The New Segregation

Walk around in public and it is increasingly obvious that Americans now live in at least two parallel worlds. For the bare-faced, the masked are a strange and alien people who are starting to fade into the scenery. The weirdness of these people strapping amulets to their faces has faded and it is now just something to be ignored, along with the person wearing the amulet. In fact, the weird collection of beliefs that lie behind the bizarre face-gear are also fading into obscurity.

The mask is no longer about following directions, complying with authority, concerns over public health and so on. It is about membership in a parallel universe that occupies the same physical space as this universe. If you want to know what segregation in the South was really like, go to a grocery store. Jim Crow was mostly two groups of people operating under mostly the same rules but living psychologically apart from one another in the same public spaces.

The masked versus unmasked is just the physical manifestation of the new segregation in current year America. Behind the mask lies paranoia and fear about those not wearing the magic amulet. The bare-faced are Trump supporters, possibly even insurrectionists or white supremacists. They most certainly are not vaccinated and therefore carry the latest letter of the Greek alphabet. These are the people against whom the elect are chosen to wage the holy war.

It sounds insane, but it is a generous description of the people living in the parallel universe that is the Left in America. Theirs is a world of magic and miracles where dark forces are resisted by the forces of light. They cannot explain how this works, but they have plenty of examples. The massive tornadoes that hit the bad people in Trump country were the wrath of Gaia. She is angry over climate change so she sent another warning to the sinners.

Exactly no one in the Gaia cult can explain how any of this works, but that is not how religions work anyway. The rituals and incantations are simple ways for the believer to show she is a believer, without knowing the logic of the belief. The overlap between Gaia worshippers and Covidians is not an accident. Both of these are viewed as supernatural occurrences by the Left. It is why your vaccination status matters so much to them. They have been told it matters, so they believe it.

Behind those masks is not just fear of Gaia, but a general fear of mysterious forces operating in the universe. It is why the Russian collusion hoax still circulates among these same people. They were never able to explain how it works, but they just knew it because that is how they imagine the world works. That is where you see the parallel universes at play. In one universe, hoaxes get debunked and people move on while in the other they become part of the canon.

In the world of normal people, the great struggle of life is the great struggle over the small things like money, family and work. Behind the mask, the great struggle is the defense of democracy. There is a war on democracy waged by those who oppose democracy for some reason. The faithful need Joe Biden to take on the real enemies of democracy in order to save it. Of course, those who criticize Joe Biden, in his noble quest, are threatening democracy by weakening his resolve.

One interesting thing about this new religion is it is mostly a grab bag of old ideas put to less interesting ends. For example, the crazies now have their version of the Inquisition where they will torment suspected heretics. Mark Meadows has been named by the Inquisition and will be brought to justice. He is charged with using the Devil’s own language to direct the armies of Satan. The point of this Inquisition is to finally defeat Old Scratch himself, former president Donald Trump.

To normal people, this obsession with the January 6th protests is completely insane, but lots of people believe otherwise. Behind those masks you will find that many, maybe most, buy into the insurrection myth entirely. Just as their magic amulet is about being on the right side of history, the basket of boutique beliefs swirling around the managerial class are about picking sides in the great struggle. The “insurrection” has become a rallying cry for those covering their faces in public.

Stand around in a public place where you can see a lot of believers and think about something that lies at the heart of it all. Can our societies continue to function when a significant minority of people believe these insane things? What Covid has really done is move this question to the forefront by bringing these people out of the shadows and giving them constant reinforcement. Those magic amulets are not just warding off the evil spirits, but reinforcing their faith in the new religion.

For the last two years the normal portion of the population has been buoyed by the hope that this will all peter out eventually. The madness of the Trump obsession would go away once Biden was in office. The Covidians would move onto something else once the cost of their madness was too much for them. Wait long enough and things will return to normal. It is looking like they can remain irrational for as long as it takes to pull the roof down on all of us.

One of the forgotten bits of truth about the segregated South is that without outside intervention, the system would have carried on indefinitely. The talented ten percent of blacks grumbled about not getting access to the elites and white merchants grumbled about the restrictions on commerce, but most people found it workable. Contrary to the cartoon version of the period popular with the crazies, the system kept the peace and most people saw it as an acceptable compromise.

The lesson is that two different people can live together in peace even if the separation is just psychological or cultural. Perhaps this is where things are heading. There will be no return to normal. One group will walk around with their magic amulets on their faces while normal people simply ignore it and much of what they say. The masked will traffic in their conspiracy theories about insurrectionists and white supremacists, while everyone else gets on with the struggle of life.


The crackdown by the oligarchs on dissidents has had the happy result of a proliferation of new ways to support your favorite creator. If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


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

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

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


The New Religion

Note: Somewhat related to the post today is a post behind the green door about the classic movie Ben-Hur. It is an amazing film to watch in the current context, especially when you think about the audience of the time.


Imagine you were a peasant in the early medieval times and one day you looked up from your toils to see some men on the road wearing funny outfits. You see that they must be of means as they are not covered in muck and they have men of arms guarding them, but they are strange and different. They are headed in the direction of the lord’s home. You assume they are nobles of some sort. You are a peasant, so you go back to toiling away and think no more of it.

Days later, the lord’s men come to round up you and your neighbors. Everyone is herded down to the river. The lord is there and to your surprise the men you saw the other day are there as well. The lord announces that everyone is now something called a Christian and worshipping the old gods will no longer be allowed. Along with the other peasants, you are walked out into the river where you get dunked while the strangers say something in an alien language.

This is not exactly how Europe was Christianized, but it is not far off. Men from the Church would cut deals with the local rulers. The nobles would get financial help from the Church, maybe even promises of military support. In exchange the nobleman would become a Christian and his people would also become Christians. Early on, the Church took the “whatever means necessary” to win over converts. Many conversions were sincere of course, but many were out of convenience.

We don’t know if the old religions swept Europe the same way. It is possible they followed agriculture as it swept Europe. Regardless, the same paradox of conversion must have existed. There is a point at which they went from some older form of belief to the more personal and concrete belief of polytheism. Like the paradox of the heap, there is some point at which a society stops being defined by one set of beliefs and is defined by a new set of beliefs. We are in such a phase now.

If you are old enough to remember the Cold War, then you are like the medieval peasant at the beginning. All of a sudden, the people in charge now believe weird new things for no obvious reason. You try to assign the usual reasons for what you see, things like power and money, but they make less sense over time. After all, the people in charge have all of the power and money. What is in it for billionaires like George Soros who underwrite this strange new faith?

One reason for what is happening is something called isomorphism. This post in City Journal explains why social pressure is causing the people at the top to conform to this bizarre new faith informally called Wokism. Humans are social animals with a strong instinct to conform. In a world full of uncertainty, both personally and collectively, Wokism offers structure and a form of shelter. The underlying logic of this new religion is not as important as the structure it promises.

The problem with that post is it does not address the origins of this strange new religion and why it got started in the first place. It also fails to grasp that Wokism is a religion, rather than a social fad. It is assumed that religions require a well-defined anthropomorphic deity or deities, but this is a cultural bias. The evidence suggests that these well-defined gods were a product of settlement. When man was in the hunter-gatherer stage, nature was his god.

When viewed as a religion, things make a bit more sense. Religion first and foremost explains the natural world. For ruling-class people their environment is now the culture that has evolved in urban areas. They have little interaction with nature, other than to see it from their window. The natural environment of most people, especially those embracing this new religion of Wokism, is the highly urbanized and socially constructed world of the Cloud People, like universities.

It is not surprising that this new religion would be born on campus. They have been the monasteries of America since the beginning. The Puritans founded Harvard soon after they arrived for the purpose of training preachers. The beliefs of the ruling class of America have always been incubated and maintained on the college campus, so it is no surprise that this new faith was hatched there. The newly minted faithful then went forth to convert the masses.

It is also no surprise that the corporation have taken the lead in conversion. One of the few things the old radicals in the last century got right was the relationship between corporate America and the culture. Corporatism has always been the organizing principle of the American empire. Corporations sell the culture through advertising, entertainment and consumer goods. Now they are selling the religion and forcing the conversion of the people.

This is why the old liberals are baffled by it all. The New Left is in bed with corporate America in a way that would have shamed the Right not long ago. The old school lefties, trapped in the old ideology, are unable to grasp what is happening, because they are operating from the old framing. Similarly, conservatives are unwitting dupes in the process of conversion because they were conditioned to defend corporations from the “socialists and communists” on the Left.

Getting back to the primary role of religion, this new faith is catching on with the rulers because it explains what they are seeing in their natural world. First, they see the browning of the West. Even though they could put an end to it tomorrow and even reverse the trend, that requires things of them they no longer possess, so the new religion makes it seem like a naturally occurring thing. The arc of history is toward a multicultural universe free of white supremacy.

Wokism also explains why people are not the same, despite the unshakable belief that all men are created equal. The disparate outcomes must be the result of the social structures of society. The new religion not only explains the conflict between reality and their beliefs, but it also gives them a purpose. Overturning the white power structure to liberate the people from white supremacy is the ritual and practice of the faith. Wokism tells them the universe cares about them and has a plan for them.

This is why it is delusional to think this stuff is just a fad and will fade without having to confront it in the culture war. That is the old libertarian impulse to cower on the sidelines while pretending to be above it all. The new religion may be at odds with reality, but reason has never played the defining role in the ways of men. The woke can remain unreasonable longer than the reasonable can remain smug. Our peasant from before learned that when he was eventually forced to abandon his gods.


The crackdown by the oligarchs on dissidents has had the happy result of a proliferation of new ways to support your favorite creator. If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


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

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

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


Revanchism

Revanchism is a political movement based in the desire to reverse territorial losses after a war or cultural upheaval, like a revolution. The term originated in France in the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War. Nationalists wanted to avenge the French defeat and reclaim the lost territories of Alsace-Lorraine. It is often mingled with irredentism, the desire for lost territory based on legend. Israel’s territorial claims in the Levant are an example of both concepts.

In the West, revanchism is generally associated with the Right and especially with nationalist politics. The revanchists wish their nation to reclaim lost turf on perhaps fulfill its destiny by reclaiming its ancient territory. It can also mean a reassertion of the old culture and traditions, rolling back the current culture which is seen as foreign or illegitimate in some way. Revanchists want to go back to some point in the past where they think the break occurred in the culture.

An example is this American Conservative post by Sohrab Ahmari, Gladden Pappin, and Chad Pecknold. It is titled, “In Defense of Cultural Christianity”, an apologia for the traditional Christian order. It is not a defense but rather a call to reassert a pre-Reformation Catholicism and the political and social elements required to do it. Theirs is a “throne-and-altar” conception of conservatism that seeks to restore the Church as the partner of the secular state.

This wing of the Revanchist Right is responding to the modern Gnosticism of the Left, especially its view of the material world. Since the modern Left does not believe in an afterlife or God, their view of the material world as being hostile to the sacred essence of man leads to a war on the material world itself. Rather than transcending this life, like the Gnostics of old, the modern Progressive seeks to conquer nature and transform it into the tool of the fully self-aware man.

These Catholic revanchists are not the first to note the utopianism of modern liberal thought or its connection to Gnosticism. Conservative gadfly William F. Buckley popularized Eric Voegelin’s phrase “Don’t immanentize the eschaton!”, which became a conservative slogan in the 1960’s. Immanentize the eschaton means trying to bring about the final, heaven-like stage of history in this world. Hans Jonas, a century ago, noted the link between Gnosticism and modern thought.

This link between Gnosticism, Progressivism and the Catholic response to ancient Gnosticism is clear in the essay. “The thoroughly anti-gnostic Augustine, moreover, viewed Catholic cultural Christianity as an elongation of the Incarnation. It was its incarnational, anti-gnostic realism about our social and political nature that lent the Christian order of Europe its radiant vitality, its longevity and strength.” In other words, the proper response to the modern is the ancient.

The authors go on to point out that the secular state that subordinates all religion inevitably leads to a deracinated, gnostic form of Christianity. You can enjoy your faith in total private, but it can have no place in the culture or society. In the modern context, Christianity becomes just another hobby that can have no impact on this world or the people in it. You are left with a form of Rod Dreher-ism, in which you must retreat from the material world and wait for salvation in the next.

As an aside, it is interesting that this essay is posted on the American Conservative website, where Rod Dreher promotes his bespoke Gnosticism. He does not sell it as such, but that is what he is selling. His form of orthodoxy is just the special of the day at the cafeteria of Christianity. From the point of view of the revanchists, his call to retreat from this world is just another manifestation of the deracination and degradation of man by the liberal moral order.

Putting that aside, the revanchists are correct for the wrong reasons. They correctly see that the throne and altar are inevitably linked. They seem to think this is a Catholic innovation, but that is incorrect. The joining of the supernatural with human hierarchy is as old as human society. Every ruling elite needs authority, and that authority comes from legitimacy. There is no better way to solve this problem than to claim the ruler or ruling elite are the will of the gods or actual gods.

Once belief is understood as a natural part of man’s nature, like intelligence or the desire to reproduce, the question becomes, what should man believe? This has been the engine of human conflict and human progress since the beginning. The Catholic Church was a late comer to this battle for the soul of man. Modern liberalism may have roots in the ancient past, but it too is late to the party. It displaced that old order the revanchists seek to restore.

That is the central problem of revanchist thinking. It is not hard to make a compelling case in favor of the old throne-and-altar but there is a reason why it was abandoned in favor of the liberal order. Simply dismissing that reality as a wrong turn in the arc of history or a sign of moral decline avoids the issue. The Catholic Imperium has a defined beginning, the conversion of Roman emperor Constantine the Great in 312 CE, and a less well define end, possibly the Treaty of Westphalia.

To make the claim that this is a universal or timeless moral framework has to address why it did not exist for most of human history and why it was pushed aside. This is a problem shared by all cultural revanchism. In its reaction to the present, it blinds itself to the failings of the past. As a result, it becomes a form of escapism, where the past becomes fantasy literature. In this case, the Catholic integralist gets to imagine what it would be like to live in Medieval Europe.

The anti-Gnostics, however, should not be dismissed. Their observations about modern liberalism are useful, if incomplete. What we see with liberal democracy is an effort to solve its own internal conflict. It rejects the supernatural, but like all political orders, it needs an external source of legitimacy. It is trying to evolve one that only hints at the supernatural by leaving out large swaths of reality that can only be filled in with an undefined faith in the present order.

This is why the term “woke” is popular. These people are aware of their eternal identity, which is analogous to being aware of their divine essence. The great war between those “defending our democracy” and the so-called fascists is a rework of the old Gnostic dualism where the material world is evil, and the god is pure good. Critical theory then becomes the logos connecting the two. Modern Gnosticism is the quest for legitimacy and authority in a secular world.

In the end, revanchism can only be a starting point to model a new moral order that incorporates the old while recognizing its flaws. A new moral order will have to appeal to people as they are in this deracinated modern state. That means what comes next must be a continuation, rather than a rollback. That is both difficult and frightening, which is why revanchism will grow in popularity. Even so, the path is always forward. There is no going back to a prior age, no matter how much we desire it.


The crackdown by the oligarchs on dissidents has had the happy result of a proliferation of new ways to support your favorite creator. If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


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

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

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


The Need To Believe

Eric Hoffer noted that people who are prone to join mass movements tend to join many of them, often going from one to another. It is not unusual for someone to go from one cause then to another that contradicts the prior cause in some way. The old stereotype of the middle-aged woman driving a Volvo festooned with bumper stickers from various causes does not spring from nothing. The vegan activist will be into saving animals, sustainable farming and oppose nuclear energy.

A good recent example of this is the amazing overlap in people who worship Gaia and those who are now Covidians. The people who carry grimy canvas sacks to the market as a sign of their piety are now wearing three masks in the car as they driver alone to the Whole Foods Market. That does not mean all Covidians were Gaia worshippers, but almost all Gaia worshippers embraced Covid. HBD people embracing Covid suggests their interest in biology is something other than empirical.

What is going on here is that humans are hardwired to believe. Like almost all human traits, the need to believe (NTB) trait operates on a spectrum. At one end is the zealot who is consumed and defined by her belief. At the other end is the skeptic who tends not to accept anything at face value. The reason you don’t see skeptics protesting the latest fads is they tend to think protesting is a waste of time. On the other hand, the zealot is ready to act on the slightest provocation.

For most of human history, the NTB was kept under control by settled society through various means. Religion was the main control. The zealots were funneled into the the shared beliefs of the group. The structure of the belief system kept these otherwise unorganized minds from exploring new ways to express their NTB. When that did not work, the belief system had ways to handle the crazies. Maybe they were declared witches or expelled from the community.

The collapse of Christianity as the unifying belief system opened the door for every sort of alternative belief system. Those with a strong NTB were attracted to these new belief systems like communism. The more utopian the ideology, the more attractive it is to those with a strong NTB. It is not an accident that Marxism, for example, has had a profound influence, despite the fact it has never had a broad appeal. A relatively small number of fanatics can accomplish a lot when unified.

The great geneticist J. B. S. Haldane claimed that fanaticism is one of man’s greatest inventions, even though it was not an invention. In reality, fanaticism is just a cognitive trait like any other. The ancients noted that some men would fight like lions while others were more cautious. It was not a big leap from that observation to cultivating this quality to create elite units of warriors. The berserkers in Norse mythology were not insane, but rather the most enthusiastic of their fighters.

Today, the berserkers are those ready to lecture the rest of us about the latest edicts from the high priests of Covid. These people are irrational or insane. They are the simply most enthusiastic of believers. Their NTB goes to eleven, while everyone else stops at ten. It is why they never notice the contradictions. If you point out that Fauci can never keep his story straight, it bounces right off of them. It is not that they do not understand, it is that their NTB overrides reason.

Even the most fanatical believer, however, is prone to doubt. Since the bulk of believers are not berserkers, this means the bulk of any mass movement is made up of people in need of regular affirmation. Here is an example in the ironically named Popular Science instructing the faithful on how to tease affirmation out of their loved ones. Note that the first item on the list is the justification for trying to convert those who have yet to accept Covid in their life. The religious overtones are not hard to miss.

Note the term “vaccine hesitancy”. They cannot allow for disconfirmation, so the assumed model is one camp are those who have accepted Covid and those who have yet to accept Covid. The latter group is just scared and uninformed, so it is incumbent upon the former group to guide them to the light. All of sudden. being an annoying pest about Covid is transformed into a righteous cause that proves to the believer that she is on the side of angels, saving mankind from evil.

Also note the communitarian aspect of modern mass movements. We have to sit in the dark and walk to work because we all share the same earth. If one person refuses to use those grimy canvas sacks, then we all suffer! Similarly, the vaccine is a community good that only works when everyone is vaccinated. As long as there is one disbeliever in our midst, we will continue to be punished. The only thing missing from the Covidian toolkit is the flagellants whipping themselves in public.

What Covid has revealed is that the only path out of the madness that is infecting the West is to sort out how to manage the fanatics. That is easier said than done, as it means creating a new religion and prying these people out of power. It also means that political power alone is not enough. As long as the fanatic population is left to operate like a hive without a queen, they will keep finding new queens. Usually, those queens will be seeking dominion of the rest of society.


The crackdown by the oligarchs on dissidents has had the happy result of a proliferation of new ways to support your favorite creator. If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


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

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

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


Christian Zionism

If you were to compile a list of the most influential people in history, you would probably start with the most influential ideas. The people responsible for inventing those ideas or popularizing them would be on the list of influential people. Presumably, without those people, the ideas would not have had the same level of impact. Marx would be on the list because he came up with Marxism. Without Marx, it is hard to imagine that branch of socialism developing as it has over 150 years.

Christian Zionism is an idea that does not get much attention, despite the fact it has cast a long shadow over Western history. It is fair to say that Zionism would not exist if not for the Christian Zionists. As much as people like to talk about the influence of Jews and Judaism on the West, it was Christians and a peculiar strain of Christianity that made Zionism possible. In fact, the modern state of Israel probably owes its existence to the hard work of Christian Zionist.

Christian Zionism has its roots in the Protestant Reformation. The revolts against the Church gave rise to a wholesale reassessment of Christian dogma. The distribution of the Bible in vernacular languages allowed radical Protestants to interpret the scriptures in ways contrary medieval Catholic tradition. Christian Zionism can be viewed as the result of the democratization of Christianity. When every man could read the Bible, ever man’s interpretation of Scripture was suddenly equal.

Restorationism was the Protestant idea that the Jews would eventually return to Israel as part of the flow of history. Here you see the early roots of this idea that history flows in one direction toward a predictable end. With regards to the Jews, their return to Israel was part of the end times. It did not take long before this evolved into a belief that helping the Jews return was an essential part of Christianity. Restoring Israel was the next logical step for this branch of Christianity.

Picking the first Christian Zionist or even the most influential one is difficult as the 19th century had many philosemitic Protestants. Of course, all of them were relying on Puritan interpretation of Scripture, so you can probably credit Oliver Cromwell with making it possible for Christian Zionism to flourish. The British empire then spread the idea around the world. Wherever English speaking people exist in large numbers, you have fanatical support for Israel to this day.

The guy who should probably get credit for the invention of Zionism is an Anglican clergyman named William Hechler. He was a rabid crusader against antisemitism and the sponsor of Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism. He called for the Jews to return to Palestine as a pre-condition for the return of Jesus, which made the unconditional support of Jews and Israel a core Christian belief. Overtime this has evolved into unquestioned devotion to Israel.

Theodor Herzl could also get credit for Christian Zionism. After all, it takes two to make a relationship and Herzl was the first Jewish Zionist. If not for large swaths of the Jewish diaspora embracing the ideas of the Christian Zionist, it is hard to imagine the movement lasting into the 20th century. Even today, secular Jews despise Evangelical Christians, in part, because of their support for Zionism. There are other reasons, but the unbridled support of Israel and the restoration is one element.

Even so, the creation of the Jewish state in the middle of the last century was the product of Christian Zionism. Its existence has nurtured and supported Christian Zionism, especially in America. In fact, much of the spiritual fervor that would flow into Christian identity politics is channeled into Zionism. In the cultural climate of the West, this is one of the few safe ways for white people to cheer for their own side. You can probably argue that Zionism relies on a form of white identity politics.

Christian Zionism and Zionism would not exist without the strange form of empire first invented by the British then perfected by Americans. The British were the first ocean empire. The Greeks dominated the Mediterranean, of course, but that is not the same as dominating oceans. At the minimum, the British Empire was the first modern ocean empire. Today, America controls the world because she controls the seas, which means she controls the flow of goods globally.

It is hard to argue against Zionism as the most influential idea of the 20th century and now the 21st century. The creation of Israel by the British in 1948 has focused the attention of the West on the Middle East ever since. The long Cold War was entangled with Zionism which gave birth to neoconservatism. The last thirty years has kept the American empire obsessed with the fate of Israel. It is not unreasonable to say that American foreign policy is controlled by the Israelis.

Step back and you can argue that Christian Zionism is the result of two main forces unleashed in the West. One is the democratization of Christianity. It is impossible to imagine Zionism flourishing within the Catholic Church. The other is egalitarianism, the very Protestant idea of equality. Without hierarchy, theology was turned over to the entrepreneur, always looking for a novel way to sell Scripture. That is how you get ideas like Restorationism or Mormonism.

Returning to where we started, if one was looking to compile a list of great historical figures, you would have to include William Hechler on that list. Even though his name is unfamiliar to the modern ear, his influence is immense. If not for his tireless promotion of Theodor Herzl, it is possible that Zionism was never born. Imagine what the world would be like if Israel remained a concept, rather than a physical reality. The last century would not be possible.


The crackdown by the oligarchs on dissidents has had the happy result of a proliferation of new ways to support your favorite creator. If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


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

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

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


Great Debate

Note: We have a cornucopia of new content this week. The Taki post is about our new moral imperative to love strangers over our friends and family. Then there is the Sunday podcast up behind the green door. There is a bonus post up this morning on the cult sci-fi move The Matrix. This has gone out to Buy Me A Beer patrons as well.


Almost twenty years ago, John Derbyshire reviewed Kevin MacDonald’s book Culture of Critique for American Conservative. It has one of the best headlines ever written for a right-wing publication. The review itself was not favorable to MacDonald’s theory on Jewish evolutionary strategy, so it has been condemned by anti-Semites, which is a shame because it offers an important insight. For some, the “Jew thing” is a debilitating neurosis that cripples the victim’s ability to reason.

An example of this was on display Saturday night when Jared Taylor debated E. Michael Jones on the question of race. Specifically, the topic was “is race real and does it matter?” Taylor was on the side of race realism and Jones was supposed to be on the side of race denialism. It did not quite work out that way as Jones quickly shifted the conversation away from race to his own theories about the Jews. E. Michael Jones has a very serious case of the Jew thing.

The format was for each man to give a 20-minute opening presentation and then they would take turns responding to one another. Taylor was in the affirmative, so he went first and put on a near perfect presentation explaining the biological reality of race and the societal implications of racial differences. Even for those very familiar with the human sciences, it was an entertaining and informative presentation. It is the sort of thing you can send around to people curious the topic.

Jones opened up with a strange story about daylight savings time in Indiana in order to establish what he calls categories of the mind. These are definitions we invent that have no relation to physical reality. It appears he was trying to reformulate the logical positivists tripartite classification of knowledge. There are things that are tautologically true, things that are true because of an agreed upon set of logical rules and then things that are cognitively meaningless.

Jones reformulates it to be things that are categories of the mind and things he thinks ought to be important. For example, race, regardless of the biological realty behind it, is a category of the mind. It matters only because we think about it, like daylight savings time or the time of day. Catholic dogma, on the other hand, matters whether we think of it or not, so we ought to think about it. Of course, anything that Jones does not like is declared a category of the mind and he dismisses it.

There is an argument that much of what gets put into the category of race is contextual, a result of history and culture. This is the basis of biological denialism on the Left, where they claim differences in the races and sexes are cultural artifacts. The problem with this is that it conflates two related, but cognitively different things. Biological race, in this case, is different from social concepts of race. By conflating the two, biology is made to disappear in the fog of social criticism regarding race.

This was the game Jones was playing. He made a lot of noise about how race is used to harm white societies, so he agued race must be ignored. Here he commits a second logical fallacy. Even if discussions of race are engineered to harm white interests, it does not logically follow that white people should deny the reality of race. This is where the Jew thing begins to pop. Jones asserts that Jews invented the concept of race to harm white people, so the Jew thing requires him to oppose race.

After the opening statements, the second hour was mostly Jones ranting and raving about Jews, even dropping some epithets along the way. Whenever the moderator would return the conversation to the topic, Jones would go off on a rant about how the Jews were the great enemy and we must pretend race is not real in order to defend the white race from Jews. Along the way he conceded everything Taylor said about the reality of race, but Jones kept insisting it should not matter.

In all the noise and distraction what became clear is that Jones knows very little about race or race realism. He also made bizarre claims about the subject. For example, he claimed race was introduced in America by Jews. He also claimed the ancients had no concept of race. This is left-wing nonsense that has no basis in fact. His comments about intelligence revealed he knows nothing about the topic. His claims were the sorts of things that work on stupid people who share his beliefs.

This is the tragedy of the Jew thing. Once the victim is afflicted with it, they can think of nothing other than the subject of their obsession. The debate was supposed to be about race, but Jones kept trying to make it about Jews. Not just about Jews in the racial context either. Like a dog returning to his vomit, Jones kept returning to his pet theory that Judaism is a conspiracy against the world. Not Jews, as according Jones race is not real, but Judaism, which is like a magic spell that he fights alone.

Of course, Jones has his fans. That is the other side of the Jew thing. People with it will overlook anything in those who supply them with content. His mad hatter act is lost on his fans, who only hear the J-word when he speaks. You get the sense that those with the Jew thing will become physically ill if they are not constantly hearing anti-Semitic material, so they need it constantly pipped into their brains. As a result a bellowing crackpot like Jones gets their full attention.

There are people who have reasoned critiques of Jews in Western societies. There are lots of Jews who have addressed the issue. It is a legitimate question, but one gets the sense that the mission of E. Michael Jones is to make it impossible to have a reasoned discussion on the topic. After all, who would want to be lumped in with a mad man who screams at the Passover display at the local grocery store? Jones manages to give bigotry a bad name, which is quite accomplishment.

All of that said, Jones has a point that he may not understand or simply not care to discuss and that is the reality of race is insufficient on its own. If being right about the facts of life mattered, this world would not exist. The radicals would have been routed a long time ago. Public discourse in all human society is about morality. Who are we and what defines us is what matters. Repeating the facts of biology can only matter if they have an impact on the morality of the people.

This has always been the failing of the Right. They have always assumed that once they proved their case, the other side would have no choice but to throw down their weapons and embrace them as brothers. This is not reality. Unless one can connect biological reality with morality, they exist in two separate domains. The race realists have yet to attempt this connection. This should be where the militant Christians step into the breech, but people like Jones make that difficult.

Finally, Jones made a big issue of Taylor’s unwillingness to address the question of Jews within the context of race realism. This is a fair point, but Jones then asserted it was because Taylor is part of the global Jewish conspiracy. This is where you cannot help but wonder if Jones does this to avoid defending his position. It is a distraction to deflect attention from his faulty logic to something else. This could have been an interesting gambit, but the Jew thing got the better of him.

The fact is, race realism makes a lot of sense when comparing Africans with all other human groups. Africans are the great outlier in the human family. It starts to break down when you compare other groups. East Asian are different from Europeans, but they bring none of the social pathology of Africans. What is the argument against mixing Asians with Europeans? What about West Asians and Europeans? This is a valid line off attack on the race realist position.

In the end, the debate is worth watching, if only for Taylor’s opening. It is a pity that Jones is not a more honest and balanced person, as it would be interesting to see someone approach this topic from traditional Christian ethics. If we are ever going to make the leap from facts to values, this is a debate that needs to be had. Otherwise, biological reality will remain ignored, even as we careen into the abyss. Maybe this debate will inspire someone to ponder the subject.


The crackdown by the oligarchs on dissidents has had the happy result of a proliferation of new ways to support your favorite creator. If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


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

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

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


The 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.


The crackdown by the oligarchs on dissidents has had the happy result of a proliferation of new ways to support your favorite creator. If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


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

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

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


The 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.

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