Category Archives: Know Your History

The Spirit of ’68 – UPDATED

As hard as it is to believe now, Leftists used to be formidable opponents.  When Orwell described the typical Socialist of tremulous old ladies’ imaginations, he was arguing against a stereotype:

The typical Socialist is not, as tremulous old ladies imagine, a ferocious-looking working man with greasy overalls and a raucous voice. He is either a youthful snob-Bolshevik….or, still more typically, a prim little man with a white-collar job, usually a secret teetotaller and often with vegetarian leanings, with a history of Nonconformity behind him, and, above all, with a social position which he has no intention of forfeiting.

Old habits die hard, and old beliefs die harder, so it’s no surprise that people back then thought real Socialists were bomb-throwing rioters who were one strike away from seizing the factories.  Radical politics was a contact sport well into the 20th century (The Road to Wigan Pier was published in 1937, when the Russian Revolution was barely 20 years old).  One could be forgiven for thinking, even then, that the “prim little man with a white-collar job” had a few working-class bruisers he could call on if things got tough, because for quite a while, he actually did.

The Left was formidable on the other end of the spectrum, too.  Back then, a college education meant something — hell, back then a high school education was an achievement.  Have you ever actually read Communist literature?  It’s dense, full of arcane jargon and Capital Letters, charts and graphs, facts and figures.  Even that quintessential 20th century chimera, the New Soviet Man, seemed to have the imprimatur of science — we know now that psychoanalysis is bunk, but the Frankfurt School sure made it look like Socialism was the scientifically proven high road to mental health.   When all you’ve got is a sixth grade education, when you can’t even pronounce things like “Oedipus complex,” you’re going to feel yourself at an insurmountable disadvantage going up against some egghead with a PhD.

The commies knew it, too, which is why the first thing they did when they signed you up for the Party was get you enrolled in some classes.  I bet most of you don’t know that this is what “community colleges” were for, back when the movement got started at the turn of the 20th century.  It’s no accident, as the Marxists back then liked to say, that schools designed to level up the skills of working men and grammar school teachers were immediately taken over by fellow travelers.  The New Soviet Man was supposed to be something like a street-brawling longshoreman with a Master’s degree, and that’s what they set out to build, all over the West.  And it worked, too, surprisingly well, such that intellectually gifted, courageous men like Whittaker Chambers could become high-ranking Communist cadres.

We all know what happened after that: The Baby Boom.  David Horowitz is a good example of the change.  A Red Diaper Baby, Horowitz got all the heavy intellectual training the Old Left invested in its intellectuals; Horowitz can still argue Dialectical Materialism with the best of ’em.  But though he was technically born right before the Baby Boom (1939), he got swept up in its emotional atmosphere — the Ramparts crowd was interested in cultural revolution, not critiques of the forces of production.  They were the leading lights of the New Left, and all the New Left really wanted to do was flip tables, break shit, and freak out the squares — overthrow “The Man” first; figure the rest out later.

Which is the same position we — Our Thing, the “alt-right,” whatever the hell we’re calling it this week — find ourselves in today, comrades.

Section break!

The reason the Old Right was defenseless against the Old Left was that the Old Right, having facts, reason, and 5,000 years of intellectual history on its side, had no idea how to argue against the jargon-spewing fuggernauts trying to turn the whole world into a Worker’s Paradise.  Leftism looks like an argument — a coherent set of propositions, backed up by facts and reason.  It sounds like an argument, a formidable one.  But it’s not an argument.  It’s a set of tautologies.

That’s why the Old Right’s counterarguments fail so brutally.  A tautology is true by definition — e.g. “whatever will be, will be.”  We all know this is just a proverb, a nifty little reminder not to stress out too much about things we can neither predict or control.  Nobody who says “whatever will be, will be” considers it a serious prognostication on a future state of affairs, so nobody considers techniques for refuting “arguments” based on it.  Because what could those possibly even be?

Annnnnd that’s where the Left gets you, because ALL Leftist “arguments” are tautologies.  We’ve all had a good laugh at things like “false consciousness,” or statements like “Sarah Palin isn’t a real woman.”  They’re impossible to take seriously — Sarah Palin is, obviously and undeniably, a woman — so we don’t take them seriously, and we assume the people making them don’t either.  But they do, my friends, they do.  If you don’t believe me, dust off your old Logic 101 textbook and tell me how “Sarah Palin isn’t a real woman” differs from “false consciousness.”  They both run exactly like this:

All women (X) are pro-abortion (Y).  Sarah Palin is not pro-abortion; therefore, Sarah Palin is not a woman.  Or, all capitalist societies (X) are miserable (Y).  The United States is not miserable; therefore, the United States isn’t capitalist… but since that statement contradicts the Scriptures, it must be the case that the undeniably-capitalist United States only seems not-miserable… false consciousness, comrade.

I know, I know, my brain hurts too, and once again, that’s how they get you.  It’s almost impossible for a cognitively normal person to “think” this way, and because the falsity is so glaring, so painful, we assume that we must be missing something.  Maybe if we just immerse ourselves in all that jargon — the “modes of production,” “intersectionality,” and whatnot — we’ll find out what we’re missing, so that we can go back and plug the proper terms into the deduction and prove to the Left that they’re being illogical.

It won’t work, comrades, because it can’t.  You can’t argue against a tautology.*  What ends up happening, of course, is that poring over their Scriptures infects you with Social Justice Toxoplasma, exactly as it’s designed to do.  The Buckley, neocon, National Review brand of “conservatism” is really just Leftism with a few tax cuts attached, because they tried to argue with the Left.

What we need to do is to steal the tactics and worldview of the New Left.

Whatever you want to call them now — the New New Left, the CultMarx Cult, the Cathedral, the Poz — the inmates have been in charge of the asylum for generations.  They’re in the same position the Old Right was back when this whole business started — they’ve been in power so long that they take “being in power” as the natural state of affairs.  Not only don’t they have any arguments for their positions, they don’t know that there ever were any, because they don’t see it in terms of “positions” and “arguments.”  This is just the way things are, and anyone who disagrees is some kind of “hater” — mentally ill; not to be taken seriously; to be treated, confined, or shot, as the situation dictates.

Rules for Radicals is a great book; we should carry it around the way the Red Guards carried Quotations from Chairman Mao.  We should read up on Cloward-Piven, and put it into action.  Cloward-Piven is an attempt to overload American social services by signing up as many people as possible, in order to collapse the economy and spark The Revolution.  Thanks to Sen. Warren, aka Little Rounding Error, aka Pico-hontas, we now know that 1/1024th Mesoamerican (not even actual American Indian!) DNA is sufficient to claim all the Affirmative Action perks our Native brothers are entitled to.  Let’s get every single college student in America on full scholarship — adios, higher ed bubble!

Don’t get caught up in heavy theorizing.  Don’t worry about what comes after The Revolution.  Do what the New Left did — at worst, you’ll end up with tenure at an Ivy League law school and have your name tossed around as a potential Democratic presidential candidate.

 

 

*Seriously, if you read nothing else in your life, read David Stove’s “Idealism: A Victorian Horror Story,” Parts I and II (available in The Plato Cult and Other Philosophical Follies, and yes, you’ll need to buy it, because you need to read both).  Marxism is Idealism; Idealism rests — totally, completely, entirely — on a false “deduction” from a tautology (from “we can only know things as we can know them” to “we can’t know things as they are in themselves”).  As every single flavor of Leftist nonsense is based on Marxism, this destroys every intellectual pretension the Left has ever had.

UPDATE:  If you’re curious about how one lousy little tautology could generate so much murderous nonsense, I’ve attempted to lay it out on a separate page, here.  I can’t do justice to either Stove’s thought nor his prose, but on the upside, it’s free.

Loading Likes...

Rage III: The Dying of the Light

The most important is also the shortest, because by this point you either agree or disagree.

The Cat Fanciers had an ideology.  It’s not hard to find.  They had a philosophy, too.  Nobody’s ever heard of Giovanni Gentile, and you might want to ask yourself why not, but it doesn’t matter.  The point is, there was enough intellectual heft behind Cat Fancy that even serious, heavyweight people could buy into it, in full public view.  The Black Cat Militia — the fanciest Cat Fanciers of all —  was full of professors, doctors, lawyers, industrialists; far from mindless thugs, they were better educated than average, with better degrees (up to and including PhDs in real subjects) the higher up the ranks one went.

[If it helps, think of how many serious, heavyweight people were in the Freemasons, well into the 20th century.  Did they believe all the ooga-booga stuff about Masonic ritual extending back to the time of the Pharaohs?  Of course not, but they took the ritual aspects seriously, because whatever else it was (and is), Freemasonry is a brotherhood.  Brotherhoods depend on ritual.  So did your average obersturmbannfuhrer really believe all that junk about World Ice Theory, Atlantis, the power of Norse runes, etc.?  I really doubt it.  But the “brotherhood” part?  Oh yes; to the bitter end].

What really held them together, though, was an aesthetic. A vision.  The only reason the Cat Fanciers’ techno-anarcho-retro-futurism seems weird to us is the same reason nobody’s heard of Giovanni Gentile (or Ishiwara Kanji and the kokutai): They lost the war.  It’s no weirder than Karl Marx’s techno-anarcho-retro-futurism, and the only reason “Marxist” isn’t a swear word right now is because the same professors and media figures who were so hot and bothered for Cat Fancy (esp. the Italian variant) switched sides once it became obvious how the war was going to turn out.  Stalin’s crimes dwarf Mustache Guy’s by an order of magnitude (and Mao has Uncle Joe beat by a country mile), but wild horses still couldn’t drag an admission out of most “educated” people that mass murder is a feature, not a bug, in the ideology.

For a modern techno-anarcho-retro-futuro thing, I suggest mythologizing the Fifites (already mostly done, I realize), combined with end-of-the-Empire conservationist paranoia:

The light really is dying, comrades, all over the former West.  The glories of belief, of science, of the very concepts “logic” and “reason,” are being pushed back into darkness, not just by the Marching Morons, but by smart people who owe everything in their lives to Western Civ.  These “people” — decadent and corrupt enough to make an Ottoman pasha blush — would rather see the whole world burn than endure the tedium of their sheltered, cossetted little lives one second longer.

Resist them, or die in a nuclear fire.  Why on earth do you think they’re so desperate to arm the Iranian mullahs?  It serves no geostrategic purpose.  It’s guaranteed to destabilize the region, and that, comrades, is the entire point.  If they can’t goad us into a war with Russia over Syria, then give nukes to the mullahs.  They’ll use them — you know it, I know it, Obama and Hillary and Soros and John Kerry and John McCain and every faceless bureaucrat at the EU knows it.  Bibi Netanyahu certainly knows it, which is why they’ll strike first, and the SJWs can crow about it for the 59.3 seconds it’ll take between that and the arrival of Russian / Chinese ICBMs in our skies.  They’ll die, too, but at least they’ll die smug — to the SJW, that’s ultimate victory.

Rage, comrades, rage against the dying of the light.  If you can’t fight — and not all of us can — preserve.  Be an Irish monk in the Dark Ages, hoarding up humanity’s precious inheritance against the possibility, however remote, that we might crawl out of the caves again.  But if you can, fight!  The human race depends on it.*

 

*obviously this is my thought experiment example of how such a mythology might be created.  I advocate nothing.  All of this is strictly hypothetical.
Loading Likes...

Rage Part II: Mythology

In addition to the camaraderie of the Front, the Cat Fanciers had another great movement builder: Mythology.  Forget (((you-know-who))), for the same reason we’re calling the folks under discussion the “Cat Fanciers:” Naming names just clouds people’s minds.  Let’s stipulate, for the rest of the series, that (((you-know-who))) are irrelevant.  It’s not just possible, but really easy, to construct the Cat Fanciers’ basic movement-building technique without any reference to them.  Here goes:

Regardless of whose hand moved the knife, the stab-in-the-back seemed very real at the time.  Most veterans took it for granted that international finance capital — which for the majority was NOT synonymous with (((you-know-who))) — was behind both the start and the end of the war (Lenin agreed, which is one of the many reasons so many veterans went Red after the war).  It wasn’t true — nothing in human affairs is that simple — but it’s an easy-to-understand explanation that meshes with a lot of the obvious facts on the ground.

I trust I don’t have to spell out how “the fat cats sold us out!” applies to our current situation.

On its own, something like the stab-in-the-back is a necessary but not sufficient condition for building a revolutionary movement, because it doesn’t suggest anything to replace the fat cats.  This is why Bakunin-style anarchist movements always fail — they’re great with the “first, we kill all the ____” part, but they’ve got nothing for “and then we shall have Utopia, in which ____.”  It’s the same problem all those chiliastic sects had back in the Middle Ages — they filled in the blank with “Jesus returns and the world ends.”  People are stupid about utopian fantasies — cf. Socialism’s current appeal, 100+ million corpses notwithstanding — but it’s got to be small-u.*

What you need is a kind of two-way myth.  You have to mythologize both the past and the future, such that both are really just two sides of the same myth.  That’s why Karl Marx’s rare pronouncements about what the Communist future would look like invariably invoked an idealized past.  Rousseau gets my vote for The Original Commie, if only because he expressed it best:

The first man who, having enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying This is mine, and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows, “Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody.”

Marx devoted umpteen pages to “proving” that all of human history was just a run-up to the industrial revolution, which was the precursor of Communism, which was really just a return to Rousseau’s eden.  It sounded all precise and scientific — Leftists have claimed to have a monopoly on Science for going on 300 years now — but it was really just a prelapsarian fantasy.

So, too, with the Cat Fanciers.  They, too, fucking loved science, but only in the service of a higher Romanticism.  Their vision of a Cat Fancy future was a series of all-but-medieval market towns, linked by autobahns and defended by peasant farmers with air support.  No, really — that’s what the Black Cat Militia was expressly designed to do.  Lenin said Communism is “soviet power plus electrification.”  Mustache Guy wasn’t that pithy, but “feudalism plus autobahns” is a pretty good summary of their weird futuro-retro-techno thing.

Here’s how it works:

Part III soon.

 

 

*Lenin didn’t really have an answer either, of course, for what goes in the second blank; Mustache Guy didn’t either, for that matter.  But they had big huge books that sure seemed to be offering an answer, and that was enough.
Loading Likes...

Movement Building 101

I am not a revolutionary.  I am not a counterintelligence agent (although that’s just what a COINTELPRO bastard would say, isn’t it?).  Unlike so, so many folks in Our Thing, I am not a 37th-level ninja paladin who got thrown out of the Green Berets for being too much of a badass.  I’m just a guy who reads History.  Meaning: all of this stuff is undoubtedly covered in Chapter 1 of some basic counterinsurgency manual somewhere, because it’s obvious.  Still, until such time as someone forwards me that manual, this will have to do.

Think of “direct action” — entirely legal, completely aboveboard direct action, I hasten to add — like a multiplayer video game.  I don’t play them myself, since I don’t feel the need to get called a “n00b fag” by some 12 year old in Singapore, but we all know the basics.  You need organization, communication, and mission.

Organization is the trickiest part in the real world.  Your Dungeons and Dragons-type role playing games work because everyone who starts the game already knows the rules.  The graphics have gotten a lot more sophisticated since then, but the basic setup hasn’t changed since Gauntlet.  You need a Warrior, a Wizard, a Valkyrie, and and Elf (and Elf, of course, needs food badly).  Each has his advantages and disadvantages, and they balance…

In the real world, of course, there’s no way of telling who’s what among a given batch of recruits, and you have to work with the material you have.  This is why armies have ranks.  More to the point, this is why the geniuses behind modern RPGs added ranks to their games.  You may not know who MurderDeathLord69 is in real life, but you know he’s a 39th-level paladin… and you know exactly what that is, because the objective standards are easily accessible.  It’s possible to game the game a little bit — maybe he racked up all those kills playing on the easiest difficulty setting or something — but not much.

Best of all, not only does a rank system indicate levels of relative competence, it’s ruthlessly self-regulating.  We’re guys; we compete.  Put a game, any game, in front of a group of guys and they’ll immediately start choking each other out.  Everyone with less kills than him is gunning for MurderDeathLord69’s ass just on general principles.  Our Thing’s Direct Action Group will need — in addition to a much better moniker — a rank system, the more elaborate the better.

It’s certainly possible to create this kind of thing from scratch.  The SS went from seven or eight clowns in skullcaps and lederhosen to de facto rulers of half of Europe in 20 years; the Bolsheviks were a recently formed splinter party when they took over the Russian Empire.  But it’s not necessary.  There’s a gamer-type group out there that has almost everything already in place: The “Pickup Artists.”  “Neomasculinity” appears to be a lot of things, not all of them entirely coherent, but tell me this isn’t a political goon squad* waiting to happen:

  • weightlifting and fitness
  • individual responsibility
  • hard work ethic
  • lifestyle optimization

etc.  Give them a rank system based on something other than “notch count” and you’re all but set…

….provided you have decent communication.  Roosh V, the dean of “neomasculinity,” famously had his “meetups” disrupted due to “safety concerns,” meaning that the cops would probably arrest his guys if they tried to defend themselves against Leftist provocation.  Which wouldn’t have happened if Roosh had had better operational security, but again, he’s not a KGB mastermind; he’s just a guy who wants to sell books about how to get laid.**  He tried being aboveboard about things, believing — with almost comic naivete —  that “free speech” really means “free speech.”  A Direct Action Group, obviously, wouldn’t make that mistake.

The best way to communicate is through obvious, but plausibly deniable, code.  I keep suggesting the white Patriots’ hat as an unofficial uniform, because it’s the best thing I could think of on short notice.  It would be easy to use hat pins as rank markers — a shamrock is a “cell leader 3rd class” or something.  The “Pickup Artist” forums already have the stuff in place for long-distance communication; you just have to come up with some esoteric lingo (the #1 PUA skill, far more advanced than stuff like “actually meeting girls”).  You could communicate in what passes for “clear” on a board like that — nobody would know that “I kiss-closed an HB8 with my sick DHV, brah” actually means “we’re boycotting the local Starbucks; look for the guy in the white hat with the shamrock pin.”

Speaking of boycotts, mission is the final frontier.  Video games have the mission built in, complete with victory conditions.  Movement-building needs short and long game; side quests within the main mission.  As Style B revolutionaries (see what I mean about the esoteric lingo?), we can put the long game almost entirely on the back burner: We know what “American” means, so we don’t have to come up with elaborate theoretical productions to justify “getting back to The Real America.”  We do have to have a long-range goal, of course, but that’s another post…

The short game is what counts, and this is where the nerdy nature of Our Thing is a yuuuuuge advantage.  Leftism is incredibly fragile, and its weakest where the Left has the most control.  Getting the one auto mechanic in a college town to develop mysterious supply problems whenever a professor’s car is in the shop would drive most of the eggheads to tears in short order.*** Remember, these are people who need to flee to their “safe spaces” whenever someone calls them by the wrong pronoun.  There are a million little things — completely legal things — that will drive them to screaming hysterics.  See e.g. “Manosphere” blogger Matt Forney inducing crying meltdowns in Millennial feminists just by retweeting their own abuse of him.

Break the Direct Action Thing into small cells.  I suggested the Fight Club model once, and that works — a few guys, decentralized, with full plausible deniability, each doing its own little Project Mayhem thing on targets of opportunity.  Such higher-level mission coordination as is needed can be done on the “Game” sites, disguised as MurderDeathLord69 talking to his World of Warcraft squad about hitting da club for a little pickup action.  So long as the Project Mayhem cells don’t overlap — and if everyone’s wearing his white Pats hat, with the proper pins, they shouldn’t — it’s all good.

 

 

*not an insult.  Any successful revolutionary movement depends on its street-level headbusters, and while I do not advocate actually “busting heads” in any but the most metaphorical sense, our Direct Action Group would function much like the “goon” used to back when hockey was fun: You know he can drop the gloves, but if he’s doing his job right, he never needs to.
** Poetic license.  It may not be obvious here, but I respect Roosh a good deal (though I have never met the man, or even interacted with him online).  I obviously don’t share a lot of his views, but he’s built one hell of a movement out of nothing.
***getting the mechanic on our side will be a snap; the “town/gown” split is very real, and trust me, the “townies” fucking hate the eggheads — almost as much as the eggheads hate them, for their NASCAR-watchin’, nuclear family-havin’ ways.
Loading Likes...

Revolutionary Styles

There were two…styles, let’s call them, of revolutionary movement that captured large, modern(-ish) nations in the 20th century.  Since people can’t seem to read about this stuff without having their eyes blocked by visions of screaming guys with bad facial hair, let’s call them Style A and Style B,

Style A is your “intellectual” revolution.  It starts (and usually ends) in college classrooms.  It is preoccupied with doctrinal purity.  The further you get from the centers of power, of course, the greater this preoccupation becomes — Frank S. Meyer, who was a Style A revolutionary (and wrote a fascinating book about it), was told never to mess with “theory;” you’ll make a dozen errors in just the first page.  Doctrinal purity is a must for Style A revolutionaries, because their actions are justified by the doctrine, and the doctrine always comes from “Out There” — God, History, whatever.  It is imposed, top-down.

Style B is a “popular” revolution.  These have their “intellectuals,” of course, and you’re welcome to slog through their productions, but you don’t have to, because if you’re a Style B revolutionary, you already know everything you need to.  Style B comes from “In Here” — the racial soul or what have you.  It is organic; it grows bottom-up.

Successfully resisting a revolution, then, starts with recognizing which kind it is.  We Americans really blew it back in the Sixties.  Style A is, of course, a Communist revolution, and the Sixties radicals tried real hard to come off like Commies.  They talked like Commies, they acted like Commies, they were bright-but-directionless college kids who read Marx and Mao in between bong hits.  They loved issuing manifestos, and were obsessed with “revolutionary” violence in the name of Communism.

But they weren’t Commies.  These guys

were total poseurs, as you can tell just by looking at them — that’s Revolutionary Chic, brought to you by Mugatu’s “Derelicte” collection.  The Sixties, as everyone knows, were all about feeeelings, maaaan.  It’s no accident that the Weather Underground’s sole contribution to revolutionary theory was mandatory homosexual group sex, to, like, smash patriarchy or something.

This was a Style B revolution, first and always.  “Freaking out the squares” was the only point.  There were huge shakeups in the Communist world throughout the Fifties and Sixties; at one point, Communist China and the Soviet Union were on the brink of a nuclear exchange.  None of that bothered Weatherman types in the slightest.

To be fair, the Sixties radicals were victims of their own success.  If they hadn’t been just cosplay Commies, there was a whole post-victory support network to tap into.  By the late 1980s, when the “radicals” had been in total control of American culture for a generation, there was nearly a century’s worth of revolutionary experience out there.  The only excuse for not knowing how to set up a Five Year Plan, at that point, is that you don’t want to know.  It harshes one’s mellow, which is why all the Sixties “radicals” retreated to the faculty lounge as fast as their feet could carry them.*

The reason all this is important: We’re on the verge of a counter-revolution.  We could have endless debates on whether it feels more like 1960 or 1860, but nobody not living under a rock can deny that something huge and horrible is coming.  I’m not worried that Donald Trump will become a dictator; I’m worried that he won’t.

Trump mostly seems to regard the being President as a great way to troll his enemies, but when he actually does some Presidentin’ he does the kind of simple, obvious things that someone who actually likes the country he’s in charge of would do.  We’re so used to seeing Kenyan Marxist retards in the Oval Office that renegotiating NAFTA seems wild and revolutionary, instead of the plain common sense it would’ve been just 30 years ago.  Trump loves nothing more than cutting deals, but since Trump’s actually, you know, an American,  his deal-cutting tends to have nifty side benefits for America.

But that’s just Trump, the man.  There’s no “Trumpism.”  Revolutionary movements don’t have to have detailed ideologies, as we’ve seen, but they do need symbols, rallying points, everything I (and Tom Wolfe!) dismissively called “radical chic.”  Billy Ayers et al actually accomplished what they set out to do — destroying traditional America — and they did it with catchy tunes, righteous bud, back-alley quickies, and college.

We need some radical chic, and fast.

 

 

*Tom Hayden had a Porsche dealership, but the rest of them became professors (Barack Obama’s best bud Billy Ayers, of course, has his bloody fingerprints on half the grade school curricula in the United States).
Loading Likes...

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...

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...

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...

Haidt’s “Righteous Mind”

I see this cited frequently in cultural/political stuff.  This Jonathan Haidt* guy wrote a book arguing that politics is an expression of our morality, and our morality has several dimensions:

  • Care: cherishing and protecting others; opposite of harm
  • Fairness or proportionality: rendering justice according to shared rules; opposite of cheating
  • Loyalty or ingroup: standing with your group, family, nation; opposite of betrayal
  • Authority or respect: submitting to tradition and legitimate authority; opposite of subversion
  • Sanctity or purity: abhorrence for disgusting things, foods, actions; opposite of degradation

Liberals, according to this, mainly concern themselves with the first two, while conservatives are equally attentive to all five.

Which is horse hockey.  Well, either that, or “liberal” and “conservative” don’t mean what “common usage” suggests they mean.  In fact, in modern political debate, Haidt’s argument is almost exactly bassackward.

Start from the top.  Care?  Liberals very ostentatiously don’t give a shit if their policies actually help or not.  How’s gay marriage going, for instance?  Anyone bother to follow up on that?  Did that loving gay couple ever get those hospital visitation rights that we were told, in story after heart-wrenching story, was the whole reason for gay marriage in the first place?  As I’ve pointed out before, you’d think the Left would at least be doing some victory laps at this point — “haha silly wingnutz, you said the sky would fall if the gays got married, and look!”  But…. nope.  Obergefell might as well have happened in the 17th century, for all the Left cares about it now.  Ditto the Great Society, the War on Poverty, Head Start, and all the other great Liberal crusades of the past 50 years.  They very obviously did the opposite of what they were supposed to, but if Liberals bother to think about them at all — which they only do if you hold their feet to the fire — they just mutter “needs more funding” and change the subject.

Liberals believe, with all their hearts and souls, that they care more deeply than other men.  But they don’t.  Ditto with “fairness.”  Affirmative action is fair?  How about slavery reparations, i.e. punishing people in the here-and-now for something unrelated people did a century and a half ago.  Pick your major that ends in “Studies;” being unfair to entire classes of people is pretty much the entire point.  Here again, Liberals believe, with all their hearts and souls, that they’re all about fairness, but their actions are exactly opposite.

Loyalty.  Haidt says Liberals don’t care much about this.  In reality, it’s pretty much the only thing they care about.  “Argue” with a Liberal on the internet for five minutes, and you’ll have spent five minutes watching your interlocutor trying desperately to outgroup you.  “Point-and-shriek” is the whole of Liberal political discourse; they have no other.  Conservatives care about loyalty, yes, but only to groups in which they have a personal stake.  The Left is always going to the mattresses on behalf of some group they’ve never seen, over “injustices” that exist only in their minds.

What about authority?  This has been a Leftist chestnut since Adorno, but like I always say, you can’t spell “Liberal” without P-R-O-J-E-C-T-I-O-N.  Here are the traits of the “authoritarian personality” on Adorno’s famous F-Scale.  (F stands for “Fascist”).  Any of these sound familiar?

  • Conventionalism: Adherence to conventional values.
  • Authoritarian Submission: Towards ingroup authority figures.
  • Authoritarian Aggression: Against people who violate conventional values.
  • Anti-Intraception: Opposition to subjectivity and imagination.
  • Superstition and Stereotypy: Belief in individual fate; thinking in rigid categories.
  • Power and Toughness: Concerned with submission and domination; assertion of strength.
  • Destructiveness and Cynicism: hostility against human nature.
  • Projectivity: Perception of the world as dangerous; tendency to project unconscious impulses.
  • Sex: Overly concerned with modern sexual practices.

Admittedly I’m so reactionary I make Joseph de Maistre look like a Wymyn’s Studies professor, but that list looks like “How to be an SJW in 9 Easy Steps” to me.

Saving the best for last: Purity.  Remind me: Who is it that’s always passing new rules on what you can eat, watch, hear, say, and think?  I’m pretty sure that, weirdo status whores like Rod Dreher aside, elaborate ritual purity rules are entirely a Leftist thing.  Show of hands: When was the last time you threw, attended, or even heard about a backyard barbecue where someone had to make sure to get soy dogs and gluten-free veggieburgers?  The Left is so all-in on Brahminical purity that they take positive pride in never having read things they disagree with.  They know with metaphysical certainty, for instance, that the “Sad Puppies” are bad writers… and they know this, according to their own words, because they’ve never read the writers in question.

See what I mean?  If I had to adapt Haidt’s theory to the real world, I’d say something like “Liberal morality is based on endlessly congratulating oneself for believing one only cares about care and fairness, using the other three to prop up this entirely unwarranted self-regard.  Conservative morality, on the other hand, pays attention to all five equally.”

Either that, or I’d say “Left” and “Right” are all but meaningless these days…. but that’s a rant for another time.

 

 

*How’s this for an unintentionally revealing statement?  Wiki on Haidt: “Haidt himself acknowledges that while he has been a liberal all his life, he is now more open to other points of view.”  Well, better late than never, right?  Though one wishes it took less than earning a PhD, teaching several generations of students, and writing a big book of psychological theory to get liberals to finally open up to other points of view.

Loading Likes...