Bar Fights

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In my life I have seen some excellent bar fights. Most bar fights are not very entertaining, as one drunk throws a punch at another drunk and it quickly turns into a wrestling match, usually with the two combatants knocking over some chairs and tables on their way to the floor. Once in a while though, you get a good one where the two drunks have the ability to stay upright and the willingness to trade blows. These are the ones that usually start inside, but go outside where they “can settle it like men.”

I once saw a guy setup like Bruce Lee, indicating he was a martial arts guy. He performed a perfectly executed round house kick. His mistake was that the other guy was not a martial arts guy so he ducked and then hit Kung Fu so hard with a right cross that his grandchildren will have headaches. Martial arts man hit the ground like he had been shot and that was the end of it. The crowd went back inside, leaving Kung Fu to search around for what went wrong. When I left he was gone so I guess he lived.

I’ve don’t have much respect for martial arts as a fighting tactic. When I was a little kid, of course, I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Then one day an older boy, known for having a black belt, challenged me to a fight. I shot a single leg take down and then broke his nose in an unnecessarily aggressive cradle. When my father was told of my villainy, he bust out laughing. I learned that you can turn a fight into a wrestling match, but you can never turn a fight into a Karate match. It takes two to karate. That’s why my father put me into wrestling, instead of karate.

I thought of this when I read that UFC star Colin McGregor wants to fight boxer Floyd Mayweather. My guess is that it will never happen, but you never know. There are a lot of UFC fans willing to pay good money to see it. Given the two men’s ability to gain attention with their showboating, I bet they could get a $200 million box office for  a fight. I’d probably buy it, even though I know McGregor would end up in the hospital or graveyard. I like freak shows as much as anyone and it would probably be hilarious.

That’s the thing with UFC. It is a modern freak show. They take tough guys and make believe they are highly skilled fighters. The martial arts stuff is a nice touch, because it distracts people from the fact these guys are just tough guys. They are allowed to use the tactics popular in bar fights, like tackling the other guy and kicking him in the groin. The organizers filter out the guys that are not entertaining and they hype the hell out of the events. It’s great marketing, particularly to young males.

That does not change the reality of the situation. McGregor is an excellent bar fighter, but Mayweather is a highly trained professional boxer. Even under the rules of the UFC, he would beat McGregor senseless in the first minute. My bet is the class of fighter you see at armory fights would beat the best UFC guys. The difference in skill, speed and strength is just too big. To even the odds, the rules would have to be altered heavily in favor of the bar fighter so it becomes a wrestling match, rather than a fight.

That reality is why this fight will never happen. The people running the UFC are too smart to have their best star humiliated. They spend too much time developing and marketing their stars to let one of them get beaten up by a real boxer. That would reveal the truth of it too plainly. Most UFC fans get that they are watching bum fights. They just like the back stories and the carnival of it. They can suspend their disbelief as long as all of the fighters are about the same in terms of skill.

My hunch with the UFC has always been that it is choreographed, like professional wrestling. The Kimbo Slice debacle has not been repeated and that tells me the organizers learned their lesson. A lot of people came away from that experience thinking it was just all hype and no real competition. Ever since, they have tried to keep the matches competitive looking, in order to keep up appearances. Whether they go beyond that to make the shows fun is open to debate. Given the age, my bet is they put their thumb on the scales.

Even if it is all on the level, the people running the UFC did not become billionaires by being stupid and it would be very stupid to have their top star beaten senseless by Floyd Mayweather. That’s why it is highly unlikely that it ever happens, at least not as long as McGregor is under contract with the UFC. Even a $200 million payday would not be enough to risk a billion dollar business. It’s much better to let fans pretend that these bar fighters are real fighters.

Progressive Minstrels

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When I was a kid, the big deal in sports news was Joe Gilliam, the quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Gilliam was the first black quarterback to start a season opener after the AFL–NFL merger in 1970, which is when people date the start of the modern NFL. Gilliam was benched eventually and never got another chance to start in the NFL. There was grumbling that his demotion was because he was black, but his poor play and drinking problems were the real reason. Still, even then, the default was to blame whitey.

What this means is that for my lifetime, the sporting press has been hunting for the great black quarterback. There have been plenty of black quarterbacks, but none have been elite or counted as greats in their era. The closest was probably Warren Moon, but he never won anything. Recently, there’s been an effort to make Cam Newton and Russell Wilson the black Joe Montana, thus proving that white people are Hitler. The trouble is the former is not very good and the latter has no interest in being anyone’s Sambo.

Steve Sailer has a convincing argument as to why black quarterbacks in the NFL tend not to be elite passers, and therefore non-elite quarterbacks. Oddly, the proof of this is a white guys, Tim Tebow. In high school, he was used as a quarterback because he was big and could run. In college, he was used the same way in Urban Meyer’s single-wing system. He had no career in the pros, because he was a terrible passer. If he had been turned into a linebacker in college, he would probably be in the NFL now.

That does not change the Cult’s desire to find the black Tom Brady and now they think the have found their man.

For Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, the hyperbole has turned into reality. Those who gushed over him in the preseason, lavishing over-the-top praise, have found those compliments to be just and warranted.

As the fourth-round rookie has led Dallas to a 10-1 record and taken franchise quarterback Tony Romo’s job, he has earned it all. So while respected trainer Tom Shaw used to whisper the comparisons he saw between pupils Patriots QB Tom Brady and Prescott, he now no longer feels compelled to keep quiet.

“I had Tom Brady coming out of college as a rookie and then the first seven years of his career,” Shaw told NFL.com over the phone on Wednesday night. “And I had the opportunity to work with Dak before the draft. What I noticed about Dak was, this guy had the same desire, work ethic, the same traits as Brady. Nobody wants to be compared to anyone else. But he was the hardest worker, guys gravitate towards him, he was the first one there…”

This urge to make Dak Prescott into Tom Brady in black face is perfectly consistent with Progressive thoughts about black people. They don’t really like black people very much. They like the idea of black people. Progressives have an image of the idealized black guy, the Magic Negro, that they believe will fulfill the prophesies about race in America. Barak Obama is about as close as they have come to finding their Big Foot and he did not usher in the end times. Instead he was a mulatto Jimmy Carter.

That’s the thing with Progressives and race. They don’t care about blacks as people. They see black people as something they can sacrifice on the Progressive altar, in order to get grace. American sportswriters will now be competing with one another in piety displays, showing their wonderfulness by how much they swoon over Dak Prescott. Whether or not the kid has any interest in being their Magic Negro is immaterial. He does not get a say in this as he is just a prop anyway.

Dak Prescott appears to be a level headed young man with no interest in changing his name to Hamilton or dancing on a string for the Progressive media. But, the Left has a way of getting their man, which in these cases means turning the object of their affection into a white-hating public nuisance. Colin Kaepernick started out as a sensible young man enjoying early and unexpected success in the NFL. Now he is the symbol for what has gone wrong with the NFL. Fans cheer for him to get hurt.

John Derbyshire called Hamilton a minstrel show and it is a good label for it. In fact, Progressive race mongering over the last half century has been a long live action minstrel show. Instead of whites in black face, Progressive deploy blacks to play the roles chosen for them. Blacks are just props used by good whites to distinguish themselves from bad whites and, at times, spite those bad whites. If real black people actually benefit, it is an unintended consequence. It’s something Hispanics should bear in mind.

Warning Bells

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What has been happening in the West for the last decade, or so, is a populist reaction to the rise of global technocracy. Globalism is the spiritual-economic model that rewards poor people in poor countries and rich people in rich countries. The rich people in poor countries get a boost, as well, but that is a happy accident. The rich people in rich countries, pushing free trade and open borders, get their spiritual boost from seeing poor strangers rise up to challenge the middle classes in Western countries.

Global technocracy is the administrative off-shoot, where the attendants of the ruling elites take up newly created positions in the growing international administrative bodies. This includes Western universities, which have been deliberately transformed into international indoctrination and propaganda centers. In 1970, for example, Boston University was a commuter school for middle class kids in Massachusetts. Today the student body is close to 50% foreign born. Nowhere is the New Religion more popular than the college campus.

Popular resistance to this new form of governance is striking fear in the hearts of the ruling class, mostly because the people in charge have come to believe their own rhetoric about the arc of history. The people in charge of the EU just assumed everyone wanted the amorphous, gray blob that is Europe, rather than the vibrant national heritage that is their patrimony. Resistance to turning large swaths of Europe into Muslim ghettos has come as a bit of shock to the people in charge. Why wouldn’t people want this?

That fear will eventually be replaced with a response and that response will not be a change of heart. As we see in Europe, the people in charge have no limits when it comes to inflicting harm on their own people, as long as it supports the European project. Angela Merkel invited in a million Muslims, that no one wanted, because she hoped it would weaken the strength of Germany’s native population. Obama opened the flood gates with a similar goal in mind, but he was just a bit too late to stop Trump.

Anyway, that’s my reaction to this column in the New York Times. It reads like a planning session, by managerial class types, about how to de-legitimize the resistance.

Political scientists have a theory called “democratic consolidation,” which holds that once countries develop democratic institutions, a robust civil society and a certain level of wealth, their democracy is secure.

For decades, global events seemed to support that idea. Data from Freedom House, a watchdog organization that measures democracy and freedom around the world, shows that the number of countries classified as “free” rose steadily from the mid-1970s to the early 2000s. Many Latin American countries transitioned from military rule to democracy; after the end of the Cold War, much of Eastern Europe followed suit. And longstanding liberal democracies in North America, Western Europe and Australia seemed more secure than ever.

But since 2005, Freedom House’s index has shown a decline in global freedom each year. Is that a statistical anomaly, a result of a few random events in a relatively short period of time? Or does it indicate a meaningful pattern?

Mr. Mounk and Mr. Foa developed a three-factor formula to answer that question. Mr. Mounk thinks of it as an early-warning system, and it works something like a medical test: a way to detect that a democracy is ill before it develops full-blown symptoms.

The first factor was public support: How important do citizens think it is for their country to remain democratic? The second was public openness to nondemocratic forms of government, such as military rule. And the third factor was whether “antisystem parties and movements” — political parties and other major players whose core message is that the current system is illegitimate — were gaining support.

You’ll note that there is nothing in there about the conduct of the ruling class. If whatever they are calling “democracy” at the moment produces degenerates like the Clinton Crime Family or easily manipulated airheads like Bush or Obama, people are going to get suspicious of whatever you’re calling democracy. Of course, the fact that democracy, strictly speaking, is just mob rule, is not addressed. According to our betters, the Founders were a bunch of Nazis, because they opposed democracy.

The big point is the last one. Any resistance to the status quo will now be classified as anti-democratic. This is, of course, a backdoor way of smearing anyone who questions the wisdom of allowing unaccountable bureaucrats free rein to rearrange the social order, based on theories popular only on the college campus. It is a lot easier to call critics immoral and beyond the pale, than it is to debate them, so there will now be a healthy market for intellectuals, who can demonize the resistance to the status quo.

The humorous part of the story is this bit.

According to the Mounk-Foa early-warning system, signs of democratic deconsolidation in the United States and many other liberal democracies are now similar to those in Venezuela before its crisis.

Across numerous countries, including Australia, Britain, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden and the United States, the percentage of people who say it is “essential” to live in a democracy has plummeted, and it is especially low among younger generations.

For the last decade or so, it was popular on the Official Right to use Venezuela as a club to beat their liberal buddies over the head. Now those liberal buddies, having lost an election, are using it to beat their “conservative” buddies over the head. What’s funny about it is that the people who voted for Trump did so as a rejection of the Official Right, as much as a rejection of the Left. The Punch and Judy Show among defenders of the managerial class has lost its audience.

The fact is, democracy is a disaster. It’s a free shot for despots and lunatics to gain power, at which point they put an end to democracy. Democracy is a bus that runs in one direction and only has one destination – authoritarianism. It’s why sensible men of the Right, notice the qualifier, have preferred ordered liberty in the form of representative self-government. It permits the state to be responsible to popular will, but it protects the citizens from themselves and their worst instincts.

The Power of Belief

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When I was a young man, I dated a girl who had a crazy uncle. He was a math whiz and he had worked at NASA on the Apollo missions. He was one of those wacky professor types, who enjoyed being eccentric more than he was good at it. In other words, his eccentric routine was a bit contrived. Even so, he was a character and I enjoyed spending time around him. We would play chess and talk about history. He was not very good at chess, but he knew a lot about history and he enjoyed debating it with anyone interested.

The thing that was puzzling about him was that he was a way out where the buses don’t run Progressive. He would rant about how private property was the ruin of humanity and the cause of all trouble. This was a very smart man with a firm grasp of advanced mathematics and a deep knowledge of history. Yet, when it came to politics, he was as nutty as a sociology professor at a state college. As soon as current politics came up in conversation, he went from normal to moonbat.

I was reminded of it reading this post by Steven Landsburg. His blog exists to promote his books, but he posts about other stuff too. A fun book to read is The Big Questions, which is overly ambitious and hilariously wrong at points, but still a fun read. From the blog post:

For your consideration:

I submit that Hillary Clinton lost because she did not make even a minimal effort to make herself palatable to people like me — people who care primarily about economic growth, fiscal responsibility, limited government, individual freedom and respect for voluntary arrangements.

Because I care about those things (and for a number of other good and sufficient reasons), there was never a chance I would vote for Donald Trump. I gave money to Jeb Bush. Then I gave money to Ted Cruz. Then I gave money to the “Never Trump” movement that was trying to foment a revolt at the convention. Then I gave money to pro-growth Senate candidates. For me, the only remaining choice was between voting for Clinton and not voting for Clinton. (I also considered sending her money.)

I knew that if I voted for her, I’d never feel good about it. That was too much to ask. But I’d still have voted for her, if only she hadn’t gone out of her way to make me feel awful about it. And that she just would not or could not stop doing.

Landsburg is a bright guy with a broad knowledge base. He has a PhD in mathematics.Yet, he is instinctively drawn to the Cult like a moth to a flame. That post reads like a personal struggle. He was drawn to one anti-Trump cause after another, not for logical reasons, but emotional ones. That was inevitably going to lead him to supporting Hillary Clinton, which would nullify all of his previous arguments about economics, politics and philosophy. But, Trump, the terrible Trump!

If you have read Landsburg, you know he is an open borders fanatic and a free trade zealot. The fact that neither of these positions makes any sense is not important to him. They offer an outlet for his missionary zeal and a way to get grace on the cheap. Salvation is a huge part of what drives the fanatic. Since modern fanatics no longer believe in God or the soul, they have fashioned economic theories and arguments to fill in these blanks. At the heart of their zeal lies the age old religious impulse to save the world.

Now, there’s another aspect to this. The most prominent libertarians live on the adult day care centers we call the college campus. Others live in the satellite version called the think tank. Most of their friends are in the Cult and often quite passionate about it. As a result, the most prominent libertarians spend their days trying to carve out an exception for themselves that does not vex their peers. Going in for the lunacy of NeverTrump was a cheap way to earn piety points with the nut jobs on campus.

Still, it is a good reminder that you can be highly intelligent and also have a head full of nonsense. J. B. S. Haldane was, by all accounts, a brilliant man. He was also a committed Marxist, even when it became clear that Marxism was a death cult. Lots of brilliant people were attracted to communism in the 20th century, despite the irrationality of it. Today, the blank slate beliefs of Progressives are catnip for intellectuals, even though a walk around any shopping mall offers ample evidence to contradict it. It just feels good to believe.

 

The High Cost of Free Trade

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The Wall Street Journal has a story on the troubles facing Chinese tech giant Huawei as it tries to enter the US mobile phone market.

A Chinese technology giant, whose telecom networking equipment is shut out of the U.S. due to security concerns, is bringing its high-end smartphone to American consumers for the first time.

But a number of obstacles are blocking Huawei Technologies Co.’s path to success in the U.S. smartphone market.

U.S. carriers, which distribute more than 80% of handsets in the country, are reluctant to work with Huawei—the world’s third-largest smartphone maker by shipments behind Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc.—because of its low brand recognition and security concerns associated with its networking equipment, people familiar with the matter say. A 2012 congressional report recommended that U.S. carriers avoid using Huawei gear in their networks for fear that China might use it to spy on Americans. Huawei has denied such accusations, saying it operates independently of Beijing.

Much of what goes on in the modern age requires people to deny observable reality. China is an authoritarian state, run by a military government, that is highly paranoid of the outside world. Paranoia about the non-Chinese world is a feature of Chinese culture, a permanent feature. The type of government can change, but the Chinese elite will always view the rest of the world as smelly barbarians that must be kept under control. China is probably the most chauvinistic society on earth.

The result of this is that no Chinese firm operates independent of Beijing. Any company large enough to export to the rest of the world, or import from the rest of the world, is in bed with the Chinese government. More important, any tech firm big enough to play on the global stage is deeply connected to the Chinese military, because they could not be so big without the blessing and active support of the People’s Liberation Army. This is something everyone knows, except for the writers of the Wall Street Journal.

The result is trade with China comes with a hidden cost. If you move your electronics making factory to China, they will steal your technology. They will also do things like bake spyware and back doors into networking gear so the the PLA can exploit US communications networks. That means the US has to spend billions in counter-espionage activities in order to prevent the Chinese from running off with all of our secrets. This is just one example of the hidden costs of trade with China.

It’s not just China. We have so-called free trade with Mexico. The result was not trade in the way normal people think of it. What happened was dirty US manufacturers located their plants to Mexico. Companies looking to game the labor laws followed soon after. Mexico is not selling us more stuff and buying more of our stuff. Mexico is just a loophole in US labor and environmental laws. If you make lead-acid batteries, for example, putting the battery plant in Mexico in the right move.

The problem is those environmental costs don’t go away. The Mexican government estimates that 10% of their GDP is lost due to the effects of environmental degradation. Go to Mexico City and the air is like soup. Of course, environmental degradation does not stay local. Air pollution in one place goes global as the winds change. The fevered attempts to ban your car and lawnmower in order to reduce carbon emissions are mostly due to “developing” countries like China and Mexico.

Of course, you also have the labor problem. Making car batteries in the US means people working in a car battery factory. Move those jobs to Mexico and we do get slightly cheaper car batteries, but we get more unemployed people. The unemployed car battery worker is not taking up a self-actualizing career at the George Mason economics department. He’s going on the dole or drifting down the economic scale. At low levels, the trade-offs seem worthwhile, but once you scale this up the costs metastasize.

There’s also another hidden cost to free trade. Donald Trump rode to the White House on the promise of reorienting trade in the patriotic direction. All the beautiful people thought the issue was settled. Everyone they knew was a free trader. The same was true in Britain with regards to EU membership. Open borders and free trade are obviously all good with no bad, according to the beautiful people. In both cases, the Dirt People had other ideas and rallied to the banner of patriotic trade and nationalism.

The reason for this is so-called free trade erodes public trust. People assume politicians are crooked and dishonest. Even so, they expect their government to put their interests, the nation’s interests, ahead of the interests of foreigners. They may be crooks, but they are our crooks. Free trade and open borders break that contract as the state ends up siding with strangers over the citizens. The citizens soon begin to question the value of citizenship and their support for the state. The consequences are inevitable.

A good rule of life is that anytime a well understood word suddenly gets a modifier, you know a caper is afoot. Trade is something people always understood. One group of people trades their excess for the excess of another group of people. Mexico sends Canada sombreros, while the Canadians send Mexico beaver hats. Free-trade is something else entirely. It is a collection of loopholes, so well-connected industries can get all the benefits of the state, but shift the costs onto others. Those cost are often quite high.

Trade between nations is a good thing. America selling pop culture to China makes it tough for China to be bellicose and belligerent. China selling cheap manufactured good to America prevents domestic firms from becoming lazy and stupid. American cars are vastly better due to competition with Japan. China scrupulously looks out for her interests and America should do the same. If that means the snowflakes on campus have to pay a little more for their iPhone, so be it. In the long run, it is a bargain for them and their countrymen.

The End of the High Church

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Years ago, I had cause to be at the Episcopal cathedral in Albany for a mass. A friend was being ordained into the church as a priest, so I went up to celebrate the occasion with his family. I noted the subtle beauty of the church, particularly inside. It just oozed tradition, which is quite imposing in the spiritual setting. The outside of the building was rather plain, which is what made the inside impressive. I walked in expecting a utilitarian facility and instead I walked into a beautiful cathedral with arches and stained glass.

The mass was not well attended, despite the fact there were half a dozen people being minted as priests that day. My guess, at the time, was that most of the people were relatives of the condemned. Talking a bit with some people after the mass, I was told that attendance at Episcopal services in the area was down to a sprinkling and most of the regulars were old people. If what I saw in Albany is typical for the church as a whole, I’d bet they are finished in a generation at best. A church without worshipers is a building.

This is a common story with mainline Protestant churches. The local Presbyterian Church is lightly attended and the average age is somewhere in the 60’s. They used to have a grammar school, but that closed. They still run a daycare center, but I suspect that is just a business. They hope that the mothers dropping off their kids will decide to attend services at some point. Until then it is a cash relationship for services rendered. There’s a good chance government subsidies play some role as the kids are mostly black.

Part of what has destroyed the mainline Protestant churches is their full-throated embrace of Progressive lunacy. At my friend’s ordination, three of the people ordained were woman. Judging by the haircuts, all three were lesbians. Gay marriage is a huge issue in these churches, driving off the sensible and leaving only those who see Christianity as a vehicle for Progressive activism. Many of these churches are no longer Christian, as a theological matter. They are just Progressive meeting houses for the deranged.

If you are a normal person, the mainline Protestant churches have nothing to offer but endless lectures about the joys of liberalism. It’s a familiar pattern. First the women take over, then the men leave, except for the guys willing to take orders from the gals. Then the normal women bolt. This boiling off of the sensible eventually leaves the crazies in charge of the organization. Before long the freak flag is hoisted and it is the bar in Star Wars. It’s the pattern we saw with Labour in Britain and the Democrats in the US.

A similar thing seems to be happening in the Catholic Church, which had managed to resist the same fate until recently. The turning point appears to have been the sex scandals, which have been used by the lunatics to push out the sensible. It’s also emptied the pews in many parts of the world, as parishioners simply could not tolerate the handling of these cases. The conservatives in the Church should have gone on the offensive to purge the pink monasteries and the buggerers. Instead they surrendered.

It is hard to know if the Red Pope will live long enough to destroy the Church, but he will certainly cripple it. There is only one good response to the death of Fidel Castro and that is “enjoy hell.” That’s true for the Pope, as well. It’s perfectly fine for the religious to pray for the souls of the wicked, but it is not required. The Pope should be the one guy making that point, but instead he took the opportunity to celebrate the life of a homicidal maniac. The reason is Fidel belongs to the same Church as the Pope – the Communist Church.

What’s happening with the Catholic Church is it is following the same path as the Protestant churches. They are inviting in people from other religions, thinking they will be Catholic first and communist or Progressive second. It never works that way. The secular faith always comes first, which is why you can never find a liberal Catholic, who is pro-life. Their liberal faith will never tolerate opposition to abortion and their liberalism trumps everything else. A man cannot have two religions; one must be dominant.

The demise of the high church in the West was inevitable. Big, highly organized organizations need protection from the state to survive. McDonalds cannot exist without government protection. This is especially true of churches, which often challenge the wishes of the rulers. It’s why the Catholics were willing to cut deals with both communists and fascists. It is why the Orthodox Church supports Putin. No above ground church can exist at war with the ruling class. They always have to cut a deal.

When the the ruling classes of the West began to abandon their Christianity, it was just a matter of time. Students of the French Revolution know that the radical’s hostility to the Church started with economics, but quickly became ideological. As the religion of the Western ruling classes became one version of leftism or another, hostility to the high church was inevitable. It took longer in the US than Europe, but we are well on our way to see the elimination of the main churches.

Irrepressible Conflict

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This long, rambling post by Jonathan Haidt is interesting for a number of reasons. Haidt is one of the few mainstream intellectuals who takes the hate-thinker community seriously. He’s not an ally, but he does not dismiss, out of hand, the cultural and moral arguments coming from the Right. Recently he has been writing about the popular resistance to globalism popping up all over the West. He appears to be searching for a way to reconcile elite globalism with what I call national populism.

Given what is happening at the ballot box, the next big thing among public intellectuals will be crafting ways to repackage globalism in order to make it more palatable to a skeptical public. The political class is in a panic, as all their old tricks are suddenly not fooling anyone. As a result, there is a demand for new rhetoric and tactics, but also a demand for new polices that will appeal to the voters. One thing public intellectuals do not do is miss an opportunity to monetize a crisis.

The trouble they will run into, as they search around for ways to sound a more populist tone, is that the underpinnings of the managerial class are incompatible with national populism. In fact, a big reason for the populist rumblings is the otherness of the people in charge of our societies. Turn on a television and the news is full of smug experts dismissively discussing the “white working class” and the “uneducated males” as if they were describing a trip to the African bush. There’s no way to make that sound good.

It is not just a matter of aesthetics. Even if you can somehow knock the smug off these people and give them a respectful vocabulary, they are still left trying to reconcile the irreconcilable. For instance, patriotism and multiculturalism can never coexist. The former assumes a set of value judgments based on nationality and ethnicity. The latter explicitly rejects those values. In fact, multiculturalism is nothing more than the nullification of patriotism and nationalism. There’s no squaring that circle.

The bigger issue is that the prevailing morality of the managerial class rests upon a set of contradictions that can never be reconciled. For instance, we are forever lectured about the glories of diversity. In fact, “diverse” has become an abracadabra word for our betters. Cruise through the on-line job advertisements and you will find a phrase about how the firm celebrates diversity. Marketing firms go to ridiculous lengths to make sure their ads have lots of diversity, even when it has no value to the sales pitch.

Yet, if anyone dares notice diversity in public, the people in charge will land on him like Puritan witch hunters. One of the hilarious parts of reading crime stories is how the reporters go to great lengths to conceal the race of the criminal. We end up with stories about a “tall man with a red cap” being jailed for murder. The result of this absurd contradiction is that diversity has become synonymous with danger and the promotion of it erodes trust in the people promoting it.

Similarly, the ruling class makes a fetish of democracy and free speech. We’re constantly told that the end point of human society is one where all people have a say in government and can speak freely in public. Yet, we see the ruling class working to defeat the results of democracy and cripple the free exchange of ideas. The systemic rigging of the Democratic primary is one example. The shenanigans on the social media platforms to eliminate dissent reveals a deep distrust of free speech and the marketplace of ideas.

For the managerial class, democracy is just a bus to ride from one point to another. Once the destination is reached, they get off the bus. The votes on gay marriage are a good example. They kept having votes until the right answer was reached. When that failed, they just had the court reference the invisible amendments to declare gay marriage a time honored natural right. This happened in Europe with referendums on he EU. Voting became a meaningless exercise to keep up appearances.

The fact is, the meritocratic system that supports the managerial class is ruthlessly authoritarian. If you don’t check the right boxes, you cannot advance. This system is by design intended to boil off anything resembling dissent or innovation. It is why the Buckley Right locked shields with the Left in opposition to Trump. Their loyalty is to a system that has bestowed credentials and honors on them, along with a lifestyle they could never achieve outside in the dreaded private sector. Political ideology is just a decoration.

A system that cannot tolerate dissent and makes war on anything that challenges it, cannot be made compatible with popular resistance to its polices. The managerial class can search about for tactics and language to try and square this circle, but they are faced with an irrepressible conflict. We either have normal countries with popular governments, responsive to the will of the people, or, we have an authoritarian, technocratic managerial state. It’s one or the other, but not both.

Football

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I’ve always been a sportsball fan. I’ve joked that I’d watch ant wrestling if they put it on television. My sports passion does not manifest itself equally across all sports. I’ll watch the international kick-ball tournaments, but I have zero interest in European league play or the MLS. Baseball is a sport I listen to, more than watch. I’ll often put a game on and read a book, paying attention as the situation warrants. American football is a TV-only sport for me. The same is true of hockey.

For me, Thanksgiving weekend is one of the best sports watching weekends of the year. I’m not a big fan of the NFL anymore, but I enjoy the Thursday games. The big draw is the college rivalry games. Friday and Saturday are packed with old fashioned grudge matches where the records don’t matter. The players on both sides are fueled by a good old fashioned hatred of the other guys. You don’t have to be a fan of the teams to enjoy the games because you know they count.

My guess is I love the rivalry games because I played sports as a kid. As a freshman in high school, the week we played our arch-rival in football was almost overwhelming. Freshman played on the freshman team, but we still played our nemesis at the end of the year. All week the older boys reminded us of what it meant. By the game, all of us wanted to kill the other guys. The only thing better than facing your enemy on the ball field is walking off the field triumphant.

In Dublin, I struggled to explain American football to the locals because they could not grasp the brutality of the game. In my first rivalry game, I hit a kid so hard I heard the air escape his lungs. He was left gasping for air like a fish. To play football requires a reckless disregard for your physical well-being. That’s the thrill of it as a player. Add in the rivalries and the traditions and it is as close a young man can get to being a gladiator. Wrestling and boxing are the only comparisons.

Anyway, watching all of the rivalry games is good fun for me and I look forward to it every year. What struck me watching the games yesterday is that football is no longer a sport played in parts of the country. That’s obvious when you look at college ball. There are no good teams in the Northeast. Penn State would be the one exception, but Western Pennsylvania is more Midwest than northeast. There’s also the fact the players they recruit are from the South and Midwest.

If you look at New England, which is the most feminized part of the country, the high school football is laughably bad. No major colleges recruit the region. Their local colleges are not very good either. The one exception is New Hampshire, which is good enough to make the play-offs, but just barely. The rest of the colleges range from really terrible to just terrible. Boston College is the one major college program in New England and they are one of the worst major college programs in the nation.

Looking at the top division, the Power Five conferences, you have Boston College, Syracuse, Rutgers, Maryland, Pittsburgh and Penn State. Their combined record against their FBS opponents is 21-and-35. That includes the two teams that get most of their players from the Midwest. No one in Western Pennsylvania thinks of themselves as Northeastern. Net out those schools and the Northeast is 7-and-29 this year. That’s about as bad as it get in the college game.

This is not just a college phenomenon. In the South, high school football teams have to cut players because they have so many boys trying out every year. In New England, they struggle to field teams and the players all play both ways. I know parents in New England that would not allow their boys to play football because it was too rough. There’s also the firm belief that anything girls can’t do must be immoral so it must be stopped. The result is a dying sports culture.

It’s not just that the men in these Progressive strongholds are wimps. There’s also a demographic issue. New England is the nation’s oldest region. Whenever I go to Boston, I’m always struck by how old it is. There are loads of students around the colleges, but outside those areas it is mostly older people. It’s also mostly white people too. New England is honky town. Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire are the three whitest states in the country. Massachusetts is 8% black.

I’ll also note that the war on football via the concussion issue started in Boston. The hysteria over concussions has all the trappings of junk science, driven by fanatics, rather than facts. Blows to the head are never a good thing, but these people are claiming football causes ALS, which is quackery on stilts. My guess here is the Cold Civil War is at the root of this. Football is a Southern sport now so that means the neo-Puritans of New England must try to ban it as immoral.

Given how things happen in America, my guess is football is headed for the same end as boxing. Once the vinegar drinking shrews of New England decided boxing was bad, boxing slowly disappeared from the public sphere. I grew up seeing pro fights on daytime TV. Now you have to buy fights via pay-per-view, as if it is pornography. The best fighters these days are not Americans because American parents will not let their boys go to a boxing gym.

Of course, the future is not written. We may be at peak lunacy with places like New England. The rest of the nation loves football and loves the masculine traditions that surround it. Watch Alabama – Auburn and you see girls being girts and boys being boys, just as their parents and grandparents. No amount of preaching by prim-faced lesbians from Boston is going to change that reality. But, I used to think that about other things that have been banned by the Left.

The Cult of Anti-Racism

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The ridiculous lecturing of Mike Pence, from the cast of Hamilton the other day, is a good reminder that religions are highly adaptive. The Progressive nutters quickly went from smug triumphalism the day of the election to declaring themselves the new Freedom Riders, fighting the segregationists. Within hours of the result, race hustling grifters like Jamelle Bouie were spinning fantasies where he and his hotep brothers were spontaneously organizing a black underground resistance movement.

The musical Hamilton is flypaper for moonbats, because it titillates their fantasies about race. Progressive don’t actually like real flesh and blood black people very much, which is why they avoid them. Take a look at the liberal bastions of America and you always find urban reservations for the folks who likes to keep it realz. It’s why big cities are using housing gimmicks to ship their blacks to the suburbs. Gentrification is just Progressive ethnic cleansing.

No, Progressives prefer their black people to be like the ones in their fantasy version of America. These are blacks like Obama. Black but, you know, not really black. As Steve Sailer put it, Obama is the nation’s first black wigger. It is one of life’s great ironies that the ideal black man on the Left is an exotic mulatto, who acts and sounds like an Oreo. Most people would have preferred President Camacho, but in the Progressive paradise, everything is drained of color, even the black guys.

Half a century ago, Progressive radicals adopted anti-racism as a tactic. It let them lever themselves into positions of political authority by first establishing their moral authority. The old honkies on the Left, who wanted economic justice for all Americans, were pushed aside by the New Left, who promised racial justice. In the 60’s and 70’s, these new anti-racists took over the Left and when the Cold War ended, they came to dominate it.

The trouble with moral causes like anti-racism, is there is no limiting principle, so it quickly went from political expedient to religious tenet. You can’t really be anti-racist enough. How does one define the anti-racist paradise? It’s why they are always chanting about the “more work needs to be done.” It’s also why they have developed a fetish for miscegenation. The only way there can be no racism is if there are no races and the way to achieve that is inter-breeding.

It’s why the genetic test kit companies like doing ads where the customer discovers she is not what she was told. No one in these ads learns they are 100% pure honky. Instead, the person always learns they are a beef stew of different ethnic tribes. There’s even one with a middle-aged cat lady type learning that she has some American Indian in he blood. You can be sure she went right out and bought some dream catchers and started talking about her spirit guide.

The one exception is a white man delighted to learn he is not German. instead he is a mix of groups from the British Isles. He was, of course, thankful to learn he was not a Nazi. The message being sent in these ads is that even though race and ethnicity are biological reality, inter-breeding makes it unimportant. Most likely the people running these firms know better, but they also know they are on dangerous ground. They make these ads to keep the anti-racist wackos off their back.

Progressives may have built the still and cooked up the anti-racist moonshine, but the Official Right is just as drunk off the concoction as the Left. This post on the Federalist is a good example of how people, thinking they are conservatives, buy into all the anti-racism stuff. The author of that piece is sure that race relations were just fine until Trump and his voters broke some deal we are just learning about now. It’s as if the author is unaware of the last decade.

The other day, National Review editor Rich Lowry had a piece up begging the Left to not cast him and his fellows into the pit reserved for the racists. Despite the fact that Trump is the most diversity celebrating President in American history, the boys and girls of the Official Right™ accept the Left’s claims about his racism, simply because Trump does not attend the Church of Anti-Racism. It is how the hive mind works. You’re either inside the walls or outside the walls. There are no gray areas.

Steve Sailer is convinced this is just a conspiracy to reclaim the urban landscape. To some degree he is right, but that’s a downstream consequence. As anti-racism has become a defining feature of the Progressive sense of self, these schemes to hide away dis-confirmation have become a natural defense mechanism. Shipping the ghetto out to flyover country is just a way to hide the problem from the new modern hipsters in gentrified areas.