Equations vs. Upvotes

Those of us who went to primary school back in the Jurassic were taught to think, for lack of a better term, in equations.  In History class, for example, you spent the junior high years memorizing a bunch of crap that happened, so that in the high school years, you could begin figuring out why the crap happened.  You take the facts, infer a rule, and test it, like a scientist.

For example, you can get a decent handle on 18th century European history with a phrase: The mercantile system.  Mercantilism funds the large standing armies and navies that newly consolidated nation-states need.  Militaries are meant to be used, though, and are savagely expensive either way, so states begin fighting each other, not over dynastic politics (though the wars are often confusingly called “War of the ___ Succession” or “King So-and-So’s War”), but over access to markets (which leads to further state consolidation).  Colonies are essential to markets, and colonial expansion opens up whole new venues for fighting — North America, India, the Caribbean.  This in turn leads to internal political conflict, e.g. the American Revolution… you get the idea.  It’s not perfect, but you won’t go too far wrong by trying to figure out where X event fits into the framework of the mercantile system.

This way of thinking has its disadvantages, to be sure — Marxism appeals to limited thinkers who long to appear deep, because it’s an easy way to see “what really happened.”  All you have to do to get an A+ from your idiot socialist teachers is to find the exploitation in a given situation… and if you can’t find any, or if people in the situation appear to be getting freer, healthier, richer, and happier, you say “false consciousness.”  Still, following the money, Marxist-style, gets you in the neighborhood of right often enough that pretty much all modern history is “Marxist” history in that sense.  It’s an easy, workable equation.

The Millennials, though, aren’t taught that way.  I’m not sure how they are taught, as by the time I get them, they’re already so far gone that I spend far more of my time correcting old misinformation than I do presenting new information.  My guess, though, is that they’re taught via PowerPoint and think in Facebook thumbs up.

They absolutely cannot correlate the contents of their minds.  Lovecraft called that a blessing, but in a Cthulhu-less world it’s actually quite the curse.  Now, putting two and two together is something we all struggle with from time to time, but they’re uniquely terrible at it.  It’s not political, necessarily, though almost all college kids necessarily spout SJW platitudes.  They just have never been taught that it’s good, desirable, and frequently necessary to connect the disparate facts in one’s head.

Example: I have never, in all my years of teaching, gotten anyone to venture that “Inclusion” is anything but a universal good.  Ditto “Racism” as a universal evil.  And Eugenics is also a universal evil, because Racism.  And, of course, everyone says they’re ProChoice.  But when I point out that the “birth control” movement was always, and primarily, a Eugenics movement…. their brains shut down.  Their eyes glaze over, their jaws drop, they look like someone blew up the mothership.  Vaya con Dios, and will the last one out please flip off the lights?

I think they think in upvotes exclusively.  The first four items on my list are Chestnuts, things “everybody knows.”  You’re not going to get banned from Facebook or kicked off YouTube for saying Eugenics is bad or Inclusion is good.  In fact, you’ll get upvoted and retweeted and have all kinds of praise heaped upon you, because it’s all just virtue signaling.  That “pro choice” leads directly to eugenics — and socialized medicine is guaranteed to make that happen in the long run — just doesn’t compute, because one is upvoted and the other gets you reported to the Thought Police.

One cannot, in other words, correlate the contents of her mind, and remain in good standing on social media.  So they never do.

What’s Wrong with Socialism?

Nothing, actually.  At least, there wasn’t — not until Karl Marx got ahold of it.  Take Marx out of it, and “socialism,” like “capitalism,” is just shorthand for a universal human tendency.

An illustration will help.  George Fitzhugh was an antebellum Southern intellectual, which meant he wrote defenses of slavery.  He had himself a prose style, and carried on a quixotic correspondence with The Liberator, so he still occasionally pops up in those anthologies about how awfully racist those racist Southern racists were.  He famously declared that “slavery is the perfect socialism”….

…which is fun to taunt an SJW with, but it’s also an idea worth taking seriously.  Fitzhugh had two main arguments in favor of slavery.  The first was the basic Aristotelian one, advanced by pretty much anyone who spared a thought for mankind’s oldest and most common labor system: Slavery allows true culture to flourish by freeing the best minds from manual labor.  It’s boring, because commonplace.

The other one, though, is unique to modernity, and so far as I know, unique to Fitzhugh: Slavery protects everyone, slaves and masters alike, from the alienation of industrial capitalism.

Whether this actually applied in the South (or anywhere else) is beside the point.  Fitzhugh nailed the fundamental problem with industrialism: It has a logic of its own, that eventually reduces everyone involved to cogs in a machine.  One doesn’t feel anything but annoyance for cogs when they break; one simply throws them out, and moves on.  Slavery, Fitzhugh said, prevents that by keeping communities intact.  Moreover, slavery eliminates the stress of being forever on the knife’s edge.  Even the best-paid factory worker is subject to economic forces beyond his control; a bankruptcy in London four months ago could put him out of a job at a moment’s notice.  No matter how hard times got in the South, Fitzhugh said, slaves would always be taken care of.  Slavery is hard work, but it’s honest work, without the vague and incurable stress that was reducing so many Northerners to neurasthenic wrecks.

Again, whether anyone would take this deal if if were offered them is beside the point.*  I don’t think Fitzhugh ever read Marx, but his “capitalism is worse than slavery” argument simply takes Marx’s assumptions out as far as they will go.**  If Marx is right — if Capitalists will always reduce workers’ wages to, and then past, the point of subsistence — then, for the proles, slavery really is objectively better than capitalism.

Socialism, then — as Fitzhugh uses the term — simply means “keeping communities intact.”  An organic community wouldn’t let its members starve, even if they were no longer economically productive.  Communities preserve human relations, instead of Industrialism’s “what can you do for me today” pirate ethic.  Socialism is the deliberate, planned attempt to keep this at the forefront of human relations, and as such, there’s nothing wrong with it at all.

 

 

*Fitzhugh himself (probably) didn’t buy his own argument — he seemed to enjoy trolling his Southern readers, too, and at one point all but suggested enslaving poor Southern whites if they obviously couldn’t take care of themselves.

** There’s no contradiction here.  It didn’t matter if Fitzhugh read Marx, because nothing Marx said about the proletariat was original.  “Owners will screw workers past the point of death” was conventional wisdom among the free-thinking crowd in the late 18th century; it’s all over William Blake, for instance.  When you come right down to it, Marxism is a marketing stunt — it’s the conventional wisdom of the bleeding hearts, packaged as economics for innumerate people who fucking love science.

It’s Inevitable, Part III

Karl Marx was wrong about a lot of things — economics, human nature — but he was right about alienation:

The theoretic basis of alienation, within the capitalist mode of production, is that the worker invariably loses the ability to determine life and destiny, when deprived of the right to think (conceive) of themselves as the director of their own actions; to determine the character of said actions; to define relationships with other people; and to own those items of value from goods and services, produced by their own labour. Although the worker is an autonomous, self-realized human being, as an economic entity, this worker is directed to goals and diverted to activities that are dictated by the bourgeoisie, who own the means of production, in order to extract from the worker the maximum amount of surplus value, in the course of business competition among industrialists.

Ignore the pseudo-economic jargon; the bolded phrase is the key.  Doesn’t that perfectly describe cultural life in 21st century America?

The entire cultural apparatus — all media, all education, K-thru-PhD — is dedicated to the Postmodern proposition that everything is a social construction.  And yet, nobody can ever point to a “society” that’s doing the “construction.”  That probably seems wrong, as the edutainment media complex blames everything on White Males.  But ask yourself: Do you personally know any white males — or anybody else for that matter — who has any of the powers ascribed to these fearsome creatures?   Sure, sure, Soros, the Koch Brothers, pick your devil, but again: do you personally know them?  Unless you’re in the “private jet for a ski weekend in the Swiss Alps” set, I bet you don’t (and if you are, what are you doing here?).  The richest, most powerful guy you know, I’m willing to wager, is effectively as powerless as you yourself are.  The Patriarch, for lack of a better term, is a myth — and everybody knows it.

Hence, alienation.  Which is more psychologically damaging, being told that you are a powerless pawn in the hands of an omnipotent elite… or being told that you are that elite, even as you see your supposed slaves voting you out of your job, your house, your country?  Either way, it’s no good.  Especially combined with that last part: deprived of the right to determine the character of their actions, and define their relationships with other people.  From Kindergarten, white kids are told that the character of all their actions is negative, and they relate to all others as exploiters.  Non-white kids are told that the character of their actions is “noble savage,” and they relate to whites as exploited.  That’s effectively the only thing you need to know to go all the way through a PhD; instilling that one lesson is the entire point of the American educational system, and they’re really good at it (h/t House of Eratosthenes).

It’s not psychologically sustainable.  Everyone needs something to believe in, as a wise man once said.  Hence the proliferation of weird sexual fetishes that become entire lifestyles: BDSM, furries, etc.  Or minor lifestyle fluff, that in normal times would hardly rise to the level of hobbies, becoming central parts of someone’s identity.  Fantasy football was a $70 billion dollar industry back in 2013… which, if I recall correctly, was Obama’s fifth straight “recovery summer,” i.e. the depths of the most serious depression since WWII.  Any guesses how much money grown men spend on anime, comic books, online gaming…?  And that doesn’t count porn, a $97 billion industry in its own right.  That’s just money, mind you — how many hours do you think all of that takes?  I’m not knocking anime, fantasy football, or porn.  I’m just asking you to consider how many hours of your life are taken up by those things — watching them, thinking about them, planning for them, discussing them.  There’s a large and growing segment of White America, I’m pretty sure, for which, if watching porn or online gaming were a job, their employers would be required to provide them an Obamacare plan.  That’s not good, but what other choice is there?  They’re not allowed to know anything about their culture, except that whatever it is, it’s evil.  So they have to make up their own…. and fight constant rearguard actions even then, as there’s no activity so obscure and pointless that the Left can’t politicize it.

Speaking of the Left, they suffer from this, too.  Worse, in fact — Wrongfans having Wrongfun isn’t a conservative preoccupation, after all.  DC people and Marvel people have strong opinions, I’m sure, but I don’t think they set out to ruin each others’ lives and families for holding the heretical opinion that Thor is better than Batman or whatever.  Lefties feel more alienated than anyone, which is why they’re so hysterical about everything — it’s nearly impossible to get the virtue signal through the noise.

Under those conditions, “all inside the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State” sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

It’s Inevitable, Part II

As we noted yesterday, the United States is organized under the Enlightenment myth, and the Enlightenment’s assumptions — blank slate equalism, Reason — are false.*  Man is not the Rational Animal; Man is the Occasionally Reasoning Monkey.

So: Human society doesn’t result from a “social contract” between autonomous individuals.  Thomas Hobbes gave us that idea, and as much as I love him, he’s wrong — there’s a social contract, all right, but it’s both broader and simpler than he suggests.  The Hobbesian state of nature is a war of all groups against all groups, and the terms of the contract, when you get down to it, are: Submit, or be wiped out to the last man.  Since most groups don’t choose Masada, they get absorbed into the conqueror’s group.

Which sets the stage for inter-societal conflict.  In pretty much every way that matters, human culture is inter-social conflict — the tensions between groups battling it out for dominance over limited resources produces all art, all philosophy, all politics, all religion.  (Yes, even religion.  Marx was right about that, too, may he roast in hell — religious conflicts, too, are power struggles among contending elites, as proven by their results.  No Torquemada, Luther, Cromwell, etc. ever retires quietly to the monastery after imposing his vision on society, does he?)  “Contending classes,” as Gumplowicz called them, organize around a myth that lets them challenge the current elite and their organizing myth.**

The American and French Revolutions are a good example.  Both are children of the Puritan Revolution in England, in which the dominant class’s organizing myth of “divine right” was successfully challenged by the contending class’s myth of “universal rights.”***  Now codified as “The Enlightenment,” universal rights theory worked better to organize and motivate larger numbers of people to rebel against their sovereign…. and to consolidate the Revolutionaries’ power once they’d won.  This is the pattern in all revolutions, most certainly including our own.****  Problem is, all organizing myths are, you know, myths — eventually they’re exposed as fakes.  The Enlightenment’s blank-slate equalism is as obviously, farcically false as the old Divine Right of Kings.  Not too many folks are ready to die for it these days.

These days, of course, the reality of inter-social conflict is obvious.  We call our contending classes “races,” and it’s obvious they’re engaged in a war of all against all.  It’s equally obvious that our political system, based as it is upon the old-and-busted Enlightenment myth, can’t handle naked racial conflict.

So it won’t.

A new organizing myth will arise, because it has to.  One that sanctions naked racial self-aggrandizement, based on a different — more realistic, because more true to the science we all fucking love — conception of man.  And it just so happens that we have an old myth that fits the bill exactly… but nobody knows that it’s old, because what “everybody knows” about Fascism is wrong.

Part III soon.

 

 

 

*Nothing here is original to me, by the way.  Most of it comes, as I recently found out, from an obscure Austrian thinker named Ludwig Gumplowicz.  Not much of his stuff is available in English, but A. James Gregor lays it all out in detail in The Ideology of Fascism.  It’s also pretty much standard-issue Social Darwinism (which, like every other good idea from the 19th century, pretty much means the opposite of what “everybody knows” it means.  Thanks, American educational system!).

**You can call an organizing myth an “ideology” if that makes you feel better, but it’s still a myth.

*** Social contract theory comes from the English Civil War.  Hobbes and Locke needed to explain the disorder.  Hobbes, who lived through the Civil War, wanted to craft a political system which would prevent another round of horror.  Locke, who kinda liked the horrors of the Civil War, wanted to justify what he saw as a precursor to the new dawn of liberty in the Glorious Revolution.

****Which is why it’s so fun hearing Lefties cite the Founding Fathers as an example of “resistance” to “tyranny” these days.  Among professional historians, “everybody knows” that the American Revolution was fundamentally a conservative revolution, wherein the Founders — you know, those white male slave owning patriarchal gun nuts — rebelled to preserve their privileges that were being threatened by George III and his mercantile system.

It’s Inevitable, Part I

I believe some kind of Fascism is inevitable here, in America, in pretty short order.  Simply put, the United States was founded on Enlightenment assumptions, and every single one of those is wrong.  As nations can’t exist without an organizing myth, we’re going to have to find, or create, a new one.  Fascism has an organizing myth, too — all political systems do — but Fascism’s is closer to the truth than the Enlightenment.

Here are the Enlightenment’s basic assumptions, all of which can be shown false with a minimal exposure to real life and few seconds’ reflection:

The Blank Slate.  Originally nothing more than John Locke’s epistemology — which is whacked in itself — the Blank Slate has come to mean that humans are infinitely plastic.  Anyone who has ever had children, or even been around children, or is capable of comparing his behavior to his parents’, knows this is bizarrely wrong.  Most of our behavior is inherited.  Not all of it — you could write entire abnormal psych textbooks on the distortions of the New Soviet Man — but much more than half.  Which in itself is enough to doom the Enlightenment project — if Man is more Nature than Nurture, it doesn’t matter how perfect our social arrangements are.  We’ll still act like monkeys most of the time — that is to say, patriarchally, hierarchically, violently — because we are monkeys.

Reason.  See above.  We’re monkeys.  Man is not the Rational Animal; Man is, at best, the Animal Capable of Intermittent Rationality.  Reason is a great tool for getting us what we want… but what we want is almost never itself rational, or even reasonable.  Marvel at the exquisite reason behind Moneyball, wherein brilliant minds spend millions of dollars figuring out the best way to hit a ball with a stick.  And yet millions of our fellow men don’t have clean drinking water.  Or, if that’s too hippy-dippy for you, consider the course of the French Revolution — the very first thing they did after declaring themselves Reason’s BFFs was to start chopping off the heads of anyone who disagreed with them.

Religion.  Whether Man is innately religious because God created the world, or we just evolved that way, doesn’t matter in the slightest.  The Enlightened used to debate whether a society of atheists could endure… which proves that the Enlightened were every bit as self-aware as their descendants: Our Betters, the Liberals.  The Enlightened considered themselves atheists, of course, since that was Rational, and see above for their pose as Reason’s BFFs.  See also its consequences.  As David Stove put it, the Enlightened were considerably worse than the Inquisition, because the Grand Inquisitor at least thought he was putting you to death for your own good — that is, he was trying to actually benefit an existing individual.  The Enlightened, by contrast, guillotined actually existing people for the theoretical benefit of possible future people.  Enlightenment is a religion, in other words — in fact, the bloodthirstiest religion of them all.  Man can exist without a God, Eric Hoffer said, but never without a Devil.

Equality.  The Blank Slate + Reason + Atheism = Equality.  This is the core Enlightenment belief.  Note, however, that it’s not a logical deduction.  The Blank Slate says that all men start equal; it doesn’t follow that they all end that way.  It’d be easy to come up with a justification for a caste of slaves on Enlightenment grounds — somebody has to toil in the salt mines, and with no religion to back up its “ethics,” we, The Enlightened, are free to make another group take one for the team.  So long as it’s all Rational, with a fully worked out cost-benefit spreadsheet, who could possibly object?

Part II soon.

National Customs

General Sir Charles James Napier, out adding to the Raj, came across a large bonfire and a wailing widow.  He asked the natives to explain, and they told him that this was sati, a time-honored custom in which a man’s widow was burned alive on his corpse’s funeral pyre.  To which Napier supposedly said,

Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs.

We could learn a lot from Sir Charles.

“The self-determination of peoples,” as they called it back in Woodrow Wilson’s day, used to be a staple of Progressivism.  Lenin may be roasting in Hell, but he was right about World War I: Imperialism caused it; specifically, the fact that the existing empires had no where left to imperialize.  Take away the empires, smarter men than Lenin thought, and you’ll cut out a major source of conflict in the world.  What reason does the Austro-Hungarian Empire, for example, have to exist?  It’s an old-and-busted relic of an even older-and-busteder medieval relic, the Holy Roman Empire.  Gavrilo Princip would’ve had no beef with Franz Ferdinand had the Bosnians had their own state.  Woodrow Wilson agreed, and he signed off on the rape of Germany at Versailles in exchange for self-determination in places the rest of the Allies didn’t care about.*

“”””Progressives”””” don’t know their own history, of course, but even if they did, they’d be against self-determination these days, because self-determination accords with human nature and every good Proggie knows people are blank slates.  The rest of us, though, should look long and hard, not at the world we want, but at the world we have.  I was one of those fools who backed our latest imperial adventure in Iraq, on the grounds that

  • somebody had to get slapped around for 9/1, and
  • WMD, which Saddam did have, was as good an excuse as any, so
  • Saddam volunteered.

I figured that “democracy” stuff was just eyewash, because W. was supposed to be a conservative, and conservatives know better.

Shows you what I know.

Iraqis, like most peoples most places, don’t want Western liberal (BIRM x2) democracy and have no idea what to do with it when it’s given to them.  Much of the “alt-right” would say this is because they can’t do democracy, because HBD.  Which is one of the many reasons I can’t get on board with too much of the “alt-right.”  Until you show me a “representative government” chromosome somewhere in the human genome — and I will need a specific spot on the map, boys — I’ll reason as a historian, which tells me that the same forces which transformed blue-assed savages like Boudicca into Gen. Sir Charles James Napier in less than 1900 years are operative everywhere.

Note the time frame, please.  I’m pretty sure “building democracy” can be done nearly anywhere; I’m almost as sure we’ll be under the domination of superintelligent apes by the time we can confirm the hypothesis.

Which leads us to now.  What, exactly, are we going to do in this, year 2017 of the Common Era?

If I were President Trump, I’d find a few pet intellectuals that can’t be traced directly to me, and pay them to remind Proggies of their own history.  Yeah yeah, Wilson was a horrible racist and of course they want his name off his School of Government at Princeton, but most Proggies still think of Woodrow as one of their saints.  Eugene V. Debs liked self-determination too, I’m pretty sure, and you can probably put the Haymarket Square guys in that bucket, too.  Not to mention Lenin and the rest of the Bolshies (self-determination was a steppingstone to communism, sure, but still).  Jonah Goldberg, for example, would be good at this — on the record as anti-Trump; knows his Wilson; can obviously be bought.  Get them thinking about the good ol’ days… then start self-determining for them, with that big beautiful wall.

 

*As opposed to, say, Palestine.

War is Not a Dialogue

I recently finished reading Dereliction of Duty: Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam, by Trump’s newly appointed National Security Adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, and all I could think is “SJWs… SJWs everywhere.”

McMaster’s thesis is simple: The “leadership” styles of Presidents Kennedy and (especially) Johnson allowed Robert McNamara and his self-proclaimed “Whiz Kids” to run the war as if it were an exercise in systems analysis at Harvard Business School.  (Indeed, throughout the war, McNamara would insist, Mitt Romney-like, that we were winning in Vietnam because all the metrics pointed that way).

The key event of the Vietnam War, McMaster shows, didn’t happen in Vietnam at all.  Rather, the Cuban Missile Crisis convinced Kennedy and especially McNamara that the generals had it all wrong.  Instead of launching an invasion of Cuba, as the Pentagon wanted, Kennedy and McNamara thought their blockade of the island “communicated resolve” to Moscow.  Khrushchev backing down convinced the band of “happy little hotdogs” (as the brass sarcastically called them) running the White House that they knew war better than the professionals — “Just because a man is a general doesn’t mean his opinion on military strategy is worth a damn,” Kennedy proclaimed.

McNamara, whose only military experience was as an Air Force logistics officer in World War II, concurred.  He thought wars were about signaling.  His theory of “graduated pressure” relied on tightly controlled military actions, mostly air strikes, to “communicate” with the North Vietnamese.  His overall objective — if, indeed, he had one after Johnson took over — was to convince Ho Chi Minh that continued support for the Viet Cong insurgency in the south wasn’t worth the pain of having some (or all!) of a list of 94 specific targets flattened by American air strikes.

McNamara really did believe that “pressure” could be dialed in — he and Johnson would sit in the Oval Office, poring over a map of North Vietnam and deciding exactly how many sorties should be flown at each individual target, and the precise value of each target as a signal to Ho Chi Minh.  Thus, NVA barracks below a certain line of latitude could be hit, but not the fighter base whose MiGs protected it (and shot down several American and South Vietnamese air force jets).  Throw in LBJ’s oft-stated objective to not “lose in Vietnam” before he got his Great Society passed — he regarded the war as an annoying distraction from his domestic political objectives — and the military never had a chance.  For their part, the generals couldn’t get past inter-service rivalries, and so never came up with a coherent strategy either.  They agreed that a massive conventional campaign was necessary, but couldn’t figure out how to wage one, and so they meekly went along with “graduated pressure,” forever hoping that McNamara would step it up to the point where they could fight a real war.

Which is why I’m cautiously optimistic in our current culture war.

Section break!

Section break!

Big historical changes are rarely obvious as they happen.  Often victory often looks like defeat, for example, and vice versa.  For instance, it’s increasingly clear that Leftism as a coherent political platform died in the Sixties, and Bill Clinton’s 1992 election — seen at the time as the final triumph of the New Left — was actually the last twitch of the corpse.  As the Z Man points out, and a brief glance at Horowitz and Collier will confirm, the so-called “New Left” wasn’t about politics at all.  Sure, they had some barmy ideas they called “communism,” “socialism,” whatever, but in reality they just “wanted to smash things, flip over tables and freak out the squares.”  They were bored little rich kids, afflicted with equal parts white guilt and suburban ennui.  At bottom, most of them were probably just in it for the free love (see the Starr Report for details).

In other words, they’ve always been about virtue signaling, and nothing but virtue signaling.  The problem with that, of course, is that sometimes the enemy doesn’t get the message… and even when he does, it’s rarely the message that’s intended.  Look at Ho Chi Minh.  McNamara was sure he knew exactly what Ho would do, because every time he ran the numbers Ho surrendered.  Meanwhile, the Army ran a different set of numbers — the SIGMA war games — and said Ho would keep fighting.  By the end of SIGMA II, the blue team had 500,000 combat troops in Southeast Asia and was gearing up for a full-scale invasion of North Vietnam.  Turns out that pinprick airstrikes only pissed Ho off and increased the commies’ devotion to the cause.  SIGMA II was played in 1964, by the way — almost a year before the first American boots officially hit the ground at Da Nang.

What is modern Leftism’s objective?  We have no idea, and that’s because they have no idea, either.  Back in the 1960s, they could fight real injustices, and their tactical triumphs looked like long-term strategic victories.  Because Jim Crow was a real evil, and because the Great Society was so huge, the Left’s efforts in the Sixties could be mistaken for dramatic progress towards a coherent goal.  In reality, they were the New Left’s version of American “victories” in Vietnam — air strikes and napalm and artillery and choppers skimming low over the beaches blasting “March of the Valkyries” really look impressive, but when the smoke clears you’re left holding a few square miles of muck in the middle of nowhere that you’ll abandon tomorrow, to do the same thing on another patch of muck somewhere else.

In reality, the Great Society crippled the black family, dooming a majority of African-Americans to generations of poverty — as uber-liberal Daniel Patrick Moynihan recognized as early as 1965.  “Women’s lib,” as it was then called, has been making everyone’s life hell for three generations now, and they still can’t manage to get the gals a lousy 25 cent raise.  And now they’re reduced to cheerleading for mentally ill men in dresses to go wee-wee in the little girls’ room.

Nothing loses a war faster than losing sight of your strategic objective… except never having a strategic objective in the first place.  Social media makes it look like hitting George Soros’s list of 94 targets is really putting the pressure on the Flyover Country Cong, but….to what end?  What’s the objective?

We have one.  They don’t.  Will their firepower beat our clear-headedness?  I dunno, but history suggests the way to bet.

Nazis, Weathermen, Millennials

We all know how Our Betters, the Liberals, like to throw the word “Nazi” around.

  • The Nazis were racists and nationalists;
  • racism is bad;
  • nationalism is “right wing;”
  • therefore “nationalist” means “racist” means “right winger;”
  • therefore anyone who disagrees with a Liberal is bad
  • because Nazi
  • QED.

That doesn’t mean the Nazis aren’t worth studying, though.

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In reality, Nazism was a utopian revolutionary movement like any other.  The only difference was the details, which cynics on both sides acknowledged — Goebbels bragged he could turn a Red into a Nazi in two weeks; the German Communist Party recruited heavily among Nazi Brownshirts.  Let’s leave the details aside, then, and focus on the process.

The names everyone recognizes — Hitler, Goebbels, Goering — were anomalies.  Great War veterans(1), they were middle-aged when the Nazis seized power in 1933.  Their time on the Western Front defined their lives — Hitler’s military decisions, for example, don’t make sense outside the context  of trench warfare.  But the men who actually carried out the prototypically Nazi stuff — the SS, the Einsatzkommandos, the Gestapo — were younger.  Their defining life experience wasn’t the War, though they were fully aware of it.  The “War Youth” generation was defined by defeat, the stab in the back, the missed opportunity to prove themselves worthy of their Fatherland.

This is important: They spent their entire adolescence preparing for war, physically, mentally, and emotionally.  They longed to test their mettle in the crucible of combat like their fathers, brothers, and older schoolmates did…. but they didn’t get the chance to.

So they turned to radical politics.

As “everyone knows,” the guys who joined the SS(2) were mindless thugs, sadists, failures like Heinrich Himmler and Adolf Eichmann, wannabe-farmers who (in Eichmann’s case) actually scratched out a living raising chickens for a while after the war.   As with pretty much everything “everyone knows,” this is false.  SS officers were largely college-educated; many had real degrees in real subjects; quite a few of them considered themselves intellectuals and, of those, quite a few actually were.  They preached, and practiced, a radical ideology they learned in college — a distinctive, instantly recognizable weltanschaaung that guided their actions.

Again, this is important: They learned this stuff in college.  They were Nazis long before the war, and their actions during the war were logical, though horrifying, consequences of their ideology.  The war didn’t turn them into fanatical killers, their ideology did.  The war, especially the brutality of the Eastern Front — which they all regarded as an existential struggle against Bolshevism — provided them with the means and opportunity to put their motives into practice.  Had Germany not gone to war, or had the war gone differently, these guys still would’ve been fanatical, murderous Nazis… except instead of leading “special actions” in Russia, they’d be teaching college seminars.(3)

I’m pretty sure the Six Regular Readers see where I’m going with this but for everyone else, let’s talk about the Sixties.

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That’s Bernardine Dohrn, the driving force behind Weatherman, the most violent radical group in the 1970s.(4)  For those who haven’t heard of Dohrn, Barack Obama’s best bud Bill Ayers, and the rest, Weatherman, like every other white radical outfit in the Sixties and Seventies, was a movement by, for, and about the frustrations of over-privileged college kids.  Their membership was invariably middle- to upper-middle class: Dohrn grew up in an upper-middle-class suburb of Milwaukee and was a law student; Ayers’s father was the CEO of ConEd energy in Chicago; Mark Rudd and John “J.J.” Jacobs were undergrads at Columbia.  And they all wanted to be black — “I think in our hearts what all of us wanted to be was a Black Panther,” a former (female, natch) leader proclaimed, and none of the black groups who terrified California in the early 70s would’v gotten anywhere without the white, female attorneys who helped them… and, of course, slept with them.

Reading about Weatherman and the rest, then — Bryan Burrough’s Days of Rage is a good start — one gets the overwhelming impression of solipsistic kids overdosing on white guilt and boredom.

The parallels are obvious if you choose to see them.  Where the German “War Youth” were radicalized by defeat, the Americans were done in by victory.  Their fathers defeated Hitler, then and now the evilest human being that could ever be.  What could possibly compete with that?  They’d never be tested in battle.  They’d never endure the hardships of the Great Depression.  The only foreign evil on offer was Communism, whose JV squad was slapping their generational cohorts around and whose Varsity was armed with ICBMs.  A hot war with Ivan would be over in twenty minutes.

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.  Like the SS intellectuals, the Radical intellectuals of the 1960s were convinced that utopia was within reach, if only we had the steel to reach out and take it.  Their idols — Che Guevara, Regis Debray, Carlos Marighella, Lenin, Mao — taught that a dedicated cadre of professional revolutionaries could lead the masses to victory.  The only requirements were iron will, utter ruthlessness, and total rejection of conventional morality.  The American version played out like a caricature of modern SJW hyperventilating — in their total rejection of “the System,” Weatherman leaders decided to “smash monogamy” by ordering all revolutionary couples to break up; when that wasn’t enough they moved on to mandatory orgies, and when that proved insufficient, to compulsory homosexuality (somehow Dohrn herself always seemed to miss out on the action).  It would almost be funny if not for the bombs, but these people were serious:

We have the moral right, we had the duty to our people to do it, to kill this people who would kill us. We however do not have the right to enrich ourselves with even one fur, with one Mark, with one cigarette, with one watch, with anything. That we do not have. Because we don’t want, at the end of all this, to get sick and die from the same bacillus that we have exterminated. I will never see it happen that even one bit of putrefaction comes in contact with us, or takes root in us. On the contrary, where it might try to take root, we will burn it out together. But altogether we can say: We have carried out this most difficult task for the love of our people. And we have suffered no defect within us, in our soul, or in our character.

That’s Heinrich Himmler addressing a group of SS officers, not Bill Ayers addressing the Weathermen, but change the “bacillus” from “Jews” to “capitalism” and he’d agree with every word.

Which brings us to the Millennials.

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Once again, we see an entire generation of over-educated youngsters who feel they’ve missed an opportunity — really, the opportunity — to test their mettle.  The wandervogel who were radicalized into the SS in college missed the First World War, the Weathermen missed the Second, and the Millennials missed everything.(5)  And unlike the Sixties, money can’t paper this over — when The Simpsons joked about Homer’s hippy-dippy mom “marketing Jerry Rubin’s line of diet shakes, proofreading Bobby Seale’s cookbook, and running credit checks at Tom Hayden’s Porsche dealership,” it wasn’t really a joke.  Hayden never owned a Porsche dealership (Wiki prissily informs us), but the rest of the Sixties bomb-throwing crew did just fine — ask Bill Ayers, emeritus professor of education at Northwestern, or Bernardine Dohrn, law professor at same. Mark Rudd was a college prof, too, and so is Tom Hayden, who was also married to Jane Fonda back when she was still hot.

The rest of the Sixties flower children became hedge fund managers.  Their grandkids can barely get jobs at Starbucks.  And — this is the important part — radical politics are dead, too, at least as we’re used to understanding them.  The Weathermen were stupid, grandiose, murderous clowns, but at least the racism they decried (in between the mandatory homosexual orgies, anyway) was a real evil.  Millennials are stuck picketing department stores so that 6-2 dudes in dresses can make wee-wee in the little girls’ room.

So what’s left for them?  As Matt Forney (a Millennial himself) points out, they’re turning en masse to a new kind of radical politics — the shitlord kind.

Millennials came of age in a world where the entire establishment, from the politicians down to the flesh-puppets of Hollywood, were complete and total jokes. No shock that we want to crash it with no survivors. Donald Trump is the avatar of our rage: while not a millennial himself, his ideas and attitude make the overly comfortable chattering classes collectively brown their pantaloons. Because we have no memory of the leftist upheavals of the sixties and seventies, we’re not bound by the taboos that have held back Boomers and GenXers. Our parents fear the taint of “racism” because of their memories of Hair, Martin Luther King, Jr. and industrial-strength LSD: we see four Chicago savages kidnapping an autistic boy for an anti-white snuff film and we call a spade a spade.

If you’ve followed along with me this far (I’m sure all but the Six Readers stopped about a paragraph in — “oh god, he’s on about the Nazis again!”), you’ll see where this is going.  The only important difference between the SS and the Weathermen was opportunity.  Because America was a lovely place, even in the coked-out patchouli-reeking early 1970s, only a few truly deluded weirdos went underground and became Weathermen.  The Ostfront in a total war was a whole different ballgame, and while Ayers, Dohrn, et al were willing to kill cops and soldiers — and Weatherman did bomb police headquarters in L.A., and the bomb that blew many of their stupid asses up was intended for an army dance at Ft. Dix — the Einsatzkommandos could shoot all the Jews and Commissars they had bullets for.  Bernardine Dohrn praised the Manson Family for killing a pregnant Sharon Tate and sticking a fork in her stomach; Himmler praised his men for remaining “decent” while herding women and children into mobile gas vans.  Other than scale, the difference is…. what, exactly?

The opportunity for serious political violence — on an SS scale, not a Weatherman scale — is potentially right around the corner.  An entire generation is angry, hopeless, and backed into a corner. They’ve been stewed in radical politics their whole lives — remember, Ayers is a professor of education; former flower children have been in charge of almost every primary school, and certainly every college, in America for decades.  The Nazis spared no expense conducting “research” to prop up their bizarre racial views, and the flower children could at least quote Marx Marcuse and Mao to back up their weird notions of collective guilt.  Millennials can’t grasp — literally can’t grasp, and for once I’m using their signature slang unironically — the notion that different groups don’t have different rights.  They can micro-calibrate racial, gender, and sexual identities with a sickening ease that’s beyond us older folks.  They’ve been trained to do so for literally their entire lives.

What happens when the student loan bubble pops?

What happens when China’s economy crashes?

What happens when the shitlords in the crowd start punching first?

It’s not going to end well.

 

 

(1) except Goebbels, who was rejected for service due to a club foot.

(2) As any World War 2-related discussion invariably brings out the internet’s spergiest spergs, let’s get this down for the record: I’m grossly oversimplifying.  I’m talking about the type of guy who ended up in one (or several) of the organizations under the umbrella of the RHSA, the Reich Main Security Office.   The SS was a separate organization, and because of the distinctive Nazi leadership style, there was serious, vicious competition between them and the RHSA, and within the various departments of the RHSA.  But because the Nazi-est Nazis were in the SS, and because everyone who was anyone in the Gestapo, SD, etc. also held SS rank, I’m using “SS” as a catchall term to describe this type of guy.  I’m also aware that the SS itself was far from a homogeneous organization, and that there’s a difference between an Einsatzkommando and a private in the Waffen-SS.  I’m really not interested in who did what during the war, who should’ve been sentenced to what at Nuremberg, et cetera ad nauseam.  There are plenty of cheeto-stained gentlemen on the internet who’d be happy to discuss all that with you; don’t bring it up here.

(3) N.b. to spergs part II: Whether the Nazi regime could’ve existed without going to war, or if it were capable of winning any of the wars it could have chosen to fight, are open questions that we won’t be getting into here.  Save it for your Man in the High Castle fan fic.

(4) not a typo; their official name was WeathermAn, singular.

(5) I know, I know, I’m excluding Gen X.  For one thing, that’s my generation, so it’s hard to be objective about it.  My quick take, though, is that Gen X was largely against youthful rebellion because “being against youthful rebellion” WAS youthful rebellion.  Remember: our parents, the Boomers, made Sticking it to The Man a lifestyle, and they just Would. Not. Shut. UP. about it.  When you’re 18, everything your parents tell you to do is lame; therefore, Sticking it to The Man is lame.  We still did it, of course — “it” being sex drugs and rock’n’roll — since that’s what modern kids do, but we had to be all, like, you know, whatever about it.  Which is one of the main reasons our kids are so fucked up.  And now, back to the rant….

A Brief Jaunt Through Recent History, Part II

(sequel to A Brief Jaunt Through Recent History, Part I)

Actions have consequences.  Often unintended.  And most of the time those unintended consequences aren’t good ones.

In the early 20th century, the world started dabbling in what its proponents called “progressive” ideology.  Social safety nets, short work weeks, national health care, central planning, population control, eugenic, all within the state nothing outside the state …. that sort of thing.

A few of which are great things to have to the extent you can afford them.  Europe, especially ran with it, and for a while it was easy what with them having outsourced their defense to the United States during the Cold War.

But these kinds of things ultimately turned out to be pyramid schemes which depended on the next generation always being larger than the previous so you had more paying into the system than you were paying out to.  And at first, the ratio was great.  But as people voted themselves more and more benefits and had fewer and fewer children … supporting the growing aging population with more costly programs and fewer and fewer people in each succeeding generation paying into it started to destabilize things.  So the Europeans did the only sensible thing.

They outsourced procreation.  They started bringing in immigrants who would take the lower wages they themselves wouldn’t take and of course no longer had to because of the social safety nets.  It made them feel good about themselves. Oh, and it would be so oppressive to expect them to assimilate, we’re all so “multicultural”.  We’re above that. We’re worldly.  Accepting of other cultures.  And we’re giving them a lift out of poverty. Why we practically have one foot in heaven already!

Just not in their back yards.

Which left large swaths of these populations especially in France and now increasingly in Germany and Sweden living quite separately from the societies that imported them, in francecheap, crowded, maybe government housing.

That didn’t turn out so well.

We’ve done the same kind of thing here as well.  The main difference is we import our cheap labor from  mainly Mexico and Central America, and Europe has imported its cheap labor mainly from the Muslim world.

We haven’t had the problems they are having … yet.  And that’s mainly because the cultural differences between us and our cheap labor sources aren’t that great.   There’s no jihadi component in Central America.

But you can’t say that for Europe and its labor sources.

We can, however, learn from what has happened in Europe. and think twice about who we bring into this country and on what conditions.

If you want to come here and be an American, come on in, fulfill the requirements, pass the test, take the pledge, and assimilate as best you can.  You wanted to be one of us, be one of us.

If you want to come here just to work, that’s cool.  We can make that clear in the arrangement and if you ever find it’s not working out for you you can always go back.  And if you decide “hey this American thing is cool, I want to be a citizen”, well you can apply just like everyone else who immigrates has to.  Like they have to in every other country.

We do have an interest in accepting compatible people and rejecting incompatible people. This has nothing to do with race or origin.  It has to do with culture and attitude.

So now there’s a power vacuum in Syria, and various factions are duking it out, including ISIS.  Which was created in the vacuum we left when we “ended” the war in Iraq.  The Russians like their man Assad and are bombing on his behalf.   We’ve been bombing against ISIS and other Islamist factions in Syria.  It’s a soup of factions of people who aren’t big fans of America, and our bombing probably isn’t helping that image with most of them.

So it’s REALLY unclear who the refugees actually are, how do you sift through them, and where do you put them?

Do you put them in cities all across western countries?

Ask France.  Ask Germany.  Ask Sweeden.  They tried it and it got ugly fast. It’s also true some of the problems that crop up often take a generation or two to develop, and when they do, you get … civil war here.

The answers are not as simple as many would like you to believe.

A Brief Jaunt Through Recent History, Part I

It’s pretty apparent my millennial friends have had their history badly filtered, giving them an extremely skewed worldview, which is detrimental to them and their children.  Now I don’t claim this to be a complete history by any means, but I wish to fill in some blanks I suspect they’re not familiar with.

I’m going to start with this photo from Tehran University, teheranTehran, Iran, during the 1970’s.

But something changed in 1979, before most of you were born.

That something was not the invasion of the West, or of the U.S., but rather what is known today as Radical Islam.  The change was the expulsion of all western influence.  Admittedly, this was a reaction to western meddling over the previous century.  But the forced expulsion of all things western was not a step forward.

A similar change occurred in Afghanistan, fueled by reaction to the invasion of the Soviets.  The US helped the opposition (mujaheddin) in Afghanistan fight the Soviets, mainly with training and weapons support.  The mujaheddin wore the Soviets down over the next 10 years, and when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1989, leaving a weak state run by whoever took over your town this week.  This power vacuum led to the rise of the Taliban, which many Afghans welcomed at first — they stopped the rampant crime. But the Taliban imposed Sharia Law in its place.  I’m sorry someone raped your daughter, we’ll have to stone her to death.

Keep in mind women in Afghanistan were going to college and dressing as they pleased before all of this came about, and this has everything to do with having been Western colonies controlled by western countries. But we need to move this along.

In late 1990, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein declared that Kuwait was a part of Iraq and invaded and took it over by military means.  The United Nations, which was created to stop such things, condemned the action.  But in reality, the United States is the enforcement wing for the United Nations. It just is.  We do the heavy lifting and then take the flack for it.

Saudi Arabia, fearing Iraq would set it sights on her next, agreed to let the UN (read mainly, the US) station troops in Saudi Arabia to help protect her in Operation Desert Shield.  In the mean time, the UN had demanded Iraq leave Kuwait.

President George HW Bush set about building a coalition of countries to support verbally and/or lend some military aid, and Operation Desert Storm – the expulsion from Kuwait, began.

Well we kicked Iraq out of Kuwait.  But we had promised the Arab states in the coalition that we would stop there.  It was hoped that the Iraqi people might seize the opportunity and topple Saddam themselves.  Many believed we would even help.  But we didn’t, at the behest of the other Arab states. And Saddam slaughtered millions of his own countrymen.

This, of course, was an outrage, and the world demanded action.  So we set up “No Fly Zones” in Iraq to try to keep Saddam from mass-murdering more of his own people.

Our planes and troops for this were still based in Saudi Arabia.

This did not sit well with radical Islamists throughout the middle east, as it meant infidels living on holy soil.  It was also a bit humiliating them to have infidels protecting the holy land.   It especially did not sit well with one particular Saudi, Osama bin Laden.

His organization tried to collapse the World Trade Center in 1993 with a bomb in the parking garage underneath it.  It killed 6 people and injured over 1,000, but the attempt failed to topple the tower.

The US did not treat this as an act of war, though.  It treated it as a law enforcement issue, and convicted 4 men in the bombing, and President Clinton fired a cruise missile at a milk factory to distract people from his having perjured himself.  Bin Laden vowed that he would destroy the buildings one day.  But it took him a while longer to get the next plan worked out and rolling.

About 8 years longer.

During this time Bin Laden had been able to set up shop in Taliban controlled Afghanistan, which again rose in the power vacuum left after the Soviets pulled out.

This time, the plan worked.  He convinced 15 men to hijack airplanes and crash them into not only the World Trade Center, but into the Pentagon and the White House as well.  Only the one headed for the White House failed, thanks to the stones of some great Americans on Flight 93.

The attack was roundly condemned, and the U.S. went into Afghanistan looking for Bin Laden and his Taliban protectors.

In a nutshell, Bin Laden got pissed about Americans in Saudi Arabia who were there for 10 years at the U.N.’s behest mainly to keep Saddam Hussein from killing more of his own people. He was so pissed he tried twice to destroy the World Trade Center and succeed spectacularly the second time.

What are your options as President at this point?

Apologize to Bin Laden and pull out of Saudi Arabia, rewarding terrorist behavior?  And what happens to Iraqis Saddam doesn’t like after we leave?

Bush decided the best option was to finish the job started in 1990 which was cut short and set up this chain of events in the first place.

Now as part of the 1991 cease fire Iraq was supposed to get rid of all of it’s chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, referred to as “WMD”.  Now every Democrat and his brother over the previous decade had asserted that Hussein had them, Hussein had asserted that he had them, and he was supposed to destroy them and prove that he’d destroyed them by letting the U.N. inspect various sites.  Which he basically refused to do.  He also routinely shot at U.S. planes enforcing the no-fly zone that was there to keep him from slaughtering more Iraqis.  In fact, Hussein was in violation of 17 U.N. resolutions and all the U.N. would do about it was write sternly worded letters.  Meantime, US troops still on sacred soil.  To protect Iraqis.  Note that just about everybody we’re protecting at this time are Muslims.  Protecting Muslims from dictators, and Muslims from radical Muslims.

For all of these reasons (no, it wasn’t JUST about the WMD everyone said was there) Congress votes President GW Bush the authority to launch a war in Iraq.  But almost immediately, the Democrats paint GW as a “war monger” helping his “oil buddies”, and VP Cheney as a dark war profiteer for a company that he … uh … used to work for.   This was ALL politics.  John Kerry famously said, in a strange attempt to garner favor from hawks when he decided to run against Bush “I was FOR the war before I was against it.”

You can’t have it both ways.

The media immediately started painting the war in the worst possible light (which is easy to do because war isn’t pretty, which is why you fight them as swiftly as possible, and fight them to win), assigning the worst possible motives to everyone involved (except for Saddam.  See Michael Moore’s stupid movie with the unicorns and flowers in Iraq when we just started dropping bombs because we hate brown people).  It was chaos.  It was a quagmire.  There was no chance of winning.  A surge would fail.  (Only a surge didn’t fail.)  But all of this was to help soften the ground for their presidential run in 2008.  Bush is Hitler.  Cheney is Darth Vader.  They just hate brown people.  All of that rot.

Obama ran on “ending” the war.  So he “ended” it.  Funny thing about wars, though.  The party that decides when a war is over is the party that loses the war.  No matter how you slice it, it’s the side that cries “Uncle”.  So he “ended” the war by losing what was gained, pulled out and left a ….

Power vacuum.

Power vacuums in the middle east don’t turn out well.  They are quickly filled by ruthless scum who murder anyone who isn’t with them.  So they murder Muslims who aren’t “Muslim” enough, Christians, Hindus, atheists, Jews … whoever they like.

And in the middle east, Radical Islamists export this brutality.

Because they want to bring about the 12th Imam and his Caliphate.  Seriously it’s part of the religion (no, look it up yourself).  They need to establish chaos to bring it about, and to spread Islam by the sword or by cultural jihad (yes, this is an actual thing) everywhere they can.

Stay tuned for Part II