Devlin Reviews Hawley

One of the items on my vacation list is to read Making Sense of the Alt-Right, by Alabama political science professor George Hawley. His book, Right-Wing Critics of American Conservatism, was well received. It is refreshing when someone from the academy peers over the walls of the hive and not only sees what’s on the other side, but makes an honest effort to understand it. I don’t know anything about the man’s politics, but he does not appear to be a guy spending his nights howling at the moon.

That came to mind reading F. Roger Devlin’s review of Hawley’s latest, posted on VDare.com the other day. Devlin is a serious guy, who is largely responsible for the whole man-o-sphere subculture. He literally wrote the book on critiquing feminism. That’s not a small accomplishment. He’s also been involved with the alt-right from the start, so he has observed and interacted with all of the big shots of the movement. That positions him to be a good critic of a book written by an outsider, attempting to understand the alt-right.

The review is worth reading, even if you are not interested in a book length treatment of the alt-right. Devlin’s four key points that define the alt-right are excellent and precise. I think the fourth point cannot be emphasized enough, mostly because it is a point I often make about dissident politics. When I write about peaceful separation, it is not intended to be a road map or political treatise. The point of the exercise is to break free of the old moral paradigm and get readers to start thinking outside of those restrictions.

Before I get off onto another point, I would take some issue with Devlin’s criticism of Hawley’s use of scare words like “racism” to describe the alt-right. Paul Gottfried, in reviewing Hawley’s previous book, made the point that it is a requirement of every academic. “If I were young enough to be considered for tenure in the average political science department at an American university, I too would spray my books with PC bromides in order to keep the Leftist lunatics off my back.”

This is a point that cannot be overstated. Every university is infested with feminist rage-heads, writing autoethnographic “research” papers about how toxic masculinity makes them angry. In departments like political science, feminist “scholars” demand that the white males take a version of the Voight-Kampff test, to make sure they are replicants. “If you see a white person and black person in a photo, how much do you hate the white person?” My guess is Hawley salts his lunch orders with PC jargon, just to be safe.

Putting that aside, Devlin makes a point that is always missed when people discuss the alt-right or the larger ummah of the dissident right. There are layers to it. The guys posting frog cartoons into the timelines of Progressive media people are not the alt-right or any part of the dissident right. They are part of this cultural phenomenon, in the same way that hippies were part of the 1960’s counter-culture. Hippies played no role in the intellectual side of the New Left, just as Milo has no role in the intellectual side of the alt-right.

It is one of the things I learned over this past year, attending the hate festivals of the dissident right. There are a lot of smart people having second thoughts about the modern world and the intellectual traditions that created it. Roger Devlin is a good example. He’s not spending his evenings trying to promote his brand on Periscope. He’s reading books and writing essays on sites like Amren and Counter-Currents. There’s a lot of intellectual capital in this thing that is concealed by the pranksters and self-promoters.

That said, I would take issue with this bit in Devlin’s review:

The Alt-Right is a political movement which seeks to ensure the continued existence and well-being of European descended people. As such, it neither implies nor precludes any particular religious beliefs. We are not opposed to Evangelical Christianity as such, but some figures the Evangelical leadership (notably Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention) are our declared enemies and we treat them as such.

The alt-right, like the larger dissident right, is a cultural phenomenon, not a political movement. Smart young males, mostly out of necessity, are picking up paleo-conservative ideas and questioning the prevailing orthodoxy. These ideas are being extended to question the core assumptions of modern American political order. It’s more akin to the Scientific Revolution than a political movement. The former was about rethinking our place in nature. The latter is about rethinking who gets to be in charge.

It’s why it feels like the alt-right is hostile to Christianity. It has to be. What is generally understood to be mainstream Christianity in America, has been hollowed out by Progressivism, and is now worn like an animal skin by crackpots and degenerates from the fringes of the Left. Even the more culturally conservative parts of the country practice a form of Private Protestantism than embraces extreme egalitarianism, anti-racism and universalism. It’s not an accident that these churches are deep into the refugee rackets.

I think most big names in the alt-right avoid the subject, mostly because it results in howls about how this is not real Episcopalianism or this is not real Christianity. It’s reminiscent of the days when academic Marxists would say the Soviet Union was not real Marxism. It may be theologically true that the current iterations of Christianity are outside the traditions and teachings of the faith, the fact remains that the people running mainstream Christianity these days look a lot like the faculty of your local gender studies department.

That’s not a small thing. The reason the New Left was able to sweep the field in the culture war, that included deposing the Old Left, is that their thing took on a quasi-religious tone. Humans are built to be believing machines. That’s a part of biological reality our side has yet to face, but it must be faced eventually. Something is going to have to fill the spiritual vacuum if this cultural phenomenon is going to be a cultural and then political movement. An Alt-Right form of Christianity would be a welcome development.

Those quibbles aside, the review is worth reading if you are interested in a sober rendering of alt-right thinking. A part of the development of an intellectual movement is learning how to engage with critics. If your thing cannot hold up to scrutiny, your thing is not going to be a thing for very long. Having intellectuals from outside this thing engage with elements of the alt-right is healthy. When serious people start to take dissident politics seriously, it means these ideas are starting to penetrate the mainstream.

The Past Is Always Uncertain

Progressives are often, and correctly, accused of re-writing the past in order to endorse their current claims about the present. It is a necessary habit that has been incorporated as a feature of the movement. Since most of what they currently believe about humanity and human organization is contrary to observable reality, they have to no choice but to reinvent the past. Something similar seems to be happening with the Buckleyites as they fall into obscurity. They are creating alternative realities to explain the present.

This piece by Henry Olsen is a good example. He makes the point that what so-called conservatives consider to be “conservative” has not been a winning formula for them in Republican elections. He then picks some representative examples of liberty-conservatives, presumably the sort championed by the Buckeyites, who went nowhere in the GOP presidential primaries. The main point Olsen is trying to make is that what he calls the liberty-conservatives have not had a lot of success in elections.

The subtle normalization of Rand Paul is interesting, given that NR types savaged Ron Paul when he was a real candidate. I’ll also note that National Review was prone to calling the utterances of George W. Bush “Reaganesque” and they praised “compassionate conservatism” as some sort of advanced form of Buckley conservatism. It’s what makes their current fetish for timeless principles so comically bizarre. The definition of timeless conservatism is a set of goal posts on wheels that they push around to fit the moment.

That’s the thing about re-imagining the past. You have to cherry pick and time shift in order to make it work. Barry Goldwater, for example, has not been salient in American politics for going on 40 years now. The youngest person to have voted for him is now 74. On the other hand, the “liberty conservatives” were ebullient when George W. Bush won in 2000 and the GOP controlled both houses of Congress. Of course, there is no mention of Reagan, who was a Goldwater conservative, and the GOP’s most successful President.

The general point that Olsen is making is that today, the constituency for libertarian-conservatism is small, even within the Republican base. This is probably true, but the question is why? All of the megaphones of Conservative Inc. have been tuned to blast out the message of libertarian-conservatism. Talk radio, websites, Fox News, the commentariat, all of the organs of the so-called Right have been preaching about shrinking size and scope government for as long as anyone reading this has been alive.

So, why is that position a loser within Republican circles?

One obvious reason is no one believes it. When the GOP had opportunities to shrink government, they grew government. When they had chances to normalize our foreign policy, they went empire building. When they had the chance to defend the domestic economy, they threw in with open borders and globalist trade policies. The most egregious sin off all, however, has been their liberal use of Progressive rhetoric to denounce dissenters as racists, excluded from acceptable pubic discourse.

There is one exception and that is immigration. The one big win for liberty-conservatives was the 1986 immigration reform act. This made it possible for tens of millions of foreigners to flood into the country. Ann Coulter the other day noted that one in eight Virginia residents is foreign born. That means there are more foreigners in Virginia right now than the liberty-conservatives said they needed to amnesty in 1986. The one thing these guys were good at doing has been a disaster for their alleged love of liberty.

You see that in this post from Audacious Epigone. The sort of civic minded libertarianism, that is popular with Conservative Inc., is really unpopular with the sorts of people they are hellbent on importing by the millions. The reason their favorite bugman was trounced in the Virginia election is that the sort of people liberty conservatives are fond of championing, are not interested in supporting liberty conservatives. It turns out that a policy of wishing death on your voters and their culture, is not a good way to win elections.

That’s not a reality these so-called liberty-conservatives can face. Olsen does not bother to address this, as there is no way to explain away the mathematical and demographic realities. His only mention of immigration is to be gobsmacked at a Cato-backed study that shows Trump voters are not in favor of their wholesale demographic replacement. The fact that their one success has been a disaster for them, never registers. Instead, it is ignored. Olsen’s suggestion is more of the same, just even more of it.

This is where you see that all forms of mainstream conservatism share the same assumptions as Progressives about the nature of man and human organization. It’s also why they have developed the habit of rewriting history, especially their own history, in order to explain the present. When you start from the premise that biology is unimportant, that all people everywhere are essentially the same, you are condemned to a life of disappointment, unless you can endlessly redraft the narrative to avoid facing reality.

The one major difference between the retconning of so-called conservatives and what we see from Progressives, is that the latter controls the institutions. Rewriting and replaying old fights is a proven way to distract people from current failures. When you control the levers of power, an unpredictable past becomes a useful tool in maintaining control. When you are allegedly challenging the status quo, an inability to clearly remember yesterday undermines your credibility. No one believes these guys and they keep reminding us why.

Uncivil Religion

One of the weirder aspects of the modern age is the endless calls for unity from our superiors, particularly those in the Progressive camp. It’s weird for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact the Left is endlessly trying to marginalize anyone that disagrees with them. It is how diversity came to mean rigid homogeneity. Putting aside the hypocrisy, it’s weird because it is fairly new and very un-American. It also contradicts the very premise of democracy, which is about competing opinions, jostling for support.

It seems that the calls for “unity” have coincided with the spread of the American civic nationalism stuff. Thirty years ago, no public figure talked about “who we are” or made grand claims about a unified America culture. In fact, the lack of conformity was the gold standard of intellectual rigor. Democrats used to claim they had so much internal debate, it was like herding cats. Republicans used to crow about being the party of ideas, meaning that they had the bulk of free thinkers and dissident chattering skulls.

It’s not a coincidence that the flowering of the civic religion stuff has coincided with increasing calls for unity and now the un-personing panics. Religions, particularly in their growth phase, are highly intolerant of competing religions. It’s why the Left, even today, attacks Christianity. They see it as competition. In order to have a civic religion, it means stamping out ideas and movements that contradict it, even if those ideas are rooted in observable reality. In the name of unity, dissent must be crushed, along with the dissenter.

Related examples of this are Iran and Saudi Arabia. The ruling elites of both lands are members of sects within Islam. In both countries, the demands of unity require hordes of religious enforcers making sure no one has incorrect thoughts. To tolerate any dissent puts the power and authority of the ruling elite into question. Since the ruling elite are the embodiment of the religion, any dissent is a direct threat to the very existence of the theocracy. Unity is a necessary element of theocracy, even it comes at the point of a gun.

In terms of pure civic religions, ones that expressly reject the supernatural, the most obvious examples ended in bloodbaths. The French Revolution is the first real stab at establishing a civic religion. Nazism, Bolshevism and Maoism, on the other hand, quickly devolved into murder machines, killing off over 100 million, but they did so in the name of national unity. With Nazism and Bolshevism, even well intended questioning of the the prevailing orthodoxy got you killed. Again, unity abhors anything resembling dissent.

There’s a chicken and egg issue here. Is the rise of a priestly class the inevitable result of a civic religion, or does the elite attempt to legitimize themselves by peddling civic religion and making demands for unity? In prior ages, ruling dynasties would claim divinity in order to eliminate challenges to their reign. Even today, the motto of the monarch of the United Kingdom is dieu et mon droit. I’ll also note that the kingdom is united in the body of the monarch. This is a common element of all European monarchies.

Getting back to modern America, the fetish for unity and the promotion of the American civic religion looks a lot like a search for a reason to maintain the status quo. It’s reactionary. The very real threat of nuclear annihilation during the Cold War held the American nations together, under the Yankee Imperium. Once that was gone, something had to replace it, or the Cold War arrangements would be replaced. It’s not an accident that “both sides” of the political elite rely on the same language to quash dissent.

The increasing demands for unity, however, will probably backfire. You see this with social media. Facebook has instituted polices to silence unapproved facts. They have been moving much slower than Twitter, which is aggressively going after anyone who disagrees with the Council of Cat Ladies running the place. They have now declared jihad against anyone who is suspected of thinking bad thoughts. That means they will use your search results and surfing habits to police your access to Twitter. Think about that.

The unintended result of this is to de-legitimize the Right half of the ruling class. A so-called conservative with a twitter account, especially one with a blue check, will now be seen as nothing more than an organ grinder’s monkey. The civic religion only works when political debate is confined to the tiny ideological space occupied by Progressives and their hand-picked opposition. Strip away the legitimacy of the so-called conservatives and the civic religion is revealed to be a public relations campaign by the ruling oligarchs.

That’s the core reason that American public debate seems so uncivil. In an effort to defend the status quo, the ruling elites have become increasingly aggressive at stamping out dissent. The whole “Russian hacking” nonsense was a thinly veiled way of saying that those who voted for Trump were either stupid or un-American. The fact that it appears the purveyors of this story were themselves in cahoots with the Russians suggests there are no limits to what they will do to crush their opposition. Torquemada would be proud.

This heavy handedness also legitimizes the dissidents. Gab has struggled along, but the purges and promised purges have resulted in a boost in membership. The steadfast determination by the owners, in the face of serious threats and even laughably stupid threats, has given them legitimacy with people who think a marketplace of ideas is essential to civil society. Put another way, that which was previously dismissed as heresy, now has the air of legitimacy. That’s the real threat feared by the ruling class.

Eric Hoffer said, “Fanatical orthodoxy is in all movements a late development. It comes when the movement is in full possession of power and can impose its faith by force as well as by persuasion.” It’s also a late phase effort, a rearguard action, intended to defend the status quo, despite there no longer being an obvious use for it. The current arrangements in America no longer serve anyone other than the relatively small number of people who live like royalty in the Imperial Capital and its satellite cities.

At some point, the cost of maintaining unity among increasingly hostile tribes outweighs the benefit. The increasingly shrill demands for unity and obedience, along with the corresponding fissures opening up in public life, suggest we’re following a familiar path that leads to a break down. Some social scientists seem to get, to some degree, what is happening, but no one knows what comes next. Maybe it is just too frightening to consider or maybe it is impossible to know. What’s not coming, though, is national unity.

Is Drudge On The Level?

The first time I heard of Matt Drudge was in the 1990’s. I was living in Virginia and I would listen to Mary Matalin in the car. I think her show was syndicated, but it was broadcast from a station in Virginia. Matalin would have Drudge on her show to talk about the gossip in his newsletter. This was before he had a website. Not long after, he started a website and then the whole Monica Lewinsky thing blew up and Drudge became a household name. Like many people, I visit his site daily to see what’s happening in the world.

In 2012 I started to wonder if Drudge was on the level. He promoted so many pro-Romney stories, it felt like he was working for him. I get that Drudge is just right of center in his politics, so he does a lot of “counter programming” in his choice of stories, in order to keep his mostly white middle-class audience. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan were the dream team of SWPL-ville civic nationalism. Therefore, it made some sense to tilt toward Romney against Obama, but his promotion of Romney struck me as a bit deceptive.

The truth is, mainstream news is 100% access journalism. If a reporter wants to get stories handed to them – and that’s how all news is done now – they have to play ball with the people making news and their appointed gatekeepers. That’s how Harvey Weinstein kept his troubles out of the news for decades. His people would give reporters gossip on celebrities so they would not spill the beans on Harv and his love for potted plants. A site like Drudge is just as beholden to that system as any other news site.

The thing with Drudge though, is he made his bones playing all sides of the street. He was willing to promote anything that was newsworthy. That meant that the Prog media was willing to dish him inside stuff on their own people. The Bezos Blog and Carlos Slim Times love it when Drudge links to them. He sends tens of millions of eyeballs to any site he links to, even if it is a side link. As a valuable promoter, in theory, he is getting all sides sending him tips on politics, current events ans the happenings in Washington.

I’m starting to wonder if that is still the case. In the last election, he was not pro-Trump. For a tabloid guy, Trump should have been manna from heaven. Instead, he tilted toward the company line about Trump. Every time the RNC howled about how Trump violated some sacred taboo, Drudge was out there with fake news stories about how the end of the Trump campaign was near. It got to be a running joke in my office. Every time Drudge had stories about how Trump went to far, you knew Trump’s polls had ticked up again.

Maybe it was a coincidence, but two elections in a row and Drudge was out pitching the RNC line. It’s almost as if someone inside the RNC is feeding Team Drudge the narrative now. That’s very obvious in the Roy Moore flap. From the start it looked like a Mitch McConnell hit job. That’s mostly because it was so ham-fisted. McConnell is not head of the Stupid Party because he is a brilliant tactician. Yet, Drudge was posting links to all the RNC sourced stories, in a way that started to look choreographed.

The topper was the fake poll leaked by the RNC and the Gloria Allred stuff. The poll was laughable. Even Democrats snickered at it. Yet Drudge had it up on his site in red for two days. Then the Allred hoax collapsed and he had nothing on it. In fact, now that Franken is the top story and it is clear the hit on Moore backfired, Drudge has suddenly forgotten the Alabama senate race. This comes as the Republicans are now hiding under their desks, wondering when the harpies will be coming for them over a sex scandal.

Now, it has to be mentioned that Drudge is a homosexual. He’s also one of the fussy sorts of gays, like Lindsey Graham, who are attracted to gentry conservatism. A southern firebrand or someone opposed to homosexual activism is going to come in for criticism by Drudge. His coverage of the South and Christians has always reflected his homosexualist sensibilities. A guy like Roy Moore, who is overtly Christian and vocally opposed to the normalization of homosexuals, is not going to be popular at the bathhouse.

Even so, in the age of access journalism, succumbing to temptation is to be expected. I’ve written before about how access journalism has turned sports reporting into company public relations departments. The same thing has happen to mass media. This is most obvious when mass media tries to cover the alt-right. The “reporters” now working in mass media don’t know the basics of news reporting. That article on Anglin is embarrassingly written and riddled with easily checked factual errors. It’s bad reporting.

Modern media people are stenographers with a social media strategy. They don’t know how to do traditional news reporting. Some are story tellers who leave gaps in their tale to place some cherry picked quotes, while others just wait for someone to hand them a story they can type up for their employer. It’s most obvious in sports reporting, but it is true all over. There’s no upside to being curious or inquisitive. That may be what has happened with Drudge. He has a good gig so he plays ball with the “news makers” now.

The Tribe To Emulate

The Asians are often called the “model minority” in America. This is based on the fact that they have very low crime, very low welfare dependency, low social dysfunction and high academic achievement. Some mentally unstable Asian females have tried to rail against this as racist, but Asians make terrible social justice warriors. That and only a lunatic could construe what is an obvious compliment as racism. The thing is though, they are not the model minority. The most successful minority is the Jews.

If you are in an African tribe and your people are thinking about moving to the West, the group you would want to emulate are the Jews. They have figured out how to wildly succeed in all sorts of places, always as a tiny minority. This is in despite of some very serious efforts by majority populations to keep the Jews from succeeding. Then there was the bit of trouble in the middle of the last century. Asians can’t hold a candle to the Jews in this area. In the US, Jews have become the ruling class.

Steve Sailer has picked up on something that has been an internet meme for some time and that is “Jewish privilege.” This used to be a gag in response to the cries of “white privilege” by Progressive lunatics, but it is slowly becoming a legitimate topic for public discussion. Whether or not you buy into the whole “privilege” argument, the point is Jews have been wildly successful in America. The question that should follow is why? What group qualities have worked for Jews that are unique to Jews in America?

Now, this is usually where people will starting mentioning Kevin McDonald and The Culture of Critique. The more empirically minded will bring up the landmark study of Ashkenazi intelligence, by Gregory Cochran, Jason Hardy, Henry Harpending from a dozen years ago. Neither of those are going to help your African tribe make it work in the West. That’s like the Koreans reading the Talmud looking for the secret of Jewish success. A better approach might be identifying a few qualities and copying them.

One is something Steve Sailer picked up on during the short-lived Larry David flap. It used to be that Jews were obsessively self-aware. Thaddeus Russell touches on this in his book, Renegade History of America. Jews used to obsess over the quirks and flaws of their people, and tirelessly harangue the tribe about the flaws. Shame is taboo these days, oddly enough. but it makes for an excellent self-policing mechanism. In fact, it used to be the default way in which the American ruling class policed itself.

Related to the self-policing instinct is clannishness. A lot of alt-right people criticize Jews for being clannish. They call it nepotism, but they really mean clannish. There’s no doubt that Jews throughout the diaspora have always worried about what is good for the Jews, so much so it is a cliche. The thing is though, unlike, say, Arabs, Jewish clannishness defends the tribe against all threats, external and internal. Arabs will protect complete idiots, who cause the tribe trouble. Jews don’t do that with their members.

This is something that all identity politics should adopt. Going back to the African tribe at the beginning, if they have a member, who brings shame on the group or simply cannot pull his weight, the best course is to cut him lose. If you have talent and you are Jewish, the tribe is an enormous asset. if you’re a mediocrity or a loser, being Jewish is not going to benefit you in the least. Clannishness as a reward encourages loyalty, but it also boils off the losers who drag down the group. Along with shame, it makes for a better tribe.

Another quirk of the Tribe that could help any tribe is the unwillingness of Jews to self-marginalize in society. The Ultra-Orthodox do this, but they are the exception. Generally, Jews engage with the society in which they reside and are willing to engage at the highest levels. Gypsies in Europe, in contrast, live on the fringes. Asians in America tend to gravitate to a little Hanoi or a Chinatown. Jews don’t do that and when forced into a ghetto, and we have the word ghetto thanks to the Tribe, Jews resist it and try to engage.

This is not just something Jews have done in America. Italians and Irish are notable examples of groups that would not stay in the ghetto. Unlike Europe, America has never had a lot of rules about this stuff. We did not inherent Europe’s class structure. Still, the winning hand everywhere is to not settle for a quiet little corner of society. The winning formula is to embrace the greater culture and carve out a place in the center of it. The trouble last century in Germany not withstanding, it has worked very well for Jews.

Going back to the shame issue, there is a Jewish quirk that is a huge advantage and that is a form of shamelessness. That is, Jews are never ashamed of their efforts. You see this with the neocons. Guys like Bill Kristol have no problem walking around in public, despite the things he has done to the country. Anthony Weiner was out and about, even after he was caught in the “bing-bing-bing.” It’s not always an asset, but having the conscience of a burglar makes it easier to overcome failure and keep plugging.

The genesis of this post is a conversation I had with a black guy from Zimbabwe. We fell into conversation about his country and one of the things he said was that his people are the Jews of Africa . He thinks his people should come to America and follow the same path as the Ashkenazi. I did not think to ask if he was Lemba, but that’s my hunch. His general point was that inculcating certain group habits that have worked for other groups, is a good way forward for tribes, be they in identity politics on the African bush.

I Was Wrong

A while back, I said the “deep state” stuff was wildly overdone. There is no deep state secretly pulling the strings. Well, I may have been mistaken. This IBD story makes me look ridiculously naive.

A 1979 column confirms our 2008 editorial positing that the 44th president might owe his meteoric rise to an education funded by Israeli-hating adviser to a Saudi billionaire.

On Sept. 9, 2008, we published an editorial as part of our attempt to properly vet the then junior senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, whose past was somewhat foggy. We pointed out the connection between one Dr. Khalid Abdullah Tariq al-Mansour, born Donald Warden, an Israeli-hating Islamist supporter and top adviser to radical Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, and a college student .

That college student, a young Obama, found al-Mansour’s favor and would one day be president as Israel was abandoned by America and the Middle East burst into flames amid a sea of presidential apologies, including one for our freedom of speech.

In a televised interview in 2008 on New York’s all news cable channel, NY1, 88-year-old Percy Sutton, a former borough president of Manhattan and a credible mayoral candidate in 1977, made some interesting revelations about his links to the young Obama.

Sutton told NY1 reporter Dominic Carter on the show “Inside City Hall”: “I was introduced to (Obama) by a friend who was raising money for him.” He asked Sutton to write a letter in support of Obama’s application to Harvard Law School.

“The friend’s name is Dr. Khalid al-Mansour, from Texas,” Sutton said. “He is the principal adviser to one of the world’s richest men. He told me about Obama.”

Sutton recalled that al-Mansour said that “there is a young man that has applied to Harvard. I know that you have a few friends up there because you used to go up there to speak. Would you please write a letter in support of him?” Sutton did.

According to Newsmax columnist Kenneth Timmerman, “At the time, Percy Sutton, a former lawyer for Malcolm X and a former business partner of al-Mansour, says he (al-Mansour) was raising money for Obama’s graduate school education, al-Mansour was representing top members of the Saudi Royal family seeking to do business and exert influence in the United States.”

Steve Sailer has written a lot about Obama’s spooky family connections to Indonesian potentates and US intelligence people.  Here’s one of his posts on the subject. Here’s another one. What’s always been remarkable about Obama is that no one ever looked too closely at his background. That IBD story has been kicking around for years, but is just getting attention now. It’s almost like the major news organizations all agreed to not cover any stories about Obama’s past that would complicate the narrative.

My default explanation for this wall of silence about Obama’s dodgy past was that the mass media is both lazy and biased. They report what the Democrats deliver to them. The small portion of the media that is not Progressive gets its stuff from the GOP, but the Republicans are always careful not to upset their friends on the Left. I still think there is a fair amount of that, but most of it is probably the people at the top agreeing to put their thumb on the scales. They thought a black president was a good idea.

That’s all fine, but how is it the Saudis saw Obama as a good investment all those years ago? By his own account, Obama was not looking like a good bet as an undergrad. It was only after he got into Harvard Law that he started to develop the personality to get into politics. As the IBD story notes, the Saudis were sponsoring lots of minorities, hoping to build a class of policy makers and politicians that were pro-Arab. The story mentions their plan was to sponsor up to 10,000 students at $20 million per year.

What the story does not mention is how they would make it work. The story mentions the now imprisoned Prince Alwaleed bin Talal interceding on Obama’s behalf to get him into Harvard. Again, how could he know Obama was a keeper? How could these guys know about any of the students they were sponsoring? As a skeptic of the deep state stuff, that’s a question that I can’t easily answer. I know they were not stopping random blacks, asking for their GPA and whether they hated Jews. It must have been more sophisticated.

I’m not ready to start listening to InfoWars. I’m going to need a lot more than a president with a dodgy back story before I start talking about chem trails and conspiracies. But, I think I was too hasty in dismissing the deep state claims. There’s a level of coordination done out of site that shapes our politics and the coverage of our politics. Foreign powers look for people in the empire to bribe, and those people help grease the wheels and coordinate efforts like the Saudis were apparently running for the last forty years.

The Deadend Men

When I was a young man, starting out in the world, I took a graduate class on proto-Marxism. I was just a freshman, but the professor was satisfied that I could handle the material, so I was waved into the class. My main interest in taking the class was to get a look at real communists. The Cold War was in its denouement, so I thought I’d better get a look at some real Marxists before the whole thing collapsed into a carnival of finger pointing and embarrassment. It was one of the best courses I had in college.

The two big lessons I carried away were that ideologues always believe their thing transcends time and space. They cannot imagine that there will be a time when their tool set of ideas is no longer relevant. The other thing that seemed obvious, is that observable reality is not enough to shake someone from their ideology. The professor was well aware of the problems inherent in Marxism, but he had committed his life to it. To abandon Marxism, to even seriously question it, would be like erasing himself from life.

I’m reminded of that every time I scan conservative sites like National Review, the Federalist or even The American Conservative. They continue to talk about what they call conservatism as if it is a timeless set of truisms that are universally applicable. The fact that the conservatives of today would have been viewed as alien weirdos by the conservatives of just 30 years ago, is completely lost on them. The fact that the world is an entirely different place than 30 years ago goes unnoticed.

Read a post like this one from National Review, and the thing that jumps out is the fact that these guys still don’t know what’s happening to them. Conservatives have convinced themselves that Trump is Nixon and the current tumult is just a replay of the years between LBJ and Reagan. Rather than look at what is happening in the world, they are treating this period as an interregnum. The Progressive tide that peaked with Obama is receding. Next comes the conservative wave to carry them to the promised land.

There’s no mention of immigration or the changing demographics of America in the article, so that means there is no mention of race either. Look through the source document and it reads like a policy paper put out by people who have been asleep for the last 30 years. It also is written in the grad school jargon that sounds convincing to men who have had no exposure to the dreaded private sector. Apparently, conservatives are convinced that the “way forward” for their thing is to pretend that nothing has changed since 1988.

Conservatives keep getting up on the same horse, an image of Reagan on their shield, prepared to dash into the nearest food co-op, in the name of ordered liberty. The fact that the food co-op closed down years ago and their horse and shield are paid for by a 501(c)(3) tax shelter, supported by a billionaire oligarch, makes no difference. Even the fact that their trusty side kick, the libertarian Sancho Panza, is now hanging out on Gab, posting identitarian and Pepe memes, has had no effect on them.

When Prophecy Fails is a classic work of social psychology, from which we get the concept of cognitive dissonance. It is the study of a UFO cult in the 1950’s led by a charismatic named Dorothy Martin. She predicted the end of the world would occur on December 21, 1954. That did not happen, obviously. The study is about how the group handled this reality. One of their observations is that the group drew closer together and became more committed. They even began to proselytize about their beliefs being correct.

Conservatives seem to be going through something similar. They went into the final years of the Obama presidency with a narrative about how the next phase of their thing would unfold. Their “principles” said they needed to embrace multiculturalism, globalism and open borders. That was the future. Then Trump came along running on the exact opposite of those things. His victory was the nullification of the narrative. Instead of accepting it, they seem to be committing themselves to an renewed version of the narrative.

It’s tempting to write off Conservative Inc as just a bunch of cynical grifters. There’s certainly an element of that to it. Guys like Jonah Goldberg are living one percent lifestyles peddling outdated nostrums and ideological nostalgia. Most, maybe even all of them, don’t see themselves as useful idiots of the donor class. They really believe the conservative jibber-jabber. They think the world has not changed a bit and it is the same old fights over the same old issues. All they need to do is repeat the magic words one more time.

Conservatives, like the dinosaurs seeing the comet streaking across the sky, do not understand what is happening to them. Even as the signs of change become more obvious, they cling to the old ideology. They have a lot in common with those old Marxists of the previous generation. Even when the futility of Cold War conservatism is explained to them, they just can’t accept it. To accept that politics and economics are downstream from culture, means erasing themselves from the ideological map. They just can’t do it.

So, it will be done for them.

A Foundation of Nonsense

Math and science are built upon axioms. Very simply, an axiom is something that is always true and assumed to be true. An example is the reflexive property in algebra. A number is always equal to itself. Axioms are the building blocks, from which new truths are discovered. A proof is an inferential argument for a mathematical statement, using other previously established statements. That means a proof can be traced back to the original, assumed truths, those axioms that are the foundation of mathematics.

This is how we accumulate knowledge about the physical world over generations. The proofs based on those building blocks are eventually incorporated into the building blocks of math. The theorems and proofs multiply, slowly building up the stock of things that are known to be true. Calculus was built upon algebra and physics was built upon calculus and so on. It why a student can quickly go from zero to trying to discover new truths about the world. They inherit a supply of things assumed to be true.

This accretive process of increasing our stock of knowledge is not limited to math and science. It is the way human societies evolve over time. We start with basic truths about the human condition and the realities we face as a society. Over time we acquire new knowledge, by building on what we know or that which we think we know. For example, Libertarians rely on the concept of homo economicus. This asserts that humans are consistently rational and self-interested agents pursuing their ends optimally.

In theory, at least, this is the basis of democracy. One side builds a set of policies and proposals, allegedly based on the assumed truths. The other side does the same thing arriving at different policies. After a vigorous examination of the competing claims, a consensus is formed around one solution. If it works out, then that becomes part of society’s truths, from which new problems will be addressed in the future. That’s not really how it works, but people believe it. It is axiomatic that democracy works this way.

What we know to be western liberal democracy, assumes certain things about humanity to be true all the time. The blank slate is the most obvious example. Everything about our politics and culture assumes that humans are infinitely malleable. From school policy to prison reform, public policy is based on the assumption that people can be whatever they choose, because they have free will and a blank slate that can be erased and re-illustrated at any point in their life. You are what you make of yourself.

It’s how our rulers arrived at the idea of importing millions of foreigners. Those foreigners can be re-purposed into tax paying westerners, through education and enculturation, to pay the pensions of the native stock. Those Somali goatherds can be plopped down into Minnesota and over time, develop all of the habits of the average Minnesotan, just by emulation and proximity. Race laws are all based on the assumption that you can train people to stop noticing racial difference and therefore, end racism.

Of course, science is putting the lie to the blank slate. Genetics is everyday filling out the truth of the human condition, which is that we are the result of our coding. The thousands of mating decisions, made by those who came before us, are what make us what we are as people. Everything from our height to our sense of humor is baked into our DNA. Our health outcomes and our life outcomes are the results of that coding. Not surprisingly, the closer our coding is to others, the greater the similarities.

While no one is prepared to say free will is a lie, at least not publicly, no serious person accepts that we are infinitely malleable. The argument that you can change your personality is as nutty as saying you can make yourself taller or younger. This reality used to be a building block of Western thought, but was “discredited” by the blank slate theorists, but it is now being reestablished by genetics. In other words, one of the main building blocks of modern social democracy is about to crumble.

That’s a big one, but it is not the only one. Both Freudian and Jungian psychology still cast a very long shadow over western culture. Freud is no longer taken seriously, outside of his historical importance. The idea that your emotional state is the product of childhood sexual trauma is a click less realistic than phrenology. Jungian psychotherapy is also being overrun by neuroscience. Few people still think they can talked out of their madness anymore. Instead, pharmaceuticals are used to treat diseases of the brain.

It’s not just the quackery. The moral philosophy that underlies our political philosophy is similarly built on a foundation of nonsense. The Enlightenment thinkers all started by considering man’s natural state. It was either a harmonious communal existence or a brutal war like existence. From both starting points, they worked forward to build a model how man went from the state of nature to what was then civilization. The resulting moral philosophy is the basis of our political and legal philosophy today.

Property rights, the rule of law, the relationship of man and state, these are all based on those assumptions about man’s natural state. Libertarians and so-called Conservatives take the Lockean position that society is built upon the social contract. Those on the Left assume Hobbes was right and order must be imposed on society. Marxists further accept the materialist claims about the nature of man. All of the iterations and flavors of political ideology are rooted in one of those two broad assumptions about humanity.

Those assumptions are all wrong. We know that much now. Better archaeology and anthropology is helping illuminate the pre-history mankind. Evolutionary biology is also helping explain the fossil and archaeological record. Genetics, of course, are re-writing the map of mankind, explaining how we spread across the globe. What we are finding out is that man, in his “natural state” was not what Hobbes imagined nor what Locke imagined. Man’s “natural” state is much more complicated and much more local.

The implication should be obvious. Like psychology, as the underlying assumptions give way to new knowledge, the conclusions built on those axioms must give way as well. If tomorrow we learn that two plus two is not always four, everything we know about the world stops making sense. If everything we thought we knew about humankind and human civilization turns out to be wrong, we suddenly don’t know a whole lot about how we should organize ourselves, other than the old rules are probably not going to work.

It seems today that Western societies are painfully re-learning things that were common knowledge a few generations ago. The old axiom, fences make good neighbors, was replaced with “diversity is our strength.” Every time a swarthy fellow blows up in the public square, we inch a bit closer to the realization that diversity is a nightmare. That’s the part we see. The part we don’t see, at least not yet, is the crumbling of the foundation stones of the modern West. That foundation of nonsense is giving way to biological reality

Christianity, Patriotism and The Alt-Right

Can you be a Christian and Alt-Right?

That’s a question the TRS guys were debating the other day. It comes up a lot, mostly because the leading lights in dissident politics are not religious. Some appear to be outright atheists, even if they don’t make a big deal out of it. Of the old guys, I can’t think of any who are Evangelical. Most were Protestants, but have long ago drifted from their churches. I don’t think any of the next generation are religious. Some grew up going to church, but abandoned it as soon as they left home.

The thing with the Gen X and Millennial leaders of the alt-right is most of them are disinterested in religion and its role in human society. It’s not something that occupies space in their mental framework. Just because the leadership and intellectual elements of the alt-right are non-religious, it does not necessarily follow that the alt-right is hostile to the religious. They spent their youth marinating in Progressive dogma and as a result, they see culture through a secular lens, rather than a spiritual one.

There’s a lot more to this so there will be many more posts on the topic, but a good point of entry is the simple question at the start of the post. The alt-right makes race the primary identity. Christians, and I’m thinking primarily of non-denominational Christians, place their relationship with Jesus Christ as their primary identity. That’s an obvious conflict, as nothing in Scripture backs the primary arguments of the alt-right. Even the most expansive reading of Scripture cannot arrive at a pro-white position.

There’s also the fact that many Christians are fanatical supporters of Israel. They have incorporated unconditional support for the state of Israel with their Christian identity. That often extends to Jews in the United states. For many Christians, antisemitism is the worst sin imaginable. That’s an obvious problem with the alt-right. Then there is the egalitarianism that many Christians have internalized as part of their relationship with Jesus Christ. They believe they are called to treat all men as children of God.

None of this is necessarily a deal breaker for Christians and the alt-right, but it creates some rather obvious complications. What it means is the alt-right is going to have to get better at understanding how to talk to and appeal to this type of Christian. Simply making the pro-white argument is not going to have much appeal to people who root their identity in something that transcends race. The alt-right, if it is going to make inroads into the Christian community, is going to have figure out how to engage these folks on their terms.

What about Patriotism?

Strangely, the alt-right may have an easier time engaging with Christians, than the hard core Civic Nationalists. Christians have been oppressed in American for generations and they have learned the hard way that they cannot vote themselves to freedom. That’s not the case with Civic Nationalists. The narcotic of patriotism keeps them forever optimistic that one more election and the nation will return to the 1950’s, except with a lot more brown people, who magically embrace white middle-class sensibilities.

As with Christians, the folks listening to Glenn Beck or Ben Shapiro, as they drive around suburbia, root their identity in something that transcends race and ethnicity. Civic nationalism is a religion and a primary identity. They are Americans, no hyphen. More important, these people look at things like taxes and regulation as primary markers of fidelity to their civic religion. To them, guys like Richard Spencer sound like communists, because he doesn’t seem to care all that much about tax cuts or regulatory reform.

The thing is, the patriotic normie is sure he is working from facts and reason when investing all of his energy into the current political arrangements. In reality, gentry conservatism and libertarianism are a different implementation of the Progressive moral frame work. The ends are different, but the assumptions are the same. You don’t talk people out of their moral sensibilities with facts and reason. In order to sway patriotic normies, the alt-right is going to have to appeal to them in moral terms.

Most of the alt-right seems to think this is a self-resolving problem. Mass immigration and the war on white people will beat the patriotism out of these people. They will inevitably come to accept identity politics. Maybe, but it would be preferable to win over these people before America becomes Brazil. At that point it may not matter. The alt-right is going to have to think about how to offer something to these folks that rivals the narcotic power of flag waving patriotism. That means constructive engagement, rather than mockery.

These are just two facets to a very big topic. Racial politics in America has always been about the two sides of white America debating how to best deal with the blacks. That’s made identity politics two dimensional. In order to move past that, it means creating an alternative moral framework. That cannot be conjured from thin air. It must happen in relation to and in reaction to the current claims on the identity of whites. The alt-right will have to be reconciled with religion and patriotism, or it will fail.

We’re Out Of Enemies

One of the stranger things about our public discourse the last couple of decades is the constant call for unity. The black hats on the political stage are always described as divisive or polarizing. The white hats are the “uniters”, bringing people together. Whenever something happens, like a disaster or shooting, the news is full of stories about how the community is united in response. Usually this means some sort of ceremony with candles and the local leaders officiating a ritual intended to show unity.

Of course, the fetish for unity is a Progressive thing. Often it takes comical turns, like when public opinion is running hard against some Progressive cause. Then the public is described as “divided over the issue.” A suitable bad guy is found and scorn is heaped on him by the media for his divisiveness. On the other hand, when opinion is slightly in favor of the Progressives, then we hear that the public is nearly unanimous in their support. This is followed by calls of unity, which means the opposition should surrender.

The classic example of this was homosexual marriage. State after state held referendums on the issue. for 30 some odds times the public voted against it. After every defeat, the media reported that a divided electorate narrowly opposed gay marriage. Then the one time it passes, a deluge of press claiming a tidal wave of support in favor of homosexual marriage. It was so convincing, the Supreme Court decided that voting was too much a bother and unilaterally declared gay marriage a sacrament.

Unity was not always a fetish for our rulers. In my youth, I had to sit and listen to civics lectures from Boomer instructors about the glories of raucous democracy. The whole point of democracy was for the people to have a civilized argument in order to gain a majority around a position. The change seems to have happened in the Clinton years. Anyone who opposed the Clintons was accused of dividing the public. As is true of so many of the problems in the current crisis, the roots of this unity fetish are in the Ozarks.

On the other hand, maybe this berserk desire for unanimity of public opinion on every matter is a sign of something else. The outbreak does coincide with the end of the Cold War. The very real risk of nuclear annihilation kept the American political class under control and it justified doing what was necessary to keep a lid on public dissent. Of course, the public was more than willing to enforce a high degree of conformity, in order to avoid giving the Russians an edge. The Cold War was a unifying and stabilizing force.

Before the Cold War, there was the Second World War. The Great Depression was probably the last time when conditions were ripe for disunity. When the ruling class is unable to keep the people fed, the people are willing to entertain new rulers. On the other hand, it offered the Yankee ruling elite an opportunity to purge the ruling class of heretics and dissenters. The days of guys like Calvin Coolidge getting far in politics were brought to an end with the New Deal and the political realignment ushered in by Roosevelt.

In reality, the last time our ruling class did not have some exogenous thing to justify imposing a high degree of unanimity on the public, and on the ruling class, was the late 19th century. That was after the Civil War, so there was no need for unity. The North had conquered the rest of the country. The South was obliterated economically and culturally, so they were no threat. Appalachia was always too disorganized to be a threat to the Yankee establishment. Unity was the default situation.

The point of all this is that it has been a long time since America has not had something that was useful for rallying public support. The holy war against the Muslims should have been an easy replacement for the Cold War, but our rulers are so infected by the PC virus they could not declare the crusade. Instead they lost two pointless wars of choice and invited millions of Muslims to settle in our lands. The promised clash of civilization has instead become a clash between the Dirt People and the Cloud People over Islam.

That may be the reason our betters are forever going on about the need for unity. These weird rituals after ever terrorist attack are intended to summon the magic spirits that will restore the unifying order of old. The candlelight vigil after every shooting or riot suggests that the deep state actors behind these things are the candle makers. Every Progressive in America spends the following day passing around pics on social media, of people “uniting” to fight the latest outrage, almost always at a candlelight vigil.

There’s also the fact that all mass movements need a devil. The Cult of Modern Liberalism is no exception. It’s why John McCain built his career around the pitch of a “cause greater than ourselves.” His great cause over the last several decades was the nutty idea of spreading western liberal democracy to the Muslim world. Other Progressives have gone all in on stamping out biological reality. The ghost of Hitler and Bull Connor, of course, are always handy bogeymen for our Progressive rulers.

America was never intended to be united culturally or spiritually. The Founders understood that the original colonies had different characteristics, due to the different founding populations. It’s why they maintained the sovereignty of the states in the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. America was supposed to be a collection of states and cultures, that cooperated economically and for common defense, but otherwise existed independent of one another. It’s why they wanted a weak national government.

What we may be seeing is the end of the long historical cycle that began in the 19th century, with the Hartford convention,  and ended with the Cold War. The 19th century saw the northern states rise economically and culturally, to eventually dominate the rest of the nation. Events in Europe provided handy enemies against which to rally the public and beat back any challenges to Yankee hegemony. We have run out of plausible bogeymen with which to scare the public. As a result, America is returning to its nature.

This could be the the root  cause of the endless calls for unity. The pleas for unity are, in effect, demands to maintain the status quo. Along side the endless laments from the media about the decline of old media and the rise of alternatives, you have a ruling establishment in a long twilight struggle to maintain its status and power. Perhaps in the fullness of time, the Yankee domination of America will be seen as a long cultural cycle, with its own civic religion, national epic and origin myth.