The Political Class Murders Itself

The point at which the Roman Republic moved from republic to empire is generally placed at the point when the Senate granted Octavian almost unlimited power and he adopted the title Augustus. Some historians argue it was when Caesar crossed the Rubicon or when Octavian defeated Antony at Actium. The implication is that once the transition was started, there was no turning back. The more useful analysis is to think of it as a process, with roots in the Republic, that evolved to the point where dictatorship was inevitable.

The die was most likely cast when the Republic began to compromise its own rules for limiting and distributing power. The system they had created was a reflection of the tribal realities of the early republic. In order to keep any one family from gaining too much power, they systematically limited the time anyone served in office. The system also forced an apprenticeship on those who went into public life. This had the benefit of making public men buy into the system. Therefore they were willing to defend it.

That meant the system had a policing mechanism to sort out enemies before they could cause trouble. An ambitious young man could not skip any steps on his way up the ladder, so once he got up the ladder, he was not agreeing to any changes in the process. Defending the system was a way to defend one’s prerogatives, but also a way to defend the system from lunatics. Verpus Maximus may be smart and talented, but he was not only going to wait his turn, he was going to do all the jobs necessary to prove his worth.

This system started to break down with the rivalry of Sulla and Marius. Sulla was the first man to hold the office of consul twice. He also got away with marching an army on Rome itself, in order to defeat his rival, Marius. Both of these acts were supposed to be disqualifying, but exceptions were made for expediency. Sulla sided with the Senate so the Senate bent the rules to serve themselves. A good case can be made that this is the point when it was all over for the Republic.

It was just a matter of time before someone used Sulla as a precedent.

It is a good lesson to keep in mind as the politicians in the Imperial Capital wrangle over what could be a very dangerous scandal for them.

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes declared Wednesday that members of Donald Trump’s transition team, possibly including Trump himself, were under inadvertent surveillance following November’s presidential election.

The White House and Trump’s allies immediately seized on the statement as vindication of the president’s much-maligned claim that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower phones — even though Nunes himself said that’s not what his new information shows.

Democrats, meanwhile, cried foul.

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the intelligence panel, cast doubt on Nunes’ claims in a fiery statement and blasted the chairman for not first sharing the information with him or other committee members.

Schiff also slammed Nunes for briefing the White House on Wednesday afternoon given that the Intelligence Committee is in the middle of an investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, including possible collusion with the Trump team.

The political class chased Nixon out of town for talking about the use of the FBI and CIA as weapons against political opponents. The rule in politics has been that the use of the IRS or the intelligence agencies was expressly prohibited. There could be no exceptions for obvious reasons, as it would give these bureaucracies dangerous power. That was the lesson of Hoover. If the CIA or IRS are allowed to use their powers to gather dirt on elected officials, then they can control elected officials. That’s the end of democracy.

Of course, there’s another reason to take certain weapons off the table in politics. That’s self preservation. In prior ages, where the winners had the losers killed, the challengers would always have as their goal, the death of the current ruler. That prompted the ruler to get ahead of the curve and have any potential challengers killed, before they could be any trouble. This was Stalin’s game and he just about gutted the the intellectual and political elite of Russia in the process. They still have not recovered from it.

That’s what makes this so dangerous. It’s now clear what happened. The Obama people started spying on Trump once he had the nomination or perhaps even earlier. They may have started earlier with an eye on helping the Republicans knock him off in the primary, but that’s not clear. They figured that Clinton was a lock so they were not careful about covering their tracks. The Clinton people are as dirty as it gets so they were not going to be ratting on anyone over it. If anything, they would expand on it.

This is where the Russian hacking story comes into the picture. Once disaster struck and Team Obama realized they had a problem, they needed cover, so they started with the Russian hacking nonsense. They would then claim that it was all an accident and they were just trying to prevent Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale from attacking our democracy! It’s also why Obama signed a retroactive Executive Order giving cover to the intel agencies for their domestic spying activities. They were creating a cover story.

The complication is that it appears that at least one person has perjured himself over this and that one person is FBI Director Comey. There’s no way to square his testimony with these new revelations. The best he can do is split hairs and claim he was not part of the spying effort. Of course, there’s no way to touch him as he runs the FBI. In fact, there’s no way to investigate any of the intelligence organizations. This is the point where many of the robot historians of the future will say the American political class murdered itself.

Unless there is some will to address it, and that’s highly unlikely, we now have a new normal where highly politicized intelligence agencies are used by both sides to discredit one another and discredit any attempts to reform the system. It’s no longer a game of rules. It is a zero sum  game of power and that cycle only ends one way, with someone marching their army on the capital and taking control. As with Rome, whoever emerges as the dictator will not have murdered the system. The system will have murdered itself.

Space Aliens & Talking Monkeys

On the Twitter machine, I saw this posted by Chris Hayes, a liberal airhead, who makes noise on cable television. Given that the BBC is advocating the return of blasphemy laws, I naturally assumed American liberals were now agitating for a police state. But, that was not the point of the tweet. It was a link to his article on something called The Hive. The irony was completely lost on him. Almost two decades ago Joe Sobran and Tom Bethell coined the term to describe the Left-Intellectual orthodoxy that rules us.

Hayes, of course, is an incurious dullard so it is hardly a surprise that he was unaware of the irony. MSNBC could have people dressed up in bumblebee costumes, dancing around the set of his show, and he would still not get it. Still, most people under the age 50 would not be aware of Joe Sobran and his writings about Progressive fanatics. The great convergence of the so-called Left and the so-called Right has sent all the old paleocons down the memory hole. Vast swaths of conservative thought has been largely forgotten.

The point here is that it is easy for information to get lost between generations. Most of the people, who were around when guys like Sobran were active, are either old men now or they were too young to appreciate what was being said. That and the long neocon war against Anglo-Saxon conservatism has gone on for so long that multiple generations of people have grown up believing these ideas were outside the realm of respectable thought. This has happened to libertarians, as well. How many Reason Magazine types are aware of Lew Rockwell?

The modern assumption is that human knowledge is accretive, which means it builds up over time. Each generation adds another layer of knowledge upon which subsequent generations puts down their layer of knowledge. After all, the technology of this age is more advanced than the technology of a century ago. The people in the age of the Great War were far more advanced than the people of the Napoleonic era. It certainly feels like technological progress is a steady accumulation from one generation to the next.

While it is true that we are technologically advanced compared to people in ancient Greece, the progress has been in fits and starts. Further, the progress has not been universal. The Greeks knew more about human nature and culture, for example, than modern people. Our intellectuals are advocates of the blank slate, which is a few clicks more ridiculous than the flat earth argument. Further still, some knowledge possessed by the ancients has been lost to us. Damascus steel and Greek fire are two examples.

There’s also something called The Sapien Paradox, which means, why did humans become smart so late? We know that the human brain evolved to its current state about 60,000 years ago. It took 50,000 years for humans to figure out agriculture. Over the last 10,000 years, humans developed symbolic concepts like notions of value, number and measure. Abstract social concepts like status and power, along with the symbols associated with them are, relatively speaking, very recent developments

Even in this recent run of progress, there were long periods where humans not only stagnated, but regressed. Life in Rome at the time of Julius Caesar was vastly better than life in Rome during the fifth century or even the tenth century. Agricultural technology regressed for much of the medieval period after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire. If you departed earth from Europe in 1900 and returned to Europe in 1950, you would have assumed society collapsed and fallen back into barbarism.

The fact is, the store of human knowledge has leaks and is susceptible to spoilage over successive generations. This is obvious in the current state of space exploration. Two generations of men went from zero to landing on the moon. Now we struggle to get payloads into space. Right now we can’t return to the moon. It will take a generation to accomplish what happened two generations ago. Imagine what would happen if some great calamity strikes the world like an epidemic or nuclear war.

What does this have to do with space aliens?

Given that humans needed 10,000 years to go from domesticating animals for the first time to making it to the moon, we have some idea of where visiting space aliens would be on the evolutionary timeline. They would be at least 10,000 years ahead of us, maybe more. The reason for that is the technological jump, from where we are now to effectively transporting anything to another solar system, is about the same as the jump from riding a horse for the first time to riding a rocket to the moon at back.

There’s also the fact that this alien race would have figured out the problem of knowledge boiling off between generations and especially between cataclysms. The most likely solution for former would be much longer lives. If humans lived for 200 active, vibrant years, a reasonably smart person could learn everything to be known in his field and have time to add to it. The latter problem would require accumulating enough knowledge to avoid the society destroying cataclysms that have been a feature of human history.

Of course, being a very long lived species would have an added benefit when it comes to space travel. Launching a human to Mars and back is a one year mission. Landing on the planet probably makes it a two year trip. That’s about ten percent of a man’s prime space travel years. If we assume space aliens can reach something close to light speed, they would still need 40 years to get anywhere interesting. If they had lives roughly equivalent to a thousand earth years, then a trip to visit us would be like us going to the moon.

There you have it. If space aliens are out there and able to reach earth, they will most certainly be a very long lived species. This is not just for the travel issue, but for the store of knowledge problem. They will also have to be a several orders of magnitude smarter than modern humans. To them, we will be a dumb version of our ancestors, who first left Africa. It’s entirely possible the space aliens will find the insects and fauna of our planet more interesting than the talking monkeys.

Female Trouble

The one thing that Europe has in common with America is the thorny issue of immigration, especially the problem of Muslim immigration. Europeans are also facing the problem of sub-Saharan African immigration, which is a different problem. Black Africans are not yet forming up terrorist rings and threatening to destroy Western civilization, at least not on purpose. The daily drumbeat of terrorism stories we see in the news are all tied to Islam and its hostility to Western civilization. The fact is, Islam is incompatible with the West.

The question that never gets asked is why are European politicians so wedded to the idea of open borders, when it means Muslim immigration? Letting Poles move from their homelands to London, as tradesman, is one thing. There’s an economic argument there, not a good one, but at least there’s an argument. Making it easy for Mercedes to build car parts in Slovakia has an economic argument to it. Again, it is a fallacious argument, but you can see how some people, especially politicians, could be dull enough to fall for it.

There’s no economic argument for importing Syrians or Turks. Muslims are overwhelmingly represented on the welfare roles. In Denmark, people from MENA countries make up 5% of the population, but consume 40% of welfare benefits. This is a story across Europe. It is not just the new arrivals. Turks in Germany have been there for a couple of generations and have been the worst performing economic group in the country. Estimates put the total working population at 20%, while the rest live off welfare benefits. Then there is the issue of sky high Muslim crime rates.

There is no economic argument in favor of importing these people. Businesses that want cheap labor have options within Europe. Like US companies, global European firms have used Asia for slave labor in the old dirty industries. Just like Silicon Valley, European tech firms have used indentured servants from India and China to undercut domestic wages and dodge local labor laws. The fact is, human capital from MENA countries has little value in modern, Western countries. The only people benefiting from the importation of them are security firms and prison builders.

That leads to the other possible reason the political class is in love with mass immigration from Muslim countries. Is there popular support for importing these people, despite their uselessness as citizens? Again, there’s no data to suggest this is the case. European leaders could have put the issue to the voters, but they fanatically avoid it. In fact, anyone who dares run on the issue is branded a Nazi. Politicians love democracy when they are assured of winning. They avoid it when they are assured of losing. Therefore, it is safe to assume they don’t think this is a winner for them.

What makes the political math crazy is the polling shows quite clearly that the majority of the public would support a ban on further Muslim immigration. Clever politicians could easily dress such a thing up in flowery language and have a winning issue. Even not-so-clever politicians could simply call for a halt to further immigration, without naming Muslims directly. One of the French candidates could cut Le Pen off at the knees by simply adopting a restriction position on immigration. Yet, all of them go the other way.

If it is not good economics or good politics, why is the European ruling class hell bent on replacing their native population with openly hostile foreigners? Mass insanity is the tempting response, but that’s just another way of blaming magic. If it were mass insanity, it would have some sort of external cause, like a virus that strikes middle-aged white politicians. How come it only seems to cause hyper-altruism among people in political power? It’s a fun thing to say, but it is not fruitful speculation.

A better answer may be that this is the inevitable result of the feminization of Western civilization. The most important country in Europe is ruled by a barren old women, who started out in life as a communist. The most masculine politician in France is Marie Le Pen. Germany’s opposition party is led by a mousy little wood nymph named Frauke Petry. Even the Brits turned to a woman to lead them out of Europe after the Bexit vote and the collapse of Cameron’s government. The West is now a matriarchy.

Look at the reaction to Donald Trump among the ruling class of the United States. He is detested, mostly by upper class women. Their reason is he has a penis and enjoys using it. As a comparison, Le Pen’s support is lowest among upper middle-class women in France. Sweden, which now runs on the principles of the womyn’s studies department at your local university, is also  the poster child fro immigration restriction. The broads in charge of that country have destroyed at least two of their cities with Muslim migrants.

The fact, men and women are different cognitively and well as physiologically. This is not just old school male chauvinism. It is solid science. Women like drama and emotional theater. They also like the idea of the alpha male coming to their rescue. Put women in charge of a country and they will set about creating danger and chaos so that the males will come rescue them. That’s where the swarthy rapists from the south come in. Europe and America settled their differences and ran out of dragons to slay, so the gals created new one in the form of Muslim lunatics imported into the West.

The trouble is the men of the political class are mostly pussies. Look at the men in positions of authority in the West. Barak Obama was a wigger dork. Paul Ryan is a ridiculous pussy, afraid of his own shadow. The males in Western politics are effeminate, fragile peopel, who spent their youth in the library. There are no tough guys, former soldiers or adventurers in Western politics. It’s all power-skirts and the men who secretly wish to dress like them. The result is the female side is creating drama and the male side is sobbing in the corner, promising to hold the camera steady.

Welcome To The Custodial State

It’s easy to dismiss the warnings about what’s coming, lots of people do, arguing that only the wildly pessimistic think we’re headed for serious trouble. Stories like this suggest you can’t be too pessimistic about what’s coming.

John Rivello, the Twitter user who allegedly sent a tweet that caused a journalist to have a seizure, was charged by the Dallas District Attorney Monday with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The felony assault charge comes with a hate crime enhancement.

The Maryland man was arrested by the FBI Friday for allegedly sending an animated image, also known as a GIF, to Newsweek writer Kurt Eichenwald in December which said, “you deserve a seizure.”

Eichenwald’s wife subsequently tweeted that the GIF had indeed caused Eichenwald to have a seizure. The federal criminal complaint says that a direct message from Rivello’s alleged account, “Ari Goldstein” or “@jew_goldstein,” to another account said he hopes that the GIF “sends” Eichenwald “into a seizure.”

The FBI located Rivello through an Apple iCloud account associated with a phone number he used to sign up for Twitter. The iCloud account included a photo of Rivello posing with his driver’s license, the complaint says.

This appears to be first situation where someone has been arrested due to an internet posting causing the direct bodily harm of another user. Rivello is being being charged federally under a law which prohibits using an electronic communication with the intent of hurting or killing another individual.

The assertion that an image caused this lunatic to have a seizure is so ridiculous, that it is impossible to assume the authorities believe it. Even if such a thing were remotely possible, it means we will need to build a lot of new prisons. If posting certain images is not a criminal act solely because someone claims harm, this ends with everyone accusing everyone of a criminal act. The fact is, the FBI is just harassing this guy because they want to send a message. That message is you better get permission before you speak.

Is Europe Lost?

Imagine an island populated with a tribe of people. The Blue People have been a stable population of about 9,000 people, distributed over three generations. One day, a new people begin to arrive. The island of the Red People exploded and refugees are floating up on the beaches of the Blue People island. The result is about one thousand Red People are now living on the island. It is an accommodation the natives are happy to provide and the newcomers are generally thankful for the sanctuary.

The demographics of both groups are reasonably stable, with the slight difference in fertility rates. The Blue People have a TFR of 2.0 and the Red People are at 2.5. To keep this simple, we’ll assume war, famine, disease and so forth are not issues. Think of this as an economics model, where reality is excluded, in order to make a point. Even though the Red People are breeding at a slightly higher rate, the differences are so slight that hardly anyone notices. Even so, in ten generations, the number Red Children will equal the number of Blue Children.

Now, let’s imagine that the Red People have fertility rates closer to what we see in the Muslim world. That means they will rival the Blue population in just five generations. If the Blue People see their fertility rates drop to something closer to modern European rates, the populations on our island are equal in three generations. It’s why the question of Europe’s future is first and foremost, a math question. Which is why, as Steve Sailer pointed out, no one likes talking about demographics in Europe these days.

While demographics are destiny, things change quickly. Arab fertility rates have been plummeting for more than a decade. Iran has a TFR below replacement. The same is true of the Turks, who are also suffering a brain drain. Then there is the political dimension that can seemingly turn on a dime. This is why the political season in Europe is a fixation of the global press. Normally, these elections are just ceremonial, as the political parties agree on most everything, except who gets to steal first from the treasury.

Brexit changed that and the rise of the Trump Party in America now makes even the smallest election on the Continent into a big deal. It’s why the government media made the recent Dutch election into a referendum on their hopes and fears about what’s happening in the West, with regards to the rise of patriotic parties in opposition to far-left globalist parties currently in power. Geert Wilders, the very odd looking Dutch politician was pitched as the challenger to the very acceptable Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

The setup was that the Dutch had a choice between a lunatic hate-thinker and the normal, sensible establishment man. There was even an effort to throw Wilders in jail for blasphemy. The reason the media chose to pitch this election as a referendum on patriotism is that there was no chance for Wilders to “win” the election. The Dutch make it so that no party ever gets a majority of seats in their parliament. Instead, the “winning” party forms a coalition with some of the “losing” parties to get a majority government.

Wilders and his party are well outside the political center so there was zero chance of his party being included in a ruling coalition. In other words, the result was known in advance so it was a safe bet for the globalists to carry on as if it were a referendum on their blessed rule. The post election stories declaring populism dead were written in advance of the vote. Wilders did well and his party increased their number of seats, but fell short of exceptions. Even so, the globalists cheered, hoping this was an omen.

Again, no one really cares about the Dutch. They are the least representative of Europe and that has always been true. But, the global ruling class is looking down the road to the French elections and later the Italian elections. There is a decent chance that Le Pen wins the first round of the French election, which would be very embarrassing to the European elite. They could live with that, as the main parties can be sure to join forces in order to defeat Le Pen in the second round.

There is some small chance that the mainstream parties could falter or fall into squabbling and not be able to present a united front. The French ruling class is showing signs of decay. You see that with the candidates they have offered up in this election. It is a rogue’s gallery of careerist hacks with the personality of government clerks. Scandal is also a problem with some of them. Then there is the fact Le Pen is getting close to 30% of the vote. Events keep conspiring to reward her positions, with regards to immigration.

The fact is, Europeans are starting to notice the numbers. It may not be so easy, as the Red People and Blue People on our imaginary island, but Europeans can spot a Moroccan when they see one. They notice that the guys rioting are Turks and the guys stabbing people on trains are always yelling “Allahu Akbar” while doing it. They also notice that the people in charge have no answer. As Chris Caldwell points out in this Mark Steyn interview, they are left with trying to convince people that this is the new normal.

Even so, it is hard to get away from the math of it. Europe is old and barren, while the swarthy invaders are young and fruitful. Demographic transformation can happen quite quickly, which is why the natives are now rightfully fearful of islamification. A majority population, increasingly worried about the foreign minority population, ruled by a governing class paralyzed and unable to respond, is a recipe for a very bad result. Europe will quickly reach a point where they have to abandon social democracy in order to survive.

The alternative is Europe ceases to be Europe.

Mencken Lives

Years ago, reading Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism, I was struck by a line early in the book, where he criticized the American Left for not remembering their own intellectual history. What struck me about it was that Goldberg seemed to be astonished by this revelation. It is tempting to think, upon learning something new, that you are the first person to have the insight. Young people tend to suffer from this, coming home from college convinced they know the secrets of the universe. In the case of the Left, Goldberg may have been the last person to notice the Left’s hatred of the past.

The other thing that was striking is that modern conservatives suffer from the same defect. Read any of the so-called conservative writers of the Official Right™ and you get the impression that the world began in 1938. Every bad guy in the world is Hitler and any hesitation about rushing into war is appeasement. More important, they think the great intellectual tradition of the Right starts with the day Bill Buckley penned God and Man at Yale. Everything before that is fairy tales and mythology from a foreign people.

Of course, this is not an accident. Buckley conservatism was a break with the old traditional Right, if it was ever actually of the Right, which is debatable. George Will famously called Buckley’s Yale book “a lovers’ quarrel with his alma mater.” It was also a good way to describe the conservatism of Bill Buckley and his followers. It was and still is a lover’s quarrel with the Left. Put another way, it was the child admonishing the parent for not living up to the ideals the parent preached to their children.

To be fair, the Buckleyites borrowed some political objectives from traditional conservatives, along with some of the language of the Right, but it was essentially a Progressive heresy over the issue of communism. It’s why the Buckleyites had exactly zero wins in the culture war. They never bothered to fight it. Their singular reason to exist was opposition to communism, foreign and domestic. It’s why after the Cold War, they declared themselves Big Government Conservatives.

Anyway, Goldberg’s ahistorical view of conservatism came to mind when reading this post over at the ironically named The American Conservative.

H.L. Mencken has a conservative problem. The Baltimore journalist became the poster boy for literary modernism thanks to his literary criticism and nationally syndicated op-ed columns, in addition to his work as a magazine editor, most notably at American Mercury. But he ranks well behind the modernist poets T.S. Eliot or Wallace Stevens as an acceptable literary figure for conservative consumption. The reason has much to do with Mencken’s skepticism and irreverence. He mocked Puritanism famously as the cultural force that gave Americans a moralistic squint. Worse, he recommended the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche as an antidote to Victorian morality and then promoted Theodore Dreiser, whose novels offended censors. Mencken proved his heretical ways at the Scopes Trial, where he mocked the prosecution led by William Jennings Bryan and the “simian faithful” who hung on the Great Commoner’s every word. Everywhere Mencken turned, his mantra seemed to be “just say no” to inherited moral, intellectual, and literary standards.

The most recent conservative complaint about Mencken is that he was an elitist who ridiculed his fellow Americans. Kevin D. Williamson of National Review objected that the debunking mentality prevalent in Mencken’s work represented a “genuine fervor to knock the United States and its people down a peg or two.” For Mencken, “the representative American experience was the Scopes trial, with its greasy Christian fundamentalists and arguments designed to appeal to the ‘prehensile moron,’ his description of the typical American farmer.” Fred Siegel of the Manhattan Institute registered a similar complaint in his book The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Undermined the Middle Class. He charged that Mencken was part of a company of liberal thinkers who wanted to create an American aristocracy that could “provide the same sense of hierarchy and order long associated with European statism.”

The unhinged madhattery on display here is breath taking. The starting point of Anglo-Saxon conservatism is skepticism, particularly a skepticism of universalism and Utopian lunacies like Puritanism. Similarly, the Right has always accepted that humans are a hierarchical species by nature. Therefore, the structure of society, including the political system, will always reflect this reality, as it has at all times and all places. Egalitarianism is a fetish of the Left, not the Right. Yet, the modern Right now claims it for their own.

Those two paragraphs describe what Buckley Conservatism is today. It is vinegar drinking prudery, a cartoonish version of Christian piety and unquestioning reverence for the jingoistic version of American history, that has little resemblance to reality. Put another way, it is kept men tut-tutting about manners, droning on about the old church and demanding you send your sons off to fight pointless wars of choice, claiming it is your patriotic duty. No wonder its constituency does not extend beyond the Imperial Capital.

Mencken was a man of his age so much of what he wrote about no longer has relevance or it strikes the delicate ear of the modern reader as hate speech. He also wrote a lot and that leads to a degree of inconsistency and incoherence. When you are writing to be read, your first goal is to be entertaining, so a degree of logical inconsistency is inevitable. Even so, Mencken is an important figure to study, because it is the conservatism of his era that is roaring back in the form of the populist upheavals we are seeing in our politics.

The Fading Star

Tyler Cowen posted his latest Conversations with Tyler. His guest was Malcolm Gladwell, the famous gadfly and popularizer of the blank slate. Of course, Cowen slobbers all over him, because that’s what good thinkers are supposed to do when they get to meet someone like Gladwell. It’s a way of letting the other good thinkers know you are not the sort that colors outside the lines. Gladwell is one of those guys who is more famous for what he represents than anything he has said or written.

Celebrity intellectuals are not famous because they have offered up a great insight or discovery. There’s no money in that. New ideas challenge the orthodoxy. The people with the money to help an aspiring celebrity intellectual live the sort of life they deserve tend not to like challenges to the orthodoxy. Instead they gravitate to people who confirm that the current arrangements are as the heavens ordained. That’s Gladwell. His celebrity is rooted in his ability to flatter the Cloud People.

The typical path to celebrity for these guys is not much different than the way mediocre comics get rich and famous. The game is to flatter the right audience. Making a bunch of bad whites in the hill country feel good about themselves is not a path to the easy life. You can make a nice living, but you’re not going to be doing Ted Talks or getting five figures to do the college circuit. Figure how to let the Cloud People on the Upper West Side feel like champions and you have the golden ticket.

People fond of biological realism and quantitative analysis tend to enjoy making sport of Gladwell, mostly because he makes some hilariously stupid claims. His 10,000 hour rule argument was so stupid it was not even wrong. Steve Sailer has made a hobby out of pulling apart Gladwell’s claims. Sailer is a smart guy, who understands that if he tossed Gladwell off a roof, Gladwell would eventually hit the pavement below, so I suspect he is offended by the idea of a bullshit artist like Gladwell getting rich by peddling nonsense.

The thing is, guys like Gladwell exist off a number of biases and one of them is that they are sincere in their intentions. They truly believe the things they are saying. The difference between a con-man and a moron is that the moron really believes what he is saying. The grifter not only knows he is spouting nonsense, but he crafted the nonsense to take advantage of people. A big part of the Gladwell act is that he presents himself as a sincere dork, who just happens to notice that his audience is on the right side of history.

Of course, what really helps Gladwell is the fact that he is mixed race and  the best kind of mixed race. His mother is black and his father is a English honky. Unlike Barak Obama, Gladwell can pass for white so he gets to play both sides of race street, sort of like how white women like to say they are part Native American. It is the dream of every Progressive white women to get all the victim points of being black, without having to actually be black. As a result, Gladwell makes an excellent totem.

In fairness, Gladwell did catch lightning in a bottle with his first book. It came out just as the Great Progressive Awakening was getting started. Many Progressives saw the Bush election as a tipping point. Bush winning the White House was the nightmare made real and it became a rallying point around which their great cause would be based, at least until that incarnation of the 12th Invisible Hitler was vanquished. Gladwell’s book confirmed what many Progressives were feeling, particularity those in the chattering classes.

As the Great Progressive Awakening comes to an end, so does the rock star status of Malcolm Gladwell. His last two books sold well, mostly due to his name, but both were panned by critics. He was never really an idea man, more of a zeitgeist man. From his perch at the New Yorker, he could take the temperature of his fellow Cloud dwellers and come up with ways to titillate them. The mood has turned dark and angry in the Cloud, so Gladwell’s child-like sense of wonder does not titillate like it did at the beginning..

He will get the same treatment as Jon Stewart, who was replaced as the Official Cloud People Comic by a colorful array of bitter losers. Stewart’s exaggerated irony face routine was replaced by a turkey-necked old hen, who spends 30 minutes a night screeching into the camera. Stewart’s comedy was for people who believed they were riding the tides of history to the promised land. Samantha Bee is for losers, who are being carted off to Babylon and a life of servitude. Somewhere, a blue haired lesbian with a face full of fishing tackle and an apartment full of cats is writing the next Cloud People best seller.

Fake Science

Unless you have been in a cave the last year, you are well aware of the fact that most of what we call news is just made up. Any story with “sources say” in it is fictional. The writer simply conjured the sources and most likely the things they would have said, if they existed. Maybe someone did say something like what was reported, but the so-called reporter was not there to hear it. At best, they got it from the gossip chain or from some C-level talking head, cooling his heels in a cable television green room.

The worst for this is sports reporting, as they no longer even pretend to do be doing real reporting. They just make stuff up and slap the words “according to sources” on it and it is posted as news. Trade rumors are where you see this all the time. Since the people doing the deals for the sports clubs are not talking about their business on camera, the fake news reporters are free to just make up what they want, so they do. It’s all pitched as “rumors” so when it never happens, the fake sports reporters can “report” on that.

Even fake news needs content, which is where fake science comes in. There’s nothing better for a fake news story than a quote from a fake scientist, especially when the topic is human health. Turn on the local fake newscast and there’s always at least one fake story on health or diet. Many of these shows now have a recurring health segment where one of the bubble heads puts on their serious face and talks into the camera about some new threat to your health, usually your diet. It’s all fake.

Late in January, the researchers Jordan Anaya, Nick Brown, and Tim van der Zee identified some fairly baffling problems in the research published by Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab, one of the more famous and prolific behavioral-science labs in the country, and published a paper revealing their findings. As I wrote last month, “the problems included 150 errors in just four of [the] lab’s papers, strong signs of major problems in the lab’s other research, and a spate of questions about the quality of the work that goes on there.”

Brian Wansink, the lab’s head and a big name in social science, was a co-author on all those papers, and refused to share the underlying data in a manner that could help resolve the situation, though he did announce certain reforms to his lab’s practices, and said he would be hiring someone uninvolved with the original papers to reanalyze the data. Wansink, whose lab is known for producing a steady stream of catchy, media-friendly findings about how to nudge people toward healthier eating and habits in general, has also openly admitted to a variety of data slicing-and-dicing methods that are very likely to produce misleading and overblown results.

What the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell does, is not science. Calling it science is a crime against the language, as well as science. For instance, they will have participants eat a variety of lunch offerings and then grade them on their perceived “healthiness.” Naturally, people get the “wrong” results, because there’s no fixed definition of “healthy” with regards to food. This allows the “scientist” doing the study to write a paper claiming that people are brainwashed into picking the wrong foods or that people need more education on diet.

Wansink’s problems just got a lot worse. Today, Brown, a Ph.D. student at the University of Groningen, published a blog post highlighting many more problems with Wansink’s research practices. First, it appears that over the years, Wansink has made a standard practice of self-plagiarism, regularly taking snippets of his text from one publication and dropping them into another — a practice that, while not as serious as outright data fraud or plagiarizing someone else’s material, is very much frowned upon. And sometimes it was more than “snippets.” Brown includes the following image of one Wansink article in which all of the yellow material (plus three of the four figures, which Brown said he couldn’t figure out how to highlight) is lifted from Wansink’s own previously published work:

In another instance, Brown writes, Wansink appears to have published the same text as two different book chapters at around the same time. “Each chapter is around 7,000 words long,” he writes. “The paragraph structures are identical. Most of the sentences are identical, or differ only in trivial details.”

What this suggests is the people running the place know full well that all of it is bullshit and nothing close to being real research. Once you come to accept that, going through the exercise of setting up dramatizations of real research work probably seems pointless. If you know the results in advance, the exercise is just silly. What we have here are adults kitted out in lab gear, live action role playing as a real scientists at a real lab. Their published work is just for the purpose of financing their fantasy game.

The root cause of the replication crisis in the soft sciences is mostly due to the fact that it is it not science. It’s market research. They try to quantify some behavior in order to pitch an idea already popular in the mass media or with the managerial class. By slapping the word “science” on it, they are pitching their role as an authority. Bill Nye, the toaster repairman, has made a killing claiming to speak for science on behalf of the cult of Gaia worship. The Cornell Food Lab does the same thing, but for nutrition and food marketing.

This points to one flaw in Karl Popper’s famous definition of science. What is unfalsifiable is classified as unscientific. Science, according Popper, is that which can be invalidated or disproved. This sounds good until you look at the Cornell Food Lab. Everything they do can be invalidated, as almost all of it is nonsense. Therefore, it meets the definition of science as described by Popper. It also means that a pseudo-science can easily masquerade as science.

A better, more narrow definition of science is that science concerns itself with causation. If A causes B then science explains how A causes B. Analysis, on the other hand, points out that whenever we see B, we often see A, therefore, there is a correlation between A and B. That’s just observation. Statistical analysis takes observation further by apply probability to it. It’s not useless and it often aids science, but it is not science. It’s simply observation and analysis, and more often than not, pseudo-science.

The Tribal States of America

The other day, I heard someone use the word “kike” in public. I can’t remember when I last heard someone use the word in conversation. My grandfather would use it, along with WOP, Spic, Mic, Jew, Polack and other colorful euphemisms. That was just the way men of his generation spoke to one another. One of his old friends was Italian and he called him a “Guinea bastard” so often it may as well have been his given name. In turn, his buddies would call him a commie, a rook, a pinko, etc.

That was a long time ago. In our sensitive age, people are afraid to mention the race of a crime suspect, lest they get accused of blasphemy. The result is we get crime bulletins from the news that tell us the suspect is tall and bi-pedal. In fact, I’ve learned to take some pleasure in mentioning race in conversation, just to see the honkies flinch. Blacks and Hispanics never flinch, but honkies are so beaten down they come close to tears at the mere mention of race or ethnicity.

In the incident the other day, no one seemed to notice, although I probably missed the context. Still, I was bit surprised to hear the word in public. I don’t think “kike” was ever a slur as it has no negative connotations. It’s roots are supposedly from Ellis Island, but that could be apocryphal. It’s also possible the people I overheard were Jewish, and they were owning the insult, in the same way blacks use the word “nigger” in every other sentence. Given the complexion of the people in the room, my guess is they were not Jewish.

The hand-wringers all swear that we are reliving Weimar Germany and Trump is the 12th invisible Hitler the prophecies foretold. The inevitable result is the Cossacks galloping through the streets of Jewish neighborhoods. Maybe so, but I’m skeptical. Trump seems to get along well with the Tribe and he seems to love his Jewish grandchildren. He has quite a few Jewish advisers and business partners. Maybe they are not making Hitlers like they used to, but my hunch is he is not Hitler and we are not Weimar Germany.

Still, the special position for Jews in American may be changing. It’s impossible not to notice that the roster of people leading the opposition to Trump reads like a Manhattan law firm. It’s also hard to not notice that people with a precious metal in their name are wildly over-represented in America’s ruling elite. It’s fair to say that Jews in America are the new WASP’s, a narrow ethnic group that dominates the ruling classes. Instead of Pemberton and Prescott in the overstuffed leather chairs, it’s Goldstein and Silverberg.

As a result, it will become increasingly acceptable to make sport of the Jews, just as it was acceptable to make fun of the WASP’s in the prior century. I grew up in a time when all the rich people were portrayed by Hollywood as a cartoonish version of the Monopoly guy, plotting with others in the elite to block the advance of the lower classes. The horse-faced actor William Devane made a career out of playing the sinister WASP at the head of a conspiracy against the swarthy people, excluded from the best golf clubs.

I doubt we’ll ever see Hollywood treating elite Jews that way, since Hollywood is run by Jews, but you never know. The movie War Dogs was not very sympathetic to the two Orthodox Jews at the center of the story. Still, mockery of the new ruling elite will probably be restricted to the on-line culture, which is increasingly where people get their enjoyments. The Right Stuff’s podcast The Daily Shoah is a good example. It’s a blend of commentary, locker room humor and Family Guy style mockery of the Chosen People.

Whether or not this is a sustainable arrangement is debatable. Whites in American have never been anti-Semitic and have largely accepted the reality of Jewish success in America. In fact, most whites take some pride in it, seeing it as validation of America’s meritocratic culture. The millions of Muslims being imported will obviously be hostile to this arrangement. Hispanics and Asians don’t seem to care. Progressive whites, on the other hand, are increasingly anti-Semitic, suggesting there is a war brewing among the Cloud People. The Democrats coming close to putting Keith Ellison in charge is a good example.

There’s something else to consider. There are a decent number of Jews in the Dissident Right, supporting Trump and often sympathetic to the alt-right. For example, the news site Breitbart is run by Joel Pollak, an Orthodox Jew. Mickey Kaus has been on the forefront of the patriotic immigration issue. It’s entirely possible that American Jews will come to view multiculturalism and open borders as suicidal, because they are bad for the Jews. Israel, after all, is pretty much the opposite of what the American Left advocates.

It’s fair to say that the America now passing into history was one built by the northern WASP elite, that emerged after the Civil War. These were the men who got rich in the Industrial Revolution. They built a country in their image. They wanted to conquer the world and they did. The people in charge now, in the technological age, will remake America into whatever they believe will suit their purposes. The Tribal States of America will reflect their interests, their cultural prejudices and their view of what’s best for the people in charge of the country.

The God’s Must Be Crazy

Half a dozen years or ago, I had a Facebook page at the insistence of female friends, who told me I had to have a Facebook page. It did not last long as my life is not interesting and the lives of my friends are not interesting either. What killed the idea for me was that I kept seeing posts for “I Fucking Love Science!” and they were always from people with no math or science. The posts themselves were never really about science either. Instead, they were usually about confirming some belief bubbling up on the Left.

In other words, they were just using science as a placeholder for a transcendent authority that allegedly validated their preferences. Instead of claiming that God commands us to put more women and blacks into STEM fields, we’re to believe science is happier if we put more women and blacks into STEM fields, because, science!  I dropped Facebook a long time ago so I have no idea if it is still a thing, but I see there is a website for it now. By the looks of it, it is the same act.

For as long as I can remember, the Left has been claiming that science confirms their beliefs and preferences. Not that long ago they use to claim that socialism was based in science. Today it is multiculturalism. At least once a week, someone, not knowing the difference between statistics and science, makes a claim that science demands we fling open our borders to the gathering hordes. You see? Science says open borders is good, so only a science denier would oppose wholesale immigration and those people can be dismissed.

Science is not the only stand in for God that we have today. Libertarian economists worship at the altar of Castor and Pollux, or as they call them, Efficiency and Productivity. No matter the policy, they demand it be sent off to the druids of the local economics department so they can read the goat entrails and then forecast the policy’s impact on efficiency and productivity. For instance, clamping down on immigration is a bad thing because it lowers worker productivity and that makes the gods cross. Handing off trade policy to global planners is a good thing because it pleases efficiency.

The most stunningly absurd manifestation of this came from the libertarian economist Alex Tabbarok, who claimed the mystery cult of economics demanded open borders. He argued that your preferences are invalid unless you can please his gods and he was the guy who would decide if the gods were pleased. This is Bronze Age oogily-boogily and it exposes a truth about the Left in the modern era. While they may appear to have abandoned the Christian concept of God as a moral authority, in reality they just gave him some new names. They still point to the heavens and demand you submit.

That’s the thing you see with all of these sects within the Progressive hive. They maintain that old Puritan instinct where they assume to have special insights into the desires of the heavens and therefore they have a right to push everyone around. This is clear when you look at the campus war on whites. When the nutters demand the blanco check his privilege, they are claiming to speak for some mystical force that has decided that the honky hegemony must be eradicated. They assume the gods are on their side and the accused must justify his actions or else.

It’s not just a mysterious supernatural authority that animates their morality. They have a list of demons and sub-demons they believe are at war with the forces of light. Racism used to be a white guy refusing to hire a black guy. Now, it is this thing called “institutional racism” which you can’t actually see or describe. It’s this dark force that results in the IT department being staffed with pale penis people, rather than looking like the multicultural paradise we all know is the natural destiny of man. We must fight institutional racism!

Feminist have also conjured a monster, the opposition to which has become their rallying cry. Campus Rape Culture™ is not a real thing in the sense that it exists. Instead, it is a metaphysical concept that causes all sorts of bad things. The result is we have a line of hungover coeds at the rape counseling center blaming the campus rape culture for why they woke up with their underwear on their head. The rarity of actual rape on campus is held up as proof of the insidiousness of Campus Rape Culture™.

Eric Hoffer said, “Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a devil.” This is true, but the latter always results in the creation of the former. Once the great evil has been identified and described, there has to be a moral code in response to it and that requires a transcendent authority to animate. Otherwise, the moral code is just a list of preferences that can be disputed or discarded. If those preferences have the color of authority, one beyond the reach of man, then it has power.

That’s what we see with the various utopian tribes in the modern age. Modern Progressive have “the right side of history” as their spirit god. Libertarians have Efficiency and Productivity. The open borders crazies have “it’s who we are” and Buckley Conservatives have “conservative principles.” All of which serve as a supernatural authority whose word trumps any argument made by men in opposition. It also gives the adherents license to use any means necessary to impose their morality on the rest of us.