The Panic Culture

Note: There is the weekly Taki post. It is another take on the Covid panic and ties in well with today’s post. For the audiophiles, there is a Sunday podcast up behind the green door. Of course, if you buy me a beer, you get my secret writings.


Now that the Covid panic is finally winding down, it is a good time to look at how it quickly became a religion for many people. It is fair to assume that most people looked at Covid as a blend of public health and public policy. They do not know much about either topic, so they trusted what they were told. Others, however, embraced Covid and the rules around it like a new religion. The rituals and statistics quickly became the central point around which they organized their lives.

One of the first signs of this happening were the personal testimonials. By the late spring of last year, the Covidian had stories to tell. “I know of four people who have died from Covid this month” was a popular one. Despite the statistical improbability, millions were telling us about their personal war with Covid. The victims became younger as the age realty became apparent. Finally at the end, we are getting stories about the unvaccinated dying despite being healthy.

The joiner always personalizes her latest fetish. On the one hand, it lets her be the star of the story. We saw this after 9/11, where millions of people swore they knew someone in the towers. It is also a personal testimony to show how the believer has now given herself over to the faith. It is a show of piety. Of course, it also insulates the believer from having to explain herself. It is an appeal to authority in which her alleged suffering makes her the unquestionable authority.

Then there is the suffering that comes with every civic religion. Sacrifice is an important part of all religions. Membership is not supposed to be easy as the value of anything easily attained is always low. In the case of Covid, the goofy mask wearing, standing six feet apart and other nonsense was quickly and mindlessly embraced. It was a public sacrament, like taking communion. Of course, this gave the Covidian a chance to lecture the rest of us about the need to respect their piety.

The ascetic is an important part of every religion. The vegetarian makes a big show of not eating meat, because their role requires it. Similarly, the keto adherent will let you know she does not eat carbohydrates. Food-based cults are always popular with ascetics, because all of them require abstention. In the case of Covid, the constant slathering of hand sanitizer was the sign of their discipline. The Covidian never missed a chance to perform the ritual before every activity.

It is not an accident that the same people who tote grimy canvas sacks to the grocery store were the first to embrace the rituals of Covid. All civic religions in the modern age come with these piety symbols, usually with a corporate logo. Public television stations made millions giving members tote bags with the logo on them. Note that American sports teams quickly rushed out branded face masks. In a world of strangers, displaying your corporate overlord is important.

Hoffer famously pointed out that “What starts out here as a mass movement ends up as a racket, a cult, or a corporation.” He was wrong about this, in that our rackets and cults tend to come with a corporate sponsor. In our highly atomized and corporatized existence, the corporate logo provides legitimacy. The Apple logo replaced the Darwin fish, for example. The Church of Covid became a money making racket, a cult and it was sponsored by our corporate overlords.

Every religion has its apostles, and this was no different. The army of pseudo-intellectual poseurs that spring up in the media are always there to add authority to the latest narratives. All of a sudden, anyone with a connection to medicine or immunology was preaching from a digital street corner. The fact that none of them knew a thing about this disease or public policy did not matter. All that mattered is they were there telling us to repent or fear the wrath of Covid.

Probably the most obnoxious aspect of the civic religion is the martyrs. Because democracy turns deadbeats into civil servants and civil servants into priests, every politician quickly became a martyr to the cause. Every state with draconian Covid laws has a governor who publicly nailed herself to the cross. You see, they really hate passing these crazy laws, but they are suffering for all of us in this twilight struggle against the great threat to humanity known as Covid.

It is worth noting that Covid seems to have blended several strains of social pathology into a single event. We have the civic religion, but there is also the primitive fear of nature and nature’s wrath. Then there is the panic. This is what really gave the whole thing its juice. Like the satanic panics or the day care panics or the witch trials, the Covid panic caused most people to suspend their sense of disbelief. The lack of evidence became a weird proof of the danger.

Finally, what the Covid panic may indicate is that these ritualized panics will become more common and intense. If people will believe the flu is an extinction event, then they will believe just about anything. It is the old expression, people who believe in nothing will fall for anything. America and the West is now populated with gullible, deracinated primitives looking for a reason to exist. The future may be one crisis after another, each more bizarre and ridiculous than the last.


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

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

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


The New One True Faith

Note: The regular Monday post is up at Taki. This week it is a take on the paleo concept of anarcho-tyranny. There’s a review of Patton behind the green door. For those who like the podcast, there is a new feature behind the green door. This is a short Sunday podcast on news items from the week. If you would like to buy the hardest working man in dissident politics a beer, you can now do so here.


Upon assuming the thrown in 568 AD, the Visigoth king Reccared converted from Arian to Chalcedonian Christianity. This led to some unrest in the kingdom, as the Visigoths had always been Arian. The Arians were mostly tolerant of other religions, including paganism, but the Chalcedonians were not so charitable. Reccared put down the unrest and then oversaw the Third Council of Toledo in 589, where he announced his faith in the Nicene creed and denounced Arianism.

The spiritual differences between Arians and Catholics may be of interest to those with an interest in theology, but what matters to us today is that the trinitarians were the winners in the theological debates within the early church. From that point forward, there was one true faith in the Visigoth kingdom. The people were expected to convert to the new faith. Those who refused could expect some form of repression, ranging from extra taxes to expulsion from the kingdom.

Why Reccared converted to Catholicism is not all that clear. The material benefits, if they existed, have been lost over the centuries. His conversion brought with it new conflicts, especially with the Jews of his kingdom. The Arian kings had been disinterested in the faith of their subjects, which meant they could get along with the Jews, who were quite powerful in parts of the kingdom. That ended with the conversion of Reccared, as the Catholics were not tolerant of Jews.

What happened in Spain under the Visigoths would be repeated many times over the centuries in Europe. The ruling class would convert, and the people were expected to convert along with them. In England, which was controlled by many different kings, the Church converted one at time, the same way they converted Reccared. Of course, the same pattern would remerge in the Reformation. The rulers would change religion and the people would be forced to change their religion as well.

If you wanted to pinpoint the birth of universalism and universal intolerance in the West, the early Middle Ages is probably a good place to start. The Romans persecuted a lot of Christians and Jews, but it was mostly because they saw these movements as a direct threat to their power. By the middle ages, persecution of heretics was no longer about threats to power, but about violation of a universal truth. The mere existence of doubters or skeptics was seen as a threat to the one true faith.

The thing is, from the perspective of the common people, these changes at the top probably made little sense. Imagine you are a proud Goth who has served in the king’s army and then one day you are told you have to change religions. The reason is that the old religion was all wrong. In the case of the Visigoths, this happened twice. Once when some guy created a bunch of squiggles he claimed was your language and everyone became Arians. Then again when Reccared renounced Arianism.

People today should be able to relate to this. Within living memory, the rulers made a point of showing they were faithful Christians. Jimmy Carter was an Evangelical who spoke openly about his faith. Reagan salted his language with Christian references and Bill Clinton carried a Bible around with him. Today our rulers worship black people and think men in dresses are the fullest expression of womanhood. The schools now teach us the evils of whiteness and white privilege.

As with the Christian era in the West, this new religion brings with it an extreme intolerance of skepticism and doubt. Men are being fired from their jobs because they are not enthusiastic enough for the new faith. Those who challenge the faith are anathematized in the same way the early Church would anathematize those who challenged them. Our rulers have not started breaking heretics on the wheel or decorating the streets with the crucified, but it is still early.

We also see the universalism of the new faith. The rulers who embrace this new religion are sure it is the only way any human society can live. All of those in the past, the people that made the present possible, we monstrous sinners. Those in the present, clinging to alternative faiths, are monsters that must be destroyed. The ruling class of America wants to have a nuclear war with Russia over homosexuality. The Crusaders were insanely tolerant compared to today’s crusaders.

There are differences obviously. The universal faith that emerged in the early middle ages provided a social structure in which the West could begin to advance materially and intellectually. Whatever its faults, the Church provided a complex moral and social order that eventually resulted in what we think of as Western Civilization. The faith emerging today among our rulers is a step back into barbarism. It is a reversion to some pre-modern mean, corresponding with the collapse of the West.

The other big difference is the rulers converting to or from the Church in the past did so mostly out of conviction. There were material interests, for sure, but most genuinely believed in what they were doing. They thought what they were doing was in the best interest of their people. Today the rulers are guided by what they imagine is in the worst interest of their people. This new religion is not about elevating them or their people, but about harming the people who make their rule possible.

The other big difference between now and past conversions is the people did not have much to lose by going along with the king’s new religion. Life in the early middle ages was not easy, so giving up the old gods for this new thing or changing from one form of Christ worship to another slightly different form was not a huge risk. The conversion we are seeing today threatens the very existence of the West. If our rulers are wrong, the ape historians of the future will puzzle over why we went along with it.


A new year brings new changes. The same is true for this site as we adjust to the reality of managerial authoritarianism. That means embracing crypto for when the inevitable happens and the traditional outlets are closed. Now more than ever it is important to support the voices that support you. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you prefer other ways of donating, look at the donate page. Thank you.


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.


Reno To Damascus

As the Trump story arc reaches a conclusion over the next few weeks, there will be a lot of writing and talking about the meaning of the last four years. The racketeers of the conservative movement have already concluded that the last four years were just an anomaly and they can go back to the same old rackets. Like career criminals, they learn nothing from the past. Others appear to have been chastened by the experience and are coming out of the other end questioning their old ways.

One of those post-Trump men appears to be the editor of First Things, the conservative religious journal founded by Richard John Neuhaus. The editor, R. R. Reno, published this in the old left-wing magazine Newsweek, in which he sounds more like Pat Buchanan than the typical conservative. In fact, his essay probably would have been accepted by the old paleoconservative journal, Chronicles, as an olive branch to mend the three-decade rift between First Things and the paleos.

What makes Reno’s post interesting is that he was a fervent anti-Trump advocate the last four years. He participated in the now infamous National Review symposium, in which they demanded the rules of the Republican Party be changed to prevent Trump from winning the nomination. His contribution was to offer up the left-wing slur that Trump was a fascist in a business suit and that the people supporting him were stupid and disgusting. They were “trumpster diving.”

There seems to be a great deal of spiritual distance between the 2016 R. R. Reno and the 2020 R. R. Reno, at least in tone, if not substance. In fairness to Reno, he has not been a running dog lackey of Conservative Inc. He has been more of a barking dog around the conservative caravan, as it follows the Left from fad to fad. Often a critic, but never an opponent and always there by the caravan at each stop. He is a critic of conservatism, but one welcome at their events.

This is not a new posture by Reno. During the 2016 Republican primary he made some very sensible observations about Trump and the dynamic in the primary. While most of the conservative racketeers were in the streets rending their garments to show their liberal masters, they were horrified by what was happening, Reno noticed the obvious and was willing to say it. That said, he made sure to underscore that he thought Trump was a “dangerous figure in our public life.”

This is not the first time the First Things crew has struggled to maintain their position as friendly critic of conservatism. Back in 1992, they found themselves in a similar spot when Bill Buckley was purging the paleocons. Most of what First Things claims to support fall on the paleo side, but the money and good living were on the neocon side, so they threw in with Buckley. As George Washington once said, no man is so virtuous as to refuse the highest bidder.

Now, to be even more fair, Reno and the First Things crew could simply be working the same racket they have for years. On the one hand they advocate traditional conservative positions on culture, economics, politics and so on, while publicly opposing anyone that attempts to build a political movement on those issues. They supported the Buchanan message, but not the messenger, for example. They sympathized with the Trump voters, but opposed their candidate.

We will know soon enough if the social conservatives from Conservative Inc. had an epiphany during the Trump years. The rally scheduled for January 6th in the Imperial Capital is both unprecedented and a harbinger. Unlike the Buchanan or Perot movements, the Trump movement will outlive its founder. The people who voted for Trump did so knowing that the time for reform is running out. Many now think it has run out and it is time for something to replace the corrupt system.

Where the establishment social conservatives like R. R. Reno come down with regards to things like the America First movement, led by Nick Fuentes, will reveal if they are just running the old grift or have had an awakening. CPAC is next month in Orlando Florida and AFPAC will be holding their event there at the same time. Last year AFPAC drew hundreds and this year will be even bigger. The people getting tens of thousands in the streets of DC are building a genuine movement now.

For social conservatives like Mr. Reno and the First Things crowd, Fuentes and his groypers should be their ideal vehicle. They can be a little coarse, for sure, but that’s true of all young people. Otherwise, they make a clean presentation and are not afraid to express their Christian faith as part of the politics. While the First Things people are at CPAC next month, they should consider swinging by AFPAC. Mr. Reno could sit down and have a chat with Fuentes. It can be arranged.

The question for social conservatives with regards to politics is what compromises should be made in order to participate in the system. This was the dilemma faced by Buckley and his conservative movement. In their case, there was no compromise they were unwilling to make in order to have a place at the table. For social conservatives to avoid the same fate, they will from time to time need to back someone who is willing to go inside and flip over those tables.

That should be the takeaway for someone like R. R. Reno. Trump was always an imperfect leader, but he was available and willing to go inside the Temple and toss over those tables. He was never a savior, just a disruption in the system. The people who voted for Trump understood this, for the most part. They knew if he busted things up, then it would open the door for the social changes long advocated by social conservatives and the writers of journals like First Things.

The great mistake of the American Right was to accept the proposition that the Left gets to pick their leaders. The Left told them to jettison Buchanan and the paleocons, so they did and got nothing for their trouble. One lesson of the Trump phenomenon is that this does not have to be the rule. Social conservatives can pick their own leaders and make their own tables. That should be the lesson to the leaders of social conservatism as they come to terms with Trump.


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.


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

The Age Of Covidian

Note: I have a new post up behind the green door on the fourth season of the television series Fargo. I suspect it will be my last post on the series.


An old Ronald Reagan joke from the 1980’s was that the closest thing to immortality was a government program. The first time he said it was in his 1964 speech, A Time for Choosing and it was not intended as a joke. By the 1980’s he had mellowed and the line was so obviously true it made a great punchline. In one of life’s great ironies, the conservative movement actually proved the maxim correct, by never cutting a single program in their time in control of government.

It is a good thing to keep in mind when thinking about the end game for the Covid-19 panic that is entering the ninth month, depending upon who is counting. The great and the good are telling us the prophesied second wave is upon us. Britain is back in lock down, even though all the evidence says it does not work. The Welsh are banned from buying clothes and snacks. The Scots saw their pubs closed. It’s all a big drama to prove that the prophesy was true.

You’ll note in all of this that the thing driving it is the health care industry complex and the army of armchair generals it has spawned. The politicians are simply responding to what the self-proclaimed experts have said. The fact that these experts have been wrong at every turn does not matter. In a modern liberal democracy, expertise is not about factual accuracy or respect earned through hard experience. It is having the right credentials and, most important, having the right friends in government.

There is another old-time expression that applies in this Covid drama. This one is from Eric Hoffer. “What starts out here as a mass movement ends up as a racket, a cult, or a corporation.” In the case of Covid, the panic is becoming all three. It has turned into a mystery cult for many, a jobs racket for others and a money maker for global capital, which has not allowed this crisis go to waste. Rather than a plague from the gods, Covid-19 is manna from heaven for the ruling class.

The cult side of it obvious now. The Covidians are the next turn of the wheel for the people we used to call Gaia worshipers. The whole “earth is about to burn or freeze because you refuse to walk to work” stuff never really worked as hoped. They could inflict small miseries on people, like the use of grimy canvas sacks to tote groceries home, but the cult could be safely ignored. It was also becoming a bit of joke, like being a vegan or a libertarian.

The Church of Covid is a real breakthrough for the sorts of people who need the rest of us to believe they are sacrificing for society. They get to decorate themselves like Star Bellied Sneetches with their masks and endless hand rubbing. Even better, they get to be public scolds, telling the rest of us to be safe. The best part is they get to push people around for their lack of enthusiasm for the rules. In fact, that is quickly becoming an official government position.

The communists were fond of inserting ideological enforcers into the nooks and crannies of life, to keep the rank and file in line. It was a weird admission that most people really did not believe the nonsense from the party, but people would go along with it if they thought they were being watched. Today’s ideological enforcers will be dressed up like surgeons, prowling the streets looking for anyone not sufficiently enthusiastic for the Church of Covid.

Of course, this brings us back to that old maxim about government. All of these people making money from state enforcement of Covid laws are not going to kill the job by calling off the panic. You see, Covid will be with us forever and you will be required to cover your face forever. The same people who say Amy Coney Barrett will force women to wear cloaks in public are demanding everyone cover their face in public. No one will ever accuse the Covidians of being sophisticated.

This brings us to the business side of things. For global capital and government dependent industries, Covid promises nothing but boom times. Small business has been eliminated in much of the country due to the lock downs. Those that have not be crushed will be forced to comply with a thicket of Covid rules. After all, we’re all in this together and regulatory capture is just the price we must pay to be safe.

The public health excuse has allowed the tech firms to justify their takeover of the public space. The popular YouTuber, Paul Ramsey, was suspended for questioning the one true faith. Even mild criticism of official policy is now forbidden on-line. The tech oligarchs have quickly moved from suppressing “disinformation” to crushing even mild dissent from orthodoxy. More important, censorship on-line by anonymous and unaccountable commissars is now completely normal.

This normalization of censorship has been a long-term goal of the tech oligarchs and the Church of Covid now legitimizes it. Another goal of our oligarchs has been to force science to comply with their beliefs. They gained some ground with the Gaia stuff, but Covid is proving to be the kill shot. Researchers are learning that even mild questioning of these bizarre edicts is forbidden. These researchers should investigate a career in food service, as their science careers are now done.

In retrospect, fear of carbon taxes and green initiatives seems kind of quaint compared to what has quickly become the norm in the Age of Covidian. Toting around grimy canvas sacks seems pretty nice compared to masks. Just as facts and observation had no effect on the Gaia worshipers, facts and reason will have no impact on the Covidians, so it means this will be with us until they find a new fear. We’re all Covidians now, whether we like it or not. It the religion of our rulers.

Promotions: 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.


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

Scientific Theology

Way back in the before times, when terms like “multiculturalism” had not escaped the academy, it was assumed that science and math were immune from the politicization that was ongoing in fields like history. After all, history is about storytelling, while math is about getting the right answer. Surely the right answer fields would not succumb to the growing lunacy on the Left, with regards to race, sex and ethnicity. Yet, here we are in the current year and the Left has declared a fatwa against math.

It turns out that lunacy and intelligence are not opposites. Smart people, the sort you tend to find in science departments, can believe in crazy things. This probably should have been obvious to the men of science a long time ago, but scientists, like the lunatics now making war on them, have always had a narrow definition of religion and the supernatural. They fell into the trap of thinking the people spouting oogily-boogily about the gods were churchgoers, not their friends at the university.

A classic example of smart people embracing wacky beliefs is the fascination with communism in the last century. Lots of brilliant people, some working on top-secret government projects, were sure communism was the future. Marxism was their religion in the same way Catholicism was for Blaise Pascal. By the standards of his day, Pascal was considered a religious fanatic, even an extremist, but there’s no disputing his influence on math and science. Religion and science are not oil and water.

That is what we have to keep in mind as the sciences of today are overrun by the modern fanatics. A person capable of sitting through an undergrad degree in biology and then advanced degrees in human sciences is also capable of thinking their penis is a human construct and they are oppressed by pronouns. People are of two minds, the moral and the empirical. The former will always override the latter when it comes to their group participation. Morality is the shared reality of the group.

That’s important to keep in mind when these epistles are issued by random clerics and imams of the academy. The people putting these together are not using their science brain, which is why that post is largely devoid of science. Instead, they are using their moral brain in order to both reassure themselves by huddling tighter with their coreligionists, but also to increase their standing within that group. You can be sure they got plenty of positive feedback from their fellow members of the hive.

The anti-science quality of that post is clear in the second paragraph. The authors talk about “dark forces” in the same way a primitive would warn villagers of spectral forces he experienced in the forest. That’s not a phrase that has any business in a post about facts, but it is not a post about facts. It is an effort to anathematize a set of facts that contradict deeply held beliefs by the ruling cult of the West. The “dark forces” are not wrong as a factual matter. They are wrong in the spiritual sense.

This is something normal people have struggled with for a very long time, as they foolishly think facts and reason can overcome emotion. They have been sure they can “win” the fight with the Left by assembling enough facts or providing bulletproof reasoning. That never works. Facts will never triumph over people’s sense of right and wrong and that is the point of that post. They are not disputing the facts. They are subtly arguing that those facts are immoral, so they must be condemned.

Of course, the reason the fanatics are so focused on the human sciences now is they see it as a way to solve a problem in their faith. A couple generations ago, before genetics began to reveal important facts about humanity, the Left could claim to be on the side of reason against the superstition of religion. Their opponent was Christianity and they were on the side of facts and reason. Now that their opponent is the new information springing forth from science, they have lost their authority.

Imagine if suddenly the Catholic Church discovered some scrolls written by Jesus that contradicted key parts of modern Christianity. It turns out that Jesus wanted everyone to convert to Judaism. One option would be to overturn two thousand years of theology and tradition, admitting that Christianity is a hoax. The other option would be to toss the scrolls into the fire and be done with it. It’s not hard to see which way things would go, which is why this idea makes for a great plot device.

That’s what the primitives of the Left are doing when they attack the new findings from the human sciences. Everything the authors believe about the world, including their social connections and personal beliefs about themselves, are tangled up in the religion of the blank slate and extreme egalitarianism. The facts that are now showing those beliefs are false, perhaps deliberately false, are just like those scrolls in the hypothetical example. It’s easy to see why they are ready to destroy science in order to save it.

It is tempting to assume that the truth will eventually triumph, but that has never been the way to bet, at least in the cultural realm. We are more likely to see Steve Sailer burned at the stake as a heretic than we are to see these primitives accept biological reality. Belief is powerful magic that can easily overcome the most stubborn facts and the most stubborn people holding them. The barking at the moon fanatics now in control of the West will let the world burn before abandoning their faith.


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


Buddha’s Children

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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The Louder He Talked Of His Honor

Last week, Catholic University hosted a showdown, of sorts, between David French and Sohrab Ahmari. Their dispute started when Ahmari posted this piece on First Things, declaring jihad against Frenchism, which he described as a passive-aggressive approach to the culture war with the Left. It got a lot of attention in conservative circles, mostly because they were happy that anyone was talking about them at all. Here is the video of the show down and here is a summary from American Conservative.

The event itself was typical of the pseudo-academic culture you see around conservative politics at this level. There is the superficial collegiality and the carrying on like this is a meeting of two intellectual giants. An essential element of this culture is the displaying of credentials, as well as the recognition of those credentials. That’s why the opening was like dogs sniffing each other’s butts at the park. Ahmari brought a gift to signal his submissiveness to French, who he considers a superior.

This is, of course, why French agreed to the thing in the first place. He was certainly told that Ahmari is a light weight, who could land a few punches, but was incapable of delivering any hard blows. Ahmari appears to be a guy, who has sampled dissident writing, but is not well versed in the arguments against Buckley conservatism. As a result he was left to flail around while French was able to safely keep the conversation to theoretical topics, rather than the failings of Buckley conservatism.

That is, of course, a game the Buckleyites learned from libertarians. When the conversation is about practical issues, like fighting the Left over cultural turf, they shift the focus to theory. When confronted on theory, they take a deep dive into the weeds of some narrow policy topic. That’s what French was doing with Ahmari. He kept shifting the topics to legalism and constitutional theory, in order to avoid talking about the fact that conservatism has been a colossal, multi-generational failure.

That’s what was a bit disappointing about Ahmari’s performance. A better equipped debater, a dissident for example, would have turned French’s arguments back on him with relative ease. His claim that the Founders wanted a neutral public space, for example, is laughable nonsense. The Founders were white Christians, who assumed they were founding a white Christian country. More important, they were practical men who understood what was required to maintain their people.

Think about it. These were men who revolted against the prevailing order, against centuries of tradition, in order to impose their way of life on their lands. Not only were they willing to overthrow centuries of tradition, they were willing to kill their countrymen in order to found their nation. They were also quite explicit in their motives. They founded a nation for their people and their posterity. By the definitions of today, definitions David French supports, the Founders were white nationalists.

Of course, the neutral public space argument is a justification for not fighting the Left over cultural turf. By claiming a principled claim in support of an open and neutral public space, it rules out doing anything that could actually win the fight. After all, defending the public square from complete domination by the Left, means pushing them out of some portion of it. That would violate the sacred principles of principled conservatives, so they not only refuse to do it, they prevent others from doing it.

Something that never gets mentioned by dissidents is that this line of reasoning contradicts basic Christian teaching. To cede the public space on principle is to agree, in advance, to not proselytize. To preach and proselytize means staking out space in the public square, regardless of the consequences. The very founding of the Christian faith was on the bones of those, who martyred themselves to spread the word of Jesus Christ in the face of violent opposition.

That of course, raises the question as to just how sincere David French is in his religious conviction. He waves his Christian faith around almost as much as he waves around his military service, yet he is not willing to risk much for it. The Gospels are pretty clear on this point. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. Jesus instructed the rich to give away their riches and follow him. Surely, salvation is worth some principles.

This is where dissident Christians can find a niche in dissident politics. There is a long tradition of Christians preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ in the face of fierce opposition from authority. To be a dissident is to reject the authority of the prevailing orthodoxy. To be a dissident Christian is to know the source of all authority. The way forward to a society built around natural association is also the path to a society where Christians can proselytize and lead their fellow man to salvation.

This is what the backers of Frenchism fear. A militant, optimistic and aggressive Christianity would be wildly attractive to disaffected white youth. Imagine young guys in camo flash mobbing public events, while reading Scripture. Imagine them employing the protest tactics of the Left, but in favor of faith. That’s why millions are poured into Christian groups to advocate the surrender model. Their leaders get very rich while leading their flocks away from the public space.

None of this is new material, which is why David French has become the clown nose of Buckley conservatism. It’s not about ideology or theology with this guy. David Frenchism is about celebrating the choices of David French. From his adoption of an African to his JAG service, it’s always about his public acts of piety. That’s what jumps out from the video of that event. Watching him in action, the line from Emerson comes to mind. “The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.”


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The Problems Of Design

Whenever the subject of Intelligent Design turns up, it is always in the context of believers in ID attacking evolutionary biology. The ID’ers have a list of claims about “Darwinism” that they insist make evolution impossible. A popular one now, for example, is that there is not enough time for natural selection to produce enough gene mutations to explain the fossil record. A fair description of ID is that it is a list of arguments and assertions about evolution wrapped around a set of central claims.

One of those claims is that creation, as we observe it, must be the result of design and therefore a designer. They never describe the designer, as most people just assume they mean God, but the designer could be space aliens, in theory. A certain type of self-described Christian finds this appealing. They assume the designer is God, as they have an understanding of God that is much more personal. They believe God is highly involved in the granular details of human existence.

Now, it should be pointed out that this understanding of God is outside Christian tradition and perhaps even anti-Christian. Early Christians, like the Jews of the period, were highly influenced by the Greek understanding of the world. For them, the universe was an orderly place operating by fixed rules. You can’t have a covenant with God, after all, if the universe is a lawless place controlled by a fickle creator. That would make God’s covenant with man just another trick played by him on mankind.

Intelligent Design is occasionalism. While the natural world seems to operate along a set of knowable rules, God often intervenes to change results. He is always in that space between cause and effect, ready to alter the relationship according to his design. God created the platypus for reasons only known to God. If he chooses, he can make the Nile flow south or the sky turn pink. The proof of this, according to Intelligent Design, is the variety of species alive today, as well those no longer in existence.

In fairness to the ID’ers, occasionalism did creep into Christian theology in the Middle Ages, as the Christian West came into contact with Islam. Nicholas of Autrecourt was a 14th century French theologian, who was a critic of the orderly view of the natural world and a proto-occasionalist. David Hume dabbled in the ideas, but stopped short of claiming a creator or designer. Modern ID’ers can therefore claim they are not way outside Christian tradition, but they would have to defend against it.

Another central claim of Intelligent Design is that the natural world is either the result of chance or design. This is the keystone of their theory, as Intelligent Design is not an affirmative argument in favor of a designer. Instead, they frame the debate as between two competing theories. Therefore, if one is shown to be invalid, by default the other must be true. It is a bit of rhetorical sleight of hand to avoid the central problems of Intelligent Design, which of course is that it can never be proven.

This aspect of Intelligent Design relies on a characterization of natural selection as random chance, like rolling of dice. It’s the claim that a football game is either the result of random chance or the game is fixed by the officials, either in advance or as the game proceeds to its conclusion. Obviously, this is ridiculous. The result of a sports match is not random and it is not predetermined or fixed. The result of a sportsball game, is the result of the players acting and reacting to one another, within a known set of rules.

That’s the case with evolutionary biology. Random mutations in the genome are one aspect of the evolutionary process. Environment obviously plays a role here.  Sexual selection is another. Human intervention is another. After all, people have killed off whole species. People have killed off whole groups of people. Like the sportsball game, there are multiple actors, acting and reacting, within a set of rules that science does not fully understand. Evolution is not an argument in favor of chance.

The point here is Intelligent Design is built, in part, on a false dichotomy. Natural selection is not random chance, at least not how most people understand what random chance means. Further, even if natural selection is unable to explain everything, there are other forces, like sexual selection, that come into play. Even if everything about evolutionary biology is wrong, it does not make Intelligent Design true. It simply means we have no good answer understanding the natural world.

This again comes back to the question as to whether Intelligent Design is at odds with Christian theology. The Sphynx cat exists and we know why. The ID’ers would argue that it is an example of design, but that presupposes the breeders were either directed by God or compelled by God to create the breed. That means man has no agency and that sin cannot truly exist. This argument for Intelligent Design comes dangerously close to the argument that man has no free will, which is heretical on its face.

This is why ID’er focus all of their energy on the negative argument, making various claims about evolutionary science. That way, the discussion is always on the science, rather than the theology. This rhetorical sleight of hand is also dishonest, which raises another theological problem for ID’ers. How can something be in line with Biblical teaching if it is based on a falsehood? Maybe the ID’er have a way to explain this, but it is not something they choose to address in their books and articles.

The most serious issue with Intelligent Design is what it implies about God. A designer that is endlessly tinkering with his creation is not a designer with foresight. Alternatively, it is a designer that is a fickle trickster, tinkering with his creation for his own amusement, without regard for his creation. It is a designer that purposely makes flawed creations that harm his other creations. This is a designer burning army men with a magnifying glass and blowing up the model train trestle. That’s not God. That’s the Devil.

From a mainstream Christian perspective, Intelligent Design has some serious theological problems, with occasionalism being the main one. The one way to solve the theological problems is to move the designer back to the beginning, where the Bible writers preferred to place him. The classic watchmaker model, where God sets the universe in motion, according to a fixed set of rules, with evolution possibly being one of them. That leaves room to debate evolution, but does not make God a villain.


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Religion Versus Capitalism

A peculiar feature of the West over the last half century or so is the sudden decline in church attendance among Christians. In some parts of Europe, church attendance has declined into the single digits. France and Belgium have church attendance rates of around ten percent and it is mostly among the old. Estonia is at two percent, which makes it the least religious country in Europe, at least until they invite in enough Muslims. Even in the United States, religiosity is in steep decline, especially outside the South.

These declines have not been uniform. Quebec, for example, had high church attendance rates until fairly recent. They also had a relatively high fertility rate. Then all of a sudden, both went into steep decline. Similarly, Poland had very high church attendance rates, even under the yoke of communism, but then it started to fall. As in Quebec, this recent drop in church attendance is with the young and corresponds to a drop in fertility. As David Goldman observed, all over the world, religiosity and fertility follow the same path.

One assumed cause is social cycle theory, where a society goes through a process of birth, life and death, with falling fertility and religiosity in the late phases. Another explanation is that one causes the other. That is, when women get jobs instead of getting pregnant, church attendance falls. Alternatively, the drop in church attendance causes a drop in fertility, as other traditional modes of life also decline. Still others argue that multiculturalism crowds out both religion and normal family life, causing the decline of both.

A better, less popular explanation for both the decline of religion and the drop in fertility is the spread of what we call capitalism. In the two examples of Quebec and Poland, the drop in fertility and religiosity both coincided with their inclusion into the global economy starting in the 1990’s. Quebec was not communist, but somewhat disconnected from the emerging global economy, until the independence movement was defeated. One result of that process was the greater integration of Quebec into the global economy.

Poland, of course, was in the Soviet Bloc until the collapse of the Soviet Union. It was then quickly and suddenly integrated into the emerging global economy. Poland joined the West and then stopped going to church and stopped making babies. Polish church attendance dropped from 80% to 40% in a generation. The fertility rate in 1980 was 3.0 and by 2000 it had dropped to 1.37. The opening of Poland to capitalism and the global economy corresponded with the closing of Polish churches and the Polish womb.

If you think about the nature of capitalism, in theory at least, and the nature of religion, it is not hard to see the conflict. Capitalism not only assumes certain things about people, it imposes them. The marketplace is a competition to attain informational asymmetry between the buyer and seller. The seller wants the buyer to over value the good or service, while the buyer wants the seller to undervalue his product or service. It is only in this way that either can expect to make a profit from the transaction.

In a system where the highest good is a profit, then all other considerations must be secondary. Lying, for example, is no longer strictly prohibited. The seller will no longer feel obligated to disclose everything to the buyer. The seller will exaggerate his claims about his product or service. Buyers, of course, will seek to lock in sellers into one way contracts based on information unknown the other seller. The marketplace, at its most basic level, is a game of liar’s poker, where all sides hope to fool the other.

Religion, in contrast, also assumes certain things about people, but seeks to mitigate and ameliorate them. Generally speaking, religion assumes the imperfection of man and sees that imperfection as the root cause of human suffering. While those imperfections cannot be eliminated, the negative effects can be reduced through moral codes, contemplation and the full understanding of one’s nature. Religions, outside of some extreme cults, are not about altering the nature of man, but rather the acceptance of it.

Further, religion is a closed system, while the marketplace must be open. In order to be in the sect, one has to adopt a certain lifestyle and a certain set of beliefs. Most of all, the person has to be accepted by the other members. The marketplace, in theory, is open to everyone and the participants cannot exclude new entries. An ethos based on extreme openness cannot peacefully coexist with a system based on exclusivity. Not only has religion died in the West, but so have social organizations like fraternal orders.

Now, to be precise, what we call capitalism is closer to what prior age would have called corporatism or even fascism. The West is not living in an age of free markets and open competition. Instead, it is in a period of tightly controlled markets that are ruled by state protected oligopolists. Finance is controlled by a relatively small number of major banks and technology is run by a handful of global giants. Healthcare is a government controlled monopoly. The neo-liberal order is a global public-private partnership.

Since this arrangement lacks natural legitimacy, libertarians have been brought in to create a civic religion based around worship of the marketplace. It is why otherwise sensible people can support internet censorship by “private” entities. People have been condition to accept whatever private business does as morally legitimate. This new religion in support of the neo-liberal order, like all secular religions, is covetous and intolerant. It has to anathematize and marginalize any alternative religion.

The rise of this new fusion of capital and state authority, centered in Washington, does track with the decline of religion, fertility and local institutions. Whether you call it globalism, neo-liberalism or neo-conservatism, all of these terms describe the same system of rule by a corporate-government partnership. It is hostile to religion, both explicitly and implicitly, particularity Christianity. Faith in the marketplace is inimical to faith in God. When man loses that, he loses the will to go on and fertility rates plummet.

The End Of Atheism

If you are over the age of 40, perhaps a bit older, you have lived long enough to see a great fad get going, peak and then fade away completely. Lots of fads run their course in a few months, obviously, but social movements tend to build slowly and then stick around for a while, before disappearing down the memory hole. One of those fads is atheism, which had a good run in the 80’s and 90’s. It started to peter out in the 90’s, had a brief revival in the aughts, but now seems to be headed to oblivion.

The so-called “new atheists” are not ready to throw in the towel on their reason to exist, as it were, but that’s to be expected. Harris and Dennett moved all their chips into the middle of the table with the atheism stuff. It got them the attention they desired, so as a gambler will wear a diamond pinky ring to recall his one big score, these guys still proudly wear their atheism. All of them have moved onto other things, but they will expound upon their hatred of religion if the crowd demands it.

Of course, anytime the word “new” gets attached to something old, it means that old thing is now dead. It also means that old thing had some serious internal defect that eventually killed it. The “new right” made an appearance when it was clear Conservative Inc. was just a ruthless money racket. The previous iteration of “new right” appeared in the 70’s when everyone agreed the old right was dead. The reason “new atheism” got going is everyone agreed that regular old atheism was creepy and weird.

The central defect of atheism, old and new, is it is an entirely negative western identity and entirely dependent on Christianity. Specifically, it requires people of some status to defend Christianity and the Christian belief in the super natural. Atheism has always been the oxpecker of mass movements. Everything about it relies on its host both tolerating it and thriving on its own. It’s why atheism has had its spasms of success when Christianity in America has had a revival, as in the 80’s and the 2000’s.

Atheists will deny this, of course. They will argue, as Dennett often does, that the steep decline of Christianity is proof their arguments were superior. The reason they no longer talk about their thing is they won and their enemy is dead. The fact that there are plenty of Muslims and crackpot feminist airheads around spouting magical oogily-boogily never seems to get their attention for some reason. The only guy to venture into this area was Dawkins, but the Prog quickly reminded him who pays his bills.

That’s always been the tell with atheism. Belief in something as insane as male privilege or implicit whiteness should get their attention. After all, these are not just beliefs in the supernatural, they are primitive beliefs in the supernatural. Men of the classical period had more plausible and complex beliefs than people like Amy Harmon. She is a click away from demanding human sacrifice. Yet, the new atheists were never much interest in those magical beliefs. They were too busy hounding the last Christians.

That’s another tell. Atheism has always been a popular pose on the Left, because it was a useful signal. The bad whites loved their boom sticks and sky gods. The good whites rejected all those crazy beliefs. It’s why atheists tended to focus on the mainstream of Christianity, like Catholics and mainline Protestant churches. Mormons were always an easy target. They avoided the Jews and black Baptists. Sure, once in while a zinger against the tribe would be tossed in, but the enemy was always white Christians.

The decline on atheism is a good example of the perils of negative identity. When you define yourself as being in opposition to someone or something, you inevitably become a slave to it. Your very existence depends on it. As the main Christian churches collapse in scandal and bizarre attempts to move Left, the enemies for atheists to attack are getting more difficult to find. Attacking Christians is like beating up a puppy. Only the severely mentally disturbed think Christians have any power today.

The other thing working against atheism is it has been mostly male. That’s an interesting thing, given that the American Atheists was created by a woman in the 60’s. Then again, Madalyn Murray O’Hair was just a cat’s paw for the usual suspects. Her role was to be the point the spear in the war to decouple Christianity from American civic and cultural life. Since then, atheism has been a male thing. Given the declining status of males on the Left, particularly white males, it is no surprise that atheism is dying.

Given the state of affairs in the West and the crippling decline in the Christian churches, it is hard to see atheism having another revival. Christianity appears to morphing into a private, bespoke thing in order to survive outside the Progressive orthodoxy. That makes it a worthless enemy for atheists. You can never know, of course, but it looks like public Christianity is done for. That means atheism is done for as well, unless it moves onto Judaism or Progressivism and that will never be allowed.