Category Archives: For the Record

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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The Hard Truths

Since I just don’t have the time to put together a Friday Book Club — sorry — maybe we can all kick in on this: A list of the hard truths.

I don’t mean stuff like “Blacks commit way disproportionately more crime” or “the 19th Amendment was a big mistake.”  While those are true enough, they’re also common knowledge — why do you think the PTB go to such great lengths to suppress any mention of them?  For “hard truths” I mean things that we ourselves — the students of History, the “conservatives,” the saturnine — have a hard time looking at straight on, and indeed try very hard to forget.  Stuff like this:

Humans can’t handle abundance.  One of my favorite “jokes” is that I’m the only guy I know who really believes in evolution.  By which I mean: If you grant that we humans are, in fact, great apes — that we share 96% of our DNA with chimps — then 96% of our behavior follows.  Any group of humans will invariably behave like an equivalent-sized group of monkeys, because we are monkeys.

Monkeys, like all lower animals, are hardwired for life on the ragged edge of survival.  Malthus got it right, back in the 18th century – a given population will always expand to the limits of its food supply, and that explains the behavior of both the population and its individual members.  Dogs, for example, will breed any time there’s a female in heat, the males fighting it out among themselves for access.  Dogs will eat until they vomit, then go back and eat the vomit.

Humans work the same way.  But there’s one crucial difference — while every other population has hard limits on its food supply, ours is effectively limitless.  Ask any overweight person (these days, that’s pretty much all of us) who has ever seriously tried a calorie reduction diet.  It’s almost impossible, and not just because our foods are packed with high-calorie, glucose-spiking artificial crap like corn syrup.  Even if you go all natural, you find yourself overeating, because we have 24/7/365 access to all kinds of perfectly natural products that don’t suit us, and screw us up.  Yeah yeah, it’s “healthy,” “natural” food… but do you know how much sugar is in a cup of strawberries?

This isn’t some kind of Paleo diet manifesto.  I don’t care what you eat (and I myself am not the paragon of optimized nutrition).  I’m trying to point out that abundance is pathological in itself.  Because we’re just monkeys, our systems follow a kind of nutritional Say’s Law — supply creates its own demand, such that we give ourselves diabetes eating nothing but “natural” fruits from climates we’re not genetically adapted to.

And it’s not just our food.  Our environment, too, is far too secure for our firmware.  We’re wired for threat detection.  So wired, in fact, that city dwellers who go camping often freak themselves out in the quiet of the forest — did that bush just move?!?  Your threat-detection hardware can’t be shut off, so when you take away the constant barrage of stimulus in the city, you actually start to hallucinate threats.

In other words, the abundance of our environment has screwed up our eustress.  “Eustress” is beneficial stress, the kind that makes you stronger, and it applies to everything in your body.  Lifting weights is eustress on your muscles; solving math problems is eustress for your mind.  Everything about our biological life is designed around maximizing eustress — change your material conditions, and your body (and mind!) will adapt.  Humans are amazingly hard to kill — even in concentration camps, the numerical majority of those not killed outright by the guards survived to tell the tale.

That adaptability, too, is hardwired.  We can’t shut off our eustress-maximization mechanism — “life force,” “will to power,” whatever you choose to call it — any more than we can consciously, voluntarily shut off our hearts.  If there’s no stress available in our environment to eustress against, we’ll make some…

…and that’s modern life right there.  Again, look at the Kavanaugh circus.  The only thing wrong with those people is that they’re bored.  Feminism didn’t exist in the 19th century, simply — and it really is this simple — because sex often resulted in conception, and conception opened up the very real risk of painful death.  Add infant mortality to the mix — a 1 in 2 chance your child will die before the age of five concentrates the mind wonderfully — and you’ve got all the stress, eu- and the other kind, that anyone could ever need.  Only barren spinsters from rich families could afford to worry about politics back then; now we’re all barren spinsters.

The comments are open.

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Why I’m Not a Liberal, Part II

Because I’m non-binary.

No, I’m not a golden-skinned wingless dragonkin or anything like that.  I mean I can do what Aristotle said is the hallmark of an educated mind: I can entertain an idea without accepting it.  Our Betters, the Liberals, markedly lack this capacity.

It’s a top-down problem.  From the top: It’s shocking that folks who proclaim themselves science’s BFFs at every opportunity are so bad at inductive reasoning.  For instance, here’s a list of Nobel prize winners in the sciences (plus economics and the “peace” prize), sortable by country of origin and number of laureates per capita.  Fiddle with the tabs all you want; several things become immediately clear:

  • only one nonwhite-majority nation (Japan) has more than 10 total prizes.
  • of nations with 10 or more, only 2 — Japan and India — aren’t primarily Judeo-Christian.
  • the only non-majority white countries with 10 or more (India, South Africa, Japan) have gotten Western Imperialism good and long and hard.*

If you strip out the ludicrous “peace” prize — you know, the one that Barack Obama famously won before ever stepping foot in the Oval Office — it’s whiter than a polar bear eating a mayo sandwich on wonderbread in a blizzard.  Tiny Poland (population 38 million) has the same number of science prizes as China (pop. 1.4 billion).  From this, an inductive reasoner would conclude that there’s something about Whiteness and Christianity — or what we quaintly used to call “Western Civilization” — that is favorable to scientific discovery.

Liberals would just scream “rayciss!” and report you to the Thought Police.

Nor are Our Betters particularly good at deductive reasoning.  For proof, I give you the collected works of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (50 vols.).  According to Marxists themselves, nothing could be more scientific than Marxism, which lays down the Universal Laws of History and deduces from them all kinds of things which must — not may, but must! — happen.  Pretty much every single prediction Marx ever made has been wrong.  This is why we now have “cultural Marxism,” Third Wave Feminism, Leninism, Maoism, and Postmodernism, to name just a few — Marx was wrong.  He was wrong in general, and he was wrong in detail, so much so that the deduction

if Karl Marx said X would happen, it didn’t

is all but universally true.

Liberals, of course, would scream that logic is rayciss, and report you to the Thought Police.

The reason Liberals are bad at both flavors of reasoning, of course, is that they’re binary thinkers.  Outside of the most rigorously formal logic — the kind that’s indistinguishable from math to non-STEM majors — reasoning works on supposition.  Suppose X is true; where does that lead?  For non-Liberals, this is an interesting thought experiment.  For Liberals, this is the first step on the slippery slope to heresy.  Suppositions are not Approved Thoughts, and only Approved Thoughts are proof against potentially heretical conclusions.

I’m not saying I’m the world’s greatest thinker — I barely scraped out a C- in Logic 101, as I recall — but the very notion of supposing something doesn’t slam my sphincter shut.  Hence, I’m not a Liberal.

But forget all that philosophy hooey.  In everyday life, too, Liberals are the most binary people on the planet.  You know how, according to the Left, Clarence Thomas isn’t “really” Black, Sarah Palin isn’t “really” a woman, and so on?  We tend to write that off as typical Liberal hyperventilating, but it’s not.  They really believe it.  Good little Marxoids that they are, their mental world only makes sense if everyone is ONE thing and ONE thing only, always and everywhere.  They’re functionally autistic: They see a woman (or, more properly, a Woman) and their programming kicks in — “oh, she’s a Woman; run Approved Thoughts subroutine XX.”  A pro-life woman, say, fries their circuits… ergo, the breasted, be-vaginaed, XX-chromosomed entity that says such heretical things is not really a woman.  Gender is just a social construction!!!

[This is why, BTW, Liberals have to turn e.g. Star Wars into SJWars.  Luke Skywalker is an archetype.  We hardly expect rich characterization of a stock character, and in the original trilogy Luke is little more than a farm kid with self-esteem issues, but even that is too nuanced for the Left.  Luke is male, you see, and you know what lurking potential thoughtcriminals those males are.  So of course the new trilogy has to put Girl Luke into the exact same plot, even if that plot doesn’t make sense for a girl — Luke’s grownup identity is shaped by his interaction with wise old Father Figure Obi Wan and cocky-but-dissolute Older Brother Han Solo.  Girl Luke will no doubt do the same sorts of things with a Mother Figure and an Older Sister, but as anyone who has actually been around a girl knows, girls don’t work that way.  So Girl Luke will do Guy Things and it won’t make a damn lick of sense, but everyone will look the right way, so it’ll be a good movie].

If I had to guess, this kind of thing is mostly genetic.  There seem to be two broad types of people in this world: Those who think this world is all we can know, and those who just know there’s another, better world out there that could be brought into this one… if only we could rip away the veil and see it.  It has always been thus; the “this is not the real world” thing is at least as old as Parmenides (late 6th century BCE).  Liberals believe they’re living in the Matrix — and, of course, subscribing to the SJW catechism makes them Neo.  Some of the rest of us put our faith in the next world, but know that we can only truly know this one… and not too much of that.

I’m comfortable with my own ignorance, which is why I’m willing to entertain — if only for the sake of argument — other views.  Our Betters, obviously, are not.



*You don’t think Japan’s deliberate, fanatic adoption of all things Western in the Meiji era counts as imperialism?  What about the postwar occupation?  That’s pretty much the definition of “cultural imperialism,” you rayciss.

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Why I Am Not a Liberal, Part I

In an effort to post more regularly, I’m putting up a series of short, slam-dunk posts.  These are probably boring, because I’m not a Liberal for the same reason y’all are: I notice stuff (Steve Sailer’s definition of Liberalism as “the war on noticing things” is the best one ever devised).  Still, for the record:

I’m not a Liberal, first and foremost, because I’m lazy.  This is the meta-reason, that encompasses all the other reasons.  It just takes too much damn effort to be a Liberal.

Not noticing stuff is hard.  I said somewhere that Third Wave feminism is so easy to disprove, a wymynist should be crippled by cognitive dissonance every time she goes to buy kitty litter.  With all that rage against the Patriarchy, and knowing (as she does!) that physical strength is just a social construction, she should easily be able to heft that giant econo-size bag off the bottom shelf…. but alas, she’s got to call the stockboy over to do it for her.

Pretty much all Liberalism is like that.  It makes a little bit of superficial sense when you first hear it — “you know, since girls grow up playing with Barbies, and Barbie never pumps iron, maybe Barbie makes girls weaker than boys?”  But then you think about it for a few seconds and realize how stupid it is.  Avoiding stupidity, I’m sure you’ll agree, is hard and getting harder.

And then there’s the time commitment.  I don’t mean the endless protests, awareness-raisings, re-tweetings, and all the other stuff Liberals seem to always have time for (not having a job helps, I imagine), although those are exhausting too.  I mean all those semesters in college (and, increasingly, in grad school) just to learn how to grok their special obfuscatory lingo.  The perversion of language is the bedrock of not noticing stuff.  Orwell usually gets the credit for saying that some ideas are so foolish only intellectuals could believe them, but everyone who has been in an American classroom, K-thru-PhD, has thought something like that at least once.  Such ideas are much easier to believe when you can’t even figure out what they are, but have to pretend you can in order to pass the class.

On top of that, you have to forget everything you already know.  American schools are pretty good at teaching nothing at great (and hideously expensive) length, but despite the teachers’ unions’ best efforts a few nuggets of knowledge get through.  It only takes a few historical facts, for instance, to completely disprove the Liberal worldview (biology only takes one: “Boys have a penis, girls have a vagina”).  I like a drink as much as the next guy (if the next guy is a raging alcoholic), but there’s not enough booze in the world to make me forget that the USSR used to be there, but now it’s not.

And then there’s the skull-cracking cognitive dissonance.  Horror writer H.P. Lovecraft said “The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents,” and he’s right — since all the things we’re required to believe these days contradict each other, correlating your mind’s contents is migraine-inducing.  I imagine the Liberal “thought” process runs like that old “Frogger” arcade game — you’ve got to hop from dogma to dogma, dodging the cars of fact and reason that come rushing at you at ever-increasing speed.  That shit’s exhausting; much easier to not believe in the first place.

Finally, there’s the smirk.  I hate working out, because I’m lazy, and do you know how much effort it takes to smug your face up Jon Stewart-style?  I can hold that pose for maybe ten seconds at a stretch.  Your more advanced Liberals, like Rachel Maddow, have their faces frozen that way.  Their jaw muscles never relax, even when they aren’t flapping their gums (another reason I’m not a Liberal: I’m too lazy to talk that damn much).

Which, if you think about it, is why the Left always wins.  They just flat out have more energy than the rest of us.  They have to — I’m exhausted just typing this shit; they live it.

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For the Record: Plasticity

My last post For the Record (TM) stated my totally unscientific opinion that human behavior is about 70/30 nature/nurture.  Here’s what I think of that 30%:

That’s a LOT of plasticity.  Humans can be enculturated to embrace many things, even seemingly universal taboos like cannibalism and incest.  The New Soviet Man is nothing compared to that.  And though he’s nothing like what the Commies thought he’d be — Communists are the Washington Generals of politics — he’s real, all right.  In fact, you probably interact with him every day:

Read anything on social life in the old USSR, and you’ll immediately be struck by how closely Soviet apparatchiks and SJWs resemble each other.  Their complete indifference to truth, their shamelessness when caught lying, their willingness to ruin anyone for imagined slights, their overwhelming smugness, their pretensions of superiority, it’s all straight out of Komsomol.  It’s all part of a worldview that is consistent, logical… and totally alien to normal people.

Genetics has nothing to do with that.  It’s all culture.  It’s like training an attack dog — it takes a LOT of work to make a standard-issue Man’s Best Friend into a killer, but it can be done…

…. and, as with vicious dogs, the damage is probably permanent.  But that’s a rant for another day.

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For the Record: Nature vs. Nurture

As the “Alt-Right” or whatever we’re calling Our Thing* now descends further into its inevitable SJW-ish purity spiral, more and more people are going to start calling for “litmus tests” — they’ll assume that you believe X, and because of that, etc.  So I’m going to post a few things For the Record, to make it easy to throw me out when the time comes.  First up: Nature vs. Nurture.

Aside from the perfidy of Teh Jooooos!!!, nothing gets folks on this side of the aisle more worked up than “race realism.”  If you take this to mean “race is real, it’s heritable, and there’s a strong genetic component to behavior,” then I’m as “race realist” as they come.  Alas, lots of folks seem to have a specific IQ number in mind, with those below it getting relegated to Epsilon-minus Sub-moron.  Which is bullshit.

Consider the child prodigy.  Years ago I read a silly horror novel in which the Gary Stu character, a twelve year old boy, not only invented all kinds of stuff, but was able to talk Wittgenstein with his university professor uncle.  And he wanted to grow up to be a writer, of course — don’t they all? — and he knew ancient languages and…

The human brain simply doesn’t work like that.  There’s a large part of the brain that’s like a computer — add more power to the processor, and it can do more things, faster.  A kid with a turbocharged CPU is a prodigy.  BUT: Just as a computer can really only do one thing — math — so the child prodigy can really only ever do math (music is a subset of math; I bet that when he wasn’t writing operas, five year old Mozart was solving trig problems).

The other part of the brain, though, needs experience to work.  A twelve year old simply can’t talk Wittgenstein meaningfully, because philosophy is not math and no matter how much your analytics want to pretend that it is, one can only philosophize with words, which require experience to use properly.  One can be immensely talented in non-math fields, but it’s impossible to do adult-level work in them without actually being an adult.  For proof, I give you the Romantic poets.  No one denies that, say, Shelley was an exceptionally talented poet, but unless you yourself are a quick-witted, verbally precocious teenager when you read him, you’re probably going to bust out laughing at stuff like “The Masque of Anarchy” (there’s a reason they don’t reprint this one in college Lit. anthologies).  Shelley was one of the world’s most talented sophomores, but it’s sophomoric for all that.

My totally unscientific belief is that it’s about 70/30 nature/nurture.


*Since there’s no Mafia anymore, I propose we repurpose their old self-designation.  It’s Our Thing now.

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