A Meandering Post About Nothing

Imagine you are in a room with six sides and each wall has a door. If you leave the room through one of the doors, you end up in another six-sided room with doors. Assuming no obstacle, you can move in a straight line in any of six directions. If there obstacles, then things gets more complex. Anyone old enough to remember the Avalon Hill war games from the 70’s will be familiar with this concept.  The idea was to simulate the 360-degree movement of the real world, but with segmented game space.

Now, imagine yourself in that first room and let’s assume it is filled with sights, sounds, smells and all sorts of other things that you can experience with your senses. So much so, in fact that you can’t quite experience and remember all of them. You spend as much time as you want, studying as much of the room as possible, before moving to the next room. Let’s say you master 80% of what there is to master. Then you move onto the next room to experience whatever lies within.

Here’s the thing though. You can only remember so much before the memory begins to fade and you forget some things. When you get into the new space, you have new stuff to process and organize in your head. Making room for the new stuff means forgetting some of the old stuff. Let’s say you forget a third of what you tried to remember of the first room by the time you get to the 80% point in the new room. Your head now contains 66% of 80% of the first room and 80% of the second room.  You can do the math. I’ll wait.

If you move into the third room, you forget even more of the first room. You can see where this is headed. Keep moving from room to room and before long you only have vague recollections of what happened in the first rooms where you started. Even if you write stuff down you’re recollections are bound to get out of whack. When it comes to why you picked one door over another or what you were thinking at the time, well, your memory will be clouded by the present. It’s called recency bias.

Now, instead of you moving from room to room, imagine it is generations of men. The first generation operates in the first room. The next generation moves onto the second room, taking with them as much as they can recall being taught to them by the first generation. Then the third generation moves onto its phase of existence, having only second hand memories of their grandparent’s age. It does not take but a few generations before the people in the present are thoroughly detached from their ancestors. All they have are recollections of recollections.

That’s where the modern conservative finds himself in this age of turmoil. I was listening to someone on the radio the other day, lamenting the fact that no matter what happens in the election, the “conservative movement” is mortally wounded. The Trump insurgency has forever marginalized those rock-ribbed conservatives and their dreams of managerial technocracy. They did not put it that way, but that was the flavor of it. The person saying this clearly had no recollection of where the Right started or the road it had taken to end up at what some think is its terminus.

The fact is, Official Conservatism is so far from where it started, it is a crime against the language to call it “conservative.” The traditional American Right was always an individual liberty cause, which starts and ends with freedom of association. Everything that can be “conservative” rests on the basic idea that you have a basic right to associate with whom you like, when you like, on the terms you like. No one on the modern Right has talked about that in so long it is now forbidden knowledge.

The people writing at the big foot conservative publications never think about such things. Most of them came into the world of political ideology thinking that conservatism was about cutting taxes and losing wars of choice. The geezers came along when conservatism was focused on fighting the Russians and trying to figure out how to get around Roe in order to curtail abortion. The neocons are pretty much just hyper-violent globalists with a bizarre grudge against the Russians.

It’s why Trump’s talk about law and order, for example, sounds so alien and weird to the modern right-winger. To their ears, it almost sounds like Trump is hostile to government, which is crazy talk on the Right these days. That’s because the modern conservative is so far removed from the time when conservatism stood for ordered liberty that it is no longer even a recollection of a recollection. It is no longer part of their mental landscape so it falls outside their definition of conservative.

One can go on forever about the wrong turns the Right has made over the decades. Lord knows I’ve written enough on the topic. None of which really matters all that much, as the modern Right is where it is, in this time, a time when it no longer has anything to offer those outside the statist ideology of modern globalism. The alternative to post-national managerialism cannot be a different version of post-national managerialism. That’s why people, particularly young people, are turning their back on it, heading off to other rooms.

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Jake
Guest
Jake

Lets see if MSM will cover this story like they did with Trump’s women

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qlvrw-cIFsU

LetsPlay
Member
LetsPlay

What you write brings to mind the lessons learned in playing sports. Namely, when your game is off, what did coach tell you … time to get back to basics. Practice, practice, practice the fundamentals. What the congress critters do is not demonstrable republican government, they have gone to jungle ball where they make up the rules as they go along to suit themselves. The game they play is nothing resembling the government the Founders worked to establish through their hard work and wisdom. There have been times in my life, and I’m sure most people’s where you get so… Read more »

MSO
Guest
MSO

“Life is a journey, not a destination” or so said Ralph Waldo Emerson. The elites of both parties, well educated and all, lost themselves in the journey and forgot about the goal.

Worldly Wiseman
Guest
Worldly Wiseman

Replace journey with struggle and you have a simple definition of the ruling classes as they come mostly from the different factions of the Left. Struggle to reach utopia is a feature, they are aware that it can only be reached across the sea of blood.

ErisGuy
Guest
ErisGuy

I am quite certain that many Leftists, ordinary and exalted, believe each is writing his, her, zirs, or sees own “My Struggle.”

FaCubeItches
Guest
FaCubeItches

Yeah, but this time, they’re going to kill the right people. This time.

As always, Utopia will remain one murder away.

thor47
Guest
thor47

You can do the math. I can but I do much better with words. 🙂 Conservatism is about freedom of association. Conservatism: to conserve, to hold on to, to keep that which works. thor’s definition. I always understood conservatism was about doing what was right, that is, the things that worked, or would for everyone if we all had the same basic view of each other. Keeping your word, building things that worked, giving an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work, etc. The things that are morally correct. I’m not suggesting Puritan standards; just basic decency. The freedom… Read more »

UKer
Guest
UKer

To take Mr Z’s theme here, the choice you have as a conservative is which door you choose to go through. Under our socialist masters, you don’t have that choice. They will tell you which is best for you and even, happily, provide the key to what they decide is best for you.

Drake
Guest
Drake

I always associated “conserve” with a minimalist approach. Government that governs more than absolutely necessary is pure waste. Modern establishment “conservatives” have lost all perspective on this. They think that raising spending by 4% rather than 5% annually is a victory for small government,

walt reed
Member

May I be permitted to ask a question that is not pertinent to your current theme? Has anyone noticed the Lone Wolf Muslim attacks have suddenly stopped in the US (and elsewhere)? And “surprisingly” BLM has lost interest in how poorly gangstas and thugs are treated, by the police, at just about the same time.

Solomon Honeypickle IV
Guest
Solomon Honeypickle IV

Why would anyone be in the armed forces of this country, should hillary be elected (or even if she isn’t)? Just whose country would you be defending?

LetsPlay
Member
LetsPlay

You might be inclined to serve if you felt you were going to learn some skills but sheesh, all the crap you would have to put up with! I’m sure it would not be worth it.

King George III
Guest
King George III

I am a prime-time physical and mental age young son of the West whose literal ancestors literally founded and made this country, and I will in no capacity aid or abet the armed forces of this country until such time as they are no longer dedicated to provoking nuclear states and tempting nuclear holocaust, but expelling the 100 million foreign trespassers from the land my forefathers conquered. But after that, you couldn’t stave me off with a stick. I’ll drop everything to be a part of those armed forces. I suppose you might say I am a man without a… Read more »

King George III
Guest
King George III

And by the way, Hillary can kiss my ass.

Severian
Guest

Whenever I teach a history survey, I raise the question “what’s a government FOR, anyway?” The kids always look at me like I’m speaking in tongues. Such a thing has never occurred to them, even though they are theoretically bright / educated enough to get into a decent school, had history or civics in high school, and many of them are history majors. Back in the Jurassic, this is why we read “the classics” — you may not agree with Hobbes, say, but he lays out an ironclad case given his premises… which voters under 35 have never even heard… Read more »

King George III
Guest
King George III

The purpose of government as a human phenomenon is to extract tribute from its subjects in order to sustain a dedicated warrior class in order for that warrior class to conquer and defend a piece of land from trespassers. The piece of land is secured in order to secure control of reproductive opportunity by securing control of reproductive resources—women—and to secure the safety of the vulnerable fruits of those resources made manifest, the young children fathered by both the warrior class and the men supporting the warrior class with their tribute. This is why the two most fundamental functions of… Read more »

meema
Member

Yes that’s pretty much what happens. Civilizations rise and fall because humans cannot sustain status quo. Last weekend we were invited to dinner with friends. They have a bright sixteen year old. Actually he is more than bright. He is quite opinionated and has no problem discussing politics. He was a Bernie fan. That should clue you. This time we got pretty deep into the major differences between socialism and capitalism. He truly believes that humans can work together, achieve Utopia and expects that war will be only a historical reference in less than 100 years. Because, you know –… Read more »

Drake
Guest
Drake

My 16-year-old is the complete opposite. He came to the realization that the left literally hates him and wants to emasculate him and his friends. He walks around with a Trump hat just to offend them. He knows little about the policies differences but recognizes instinctively who is on his side.

meema
Member

Treasure your teen. Interesting that our friends are staunch republicans and every advantage this kid has, which is above and beyond average, was provided by the company that his parents built from scratch. Perhaps it is true that prosperity is a drug that kills common sense.

Member

Though I didn’t realize it at the time, I got an incredibly lucky break in my HS Senior year. We got sent off to do some pamphleting in a urban ‘ghetto’ (no one called it that, of course). OK, I thought; the dirt on the streets and the cars are because they are poor, the shabby clothes ditto. Dirty clothes and bodies? Anyone can afford plain soap and the water is essentially free. Then the people, young and old wandering around either drunk or with drugged out eyes, “Drugs cost money, booze costs money.” I thought. The eyes that looked… Read more »

Ganderson
Guest
Ganderson

My story’s similar. Grew up practically a commie, then moved from the Upper Midwest to New York City. New York at the height of the Dinkins terror. Eyes opened. If this is what liberalism brings, NO THANKS!

notsothoreau
Guest
notsothoreau

That sounds like something Loretta Lynn said. “Soap’s cheap and water’s free”. Her mother did not tolerate dirt, even though they were poor.

Omega3
Guest
Omega3

There was an analogy about intellectual life that I cooked up in my brain when I was going to college in the late 70s: You had these coliseum like games that were always playing. Like the Sugar Bowl, the Cotton Bowl, etc. Except they had different labels: Religion, Art, Natural Science, and now a new game: Economics or Managerialism, what have you. Different, changing quantities and types of people were at all those games simultaneously. But, the latest game is the latest *fashion*. New games are always a big deal. But, eventually many people grow tired of the latest fads… Read more »

Samuel Adams
Guest
Samuel Adams

We’ve simply lost the tether to what came before us. And to what existential risks really are. Growing up, my grandfather (a veteran of the WWI trenches) used to tell me stories about his grandfather (GAR ’61-65- one of the 20% of his regiment to survive) who related to him stories of the last living veterans of the Revolution who were still alive when he was a boy in the 1830s. Used to joke that in the 2000s I was still just three degrees of separation from the founding. But it does give one perspective on the sacrifices made for… Read more »

Yankee Girl
Guest
Yankee Girl

I, too, am a hop and a skip from the American Revolution. My paternal grandmother, whom I never met, was born in 1856, died in 1926; her mother was born in 1817 and died in 1900. Rev War ancestors a-plenty. One of my forebear’s family, not direct descent from him, was Lemuel Cook from CT who was the oldest Pensioner from the Revolution, passing away after the Civil War. My father was the youngest of six, born in 1899, and was a real history buff. Every conspiracy “theory” bandied about today I heard at his knee in the 1950s/60s! The… Read more »

Member

While we’re at it look up a relative of mine. George Ross. Only Revolutionary War veteran buried in a Civil War cemetery. Shiloh.

Saml Adams
Guest
Saml Adams

If you ever get the chance read Bierce’s “What I Saw of Shiloh”. Not unusual to find Revolutionary Veterans that far west. It was not uncommon for veterans to be paid in “land bounties” by the cash strapped new government.

Member

And Freedom of Association was the first to go, sacrificed on the alter of Civil Rights.

james wilson
Guest
james wilson

Bingo, Rurik. Were the founding members of the Republic to return today there would be one more amendment and it would be Freedom of Association, but their minds could not conceive that such a thing would ever be necessary.

Nori
Guest
Nori

Off topic,but there’s a nice pic of the Eyjafjallajokull Volcano in Iceland on Bing today…

Nori
Guest
Nori

Off topic,but there’s a nice pic of the Eyjafjallajokull Volcano in Iceland on Bing today…

Nori
Guest
Nori

Double post,sorry.

Member

The room analogy is much like what most people do when lost in the bush. They make the same decisions over and over again and begin walking in an almost circular pattern. However difficult it may be, it is important to maintain a sense of orientation. This is what survival schools begin with because, after access to water and fire, this is of paramount importance. You’ve mentioned Russel Kirk in the past. He emphasized self examination of the movement on the basis of historically derived principles more than any of the other father’s of the movement. Buckley and his ilk… Read more »

fr in sc
Guest
fr in sc

I remember the wargames made by Strategy & Tactics magazine even better; Avalon Hill bought the rights to some of their games and published them. Good times!

Major Hoople
Member
Major Hoople

Long hours spent over,those little hexagrams on the Stalingrad board….good times indeed. Tim

Chazz
Guest
Chazz

I don’t see much evidence these days that policy has much to do with politics. Your garden variety congressman seems to readily acquire a fondness for free rides in the Gulfstream, free golf at Pebble Beach, and abundant bimbos. If he can pull down $100,000 per hour speaking fees and his kids can magically be admitted to Harvard, he will be quite happy to advocate any position that will allow the good times to keep rolling on. It is left to the pundits, sorting through his random screw-ups, like examining chicken entrails, to divine clues to a po

Ofay Cat
Guest
Ofay Cat

Are you saying … we have all gotten soft and dumb? Sounds like it.

Jake
Guest
Jake

All you need to know about Hillary Clinton

https://twitter.com/bibi4Trump/status/790902433761202177

Member

“We could not understand because we were too far and could not remember, because we were traveling in the night of first ages, of those ages that are gone, leaving hardly a sign – and no memories…” – Joseph Conrad

Member

The neocons are pretty much just hyper-violent globalists with a bizarre grudge against the Russians.

Neo-cohens.

(I wish I could take credit for that one, but I saw it on another site.)

Brooklyn
Guest
Brooklyn

“The geezers came along when conservatism was focused on fighting the Russians and trying to figure out how to get around Roe in order to curtail abortion. The neocons are pretty much just hyper-violent globalists with a bizarre grudge against the Russians.” Neo-conservatives that rose in the 1990s wish essentially that the Soviet Union hadn’t collapsed. They grew up in the shadows of fathers and an establishment that framed itself as fighting against this enemy and they prepared themselves to join that fight only to see everything fall apart before they could step a foot out the door. Since then… Read more »

bill jones
Guest
bill jones

“The neocons are pretty much just hyper-violent globalists with a bizarre grudge against the Russians”
Bollox. This is accurate as far as it goes but somehow omits their treasonous primary allegiance: Israel.

Jen
Guest
Jen

I’m really enjoying your blog. Thank you. My children and I (we homeschool) read American history from original sources and Liberty minded publications so upon hearing what Conservatives™ actually think, I am shocked. Thank you for writing out how we got here. Although I find it nearly impossible to discuss current issues with people who can’t seem to understand/remember even basic principles. i used to consider myself a R and conservative. I’m not sure I can anymore.