A Little Baroque

This being Good Friday and Easter weekend, I thought it would be wise to go with some subdued musical selections. I must admit that using Black Sabbath did cross my mind, but I know I have a fair number of religious listeners and readers. That and this is one of the times of year I miss going to mass. As I get older I appreciate ritual more, of course, but I always liked Easter services. It just felt like there was a sense of expectation.

A German I follow on twitter mentioned French baroque music the other day, and the fact that it is nowhere near as popular as German baroque. The sad fact is, French culture is just not very popular anywhere these days. It’s a pity, but the exchange got me listening to some French baroque this week. I’ve decided to use it in the podcast, as it reminds me of church. I’m sure following this, French baroque will become the rage in Europe.

This week I have the usual variety of items in the now standard format. Spreaker has the full show. I am up on Google Play now, so the Android commies can take me along when out disrespecting the country. I am on iTunes, which means the Apple Nazis can listen to me on their Hitler phones. Of course, the Hitler Phones are so slow now, you may never finish. YouTube also has the full podcast. Of course, there is a download link below.

This Week’s Show

Contents

  • 00:00: Opening (Music)
  • 02:00: The Galileo Moment (Link) (Link)
  • 12:00: Cops and Robbers (Link) (Link)
  • 22:00: Cloud People and Dirt people (Link) (Link) (Link)
  • 32:00: The Bust Out (Link)
  • 37:00: The Eugenic Future (Link)
  • 42:00: The White Man’s Burden (Link) (Link)
  • 47:00: The Surveillance State (Link)
  • 52:00: FBI Shenanigans (Link) (Link)
  • 57:00: Closing (Link)

Direct Download

The iTunes Page

Google Play Link

Full Show On Spreaker

Full Show On YouTube

Techno-Feudalism

Feudalism, in the most general sense, is a set of obligations between a superior and a subordinate, based on land. The lord owns the land and grants access to the land to vassals. The lord provides services like protection and the imposition of order, while the vassal provides food rents, military service and labor to the lord. In practice, a lord could also be a vassal to a greater lord or a king. The result of this combination of relationships is the system we know as feudalism, that dominated Europe in the Middle Ages.

From the perspective of economics, the key components are land and labor, with land being the critical one. For most of human history, labor was interchangeable. German speaking peasants working estates in France were the same as Frankish speaking peasants. Wars were fought over land, so chasing off the other guy’s peasants, in order to take his land, made perfect sense. The land was the thing of value, while the labor that worked it was a commodity. The supply of peasants was never a problem.

The politics of a feudal system are simple. The arrangements were designed to serve the needs of the warrior nobility at the top the system. The lords may serve a king, but they also serve one another in defending and perpetuating the system. It is why innovation was often seen as a threat. If one lord could get much more from his fief, than the other lords, or even the king, then the power relationships all change. Feudalism, by nature, must be highly conservative, as it is based on legal and economic relationships never changing.

The other thing worth noting is that feudalism arises when an empire begins to decline or collapse. The central authority is no longer able to maintain order, so local power centers emerge that can protect land and impose order. Since no single local lord can impose order over his rivals, a system of rules and obligations evolve to handle relations between the local power centers. In other words, feudalism is what comes after the collapse of central authority. It is a return to a default position of local control and local autonomy.

The relevance of this to our age is that we are at the end of the liberal consensus or maybe even at the end of liberal democracy. The West is not an empire, in the way Rome was an empire, but there’s no doubt that the last 500 years of human history has been about the rise of Europeans and the evolution of European social order. The liberal order is base upon the nation state, which roughly corresponds to a single ethnicity. The people of that state own and control the assets of the state, picking rulers from their own people.

The role of the state has been the single focus of Western intellectuals since the Enlightenment. The evolution of economic arrangements, political arrangements and international arrangements, have all been in the context of the state. What is called the liberal consensus is the combination of all these things, based on each state having some form of liberal democracy. A nation gets to be in the liberal order if it holds elections and has a form of representative government, that is notionally responsive to its people.

What has become increasingly obvious, is that private entities now perform many of the duties formerly delegated to the state. Regulating political speech, has always been the job of the government, but now it is tech companies serving that role. Similarly, it used to be the job of government to control the financial system, even at the retail level. Today, firms like  PayPal or CitiBank are in charge of regulating and controlling access to the financial system. Even central banks now operate outside of national governments.

The result of this delegation of power is that the national authority is losing power over the societies it allegedly rules. This may be the natural result of globalism. As the states delegate important duties to international authorities, they lose the power to impose order domestically. The result is they must rely on private interests that are not constrained by constitutions and customs. In order for government to maintain the illusion of power, they have ceded domestic power to multinationals and tech giants, that they claim to regulate.

In feudalism, the political relationships between the warrior elite were about controlling land and defending it from those outside the alliance. The subjects working the land were not all that important. The post national world we are entering will be one where the global tech and finance giants control the flow of information, working with one another to maintain control of the system. Because a feudal system must be conservative, defending this new system will mean stamping out dissent and alternatives to the dominant platforms.

The thing about the feudal order was how effective it was at preserving itself. At the dawn of the French Revolution, as France began to emerge from feudalism, most people living in what was then France, did not speak French. They spoke regional dialects that dated back, in some cases, to the Roman Empire. Given the ability of tech giants to regulate the flow of information, it is not unreasonable to think they will be better at controlling and isolating people, as a form of defense in depth. Everyone will live on a data manor.

Puritans and Progressives

If you were going to put together a list of major mass movements in American history, a good list would look like this. Women’s suffrage, Social Gospel, Abolitionism, Temperance Movement, Efficiency Movement, The New Deal, Civil Rights Movement, New Left and maybe Neoliberalism. There are others, but that’s a pretty good list of the major ones. What’s remarkable, even looking at only the major ones, is the number. America is the land of reformers and proselytizers. It’s no wonder that Europeans think we are moralists.

The movements in the 20th century, starting with the Efficiency Movement, would usually be called Progressive. They usually get its own stall in the American mass movement bizarre, but Progressive is a good umbrella term for them. In fact, you can lump earlier movements in with the latter movements. All of them trace some of their roots to the Puritan founding of New England and all of them are spiritual movements. Unlike European mass movements, American movements are about communal salvation.

For the American Left, it always starts from some version of “a society is judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members.” This is part of its inheritance from the Puritans. While the Puritans that settled in America believed in predestination, only God knew who was chosen. Clues about one’s fate could be found in good works, church attendance and prayer. Part of that was making sure others did the same things, as they sought to discover their destiny. It’s why church attendance was mandatory for Puritans.

Similarly, this individualized concept of grace, meant an individualized reading of and interpretation of Scripture. That led to tensions, even open hostility, within the church. The solution was a strict hierarchy and consensus. If one could only find clues to their own salvation in a thriving community of believers, maintaining the community becomes paramount. That resulted in a forced consensus within each community. Dissidents were persecuted and even banished. A Puritan community functioned like a single organism.

It’s a good example of how the practical application of belief can result in practices that appear at odds with the belief. The Puritans rejected the concept of free will, but they still judged one another’s action, because leading a righteous life might be an indication of God’s grace. The righteous, of course, would never tolerate an obvious sinner in the community of believers, so policing the ranks for sinners was a potential sign of God’s grace. Everyone, even Puritans, wants to hedge their bets when it comes to grace.

Of course, anyone paying attention to the modern Left understands that forced consensus is at the heart of their beliefs. The constant cries for “unity” and the railing against those who “divide” or “polarize” is an effort to enforce consensus. It’s also why northern conservatives, like the Buckley crowd, are so fond of purging people from their ranks. It is a purity test, but also a way of removing trouble makers from the community of the righteous. Instead of Quakers, it is racists getting run out of the community.

Another thing that you see in all Progressive movements, rooted in Puritan New England, is the hunt for Old Scratch. The Puritans, like all Christians of the age, believed that Satan was a real thing and played a role in human affairs. They saw Satan as a creation of God, that punished the wicked, but also gave purpose to the pious. After all, if your deeds had no impact on the disposition of your soul and there was no price to be paid for sin, what would be the point of virtue? Satan solved half that problem for Puritans.

The post hoc fallacy is not new to this age. If you believe that bad things happen because of a lack of piety, then the only reason for the bad things happening to the community is someone cavorting with Old Scratch. The Puritans were uniquely susceptible to the witch panics, because they saw a direct causal link between sinners in the community and bad things befalling the community. The hunt for those working with Satan makes obvious sense. Combined with the forced consensus, Puritans were unusually paranoid.

Even though modern Progressives no longer explicitly talk about God or Satan, they still carry with them a fear of supernatural influences. The endless search for racists, for example, is just the same old hunt for Satan. If the community is not unified, it must be due to those polarizing types, who are responsible for white privilege, the glass ceiling or the rape culture. Now, suburban white mothers are fretting that their sons may be cavorting with alt-right people on-line. Everywhere they look, dark forces are tempting the righteous

Communal salvation, forced consensus and the fear of Old Scratch inevitably means a sense of alienation to the outside world. Read any description of Puritan life and you see a hostility to outsiders. This is another thing you see with all Progressive mass movements and you certainly see it today. The modern Left is consumed with defining who is inside and who is outside their thing. The people inside are the righteous, while the people outside are all evil. In fact, maintaining the boundary is what defines the modern Left.

Like the Puritan communities of the past, Progressives are inward looking. Those outside the movement are assumed to be hostile others. It’s why they have so many words that simply mean “people outside the walls.” The phrase “right-winger” is used interchangeably with the word “Republican” even though they are almost opposites at this point. To the Progressives, they both mean outsider. Puritans did not waste a lot of time understanding the difference between Quakers and Episcopalians. They just had to be chased off.

This binary world view has another effect. For Progressives, there are only two possible answers to any question and they are mutually exclusive. There is the righteous answer and the false or evil answer. It’s why they spend all of their time “debunking” human science. If they can defeat the evil answer, it means the righteous answer triumphs and, by extension, they are the righteous. It’s also why the concept of casual indifference is alien to Progressives. In a world of good and evil, there can be no compromise.

This is a good place to note that a generation ago, Progressives smugly put Darwin fish on their Subaru. Today, they shake their fist at the “scientific racists” using new finding in genetics to reveal the origins of modern people. Because unity is the promised land, anything that divides people is the work of Satan. It’s why racism is the great bogeyman of the Left. The growing mountain of scientific data revealing the diversity of modern humans, is seen as a gathering storm, threatening the righteous. Science is now Mordor.

There are other Puritan aspects to modern Progressives, things like conformity and an affinity for black clothing, but the important influence is the spiritual one. The Puritans were utopians, when you strip away all of the mythology and lore. They came to the New World to build their ideal community. When Reagan spoke of the “city on the hill” he was speaking to a spiritual sensibility that started at Plymouth. It is a spiritual sensibility that is the animating force of northern conservatives and America Progressives.

Day Walkers

In the novel I Am Legend. the hero finds himself, apparently, as the lone survivor of a pandemic that turns people into a form of zombie-vampire. The infected get a fever, appear to die, but then turn into a blood thirsty monster that desires to kill and eat other living creatures. The book is credited with starting the genre that remains a popular concept for movies and TV series. The book is a little more realistic, in that the monsters are not un-dead. They are merely infected with some sort of virus.

Unlike most Hollywood versions, the book sets up an interesting set of conditions that makes the hero’s story plausible. Again, the infected are not rotting corpses running around randomly looking for brains. Instead, the infected have a degree of awareness and sentience. They coordinate their efforts, plan ahead and seem to understand what’s happening to them. They are also strictly limited to nighttime activity. That means they come out well past sunset and retreat before dawn.

This sets up the bulk of the book. The hero has about 14 hours per day to operate, free of the vampires. The story is set in Los Angeles, so weather is not an element of the story. He uses his time to make his home impenetrable, scavenge for supplies and research the cause of the pandemic. Because he has nothing but time, he eventually figures out that some sort of a virus has infected everyone and he uses this information to get better at killing the vampires as they sleep in their hiding places.

The book is worth reading, even if you have seen all of the Hollywood zombie shows. The purpose here though is the math of the situation. The surviving humans in such a situation, where society is slowly being conquered by a weird rage virus, would be faced with a simple problem. They own the daylight hours and therefore must use that time to overcome their disadvantage at night, when the infected come out to hunt. Put another way, they must win more in the daytime than they lose at night, in order to survive.

Let’s assume a scale of zero to ten. The infected, relative to the humans, have the maximum ability at night. They are a ten for the ten hours a total darkness, because their senses are tuned for it by the virus. Humans, in contrast, usually sleep at night and are not nocturnal creatures. We can still operate, using artificial light and other contrivances, but at best we are maybe a three. Some people will be better than others, but over all, the human effectiveness is a three. Simple math gives the vampires a 100-to-30 edge at night.

Now, things change in the daylight. The ten ours when the sun is clearly in the sky gives the humans their best advantage. It is the ultimate advantage because the vampires are in their sleep phase. The humans are at a ten in the daytime, while the vampires are a zero, so this changes the math to humans 130, vampires 100. If we take the in between hours around dusk and dawn, and generously give the vampires a five and the humans an eight, then the overall math is humans 132, vampires 120. The humans have a slight edge.

The thing is though, the humans have a period of unrestricted movement. This unlimited advantage during the day means they can reset the battlefield every day, giving themselves a little edge in the nighttime. They could vampire-proof their compounds and expand their safe area by going around and clearing the vampires out from their hiding places. This is what happens in the book. The hero gets so good at killing vampires in the daytime, that their numbers rapidly diminish during the night. He’s slowly winning.

This makes for a bad movie, so the script writers make the humans extra stupid so they never take advantage of their assets. They also make the infected super-human or able to defy the laws of physics in some way. They know the audience will side with the humans and they know people like being in the underdog role. The long running television series, The Walking Dead, has the infected magically animated, even as their flesh is long past the point of being useful. It is animated skeletons like Jason and the Argonauts.

This is the mistake outsider political movements often make. They see themselves as the humans, fighting some evil, rather than viewing themselves as the virus infected zombies looking to overthrow the natural order. What makes the Matheson book so good, is he looked at the situation from the point of view of the infected, not just the hero. In the book, some of the infected begin to figure out how to operate in the daytime hours. They are not maximally effective, but they can function. This completely changes the math.

When Richard Spencer walks onto a college campus to give a speech, he is no different from an infected zombie vampire showing up in a camp of humans, to sell the benefits of vampirism. It’s no wonder they set upon him with a fury. More important, he is operating in their space, where they have an infinite advantage. It’s a fight that the infected cannot win, because they have no ability to operate in that environment. The same is true of planned public protests. Charlottesville was just a vampire killing exercise for the Left.

Just as the vampires in the novel carried the day by adapting to the daytime and using that to subvert the advantages of the human, the alt-right needs to become day walkers. If instead of a Spencer strolling on campus to get killed, imagine an alt-right guy getting an IT job at the NYTimes. Imagine if Pax Dickinson was still operating as a CTO at a major media company, while helping the alt-right. It’s the reason the Left is obsessed with doxxing people. They lie awake at night thinking about day walkers getting inside the wire.

The alt-right and affiliated groups need to forget about confrontation. Sure, some of their members and supporters are there just so they can brawl with Antifa, but an army of Chris Cantwells is an army of vampires that are useless in the daytime. There’s nothing to gain from losing to the other side on their turf, playing by their rules. The alt-right needs to go underground, in order to become day walkers, with the ability to walk among the Left in their own areas, learning how to turn their advantages into liabilities.

March For Our Masters

When I was a kid, I always wondered why the people in the Soviet Union just put up with being ruled by the commies. Even discounting for the propaganda, the evidence was clear that Russia was remarkably poor, by the standards of the West, and that the Russian people knew it. There were too many stories from defectors about how Western goods were smuggled into the Iron Curtain countries. Even if the material stuff did not matter, the thuggery should have pushed people into revolt, but it never happened.

Later in life, I got to know an Iranian guy, who was in the US on some form of phony student visa. Iranians with some money would get their kids student visas in Europe and then they would come to the US. He had served in the Iranian army as a conscript during the Iran-Iraq War. He told me a story about how they cleared a minefield near Basra. They asked for volunteers from the Revolutionary Guard, who then ran through the field exploding the mines so the unit could follow them through the field.

Over the years, I have met other people who had lived in totalitarian countries or in the more fanatical Muslim ones. It seems they always have these sorts of stories. Most of the time they are not as colorful as the one my Persian friend told me, but they usually have the same sort of matter of factness to the telling of them. I always get the sense that the people telling the story don’t think these events are all that interesting, but its better than talking about the weather or what they had for lunch last week.

The question that always comes to my mind, is whether ideological societies produce an excess of fanatics or simply evolve to use them like a natural energy source. The Bolsheviks figured out quickly that communist economics were nonsense. There was no amount of tinkering to make it work, but the supply of true believers made it possible to keep the system running, long after the people in charge knew it was hopeless. Without the zealots, the Soviet system would have collapsed after Stalin died.

The same thing is true of the Iranian theocracy. The energy of the revolution kept it going through the difficult early years, but that energy is long gone. The students who sacked the American embassy are in their late fifties and early sixties now. Many died in the Iraq War. The regime itself long ago descended into petty corruption. Still, there are plenty of fanatics willing to spy on a neighbor, in the name of the revolution. Like the Soviets, the mullahs seem to be powered by an endless supply of zealots.

When I look at what’s happening with the latest round of gun grabbing in America, I wonder if we are simply overflowing with rogue fanatics, looking for a cause, or, is the cultural revolution creating them, like batteries to fuel their latest push to slam the cage door on us? When you see bizarre posts like this from old men of the revolution, slobbering over the children now running around promising more revolution, the causal relationship is not all that obvious. It’s a snake eating its tail.

Of course, these public events are not organic or spontaneous. Daniel Greenfield has tracked down the money and it is clear this latest spasm of gun grabbing is financed by the same radical ideologues behind the Womyn’s March last year. Still, are these people financing the new fanatics because they need them or are the fanatics just always there, ready to run into the nearest minefield? Maybe natural selection plays some role, where the rewards for zealotry slowly increases the supply each generation.

I wonder what people in Iran or maybe Russia think about this stuff. There are plenty of people in Eastern Europe, who lived through the Soviets, so they probably recognize these organized propaganda riots. Instead of the state marching the children off to reeducation camps to train for the next parade, the camps are sponsored by Global Mega Corp and the parade is financed by a sports team. Is the fact the system is run by corporate ideologues rather, than religious or political ideologues a big difference?

Theodore Dalrymple famously said that communist propaganda was intended to humiliate and degrade the people repeating it in public. That may be true and it may simply have been a byproduct. Similarly, ideological authoritarianism like we see in America and Iran, may not set out to create fanatics, but it is a natural result. The zealotry that animated the regime in the early stages, becomes its sole purpose. It lives to create a new generation of fanatics, who push aside the old ones and start the process all over again.

In this regard, radicalism is like a pathogen. If it kills the host too quickly, it can not spread to new hosts, but it must always spread to new hosts. This is why radicals, since the French Revolution, have obsessed over children. The sight of ridiculous twinks like David Hogg promising a revolutionary bloodbath fills the Boomer radicals with joy, as they know the disease has been transmitted to the next generation. The radical pathos lives on, even as it kills the host. Radicalism feeds on the cancer of zealotry, until it kills the host society.

That gets back to where we started. Most Americans know the people behind the weekend’s orchestrated proselytizing are crazy. Parading children out to lecture the adults is creepy and weird. The last ten years has been an endless freak show of degeneracy and depravity. Yet, the public goes along with it. Those who speak out against it are hurled into the void, and the so-called conservatives mutter about hypocrisy, but otherwise, the radical orgy of depravity staggers on undeterred. The nut-job army serves its purpose.

Answering My Critics

My Letter to the Anti-Semites got a lot of action and more than a few complaints. In fact, there were so many comments, e-mails and replies on social media, I started to lose track. I did promise to address some of them and there is a theme to most of the push back, so this post should cover most of the territory. The longest response was from someone calling himself Spencer Quinn, posted at Greg Johnson’s site, in the form of a letter. Since it covers the bulk of the complaints, I’ll start with it first.

Let’s start with the first assertion. I did not describe antisemitism “as racism against Jews, but also as contempt for them.” Racism is a dislike for people of another race, usually blacks. Antisemitism is a dislike for Jews. I don’t think of either in moral terms, anymore than I would think of a dislike for ice cream in moral terms. I pointed out at the start that I once knew a guy who hated Greeks. I never understood his reason, nor did I care. There is no accounting for taste and a like or dislike of groups of people is a matter of taste.

Further, I never set out to argue for or against antisemitism. I simply stated why I was not interested in becoming an anti-Semite. My main reason is that anti-Semites never stop talking about Jews. It is an obsession that appears to consume their life, at the expense of everything else. So much so that anti-Semites are baffled as to why anyone would not want to be anti-Semite. They are sure that the only reason someone is not an anti-Semite is they are not up to speed on the latest theories and require additional proselytizing.

That may seem like a quibble, but it is vitally important. In common usage, racism and Antisemitism are about morality. The prevailing orthodoxy says it is immoral, a sin against nature, to prefer your own race or not like another ethnic group. I think that’s nonsense and reject it completely. In fact, a rejection of the prevailing orthodoxy’s moral framework is what animates this blog. Morality has no role in me not being a racist. I’m not a racist for the same reason I’m not into anime. I don’t find it interesting or useful.

Quinn asks, “What if you missed something in MacDonald’s analysis that would shake your skepticism a little bit?” Well, when the facts change, my opinions change. He then asks, “Is it possible to be completely swayed by all of MacDonald’s arguments and still not be an anti-Semite as you describe it?” Everything remains in the set of possible until proven to be impossible. Even then, there are black swans. McDonald makes some useful observations, but I’m not persuaded by his theory explaining them.

As I and many others have pointed out over the years, biology, geography and clannishness better explain Jewish exceptionalism in modern America. The case is far from closed, but it is a testable theory that does a better job of explaining observable reality than McDonald. The counter to this from the anti-Semites, one Quinn includes in his letter, is that Jews are never over-represented in right-wing intellectual movements. “Where is the right-wing Marx? Where is the Jewish Madison” they ask.

The easy answer is libertarianism. There would be no libertarian movement without Ludwig von Mises. There certainly would not have been an Austrian school of economics without Jews. Milton Friedman was probably the most influential economist on earth in the 20th century and he was no one’s idea of a leftist. Modern libertarianism is a sad joke, but their critique of socialist economics was monumentally important in the fight against communism last century. Again, that’s an obvious example that never gets mentioned.

McDonald, of course, would argue that head counting of this sort is pointless, because libertarians have no power or influence. He makes this point in this video interview the other day. Since no right-wing intellectual movement has ever had any success, this means that the Jews he cares to count, can only be in left-wing intellectual movements. This sort of deck stacking is why I don’t find his theory very persuasive. It’s just a tautology decorated with appropriated scientific jargon and speculative theories.

That brings me to this bit from the Quinn letter:

I think you might have anticipated this question since you included the caveat “not explicitly anti-Semitic,” as in, “Every intellectual movement since Jewish emancipation,that was not explicitly anti-Semitic, saw an over representation of Jews.” Ah, but this kind of puts the cart before the horse, doesn’t it? This implies that anti-Semitism came out of nowhere, as if in the late nineteenth-century Jews flooded all academic and professional fields except for the one that was dominated by people who were already anti-Semites. This ignores the possibility that the so-called anti-Semite got that way in large part after being exposed to the unswerving Leftism of the Jews.

Not to be rude, but this is nonsense on stilts. Western hostility toward Jews dates to at least the Romans. As Greg Cochran pointed out in his book, The 10,000 Year Explosion, we have zero evidence pointing to Jewish exceptionalism until well into the Middle Ages. In fact, Jewish exceptionalism very well may have been the result of extreme persecution of Jews at a certain point in the Middle Ages. The surviving population possessed a high IQ and the verbal dexterity we have come to associate with the Ashkenazim.

A common criticism, one you see all over Quinn’s letter, is best expressed as, “Why are all things I don’t like full of Jews?” I call this Magic Jew Theory. The anti-Semite is forever playing “Where’s Shlomo?” in an effort to pin his sorrows on the Jews. They root around until they find a Jew, shout “Eureka!” and then proceed to explain how it is all the fault of the Jews. When Kevin McDonald speaks of Jewish influence, he uses the same language Progressives use when describing structural racism. It’s a form of the post hoc fallacy.

All of this gets to the core of my critique of Progressivism and the Conservative response to it over the last half century. Progressives cast everything in moral terms. An idea or fact is either moral or immoral. They also demand that all opinions be connected with a moral authority on the subject. If you like something, you better have a reason. The result is an immoderate culture in which one is either all good, or all bad. There is never a middle ground. The world is divided into those inside the walls and those outside the walls.

Modern anti-Semites have embraced the same framework. The morality is turned on its head, with regards to Jews, but the JQ is entirely a moral issue for them. Similarly, it is not enough to just not like Jews. They have to have an authority dispense the correct opinions on all aspects of the issue. Kevin McDonald is not the Karl Marx of antisemitism. He is the L. Ron Hubbard. As we see with the American Left, the anti-Semite has a binary view of the world. You’re either on his pro-white team or you are a shabbos goy.

My argument, with regards to identity politics in the age of demographics, is that the winners will have developed a positive, independent identity around which to rally their people. The losers will be those who rely on exogenous forces to define them. Can antisemitism be useful in developing a positive white identity? Maybe, but not in its current form and certainly not by embracing crank science. That’s why I have no use for it. It’s not because it is immoral, but because it does nothing to further the cause of white people.

Closer To The Heart

When I was kid, I would watch a show on state television, that was produced by British state television. The show was called Connections. Even as a boy, I favored serendipity and chance as the most interesting historical forces. I also loved how he would pull all of these seemingly unrelated bits together into a single theme. That’s still with me and I struggle each week to do the same with the podcast. This week I may have stumbled onto a solution. Tying things together musically, rather than thematically may be the ticket.

One of the things I do with the blog is start with a subject line. Whatever happens to be on my mind at the time I start, I form a subject line and then write to it. I find it makes for quick work, usually about 30 minutes per post. For the podcast, I’m going to start with a musical genre or maybe a band and then keep that in mind as I select topics. Doing that this week made quick work of the process. I also like the result very much. This is a good show.

This week I have the usual variety of items in the now standard format. Spreaker has the full show. I am up on Google Play now, so the Android commies can take me along when out disrespecting the country. I am on iTunes, which means the Apple Nazis can listen to me on their Hitler phones. Of course, the Hitler Phones are so slow now, you may never finish. YouTube also has the full podcast. Of course, there is a download link below.

This Week’s Show

Contents

Direct Download

The iTunes Page

Google Play Link

Full Show On Spreaker

Full Show On YouTube

Demockery

Reading the news stories about what’s in the new spending bill, it is tempting to get outraged. Even if you are like me and don’t care about the spending, the other stuff tucked into it is outrageous. For example, there is a provision to limit border wall construction to a 33-mile stretch of nowhere. Of course, there is no money for the wall itself, as if it would matter. This means the project is dead, unless Trump goes Pinochet and starts throwing lawmakers out of helicopters. In this area, your vote in 2016 meant nothing. Suckers!

That’s just one thing. In a 1.3 trillion dollar bill that is over 1,300 pages of unreadable government speak, you can be sure there are thousands of “screw you” provisions in the thing. Since the government now uses a special language known only to a handful of monks imprisoned in the capitol, the bill is unreadable. Take a look at the Ceiling Fan Energy Conservation Act and try to understand what it is. The absurdity of it is the only thing that is easy to grasp. The people’s house is wrangling over ceiling fans.

Of course, not a single comma or line break is in any bill without first requiring a bribe to the legislator responsible for slipping it into the bill. The reason there is a such a thing as the Ceiling Fan Energy Conservation Act is the ceiling fan makers bribed a politician to make an alteration to the law that favors them in some way. The Alleviating Stress Test Burdens to Help Investors Act is one of those things that seems like a joke, but sadly, it is a serious effort to repeat the mistakes of the past. The free money spigot is about to open.

The response from the slightly less Progressive chattering classes will be a form “these Republicans are setting themselves up for disaster in the fall.” That’s true, of course. The GOP is looking down the barrel of a wipe out in the fall election. This monstrosity of a spending bill will make it worse, but they don’t care. The reason is the people running the GOP will retain their seats and positions. They will move into slightly smaller offices next year, but that’s just how the game is played. Everyone takes their turn in the small office.

From the perspective of the ruling class, a Democrat House is the ideal solution to their Trump problem. For the remaining two years of his tenure, nothing will make it out of the House that can pass the Senate, and nothing the President wants will pass either house of Congress. Trump will go into his primary against someone like Ben Sasse, financed by globalist money, having nothing to show for his first term in office. The ads showing a wide open border with the sound of Trump promising a wall will cripple his campaign.

Even if Trump does not face a primary, he will be so damaged that it may not matter. The interesting thing about how Washington has responded to Trump is they have mostly ignored him. Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell are a click away from starting a cable channel where they laugh at Trump voters 24×7. They have run Congress as if Jeb Bush won the 2016 election. Sure, they feign outrage in the media, but that’s just theater. For the most part, they have ignored Trump, making him a completely inconsequential factor.

It does not have to be this way, but Trump has proven himself to be strikingly incompetent at the basics of politics. Part of that is the professionals in DC have figured out that all they need to do is put a microphone in front of him and he will eventually harm his own cause, by blurting out something stupid. The political class has come to terms with the fact that the White House is now just a carnival they visit once in while to be amused and outraged, but otherwise they can ignore it. This spending bill is the product of that realization.

Of course, this is part of a larger problem with cosmopolitan globalism. The people in charge ululate endlessly about democracy, but the political class is immune from the effects of democracy. In years with high turnover, incumbents will win 85% of the races and those that lose, lose to be people backed by the donor class. Democratic government has always been a about representing monied interests, but usually those interests are diverse enough to create competition between the parties and factions.

In the age of cosmopolitan globalism, the monied interest all agree on the big stuff and most of the little stuff. The Koch Brothers are cast by the Left as evil monsters, but they support all the same stuff the rest of the billionaires support. The difference between a Tom Steyer and a Charles Koch is purely aesthetic. The former likes to dress up as a man of the green people, while the latter wants to play the libertarian character. In reality, they both support post-nationalism. That means open borders and global piracy.

The funny thing is that even as both parties take turns giving their constituents the finger, the public engages even more intensely with the process. My rather mild and measured critique of Trump’s gun grabbing the other day, elicited howls of protests from the MAGA hat people. Post-national democracy is a group version of battered wife syndrome. The more the ruling elite abuses the public, the more the public defends them. Of course, it helps that Trump was mostly right about the people who voted for him.

Still, the voting public seems to have developed a biological trait that allows them to justify endless abuse heaped on their heads by politicians. Perhaps it was always there, but re-purposed for life in liberal democracy. Through the Middle Ages, peasants and townsfolk put up with the excess of the aristocrats, rallying to defend their lord, as if it was a noble thing to do. In fact, obedience to the lord came to define the good subject. Maybe that’s what we have today. Voting is the pageant, but the social relations are still the same.

That said, at some point, one has to assume the public will notice that voting makes no difference. Right now, voting seems to make things worse. If a populist candidate or party does well, the political class punishes the voters with even more globalism. The results thus far suggest staying home is the best way to promote your interests. Eventually, even Trump voters will figure this out and disengage. On the other hand, maybe at some level we know it, but politics is just a way to pass the time, like going to the movies.

Winners And Losers

Mass movements always reach a stage where they can break through and become legitimate social forces or they can fizzle out and die. They either take the next step and begin to attract a larger audience or they reveal themselves to be a boutique fad. The neo-reaction movement of a decade ago is a good example of the latter. It was a big deal on-line for a while, but then it lost steam and faded away. Its two main idea men have moved onto other things. The alt-right is at the point where it either blossoms or it dies.

If a movement is going to outgrow the pot in which it was a seedling, the people in leadership need to regularly reassess. The New Left in the 1960’s went through several such resets, finally becoming an intellectual and cultural movement that swept the major institutions of the country. One of the early re-thinks for successful movements is coming to terms with previous failed efforts and failed leaders. The New Left figured out early on why the old CPUSA guys failed and made sure to avoid the same mistakes.

Last summer the alt-right fell into the  trap of Charlottesville and allowed themselves to be aligned with the bogeymen the Left has been using for generations to scare white people away from identity politics. Guilt by association is powerful stuff, because it works in a mass media culture. It really works when one sect controls the mass media. The result of locking shields with various white nationalist groups on TV was that the alt-right has become tied, in the public mind, to people who are proving to be unstable and unreliable.

The alt-right, if it is going to be anything more than Stormfront with better websites, is going to have to build its own thing, clearly separate and independent of the old white nationalist guys of the past. It has to stand alone and that means cutting all ties with the guys who like marching around in public pretending to be the freikorps. Whatever arguments can be mustered in their defense, there’s no getting around the fact these groups have had half a century to make their case and they have failed miserably at ever turn. That’s a clue.

Exclusively racist groups are not the only failures of the past worth considering. The paleocons were smart, creative and energetic, but they were outmaneuvered and eventually purged by the political elite. It’s hard not to admire guys like Paul Gottfried and Pat Buchanan, who have spent their lives fighting the good fight, but it is also hard not to notice that they failed. Sam Francis was a great thinker and everyone should read him, but there is a reason these super smart guys were never able to carry the day politically.

The reason they failed is they made the mistake of thinking the other side was reasonable and amenable to their arguments. The paleocons wanted to be in the club, not burn the club down. It was this desire to belong that was used to derail them. Even today, after all that has happened, these old guys still talk like this is just an argument between friends. It is this unwillingness to accept the enemy at face value that killed the paleos. If the alt-right is going to thrive, it has to accept that what comes next is revolution, not reformation.

Another useful lesson from past losers is getting the chain of causality wrong. For as long as anyone has been alive, right-wing movements have started with politics first, hoping to rally people to sway elections. The result in every case was the effort being hijacked by political opportunists, who quickly set about trading the goals of the cause for entree to the political class. The Tea Party is the most obvious recent example. It was an authentic grassroots movement that was quickly hijacked and sold off piece by piece to the GOP.

The one thing about rejecting the losers of the past is it clears the mind so you can objectively examine the winners. The winners of the post-war cultural revolution won for a reason. One reason is they built their politics on top of a cultural movement. The 60’s counter culture started long before the radicals of the 70’s started taking over Democratic politics. In other words, there were lots of people ready to vote for someone that spoke their language and understood their perspective, before the radicals entered politics.

I watched a documentary about the Weather Underground and one of the things that jumped out to me was a statistic. By the middle of the 60’s, Students for a Democratic Society had 100,000 members. The thing is, the group started small or grew quietly, focused more on building membership than activism. Groups like Identity Evropa may seem overly cautious, but the only way they can grow on campus is if the people in charge ignore them. If successful, there will be a time when they can’t be ignored.

Another valuable lesson from the New Left is they built independent organizations well outside the mainstream. Many of the fads of the era strike us today as being loopy and weird, but they served a valuable purpose. The radicals of the 70’s, who began invading the academy and politics, were born from these counter culture groups. Living outside the Eye of Sauron is even more important today, now that we have a full blown surveillance state. Public activism today is a good way to be flagged and destroyed by the state.

Related to that last point is something else worth noting from that documentary on the Weather Underground. The radicals of the 60’s and 70’s took every shot to establish who was inside and who was inside, especially when dealing with the media. They would charge establishment media a fee to attend their events, but grant free access to their guys. they would use insider language in public events, to make sure you knew if you belonged. It was highly effective at attracting and keeping people in the movement.

The alt-right, mostly through serendipity and dumb luck, has a chance to be a legitimate right-wing mass movement. That’s not going to happen if they keep blundering into unforced errors. The fiasco of the Traditional Worker’s Party should be a wake up call for the people leading the alt-right. They have to get smarter and they have to stop screwing up. The alt-right needs to get smart, or it will end up in the same dustbin of history as previous white identity movements. That means learning from the winners and the losers.

The Logic Of Empire

The first time I did any serious reading of the Roman Empire, the thought that was always with me was why they never thought to downsize. The cost of conquering Gaul was relatively low, so it made sense to do it, but the cost of hanging onto it never seemed to make sense. The same was even more obvious with Britania. By the third century, it should have been obvious, at least from our perspective, that the Empire needed to be downsized and re-organized. Yet, that was never a part of the logic of the Empire.

I had a similar thought when reading about the Thirty Years War the first time. The Habsburgs were exhausting themselves trying to preserve something that was probably not worth the effort. Of course, we look at these things in hindsight and from a modern perspective. It seems silly to care about the local religious practices, but important people did care about these things and still do. Still, when I read about the rise and fall of empires, I end up thinking through the alternatives, wondering why they were never considered.

The answer is probably the simplest one. People, even the shrewdest rulers, live and plan within their allotted time on earth. Even the Chinese, who take the very long view of things, act in the moment most of the time. People can think about how their actions will impact their descendants a century from now, but it will never have the same emotional tug as how their contemporaries think of them in the moment. That’s just human nature. Most men will trade the applause of today for being remembered long after he is dead.

That’s probably what we are seeing with the current struggles of Western elites to keep this house of cards together. The “liberal international order” is the perfection of a solution to problems of the long gone past. From the French Revolution through the Cold War, the great challenge in the West was over borders, economics and conflict resolution. After a long bloody series of experiments, the West finally figured out something that worked to keep the peace, maximize material wealth and settle disputes in an orderly fashion.

The trouble is, the current arrangements are not answering the questions of this age. In fact, they appear to be exacerbating the problems that face the West. Angela Merkel’s decision to invite in a million Muslim warriors made her the hero of her contemporaries, but it guaranteed that generations of Germans will be engaged in a long twilight struggle to save themselves and their people from the terror of contemporary Islam. A generation from now Merkel will be remembered in the same way people remember Chamberlain.

Of course, when we talk of the West we are really talking about the American Empire that arose following World War II. Washington has its tentacles in every nook and cranny of the world. The United States has active duty military troops stationed in nearly 150 countries. The cost of this is close to a trillion per year, not counting the unknown sums that are not in the budget. If the American ruling class decides it is time to downsize the empire, then the liberal international order is finished. The Pax Americana ends.

That’s probably why the American ruling class puts so much effort into maintaining this empire. Assuming it is true that the top 5% of Americans pay 60% of taxes, the cost of empire is mostly paid by rich people. Rich people like peace and stability, so fear of the alternative keeps them invested in a system that no longer makes any sense. The internal contradictions of this empire may even be known to the people in charge, but the way out of it is not clear, so they stick with what has worked for generations, no matter the cost.

Inertia plays a part in these things too. To abandon what their ancestors built would seem like failure, so our rulers keep throwing good money after bad in places like Afghanistan and Mesopotamia. If there is a reason to be involved in the Syrian civil war, not one has said it, but there we are anyway. If Putin wants to set himself up as a modern day Tsar, what’s it matter to us? We have an army of specially trained Russia experts, and of course the hoof beats, so our rulers keep pretending Putin is a super villain.

The truly weird thing about the American Empire is it started as a homogeneous nation, composed of English speaking white people. The Romans bankrupted themselves trying to keep the barbarians out, while going to great lengths to integrate those that came in through conquest and migration. America is bankrupting itself trying to import barbarians from every corner of the globe, while going to great lengths to police the fringes of civilization. The point is to keep the current arrangements in place, no matter how illogical.

Again, it is an error to assume the people in charge are thinking this stuff through. Lots of smart people were bamboozled into thinking China would get rich and become a modern western style democracy. Sure, the people who talked those smart people into this foolishness were in it just for a quick buck, but that just proves the point. The people in charge of the West are not thinking too far past next week. They do what seems to work today, what brings them applause or a quick profit, no matter the long term cost.

That’s probably the best way to think of the logic of empire. No one lives in the long term, because as Keynes said, in the long run we’re all dead. Ultimately, relative to the march of history, everyone in charge at all times and all places has a high time preference. The people in charge are just getting what they can from the current arrangements. It’s why they instinctively defend the system. It’s what provides them with the lifestyle they believe they deserve. That and it is all they know. Men of the empire are not risk takers.