Glory To The Pitchman

Like everyone reading this, you have no doubt been hit with an advertisement for a food product, or perhaps a restaurant, and instantly wanted the item. Maybe it was an internet ad or maybe a television ad during your favorite program. You saw the ad or commercial and you just had to have the product. Maybe it was for something you never considered, but after seeing the ad, you changed your mind. Like all people in the modern age, you are highly susceptible to commercial advertisement.

Now, you are probably thinking, “I’ve never had this happen. I just ignore advertisements on-line.” Of course, you would be right. There’s little data to suggest advertisement drives consumer behavior all that much, but the people producing the ads and selling their services to business, are absolutely sure you are easily persuaded by their ads. This is why all of us are bombarded by advertisements. It’s why internet companies steal your information and sell it to marketers.

It is a central tenet of the modern economy, the tent pole that holds the whole thing up, that advertisements increase sales. All of the major global companies have big budgets for marketing. Those ad dollars support radio and television. Those ad dollars make modern sports entertainment possible. The internet, as it currently exists, is dependent upon the belief that ads alter consumer behavior. If the world suddenly stopped believing in the ad men, the world as we know it would change overnight.

The funny thing though, is advertisements have little impact on human behavior, at least not to  the degree everyone assumes. If you see an ad for a new store opening in your area, that may cause you to check it out. Similarly, notices for an event in your area could get you out to the event. Awareness advertising, as the name implies, works, because it does a simple thing. It makes people aware of something they would otherwise not know or remember, like a new store or a special event.

Awareness ads are a tiny minority of advertising. Most ads are about specific products and services. There is always an awareness component to them, but for the most part the ads you see are intended to get you to buy product. Beer ads expect you to buy more beer of the type being advertised. Yet, not only is there no data to back up the assumption, the data says it has no effect on behavior. Here’s a study of ads for alcoholic products over the last forty years. Ads have no impact on sales.

Like democracy, the modern economy relies on people thinking important things are true, even though they are not true. If people realized their votes don’t count, then they would stop voting and resort of other means to change government. It’s why the charade of democracy is so profitable. Similarly, the modern economy relies on the fiction of human suggestibility. Marketing is a lucrative career, because the modern economy needs people to believe people are highly suggestible.

This is not to say that people are skeptics, of course. Fads have made a lot of people rich in the modern economy. A fad is just a commonly held belief that having or doing something increases one’s status or signals belonging to a group. Apple is a trillion dollar company, largely due to the ability of Steve Jobs to position his products as a bourgeois moral signifier. The iPod was not a great leap forward in technology. It was an example of the natural conformity within bourgeois society.

That is, of course, the perceived value of advertising. Global companies that spend their money reinforcing public perceptions about their brand. Dodge runs TV ads suggesting their customers are John Wayne from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence. They are the indispensable, yet never appreciated foundation of society. Similarly, Apple marketed itself as the product for the distinguishing, carefree member of upper middle-class America, better that those proletarian zombies of the lower classes.

This may sound like a mark in favor of advertising, but the reality those public attitudes must exist for the ads to work. Every truck maker, even the Japanese makers, pitch themselves the same way. They are not creating a new identity group. They are attaching themselves to one that exists. Trucks were associated with working men long before the ad men thought of it. The term “Apple snob” was in circulation when Jobs was still in the wilderness, during his hiatus from the company.

Nevertheless, people believe advertising works, which is why Facebook is a gazillion dollar company. They sell your information to marketing firms and place targeted ads on their platform. The fact that no one looks at those ads or that the data Facebook sells is garbage is not important. People see the billion eyeballs on the site and believe that putting their product on the site will boost sales. They believe knowing the internet habits of those users will make for more persuasive advertising.

Steve Sailer, who started out in life doing quantitative research on marketing has written about this over the years. Before the internet existed, it was obvious to him that most marketing was a waste of money. Of course, there’s no money in telling people this, so there is not a lot of research done on advertising. It’s a good example of how belief is very powerful magic. Lots of people believe in advertising, so there is lots of money to be made in advertising. There’s no money to be made in debunking it.

That said, while most companies would be better off burning the cash they use for marketing and posting the video on YouTube, there are some forms of marketing that do work and are cost effective. The pitchman has been a staple of western society since the industrial revolution, because a good pitchman can move product. Whether it is the company sales team or the guy recommending product on his radio or TV show, these guys are an indispensable part of a modern economy.

That’s because people are persuadable, by only by other people. If someone you trust or someone whose judgement seems sound, recommends a product to you, you will consider it. Those radio guys pitching various items are monetizing the trust they have built up with their audience. There are limits to this form of marketing, but it is a cost effective way to identity a persuadable audience and have a trusted person recommend the product to that audience. It’s what marketing analytics pretends to be.

Despite the yawning gap in utility between the pitchman and the ad man, the former is considered low-class, while the latter is glamorous. Willy Loman is probably the most favorable portrayal of the salesman in popular culture. Usually, salesmen are viewed as creepy liars. In contrast, ad men are the slick, debonair types, living exciting lives in glamorous places like Manhattan. The TV series Madmen, relied heavily on this image to keep the audience. It looked cool to be an ad man in the 1960’s.

In reality, people in marketing are mostly shiftless sociopaths, while the people in sales are hardworking and honest. If you are ever evaluating a company for purchase, make sure to talk with the sales guys. They will tell you the truth about their bosses. Be prepared to put the marketing staff to sword. They will tell you whatever you need to hear to increase their budget by five percent next year. The most honest people in any company are the guys grinding through sales calls every day.

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The Progressive Sandwich

If one were to summarize why Buckley-style conservatism failed, the clearest answer is that it stopped being conservative. The central tenets of conservatism are tradition, organic society, hierarchy, authority, property rights and prudence. In the Anglo-Saxon model, ordered liberty can also be included. The limits on authority are the logic of a fixed and orderly legal system. Probably the most concise explanation of American conservatism came from Russel Kirk seventy years ago.

Buckley conservatism, in contrast, was never deeply rooted in social philosophy and this was a deliberate act. The Buckleyites wanted a create a political movement that could compete with Progressives. In order to do that it meant winning elections and that meant providing a practical platform for governance. As a result, Buckley conservatism was always a compromise. In order to fashion a practical political platform, it meant deviating from conservative dogma as necessity required.

This lack of ideological moorings, however, led it to drift away from conservatism toward something that is better described as marketism. Libertarians see property as the key to individual liberty. All human rights derive from ownership of self and property is the fruit of labor, so absolute property rights safeguard individual liberty. Marketism, in contrast, views liberty as the unfettered right to trade property and labor. Therefore, liberty is maximized only through the free and unregulated marketplace.

In both cases, the definition of individual liberty is at odds with conservative conceptions of individual liberty, as well as the tenets of conservatism. The Right has always understood that a man could only be free within the context of society. To exist within a society, he must gain control of his passions and master himself. Customs and traditions, which habituated him to his duties as a member of society, also channeled his energies to that which served the good of his society.

This conception of ordered liberty, in which man can only be free within the context of his role in society, is the wellspring of conservative thought. Respect for hierarchy, for example, is not just an observation of man’s natural state, but an acceptance of the fundamental nature of human society. Similarly, the right of property can only be a coherent concept within a human society, not outside it. There can be no property rights without society, so property rights must ultimately serve the good of society.

For libertarians and market absolutists, any restraint on how you can dispose of your property or how you trade property with others is seen as a violation of your individual sovereignty. Inevitably, it means taking the side of the market when it bumps up against custom or tradition. It means siding with novelty that promises more market freedom, even when it undermines the organic institutions of society. Inevitably, conservatives became the defenders of the wrecking ball that destroyed American culture.

It’s why a Kevin Williamson could gleefully cheer for the destruction of small-town America and their customs, in the name of the free market. From his perspective, the limitations of localism are a gross violation of freedom, so destroying those local communities sets the residents free to maximize their economic utility. Buckley conservatism has drifted so far from its alleged starting position, it now stands in opposition to that which defined its alleged starting position.

This recent piece by David French is another example. In it, he turns conservatism on its head in order to promote marketism. The problems of college athletics, however you wish to frame them, are not the result of too little commercialism. Only a blithering idiot could come to such a conclusion. The trouble with college sports, and the college system as a whole, is it is now almost entirely free of the system of customs and traditions that created it. Higher education is a market that strives to be a racket.

David French, of course, has become the comical front man for Buckley conservatism over the last few years. His blend of sanctimonious finger wagging and principled mediocrity is the exaggerated version of the dissident critique of conventional conservatism. He is the clown nose of Conservative Inc. This is not solely due to his many personal defects. His embrace of unconditional marketism has led him to adopt an entirely transactional view of human existence.

There used to be a time when both sides of the Progressive orthodoxy understood the limits and liabilities of the marketplace. The Left would howl about consumerism at the expense of authenticity. The Right would point out the dangers inherent in an unfettered marketplace. Buckley famously said, “The trouble with socialism is socialism. The trouble with capitalism is capitalists.” The modern conservative would not understand that juxtaposition. For him, the marketplace is supreme.

The underlying truth of radicalism is that it not only seeks to free men from the human condition, but it seeks to have them rise to the heavens and become gods. For the modern conservative, something similar has evolved. Whether it is a fetish for property or a fetish for markets, the Buckley conservatives imagine men breaking free of their constraints in order to become fully engaged market participants. For them, the paradise at the end is a shopping mall full of atomized strangers.

That’s why Buckley conservatism has failed. It is a primal call for a war of all against all, where atomized bugmen jostle to maximize their utility in the market. To consume product is the end point of existence. It is a crude and vulgar existence that celebrates man’s worst instincts at the expense of his nobler aspirations. What is on offer from so-called conservatives is a different type of hell than what is on offer from their partners on the Left, but it is still the same Progressive sandwich.

For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!

Buddha’s Children

In his interesting post on Robert Mugabe’s intelligence, the blogger calling himself Pumpkin Person notes “One reason for thinking he’s in the upper end of this range is that he was a Marxist, and left-wing politics are positively correlated with IQ (at least if you control for race and income).” This does not imply that all Marxists are highly intelligent. He is simply noting the observation that left-wing politics of the radical sort highly correlate with intelligence. Smart, educated people tend to be radicals.

This is an assertion most people have heard, if they have gone to college, spent time on a college campus or consumed popular culture. The assertion, that intelligence and radicalism are traveling partners, is a part of the cultural bath in which every western man swims. It certainly holds up when you look at the data. Whoever the Democrats nominate for President, no matter how nutty and deranged, that person will win more than 80% of the vote in every college town of America.

Now, normal people chafe at this assertion as the obvious implication is that stupid people oppose radicalism. That’s certainly what the usual suspects have always claimed, until biology became a taboo of late. Anyone over the age of forty probably recalls being told something like this in college. Of course, it was never just a passing observation. The link between radicalism and intelligence was always supposed to put critics on the defensive, as if they are inferiors.

The power of this can be seen in how Bill Buckley adopted the over-the-top WASP intellectual style. The point of it was to inoculate himself against the claim he was too dumb to understand what the Left was claiming. George Will’s silly bowtie or Kevin Williamson’s quill pen act are other recent examples. These affectations are intended to signal the person is smart and therefore cannot be dismissed by the Left. It’s Athena’s shield for the right-wing Perseus of left-wing politics.

It is certainly true that the data supports the claim. The voting patterns of the educated bear this out. There are exceptions from time to time, but generally speaking, the more credentials you have acquired, the more likely you are to be on the Left. Since credentials are a pretty good proxy for IQ, the original assertion holds. The smarter you are, the more inclined you are toward radical politics. Or, if you prefer, the smarter the person, the more open they are to radical politics.

The problem with this observation is that it a logical fallacy. Specifically, it is the fallacy of association. A famous example of this fallacy is the observation that hardcore drug takers usually start with marijuana, so pot is a gateway drug. All hardcore drug takers start life drinking milk, but no rational person would say milk leads to smoking crystal meth in adulthood. In other words, there is no causal link established between IQ and radicalism in politics, no matter how much the Left would wish it so.

Then there is the issue of how one defines left-wing politics. Every single establishment right-winger would have been called a radical a century ago. Two centuries ago the radicals in the West were people advocating liberalism. All of these terms used to describe politics are relative and their definitions shift over time. To pretend that Left and Right are timeless categories is to reveal a total ignorance of history. Even figuring out the relative poles in each era is not always possible, as we see today.

There is another angle here that is more important to the topic. People are social animals and we are a self-segregating species. People of like mind will tend to congregate with one another out of instinct. This is obvious to anyone who has been in a lunchroom of a large public school. This is not just true of mature humans. Even babies are attracted to their kind. This is why the college campus is so intolerant of free inquiry and dissent. Over time, it has boiled off those with contrary opinions.

What this means is smart people are naturally going to end up in areas around other smart people, like the college campus. The ornery and disagreeable will usually be boiled off for all the natural reasons. Most, however, will be as open to peer pressure as everyone else, maybe more so. Most smart people tend to live sheltered lives, insulated from the harsh reality of the human animal. If they are not left-wing when they hit the college campus, they soon adapt to their new friends and new culture.

This is such an obvious thing we have memes for it. The know-it-all coed, back from her first year at college, is a standard type in American culture. It’s a stock character in television and movies. Then you have the modern meme of sweet little Suzy heading off to college and coming back and blue-haired lesbian with a nose ring. This happens less frequently with males, which probably explains why the college campus is looking more like a hormonal coven these days than anything imagined by Aristotle.

Another thing to consider is that 500 years ago, if one were to use modern techniques to measure IQ and politics, the correlation would look much different. Instead of the intelligent tending toward radicalism, they would tend toward monasticism. The smart men of the age, if they were not the first born, often ended up in the Church. That’s where smart, curious men of the age went to be around other smart men. Maybe they would end up in the court of their king, defending the natural order.

Putting it all together, the reason radicalism and intelligence seem to go hand-in-hand in this age is that radicalism is the secular religion of this age. Just as the best and brightest of a prior age would have been great theologians, the smart set of this age seek to advance the secular religion of today. That means coming up with novel ways to justify it in the face of observable reality. Of course, there’s always profit in being the defender of the faith, so the Left attracts the most ambitious too.

The reason we currently observe a correlation between left-wing politics and intelligence is because left-wing politics is the secular religion of this age. In America this has been true since Gettysburg. In Europe, neo-liberalism has been the dominant faith since the end of the last war. To be in the high IQ world means embracing the religion of the high IQ world. If tomorrow, those people become Buddhists, the smart young people of tomorrow will suddenly trend toward Buddhism.

For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!

A Century Ago

I’m not sure if I’m an outlier on this, but I have lost all patience with the news to the point where I don’t even scan the news sites. For dissidents, current events is always a spectator sport, so I usually don’t get too worked up about this stuff, but lately my tolerance has dropped to zero. I hit the Post of Times and my first thought is, “who are they trying to kid with this stuff?” It’s like they are not even trying. Maybe it is just me, but I’ve dropped out of the new watching for the time being.

As a result, this week’s show is mostly news free. I have a list of these sorts of shows I want to do as time and inclination permits. They take a little longer to prepare, so I have to plan ahead, but I think they make for a nice break from the normal routine. This is not a history podcast or a deep dive analysis type of show, but doing a little bit of that stuff from time to time is a nice corrective to the insanity of the age. A little diversity is a good thing and nothing says dissident politics like the love of diversity!

I think the parallels between our age and the events leading up to the Great War are quite remarkable, so it is a favorite topic. History does not necessarily repeat itself, but it is good to remember that there is nothing new under the sun. The things we see from our ruling class, for example, are not new. In fact, they should be predictable. Understanding how a panicked ruling elite responded to the Red Scare a century ago will help us understand how they are going to respond to the White Scare.

In the course of doing the show, I kept thinking that a show on anarchism one day may be a fun thing to do. It is, by far, the weirdest of the radical political movements to arise from the prior age. My hunch is it is one of those movement where the adherent fell in love with it at first exposure. The more you study it, the crazier it seems, so to be a dedicated anarchist means not thinking about it too much. Instead, you just focus on expressing yourself through violence and mayhem.

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.

For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!

This Week’s Show


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Surplus Value Of Diversity

U.S. District Judge Allison D. Burroughs ruled that Harvard University’s admission program was a Constitutional application of affirmative action. In other words, Harvard’s systematic discrimination against Whites and Asians was, according to the law, not discrimination against Whites and Asians. In addition to reaffirming the second-class status of Whites and Asians, she wrote, “It is somewhat axiomatic at this point that diversity of all sorts, including racial diversity, is an important aspect of education.”

Now, in general usage, an axiom is something that is self-evidently true, like the sky being blue or water being wet. More precise speakers will use the word to mean “tautology”, something that is true in every possible interpretation. To say, “It is somewhat axiomatic” is therefore a rather tortured assertion, but revealing. It is the sleight of hand we get from the kritarchy. Every alleged statement of fact is really just a form of hairsplitting intended to nibble away at any notion of truth.

That aside, it does bring up some interesting questions. How much diversity is a good thing and how much diversity is too much? There’s no doubt that someone like the judge in this case would reflexively respond that there can never be too much diversity, as diversity is an unalloyed good. There’s also no doubt that like every other diversity fanatic, the judge has organized her life to be around as little diversity as possible, with a special emphasis on avoiding vibrancy. Revealed preferences are real.

Clearly, even the people who say it is somewhat axiomatic that diversity is important think a lack of diversity is important too. Put another way, even the blubbering diversity fanatics assume some upper limit on how much diversity is tolerable, even though they focus on the lower bound in their proselytizing. Somewhere between complete diversity, a place with at least one of every flavor, in perfect proportion to their frequency on earth, and complete homogeneity is the sweet spot according to the advocates.

Arthur Laffer famously explained that there is a relationship between income tax rates and the resulting tax revenues. A 100% tax will result in zero revenue, as no one will voluntarily work without being paid. At the other end, where no tax is imposed on income, the net revenue is also zero, for obvious reasons. Using Rolle’s theorem, there is an optimum tax rate between those two end points. In theory, this should be calculable, so tax rates should be set at that point and left alone.

Now, we know the tax is not a continuous interval, so Rolle’s theorem would not apply in the case of these sorts of social taxes. Still, at one end, zero diversity and vibrancy, we get something less than maximum happiness. Universal homogeneity sounds good in theory, but in reality, people like to punch things up a bit. At the other end, the multicultural paradise ruled by the usual suspects, has nearly no social happiness for normal people. It does not exist, because no one would tolerate it.

The legendary empiricist, La Griffe du Lion, looked at the correlation between the black population in a city and the white victimization rates. The assumption is that blacks prefer to live around whites, as they always seek access to whites. On the other hand, whites are neutral on living near blacks, unless it has some impact on their well-being, which is where crime is a useful metric. Whites move from high crime areas to low crime areas faster than any group, having the least tolerance for crime.

What the numbers reveal is that as the percentage of black residents in a city increases, the white victimization rates begin to climb. At about 20% black population, the white victimization rate climbs rapidly. Blacks commit crimes against whites in this analysis at 64 times the rate of whites committing crimes against blacks. Other studies have found different rates, but it is axiomatic that black crime is vastly higher than white crime and it is axiomatic that blacks prefer white victims more than whites prefer blacks.

Now, it is not somewhat axiomatic, but a universal truth that when Progressives talk about diversity, they mean blacks. Therefore, we can now put the upper bound on diversity as 20% of the population being black. Any more than that and white crime victimization begins to soar and awareness of it begins to soar. This sets off a chain reaction known as white flight. Baltimore is a great example. Once its black population crossed the 25% level, it began a rapid decline into chaos.

This does not address the other issues of diversity. Since it is axiomatic that diversity is about blacks and whites, as demonstrated in that court case, the obvious question is how many white people are required to maintain the multicultural paradise? It is just assumed that whites must be exposed to diversity, so they are not only beneficiaries, but also a necessary ingredient. You cannot purify white people through the healing magic of diversity if they are not actually part of diversity.

As the examples of Rhodesia, Baltimore and now South Africa show, there is some minimum number of whites required to keep the lights on, so everyone can enjoy the wonderfulness of diversity. In the case of Rhodesia, the number fell below the minimum and it became Zimbabwe. In Baltimore, they have hovered along the critical number for decades, always ready to tilt into chaos, but saved by the state. South Africa staggers on, but they too are approaching the inflection point.

As Steve Sailer has pointed out, America schools are starting to run out of white kids to maintain the diversity is magic assertion. Once a school gets too diverse, no one wants to send their kids to it, not even the diverse, so diversity requires a certain threshold of white people to make it work. According to the data in that Sailer post, a good starting place seems to be 50%. Once the white population falls below 50%, the negatives of diversity increasingly outweigh the positives.

Another example seems to make the same point. This story about white flight from tackle football in America has some interesting numbers. Again, the 50% number appears to be a threshold. Peak football in America was when whites were 50% of the youth leagues, which eventually supply the NFL. The decline in play and interest in the NFL over the last few years also supports the observation. The NFL now has a diversity problem, created by their efforts to fix their diversity problem.

Taken together, the starting boundaries of diversity are no more than 20% black, with no lower limit definable, and no less than 50% white. The diversity sweet spot lies somewhere in that zone. Given the ethnocentrism of Jews and Asians, a hard limit on their numbers is certainly part of the formula. Hispanics, a group that is a social construct, should not be a consideration. Most likely, the right mix for maximum diversity benefits is something close to what America was like in 1965.

For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!

Bourgeois Anarchy

It is generally assumed that liberal forms of government like parliamentary democracies and representative republics are middle-class in nature. That is, they require a strong and stable middle-class to come into existence, but they also foster the growth of a strong and stable middle-class. Because the bourgeois are conservative by nature, unwilling to risk their peace and prosperity, liberal democracies will tend to resist radical social experiments or take on great risks, like wars of conquest.

Of course, the history of popular government in the West strongly argues against those theoretical assertions. Not only has the West been racked by war, the peace that has existed for the last three generations is due to the imposition of empire. The Pax Americana is the result of the decades long stand-off with Bolshevik radicals and the final triumph of the American financial empire. In other words, the results of liberal democracy seem to be the opposite of what is predicted.

In fairness, one could argue that the last century of war and radicalism were part of the birthing pains of liberal democracy. Prior to the Great War, the West was still largely dominated by hereditary empires. Radicalism was the result of the prior age, born in the Industrial Revolution under the age of kings. The great competition for what would follow hereditary rule was the industrial wars and the subsequent ideological war, which was ultimately won by bourgeois liberal democracy.

This is the underlying assumption of Francis Fukuyama’s book, The End of History and the Last Man. The final triumph of the American empire of the Russian empire was not just the end of the Cold War. It was “the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government” He has since revised his opinion on the matter, in light of current ructions, but it is an argument you still hear from time to time.

It does not matter how you frame it, as the West is now dominated by liberal democracy and the bourgeois sensibilities that supposedly support it. Look around the political classes of the West and you will not find exceptional men. In fact, much of Europe is now run by frumpy middle-class women. What is remarkable about the ruling classes of the West is not their mediocrity, but their uniformity. Every politician says the same things and behaves the same way in office. It’s rule by automata.

The horror that has gripped Washington for the last three years is not about policy disputes with Donald Trump. It is mostly about style. Trump is garish and flamboyant in his words and deeds. He is not a man with bourgeois sensibilities. Instead, his tastes range toward the crude and the base. The bourgeois hatred of Trump is all about the aesthetic. He’s not one of them and he is not respectful of their thing, so they see him as a threat, a foreign object that must be expelled from the body politic.

Of course, this smug, bourgeois elitism is not limited to Trump. It has become an article of faith in Washington and throughout the ruling capitals of the West, that the hoi polloi is the enemy of democracy. The great caper to rig the 2016 presidential election was as much about thwarting the will of his voters as the man himself. Today, the political class in Washington is proudly undermining the basics of democratic order in the name of democracy. Something similar is happening to Boris Johnson in Britain.

Washington politics is now an endless squabble between mediocrities over trivial matters that distinguish one from the other. Because these people all fall within a very narrow band of general talent, what makes one stand apart from the other is little things that would normally be overlooked. In order to avoid that, they amplify these trivial issues and endlessly pick at one another’s small distinguishing features. The result is endless hairsplitting and backstabbing over persona slights and insults.

It turns out that bourgeois government looks a lot like everything else in bourgeois society, in that it is debate about how many mediocrities can dance on a pin. The reason for this is the great middle is not all that great. If we use the standard of IQ studies and say the average IQ in America is 100, that is the pole around which bourgeois society is twisted. The closer one gets to that number, the more representative of the whole. By definition, the middle-class is mediocre.

Further, the people who fall about one standard deviation above the middle are going to be the people who dominate the cognitive fields like law, polices, the media and the academy. That’s an even narrower band of people. Relative to one another, they are even more mediocre. Walk around a college campus and you are surrounded by people who never met a risk they did not take. The same is true in the political class. What’s remarkable is the near total lack of accomplishment outside of politics.

Critics of democracy generally point to the stupid getting access to the ballot as the main flaw of democratic systems. If for example, America only allowed males to vote, the political center would be somewhere to the right of Ted Cruz. If whites were the only vote, something similar would result. The argument from those very bad people who make such arguments is that we have 30% of the population not built to operate a Western style democracy. As a result, the system must fail.

Whatever truth there is to that, the reason for those conditions, for stupid people getting the vote and foreign people imported to vote, is the bourgeois political class, supposedly operating from middle-class sensibilities, made that choice. The decision to expand ballot access was not done by the king or the oligarchy. That was the work of middle-class people supporting members of their class in political office. The same can be said of open borders, where bourgeois demands for cheap labor rule the day.

The fact is, a precondition for a middle-class is an elite that will impose order and discipline that allows for the growth of a middle-class. The bourgeois was never intended to rule, rather they were built to serve. Put them in charge and you get what one would expect by putting the inmates in charge of the asylum. The resulting bedlam always requires a strong hand to restore order. This is why authoritarianism always seems to follow every foolish experiment with democratic rule.

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A New Western Code Base

Critics of the modern age usually start from the assumption that the way in which the West is organized is fine. The problem is either the people, as in we have a rotten ruling class, or some set of defects that have been introduced into the system. The lament is often some form of “if we had only not done X.” This is usually accompanied by fingering some point in the recent past, like the 60’s. Recency bias has always been a major part of right-wing criticism of left-wing politics.

The underlying assumption is that liberal democracy will work just fine, if we can just get rid of those terrible liberals or go back and correct some mistake from the past. No one ever stops to wonder if maybe those nasty liberals and errors in judgement are a feature of liberal democracy, rather than a defect. Like Marxists or libertarians, the right has worked from the assumption that the right sort of citizen can be conjured or created, in order to make liberal democracy function as intended.

The truth is, the results we see around us, whether it is spasms of radical self-destruction or the suicidal flood of migrants, are all the natural result of liberal democracy. The troubles facing the West are not the result of some defect or shabby operators at the top. This is what you get from liberal democracy. As a wise once man said, “Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.”

The reason, of course, is the underlying assumption of democracy. That is, all men possess the same set of talents. After all, if every man’s say in the running of society is equal to the rest, if it carries the same weight at decision time, then all men must truly be equal. Otherwise, it is a system that deliberately vests the incompetent with the safety and security of others. In other words, the democrat must either be suicidal or sincerely believe men are of equal talent in this important task.

This is the fundamental faith of modern liberal democracy. It assumes and demands that all people are equally capable of making decisions about public policy. This is why noticing any differences in people has become a crime. To note that the retarded, for example, lack the necessary agency to care for themselves, raises the question of who else may lack the necessary qualities to care for themselves. If you cannot care for yourself, how can you be trusted to judge what is in the best interest of others?

This is why we see campaigns by radicals to expand the ballot to children, criminals and the mentally feeble. They couch their cause in fairness, but ultimately what is driving them is absolute egalitarianism. To acknowledge that people are not equally capable of being citizens, means debating where the line is drawn between those capable and those incapable of citizenship. This is a slippery slope that can only lead to the upending of the assumptions of modern liberal democracy.

That is where any alternative right, or alternative anything, must start, as it is the only way to arrive at an alternative outcome. Democracy starts and ends with egalitarianism, which is a binary issue. Either all men are equally capable of active participation is society or they are not. There is no middle ground. Democracy chooses the former and must relentlessly work to make it manifest. This is the root of the current madness that has gripped the West. It is a denial of biological reality.

This is the place to start when contemplating an alternative to the prevailing orthodoxy, whether it is in the narrow domain of politics or the larger one of culture. If all people are not the same in the particular sense, then it follows that all people are not the same in the general sense either. Since a “people” is the sum of the traits and abilities of the individual components, then what we observe as national character is the result of those individual differences peculiar to the people of that nation.

This brings us to the other face of democracy, which is universalism. Every democracy, from the Greeks to the present, assumes that the only legitimate and moral form of government is democracy. After all, if all men in the democracy are equal, it must mean all men in every society are equal. The social contract instantly becomes portable, applicable everywhere. Therefore, anything but liberal democracy is an immoral and inauthentic form of human organization.

The Peloponnesian War was a defensive struggle to resist the rapacious aggression of the Athenians, versus the natural hierarchy of the Spartans. The Great War that devastated Europe was ultimately to impose liberal democracy. The Second World War was a follow on to defend liberal democracy from fascism, which was followed by a 70 year war to defend it against Bolshevism. The history of democracy is a blood bath to prove it works everywhere for all people.

If what we observe is true, that people are not all the same in the wholesale or the retail level, then the question is why? The egalitarians point to various forms of magic like racism, the environment and the tides of history, but all of these collapse under the least bit of scrutiny. If any of these claims were true, we would see evidence of it in the West, where tens of millions of non-Europeans have been imported. Instead, the evidence revels the opposite. The differences in people are natural.

It is these natural differences in people that must be the starting place for any alternative to the prevailing orthodoxy. That sounds easy, but it is the great struggle of this age. It not only means standing outside the moral order, it requires questioning everything we inherited from the Enlightenment. That is what will divide Right and Left in the coming age. On the one side will be the defenders of the Enlightenment, and its egalitarian pretensions, while on the other will be biological realists.

Just as the Enlightenment struggled to escape the cocoon of the Middle Ages, biological realism is struggling for life today. Even sober minded critics of liberal democracy struggle to embrace it. Paul Gottfried, in his first post back at the venerable paleocon outlet Chronicles, makes this point about himself. He can acknowledge some of the points from biological realists, but ultimately he prefers to hug the shore of nurture, rather than sail into the sea of nature.

Yoram Hazony, the Israeli philosopher, wrote a book in which he wrestled with biological reality in his defense of nationalism. Chapter after chapter relied on accurate observations about human diversity. In fact, the foundation of his argument is that nations are different, because they are composed of people, different from the people of other nations. Yet every time he reached the obvious end point of his logic, he pulled back and started flapping his arms and howling about equality.

Hazony and Gottfried are realists, when it comes to ethnicity. Hazony is an ethno-nationalist, while Gottfried is a paleo-conservative. Neither man is naive about the realities of the human condition. Both struggle, however, to transcend their conditioning, which shows how powerful the egalitarian ethic is in the West. It can overcome not only facts and reason, it can make you question your own observations. The project to build a metaphysics around biological reality, therefore, is daunting.

The human diversity we see all around us, the diversity of outcomes, within regions and nations, as well as between them, is not an accident of fate. It is not the result of some dark magic or a conspiracy of one people at the expense of another. These differences are rooted in our nature. Human biological diversity is a real thing that describes who we are as a species. Man is not man without this great diversity, because we are the result of a long natural process of regional trial and error.

Because biology is real, that means sex is real, race is real and ethnicity is real. These are all real things, coming into sharper focus every day through the study of the human genome. The long journey from the dawn of modern man to the first civilization was not the same for all people. The resulting nations of people reflect the long biological journey made by each people. It also represents the natural division of labor, for creating life and for living it, between the sexes and between the talents.

The Enlightenment was the software needed to take Western man out of the Middle Ages, through the age of sail and the industrial age, into the technological age. Like all legacy code, it has reached the end of its time. The demographic age, in which Western man finds himself a minority in a sea of diversity, all creeping up on his natural habitat, will require new code. We need a new moral framework and to do that means deposing the current one and everything that it entails.

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Affirming The Alternative

Something everyone outside of conventional politics agrees upon is that the establishment conservatives are no longer useful or relevant. Whatever you want to call the super set of groups making a claim to right-wing politics, but outside of conventional politics, the one thing that ties them together is an antipathy to Conservative Inc. The criticisms vary in tone and specificity, but everyone agrees that the starting place for a new opposition to the Left is replacing the current Right with something new.

In fact, it is the failure of so-called conservatives that has fueled the rise of populism, neo-nationalism and various dissident movements. If you look around at the various tribes milling around the right-wing fringe, all of them are a response to some failure of conventional conservatism. The alt-right grew out of libertarianism, for example. The identitarians and race realist passed through paleo-conservatism. The paleocons, of course, have been around since their purging decades ago.

The absolute failure of conservatism needs to be more than a rallying point for a loose coalition of the dispossessed. This is not an age calling for a longer list of people purged by Conservative Inc. What is required is a replacement for so-called conservatism that will provide a true alternative to what is offered by the Left. This is something many among the dispossessed have suggested. Paul Gottfried, who gets credit for coining the term alternative Right, has been arguing this for years.

While more and more people are flowing into outsider politics, looking for an alternative to conventional conservatism, there is no agreement as what should come next. The paleocons have gone further than anyone, but their imagined replacement is mostly just a reset to the time before the neocons outmaneuvered them in the 70’s and 80’s. It is a conservatism of yore that is free of the baggage train of failure and perfidy that has come to define modern conservatism. It’s what conservatism should have been.

Other groups are far less sober minded. The alt-right never got around to thinking up a new metaphysics. They spent their time recreating an aesthetic from a bygone age that was intended to shock, rather than celebrate a new ideological movement. The closest they came to imagining an alternative Right was borrowing the idea of an ethnostate from fringe Russian thinkers. Otherwise, the alt-right was just a collection of complaints decorated with some racist and fascist language and imagery.

Other groups among the dispossessed are even less coherent in what they want than the alt-right. The neo-reactionaries want to return to the age of kings, but with the modern material items produced by liberalism. The neo-nationalists and populists, like the paleocons, mostly want to return to a convenient starting point in the past. Theirs is not a critique of liberal democracy, but of its constant companion radicalism. Like Marxists, they argue that real liberal democracy has not been tried yet.

The truth is, none of these approaches can get very far, because at their core they accept the base assumptions of liberal democracy. That means they embrace the core principles of the Left. Those being egalitarianism and the blank slate. They may place some qualifiers on these, but ultimately, they start with the assumption that there is a universally preferable form of human organization. That form of human organization assumes people are all the same with the same human potential.

In this regard, this age is not calling for an alternative Right. There’s no need to rally the guerrilla forces, aged and withered, having hidden out in the ideological and political jungles for generations, in order to reclaim the high ground of liberal democracy. Even if they were able to fight, that fight has been long over. The reason the Left holds the high ground, controls the institutions, is they won the moral argument. They now get to control the moral paradigm, altering it in order to win each fight.

When thinking about what replaces conventional conservatism, the starting point must be this dynamic. The Left controls the moral framework. This allows them to alter every political battlefield by manipulating the shared reality that is the public space. Since democracy is about persuasion, rather than truth, they can easily tilt the battle field to make their job easy. They win because the Right keeps charging up the hill to attack the institutions controlled by the Left, who always enjoy the moral high ground.

For there to be an alternative to conservatism, it must therefore be a genuine alternative to the Left. In other words, what is needed is not so much an alternative Right, but an alternative Left. What’s needed is a new radicalism that starts first with the understanding that we are entering a new age. The ideologies and moralities of the past age, the Industrial Age, are not relevant to the technological age and they are impotent and impractical for the demographic age.

The reactionary and violent multiculturalism on the Left is, in part, a response to this looming reality. The prevailing orthodoxy of today, is the result of the radicalism in later-stage liberal democracy that reached its peak in the last century. Peak liberal democracy, was also peak industrial society. The so-called radicals of today, are just the established order, kitted out in the outfits of yesteryear’s avant-garde. There is nothing radical about the modern Left. They are all reactionaries now.

The anger expressed by the Left toward various challenges, real and imagined, is like a child throwing a tantrum, frustrated at a toy. Their anger starts from the secret sense that their moral framework is no longer relevant. They are unable to quantify or even comprehend it. They just sense it, like an ill wind. Like primitives confronted with some natural mystery, the men and women defending the established order are in a defensive panic at the shadow of change falling on the West.

The new alternative must start where all radicals start, as a rejection of the founding principles of the prevailing order. There is no universally preferable form of human organization, morally, ethically or practically. Human beings are not all the same, born with the same stock of natural talent. Further, humans are not infinitely malleable, able to be shaped into whatever society designs.  These values may have had utility in the prior age, but in this age, they are a liability that must be abandoned.

Whether one chooses to call what comes next an alternative Right or something else, it must be a genuine alternative. The main reason conventional conservatism failed in its opposition to the Left is that it was not an alternative to liberalism. It was a slightly different implementation of it. What replaces conservatism cannot start from the same error, but must be a radical departure from both Left and Right, as commonly understood. It must be a radical alternative to the prevailing morality.

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Unraveling Impeachment

In the days after the election, when the Left was howling about Russian collusion, it was clear they were hiding something. The theory they were pitching was so ridiculous, it had to be about something else. The mendacious mediocrities in mass media could be convinced it was real, but that’s their job. Normal people always knew the claims were absurd. We later learned that the Russian hoax was part of an effort to conceal the seditious plot by the intelligence community.

The Russian collusion hoax is a good place to start when trying to unravel the latest impeachment panic. That caper was about getting a special prosecutor named before Team Trump could figure out what was happening. Mueller, the horse-faced flunky, would provide cover, while greasy operatives on his staff would hoover up anything related to the FBI caper. The whole affair would be sequestered while they figured out how to get rid of Trump and anyone too curious about what happened.

Put another way, the point of the caper was never really about Trump. He was just a useful pivot point in order to address a different issue. They were much more concerned about people like Devon Nunes, who were doggedly pursuing the case. The special prosecutor was a way to end-run Congress and pests like Nunes, so the whole thing could be hidden from public view. If not for a few Congressional Republicans, there would never have been a need for the Russian collusion hoax.

It’s pretty clear that this new gambit is being run by many of the same people who were involved in the original caper. It has the same signature. There is a fake whistle blower, who was purpose built for the task. His claims were systematically leaked to the media, so the Democrats could pretend to be outraged and demand an investigation. The media was ready for a full onslaught of impeachment stories. Like the Russian collusion hoax, this one is highly coordinated with the press.

If the last impeachment hoax was about covering up the FBI spying and seditious plot to overturn the election, the question is what are they trying to cover for now? The original investigation of the FBI seems to be heading in some strange directions after Barr took over the case. Reportedly he is on official business in Italy. That has the Democrats going bonkers, as it suggests he is looking into the CIA role in the Russian collusion hoax. They seem very worried about Bill Barr all of a sudden.

The thing that has been ignored that probably is important is that Pelosi was trying to put an end to the impeachment stuff until recent. When she went to meet with her caucus over this whistle blower stuff, the pundits assumed she was going to squash the whole thing. Instead, she came out of those meetings fully on board with not only impeachment, but fast tracking it. Maybe her caucus was in revolt and she felt she had no choice or maybe she learned something and felt she had no choice.

Regardless of the internal dynamics of the party, this latest impeachment frenzy seems to be related to what Barr has been up to lately. This post at Conservative Tree-house goes into a lot of detail, but what stands out is the Mifsud item. It was his involvement with Papadopoulos that allegedly set off the FBI probe. If he is actually a CIA asset used as part of the larger plot, then that changes things considerably. It now brings the CIA into the mix as co-conspirators in the seditious plot to overturn the election.

That could be why the CIA had one of their people work with the Democrats to create the whistle blower story. They are worried that they are now in some jeopardy. Their concern may be that they have been secretly listening to Trump’s official calls with foreign leaders. Notice that the Democrats are now claiming the transcript the White House provided is a forgery. They could only think that if they were told there is stuff missing from the transcript, by someone who saw the original.

In other words, the first impeachment hoax was about covering up the FBI plot to overturn the 2016 election. This latest impeachment hoax is about muddying the waters in order to conceal CIA involvement. The hope is the Democrats and the media can someone gain jurisdiction over the whole thing and prevent public disclosures that will be very bad for the CIA. The FBI spying on politicians is bad, but the CIA working for foreign countries to spy on politicians would be devastating.

The thing that does not make a lot of sense is that the Congress cannot take over an investigation like a special prosecutor. Perhaps that’s what the game is here. They will dirty up Barr while claiming to investigate this latest hoax, then demand another special prosecutor. That would explain why they are in such a rush to get started. As we saw with the first hoax, this one may not be about Trump at all. It may be about taking out someone who is asking the wrong questions about the right people.

For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!

The Madness Of Anti-Racism

Every liberal society must have a civic religion and it is fair to say that the prevailing religion of current year America is anti-racism. For sure, things like anti-sexism and anti-antisemitism are in the mix. On a regular basis people are condemned for not liking homosexuals or people of mysterious origins. The list of “bads” is very long. All of these other “isms” that make up the set of official “bads” all have the same root as anti-racism. That is, they are twisted around the pole of biological reality.

The place to start is with the dictionary definition of racism. According to Merriam-Webster, the first definition of racism is “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.” defines racism as “the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.”

Now, within living memory, racism was an act. A racists was someone who would not hire people of a certain race or would deny people of a certain race access to goods and services. Then the definition shifted to include words. If one said disparaging things about someone of another race, they could be a racist. The assumption being that to think poorly of another race must inevitably lead to acting poorly toward people of another race. Racism was now a state of mind.

Of course, this is now true of all the bads. If one is not sufficiently worshipful of homosexuals, for example, it is assumed you must be homophobic. The days of “hate the sin, but love the sinner” are long gone in our secular theology, assuming such sophistication ever existed or was even possible. With all of the bads, one’s virtue on these matters is an A-B test. You’re either sufficiently worshipful of the protected group or you are an apostate, possibly a heretic, who must be condemned.

The thing is, racism is not empirically verifiable. In fact, it is not something people thought much about until recent. The best one can do, as far as making an empirical claim about racism, is that it is verifiable under a set of logical rules. If someone believes these things, then they are racist. Those rules, however, are cognitively meaningless. That is, they are not true in and of themselves. Those rules exist because the people in charge have wished them into existence.

That’s the truth of all moral codes. They don’t exist naturally. They may arise from observation of nature or as a result of some qualities of man. People do not want to be killed, for example, so human societies have evolved moral codes against killing people inside the society. The moral codes of a society may have evolved in response to universal or particular facts facing the people, but they had to be conjured into existence by the people in charge of society. Therefore, racism is a social construct.

There is a slow shift going on with the definition of racism. The first part of those common definitions now says something like “the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race.” In other words, the moral codes that define racism now include an assertion of fact. That is, race does not exist. After all, to say that people have shared traits that define them as a people is what is considered the primary definition of racism. To be a racist is to acknowledge race.

Racism is well on its way to becoming a form of magic. The racist mind is now one that perceives things that are not real, like sub-Saharan Africans having dark skin. The epicanthic fold not only cannot exist, noticing it suggests the person seeing it is possessed by the demon of racism. There really is no other way to interpret the emerging definition of racism. In order to resolve the conflict between the definition and nature, they must introduce some supernatural element.

The problem, of course, is that there are characteristics and abilities specific to race, ethnicity and sex. People are not amorphous blobs that can be shaped into whatever the ruling class favors at the moment. In fact, it is impossible to maintain a functioning society without accepting biological reality. Otherwise, the differences in outcome, for example blacks in sports or Jews in business, can only be explained by theories of nefarious forces operating in the shadows at the expense of your group.

Now, in fairness, they still tag on the old modifiers about superiority. That’s the thing though, those modifiers are now in the back. Given the behavior of science deniers in the mass media, it is not going to be long before those modifiers about superiority are dropped entirely. One has only to look at the conflation of the terms “white nationalist” and white supremacist.” The ruling cult now uses them interchangeably. To notice that whites are different from other groups is to be evil by definition.

Even if they figure out that those modifiers must be maintained in order for the definition of racism to have coherence, there are those differences between the races. It is an undeniably truth that sub-Saharan Africans perform differently in physical competitions than other races. In fact, they are superior at sprinting and at extreme long distance running events. These differences are rooted in those common traits. For people to be different, it means they must be better or worse at various quantifiable things.

In the fullness of time, anti-racism, and the whole basket of bads that come along with it, will be viewed as a madness that took possession of the ruling classes. The need to see all people as equal, a requirement of democracy, has led the ruling elites of the West down a dark journey into a madness. The denial of physical reality can only be tolerated for so long. Reality is that thing that does not go away when you stop believing in it. Soon, reality shall return and wash the madness away.

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