Author Archives: Severian

2 Legit Part 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay tuned…

 

 

 

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

Loading Likes...

The Prerogative State

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Loading Likes...

Random Quick Takes

I got nothin’, so here’s this.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

Loading Likes...

Chamber of Commerce Republicans?

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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

Loading Likes...

Selection Bias

If, several hundred years from now, our descendants want to consider giving representative government another go, they’ll need to figure out a better way of picking leaders.

I don’t mean things like “restricting the franchise to stakeholders” and “IQ tests,” though those are great ideas in themselves.  I mean they’ll have to overcome systemic selection bias — a kind of Peter Principle that promotes people not just to their level of incompetence, but based on a completely different set of skills.

Football coaches are a good example.  Chances are good that a brilliant coordinator will flame out as a head coach, simply because the skillsets are so different.  Head coaches have to “coach up” — their day-to-day jobs involve handling the owner, general manager, the media, and his subordinate coaches.  Their relationship to the day-to-day, X’s and O’s of the game that’s played on Sunday is usually pretty tenuous.  Coordinators, on the other hand, “coach down.”  They do the nuts-n-bolts stuff, handle the players and their issues, devise the specific schemes and match-ups.  There’s almost no overlap between those two areas of responsibility.

(The less said of college head coaches who jump to the pros, the better.  College kids aren’t pros, the boosters aren’t the owner, and you don’t get the ridiculous recruiting advantage bigtime college programs do.  Examples are numerous, but my favorite is Steve Spurrier — in his brief tenure with the Redskins, he really did seem to believe his “huck it downfield and let his five-star receivers blow past the opponent’s two-star DBs” would work in the pros.  But everyone in the pros is a former five-star recruit).

Either way, though, there’s simply no relationship between the two skillsets, and thus no way to judge.  A brilliant X’s and O’s guy, who gets the most out of limited athletes, might be great at schmoozing the owner and handling PR…. but then again, he might not.  The point is, there’s no way to tell if or how his X’s and O’s work will translate over to schmoozing and PR, and — given the demands of the business — there’s no way to give him a trial run.  Yet coordinators always get promoted to head coach, because… well, how else are ya gonna do it?

Politics works the same way.  The traditional cursus honorum — state legislature, national legislature, state governor, president — selects for a very different set of skills than those the President needs.  A dull-but-clubbable party man makes a great Senator, but a lousy President.  It takes some real skills to be a state governor, but high among them is the ability to massage entrenched local elites — you have to be wired in, but in a totally different way than a Senator does.

The system, in other words, is set up to produce dull-but-clubbable party men.  They were quite open about this in the 19th century, in case you think I’m making it up.  That’s why “nominating conventions” were real things back then — the wheeling and dealing was brutal, smoky back rooms weren’t just a metaphor, and sometimes it broke down spectacularly and you ended up running Franklin Pierce or someone like that.  This was because the 19th century actually believed in that “federalism” stuff, and the savvy operators avoided national politics for state governorships.

Trump is a huge anomaly who has exposed just how systemically flawed our process is.  We need to figure out how to overcome this selection bias effect… or, at least, our great-great-great-great-great-great grandchildren do.

Loading Likes...

Anatomy of a “Fact Check”

I saw this making the rounds on social media.  It’s a “fact check” of this:

As you might expect from Snopes.com, it’s as much lying leftwing tripe as the original “news” story.

Starting with the headline:

Is This a Photograph of a Children’s Concentration Camp in the U.S.?

No.  It’s an overcrowded ICE detention center.  The only people calling it a “concentration camp” are the deranged Leftists in the Media (BIRM), who, by calling it a “concentration camp,” are trying to A) keep readers from wondering just why our ICE detention centers are so perilously overcrowded, and B) blame Donald Trump for something.

Debate continues over how temporary holding facility and processing centers for undocumented migrant children should be described.

That’s the very next line — note that we haven’t even gotten to the actual “fact check” yet! — and it’s another lie, because the only “debate” going on is between Leftists who don’t want to admit that picture was taken during the Obama administration, and Leftists who think it’s “fake but accurate” to say it’s Trump’s fault anyway.  Given the overlap in those Venn diagrams, you’ll see more actual debate at the next North Korean Politburo meeting.

This photograph dates from 2014 (during the Obama administration) and was not directly related to a mid-2018 controversy over Trump administration policy of separating children from undocumented migrant parents at the U.S. border.

Emphasis mine, because “not directly related” in this case means “completely unrelated.”  Again, DONALD TRUMP WAS NOT PRESIDENT IN 2014.  He wasn’t even a Presidential candidate in 2014.  In 2014, Donald Trump was just some orange guy with bad hair that all the Smart people in the political class made fun of.  The only relationship between that photo and Donald Trump was that both of them existed on Planet Earth in 2014.  More astute readers (i.e. folks who don’t read Snopes.com) will also have noticed a nifty bias twofer: “Trump administration policy of separating children from undocumented migrant parents.”  For you see, children of undocumented migrant parents are themselves, by definition, undocumented migrants.  Oh, and by the way, are those children in the photo not separated from their parents?  What are they doing there, do you think, all the way back in the Obama administration?

See, Snopes?  Now that’s how you insinuate.  Oh, wait:

They are undocumented. They entered the country illegally. And when they were apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, they were shipped to Nogales from overwhelmed processing facilities in Texas.

So the Obama administration DID separate children from their undocumented migrant parents and hold them in separate facilities.  But they did it in Texas, not “at the U.S. border,” which makes it all better.

Some might argue that the pictured facility was in fact a detention center where children were held in conditions that were woefully inadequate for their numbers, and thus it was concentration camp-like in those aspects:

Yep, that was the problem with Auschwitz, all right: Too many Jews for the available resources.  The self-correcting nature of this resource imbalance is not, apparently, a “concentration camp-like aspect.”

However, others maintained that — despite the difficult conditions — the facility was not comparable to a concentration camp in that the children kept there were treated humanely, were provided with medical care, and were held only until they could be placed with relatives or other caretakers pending adjudication of their cases:

Yes, humane treatment, medical care — free medical care, let us note! — and temporary detention are conspicuously absent from concentration camps.  Forget the “others” who say ICE detention facilities aren’t concentration camps; I’m really curious about those who say they are.  Are we seriously debating what levels of medical care (free medical care!) and humane treatment qualify as “not concentration camp-like?”  Where’s the cutoff, Liberals?  Or maybe it’s just that the guys in Auschwitz had it coming?  Zionism is racism, amirite?

See, Snopes?  Now that’s how you insinuate!

Still, in 2016 the conditions of similar detention facilities were being described as “deplorable”

So “similar” facilities, according to an unnamed somebody two years later, are “deplorable.”  Yes, that totally justifies claiming Donald Trump puts children in cages.

Oh, no, wait: The “deplorable” somebody is named.  It’s Judge Dolly Gee, a Clinton appointee whom Obama promoted to a California federal district court in 2009.  The full Snopes quote is worth quoting in full:

Although [Texas] detention centers had been used long before [2014], that year the Obama administration made them key to its immigration policy. [The center in] Dilley was built that year, and Karnes was greatly expanded. Immigration advocates fought back, and last year in the Federal District Court for the Central District of California, Judge Dolly Gee made a ruling that helped their case. In her decision last July, the judge said the centers were in “deplorable” condition, and that they failed to meet even minimal standards. Gee pointed to a 1997 ruling that determined the government cannot treat a child in detention as it would an adult. She ordered the Obama administration to release the migrant kids from both Texas centers.

That didn’t happen. The Obama administration appealed, and for the past year has tried to figure out how to get around the ruling

Did you follow that?  The detention centers in question — the ones we’re comparing to concentration camps — were the key to the Obama administration’s immigration policy.  Indeed, these “deplorable” centers, which fail to meet even minimal standards, were crucial to Obama’s policy.  So crucial, in fact, that Obama didn’t release the kids — the kids in concentration camps — despite a judge’s direct order to do so.

So, yeah, I guess “debate continues” about whether or not these are “concentration camps.”  Obama‘s concentration camps.  Trump has nothing to do with anything.

Debate continues about how undocumented migrant children who come to the U.S. (whether alone or with their parents) should be dealt with, and where and how they should be housed until their status has been resolved. No approach is likely to satisfy critics at both ends of the political spectrum.

So, you know, the photo’s link to Donald Trump has been completely debunked.  But it’s still his fault.

Loading Likes...

2 Legit

You can reduce every single political problem the West is currently experiencing to one word: Legitimacy.  By what right do our rulers rule us, and who counts as “us”?  Every successful political movement has an answer.

Yes, even the Left.  They may not remember it themselves — they don’t read much that isn’t Harry Potter, and for them History begins anew each dawn — but even the “everything is a social construction” crowd once thought this through.  They concluded that, though races, nations, borders, etc. are of course “social constructions,” we’re all members of the Proletariat — or, at least, we will be, when we’ve killed all the class enemies — and so the government of the “vanguard of the Proletariat” (i.e. them) is legitimate.

It’s not the most elegant argument to have graced the pages of a political science text, but when your whole family gets shipped to Siberia for disagreeing with it, it’s remarkably persuasive.

The Human Biodiversity (HBD) crowd, on the other hand, hasn’t thought this all the way through.  If they — we, I guess, though with more asterisks than MLB home run records — want to be more than just a bunch of internet gadflies, they’ll have to resolve the fundamental contradiction between HBD and democracy.

Social contract theory — by which representative governments become “representative,” hence legitimate — presumes rough parity between the contracting parties.  It’s the basis of citizenship.  Have you ever wondered just why America opened her borders in the 19th century?  Vox Day et al like to bang on about the Naturalization Act of 1790 and its “free white” requirement, but Congress could have limited immigration in any way it chose — not just by race, but by country of origin, skills, literacy, whatever.  Instead, the naturalization acts specify “loyalty to the principles of the Constitution.”

The United States was, indeed, a “proposition nation” — the proposition in question being “the validity of the social contract.”  The 1802 act (which keeps the “free white” provision) makes this clear: Renounce your previous allegiance (including titles of nobility), be of good moral character, be loyal to the principles of the Constitution, and you’re in.  If all men are indeed created equal (= “equal enough to legitimately sign the social contract”), then it follows that anyone who renounces his previous allegiance and swears to abide by Constitutional principles is legitimately an American.  It’s the closest thing to literally signing a social contract a 19th century government could administer.

But again: A legit contract absolutely requires rough parity between the contracting parties.  We don’t let four year olds sign binding legal contracts because they don’t have the mental equipment to understand what they’re signing. Signing on to “the principles of the Constitution” was pretty basic until after the Civil War, because back then the only interaction most folks had with the Federal government was at the post office.  That’s why the 1862 Homestead Act, for instance, came with citizenship attached — declare your intention of becoming a citizen, and 160 acres in the West was yours for the taking.  Subsistence farmers on the frontier are equal, or equal enough, when communities arise organically and the only permanent government official is the town postmaster.

Modern life, needless to say, is a bit more complex than that.  As you know, we all inadvertently commit three felonies a day.  Who can say what “the principles of the Constitution” even are anymore?  Hell, can most people even pass a basic civics exam?  Is this thing graded on a curve?

So much for re-signing the social contract, eh?

And falling back on the “representative” part of “representative government” won’t do, because the hardline HBD folks have been quite clear about this: There is an absolute cutoff between “competent” and “not competent.”  IQ is destiny, remember?  Read the comments on any “alt-Right” site — Blacks, you’ll be told, are inveterate criminals because the average Black IQ is 85.  If the nice white high IQ readers of the Wall Street Journal (3rd link above) commit three felonies a day, what hope do ghetto dwellers have?  Any “representative” of the “Black community” — which has been a real, untouchable, national thing for going on a century now — will, by definition, only represent his/her group… which is below the participatory threshold.

Right there you’ve just disenfranchised 13% of the population.  But it gets worse, because the number 100 gets thrown around a lot on HBD sites.  100 is, supposedly, the average national IQ needed to maintain an advanced postindustrial society like ours.  Surely I don’t have to tell y’all what average means.  So now you’ve disenfranchised 50% of the population, and you still haven’t addressed the three felonies a day we 100+ IQ brainiacs are committing….

I think we all — Left and Right, cat people and dog people, Crips and Bloods, Team Edward and Team Jacob, Hufflepuff and Slitherin — can agree that any government that only represents at best 49% of those under its jurisdiction is not legitimate in any modern sense.  (For further examples, see the EU, the unelected unaccountable nobodies who are responsible for the European version of this mess).  By what right, then, do the rulers rule?

I’ve got an answer for you, but you’re not gonna like it.

Loading Likes...

Friday Quick Take: Creating an Elite

Leftism wins, in large part, because it makes mediocre people feel good about themselves.

Not just good — superior.  We’ve all observed liberals’ tendency to carry on as if simply repeating today’s talking points somehow makes the repeater an intelligent person.  And it’s systemic.  Saying “blah blah blah intersectionality rape culture” makes one A Smart Person, full stop — there are no degrees, no variations; Liberals are Smart, which means they are limitless intelligences unbound by facts (since, being Smart, only what they agree with counts as a fact).

We need to steal this trick.

A good way to start is by stealing Lenin’s idea of a “vanguard party.”  The Sons of Valley Forge, for instance, can portray themselves as an Elite simply by being members-only.  This avoids the obvious problem of tying Elite status to something measurable, like race or IQ (the Left really screwed the pooch when they started calling themselves “smart,” since IQ is measurable, the tests have 50+ years’ worth of empirical backing, and it’s pretty hard for a dumb white chick to argue that she didn’t do well on the Wechsler because it’s rayciss).

Once the SOVF start throwing their weight around, scoring some successes — just post pictures of professors saying bad stuff about white people conspicuously around campus — the Elite image will self-perpetuate.  As the only effective group in #TheRealResistance, they’ll seem elite by default.  So long as the SOVF make it clear that they only do what they do because it comports with Reality, pretty soon “getting in line with Reality” will seem “smart,” the way parroting Leftist jibbajabba seems “smart” now.

Get your vanguard party going, tightly control the membership rosters — don’t forget to have everyone proudly show off their fight club contusions! — and you’re halfway there.

Loading Likes...

Straw Man Judo

Leftism’s greatest trick is making the obvious sound esoteric.  The sum total of modern Liberal Arts “education,” for instance, is asserting that everything is a “social construction.”  Back in the old days they said everything is an economic construction, but the trick is the same.  “___ is a social construction” is just a fancy way of saying “if things were different, they wouldn’t be the same.”

So yes, in that sense, “gender is a social construction” — the ancient Greeks thought it was acceptable to bugger little boys, we think the opposite (though the Left is rapidly coming around), and isn’t diversity wonderful?  If we were raised by ancient Greeks, in ancient Greece, we’d be ancient Greeks.  This seems trivially true (because it is), but if you lard it up with 50 cent jargon and feed it to impressionable youth who’ve never thought about it before — say, in a freshman Humanities seminar — it seems like a big, important new insight.

More importantly, it makes arguments against Leftist positions seem dumb and pigheaded.  “Gender isn’t a social construction?  Oh, so if you were raised by Socrates in Ancient Athens you’d literally still be an American dudebro.  Wow just wow I can’t even.”  And that makes stealing intellectual bases easy, because of course Leftist academics don’t mean “ancient Greeks were ancient Greeks” when they say “gender is a social construction.”  They mean that big, obvious differences between men and women, like physical strength, are “socially constructed” too.  Raise boys like girls, and soon nobody will be able to open a pickle jar.  But since “gender is a social construction” is a beachhead fact, arguing against the latter makes it sound like you’re denying the former.  What, you don’t think the way girls are raised has some kind of impact on their bodies?

We need to learn how to judo flip straw men the way the Left does.  Obviously we can’t use things like “gender is a social construction” — you know, since we’re the Reality people — but it’s certainly possible to word our propositions in such a way that anyone who denies them sounds like a fool.  This is what I was getting at in the photo essay, below.  Why is this bad?

Make them answer.  When they try to retreat into jargon, make them define it.  When they try to imply you’re stupid for not knowing what “intersectionality” means, come back with “no, I didn’t waste 5 years and a hundred fifty thousand dollars on that stuff.  I was out working a job and having sex with attractive partners.  Now answer the question.”  Taunt them.  Mock them.  Be merciless.  What, specifically, is wrong with little kids playing store in the backyard?  Is it that they’re getting too much fresh air?  Have too many friends?  Will build too much self-esteem?

You know what’s “wrong” with that picture, and so do I.  But Chad and Stacey don’t.  Judo flip that straw man.  Make them answer.  Then sit back and watch some soy-addled amygdalae explode.

 

Loading Likes...

Rethinking Democracy

Just like video killed the radio star, HBD killed democracy.

Democracy, representative government, (classical) republicanism, whatever you want to call it (hereafter, “democracy”) is the best form of government, not because it leads to the best results — look around you! — but because it’s the most legitimate form of government.  A modern nation-state requires significant buy-in from the majority of its population in order to defend itself, because modern nation-states require mass armies.

The feudal system worked fine with a small, decentralized, agricultural population.  When sixty miles a day was the absolute max speed of a courier and knights were the effective fighting arm, you could defend “France” with a retinue of a few thousand men-at-arms.  Which was good for them, because in an without mass communication (and with illiteracy near-universal), nobody outside of Paris knew what “France” was in the first place.  One might theoretically trace his feudal dues all the way up the pyramid, but in practice, very few people knew or cared who their lord’s lord was.  Why would it matter, when the next village over had a different lord, a different system of measurement, and probably spoke a different dialect?

And then the Renaissance happened (as my students would say), and communication got much faster.  Literacy was more widespread.  Most important, effective firearms made knights useless in battle, and with that, the whole feudal system lost its justification for existing.  An Early Modern army was a mass army, an infantry army, and would need to be in the field year-round.  It would need to be paid and supplied by the State (no mean feat, and itself a driver of all kinds of other changes), and, most importantly, it would need motivation.  You can keep a small retinue of archers and pikemen in the field for a campaign season or two if you promise them lots of plunder and a discharge by harvest time.  Modern armies stay in the field full time — something has to hold them there.

Democracy fits the bill.  It’s not too much of an exaggeration to say that modern representative government came out of the Putney Debates in Cromwell’s New Model Army during the English Civil Wars.  “One man, one vote” is the bedrock principle.  Only a government that respects its people’s interests in peacetime will have their loyalty in wartime.

Fast forward a few hundred years.  It’s no slander on the New Model Army to say that just about any old peasant could be trained to use an arquebus, and it’s no slander on that peasant to say that the issues he’d be voting on weren’t much more complex than his weapon.  “One man, one vote” presumes rough equality between all men, and in the England of the 1640s this was true enough.  Modern life, though, is as complicated as modern weapons.  Very few of us have the brainpower (or the free time!) to cast an informed vote on just about anything.

That’s an argument for disenfranchising the dummies, BUT: By what right, then, do we send them off to war?  Remember, the key is legitimacy.  Why fight and die for a country in which you have no stake?  Unless you’re willing to limit military service  to +2SD IQs (or whatever the figure is), you’ve essentially turned the American military into a giant mercenary company (read Machiavelli if you want to know how that works out, if it isn’t incandescently obvious).

The tl;dr: If aristocracy is illegitimate because such a government by definition doesn’t respect the interests of the people, then any “democracy” that acknowledges the reality of HBD is likewise illegitimate.  Modern political science — the whole schmear, from Thomas Hobbes and John Locke down to now, whether absolute monarchist or absolute libertarian — presumes that all men are roughly equal.  But they just aren’t, and the more we know about HBD, the more we realize just how UNequal we all are.

Democracy or HBD.  Pick one.

Loading Likes...