzsche was obviously wrong about a few important things, starting with that whole “ubermensch” bit.

The transvaluation of values he preached has already happened.  It’s impossible to be more overtly anti-Christian than “Social Justice,” and SocJus — “Cultural Marxism” is far more accurate — is the law of the land.  Nobody turns 19th century European values further on their head than transsexuals, for instance, and look where questioning them gets you.  Nietzsche’s 19th century “slave morality” brought us the prosperity from which “social justice” is an organic outgrowth.  But then again, Nietzsche, a philologist by training, thought Socrates turned the Athenians into a bunch of girly men.  I doubt he’d be much of a Pickup Artist.

Teacher stops having sex with high school sophomore who wore MAGA hat to class.  Satire, I realize, but satire only works when it’s true.  I guess it’s Nietzsche Day here at Rotten Chestnuts, as the feminists, via bargain-bin Nietzsche-wannabe Michel Foucault, actually got this one right.  Sex outside of a monogamous, procreative relationship — let’s call it “marriage,” for convenience — really is exploitative* (the more thoughtful PUAs, like RooshV, admit it**).  As our social dilithium crystals overload and the sexual polarities reverse, you see women acting like men and men acting like women.  Why do grade school teachers, some of them quite attractive, go for their students instead of guys their own age?

Simple: They get off on the power imbalance.  Sex isn’t about the sex act for lots of men — see Elliot Rodger, Alik Minassian, Nicholas Cruz, and suchlike losers.  If all they needed was to get laid, they could’ve hired a professional, who would look exactly like they wanted, do anything they wanted… but none of them even considered it.  Rather, they felt they deserved a certain type of girlfriend.  That type, obviously, is high status — hot, blonde, a cheerleader — which would mean they, Rodger et al, had the goods to merit that type of girl.  Google up pictures of these losers.  They weren’t so fugly that a girlfriend, possibly even an objectively attractive one, was out of reach.  The point wasn’t the girl, much less sex with the girl.  The point was the type of girl, and the validation that provides — i.e. the power imbalance, because, as everyone knows, the head cheerleader only goes out with the quarterback.

Same deal with the reverse-Lolita teachers.  The quarterback may rule the school, but he still has to ask his teacher for permission to go to the bathroom.  If she seduces him, her dominance is complete.  It’s twisted, obviously, but if you assume that modern women act more and more like how they think stereotypical men act, it all makes perfect sense.

UPDATE: Secondary boycotts.  This is the kind of thing I was trying to get at in my Chamber of Commerce Republicans post, below.  I no longer believe it’s possible to fix SJWs.  Their brains are broken, and short of a total amygdala replacement they are forever lost.  But SJWs are actually a small minority.  The professional Left uses them as useful idiots, knowing that the professional “Right” would never dare push back against them.

What I suggest, then — hypothetically, of course, since I disavow all this —  is a kind of “secondary boycott” of the GOP.  All it would take to defeat the Democratic Party is for the Republican Party to stop enabling them.  Stiffen the GOP’s spine, and “antifa” collapses.  But, I’m told, the GOP only does what it does because it’s in the Chamber of Commerce’s pocket.  Well then, let’s stiffen the Chamber of Commerce’s spine a little bit.  We can’t bring any pressure to bear on the big boys in Washington, but your local CofC?  Them we can get to.  If “boycott” — or, heaven forbid, “pressure” — sets your delicate heart aflutter, we could call it a Concentrated Niceness Offensive or a Coordinated Civility Campaign or something.  Just say hi.  A whole bunch of nice, normal Americans saying hi, at their work, at their places of business, on public streets, near their homes…. that would concentrate their minds wonderfully, one would think.  After all, it works like gangbusters on us.

But of course, I would never suggest such a thing.  I disavow it all.

 

 

*Sure it is, if you think it through.  Sex without love — “hookups,” “pickups,” whatever — are purely transactional.  You want it, she wants it, it’s an all-but-capitalistic exchange (this is the starting point for all those feminist arguments about how all heterosexual sex is either prostitution or rape, I realize, but that’s for another day).  “Getting more than you give” is the cornerstone of capitalist exchange.  Ergo — Latin!! — hookups are exploitative.  QED.

**Read your Nietzsche, Roosh.  Then read the Christian critiques of Nietzsche (G.K. Chesterton has a good one).  Then come on over to the Light Side of the Force.

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Chamber of Commerce Republicans?

A while back, I went searching for the huge agribusinesses that supposedly own half the Republican Party.  We’d have closed borders in a heartbeat, I’m told, if only the GOP weren’t half-owned by Monsanto and ADM.  I didn’t find much.  Here’s Monsanto’s direct giving to Federal candidates so far in 2018 — a grand total of $192,000, with about 1/4 going to Democrats.  Here’s ADM — $254K, 1/3 to Democrats.  Admittedly, that’s two companies and a 5 minute trawl through OpenSecrets.org, but we all know that’s how lobbying works — you may favor one party or the other, but you’d best hedge your bets in case the other guy wins.

I’m willing to be corrected, in other words, but I’m pretty sure you’ll have a hard time proving that the GOP is in agribusiness’s pocket exclusively.

But forget ADM for a sec.  The other half of the GOP, we’re told, is owned by the Chamber of Commerce.  That one, I’m willing to buy (though even there, note the #4 recipient, who received just $960 less than their supposed golden boy, !Yeb!).  But therein lies the opportunity.  Unlike Monsanto and their lobbyist butt boys (Akin Gump et al), the Chamber of Commerce is a distributed outfit.  There are local branches everywhere.  If I were the leader of an underground guerrilla organization like the Sons of Valley Forge — and I am not, and never will be, this is entirely hypothetical, I disavow it all — I’d study my local CofC membership roster closely, and…. go say hi.

Nothing illegal, nothing even close to illegal.  Just…. say hi.  Vigorously.  The constant presence of a strapping young man sporting a white Patriots hat and various Fight Club-esque contusions would concentrate their minds wonderfully….

One would think, anyway.  Hypothetically.  You ain’t gonna get to Akin Gump, and you’re sure as hell not going to get to Monsanto, but the local CofC?  They live right around the corner.  Lots of them probably mow their own lawns.  Their wives shop at the local supermarket.  Those are the folks to go say hi to.

Just remember the rules from Road House: Be nice.*

 

 

 

 

*Or, better yet, don’t do it at all.  Because this is all hypothetical.

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