The Tribal Circus

Like a lot of people, I’m guessing, I am struggling to remain positive this week, after Trump once again blundered into making things worse on the immigration front. I think it is fair to wonder if he was not a Manchurian candidate all along. Hired by the usual suspects to pose as a populist, he was supposed to discredit anti-immigration arguments in the primary by presenting them poorly. Instead, voters were willing to look past his ham-fisted presentation, in order to make one last effort to avoid tipping into the abyss.

Now in office, the usual suspects have flipped some other switches in his programming so that he engineers these colossal legislative defeats. That’s a joke, I think, but you have to wonder what Trump would do different if he was actually trying to sabotage his own presidency. He is now everything we expected from Jeb Bush, except for two judges that may be OK. I guess you can call the new NAFTA a win, but that’s not the great departure from the prior regime that Trump has claimed. It’s more tinkering than repeal.

Still, it is easy to gobble down black pills, but that’s not very useful. Trump was never the solution to the problems facing us. At best he was just going to be a wrecker, who discredited the prevailing political orthodoxy, so we should always set our expectations accordingly. It’s also important to remember that the orthodoxy is not just the civic nationalist face we tend to see. The creature behind that Republican mask is the Progressive side of the orthodoxy, which is the Grendel in our saga.

That’s the focus on this week’s show. In order to keep it light, I’m taking a long look at the Democrat primary that is shaping up. We forget that the party actually wielding power, regardless of who is in office, is the Democrat party. They set the agenda and they control the Republican Party. The health of the Democrats is a good indication of just how effective the current vaccines are to the poz they are trying to spread. This podcast is a rundown of the Democrat tribes and the characters vying to be the new chief.

This week I have the usual variety of items in the now standard format. Spreaker has the full show. I am up on Google Play now, so the Android commies can take me along when out disrespecting the country. I am on iTunes, which means the Apple Nazis can listen to me on their Hitler phones. The anarchists can catch me on iHeart Radio. YouTube also has the full podcast. Of course, there is a download link below. I have been de-platformed by Spotify, because they feared I was poisoning the minds of their Millennial customers.

This Week’s Show

Contents

  • 00:00: Opening
  • 02:00: The Tribes
  • 07:00: The Vibrant
  • 17:00: The Festive
  • 27:00: The Angry
  • 37:00: The Mysterious
  • 47:00: The Legacies
  • 57:00: Closing

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Hanging Alone

The great social blogger Heartiste did a post a week or so ago on the four types of loneliness. It was a take-off on a Twitter exchange on the subject. The original Twitter exchange listed loneliness for a woman, loneliness for brotherhood and loneliness for a lord, as in God, as the three forms of male loneliness. Heartiste adds a fourth, which he calls the loneliness a man feels for the man he has yet to become. This form of loneliness seems to be correlated to the distance one is from their true self.

One interesting thing about this list is it tracks closely with John Derbyshire’s description of the normal modes of thought. There’s no form of loneliness that corresponds with the desire for revenge, but perhaps personal thought could be broadened to include more than revenge fantasies. If so, then it works out well. The list from the Heartiste post then corresponds to personal, social, religious and magical thinking. The implication of that correspondence is that loneliness, or fear of it, is an integral part of man.

Some would argue that the keystone to male loneliness is the personal. A man who gets married and has a family, will never be alone. He will never be forgotten, because some of him will carry on in his children. This raises his social standing and makes for more meaningful relationships with his fellow men. The miracle of family life inevitably leads to a fuller, richer spiritual life. That seems plausible, except that divorces rates and the number of unmarried males suggests a different causal relationship.

Of course, the more spiritually minded would start with the need to have a relationship with the universe. Maybe this is in the form of some esoteric spirituality or the more concrete relationship man finds in Christianity. This connection to the universe, the relationship to God, provides the foundation for personal relationships, brotherhood and fulfillment of potential. As with personal loneliness, the facts on the ground suggest this is not the correct causal relationship. The pews are empty for a reason.

Heartiste, it appears, makes his first mover the loneliness a man feels for the man he has yet to become. He describes this as “Thwarted passion, a decision to avoid a risky venture, procrastination…these things will deprive a man of the ideal he always strives toward, and in the depths of that deprivation he will feel lonely for the company, and the mentorship, of his idealized self.” If you are all the man you imagine yourself to be, you will have all the women you want, all the brotherhood you want and the love of the universe.

The benefit of thinking of it this way is that it makes the fulfillment of your true self as the glue that binds the other forms of thought to one another as co-equals. There is a romantic quality, where this fulfillment of the true self completes a man in a perfection of the personal, spiritual and social. The flaw though, is that a homicidal sociopath reaching his full potential is a very different thing than what Heartiste has in mind. The ring cycle can just as easily end in horror as a romantic sense of fulfillment.

The final combination starts with brotherhood. The man who has established fulfilling relationships with other men, will inevitably share the spiritual life of his peers. He will believe what they believe and feel that the universe cares for him, as it cares for his brothers. An assumption here is that the only way for a man to find brotherhood is if he has completed himself in the personal domain by finding a woman. This golden triangle, so to speak, is what unchains a man to reach his full potential as a man.

Up until recent, western society was held together, to a great degree, by the voluntary associations we call brotherhood. It may have been organizations for former soldiers, fraternal organization or social clubs organized around a particularly male activity, like hunting or sporting. What we now think of as male loneliness and the degradation of male roles, corresponds with the collapse of brotherhood. The war on sexism was always a war on brotherhood, which in turn was a war on the bones of society.

The argument against this is that brotherhood does not necessary free a man to reach his potential as a man. Anyone who has been in the service or played team sports knows that talent is often sacrificed for the goals of the group. Organizations always take on a life of their own, putting the group ahead of its constituents. At the same time, organizations tend to devolve into politics, resulting in factionalism, which inevitably reduces the effectiveness of the group and the individuals within the group.

That’s not brotherhood though. That’s simply organization, which is different from brotherhood. In fact, in order to forge the bonds of brotherhood a man has to voluntarily sacrifice something of his self. It is this sacrifice, often a sacrifice of blood and sweat, life and labor, that makes brotherhood possible. The man who willingly gives his life for his brothers, so his brothers may live, is a man making the ultimate sacrifice. There is a reason such men are held in the highest honor by his brothers.

Of course, this assertion suggests a universal. In order to have personal, spiritual and social fulfillment, man must first find brotherhood. It is the pivot point upon which the balance of a man’s life rests. The collapse of the male domain in western societies, has then brought down with it the personal, the spiritual and the social. In order to avoid hanging alone, in the loneliness of modern despair, men will need to rebuild the structures that allow for brotherhood and most important, make the sacrifice it demands.

Old Movies

When I was a kid, we did not have cable, mostly because it did not exist, at least as we understand it. Cable TV existed as far back as the 1950’s, but it was not common and the selection was no different from over the air offerings. It has been a long time, but I recall we had two network channels we could reliably receive over the air and two or three minor channels. UHF channels were local and played mostly re-runs of old shows and some local broadcasting. VHF channels had the national network offerings.

From the vantage point of the 1970’s, “old” TV shows were mostly things from the 1960’s, but old movies from the 40’s and 50’s were common too. In other words, if you wanted to peak back in time to the previous eras of American culture, you could reliably go back a decade and selectively go back a few decades. Bad old TV shows like Get Smart and Star Trek would go into syndication, but bad old movies were just forgotten. The old movies that were shown on TV were usually the good ones that people liked.

What that meant is if you wanted to know what it was like to live in 1945, you had to ask someone who was alive in 1945. You could get a little taste of it from watching old movies on a Saturday afternoon, but that was a stylized version. To really get a feel for the age before color movies and television, you had to rely on the fading memories of grandma and grandpa. Of course, this was true for all of human history until recent. It’s why old people are good at telling stories about the old days. They’re built for it.

Today it is different. I watched The Thomas Crown Affair the other night off the Kodi machine. This was the 1968 version with Faye Dunaway and Steve McQueen. There was a remake of this in 1999 with Pierce Bronson. I had seen the remake a few times, but I never saw the original. In fact, I did not know there was an original. That’s a bit of interesting cultural data right there. Just about every movie produced over the last twenty-five years is either a remake or made from a children’s comic book.

What I found remarkable about the movie is something I notice whenever I watch old movies and that is the maturity. A movie about the cat and mouse between a male and female today will have at least half an hour of rutting and humping, along with some explosions and lots of vulgar language. The modern presentation of male-female relations is so crude, that porn makers of the past would have been offended. In the old days, the film maker and audience expected a more sophisticated portrayal of sexual relations.

That is the other thing that turns up in old movies and television. Hollywood made assumptions about the cultural awareness of the audience we don’t see now.  In the Thomas Crown Affair, there is a long scene around a chess game. It was supposed to be a stand in for the sexual tension between McQueen and Dunaway. It’s a bit ham-handed, but vastly more sophisticated than anything you would see today. One reason is the typical viewer today knows nothing about chess, so it would be lost on them.

Part of that is due to Hollywood relying on international audiences to make money. You can’t expect to make money in China or India when your film is full of essential references to Anglo-Saxon cultural items. When you make films for the universal culture, you are making movies for a culture that does not exist. That means the goal is to remove cultural references, rather than rely on them to tell a story. There can be no subtlety and nuance without common cultural reference points understood by the audience.

The main thing that jumps out in old movies is the respect people had for themselves. The reason Steve McQueen was a star was because he played a role that was something men could aspire too. He would never have played a homosexual junkie or some other type of degenerate. People knew these sorts of people existed, but they expected them to be on the fringe of their lives and therefore on the fringe of their stories. Watch old movies and you see references to degeneracy, but it is always oblique.

Again, this goes to that respect for the audience. Just as the audience did not require thirty minutes of sex scenes to know the male and female were intimate, the audience did not have to see the gritty details of degeneracy to know it existed. The old movies assumed the viewers were adults who knew about the reality of life. Today’s film makers have to assume the viewers are retarded and need everything explained. Movies in late empire America are made for the recently arrived, provincial barbarians.

Finally, the thing that makes watching old movies worth the time is they offer a window into that long forgotten country of our ancestors. Unlike when I was a kid, young people don’t have to rely on old people telling them stories of the old days. Today, you can watch anything and everything ever made by Hollywood, even the bad stuff. Young people can watch YouTube clips from that country where humor was still legal. Most of it is crap, just as today, but it reveals what it was like in the bad old days.

More important, watching those old movies and TV shows, you can’t help but notice the early signs of poz being introduced. The stuff from the 1970’s is much more degenerate than the stuff from the 1960’s. In the 1980’s, the dumbing down becomes obvious as the makers started courting non-white audiences. It’s a good way to see how where we are now did not happen overnight. It was a long, deliberate war waged with patience and purpose. The fight for freedom will be long and require patience too.

Technology And Social Trust

People working in criminal law have been saying for years that Hollywood’s portrayal of forensic evidence has made it more difficult to prosecute criminals. They call it the “CSI Effect” named after a TV police drama. It is where jurors demand comprehensive forensic evidence, which effectively raises the burden of proof in criminal cases. Instead of eye witness testimony placing a suspect at the crime scene, jurors now expect physical evidence and testimony from an expert on the use of DNA to identify the suspect.

There’s no data to support this observation, but it is something that gets said a lot on TV, so everyone believes it. The increased expectation of what science can do has effectively raised the standard of proof. Another way to look at this is better technology has lowered the standard of trust. It used to be that people could trust themselves to judge the testimony of a witness. They could count on citizens being honest to them. Now, they want physical proof before taking the word of anyone in criminal court.

Of course, now that people in the legal system think this phenomenon is true, they operate on the assumption that no one will take anyone’s word for anything. That means the state invests in high tech forensic labs and pays a lot of experts to testify to jurors in criminal trials about the physical evidence. On the other side, the defense thinks simply being innocent is not enough, so they require experts and private labs to both provide an objective denial of guilt, as well as a counter to the state’s battery of experts.

It is a great example of how new technology can have unexpected results when introduced into a complex system like the criminal justice system. The underlying assumption of our system is that regular citizens can weigh the evidence and decide the guilt or innocence of the accused. Now the assumption is no one can weigh the evidence, other than specially trained experts. Technology has conjured into reality the idea of the fair witness from Stranger in a Strange Land.

The courtroom is not the only place where technology is causing us to lose faith in our senses. The advent of the hyperlink has made it so that any controversial assertion on-line is assumed to be false if it does not have a link to an authoritative source. In every on-line community you see demands for links to authoritative sources, whenever there is a dispute over something. These appeals to a neutral authority correspond to a decline in the lack of trust between people. It’s not true unless you have a link.

Something similar may be happening in the news. Take the Jussie Smollett incident in Chicago. Exactly no one believed him, because there was no video and no corroboration from a neutral technology source, like a cell phone camera. As soon as the cops revealed they could not find confirmation on their surveillance cameras, everyone just assumed it must be a hoax. There were plenty of doubters to begin with, given the number of prior hoaxes, but even the gullible are now expecting proof from technology.

The proliferation of cameras and now listening devices on public streets means it is increasingly difficult to do anything without being seen. Even if that is not true, it is assumed to be true. That means if there is no video, it did not happen. It also means if there is no video, there is no investigation, as the cops will soon figure out that it is waste of time to investigate crimes unless you can get video. The criminal mastermind of the future will be the guy who figures out how to avoid being identified by CCTV.

Another way the proliferation of technology changes social trust is seen on the college campus. In order to avoid being accused of rape, males now tape their interactions with coeds. They may have a buddy record audio so they can prove the encounter was consensual. Young people are growing up to expect everything to be recorded and to not trust anyone unless they can see video or hear audio. People mock the idea of getting consent in writing, but that’s probably better than everyone taping their encounters.

The other side of this coin is the casual way in which people allow themselves to be recorded by others. Every internet drama seems to involve one party publishing chats, video or audio of another party. Super villain Jeff Bezos is an obvious example. He broke the cardinal rule of super villains. Never write when you can speak. Never speak when you can nod. Most important, never send pics of you wiener to people. He was cavalier about being recorded and now is the world’s silliest super villain.

The result of all this is two things. One is the total lack of privacy. The only place that will be safe for anyone to imagine bad things is in their own head. When the internet of things is quietly spying in every home, car and public place, there will no longer be the concept of privacy. Imagine a land where there are no walls and no clothes. Everyone walks around naked and in full view of everyone else. It sounds crazy, but people adapt. The citizens of the future custodial state will get used to a word without privacy.

The other thing is no one will take anyone’s word for anything. This will include people in authority. If you can’t trust your own senses, you’re unlikely to trust the senses of some guy on television claiming to be your leader. Civic duty will have to be replaced with some form of coercion. Perhaps nudge technology will reach a point where the nudged will think they are acting of their own free will. Maybe the people in charge will fit everyone with a WiFi enabled technology collar that ties them into the internet of things.

It is assumed that technological advance always improves the material world. It certainly seems that way. It’s possible, however, that the trade-off for technological advance is the decline in social trust, maybe even a decline in empathy. In order for these new technologies to thrive, people have to abandon their ability to share the feelings of others and maybe even abandon their sense of self. The future will be a world of indifferent automatons, living in glass houses, under the eye of the state.

Free Will

Early humans, as best we can know, did not have a conception of free will, at least not in the way modern people think of it. Instead, they assumed the gods controlled the destiny of man, often directly interfering in the lives of people. What appeared to be your choice, was really just part of a bigger narrative that had been written by others. This is why it was possible for fortune tellers to exist. After all, if the future is not written, then how could anyone divine the future? Obviously, the future was already written.

The funny thing about these early notions of destiny is they did not exempt people from punishment for wrong doing. The thief was still punished, which does not make a lot of sense if his destiny was determined by the gods. Of course, the remedy here is to conclude that his destiny is to be executed and the destiny of the executioner is to be the one who punishes the thief. Even so, it suggests that people have always accepted some degree of free will, even in the age when people believed in gods controlling destiny.

The Greeks, of course, were the first to think about free will. They sort of crept up on the idea by first suggesting the natural world operated by fixed rules. A Greek philosopher named Anaximander proposed that there were ideal laws that governed material phenomenon in the physical world. The famous line from Heraclitus that “you can’t step twice into the same river” did not mean that the world was random. He meant that world is in constant flux, but the changes observed in nature follow a fixed set of laws.

It was not until a generation after Aristotle that the Greeks moved from the position where a set of laws controlled the physical world to a position where the atoms flowing through the void could suddenly swerve from their determined path. This ability of the physical world to deviate from the determined path meant that people could swerve from their determined path. Eventually, this chain of reasoning arrived at the conclusion that people could act from something other than chance or necessity. That’s free will.

The concept of free will has been essential to Western thought since the Greeks and it is an essential element of Christianity. You can’t have sin without free will and you cannot have communion without free will. People have to possess the ability to transcend chance and necessity in order to be held responsible for their actions. This is the fundamental assumption of Western society. Everything from civic morality to political organization is based on the belief that humans possess and exercise free will.

As is true in many aspects of this age, science in starting to question that old notion of free will. Genetics is revealing that our genetic code controls more than just our physical appearance. Our cognitive abilities are also controlled by our genes. Just as we cannot choose to be taller or be of another race, we cannot choose to be smarter or more patient or more prudent. It’s not just the larger aspects of pour personality that are fixed by our genetics code. Everything about us is written in our DNA.

People can accept something like intelligence being genetic. That’s something we begin to notice as children. When it comes to something like patience, for example, that’s where it gets more difficult to accept. It seems like you should be able to change that. The same is true of something like prudence. It seems like as we get older we become more prudent, more cautious about our actions. The mounds of self-help books all depend on the ability of people to alter these sorts of aspects of their personality.

Even though researchers are just scratching the surface with regards to the genetic causes of human cognitive traits, there are people ready to say free will is a myth. The HBD blogger Jayman argues that your choices can’t be “free” if they are so easily predicted by behavioral genetics. If we can predict behavior statistically and all human behavioral traits are heritable, it follows that what you think is free choice, is really just the complex execution of your code in response to external variables.

Again, the science of behavior genetics is just scratching the surface, but the data thus far certainly suggests this is correct. It’s certainly more complicated than what Hollywood imagines, but science says everything about us is in our code. There is probably not a criminal gene or a bad with girls gene, but there are a series of traits that influence these measurable qualities in positive and negative directions. Where you are on the spectrum of these cognitive traits is determined by your code.

Most people will find that rather monstrous, because of the implications. The most obvious is that genetic determinism rules out morality. People cannot be rewarded or punished, unless they can transcend chance and necessity. If their choices are simply the result of their code executing in response to environmental factors, they have no agency and therefore no responsibility. This also means there can be no such thing as sin, unless you believe God creates people coded to sin. The same is true of piety.

On the other hand, people with a background in math will know that not all algorithms produce a single result. A simple formula like f (x) = x² has the set of all positive integers for all possible values of x. Even though the result must always be positive, there is a qualitative difference between three and a billion and three. Something similar may be true about human genetic code. The possible result set is large enough to present a qualitative difference that is important to how we evaluate those results.

In other words, our code may make us like ice cream, but the range of ways that urge could express in our daily life is between murdering someone for ice cream and simply having some after dinner. Another bit of code, let’s call it the free will algorithm, controls how these cognitive traits express, based on the inputs from society. Just as random number generation is not actually random, but can be treated as such, the free will algorithm is not actually free will, but can be treated as such.

This notion of free will is certainly something that evolved. Your house pets do not have a concept of free will. This is a uniquely human trait. That means it may have arisen by chance, but it has a very important purpose. Rewarding and punishing people for their behavior must be essential to what defines as us people. Perhaps just as genes can arise from mutation, the replication process swerving from the path, our actions can also swerve from the path, based on some unknown capacity to choose.

Zero Marginal Culture

A long running gag in popular culture is one where the adults complain about the fads popular with the younger generation. Adults supposedly have been complaining about the kid’s music since the birth of pop culture in the 20th century. The same is true of clothing styles and haircuts. Of course, part of that is the marketing of popular culture. The people peddling this stuff try to feed on the normal youthful rebellion, so an ideal result, if you’re in the business, is for the adults to really hate it. Then the kids will love it.

The assumption underlying this gag is that there is no objective difference in quality between pop culture trends. The perceived quality is relative. From the perspective of a teenager, the new thing is useful because it translates to status within their peer group or allows them access to a desirable youth subculture. For adults, these new trends have no social value. There may be some small value in hating it, but since all adults are tuned to not like teenage fads, the value in not liking it is minimal.

The makers of pop culture made up for this lack of qualitative difference in fads by maintaining a monopoly on the supply. Hollywood was controlled by a small clique from the start and remained a family business of sorts until recent. Music was similarly controlled by a relatively small number of record companies. Read the book The Wrecking Crew and you see how this used to work. This bottleneck on the supply side allowed the makers to keep down costs and therefore maintain a profit margin.

Technology has made it much more difficult for the people controlling the supply side to maintain this bottleneck. That’s mostly because technology has lowered the barrier to entry into pop culture. A great example of this happening in front of our eyes. Talk radio became a thing in the 1980’s. Conservative Inc. controlled middlebrow conservative opinion by controlling the radio networks. If you wanted to talk politics on the Right, you had to play ball with the people controlling the talk radio industry.

Today, some of the most influential voices on the Right are podcasters and live streamers. If you’re under the age of fifty, you’re probably close to abandoning the old radio model entirely, maybe listening to some of the old guys on-line. The audience for Rush Limbaugh is half of its peak now. Most talkers have seen their audience shrink and they are now seeing competition from below. People like Stephan Molyneux can produce high quality, professional content, from their home and reach a broad audience on-line.

The thing is though, supply does not create demand. Just because you can now produce your own music from a home studio, it does not follow that you become a pop star. That old assumption about there being no qualitative difference in trends works in the macro sense, but talent still counts. The fact that young people may prefer pop music from their grandparent’s generation suggests there is a qualitative difference in this area. To these young ears, that music is better, so they prefer it over what the style makers produce.

Alternatively, another way of looking at this phenomenon is that like the consumer electronics business, pop music is now fully commoditized. There’s little or no value added to the music from the producers and creators, so the only thing that matters in the music market is price. Since streaming is the platform of the future, producing new music makes less sense, when there is this vast library of existing music. The kids have not heard these old songs, so selling them the old stuff is possible.

Another aspect to this is the cultural one. Pop music had a peak in the 1970’s and has been in decline ever since. This tracks with the overall decline in the culture. This turns up in per capita music consumption. The aberration was the introduction of the CD, which had everyone re-buying their catalog of music. Otherwise, Americans have listening to less music than fifty years ago. Young people may simply prefer that which was created in peak America over that which is produced in post-America.

Putting aside the cultural angle, which is not unimportant, the economic issue raised by trends in popular culture is how does a market economy work when everything is a commodity? If technology makes it impossible to create bottlenecks and control artificial monopolies on supply, how can concepts like entrepreneurship and market competition still exist? After all, business is about creating scarcity and exploiting it. What happens when the Peter Theil model is no longer possible?

It sounds fanciful, and maybe it is, but it is worth thinking about, as the people who rule over us are thinking about it. The author of this book on the subject is an adviser to the European Union and is read by the western political elite. They are not worried about a world of zero marginal cost. They want to create it. The world of zero marginal cost is also a world of zero marginal culture. More precisely, it is post-culture world, in which things like pop music are simply things supplied by the system on-demand.

Beautiful Losers

The response to last week’s show was interesting, in that I got a few queries about people I mentioned from the old days. I’ve noticed this before whenever I talk about the paleocons and their battles with the neocons in the 80’s and 90’s. Everyone knows about the neocons, at least they think they do, but the paleos seem to be fading from memory as they fade from the scene. It is a case of the winners writing the history books, so I thought a show about the paleocons would be something worth doing.

The original plan was to do a segment on the various people who made up movement, maybe read from their best work, but that would have been too long and too boring. I like doing these sorts of episodes, but this is not a history podcast. What I settled on is the formula I’ve used for other episodes. What’s interesting to me about the paleos is they were right about a lot of things, especially their own flaws, but they failed anyway. It is a great example of how having the facts on your side is not enough.

Putting the show together, what struck me is just how much overlap there is between the alt-right and the paleos. Despite this, you never hear the alt-right talk about these guys or credit them for their ideas. There is an anti-intellectualism to the alt-right that is maybe a reaction to the academic aesthetic of the paleos. We have a library full of writting by the paleocons, while the alt-right has dated livestreams and podcasts. Given how things worked out, maybe that’s a good thing, but it is something to consider.

This week I have the usual variety of items in the now standard format. Spreaker has the full show. I am up on Google Play now, so the Android commies can take me along when out disrespecting the country. I am on iTunes, which means the Apple Nazis can listen to me on their Hitler phones. The anarchists can catch me on iHeart Radio. YouTube also has the full podcast. Of course, there is a download link below. I have been de-platformed by Spotify, because they feared I was poisoning the minds of their Millennial customers.

This Week’s Show

Contents

  • 00:00: Opening
  • 02:00: The Origin Of The Paleocons
  • 12:00: Paleoconservatism In A Nutshell
  • 27:00: Why The Paleos Lost
  • 42:00: Learning From Failure
  • 57:00: Closing (Link)
  • Links: (Link) (Link) (Link) (Link) (Link) (Link) (Link) (Link)

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The Inhumanity Of Openness

A core assumption of cosmopolitan globalism is that the ideal society is the completely open society. That is, there are no barriers between people and all transactions are completely transparent. Organizations are based entirely on neutral rules, so that anyone meeting an objective set of criteria may join. Goods and services flow freely, without regards to national borders or local interests. The open society is therefore transactional, where the friction of custom, national interest and tradition is eliminated.

To see how central the concept of the open society is to the globalist project, you just have to look at the chief global advocate for globalism, George Soros. He is a citizen of nowhere, but he meddles everywhere. Through his organization, The Open Society Foundations, he funds subversive organizations all over the West. The goal is to destroy borders, customs and traditions, in order to turn the West into an open, transactional commerce area for the world. Openness is central to post-nationalism.

If a society is fully open, therefore, it means all people have access to all things, all places and so forth. It follows, according to the logic of the adherents, that any organization lacking the diversity of its surrounding environment, must not be fully open. A fire house without vibrancy, for example, is somehow discriminating against the vibrant. There does not have to be proof of this. The lack of vibrancy is proof enough. After all, if the hiring process of the firehouse was open and transparent, it would be fully vibrant.

At first blush, this sounds sort of reasonable, but it is when you examine it in detail that this zeal for openness is found to be every bit as extreme and inhuman as the radical ideologies of the past. This post from Robin Hanson offers a good illustration. His first thought experiment, regarding discrimination against the left-handed, comes to the conclusion that busting up exclusionary group preferences is good for the world. The reason is, such discrimination offends the gods of efficiency.

This sounds fine in the abstract, until you think about it in practice. Hanson assumes insiders create rules for arbitrary reasons. They just like one another and foolishly create rules that favor themselves. If only they could see the beauty of openness, they would drop those rules, so let’s just bust up those rules for them. Attacks on free association and private discrimination are not just about liberating the excluded. They are about liberating the included, so they can enjoy openness and vibrancy.

He then gets into “gender” differences, by which he means sex differences. This confusion we see on the Left between biological reality and their fantasy constructs is an essential element of their world view. It’s a form of fallacy where they compare reality to some model of reality, then critique the model, rather than use the model to gain a better understanding of reality. Therefore they talk about gender roles and ignore biology, because the model of gender is easier to critique.

This passage from his post is where we see the extreme radicalism.

Some may postulate gender as an innate atomic feature of the universe of human concerns, so that when we desire that an associate have a certain gender that has nothing to do with their many other associated features. But that seems crazy to me. Much more plausibly, what we like about a gender is strongly tied to the set of associated features that tend to go along with that gender. That is, we like the package of features that “are” a gender.

He is taking the theoretical model of gender that is not based in biologic reality then imposing it on reality. The whole post is a great example of sophistry, but it is also an insight into the thinking of the people who currently rule over us. They really have accepted the blank slate arguments about observable reality being a social construct. When you start talking about society “assigning roles” based on packages of features associated with genders, you have slipped the chains of reality.

The monstrous nature of the open society lies in the fact it assumes choice, based in anything but objective criteria, is invalid. The male who marries a female because of biology is acting from bias. The male who marries a man, because of economic benefit is acting rationally, because his decision is based on objective criteria. This view of people strips them of their humanity and turns them into economic units, cursed with a sense of moral duty and a belief in free will. They must be broken of those beliefs.

This is what lies behind the sudden promotion of race mixing on television. Every ad must feature a mixed race couple. It’s not so much a denial of biology, it is a denial of choice driven by anything other than objective criteria. Preferring your own race or ethnicity is invalid, because it places a barrier between you and others. Breaking up these antiquated notions of choice is not about racism. It’s about destroying any barriers between people, as those are by definition invalid in an open society.

This is why they are so berserk about what is coming from the human sciences with regards to the nature of man. If people are wired to favor their kin over strangers, for example, the open society cannot exist. More important, biology is a more authentic authority than whatever is bubbling up from the soft sciences. Destroying science will become a crusade, as it is the only way to preserve the open society. The un-personing of James Watson is not a sacrifice. It is atonement.

There’s also an anarcho-nihilism quality to the open society. If all human relations are reduced to self-interest based in objective criteria, there’s no reason for anyone to sacrifice. Trust is not objective and it cannot be measured. Without trust, human cooperation is impossible, as no one has an interest in sacrificing today for the good of a whole he may not be around to enjoy. The result of the open society is a Hobbesian world where everyone is a stranger and everyone is a predator.

That is what makes the zeal for openness immoral. It violates the natural order. It’s why a people under siege will sacrifice rather than open their gates. They know without that barrier between them and the besiegers, they don’t exist. It’s why the first demand of the conqueror is for the conquered to tear down their walls. The people preaching the open society are similarly acting from the position of the conqueror. If the West tears down its walls, removes its borders, becomes fully open, it ceases to exist.

When The Truth Is True

In recent times, probably since the Bush years, people we now associate with the alt-right have claimed that Israel controls American foreign policy. Anti-Semites, of course, have always made this charge, but usually without much proof. They just hate Jews and by extension hate Israel, so claiming American foreign policy is run by Zionists has an emotional appeal for them. Paleocons and now the alt-right, in contrast, point to various adventures and neocon statements as proof Israel runs the show.

Still, even with an increasing amount of data to support the general idea that our political class is more concerned with Israel than America, most people don’t believe it. Instead they look for other reasons that are more fun and satisfying. Part of it is most white people just don’t want to agree with the anti-Semites on anything. They have been tuned by generations of conditioning to respond negatively to anything critical of Jews. Another part of it is the aluminum foil hat stuff about the deep state.

The gag during the last presidential election about the conspiracy theories surrounding Hillary Clinton was that it would be easier to dismiss them if they were not true. That’s the issue with the theory that Israel controls American foreign policy. It would be a lot easier to dismiss the claims if they were not true. For example, Trump said he was withdrawing our troops from Syria. Now, all of a sudden, Trump says he has changed his mind and we’re staying in Syria because of Israel. Score one for the anti-Semites.

In his book, Tucker Carlson recounts the fights between the neocons and the paleocons over Iraq. The neocons publicly argued that the paleos were anti-Semites for opposing these wars. In private, neocons like Bill Kristol laughed and said the wars were all about defending Israel. The neoconservatives hate Carlson with a passion, but they have not bothered to dispute this claim. Instead, they accuse him of being a shill for Putin. Put another way, they concede he is correct in his recollections.

In fairness, a lot of Americans have been conditioned to put the interests of Israel above all else, but it is not a majority. Most people voting democrat are anti-war. The rainbow coalition of non-whites on the Left has a strong whiff of antisemitism. On the Republican side, most voters are done with foreign adventurism. It’s why no GOP pols talk about the two decade long war in Afghanistan. The only people who support forever war in the Middle East are Evangelicals, who have made Israel an obsession.

Still, while most Americans would welcome a withdrawal from the world, most also think helping Israel is a good thing. They see her as the plucky little country surviving in a sea of hostile barbarians. That’s why Trump blurted out that line about staying in Syria to defend Israel. He’s pretty much a BoomerCon, so his instincts are in-line with the MAGA hat wearing type who show up at his rallies. They will forgive him for reversing course on Syria, because they share his general sensibilities on defending Israel.

That’s a good rationalization until you take a look at what is going on with Tulsi Gabbard, the Hawaiian politician now running for president. Given the state of the Left and the circus that will be the Democrat primary, she should be a star. In fact, when she first won office, the Left was selling her as the future of the party. She’s young, good looking, heterodox in her politics, without straying too far afield. She served in the military, which is now a weird badge of honor for female politicians. She is the female Barak Obama.

Then they started to look past sex and skin tone. Her father is anti-gay, advocating things like gay conversion therapy. Gabbard herself was never on-board with the assault on marriage, which makes her a homophobe on the Left. More important, she was anti-war and not for the goofy reasons popular on the Left. She opposed the endless wars in the Muslim world because she thinks they are bad for Americans. Even worse, she was willing to meet with Assad, Israel’s sworn enemy. That’s unforgivable.

That’s why on the day she announced her intention to run for the nomination, every single big shot in the Democrat party denounced her. It was so obviously coordinated, it recalled that gag about the Clinton conspiracies. It was if they wanted the world to know that they were reading the lines from a script handed to them by headquarters. Howard Dean was probably the most amusing. His statement on Gabbard suggested that maybe someone was holding his family hostage and he was forced to denounce her or else.

It’s not just the pols trashing Gabbard. The media has been instructed to open up the big guns on her. Here we are a year from the first voting and the Prog media is spending big money to trash one of the fifty candidates. It’s one thing to start throwing mud at one of the favorites, but to attack a minor candidate this far out is weird. The outfit running the shenanigans against Gabbard is in so tight with the Deep State-Democrat Party nexus, it probably has offices at the DNC. New Knowledge is an arm of the party.

Just to be clear, in case anyone is confused, the phrase “Kremlin controlled” or “Putin Stooge” is code for anti-Semite. Anytime you hear the usual suspects linking an enemy with Russia, they are speaking from tribal interests, not Americans ones. It’s why everyone who tumbles out of the NeverTrump clown car starts hooting about how Putin controls Trump. Russia is the great bogeyman of the tribe, so the worst thing you can be is a tool of Russia. We will hear a lot about Gabbard and her Russia ties this year.

Again, it is understandable that people would be slow to notice that a foreign country is dictating American foreign policy. Those anti-Semites are icky and mean. The conspiracy theorists are weird and creepy. No one wants to be associated with them. The thing is though, the truth is true, even if bad people believe it. The truth is, Israel may not control American foreign policy, but they have a tremendous amount of influence. Given what just happened in Syria, it is fair to say Israel has veto power.

Jelly Bean Economics

Imagine you find yourself in one of those underground malls, where they design it such that you never have to go above ground. Now, instead of just the mall, your living and working space is also underground. It is an underground community that is like a small town, except everyone is stuck there, unable to leave the mole utopia. You know, however, that there is a world outside and that people live above ground. It’s a not prison, just a system that is complete, so you have no reason to leave the mole utopia.

In your world, everything works like it does in the world of today. People have jobs, socialize, conduct commerce, and have families, all the stuff we associate with normal human society. The one difference between the mole utopia and this world is their economy is based on jelly beans, the little candies given to kids at Easter. Each color has a different value and people treat them in the same way you would treat coins or bills. When you get paid, it is in jelly beans. When you buy stuff, it is in jelly beans.

No one knows where the beans come from or who is responsible for making sure the supply of beans is correct. There’s some vague notion of a jelly bean consortium and people who spend their days keeping track of all beans in circulation. There are people, who police the bakers to make sure they are not making fake jelly beans. Otherwise, the beans are just the thing that is there, taken for granted by everyone. The jelly beans used in commerce are as much a part of reality as the air people breathe.

Now, there are people in charge and they do control the supply of beans. At first, when they set the system up, they figured the goal was to keep the supply of beans constant, as beans are fragile and people will tend to eat them. The best bean counters in mole utopia were recruited to keep track of the flow of beans in order to determine the overall supply and rate of bean decay. They would order up new beans to be introduced into the supply to keep the supply of beans steady, so there could never be a shortage.

At first they would just have people hand out beans under the guise of charity, but before long the people doing that started cheating. They would keep the beans or only give them to friends and family. The next scheme was to have the government of mole utopia disperse the new beans, by hiring people and buying stuff. This worked pretty well until government started cheating and ordered up beans whenever it needed to buy votes or reward friends of the government. This caused people to lose faith in the jelly beans.

Finally, the bean counters landed on a scheme where they would lend the new beans to banks at extremely low interest. The bean banks, flush with new beans, would then lend beans to people at very low rates. This got the beans into the economy, without anyone stealing them or using the supply to corrupt the system. The one flaw is the bankers got rich from the scheme, but bankers are always rich, so no one really noticed much of a change. It also made the bankers dependent on the bean counters.

The bankers could lend to anyone, including the government. Since rates were so low, the government could borrow vastly more than under the prior arrangements. That meant they could spend vastly more than in the past. The bankers were never worried about the government repaying, because ultimately they controlled the supply of beans, so they could always order more beans. That meant it was the safest type of loan, because the government would always make its payments and make them in full.

The only constraint on the government spending was how fast they could increase spending. Too fast an increase and too many beans would enter the economy of mole utopia, lowering the value of each bean. This could distort markets in unpredictable ways, by increasing demand unexpectedly in some areas, but not in others. This would also raise prices and force lending rates to increase. Therefore, inflation became the only check on spending. As long as inflation remained low, spending was unlimited.

This description of mole utopia may sound simple and ridiculous, but it is how the modern American economy is run by the Federal Reserve. Modern Monetary Theory is the economic argument that government spending is only constrained by inflation, as long as the government has control of the money supply. Here is a short video lecture on the topic from Professor Stephanie Kelton of Stony Brook University. Here is a much shorter version in the form of a post that appeared on Zero Hedge last week.

The basic argument of the MMT people is that as long as there are resources not being utilized by the private sector, the state has a duty to step in and put those resources to use through government spending. That’s a moral argument, not an economic argument or a factual observation. The economic argument is that spending and debt is meaningless, as long as the state is not crowding out the private sector and the spending is not driving up retail inflation. Otherwise, the government can spend as much as necessary.

To many people, this sounds like a version of the old joke about the stranger who comes to a small town looking for a room. He plops down a few hundred dollars and the inn keeper tells him to wait while his room is prepared. In the meantime, the innkeeper rushes out to pay his vendors, who then rush out to pay their vendors. Eventually, that new money reaches the town’s prostitutes, who use the inn for their clients, renting rooms on credit. They rush in with the new money and pay the innkeeper what they owe.

In that old gag, the stranger changes his mind about a room, takes his money back and leaves town, but everyone that was owed money is now paid. That’s the joke. The lesson, of course, is that as long as everyone is getting paid, especially the prostitutes, the system keeps spinning and everyone is happy. That’s the moral theory of MMT in a nutshell. As long as productive resources are being utilized and everyone is getting paid, the system keeps spinning. Just as important, the society remains stable.

The critics will instinctively shoot back that this sort of economics is inherently unstable and the apparent stability is short lived. In the long run, the accumulation of debt becomes untenable and the system collapses. The response to that is no one, especially government, lives in the long run. More important, MMT answers the question as to how government should respond to automation. As robots eliminate jobs, more people become idle. How does the state address the problem of fewer jobs for a growing population?

There’s another way to look at this. The custodial state runs on the same premise as a prison. The first job of the warden is to maintain control of the prison. He does that by making sure the prisoners are always kept busy in ways that work toward his goal of maintaining control of the prison. One mechanism for doing that is controlling the supply of goods and services in circulation in the prison. Prisons have an economy based on items from the commissary and that commissary is controlled by the warden.

What MMT seeks to do is make the sovereign state, by which is meant the issuer of currency, the commissary of the American economy. By controlling the supply of goods and services, via currency manipulation, spending and debt, the state can keep an increasingly useless population busy. It can always reward activities that enhance control of the system and punish activity that creates disorder. Inevitably, the communications companies, banks and technology firms become the prison guards of the system.