Farewell Pat Buchanan

Last week I mentioned the retirement of Pat Buchanan and a few people suggested doing a show on the man. He looms large for people on this side the great divide who were around when he ran in 1992. For younger people on this side he probably does not resonate the same way, simply because you had to be alive back in the 1980’s and 1990’s to appreciate the full impact of the event.

The thing is though, even if you were around then, you did not appreciate what was happening until much later. Trump’s run in 2016 is what brought it home. Then the monstrous assault on Trump and his administration reminded some of us of what happened to Buchanan but also the paleos. The ugly face of the people behind the last thirty years of American politics came into focus.

When you dive into Buchanan’s career, you appreciate why the paleos lost, but also why they were never willing to take the next step. They grew up in an America that was about as close as you get to the ideal of America. It was a country that prospered because it was a system that worked. It was not perfect, of course, but it was about as good as anyone could expect.

Buchanan’s career, starting in the 1960’s, was about trying to get back to the system which produced the glory years of the 50’s and 60’s. What made his run in 1992 possible was the flicker of renewal in the 1980’s. For his generation, that time must have felt like a turning point in the great return. Then they saw the scaly tentacles of the neocons wrapped around it.

Digging into Buchanan’s career, prepping for the show, I came to appreciate why guys like Jared Taylor stop short of criticizing the system itself or why Steve Sailer pines for a return to his salad days in California. People who recall good America do not have to think about an alternative to the present. They lived in one. I do not think we can return to it, but I appreciate why they would desire it.


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Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Above Time Coffee Roasters are a small, dissident friendly company that makes coffee. They actually roast the beans themselves based on their own secret coffee magic. If you like coffee, buy it from these folks as they are great people who deserve your support.

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Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


This Week’s Show

Contents

  • Buchanan’s Background
  • Paleoconservatism
  • The Bush Years
  • The 1992 Race
  • Buckley’s Betrayal
  • Critiques of Buchanan
  • Legacy

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Doomsday Approaches

The shadow that has hung over the Ukraine war is the fear that it could lead to a direct clash between Washington and Moscow. Given that both sides have large arsenals of nuclear weapons, conflict could lead to Armageddon. Compounding things is the fact that Biden cannot stop talking about nuclear war. Given his mental condition, this suggests that he is often in earshot of the decision makers, who may be seriously discussing the possible use of nuclear weapons.

The dynamic of the war thus far has been Washington poking Moscow hoping for a response, which it can use to justify escalation. First, they said that they would not supply Ukraine with Western weapons, then they sent Western weapons. Then it was long range guided missiles. Now we see modern tanks being prepped, with discussions about F-16 fighter jets on the agenda. All of these weapons transfers are intended to provoke a response from Moscow.

The proof of that is the fact that none of these systems can make a difference on the battlefield for a number of reasons. The biggest reason is that the West has designed its weapons to be used in combined arms warfare. Alone, these weapons are not terribly useful and may even be a hinderance to the Ukrainians. The M777 howitzer, for example, is known for being maintenance heavy. Giving the Ukrainians these weapons just adds to their onerous sustainment burden.

Of course, the “cry out in pain as you strike” tactic is the regime default. This is used domestically and internationally. It goes back a long time. In his ongoing criticism of Washington with regards to the war in Ukraine, Douglas Macgregor likes to remind people that the Roosevelt administration did everything it could to bait the Japanese into launching an attack on American assets. They needed a reason to get into the war and that was viewed as the best avenue.

When you combine the psychological instability of the people running the war for the regime and the long history of provoking adversaries, the prospects of a nuclear holocaust start to look better or worse, depending upon your perspective. If the usual suspects stick to their usual patterns, it means they will keep provoking the Russians until they get the desired response. That desired response will justify some further provocation eventually leading to all out war.

The first question to answer here is what response from Russia would warrant a direct attack on Russia by NATO? The obvious answer is an attack on NATO. This is why the Poles rushed to the nearest microphone demanding war with Russia when the Ukrainian missile landed on Polish territory. The Polish president knew the plan and assumed it was go time. It turned out to be a Ukrainian missile, but the incident confirmed the thinking within the West.

Assuming the Kagan cult has concluded they need a Russian attack on a NATO country in order to launch their nuclear war, what would the West have to do in order to provoke such an attack by the Russians? That is turning out to be a tough question to answer, given what the West has done thus far. Russian people have been attacked in NATO countries like Estonia. Russian assets have been seized. The West even engineered the assassination of Alexander Dugan’s daughter.

Over the last year, the West has done a number of things that would justify a response, but so far the Russians have been careful to avoid the trap. The closest they have come to a direct retaliation was the missile barrage after the Brits set off the truck bomb on the Kerch Bridge in the Crimea. Given that the missile attacks on the Ukrainian power grid have continued, that may have been a coincidence. The missile barrage would have required advanced planning.

The fact is time is on Russia’s side and they know it. Every day this war goes on drains the West of vital resources. The Pentagon is already making noises about the Ukraine war harming its ability to deal with China. The war has also exposed the fact that Europe has let its militaries and arms production go to seed. Germany, France and Britain no longer have a military for all practical purposes. It will take them years to fix the problems, even if they find the will to do so.

If the Russian have a very high tolerance for provocation, then the question flips around to the other side. What limit is there in Washington? Where is the line that the people running policy in the Biden will not cross? Given that regime players have been gleefully talking about “de-colonizing Russia” for the last year, it is hard to imagine a red line that they would not dare cross. If you are bragging about your plans to regime change Russia, you probably have no red lines.

Now, there is another angle here. This could all be the result of a bluff that has badly backfired on Washington. The initial taunts before the war were not intended to bait the Russians into launching their operation, but were a bluff. The subsequent economic sanctions and arms shipments were a further bluff. Washington was telling Moscow that they were in it for the long haul and would stuff Ukraine with arms. The hope was that Moscow would reconsider and retreat.

It is entirely possible that the Global American Empire is facing a catastrophe in Ukraine because the Russians called their bluff. It is also possible that the Russia misread the signals coming from the West. Given the mistakes they made early in the war, it could simply be the Russians read things the wrong way. They not only did not see it as a direct threat to intervene, they assumed it was just the usual hot air. One side was bluffing while the other side did not see the bluff.

Either way, once things got going the regime seems to have fallen into a form of the sunk cost fallacy.  They invest in new bluffing strategies in order to save the investment in the previous failed bluffing strategy. At this point, the Russians know the limitations of the West in terms of time and material. The huffing and puffing from the West is seen as a bluff, one that can easily be ignored. Will Washington accept this reality or pivot to some desperate action?

That last question could decide the fate of the world. At this point it is clear that the Ukrainians cannot win. The death toll is staggering. The Russians cannot be bluffed or bullied, so what does Washington do next? Do they try one last desperate attempt to provoke the Russians into something foolish? Are there any sane people left in Washington who can step in and stop this madness? The fate of the world may rest on the mental stability of the crazies who started the war.

Regardless, it appears that the neocon scheme to de-colonize Russia is reaching a denouement in the coming months. Ukraine is running out of men to throw into the meat grinder and the West is running out of machines. The war will end in 2023, but how it ends is the question. Can Washington find some way to strike a deal with Russia that Russia will accept? Have the Russians concluded that no deal can be made with such untrustworthy people? We will know soon.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Above Time Coffee Roasters are a small, dissident friendly company that makes coffee. They actually roast the beans themselves based on their own secret coffee magic. If you like coffee, buy it from these folks as they are great people who deserve your support.

Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


Chasing The Dragon

Recently, whoever owns the Dodge car brand announced that the brand would stop making sports cars in the near future. They will discontinue their line of muscle cars in favor of electric cars. Many other car makers have promised that they will soon cease making cars with internal combustion engines. Reminiscent of the Soviet five year plans, they are promising to be right with Gaia in five years. Like those five year plans this is unlikely to happen, barring societal collapse.

The main reason this will never happen is that electric cars are and always have been a stupid lie against practical reality. The stupidity lies in the fact that at the end of every green scheme lies a smokestack. There is no such thing as renewable energy so that leaves the only way we know to get usable energy, breaking atoms. The lie is that these new cars are better in some way. They are not. In fact, electric cars are inferior at all of the things that make normal cars useful.

This short post summarizes the more obvious problems with eclectic vehicles, but you could write a book on the topic. The cost of ownership is significantly higher to the user and even higher for society, if one thinks mountains of old batteries is a problem that society should mitigate against. Then there is the fact that they will forever be impractical for most people. The biggest problem is they will require trillions in infrastructure changes that will never happen.

Like the eBook, the electric car is a solution in search of a problem. In fact, the eBook is the place to start in order to grasp the lunacy of the EV. Deliberately swept down the memory hole is the fact that the same people who say the electric car is the future also said the eBook was the future. The claim was the reduced cost of making an eBook versus a real book would end printing entirely. The publishers would simply abandon the practice of printing books.

There is the first comparison to ponder. Hidden in the selling of the eBook idea was the claim that you would be forced to burn your paper books in favor of Amazon deciding what you could read. It was a form of the old communist line about capitalist selling the communists the rope they would use to hang them. In this case, the greed of the publishers would be used to enforce the eBook dream. Behind every radical project are men holding pistols, waiting for their chance.

We see an advanced version at work with electric vehicles. First the regime rolled out incentives for battery makers and car makers. Then they rolled out incentives for people to buy these cars. There are incentives for municipalities to install charging stations and find ways to encourage EV use. Now we are into the stick phase where car makers are getting bullied to stop making normal cars. The regime enjoys the carrot and stick approach, but they most really enjoy the stick.

In both the eBook and the eVehicle, we saw form up what amounted to a religious community in support of these novelties. When the eBook hit the scene, the same people who swore Starbucks made great coffee suddenly decided that they could only read off a device. It was the future! The same people who swore eBooks were the future are now saying the same thing with electric cars. They are the same people who swore masks and standing on one foot would prevent Covid.

The electric car and the electric book are two examples of the other side of the moral panic, which is the moral crusade. Both moral the panic and the moral crusade arise from the same desire among the people swept up in them. They are seeking both salvation and a sense of security. On the one hand, they want to be secure from whatever it is that is causing the panic, like climate change or Covid. On the other hand, they want to be seen as a good person, one of the elect.

For a very long time, almost all of human history in fact, religion was the vessel into which these aspects of belief were contained. Religion told the faithful that as long as they were pious they were going to be okay. Maybe that meant an afterlife or maybe it meant justice in this life. If they followed the rules, they would be safe. It also promised a little extra for those who were particularly pious. The public act of piety has been with us since Gobekli Tepe for this reason.

It turns out that reason, appeals to nature and historical inevitability are poor replacements for the supernatural. In the Christian era, the faith supplied all of the spiritual security one needed, because it truly sated the desire. It made clear what one could expect from salvation. Ideology, on the other hand, ironically enough, is like an opioid, in that it provides an initial euphoric satisfaction, but then an insatiable craving for even more of what it promised.

It turns out that we are plagued by these moral crusades and panics because the people behind them are like drug addicts. For them, modernity is an opium den in which the are condemned to chase the dragon for eternity. It is why during Covid so many of them had that same dead expression in their eyes you see from addicts. With their mask firmly on, they were in the only space where they were both free from the agony of desire and the ecstasy of the narcotic high.

Now that the high priest of the electric vehicle has revealed himself to be nothing more than an opportunist, the religion of the EV has been shaken. The people who told us the electrical car was the vehicle to spiritual satisfaction are now turning on the idea as a way to smite the evil Elon Musk. Of course, practical reality will eventually reduce the idea to a niche item, like the eBook. Somewhere, someone like Elon Musk is thinking about the next moral crusade to monetize.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Above Time Coffee Roasters are a small, dissident friendly company that makes coffee. They actually roast the beans themselves based on their own secret coffee magic. If you like coffee, buy it from these folks as they are great people who deserve your support.

Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


What Must Be Done?

A year ago, life was great for Marcus Stokes. He was a young high school quarterback with offers to play college football. Some of the biggest names in the sport were calling and texting him. He committed to play for the Florida Gators, which is one of college football’s major powers. For a young man in this age, it does not get much better than being a coveted high school athlete. These days it even comes with the promise of money, not just coeds and attention from fans.

That all came to a halt when video of Marcus Stokes turned up online singing a popular hip-hop song, which violated the Jim Snow laws. Even though these songs are broadcast to everyone, even small children, white people are not allowed to repeat most of the lyrics, not even acknowledge hearing them. You see, in Jim Snow America, a black guy can advocate for murder, rape and mayhem, as long as it has a beat, but a white guy cannot repeat what is said.

The hip-hop song in question contained the magic word and Marcus Stokes said the word in the video. Immediately agents from the Ministry of Leukophobia were dispatched to investigate. Once it was determined that he was white and he had said the magic word, they issued a fatwah against him, his family and anyone even remotely connected with him. The University of Florida was instructed to rescind the scholarship offer and issue mean words about him.

In two syllables, the promising life of Marcus Stokes was ruined. You see, he violated the most important of Jim Snow laws. It is not the word he said, it is the context in which he said the magic word. One set of language laws for black people and another set of language laws for white people is patently immoral. Not even the most brutal communist dictatorships went down this road. Theocracies like Iran, Israel and Saudi Arabia do not have segregated language laws.

The only way the Ministry of Leukophobia can conceal this obvious problem is by terrorizing white people into thinking there are words that possess special properties that when uttered out loud, destroy the white person uttering them. That way, the white people will not notice who is enforcing these language laws. Instead of asking who decided we have segregated language, or even why we have such rules, white people will just assume it is a force of nature.

In order to make this work, the Ministry of Leukophobia does not limit itself to confirmed utterances of magic words. In the case of Mitchell Miller, a professional hockey player banned from the sport, the accusation is that he may have been influenced by a magic word uttered by some white person at some point somewhere. You see, Miller is accused of have bullied a sacred person in high school. Clearly, he must have been motivated by thoughts of the magic word.

Conservatives try to excuse this stuff by blaming the victims or claiming it is just a temporary moral panic. Maybe they blame social media for encouraging the mob to pile on these poor saps, who conservatives are quick to point out deserve everything they have coming for violating the blasphemy laws. The case of the hockey player makes clear that there is nothing temporary or spontaneous about this stuff. It is part of a long term campaign by the Ministry of Leukophobia.

You see this with Marcus Stokes. It has been six months and things should have blown over by now. He issued as many groveling apologies as humanly possible. He has no doubt spent the required time at a reeducation facility. He even found a black person to bless his transformation and provide a redemption arc. The coach of Albany State, a historically black college, offered Stokes a scholarship. No doubt the coach was thinking he could get a good player and lots of applause.

Like Mitchell Miller, there will be no forgivingness for Marcus Stokes. The Albany State coach was told by the Ministry of Leukophobia that he could not offer this blasphemer a scholarship or even a place on the roster. Not only that, they demanded the coach issue an apology. To whom he is apologizing is not all that clear, since no one to date has claimed to have been offended, outside the tyrant class. Of course, that last bit is the key to all of this stuff.

The question that hangs in the air, the center of recent disputes here and elsewhere, is how can American society return to civility? Of course, most of the people attempting to answer it wish the debate to exist in the abstract, as that allows them to defend arguments that make no sense in the natural world. Before any of that can be addressed, however, is the question of whether it is even possible to have a civil, decent society under the current conditions.

Can Austin Nivison, the person stalking Marcus Stokes, exist in a society that respects the dignity of the citizens? Can you have a civil society that includes the people who employ spiteful bigots like that guy? After all, they appear to operate as a volunteer auxiliary of the Ministry of Leukophobia. How is it possible for decent people to cohabited with people so filled with hatred for them? Can anyone reading this imagine being fellow citizens with people who hate them so much?

Stories like those mentioned here, and there are thousands of less notorious examples, suggest that we have reached the point of irreconcilable differences. We have a ruling class that has concluded that the white population is irredeemably evil. That is, after all, what is being said about Marcus Stokes. How can anyone with a soul want to find common ground with someone who seeks to destroy the life of a child for having repeated a forbidden word in a song?

The answer to the subject of this post starts with acceptance. There is no magic set of words that will heal the black hearts of the people who think it is right to torment white kids like we see with these two examples. We have a population of spiteful mutants, to borrow Ed Dutton’s phrase. That population has been weaponized. The answer starts with accepting this reality and then wondering aloud who is doing the weaponing and for what purpose. The answer starts with questions.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Above Time Coffee Roasters are a small, dissident friendly company that makes coffee. They actually roast the beans themselves based on their own secret coffee magic. If you like coffee, buy it from these folks as they are great people who deserve your support.

Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


Goodbye To All That

Note: Behind the green door is a post about gay germs, a post about the purse fight between Ben Shapiro and Steven Crowder and the Sunday podcast. This week the plan is to do some more Ukraine stuff, given the uptick in war news. You can sign up at SubscribeStar or Substack.


In the comments of my last response to Michael Anton, someone quoted a passage from one of Anton’s posts in our back and forth. For the sake of brevity, no doubt, the commenter clipped out some of the original text. There were a lot of good comments in that post, but that one stuck with me because of the bit about not wanting to be ruled without consent, which is a topic I have addressed in many posts, podcasts and even a speech I gave last autumn.

I rummaged through his post and found the exact passage. Here is what Anton wrote in the first part of that paragraph, “I don’t want to be ruled without my consent and I don’t want to submit to a fake aristocracy. Those are, in fact, among my chief objections to the present regime: it rules me without my consent, and it rules not for the common good but for the private good of a fake aristocracy.” That is a pretty clear statement of the ends he seeks with his natural rights arguments.

As an aside, what is a fake aristocracy? He never bothers to explain what makes one aristocracy fake and another authentic. The closest he gets is, “This points to a fundamental problem with hierarchy. The trad Right rejects nature as the standard for politics because, they say, nature is abstract, universalist, corrosive, etc. But for a hierarchy to have any meaning, it must be based on some evaluation of higher and lower, better and worse.”

Higher than what? Have meaning? Who in the hell is the trad Right? Note that he employs cognitively meaningless statements to illicit an emotional reaction from the reader in order to trick him into a false conclusion. You see, the bad men like fake hierarchy which is bad because fake is a bad word, so putting it next to the word hierarchy makes it bad too. This sort of linguistic guilt by association is clever, but it is what makes his writing so muddled.

Putting that aside, what about this consent business? Specifically, his demand to live in a society in which he is ruled only with his permission. That is, after all, what it means to consent to something. When you consent to something you are voluntarily giving your permission for someone to do something. Sure, you may have needed some convincing, but consent assumes you have a choice. To consent to something, you must voluntarily grant your permission.

When we say “consent of the governed” we mean the permission of those over whom some group of people will rule. That sounds good, because Americans have been conditioned to associate that phrase with positive ideas. It is right there in our holiest of holy documents, the Declaration of Independence. “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” The goodness of government only flows from the consent of the people.

Now, before we go much further, we have to address the elephant in the room and that is the fact that the signers of that document were lying. Most of them owned other human beings and none of them bothered to ask the freemen in their employ about their decision to revolt against the king. When it came to forming a new government, they had two tries at it and never once sought the consent of the governed. It was a nice sentiment, but the framers were practical men.

That naturally leads to a question. Is such a society possible? Is it possible to have a society in which men are free of coercion? After all, that is what Anton is rebelling against in that post. Consent is permission for something to happen or a voluntary agreement to do something. The alternative to consent is coercion, which is the use of force or the threat of force to obtain compliance. How would one structure a society in order to eliminate coercion?

Here is where we must notice something important. A consensus is not the same thing as majority rule. If ten people get together to decide on where to get lunch, the consensus is the place everyone can accept. The final choice may not be the first choice of anyone, but it is on the list of acceptable choices. If six people pick the lunch spot, pull guns on the other four people and force them to go along, then that is coercion, even though the majority voted for the lunch choice.

In other words, if you put things before the people and ask them to decide, you will most likely have some people who oppose the majority decision. In fact, some of those dissenters may categorically reject the choice of the majority. No amount of persuasion or enticement will change their minds. If the choice is where to go to lunch, no great shakes, but if it is how much to pay in taxes or whether to go to war, the dissent becomes a serious issue.

Right away we can see two problems. One is that a society of any size is going to have irreconcilable disagreements. Anyone who organized a lunch order knows how hard it is to reach a consensus. In the end, dissent must be overruled. The other problem is that putting matters to a vote will always result in coercion. The majority will force their preferences on the minority. Since in every vote there is a minority and the composition of that minority changes, everyone is subjected to coercion.

No matter how much consideration the rulers give to the opinion of the people, no matter how hard they try to get the consent of the governed, some people will simply refuse to give their permission. The choices at that point for the majority, as well as the rulers, are stasis, anarchy or coercion. No society larger than the Dunbar number can operate without some coercion. At any given time, some people will be compelled by the rulers to do that which they would prefer not to do.

Now, the few remaining libertarians will no doubt chime in and say that a libertarian or an anarchist society would be free of coercion. After all, all human interaction would be voluntary and individual. While such an arrangement would be free of coercion, it would also be free of all of the things we associate with human society. It is just random humans living in walking distance of one another. It is why there are no libertarian or anarchist societies outside of East Africa.

To be fair to Anton, let us assume he knows this and what he really means is he wants a society with the least amount of coercion. Humans are not perfect so what we create will always fall short of perfect. The societies we create will therefore be as flawed as the people who make them. The question then turns from how to create a coercion free society to how to reduce coercion. How should one organize society in order to reduce coercion to the minimum?

Proof that the universe has a sense of humor, is that nature provides us with the answer to this question. Evolutionary biology tells us that people are most cooperative with those who are closest to them genetically. If you populated an island with Michael Anton clones, they would operate like a multi-celled organism. Each member would intuitively know the preferences of the other, because they would have the same preferences, due to their genetic sameness.

Obviously, that is not possible, but luckily nature provides us with lots of close examples to use as a proof. We know that the first human organizations were kin groups and that larger human societies were built on related kin groups. Ten thousand years ago related kin groups began to settle around stable food sources in order to defend and exploit those food sources. We also know that within these groups men would die for two brothers or eight cousins.

At first blush it might not seem that inclusive fitness has much of a role in reducing coercion in human society. What does your willingness to die for your people have to do with coercion? Well, consensus and cooperation require sacrifice. It does not always require you to sacrifice your life, but when you volunteer to cooperate or you agree to a compromise, you are sacrificing something in order to do it. It is the glue that binds the two sides in the transaction.

In other words, it is not just like-mindedness that fosters cooperation through sacrifice, but it is like bloodedness. This is what nature tells us. If you are looking to increase cooperation and therefore reduce coercion, you want to decrease biological distance between the members. Put another way, the key to being ruled with your consent is to live in a society populated by and governed by your people or people who are no more than distant cousins. Diversity is the death of consent.

Interestingly, Anton seems to know this. In the essay that made him famous, he wrote the following, “Third and most important, the ceaseless importation of Third World foreigners with no tradition of, taste for, or experience in liberty means that the electorate grows more left, more Democratic, less Republican, less republican, and less traditionally American with every cycle.” Note he used to argue from tradition and now he argues against tradition.

When you go back and read the Flight 93 essay, you cannot help but note a difference in tone and substance. Assuming Anton knew his own mind when he wrote that essay, he certainly knew how the phrase “third world” would be read. His deliberate use of the phrase “no taste for” makes clear that Anton thought at the time that non-European people were unfit for a society based in European values and traditions. There is no other way that can be interpreted.

So, what changed? That passage quoted at the start offers a clue. Here is the second part of that original passage. Anton wrote, “I still think whatever you’re planning won’t work; or, to be more precise, I don’t think you’ve done much planning at all. I don’t think you’ve even begun to think through how you’ll organize your new post-natural-rights society, which is why I expect it either to be a mess or else to revert to natural rights without admitting it.”

Let us unpack those two sentences. Anton says he is sure that what I am planning will not work. Then he says I am not planning anything at all. In fact, he says I have not even started planning, but he is sure that when I get around to planning, it will be a mess or I will end up planning whatever he is planning. This is the content of just two sentences written by one man, but it reads like the work of a committee of people not on speaking terms with one another.

Putting that aside, I think we have a clue as to why he has issued a fatwah against me and those on this side of the great divide. It is not that he disagrees with the point I made at the start of this exchange. It is that he thinks it should not be said. He prefers to prattle on about elves carrying natural rights because that is less likely to get mean words from the people who control the moral framework. In other words, he feels he must submit to their moral coercion.

In this post responding to Paul Gottfried’s argument in favor of the Anglo-American tradition, he notes that he and Paul are not Anglos. Anton is Mediterranean and Gottfried is Jewish. Here is what he wrote, “Neither of us, therefore, is Anglo, and neither is related by blood to any of the men who founded the United States, or even were Americans at the time of the founding. It seems to me, then, that neither of us can be, strictly speaking, heirs to the Anglo-American tradition.”

That is an interesting passage for a number of reasons. As far as this topic, it may explain why he has reverted back to the banal civic nationalism that he seemed to reject in the Flight 93 essay. Even though the logic of his own arguments leads to something like Yoram Hazony’s ethnic nationalism, this creates a problem for the people in charge and that creates a problem for Michael Anton. Instead he is looking for a way to argue within the prevailing moral orthodoxy.

That explains that muddled passage about what he thinks of my plans. He is not arguing against my reasoning. How could he? His arguments from Straussianism arrive at the same place as my arguments from evolutionary biology. It is that he assumes that I will soon realize that saying these things out loud is bad for business. In other words, he is projecting his own fears about his position within the conservative industrial complex onto me and the empirical right.

That horse left the barn a long time ago. It turns out that I am far less tolerant of coercion from “fake aristocrats” than Michael Anton. In fact, the starting place for understanding dissident thinking is the assertion that conservatism failed because it was supposed to fail. The men in it traded their souls for expensive homes, fancy suits and the company of people they must treat as their betters. The dissident right is the rejection of that form of politics.

In closing, I will return the favor and offer Mr. Anton a bit of advice. The project to achieve conservative ends within the neoliberal moral framework has been tried by smarter men than either of us. That project began when Buckley capitulated on race back in the last century. It is why conservatism has been a failure. When you accept the moral claims of your opponents, you inevitably accept their conclusions, which is why conservatism managed to conserve nothing.

The reason Michael Anton and his cohorts in the conservative ecosystem feel the need to address dissidents directly is they are losing control of the narrative. Every day more and more people wake up from the 20th century. Much of that awakening is driven by demographic and cultural reality, but another part is the realization that the causes of these problems are not political or economic. They are systemic. The system is failing because it rests on false assertions.

Even though Anton has hurled a lot of invective my way, I bear no ill will toward him, now that I have reconsidered his position. The fatwah he has issued against me will be up on the wall next to other fatwahs. In fact, I wish the entire crew the best of luck, even though Chris Buskirk and Ben Boychuk refuse to reply to my e-mails. When you live in the valley of the damned, you get used to such behavior. After the revolution, I will see that you get sent to a good camp.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Above Time Coffee Roasters are a small, dissident friendly company that makes coffee. They actually roast the beans themselves based on their own secret coffee magic. If you like coffee, buy it from these folks as they are great people who deserve your support.

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Ukraine On The Brain

The show this week is mostly about Ukraine, but I did have a few minutes to mention the retirement of Pat Buchanan. In retrospect I should have done the whole show on him, as he is turning out to be the central figure of dissident politics. His valiant revolt against the Republican Party and the conservative movement made it possible for there to be a dissident movement.

Buchanan is an example of necessary failure. His campaigns against the neocons did nothing to change the trajectory of the party or the managerial elite, but that is what many needed to see in order to truly understand the problem. Buchanan was an inflexion point for many of us at the time. Talk to dissidents of my generation and most will point to that time as when they started their journey.

Before 1992, all but a few paleos thought it was possible to work the system as it was advertised in order to change public policy. After 1992 many started to understand why Sam Francis had been right back in the 1980’s when he said that it was impossible to maintain conservative polices or politics within a democracy. You either acquiesce to democracy or you are rejected by it. Buchanan was the test case.

The thing about Brother Pat is he was the right sort of martyr. Lots of people get chewed up by the system, but they tend to use their failure as a reason to throw a pity party for themselves. In small ways they signal that they would be willing to compromise in order to be allowed back into the party. Their ego and pride means more to them than the role that is laid out for them as a martyr to the cause.

Buchanan never did that. He understood the role he was playing and he played it as well as his talents permitted. You always got the sense that he understood that he would never see the new dawn, but that he knew that he may see the signs of it before his days were done. The Good Lord saw fit to grant the man that one small favor in the form of the Trump phenomenon.

Thank you Brother Pat


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Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Above Time Coffee Roasters are a small, dissident friendly company that makes coffee. They actually roast the beans themselves based on their own secret coffee magic. If you like coffee, buy it from these folks as they are great people who deserve your support.

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Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


This Week’s Show

Contents

  • Unity (Link)
  • The Fierce Step (Link)
  • The Brion McClanahan Show (Link)
  • Gangsters (Link)
  • Farewell Pat Buchanan (Link)

Direct DownloadThe iTunesGoogle PlayiHeart Radio, RSS Feed

Full Show On Spreaker

Full Show On Odysee

The Unreality System

The mainstream media has always been biased, but it was never monolithic, as part of the claim of objectivity was to include alternative opinion. The main newspapers during the Cold War made sure to include critics of American Cold War policy along with conservative critics of progressive social policy. The television chat shows made sure to have at least one conservative on the panel. There was always a bias and a lack of balance, but alternative voices did have a place.

Somewhere after the Cold War this ended. It is hard to pinpoint the exact date, but pretty much every terrible media trend started with the Clinton Crime Family blowing into town, so that is a good bet. In the first Gulf War, CNN worked hard to be a legitimate news organization. A few years later they converted themselves into the Clinton News Network and they have never recovered. Outside of staged debates, the mainstream media is a monolith now.

You see that with the Ukraine war. Here are some headlines Drudge has been pushing the last few days. “Russia Tank Fury!” is linked to this post in the Daily Mail, claiming the Russians are going crazy about the latest wonder weapons. Under that one was this post labeled by Drudge as “Nazi Scumbags!” Beneath that one was this one labeled “Nuke Berlin!” which links to this post in the UK Mirror. In the top right was this CNN post, “Fierce New Step By The West.”

On the one hand, these absurd stories can be dismissed as the work of people who know very little about their topics. People working in the mass media are jarringly obtuse and usually assigned to topics about which they have no knowledge, so it follows that their “reporting” is childish and stupid. They have bosses though and they must know that these whoppers about Ukraine are nonsense. Someone in these organizations knows how to use the internet.

More importantly, every mainstream news outlet has at least one government intelligence officer inside the organization. Hundreds of former secret police agents work in American cable news channels. They may be retired from the secret police, but they still have connections, which is why they were hired. On top of the secret police, there are hundreds of retired generals on contract. In fact, there are more retired generals in media than active generals in the military.

That means an airhead like Allison Quinn can pen nonsense stories for the Daily Beast, but CNN has people on staff to check the work of Nick Paton Walsh. There are people hired by the company who had long careers in the military and they can explain to Paton why a handful of tanks is a meaningless gesture. They can use the last year of such gestures to explain this to him and his editors. In other words, there is no excuse for these nonsense stories about miracle weapons.

Of course, this latest batch of just-so stories come at a time when things are looking rather grim for the Ukrainians. Their third defensive line, they have four lines, is about to crumble in the city of Bakhmut. German intelligence is warning the government about the heavy losses the Ukrainians are suffering in this battle. In the south of Ukraine, reports are coming in about Ukrainian units defending positions with nothing but small arms as they no longer have working equipment.

Getting firm numbers on the losses in this war is difficult, but the best estimates say that the Russians have lost up to twenty thousand men. Ukraine may have lost ten times that number, based on their own accounting. They started the war with about 300,000 soldiers. They have had multiple mobilizations over the last year and they now say they have 200,000 soldiers. Then you have the thousands of pieces of equipment Ukraine has lost, which is why they need new equipment.

The question that naturally arises is why is the mass media unanimously repeating this latest batch of fantasy tales? There must be people inside these organizations who know what is happening in Ukraine. There have to be plenty of generals that could explain the idiocy of sending modern tanks to Ukraine. There has to be someone working at these places who can use the internet and check this stuff. Yet, it is an amen chorus across the English speaking media.

The standard argument is that this is intended to keep the people in the dark about this latest bloody boondoggle. The trouble with that is the media hates the people and takes pleasure in mocking the rubes. The people in charge certainly have no concern with public opinion. If they wanted to sway public opinion, they would return to the old model of mock debates in which their preferred side looked the best. This was the Cold war model and it worked reasonably well.

Instead, we get something closer to Soviet media model. Colonel Douglas Macgregor went off script early on and was sent packing. He now does YouTube shows with other former cable employees who went off-script. In other words, it is not just that the media sings with one voice now. They are enforcing the narrative on their own people. Is it fear of the secret police minders in their ranks? Is it access journalism? Are we simply seeing the full blossoming of the hive mind?

Maybe all of those things play a role, but there may be something else going on that reaches beyond the mass media. Across the managerial class, we keep seeing confusion between narrative and reality. Someone produces a pleasing explanation for something and everyone jumps on it. That narrative to explain some vexing event becomes reality. In other words, in this increasingly insular world, narrative has replaced reality as the standard of truth.

Every system has a selection pressure. A system is rules and the rules favor some things and disfavor other things. Over time, the favored things will increase and the disfavored things will decrease. If you live in a system disconnected from reality, like the political-media complex, the rules can also be disconnected from reality. The resulting selection pressure can favor that which is odds with reality. Over time, you get more unreality and less reality.

Given that this is a human system, it means the system has been selecting for people who favor unreality over reality. Over time, it ceases to be a competition around specific reality but reality itself. The people who prefer spinning and embracing fantasy get rewarded while those stubbornly clinging to reality are boiled off. We may have reached the point where unreality is the benchmark. The story that is most pleasing and least truthful is what wins the fitness battle.

Another good example of this is Covid. During the panic, the mass media was like a murmuration of starlings, darting from one fanciful story to the next. The whopper that best flattered the people inside the media bubble was the winner. It was if there was a contest to see who could come up with the most ridiculous claim. That may have been what was happening. The selection pressure for unreality drives these people to the most fanciful narratives.

Whatever you favored explanation, we have reached a point where the mass media is mostly self-parody. If you want to know what is happening in the world, you are best to ignore the mass media. Maybe you start there in order to first find out what is not happening in the world. At least you narrowed the possibilities. Otherwise, our media is not even propaganda. It is a weird game of make believe designed to please the people inside who seek a life of unreality.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Above Time Coffee Roasters are a small, dissident friendly company that makes coffee. They actually roast the beans themselves based on their own secret coffee magic. If you like coffee, buy it from these folks as they are great people who deserve your support.

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A Great Boondoggle

Back during the Cold War, specifically in the Reagan years, the media used to love reporting on military boondoggles. The format of the story required a few budget items that would strike the normal person as outrageous. Perhaps it was a hand tool that cost tens of thousands of dollars. This tool was part of a weapons system budget that was being criticized for its cost. Perhaps it was a mundane items like a toilet seat or a hammer that would cost thousands of dollars.

The main reason for these stories was to promote the charade that the two parties were locked in serious opposition. The Democrats pretended to be against the military, while the Republicans were pro-military. In reality, both parties were fully owned by the military industrial complex, but the demands of the Cold War required the two parties to maintain the aura of a lively democracy. The free world was open and debated things, while the Soviets were closed to debate.

We no longer see stories like this, despite the fact that for the last thirty years America has spent over a trillion on war per year. Officially the war budget is a trillion a year, but no one seems to know how much is really spent. There never has been an official accounting of the Afghanistan debacle or the war in Iraq. America technically has a budget, but no one knows what is in it. At this point, it is an abstract concept even to the people who vote on it Congress.

Those old stories about military contractors ripping off the taxpayer also served as a distraction from larger issues. America had shifted after Vietnam away from fielding a military to fight a large scale war to a military built for small wars. That meant a change in the tools of war. Instead of inexpensive machines that a recruit could be quickly trained to operate, the machines would be complex and require years of training, but they would be unusually lethal.

A simple example is the tank. In the Second World War the tank was the symbol of the opposing armies. America produced massive numbers of Sherman tanks that overwhelmed the technically superior German tanks. The Tiger was superior than the Sherman, but not better than a swarm of them. The Abrams tank, developed in the 1980’s for the new army, was a technological marvel. It is big and complicated, but unusually lethal in the right hands.

Another way of putting this is the American army was transitioning from the shotgun approach to war to the rifle approach to war. Instead of firebombing cities, the American military will hit the military targets in the city. Instead of indiscriminately attacking the enemy positions, it would hit key points with pinpoint accuracy. This would require new weapons that pushed the edge of military technology. The new smart military would require new smart  and expensive weapons.

Over the last thirty years this approach looked smart. In the first Iraq invasion the American military attacked and destroyed a big army in the desert, without suffering any serious losses. Smart missiles knocked out their air defense system and smart bombs destroyed key infrastructure. The smart air force pinned down the Iraqi army while waves of Abrams outflanked them. By any measure, it was an amazing display of the new smart army versus the old dumb army.

The thing no one bothered asking is whether this new smart military would look good against a more serious opponent. Instead, it has been thirty years of applause as the American war machine beats up on hand picked opponents. Launching cruise missiles from destroyers that hit targets in Baghdad is not the same thing as hitting targets in China from the South China Sea. Destroying tanks in the Donbas is a different task than strafing them in the Iraqi desert.

The war in Ukraine is giving as a clue on this front. In theory the West is about to send main battle tanks to Ukraine. Whether this actually happens is questionable as it takes a long time to train a crew on an Abrams or Leopard tank. It will take months to get the infrastructure in place just to operate them in the rear, away from Russian drones, artillery and missiles. The Pentagon thinks they can get Abrams in the field by 2024 but they are not making any promises.

The thing that no one really wants to say, but is painfully obvious, is that the smart tanks are not much use without smart operators and a massive technological infrastructure to sustain and control them. In fact, the Abrams tank may not be suited for the fighting in the Donbas for the simple reason it is too fragile. This is a high intensity ground combat and this tank is simply unfit for these conditions. In other words, it is more of a show pony than a workhorse.

A similar story is unfolding with other weapons. The Russians have been using their missiles to knock out Ukrainian air defenses and utility systems. The West has promised to send new air defense system, but it turns out that they are so expensive and complicated that few of them actually exist. The lead time to make new missiles and their launchers is years. In one case, the lead time for a single missile is close to three years.

It is not just the wonder weapons that are in short supply. Land wars are about the industrial capacity of the combatants. In land war, both sides will use massive amounts of ammunition in an effort to degrade the opponent. Some estimates say that the Ukrainians expend five thousand artillery rounds per day in some areas, while overall the total is twice that number. Reliable reports say the Russians currently outgun the Ukrainians by a factor of ten.

The problem for the West and specifically America is there is nowhere near enough military industrial capacity to meet Ukraine’s demands. The Pentagon is asking for bids to build new capacity, but that will take years. The Ukrainian army will be history long before it happens. Putting that aside, the new capacity is a fraction of what an army would need in a land war. Instead of spending billions on the F-35 program, the Pentagon should have been making artillery shells. Whoops.

It turns out that the logic of the new technological army rested on Francis Fukuyama being right about the end of history. The trillion dollar whiz-bang army would never have to fight a serious opponent. Russia would be parted out and China would be flying the rainbow flag of diversity. The new technological army just needed to look good in shorts, not actually perform on the field. It also had to make the friends of the imperial government obscenely rich.

Like so much that has happened since the end of the Cold War, the American war machine is something of a scam. It was built on the assumption that the narratives the ruling class was spinning were a reflection of reality. Instead, those narratives simply secured their position atop the new world order. They had little connection with the reality of what was happening in the world. As a result, the imperial war machine is unfit for the task of defending the empire.

The irony here is that it proves Pat Buchanan was right. As he heads into retirement, he is seeing his warnings come true. The great de-industrialization of America has turned the country into a paper tiger. A century ago, America was the arsenal of democracy, but now it is unable to make much of anything. Like so much about the last thirty years, the military industrial complex is just another grift. It is a trillion dollar boondoggle, a great con on the American people.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Above Time Coffee Roasters are a small, dissident friendly company that makes coffee. They actually roast the beans themselves based on their own secret coffee magic. If you like coffee, buy it from these folks as they are great people who deserve your support.

Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


Trillion Dollar Coin

One of Shakespeare’s most famous lines is from Henry VI. The pretenders to the throne are plotting and a character named Dick the Butcher says, “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers”. The line has been interpreted many ways within the context of the play, but most people remember it at face value. In order to get anything done, you must first get rid of the hairsplitters, gainsayers and schemers that have always defined the legal profession. It is a lovely thought.

Like all humor, it is funny because it contains a kernel of truth. Lawyers, given enough time, can fashion an argument for or against anything. You see this in the recurring debate about the trillion dollar coin. This is the claim that the executive can get around Congressional spending and borrowing limits by minting a trillion dollar coin. The mint would strike a coin whose value would result in one trillion in seigniorage . This is the difference between the value of the coin and its cost.

The wiki page on this topic is both amusing and informative. Normal people would naturally assume that the government cannot invent out of thin air a trillion dollar coin, but the lawyers have found a way. At least they have found a legal justification for conjuring such a coin. The mechanics of how this would work are a bit sketchy, but lawyers never let practical reality get in the way of a good idea. We will be hearing lots from them during the coming debt ceiling debate.

The basic argument here is that the mint has the legal right to sell bullion coins, circulating coins and numismatic items. That means they can take gold and make a gold coin and sell it. They can also make collectors items and sell those. They can also buy and sell circulating coins at a profit. Since the mint is charged with striking circulating coins for the Treasury, they also make a profit from this. These sales pay for mint operations and profits go to the Treasury.

The claim here is the mint could create a trillion dollar coin that has the cost of the materials and the labor to make it. Since these are tiny, relative to the face value of the coin, the seigniorage would be roughly one trillion dollars. This would then be handed over to the Treasury to spend on government. Congress is cut out of the process, as they do not control the mint. That also means the Treasury could bypass the debt limit as they would have a trillion dollars.

If this sounds insane, you are in luck. It is insane. When the mint strikes a novelty item for collectors, they actually sell it to collectors. They price the item based on estimated demand and the cost of production. Like any business they are seeking to make a profit from these sales. The reason buyers are willing to pay more for a novelty item than the value of its base metal is they think it will fetch more on the secondary market because of its limited production run.

Another way to think of it is the trading card makers. They will create a special limited edition run of cards. They use the same paper and the same images as other cards, but these cards are limited in number. Maybe they have a special imprint or these days a holographic stamp on them. Collectors will pay a premium for these cards on the assumption that they will be worth more in the future. Of course, card collectors also buy for their own collections.

Who will pay a trillion dollars for a coin? The answer is no one. Markets can only work if there are buyers and sellers. Who would be the trillion dollar buyer? The only plausible buyer is the Federal Reserve. To do this they can liquidate assets from their balance sheet in the open market, then use the proceeds to buy the coin. There are two problems with this idea. One is the banks would be taking a trillion dollars out of the economy and flooding the market with various assets.

The other problem is the central bank could not plausibly list this new coin as an asset as the coin has a market value of zero. Again, a thing is worth what someone will pay for it and in the case of a coin with one possible customer, the value of the coin must by definition drop to zero when the customer acquires it. In effect, the Fed will have handed the mint a trillion dollars for nothing and the mint would then turn that trillion over to the Treasury as a profit.

There is an old joke that goes something like this. A rich man is traveling in Europe and finds himself in a small town. He needs a place to stay, so he goes to the one inn and asks for a room for the night. He slaps down a thousand euros and tells the innkeeper that he wants the best room he has to offer. The innkeeper takes the money and tells the man that he can take any room he likes. The man goes upstairs to look at the rooms and the innkeeper leaves to see the grocer.

You see, the innkeeper owed the grocer a thousand euros so he wanted to pay him off before the grocer cut him off. The grocer is happy to be paid. He takes the money and immediately heads off to his landlord to whom he owes back rent. He pays off the landlord with the one thousand euros. The landlord, who has a taste for prostitutes, takes the money and pays off the madam. The madam then heads off to the innkeeper to pay him for the use of his rooms.

Meanwhile, the traveler comes back down and tells the innkeeper that he does not find any of the rooms satisfactory and demands his money back. The innkeeper is happy to refund him the one thousand euros, as he just got them from the madam. The traveler leaves, but everyone in the town has been made whole. The innkeeper paid his debt to the grocer, the grocer paid his landlord and the landlord paid the madam, who then paid off the innkeeper.

The joke is the economy works just fine as long as the money keeps flowing and there is always some new money from outside to prime the pumps. As soon as we run short of outsiders with the extra cash, the system locks up. This is what the trillion dollar coin idea amounts to in the end. The Fed artificially increases the balances of member banks so they can buy assets from the Fed. Those banks then become the man looking for a room in that old gag.

The coming debt limit drama and the inevitable howling from the crazies about the need to get around this problem with crackpot ideas like the trillion dollar coin mask a much deeper problem. Washington famously said, “The last official act of any government is to loot the treasury.” That is what these debt limit fights are about when you examine them without the lawyers present. It is just a debate about how best to continue looting the treasury before it all comes crashing down.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Above Time Coffee Roasters are a small, dissident friendly company that makes coffee. They actually roast the beans themselves based on their own secret coffee magic. If you like coffee, buy it from these folks as they are great people who deserve your support.

Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


Wronger Than Wrong

Note: Behind the green door is a post about Ukraine, a post about the reboot of the children’s cartoon Scooby-Doo and the Sunday podcast. Since there is interest in it, I will be doing a weekly post on the happenings in Ukraine. You can sign up at SubscribeStar or Substack.


Lost in all of the squid ink Michael Anton has been emitting over this post, is the fact that his argument in favor of natural rights contains logical flaws and irreconcilable contradictions that he does not understand. That last part is not obvious, as he surrounds his argument with so much extraneous text that the reader is naturally distracted from the defects. Maybe the wordiness is deliberate or maybe he simply does not understand his own argument very well.

His argument in the original exchange with Paul Gottfried is that natural rights are a timeless universal concept rooted in nature. Because they are rooted in nature, they are the best basis for the politics of the New Right and society. My post pointing out the obvious flaws with this argument elicited a long ad hominin attack, pock marked with nonsense clams about human nature. His original argument did not get any better, it simply got longer and more vituperative.

The place to start in order to see the problems with Anton’s argument is something called non-contextual reality. This is the claim that objects exist in space-time regardless of whether we observe them. You walk into a field and see a giant boulder. You accept that even though you just saw the boulder for the first time, it existed as an object in space-time before you happened upon it. When you turn your back and no longer see the boulder, the boulder is still there in the field.

In fact, the existence of space-time is assumed to be non-contextual. At least that is what much of our science claims to be true. The starting assumption of the human sciences, and all science for that matter, is that human senses evolved to gain a more accurate perception of reality over time. The reason humans sit atop the food chain is we have superior perception of non-contextual reality. Reality exists and we humans get better at understanding it over time.

This may come up a bit later, but the case for non-contextual reality is coming under increasing pressure within theoretical physics. Quantum mechanics seems to contradict local realism, which is shorthand for two principles. The principle of locality says the cause of a physical change must be local. The principle of realism states that objects exist independent of our minds. Experimental results indicate we do not live in a universe controlled by local realism.

For the purpose of this topic, we will assume non-contextual reality. Now, going back to that boulder in a field, you come upon it and you see it, but you also have the ability to remember it. That is because your senses process the inputs from the physical world to create the image of the boulder. Your eyes process light waves. Your ears process the movement of the air as sound. Your sense of smell may process the chemicals in the air to add more context to the image.

This is how your brain perceives reality. Your sense organs process inputs to create the image of the boulder, the sound of the birds, maybe the smell of the grass and other things that help your brain complete the picture. It is also possible that your brain will make a mistake and imagine you see birds, because you hear birds chirping and your brain takes a shortcut and places a bird in the picture. It is why two people can see slightly different things. No two brains are the same.

These small differences in perception are the basis for optical illusions. Two people are shown the same image, but they see different things. Maybe one person sees vertical stripes while the other person sees horizontal stripes. There used to be a form of dormitory art that played this sort of trick. You looked at the poster and it was one image, but if you kept staring at it you saw a different image. Some people would not see the second image at all, even with help.

It is also why one man can create an image of Middle Earth while another man cannot conceive of such a thing. The former read the books or saw the movies, so his brain has the material to create the imaginary land. That last bit is the important bit. The world Tolkien created does not and cannot exist. The latter person did not read the books or see the movies, so this concept does not exist in his brain. This figment of Tolkien’s imagination was not transmitted to him.

The same tools the human brain uses to perceive objects in space-time are used to conceive of things that do not and cannot exist as objects in space-time. Our brains can create contextual reality because we can perceive non-contextual reality. In fact, damaged brains can create things that will appear to be more real to the user than the things that actually exist as objects in space-time. Our lunatic asylums and grievance studies programs are full of such people.

The reason you will not bump into an elf with an armful of natural rights on your walk to see the giant boulder is the elf and natural rights are not objects in space-time, so they do not exist in non-contextual reality. They exist in contextual reality, which means they are figments of our imagination. From the perspective of the universe, the elf and natural right are equally fictional. If humanity is wiped out, the concept of the elf and his natural rights are wiped out too.

This is Anton’s first error. He seems to think natural rights are objects in space-time, when they exist only in the imagination of man. He confuses what we observe about human behavior, what we often call human nature, with the concept of natural rights and then claims natural rights are as real as a rose bush. This is false. What we observe about living creatures, including man, exists in non-contextual reality while the opinions we draw from those observations do not.

This brings us to the second fatal error in Anton’s world view. He assumes subjective observations about nature can be an objective moral authority. In his initial response, he takes issue with my statement that natural rights are no more real than lust. He writes, “Does Z-Man think the sex drive itself is a ‘figment of the imagination’? Or is he rather saying that there is no difference between lust and the sex drive, that the sex drive is lust and vice versa?”

Most people would have read that part of his post as a deliberate lie in service to a straw man argument. The word “lust” has two meanings. One is the intense desire for something. A lust for life, for example. In normal usage, and clearly the way I used it in my post, lust is an inappropriate desire, usually for sex. The former is descriptive, while the latter is prescriptive. If someone respected Anton’s intellect more than most, he would assume this error was deliberate.

This confusion is not deliberate. Anton writes, “These questions go directly to the heart of the issue under consideration. The denial of lust and of human rights stems from a denial of human nature, the ground of justice and of all human good.” Right there we see that Anton thinks that what he imagines to be human nature, can be the foundation for normative claims about “justice” and ‘human good”. He thinks what we observe in nature can be a moral authority.

In order to fully grasp the staggering ignorance of this assertion, we have to first clarify our terms. Moral philosophy has imbued the word “right” with magical properties, but a right is simply an entitlement. If your health club says that gold members have a right to park near the building, you know they are entitled to park near the building. If they say that gold members are entitled to park near the building, you know they have a right to park near the building.

Who decided this? What is the authority for this claim? The answer is the people who run the health club. No sane person would argue that nature entitles you to park next to the building of your health club. Even if you are the sort who argues that all societies are hierarchical, you are not going to claim that nature or nature’s god dictates that gold level members get to park next to the building. That entitlement is man made, a creation of the people who run the health club.

This is true of all entitlements. They are decided upon by an appropriate authority, which is always the creation of man. Your right to park near the building is the creation of your health club owner. Your right to a jury of your peers is created by society. Nature is descriptive, moral claims are prescriptive. This is why Locke had to rely upon God as the authority for his natural rights argument. Nature alone was not enough, he needed nature’s God to be the ultimate authority.

Now, Anton tries to cross the tines of Hume’s fork by arguing that natural rights are inspired by observations about human nature. This is logically invalid, because nature does not come with entitlements. Just because you, as a living thing, seek to preserve your life, the universe is not obligated to respect the moral right of self-defense. All that matters to the universe is if you pass copies of your genes to the next generation. The universe cares about one thing and that is fitness.

This explains why this concept of natural rights does not appear in other cultures around the world. They exist in contextual reality, which means they only exist when we observe them. There is no oral tradition of natural rights among the Bantu, because this concept does not exist in their brains. China lacks the language for natural rights, because in the reality of the Han, this concept does not exist. Natural rights are culture specific, because culture is people specific.

Interestingly, Anton tries to explain the localism of the natural rights concept with the claim that not all people have discovered them. You see, the Bantu would pile into the Straus buggy if someone explained natural rights to them. No doubt the ancient culture of the Chinese would be overturned in a minute if someone just translated Locke into Mandarin for them. Once that elf and his arm load of natural rights makes his way to Bangalore, India will be the new Athens.

Even though natural rights theory is invalid as a matter of logic and science, this is not the biggest problem with Anton’s argument. Let us pretend that natural rights are a naturally occurring phenomenon as Anton insists. That means they are subject to the laws of nature, like everything else. That would also mean that nature can tell us something about his claim that natural rights theory is the best foundation for right-wing politics and the politics of a human society.

Consider this statement. “Natural rights are the best foundation for society.” Now consider this statement. “Invisible leprechauns farting pixie dust are the best foundation for society.” Without addressing the issue of whether natural rights or invisible leprechauns exist in non-contextual reality, there is only one thing we can say about these two statements. Both cannot be true. If natural rights are best, then leprechauns cannot be best and vice-versa.

Now, it is tempting to start by asking which one is more likely to be true? Surely nature will be more friendly to the more accurate statement. Most people would be tempted to pick the first statement, solely on the grounds that they think natural rights are more likely to exist than leprechauns. Most people would be wrong. It turns out that nature, in fact the universe, is not concerned with accuracy. What drives the whole of the universe is fitness and fitness beats truth.

For those who enjoy a technical explanation, here is the paper using evolutionary game theory to support the claim that fitness beats truth. Just as important, fitness is the universal principle of the universe. It applies not just to living creatures, but to the things we conjure with our minds. It applies to language, culture, religion, medicine, politics and the sciences. A solution to a problem, for example, evolves over time as new variants come along to compete with the current solutions

The reason that we no longer see human societies ruled by men who claim to be gods is that form of government died out. It died out for the same reason that the saber-toothed tiger died out. It failed the fitness test. Better ideas came along and out-competed the god-king concept. The reason doctors no longer follow Aristotle’s advice on medicine is those ideas failed the fitness test. Current medicine has passed the fitness test but in time will be replaced as well.

If you are going to make appeals to nature, as Michael Anton does in defense of natural rights, you better be prepared to address the fitness question. So what does the fitness test tell us about those two statements? Unless someone can find a society that based its moral code on invisible leprechauns farting pixie dust, the only thing we can say is nature has not rendered a conclusion. To paraphrase the libertarians, real invisible leprechauns have never been tried.

That is not true for basing a society on natural rights. Athens had a short run of success, but was eventually conquered. Their love of debate also brought them to the brink of extermination in the Peloponnesian wars. Comparatively speaking, the first example of a society based on something close to natural rights did not make it long. The concept did not make a return for over a thousand of years when it suddenly popped up again among the English speaking people of the West.

The framers tried to found their political order on natural rights and the mostly did it after some trial and error. In less than a single generation the northern states wanted out of the scheme. The Hartford Conventions would most likely led to secession if not for the War of 1812. Then we get the Civil War and the end of the Republic as conceived by the framers. Anton would no doubt claim this was not the end of the natural rights experiment, but the completion of it.

Even if one accept the claims of the Straus cult on this point, no one can deny that the whole natural right regime melted away in the 20th century. Exactly no one in the ruling class respects the rights of the citizens. In fact, it is integral to their identity now to oppose the very idea of rights in any form. This is true across the West. This very Western concept of natural rights, which was the basis for our moral order, has lost the fitness test and is now extinct.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but nature has not been kind to natural rights. Like the giant panda, natural rights exist now only as an exhibit. Michael Anton is the zoo keeper tending to this concept that has failed the fitness test. Like the panda, natural rights should have died out a long time ago, but people are sentimental, so keeping the idea alive has become a profession. It turns out that the invisible leprechauns farting pixie dust are the better choice, as they have yet to fail the fitness test.

When you put it all together, Anton’s natural rights argument is illogical and in direct contradiction with its claimed authority. He keeps insisting nature is the authority for his moral claims, but nature can never be the authority for moral claims. What nature tells us is that this bit of contextual reality has failed the fitness test. If you want some inspiration from nature, that is the place to start. Avoid embracing contextual reality that has failed the fitness test.

In the end, Michael Anton’s antiquarianism is just escapism. He loves to rant against tradition and historicism, but he and the other natural rights proponents are the ones trapped in the past. He thinks we can pull long dead ideas out of the museum storage closet and apply them to a people who find these ideas as alien as the leprechauns farting pixie dust. Like everyone in that scene, he simply cannot accept that the solutions of tomorrow are not in the past.


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