If the UFO Actually Comes, Part II

Yesterday we looked at what happens when a cult becomes a movement.  I said there are two fundamental, structural problems that arise.  The first is that the leadership’s goals start diverging from, and eventually run counter to, the cult’s dogma.  That’s where the eco-scam finds itself these days.  It doesn’t bother the Green True Believers that their leadership flies around in private jets — see yesterday’s discussion of disconfirmation — but it does put a damper on recruiting.  We’re a stupid, spoiled, star-struck generation, but even we expect our leaders to walk the walk for a mile or two every now and again.

The second problem, though, is: What to do with the True Believers?

Let’s return to the metaphor of the gym fitness club.  As we noted yesterday, the real money isn’t in the hardcore people who actually do the exercising.  It’s in all the lardasses who sign up, and keep paying the membership fee, but never actually go.  This leads to the perverse-seeming conclusion that the best gym, from the gym-owner’s perspective, is one that stands empty — gleaming, never-used equipment that just sits there, one mute inglorious depreciation tax writeoff, un-maintained by no paid staff.  See what I mean?  The whole point of owning a gym — the cult dogma, as it were — is to get people in shape, but the optimal gym from the cult leader’s perspective is a group of perpetual fatasses, buying themselves workout indulgences at $75 a month.

I trust that the analogues in the eco-scam are obvious, so let’s move on.  Even the most optimal-for-the-owner gym, though, is going to have a few True Believers who are in there day after day, grinding out sets and jogging on treadmills and doing whatever those CrossFit freaks do.*  If you let them, they’ll take over everything.  Ever been in a gym and seen a piece of equipment designed to isolate one muscle that you’d never think could be worked out in the first place?  Congrats, your gym’s got a True Believer.  Just stake out the Urethra-cizer for a few hours; you’ll see her; she’s unmistakable.  She’s pushing 50 but has the body of a 20-year old, except made out of beef jerky…

…anyway, the point is, savvy gym owners know how to handle True Believers.  You don’t buy ’em off with new equipment; you buy ’em off with new exercises.  P90X is for pussies.  Do Ultra-Kegels, and in just 60 days you’ll be able to lift an entire can of paint with your….

…ok, fully back on track now, I promise.  The point is, any cult that wants to become a movement has to figure out a way to channel the True Believers, so they don’t damage the organization.  The Catholic Church (to return to another of yesterday’s metaphors) is just aces at this.**  That goddamn Marxist who calls himself the Pope is happy to let the True Believers kill themselves trying to minister to the homeless in the inner city; it doesn’t cost him anything, and he’s got the institutional authority to slap them down if they get uppity.  Allowing the True Believers to isolate themselves as a self-proclaimed elite, with the power to forgive sins, works great….

…until it doesn’t.  E.g. the Unpleasantness of 1517 et seq.  At that point, the “almost entirely empty gym” problem became too obvious for even the dullest of the laity to bear.  The leadership’s goals were too obviously at odds with the movement’s putative function.  The peasants wouldn’t have revolted on their own — or if they did, it’d be a Bundschuh, quickly quashed — but the True Believers would, and did.

That probably seems badly wrong, considering how much time we spent yesterday establishing that for the True Believer, group membership is all.  But we’re talking about the Reformation, not the “Christianity is the Pits, Let’s Give Hinduism a Shot.” Martin Luther and the boys didn’t leave the cult — they kicked out the cult’s leadership, which is an entirely different story, and entirely consistent with True Believer psychology.

Both Martin Luther and Pope Leo X agreed that the Bible was true, infallible… and closed.  Unlike the Seekers of When Prophecy Fails, neither Leo nor Luther could resort to a new revelation to explain the previous revelation’s failure.  They both had to work off the same text, and the text (by and large) supported Luther.  Kicking out the cult’s leadership, then, was viewed as being truer to the original revelation — the linchpin of True Believer psychology.

So you end up NOT with a new church, but with the old church, the oldest church — the one closest to the Scriptures, the one God was really talking about when He said all that stuff about “when two or three gather together in my name.”  In other words, you get a purity spiral — cf. the Period of the Wars of Religion.

That’s where the American Left is right now, but with a twist.

Old-school Commies were consummate players of the long game.  They knew they’d have to completely undermine bourgeois society before they could carry off The Revolution, so they did.  Antonio Gramsci laid it all out theoretically, if you feel like slogging through that gunk, but the Commies had been doing it in practice for decades before that.  Starting with the educational “reformers” surrounding John Dewey at the turn of the 20th century, they took over our grade schools.  Then they took over the universities, working their way up from the community colleges (often Commie fronts from the get-go; there’s a reason the number of jucos nationwide went from 20  to 170 in just ten years, from 1909 to 1919).

Once they were in, they of course credentialized everything, such that the cultural-transmission professions — journalism, education, even art and music — suddenly required college training… and all the trainers were Reds.  Ever wonder why you seemingly have to have a fucking Master’s Degree to get your lit-wank novel published?  Seriously: read the author bio of any of the flavor-of-the-minute wunderkinder that get their painfully quirky dreck blurbed in the New York Times Review of Books — every blessed one of them has some kind of advanced degree in “creative writing.”  All those graduate-level “creative writing” programs aren’t just make-work for otherwise unemployable Eng-Lit PhDs, in other words.  They’re what the Union of Soviet Writers was in the USSR: The guarantors of politically-reliable content.

That’s the setup.  Ready for the twist?

They won, but they don’t know it.  Not only was the Revolution televised, it’s still being televised, 24 hours a day, on 587+ satellite cable channels and umpteen digital streaming services.  Eugene V. Debs’s wettest wet dream couldn’t compare to Current Year America.  The SJWs are like the Seekers, out there desperately trying to prepare the world for the UFOs… but the UFO already landed in their backyard, and they were too busy trying to save the world to see it.

That’s why widespread political violence is inevitable, and damn soon.  Nancy Pelosi may be the nastiest evil old bitch to ever slime through the halls of Congress, but she’s not stupid.  She’s just in an impossible situation.  She’s the leader of an organization that didn’t manage its True Believers, and now she’s fucked either way.  If they go ahead and try to impeach Trump, the organization blows itself up at the polls.  But if they don’t impeach Trump, the True Believers are going to blow it up from the inside.

That’s what the old-school Commies didn’t see coming.  Those poor deluded fools really thought that “intellectual” was an adjective.  The Russian word for the noun version is intelligentsia, and they gave the Soviet Union no end of trouble — Stalin had to send boxcars of them to Siberia fairly regularly to keep them in line.  In the West, though, they really thought that you can have an “intellectual” steelworker, or dockhand, or farmer, and the like.  They were counting on it, in fact — see “community colleges were all Red fronts,” above.

Instead, “intellectual” is the True Believer’s self-chosen job description.  You can meet some fearsomely learned people in your day-to-day, but the only people you’ll ever meet who use the word “intellectual” without sneering are Media types and their panty-sniffers in the ivory tower.  They’re extremely useful idiots, which is why none of Palsy Pelosi’s predecessors sent them to Siberia like they should’ve.  And now it’s too late.

If the impeachment nonsense is too high-drama for you, let’s close with an example much closer to home: That poor bastard in Iowa with the beer fund.  That’s an Ace of Spades link, so it’s safe if you want to read up.  The tl;dr is that this kid held up a joke sign at a college football game, asking people to send him beer money vai online payment.  People thought it was funny, so not only did they throw him some shekels, but they started talking it up on social media.  The kid raised umpteen thousand dollars, which he then pledged to donate in its entirety to a children’s hospital.  Both Anheuser-Busch and Venmo, the two corporations name-checked in the kid’s sign, offered to match the donation, meaning that the children’s hospital would get a several million dollars….

…until, that is, some SJW journalist at the Des Moines Register got a hold of the story.  Because “SJW journalist” is redundant, of course, the reporter started digging into the kid’s social media accounts.  Turns out that when the kid was 16, he re-posted some off-color jokes from a tv comedian, and now Anheuser-Busch is pulling its million-dollar donation.  To a children’s hospital.  And the best part?  The douchebag SJW reporter (twice redundant, I know) got his own social media “investigated” by the citizenry, and of course it contains similar stuff, not copied from a tv comedian, but in his own words.

See what I mean?  This is the True Believer; he can’t help himself.  Lots of people on the Internet want to believe that this reporter, and his editors, decided to ruin the kid for clicks.  They didn’t.  They ruined him because, quite simply, he was there — at a football game, drinking beer, acting like you sincerely hope a decent human being would when blessed with a sudden windfall.  SJWs hate all those things, and therefore, the kid had to be destroyed.  They can do no other….

….and they’re all over Congress.  Pelosi can keep the wolves from the door for a few weeks longer, maybe, but eventually she’ll have to commit one way or the other.  Short of starting a war — and God help us, I absolutely would not put that past them — she has no choice.  And then they’ll do to her what they did to that poor kid in Iowa, and then the shooting starts.





*Obviously I can’t write about gyms and cults without taking a cheap shot at CrossFit.  They’re probably chock full of lessons on how to business-optimize your cult without letting it go mainstream, but I’m too terrified to look.  Honest to God, there are some days where the only exercise I get is dodging and weaving away from the CrossFit cultists at the office.
**And once again, per yesterday, before anyone gets their undies in a bunch: I’m Catholic.  Or, technically, I’m a Schismatic, as I simply can’t accept Bergoglio on the Throne of St. Peter.  However he got there, Jesus had nothing to do with it.
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6 thoughts on “If the UFO Actually Comes, Part II

  1. WOPR

    They won, but they don’t know it.

    It was what, 15 or 20 years ago that someone pointed out the Left was shooting the survivors now? It would be interesting to know what would have happened had TPTB 25 years ago started cleaning out nuttier academics. Oh you wrote a paper explaining gender fluidity? I’m sorry to say but costs have forced us to cut your department. I hear Starbucks is hiring. Now, as you have stated, TPTB have lost control.

    1. Severian Post author

      Cowardice and inertia explain most of it, although it’s a chicken-and-egg problem as to which caused which. Almost all academics are in the ivory tower because they’re timorous creatures who can’t bear the thought of “competing” in the real world (which is part of the emotional fuel of their Leftism — “the real world” = “capitalism,” and anything that causes that much fear and trembling must be bad). I never tire of pointing out that campus is, on any measure that makes sense, the safest place in America. It’s a lovely, custom-designed womb for middle-aged infants.

      Given all that, who’s going to challenge the status quo? Since “publish or perish” is the rule, the only way to publish is to politicize everything. So if I challenge your politicization of, say, “gender” — it’s counterrevolutionary to insist that boys have a penis and girls have a vagina — then who’s going to stand up for me when you challenge my politicization of, say, Shakespeare? It’s turtles all the way down.

      And again, as I stress all the time: It’s a NICE life, having tenure. Faced with the choice between “maybe this particular politicization is a bridge too far” and “my whole career is based on a falsehood; I wonder if Starbucks is hiring?”, I don’t know if I’d have the moral courage to resign… and compared to 99.9% of the many many people I’ve met in academia, I’m Audie fuckin’ Murphy.

      But whatever — as we all say so many times, it’s too late. If the servers that hold sites like this survive what’s coming, I hope our great-great-great-great-great grandkids read it, and do what has to be done to avoid repeating it.

      1. WOPR

        But whatever — as we all say so many times, it’s too late.

        As a mildly amusing SNL skit pointed out, “We’re Gen-X. We just sit on the sidelines and watch the world burn.” Although, I really don’t think there was much we could have done. The plane was already starting the dive before we even knew what was happening.

        1. Severian Post author

          Yeah, as a generation, we’re pretty indefensible. But if there’s a defense, it’s this: Our parents were Boomers. That is, the people who were born into the safest, richest, and yes, despite it all, even the fairest society in the history of the human race, who looked around and said “This is boring, let’s blow it up!”

          That kind of thing really puts a damper on your activist urges.

  2. Pickle Rick

    “And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards the District of Columbia to be born?”

  3. MBlanc46

    ” If they go ahead and try to impeach Trump, the organization blows itself up at the polls.”

    That was certainly my initial response. Don’t the Dems remember the Clinton impeachment debacle? It only made him more popular. I’ve re-thought that opinion. A Federalist article referenced a poll showing that 49% of adults support the impeachment inquiry. 49%! That’s more than the Empress-in-Waiting got in 2016. A New York Post poll reported that 60% consider the charges against President Trump to be “serious”. Okay, it’s early days and those might be outliers. But they are evidence that the view of most on our side–that this is another ridiculous political hit-job–is not the view of the general public. A headline in the Chicago Tribune the other day blared that the first result of the impeachment inquiry was a flurry of subpoenas from the House. They will demand every piece of paper, every email, every phone call. Anything that can be construed as damaging to the President–and they will so construe them–will be in the headlines and on the six o’clock news every day. Unless the trajectory of events changes quickly, they will either impeach and convict (someone should open a book on the number of Repub Senators who will betray the American people), he will be pressured by the Repubs to pull a Nixon, or, best case, the next thirteen months will be such an avalanche of calamities for President Trump that he will be decisively defeated. Can you say, President Warren? Or Harris? I’m not a big Trump enthusiast. Didn’t vote for him. Or against him. He hasn’t done much for us. But he’s buying us a little time to get ourselves organized for what comes next. The idea that this will all blow up in the Dems’ faces is far from a certainty.

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