Darker Shade of Black III

The guy I’m calling Wyatt — the Black dude with something on the ball, who can’t know for sure that he does — has lots of historical analogues. But they’re just approximations. The reason I’m going through it this way, as a thought experiment with a guy called “Wyatt,” is because our Postmodern Left, being Hollow Men, are attempting an ideological revolution without ideology — indeed, without revolutionaries, as that term makes any sense historically. The “New Left” of the Sixties, whose only real goal was to break shit and freak out the squares, has finally achieved power… but they’re too senile to even realize it, much less do anything coherent with it.

That’s bad, but what’s much, much worse is the upcoming generation. The Old New Left at least felt the need to cloak what they were doing in the rhetoric of Marx and Marcuse and Mao. The New New Left, the Postmodern Left, hasn’t even heard of any of those guys. They’re pure, shit-flinging nihilists whose one belief is the Great Inversion: Whatever is, is wrong. They don’t know what they don’t know. Indeed, the very idea that there’s something worth knowing, that they don’t already know, doesn’t compute for them. The things they already know are the only things worth knowing, because they know them,

With that in mind…

Mao’s Great Leap Forward — of which DIY backyard blast furnaces were only a small part — was the result of putting guys like Wyatt in charge. Mao may have been an evil SOB, but a lot of the younger commies really believed that all you really needed to do anything was an iron will and a copy of the Little Red Book. When they found that wasn’t so, they lacked the cognitive toolkit to rethink their approach… but, being smart, knew how to work the system enough to at least avoid responsibility. The Great Famine, with its perhaps 50 million body count, was a direct result of this. Even as the peasants were eating first grasshoppers, then tree bark, then each other, the commissars were reporting bumper harvests, because everyone knew that Mao’s crackpot theories of agriculture were really right.

In other words, gang, we ain’t seen nothin’ yet. You are of course familiar with the linguistic make-believe so prominent on college campuses. You also no doubt recall the Obamacare debacle, in which so many Lefties really did seem to believe that words make reality — healthcare is now affordable, because look, it says “Affordable Care Act” right there at the top of the page!! Alas, that Jonathan Gruber guy really fucked us, getting caught on tape admitting that it was all a big lie. He was a cynical, manipulative bastard who knew it was a lie… but so many on the Left didn’t, y’all, they really didn’t.

It’s crucial that we realize this, because as AINO — that’s “America in Name Only” for those who don’t speak Internet — gets browner and poorer, you’re going to be seeing a lot more of it. Wyatt is our best-case scenario, a guy who might actually be smart and competent, who could end up doing something like a decent job almost despite himself. The others… well, remember how the Great Leap Forward ended:

After the famine had killed enough people, Mao was finally persuaded to call it off — NOT because he rethought his theories on agriculture, but only because the army was threatening to mutiny after hearing tales of their nearest and dearest being forced to eat each other to survive. Having called it off, though, he first launched his “Socialist Education Movement,” which riled up the studentry, then the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, in which he unleashed them on anyone and everyone who gave him the sadz back during the Great Leap. That madness really only ended with the death of Mao himself.

The analogy breaks down early and often, but it’s the best I can do. At least Maoism had the advantage of being tied to the person of Mao Zedong, who, though crazy, was at least crazy in semi-predictable ways. Events had a certain logic to them, even if it was a crazy Chinese Commie kind of logic. Now, though?

China, and Russia, were backward countries that were still almost feudal in a lot of ways. Here in AINO, a formerly First World nation, we’re dependent huge, complex systems that stagger on through sheer inertia. They’re staffed by a generation of nihilists, of whom Wyatt is the very best case scenario. Increasingly, the people staffing up — and running — the various bureaucratic fiefdoms are lunatic idiots. When the dust settles, the robot historians of the year 2525 will probably conclude that it was some silly little flyspeck of an event that set it all off.

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10 thoughts on “Darker Shade of Black III

  1. AvatarGeo. Orwell

    Zman has often said he’s lived in Baltimore for so long because he wants to see what the future resembles. What will our future resemble? One of the things learned by coming over to Our Side is that you will never find a glimpse into the future by following the dog-and-pony show parading as politics. That melodrama has no meaning. Today, our corporate rulers have effectively ended the franchise, own all institutions and major media, have actual control of all four branches of Leviathan (number four being the unelected bureaucracy), yet still they howl about how those despicable Republicans are thwarting the will of The People as expressed by Amazon Prime Citizens. So no light is shed there.

    Where can we look to espy the auguries of our glorious future? Will it be pharmaceuticals gradually becoming unavailable, or scarce, or deadly? Will it be recurring software glitches making every business relying on software incapable of operating routinely (which would be all of them)? Will it be a growth of some widespread Byzantine legal thicket that makes any transaction endlessly fluid and fuzzy? So that to own something means virtually nothing because you may not use your property without express permission from three dozen authorities which often contradict each other?

    What will definitely occur is something Severian addressed recently. If you want anything serious done, you will have to “know a guy.” If you want anything out of life beyond the sponsored suggestions on Amazon or the latest grrl power series on Netflix, or you want to live outside of the urban crackerbox mixed retail and residential blocks going up everywhere, you will have to know that guy.

    1. AvatarSome Guy

      I definitely agree that pharmaceuticals are going to get scarce and crappy. When that hurricaince hit puerto rico we had a major supply issues with sterile saline bags because the only factory that was approved to manufacture these was in puerto rico. The standards for making sterile meds for IV use are really high, to the point where there are only a few places that are licensed to manufacture them. So as the intelligent fraction gets smaller sterile meds will be one of the earliest things to go.

    2. AvatarProdigal Son

      I work in a large corporate warehouse. Part of the food supply. I am not a veteran, but I have worked a few different warehouses in lesser and more important roles for this same corporation over the years. The current place is nearly brand new and overbuilt by a factor of two. To get a sense of scale, we have a small fleet of go-karts because walking eats up too many man-hours.

      This place is hu-whyte administrated and brown operated and neither group is inspiring confidence. The fresh-off-the-boat Filipinos and the observant Sikhs seem to be the only ones left who consider a job well done its own reward. Modernity has corroded everyone else. Everyone behaves as if there’s another tit to milk after this one dries up. It doesn’t occur to them that all the tits are withering.

      Half of our key equipment has been damaged beyond use by careless driving, and we haven’t repaired or recommissioned it because of poor internal organization. The components are there, we just can’t shuffle them around for lack of coordination. We’ve reached the point that we are pressing the remaining stuff back into service before it’s fully repaired because there’s no more redundancy, which just amplifies the wear-and-tear on what we have left. Some things – despite being critical bottlenecks – are not repaired because there is nothing to prevent them from immediately being damaged again, and it would result in a carousel of expensive contractors (some of whom we’ve failed to pay. Not for lack of money but for lack of accounting.) The operation is starting to buckle under its own volume and overtime is a regular occurrence. Not that it helps. In a 24 hr facility overtime just means your job loading with a forklift is holding up the next guy’s job: unloading with that same forklift.

      A co-worker informed me last night that two trailers worth of beef had simply been forgotten about in the lot. The smell of rot is the only reason they found out. Half a million dollars retail worth of cow, easily. No one wants this on the books so they cranked up the refrigeration on the trailers to freeze the meat and stop the smell. There is no plan beyond this. The sheer scale of disorder and lack of oversight means they can pretend these trailers are just typos in the paperwork. It’s entirely possible that no one will wonder – let alone discover – where $500,000 worth of product went. This was a White solution by the way.

      These problems are all entirely administrative and organizational in nature. It is not for lack of resources or time. The reason your brand of pickles is not on the shelf this week is not because we’re waiting for some hydraulic actuator to reach port, or because Jamal and Markesh need to stay six feet apart and can’t pick their orders as fast. It is solely a coordination issue. No one feels accountable, cohesion is non-existent. It’s so close to the wire that punishment becomes unthinkable – penalties might bring the operation to a halt altogether, revealing how bad they’ve let things get. You’d be fired for disciplining the other guy.

      I’ve read that most of the major corporate players are in a catch .22 now that money is on infinite print. To deliver the results shareholders want and not see their stock price collapse (and become insolvent,) they have to play the market rather than invest in their own businesses. The core is rotting out because to divert money into fundamentals and away from the charade is tantamount to fiscal suicide. So despite all the money in the world, they can’t afford to fix anything. That’s what it means to have zombie corporations. They shamble in want of brains; scaring off anyone who still has brains. All they have left is making the numbers look good – fulfilling the GOSPLAN – for as long as the inertia holds out.

      The West has been hiding all this by blasting on megaphone about shipping problems. Everyone thinks ‘stuff not arriving on time’ when they hear ‘Supply Chain Issues.’ No one thinks ‘…because it’s Mad Max at your local warehouse and Nightrider’s crew just came on shift.’ But just like AINO is a series of fiefdoms, these big companies are Corporate in Name Only; the body is dead and the organs just don’t know it yet.

      I haven’t been a war alarmist in over a decade, but there’s a serious now-or-never moment happening here. If you’ve read Asimov’s Foundation series, we’re at the point where The Empire still operates nuclear reactors but is losing the coherence needed to build or maintain them and rapidly falling into superstition. But unlike the book – I think they grasp that their window to act is rapidly closing; and if the election is any indication. They’re not worried about building sufficient preamble or plausibility before they act.

  2. AvatarMaus

    If you want to see what the future is going to be like, just observe the squalid slice of life in your own neck of the woods. It’s the son of the District Attorney, a graduate of a “public ivy,” who supports his heroin habit by stealing cars. It’s the self-righteous cat ladies who fight Wuflu by wearing their masks too low to cover their nostrils; but cackle with a quickness when you don’t wear one at all. It’s spending several hours over several days to get a prescription filled properly at Walgreen’s because neither the stupid humans nor the crappy computer can execute a simple database query. But your doctor, who was top of his class in Jalalabad, can’t be arsed to write an old fashioned scrip so you can circumvent the automated idiocy. These are but a few of the apocalyptic signs that could be enumerated without end.
    I find that the only guarantor of sanity is to simplify one’s interactions to the essentials and limit one’s relations to those of proven probity, intelligence and trustworthiness. As the Scripture has it, you shall know a tree by its fruits.

    1. SeverianSeverian Post author

      Sage words. Community is key. I wish we could do one of those Ace of Spades moron meetups. Not that you paranoiacs would do it (and not like I’d trust you sneaky bastards anyway), but a man can dream… Maybe someday after The Revolution.

      1. AvatarWOPR

        I would do it. I’ll just be the socially awkward guy in the corner.

        They can’t even harass Trump properly. They’re all low animal cunning with a dollop of incompetence. The FBI informant who shows up will only be able to report about how we discussed how legitimate Joseph Stolin is and which pronouns to use.

      2. AvatarJacques

        You hit the nail on the head. Community is key — and it is still possible, despite the best efforts of our Masters to disrupt and destroy. Mind you, they are still working on it.

  3. AvatarJacques

    I thank God that I don’t live in AINO. The Republic I used to respect and admire has disappeared down the rabbit hole with incredible, astonishing speed. It is really terrifying, and I’m sure things will reach new lows this summer. Show trials (Derek Chauvin), “Elections” which represent the “true will of the People” rather than actual votes, mobs of thugs enforcing the Party Line in the streets… And the illustrious, totally-with-it Commander -in-Chief nominally in control of enough nukes to end all life on this planet. And under him a thousand “Wyatts” who will have no idea what to do when the system really starts to crack. The best outcome I can see is AINO breaking into a whole lot of little pieces, some viable, some violent anarchic shitholes a la Somalia or Libya post Khaddaffi And slowly, slowly, we consolidate and rebuild. The worst? Well, we only die once. “Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.”

  4. AvatarErisGuy

    Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.”

    “ Oh Babylon that mighty city rich in treasure wide in fame
    It shall cause thy towers to fall and make it be a pyre of flame
    Oh God, pride of man broken in the dust again”

    “Only God can lead the people back into the faith again
    Thy holy mountain be restored; thy mercy on thy people Lord”

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