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

The Majesty of Royalty

Nicholas II, Charles I, Louis XVI… pick your deposed monarch. If you look at history with a jaundiced eye, you have to wonder: how did ANY of these guys survive as long as they did?

When asked “why was so-and-so deposed?,” different groups give different answers. Historians start looking for “root causes” — Charles I didn’t accept the new commercial ethos of the Puritan middle class; Nicholas II tried to rule as an autocrat through an all-but-medieval bureaucracy, etc. History Channel specials focus on personalities — that Richard III sure was a bastard, wasn’t he?

But forget about all that for a sec, and just focus on the situation. People actually fought for these guys, even though slitting, say, Henry VI’s throat would’ve been the easiest thing in the world. The lords who did all these loons’ heavy lifting on the battlefield could’ve crowned themselves king with — at worst — no more of a fight than the civil war they were already fighting on behalf of their drooling halfwit king. Why didn’t they?

It’s the culture, stupid. Think of English Bob’s “why not shoot a President?” speech in that great old Western Unforgiven: “At the mere sight of royalty, one’s hand would shake as if palsied!” One doesn’t kill a king because…. one doesn’t kill a king, even if that means meekly going to the chopping block or into exile like so many Howards before.

Your rebel lord, in other words, is just some guy. The peasants may hold him in awe, but his fellow aristocrats don’t — peers maneuvering to ruin each other was the national sport of every court in the Middle Ages, in their brief breaks between trying to kill each other on the battlefield. Very few kings got shanked, even when it was in everyone’s obvious best interest (e.g. the Hundred Years’ War, which would’ve been about 75 years shorter if someone had just slipped Jean II some tainted snails).

This is a lesson our wannabe-aristocrats in the political elite should ponder. As the Z Man points out re: Hillary Clinton, she’s not in it for the ego-stroke; she’s in it for the money. But the Clintons are arrivistes, the 21st century equivalent of hustling rubes from the sticks who bought their patents of nobility from an addled old monarch who found them almost as useful as they were amusing. While being a titled court jester suits Bill just fine — he’s a poonhound who only cares about droit de siegneur — Hillary’s got a hole in her soul that no amount of money will ever fill. She certainly thinks she’s in it for the money, as she has understandably confused money with security and above all prestige… but she’s wrong, as she will find out to her great dismay should she win the Presidency. Even if the King is a drooling halfwit, he’s still the King, and she’s not, and never will be. We can only hope she doesn’t set the world ablaze trying to avoid that lesson.

Or the related lesson, which is that once the Majesty of Royalty is revealed to be a “social construction” — ponder that deliciously postmodern phrase for a sec — deposing monarchs gets to be something of a habit. Look at all those Roman emperors who barely had time to slip on the purple toga before getting shanked by their Praetorian guard. Wilhelm II was ousted in favor of some lawyers; a grubby bald professor-wannabe had the last Czar killed almost as an afterthought; El Sleazo Caudillo del Momento always gets it from some playboy junior officer who can barely zip his own pants.

Legitimacy is built on symbols. The process takes decades, if not centuries. But it’s gone in an instant.

Details, Details

There are no Ace of Spades types among the Four Regular Readers — we’re Not His Class, Dear — but if there were, I’d love to ask them: How, exactly, is Hillary going to beat Trump?

I don’t mean bromides like “because Trump is a jerk and a poopyhead!”  I mean procedurally.  Walk me through the mechanism.  What’s she going to run on?  What are her signature issues?  What’s she going to bring up in the debates?  IS she going to debate?

Ace’s theory seems to be “She’ll lay low and let Trump immolate himself, which he’s sure to do, because the media is in such a tizzy that their anti-Trump 24/7 attack mode is going to make what they did to George W. Bush look like the happy ending to an Oriental massage.”

Do y’all seriously think that’s going to work?

Yes, Trump is an egomaniac and yes, he never misses an opportunity to not shut up and yes, he says all kinds of controversial stuff all the time.  But Trump isn’t stupid, no matter how hard you try to convince yourselves otherwise, and he’s been dealing with this stuff since last summer, and all his self-immolatory style brought him was the Presidential nomination.  I know y’all think of yourselves as the Alt-Media, Ace et al, but you’re not — you only share their basic assumptions, one of which is that you are Shapers of the Narrative.  In fact, in this particular election the Narrative shapes you, and the Narrative is:

Look how much the American public hates the fucking Media.

Seriously.  I’m no Nostradamus, but I can read the news and work a google machine, and it’s pretty obvious what Trump’s response to all this is going to be: “When are you going to be asking Hillary these questions?”  And then the Media will get all outraged — how dare you question our objectivity?!? — and then Trump’s poll numbers will rise 10 more points like they do every time he tells the Media to go fuck themselves.

Eventually Trump is going to get around to making his trademark self-destructive statements about Hillary’s record.  And, in the course of getting all outraged!!!1!eleventy! about it, the Media will have to report what the man actually said.  At which point, he accomplishes two objectives simultaneously: He points out how incompetent and corrupt Hillary is, and he highlights, in the starkest possible way, how incompetent and corrupt the Media are in their pro-Hillary cheerleading.

I mean, he’s only been doing this for a year now.  Am I the only one who sees this?  How can you, Ace, who thinks of himself as a smarter version of a Fox news bobblehead, not see this?  Isn’t it your job to see this?

An Interesting Test Case

The now-all-but-unreadable Ace of Spades posts another thumbsucker about how gauche Trump supporters are.  Which contains this:

This election is lost.

We can argue about who lost it — indeed, most of the passive-aggressive kneecapping from the more liberal-leaning, Rubio-supporting Upper Middle Class is about arguing, in a cowardly fashion, who lost it — and I imagine we will be arguing about that for quite a while.

Might as well stop being passive-aggressive about it and just come right out and say it. There is no party unity to pretend to be a part of any longer.

But more important than whose fault this is is what we’d actually like in a vehicle for ideological aspiration.

“Ideological,” you say?

Let’s try a thought experiment: what if all those cousin’-pokin, Bible-thumpin’, flag-wavin’, beer-chuggin’, NASCAR-watchin’, furriner-bashin’ rubes who currently take time out from their busy unemployment- and meth-smoking schedules to vote Trump should actually turn out to favor Constitutional liberty and limited government?  Because for all Ace pisses and moans about how Trump isn’t really a conservative, the vast majority of his anti-Trump posts — and that whole site pretty much just Donald-bashing at this point — all seem to boil down to NOCD.  Trump’s not our class, dear, and his supporters are such boors.

How, exactly, is that “ideology”?  Or, more to the point, how is that “ideology” any different from that of David “Perfectly Creased Pants” Brooks?

But let’s make it even simpler.  Let’s say the polls show Trump is competitive… which, of course, they do.  Let’s further say that as the campaign drags on, more and more polls show Trump to be within the margin of error, or even leading outright.  What do Ace of Spades types do then?  Do they suck it up to deny Evita the White House — which would be the bare minimum “ideological” choice — or do they cuck it up with the National Review crowd?

Let me be clear: most so-called ideology is really just status signaling.  Pick any revolutionary movement in history — even in the most spectacularly successful cases, maybe a quarter of the entire population is even tangentially involved.  The hard core — the guys who would actually pick up guns for the Cause — are no more than 10%, if that.  Most people wouldn’t even cross the street for their so-called “principles” unless the weather was perfect, nothing good was on tv, and there was a hot chick handing out free burgers and beer on the other side.

And historically, there’s a word for guys who beat their chests in public about their principles.  Two words, actually.

Trump isn’t just going to be competitive with Hillary; he’s going to win in a walk.  The next few months should be very interesting indeed.

Masculinity Crisis, or Historical Illiteracy?

[If you’re a regular reader, you already know the answer].

Morgan discusses the stark difference between Millennial men and their dads.  He concludes:

Masculinity is not a balance. It’s a direction, as extreme as any other direction, in time or in space: Get it done, and if you don’t know how to get it done, find out how.

RTWT.

There’s a lot of this “crisis of masculinity” stuff going around.  It was taken for granted among liberal arts types back when I was in grad school, and over the last few years it has started percolating out, as indoctrinated young feminists have tried to enter Obama’s economy, failed, and — natch — blamed Men (1)

A funny thing happens when you look at “masculinity,” though.  It’s a learned behavior, no?  So where are the examples of masculinity done right?  Morgan quotes an article discussing the sorrows of young Josh Zeolla (2):

“I dated someone who ran circles around me,” he said. “I didn’t have the ability to help her. I panicked. I put down certain things she was doing because I was supposed to be the man.”

Zeolla, now 26, said the insecurity sparked a break-up, then a downward slide. He wanted to be the provider, but he wasn’t. He didn’t look like the muscular, confident men on television. He was afraid to express the feelings that tore him up….

“I was paralyzed by this definition of what I had to be in my head,” he said. “I just couldn’t see how I’d ever get there.”

So: What IS this “definition of what [he] had to be” that poor Snowflake had in his head?  Looking at the Washington Post article — god, the things I do for you people — we see this:

The young men in my small social media sample appeared to relate to what national surveys have found: They don’t completely identify with the brand of masculinity their fathers or grandfathers might have projected.

That is to say: They’re not breadwinners (or don’t feel the need to be sole breadwinners). They look forward to raising babies. They reject a socially prescribed set of characteristics.

There’s a fancy bar chart, and some smug limpwristed professor is quoted, but despite repeated references to “tough guy stereotypes” and “traditional masculinity” as “portrayed in popular culture,” the only concrete behavior mentioned is…. watching football.

I wonder if they teach that technique in J-school?  Morgan used to quip that feminism boils down to “Hey look at that thing over there help me hate it.”  That was 2009.  These days, the “journalist’s” job is to get the hate started without even pointing out the thing itself.  If you don’t know what “traditional masculinity” is, don’t worry — your parents, and / or ambient civilization, will do just fine.

But unlike Millennials, leftoids, and Washington Post reporters — I know, I know, there’s maybe a molecule of daylight between those particular Venn diagrams — I realize that history didn’t start last week, so I went looking for a time when everyone was a Real Man.  Guess what?

I get the vague impression that Real Men abounded in the 1950s, so I checked there.  Nope.  The guys who beat Hitler and Tojo were actually quivering balls of neurosis in gray flannel suits.  Professors of the kind the WaPo loves to quote were wringing their hands about The Organization Man and the tyranny of the white collar. (3)

The 40s, 30s, 20s?  RC readers know that this was the heydey of the Frankfurt School — no Real Men there, as Capitalism turned everyone crazy or fascist.

The Gilded Age?  There’s a whole book arguing that we fought the Spanish-American War because we were insecure about our masculinity, while over in Europe effete faggoty art movements like Decadence had everyone worried about degeneration.

The Civil War era?  Nope — the Civil War was a crisis in gender.  Surely the pre-Civil War generation was…. nix: The Mexican War, too, was groin-centric.  And let’s not get started on the anxieties of the first post-Revolution generation….

Take it back as far as you want.  The mincing, lisping “New Man” was a stock figure in Roman comedy, the ancient Greeks were always on about Those Darn Kids Today not stacking up to Homeric heroes, and I’m sure Sumerian intellectuals were forever wringing their hands about the fall from the days of Gilgamesh.  Hell, it’s all over the Bible.

Kinda makes you wish these profs would read their own damn bibliographies, don’t it?

Now, I’m not saying that Millennial “men” aren’t whiny douches.  They most certainly are the Specialest Snowflakes that Are or Ever Could Be.  Buuuuuut…… that’s what our Dads said about us, too.  And their fathers said about them, lo even unto the third generation.  It’s just the way of the world, y’all.

 

 

(1) Except Obama, of course — He is above such petty things.

(2) Or “Zoella.”  The spelling changes halfway through the article.  Typical whiny fucking Millennial — seventeen neologisms to express every single one of their pwecious widdle feewings; zero proofreading.

(3) The solution these professors proposed was — you’ll never guess! — more socialism.    Talk about history repeating itself.

 

Pop History

I have another half-assed theory about how to evaluate a period’s history: Pop culture.

This is hardly new in itself — there are historians whose entire specialty is pop culture (and an entire “discipline,” so-called “American Studies,” where dorks who couldn’t cut it in a real history program write long jargony “dissertations” about comic books and South Park).  But their productions are of limited value, because as you’ve probably guessed, it always turns out that CisHetPat Capitalism is at the root of everything.

Instead, I think you can get a pretty good line on a culture by looking at its most escapist entertainment forms, and assuming the opposite.  Take horror movies, for example.  Stephen King floated this idea in his weird, self-indulgent, obviously cocaine-fueled nonfiction book on horror, Danse Macabre.  You don’t have to be Marshal McLuhan to see that the “big bug” movies of the 1950s were, like Godzilla, responses to our anxieties about nuclear technology.  And techno-anxiety in general is one of the wellsprings of horror, starting with Frankenstein, both novel (1818) and movie (1931).  But King takes it a step further in his discussion of The Amityville Horror movie (1979).  At the depths of Carter’s stagflationary malaise, King heard an audience member behind him gasp “think of the bills!” as the demon wrecked the house.  What an odd reaction!

But it makes sense in the context of the times.  And watch what happens next — Carter’s out, Reagan’s in, and all of a sudden horror movies are about unstoppable spree killers: Friday the 13th (1980); A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984).  Notice the overlap, too — an early spree killer movie in the last of the Carter years (Halloween, 1978), and a bill-busting haunted house movie in the early Reagan years (Poltergeist, 1982).  And a few techno-horrors as the nuclear clock stays set at 11:59 — The Thing (1982); The Fly (1986).  Even Romero’s zombie movies Dawn (1978) and Day of the Dead (1985), though usually read as critiques of consumer culture, are just as much about social breakdown — a whole world overrun with Jasons and Freddie Krugers.

Fast forward to the War on Terror years (notice how few true horror movies there were in the nice, safe, prosperous 1990s!).  It’s either torture porn (Saw, 2004; Turistas, 2006) or demon possession (The Conjuring, 2013; Drag Me to Hell, 2009), or social breakdown (28 Days Later, 2002).  They’re all about mere survival, against evil entities with no motivation except pain for its own sake, who strike anywhere, anytime, for no reason.  Sound like anything in the Bush years?  And they’re still going strong — cf. It Follows (2014).

Pop music follows a similar pattern.  When there’s war, either actual or likely, you get nice bright shiny happy music – rock in the 50s and 60s, disco in the 70s, techno in the 80s, hedonistic tween pop now.  But when things are great — as in the 1990s — you get songs about how awful everything is (grunge, nu metal).  The only caveat here is that you have to look at what’s actually on the charts, not just what you think is going to be there — Hendrix and Jefferson Airplane never sniffed the top 10, and the only Doors songs to do so were treacly pop crap like “Touch Me.”  Acidy stuff was there, but most “Sixties” music shared chart space with, and usually lost out to, crap like “Harper Valley PTA” and “Sugar Sugar” (the top song of 1969, the very year of Woodstock!).

It’s not perfect, but it’s a decent metric.

The Wisdom of Jon Bon Jovi

It’s all the same

Only the names have changed….

Culturally, America has always been split between Cavaliers and Roundheads.  The latter are Puritans, whose creed H.L. Mencken quipped was “the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.”  The former are proud, liberty-loving wannabe aristocrats, who tend to place their pride and love of liberty above such petty stuff as common sense.

Politically, the split is between Federalists and Anti-Federalists.  Federalists want the government to serve the people; Anti-Federalists want the government to leave the people alone.

It has been this way from the minute the first boot from the Mayflower touched land, and if you want a quick and dirty version of the major events in American history, try figuring out which group was which in each time period.  As politics is downstream from culture, you’ll see some spectacularly odd combinations… usually right before some very bad shit was about to go down.  And if you can’t find one or more of the groups represented in electoral politics at a given time, it’s dead certain something awful is about to happen.

It’s important to notice, however, that there’s no necessary, or even natural, connection between the cultural and political groups.  All combinations are possible.  The original Puritans of Massachusetts Bay set up a theocracy, yes, but unlike their English brethren, they dealt with dissent by simple banishment.  And their descendants had no problem signing off on the Establishment Clause while setting up official churches within the several states.  And students of the Civil War will note that The Slave Power Conspiracy were, despite their states’ rights rhetoric, as Federalist as they come — the SPC, in the form of the Democratic Party, handed down the Dred Scott decision, pushed the Lecompton Constitution, and waged an obvious war of conquest to extend slavery.  They put through the gag rule, and controlled the discourse to such an extent that neither party dared mention slavery during presidential campaigns.  They were perfectly happy with federal power, so long as it benefited them — aristocrats tend to like the government they’re in charge of.

The bad stuff happens when one of the groups gets lost in the shuffle.  Politics just before the Civil War, for instance, completely marginalized entire groups that together made up the vast majority of Americans.  Where were the Roundheads in the Democrat / Whig contests, or the Anti-Federalists in the Democrat / Republican ones?  If you didn’t want to die for slavery one way or the other, you had no representation at all.

We’re seeing the same type of splintering today.  Both parties are chock full of Federalists, and both of them subscribe to the new Roundhead religion of globalism and anti-“racism.”  Cavaliers have effectively been outlawed — this is the “war on masculinity” the “alt-right” keeps talking about — as has Anti-Federalism.  Where could you possibly go to escape the reach of the American government?  Globalize or die.

Or vote Trump.  His candidacy shows just how far the old coalitions have fractured, and how unnatural were their marriages of convenience in the first place.  He’s seen a million faces of Americans who have been effectively disenfranchised, and he’s rocked them all.

History in the Age of Asperger’s

Holocaustianity” is Vox Day’s ugly neologism for American Jews’ square in the great game of Victim Bingo.  Just as blacks explicitly claim they get a pass on dis-civic behavior because slavery, so American Jews implicitly claim a pass on their Israel-first behavior because Holocaust.  “Anti-semite,” therefore, is just another iteration of “racist,” and just as meaningless — Black Lives Matter types scream “racism” if the Mickey D’s window guy forgets to supersize their fries.  It’s what Orwell said “fascism” is all the way back in 1946: “Something not desirable.”

The interesting thing about “Holocaustianity,” though, is that the Holocaust actually happened.  I’d be willing to bet that more pages have been written on Nazism than on the Bible since the 1930s, making it the most covered topic in that time frame.*  And yet, the minute anyone makes a Third Reich allusion, some combo of three things always happens: someone yells “Godwin;” someone yells “anti-Semite;” some aspie comes along to tell you how wrong you are because Poland hasn’t been invaded yet.

The first two are meaningless — ol’ Schicklgruber himself would have Godwin called on him in five minutes if he posted on the internet, and “Holocaustianity” is a quixotic attempt to make “anti-Semite” a Godwin synonym.  The third, though, is fascinating.  As Nate Winchester says, the internet seems to make aspies of us all.  Is it just that some folks feel they have to say something?  It beats my pair of jacks, but it also kills conversation stone dead.  If those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it, then we’re well and truly screwed, because the lessons of history work by analogy.

Thoughts?

 

*P.J. O’Rourke used to joke that he wanted all his book covers to have a picture of a Nazi getting ready to tee off on a cat, as golf, cats, and Nazis were the perennial top three topics in American book sales.