The Knock At The Door

I used to tell people all the time that if you have a chance to listen to Greg Cochran speak, you should take it, as he is probably the smartest person you will ever hear. Cochran has excelled in two fields, physics and anthropology. The former requires a very big brain in order to gain entry. In the case of anthropology, many of the people in the field are crazy or sociopaths. To be an exception and contribute to the stock of human knowledge, requires a rare combination of curiosity and blinkered indifference to social pressure.

Cochran has contributed three very important ideas that may not be correct, but they open up new avenues to understanding human evolution and biological diversity. In the book The 10,000 Year Explosion, he and his partner, the late Henry Harpending, explained how agriculture and human settlement accelerated human evolution. This explains local differences in skin color, eye color, hair texture disease resistance and other genetic differences in human populations. It also explains personality and cognitive differences.

Another idea, one that has received less positive press, is Cochran’s theory that homosexuality must be caused by something outside of evolution. For example, a pathogen that sets off a chain of events in the womb resulting in the child being a homosexual. Cochran points out that the observed level of exclusive homosexuality means genes cannot be the cause of homosexuality.The fitness cost of genes ‘for’ homosexuality being too great. Natural selection would have eliminated the gene.

His “gay germ” idea is controversial and it could be completely wrong, at least in the case of homosexuality. It’s utility is really in how it changes thinking about human disease and the treatment of those diseases. Take something like Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers have spent decades laboring under the assumption it is genetic, but have had little success in finding any proof. Well, what if the cause is something like a pathogen that sets of the process in the brain? What if cardiovascular disease is caused by pathogens?

That’s a huge and controversial idea, but it probably is not the one that most scandalizes the moral authorities. Cochran is most infamous for his work on Ashkenazi IQ. A dozen years ago, he and his partner Henry Harpending published The Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence. In it they argue that Ashkenazi ████inherit higher verbal and mathematical intelligence than other ethnic groups, on the basis of inherited diseases and the peculiar economic situation of Ashkenazi ████in the Middle Ages.

The paper is controversial for three reasons. One is the heretical idea that IQ is a real thing that can be measured. Worse yet, they claim intelligence is heritable, which means it is largely immutable. Smart parents have smart kids. Both ideas are against everything we believe and probably a direct threat to our democracy. It’s not who we are. Only very bad people think that human diversity is the result of biology. Everyone knows that racism is the cause of all the bad differences, while diversity is the cause of the good differences.

That’s bad enough, but the most outrageous aspect of the paper is that it focuses on the special people and that’s not allowed. Even mentioning them in a direct way is justifiably forbidden now. After all, the Nazis started noticing these people, talking about their “group differences” and before long the Holocaust! The fact that racists and white supremacists often reference this paper is proof enough that it should be banned, the authors forced to confess and then they should be hurled into the void as a lesson to others.

If further proof is needed, this post on Greg Cochran’s blog should be enough. The post itself is just one sentence long, but in the nearly 200 comments, Cochran counter signals Holocaust skeptics so hard he probably sprained something while banging away at the keyboard. Clearly, it is the sign of a guilty conscience. At the minimum, it suggests he is worried that the morality police will be coming for him soon. He hopes that his outburst can be presented at his trial and he will be given a reprieve. Good luck with that pal.

All joking aside, the post and the comments are a hilarious bit of Boomer posting. Ron Unz is an eccentric guy and he is prone to conspiracy theories. It’s hard to know how much he believes them. He could just find them intellectually titillating, like reading a very clever crime novel.  I get the sense that he is fascinated by the fact there is an official narrative and it is ruthlessly enforced. Almost all Americans struggle with the bit of reality. Either way, the worst you should say about Ron Unz is that he is a harmless weirdo.

Casual indifference is never allowed in a theocracy, at least with regards to the moral codes. You are either enthusiastically on the right side of the question or you are an enemy of the faith. There can be no middle ground. Maybe Cochran is worried that the authorities will be coming for him soon, so he is hoping to inoculate himself against charge of insufficient signalling against antisemitism. Like a lot of Boomers, he still thinks we live in a rule based society and that you can appeal to reason when defending yourself.

He would deny this and probably threaten to punch me in the nose for suggesting it, but false consciousness is common with many old white men. Just look at the comment thread in that post. Why are people in 2018 so worked up about something that happened 80 years ago in a foreign country? The cultural and ideological processes of the neo-liberal age blind people to their own motivations. You can be sure that the people commenting on that post felt great about it, but they never bothered to wonder why.

All that aside, they will be coming for Greg Cochran soon enough. If he is lucky, the non-binary, gender non-specific persons of uterus from the campus committee on inclusion will only require him to wear a dunce cap on campus. Maybe they will make him recant what he said about Cordelia Fine, peace be upon her. It’s only a matter of time and appeals to reason will have no impact, because we live in an unreasonable age, ruled by ridiculous people. One day, there will be a knock on the door and they will have come for Cochran.

The Warning Signs

An axiom of this age is that the Left always projects onto others the things that it is either doing or planning to do. A good rule is to listen to what they are saying, assume the opposite and then try to piece together what they are doing. It is the Opposite Rule of Liberalism and it is an iron law of modern life. An obvious example is their howling about election interference. As soon as they started howling about Trump colluding with the Russians, you knew that it was the Left colluding with someone to rig the election.

This is due to something Eric Hoffer noticed about people who join causes. The fanatic is driven by self-loathing. They are attracted to causes, because it allows them to swap their hated identity with that of the group. It’s also why they tend to jump from cause to cause, often contradicting previous opinions. Progressivism is a secular religion that is really just a dog’s breakfast of causes. Today it is all about trannies, non-whites and the never ending vagina monologue from white women, held together by a hatred of white men.

The point is that you can often get a sense of what the Left is up to by watching where they are casting the accusatory eye. That’s why this story is interesting. Fake twitter followers is a well know phenomenon. It’s fairly obvious that many B and C level media personalities buy twitter followers. It would not be shocking to learn that lefty sites like the Daily Beast and Estrogen Post buy followers for their contributors. Are there really close to one hundred thousand people following this person? Seems unlikely.

Anyway, the fact that the NYTimes is focusing on fake YouTube views when their cult is waging an all out assault on dissidents on-line, probably means that the view counts for lefty YouTube stars are fake. Just how fake is hard to know, but given the “by any means necessary” attitude of the Left, there’s no reason to think they would be restrained. Keep in mind that the NYTimes was buying traffic from Chinese click farms around the same time they started reporting on the phenomenon of fake followers in twitter.

Perhaps more ominously, this post from the Carlos Slim Journal, demanding Trump be dragged from office and hanged in Lafayette Park suggests the Left’s war on civilization is just getting started. Most people will focus on the rank hypocrisy and dishonesty, but the real focus should be the warning. The Left organized a wide scale conspiracy to rig the last election. The FBI and DOJ are currently running a wide scale conspiracy to hide their ongoing efforts to remove Trump from office and stonewall Congress.

As much as our side jokes around about Pinochet, it is the Left that may be plotting a coup in order to install an authoritarian government. Just look at the organized effort to ban people from the financial system. David Horowitz has just been un-personed by MasterCard and Visa. In the modern age, if you want to wage a civil war, gaining control of the banking system is the first step. Then you take over the internet. Without money or a means to reach a mass audience, fighting back in a civilized way is impossible.

That last bit is important. Most people are willing to fight the good fight until it means coloring outside the lines. That’s the water’s edge for most of the people the Left sees as their enemy. It’s why the Left is always trying to provoke or invent a backlash. It provides them with cover to scare the normies and use any means necessary to “defend our democracy!” As is always the case, the Left seeks to turn civilization’s virtues into vices they can exploit to undermine society. Your reasonableness is their best weapon.

The thing to understand with the Left is that they are reactionary. Team Obama came up with the scheme to rig the last election and when this became apparent to Team Clinton, they reacted by howling about “Russian hacking.” In other words, they immediately began to project their own hated activities onto others. Remember that it was the Left that started the Fake News idea, only to have people point out that the lefty news organs were nothing but fake news. The same was true of the AstroTurf chants over the Tea Party.

What all of this most likely means is that the Democrats are quietly working on their plans to impeach Trump as soon as they gain control of the House this fall. They have upped Pelosi’s Thorazine dosage so she does not blab about it during interviews, but the Left can’t help but get ahead of themselves, hence the NYTimes post. The plan is to impeach Trump in 2019 and then count on the NeverTrump loons in the GOP to join in and force the Senate to remove him. Given the nature of the GOP, this is a good bet.

This is a bit of a meandering post, but the basic point is that it is a mistake to take the Left’s chanting at face value. It’s not just that they lie. Ideologues always lie. It’s that they are psychologically incapable of concealing their actions. Again, that old self-hatred gets the better of them and they start dropping hints via projection. For two years now, the Left has been trying to convince us that Trump is a dictator, who plots with foreign agents to “harm our democracy.”  That should be read as a warning about what comes next.

That’s what puts the Left’s howling about a civil war in perspective. They have been waging a civil war on the rest of us for a couple of years. They have normalized the idea of using public companies to strip people of their right to participate in public debate. They have normalized the idea of stripping people of employment due to their politics. They are now the proscribing people because they hold the wrong opinions. Banning people from using breathing is next. The only thing missing is a coup and a dictator.

Ghosts and Goblins

Thirty years ago, everyone knew what it meant to be a liberal. They wanted to tax the rich and spend the proceeds on the poor. They wanted to regulate business so they could not exploit their workers or harm the environment. That meant favoring unions in the law. On foreign policy, liberals were the doves when it came to dealing with the Soviets. Of course, everyone knew what being a liberal meant when it came to social issues. The point being, liberalism was a well defined list of policy positions and opinions.

Today, what it means to be a liberal is a complete mystery, even to the people who proudly say they are on the Left. The Netroots Nation was this weekend, so all of the grandees of Progressivism were in New Orleans to pitch their ideas. Take a look at the agenda. Other than the promises to oppose Trump, most of it focused on building traffic for their websites. “Digital Security For Organizers Of Color” sounds amusing, but mostly because it has that familiar paranoia that has come to define the modern Left.

If you bother to watch any of the speeches, the tone is what you would expect from people facing the end times. One after another it was a rallying call for the fight against some monster, real or imagined. At least the ranting about Trump includes a real person, even if the bill of indictment is insane. When you think about it, the Russian collusion business is just an updated version of “cavorting with the devil.” Their argument is that Trump made a deal with the evil one, who magically altered the outcome of the 2016 election.

That’s what liberalism is these days. It is a weird collection of superstitions about various ghosts and goblins like racism and white privilege. Racism no longer means prejudice against another race or even antagonism toward another race. Racism is the evil spirit that is somehow responsible for unequal outcomes. White privilege is just another name for the same mysterious force. It’s how millionaire black athletes can be victims of racism because the white middle class fans stop watching them over the anthem protests.

Another aspect of this is the extreme paranoia. Listen to the Left these days and you get the impression America is now the movie The Purge. The faithful spend every night in their bunker homes. Here is a story from Breitbart about Bill Maher claiming that the United States is turning into Iraq. He does not mean the post-war Iraq. He means the the Saddam version where his Al-Bu Nasir tribe ruled over the nation. In Maher’s version, Trump, the Koch brothers and Rupert Murdoch rule over Maher’s oppressed majority.

Now, Maher is a cynical provocateur and opportunist. He was a hack comic for a long time until he figured out how to stoke the fears and fantasies of liberal fanatics. It is debatable as to how much he believes any of the stuff he says. In this case, he is clearly trying to appeal to his audience, by naming three hobgoblins of the Left. The fact that Charles Koch despises Trump and Murdoch was a Hillary supporter makes his theory as nutty as the Russian hacking nonsense, but his audience is not rational.

This vision of themselves as the put upon minority is integral to Progressive identity politics. Not only do the constituencies needs to believe they are victims, the Judeo-Puritan project is rooted in a bunker mentality. Their sense of the world is of a righteous people holed up in a New England town, as the imperial forces encircle them, while they pray the oil holds out until the golem arrives to free them. It is a dogs breakfast of both spiritual and mythological strains that make up modern Progressivism.

Again, Maher does this because he knows his audience is stupid and this stuff works on them, but it speaks to something about the modern Left. Conventional conservatives like the go on about how the Left has no ideas now. That is true in the nuts and bolts public policy sense. The Left is no longer a political force. It’s made the turn and is on its way to becoming the Cult of the Supreme Being. Unlike Robespierre’s invention, this version is esoteric, mysterious and oriental. There is no defined supernatural, just a sense of it.

It’s also very feminine. The hysterical shrieking about the hobgoblins that haunt the Left is reminiscent of the old Blondie cartoons, where the woman would stand on a chair shrieking about a mouse in the kitchen. In a more sophisticated age, the readers knew that the woman’s performance was just that, a performance. It was an acting out and reinforcement of traditional sex roles. Today, when the Progressive climbs onto her chair and shrieks, there is no mouse and no man to rush in and comfort her. It’s a lonely act.

This collapse of Progressivism into a feminine mystery cult is why conventional conservatism has collapsed. Conservatism was never a genuine alternative. Their role was as a foil to the Left. That worked as long as Progressives had a policy agenda, but that is not longer the case. Listen to the leading figures of the Left and their policy proposals range from comically ridiculous to vaguely aspirational. Again, you see the feminization. The Bernie Bros are now Bernie gals like Ocasio-Cortez and Sarah Smith.

What this says about what comes next is hard to know. Spiritual movements are a part of the human condition. Anthropologists think belief is one of the earliest modern human traits, co-evolving with language. As Christianity fades in the West, something must replace it. Maybe we are seeing the birth of the next great religion. Alternatively, the ranting and raving against nature could be the death howls of a culture that has reached its terminal point. The end is a people huddled in darkness, afraid of the goblins outside.

The Power Of Delusion

Way back in the olden thymes, I was going back and forth with a liberal acquaintance about a topic related to his cult’s recent fixation on diversity. I no longer recall the details of the conversation, but at some point he said, “The reason we moved to Arlington was so our child could experience diversity.” He was speaking of Arlington Massachusetts, one of the whitest places on earth. He had moved to honkeyville, but he had somehow convinced himself that it was a rainbow community of racial and ethnic diversity.

Being a polite person, I laughed in his face. There are limits to civility. I doubt he has ever forgiven me for not only laughing at the ridiculous claim, but then proceeding to point out the demographic reality of his new home. Arlington is roughly 85% white and 10% Asian and those Asians will be college professors and professionals. The tiny black and Hispanic population is clustered in one area of town. You can drive around the place all day and never see a brown face that is not riding a lawnmower or leaf blower.

Now, I have no doubt that my former acquaintance and his Progressive hive-mates glorified one another on a regular basis for their embrace of diversity. You can bet they swapped stories about how their kid had a black friend at school or about their supposed friendship with the Muslim coworkers. He actually tried that one on me once. Because it was nothing but virtue signalling, they never faced any push-back. In fact, they got nothing but confirmation from their hive mates, so their delusions were always reinforced.

When people outside the hive wonder how people in the hive can believe the nonsense about diversity and the blank slate, it is important to keep in mind the power of magical thinking. They want this stuff to be true, so they tend to gravitate toward others who have the same fantasies. It is exactly how cults work. The doubt or concern of one member becomes a reason for the rest to double up on their belief. Progressives are people in search of purpose and identity, so they tend to clump together for support.

Whether you call it self-delusion, magical thinking, wishful thinking or whatever, this is powerful juju. My old Progressive acquaintance was not fazed by my mockery or the facts I later sent him. In fact, he has only grown more deluded over the years. He’s now one of those old guys who still wears an “I’m With Her” t-shirt and tells people he is a moderate libertarian. It’s not that he is a liar or crazy, it’s that he so desperately wants this image he has of himself to be true, that he has convinced himself it is fact.

It is not just lefty cult members who are prone to self-delusion. Magical thinking is just the grease that makes the gears of life turn smoothly for people. All of us engage in some degree of it. In fact, it may be a requirement of leadership. Read the biographies of great leaders and you almost always find that they had an extreme over-confidence in their abilities. Often, they believed it was their destiny to achieve greatness. It was what pushed them to conquer the world or accomplish some great contribution to humanity.

At the same time, over-the-top belief in some cause is the driving force behind the great evils of history. Stalin was not mindlessly evil. He believed he was on the side of the righteous, just as the Nazis, Chinese communists and other murderous movements of the last century believed they were on the side of good. The Allies in World War II incinerated cities full of women and children, in order to break the will of the other side, because they thought they were fighting a just cause. The self-righteous make the best killers.

The power of self-delusion is not just the belief in some cause, but belief in the face of available evidence. It’s the conflict between the delusion and reality that is the chemical reaction, releasing energy the believers harness. The American Left refers to themselves as the “resistance” even though they are in complete control. It seems that the greater the gap between observable reality and the delusion, the more fanatical the believer. That conflict between reality and the delusion releases energy in relation to its contrast.

This is a useful thing to keep in mind when dealing with lefty relations. Your well-intended efforts to break the spell, only serve to make it stronger. It is counter intuitive, but the best thing you can do for a deluded friend or relative is to act disinterested. If you argue with them, they see that as proof they are speaking truth to power. If you agree with them, even on a small point, they see that as confirmation. Indifference throws water on that chemical reaction and robs them of the energy to carry on in the face of reality.

This is why the Left forces everyone to pick a side. For example, you cannot be indifferent to the various crotch fads. You are either enlightened or a homophobe, open minded or a gender-normative bigot. There can be no middle ground, because the delusion that fuels these causes depends upon the conflict. The indifferent are the black swans of the delusional. It’s not simply hive-mindedness. It is a need for the conflict between their beliefs about themselves and the reality of the world in which those beliefs conflict.

The Faith Of The Left

An argument I have been making for a long time is that the reason the Left has gone from triumph to triumph is that they are not motivated by reason. Instead, they are powered by a quest for salvation. The social issues that they champion, regardless of any practical considerations, are always cast in moral terms. The issue itself is immaterial. It is being on the right side of the issue that matters. Politics is an endless series of tests they must pass in order to remain on the path of the righteous, leading to the promised land.

This story about Obama’s reaction to the election is a good example.

Riding in a motorcade in Lima, Peru, shortly after the 2016 election, President Barack Obama was struggling to understand Donald J. Trump’s victory.

“What if we were wrong?” he asked aides riding with him in the armored presidential limousine.

He had read a column asserting that liberals had forgotten how important identity was to people and had promoted an empty cosmopolitan globalism that made many feel left behind. “Maybe we pushed too far,” Mr. Obama said. “Maybe people just want to fall back into their tribe.”

His aides reassured him that he still would have won had he been able to run for another term and that the next generation had more in common with him than with Mr. Trump. Mr. Obama, the first black man elected president, did not seem convinced. “Sometimes I wonder whether I was 10 or 20 years too early,” he said.

This is a recurring theme with the American Left. It is the reason they embraced the term “Progressive” as their preferred label. They start with the unspoken belief that the story of man is written. It is the duty of the righteous to live it out in order to reach salvation. It’s why “being on the right side of history” comes up so often. They think of the struggle as between those on the side of the great historical force and those who are standing in the way of it. The righteous are always looking forward and moving forward.

It is also why they think of the past as a dark age dominated by the sinners. There is no romanticism on the American Left, because the past is by definition further away from the glorious future. Instead, the past is filled with monsters that were either slain by the righteous, or locked away, but ready to return at any moment. For example, they remain forever vigilant about the return of Nazis, as if they are a real thing that still exist. In the mind of the American progressive “Nazi” is just another name for Old Scratch.

Notice in that Times piece that the Trump voters are described as “left behind” rather than unhappy or in disagreement. In other words, the people voting for Trump did so because they were sad for having been left behind by the righteous. Voting for Trump was a cry for help. It’s tempting to see this as part of Obama’s narcissism, but in reality his narcissism is also the result of this deep belief in the flow of history. He was chosen to lead the faithful, so of course he is a narcissist. What savior would not be a bit full of himself?

You’ll notice that Progressives are forever warning about some attempt to “turn back the clock” and return us to a former state of sin. It resonates with Progressives, because for them, the eternal quest for salvation means going forward, breaking away from the degraded past. Trump’s “turning the clock back” is viewed as the wages of sin. Obama thinks he tried too hard to deliver his people to the promised land. The result was the great leap backward into Trumpism. It is a lament and call to redouble the efforts of the faithful.

American Progressives are the purest form of true believers, because they have disconnected their beliefs from practical considerations. Therefore, they are immune to facts and reason. When you examine the language they use to describe politics and the culture, you see the extreme mysticism. Obama does not even really know what “left behind” means, but he is sure it is a bad thing. For him, it is a purely a spiritual issue to be thought of in those terms. Practical considerations simply have no salience for him.

The error the Right has made for generations is to think it is possible to prove the Left wrong, and therefore force them to abandon their agenda. That’s like thinking you can disprove sections of the Koran and cause the Muslims to abandon their faith. In fact, efforts to do so will always be met with a fierce defense of the faith. Practical arguments always embolden the righteous, as it confirms their belief in themselves as moral agents in a holy cause. Your irrational resistance is proof they are on the righteous path.

It’s why the Left have been so effective since the end of the Cold War, but also why it has become so extreme and bizarre. Defending socialism meant ceding authority to objective data like the unemployment rate or GDP growth. That served as a check on the more unhinged elements. Once free of these objective measures, it became a race to come up with the most extreme and bizarre identity group to champion. Lacking a limiting principle, and untethered from practical reality, the Left got increasingly extreme.

While it looks like the left is headed for some sort of crack up or possibly a dormant phase, it is important to remember that people have to believe in something. The reason conservatism was such a flop is it never tried to appeal to this aspect of man’s nature. It was the ideology of the bookkeeper. No matter how fat, dumb and happy, people will always yearn for the eternal. If there is to be an alternative to the prevailing orthodoxy, it is going to have to offer an alternative to those who desire to be on the side of angels.

Prince Rupert’s Revenge

In my youth, it was possible to have cordial and even friendly relations with people in the Progressive cult. I spent many hours debating my lefty friends over drinks, about the defects of various central planning schemes. Anyone my age or older remembers the way these debates would go. One side talked about economic justice for the working class, while the other side talked about the glory of free markets. Usually, the “right-winger” would bring up the Soviets, as an example of the failures of central planning and socialism.

Often, one side or the other would get mad, but it was rarely personal. People get hot in political debates, mostly because we are social animals. Conflict with people inside our group vexes us. It makes us uncomfortable. That was the thing. Liberals and non-liberals could operate in the same peer group. The reason is the Left and Right back then, agreed on the goals. Both sides wanted prosperity. The Left believed socialism produced equitable plenty, while the Right believed a rising tide lifted all boats.

Thinking back, a strange thing happened in the 1990’s, with regards to my own debates with lefty friends and acquaintances. The debates in the 90’s were almost all about the peculiar personal lives of Bill and Hillary Clinton. The Right was always scandal mongering and the Left was conjuring novel defenses for the degeneracy of Bill Clinton and the personal corruption of Hillary. These revolved around Red Team/Blue Team scat fights, that had little to do with policy or ideology. It was just ritualized tribal warfare.

That changed instantly with the 2000 election. All of my lefty friends and acquaintances went insane overnight.  They hated Bush with the intensity of a fanatic. The wars made it impossible to have a discussion with the Left, outside of things like the weather. Granted, many of us were naive about the lunacy of the neocons and what they were planning, but the Left’s opposition was never more than shrieking madness. How does one debate someone who thinks Halliburton controls the weather and attacked New Orleans?

I remember thinking my lefty friends would return to sanity after Bush left office, but that never happened. A few stopped foaming at the mouth, but for the most part, they crossed into a realm from which there is no return. In the Obama years, they went from one peculiar fad to the next. One week it was homosexual marriage, while the next week it was claims about sex being a social construct. There’s simply no discussion, much less debating, the racial and sexual utopia that is now the center of the Progressive cult.

Looking back, it’s useful to think about the fight between the official Left and the official Right as a set piece battle on an agreed upon battlefield. At the center of both lines was economics. The Right had religious archers and the constitutional conservatives on the flanks, but the center of the army was formed around economic issues. Similarly, the Left had race hustlers, second and third wave feminists on the flanks, but their main line troops, the center of the line, were economic Utopians. They were the main army.

The collapse of the Soviet Union had an enormous impact on the ruling classes of the West. In America, it meant the center of the Progressive army broke and fled in all directions. The flanks, however, the racial justice warriors, the gender dragoons and exotic identity battalions rushed into the center, forming a new main line of the Left. The Right, despite carrying the day, was too busy setting up battlefield trophies to notice that the Left had reformed around sexual and racial fanatics, so they promptly surrendered.

A curious thing is happening to this new center of the Progressive battle line. Their moral certainty about the innate equality of man and his infinite malleability, is crumbling in the face of scientific reality. The release of David Reich’s book is the latest direct hit on Boasian anthropology. The response from the soft sciences, which has been a key intellectual authority for the blank slate Progressives, looks like a panicked flight from the battle field. They simply have no answer to what genetic research is revealing about man.

The tent pole holding up modern Progressivism is the assertion that all humans are essentially the same and that the observable differences are trivial. All of the Left’s arguments spring from that belief. It’s why they insist the magic of white privilege is the reason black crime is so high or rape culture is why girls don’t go into STEM fields at the same rate as boys. In other words, magic is a plausible answer, as long as reality is ruled out as an option. Biological realism explodes the center of Progressive theology.

That’s what we see happening all over the human sciences. Twenty years ago, some guy in a cardigan could claim that racism was learned behavior and their was no biological basis for race. He could be held up as an intellectual authority and therefore, a moral authority. Genetics is undermining the intellectual authority of those preaching cultural anthropology, multiculturalism and the blank slate. The main line of the Progressive army is suddenly looking like a bunch of primitives chanting oogily-boogily.

It’s tempting to say I’m getting ahead of myself, but we have millions of people relying on DNA services to map their ancestry. Genetics is promising new cures for disease and soon, people will be able to get their intellectual destiny for $50. It will not be long before some clever fertility lab begins offering bespoke artificial insemination, using donors with desirable traits, based on their genetics. There’s some of that happening now. People are becoming habituated to the idea that humans are different, because of biology, not culture.

The question, of course, is where does the Left go now. In the late 19th and early 20th century, what we call Progressivism was mostly a Protestant crusade. In the 20th century, they shifted to embracing  the economic utopianism of socialism, with racial and sexual politics as side acts. For the last three decades, the dream of sexual and racial utopias has been the dominant theme of the Left. Once the blank slate is broken on the wheel of biological reality, what comes next? What replaces the center of the line?

The answer could be nothing. There are many currents to American history, but the dominant one is what John Derbyshire calls the Cold Civil War. It is our inheritance from the mother country. The story of America has been the good whites and bad whites, the Roundheads and Cavaliers, fighting for control of the country. It’s also a conflict of visions, where the Roundheads always embraced extreme egalitarianism, while the Right has embraced the natural hierarchy of man. Maybe the end is a Cavalier victory after all.

The Eternal Hive

The late great Joe Sobran came up with the metaphor of the insect hive to describe the group behavior of various sorts of Progressives. It was a useful way of describing the spontaneous cooperation that has always been a feature of the Left.  It is the dominant feature. Progressives will suddenly flock to an issue, all chanting the same lines and howling the same protests, as if they are a trained army of lunatics unleashed on the rest of society. It is a behavior that looks coordinated, but it is spontaneous and instinctive.

The most recent example of this was the reaction to the Dylann Roof shooting at the black church. All of sudden, as if commanded by a super villain from a secret lair, the nation’s Progressive loonies began chanting in unison about the Confederate battle flag. Even the sober minded had to wonder if this was not a planned effort, all setup and ready for the signal from HQ. Within a few hours we went from indifference to Confederate symbols to roving bands of lunatics toppling over statues and digging of Confederate graves.

Imagine the sort of person, who, upon hearing about a shooting, immediately thinks it is time to topple over a statue in their local park. What sort of person sees their coreligionists howling about something and then begins howling uncontrollably as well. Imagine what it is like to have no agency, in terms of how you react to public events. Presumably, there is something stimulating to the person who does this. Perhaps the swarm behavior releases endorphins, freeing the adherent from the torment of reality for a while.

It’s not an unimportant question. A generation ago, Progressives were programmed to swarm over economic issues. Socialism still provided the general framework of their imagined utopia, so they regularly launched into assaults on business, claiming to defend the interests of the working class. Yet, when socialism collapsed, Progressives quickly shifted from socialist utopianism to sexual and racial utopianism. The same people who used to put Darwin fish on their Subaru, now howl about scientific racism.

Sobran was correct to point out that Progressives have the same reaction to perceived threats as bees when they fear a threat. The resulting attacks are not indiscriminate, but they are excessive. The Progressive has a binary view of the world, where those inside are allies and those outside are enemies. In this regard, Progressivism functions like cult, where the focus of the adherents is always on a devil, real or imagined. The difference is, their devil is a shape-shifter, taking on new forms to fit every occasion.

It’s tempting to assume that a pattern must have some causal agent, some intelligent force behind it. It is the nature of man to confuse cause and purpose. In fact, this is why efforts to oppose the Progressive war on the American culture have always failed. The defenders assumed an intelligible purpose behind the actions of the Left so they invested their time in defeating those arguments. In reality, the cause of Progressive rage was always a biological response to what the groups has determined to be a threat to the hive.

Another way the Left functions like a hive is how individual members react to being cut off, even temporarily, from the hive. A lefty in a room full of people it perceives as hostile will become very passive. Reverse the roles and put a normal person in a room full of Progressives and they will attack him relentlessly. It’s why far left TV shows have a narrow, but loyal following. It is how the isolated Progressive can connect with the other members of the hive. These TV shows are the televangelists of the Left

This is probably why the Left has become obsessed with purging dissent from the Internet. Social media now supplements the pheromones used to synchronize behavior of the group. Twitter and FaceBook are becoming neural pathways for the hive, so that far flung members can pick up cues from other members. “Trending in Twitter” is becoming a way for Progressives to know what they are suppose to like and, more important, what they are supposed to hate. Right wingers on social media scramble the signal.

Even though observed patterns may not have a central control mechanism, they must have a cause. In the case of Progressives, it is clearly something biological. Even those who manage to leave the cult, never really lose the hive mindedness. Like reformed smokers, they usually direct this instinct to criticizing their former hive mates. You never see a former Progressive activist that is now disconnected from social causes, living a quiet life alone somewhere. When Lefty leave the hive, it is to serve another queen.

Most likely, this behavior traces back to the dawn of man. A deep, emotional commitment to the group would have evolutionary advantages. Status within the group would be higher for those who were most ferocious in defending the group. Well into the agricultural age, the leader of a people was often the most celebrated warrior. Perhaps this small group instinct manifests in a organized society, as a form of social fanaticism. In all times and all places, the reformer imagines himself protecting the weak from the strong.

Fanaticism, of course, has its utility to organized societies. The Greeks figured this out when observing that warriors were most ferocious when fighting on their own land. When advancing into foreign lands, they became more conservative. A focused, controllable fanatic is very useful in warfare. Similarly, organized religions can never have a shortage of those willing to risk it all to spread the good word. More than a few zealots ended up in the cannibal’s pot, but there were always more zealots ready to convert the cannibal.

This innate hive-like behavior of some elements of Western society has obviously not been a detriment to progress. The thing is though, there has always been a transcendent set of limiting principles, operating like a leash on the fanatic. Christianity, for all its faults, puts hard limits on what people can do to one another. When that is removed, the zealots are free to attack perceived enemies without restraint. Like Africanized honeybees, utopian socialists of various types slaughtered tens of millions they saw as threats.

The key insight of Sobran was that the hive-like behavior of the American Left was not caused by socialism or radical ideology. The causal relationship was the other way around. The hive-like behavior was a constant, a part of the American biology. When the socialist paradise collapsed, the Left switched to sexual and racial utopianism. That means when the current rage heads burn what’s left of society, only to not arrive at the promised land, they will find some new fantasy to embrace. The Hive is eternal.

 

Things Are Looking Up

A pretty good rule of politics is that your enemies will always give you terrible advice. It is a lesson the so-called conservatives and Republicans have never learned. The Left offers them advice and they jump at the chance to take it. The corollary to this is you know you are doing something right when your enemies try to steal your issues. The Tories figured out that UKIP was getting traction on immigration, so they moved right on the issue and offered a referendum on Europe. It worked, even though it tanked Cameron’s career.

We have not seen much of that since the start of the populist revolt led by Trump in the GOP primaries. In fact, the GOP went the other way. The higher Trump’s polls rose, the more they rejected Trump’s issues. It was a weird thing, but the Republicans are not called the stupid party by accident. Even after he won, his own party is struggling to come to terms with the new reality. The Left, in contrast, is good at politics, so seeing some rumblings on the their side about adopting nationalist themes is interesting.

Across the Western world, center-left parties are in trouble: In Germany, Austria, France, and the Netherlands, social democrats have suffered historic electoral defeats. Right-wing populists, meanwhile, have scored a series of victories, including Trump’s election, the vote for Brexit, and the continuing erosion of liberal democratic institutions in Hungary and Poland.

But while many people take for granted an inherent contradiction between nationalism and left-wing politics, there simply isn’t one, either historically or philosophically. Throughout the 20th century, progressives mobilized for social justice most successfully when they spoke in the name of national solidarity rather than focusing exclusively on class-based interests or on abstract notions of justice. Left-wingers often cite the adage that patriotism is the last resort of the scoundrel — and with good reason. But it is important to also remember that a deep sense of national commitment underpins the egalitarian institutions we hold dear.

The historian Michael Kazin put it mildly when he wrote that patriotism “is not a popular sentiment on the contemporary left.” The influential British left-wing commentator George Monbiot has equated patriotism with racism: To give in to patriotism, he writes, is to deny the plain truth “that someone living in Kinshasa is of no less worth than someone living in Kensington.”

Yet in giving up on appeals to national solidarity, the left has forgotten the basic political argument that served it so well in the past: that out of the ties that bind together our national communities emerges a deep commitment to the well-being, welfare, and social esteem of our fellow citizens. This recognizes a basic moral intuition: We have deep and encompassing obligations to those we consider our own, based on a shared sense of membership in a community of fate — or more simply, based on our shared national identity.

American Progressives are pegged as fanatical ideologues, but that misses an essential feature of the American Left. They can turn on a dime and reverse course if it has practical value. In the Clinton years, Bill Clinton scoffed at homosexual marriage. Even Obama seemed to be revolted by the idea. Yet, they spun around on a dime and embraced the whole rainbow collation of sexual deviants when it suited them. Hillary Clinton ran her 2016 campaign on the not so subtle theme that she was an old lesbian.

Bernie Sanders did a lot of damage in the 2016 primary because he had a reputation for left-wing populism. You can be sure that he regrets abandoning his closed borders position that he held for decades. There’s a good bet he would have done much better if he had embraced a halt to immigration as a way to help the working class. The alt-right guys will tell you that some of guys came to their thing from the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democrat coalition. You can bet Democrats have noticed this as well.

None of this should suggest the Left is about to go alt-right, but when old liberal warhorses are on the ropes, because the “New Americans” are voting for their own, you can be sure there is some soul searching going on now. The math says the coalition of fringes only works if the fringe types are just a supplement to the core white vote that has always voted Democrat. Once the fringes decide they want to be in charge, and they have the numbers to make it happen, there’s no room for whitey at the top of the party.

It’s hard to know where this will go. The Left is committed to identity politics and to open borders, but that does not mean they cannot find a way to adopt populist and even nationalist language. On the other hand, the Left has pivoted on issues when practical politics demanded it. Regardless, It really does not matter from the point of view of populists and nationalists. If the other side is trying to figure out how to steal these issues, it means these issues are working. It means we’re doing something right.

Imagination Land

All of us live in a silo of our own making to some degree. We read news sites we like and we like them because they tend to cover the stuff we think is important, in a way we hope is accurate. We admire opinions with which we agree. We hang out with people who share our interests. That’s normal. It’s also normal to know it and know others have different opinions and interests. Most normie conservatives get that Fox News is biased toward the Republicans, but they know all of the other stations are heavily biased to the Democrats.

This self-awareness has never applied to the Left. Every normal person has had a conversation with a Progressive friend where they claim the news is biased against them or is too easy on some conservative they currently hate. They will argue that Fox News is poisoning the minds of the public. When you point out that 90% of the mass media is run by hard left true believers, they scoff and say you’re nuts. The hive mind of Progressives has always allowed them to pretend they are surrounded by a sea of their enemies.

One point made by some on the Dissident Right is that this blinkered view of the world has infected the so-called conservatives. They are blind to the intellectual revolution going on over here, because they stare at Lefty all day. Like people looking directly into the sun, they are blind to everything else. As a result, the legacy conservatives carry on like it is 1984 and Dutch Reagan is riding high. Much of what so-called conservatism is these days is just a weird nostalgia trip, celebrating a fictional past with no connection to the present.

There are many reasons why so-called conservatives are becoming irrelevant, but the main reason is that their good friends on the Left are racing off into a fantasy land of their own creation. Listen to a modern Progressive talk and it is a weird combination of echolalic babbling and paranoia about dark forces that are imaginary. Replace “Russian hacking” with “work of the devil” and their howling makes more sense. Things like “foreign meddling” and “institutional racism” are just stand-ins for Old Scratch.

This increasingly weird disconnect between the Left and this place we call earth shows up in their main propaganda organs. Those old enough to remember reading English versions of communist newspapers can recognize the unintended humor on the front pages of the New York Times and Washington Post. This front page item from last week is a good example. Everything in that “news” story describes a world that only exists in the fevered imaginations of the Left. It was a fictional account of present reality written for believers.

This Andrew Sullivan piece bumps up against this reality a little bit, but from a different angle. His argument is that the fantasy land of academia is casting a long shadow over American society, so it is imperative that the college campus be reformed to look something like reality. His framing of things is mostly wrong because he is just a slightly less berserk member of the hive he is trying analyze. His description of the dynamic on campus, though, is correct. It is a world untethered from reality.

The fact is, the college campus is the apotheosis of Progressive spiritualism. It has been dominated by the Left for as long as anyone has been a live. The constant flow of credit money into American higher education has removed all restraints on the people in charge. They are free to indulge whatever fantasies they have at the moment, as no one ever gets fired and the money spigot stays open. As a result, the American college campus is the full flowering of the Progressive imagination. It’s Wakanda for cat ladies.

This lurch into madness is the result of plenty. Up until recent, the threat of nuclear annihilation and the lack of universal prosperity has reined in the excesses of the Left. In order to win elections, Progressive politicians had to focus on better economics and expanding opportunity. Of course, the Cold War kept everyone focused on practical reality, as a mistake could have set off a nuclear exchange. That’s no longer the case as prosperity is near universal, in human terms, and there are no looming threats.

Progressivism has always been a spiritual movement. It is the quest for cosmic justice based on the notion that we are only as good as the weakest among us. That is a fine and noble sentiment, as long as it remains a sentiment. The reality of scarcity has always kept this spiritualism in check. As we enter into what appears to be a post-scarcity world, Progressives are free to explore the far reaches of their mysticism. The result is a ruling class that is looking more like eastern mystics, than pragmatic rulers.

It is why civic nationalism is a dead end street. You see it in the Andrew Sullivan piece about the campus culture. What he is arguing in favor of is the same things we hear from civic nationalists. They all agree with Progressives that we need a unifying religion. They just want a debate about the contours and end points of the religion. The fact that no one has ever pulled this off without ushering in a bloodbath never gets mentioned, Instead, all of these folks prefer to frolic in imagination land, where all their dreams come true.

Dealing With Lefty

Most of us have a Progressive or two in our lives that we have to deal with on a regular basis. No matter how hard you try to avoid talking politics or current events with them, it always happens and you come away frustrated by the experience. The reason for this is Lefty is nothing but political, so even discussing the weather can lead to them veering the conversation into something like global warming. Progressives have politicized every nook and cranny of life, so dealing with a liberal means wrangling over Progressivism.

What makes it doubly frustrating is that normal people tend to treat people as if they are normal, rather than members of a bizarre religious cult. You forget yourself and make a reference to current events and all of a sudden you’re wrangling with Lefty over some topic in a way you find deeply frustrating. Usually they take something you have said and twist it around so that you find yourself trying to defend something you never thought much about or you never intended to discuss. It’s as if they exist to be a social irritant.

That’s the first rule when dealing with Lefty. As soon as you realize you are dealing with one of these people, accept that everything they say is somehow the opposite of reality. The Progressive mind is a lot like the mind of a criminal, in that it assumes its own guilt and acts accordingly. The criminal says things to lead prying eyes away from their own culpability. The Progressive will accuse others of things he or his cult is mostly like doing at the moment. When they accuse X of something, it means Lefty is probably doing it.

The Russian hacking stuff is turning out to be a great example of this. Exactly no one in America thought about the the possibility of Boris and Natasha scheming to upset the last election, until out of the blue, Progressives started saying it. A year later we have learned that it was not Trump working with the Russians, but members of the cult inside government that were scheming with the Russians. None of this would have come to light, but the guilty minds of the Left compelled them to accuse others of their criminality.

Similarly, the Progressive, on an individual basis, will seek to shift the focus from the topic at hand to something related, but far enough away from the topic to send the conversation off on a tangent. The most common method is “What about X?” Mention some failing of Progressives and Lefty will blurt out “what about X among your right-wingers?” Normal decent people respond to questions and Lefty uses that decency to avoid addressing the failings of his cult. Lefty naturally shifts the focus off himself.

Another trick Lefty will use is to start talking about exceptions. This is another way of distracting from some obvious truth, like the fact blacks commit a lot of crime, to a debate about exceptions and outliers. The alt-right boys call this tactic NAXALT, as in Not All X Are Like That. As with the above tactic, this is all about shifting the focus from an unpleasant topic for Lefty. Put the two together and in a few questions, Lefty can shift the conversation so far from the original topic, you no longer remember what you were saying.

This is why you always avoid answering a question from Lefty. The surest way to send him into a panic, is to respond to the “What about X” trick with “Let’s not lose focus” and then return to the original point. An alternative is “We can talk about that, but first let’s focus on” and then get back to the issue. This almost always causes them to spasm as they are being forced to address an unpleasant topic and what they thought was an easy escape is now turning into a trap. Often, they just walk away or explode in anger.

That’s the thing to keep in mind when dealing with Lefty. You can no more convince them to question their faith than you can talk a schizophrenic out of being crazy.  All they can be for you is a prop, or, if you get good at tormenting them, a toy to kill some time when the you have time to kill. This is the hardest thing for normal people to accept. Normal people think they can cure Lefty by presenting facts and evidence. There is no cure. These people are forever lost to a form of mental illness. Just accept that and act accordingly.

Most important, when dealing with Lefty, always make him the focus. A good tactic is what that British dunce Cathy Newman tried to do to Jordan Peterson. “So what your position is…” is a good way to focus on Lefty in a very personal way. They hate this. They want to believe they are simply accepting transcendent truths, rather than their own individual opinion. That’s the thing with people in cults. They hate themselves. That’s why they are in a cult so they no longer have to face themselves or have their own identity.

By personalizing the topic, re-framing it as their opinion or their belief, it has the effect of separating them from the herd. Often they will become quite passive and even submissive. That’s because Lefty has no opinions of his own. He truly is the Borg and the Borg is him. He sees no separation between himself and the faith, so isolating him rhetorically makes him feel detached from his true identity. It’s why liberals always set their chat shows up as a gang attack on some helpless non-liberal.

Finally, always insist on clear, plain language. A central tactic of the Left is to disrupt the opposition by sabotaging the language. The habit of expanding the definition of words to include fringe or dubious examples, then contracting the definition to exclude the original stuff. The use of modifiers to turn definitions on their head or neologism that conjure banal or even pleasant images for negative things. The game is to force you to accept their language, which is a back door way of forcing their moral framework on you.