Monthly Archives: September 2018

One Upshot of The Browning

In the previous post, a discussion of the parlous state of public schools.  It occurs to me that the main problem with any kind of school-alternative — homeschooling, online skill certifications, hell, we could probably cook up a decent “alterna-college” with just the Dirty Dozen Readers* — is the “accreditation” process.  Even your home school must be “accredited” in some fashion, which means you need to get certified via some red-tape rigamarole by a public functionary…

Ever traveled in the Third World?  It’s a revelation in so many ways, but as your basic decent, law-abiding White guy (redundant at least 2x, I realize), the biggest one was the sense of license.  It was the freedom of American currency combined with Third World mores — I could live like a Kennedy, up to and including Ted at Chappaquiddick, so long as I had the cash… and given the exchange rate, I had the cash.  I carried a crisp clean Tubman folded into my passport — should I ever be unfortunate enough to encounter the Federales, I was confident that would do the trick.

These days, as we all know, lower tier government jobs are the exclusive preserve of the useless, incompetent Diverse (again redundant at least 2x).  Traditionally, the ranks of the education bureaucracy have been the preserve of White education major ladies too stupid to make it in the fast-paced world of Human Resources, but as America browns, that will change.  Might as well make the best of it, comrades.  You want to home school your kids?  Sheeeeeeit, as the Hon. Clay Davis would say, a Tubman’ll get you that.  You could probably get the local school board to certify your garage as belonging to the Ivy League for a Franklin.

The Third World is a blast if you’re cynical, ruthless, and have cash on hand.  Let’s use that!


*I forget who came up with that, but I’m stealing it.  With thanks, of course!
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Permanent Revolution

By the (self-chosen) end of his life, the late great David Stove, one of the fiercest defenders free thought ever had, was arguing in all sincerity that expressing what he called “the equality opinion” should be a death penalty offense.  Admit that “society” will always be “unjust” so long as one person has more than another, and the whole catalog of totalitarian horrors follows, by necessity, as surely as ice follows from water and freezing temperatures.  He mostly meant “equality” in the material sense (this was c.1991), but even then the Left was making the Harrison Bergeron implications obvious — more looks, more brains, more talent, more drive, more self control, whatever it is, we shall never have Social Justice while anyone has more.

He was right.  A Stove-ian look at the history of philosophy forces one conclusion: The whole of Western social thought, stem to stern, top to bottom, is an attempt to change Envy from a vice to a virtue.  (This includes theology).  And the reason for it is simple: Philosophers have less.  Less looks, less self control, less money, less power, and often less brains and drive, too, and they damn well know it.  The only thing they have more of is talk.

Up to about 1500 or so, this didn’t matter, since nobody who had more ever listened to philosophers.  But by 1500 or so, European society was prosperous enough that lots of people had more, such that it was obvious that having more is not due to God’s special favor (which used to mean “blue blood”), but is largely chance.  As the now unjustifiably obscure philosopher Rodericus Stewartus once said, “Some guys have all the luck,” and instead of taking that as proof of God’s special favor like the bluebloods did, your Martin Luthers and John Calvins …

…well, ok, they took it as proof of God’s special favor, too, but they also — in a leap of “logic” that makes sense only to them and modern-day Leftists — concluded that God’s special favor can be purchased by saying the right things.  How do you know you’re among the Elect?  By having more… then feeling the overwhelming urge to lecture everyone about how sinful having more is (see the famous Codex Murus for examples).

But the philosophers still aren’t satisfied, because while the guys who listen to them have more, all right — that part of the doctrine’s rock solid — they themselves still have less.  And that doesn’t follow, because not only do they say the right things, they’re the ones telling everyone else what to say!  But when you point that out to the guys who have more — those Puritan merchants who just bought Manhattan for a handful of beads, for instance — they tell you to go get a job, parchment breath.

I’m sure y’all have noticed the inverse relationship between material prosperity and intellectual rigor, so fast forward a few generations.  Now it seems that “having more” is actually the default condition of mankind.  And yet, the philosophers still have less.  Which can only mean: There is an active conspiracy against the philosophers.  It’s the ____’s fault we don’t have more.  Fill in the blank with whatever you like: Jews, Capitalists, Aristocrats, Designated Hitters, it’s all the same, only the names have changed.

And now we come to the heart of the problem: Material prosperity produces these people, in the same way Stove says “the equality opinion” produces secret police and slave labor camps.  Indeed, it’s the exact same process, because the idea of The ___ Conspiracy simply is “the equality opinion.”  One’s expressed intellectually, the other emotionally, but it’s the same thing.  Objective considerations of emergent historical phenomena compel us to conclude, comrades, that first we must kill all the Kulaks, and then we shall have Utopia.

The only social policy question, then, is: What to do with these people?  A certain level of material prosperity will produce them.  It’ nature’s way of keeping the balance — just as a predator or a pathogen always evolves to kill off an over-abundant grazer, so human over-abundance results in an intellectual pathogen to keep us from amusing ourselves to death.

That’s what college was for, back in the days — a containment room for intellectual pathogens.  When Harvard was just a four-year sleepaway camp for the sons of privilege, letting them sow their wild oats before joining the family firm on Wall Street, it didn’t matter that all Junior’s professors were moron Marxists.  That was probably still the case into the early 90s, when everyone understood what “middle class values” meant — deconstruction and the like are fun to play around with over a few bong hits, but they’re useless out in the ‘burbs, so it doesn’t matter that all the “English” classes at Big State only study Derrida and Zambezi war chants.

The professors got to think of themselves as “revolutionaries,” and we agreed to let them, with our fingers crossed behind our backs — yeah yeah, “revolution,” but only in the sense of spinning around and around and around, constantly chasing your head up your own ass, going nowhere.

But just as material abundance and intellectual rigor vary inversely, so prosperity and pathology vary directly.  Now everyone goes to college, and people really believe this shit.  For proof I give you the Kavanaugh hearings.  That’s a freshman “diversity” seminar, comrades, at any college in the land.  And now we’re on the brink of civil war, though everyone with the power to stop it is too flabby and coddled and stupid to realize it.

What’s to be done with these people, should we ever decide to give things like “indoor plumbing” and “living past 35” another go?  David Stove said we should shoot ’em all on sight.  I’m really hoping someone has a better idea….

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May 22, 1856 -UPDATED

That’s the day Preston Brooks, D-SC, attacked Charles Sumner on the floor of the US Senate.   Brooks would actually challenge another Congressmen to a duel a few days later, but it didn’t matter — once you’ve got lawmakers physically attacking each other in the legislative chamber, the rule of law is dead.

The “caning of Sumner,” as it came to be known, is usually only mentioned as one of the colorful incidents leading up to the Civil War.  But in a way, everything else that followed in those terrible years — the ongoing violence in Kansas, Dred Scott, John Brown’s raid — can be traced back to Brooks’s attack.  Because what happened to Brooks was….

….nothing. A motion to expel him from Congress failed.  He resigned, but then ran in the special election held to replace him, so that his constituents could “ratify” his conduct.  He won, and won a second term shortly thereafter.  He even got out of the duel.  The sole consequence of Brooks’s vicious attack on a sitting US Senator — a beating that left Sumner unconscious, with aftereffects that lasted to his death — was a $300 fine.

That’s where we are with the Kavanaugh clown show.  No matter which way the vote goes, the rule of law is over.  If he’s confirmed, the Left will claim every Supreme Court decision from here on out is tainted, and refuse to abide by it.  That is to say, they’ll claim this until a Democrat president is in position to stuff the Court with liberals, at which point whatever party has replaced the GOP will start hauling out wild accusations against the nominee from 30 years ago, and when that justice is confirmed, will claim the Court is tainted and refuse to abide by its decisions.

So that’s what we’re in for, comrades.  We don’t have a Dred Scott decision of our very own yet, but we will.  I doubt it’ll even involve the Kavanaugh Court.  My guess would be some Federal or even state judge somewhere effectively sentencing a badthinker to death, Tommy Robinson-style, but it might not even be a “decision” at all.  When the law is clearly your enemy, bent on the destruction of you and all you hold dear, why on earth would you follow the law?  That thought occurred to John Brown, believe me.

Our version of John Brown’s raid is coming, too, and that one’s an easier bet.  In their own minds, the Media have a clear idea of acceptable political discourse: The Right’s free speech is violence; the Left’s violence is free speech.  To everyone not angling for a spot on the shout-shows, though, it looks like The Media is romanticizing political violence, full stop.  The Media has one other distinction that’s clear in their own minds but absolutely nowhere else: That between “nonpartisan truth-teller” and “unhinged partisan hack.”  Put the two together, and the result is obvious: The first lunatic to put a fist in Anderson Cooper’s smug, smirking cockhole will be a hero to at least half the country.

When The Media are getting doxxed, threatened, hounded out of restaurants, take cover; Ft. Sumter’s just around the corner.

UPDATE: Right on cue, and to absolutely no one’s surprise, the Cucks cucked.  I hope we’re equally un-surprised when Leftist lunatics start hurting people.  At this point, why wouldn’t they?  The Senate can’t even keep its own building secure, and Wikipedia helpfully published some Republican senators’ home addresses.  Jeff Flake makes for a piss-poor Charles Sumner, but the Left as a whole makes a wonderful Preston S. Brooks.  For those of you who wanted to see Shiloh II: Electric  Boogaloo before you shuffle off this mortal coil, your chances just got a lot better.

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“Cause-heads” are what we called ’em in college.  You know the type I mean.  It doesn’t matter what we’re protesting today — animal testing, US out of Trashcanistan, Global Warming, Global Cooling, the Designated Hitter — the same clowns are always there, waving their stinky dreadlocks around while tweeting about it on their totally-not-capitalist iPhones.  They seem to be equal parts ugly sophomore girls with nose rings and geriatric hippies on loan from the retirement community.

So here’s your Wednesday ray of hope: The cause-heads ye have always with you, but the ease with which they flit from cause to cause suggests the possibility of neutralizing them.

This is not to downplay the danger — as the Z Man points out today, neocon cause-heads seemingly won’t rest until they get us into a nuclear exchange with Russia.  And if you want to argue that cause-heads from Boston basically forced the Civil War, you’ll get no argument from me.  They’re a pretty good illustration of the type — the ink wasn’t even dry at Appomattox before all the the limp-wristers in the US Sanitary Commission and the Freedman’s Bureau were out agitating for Women’s Suffrage.

And so on all the way back to Europe.  Ever wonder why white folks don’t fight wars of religion anymore?  It’s not because we figured out which is the One True Faith, though you’re welcome to scan the text of the Treaty of Westphalia to check.*  Guys like Oliver Cromwell arrive at the Pearly Gates, get told what’s what by Jesus himself… then proceed to tell Him exactly what He got wrong.  Cause-heads never quit, they just move on — the wars of religion ended in Europe because the military technology didn’t exist to decisively win them.

Which, I realize, makes it sound like I’m betting the neocons actually will get someone to cut loose a nuke, and while that’s not a bad bet by any means, I’m trying to be optimistic here.  If I were a deep-cover shitlord with a long-range plan, I’d be studying the life and works of the Rev. Jim Jones.  Cause-heads never quit, because they can’t — cf. The True Believer, the third most cynical thing ever written in the history of humanity and the final word on nose-ringed psychology.**  Igor Shafarevich, whose book The Socialist Phenomenon I can’t recommend enough, outright says that Socialism is a suicide cult.

Let’s use that!!



[obviously this is all hypothetical.  I denounce myself].


*Seriously, isn’t the Internet just the tits?
** For the record, going from most to least cynical: The Prince. Leviathan. The True Believer.  La Rochefoucauld’s Maxims.


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On Ideology

Running the “Cat Fancy” thought experiment has changed the way I think about ideology.  I used to consider it a late, but vital, development of a mass movement.  Now I think of it as little more than an in-group signal.

Let me explain… no, there is too much, let me sum up.  I wrote that Cat Fancy had enough intellectual heft that serious, heavyweight people could subscribe to it in full public view.  I also wrote that the the Cat Fancy ideology, such as it is, is retarded clown show stuff.  The only way to square those is to regard ideology as a mere scaffold for ritual, for aesthetics, i.e. the real things that build a brotherhood.

To illustrate, I cited the Freemasons.  Serious, heavyweight people — of George Washington’s caliber — were open, public members of the Masons.  I find it impossible to believe that a man like George Washington bought any of the ooga-booga junk that is the Mason’s founding myth — rituals going back to the days of the Pharaohs and whatnot.  This is not to say George Washington took his Freemasonry lightly — by all accounts he was a serious, devoted Mason.

It simply says that the point of being a Mason is: Being a Mason.  Dancing naked around a fire while chanting the alphabet backwards in Hebrew or whatever the hell they did as a ritual was only the glue, practically the equivalent of frat hazing.  The “ideology” itself was considerably less than that.

If that seems too flippant, consider Marxism.  Marxism is also ooga-booga bullshit, top to bottom, stem to stern.  The Labor Theory of Value, the cornerstone of Karl Marx’s “economic interpretation of History,” is absurdly wrong, as anyone who thinks about it for more than a minute or two can see for himself.  Marx was a philosopher masquerading as an economist, and not one of the brighter philosophers, either — he was an Idealist, part of a philosophical tradition that kept all of Christianity’s ooga-booga bullshit while tossing out its intellectual heft.*  There are exactly two reasons serious people still take Marxism seriously:

  1. He quotably expressed some trivial truths about the human condition; and
  2. The Commies won the war.

That’s it.  As for 1), that’s true of every person who has founded a successful mass movement — successful at being a mass movement, I mean, nothing more.  It’s what Eric Hoffer was getting at in The True Believer — there’s really only one mass movement, because every iteration of the mass movement, be it “Left” or “Right” or anywhere in between, trades on our fundamental fear of individuality.  Humans are monkeys; monkeys have the most elaborate social structure in the animal kingdom.  We’re terrified of being alone, and lots of us — way more than we’d like to admit — would love nothing more than to shed our individual identity and merge completely with the group, any group.

Karl Marx’s insights about the class struggle weren’t new.  It’s all over Polybius, Thucydides, pick your ancient writer, because it’s easily observable in any human society bigger than a tribe of cavemen.  But Marx was great with a label — he called this trivially true aspect of human relations “the class struggle,” and we’ve been bowing down to him as some kind of oracle ever since.

Which brings us to 2).  Adolf Hitler — we’ll use the real name here, just this once — also expressed a trivial truth of human relations: Blood is thicker than water.  His way of expressing it wasn’t as “scientific” as Marx’s, because he explicitly rejected science —  all that “race science” stuff the Ahnenerbe was supposedly doing was in the service of Romanticizing, capital R, the past.  “Blood is thicker than water” is as true, and as trivial, as “the class struggle,” but because the Commies won the war, “Marxist” is still an intellectually respectable position while “Nazi” is a swear word.

And there you have it.  Nothing succeeds like success, and Josef Goebbels (again, using real names just this once) knew it better than anyone — he bragged he could turn a Communist into a Nazi in two weeks.  NOT because — as we on the “Right” so fondly imagine — the doctrines are so similar, but because the emotional resonance is better under that specific set of circumstances.  The KPD’s leadership wasn’t as quotable, but they had the same understanding — they put great effort in recruiting among the Brownshirts.

What’s needed, then, is an ideology that supports the ritual, the style, the brotherhood.  What that will be is above my pay grade, but it has to be done.  You can subsume your identity into Our Thing, or into whatever you call the ideology of the Marching Morons (“cultural marxism” will do).  That’s really all there is.


*and its Truth, but that’s irrelevant to the discussion.
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The Official Uniform – Like a Boss

Never let it be said I don’t give the dozen readers (I think that’s what we’re up to?) what they want!  Presenting….

the Official Uniform of #TheRealResistance. 

I’ve got mine on order.  It’s the all-white version, obviously.  Wander around wearing one, and see what happens.  If you live in a very fashion-forward area, put a cat-related pin somewhere near the brim.  If anyone gives you “the look,” flash a covert “OK” sign at them.

(Since what you’re wearing will be unusual enough to cause comment — especially with the pin — you might get some looks from the ladies.  Give them the OK, too, by all means, but if you want to save the political sermons until after the hookup, well, nobody here will blame you).

We’ll be the most stylish guys in the reeducation camp, that’s for sure.

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Conclusions from the Thought Experiment: Critical, but not Serious

I think we all generally agree with the following:

  1. Building a movement can be done, if the circumstances are right.
  2. The crisis point is fast approaching.
  3. Such a movement can / should be mostly non-ideological, at least at first.

The main areas of disagreement are:

  • a. Whether a “movement” is premature at this stage.
  • b. If / how / when to bring “ideology” into it.
  • c. Will the circumstances ever be right?

In all, it beats my pair of jacks.  And really, it doesn’t matter — Rotten Chestnuts is a dinky group blog with ten readers.  But let’s stipulate for the sake of argument that we’re a representative cross-section of Our Thing (whatever it’s called today).

Back in the 70s, I’m told, biologists ran an experiment: What happens if you give a group of rats far more resources than they could ever possibly need, or even use?  At first the rats went full Malthus, as you’d expect — furiously breeding up to the limits of their food supply.  BUT: Their food supply was limitless.  It wasn’t more than a few generations, then, before the fat lazy stupid rats stopped breeding, instead wasting their days in idle squabbling.  A few more generations, and there were no more generations; the rat colony that existed under ideally fecund conditions effectively committed suicide.

The overwhelming impression I get of Our Thing — again, assuming for the sake of argument that we ten are representative — is of resignation.  Far from raging against the dying of the light, we’re closing the curtains and locking the doors on the way out.  We — all of us, the West, human beings in general — are those rats.  We had a good run, but in the end, the jungle shall always reclaim the clearing.  We were fucked all the way back in 1965 — we (or our parents, or our grandparents) should’ve hung Hart and Celler from the nearest lampposts, but we (they) didn’t, and now it’s too late.  But even then it wouldn’t matter — even if the Marching Morons weren’t morons, they’d still kill the goose that laid the golden egg, because morons are humans too.

Indeed, it’s not the morons who landed us here.  Hart and Celler were bright guys, but they were just the point men in a centuries-old process.  To get revenge on the real culprits, you’d have to hang every doctor, every materials scientist, every computer engineer, every bond trader, every industrialist, every physicist, every chemist — everyone who brought us this nice, cushy, safe, resource-rich world that we apparently find so intolerable we’re willing to bomb ourselves back to the Stone Age rather than endure it a moment longer.  Hobbes was wrong — life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short, all right, but apparently that’s the way we like it.  What else was the English Civil War, other than a group of idle rich guys getting peeved at another group of idle rich guys over whose Magic Sky Fairy was stronger?

Like the Austrians told the Germans at the end of World War One, our situation is critical, but not serious.  Cf. the author of the linked piece — Bill Kristol, captain of the S.S. Never Trump, whose taedium vitae is so terminal he’d nuke Moscow just for the lulz.  This is not a serious man; the entire punditocracy, which includes Hollywood, the Media, and Academia, is a clown show, top to bottom, stem to stern.  They don’t think the crocodile is going to eat them last — they don’t think at all.  They just feel that, of all the ways to go, thrashing around in a reptile’s jaws would be one of the less boring.

Meanwhile, we worry about whether white hats make our butts look big, and, come the revolution what to do with, sigh, teh Jooooooos!

Fuck it, I give up.  I’m halfway to slitting my wrists over a fucking thought experiment.  I am not a movement-builder.  I’m just a guy who reads History.  If all this is obvious to me, it’s certainly obvious to the Powers That Be, where a few still-effective units get paid to think about stuff like this.  And if it’s not obvious to most people out there in Internet-land, well, what more proof do you need?  We’re fucked.  QED.


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Rage III: The Dying of the Light

The most important is also the shortest, because by this point you either agree or disagree.

The Cat Fanciers had an ideology.  It’s not hard to find.  They had a philosophy, too.  Nobody’s ever heard of Giovanni Gentile, and you might want to ask yourself why not, but it doesn’t matter.  The point is, there was enough intellectual heft behind Cat Fancy that even serious, heavyweight people could buy into it, in full public view.  The Black Cat Militia — the fanciest Cat Fanciers of all —  was full of professors, doctors, lawyers, industrialists; far from mindless thugs, they were better educated than average, with better degrees (up to and including PhDs in real subjects) the higher up the ranks one went.

[If it helps, think of how many serious, heavyweight people were in the Freemasons, well into the 20th century.  Did they believe all the ooga-booga stuff about Masonic ritual extending back to the time of the Pharaohs?  Of course not, but they took the ritual aspects seriously, because whatever else it was (and is), Freemasonry is a brotherhood.  Brotherhoods depend on ritual.  So did your average obersturmbannfuhrer really believe all that junk about World Ice Theory, Atlantis, the power of Norse runes, etc.?  I really doubt it.  But the “brotherhood” part?  Oh yes; to the bitter end].

What really held them together, though, was an aesthetic. A vision.  The only reason the Cat Fanciers’ techno-anarcho-retro-futurism seems weird to us is the same reason nobody’s heard of Giovanni Gentile (or Ishiwara Kanji and the kokutai): They lost the war.  It’s no weirder than Karl Marx’s techno-anarcho-retro-futurism, and the only reason “Marxist” isn’t a swear word right now is because the same professors and media figures who were so hot and bothered for Cat Fancy (esp. the Italian variant) switched sides once it became obvious how the war was going to turn out.  Stalin’s crimes dwarf Mustache Guy’s by an order of magnitude (and Mao has Uncle Joe beat by a country mile), but wild horses still couldn’t drag an admission out of most “educated” people that mass murder is a feature, not a bug, in the ideology.

For a modern techno-anarcho-retro-futuro thing, I suggest mythologizing the Fifites (already mostly done, I realize), combined with end-of-the-Empire conservationist paranoia:

The light really is dying, comrades, all over the former West.  The glories of belief, of science, of the very concepts “logic” and “reason,” are being pushed back into darkness, not just by the Marching Morons, but by smart people who owe everything in their lives to Western Civ.  These “people” — decadent and corrupt enough to make an Ottoman pasha blush — would rather see the whole world burn than endure the tedium of their sheltered, cossetted little lives one second longer.

Resist them, or die in a nuclear fire.  Why on earth do you think they’re so desperate to arm the Iranian mullahs?  It serves no geostrategic purpose.  It’s guaranteed to destabilize the region, and that, comrades, is the entire point.  If they can’t goad us into a war with Russia over Syria, then give nukes to the mullahs.  They’ll use them — you know it, I know it, Obama and Hillary and Soros and John Kerry and John McCain and every faceless bureaucrat at the EU knows it.  Bibi Netanyahu certainly knows it, which is why they’ll strike first, and the SJWs can crow about it for the 59.3 seconds it’ll take between that and the arrival of Russian / Chinese ICBMs in our skies.  They’ll die, too, but at least they’ll die smug — to the SJW, that’s ultimate victory.

Rage, comrades, rage against the dying of the light.  If you can’t fight — and not all of us can — preserve.  Be an Irish monk in the Dark Ages, hoarding up humanity’s precious inheritance against the possibility, however remote, that we might crawl out of the caves again.  But if you can, fight!  The human race depends on it.*


*obviously this is my thought experiment example of how such a mythology might be created.  I advocate nothing.  All of this is strictly hypothetical.
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An Unbreakable Secret Communication Method

Cleaning out the ol’ spam filter, I came across comment spam promising “sexy stone buttock massage.”  This suggests a fantastic method of communication:

Comment spam.

There’s no need to even post anything on a discussion board, running the risk of it being seen by other eyes.  Just arrange the code such that it’s guaranteed to be ignored as spam.  (Similarly, you could email blast the whole #RealResistance with Nigerian Prince scams.  Just be sure to check your spam filter between 1 and 3 on October 5, 2018).

“Sexy stone buttock massage” is, of course, our new code for “we’re initiating new members tonight.  The usual time, the usual place.  Be sure you’re not followed.”

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A Cat Fancy Glossary

As we know, the point of referring to “those guys” as the Cat Fanciers is so we don’t get bogged down in details.  You simply can’t use real names without someone wanting to drag the discussion off into minutiae, the perfidy (or not!) of (((you-know-who))), and so forth.  The historical details of Cat Fancy don’t matter at all for our purposes — understanding how a successful revolutionary movement can be built in an advanced industrial nation —  but since this is the Internet…

But I’m also coming to realize that folks would like to read up on some of the details on their own, track down references, etc.  This is the Internet, yes, but just as not every person on the Internet has an encyclopedic knowledge of Star Trek (just 95% of you), so not every person is 100% up on the historical details of Cat Fancy.  (I’m certainly not — it’s pretty clear Pickle Rick has me beat, and I’m sure he’s not the only one).  So here’s a quick glossary, with links, in case anyone wants to read up on various topics that come up in discussion.

Most of the names come from the comments here.  In (sort-of) order of frequency, updated as needed:

Cat Fanciers — obvious, but please remember that we’re discussing the movement prior to the seizure of power.

Cat Fancy — NOT the official doctrine of the Cat Fanciers.  They had one, and we might have to refer to it later, but those cases will be clearly marked as such.  “Cat Fancy” is the weird techno-retro-futuro utopian dream that emotionally fuels the Cat Fanciers.  The key point to remember: Cat Fancy is almost entirely aesthetic.

Mustache Guy — obvious; the Kitten-in-Chief.

The Nerd — leader of the Black Cat Militia.  The fanciest Cat Fancier of all, the Nerd had the most comprehensive fantasy life, which he tried to make into reality with his Dungeons and Dragons playset and action figures.

Black Cat Militia – the toughest kitties of all, their entrance requirement was the demonstrated willingness to follow any order.  Mortal enemies of the Kitten Patrol.

Kitten Patrol — the street-brawling head-busters that were the public face of Cat Fancy in the early years.  They never went away, but once they’d served their purpose they were ruthlessly suppressed.

Dungeons and Dragons playset — it’s a real place, basically a real-life Castle Wolfenstein, but here it means the really far-out fringes of Cat Fancy.

Rosie — the Cat Fanciers’ official ideologist.  Sneeringly referred to as an “intellectual” — always in quotation marks — he wrote a lot of the Cat Fancy mythology that the Nerd put into practice.

The Dwarf — quite possibly the world’s greatest salesman, the Don Draper of his day (except short, plug ugly, and clubfooted).

Fat Guy — the most impressive of the Cat Fanciers in his youth, a bona fide war hero in the sexiest branch of the military at the time.  By the seizure of power he was a fat, weird, codeine addict, but still a savvy political operator with a fighter pilot’s killer instinct.

Rudy — nowadays, if he’s known at all, it’s for his quixotic “peace mission” (and the devotion to astrology that partly spawned it), but he was an integral part of the state and Mustache Guy’s chief negotiator with industry.  Before the “peace mission,” he was second in line to the throne (behind Fat Guy).

We haven’t mentioned the following yet, but we’ll probably need them soon enough, so….

The Fencer — the Nerd’s second-in-command and the beau ideal of the Black Cat Militia.  Their collective leadership style ensured maximum creativity, maximum efficiency, maximum brutality… and maximum deniability.

The Bureaucrat — seemingly the polar opposite of the Fencer, he was famously banal.  That’s mostly a myth, too — surprise, surprise — but he’s a good stand-in for the kind of guy that’s essential to a functioning revolutionary regime.

Updated as needed…. and what the hell, since we’re at it, a Cat Fancy Annotated Bibliography.  This is the only place we’ll use real names.  Suggestions welcome, but please keep it minutiae-free and aimed at the general reader.

Published Primary Sources in English):

Hitler, Adolf.  Mein Kampf.  There are a million translations, redactions, expurgated versions, unexpurgated versions, etc.  I myself have only browsed around in the damn thing, because it really is as tedious as advertised.  On the other hand, I have browsed around in it, because come on — any book that gets the Smart Set’s universal condemnation as so totally not worth reading has got to have something going for it (remember, these are the people who find profound meaning in Harry Potter).

Goebbels, Josef.  Diaries.  Same as above, but way longer.  And here again, the problem is with the editors — they quite rightly assume you want to read the good stuff and not 10,000 entries on what he had for breakfast, but their definition of “good stuff” probably doesn’t track with ours.

Rosenberg, Alfred.  The Myth of the Twentieth Century.  The Party’s official ideology / mythology.  Apparently as tedious as its inspiration, The Foundations of the 19th Century.  I’ve read neither, but they’re referred to all the time in the secondary literature.  Again, if Our Betters universally assure us they’re not worth reading, there must be something to ’em.

I’m leaving out war memoirs etc., as they’re mostly self-serving (though often very interesting).

Secondary Sources:

Weber, Thomas. Becoming Hitler.  A good intellectual biography of his early years.

Longerich, Peter.  biographies of Goebbels and Himmler.  Both are Teutonically thorough, but as we’re only concerned with the years before 1939….

Arendt, Hannah.  Eichmann in Jerusalem.  Just the actual Eichmann parts – lots of it is a blow-by-blow reconstruction of the Holocaust.

Stangneth, Bettina.  Eichmann before Jerusalem.  Blows up the “banality of evil” thesis.  For our purposes, Eichmann is interesting as a personality type, not a historical figure.

Evans, Richard J.  The Coming of the Third Reich and The Third Reich in Power.

Gellately, Robert.  Backing Hitler.  They knew.

Koonz, Claudia. The Nazi Conscience.  It’s the indoctrination techniques, not the content of the indoctrination, that matters.  If you don’t mind some alcohol poisoning, a fun game is swapping out “Straight White Males” for “Jews.”  Our media, academia, Hollywood, etc. has been doing all this stuff to us for years.

UPDATED suggestions from Pickle Rick:

Padfield, Peter.  Himmler.  PR’s comment: “it also delves into how the SS State was created. Excellent analysis within.”  My comment: It looks like a “psycho-history.”  These got a bad rap within the Biz back in the days.  The stated reason was that they’re inherently subjective, but as you might suspect, that’s not the real reason — History professors, being obnoxious Leftists, are juuuuust fine with subjective ass-pulled speculation, so long as it fits their biases.  No, the real reason is that they were embarrassing — since folks in the other Liberal Arts all think they’re qualified to do History, too, they flooded the market with those “every single significant individual in history was gay!” narratives that made college in the late 80s / early 90s such a joy.  Nowadays, of course, the tremulous sheltered dorks that make up the professoriate couldn’t write a “psycho-history” if they wanted to, having no experience of any other type of human but the egghead.  Padfield’s an amateur, and remember: That’s a compliment more often than not.  Read his evidence; decide for yourself.  If Pickle Rick vouches for it, I’m good with it.

[PS the reviewer comments on this one are hilarious — they’re “psycho-histories” in their own right.  E.g. here: “It is amazing that people still write from a Marxist perspective, that capital is the primary motive of history. According to this book, it was the landed Junkers vs the Capitalist industialist that led the NAZI’s into war and policy formation.”  All [sic] of course.  And this is why both professionals and amateurs tend to be heavy drinkers — it was National <i>Socialism,</i> dude.  There are just two words in “National Socialism,” and both of them are really, really, really important].

Diehl, James M. Paramilitary Politics in Weimar Germany.  Rick’s comment: “A somewhat biased work from the 70s, but really the only scholarly treatment on the subject.”  Me: That it is.  I haven’t read it, as it looks really heavy, but it also looks fascinating.  Amazon has no reviews and sells only used hardbacks (starting at $32), so you’ll probably need a university library (or a local library with a loan arrangement with the local U).

Friedlander, Saul.  Nazi Germany and the Jews: Volume 1: The Years of Persecution 1933-1939.  Friedlander is a big leaguer in the field.  PR says: “it’s integral to understanding how and why a totalitarian party does what it does after seizing power.”

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