Monthly Archives: June 2019

In Diversity™ We Trust

Severian’s last post was on History vs the leftist narrative, specifically on Civil Rights.  Then Morgan asked on The Hello Kitty of Bloggin’,  after watching the Democrat Debates …

“Is there an agenda to popularize the Spanish language in the United States? If so, is the vision that more people should be knowledgeable about it, or that fewer people understand English? Or both?

Or, is the agenda to balkanize the country, get as many languages in active use as possible, so that there’s.more confusion, less clarity? What’s the goal here exactly?”

Well lemme ‘splain.

It’s because Diversity™, of course.  That is the whole purpose behind the United States of America.  Let’s review our history, shall we?

You see, centuries ago diversity was banned in Europe, so a bunch of enlightened people said, “Hey, I want to go somewhere where I can be diverse!”

And so they boarded rickety ships to bounce across the treacherous ocean for weeks, and when they landed they saw there were only Americans of Asian Descent (the land bridge between Asia and North America — before Lewis and Clark hegemonically traversed the continent in their SUVs).  They thought to themselves, “here, I can finally be diverse!” Indeed, Diversity™ doubled right then and there!

They wanted to be more diverse so badly that they imported brown people from diverse tribes in Africa. Sadly, in a dark era where no white person was even remotely against slavery, they were treated poorly and relegated to slavery because of a line Donald Trump had slipped into the Constitution in 1787.  This went on until JFK and the Democrats freed them in 1964. (when the Whigs and the Democrats switched sides after the Whigs lost a drunken bet with the Democrats in a bar the night before the bill was passed.)

Meanwhile people from other parts of the world had heard about this wonderful place where they, too, could come and be diverse, and they started coming… from China, from Japan, from Mexico, and the Middle East, with only the distant dream of Diversity™ on their minds.

We also created great UniDiversities to increase our knowledge and awareness of Diversity™ (especially after the Democrats freed the slaves!)

But in 1972, the Republican (aka, “Nazi”) Party was founded by Richard Nixon specifically to ban Diversity™ and put to everybody who wasn’t white into concentration camps. Fortunately, the Democrats came roaring back with Jimmy Carter in 1976, who created the Department of Education that has vastly improved Education in the United States by teaching us all to be more Diverse™.  Since then our education has become the best in the world! And! he graciously let 52 Americans be the guests of some nice Iranian students for more than a year just so they could become more diverse.

But then Ronald Reagan inexplicably won the election of 1980 (due to a clerical error at Trump, Inc*) and he immediately started a nuclear war with Russia. This was because he was not diverse and they were … well never mind, but it greatly reduced the Diversity™ in the world. Plus, Toxic Masculinity. Which is not Diverse™. Everyone should be more like women. That would be Diverse™.

After 12 years of cruel, oppressive Republican rule during which Reagan coerced some Germans to vandalize an historic, diverse wall, the great Bill Clinton was elected the First Black President™, which Americans thought finally ushered in Diversity™ once and for all.

But alas, it wasn’t to be, because G.W. Bush (aka “Hitler”) stole the election 8 years later by cleverly winning a majority of the votes in the Electoral College (like that was even legal!) and had the CIA fly planes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon so that he could attack Iraq.  This was clearly because they were brown and he hated Diversity™, and also for oil. The United Nations had asked Saddam Hussein nicely 17 times to stop killing his own people, but it turned out he was doing it to reduce Iraq’s carbon footprint. Well this was the last straw (before California bravely banned them). Bush viciously attacked and removed Hussein from office because racism. And also blood for oil. Halliburton!!!! By the time he left office he personally had 100% control of all Iraqi oil, which he quickly lost to Dick Cheney (aka “Darth Vader”) in a drunken bet at a bar the night before the next election (Cheney then poured the oil all over Grand Teton National Park just so it could be drilled up again — also because he hates nature and especially fly-fishing).

After that, America came to its senses and elected Barack Obama, Savior of the Universe™, to be the Second First Black President™. Under his wise and kind rule, Americans began to get along Diversely like never before. Some people in Ferguson, Missouri even burned and looted a bunch of minority owned business just so they could get insurance money which they were owed by their former oppressors, who were now forever banished. It was almost the Paradise that Michael Moore proved Iraq was before G.W. Bush (aka “Hitler”) went in and started terrorism as we know it today (and stole all their oil).

Obama even stopped the oil that Halliburton had re-drilled out of Grand Teton from covering the Gulf of Mexico with his bare, diverse hands.

But it wasn’t to last forever. She Whose Turn It Was to be the Third Black President™ and The First Female President was stunned by her totally unfair loss to Donald Trump (aka “Hitler”), a Russian agent who was heretofore known only for grabbing pussies, and whose wife’s arms could never measure up to the previous first lady’s.  She was also an immigrant who spoke only 6 languages, plus she immigrated legally, which really isn’t very Diverse™.

She Whose Turn It Was to be the Third Black President™ graciously left her supporters waiting while she drank the entire wine supply just to save them from themselves when she gave her concession speech the next morning after drinking 163 cups of coffee in 21 minutes. This was very diverse of her. It was a sad day because this meant that no woman could ever be elected president. Ever. This was indeed confirmed when Donald Trump (aka “Hitler”) decreed it was so as he squashed a kitten under his foot, because kittens represent Diversity™. Crunch!

Hitler (aka Donald Trump) had the audacity to try to faithfully execute the laws of the United States, which included putting people who crossed the border illegally – including children — in the cages Barack Obama (Savior of the Universe™) had diversely built for people who crossed the border illegally. Building them was diverse, but actually using them for their intended purpose was not. And it was just like Auschwitz, only 50 times worser.

All brown people began leaving the United States in droves, fearing for their lives, but they were overwhelmed by the flood of poor confused brown people coming in the other direction. Why were they coming? Didn’t they know?

Ah, but this was all part of Trump’s (aka “Hitler’s”) evil plan to End Diversity™ Forever! – to cleverly keep brown people from leaving by encouraging more brown people to come in to his concentration camps. Plus he outlawed being gay, and ordered all bakers NOT to bake wedding cakes for them, and he and his evil minions began driving Democrats out of restaurants and spitting on them for being so Diverse!

Since America was founded specifically to be The Most Diversest Country, Ever!™, he must be stopped at all costs, even if it means going through the Russians to procure a fake dossier to spend two and a half years in the headlines telling everyone proof he colluded with the Russians — was JUST around the corner!

Therefore it is more important than ever that we rally around our national motto,

“In Diversity™ We Trust!”

 * This was an error on Trump’s part as a Russian agent, which proves his incompetency.
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Thinking Like Historians

Fair warning, and apologies in advance: This essay contains lots and lots and LOTS of charts.

Back when I taught undergrad history (thank you, Lord, for early retirement!) I had to do it “blank slate”-style.  That is: since my students knew so little, and what little they “knew” was all poz, I had to teach any topic using just a few basic visual aides and simple, point-to-point logic.  (One of the main reasons I retired is that this is the kind of thing you’re supposed to learn in junior high, if not elementary school, but that’s a rant for another day).

For example, let’s take the Great Magic Party Switch of 1964 (hereafter, GMPS).  Y’all know this one.  It’s that mysterious day of days — July 2, 1964 — when all the Southern racists who absolutely weren’t Democrats, no way, no how, no siree, suddenly became Republicans, in protest over the signing of the Civil Rights Act.  If I had to teach that one, I’d do it like this.

In truth, John F. Kennedy was a tax-cuttingcowboy imperialist warmonger who lied about WMDs, but as modern Dem presidential wannabes all claim to be JFK reborn, let’s take him as Liberalism’s gold standard.  So here’s the electoral map of the 1960 presidential contest (The good folks at 270towin.com have done us the favor of updating the colors — back then, the Dems would’ve been shown in red):

Looks like Kennedy pretty much carried the “Solid South,” just like every Democratic presidential candidate did, all the way back to 1868.  My Gilded Age history is a little rusty, but from what I remember this could pretty much be any election, pretty much any time after the Civil War — the Dem carries the South and one of the swing states (usually New York); the Republicans get the rest (their usual swing-state pickups were IL, IN, OH, PA).  The oddities here from the GMPS perspective are Florida, Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota on the Democrat side, Virginia, Tennessee, and (arguably) Kentucky on the Republican.  Keep those in mind, we’ll be coming back to them, but so far the GMPS theory seems to be holding up — after all, the South couldn’t magically switch to Republican without having been Democrat first.

Now let’s consider conservatism’s gold standard, Ronnie Ray-Gun.  Here’s the 1980 election:

It’s looking pretty good for the GMPS theory.  Reagan got the entire South except Georgia, the home state of incumbent president Jimmy Carter.  Carter’s only other victories were Minnesota and the little cluster of states surrounding Virginia, plus Rhode Island — all of which Kennedy also carried in 1960.

So let’s check the intervening years.  Just so we’re all on the same page, here’s our baseline year, 1960, again:

Here’s 1964:

1968

1972

and 1976

Anything jump out at you?

It seems to me that the GMPS is in serious trouble from jump street.  Remember, our working theory is that all the racists in the South jumped ship from… well, not from the Democrats, certainly, since Democrats can’t be racist, so let’s stipulate that in some math-defying manner all the racists in the South who didn’t vote Democrat, and therefore aren’t on the hook for all those Democrat-passed Jim Crow laws, suddenly came out of the woodwork and started voting GOP between July 2, 1964, and the present.  You’ll notice that the Democrats did pretty good in the formerly Solid South in 1964.  They lost the hotbed of secession (LA, MS, AL, GA, SC), but held on to Kennedy’s wins in Texas, Arkansas, and North Carolina, and even flipped Florida, Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee.  By my math, that’s the GOP netting exactly one state… pretty mild as far as backlashes go, especially considering that they actually lost two electoral votes in the process (47 to 49).

But let’s stipulate that Southerners, being illiterate inbred hicks, didn’t fully get the word on the Civil Rights Act before election day in November.  Since there’s no point in shorting ourselves now, let’s also stipulate that Barry Goldwater was the worst candidate in the history of the world.  Hell, let’s throw in residual grief for JFK influencing the electoral vote totals.  It still seems that overall, the raaaacist South balked at their first chance to throw the Civil Rights Act-passing bums out.*

Which brings us to 1968.

My, that’s a colorful one!!!  The gold (nice choice fellas) represents George Wallace, a racist candidate if ever there was one.  Hell, he even had a proto-MAGA campaign slogan: “Stand Up for America.”  If I were teaching this stuff, I’d stop here for several classes, because if the GMPS theory is true, then this chart is the pièce de résistance.  You’ve got every Southern state except Texas going to one racist or another.  Hell, you’ve even got all the kinda-Southern, as-chicken-fried-as-the-mood-strikes-them states like Maryland and Kentucky going racist, plus all the racists in….ummmmm… Wisconsin, California, and New Jersey, but hey, whatever, point is, that’s a whole lot of racism right there.

But maybe not.  Let’s look at two other oddly-colored election charts:

And another:

Those are the results of the only third-party runs in the modern(-ish) era that carried a state (for simplicity’s sake I’m omitting Ross Perot’s 1992 campaign, which didn’t carry a state despite netting nearly 20 million votes — nearly half Bill Clinton’s vote share).  At this point in my classroom, we’d have to hem and haw around for 45 minutes until somebody stated the obvious, but it’s pretty clear that third parties siphon most of their support almost exclusively off one of the other two parties.  In 1912 it was Teddy Roosevelt’s “Bull Moose” party torpedoing the Republicans; in 1860 it was Stephen A. Douglas and John Bell screwing over the Democrats.

Which is big trouble for the GMPS theory, because all the really racist racists had a viable candidate to vote for, which meant that all the Democrats had to do is not run a total loser….  Alas, that’s what they did, but not before shooting themselves in the foot in so many other ways.  As we all know, incumbents have a huge advantage; the Dems squandered theirs in 1968 when LBJ withdrew.  Which made their primaries a multi-way battle royale… until Robert F. Kennedy got shot (not in the foot), which cleared the way, sort of, for Eugene McCarthy, who was himself shot in the back (metaphorically) by Hubert Humphrey, whose Hillary Clintonesque maneuverings with the delegate counts at the convention secured him the nomination….

…. of all but the Dixiecrats.  They’re the GMPS’s version of the boogeyman.  If you press a GMPS believer almost to the point of actual physical torture, he’ll admit that yes, there were some racists in the Democratic party… but they were all “Dixiecrats,” so they don’t count.  But wait: here’s that chart again:

Oops.  If all of those racists were going to vote GOP until the “Dixiecrats” pulled their stunt, Humphrey should’ve sailed to victory in the Deep South.  It probably wouldn’t have mattered in the end — only figuring out who your candidate is in late August, at a convention surrounded by nationally televised riots, will really put you behind the eight ball — but according to GMPS theory, the former slave states should’ve been as blue in 1968 as they were in the mist-shrouded yesteryear of 1960, what with the racists going to Nixon and the uber-racists going to Wallace and all.

Which brings us to the “Southern Strategy,” the lynchpin (sorry) of Great Magic Party Switch theory.  You know this one, I’m sure, almost as well as you know the GMPS itself, but since the kids don’t, I’d explain it like this:  The racists in the GOP figured they could get all the other racists in the South back onside by making racist appeals, racistly, in the election of 1972.  Let’s go to the tape:

Holy guacamole, look at all that racism!!!  Except, ummm, not.  You might recall that all the way back in 1964, we stipulated for the purposes of argument that Barry Goldwater was the worst candidate in the history of the world.  We don’t have to stipulate in George McGovern’s case.  He had all the charisma of Mitt Romney and the granite personal integrity of John Kerry… or maybe vice versa, but anyway, it doesn’t matter, because the dude somehow ended up being outflanked as a peacenik on Vietnam by Richard fucking Nixon, the guy who was actually running the goddamn war.  Even if we grant the biggest possible advantage to the then-still-unknown Watergate break-in, you’re still left with the question of how not just the South, but the entire United States, with the noble exceptions of Massachusetts and DC, got racismizized (it’s a word, look it up) by the “Southern Strategy.”

I know, I know, everyone who pushes the GMPS also believes that all of America is incorrigibly racist, but in 1972 blacks were at most just 13% of the population, and the ones who didn’t live in the South were heavily concentrated in a few heavily urbanized areas. So the question of just exactly how the Democrats lost all those true-blue, heavily unionized states in the Rust Belt, plus the entire Midwest, Northeast, Northwest, and Southwest, in just twelve years is still gonna be on the midterm.

It’s a wordy question, I know, and Millennials are notso-hotso with the reading comprehension, so I’d probably frame it like this:

But dat Southern Strategy tho, as I think the kids these days say.  I’m no fancy big-city lawyer, but it seems to me that all those awful racist Southern states voted Democrat in 1976.  It also seems to me that the Dems’ candidate that year, one James Earl Carter Jr., was the goofiest, most cornpone-soundin’ redneck this side of Bill Clinton.  His opponent, by contrast, was Gerald Ford, an incumbent with such sex appeal that the only thing anyone remembered about him was his football career back in the 1930s.  Still, the guy’s original name was Leslie Lynch King Jr., for pete’s sake — if anyone could quarterback a Southern Strategy, it’d be that guy.  Alas….

Which brings us to 1980, but by now I think even the slowest of my students would have gotten the point, or slit their wrists from sheer boredom.  So class, let’s end with a quick pop quiz:

The Great Magic Party Switch of 1964 really happened, true or false?

 

 

 

*Yes yes, I know, the Dems fought tooth and nail against the Civil Rights Act, but there’s only so much poz you can blow up in one lesson.  If I were doing this in the classroom, I’d make that an extra credit project — go look up the actual partisan breakdown of votes on the CRA, both House and Senate.

 

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The Genetic Fallacy

That’s the one where you try to discredit an idea by going after the speaker.  It’s the mainstay of Leftist “argument,” and has been since “the Left” has been a thing — “class enemies” can’t be right about anything, because they’re class enemies.  We like to joke that you can cause a Leftist real bodily distress by asking her if she agrees with Adolf Hitler that 2+2 = 4, but the joke only works because so much of Leftism simply is the genetic fallacy.  Magic Dirt Theory, Diversity is our Strength, pick your Liberal bromide — all of these are true only because the h8rs say otherwise. Asking Liberals to provide arguments and evidence for their assertions is like asking your dog to factor quadratics — at best they’ll just bark at you; at worst, start humping your leg.

This matters, because Leftism is a Manichean religion that sees everyone and everything as either totally good, or totally evil.  Backing off from the apocalypse for a sec, here’s a humorous illustration of the genetically fallacious mindset:

Remember that?  That’s what happens when you accustom yourself to “thinking” in genetic fallacies.  Who wouldn’t want to wear pajamas, sip hot chocolate, and talk about health insurance?  Nobody who’s not a H8R, that’s for sure!!

But fun as it is to ridicule Pajamaboy — and oh God is it ever! — mocking him misses the true horror of this ad campaign, which is this: Nobody ever even thought about putting the brakes on it, because nobody had the conceptual tools.  Who, exactly, was the target audience of this ad?  Laid-off factory workers out there in the flyover states?  Assuming that’s the case leads you to a very scary conclusion: That with all the time, money, and resources poured into this campaign — and the must’ve been vast — nobody bothered to, you know, go out there and check how such a thing would be received.  Assuming that’s not the case leads you to an even scarier conclusion: That the intended audience for this ad was, effectively, no one, because nobody who wasn’t fully on board with Obama’s “fundamental transformation” of American society would respond positively to an ad like this.  It was all just a big circle jerk of virtue signalling.

Which is the natural endpoint of the Leftist worldview.  If everyone who doesn’t agree with you 100%

  • is, by definition, evil; and
  • evil people, again by definition, can’t ever be right about anything; then
  • how can one even function in a world that has evil people in it?

Your run-of-the-mill Leftist can hide out on campus forever, effectively banishing all the evil people from her presence, but lots of Leftists go into government, as I’m sure you’ve noticed.  They flail and blunder about on the world stage because they have no idea that communication with evil people is even possible.  Worse, those folks arbitrarily assigned to the “good person” bucket can do no wrong, so what’s the point of trying to persuade them to do, or not do, anything at all?

Thus our ongoing Iran adventure.  Everyone who matters in our government, it seems, has assigned the mullahs to one of the buckets.  Nothing Tehran says can ever be true, claim the folks who have assigned the mullahs to the “evil” bucket, so there’s no point in trying to figure out what their grievances are — just lob a few cruise missiles at ’em and call it a day.  On the other hand, those who put the mullahs in the “good” bucket also can’t grok the mullahs’ griveances, because somewhere high on the list are things like “the existence of Jews in the world,” and no good person could ever mean something like that.  Bismarck wept, but that’s 21st century diplomacy for you.

I sure hope it doesn’t get us all killed.

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Weaponizing Blogs

Having just sent my shekels to the Z Man, I got to thinking about monetizing blogs.  Which got me thinking about weaponizing blogs.

First, let’s discuss the money (undoubtedly the Clinton Foundation’s unofficial motto).  I’ve always wondered why blogs don’t get into the merchandising business.  I know, I know, liberals only like to spend other people’s money, but still, you’d think a site like Daily Kos could make a killing on merch.  What better way to virtue-signal that you’re one of The Smart Ones than by wearing a Kos t-shirt around?  So long as you put in some bullshit about how the shirts are made by the Hopi Indians of Kazakhstan using only locally-sourced, free-trade, shade-grown polyester, you could clean up.  I clicked on one of the many, many, many “design your own t-shirt” sites out there, and got a basic one-off for about $30.  Which is a lot, but I bet a bulk order from a real screen-printing house could cut that at least in half.  Your only problem then is storage, but since the folks involved pretty much by definition live in basements…

From there, the branding ideas kinda write themselves.  Speaking of writing themselves, most of Kos is (or was; for obvious reasons I don’t visit much) “diaries” written by members of their “community.”  Sticking with the t-shirt thing, if I were Kos, I’d give out a free t-shirt to diarists in the “silver circle” (wrote 50 diaries), “gold circle” (100 diaries, or got 100 links, or whatever), etc.  I know, I know, the thing about only giving away other people’s money still applies, but so skilled a self-promoter as Kos could be brought to see the need to spend a little money to make more money.  Or, hell, make it a bumper sticker — god knows the Left love them some bumper stickers, and those are way cheaper.  Big picture, his net outlay is close to zero (or actually zero, if it can be written off as a business expense), so the marginal rate of return is very high — if one t-shirt (bumper sticker, whatever) gets even five sets of eyeballs to the site….

The odd conservatism of the Internet might be in play here.  I do seem to vaguely recall websites trying to aggressively brand themselves with merchandise back in the late 90s, and failing miserably.  But most of those branding attempts seemed to be product sites, not blogs — Pets.com, not Salon.com, or slathering Danica Patrick in GoDaddy.com stuff — and the infrastructure wasn’t there yet.  Nowadays you can get custom anything off the Internet for a reasonable price — see e.g. Snapfish, with which parents plaster their kids’ faces on scrapbooks, coffee mugs, pretty much everything.  But Internet People seem to assume that if an idea was tried once and failed, it could never possibly work….

But whatever, the point is, selling blog merch seems like an obvious idea that nobody’s doing.  Admittedly I’m the furthest thing from an Internet Person (who still somehow has a blog), but the only site I’ve seen that even kinda sorta tries it is Vox Day’s, and even there only as an adjunct to all his other hustles.  Just for fun I checked Salon.com, a site that’s both desperate for revenue, and whose readership consists of nothing but Wall-adjacent Millennial cat ladies who confuse “reading some bint going on about her herpes infection for 1,000 words” with “political activism.”  You’d think they could sell t-shirts if anyone could.  And yet, their “marketplace” is entirely parasitic off Amazon.

Take a page from the shoe companies’ playbook.  For them, the brand doesn’t sell the product; the brand IS the product.

Which brings us to the second point: Weaponization.  One of Our Thing’s biggest problems, I think we all agree, is that we have no idea who “we” actually are.  We all naturally assume that any “official” gathering — in the increasingly unlikely event it’s permitted at all — would be instantly infiltrated, so that the ever-tolerant apostles of peace love and understanding could have us all fired from our jobs.  An “unofficial” gathering faces the same problem, since it can’t be organized without social media and social media is the natural habitat of the Junior Volunteer Thought Police (JVTP).*  So we all wonder if maybe “we” aren’t just the same five or ten or fifty lunatics, using several different handles, jerking each other off on the same handful of “dissident” sites.

Which is exactly where They want us, brothers!!

The solution would be some kind of recognizable signal.  I suggested the white Hugo Boss cap (and I still wear mine whenever I go out!), but as this is a tiny group blog with 14 readers, it can’t work.  Branded logo gear could, though.  Just wear your “Z Blog” t-shirt out in public and see what happens.  It’s got a big “Z” on the front and the web address on the back, and… that’s it.  Every day you reach 100 eyeballs, and if even five of them check, and if even one of those can be brought over to the White Side of the Force, that’s a massive win.  And even if nobody clicks, there’s always a decent chance of spotting a fellow thoughtcriminal in a crowd… throw in a countersign of some kind, and boom!  Instant battle buddy.

Combine the two, and you’ve got a revenue stream for the bigger blogs.  Of course, that opens up the possibility of the standard Leftist deplatforming tactics, so alas, a direct “Z Blog Store” is probably out.  BUT: Since all those t-shirt printing places are out there, both online and in real life, why not simply ask readers to make their own?  Hell, you don’t even have to get it printed.  Go buy a five-pack of plain white tees from Wal-Mart, get a sharpie, make a big “Z” on the front, and write “thezman.com” on the back.  So long as that’s not the only stuff you buy on that shopping trip, there’s no way the algorithms could get you.

Which, alas, means that the Z Blog can’t monetize directly by selling merch, but that’s the beauty of advertising.  The Z Man already asks for donations.  Anyone sufficiently motivated to buy, or make, their own Z Blog t-shirt will surely be motivated enough to fork over some dough, and since you can send cash money to a PO Box, it’s Fed-and-JVTP-free. Best of all, since it’s just a t-shirt, there’s plenty of plausible deniability.  “Oh, what, this thing?  They were throwing these into the crowd at a minor league hockey game.  I have no idea what it means; I just wear it to work out in.”  Build the brand, and they will come.

Thoughts?

 

 

*A nice bit of counter-branding would be to rig up a cute little .gif of a nerdy little boy dressed up like an FBI agent, with the caption “Junior Volunteer Thought Police.”  Any time any Liberal starts going off in your social media account, just paste it as your reply and watch ’em squirm.  Like the NPC thing, but more aggressive.
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Free Association is the Only Right that Matters

The Enlightenment’s great mistake — from which the whole catalog of Revolutionary horrors flowed — was portraying Man as a free agent.  A person without ties of family, country, or creed, the Enlightened said, was the only truly free man, which is the same thing as the only real man.  Only he who has cast off the shackles of “tradition” can ever be “self-actualized,” as the modern witch-doctors of psychotherapy would say.

Like all the Enlightened’s pronouncements, this was old wine in new wineskins.  Jesus (just to stick with a metaphor) said the same thing.  So did the Buddha.  The only difference is, those guys knew that when you strip away all that “tradition” stuff — that is, the illusion of this so-called “real world” — you’re left with… nothing.

Both of them gave specific, detailed instructions about leaving behind everyone and everything that stood between one’s Self and the Truth.  And both were quite clear that, in the process of removing everything between one’s Self and the Truth, one will come to realize that the “self” itself is just one more barrier to the Truth.  Call it the “Unmoved Mover,” or “Nirvana,” or what have you, you — this temporary nexus of causes and conditions, as Buddhists would say — are literally nothing.  Only the Truth truly IS.

That insight — that “you” are nothing but your self, and your “self” is nothing — is the key to Leftist psychology.  It’s a hard thing for anyone to grasp — and even we believers see only through a glass darkly — but for the Left it’s an unbearable, crushing contradiction, because of course there’s no Magic Sky Fairy holding the world in existence through a continuous act of divine will.  Which means that whatever you are today, you can’t be tomorrow, because time moves on and nothing in this world — which is the only world — ever stands still.  Thus everything a Leftist does — every word, every action, every silence, every inaction — is frantic displacement activity against the inexorable decay of her “self.”*

Which is why such people — by no means all of them on the political Left — are cancers who destroy every group to which they’re admitted.  I don’t know if they can be fixed — personally, I very much doubt it — but unless and until they are, they must be avoided at all costs.

Fortunately, there’s a way to do it.

Most “conservatives” (using the term strictly for convenience) were blown away by the Enlightenment, for the same reason we Normals are blown away by transgenderism etc. — it’s just so cockeyed, so cattywampus to the real world, that we’re utterly stumped for arguments.  Actually arguing for the proposition “boys have a penis; girls have a vagina” seems, to us, like trying to “argue” for the “proposition” that humans need air to breathe.  By the time you’ve looked up “axiom” in the dictionary and pulled the Biology 101 textbook off the shelf, they’ve already granted several PhDs in “gender studies.”  To modify Orwell just a bit, in insane times it takes a special kind of man just to state the obvious.

A man like Joseph de Maistre.  The original “reactionary,” de Maistre argued that there’s no such thing as a “rational” polity, because any attempt to frame one will always devolve into arguments about ends, means, and above all, legitimacy.  This is because people are people and not cells on a spreadsheet.  In other words, there are lots of individual men, and many different types of men, but no such thing as Man.

The Founding Fathers understood this.  That’s why, even as they let Thomas Jefferson gas on about “all Men are created equal,” they designed a system specifically to safeguard man’s inequality.  No, I don’t mean the 3/5 Compromise or any of that hooey.  I mean federalism itself.  Whether or not slavery was an integral part of being a “Virginian” in 1789 (it wasn’t), it was clear to everyone that Virginians and Massachussans were different — irreconciliably different — and that any political system which required them to be on the same page for any but the biggest of national questions would rapidly devolve into anarchy.

Words mean what they mean.  “Unequal” doesn’t mean “inferior;” it means “not the same.”  A man like Light Horse Harry Lee would cheerfully agree that Virginians and Massachussans are “unequal,” but suggesting that Massachussans are therefore superior to Virginians would be met with an invitation to debate the issue with pistols at dawn.  Everyone at the Constitutional Convention understood this, because they’d just fought a big nasty war together, and everyone there had seen the color of everyone else’s blood.

Just as every sin in the Bible, then, can be reduced to Envy, so can every right in the Constitution be reduced to the right of free association.  If I’m not free to associate with whomever I wish — and equally free to exclude whomever I wish from my society — then whatever other “freedoms” I have are meaningless, because there’s no such thing as Man, only men.  If I can be compelled to violate my conscience because some lesbians can’t bake their own damn cake, them what does it matter that I’m “free” to complain about it afterwards?

The linked article suggests a pushback tactic.  If you didn’t read it, it says that the Supreme Court dodged another gay wedding cake case — they sent it back down to the lower court, to “reconsider” in the light of the recent Colorado decision.  But that decision, you’ll recall, was deliberately written in such a way as to establish no precedent.  It didn’t say that bakers can’t be compelled to violate their consciences; it only held that, in this particular case, the Colorado authorities showed “animus” in going after the bakers.  Presumably, then, a sufficiently “neutral” group of bureaucrats could compel folks to violate their consciences….

I wonder what they’d say about that, though, if someone decided to force a different group to violate its conscience.  I’m sure there are out-and-proud gay bakeries out there.  What if, say, a group decided that this bakery, and this bakery alone, must bake a cake for their “Straight Pride” parade?  After all, nobody, from the Supreme Court on down, has ever made the point that there are a zillion other bakeries out there — everyone involved takes it as read that this bakery, and this one alone, is the only one that can do it.  What about halal meat shops?  Kosher delis?  Do they get a pass too?  Even if Trump appoints Ray Guy to the federal bench, our black-robed overlords can only punt so many times.  Either we have free association, or we don’t….

… which means we either have our freedom, or we don’t.  It’ll be enlightening to find out.

 

 

*This is a more highfalutin’ way of saying what I was trying to say in all those NPC guides (I, II, III, IV) back when.

 

 

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Get Woke, Go Broke – College Edition

As a former toiler in the groves of academe, I suppose I should have a comment on the whole Oberlin thing.  So here goes:

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Or, as the kids these days say on the Internetz,

lol get fucked.

Still, since it’s good for a chuckle, join me for a trip down memory lane.  This was quite a few years ago, but one of the departments in one of the places I worked (part of the composite I call “Flyover State”) was briefly threatened with legal trouble.  A recent interviewee for an open faculty position asserted that he’d been blackballed because of his politics.  As I had no dog in the fight, my only thought when I first heard about it was that it’s a stupid threat — how could you possibly prove such a thing?

My second thought, which got jammed into my head via email about five minutes after the first, was: You fucking idiots.  For, you see, all the very very intelligent people in the department decided that this would be a great time to virtue-signal — and really, when isn’t a great time? — so they got on the campus listservs to insist that we “have a conversation” about “perceptions of bias,” in which, in the course of patting themselves on the back about how completely open-minded and unbiased and tolerant they all are, they unanimously agreed that of course they’d blackballed the guy because of his politics, and damn right, too — nobody to the right of Mao Zedong is welcome here.

They really ARE that dumb, y’all.  Of all the dozens and dozens of hours of “training” they make you take at a modern U — sexual harassment training, “unconscious bias” training, etc. — not once did they bring in someone from HR to explain the cardinal rule of corporate communication: Never put anything on the company email that you’re not willing to see published on the front page of the New York Times.  The rejected candidate didn’t end up pursuing her lawsuit, but I’m confident that this is only because no lawyer would take the case — being slightly smarter than professors, lawyers assume that nobody would ever be so stupid as to take written notes on a criminal conspiracy using the company email.

One wonders how many other schools, how many other times, dodged similar bullets?

Again, please note that this was many years ago.  Several “generations” of professors and administrators have come and gone since then, so naturally the dumb have gotten oh so much dumber… to the point where you’ve got the fucking Dean of Students handing out, on campus, this flyer:

Sorry for all the italics, y’all, but I can’t think of a better way to emphasize the truly flabbergasting idiocy on display here.  There’s just no way to spin this as a private individual acting as a consumer, or an academic pursuing scholarly inquiry.  This looks like the official corporate position of Oberlin College because — given the circumstances — that’s effectively what it is.

And now Oberlin is $33 million poorer.

The fallout will be interesting, to say the least.  As we’ve all noted many times, “Get Woke, Go Broke” is such a common phenomenon, we’ve got a catchy rhyming slogan for it.  As we’ve all noted equally many times, the #Woke ostentatiously don’t give a shit.  Universities are the #Wokest places in America… and they’ve all got serious cash-flow issues.  What, you think the $100K salaries of the Diversity ladies and the five cafeterias for the football team come out of the company checking account?  They use so much smoke-and-mirrors accounting, the Enron guys are getting a prison stiffie just thinking about it.  Oberlin is now claiming that a $33 million hit will effectively close the college doors… and they’re probably right.

Will the university system as a whole wise up?  I wouldn’t bet on it — like the man said, SJWs always double down.  Fascinating times ahead.  Fascinating, stupid times.

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Judo with Karl, Part II

Marx said that culture is the “superstructure” which rests on the “base” of economics.

Given that

  • society always organizes itself around the relations of the means of production;

therefore

  • change in the relations of the means of production drives social change.

Which left the Left in a real pickle when it came to the reality of daily life behind the Iron Curtain.  One can hardly imagine a more comprehensive change in the relations of the means of production than that effected by the Bolsheviks… but “soviet power plus electrification,” as Lenin described the ideal communist society, seemed to entail a whole lot of people getting reformed to death in labor camps.

Fellow travelers took their best shot at squaring that murderous circle.  Whether or not “Daniel Norman” is a Scottish name, that article is Caledonia on crack.  True communism has never been tried, comrade!  Still, it’s worth looking at, as he quotes Marx himself describing “true communism:”

Communism as the positive abolition of private property as human self-alienation, means the real appropriation of human entity by and for man; thus the complete, conscious return – accomplished inside all the riches of the past development – of man for himself qua social, that is, as a human being. This Communism is, as perfect Naturalism, identical with Humanism, and as perfect Humanism identical with Naturalism; it is the real solution of the antagonism between man and nature, between man and man; the genuine solution of the conflict between existence and essence, between objectivisation and self-affirmation, between freedom and necessity, between the individual and the species. It is history’s solved riddle and is conscious of being the solution. (Ibid).*

Everybody got that?  “The real appropriation of human entity by and for man.”  Though Onkel Karl could obfuscate with the best of ’em — he was, after all, a German philosophy PhD — he doesn’t get enough credit for his prose.  Marx, like Lenin, could be a brutally effective polemicist when he wanted.  If that definition of “true communism” reads like puffy, verbose bullshit, proclaiming everything and nothing simultaneously, then that’s the way he wanted it to read…

…which is further supported by this gem, describing daily life in the Socialist Utopia:

[each man has] the possibility to do this today and that tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, to go fishing in the afternoon, to do cattle breeding in the evening, to criticize after dinner.

He doesn’t say who will clean the toilets or dig the ditches, but let’s be charitable and assume that our huntin’ fishin’ stock breedin’ opera critic will fit them in somewhere between naptime and the afternoon chess match.  The source of this remarkable job description, The German Ideology, would be called “juvenilia” if The Master had ever been anything less than an omniscient oracle; it’s no surprise he never got specific about life after The Revolution again.

Fun as it is, I’m not just making fun of Karl Marx and his goofy egghead fantasies.  There’s a point to this: Marx may have been right after all, if — as with everything Leftists say — you flip it 180 degrees.  What if culture is the base, and economics the superstructure?

Section break!

Since otherwise the guys in Our Thing will be fighting about this until the sun’s a cinder, let’s stipulate that

  1. biology (“race”) and culture have a dialectical relationship; and
  2. biology is prior.

Thus the oft-repeated dictum that Africa, for instance, is the way it is because it’s full of Africans.  Insofar as it’s possible to measure such things (and I’d love to see the methodology they used), the average Equatorial Guinean IQ is 56.  The “best” culture in the history of the human race isn’t going to produce too many rocket scientists from that raw material.

HOWEVER: That’s not to say that Equatorial Guinea can’t have a functioning society with a thriving economy.  Malabo isn’t going to replace San Jose in the Silicon Valley of the new millennium, but it doesn’t have to be your standard schizophrenic sub-Saharan shithole, either.  There’s a reason modern African history isn’t a requirement of any school curriculum, K-thru-PhD, and it’s this: Monstrosities like Belgian Congo aside, life was indisputably better for the majority of Africans — safer, healthier, more prosperous, far more stable, and, crucially, even more “socially just” — under colonial rule.

The Germans, for instance, were no one’s idea of enlightened colonizers, but when they ran the place Tanzania was a net food exporter.  The Tanzanians did even better under the British, but it only took a few years of Julius Nyerere‘s pan-African Marxist dumbfuckery to crater the economy and render the country one of the poorest and most malnourished in the world.

Same people, diametrically opposite cultures.

Speaking of the Germans, we actually have a historical example of an economy entirely subordinated to a culture.  I’m going to tread carefully here, since we seem to have picked up a few casual readers of late (we might even be up to 14 or 15 regular readers now!).  So if you haven’t been here a while, this is for you: Since the merest mention of the group in question brings out the lunatics, around here we refer to their animating philosophy as Cat Fancy.  This is not intended to be cute.  Most importantly, it is the furthest fucking thing in the entire goddamn universe from an endorsement.  When it comes to this particular group, I’m with Indiana Jones:

I can’t make it any clearer.

But they are important, and they do seem to have some things to teach us about our current situation, as they wrestled — evilly, I can’t stress that enough — with the same underlying issues.  “Cat Fancy,” then, is a way to talk about the ideas without reference to the — again, utterly reprehensible — details.

Everybody got that?  All right then:

As everyone in Our Thing knows, and as everyone on the Left who knows frantically instructs us to forget, the “S” in the Cat Fanciers’ official acronym stands for “Socialist.”  That’s because they were Socialists.  Cat Fancy agreed 100% with Marx’s analysis of class conflict.  They were all-in on the idea that the relations of the means of production Marx called “capitalism” caused that “self-alienation” stuff from the first quote.  Marx said that capitalism turns everyone into an interchangeable, deracinated producer-unit to be fed directly into the maw of industry.  The Cat Fanciers completely agreed.

But whereas Marx saw the end of explicitly national identities as a good and necessary step on the path to utopia — “workers of the world, unite!” — the Cat Fanciers viewed it with horror.  The “N” part of the Cat Fancy acronym, after all, stands for “National.”  They wanted to be German workers, and they structured their entire economic program around the uplift of the German worker.

We have ample historical evidence of how that worked out.  Setting aside for the moment the question of whether something like Cat Fancy could exist without war,** the history of the nation in question, 1933 to 1938, gives us a pretty good look at what the judo-flipped, cultural-base-economic-superstructure version of Marxism looks like.  Bringing the war back into it gives you a glimpse at what it was intended to become, given the massive resources of the East.  The Nerd wasn’t as pithy as Lenin, but “feudalism plus autobahns” is a pretty good summary of Cat Fancy’s wildest fantasies.  The East was supposed to be a network of medieval market towns, linked by huge freeways and populated by wehrbauern, who really were supposed to be something like Teutonic knights with tanks and air support.

Again, and crucially: All of this was intended to support the culture.  It was taken as given that this, and ONLY this, could save the culture in question from utter destruction.  Where Marxism is just envy dressed up like an economic system, Cat Fancy is paranoia masquerading as an economic system.

In The Current Year, everyone agrees that Western Civ is in mortal danger.  See above: The Left doesn’t even bother anymore to disguise its glee at the prospect of destroying whatever remains of European culture.

We also all agree that the Left’s main weapon is economic.  These days, Lenin’s Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism reads like a GloboHomo how-to manual.  So triumphant is global finance capital that minor things like “making a profit” are blithely tossed aside in the pursuit of social justice — “get woke, go broke” is so common a phenomenon that we’ve made a pithy rhyming slogan about it, but note that none of the #Woke give a shit.  Our Thing loves to bang on about comic books and Star Wars (which doesn’t at all make us look like a bunch of whiny manchildren), so let’s go with that.  Thanks to Hollywood accounting and the fact that there are about three media companies left in the world, Disney et al can keep releasing “flops” that only make a billion dollars per.  They’ve bet that they can all but release three hours’ footage of Mickey Mouse taking a dump on the Constitution while getting a hummer from a gay transgendered dragonkin Of Color, and so long as it has light saber sounds the public will watch it.

Guess what?  They’re right.  Hell, Disney and Netflix are gearing up to boycott the entire state of Georgia.  Think about that — instead of consumers boycotting companies because of their predatory business practices, companies are boycotting their own customers for wrongthink.  And guess further what?  It’s working.  So long as the dollars keep flowing — and the Chinese, now among the biggest movie consumers worldwide, surely don’t care about overt propaganda in their space operas — the cultural assault will continue apace.

So: What is to be done?  Can economic arguments be used as a springboard for cultural ones? With what success?  How?  History has a lot of lessons out there, if we choose to look.

 

 

 

*the “ibid,” if you’re interested, is MEGA 1/3
**The Cat Fanciers themselves were uniquivocal: No, it can’t.  War was as essential a part of their thing as…you know… that other thing.  But once again, nobody’s suggesting that Cat Fancy is the way to go.

 

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Journalism

I recently stopped by Ace of Spades, to see if the same guy who spent all of 2015-16 sucking off Ted Cruz while turning his blog into the #1 Trump-hate vanity site on the Internet has gotten tired of whining about “cucks” and “the Establishment” yet.  Evidently not, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still some lulz, as the kids these days say.

That link, if you don’t feel like clicking, is about a “non-profit” called “The Save Journalism Project.”  Ace rightly notes that it’s a bill-paying scam for laid off “journalists” like the ones at HuffPost and Buzzfeed.  Which is schadenfreudily delicious, I’ll admit, but a few dozen generations from now, if our descendants ever feel like giving representative government another shot, “journalism” will be a case study in how not to do it.

Y’all remember that great old show Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe?  I can’t say I watched it much, but I loved the concept.  It illustrated the concept of “supply and demand” in about the only way the Millennial generation could grasp.  What, you mean municipal sewer workers are paid $75 an hour?!?  Oh, the social injustice!!!…. until you see that they earn every (literally) stinking penny, and then some.

Meanwhile, the demand for yet another snotty barista with a Gender Studies degree hovers near zero.

Journalism is the ur-case of backassward incentives.  There are two ways to report “the news.”  One is glorified stenography.  Actually, it’s worse than stenography, as you’ve got to boil down some elected airhead’s rambling 15 minute nothingburger of a statement into a few sentences that can be read even by the near-illiterate.  No one in his right mind would ever want to do that, absent some serious green.

Newspapers, by contrast, all depend on unpaid interns.

The second method of news reportage is “investigative journalism,” which — amazingly — I won’t sneeze at.  Archival work is hard, y’all, damn hard, and again, no sane person would do it without serious compensation.

What you get, in other words, is the same incentive structure as academia.  Tenured professors lead pretty cushy lives, as I’ve pointed out on numerous occasions, but those on the tenure track live like crap, and grad students, adjuncts, etc. are the pen-pushing equivalent of galley slaves.  You’d only get someone to do it if a) he really thought that brass ring at the end was worth it, or b) he had absolutely no other options.

Since folks in bucket b) are obnoxious to literally everyone, academia and journalism went all-in on a).  In other words, they made the whole thing about saving the world, taking action, influencing opinion, etc.

Thus, grossly biased idiots are a feature, not a bug, of the system.

This seems obvious, I know, but once again, sometimes in trying times it’s one’s duty to point out the obvious.  Plus, I got nothin’ these days.

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