Author Archives: Severian

The New Kremlinology [UPDATED]

Watching the USA go pedal to the metal turning itself into the USSR these last few years has been a real kick. I mean it. I haven’t had this much fun since the end of the Cold War, when I got to listen to all those folks assure me that, though the leadership has made some regrettable mistakes, the Russian people really love Socialism and are 100% behind the construction of the glorious Soviet future…. oh, wait, never mind, but look at all the great things Castro is doing in Cuba!*

It can’t have escaped the regular readers that we now live in one of the most ideological societies on earth. We Americans — our “leaders,” anyway — have always been self-righteous pricks, strutting and fretting our hour upon the world stage, but since it was mostly our “leaders” doing it, we could convince ourselves that it wasn’t us being North Koreanized (it’s a word). It was always some wogs somewhere who needed to “embrace democracy,” not us. Fast forward a few years and well, here we are, the new and improved North Korea — everything not forbidden is compulsory, just like in Kim-topia, but at least there’s Netflix and ESPN.

For proof, just look at the Media. Yeah, all of it, even Fox. Make that, “especially Fox” — as the Ace of Spades crowd keep pointing out, they’re all but indistinguishable from MSNBC these days, and when you’ve lost the feeble milquetoasts at AoS, buddy, it’s game over. You want an example? Sure. Word comes that the only Black NASCAR driver found a noose hanging in his locker. You, and I, and everyone not too stupid to breathe knows it’s 100 to 1 that this is a publicity stunt — the driver hung it there himself, or his agent did, or his publicist, or someone at Fox Sports, and when it’s exposed we’ll be told that it’s just a “conversation starter” for “troubling questions about race in America,” and it will be promptly memory-holed.

That’s an easy one, but y’all, they’re all like that. See also: COVID, Trump’s rallies, Joe Biden’s very obvious dementia, the race riots, and the rest of it. They’re all lies — egregious, shameless lies, visible-from-space lies. So what’s the truth? Here’s where old Kremlinologists really get that zippy Viagra glow…

… but they really, really shouldn’t, because they missed it — “it” being “the collapse of the Soviet Union,” which very few thought was even a remote possibility, much less right around the corner. The reason they missed it was simple: After a lifetime in the system, even very minor Soviet functionaries got very good at presenting the illusion of control — as the Chinese say, “riding the tiger.”** All you can do is hang on for dear life, because you’re the one who will get devoured first.

See e.g. Nancy Pelosi and that retarded kneeling stunt they pulled a week or two back. It was so tin-eared, even the vast majority of angry Blacks thought it was a stupid, token gesture. If Trump had any brains — yeah yeah, I know — he’d splash that all over his campaign ads, ideally superimposed over pics of the 101st Airborne executing looters in job lots. Hello, 50 state sweep. The point is, Pelosi, Schumer, even arch-devil Soros have no real idea what’s going on out there, much less any kind of endgame in mind. They at least see the tiger — which is far better than anyone in the GOP has managed — but they’ve got that fucker by the ears… and their grip is slipping.

Pretty soon they’re going to run out of statues. And since the worst of this stuff is happening in all-Blue jurisdictions — I’m talking the kinds of places a Republican couldn’t get elected dogcatcher — they might well move on to somebody important’s house. Graffiti up the gates of Nancy’s zillion-dollar San Francisco mansion, and she’ll roll in the tanks. And then it gets really fun…

UPDATE: Right on cue. Jesus this shit is predictable as sunrise. Not that it matters a bit to the larger point, but it has only been, what, two hours since I wrote this? Next up: “Still, this raises troubling questions about race in America.” Then down the memory hole, starting in three… two… one….

 

*If you haven’t already, you should skim Paul Hollander’s Political Pilgrims. He’s not the most exciting writer, but he lays it all out in almost excruciating detail. Did you know that there were American Leftist gadflies who claimed to believe Albania was humanity’s glorious future? There are few unlikelier messiahs, in all of human history, than Enver Hoxha, but the irritated butterflies of the American Left are like Mulder and Scully: They want to believe, baby.
** I assume it’s the Chinese, anyway. That sounds like the inscrutable wisdom of the Orient. Nobody is better at making banalities seem profound than ancient Kung Flu masters. “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.” Ah so, Grasshoppah. In other words, have a fucking plan. Brilliant!!
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Addendum to Previous:

See what I mean with this stuff? (Warning: about a zillion auto-play videos, because Fox. Also warning: Fox News. Be current on your blood pressure meds).

Sabotaging Trump’s rally — by showing all the empty seat, then walking away — would’ve been a slick bit of dirty pool. I mean it. Nice move, “Zoomers” (whoever the hell y’all are); I wish I would’ve thought of it myself. You even blackpilled Z Man about it (not that that’s a particularly high bar). I salute you….

But then y’all have to go ruin it by bragging about it. You’ve turned what should’ve been a very effective piece of propaganda into a win for the other side. Even the Ace of Spades dorks get it:

THE NEW RULES
Based on AOC’s bragging about using TikTok teenagers and K-Pop fans to reduce the headcount at Trump’s rally in Tulsa, some new rules are evidently in effect:

1. Any rally with a headcount < 6200 is a miserable failure.

2. Foreign interference in an election is now totes OK.

3. Voter suppression is also totes OK.

4. Abusing the ticketing system to intentionally deny people the ability to hear the politician of their choice is “a form of protest” and is thus totes OK.

5. A candidate being 10 points ahead in some poll 5 months out from the election is absolutely dispositive.

6. Millions of online viewers count for nothing.

7. Stacey Abrahms is the rightful governor of Georgia (this is always true).

In case any Democrats wander by here, let me point out three very, very obvious things:

  1. It’s going to take Joe Biden a month’s worth of rallies to draw 6300 people, what with all the truly obnoxious Branch Covidians in his fan bae; and
  2. You could hold a Trump rally in a phone booth now, and he’ll claim it would’ve been the best-attended thing since Woodstock, if not for those meddling kids; and
  3. Any time he draws more than 6300 people — which he will, this being election season — he’s going to claim this is his real level of support. All he has to do is put out pictures of a stadium packed to the rafters and say “compare and contrast.”

You just own-goaled yourselves. Again. And I know y’all won’t get it — narcissists, by definition, don’t know they’re narcissists — but for everyone else just getting up to speed on the New Kremlinology (that is, trying to figure out what’s really going on in the Imperial Crapital by reading the tea leaves), this is highly instructive. So…. thanks?

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A Night at the Movies [UPDATED]

We humans are pattern-finding creatures. Even the most primitive tribes — the kind that wear coconut codpieces and eat grubs — understand, and embrace, the notion of cause and effect. The phrase “cargo cult” is brutally overused in Our Thing, but it’s worth remembering what “cargo cults” actually are:

Back in WWII, the primitive tribes of the South Pacific saw Americans arrive by ship on nearby islands. The first thing these strange seaborne pale-faces did was build an airstrip, after which planes started landing with all kinds of goodies. From this, the tribesmen concluded that building an “airstrip” would bring the planes.

Folks in Our Thing use this as a nice metaphor for the superstitions of our modern techno-savages. Those idiots up in Seattle, for instance, have no idea  how any of the stuff they’ve “liberated” actually works, so they tore up some pavement and tossed random seeds in the dirt — to them, that’s “farming.” If the idiot SJWs on the city council hadn’t kept the utilities running, they’d be resorting to cannibalism by now….

…but I digress. The point is, the original cargo cultists made a perfectly valid inference, based on the information they had. Hell, it’s even a scientific proposition (in Karl Popper’s sense) because it’s “falsifiable.” What makes it a cargo cult is the fact that repeated falsifications didn’t cause them to abandon the hypothesis. Instead, they started telling themselves stories to explain the theory’s failure. In other words, not being wrong was far more important, to the cultists, than being right.

As I say, that’s a human universal. Part of the reason “science” was so carefully circumscribed back in the days was to maintain exactly that sense of detachment. If the gunk that comes out the back end of the Bunsen burner isn’t the gunk I expected to find, then my hypothesis is false, and it’s back to the drawing board. The minute I get emotionally invested in the gunk that’s actually there, I’m no longer doing science. Which is why there’s no such thing as social or, god help us, political “science.” since these fields start with an emotional investment in the gunk that’s already there…

…but again, I digress. The point is, we can’t avoid this in ourselves. The best we can do is be aware of the tendency. And this, I add, is what folks in Our Thing are increasingly unlikely to do.

Almost all analyses of the recent, ummm, “unpleasantness,” for instance, proceed as if there’s some master plan behind it all. Whether or not you want to name Soros or, sigh, (((others))) as your devil, the very fact that you’ve nominated a devil means you’ve already fallen victim to cargo cult thinking. We all anthropomorphize “the Left” — myself most certainly included. But unless we constantly remind ourselves that “the Left” is just shorthand for a tendency, we end up like the cargo cultists telling themselves stories to explain away the planes’ failure to arrive. There is no “Left,” of course, outside of the individuals who tend to behave in a certain way.

Which is why Captain Whitepill has been riding to the rescue lately. As much as I’m playing the part, and as pessimistic as I can be in real life 95% of the time, there are some serious reasons for hope in all this.

All ideologies fracture under stress. We’re all familiar with the just-so assertion that “real Communism has never been tried.” As much as that’s usually just cargo cultism, there’s actually a case to be made there, just like there’s a case in every one of those “Lenin / Stalin / whomever wasn’t a real Communist” books that folks who still read The Nation have sitting unread on their display shelves. Lenin and especially Stalin faced the stark choice between “remaining in power” and “being true to the spirit, and quite often the letter, of Marxism.” Not surprisingly, they picked the former (which is why Trotsky got whacked, even after he was no conceivable threat — he never let Stalin forget his choice). In the weird Castle Wolfenstein world where the Germans won the war, I promise you, there are university library bookshelves groaning under volumes arguing that Hitler was never really a Nazi.

And that’s assuming ideology has much of anything to do with anything, which is a dubious proposition. You think the Cosplay Communards up in Seattle have ever actually read the “intersectional” gobbledygook they’re spouting? The idea that these goofballs can even spell “reification” is laughable. Like the New Left of which they are very pale reflections — pun most definitely intended — they’re only mouthing this stuff as their excuse to flip cars and break shit. I guarantee you, you could get them quoting Hitler himself at their rallies if you took his name off it. “Interest slavery,” anyone?

Nobody involved, White or Black, has any idea what they actually want. We’re told with a straight face, for instance, that “defund the police” doesn’t actually mean defund the police. Rather, it just means “take away all their equipment and forbid them from responding to calls.” When you’ve got the White mayor of overwhelmingly Black Oakland persecuting a Black guy for hanging exercise pulleys in a public park because some idiot thought they kinda sorta look like nooses, it’s clear that Clown World is far, far in the rearview mirror. It’s just nihilistic shit-flinging, by people who hate us almost as much as they hate themselves…

…and for every hour this goes on, the more painfully obvious that becomes.

What you’ve got, when it comes right down to it, is a whole bunch of utter narcissists who feel no need to even try to rein it in. Forget the DSM, since it’s written by a bunch of simpering SJWs. The Last Psychiatrist’s definition is the real one: the unshakable inner certainty that life is a movie, and you’re the star.

What you’re seeing in Seattle, in Minneapolis, in Atlanta, and everywhere else, is classic narcissistic injury. The one thing a narcissist can’t abide is the suggestion that he’s not the star of the Movie of Life. They don’t hate the guys on the statues they’re tearing down. They honestly have no fucking idea who any of those people were:

What they really hate is accomplishment. It’s the same psychology that motivated Milton’s Satan: non serviam. Being unable to create, he revels in destruction for its own sake. So it goes with the SJWs. Life isn’t actually a movie, and they’re not the stars, and deep down they know it. The same social pressures that force them to maintain a facade of normalcy, ironically, allow them to convince themselves that life is a movie, that Reality is bending to their will. Remove the social pressures, and the mask pops off… and, as any psychologist will tell you, the one and only reaction to narcissistic injury is bitter, hateful, murderous rage.

It’s one hell of a wake up call. Just as Chad and Stacy Normie are, thanks to the narcissistic fools in the Media, getting to see Blacks as they really are, so they’re also getting to see SJWs, in the Media and elsewhere, as they really are. Believe me, it’s absolutely clear who owns this mess, and it isn’t Donald Trump, much less “The Right” or even “the KKK” (all twelve of them, ten of which are undercover FBI agents). They’re doing everything in their considerable power to drag us into their movie….

…. and it’s a slasher film. And now everyone knows it.

UPDATE: The rumor going around social media is that Trump’s rather poor rally attendance tonight was due to “Zoomers” (whatever those are) “sabotaging” it by reserving tickets, then not showing up. Which actually would’ve been a pretty slick bit of dirty pool, IF they could’ve resisted bragging about it… but they can’t, because they’re narcissists.

Even worse would be if they didn’t do this, but claimed they did. Either way, though, the proper low blow would’ve been to artificially depress Trump’s rally numbers, point it out, and then walk away. “Ha ha ha, the Twitterer-in-Chief can’t even fill a stadium in Podunkville!! What a loser!!!!” That could’ve done some real damage. But now, Trump can easily flip the tables on them — “We had a sellout crowd, had to turn people away, and look, they have to resort to cheap tricks and childish tantrums.” It doesn’t matter now what the actual attendance numbers are — Trump could claim it would’ve been the best-attended political event since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and who can gainsay him?

See, they had to make it all about them. Another massive own goal, because they can’t resist feeding their narcissism. See what I mean about this whole thing trending towards being one of the all-time fuckups?

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More Devil’s Advocate

I know y’all don’t come here for the optimism, but I’m having fun playing Captain Whitepill for a bit, so:

The reason Karl Marx’s hare-brained theories made intuitive sense to Europeans is the same reason Adam Smith’s hare-brained theories* did: White folks, being accustomed, through birth and training, to seeing the world logically, assumed that all men are, at bottom, logical creatures. In other words, the great Enlightenment fallacy (Karl Marx, you’ll recall, was born in 1818). As “reductionism” seems to also be a universal human tendency, it was very easy for those sane, logical Europeans to make the mental leap from “men tend to act in their own economic self-interest” to “men are nothing but economic actors.”

Few theories in the history of Man have been more comprehensively refuted, but lots of us still cling to it anyway. Consider sportsball. The prevailing assumptions, even now, seem to fall into two camps:

The first says that the overwhelmingly Black players of the Negro Felon League will realize which side of their bread’s buttered and come to their senses. All this talk of collectively kneeling at every game, or even boycotting the season, is just that: Talk, by guys who have too much time on their hands before training camps open. The Commissioner will make some token gesture, this line of thought goes, and some idiot Karen of an owner will sign Colin fucking Kaepernick, and all of this will blow over.

The second is just like the first, but with the races flipped. This camp thinks that Whitey is so sportsball-addled that it doesn’t matter what the players do. After all, at least some of them kneeled at every game when the Kaepernick thing first happened, this line of reasoning goes, and though the NFL has seen attendance and revenue drop across the board for the last few years, they ain’t going broke any time this century on the current trajectory.** Moreover, this theory goes, look at what else Whitey will put up with for sportsball: Months where everything’s pink. Spanish announcers in the booth. Ugly sideline reporterettes. So long as the aforementioned Negro Felons are chasing a ball around, all that other stuff is incidental.

I dunno. The opium of the people is opiates, as any trip to trailer country will confirm, but sportsball is a close second… and now there really can’t be any doubt about how pozzed it is. They just invented a new holiday, “Juneteenth,” for everyone to get all ginned up about between Memorial Day and the Fourth. All the cop-kissing and flag-sucking at every summer sporting event will now bookend a week-long (undoubtedly soon to be month-long) celebration of Magic Negroes. And it just so happens to fall right in the middle of baseball season — that is, midseason of the second-Whitest sport in America — and at the tail end of the Stanley Cup playoffs, i.e. the most popular time for the Whitest sport in the world, ice hockey. There will soon be absolutely no place to go to get away from it… and should any substantial number of White fans defect to something like curling, they’ll Kwanzaa it up too in short order.

That doesn’t strike me as the self-confident action of a ruling power. That strikes me as a giant tactical mistake. They’re betting that Whites are too beaten-down and pozzed to make any protest when their last form of solace is taken away. As a purely tactical decision, it’s one hell of a roll of the dice…

… and if they really were winning, they wouldn’t need to roll the dice.

And that’s just Theory #2. It could be a lot worse with Theory #1. As we all know, the kind of guy who makes it in pro sports is, shall we say, “in the moment” a lot more than your average person. If Whitey isn’t a rational economic actor — and he’s obviously not, judging by how much money he keeps giving to organizations, like the NFL, that clearly hate him — why on earth should we suppose that Blacks are rational economic actors?

I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they actually did it. Walked out on the season, that is, or whatever it eventually ends up being (and remember, there’s lots of summer left; “boycotting the season” is just their opening bid).

Again, that’s not the mopping-up action of a triumphant army. That’s a clear indication that the generals have lost control of their troops… indeed, maybe never had much control in the first place, which is why they’re so desperately rolling the dice, to rally everyone back in line.

As I say, this isn’t a prediction. I’m more playing the role of Captain Whitepill than anything else. But it’s at least plausible, you must admit.

 

 

*No slander intended on Adam Smith. He was, from all reports, a decent man who was trying his best to observe actual patterns out in the real world. He wasn’t an “economist,” a profession that didn’t exist back then. He was a moral philosopher, who made his rep on books like The Theory of Moral Sentiments. He was wrong, all in, but he wasn’t evil. Karl Marx was pure fucking evil.

**I assume at least some of them kneeled every game of every subsequent season, but I haven’t watched a snap in years. Feel free to correct me.

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Quick Take: The Definition of Insanity

Ace of Spades links to a report that Tara Reade told her future ex-husband about Joe Biden groping her back in 1993. The testimony in question — their divorce proceedings — dates from 1996. Which proves, if nothing else, that Reade’s allegations aren’t a last-second put-up job by unhinged partisan hacks, a la Blasey-Ford.

From this, Ace concludes:

I don’t see how he continues as the nominee. I wish I could — he’s so damaged he’d be an easy win.

But it’s over.

Wasn’t it Freud who said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, yet expecting different results?

Democrats don’t withdraw. They don’t resign. There have been two that I can think of who have been forced out in the modern era: Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner. Both New Yorkers, and as New York is the definition of a one-party state, there were lots of powerful Democrats with vested interests going against them. These were, effectively, palace coups, not responses to the voters’ moral outrage. After all, who the hell else were they gonna vote for? A Republican? Get outta here!

And then Trump happened, as my students would’ve written back in my teaching days, proving that even token gestures were unnecessary. Trump’s romantic resume is exotic enough to give a French politician pause. Conventional wisdom says a guy like that can’t get elected dog catcher in a Puritanical country like America… but wouldn’t you know it, Evangelicals came out as some of Trump’s strongest supporters. Plus ça change and all that, oui?

The Media, in the form of the New York Times, has already explicitly said that they won’t be investigating Reade’s allegations — unlike the flaming-hot topicality of the Kavanaugh hearings, the 2020 Presidential Race is one of the Media’s famous “local crime stories,” at least as far as the Democratic nominee is concerned.

 

Hell, the Media are degenerate enough to consider dragging their senile (alleged!) rapist across the finish line as a personal challenge, and as for the DNC, they didn’t blatantly rig the Iowa Caucuses (and the SC primaries, and Nevada, and etc.) to let their guy down now. It’s Biden or bust. They’ll simply pronounce the allegations “debunked” like they always do, and if they’re ever forced to mention it again, they’ll resort to the tried-and-true “Republicans pounce on debunked allegations.”

The only way Joe Biden isn’t the Dem nominee is if the Dems decide

a) he can’t win, AND

b) his defeat will do such damage to the brand that he has to go.

In that case, he won’t be forced out over anything so ticky-tack as a credible rape allegation. No, if that happens, Hillary’s fixers will make sure ol’ Sundown Joe has an “accident.” I mean, who hasn’t severed his carotid artery while shaving and juggling loaded revolvers?

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Credo

I believe in the right of free association.  All other “rights” — of free expression, to private property, etc. — derive from the right of free association.  The only stable form of human organization is the community.

I believe in justice, not Justice.  Only communities can decide what justice is, in and for their communities.  Any social organization larger than the community, which does not leave the administration of justice to the community, is tyranny.

I believe in the person, not the process.  The administration of abstract, universal “Justice” requires treating individual men as means, not ends.  Fealty to abstract “Justice” sees men not as individuals with their own needs, or as members of a sovereign community, but as the outcome of a mechanical, judicial process.

I believe in the fundamental value of the human person, not his fundamental worth.  All humans are equally valuable in God’s eyes, and communities must respect that value.  A man’s worth, however, is a function of his social role.  It is determined by his community.  Abstract “Justice” denies this, which is why attempts to administer it always end up focusing on equality of outcome.  This violates the right of free association, and is therefore tyranny.

I believe in evolution, also called “descent with modification.”  Abstract “Justice” denies this, because it presumes that all men are equally capable of understanding the Good.  Men have different capacities for understanding the good; these capacities are largely inherited.  Forcing “equal” outcomes on people who are incapable of understanding it is tyranny, as the rights of those capable of knowing and acting on the Good are necessarily violated thereby.

I believe in the value of Culture.  It is the duty of those more capable of knowing the Good to arrange matters in their communities to check the worst tendencies of those less capable.  Any attempt to do this outside the community is a violation of the right of free association, and therefore tyranny.

I believe in the fundamental autonomy of the individual.  A man who will not, or cannot, adapt himself to his community is free to find another.  If he cannot find another, he may form his own.  As Thomas Hobbes said, the end of virtue is to be sociable to those who would be social, and formidable to those who will not.  This is the position of the autonomous individual.  Every man has a right to free association with himself, if no other.  Any attempt to constrain this is tyranny.

 

 

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