The Juju Principle – UPDATED

“Traditional societies” are traditional for the very best reason: It keeps them safe.

Consider what life in prehistoric Africa (hold the jokes, please) must’ve been like:  Food is abundant, but “food” includes you.  It’s hard to starve to death, but easy to get eaten by a lion.  Whatever “it” is, if it works — if you don’t get eaten by the lion that one time — then it’s the only way to go, now and forever.

Old Africa Hands tell me this is the way Africa works even today.  The reason traffic accident rates on the Dark Continent are so appallingly high — and generally fatal — despite a near-total lack of traffic is exactly that “it kept us safe from the lion” principle.  A European who nearly kills himself taking a turn at 100mph will think “hmmm…. excessive speed nearly caused the car to crash.  Better not do that again!”

The African, on the other hand, will conclude that since we didn’t flip over that time, we must do the exact same thing again, to prevent flipping in the future.  Please note: This isn’t a reversal of cause and effect.  They may be primitive, but they aren’t stupid.  Rather, they seem to regard “car crashes” as they would “the presence of a lion” — that is, as random, and therefore unpredictable, events.  It’s akin to learned helplessness — in a world full of lions, you can’t avoid running into one; you can only hope that your juju is stronger and, if it is, make sure to do nothing that will weaken it.

Here’s where the HBD crowd jumps in and crows that we Europeans have evolved past that.  Which is true, but — as is their wont — in their rush to pat themselves on the back, the HBDers conveniently forget one of their other sacred principles: Regression to the Mean.  It doesn’t take long for the Juju Principle, the “we didn’t get eaten by the lion this time” effect, to kick back in.  Inertia is mankind’s ground state.

Consider l’affaire Coonman.  Along with everyone else in Our Thing, I was angered — but not really surprised — to learn that Coonman’s GOP opponent, Ed Gillespie, hadn’t bothered to do basic oppo research.  But there’s another — far more disturbing — way to look at it.  Consider that Coonman’s people were as surprised as the rest of us when the blackface photos came out.  They didn’t have a contingency plan in place.  Before you snark that “The Media are the Left’s all-purpose contingency plan,” consider that the Virginia Democrats got caught flat-footed by the allegations against Justin Fairfax and Mark Herring, too.  Yeah, yeah, the Media are doing their best to bury those, as well — you actually have to type “Virginia attorney general blackf” to get Google’s auto-complete to suggest “blackface,” and no news stories about that appear anywhere on the first page of search results otherwise — but the fact that those stories exist at all isn’t just laziness or hubris; it’s insanely dangerous complacency.

It wasn’t a calculated risk.  It’s not as if the Dems knew this stuff and ran the candidates anyway, counting on Media cover.  Nor can it be the case that they cut a deal with the GOP — any political operation that knows enough to hire data-mining operations (which, you’ll recall, are only bad when Trump uses them) knows enough to know that the Internet is forever.  Even if the GOP did graciously agree to run a sham campaign — you’ll hear no argument from me on that one — they’d know that the dirt exists, and they’d have a contingency plan in place.

They didn’t.  Which means they truly didn’t know.

They’re regressing to the Juju Principle.  “It worked last time!” — last time being 2016, I guess, when it was obvious to all the world, up to and including car-smashing Africans out on the savanna, that Hillary Clinton was as crooked as the Gordian Knot.  Hillary herself is a fantastic example.  There’s really no other way of looking at all the breathtakingly crooked, stupid, hubristic things she did.  Check out this (helpfully minimalist — thanks Wiki!) list of Hillary Clinton’s “controversies” (thanks again, Wiki!).   Every time she gets busted, she ups the ante, because even though she keeps getting busted, she never faces any consequences.

Hey, it worked last time!!

Pretty much everything the Democrats do fit the template.  What kind of idiot, for example, would let Elizabeth Warren take a DNA test?  Warren herself is dumb as a box of rocks, so maybe she thought it was a good idea, but that’s why Senators have aides.  She should be surrounded by half a dozen bright Ivy League kids who….

See what I mean?  Because Warren actually IS surrounded by half a dozen Ivy League kids, 1%ers all, with the most expensive, and therefore most “elite,” educations money can buy.  These are the smart ones.  I have no doubt they all aced their SATs, just as I would bet the kids’ college fund that none of them has ever made less than an A in her life.  For professional political operatives, keeping Fauxcahontas away from the blood lab should be as instinctive as breathing, just as schlepping on down to Podunk Tech to check Coonman the Babykiller’s yearbook photos should’ve been.  It’s beyond complacency; it’s regression to primitivism.

This is why I say we’re much closer to a serious crisis than most anyone thinks.  The Juju Principle means that the spark might be, in itself, quite minor — the kind of thing that anyone with the ability to see half a step ahead could easily squash while it’s still a minor-league local crime story.  But not only have we lost the ability to see half a step ahead, we’re perversely incentivized to up the ante.  It worked last time!!!

UPDATE: Some good feedback on this makes me realize I haven’t quite conveyed my main idea yet, so let me add on.

I’m something of an amateur Africanologist.  I haven’t been there, but I read up on the place as often as I can stomach it — which isn’t very often — because Africa is our default state.  Evolution, as they say, is copious, local, and recent… and so, alas, is devolution.  Without vast, society-wide effort, we’ll return to Africa within a few generations, so it’s important to understand what Africa is.

Kim du Toit, an Afrikaaner, gives some context to what I meant with “learned helplessness:”

In Africa, life is cheap. There are so many ways to die in Africa that death is far more commonplace than in the West. You can die from so many things: snakebite, insect bite, wild animal attack, disease, starvation, food poisoning… the list goes on and on. At one time, crocodiles accounted for more deaths in sub-Saharan Africa than gunfire, for example. Now add the usual human tragedy (murder, assault, warfare and the rest), and you can begin to understand why the life expectancy for an African is low — in fact, horrifyingly low, if you remove White Africans from the statistics (they tend to be more urbanized, and more Western in behavior and outlook). Finally, if you add the horrifying spread of AIDS into the equation, anyone born in sub-Saharan Africa this century will be lucky to reach age forty.

Magical thinking — the Juju Principle, I’m calling it — is probably a psychological necessity under those conditions.  Even now, the richest, healthiest, most-vaccinated and best-protected Westerner would be well advised to make out his will before heading for an extended stay in Africa.  If you grew up back when American high schools still pretended to educate, you probably had to read Heart of Darkness.  Stuff like this is why it’s a classic — live under these conditions for a while, and you too will succumb to primitivism.

Did I mention that our culture is trying it’s damnedest to instill learned helplessness in us?  Oh, yeah, I did, and when you think about it, the whole dog’s breakfast of “intersectionality” is designed to produce it, too.  Everything that happens is somebody else’s fault… but that “somebody else” is never named.  It’s always a nebulous group of Other that does it, and — crucially — the Other can change without warning.  Ask e.g. the lesbians how that’s working out, now that the trannies have fought themselves temporarily to the apex of the victim pyramid.  At that point, you might as well just sit around clutching a fetish to your chest.

Whichever specific method you choose, though, the underlying principle never changes: You induce learned helplessness by severing cause and effect.  But since we’re evolutionarily hardwired to search for causal relationships, you’ll never get a human to sit trembling in a corner, the way a mouse would.  Instead, we construct fetishes, and that gives us the “Africa Wins Again” psychology….

…if you’re in Africa.  There’s a much subtler way to do it: Kill ’em with prosperity.  Another word for “effect” is, of course, “consequences.”  If you decouple actions from consequences, you’ll arrive at learned helplessness just as fast.  Just to stick with a theme, why do you think feminists are so miserable?  It’s because their cause/effect vectors are screwed up.  Like the Game guys say, feminists start by blaming men for all their problems… and end by pleading for men to ride in like John Wayne and solve all their problems.  Feminists are the most privileged people on earth.  They have everything that anyone could ever possibly want.  But they’re miserable, because they have no agency.  Everything comes from somewhere else.

Combine primitive fetish-psychology with the learned helplessness of intersectional prosperity, and you get the fascinating, terrifying spectacle of people with all the time, money, and power in the world doing stuff that wouldn’t make sense to a child 100 years ago.  Just as the African who doesn’t crash his car taking a turn at 70 miles an hour figures he’d better take the next turn at 80 just to be safe, morons like Jussie Smollett, Hillary Clinton, Coonman the Babykiller, Incitatus Ocasio-Cortez, and all the rest figure that, since they didn’t face any consequences from their last caper, they’d better double the ante for the next one.

For instance, Smollett wasn’t setting up some White guys to take the rap.  It wasn’t a frame up.  It’s so terrifyingly stupid that you almost can’t get your head around it, but the truth is, he never bothered thinking that far ahead.  He really, truly seems to have assumed that the Chicago PD would, you know, kinda…just… give up once they couldn’t find the mythical MAGA guys.  It never occurred to him that every Media outlet on God’s green earth would be hounding CPD 24/7, 365, for not bringing the perpetrators of an outrageous hate crime to justice.

So, too, with Hillary Clinton.  It’s not that she thinks she’s invincible.  She knows she’s not, because she keeps getting caught.  But since she doesn’t face any consequences for getting caught, she figures, fetish-style, that the only way to appease the gods is to pull an even bigger, dumber caper.  It’s the only explanation, just like it’s the only explanation for Elizabeth Warren’s DNA test — this woman is 100% metaphysically certain that she’s not an Indian.  She cannot possibly have believed it, not for one single second.  Moreover, she knows she’s been running her Fauxcahontas scam since at least the mid-1980s, and that it’s a matter of public record — all someone has to do is wander down to the courthouse and pull the paper.  In her mind, though, it’s like the African taking the 75 mph curve — the gods rewarded us with success this time, so we’d better do more of the same next time!!

And the hell of it is, she’s right.  In a rational polity she’d be in jail.  In even a semi-rational… hell, in even a quasi-sorta-rational polity, she’d be the punchline to every joke on late night tv for a year.  Instead, she’s still a Senator, still a member in good standing of the Democratic Party, and rich idiots are still sending her money, which means she’s still, God help us, a viable candidate for President of the United fucking States.

See what I mean?  We’re a lot closer to Mental Malawi than we think, which means that the crisis is much closer than we think.


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10 thoughts on “The Juju Principle – UPDATED

  1. WOPR

    Isn’t it a return to primitivism in the sense of the ancient pagan religions? I follow this god or gods because they do good things for me. As long as I do Y, they do X. Warren can take the DNA test because whatever the result, she is protected because she has the appropriate beliefs, speaks the correct shibboleths, and offers the appropriate sacrifices to progressive shrines. Therefore, whatever she does is irrelevant to the results except for being a Progressive. Please the Progressive god and receive your reward.

    Right now, it is hard to beat that thinking because it is often true. Even most so-called conservatives subscribe to the religion. What is happening is the adherents are busy trying to prove their righteousness is above all others. It is an ever quickening purity spiral. It is also why the pointing out their hypocrisy is worthless. They cannot be moved by reason. Only crippling defeats where their god fails them will convince all but the most hardcore believers.

    1. Severian Post author

      That’s a lot of it, yes, but I want to emphasize that it is escalating.

      Even primitives don’t go around deliberately pissing off their gods. Their rites are penitential or propitiary — either “sorry I screwed up, please save me!” or “here’s this sacrifice, please don’t hurt me!” Our Proglodytes don’t do either. Instead, they keep upping the ante, even if — make that especially if — they get caught.

      How did Jussie Smollett think this was going to work out? I mean, even if it went off perfectly, did he really think he was going to fool the cops for long? Did he really think they were just going to, what, give up when they couldn’t find the nonexistent white guys on the videotape? With every media outlet in the world bashing them, 24/7, for not finding the perpetrators of a heinous hate crime?

      Folks in Our Thing think that’s the worst of it — that he was willing to frame up some innocent White guys. That’s wrong. There was no frame-up. He didn’t bother to think it out that far.

      Or consider Elizabeth Warren. She knows, with 100% metaphysical certainty, she’s not an Indian. It is not possible that she ever believed this, not for one single second. What the hell did she think was going to happen when she took that DNA test?

      Of course, she didn’t think at all.

      THAT’s what I’m trying to get at. It’s not incompetence. It’s not stupidity. It’s not hubris. It’s not even superstition, as we in the West understand the term (e.g. baseball players crossing themselves before they go up to bat, as if God cares whether or not some minor league shortstop gets a hit). It’s primitive, Stone-Age, bush-level juju stuff — keep doing what worked before, because it worked before. It puts your entire life on autopilot…. which is fine for some savages out in the bush, but these people have access to nuclear weapons.

      It can’t end well.

      1. rwc1963

        Indeed it won’t end well.. They are like the person with severed nerve endings and so they don’t feel any pain even as they are destroying their body. They just keep on grinning and chugging along.

        This guarantees a horrible ending for the country. The military, economic and social ills inflicted upon the nation will catch up with them in shortly. Right now they just paper over these boils and abscesses on the country. But it’s all falling apart.

        The Democrats have gone full tilt communist. The GOP has went back to it’s globalist, rape the public blind roots. Trump turned out to be a duplicitous shill and clown with no intention of fulfilling his promises to his supporters.

        My prediction? We get a communist preznit in 2021 who sets off a civil war and economic collapse.

        1. Frip

          wrc1963. Since we’re on the same side it’s not cool to call you on your fatalistic exaggerations. But since I don’t, the deal is, you admit when all you doom and gloom shit doesn’t come true. Deal? Cool.

          1. rwc1963

            It’s about the lack of accurate feedback. Without it complex systems and organic creatures will invariably perish Systems Theory 101.

            Our ruling class is so isolated there is no real feedback, especially the negative kind.Instead when they f**kup. Instead they float to another high paying gig in D.C. or some state capitol. Go watch Tucker Carlson’s lectures on these people, his neighbors read like a who’s who of D.C. He’s scared as hell, he knows how stupid our rulers really are.

            And I assume you’ve read Severian’s posts on academia and how they’ve turned into Marxist brainwashing centers. Higher ed is almost dead. No halfway intelligent person would dare send their offspring to one of these dark Satanic mills.

            None of this paints a positive picture. Maybe for someone living in a lilly white community of lemmings far away from it all.

            I don’t, I live in the Eastern end of Los Angeles county. I was born here and watched how your happy talking buddies turned the state into a Marxist cesspit replete with 10 million illegals crushing the social safety net and bleedingt he state dry. Worse they’ve brought diseases that we eradicated a century ago. Mumps, Measles and Typhus have made a comeback.

            We went from unlocked doors at night to iron security doors in a few short years. Home invasions followed. The public schools are like roach factories. You don’t see white kids in them. The parents had to pull them out because of the blacks and illegals. The parks are for drug dealing and homeless people.

  2. MBlanc46

    For most of modernity, religious dogma and quotidian life were kept at least partially distinct. You went to church on Sunday to believe that we’re all God’s children and equal in His sight, then to the office or the shop or the market on Monday to separate the fool from his money. Then in the second half of the 20th century, Social Justice largely replaced Christianity as the dominant faith, and religious dogma began to infect everyday life. If our mothers said they loved us, we ceased checking it out. The believers acted according to the dogma rather than what they saw with their own lying eyes. The greater the difference between the dogma and the visible (e.g., the intractable racial gap in educational outcomes), the more rigorous the adherence to the dogma was demanded. Dems are the noble, self-sacrificing defenders of the oppressed. No blackface photographs could exist of such a person, so no one bothers to check it out. Then one of the remaining badthinkers ferrets out such a photograph. The result? Step up the campaign to root out badthinkers. Where it all ends, knows God.

    1. Severian Post author

      That’s getting closer to it. You carry your fetish around, so it’s not possible that you can be eaten by a lion. And if you DO get eaten by a lion, well, it’s because your fetish only had three bird droppings and a monkey bone, not four.

      That explains why they don’t check in the first place. But it doesn’t explain why they keep escalating. Again, check Hillary’s timeline. She never scales back, even if — especially if — she gets caught. Her next caper is always bigger and dumber than the one before. Which is exactly what Old Hands claim Africans do — if we took that curve at 75 and nothing happened, we’ll be even safer if we take it at 90 the next time!

      1. Pickle Rick

        Because there used to be lions to keep them wary, but they’ve tamed, declawed and defanged us lions for 70 years…

      2. MBlanc46

        Part of the escalation, it seems to me, is due to the fact that they think they’re on the verge of complete victory. Since going ever Leftward has gotten them this far, it only makes sense to them to go ever further Leftward. And whoever goes furthest Leftward will end up Chairman of the Politburo.

  3. Pingback: The Juju Principle in Action | Rotten Chestnuts

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