Monthly Archives: December 2019

Virtue’s Appeal?

In ancient times, “philosophy” meant something like “the art of living well.”  Philosophers might speculate on the nature of the universe etc., but only in the service of living well in this life here on earth.

A “philosopher,” therefore, wasn’t a guy who came up with original thoughts on everything.  Rather, he was a guy who really lived his thoughts.  Marcus Aurelius, for example.  The Meditations aren’t supposed to be a new Big Explanation of Everything; they’re his own personal aides-memoires for living well.  There’s nothing original in the Meditations,* but they’re philosophy for all that, and Marcus was a true philosopher.

It’s too bad, then, that in the West “philosophy” came to mean something close to “mental masturbation” — the kind of goofy, speculation-for-speculation’s-sake noodling that got Hobbes so agitated at the “schoolmen.”  You know, angels dancing on pinheads and all that.  The endpoint of which is nihilism — if we can’t know anything, then nothing’s all there is, as Nietzsche (so often ironically labelled a nihilist) felt all too keenly….

If that’s too esoteric for a New Year’s Eve, consider “meditation” and “yoga.”  Both of them come out of fearsomely complex traditions (Buddhist cosmology, for instance, is awesomely weird), but not one person in ten thousand who meditates or does yoga regularly has any idea of that.  Doing it just makes them feel better, so they just stick with what works in the here-and-now — the fate of Western philosophy in reverse.

It’s too bad, too, because all those Dead White Guys in Togas really wrestled with questions like “what is happiness?”  Their answer — “living virtuously” — is far more relevant to Postmodern life than you might think.

If we’re taught anything about the Toga Homies these days –a vanishingly rare possibility, I admit, but if — it’s that they seemed to regard virtue as an end in itself.  I’m oversimplifying, of course, but not too bad, since even guys like the Stoics — who wanted to live “according to nature” — seemed to regard “nature,” “reason,” and “virtue” as virtually synonymous.  The man who truly lived “according to nature” would live according to reason, since Man is the Rational Animal, and reason dictates that we live virtuously…

…all of which makes “virtue” seem like this gassy stuff Out There somewhere — timeless, ineffable, yet somehow accessible to all rational minds.  That “allegory of the cave” stuff they glossed over between all the gay sex in Western Civ I, for instance, came from the Republic, a work devoted to the question “What is Justice?”  “Virtue,” of which “Justice” seems to be a subset, must be one of those Forms…

… or maybe not.  I think it’s quite a bit more practical than that.  Justice, big-J, is preferable to Injustice, big-I, on all kinds of grounds, but by far the most important is this: Societies which recognize and value it are more stable, and thus safer and more prosperous, than those which don’t.  Plato wasn’t joking when he suggested rule by philosopher-kings. After all, he saw what happened to the Athenians in the Sicilian Expedition, and was himself, as David Stove put it, the ideas-man behind a coup against the tyrant of Syracuse.  Virtuous societies (unlike the Athenians), and virtuous philosophers (unlike Plato), don’t get their dicks caught in the wringer nearly as often.  In an age where the wrong political decision lead to your city’s earth being salted and your women and children sold into slavery, then, “virtue” was no abstract pursuit.

Same deal with religion.  You don’t have to look too hard to find concrete, real-world applications of all Ten of the Commandments.  Maybe “keep the Sabbath holy” and “no graven images” aren’t as immediately applicable as “don’t murder” and “don’t covet,” but the “shall nots” pretty much cover the spectrum of socially-useful behavior, and every religion has its version of them.  And though Nietzsche was withering in his scorn for modern Christianity — that is to say, the namby-pamby “evangelical” creed of the mid-19th century — he fully acknowledged that Western Civ, for good or ill, would’ve been impossible without it.  Let the schoolmen say what they will about angels on pinheads, the fact remains that Christian behavior is the most stable, and therefore most secure and prosperous, social base ever devised.

Why does that matter?  Well, as those of us in Our Thing who aren’t just Keyboard Commandos have been arguing for quite some time, it’s not sufficient to be anti-Left if you want to be Right.  The degraded, PoMo, Cult-Marx version of “democracy” we’ve been trying out since about 1789 has obviously, comprehensively failed… but what’s the alternative?  We sometimes mutter about going back to the Fifties — even sometimes going back to the Twelve-Fifties — but why would that be better?  What did they have, that we don’t have, that would keep the whole shitty cycle from starting over again as soon as we arrived (assuming, per impossibile, that we could actually get there)?

The answer — always so vague as to be nearly invisible — seems to be something very much like “because they lived according to virtue.”  But that’s the thing: If I’m right, “virtue” means “socially useful behavior,” which means “that which keeps your society from being demolished, your city’s earth salted, and your women and children sold into slavery.”  Virtue, in other words, is a pretty tough sell in the world of iCrap and 5G internet, where “poor” people keel over from heart disease in front of 50″ plasma tvs.  Is there any other reason to live virtuously?  Is there any other argument against, say, the celebration of sexual deviance, other than “it’s socially corrosive?”  We’d better find out, because look around — if this is social corrosion, most people will take it every single day of the week, and twice on Sundays.  Is that stupid and shortsighted?  Sure, but philosophy has always been a minority pursuit — if the fact that humans (including philosophers) are incorrigibly stupid and shortsighted comes as news to you, then welcome to Earth, spaceman.

I certainly don’t know the answer, but since we brought up Nietzsche earlier let’s end with him, too.  The Manly Mustache Man, nearly alone among modern philosophers, actually attempted to answer the question “What is happiness?”  He said that

Happiness is the feeling that power increases – that resistance is being overcome.

In context, this means “self-discipline,” because the greatest and most constant source of “resistance” is one’s own social conditioning, one’s own “nature.”  That’s a pretty tough sell, too, in our iCrap-and-5G world… but maybe not.  Go down to the local college, and watch the young men.  Don’t they seem to crave a challenge above all things?  And if there are no challenges — because, under penalty of law, nobody’s different from anybody and everyone’s the best at everything — well, what then?  You can stop people from competing against everything and everyone else, but nothing can stop a man from trying to overcome himself.

Tap into that, and we’ll be a lot farther along than we are.

 

*that anyone but a field specialist would recognize as such.
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The Revolutionary’s Evolutionary Dilemma

The Z Man with two good pieces, on Our Thing’s grifter problem and the need for physical meetups with fellow dissidents.  They’re interrelated, of course.  A few thoughts:

Though the extent of domestic terrorism in the 1960s and 70s is, of course, whitewashed by the Media, the fact remains that America doesn’t really have an “underground” tradition.  That’s because our radicals don’t mess around with the underground — they simply co-opt existing political parties.  You’ll never see Andrew Jackson called “the American Pugachev,” for example, but that’s pretty much what he was, and what he would’ve been anywhere else.  Carl Schurz fled Germany one step ahead of the police, only to become the ideologist of the so-called “Liberal Republicans,” as radical a crew as you’d find in the mid-19th century (after a stint as a general in the Civil War).  Barack Obama, of course, was an honest-to-God communist back in his days, who hung out with the actual revolutionary terrorists you’ll never read about in History class.

That being the case, we Americans are painfully deficient in underground fieldcraft.  Compare and contrast: That “Unite the Right” mess in Charlottesville, which got a bunch of people discredited (and imprisoned!) and basically killed any hope of a viable “dissident” party; vs. the success of the Bolsheviks, who had Okhrana agents high in their ranks (including, it’s increasingly clear, Comrade Stalin).  Now, obviously no one is seriously advocating revolution here — all of this is just a series of observations about History.  Indeed, we all assume that anyone actually advocating real-world action is a Fed (that’s the one piece of fieldcraft we’ve got).  But there’s a lot of room between “mainstream politics” and “hello, fellow dissidents!”, and that wide open space is perfect for grifters, scammers, and frauds.

I’m not going to speculate here on which one is which.  For one thing, I’m about as offline as it’s possible for someone interested in dissident “politics” to be.  The comments on Z Man’s piece about carnies are utterly inside-baseball to me.  I neither know nor care, for example, what “TRS” is.  What does interest me, though, is the psychological progression of even the most mildly successful dissident.  From the comments:

What I’ve noticed about the leading dissidents in this culture war is that they all promote the cause first, and themselves second. The grifters have that the other way around.

A good observation, that, but I wonder how it  holds up historically.  Because as everyone who has studied these things even briefly knows, no one hates The People more than their self-proclaimed vanguard.  It’s the revolutionary’s dilemma, and that should probably be capitalized — The Revolutionary’s Dilemma — because just as every successful demagogue quickly becomes contemptuous of those swayed by his demagoguery, so every successful ideologist soon comes to hate the idiots who can’t understand The Theory, and so keep doing counterrevolutionary things.

This feeds the Revolutionary’s self-regard.  As Z Man points out, all con men instinctively feel themselves to be a combination of avenging angel and persecuted victim.  The rubes deserve to get hustled — since, after all, the Big Con rests on the victim’s own greed — and therefore those who try to stop con men from hustling are trying to stop cosmic justice from being done.  So it is with successful revolutionaries.  The People being dumb, greedy, shortsighted opportunists — in short, Reactionaries — they deserve whatever punishment the Revolutionary decrees for them, since they’re too stupid to get with the program.

One suspects that happened with some of the more obvious grifters.  Why not sell the rubes brain juice and comic books, when they — the rubes — seem so eager to buy anything that doesn’t have the Mainstream Media seal of approval?

The only way to keep would-be grifters in line is in person.  Guys like Lenin and Hitler learned about Revolution in the hardest school.  When you’re surrounded by guys like Trotsky and Himmler — some of the coldest, most ruthless sumbitches ever to draw breath — you learn real fast or end up dead.  Revolution is a contact sport.  No harm, no foul….

…and that applies equally in reverse: No foul, no harm.  Everyone who comments on dissident blogs is certain that if he’s ever outed, it’s the end of the world — his employer will fire him, his bank will cancel his accounts, his ISP will kick him off the Internet.  And yet, so many of the massively online people in Our Thing have no problem getting PayPal to handle their transactions, or Blogger to host their blogs.  The penalties for thoughtcrime are harsh indeed, and yet, some of the biggest thought criminals are unpunished….

Either way, we’ll never know, because we never see each other.  That’s the way it has always worked in America.  Talkers don’t do, and doers don’t talk.  Clown show oppressors like the Okhrana never got that, which is why even their successful infiltrations were, in the end, counterproductive — the only way to turn talkers into doers is to make talking itself a political crime.  In America, we let the talkers talk all they want, all the while co-opting the few doers who make themselves known.  Given the Revolutionary’s Dilemma, it’s not hard — since their own success makes them prone to despising the suckers anyway, just give them a little nudge.  No one’s around to call them on it — that’s what comment moderation’s for.

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Fun with Hyperbole

As liberals constantly inform us, Rachel Maddow is the epitome of the educated, intelligent Lefty.  She was a Rhodes Scholar, has a PhD, the whole schmear.  Which is why it’s so funny that xzhey can’t seem to stop stepping on xzheir own dick:

Back in September, we reported that TV network OAN had filed a lawsuit against Rachel Maddow for the time the host said that OAN “really, literally is paid Russian propaganda.”

Now, Maddow finds herself having to come up with a defense for her statement in court. And she has also apparently hired Lionel Hutz as her legal adviser.

According to Culttture, her lawyers argued in a recent motion that “…the liberal host was clearly offering up her ‘own unique expression’ of her views to capture what she saw as the ‘ridiculous’ nature of the undisputed facts. Her comment, therefore, is a quintessential statement ‘of rhetorical hyperbole, incapable of being proved true or false.”

As opposed to all the other kinds on non-rhetorical hyperbole, one assumes, but whatever, the point isn’t the silliness of the legal “defense.”  The point is this: If the case ever makes it to trial — which I’m pretty sure there’s no way in hell, but if — it’d be a real dilemma for the Prerogative State.

The Prerogative State, you’ll recall, is the two-tiered justice system in a one-party state.  Hitler’s Germany, for example.  You’d get real, impartial justice in the Third Reich, provided the case didn’t impinge on the Party’s “prerogative.”  If it did, you might actually win the issue at law, only to find yourself getting some rubber hose time from the leather trenchcoat boys the minute you left the courthouse.  Or — the more relevant parallel, at least for now — you might lose despite the law, as the judge would interpret the statutes in the light of National Socialism.

Should this libel suit go to trial — and again, no way in hell even MSNBC is dumb enough to let it go that far — the judge will find himself in a real bind.  Because, of course, Leftist political discourse can’t function without scurrilous “hyperbole” — see e.g. the ongoing “impeachment” of Donald Trump, in which, Obamacare-style, we’re gonna have to convict him to find out what he’s guilty of.  If the words “really, literally paid Russian propaganda” mean what they clearly do mean, then it’s adios MSNBC… and CNN, the Washington Post, the New York Times, et al.  The WaPo is double-fucked, actually, since Nick Sandmann still has his libel  lawsuit going….

See what I mean?  “Tossing around wild allegations as if they were empirical facts” has been the Media’s m.o. since the wee hours of November 9, 2016.  Pretty much everyone in America assumes that everything they see on the news is a lie.  But since Maddow was far enough up her own ass to actually say something so obviously actionable that the libeled party had no choice but to sue, there’s an outside chance some judge is going to have to rule on it, and either way the Left is screwed.  Either they lose their one “reporting” tactic, or one of the Cult’s high priests gets publicly pantsed.

Should be fun.

 

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Democracy Doesn’t Scale

Over the years, I’ve developed a pretty good litmus test for whether or not someone’s a serious person.  Pop quiz: You go to the doctor, he diagnoses you, and prescribes antibiotic X.  Now, did he prescribe antibiotic X because

  1. out of all possible alternatives, it’s the best medicine for your specific condition, body, and circumstances? or
  2. the drug rep for antibiotic X dropped by earlier in the week and whispered sweet nothings in his ear?

If you instinctively answered (1), sorry, but you’re naive.  It’s possible, of course, but it surely ain’t probable.  Not because the doctor’s a hack, mind you, but because of the nature of the transaction: If you feel so bad that he’s prescribing for you in the first place, pretty much any antibiotic is going to make you feel a whole lot better.  And given that they’re all very similar, chemically and functionally….

If you’ve still got an idealized view of the medical profession (thanks, Hollywood!), consider financial advisers.  Same question: Your investment guy takes your check and puts it into mutual fund Z.  Is it because

  1. Fund Z truly has superior performance, based on a long, hard look at your particular life situation?, or
  2. Fund Z’s wholesaler took your investment guy out for golf last weekend?

Here again, your financial guy is on the up-and-up.  It’s just that, like antibiotics, all the major mutual funds are pretty much the same — they’re a bit different around the margins, but for all intents and purposes you could invest the same money in any of them and get basically the same return.  If fund Z is a point or two ahead this year, then you can be sure that fund Y will beat it next year.  Same as it ever was.

Financial guys and doctors know it, too, which is why they’re generally pretty cynical about their professions.  While the public thinks docs and financial guys are experts without portfolio — which impression they enjoy, of course, they wouldn’t be human if they didn’t — docs and financial guys know that 90% of what they do can be, and probably soon will be, automated.  Their real successes, the ones they only share with other pros over drinks, are in that 10%, that the public doesn’t know about and wouldn’t understand anyway.  The real art of medicine (finance) is on the margins.

A counterexample is instructive.  I’ve met a lot of docs and financial guys; too a man they were cynics about their jobs.  I’ve also met a lot of academics and journalists — true believers all.  No one is more confident in xzhyr judgment about vast questions of war and peace than some crop-haired, tatted-out nose-ringer who went straight from boarding school onto the tenure track, or into the newsroom.  These people should be confronted with evidence of their own ignorance pretty much daily.  When I was teaching, for instance, hardly a week went by without an undergrad stumping me with a question… and this in classes that were right in my wheelhouse!

Docs and financial guys with any experience at all might go months without seeing something that stumps them, in other words, yet they’re the first to admit their own ignorance (among other members of the guild, at least).  Professors and journalists would rather be drawn and quartered than admit they don’t know something, though every day must have its surprises for them.

The crucial flaw, I think, is the inability to recognize scale.  The financial world, for instance, is so complex that specialization is necessary — your investment guy, I guarantee you, consults a retirement specialist on any but the most basic questions about your IRA (though of course he might not tell you that).  Ditto medicine — your family doc can tell you to a high degree of accuracy that you’ve got cancer, but the minute he makes the diagnosis he turns you over to the specialist.  A big part of the art of “medicine” and “finance,” then, is knowing the limits of the discipline.  Everyone knows the basics, and because they know the basics, they know it’s impossible to master all of the subject.  A pass in o-chem, in other words, doesn’t qualify you to be an oncologist, any more than a pass on the Series 7 makes you the Wolf of Wall Street.

“Democracy,” such as it is, should work the same way.  In small, organic communities — the kind of place where your kids go to school with the mayor’s kids, and the police chief stops by to have a brew and some barbecue every now and again — elected representatives are truly representative.  I trust Mr. Smith to share my basic worldview and priorities…. not least because Mr. Smith lives three houses down, and we see each other in church every Sunday.  Under those conditions, democracy can and does work….

… but alas, only under those conditions.  Representative government, like medicine and finance, simply doesn’t scale.  Modern life is too complex; there’s just too much to know.  Worst, the kind of person who wants to be a “representative” is the kind of person who naturally gravitates to journalism or academia — a pompous, sanctimonious blowhard, in other words, who despite daily lessons in his own pig-butt ignorance still manages to convince himself that he’s an unlimited expert on life and times.  It simply doesn’t scale.

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The Least-Worst Government?

Winston Churchill famously proclaimed democracy to be the least-worst government.  Alas, quotability is not the same thing as wisdom.  Worst at what, Sir Winston?

Speaking of quotable-yet-loony folks, Aristotle defined Man as “the political animal,” and as such had an answer to our question: The State’s purpose, Aristotle said, is to promote virtue.

Let’s leave the contentious topic of “virtue” aside, and step back to the definition of “Man.”  Man isn’t a political animal.  Man is a purpose-finding animal, an explaining animal.  We simply can’t resist the siren song of teleology.  We all live under some kind of State; therefore, we assume that “The State” must have a purpose.  It’s in our DNA; we can’t do otherwise, but…. we might be wrong.  Perhaps “self-organization into some kind of government” is just one of Humanity’s givens, like “sexual dimorphism*” or “requires oxygen.”  Maybe “government” just IS.

A dangerous thought, that.  If it’s true, it desacralizes the State — the worship of which, I think we all agree, has driven all the major political events in the West since at least 1789.  Historian Herbert Butterfield called the 20th century’s great mass movements “giant organized forms of self-righteousness,” but he could’ve taken that a step further — “popular” government of any sort invariably becomes a giant organized form of self-righteousness.  People being people — that is, teleology-addled monkeys — it can’t be any other way.  The State, since it exists, must exist to do something.  What better something to do than to promote virtue?

So we’re back to Aristotle.  But it looks like Aristotle stole a base.  As a rule, people aren’t virtuous.  Why else would they need the State to promote virtue?  And yet, the State is made up of nothing but people.  Aristotle also said that a cause can’t give something to an effect that it, the cause, doesn’t already have.  So how, then, can the State — which, like Soylent Green, is made of people — itself make people virtuous?

See what I mean about this teleology stuff?  The mind rebels.  The State is a human thing. Humans made it, and every human act, we’re hardwired to believe, has a purpose behind it.  That hardwiring may lead us into incoherence in under three steps, but so far as I know, I’m the only guy in the history of Political Science ever to suggest that government just…kinda… IS.  That it evolved with us, and thus all our airy-fairy noodling about Divine Right and We the People and the Vanguard of the Proletariat and whatnot are just foolish blather about what’s basically still a monkey troop.

[Surely I can’t be the only one to ever have this thought.  Arthur Balfour wrote a long, interesting book about the evolutionary basis of religious belief, and there’s an entire Wiki article about “the evolutionary argument against naturalism,” which argument must encompass stuff like “natural rights,” but I’ve never heard it.  Ernst Mach said something to the effect of, “belief in evolution is itself an evolutionary adaptation,” so the thought must’ve occurred to him that human governments, too, are evolutionary developments… but again, even the hardest-core “Social Darwinist” governments (e.g. Mustache Guy’s) were full of mystical hooey — indeed, fuller than any of the so-called “Christian” governments that opposed him, or all of them together.  See what I mean with this stuff?].

All this would be just philosophy-wank, better suited to a dorm room bull session after a few bong rips, if not for the fact that “desacralizing the State” has to be the #1 project of any viable Dissident movement.  The State, as a human production, has only such “goals” as we give it… and, being made up of nothing but humans, is going to be as good at achieving those goals as we humans generally are at achieving any of our goals….

 

 

*My version of WordPress insists on putting a red misspelling squiggle under “dimorphism.”  As it is a basic concept in biology, you’d think WordPress’s spellchecker would have it in the dictionary…. but WordPress is, of course, like all tech companies #Woke and getting #Woker.**
**Or it might just be incompetence: WordPress puts a red misspelling squiggle under “WordPress,” too.
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Impeachment Thoughts

One of the historian’s unique frustrations is: You find some guy’s papers in the archives, and he looks perfect.  He’s a nobody — perfect for the man-on-the-street social history we all wish we could do — but he’s a sharp observer, very quotable, has nice handwriting (a real godsend). He’s a compulsive letter-writer, and you see that his papers cover the date of some big event — Ft. Sumter, Pearl Harbor, the Stock Market Crash, whatever.  So you eagerly flip to it, and… nothing.  The whole world’s going up in flames, and this guy’s talking about baseball or his horse throwing a shoe or something.

Well, future historian, since I know how much that sucks, I’ll spare you.  If you’re plowing through my papers (you’re welcome for all the Slave Leia pictures, by the way) and you get to the “Impeachment of Donald Trump” section, you’ll have something.  Maybe nothing interesting, or particularly coherent, but at least it’s something.  Professional courtesy.

If nothing else, this impeachment fiasco confirms that we’re ruled by fools.  No earth-shattering insight, that, I realize, but there it is.  Really it’s just math — since most people in all times and places have been fools, it stands to reason that nearly every human who has ever lived has had a large part of his fate decided by an idiot.  This is true even of those blessed to have seen good leadership in action, as even the best men are fools about lots of things.  Up to and including the things that make their reputations.  George Washington, for instance, was indisputably a great leader, but a terrible general — with Cornwallis trapped on the Yorktown peninsula in Virginia, he had to be talked out of moving the Continental Army north, to reconquer New York.  He was one of history’s great captains, but I bet I could take him in a game of Risk.

But as the Z Man points out today, “democracy” seems to generate a unique kind of idiocy.  This too is no unique insight — William F. Buckley meant the same thing when he said he’d rather be ruled by the first 2000 names in the Boston phone book than by the faculty of Harvard — but like all obvious things about human nature it’s lethally easy to forget.  A politician in a “democracy” is an unholy mix of circus performer and whore.  Somehow convinced that the audience’s applause comes from its appreciation of her own superior virtue, not rude biology, she slips further and further into narcissism, never bothering to wonder why, if the house is packed to the rafters every night, she’s still sleeping three to a room while the circus owner has a mansion and rides around in a limo.

Democracy’s founding fictions reinforce this.  It’s easy to see yourself as the People’s Tribune, I imagine, if you just look at the numbers.  All those people voted for you, which confirms how wonderful you are!

A better analogy is the professional sports team.  Lots of people wear the team apparel of the Los Angeles Chargers.  You can find lots of online forums passionately devoted to them. Lots of L.A.-area bars are festooned with Chargers’ stuff.  The bobbleheads at ESPN talk about the Chargers several times a day.  And yet, come game time, the Chargers only get about 32,000 fans at the stadium.  Those are the actual voters — the rest is just social media noise.  And it’s worse than that, actually.  We all know that the vast majority of people who picked up a Chargers’ shirt because it was in the clearance bin, or ordered a drink at a bar with Chargers’ memorabilia on the shelf, would never bother to attend a game.  So even people who think of themselves as “Democrats” or “Republicans” barely bother to vote, much less follow “their” team in office.  Even the groups that get pandered to the most — old people, veterans, union goofs — don’t turn out in proportionate numbers.

Come election day, the People’s Tribunes are decided by old cranks on loan from the home, a few office drones on their lunch break with nothing better to do, and homeless people lured in with a promise of a short dog and some change.

But since no one without a vast, yawning chasm in her soul would ever submit herself to the indignities of “democracy” in the first place, these newly-“elected” fools hie themselves to Washington, where the money boys feed their self-delusion.  They read about themselves in the newspapers, see their names on internal party polls, and since none of their “constituents” could pick them out of a police lineup, they learn that the only way to keep the applause coming is by doing what the newspapers and the money boys say.  Thus the spectacle of “impeachment.”

And not just “impeachment,” of course — as we dissidents have been pointing out for decades now, practically no government action since the late 1950s has had The People’s approval.  Had The People been consulted at any point between 1960 and now, America would still be a White Christian nation.  Lots more White boys would still be alive, having never been sent to some irrelevant, unpronounceable place to die.  Lots more Black folks would be alive, too, since abortion disproportionately affects Blacks and abortion was always a fringe lunacy — even a half-century of nonstop propaganda has barely pushed it into majority support.  Gays would still be in the closet, since even after a propaganda barrage that makes the abortion thing look like a mere suggestion public tolerance of homosexuality polls even lower.  The borders, of course, would be closed — they don’t allow those polls to be taken anymore, because “immigration restriction” polled at something like 75% just a few years ago and the lunacy of the political class in a “democracy” going hard against three-quarters of the entire population is too glaring even for this tv-and-iCrap-addled country to stomach.

The People keep giving the wrong answer, in other words, so The People will not be asked anything of importance.  Same as it ever was.

The problem with democracy, though, isn’t that people are fools.  People are fools, of course, but since that’s as universal as gravity, any human institution will be staffed entirely with fools.  But see George Washington, above — just as the general characteristic “great leader” doesn’t necessarily translate into any specific competence, so the general truth “people are fools” doesn’t mean everyone is a fool about everything.  Since we all know at least one other human being, we all know a blithering idiot who’s remarkably shrewd about one little slice of life.  Junkies, for example, are idiots — taking hard drugs is a remarkably stupid idea, as every addict I’ve ever met readily confessed.  And yet, when it comes to getting their drug of choice these morons are endlessly inventive.  Billy Bob up the holler has six teeth and a fourth grade education, but he can MacGyver up methamphetamine out of household products like a Chemistry PhD.

The problem with democracy is twofold.  The first — that it’s the best technique ever devised for organizing self-righteousness — deserves a book in itself.  The second, though, is covered by a single word: ultracrepidarianism.  It means “the habit of giving opinions and advice on matters outside of one’s knowledge.”  Peter Strzok, for example, was probably a perfectly competent FBI agent, when it came to doing the things the FBI actually hired him to do.  But he decided that he was also some kind of political science expert, as well as a human love machine, and here we are.  See also: our “elected” “representatives”  What else would you call sending someone like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose areas of expertise are “mixing drinks” and “having big tits,” to Congress, where she’s expected to make decisions of war and peace?  Ultracrepidarianism is a feature, not a bug, of democratic systems, which is why even the very best “representatives” fuck up everything they touch.

Combine required ultracrepidarianism with real shrewdness and you get Stephen A. Douglas.

Take those, add in religious fervor, and you get the suicide cult that is the Democratic Party.

And here we are.

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Drama-rama

Blaise Pascal supposedly said that most of humanity’s problems can be boiled down to our inability to sit in a room quietly.  A few random items of confirmation:

Our Betters in Love.  “Do I Have to Tell My New Girlfriend I’m Going to Keep Seeing Sex Workers?”  Look, buddy, I’m not going to criticize you for paying to get your ashes hauled.  The opposite, in fact.  Because I spent a lot of years on campus, and thus saw lots of young Leftists in the making, I’m practically Sigmund Freud when it comes to the hazards of improper sexual development.  Lots of Leftists-in-the-making could avoid a lifetime of triggerings if they’d just get laid the normal way — missionary position, with a member of the opposite sex — before they hit 28 or so.  If you just hire a pro and get it over with, you’ll find out that it’s really no big deal.  It’s certainly nothing to ruin your life over, which is what will happen if you take the opposite tack and major in Gender Studies…

But I’m sure that’s what this goober did, and now like all Leftists he’s got a morbid case of self-dramatization.  His every problem is an existential crisis, so he decides that he’s going to keep right on hiring prostitutes, but only because it’ll strengthen their relationship.  Funny how “taking the path of least resistance” always ends up being the politically correct thing to do, isn’t it?  I’m going to keep doing exactly what I want to do, consequences be damned… now praise me for it, because I’m really doing it For The People.

Speaking of self-dramatization, here’s the New York Times illustrating yet another “we must impeach Trump!” article with a picture of an assassination:

So, yeah: Sarah Palin’s electoral map with targets on it was directly responsible for that lunatic shooting Gabby Giffords, but this?  No encouragement to political violence here!

Which is why Pascal was right.  The kind of losers who write for, and read, the New York Times think they’re being cute with this kind of thing.  It’s all just fake Twitter drama-rama to them.  And yes, well, maybe some awful redneck out there in Flyover Country might end up getting hurt, but really, isn’t that what they deserve?

The idea that political violence is no respecter of zip codes — that, in fact, in revolutions the self-proclaimed elite is always the first up against the wall — simply never occurs to them, because they are deeply silly people who take nothing seriously but their own self-manufactured social media drama.  See also this:

Anyone with a rudimentary grasp of history knows that, should the bullets actually start flying, “comfort woman” is the highest station this ditz could possibly aspire to… but she, and everyone she associates with, lacks such a grasp.  She gets re-tweeted for stuff like this, and to people like her, that’s all that matters.

Whatever it is that infects people with this terminal need to self-dramatize — I think it’s called “prosperity” — you can go ahead and carve it on Western Civ’s tombstone: “Died of self-inflicted wounds.”  Dramarama killed us.  If our great-great-great-great grandchildren ever want to give stuff like “indoor plumbing” and “living past 40” another shot, the thing their schools must teach above all else is the ability to sit quietly in a room.

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No Harm, No Foul

The Basic College Girl is so dumb, lazy, and entitled, she makes Hillary Clinton look like a criminal mastermind.  I caught one recycling a term paper from another class because she’d forgotten to take the other professor’s name off the header.  Hell, I caught one copy-pasting straight off Wikipedia because she’d left the hyperlinks embedded in the text.

And these were not Hail Marys.  Just copy-pasting something, anything, Cuttlefish-style makes sense if you haven’t done a lick of work and it’s due in five minutes.  It’s a one-in-a-million shot, sure, but since it took you all of 45 seconds and you’re going to fail anyway, you might as well try to shoot the moon.  No, these were papers turned in with plenty of time to spare (I always had my term papers due at least a week before final exams).

Think about that for a second: Instead of coming to my office hours with a sob story, or trying to talk the registrar into an incomplete, or faking her own death, or doing literally anything else, more than a few BCGs turned in visible-from-space plagiarism and skipped on down to Starbucks for a triple foam half-caff venti soy chai pumpkin spice latte.  YOLO!

That’s not the worst part, though.  The worst part is the BCG’s reaction when you catch them.  When you point out that no, I’m not Professor Jones and this isn’t Spring 2014, the BCG’s universal, invariable reaction is… anger.  At YOU.

At the time I was simply too pissed to think about it rationally (I trust you’ll believe me when I say that in the semesters just before I retired, my biggest challenge was keeping a look of utter contempt off my face).  Looking back on it after some years, though, it makes sense.  BCGs are all grandiose narcissists with Borderline Personality Disorder.  Of course they’re just so wonderful that anything they deign to turn in should be given an A+, sight unseen.  What other purpose could I, the professor, possibly serve, other than to mark it down for record-keeping?  Now she’s forced to take the time to email me, or come down to my office hours, or what have you, just to set my dumb ass straight.  It’s a real inconvenience!

This is why this impeachment stuff has me soiling my knickers.  I recognize all the players.  Basic College Girls are found among both sexes and all 57 genders — Adam Schiff is such a BCG, he must have twelve pairs of Uggs and a small, meaningful tattoo on his wrist.  He lies all the time, about anything and everything, and it doesn’t bother him a whit when he gets caught, because hey, no harm, no foul.  If lying gets him what he wants — which is, of course, nothing less than what he deserves — then it isn’t really a lie, is it?

And if it doesn’t work, that’s ok, too.  It’s not like he’ll face any consequences; BCGs never do.    In fact, in some ways it’s better to get “caught” “lying,” since that means all ur h8rz get all worked up about you, again, which means you win.  There’s drama surrounding you on social media.  That, to the BCG, is the only thing that really matters in this world.

But the real world, as we all know, is that which doesn’t go away when you stop believing in it.  BCGs believe, with all their hearts and souls, in a strange, postmodern kind of solipsism in which only Twitter exists…

…but the world outside Twitter does exist, no matter how many Instagram followers you have.  The question is: How long will the BCGs who rule us be permitted to live solely on Twitter?

The blackpilled among us say “forever,” or effectively forever — until, as Anonymous White Male puts it in the comments below, until the porn and the sportsball and the food run out.  Having dealt with many a BCG over many long years, I often fall into this myself.  I and every other educator with a shred of principle remaining (and there are a few, even at this late date) longed to flunk Suzy Sorority so hard, she’d end up back in fourth grade.  But none of us ever did, because we knew what would happen: Suzy would keep bitching up the chain of command until someone — the department chair, the dean, the college president — reversed our decision.  Which someone would, because higher ed is a business in steep decline, and the customer is always right.  Then what do you do?  Admit to everyone you’re a whore and stay on, or resign in protest and never work again? (College is a guild profession where everyone knows everyone, at least by reputation).

Sometimes I think there’s hope, though.  It’s that “steep decline” part.  Higher ed is entirely propped up by two things, both about to go bye-bye: The federal student loan tit, and foreign students, mostly from the PRC, over here to blow off steam and conduct industrial espionage.  Taking the second first, I remarked here a few months ago that President Trump’s trade war with China might’ve inadvertently killed off higher ed, as the utter dependence of many, if not most, state U’s on Chinamen paying full freight is academia’s worst-kept secret.  As soon as it’s no longer worth it to send the second sons of lesser party officials over here to party with blonde girls while taking notes on process engineering, half the colleges in America will have to shut their doors.  As the student loan endgame is obvious we’ll skip it, but both of them lead to the same conclusion — when the customer is no longer right, Suzy Sorority’s going to get told to fuck right off.  It’ll be the first time she’s ever heard the word “no” in her life, and it’ll be delivered gleefully enough to give the Marquis de Sade a posthumous woody.

It may not need to end in revolution, I guess I’m saying.  Are we Dirt People really going to follow orders when Schiff, Pelosi et all tell us “BOHICA”?  How many times?  And if we don’t, do we really have to go to the ultimate end before they stop?

I’ve seen way too many Basic College Girls completely melt down — as in, sobbing in the corner, requiring sedation — to be sure that Schiff et al have iron in their spines.  They’ve never been tested.  What happens if we just say no?

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Chemical Weapons

This whole impeachment mess has got me thinking about mustard gas.

In World War I, the major combatants used chemical weapons with abandon.  Bombers filled with gas shells was the nightmare scenario of inter-war defense ministers.  “The bomber will always get through,” Stanley Baldwin proclaimed in 1932.  The hundreds of thousands of casualties he predicted came from chemical weapons — despite what airpower fanatics like Douhet and Billy Mitchell proclaimed, none of that generation’s aircraft had sufficient capacity to do much damage to large cities with conventional explosives.  A few thousand pounds of gas shells, though…

And yet, go ahead and google up “chemical warfare in World War 2.”  Go ahead, I’ll wait.  I promise it won’t take long.  What explains this very interesting development?

I suppose if you pressed them on it, Liberals would have to answer with their favorite blather about international agreements.  And it’s true, the Geneva Protocol outlawed chemical weapons back in 1925.  The thing is, though, Herr Hitler proclaimed many times that, as Germany was an ethno-state organized for the existential defense of the German people, his Reich was not bound by so-called “international law.”  The Wehrmacht’s “rules of war” were whatever it chose to impose upon itself, and no others.  Likewise with Emperor Hirohito’s forces.  Neither Axis power would have had any scruple about using any weapon.  And it’s not like the Germans forgot how to make poison gas between 1918 and 1939.  So why didn’t they use it?

The answer, of course, is: Guaranteed massive retaliation in kind.  Stalin’s boys knew how to make poison gas, too.  And if you want further proof, there you go — Stalin is one of maybe six people in the history of the human race who might challenge Hitler for sheer cold-bloodedness.  He didn’t use gas, either, though he certainly had some… and for the exact same reason.  Only the sure knowledge that everything between the Urals and the Elbe would be turned into a poisonous wasteland kept those sons of bitches in check.

I don’t think anyone in our current “American” “government” is anywhere close to Hitler or Stalin, blood temperature-wise, but it’s a very striking fact that retaliation in kind has never once come up.  The American Left trumpeted its intention to impeach President Trump approximately six hours after the election results were finalized.  They were setting their caper in motion before the man even took the oath of office.  They’ve been out and proud about their determination to charge him with something, anything, and proclaim it an impeachable offense….

And yet, retaliation has never come up.  If Donald Trump doing  ___ is an impeachable offense — go ahead and fill in whatever you want, it changes every few days — then it’s an impeachable offense for Democrats, too.  You don’t need the Third Law of SJW to realize that everything Trump is being accused of, Obama already did… and then some.  If ____ is impeachable, then every single Congresscritter of both parties should be removed from office.  In any semi-rational polity, the opposition would make this known immediately.

But they didn’t.  Which means the fix is in.  And I mean all the way in.  It’ll go to the Senate, Mittens and Murkowski and the rest of them will vote with the Dems, which means a few months of President Mike Pence, I guess, until the November election, at which point…. well, who knows, since it’ll be far too late to even get another Republican on most state ballots (and no Hawaiian judge will just randomly assign one, as he would if the Dems were caught in a similar bind).  So… President Joe Biden, I suppose, and then what?

If they’ve thought about it at all — and I truly believe they haven’t, they’re just winging it, but even if they have — that’s as far as it goes: They get their guy into the Oval Office without having to go through the bother of a real election.  Mittens et al get their thirty pieces of silver (quid pro quo!!) and…. that’s it.  The Cloud People win again.

But here’s where the chemical weapons analogy breaks down.  No one can seriously doubt that the SS guys getting ready for the Götterdämmerung in April 1945 would’ve used chemical weapons if they’d had them.  The Red Army ditto, when they were being overrun in the opening months of Barbarossa.  That’s why you don’t let local commanders keep nightmare weapons in their armories: They’ll use them.  The NBCs are kept under the tightest locks and keys, and the authority to use them can only come from the tippy-top.

The Dems obviously assume that Trump will go quietly.  I’m not sure I’d bet that way, but even if he does, they obviously don’t realize that in this case, all the enemy’s troops have access to the nightmare weapons.  Trump might be enough of an unreconstructed Boomer civnat to let them frog march him out of the Oval Office, but what about his aides?  His staff people?  His judges?  His voters?  For if the Dems have made one thing very clear, it’s this: Wrongthink is unforgivable.  No one who has ever said a kind word about Trump will ever be allowed to forget it.  Sooner or later, they will ruin you for it.  Is everyone, everywhere, going to sit back and take it?

That’s ultimately why I say the Left haven’t thought it through.  Those are really the only alternatives: Either they haven’t thought it through, which is scary enough, or they have thought it through, and in their hubris they’ve concluded that yes, once again, all the Dirt People, everywhere, will just lay there and take it.

What if they don’t?  What if, like the local commander with the mustard gas, the Dirt People feel they have no other choice but to use whatever weapons they have to hand?  They have lots of weapons, and once they come out, there’s only one way they’re going back in again.

The Left either don’t know this, or they don’t care.  Like the original use of poison gas, all the way back when, they’re only looking at the situation directly in front of them:  It’ll win this one battle, one time, and that’s all that matters.

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