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.

Playing With Fire

On more than a few occasions, I have made the point that the greatest threat to Jews in America is other Jews. While there no doubt exist plenty of anti-Semites, counter-Semites and bigots, they are powerless to act on their opinions. Sure, one can go bonkers and shoot up a synagogue, but that guy could just as easily have thought his dog told him to shoot the Pope. In a big open country, you will have a nut of every variety and on occasion, one will slip the leash and cause mayhem. There’s no remedy for it.

As far as a serious threat to Jews, there never has been one in America, because the culture of the country has never been hospital to confrontational tribalism among white people. Instead, it is a frontier culture, where tribes just avoid one another if they cannot get along. Talk to a European about moving around and they will marvel at the casual way in which Americans just pick up and leave if they think the next town is better. The result of this is our anti-Semites tend to be separatists, not confrontational.

That’s a good thing, but it is not an immutable thing. As the country becomes majority-minority, whites are slowly starting to think of their racial identity as their primary identity and their primary interest. In one of life’s ironies, the Progressive demands for tribalism are creating a white tribe, organized to defend white people from the predation of the Left. It may simply be an inevitable result of demographics, but white Americans are slowly coming to terms with the reality facing them. As a result, that frontier mentality is waning.

This will be a different world for Jews, who have enjoyed a casual indifference from the white majority, since Jews migrated here in bulk at the start of the last century. Instead of a disjointed and raucous host population that sees Jews as just another ethnic group within the white majority, Jews will have to live in a world of identity politics. That’s going to mean a return of the old habit of policing the ranks. Jews will have to hunt down and silence members of their own tribe who are bad for Jews. People like Michelle Goldberg.

I have gone around and around with anti-Semites on the issue, but I am not an anti-Semite, or even a counter-Semite. I don’t do the point and sputter, as I think antisemitism, in its primary form, is just an opinion. The same is true for counter-Semites, who strike me as quite reasonable, even if we don’t always agree. As a result, I get along with everyone on the Semitic spectrum. I have readers who are Semites, philo-Semites, anti-Semites and counter-Semites and everyone in between. Indifference has his benefits.

That said, the endless taunting that comes from liberal Jews in the media is going to make even the indifferent observer sympathize with the anti-Semites. How could it not? I look at that post and see a smugly stupid woman celebrating the demographic replacement of white people. My first thought is, “who does this woman think is going to defend her when they come for her?” My second thought is, “even if I’m still around, I won’t be lifting a finger for her.” Michelle Goldberg is bad for Jews and Jews would be wise to muzzle her.

To quote Burke, “When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.” That’s the situation facing Jews in America. In their ranks are bad people, combining to set the world on fire. No question they are aided by plenty of liberal whites in their efforts. The trouble is, whites are permitted to call out liberal whites for this stuff. Only Jews can police their ranks and thus far, we are greeted with a deafening silence. Good Jews stand by and do nothing.

Now, I’ve been around long enough to know that it is not easy for Jews to publicly call out fellow members of the tribe, particularly on tribal grounds. That silent consent has been a valuable survival skill, but now that virtue is being fashioned into a vice. Odious carbuncles like Noah Rothman, rely on the unwillingness of Jews to speak out, so they can spread their toxic filth in the political culture. Michelle Goldberg just assumes no one will dare confront her over her anti-white hatred. That can’t go on. It won’t go on.

Sensible Jews have to accept the wisdom of Burke and condemn these bad Jews, not for being mistaken, but for being bad for Jews. More important, sensible Jews need to accept the support from sensible whites in this matter. No one is expecting Jews and Gentiles to lock arms and sing Amazing Grace. What we can expect is to keep the crazies on the chain and for sensible people to take pleasure in putting the crazies back on the chain, even with the support of those outside their tribe. Good neighbors do that for one another.

The stuff appearing in the media every day from liberal Jews is the great threat to Jews in America. Allowing unstable lunatics to call for white replacement, with the imprimatur of the elite media, is playing for fire. Sensible people, when they see a child, a simpleton or a lunatic playing with fire, they do what they must to stop it. That’s the situation facing sensible Jews in America, with people like Michelle Goldberg. Her bigoted rhetoric is going to get a lot of people killed, unless her people throw a net over her.

Slavery As A Service

Unsurprisingly, the first step in the Progressive pogrom against normal people after the Pittsburgh shooting was an effort to de-platform Gab. The ruling class has a deep hatred of the site for a number of reasons. One being it puts the lie to the claim that the tech industry is an open market. The other is it puts the lie to the fact that Americans have constitutional rights. Anything that is seen as a challenge to Progressive rule is marked for death and the people in charge are not about to allow a tragedy go to waste.

The bodies were not even cold and the usual suspects were organized and sent out on social media, and then Progressive media, to denounce Gab as some sort of organized assault “on our democracy.” The only thing missing from the hysteria was the claim that Gab is a Russian agent. Everyone was supposed to drop what they were doing for a five minutes of hate against Gab, a tiny web site with about half a million users. FaceBook has billions of users, Google controls the internet. Yet, Gab is a threat to civilization.

Not soon after the signal from Prog was given, the heads of the tech oligopoly got together to throw Gab off the internet. First their hosting service, a company called Joyent, gave them 48 hours to find a new hosting service. The company is owned by Samsung and it is run by a loathsome bigot named Scott Hammond. The hope was that Gab would not be able to find a replacement over the weekend and the site would go dark. Word was sent out to the media to prepare a celebration of the event so Hammond could be honored.

Gab, ever resourceful, found another hosting company and was able to start making the transition, despite Joyent deliberately trying to sabotage their efforts. That’s when the next step in the operation was launched. GoDaddy, the registrar Gab used to buy the domain name, threatened to steal the domain name from them. This is the trick GoDaddy has used in the past, stealing domain names from owners, who hold opinions contrary to the official orthodoxy. Gab was able to avoid this and is in the process of moving to new digs.

Now, when you start looking at these companies, the thing that should ring out is they are pretty much the standard villain in Hollywood movies. They are large, soulless corporations run by bland automatons like Scott Hammond. They are men hired because they will just follow orders. When you look at a guy like Scott Hammond, you see the face of someone who never asks too many questions. He’s the guy who begs for his life at the end of the Hollywood action movie, but the good guy shoots him anyway.

The question that normal people ask is how this is possible. After all, these companies sign contracts and in theory, we still have courts where contracts can be enforced by impartial judges. While that is a laughable fiction now, the reality is these companies are not bound by standard business agreements. They have been allowed to carve out new law for themselves, forcing their vendors and customers to sign off on what is called an adhesion contract. This gives the tech giants absolute power over everyone else.

An adhesion contract or “standard form contract”  is a contract drafted by one party and signed by another party. The second party typically does not have the power to negotiate or modify the terms of the contract. Adhesion contracts are commonly used for things like insurance or rental contracts. When you rent a car or purchase car insurance, you just sign the contract, because you have to in order to rent the car or get insured. Every technology service provider is now basing their relationships on these types of contracts.

It used to be that the courts carefully scrutinized these types of arrangements, so the contract had to adhere to some basic principles. The courts would often use the “doctrine of reasonable expectations” to void all or part of these contracts, when there was lack of notice, unequal bargaining power, or blatant and substantive unfairness. The reason for this should be obvious. When a powerful company has the right to dictate the terms of the contract to their customers, they have all the power in the contractual relationship.

In western jurisprudence, a valid contract is one in which both parties freely engage and have equal opportunities to negotiate. When one party imposes the conditions on the other, that’s not a contract. That’s slavery. In a world where a handful of people control the public space, these types of contract give them arbitrary power over public discourse. If they become vexed with what you say, they can claim you have violated their terms of service and remove you from the internet. Again, the terms are dictated, not negotiated.

A recent, less emotional, example is what happened with Stefan Molyneux, the alt-lite YouTube personality. He has built up a large following on YouTube for his quirky brand of edgy commentary. He said the wrong thing and was informed by YouTube that his business would be shuttered unless he conformed to their terms of service. His only recourse, like a slave being whipped by the master, was to beg for mercy. After getting a reprieve, he will have to live knowing who holds the whip and who is the slave.

This is not something limited to social media. Microsoft has imposed similar terms of service on users of Office and Skype. In theory, it means they can stop your company from using these products if they find out the owner gave money to the wrong political candidate or has the wrong opinions. All of the content providers like Hulu, Amazon and NetFlix have implemented the same one-way contracts. While they have not banned people from using their services yet, it is something they now have the power to do.

This is why the “cloud” is so popular with the Cloud People. Turn on the television and you are treated to ads telling you how the cloud will solve all the problems of your life. What it is, of course, is an inducement to walk into the cage. Once inside, the door slams shut and you are now just another bit of property on the plantation. In the near future, Brendan Eich will not just lose his job. He will be found to have violated the terms of service for his refrigerator, car and checking account. Internal banishment becomes real.

Slavery tends to end one of two ways. The slave-based society is conquered or the slaves rise up and slaughter their slave masters. It’s too much to hope for the political class to ban these leonine contracts used by global tech to enslave the rest of us, but that would be the peaceful resolution. The courts could also return to the habit of carefully scrutinizing these agreements. Given the behavior of the political class, this seems unlikely. Judging by the physiognomy of Scott Hammond, the alternative seems certain.

The End Game

A popular topic on the Right for a long time has been the looming economic trouble that everyone agrees is inevitable, due to the spiraling debt. The political parties lost interest in the debt during the Obama years, but the problem remains. The Federal government adds another trillion or so every year and we’re just at the start of the great Baby Boomer retirement, which promises to bankrupt Social Security and Medicare. All of the things Reagan warned about, and did nothing about, are still there and getting worse every day.

Now, as I mentioned in the podcast last week, one reason no one cares about this stuff anymore is nothing every happens. The politicians never do anything to address the problem and the warnings about the disaster never come true. The 2008 mortgage meltdown can probably be blamed for the public’s indifference to these issues now, and maybe the politicians too, because the disaster was averted. That problem was worse than the predictions, but the consequences were nothing like predicated.

For the Right and increasingly for the Left, the hand-wringing over the looming financial troubles has always been a proxy for the general angst about democracy. After all, the primary driver for the debt trouble is the public’s insatiable desire for free stuff and the politicians need to give it to them. The creative ways in which the U.S. government finances its spending is driven by the need to feed the beast that is democracy. They say necessity is the mother of invention and we see that in our fiscal situation.

The thing is though, a financial crash, even a debilitating one, is never enough to bring down a nation. For example, the Long Depression lasted in the United States from 1873 to 1896, with the most severe portion being the first decade. The Great Depression lasted for over a decade and was followed by world war. There was never a fear of revolution in these economic disasters because the public trusted itself and the institutions of the nation to work through the problems. People just kept working the problem until it got better.

Revolts come when people no longer trust their rulers. The king bungles a series of issues and the people decide they need a new king. The ruling class gets reckless and lazy and they find themselves on the run. Revolutions come when the system itself is no longer trusted. The economic crisis that triggers it is just an excuse for doing what people have been thinking about doing for a long time. The radicals were able to overthrow the French monarchy because no one could think of a reason to not overthrow the system.

That’s the dangerous waters we seem to be in today. Now, elites love to confuse the institutions with the people occupying them. Despite being replaceable and often replaced, they see themselves as indispensable. That’s just their arrogance, not a sign the public has lost faith in the system. After all, no one trusts Congress, but the voters can replace all of the congressmen with more trustworthy people in a series of elections. Is that a loss of faith in the institution or just the normal process of democracy?

Still, there is a growing distrust of the system and it is something you see in the Progressive coalition, Trump voters and the Dissident Right. The reasons are different, but all around, people are losing faith in the system itself. Team Brown wants to begin the great replacement today and they see the system as a hindrance to their efforts. The MAGA-pedes see the system as an impediment to Trump’s reform efforts. The Dissident Right sees the system as part of the cancer that is destroying white society.

Cultural discontent is not a new thing, so it is temping to think that we are reliving the period from the 1970’s into the 1980’s. Smart people in the Nixon years thought the country was headed for civil war. By the middle of the 1980’s everyone was happy again due to the robust economy. Trump’s approval rating is his highest as the economy is finally showing that old dynamism again, but people are even more angry now than before the election. Maybe this time is different and a good economy is not enough.

Of course, the troubles half a century ago were different than today, despite the similarities. The culture war of the 60’s and 70’s was between white people in a country that was 90% white. The fight today is between whites and non-whites in a country rapidly moving to majority-minority. Then we have the brown waves of migrants washing up on the southern border, that serve as a daily reminder of what the future holds for white people. This is a very different crisis than we saw in the 60’s.

History buffs like to look at the French Revolution for clues as to how the American experiment ends. The alt-right thinks the interwar period in Germany is a good model for what comes next. Of course, the Roman Empire is always a handy example. All of that is probably wrong. In fact, the alt-right is laughably wrong about what comes next. The better example may be the Holy Roman Empire. The slow disintegration of that political construction is a less glamorous story, but it may be a more relevant one for us

After all, America has always been a multi-cultural empire. It was just confined to this continent and composed of white people. Even today, the cultural difference between the people of New England and those of the Midwest are obvious. The whites of the west coast are wildly different in temperament than the whites of New York. When someone from the Northeast visits Texas for the first time, they almost always say that they feel like they are in a different country. That’s because Texas is a different country.

Since Gettysburg, American has been a collection of cultural regions held together by the Yankee hegemony. The rest of America has functioned like Puerto Rico to the winners of the Civil War. That is, they retained some local autonomy, but were never allowed to have a say in the big issues. A fun way to see this is to to examine the list of President before the Civil War and after the Civil War. Heck, the GOP is a party based in the South and Southwest, yet the President is the quintessential New Yorker.

Maybe instead of a dramatic collapse or a great revolution, maybe the future for this empire is to just stagger along from one crisis to the next, losing a little bit of influence here, a little bit of land over there. A long, episodic process where the American Empire slowly disintegrates, returning to its natural parts. A generation from now, America will be out of Asia. Another generation and Europe is free. All the while the role of the central government recedes domestically as the local cultural regions re-assert their authority.

A Report From The Field

One of the stranger things about this age is that even the fiercest critics of the ruling class are finding it hard to keep pace with the ruling class confirming their claims. Make some exaggerated statement about the Cloud People and before you have had a chance to defend it from critics, Cloud People have taken to social media to prove your point. It’s a cliché to say that satire is dead, but it really does feel that way. How can you satirize people who are everything you mock them for being, plus some extra to make the point?

A popular theme here is that the people who rule over us act like a foreign colonial elite, divorced from the reality of our daily life. They are not just physically removed, but spiritually and intellectually removed. As a result, they are entirely clueless about what animates our lives and decisions. This critique is meant to be an exaggeration to make a point about our elites. This editorial in the Wall Street Journal by Yale professor David Gelernter, however, is an example how it is hard to exaggerate these things.

The difference between citizens who hate Mr. Trump and those who can live with him—whether they love or merely tolerate him—comes down to their views of the typical American: the farmer, factory hand, auto mechanic, machinist, teamster, shop owner, clerk, software engineer, infantryman, truck driver, housewife. The leftist intellectuals I know say they dislike such people insofar as they tend to be conservative Republicans.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama know their real sins. They know how appalling such people are, with their stupid guns and loathsome churches. They have no money or permanent grievances to make them interesting and no Twitter followers to speak of. They skip Davos every year and watch Fox News. Not even the very best has the dazzling brilliance of a Chuck Schumer, not to mention a Michelle Obama. In truth they are dumb as sheep.

Mr. Trump reminds us who the average American really is. Not the average male American, or the average white American. We know for sure that, come 2020, intellectuals will be dumbfounded at the number of women and blacks who will vote for Mr. Trump. He might be realigning the political map: plain average Americans of every type vs. fancy ones.

Now, Gelernter is one of the few good neocons in that he is much more in line with the original generation than with the successors. I had a short correspondence with him a long time ago and he was very nice. No, I am not the Unabomber. He had written an article about alternative file structures that I found interesting so I sent him an e-mail about it and we went back and forth on the topic. Unlike his neocon brethren, he does not sneer at the rest of us or endlessly advocate for our destruction.

The amusing part about this column is that it needed to be written. Gelernter is a Yale professor, which means he spends his days around Cloud People and future Cloud People. As a Trump supporter, he operates a lot like Dian Fossey, spending every day in an alien environment observing strange creatures. He no doubt has come to care for them and appreciate them, but their weirdness remains the main fascination. Yet, this is a place that is a training ground for the people who will one day call themselves our leaders.

Now, spend enough time in a foreign place and you will start to take on the attributes of the natives. You see that in the description of the “typical American” as something closer to a character from Dickens than modern reality. Whenever ruling class people talk about the rest of us they never mention business owners, the self-employed or senior managers in mid-sized companies. I deal with the latter on a regular basis and I rarely encounter a hard core lefty. They range from right-of-center to way over on our side of the divide.

That’s the strangeness of the current age. It’s not that the ruling class is physically removed from the rest of us, as in the feudal age or even at the peak of the industrial age. In those times, the people in the castles and mansions generally believed the same things as the regular people, at least spiritually. They also felt a duty to maintain order, not just in their own interests but in the interests of the populace. They may not have liked the peasants, but they did not hate them. They certainly felt a duty to look out for them.

In this age, the ruling class believes things that no normal person accepts. The tranny stuff is the obvious example. That will never be accepted by normal people as anything other than an insult to their decency. The Cloud People can bellow about this until they are swinging from a rope and the people will never accept it. Yet, among the Cloud People, gender fluidity is as sensible as worshiping Gaia. Our ruling class now has an entirely alien religion upon which is built their moral framework and world view. They ain’t us.

That’s another thing about this age. The Cloud People lack self-awareness. It’s why comedy is no longer funny. A sense of humor relies on a sense of self and a willingness to make sport of your side. That can only work on people when they are aware of their own foibles and quirks. For our rulers, their greatest blind spot is in the mirror. They imagine themselves as plucky underdogs fighting the man. They think they are nobly sacrificing for the greater good. In reality, they are selfish self-absorbed children throwing tantrums.

That’s why it is hard to be optimistic about a good end to a course correction. How do you reform a ruling class whose identity is based on its hatred of the people over whom it rules? How do you fix a people who are oblivious to the lives of the people they rule and oblivious to the reality of their own lives? It is easy to understand why the Maoists sent so many intellectuals to the rice paddies or gave them factory jobs pushing a broom. It’s hard to comprehend how anyone can be so clueless and self-absorbed, but here we are.

Killing Lincoln

One of the unmistakable features of modern conservatives is their not-so-veiled hostility toward heritage America. Some attribute this to ethnic hostility, given the infiltration of the Right by neoconservatives. Initially, these people made the journey from communism to anti-communism and were never conservative in temperament. Of course, the royal lifestyles of many conservatives has made them into unpleasant snobs. All of that is true to one degree or another, but it obscures an important point about modern conservatives.

The Official Right has a different interpretation of American history than most normal white people. Blacks, of course, fixate on slavery and segregation, so their view of American history is through hostile eyes. Whites generally accept the conventional narrative. If you ask a normal white American to tell the story of America, he will start with something about how the Puritans came to America to escape religious tyranny. Once the colonist got things going, the King tried to tax the colonists, so there was a revolution.

The Official Right has a different view of American history. They look at the Founding as an imperfect result. First and foremost, they view the tolerance of slavery, and the enshrining of it in the Constitution, as a great sin. Rather than embrace the principle of liberty for all, because all men are created equal, as expressed in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution created a compromise. While all citizens were free and equal under the law, slavery created a class of people who were not citizens.

In the view of the Straussians, the intellectual movement based on the writing and teaching of Leo Strauss, the Constitution was not just a flawed document, but an immoral one, because it violated that core principle of equality. From this perspective, the Civil War was a purification of the country, removing the origin sin of slavery and forming a new Union, based in equality and universal liberty. For the Official Right, America was reborn in the Civil War and Lincoln was the Moses who ushered in the new republic.

This is why the Official Right has a Lincoln fetish. For example, Rich Lowry, the dull-witted editor of National Review, wrote a Lincoln book. The neocons treat Lincoln as if he is an Old Testament prophet. Jonah Goldberg regularly writes about Lincoln as if he is a god on Mt. Olympus. For the Official Right, Lincoln is the Founding Father. Those guys who wrote the Constitution are not entirely dismissed, but they are secondary figures in the story. For the Official Right, the American story starts with the Gettysburg Address.

A big part of this is due to a guy named Harry Jaffa, who became something of a cult leader for the neoconservatives. His framing of the Civil War as the second founding, allowed the neocons to see themselves as proof of the concept. The original founding excluded them from the narrative, while the second founding not only included them in the story of America, it made them proof of its righteousness. Lincoln’s America was not just for the founding stock. It was for whoever could get control of it.

Of course, the old WASP side of the Official Right was also willing to embrace this notion of the second founding. Since northern conservatism was mostly just a clean up crew that followed Progressivism around, the story of the second founding made their unwillingness to oppose the Left seem noble. Since Reconstruction, the role of what passes for conservatism has been to fill the void after every great spasm of Progressive activism overturned the old order. The Official Right’s job was to make it all work again.

The problem with this telling of history is it assumes a core immorality of the founding stock and the institutions they created. It also locks in the notion that it is the role of Northern reformers to be the guardians of civic morality. The Left need only appeal to the notion of universal equality and liberty and their opponents were disarmed. After all, the party of Lincoln, if it stands for anything, stands for universal equality and liberty. The conservatism of Harry Jaffa is nothing but a complex apologia for Progressivism.

A fun gag is to talk to the grandees of the Official Right about Lincoln’s actual views on race relations. The quickest way to get hurled into the void by angry Buckleyites is to quote Lincoln on the issue. The fact is, Lincoln was a man of his age, when it came to race, despite his zealous opposition to slavery. Like all abolitionists, he did not care about the slaves, he cared about the slave holder. That was the soul he sought to save. The slaves themselves were just props on the stage of the morality play that was abolitionism.

The Official Right can never accept this. One of the criticisms of Harry Jaffa on this score was that he was not a scholar of Lincoln, so much as the chief polemicist for the cult that formed around him. His telling of history left out anything that contradicted his concept of the second founding. This is true not only from an academic perspective, but also from a human one. This telling of history leaves out most of the country. For anyone outside the northern alliance, their ancestors are either villains or non-entities in the narrative.

That’s the source of the low level hostility toward heritage America that has been a feature of the Official Right and that is now its face to the rest of us. Since Gettysburg, the story of America has been the story of northern hegemony. On one side are the reformers and fanatics, always looking for a reason to put the lash to the legacy population. On the other side are the so-called conservatives, who hold most of the same views, but see their role as making the latest fads work, so the overall American project can move forward.

The Lincoln fetish that blossomed among so-called conservatives in the middle of the last century was a form of Stockholm Syndrome. Unable to conjure and sustain a moral opposition to the Left, they embraced Lincoln as their Moses. Their acquiescence to the Left was the result of deeply held principles with roots in the founding, the second founding. They were champions of “a new birth of freedom — that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

This is the great challenge in attempting to overturn the Judeo-Puritan orthodoxy that defines the America ruling class. It requires more than just defeating present day arguments over public policy. It means restoring large chunks of history that have been systematically erased by our zealous overlords. Killing off the cult of Lincoln and the political movement it animates, means telling a better story to the people charged with tearing it down. That inevitably means killing Lincoln as the founder of the nation.