Post-Christian Liberalism

During the French Revolution, radicals made no bones about attacking the Church as a source of oppression and an obstacle to progress. Marxists, of course, were hostile to religion of all types, but they really hated Christians. In America, direct attacks on Christianity started in the early 20th century, as Progressives abandoned the Social Gospel, in order to bring Jews into their movement. The point being, the Left has always had it in for Christianity, claiming it hinders progress and freedom.

We no longer have Jacobins, at least not the sort into regicide. We still have a few Marxists kicking around, but they are mostly museum pieces. Exactly no one in a position of authority in the West embraces Marxism or communism. As for Progressives, we have plenty of them in America, but their thing has morphed into a weird identity cult that hates white people, not Christians. Of course, there are precious few Christians around, at least in the ruling classes. In fact, it’s hard to find any Christian leaders in the West.

The West is post-Christian now. Leaders of all Western countries agree that Christianity has nothing to offer, in terms of public affairs. You never hear any of them make appeals to the deity or make references to Christian teaching. Every Western nation embraces some form of liberal democracy. Some nations lean toward social democracy, while others embrace neo-liberalism. American leaders will occasionally mumble something about freedom of religion, but otherwise, we are ruled by non-Christians.

The thing is, Christianity brought together certain cultural elements that made liberalism possible. There’s a reason that things like equality before the law and representative government never took root in other places and other times. The Roman Republic and ancient Athens had some features of liberal democracy, but they were largely ruled by a collection of families of equal rank. While the Greeks were able to produce an impressive amount of intellectual capital, they never came close to developing the concept of rights.

The place to start when thinking about this is the role of God in the affairs of men. The ancients were sure the gods picked sides, played games with man and did so without a grand plan. That means the gods did not see all men as being equal. Jews, of course, were really sure God picked sides. You can’t be the chosen people otherwise. It was the Christians that refined the idea that all men were in equal in the eyes of God. That’s the foundation of equality before the law and egalitarianism, at least as far as natural rights.

Another idea, essential to liberal democracy, instituted in Europe by Christianity, is the concept of an ordered universe with fixed rules. This was a concept borrowed from Greek philosophy and carried through Europe by Christianity. Not only is an orderly universe essential for the development of science, it is essential for the development of rational government. If God has created an orderly universe, governed by immutable and discoverable laws, human society should follow those rules.

You cannot have a free society without contracts. The bargain between men certainly predates Christianity, but it was the Jews who came up with the idea of a covenant, a contract that even God would abide. Christians inherited this. The idea that making a contract and sticking to it, because it would displease God to do otherwise, makes it possible to enforce contracts. The state enforcing contracts is acting on behalf of Providence. You can’t have anything resembling liberalism without contract law.

Finally, as I pointed out the other day, morality without the divine is just another set of rules made up by man. Christians were certainly not the first to ascribe the moral code to the supernatural, but they expanded on the Jewish concepts to create a whole body of morality that elevated humanity in the eyes of God. Doing the right thing by your fellow man, even when no one is looking, because God will judge you in the afterlife, allows for the development of the hidden law. It allows orderliness to spring forth organically.

That is an extremely broad overview, but the point is that what we take for granted about liberal democracy, has its roots in the Christian past. Within one lifetime ago, Western people expected to be ruled by Christian men. It was the natural condition. Even when the rulers were not very Christian, they kept it to themselves. It was just accepted that public character tracked with Christian morality. Now that we are ruled by post-Christian women, how long before all of these ideas that grew out of Christianity begin to wither away?

We certainly see some unraveling with the modern notion of egalitarianism. We have gone from men being equal in the spiritual sense, before God, to all people being equal to each other. Lacking the limiting principles that come with religion, Progressives are a click away from demanding that all of us pretend were are exactly the same in every way. The story Harrison Bergeron has gone from satire to divine scripture. The Christian regard for the complexity of God’s creation has been completely lost in the post-Christian age.

We’re seeing the return of occassionalist magic in the modern era. When the Left talks about “institutional racism” or “white privilege”, they are not talking about definable things that one can examine. These are mystery forces acting on man in the same way Old Scratch used to play the role of trickster and tempter. The difference is they assume a lack of agency in humans that prevents them from resisting these mystery forces. In many respects, Norse pagans were more empirical than the modern Progressive.

This is too big of a subject for a blog post, but it is something that is worth examination. It is assumed that the stock of human knowledge is always growing, but that does not mean nothing is lost. Western people have abandoned a large chunk of knowledge that had been formalized in Christianity. Some of it can be replaced with science, but the parts underpinning civil morality and our moral philosophy are not easily replaced by secular alternatives. Like the game Jenga, we may have removed a vital peg from liberalism.

Imagination Land

All of us live in a silo of our own making to some degree. We read news sites we like and we like them because they tend to cover the stuff we think is important, in a way we hope is accurate. We admire opinions with which we agree. We hang out with people who share our interests. That’s normal. It’s also normal to know it and know others have different opinions and interests. Most normie conservatives get that Fox News is biased toward the Republicans, but they know all of the other stations are heavily biased to the Democrats.

This self-awareness has never applied to the Left. Every normal person has had a conversation with a Progressive friend where they claim the news is biased against them or is too easy on some conservative they currently hate. They will argue that Fox News is poisoning the minds of the public. When you point out that 90% of the mass media is run by hard left true believers, they scoff and say you’re nuts. The hive mind of Progressives has always allowed them to pretend they are surrounded by a sea of their enemies.

One point made by some on the Dissident Right is that this blinkered view of the world has infected the so-called conservatives. They are blind to the intellectual revolution going on over here, because they stare at Lefty all day. Like people looking directly into the sun, they are blind to everything else. As a result, the legacy conservatives carry on like it is 1984 and Dutch Reagan is riding high. Much of what so-called conservatism is these days is just a weird nostalgia trip, celebrating a fictional past with no connection to the present.

There are many reasons why so-called conservatives are becoming irrelevant, but the main reason is that their good friends on the Left are racing off into a fantasy land of their own creation. Listen to a modern Progressive talk and it is a weird combination of echolalic babbling and paranoia about dark forces that are imaginary. Replace “Russian hacking” with “work of the devil” and their howling makes more sense. Things like “foreign meddling” and “institutional racism” are just stand-ins for Old Scratch.

This increasingly weird disconnect between the Left and this place we call earth shows up in their main propaganda organs. Those old enough to remember reading English versions of communist newspapers can recognize the unintended humor on the front pages of the New York Times and Washington Post. This front page item from last week is a good example. Everything in that “news” story describes a world that only exists in the fevered imaginations of the Left. It was a fictional account of present reality written for believers.

This Andrew Sullivan piece bumps up against this reality a little bit, but from a different angle. His argument is that the fantasy land of academia is casting a long shadow over American society, so it is imperative that the college campus be reformed to look something like reality. His framing of things is mostly wrong because he is just a slightly less berserk member of the hive he is trying analyze. His description of the dynamic on campus, though, is correct. It is a world untethered from reality.

The fact is, the college campus is the apotheosis of Progressive spiritualism. It has been dominated by the Left for as long as anyone has been a live. The constant flow of credit money into American higher education has removed all restraints on the people in charge. They are free to indulge whatever fantasies they have at the moment, as no one ever gets fired and the money spigot stays open. As a result, the American college campus is the full flowering of the Progressive imagination. It’s Wakanda for cat ladies.

This lurch into madness is the result of plenty. Up until recent, the threat of nuclear annihilation and the lack of universal prosperity has reined in the excesses of the Left. In order to win elections, Progressive politicians had to focus on better economics and expanding opportunity. Of course, the Cold War kept everyone focused on practical reality, as a mistake could have set off a nuclear exchange. That’s no longer the case as prosperity is near universal, in human terms, and there are no looming threats.

Progressivism has always been a spiritual movement. It is the quest for cosmic justice based on the notion that we are only as good as the weakest among us. That is a fine and noble sentiment, as long as it remains a sentiment. The reality of scarcity has always kept this spiritualism in check. As we enter into what appears to be a post-scarcity world, Progressives are free to explore the far reaches of their mysticism. The result is a ruling class that is looking more like eastern mystics, than pragmatic rulers.

It is why civic nationalism is a dead end street. You see it in the Andrew Sullivan piece about the campus culture. What he is arguing in favor of is the same things we hear from civic nationalists. They all agree with Progressives that we need a unifying religion. They just want a debate about the contours and end points of the religion. The fact that no one has ever pulled this off without ushering in a bloodbath never gets mentioned, Instead, all of these folks prefer to frolic in imagination land, where all their dreams come true.

Rule By Sociopath

In the modern vernacular, the sociopath is someone who lacks empathy, remorse and an understanding of right and wrong. The sociopath sees no difference between the truth and a lie, only their utility. Additionally, they never think about the consequences of their actions. A sociopath sees no harm in telling people that his brain juice will prevent concussions. The veracity of his statements are meaningless. What matters is how well it moves product. People ending up with brain damage as a result is never considered.

The key thing about the modern sociopath is the ambivalence toward the truth. They think saying something is the same as doing something. What matters is if the words get the listener to do what the sociopath wants them to do. Standing in front of crowd, making false claims, is fine if it causes people to buy product. If the truth sells more product, then the truth is better. From the perspective of the modern sociopath, the difference is about the results, not the accuracy of the statements. The truth or a lie, whichever works.

Now replace “sociopath” with “politician” and “product” with “votes” and you have the modern managerial democracy. It’s not that our politicians lie. It’s that for them, a lie is indistinguishable from the truth. That’s why they seem so utterly shameless. Shame requires a sense of right and wrong, a knowledge that what you said or did is intrinsically wrong. For the people who rule over us, right and wrong only exist in the context of their own ambitions. Something is “right” if it benefits the person in the moment.

An example of this is both the story of Mayor Megan Barry and the coverage of her by the managerial media.

On Jan. 31, the mayor here, Megan Barry, called a news conference to announce that she had been having an affair with Robert Forrest Jr., a police sergeant who was the head of her security detail: “It was wrong, and we shouldn’t have done it,” she said.

Along with this confession, the mayor offered the kind of full-throated apology we almost never get from public officials: “I accept full responsibility for the pain I have caused my family and his,” she said. “I knew my actions could cause damage to my office and the ones I loved, but I did it anyway.”

She ended her statement with a pledge: “God will forgive me, but the people of Nashville don’t have to. In the weeks and months to come, I will work hard to earn your forgiveness and earn back your trust.”

This promise did not seem like an act of damage control. This is the way Megan Barry really talks. The language of full emotional availability is her native tongue.

Perhaps that’s why this city loves her. She hugs schoolchildren. She looks genuinely joyful at city parades and festivals. She grieves that too many Nashville teenagers are slain by guns. When Max Barry, her own son and only child, died suddenly last summer, the people of Nashville wept with her. When she spoke openly about the drug addiction that killed him, we marveled at her courage and admired her resolve to bring addiction out of the shadows of shame.

But in a red state like Tennessee, this liberal mayor also has powerful opponents, and they are not idiots. An editorial in the conservative Tennessee Star wasted no time in calling for her resignation: “Barry and the fawning, liberal Nashville media are trying the Clinton defense.”

Notice that saying you are taking responsibility is now the same as actually taking responsibility. The normal way in which one would seek forgiveness is to confess, demonstrate contrition and atone for the crime. In other words, usually you suffer for having done wrong. It is the willingness to accept punishment that demonstrates your acceptance of right and wrong. What we have here is a soulless effort to turn bad behavior into a political asset by fooling people about her contrition.

This sort of thing has become a feature of the managerial class, as it has become increasingly feminized. The writer of that Times piece is a typical feminist, lacking anything resembling a rational mind. That’s why she celebrates Mayor Sociopath. The great writer Theodore Dalrymple touches on this in his last Taki piece. In a world of emasculated liars, lying becomes the most noble of qualities. That means everyone is now trained to lie about themselves and their intentions. Mendacity is the coin of the managerial realm.

There is another aspect to it. The Mayor is out there performing a one women play intended to let you know how she feels about herself. The expectation is the voters will reward her for being able to tell them how she feels about her own lack of moral scruples. It is a deranged form a solipsism, where all that matters is how one feels about one’s own mind. It’s why the expression, “I feel” turns up in so much of our public discourse. Truth is defined by how one feels about it at any one moment in time.

As Theodore Dalrymple pointed out, the meritocracy has been warped by this self-absorption, so this habit of mind is being forced onto the younger generations. If you want to get into a good school, you better be good at expressing how you feel about it, in a way that lets the admissions people know you really care. Listen to millennial males talk and it often sounds like girl’s night after one of the coven had a fight with her boyfriend. They endlessly yammer on about how they feel and demand a reward for their good intentions.

I’ve often pointed out that the arrival of women in positions of authority is the death knell of the organization. It means the smart money has moved onto greener pastures, leaving the enterprise to the vultures, who will pick over the corpse for the bits they like. Feminists will get their stuff, homosexuals will make their demands, minorities will air their grievances. In time, the organization collapses under the weight of its own absurdity. That’s what’s happening in the West. It’s a scramble to strip the carcass of civilization.

This will not end well.


It used to be that conservatives held one piece of high ground in the long running intellectual civil war in the West, that began in the Enlightenment. Conservatives, for all their faults, maintained that the ruling elite of any society had a duty to safeguard the interests of the people. That was the check against social experimentation and the wholesale overturning of traditional institutions. The interests of the people demanded prudence and a deference to the people’s traditional ways of living.

Looking back at the intellectual battles in the West, since the Enlightenment, the one thing the sides were forced to agree upon was that the duty of the state, the ruling class and social reformers, was to safeguard the interest of the people. After all, what would be the point of establishing a dictatorship of the proletariat, if it immiserated the proletariat? It was not just a material argument either. Much the critique of communism from the Right was on aesthetic grounds. Communism was the triumph of the ugly and vulgar.

That’s probably why libertarianism was always on the sidelines, more of a commentary than a serious political philosophy. That is the correct way to view libertarianism. It was a set of running commentaries on the great works of political economy produced by socialists, communists and Marxists. Frédéric Bastiat does not make a lot of sense in isolation. His significance is only in contrast to 19th century industrial socialism and the reaction to it from the Right. Libertarianism is the peanut gallery of the Enlightenment.

It’s why, in the fullness of time, the story of the collapse of mainstream conservatism will include a chapter on the error of fusionism. By grafting onto the Right, libertarian arguments about economics and individual liberty, the Right invited a cancer that gnawed away at its legitimate claims to proper elitism and traditionalism. In other words, they forfeited the one piece of high ground they held. You see this in the debates over immigration. The so-called conservatives no longer have the tools to argue the issue.

This piece at Reason Magazine is a good way of understanding the problem. Nick Gillespie is not a serious person, but he is one of the leading voices of American libertarianism. He is embraced by the so-called conservatives a fellow traveler, even if they have minor quibbles. His response to the immigration debate is a dog’s breakfast of mendacity and incoherence. The most charitable way to view his article is that he has never bothered to examine the issue, so he is pulling this out of his ear.

Of course, this is mostly true. Libertarians have not spent a lot of time thinking about immigration and that’s because they long ago embraced the materialist view of humanity that animated left-wing ideologies since Marx. From the perspective of modern libertarians, people are just interchangeable meat sticks with no intrinsic value. The measure of a man is his economic utility. A factory worker from Bangladesh is no more or less useful than one from Bangor Maine. Whittaker Chambers was right about them.

It is when they are forced to address an issue like immigration that something else is revealed about libertarians. They are not honest. That which contradicts the faith is denounced or discarded, Gillespie’s first point is an example of this. It used to be a article of faith that the laws of supply and demand apply to everything, including labor. Therefore, the only reason business would want foreign labor is that it is cheaper. The reason they like illegal foreign labor is that it is even cheaper than legal foreign labor.

The innumeracy is one thing, but Gillespie is also conjuring a straw man. Yes, wages are one element, but no one makes that the focus of their brief against open borders. He also relies on two logical fallacies that gets a college sophomore flunked out of class. “Virtually all economists, regardless of ideology, agree that immigrants, both legal and illegal, have little to no effect on overall wages” is not an argument. It is a recitation of a spurious Progressive talking point that has shot down many times.

The mendacity is on full display when Gillespie addresses the rule of law. The very core of the libertarian critique of socialism is that it does not abide by the orderly administration of the law. Socialism is an ends justifies the means philosophy, so it cannot, by definition, respect the law. It is why flouting the law can never be tolerated. If a law is found to be unjust or improper, then there is an orderly way correct the error, a lawful way to address the natural mistakes that arise in any social organization.

Gillespie’s argument, with regards to illegal immigration is an embrace of anarchy. In this case, he thinks the immigration system is inefficient or incompetent, so that justifies the wholesale abrogation of the law. No reasonable person would argue the immigration system is logical or coherent. That’s the reason for this reform effort that is at the heart of the national populism. By cavalierly rejecting efforts to reform the law, embracing a form of deliberate chaos, Gillespie reveals libertarianism to be nothing more than anarchism.

This gets back to the original point. The legitimacy of any ruling class lies in its execution of its duty to its people. A monarch loses his crown, and maybe his head, when it becomes clear that he is serving a narrow interest over the general good. The current managerial class is losing its legitimacy as it becomes clear that it not longer sees itself as having a duty to the people. A stable society is one that embraces a bi-directional hierarchy of duties. There’s no place for selfish, materialistic creeds like libertarianism.

This is something the alt-right gets that no one bothers to notice. They often talk about this duty that a people have to one another and their posterity. It’s something that the Founders understood, which is why they wrote this in the preamble of the US Constitution. This is why so many of the alt-right started out in libertarianism. They learned all this stuff about the Founding and natural rights, then figured out that modern libertarians really don’t believe it. It was just a sales pitch to move product. That’s why we have an alt-right.

The New Druze

In the late 10th and early 11th century, a form of mysticism evolved that incorporated elements of Islam, Greek philosophy, Gnosticism, bits from other esoteric faiths, that existed in eastern Mediterranean and what we now call the Middle East. The person credited with spreading this new faith was a guy named Muhammad bin Ismail Nashtakin ad-Darazi. He came to Egypt in 1017 and began preaching and attracting converts. He was branded a heretic and executed in 1018 by the sixth Fatimid caliph.

The Caliph, al-Hakim, was not hostile to the new faith, so much as hostile to ad-Darazi, who he thought was suffering from megalomania. His move against ad-Darazi was to put Hamza ibn ‘Ali ibn Ahmad in charge of this new religious sect, which would eventually be known as the Druze. The sixth caliph plays a central role in the Druze faith despite being outside the faith. His actions during his reign as caliph made it possible for the faith to spread and altered its course with the decision to execute ad-Darazi.

This is an interesting bit of serendipity, but it has a connection to our own age in a few important ways. The most obvious, if you are a fan of the period, is al-Hakim is often blamed for starting the crusades. His decision to persecute Christians sent ripples through Europe, eventually leading to the call to recapture the Holy Land. Of course, as with everything about history, that’s debatable. There were other forces at work, but it is generally accepted that al-Hakim played a crucial role in the clash with Christendom.

Eventually, of course, two main strains of Islam came to dominate the Arab world, while Christianity dominated Europe, but The Levant has remained a place with lots of religious diversity. The Druze live mostly in Lebanon. The Samaritans are in the Palestinian territories. Maronites, Eastern Orthodox and Melkite Catholics exist in Lebanon. Syriac Christians and Alawites exist in Syria. Of course, various flavors of Judaism dominate in Israel. It is not an accident that instability is the only constant in The Levant.

That’s an obvious lesson when examining this part of the world. If one wanted proof of the axiom, Diversity + Proximity  = Violence, The Levant has more than enough for any argument. The pathological zeal of Western leaders for inviting the world into Western lands, can only have one end. That’s the same we see in Lebanon, a country blessed with a great location, abundant natural resources and natural barriers to larger enemies. Yet, it is a land riven by sectarian violence and the lack of a unifying identity.

There is another lesson from the history of The Levant and that is the cauldrons of diversity tend to create more diversity. The reason this part of the world was popular with schismatics and holy men is it was where the action was in the Middle Ages. Cairo was a wealthy, cosmopolitan place compared to cities of Europe. There were scholars well versed in Greek philosophy, wealthy patrons willing to sponsor scholarship and a wide range of thought to draw from for the creative minded spiritual leader.

That’s something to keep in mind as Europe works to invite the world and all of its religions to settle in the West. Throw a bunch of people together with a wide range of beliefs and inevitably it spawns a bunch of new combinations. The flow of Muslims into Europe, a land that has abandoned Christianity for various secular passions, is going to spawn new spiritual movements. The recent conversion to Islam of an AfD leader is the sort of thing that is happening with increasing frequency. Islam is now a thing in Europe.

The other aspect to this is the West is now open country, when it comes to the religion business. Just as Catholicism faced a dying collection of pagan beliefs, Islam is now flowing into a world held together by habit and pointless social fads. The soul of Europe died a long time ago. To be a European today means to be a deracinated stranger in a land that is increasingly unfamiliar to you. That makes Europe fertile ground for a confident religion brought by people thinking they are on the winning side of history.

That does not mean Europe will be Islamic. Islam is all over the world, but it always adapts to the local environment. Islam in Asia is Islam with very Asian characteristics. Islam in the Caucasus is a mountain man version of Islam. Biology is the root of everything and that means cultural items like religion flow from it. The Islamification of Europe will inevitably result in something that is very European. The Germans will have their take, the Danes will have theirs and the French will do something French.

It also means all sorts of other permutation that result from mixing Western empiricism, Oriental mysticism and traditional Christianity. The Druze we started with in this post combine Ismailism, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism, Pythagoreanism and Hinduism. It is an esoteric faith that is also an ethnicity. The Druze do not accept converts and they do not allow out-marriage. A person who marries outside the faith is no longer Druze and their children will not be Druze. Imagine something like that happening Bulgaria.

The point of this somewhat disjointed post is that Europe is dead. The West is dead. The civilization that was created by the culture born of the Enlightenment carries on, but the culture that is the West is dead. Something will come to replace it and that something will, in whole or part, be carried by the people now attempting to replace the Europeans. The resulting culture that rises next will be some combination of the ingredients being tossed into the cauldron, but it will look nothing like the ingredients.

Hakuna Wakanda

If you were trying to reduce the main points of the Dissident Right with a few bullet points, it would be:

  • The people in charge have dangerous fantasies about the future of society and the nature of man
  • The mass media is just propaganda for those fantasies and can never be taken at face value
  • Race is real, ethnicity is real and evolution is real. In the main, humans prefer to live with their own kind. Diversity leads to conflict.

There is a more to it, but those are the three main items that come up over and over among writers in the Dissident Right. The people in charge, of course, dispute these and consider them to be ignorant, paranoid and immoral. Question the browning of America and you’re a dumb racist. Notice that mass media often looks like a coordinated public relations campaign and you’re branded as a paranoid. Of course, anyone mentioning the realities of race and sex is the branded a Nazi or white supremacist.

That’s what makes the run-up to the most important movie release, since Birth of a Nation, a bit comical from the perspective of someone on our side of the river. All you have to do is look at the coverage on TV and the internet and point two above is made manifest. The movie is getting a near perfect score from reviewers and anyone not slobbering over it is getting bullied by the media. The TV networks are carrying on like Obama is going to come back for a third term. They were more subdued in 2008 when Obama first won.

Most people get that our mass media is run by Progressive pitchmen for the managerial state. For as long as anyone can remember, “liberal media” has been a common phrase in America. What the Dissident Right has introduced is the idea that the media is not just biased, it is a coordinated effort to deceive. Thanks to the internet, it is much harder to wave this off as paranoia. Black Panther has moved the level of coordination from the shadows to center stage. Movie reviews are now regulated to sell this black movie.

Of course, what the mass media is selling is the crackpot fantasy our rulers have about a non-white future. It used to be they would finesse this by arguing that race and ethnicity did not matter. With the right policies, the swarthy hordes they were importing would be transformed into middle-class burghers. They don’t do that anymore. Instead, they are frankly talking about the browning of America, by which they mean the elimination of white people. The Black Panther movie is part of the celebration of the end of whitey.

The black utopia that is Wakanda, the mythical state in the movie and comic books, could never exist. If the white world suddenly stopped sending food aid to Africa, famine would set in within a month. The West sends about $50 Billion in aid to Africa every year. That’s the official amounts from governments. The billions that flow in from charitable organizations is on top of that. A world without white people means Africa experiences a mass starvation event, followed by a mass die off. Africa could end up depopulated.

The underlying argument from our rulers is that Africa is a mess, because of racism. The book Why Nations Fail is the model for this argument. Whites destroyed the native African institutions and left behind extractive ones. That’s why Africa is a mess. The reality is sub-Saharan Africans have an average IQ in the low-80’s. Eritrea is the “smartest” country with an average IQ of 85. What that means is most Africans are borderline to mildly retarded. The reason Africa is not and never will be Wakanda is it is full of Africans.

Now, you cannot fault blacks for celebrating this fictionalized black homeland where they are at the top of the heap. The promotion of this fantasy, however, makes the essential point of the Dissident Right. Humans naturally want to reign supreme in their own domains, surrounded by people that are like them. Wakanda would not resonate with black people if the ruler was a guy named Muary Greenblatt and his minions were all East Asians or Mexicans. Like everyone, blacks dream of a world without diversity.

The over the top promotion of this black supremacist movie makes all the main cultural arguments you hear on the Dissident Right. If it is OK for blacks to dream of their own homeland, why can’t whites do the same? If blacks would be better off without whites around, doesn’t the same hold true for whites? If the natural order is for the races to be separate, then why in the hell is diversity a good thing? If you were hoping whites would become racially aware, the movie Black Panther is manna from heaven,

A long time ago in another country, conservatives would blithely say that the facts of life are conservative. It was a shorthand way of pointing out that reality does not yield to wishful thinking. Just as socialism and Marxism eventually buckled under the weight of the human condition, the racial fantasies of our rulers will also crack under the weight of biological reality. Like the last batch of utopian nutters, the current group is fully capable of killing millions of people in an effort to immanentize the eschaton.

Black Panther and the Progressive celebration of it is a good thing for our side. It makes many of the big points our side rarely gets a chance to make on the big stage. More important, it rips the mask off the Left. What they think of you is nowclear. Oddly, the future of white people lies in Afrofuturism. The more the other side tells us what they dream of when they sleep, the more white people wake up to the demographic reality that is facing them. Black Panther is the ultimate Dissident Right movie.

Blade Runner 2.0

Often, how a movie is reviewed says more about the reviewers than the movie itself. For example, the usual suspects are raving about Chocolate Charlie and the Wakanda Factory for all the obvious reasons. Rotten Tomatoes is literally enforcing a zero tolerance rule for reviews. Love it or else. You can be sure every reviewer will praise the movie as the next Star Wars, for fear of reprisal. Everything around the movie appears to be designed to confirm everything said about the modern age by the Dissident Right.

The new Blade Runner is not a social statement, but the reception does say something about the people who love it. I’m specifically talking about the alt-right, which has embraced the movie. The film critics generally liked it, because it is an extremely well done science fiction movie that is made for adults. Most of what passes for sci-fi these days is either made for kids, like Star Wars, or it is just not well done. The new Blade Runner is an exception, so the reviewers seemed to like it on artistic grounds.

Knowing that the alt-right embraced the movie, I watched it the other night expecting to see some pro-white subliminal messaging, but it is just a good movie. In fact, it is better than I expected, in terms of the video presentation. Like everyone, I’m conditioned to expect whiz-bang special effects in everything now. The cool thing about this movie is the special effects don’t impress you so much as convince you. The look and feel of the movie goes a long way toward transporting you to this alternative reality.

Remakes, of course, are usually terrible. The filming is updated, the story and characters are downgraded for stupid people. This is an exception. It is a movie for people who like thinking about the meaning of certain aspects of the story and discussing the overall significance of the tale. The original Blade Runner was like that too. It was a plot driven action story, but in the end, you thought about what Harrison Ford’s character had gone through and what it meant. It was a movie about what it meant to be human.

The remake is similarly a contemplation of what it is that makes us human. Unlike the first one, this version operates under the assumption that the audience is aware of the robot revolution going on just out of sight. In the first movie, Harrison Ford was a human charged with hunting replicants that had gone bad. In this one, Ryan Gosling is a replicant, a new model, who is designed to hunt down defective replicants. Like the first movie, this movie starts with our hero being set off on journey that will reveal himself to himself.

The thing about this movie, something you only ever notice these days when it is missing, is it is devoid of the sort of casual degeneracy we always see in pop culture. There are no 20-minute, soft-core porn sex scenes. There’s no grand chase where half the world explodes. That’s the thing about modern movies. They rarely treat the audience like an adult. It is assumed that everything has to be explained, the ending must be positive and, like horny teenagers, the audience demands extended sex scenes set to bad music.

That does not mean it is not a modern film. The original Blade Runner would not hold a modern audience, because of the slow pace and lack of plot spoilers. This film makes sure to keep the story moving. That’s to be expected. In this age, all of us have lower attention spans, mostly due to being bombarded by mass media. No one these days has the patience to let a story unfold. The new Blade Runner does just enough to keep an adult audience, with a three-digit IQ, interested in what’s happening on screen.

Now, the reason the movie is popular with the alt-right. It is entirely possible, if you are a young person seeing this film, that it is the first movie you have seen that is not overtly anti-white. Older people remember when movies were made to be good and would avoid celebrating multiculturalism. This movie does exactly that. It has white men acting like white men, not foils for the magic negro or as sidekick to the female star. In fact, the only black guy in the movie is a minor character who has a small role in the story.

The other big reason the movie is popular with the alt-right is the central message of the movie. If you hate spoilers, then look away at this point. The thing our hero in the movie learns is that being human is about making copies of yourself with another human. It is not what you do or how you feel. It is that ability to make more people who look like you that makes you human. Not even God can do that, or at least the character who imagines himself as God in the film. It also means you are who made you. That’s your identity.

That’s also what makes it work as a great sci-fi movie. This central question that gets resolved in the film is not in your face. Most movies with a message beat the audience over the head. That’s bad film making. Blade Runner lets you enjoy the story arc of the characters and when you get to that final denouement, it all makes sense. It’s not perfect and I think the ending could have been much better, but you don’t come away feeling like you just spent two hours in diversity training either. It’s a well told story.

One final thought on the alt-right angle. I’ve written before that the alt-right are romantics, but updated for the current age. Theirs is not a nostalgia for a forgotten era or just a rejection of the sterile, materialistic present. There is some of that, but it is more of a nostalgia for a future that will never come. There is a temporal disjunction in the way the alt-right frames the world. They talk about the 1950’s, for example, not as an ideal, but as the start of a descent down the wrong path that has led to this bad current.

In Blade Runner, that aesthetic is on display. The movie picks up where the old one left off and imagines how that world evolved. You get the sense that everyone in the movie wished the past had never happened, which is why the replicants are implanted with fake memories of a past that never happened. The movie seems to say that what happened was terrible and what comes next is not good either, but the green shoot, the bit of hope, is that fact that our people can make more copies of ourselves and make a different future.

The Fate of the NeoCons

The term “neocon” has been a fixture of political debates in America for the last 40 years, being both an epithet, sobriquet and honorific. In the 80’s, a white person in the commentariat using the term was doing so as a stand in for “hawkish liberal Jews” and he would most likely be called an anti-Semite. It became very important to neocons for people not to notice they were all liberal Jews. After the Cold War, Progressives started attacking the neocons, so the squealing about antisemitism lost its potency.

The truth is, the original neocons were never conservative. Many were Trotskyists, but most were just very liberal Jews who wanted to use up America’s wealth to fight their ancient enemy, the Russian empire. Otherwise, they embraced the cosmopolitan Progressivism emerging on the Left. Probably the most generous description of neoconservatives was that they were anti-communists, who integrated into traditional conservatism in the effort to prosecute the Cold War. That was the spin, at least.

The years since the end of the Cold War has revealed them to be something else. The berserk, preternatural hatred of Russia is now a major component of neocon arguments, which is why they never shut up about Putin. After the Cold War, neocons opposed efforts to integrate Russia into the modern global economy and they have advocated in favor a hostile foreign policy toward Russia. They backed intervention in South Ossetia and they were behind the coup in Ukraine that has plunged the country into chaos.

Neoconservatism has also curdled into a bizarre hatred of Trump, with many neocons indulging in the most bizarre conspiracy theories. The people defending the FBI in conservative publications are all neocons. Here’s Ben Shapiro defending the FBI. Here’s Jonah Goldberg defending the the coup plotters. Of course, the chief nutter of the NeverTrump club is Bill Kristol, whose son-in-law bought dirt on Trump from the now infamous Democrat dirty tricks operation, FusionGPS.

In the interest of accuracy, a major cause of neocon hatred of Trump is money. For eight years these guys were rubbing their hands together thinking about the great jobs they would land in the Jeb Bush administration. Jonah Goldberg’s old lady spent 2015 shopping for outfits, anticipating a six figure job in the next Republican administration. When you add up the book deals, salary, speaking gigs and insider dealing, Trump was a million dollar catastrophe for each of the leading lights of neoconservatism. Of course they’re mad.

That can explain some of the bitterness over Trump, but none of these guys are skipping any meals. John “Thanks Dad” Podhoretz takes $400,000 a  year in salary just from his limited work at Commentary. Goldberg lives in a seven figure home in one of the most elite suburbs on earth. Max Boot just signed on with the Washington Post, where he probably makes $250,000 per year to write a weekly column. All of these guys were born into the world of “high pay, but low work” lifestyles that define the commentariat.

What really vexes them, is the the fact they can no longer hide in the weeds of Buckley Conservatism. They used to be able to pass themselves off as conventional conservatives, who just had an active interest in foreign policy. Now, it is eminently clear that there is nothing conservative about them in the least. Whatever hand waving they offer in favor of traditionalism and normalcy, is always in the form of “Of course we should defend X, but let’s not waste political capital on that when we should be doing…”

Reverting to their liberal roots is one thing, but it is hard to see what is American about them, given their advocacy against Americans. When a central plank of your philosophy is that native stock Americans need to be replaced, you’re un-American. Steve Sailer once described neoconservatism as “invade the world, invite the world” and it was an excellent observation. The growing recognition of this truth, seems to be turning neocons in to outright, anti-white bigots. They despise you for noticing what’s happening to you.

You see it in this Jonah Goldberg column the other day. The debate over immigration has made plain to white voters that the divide in Washington is between those celebrating the “browning of America” and those who oppose it. The Trump Effect is making that increasingly clear to voters. The people opposing Team Brown, want to preserve their communities and their culture. There is nothing more conservative than that, but the neocons have now taken to calling this a cult, an obvious reference to you know who.

Neoconservatism has come a long way from when Irving Kristol wrote “Confessions of a True, Self-Confessed ‘Neoconservative'” in 1979. The world has changed since the concepts that came to define neoconservatism were developed. Of course, all of the guys who founded it are dead. The people leading the movement today are mostly the ne’er do well sons of the founding generation of thinkers. The “Thanks Dad Chorus” that is modern neoconservatism is a very good example of reversion to the mean.

Of course, what Eric Hoffer observed about causes is true of the neocons. “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” In fact, this is true of the entire ecosystem that is mainstream conservatism. The Buckley crowd are just squeezing out every last dime from National Review, trading on nostalgia to fleece Baby Boomers of donations. Commentary Magazine has a dwindling readership of septuagenarians worried that Hitler really did not die in that bunker.

Even so, Jews in America have faced little in the way of Antisemitism. That’s something white Americans have always celebrated. So much so that no one thought much of the emergence of Jewish triumphalism in the last decades. If that triumphalism curdles into anti-white ethnocentrism, then that could change. When you see a guy like Jonah Goldberg appropriating the title of James Burnham book for his next screed against white people, you have to suspect this is all going to end poorly.

The Time For Choosing

In 1964 Ronald Reagan gave what used to be a famous speech on behalf of Barry Goldwater. It came to be called A Time for Choosing. If you watch it today, it is quite jarring for a couple of reasons. One is the aggressive, almost angry style Reagan used while delivering it. The other is the clarity of it. There was no dancing around the topic or soft-selling the arguments. Reagan was making the point that the nation was at a crossroads and the decision would determine the nature of America forever.

Whatever you might think about Reagan, he was right about many things. At the time he was giving that speech, the nation truly was at a crossroads. It is not unreasonable to argue that the decisions made in that period sent America careening down the path that led us to the current crisis. It is remarkable just how horrible the 1960’s were for America and the West. The dawn of the Baby Boomer era of America started awful and just got worse every decade since, but the general direction was set in the late 1960’s.

An interesting aspect is that there have been chances to retrace our steps and fix the mistakes of the past. Reagan is the obvious example. If in 1964 the presidential election had been a narrow run thing for the Democrats, that may have been enough for Republicans to fight them in the kulturkampf that followed. Maybe it would have made little difference, but a major reason the Buckley Right has been so cowardly and pathetic over the last fifty years is they got their brains beat in during the 1960’s culture war.

A dozen years later, the Right had a chance to make up for it and nominate Reagan in 1976, but those old cucks from the previous decade prevented it. Still, they were overwhelmed in 1980 and Reagan went on to beat Carter. The GOP and conservatives had a great opportunity to rollback much of the damage done to the nation in the 1960’s, but they chose to fight the Cold War instead. Maybe that was the right thing, but imagine if Reagan had rolled back the welfare state, instead of modernizing the military.

The end of the Cold War set off a set of reactions by the political class that have shaped and defined the current crisis. Imagine if Reagan’s populism was more like Trump’s and instead of an amnesty and open borders policy, with a generous welfare state, we got a closed borders policy and greatly reduced welfare state. If the Soviets had staggered on for another generation unchallenged, the West would probably be poorer now, but it would be immensely whiter, more chauvinistic and better prepared for what’s coming.

In fairness to the men making these decisions in the 1980’s, they did not know what we know today. Reagan certainly had a sense of it with regards to immigration. He later called the immigration deal the biggest mistake of his presidency. Still, with regards to prioritizing the Cold War over all else, no one could know that the neocons were curdling into an ethnocentric suicide cult and the end of the Cold War would free them to indulge in all of their fantasies, at the expense of the nation. No one can see around corners.

The point of all this is every age faces a series of crossroads that have something in common. That is what defines the age. Our current age is a series of decisions about demographics. It is why so many of us on the Dissident Right no longer have patience with civic nationalists. That’s a debate of the past. Demographics, race, ethnicity and identity are the debates of the now. The choices people are making will define this era and define the choices for the next era, barring an unexpected collapse of civilization.

You can see the little choices forming up. The loathing of bad whites by Yankeedom has now curdled into a bizarre hatred of whites in general by Progressive whites. Nancy Pelosi spent eight hours speaking on the House floor, about how the future belongs to the swarthy others over the horizon. One of the stunning developments in my lifetime has been the lurch into naked, gleeful hatred of white people by the Left. It turns out that Obama was not just about Progressive spite. It was a warning about what comes next.

On the other side of this are those sensible white people who are now waking up to the demographic reality facing them. Some voted for Trump based on economics. Some voted for him because of habit. They just vote Republican. Still others voted for him because they oppose evil and that meant voting against Clinton. There are a million reasons Trump won, but the result was a re-framing of the choices facing white Americans. It’s no longer about liberal and conservative. It is about Team White versus Team Brown.

A lot of us see the choices shaping up and lament that it has come to this. “If only the Republicans had blocked immigration reform in the 80’s!” John Derbyshire once said that future generations will dig up the bones of the people who opened the borders and smash them to bits. There is some temporary solace in pondering what if and cursing the mistakes of the past, but that does not change the present. We are headed to the majority-minority world faster than our acceptance of it can keep pace.

The choice now is accept this reality, or continue to live in the past.

The Eternal Guru

The other day, someone asked me about Jordan Peterson, who is all the rage now, especially after his run-in with a local lunatic in London. I must admit, it was a funny 30 minutes, but mostly because Cathy Newman is so dumb. She tried using the active listening technique to paint Peterson as some sort of monster, but she just came off sounding deranged. I’ve run into a lot of women who use this technique. It’s very popular with women in sales for some reason. My guess is it is part of standard sales training.

As far as Peterson, his angry Evil Bert style of speaking is a bit annoying. I know he can’t help it, but his voice conjures images of Kermit going Ike Turner on Miss Piggy. That and I’m just not into the civic nationalist stuff. I’ve heard all of it and know everything they have to say. Ask Peterson why sub-Saharan Africans had not discovered the wheel until Europeans arrived and he runs out of the room. All the tough talk about sticking to facts and clear thinking goes out the door as soon as a taboo topic is mentioned.

That said, Peterson seems to know his limitations. He stays away from taboo subjects as much as possible, so he does not reveal those limitations. That way he can stick to new age advice and religious topics, which he does better than most. He does talk honestly about the biological roots of sex differences and that’s often the best way to introduce people to biological realism. If someone can accept that evolution made boys and girls different cognitively, as well as physiologically, they can accept the diversity of man.

Anyway, I saw this on Maggie’s Farm yesterday. It appears that not everyone is a fan of Peterson. That Mic piece makes a lot of nutty claims, like “cultural Marxism is an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory cooked up by conservatives in the 1980’s.” He also says the alt-right are fans of Peterson. It’s the nature of the hive mind to see the world as those inside versus those outside. The people outside are just an undifferentiated other. That means “alt-right” is now another name for “the people outside the Progressive walls.”

The remarkable thing about Peterson is that no one seems to remember the previous versions of him. Self-help gurus have been a common phenomenon in the English speaking world, going back to the 19th century, when a guy named Samuel Hines published the book Self-Help. The birth of mass media after WW2 made it possible for the self-help guru to reach a wide audience. The snake oil salesman put down his patent medicine and picked up a pen. Same pitch, same promise, different vehicle.

Peterson is lot like Stephen Covey from a couple of decades ago. Peterson uses religion and his credentials as an academic to add authority to his work. Covey relied on rich, successful people to provide the authority. His book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People sold 25 million copies. Everyone wants to be successful, so they will buy the secret if they can. Peterson’s new book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos is already a best seller. It promises a lot for just a little, which is the key to a good self-help book.

That’s the thing with all self-help gurus and lifestyle guides is they almost always rely on the appeal to authority. Their presentation can be boiled down to “this is who I am, this is what I have for you and here is why it is good for you.” That first part is critical. The self-help guru must first convince you he is an authority or he has learned from people who are an authority. Covey was fond of name-dropping the successful people he had met, as a way to burnish his credentials. Peterson relies on his credentials as an academic.

Unlike Covey, Peterson’s doles out his secrets in the form of finger-wagging lectures. In his book, the first of his 12 items is a reminder to stand up straight. He’s recycling some quackery from a few years ago called Power Posing. Peterson re-frames it using animals, but it is the same quackery. Rule six is a fancy way of saying “clean your room” and his eighth rule is “tell the truth.” Maybe he is saving it for the next book, but there really should be a rule about not picking your nose and making sure you clean your plate at dinner.

There’s another unique twist to Peterson. He has used his status as victim of the Cult of Modern Liberalism to ingratiate himself with his audience. Most self-help guys eschew the victim stuff. Instead they want you to see them as winners. Peterson is pitching himself as a noble warrior fighting the last futile wars on the college campus. There’s an undercurrent of romanticism to his presentation. That’s probably why his stern granny routine is popular with younger people. It is how they imagine adults used to act before Progressivism.

The interesting thing about the modern professional advice giver is they are filling a role that used to be occupied by priests and ministers. As America lost its religion in the last fifty years, the self-help guru has filled the void. It’s probably why Peterson’s use of religion in his presentation works so well. Rather than invent a new religion, he can just borrows the good stuff from the old ones. People may not believe in God anymore, but they are going to believe in something. Humans are built to be believing machines.

That’s the trouble with the modern age. In the prior age, we had a way to deal with proselytizing fanatics. We made them missionaries and sent them off to convert the savages. If the savages ate them, there were more missionaries ready to go. Those with a burning desire to dispense advice to others were put into the priesthood, so they could help those who needed it. The death of organized Christianity has removed these options from us. As a result, we’re plagued with fanatics, busybodies and scolds.