Exiles

Exile is a central part of human existence, most certainly as old as human settlement and probably predating it. Human are a social animals. Banishment and ostracism are primeval weapons, wielded by human groups for the worst crimes like sacrilege, murder and subversion. Exile as a punishment is based in the understanding that much of who we are as a human is based on or relationship with others. Our role in the group is who we are, so therefore being forced out of the group is a nullification of one’s identity.

Death, of course, is the ultimate nullification. For a group of humans to decide that one of their own must die is the acknowledgement that the person can never be a part of the group. Who they are is not just out of sync with the group. It is a danger to the very existence of the group. Exile, in contrast, assumes the exiled can be reformed. It offers the exiled at least some opportunity to regain himself and become a part of the group again. Alternatively, he can find a new group where he belongs.

While exile is as old as man, it is also as modern as man too. In fact, we would not have modernity without the prominent role of exiles in the human story. The Bolsheviks, for example, came out of exile to rock the old order and begin close to a century of struggle in the West. The Iranian revolution was engineered by exiles, who ushered in half a century of unrest in the Muslim world. Of course, America was born as an enclave for exiles, men divorced from the old country and starting new in the wilderness.

A useful way to understand the role of exile in shaping the West is to think about the birth of conservatism in Europe. Unlike everything else in modern thought, it was not the result of the Enlightenment, but rather a consequence of the French Revolution. The destruction, terror and wars that resulted from the revolution, created a generation of exiles, divorced from their lands, their people and their way of life. Their struggle to understand the revolution and formulate a response, was the birth of conservatism in the West.

Today, of course, there is never any discussion of how the revolution transformed the aristocracy of Europe. The radicals who rule over the West, like chimps looking in a mirror, can never stop obsessing over their antecedents. The revolution, however, fundamentally altered the elite of Europe. There was the material changes, of course, as they were forced to abandon their lands and flee to neighboring lands. There were also a spiritual and intellectual changes that resulted in being exiled from their homes.

The French aristocrat living in Vienna, for example, suddenly found himself around a new elite, with different habits and different tastes. This sudden juxtaposition gave these aristocrats a new perspective on their own culture. Prior to exile, they had no reason to think about why they lived as they did. It was just the way things were as they entered the world. In exile, they had to examine why it was their way of life existed, why they existed, and why it was swept away by the revolution.

In other words, exile created a romanticism for that lost past, but also an intellectual framework to understand how that old order was lost and how best to respond to the radicalism that was unleashed on society. Further, the restoration cemented the point that the old order was gone for good. The saying among conservatives at the time was that the restored king Louis XVIII was not sitting on the Bourbon throne, he was sitting on the throne of Napoleon. It was an acknowledgement that there was no going back.

In this age, exile explains why northern conservatism was a shabby response to northern radicalism. The conservative was not the result of exile. He was always as much a part of the ruling ethos as the radical. The relationship between the American conservative and the American radical was always as codependents. The radical needed the conservative as a foil, while the conservative needed the radical for a reason to exist. Without one, the other could never exist as an independent mode of thought.

The closest America has come to having an authentic conservatism was in the South where the conquered and displaced planter class had to reconcile the loss of their past with a way forward as a region elite. It never really worked, as there could never be a restoration, even an artificial one. The anathematization of Southern culture has been so through and complete in the 20th century, that now the very symbols of it are treated as an affront to public morality. That aristocracy was exterminated, not exiled.

What may be happening in this age of cultural upheaval, however, is the birth of a new class of exiles. White men of the older generation are seeing the world in which they were born slowly succumbing to the darkness of multiculturalism. Theirs is not a romanticism for that old age, but a growing anger at its loss. The BoomerCon takes a lot of grief, and deservedly so, but every day that group inches closer toward identity politics as the only available response to the gathering darkness.

In the younger generations, there can be no romanticism or an angry response to the loss of old white America. Instead, there is an acceptance that old white America can never be restored. There’s also a reconsideration of what created mid-century America and what sent it rocketing into the abyss of self-abnegation. These are the new exiles, divorced from the past, cut off from their culture and hounded by the radicals of this revolution, as the aristocrats of France were hounded by the Jacobins.

The defect in the conservative response to 18th century radicalism was it could never get past its own romanticism. The conservatives of that age were still surrounded by the results of their lost culture. In every city center, in every local village, they were reminded of the glorious past. As a result, the conservatism of Europe was always destined to be a compromise with radicalism. Constitutional monarchy was an effort to retain the spirit of the past, inhabiting the sterile, lifeless body of social democracy.

This generation of exiles will have the benefit of not living in a museum. In a way, the radical destruction of the symbols and language of old white America is doing a service to the exiles of today and tomorrow. Without the ghosts of the past, clawing at the present, the response to today’s radicalism can be independent and new. Today’s exile will not be animated by a longing for a lost past, but instead be haunted by the unrealized present and an anger at the radicals who foreclosed his future.

The Persistence of Bad Ideas

The old line about a lie being halfway around the world before the truth is out of bed is a keen observation, but it also suggests something about the nature of lies. That is, a lie that gets around has some appealing quality to it. The reason it spreads so quickly is people want to believe it. There’s something about it that ticks all the right boxes. As a result, even smart and skeptical people, not only want to believe it, but they want to help everyone else believe it. Some lies turn everyone they touch into willing accomplices.

Bad ideas are like that too. For some reason, people want to believe them, even when it really makes no sense to believe them. For example, most people still think your diet can have a significant impact on your health. That if you eat fatty foods, you will have a heart attack. At the extremes this is true, but most disease is genetic. When it comes to heart disease, diet has nothing to do with it. The same is true of things like cholesterol levels, where there is little data to support a link between “bad” cholesterol and heart disease.

Part of what drives the persistence of bad ideas is they seem to address a need among modern people to believe in free will. As the human sciences build the case that we are the product of our genetic coding, the need to believe we can overcome that by force of will becomes stronger. Therefore, if you have a family history of heart disease, you want to believe eating unpleasant food, like some form of preemptive penance, will ward off the reality of your genetic makeup. Your diet becomes a moral issue for you.

The concept of epigenetics seems to be following a similar path. It is becoming this catchall idea that lets people ignore what we know, in favor of speculative nonsense that has no supporting data. This set of long posts on the Arktos site the other day are a good example of the phenomenon. The argument from the author is that epigenetics is proving that experiences can be passed onto subsequent generation through a biological process, just as genetic traits like eye color are passed on from parent to child.

The author is picking up on something Oswald Spengler argued. That is, the land of a people shapes their sense of identity, how they see themselves and their purpose. This in turn shapes their culture. The author of the Arktos piece thinks science is proving that these collective cultural experiences as a people are shared, but also passed on to subsequent generations via the miracle of epigenetics. He points to some papers on the subject and this study on the children of holocaust survivors.

The original definition of epigenetics¹ is the study of how genes are expressed, from a biological perspective. Your DNA contains instructions for determining your eye and hair color, for example, but it also contains instructions for more subtle things like personality traits. You inherit your DNA from your parents. Epigenetics refers to ways in which those genes are turned on and off. Genes are the blueprint for creating proteins, while epigenetics is the study of how genes are read.

The way in which epigenetics is used here and in popular writing is the claim that your experiences can somehow be passed onto your children. This is complete nonsense and there is no evidence to support it. You cannot pass on your experiences to your off-spring through any known biological processes. This nutty idea was cooked up by left-wing agitators so they could claim victim-hood by proxy. Their ancestors were treated poorly, so they are now suffering from the same effects, as part of their biological inheritance.

To now put this bad idea to use in the name of race realism or the moral philosophy of Oswald Spengler is amusing, but every bit as a nutty. As Greg Cochran once put it, this line of reasoning is like saying if you chop off a cat’s tale, it’s kittens will be born without tales. There’s simply no known biological process for passing on experiences or learned behavior. In fact, the changes to how your genes are read as a result of environmental factors are reset in the zygote. In other words, you can’t pass on your experiences.

Now, the author of the Arktos piece is probably a nice guy with good intentions. His background is history and theology, so he can be forgiven for not understanding the human sciences part of this. That raises the question of why epigenetics is so attractive an explanation for someone without math or science. Why embrace something about which you know nothing? The obvious answer is it supports his main point, but another aspect of it is that old need to believe in free will. We are not just moist robots.

In this way, bad ideas are like great salesmen. The bad idea always flatters the person willing to believe it. Pitchmen and motivational speakers have relied on flattery since forever, because people like being flattered. The flattery of free will is that you, unlike the rest of those slobs out there, control your destiny. The promise of epigenetics is that your decisions today will alter the lives of generations to come, because your decisions will be passed onto them, whether they like it or not. You are a god.

Of course, it also suggests something about the future. Many think that the unriddling of the human genome will usher in an age of reason. The fact that our theological overlords have suddenly become evangelical opponents of the human sciences, while embracing things like epigenetics, suggests otherwise. Belief is powerful magic, that has always found a way to override factual reality. That’s probably the main reason bad ideas are like drug resistant viruses. They make it easy to avoid facing reality.

¹I’m not writing a biology textbook here, so if you’re tempted to sperg out on the science, restrain yourself. This is not a post about science.

The Future Is Now

People love talking about the future, as it allows them to project their own narrative onto the present, without actually having to argue from facts and reason. The robot future is the best example. Those inclined to doom and gloom assume the robots take over and the result will be awful. Libertarians imagine the robots take over and immediately realize a society based on private property is the only viable option. In other words, when we start imagining the glorious future, we do so in order to make points about the present.

The fact is, the future is never what is promised. Those inclined to dark thoughts in the middle of the last century were sure Orwell’s vision was mostly correct. We live nothing like that today. Yet, people insist he will be proven correct any day now. Of course, the glorious future promised in the middle of the last century never happened either. Instead of flying cars, hot women in tight fitting jumpsuits and colonies on Mars, we have traffic jams, fat single mothers scurrying over the southern border and an emerging police state.

Just because the futurists always seem to be wrong, it does not mean no one warned about what was coming. Every society has its prophets. That’s because the future does not spring from nothing. There are always signs early on, suggesting what comes next and the ramifications of it. In retrospect, those signs seem obvious, of course, but the fact that some people saw them suggests people chose not to see them or to simply ignored them for short term reasons. Immigration policy is the obvious example.

What commonplace items today will be things the robot historians look at and wonder how we missed them? This story at the Huffington Post on DNA testing is an example. The story itself is unimportant. It is the sort of thing that would have appeared in a woman’s magazine fifty years ago, except the topic would have been French cooking. That’s a clue, for sure, but not one being has missed today. Popular culture is now awash in females playing roles, other than the one for which they evolved.

The interesting bit is the writer. Her name is Julia Ries, a young graduate of Boston College, working as a freelance writer. Here is her resume. Boston College is one of the more prestigious schools in America these days. It is in a new class of colleges called the “New Ivies” because their admissions standards are similar to the Ivies and their name carries a lot of weight in the managerial class. That means young Mx Ries is fairly emblematic of the type of woman who will be taking up a position in the ruling class.

Look at the job titles. It is a dog’s breakfast of managerial speak. For example, she was a media planner for health and wellness clients. The word “wellness” is a neologism that means the state of not being sick. In other words, instead of being sick, people have degrees of wellness. No one can ever be completely well, so there is a whole industry to promote wellness. If you read that entry carefully, what you see is she spent her days recommending keywords that would work in a Google search.

The next entry is “Digital Content Strategist” which she describes as “we’d listen to clients talk about the growing pains their brands were experiencing and we’d whip up some powerful campaigns to create some buzz and punch things up.” If you want to know why corporate communications is a tangle of neologism and nonsense phrases, there’s your answer. It’s bright young people spending their days coming up with new ways to say what their parents said. It’s a thousand monkeys pounding away at search engines.

The point here is this women is pushing thirty and her career thus far as been a series of nonsense jobs with clever titles. She no doubt thinks they are important steps on the career ladder and they very well may be essential steps. The managerial system is really just an apprenticeship process bolted onto an exam system. If you want to know why mass media is populated with middle aged airheads, incapable to dealing with observable reality, the answer lies in the resumes of young people like Mx. Ries.

The managerial system is not just selecting for the weak and frivolous within its ranks. It is breeding a generation of hot house flowers with its exam system. This story Sailer linked to is a great example. The Hindu comic gets the hook, because his jokes made the Columbia students uncomfortable. The thing about it is the students did not rush the stage or stomp off in a huff. They sat there in various states of emotional distress, until their handlers rushed the stage and shut down the the comedian mid-set.

The point of all this is there seems to be a strange old flaw in the managerial system, that will probably seem obvious in another generation. That is, the system selects for and cultivates increasing weak-minded people. As the system becomes more complex and interdependent, the people become more helpless, depending on the inertia of the system to supply the courage and resolve. In a system built by people with the soul of a human resource department, the greatest skill is doing nothing while sounding essential.

Perhaps the system will become self-aware before this becomes a crisis, but that’s not the way to bet. Instead, we’ll reach a point at which the people in charge are emotionally, morally and intellectually incapable of addressing the inevitable crisis. We may be getting a glimpse of this in France, where the ridiculous fop Emmanuel Macron is quickly being undone by men in safety vests. Macron is an example suggesting the managerial system is not going to be producing a Napoleon or even a de Gaulle to save the day.

The Mongols figured out that invaders from the hills had a habit of taking on the habits of the people they conquered in the valley. The conquers got soft and were in turn conquered by a new tribe from the hills. The Mongols tried to remedy that by being raiders and never settling the lands they conquered. In the West, allowing talent to bubble up from the bottom, often in military service and later business, was a way to keep the ruling class vigorous and on edge. This used to be way things were done in America.

Today, the ruling classes of the West are a closed system. The children of the elite head off to prep schools nestled away in secluded areas. They head off to nice colleges and then start their apprenticeship in the system. Outsiders can only gain entry by first proving they are no threat to question the system. The managerial class is becoming a hot house of make believe work and fatuous airheads. Like the people in the valley enjoying the good life, they are wholly unequipped to handle the next conqueror.

Kritocracy Then Chaos

Imagine if in some local courthouse, we discover that the judges are giving accused child pornographers a free pass. The accused come into the system, get booked and then a judge finds some reason to either let them free on their own recognizance or simply drops the charges. After a while, someone notices that this sleepy little courthouse has a rather high number of people arrested for kiddie porn, but that all of them get set free on some technicality by one of the judges. The public would want some answers.

Upon further inquiry, it is learned that the head judge belongs to some weird club that thinks the age of consent is immoral, that adults should be free to have sex with children and consume child pornography. Once installed at the court house, he hired other judges from his club, as well as clerks and secretaries. The whole courthouse was full of these people. Further, the child porn people heard about it so they would travel to this jurisdiction to indulge in their fetish, knowing the local court would give them a free pass.

Needless to say, such a thing would be the scandal of the century. Now, instead of something abhorrent like kiddie porn, let’s say the secret club is composed of people loyal to some strange religion or bizarre ideology. They think the laws of the country are immoral and seek to overturn the entire legal system. Instead of operating in a local courthouse, they are targeting the Federal system. In other words, it is the same sort of conspiracy, but the motivation is ideological and the target is national.

That’s what we have happening in the Federal court system. The system is riddled with judges who belong to a bizarre political cult. They are members of a legal sub-cult that does not accept the rule of law. Instead, they think the law and the enforcement of the law should always be in support of their cult’s radical agenda. As such, they no longer abide by the law as written and refuse to obey the authority that issues the law. That is what we are seeing on a daily basis, as Federal judges revolt against the legal system.

This is not a new thing. The legendary ninth circuit out west has been a dumping ground for lunatics appointed to the federal bench by their coreligionists. Rulings come out of the ninth circuit, only to be struck down on appeal. The reason the ninth existed, was that everyone acknowledged the existence of this cult, but instead of exterminating it and its members, the idea was to keep them bottled up in specific circuits. It was like a quarantine around an infected zone. Rather than kill the afflicted, they would be isolated.

To continue the metaphor, the virus has jumped the quarantine and now the entire system is showing signs of infection. For two years the Trump administration has been plagued with federal judges who just make up rulings out of thin air. In many cases they are ruling on behalf of plaintiffs who have no standing in the court. In other cases, they are simply making up legal theories so bizarre they would get a first year law student dismissed from school on mental health grounds. The Federal bench is in revolt against the rule of law.

In this particular case, the law is clear. It’s not just US law, but international law. There is a legal process for applying for asylum. No country is required to accept anyone who does not follow the procedures. US law is crystal clear on the issue, yet this judge is making up law that is direct conflict with black letter law. This is no less deranged than if the judge stood up, stripped off his clothes and declared he is an invisible chicken and that everyone in the court must cluck in worship to him. This judge is not mentally fit.

Yet, this judge is not an exception. He is now the rule. The Federal system is full of his fellow cultists, trained in a bizarre legal theory that insists there is no law, just an unwritten ideology that is the rejection of the very basis of western civilization. The boys at FTN jokingly call it the kritarchy , but it is not a bad way to think of it. Instead of the judge being a neutral interpreter of law, as is the western tradition, the judge in this cult is a shaman, charged with reaching justice, as understood by the teachings of his cult.

Kritocracy is a system associated with pre-modern societies, in which there was no central rule making authority. Instead of a legal tradition upon which judges relied, they looked to local custom. This works well enough, it’s better than anarchy, as long as the people within the community adhere to the same customs and beliefs. The idea is to reach a peaceful result, not a legally consistent one. In a modern, rule based society, this form of legal theory is as alien as human sacrifice. It is an assault on civil order.

The thing is, the outcomes are not important here. Even if this lunatic is overruled and the law is enforced, the damage that is being done to civil order is incalculable. Every time one of these cult members gets on the bench and starts making these bizarre rulings, public trust in the legal system is eroded. We are very close to the point where a majority of people no longer think we have a legal system at all. Instead, it is arbitrary rule by robed shamans. Therefore, the law is irrelevant and the system for writing laws is illegitimate.

We now live in an age in which the Federal court says the White House cannot decide who gets a press pass, but it is perfectly OK for the banks to collude to shut you out of the financial system, because they don’t like how you voted. The law says a business can fire an employee, because he does not accept the company values, but the same business must hire a mentally unstable man in a sundress and let him watch the female employees undress. This is a revolt against rationality and reason and it can end only one way.

Getting back to where we started, the remedy for that courthouse overrun by perverts is to clear out the perverts. That’s a simple answer to a small, isolated problem. What American faces is the near total takeover of the institutions by a secular cult that is evolving into a suicidal mystery cult. Removing the believers from positions of authority will not be peaceful. Allowing their madness to run its course will not be peaceful either, as the overthrow of order can only lead to anarchy. Either way, what comes next is chaos.

Prog Taqiyya

According to Islamic scholars, taqiyya is “is a precautionary dissimulation or denial of religious belief and practice in the face of persecution.” Muslims are forbidden to deny their faith, but there are exceptions and one of them is when the Muslim is living in a place where persecution of Islam is common. In order for Islam to spread, the adherents have to be alive, so allowing for this exception makes sense. The implication here is that the faithful Muslim works like a fifth columnist, recruiting in the shadows, while hiding his faith.

Of course, this doctrine is open to interpretation, so some sects have interpreted it to mean that all lying is acceptable, if it can be argued that the lie is in service to Islam. If the faithful Muslim can use deception to help the faith, then lying is not only acceptable, it is admirable. The effect is Islam can easily become an ends justifies the means political and cultural movement. This is what we see with Islam in the West, where Imams preach against their Western hosts in the mosque, but go on television and say the opposite.

This habit of mind is something we see with modern Progressives whose hive mindedness has evolved to the point where lying to outsiders is not only acceptable, but a goal in itself. Every election, Progressives fill the airwaves with things they know are lies. In fact, they tell lies that they know everyone else knows is are lies. The practice of lying in the election process has become something like a religious practice for them. The point of the lying is not to conceal or deceive, but to demonstrate their worthiness to the cause.

The academic quality to the lying turns up in all of the Progressive fads. We saw that in the madness of the Kavanaugh hearings. The definition of sexual assault, a nonsense term in itself, has been stretched to mean just about anything, by people who seem to take pride in making the language meaningless. When you see a young feminist loon howling about being assaulted, the look on her face usually suggests she is proud to have found some way to stretch the meaning of the terms to include some new nonsense.

The thing is, the sheer volume of lying has had the effect of concealing in plain site the fact that the Progressives never speak the truth about anything. In fact, speaking the truth has become a crime of sorts. Professor Amy Wax is thinking about suing her school, because they accused her of making up what is a plainly obvious fact. If the school is correct about what she said, they could release the data and show that she is wrong. Instead, they lie, refuse to produce the data and then accuse her of lying about the data.

It used to be that the Left either exaggerated to make their points or used clever euphemism to obscure the truth. For example, the illegal immigrant was an undocumented worker. This sort of soft, fuzzy language was the result of modern managerialism, where garbage men became sanitation engineers and janitors became facility management specialists. Applying the same sort of rhetoric to political discourse was natural, but at least there was some connection to reality, even if it was tenuous.

Where they are now is that the lie is the point. This became obvious when the Clintons arrived on the scene. They would lie for sport. Even their allies were baffled as to why they would lie when the truth would serve them better. It’s not hard to imagine a person like Hillary Clinton ordering a turkey sandwich for lunch and when it comes to the table, swearing she ordered something else. There’s no purpose in the lie other than to do it and be seen doing it. Clever lying is now an end in itself with the American Left.

This cult of mendacity is not without antecedents. The Frankfurt School was a series a clever intellectual constructions that advanced a political agenda by scrambling the relationship between public policy and observable reality. From it was born the notion that the point of academic activity is to disrupt, overturn and challenge anything that resembles accepted policy. Read through the stuff coming from the multicultural rackets and the whole point of it is to turn being a public nuisance into an academic specialty.

The permanent revolution of Marxist radicalism became a permanent assault on reason by cult-Marx intellectuals. In politics this then became a game of shameless lying to not only advance an agenda, but to increase the status of the liar. The more absurd and ridiculous the fabrication, the greater the applause from the Progressive crowd. In fact, it is no longer possible to identify a Progressive agenda. It is a dadaist performance that is rapidly becoming an anti-agenda. It’s mendacious nonsense as a  public display of piety.

Invasive species are a danger because the ecosystem they invade is not prepared to deal with the foreign threat. The oriental logic of the Frankfurt School may have had the same effect in the liberal tradition of the West as the presence of Burmese pythons has had in the everglades. Instead of being taken over by this alien mode of thought, the Western liberal tradition has been driven mad by it. The result is an intellectual movement that celebrates complex dishonesty and fabrication for no purpose other than for aesthetics.

The Age Of Gesture

It’s always fun to label historical ages, which is why our history books are full of things like “the age of sail” or the “feudal period” as convenient shorthand. The label provides a quick way to think of what was important in a certain time. Lots of people call the age in which we currently live “the technological age” because of the microchip. That seems right, as the microprocessor has fundamentally altered human society and continues to alter our world. That said, a better label would be “the age of the public gesture.”

What technology has allowed is for everyone, to one degree or another, to be a public performer. The door to the stage is in every pocket, as the mobile phone is now mostly used for getting on social media and performing, either as yourself or the character you have created on-line. The platforms themselves are just carnivals of virtue signalling, in which nothing practical is communicated. Instead, they are ad hoc morality plays in which millions perform to either signal their virtue or condemn the lack of virtue in others.

Recently, fake black person Shaun King claimed in a tweet that he was at the market and encountered a white person doing a Hitler salute in the market. He then claimed to have confronted the person, forcing them to leave the market. He has since deleted the tweet, it appears, because people were laughing at it. That and it was such an obvious lie that it was self-defeating. The entirely of Shaun King’s life is one big gesture. His pretending to be black, his Talcum X routine, and his social media life are just a performance.

Over the weekend, naughty librarian Katherine Timpf claims to have been accosted in a store, because she is something the Left does not like. Of course, there is no proof of this and it coincidentally happens when Fox News star Tucker Carlson is in the news for being regularly attacked by left-wing goons. It is a ridiculous fabrication, but in the age of the gesture, the truth is not what matters. What matters here is she gets to play the role of victim and get extra morality points for how she has performed the role on-line.

These two incidents where D-level celebrities went on-line and performed a dramatic gesture to gain attention can be written off as just that, attention seeking. That’s clearly part of this whole culture, though. The D-level celebs see their betters, the people they wish to emulate, doing the same things, but on a larger stage and maybe at grander scale, so they ape them at the small scale. Twitter is full of anonymous cat ladies posting about how their daughter asked them why Orange Man bad for the same reason.

Of course, our politics have become just an endless series of gestures to signal piety or seriousness, depending about the nature of the event. In Europe, every time one of Merkel’s Millions goes on a murder spree, the local authorities have a candlelight vigil and walk around arm-in-arm for a day. When a nut goes shooty in America, the usual suspects come out and repeat the familiar chants about gun control. This age is a time when doing nothing, while looking pious, is the most cultivated and coveted skill.

No age lasts forever and this one could be in its final phase. When D-list celebs have mastered the skills, as we see with Timpf and King, then the value of the act has fallen to zero. If everyone can do it, then it’s not special. The troubles plaguing social media giants are due, in part, to gesture culture reaching an end. The signalling as become so intense and frequent, the platforms are now just irritating strobe lights. Something similar may be happening with the mobile phone industry, which is suddenly very bearish.

No company has done more to profit from and develop the gesture age than Apple. Their products were always about design, rather than function, which is why their mobile products have always been popular, while their desktops languished. Steve Jobs figured out that he could move a lot of product by turning his company into a type of secular religious iconography, aimed at a population lacking a soul. The appeal of Apple products was always the antiseptic design that was a celebration of the total lack of humanity.

It was a stillborn aesthetic for a people with no purpose other than to signal to one another like fireflies. When Jobs would hold one of his rallies to evangelize about his new products, he certainly knew he was selling an identity to people lacking one of their own. He was too smart to not know what was happening, but in an age where no one can think of a reason to not kill themselves or their fellow citizens, the pointless gesture, the last flickering of a bygone sense of self, is a great way to move over-priced toys.

Perhaps the slump in the mobile phone market and the troubles with the social media giants is the final signal of the age of gesture. The business models of these companies have always depended upon people believing they had to have the phone or they had to have a social media presence. That worked when everyone believed it. Maybe enough people are not believing it so that the whole thing is coming apart. The phenomenon of people cutting their cable could be a sign of something larger than money saving.

Of course, every age comes to an end, but every age is replaced by something else that seeks to address some need in society. The Age of Gesture appealed to our rulers because they believe in nothing, not even themselves, so they created a null society. In an age when the gesture is not enough, the morality tales are no longer useful in keeping order, what comes next? As much as it would be nice to see the end of the constant virtue signalling, what comes next could turn out to be a much less pleasant age.

Modern Genocide

If you conquer a people and wish to eliminate them, the classic way is to kill all the men and marry to women off to your males or sell them off into slavery. This was the favorite way of solving tribal conflict in ancient times. Alternatively, you could just slaughter everyone you found, which was another way to eliminate problem populations in the ancient world. This was fine for small populations, but it usually included driving off a large portion of the defeated population, as mass murder is difficult to execute.

An alternative to mass murder is to do something a bit more subtle, something the English employed at times on their island. Instead of slaughter, they would simply ban the cultural expression of the conquered tribe. People want their descendants to remember them and they can only do that through language and culture. If you ban that language and culture, you erase the memories of the people and their connection to their past. This leaves them with nothing to fight for and no reason to fight you. More on that here.

In modern America, we see that happening as America’s alien ruling class works to solve the problem of numbers by flooding the country with foreigners, pitting groups of whites against one another and replacing white culture with garbage culture. The latter effort has been with us since the 1960’s, when black ghetto culture was sacralized by Hollywood and the media. Today, blacks are treated as objects of worship. Whenever a black gets upset, a pogrom is launched against whites in the name of anti-racism.

The old way of pretending that non-whites could function in a white society was to recreate the white shows, but with a black cast. The Jeffersons were a black version of All In The Family. The point of the gag was not to replace whites, but to supplement them with the newly included blacks. The audience was expected to see that blacks could do all the same stuff whites did, in terms of functioning in society. That still maintained their black identity, but fit it into the greater culture, alongside the white culture it emulated.

The new weapon in the culture war on whites is to erase whites from the past entirely, as if white people are the alien visitors and the foreigners were always here. The Cheddar Man hoax is an explicit example. Recasting King Arthur as an African is another example of blackening the past. Television shows from the past, which stared whites are being recast to exclude whites. The show Magnum P.I. no longer has white men in it, instead using a Latino, who presumably swam over the Rio Grande into Hawaii somehow.

The point of these efforts is to erase history, by retelling it in a million small ways to exclude whites. It’s easy to write-off television as gutter culture, which is certainly true, but the war on whitey is a total war. Our alien elite is now taking the very basics of white America and vulgarizing them in such a way as to make them alien to us. Nothing says “white America” like Norman Rockwell so those images are now being turned into propaganda posters for degeneracy and white genocide. That’s the right word for it.

The alt-right buys get grief for throwing that phrase around, but this is exactly what is happening. The culture war today is about the alien over-class otherizing white males, divorcing them from their past and pitting them against white females, who are encouraged at every turn to support Team Brown. Rather than kill all the males, as conquerors did in the ancient world, the modern conqueror un-persons the males, cutting them off from their past, their present and their future, by making them strangers to their own women.

It is tempting to excuse this stuff, as you see with older commentators like Steve Sailer, who still cling to the hope that this can be peacefully resolved. Chuckling into your sleeve about it being an example of “cultural appropriation”, turning the language back on the Left, probably feels comforting, but it is sadly mistaken. It’s not harmless agitation. The current American ruling elite does not simply hate old white America. They are defined by their hatred of white people. It is literally who they are why they exist.

There can be no reconciliation with people are are trying to murder you. There can be no peace with people who repeatedly say there can be no peace. This is the ultimate red pill, as the cool kids put it. The Armenians could not believe the Turks would actually murder them, even as the Turks were murdering them. Armenian leaders were sure there was someway to resolve the problem. The lesson of history is you either fight to the last man or you submit as the last man. There’s no peaceful solution to genocide.

The Art of Life

At the Mencken Conference, I made a point to some big brained people, a point I’ve made here many times. That is, if a reasonably aware and smart person in the 1970’s had fallen asleep, like Rip Van Winkle, and woke up in our age, he would assume the Soviets had won the Cold War. After all, we have adopted the aesthetic of the Soviets. Our cars all look the same and come in black, white or shades of gray. Our buildings are sterile, utilitarian structures. Our high and low art is purely ornamentation, rather than imitation.

Living as we do in this age, we don’t often notice this, but we live among the ruins of the culture that made the West. That culture is dead and has been dead for a while. It’s why our creative side does not create much of anything. The other day a high end art auction featured a work that self-destructs. That was probably the closest thing to art created by a modern artist in several generations. Otherwise, it is all pointless nonsense that says nothing about life. At best, it matches the decor and provides a tax break for the owner.

The death of western culture, or what we think of as western culture, was a top down thing that started with the spread of democracy. Modernism began roughly a century ago with painters of limited skill, abandoning any attempt to imitate or celebrate the world around them and instead make increasingly abstract pictures. By the middle of the 20th, painting meant something closer to what is produced at a daycare center. Sculpture looked like something found in the local dog park and architecture had devolved into brutalism.

The top down decay made its way into the lower forms of cultural expression. Look at popular music which probably peaked in the 1970’s, but is now produced by robots and grunting retards with no musical training. When was the last time someone wrote poetry popular with the middle-class? Do they even teach school children poetry today? The world of fiction is mostly a poor imitation of what was done in the past. Even movies, a modern creation, are now made by robots and aimed at foreign audiences.

Imitation is the celebration of life. That is the art of a thriving, growing culture. Like a child coming into the world, it seeks to capture the beauty of the world around it through imitation. It’s why most of the western literary canon was created by young writers, while the great histories are written by old people. Today, the brightest minds wish to spend years in ugly training centers called colleges so they can get a cubicle job and participate in the enforced conformity that defines this age. Our young people have no souls.

Ornamentation, in contrast, is the sign of a dead or dying culture. There is nothing left to create, so the goal is merely to “add a personal touch” to the creation of others. Home builders stamp out the same dozen house designs, but allow the buyer to alter some of the light fixtures, so they can pretend to be unique. Cars are all aerodynamically designed to look the same, but you can get the sport package, because you’re different. Every pop song made by the robots sounds the same, but the singer wears a slightly different outfit.

As people sensing we live in the winter of western culture, it can be discouraging. After all, what’s the point of trying to preserve anything, if it is already dead? Why engage in political fights, if the outcome, in a larger sense, has been decided? It’s important to remember that the world does not end when an important man dies. The world may go off in a different direction than if he had lived, but it goes on nonetheless. Cultures come into being, grow and thrive, then decline and die. That is the cycle of history, the cycle of life.

Here is the important thing though. The plowed under fields of the one age become the birthing ground from which will sprout the life of the next age. For example, imagine if in the next election, all white Americans decide to sit it out. Whites don’t run for office, participate in the debates or follow the action. Whites stopped voting. Fox News would have Ben Shapiro debating Tariq Nasheed about how the gay black guy is more conservative than the one-legged, transgender lesbian of color, but they will do so as a pantomime to no one.

If whites turn their back on the rest of the people living in this land, those people will spin themselves like tops trying to get whites to reengage with them. That’s because what we think of as culture is purely a white thing. That flicker of life is an ember carried from one white culture to the next, that ignites the fire of what follows the dying present. If whites turn their back on all this, they will not be looking into a void, but into a mirror. They will see themselves and their power to create. This scales up to a new culture being born.

That’s why people on this side of the great divide continue to engage with whites still trapped on the other side. It’s why we engage in politics, follow the news and debate the issues of the day. Every election, every event, is a chance to tap a normal white guy on the shoulder, so he breaks free from the trance for just a minute, to see that that there is something else going on and he needs to be a part of it. After every election, after every turn of the wheel, the boats crossing the river to this side are full of new adventurers.

We may be living in an ugly age, but you cannot have spring without winter. It is the normal cycle of western civilization. At some point, the number of people realizing this reaches a critical mass. The project then swings from trying to animate the long dead carcass of the past, to building a new culture for a new people. In time, the aesthetic will reflect the flourishing of the new, a celebration of life through imitation. Most reading this will never see it, but you will probably live to see the green shoots.

The Cancer of Fanaticism

In my school days, teachers would often say that historians remained puzzled as to why so many good Germans stood silent as the Nazis took over or how Russians just allowed the Bolsheviks to go on a murder spree. The point was to have us think about these events as something other than just a good guy versus bad guy thing. The lesson of history was that the forces of good had to be active, not passive. Otherwise, the people seeking to exploit and subvert society would not meet any resistance.

Perhaps for school kids, it was a fine exercise, but it was the sort of thinking that motivated the Nazis and Bolsheviks to murder. These were not people who thought of themselves as evil or on the wrong side of history. To the contrary, they saw themselves as the champions of light, fighting the forces of darkness. As such, they were duty bound to use any means necessary to win. Maybe the people at the top were more cynical, as is usually the case, but the rank and file were the truest of true believers.

The only person I have read, other than myself, who bothered to contemplate the mindset of the typical Nazi, Bolshevik or Progressive was Eric Hoffer. His classic book, The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, is the field guide to understanding the mind of the political zealot. Over the years I have referenced it many times, when posting about the American Left. Hoffer’s book is not the definitive work, more of a skeleton key to unlock a mode of analysis. It is a starting point in thinking about the Left.

For example, the conventional way of framing politics is the old Left-Right scale, where Hitler is on the Right and Stalin is on the Left. This scale was useful during the Cold War as a rhetorical device, but it never made any sense, as a way to describe the modern political universe. It’s why stupid people and the historically ignorant argue that the Nazis were actually leftists or that fascism exists today. The demands of that political scale require everyone to seek the undefined to middle, to avoid being Hitler or Stalin.

A better scale, especially in the current age, is probably one that has the true believer at one end and the non-ideological skeptic at the other. Unlike the old Left-Right scale, there is no one at the either end to point to as the most extreme example. Instead, it is impossible to be entirely free of belief, as humans are not robots. Therefore, there are no pure skeptics. At the other end, there is always some way to be just a bit more pious than the most pious, or at least appear to be, so it is a line that extends out indefinitely.

Another way to think of it is the skeptical end is zero, the complete lack of belief or faith, if you will, and the total acceptance of observable reality. No human is built with a desire to reach zero. It’s like looking into a blast furnace. No matter how beautiful it is, the closer you get the more intolerable. Just as no one can walk into and experience the purifying flames of the furnace, not one can ever fully embrace reality. As a result, the most cynical among us are clustered at some safe distance from the point of absolute reality.

At the other end, the next point on the scale is like the next step on the road to paradise and each step is more inviting than the next, at least to those built to seek it.  Unlike the other end of the scale, there is no intense resistance, so the only thing that can keep the believer from seeking greater purity is a leash of sorts, either internal or external, that limits their ability to seek the ultimate goal. In the post-Christian West, we are learning that some men lack that internal governor and will go as far as they can to reach paradise.

That is, of course, what lies beneath the great ideological struggles of the Western world since the French Revolution. They may not be explicit, but that is what lies beneath all of them. Communists of various stripes thought they could create the worker’s paradise in the industrial age. The radicalism of Robespierre became a secular religion, in which men were gods. The fascists were a utopian reaction to the utopian radicals of their age. They simply had a different vision of paradise, which is why they embraced the same methods.

We see this today with the America Left, which has, in fits and starts, become increasingly radical and increasingly untethered from reality. Into the 20th century, it still carried with it the Christian restraint of accepting that paradise, if it exists at all, is in the next life. That’s all gone now and the believers are filled with the passion of the zealot. All that matters to them is the next step on the path. Whoever is the most pious, the furthest along on the journey, is the standard until someone else can prove to be pious, further along the path.

That explains the dog-piling we see from these fanatics, whenever they discover a heretic or obstacle. They lack anything resembling human compassion, so the heretic serves only one role for them. That is as a point of comparison. The more outraged and exited one is about the heretic, the more pious they are. The heretic, becomes point zero on the graph, so the further one is away from the heretic, emotionally and spiritually, the further along they are on their journey to paradise. Thus the endless piety contests.

It’s why someone like Howard Dean feels righteous in calling for the imprisonment of Andrew Torba, for the crime of existing. Dean is not a bright man, but he is filled with the passion of the true believer. For him and the rest of his cult, the point of shrieking at Torba is not a practical one. It is spiritual one. They are showing how far along the path they are away from the sinner and toward the land of milk and honey. Dean probably would have called for Torba’s murder, but he did not have to in order to show he was the most pious.

That is the great challenge of the post-Christian era. The limiting principle of Christianity, that grace was for the next life, is gone. That means all of the lunatics are off the leash and society has no intellectual framework for putting them back on the leash. As a result, the West is afflicted with a metastasizing cancer in the form of increasingly deranged true believers, determined to extend their quest for self-abnegation to the whole of society in order to bring about the end times. Either the cancer is removed, or the host will die.

Kept Men

In a series of tweets yesterday, someone calling herself Emerald Robinson announced she had evidence that at least one “conservative” magazine was taking payola from a tech giant. The implication was that the magazine was taking money in exchange for countering the stories about the tech oligarchs censoring dissidents.The woman works for an outfit called One America News, which is a small operation that has made a name for itself during the Trump phenomenon. Here are the tweets in case they vanish.

The most likely candidate, before examining the hints in the tweet, is National Review, which lost its moral compass when Rich Lowry took over the operation. It’s also the one conservative publication with any influence, at least before it hurled itself onto the NeverTrump bonfire three years ago. If you are going to bribe a conservative publication, you may as well bribe the biggest one. It’s not like any of these operations are making so much money that they would say not to a bribe. It’s their reason to exist.

Of course, the clue about the subscriber base evaporating adds to the speculation that the culprit is National Review. When you look at the tax filings for the 501(c)(3) they use to launder contributions, it appears their donations shriveled up during the campaign. Their ugly smear campaign against Trump and his voters turns out to have been a costly blunder. That is if the tax filings tell the whole story. It is possible that the tech giant or some other wealthy patron is paying writers directly or using another vehicle.

I speculated during the campaign that Dan and Farris Wilks were buying support for Ted Cruz and funding the NeverTrump lunacy among so-called conservatives. The two are members in good standing of the donor class and the guys bankrolling people like Ben Shapiro, Dennis Prager and Glenn Beck. My suspicion was they were spreading cash around on the side to the various pens for hire at operations like National Review and the Federalist. It would explain some rather obvious patterns we saw in the campaign.

Now, in fairness to National Review, we don’t know if the person tweeting this stuff is legitimate or correct. Her name suggests she should be swinging from a pole, rather than covering the White House, but these days, the differences between the two professions are microscopic. In fact, it would be a relief to learn that the mass media is simply singing for their supper, delivering what a handful of billionaires demand. Otherwise, it suggests a systemic failure that can only be addressed by madame guillotine.

Still, even if the rumor is just that, it raises an important point. The media in America has never been objective or bound by a code of conduct. Into the twentieth century, everyone understood that the newspapers were owned by rich guys with an agenda. There were newspapers for the parties and for the factions within each party. What happened in the Cold War is the bias was concealed in an effort to fool the public into supporting the struggle against the Soviets. Suddenly, reporters became journalists and priests.

When you dig through the tax forms of the various not-for profit operations used by Conservative Inc., you find that their stars are living lifestyles that would make the people who read them faint. Jonah Goldberg is a great example. He’s gets 200 large from the National Review Institute. He gets a similar figure from American Enterprise. Then he has a cable deal from Fox. He writes books that no one reads, but the not-for-profit system buys these books in bulk. Add it all up and he lives like royalty for doing very little.

Of course, this explains why the so-called conservative opposition is unwilling to oppose or conserve anything. They are afraid to bite the hand that feeds them. To wander off the reservation and possibly anger their pay masters, means leaving a life of extreme luxury for, at best, a middle-class life. It’s not as if a Jonah Goldberg could replicate his earnings in the dreaded private sector. The life of a kept man is one of trepidation. They live in fear that the fads will change, they will be deemed heretical and ejected from the hive.

At the human level it is somewhat understandable, but when you look at the whole, it means the whole system is a massive scam design to fool the public. Just as campaign finance laws are designed to obscure who is bribing your politicians, the labyrinth of 501(3)(c) operations that finance the commentariat are designed to conceal who is controlling public opinion. Even if we never get the full story about which publication was taking the bribes, the truth of it is slowly bleeding into public consciousness.

In the meantime, the kept men glance furtively at social media, wondering if it will be their publication that gets outed or if maybe their name will turn up in the story. Maybe some are reaching out to their friends at other media operations, just in case they need to find a new landing spot. It’s the whore’s life they chose, so no one should feel pity for them. In fact, these people deserve nothing but scorn. They choose to play an active role in the decay of our society, by undermining social trust. They deserve what’s coming to them.