Magic Makes The Stuff God Happy

One of the things normal people struggle with when they look over the great divide, at the arguments of our side, is the lack of interest in economics. In the lands of the normie, the cry of “socialism” remains salient, despite the fact America is a socialist country and has been for as long as anyone reading this has been alive. Still, the people of whiteness remain locked in that old dynamic that says the fight is between free market capitalism and command and control socialism. This is especially true of older whites.

Perhaps the most powerful tool deployed against us is the weaponizing of the economy, by turning it into the third man in the room whenever there is a debate about politics. The economy is like a mysterious god, who can get angry at the wrong policy and punish the people with high prices or job losses. This is especially true in libertarian and conservative circles. They are convinced that the whole point of life is to work and then buy cheap stuff from China. Anything that threatens that is viewed as un-American.

Democracy has also become an enchanted being that, unlike the economy, needs to be defended at all costs. While the right side of the political class worships the economy, the left side worships democracy. Everything they don’t like is a threat to democracy, even the results of elections. Democracy and the economy make up the modern Janus that presides over the beginning and end of all political debates. Both sides ritually invoke his name whenever it is time to debate the issues of the day.

This post at Marginal Revolution is a great example. The comments are worth reading, as they reveal this strange worship of both democracy and the economy. The skeptics you find in the comment thread are all skeptics of democracy. You don’t see any doubts about the righteousness and superiority of the economy face of our god. Even when someone points out that the Nazis were pretty good at running their economy for a while, no one seems to pick up on the fact that GDP is not the measure of a people.

There are a lot of ways to characterize the civic religion that animates our ruling class, but one of them is that they believe the right ceremonies will make the stuff god happy. That’s why they insist that diversity makes businesses more profitable and universities more intellectually dynamic. One of the bloggers at Marginal Revolution has argued that open borders is a moral imperative because it makes the economy stronger. He literally believes the stuff god is carefully monitoring immigration policy in the West.

When put together, the worship of democracy and the economy is the thermite reaction that is destroying America. If democracy is a good thing, then more of it must be a better thing. The result being the expansion of the franchise to hostile aliens. If the GDP is all that matters when measuring the health of society, then any criticism of the ruling oligarchy is an offense to the stuff god. It’s not an accident that the worship of both democracy and the economy has increased as social cohesion has declined.

This may be at the root of the strange hostility to the past. Modern America is a strange place, in that the ruling class is composed of amnesiacs. What they say today has no connection to what they said yesterday. It’s as if every day is a new day and the past never existed. Mendacity certain plays a role, but the never ending quest for more requires an ignorance of the past. To remember yesterday is to contemplate the trade-offs that made today possible. That calls the worship of the economy into question.

There’s also the sad dearth of beauty in this age. The classical period featured a celebration of human beauty. The artists strove to capture the ideal of man in those beautiful statues we still have today. The medieval period had the celebration of God and his love for man. Walk into an old cathedral and you immediately feel the essence of that relationship. Of course, our canon is packed with poetry exploring the beauty of life, all of which was composed in a prior age, by men who are strangers to us now.

Walk into a modern building today and you know what it is like to be in the chute at a slaughter house. Modern art is a mockery of the idea of art. It is a celebration of pointless vanity and nihilism, if such a thing can be called a celebration. Stroll through the modern parking lot and it is like being in a black and white movie. The cars all look the same and come in black, white or some shade of grey. A time traveler could be forgiven if he thought the communists had won the Cold War and imposed their aesthetic on America.

That’s the end result of worshiping democracy and the economy. The stuff god is a selfish god, who takes the hopes of the faithful and turns them into cheap goods from China, that get tossed away in order to be replaced by more cheap stuff. It is a pointless form of worship that treats life as a transaction. Just as Evangelicals love Israel, despite the fact Jews despise Evangelicals, Americans worship the stuff god, despite the fact he hates humanity. It’s a lethal codependency that can only end in death.

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Member

This might be your best ever, but it’ll get a lot of hate, and even more blank stares.

AHfOH
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AHfOH

Count me among the blank stares. I can never tell if you’re searching for a more republican form of government, just politely mis-named as Democracy or more authoritarianism with less central control. Have you expressed a Plan B that I’m just not smart enough to see? From my little perch, the ability to pack up and move 40 miles further out is still the greatest freedom known to modern man, and that only comes from “the economy”. I didn’t move away from Houston to worship the stuff god, but to find an affordable house (undoubtedly built by illegals) with a… Read more »

Alzaebo
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Alzaebo

Why did you have to move? A black Brit told me if you buy a flat in the UK, your friends expect to find you there 30 years later. (He told me this about 15 years ago. I don’t think it’s true anymore.) So of course, I had a noveau riche American friend who wanted to buy a Scottish manor house because he was bored. 37 rooms, 2500 acres, the going price last year was about a million. (Hint to readers: many still available.) His bright American idea? Fire the groundskeeper family and hire cheap foreign labor. That family has… Read more »

Alzaebo
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Alzaebo

Note to Epimondinas: the guy bought up 300,000 acres and properties during the mortgage meltdown. He used entity structuring, creating his own roofing, maintenance, and construction companies to service his properties for tax advantages and to create multiple cash flows. Be careful. Every time I prepared to take advantage of a downturn myself, I’d have another bright idea and lose another 10 years to desperation and survival. I watched the great stock and real estate markets from afar, with dismay. Once I sat in bankruptcy court next to a couple who were walking away from 42 apartment complexes. That multiunit… Read more »

Member

Oh, don’t worry. I’ll only be targeting bankrupt lefties and cuckservatives. Just to see that look on their faces.

miforest
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miforest

yes, but in 10 years the folks who built you house will make your new town exactly what you left. where will you run to then? where will your Kids run to ? It the stuff god is so great , why did you have to run?

Alzaebo
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Alzaebo

Must agree. One of his best ever.
Why must we GDP ourselves to death? What is this strange worship?

3g4me
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3g4me

Absolutely top rate. Particularly love this line: ” Democracy and the economy make up the modern Janus that presides over the beginning and end of all political debates.” Reason for the blank stares is that so many here are still, at the core, civnats/cons/repukes/normies. They think returning to the aesthetics of the 1950s would solve everything, because they do not comprehend the poison that was already eating away at all the social and political assumptions even then. They marry and defer to leftist women instead of heading their households as civilization requires. They still want to get along with everyone… Read more »

Kendoka
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Kendoka

That was as good a comment as Z’s original post!!

Alzaebo
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Alzaebo

Gotta give AHfOH his due, though. Who the hell wants to live trapped in ruins?

Mobility is the great American freedom. We won’t get a spear sticking out us if we walk 20 miles in the wrong direction.

The other side of that coin is transport tech, the ability to move huge amounts of goods, armies, or migrants.

Wilson McWilliams
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Wilson McWilliams

>>>that conformity is at its heart destructive degeneracy.

A lot of meat packed into those two words – destructive degeneracy.

It’s what the post-Christian West holds, if not as frankly sacred, then as a perfectly neutral lifestyle choice.

Member

Please write more about that “uncomfortable full truth.” It’s the elephant in the room of the whole post-modren zeitgeist.

De Beers Diamonds
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De Beers Diamonds

While we can postulate the extent of economic coercion that affects consumer choice, it remains that far too many of our people and other peoples are freely choosing the ideology of mass consumption. No one has any particular need to drink Starbucks, nor do they need to be an NFL fan. But tens of millions of people who vote GOP will still turn around and vote their dollars in favor of companies that hate them. The vast majority of Africans and Muslims live in rooted societies where feminism is a foreign concept. But yet it seems they are eager to… Read more »

Babe Ruthless
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Babe Ruthless

“It remains that far too many of our people and other peoples are freely choosing the ideology of mass consumption.” Well, you might say that one of the supra-political projects of the dissident right is to change their minds on this subject: to make people “freely choose” something else. I remember the first time I went to Europe, and was surprised to find that some people there were horrified by our giganticist, supermarkets-and-SUVs consumer culture. At the time I just assumed that they were blindly biased Eurosnobs. The American way was *of course* the best, I “knew” at the time.… Read more »

De Beers Diamonds
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De Beers Diamonds

A practical interpretation of this can be seen in the reactions to Trump’s decision to abrogate the UPU treaty that allowed the Chinese to mail things here for pennies on the dollar. This will both make the disproportionately black USPS better off in financial terms. It will also end favoritism toward e-commerce, brick-and-mortar has more taxable property and tax-paying workers. There might even be a small bump in US manufacturing, and even production relocated to Mexico out of China is beneficial in a geopolitical sense. But even leftists that are supposed to favor labor over capital are aghast.

De Beers Diamonds
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De Beers Diamonds
Alzaebo
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Alzaebo

You’ve just solved the labor over capital question.
Why did leftists favor labor over capital?
So they could overthrow capital, and take it for themselves. Ta, labor!

(This was supposed to be a comment about the extension of the Chinese Belt up from a Baja port, through Laredo, to Canada on the proposed US Interstate 69- but that’s long term, an old issue.
AMLO and Xi, as national socialists, may help wrench things away from the central bankers’ indebt, invade, invite globalism.)

calsdad
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calsdad

Capital IS labor. This is yet another lie that the leftists have foisted upon the world. I am born into this world with my own human capital, and when I labor – I produce value – which directly translates into capital. The leftists act as if these two things are distinctly separate entities – when the reality is that they are inextricably linked together. Leftists favor labor over capital simply because they’re liars – and a good many people are just plain stupid. So standing on the side of “labor” gives them the numbers they need to hold power. As… Read more »

Alzaebo
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Alzaebo

Watch out! Somebody will tell you that the labor theory of value has been disproven.

And it has- in a world where fiat money speculation supercedes the exchange of actual goods. Money ain’t what it used to be.

calsdad
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calsdad

That thought entered my mind – and I suppose it’s good troll bait. But it was late and I figured I’d leave well enough alone.

Cerulean
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Cerulean

I had to read this a few times to get perspective. Z doesn’t say the economy is unimportant. He says that progs and the elites make bogus claims about the relation between certain social policies (e.g., open borders) and the economy.

Member

… “Just as Evangelicals love Israel, despite the fact Jews despise Evangelicals,” … Very few people realize this. I learned it many years ago when the son of a rabbi moved next door to us and we had many interesting talks. I asked him why Jews support the anti-Semitic left. His answer was, Jews are more afraid of Evangelicals. It made no sense to me then and I still haven’t figured it out. Another thing I never figured out was that while it’s true Evangelicals love Israel, do they love Israel only for its biblical connections and does it transfer… Read more »

De Beers Diamonds
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De Beers Diamonds

There is an evangelical belief that the formation of Israel relates to an End Times prophecy of the rebuilding of the Temple and the destruction of the Dome of the Rock. There is also a belief in a “dual covenant” where Jews somehow don’t have to accept the New Testament. This theory is entirely born out of post-1945 politics, non-evangelical Mainline Prots also give it some credence. Jews get really enraged whenever a Chrsitian asks them to convert, and the Evangelicals that don’t accept the “dual covenant” are quite irksome. So a Jewish person is afraid of both conversion, and… Read more »

Alzaebo
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Alzaebo

Revenge for lost Israel. The Romans took it. The sensible Jews then conquered Rome, culturally, turning them into Christians. Still not good enough. The Schiz faction caused enough trouble to lose a nation, but yet still blames both Romans and Christians for it.

The Schizoid half is never content.
They feel that if they are not rulers, they are slaves, and will not settle.

Both Nebuchadnezzer and Herod ll presided over peaceful and prosperous kingdoms; but, the Schiz were not in charge, so they had to ruin it for their conservative brothers and for everyone else.

Alzaebo
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Alzaebo

This seems to be a continuing pattern. It’s longevity indicates genes. Passion provides focus and incentive to intelligence, ask any wolf.
Conservatives don’t need to boost their intelligence, they’re already smart enough to make things work and improve them. Maybe this is how some factions, their processing space tied up in hysteria, make themselves smarter?

Dutch
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Dutch

Perhaps it is as simple as Evangelicals will not be swayed from where they stand, and American Jews are intimidated by that, as they are partly in the business of swaying others in the directions the Jews want them to go. Israeli Jews, as a group, are also largely firm in their beliefs and the American Evangelicals respect that.

Alzaebo
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Alzaebo

That’s why I call Israel a dumping ground, a penal colony.

The unspoken motive of our WWII Narrative was the movement by the Schiz to force their larger normie faction into the Pale and Palestine. They knew the normies would return to form, that is, become patriots.

Patriots like the Evangelicals, at home with both God above and the nation below. Not obedient to Schiz rule.

One could still see it as that God is using the Schiz as His hard tool in making the prophecies happen. Or a warning, if He really is merciful.

Alzaebo
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Alzaebo

Merciful? I say constrained. The gods are far, far less powerful than some claim. They are vast, vaporous, and weak. They are as wild and ignorant as we are. Why? The embodied are their seedstock. And the gods are doomed. In less than one solar cycle-within ten billion years- this galaxy will crash into Andromeda. The resultant release of energy will wipe out the higher energetic life forms. We, energy coalesced into matter at the bottom of a gravity well, are more durable. Entire solar systems will sail right by each other. We are the Doomsday Vault of the gods.… Read more »

Alzaebo
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Alzaebo

Whew, umm, slightly off topic.
Reasons. Sorry.

Alzaebo
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Alzaebo

*much later*
Good lord. Written while falling asleep. I sperg out when exhausted, staying motivated.

Such excreble timing, as I’m not yet prepped to measure the conceptual framework. (That’s the goal, verifiable measurement of “the unknowable”.)

Apologies to Dutch, to Z, and the readers, if any. Off topic in s-p-a-d-e-s. Red with embarrassment.

Well, at least I slept like a baby!
All day, too.

Dutch
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Dutch

Al, that was awesome! My most original and interesting musings come to me on the cusp of sleep or waking up.

Karl McHungus
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Karl McHungus

I feel alienated from the vast majority of (other) Americans. Some I wish ill will, but most I just see as mindless herd animals, of little interest. If I had to pick a philosophical model to follow, it would be the Stoics. For the most part, I restrict my exposure to modern culture, and retreat into the past (movies, books, etc). Just going to wait it out the ongoing collapse of the old system.

Compsci
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Compsci

Unfortunately, we have family and friends whom we have a responsibility to. Waiting for the inevitable is not made easier by such obligations—but I hear ya.

Dutch
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Dutch

I like to treat a large part of current culture as the people do who drive slowly by the bloody traffic accident, gawking out the car window.

LineInTheSand
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LineInTheSand

I’ve been reading the Stoics and Aurelius recently. It has a Buddhist quality in that it assumes that life involves suffering and the practical application of philosophy is to prepare oneself.

One of my main discoveries is that retreating and waiting out the collapse is less sustaining for me than binding myself to a larger whole. Although I don’t believe in a deity I feel a need to participate in a cause larger than myself. So far, the most fulfilling has been that of my extended family, Europeans, although many in that group abhor the idea.

Alzaebo
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Alzaebo

Nice, Line. Same here.
The Stoics were stoic for a reason. Their crazies were insufferable too.

Peter
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Peter

One of the ironies I think about when contemplating the past is how, despite all the violence and brutality of prior ages, so much awesome art and beauty was produced, unlike the present.

Al from da Nort
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Al from da Nort

Peter;
Surely part of it is that the elites patronizing that art in the days before widespread democracy were using their own money

Compsci
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Compsci

I wonder if the problem is a surfeit of “bad” art, rather than a deficit of “good” art. Certainly, I see any number of modern examples of art that I appreciate and admire.

Dutch
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Dutch

The Gramskian forces destroyed art in the 20th century. People are so hungry for the classics that they will buy retro works as trite as Thomas Kinkade and hold up Norman Rockwell as high art, even though the art “powers that be” piss on both.

Issac
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Issac

Gentile art is a clear departure from the diaspora art that has characterized your society’s avant garde for several generations.

pimpkin\'s nephew
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pimpkin\'s nephew

Well, an everyday man can eat bacon and eggs for breakfast, with the sacrifice of high art. So which is it – violence and brutality, with the ceiling of Sistine Chapel thrown in, or, Ralph Kramden and his wife eating three square meals a day, and maybe buying a new piece of furniture every five years or so?

Alzaebo
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Alzaebo

I see the paintings showcased at the Woodpile Report, and I weep for their beauty. Those artists ate bacon and eggs too.

Glenfilthie
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Glenfilthie

It IS unAmerican. You and the normie are looking at opposite sides of the same coin, and you’re both right as far as you go. Uncontrolled consumerism is every bit as toxic and dehumanising as feminism and Marxism. On the other hand, people that don’t want better things for themselves often become slothful, lazy, and stupid.
They are both valid observations.

jaqship
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jaqship

Wanting better things for themselves is part of the American Dream, but being Consumerist, to the point of letting status-climbing impulses dominate a culture, is degenerate.
See my below reply to Rod1963, on Mad Ave and women.

Linda Fox
Guest

One possible way to avoid the “no stakes” voters from overwhelming those who pay for society’s benefits (roads, schools, etc.), would be to limit the franchise. People could qualify to vote if: – They paid taxes – income or property – They provided service to the community of equal value – NOT in protesting or community organizing, but actual service – charity work, volunteer activities benefiting the community, etc. – They had qualified previously, but were now over 65 or disabled. – They had served at least 2 years in the military, with an Honorable or Good discharge, or in… Read more »

Compsci
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Compsci

Linda, you Heinlien groupie. ;-). Yes, “earned” suffrage as opposed to “universal” suffrage is the key to a continued democracy. Unfortunately, short of falling into a dictatorship and unraveling out of it, I can see no way to achieve such.

Alzaebo
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Alzaebo

Put a price on the franchise? Our vote today is inflated and devalued. Like our art, as Peter and Al note above. By accident, I’ve been listening to the popular music on the big stations. Black/latino rap now is what rock was in the 70s. Such catchy, sexy back-beats! But the “songs” are so stupid, so impossibly stupid, mean, and ugly. This bitch gonna beat that bitch’s ass, yo playa, ima real ghetto trash. (I hate to note, the music is pure Game, as in Heartiste. The positioning is blunt and sexy. As is the implied violence. Perhaps they should… Read more »

oughtsix
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oughtsix

Rap and hiphop ‘music is to Music as social ‘justice’ is to Justice.

calsdad
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calsdad

My problem with some of these suggestions are as follows: – military service: what has the nation actually benefited from all the military service over say the last 75 years? Which wars that we were in – did we actually HAVE to be in? The founders of this country very clearly warned against foreign entanglements, and this warning has been almost completely disavowed. We originally started out with a militia – which involved nearly all able bodied males – and bonded them to their society and their locality and their nation. We now have volunteer service – in large part… Read more »

Alzaebo
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Alzaebo

That neatly untied the Gordian knot of regulatory cronies, corrupted chiefs, and brass millionaires.

Ambition shouldn’t come with immunity. You shan’t vote yourself a kingdom. This would dry up their dark pools as well, if tax payers could vote ‘hell no’ to their tax cheats and malinvestment.

Good benes are enough ROI.
No vote while in government service. No security clearence after it.

Rod1963
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Rod1963

Well you hit this one out of the ballpark. I would agree that Consumerism is the real god of most American people. This is why we are referred to as “consumers” and not citizens by the government and Wall Street. Black Friday, the run up to Christmas shows how powerful the Consumerism god is. Look at all the lemmings who line up days before the major holidays like the crippled do at Lourdes hoping for a miracle. But instead to buy a sweat shop made TV, game console or some other meaning;less piles of crap. Christmas is now dreaded by… Read more »

Alzaebo
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Alzaebo

I like it! “Ave, Consumer!”

jaqship
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jaqship

Yeah, Rod, consumerism is the real god of most American people, esp. for most single (and many divorced) women.
Whiskey argues, that (esp. young) women tend to more short-term, impulsive, status-climbing thinking/ acting, and that their tendency to splurge makes them the juiciest targets for Mad Ave.
When Mad Ave so heavily concentrates the MSM on this narrow market niche, it warps the whole culture.

I’ll rather bet that almost all major malls, shopping centers, etc., have more (exclusively) women’s wear stores, than men’s wear stores.

LineInTheSand
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LineInTheSand

Rod and Jaq, your comments are interesting. I wonder if you are willing to limit liberty and use state power to restrict consumerism. If we agree that a certain desire of many people is harmful are we nonetheless required for reasons of liberty to allow it? There are other similar examples like pornography, tobacco, or drugs. At root, are you a libertarian or a fascist?

jaqship
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jaqship

Really good question, Line. I’m rather more libertarian than not. I’d much rather see Trump use anti-trust laws, etc., vs. Mad Ave and Hollywood, before we try get gov’t to micro-manage folks’ daily lives. Odds are quite high that, if the power of Mad Ave and Hollywood is broken, much of these problems will quite recede. I quite fear, that busybodies like J. Edgar (and Mueller) will become cures worse than the diseases they claim to fight. If Fascism has any chance to really produce *enduring* human fruition, it is in societies with far greater homogeneity, than this one has… Read more »

Wilson McWilliams
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Wilson McWilliams

>>>we have a society not worth fight for.

That is, in fact what modern America has become… in spades.

I feel extremely ambivalent talking with US veterans, particularly the younger ones.

Whatever privation or injury they may have suffered, it was in a bad (read: dishonorable) cause.

Primi Pilus
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Primi Pilus

Your “ambilalence” is directed at the wrong people, on several levels. At the lowest, what influence do you think the young service member has on political decisions for organizational employment, overall culture or immediate mission directives? Do you think most enlist thinking rigorously of grand philosophical or societal issues? Most are washed in on some mix of a desire to be involved in some thing greater than themselves (though they don’t articulate it thus), alloyed with the need to meet needs for personal material survival. And not a small percentage also have some hazy ideas of the myth of American… Read more »

Wilson McWilliams
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Wilson McWilliams

My son did six years in the USMC (plus years as a LEO SWAT-sniper), and I certainly cut the enlisted guys plenty of slack. I do find it difficult to refer to military and LEOs as “heroes”, even though some individuals have and will continue to perform admirable heroic acts. Using the term “hero” implies that their cause is somehow just, while in fact essentially ALL US interventions abroad lie somewhere on the spectrum of evil-tragedy-farce, depending on just who and how numerous the dead and maimed may be. I suspect that the sleazy politicos and money-men who gin up… Read more »

Member

Everything you observed about our Materialism Uber Alles culture is bang-on. But I’d love to see you expand someday on the Death of Beauty and Celebration of the Mundane. One of the truly disgusting features of the modern dystopia is the demonization of excellence as “unrealistic”, and the normalization of freaks. Can’t have anybody feeling bad about themselves, after all! You mentioned architecture and public spaces; consider any form of advertising or promotional material, where effort is made not just to get the high score on MultiCulti Yahtzee, but to showcase grotesque individuals in the name of celebrating “all people”.… Read more »

BestGuest
Guest
BestGuest

To enlist folks to our side (broadly speaking) ask them if cars became cheaper or more reliable from having been made overseas or south-of-the-border. Ditto for sneakers. Those jobs mattered for our less-than-intellectually-gifted fellow citizens and enabled them to support families and live lives independent of government intervention. The ever-increasing wealth gap is a direct result of the globalist enthusiasm for outsourcing to often murderous third-world countries while promoting subsistence-level welfare dependence here. Well-done Zman!

calsdad
Guest
calsdad

LOL. You don’t know automobiles very well if you don’t know that cars became very much more reliable when Japanese manufacturers in particular come into the US market. Cars manufactured in the US by US companies were by and large complete pieces of shit from the 70s all the way into the 1990s. I say this as a person who has laid on the ground under far more cars than I cared to working to fix them. In many cases these were things that needed to be fixed because the auto in question used substandard marterials, or was designed, engineered,… Read more »

BestGuest
Guest
BestGuest

I was referring not to foreign imports, but to American car companies that moved production out of the country. I agree that Ford/Chevy/GM produced an inferior product to Toyota etc. That could have been remedied as evidenced by the fact that the Japanese brands produced in the US using US labor are good cars. But I could have used as an example the toxic pet food scandal (imported from China) that killed thousands of pets. . . .or many other imports that are far shoddier that what my family had growing up.

Member

“When put together, the worship of democracy and the economy is the thermite reaction that is destroying America. If democracy is a good thing, then more of it must be a better thing. The result being the expansion of the franchise to hostile aliens. If the GDP is all that matters when measuring the health of society, then any criticism of the ruling oligarchy is an offense to the stuff god.” This reminded me of when my Dad was a missionary doctor, and he’d try to give Africans a prescription. They’d come back the next day for more medicine, having… Read more »

Lester Fewer
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Lester Fewer

A very astute column, lots of interesting things to chew on. I have something rather more complicated to contribute later, but I’ll save it for the time being. In the meantime though, Z hits a bull’s-eye with his conception of the doltish Janus-like duality of “but muh economy / but muh democracy”. There’s a lot more to analyze in there, though. Meantime, while I go grocery-shopping, there are certain related concepts which bear some pondering: reification, “mission drift”, apotheosis, and the Confucian concept of the Rectification of Names. And of course that old I Ching standby, Hexagram 37, “People in… Read more »

pimpkin\'s nephew
Guest
pimpkin\'s nephew

We await your more complicated thoughts as you go grocery shopping; your ponderings on ‘reification’ and good old hexagram 37 just might be the difference between confusion and understanding. Take your time…

Member

We don’t have a Democracy, we have a Republic. Check it out.

pimpkin\'s nephew
Guest
pimpkin\'s nephew

Like Frank Zappa, I checked it out, and it can’t happen here.

Member

What can’t happen here?

pimpkin\'s nephew
Guest
pimpkin\'s nephew

Frank didn’t say. He may have been hinting at the 1936 novel of Sinclair Lewis called ‘It Can’t Happen Here’.

Like Frank you can check it out.

Member

Sinclair Lewis was a commie and he was warning against fascism, populism, etc., so you are probably right and Lewis was wrong. Fascists are of the left, not the right.

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

Please stay, conservative friend. Rough crowd here, but soon enough you’ll be one of the lads.

Member

I hope not. I’ve been a conservative lass for 84 years and I’m used to it now, but thanks for the encouragement.

tonaludatus
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tonaludatus

It is a fallacy to think that more of a good thing is better. An adult, especially an adult engineer, knows that if it is good enough then it is good enough.

Al from da Nort
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Al from da Nort

In most ‘sciences’ and in economics in particular, published articles are more then *just* ‘science, the search for knowledge to make the world a better place’. IOW, the writer has non-economic interests that are in play. This ought to be obvious, but surprisingly few readers make the attempt to look and correct for those interests. For example, Keynes was a Fabian Socialist and so sought to legitimize government tinkering with ‘the economy’ (whatever that actually means). In the case of the two authors in the linked paper, their names alone ought to pique one’s curiosity as to whether they could… Read more »

JJB
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JJB

Yes, good essay. Reminscent of a section of Albert Jay Nock’s Memoirs of a Superfluous Man where he calls out American society of the 30’s and argues that what he calls something like “encominism” will be the death of all of us. Basically, worshipping the economy and the principle of quantity over quality results in a wave of mediocrity washing over everything, polluting it all until the whole thing drops down the drain. They say Nock is a libertarian but I find him to be an all around erudite commentator. Worth reading.

Joachim
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Joachim

He certainly thought outside of the box at times. Have you seen his January, 1933 ‘Harper’s’ essay, “Are All Men Human?”:
http://alumnus.caltech.edu/~ckank/FultonsLair/013/nock/human.html
I don’t recall coming across this one in my time in libertarian/classical liberal circles.

His little works on education and WW1 also look valuable for non-libertarians (they’ve been on my “to-read” list for years). According to wikipedia, he’s quoted as saying “…but we haint liberal. We loathes liberalism and loathes it hard.” LOL. According to an article in ‘The Nation’ (also from wikipedia): “Along with being anti-democratic, Nock was, at least in his later years, “virulently anti-Semitic.””

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

The 30s? Griping about people having it too good in the 30s?

I was raised on Depession stories.
Mom did say that everyone worked dawn to dusk, yet they didn’t suffer stress like they do today.

Reading warm memories of those times in the magazine “Reminesce”, makes me wonder if Nock was early, but correct.

Wait, I see it. There were a great many superfluous men at that time.
And soon we’ll have robots, too.

Member

This essay seems so pointless.

I expect “normie” citizens seek FREEDOM and LIBERTY more than just “democracy”. The vast expanding group of ahistorical consumers do not act as normal citizens.

There is no conflict between wanting a good affordable dentist or car, etc. – and wanting to be free to choose where to go or which dentist or car is best.

And, when basic needs are affordable, we are more free to gather at will and enjoy the beauty we create with our disposable resources.

Those desires are complementary in a free country.

My cars are green and blue.

scrivener
Guest

It’s a freedom issue. I believe the sphere of personal autonomy should be maximized and the sphere of collective direction (by elites or the majority or the mob or however determined) should be minimized. Taking my money is taking my time. Its like requiring me to toil in a collective field for 2/3 of the day and allowing me to toil in my field for 1/3 of the day. It is morally and ethically wrong, it is akin to slavery or indentured servitude. Disposition of the collective claim on production always falls into the hands of the worse people. (Do… Read more »

LineInTheSand
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LineInTheSand

Making personal autonomy the highest good is one of the main reasons that we are being dispossessed of our inheritance.

pimpkin\'s nephew
Guest
pimpkin\'s nephew

Christ gave us the ‘model’ of self-awareness, of personal autonomy. He showed us the grandeur – and the cost – of living in accordance with one’s own soul.

It’s what makes Christianity the great enemy of our rulers – it promotes self-agency and self-awareness, those great threats to draconian power in all ages, and situates morality in the human heart, not in texts or authorities.

Primi Pilus
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Primi Pilus

Like your analogy … and to carry it further: the Democrats, with their endless social programs, taxation requirements and drive to control, are no more than a wildly expanded version of their antibellum selves — the plantation for us all.

lars hemmers
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lars hemmers

Explain to me how Jews despise Evangelicals, if they do, more than coastal Episcopalians do.

jaqship
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jaqship

Or, more than Northeastern Protestants of any denomination do.

lars hemmers
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lars hemmers

Yeah, it’s possible to make a broader claim. Evangelicals are scorned from all directions, e.g., but especially by felllow Protestants in mainline denominations. My guess, though it’s only a guess, is that Jews are just unfamiliar enough with Evangelicalism to be respectful.

witch burner
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witch burner

Explain what your comment has to do with what was written. Evangelicals don’t fawn over coastal Episcopalians, but they tend to believe A) the U.S. is a Christian nation (in a CivNat sense rather than an ethnic heritage sense; God is actively guiding the U.S.). This is why Evangelicals will say without irony things like “pray for our leaders in Washington, that God will give them wisdom” as if the ruling class isn’t made up entirely of sociopaths; B) this gives us an obligation to Jews, who are God’s Bestest Friends Chosen People, and will come around to evangelical Christianity… Read more »

jaqship
Guest
jaqship

The Evangelical is no friend to our side? As long as they quite dis-proportionally vote Trump, I’m very happy to have them with us. The rest is chump change. I’m far more worried about those of us, who try to drive super-hard bargains with those (incl. Evangelicals) who really fear SJWs, who are open to HBD, etc. I’ll be delighted to deal with *anyone*, who sees SJWs (esp. the feminist ones) for the wackos they really are. A certain number of Jews (e.g. Steve Miller) and Evangelicals are Studs for our side. Do *any* avowed Feminists at all compare to… Read more »

Dutch
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Dutch

Evangelicals, in their own fashion, understand exactly what we are all up against. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

jaqship
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jaqship

All the more so, since Evangelicals tend to be at least a shade above most others, in their personal conduct/ conscientiousness.
They may not be as likely, to be studious or smart or sober as are Jews, but their manners etc. compare well, to any other group’s manners etc.
When they call themselves “God fearing”, they almost always *really do* mean it.

If I lived in an Evangelical hood (and, probably, in a white Ethnic, or Jewish one), I’d be half-tempted to not bother locking my doors.

witch burner
Guest
witch burner

Evangelicals are most certainly not open to HBD. HBD is a result of evolution, which they don’t believe in. They come at it from a different angle than the Left, but Evangelicals buy into the same tabula rasa nonsense. Look into churches and immigration, and then tell me the Evangelicals are on our side. Trump is for, at most, another six years. Immigrants and their descendants brought over by Evangelicals because “we’re all God’s children” are here forever. I’d also point out that the Evangelicals, with their millenarian beliefs and need to proselytize, are merely the Flyover Country wing of… Read more »

jaqship
Guest
jaqship

“Look into churches and immigration”. No, look into poll data on *white evangelical* churchgoers and immigration, and you’ll see the white evangelicals *sharply* breaking from the non-whites and non-evangelicals. I can’t get your Federalist link to work, but you might check out http://theFederalist.com/2016/05/17/blame-pastors-for-Evangelicals-Trump-support/, about how so many of the flock were, even back in the 2016 *primaries*, surprising observers, by defying their leaders’ entreaties to oppose Trump. To charge them with being “merely the Flyover Country wing of the Neoliberal-Prog ruling party” is *grossly* unfair, even (much) worse than what so many here say vs. Jews. In each case, we… Read more »

jaqship
Guest
jaqship

I’ll grant that white Evangelicals’ support for Trump, incl. on immigration, probably owes much to their mostly rural origins.
So far, my cursory search hasn’t gotten any real data, on the diffs between rural and (the relatively small number of) urban white Evangelicals.
Likewise, with data on the diffs between urban and (the relatively small number of) rural Jews.

I’ll bet that, in each case, rural vs. urban accounts for a huge part of all polling diffs, as does *married vs. single*.

jaqship
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jaqship

I find that (esp. once you get the hang of it), “reading” Jews and Evangelicals is rather easier, than “reading” the standard, mass-produced urban Gentile SJWs, in many important respects.
Telling the standard Jewish SJW, from the “two Jews, three opinions” Jew, is rather easy, as is telling the relatively “lip-service” Evangelical, from the ones who are *really* God-fearing.

The standard, mass-produced urban Gentile SJW has so much Bugman/ woman in him/her, that they’re quite less likely to let slip any major clue, e.g. as to how “convertible” they are.
With them, it’s best to assume that they’re really not “convertible”.

LineInTheSand
Guest
LineInTheSand

Episcopalians see the Evangelicals as dumb. Jews see the Evangelicals as an existential threat, like Russian Kulaks. Clear enough?

Member

I think this Mexican caravan border crossing v. Trump requires a special post STAT.

Lester Fewer
Guest
Lester Fewer

This at first is going to sound OT, but it’s actually a sort of little fable which connects Z’s concept of muh economy/muh democracy (I might add the reified/apotheosized/non-rectified “but muh Diversity”) with his very real concept of the Death of Beauty. That one actually has a highly complex genealogy, and I know this from professional experience, but… one thing at a time. Here’s the fable. (Except it’s true.) I grew up (starting age 12 or so) playing honky-tonk and blues piano in bars. I spent a lot of my formative years playing piano for drunks, who bought me free… Read more »

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

While hitchiking across the country, I’d infrequently take the bus for short ride.

There, guy I was chatting with suddenly got up to leave in some strange city.
Carried nothing but his clothes.

He had seen some dives, and was going to look for work.
He actually played piano in bars.

A wandering piano player!
I thought they only existed in books!

Member

There’s a good one over at Powerline blog titled “Invasion by Euphemism”

Milestone D
Guest
Milestone D

Well, I intended to comment on how particularly impressed I was with this post, but several people beat me to it.

I will likely think from now on about the slaughterhouse chute référence every time I walk into the Pentagon.

XmaninOK
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XmaninOK

Zman, !! Perfect!! Immediately move this blog posting to the classic page.

Moran ya Simba
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Moran ya Simba

We talk a lot about the definition of fascism and how no one seems to know it. But what the heck is the definition of socialism?? I think I know the grievances that makes Z call the US a socialist country but if it is, well, every country is and most far more so it seems. Maybe Somalia is the only non-socialist country if the US is one??

Moran ya Simba
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Moran ya Simba

Completely agree on the aesthetics criticism. It is related to postmodernism which worships ugliness, alienating architecture etc. exactly because its core is nihilism.

Whatever you think of Jordan Peterson, I think his ‘finest hour’ was when he explained the link between (especially, but not exclusively, cultural) marxism and the French postmodernists. He may be a (Canuck) civnat or something like that or even an infiltrator for the soys but he is also right in some areas.

Alzaebo
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Alzaebo

I thought the ugliness was part of the 63-point plan laid out in 1953.

Moran ya Simba
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Moran ya Simba

Not sure what that is. And I dont have full knowledge here but I believe the ugliness in architecture and art that many have noticed (and which I find absolutely real) is related to postmodernism.

Cerulean
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Cerulean

And what postmodernism did for the academy! Heck, you can even get your very own gibberish article generated automatically.

http://www.elsewhere.org/pomo/

Here’s a sample:

“Language is impossible,” says Baudrillard. Therefore, the primary theme of the works of Tarantino is the bridge between class and art. Tilton[1] states that we have to choose between cultural substructural theory and textual objectivism.

“In the works of Burroughs, a predominant concept is the concept of
postmaterialist reality. Thus, the characteristic theme of Werther’s[2] critique of Sontagist camp is the futility, and eventually
the rubicon, of subtextual sexual identity. Debord promotes the use of
semioticist subcapitalist theory to read language.”

Moran ya Simba
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Moran ya Simba

Wow thanks. There is a huge problem here. One place I really noticed it was an essay on ‘suti’, the old Indian custom of burning a woman alive, which the British didnt find amusing. An Indian commie thot imported to Columbia University, once wrote an essay, ‘can the subaltern speak’, where she tries, through weird ravings having abused a thesaurus, to savage the British for ‘racistly’ ‘saving brown girls from brown men’ b/c, hey, maybe Indian women ‘like being burned alive’. As Z has said, these ppl cannot be reasoned with. They are insane.

http://planetarities.web.unc.edu/files/2015/01/spivak-subaltern-speak.pdf

UpYours
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UpYours

I don’t think the witch-burning and concentration camp building limey poofters have the right to lecture anybody on morality

Maus
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Maus

Consumerism is the triumph of the worst people demanding bread and circuses and the wealthy elite selfishly stooping to meet their demands so as to line their pockets. Truth and Beauty will never be restored to the pinnacle of social order until the best rule the worst. Some thought must be given to the appropriate proxies for social rank, e.g. IQ, industriousness (creating jobs and infrastructure), inventiveness (creating ideas, liturature, art etc.), public service on the one hand and criminality, lower intelligence, laziness/refusal to work, mental defects, antisocial behavior on the other. What should be clear in rejecting the Janus… Read more »

Babe Ruthless
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Babe Ruthless

“Our cannon is packed with poetry.” Freudian slip.

But seriously, this was a strong and stirring article. One can contrast the charmlessness of our architecture with the gaudy overcolored packaging of our products, especially cheap consumer items like junk food.

I’ve always thought of the junk food aisles at the store, with their lurid packaging, to be like a row of faces of leering whores.

And as for the aesthetics of the *people* of our time, which is closely related to the junk food … well, the less said the better.

Moran ya Simba
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Moran ya Simba

Ive never before considered the contrast between the sterile drabness of modern architecture and the cheap glittering of modern consumer junk. Good observation.

Kentucky Headhunter
Guest

“One of the bloggers at Marginal Revolution has argued that open borders is a moral imperative because it makes the economy stronger. He literally believes the stuff god is carefully monitoring immigration policy in the West.”

My own observation (though I’m sure its occurred to many others) is that economists seem to find people to be problematic and a generally a drag on the economy, the promotion of which should be encouraged at any cost. The economy or GDP or whatever is its own end and people are just a means to that end.

Arch Stanton
Guest
Arch Stanton

Damn… how I miss those two-toned automobiles! Thanks for reviving that old memory Z.

ExPraliteMonk
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ExPraliteMonk

The people in charge of creating our art, movies, music, and culture destroy everything they touch. It’s almost as if they have no aesthetic sense at all. For instance the movie “First Man.” How do you ruin a movie about the Apollo program, one of the greatest achievements in human history? Yet they did. First Man is the story of a heavy-equipment operator* named Neil who ignores his wife and children because he’s working all the time. Neil is cold and distant and emotionally stunted unlike the wife who is well-adjusted. If only Neil would be more like his wife.… Read more »

Moran ya Simba
Guest
Moran ya Simba

Some Swede developed what seems like a literal formula for a modern, empty pop song. It seems he’s something like the Henry Ford of cheap pop music. So much for ‘art’

https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/max-martin-the-swedish-svengali-with-a-formula-for-the-new-pop-age

Swrichmond
Guest
Swrichmond

You get a lot right in this piece. And one thing glaringly wrong: “…Even when someone points out that the Nazis were pretty good at running their economy for a while, ” The Nazis were in fact horrible at running the economy. The entire rearmament, and putting Germans back to work, was a giant credit bubble, blown with the vehicle of MEFO Bills, about which you may wish to read. Leverage in the MEFO Bills system was a closely-held state secret. The principal architect of the scheme was one Hjalmar Schacht, who was tried at Nuremberg for his role in… Read more »

Moran ya Simba
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Moran ya Simba

This is very OT but you are right. The Germans during WW2 opted for ridiculously high quality in manufacture. One thing that stood out to me was a youtube lecture on tank manufacture I saw recently. One tiger tank took 300,000 man-hours to make, one Russian T-34 took 30,000 hours and one sherman took 10,000 man-hours. Stalin was very right when he said that quantity has a quality all its own.

Member

The libertarians and Cuckservatives err because when they substitute moderately priced American made goods (by americans from the left half of the bell curve making adequate wages with benefits), with cheap Chinese stuff, those thrown out of work and hope will insist on ever larger government taxation theft cheques so they can buy more cheap stuff from China instead of returning to (now nonexistent) work. The ONLY free societies have had a majority of middle class and an economic ladder and mobility so you could become upper middle class or even better by applying yourself, not just mere luck or… Read more »

Joachim
Guest
Joachim

Here’s my impression of a traditional American conservative: “Can’t you read Zman? I have the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” The SUV I drive shall be of relatively high current market value. If that requires throwing ever more of the white working and middle classes on the altar and ripping their hearts out, so be it. In reality, we can simply drive them into an under-class, ghetto existence (and then spit on them for being declasse). Economists, from neoliberals all the way to classical liberals, are united in telling us that the Economy God must be… Read more »

jaqship
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jaqship

Joachim, I have fair hope that Trump, general SJW sociopathology, and this recent Kav hearings orgy, are somewhat changing this traditional attitude. Their noses are being rubbed into the fact, that societies require some sort of cultural common ground, for economies to stay above 3rd World levels. And, it helps that our leader, Trump, is now seen as a very *battle-scarred* hero. This can’t help but be moving, to the hearts of normal men. My sense of things now is, that we’re seeing a level of camaraderie among US righty white men, unlike anything since *at least* the ’60s, clearly… Read more »

Joachim
Guest
Joachim

I agree that a turn is starting, but this attitude needs to be explicitly called-out and buried. The American “right” must be de-bourgeoised. It’s no surprise that it has not only been continually defeated, but progressively embraced the left, as this maintains social respectability and a secure life of consumerism. “…the Last Man lives longest.” Drawing a line in the sand, and fighting like knights to the death, is not really their thing. They’ll ride this decay right to the extermination of the West, I’m afraid, if the left can just half-way restrain themselves, and move slowly. Both growing up… Read more »

jaqship
Guest
jaqship

“if the left can just half-way restrain themselves”.
I’ll believe it when I see it.
They’re mostly soulless bugmen, see https://hackernoon.com/on-the-infestation-of-small-souled-Bugmen-6561ae922e07 .

Joachim
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Joachim

We’ll see. I’m inclined to think our elite would rein in the left-mobs if they came to be truly threatened by a genuinely rightist backlash. Nixon’s Silent Majority, Reagan’s “revolution”, and Gingrich’s “Contract with America” haven’t exactly bore much fruit. All were speed-bumps, to the extent they weren’t already co-opted. We’ll see where Trumpism leads.

jaqship
Guest
jaqship

You’re quite right about those other GOP victories, but this time the grass roots are much more aroused, esp. by the existential threat to men from the feminists. The grass roots, in those other situations, presumed that Nixon, Reagan, and Gingrich didn’t need major support from the grass roots. This time, Trump has been under assault from the Left from the moment Hillary conceded, and that his back needs much covering by the populace. Moreover, the tantrum at Kav (involving the *entire* Left) showed that the Left will stop at utterly nothing, and that it’s do or die for the… Read more »

jaqship
Guest
jaqship

And, in ’68, *most* Humphrey and Nixon voters didn’t despise each other, to nearly the degree which now separates Trump supporters from his foes.
And, the GOP elites were nowhere near as revolted by the Dem elites, as Graham etc. are now by the Dem brass.
This has something of the smell of 1932 Germany.

UpYours
Guest
UpYours

Oh, yeah the bourgeoisie be bad, what next Herr Marx? Confiscate their property because the drywall is made in China? Alt-right/Dissident-Right = Marxism + Ethnic Nationalism.

BTW, the old white working class ain’t paragons of virtue. Many of them are born to single moms and are doped up on meth and can hardly string a sentence of two together. Not to defend the white suburban cucks, but your romanticization of the white working class warriors is laughable. BTW, those “hard-working traditional Catholics” gave this country LBJ, the 1965 Immigration Act and the Great Society.

Joachim
Guest
Joachim

Who invited Jonah Goldberg? The actual right, back to the French Revolution, were both anti-Marxist and anti-bourgeois.

I didn’t say the American working-class generally were healthy, and I didn’t say that the working-classes of today or yesterday are the ideal, I’m arguing against bourgeois values, i.e. the Washington Generals “pseudo-right” that have gotten us to today. Unless that is overthrown, then we’re stuck in same-old American individualist materialist/consumerist pseudo-right circle-jerk. The Last Man is no match for a motivated elite, or for throngs of religious fanatics of the new left-religion in their employ.

jaqship
Guest
jaqship

Who wrote anything about “Confiscate their property”?
Or “romanticization of the white working class warriors”?
Try laying off the straw man stuff.

UpYours
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UpYours

It is called ‘sarcasm’. Look it up. BTW, US was built by people who worshiped the ‘Stuff God’ including the current POTUS’s grandfather. Who do you think built the American West? Yeah, folks wanting to profit off the Gold Rush. Who do you think they worshiped?

pimpkin\'s nephew
Guest
pimpkin\'s nephew

No real person worships either democracy or the economy. As a post-Christian “rootless cosmopolitan” of no fixed address, you paint with a broad brush, the way Hillary Clinton does.

‘Worship’, in my stupid little town, is to God, at the local church. We’re simple idiots, of course.

jaqship
Guest
jaqship

Deplorables of the nation, Unite!

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

If we don’t have worship, then why all the rituals, taboos, and sermons?

ChrisZ
Guest
ChrisZ

Zman, this essay is an abstract for a book. And not the crappy kind that most of our academics and all of our media personalities publish (I won’t say “write”). You’re addressing the inhuman and dehumanizing powers that govern the modern world: a deeply profound question, that is a rebuke to the political culture in its entirety—not just against one or the other superficially different “party.” Such a rebuke used to be the province of prophetic religion, but nearly all of our religious institutions have now been bought by, or cashed in on, this same dehumanizing power. “At a goodly… Read more »

Hoagie
Guest
Hoagie

Zman, I’ve been privileged to read your posts for over a year now and I must say half the time I have almost no clue what you’re talking about. I’ve ventured an occasional comment but frankly you and your commenters are light years ahead of me in intellect and most of the concept you discuss. This post is a typical example. I read it three times so far and slugged my way through all the comments and for the life of me I have no idea what I’m reading. When I comprehend the topic I find myself generally in agreement… Read more »

Name
Guest
Name

Web of Debt by Ellen Brown.

miforest
Guest
miforest

I went to see “Gosnell” tonight . it was actually quite good. and in a strange way non-religious. but the movie put the ” media god ” on full display. no matter your views on abortion , you should see this. see it today , the progs will disappear it very quickly.

Member

Walk through a mall or along a shopping street. The consumer society is aimed at women and maybe homosexual men – watch “Next Top Model” shows and you’ll see the clothes designers are homosexuals. It’s obvious how the franchise needs to be restricted, with a yet again reformed Christianity backing the legal system. I don’t see how we can get to there from here. Race wouldn’t even matter – look at North vs South Korea or the Black American family prior to the fake war on poverty.

a follower
Guest
a follower

“Of course, our canon is packed with poetry exploring the beauty of life, all of which was composed in a prior age, by men who are strangers to us now.” Our canon? i have seen some of these temples and yes they are beautiful. Is this what the Messiah wanted? As far as “Evangelicals” loving Israel and Jews despising evangelicals. There is much confusion in this. There is a physical Israel and a Spiritual Israel. To very different entities. As far as despising and hatred go, along with enemies, many enemies. Jesus and His followers were told to love them.… Read more »

sirlancelot
Guest
sirlancelot

“””” We are the Doomsday Vault of the gods “””” . . . .This.. is…Major…Tom…to… Ground….Control.. . . . . . . Great post Z-man and the comments, WOW ! Frustrated with my small brain right now. Would love to know what the hell you guys are talking about. Not to lower the IQ in the room, but just a simple observation with storage units popping up everywhere one would think even the most simplest of people would question this blind consumerism gone mad. People have bought so much cheap Chinese junk they can no longer fit it in their… Read more »

Christopher S. Johns
Guest
Christopher S. Johns

Art has been eradicated from our public life even more thoroughly than religion; this is particularly odd and telling given that the left did not explicitly wage war against art as it did with religion. But in fact the left debased art while celebrating it in the only manner that it knows – a public subsidy calculated to outrage taxpayers – whereupon we were enriched by such glorious works of aesthetic genius as the “Piss Christ.” Truthfully though, name one living novelist of genuine talent known to the general public? One painter, one sculptor? There are none, at least in… Read more »