The Moral Divide

Note #1: I was on with Mike Ferris to have a causal chat about current events and the midterm elections. You can listen here. The Monday Taki post is up and it is related to the topic of the day. Sunday Thoughts is up behind the green door so if you do not have a subscription, get one. SubscribeStar and Substack.

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Every human society has a set of rules that define the society and answer the most fundamental question for any human society. You cannot have a society without first answering the question, who are we? History and biology do the heavy lifting for large human societies, while smaller societies, like social clubs, will have some sort of founding document to define the society. Of course, constitutions are not just for small scale societies. Big countries have them too.

The United States has had at least three unifying concepts. Originally, what held America together was a common religion. The founding generation were English people who practiced a common form of Christianity. Subsequently, the country was held together by republican virtue. A civic religion based around the liberal principles in the Bill of Rights. This was replaced in the 20th century with the melting pot idea, where diverse people emerge from the crucible of liberty as one people.

Throughout our history, in every framing of American unity, a set of principles has defined the morality of American society. First and foremost, Americans have the unfettered right to speak their minds, even to those in positions of authority, without fear of retribution. Free speech, the freedom of belief, the freedom to assemble and the freedom to do all of these to petition the government for the redress of grievances is the first principle of American morality.

There are other moral principles enshrined in the Bill of Rights. The right of self-defense, even from the government, is in the Second Amendment. The Fourth Amendments prevents the state from spying on citizens. The Fifth Amendment prevents double jeopardy and compulsory self-incrimination. The things we think of as our rights are enumerated in the Bill of Right, but in practice these are the moral principles we consider to be beyond questioning.

It is those rights in the First Amendment that are the most sacred to Americans, as they are the cornerstone of American morality. The right to believe what you want to believe, say those beliefs out loud and organize fellow believers to promote your beliefs is the encapsulation of the American identity. It is not just how Americans see themselves, but how the rest of the world defines American identity. The rest of the world may not like what we say, but they envy our right to say it.

This is what makes the assaults on Kanye West and Kyrie Irving important. These two are not simply getting jeered by detractors. There is a highly organized effort to destroy their lives and strip from them their most basic right. In the case of Irving, he has been told that he must publicly condemn the movie he promoted and denounce everyone involved in it. This is what the Red Guards did to their victims. They were forced to publicly confess and wear dunce caps in public.

There is also the race issue. Black people in America get a free pass on speech, even when their speech offends common decency. Kanye West promotes himself as a Christian, but he got rich in a business built on peddling vulgarity, violence, drug taking and criminality. Everyone has been forced to use euphemisms in order to discuss crime, because blacks get special treatment. Here we are, however, with two famous black people forced into a humiliation ritual.

What this suggests is the bigots opposed to this core moral tenet, the right to speak freely and without fear of retribution, have removed themselves from what we have always considered the fundamental morality of America. Bigot is the correct word, as a bigot is someone obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices and intolerant of those outside their group. This is the factionalism that the Founders warned was incompatible with a republic.

Kanye West and Kyrie Irving are ridiculous people whose heads are full of nonsense, but these are the people who have always been the proof case. In our society, we tolerate ridiculous people with nonsense in their heads. To paraphrase Jefferson, we try to set them right to the facts. If they remain unpersuaded, we persuade everyone else to ignore them. From time to time, the ridiculous guy spouting nonsense turns out to be right and we are all better for it.

That is unlikely to be the case here, but it is not the point. What this incident reveals is that there is a moral divide. There is no middle ground when it comes to these moral principles that define American civilization. There is no ADL exemption to our moral code that permits this. There is no moral scold clause that permits the SPLC to organize an economic war on Elon Musk. These people have chosen to remove themselves from our common morality.

The moral separation is at the very heart of American identity. The Declaration of Independence is a moral document that spells out how the colonies and Great Britain no longer shared the same moral space. Because the colonies had evolved a new moral code that was different from that of the mother country, it was necessary that the colonies break free from the mother country. Two people who lack a common more code must separate from one another.

What normal Americans now face is the dilemma imagined by Hans Hermann-Hoppe when thinking through the challenges of a libertarian society. Hoppe has tried to address a well known contradiction in libertarian theory. How can a libertarian society deal with people who embrace socialism or monarchism? If your principles prevent the use of coercion, what do you do when members of a libertarian society embrace something contrary to libertarianism?

The starting place of every human society is that set of moral principles that answers the most fundament question for every human society, who are we? What must be done when a segment of society decides they are no longer us? This is what the bigots are presenting to the rest of us. They refuse to uphold our morality, the thing that defines us as a people, so they are in effect making war on us. How should we defend ourselves from this assault on our very nature?


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. Above Time Coffee Roasters are a small, dissident friendly company that makes coffee. They actually roast the beans themselves based on their own secret coffee magic. If you like coffee, buy it from these folks as they are great people who deserve your support.

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 Revolutionary Potato

In his essay, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon, Karl Marx famously described the French peasantry as a sack of potatoes. This was in response to calls from fellow socialists and anarchists to focus on radicalizing the peasants. At the time this was a big topic of debate among European radicals. One camp thought the peasants held great revolutionary potential as a class, while the other camp thought the urban workers were the only revolutionary class.

The title of the essay refers to the Coup of 18 Brumaire in which Napoleon Bonaparte seized power in France, linking it to the French coup of 1851 in which Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte assumed dictatorial powers. In addition to the topic of the peasantry, Marx was discussing current events in the context of the history of revolution in France and the future of the socialist revolution. That last bit was the main concern of his intended audience of socialist radicals.

As far as the peasantry of France, Marx observed that they formed an enormous mass whose members lived in similar conditions but “without entering into manifold relations with each other.” As small independent farmers, “their mode of production isolates them from one another instead of bringing them into mutual intercourse.” These small farmers lived independent from one another, despite being organized into villages. In this way they were like a sack of potatoes.

What Marx was getting at was the sense of identity among these small landowners versus the sense of identity among the urban working class. Unlike the proletariat, the peasant had a sense of independence that defined his relationship with his fellow peasants and his relationship with the state and society. The peasants lacked the sense of togetherness and commiseration of the industrial workers, as they did their work as individuals for their own purposes.

There was something else that made the peasants a tough nut to crack as far as the socialist revolution was concerned. Because they owned something, they had something to lose, which made them risk adverse. Unlike the urban worker, the peasant was unwilling to break with tradition or custom. According to Marx, this is why they supported strong men like Napoleon Bonaparte and Louis-Napoléon. A strong state was good for their narrow interests.

This insight into identity has remained a part of Marxist thinking to this day. The post-Marx culturalists that now run the West are always scanning the fields for identity groups that they view as anti-democratic, which is just the modern way of saying counter revolutionary. People make the mistake of thinking individualism is the opposite of collectivism, but that is false. The real enemy of Marxist collectivism is the alternative identity group, rooted outside of economics.

Putting that aside, the Marxist understanding of the 19th century peasant is useful in this age for understanding the revolutionary potential of normie. Like the peasant, the suburban white guy remains a frustrating element in politics. He understands that he is under assault from inhuman forces but refuses to band together with his fellows in order to defend his interests. Instead, he spouts the morality of the enemy, while hoping a hero arrives to save him from the bad guys.

This was most obvious with Donald Trump. The bad guys clearly understood what Trump could represent, which is why they despised him. He could radicalize normie, they thought, and get him thinking collectively, but in a way that would oppose the interests of the narrow ruling elite. It is why they insisted he was Hitler, despite the absurdity of the claim. Like Hitler, they saw Trump as a radical alternative to the radical assault on normal society.

What Trump represented to normie was the low-risk savior. He would be their Napoleon, but he would not ask anything from them. They could continue to grill, watch sports and consume the cultural products of the regime, but Trump would make sure their small plot in the suburbs was safe. From the perspective of normie, Trump was the low-risk defense against the predation of the people they saw on their televisions burning down cities and assaulting people.

Like the 19th century French peasants Marx observed, the modern suburban peasant is atomized and isolated. He lives in a manufactured house. A dozen or so houses make his neighborhood. A hundred or so houses makes his development, always named after what was destroyed to build it. A collection of developments makes for a socio-economic zone important only to the people who sell them product. The suburban peasant is a potato in sack.

Unlike the French peasant, the suburban peasant has been stripped of his cultural, ethnic and moral identity. His church is the television and his traditions are limited to whatever he can manage among the strangers that make up his world. His spiritual fulfillment comes from playing make believe on-line. The 19th century French peasant had the stability of his environment. He stood where his ancestors stood. The modern peasant stands wherever he is told.

The main difference between the 19th century peasant and the modern suburban peasant is communications. The French peasant could go weeks or months without speaking to neighbors. The suburban peasant cannot go five minutes without information bombarding his senses. The same information storm intended to keep the suburban peasant suspended within a solution of information, often insulates him from his conditioning, resulting in radicalization.

Marx was right about the French peasants. They were never much use for the revolution, something the Bolsheviks would eventually learn as well. For the modern dissident, there may be some portion of the suburban peasantry that has radical potential, even if he is immune to direct radicalization. The phenomenon of normie going from zero to eleven on the radicalization scale after an incidental encounter with forbidden material is well known.

This subset of the suburban peasantry, the alternative to normie, is what the sociologist Donald Warren identified as the Middle American Radical in the book The Rad­ic­al Cen­ter: Middle Amer­ic­ans and the Polit­ics of Ali­en­a­tion. These are people who defy conventional political framing, so they are often ignored. They are noticed when a Pat Buchanan, a Ross Perot or a Donald Trump comes along. It is why all efforts are made to funnel them back into the chute of conventional politics.

In the end, the portion of the suburban peasantry called normie will have little use for the cause, but there is a portion of the peasantry that has potential. They see the futility of trying to exercise power within the system, but they lack the structure to develop into an alternative moral order that challenges the system. The guy with the Gadsden flag on his house is a potato in a sack. The neighbor who reads old books and no longer has a cable sub is a normie with revolutionary potential.


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. Above Time Coffee Roasters are a small, dissident friendly company that makes coffee. They actually roast the beans themselves based on their own secret coffee magic. If you like coffee, buy it from these folks as they are great people who deserve your support.

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.


Affirmative Musings

The upcoming midterm elections are sucking most of the oxygen out of the newsroom and what is left is consumed by the usual drama, but the big story looming on the horizon is the Supreme Court race cases. The court has been hearing oral arguments on two related cases. One involves Harvard’s anti-Asian admission policy and the other involves North Carolina’s antiwhite admission policies. Both schools are fighting to maintain their race based admissions system.

The makeup of the court and prior statements by current justices on the matter strongly suggest these polices are in trouble. In fact, it has been clear that the court has been skeptical of affirmative action for a long time, but the thinking was that legislatures would eventually solve the problem on their own. There is no way to square these policies with equality before the law, if the law says you cannot discriminate based on race, even in private matters.

People who follow the court have thought for a long time that the Supreme Court has been waiting for the right case to junk the whole regime. Now it has two cases and oral arguments suggest the court is looking to do something dramatic. Even the regime toadies on the bench expressed skepticism. The lawyers defending these policies are struggling to justify them. In this corrupt age, one can never be sure of anything, but it does look like affirmative action is doomed.

Most people assume that the court in this area has been struggling to balance equality before the law with the moral claims about race. These policies were based in good intensions to right past wrongs, but they slammed into the basic principle of equality before the law. Punishing someone alive today for things someone long dead may or may not have done is patently immoral. It is a blood libel. It is the central contradiction of what the progressives call restorative justice.

There is some truth to this but the real issue the court will eventually face with regards to this issue is the private versus the public. Where is the line between what a citizen can do as a private citizen and the duties of every citizen. In other words, where does private action end and public duty begin? Put another way, where does one’s public duty give way to private preference? This is an age old question that every human society must solve in some way.

In the case of racial discrimination, no one thinks you should be required to date outside of your race or have friends from other races. On the other hand, it is considered immoral for a restaurant to deny service on the basis of race. If you put up a sign that reads, “No Asians”, you will go to jail. Why is the first example entirely acceptable but the last is not acceptable? Why must you invite people you do not like into your business, but you can bar them from your home?

The answer, in part, has always been that the business is a public accommodation, but that was simply a way to avoid the issue. This bit of civic theology is not applied to most other areas of business. The tech companies and banks actively discriminate against white people and promote antiwhite bigots. The two universities defending their race based admissions proudly discriminate against whites and Asians in the most public of public accommodations in America.

Clearly, the public accommodation principal is a farce. This is why the court decision next spring to junk affirmative action is just the beginning. The court will probably say that the state cannot discriminate based on race. Harvard is a private college, but they get government grants and their students get government loans, so current law makes them a government entity. At least it makes them subject to the same limitations that the law places on government institutions.

Harvard could simply stop taking government money. Religious schools have taken this road to avoid anti-Christian discrimination. Hillsdale College famously foregoes government money. Harvard could do the same and then fight this fight in the courts all over again, but this time as a private entity. The question at that point would be the question at the core of all of this. Where is the line between private rights and public duties with regards to these moral questions?

If the court were to say that a private college is free to select students by whatever criteria they choose, then they would have overturned the entirety of antidiscrimination laws, including things like hate speech and hate crimes. On the other hand, if they extended the prohibition against discrimination to the private sphere, then that would mean no one can express their preferences in private. Your dinner party would be subject to claims of discrimination.

This gets back to the public accommodation issue. Is a private college really a public accommodation when it is designed for a narrow purpose like religion? How about private clubs, which have been banned due to discrimination? Would a male-only club be allowed if it is private? At some point, a clear line has to be drawn between what is private and what is public. The real issue in these race cases is where does that line exist and how best to codify it in the law.

This raises a much larger issue, in that liberal democracy relies on morality as the spring to motivate the citizens. Aristocratic systems rely upon the desire to attain greater rank and privilege, bestowed from above. Authoritarian systems rely on fear of the people in charge of the state. A republic relies on the willingness to put the interests of the institutions ahead of private interests. Liberal democracy relies on the submission to a common morality.

If there is a line between the private and the public, it rules out a commonly held moral code to which all must submit. After all, simply going along with the latest thing to avoid trouble is different from embracing the new morality. We see this all the time with the various social fads. Being indifferent to antisemitism, for example, is unacceptable because it suggests you may not be enthusiastically opposed to it. You have to show your opposition in a public way.

If all of a sudden, we have a clear line between the public and private, it means you can oppose public morality in private, but play along when out in public. This makes public morality a polite fiction. The fact is morality only works if people either believe it or fear falling outside of it. One does not do the right thing when no one is looking if one does not think it is the right thing or fear it may be the right thing. Simply put, acknowledging the private sphere undermines democracy.

That, of course, leads to another problem. If all of a sudden, colleges have to use objective criteria to select students, everyone knows what will happen. What happens when fire departments and police departments are forced to follow suit? Even if they fashion a way around it, the implication is clear. It means that all men may be equal in the eyes of God, but they are not equal. Some are smarter, stronger, bigger, faster and this tends to track with sex and race.

The entirety of the affirmative action regime rests on the assertion that people are amorphous blobs that can be shaped into anything. Overturning affirmative action exposes this nonsense to public view. All of a sudden, the quest for diversity is nothing more than a private preference masquerading as a public good. It has no basis in reality and often contradicts reality. Another piece of the liberal democratic moral superstructure is yanked away.

No one should be deceived into thinking the court will swing a wrecking ball through the liberal democratic order. Even if they overturn the concept of affirmative action, which seems likely based on the current court, all they will have done is tip over the first domino in the process. Even so, it does suggest we may be nearing an end point to the last surviving ideology of the 20th century. Like the others, its internal contradictions will eventually succumb to the realty of the human condition.


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. Above Time Coffee Roasters are a small, dissident friendly company that makes coffee. They actually roast the beans themselves based on their own secret coffee magic. If you like coffee, buy it from these folks as they are great people who deserve your support.

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.


Times Are Changing

Note: The Monday Taki post is up and this week it is somewhat related to the topic in this post but from a different angle. Sunday Thoughts is up behind the green doo so if you do not have a subscription, get one. SubscribeStar and Substack.


Last week the people in charge of Penn State University decided to get in the way-back machine and relive the alt-right days. They invited onto campus a bogeyman so that the usual suspects could engage in performative protesting. They invited internet performers Gavin McInnis and Alex Stein to talk to a student group. A group of entitled children was then invited to throw a tantrum outside the event. Eventually, the school cancelled the event for security reasons.

The only people interested in any of it was the regime media that has yet to find a new set of bogeymen to replace those from the Trump years. McInnis went along with it because it is all he has at this point. His edgy right-wing guy act fell apart with the Proud Boys fiasco and dissidents have no interest in him. Alex Stein is trying to be the Matthew Lesko of ambush comedy, so this provided him with a chance to do his act in front of some purple faced coeds for the streaming audience.

The main takeaway from the event is that the white supremacist bogeyman act has run its course and the regime has found nothing to replace it. As a result, the usual suspects are resurrecting old villains like McInnes. The term “Proud Boys” is still something of a dog whistle for the crazies, even though the rest of the world lost interest in the whole thing years ago. It is sort of like how Nixon remained a villain for the crazies well into the 1980’s, after the world had moved onto Reagan.

Of course, the point of these manufactured dramas is for the people running the college campus to pretend they are in a state of emergency. The college campus is the safest place on the planet, but the inhabitants need to feel they are under siege. The forces of darkness are closing in so they have to heroically defend their abracadabra word from the enemy of the abracadabra word. They stage these events so that they can have a few minutes where their fantasies seem real.

If it were anything other than a performance, they could easily handle these things by either not hosting the speakers or putting an end to the protests. There is no reason for a college campus to have these sorts of people on to talk to students. In theory, at least, the students are there to learn, not hear hacky gags from an aging comedian and an internet prankster. Not only are these two not bringing anything to the campus, their act is easily accessible on-line.

On the other hand, the campus could end the protest business by expelling those who create trouble. The students are there to learn and this event was a good time for them to learn that it is immoral to prevent people from speaking or prevent others from hearing a speaker. Expel a few of the troublemakers and the protest culture comes to a screeching halt. This is a state college. These are not future leaders. They are there to get a credential in order to get a middle-class job.

What these sorts of events amount to are something like the historical reenactments around events of the Civil War or Revolutionary War. Historical reenactors enjoy learning the fine details of the period. They spend hours getting their costumes right and working with others in the subculture. Another part of it is escapism. They get to spend the weekend pretending to be a person in another era, an era they find more interesting than the current era.

That is what we have seen on campus for half a century. The long march through the institutions put the old protestors in charge, so they set about recreating the events of their youth, except this time they were the cool administrators. Unlike the squares running the place in their youth, they were down with the cause, at least until something got broken or someone got hurt. Decade after decade this farcical game of make believe gets rebooted on the college campus.

That said, this nonsense may have run its course. One of the weird side effects of the Covid panic is it broke the pattern. For two years no one was allowed on campus, so they could not stage these dramas. The attention whores that agree to play the bogeyman role for these shows have had to move onto other things. Penn State was left with what can charitably be called D-list bogeymen. Instead of playing weddings they jumped at this campus gig.

There is also a growing regime fatigue. That is another consequence of Covid and the events of the 2020 election. The endless lying from the media has shifted public opinion away from this sort of drama. When people thought the campus was simply biased, they could justify people trying to get on campus to counter the bias. In a world where people use the term “regime” and assume everything that comes from official authority is a lie, these dramas make no sense.

Of course, the January 6 pogrom has changed minds as well. In a world where the state will arrest you for being attacked by regime agents posing as protestors, going onto the street to speak your mind is a fool’s errand. Even the flag and costume crowd has figured out that they cannot march around in public. This leaves the regime elements on their own, which makes for a boring performance. Without a bogeyman to attack, they are left to stare at one another.

All of this points to a slight maturing of dissident politics. Guys like McInnis are not getting attention anymore. He staged his own arrest and the response was mostly indifference at his pathetic play for attention. Similarly, more and more dissidents are simply tuning out of regime media. These dramas only work if there is an audience and that audience is drying up. Slowly, it seems, dissidents are disconnecting from the machine and accepting the new reality.


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. Above Time Coffee Roasters are a small, dissident friendly company that makes coffee. They actually roast the beans themselves based on their own secret coffee magic. If you like coffee, buy it from these folks as they are great people who deserve your support.

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.


Democratic Police State

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If you are over the age of fifty, you remember a time when you would have been corrected, if you said America was a democracy. Conservatives would interrupt you and say that America is a constitutional republic, not a democracy. Liberals would say that America is a fascist police state, not a democracy. That is a small exaggeration, but the liberals were always going on about the lack of democracy. Both sides of the mainstream agreed that America was not a democracy.

Somewhere along the way, this reversed. Both sides of the increasingly narrow political consensus calls America a democracy. In fact, they compete with one another to be the most outraged by threats to our democracy. Proof that the universe has a sense of humor, our rulers would no doubt condemn all of their prior statements about America not being a democracy. This would never happen as no one would dare bring this up to them, but the point remains.

Of course, when they say democracy they mean liberal democracy, rather than direct democracy, which is impossible outside of small exceptions. By definition this means elections between distinct political parties, the rule of law, open debate about the issues of the day, a market economy, private property and the equal protection of the natural rights of all citizens. In other words, liberal democracy is representative democracy bounded by the natural rights of the people.

That last part is the critical piece. The point of the system is to not only give the people a say in who governs them but to make sure the people in power respect and defend the natural rights of the people. Otherwise, there would be no point in having elections for representatives to a parliament. It would be like giving the condemned the right to choose their executioner. The word “democracy” as currently understood means the defense of your rights.

The thing is, as the use of the word democracy has exploded, respect for the basic rights of citizens has sharply declined. It is not just the in the areas that can be debated, but the most fundamental rights of people. There will always be a debate about the use of private property at the fringes. For example, an you build a factory on your property located in a suburban neighborhood? That is a different matter from your basic right to own your labor and the fruits of your labor.

Take for example voting. Back when we called America a republic or a fascist police state, voting was orderly and mostly above board. You showed up to vote on the day of the election, identified yourself, voted and that was it. Maybe you had to stand in line for an hour if you went at the wrong time. Now that we have democracy, voting is a mess and the results are not known for days, sometimes weeks. Worse yet, no one can trust that the results are on the level.

Probably the greatest violation of our rights in this new fangled democracy is in the area of speech, which is under attack by the people preaching democracy. Kanye West is being systematically destroyed by the defenders of democracy because he says things they do not like. The defenders of democracy tell us we are supposed to cheer their coordinated assault on the man’s ability to exist, because he is a threat to democracy for foolishly sharing his opinions in public.

This war of speech has led to a war on property. PayPal recently announced a scheme to steal the property of their customers if those customers said anything that PayPal does not like. They had to backtrack on that scheme, but the mere fact that they thought they could do it is the point. They are not alone in this. The federal government thinks it can willy-nilly take money from employees of regulated firms if those firms fall afoul of the accounting rules governing public firms.

Before anyone thinks that this extrajudicial seizing of property will not withstand court challenge, take a look at the courts. The high profile police cases in Minnesota provide a clear understanding of how the courts have been corrupted. All similar cases involving police shootings. The results make clear that the foundational liberal concept of equality before the law no longer exists in our democracy. One can find hundreds of such examples that are now the rule.

Of course, the most basic right of all is self-defense. In most of the Western democracies self-defense is now illegal. This is a typical example of how protecting your life in your home is prohibited in Europe. Americans assume this cannot happen here, but Kyle Rittenhouse is a free man only because he drew the right judge and happened to be in one of remaining civilized parts of Wisconsin. If that had happened in a place fond of democracy, he would be on death row.

Self-defense arises from the bedrock belief that you own you. The entirety of the liberal tradition rests on this assertion. Even Karl Marx, a man not fond of private property, argued that the basic right of every man is that he owns himself. The past two years people were forced to take medicines against their will in the name of protecting our democracy from Covid. If you no longer have the right to control your body, then you have no rights at all.

None of this should be surprising. For most of human history people understood that democracy was a nice word for mob rule. In a mob, you have no rights other than those provided by the mob at any one time. You are always subject to the whims of the mob and those who can manipulate them. Therefore, as the talk of democracy has increased, the respect for basic rights has decreased. It turns out that democracy and a police state look a lot alike.


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. Above Time Coffee Roasters are a small, dissident friendly company that makes coffee. They actually roast the beans themselves based on their own secret coffee magic. If you like coffee, buy it from these folks as they are great people who deserve your support.

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 Great Mistake

Note: The Monday Taki post is up and this week I decided to change gears and write about a past hero of the cause. Sunday Thoughts was on break while I was away at a secret handshake meeting, but I have posted some travelogues. I will be posting some more detailed information about the event this week so if you do not have a subscription, get one. SubscribeStar and Substack.


Over the weekend news began to leak out about a series of calls between Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and his counterparts in Turkey, The United States, France and Great Britain. The purpose of these calls, reportedly initiated by the Russians, was to warn of the possible Ukrainian use of a radioactive bomb, a dirty, bomb, in the coming days or weeks. The point of the bomb was to escalate the war in order to force NATO to directly intervene in the conflict.

The Russians also reportedly said they had intelligence that the Ukrainians were getting help on this project from the British. It is largely assumed that it was the British that provided the intelligence and logistics to smuggle the truck bomb onto the Kerch Bridge  two weeks ago. It is also assumed that the British helped the assassin with the murder of Alexander Dugin’s daughter. The British have been intimately involved with the war since the very beginning.

Interestingly, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace denied the claims but then quickly added that the Russians should not use this thing they deny is happening as a pretext for escalating the war. The American version of this bit of double-speak was almost identical, suggesting some level of cooperation. Given that various Biden administration officials have been claiming the Russians will use nukes on Ukraine, this has the look of the kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

Another clue about what is really going on is the fact that former CIA director General Petraeus has been sent on a public relations tour to prepare the media for the entry of American troops into Ukraine. Here he is three weeks ago talking about a hypothetical that no one considered plausible at the time. Here is a story about the 101st Airborne training in Poland for the purpose of joining the fighting in Ukraine. In other words, the narrative makers in the West have been hard at work.

Interestingly, the Ukrainians were not ready for their usual story telling and had to scramble in response to the Russian calls to the West. Zelensky does not do anything without permission from his Western advisors who are always in the room with him, so it would seem the Russians caught everyone by surprise, not only with the calls but with making sure they got into Western media. Zelensky then came out with the claim that the Russians planned to nuke themselves as a false flag.

One cannot help but detect a pattern with the false flag business. The Ukrainians claimed the Russians killed Dugin’s daughter as a false flag. They claimed the bombing of the Nord Stream pipelines was a Russian false flag. They made the same claim about the Kerch Bridge and the shelling of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plan, which is held by the Russians. Someone in the Zelensky media team has a bizarre obsession with this particular narrative structure.

Putting that aside, we have two competing stories. The Russians, who have repeatedly ruled out using nuclear weapons, but have been warning that this war could easily escalate to nuclear conflict, are saying that the Ukrainians are planning to use a dirty bomb and blame it on Russia. The West is saying they are totally innocent and it is the Russians who are planning to use a dirty bomb on themselves and then use that as an excuse to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

If you are inclined to believe what you hear from Washington and their media organs, you will want to accept their version of this story. If you are skeptical of the people who lie to you every day about the most trivial matters, then you are probably thinking that the Russians are telling the truth. It is impossible to know the truth at this point, but one should always leave open the possibility of a third option. Both sides could simply be psyoping one another on this issue.

Regardless of the truth, it reveals a serious problem for the West. They have pushed all of their chips into the middle of the table, betting on the prospects of a deeply corrupt country run by a narcissistic sociopath. The one thing everyone can agree upon is Zelensky is just an actor hired to play the role of president. This is the role of a lifetime for him and he has thrown himself into completely. Much now depends on the mood of an actor high on the attention of a global audience.

Tucker Carlson touched on this last week when he highlighted the absurd demands being made by Zelensky. This pint-sized potentate is calling Western media demanding that he be supplied hundreds of billions in aid. If an American mayor or governor made a tiny fraction of these demands he would be pilloried. It has somehow become completely normal for this nut to demand massive sacrifices from Western people in order to perpetuate a war with Russia.

This is not without president. America’s unconditional commitment to Israel has led to several disastrous wars against Islam. Officially, the Afghan war cost $2.3 trillion and the total bill for the neocon wars is $5.8 trillion. Not all of this can be laid at the feet of the Israelis, or the Saudis, who also played a role in these wars, but it is the danger that comes when large countries make open ended commitments to defend small countries in their wars with other countries.

The Founders strongly opposed these sorts of foreign commitments. Washington explained the danger of “entangling alliances” in his farewell address. John Quincy Adams echoed those same sentiments a generation later. When a nation considers another nation a friend, it inevitably takes on the friends and enemies of that nation, which inevitably warps the decision making of the country, putting the interests of foreigners ahead of the people.

It is important to remember that the last two European wars were due in large part to great powers aligning with minor powers. It is fair to argue that war with German was inevitable, but the British commitment to the Poles certainly guaranteed it. Western commitments to Ukraine look a lot like the same error. Nuclear war now hinges on the mood of an emotionally unstable circus performer. The so called great powers are now led around by a tiny corrupt backwater.

This will not end well.


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. Above Time Coffee Roasters are a small, dissident friendly company that makes coffee. They actually roast the beans themselves based on their own secret coffee magic. If you like coffee, buy it from these folks as they are great people who deserve your support.

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 Political Vice

The British oddsmakers are not giving new prime minister Liz Truss much of a chance to survive the year, putting the odds at 1-in-8. They are posting wagers on her probable replacement, which is a good sign they are confident they will have plenty of action in the near term. You can wager on just about anything in Britain but the point of posting odds is to attract action. If the oddsmakers are posting odds on the next prime minister it means there is a demand for it.

From an American perspective it is a bit amusing because of the over-the-top way in which the media talks about these things. It is like how British sports announcers turn a mundane sport like soccer into life and death drama. Every player heroically passes the ball to some other hero, who courageously passes it back. They are doing the same thing with the political squabbles within the Tory party. They are carrying on as if the island will flip over if they pick the wrong person.

The British are in political crisis because the people who actually run the country never forgave Boris Johnson for supporting Brexit. The fact is, the elites in Britain all wanted to be fully integrated into Europe. They loathed the very idea of Brexit and detested the people who supported it, which is the majority of the people. Just as everywhere else, British elites, and those who think they are elites, define themselves by the degree to which they hate the average subject.

The elites shoved old Boris over the side without thinking much about who would replace him because of another quirk of modern Western elites. They never think more than once move ahead when on the attack. When scheming to line their own pockets, they are masters of eight dimensional chess. When they get their feelings hurt, they tend to blindly and maliciously strike out while howling in pain. They never think about what happens after they get their revenge.

This is what is happening in Britain. They got revenge on old Boris, but then they had no suitable replacement, so they were stuck with Liz Truss. She is a simpleton, so this has quickly blown up on them. Now they have to find a way to push her over the edge and find a different empty suit to play the role of PM. The odds are the next person will be terrible and this will force new elections. The other party will be declared the winner and then the drama comes to an end.

The only reason this is interesting is that it will be a story we see all over the West in the coming months, even in America. The midterms are shaping up to be a disaster for the Democrats, so they will be forced to address their Joe Biden problem. He is not going to go quietly, because his handlers need him to stay. Joe Biden is a shuffling husk, but the people holding important jobs in the administration need him in the job so they can hold onto those important jobs. Dementia Joe is useful.

Regardless, the people who actually run Washington will conclude that they have a Joe Biden problem after the election. The trouble is the next in line makes Liz Truss sound like Cicero, so pushing Biden over the edge will just create new problems, but wounded animals do not think that far ahead. We could very well see a replay in Washington of what is happening in London. Biden is forced out for health reasons, then Harris is forced out because everyone remembers that she is an idiot.

Of course, as the political turmoil in the West heats up over the next year, the popular explanation will be that it is due to bad economics. Inflation, shortages, recession and energy prices will get the blame. You see this happening in Britain where inflation is getting blamed for the crisis. It is complete nonsense. The Bank of England is undermining the Tory government, not popular unrest. The Tories have no reason to care about public opinion. They do care about elite opinion.

That is the real source of the crisis that is slowly spreading in the West. In theory, government exists to exercise the will of the people. The “general will” is defined though the democratic process. The parties compete for support by offering up policies to address the issues the voters think are important. The Tories are in power because they supported Brexit and they implied they would do something about the problems that naturally stem from post-national cosmopolitan globalism.

There was never any chance of this happening because the people who actually run Britain never wanted those things. Those people are not subject to elections and have no concern for public opinion. That is the cause of the crisis. The political process and its results lie between public opinion and elite opinion. The two sides are natural opposites that operate like the jaws of a vice. As they close, the political process is squeezed until it eventually bursts.

The fact is the West has reached a point where we cannot have both an avaricious ruling elite and a prosperous middleclass. Either the elites are brought to heel and are subject to the political process or the middleclass collapses. The new world order is an effort to consolidate power and impoverish the population. Populism and various forms of nationalism are middleclass efforts to fight back against elites. The West is now entering the survival stage of liberal democracy.

It is tempting to think that numbers matter and the people will eventually win out and bring their elites under control. Covid should disabuse anyone of that notion, as it is clear that most people would rather die than speak out against the most humiliating abuses of the elites. If you can make people wear their underwear around their heads, you can make them do anything. Of course, an elite willing to mutilate children is never going to be susceptible to appeals to their humanity.

On the other hand, no one was really at risk during Covid. People got sick but people always get stick from something. Covid policies did not put the general wellbeing in danger, at least not right away. When people are worried about paying their rent or keeping the doors of their business open, they stop worrying so much about offending the sensibilities of rich people. Western people seem to accept no limits on their humiliation, but maybe there is a limit.

Regardless, the West is clearly entering a crisis phase. Unlike past crises in Greece, Spain or Italy, this one is occurring in the heart of the West. People expect political turmoil in Italy, but not in Britain. People expect the Spanish economy to be on the edge of the abyss, but not the German economy. Washington is supposed to be the same regardless of the party in power. This crisis is in the core of what made the post-Cold War order possible. Soon, all of it will be up for debate.


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.


Managerial Reality

There is a Hollywood plot where a troubled ventriloquist either begins to think his dummy is real or the dummy has actually come to life. The dummy then begins to direct the ventriloquist to do terrible things like kill people. Another take on this is where actors in some sort of fantasy performance get sucked into what appears to be a real life version of the fantasy world. The underlying premise is that playing make believe for too long causes one to lose his grasp of reality.

There is some truth to this concern for unreality. Extremely rich or famous people often cut themselves off from the world. In the case of the rich guy, it simply becomes a haven from the hassles of the real world. For the famous person it is the one place they are free of the fans. Over time they become increasing detached from reality or overindulge in drugs and alcohol. Howard Hughes is the famous rich guy example, while Elvis and Michael Jackson are famous people examples.

The French Revolution provides a more general example. The king was certainly divorced from reality, while clearly not insane. His actions were rational, based on the rules of the world in which he lived. The same can be said for the aristocracy that was competing with him for power. The trouble is that world was separate from the reality of France at the time. The Ancien Régime was operating in an unreality, based in rules that were quickly being washed away by events.

Of course, the comparison between this age and that age is common on this side of the great divide because of the general weirdness of the managerial class. Normal people, regardless of their income, are concerned with things like rising prices and the dramatic spike in violent crime. Meanwhile, the people running for office are telling you that their penis is imaginary and climate change is our greatest challenge. “Let them eat cake” sounds reasonable in comparison.

What is not well known or at least not discussed in the history books, is if the Ancien Régime invested a lot of time in story telling. That is, did they spend their days spinning tales that confirmed their version of reality? Were there people responsible for telling the important people that the peasants were running out of steam and soon they would fall back in line? Did the official information guy at court tell everyone that the unrest in the countryside was transitory?

It sounds ridiculous but look around the mass media. So much of what passes for the news is just a form of wish-casting. The stories, opinions and analysis are all designed to buck up the ruling class in the face of disconfirmation. When inflation began to rage, they were falling all over themselves to preach the gospel of transitory. It was obviously ridiculous but they wanted to believe it, so everyone in the managerial class put on the transitory face and explained how it was all transitory.

The last two years has been an elaborate game of Covid charades. It seems like a million years ago, but at the start they were claiming the hospitals were overrun and people were dropping dead in the street. None of that was true. In fact, the opposite of that was true with regards to hospitals. We wrecked our medical system because the managerial class believed the scary stories they were telling one another. In retrospect, the whole thing was a deadly and expensive farce.

We are seeing a replay of this with the Ukraine. For close to a year the media has been brewing up one whopper after another about the war. A batch of fake stories are released about Ukrainian babushkas destroying Russian tanks with household products and Western capitals erupt in celebration. According to the storytellers, Russia has been running out of missiles since February. The whole thing looks like a deranged game of make believe to console the managerial class.

This is not a new phenomenon. Way back in the Obama years, the Democrats passed a big spending bill to fund “shovel ready projects.” That was in the winter and by spring they had all the stuff ready for a big party called the summer of recovery. They expected to have Obama roam the countryside, standing in front of construction sites for new bridges while he talked about his great polices. Their narrative said he would be the new FDR, along with the new Lincoln and new Jesus.

They were so sure their stories were true they spent tens of millions on materials for the expected rallies. Things like signs and t-shirts with the “Summer of Recovery” printed on them in Team Obama colors. They were using the slogan into the early summer, despite the reality on the ground. It was as if they thought they could will their preferred version of reality into existence if they just pretended it was happening. The script said it would happen, so it was going to happen.

This has been the pattern for a long time now. Someone in the managerial class creates a pleasing narrative. It catches on and before long everyone is repeating the pleasing narrative in public. Experts are brought in to explain why this pleasing narrative is realty and then other experts are brought in to present proof. It is as if they think that once everyone agrees that the pleasing narrative is reality, then reality has no choice but to submit to the new moral consensus.

Again, Ukraine provides examples. A month ago, the Ukrainians launched a series of counter offensives. The mass media was instantly full of stories about how the Russian army was collapsing and the Ukrainians would soon be in Moscow. Retired generals were brought in to confirm the story. Analysts with funny names wrote columns about how the war has turned decisively against Russia. Everyone was sure it had to be true because they believed it was true.

Getting back to that old Hollywood plot, the managerial class seems to be in a pattern where they create a fantasy and then the fantasy convinces them it is real. Like the ventriloquist who believes his dummy has come to life, the narrative makers seem to be sure their alternative reality is more real than reality. They have come to believe that a good narrative is something like an incantation. If it is repeated enough, the narrative bends reality to fit the plot line of the narrative.

The assumption is that the endless telling of whoppers is to shape public opinion, but that is just a story normal people want to believe. No one in charge gives a tinker’s damn what the people think about anything. There is no evidence that public opinion has any impact on public policy. After the next election, all of those new faces in office will melt away revealing the same old faces behind them. Public opinion will have changed nothing about Washington.

A better reason for the explosion of narrative realty in the managerial class is that this is how the managerial elite controls the system. The people with complicated titles and inscrutable qualifications control the vast leviathan that is the modern managerial state using tales of what lies just over the horizon. The millions in the system, like ants in a colony, response and act accordingly. The leviathan moves in the desired direction with the help of a million administrative hands.


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.


Surf & Turf

Since ancient times, the great civilizations have been divided into two distinct categories, land powers and sea powers. The best example is the rivalry between Athens and Sparta that culminated in the Peloponnesian wars. The Peloponnesian League was led by Sparta, the dominant land power. The Delian League was led by Athens, the dominant sea power. The great ancient conflict still casts a shadow over the West because the dynamic is still with us.

To be a great sea power requires different human capital than what is required of a land power, which makes them cultural opposites. As a result, they look at war differently and they fight their wars for different reasons. Sea powers tend to be driven by profit while land powers tend to be driven by cultural forces. Culture and economics play a role for both, but the priorities tend to be reversed. The sea power is moved to act by money while the land power is moved by cultural issues.

The Athenians were arguably the first financial empire. They built their power through shrewd business relations with the other city-states. The alliances that were established to fight the Persians quickly became a business for Athens. They provided security while their “allies” provided money and men for the ships. Their aggression toward the other city-states was driven by opportunities for trade and profit. The Athenian empire  was as much about business as Athenian culture.

The Spartans, on the other hand, were not driven by profit. Their willingness to join the rest of Greece against the Persians was purely in defense. When the Athenians wanted to take the fight to the Persians after the Greeks had successfully driven the Persians back across the sea, the Spartans were not interested. Their eventual war with the Athenians was purely defensive from their point of view. It is probably why they chose not to obliterate Athens after they won the war.

We see the same dynamic today. The Global American Empire is the new Delian League, spreading democracy to the world at gun point. The Russian Federation is the new Peloponnesian League. The Cold War was often cast the same way, but it did not work as an analogy. The communists were just as obsessed with spreading their form of utopian politics as the West. This time it works as the Russians are at war with an ideological and financial empire.

The clash of cultures is clear. The GAE just assumed the Russians would do what the GAE always does in war, which is systematically destroy the civilization of the opposing culture with air power. The West is still puzzled as to why the Russians never unleashed shock and awe at the start of the war. Further, the West concluded that the incremental approach was due to a lack of resources. The GAE is a sea power so it thinks like a sea power and fights like one as well.

The Russian Federation is a land power, so putting on a big symbolic light show to start a war makes no sense to them. Sea powers move like the sea, while land powers move like the land, slowly and incrementally. This is why the Russians had not bothered to put together a public relations campaign for the West. They saw no point in it as their purpose was to force the Ukrainians to submit. That happens at the bargaining table and on the battlefield, not on Twitter.

Another contrast in the two sides is in the weapons. The Russian have the best air defenses in the world. They have the best artillery in the world. The GAE has the best air force in the world and the best navy in the world. This contrast is due to the assumptions of both sides. The Russians assume their great wars will be defensive while the GAE assumes its great wars will be offensive. The two contrasting worldviews results in two entirely different military postures.

This contrast in warfighting is turning up in the weapons. Land powers assume long wars of attrition so they plan accordingly. That means squeezing the maximum from the resources available. The Russians are famous for making cheap, reliable weapons that can be used by anyone. The Kalashnikov is the prime example. The new drones the Russians are now using follow the same pattern. They are cheap, easy to operate and extremely effective against enemy targets.

Sea powers have to assume short wars. You can only keep a fleet at sea for so long so you have to inflict maximum damage up front. A naval battle is not going to last months like a land battle, so you need to prepare for the short haul. In the old days, ships were expensive, complex weapons. Today, the jet fighter is the cutting edge of technology and human organization. All of America’s best weapons are complex systems that require lots of training to utilize.

The flip side of the time preference aspect is that sea powers can take a loss and bounce back quickly, while land powers take time to recover. The GAE suffered a humiliating defeat in Afghanistan, but quickly shook it off. The loss in Vietnam stung for a few years, but then the war machine was back in business. In contrast, the Russians needed decades to overcome the failure in Afghanistan. It has only been in the last decade that they have moved past it.

What that means for the Ukraine is that barring a collapse of the EU or the global financial system, the GAE will shake of this failure too. Whatever is left of Ukraine will be ignored and the GAE will turn its sights to some new opponent. Land powers must always be on defense, because it is their nature. Sea power must always be on offense, because it is their nature. That means when one war ends a new war must start, regardless of how the prior war ended.


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.


Dr. Strange Biden

Note: In case you missed it, the long awaited release of my talk with Greg Hood of American Renaissance has finally arrived. You can listen to it here. The Monday Taki post is up and the topic is clowns. Sunday Thoughts is up behind the green door along with other postings. SubscribeStar and Substack.


Is the Biden administration planning to use tactical nuclear weapons against the Russians in defense of Ukraine? It should be unthinkable but we live in an age in which the most offensive and absurd is celebrated, so we can no longer assume anything, no matter how monstrous, is beyond the pale. The bombing of the Nord Stream pipelines was an outlandish act of provocation, so we cannot assume there is anyone in the admiration on the side of restraint.

The first clue that the Biden people are talking about the use of nuclear weapons is their endless talking about the use of nuclear weapons. For months they have been talking about it, in the context of the Russians threatening to use nukes. The trouble is, the Russians have never threatened to use nuclear weapons. Western media keeps making this claim, but an examination of the record shows that Russian officials have repeatedly said the exact opposite.

It is a well known aspect of regime psychology to project what they are doing or plotting onto some enemy of the regime. In 2016 we got the Russian collusion hoax in which Trump was accused of plotting with foreigners to rig the election. What we eventually learned is that it was the regime that was working with foreign intelligence services to not only rig the election but undermine the Trump administration. The opposite rule is an iron law of understanding regime behavior.

There is also the fact that Russian nuclear doctrine does not include tactical use of nuclear weapons in the battlefield. They have tactical nuclear weapons, but Russian nuclear doctrine has always been rooted in deterrence. Their nuclear arsenal is designed as a deterrent against any use of nuclear weapons. In the Cold War they took mutually assured destruction seriously. It is the West that has the weapons and doctrine for the limited nuclear war scenario.

Recent actions in the Ukraine make clear that the Russian plan is to rely on conventional forces to finish off the Ukrainian army. Despite Covid-like narratives in Western media, the Ukrainians have not been winning. Their army has been slowly and methodically depleted. This next phase aimed at making it more difficult for Ukraine to function at all will be followed by fresh offensives. This time there will be a quarter million fresh Russian troops, rather than militias.

It is clear that the Russians see a path to victory using their conventional army and the facts on the ground support that view. The Ukrainians are acknowledging this, which is why Zelensky has been sounding the alarm in calls to Western media. The point is, there is no reason to think the Russians are even thinking about using nuclear weapons in Ukraine, but the Biden administration keeps talking about it as if it is something they think about all the time.

There is another bit of projection at work. The West has said from the start that Putin cannot afford to change course in Ukraine. Even while the Russians were negotiating with the Ukrainians at the start of the war, the claim from the Biden administration was that Putin had no reverse gear. Again, the opposite rule seems to be at work here as the Biden administration has repeatedly said that they will never make a deal with Putin to end the war in Ukraine.

Further, the Biden administration has been repeatedly asked about the limits on supporting Ukraine and the answer is there are no limits. Hundreds of billions have been spent on this project already. Biden was given a blank check to send weapons, contractors and support. The administration has repeatedly said that they are willing to support Ukraine for as long as it takes. In other words, the only option they will accept is the total defeat of Russia.

This leaves the administration little room to maneuver. If their goal in this war is the total defeat of Russia and they will do whatever it takes for as long as it takes to accomplish it, then it is the regime that has no reverse gear. If the fortunes of Ukraine continue on the current path, Zelensky will be faced with surrender or abdication. The West is quickly approaching a crossroads with Ukraine. Do they continue to throw good money after bad or do they find some other option?

As it stands, there are three options. One is to strike a deal with the Russians, which will be on their terms as far as Ukraine is concerned. The second is to abandon Ukraine entirely and let the Russians sort it out after their victory. The third is some sort of game changer that resets the war in favor of the West. Something like a small nuclear bomb smuggled into the Crimea could be such an answer. After all, the West did smuggle a truck bomb onto the Kerch bridge.

When you reduce it all down, the West has given itself just three options, nuclear war, forever war and capitulation. If the third option is off the table and the second option is failing, then the nuclear option is what we have left. Perhaps the reason Joe Biden keeps babbling about nuclear Armageddon is that the people running this war keep talking about using nuclear weapons in his presence. Past regime practice suggests this it at least a possibility.

From the perspective of the people running this war, the nuclear option may make more sense now than a year ago. They have poured massive amounts of arms into Ukraine and launched an unprecedented economic war on Russia. The response from the Russians has been pretty much nothing. Then you have the assassination of Dugin’s daughter, the bombing of the Nord Stream pipelines and the bombing of the Kerch bridge in the Crimea. Russia did nothing in response.

The regime may look at this and conclude they can roll the dice with a tactical nuke into the Russian lines or maybe aimed at the Black Sea fleet. Maybe this would be another red line that was not a red line after all. Alternatively, the use of a nuke would cause the Russians to mobilize their nuclear arsenal and that would be the pretext for a first strike on Russia by the West. This is a well known tactic of the West. They cry out in pain as they strike and use that as a reason to strike again.

Again, it sounds insane, but giving the government the right to mutilate children in the name of transgenderism is just as insane. A regime that is willing to torture children is not going to draw the line at launching nukes. Just as they can spin tales about the ghost of Kiev, they can create a scenario in which the first use of nuclear weapons only kills Russians and Europeans. After all, that would then be a tremendous opportunity to build back better and begin the post-post-Cold War era.


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