The Dead End

Most of the issue that plague our modern societies stem from the unwillingness of our policy makers to consider the obvious solutions. In the 80’s, we had a bum crisis due to the states being forced to fling open the doors to their nervous hospitals. The former patients had no one willing to care for them and no ability to care for themselves, so they ended up on the streets as bums. The obvious answer was to put them back into the asylums, but that was ruled off limits and we still have a bum problem to this day.

The solution to the bum problem was to ignore it and build up a big new bureaucracy for dealing with the bums, while not actually getting them off the streets. That meant a proliferation of not-for-profit organizations that dealt with the bums, using grants from the city, state and federal government. The result is we now have a special interest that works to thwart any effort to get the bums off the streets. Bum maintenance has become an industry with lobbyists and political power. And we still have bums.

The thing is, the Cloud People do not have a bum problem. They “solved” the “homeless” problem by agreeing to use their tax dollars to build flop houses in your neighborhood and they also make sure the bum services industry is located in your neighborhood. You will never see a homeless shelter next to a Starbucks. The cops in Cloud Country are adept at putting the stray bum on a bus and sending him to Dirt Country, where the shelters are located. After all, they are public servants and that is the humane thing to do.

For a minor annoyance like the bum problem, this is not an untenable situation. Even in the ghetto, the crazy guy screaming at cars as they pass by is just local color. For bigger issues, like the black underclass, this approach is unworkable. For fifty years white liberals have been playing a weird game of Old Maid, in which they find new ways to dump blacks from their neighborhoods into the normie middle-class. The normies respond by moving away, but Lefty keeps finding ways to inflict the problem on them.

The primary source of racial conflict in modern America is the Cloud People habit of blaming typical white people for the bad behavior of blacks. Whites don’t care if Ray-Ray guns down Trayvon over a sneaker beef, but they do care when they are told they are responsible for it. Instead of addressing the issue of ghetto violence, we have a whole industry built around race hustling. The dysfunctional black under-class is the source of income for thousands of people with an interest in never solving it.

The Exploding Mohamed is looking like a problem for which the Cloud People have no way to ignore, but they are working hard to find a way to turn this problem into a weapon against the Dirt People. Take a look at this Spectator piece after the most recent incident. It reads like a meditation on how to avoid facing reality. The proposed suggestions, they don’t qualify as solutions, are laughably pointless. You could be forgiven for thinking the writer started by eliminating what will work and then came up with his list of solutions.

The most obvious solution to the exploding and stabbing Mohameds is to stop importing Mohameds. If BMW’s exploded at this rate, Britain would ban the importation of BMW’s and demand the manufacturer recall those in the country. Volkswagen is facing billions in fines for violating trivial emissions regulations. Yet, no one dares say, “there’s a problem with these Mohameds. Let’s put the brakes on importing more of them until will can figure out what’s going on with them.” Nope. It is a mad dash to import more of them.

The trouble is they can’t ignore it, like the bum problem, or even blame the honkies, like they do with black crime. This one is all on the Cloud People, but they can’t bring themselves to face the cause of the problem. Instead, they build out the police state, install more cameras and turn the country into a game preserve. Cynics say this is deliberate, but that assumes facts not in evidence. These people are not that clever. It’s that their multicultural religion forbids them from considering the right answer to the problem.

It is the aspect of anarcho-tyranny that most people don’t get right away. It’s not that the authorities are lazy or disinterested. It’s that they are afraid of their own bizarre religion of multiculturalism. When you rule out the reality of human nature from the tool set, you’re left with solutions that are contrary to human nature. The thing that allows them to rule like tyrants over their own kind, prevents them from raising a finger against strangers and aliens. It is as if a form of Toxoplasma gondii has infected the brains of the ruling elites.

This is not a terrible way to think of it. The typical person in the managerial elite has never had to face the hard decisions most of us take for granted. Theirs has been a life without accountability in a world stripped of the harsher aspects of the human condition. If you have spent your life in the dream world of the academy and the government campus, you can be forgiven for not wanting to question the underlying orthodoxy. As Tucker Carlson pointed out in this speech, it is a great life and no one would choose to leave it.

The trouble is, once you eliminate the axiomatic, you inevitably end in a logical dead end, with no real options other than retracing your steps. Since questioning the one true faith is off limits, the Cloud People spend their days dreaming up fantasy solutions to real problems that just keep getting worse. For something like bum control, nature tends to step in and solve the problem. For a Muslim invasion, the problem will not resolve itself, at least not in a tolerable way, until the fever breaks or the system collapses.

This will not end well.

The Age of the Two Laws

For as long as I have been alive, I’ve understood that the law does not treat everyone equally. We have the theory, all men are equal before the law, but in practice it is something different. This is the product of growing up poor. A poor man, who gets jammed up on a small crime, is going to get processed. That means he will get a public defender, who will negotiate terms with the state. If he hires an attorney, that lawyer will do the same thing, but maybe pulling in a favor from a buddy to get a better deal.

On the other hand, a rich guy will hire a team of lawyers and put so much pressure on the prosecutor, that the roles will be reversed. The state will cry uncle and take the best deal they can just to be done with the case. Joe Biden’s niece, for example, avoided serious punishment for a crime that would put most people in jail. The thing is, this is not a defect in the law. It is the way the world has always been. The rich and powerful have access to all the resources they need to get the best deal they can from the law.

That has always been tolerable as people have always accepted that human societies are hierarchical. The people at the top are at the top for a reason and being at the top comes with benefits, which is why people want to be at the top. Lately though, a new thing is turning up in the law. Slowly, we are seeing a second legal system, a shadow system, evolve alongside, and in some cases displacing, the old legal system. This new legal system is sort of like what anarcho-libertarians imagine. It’s private and transactional.

Instead of relying on the old law, large social organizations, like universities and corporations, are slowly creating a parallel legal system to adjudicate problems that are unique to them. The college campus is the most obvious example. The imaginary rape culture on campus has spawned a new legal system for addressing it. You see it in this story about Michigan State. The cops are in a secondary role, as the university addresses its more pressing issues, while relying on its own legal mechanisms.

Here we have four players accused of sexually assaulting a woman. Instead of the cops treating this like any other criminal complaint, the school is in charge of the investigation and the cops are on the sideline. The school brought in a law firm to do an investigation, provide the cops with evidence and then conduct a wide ranging evaluation of school policy and senior personnel. They have also tried and judged the players, removing them from campus and kicking them off the football team.

This is not an exception. Baylor University did the same thing when they had a similar issue with the football team. To date, one guy has been charged with an actual crime, but dozens of men have been cast into the outer darkness as punishment, for violating secret rules. The school president was forced into exile and the football coach as been banished. He will never work again, despite having done nothing illegal nor violating the terms of his contract. He was tried and convicted in the private legal system.

What we are seeing develop is a separate legal system for the managerial class. Unlike the criminal system, they are not going to have jails and incarcerate offenders. Instead, the land of the Dirt People will be their prison and you will be the tormentor of the condemned. For now, people accused of real crimes, like those MSU players, will be marched out of the kingdom and handed over to the “authorities” for prosecution, but they have been found guilty by the school and cast back into the land of the Dirt People.

The temptation is to say that the schools are responding to the threat of litigation, but that’s a trivial matter. A sad coed can be bought off for a few hundred grand, less than the cost of a low level administrator. The real issue is culture. The people inside want to enforce their values and will do so ruthlessly. The people sent into exile are a warning to those who remain inside. There’s a code of conduct and violations of those rules, as interpreted by those in charge, can result in the ultimate punishment, exile from The Cloud.

This is what we’re seeing with social media. Our rulers like to pay lip service to civil liberties, but they would much prefer it if they could do away with all of them. To that end, crack downs on political expression have been outsourced to media companies. When Theresa May promised to throw more yobs in jail for being mean to the Muslims, she was sending a signal to the big media companies that they need to crack down on dissent and that means banning people who say unapproved things.

This is anarcho-tyranny refined into a social system. The state is unable to perform its basic functions, but it is adept at working with private business to push around the law abiding citizens. There will now be a second legal system run by global corporations to police the speech of citizens. Instead of putting trouble makers in prison, however, they will put them on mute, making it hard for them to communicate their grievances. Users will not voice their complaints to the law. They will appeal to someone is customer support.

That’s where you see the motivation behind the evolution of this parallel legal system we are seeing with the Cloud People. Like so much of neo-liberalism, it is cloaked in libertarian arguments about private entities setting their own policies, but that’s only so it can avoid defending itself in open court or the court of public opinion. In the old law, the process determined your guilt and then your punishment. In the new law, the process is the punishment and a weapon to enforce conformity and submission.

Like so much of the managerial state, it is not clear if it is sustainable in the medium run, much less the long run. Increasingly, males on campus are using the old law as a weapon against the new law. Falsely accused males are hiring attorneys who will do what the new law is too afraid to do and that’s examine these accusers. Most of these claims by coeds are dubious and some are criminal, abetted by college administrators. Eventually, one of these will become a vehicle for a very big lawsuit and settlement.

On the other hand, the future is not written. Thirty years ago, it was laughable to suggest homosexual marriage was a right. The willingness of the old law to submit to the new law is what will be tested over time. So far, the indications are the cops and prosecutors are OK with handing over their authority to colleges and corporations. Maybe the courts, staffed as they are with Cloud People, will happily go along with this new shadow system and all of us will become serfs on one social media platform or another.

The Glass Jaw

It used to be, and maybe it still is the case, that boys learned about bullies on the playground. There was always some kid, who would push around the other kids. The lesson kids learned was that merely standing up to the bully was usually enough. In some cases, you might have to duke it out, but no matter the result, the bully would leave you alone after it. What makes the bully possible is moral authority. They present themselves as the natural ruler of the rest. If everyone accepts it, then the bully gets to run the yard.

In much the same way, the slave owner has to maintain a moral authority in order to keep his slaves from revolting or running off. The whole point of slavery is cheap labor. If the slave owner has to employ an army to keep his slaves under control and on the plantation, there’s no point in having slaves. He would be better served by hired men. In order for slavery to work, the slaves must accept their natural condition. Like the bully, the slave owner may be outnumbered, but he has the force of moral authority.

One of the least remarked upon aspects of the collapse of Soviet communism was just how peaceful and swift it was in the end. The Poles standing up to their rulers broke the spell. In 1980, Lech Wałęsa scaled the fence at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdańsk, leading a strike against the government. Within a decade, the Soviet empire would collapse and Wałęsa would be elected president of Poland. In other words, the commies were morally and spiritually exhausted and they could not take a punch.

I thought about that when the little guy with the goofy haircut decked the Antifa girl at that Berkeley riot. Everything about her world made sense right up until she took a right cross to the puss and fell to the ground. All she had to do was show up in the right outfit and all the bad people would go away. Then, her bluff was called. The bad man was not intimidated. She no longer had moral authority over him. Her after action comments strongly suggest she had some sort of epiphany on the way to the ground.

The thing is though, the whole Antifa movement seems to have fallen apart after that event. Poor old Gavin McInness is begging them to show up at his events, but all he’s getting is some cranky coeds and a few old hippies. In one of life’s many ironies, the anti-fascists had to manufacture fascists to fight and now the alleged fascists are forced to invent anti-fascist that they can fight. Gavin is going to have to find a new act. It turns out that the Prog street warriors have a glass jaw. They can’t take a punch and they know it.

That may be what we are seeing with Conservative Inc. In the last week, homosexual activist and managing editor of National Review, Jason Lee Steorts, has penned over 10,000 words of criticism aimed at those to his Right, which is pretty much everyone on the Right these days. The first piece was a dismissive critique of neo-reactionary blogger Mencius Moldbug. The second, a much longer piece, is a not entirely coherent rant against what he calls the illiberal critics of grade school “freedom shrines.”

His post on Moldbug is revealing for a number of reasons. For starters, Moldbug has not posted in years. His last serious philosophical posting was half a dozen years ago. He and neo-reaction were a big deal on-line a decade ago. It’s not quite disco, but addressing it now in a serious way is a lot like demanding the record stores stop selling Bee Gee’s albums. What his post reveals, more than anything, is that he and the rest of the Buckley Mystery Cult have not been paying attention for a long time.

The longer post is a more serious attempt to address the many boogeymen and hobgoblins that haunt the minds of Buckley Conservatives. His essay reads like it was written by a committee. He spends thousands of words stroking various aspects of Conservative Inc, for no purpose other than flattery. When he gets into specific topics popular on the Dissident Right, he reveals a depth of ignorance that suggests stupidity has mass. His bit on IQ reveals he is a man who does not know what he does not know.

Whenever you are charged with defending the status quo against criticism, your job is to re-argue the case for the establishment. The rightness of the prevailing order creates its own moral authority, thus reducing even legitimate criticisms to mere quibbles. What’s striking about Steorts’ piece is he struggles to describe what it is he is defending, much less defend it. After 7500 words, the reader is just left with the image of a fussy prig, crinkling his nose up, as if he just caught wind of a bad odor.

For as long as anyone reading this has been alive, Buckley Conservatives have functioned as a palace guard. They defended the status quo by acting as a buffer between critics and the Progressive elites. At the same time, they served as a conduit for middle-class white grievances and objections. Taxes are too high! Government is too big! Pop culture is damaging to bourgeois values! That sort of thing. They were in the passenger seat of Progressivism yelling “slow down!” as the car zoomed forward.

For good or ill, their source of moral authority was as the voice of the white middle-class and the civic virtues that made it possible. They no longer talk about the actual people they used to represent, other than in the occasional genocidal rage. Jason Lee Steorts can’t even describe middle-class civic institutions. He has reduced them to the ridiculous image of a “freedom shrine.” The Buckleyites no longer have moral authority. They are simply another blemish on the face of the Progressive orthodoxy.

How aware of this they are is hard to know. It’s a lucrative racket so they are probably more concerned about keeping their spot on the Left than these larger matters. Perhaps like the Polish authorities, they will just stand aside as a new opposition movement, this counter-culture, grows up to challenge the Left. Perhaps there will be that moment of clarity that Moldylocks experienced as she hit the pavement. Either way, they are morally and spiritually exhausted. What comes next is inevitable.

Tactics and Money

Social movements go through phases, depending upon their scale and success at interrupting the prevailing order. If ten people become convinced that devil worship is critical to the survival of mankind, no one will notice until they start sacrificing goats in public. If ten million people take up this idea, then it is different. The movement has to learn to work within the prevailing order, then learn how to alter the prevailing order by infiltration and coercion. Tactics become as important as ideology.

The alt-right, Identitarianism, new right, or whatever you prefer to call the growing dissenter movement that has grown up the last few years, is reaching a point where the people in charge think something must be done. The sacking by Breitbart of Katie McHugh at the behest of a neocon mob looks like an orchestrated hit. There is a secret mailing list for neocon pundits in the media and all of their known members were immediately on-line celebrating, so the scheme was probably hatched by them.

The neocons are putting enormous pressure on their “friends” at Breitbart to abandon Trump and purge their ranks of anyone outside the orthodoxy. Back in the election, the odious carbuncle John Podhoretz accused Brietbart editor Joel Pollack of not being authentically Jewish due to his Trump support. Imagine members of your church threatening to ex-communicate you over your voting habits. Then there are the threats to staffers and advertisers. If they can’t kill the message, they will kill the messengers.

The point of this is that tactics are important. Katie McHugh is a nobody in the grand scheme of things, but her corpse on the sidewalk sends the same message as the Seth Rich bike rack outside DNC headquarters. As the Chinese say, you kill some chickens to scare the monkeys. You can be sure that people inside Breitbart are now working on their resumes and ready to rat on their friends in order to find a safe landing spot. It is the same tactic the Feds are using to fix the leak problem. Jail a nobody and the somebodies notice.

As they say in the crime business, it is all fun and games until the bodies start to drop on your side. That means the good guys better start to learn how to use the rules to their advantage. They are entering into the phase of the game where tactics matter as much, if not more than, ideology. They’ve picked the fight and now it is time to fight. In the context of this culture war, it means waking up every day thinking about how to ruin someone on the other team. It means turning the weight of the orthodoxy against itself.

For instance, when the mentally disturbed woman harassed Richard Spencer at his gym, he made the blunder of not looking for a way to turn this into a weapon. His first move should have been to call the cops on her. Then he should have insisted on filing a report. Then he should have gone to court seeking a restraining order. In other words, he should have used her enormous weight against her. Even if the court declined to grant him the order, he would have had a great chance to get it, the message would have been sent.

Similarly, the habit of Progs to use campaigns against people in order to cause financial harm should be met with legal action. Tortious interference is when one person intentionally damages someone else’s contractual or business relationships with a third party causing economic harm. A phony e-mall campaign, that is intended to intimidate a hotel, for example, from hosting a VDare event, is precisely the sort of thing that should be met with a lawsuit. Worst case is you get it out into the open, where the rats can’t hide.

There’s also the use of public accommodation lawsuits. The Left used Title II of the Civil Rights Act to gut free association. A clever lawyer could use the same law that forces your restaurant to serve ISIS sympathizers, to force Facebook into letting the alt-right have their own page. It would be a tough case to make, but it could be made with the right plaintiff. That’s how lawfare works. The point is to de-legitimize the rules and laws, but also to force the other side to live by their own moral code.

These efforts take money, of course, just as the efforts to build up alternative media require funding. That’s where the dissidents are making the most progress. WeSearchr is still trying to find its footing, but it has worked well as a proof of concept for fund raising outside the orthodoxy. The new site Counter.Fund is a very creative idea that could turn out to be a viable alternative to the establishment crowdfunding sites. By being explicitly ideological and open about its business model, it makes supporting it feel important.

Mass movements of any type have certain thresholds they must pass in order to become credible threats to the prevailing orthodoxy. If you’re building a religion, you better be provocative and you have to live off the land, so to speak. If you are building a political party, it is about working the election laws and getting your message out to a broader audience. Put another way, you have to demonstrate tactical savvy and the ability to finance your war against your opponents. Otherwise, people are reluctant to join.

Whatever your preferred term is for the brewing rebellion among the Dirt People, they have weathered the first punch from the Cloud People. The dismissive name calling that was a feature of Progressive commentary, has given way to attacks on the people on the front lines of the fight. The next step is to start going on offense using the rules against the establishment. That means coordination and that means money. There are some good signs so far, but the Dirt People are still a long way from being a credible threat.

Remember, support your local Dirt Person.

Iceland

Iceland is one of the weirdest places on earth. In fact, it may be the weirdest, at least that is what many Icelanders will tell you. Some of their weirdness is made up for the tourists, but some of it is made up for their own entertainment. The belief in elves and “hidden people” seems to be mostly for local amusement. The Icelandic Phallological Museum, on the other hand, is harder, so to speak, to explain. But, when you live on a volcanic rock in the North Atlantic, indulging in weirdness is probably to be expected.

The little island republic came to world attention back in the financial collapse when they went bankrupt. Iceland had managed to become a hedge fund with a fishing village attached to it. Michael Lewis wrote a fascinating and humorous piece on them back in 2009. When I was over there last summer, I mentioned this to locals a few times and they had never heard of it. When I mentioned some of the colorful anecdotes from it, they laughed at me like I was an idiot, so Lewis may have been liberal with the truth.

In addition to the Dungeons & Dragons vibe to the place, Iceland is interesting for biological reasons. It is a small and extremely homogeneous population located on an isolated island. That means it makes for a good place to tease out things about the human genome. The genetics company deCode is located in Reykjavik and has been doing a lot of interesting work for decades. The willingness of the population to participate in this research makes it a great laboratory for this type of work.

Another topic of interest is how the people have organized themselves over the last 1,000 years since settlement. Unlike most places on earth, human settlement on the island is very recent and it has been written down. We can only guess about the waves of humans that settled in the Ruhr Valley or along the Thames, but we have written records about who settled Iceland and how they developed their society. It is, in this regard, an interesting anthropological study.

A Norwegian chieftain named Ingólfur Arnarson is usually considered to have been the first permanent settler in Iceland. His legend says he threw two carved pillars overboard as he neared the island, vowing to settle wherever they landed. He then sailed along the coast until the pillars were found. There he settled with his family around 874 and named the place Reykjavík, which means “Bay of Smokes” due to the geothermal steam rising from the earth. As is always the case, historians are not sure if this entirely true.

Eventually, Ingólfur was followed by other Norse chieftains, who brought their families and slaves, settling all the inhabitable areas of the island in the next decades. The Chieftains were Norwegian, while their slaves were Irish and Scottish, according to the Icelandic sagas and Landnámabók, which is a written history of the settlement. This tracks with the findings of modern genetics. That’s what makes Iceland so useful, We have written records and archaeological findings, that are validated by genetic data.

There are two theories for why the Norse fled Norway and settled on a volcanic rock in the middle of the North Atlantic. Legend says it was due to people fleeing the harsh rule of the Norwegian king Harald the Fair-haired. Norway was undergoing a consolidation of power under one powerful family and the losers were heading off for new lands. It is also possible that the western fjords of Norway were simply overcrowded in this period. The general theory for the rise of the Vikings is simple over population.

Once there was enough people to farm the land and create an economy, they set about organizing themselves. In 930, the ruling chiefs established an assembly called the Alþingi that convened each summer. The representative chieftains made laws, settled disputes and appointed juries to judge lawsuits. Because writing down laws could lead to the use of force to interfere with an individual or individual’s property, the laws were instead memorized by an elected Lawspeaker until the next assembly.

Since there was no central executive power, it meant the laws were enforced by the people on an ad hoc basis. A land dispute, for example, would require hiring some third party to act as the judge. Violence against people or property would require the people temporarily banding together to address the problem. This is the sort of arrangement that results in blood-feuds. Consequently,  the writers of the Icelanders´ sagas had plenty of material. Trial by combat was a real thing when it came to disputes.

Iceland did pretty well into the 13th century when the growing power of a few families led to a break down in the system. Rather than adjudicate disputes the old fashioned way, for example, it was easier to go to the head of one of the powerful families for relief. Inevitably, the ruling families began to resolved things, like land disputes, in a way that benefited them over other rival families. This led to other powerful families doing the same in order to check the power of their rivals and soon Iceland was dominated by a few chieftains.

The start of the 13th century known by the very cool name Sturlungaöld, which means “The Age of the Sturlungs.” Sturla Þórðarson and his sons were one of two clans waging war for domination of the the island. This clan eventually won the support of the king of Norway who was looking to exploit the conflict. Sturla Sighvatsson became a vassal of Haakon IV of Norway in 1235, thus allowing the Norwegian king to exercise authority over the island, by backing the Sturlungs against their rivals.

In 1262 Iceland signed the Old Covenant establishing a union with the Norwegian monarchy. It was a nice run as a transactional society, but they ran into the problem of how to deal with inequality once their society was able to amass excess wealth. The rich were not satisfied with being rich, they also wanted power, which means authority over others. It is the natural human impulse and the ad hoc system of governance was unable to respond to this internal challenge. The result was domination by a few.

Of course, they also had the problem of how to deal with powerful neighbors looking to dominate the island. Norway could use a combination of force and political meddling to create the sort of conditions they could exploit. An iron law of the human condition, and of nature, is that the strong come to dominate the weak. In the case of Iceland, Norway was the strong neighbor determined to dominate the island. They were not going to be talked out of it so Iceland eventually fell under her dominion.

American Vendée

When we had schools, Americans learned about the French Revolution, mostly as a peasant uprising against the king. The storming of the Bastille is usually characterized as the riff-raff reaching their breaking point and taking control of a the dungeon the king used to imprison his political opponents.  While the fortress was a symbol of royal authority, it was hardly a tool of royal oppression. The Bastille, when it was stormed, had just seven prisoners. There were four forgers, two lunatics and one degenerate aristocrat inside.

The truth is, the French Revolution was a cosmopolitan affair, led by men who were educated and well off, relative to the peasantry. The Jacobin Club was not for hod carriers and sewer workers. It was lawyers and academics. These were the men who had internalized the ideas of the Enlightenment and began to think about the political framework that should spring from those ideas. Of course, it was centered in Paris, which was where the cognitive elites were centered. These were urban revolutionaries.

That does not mean the countryside had no role in things. It’s just that the waves of change radiated out from Paris.The key insight of the Jacobins was to send representatives out into the smaller towns and cities to organize radicals and incite rebellion. It was a stroke of genius that has been copied by radicals and revolutionaries ever since. Many rural peasants welcomed the revolution as it meant some degree of freedom and the redistribution of lands seized from the Church and aristocracy.

As is always the case with radicalism, they went too far and were soon alienating the people they claimed to champion. The Civil Constitution of the Clergy was passed on July 12, 1790, requiring all clerics to swear allegiance to the French government. The radicals could get away with seizing Church lands, but when they seized the priesthood, the people in the countryside began to resist. The Church was the center of rural life and the foundation of French rural traditional. The radicals were now making war on this.

Imagine you’re living in a farming community and government officials show up and haul away your parish priest because he refuses to swear an oath to the state. Further, those government agents closed the local churches. It would be a lot like the state coming in and telling the Christian baker that they had to celebrate gay marriage and pay for their employee’s abortions. Imagine the government one day saying that your mother and father’s life is no different than two men sharing rent and a bed. Crazy.

The revolt in the Vendée region, on the west coast of France, began with the March 1793 conscription requiring Vendeans to fill their quota of 300,000 men for the army. The enraged populace took up arms and quickly formed a Catholic Army. What started as a demand for reopening the churches and getting their priests back, turned into a Royalist counter rebellion against the Republic. Initially, the Republicans were caught off-guard and the rebels enjoyed some success, even though their army was ill-equipped.

The Republic got its bearings and sent a 45,000 man army to suppress the rebellion and by the fall of that year the rebel army was defeated. The Committee for Public Safety decided that beating the army was not enough and opted for pacification. Whether or not the word “genocide” is appropriate is debatable. Some estimates put the death toll at 400,000 for a population of 800,000. Then there was the “scorched earth” policy of razing the homes of anyone suspected of being a rebel, which was anyone who owned a home.

The War in the Vendée is interesting for a number of reasons, but one important lesson is the fervor of those protecting their way of life is no match for the zeal of the Utopian fanatic building his paradise. The romantic rustics of the countryside were beaten by the savvy fanatics of Paris. It was not just the numbers or the resources. The people of the Vendée were people defending the limits of human conduct, while the Committee For Public Safety was limited only by its imagination. They would do anything to reach the promised land.

Another important lesson is the savagery of Louis Marie Turreau, the French officer sent by the Committee for Public Safety to pacify the region, was the result of righteous enthusiasm for his task. The radicals were murdering their enemies not as a means to end but as an end in itself. For the radical, murder becomes a sacrament. When Turreau inquired about the limits of what he could do to pacify the region, the answer from the committee was “eliminate the brigands to the last man, there is your duty.”

This is something to keep in mind when thinking about the present crisis. The revolt that put Trump in office is a revolt of the provincials. Plenty of Trump voters went to college or have office work. It’s not the old class divide. It is the new class divide. The revolution over the last 25 years has been led by a cosmopolitan elite, based in the coastal cities of America. These are the people dreaming up gay marriage and transgenders, not because they make any sense, but because they offend the sensible provincials out in the suburbs.

It’s comforting to think that the pendulum is swinging back toward normalcy, but it could simply be a rearguard action. The radicals running the American “republic” are no less bloodthirsty and malevolent than those who razed the Vendée. They may not unleash genocidal infernal columns on the suburbs, but they are plenty enthusiastic about importing hordes of foreign peasants to wreak havoc on the people. They are also smart and savvy, masters of the tools of power. But most of all, they have no sense of restraint.

To Learn Nothing

Being wrong is as natural as standing upright. All of us make mistakes, miss the obvious and make predictions that, in retrospect, were hilariously stupid. I predicted that the neocons, despite their rhetoric, were going to find a Pinochet to install in Baghdad after they ousted Saddam. After all, no one could be so dumb as to think that Western self-government would work in the Arab world. I think a lot of people on the Right look back at the Bush years and wonder how so many could be so wrong about the neocons.

Error is supposed to result in reflection and reconsideration. The only way to learn from a mistake is to actually learn something from it. The take away from the Bush years, for me at least, was that the Buckley Conservatives are yesterday men untethered from reality, so it’s time to go another way. Many reading this learned from the Obama years that democracy is a suicide pact with the dumbest people in your neighborhood. The solutions lie outside the political process. Who knows what we will learn in the Trump years.

One of the remarkable aspects of the managerial class is they don’t seem to learn much from their errors. The neocons are still claiming that elections will somehow turn the Arab world into a membership meeting of The Harmonie Club. After every Muslim atrocity committed in a Western city, the Progressives tell us the solution is more Muslims. Now we have Puerto Rico, which should be the example that puts some reality back into public policy debates, but that will never happen.

Puerto Rico has been a US territory since the Treaty of Paris ended the Spanish-American War. It probably would have been setup as an independent country, but the US Navy thought it was useful and the sugar growers liked being a US territory. Even though it no longer has any value to the Navy and they no longer grow much sugar, Puerto Rico remains a territory. It does have a strong manufacturing base, mostly due its status as a tax haven, but also as the result of US policy to encourage industry on the island.

It was not too long ago that the Official Right was championing Puerto Rico as an example of how fixing the institutions, reforming the economic polices, could fix even the most backward society. It was an obvious ploy to peddle open borders to their voters. After all, if Republicanism could work on the PR’s, it would work on those Mexicans imported into your town. Here’s an old Cal Thomas article talking about the wonderfulness of the Republican governor of the island at the time. I love this quote.

“I think the Republican Party has done an awful job handling this issue,” he says. “It makes no sense for us not to bring more Hispanics into the party because Hispanics are naturally conservative. The tenor of the public discourse surrounding this issue has sounded anti-Hispanic at times.”

What would he recommend to change the tone?

“First, show up; show respect. Most Republican candidates don’t do that. They talk about 15-foot fences and then try to address the issues of greatest concern in the Hispanic community. They are no different from other communities most of the time. On immigration, Republicans say, ‘we want legal immigration and we are the country, thanks to legal immigration,’ so we need to try to address this issue with a different tone than we’ve had so far.”

In case you’re wondering, Luis Fortuna, the subject of that column, now lives in DC at the insider law firm Steptoe & Johnson. The reason for that is those “naturally conservative” Hispanics voted him out of office. Despite all that, Puerto Rico is still Puerto Rico. It has a crime rate higher than every US state, something close to Baltimore. It also has a corruption rate triple the typical US state. In other words, despite the best efforts of the US, Puerto Rico is the product of the people who populate the island.

Now that the island is going bankrupt, it would make sense for the conservative cheerleaders to take stock and maybe reconsider those wonderful economic policies they were sure would fix anything. Similarly, libertarians, who are sure that tinkering with the tax code can fix everything, might want to take a look at Puerto Rico. Of course, that will never happen. Being a public intellectual in the modern era means never having to say you’re sorry for being wrong. Heck, you don’t even have to admit to being wrong.

Our rulers should also reconsider the wisdom of importing tens of millions of Hispanics into America. After all, California turned itself into Puerto Rico demographically and is now on its way to transforming itself into Puerto Rico financially. The underlying premise of open borders is that people are the same everywhere. It is the dirt that makes them into law-abiding, prudent Americans. We have spent a century pouring magic into our Caribbean colony and it is no better than the Dominican Republic.

The island has a per capita debt of $25,000 and per capita GDP of $28,000. Throw in the $16,000 in per capita pension liabilities and you have, well, California. The two biggest financial basket cases in America are also the two greatest examples of the prevailing ruling class orthodoxy. The fact that both are looking a lot like bust outs is probably not a coincidence. You would think some of the people in the political class would take note, but no one will learn anything from the Puerto Rican bankruptcy. They never learn.

The French Election

Most people reading this probably have little interest in French politics so the presidential election today is a bit of a non-story. Macron will win with 60% of the vote as he has the full backing of the European establishment and the cosmopolitan class in France. Unlike the US, French elections are basically a collection of city elections. If you can win Paris, you win France. Imagine if Manhattan dictated our election results.

One reason for this is French politics have largely been conducted in a narrow space of post-war cosmopolitan social democracy. Like teenagers who define themselves by their contentious relationship with their parents, European political elites defined themselves by how petulant they could be toward the Americans. As a result, there is a fundamental lack of seriousness in French political culture. They vote for the cool kids, not the smart kids.

Still, it bears watching for those on the Dissident Right as it helps frame the coming battles in the West over the central conflict of our age. European elites imagine a pan-European feudalism where the peasantry has no identity of their own. The resistance imagines a continent of states governed by national populism that corresponds with their unique cultural heritage. The flash point is immigration from the south, particularly Islam.

The last time a non-approved candidate made it to the second round of the French presidential election was 15 years ago when Le Pen’s father did it. He got 18% of the vote in the second round, but his success had a sobering effect on the French political class after what they saw as a close call with fascism. They started to take the Right more seriously, which is why the mainstream parties have largely converged on all issues.

This time, Le Pen is hoping to break 40%, but there is zero chance she will will win or even make it close. It’s not so much that Macron has much appeal as that Le Pen is not a great politician for France. Her cause needs a roguish male to lead the party, someone who has some flare and has had some success in other areas. France has always needed a man on a horse to restore order and national pride.

That’s why the final number will matter. If Le Pen does break 40%, that will open a lot of eyes in the French political class. If you are an ambitious politician, you will now have a base of 40% to work from simply by adopting the immigration arguments of Le Pen. Avoid some of the weird and unpleasant aspects of the National Front and you can become the great compromise that unites France. That’s the hope anyway, from the Civic Nationalists.

It’s also the fear of the globalists who keep trying to make this election look like a horse race. They desperately want a resounding victory for Macron and they want to have a trophy they can hold up, claiming the Far Right is now dead. The obituaries for Le Pen and her issues are all written and ready to go as soon as the vote is counted. By pretending it is close, they can cast any win as a massive defeat for the Right.

The reality is something different. France, as a self-governing political entity, was probably broken in the Great War, but it was most certainly broken in the Second World War. Getting run over by the Huns and then having most of your political class collaborate with them will do that to a country. If that was not enough, being relegated to the kiddie table during the Cold War finished off what was left of responsible French leadership.

It’s why Macron winning is probably a good thing for France. He is an accelerationist, who wants to fling open the gates and invite in millions of Muslims. He wants to hand over to Brussels what’s left of  French sovereignty. Nothing undermines the legitimacy of the rulers like seeing them on their knees, kissing the feet of foreigners. Macron is Marshal Philippe Pétain, without any of the military success on his resume.

If there is any hope for a revival of French culture it will only come through total French humiliation and despair. Once a majority of Frenchmen no longer see any reason to support the status quo, to remain loyal to their betters, then things change and change rapidly. It will not happen through elections and political activism. Democracy is good at driving a country off a cliff. It is useless in pulling it back onto the road. France needs to vote itself off the cliff in order to clear the field for what comes next.

Of course, what comes next may simply be the end of France. There is nothing magical about the land on which the French people live. When Caesar conquered Gaul, he did not conquer the French. When the peasants stormed the Bastille, most people in France did not speak French. The point being, there is nothing permanent about France. Maybe what comes next is the slow invasion of Europe from the south and the death of Europe. It could simply be reversion to the mean and nature is now reclaiming an exception.

The Others

“They were careless people, Tom and Daisy — they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”

–The Great Gatsby

While writing yesterday’s tirade about the conservative industrial complex and their poverty pimps, I kept thinking about the weirdness of the people who populate the upper reaches of the conservative think tank rackets. They obviously make enormous amounts of money doing very little, which is not the world of most Americans. They don’t keep regular hours at work, coming and going as they see fit. They live in communities that are set apart from the rest of America. They have little interaction with normal people.

None of this is new. Normal people learn quickly that the rich are not like the rest of us, despite the Hemingway quip to the contrary. The lack of want changes a man. Struggle, fear and the sleepless nights are the crucible of resourcefulness and creativity. The result is not just resourcefulness, but caution and prudence. It is the instinctive understanding of risk that comes from failure, what economists call moral hazard¹, that is at the heart of prudence. Pamper a man long enough and he loses this.

It is most obvious with our carny folk. Young people go into the circus hoping to become stars, but most spend their youth waiting tables, doing odd jobs and never doing more than some small parts in small productions. Some kick around as extras, making a decent living, but working hard. These are usually very sensible people because they know how hard it is to maintain their spot and they appreciate how quickly it can go away. It’s not an accident that these are the most right-wing people in Hollywood.

Then we have the stars who are magically plucked from the gutter and made rich, glamorous and famous. It’s rare for a mega star to have had a long apprenticeship or have struggled in bit parts for a long time. They tend to hit it big early in their career. Whatever sense they had is quickly squeezed out of them and they become spoiled toddlers, complaining about the unfairness of the world. Meryl Streep is a classic example. She hit the acting lottery and now lectures the peons about our lack of morality.

Now, Streep was probably nuts before she entered the carnival, but it does not take long for someone living like a noble to start thinking they are noble. If serendipity led you to a one-percent lifestyle, you can be forgiven for thinking that you were chosen. Further, you can be forgiven for thinking that things like hard work, prudence and loyalty are a sucker’s game. After all, the people who cherish those things live down in the valley, while you live up on the hill with the rest of the Cloud People.

This seems to be the dynamic in the managerial elite. They went off to college, ticked the right boxes and were magically transported to the top of society. Look through the biographies of famous pundits, media people and public intellectuals and you don’t find a lot of time in the fields with the sons of toil. Instead, you see biographies like the soon-to-be-president of France. Macron was literally plucked from the crowd, like Billy Ray Valentine from Trading Places. Why would Macron value hard work and struggle?

The consequence free world of the ruling classes not only makes them reckless; it makes them contemptuous of the lower ranks, particularly the middle class. It’s probably why the American Left adopted the anti-bourgeoisie language of Continental Marxists, despite living exaggerated versions of the bourgeoisie lifestyle. It just felt good. That appears to have been the motivation of those who sponsored Barak Obama’s political career in Chicago. The aging radicals who sponsored him knew he would offend normal people.

This witch’s brew of reckless disregard and seething contempt is on display in this story about Left’s next great mongrel hope.

A California Democrat looking to flip a House seat in next year’s midterms believes he can appeal to both sides of the aisle — and even pitch progressive ideas to President Trump.

Ammar Campa-Najjar, a 28-year-old communications staffer and former campaign worker of Mexican and Arab heritage, says his background and resume put him in a position to succeed in the red district he hopes to represent.

“I talk about never being Arab enough in Gaza, Hispanic enough in the Barrio or American enough in the post-9/11 world,” he told The Hill during a recent interview.

“I just don’t come in with this preconceived notion of prejudice. … It allows me to have an open mind and be tolerant, see the world from their vantage point.”

I don’t know about the Arab and Mexican stuff, but I do know the reason he went from rent boy to political rock star is that he is “not American enough.” If he was an Irish guy named O’Shea, he would be working the business end of a shovel, rather than entertaining the Cloud People. Like an actor waiting tables, this guy’s whole existence is about cultivating a look in the hope of catching the attention of the right people. He may as well be an actor, as he is just playing a character he thinks will be in demand in the big show.

Read the rest of the article and it is clear that Ammar is as dumb as a hamster. He’s just repeating phrases he has picked up as an extra in his minor gigs in Washington. But, he has the look in demand with the Cloud People and he is about as alien to the native stock as you’re going to get, so he has a future in Progressive politics. It’s not hard to imagine a Prog version of Tom and Daisy Buchanan backing this clown’s political career because it let’s them piss on the little people, who they detest so much.

¹The term “Moral Hazard” has become a safe word for innumerate fetishists, who will be tempted to sperg on it. Save it. I’m not interested.

Poverty Porn From The Popinjay

I make no bones about that fact I don’t like Kevin Williamson, the house rumpswab at National Review. I have no tolerance for people who put on false fronts and Williamson’s quill pen act is as phony as a three dollar bill. George Will did the same thing for decades, but he at least had a first class education and did some time as a university instructor. He was a gold-plated phony, but at least he had some credentials. Williamson has none of that. He’s just a real life version of Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons.

Gratuitously mocking fat guys is not a good look so I resist the temptation by doing what most everyone does and that’s avoid reading National Review. It’s not that hard as the only interesting thing about conservative commentary these days is the remarkable dullness of it. Even the most boring people are interesting on occasion. It takes special talent to be that ineffectual all the time. So, I was minding my own business scanning twitter and I see this tweet from Charles Murray:

It was in response to this tweet;

Naturally, I thought it was word that Williamson had got what he has been publicly wishing on normal Americans for the last few years. Instead it was more poverty porn aimed at the pseudo-academics, who populate think tanks and opinion sites in the Imperial Capital. It’s becoming a specialty for Williamson. He writes up a scene from lower class white America that portrays the people as benighted losers, who deserve the abuse heaped upon them by the good whites in his audience. It’s a ghetto tour as morality play.

The unconcealed contempt Williamson has for the subjects of his poverty porn is both ugly and bizarre, given his alleged background. He has invested a lot in creating a hillbilly back story for himself, which suggests it is probably fictional or highly exaggerated. Even if it is accurate, his contempt for the sorts of people he claims to have grown up around as a kid is pathological. It suggests that Kevin Michael Grace was right when he said in our chat a few weeks back that Williamson is filled with self-hatred.

Self-loathing fat guy is not an interesting area of inquiry. What is interesting is the audience. Charles Murray pimping this stuff suggests something about Murray and his view of the current crisis in American culture. Murray is a libertarian and like all famous libertarians, he is a ward of the state. AEI is a tax racket, like all of the so-called think tanks. Murray also makes big money charging taxpayers between $20,000 and $30,000 per speech at colleges and universities. That’s not working class wages.

Similarly, Arthur Brooks is cashing in on the college speaking rackets. He also gets between $20,000 and $30,000 per speech. Brooks also pays himself $700,000 per year out of AEI, plus expenses, of course. He also gets $100,000 a year for other work at AEI, but that’s not defined on the tax filing. He may not be a one-percenter, but he is close enough to see it from his perch in the Imperial Capital. Being a libertarian lion is a lot easier when you take home close to a million a year from a tax exempt foundation.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t begrudge these fat-cat grifters their money. It’s a crooked and corrupt system and they are simply working it to their advantage. I could do without the Randian lectures about small government and rugged individualism, but hypocrisy is a feature of the human condition, not a bug. What’s curious to me is why these people seem to take pleasure in the suffering of the white lower classes. The glee with which they praise these Williamson columns suggest they get some strange pleasure from it.

That’s thing. That column was mostly just sneering, but Williamson put a lot of effort into letting the reader know he took pleasure in not only evicting his wayward tenants, but also in observing the suffering of the poor people in housing court. I grew up dirt poor, so I have no illusions about poverty. Poor people are poor mostly because they have low-IQ’s and poor impulse control. Progressive efforts to romanticize poverty were always ridiculous, but that does not mean we should take pleasure in their suffering. That’s just sick.

Regular readers of this blog will know that my view of the Official Right and their slow-witted little brother, Official Libertarianism, is that they trail along behind the Progressives, as they flit from one fad to the next. Their contempt for the Dissident Right is not about ideology. It’s that they think the scruffy trouble makers to their Right make them look bad to their friends on the Left. It’s hard to make $30K from college speeches when the people running the college are blaming you for the alt-right hate-thinkers.

Maybe that’s why there is a market on the Official Right for the type of contemptuous poverty porn Williamson is peddling. The Left has made hatred of working class white people that shop at Walmart a centerpiece of their identity. Hillary Clinton ran for President on a platform of “White People Suck.” Perhaps the Official Right is just aping what they see, but with their own spin on it. “The Conservative Case for Hating Poor Whites” is probably in the works at National Review.