The Post-Citizen World

Steve Sailer likes to promote an idea he calls citizenism, which is the general idea that a government should place the interests of its current citizens ahead of the interests of non-citizens or potential future citizens. It is pretty much what we call civic nationalism now, but a dozen years ago that meme did not exist, even though the concept has been with us since the founding of the country. The Founders certainly thought the point of government was to serve the interests of the current citizenry and their posterity.

Civic Nationalism is largely a reactionary idea today. Like various forms of socialism, it lacks a root system in the soil of the current culture. In a world in which people of European heritage are a tiny minority and increasingly minorities in their own lands, bourgeois notions of fair play and orderly debate are anachronism. We see that whenever a populist candidate or party wins power. The rules go out the window and the ruling elite goes to war with the rebels, using any means necessary to stop them.

An orderly debate about what is best for the citizens of a country is impossible because the people in the ruling elite of the West define themselves in opposition to the notion of citizenship. That’s what it means to be a post-nationalist Progressive. The whole point of it is to oppose those antiquated notions of citizenship. Those are exclusive and the new global person is open. Worse yet, citizenship is hierarchical, placing the interests of some over the interests of others. That’s probably racist.

You can get a sense of this in the response to Tulsi Gabbard’s decision to run for the Democrat nomination in 2020. Civic nationalists are programmed to think she is bad, because she makes unapproved noises about economics. They will no doubt says she is a socialist. That’s the result of being trapped in a forgotten era. None of that will matter to the people in charge, particularly those involved in Democrat politics. They see her as a threat to their conception of the new global citizen. Here’s an example.

“But Gabbard’s almost singular focus on the damage these wars inflict domestically, and her comparative lack of focus on the carnage they wreak in the countries under attack, is troubling. It is nationalism in antiwar garb, reinforcing instead of undercutting the toxic rhetoric that treats foreigners as less deserving of dignity than Americans.”

You’ll note two things that turn up in the Progressive criticism of Gabbard. One is her roots are inauthentic, as far as they are concerned. She does not have the appropriate struggle narrative. An essential element of the left-wing mindset is the assertion that only the oppressed have authenticity. Therefore, to assume a leadership position in the forever revolution of the oppressed, the leaders must have overcome oppression. Gabbard has lived the standard American middle-class life, so she can never be trusted.

The salient issue lies in that highlighted section. Gabbard’s opposition to fighting wars in the Middle East is pretty much the civic nationalist view. Those wars are not good for America or Americans. They may have some benefit to the ruling elite of the empire, but they have no benefit to Americans. Further, the people being sent to fight these wars are suffering for a cause that has no benefit to them. In other words, to sacrifice for your people is noble and heroic. To suffer for strangers is pointless.

To the ideological core of the ruling elite, this is an abnegation of who they are, which is why you will hear lots of “this is not who we are” in response to her over the coming months. Just as the Left refused to defend Sanders against attacks from the Buckley conservatives in 2016, the Left will stand silent as the warmongers of neoconservatism hint that Gabbard is an alt-right anti-semite. Her assumption that citizenship is a real thing implies that nations are real things and that’s unacceptable in a post-nationalist world.

This is why civic nationalism is a dead end movement. It’s trying to reanimate an Enlightenment concept that was killed off by the post-war cultural revolution of the last fifty years. Reviving the old notions of civic identity is about as promising as reviving the monarchy in Germany. Thinking about it is a nice escape for those struggling to face the reality of identity politics, but that’s all it is, a fantasy. The world created by the Left is a post-nationalist world and therefore a post-citizen world.

In fairness to the cosmopolitanism globalists, they are not wrong about citizenship having no place in the future West. It can continue on in the Visegrad countries that have escaped the migrant invasion, but even there it is more of a tribal response, an identity politics of an ethno-state, than civic nationalism. Otherwise, citizenship makes no sense in multicultural, multi-racial societies. Tribalism is not just part of the human condition, it is part of our biological reality, and therefore the future is some form of tribal politics.

Another glimpse of this will come from the alt-right, who will be enthusiastic supporters of Gabbard this year. They see her anti-war rhetoric as a sanitized version of their own opposition to Israel. In other words, there remains a great shallowness to the alt-right in these matters, but that shallowness is a glimpse of future politics. That is, who you are will be as much about who you oppose as who you support. Anyone familiar with the politics of Lebanon has a sense of what comes next for the multicultural democratic empire.

Who And How Many

The immigration debate in America, and maybe the West as a whole, is not much of a debate, at least as far as public policy. Instead, it is something of a meta-debate, in that the facts and important decisions are talked about indirectly. For example, in the US, everyone sort of thinks it is about Mexican immigration, but no one ever explicitly speaks to the facts about Mexican immigration. Details about who is actually coming over the border or gaming the anchor baby system remains a mystery.

As is always the case with big issues in America, immigration is debated on purely moral terms and even there, the morality is not explicit. No one ever bothers to explain why America is a “nation of immigrants” or whether that’s salient. For that matter, no one can seem to wrap their head around why immigration of any sort is morally good. Even immigration hawks go to great lengths to speak well of legal immigrants. Ours is a meta-debate about the morality of undefined policies stripped of facts and details.

Imagine a public debate over building a bridge across a local river. The salient facts would be the cost, where to put it and who benefits from the bridge. Instead, one side talks endlessly about the morality of building bridges. It’s who they are. By extension, those who oppose bridge building in the abstract are immoral in some way. The other side, in contrast, spends its time trying prove they are not opposed to bridge building, but simply have questions about where to put this bridge and how much to spend on it.

Even when someone tries to talk about the economics of immigration, putting aside cultural preferences and demographic reality, the debate soon veers into a weird sort of romanticism. It’s just assumed that jobs are going unfilled due to the lack of labor. There’s never any examination of the claims. Further, it is assumed that temporary labor shortages in one area of a continent sized country are immoral. Rising wages are treated like an insult to the economy, this vaguely understood thing we must worship.

The fact is though, the reality of all public policy is that it is and will be a debate over the facts of the issue. That reality can be wished away for a long time, but eventually the reality comes home. That’s what we are seeing with the stand-off between Trump and the Cult of Brown Ascendancy. We’re slowing creeping up on the fact that immigration is about who and how many. That is, who will we accept and how many of them will we accept. Immigration has always been about who and how many.

Those are not a questions most Americans are equipped to answer. The how many part is the easiest, especially if you start with zero as the default. No one is walking around thinking to themselves, “We really need more Eritreans around here.” If immigration was capped at zero, no one would notice. In fact, if there was a moratorium and the government started to aggressively deport people, even those in the system, most people would not care. In other words, the how many number is a small number.

The tougher question is what sorts of immigrants would we accept, even in limited numbers. In the Mid-Atlantic, where a large Korean community exists, most people would be fine with Korean immigration. Unlike the Chinese, Koreans are not fleeing political oppression or economic uncertainty. Koreans come here for lifestyle reasons, so they assimilate rapidly. They also take pride in being the model minority, despite what what some lefty advocates claim. Koreans came here to be Americans.

At the other end, no one would want any Muslims from the Middle East, as they simply don’t fit a modern Western country. Everywhere Muslim migration has been high, we see terrorist barriers, armed patrols and absurd security measures. In fact, most Americans could be convinced that we make an exception to the First Amendment and ban Islam, maybe even deport all Muslims. It has not worked and it can never work. The Western policy toward that part of the country should first be containment.

Similarly, sub-Saharan Africans are a no-go. America has a long history of trying to integrate Africans into a Europeans country. It does not work. Most people can accept the moral obligation to the descendants of former slaves, even if their ancestors were not slave holders. Bringing in a new population of unassimilable people, with a natural hostility to Europeans makes no sense. Again, no one is walking around wondering how things are going in Chad. That and American blacks don’t like African migrants.

One of the interesting things that happens when you start to think “from where and how many” is the how many becomes an easier question the more you think honestly about the “from where” part. For Americans, the real issue is how many South Americans we will accept. That quickly reduces to a much simpler question. Do we need any of them? For most people, the answer is no, we don’t need more people. Therefore, the only question left is are we morally bound to take anyone in for permanent settlement.

That, of course, is why the open borders crowd prefers to keep this a meta-debate about meta-morality. Once you start thinking about the facts, the default on immigration swings 180 degrees. The default becomes zero and building a massive barrier to entry makes complete sense. The debate is over the exceptions and more important, the conditions for those exceptions. The moral authority becomes the will of the people, rather than a self-selected cult of true believers divorced from daily reality.

Enemy Of The People

There has never been a time when normal people did not know the media was biased and biased in a predictable direction. For every non-liberal in the media, there were at least ten liberals. The ratio was probably higher, but then, as now, some lefties liked to pretend they were independents or some third option. The media used to invest a lot of time denying they had a bias and an agenda, but the only people who believed them were on the Left, which had the odd effect of confirming they had a bias and an agenda.

The thing is though, the media seemed like it was biased in a predictable way. In the 1980’s, for example, the newspapers featured stories about the so-called homeless crisis on a weekly basis. That’s when we went from calling them bums to pretending their only problem was a lack of shelter. Once Clinton assumed power, the homeless stories disappeared. It was a running joke for a long time, because it was so obvious, but also because it was so predictable. Everyone got the joke, except Lefty.

As many have observed, the mask began to drop during the Clinton years when so many media members quit their jobs and went to work in the administration. It’s hard to maintain the illusion of independence when there is a revolving door between the media and left-wing political operations. That’s when CNN became known as the Clinton News Network, because they were so hilariously in the tank for them. Some tried to maintain the ruse, but any pretense of objectivity ended in the 1990’s.

Again, there was still a sense that it was just bias and that it was predictable and therefore you could adjust for it. Today, that does not appear to be the case. The mainstream media has become advocates, but not necessarily advocates for the Progressive base of the Democratic coalition. They seem to be serving the agendas, financed by private parties operating off-stage. For example, sites like the Huffington Post and Daily Beast are about moral enforcement than news and current events.

The recent harassment of Alex McNabb by Antifa member Christopher Mathias is a great example of the phenomenon. The Huffington Post provides him with a cover identity as a reporter, but in reality someone else is paying his way. His job is as a witch hunter, looking for anyone in violation of the blasphemy laws. This is a strange new phenomenon that does not have a corollary in the past. Even Woodward and Bernstein were legitimate reporters, even if Woodward had deep connections to the intelligence community.

There’s an argument that this sort of religious advocacy is the natural result of the narrative journalism that evolved in the 1960’s and 1970’s. If you are going to report stories, the point is to inform. If you are going to spin tales, then the first goal is to entertain and there is nothing quite as a gripping as a morality tale. These doxxing stories are just campfire stories for the hard thumping loons of the far Left. The point of them is to tell the reader that they must be vigilant as heretics are everywhere.

That’s probably true, but what about stories like this one, where it is clear the New York Times now has a whole department involved in explicit political advocacy. That is a highly organized effort to alter public policy. More important, it is a long term project, going back to the Obama years. The New York Times posted a database of gun owners, with an accompanying map, in a campaign to terrorize gun owners. This goes well beyond bias and even past the morality tales spun by the Huffington Post.

It does not stop there. This story about the death of Saudi national Jamal Khashoggi takes advocacy to another level. As an aside, the story is written by Lee Smith, who was fired from The Weekly Standard by Bill Kristol. His crime was having uncovered Kristol’s involvement in the fake dossier the FBI was using to subvert Trump. The story of Khashoggi’s life and death reads like a Hollywood spy thriller, but it was not a CIA caper. It was an operation apparently run by the the Washington Post.

We’ve come a long way from simple bias. The same media that can’t stop talking about Russian efforts to trick voters into voting the wrong way, was running a covert operation to trick the government into supporting Iran over Saudi Arabia. Unlike the Russians, the Washington Post actually killed someone or at least got someone killed. Unlike the Trump team, the Washington Post was actually working with a foreign country that is often viewed as hostile to American interests.

Trump started calling the media the “enemy of the American people” but he seems to have dropped it for some reason. Maybe the media threatened him. Given what we are seeing, how long before Washington Post reporters are planting car bombs and spiking drinks with polonium? Whether or not they see Americans as the enemy is hard to know, but they certainly don’t see themselves as on the same team as Americans. While they may not be the enemies of the people, they are a short bus ride to that position.

Winter Comes To Lagos

Winter finally arrived in Lagos, with cold temperatures and snow last night. It was not a big snowstorm, but it is still snowing as I type this. The local weather people say we will get 5-8 inches of snow today, in addition to the four or five that came last night. It’s hard to know with weather forecasts these days, as they exaggerate everything. They name every storm so they can talk about it like it is a monster from a 1960’s Japanese monster movie, “Mothra is attacking Lagos with snow and freezing temps!”

I’m a big fan of winter and I like snow, so I look forward to it snowing. I had some errands to run this morning, so I was out at sunup to shovel the truck out and clear the walk. I’m one of those people who enjoys shoveling snow. There is a limit to my enjoyment, but as long as the snow is not three feet deep or super-heavy, I enjoy the exercise and the satisfaction of seeing a clean walk. So, I was out first thing to shovel and then run some errands. I did not see anyone else out and about, so it was more quiet that usual.

That’s something I’ve observed in different parts of the world. When I lived in New Hampshire, the locals all seemed to love shoveling snow, almost as much as they loved complaining. The distinguishing feature of the New England Yankee is complaining about the weather. I recall the first snow storm when I moved to Manchester. I went out at first light to see all my neighbors out shoveling their walks and driveways. By breakfast, all of the walks were clear on my block and most drives were clear as well.

In contrast, Lagos may never clear the snow. My first snowstorm here was my first year, so I was unfamiliar with the local customs. We got a big snowstorm, over 30-inches, and the city was shut down for a week. I drove to the office to shovel the walk and found I was the only person out shoveling his walk. In fact, that whole winter the sidewalks were an obstacle course of frozen boot-prints, patches of ice and snow boulders. In theory, there’s a fine for not shoveling your walk, but I never heard anyone mention it.

That explains a weird thing you see here in Lagos, as well as other vibrant areas. When it snows, the locals walk in the streets. They will do this even when the walks are clear. I think it is just years of conditioning that has turned into a custom. You will see this in the county when it snows. People go out and walk in the streets. Here in Lagos, it means driving gets even more adventurous, as the locals could very well attack you while you are trying to navigate around them on the snow covered streets.

The other thing you see in places like this is how differences in time preference turn up in city planning efforts. My first storm here I learned that no one had bothered to service the city’s snow removal equipment. In fact, much of it was either disabled or missing. I recall that half the plows were either broken or unaccounted for, so snow removal was a comical failure. When your focus is on today, that is you have a high time preference, planning for even predictable eventualities is beyond your scope of interest.

This, of course, is a great way to introduce people to evolutionary concepts regarding human diversity. A thousand generations in a place without snow and inevitably the humans will adapt to a life without snow. It’s not just learned behavior at work. Nature is always tinkering with her creations. As Nick Wade put it, evolution is local, recent and copious. Put people from the real Lagos in a place with variability in the environmental conditions and their biological limitations will be exposed.

Of course, something that seems near universal is the panic that comes before every snowstorm, even in the snowiest places. I went to the market this morning and it was stone silent. The reason is everyone piled in yesterday. I saw this in New England when I lived there, so it is not just an unfamiliarity with snow. This seems to happen everywhere, so maybe the sense of something happening triggers the preparedness instinct in people with low time preference. The itch to prepare always needs to be scratched.

That said, there seems to be a strong desire among some pale folk to never have to deal with winter again. I have friends who talk every winter about their desire to move south and never have to deal with winter again. The number of pale retirees in the sunbelt says a large portion of pale people may be built for winter, but they really hate it. I’ve always found this baffling. I love winter and love the snow. It’s peaceful and beautiful. There’s a simplicity to it that appeals to me. Even in Lagos, I welcome old man winter.

The End Of Nothing

Something that was quite clear at the end of the Cold War was that the Republican Party, without the Soviets as an enemy, was just a collection of unrelated groups. What held the GOP together, was a general opposition to communism. It was, at the simplest form, the party of patriotism, the weak form of nationalism that used to be the core of the American creed. That patriotism was, in large part, kept alive by the Cold War. The Soviet menace was a daily reminder that we had to stick together to defend our liberty.

What kept the GOP together, to a much greater degree, is what gave coherence to the Buckley Right. The thing that fused the various tribes on the Right together was external to all of them. They feared Soviet communism. To traditionalists and social conservatives, the godless materialism of communism was monstrous. To the libertarian capitalists, it was communist central planning. To the internationalists and expansionists, Soviet domination was the great menace they feared.

Once the Cold War ended, it was no longer obvious as to why the Republicans or conservatives should hang together, other than habit. The GOP first tried to recast itself as technocratic reformers, promising to make government more efficient. That was the general thrust of Gingrich-style politics. It was just a green eye-shade version of what came from the Democratic Leadership Council. Instead of pitching themselves as “new democrats” they would pitch themselves as “new republicans.”

This had an appeal to certain parts of the Buckley coalition as well. The libertarian wing was loaded with technocrats eager to try their hand at social planning. The Jack Kemp wing was sure that some tinkering in the tax and regulatory code would bring an era of boundless prosperity. Second generation neocons were eager to apply this same logic to international affairs. The Freedom Agenda was, when you think about, urban planning applied to the Middle East in order to save Israel.

All of this technocratic obscurantism concealed a fundamental truth about American conservatism, at least as far as the Buckley version of it. It was never a movement based in a core philosophy. It was just a buffet of rhetoric and policy positions borrowed from movements rejected by the Left. For example, if the Left had retained its Christian roots and enforced that morality, Evangelicals would be on the Left. Most are indifferent to economics. Their interest in foreign policy begins and ends with Israel.

No doubt, Christian readers would take exception to this, because they have been conditioned to believe Christianity is a right-wing phenomenon. That’s a carryover from the Cold War where the Left was identified with godless materialism. In America, the Left has its roots in Christianity. The 19th century reformers were all explicitly Christian and working from Christian morality. Go back and read the writings of abolitionists and it is clear they saw their movement as a Christian movement.

Similarly, the neocons have no obvious fit on the Right. Their worldview is the philosophy of Athens, while paleo-conservationism is the philosophy of Sparta. Conquering the world in order to make it safe for democracy was always on the American Left. It is what motivated the Wilsonian reformers and the New Deal radicals. It is what led Kennedy and Johnson to commit to a land war in Asia. The neocons were always a liberal tribe looking for a political home, not a philosophical one.

This reality of the American Right, that it is just a collection of misfit toys, was made plain in the reaction to Tucker Carlson great speech. If what he said was truly at odds with the core philosophy of the Right, the response would have reflected that. Instead, it was a grab bag of policy complaints (examples: here, here, here and here) The carrying on about Carlson questioning the sanctity of global capitalism strongly suggests these people don’t know why they believe what they believe. They’re just repeating lines from a hymnal.

Of course, this is not a revelation. It was obvious for a long time, but, again, it was papered over by the technocratic obscurantism of the libertarian wing and the Jewish liberation theology of the neocons. The Mitt Romney campaign of 2012 was like watching a robot read the lines of a rule book. No one could think of a reason why Mitt Romney should be president or why his party even existed. His campaign was a collection of slogans recycled from old copies of National Review.

That’s the reality of Buckley conservatism. It was always just a catechism of convenience that gave disparate groups a set of rules so they could work in concert. Over time, it became a racket and repeating those lines correctly became the secret handshake of those working in Conservative Inc.. As an organizing philosophy, it offers nothing, because it promises to do nothing. It’s just a list of reasons why a group of strangers with nothing in common should vote for more of the same.

January Grab Bag

The week after the New Year week is always a weird one. In the dreaded private sector, people are busy catching up on what they did not get done over the holidays. Closing the books for the year and getting ready for the coming year keeps people busy. For the political class, it is a time for extra partying, as newly minted pols arrive and the old politicians return to the Imperial Capital. The media is busy being instructed on how to lie to the public in the coming year. The result is a slow week or two in January.

I thought about doing an immigration show or maybe a shutdown show, given that Trump had his big speech on Tuesday. The speech was a bit of a flop, as far as I could tell. I looked at some twitter feeds of immigration patriots and they were not impressed. On the other hand, everyone was horrified by the image if Chuck and Nancy. They looked like weird lizard people from another planet. The more the public sees those two, the better it is for Trump in this fight. He should get them on TV daily.

Anyway, I went in another direction, looking for stuff that was not terribly political, at least related to current events. I do start with a segment on Tucker’s great monologue from the start of the year, which made so-called conservatives very sad this week. I think in the fullness of time, we will see this as a turning point of sorts. It’s a time for choosing among the so-called conservatives and libertarians. They can either join team anti-white or join team white. The days of ignoring this reality of dwindling.

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: Tucker’s Speech (Link)
  • 12:00: Head Shots (Link)
  • 22:00: Universal Deceit (Link) (Link)
  • 32:00: The Blood Feud (Link)
  • 42:00: The Two Laws (Link)
  • 47:00: White City (Link) (Link)
  • 52:00: Let Nature Fix Africa (Link) (Link) (Link)
  • 57:00: Closing (Link)

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Full Show On Spreaker

Full Show On YouTube

The End Of The Line

The Consumer Electronics Show happened this week in Las Vegas. There was a time when this was an international event, as everyone wanted to see the latest electronic gadgets that were about to hit the market. The pace of change was so quick, every year featured cool new ideas and concepts that promised to alter how we experience our entertainments. There was also the futuristic factor, as companies would preview what cool new technology they were about to bring from the lab to your home.

That’s no longer the case as the consumer electronics business seems to have run out of road, as far as cool new ideas. This is apparent in the troubles Apple is suddenly facing. It makes a cool looking toy, but there’s nothing unique about an iPhone. It does what all the phones do now. The gap between it and the low end brands is not enough to warrant a premium. This is an issue turning up all across the consumer electronics space. There’s just no new technology to make any of it “must have” or any brand unique.

The big new idea this year is 8K TV, which is just becoming a reality. TV makers have made 4K the default now. Everyone hopes these super high resolution TV’s will spark a revolution in both accessory items and the content itself. So far, 4K has not made much of an impact on consumers. It turns out that better resolution does not improve the quality of the content. That was true of HD, but at least those sets looked cool and they were much easier to move around the living room. They also made 80-inch screens possible.

That’s the tell with this stuff. If a new technology has an impact on the consumer, it can first sell at a premium. That was the case with HD television. Middle-class white guys in the suburbs built man caves around their big screen. That did not happen with 4K television as people just ignored it until the price dropped to normal levels. That means the same will happen with 8K. The resolution and sound of the television has reached the point where it is more than good enough for the majority of people.

Manufacturers have known this for a while, which is why they invested heavily in virtual reality. Virtual reality or some other immersive technology is the assumed to be the next step, but people don’t seem to like the idea. VR headsets have been out for a while and they have been a big flop with the public. Part of it is you look like an idiot wearing the things and no one wants to look ridiculous. The experience so far is less virtual reality and more altered reality, like being on hallucinogens.

There’s also the fact that virtual reality will probably not work anything like the electronics makers imagine. Human perception is something we know little about and what we think we know we have all wrong. Much of our reality is probably generated by our brains from stimuli that we get through our senses. We’re not living in the matrix, but we are living in a stripped down version of reality. Our brains consumer just what is necessary to build a reality from information stored in our brains that we accumulated in life.

Otherwise, the “new” stuff coming from electronics makers is increasingly ridiculous implementations of things like voice activation. A voice activated parasol was probably fun to design, but it is entirely useless. In fact, voice activated stuff will most likely fail miserably for two reasons. One is the idiocy of it. Just think of how annoying it is to talk to a robot on the phone when dealing with the bank or pharmacist. No matter how good the technology gets, you will always know you are talking to a thing and that feels dumb.

The other factor is privacy. You have to be close to retarded to invite these devices into your home, given what we already know about the tech firms. If the mobile carriers are willing to sell your location data in real-time to anyone who wants to buy it, including criminals, then they will sell your private conversations in real time too. Just as prisoners figure out how to make their cells a private space, the future means the home becomes a technology free area, so people can have an escape from the panopticon.

The end of the road for consumer electronics will no doubt have an impact on video content creation. Something that has gone unnoticed is how the technological revolution transferred billions every year from consumers to the entertainment business, without much change in the content. If anything, the result was more bad content and much more propaganda. The selling of the poz is so over the top now, it is intolerable. That suggests the content makers are ripe for “disruption” as the cool kids say.

A hint of it is in the audio space. It took a while, but the mp3 altered music and spoken word formats. People still listen to talk radio, for example, but the switch to podcasts and live streams is happening quickly. Like evening news shows, terrestrial radio is the thing that appeals to older people. It has no future. In all probability, we are on the cusp of a similar revolution in video content. It will have different contours, but the end result will be a radical change in the economics of entertainment.

Of course the petering out of the consumer electronics revolution will have economic consequences. The PC revolution ran its course, just as we are seeing with home entertainment and mobile phones. At the end, we quickly saw a consolidation and commoditization of the market. No one thinks much about the big name computer makers and in time no one will care who makes their television or smart phone. These household names will either move onto other things or go out of business.

The Active Citizens

Recently, I have been getting hammered with spam calls on my mobile phone. These are robo calls for various scams. One that comes daily is for some green energy scheme that promises to save me 50% off my electric bill. Another is a call from “your credit card company” that starts with “Don’t hang up.” I always hang up. The frequency of calls has reached the point where I no longer bothering answering my cell. I’ve turned the volume down to zero and check the log once in a while to see if anyone I know called.

This is a recent issue. I’ve had the same number for a long time that I registered with the do not call registry. I have no idea if that works, but the lack of spam calls had me thinking it must have worked until recent. Out of curiosity I went to the site for the FTC to see if maybe that service had been discontinued. It turns out that it still exists, but the web site is down, supposedly because of the government shutdown. That’s not a joke. Here’s the link and they posted the notice in Spanish, for the convenience of Mexican users.

Now, it would surprise no one to learn that a government website is really just a facade and that web requests are being handled by a person, who types the response to each query. You can just imagine an army of Winston Smith’s typing web responses and noting unapproved activity. That’s certainly not the case here. The bureaucrats in the FTC thought this was a bold statement. In reality it is just the petty nonsense that goes on with the administrative state. They put that up to spite the public.

This small little incident I’m describing is a microcosm of what’s wrong in the country. The FTC website should not exist. There’s no need for a do-not-call registry. The government could simply make the telephone companies responsible for the abuse that goes on with telemarketers. The phone companies would then demand the government pass laws that discourage these scams. The phone system operators would then aggressively police their networks and turn the scammers over to the state.

That does not happen, of course. The idea of the government doing things to make daily life easier on the citizens is so alien to us now, that the very suggestion of it is met with howls of protest. That is, after all, what happened when Tucker Carlson suggested the people in charge start worrying about the happiness of the public. The shrieking and gasping at such blasphemy around the Imperial Capital was deafening. No one in the ruling class, or their attendants, thinks the government owes us anything.

The paleocon formulation for this is anarcho-tyranny. This is when the state is no longer able to do the basics of government, like going after phone scammers. That’s the anarchy part. On the other hand, the state is more than happy to hassle citizens over petty rules and regulations. That’s the tyranny. It’s true in a lot of ways and certainly applies to local government. That’s not all of it though. There’s a growing hostility to the idea of people expecting their government to be responsive to the public.

That’s the core of the immigration debate, when you examine it. One side still thinks it is the duty of government to protect the borders and enforce the immigration laws. More important, they expect the government to put the general welfare of the American people ahead of the interests of foreigners. Sure, some immigration is fine, as long as they assimilate and become an asset. In other words, immigration is just another public policy and the right policy is the one that serves the interests of the citizens.

The other side thinks the only reason anyone wants to limit immigration is to protect losers who can’t compete with the newcomers. After all, only losers want the government to protect them from competition. David French calls it victim-politics. In other words, if you think the people in charge are not doing their duty to look out for the interests of their fellow citizens, you’re a crybaby and loser. It’s amazing, but a guy who has spent his life on the government teat thinks his class owes you nothing.

In other words, we have gone past the old anarcho-tyranny formulation into a new phase where the ruling class can’t be bothered to do anything. In fact, they are offended by the very suggestion that they have a duty to the rest of us. Carlson is going through an advertiser boycott because he had the temerity to suggest that maybe the people in charge are not doing their duty. All the beautiful people are rushing to social media to defend billion dollar global corporations against a guy who says stuff on TV.

Of course, the pettiness of the administrative state and the hostility to the idea of responsive government have the same root cause. The ruling class no longer see the rest of us as being citizens in the way they are citizens. We know have active citizens and passive citizens. The former is for members of the managerial class and the latter is for the rest of us. Active citizens get to talk about what kind of country they want and how the government will achieve it. Passive citizens just sit quietly in the cheap seats.

That’s why they are so offended by Trump and the surge in populism. They see it as a something like a slave revolt. It’s not the material inconvenience. It is the moral effrontery of the hoi polloi daring to question them. That’s the reason the FTC site is down. The people who did that think they are doing us a favor. They are offended and probably bewildered as to why this is happening. They are so divorced from the rest of us, we may as well be space aliens or wild creatures living in the forest.

This is why reform is hopeless. It’s not that “the deep state” is secretly gaming the system to their advantage. There’s nothing secret here. The sorts of reform needed would have no material impact on our rulers. The reason reform is hopeless is they now define themselves in opposition to the rest of us. They no longer see themselves as our fellow citizens. Rather, they see us as a threat to their status as active citizens. Anything that blurs the lines between us and them, must be opposed, on principle.

The American Jizya

It used to be that social reformers would talk about the day when racism has been eliminated from society. They would quote Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, suggesting the goal was a colorblind society. The only people to say this today are clueless civic nationalists and so-called conservative pundits. The former are always behind the times and the latter is here to run cover for the Left. In the game of racism, the caravan has moved onto a new wave, the third wave of anti-racism.

Like feminism, anti-racism has reinvented itself to meet the challenges of the multicultural age, particularly in light of the new demographics. Blacks griping about whites is not of much use when you have varieties of Hispanic, Muslims, Asians, Jews and lifestyle degenerates. The new challenges of the majority-minority empire require a new kind of anti-racism and a new kind of racism for it to oppose. The new racism is exotic and mysterious, while the anti-racist is fighting a spiritual fight, not a legal one.

Eric Hoffer made the observation that people involved in causes never reach a point where they say the cause has achieved its goals and therefore can disband and cease its activities. For example, anti-smoking zealots have accomplished all that can be accomplished, yet they persist. The same is true of drunk driving activists. Short of martial law, there is not much left to do about drunk driving and smoking. Yet, the pressure groups behind these causes still raise money and agitate for attention.

The same thing has happened with the various causes of Progressivism. Something like environmentalism has evolved into a weird nature cult, with apocalyptic predictions backed by flimsy science. Feminism is pretty much a nonsensical collection of tantrums sporting bizarre lingo and outfits. Anti-racism has moved from demands for equity before the law and mitigation for past racism, to a semi-permanent regime that includes groups, who voluntarily left their home lands for the white nations they now despise.

As a practical matter, so-called “third wave anti-racism” is really just a demand by non-whites that whites mitigate the realities of biology. They can’t say that so they have to use weird language and comical neologisms. The demand is that whites exhaust themselves maintaining a white bourgeois society, so that non-whites can enjoy first world comfort, without actually having to maintain it themselves. The new white man’s burden is whites living as despised helots in the societies they created.

For example, whites are supposed to solve the black crime problem, but not notice that black men commit a lot of crime. No one is supposed to mention that blacks don’t cooperate with police. The justification for the former is the history of racism, while the latter is excused as blacks not wanting to attract attention to the black community. Whites are supposed to work around the realities of the black community, while mitigating the realities of the black community. This is impossible and unreasonable.

Another example is how non-whites expect to be allowed into elite schools. In the name of diversity, the elite colleges decorate each class with vibrancy. The professors are expected to make sure these students graduate and never mention that they make up the bottom third of the class. Once out in the world, the process starts over as law firms hoover up non-whites to meet their diversity quota. Of course, no one is supposed to notice that these lawyers are not very good at being lawyers.

Then you have the central tenet of third wave anti-racism, which is that whites, just by being white, are a burden on non-whites. Because whites want the best for their kids and want to live in safe neighborhoods, it means they live in places without convenient bus service. This is a burden on non-whites, as they don’t have easy access to whites and the societies they create. This is so-called white privilege. The only way to eliminate this is to eliminate white behavior, which would end the modern society.

Instead, the new anti-racism regime is one where every white person is born guilty, tainted by the original sin of white racism. Therefore, just as man was condemned to toil outside of the Garden of Eden for eternity, whites are now condemned to pay the jizya in order to keep non-whites in comfortable modern lifestyles. That means open borders for formerly white countries and a metastasizing set of rules to govern the thoughts and speech of whites. The American jizya is about keeping non-whites happy.

That’s the core argument of Ta-Nahesi Coates. In his jeremiad in favor of reparations, you’ll note he never actually puts a number on it. Reparations are, by definition, about making the other party whole. Coates rejects that such a number exists, because what he means by reparations is actually a recitation. He demands an endless recitation of the crimes committed by whites against blacks. This is to both punish whites in a material sense and to remind them that they are now in the inferior position.

In order to understand the social justice movement, one must first replace the word “justice” with the word “vengeance.” It’s not about settling the books or making anyone whole. It is about establishing a new hierarchy in which whites are the infidels of the new multicultural empire, forever paying the jizya to keep modern society rolling. The point of the tax is not just to finance the system, but to lock in the moral relationships of the new multicultural empire, because it cannot exist without the jizya.

Neo-Democracy

Most people think democracy means the people get to vote on who holds office and what laws get passed. Government by the people and majority rule, at least when it comes to elections and referendums. Not so long ago, serious types would correct someone if they said America was a democracy. They would say it is a republic, not a democracy, which is technically correct. Civic nationalists will still do this whenever someone says America is a democracy, even though the term has become ubiquitous.

Putting aside the linguistic issues, most people think of democracy as something close to the Merriam-Webster definition, “a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.” The people have the final say on who holds office and by extension, what they do while in office. The government is controlled by the people, through an orderly process of elections and referendums.

The people in charge, however, have a different definition of democracy. They look at democracy as a thing, rather than a process. When they speak of democracy, they are talking about the offices and institutions they control, both official and unofficial. The media, for example, is an unofficial part of the democracy. The array of non-profits and think tanks are part of the democracy. The entirety of the managerial state is this thing they call democracy, which is why they endlessly talk about the need to defend it.

For example, this story in Foreign Policy magazine is about how Denmark’s use of computer software to manage welfare benefits is a threat to liberal democracy. The authors use the term in the way in which normal people would use it. They provide an example of how one municipality is using “a system that would use algorithms to identify children at risk of abuse, allowing authorities to target the flagged families for early intervention that could ultimately result in forced removals.”

In order for these systems to work, the state needs access to all sorts of data that not so long ago was assumed to be outside the scope of government. Think about what the state would need to know about “the children at risk” in order to know they are at risk. Most of what would be useful is the sort of information, people in liberal democracies think is none of the government’s business. Then there is the notion that the state has the right to involve itself in the affairs of citizens, before they do something wrong.

Notice too the shift in language. Those inclined to dystopian views like to use the word “pre-crime” to define this sort of thing, but it is actually worse. The new class thinks they need to intervene in your life before you do something wrong, which is different than preventing crime. What the Danish state is up to is intervening in the lives of citizens before they act in a way that may be legal but not in their interests. The state now has a monopoly on morality, in addition to a monopoly on violence.

As the authors point out, the core assumption of liberal democracy has always been that the state must be restrained. This is described as negative liberty. The state is out of the way of the people, who are then free to pursue their interests. It’s why the US Constitution narrowly describes the role of each branch of government. It’s also why there is a bill of rights, which describes broad spheres into which the state is prohibited. In theory, the government is like a dog on a leash. It can only go where the leash permits.

What’s happened in the last several decades in the West is a subtle shift away from negative liberty to positive liberty. This is the claim that to be free, a person must be self-determined, able to control their own destiny in their own interests. For example, an addict is not free because they are a slave to the drug. A black person, despite equality before the law, is not free due to white racism and the legacy of slavery. The state may not be placing obstacles in their way, but the person is not in control of their destiny.

The role of the state, therefore, is not to stay out of the way, but to intercede in order to clear these limits on the citizen’s ability to fulfill their potential. That’s why the Danish government just assumes it is their duty to meddle in the personal lives of citizens. They are not violating their rights. Instead they are helping them reach their potential, by preventing them from doing things that are not in their interests. In the case of family life, it means stopping people from being bad parents or bad examples to their children.

It’s why the new class is in such a panic over the rise of populist movements in the West and willing to use totalitarian means to suppress them. From their perspective, these forces are a threat to democracy, because they are the democracy. The new class, this consolidating class of people at the top of politics, administration, finance, business and the law, are the indispensable class. Without them, there is no democracy, because there is no one to structure your life so you can reach your fullest potential.

It’s also why they are prone to blaming the super natural for observable phenomenon like racial inequality or the differences in the sexes. When you eliminate the natural explanations for why blacks have different life outcomes than whites, then you are left with the supernatural. White privilege is just another way of blaming bad juju. The same is true of “gun violence” which shifts agency from the trigger puller to the object. These various bogeymen become an explanation and a rallying cry for the new class.

More ominous is how the new class, at least in America, is slowly coming to the conclusion that the reason the new citizens are not reaching their potential is that the old citizens have a mystical power source. The mere presence of legacy Americans, minding their own business, living their lives, is bad for the new citizens. After all, that is the definition of white privilege. There can be only one solution to that problem. That probably explains why the Sackler family walks free. They are the sword of democracy.