Perpendicular Parallels

For those old enough to recall the 1970’s, the present economic turmoil looks a lot like the stagflation from fifty years ago. Just like a half century ago, we have a mix of inflation, economic stagnation and incompetent leadership in Washington. Joe Biden is not exactly Jimmy Carter, as Carter was an honest man, but like Carter, the public sees him as a man out of his depth. Like Carter, he wound up in the job due to a crisis within the political class over a previous president.

It is a comforting parallel for many people, because if the pattern holds, it means there is a Ronald Reagan coming after Biden. The saner elements in the ruling elite will rally to a sober minded governor who can withstand the progressive crazies. Many people are looking at Ron DeSantis as the man who can save the system. Trump running in 2024 could throw a wrench in the story, but maybe the ruling elite has a plan to get that element out of the script so the story can continue.

This problem with the script is a reminder that historical parallels are like all generalizations in that they are a starting point. They help frame the times to better understand the details. We know the general plot of one side of the comparison, so it allows us to infer things about the other side. From there we have a basis from which to analyze the present. In this comparison, however, the observable similarities have different direct and root causes.

For example, the current energy crisis is different from the crisis in the 1970’s, which was mostly driven by the currency war and an oil embargo. The collapse of the post-war currency arrangements not only gave us inflation, but it also created havoc in commodities, which are sensitive to currency fluctuations. The big driver was the Arab oil embargo over US support for Israel. The embargo was always a short term strategy to get a better deal from the West.

The present energy crisis is primarily systemic. Generations of mismanagement are finally showing up in the price. The United States was the largest exporter a few years ago, but then the government reversed course and exports have collapsed, making America a net importer again. Europe is smashing its energy system in an effort to make the Russians look bad on Twitter. There is more than enough energy to go around, but the system to distribute it is collapsing.

In the 1970’s, the solution to the energy crisis was to make a deal with the Arabs so they would end the embargo. There were lots of new energy schemes launched to take advantage of the crisis, but the final solution was a deal with the Saudis. This current energy crisis does not have a simple solution. In the West, energy policy has been corrupted by the same cranks who have corrupted the culture. It will take a revolution to fix that problem in order to fix the policy problems.

Systemic problems are also at the heart of the inflation crisis. In the 1970’s, the issue was the old fashioned Econ 101 problem. There was too much money chasing too few goods, resulting in inflation. This time, the issue is more about systemic problems in the global monetary system and in the global supply chain. This is where dumb people like to say, “it is as simple as…” and then finish with their favorite bromides from the Mises Institute, but the current inflation crisis is not a simple one.

For starters, the monetary system that was put in place in the 1980’s assumed a few things that are no longer true. One was that the excess dollars created by Washington would be absorbed and laundered by low cost counties. This worked while Asia had an infinite supply of cheap efficient labor. Extra dollars could flow into these countries as economic investment. The extra from developing countries would then return in the form of assets like treasuries and equities.

That system is breaking down for two main reasons. One is China is becoming a mature industrial nation, which means labor is no longer cheap. The Chinese understand this and they are shifting policy to encourage domestic consumption rather than focus on exports. All of a sudden, those extra dollars are no longer as welcome in China as in the past. Instead of returning as assets to America, they hang around the system chasing too few retail goods.

Another cause is the breakdown of the dollar system. The dollar itself is doing great, but the rest of the global currencies are not doing so well. Their strength has been pegged to the health of the system based on the dollar being the global currency. As this system shows signs of crisis, the weaker currencies are in free fall. The Euro, the secondary global currency, is falling sharply. Of course, the ruble is booming, due to the crackpot policy response to the war in Ukraine.

The point is the solution to the current inflation is different from what happened fifty years ago because the causes are different. In the 1970’s, the Fed could tighten the money supply, wring out inflation and force a corresponding correction in the system with a deep, but short recession. This time, simply raising rates will not be enough to address the inflation problems. It could also trigger a crisis in the financial system, which is built on the assumption of free money from the Fed.

There are more comparisons like this, but the bottom line is that the crisis of the 1970’s is similar to this crisis, but the causes are different. Back then, America was a healthy business in need of new management. The demographics were good, the social capital was still strong and the working population was young. More important, the ruling class wanted a strong America and saw it as their duty to deliver it. A few tweaks to the system would unleash the economic power of the country.

The current crisis is driven by different forces. This is an end of cycle crisis as the American empire reaches its terminus. Critically, the demographics are much worse, the productive population is old and the social capital has been spent trying to prove Mother Nature wrong for fifty years. More important, the ruling class is now populated by feckless grifters and ridiculous people. They see their duty as throwing fuel on the fire in order to prove how little they care about the country.

What this comparison between this crisis and that of fifty years ago reveals is that this crisis is different in nature. There are general parallels, but the underlying causes are vastly different and that means the results will be different. New management may walk through the door in the next election, but unlike 1980 they will be taking control of an enterprise that needs bankruptcy protection. It may even require a fire sale to clear out the unproductive segments at the top.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Game

There is an argument that we live in a novel political environment in which the mass media is the political authority. They get on an issue and the political and corporate classes respond to it. We saw this with the George Floyd story that was orchestrated by the big media operations. On the other hand, political actors will seed the media with fake stories hoping they will put it into their megaphones. The Russian collusion hoax cooked up by team Clinton is an example.

A couple of weeks back, Tucker Carlson observed that most Republicans wake up in the morning and go to the New York Times. They and their staff read the thing over breakfast, because it is their guide throughout the day. This is true of mainstream conservatives as well. What passes for the Right in America is entirely controlled by the Left, which is controlled by the media. Old school liberals sound like Trump people when they complain about how the media runs their party.

There is a lot of truth to the media-ocracy claim. The backers of the Ukraine fiasco have been feeding the media nonsense tales about Ukraine. They handed them Ukraine lapel pins they had made up for the occasion. Note no one in the media looked into who supplied everyone on television with those pins. Instead, it was a unified media voice, a wall of sound, selling the Ukraine story. Washington and the political class in Europe were swept up in this unfolding disaster.

The thing is though, the Russia hoax makes clear that the media does not have a coordinated center. The details of the hoax have been supplied in the court case against Clinton crony Michael Sussman. He relied upon confidence men like Franklin Foer, who exist to inject false narratives into the media echo system. Once these fake stories get loose, they rocket around the system, repeated by the sociopaths who are attracted to life in the media echo system.

Further proof of the passive nature of the media system is the war in Ukraine, a place few in the media can find on a map. There are three observable trends in the coverage of the war thus far. One is there are few Western reporters trying to cover the war on the ground in Ukraine. They went over for the photo-ops when it started but made sure to stay in Kiev. They quickly went back to their countries and left the reporting to contractors and interested think tanks.

That is the other thing about the media response to the war. The work-at-home war correspondents now do their reporting from press releases issued by outfits like the Institute for the Study of War. Alternatively, they rely on Ukrainians on the payroll of the American of British intelligence services. In both cases, a five minute search on-line would reveal these sources to be entirely fake. Instead, they just pass on the information without bothering to question any of it.

The lack of original reporting and reliance on single sources with narrow agendas has resulted in a uniform opinion in the media. Even the so-called conservative media, which took off their American flag pins and put on the Ukraine pin, repeated the same stories from the same sources as if it was holy writ. What the Ukraine story reveals is the media echo system operates like a murmuration of starlings, rushing through the news cycle in response to external stimulus.

This reality will lead some to assume this system is controlled by a tiny cabal of deep state actors in a hollowed out volcano. In reality, the people trying to inject their special brand of poison into the system are often tangled in the system. The Covid panic is the perfect example. It was people hoping for media recognition who kept injecting ridiculous claims into the system. These were not deep state players, but often just ordinary people hoping for fifteen minutes of fame.

The “frontline workers” posting their made up tales of woe on social media is the perfect example of how small players can move the media swarm. Hoping for attention, nurses and doctors started positing on social media stories that made them look like selfless heroes trying to save Covid victims. This psychosis, and it was a form of psychosis, was picked up by the media and amplified. These fake stories became fact, which spawned new fake stories made up by media members.

The Covid hoax, and it is fair to call it a hoax at this point, was not the result of clever scheming like the Russian collusion hoax. Instead, it was something like a stampede over a cliff. Unlike the animals in the herd, the people in this media stampede could question the rush over the cliff, but like the animals in the herd, they feared being trampled more than they feared the end result. As a result, fantasy became holy writ and Covid turned into a bizarre mass media religion.

In a way, the berserk obsession with disinformation and misinformation is not entirely motivated by malice toward the general public. The people running the New York Times and Washington Post still cling to the old myths about the media. They think they should be the cynics not falling for their hoaxes. They sort of get the problem, but they lack the proper perspective from their position inside the swarm to see that it is the nature of the swarm, what makes it possible, that is the problem.

It is tempting to think that at some point the public will get wise to the fake news and this madness will come to an end. If no one believes what is in the media, then the media’s ability to shape the news comes to an end. The trouble with this theory is most people have already figured out that the news is fake. The Ukraine war is a prime example, as most people never cared enough about it to listen to the story. Public apathy and skepticism have not changed the behavior of the media.

Instead, what we may be heading to in the short run is a world in which the mass media operates like an on-line role playing game for the managerial class. They get to play the various quests that get created in the media echo system. Since they live in a consequence free world, as in they never pay the price for their error, they are free to explore their dreams within these fantasies. Once the quest is over, they transition to a new quest or maybe play a different character.

We see this happening with Ukraine. As it becomes clear that this story will not end well for Ukraine or the Europeans, the players are looking for a new quest. Joe Biden’s heroic management of the economy through the Putin-Trump inflation spiral looks like a fun new expansion pack. Maybe they play the China as dangerous dragon add-on that came with the Covid edition. Maybe someone is about to release something entirely different and inject it into the media echo system.

The result is we are headed to a world in which the normal people go about their lives as best they can. Every once in a while, they will take notice of the streaming role playing game that keeps the managerial class busy. That will usually happen when the role players mistake their world for the real world, gas prices and baby food shortages being two current examples. Otherwise, the managerial class is becoming a virtual world, a metaverse to occupy an otherwise worthless ruling elite.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Rocks Of War

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Wars often turn over rocks exposing truths about the age that have either been ignored or hidden from the world. Old tactics, in the case of the Great War, were exposed as obsolete by modern weapons. Sometimes it is in war that the hollowness of a great power is exposed. This was the case of the Soviets in Afghanistan. That war exposed the internal weakness of the regime. The war in Ukraine is similarly exposing problems in the collective West.

The first lesson of this war so far is that Western intelligence has been exposed as useless in understanding modern Russia. At every turn, the information provided to political leaders about what Russia is doing and planning to do has turned out to be more fantasy than reality. The West has been operating on assumptions that may have been true twenty-five years ago but are no longer true today. The result has been a total political failure in response to the invasion.

The big example of this was the claim that the Russians could only support their army in Ukraine for a couple of months. Western strategy was built on the assumption that the Ukrainians just had to hold out for a month or two. They would dig into fortified positions and wait out the Russian assault. Instead, a highly mobile and patient Russian assault is slowly decimating the Ukrainian army. Three months into the conflict and the Russians are on the cusp of victory.

This is another rock turned over in this war. The West has been preparing for a war with a Russian army than has not existed since the Cold War. The Soviet way of war was something called deep battle doctrine. This is based on a highly mobile, combined arms approach to fighting. The Russians would find a weak spot in the enemy front, concentrate forces there, break through the lines and then flood the zone with armor and infantry, creating chaos in the enemy rear.

The Soviet approach required large numbers of men. It imagined millions of men mobilized to fight in the West. This is not the new Russian way of war. The Russians, like everyone else in the West, have been living in the age of low fertility and rising standards of living. Mobilizing millions of men and throwing them into battle like Stalin did against the Nazis is no longer acceptable. Instead, the Russians have organized around reducing casualties to the minimum.

As a practical matter, what those hunkered down Ukrainians have been facing is something like what the Mongols brought to the fight. Instead of one massive army centrally controlled from the rear, it is a collection of small units, self contained and self-directed toward narrow goals. These units combine infantry, armor, mobile artillery and air support, along with the use of drones. This is combined arms warfare reduced to small units working independently.

Because these units are smaller, they are more intolerant of personnel losses, so they are more cautious. A unit that loses its tanks is no longer effective as a unit, so the premium is on reducing losses. The goal is to use speed and mobility to find weak spots in the enemy and quickly exploit them, with minimum losses. Overall, this is a much slower approach to fighting, but once a weakness is exposed, it can be exploited much faster due to the improved mobility and flexibility.

This is on display in the Donbas. The Russians used artillery and airpower to break down the Ukrainian defenses at Popasnaya, which is a strategic town in the middle of the contact line. The Russians were then able to rush units into this breech and employ the modern version of deep battle doctrine. These small units combined to turn the contact line into a series of pockets surrounded by Russian units. Now the Russians are pounding these cauldrons with artillery and air power.

The result is the West, primarily Washington, prepared the Ukrainians to fight the wrong war against the wrong army. Instead of a short defense against a Soviet siege, they are getting a war of attrition against a highly mobile and flexible army using the right weapons for such a fight. That is another aspect of this war that should be a wake up call to Western planners. The Russian weapons are better and more useful than the Western weapons supplied to the Ukrainians.

In line with the new way of fighting, the Russians have developed weapons that can be incredibly useful with small, combined arms units. They do not require a complex information grid so that commanders in the rear can direct the action. Modern technology is used to make it easy for these small units to fight effectively on their own or quickly combine with other units on the fly. The Russians have also done their homework and have evolved effective counter measures.

This is why the many “game changers” the West has sent to the Ukrainians have failed to do much damage to the Russian forces. The javelin has been a bust. The Man-portable air defense systems (ManPads) are worthless. The Russians have made these weapons obsolete. The big shock is their drone defense. The kamikaze drones and the Turkish TB2 have not been the game changer that was promised because the Russians have evolved effective jamming tools.

Probably the biggest rocks turned over in this war are economic. The assumption of the West when they instigated this war was that the Russian economy had not changed since the end of the Cold War. For a long time, the West has looked at Russia as a gas station masquerading as a country. It was a version of Venezuela, wholly dependent on selling natural resources to the West. If the sale of those resources slowed just a bit, then the Russian economy would collapse.

This has turned out to be wildly wrong. Now, part of this failure is due to the raging bigotry of the neocons behind the war. Their seething hatred for the Russian people has blinded them to many things. The economic revolution that has taken place in Russia is the biggest one. It turns out that the Russian economy is much more resilient and flexible than anyone in the West realized. As a result, the sanctions regime has turned out to be a disastrous failure.

That has turned over another economic rock. The European economy has been revealed to be a house of cards. The sanctions regime is creating havoc for the Europeans, because their economy was based on the assumption that the Russians would always supply them with cheap necessities. The EU is a mommy economy where Mother Russia makes sure her babies are warm and fed. Shortages and spirally prices are bringing this reality home to Europeans.

In total, what the war in Ukraine is revealing is that the collective West has been living in a fantasy world for the last few decades. Without a real challenge, they have been allowed to indulge in whatever fantasies they liked. Like trust fund babies raised in insular opulence, Western leaders are unprepared for a world where they have to perform their role as elites. The war is exposing them as a toxic blend of self-indulgence, stupidity and ignorance.

The truth about war is that the rocks that it turns over cannot be turned back over to hide the truth underneath. The West will now have to face this new reality, especially on the economic front. The grand schemes for creating a new world order in the image of Western elites will now have to give way to this new realty. What has been revealed is that the new world order is one in which the West must compete in a multipolar world of civilizational equals. That means a new elite for this new age.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


Sociopath Or True Believer?

Outside of the progressive hive, there has been a long running debate, going back to the 1980’s, about the awareness of the people in the hive. Left-wing people say things that are clearly not true, but they seem to believe what they are saying. They have some of the facts and seem to grasp certain concepts, but they come to conclusions that are obviously false. The question is whether the people in the hive really believe what they say or do they know the truth?

The default assumption, popular with mainstream conservatives, is that progressives are well-intentioned, but wrong on the facts. These are reasonable people who can come to the right answer if you slowly explain it to them. Conservatives have built their entire movement around the assumption that there is some way to explain things to the Left that will trigger a revelation. They will see their error, throw down their weapons and embrace the conservatives as brothers.

Along with conservatism, this view is fading from the scene. It is a generational thing as conservatism and most conservatives were formed in the post-war period. Most people have now concluded that the Left knows they are lying, but they are consumed with partisanship, so they are fine with lying. Far-left cranks will claim men can get pregnant because it advances their interests. The blank slate is central to their program, so they defend nutty ideas like the trans business.

In a way, this is a coping strategy for conservatives. They cannot accept that there are people not driven by facts and reason. To do so would mean the whole facts and reason approach is a waste of time. If the hive is immune to reason, then there is no point in reasoning with them and therefore no need for conservatives. Instead, they fall back on the mendacity claim. That way, if they can expose the lie, the liars will have not choice but to admit the lie and receive the truth.

There is no doubt that self-interest drives mendacity in politics, but this only works at the personal or small group level. Politicians lie for personal advantage. Their staff and allies will join them in the lie if it benefits them. It was clear that Jen Psaki knew she was lying and she knew everyone knew she was lying. It was her job and the path to a television job where she would make big money. This is how things work in entertainment and politics and everyone knows it.

The behavior of the hive, in contrast, is not for petty advantage. It looks more like a religious duty. People in the hive now declare their pronouns and claim people are assigned sex at birth as an act of faith. The motivation to put pronouns in an e-mail signature is no different than the motivation to wear a crucifix. It is way to signal your membership in a religion. In fact, religions have often required these displays as a way to separate the faithful from the rest.

Here is an example of how this works. This article in the Atlantic is about how dog breeds are a social construct. It is based in a shoddy bit of social science that was concocted to address the dog breed line used by people who question the blank slate arguments of the hive. Dog breeds are used by critics of the hive as a proxy for the human family and human diversity. Just as there are different breeds of dogs, there are different breeds of humans with different characteristics.

The first thing to note is that this was an organized effort. On the same day, the Washington Post had the same story about the dog breed study. This was then picked up by small sites that republished it. That is how it works in the hive. The second thing to note is the Atlantic writer is someone with impressive academic credentials. Mx. Wu has a PhD in microbiology from Harvard. She did her undergraduate and masters at Stanford. Box ticking aside, those are impressive credentials.

Despite those credentials she has never worked in the human sciences. Instead, she has been a small time contributor to on-line sites. Her role here is to give the fake study legitimacy by having someone with credentials endorse the study. This is what the lawyers would call mens rea. The rollout of this fake study says they know they are promoting a fraud. They selected the sites and authors in order to best promote what they know is not true.

On the other hand, where is the personal advantage? The problem with the conscious mendacity angle is there is no personal advantage for the people involved. It is not as if Mx. Wu gains something from this. It will not boost her career in science, assuming she wants a career in the human sciences. The Post used a random dingbat on the staff for their version of the story. Instead, Mx. Wu is selflessly sacrificing her credibility to show her commitment to the progressive faith.

The camp that argues that self-interest is what motivates these will point out that Mx. Wu could be working from self-interest. People with her credentials who promote crackpot ideas like the blank slate are quickly elevated in the hive. Credentials count for a lot with the Left. If a credentialed person says the moon is made of cheese, the faithful will believe it. Therefore, Mx. Wu is simply gaming the system in the hope of being quickly elevated to high status in the hive.

That brings as back to where we started. It is clear from examples like Mx. Wu that there can be no reasoning with these people. A woman with her training should see right through that study. She chooses to promote it, ether because she is a sociopath or she is a true believer. In either case, facts and reason will have no purchase on her mind or the minds of the people like her. What motivates members of the hive is either sociopathy or faith, neither of which yields to reason.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


An Empire Of Lies

An informal metric for measuring the stability of a society is the distance between reality and the official truth of the ruling regime. The more lies the regime tells, the less stable it and the society over which it rules. Official lies are a good proxy for the degree of authoritarianism within the regime. The degree of authoritarianism is a good proxy for the level of official insecurity. The more thuggish the regime the less support it enjoys, thus the more it needs to lie to the people.

At the extreme end of this metric is a place like North Korea. The regime is deeply paranoid about everything. The Kim family does not trust anyone in the ruling class and no one in the ruling class trusts anyone, especially Kim. The one thing everyone agrees upon is they cannot trust the people. This is why they get images of the tubby Kim in heroic poses or stories of him making ten holes in one playing golf. The regime feels it needs to present him as a god to intimidate the people.

On the other end of the spectrum, you get a place like Switzerland that barely has a government relative to the rest of Europe. Many Swiss residents do not know who is currently holding the position of president. It is a rotating position currently held by someone calling herself Simonetta Sommaruga. The Swiss government has no need to turn her into a rock star or make while claims about her. The official truth of Switzerland is easy for everyone to see, so they have no need to lie.

Obviously, it is an informal metric that is subjective. An extreme case like North Korea is easy to use, but where would France or Germany fall on the scale? They are closer to Switzerland than Ukraine or the United States, but not so close that anyone in France would say they believe their government. In fact, that is the story of the West since the end of the Cold War. Every Western nation has moved down the scale of honesty toward the North Korean pole over the last three decades.

Lying has consequences. One lie begets another lie which then requires more elaborate lying to cover up the previous lies. This lowers trust in the state, but it also lowers trust in institutions and eventually lowers social trust. Step one is the lies erode faith in the ruling class of the country. Step two is people lose faith in the institutions for not having punished the liars. The final step is the people who wake up to the official lies lose trust in those who keep falling for the lies.

You see this with the school shootings. Generations of lying about the nature of crime and the role of guns in these school shooting, have made it impossible to have a civil conversation about the issue. The bodies were not even cold after the latest school shooting and the usual suspects were out in public telling the all to familiar lies about the causes of these crimes. The only thing that comes from this is normal people grow to hate these liars a little more than they did yesterday.

How many people watched President Biden speak about the Texas shooting? The answer, if it was possible to get an honest one, was close to zero. Joe Biden has been a promiscuous liar for generations. Now he is an incontinent zombie barely able to read his script. That script is written by the same collection of sociopaths than have infected politics since the Clintons blew into town. Even the sociopaths have lost interest in the production of these ridiculous theaters of mendacity.

Tragic outliers like a deranged lunatic going on a rampage are just part of the human condition, but can something be done to limit it? It feels like this stuff happens more often now, but who can know? The even bigger question is why are these obviously deranged people ignored by the people around them? The Buffalo shooter was ignored by everyone, despite the obvious signs. The liars fill the space with lies about the subject so that getting a straight answer is impossible.

Of course, the reason the liars exist is they keep people off balance. Official lying has been outsourced in what may be the most cyclical public-private partnership in human history, so that the rulers can just nod along with the symphony of lies. Biden’s script writers just go to one of the websites of the many organizations who exist to produce official nonsense and jot down a few of their lines. The mass media, of course, then blasts this and their own lies to the public.

One of the underrated aspects of Orwell’s Animal Farm is how the pigs used deception to create doubt among the animals. It reached the point where the animals could not trust their own memory. The other day, the Washington Post claimed George Floyd was shot by police. How long before school children are taught that he was hanged by the Proud Boys? More important, how many people will tire of correcting the record and this lie becomes official truth?

The official lies are not just about keeping the public confused. It also serves to keep the managerial class huddled together. On the topic of official lies, the classic Vaclav Havel essay, “The Power of the Powerless” comes to mind. Amazingly, the people who shower the public with disinformation, the official lies, claim to be fighting against disinformation, often citing Havel’s essay. The lying is an important part of their identity as a besieged group defending “our democracy.”

In the final years of the Soviet Union, the general public no longer believed anything said by their government. The people in government were every bit as cynical about the official truths, but they were paid to lie so they lied. What held it together is both sides were sure the other side believed the lies, at least enough of them that the rest dared not question the lies. The collapsed came when everyone realized that no one believed what they were forced to say or forced to hear.

Havel opened his famous essay with this line. “A specter is haunting Eastern Europe: the specter of what in the West is called dissent.” He then explained, “It was born at a time when this system, for a thousand reasons, can no longer base itself on the unadulterated, brutal, and arbitrary application of power, eliminating all expressions of nonconformity.” That was almost fifty years ago in a world that is largely forgotten by modern people, yet terribly familiar to us now.

The final sentence of that opening paragraph is, “What is more, the system has become so ossified politically that there is practically no way for such nonconformity to be implemented within its official structures.” One paragraph from a dissident operating in an alien system from the past captures the current moment in America. A decade later that system collapsed. That is what the sea of lies from our rulers tells us about what lies ahead. A regime built on lies always ends in collapse.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Faustian Bargain

Note: The Taki post is up. This week it is a discourse on the proposed replacement for originalism in conservative jurisprudence. The Sunday Thoughts podcast is up behind the green door for subscribers.


Over the last few years, it has become increasingly popular to examine what went wrong with the conservative movement. This was mostly the result of Trump winning the Republican nomination, despite universal opposition from conservatives. At that point it was no longer possible to ignore the collapse of conservatism. Prior to 2016, the movement was the gatekeeper for the party. Trump and the Dirt People kicked open the gates and found nothing worth keeping inside.

One result of this is the sprouting of proposed alternatives like Yoram Hazony’s national conservatism, common good conservativism and integralism. Libertarians, of course, maintain the fantasy that this is their time. There are certainly others working to produce something to fill the void on the Right. All of these proposed alternative start with a basic claim that conservatism failed. None of these new conservatisms bother to think too hard about why Buckley conservatism failed.

This is what makes this post from Paul Gottfried important. He was around when many of the critical turns of the conservative movement were made, so he has a perspective on it that few have today. Most of the main players from the growth phase of Buckley conservatism are gone now. With them went the personal disputes that ended up shaping what became mainstream conservatism in the 1980’s. The one thing the Left has right is that politics is always personal.

Gottfried tries to do three things in the post. One is to bring attention to the recent scholarship on Harry Jaffa, who was a central figure in the debates about the shape and direction of conservatism. Then there is the fact that there was a time when debate was possible within conservatism. Others have noted that there was an interregnum in which sensitive topics like race and immigration could be debated. That window closed in the 1990’s, eventually taking the public square with it.

The main point of Gottfried’s post is to place the blame for this and the collapse of conservatism at the feet of the neoconservatives. Before the neoconservatives gained power, it was possible for Harry Jaffa and Mel Bradford to live together. Jaffa was largely responsible for the Lincoln fetish among conservatives. He claimed the Civil War and the Reconstruction amendments were a perfecting of the original Constitution by reincorporating the sentiments of the Declaration.

Bradford was a Southerner and a Southern conservative. This not only placed him at odds with Jaffa’s reimagining of the Founding and Civil War, but it put him on the losing side of the internal struggles within conservatism. He was on the Russel Kirk wing of the Right, which was purged by Buckley in the 1980’s. In fact, Bradford was one of the first to be hurled into the void by conservatives. Paul Gottfried blames this urge to purge squarely on the neoconservatives.

There is truth to it, but the desire to excommunicate rivals exists in all movements, so it is hardly unique to the neocons. The question is how were they able to change the rules in order to disqualify the arguments of their opponents? After all, no one was purged for being factually incorrect. The dispute between the paleos and neos was over moral questions and that is where Jaffa comes back into the room. It is Jaffa’s work that gave the neocons the chance to rig morality to their advantage.

The central claim of Harry Jaffa is that the Constitution was an imperfect effort to encode the sentiments of the Declaration into the political framework of the new nation created out of the break from England. The contradictions within the constitutional order eventually led to the Civil War. This allowed for some necessary corrections to advance the nation down the road toward the sentiments in the Declaration. Lincoln becomes the Moses of this new nation forged in liberty.

Of course, this requires a reading of early American history that steps outside of the actual facts and written accounts of the Founders. It also requires a new version of the events leading up to the Civil War. That was all made easy because it proved a path forward for conservatives to embrace egalitarianism. They could finally claim that their opponents on the Left were the real racist because Lincoln was a Republican, freed the slaves and said stuff about all men being equal.

That is not being fair to Jaffa, who deserves a much more through debunking than time permits, but this was his contribution to conservatism. The cult of Lincoln he created for the Right cut them loose from the old conservativism, rooted in the natural order, and provided them with a new moral foundation. The New Right would be about equality and liberty. The New Left, in contrast, would be about equality and justice, thus tying the two together through egalitarianism.

Here is a post on the same site as the Gottfried post, in which the editors reject the new normal of American politics. Everything is good until this. “In reality, race is not the ultimate fact of human identity or the central problem of American life. Different ethnic populations have different general tendencies, but not different natural rights. Everyone is capable of learning to live well in this country, but only if we confidently endorse both our geographical and cultural boundaries.”

The linked post in that quote is worth reading, as it rips the mask from the “new conservatism” and exposes it as the old conservatism. The great fork in the road, the shadow that hangs over human history, is biology. The story of man is not one tale with many chapters, but many stories of many people, all of whom have their own unique understanding of themselves and how they should live. The genuine man of the Right understands this and accepts it. Equality, in short, is inhuman.

When you pick up one end of a stick, you pick up the other. This is the problem that destroyed 20th century conservatism. They were offered a Faustian bargain from the likes of Harry Jaffa. They accepted the egalitarianism of the radicals as their foundation stone and in exchange they were rewarded with riches. Conservatism was once again Northern Conservatism and followed the same path that another Southerner observed about them in the 19th century.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


Trotsky’s Revenge

One of the interesting revelations in Tucker Carlson’s book, Ship of Fools, is that Bill Kristol said privately what he denied publicly about the Iraq war. That is, the war was about Israel and not American security. Saddam was never a threat to American interests in the region but taking him out was good for Israel. The neocons have always denied this, usually claiming it is anti-Semitic to suggest it, but every time they get caught in a lie they squeal “anti-Semitism” so this is not new.

The thing is though, a schemer like Kristol could have been lying to Carlson, hoping he stepped on the same landmines as Pat Buchanan. Carlson was always a war skeptic and a natural conservative, so Bill Kristol would have seen him as a threat. The main play of the second generation neocons has always been the Hitler card. They look for some way to accuse their opponents of being anti-Semites, so that the focus shifts from the neocon schemers and onto the accusers.

Putting that aside, subsequent events suggest that the crusade against Islam launched in the Bush years was never about Israel. The real target for the neocons was the ancient enemy in the east, Russia. Neoconservatism, after all, was born out of a hatred for Russia during the Cold War. The cover story was that these radicals had turned on communism, but in reality, they were reacting to what was happening on the Left with regards to relations with the Soviet Union.

Soon after the fall of the Cold War, the neocons running foreign policy under the first George Bush engineered the first Gulf War. They did this by baiting Saddam Hussein into invading Kuwait. The American ambassador to Iraq at the time was April Glaspie, who met with Saddam before he launched his invasion. It is clear from the notes that he was not committed to war. It is also clear that Glaspie gave him the impression that America was not committed to defending Kuwait.

Why would the neocons want a war with Iraq? It seems like a lifetime ago, but Iraq was a longtime client of the Soviet Union. Once the Soviet Union fell, the Russians were in no condition to help her allies as in the past. This made it a perfect time to take this piece of the board. Given the behavior of the neocons in Ukraine over the last decade, it is not a stretch to think they baited Saddam into war. After all, they have been trying to bait Russian into invading Ukraine.

If we look at the crusade against Islam as a proxy war against Russia, the last thirty years of foreign policy adventures makes more sense. The second war with Iraq was about finishing the job and preparing for the planned attack on Iran, which so happens to be a Russia ally. The creation of ISIS as a weapon against Syria, another ally of Russia, now also makes sense. The occupation of Afghanistan never made sense as a response to 9/11, but it did make a nice forward operating base.

Long forgotten in all of this is how the neocons pushed the Clinton administration into bombing Serbia during the Balkan war. The Balkans have always been a mess, so there was never a reason for America to take sides. This should have been a European matter, worked out in endless meetings, like everything else in Europe. Instead, the neocons pushed for an aggressive stance toward Serbia, which so happens to be a longtime Russian ally. There is a pattern here.

Fast forward to the present and the pattern is clear. The neocons started the Russo-Georgian war by trying to bring Georgia into NATO. Give or take, Georgia is about 3,000 miles from the North Atlantic, thus making her an odd fit for a military alliance based in the North Atlantic. That was never the point, of course. The point was to pick away at the borders with the ancient enemy. NATO expansion has never been about defense, but always about offense.

In more recent times, the neocons have tried to color revolution Belarus, they have stirred up trouble in Kazakhstan and they are probably involved in the tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Then there is the Ukraine situation. Half of Washington has been taking bribes from Ukrainian oligarchs, which has concealed the fact that the neocons have been plotting trouble there for over a decade. The same people behind the color revolution in the Obama years are in charge now.

The point of all of this has been to weaken Russia by nibbling away at her border, forcing her to commit resources to all of these different conflicts. At some point, the current government becomes too weak to defend itself. Maybe with some outside help, the government falls. This opens the door for regime change and the long dreamed of break up of Russia. This is not idle speculation. A few years ago, the Rand Corporation provide the playbook for those interested.

The old line about the neocons being Trotskyites was mostly a way to point out that they were not conservatives in the traditional sense. Many were communist in the middle of the last century. Their “conversion” was never about the things that had long defined conservatism, but rather the temporary needs of the moment. They cared more about beating Russia in the Cold War than anything else. They simply embraced the rest of the conservative program as a means to an end.

One of the underappreciated aspects of the last five years is the exit of the neocons from Buckley conservatism. They have their own publications and regularly attack their old friends on the Right. Of course, they were outlandishly opposed to trump and the pro-American sentiments he embodied. Their primary complain was that he was soft on Russia and Russian allies. This transformation suggest the paleocons were right about the neocon conversion being less than genuine.

There may have been more to the Trotsky line. In radical politics, it was long held that the Bolshevik revolution was hijacked by Stalin. The Trotsky wing never forgave the Russians for allowing the revolution to turn into Tsarism. This fueled the deep hatred for Russia among Trotskyites of a certain persuasion. The neoconservative persuasion was driven by this animus in the Cold War. After the Cold War, it has driven by the berserk obsession for Russia by the second wave of neocons.

What America, and by extension the West, has been experiencing over the last thirty years is Trotsky’s revenge. Resentment at the failure of his faction in the revolution was probably the second to last thing that went through his head. His followers, however, have had it in the forefront of their minds. The current generation of neocons, lacking the intelligence to understand any of this, are simply left with a seething hatred of Russia that has driven America foreign policy for a generation.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


European Zionism

Note: In a break from the grifter code, I am not going to assume the new merch is the greatest merch in history. Criticisms and suggestions are welcome. This is new ground for me, so I expect to be terrible at first and get better over time. Please shop here and leave a comment when you can. Also send feedback to me.


One of the queer things about American politics is that you can be enthusiastically in support of Israel, even though Israel advocates an ideology that is expressly banned in American politics. The Israelis are ethno-nationalists. The official policy of the state of Israel is blood and soil nationalism. Ben Shapiro once advocated for the “removal” of non-Jews from Israel and he faced no backlash. In fact, this position boosted his standing on the American Right.

In contrast, if you say that America should not let everyone in who shows up at the border, you are called a white nationalist. The mainstream media celebrates the “great replacement” but if you question the decency of the great replacement, you are condemned as some sort of monster. If you notice anything about demographics, you could have a mob at your door. What is celebrated with regards to Israel is the most heinous crime you can commit in America.

There are lots of people who recognize the contradiction, but the fact remains, most white people in America are fine with it. As long as they can celebrate Israel there is no price they refuse to pay. For most white people in America, loving Israel brings a sense of peace in a troubled world. The reason, of course, is it is an acceptable outlet for ethnocentric impulses. Israel does not exist as a real place for Americans. She is an abstraction, an allowable team to support for cultural reasons.

A stark example is the contrast between Greg Johnson, the author of The White Nationalist Manifesto and Yoram Hazony, the author of the Virtue of Nationalism, two books on the exact same subject. Both books make the exact same claims about people and human organization. Both argue for nations to organized around the interests of a dominant ethnic group. Both authors demand a homeland for their people that is only for their people.

Greg Johnson has been made into a pariah, suffering in a form of internal exile, while Yoram Hazony gets to run big expensive conferences funded by Western oligarchs and attended by famous people. The difference, of course, is Hazony is a famous outspoken Zionist from Israel and his efforts are on behalf of the Jewish state. Johnson is a white nationalist who advocates for white people. The typical white person in America does not find this contradiction troubling in the least.

This contradiction has been obvious for a long time and it has been pointed out by various groups when it suits them. The Left used to criticize Israel for being a fascist or apartheid state. That is not as popular today, but it does come up from time to time, an issue Hazony addresses in his writings. On the Right, patriots have often pointed out that they simply want policies acceptable in Israel, like immigration control, to be applied to the United States. The contradiction persists, however.

It has been popular with certain types to blame this contradiction on some sort of conspiracy, but events in Europe suggest it is something else. The war in Ukraine has suddenly brought nationalists, who have been marginalized for generations, in league with internationalists, in opposition to Russia. Nationalists across Europe are now blindly in support of Ukraine and in opposition to Russia. Most of them repeat the agit-prop that comes from Washington.

The insanity on display cannot be overstated. Nationalists will claim with a straight face that they oppose Russia because it is an aggressive empire. Yet, they are throwing in with the Global American Empire, which is promising to erase the last vestiges of European culture and replace it with consumerism. Nationalists may as well put corporate logos on themselves. Perhaps add their own color to the rainbow flag that is the symbol of Americanism around the world now.

It is a bizarre spectacle. For decades, European nationalists had nothing much to say about Russia, other than some observations of the fact that she had not been homogenized into generic American culture. The Visegrád nations have also come in for admiration from nationalists for resisting the cultural decline. Otherwise, nationalists have not had much to say about the East. Now, they are obsessed with Russia and swear they have always been at war with Eurasia.

The most bizarre example of this is Finland. The tiny country tucked away in the northeast of Europe has long been a neutral player in European politics. This was how she maintained herself as an independent country. Finnish nationalism was built on a nuanced understanding of her neighbors, especially Russia. Today, Finnish nationalism is nothing more than unthinking hatred of Russia. They repeat Washington talking points and sound like unhinged neocons in support of empire.

What is happening in Europe is opposition to Russia is now an acceptable outlet for the natural ethnic pride of Europeans. The West is underwriting literal Nazis in Ukraine, but that is acceptable because they oppose Russia. Nationalists now feel they can come out of the shadows, as long as they too hate Russia. In fact, many nationalists have signed on to fight in Ukraine. Every day there are reports of foreign mercenaries being killed or captured in the Donbas.

Just as being a Zionist is an acceptable outlet for nationalist impulses in America, being anti-Russian is an acceptable outlet for nationalism in Europe. The nationalists have even picked up on the idiotic claim that Russia is a multi-racial empire, which is a staggeringly ignorant argument. It is one thing for provincial clodhoppers in America to say such a thing, but Europeans should know better. Their emotional need to be a part of something, however, has overrode their intellects.

That is another interesting piece to this. In America, most white people are as ignorant of Israel as they are everything else about the world. Americans are famously provincial, so the Zionist-White Nationalist parallels are not obvious. Ukraine is in the backyard of European nationalists. Many are anti-Semites. Despite this, they fully support a puppet regime of Washington run by a Jewish comedian, doing the bidding of the neoconservative cabal that runs American foreign policy.

What is happening in Europe is what we have seen in America. The nativism and national pride of the heritage population is being channeled into activism on behalf of the Global America Empire. In America, this energy goes to support Israel, while in Europe it will be channeled into hatred of Russians. It is no surprise that Yoram Hazony is trying to attach himself to this new anti-Russian sentiment in Europe. Look for his next conference in your country this summer.

The usual suspects, of course, will claim that this is the work of the usual suspects, but there is another example of this that says otherwise. In the Covid panic, many in the HBD community, who had been living in the shadows of the biological sciences, jumped on the Covid madness with the zeal of a lunatic. People who spent careers criticizing media claims about biology suddenly accepted everything the media had to say about the Covid pandemic, no matter how ridiculous.

The driver in the HBD-to-Covidian lane was the fact that smart people who had been excluded from polite society suddenly sensed an opening. Instinctively they sensed they could join the conversation, as this was their wheelhouse. They tackled the issue with all the enthusiasm they could muster. Inevitably they signed onto the most draconian measures by people who say sex is a social construct and demand you announce your pronouns when entering a room.

Of course, this never provided a lane back to respectability for them, which should be a lesson for both Christian Zionists and European Nationalists. The morality of the Global American Empire is the morality of the Western managerial elite. That morality is entirely situational, based on partisan concerns. Today, certain nationalists are acceptable because they serve present needs, but tomorrow their supporters will be thrown in dungeons, because it serves the elites.

In the end we are left with two parallel phenomena. The contradiction of American Zionism serves the interest of empire. It was Christian Zionist who supported the wars in the Middle East. Now European nationalism is being retarded to oppose Russia on behalf of the empire, which explicitly rejects European nationalism. In the former case, a distant enemy is used to conceal the enemy at home. In Europe, a local enemy is used to conceal the enemy across the sea.

Finally, and most importantly, a kernel of truth lies at the heart of the deception. In the case of American Zionism, the truth is that people naturally want to be organized around their racial and ethnic identity. In the case of this new European Zionism, the kernel of truth is that people naturally resist empire. In the former, the truth is channeled away from questioning the logic of empire. In the latter, the truth is channeled away from opposing the empire. In both cases, it is seeds cast among stones.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


Turn The Page

Note: In a break from the grifter code, I am not going to assume the new merch is the greatest merch in history. Criticisms and suggestions are welcome. This is new ground for me, so I expect to be terrible at first and get better over time. Please shop here and leave a comment when you can. Also send feedback to me.


In America, what is called the political Left operates within a few modes of thought tied to seminal events on the Left. One if the civil right era, another is the Watergate era and the other is interwar Europe. All events are framed by this period. If they do not fit these models then they are usually ignored. Of course, their framing of these periods is cartoonish and absurd. It is all easy to understand heroes and villains, who are stripped of moral ambiguity and nuance.

What passes for the Right has always been an echo of the Left, so they have evolved similar framings. It took a while but the 1980’s is one of their primary frameworks for talking about current events. They are always looking for the next Reagan, Thatcher or Bill Buckley among the current mediocrities. Their answer to almost every issue is a slogan from the high water point of conservatism. Modern conservatism is a cargo cult where current members ape the members of the past.

Like their friends on the Left, the Right also has an obsession for the interwar period in Europe, but with a different emphasis. While the Left checks under their bed every night to make sure Hitler is not waiting for them, the Right is always sure Neville Chamberlain is lurking somewhere, ready to give away the Sudetenland. Like the Left, their understanding of that time is cartoonish and absurd. All the players are exaggerated heroes or villains with crude moral choices.

This can be traced to the Reagan years. His innovation in the Cold War was to call the Russians the “evil empire.” This may be the first example of a politician convincing adults by using a reference to a children’s show. Everyone dealing with an affluent white female liberal (AWFL), who quotes Harry Potter all the time, can thank Ronald Reagan for that bit of cultural innovation. Ever since, the right has sorted the world into extreme villains and themselves as the heroes.

Of course, the most extreme villain is Hitler. Reagan stopped short of calling Gorbachev the new Hitler, but that generation knew their history. Those that followed have thrown around the Hitler language as recklessly as the Left. Saddam Hussein was Hitler and his party was “islamo-fascist.” In fact, every Muslim with a complaint about bombs dropping on his head was called an “islamo-fascist” by conservatives. Even the Taliban got this label from conservatives.

In this framing, every Hitler needs a Chamberlain and Churchill. In conservative framing, Chamberlain is not a man who wished to avoid another horrible European war, but a foolish sissy unwilling to face reality. Churchill is not a reckless warmonger known for his alcoholism and lack of judgment, but a heroic visionary who could spot Old Scratch coming before anyone. Of course, every conservative sees a bit of Churchill in himself, so he is always ready for another war.

We see this with the undeclared war on Russia. Putin is Hitler, despite the Russian role in defeating the real Hitler. The Russians are the Nazis invading Poland, even though the guys on the other side are extreme Hitler enthusiasts. Biden has to be Chamberlain, even though he barely knows where he is most of the time and it is his administration that launched the war against Russia. His failure to take it to the nuclear level is proof that he is too soft on the new Hitler.

You see this deranged mental state in this American Conservative post about a warmonger convention held in DC. Those who point out the massive failure of thirty years of pointless wars of choice is now called a neo-isolationist. Note how not supporting aggressive imperial wars of domination is isolationism. Note also that the people who say this love quoting the Founders, except the part where Washington warned about entangling alliances.

Part of this framing is the lack of scruples by modern conservatives. The warmonger events are sponsored by the war machine and they pay well. Sites like National Review are now wholly dependent on money from Big Tech and the Military Industrial Complex, so they are happy to sell endless war, foreign and domestic. Conservatism is now just the public relations arm of the security state. It is why they never expose themselves to pushback on these issues.

That aside, it still leaves the obsession with Hitler. In the middle of the last century, the men who actually fought real Nazis rarely mentioned Hitler. The occasional joke about the old enemies was as much as they did. Their children and now their grandchildren, who grew up insulated from all of life’s troubles, are obsessed with events that happened almost a century ago in another country. The war on Russia reveals that this derangement is getting worse.

The answer may simply be that the so-called conservatives are just boys and girls playing a role, wearing costumes too large for them. Like children in their parent’s clothes, modern political actors are midgets compared to the men who created the roles they are now asked to play. To make up for the fact that they are fleas on the society they inherited, they exaggerate their role in it. A similar phenomenon drives the Left, which also operates like a cargo cult.

Another factor is cultural inertia. The Global American Empire was born in the Second World War and its evolution was in the context of its shadow. The Cold War was driven by the energy of the war against fascism. The energy from the initial creation of the empire was channeled into the Cold War. The residual energy that now gets channeled into endless wars of choice is just cultural inertia. It is the old rationale for existence looking for a place to go in post-Cold War age.

Regardless, the only way forward for America and the West is to finally close the books on the 20th century. That will require a lot of funerals and retirement parties, but Father Time is undefeated in this regard. Once the people defined by the endless fights over old ideas like nationalism, fascism and communism are gone, then the new fights over civilizationalism can begin. The question is whether the actuarial tables can do their magic before it is too late.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


Another New Right

Note: The Taki post is up. This week it is a discourse on the modern partisan and the impact it has on our politics. The Sunday Thoughts podcast is up behind the green door for subscribers.


The term “New Right” is one of those phrases that has a long life but has never had much meaning in American politics. Bill Buckley was a member of the New Right when he got going in the middle of the last century. Later, various efforts were made to create a New Right as an alternative to the Buckley Right. As conservatism collapsed over the last decade the term has become a popular one with failed alternatives. Members of the alt-right even tried rebranding as the New Right.

The long life of the term in America, without much meaning, says more about the overall state of politics than the various efforts to create an alternative. In Europe, the term New Right has meaning, because it is a real school that has been trying to create a new politics that reflects the current age. In America, the popularity of New Right reflects the fact that there has never been a genuine Right. What passes for the Right is just a foil for the prevailing orthodoxy of the ruling class.

That reality is clearer now that at any time in the history of the empire, but there are those giving the term another shot. There are several groups competition to be the new Right to replace the rubble that is mainstream conservatism. There is a lot of interest in the mainstream in these projects as the prevailing orthodoxy works best when it has a foil to operate as a gatekeeper. Channeling popular frustration into a sterile alternative is the secret to maintaining order.

The least promising of the alternatives is whatever Curtis Yarvin, known as Moldbug, is calling himself these days. Yarvin got famous blogging as a neo-reactionary who criticized democracy in various ways. He would write awfully long essays criticizing liberal democratic system from the perspective of a royalist. His style was something like a stream of consciousness while playing an on-line role playing game. It was elite condescension for those who imagined themselves elite.

After a break from his Moldbug character, Yarvin is back, but playing himself, a retired software developer, who has a lot to say about the present order. Instead of demanding the creation of a monarchy, he advocates a rejection of politics entirely. According to his analysis, any participation in politics ends up supporting the system, so the only way to oppose the system is to drop out entirely. His approach is not much different from Rod Dreher’s Benedict Option, just without the religion.

The basic argument Yarvin makes is that participating within the rules of the system supports the system. If you organize a new party, for example, you are legitimizing the party system and the rules that govern it. On the other hand, if you protest against the system, your protest is either crushed or permitted by the system. Either way, this legitimizes the power of the system, because the system only acts in ways that add to its power and legitimizes its power.

While there are bits of his critique of liberal democracy that are accurate, his alternatives are best described as incoherent label shopping. He has tried out “clear pill”, “grey mirror” and now “deep right” as marketing phrases. None of which mean anything on their own. Instead, they work like insider language for his fans, a way for them to feel like they have special knowledge. Yarvin writes in riddles, so these secret phrases can mean whatever the fan needs them to mean.

A more robust option in the New Right talent contest is the pan-Zionism offered up by the Israeli political scientist Yoram Hazony. He is probably the most complete of the alternatives and has the best financial support. The oligarch Peter Theil has been backing him for a few years, primarily by financing his conferences on nationalism in America and Europe. These have become networking events for the people hoping to win the New Right lottery.

Hazony’s argument, put forth in his book The Virtue of Nationalism, is that the West needs to re-embrace nationalism and reject empire. His argument for nationalism is pretty much the argument for Zionism. In fact, his case seems to be more of a defense of Zionism than a genuine case for European nationalism. In his book, he goes to great lengths to argue that things like fascism and apartheid are not nationalism, which of course are claims made against Zionism.

The problem for all nationalist movements is the elephant in the room. Once you make the claim of exclusivity, that is a people has an exclusive right to determine their composition, it means certain people can be excluded. For European nationalists, this brings obvious comparisons to unfortunate incidents. For Zionists, this offends the donor base which lives primarily in the Global American Empire. The solution is a watered down and exception-riddled nationalism.

In both of these efforts, what plagues them is an unwillingness to address the core defects of liberal democracy directly. The crisis in the West stems directly from the anti-human notions of egalitarianism and the blank slate. This is what underpins multiculturalism, universalism and globalism. Without addressing the twin tap roots of liberal democracy, the critic is left to whack away at the leaves. It means these flavors of the New Right are doomed from the start.

Another entrant in the New Right derby is what is sometimes called common good conservatism and sometimes called integralism. This reflects the two camps that operate within the movement. One camp takes a secular view of politics, primarily focused on the law, while the other camp is explicitly religious. The former seeks to reform the law in order to achieve their ends. The latter is a revival of antidisestablishmentarianism from old Europe.

The secular camp is best represented by Josh Hammer, who is busy creating what he calls common good jurisprudence to replace originalism and textualism. His critique, like many on this subculture, starts with the dissident observation that conservatism has never conserved anything. He repeats the century old observation by Robert Lewis Dabney about conservatism being yesterday’s progressivism. He then proposes an alternative he calls common good jurisprudence.

On the integralism side, the face of that wing is a Harvard academic named Cornelius Adrian Comstock Vermeule. He advocates for a robust state that will act in the best interests of the common good. The common good is largely defined by the teachings of the Catholic Church. He wants a return of throne and later rule, in which the state, however composed, is unconstrained by individual rights. In other words, he wants the current system to be guided by medieval Catholicism.

Like Yarvin and Hazony, the various figures flying the common good conservatism banner have no interest in taking on egalitarianism and the blank slate, even though their hierarchical worldview should demand it. A state that acts in the common good requires someone with the power to decide what is the common good. There is no room for a monarch or an enlightened despot in a world where all men are equal and their equality must be respected by the state.

The problem with all of these attempts to create a New Right is they are limited to a critique of the present order. They refuse to ponder the central questions of all political morality and that is “who decides?” and “by what authority?” The one who comes closest is Hazony and he stops at the water’s edge for obvious reasons. Otherwise, the New Right is pretty much a social club of people who are unhappy with the present order but cannot face the reality of it.

That may be what is preventing a New Right from forming up and taking the place of Buckley-style conservatism on the big stage. The specter haunting the West is demographics, which is animated by those two central questions. There is little need for a New Right unless it is willing speak to demographics and everything that flows from it. When the only question that matters is off the table, everything else is idle chatter that makes for a fun conference, but not much else.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.