Category Archives: Deeper Thoughts / Think Pieces

The Spirit of ’68 – UPDATED

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Section break!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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Rage Part II: Mythology

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s how it works:

Part III soon.

 

 

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

Over on the Hello Kitty of Bloggin, as Morgan puts it, a friend posted:

“The very concept of race has no genetic or scientific basis.” — Craig Venter, DNA sequencing pioneer.

I guess I don’t see race as a bad or good thing, so I scratch my head when I see stuff like this.

On its face, the statement has an absurdity to it. I’d heard it or something like it before, so I looked it up to see what they were trying to say. And there is SOME truth to it, when you look at it in a purely scientific (read: genetic purity) way. But there is more to the universe than science. And this oversimplification appears to be *trying* to do something good, though the effect comes off more like a poke in the eye, which isn’t helpful. So I took this as an opportunity to stop a few echoes with one stone.

What they’re basically saying is that there isn’t enough genetic difference to call people of different relatively subtle, at some level, yet relatively uniform physical characteristics to call us different subspecies – that we’re all basically the same when it comes to biological makeup and mental capacity. Which is true.

There’s speculation (probably true) that eventually there will be enough intermixing to where a lot of those differences are blended out in most areas of the world. Which will be fine by me, but I’ll have been dead for centuries by that time. Maybe millennia.

Now, we call a set of people of different relatively subtle, at some level, yet relatively uniform physical characteristics from the same basic genetic background a “race”, and this is not a useless distinction no matter what geneticists say.

The problem comes when we start pre-judging people based on those characteristics, say, on sight. Evolutionarily speaking, it’s not a bug, it’s a feature. But biology isn’t fair, and culturally, we’ve developed this idea of fairness as important. Which is a GOOD thing. And this, at the core, is why racism is wrong. It’s fundamentally unfair to the person being judged. Regardless of the race of the person being judged. (There are people trying to define that last bit out of the word “racism”, but in doing so, they lose the moral core of why it is wrong in the first place.)

Different groups of us have evolved (and every one of them in the same way) to view humans who look drastically different with skepticism at a level much deeper than our intellects reside. It’s a defense mechanism. An instinctual reflex. This, like many of our other instincts, is something we have to teach out of our offspring — or to put it more correctly, to overrride this instinct — to be what we have come to know as “civilized”. That’s never going to stop. We will need to do this with each generation going forward. It won’t “evolve out” in a generation or two or five or fifty.

We will have to deal with this as a species.

Now this recognition of differences goes beyond physical appearance — and there are differences that register much more strongly than initial reaction to physical appearance. And this is the realm of culture.

A lot of the reason racial prejudices have persisted is — for essentially the same reason these physical differences evolved (genetic isolation of different populations of people), different cultures evolved along with them. And cultural similarities are very very important to how people get along with each other. It’s how we recognize, “hey, this person has basically the same beliefs I do, so I know what to expect from him. He’s not a danger to me” (mimicking this can also be the way sociopaths, even of the same race, gain people’s trust — but I digress). A population of people needs to be consistent enough so that the people in that population know what to expect from others. When we don’t know what to expect, our brains go into chaos mode and our defenses go up.

Here’s the cool thing. It turns out all of that cultural stuff … is software. And it can run in the brain of anyone from any race.

Therefore — there is no such thing as “White” culture or “Black” culture. THESE are the social constructs, far more than are the minor genetic differences that developed among genetically isolated populations that we call “race”. What we see as “race” is real categorical physical differences. What cultural characteristics we project onto those differences … if they’re calling *that* a social construct I’d agree.

I can pluck a baby from anywhere in the world, and raise him here in America and by the time he’s 8 everyone who actually engages with him will indentify him as an American. He will act in a manner that will reassure the people who interact with him that he is not a threat to them or the order of their lives. Depending on how he dresses and cuts his hair and the amount of hardware he has or doesn’t have sticking through his skin in various places, most people will pick up on that before they ever say a word to each other. Or I can raise him in France or any at least western country… same thing.

Contrary to popular belief in some circles … we have come a very VERY long way, especially in America. The [main] reason we see so much of it in America, and in some other western countries is because it is in these countries that we actually have significant racial diversity. So the issue gets pressed in these countries more than in others.  (The other reason is that there are certain political interests that benefit from cultivating cultural division.)

As I was saying earlier, fear of significant difference is an evolved response. I would speculate that … when it comes to race … we will all look much more similar as we intermix before that response evolves out of us — if it ever does — because that response is just a part of a much bigger evolved response — the general fear of the unknown, the uncertain. And at that point … the point will be moot.

Fortunately, we have culture, and if we can come to a point where just about everyone in our country, at least, is culturally similar enough so that we can act as a cohesive group of people. Remember, there is no such thing as white culture or black culture. Culture is not based on skin color. Culture is how we learn to act, and about shared idioms and traditions that glue us together, that help us relate to each other.

In this light, I cannot say I’m on the “diversity is what makes us great” bandwagon. It is not. Diversity is a symptom of greatness, not the cause. The greatness … comes from the culture.

And culture has no color.

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Trump Fires the Entire NFL!!!!! (Wait’ll you read the 6th paragraph!!!!)

I’m always curious when people say “it’s got a national conversation going” … when, exactly, did the national conversation stop? Because it seems to me like we’ve been talking about this for years on end.

To me the real issue is peoples’ perceptions on why there appears to be disparities between police action, including police shootings, of non-whites. There are lots of explanations, and racism on the part of individuals within law enforcement can never (and will, as long as humans are involved) be ruled out. But there are a LOT of other factors to look at, the vast majority of them cultural and exactly zero of them genetic save the genetic correlations (which we all know does not mean causation … and that can be pretty much proven in this case) between the victims and the shootings.

The biggest problem is, no matter how much “whites” acknowledge the issues and how unfair it is to innocent non-whites, the fact remains that as long as the cultural issues prevalent in certain non-white populations persist, a sane and natural correlation between appearance and behavior will continue to exist – and this will contribute to even the most conscientious people, even non-white people will continue to subconsciously use the correlation to make an unfair judgement on an individual (ask Juan Williams … he gave a real, personal illustration of this several years ago and got canned from NPR for being honest about it) .

Which is, lest we forget, what is wrong with racism. It causes us to make unfair judgement on people. It’s the unfair judgement that is actually wrong, the fact that in the case of racism it’s based on ethnicity is actually incidental. I think we’ve gotten so far down the road from this that too many forget this, and try to cure the disease by infecting a different population with the very disease they are allegedly trying to cure.

The answer cannot be arrest quota — as multiple studies have shown, police action corresponds to reports of crime to police, as do subsequent arrests and the occasional shooting. A disproportionate number of reports come from areas dominated by minorities, and they’re generally other people of the same ethnic background as the alleged criminals doing the reporting. Thus it is quite understandable that arrests and shootings are going to be lopsided in that direction. Police haven’t declared open season on minorities, that’s just the narrative given by those who wish to divide us — and believe me, those who wish to divide us do not wish to see this problem solved. There is too much hay to be made from it.

So fast-forward to a football game, where people have come to have a good time. And before every football game there is this tradition that the national anthem is played and everybody gets up and does this ritual action of … unity … honoring the symbol of that which we all supposedly believe in. It’s the one thing, now that the country has been sold on the religion of multi-culturalism, that is left that we can all stand up and say “yeah. THAT.” Even if we sometimes fail to live up to it, that is what we strive for.

Now before I continue, I need to make one thing very clear. The protesters have the inalienable right, protected by the First Amendment – to do whatever they want to do during the National Anthem. I absolutely support that right, and to my knowledge nobody has proposed getting rid of the right to do it.

On the flip side … when you sit it out, when you don’t join in the ritual, what you are telling the 70-100K people in the stadium and the millions of people watching is, “I am not one of you”. Further, since they know why you’re doing it, you are telling them “I think this thing you believe in is fundamentally racist (which means it’s evil), and that means you are all fundamentally racist for believing in it.” That is the worst kind of insult you can hurl at a decent human being. It’s heinous.

Again, they have every right to do it, but  that is the message they are sending regardless of the message the mean to send.

When you tell people, “I am not one of you, and you all suck”, they are probably going to have a negative reaction to that. AND … they have the same right to that reaction as the protesters had in their action.

You cannot simultaneously reject society and expect it to embrace you.

Most of the people in the stands and watching TV are decent human beings who don’t want to see innocent people wrongfully harrassed, accused, arrested, or especially shot. The people behind this movement are telling them that deep down, they don’t really care.

You know how we just went over that wrongful accusation is a bad thing? People tend to have a really negative reaction to it. And when they have a really negative reaction to it, they’re going to stop listening to you.

Trump, for his part, did not cause this division. The rise of the most recent flareup in this happened right here in Missouri in 2015 while Obama was president. Trump … just picked a side. And he was his usual ham-handed self about it. Picking a side in and of itself wasn’t bad. Many valid arguments exist in support of the side he chose. But his language and his tone certainly have been lacking which is no shock to anyone who’s paid attention to him at all.

The NFL’s reaction has been equally bad, because they made it about Trump instead of the issue at hand, and their fans lose here. And they also lose fans.

And the division is made worse, and we are no closer to solving the root cause of all of these problems.

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Beyond Left and Right

At Z Man’s, an interesting post and discussion about how the old Left/Right paradigm doesn’t work anymore (and what happens to the poor bastards who make their livings off it when it finally dies).  I’ve been interested in this for some time, and we’ve had in-depth discussions about it over at House of Eratosthenes.  Back then, I suggested replacing Left/Right with a series of “buckets,” for lack of a better term (hey, I’m not in Marketing):

Imagine that we set a whole bunch of famous leaders down and gave them a pop quiz: “What is the purpose of government? What is the State for?” Then we sort them into buckets.

One common answer would be “the State exists to create Utopia here on earth,” and guys like Lenin, Hitler, Mao, and Obama would be in that bucket. Their Utopias would all look different, and they’d employ different means to get there, but all those guys would agree that their governments are trying to create a perfect world.

Another bucket contains guys like Oliver Cromwell, Suleiman the Magnificent, Charlemagne, and Ferdinand and Isabella. Their answer is something like “government exists to give greater glory to God, and/or punish His enemies.”

A third bucket is full of guys who answered “the purpose of the State is to give me and my entourage the highest possible standard of living” — Genghis Khan, Louis XVI, pick your ancient empire-builder.

A fourth bucket reads “the State exists to keep the natural world in balance.” Egyptian pharaohs and Confucian emperors fit here — they have to do their daily rituals or the world falls out of whack.

A fifth — very small — bucket reads “Government exists to protect its people’s life, liberty, and property.” Here you find George Washington, Jefferson Davis, William Pitt, and (arguably) guys like Pericles and the consuls of the Roman Republic.

I’d argue that the guys in the “state as utopia” bucket are the Left, and the “protect the people’s rights” bucket are the Right. That leaves the vast majority of all governments that have ever existed in the middle three buckets. Doing it this way, I think, helps clear up some of the confusion about behavior and attitudes — Obama, as you note, behaves as if he believes His presidency has kept the seas from rising, but I don’t think He actually does. Nor do His followers.

It works ok, I think, if you look at governments which have actually existed.  But there’s an even simpler theoretical divide, one that doesn’t assume the existence of The State like my “buckets” theory does: Do men have Natural Rights or not?

If you’re not sure you have an answer, there’s an easy litmus test: Can you give the full Jefferson quote?  The one about Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.  Here’s the complete sentence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The bold part is the key.  Whatever kind of half-assed Theists the more advanced thinkers among the Founders were, it’s clear that they all believed in the traditional conception of Natural Rights — Man is a unique being, which by a kind of special creation alone has Reason, from which flows his Natural Rights (whatever they turn out to be; the history of political philosophy is the attempt to figure that out).  Moreover, it’s obvious that we are this way, and thus have these rights.  Whatever Justice in the abstract turns out to be, whatever the optimum form of the State is, whatever subsidiary rights might flow from the unalienable ones, any answer that conflicts with with the God-given Big Three must be wrong.

That’s Jefferson, mind you.  I disagree with him on lots of things, especially that “pursuit of Happiness” bit — we could’ve been spared a lot of trouble if, when biting John Locke’s philosophy, he’d kept the original wording: Life, Liberty, and Property.  But whatever, the point is: Without a Creator, Natural Rights are meaningless.  No God, no Rights, which is why the Left always mangles the quote.

To their credit (if that’s really the word), the Original Left — those guys in the Estates General that certain spergs are still going on about 200 years later — recognized this.  The Cult of the Supreme Being was a grotesque farce, but Robespierre was smart enough to realize that without some kind of Deity, the Rights of Man and Citizen lost their capital letters and became “whatever we decide not to guillotine you for today.”  Karl Marx saw it, too, and though he was officially a militant atheist, his Capital Letter Stuff — Dialectical Materialism, History, and whatnot — is obviously just God-Lite.  It had to be; otherwise, what’s the point?  If History isn’t really some kind of vengeful god to be propitiated, why wouldn’t you just sit back and wait for the Revolution that St. Karl proclaims inevitable?  As a Russian critic of Lenin’s put it, Marxists are like astronomers, who are mathematically certain an eclipse is coming… and then form a Party and start killing people to make sure it does.

But then Darwin happened, and the Left, with their fucking love of science, finally cottoned to the obvious implications a century and a half later.  If there’s no God, then there’s no History either.  All is atoms and void; life itself is accident and error; and only the strongest survive to mindlessly, pointlessly propagate.  There is, therefore, nothing but Power.  Stripped of all its god-bothering illusions, human life — all actions, from the “noblest” to the “basest” — are just power transactions: Domination, Subordination, and Resistance.  From this, it follows that all human culture, from calculus to concertos, is really just talk — Discourses about Power, which is why everything is, in the PoMo Left’s favorite phrase, a “social construction.”

Which, when you combine it with the special kind of stupidity only a Liberal Arts degree can provide, explains the modern Left’s whole thing.  Because they believe the universe is nothing but Words and Power, your “rights” are whatever we say they are today.  Because they’re stupid, they think “we” and “the government” are the same thing, and the relationship is unidirectional — the government will never decide that “our” “rights” are anything other than what “we” say they are.

That’s your modern political divide, right there.  Are there Natural Rights or not?  The “Right,” to stick with the old-n-busted terminology for a second, for convenience, says “yes,” and wants to be left alone to exercise them.  The “Left” says “no,” and will be happy to have you shot to prove it.

Whatever terms we (see what I did there?) ultimately decide on to name these two sides, that will remain the basic split.  If that results in a theocracy, well, so be it.  The Inquisition will kill you in order to save your soul; the Cheka will kill you because you’re inconvenient, or because you had a rich ancestor, or because they feel like it.  How can you possibly object, comrade?

 

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It’s Inevitable, Part III

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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It’s Inevitable, Part II

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

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

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

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

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

So it won’t.

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

Part III soon.

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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It’s Inevitable, Part I

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

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

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

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

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

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

Part II soon.

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War is Not a Dialogue

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

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

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

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

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

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

Section break!

Section break!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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….

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