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Quick Takes: Festinger Edition

The Calm Before the Storm, Episode LVIII: For newer readers (great timing, gang; be sure to sign up for the newsletter), or if you just need a refresher, Festinger’s book When Prophecy Fails was a study of a UFO cult which predicted the end of the world on a very specific date… in 1953. Festinger was on hand to see what happened to the cult when the world didn’t end, and he discovered a very important psychological principle. He called it “cognitive dissonance,” but since that term has taken on a life of its own, we’ll swipe one from Internet and call it a “retcon.”

For those with even a moderate level of commitment to the cult (and I’ll leave it to you to speculate what moderate commitment to a cult might be; Festinger’s work is not without its critics), disconfirmation of the cult’s central belief led, astoundingly, to an even greater commitment to the cult. “The world will end on X date” was immediately retconned into “the world didn’t end on X date because of our righteousness.

You know you’re really onto something when it seems head-slappingly obvious in retrospect. Yeah, of course they did that. Everybody does that to a degree. You expect something isn’t going to work out, then it does work out — it must be because you’re special, right? It’s another way of assigning yourself agency in a world where you’re basically powerless over the big stuff. Humans are wired to believe they have agency, that things happen for a reason. It sounds like I’m giving Festinger at best a backhanded compliment, but I’m very seriously singing his praises — “everybody knows” this stuff, but no one had isolated and described it before. That’s a major achievement — if I could have the equivalent of “discovered cognitive dissonance” on my tombstone, I’d die an ecstatically happy man.

Nor can Festinger be blamed for not taking the seemingly-obvious step and applying his insight to politics. I know nothing of the man, personally, but given that his professional discipline was Soash I assume he was a hardcore Leftist, since you’ve got a better chance of seeing a yeti than a conservative in the “soft sciences.” Fish don’t notice water, so something like Gramsci’s theory of “hegemony” — which, to an outsider, appears to be nothing but a massive UFO cult-style retcon — just seemed right to him.  But we’re not Festinger, so we can take the leap. We’ve had a spectacular example just recently, and we’re about to have another.

The just-passed one involved the CivNats, and for the sake of everyone’s slim remaining dignity, let’s pass it by quickly: Their reaction to the obvious theft of the 2020 election was, of course, a vow to vote even harder next time. The just-upcoming one involves, for the umpteenth time, the “Storm.”

The Q and Vox Day crowds have stated explicitly that shit’s going down today. Tomorrow at latest. All those National Guard troops in DC to install the Great Pretender, this theory goes, are really Trump’s coup forces. So when that doesn’t happen, you’ll be able to watch a giant Festinger-style retcon happening in real time. It’ll be a hoot, but more importantly, it’ll confirm for you, like nothing else can, that there are people too far in to ever get out. If you’ve ever wondered why folks got willingly into the boxcars, or went to the Lubyanka’s back room shouting “Wait until Comrade Stalin hears of this!”, here’s your chance to see it firsthand. It’ll all boil down to Teh Jooooos!!!, of course, or it’s really just another “op” for the really really really long game the “God Emperor” is playing, or both.

Without You, There Is No Us. Reader Frip, on Leftists:

Liberals are rapists. They’re not ok with just jerking off to their bizarre fantasies. They’ve got to seek you out and stick it in. YOU are everything.

I don’t think there’s anyone to the Right of Mao who hasn’t thought, at some point, that secession is the answer. Leftists claim they’re the science people, the “reality-based community” (remember that one?), that “the facts have a Liberal bias” (another hoary old favorite), and so forth. Well, ok then, why don’t you just GO? Go live your lives in your perfect, factual, scientific utopia, and leave all us benighted deplorables here to rot. Obviously we can’t be saved, since if we were smart enough to understand the “facts” we’d be Liberals…

…but we can’t understand them, and yet here you are, arguing with us anyway. I call it the Fundamental Paradox of Internet Liberalism, and it’s a key to Leftist psychology. It’s not enough for them, to actually BE smart. It’s not the factuality of the facts that is important to them, it’s the “Liberal bias” part — that is, they have to make sure that WE know the “facts” support them. When Leftists claim that everything is a social construction, they really mean it. For the Leftist, if a tree falls in the forest and no one’s there to hear it, it doesn’t make a sound, because “hearing” requires ears and only people have those.

The psychology of this is above my pay grade, but Frip’s phrasing reminded me of a great illustration of the principle — a book called Without You, There Is No Us, by Suki Kim. It’s one of the most meta things I’ve ever read; the irony nearly made my toes rust. Her title is supposedly taken from a song North Korean children are required to sing to Dear Leader, but Mx. Kim is so solipsistic that it’s really all about HER. It was published in 2015, and if you really want to get inside the head of the Basic College Girl, I can think of no better reading. One small example: she’s a teacher at a school for the sons of the Nork elite. She knows — she writes, several times — that their names appearing in her book might well get those kids and their parents killed. Which is sad, of course, but the important thing is how very very very sexy they all found Mx. Suki Kim.

Jeez, now I have to go put that on the suggested reading list over at the other site. Please don’t pay for it, but please DO go read it. That’s what we’re dealing with, y’all. That’s the mental world of our Rulers.

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Troubles Ahead?

I know some of y’all prefer these shorter posts, so if you don’t feel like reading the previous two-part doorstoppers, here’s one.

Some folks on our side think that the next logical step for the American Right is the formation of an explicitly White party. Demographics is destiny, these people argue, and with a majority-minority country (what an oxymoron!) in the near future, politics in The Nation Formerly Known as America will soon devolve into what “politics” is wherever there’s a plurality of Others — tribal warfare by other means. Such is life in a multi-ethnic Empire held together solely by inertia and armed force — see e.g. the Austria-Hungary.

The problem with that assumption, though, is that it still relies on a relatively regular, rule-governed political process. Um…. yeah. How’d that work out two months ago?

Let’s assume for the sake of argument that such a Party would even be allowed to form. (It wouldn’t, of course, given that the Bidenreich’s inevitable Hate Crimes legislation will make anything less than literal fellatio of Leftists a federal offense, but let’s stipulate). There have been several such parties in Europe recently, like the AfD in Germany. How’s that working out?

You all know as well as I do what happens: Even if they win, they lose. Look, y’all, the theft of the 2020 presidential election wasn’t directed from the top. It wasn’t some big, centrally-organized conspiracy. It was a bunch of low-level actors spontaneously deciding to do whatever they had to, to rid the country of the Orange Scourge. The only “planning” the Dems did was to make it clear to all and sundry that anything, anything at all, that would advance The Cause was acceptable, and would be forgiven once they achieved power.

The exact same thing would happen to our theoretical White Party, even if such were allowed to form. Which it won’t be.

Then, too, look at what happens to such a Party in a parliamentary system. The Serb minority inside Austria-Hungary didn’t lack for representation in the Imperial system. They just felt they didn’t have enough representation, and hey, whaddaya know, their brothers across the border were willing to help, and there’s World War I for you.

There’s no White nation ready to “help” their co-ethnics, of course, but the Nation Formerly Known as America might well find itself as a battleground between serious countries that have their shit together, i.e. Russia and China. Some real Russian collusion this time, but with “help” being in the form of the Soviet Union’s only worthwhile export commodity. What fun!

Finally, look at a country in which a sizeable White minority was systematically persecuted and denied participation in the political process. The BBC has already urged Biden to “return to his roots.” He just might, comrades… he just might.

Let me be clear: Any of this would be very, very bad. But history doesn’t care about your feelings, and history suggests that very bad things are on the way. There has never, in all of recorded history, been a case of the Rulers giving the Ruled the Finger working out peacefully. There’s a first time for everything, I guess, but if I were a betting man….

 

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Junkies (II)

First read part 1. Then, apply the 2nd Law of SJW:

SJWs always project.

The reason SJWs are so hung up on “capitalism” is, as we’ve seen, they regard it as something very like an addiction. Specifically, like sex addiction — we “capitalists” are compelled to accumulate new, different, better, more-for-more’s-sake, though the acquisition is harmful to both ourselves and society. Ever known a Leftist with a collection? Coins, stamps, baseball cards, anything? It’s 100 to 1 that you don’t, because Leftists aren’t wired like that.

Leftists put their entire lives on display at all times. They might have some knickknacks or mementoes (though it’s shocking how few of them have even that), but they’re all for show — if a Leftist ever had a baseball card, it would be framed and displayed in the center xzhyr apartment’s living room, and would have something to do with the player’s politics (the only openly gay player on the Yankees or something*). The collector’s joys are unknown to them, because the collector collects for personal reasons. Collectors often can’t wait to show you their collections, of course, and they can be godawful tedious about it, but — pace the Left — they aren’t showing you to brag about it; they’re showing you because you’re their friend, and they assume you’re interested in what interests them.

(I don’t insure my own baseball card collection, because although I’d be devastated if I lost it in a fire, its book-value is pretty much nothing. A truly fetishized commodity, a Marxist would say, because, like the Wagner card not “really” being worth the paper it’s printed on, so my collection isn’t worth the cumulative insurance premium. It’s the work of a lifetime, but it’s “worthless;” thieves wouldn’t bother to steal it if they knew what they were looking at).

SJWs always project, right? They know better than anyone that money can’t buy you happiness, because SJW-ism is strictly an upper-middle-class pursuit. They have all the stuff in the world, and they’re miserable. Look at the ivory tower. I hate to keep beating this dead horse, but it’s really the best example I can think of. Those people are “the 1%” by any measure that makes sense. They have everything. They work 24/7 — that’s “24 hours a week, 7 months a year” — and get comped, on average, nearly $100K for it. You can always tell which one is the faculty parking lot — no make cheaper than Volvo; no model year earlier than 2017. The houses in the faculty ghetto tend to be physically small, it’s true, but that’s because they’re all restored Victorians — go ahead and cost out what it takes to fully restore one of those puppies, and contemplate a lifetime of pauperism.

Commodity fetishism? In spades, kameraden, and we haven’t even gotten to the “lifestyle” stuff yet. Organic food — tiny little bananas from Trader Joe’s that wouldn’t feed a pygmy marmoset, but cost $4 per pound. Hot yoga lessons — $100 per hour. Eat-pray-loving your way across Indonesia — I can’t even begin to calculate it. SJWs live niiiice; way too nice for us deplorables to afford, filthy “capitalists” that we are.

And since SJWs always project, let’s talk about their addiction. Let me reiterate item III from the first part:

Brandon knows he can get any kind of sex any time he wants, so it always fails.  Not sometimes.  Always.  Watch the movie.  But he keeps trying, in the same ways, over and over.   He also tries to simulate the perfect sexual experience, copy what looks like [it] works. He walks by a couple having sex in a hotel window, so he then rents a room in that same hotel and has sex with a prostitute in the window in the exact same manner.  Does it take?  Of course not– it was too easy.  When you sign a contract with narcissism there’s a clause you should pay attention to: if it’s easy, it doesn’t count.

To really live like an SJW is sphincter-stretchingly expensive. To act like an SJW, though, is literally the easiest thing in the world, since all you have to do is talk. And talk and talk and talk and talk and talk. Just like the sex addict’s “explanation” for their pathology, q.v. part V:

The novelty is in fact trivial: yes, different partners, but the same kinds of sex, with the same kinds of people, in the same places, in the same ways, bolstered by the same kinds of porn.   Repetition compulsion masquerading as novelty seeking.  “You don’t understand,” says the analogous alcoholic, “I’m always looking for new drinks.”

There’s always something “new” for the #Woke to be outraged about, but it’s the same outrage, expressed the same way, every time (the “porn” in this case being “whatever Orange Man is up to today,” and it’s going to be dry times ahead for our virtue junkies). Just as it never occurs to Brandon to wonder just how “having sex with a prostitute in front of a hotel window” would finally be the thing that really gets him off, so no SJW could look at this and wonder if it isn’t head-slappingly stupid, not to mention “racist as fuck,” as those types like to say. Nope, they’ll just roll with it — “multiracial Whiteness,” sure, why not.

They live, in short, exactly as Brandon does in part IV:

If you are a product of your behavior, start wearing a watch again to discover who you actually are.  If the sex addict gets a watch, hell, gets a calendar, what he will discover is that he has practiced no other skill more diligently than pursuing empty sex that he knows is unsatisfying to him.  That’s what he’s spent the most time on, that’s what he knows how to do the best. Better than driving, better than speaking, better than Xbox– he has that mindset down to a reflex.  So why would you expect he’d use any other technique for any other life problems that come up?

So: Can SJWs be fixed? Can virtue junkies break their addiction?

TLP says that narcissists don’t feel guilt, only shame. In Shame, the movie, the only thing that helps Brandon get his life together — if, in fact, he does — is by translating his shame (at his sex addict behavior) into guilt (for his sister’s suicide attempt).

The only thing I’ve ever found that works, in the absence of a God who can forgive you, is to understand your guilt [for not “preventing” a loved one’s suicide] as not coming from the failing but generated by you as self-punishment, so that you can go on with the rest of your life.  Have you suffered enough today?  Then go have a Reuben, they’re tasty. You’ve earned it.

The guilt always stays with you.  Always.  It never goes away. Never.  I’m of course not saying you deserve it, but I know it is your inevitable tormentor.  So either you reach some kind of stalemate with it or it beats you down.  That stalemate is sublimation.

In Brandon’s case it is that guilt which motivates him to try and change his life, so when he sees the married woman from Act I again on the subway he doesn’t get up to flirt with her.  He lets her go, he has decided to be the kind of person who sublimates his sex drive to devote more attention to his whacky sister. To being a better person.

It’s not looking good for our virtue junkies, comrades. Why should they change? Because they’re unhappy? How would they know?

I’m seriously asking. SJWs have lived their entire lives that way. It’s like asking someone with an identical twin “What is it like to be a twin?” How would they know? They’ve never been anything else!!

A running theme of The Last Psychiatrist’s work is that in order to meaningfully change, you have to change your behavior… and the only way to do that is to become a different person. Brandon can stop having sex for a time, but he’ll always go back to it, because he’s still that kind of person. Making rules for himself won’t cut it:

The solution to your problem… is not to refrain— you can’t resist your desires forever. You must practice a new skill, you must become the kind of person who wouldn’t turn to porn when they are: lonely; horny; boredy.  If you practice a new skill enough times, it will become second first nature, and you will be a different person. Please note that it is that last part, not the giving up of porn, that makes the change difficult.  Giving up porn is easy squeezy.  Becoming the kind of person who doesn’t need to use porn on Thursdays at 11:30p because that’s when you have a few hours free is hard.

You’ve really got to want it, and to do that, you need to suffer… and not just suffer, but suffer in a way that makes you compelled to go through more suffering — the serious suffering that comes from a long, hard, honest look inside.

If they were unwilling to do that when they were under Orange Man’s heel, why on earth would they do it now, when they’re winning?

Instead they will do what the sex addict does, what they think “capitalists” do — new, better, different, more, more-for-more’s-sake.

 

 


*Note that I am manfully resisting the urge to make a petty remark about “gay” and “Yankees” naturally going together, even though all good people hate the Yankees.

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Junkies

What’s my drug of choice?
Well, what have you got?
I don’t go broke
And I do it a lot

-Alice in Chains, “Junkhead”


As usual when I link something, I’ll try to summarize within the post, but what follows will be better understood if you read this two part series from The Last Psychiatrist first. It’s from 2012, discussing a movie that was a blip on the cultural radar at the time: Shame, starring Michael Fassbender. It’s about “sex addiction.” It doesn’t matter if you haven’t seen the movie; I haven’t.  Part 1, part 2.

It’s a wide-ranging post, with lots of good stuff to chew on, but I’d like to focus on this bit. It’s a long excerpt, apologies for that, but it’s all important. (I’ve numbered the sections for quick reference).

I.

Brandon [Fassbender’s character] has a very specific problem, and it is not sex: freedom.

In order to get sexual satisfaction from anything, that thing has to be unattainable, or at the very least it must come with rules.  You can get release and pleasure from the attainable, but not satisfaction.  There has to be a limit, a line, which defines a transgression which then allows you to bump up against it– and be satisfied.

Which explains why divorce rates in the West soared just as social stigma against “cohabitation,” to put it no more bluntly, cratered — part of the deal with monogamy is knowing that the other stuff is now forbidden, which keeps the marital bed at least somewhat spicy. In theory. But that’s not the important part. If we grant that it’s not winning the game, but playing by the rules, that brings satisfaction — if we grant, in other words, that instead of the ends justifying the means, the ends are only made worth it via the means — then the unique frustrations of “capitalism” (as Leftists use the word, note that, we’ll come back to it) start to make sense.

II.

In America, almost anything you can imagine is sexually permitted even as limits to “appropriate sexuality” are everywhere.  The awareness of the ubiquity [TLP emph.] of Photoshop on models serves this same frustrating purpose: this super hot woman that I take for granted that I get to see almost naked for no good reason isn’t actually her– the real her is hidden beneath Photoshop. She is still a mystery.  So the Photoshop enhancement only temporarily heightens the sexual interest– which is why it is paired with products to buy now;  the real satisfaction has to be attained elsewhere– the Photoshopped model triggers a desire to look for satisfaction elsewhere– e.g. the products[my emph.]

It’s a neat trick. I’m not sure whether the proper psychoanalytic term for this is “transference” or “displacement,” but you know what I mean: The ambiguity creates frustration, which the ad gives you a ready means to discharge — you can’t have the model, the real one, but you can buy the toothpaste.* Which creates its own feedback loop, a constant pattern of frustration / discharge. You know, like porn, which everyone these days agrees is addictive.

III.

Brandon knows he can get any kind of sex any time he wants, so it always fails.  Not sometimes.  Always.  Watch the movie.  But he keeps trying, in the same ways, over and over.   He also tries to simulate the perfect sexual experience, copy what looks like [it] works. He walks by a couple having sex in a hotel window, so he then rents a room in that same hotel and has sex with a prostitute in the window in the exact same manner.  Does it take?  Of course not– it was too easy.  When you sign a contract with narcissism there’s a clause you should pay attention to: if it’s easy, it doesn’t count

My emphasis. Please just note it for now, we’ll return to it.

IV.

If you are a product of your behavior, start wearing a watch again to discover who you actually are.  If the sex addict gets a watch, hell, gets a calendar, what he will discover is that he has practiced no other skill more diligently than pursuing empty sex that he knows is unsatisfying to him.  That’s what he’s spent the most time on, that’s what he knows how to do the best. Better than driving, better than speaking, better than Xbox– he has that mindset down to a reflex.  So why would you expect he’d use any other technique for any other life problems that come up?

To summarize, what we’ve got here is a case of what old school psychoanalysts call repetition compulsion, in which “the individual unconsciously arranges for variations of an original theme which he has not learned either to overcome or to live with,” according to Erik Erikson (according to wiki). TLP makes the same point himself earlier in the article, as part of the standard explanation sex addicts give for their own behavior:

V.

One common explanation sex addicts offer is that it is the novelty that they crave, and when enough people with pathology agree on something you can pretty much guarantee that that agreement is part of the pathology, i.e. an unconscious defense.  Sorry artists, broken people aren’t given greater insight as a consolation prize.  The novelty is in fact trivial: yes, different partners, but the same kinds of sex, with the same kinds of people, in the same places, in the same ways, bolstered by the same kinds of porn.   Repetition compulsion masquerading as novelty seeking.  “You don’t understand,” says the analogous alcoholic, “I’m always looking for new drinks.”

So what the Sam Hill does all that have to do with (the Leftist misunderstanding of) “capitalism”? (remember that? from up top? see section I). And why do we care what those morons erroneously think anyway?

Well, since we’re talking about fetishized behavior — and what else is any non-chemical addiction, really? — a quick brush-up on the concept of “commodity fetishism.” Nobody actually reads Marx anymore, including yours truly, but Marxism is so engrained in our thought patterns now that barely anybody, even self-proclaimed “Marxists,” can recognize basic Marxist concepts when they’re staring at them. Such is commodity fetishism. This is the process, Marx says, by which the “socially necessary” part of labor gets swapped out for a price. He didn’t know about baseball cards back then, but that’s a good example of the phenomenon. What’s that mint condition Honus Wagner card really worth? From the utilitarian perspective, nothing. In fact, less than nothing, since you couldn’t even sell it for scrap — the cost of recycling the paper would be greater than the amount of paper in the card.

If you want to say that, in the Wagner card’s case at least, “commodity fetishism” is just clunky polysyllabic jargon for the very basic classical-economic concept of “demand,” well, go ahead, I won’t stop you, but you’re missing an important nuance if you do that. Marxism, you’ll recall, is supposed to be rigorously logical, the only truly scientific worldview. I know, I know, but please stop laughing for a second and hear me out. When SJWs talk about “capitalism,” what they really mean is “commodity fetishism,” and though they’ve never heard the phrase “commodity fetishism,” they grok the basic concept just fine — it’s illogical. Says Marx:

The savages of Cuba regarded gold as a fetish of the Spaniards. They celebrated a feast in its honour, sang in a circle around it, and then threw it into the sea.

That’s what matters to the Leftist, and once again, I want you to please stop laughing and let me explain: since they consider themselves Science’s BFFs, things have to be “logical” for them. “Demand,” the classical-economic concept, IS irrational; that’s the point. There’s this whole multi-gazillion dollar industry called “marketing” which is designed to manipulate it, and since Leftism is a Manichaean worldview, “marketing” is therefore evil. But, Leftists think, the rest of us are too dumb to see this — they’re the only smart, logical ones, remember?

In short: They think we are to “stuff” what Brandon is to sex. We’re addicts — we’ve always got to have different, new, better, more-for-more’s-sake. THAT’s “capitalism,” comrades, inside the tiny pea brains of the Left.

Part II soon.

 

 


Which I suspect is one of the main reasons rock stars, who really can have the super hot model, always end up cheating on her — because it’s not really her. In their minds, they became rock stars specifically to get that kind of girl… but that’s the thing: That kind of girl doesn’t exist. She’s a 2D image, heavily photoshopped. Oh, I’m sure Supermodel X really IS hot in real life, but she’s also just a person, which means she farts and snores and wakes up with bed head and all that. Plus, rock stars really do live with the equivalent of their own personal Photoshop, in the form a small army of flunkies who make all of life’s routine frustrations go away. So it must be even more maddening to find out that the Cover Girl really does have myriad small blemishes, because, you know, she’s a real person, and not the fantasy you signed up for when you signed that big record deal.

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Quick Hit: The Return of the Volstead Act (update)

hint: It’s going to work out about as well as the first one.

This comment I left at our parent site is kind of a mini-post, and I probably should’ve put it here, but to avoid duplication of effort, here’s the link.

Over here, where we tend to focus a bit more on the Fanciness of various felines, I’ll just note that pissing off a lot of veterans by ostentatiously betraying them — stabbing them in the back, as it were — is rarely a good idea, historically speaking. One is tempted to ask our nation’s veterans how they feel about being told to go fuck themselves — you guys did a hell of a job making Iraqi elections open, democratic, and fraud-free, no question, here’s a participation medal and our solemn promise that you won’t have to wait more than 18 months for basic treatment at the VA.

Eh, but all that’s ancient history, right? Just like Prohibition. Besides, those yahoos didn’t even have Netflix….

(update) I note the usual conspiracy nuts spouting the usual conspirazoid nonsense — all those National Guard troops in DC are actually Trump’s coup forces! So in addition to a LARP of Prohibition II: Somehow It’s Even Dumber This Time, now the entire nation will get to see Festinger’s book confirmed in real time. No going back from that one, boys… but since they’re the world’s most intelligent super geniuses, of course that was the plan all along – gotta give the normies one last false hope before yanking the rug out. All according to plan, why won’t you midwits trust the plan?

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I Was Wrong [UPDATED]

A man should always own up to his mistakes. Like lots of folks on Our Side, I predicted the plague would be over November 3.

Looks like I missed it by two and a half months. No clear benefit, you say? I’m shocked, shocked I tells ya. Next up, we learn that masks have just been “symbolic” all along, and now that there’s a Democrat in the White House, there’s no need for symbolic gestures, because everything is awesome.

I love clown world, don’t you? I fucking love it. If you’re amused by human folly, you’re going to be laughing yourself into a double hernia in the next few years.

UPDATEIt occurs to me that maybe we should be thankful for ongoing mask mandates, and should, in fact, encourage the Kommissars to keep the lockdowns going. The Left — of all people– should understand the sour joys of conspiracy; the paranoid, us-vs-them, no-possible-compromise mentality. I can’t think of a better way of recruiting Joe Normie to that point of view than forcing him to go to the black market for simple, basic stuff like haircuts. Imagine whispering “I’ve got a guy” like the potheads do, but for barbers and plumbers and whatnot. Plus the inevitable return of speakeasies, where more than three people can have a drink without the Karen Kloth. And living your life on the sly can only be good practice for… you know… other stuff.

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A History Lesson

Below, reader Frip suggested that we need to stop being nice guys. Which violates the spirit of Joe Biden’s America, in which the people who stole the election and pissed in our faces have commanded us to come together in unity, so regretfully I have reported you to the Thought Police, comrade. With that unpleasant task out of the way, here’s a history lesson, on a topic totally unrelated to passive resistance to power, with no modern day applications whatsoever.

I’ve always found the history of labor disputes interesting. You could, in fact, have been forgiven for thinking America was on the verge of another violent revolution in the 1880s and 90s — the Pullman Strike, Federal troops at Homestead, etc. (And if you think infiltration and entrapment is something new, look up the Molly Maguires. McParland was a Pinkerton agent, i.e. a proto-Fed. Note that this was the 1870s, even). Though the Federal leviathan was a minnow compared to today, the Yankees had gotten a taste for blood in the Civil War; they wouldn’t hesitate to use massive force if they felt they had to. And this was an era in which Big Business literally owned the government (in case you don’t want to click, that’s J.P. Morgan bailing out the US government — all of it, himself, personally — during the Panic of 1893). So the workers were hosed, right?

If those poor bastards had known how things would turn out in our glorious future, of course, they would’ve hopped the first available ship back to the old country, preferring to starve with dignity among people who shared their culture (and knew which pronouns to use), but alas, they didn’t. So they stayed, and they developed various highly effective techniques of passive resistance. One of these was the work-to-rule strike, a personal favorite of mine, because I enjoy the writings of Franz Kafka.* This one takes a bit of unpacking, so:

Scientific management, a.k.a. “Taylorism,” was all the rage around the turn of the 20th century. At its crudest (and I’m only exaggerating a little), you’ve got some dork with a stopwatch and a camera standing behind you while you do your job, and after some observations and a little math, the dork tells you you’re pulling the lever wrong. There’s a scientifically optimized way to pull that lever, one that shaves 0.6 seconds off each of your work “processes,” and henceforth you shall be required to do this exact sequence of steps, every time… and if you disagree, too bad, why do you hate science?** Similar regulations follow, until the whole plant is “scientifically” optimized.

And since this is the great age of “Progress,” you’ve got umpteen government regulations to deal with now, too. And then as now, the august personages in Congress wouldn’t dream of soiling even their shoes, let alone their hands, by going anywhere near anyplace labor is actually performed, so all these regulations have been promulgated ex cathedra. Suddenly the straightforward, mindless job of lever-pulling — the one that was already so insulting to the human spirit, so “alienating,” as Marx put it, something to be endured because one has no choice — is bound up with reams of regulations, too. If you don’t like it, build your own factory.***

But in this, the workers saw opportunity. You’re going to tell me how to do my job? Fine, but you’d better tell me how to do all of it. Is there anything the Policies and Procedures manual leaves unexplained? Where to place my feet as I stand in front of the lever, for example? I’d better not do anything until the manager tells me exactly what to do, in writing, in a fully-vetted update to the P&P, and have you run that by Compliance, sir? Perhaps the lawyers in the Environmental Division should take a gander, too, since who knows what might contribute to Global Warm…. errrrr, whatever, you get the point. It turns out that even back then, when there was no such thing as OSHA or the EPA or the rest of the Federal alphabet soup, the “scientifi managers,” let alone Congress, simply weren’t able to envision the nuances of everyone’s day-to-day job. Or, for that matter, the very basics of everyone’s job. Work ground to a halt because everyone was following the rules.

As I said, this has no applicability to The Current Year whatsoever, when the Federal law codes are so complex that we all (as everybody knows) commit at least three felonies a day. Also not applicable is the related technique of “work slow-age.” Imagine what would happen if a mechanic, say, simply refused to work on a Leftist’s car. That would be bad, of course, very bad — “bake the cake, bigot!” can just as easily become “change the oil, bigot!” So nobody should do that. But what would happen, hypothetically, if the mechanic just… kinda…. took his time with it? Oh, sorry, I can’t get you in today, but I can pencil you in for the 24th. Of April. And hey, gosh, the EPA just put out another ruling about the amount of unicorn piss, in parts per million, that is required in all new bottles of motor oil. And I just sold the last one in compliance. I’ve got some on back order; it’ll get here around the 9th…. of August.

And so on.

Once again, nobody should do that, as that would be very, very bad. Not even the factory hands of the 19th century steel mills would be so awful, so inhuman, so contrary to the ideals of peace love and understanding that the Bidenreich is about to shove up our asses, as to do that.

Or anything similar. All of this, as they say, is for informational purposes only. It’s just a history lesson.

 


*A title that is so, so much better in the original German: Der Prozess. In fact, I nominate that for a good catchall name for what’s going to happen to your anus under the Bidenreich — you’ll get the full rigors of Der Prozess.

**Just in case you thought that was anything new. Proggies don’t know any history, of course, least of all their own, but in this case they have an excuse: So many of those early “Progressives” really thought they were helping “the Workers,” and were doing it from the spirit of Christian charity, too. Obviously that’s unacceptable — there is no God, and fuck the workers, who go to church and watch NASCAR and haven’t even taken a single Gender Studies class.

***Another fun irony: I’m told that out in Silicon Valley, the digital plantations maintain housing for their H1-B indentured servants. Whites would balk at living ten to a room, but that’s luxury living where the techno-serfs come from, so lots of little towns have become, in effect, company towns. Just in case you thought that was anything new, and I for one am looking forward to the bankrupt state of California simply selling Cupertino to Tim Cook, Menlo Park to Zuckerberg, etc. Watch how fast a big beautiful wall goes up, and how ostentatiously not-defunded the police are.

 

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Show Trial Scheduled

I see on Ace of Spades that they’re not going to reconvene the Senate until 1/19… after which they still plan to impeach Trump. So, you know, a literal show trial, as one cannot actually, by definition, impeach a former federal official for “crimes” committed while in office. Trump’s a private citizen as of 1/20.

So what would that be, Constitutionally-speaking? An ex post facto law? A bill of attainder? I swear, it’s like they’re going through the Constitution, article by article, using the “Congress shall not” stuff as a to-do list, just because they can.

Comrade Stalin wholeheartedly approves.

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LQI: A Dictionary and Usage Guide

Victor Klemperer, a Jew whose Aryan wife kept him out of the camps, compiled a fascinating book on the Nazis’ abuse of language, which he called the LTI – Lingua Tertio Imperii, the language of the Third Reich. Since we’ll all soon be forced to have social media accounts, the better to sing the praises of our kinder, gentler overlords, it behooves us to do a minor league version of that. After all, we all know how to throw “intersectional” and “genderfluid” around, but the subtle nuances, the quadruple-axel stuff that would impress even the French judge, is what might keep you out of the gulag. Hence, I give you the LQI, the Lingua Quarto Imperii. I welcome your additions in the comments:

“Scary.” I’m pulling a lot of this stuff from David Thompson, whose excellent blog y’all should check out on general principles. He ventures often into the fever swamps of Leftist “culture,” so we don’t have to. One particularly boggy patch is a webzine called Scary Mommy, which is apparently a how-to guide for Progressive parents (though how they can continue to use such exclusionary, gendered, nay, even cisheteronormative! language as “mommy” in this, the Current Year, is beyond me. Shouldn’t it be “Scary Caregiver?”). But whatever, the point is, the Left is deeply invested in the idea that their fifteen-sentence hoard of NPC dialogue is terrifying to us bourgeois. To really stick the landing on social media, one must imply that whatever rote bit of SJW crap you’re parroting is dangerously radical and edgy, even though you and everyone in your social circle has been repeating it verbatim since grade school.

It’s tougher than it sounds. Those of us still slightly tethered to reality will be tempted to try and explain just how this — whatever “this” is — is “scary,” which is a mistake. And, of course, the former keyboard commandos among us are really going to screw it up. They think “scariness” must necessarily be tied to accomplishment, the more outrageous the better. Specifically, tied to the kind of accomplishments they’ve mastered in their own minds, such that the internet tough guy who proclaims himself the SAS’s top assassin, or who got kicked out of SEAL Team 6 for being too badass, is going to try pulling the same thing as a “progressive” — “I was first in my class at Komsomol, and I’m the youngest ever recipient of the Order of Lenin with oak leaf cluster.” Leftists may be stupid, gang, but trust me — everyone sees through this act, just like they did back when you were a “dissident.”

The proper way to approach it is to memorize that stanza from Eliot’s poem “The Hollow Men:”

Shape without form, shade without colour,

Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

That’s the Left, my brothers. They’re moralizers without morality, and they’re busy setting up a cult of personality without the personality. Thus they’re “scary” without accomplishment. Again, search up Thompson’s coverage of “Laurie Penny,” who is apparently some British uber-SJW. He quotes her frequently. That’s the way to do it, kameraden — ex cathedra. Behold my edginess, peons!!!

“Tired.” Another one from Thompson’s archive, and if you’ve got an hour or so to kill, the comment thread on that one is hilarious. The context is the launch of a new dating site for extremely online hardcore proggies called “Red Yenta,” and as much as I despise this (((special people))) shit, Jesus Christ, y’all, do you have to be so fucking obnoxious about it? But whatever, point is, these are loopy Leftists who are unlucky at love and, having searched all the way from one part of Brooklyn to a slightly different part of Brooklyn for a soul mate, have finally turned to the internet for help. Thompson and his commenters pick up on something odd in their profiles: The prevalence of the word “tired.”

This, I hypothesize, is the flipside of “scary.” Though in reality Leftists never, ever tire of being “scary” — that’s like a motorhead saying meth wears him out — they like to mix it up a bit sometimes, affecting a pose of world-weariness. It’s just so exhausting, being “scary” all the time. Why can’t those awful kulaks just deport themselves to the camps every once in a while, and leave us in peace?

“Angry.” I’m hesitant to put this one here, because though we know Proggies are always incandescently angry about something, and are compelled to share that with the world, usage can be really tricky. The goal here is to have some fun while singing the required hosannas, not get yourself an Article 58, so use this and any of its synonyms very sparingly. It’s just too easy to go overboard. Ace of Spades used to have the “Andrew Sullivan Freakout Meter,” in which everyone’s favorite ponce was said to be “gobsmacked with heartrending outrage” or similar. If you’re going to do that — and I’m not gonna lie, it’s a hoot — you need to spend some time building your “legend,” as the espionage types say, as a screaming drama queen… and that’s a bit you’ve really got to commit to.

The comments are open. Add yours!

 

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Marx Was Right After All (an ongoing series)

Marxism just seems right to teenagers of all ages. Teenagers’ only frame of reference is their parents, and to the inexperienced — as all teenagers by definition are —  even the best parents seem willful and capricious, if not outright tyrannical. (The gray, wrinkled teenagers who refuse to learn merely substitute “society” for “their parents” in their emotional incontinence). Teenagers live in a weirdly binary world, where the switches can only be “on” or “off,” yet all terms are undefined.

That’s why the worst thing a teenager can think of is “unfair.” It’s wrong because it feels wrong, and anything that’s wrong must be somebody’s fault — again, how could it be otherwise? Parents can’t afford to let their kids learn big lessons the hard way. Literally can’t afford it, in that teenagers can’t see why, for example, you can’t take that turn at 85 mph on an icy road. You can explain it to them until you’re blue in the face, but as anyone who has spent any time around teenagers knows, there’s a large subset of them that will simply refuse to get it. Alas, those tend to be the brighter ones, and so a large part of the subtle art of teenager management is setting up smaller, less catastrophic situations for them to fuck up, such that they hopefully learn by analogy. Which is still, of course, the grownups’ fault

A big part of growing up, then, is: realizing that not everything is someone’s fault. Every effect has a cause, that’s a simple truth of logic, but not every event has a cause. The real world, grownups know, is what Buddha said it is, a nexus of causes and conditions. Even the simplest event has innumerable proximate causes, necessary-but-not-sufficient conditions, and so on. If you want to argue, in terms of pure logic, that every event is an intersection of a long series of causal chains that are all, in theory, perfectly discoverable, go nuts, but for all practical purposes, shit just happens. Accepting that is one of the foundation stones of adulthood.

From that perspective, one’s youthful Marxism seems silly, and nothing seems sillier than Marx’s endless ranting against the perfidy of “the capitalists.” Just as your parents aren’t really the capricious tyrants you thought they were when they wouldn’t let you use the car on Friday night, so even the biggest of businessmen are just people. Marx paints them as cartoonishly evil, but though a guy like Andrew Carnegie was a real bastard in his youth, no doubt about that, he too grew up, becoming a staunch philanthropist and anti-imperialist. So, too, with the labor theory of value, which is the closest thing to the quintessence of the teenage mind ever put to paper — those Air Jordans are “overpriced,” no one denies that, but it’s simply not true that selling $5 shoes for $200 is “exploitation.” There’s this thing called “demand,” and… well, you get it.

Alas, as my fictional namesake said somewhere, time has a habit of turning all our lies into truths. It turns out Karl Marx was right after all. Who, I ask you, is more cartoonishly evil, more like the caricature capitalist of paranoid Communist fantasies, than Jeff Bezos? Mark Zuckerberg? Tim Cook? Jack Dorsey? Sundar Pichai?

We’re actually living, comrades, in the class-warfare world Marx preached in the 1840s. Everything Marx said about the factory owners of the First Industrial Revolution, that seemed so luridly absurd that even other Socialists criticized him for it, is true of the tech fascists of the Biden-Harris Revolution. Solzhenitsyn cites Russian writers from the late nineteenth century noting that Marxian socialism would end up as nothing more than dialectically-constructed feudalism, and lo, here we are. America in 2021 looks almost exactly like the USSR looked upon Lenin’s death…

…that was 1924, gang, and in case you’ve forgotten, what happened next was a vicious intra-Party civil war, in which Stalin crushed his enemies. AOC makes a pretty unlikely Trotsky, but it’s no less ludicrous than the thought of Nancy Pelosi as Koba… but that’s just the thing, isn’t it? We’ve been noting here for years that the modern Left is dedicated to being the Hollow Men in all things. They’re Revolutionaries without a Revolution — they go on and on (and on and on and on) about fighting the power and sticking it to the Man, even though they, themselves, have been the Man since at least 1974. They’re moralizers without morality — you’ll be scolded for not being as perverse as humanly possible. And, of course, their politics is a cult of personality without the personality — not even Orwell or Kafka could’ve come up with the Party installing an obvious dementia patient as its figurehead, not even if you’d dropped LSD in their tea.

As always — and yes, even in the depths of Stalin’s terror — the real rulers are the nomenklatura, the apparatchiki. Not even Koba the Dread can be everywhere. Being Hollow Men, our Postmodern Leftist masters have decided to dispense with the whole Kremlin thing. Who needs the NKVD, the gulag, the dreaded Lubyanka? The Junior Volunteer Thought Police “fact checking” everything on social media will do it for free, and much more efficiently, at which point their fellow travelers in the banking system will simply cut the badthinkers off. The only reason the gulag persisted after Khrushchev’s “secret speech” was that the Soviets, those fools, wanted to exploit their natural resources themselves, to build things themselves; labor camps were thus integral to the Soviet economy. Our masters don’t care about that, and their masters, the Chinese, certainly don’t. Much more efficient, and psychologically effective, to let the unperson simply starve in the middle of the town square, pour encourager les autres.

But hey, at least we’ll have some fun figuring out who the new Trotsky is. Again, my money’s on AOC — she’s so stupid that she’s bound to do something irrecoverably dumb sooner or later, after which she gets the digital icepick. That’ll be a hoot. Enjoy what parts of the spectacle you can, comrades – if you’re a student of human folly, you’re going to love the next few decades, because Marx was right about that too, the bastard — second time as farce.

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