An Ethnocentric Death Cult

Is neoconservativism just ethnocentric millenarianism? The neocons tend toward the apocalyptic in their language and they always wear the mask of the righteous when discussing the issues they view as central to the narrative of their faith. You never hear a neocon say that “well, good people can disagree.” Instead, they describe those with whom they disagree as the epitome of evil, usually as agents of the current stand-in for you know who. Their lust for war suggests a strong desire to immanentize the eschaton.

We tend to think of suicide cults as groups of lonely losers, preyed on by a charismatic sociopath, who convinces them of the coming end times. They either come to the movement convinced that only a cataclysm can set things right or they become convinced by the teachings of the cult that the great reckoning is at hand. It’s fairly typical, according to people who study the phenomenon, for the people in these movements to see themselves as a put upon minority, operating as a sanctuary for the righteous.

While it is true that millenarianism tends to operate on the fringes of society, it is not a requirement. The prophets of the Jewish Bible are basically outsiders interpreting events in the context of an apocalyptic timetable, but Judaism itself is defined by such a timetable. Judaism is the belief in a Messiah, who will deliver Jews from their enemies and rule over a Jewish kingdom.¹ Christianity is founded on the idea of a second coming, when Christ will return to reign as king with the just, both living and dead.²

The point here is that a belief in the end times or a foreboding sense of a coming cataclysm is not necessarily fringe or crazy. In fact, it is common in human societies, suggesting it is a common tendency in people. Therefore it is not outside the realm of possibility that neoconservativsim is, at its root, a form of millenarianism. It certainly has a strong Levantine edge to it and the adherents clearly view themselves as an oppressed minority in the Biblical sense, despite their elevated status in the culture and politics.

In fact, it is a curious feature of neoconservativism today. When anyone notices that it was explicitly Jewish at its founding and is almost exclusively Jewish today, the neocon cries out, demanding the person noticing be punished. It’s as if noticing what is a defining feature, something the founders of the cult advertised, causes the adherents physical pain. What is often interpreted as subversive obfuscation, could very well be typical cult behavior. People in cults seek to disappear, which is why they joined the cult.

Just watch the body language in this interview of Noah Rothman done by Tucker Carlson the other night. What looks like a sociopath’s gambit, the lying by omission and half truths, can also be interpreted as a fear response. Rothman is promoting World War III with Russia, calling anyone not down with nuclear winter an agent of Putin, who is the current stand in for you know who. When Carlson focuses on what Rothman has written, putting the focus on him as an individual, Rothman physically recoils, like he is being assaulted.

Whether or not neoconservatism is a cult is debatable, but what is not debatable is the lust for the final great confrontation. For obvious reasons, neocons oscillate with rapturous enthusiasm whenever war in the Levant is mentioned, but they are obsessed with the great final conflict between good an evil. Their ancestral hatred for Russia is one element, but most neocons were weened on the belief that a nuclear war with Russian was inevitable. It is entirely possible that the belief has come to define them as individuals.

They also seem to think Trump is a sign of the coming end times, when the great battle between the righteous and the wicked will reach its denouement. So much so that guys like Noah Rothman argue it is time usher in that final battle. This from a guy who would soil himself in a physical confrontation. As Tucker Carlson has recently started to mention, hatred of Donald Trump is now bringing the neocons in league with the Progressives, by turning the Left into vocal advocates for violence against opponents at home and abroad.

It is tempting to write-off the neocons as lounge chair imperialists with divided loyalties, but the central theme to their warmongering is always Russia. Their general lack of interest in confronting China, which a real threat to the US, or Mexico, which is a collapsing narco-state on our border, suggests violence is not the core issue. We launch drone attacks all over the Middle East, we could certainly drone Mexican drug cartels. If the neocon just wanted blood, that would be a much more promising target, but they ignore it.

Their singular focus is Russia. Even their opposition to Trump is based on his unwillingness to talk about Putin as you know who. If you list all of the neocon wars and wish-for wars, Russia is the common theme. The defining characteristic of the neocon is a hatred for Russia, viewing it as the Mordor in the great battle between the righteous and the wicked. Their reason to exist, the point of their lives, is to rally the faithful in the final confrontation. Whatever it was, neoconservatism now functions like a death cult.

¹I know.

²I know.

Wimps and Lotto Winners

I did not spend a lot of time following the Mark Zuckerberg morality play put on by our “representatives” on Tuesday. These shows are highly choreographed and amount to nothing. The alleged victim is given the questions a week in advance and he prepares with professional acting coaches so he can deliver the scripted answers with the right amount of emotion. Given that Faceberg donated to 85% of the people questioning him, the whole thing was really just a chance for the Senate to meet their boss and polish his apple.

What’s interesting to me though is that Zuckerberg is a wimp. Look at the pics of him coming into the event and sitting for the show, and he looks nothing like what one would expect from a captain of industry. The joke on social media is that he is actually a lizard or maybe a robot, bit in reality he is just a middle-aged teenager, more worried he will get a zit on his nose than about conquering mankind. He’s not an exception. Look around at the oligarchy and you don’t find many tough guys. We are ruled by girly-men.

The other thing that’s true about our over-class is they have all hit the lottery. Facebook is a crappy platform that was a slight improvement over MySpace. It just happened to get the right investors at the right time and the miracle of the credit economy took over. They say, and this is most certainly not true, that Facebook has 2.2 billion users. Many of them are cats and inanimate objects, for sure, but that’s still a big number. Somehow that translates to a $479 billion market cap, making young Zuckerberg one of the richest men on earth.

The thing is though, ruling elites of the past were mostly stocked with tough guys who out-competed other tough guys in order to get the top spot. In fact, up until very recent, you had to be a ruthless badass with unlimited amounts of personal courage to get to the top of society. Harald Bluetooth did not get to be king of Denmark and Norway because he was socially awkward and struggled with the ladies. Today, our oligarchs are the sort of men who get woozy from a paper cut. They may be ruthless, but they are not tough guys.

In fact, few of them have ever experienced anything resembling adversity. Zuckerberg was born into a nice upper-class life, went to Harvard and then rode the warm thermals of the credit economy to Silicon Valley. The noodle-armed CEO of twitter, Jack Dorsey, is another guy who basically hit the lottery. Under normal circumstances, he would have ended up as the IT manager at a successful mid-market company. Instead, he is worth $4 billion and is one of the people who capriciously regulates the public square.

This probably explains why the big tech companies are actually run by domineering women, skilled at pushing around beta males. Zuckerberg pretty much does what Sheryl Sandberg tells him to do. It would surprise no one if she made him wear a gimp suit at the office. The Slim Jim salesman is led around by Susan Wojcicki. She forced him to fire James Damore. Jack Dorsey actually created a council of cat ladies to take turns telling him what to do. Our ruling class is bitter feminists and billionaire beta males.

The one place where this is not the case is finance. The world of global banking and deal making is still a world dominated by men. You don’t have barren spinsters from human resources, flying through the halls of Goldman Sachs, terrorizing the traders because of their toxic masculinity. There’s plenty of PC nonsense, but it is just for decoration, to say they are doing their part. Success is still defined by results and that means it is a world of men willing to rip the lungs out of the next guy to cut a deal and get ahead.

Wall Street is not Main Street and that especially applies to the culture. The world of global finance can effect daily life for Americans, but only in a material way. It’s also indirect, effecting things like interest rates and mortgage lending. The vinegar drinking scolds running the culture do have a direct impact on daily life. They now control what you read and what you can say in public. As a result, America is now a daycare center run by sadist, connected to a thriving bank. It’s Goldman Sachs on Sesame Street.

It’s fun to assume this can’t last and that it will end in tears. There are no examples of a society run by women, which is why female historians are busy conjuring examples from the mythical past. The way to bet is that old Aristophanes was correct. On the other hand, the present condition did not spring from nothing. Maybe the glorious future is a version of what Wells imagined. The great bulk of society will live as children, ruled over by a class of schoolmarms. On occasion, someone gets hurled into the void as a lesson to the rest.

The Gathering Darkness

Christopher Caldwell wrote in Reflections on the Revolution in Europe, “One moves swiftly and imperceptibly from a world in which affirmative action can’t be ended because its beneficiaries are too weak to a world in which it can’t be ended because its beneficiaries are too strong.” It is a wonderful observation that applies to much more than just affirmative action. It seems to apply to all aspect of Progressivism. Today’s minority view is tomorrows absolute, inviolable dogma. It happens so quickly, no one seems to notice.

That’s been the way with Progressives and science. It used to be common to see a Subaru or Volvo decorated with a Darwin fish. The point was to let the world know that the driver was a good liberal, who embraced reason, rather than superstition. Of course, the other point was to stick it to Christians, who the Left had declared their primary enemy somewhere in the middle of the last century. Even so, science was a big part of how Progressives defined themselves. Then suddenly, imperceptibly, the opposite was true.

That’s what we are seeing with the response to David Reich’s book, Who We Are and How We Got Here and the subsequent articles he has written about his research. The great Greg Cochran has been reviewing the book, pointing out the bizarre contortions Reich goes through in order to avoid having his lab burned down. It’s a bit of an exaggeration to say that Reich fears an angry torch wielding mob, but it is only a small exaggeration. Many careers have been ruined by getting on the wrong side of the mob.

Understandably, Cochran takes exception to much of this, because he is a true man of science. He values truth above all else. He has no patience for the political, and now theological, nonsense that saturates the modern academy. There’s also a personal aspect to it, as Reich takes some cheap shots at the late Henry Harpending, who was Cochran’s colleague for many years. They collaborated on The 10,000 Year Explosion and on this groundbreaking paper. Cochran can be forgiven for taking this a bit personal.

On the other hand though, David Reich is not an old guy with his career behind him and his retirement vested. He is in his prime years as a scientist and as such he has to be careful to not upset the mullahs in the orthodoxy. That’s why he is going through these ham-handed efforts to inoculate himself against the charge of heresy. The morality police may not burn down his lab, but they are more than happy to burn down his career. If they will hurl a giant like James Watson into the void, they will not flinch at David Reich.

If you are old enough to remember the 1980’s, you remember a time when it was Progressives chanting about free speech, the need for independent media and the glories of scientific inquiry. Today, it feels like a million years ago, only because none of it is true now and not just in small ways. Progressives have swung so far in the opposite direction, becoming what they always claimed they were fighting, it is impossible to imagine them being otherwise. A younger person must assume it has always been this way.

The funny thing is that our Progressive mullahs are probably worse than the people who suppressed Galileo. Relatively speaking, they are worse than Torquemada. The old inquisitor was quite lenient, relevant to the age, when stealing a cow could get you hanged. Galileo’s trouble with the Church had as much to do with politics and his personal squabbles as science. Today, the people in charge take a perverse pleasure in destroying the life of a heretic. Billionaires now hunt Dirt People on-line for sport.

If you are in the human sciences, none of this is lost on you. If you read academic papers, they have become so thick with jargon and statistics, they are impenetrable to all but the people in the field. Some of it is the normal pattern of group behavior, but some of it is a defense against the charge of heresy. Instead of writing coded notes in the margins of approved texts, people in the human sciences rely on impenetrable gibberish and  eye-glazing statistics. Race has now become “ancestry group”, for example.

One thing that is clear, in hindsight, is that Church efforts to contain the growth of scientific inquiry were a rearguard action. The institutional place of the Church was not toppled by science and reason. The role of religious institutions was already diminishing with the rise of the secular institutions and the spread of commerce. The clergy was no longer the richest faction in European society. Their efforts to re-impose their order on society was reactionary and doomed. The world was changing and the feudal era was ending.

Perhaps something similar is happening with Progressives and human sciences. Their embrace of reason was always like their embrace of liberal democracy, socialism and social reform. It is as a means to an end. Free speech was a bus they rode from their position outside the academy, to a position atop the academy. Once they got to their destination, they got off the free speech bus. That’s certainly true of their embrace of science and reason. Once they gained power, they peeled the Darwin fish off the car.

On the other hand, there is no reason to think that humanity is a linear progression from tribal darkness to some glorious post-human future. We have the phrase “dark ages” because there have been dark ages, when civil society reached a dead end, collapsed and sat dormant for centuries. Back when the turn began, Allan Bloom wrote that relativism and multiculturalism were ushering in a closing of the American mind. Perhaps now we are seeing the fruit, the coming of a new dark age ruled by fanatics and dullards.

The War On Us

Whether you know it or not, you are at war. It’s not a shooting in the street war, at least not yet, but it is a war. Specifically, the people in charge have decided to wage war on segments of the American society. To paraphrase the late historian Christopher Lasch, the managerial elite has turned their back on average Americans and opted instead for a ruthlessly cosmopolitan view of life, one that values rootlessness, internationalism and transience. Increasingly, their ends are in direct conflict with liberal democracy.

Another way of looking at this is that the managerial elite has reached class consciousness in the Marxist sense. Who they are is defined by who they are not and who they are not is you. Their class interests may or may not overlap with the interests of society, but their identity, their sense of who they are as a class, only exists in opposition to the white middle class. That also puts them at odds with the institutions of liberal democracy. That’s the point of this article this article on the new Civil War.

Peter Leyden is a high end grifter who makes his money telling the managerial elite what they want to hear. He pitches himself as a technologist, despite having no math or science. He’s a blend of Alvin Toeffler and Tony Robbins. Ruy Teixeira is an old Progressive hand, who has spent his life pushing various political strategies to help the Democrat Party win elections, mostly by undermining the white middle class through open borders and multiculturalism. These are men who know the mind of the managerial class.

Most of the article is complete nonsense, especially the part about blue state energy versus red state energy. That’s almost as daffy as framing the Republicans as the party of the elites and the Democrats as the party of middle America. That’s the thing though. They did not write the article to clarify. It was written to flatter. These are people who make their money telling the people in charge what they want to hear. When Jack Dorsey, the head of Twitter, is retweeting the post, it means it rocketed around the ruling class.

The other interesting thing about the piece is the naked hatred of white people. If you read “Republican” to mean white middle-class, the snarling is not hard to miss. Much has been written about the motivations of the open borders people. There’s certainly a money angle, with business wanting cheap labor. There’s also a political component, as the Democrats cannot win without foreign voters. The core motivation,  that co-evolved with class consciousness, is a visceral hatred of white America. They really do want to replace us.

This is why they really hate Trump, despite the fact he is more than willing to sign off on big slabs of the Democratic agenda. He’s not a threat on social issues and he will spend like crazy on infrastructure projects, that disproportionately help Democratic Party constituencies. They hate what he represents. Trump is a reminder that white people will not go quietly into the night. Again, the article reads like the authors spend their nights dreaming of genocide. They don’t want to win, they want to win permanently.

Of course, the increasingly bold and sophisticated efforts to wall off the public square from dissent is part of this larger project. The social media platforms are now using sophisticated analytics to piece together the network of people they see as the enemy of their class. This lets them coordinate their efforts to purge dissent from their platforms, without having to go to the trouble of finding violations. They are using the tools they developed for the Chinese Communists, against American dissidents.

The brashness of it is suggestive too. They are now censuring harmless black ladies because they amusingly support Trump. After all, all’s fair in war. It’s one thing to censure some guy, claiming he is alt-right or a racist. No one is going to believe two middle-aged black ladies are in the alt-right or part of a racist group. This indicates they no longer think they have to conceal their motivations. We’re a couple of clicks away from people having their credit cards cancelled because they live in an area that votes heavy Republican.

That last bit may sound ridiculous, but we have credit card companies working to prevent you from using your Visa card to buy a gun. If that is permissible, it is a short trip from there to shutting off your internet access because you won’t die fast enough. More important, the fact that the captains of industry, the tech giants, are sitting around scheming of ways to undermine the very notion of your citizenship, suggests they see no limits to what they can do to solve their problems with the white middle class of America.

Again, this is war and all’s fair in war. You may not think you are at war with them, but they are at war with you. The longer you stay stupid about it, the better. That’s why the morons at places like Reason Magazine and Cato get a free pass. You can be sure they will be celebrating “property rights” when every bank in America coincidentally stops doing business with gun makers and gun retailers. What’ the matter? Are you against free enterprise? Start your own bank and credit card system if you don’t like freedom!

Over the last couple of decades, many reform minded writers have been doing yeoman’s work, trying to convince the public, but also the ruling class, that preserving the heritage of America is essential to maintaining civil order and liberal democracy. Lots of people in the civic nationalist camp agree with this approach. Just one more election, one more reform movement. The trouble is, the people in charge are at war and the only things they want to hear are the time and place of your death or the time and place of your surrender.

The Museum Is Closed

Imagine you are asked to have some sort of contest with another person. Let’s say it is a manly contest like boxing or martial arts. The person arranging it talks about the fight in a conventional way, allowing you to assume the match will abide by the conventional rules for the sport. Let’s say it is agreed that on a given day, you will show up and box the champion from the other team. You show up on that day to learn that the guy is twice your size and he will be allowed to use a sword or a club with spikes on it in the ring.

That’s a ridiculous scenario, but the point is the only way there can be a fair competition is when both sides abide by the same set of rules. Otherwise you find yourself in the ring with a giant, trying to dodge the club with the spikes on it. This is something most men learn on the playground as kids. The exception seems to be conservatives, who have been allowing themselves to be clubbed by the Left for as long as anyone reading this has been alive. Even at this late date, they still cannot grasp this basic concept.

Michael Anton, who penned “The Flight 93 Election” back when he was hiding behind a pen-name, articulated very well in an exchange with me what millions of conservatives believe to be true:

The old American ideal of judging individuals and not groups, content-of-character-not-color-of-skin, is dead, dead, dead. Dead as a matter of politics, policy and culture. The left plays by new rules. The right still plays by the old rules. The left laughs at us for it — but also demands that we keep to that rulebook. They don’t even bother to cheat. They proclaim outright that “these rules don’t apply to our side.”

I disagree with Anton’s prescription — to surrender to identity politics and cheat the way our “enemies” do — but I cannot argue much with this description of a widespread mindset. Many on the right are surrendering to the logic of the mob because they are sick of double standards. Again, I disagree with the decision to surrender, but I certainly empathize with the temptation. The Left and the mainstream media can’t even see how they don’t want to simply win, they want to force people to celebrate their victories (“You will be made to care!”). It isn’t forced conversion at the tip of a sword, but at the blunt edge of a virtual mob.

Goldberg is not alone in this. Buckley conservatives, neocons and libertarians spend every waking moment prattling on about their principles. This is understandable for libertarians and neocons. The former are outlandishly stupid and the latter are subversively dishonest. Conservatives, on the other hand, are supposed to accept the world for what it is. The starting place for conservatism has always been an acceptance of the human condition. Conservatism is the absence of ideology, in the words of Kirk.

It’s tempting to write-off the Buckleyites as sellouts and grifters. There’s certainly some of that. Being a good punching bag has put Jonah Goldberg into a million dollar home in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods on earth. Being wrong a lot pays really well, if you’re willing to be the Left’s footstool. There’s also the dunce factor. Being a pundit does not require a high IQ. That’s why you don’t find too many math majors in the chattering classes. It is entirely possible that many conservatives think they are right.

To continue to play by a set of rules that guarantees failure and failure guarantees a non-conservative outcome is pretty much the antithesis of conservatism. Fundamental to conservatism is the belief in a transcendent moral order. No matter what political mechanisms it may utilize or the rules it relies upon to operate its political machinery, a society of people morally adrift, living at odds with the natural order, is an immoral and unjust society. Ordered depravity is still depravity. Principles are a means to an end.

That’s why the argument from guys like Goldberg, that conservatism is about means, not ends, is fundamentally un-conservative. Conservatives since the dawn of time have understood that it is the ends that matter. The form of government is only useful in achieving good ends. Custom, convention, and continuity are the proven means for attaining a society in-tune with the natural order, but conservatism does not require a mindless fidelity to the past. If the ends require it, novelty is perfectly acceptable.

Of course, you can make a fetish of rules and your own adherence to principle when you don’t have skin in the game. Much of what plagues conservatism, and has for at least two generations, is the modern conservative is a man who prefers to live in imagination land, rather that the real world. Jonah Goldberg can be on the losing side of every debate, because it has no impact on his life. When he loses to the big guy with the spiky club, it is someone else who takes the beating. Most of us cannot afford to be so principled.

The fact remains, the people now claiming ownership of the label conservative are not actually conservative. Even calling them “northern conservatives” is a crime against the language. They are simply guys who say their lines in their role as foil for the prevailing orthodoxy. They have been nothing more than a collection of cartoon villains for the morality play concocted by Progressives. At the dawn of the demographic age, they no longer even work as props in the morality play. They are museum pieces.

 

Day Walkers

In the novel I Am Legend. the hero finds himself, apparently, as the lone survivor of a pandemic that turns people into a form of zombie-vampire. The infected get a fever, appear to die, but then turn into a blood thirsty monster that desires to kill and eat other living creatures. The book is credited with starting the genre that remains a popular concept for movies and TV series. The book is a little more realistic, in that the monsters are not un-dead. They are merely infected with some sort of virus.

Unlike most Hollywood versions, the book sets up an interesting set of conditions that makes the hero’s story plausible. Again, the infected are not rotting corpses running around randomly looking for brains. Instead, the infected have a degree of awareness and sentience. They coordinate their efforts, plan ahead and seem to understand what’s happening to them. They are also strictly limited to nighttime activity. That means they come out well past sunset and retreat before dawn.

This sets up the bulk of the book. The hero has about 14 hours per day to operate, free of the vampires. The story is set in Los Angeles, so weather is not an element of the story. He uses his time to make his home impenetrable, scavenge for supplies and research the cause of the pandemic. Because he has nothing but time, he eventually figures out that some sort of a virus has infected everyone and he uses this information to get better at killing the vampires as they sleep in their hiding places.

The book is worth reading, even if you have seen all of the Hollywood zombie shows. The purpose here though is the math of the situation. The surviving humans in such a situation, where society is slowly being conquered by a weird rage virus, would be faced with a simple problem. They own the daylight hours and therefore must use that time to overcome their disadvantage at night, when the infected come out to hunt. Put another way, they must win more in the daytime than they lose at night, in order to survive.

Let’s assume a scale of zero to ten. The infected, relative to the humans, have the maximum ability at night. They are a ten for the ten hours a total darkness, because their senses are tuned for it by the virus. Humans, in contrast, usually sleep at night and are not nocturnal creatures. We can still operate, using artificial light and other contrivances, but at best we are maybe a three. Some people will be better than others, but over all, the human effectiveness is a three. Simple math gives the vampires a 100-to-30 edge at night.

Now, things change in the daylight. The ten ours when the sun is clearly in the sky gives the humans their best advantage. It is the ultimate advantage because the vampires are in their sleep phase. The humans are at a ten in the daytime, while the vampires are a zero, so this changes the math to humans 130, vampires 100. If we take the in between hours around dusk and dawn, and generously give the vampires a five and the humans an eight, then the overall math is humans 132, vampires 120. The humans have a slight edge.

The thing is though, the humans have a period of unrestricted movement. This unlimited advantage during the day means they can reset the battlefield every day, giving themselves a little edge in the nighttime. They could vampire-proof their compounds and expand their safe area by going around and clearing the vampires out from their hiding places. This is what happens in the book. The hero gets so good at killing vampires in the daytime, that their numbers rapidly diminish during the night. He’s slowly winning.

This makes for a bad movie, so the script writers make the humans extra stupid so they never take advantage of their assets. They also make the infected super-human or able to defy the laws of physics in some way. They know the audience will side with the humans and they know people like being in the underdog role. The long running television series, The Walking Dead, has the infected magically animated, even as their flesh is long past the point of being useful. It is animated skeletons like Jason and the Argonauts.

This is the mistake outsider political movements often make. They see themselves as the humans, fighting some evil, rather than viewing themselves as the virus infected zombies looking to overthrow the natural order. What makes the Matheson book so good, is he looked at the situation from the point of view of the infected, not just the hero. In the book, some of the infected begin to figure out how to operate in the daytime hours. They are not maximally effective, but they can function. This completely changes the math.

When Richard Spencer walks onto a college campus to give a speech, he is no different from an infected zombie vampire showing up in a camp of humans, to sell the benefits of vampirism. It’s no wonder they set upon him with a fury. More important, he is operating in their space, where they have an infinite advantage. It’s a fight that the infected cannot win, because they have no ability to operate in that environment. The same is true of planned public protests. Charlottesville was just a vampire killing exercise for the Left.

Just as the vampires in the novel carried the day by adapting to the daytime and using that to subvert the advantages of the human, the alt-right needs to become day walkers. If instead of a Spencer strolling on campus to get killed, imagine an alt-right guy getting an IT job at the NYTimes. Imagine if Pax Dickinson was still operating as a CTO at a major media company, while helping the alt-right. It’s the reason the Left is obsessed with doxxing people. They lie awake at night thinking about day walkers getting inside the wire.

The alt-right and affiliated groups need to forget about confrontation. Sure, some of their members and supporters are there just so they can brawl with Antifa, but an army of Chris Cantwells is an army of vampires that are useless in the daytime. There’s nothing to gain from losing to the other side on their turf, playing by their rules. The alt-right needs to go underground, in order to become day walkers, with the ability to walk among the Left in their own areas, learning how to turn their advantages into liabilities.

Answering My Critics

My Letter to the Anti-Semites got a lot of action and more than a few complaints. In fact, there were so many comments, e-mails and replies on social media, I started to lose track. I did promise to address some of them and there is a theme to most of the push back, so this post should cover most of the territory. The longest response was from someone calling himself Spencer Quinn, posted at Greg Johnson’s site, in the form of a letter. Since it covers the bulk of the complaints, I’ll start with it first.

Let’s start with the first assertion. I did not describe antisemitism “as racism against Jews, but also as contempt for them.” Racism is a dislike for people of another race, usually blacks. Antisemitism is a dislike for Jews. I don’t think of either in moral terms, anymore than I would think of a dislike for ice cream in moral terms. I pointed out at the start that I once knew a guy who hated Greeks. I never understood his reason, nor did I care. There is no accounting for taste and a like or dislike of groups of people is a matter of taste.

Further, I never set out to argue for or against antisemitism. I simply stated why I was not interested in becoming an anti-Semite. My main reason is that anti-Semites never stop talking about Jews. It is an obsession that appears to consume their life, at the expense of everything else. So much so that anti-Semites are baffled as to why anyone would not want to be anti-Semite. They are sure that the only reason someone is not an anti-Semite is they are not up to speed on the latest theories and require additional proselytizing.

That may seem like a quibble, but it is vitally important. In common usage, racism and Antisemitism are about morality. The prevailing orthodoxy says it is immoral, a sin against nature, to prefer your own race or not like another ethnic group. I think that’s nonsense and reject it completely. In fact, a rejection of the prevailing orthodoxy’s moral framework is what animates this blog. Morality has no role in me not being a racist. I’m not a racist for the same reason I’m not into anime. I don’t find it interesting or useful.

Quinn asks, “What if you missed something in MacDonald’s analysis that would shake your skepticism a little bit?” Well, when the facts change, my opinions change. He then asks, “Is it possible to be completely swayed by all of MacDonald’s arguments and still not be an anti-Semite as you describe it?” Everything remains in the set of possible until proven to be impossible. Even then, there are black swans. McDonald makes some useful observations, but I’m not persuaded by his theory explaining them.

As I and many others have pointed out over the years, biology, geography and clannishness better explain Jewish exceptionalism in modern America. The case is far from closed, but it is a testable theory that does a better job of explaining observable reality than McDonald. The counter to this from the anti-Semites, one Quinn includes in his letter, is that Jews are never over-represented in right-wing intellectual movements. “Where is the right-wing Marx? Where is the Jewish Madison” they ask.

The easy answer is libertarianism. There would be no libertarian movement without Ludwig von Mises. There certainly would not have been an Austrian school of economics without Jews. Milton Friedman was probably the most influential economist on earth in the 20th century and he was no one’s idea of a leftist. Modern libertarianism is a sad joke, but their critique of socialist economics was monumentally important in the fight against communism last century. Again, that’s an obvious example that never gets mentioned.

McDonald, of course, would argue that head counting of this sort is pointless, because libertarians have no power or influence. He makes this point in this video interview the other day. Since no right-wing intellectual movement has ever had any success, this means that the Jews he cares to count, can only be in left-wing intellectual movements. This sort of deck stacking is why I don’t find his theory very persuasive. It’s just a tautology decorated with appropriated scientific jargon and speculative theories.

That brings me to this bit from the Quinn letter:

I think you might have anticipated this question since you included the caveat “not explicitly anti-Semitic,” as in, “Every intellectual movement since Jewish emancipation,that was not explicitly anti-Semitic, saw an over representation of Jews.” Ah, but this kind of puts the cart before the horse, doesn’t it? This implies that anti-Semitism came out of nowhere, as if in the late nineteenth-century Jews flooded all academic and professional fields except for the one that was dominated by people who were already anti-Semites. This ignores the possibility that the so-called anti-Semite got that way in large part after being exposed to the unswerving Leftism of the Jews.

Not to be rude, but this is nonsense on stilts. Western hostility toward Jews dates to at least the Romans. As Greg Cochran pointed out in his book, The 10,000 Year Explosion, we have zero evidence pointing to Jewish exceptionalism until well into the Middle Ages. In fact, Jewish exceptionalism very well may have been the result of extreme persecution of Jews at a certain point in the Middle Ages. The surviving population possessed a high IQ and the verbal dexterity we have come to associate with the Ashkenazim.

A common criticism, one you see all over Quinn’s letter, is best expressed as, “Why are all things I don’t like full of Jews?” I call this Magic Jew Theory. The anti-Semite is forever playing “Where’s Shlomo?” in an effort to pin his sorrows on the Jews. They root around until they find a Jew, shout “Eureka!” and then proceed to explain how it is all the fault of the Jews. When Kevin McDonald speaks of Jewish influence, he uses the same language Progressives use when describing structural racism. It’s a form of the post hoc fallacy.

All of this gets to the core of my critique of Progressivism and the Conservative response to it over the last half century. Progressives cast everything in moral terms. An idea or fact is either moral or immoral. They also demand that all opinions be connected with a moral authority on the subject. If you like something, you better have a reason. The result is an immoderate culture in which one is either all good, or all bad. There is never a middle ground. The world is divided into those inside the walls and those outside the walls.

Modern anti-Semites have embraced the same framework. The morality is turned on its head, with regards to Jews, but the JQ is entirely a moral issue for them. Similarly, it is not enough to just not like Jews. They have to have an authority dispense the correct opinions on all aspects of the issue. Kevin McDonald is not the Karl Marx of antisemitism. He is the L. Ron Hubbard. As we see with the American Left, the anti-Semite has a binary view of the world. You’re either on his pro-white team or you are a shabbos goy.

My argument, with regards to identity politics in the age of demographics, is that the winners will have developed a positive, independent identity around which to rally their people. The losers will be those who rely on exogenous forces to define them. Can antisemitism be useful in developing a positive white identity? Maybe, but not in its current form and certainly not by embracing crank science. That’s why I have no use for it. It’s not because it is immoral, but because it does nothing to further the cause of white people.

A Critique of the Critique

I’ve been asked a number of times about my thoughts on the paper produced by someone calling himself Nathan Cofans, examining Kevin McDonald’s theories on Jewish exceptionalism. I had skimmed it prior to last week’s epistle to the anti-Semites and gave a good read the other day, with the idea of treating it as a serious set of arguments. Going back and re-reading it, I kept thinking that it was not produced with the goal of expanding the stock of human knowledge or with the goal of shedding light on McDonald’s claims.

Instead, I kept getting the image of the abbot, marshaling his monks to craft the latest defense of the faith and the realm. I was never a big Moldbug fan, but he picked a good word when describing the prevailing orthodoxy as a “cathedral.” It’s not so much that it is an accurate label, but that it conjures the right sort of image. The people in charge of us, have a set of beliefs that serve as a secular religion, justifying their actions and their position. They respond to challenges the same way the Church responded to heretics.

The two people behind this orchestrated campaign to denounce the heretic McDonald and his followers, are a member of the clerisy and a novice. Jonathan Anomaly is an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Arizona. His novice, Nathan Cofnas, is a graduate student at Oxford. They have collaborated on this article at Quillette, which is mostly a way to promote this long critique of Kevin McDonald’s book, The Culture of Critique, which has become the textbook of modern anti-Semites.

The reason for describing Anomaly and Cofnas this way is for accuracy. If you work in the academy, you must defend the orthodoxy. In the West, particularly America, universities are theological centers, more like madrassas than places for open debate. If an academic starts talking frankly about observable reality, especially when it comes to the human sciences, they are either committing career suicide, headed for retirement or having a breakdown. Honesty gets even the best scholars hurled into the void.

Cofnas is working his fingers bloody promoting his paper on social media, even getting into slap fights with defenders of McDonald. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it is clearly an elaborate effort to counter-signal the alt-right. He has written for legacy-right outfits like The Weekly Standard and National Review, so it is safe to assume he is hostile to modern right-wing movements. Again, there is nothing wrong with it, but it means we should not treat his paper as anything other than polemic on behalf of his team.

Now, I’ve already said I am a skeptic of Kevin McDonald’s theory of group evolutionary strategy. It could be brilliant, but it could be nonsense too. In the human sciences, it is a good idea to be cautious of bespoke theories that define one very narrow set of observations. A million years ago, John Derbyshire hit the nail on the head when he wrote that “There is a whiff of teleology about this whole business.” It’s intelligent design, except the Jews themselves were the designers. That strikes me as implausible.

With all the caveats, qualifications and disclaimers done, what about the Cofnas paper?

The first thing worth noticing is under the second section, titled “Jewish High IQ and Geography” where he posits an alternative theory for Jewish achievement. He points out that the concentration of Jews in urban areas may be the missing piece of the puzzle, with regards to the over-representation in intellectual endeavors. This is not a new idea, but it is something McDonald ignored in his argument. The error Cofnas makes is in declaring it the “default hypothesis” as if it is manifestly obvious or accepted science.

This is the sort of intellectual base stealing that McDonald would point to as an example of Jewish cultural habits. It also strikes me as signalling. The point of doing it early in the paper is to let the people in charge know who is on the side of light in this thing. This is one of the central themes of neo-reaction. Debate is not an argument about facts and reason, for the purpose of discovering truths. Instead, it is about defending the dominant orthodoxy, which supports and legitimizes the people currently in power – The Cathedral.

The other thing that struck me is that Cofnas falls down the same hole we see all the time in modern political debate. He defines Right and Left as a debate over hustling commas around the tax code. That means a “right-wing” movement like libertarianism is the flip side of some left-wing movement like Marxism. It’s also how you end up with Adolph on the same side as Von Mises. The conventional political scale is not a reflection of intellectual reality, but a rejection of it in favor of defending the current liberal order.

A point that cannot be made enough is that America has been dominated by the Yankee ruling elite since Gettysburg. As a result, our politics have operated entirely within the sphere of Progressive orthodoxy. After World War II, this extended across the West as the American empire imposed its cultural norms onto the provincial ruling elites in the territories. In America, Progressives have had a long lovers quarrel with themselves, in the form of spats between conservatives and liberals, Democrats versus Republicans.

This is why the paper amounts to nothing more than a laundry list of picked nits and mindless hairsplitting. This scene kept coming to mind. Cofnas is a young person trying to please his masters, so he is going to great lengths to prove he has studied the material, by offering up an exhausting list of granular criticism. That’s probably a good career move, one that anyone familiar with the Imperial Examination System would appreciate. Fans of McDonald, however, will see this as confirmation of their beliefs about Jews.

Does Cofnas “debunk” McDonald, as he claims?

Not in the least, as far as I can see. That’s mostly because he never bothers to take on McDonald’s central thesis. Instead, he nibbles around at tertiary arguments in an elaborate effort to counter-signal. That’s most likely the point of the exercise, so he probably achieved what he set out to achieve. He is a young defender of the faith and will be given a post on the walls, lending his credentials to de rigueur arguments at legacy publications like National Review and The Weekly Standard. The Cathedral has another guard.

Compassionate Racism

Imagine if science stumbled upon a set of genes that are almost always present in the criminal population. After testing thousands of prisoners, they find a set of genes in more than 90% of them. In the rest of the population, the genes appear almost only in those who have a criminal record. In other words, the correlation between the presence of these genes and criminality is so high, there has to be a causal relationship. That would be an enormous breakthrough and lead to a rethinking of criminal justice in the West.

Now, we know the racial makeup of the prison population in the US. We know blacks commit an enormous amount of crime relative to other races. The likely result of that genetic breakthrough would be the end of nonsense like this. The debate over black crime would quickly move from magic spells and evil spirits to biology. Inevitably, the presence of the crime genes would be vastly more common among blacks than other races. The question facing public policy makers would be how to use this information to reduce crime.

Now, this is unlikely to happen, but it is a useful way to think about how reality can be useful in forming public policy. In the fanciful example above, the result would be changes in how we view crime. Just as people have to accepted the fact homosexuals cannot help themselves, that they are driven by biology, people would come to accept that some people are born bad. The difference would be that efforts to address this genetic “defect” would seem completely moral. Compassion would dictate finding a cure for black crime.

It is important to remember that compassion does not have a universal and timeless definition. A century ago, the compassionate response to poverty was discipline from the upper classes, along with highly conditional charity. Even New Dealers thought paying people to loaf around was monstrously immoral. Yet today, asking a man to work for his gourmet coffee and XBox subscription is considered heartless. The point being, public morality changes and it usually changes in response to new generations.

The reason America has urban reservations full of useless black people is the rich people in charge of us ran out of ways to fix things like black crime and poverty. They simply got tired of shoveling the sand of egalitarianism and the blank slate , against the tide of biological and racial reality. The great cultural revolution that started in the middle of the last century was not the liberation of blacks and women, as is always claimed. It was the liberation of rich people from their duties to the lower classes and society as a whole.

Slowly but surely, science is creating an alternative toolkit for addressing the problems that vex modern society. There’s a reason that columns like this one are written by people with no math or science. Gavin Evans is an aging cleric for a church with empty pews. No serious person embraces the blank slate, even though it remains taboo to discuss in public the realities of biology. In fact, the shrillness of the vinegar drinking scolds is entirely due to the fact they are on the wane. They have to shriek in order to get attention.

Stories like this are becoming more common and as such people are increasingly comfortable with biological explanations to social phenomenon. Progressives still recoil in horror at the mention of science, but that’s mostly true of the older Progressives. The actuarial tables are not on the side of biology deniers. The younger generations are increasingly comfortable with genetic and statistical reality and that means the ruling class will become increasingly comfortable talking about public policy based on reality.

None of this means the ruling class is going to suddenly swing in the direction of race realism. That’s not how culture changes. Instead, morality moves like an infectious disease. A new challenge to an old moral code spreads slowly at first and then reaches critical mass. Similarly, the antibodies react in a defensive effort to ward off the new challenge. Right now, science is viewed as a mortal threat by the Progressive host, so their reaction is extreme. That means ruining careers as a way to scare dissenters.

In time though, the new generation takes up their positions and they have adapted to the new morality. All the boys are girls following sportsball through statistics and figuring out how to sell more stuff to left-handed cross-dressers on-line will have no problem thinking about crime as a biology problem. Using mouth swabs to determine that little Jamaal has less than 2% chance of going to college will sound smart. Designing an education system for little Jamaal so he can be a warehouse worker will be compassionate.

Ultimately, it will be compassionate, relative to the benign neglect we see today. Take a ghetto tour through a place like Baltimore and you see a world that should never exist in a Western country. Less than a long lifetime ago, it did not exist. It was not allowed to exist by the people in charge. The black ghetto is loud, chaotic and sadder than anything you will see in modern America. It should never have been allowed to get this way and it should not be allowed to persist. It will never be fixed, but it can be better.

The only way it gets better is to start where this post started – biology. Poor people of all races are poor because they make bad decisions, they have poor impulse control and they have lower IQ’s than the rest of the population. You can’t fix nature, but you can put structure around it to mitigate it. Poor people, especially poor black people, need rules, not choices. Allowing people to suffer at their own hands is no more compassionate than allowing a depressed person to jump off a bridge. It’s indifference, not compassion.

Once you accept the fact that biology is real, things like mandatory birth control for poor people on government assistance makes a lot more sense. Shaniqua can’t figure out that she should not have ten babies. She lacks the intelligence to think through these things. She can figure out that getting her EBT card charged up means not getting pregnant, so she will willingly sign off on Norplant. By the morality of the legacy generation, that seems monstrous. To the morality of the next generation, that will be the height of compassion.

Similarly, “fixing the schools” will always be an easy racket for grifters, but in a world of biological realism, it will be impossible to pretend that Jonquarius will one day be a computer programmer. The education reform of tomorrow will be about training 85-IQ blacks how to do something useful and avoid the obvious pitfalls of life. More important, no one is going to be deluded into thinking the black underclass will join the middle class. It’s that compassionate racism will set different objectives for the moral reformer.

 

 

Letter To The Antisemites

From time to time, I am approached by an anti-Semite hoping to convince me to join their thing. Most people, of course, think antisemitism is a bad thing, the worst thing, but anti-Semites think otherwise. Recently, a person calling himself Lawrence has showed up in the comment section of my YouTube channel and here on the blog, inviting me to join the world of antisemitism. Given some posts related to this topic are in the queue, I thought it was a good time to respond to this generous invitation to become an anti-Semite.

First off, and this cannot be stressed enough, I don’t think antisemitism is a great sin. I once worked for a guy who hated Greeks. Anything wrong in the world, according to him, was the fault of the Greeks. He was a bigot, of course, but as far as I knew he never caused anyone harm, not even Greeks. He was just a weirdly eccentric person, who had unusual opinions about the world. In the grand scheme of things, there are many worse vices a man can have, than a bias toward another group or a race of people.

Here is my favorite way of explaining this to people puzzled by my indifference to the great crimes of antisemitism and racism. Imagine someone moving into the house  across the street. You find out that the new neighbor is an anti-Semite. Now, imagine a second neighbor moves in and you learn he is a methamphetamine dealer. Which neighbor troubles you more? Only a nut would say the anti-Semite is the bigger worry. The point is there is a very long list of things that are worse than holding negative opinions.

Now, as far as my opinion on antisemitism, I must admit I have a negative view of it, just as I have a negative view of racism. The mistake people like Lawrence make is in thinking that race realism is the same as racism. If I were a racist, I would not live among black people. I can be quite realistic about the nature of blacks, without holding black people in contempt. In fact, I have a great deal of sympathy for black people. The reason for that is I am well aware of the biological reality that underlies the plight of blacks in America.

Similarly, I am a realist, with regards to Jews in America. I’ve written quite bit on Jewish exceptionalism. I did a long podcast episode examining the alt-right’s arguments on the JQ. I’ve written critiques of Jewish social customs. I’ve had debates in the comments sections here with Jews about Jewish issues. Hell, I stood in a room full of Jews once, explaining and defending the humor of Andrew Anglin. The point is that you can discuss, even as a non-Jew, all the issues involved in the JQ, without being an anti-Semite.

Now, many anti-Semites have encouraged me to “take the red pill” on the JQ so then I would come to appreciate what antisemitism brings to the party. The claim is that once you accept the biological reality of Jewish subversiveness, then antisemitism fits like a glove. I generally assume to this to mean the theories of Kevin McDonald, the retired professor of psychology, who wrote the book Culture of Critique. John Derbyshire called him the Karl Marx of antisemitism, which is turning out to be prophetic.

Well, I have read Kevin McDonald. I think he makes an excellent case against Boasian anthropology, Freudian psychoanalysis, and Frankfurt School critical theory. In fact, his arguments against these intellectual movements should be required reading for anyone trying to understand how things went so terribly wrong in the West. Further, there is no disputing his observation that these movements were dominated by Jews. In fact, all of the monstrous ideologies of the last era had an over representation of Jews.

The truth is though, Jews are over represented in everything that requires a high level of math and verbal skill. Every intellectual movement since Jewish emancipation, that was not explicitly anti-Semitic, saw an over representation of Jews. Intellectual movements tend to attract intellectuals. They also tend to be located in urban areas, especially urban capitals in Europe, where Jews have always lived. Therefore, no one should be surprised that Jews are over represented in left-wing political and cultural movements.

The main argument of McDonald is that Judaism is a “group evolutionary strategy” engineered to promote Jewish interests at the expense of the host society. He argues that Judaism promoted eugenic practices favoring high intelligence, conscientiousness, and ethnocentrism, so Jews reached the late Middle Ages with these qualities in extraordinary surplus. Once Jews were allowed to participate in Western society, they were uniquely equipped to dominate intellectual movements, turning them to Jewish advantage.

While admitting that is perfectly plausible, it has always struck me as a bit like intelligent design. This unique tool kit for undermining Western society evolved for the purpose of undermining a Western society, that only came into existence recently. In fact, this group evolutionary strategy came pretty close to getting all European Jews killed half a century ago. Jewish dominance today is entirely due to America opening up the country to Eastern European Jews at the start of the last century. Apparently, Jews really plan ahead.

The bottom line, with regards to Kevin McDonald and the general idea of Jews being a hostile and subversive people, is that it could be true. It could also be true that Jews have followed the pattern of all minority populations and gravitated to the people in charge, seeing them as protectors. In America, that means Yankee Progressives, who have, in one form or another, dominated the country since Gettysburg. Jewish intelligence and high verbal dexterity means they have come to excel in left-wing movements.

As you can see, I’m well acquainted with the arguments and I’m not instinctively hostile to most of them. Like everyone with some knowledge of human evolution, I’m a bit skeptical of group evolutionary strategy. It could be a real thing or it could be nonsense. There was a time when people thought phrenology was a real thing. Within my lifetime smart people were sure you could be talked out of insanity. There have been a lot of nutty fads in human sciences, so skepticism is a prudent position until more data comes in.

Obviously, my resistance to antisemitism is not based in ignorance of the material or fear of the morality police. The real issue for me is that anti-Semites taste Jews in their sandwich. They are like a man who has only mastered how to use a hammer. He sees every problem as a nail. In the case of anti-Semites, everything is blamed on the Jews to the point of absurdity. It seems to me that in order to be an anti-Semite, one has to commit their life to it, like joining the priesthood or a religious cult. It must define one’s life.

While I bear no ill will to those of you who have become anti-Semites, I just don’t think it is the place for me. My group evolutionary strategy, as it were, is to enjoy the fullness of life, even the parts that are not so good. Obsessing over Jews all the time seems like a waste of time. If there comes a time when I have to obsess over Jews all the time, then I’ll do what I must, but for now, I have lots of other things that interest me. No hard feelings and I wish you luck in your business, as long as it does not interfere with my business.

Warmest Regards

Z