The Jokes Just Write Themselves

Breitbart, via Vox Day:

Mother Jones’ David Corn Is Sixth Member of Elite Media Accused of Misconduct Towards Female Staffers

I know I’m hardly the first guy to say this, but it bears repeating: Turns out all those feminists were right about a pervasive rape culture!  After all, they only hang out with Liberal men.

 

SNUL: Culture Matters

At Z Man’s, another HBD discussion.  I’m not going to jump into it again, because I don’t feel like re-typing the same few things over and over and over and over…*  So, for the record, my take on genes vs. environment vs. culture.

Culture obviously matters quite a bit, as any breeze through a history book should tell you.  Heck, if you’ve made it past your own personal Wonder Years you should know this.  It’s not just nostalgia’s rosy glow; life really was different back then.  Watch episodes of old prime-time TV on Youtube; they look like they were made on Mars, for Martians.

I’m not just talking about ephemera, either, like Cosby sweaters.  They thought differently back then.  If the 1980s are too recent for you to see it clearly, go read some stuff from the Middle Ages.  You don’t really think, do you, that you could be the best doctor in Medieval France if you went back there armed with the germ theory of disease?

They weren’t ignorant; their brains were different.  “Scientific” thinking is VERY recent — Thomas Aquinas was better at logic than all of us put together, but he wasn’t a scientist; he’d find our mechanical conception of the universe soulless and repugnant.  His reasoning is deductive, our is inductive — it’s a huge difference, it’s important, and it’s entirely cultural.  The scientific/mathematical mode of thought is deeply unnatural to the human brain, and takes enormous social effort to maintain. For all his logic, Aquinas couldn’t understand our world; he was wired differently.

The questions are: how much does culture affect behavior, and what’s the mechanism?

Humans have hard limits — you’re not going to take a 70 IQ kid and make him a software engineer, no matter how great your cultural training program.  But within those hard limits, people are quite plastic.  Read up on the New Soviet Man to see it.  The NSM wasn’t what the Bolsheviks expected he’d be — Bolsheviks have a perfect track record when it comes to getting things wrong — but he’s a real thing nonetheless (you can find him in every faculty lounge in America).  Theodore Dalrymple was fond of quoting a dissident who estimated it’d take five generations for the Romanian psyche to recover from life under communism.

Did the New Soviet Man really believe in Bolshevism?  Do martyrs endure martyrdom because they really believe?  We’ll never know; the extremes of behavior are, and always will be, academic questions.  But culture can put hard limits on everything but the extremes.  It is simply NOT the case that, had modern movies been around in Ye Olden Tymes, Shakespeare and Marlowe would’ve been out of business.  Marlowe died in a gay knife fight — people of his times were plenty well versed in the seedier side of life.  They just didn’t want to see it on stage.  Culture, yo.

What kind of culture shall we have?  What are the limits it should impose?  Denying these questions is a biologism as crude, in its way, as the “social constructivism” of the SJWs.

 

*Yeah, I know, that could be an spot-on description of most of my output here.  The difference, Smart Guy, is that you’re free to not read here, whereas I’m clogging up everyone’s discussion over there.

Blue Blood, and Lack Thereof

Quick expansion on a comment I made on this piece at Z Man’s.  I’ve said here somewhere that we’d have been spared a lot of grief as a nation had we repealed the Constitution’s “titles of nobility” clause. Had we created Bill and Hillary Clinton Lord and Lady Cornpone, Duc and Duchesse d’Arkansas, they’d have no need to pester the rest of us in politics.

We have a worst-of-both-worlds system when it comes to our Elite.  Our Elite, like most elites always and everywhere, is largely hereditary.  Take a stroll through any Ivy League campus; you’ll always find a Vanderbilt or two, a couple of Kennedys, and lots of guys with names like Slade Jackington van Pelt VI.  You probably don’t recognize Mr. van Pelt — who is, of course, the latest son of the Van Pelts, of Manhattan — but he’s the knight to the Vanderbilts’ earl.  Only 92 lords actually sit in the House of Lords, after all.  The van Pelts don’t have coats of arms, but they do have legacy spots at Harvard.

But our Elite is also “meritocratic.”  Under the old blue-blood system, that talented, ambitious commoner, the Vicar of Nowhere-in-Particular, wrote all the legislation, with the unspoken but obvious promise that his son would be created First Baronet Nowhere-in-Particular.  It was inefficient, but worked pretty well for the pre-modern state — talented men got the job done, and their aristocratic sons, if not as talented, would more than make up for it with their unswerving loyalty (nobody is more fanatical about the ancient privileges of the nobility than a guy who bought his patents two weeks ago).

Our “meritocracy,” of course, rests on fancy degrees from name-brand schools.  The British did it that way too, of course, when the state started needing more talented commoners than it could safely ennoble.  The Empire let them get away with it — instead of going Eton-Oxford-House of Lords like the bluebloods, talented commoners went Eton-Oxford-Overseas.  As Orwell said, the talented middle-class boy who would be disgruntled at home could live in the style he felt entitled to out in the colonies — a guy who could barely afford a flat in London lived like an Earl in Lagos.

We don’t have a formal Empire, alas, and we’ve outsourced most of the informal Empire’s functions to the private sector.  In England, rich twits with more connections than brains and talented commoners on the make could join the Indian Civil Service.  I can’t even think of an American equivalent — our foreign service officers live fairly well, I suppose, but there are only 13,000 of them.  To live like a pukka sahib in the Informal Empire, you’d need to make rank in an oil company or suchlike… which takes the kind of brains and drive the van Pelts haven’t had since old Johannes van Pelt swindled the Indians out of a few thousand acres of upstate New York.

Worse yet, these two strains combine in America.  Our Elite actually gets its position via blue blood, but — since everyone has to take the SAT and go through the college application process — feels it got where it is on merit.  A British blueblood has “being a blueblood” as his life’s vocation; the phrase “our class does/don’t do that sort of thing, old chap” really means something to him.*  American bluebloods feel guilty about being bluebloods.  They feel they have to prove they deserve it.  So when they get bored, they don’t call up the hounds and go hunting like a proper knight-of-the-shire does; they start looking for people’s lives to Improve.

That’s at least half of America’s problem right there.  Our Elites, of whom there are way too many,** feel excluded from real power, and because they feel excluded, they feel they have to “prove” they belong.  Which is bad news for us Dirt People.  Create a real blueblood ethos here – give ’em hawks and hounds and say “M’Lady” to them in the street — and most of them will shut up and go away.

 

 

*Note that even those goofs the press are always going on about, Princes William and Harry, did their hitch in HM Army, and seemingly did real jobs while they were in.  One of them was even in Afghanistan, and not in the cushiest job, either — a helicopter pilot or something.

** cf Peter Turchin and “overproduction of elites.”

SNUL: There’s a Little Weinstein in All of Us

I commend two pieces to your attention: Agnostic on the outrage (or lack thereof) over Democrats’ victims, and Porter on Liberal passcodes.  Both are worth reading, as are both those sites in general, but they’ll get you fired if you’re caught reading them at work, so be careful.  They’re hateful.  So, so hateful.

Synthesizing the two, I conclude that there’s a little Harvey Weinstein in all of us.  I mean that in both the ethical and physical senses.

The reason there’s not more outrage over Weinstein isn’t that he’s a Leftist, and his fellow Leftists in the Media, Academia, and Politics (henceforth: The Cathedral) are all covering for him.  They are, of course — cf. Our Betters’ Betters, the Europeans, rallying around Weinstein, and have you noticed that everyone else who has gotten fired is a minor-league nobody, or someone already almost put out to pasture?  But that’s not the real reason there’s little outrage compared to the magnitude of the crimes alleged.

Rather, it’s that “everybody does it.”

There’s a reason vaudeville performers used to be considered just a very small step up from actual prostitutes.  The “casting couch” has been a joke since the Restoration; it used to be taken for granted that anyone who appeared in a movie, male or female, got their role via horizontal audition.  Even now, most folks’ reaction to the Weinstein revelations wasn’t outrage, but bewilderment — why did he feel he had to coerce anyone?

Leftism in general works like this.  If you want a ticket to the good life, as Porter notes, you need to let well-connected Liberals have their way with you.  Especially if you’re a non-STEM smart guy.  All the institutions where you can get the cushy life you want — media, academia, politics — are controlled by Liberals; you have to mouth their platitudes if you want in, and you’d better fake a mean orgasm, too.

Time was, you could let the mask slip a little bit once you were in.  Before the Borg took over completely (that is, before the mid-1990s or so), the Elite used to have a little bit of a sense of humor about it — professors, for instance, would joke that the nicest car in the faculty lot always belonged to the wildest-eyed Communist.  But now the Cult has entered its death spiral phase, and facts don’t compute — the Diversoids literally can’t see that their faculty lounges, editorial boards, and gated communities are as mayo-on-Wonderbread white as they can possibly make them.  Even if you’re a STEM smart guy, you’re required to at least keep your mouth shut.

Do you live a nice middle class life?  Do you have a college degree?  You’ve bent over for a Harvey Weinstein.  Maybe just the once, for the grade you just had to have to pass that one required class, but… you did it.  So did I.  Theodore Dalrymple sums it up:

In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.

SNUL: Proposition Nations

Over at Z Man’s, a takedown of the “proposition nation” argument.

This is where being out of step with the Twitters and whatnot really hurts me.  I had no idea things were getting this spergy out there.  Z Man is right, of course, but everything he says shouldn’t need to be said.

There’s no such thing as a “proposition nation.”  If there were, then it would be fairly easy to propose forming a new nation, consolidated around a very different set of principles.  Had the Founders intended this, it would’ve been obvious as early as 1814 — when many of the Founders were still alive to comment on the Hartford Convention.  But they didn’t, and the issue was decisively settled in 1861-5.  (Funny how the “proposition nation” folks never mention that set of propositions, eh?  Nobody was clearer about their intentions than the Confederacy’s founders; they put slavery right there in their Constitution, front and center, in terms so clear that not even a Wise Latina could penumbra or emanation it).

“Proposition nation” means “those who come here, and those who are already here who are insufficiently assimilated, should try to behave like White Christians.”  Whether or not they can is an open question, but they should try.  We all should; that’s what “patriotism” really means.

SNUL: The Church of Rational Patriotism, Part I

When you grow up Christian, you don’t notice its absurdities… until you do, but even then you don’t really care.  It’s only when you’re faced with a relentless barrage of other believers’ absurdities that you start to doubt.  It’s not some deep philosophical issue that turns you off; saying stuff like “it’s logically impossible for the same person to be a man and a God” is a post-hoc rationalization.  It’s the creepy kid who wants to pray your cancer away who does it, or the child-abusing hypocrite leading the Youth Group.  That’s the de-conversion experience.

Leftism, as we all know, is a religion, and it seems to be rapidly approaching mass de-conversion.  Just as Official Christianity ™ is now little more than a lesbian pastor and a “congregation” with far more cats than children, so too Official Leftism — as represented by MSNBC, academia, and the Democratic Party — is little more than pensioners mouthing Sixties pieties between seizures and vodka shots.

Meanwhile, out in the ‘burbs, “Christianity” is a megachurch fronted by an obvious grifter, while “Social Justice” has floored the accelerator in its race to become nothing more than a nihilistic death cult.  Though there will still be many believers — Osteen’s “church” is located where the Houston Rockets, an NBA team, used to play — the blatant absurdities of the true believers are going to drive off the vast majority of the lukewarm.

That’s the point we need to snag them.  Something fulfilling, not too absurd, that they can “believe” in enough to feel good, but not enough to where it actually requires more than a butt in a seat one Sunday a month.

TORA! TORA! TORA!

Discussing some stuff with e-migos, I got to thinking about those deeply nuanced freethinkers: Our Betters, the Liberals.  Anyone who pays attention to what Liberals do, rather than what they say, knows that Liberals are the most binary critters in captivity.  They behave as if every question that could ever possibly be asked has The One Right Answer (TORA), and of course they — being Our Betters — know it.

This explains most, if not all, of their most annoying tics.  For instance, they instinctively politicize every-fucking-thing…. and yet, seem clueless as to how this “politics” stuff actually works.  E-migo Morgan cited their recent blather about how Congress “hasn’t done anything” about gun control after the Las Vegas tragedy.  He pointed out that yes, Congress has done something about gun control; lots of somethings, in fact.  It just didn’t turn out the way Our Betters wanted it to.  They proposed a bill, they couldn’t get the votes to pass it, it was defeated.

That’s what Congress does.  That’s the only thing Congress does.  “Voting on bills” is literally the only action that Congress, as a whole, can Constitutionally take.  To those of us who use Earth-logic, that’s what “politics” means — you make your best case, you call in all your favors, you make all the deals you can, and when it still doesn’t work, you accept the result and move on.  Hell, even Hillary Clinton pretended to subscribe to this definition back when she thought she was going to win. Of course, that didn’t work out the way Our Betters thought it would, either, and so she changed her tune…

See what I mean?  Our Betters don’t really “get” politics, because when every possible question has The One Right Answer, what’s the point?  Politics is the adjudication of competing preferences.  But with TORA there is, by definition, no competition, because there are no preferences.  How could there be, since it’s unpossible that someone might actually prefer the wrong answer?  It’s the Fundamental Paradox of Internet Liberalism at the ballot box — if you were smart enough to understand what Lefty is trying to tell you, you’d have to agree with him, because he’s telling you The One Right Answer.

And If you’re too stupid to get that, you shouldn’t be allowed to vote anyway…. which is why Our Betters don’t really “get” democracy, either.  Oh, they’ll be happy to “explain” TORA to you until they’re blue in the face (“explaining” things to Dirt People gets them wet), but when it comes down to it, it doesn’t really matter if one million people vote for TORA, or nine weirdos in black bathrobes do, or just one Lightworker does — it is, after all, The One Right Answer, and those who know TORA are duty-bound to implement it, though the heavens fall.

tora

SNUL: Bolshevik

Since we’re nearing the 100 year anniversary of the October Revolution, I’m reading up on the early USSR.  It’s fascinating to see how Bolshevik our liberals are.  The clothes, the jargon, the attitudes — the whole SJW schmear, 2017, would be right at home in a Party cell in Petersburg, 1917 (renowned Sovietologist Sheila Fitzpatrick said the Bolshevik “debate” style was all “smugness and tautology”). Even the word “activist” — a very strange one if you think about it — comes from the Russian activ, the collective noun for that personality type (much like intelligentsia, another Russian word; the singular, I think, is intelligent (n.)).

The difference, of course, is that the Bolsheviks had a goal in mind.  It was awful and impossible, but at least a Bolshie could tell you why she was acting as she did.  Our SJWs have no idea why they do what they do.  They can’t possibly describe to you what the Socially Just world would look like… largely because there’s 100 years of evidence showing that it changes from day to day, and a fervent believer in yesterday’s gospel is getting worked to death in the gulag today.

That’s one of the keys to SJW psychology.  The Bolshies dressed like bums and acted like drunk longshoremen consciously, because that’s how they imagined the “Proletariat” acted and they were trying to ape “proletarian” culture (they went so far as to make an “art” movement out of it — proletkult, another wonderful Russian word we could sorely use here).  Again, it was stupid and impossible, but goal-directed.  Our SJWs act like that because acting like that disguises the pointless stupidity of it all.  SJWs are bored, listless people who know, deep down, that they’re wasting their lives.  Constant offense lets them keep that feeling at bay.  It’s “permanent revolution” in the mechanical sense — if you’re always spinning, spinning, spinning in place, you’ll never realize you’re not getting anywhere.

Trump Fires the Entire NFL!!!!! (Wait’ll you read the 6th paragraph!!!!)

I’m always curious when people say “it’s got a national conversation going” … when, exactly, did the national conversation stop? Because it seems to me like we’ve been talking about this for years on end.

To me the real issue is peoples’ perceptions on why there appears to be disparities between police action, including police shootings, of non-whites. There are lots of explanations, and racism on the part of individuals within law enforcement can never (and will, as long as humans are involved) be ruled out. But there are a LOT of other factors to look at, the vast majority of them cultural and exactly zero of them genetic save the genetic correlations (which we all know does not mean causation … and that can be pretty much proven in this case) between the victims and the shootings.

The biggest problem is, no matter how much “whites” acknowledge the issues and how unfair it is to innocent non-whites, the fact remains that as long as the cultural issues prevalent in certain non-white populations persist, a sane and natural correlation between appearance and behavior will continue to exist – and this will contribute to even the most conscientious people, even non-white people will continue to subconsciously use the correlation to make an unfair judgement on an individual (ask Juan Williams … he gave a real, personal illustration of this several years ago and got canned from NPR for being honest about it) .

Which is, lest we forget, what is wrong with racism. It causes us to make unfair judgement on people. It’s the unfair judgement that is actually wrong, the fact that in the case of racism it’s based on ethnicity is actually incidental. I think we’ve gotten so far down the road from this that too many forget this, and try to cure the disease by infecting a different population with the very disease they are allegedly trying to cure.

The answer cannot be arrest quota — as multiple studies have shown, police action corresponds to reports of crime to police, as do subsequent arrests and the occasional shooting. A disproportionate number of reports come from areas dominated by minorities, and they’re generally other people of the same ethnic background as the alleged criminals doing the reporting. Thus it is quite understandable that arrests and shootings are going to be lopsided in that direction. Police haven’t declared open season on minorities, that’s just the narrative given by those who wish to divide us — and believe me, those who wish to divide us do not wish to see this problem solved. There is too much hay to be made from it.

So fast-forward to a football game, where people have come to have a good time. And before every football game there is this tradition that the national anthem is played and everybody gets up and does this ritual action of … unity … honoring the symbol of that which we all supposedly believe in. It’s the one thing, now that the country has been sold on the religion of multi-culturalism, that is left that we can all stand up and say “yeah. THAT.” Even if we sometimes fail to live up to it, that is what we strive for.

Now before I continue, I need to make one thing very clear. The protesters have the inalienable right, protected by the First Amendment – to do whatever they want to do during the National Anthem. I absolutely support that right, and to my knowledge nobody has proposed getting rid of the right to do it.

On the flip side … when you sit it out, when you don’t join in the ritual, what you are telling the 70-100K people in the stadium and the millions of people watching is, “I am not one of you”. Further, since they know why you’re doing it, you are telling them “I think this thing you believe in is fundamentally racist (which means it’s evil), and that means you are all fundamentally racist for believing in it.” That is the worst kind of insult you can hurl at a decent human being. It’s heinous.

Again, they have every right to do it, but  that is the message they are sending regardless of the message the mean to send.

When you tell people, “I am not one of you, and you all suck”, they are probably going to have a negative reaction to that. AND … they have the same right to that reaction as the protesters had in their action.

You cannot simultaneously reject society and expect it to embrace you.

Most of the people in the stands and watching TV are decent human beings who don’t want to see innocent people wrongfully harrassed, accused, arrested, or especially shot. The people behind this movement are telling them that deep down, they don’t really care.

You know how we just went over that wrongful accusation is a bad thing? People tend to have a really negative reaction to it. And when they have a really negative reaction to it, they’re going to stop listening to you.

Trump, for his part, did not cause this division. The rise of the most recent flareup in this happened right here in Missouri in 2015 while Obama was president. Trump … just picked a side. And he was his usual ham-handed self about it. Picking a side in and of itself wasn’t bad. Many valid arguments exist in support of the side he chose. But his language and his tone certainly have been lacking which is no shock to anyone who’s paid attention to him at all.

The NFL’s reaction has been equally bad, because they made it about Trump instead of the issue at hand, and their fans lose here. And they also lose fans.

And the division is made worse, and we are no closer to solving the root cause of all of these problems.

The Technical Intelligentsia

The author of a book I’m reading on the Russian Revolution comes right out and says it was all the fault of non-STEM smart guys.

He doesn’t put it quite that way, of course — he’s a professional historian after all — but he does introduce the Russians’ distinction between types of intellectuals.  In Russia around 1900, the “intellectual” was what he was in Europe in 1700: An independently wealthy dilettante, who could dream up impossible schemes because he’d never have to interact with the grubby proles who would have to implement it.  As Europe went all-in on industrial capitalism, though, this kind of guy disappeared — except for professors of obscure subjects at the very few universities, anyone with anything on the ball went into trade.  They became what the Bolsheviks called “technical intellectuals” — engineers, lawyers, doctors, etc.  Lacking developed industries, Russia didn’t have a “technical intelligentsia” either, and since Russian universities, like Russian cultural life in general, was so heavily censored, there weren’t many job openings in the “literary” intelligentsia either.  Which meant, again, that the only option for these guys to vent their resentment was in Revolution.

The Revolution got more violent, dogmatic, and repressive in direct proportion to the number of these guys in the ranks, the author says, because they weren’t really Marxists — they were envious, frustrated intellectuals, and “Marxism” as they understood it was the best way for them to act out.  Their “Marxism,” like Lenin’s, was a self-contradictory mishmash masquerading as the most rigid orthodoxy.

The results were interesting.  Marx said you had to have industrial capitalism in order to have socialism — largely, it turns out, because you need the “technical intelligentsia” that only capitalism can provide in order to set up “socialist” production.  Since they wanted to skip capitalism, the Bolsheviks were forced to crash out a technical intelligentsia from scratch… but since they were Bolsheviks, they insisted that their indispensable technical experts be paid exactly as much as a factory hand.  And so, of course, anyone with anything on the ball skipped that whole “technical intelligentsia” bit and got himself a Party job, where he could live the life to which he believed himself entitled.

The parallels with our current situation are obvious, so I won’t belabor them.  Rather, I’ll point out that the USSR worked (insofar as it did) because there were enough technical intellectuals who bought into the system to keep it going, and the reason they bought in was that they had a goal — they thought Socialism was a real thing, and they were building it.

After Stalin, of course, it became obvious that Socialism is impossible, and these days we don’t even bother defining a goal.  What do the SJWs actually want?  They don’t know, and the very question would baffle them.  Want a glimpse into our future?  Russia, circa 1995, is probably the closest you’ll get.