This Way Be Monsters

An analogy I’m fond of using to describe my efforts is of a ferryman, taking people from one side of the river to the other side of the river. On one side are the political, social and moral arguments based on the blank slate. On the other side are the arguments based in biological realism. When people finally grow dissatisfied with the failure of the blank slate arguments to properly explain observable reality, the ferryman takes them over the river to the other side. What they do from there is their business. I just take them over the river.

Now, this way of stating things wildly overstates my role and influence, but it is useful in describing the whole body of writers, bloggers, podcasters and so forth, making the sorts of arguments I make here. The analogy serves another purpose. It helps frame the intellectual conflict in our current age. The people on our side know all the arguments on the other side. We were there once. The people on the other side, however, are wholly ignorant of what is happening over here. They don’t know what they don’t know.

This came to mind when perusing National Review the other day. I was sure they would have some posts slobbering over the Black Panther movie. No group is as enthusiastic for anti-racism as the modern conservative. They turn into a puddle of emotional goo whenever they see an even a mildly successful black person. It’s why CPAC was just a long line of white people taking selfies with the four black people at the event. Instead, I found this review from Jim Geraghty with a very promising headline.

It was the subhead that got my attention, because the last thing I would expect to see at National Review is the mention of human nature. The place is stuffed to the brim with foaming at the mouth blank slaters. Normally, I’d skip past a Jim Geraghty post, because he is the sort of dullard who brings shame upon the dullard community. Of course, his movie review was his normal banal nothingness. Even by the standards of movie reviews it is bland. What was striking though is there is no mention of human nature.

I re-read the thing a few times thinking I may have skipped over a line about race realism or even the reality of Africa. Nope. The closest he gets is a throw away line at the end about governance being about trade-offs. Unless you were in a coma for the month leading up to the release of Black Panther, you had to know the movie was explicitly about race. Somehow, Geraghty missed that and never mentions race once in his review. He does not even bother to acknowledge the massive marketing of the film on racial lines.

Thinking about this, it occurred to me that the so-called conservatives have turned a strange corner. Back in the olden thymes, the paleocons were sure that their wussy compatriots knew the score, but were just too frightened of Lefty to be honest about human nature, especially with regards to race. Maybe it was wishful thinking, but listen to some of the senior men in our thing, many of whom worked for outfits like National Review, and they used to talk about these things with the wuss-right types.

Maybe it is isolation, maybe it is a platonic form of assortative mating, but the remaining husk of Buckley Conservatism is stocked with people lacking the cognitive toolkit to understand the human condition. It is no longer about avoiding taboo subjects with these guys. They are now true believers in the blank slate, so whole swaths of knowledge are no longer available to them. Like Progressives, they are forced to conjure solutions from a very limited inventory of information about the human condition.

I mentioned this in one of the podcasts, but it is worth repeating. Sometime ago, I was chatting with a young woman and the topic of Somalia came up for some reason. I mentioned that Somalis have some of the lowest IQ’s measured and they clock in at an average of 69. Her question was “Is it the schools or how they are taught?” In other words, “nature” was no longer in her set of possible answers. Like so many, she had fallen so far down the rabbit hole of nurture, it is all she knew. It’s all their is.

This also helps explain why so-called conservatives are baffled by what is happening to them. They moan and groan about Trump, using language that resonates with their fellows, but it sounds rather silly to the rest of us. They can’t see that. They don’t know what’s on the other side of the river, the side we’re on, because they don’t know there is another side to the river. For them, biology is the edge of a vast ocean that can never be crossed, because they believe there is nothing on the other side, not even monsters.

Rule By Sociopath

In the modern vernacular, the sociopath is someone who lacks empathy, remorse and an understanding of right and wrong. The sociopath sees no difference between the truth and a lie, only their utility. Additionally, they never think about the consequences of their actions. A sociopath sees no harm in telling people that his brain juice will prevent concussions. The veracity of his statements are meaningless. What matters is how well it moves product. People ending up with brain damage as a result is never considered.

The key thing about the modern sociopath is the ambivalence toward the truth. They think saying something is the same as doing something. What matters is if the words get the listener to do what the sociopath wants them to do. Standing in front of crowd, making false claims, is fine if it causes people to buy product. If the truth sells more product, then the truth is better. From the perspective of the modern sociopath, the difference is about the results, not the accuracy of the statements. The truth or a lie, whichever works.

Now replace “sociopath” with “politician” and “product” with “votes” and you have the modern managerial democracy. It’s not that our politicians lie. It’s that for them, a lie is indistinguishable from the truth. That’s why they seem so utterly shameless. Shame requires a sense of right and wrong, a knowledge that what you said or did is intrinsically wrong. For the people who rule over us, right and wrong only exist in the context of their own ambitions. Something is “right” if it benefits the person in the moment.

An example of this is both the story of Mayor Megan Barry and the coverage of her by the managerial media.

On Jan. 31, the mayor here, Megan Barry, called a news conference to announce that she had been having an affair with Robert Forrest Jr., a police sergeant who was the head of her security detail: “It was wrong, and we shouldn’t have done it,” she said.

Along with this confession, the mayor offered the kind of full-throated apology we almost never get from public officials: “I accept full responsibility for the pain I have caused my family and his,” she said. “I knew my actions could cause damage to my office and the ones I loved, but I did it anyway.”

She ended her statement with a pledge: “God will forgive me, but the people of Nashville don’t have to. In the weeks and months to come, I will work hard to earn your forgiveness and earn back your trust.”

This promise did not seem like an act of damage control. This is the way Megan Barry really talks. The language of full emotional availability is her native tongue.

Perhaps that’s why this city loves her. She hugs schoolchildren. She looks genuinely joyful at city parades and festivals. She grieves that too many Nashville teenagers are slain by guns. When Max Barry, her own son and only child, died suddenly last summer, the people of Nashville wept with her. When she spoke openly about the drug addiction that killed him, we marveled at her courage and admired her resolve to bring addiction out of the shadows of shame.

But in a red state like Tennessee, this liberal mayor also has powerful opponents, and they are not idiots. An editorial in the conservative Tennessee Star wasted no time in calling for her resignation: “Barry and the fawning, liberal Nashville media are trying the Clinton defense.”

Notice that saying you are taking responsibility is now the same as actually taking responsibility. The normal way in which one would seek forgiveness is to confess, demonstrate contrition and atone for the crime. In other words, usually you suffer for having done wrong. It is the willingness to accept punishment that demonstrates your acceptance of right and wrong. What we have here is a soulless effort to turn bad behavior into a political asset by fooling people about her contrition.

This sort of thing has become a feature of the managerial class, as it has become increasingly feminized. The writer of that Times piece is a typical feminist, lacking anything resembling a rational mind. That’s why she celebrates Mayor Sociopath. The great writer Theodore Dalrymple touches on this in his last Taki piece. In a world of emasculated liars, lying becomes the most noble of qualities. That means everyone is now trained to lie about themselves and their intentions. Mendacity is the coin of the managerial realm.

There is another aspect to it. The Mayor is out there performing a one women play intended to let you know how she feels about herself. The expectation is the voters will reward her for being able to tell them how she feels about her own lack of moral scruples. It is a deranged form a solipsism, where all that matters is how one feels about one’s own mind. It’s why the expression, “I feel” turns up in so much of our public discourse. Truth is defined by how one feels about it at any one moment in time.

As Theodore Dalrymple pointed out, the meritocracy has been warped by this self-absorption, so this habit of mind is being forced onto the younger generations. If you want to get into a good school, you better be good at expressing how you feel about it, in a way that lets the admissions people know you really care. Listen to millennial males talk and it often sounds like girl’s night after one of the coven had a fight with her boyfriend. They endlessly yammer on about how they feel and demand a reward for their good intentions.

I’ve often pointed out that the arrival of women in positions of authority is the death knell of the organization. It means the smart money has moved onto greener pastures, leaving the enterprise to the vultures, who will pick over the corpse for the bits they like. Feminists will get their stuff, homosexuals will make their demands, minorities will air their grievances. In time, the organization collapses under the weight of its own absurdity. That’s what’s happening in the West. It’s a scramble to strip the carcass of civilization.

This will not end well.

Anarcho-Mendacity

It used to be that conservatives held one piece of high ground in the long running intellectual civil war in the West, that began in the Enlightenment. Conservatives, for all their faults, maintained that the ruling elite of any society had a duty to safeguard the interests of the people. That was the check against social experimentation and the wholesale overturning of traditional institutions. The interests of the people demanded prudence and a deference to the people’s traditional ways of living.

Looking back at the intellectual battles in the West, since the Enlightenment, the one thing the sides were forced to agree upon was that the duty of the state, the ruling class and social reformers, was to safeguard the interest of the people. After all, what would be the point of establishing a dictatorship of the proletariat, if it immiserated the proletariat? It was not just a material argument either. Much the critique of communism from the Right was on aesthetic grounds. Communism was the triumph of the ugly and vulgar.

That’s probably why libertarianism was always on the sidelines, more of a commentary than a serious political philosophy. That is the correct way to view libertarianism. It was a set of running commentaries on the great works of political economy produced by socialists, communists and Marxists. Frédéric Bastiat does not make a lot of sense in isolation. His significance is only in contrast to 19th century industrial socialism and the reaction to it from the Right. Libertarianism is the peanut gallery of the Enlightenment.

It’s why, in the fullness of time, the story of the collapse of mainstream conservatism will include a chapter on the error of fusionism. By grafting onto the Right, libertarian arguments about economics and individual liberty, the Right invited a cancer that gnawed away at its legitimate claims to proper elitism and traditionalism. In other words, they forfeited the one piece of high ground they held. You see this in the debates over immigration. The so-called conservatives no longer have the tools to argue the issue.

This piece at Reason Magazine is a good way of understanding the problem. Nick Gillespie is not a serious person, but he is one of the leading voices of American libertarianism. He is embraced by the so-called conservatives a fellow traveler, even if they have minor quibbles. His response to the immigration debate is a dog’s breakfast of mendacity and incoherence. The most charitable way to view his article is that he has never bothered to examine the issue, so he is pulling this out of his ear.

Of course, this is mostly true. Libertarians have not spent a lot of time thinking about immigration and that’s because they long ago embraced the materialist view of humanity that animated left-wing ideologies since Marx. From the perspective of modern libertarians, people are just interchangeable meat sticks with no intrinsic value. The measure of a man is his economic utility. A factory worker from Bangladesh is no more or less useful than one from Bangor Maine. Whittaker Chambers was right about them.

It is when they are forced to address an issue like immigration that something else is revealed about libertarians. They are not honest. That which contradicts the faith is denounced or discarded, Gillespie’s first point is an example of this. It used to be a article of faith that the laws of supply and demand apply to everything, including labor. Therefore, the only reason business would want foreign labor is that it is cheaper. The reason they like illegal foreign labor is that it is even cheaper than legal foreign labor.

The innumeracy is one thing, but Gillespie is also conjuring a straw man. Yes, wages are one element, but no one makes that the focus of their brief against open borders. He also relies on two logical fallacies that gets a college sophomore flunked out of class. “Virtually all economists, regardless of ideology, agree that immigrants, both legal and illegal, have little to no effect on overall wages” is not an argument. It is a recitation of a spurious Progressive talking point that has shot down many times.

The mendacity is on full display when Gillespie addresses the rule of law. The very core of the libertarian critique of socialism is that it does not abide by the orderly administration of the law. Socialism is an ends justifies the means philosophy, so it cannot, by definition, respect the law. It is why flouting the law can never be tolerated. If a law is found to be unjust or improper, then there is an orderly way correct the error, a lawful way to address the natural mistakes that arise in any social organization.

Gillespie’s argument, with regards to illegal immigration is an embrace of anarchy. In this case, he thinks the immigration system is inefficient or incompetent, so that justifies the wholesale abrogation of the law. No reasonable person would argue the immigration system is logical or coherent. That’s the reason for this reform effort that is at the heart of the national populism. By cavalierly rejecting efforts to reform the law, embracing a form of deliberate chaos, Gillespie reveals libertarianism to be nothing more than anarchism.

This gets back to the original point. The legitimacy of any ruling class lies in its execution of its duty to its people. A monarch loses his crown, and maybe his head, when it becomes clear that he is serving a narrow interest over the general good. The current managerial class is losing its legitimacy as it becomes clear that it not longer sees itself as having a duty to the people. A stable society is one that embraces a bi-directional hierarchy of duties. There’s no place for selfish, materialistic creeds like libertarianism.

This is something the alt-right gets that no one bothers to notice. They often talk about this duty that a people have to one another and their posterity. It’s something that the Founders understood, which is why they wrote this in the preamble of the US Constitution. This is why so many of the alt-right started out in libertarianism. They learned all this stuff about the Founding and natural rights, then figured out that modern libertarians really don’t believe it. It was just a sales pitch to move product. That’s why we have an alt-right.

Political Violence

Why is George Soros still alive?

For most of human history, a person who caused trouble for rulers found himself either on the run or on a pike. A earl or prince that made trouble for the king was dragged before the king, humiliated and then hanged. If he fought back, then the king sacked his lands, killed his family and made an even bigger spectacle of killing the the troublemaker. After all, the point of political power is to reward your allies and punish your enemies. Yet, George Soros, an international troublemaker, is free to make trouble wherever he likes.

The obvious reply to that is civilized nations no longer rely on political assassinations to handle their business. Political leaders have a self interest in discouraging the practice of killing heads of state. If ruler X has ruler Y killed, because it advantages him, the other rulers have no choice but to band together and kill ruler X. Otherwise, it is a lawless world of all against all. President Gerald Ford issued an executive order in 1976 prohibiting US intelligence services from conducting political assassinations for this reason.

That makes sense with legitimate political leaders, but George Soros is a rootless grifter, who has no allegiance to any government. Killing him would be no different than droning a terrorist. Some argue that international law prohibits targeted assassinations, but international law is mostly meaningless. The Israelis have been using targeted assassination against whoever they like for a long time, including the murder of Canadian engineer Gerald Bull. The US has droned more Arabs than we can count.

The most likely answer is that George Soros is not seen as anything more than a nuisance and only to certain members of the political class. He may be a billionaire, but he has no armies and he has no real reach. He’s smart enough to know that, so he makes sure to keep on good terms with the right people. It’s fair to assume that he is a master at not pissing off the wrong people. The proof of that is he has not suffered from whatever the Europeans call Arkancide. Still, no one stays lucky forever, yet Soros still lives.

It’s not just Soros. What we don’t see in the current age is any political assassinations in the West. For that matter, there are no attempts to take out an important person. The last such example in America was Patty Hearst and there is some question as to the reality of her kidnapping. Maybe there have been some recent cases of rich people targeted in Europe for political reasons, but none spring to mind. You would think with all the Muslim fanatics lurking around that some of them would decide to target a rich person.

It’s a strange thing that makes even less sense when you consider the realities of the modern age. In the 1970’s, someone like Squeaky Fromme taking a shot at Ford had a certain logic to it. Today, killing the president does not make a lot of sense. Sure, Trump is a critical component of the current fight, but generally the head of state is nothing but the part of the iceberg we see. The real political power is the cabal of rich people under the waterline, controlling things out of site of the public. Regicide has no value these days.

On the other hand, blowing up a few important political influencers in the Imperial Capital would have an enormous impact. Imagine back in the Bush years if opponents of the war, started targeting neocons. Alternatively, think about the impact it would have if Muslim terrorists blew up Mark Zuckerberg. Sure, taking down an airliner is a big show, but it is really hard. Killing some billionaires is a lot easier and the impact is much more significant, assuming you kill the right billionaires. It never happens though.

Of course, we could be in a transition period as the world of political violence adjusts to the changing nature of politics. Thirty years ago it made a lot of sense for political terrorists to attack civilian targets. The IRA and the Basques separatists lacked the capacity to take on the state, so they attacked the people in effort to put pressure on the state. Today, the state is not the only player and not the most important player in most of the world. Maybe political actors have not yet internalized the new global order.

The decline in political violence in the West sounds like a good thing. Most people would prefer it if car bombs are not going off in their cities. Even if heads of state are off limits, killing important political figures is destabilizing. The rise of a global order not only reduced the need for violence between countries. It may have reduced the need for violence within countries, as the political factions merged into a unified managerial ruling class. Rule by hyper-educated bureaucrat means disputes are handled over cappuccinos.

This may not be a good thing. For all of human history, power brought risk. The higher someone climbed the hierarchy, the greater their responsibilities and the greater their personal risk. The very real threat of personal violence had a tempering effect. Today, people in the managerial elite don’t have to worried about getting fired, much less assassinated. They occupy a world where no one is ever held accountable for their actions. As a result, they have become dangerously cavalier about their duties.

In fact, the main feature of the on-going domestic espionage scandal of the last administration is the brazen and reckless way the players went about it. High moral character is what leads good men do the right thing when no one is looking. Fear of the hangman is what leads lesser men do the right thing when no one is looking. In the political game, personal risk has always been what weeds the reckless and dangerous from the game. That’s been removed so our political class is full of reckless and stupid people.

Nature has a way of correcting itself. If a species evolves down a dead end, something else evolves to replace it. Maybe what comes next is a new brand of political violence that meets the needs of the managerial state. Instead of people shooting political players, managerial class types will get snuffed out when going for their mocha latte. The assassination of Seth Rich could turn out to be the model. Maybe what will evolve to provide vigor and discipline to the managerial state is a grad school version of Arkancide.

The Fate of the NeoCons

The term “neocon” has been a fixture of political debates in America for the last 40 years, being both an epithet, sobriquet and honorific. In the 80’s, a white person in the commentariat using the term was doing so as a stand in for “hawkish liberal Jews” and he would most likely be called an anti-Semite. It became very important to neocons for people not to notice they were all liberal Jews. After the Cold War, Progressives started attacking the neocons, so the squealing about antisemitism lost its potency.

The truth is, the original neocons were never conservative. Many were Trotskyists, but most were just very liberal Jews who wanted to use up America’s wealth to fight their ancient enemy, the Russian empire. Otherwise, they embraced the cosmopolitan Progressivism emerging on the Left. Probably the most generous description of neoconservatives was that they were anti-communists, who integrated into traditional conservatism in the effort to prosecute the Cold War. That was the spin, at least.

The years since the end of the Cold War has revealed them to be something else. The berserk, preternatural hatred of Russia is now a major component of neocon arguments, which is why they never shut up about Putin. After the Cold War, neocons opposed efforts to integrate Russia into the modern global economy and they have advocated in favor a hostile foreign policy toward Russia. They backed intervention in South Ossetia and they were behind the coup in Ukraine that has plunged the country into chaos.

Neoconservatism has also curdled into a bizarre hatred of Trump, with many neocons indulging in the most bizarre conspiracy theories. The people defending the FBI in conservative publications are all neocons. Here’s Ben Shapiro defending the FBI. Here’s Jonah Goldberg defending the the coup plotters. Of course, the chief nutter of the NeverTrump club is Bill Kristol, whose son-in-law bought dirt on Trump from the now infamous Democrat dirty tricks operation, FusionGPS.

In the interest of accuracy, a major cause of neocon hatred of Trump is money. For eight years these guys were rubbing their hands together thinking about the great jobs they would land in the Jeb Bush administration. Jonah Goldberg’s old lady spent 2015 shopping for outfits, anticipating a six figure job in the next Republican administration. When you add up the book deals, salary, speaking gigs and insider dealing, Trump was a million dollar catastrophe for each of the leading lights of neoconservatism. Of course they’re mad.

That can explain some of the bitterness over Trump, but none of these guys are skipping any meals. John “Thanks Dad” Podhoretz takes $400,000 a  year in salary just from his limited work at Commentary. Goldberg lives in a seven figure home in one of the most elite suburbs on earth. Max Boot just signed on with the Washington Post, where he probably makes $250,000 per year to write a weekly column. All of these guys were born into the world of “high pay, but low work” lifestyles that define the commentariat.

What really vexes them, is the the fact they can no longer hide in the weeds of Buckley Conservatism. They used to be able to pass themselves off as conventional conservatives, who just had an active interest in foreign policy. Now, it is eminently clear that there is nothing conservative about them in the least. Whatever hand waving they offer in favor of traditionalism and normalcy, is always in the form of “Of course we should defend X, but let’s not waste political capital on that when we should be doing…”

Reverting to their liberal roots is one thing, but it is hard to see what is American about them, given their advocacy against Americans. When a central plank of your philosophy is that native stock Americans need to be replaced, you’re un-American. Steve Sailer once described neoconservatism as “invade the world, invite the world” and it was an excellent observation. The growing recognition of this truth, seems to be turning neocons in to outright, anti-white bigots. They despise you for noticing what’s happening to you.

You see it in this Jonah Goldberg column the other day. The debate over immigration has made plain to white voters that the divide in Washington is between those celebrating the “browning of America” and those who oppose it. The Trump Effect is making that increasingly clear to voters. The people opposing Team Brown, want to preserve their communities and their culture. There is nothing more conservative than that, but the neocons have now taken to calling this a cult, an obvious reference to you know who.

Neoconservatism has come a long way from when Irving Kristol wrote “Confessions of a True, Self-Confessed ‘Neoconservative'” in 1979. The world has changed since the concepts that came to define neoconservatism were developed. Of course, all of the guys who founded it are dead. The people leading the movement today are mostly the ne’er do well sons of the founding generation of thinkers. The “Thanks Dad Chorus” that is modern neoconservatism is a very good example of reversion to the mean.

Of course, what Eric Hoffer observed about causes is true of the neocons. “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” In fact, this is true of the entire ecosystem that is mainstream conservatism. The Buckley crowd are just squeezing out every last dime from National Review, trading on nostalgia to fleece Baby Boomers of donations. Commentary Magazine has a dwindling readership of septuagenarians worried that Hitler really did not die in that bunker.

Even so, Jews in America have faced little in the way of Antisemitism. That’s something white Americans have always celebrated. So much so that no one thought much of the emergence of Jewish triumphalism in the last decades. If that triumphalism curdles into anti-white ethnocentrism, then that could change. When you see a guy like Jonah Goldberg appropriating the title of James Burnham book for his next screed against white people, you have to suspect this is all going to end poorly.

Are We Happy?

Generally speaking, it is pretty easy for you to know if you are happy. While happiness is not a binary condition, you know if you are not happy. You may not be able to describe why it is you are happy, but the lack of complaints is usually a good enough answer. For the most part, you can tell if your wife and family is happy too. It is once you get past your close circle of friends, that it gets hard to know. Richard Cory, whenever he was in town, seemed like he was living a happy life, but you never can know for sure.

When it comes to society as a whole, social scientists have come up with an array of measures to figure out if the people are happy. These efforts have been financed by government for a long time, because rulers always assume that a happy people is a docile people. That’s not a bad assumption. You never see depictions of rioting peasants, where they are grinning and laughing. Revolts are always associated with angry mobs, turning on their rulers. Therefore, keep the people happy and you don’t have revolts.

For as long as anyone can remember, these measures of societal happiness have been focused on economics. Do people have enough food, housing and medicine? Is the economy growing? Can young people replicate the lifestyle of their parents? Is the gap between rich and poor creating tension? Pretty much all of the measures used to assess how things are going are focused on the bread side of the “bread and circuses” way of framing this issue. History says that’s a good way to do it, so it makes sense.

I recall walking down Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, in the late 80’s, seeing every business with huge “help wanted” signs. It was like they were competing with one another for the biggest sign. They were competing for scarce labor. Everyone seemed happy about the boom times. I know I was happy, but I was a young man with nothing but green grass in front of me. Still, it was good times and the long winter of the 1970’s was still in the back of people’s minds. It was a great time to be a young man in America.

It’s in part why people, old enough to have lived through those times, are so sentimental about the Reagan years. Overall societal happiness was also evident in the political realm. Reagan won a massive landslide in the 1984 election and his proxy followed it up with a landslide win in the 1988 election. It’s almost impossible to imagine it, but Reagan won states like Massachusetts and New York. Imagine that. There was a brief time when the Roundheads stopped hating everyone else long enough to cast a sensible vote.

This brings me back to the question of this post. The economy was supposedly doing well in the Bush years, yet no one seemed happy about the direction of the country. The neocons were the one exception, but they are only happy when Americans are suffering and dying. The Obama years were equally terrible, in terms of our collective psyche. The economy under Obama was not great, but it was not a depression. It was a long, slow recovery from the damage done by the cosmopolitan bankers in the Bush years.

Now? The economy is booming. Economists are talking about 5% annual growth, which has not happened since the 1980’s. The stock market, despite recent turbulence, has seen massive growth over the last year. If you believe the economists, America is nearing full employment. If you don’t believe them, you know that demand is now drawing people back into the workplace for the first time in decades. Wages are even starting to tick up in STEM fields, which has not be true in a generation. We are in very good times.

Yet, no one seems happy. Even a level headed and sensible person like me struggles to be optimistic. Everyone I know is glum about the cultural trajectory of the nation. If the fans of Jordan Peterson are correct about his fan base, it means millions of younger Americans are unhappy with the current state of affairs. If the critics of the Dissident Right are correct, it means tens of millions of white people think their country is heading for a very bad place. The Left, of course, is trying to burn it all down in a frenzy of rage.

Maybe all of these things really don’t matter. Maybe the culture wars and political wars are just the result of a bored people enjoying unprecedented good times. We are in a post scarcity age, where even the poorest person has more than enough food, shelter and leisure activities. In many respects, we are amusing ourselves to death. It could simply be that humans are built for struggle. When times are good, we look for reasons to create a crisis to against. Maybe we’re too happy.

On the other hand, it may be that the reading of history, with regards to social unrest, is incomplete about the causes. The American revolution was not triggered by severe economic troubles. The Civil War was not preceded by a depression. The English Civil War had nothing to do with economic difficulties. Even the French and Russian revolutions were about long cultural trends. The food riots that touched off the revolts were just the final straw. The fabric of those nations was in tatters long before they ran out of food.

It is something to ponder as Trump tries to recreate the 1980’s. That was when he began his steep climb to national prominence as a real estate magnate and public personality. He is a man of the 80’s, a child in the 50’s. Reagan wanted to restore the America of the 1950’s, his salad days, and now Trump wishes do the same. Maybe it will work or maybe it is just the remnant of a dying culture getting together for one last festival. Maybe the ennui is the knowledge that the old America Trump is trying to revive is gone forever.

Maybe we are Richard Cory.

The un-Americans

One of the things that has always been true about America is that you never question someone’s patriotism unless you have very strong evidence. Part of this is due to the immigrant back story of most Americans, but a bigger part is the fragmented nature of the country. Patriotism is the glue that holds the American Nations together. Different groups from different regions stick together because of a common national creed. This also works across class lines. The rich, the middle and the poor are equally patriotic.

One result of this has been a desire by leaders to not look like fops. Politicians, business men, even generals, have always done the every-man act in order to seem like one of the folks.We don’t have a hereditary class, but we do have rich people. Rather than a rigid class system, the rich make sure to let the lower classes know they have the same duty to the country as everyone else. This soul and soil nationalism, rather than blood and soil, is what binds the social classes and the regional cultures together. At least it used too.

That’s certainly not the way things are now. Our cultural and political leaders go out of their way to signal their hostility to the lower classes. In fact, it has become so common for our betters to sneer at us, they are competing with one another to prove just how much they hate Americans. Of course, they mean white Americans. The swarthy recent imports are the best, but the old stock, well, they are the worst, according to the people claiming to represent us. It really is remarkable just how much they detest us.

A commenter on Steve Sailer’s blog asked, in response to this David Brooks column“Has there ever been another time in American history when American elites felt this comfortable expressing such open contempt and hatred for their fellow citizens?” It is a good question. Certainly elites from some sections have hated the people of other sections. Virginia gentry, prior to the Civil War, thought the goobers from West Virginia were worst than Indians. New Englanders hate the South. Everyone hates Cleveland.

What we’re seeing today is different. It is a public hatred directed at the fundamental nature of America, and by extension, Americans. Here’s an example from Bill Kristol in response to an immigration segment on Fox News. What Kristol is arguing is that Americans, as in current citizens, have no right to discuss immigration policy. It is immoral for us to say anything about it. On the other hand, non-Americans, people not currently citizens, have a moral duty to cross the border and settle in your neighborhood.

Kristol is hardly alone. It is not strictly a Jewish thing either. Lyndsey Graham is not Jewish, as far as anyone knows. He no longer thinks America should exist. He denies that the current citizens have any right to exist whatsoever. Granted, he is a shrieking hysteric, prone to hyperbole, but there’s only one way to interpret what he is saying. Being an American is no longer permissible. In fact, the underlying rationale of the open borders side is that the current Americans are just no good and need to be replaced.

Now, this turn in elite opinion has been a long time coming. In the Clinton years, suddenly comfortable Boomers started buying McMansions and pretending they were too good for the hoi polloi in flyover country. Progressive politics moved away from the bread and butter economic issues and onto esoteric identity politics. This snottiness was most apparent when the Left went to war on WalMart. Once Progressives stopped pretending to like normal Americans, the so-called Conservatives joined them.

Elites have always had a disdain for the lower classes. This has been true at all times and all places. Elites have also always had a duty to look out for the interests of the lower classes. The ruling class may not have liked the people over whom they ruled, but they were duty bound to look out for them and keep their opinions to themselves. What’s happening in modern America is the ruling class is rejecting their duty to their fellow citizen, because they have contempt for the very notion that we are their fellow citizens.

There really is no example from history where the ruling class revolted and declared war on its subjects. That’s where we are today in America. When Trump gave his State of the Union, most of the people in the building hated him because he holds onto the old fashioned belief that the American government should serve the American people. As far as they are concerned, he’s not just a class traitor, he is insane. After all, why would anyone think the people in charge have any responsibility to the rabble?

It used to be that “un-American” meant counter to the American system and the American creed.The people charged with policing that were the people in charge. Today, being un-American is a badge of honor for the people in charge. A US Congressman actually fled the building when the crowd started in with a patriotic chant during Trump’s address to Congress. You can be sure he was the toast of the city, a hero to his coevals in the political class. Bizarre as it sounds, America is a country now ruled by un-Americans.

Class War As Race War

There is an interesting post up this week over at the American Renaissance¹ website, that I have been puzzling over a bit. What struck me initially about it is the opening line, “Why we must unite across class lines.” That’s not a phrase you hear much these days from politicians, activists or certainly polemicists. In fact, class does not get much of a discussion at all in polite circles. The closest we get to a class debate in America anymore are some snide remarks from cosmopolitans about the people shopping at Walmart.

On the Right, discussion of class has long been forbidden. This was mostly due to the fact that conventional conservatism in America is really just right-wing Progressivism. The official Right and Left agree on the big philosophical items. Their quarrels are mostly about tactics and rhetoric. In the latter, the so-called Right carried the day, so discussion of social class is mostly forbidden. We are an egalitarian society, so it goes, where your status is determined by how well you serve the state, not the circumstances of your birth.

The author of the AmRen piece then goes on to explore the gap between official rhetoric on racial diversity and objective reality. Our ruling elites systematically arrange their lives so they have the least amount of diversity as possible. Whole sections of cities have been ethnically cleansed so young white hipsters can have cool places to live. Meanwhile, urban blacks, with the miracle of Section 8, are dumped into lower class white suburbs, where they set about recreating their normal chaos in otherwise stable white areas.

This compulsory diversity is not just destroying the white working class, it is hollowing out the white middle-class. Urban female hipsters are free to sing the glories of miscegenation, while they send their super white kids to the private day school, and socialize with people who look like them, think like them and live like them. As we hate-thinkers would put it, we are seeing the systematic Brazil-ification of America, where the white urban elite is turning Middle-American is to caramel colored favelas.

This is familiar ground to readers here, but it is the proposed solution that does not get much attention.

So does our hope lie with the proles? The big difference between Orwell’s 1984 and 2018 is that Orwell’s elites did not bother to indoctrinate the masses, on the ground that the proles’ fidelity to Big Brother was considered irrelevant. By contrast, in our diversity dystopia the masses are at the core of the Left’s indoctrination project. Our “proles” are the ones forced to suffer a bad education in integrated schools. They are the ones subjected to violence, harassment, and intimidation. And they are the ones told, again and again, that any resistance to this makes them betrayers of who we are as Americans, deplorable traitors in need of ever-more reformation.

Leadership may not come from the proles, but good sense and votes will. Those who bear the burdens of diversity see its damage most clearly. It is no accident that Donald Trump swept the white working-class vote.

Whatever our own particular economic station, we all have a role to play in restoring working- and middle-class white America. We should be hiring our own people, tutoring our own people, supporting scholarships for our own people, and doing our best to build schools and cultural institutions that can be healthy environments for our own people.

Growing up in the underclass, my exposure to bourgeois sensibilities about class came mostly through the movies. Movies and TV shows featuring the white working class as protagonists, only did so as a canvas onto which the writers could paint pictures of the multicultural paradise. White union men learned they had to accept blacks into the union in order to succeed. Archie Bunker had to see George Jefferson as just a dark skinned version of himself, in order to rise above the limitations of his class.

The Left’s class warfare was always a hoax played on the white working and middle classes. The offer was better economic conditions, as long as blacks were allowed to have some too. It was always a bait and switch. Whites got high divorce rates, their daughters dating black guys, rocket high inequality and the looming threat of minority status. By any measure, the Left’s agenda for the white working classes has been a disaster. It’s why the great white die off is the shadow hanging over all of us.

We are  seeing a replay of this now with immigration. “Fellow white people! You’re gonna get lots of cool restaurants and cultural diversity, and a police state, well mostly a police state. Open Borders!” All the promises of open borders and globalism are a deliberate lie, using appeals to morality to overcome practical objections and economic arguments to overcome cultural objections. Just as accepting racial integration in exchange for economic prosperity was a disaster for whites, open borders will be too. That’s the goal.

Our side embracing the rhetoric of 1960’s Progressive class warfare seems a bit strange, but it is one entry point for introducing racial consciousness to the discussion. Every time someone sees a politician address the concerns of the white working class, the audience hears it is OK to be white. Whenever white people, even hipster college professors living in urban oases, engage in talk about the white working class or the white opioid epidemic, being white gets re-legitimized and re-normalized in the greater culture.

The second line of that AmRen post is a line from Orwell, “If there is hope,” wrote Winston, “it lies in the proles.” Orwell wrote in a time when it was assumed that Africa was for Africans, Asia for Asians and the West was for white people. The olden thymes were an argument between whites about how whites would deal with one another. Our age will be an argument between whites about how we defend ourselves, our lands and our posterity from the rest of the world. That starts with defending the white working class.

¹I will be attending the American Renaissance conference this spring. if you are interested in attending, sign up is here.

The Answer Is Always More

One of the more entertaining bits of black humor on Steve Sailer’s blog are the stories he posts about how every problem can be solved with more immigration. No matter the problem, someone will have a reason why the solution to it is more immigration. It’s as if our elites have a bizarre form of Tourette’s, where any stimulation causes them to blurt out lines from Emma Lazarus. When the lunacy of their claims is pointed out, the response is usually just a blank stare, suggesting their enthusiasm for open borders is involuntary.

The reason for this is the people championing open borders are not working from a set of facts, or arguments from those facts. Sure, the indentured servant lobbies are thinking in economic terms. The refugee lobbies want the money spigot to remain open, but these are relatively small influences on public debate. The vast majority of people championing open borders have no monetary incentives. They are doing it because they view the issue in purely moral terms. They are pro-immigrant in the same way normal people are pro-life.

Among the cognitive elites, there is a strong social incentive for embracing ever more extreme positions on the popular fads of the moment. It’s how we went so quickly from tolerating homosexuals to embracing mentally disturbed men in sundresses. Similarly, it is how miscegenation went from casual outlier to the only acceptable form of mating. When it comes to immigration, the furthest possible extreme is open borders, so the game is to come up with ever more creative ways of justifying it.

When looking at it in moral terms, it helps explain why both types of Progressive have gone berserk on the issue of immigration. Fundamentally, the so-called Left and the so-called Right share the same moral framework. Both sides of Progressivism embrace an intolerant, smothering set of universal principles rooted in the blank slate. All people everywhere are the same and interchangeable. As Senator Lindsey Graham would put it, people don’t exist as flesh and blood beings, but rather as ideals.

Anyway, it is good to keep that in mind when seeing so-called conservatives make their pitch for open borders. This piece in the hilariously misnamed American Conservative is a a rather bizarre attempt to justify redefining temporary to mean permanent.

That’s why this recent decision will be particularly advantageous for MS-13. Realistically, the federal government will be unable to enforce this immigration policy. Likewise, the vast majority of the 200,000 Salvadorans are unlikely to voluntarily leave. Instead, they’ll live in the shadows as prey for MS-13.

Trump has masterfully used MS-13 as a straw man in the immigration debate. The constant references to this glorified street gang leave the impression that most illegal immigrants are violent felons. It is a particularly artful tactic, given that 80 percent of voters believe that illegal immigrants convicted of a felony should be deported.

However, the vast majority of the 200,000 Salvadorans aren’t violent criminals. Although Hurricane Mitch is listed as their official reason for refugee status, the reality is that a high percentage of these people fled to the U.S. to escape violence in El Salvador.

Those who do return will be much more vulnerable back in El Salvador where MS-13 and their rival, Barrio 18, control large swaths of the country. In turn, assets these immigrants acquired while working in the U.S. will eventually be appropriated by these gangs.

There is a common misconception that a “weak immigration policy” led to the rise of MS-13. In fact, it was the aggressive deportation policy of the Clinton administration that transformed MS-13 into a transnational criminal organization.

You see how this works?

Enforcing the law creates more criminals. This sort of sophistry that has become common, because there is no rational argument in favor of open borders. As Americans have become familiar with the facts, the open borders people are left with mendacity as their only option. Coming up with the most extreme justifications inevitably leads to defending the indefensible, not on merit, but as a form of virtue signalling. Demanding easy access to Americans by bloodthirsty criminal gangs is extreme in the extreme.

This quest for the most virtuous position on the immigration topic answers the question posed in this post by Sailer. If all people are the same, that we’re just interchangeable meat sticks, there can be no moral justification for inequality and diversity. Our elites see diversity as the result of some evil force. Nothing can be too extreme when combating evil. More important, one cannot be seen by his coevals as beyond the pale when he is engaged in combating evil. The crazier the better when it comes fanatics.

It’s also why appeals to reason never work with these people. We are ruled over by fanatics, convinced that anything worth doing is worth overdoing. They are like addicts seeking a high more intense than the one before it. You don’t talk an addict out of his blind quest for the ultimate high. He has to find that limit on his own. That usually means dying in a pool of his own vomit. That’s most likely the fate of our rulers. They will realize they have gone too far just as the trap door snaps open and they begin the drop.

Manly Men

The first time I ever had a reason to think that maybe the next generation of men coming along were a little light in the loafers, was when I hired a summer intern a dozen years ago. He was a college student hoping to become a lawyer or politician one day. He seemed like a bright and engaging kid, so we hired him. He was just going to be doing basic office stuff. Even if he was dumb as a dirt, it really didn’t matter. Just as long as he was not annoying or crazy, I figured I could get some use out of him.

Not long into his tenure, he came in late because he had a flat time and had to wait for someone. He did not know how to change a tire and he seemed somewhat amazed that people did know how to change tires. I began to notice that he did not do little things like hold the door for women or older people. He was unaware of things I just took for granted, like how to use a screwdriver. We had a small maintenance task on a piece of office gear and he watched me do it like I was conjuring spirits from the other world.

I’ve never wanted to be one of those old guys who complained about the younger generation. I think that’s silly, but talking with him and other people his age that summer, I started to wonder if maybe there was something to it. The main reason I started to change my opinion is he thought it was true. This is something I’ve bumped into a few times. It seems that many young men think previous generations of men were much more manly in some way. Apparently, it is not just a US thing. British boys think they are wimps too.

In fairness, it may be the fact that Millennials were raised in a culture that celebrated girls at the expense of boys. This stuff started in Gen-X, but it was not horrible for us. By the time the Millennials came along, schools and popular culture reeked of estrogen. It’s perfectly reasonable for these males to assume that they were never trained to be proper men, even if they are proper men anyway. There’s also the fact that the boys today are told they are girls trapped in a man’s body and that boys should be wearing dresses.

Now, I certainly knew I had it soft compared to the old guys I remember as a kid. My grandfather’s one brother was at Guadalcanal. Another died in the Bataan. Just listening to the old timers talk about their youth made it clear that they were hard men produced in hard times. That’s an extreme example. My generation did not have it hard, at least not that much tougher than the Millennials and now Gen-Z. It does not make a lot of sense for them to think they are a generation of pansies or for them to actually be pansies.

The flip side, assuming the young men today are wimps, is that this is the result of the feminization of society. That happened because the previous generations of men slowly ceded ground to the ladies. That process started in the 19th century when Protestant pastors teamed up with vinegar drinking lesbianism to get women the right to vote in Federal elections. Even today’s wimps know that was a terrible idea. How is it the tough guys of a century ago were so eager to hand the ballot to women?

The MGTOW¹/PUA² blogger Heartiste thinks it is soy in diets. The reliance on soy protein in modern Western diets is causing a drop in testosterone. I don’t have low testosterone, even for a geezer, but I never eat soy. I don’t eat processed foods, just meat and green vegetables. I have friends my age who do eat lots of prepared foods and they have gone on testosterone replacement therapy. It sounds implausible, but the European diet never included lots of soy, so maybe there is something to it.

There is some data showing that testosterone levels are falling in men. It’s an age independent decline, which means levels are falling relative to the same age groups of previous generations. There’s also the observed drop in sperm counts. One could be related to the other, but both could have some common root cause. The odds of that cause being blue-haired feminists screaming about their feelings is probably low, but culture cannot be ruled out entirely. Still, environment is the more likely cause.

There’s also the modern habit of loading up young boys with psychoactive drugs so they don’t act like young boys. This just started coming around when I was a kid, but we largely missed it. Millennials and Gen-Z boys were drugged as a matter of school policy. Giving young people these kinds of drugs is madness, but about 20% of males grew up munching on Ritalin and Adderall. It’s not unreasonable to suspect that a youth spent high on stimulants is going to have a hangover effect into adulthood.

The diet and lifestyle explanation would cover the last few generations, but it does not explain why men a century ago started ceding ground to women. My grandfather’s generation had the very real fear of starvation. Men were still routinely killed on work sites and personal violence was a part of a normal man’s life. They never heard of soy or ADHD, but they were willing to open the door for women to take over the culture. For thousands of years men knew how to control their women. Then they didn’t.

Maybe there is some multi-generational cycle at work and the pendulum is about to swing the other way. It is hard to know as we struggle to understand trends that transcend generations. Maybe it is an evolutionary trigger built into humans. When times are good, the men get stupid, eventually bringing an end to the good times. Regardless, the fact is we have fewer manly men now. That’s not a problem in a post-scarcity society, but if that changes, we may find a shortage of men to be a very big problem.

¹ I’m unreliably told that Heartiste may not be MGTOW. I’m not all that clear on the definition in the man-o-verse, so apologies to Heartiste if I characterized him incorrectly.

² Hilariously, many men are very upset at my calling Heartiste MGTOW, so I have amended the post.