The Blinkered Class

Since the 1960’s, maybe earlier, the American academy has said that America is an anti-intellectual country. I first heard this said when I was a freshman in college. A professor said that America does not have academics or experts in politics like Europeans. Instead, intellectuals are kept locked up in the academy. This opinion appears to have formed in the post war years and became an article of faith in the 60’s. This was all before my time, but it strikes me as something the Boomers would have cooked up.

I always associate this attitude with the false worldliness that is common on the Left, particularly among Progressive politicians.The Clintons were two hayseeds from the Ozarks, but they carried on as if they were citizens of the world. Obama has a habit of pronouncing foreign words with the foreign accent associated with the word. He was raised abroad and never picked up the basics of another language, just the funny accents, like a bad comic from the 70’s.

Americans are anti-intellectual, but very much pro-expert. Foreigners often remark on this weird quirk, which is an English habit we inherited from the mother country. The Brits are nuts about experts. Have a problem around the house? Go find a man in a shed, who is a specialist at that particular problem. We have a bias against generalist and we have bias in favor of the practical application of knowledge. Learning a bunch of esoteric stuff just for the sake of learning it strikes most Americans as a bit pointless and dishonest.

When it comes to the topic of anti-intellectualism, the focus should be on the chattering classes, which in America operates as the megaphone for public policy experts. The vast managerial class that controls all aspects of society listens to these people. Most Americans, for example, don’t bother watching the chat shows and cable news channels, other than when something big happens. On the other hand, the managerial class, particularly the vast army of government bureaucrats, pay close attention.

It’s why the chattering skulls appear to live in a bubble, divorced from what is happening in America. Their lives are devoted to those who pay attention to them. They write and talk about what they know to people who live and work in politics. It’s why Charles Murray is treated like Marco Polo by the managerial class. He is one of the few to wander off campus and visit the country. His observations about Americans are read like Jonathan Swift, by the intended audience. Most probably think he is a fiction writer.

This obtuseness is everywhere in the chattering classes. This post I saw on NR reads like a parody. The guy who wrote it gives off a Rip Van Winkle vibe, as if he has been asleep for the last few decades. The PC terror campaigns waged in corporations and on social media are well documented. The people in the chattering classes, on the other hand, are just noticing. The article that is the subject of the post is worse. It reads like an essay for the Efficiency Society. Someone should send him Vox Day’s book.

This post, by the retired Marxist Ron Radosh, is another example of the insularity of the chattering classes. He is long past his expiry date so maybe he can be forgiven for not noticing that those “conservatives” are not conservative. They are Trotskyites just like him. They wandered over to the GOP because they feared the return of the Tsar, but otherwise, they retained all of their Progressive inclinations. The only people unaware of this are those in the chattering classes.

It is not just the B and C level talking heads. This post by big shot libertarian economist Tyler Cowen is a master work of juvenile vacuity. His great insight is that people don’t like paying for their own health care. He thinks Democrats are refusing to acknowledge this. Everything about the Democrat Party over the last century has been based on the free lunch, yet Cowen suspects they are trying to hide this from us. Cowen is a sheep in sheep’s clothing, by posing as an intellectual pretending to be an anti-intellectual.

Wu Zetian is credited with expanding and developing the imperial exam system during the Zhou dynasty. Wu could also be considered the first power-skirt, or perhaps the first power-gown. The exam system was used to recruit and train the best and brightest to work in the imperial administration. During the Song dynasty, the system was formalized throughout China. It was highly competitive, as it was the only way for an ambitious person to gain status in Chinese society. China became a land of scholar-bureaucrats.

The system also became increasing narrow, rewarding the memorization of select philosophical texts, to the exclusion of more practical knowledge. The result was a boiling off of the curious and critical. The one sure way to lose your place was to ask questions or be too curious. The system was great at promoting and enforcing conformity, but it resulted in a ruling class lacking the necessary technical skills to constructively address the world. It resulted in a ruling class that prized not noticing above all else.

A good example of how this warped the Chinese intellectual class, is the story of the first telescope brought to China by Western missionaries. The Chinese were duly impressed, but instead of using to understand the heavens, they wanted to use it for better fortune telling. This story is often cited as an example of how centuries of mandatory conformity can cripple an otherwise smart people. It is also often cited by modern population geneticist as an example of what is happening today with genetics.

Pulling the threads together, what seems to be happening in our chattering classes, and our academic classes as well, is a narrowing of thought to the point where the most prized ability is never looking up from the approved text. You cannot comment about the fly on your friend’s face if you never look at his face. In order to achieve unity and collegiality, our managerial class is adopting a monocular political ideology that screens out applicants at the college level, and boils off non-conformists, who slip by the gate keepers.

Again, it is ironic that the person credited with the imperial exam system was a woman, given that the modern exam system is increasingly dominated by women. It used to be that college was for men to acquire skills. Now it is a place for women to learn the rules and how to enforce them. It’s not a surprise that our intellectuals, the chattering classes, are increasingly blinkered. Rare is the scholar who possess anything resembling useful skills. Instead, they memorize the rules and how to cleverly restate them.

The imperial exam system served China well, but only after she conquered all of her neighbors and unified the Han people. The system was about locking in the gains of the past. What that says about the modern managerial class is open to debate. Perhaps they are solidifying control as globalism supersedes the nation state. Perhaps, like we see in modern business, the arrival of the SJW signals collapse. Regardless, we seem to be heading for anti-intellectualism, driven by the product of the managerial exam system.

80 thoughts on “The Blinkered Class

  1. >Pulling the threads together, what seems to be happening in our chattering classes, and our academic classes as well, is a narrowing of thought to the point where the most prized ability is never looking up from the approved text.

    I submit that you’re dancing around a key aspect of organizational behavior.

  2. “The system was great at promoting and enforcing conformity, but it resulted in a ruling class lacking the necessary technical skills to constructively address the world. It resulted in a ruling class that prized not noticing above all else.”

    “A ruling class that prized Not noticing above all else.”
    This Line defines our present Political class to a Tee.
    It’s also how we can still deny whom our Mortal enemy is at this late date.

  3. “It used to be that college was for men to acquire skills. Now it is a place for women to learn the rules and how to enforce them.”

    Excellent – I will be using that one.

  4. A good resource for a detailed look at anti intellectualism in the USA is the Pulitzer winning 1963 book by Richard Hofstadter “Anti Intellectualism in American Life.” He looks at four areas- religion, politics, elementary education and business – as incubators/nurturers of this impulse. In general, he posits that Americans mistrust “experts”in the sense of elite eggheads, but will happily turn to specialists to get a job done, which is more a measure of pragmatism.

    Donald Trump would seem to be as good example of someone that embraces this anti intellectual tradition. He seems incurious and not much interested in the life of the mind. The focus of his education (B.S. In the real estate program at Wharton) and subsequent life has been pragmatism- getting things built and completed. That’s why the intellectual/chattering class hates him so much – he is not only an outer-borough vulgarian, but also evinces not a whit of interest in the traditional markers of a liberal arts education. In historical terms, he is the nouveau riche Vanderbilt come to overturn the ossified world of the Astors and knickerbockers.

    • Bingo. Somehow folks overlook that Trump was the grandson of a self made immigrant and the son of another. His father knew his son had to be “credentialed”, so he sent him to Wharton. But having the advantage of knowing a few people in the real estate business who are on a first name basis with him–he retains that “immigrant on the make” relentless focus on the practical. But that has always driven the cultural elites around here nuts. They need his money and his Rolodex, but wish he would go back to Queens. Frankly, it is Christmas. Every. Day. watching the squirming and gnashing of teeth.

  5. The anti-intellectualism of the ’60’s is being mischaracterized. It was much more about intra-elite conflict than anything else. At least that’s how I remember it. The chattering class of non-technically competent strivers (unknowing adherents of the Chinese System) resented the fact that many scarce and lucrative places in the elite structure of that time were held by technically competent upstarts, products of WWII. That resentment was reciprocated. But the chattering class, dominating the media, had the last word.

    Prior to WWII, the English System of elite selection was in force, not the Chinese System which dominates now in a bastardized version. Under the English System average-to-above elite kids went to the U to study the classics of the Western Cannon under the umbrella of a Liberal Arts education. But the main point of the exercise was to acquire some intellectual polish plus age-cohort social connections. As evidence, ‘gentleman’s C’ was very much in vogue. That was because, upon graduation, their *parents’* social connections were going to get them set up in some agreeable situation. Those students with political ambitions/connections ‘read the law’. Only those few unable to attain or maintain the ‘gentleman’s C’ *somewhere* had to make less agreeable life plans. This system sufficed to populate the elite with mainly their progeny.

    But WWII changed everything. Suddenly great numbers of competent leaders with current technical skills were urgently needed. So specifically directed technical education had to be grafted into the U, asap. After the war, those who succeeded through it could hardly be sent back down to the minors.

    • Anti-intellectualism of the ’60s: Mick Jagger was (and still is) extremely intelligent and had a lot of sex with a lot of beautiful girls. (He would have been Shelley if he’d been born two centuries earlier.)

  6. The Cowen comment got me. Many years ago I read the correspondence between Augustine and his son (I can’t remember why). In one letter, out of the blue Augustine says that no one wants to pay his physician.
    He was writing in the era when Goths were making their way through Italy and sacking Rome.
    Either people have always tried to get out of paying their doc, or doing so is a sign of civilizational decline, in which case we are 100 years into our decline.

    • It is human nature to pick the low hanging fruit. We like free shit. It’s why we should always avoid schemes that encourage this behavior. They all lead to the tragedy of the commons.

  7. Americans do not value idea people enough.

    Getting things done, practical knowledge is very admirable and it’s healthy for everyone to have some exposure to the “dirt” aspect of being to be a balanced and complete person. I don’t think it’s coincidence that Socrates was a soldier and Plato a wrestler.

    But people who know how to do things but don’t understand ideas are just willing meat instruments for their handlers.

    The realm of ideas and intellect, when not reduced to conformity and political shilling, is the study of the meta, the framework in which society takes place.
    If you can’t examine the ideas of your society, the culture, government, you end up just a tool for clever bankers and politician-parasites.

    I find this Yang reaction to an excess of Yin to be a healthy thing but we should realize the alt-internet itself is an academy. Ever try to explain red-pill doctrine with words like “hypergamy” and “frame-control” to a normie? You might as well be explaining transubstantiation to a pagan.

    • Not all “idea people” should be valued. Stalin, Hitler, and Mao were all idea people and their ideas led to genocide on an epic scale. We Americans tend to glorify our sports heroes more so than political leaders because we value freedom most highly of all, and recognize that tyranny is just one megalomaniac away.

      • giovanni has a point. The Allies won WW2 but it is the Frankfurt school and critical theory that runs the west

        • I doubt that the Frankfurt School and critical theory run the west, simply because no one can make sense of anything those guys say. The Communist Manifesto I can understand. Adorno? Gramsci? Foucault? No idea what they’re talking about. And I’m not THAT much stupider than the people who run the west … am I?

          • The Frankfurt School, also known as the Institute of Social Research (Institut für Sozialforschung), is a social and political philosophical movement of thought located in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. It is the original source of what is known as Critical Theory. The Institute was founded, thanks to a donation by Felix Weil in 1923, with the aim of developing Marxist studies in Germany. The Institute eventually generated a specific school of thought after 1933 when the Nazis forced it to close and move to the United States, where it found hospitality at Columbia University, New York.

            The academic influence of the “critical” method is far reaching in terms of educational institutions in which such tradition is taught and in terms of the problems it addresses. Some of its core issues involve the critique of modernities and of capitalist society, the definition of social emancipation and the perceived pathologies of society. Critical theory provides a specific interpretation of Marxist philosophy and reinterprets some of its central economic and political notions such as commodification, reification, fetishization and critique of mass culture.

            one of the leading members is a
            German émigré named Herbert Marcuse (1898–1979), who preached that freedom is totalitarianism, democracy is dictatorship, education is indoctrination, violence is nonviolence, and fiction is truth. Orwellian dishonesty – than what Marcuse called “liberating tolerance,” which he defined as “intolerance against movements from the Right, and toleration of movements from the Left.”

          • No one can understand them because it’s all bullshit, and they know it. They pulled off one of the biggest scams of the 20th century and it continues.

          • A good article. But I still think Critical Theory meets the definition of scam: a dishonest scheme; a fraud.

          • But if no one can understand them (which is true), then they haven’t really influenced anyone, and so they actually didn’t pull off a scam!

  8. Women have pretty well destroyed journalism, so I suppose it’s only a matter of time before they do the same to our school system. Good luck, young man.

    • Public schooling has become completely feminized. Leadership positions are increasingly female, especially principal, superintendents and athletic directors- yes athletic directors!

  9. I’m inclined to believe that the English bequeathed us the problem more than the Chinese. Our Ivies are patterned on the “ancients” (like Oxford and Cambridge) and New England obviously is an intellectual descendant of England. I don’t need to tell you that (contra Buckley’s assertion) we are ruled by the Harvard faculty, but I may need to point out that despising work and deciding that the intelligent should pick up nothing heavier than a pen is a specifically English malady (it definitely isn’t Scandinavian, German, or South European). The term “Gentleman” originally applied to entry level of the gentry classes (directly above yeoman). If you didn’t work, you were a good guy. If you labored, you were scum.

    Not knowing how to do things is still a sort of status symbol. I remember an episode of some dumb reality TV show featuring Paris Hilton (of the Hilton Hotel clan) and her rich friend, who didn’t know how to pump gas and floundered helplessly trying to fill up their BMW.

    Also, re: the Chinese, their testing system wasn’t only intellectually rigorous, but was physically painful (see “China’s Examination Hell” by Ichisada Miyazaki). Students were kept in small, concrete isolation chambers and not fed very much; some committed suicide before finishing their tests. It’s hard for me to imagine our own mandarin class making it through such ordeals (Jonah Goldberg would probably keel over if he missed brunch).

    • But the English gentry played cricket, “football,” and rugby (?), and boxed (Sherlock Holmes!) and fenced (?) too, while ours do Cross-Fit, kickboxing, Jiu-Jitsu, and long-distance running. (The New York City Marathon is basically a White Pride parade.)

      • Lacrosse and hockey are both still very white, which a few feather Indians thrown in for good measure.

  10. We will know that things have truly turned around when the chattering class is starving because no one will feed them anymore.

  11. Today’s public education system, based on the Austrian model hundreds of years ago, is built around a Imperial exam for the students to learn to regurgitate information instead of developing critical thinking skills. That’s why when they proceed on to college their brains are pre-conditioned to assimilate for gender study and Marxist theory brainwashing without question. It’s cradle to grave Pavlov conditioning.

  12. I believe Bill Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar, so I suspect he wasn’t your local hill-billy idiot who wandered into Yale law school on accident. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a fan of the Clintons, who they are or what they stand for. But please give credit where credit is due.

    To the point of experts vs. generalists, we often have this discussion at my office when talking about American ex-pats, especially engineers. Germans pride themselves on being subject experts, but I do admire the “just do it”, pragmatic way Americans deal with issues. It’s something we Germans can definitely learn from you.

  13. Considering what Radosh and D. Horowitz did to Diana West for her book “American Betrayal” they should both be cast into outer darkness.

    And for what? All for despoiling the haloed name of Frank the Cripple and his socialist/Marxist cabal that ran our .gov for decades. 

    Both of them are scumbags. May they rot in Hell after they finally die.

    • I enjoyed Horowitz’s books about his time as a radical. They are useful in understanding the rage zombies that continue to assault civilization. The thing that has always stuck with me thought, is one thing Horowitz wrote in Radical Son. He said that even thought he left Marxism, he will always think like a Marxist. There’s something compulsively destructive about these guys. They should never be trusted. Maybe not eternal enemies, but you should always be suspicious.

  14. The Clintons were two hayseeds from the Ozarks, but they carried on as if they were citizens of the world.

    Not to quibble, but the distaff half of that pair was born in Chicago and grew up in a suburb. I’m pretty sure that doesn’t count as the Ozarks. (I grant you that from her days as Ms. Governor in AR she affected an embarrassing pseudo-drawl.)

    Rare is the scholar who possess anything resembling useful skills. Instead, they memorize the rules and how to cleverly restate them.

    As someone with a fair knowledge of these beasts, I’d say you were confusing two related but distinct notions. If by “skills” you mean non-academic ones, well, of course they don’t! What they get is a knowledge of the ideas and concepts of whatever discipline they’re in.

    And “memorizing” rules is not at all what modern academics do, as if all that’s involved is parroting back some earlier work (as you suggest with “the memorization of select philosophical texts” regarding the mandarins). No, one doesn’t just memorize other people’s texts.

    What one does is become very conversant with the concepts and methodologies of whatever “school” you happen to follow in your discipline. The key to success is not to “cleverly restate” the “rules” (which actually is a pretty good description of the last stages of medieval scholasticism, when university life in the fifteenth century was split up between the “nominalists” and the “realists,” and a budding scholar just restated the orthodoxy of his school in a clever way, as you put it). Today, what you do is take some pre-existing theoretical construct, and apply it novel ways (perhaps tweaking it in terms of the theory itself or even combining it in some way with another theory). What this frequently leads to is a procrustean attitude towards the evidence, which is at times contorted/distorted to fit the theory).

    But you’re not entirely wrong in talking about “rules”. These aren’t the rules of the discipline, but the overall world view (Weltanschauung if you’ll excuse the expression) that permeates their overall understanding of how the world works. It should come as no surprise that the contemporary academic world is permeated with a generally leftist and/or Marxist underpinning (I’ll refrain from going into the shtick about the “Frankfurt school”, and there’s a lot of other sub-Marxist dreck in there like Derrida, Lacan and Foucault).

    While it’s not entirely true that there are no right-thinkers in academia today (even in the humanities), they are aves rarae, and are best advised to keep their contrarian views to themselves. Experto crede!

    • I readily conceded that both Clintons were a bit more cosmopolitan than my description, but in my defense, I enjoy calling them hayseeds from the Ozarks. That and they are evil.

      • Ultimately descended from Dirt People, both of them. He rolls with it, but she tries on personalities like changes of clothes, trying to figure out what she is. It is really rather pathetic.

    • Regarding the narrowness of academics, I was thinking more of that quasi-academic layer that exists between the academy and the political class. In the imperial capital, we have an army of these people squirreled away in weird little monasteries called think tanks. In the academy, there are still talented people doing honest scholarship. There’s also a lot of nonsense too, but I take your point.

      In that middle layer, it is almost all nonsense, dangerous nonsense.

      • Regarding the narrowness of academics, I was thinking more of that quasi-academic layer that exists between the academy and the political class.

        Perhaps we were talking at cross purposes. I don’t consider those people real academics at all.

        Oddly enough, I animadverted just the other day to the absence of “public intellectuals” in the English speaking world, and mentioned the Classicist Mary Beard as something of an exception. Of course, she is most noted in this regard for her unfortunate foray into the question of immigration policy in the UK. (Which itself is interesting, in that the older Classicist/politician Enoch Powell got himself into trouble decades ago with his famous Rivers of Blood speech on the same topic.)

        Anyway, you’re presumably aware of the brouhaha going on over at Sailer’s place regarding a piece about the Athenian Citizenship Law of 451 BC. In a newsletter managed by (of all people) Mark Zuckerberg’s sister, there’s an article giving a strange take on that law in connection with the current debate about US immigration law. It’s funny how often Classical history turns up in these modern debates (you do it yourself, of course, though you tend to cite Rome rather than Greece). And this is actually the second time he’s cited something from what’s basically the newsletter for an institute that deals with Latin pedagogy!

        Anyhow, whatever one thinks of the views in Eidolon, the people who write there are real academics, not the sorts of frauds that wash ashore in what you characterize as The Imperial Capital (or should that be Capitol?).

        • The blurring of lines certainly hurts the reputation of academics. Is Charles Murray an academic, public intellectual or just a gadfly? Malcolm Gladwell is treated as a public intellectual, but he is really just an attention whoring gadfly. There is a continuum with the quiet, bookish scholar at one end and the public nuisance at the other. The lines between each segment are not well defined, which allows for shenanigans.

          The weird proxy war being waged by Mx. Zuckerberg is a strange. This is not the first time she has done this. She seems to think that the heirs of Tsar Alexander III are using the classics to summon the dark forces of antisemitism so she is trying to wrench the classics away from them with these “novel” theories. It’s as if she has been reading some anonymous blogger who has a penchant for the classics and right wing politics.

          I dug into the SAT scores for various majors once. The highest scores belonged to classics majors. Humorously, education majors were at the bottom with business majors. I wonder if it is still true of classicists. My guess would be that a rigorous lowering of standards has gone on in order to add more blacks and women to the field. Having a cat lady like Mx. Zuckerberg running point is not encouraging.

        • When someone “animadverts” is he necessarily “verting” someone ELSE’s “anima”? If so, this might be done telepathically as well. It sounds weird to speak of telepathic “remarks”, so maybe “animadversions” would have a unique function in this telepathic context.

  15. I’ve worked at prisons. A man can spend a whole career in the units with the prisoners and never make lieutenant. A woman can come in with no experience, education, or training and in a few years never working on the tiers she can be superintendent (warden).

    Every government job promotes women well past their competency because there are just not enough competent women. It’s like companies and military chasing the talented tenth.

  16. Isn’t this how a hive organism gets its start? The females take over all of the important roles and the males are relegated to a short-lived existence as drones.

    Lately, that’s what I feel like we are really seeing here. Of course, hives aren’t well-known for diverse thought or innovation,

    • It’s not that they take over all the important roles. It is that they get in the door in the first place and then everybody is walking on eggs.

    • The amusing thing is, this hive is enforced by men with guns and legal teams that will destroy a white male who gets out of line. OTOH if you’re a Muslim and intent on raping a power skirt or tearing down society, the hive doesn’t much care.

      From the looks of it, the hive is suffering from a autoimmune disorder. It’s attacking and destroying itself while letting highly destructive foreign invaders come on in to finish the hive off.

      • It’s all the hive has, use of force. It offers nothing. It has to co-opt government and turn it to it’s use, it’s ideology is so repugnant to us men of the west, it has to use a leviathan of administrative tyranny, our government, to force people to comply with it’s diktat. That is where the legions of the amerikan Nomenklaturer class of administrative centralism comes into play. An entire class of payroll patriots that have created regulatory fiat that intrudes into every facet of the sphere of our lives.
        The old saying, the difference between a progressive and a commie, the commie has a gun, rings true.
        Problem though, the dirt people are armed to the teeth. They must tread very carefully on the dirt people. There are just too many of us dirt people who are armed and will use those arms. There is and never will be enough government actors to win against an insurgency of dirt people in a war of arms.

  17. Two observations. First, I’m happy to see someone notice how Obama simply mimicked other languages because he had never studied them. For example, he would routinely refer to France’s Holland as President {ooh-lahn}, which is exactly how someone who had no idea about the language might imagine he heard a Frenchman say the name.

    Second, this idea of keeping your head down is very deeply understood in the corporate world, as well. When I began working in that world, I had expected lots of alphas doing alpha stuff. It isn’t. Even the guys who should, by virtue of their position, be able to express an independent idea were unable to do so. The fruit of relentlessly selecting the curious, labeling them as not-team-players, and sending their careers out to pasture.

    Final thought: Trump is that guy who, if he started right out of college at a Fortune 500 firm, would have been quickly identified as trouble, passed over for promotion three times, and forced to look for a job someplace else, all the while having to explain why it was he couldn’t hack it at his first job.

    • Obama went to Austria and said (of something he said in English) “I don’t know what the term is in Austrian,” as if there is an Austrian language. The guy also said Israel is experiencing a “Teutonic shift.” He’s above-average intelligence, but if “Speak so that I may see thee,” is a true axiom, then he’s not THAT smart.

      Jared Taylor pointed out that imposing native pronunciations in English is a way for people who don’t like America to throw their weight around. Sonia Sotomayor insists on the Spanish pronunciation of her last name, because it’s her way of saying “F*** America.”

      • Joey J- I agree 100%. I also resent people like BHO lecturing me about Americans not being able to speak a foreign language. I can- granted it’s not a particularly useful language, but…
        And – it’s only Spanish and third world languages that people try to pronounce “correctly” Listen to the NHL announcers mangle Swedish names- now, I don’t think they should pronounce them in Swedish- that would sound stupid. Besides, while Swedish is not that hard to learn, it is hard for English speakers to pronounce correctly. If NBC would send one of its announcers to the upper Midwest- there’s a convention for pronouncing Swedish names in English. Joe Michelletti (of Hibbing, MN) should know that!

        And, whatever his current sins- Ron Radosh has done the Lord’s work (along with Robert Conquest, Allan Weinstein and others) in the past for exposing the American left for the commie lovers they are. ( Funny note: my auto correct changed ‘commie’ to ‘cookie’! )

      • For the life of me, I have never seen much evidence that Obama is smart. Clever, yes, but the behavior I saw in public social situations suggests to me that he often knew he was out of his league, intellectually, so he would ham it up to compensate. His public speaking, away from the teleprompter or a prepared script, was incomprehensible, and not in a good way. He took criticisms of his utterances as personal affronts, rather than as evidence that he needed to step up his efforts.

  18. The plague of revisionists are wasting their time trying to brainwash men like me. We know exactly who and what we are.
    They are delusion-ists and illusionists if you ask me.
    And just how’s that intelligentsia and it’s associative ivy league chattering classes been working out for us dirt people?

    I’ll take grass roots provincialism of practical and industrious way of life, the connection between the agrarian dirt between my toes and the spectral starry Heavens above, with a proper dose of the true classic philosophy, arts, and classical critical thinking, along with the catechisms of western Christianity that founded this country every day, and be content those things and their precepts are the guides that educate me properly and get me through life as a free thinking man who lives a rewarding productive, and creative self determining life.
    If it was good enough for my forebears to create the way of life that made America the wonderful place it is, warts and all, it is far and away good enough for me.

    • Doug, you used what I think is a key word to many of the moral, ethical and economic issues we face today … contentment. There is a line to be drawn for the drive in progress for industry and society but for people to maintain contentment in their lives. Mass media and advertising has gone a long way to creating need, desire, craving and keeping up with the Jones’, which has been good to a degree for economic success but it has had a cost as we see with the debt load people carry, businesses and government practice, i.e. leverage, and insatiable demand for “stuff.”

      As for revisionists, well, we are of a generation that learned a lot that generations following us simply have not learned. They are like a pudding sitting out on the counter being “open” to absorbing any dust, lint, bug, smell, whatever might comes its’ way that in no way adds to improve the flavor, nutritiousness, or visual appeal of the food. What a waste. And now we see people like Betsy DeVos being criticized, attacked, ridiculed, etc. for wanting to begin correcting the stranglehold the Left has on education.

  19. “The imperial exam system served China well, but only after she conquered all of her neighbors and unified the Han people.”

    As BJ Clinton’s mentor, Carroll Quigley pointed out in Tragedy and Hope, the imperial exam system resulted in the Mandarin class. The Mandarin class was the buffer between the Emperor and his court and the peasants and is remembered for its corruption and inefficiency. He believed that was not a bad thing because all the wealth of China was actually created by the peasants. If the court had wanted to deal with the peasantry itself, it would have resulted in more milking of the peasantry. The Mandarins were able to skim off enough of the income provided by the peasants, making sure that enough wealth reached the Emperor so he could accept turning a blind eye to what the Mandarin intermediaries were doing. The peasantry was allowed to keep more of their produce that way. And since the peasantry only had to labor hard during the growing season, it allowed them free time to develop other sources of incomes. The system worked for the Chinese but did not allow them to compete with the efficiency of European cultures when they came in contact with them.

  20. Reference women predominating in modern PC rule-making and enforcement — it brings to mind all the old westerns, where there was always the town Womens’ Committee. This group of prim, sour-faced shrews relentlessly drove from the town the gaudy girls working the saloons and dance halls, and ruined ease and social life along the bar and in the card dens for the men. I work at the local level in a federal agency. The entire organization is feminized — a matriarchy — populated by striving women and beta males. No real male dares voice a forbidden thought. Then only place men still breathe freely, is in the maintenance and power-generating fields. So … those women of the committee are with us still, and have taken over. Those old movies captured something real, and we were not paying attention.

    • Yup. I work in a small-ish hospital — 550 employees, less than 50 men. So weird. We males just do our jobs and keep our heads down and our mouths shut.

    • Leftists hate it when you point out that their political ideology is really a form of fundamentalist Christianity. Jim Goad has a new book out about social justice warriors called “The New Church Ladies.” One of the common themes here at Zman is that too many conservatives don’t know their movement’s own history. It’s true, but if the left ever connected the dots and discovered where their ideas came from, they’d be mortified.

  21. The problem that normal Americans had around their house was that everything was broken. The man in the shed they hired to fix it all was Donald Trump. This is why the chattering classes hate him so much. They broke everything over the last fifty or so years and are incensed that we noticed that everything is broken and driven wild that we have called in a boorish non-conformist and his outsider friends who actually might have the technical skills to start making repairs.

    • They require a fragile society to get away with their social engineering bullshit.
      When men of the west rise up against their power they get pretty nervous.
      It is the anti-fragile components of individualism, self relience, and self determinate people that they fear. And they should. They know what they do to us, and what many could do to them for what they are doing to others. Rightfully so.
      They got it coming to them in spades.
      It is why emasculation of American White Men, destruction of Christian faith, and gun control aka disarmament is so important to them.

      • On the contrary, individualism is incredibly fragile. If whites don’t develop a tribal identity, they will perish. Emasculated urbanites are already leftist. Many Christians are joining them in their moral crusade against whiteness. The Church will be reformed only after whites find it within themselves to take their own side and bring themselves into open opposition with other racial minority advocacy groups.

        • I beg to differ. Individualism comes before tribe, strong individuals make strong tribes. Strong tribes are a bond that makes the individual stronger. Strong tribes are the sum of strong individuals. They become indivisible.
          Why do you think cultural marxism was created?
          To destroy individualism, to destroy the bonds of men of the west. Destroy man’s individualism, hence destroy strong tribes, hence gain power over the individual. It is a ideology that is based on dividing people so to conquer people. To destroy the ties that bind people, that makes them strong and together stronger.

          It is why it is so critical to the cultural marxists to destroy the south. Lincoln and his marxists couldn’t permit a strong united people of the south to remain united. It was existential to their power.
          Nothing has changed up to even this minute. Dirt people of the south may lack the “sophistication” of the intelligentsia of the north, but what and why yankeedom of the north has never stopped their war of northern aggression, right to this moment as the tear down the monuments to the tribe and community spirit, what some term clannish, is string individualism and tribal unity of communities and family that pervades in the south.
          It must be destroyed.
          Why else send Antifa to Pikesville Kentucky, why the last regime’s war on coal, why “outlaw” the Confederate flag, why for 160 years teach revised history the civil war, which it was not a civil war but a war of genocide, was a war to free “the slaves”, but to make slaves out of the people of the south who refused and resisted yankeedoms cultural marxism?

          • “Why do you think cultural marxism was created? To destroy individualism, to destroy the bonds of men of the west…”

            Nope. To destroy the FAMILY. Individualism ends where family begins–and no matter the Limbaugh nattering on the subject, FAMILY is what is targeted by any ideology–left OR right– intent on destroying society

          • The Germanic tribes and Celtic tribes were splattered by the far more collectivist Romans and until Rome got stupid were mostly subjugated

            Individualism has its place, human beings aren’t ants and Western men are more individualistic than say Asians but the strength of a people is its families.

            Families allow individuals to be corrected and make individuals stronger . The bigger, the richer your kin are the better

        • I guess your remark about Christianity may apply to the larger churches/denominations.

          The smaller, independent churches (mine anyway) aren’t buying into the currently fashionable foolishness in the slightest.

          Which isn’t to say that the smaller outfits don’t have their own problems.

      • Christianity in Europe and N. America became doomed centuries ago when the medicine of skepticism was administered to the churches. In fact, one of the reasons that Xianity expanded so far and wide during the past 550 yrs is that it enjoyed a strategic advantage due to developments, within its European territory, in fields such as accounting, banking, business administration, mathematics, physics, chemistry, ship building, metallurgy, weapons design, astronomy, navigation, and engineering. None of these are found in any substantial amt within Christianity, so nonchristians can make use of them without having to Christianize.

        The frontiers of proselytization have closed for practical purposes, and the strategic knowledge and technology advantage enjoyed by Christianity has disappeared due to the diffusion of knowledge into nonchristian lands. In fact, without science—against which Christianity has always stood opposed by virtue of Jesus’ preference for sentimentality, blind faith, and obedience—it’s quite possible that Europe would have been conquered by Islam by now. At any rate, Christianity now gains its adherents mostly among the ignorant and backwards, except in a few places e.g. Islamic lands, where the powerful immune system of Mohammad’s cult keeps Christianity under control.

        The signs are good that present trends of dechristianization will continue in Europe and the Americas, and I would expect it to be extirpated from India, too. This leaves China and subsaharan Africa as the places for its greatest growth opportunities. (But Japan will take great interest in Chinese Christianization.) So if white Christians aren’t willing to relocate to one of the places (China, Africa, etc) where Christianity can survive, they should expect to live as members of a dwindling, disappearing minority.

        Do not doubt that the cross will be broken in the South and Bible Belt. The symbols of political Christianity are already being torn down already, and within a few generations those places will be like California of the 1980’s. A Christian South will never rise again.

        • It’s a big waste of time and effort to spend your whole life trying to suck your own cock. Might want to try something else.

        • They have undermined the Church.
          But they have not undermined peoples faith in God as they have undermined the constructs by men of what Christianity is.
          That faith is a matter for the heart and soul. The soul being the temple, the true cathedral of faith.
          It is a war of hearts and minds being waged. In Jesus’s time, faith in God required no mortal churches. Proof in how Christianity changed the world, how it brought hope to people like nothing before or since without grand places of worship, the “church” is a construct of men. It is not the faith itself, only a visible symbol.
          As they tear organized Christianity apart, as they try to destroy it’s symbols, they only make faith stronger in those who hold it in their hearts.

          • “…In Jesus’s time, faith in God required no mortal churches…”

            What do you call the Temple? Synagogues? The Parthenon??


          • What is this “church” being spoken of? When one is a Christ-follower, to whom does your allegiance belong, a place like the Vatican, a person like the Pope, Priest, Rabbi, or Preacher, to a building and congregation in a particular community?

            I think what Teapartydoc might be referring to is John 4: 21-26 when Jesus says to the woman at the well, from the NIV version,

            21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

            It says nothing about a “church” or the legalistic machinations of man and his penchant for rules and controlling others. Hence, the Bible, The Word.

          • “Read the fourth chapter of the Gospel of John”
            Slapped together, of course, long after “Jesus’ time”

            Christianity is to the idiot right what Marxism is to the idiot left.

      • Individualism is part of the problem. Individuals are easily atomized, easily controlled and at a severe disadvantage against collectives.

        The West was most successful against the USSR when it was highly collectivist with a balance of big state (FDR’d great society) and innumerable private associations (unions, grange hall, church, club etc)

        This is the best balance between individuals and families being of value and the need for organization at the same time.

        Historical though the nuclear family was pushed by the Catholic Church for its benefit since its the smallest (easiest to manage) unit that works

        Big business felt the same way but once fertility declined and the crazier sorts of Leftism took over the went to “individuals” which in theory short term is good for business (less sharing labor, less sharing resources) but its inherently unstable

        Functionally because of this screw up the future and various economic choices is going to have to be clans and tribes as even the nuclear family is too brittle.

        Its going to be a huge adjustment socially and it will have enormous negative effects on consumption but it can be managed

        If Anglos don’t get with the program, long and short. They die to rival tribes and are at best politically marginalized

    • The Zman said:

      “…big shot libertarian economist Tyler Cowen…”

      The Zman is at it again. Another drive-by smear of Libertarians!

      Tyler Cowen is a libertarian apostate folks!

      Tyler Cowen is a strong critic of Austrian and Rothbardian views. He even published a book that sharply attacks Austrian business cycle theory, and he has criticized libertarian anarchism. He even rates Ludwig von Mises poorly. The Zman either knows this to be the case, or he’s just ignorant. Personally, I think it’s the former!

      Tyler Cowen is NO libertarian. Tyler Cowen is a neo-liberal, Charles Koch trained and funded poodle!

      The Zman claims Tyler Cowen is a “Libertarian.” If Tyler Cowen is a libertarian… Rachel Dolezal is black!

      Attaboy Zman. Keep the smears coming.

      When they smear you, they fear you.

Comments are closed.