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.


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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.


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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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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.


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!


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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