Category Archives: Things I Wish Conservatives Understood

2 Legit Part 2

Here’s the problem: Any society much bigger than a village needs an organizing myth, and ours — Blank-Slate Equalism — doesn’t work anymore.

Nobody in Current Year America can possibly still think, for one hot second, that “all men are created equal.”  We’re not physically equal — cf. all the boys calling themselves “transgender” and setting records at girls’ track meets.  We’re not mentally equal (insert your SJW IQ joke of choice here).  And as for the proposition that we should be equal, at least under the law (which was ol’ Tom’s plain meaning in the Declaration), take your pick: The judiciary (“bake the cake, bigot!”), the educational system (___ Studies), and the media (everything) are deeply, fanatically committed to the fundamental unequality of men.  And all that’s before you get to modern genetics and what it tells us about heritable group characteristics.

Tl;dr — If I can declare myself a yellow-scaled wingless dragonkin and get a guy fired for not pretending to believe me, Blank-Slate Equalism is dead, no matter what genetics says (and genetics says it’s deader than disco).

And that’s a problem, as the kids these days say, because our entire political system is based on Blank-Slate Equalism.  I’m not going to recap the history of the Social Contract Theory of government (been there, done that, feel free to trawl the archives for book suggestions).  Rather, I’m going to explore some other, failed options for organizing myths, then suggest one you may not have heard of.

First, Athenian democracy.  Whatever Cleisthenes and the gang actually practiced, it wasn’t based on a social contract as we’d understand it.  As you probably remember from your high school Social Studies class, the Greeks were world-class chauvinists.  Aristotle famously ranked women just below slaves on the rationality scale, and the word “barbarian” simply meant “not-Greek.”  You probably couldn’t play a pickup softball game with the total number of Athenian “voters.”  But it didn’t matter, because Athens was so small that Demosthenes himself could come over to your house and personally demagogue you.  Socrates, too, for that matter (he fought at Potidaea).  Athens’s organizing myth, then, was “democracy” in the football hooligan sense — you voluntarily joined up, but mostly just to have a row with the wankers.  Needless to say, this doesn’t work in anyplace bigger than a Greek polis.  (The early Roman Republic worked the same way, and yes, I’m aware that I just called Romulus and Remus the original soccer yobs).

Divine Right Monarchy solves the scale problem.  China, Rome, and Egypt had good runs with this system (the latter for thousands of years).  The problem here is communication speed.  When you’re wading the Euphrates and the Emperor is in Rome, the Cult of the Divine Augustus seems reasonable enough, especially with a few cohorts backing it up.  When communications speed up, though, it becomes too obvious, too fast, for too many people, when the King and the Gods are on the outs.  Pick your typical Early Modern monarch — if that guy is the Anointed of Christ, then Christ done screwed up good.  The English Civil War, for example, happened because Charles I tried to impose the Book of Common Prayer on Scotland, as he believed it was his Divine Right to do.  The Scots disagreed, and ten years later Charles’s anointed head was rolling in the dust.  Divine right monarchs are themselves, personally, the refutation of the theory of Divine Right Monarchy.*

The English Civil War — or, more correctly, the Continent-wide conflagration known for convenience as the Thirty Years’ War, of which it was an offshoot — is a watershed.  The key word in the phrase “Early Modern army” is modern.  Modern armies are equipped with guns.  Guns require discipline, precision, and the ability to function in the field year-round — the exact opposite of the aristocratic ethos.  Infantry is the queen of battles, and he who keeps the most infantry in the field the longest wins.  To do that, you need buy-in from the peasantry.  The Royalists in the English Civil War, for example, were fairly consistently outnumbered, but even when they weren’t, the Roundheads fought better despite a glaring lack of experienced commanders.  Cromwell’s New Model Army was history’s first politicized army, which explains both its remarkable effectiveness and its notorious brutality.

This suggests a third organizing myth: Defense-of-the-realm.  They wouldn’t put it this way, but liability to military service was one of the major underpinnings of the notion of the King-in-Parliament, from which all authority in the UK still theoretically derives.  Well into the 20th century, anyone with the ability to vote would be on the business end of a war, one way or the other (only men could vote, and those men too old to actually serve paid the taxes for those who did).  As the King’s authority ultimately rests on his ability to defend his realm, King-in-Parliament gives everyone a stake (even Hobbes agreed, at least to the first part — though he shuddered at the “-in-Parliament” part, he made his peace with the Protectorate and came home, because an actually existing sovereign power must be sovereign).

Technology makes this one obsolete, though.  America’s realm could be defended by a small navy with tactical nukes, plus a few ICBMs.  (N.b. I’m not saying this should be our national defense posture.  I’m just pointing out that some nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, combined with a steely-eyed determination to use them, would keep the Hun from our shores, and the rest of the world quiet.  Are the Mullahs really willing to risk a limited nuclear exchange over the Straits of Hormuz?  How about China, over Taiwan?  The point is that the days of mass conscription are over, which makes defense-of-the-realm useless as a modern organizing myth).

And…. that’s about it.  Pick your state, and if it qualifies as a state — if it’s not modern Somalia or equivalent, in other words — it will be organized around one of those three, or some combination of them:

Yes, even the USSR — Communism is just your basic Divine Right Monarchy, with “the forces of History” subbed in for “Divine Right” and “the vanguard of the Proletariat” swapped for the drooling idiot inbred aristocracy.

The American Revolution was a conflict between “defense-of-the-realm” and “football hooligan democracy.”  The Colonials were expected to defend the realm, e.g. in the Seven Years’ War, but without being part of the Parliament.  But they couldn’t have been — technical limitations aside (it took at least a month to cross the Atlantic), and leaving aside the fact that they’d still be outvoted on everything, Colonials practiced football hooligan democracy.  British officers in the Seven Years’ War constantly complained about Colonial soldiers.  They’d fight, and could fight well, but only if you negotiated everything beforehand — they left England specifically to get away from bluebloods just ordering them about.  George Washington was a 4th generation American, but most Colonials were recent immigrants (the Colonies’ population quadrupled before 1776).  Football hooligan democracy won — America was a rough frontier society until the Civil War, and well into the Gilded Age the only contact most people had with the Feds was at the post office.

And so on, with one exception: The ethno-state.  Japan is a prime example.  Technically Japan is a Divine Right Monarchy — the current Emperor is the 125th, going all the way back to an offspring of the Sun Goddess — but Japan’s real ruler is “Japanese-ness.”  They went from a backwards feudal empire to a modern world power in a single generation — !!!! — in an all-out effort to preserve Japanese-ness.  They saw the British in Burma, the French in Vietnam, the entire West in China, and saw their future… unless they got into the imperial game themselves.  The Charter Oath was 1868; by 1895 Japan had defeated China in the First Sino-Japanese War; and ten years later they defeated Russia — unquestionably one of the Great Powers — in the Russo-Japanese War.  Japan’s official form of government changed many times over that span, and would change many more, but always with the same goal: The preservation of Japanese-ness.

The ethno-state is the most powerful form of government known.  Ask anyone in the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere — a tiny, virtually resourceless nation, whose armies were sword-wielding samurai so recently that a man born when Perry came could still be alive, conquered pretty much the entire Pacific.  The rights and wrongs (mostly wrongs) of that conquest are irrelevant; focus on the thing itself.  You won’t find Meiji Japan in too many political science textbooks (except, of course, as “Westernization”), but its transformation is nothing short of miraculous.  How did they do it?  And can it be done in the West?

Stay tuned…

 

 

 

*I’m leaving aside, of course, the question of which god or gods sanction the monarch.  This was the Romans’ main problem with Christianity.  The Roman Empire worked on a kind of distributed sovereignty — in return for acknowledging the supreme authority of the Emperor, the Emperor’s administrators would rule you according to your own laws and customs.  But Christians are explicitly stateless.  A Jew, Egyptian, Greek, whatever is still a Jew, Egyptian, Greek, whatever in Rome, and can be tried there as such (or extradited back to his homeland for trial there).  But Christians reject all that, so where and how are they to be tried?  Julian the Apostate had a lot to say on this point — as you might expect from a Roman Emperor.

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The Prerogative State

Ernst Fraenkel, a lawyer in pre-Hitler Germany, called the Nazi regime a “dual state.*”  There were actually two sets of laws operating simultaneously, he said: The normative, which is your standard black-letter law, and the prerogative, which is the law of the Party apparatus.  The second, of course, always outranks the first.  It was possible to get real, objective justice in the 3rd Reich — the legendarily efficient German civil service carried on after the Nazi seizure of power just as it did before (this is one of the key supports in the “they all condoned the Holocaust” school of historiography — if principled bureaucrats didn’t resign after Hitler took power, then there were no principled bureaucrats).  But if your “justice” crossed any of the Party’s political or cultural imperatives, you’d find yourself on the business end of a visit from the men in the leather trench coats.

America has been in the same boat for a long time.  We all know who our real rulers are: The SJWs, and their enablers in government and the judiciary.  For a recent example, see here:

[Portland bakery owner, John] Blomgren’s chronology matches and corroborates [his employees’] version of events. However, having established that his staff had done nothing wrong did not alter Blomgren’s decision to fire them. “In this situation it doesn’t really matter that the two staff members working are not themselves racist because the call they made to deny [student and activist, Lillian Green] service caused her to feel like she had been discriminated against,” his statement explained. “Sometimes impact outweighs intent and when that happens people do need to be held accountable.” The bakery has since deleted this statement and denies firing the employees to “save face or to appease anyone.”

Which is baloney — of course they fired people to appease the SJW lynch mob.  The whole thing is clearly and obviously a racket:  “Nice business ya got here, would be a shame if anyone accused you of racism:”

“I think he’s actually a sociopath,” speculates ‘Alex,’ a Portland-based social justice activist who has worked extensively with Whitten and witnessed his strategic use of baseless accusations of racism to take down opponents and manipulate allies. Fearful of retribution given Whitten’s growing influence, Alex spoke to me on condition of anonymity but provided evidence of their relationship. “He’s created a chilling effect in Portland. People are scared of him and no one knows how to intervene.” Alex expressed sympathy for Blomgren and said Whitten selects his targets carefully — mainly white progressives who are likely to trip over themselves when accused of racism. Some of them offer him money or career opportunities.

That’s the prerogative kicking in.  Blomgren’s employees did absolutely nothing wrong; an objective judge would throw any suit against him out of court.  But there are no objective judges in Portland.  Nor, apparently, are the police willing to do anything about this Cameron Whitten guy.  Justice? Fughettaboudit.  The Left can violate normative law with impunity, because they have the prerogative.

Another great example: The Masterpiece Cake Shop decision.  The decision was not based on whether or not the Constitutionally-guaranteed right of free association applies to private businesses.  Rather, the Court ruled that Colorado’s “civil rights commission” showed undue bias toward the bakers.  The normative law is pretty clear: If you don’t have the right to turn away customers, you’re not really running a business — every former business in America is now a “public accommodation;” the former business owners are, in effect, just employees of the state.  I’m pretty sure a junior high debate club could’ve ruled on this one.

But the Court, obviously, wanted to preserve the Left’s prerogative.  Had they made their decision on normative law, badthinkers from sea to shining sea would have legal cover to spread their badthoughts, in the form of carrying on their daily business activities.

And we can’t be having that.  So the Court made the most ambiguous possible ruling, to make sure it could never be cited as a precedent.

Which brings us to the question the Z Man posed today: What happens when the majority of us wake up to the fact that we’re ruled by midgets?  As Hobbes said, “The power of the mighty hath no foundation but in the opinion and belief of the people.”  What happens when the “opinion and belief” of the people is that we’re really ruled by a few dreadlocked blue-haired nose-ringers and their black-robed peg boys?  A king whose knights refuse to ride to battle on his behalf is just a weirdo in fancy clothes.  There’s even less majesty to a GS-7 down at the courthouse.

It’s really not going to end well… and Our Betters are doing everything they can to hasten the end.

 

*The Dual State is what I call, for lack of a better term, a “skimmer.”  It’s full of irrelevant-to-us detail from 1941, so it’s easy to get lost in that stuff and miss the point.  It’s actually far better to read (as I did) a review, to get the main point.  We really need a better word for this than “skimmer.”  Suggestions?

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2 Legit

You can reduce every single political problem the West is currently experiencing to one word: Legitimacy.  By what right do our rulers rule us, and who counts as “us”?  Every successful political movement has an answer.

Yes, even the Left.  They may not remember it themselves — they don’t read much that isn’t Harry Potter, and for them History begins anew each dawn — but even the “everything is a social construction” crowd once thought this through.  They concluded that, though races, nations, borders, etc. are of course “social constructions,” we’re all members of the Proletariat — or, at least, we will be, when we’ve killed all the class enemies — and so the government of the “vanguard of the Proletariat” (i.e. them) is legitimate.

It’s not the most elegant argument to have graced the pages of a political science text, but when your whole family gets shipped to Siberia for disagreeing with it, it’s remarkably persuasive.

The Human Biodiversity (HBD) crowd, on the other hand, hasn’t thought this all the way through.  If they — we, I guess, though with more asterisks than MLB home run records — want to be more than just a bunch of internet gadflies, they’ll have to resolve the fundamental contradiction between HBD and democracy.

Social contract theory — by which representative governments become “representative,” hence legitimate — presumes rough parity between the contracting parties.  It’s the basis of citizenship.  Have you ever wondered just why America opened her borders in the 19th century?  Vox Day et al like to bang on about the Naturalization Act of 1790 and its “free white” requirement, but Congress could have limited immigration in any way it chose — not just by race, but by country of origin, skills, literacy, whatever.  Instead, the naturalization acts specify “loyalty to the principles of the Constitution.”

The United States was, indeed, a “proposition nation” — the proposition in question being “the validity of the social contract.”  The 1802 act (which keeps the “free white” provision) makes this clear: Renounce your previous allegiance (including titles of nobility), be of good moral character, be loyal to the principles of the Constitution, and you’re in.  If all men are indeed created equal (= “equal enough to legitimately sign the social contract”), then it follows that anyone who renounces his previous allegiance and swears to abide by Constitutional principles is legitimately an American.  It’s the closest thing to literally signing a social contract a 19th century government could administer.

But again: A legit contract absolutely requires rough parity between the contracting parties.  We don’t let four year olds sign binding legal contracts because they don’t have the mental equipment to understand what they’re signing. Signing on to “the principles of the Constitution” was pretty basic until after the Civil War, because back then the only interaction most folks had with the Federal government was at the post office.  That’s why the 1862 Homestead Act, for instance, came with citizenship attached — declare your intention of becoming a citizen, and 160 acres in the West was yours for the taking.  Subsistence farmers on the frontier are equal, or equal enough, when communities arise organically and the only permanent government official is the town postmaster.

Modern life, needless to say, is a bit more complex than that.  As you know, we all inadvertently commit three felonies a day.  Who can say what “the principles of the Constitution” even are anymore?  Hell, can most people even pass a basic civics exam?  Is this thing graded on a curve?

So much for re-signing the social contract, eh?

And falling back on the “representative” part of “representative government” won’t do, because the hardline HBD folks have been quite clear about this: There is an absolute cutoff between “competent” and “not competent.”  IQ is destiny, remember?  Read the comments on any “alt-Right” site — Blacks, you’ll be told, are inveterate criminals because the average Black IQ is 85.  If the nice white high IQ readers of the Wall Street Journal (3rd link above) commit three felonies a day, what hope do ghetto dwellers have?  Any “representative” of the “Black community” — which has been a real, untouchable, national thing for going on a century now — will, by definition, only represent his/her group… which is below the participatory threshold.

Right there you’ve just disenfranchised 13% of the population.  But it gets worse, because the number 100 gets thrown around a lot on HBD sites.  100 is, supposedly, the average national IQ needed to maintain an advanced postindustrial society like ours.  Surely I don’t have to tell y’all what average means.  So now you’ve disenfranchised 50% of the population, and you still haven’t addressed the three felonies a day we 100+ IQ brainiacs are committing….

I think we all — Left and Right, cat people and dog people, Crips and Bloods, Team Edward and Team Jacob, Hufflepuff and Slitherin — can agree that any government that only represents at best 49% of those under its jurisdiction is not legitimate in any modern sense.  (For further examples, see the EU, the unelected unaccountable nobodies who are responsible for the European version of this mess).  By what right, then, do the rulers rule?

I’ve got an answer for you, but you’re not gonna like it.

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Rethinking Democracy

Just like video killed the radio star, HBD killed democracy.

Democracy, representative government, (classical) republicanism, whatever you want to call it (hereafter, “democracy”) is the best form of government, not because it leads to the best results — look around you! — but because it’s the most legitimate form of government.  A modern nation-state requires significant buy-in from the majority of its population in order to defend itself, because modern nation-states require mass armies.

The feudal system worked fine with a small, decentralized, agricultural population.  When sixty miles a day was the absolute max speed of a courier and knights were the effective fighting arm, you could defend “France” with a retinue of a few thousand men-at-arms.  Which was good for them, because in an without mass communication (and with illiteracy near-universal), nobody outside of Paris knew what “France” was in the first place.  One might theoretically trace his feudal dues all the way up the pyramid, but in practice, very few people knew or cared who their lord’s lord was.  Why would it matter, when the next village over had a different lord, a different system of measurement, and probably spoke a different dialect?

And then the Renaissance happened (as my students would say), and communication got much faster.  Literacy was more widespread.  Most important, effective firearms made knights useless in battle, and with that, the whole feudal system lost its justification for existing.  An Early Modern army was a mass army, an infantry army, and would need to be in the field year-round.  It would need to be paid and supplied by the State (no mean feat, and itself a driver of all kinds of other changes), and, most importantly, it would need motivation.  You can keep a small retinue of archers and pikemen in the field for a campaign season or two if you promise them lots of plunder and a discharge by harvest time.  Modern armies stay in the field full time — something has to hold them there.

Democracy fits the bill.  It’s not too much of an exaggeration to say that modern representative government came out of the Putney Debates in Cromwell’s New Model Army during the English Civil Wars.  “One man, one vote” is the bedrock principle.  Only a government that respects its people’s interests in peacetime will have their loyalty in wartime.

Fast forward a few hundred years.  It’s no slander on the New Model Army to say that just about any old peasant could be trained to use an arquebus, and it’s no slander on that peasant to say that the issues he’d be voting on weren’t much more complex than his weapon.  “One man, one vote” presumes rough equality between all men, and in the England of the 1640s this was true enough.  Modern life, though, is as complicated as modern weapons.  Very few of us have the brainpower (or the free time!) to cast an informed vote on just about anything.

That’s an argument for disenfranchising the dummies, BUT: By what right, then, do we send them off to war?  Remember, the key is legitimacy.  Why fight and die for a country in which you have no stake?  Unless you’re willing to limit military service  to +2SD IQs (or whatever the figure is), you’ve essentially turned the American military into a giant mercenary company (read Machiavelli if you want to know how that works out, if it isn’t incandescently obvious).

The tl;dr: If aristocracy is illegitimate because such a government by definition doesn’t respect the interests of the people, then any “democracy” that acknowledges the reality of HBD is likewise illegitimate.  Modern political science — the whole schmear, from Thomas Hobbes and John Locke down to now, whether absolute monarchist or absolute libertarian — presumes that all men are roughly equal.  But they just aren’t, and the more we know about HBD, the more we realize just how UNequal we all are.

Democracy or HBD.  Pick one.

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Ignoring Consequences

One of the benefits of having ten readers (I think that’s what we’re up to now) and a robust comment moderation policy is that our site is blessedly troll-free.  Which means we don’t have to put up with what I call the Fundamental Paradox of Internet Liberalism.  Anyone who has spent five minutes online knows what I mean.  It goes like this:

  • If you were smart enough to understand what I’m saying about [insert Leftist boilerplate here], you’d agree with me;
  • You don’t agree with me;
  • Which means you’re too stupid to understand me;
  • Yet here I am, arguing with you anyway.

Which makes about as much sense as anything else Leftists do.

The problem is, Leftists have always claimed to be the smartest people in the room.  It goes all the way back to Karl Marx pretending that his sub-Hegelian flatulence was “science.”  As a basement-dwelling wankmeister* himself, Marx well understood how to appeal to neckbearded sexless losers (thrice redundant, I know).  You can get those guys revved up about anything if you cloak it in enough impenetrable jargon, and imply that mastering said jargon makes you mad, bad, and dangerous to know.  (See also: Dungeons and Dragons; every video game ever made).

In fairness, it does take some brainpower to “argue” this way.  Add to that the fact that most early Marxists were university-educated (back when that really meant something), and it’s easy to see how “intelligence” and “Leftism” got correlated in people’s minds.  Add to that the marketing genius of the Comintern, which gave them canned answers to every likely question, and  university-trained Marxists really could hold their own in a debate against everyday Joes.

The problem with that, though, is: Since being a university-trained Marxist is a requirement for getting a job in the Ed Biz, the quality of their training varied inversely with the quantity of the trainers.  Up through the Stalin years, Red professors would go all narodnik on their summer breaks, “community organizing” in factories and slums.  But that’s hard work, and The Workers are gross, so why bother if you don’t have to?  Much easier to preach revolution at a captive audience of undergrads.

So now it has been four or five generations since a Leftist has felt the need to actually argue with anyone.  They’ve been forcing us to copy the catechism into our blue books since Kindergarten… in the 1960s.  They just take it as given that they are Smart, because they have all the answers to everything…. and since they have all the answers to everything, they are by definition Smart.  It’s like the Hasselhoff Recursion, if you replace the self-portrait speedo with secret police and labor camps.

 

Having never seen actual arguments for their own positions, much less the enemy’s, they have no idea how to respond when challenged.  Hence the Fundamental Paradox of Internet Liberalism.  That they actually seem to consider this an argument for their position — and a good one, if frequency of use is any guide — tells us how far the rot has advanced.  Even obvious logical entailments escape them.

That should be a lesson for folks in Our Thing.  To over-strain the analogy a bit, we’re in a similar position to the Marxists circa 1900.  We’re the only ones who are arguing with actual arguments.  We have facts and data, and since you can’t get five Alt-Right (or whatever) guys in the same forum without getting nine different opinions, we’re pretty good at debate.  But we still have a Marx-style communication problem: The Left has controlled the commanding heights of culture for so long that we feel we must (and may actually have to) make our case in terms of their flimflam.  Any third grader can say “race is a social construction;” proving that race is real takes a university-level understanding of genetics.

And another thing: We have to watch out for second-order effects, too.  Just as our Cult-Marxists have fooled themselves into thinking The Fundamental Paradox of Internet Liberalism is a winning argument by living in an intellectual bubble, so we need to make sure we’ve thought through some obvious consequences of our position.  We’re all against Lockean blank-slate equalism, right?  Race is real, IQ is real, all kinds of behavioral propensities are inherited, right?

What about Constitutional government then?

That Lockean blank slate stuff is the cornerstone of our system.  Even if we hold, as the Founding Fathers clearly did, that “all men are created equal” means “equal under the law” (and not “outcomes should be equal for everyone”), representative democracy assumes that all voters are roughly equal.  This might have been more true than not in a rural, overwhelmingly Anglo-Saxon frontier society, but it sure as hell isn’t now.**  The more we learn about genetics, in fact, the less equal we are.  At what point do we start scrapping the Constitution?

Let’s take the common (in Our Thing) assertion that an advanced technological society like ours takes an average IQ of 100 to keep rolling.  Not to advance; simply to not lose ground.  As I’m sure you’ve noticed, the IQ trend lines are all heading downward, and that’s without the accelerant of open borders factored in.  America is going to be majority-minority in 20 years; how are those IQ numbers going to look then?  If we don’t want 2018 to be the high point of human technical advancement — if, indeed, we don’t want 2018 to seem like some kind of sci-fi utopia from the vantage of 2038 — we’re absolutely going to have to limit the ability of the <100 to free ride off the >100….

Welcome to the caste system, North American version.  IF the “society needs >100 IQ to survive” is true, then without a big beautiful wall and a really top-notch eugenics program you can kiss representative government goodbye…. and even with a big beautiful wall and a top-notch eugenics program, it’s still 100-1 we end up with a caste system anyway.  I’m all for realism, guys, but when the Left calls us rayciss, is it really any better to reply “no, I’m caste-ist”?

Here again, IF the IQ thing is true, this is the reality.  We can’t let our own inside-baseball stuff delude us into thinking we can just deport some Mexicans and all will be Ozzy and Harriet again.  Either the IQ thing is wrong, or the Constitution is.  Pick one.

 

 

 

*The only reason Marx wasn’t an incel was that the 19th century didn’t roll that way.  Here’s the lovely and charming Frau Marx.  He married her for the money — sponging off Engels (whose Daddy actually owned a factory) apparently didn’t keep Marx in the style to which he felt entitled.

**My guess is it was about 50/50 wishful thinking, and every major Founder except that moony doofus Jefferson would’ve admitted it with a drink or seven under his belt, but of course I can’t prove it.

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On the Nature of Evidence

The same sources which claim an American Nuremberg is imminent now claim that, even though nothing is happening, something’s about to happen, because look at all those sealed indictments!

The claim, as it now stands (someone might want to take a screenshot of this), is:

  • 1,077, normal number of annual sealed indictments
  • 4,188, sealed indictments as of 11/22
  • 9,274, sealed indictments as of 12/22

Let’s go Wehrmacht-style and attack two fronts at the same time.

First: Where does this “normal number of annual sealed indictments” come from?  Checking the linked piece, we see the following fine print:

How many are normal? 1,077 in all of 2006 per 2009 report.

I trust that I don’t have to expound on the difference between “annual” and “happened in 2006” to this crowd.  Nor the difference between “normal” and “happened once.”  Somebody with better google-fu than I is welcome to look further, but my quick search for “number of sealed indictments in a typical year” turned up nothing but conspirazoid-looking sites linking back to this here .pdf, the source of the “1,077 in 2006” statistic.

So, for the second part of our investigation, let’s take a gander at said .pdf.  The “method” section is enlightening, as it tells you just how the authors decided what counts as “sealed,” their various adventures in soliciting (and sometimes having trouble getting) responses from district court clerks, etc.  It’s worth a skim.

And now the numbers. The “1,077” number refers to sealed criminal indictments, the breakdown of which appears on page 17, with analysis following.  You can browse that at your leisure, but even a glance at the breakdown shows you there are lots of reasons criminal cases get sealed, many of which would require a bit of stretching to cover treason, pizza, or treasonous pizza — the 180 juvenile prosecutions, for instance, or the 70 misdemeanor drug charges.  Or consider the warrant-type cases:

There were 226 warrant-type cases: search warrants (10) and applications for wiretaps (19), sur-veillance devices (12), pen registers and trap and traces (151), telecommunication records (9), tax records (23), and other sources of information (2).

One is free to conclude that these types of things are all treasonous pizza-related, of course, but before doing so I suggest watching a few episodes of The Wire, particularly season 1.

To conclude, we have:
  • no basis for saying that 1,077 is a normal number of annual indictments;
  • no basis for concluding that sealed indictments correlate to treasonous pizza, and;
  • really, no basis for concluding anything at all, except that there are a lot more sealed indictments this year than there were in 2006.
See what I mean about this stuff?
There may be a treasonous pizza-related Götterdämmerung coming down real soon… or it might be yet another big fat nothingburger served up by folks with overactive imaginations and too much free time.  Really, y’all — schizo conspiracy theories are the Left’s thing, and if you want some good ones, I suggest taking a Liberal Arts course at any college in America.  Otherwise, let’s leave it be.
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Fake Intellectuals

Further to a post at Z Man’s, there is exactly one political principle that doesn’t lead directly to totalitarianism: Equality before the law.  This principle cannot be amended, modified, nuanced, gray area-d, penumbra-d, folded, spindled, or mutilated.  Equality before the law, and let the chips fall where they may.

This will of course entail some outcomes that are not socially just.  Equally applied, the anti-crime laws will disproportionately affect blacks, as they commit disproportionate amounts of crime.  Equally applied, the patent laws will disproportionately favor Jews and East Asians, as they have higher average IQs.  And yes, equally applied, the laws pretty much guarantee that some people are going to get screwed, even up to, sigh, children starving in the streets.

lovejoy-think-of-the-children-16nov131

Life ain’t fair, and this notion that it’s somehow the government’s job to make life fair — thus abandoning the principle of Equality Before the Law — leads directly to tyranny:

  • There is no objective definition of “fair;”
  • Therefore, someone must be empowered to judge individual cases;
  • Anyone granted such power will abuse it;

And pretty soon we’re reduced to arguing whether that FEMA camp is a gulag, a workhouse, a concentration camp, or a thought reform center.

That’s really all there is to it.  People are what they are.  We can make up fancy theories about why this can’t happen, or that it’s actually fair, or how that guy really deserved his rubber hose time in a secret police dungeon, but at bottom there is only Reality.

Stop intellectualizing.  Stop over-thinking.  Stop rationalizing.  There is Reality, and there is Theory, and when the two conflict, Theory must yield to Reality.  You’ll find that’s true even in the gulag (thought reform center, whatever).  The way things are going, I’ll be in the next bunk over.

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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?

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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.

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Oh No!!! PURGES!!!!!

Herr Trumpf is purging “principled conservatives.”  Also known as…wait for it…. dissidents!  (Remind me: Is dissent the highest form of patriotism again?  Or are we all supposed to get in line behind the John McCains and Mitt Romneys of the world, because that’s what “principled conservatives” do?)  Anyway….

Whether the establishment political class was on board with Trump from the beginning (and most were not), they are going to use loyalty to Trump as an excuse to purge conservatives of conscience from having any political work at all. And the people who still remain opposed to Trump are the same people who are likely to align with the conservative troublemakers in both the House and the Senate. With the willing aid of the Trumpkins, the goal is to crush Cruz’s actual and ideological allies and drive them from the party.

The only named “actual and ideological ally” of Ted Cruz?  Ben freakin’ Sasse.

As the Z Man quips, Ben Sasse is the epitome of the Trotsky Wing of the Republican Party.  His resume reads like something I’d make up to lampoon guys like Ben Sasse:

He spent a year in the dreaded private sector after college and then got on the gravy train of government work. A dozen years on the dole and runs for Senate and is now the shiny new penny “representing” Nebraska, a place he rarely visited for twenty years prior to his election. Instead of working his way up from dog catcher or state rep, he just parachuted into the Senate without much vetting.

Let’s see…yep: “consultant” (=lobbyist) for a year, then a year as “consultant/executive director” at some evangelical (=lobbying) group, then Homeland Security, HHS, and the Senate, with some Obama-style “professor” gigs thrown in.  Government or academia — when he’s not in government, or lobbying the government, he’s “teaching” government.  Dude is 44 years old and has never, ever held a job that didn’t involve kneepad service to the leviathan state.

What principle could he possibly have acquired, in all those years working his fingers to the bone shuffling regulations in the belly of the beast?  He’s a full time tax code comma-juggler…. but he gives the occasional shout-out to Jesus, so he’s a “conservative.”

Just for giggles, I googled Redstate’s last two endorsements for president: Bible-thumping no-hoper Rick Santorum (because he’s against abortion and global weathering) and that truest of true conservatives, the lisping Cuban Cabana Boy himself, Marco “Bootsie” Rubio, because “electability.”   I’m trying to figure out what “principle” this track record hews to… nope, coming up empty.  Unless, of course, it’s the principle of “throw the election to the Democrats, then climb up on our cross and scream ‘forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do’ at every possible opportunity for the next four to eight years.  Oh, and please donate!  Paypal, Patreon… it’s all good.”

The old 90s-style culture wars are dead, y’all.  You want to know why Republican voters don’t care about abortion anymore?  I’ll spell it out for you in little bitty words: IT’S THE FUCKING IMMIGRANTS.  The very same self-righteous Churchians who are out there marching for life are helping Obama import Aztecs and Muzzies as fast as they can fill the cargo holds.  The Constitution isn’t a suicide pact, and neither is the Gospel. The rest of us can see that for every baby you save from the butcher’s knife — and it’s a laudable goal, God bless you — you’re disemploying five American citizens, three of whom will be wounded in next week’s outbreak of Sudden Onset Jihad Syndrome.

While all that’s going on, the wonkblogs are yelling about “purges,” as if stone-faced men in jackboots have hauled poor Ben Sasse off to a meeting with a rubber hose and some thumbscrews.  In reality, of course, he’ll be back in the Senate sponsoring vital true conservative legislation in no time.  And should he be ousted in his next reelection bid — perhaps because the voters of the great state of Nebraska couldn’t pick him out of a police lineup — he’ll be right back on K Street the next day, true conservatively lobbying Congress for more true conservative pork.

But don’t forget: it’s e before i in “gleichschaltung.”  PURGES!!!!

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