A Report From The Field

One of the stranger things about this age is that even the fiercest critics of the ruling class are finding it hard to keep pace with the ruling class confirming their claims. Make some exaggerated statement about the Cloud People and before you have had a chance to defend it from critics, Cloud People have taken to social media to prove your point. It’s a cliché to say that satire is dead, but it really does feel that way. How can you satirize people who are everything you mock them for being, plus some extra to make the point?

A popular theme here is that the people who rule over us act like a foreign colonial elite, divorced from the reality of our daily life. They are not just physically removed, but spiritually and intellectually removed. As a result, they are entirely clueless about what animates our lives and decisions. This critique is meant to be an exaggeration to make a point about our elites. This editorial in the Wall Street Journal by Yale professor David Gelernter, however, is an example how it is hard to exaggerate these things.

The difference between citizens who hate Mr. Trump and those who can live with him—whether they love or merely tolerate him—comes down to their views of the typical American: the farmer, factory hand, auto mechanic, machinist, teamster, shop owner, clerk, software engineer, infantryman, truck driver, housewife. The leftist intellectuals I know say they dislike such people insofar as they tend to be conservative Republicans.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama know their real sins. They know how appalling such people are, with their stupid guns and loathsome churches. They have no money or permanent grievances to make them interesting and no Twitter followers to speak of. They skip Davos every year and watch Fox News. Not even the very best has the dazzling brilliance of a Chuck Schumer, not to mention a Michelle Obama. In truth they are dumb as sheep.

Mr. Trump reminds us who the average American really is. Not the average male American, or the average white American. We know for sure that, come 2020, intellectuals will be dumbfounded at the number of women and blacks who will vote for Mr. Trump. He might be realigning the political map: plain average Americans of every type vs. fancy ones.

Now, Gelernter is one of the few good neocons in that he is much more in line with the original generation than with the successors. I had a short correspondence with him a long time ago and he was very nice. No, I am not the Unabomber. He had written an article about alternative file structures that I found interesting so I sent him an e-mail about it and we went back and forth on the topic. Unlike his neocon brethren, he does not sneer at the rest of us or endlessly advocate for our destruction.

The amusing part about this column is that it needed to be written. Gelernter is a Yale professor, which means he spends his days around Cloud People and future Cloud People. As a Trump supporter, he operates a lot like Dian Fossey, spending every day in an alien environment observing strange creatures. He no doubt has come to care for them and appreciate them, but their weirdness remains the main fascination. Yet, this is a place that is a training ground for the people who will one day call themselves our leaders.

Now, spend enough time in a foreign place and you will start to take on the attributes of the natives. You see that in the description of the “typical American” as something closer to a character from Dickens than modern reality. Whenever ruling class people talk about the rest of us they never mention business owners, the self-employed or senior managers in mid-sized companies. I deal with the latter on a regular basis and I rarely encounter a hard core lefty. They range from right-of-center to way over on our side of the divide.

That’s the strangeness of the current age. It’s not that the ruling class is physically removed from the rest of us, as in the feudal age or even at the peak of the industrial age. In those times, the people in the castles and mansions generally believed the same things as the regular people, at least spiritually. They also felt a duty to maintain order, not just in their own interests but in the interests of the populace. They may not have liked the peasants, but they did not hate them. They certainly felt a duty to look out for them.

In this age, the ruling class believes things that no normal person accepts. The tranny stuff is the obvious example. That will never be accepted by normal people as anything other than an insult to their decency. The Cloud People can bellow about this until they are swinging from a rope and the people will never accept it. Yet, among the Cloud People, gender fluidity is as sensible as worshiping Gaia. Our ruling class now has an entirely alien religion upon which is built their moral framework and world view. They ain’t us.

That’s another thing about this age. The Cloud People lack self-awareness. It’s why comedy is no longer funny. A sense of humor relies on a sense of self and a willingness to make sport of your side. That can only work on people when they are aware of their own foibles and quirks. For our rulers, their greatest blind spot is in the mirror. They imagine themselves as plucky underdogs fighting the man. They think they are nobly sacrificing for the greater good. In reality, they are selfish self-absorbed children throwing tantrums.

That’s why it is hard to be optimistic about a good end to a course correction. How do you reform a ruling class whose identity is based on its hatred of the people over whom it rules? How do you fix a people who are oblivious to the lives of the people they rule and oblivious to the reality of their own lives? It is easy to understand why the Maoists sent so many intellectuals to the rice paddies or gave them factory jobs pushing a broom. It’s hard to comprehend how anyone can be so clueless and self-absorbed, but here we are.

Killing Lincoln

One of the unmistakable features of modern conservatives is their not-so-veiled hostility toward heritage America. Some attribute this to ethnic hostility, given the infiltration of the Right by neoconservatives. Initially, these people made the journey from communism to anti-communism and were never conservative in temperament. Of course, the royal lifestyles of many conservatives has made them into unpleasant snobs. All of that is true to one degree or another, but it obscures an important point about modern conservatives.

The Official Right has a different interpretation of American history than most normal white people. Blacks, of course, fixate on slavery and segregation, so their view of American history is through hostile eyes. Whites generally accept the conventional narrative. If you ask a normal white American to tell the story of America, he will start with something about how the Puritans came to America to escape religious tyranny. Once the colonist got things going, the King tried to tax the colonists, so there was a revolution.

The Official Right has a different view of American history. They look at the Founding as an imperfect result. First and foremost, they view the tolerance of slavery, and the enshrining of it in the Constitution, as a great sin. Rather than embrace the principle of liberty for all, because all men are created equal, as expressed in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution created a compromise. While all citizens were free and equal under the law, slavery created a class of people who were not citizens.

In the view of the Straussians, the intellectual movement based on the writing and teaching of Leo Strauss, the Constitution was not just a flawed document, but an immoral one, because it violated that core principle of equality. From this perspective, the Civil War was a purification of the country, removing the origin sin of slavery and forming a new Union, based in equality and universal liberty. For the Official Right, America was reborn in the Civil War and Lincoln was the Moses who ushered in the new republic.

This is why the Official Right has a Lincoln fetish. For example, Rich Lowry, the dull-witted editor of National Review, wrote a Lincoln book. The neocons treat Lincoln as if he is an Old Testament prophet. Jonah Goldberg regularly writes about Lincoln as if he is a god on Mt. Olympus. For the Official Right, Lincoln is the Founding Father. Those guys who wrote the Constitution are not entirely dismissed, but they are secondary figures in the story. For the Official Right, the American story starts with the Gettysburg Address.

A big part of this is due to a guy named Harry Jaffa, who became something of a cult leader for the neoconservatives. His framing of the Civil War as the second founding, allowed the neocons to see themselves as proof of the concept. The original founding excluded them from the narrative, while the second founding not only included them in the story of America, it made them proof of its righteousness. Lincoln’s America was not just for the founding stock. It was for whoever could get control of it.

Of course, the old WASP side of the Official Right was also willing to embrace this notion of the second founding. Since northern conservatism was mostly just a clean up crew that followed Progressivism around, the story of the second founding made their unwillingness to oppose the Left seem noble. Since Reconstruction, the role of what passes for conservatism has been to fill the void after every great spasm of Progressive activism overturned the old order. The Official Right’s job was to make it all work again.

The problem with this telling of history is it assumes a core immorality of the founding stock and the institutions they created. It also locks in the notion that it is the role of Northern reformers to be the guardians of civic morality. The Left need only appeal to the notion of universal equality and liberty and their opponents were disarmed. After all, the party of Lincoln, if it stands for anything, stands for universal equality and liberty. The conservatism of Harry Jaffa is nothing but a complex apologia for Progressivism.

A fun gag is to talk to the grandees of the Official Right about Lincoln’s actual views on race relations. The quickest way to get hurled into the void by angry Buckleyites is to quote Lincoln on the issue. The fact is, Lincoln was a man of his age, when it came to race, despite his zealous opposition to slavery. Like all abolitionists, he did not care about the slaves, he cared about the slave holder. That was the soul he sought to save. The slaves themselves were just props on the stage of the morality play that was abolitionism.

The Official Right can never accept this. One of the criticisms of Harry Jaffa on this score was that he was not a scholar of Lincoln, so much as the chief polemicist for the cult that formed around him. His telling of history left out anything that contradicted his concept of the second founding. This is true not only from an academic perspective, but also from a human one. This telling of history leaves out most of the country. For anyone outside the northern alliance, their ancestors are either villains or non-entities in the narrative.

That’s the source of the low level hostility toward heritage America that has been a feature of the Official Right and that is now its face to the rest of us. Since Gettysburg, the story of America has been the story of northern hegemony. On one side are the reformers and fanatics, always looking for a reason to put the lash to the legacy population. On the other side are the so-called conservatives, who hold most of the same views, but see their role as making the latest fads work, so the overall American project can move forward.

The Lincoln fetish that blossomed among so-called conservatives in the middle of the last century was a form of Stockholm Syndrome. Unable to conjure and sustain a moral opposition to the Left, they embraced Lincoln as their Moses. Their acquiescence to the Left was the result of deeply held principles with roots in the founding, the second founding. They were champions of “a new birth of freedom — that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

This is the great challenge in attempting to overturn the Judeo-Puritan orthodoxy that defines the America ruling class. It requires more than just defeating present day arguments over public policy. It means restoring large chunks of history that have been systematically erased by our zealous overlords. Killing off the cult of Lincoln and the political movement it animates, means telling a better story to the people charged with tearing it down. That inevitably means killing Lincoln as the founder of the nation.

Foreign Rule

The Department of Justice has recently announced that the new great devil for the Empire is the drug cartels, operating just over the border. Empires need an enemy and to his credit, Trump is unwilling to pick enemies from the other side of the globe. Instead, he prefers more practical enemies, ones that cause real Americans real trouble in the real country. The drug cartels are not a threat to “our democracy” or a threat to freedom around the world. They sell drugs and murder Americans right here in America.

That’s a welcome change, given that Trump has often flirted with neocon lunacy regarding Iran and Syria. The ruling class and their media organs will never admit it, but one main reason for Trump is that white people grew tied of fighting wars for a ruling class that despises them. The fact that the Trump administration seems to be serious about the problems south of the border suggests they either get that or simply know how to read polling. Mexican drugs and crime are a serious concern for normal white people.

The curious thing is why it has to be cast as some sort of great crusade. Mexico is a poor country, relative to America. It’s not Africa, but it is it not Canada either. One reason the cartels are a problem is the Mexican government is unable to assert its control over all of its territory. The Federal Police is riddled with corruption, as the drug cartels are able to buy them off or threaten them off. The government is always worried about the loyalty of the army, so deploying them against the cartels is a complicated proposition.

One of the interesting results of this is we have a very good understanding of who runs the cartels, where they operate and where they manufacture product. Every once in a while, the Mexican government asks for help nabbing a drug lord and we are able to direct them to the right place at the right time. We’re able to do this using old school signal intelligence. Unlike the Middle East, we are not deploying and army of drones to monitor what’s happening on the ground. If we wanted, we could own the air space tomorrow.

The proof of this is that we can locate a trouble maker in Yemen and hit them with a missile, without having anyone on the ground in Yemen. We’ve been perfecting drone warfare in both Yemen and Afghanistan for almost two decades now. Presumably, conducting drone warfare in our backyard, with lots of human resources on the ground to augment the drone surveillance, would be much more effective. If we wanted, we could unleash unlimited drone warfare on the cartels to devastating effect.

Of course, the politics of fighting Mexican cartels are even better than running a drone war over the horizon. The support for droning savages in Afghanistan and Yemen is non-existent, so the ruling class no longer discusses it. Their effort to make the murder of the Saudi journalist a big deal is a good example of how little Americans now care about what is happening with these people. A barbaric theocracy murdered one of their people inside the borders of a neighboring barbaric theocracy. Also, water is still wet.

In contrast, imagine Trump announcing that the opioid problem has reached such a crisis that he is ordering the military to conduct operations over the border in order to defend the country against these cartels. Throw in a secondary announcement that he has ordered the arrest and deportation of the Sackler family and Trump’s approval rating soars. The Left would cry out in pain as they strike out at Trump over it, but as we are seeing, this is becoming an ineffective tactic, as people embrace more realistic politics.

This brings us back to where we started. Fixing the problems with Mexico is such an obvious winner politically, but no one talks about it. Trump won the White House on his promise to build a border wall, among other things, but no one in the political class has much interest in the problems with the border. You don’t have to be a conspiracy buff to think that maybe this is not just serendipity. It is not just the politicians, who ignore the issue. The so-called conservative media has always worked hard to ignore it.

It is one of those issues, which reveal the deep loathing of typical white people that has become normalized in the American ruling class. When the ruling class thinks about the heroin problem, they think, “Well, they deserve it.” They don’t think of middle-class parents finding their kid dead in her bed from a fentanyl overdose. They think of snaggle-toothed hillbillies living in shacks, with a few Confederate flags hanging on the walls. For our rulers, there are good whites and bad whites and we are all bad whites.

That’s why these bread and butter issues no longer resonate with the political class. Few of them have any acquaintance with real work. They popped out of prep school into a nice college, then grad school and then a position in the managerial class. The normal people in their family are soon transformed into props for their fictional origin story about how they were discriminated against, victimized or made to feel sad in some way. Theirs is a world of highly choreographed gestures designed to display their piety and fidelity to the class.

For the ruling elite, we are the dirty natives over whom they reluctantly rule. This colonial mentality has become a part of ruling class culture. It’s why they remain baffled by the popularity of Trump’s economic agenda. It’s not that they oppose it. It’s that they don’t understand why anyone would care about coal miners in West Virginia or steamfitters in Ohio. It’s why they never think about addressing the Mexican cartel problem or the human trafficking at the border. These are not their problems and therefore none of their concern.

This is the result of foreign rule. America is the first purely cultural empire, so it is no surprise that we are the first people to be ruled by native born foreigners. The iron rule of foreign domination is that it ends poorly for the rulers. People prefer to be ruled by their own kind. Maybe what we are seeing with Trump is another first. The peaceful transition from foreign rule to local rule, with the foreigners going native. It seems unlikely, but Trump winning the White House was unlikely. Maybe this strange age will come to a strange end.

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.

October Grab Bag

It was a struggle this week. Sometimes, I have more material than I need and other times the opposite is true. It may be the result of the Kavanaugh circus. We’re in a let down period while the crazies rest up for the election. It could be me. It has been a melancholy week and the weather has changed all of a sudden. It has been a very tropical summer here in Lagos and then all of sudden it changed to mid-autumn. Autumn is by far my favorite season, but we usually get a transition period in September, where we ease into it.

It’s weird. It seems like all of a sudden it is getting dark early and the leaves are falling off the trees. We have skipped that wonderful time when the leaves change and you get the smell of autumn in the air. As I said, I like autumn, it is my favorite season. I like winter too, so I’m cool with the short days and long night. We somehow skipped the normal transition and it feels a little depressing for some reason. Maybe I’m just getting old.

By the time I was putting the show together, I got interested in the Proud Boys saga and I did not have time to do as much on it as I would have liked. Maybe next week. There’s also the story of the Rise Above persecution that deserves attention. This is the group the Feds are harassing over Charlottesville. It really is an egregious case, but one that should put to bed any notions that we live in a lawful republic. We are not all that far away from the government snatching people from their homes in the middle of the night.

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’m now on Spotify, so the millennials can tune in when not sobbing over white privilege and toxic masculinity.

This Week’s Show

Contents

  • 00:00: Opening (Music)
  • 02:00: Believe Anarcho-Tyranny (Link)
  • 12:00: Progressive Paranoia (Link)
  • 22:00: Debt & Deficits (Link) (Link) (Link)
  • 32:00: The Wages Of Diversity (Link)
  • 42:00: Proud Boys (Link) (Link)
  • 52:00: Dead From Lagos (Link) (Link) (Link)
  • 57:00: Closing (Link) (Music)

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Between Barbarians and Fanatics

For most of human existence, the great conflict was between ordered civilization and chaotic barbarism. The Bronze Age societies had to contend with barbarians from the north. The Greeks and Romans had to deal with various barbarian tribes to their north and east. Medieval Europe had to deal with the Viking raiders and the Mongol invaders from the east. Then there were the Muslim invasions from the South that threatened Christendom. The story of the West has been the story of fighting barbarians.

By the time the West reached the Enlightenment, barbarian invasion was a thing of the past. In fact, it was inconceivable. The Nordic people were just as settled as the rest of Europe. Their days of raiding and pillaging were over. The idea of Asian tribes crossing through Russian into Europe was equally ridiculous. Of course, the Muslims had been beaten back and were no longer a threat. In fact, it was the West that was now heading south into the Middle East and Africa. The barbarians were no longer an issue.

Instead of organizing to keep the barbarians from coming over the horizon, it was the West sailing over the horizon to conquer the barbarians. The thing is though, all those years of organizing to defend civilization from the barbarians, however one wants to define the terms, meant a degree of internal vigilance. There could be no tolerance of internal actors and actions that weakened the social and political structures. Civilization was a near run thing so anything that weakened the West internally could not be tolerated.

The Catholic Church gets a bad rap for being intolerant of science during the Middle Ages, but that’s mostly left-wing nonsense. In an age when dissent could pull the support posts out from society, intolerance of troublemakers made a lot of sense. Of course, from the perspective of the secular rulers, a theological consistency, one that supported the order atop which they presided, was seen as essential. Anything that threatened the internal logic of the social order, even unintentionally, had to be treated very seriously.

That meant an extreme intolerance of religious fanatics. The post the other day about the Flagellants is a good example. The Church and secular rulers suppressed the movement because their fanaticism threatened order, by questioning the legitimacy of the Church. After all, if God was punishing people with the plague, that implied the Church was not on good terms with the Almighty. Throw in the fact the Flagellants were preaching about a coming age of bliss and it is easy to see why the Church suppressed them.

The point is, the West was good at policing the ranks for fanatics, because they had no choice. The very real threat from beyond the borders coupled with the fragility of the feudal order meant anyone coloring outside the lines was a mortal threat. As the alien threats receded, the need to impose a uniform intellectual order receded with it. While it resulted in a great intellectual flourishing in the West, it also let all the fanatics off their leash. The result is the West has been convulsed by fanaticism since the Enlightenment.

That’s how you have to look at radical ideologies like Marxism. These theories defy observable reality and imagine something that has never existed. There’s simply no way for a sober minded person to accept the idea of the worker’s paradise. Only a true believer is willing to commit their life to something that has never existed on earth. It is the same cognitive tool set that allows someone to think they can appeal directly to God or conjure miracles, simply because they believe. The fanatic is the fuel of radicalism.

In The Inequality of Man, the great natural scientist J. B. S. Haldane argued that fanaticism was a Judaic-Christian invention. That’s most certainly wrong, but he was not wrong to think it had been a feature of mankind for a long time. It is the fuel that drives a people to build a great culture. As we saw in the last century and now in our present age, it is also the fuel of great raging destruction. Other than allowing the rage of the fanatics to run its course, no one has yet to come up with a way to meet the challenge of the true believer.

That really is the challenge of this age. Lacking anything resembling a unified religion, our overabundance of fanatics are free to indulge in whatever is handy. One minute they are threatening order if gays are not allowed to marry. The next minute they are tearing down the borders, inviting in the barbarians our ancestors pushed over the horizon. It’s as if some strange mind virus is sweeping our societies, turning the afflicted into berserkers, beyond the reach of reason. As a result we edge closer and closer to collapse.

What’s happening in America, at least, is a replay of what happened in the Pennsylvania colony at the founding. The eastern part of the state was home to many fanatics, convinced they were part a project to immanentize the eschaton. To the west were the borderland people, living in the hills as pre-settled people. In between was where the civilized people lived, just looking to live peaceful, orderly lives. Eventually the middle aligned with the east to keep the hillbillies in the west from overrunning the middle.

To a great degree, this was true for the country as a whole. The emotional energy of the crazies, mostly located in the northeast, fueled the expansion across the continent. The Indians never stood a chance, not because of technology, but because the pale face was driven by a sense of destiny. It powered the northern conquest of the South and the expansion of America into a global power. It came with a price. Just as Pennsylvania is still dominated by Philadelphia, America remains captive to the Northern crazies.

That said, geography kept the crazies on their leash into the 20th century, with the exception of the Northern invasion of the South. As technology made it possible for the fanatics to extend their reach into every corner of the country, the threat of nuclear annihilation forced a degree of discipline on the elites. With that gone, the fanatics were free to run wild, pulling at every support beam and cable they can find. That’s where we find ourselves today. There are no barbarians at the walls, just our own fanatics.

If the West in general and American in particular, is going to survive this age, it will mean coming up with a way to control the fanatic. Perhaps it will mean finding a DNA test to look for the lunacy gene or simply change the culture to fear fanaticism. We were once willing to do what had to be done to ward off the barbarian.  Maybe we learn how to cull our herd in order to remove the crazies, no matter how unpleasant. Civilization lies between the barbarian and the fanatic. Both must be tamed if we are to survive.

Death In The Afternoon

I had to put the cat down on Saturday afternoon. It was a sad thing, of course, as it always is when you have to say goodbye to a pet. The cat was diagnosed as a diabetic a few weeks back, which is not unusual with dogs and cats these days. It is a treatable condition, that is easier to manage in animals than humans. Your animal is not going to cheat on its diet or forget to take its insulin. With a little discipline and the willingness to master a few medical skills, you can manage a diabetic pet with little trouble.

On Friday night, the cat took a turn for the worse, so I went into the vet not entirely sure what to expect. They took blood and sent me home with some instructions. I figured they were humoring me, so I spent the night making my peace with what I expected was coming. The next day I learned, after further examination, that the cat had a rare type of cancer that was the real cause of the diabetes. They found tumors on his pancreas, which is not treatable, so I made the decision to put the poor thing out of his suffering.

While waiting to see the vet on Saturday, a woman I know came into the office. She was there to say goodbye to her dog. Apparently they called her with the bad news and she came into to complete the process. That was my guess anyway. The girl at the desk seemed to know what to do, despite the fact the woman was sobbing uncontrollably. She sat down on the bench next to me. Out of instinct, I guess, I don’t know, I slid over and put my arm around her. She collapsed against me into a mess of tears and wailing.

I don’t know what it is, but the sound of a woman crying touches some unexamined part of my being. It’s crazy, I’m sure, but that sound reminds me why a man is willing to fight another man to the death or leave his lands to sack the city of some bastard who insulted his people. My grandfather always said that a man protects those who need protection and defends those who need defending. Maybe that’s all there is to it and the sound of a woman crying just triggers those lessons I heard a million times as a kid.

There was nothing I could do for her, obviously, other than to be a shoulder to cry on, as she waited to say goodbye to her dog. Sitting there, being kind to a neighbor, my burden felt a bit lighter. There are always others worse off than you. That’s something I always try to keep in the front of mind. My life is not a walk in the park, but it is not an endless stream of misery either. Most people, it seems, carry around a lot more baggage than me, or they are less able to carry the load than me. Either way, I’m a pretty lucky guy.

Coming home, alone with my thoughts, I thought about how serendipity had intervened to make a tough situation a bit less difficult. My first pet, as an adult, was a cat. Growing up, we had dogs, so I had a bias against cats. The women I was dating at the time thought I needed a pet and she suggested a cat. I was skeptical about the whole thing, but a man does what he must at that age, so I got a cat. It turned out that cats are just like dogs, in that they are what you make of them. Me and the cat went on great adventures together.

At the end of his time, he got sick and I did the back and forth with the vet as you do with pets. It was new to me as an adult, so I got caught up in the process, thinking that there was a potentially good result. When it was time to put an end to it all, I struggled with the decision. I just couldn’t bring myself to say goodbye. Then one night the cat staggered down the hall with his old toy in his mouth. He could barely walk, but to the very end he was going to be all the cat he was ever going to be. I was quite touching.

That night, I could not help but think that maybe I just learned a great truth. That cat was just a cat, but he was never cheated. Who knows what goes on in the head of a pet, but they are here to be our pets. It is literally what they are made for and they are that fully and completely. We lose sight of that as people. Our point in life is to use all of our time completely. There are no do overs or restarts. You just have the time you have and you better use all of it being all the you possible. Life is for living. Don’t cheat yourself.

Perhaps that’s why we keep pets. Long ago, domesticating dogs for work or allowing cats to live among us to keep down the rodent population made practical sense. Keeping animals solely as pets has no obvious purpose, other than to make the time we have more enjoyable. Maybe seeing these little critters come into the world and become their purpose fully and completely makes understanding our own purpose easier. It’s a lot easier to grasp the purpose of a dog or cat than the purpose of that crazy relative in the family.

I will say, that this time was a bit more difficult than other last trips to the vet. I’ve had a lot of animals over the years. Some were better than others. This was a good one. Just about every post I’ve written was done with him lying behind the keyboard. Every podcast was done with him lying next to the microphone. For over a dozen years he was a comforting fixture in my life. He was there at the door when I got home and at the door when I went off to work every day. As pets go, he was a good one and I will miss him.

Our Struggle

The great political realignment we are experiencing is due in large part to demographics, but there are other factors at work. The age in which most of us grew up in was formed by the two great industrial wars and the long Cold War between Bolshevism and liberal democracy. The Cold War is over, the demographic age is upon us and we are well into the post-industrial age of society. As a result, the political arrangements of the old age are slowly giving way to a new politics that will reflect the divisions of this age.

There are at least three camps now, maybe more. One is the new Progressive camp that believes the brown tide will wipe away the white culture and replace it with something that has yet to be explained. The opposition to that is where the demographic and race realists are congregating. Like the former, it is not all that well defined ideologically. Then there is the large group of people, mostly white, who remained trapped in the mental framework of the past era. These are the normies our side endeavors to convert.

People on our side of the great divide talk a lot about this last group, but we don’t spend a lot of time getting to know them. The clever boys of social media invest a lot of effort into coming up with clever memes to either scandalize the normies or red pill them. Sometimes they do both with unpredictable results. The NPC meme, for example. More important, I don’t think our side spends enough time contemplating just how difficult it is for these people to even make it to the water’s edge, much less commit to crossing over to our side.

That came to mind when reading some of the responses to my Letter to the CivNats post a couple of weeks ago. More than a few commenters here fell back on the old lines you hear from people like Ben Shapiro. Others fretted that the gap between Left and Right has become dangerously wide. This post from Robert Stacy McCain was what got me thinking about the normies. His post is actually a post about a post, where he sort of summarizes me and then turns back to the old civic nationalism. In the build up he writes:

“I assume my readers to be intelligent, sane and mature, capable of evaluating facts for themselves, and unlikely to suddenly go join the Klan because of some article they read on the Internet.  Joining the tiki-torch brownshirt parade is a bad idea, and I should hope my readers don’t need to be cautioned against this.”

What struck me about it, is I read heretical bad thinkers like me every day and I never think of them as evil. I don’t think of myself as a dangerous heretic, even though I’m well aware of my heresy. As far as I know, no one reading me has joined the KKK, donned a brown shirt or taken up with Old Scratch. Yet, people who still find Gavin McInness edgy do think people on our side are dangerous. They do worry that even limited exposure will cause them to burst into flames. They really do worry that we deal in the black arts.

A point that cannot be made enough is just how scary it is for most normal white people to contemplate their future, even when they accept our demographic reality. Later in his post, McCain writes, “The prospect of a “permanent majority” alliance on the Left that disturbs ZMan is, indeed, a cause for concern. But despair is not a strategy. If we wish to summon to our banner all men of goodwill, we must be able to persuade them that we have hope of a better future. How about this: Discredit the institutions of the decadent elite.”

This is where most normal white people have been trained to veer from the road to reality into the lotus fields of multicultural delusion. Reading that line, I expected Ben Shapiro to pop up on my screen, lecturing me about how a nation is defined by its ideology, rather than the complexion of the people in it. It is that mental block that so many white people have which prevents them from taking the next step in their chain of logic. If the Left is going to be an explicitly anti-white coalition, then our side needs to be….libertarians!

Now, in fairness to Robert Stacy McCain, I don’t know much about him. He could be /ourguy/, but working as a missionary in the land of the normie. He could be a super normie guy who is struggling with the changing world around him. He could have been bitten by the werewolf of race realism and is starting to turn. I have some recollection of him being quoted by gentry conservatives, but I could be mistaken. He’s not the topic here, just a jumping off point to illustrate a larger point about white people.

For as long as anyone reading this has been a live, white people have been marinating in a poaching liquid of self-loathing. To root for your own team has been defined as the worst imaginable evil. The result is a mental block that operates like a great barrier in the mind, that always causes normie to return to where he started. More important, beyond that barrier, the place on the map that reads, “Here there be monsters”, is the land where the bad people dwell. To cross the barrier, means never coming home again.

That’s an important thing our side needs to grasp. For most white people, individualism, civic nationalist, anti-racism and so forth are what define their life as a citizen. To abandon those things would be the same as moving to another country. People do walk away from the friends and family to start new lives. Many of the people reading this have ancestors they knew, who left the old familiar to become Americans. For most Americans, though, this is the destination, so leaving it is like abandoning the point of their life.

The reality is, America is going to be a majority- minority country, at least while it remains a country. There is no changing that demographic reality. Robert Stacy McCain is right about “summoning men of goodwill to our banner.” We will need numbers to contend with the rising brown tide that threatens the West. It’s the “goodwill” part that our side must always keep in mind. Converting these normies is about convincing them that rooting for your own team is the moral thing to do, the thing men of goodwill do. That’s our challenge.

The New Flagellants

Flagellation is the beating of the body with special implements such as whips, lashes, rods, the cat o’ nine tails, etc. Usually it was done involuntarily, but in the medieval period it became a voluntary form of penance. The Benedictine monk Peter Damian is credited with introducing self-flagellation as a form of penance in the 11th century. Later, an Italian monk named Dominic Loricatus introduced self-flagellation as a form of self-mortification, which when performed in public, also became a public demonstration of piety.

The Flagellants were a 14th century movement, that sprung up in response to the black plague. These fanatics would parade through the streets beating themselves bloody in an effort to cleanse the town of sin. It was assumed that the plague was the result of sin, so the cleaning of sin would, presumably, please God enough for him to end the plague. The movement started in northern Italy, but quickly spread to Germany. There they took on the white robes and rhythmic chanting that has come to be associated with the movement.

The Church initially tolerated the movement, but soon realized that fanatics are worse than barbarians in times of trouble, so they suppressed the movement. Secular rulers were not all that thrilled with them either, as anyone claiming to appeal directly to God is an obvious challenge to earthly authority. Compounding matters, many of the flagellant groups were influenced by messianic ideas about the coming age of bliss. As a result, the Church condemned them and the secular rulers had them burned at the stake to make the point.

While the movement is long gone, the idea is still with us. The link between piety and self-denial has probably been a part of human society since the beginning. Holy men have walled themselves off from society and earthly pleasures, as a sign of their piety, but also as a way of avoiding temptation. Prophets have given up all earthy pleasures in order to warn society of their doom. In the West, self-denial has always been closely tied to piety, while pleasure, especially carnal pleasure, is associated with sin.

This is most obvious in the climate change movement, which blends Old Testament prophecy with pagan nature worship. The true believers are sure that man’s hedonistic exploitation of the environment is making the earth angry. The result is rising global temperatures, which will lead to an apocalypse. When Al Gore said the earth had a fever, he did not mean it like an infection. Instead, the fever is due to the earth becoming increasingly angry as human activity. Earth is boiling mad, so to speak.

The first iteration of the cult focused on energy. The earth was angry because humans were using fossil fuels. On the surface, it sounded like the old environmentalism dressed up as a science. The greens always hated industry. A key part of environmentalism has always been a hostility to modernity, particularly industry, which was viewed as immoral and at odds with nature. By going after fossil fuel because of global warming, they were turning their moral opposition to modernity into a scientific claim.

Lately, the movement has shifted away from their claims about fossil fuels, which went nowhere with the public, to attacking other modern pleasures. A recent “study” claims that modern farming is making the earth angry, so we will have to stop eating tasty food and switch to a diet heavy on unpleasant stuff. That means sharp reductions in meat eating and dairy, while sharply increasing our consumption of beans, seeds and gruel. The promise of this approach is it now gives vegetarianism the veneer of science.

You’ll note that vegetarianism was never about health. Spend five minutes with a vegan and they will, of course, have told you they are a vegan, but make it clear they are better than you because they no longer enjoy their food. That age old desire to please the gods by eschewing earthly pleasures. Now that the warmists have joined in, a meal of grass and twigs is not just a personal act of piety. It is a sacrifice for the planet. The only thing missing is a good beating with a cat o’ nine tails, along with that soy burger.

Mencken famously said that Puritanism is the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy. That’s a good way of describing all forms of environmentalism. They never come forward with a plan to save the earth that does not require misery. Of course, it’s not their misery that haunts them. Environmentalism is focused on your misery. The vegan is no longer happy being smug and self-righteous with his kale juice. He demands the state force you to drink the stuff. Their piety heavily depends on your misery.

Like everything else about this age, the Gaia worshipers are not appealing to the gods, but to our rulers. In an age where the state is worshiped, it is no wonder that it fills the role of God for the modern flagellants. The thing is, unlike the flagellants of old, the new version is not appealing to God for relief on our behalf. They are demanding the god of this age punish us for our sins. Instead of the faithful whipping themselves to a bloody pulp in the town square in order to appease God, their piety requires them to whip us.

Time to bring back burning them at the stake.

The Leverage President

One thing about the Kavanaugh drama that did not get much attention, but warrants some attention, is how Trump leveraged the event to transform the Republican Party into his party, one that is looking to him for leadership. Just listen to some of the things GOP senators are saying now and it is as if they have gone through some sort of religious experience. Not only are they operating like a real political party, they are standing up to the Left’s morality play. It’s a remarkable transformation in just a few weeks.

Two moves by Trump seem to have set all of this in motion, as well as making it possible for Kavanaugh to get confirmed. One is Trump did not take the bait and get into a media fight with the Left over the fake charges. In fact, he remained remarkably quiet, even as the media tried everything to goad him. Maybe it is just his natural inclination to not go through the door his opponents open for him, but he seems to know that was part of the trap Feinstein, Katz and Bromwich had cooked up over the summer.

The other thing he did was put the whole thing on the Senate GOP, particularly Mitch McConnell. This was the key move. By explicitly saying he was leaving the issue to the Senate to resolve, the focus shifted from him to the Senate. More important, it put the Republicans in a bind. They could either face the wrath of the Left or they could face the wrath of their voters next month. Trump correctly figured out that survival still counts for something in the GOP, so McConnell had no choice but to get tough with the Left.

What this says is Trump is getting better at being president and better at using his brand as a weapon in Washington. I’ve said since the beginning that Trump is a very rare guy, who instinctively knows how others view him. He uses your perception of him as part of the sales pitch. It’s why many people find his boasting to be so amusing. When he does it, his supporters feel like they are in on the joke. They get that he knows it is boast and that it irritates the Left. He turns what his critics call a character flaw into an asset.

That’s the thing with understanding Trump, something a brilliant observer pointed out three years ago. Trump operates like a famous real estate developer. He is always looking to leverage his assets in order to take advantage of whatever opportunities that may present themselves in the future. In the case of the Kavanaugh hearing, his best play was to stand aside and let Mitch McConnell handle it. If the nomination failed, Trump had a card to play against his party. If the nomination went through, Trump could take credit.

This is not the 4-D chess nonsense the BoomerCons used to say. Trump is not a master strategist, in the sense that he is four moves ahead of everyone. It’s that his inclination is to always play the game, any game, in order to maximize his options when it is his next turn. That’s how the world of commercial real estate development works. You can never know what opportunities will present themselves next, so you make sure you are in a position to seize on whatever pops up. Trump’s applying this to Washington now.

You see this with the Rosenstein situation. The thorn in Trump’s side right now is Mueller, simply because he has the power to be a nuisance. Mueller is supervised by Rosenstein, who is clearly compromised in the FBI scandal. When Congress demanded the FBI documents be declassified, Trump was ready to leverage it. That gave him the excuse to review all of the requested material, without anyone claiming he was meddling in the investigation. It also forced Rostenstein to address what was in those documents.

At that point, Trump had leverage on Rosenstein. It’s why days after Trump decided to hold off on declassifying the documents, the left-wing media was running stories about how Rosenstein was going to be fired. Those stories most likely came from the camp of the conspirators. They just assumed that once Trump knew the facts, he would fly into a rage and fire the crooked Rosenstein. Instead, Trump put a saddle on him and is now riding him around Washington. Trump now controls Rosenstein and Mueller.

That’s unlikely the end game. I’ve always thought that Trump is waiting until after the election to make his next move in this thing. Instead, what he has been doing for the last year is maneuvering so that he has options no matter what happens next month. There’s a very good chance that what Congress has uncovered, what is in those secret files, implicates former Obama officials and maybe a few high ranking Democrats. That’s pretty good leverage for Trump if he is suddenly faced with a hostile House and Senate.

The other play if the election goes poorly is to simply dump all of it out during the lame duck session after the election. At which point he can fire Mueller and Rosenstein, while demanding Sessions appoint a second special prosecutor to handle the FBI scandal, including the role of Mueller and Rosenstein. That assumes there are some real bombshells hiding in those secret files. Given the panic in the FBI and DOJ about the effort to declassify them, it is a safe bet that there is some bad stuff in those files.

Of course, it is now looking like the brown wave the liberal media has been predicting is not going to happen. Left-wing outlets are now talking about maybe a very narrow House win and losses in the Senate. Given how the Left has fallen into a depression over the Kavanaugh loss, it is not out of the question that the GOP holds the House. Winning has a funny way of motivating the winners and demotivating the losers. If this momentum carries the GOP to victory next month, then the options for Trump multiply.