Category Archives: Weimar America

The Prerogative State

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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2 Legit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Friday Quick Take: Saving America with Old Photos

Chateau Heartiste has a brilliant suggestion.  Saving America might be as simple as showing Americans old photos.

This is the world we had:

This is the world we have:

How did we get here?  And which one would you rather live in?

I’ve written about this before, at greater length.  Aesthetics is a seriously underrated part of politics.  Fascism was appealing at the polls in no small part because it looked cool and menacing.  Consider this

versus this:

Himmler is a doofy-looking guy no matter what he’s wearing (which is why I picked him for the illustration), but a doofy-looking guy in that uniform is extra-terrifying — especially if you’re better-looking, or more popular than he was in high school.

It works the other way, too:

North Korea is a nuclear-armed state with perhaps the largest per-capita army in the world, but we simply can’t take them seriously because of stuff like this.

Aesthetics matter.  “Pepe the Frog” was effective counter-propaganda because it was instantly recognizable — and because the Left lost their shit so hyperbolically — but a real movement needs to have counter-propaganda that’s both effective and appealing.  Fortunately, the Left has made it easy for us.  Take those pictures from the Fifties, caption them “it’s OK to be white,” and plaster them all over social media, then sit back and watch the fun.  Don’t reply, don’t engage in any way… until the furor subsides a bit.  Then ask them just why everyone is freaking out.  Their responses — complete with pictures of the commenters — is all the counter-propaganda you’ll ever need.

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The Priesthood of All Believers

“The SJWs ye have always with you,” I’m pretty sure Jesus said at some point.  The trick is managing them.  SJWs have two primal drives:

  1. to boss people around; and
  2. to feel themselves the victim of something.

A healthy society comes up with a career track that maximizes both (for them) while doing minimal damage (to us).

In 20th century America, this was the function of the Ed Biz and its dorky, spastic little brother, the Ivory Tower.  Since kids are natural learners, this system didn’t do too much damage, provided the curriculum stayed close to the three Rs.  Meanwhile, teachers could torment their students at their leisure, while griping about being overworked and underpaid.  Remember this?

quote-it-will-be-a-great-day-when-our-schools-have-all-the-money-they-need-and-our-air-force-has-to-have-robert-fulghum-66959

Yes, The Man is keeping you down, all right!  What with tenure, great bennies, no overtime, a captive audience, zero daily oversight, a lovely work environment (where you’re the boss!), and oh yeah, fucking summers off, not to mention a week at Thanksgiving and Easter, nearly a month at Christmas, and the eighteen zillion “inservice days” that are an hour’s worth of lecture followed by the “debriefing” down at the “teachers’ lounge.”

cartoon-teachers-krabappel

All while getting comped at a nice middle class salary.  This goes triple for college, which is one-third the work for three times the pay, plus private offices and no jailbait issues…. and, not coincidentally, three times the “we’re the Most Oppressed People EVAR!” whining.  It’s all by design, and provided there’s a decent economy — as there was almost all the time back in the 20th — nobody is harmed too much by spending a few months a year cooped up with these whackadoodles.

Alas, the good times are over.  Teachers still whine and bitch at astronomical rates — and profs are twenty times worse — but since we’ve all realized by now that the Ed Biz is, in fact, a BIZ, and a highly profitable one at that, all the MOPE cachet is gone… which means the SJWs can no longer fulfill part 2 of their Prime Directive.

As always, the Middle Ages had the right idea.  This is what a priesthood is for.  It’s perfect — you’re taking the world’s sins on your shoulders, plus you get to peer into the sordid private lives of your betters… and punish them!

The first thing we need to do is roll back the Reformation.  Priesthood of all believers?  Hell no.  We’ve got to get back to the days where good, socially conscious parents pledged their excess kids to the cloister when they were barely out of diapers.  You think Sasha and Malia Obama won’t be tormenting us in politics for the next 30 years?  If this were the good old days, we could deal with ’em Hamlet style — “get thee to a nunnery!”

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On the Nature of Evidence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back in the 19th century, Marxism billed itself as science.  That was its appeal — 19th century science, especially physics and Darwinian biology, was destroying the old certainties.  You even had guys like Ernst Mach — a heavyweight scientist, for whom the speed of sound is named — arguing that ideas themselves evolve organically, much like organisms do.  The old world was dead; the old certainties were gone; what could be over the horizon?  Karl Marx pretended to know, with scientific certainty (yes, even back then they “fucking loved science”).

In a world where every day brought news of another of life’s certainties being overthrown by some egghead in a lab, Marxists’ dogmatic certainty kept them grounded.  That’s why so many confused young people were Marxists.  As Orwell observed back in the 1930s,

One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words ‘Socialism’ and ‘Communism’ draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, ‘Nature Cure’ quack, pacifist, and feminist in England.

Marx said there is nothing but stuff in the world.  Material possessions.  Marx said that the old certainties were all lies, designed to keep The People from demanding more stuff.  Rejigger life’s material arrangements, he said, and we shall have social Utopia, just as the fruit-juice drinkers etc. shall, by rejiggering their biochemical arrangements, have physical utopia.

Then a funny thing happened: World War II.  We won, and all of a sudden an unimaginable level of material prosperity was available to everyone.  Nobody has involuntarily gone to bed hungry in America since about 1957, and it was soon obvious that Orwell’s Socialist dream of the 1930s was the Capitalist reality of the 1960s — those Wigan Pier miners all had clothes, shoes, three hots and a cot, and the National ‘Ealf….

…. and they still weren’t happy, any more than the Baby Boomers were, though warm and safe and full and secure on their local college campus.  But instead of concluding from all this that man does not live on bread (and socialized “healthcare”) alone — because that would entail that their parents had been right all along — they concluded that Racism was the cause of all their badfeelz.  How can you enjoy yourself, even with free love and righteous bud, while poor Negroes aren’t voting in Mississippi?  So they engineered the Great Magic Party Switch of 1964, passed the Civil Rights Act, and a funny thing happened: They still weren’t happy.  Must be Vietnam.  So they ended that….

…..and they still weren’t happy, just as they weren’t happy with second-wave Feminism, New Age spirituality, gay rights, animal rights, fruit-juice drinking, nudism, sandal-wearing…

The problem with all these things is: There’s no certainty.  No end state.  At least in the old, horrible, racist-sexist-homophobic-whatever world of a century ago, you knew what you were, and had your place in the world.  Here’s Orwell again, on the “radicals” of the interwar years:

The first thing that must strike any outside observer is that
Socialism, in its developed form is a theory confined entirely to the middle classes. 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 who in five years’ time will quite probably have made a wealthy marriage and been converted to Roman Catholicism; 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.

We all know who those prim little men with white-collar jobs and cushy social positions are: The professors, the race hustlers and poverty pimps, the flunkies of the Big Government Uniparty, who preach the wonders of Diversity from behind the ramparts of the whitest, tightest gated community they can find.  Focus on the others, the youthful snob-Bolsheviks.  Do they sound familiar?

A Marxist student group at Swarthmore College disbanded itself earlier this year after realizing that its members were too rich and too white to be real commies.
According to screenshots confidentially provided to Campus Reform by an individual with access to the group’s private Facebook page, the demise of the Swarthmore Anti-Capitalist Collective (SACC) came in the wake of a farewell letter from a member who had decided the group could never be an effective proponent of “unproblematized anticapitalist politics” due to its “history of abuse, racism, and even classism.”
“From my understanding SACC disbanded because they realized the makeup and tactics of their group was at odds with their espoused principles,” Swarthmore Conservative Society President Gilbert Guerra told Campus Reform. “Their main support base was middle-upper class white kids who enjoy jogging.” . . .
Arguing that “low-income people of color should never be an afterthought in a group whose politics supposedly focus on their liberation,” the author [of the letter disbanding the group] then went on to accuse SACC of having a “history of abuse, racism, and even classism that was never adequately addressed or recognized despite constantly being brought up as an issue.”

“A history of abuse, racism, and even classism” is just a list of buzzwords.  The badfeelz must be coming from somewhere, because it certainly can’t be us!  We’re the good ones.  We’re against racism, “classism” (whatever that can possibly mean in a country where our poor people drop dead from diabetes and obesity-induced coronaries), general whatever-ism.  Like Marlon Brando said in that old movie: What are you rebelling against?  What have you got?

This is the end-state of Postmodernism, which has been the reigning dogma on campus since the late 80s.  As Stephen R.C. Hicks points out, Postmodernism is the only way to hold on to faith in Socialism in the face of logic, math, history, experience, and common sense.  And that’s fine for professors and Uniparty flunkies — they have a place in the world.  But what about the kids?

They’re told for a fact that there’s no such thing as a fact.  They’re told that everything is relative, that anything and everything is a “social construction.”  In other words, Social Justice seems to provide an explanation for why teenagers feel so alienated from everyone and everything.  There’s Reality — that’s just how life is, circa ages 12-19 — and there’s Social Justice, and since Social Justice allows you to blame someone, anyone, for your problems, it’s no surprise they embrace it.  You’re unattractive to the opposite sex?  Must be patriarchy.  But wait, you’re not so sure you even want to be attractive to the opposite sex?  Oh, you’re asexual.  But wait, you’ve got a good friend who feels the same way.  Maybe you’re homosexual?  Or transsexual?  Whatever it is, Society made you that way.  It can’t be “just the way kids are,” because that’s biology, which is Racist.

The problem is, people crave certainty.  Kids — above all — want to know their place in the world.  All the behaviors we used to call “being a teenager” are about finding that place.  Parents, teachers, scoutmasters, Little League coaches, etc., exist primarily to provide safe venues for “rebellion.”  It’s a process of differential diagnosis — “I’m not this [nerd, skater, jock, etc.], so I must be that [scout, cheerleader, goth, whatever].”  Done right, the teenager learns the hard-but-not-permanently-damaging way that the old certainties exist for a reason, and that Mom and Dad were basically right about most things (adjusted for changing times).

Social Justice short circuits all that.  To be an SJW, you are required to believe, simultaneously, with fanatical zeal, that

  • Everyone is exactly what xzhey claim xzhey are, immutably, forever; and
  • That can change without warning, in an instant, because everything is a “social construction.”

Is it any wonder they’re so screwed up?

Soon enough the snob-Bolsheviks like the ex-members of Swarthmore’s Commie Cosplay Club are going to cotton to the fact that Social Justice is a dead end.  What seemed so certain in high school (or even junior high) is revealed in college to be just one more pose, one more deception, one more mask for the ideopathic “injustice” that must be the cause of all your problems.  There is certainty in the Dark Side….

…which is why the Dark Side will win.  Today’s SJW is tomorrow’s obergruppenfuhrer.

 

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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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National Customs

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

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

We could learn a lot from Sir Charles.

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

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

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

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

Shows you what I know.

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

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

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

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

 

*As opposed to, say, Palestine.

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Fake Intellectuals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Majesty of Royalty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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