Good Evening Vietnam

With the overwhelming support of both parties, Congress just passed another military aid package to Ukraine. This one is for forty billion in weapons, but like most things that come from Congress, it has other items. There is money to resettle Afghans into your neighborhood and money for friends of the empire. This package is on top of similar packages passed this year and the passage of lend-lease, which will let the neocons managing Biden flood Ukraine with weapons.

Unlike prior aid bills, only the dullest, most insulated members of Congress were out in front of the cameras taking credit for it. That means it was the leadership of both parties and select lifers with no connection to their home state. Most were nowhere to be found, as they suspect their vote was not a great career move. A few Republicans opposed the bill and made sure to let everyone know it. This latest package has the feel of last call at a party that should have ended long ago.

The aid package, of course, will have no impact on the war. The situation has settled into a decidedly one-sided affair. The Russians pound the Ukrainians with missiles, artillery and rocket fire. The Ukrainians lack the ability to do much about it other than hunker down in their fortifications and hope for the best. Artillery shells are cheap, so the Russians are happy to rain steel on Ukrainian positions, slowly grinding them down until one day soon the army collapses.

This was not what the State Department promised. By now, the Russian economy was supposed to be collapsed, the army in chaotic retreat and Putin awaiting execution by the revolutionary mobs. That was what the planners promised the Biden administration, who made the same promise to NATO and the EU. The plan was to make sure the Ukrainians could hold out for a few months. The magic of the economic shock and awe campaign would do the heavy work against Russia.

Not only have none of the promises materialized, but it is also becoming clear that the war against Russia was poorly conceived and executed. It has had little impact on the Russians, but the West is taking it on the chin. Energy costs in parts of Europe are 30% higher than the start of the war. Food prices are rocketing upward with the promise of more to come later this year. Then there is the ten million or so Ukrainian refugees that are camped out in various parts of Europe.

Reason should lead Washington and its various puppet governments in Europe to reconsider the war in Ukraine. No one cares about Ukraine, but the point of this war was to harm Russia, maybe even bring about regime change. The payoff would then be easy access to Russian natural resources. The West would get cheap energy from Russia as its war booty. With that off the table, logic says it is time to rethink the strategy and maybe cut a deal with Russia.

On top of the geopolitical blinders, the plan also seems to have been remarkably tone deaf with regards to domestic audiences. The massive public relations campaign at the start of the war worked on the dullards who also always fall for these things, but a large minority remained skeptical. Having been conned by the Covid swindle, many people are simply unwilling to accept anything from the media now. A good forty percent of the public in the West is now permanently skeptical.

The economic cost of this war is bringing the politics of the war back to the usual ground that favors the skeptics. In the United States there is a long list of things that are not working and could use government attention. The southern border is the most obvious example, but the leaders of both parties call you a bigot and demand the FBI investigate you if you mention it. Ukraine is looking like another boondoggle to avoid addressing domestic concerns.

A similar problem is turning up in Europe. The deranged dingbat installed as head of the EU, Ursula von der Leyen, has been trying to engineer a boycott of Russian energy products, but that plan has collapsed. The stated reason was that the member nations needed time to find new energy sources. The real reason is the mood in Europe is darkening as reality settles in with the puppet governments. They have little power, but they are still subject to popular revolt.

The question that is starting to circulate around Western capitals is if there is an off-ramp for this growing disaster. Ideally, the EU would be tasked with engaging the Russians in high level talks to put an end to the war. Everyone knows what the Russians want as they have made their position clear. Zelensky will have to accept the deal the EU makes, as he is just an actor hired to play a role. He and his co-stars have already been granted British passports.

The problem is Washington and many EU leaders have branded Putin a war criminal and declared there can never be a deal with Russia. The problem is obvious. If you declare someone evil and then turn around a make a deal with that person, you are now in league with evil. Washington has been demanding regime change in Russia, calling on locals to assassinate him if necessary. It is safe to assume the Russians are not going to be overly generous in negotiations.

There is also the greater problem of the situation on the ground. Putin is the moderate in the Russian political elite. The military wanted to vaporize the Ukrainian strongholds with airpower, but Putin insisted on the slow approach. Now that success on the ground is guaranteed, those hardliners are not going to go along with a deal that does not get the Russians more than they wanted before the war. They will demand the south and east of Ukraine as reward for their support.

What is shaping up for the West, particularly America, is a modern version of the Vietnam conflict in the 1970’s. The political class is locked into a strategy that cannot work, but they cannot reverse course. They believe their only option is to keep doing the same thing, despite the results. At the same time, the public is becoming quickly skeptical of the enterprise, but unable to find a political outlet for it. This makes for a very unstable political situation.

The big difference between Ukraine and Vietnam is that America has not committed troops to the war. On the other hand, this is the age of privatization of government policy, which means there are private military contractors operating in Ukraine, being paid for by the Pentagon. It will not be long before the extent of this becomes clear as foreign fighters are captured on the battlefield. Vietnam started with loads of advisors initially and then led to troops on the ground.

The other difference is that in the 1970’s there were realist in the political class who understood the problem. Nixon was able to craft a way out of Vietnam, even though it cost him his presidency. The political class in the 1970’s was also more in touch with the general public than it is today. Most of Washington is so deranged now they think it is good politics to mock the baby formula shortage as Putin propaganda. No one in 1970’s Washington was this demented or obtuse.

In the 1970’s, Vietnam was a cancer on the American empire. It was not the only cancer, but it was a serious one. The ruling class recognized it and removed that cancer from the body politic. A series of difficult reforms were implemented that removed the disease from the system. This was possible because the country was still dominated by a sensible middle-class and the political class had plenty of reasonable men who actually cared about the country.

This new cancer on the body politic promises to be much more aggressive, because the body is much weaker. The public is atomized, cynical and exhausted by years of revolution from the top. Of course, the demographics are much different. The millions of paperwork Americans created over the last thirty years lack the human capital to survive the required surgery. The political class is now devoid of anyone who cares enough about the country to champion the necessary reforms.

In another example that shows the universe has a sense of humor, baby boomer politics were forged in the antiwar protests of the 1960’s. The end phase of baby boomer politics will now be determined by the pro-war policies of the boomers. The people who cut their teeth shouting “baby killer” at men in uniform are now baby killers demanding that young men put on a uniform and fight a pointless war of choice. The baby boomer generation of politicians have become the thing they hated.


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 Politics Of Talos IV

Note: In a break from the grifter code, I am not going to assume the new merch is the greatest merch in history. Criticisms and suggestions are welcome. This is new ground for me, so I expect to be terrible at first and get better over time. Please shop here and leave a comment when you can. Also send feedback to me.


Since forever, people have always known and accepted that politicians lie to the voters about what they will do if elected. The lying was almost always in the form of exaggeration or promises that were desirable, but unrealistic. The former is of the form, “Vote for me and I will cut crime in half” while the latter is of the classic form, “vote for me and there will be two cars in every garage and a chicken in every pot!” The lies were the sorts of boasts one expects from a salesman.

This has changed over the last thirty years. Republicans discovered that they could simply lie about their intensions and nothing changed. In the Clinton years the GOP became the “none-of-the-above” option. When the voters were angry with the people in charge, they would vote Republicans. In 1994, people thought Clinton lied about his intentions, so it was a GOP landslide. In 2000, people were tired of the Clintons, so we got Bush for president. In 2010, it was 1994 again.

On the other side, the promises from the Democrats were entirely disconnected from reality and became purely aspirational. They were the party that would work like the mind altering drugs that are marketed to single women. Obama was going to cause the seas to stop rising because he was the black Jesus the oracle promised. He would magically make everyone immortal by freeing the amulet of health care from the insurance companies that were guarding it.

This is the state of politics in modern America. The Democrats promise to perform feats of magic, like replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy, a concept squarely at odds with the physical universe. The Republicans, on the other hand, swear they will end the stuff that the Democrats are doing that is making normal people angry. Frankly, the Democrats are more likely to circumvent the first law of thermodynamics than the Republicans are to reverse the decline.

The population of America is currently being forced to relive the 1970’s by the geezer class running the government. Most people were not around in the 1970’s so the nostalgia is lost on most everyone. As a result, the voters will punish the head geezer by voting for the other party. Why will people vote GOP? No reason other that it is the only way to voice displeasure. In power, the Republicans will do the same thing the Democrats are doing, but with different rhetoric.

This is life in a one party liberal democracy. It is like Henry Ford’s old line about giving the people color choices. The voters can pick their leaders as long as they are from the uniparty and do not deviate from the script. The Republican congress will keep shipping billions to Ukraine, while ignoring the southern border. They will do nothing to reign in corporate piracy or the managerial war on white people. Politics in America is a vending machine with one product.

It is tempting to think that this is unique to America. In a land where everything and every man has a price, it is no surprise that nothing has value. The truth is it is a feature of the liberal democratic system. Just as the free markets leads to a few players dominating the market, even monopolizing it if permitted, democracy ends up with a small party that controls the state. The politicians are reduced to ornaments that decorate the system but have no real power.

An example of this is over the sea in Europe. The local governments have no power as everything that matters is decided in Brussels. The economy is a disaster and rapidly deteriorating due to a pointless war of choice against Russia. The local leaders feel compelled to go along with this so they are pretending they are the good guys in some great moral drama. As a result, the political parties are unified in their defense of Ukrainian democracy, as if such a thing exists.

The people, of course, are not happy about hyper-inflation. The official numbers, like those in America, are re-interpreted into single digits, but people know that real inflation is well into the double digits in Europe. This summer there will be petrol lines and this autumn there will be gas rationing. A European angry about this has no recourse, as all of the political parties are on board with the economic suicide plan. The only difference is in the style and presentation of the empty gestures.

This is the logical end point of democratic systems. Much like the cereal aisle in the grocery store, there is the illusion of choice. The main parties figure out that they are immune from market forces if they simply agree with one another on all of the important issues and agree to share the spoils. Congressman X gets booted from office but lands a high paying lobbying job. Not only does he not leave the city, but he also gets to buy a bigger house and avoid the folks back home entirely.

It is also why the gestures get bigger and more absurd. The two-dimensional Barak Obama was sold as black Jesus in 2008. That seemed like the limit of political absurdity until Joe Biden was sold as the most popular man in history who will end the scourge of fascism under Donald Trump. For his part, Trump is promising to run in 2024 as the first revenge candidate. Presumably, the slogan will be, “Vote for me and you get to feel smug while sitting in that food line.”

The end of liberal democracy was supposed to be a reasonable and moderate society that operated within agreed upon rules. Instead, it is a world run by people who cynically provide us with emotionally stimulating illusions. Rather than face our reality, we engage in the high drama of politics, which never amounts to anything other than these momentary emotional eruptions we call elections. We signal yes or no when commanded and as a reward we get the illusion of choice.

In fairness, this turns out to be a good system to keep people under control as long as the rulers can keep the plates spinning. Two years of Covid drama is a fairly good proof of concept. It turns out that people will suffer the most absurd humiliations as long as they have material comforts. Soon we will learn if people will suffer the same humiliations without many of these comforts. It could be that the illusion of choice is enough to keep people trapped in their chairs.

There are limits to everything, even monopoly power. As soon as the monopolist gains monopoly status, the decline begins. Every monopoly ends up being gnawed into collapse by a million small dissidents. It turns out that nature almost hates the monopoly as much as she hates the free market. That may be what we see today. The monopoly of political power in the hands of a few is dying from a thousand small wounds and in time it will collapse from trying to maintain itself.


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 Ownership Standard

Note: In a break from the grifter code, I am not going to assume the new merch is the greatest merch in history. Criticisms and suggestions are welcome. This is new ground for me, so I expect to be terrible at first and get better over time. Please shop here and leave a comment when you can. Also send feedback to me.


It is fair to say that ownership is a prerequisite for human society. The ability to own things and have ownership respected by the other members of society is what allows for settled society to form. The evidence we have says that hunter-gatherers understood the concept of property and property rights. People in these groups owned thing and that ownership was respected. Early settled societies formed around the claim of ownership of necessary resources like hunting land.

In theory collective ownership is possible, but the one big experiment with it in the last century was a disaster. The theory was that once private property was eliminated, inequality and conflict would be eliminated. Yet within communist societies, there were laws against theft, thus tacitly acknowledging ownership. It also underscored the fact that conflict was not purely economic. Most crime is caused by an immutable fact of the human condition. Some people are born bad.

Not only does it turn out that private property and property rights are prerequisites for human society, but they are also a good measure of societal development. By the time the Europeans were ready to conquer the globe, they had worked through the problems of property ownership and how to settle disputes. Europeans landed in Africa and the Americas, only to greet people who had yet to master this basic concept. Even in Asia, property ownership was still in development.

In this age, property rights are a good way to see how things are slipping within Western societies. This story about a woman finding an ancient artifact at a junk store is a good example. She spotted what she thought was a strange lawn ornament that turned out to be a Roman bust from the first century AD. Its last know whereabouts were in Bavaria, but she found it in a Texas thrift shop. No one knows how it got to Texas, but it was most likely a war prize.

The interesting thing about the story is the women is being forced to give the bust back to the last known owner. Since that owner does not exist, it will be turned over to the Bavarian government. The argument is that the last acknowledged owner did not sell or transfer the bust. Without proof of that or something to suggest there was a rightful owner after the Bavarian king, the king still has rights to it. Since the king is no more, his rights revert to the Bavarian state.

On the one hand, it seems like a good result. Respecting property rights, even across countries and generations is a good practice. Jews have been hunting lost property, or claims to lost property, since the end of the war. Their argument rests on the fact that their items that were lost in the war are still their items, as they did not voluntarily transfer those items to the Nazis. The current owner may have honestly acquired them, but the seller was not legally allowed to sell them.

On the surface, this looks a good example of how modern Western societies enforce ownership rights. There is a global database of art. Unless you can go into that database and show you are the rightful owner, you cannot sell the item. That is why this Texas woman is being forced to give up her Roman bust. She probably could keep it in her garden, but she could never sell it to a collector. In other words, the lack of provenance has rendered it worthless to her.

This heartwarming story of rich people getting their toys back, however, is an exception, rather than the rule. This example of enforcement of property rights is the exception in the modern West. For most people, the phrase “you will own nothing and like it” is becoming the new normal. Even real property rights are conditional in America, as we saw with Kelo v. City of New London, Connecticut. That case basically turned property ownership into a privilege granted by the state.

At a more basic level, ownership is a thing of the past in America. Tech companies are allowed to harvest your personal information without your permission and sell it, often using it against the people from whom they stole it. Privacy, which can only exist in the context of property rights, has been lost. The mass media routinely violates the privacy of people it has deemed enemies of the state. Ownership and everything that springs from it is slowly being eroded in the current age.

Here is a simple example of how the erosion of property rights has eroded the basic order of society. We get daily reports of computer breeches in which the personal data of consumers is stolen by thieves. The companies trusted with this information are never punished for their negligence. The thieves are never caught. In fact, no one bothers to look for them. Often the stolen property ends up in the hands of the media or random weirdos on the internet.

The result is you lose the right to privacy and the ownership rights to your data, with little recourse in the law. If something private about you, your views on some political issue, get stolen from a tech platform and posted in the media, you have no way to reassert your ownership rights. You cannot sue the news site that posted the stolen information and you cannot sue the site from which it was stolen. You, the victim, have no protection while the beneficiaries of theft are protected.

A good example of this is Trump’s tax returns. During his time in office, the New York Times came into possession of his tax returns. These were stolen from the IRS by an employee, most likely. This person had no right to those documents and they had no right transfer them to the Times. The Times knew this and knew they were in receipt of stolen goods, but they published them anyway. The standard in America is finder’s keepers and society is the weeper.

If the Supreme Court really wanted to do some social justice, they would forget about Roe and find a case to overturn Kelo in the context of the reestablishment of basic property rights. Imagine if we go back to the ancient custom that says you own you and you own what you make by default. Most the abuses of the tech monopolies go away as their ability to steal your property goes away. The media’s ability to use stolen property would evaporate along with much of their power.

A simple example on that latter point is the Roe leak. The person who received the stolen item knew it was stolen. The person who gave it to him, unless it was Sam Alito, had no right to transfer it to the reporter. Imagine a regime that says the reporter gets charged with receiving stolen goods and the leaker gets charged with theft. All of a sudden, the journalistic practice of selective leaking goes away and they have to go back to old fashioned investigating and reporting.

Beyond that, this case of the Roman bust underscores the root cause of societal collapse in the West. The elites care more about the chain of custody for works of art than they care about fixing roads or making sure the people can feel secure in the person and in their papers. For the same reason they care more about Ukrainian borders than the Mexican border, they care more about tracking art items than defending the basic concepts than make society possible.

It is easier for the elites to “care” about the chain of custody for a Roman bust than it is to care about busted roads or decaying schools. It is easier to slap on a Ukrainian lapel pin than it is to do something about fentanyl. The public gesture is also more fun and rewarding than the grunt work required of elites to keep society going. Ours is a Nero elite, people who spend their days dreaming of new ways to flatter themselves while the basics of society crumble. They need to come to the same end.


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.


Hate Springs Eternal

When it rains the worms come out and for the political class the steady rain is promising to become a deluge. The latest bit of bad news in the forecast is the leaked opinion from the Supreme Court regarding Roe. There have been a lot of hot takes on the implications of the ruling but lost in the media churn is the fact that this is another sign that things are getting ugly in Washington. A civilized political class run by sober-minded adults would never have allowed this to happen.

The fact is, Washington is in chaos. The Biden administration is a balkanized mess with Joe Biden as an embarrassing figurehead. His handlers are running out of patience or ability to keep him from having “senior moments” in public. In announcing some new justification for seizing Russian property, Biden slipped into confusion and struggled to say words that may or may not have been in the script. He looked like a man who should be at an assisted living facility, not the White House.

These events are becoming common, which underscores the fact that he is not actually in charge of his administration. It is a balkanized cabal that lacks coordination with the other parts and is disconnected from the party. The old neocons are running the war in Ukraine, while packs of deranged social justice warriors push through nutty ideas like the ministry of disinformation. There is no one sheepherding economic policy, which has been abandoned in the face of record inflation.

This is why Biden’s popularity is about as low as it can go. Amazingly, there is always about 30% of respondents who will say they support the president. Bush bottomed out around this number and now Biden is doing the same. It means his party is in desperate shape for the midterms. The first midterm is never good for the party of the president, as buyer’s remorse sets in at this stage. Trump was a mess, but he presided over peace and prosperity, two things lost under Biden.

Then there is the brewing disaster in Europe. The happy talk coming from the foreign policy camp is just a way to keep the politicians from asking too many questions, but everyone senses a looming disaster. The hope was this would be a great distraction from the economic mess, but that has not worked. Now the economic cost of the war is starting to bite. America is looking at a summer of record fuel and food prices and you cannot hide five dollar gas with a Ukraine lapel pin.

The recent elections tell the story. J. D. Vance staked out a non-interventionist position on Ukraine, basically telling voters he does not care about it. No one wants to admit it, but this may be what pushed him over the top. Both parties have attacked this position, but it is looking like the winning hand with voters. For Democrats, who now own the war in Ukraine, this could turn out to be Vietnam all over again. They are the party championing a very unpopular war.

This is probably why Bernie Sanders is telling people he plans to run in 2024, despite Biden people saying Biden 2024 is not a punchline. A disaster in November and more Joe Biden senior moments in public means the lid blows off the whole thing. Everyone will be talking about what comes after Joe Biden. In politics, it pays to be the first at the scene of the disaster, so Sanders is making sure his name is going to be in stories discussing the demise of Joe Biden.

This also reflects the growing anger of the fringe crazies at their party. In the Trump years, the Democrats weaponized these people against the country. The riots, murders and mayhem were part of the color revolution. The crazies and the more legitimate fringe players in mainstream politics took this to mean that they would get a seat at the table, but that was never happening. Not even the hardest thumping Trump haters want these lunatics in their political camp.

That is why Elizabeth Warren was doing the angry chicken dance outside the Supreme Court when the draft opinion was leaked. Her choreographers did not have enough time to train her for the show, so she was left to wing it and the result was a comical reminder that the 19th amendment was a mistake. Warren is a craven simpleton, but she does reflect the growing frustration of the fringe-left in Washington. They are getting nothing and they are incredibly angry about it.

They think abortion can be their vehicle back to the main stage, but in reality, abortion does not matter all that much to people. Abortion was always a middle-class white woman issue. “The woman’s right to choose” was the cover for promoting eugenic policies in the black community. Now that middle-class white women are past childbearing age, it no longer has emotional appeal. Nonwhites, of course, have been hip to the reality of abortion for a long time.

Taken together, with the looming elections, it reflects a political class that no longer has a reason to exist. It is a collection of geezers trying to relive their salad days, along with hand-picked acolytes selected for their lack of intelligence. The old baby boomer politics, like the old baby boomers in charge, is breaking down. That is the crisis we are seeing in Washington. The old framework is no longer salient and no one has a clue as to what should replace it or even if it can be replaced.

This is also why politics has descended into information war. In business, when you do not have a new product or a new version of the existing product, you roll out a new marketing campaign instead. This is what has happened with politics. They have nothing to offer, so they rollout one media campaign after another. We are bombarded with an endless series of alleged crises so that we do not notice that the people in charge have no reason to be in charge.

There are, of course, long term trends that promise to make these short term problems look like a golden age. People do not live in the long term, so the next six months will be what occupies the minds of people. Given the condition of the political leaders and the mood of the country, they may want to think about putting those razor wire barriers back up and declaring martial law in the city. Just about every constituency has a reason to storm the city and demand a redress of grievances.


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 Violence of Democracy

Note: In a break from the grifter code, I am not going to assume the new merch is the greatest merch in history. Criticisms and suggestions are welcome. This is new ground for me, so I expect to be terrible at first and get better over time. Please shop here and leave a comment when you can. Also send feedback to me.


For generations in the West, it has been asserted that democracies do not go to war with one another. The claim is based on the extremely limited experience with democratic processes in the 20th century. The nations with democratic elements, as defined by the victors, did not go to war with one another. Britain (democratic) did not go to war with France(democratic) despite being a long time rival. Instead, Britain joined France against the anti-democratic states of the Axis powers.

This claim was a gratuitous assertion for the purpose of selling democracy as the cure for national conflict. In the same way that globalism is pitched as solution to war, democracy is pitched as the antidote to human conflict. It is at the heart of the claim the spread of liberal democracy in the post-Cold War world must inevitably remove war from the policy choices of nations. If liberal democracies do not go to war with one another, then a world of liberal democracies is free of war.

When you think about these claims from the post-Cold War period of American triumphalism, they are just repackaged claims from the past. Thomas Freidman’s argument in The Lexus and the Olive Tree is a post-modern retelling of the arguments in The Great Illusion. Fukuyama’s argument in The End of History is another iteration of the claims that have been made since Adam Smith. Human conflict can be tamed with rules and commerce.

It is an curious belief at the heart of liberal democracy when you stop and consider the mechanics of it. Trade between countries is just shorthand for the trade between individuals in one country with those in another country. Disputes between individuals in commerce are the norm. It is a game of each side trying to take advantage of the other and no one likes being beat this way. Scaled up and it means disputes between countries trading with one another are inevitable.

This is where the myopia and insularity of the managerial class, a creation of the haute bourgeoise, comes into play. This layer of middle managers and middle men are convinced they solve any dispute with the right credentials and a large enough committee budget. The managerial system is a self-licking ice cream cone, a self-referential process that prevents the participants from looking too closely at the mechanics of liberal democracy.

Democracy, of course, is a magical form of mob rule in which all of us are smarter than any of us. It just assumes that if the dumbest people are allowed to have input on the decisions, then somehow those decisions improve. In every other aspect of life, the goal is to keep the stupid people out of the decision tree, but with democracy the goal is to not only recruit them, but to elevate them. If prudence says to avoid war, then allowing the imprudent to rule means war is more likely.

The war-like nature of democracy is easy to see. Athens was the first great democracy and it was incapable of being a good neighbor. The greatness of Athens was the product of the wars with Persia. The golden age of Athens was between 480 – 404 BC and the Greco-Persian wars were from 499 BC to 449 BC. The Peloponnesian War lasted from 431 BC to 404 BC. In other words, the primary feature of democratic Athens was not cultural production by endless war.

America is arguably the first liberal democratic state. Like Athens, it was founded in war and like Athens has been at war throughout its life. A few years after the founding there was the War of 1812, then the Civil War. That ushered in an unusual few decades of peace, but then it was back to war with Spain, then most of Europe. The bodies were not even cold from the Second World War and the great liberal democracies were declaring war on Soviet Russia.

It is the post-Cold War period where you see the violence of democracy. The end of the long struggle with communism should have resulted in a great transitioning from the war economy to a peace economy. Instead, what followed was a generation of war against the Muslims. Now we have a new cold war, possibly even a hot war, with Russia over things no one bothers to explain. The reason for that is no one cares. Liberal democracy needs war. That is the reason for the war.

Once again, we see that the economic claims contained in the arguments about liberal democracy and peace do not hold up. Russia is an important part of the global supply chain for things like energy, food and raw materials. The liberal democracies are willing to starve their people to make war on the Russians. The same dynamic is shaping up with China, which is the manufacturer of many Western goods. Liberal democracy is unconstrained by economic concerns when it comes to war.

It is tempting to pin the violence of liberal democracy on the people at the top of the Global American Empire. There is some truth to it, but we have other examples of how the democratic ethos leads to violence. The French Revolution was the first flowering of the democratic ideal. It quickly descended into a bloodbath then Napoleon, a man determined in to conquer the world, in the name of the people of France. The birth of democracy in Europe was a very bloody one.

Communism is usually placed outside of democracy, but this is a gratuitous assertion by proponents of liberal democracy. Communism is probably the most democratic philosophy, as it is the most egalitarian. Once you assume universal equality, you inevitably assume universal participation in society. Of course, universal equality solves the moral questions, so there is not only no need for politics, but there is no need for the limits of politics. One hundred million people died to prove it.

The point of all this is that real world testing of the theories of democracy and liberal democracy make clear that it is a horribly violent pathology. Just as the real communism has never been tried, the real democracy has never existed, because the claims of democracy and now liberal democracy are incompatible with humanity. Rather than unleashing human potential, liberal democracy makes war on human nature and what follows is endless conflict to distract from this reality.

Perhaps the world war that is brewing between the West and the world is the final act in a play that started with the Enlightenment. In one final convulsion the monstrous ideas that were born in the “age of reason” will finally be defeated. Liberal democracy will be shown to be no better of an implementation of these ideas than communism or fascism was in the last century. One last effort to immanentize the eschaton will violently remove this lunacy from the mind of Western man.


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.


Expansionist Ideology

Note: In a break from the grifter code, I am not going to assume the new merch is the greatest merch in history. Criticisms and suggestions are welcome. This is new ground for me, so I expect to be terrible at first and get better over time. Please shop here and leave a comment when you can. Also send feedback to me.


It is generally agreed that fascism was expansionist, primarily because of the events leading to the Second World War. The one real world experiment with fascism led the main fascists states to conquer their neighbors. It is a small sample size so there are people who argue that fascism is not necessarily expansionist. Franco’s Spain had no territorial ambitions. The same was true of Salazar’s Portugal. The counter there is that these two examples are products of their unique history.

Communism, in contrast, was expansionist and explicitly so. Marxist theory assumed that communism would transcend national borders and national identity. The Bolsheviks expanded on this assumption to argue that the advanced industrial states would move to communism first, then help the backward states to industrial and socialize, by exporting revolution to those states. While communism did not advocate conventional wars of conquest, it advocated ideological wars of conquest.

In these debates, there are three main defining issues. One is the ideological nature of the political system. Both fascism and communism were ideological, in that both revolve around a set of beliefs or philosophies. Communism was the better defined of the two, owing to the deeper intellectual tradition. It also had a theory of history that provided something like a divine purpose. The national character of fascism also limited its ideological scope compared to communism.

That brings up the second defining issue. The reason fascism was less expansionist than communism is universalism. Fascism was rooted in national identity, which by definition limits its exportability. Some countries would simply lack the national character for fascism. Communism, in contrast, was universal. It assumed that all people were naturally egalitarian and possessed the same potential. Further, communists argued that inequality between peoples was due to capitalism.

The third defining issue is the revolutionary character of the systems. Fascism was revolutionary only in so far it was a revolt against modernity. In this regard, it was more revanchist than revolutionary. Fascists wanted to restore a lost past in order to gain a lost future. Communism sought a direct break from the past in order to move into the next phase of history. The revolutionary impulse of fascism was limited while revolution was a defining feature of communism.

Using these three scales, it is easy to see why communism was unabashedly expansionist and fascism was debatably so. In fact, communism cannot exist without some new ground to conquer, while fascism is at least capable of operating within national boundaries as a good neighbor. Every communist country has been a nuisance to its neighbors, while we have examples of fascist countries like Spain and Portugal that managed to behave themselves.

When it comes to liberal democracy, there is not much debate about the expansionist impulses of the system. It is assumed that since this system eschews state violence, it eschews conquest in the conventional sense. There is also the claim that democracies do not go to war with one another or launch wars in lieu of negotiated settlement, so it is not expansionist by nature. Liberal democracies are dragged into conflict by illiberal systems that only understand force.

Yet, when we look at liberal democracy in practice, using the three scales to measure the expansionism of other ideologies, liberal democracy looks every bit as expansionist as 20th century communism. The United States, the epicenter of liberal democracy, has been at war for over a century. In fact, the reason for the past tense when speaking of fascism and communism is the United States conquered these two systems in the name of liberal democracy.

Liberal democracy is the most ideological political system ever conceived. It shares the same intellectual traditions as communism, but has become much more narrow over the course of time. Unlike communism, which assumed economic justice would solve the moral questions, thus ending the need for politics, liberal democracy assumes it has solved the moral questions. Liberal democracy is a set of cultural truths about which it tolerates no debate or dissent.

Of course, this assumes a degree of universalism that the communists would have found challenging. Fascists, of course, found the egalitarian claims of liberalism to be absurd and dangerous. Fascism was as much a revolt against liberalism as communism, because of the egalitarian nature of both systems. Liberal democracy combines egalitarianism and the blank slate to make claims about the human condition that no political system has ever entertained.

This is what makes liberal democracy the most revolutionary system of the three ideologies to compete in the last century. Absolute egalitarianism and the blank slate makes mankind limitless. It turns the vanguard into gods who can shape humanity to fit the needs of the ideology. Fascism was a revolt against modernity. Communism was a revolt against the past. Liberal democracy is a revolt against nature, specifically the natural limits of the human animal.

In the three measures of fascism and communism that defined their expansionism, liberal democracy exceeds them. This explains why liberal democracy, after having defeated fascism, quickly declared war on communism. Once communism was defeated, it declared war on the world. Fukuyama’s claim that liberal democracy was the final answer to the great ideological debates of the Enlightenment was not an observation, but a warning.

We see this in Ukraine. National interest should have led all parties to the negotiating table to sort out the problems in Ukraine. In fact, the conditions that led to war should not exist, but the expansionist impulse of liberal democracy created many of the conditions that led to war. It is the stated desire of the liberal democracies to conquer Russia that is keeping the war going. Russia, having shed revolutionary communism, is now at war with revolutionary liberal democracy.

The brewing war with China over Taiwan is another example of the expansionist impulse of liberal democracy. The Taiwan issue could be negotiated, but Washington likes to use Taiwan as a provocation. The radar system that it has installed in Taiwan is part of the explicit nuclear threat against China. The war with Russia is now being used as justification for further provocations. Washington has said that Beijing is next when it comes to regime change.

The very fact that the phrase “regime change” exists at all is a good example of the expansionist nature of liberal democracy. The fascists never expressed any interest in how other countries did politics. The communists were all about exporting revolution to other countries in order to alter their political orientation. We see the same thing with liberal democracy. It first exports the cultural goods of liberal democracy and then begins the color revolution process to effect regime change.

It is a big topic that deserves a deeper analysis, but on the surface it is quite clear that liberal democracy is the most revolutionary, expansionist and intolerant ideology to emerge from the 20th century. The limited expansionism of fascism triggered a war in Europe then world war. The explicit expansionism of communism plunged the world into a forty year cold war. The hyper-violent, revolutionary expansionism of liberal democracy now promises something far worse.


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 Art Of The Deal

Note: The Monday Taki post is up. Not related to the topic of today, but I think it is a good summary of the Twitter story. There is a Sunday Thoughts podcast up behind the green door. Remember to take a look at the merch we are trying out. Please feel free to share feedback here or via e-mail.


In the business world, all negotiations start with a central question. Is there a deal to be made that both sides will accept? There is no point in negotiating if one or both sides is not willing to strike a deal. Salesmen are trained to think about this question whenever they engage with a prospective client. Unless they can show that a sale is possible, they should not waste their time. In order for negotiations to make sense, both sides have to want to make a deal and think a deal is possible.

Related to the primary questions are the questions about the shape of the deal, as in what will both sides accept and what will they never accept. Negotiations are often about both sides coming to accept that they will have to take less than what they initially wanted in the deal in order to get the deal done. The two questions that loom over negotiations are “what would we like?” and “what will we accept?” The latter becomes the starting point of an agreement.

War is a form of negotiation. In almost all cases, the attacking side would prefer a negotiated settlement, but they determined that the other side was not prepared to do what was required to make a deal possible. One or both sides is unrealistic about what they can get and what they will accept. The war resets the negotiations. If one side wins convincingly, then they can dictate the terms of the final deal. The important thing about wars is they always end in a settlement.

This is the great puzzle in Ukraine. The war will end eventually. If the West is right and Ukraine is clearing the Russians from the field, then the Russians will have to accept the terms of the Ukrainian victors and their NATO backers. If the maps are right and Russia is slowly destroying the Ukrainian army, then the Ukrainians will have to accept the terms offered by Russia. More important, Ukraine’s Western backers will have to strike a deal with the Russians to close the books on the war.

Of course, the third option is some sort of stalemate in which both sides can either claim victory or deny being defeated. This seems to be the hope on the Ukrainian side, as they have broken off negotiations. Presumably, the West has promised unlimited arms shipments if the Ukrainians keep fighting. The logic is the Russians have plenty of weapons, but a finite number of troops, while Ukraine has unlimited troops but has a finite number of weapons, until now.

This is what makes the whole thing baffling. Before the conflict, the Russians demanded a return to the Minsk agreements. This was a set of protocols to bring peace to the Donbas, which had been in a civil war since 2014. Kiev had signed this deal in 2015 with the support of France and Germany, which brokered the deal. Kiev and Moscow would demilitarize the two sides, peacekeepers would be sent in and the two provinces would have elections and some degree of autonomy.

Compared to war, that looked like a great deal for Kiev, but for reasons that have not been explained, Kiev rejected the offer. Once the Russian army crossed into the Donbas, the Russians made a new proposal. Autonomy for the Donbas, recognition of Russia’s claims in the Crimea and the neutrality of Ukraine. That last part was in response to efforts by Washington to bring the Ukraine into NATO. Oddly, Kiev accepted this but rejected the other demands from Russia.

Here we are in the third month of the war and it is clear that the Russian deal, if an offer is coming, will be much different. The Kherson region in the south is preparing to join the two regions in the Donbas in demanding separation from Ukraine. There are rumors that Odessa is in negotiations with Russia to do the same. In the northeast, the Kharkiv region is rumored to be breaking away. This may simply be the result of the Russian occupation and elimination of Azov in the area.

Barring a radical change to the facts on the ground, the deal Ukraine can now get from any negotiations with Russia is much worse than two months ago. Rumors of Polish troops on the border with Ukraine, where many people speak Polish and identify as Polish, suggests the deal could get a lot worse in a hurry. This raises a rather important question. Why is Kiev and its Western backers, unwilling to make a deal? What deal do they think will materialize in a month or a year?

One possibility is Washington thinks Ukraine is winning and just needs time, which goes back to that belief she has unlimited manpower. Given the facts on the ground, this seems unlikely, but war makes people crazy. The leaders on both sides of the Great War staggered on sure they were about to break the other side. War often warps the ability of the planners to properly interpret reality. They stick to the plan despite the obvious failures of the plan. The Somme is a good example.

What this says is the only deal the West will accept is the total surrender of Russia, which conforms what the Russians have said from the beginning. Their reason for going into Ukraine was that Washington was planning to use Ukraine as a launching pad for war against Russia, both culturally and economically. What the Russians are now seeing is that there can never be a deal with the West. She will have to guarantee her own economic and territorial security.

What this means is that there is no walking back to some early point when a deal could have been struck between the sides. The West now demands unconditional surrender, which means they cannot relent on the sanctions. At some point that means cutting off all imports from Russia. The limited sanctions have sent prices soaring, which means Western leaders are committed to a massive reduction in the quality of life of the West in order to win this war with Russia.

The irony here is that the people who plotted this war, the neocons who control American foreign policy, appear to have made the same blunder Athens made in the Peloponnesian war. The irony is that the neocons are obsessed with that war, seeing themselves on the side of Athens. In that war, Athens recklessly attacked Sicily and was defeated at the battle of Syracuse. This eventually led to the over all defeat of Athens by the Spartans and the end of the Athenian empire.

A forgotten lesson of the Peloponnesian war is that Athens had many chances to make a deal with Sparta but could not stop provoking the Spartans. If the Athenians had viewed the conflict as a negotiation and set realistic conditions in order to strike a deal, she would have avoided disaster. Instead, she just assumed victory was inevitable, so no negotiation was required. In the end, Athens would prevail and the terms would be whatever suited Athens.

This seems to be the position of Washington and Brussels. Various leaders keep popping up demanding the unconditional surrender of Russia. They are making clear that they will fight forever. Given the deal they could have gotten from Russia just a few months ago, this new deal sounds dreadful, which suggests they are not the brilliant tacticians they imagine themselves to be. In the fullness of time, the Minsk agreements may look like the best deal that was ever possible in Ukraine.


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 Dead Space

Note: In a break from the grifter code, I am not going to assume the new merch is the greatest merch in history. Criticisms and suggestions are welcome. This is new ground for me, so I expect to be terrible at first and get better over time. Please shop here and leave a comment when you can. Also send feedback to me.


In the 18th century, Right and Left as political designations were limited to just one place and revolved around the old order. We get these terms from the French Revolution, where the defenders of the crown sat to the right of the president in the National Constitutive Assembly, while the opponents were on the left. There is also the tradition in the West of the honored guest being seated to the right of the host, who is usually the head of the family.

Into the 19th century this right-left arrangement evolved as the politics of the West evolved, often reflecting the nature of the people. The French Right lost its aristocratic flavor while the German Right embraced it. In Britain, the aristocracy was in decline politically, but the Right was the defender of empire and the order that was required to maintain the empire. In America, there was never an order to defend, so this dichotomy did not arrive until much later.

The point is that the definition of Right and Left has evolved. Since the middle of the last century, the Right has been assigned the job of defending the status quo, while the Left has been assigned the role of embracing change. One of the weird results of this arrangement is that both sides have been drained of ideology. The Right just opposes the Left if it pays well. The Left embraces one deranged fad after another, just so they have a way to organize a street mob.

An example of the irrationality of the two sides is this weird story about the far-left governor of Colorado criticizing the moderate governor of Florida. The far-left guy is calling the middle-of-the-road guy a socialist because he signed off on a bill that stripped special privileges for a multinational corporation. In reality, the far-left guy is signaling his support for child rape, but he cannot be that explicit, so he used a term he thinks would sting the guy he considers right-wing.

Right there we see the bankruptcy of language. Ideologically, government taking a neutral stance on business is the opposite of socialism. On the other hand, it is explicitly not right-wing, as the Right has always viewed economics as a means to an end, not an object of worship. The Right wants stability, so the disruptions of capitalism need to be minimized by the state. The moves by DeSantis are right-wing in that he is defending the family and their absolute right to protect their children.

Of course, there is no in left-wing ideology that says child molesters must have easy access to children. The Jacobins were not pro-pederasty. The Marxists were quite prudish about sex in general. The American Left had its sexual liberation phase, but that was always limited to feminism. The truth is, Progressives have always lived like white nationalist with Victorian sensibilities. The only thing left-wing about defending the groomers is that it is anti-establishment.

The fact is, America, and maybe the West in general, has entered a post-ideological phase in which there is no logic behind the old labels. What passes for radicalism is nothing more than bourgeois neuroticism. There remains a vague sense of a promised land after the struggle, but that is just a carryover from the past. They never bother to describe what comes after the revolution. No one even bothers to ask them to explain the point of their agitations. There is no point.

The other side is just as lost. It is trite to say it now, but conservatives have conserved nothing and they have no desire to conserve anything. Of course, the reason they have no desire to conserve anything is there is nothing left to conserve. It goes beyond the practical, however, as you see in the National Review post. The point of politics is to shape public morality. Politics is about deciding right and wrong. If your politics leads you to abandon that debate, then you have no reason to exist.

Politics in America have become unmoored from reason. The Left is simply in favor of chaos for the sake of chaos. Post-Marx culturalism promised a new era for mankind if they seized control of the centers of cultural production. Instead, they got what the old Marxists feared came after capitalism. That is a society devoid of morality and dominated by transactionalism. The end of the cult-Marx rainbow is sterile materialism and pointless consumerism.

In such an age there is no place for a defense of order, so there is no reason for the old-style conservatism to exist. Why would any sane person want to defend this order against the violence of the Left? This is the age of post-Marx culturalism, so if they are unhappy with their creation, let them destroy it. Maybe what comes next is the chance to build anew. In other words, the alternative to the modern Left is not conservatism but culture jamming and accelerationism.

Where we find ourselves is beyond the maps of the known world. Like the first ships that went over the horizon, the old rules and lessons of Western politics are not much of a guide in navigating the present. Like the basics of sailing, the basics of politics remain the same, but the purpose is what demands the reimagination of the effort. To continue the analogy, we have not reached the new world, but we can no longer make out the old world either. We are in the great political dead space.


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.


Opposite Rule Revisited

Note #1: The Monday Taki post is up. The topic is somewhat related to the post today, but using the war as a jumping off point. Because I was traveling over the weekend, no Sunday Thoughts behind the green door, but I have a write up of the VDare event posted there instead. Later this week I will have a longer post on the event at the castle and the issues discussed there.

Note #2: If you are a law student or know a law student, there is a competition around the legal difficulties of the J6 victims. It is an essay contest. If you are interested, here is their website. The principles behind it are listed on the site. Scroll down.


The Opposite Rule of Liberalism states that whatever the Left is saying about its political opponents, assume the opposite and you will get close to the truth. This should not be confused with contradiction. If the Left says “X”, it does not follow that the literal opposite of “X” is the truth. All this rule tells us is that what the Left is saying is not the truth and that the truth is going to be completely different from what they are saying, often the complete opposite.

The classic example of this is ten years ago when the Tea Party was a thing. This purely grassroots movement in reaction to the radicalism of the Obama administration was called “AstroTurf” by the Left. The Left claimed their activism was organic while the Right was manufacturing activism. The Tea Party was a creation of the Republican Party and their corporate masters. The reality was the opposite. Left-wing activism was controlled by the party and financed by corporate America.

The opposite rule can also work as a warning. In fact, this is the best application of the rule as it helps prepare for left-wing shenanigans. The way this works is that once you hear warnings from left-wing people about some threat, you can assume they are planning it or they are actively engaged in it. The last bit is the way to bet when the Left is overly excited about the claim. In other words, they have a habit of accusing their opponents of crimes the are committing.

A good example of this is when the neocons were organizing the police state during the Bush years. The Bush people said these new weapons of the state would only be used against Muslims. Most of them were probably sincere about this. Neocons hate Arabs more than they hate Europeans. The Left said these tools would be used against normal Americans. Of course, as soon as the Left gained power they started using these tools to spy on Americans.

This behavior of the Left, where they accuse their enemies of what they are plotting or doing, is used by conservatives as proof of the Left’s cynicism. For conservatives, hypocrisy is the most powerful abracadabra word. Despite all the evidence, they are sure that uttering this word will destroy their enemies. When the Left accuses their enemies of something they are doing, the conservatives scream about hypocrisy, believing is does something magical for them.

This never has the desired effect because being accused of hypocrisy only works if you care about factual accuracy. For conservatives, being factual correct is important, so they would rather lose than be accused of contradiction. This is mostly why they lose every fight. They like losing while being right. For the Left, advancing their goals is what matters, so they can live with contradiction. For them, facts are just another tool that can be used as a weapon against the opposition.

It also helps that left-wing politics attracts a specific type. Eric Hoffer observed that people often join mass movements out of self-loathing. They wish to swap their hated sense of self with the identity of the group, which they view positively. This is almost always true with left-wing politics. The people in it are looking for a form of salvation, where they are saved from thinking about their hated sense of self. Instead, they get to focus on an enemy they can enthusiastically hate.

Of course, hating an enemy that has the qualities you hate about yourself is pretty much the ideal enemy for this sort of person. Their self-loathing is transformed into a virtue while they express their hatred for qualities they fear they possess. Collectively, this transforms the Left into a mob driven by what looks like moral indignation and a desire to purge the world of corruption. This is what makes a relatively small number of people into a powerful force in American society.

This shameless ability to project onto others the sins of the Left has been the primary reason the Left has denominated American politics. They claim the moral high ground, accuse anyone that resists of doing something bad and then they do that bad thing to the people they are accusing. After all, they have created the justification for the bad thing they are doing. Conservatives spent the last half century trying to prove they are not the villains while the Left marched from triumph to triumph.

The opposite rule has been so effective, in fact, that there is no longer an effective opposition to the Left in America. Conservatism has collapsed and the political divide in America is the Cloud People, who populate and control the managerial class, and the Dirt People, who suffer under the rule of the managerial class. The Cloud People now accuse the Dirt People are various things, like the insurrection business, which is used to justify heavy handed tactics against the Dirt People.

This self-referential indignation that grows from self-loathing has become a religion for the managerial class. In fact, it has helped them become class aware. It is why they find bizarre things to impose on society. They are in support of child molesters in the schools, for example, because it gives them people to hate. Those normal parents showing up to fight against groomers and bigots in the schools provide the needed foil for the Left. Their religion demands a devil.

This bizarre religion that animates the ruling class is effective at walling them off from society and preserving their position. It is why any questioning of official policy is labeled one of the abracadabra phases that mean “outsider.” Ask about food bills doubling and you are spreading misinformation. Question the war in Ukraine and you are a Putin shill. Notice that crime is rising at rates not seen since the 1970’s and you are a violent white supremacist.

This is where that opposite rule becomes so effective. The need to accuse an outsider of the worst crimes the Left can imagine becomes a justification for committing those crimes against the alleged enemy. It is how America so quickly moved from defending the liberal order and individual rights to celebrating corporate censorship and the persecution of political prisoners. The bad guys get worse, so the means to defeat them must get worse as well. This is the terror escalator.

This is a parasitic and corrosive ruling ethos. The sharp decline in the quality of life for most Americans over the last generation is one result. The collapse in social trust is another consequence. Like the desperate person eating the seed corn, what we call liberal democracy is consuming the social capital of society in order to fuel the hate-machine that props up the managerial class. At some point, maybe soon, they run out of things to burn and the system becomes unstable.


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!


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Alternative Authority

Starting in the 1990’s the neocons started to talk about conservatism as a process, a means justifies the ends approach to politics. This was not a change in how conservatism defined itself but it was a change in how it sold itself. You were supposed to support conservatives in order to achieve certain ends, like rolling back abortion laws and curtailing the welfare state. By the Bush years, this means justifies the end claim was front and center in the pitch from neoconservatives.

The reason for this, of course, is millions of conservatives had voted for Bush and the Republicans thinking they would do what they promised. The GOP had both house of Congress and the White House. They expected conservative governance. Instead, they got Lyndon Johnson. They had to accept this result, you see, because conservatism is a process, not a set of end results. As long as conservatives were defending the process, people needed to shut up and be happy.

The main reason for this rhetorical sleight of hand was to trick rank and file conservatives into supporting a president that was the opposite of what conservatives expected from a conservative president. The neocons wanted to continue their bloody war against Islam and they needed a second term from Bush. In the 2000’s, they had started to infest the other side of the political class but the take over of the foreign policy establishment was not complete.

This was possible because of a flaw within conservatism. From the beginning, the Buckley people focused on defending the constitutional order. They were the guys talking about interpreting the Constitution as written. They were defending the system against both distortions and changes from the Left. They magnanimously accepted adverse results as long as the constitutional order was followed. This fetish for defending process is what the neocons exploited.

This points to a much larger problem with conservatism. They were never willing to appeal to authority to justify their claims. The closest they got was originalism in the law, which claimed the written constitution as authority. This has two problems. One was that the Left rejected this claim in favor of a living constitution. The other is the Left kept tinkering with document through judicial rulings which became precedents. The result of originalism was a defense of left-wing gains in court.

This is why conservatism is in collapse. In fact, it is fair to say that conservatism is dead as hardly anyone bothers with the term. The only people using the term are those still working the hustle on their aging donor class. Otherwise, the only people considered to be on the Right use the term is when criticizing the old conservative movement for not having conserved anything. It turns out that winning the process war meant nothing to those conservative constituencies.

The elephant in the room is authority. Fundamental to any human organization is a clear understanding as to who decides. Iran is an Islamic state with laws based in the sect of the ruling class. It is the religious elite that is the ultimate decider. The Russian people are the leaders of the Russian Federation and Vladimir Putin is the leader of the Russian people, so he is the final authority in the Russian Federation. This is clear to everyone who lives within the Russian Federation.

In the case of Iran, authority for this arrangement, the thing that legitimizes it in the minds of the people, is the Koran and their religious traditions. The text of their holy book, the traditions of their people and the moral hierarchy is the authority for their political arrangements. In the Russian Federation, it is the long history of these people and their relationship to one another that forms the basis of authority. Its perseverance through communism is proof of this natural order.

This is where we see “common good conservatism” trying to fill the void left by the collapse of Buckley conservatism and the departure of neoconservatism. They want to move away from individual rights as the center piece of conservatism toward a vague sense of collective interests. Instead of focusing on what provides the individual with the least amount of government coercion, they want to focus on what provides the most amount of common good.

In simple terms, disputes over rights will be decided in favor of the interests of society as a whole, rather than abstract principles about individual liberty. If someone complains about prayer in school, the courts should ignore their complaint because prayer in school provides more social benefit than that one person’s desire to be free of the religious sentiments of the community. Homosexual marriage would be banned, because it harms marriage, which harms society.

This may sound good and feel like a step in the dissident direction, but it suffers from the same defect as Buckley conservatism. That is, there is little mention of who decides and upon what authority they make these decisions. Some talk about the Church providing authority and others mention the administrative state. Mostly this is just a way to avoid speaking directly to the issue of authority. It is just assumed that once people think in terms of the common good, everything falls into place.

This is the same error conservatives have always made. Their chanting of the phrase “ideas have consequences” was mostly about the belief that all they had to do was win the argument and the rest would take care of itself. History makes clear that force and determination can conquer the soundest logic. The Bolshevik program was nonsensical and dangerous, but they wanted it more so they carried the day and controlled Russia for three quarters of a century.

Human society is based around a series of questions. Who we are? What are the rules that define us? Who decides? What is the process for enforcing the rules? It is only the last question that conservatives bothered to answer, which left the other questions to whoever wanted to answer them. This is why conservatism failed and any alternative will fail if it refuses to address the questions that come before debating the process by which rules are enforced.

The great trick of liberal democracy is in convincing people it exists. The narrow elite that controls Western societies decides because they control the managerial class, which in turn controls the administrative state. Their authority rests on their will to power and the delusions of the people, who steadfastly insist they decide public policy through the ballot box. It is a devilish trick by a devilish people, but until an alternative questions this arrangement directly, it will persist.


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.