AmRen Diary Part II

One of the things that is not appreciated, at least I have not full appreciated it, is just how lonely it is to think about the stuff we think about on this side of the intellectual universe. By that I mean, much of what is discussed here, for example, is never discussed at your office or your church or at social gatherings. When we can discuss this stuff with fellow travelers, it is in hushed tones and care is taken to make sure no one is listening in on the conversation. It’s the cost of having so much of reality made off limits to discussion.

That’s probably the biggest value of events like AmRen and why our side needs to start cultivating Jacobin clubs, so the like minded can do this locally. It is refreshing to be able to sit at dinner with other people interested in the same material, going back and forth on something like black crime, without having to constantly look over your shoulder. At lunch on Saturday, Audacious Epigone pointed out that this is the only place on earth where we could have the sort of conversations we were having about social science data.

A good example of this is a conversation I had with a Jewish guy on Friday night. That’s right, there was a Jewish guy at AmRen. In fact, there were quite a few. Something almost no one knows or thinks about is that smart Jews are having the same debates among themselves about the roles of race and identity in Western society. My sense is that race is the trigger point. Smart Jewish guys grow up in nice safe middle class towns learning the egalitarian faith, only to get into the world and see the reality of race.

Just to get this out of the way, in case it is not obvious, I’ve always been on the side of Jared Taylor when it comes to who is white in America. His line about Jews is “They sure look white to me.” That becomes blazingly obvious when you talk to a conservative Jew about religion or race. Long before I came into hate blogging I knew this, having had this conversation with conservative Jews in the past. I’m also fine with people who think otherwise and are into the JQ. So are the Jews I met at AmRen.

It is at a thing like AmRen where you can appreciate just how oppressive and stupid our intellectual life has become in the West. There are few places on earth where a Jew and non-Jew can talk about something like racial identity or the realities of black life. The guy I was chatting with was like a lot of people I met at AmRen. He was bursting to talk about this stuff because you can’t do this anywhere anymore, other than in the comment sections of sites like this. We really are living in an age of madness.

If one is looking for the little green shoots, a place like AmRen is a good place to start. No where else in America can a guy like Richard Spencer have a jovial and thoughtful conversation with a Jewish guy about whether Jews fit into white identity. Spencer thinks Jews are a separate identity group and he thinks Jews will figure that out on their own and do their own thing. The Jewish guy in this case, is unsure, but that’s why he was sounding out Spencer on the issue. Try having that conversation on a college campus.

That’s where the optimism lies. In the fullness of time, the smart kids get to be right. That’s the lesson of history. The people who rule over us are trapped in a frenzy of purging anyone who notices anything about the world. They are systematically and aggressively estupidizing themselves, by driving off anyone with the temerity to ask a question. By herding all of the smart white guys into the Dissident Right, they are not saving themselves. They are creating the army that will destroy the prevailing order.

After attending something like this, it is easy to come back high on your own fumes and there is some of that with me. I know someone into lacrosse and every time he comes home from a tournament, he is sure lacrosse is about to sweep the nation. That’s never happening, but believing it keeps lacrosse from dying off. That’s the benefit of networking and socializing to these sorts of things. Being a biological realist is a lonely life at times. It helps to know that you are not alone in the struggle.

Even so, I’ve sat around with grad students at places like Yale and I’ve been around a lot of smart people in STEM settings. Often, the most striking feature is the oppressive lack of curiosity and the fear of saying the wrong thing. The core of Western civilization, dating to the Greeks, is smart people openly discussing the hard subjects of the day, trying to push the rock of humanity up the hill. That’s what’s happening on our side. On their side, it is struggle sessions and the slow boiling off their best assets. There’s the green shoot.

AmRen Diary Part I

I went into the event not knowing if it was for me. The stuff I do here does not fit neatly into the general categories of the Dissident Right. I’m a race realist and a biological realist, but I don’t do much on white identity. As I told Jared Taylor, I thought that AmRen was an older crowd who wanted to go back to the 50’s. On the other hand, I also went into it prepared to be wrong in ways I could not imagine. The event sold out so it had to be more than old guys telling war stories, but what that actually meant was a mystery.

Well, I was amazingly wrong. The age of the crowd was the first thing I noticed. There were many people there in the under-30 age bracket. There were lot of guys in their 40’s and 50’s too. The average age was probably early 40’s and there were quite a few women in attendance. Most important, the crowd was smart. AmRen is full of smart, well read people, more interested in the right answer than anything else. I’ll get into more detail later in this post, but AmRen is a gathering of the best minds on the Dissident Right.

The reason for this is Jared Taylor. Some men are impressive for what they have done and others impress for who they are. Taylor is both. He has worked tirelessly for a quarter century promoting pro-white ideas, often at great personal cost. He is also a man of great decency, integrity and accessibility. He has a presence. Spend a few minutes talking to Taylor and you get the sense you will be telling your grandchildren one day, about the time you shook the great man’s hand at the conference he founded…

The most exhilarating part of the trip was meeting John Derbyshire. He will be embarrassed for me after reading this, but having the great man say, “I am a big fan of your work” was the thrill of a lifetime. It’s like having the Pope say, “I envy your piety.” Many men have made the intellectual journey to this place because of the writing of John Derbyshire. There is a long list of imitators, like me, who came into this thing because we’ve read and understood his stuff. It was an honor to meet you, John…

I am not Derb’s #1 fan. Audacious Epigone holds that title, in addition to the title of “second greatest quantitative blogger.” He’s also a brilliant and charming guy. Most quantitative guys are terrible conversationalist, but AE is an exception. There’s a genuineness to him that is striking. Within five minutes of talking to him, you feel like you have known him for decades. It also helps that he knows his stuff and he is a super smart guy. There’s something to say for getting the right answer and then embracing it.

I think both of us came away understanding that a lot of people are reading us and therefore, we have a duty to be good at what we do. Epigone told Derb that he was thankful that guys like Sailer and Derbyshire were there when he was ready for it. I think he hit the nail on the head. We both now see that one day someone will be saying the same thing to us. That means we have a duty to do our best work. Speaking only for myself here, I find that incredibly humbling and motivating. It’s good to have a team again…

On a slightly different note, I walked into the Friday night reception, hoping to see one of the famous guys and maybe buy them a drink. Instead, someone stopped me to say he was a fan. Then someone else did the same. That’s flattering, of course, but it takes getting used to. I watched guys like Richard Spencer spend hours getting his picture taken and shaking hands with admirers. He is incredibly accessible and he seems to enjoy talking with the young guys who look up to him. That’s hard thing to do well.

He invited me and some others to a late dinner and he was just one of the guys, debating the topics and soliciting opinions. There are some big differences between the two of us on philosophical matters, but he was very interested in discussing them. My take away is he is a guy fully aware that he has to keep growing into his role as the movement grows, so he is eager to sound out people on these topics. Not a lot of people can do that. I came away with considerably more respect for who he is and what he is doing…

The reason I was at dinner with Spencer, was a fellow I’ll just call the International Man of Mystery. This mystery man introduced me to all the big hitters at the conference. It seems that he knows everyone and, more important, they think it is important to know him. In addition to being the most connected guy in the universe, he is a wonderful conversationalist and an extremely intelligent man. Walking through the darkness to a party, feeling one another out about our politics, I sensed more was going on that meets the eye.

Every cultural movement needs people, who know how to put people together and put people at ease. Otherwise, they fall into factionalism and petty jealousy. Guys, like our International Man of Mystery, keep everyone working together. Of course, conspiring in the Tennessee darkness with an International Man of Mystery makes doing this a lot more fun. On the other hand, if I step out of line, I’ll have to hire someone to start my car in the morning. But, life is full of trade-offs…

Our International Man of Mystery put us at dinner on Saturday with Greg Johnson of Counter-Currents Publishing. I must admit I’m not as familiar with these guys as I probably be, but that speaks the wealth a breadth of content coming out of the Dissident Right. The banquet had a lot going on so I did not have nearly enough time to talk with Greg, but my first impression is that he is a very smart guy, who has spent a lot of time thinking about his set of issues. I came away thinking I need to make a point of reading his stuff…

At lunch on Saturday, Epigone and I were joined by a young guy, a teenager I think, who made us feel a little dumb. The kid is very smart and he has read a lot. He asks great questions. What struck me about the conference is that the Dissident Right is now the place for smart white males and not just old guys. Young guys are coming into this because they can be smart without someone screaming at them for noticing things or their toxic masculinity. Having a bunch of smart guys on our team is encouraging…

Regular reader Rurik was kind enough to buy me a beer and make a point of impressing upon me how much people enjoy what I’m doing here. I truly appreciated the kind words…

I met a brilliant young guy, who is emblematic of what I observed at the conference. He had a sense of race realism, but only after watching a Jared Taylor video did it all come together for him. This is a common story. The conference, at some level, had the feel of a group of people coming out from a cave to see the stars. That’s encouraging as it means something is genuinely happening.  He posts under the handle “scotty” so if he starts turning up in the comments here, bring your A-game….

I’ll be doing some more posts on the conference. I don’t want to go too long, so I’ll stop here for now…

Thot-ocracy

Young males have coined a term for particularly obnoxious type of female increasingly common today. The term is “thot” which, according to Urban Dictionary, is an acronym for “that ho over there.” That’s probably true, as most kids communicate via text message these days. Of course, it also sounds a lot like “twat” so that could be why it caught on with young males. Additionally, the term means a girl who is a slut, but carries on as if she is special. It’s the sort of thing that is said to bring someone down a few notches.

Anyway, the word thot does not exactly roll off the tongue, but it is useful shorthand for the type of young woman that has become too common in our mass media. This is the girl, who would have been standing next to a Ford at the auto show in another era, but is now put on television as a serious commentator or journalist. They get the job because of their looks, but somehow they think they are public intellectuals. This American Thinker post about Katherine Timpf is a good example of the phenomenon.

The black man who stalked and assaulted Fox News megastar Kat Timpf in Brooklyn this week has nothing on me.  I was a charter member of Kat’s Disgusting Club two months before this still unidentified POC — piece of crap — dumped a bottle of water over her blonde locks and earned him the second spot in what used to be a more exclusive enclave.

My journey into the group began on the first episode of Kat’s show, “The Fox News Specialists.” In her trademark flip style, Kat declared that no one had anything to tell her about how black people are relentless victims of relentless white racism all the time, everywhere and that explains everything. She already knew.

“I do understand issues with criminal justice, particularly in the black community and police brutality,” she intoned.

Another black whisperer is born.

Mx. Timpf is probably a nice person. I only had a vague recollection of her so I looked up some clips of her on YouTube. Here’s a longish one. From the photos on line and her video clips, it appears she figured out that she could work the naughty librarian look into a paying gig in conservative media. Her bio says she is a libertarian, but exactly no one gives a damn about her political views. She’s on TV because she is easy on the eyes and willing to play the sex kitten on these chat shows. That’s how it works.

There’s nothing new about this, but in the past, the women doing the TV bimbo roles knew why they were on TV. In fact, many had made it to television via modeling or beauty pageants. Phyllis George was the winner of the 1971 Miss America pageant and that got her a gig on CBS as a sportscaster in 1974. She provided the legs, while gnarly old dudes like Jimmy the Greek and Brent Musberger talked football. George never carried on like she was an expert on football. She was eye candy and the moderator of the show.

Today, young women like Katherine Timpf are walking around thinking they are where they are because they are important thinkers. The exchange she had with Colin Flaherty was sadly comical. She picked up some libertarian talking points and she repeats them, making “criminal justice reform” her issue. In the old days, the beauty pageant girls would cast about for a talent that they could use in shows. Today, TV bimbos cast about for a social cause they can champion on TV, while showing some leg.

As an aside, notice that what passes for “conservative” these days in the mass media is basically just Reason Magazine style libertarianism. It’s about as edgy as these people can muster, for fear of upsetting Lefty. That’s mostly because all of these outlets are located in New York or DC. If Timpf wants to keep getting invited to parties and events, she knows she has to avoid anything that upsets the Progs. The fact that generic libertarianism gets the good housekeeping seal of approval is instructive.

Anyway, this meandering post is not supposed to be Timpf-bashing. I’m sure she is a nice girl who is kind to old people and puppies. The reason she is in this position to be an example of Dunning-Kruger, is that the media indulges people like her, allowing her to think she is an intellectual. In fact, the culture as a whole has been re-engineered over the last few decades to encourage young girls to wildly over estimate their abilities. It’s no surprise that we have a couple of generations of thots on our hands.

The rape hoax culture on the college campus is largely due to coeds thinking they can do all the things boys can do, like get knee-walking drunk down at the bar. A man wakes up next to a strange women, he just assumes he was on his game. A women wakes up with her panties on her head and she is looking for someone to blame. After all, she has been told her whole life that the world is here to cater to her whims. Chad Thundercock down at the bar should have known she was going to change her mind after she got sober.

The conflict between how women are trained and biological reality could be one cause of the social justice warrior phenomenon. The outbreaks seem to be in male domains like tech and gaming. The girls show up expecting the world to bend to their will and when it doesn’t, they start blaming reality, rather than question their training. The innate desire for attention, curdles into self-abuse and misdirected anger at males. That’s a half-baked theory, but it is just as plausible as toxoplasmosis.

It is hard to see how this cycle of madness ends. The reaction of Timpf to being assaulted the other day suggests that no amount of reality will beat any sense into these women. Being self-absorbed and stupid pays too well. Even the ugly ones get to work the system to live well above what their talents should warrant. Whether we like it or not, the future, at least for a little while, will be a thot-ocracy. American society will be dominated by airhead bimbos who think a pair of librarian glasses makes them an intellectual.

Codes of the Underworld¹

One of the many concepts that has entered the mainstream from the Dissident Right is signalling. It’s first appearance came as criticism of social justice warriors, who were signalling their virtue by opposing someone or some thing, real or imagined. Virtue signalling is not new. It has probably been a part of human society since people began to settle into agricultural communities. Scipio Africanus, the great Roman general, who defeated Hannibal at Zama, was also famous for his virtue signalling.

These days, you will hear guys on the alt-right talk about counter-signalling. The easiest example of this is the newly minted rich guy going out and buying expensive display items, like cars or gaudy homes. NBA players are prone to this. They want to signal their wealth by acquiring highly visible, expensive items. An old money guy, in contrast, counter-signals by living in an old farmhouse that has been in the family for generations and driving a 40 year old Saab. He’s the sort of rich that feels no need to advertise it.

Signalling is a basic human trait. We all do it to one degree or another. Walk into a prison and you will see an array of tattoos on the inmates. These will signal gang affiliations, time served in the system, facilities in which the inmate has served and the individual’s violence capital. That last part is an important part of keeping the peace. To civilians, a face tattoo is always scary, but in jail, the right neck tattoo can tell other inmates that they are in the presence of an accomplished killer for a particular prison gang.

Virtue signalling and danger signalling are the easiest to understand, but people also use verbal and non-verbal signals to indicate trust or test the trustworthiness of others. A criminal organization, for example, will have a new member commit a pointless crime to demonstrate their trustworthiness. This is not just to sort out police informants, as is portrayed on television. It’s mostly to ascertain the willingness of the person to commit to the life of the organization. It’s hard to be a criminal if you will not commit crimes.

Outlaw biker culture is a good example of the use of signalling to establish trust relationships. Bikers have always, for example, adopted Nazi symbols as part of their display items. Bikers are not sitting around reading Julius Evola. What they are doing is signalling their complete rejection of the prevailing morality. By adopting taboo symbols and clothing, the outlaw biker is letting other bikers know his status, as much as he is letting the squares know he is a dangerous guy, who should be avoided.

This type of signalling is also defensive. Someone who is not serious or unprepared for life in a motorcycle club will try hard to hide this from himself and the club he is trying to impress. When those club members all have visible tattoos and swastikas on their vests, no one can kid themselves about what is expected from members. The visual presentation of the outlaw biker does more to chase away posers and trouble makers than character tests and initiation rituals. A biker is a walking entrance exam for prospects.

It’s not just an in-group/out-group thing. When you start prospecting for a biker club, you are routinely forced to choose between the moral framework of society and the morality of the club. The same process works in cults, interestingly enough. The prospect is always in a position where he must either divorce himself emotionally from his old life and the old world, or leave the club. It’s why one percenter clubs take their time patching in new members. It takes time to leave the old world and fully commit to the lifestyle.

That’s the way to read the alt-right and the stuff they say and do on-line with respect to non-whites, Jews and women. They don’t actually spend a lot of time talking and writing about these groups. They spend most of their time talking about how to organize themselves, the issues that face white identity movements and the philosophical points of their thing. The offensive memes and the racists language are mostly signalling. If you freak out over Hitler themed twitter avatars, then you are never going to be in their thing.

As with bike culture, it is defensive signalling to ward off entryists and the posers, but it is also a signal that joining their thing is more than just a secret handshake. If you are on-line talking about white identity, you’re never going back to the squaresville world of normie politics. You are rejecting that world as illegitimate in favor of the new thing. In effect, the racist memes are an offer. Accept it as a price of admission, but understand that by accepting the offer you are leaving the old morality behind for the new moral framework.

What this sort of signalling suggests is that the alt-right may have more staying power and more momentum, than their current numbers would suggest. Political movements come and go because they are rooted in the moment. “Free Silver” stopped being a rally cry once the currency issue was put to bed. The “Happy Warrior” stuff from the prior generation no longer has any relevance, as those ideological wars are now a part of history. Political movements are born to die, as soon as their issue is resolved.

The other thing about political movements is they are inherently open. The whole point of the Tea Party, for example, was to rally a lot of people from different ideologies to challenge the Progressives, who sacked Washington. The Tea Party people welcomed anyone who opposed the bailouts and reckless spending that was ushered in by Obama and the Democrats. That openness is what allowed the army of grifters from Conservative Inc to sail in and hijack the movement, turning it into a fundraising arm of the GOP.

Cultural movements, like identity or race movements, are closed and exclusive. They certainly seek to grow their numbers, but only on their own terms. They place narrow rules on members and never accept divided loyalties. You are either in the thing or outside the thing. There is no in between. This is why the American Left has been so persistent and able to re-spawn after each collapse. It’s not a list of agenda items. It’s a lifestyle with a moral code and a wide array of symbols for the members to accept and display.

That’s what is evolving with the alt-right. There’s no way to be “sort of alt-right.” You’re either in it or you’re not in it. That’s become clear with the schism between the civ-nat guys and the alt-right. Rejecting a guy like Milo Yiannopoulos forces guys like Gavin McInness to decide. He can be edgy TV funny guy or he can be in the alt-right and everything that implies. The result is his thing is dissolving as some people bite the bullet and join the alt-right, while others go back to sleep.

The jury is still out as to whether the alt-right is the long hoped for response to the rise of the New Left in the 1960’s. Ironically, the worst thing that could happen for the alt-right is for Trump to be everything his critics in Washington claim. White identity politics can only flourish when whites believe they must be an intolerant minority, battling other intolerant minorities for space. What is clear is that the alt-right is not another Tea Party. It has staying power because it is a cultural movement, not a political one.

¹The title of this post comes from this excellent book, Codes of the Underworld.

The Jay Kay Kay

Last week, The Anti-Defamation League put out a proscription list of hate thinkers they have deemed to be a danger to the republic. In years past, they would roll out lists of old geezers from the 1960’s, but now they are going after the alt-right. They describe Richard Spencer’s thing as “the most visible extremist movement” in the country. They also listed the alt-lite as fellow travelers. The point of the list is to intimidate people into disassociating from the people on the list. The ADL is trying isolate and ostracize these people.

Ironically, it is not a lot different from what the Klan used to do in a bygone era. As is true with most things in the current crisis, the history of the Ku Klux Klan has been retconned to fit the current narrative. According the prevailing mythologies, the Klan was just like the 19th century Cossacks. Instead of riding through Jewish villages on horseback, the Klan drove through black neighborhoods in pickup trucks.They are portrayed as sort of an off-the-books secret police, run by southern political leaders.

The truth is something different. The primary role of the Klan was to keep whites in line, not blacks. Sure, the Klan would terrorize blacks on occasion, but they were mostly interested in keeping the white majority in line. A white business that did not strictly adhere to the color line, for example, could find itself in trouble with the local Klan. They did not have to resort to physical violence in most cases. The most effective weapon of the 20th century Klan was social pressure to force whites to toe the racial line.

The other important bit about the Klan that has been thrown down the memory hole is that they lost. The reason is that after a while, their moral authority eroded and therefore their ability to apply pressure on whites decreased. Think about it. The Klan has no credibility today so they have no power. That means they had real power only when the white majority took them seriously. A look at history shows that the Klan was most active when their influence was on the wane. In that regard, it was always a rearguard action.

The same logic applies to the ADL and SPLC. Within recent memory, being called out by either group would ruin a media career and certainly destroy a political career. People in outsider politics could guarantee they would remain in outsider politics if they found themselves on the ADL’s list of bad thinkers. While you could survive having private doubts about the prevailing orthodoxy on race, you could not survive even the hint of antisemitism. That’s what made the ADL and SPLC so powerful.

This list and the SPLC’s recent missteps suggest that like the Klan in the 50’s and 60’s, these groups are now waning in authority. Including guys like Gavin McInness on their list of crime thinkers is so ridiculous, the only proper response is to laugh. The Proud Boys are about as edgy and subversive as bingo night at The Villages. The only reason anyone cares about them is that McInness is a media gadfly. His “group” is really just a fan club he maintains to promote his media appearances and internet show.

Another indication that these groups and their moral authority are on the wane is the fact that the response has ranged from indifference to mockery. McInness had a meltdown on twitter, but he was the exception. Most of the alt-lite people simply ignored it, as there was very little media coverage. The alt-right people were howling with laughter, congratulating one another over having made the list. The whole point of the name and shame campaign is to actually shame people. If they are laughing, they are not feeling much shame.

There’s another connection to the Klan. These groups, especially their leaders, have gotten very rich in the skins game. Morris Dees has become super-rich peddling himself as the Hebrew Avenger. When you need to hide your money in the Cayman Islands, you have a lot of money. The skins game has been very good to groups like the ADL, just as segregation was a profitable venture for members of the Klan. The ADL is mostly playing defense now, hoping for one last payday in the skins game.

Of course, that’s where the analogy breaks down. The Klan was never able to turn their thing into a profitable enterprise. That’s mostly because they lost, but there’s not much evidence to suggest they tried to monetize their movement. The ADL and SPLC have always been money making schemes from the start. Despite the greed though, they were highly effective at changing public attitudes. At the very top of the modern hierarchy of sin is the sin of antisemitism. It’s the one unforgivable transgression.

Still, the thumbless way that groups like the ADL are responding to the Dissident Right suggests they have not just lost their way, but lost their relevance. When Progressive propaganda outlets are running features like this one about the SPLC, the writing is on the wall. The people in charge no longer respect the moral authority of these groups and their intended victims no longer fear them. Like the Klan, the ADL and SPLC can only exist as long as they are feared or respected. Neither is true now.

Better Living Through Suicide

Religions tend to set limits. Those limits come with the force of God or some spiritual force that transcends man. Otherwise, a religion would be nothing more than man-made rules enforced by the strongest. This is why laws in most of the world are rooted in the dominant religion of the region or country. The local religion is a list of restrictions and limitations placed on the believers. Naturally, when it came time to form a government and write laws, they relied upon the laws and rules of their religion.

This may seem rather obvious, but the concept of the limiting principle is easy to take for granted. This is a core feature of most religions and it easiest to understand by considering our laws. Take two people who are not robbing banks. Just as long as both are not robbing banks, neither is more or less of a bank robber than the other. Both are simply not bank robbers. In other words, while there may be degrees of bank robbery, there are no degrees of not bank robbery. Not being one is the limit of that virtue.

This is true of religion, of course. The sinner can be someone breaking a minor rule or someone violating the big rules. Their degree of sinfulness can be established, but their degree of virtue does not exist. If you are not violating the rules of the faith, then that is as good as it gets for you, at least in this life. In other words, there is a limit to virtue. That limit is the rule or prohibition. You are either within the rules or not. Efforts to out-virtue others are usually seen as vanity, unjustified boasting about one’s spiritual state.

The limiting principle keeps religions and the law from going crazy and descending into virtue spirals. After all, if one can be more virtuous than the next guy, then the next guy can be even more virtuous. The cycle ends only when everyone is dead. The same is true of the law. Utopian schemes like communism are aimed at constructing the perfect society, but since perfection is impossible, it is a never ending cycle of madness to make society better, which means making people better. It’s why they always end in violence.

This has always been the problem with efforts to create a civic religion. Robespierre and his radical buddies figured this out quickly, which is why they came up with the Cult of the Supreme Being. Of course, their new reason cult got weird in hurry and contributed to the demise of Robespierre. The reason is any effort to invest moral authority in men or their creations turns those men into gods. The madness of the French Revolution was a virtue spiral, as there was no transcendent limit. The radicals could always be more radical.

We see this with the nature movements that have been a feature of the Left for as long as anyone reading this has been alive. The greens always aim for some sort of Edenic outcome. Their goal always lies just a little further. The idea of “good enough” is outside their comprehension. Couple that with their preternatural belief in the sinfulness of man and you end up with a nature cult that borders on being a suicide cult. The end point of every Progressive nature movement is the end of mankind.

The greatest impact individuals can have in fighting climate change is to have one fewer child, according to a new study that identifies the most effective ways people can cut their carbon emissions.

The next best actions are selling your car, avoiding long flights, and eating a vegetarian diet. These reduce emissions many times more than common green activities, such as recycling, using low energy light bulbs or drying washing on a line. However, the high impact actions are rarely mentioned in government advice and school textbooks, researchers found.

Just look at that list. It sounds like a combination of the Shakers and 1970’s new age mysticism. In order to save the planet, according to researchers and experts no less, is to avoid having more humans and make the ones waiting around to die as miserable as possible. The unspoken reason for selling the car and sitting in the dark with your nothing burger is so you can suffer and atone for your sins. In other words, it is not enough to be a green, you have to kill yourself as the ultimate sign of your virtue.

This is not new. The Shakers, obviously, are an example of what happens when a religion cannot imagine a limit to virtue. The Shakers, though, had the decency to mind their own business and not try to inflict themselves on the rest of the world. In the long run, they were a slow-motion suicide cult, but they were willing to let nature take its course. The modern nature cults not only want to rush their demise, they want to take the rest of us with them, or at least make us suffer for their religion.

This is the problem that has haunted the Left in America. There’s no concept of good enough. They are always chanting, “we can do more” or “there is more work to do.” No matter how much damage they do in the holy cause, they are sure that more needs doing, more must be done. It’s why their causes tend to burn out in fits of insanity like we see with the whole transgender thing. The quest for the ultimate victim has led them to celebrate mental illness as a virtue and deny biological reality.

There’s another point here worth mentioning. A reason Progressives lack the concept of the limiting principle is that the modern American Left grew out of the postmillennialism of the 19th and early 20th century. This was an American Protestant movement based on the belief that the time between now and the end times would be one where the Church came to dominate the nations of the earth and usher in an era of peace, prosperity and righteousness, signally the return of Christ. Abolitionism was a product of this movement.

Modern Progressives have abandoned the language of Christianity, but they retain the characteristics and much of the language of their spiritual forebears. Instead of spreading the Word, they spread democracy. Instead of defeating Satan by expanding the kingdom of God on earth, the modern Progressives expands the inclusive Community to defeat the Hate. Saving the earth is, in a way, the restoration of Eden. When the goal is to immanentize the eschaton, it is no wonder they set no limits for themselves.

Guns and the Prog

A useful way to experience the lunacy of Progressives is to discuss guns with your local lefty. Most people understand that gun control is worthless as a tool to control crime or even reduce gun accidents. The people using guns in crime are by definition not the sort to obey gun laws. Similarly, the people inclined to shoot themselves or friends while playing William Tell will find some way to off themselves, no matter what you do. The only result of gun control is to harass honest citizens exercising their rights as citizens.

The mountain of data in support of liberalized gun laws is beyond dispute. Even if you are not inclined to dig into the details, the fundamental logic is manifest. People who abide by the laws are, by definition, not the sort to break the laws. That means people who break the law are not interested in any new laws you are passing. Therefore, passing gun laws will only inconvenience those who follow the law and do nothing to stop the criminals. At best, gun laws are just a tool of the state to go after the more clever street gangs.

Despite all this, Progressives obsess over gun laws. This story from a few months ago is a good example. The people who support this sort of stuff know nothing about guns, gun culture or gun shows. Yet, they remain convinced that gun shows resemble an arms bizarre in the Middle East, where bearded men buy and sell military gear. Further, they remain convinced that gun shows are exempt from the thousands of gun laws on the books. They are convinced that “gun show loophole” is a real thing.

That’s what makes guns a useful topic for understanding the Prog mind. All of us have had the experience where the Prog friend or relative starts going on about guns. Someone then steps forward to correct all of their errors about guns and gun laws. Then someone gently explains to them the anti-logic at the core of gun control. The Prog will take correction, nod along and seem to understand the material, but then soon after they will be repeating the same gun control slogans they were saying the last time.

It’s tempting to think it is a mental illness and to some degree it is. It’s just the nature of the fanatic. They see only that which confirms the nature of their fanaticism. That simple and seemingly effective conversation you had with the blue haired girl at the office about guns may as well have been in Swahili. As soon as she confronted disconfirmation, her receptors shut down and she went onto autopilot, appearing to comprehend what you were saying, but not really hearing any of it. You were Charlie Brown’s teacher.

It’s why it is an error to think they are stupid or dishonest. Those things may be true, but the reality is, they don’t know they are doing it. It’s as natural to them as blinking is to the living. Gun control has become an obsession with Progs, because they are convinced it harms white people, particularly white men. Again, this is not malice of forethought. It is instinctual as the Prog faith is an explicit rejection of the culture created by western white males. Gun control reminds them of this and it makes them feel good, so they embrace it.

This is why gun control has been a political topic for more than fifty years. G. Gordon Liddy, when he was in the Nixon administration, worked on gun control. That was the early 1970’s. His task was to help craft regulations to get the so-called “Saturday Night Special” off the streets, particularity the streets of DC. That term came into the lexicon via the Gun Control Act of 1968. In other words, like the “gun show loophole”, 1960’s Prog fanatics invented a phrase to market gun control, despite the fact there was no such thing.

That’s what makes the gun issue useful in understanding the Prog mind. Gun control as a social policy has been thoroughly discredited, but that does not dissuade the Left from pushing gun control. It’s why it is pointless to think you can change their mind or get them to reconsider their position. The Prog is beyond the reach of facts and reason. They are the truest of true believers committed to a cause they put above all else. You can no more talk them out of their beliefs than talk a Muslim out of his faith.

This applies to all issues, not just guns. Take a look at this video of Tucker Carlson talking with the neocon nutter, Ralph Peters. The neocons have been wrong about everything with regards to foreign policy. Despite the disastrous results, they continue to advocate for the same polices that have been discredited by reality. At one point, Peters admits to having been wrong about Iraq, but then seamlessly presses the case for repeating the mistake in Syria. It’s as if he tuned out his own admission of failure.

The lesson here is that there’s no point in trying to reason with a fanatic. Whether or not the neocons are the Trotsky wing of the Progs or the Buckleyites is debatable, but there is no debate about their fanaticism with regards to Muslims and the Russians. The endless fake news about Russia and the election is rooted in neocon fanaticism. They are sure Putin is Tsar Alexander III threatening to impose the May Laws on Manhattan. The abject lunacy of it, like the lunacy of gun control, has no effect on the mind of these fanatics.

There’s another lesson here. The NRA has been the one effective organization in the culture wars of the last half century. They do not win every fight, but they have managed to claw back territory after having lost some fights in the 60’s and 70’s. The reason is they avoided party politics and the temptations of political access, They stuck to building majorities in favor of their issues. They win because they transcend Washington politics and build large coalitions in favor of gun rights. Our team can learn a lot from the NRA.

The Church of Modern Lunacy

I have a passing interest in the Church of England and its American variation, the Episcopal Church. An old friend is in the church so I get some first hand descriptions of what it is like to be in a dying institution. That’s the only way to describe the Episcopal Church. Attendance declines every year as old members die off and new members never materialize. Go into an Episcopal service and you can’t help but notice that most everyone is a senior. The actuarial tables are the church’s greatest enemy.

Of course, church attendance has always skewed a little older. Young people tend not to be attracted to the faith, even if their parents regularly attend services. As people get older, have families and begin to sink roots, they get more involved in their faith and attend services regularly. That’s the trouble with the mainline Protestant religions. The young are not coming back once they start having families. That means their children are not raised in the faith. As a result, these churches are now in a death spiral.

The story is familiar to anyone who has been paying attention. These churches made the decision to chase the latest social fads in the 70’s and 80’s, hoping to make themselves more appealing to the young. The only thing they did was make themselves less attractive to people interested in being part of a traditional Christian sect. It was not just in the pews, but in the clergy as well. Those feeling the call found that the church in which they were raised was not interested in defending and maintaining the faith.

The result is the clergy slowly radicalized. First came the women and then the feminist women. Soon they invited in the homosexuals and the clergy started looking like the faculty of a liberal arts college. That’s when the pews started to empty out. Why bother going to church, when you can get the same liberal lecture from television? That’s what started the decline in church attendance. Instead of offering a shelter from the storm, they decided to chase an over-served market – radical Progressives.

Talking to my friend, he tells me that there are elements within the Episcopal Church that know what must be done to save the church. The trouble is they are outgunned and out maneuvered by the radicals. That’s the thing. The conservatives make it a priority to serve the church and serve God, while the radicals are always scheming to advance the radical agenda. The conservatives are constantly outmaneuvered because they are not playing the political games. They end up getting marginalized, despite having numbers.

Of course, young people seeking to join the clergy are confronted by a politicized bureaucracy full of homosexuals and social justice warriors, who are mainly interested in advancing their own agenda within the church. Like the old commie radicals of yesteryear, the current radicals use struggle sessions and purity tests to boil off those who would challenge their agenda. Imagine you’re a young priest and you are told you now have to celebrate a special mass for the transgendered.

The General Synod of the Church of England has voted to ‘welcome transgender people’ by considering preparing a church service as a way to “mark a person’s gender transition”.
The official church of the United Kingdom voted four to one in favour amongst the Clergy and more than two to one amongst the Laity (members who are not Clergy) at the four-day Synod, the motion reading:

“That this Synod, recognising the need for transgender people to be welcomed and affirmed in their parish church, call on the House of Bishops to consider whether some nationally commended liturgical materials might be prepared to mark a person’s gender transition.”

Vicar of Lancaster Priory Church, Chris Newlands, posed the motion to the Synod, saying he would speak on behalf of transgender people as the church’s Synod has none.

He said: “We need to be aware of the impact that our actions – be them welcome or rejection – have on the members of the trans community.

“I hope that we can make a powerful statement that we believe trans people are cherished and loved by God, who created them.”

The BBC reports that, “Such a service would not be a second baptism, however, as the Church’s teaching is that humans are made in the image of God – transcending gender – and baptism takes place only once.”

Archbishop of York Dr. John Sentamu said there was a need for vicars “to welcome and affirm, in their parish, transgender people”, adding that the “theology has to be done” by the House of Bishops and “can be done very quickly”.

Notice the feminine language. They want to “welcome and affirm” trannies into their churches. I’d like these guys to point to the passage in the Bible that covers men who like to play dress up or people so mentally unbalanced they believe their sex organs are imaginary. Ministering to the mentally ill has a place in a church, but that’s not what they are saying. They want to make mutilating people a sacrament. Imagine being forced to embrace this sort of madness. It is no wonder the sane clergy are leaving.

Of course, it’s also why the pews are empty. It’s another reminder that Progressives must be treated like rage zombies or highly contagious disease carriers. Once you let one into your organization, it will set about bringing in more of its kind. In this case, it was women in the clergy, then feminists, then homosexuals. They have reached the point where few inside the church care at all about the faith. It’s all about the latest Progressive fads and how they can outrage the remaining members of their congregations.

The Servile State

A century ago, Hilaire Belloc wrote in the The Servile State¹ that attempts to reform capitalism will lead to an economy in which the state dictates that certain people will work for others, who likewise must take care of them. Belloc called this the servile state. This is different from early arrangements in which slaves and serfs were the backbone of the economy. In those arrangements, the owner has a choice to not own slaves. It is also different from capitalism, in which everyone is politically free by law.

Belloc was a man of his age so he viewed economics through the goggles of socialism and the newly emergent industrial capitalism. In The Servile State, he was searching for an alternative to the destruction of liberty necessary with socialism and the instability inherent to capitalism. The former results in an inequality of political power, while the latter results in an inequality of material wealth. Eventually, a small number of people rule over the masses, who begin to resent their rulers, seeing them as tyrants.

What Belloc argued is that socialism is inevitably the state dictating to property holders how they can dispose of their property. The state does this either through direct ownership, or through legal requirements for the ownership and use of property. Political freedom is determined by the degree of freedom one has with regards his labor and the results of his labor.. Therefore, socialism must restrict the political liberty of citizens to the same degree that it controls property and labor of the citizens.

Capitalism puts ownership and control of property in the hands of the people. In pure capitalism or what we now call libertarianism, individuals not only control their labor and the results of their labor, they are politically free. In theory, men either labor for their own use or agree to labor for others. The state’s only purpose is to enforce contracts as all of the dealings between citizens is consensual and formalized in a contract. The appeal of capitalism, pure capitalism, is the allure of pure political freedom.

By the time Belloc was writing, it was clear that pure capitalism would inevitably result in the concentration of wealth. A small class of property owners would come to posses the bulk of the nation’s wealth. That means a class of people who were free and a class of people who were not free, because they could not own and control their own labor. This led to social instability and eventually violence. Belloc argued that attempts to reform capitalism through state action would result in something he called the Servile State.

Reforms to capitalism are always through the law. The state places limits on how the owners of property may use their property. This then leads to a negotiation between the state, which has the monopoly of force, and the property class, which has a monopoly of capital. The result is a system in which the state seeks to protect those without property by placing requirement in the capital owners. In return, the state require the masses to labor for the property class, under conditions set by the state.

The result is that the business is forced to hire people it may not wish to hire, but the state also dictates to labor how and when they can sell their labor. Put another way, the poor are forced to serve the rich, but the rich are forced to be generous to the poor, looking out for their welfare. It is a social contract enforced at the barrel of a gun. It has the inequality of capitalism and the lack of political liberty inherent in socialism. The Servile State is the worst elements of both economic systems.

Belloc could not see what was coming in the post-war era and he certainly had no idea what was coming with the technological revolution and the explosion of neo-liberal globalism. He was prescient, however, with regards to how English economic systems would evolve over time. Look around at the modern world and you see the world he described as the inevitable result of “reformed capitalism.” Today, employers hire whole teams of people who makes sure the rich and powerful follow the rules.

What’s been missing in the technological age is the other half of the equation. As the West de-industrialized, the enforcement of labor laws have fallen away. Masses of helot labor brought over from Asia into Silicon Valley, for example, worked under agreements they struck with the business owners. Tech companies love open borders as it gives them a loophole to avoid some of the constraints of the Servile State. The same is true at the unskilled end, where companies rely upon masses of labor from Latin America.

This is an untenable situation in its own right, but the coming automation of the American economy will result in an evolution of the Servile State. The Universal Basic Income is nothing more than a modern implementation of the sort of infringements on political liberty Belloc described a century ago. Property holders will be forced to care for the dispossessed and, inevitably, the state will put behavior rules on the dispossessed. The UBI will come with rules requiring the recipients to act a certain way.

You get a glimpse of this in the efforts to control political speech on-line. Social media companies get exceptions to anti-trust laws, permitting them to run monopolies. In exchange, they are tasked with policing dissent on behalf of the state. The users get “free access” to platforms like Faceberg and Twitter, just as long as they agree to the terms of service and accept discipline when they post subversive things. Imagine this system applied to the universal basic income or to access to your self-driving car.

Belloc’s alternative was something he and Chesterton called distributism. Some have argued that their economic ideas were proto-fascism, but that’s debatable. What Belloc argued for was the inverse of the Servile State. Instead of a strong central state, political authority would be distributed and diffused throughout society, while wealth concentration would be constrained locally though ad hoc arrangements and cultural institutions. The goal is to maximize liberty, while minimizing inequality.

Whether or not this is possible in the modern age is debatable. Belloc and Chesterton argued that this was the natural arrangement of Europe. They also argued that it required a strong and energetic Christian tradition. That ship has sailed in the West, but maybe it does not matter. There’s no getting around the fact that neo-liberalism may be economically stable, but it is wildly unstable culturally. The experience of Europe thus far suggests it is suicidal. How to address it may lie with globalism’s last critics.

Alt-Bot Politics

Recently, the government has seen fit to dump a collection of hobos into my part of the ghetto. For a long time we were bum free, then one day we had four or five camping in shrubbery, behind buildings and so forth. One was completely insane, running into the street screaming at people. The others just look like men down on their luck, as we used to say. They stay out of the way and they don’t panhandle, at least as far as I can tell.

The one guy I see, on my way to and from the office, never seems to move from the clump of bushes he now calls home. It was raining today and he had an umbrella, so he could guard his camp, I suppose. The bum’s life is a mystery to me, but my hunch is the sheer boredom of it alters them psychologically, assuming they are something close to sane before they hit the streets. This one looks like a drunk to me, but that’s a guess.

Still, imagine what it must be like to wake up every day knowing you have no reason to exist. The crazy ones are probably lucky in that regard. The drunks and drug addicts sober up long enough to realize they are just extra people that have no purpose and the world has no use for them. Presumably, their addictions are what landed them on the streets, but that realization is probably what keeps them there. What’s the point?

Once in my life, I was out of work for an extended period. The career I was in had run its course so I was in need of a course correction. I had some money put away that I could use to take some time off to figure out my next move. The first month was great. I enjoyed all the things I never had time to do when working. Then it got boring and my sleep started getting weird. I realized that I was not built for retirement or extended unemployment.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not one of the “work sets you free” types. I like goofing off as much as anyone. It’s just that I need a reason to get up in the morning. I need a purpose and it does not need to be a grand purpose. Even a job stocking shelves would be enough, just as long as I know I’m part of the world. I don’t think I’m an outlier. My general impression is most people have the itch that is best scratched by having a job.

Fear of the robot revolution mostly focuses on the economics of a world without work, but there is that other side and it may be more important. Let’s pretend the robots figure out how to keep us in material goods beyond any reasonable expectation. Without some purpose, lots of people will get bored and then go a little crazy. Crazy bums are a manageable problem. Crazy bored smart people may not be manageable.

That’s the other thing about the robot revolution. It’s assumed that the laboring classes will be hit first. That may not be the case. I was talking with a friend over the holiday and he is fairly sure he will be out of a career soon. He is in the money business and much of what he does is being taken over by software. The algorithms are so good there is no need for the smart guy who trades on math, rather than emotion or experience.

It’s not just that the machines are replacing people. What automation often does is reduce the skills required of certain jobs. In the industrial age, automation replaced the skilled craftsman with a local yokel, who would work cheap. Similarly, smart experienced people in the investment game are being replaced with younger, cheaper people who will push the green button when it flashes and the red button when it flashes, like bond traders do now.

The robot revolution is not going to happen overnight, but a lot of smart people in their middle years, see the writing on the wall. Baby Boomers have not prepared adequately for their retirement, but at least they had a job until retirement. The next generation is facing a great dislocation in the second half of their prime working years. If “greedy geezers” are warping our politics, just imagine what a wave of pissed off middle-aged people will do.

We may be getting a glimpse of it with the alt-right. It’s hard not to notice that the movement is mostly young males. There are plenty Gen-X people, but they are the geezers of the movement. The irreverence and subversiveness are only partially driven by youth. There’s a healthy disdain for the culture too. The alt-right is a rejection of the modern American culture, by people who think the culture has rejected them.

As the middle-aged people begin to wonder what’s the point, many will do like the hobos at the start of this post. They will find ways to lose themselves in drugs, booze and despondency. Some will get into the sort of dissident politics we see with the alt-right, while others may even find more radical ways to find purpose in their lives. Men need a purpose, a reason to get up in the morning. If work is not it, then something else will fill the void. The robot masters may learn that idle hands do the devil’s work.