We’re Out Of Enemies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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61 Comments on "We’re Out Of Enemies"

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PropagandaHacker
Guest
very disappointing blog from you…if the founding fathers really “wanted a weak national government,” as you claim above, then why did they create a national government at all by discarding the articles of confederation and installing the constitution, which CREATED a federal government in the first place? Well, to answer that, you could read the federalist papers and madison’s notes on the constitutional convention, along with his ‘divide et impera’ letter to jefferson… madison, aka the father of the constitution, wrote that the reason he created the federal govt was to divide the people and thereby conquer them…conquer by weakening… Read more »
Member
Because the country was in full collapse. Libertarianism looks good on paper, but it is a fantasy in practice. The South lost the Civil War, in part, because they made the war about Federalism and States Rights and the idea that the United States was nothing more than a collection of independent countries united for the common defense and to reduce barriers to trade. That proved a failure, and quickly so. The Founders then set about creating a central government with limited, but enumerated, powers. They fully expected people to blow it (“A republic, if you can keep it,” as… Read more »
Toddy Cat
Guest

“The Cold War was a unifying and stabilizing force.

Before the Cold War, there was the Second World War. ”

Lots of truth to this. Had it not been for the Second World War, America would probably have split up some time in the late 1940’s. Today, we tend to forget the incredibly polarizing effect of the New Deal, and the Roosevelt tilt towards the USSR.

Member

The real start was the War Industries Board in WWI. Bernard Baruch played a big part in both this and the NIRA and alphabet soup commissions of FDR.

Toddy Cat
Guest

Yes, Wilson’s WWI experiment in dirigisme was clearly the precursor to the New Deal. Without Wilson, FDR is unthinkable, any more than Stalin is thinkable without Lenin. If nothing else, FDR wasn’t smart enough, and was too lazy, to cook all of that up on his own. Mind you, those qualities also made FDR more tolerable than Wilson. Wilson was a genuine fanatical loon.

Member

So, were we lucky in Wilson’s stroke??? or did his wife do as much progressive damage when she took over?

Member

Wilson’s fanaticism stemmed from his Presbyterian background.

Reluctantreactionary
Guest
Our elite do have a unifying fear, yet it is rarely spoken of aloud. Their great fear is deflation and the destruction of their wealth. We often make the mistake of thinking of the very wealthy as if they have great vaults full of money, when the reality is that most of their fortune is in the form of various assets. Most of the value of these underlying assets is based upon some debt that was taken out to finance those assets. When deflation occurs, or even a significant slowdown in economic growth, it is possible for an asset that… Read more »
PropagandaHacker
Guest

I agree–mass immigration is how the establishment props up the ponzi economy…whites do not supply enough consumer demand growth anymore…and so in order to prevent asset price reduction, the elites cram in ever more worker-consumer livestock from the undeveloped nations….

western nations are like the goose being force fed grain in order to fatten its liver for pate on a cracker…mass immigration being forced onto us via a propaganda regime…

anti-white multiculturalism is the lubricant that greases the wheels of the mass immigration propaganda regime…with political correctness the mass immigration machine would stop…

beau
Guest

very well put and agreed with totally. their wealth is in assets that must be protected at all costs, regardless of the consequences.

Member

This is true to a certain extent, but many of the large companies that produce things like soaps and processed foods see most of their growth overseas. Consider India. If one percent of that population achieves middle class status, that is a hundred million people who are now bathing and brushing their teeth on a regular basis, and eating foods that are at least partially preprepared. They aren’t grinding their own grain.

Reluctantreactionary
Guest

Very true, but what if the overseas growth does not come fast enough? Every year it takes a greater amount of deficit spending to produce the same meager increase in GDP. Eventually we reach the point where it takes an infinite increase in debt to produce an infinitesimal increase in GDP. As Karl Denninger put it, “exponential functions always run away from each other over time.”

Much better to bring 100 million people from India to the west than to wait for the Indian middle class to slowly develop.

Al from da Nort
Guest
Re; I think you are right about the elite fearing financial collapse. Hell, anybody paying attention ought to be concerned, but on account of the socio-political follow-on consequences. But I think you are wrong about deflation being a likely mechanism for this happening. In deflation, debtors are put under stress because their obligation is legally fixed while their ability to cover it is impaired due to reduced nominal earnings or economic returns: They must repay in dearer dollars than they borrowed. And if they can’t pay, creditors can seize their assets, which however devalued, are ultimately still real and not… Read more »
Reluctantreactionary
Guest
You may be correct. I don’t know any multi-billionaires. What is really true and correct does not matter as much as what the elites believe is true. It seems to me that our elite are acting as if any reduction of the economic growth rate means total disaster. Apple has a total debt of about 108 billion, much of it as corporate bonds. Any financial guru would say that the total debt does not matter much and we should look at the debt to equity ration, or whatever. What happens when all of the bondholders take haircuts? For an Iowa… Read more »
Al from da Nort
Guest
Re; Tried to post the below several hours before. Looks like she might actually agree. Re; The Cloud may be seeing more low-skilled peons as the key to economic growth: IOW, they actually may be that stupid. But, if so, they are wrong.* If they do so suppose, it is likely on account of their mush-headed academic Marxism. That is, they only vaguely remember Marx’s easily refuted Theory of the Surplus Value of Labor. It holds that labor has some intrinsic value that the evil capitalists are able to steal for themselves at all times and everywhere. It is *productivity*… Read more »
Al from da Nort
Guest

Argh;
‘She’ is actually ‘we’. Hate, hate, hate this autocorrect function

Al from da Nort
Guest

Re;
Don’t know any billionaires either: Wish I was one of them. No doubt you do too, if you’re honest.

But one thing I do know is that if you are debt free you are blessed regardless of income or asset level. As it says in the Proverbs, ‘The borrower is slave to the lender’. Don’t be that guy_!

Karl McHungus
Guest

“Most of the value of these underlying assets is based upon some debt” according to who/what? If you are holding cash when deflation hits, you are king. Onasis for one made his big money this way, during the depression in the 1930’s. Why would a wealthy person have a lot of debt?

Reluctantreactionary
Guest

Why would an extremely wealthy person hold a lot of cash? A wealthy person might hold assets which have valuations based upon expanding debt. When the music stops… At least this is how they are acting.

Dutch
Guest

Really wealthy people hold cash, debt, equity, land, gold, a passport, a hideout, and the transportation to get there. They own politicians and they own bankers (in a way). They don’t know how things will play out either, so they cover the bases. Beyond that, they spend to buy the political and social influence that protects their wealth and station in life.

Alzaebo
Guest

Why debt? Because the most common place to park cash is in bonds or commercial paper.

The biggest holders are governments and sovereign wealth funds. Heck, Treasury bonds are what back our currency and all others.

Good question, McHungus. It amplifies Reluctant’s excellent analysis, which explains so much. Best economics summary I’ve ever seen.

Simon
Guest

Spot on. Costa in the UK are whining that their sales are only up 0.6%? or some low figure. Q some more immigration to push the sales of their low cost beverages. There is finite growth but there has to be a return at all costs for the investors and fuck everyone else.

Ryan T
Guest

The cloud universalists are our mystical druid priests. Who will be the converting religion that comes and drives the old Gods out of new Britannia?

I figure this whole thing collapses, power accumulates around various chieftans who wait to see what way the wind is blowing and join whatever religion offers them the best deal. In the interim we’ll be awaiting our Muad’dib.

Ryan
Guest

I have some faith in Jordan Peterson. Granted he’s trying to resurrect Christianity, not usher in an entirely new faith. But man can this guy give a sermon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-wWBGo6a2w

Alzaebo
Guest

JP- “Stories are how we deal with complexity.” Nice.
(h/t @wretchardthecat)

Member
My first reaction to the news that Jeff Flake was going to do the obvious thing and not run for re-election was happiness. (I expected it.) My second reaction came after listening to what he said about the President on the Senate floor. The same old calls for unity, and “normal” behavior. What Flake wants people to think is that he is talking about unity in the country. What he actually means is unity among the Government Party. What Flake wants people to think is that he is talking about whatever constitutes “normal” behavior in America. What he actually means… Read more »
Dutch
Guest
Would up this comment a hundred times if I could. “Unity” is the code word for “do it our way”. Trump is the agent for clearing away the pretense and facade of our government, and showing the hollowness and self-dealing that constitutes our “betters”. People were figuring it out anyway (Flake polled in his home state of Arizona at 18% approval, so he decided to burn the house down on his way out). Trump rightly understood that the time was right to act in support of tearing down the curtain hiding the dirt. The calls for “unity” have morphed into… Read more »
beau
Guest

“Senator Flake” is a moniker that is hard to find a substitute for.

Member

But it doesn’t help in identifying who you are talking about.Narrows it down to about 100

Member

I agree as well. Trump and the Dirt People are the new enemies of the elitist statists.

james wilson
Guest

Many times I have entered a conversation on the subject to say that good government facilitates people going their separate ways peacefully and bad government works tirelessly or tyrannically for unity, that in fact this was the entire point of the Founding documents. Invariably this is received with some shock but as yet no argument. Very likely no hearts and minds were changed but maybe the yard marker can be nudged.

Member

Excellent point. It’s like a good teacher…the truest sign of a good teacher is when the teacher does such a good job, he is no longer needed.

Karl McHungus
Guest

I think Flake miscalculated badly. What can he deliver now, as a lobbyist? Whom does he have a connection to, that still has actual power? And Jeff, you damn well better be cleaner than clean, because I guarantee that people are going through all the intel on you right now…

Member

Those jobs are no-show jobs. He’ll get handsome compensation to serve on the board of directors of xyz corporation or foundation mainly so they can advertise that their board consists of former US Senators because it’s a great, great, way to raise money.

Alzaebo
Guest

Epic. The Z-clan just keeps getting better.
You do throw some top-notch parties, Zman!

Din C. Nufin
Guest

Flakes error, is people aren’t supporting Trump at all. They are supporting the ideas he ran on. Lots of others making that mistake, probably most of the DNC. “Because that’s who we are” isn’t a rational argument for immigration, or much of anything.

Member
“That’s who we are” is just Government Party virtue signalling while calling everybody else a racist. I think the kids today call it “othering”. The fraud Paul Ryan used it back when candidate Trump first announced he would impose a travel ban. He has no clue that tens of millions of people cheered at what Trump said and wanted, and think Paul Ryan is a suicidal maniac for wanting to do the exact opposite. I read today that the Democrats are +15 in the old “Generic Ballot” polling. The GOP has decided that the best way to get out of… Read more »
Member

And you can bet the Establishment is even now putting their heads together with just such a strategy to stop Steve Bannon.

Member

If they could they would stab Trump to death in public.

Member
Christopher Chantrill
Guest
Christopher Chantrill

My line is that “government is force” and “politics is division.” Therefore there will always be a tug of war between division and unity. For unity is needed to fight the foe and justify the government’s resort to force.

Brooklyn
Guest
“The 19th century saw the northern states rise economically and culturally, to eventually dominate the rest of the nation.” Have we come to the end of that situation though? The progressive ideology that has dominated for the last 100 years is out of steam but that isn’t the same as saying that Yankee hegemony is dying out. In fact it may be stronger than ever. Even without including immigration, most of the country is still being colonized by people streaming out of Yankee states. Culture and politics is running along Yankee lines; a degree from Harvard is still worth something… Read more »
Member

Nice analysis.

Severian
Guest
I honestly don’t think “maintaining their power” is the reason anymore. If it were, there are a million ways they could do it that are far easier than this, e.g. the Crusade against the Muslims you mention. Quite simply, I think they’re BORED. A real aristocrat — a blueblood by birth, going back to the Normal Conquest — has “being a noble” as his life’s purpose, so even when he’s not actually doing much of anything, he’s never bored. There’s always hunting and hawking and patronizing the arts and whatnot. Our “aristocrats” see all that stuff as sinful; they’re not… Read more »
PRCD
Guest
Severian
Guest
I see what he’s saying, but that’s not quite what I meant. An honest-to-God nobility has a sense of itself as noble. They don’t have to go casting about for an identity — you may be richer, better looking, more talented, but I’m the 17th Earl of Squinchley, my ancestors fought at Bosworth Field, etc. Our “nobility” has embraced the fatal conceit that they got there on “merit,” and so they need to remain “meritorious” to keep their self-image. You can ignore the 17th Earl of Squinchley so long as you “M’Lord” him in the streets; our Elite can’t let… Read more »
Neill Massello
Guest

The corollary to Pogo’s Law states that we will never run out of enemies.

onezeno
Guest

Whoa, easy on the Ozarks! We’re are deep red Trumpland. Little Rock is out of our jurisdiction.

Amateur Brain Surgeon
Guest
Amateur Brain Surgeon

“The candlelight vigil after every shooting or riot suggests that the deep state actors behind these things are the candle makers.”

Great line, Z.

bad guest
Guest

The candlelight vigil after every shooting or riot ? That’s celebration of the second sacrament in the new civic religion, the first being gay pride/ethnic pride parades, of course.

Mr. Frosty
Guest

I can’t take any article that uses the term “Yankee” seriously. I didn’t even realize I was a Yankee until a sore loser Southerner called me one. Apparently, I’m supposed to apologize for winning. I’m supposed to feel ashamed that my ancestors kicked his ancestors’ asses really, really hard.

Southerners should ally with blacks and Mexicans, they seem to have a lot in common. Like how my ancestors kicked all their asses and made them their b*tch.

I love you grampa!

Ironbear
Guest

He was probably a Northerner.

If a Southerner had called you one, you’d know that “Yankee” is only the back half of a word.

dad29
Guest

It’s hardly restricted to politics. Back during his Gay Regime, Rembert Weakland, OSB, A’bp of Milwaukee, near wore out the “divisive” word on those who mentioned that a number of his priests had problems. We were right, and the prisons have had more occupants. “Divisive” is now a motto of pride, like “Deplorable.”

Eclectic Esoteric
Guest

The progressives went out to feed the unicorns one day and got trapped in the quicksand of identity politics. We may be out of enemies, but they can’t outrun themselves.

joey+junger
Guest
I had a really good history professor in college who knew the Civil War and Reconstruction backwards and forwards, who was fond of saying that before the war, people would say, “The United States are.” After the war, they would say, “The United States is.” Perhaps Bill Clinton was right when he put so much emphasis on the meaning of the word “is” during his deposition regarding the sexual harassment of the fat Jew broad. To address the central topic, though, the nutty millenial actor Shia Labeouf started some campaign where he and co-religionists chanted “Trump will not divide us”… Read more »
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