Author Archives: Severian

The New Perestroika

The Democrats thought putting this on the stand was a good idea:

God help us all, they really did.

You’d go a long way to find a grosser caricature of a hectoring, out-of-touch, anti-American LGTBWhatever (((elitist))) than that one.*  Normally at this point I’d break out Severian’s Corollary to Hanlon’s Razor (“there’s some stupidity so stupid, you actually pray it’s malice”), but instead let’s talk about perestroika.

Quoth Wikipedia:

Perestroika allowed more independent actions from various ministries and introduced many market-like reforms. The alleged goal of perestroika, however, was not to end the command economy but rather to make socialism work more efficiently to better meet the needs of Soviet citizens by adopting elements of liberal economics. The process of implementing perestroika created shortages, political, social, and economic tensions within the Soviet Union and is often blamed for the political ascent of nationalism and nationalist political parties in the constituent republics. Perestroika and its associated structural ailments have been cited as major catalysts leading to the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Allow me to dissent.  Perestroika’s what happens when you turn the reins over to the third generation — the generation that didn’t come up hard, and thus wasn’t forced to deal with objective reality.  For all his faults, and for all the debate over whether Stalin was “really” a Communist (hint: he was), the Boss knew what it takes to hold onto power in a one-party state.  He learned his craft in the hardest school — maneuvering against Lenin and Trotsky, two of the coldest, most ruthless sons-of-bitches ever to draw breath.  His successor, Nikita Khrushchev, survived both the Great Purge and the Great Patriotic War for the Motherland — an achievement, as you can imagine, that pretty much no one else of consequence could boast.

Mikhail Gorbachev, by contrast, was born in 1931.  His childhood was affected by the war — as was every Russian child’s — but his grandfather was a kolkhoznik from way back; Mikhail was wired in to the Party from birth.  Stalin died in 1953.  Gorbachev was 22 — in an earlier generation he could’ve been a serious player at that age, but the postwar generation didn’t start rising until their 30s, or more usually their 40s.  He was still at university when the Boss kicked the bucket; he didn’t start his official political career until 1955, and wasn’t recognized as a bona-fide comer until the late 1960s.

What this meant was that Gorbachev grew up in the kinder, gentler Soviet Union — the one where Khrushchev released a whole bunch of folks from the Gulag and denounced cults of personality.  This is not to say that Gorbachev wasn’t a sincere Communist; he was.  In fact, that was his problem — he was too sincere.  The earlier generations faced the stark choice between hewing to orthodox Marxism, or hanging on to power.  They chose the latter, of course, and that’s why Trotsky had to go —  he kept on claiming to be the only true Marxist of the bunch (which he was, of course, but that’s a story for another day).  Gorbachev, though, got to see Communism “working,” and from this he deduced — not unreasonably for someone who didn’t come up hard — that Communism’s manifest failures were due to not following Marx and Lenin more exactly.  Marx and Lenin talked a great game about “openness” (glasnost), “democracy,” and all that “improving the lot of the People” jazz.

So he did all that, the fool, not realizing that Communism “worked,” such as it did, only through repression.  Take your foot off The People’s neck enough to let them breathe, by all means — that was Comrade Khrushchev’s great insight — but if you ease off any further, they’ll try to wriggle out… and eventually kill you, their tormentor.  Having never seen The People at close range — as everyone in the previous generations had — he couldn’t understand this, and so crashed the system.

Our modern Democrats are in Gorbachev’s shoes right now.  Whatever tenuous grasp of reality Pelosi once had, 40+ years in power has completely eroded it.  When she came up, California was still a red state (would’ve been “a blue state” back then, but you get the point).  In her lifetime, San Francisco went from “the one hippy enclave in a conservative state” to “the bellwether of Progressivism;” it’s no wonder she’s out of touch.  The younger generation — “the Squad” and the rest of them — never were in touch.  They were marinated in identity politics while they were still in the womb.  They took the private-school pipeline straight into “elected” office.  Having been raised, educated, and supervised by Pamela Karlan types their entire lives, they see her as a Mommy figure — a benign authority that only wants what’s best for everyone.

Seriously, they do.  It’s like Gorbachev’s attempt at creating a kinder, gentler KGB — what he saw as a necessary reform for The People’s welfare, The People saw as their opportunity to finally turn their knives on their tormentors.  What do the Democrats want for America?  Imagine Pamela Karlan wagging her finger in a human face, forever.

These people are terrifyingly stupid.  Pamela Karlan makes Pajamaboy look like the fucking Marlboro Man, and she’s unscripted.  Gorby’s still alive – they’d better talk to him, fast.  Otherwise, we might’ve just seen the opening shots of the revolution.

 

 

 

*As much as I hate this (((special people))) shit so many in Our Thing insist on, you don’t have to be Heinrich Himmler to see her and think “Oh lord, another one.  Do they have anyone on the varsity that doesn’t carry two passports?”
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Revolts vs. Revolutions III

Lenin understood the distinction between revolts and revolutions.  He knew that the peasantry can be pushed to revolt — the Russian peasantry was the most backward, abused, and brutalized in Europe — but would falter once their passions were spent.  As a Russian with more than a little Mongol in him, he was familiar with Pugachev’s Rebellion, and understood why it failed: Pugachev was a throwback who, like all pre-modern rebel leaders, preached an idealized past (he went so far as to pretend to be the assassinated Tsar Peter III, another common feature of pre-modern rebellions).*  Better to be a free peasant under Pugachev than a serf under Catherine, I suppose, but being a free Cossack is better than both, and that clearly wasn’t in the cards.  Pugachev wasn’t offering a viable alternative — his was a real rebellion, as I’m defining the term.

Lenin understood that a real revolution requires a viable alternative.  More importantly, a revolution requires a group that understands the alternative, that can preach it to the masses, and is willing to do what it takes to make it happen.  This was his great insight, and why “-Leninism” got appended to “Marxism” wherever Commies gained actual power.  That “Vanguard of the Proletariat” stuff isn’t (just) self-serving hooey to justify the nomenklatura’s cushy lifestyle while the people are starving.  It’s a dead-bang description of actual revolutionary practice.  You’ve got to have one in order to succeed.

Our paradigm case is the English Civil War, and I trust that the “vanguard” there is obvious:  The hot gospellers who saw Charles I’s religious meddling as the work of the actual Antichrist.  “Puritanism” — here lumping in lots of diverse groups who hated each other for convenience’s sake — is a bizarre creed, unlike anything seen before.  We can’t really realize how strange it seemed back then, because in a very real sense we’re all Puritans now — we share their core belief, which is that the external world must be made to conform to all the undulations of our own pwecious widdle selves.  This is very obviously a species of nihilism, since if the world can’t be made to reflect our souls, it must be destroyed, taking our souls with it.  Nobody hates the world more efficiently than the man who hates himself, and the Puritans are still the all-time champions of self-hate.  Scratch a hot gospeller, find a suicide vest.

But they were educated, those Puritans, and they had a prose style (incomprehensible as it seems to modern eyes), and the printing presses to publicize it.  When your society has a critical mass of people who see themselves inevitably trending downwards, “something radically different” will always beat “more of the same,” provided “something radically different” has some kind of divine sanction behind it.  Back in the 1630s you needed Scriptural citations.  By 1917 the Gospel of Karl Marx was enough…

…and given the ongoing, rapidly-accelerating enstupidation of the human race, I can’t even imagine  how little it’s going to take to kick off our century’s Great Calamity.  The comments are open; speculate away.

 

 

*So many medieval chiliastic rebellions had pseudo-Barbarossas, pseudo-Charlemagnes, and others at their head.  Cohn’s The Pursuit of the Millennium is full of examples.  Note that the Cat Fanciers tried a version of this, too, with their cult of Henry the Fowler.
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Happy Thanksgiving

I’ll be out of town all week, so Happy Thanksgiving a day early.

Today I’m thankful for family and friends.  For y’all — comrades in arms, if only virtually.  They’re the only things worth being loyal to.

There will be a Thanksgiving feast tomorrow, of course, and it’ll look a lot like it did back in the old days.  There will be turkey in the oven and football on tv.  Grandmas and Grandpas, aunts and uncles and cousins and grandchildren will gather around the table.  Grandpa will have one of his two annual glasses of whiskey and fall asleep in his armchair by the start of the third quarter, like he does every year.  Some goofy cousin will bring her new boyfriend — he’s really The One this time — and he’ll try too hard to be funny when we play board games (probably drinking a bit too much in the process).  At least one grandkid will be down with a stomachache by four o’clock.  Uncle Paddy will try to talk politics, like he always does, and Aunt Mabel will shush him just like always.  The fire will be bright, the stuffing will be perfect, and if you try, you can almost convince yourself it’s still America.

But the goofy cousin’s boyfriend will be a mystery meatball, or at best one of those pudgy white kids who wears skinny jeans and ironic facial hair.  Uncle Paddy will be extra bitter, because he’s been out of work for five years now, since the plant got outsourced to Mexico.  Aunt Mabel’s shushing is a bit slurred these days — Prozac — and all the grandkids are on Ritalin.  All the ads during the game will feature Hispanics and homosexuals.

The truth is, America was gone by 1992, when we elected that chicken-fried poonhound and his harridan gangster wife.  It was probably gone long before that, to be honest, but by then the rot was unmistakable.  I was too young and naive to see it clearly, but a few decades on, I recognize what that vague feeling of discontent was I’d had all those years.  I felt like a Romano-Briton must’ve felt, circa 400 AD or so.  You know the horrors are on their way, but for now the roads and aqueducts still work and there’s peace, however obviously fragile and short-lived.  Here in ex-America we still have heat and light and the Internet and indoor plumbing, and I’m thankful for them… not least because I sure as hell wouldn’t take bets that my grandchildren will have them.

So be thankful for what you have, comrades-in-arms, for as long as you are blessed to still have it.  Western Civilization has survived worse than this.  We’ll be back… but the night is long, and twilight is rushing in.  Be thankful for the light while it’s here.  Happy Thanksgiving, and God bless.

 

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Revolts vs. Revolutions II

From below:

  • A revolt is a large-scale, semi-organized riot.  It aims, at best (e.g. Wat Tyler’s Rebellion), at the redress of specific grievances.  At worst, it’s violent nihilism (e.g. the Jacquerie).
  • A civil war aims to replace one leader with another, leaving the underlying civil structure intact — e.g. any of the Roman civil wars post-Augustus.
  • A revolution‘s goal is total social transformation.  We’re stipulating that it’s violent, because while stuff like the Industrial Revolution is fascinating, we’re not looking at peaceful change here in the Current Year.  Revolutions are necessarily, fundamentally ideological.

I realize this can cause some confusion, as events I’d classify as “revolutions” are called civil wars in the history books, and vice versa.  But the difference is important, because it sheds light on the development, course, and outcome of events.

The paradigm case is the English Civil War, 1642-51.  This was clearly a revolution, as it aimed at — and achieved — the near-total overthrow of existing society.  When Charles I took the throne in 1625, his kingdom was very much closer to a Continental-style divine-right monarchy than most Britons would like to admit.  While the English had succeeded in clawing some of their liberties back from the crown after Henry VIII’s death, the fact remains that the Stuart state, like the Tudor state, was despotic.  But by 1625, the despot was completely out of step with his people, and his times.

By 1642, the first revolutionary prerequisite was in place: No clear alternative.  There were lots of revolts against Henry VIII, and one of them, the Pilgrimage of Grace, had the potential to turn into a civil war, or even a revolution.  The revolts against Elizabeth I didn’t quite rise to that level, but the Northern Rebellion, and Essex’s Rebellion certainly imperiled her government.  See also Wyatt’s Rebellion against Queen Mary, the Prayer Book Rebellion and Kett’s Rebellion against Edward VI, etc.  In all of these, the alternative was clear — return to Rome, replacement of one court faction with another, or return to the old ways.

In other words: Potential rebels could size up the situation accurately, and decide whether the potential benefit of __ outweighed the known hardship of the current situation, plus the very real danger of rebellion.  The simple folk on the Pilgrimage of Grace might have been very attached to their monasteries, but “keeping the local monastery open” — the clear alternative offered by the rebels — didn’t outweigh the very obvious hardship of being hanged in chains.  By 1536, Henry VIII had been on the throne nearly thirty years; he was a known quantity.  During his reign, England had gone from a relatively obscure power on Europe’s outskirts to a major player in international affairs.  Going back to the old style of mass wasn’t worth all that.

By 1639, though — the start of the “Wars of the Three Kingdoms,” a different interpretive slice of the English Civil War — there was no clear choice on offer.  Charles I was intolerable, but the alternative was….?  His son was only 9 years old, and the courtiers surrounding him — that is, the potential regents — were all suspect, either crypto-Catholics or obvious despots.  The rest of Europe was twenty years into the Thirty Years’ War; no help would be forthcoming from the Continent.  Charles was also King of Scotland, so rising behind a Scottish laird would entail either Scotland’s independence, or rule by actual bare-arsed, kilt-wearing Scots — both intolerable.*  Ireland, of course, was a benighted, Catholic land held down by main force; they’d make another bid for independence at the first possible moment.  Charles was intolerable, but seemingly indispensable…

Thus an alternative had to be worked out.  An ideological alternative.  Perhaps it’s not the individual monarch who’s the problem — it’s the institution of monarchy itself.  If men must be allowed to follow their conscience in religion — which is the highest of all consciences — then must they not be allowed to follow it in politics?  And if the king derives at least some of his power from the people — the King-in-Parliament, as it had been since Runnymede — then are the people not in some sense sovereign, equal to or even above the king?  Certainly the king isn’t above the law, or the ancient Rights of Englishmen — this is why the victorious rebels executed their former king on a charge of treason.  How could Charles betray the country he was king of, if not that “the country” is somehow superior to whatever mortal is temporarily at the head of its government?

The great Western political theories all flow from that one event: The execution of the king for treason.  Even Thomas Hobbes, who derived a theory of the most absolute possible monarchy from it, had to account for the brute fact of Charles’s head rolling in the dust.  His answer is instructive: Though the monarch’s power is theoretically unlimited, a “monarch” who can’t maintain his power in practice is no monarch at all.  Hobbes made his peace with the Protectorate, and came home from exile in 1651 (that is, he lived 8 years under Cromwell, the king’s executioner).

Part III soon.

 

 

 

 

*James I was no fool.  Though born and raised in Scotland, he acted as English as he possibly could throughout his reign.  To my knowledge Charles I never got further north than York.

 

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Revolts vs. Revolutions

You’ll never see a clearer example of academic blindness than Revolution, capital-R.  You’d think this would be a rich field of study.  How do revolutions start?  Are there commonalities?  What kind of person becomes a revolutionary?  Do revolutions all follow a similar pattern, or are they all unique?  History, political science, sociology, applied psych, economics… all of these disciplines have insights to contribute.  Or so you’d think.  But while there are zillions of books written on almost every conceivable aspect of each individual revolution, small-r, the big-R topic is (in the academic term d’art) severely under-theorized.

So I guess it’s up to us.

First, let’s distinguish between a revolt, a civil war, and a revolution.  A revolt is basically a large-scale, somewhat-organized riot.  Revolts of sufficient size and complexity become civil wars when they aim for a wholesale change of government.  A revolution, by contrast, aims at a total transformation of society.  It is fundamentally ideological, in the way the others aren’t (though, of course, revolts that become civil wars can morph into full-scale revolutions).

The ideological dimension is key.  The Middle Ages were full of revolts.  The English Peasants’ Revolt, aka Wat Tyler’s Rebellion, is a good example. Wat Tyler had some enumerated gripes — tax relief and whatnot — but did not aim at a change in government, much less a fundamental restructuring of society.  Like most rebels in all times and places, Tyler’s people seemed to believe that the head of government was blameless.  King Richard II, a minor at the time, was held to be the victim of evil councilors — a standard rebel trope.  The Peasant’s Revolt was also a success (though it didn’t work out so well for Tyler personally) — they got most of what they wanted. They achieved pretty much all it is possible to achieve without a full-scale civil war.

The Middle Ages also had a few incidents that you could probably call civil wars.  The Wars of the Roses, for example, which are (probably, in some cases) examples of revolts mutating into civil wars… if in fact, it rose to that level.*  Rome, of course, had umpteen civil wars in its long history, which raises the fascinating question of whether or not it’s really possible to have a civil war below a certain level of political sophistication…. fascinating, but unanswerable by me, and not really germane.  The point is, civil wars aimed only at a change in leadership, leaving the underlying governmental structure intact.  Furius Malcontentus thought he could do a better job as Emperor than Lazius Incumbentus, and got a few legion commanders to agree with him.  Medieval and Early Modern civil wars (if, again, there really were any) aimed at the same thing the Roman civil wars did: Replacing one branch of the ruling family with another.

Revolutions, though….

(Part II coming soon).

 

 

*The “wars” of the “Roses” were actually multi-way fights between the affinities of major lords — what pretentious Game of Thrones fans (is there any other kind?) know as “bastard feudalism.”  A field specialist could tell you who all participated, and what each one of them wanted, but I surely can’t.
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No C.O.

In the wonderful old Vietnam War film Apocalypse Now, there’s a scene where the boat reaches a bridge being defended — or, possibly, attacked — by an American detachment.  Capt. Willard (Martin Sheen) goes ashore to requisition supplies, and is immediately engulfed in chaos.  After wandering around for a while, he encounters a soldier with a terrifying thousand-yard stare.

“Where’s your C.O.?,” Sheen asks, looking for the unit’s commanding officer.

“Man, there ain’t no fuckin’ C.O.,” the GI replies.

Sounds familiar.  Looking around at Current Year America, it’s increasingly clear that there ain’t no fuckin’ CO.  Nobody’s in charge.  Someone’s out there giving orders, I suppose, but that someone is like the someone who keeps ordering the GIs to defend — or is it attack? — the bridge: The fight goes on, night after night after night, but nobody wins, because nobody even knows why they’re fighting in the first place.  The soldiers — Americans and Vietnamese both — go on fighting on autopilot, each individual soldier doing his individual thing, with no thought to the (nonexistent) goal.

The “impeachment” mess is the most obvious example.  Pelosi, Schiff, et al obviously haven’t given the first thought to what happens if they actually go through with it.  They’re just doing their own thing, fighting on autopilot, with no sense of what, if anything, they’re trying to accomplish.

All you have to do to prove it is to take their accusations seriously.  No matter which version you select — and of course they change daily — the upshot of the “case” against Trump is that he colluded with someone to do damage to his political enemies.  Maybe he colluded with Ukrainians to get dirt on Biden, maybe he colluded with Russians to get dirt on Hillary Clinton, but whatever, everyone who accuses Trump of something agrees that a shady deal with a foreign power was part of it.  Ok, so: What happens if this man — this guy who is willing to wheel and deal with America’s oldest enemy while in the Oval Office to preserve his political perks — is in real danger of being ousted?

Do you really think that kind of guy — who, again, we’re stipulating is an active agent of a hostile foreign power — is going to just quietly pack up his bags and leave town if he’s impeached?

Maybe Trump himself is too emotional a topic to consider rationally, so let’s look at second-tier guys.  Anyone who has been paying attention knows that Trump’s underlings have a tendency to end up in jail, thanks largely to obviously, egregiously manufactured “evidence” from the security apparatus.  Now, let’s say Trump is turfed out of office.  What’s going to happen to his underlings, do you think?  What do you think they think?

Like all Presidents, Trump has a military attache or two.  Those are high-ranking career officers.  Is Colonel So-and-So just going to sit back and wait for the FBI to file charges on him?  I wouldn’t bet on someone who has an infantry division or two at his disposal to just roll over….

… and I don’t think even Nancy Pelosi, ideologically enstupidated though she is, would expect it either.  If she were looking at it rationally, that is, as part of a larger strategy.  But she isn’t.  She doesn’t have a plan.  No one does.  She’s blindly flailing about, caught on the horns of a self-created dilemma — impeach Trump, and blow up her party at the polls; or don’t impeach him, and blow it up from the inside.  Since the voters are out there and “the Squad” are in here, she made the decision to impeach.  She didn’t look any further than that, because she can’t.  She’s been a politician since… well, since Apocalypse Now was first in the theaters.  She’s fighting on autopilot, just like the rest of them.

 

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Idle Hands

For anyone who grew up during the Cold War, reading the news these days is like your first time getting stoned.  Everything’s fine, nothing’s happening, and then…. what the hell?  Wait wait wait… the cloak-and-dagger goons are the good guys now?

For the benefit of younger readers: Back when the USSR was a going concern, the Left spent a great deal of time excusing Commies’ behavior Scooby Doo-style — they would’ve gotten away with it, were it not for those meddling kids!  The Reds’ hearts were in the right place, of course, but gosh darn it, the CIA insisted on interfering with spontaneous sovereign people’s movements, and that’s why the Marxist guerrillas invariably had to massacre all those peasants.  It was pretty much an entrance exam for NGOs back in the days — if you couldn’t find a way to blame the excesses of, say. Kim Il Sung’s torturers on Ronald Reagan, you couldn’t get a job at Amnesty International.

Naturally, then, all correct-thinking people hated the CIA and their domestic Mini-Me, the FBI.  Those two organizations used to show up at college job fairs, and a good way to meet easy girls was to drop in on the inevitable protests.  Slap on a Che t-shirt (available at the campus bookstore, natch), do a Ricardo Montalban impression while saying “Sandinista,” and let the magic happen.  Don’t forget to stop by the Emma Goldman clinic for some free rubbers on your way back to her dorm room!

Gosh I miss the good old days, but whatever, the point is, watching groovy antiques like Nancy, Bernie, and Hillary telling me to trust the black helicopter guys is like watching Bruce Jenner in drag — you’re embarrassed for him, and scared of his enablers.  Listening to them screech about Russia like the most paranoid Reaganaut is so weird, I can’t even come up with an analogy.  Yo, guys, THIS

was your idea, wasn’t it?  Just like it was you guys calling the FBI the American Gestapo all those years?  Hello?  COINTELPRO?  Remember that?  Hello?  Is this thing even on?

It’s tempting to write off the Left’s newfound love of the mirrored-sunglasses crowd as merely instrumental — they’ve got the dirt on #OrangeManBad, and we all know that if Adolf Hitler’s zombie corpse showed up waving around some Ukraine phone call hearsay, they’d start hailing the Fuhrer himself as a true American hero.  But I don’t think it’s that (or just that).  Rather, it’s all about idle hands.

The FBI et al are actually doing something.  Doing it poorly, it goes without saying, but still.  The Left have painted themselves into a corner here these last few years.  The end result of their elaborate victimology — the “progressive stack,” in their fugly jargon — is to completely paralyze anyone who buys into it.  Since all the conflicting identities in their coalition

  • conflict with each other;
  • change without notice;
  • and are all impossible anyway,

any action any Leftist takes is bound to get xzhym in hot water with someone, so all they can do is shriek… and not even very much of that, since they know better than anyone that whatever they accuse Trump of doing, they themselves have done / are doing on a much larger scale.

So the Left is forced, by and large, to sit on their thumbs.  Blaise Pascal said that “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”  That’s where the Left is now.  They can’t sit quietly, but they can’t do anything, either, so they project all their hopes and dreams onto the worst collection of swollen-headed bunglers ever assembled, because — and only because — the said knuckleheads appear to have some freedom of action.

I hope Comey, Strzok, et al enjoy their brief moment in the sun.  San Fran Nan and the rest don’t realize it yet, because they can’t, but theirs is the last group of white folks who will have any influence in the Democratic Party.  When the Donks get back into power, one of the first things they’ll do is replace the existing security forces with their own people — meaning, much much browner people.  I’m sure I don’t have to tell y’all what happens to the former state’s machinery of repression once the revolution gets power, but I hope for their sake that whatever crop of FBI goons is assigned to this page look it up….

 

 

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Respect for the Law is the Last to Go

I always wondered what it felt like, being an average guy in the wake of a revolution.  What was it like for Ivan Sixpack, say, in 1918?  The Tsar’s justice system wasn’t perfect — far, far from it — but the rules were there, and the people knew them.  Policies and procedures might’ve been quirky, and were undoubtedly stacked, but the usages of the court were hallowed by time, and everyone understood them.  But then one day you go down to the courthouse, to go about your routine business, and are confronted by some scruffy college dropout in a tattered longshoreman’s coat, who claims to be the People’s Plenipotentiary of Justice or something…

Germany in 1933 is probably easier to envision, since the same guys administering the Fuhrer’s justice were the ones administering Weimar’s justice, and often were the same guys who’d done it for the Kaiser.  And it was justice, at least in apolitical matters.  So long as your case didn’t impinge on the Party, you’d get real, objective, impartial justice, even from a guy wearing a swastika armband behind the bench…

The problem, of course, was that lots of stuff impinged on the Party, and the area that fell under the Party’s “prerogative” grew by the day.  An explicitly politicized bench will, naturally, start getting political with its caseload.  Imagine the first poor burgher in a civil suit getting told that yes, the law is on his side, but for reasons of state he loses…

Lots of us are finding out what that feels like, but even so we can’t seem to let it go.  I saw something on Ace of Spades the other day, debating the desirability, from the GOP’s perspective, of stringing out the President’s inevitable impeachment trial.  The reasoning was: Since the trial is held in the Senate, that means all the Senators have to be there.  Which means Bernie and Warren, at least, will have to cease campaigning in order to be on hand to hear testimony.

No, really — they said that, like they meant it.

See what I mean?  That’d be a pretty clever bit of dirty political pool, actually, if we still lived under the rule of law.  But we all know what would happen: The Senate Democrats would move to amend the rules to let their candidates off to go campaign, because reasons, and the GOP — you know, the party actually in control of the Senate — would all vote in favor, again because reasons.  It’s not like we don’t know how Sanders and Warren are going to vote anyway, right?  Does anyone, anywhere, think there’s a case so airtight that they wouldn’t vote to convict?  Since the only question is how many Republican senators are going to defect to vote with all the Democrats, why should they have to be there?  Hell, why bother with a “trial” at all?

This attitude is almost inescapable among the nominal “Right.”  Since we follow the laws, we assume everyone else does, too, despite Himalayan-sized mountains of evidence to the contrary.  These same folks, for instance, seem to think that Hillary’s not running again, because the deadline to file as a candidate has passed in certain states.  Once again, out in the real world she files a lawsuit, and some hack in black puts her on the ballot, because reasons.

We’ve seen this song-and-dance before.  Remember Mel Carnahan’s wife?  Carnahan was a Democrat senator from Missouri who died in a plane crash three weeks before the election, where he was running neck-and-neck with John Ashcroft (yeah, him). Being an honorable man, Ashcroft suspended his campaign.  The Dems didn’t — of fucking course they didn’t.  Missouri’s Dem governor said he’d appoint Carnahan’s wife in his stead if he, Carnahan, posthumously won.  She cut a campaign ad, and the Donks went into overdrive playing up the grieving widow to the rubes.

She won, natch.

That was back in 2001.

The fact is, American “justice” is whatever the Left needs it to be today.  Rules are just suggestions — the Constitution is a “living document,” which means it says whatever the Democrats need it to say at the moment.  These are people who claim to sincerely believe that women can have penises and men can have periods; you think the phrase “shall not be infringed” means anything to them?  At least Stalin and the boys had the good grace not to change the accusations right in the middle of the fucking show trial.  Watching the “impeachment,” it’s clear that, like Obamacare, we have to convict Trump in order to find out what he’s guilty of.

How do people not see this?  That, my friends, is why my daily pills are very, very black.  The “law” means whatever they say it means, at the moment they say it.  That’s all it means.  Or, like the man says: They hate you, and want you dead.  What’s so hard to grasp about that?

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Why Young Americans Love Socialism

No, it’s not ignorance of history, despite what wildly overrated old fossils like Camille Paglia say.  You can “know” all the history ever written, but you won’t learn a damn thing if you keep shoving it into the same tired old boxes.  See, for example, the wildly overrated old fossil Camille Paglia:

“While I believe that boom-and-bust capitalism is inherently Darwinian and requires moderate regulation for the long-term greater good,” she says, “I insist that capitalism has produced the glorious emancipation of women.” They can now “support themselves and live on their own, and no longer must humiliatingly depend on father or husband.”

That’s exactly backasswards, sugar tits.  Oh, capitalism “emancipated” women, all right.  But that’s BAD.  Nothing makes me want to take a long, hard second look at Marxism — or radical Islam — more than capitalism’s emancipation of women.

“Capitalism” is the bastard child of the Enlightenment, which was a gross error based on Western culture’s oldest, most comprehensively refuted, yet most enduring myth: That Man is the “rational animal.”  Life would be so much better, everyone from Aristotle to Rousseau argued, if people simply carried on their affairs rationally.  Someone like David Hume might’ve had the good grace to squirm a bit if he were forced to attend a service at one of Revolutionary France’s “Temples of Reason,” but neither he nor any of the other Enlightened could’ve objected.

Nor could any “capitalist.”  All the hooey about “freedom” that has grown barnacle-like on the word “capitalism” is exactly that — hooey, eyewash, propaganda against the police-state thuggery that Marxism so obviously entails, and Marxists so fervently embraced.  Stripped of all that, “capitalism” is nothing less than the Cult of Reason in action: purely rational actors, trading on objective information — information, that is, stripped of its human element.  Faith, hope, charity, culture, blood and soil… none of that matters to the bottom line, so all of it has to go.  To the “capitalist,” women are just labor-units and consumption-units… grossly under-utilized ones, in fact, and there’s your “emancipation of women.”  Ladies, now you too are free to toil in cubicles 50 hours a week, to buy stuff that no one could possibly need…

… except that “free” isn’t quite the right word, is it?  “Required” is much closer.  “The Economy” needs you to make partner at the law firm, gals, and to do that it needs you to take out that hundred large in student loans, to sacrifice your prime childbearing years, to forego marriage completely, if we’re being honest.  Just like it needs you to pop out that one designer, turkey-baster kid at age 40, so that there’ll be a few little consumer-units to keep the day cares (and colleges!) in business until those autistic, benzo-addicted consumer-units get around to making partner and popping one out on their own…

Other than the fact that the NKVD are all volunteers these days — check your Twitter feed! — what, exactly, is the difference between life under “capitalism” and life in a Worker’s Paradise?  You, ladies — certainly including Prof. Paglia — are no more “free” to reject iCrap than Stalin’s slaves were to not use the equally-shoddy, broken-in-three-months products of Soviet industry.  “Capitalism” is as antithetical to real human life than Communism ever was.

Given all that, “Socialism” seems like a decent deal.

Not only that, but “Socialism” — as it’s taught in schools, the way college kids understand it — offers not just an alternative, but a meaningful alternative.  What does “capitalism” offer?  If you were tempted to mutter any iteration of “freedom,” I want you to re-read the last few paragraphs fifteen more times.  Then I want you to go rent a room in the nearest college town, and spend a weekend wandering around.  Freedom?  College kids are the freest people on earth.  The entire ecosystem is devoted to them.  They can watch, eat, drink, pierce, insert, or have inserted, anything, anywhere, at any time.  No kink, quirk, or hang-up is so bizarre that you can’t find at least one other enthusiastic participant near you in a five-minute trawl through your smartphone.

The very word “choice” is meaningless to college kids, because things are defined by their opposites and they’ve never had anything but limitless choice.  Want to know why I retired from teaching college?  There were lots of reasons, of course, but by far the biggest one was this: Any time I tried to enforce the rules — stuff like “due dates” and “proper use of apostrophes” — I’d get students flooding my office hours who weren’t just mad, but bewildered.  It didn’t take too many incoherently angry freshmen demanding that I change any and all class policies at their whim for me to realize that I was the first person who had ever, in their entire lives, told them “no.”

In a world like that — which is the world of pretty much every young American, from sea to shining sea — what could the word “freedom” possibly mean?

Socialism offers an identity, a goal, a sense of purpose.  Sure, it’s a pointless identity and an impossible goal, but they don’t know that.  How could they?  Their entire “education,” K-thru-PhD, has been designed specifically to avoid them knowing it.  The only other option they see is the status quo, which to them is: Take out the loans to get the degree in order to get the job, which you have to have to pay off the loans that got you the degree that got you the job.  Someone like Greta Thunberg is a hero to them because she’s for something, anything, that isn’t that.

If we’re ever to get off the Internet and into the real world, Our Thing must realize how desperately hungry for purpose our young people are.  They’re wrestling with a deep, pervasive nihilism, and as we know, whoever accepts nihilism always — always — flees to the biggest, most all-encompassing collectivism on offer.  Right now that “Socialism,” however you want to define it.  But it doesn’t have to be.

Take a page from the gamers.  Set up “fetch quests,” mini-games, that kind of thing — objective statistics, complete with badges of rank.  It sounds silly, but it works.  Look at how the kids on the Left are killing themselves — sometimes literally killing themselves — to prove who’s the #Wokest.  There’s tremendous energy there, tremendous vitality.  Give them a purpose — and a way to show others they’re working towards it — and they’ll do anything you want.  The Socialists understand this.  Why can’t we?

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How It All Ends

Since this seems to be generating a lot of discussion, here’s my take on how our world ends: Not with a bang, but a whimper.

There will be no revolution, only confused guerrilla violence between hostile ethnic groups — “Yugoslavia on steroids,” as Pickle Rick puts it.  I doubt any but a massive, nearly instantaneous economic collapse will cause widespread, major, tanks-rolling, air-strikes violence.  I’ve been predicting national socialism — small n, small s, but definitely featuring the secret police and marching armbands — here in America for going on a decade now (seriously – check the archives!).  I foresee a slow(-ish) motion collapse of the economy, to which “nationalize everything!” will be the knee-jerk response.  It’ll even be the knee-jerk reaction of white people; it’s the default response of Enrichment-Americans, who love them some big government in direct proportion to their inability to operate one.

That’s not to say there won’t be lots of widespread minor violence, though, with lots of rural areas rapidly becoming “Indian country” to La Presidenta por Vida Ocasio-Cortez’s mercenaries.  The problem there, though, is lack of leadership.  I need to clarify what I mean by this.  Here’s contrariandutchman:

You dont need leaders to have a (civil) war. Indeed, usuallyt takes having great leaders to -avoid- major (civil) war.

An Otto von Bismarck could for 2 generations avoid major war in Europe, and by extension the world, while also mostly keeping the peace at home despite severe social stresses in a rapidly industrializing and urbanizing society with deep religious divisions. Lesser men then fumbled their way into a massive war and revolutions they didn’t want yet didn’t know how to avoid….

…And lets not forget that before the US civil war Robert Lee was noted as a competent officer but he had never commanded anything larger then a regiment, and that not even in battle. The civil war allowed his talent as a general to show, without it he would have remained a colonel, respected by his fellow officers but forgotten to history. Today there are no doubt men in the US who similarly have talents that can only be revealed when the hour has arrived.

I agree (with qualifications) with the first part, disagree with the second.  The qualifications to the first part: Europeans clearly wanted a major war, just as Americans in the 1850s were openly longing for a civil war.  They didn’t like the war they got, of course, but there’s a reason that the Zeus of the Copybook Headings is: “Be careful what you wish for.”  A towering statesman like Bismarck could hold back the tide for a few years, a few decades even, but it was going to happen soon enough, for the reasons CD cites — rapid industrialization and urbanization.  No American leader was at Bismarck’s level — the best we could do was Stephen A. Douglas, who prevented the war breaking out in 1850, only to be the proximate cause of it breaking out in 1854.

(That’s the usual pattern with these things.  Absent very strong, Bismarckian leadership at the top, hair-splitting weasels like Stephen Douglas take functional control of the government.  Britain bumbled into umpteen wars and crises when Dizzy and Gladstone were out of office (and lots more when they were, alas).  Look at Current Year America — Donald Trump is the President, but it’s pretty clear that our real rulers are Adam Schiff, Peter Strzok, and a few Hawaiian judges).

Speaking of Schiff, Strzok, and the Hon. Tyne E. Bubbles, they’re the reason that the crisis will a) happen sooner than anyone thinks, and b) be dumber than anyone can possibly imagine.  These people are terrifyingly stupid.  It’s obvious, for example, that Schiff planned this whole “impeachment” farce around the assumption that Trump wouldn’t release the transcript.  Actually, it’s worse that that — the idea that Trump could release the transcript never even crossed his tiny little mind.  It just struck him as a good idea in the moment, and just… kinda… went with it.  And he’s a fucking Mensa member compared to the likes of AOC, who is merely the vanguard of the Marching Morons.  Compared to the Democrats’ bench, Dwayne Hector Elizondo Mountain Dew Camacho is Bismarck.

My guess as to the actual precipitating event — some minor civil disturbance followed by a gross, and grossly stupid, overreaction by La Presidenta por Vida’s security forces.  As I (and Pickle Rick, and others) have said many times, at least your old-school panzer commander was qualified to command a panzer.  Today all our tanks are crewed by 5’2″, 200 lb lesbians cosplaying as Erika von Mannstein.  Imagine Karen, who insists on speaking to the manager, has heavy artillery and air strikes at her disposal.  That’s America’s brave new gays, girls, and trannies armed forces… if not now, then by next week.  Get between one of these psychotic hose beasts and her double-whip, extra-hot, foamy soy frappucino latte, and hello Tiananmen Square.

Such is my qualified agreement to the first part.  As for the second — “the Civil War brought talented guys to the fore” — that’s my point: There are no talented guys out there.  None under age 40, anyway, and precious few who aren’t eligible for social security.  The younger generation is too pozzed, too iCrap-addled and soy-enfeebled, to produce any kind of leadership.  La Presidenta por Vida’s security forces will get their asses handed to them every time they venture into Indian Country…. provided the Indians are still stocked with Metamucil, and only so long as their mobility scooters can outrun a dyke-commanded panzer.

The only flashpoints of serious violence, I argue, will be in the inner cities.  Pickle Rick wagers “that Jamal and Tre [will] be eating each other inside a week after the Piggly Wiggly runs out of malt liquor and canned food,” and I agree.  Remember that horribly, horribly racist story going around after Hurricane Katrina, that the homies were cooking and eating each other inside the Superdome?  There’s a reason that rumor got around.  Black people know better than anyone what will happen to them if Whitey isn’t around to keep the lights on.  They’re quite open about it.  It truly would not surprise me to hear that, after President Warren’s Green whatever tax brings the world economy to a crashing halt and the food riots start, Col. Karen of the 101st Bitchy Haircut Brigade ordered a nuclear strike on Baltimore. That’ll teach ’em to get uppity.

So… yeah.  The future?  Imagine an Ugg Boot stamping on a White face, forever.

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