The Faustian Bargain

Note: The Taki post is up. This week it is a discourse on the proposed replacement for originalism in conservative jurisprudence. The Sunday Thoughts podcast is up behind the green door for subscribers.


Over the last few years, it has become increasingly popular to examine what went wrong with the conservative movement. This was mostly the result of Trump winning the Republican nomination, despite universal opposition from conservatives. At that point it was no longer possible to ignore the collapse of conservatism. Prior to 2016, the movement was the gatekeeper for the party. Trump and the Dirt People kicked open the gates and found nothing worth keeping inside.

One result of this is the sprouting of proposed alternatives like Yoram Hazony’s national conservatism, common good conservativism and integralism. Libertarians, of course, maintain the fantasy that this is their time. There are certainly others working to produce something to fill the void on the Right. All of these proposed alternative start with a basic claim that conservatism failed. None of these new conservatisms bother to think too hard about why Buckley conservatism failed.

This is what makes this post from Paul Gottfried important. He was around when many of the critical turns of the conservative movement were made, so he has a perspective on it that few have today. Most of the main players from the growth phase of Buckley conservatism are gone now. With them went the personal disputes that ended up shaping what became mainstream conservatism in the 1980’s. The one thing the Left has right is that politics is always personal.

Gottfried tries to do three things in the post. One is to bring attention to the recent scholarship on Harry Jaffa, who was a central figure in the debates about the shape and direction of conservatism. Then there is the fact that there was a time when debate was possible within conservatism. Others have noted that there was an interregnum in which sensitive topics like race and immigration could be debated. That window closed in the 1990’s, eventually taking the public square with it.

The main point of Gottfried’s post is to place the blame for this and the collapse of conservatism at the feet of the neoconservatives. Before the neoconservatives gained power, it was possible for Harry Jaffa and Mel Bradford to live together. Jaffa was largely responsible for the Lincoln fetish among conservatives. He claimed the Civil War and the Reconstruction amendments were a perfecting of the original Constitution by reincorporating the sentiments of the Declaration.

Bradford was a Southerner and a Southern conservative. This not only placed him at odds with Jaffa’s reimagining of the Founding and Civil War, but it put him on the losing side of the internal struggles within conservatism. He was on the Russel Kirk wing of the Right, which was purged by Buckley in the 1980’s. In fact, Bradford was one of the first to be hurled into the void by conservatives. Paul Gottfried blames this urge to purge squarely on the neoconservatives.

There is truth to it, but the desire to excommunicate rivals exists in all movements, so it is hardly unique to the neocons. The question is how were they able to change the rules in order to disqualify the arguments of their opponents? After all, no one was purged for being factually incorrect. The dispute between the paleos and neos was over moral questions and that is where Jaffa comes back into the room. It is Jaffa’s work that gave the neocons the chance to rig morality to their advantage.

The central claim of Harry Jaffa is that the Constitution was an imperfect effort to encode the sentiments of the Declaration into the political framework of the new nation created out of the break from England. The contradictions within the constitutional order eventually led to the Civil War. This allowed for some necessary corrections to advance the nation down the road toward the sentiments in the Declaration. Lincoln becomes the Moses of this new nation forged in liberty.

Of course, this requires a reading of early American history that steps outside of the actual facts and written accounts of the Founders. It also requires a new version of the events leading up to the Civil War. That was all made easy because it proved a path forward for conservatives to embrace egalitarianism. They could finally claim that their opponents on the Left were the real racist because Lincoln was a Republican, freed the slaves and said stuff about all men being equal.

That is not being fair to Jaffa, who deserves a much more through debunking than time permits, but this was his contribution to conservatism. The cult of Lincoln he created for the Right cut them loose from the old conservativism, rooted in the natural order, and provided them with a new moral foundation. The New Right would be about equality and liberty. The New Left, in contrast, would be about equality and justice, thus tying the two together through egalitarianism.

Here is a post on the same site as the Gottfried post, in which the editors reject the new normal of American politics. Everything is good until this. “In reality, race is not the ultimate fact of human identity or the central problem of American life. Different ethnic populations have different general tendencies, but not different natural rights. Everyone is capable of learning to live well in this country, but only if we confidently endorse both our geographical and cultural boundaries.”

The linked post in that quote is worth reading, as it rips the mask from the “new conservatism” and exposes it as the old conservatism. The great fork in the road, the shadow that hangs over human history, is biology. The story of man is not one tale with many chapters, but many stories of many people, all of whom have their own unique understanding of themselves and how they should live. The genuine man of the Right understands this and accepts it. Equality, in short, is inhuman.

When you pick up one end of a stick, you pick up the other. This is the problem that destroyed 20th century conservatism. They were offered a Faustian bargain from the likes of Harry Jaffa. They accepted the egalitarianism of the radicals as their foundation stone and in exchange they were rewarded with riches. Conservatism was once again Northern Conservatism and followed the same path that another Southerner observed about them in the 19th century.


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.


European Zionism

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.


One of the queer things about American politics is that you can be enthusiastically in support of Israel, even though Israel advocates an ideology that is expressly banned in American politics. The Israelis are ethno-nationalists. The official policy of the state of Israel is blood and soil nationalism. Ben Shapiro once advocated for the “removal” of non-Jews from Israel and he faced no backlash. In fact, this position boosted his standing on the American Right.

In contrast, if you say that America should not let everyone in who shows up at the border, you are called a white nationalist. The mainstream media celebrates the “great replacement” but if you question the decency of the great replacement, you are condemned as some sort of monster. If you notice anything about demographics, you could have a mob at your door. What is celebrated with regards to Israel is the most heinous crime you can commit in America.

There are lots of people who recognize the contradiction, but the fact remains, most white people in America are fine with it. As long as they can celebrate Israel there is no price they refuse to pay. For most white people in America, loving Israel brings a sense of peace in a troubled world. The reason, of course, is it is an acceptable outlet for ethnocentric impulses. Israel does not exist as a real place for Americans. She is an abstraction, an allowable team to support for cultural reasons.

A stark example is the contrast between Greg Johnson, the author of The White Nationalist Manifesto and Yoram Hazony, the author of the Virtue of Nationalism, two books on the exact same subject. Both books make the exact same claims about people and human organization. Both argue for nations to organized around the interests of a dominant ethnic group. Both authors demand a homeland for their people that is only for their people.

Greg Johnson has been made into a pariah, suffering in a form of internal exile, while Yoram Hazony gets to run big expensive conferences funded by Western oligarchs and attended by famous people. The difference, of course, is Hazony is a famous outspoken Zionist from Israel and his efforts are on behalf of the Jewish state. Johnson is a white nationalist who advocates for white people. The typical white person in America does not find this contradiction troubling in the least.

This contradiction has been obvious for a long time and it has been pointed out by various groups when it suits them. The Left used to criticize Israel for being a fascist or apartheid state. That is not as popular today, but it does come up from time to time, an issue Hazony addresses in his writings. On the Right, patriots have often pointed out that they simply want policies acceptable in Israel, like immigration control, to be applied to the United States. The contradiction persists, however.

It has been popular with certain types to blame this contradiction on some sort of conspiracy, but events in Europe suggest it is something else. The war in Ukraine has suddenly brought nationalists, who have been marginalized for generations, in league with internationalists, in opposition to Russia. Nationalists across Europe are now blindly in support of Ukraine and in opposition to Russia. Most of them repeat the agit-prop that comes from Washington.

The insanity on display cannot be overstated. Nationalists will claim with a straight face that they oppose Russia because it is an aggressive empire. Yet, they are throwing in with the Global American Empire, which is promising to erase the last vestiges of European culture and replace it with consumerism. Nationalists may as well put corporate logos on themselves. Perhaps add their own color to the rainbow flag that is the symbol of Americanism around the world now.

It is a bizarre spectacle. For decades, European nationalists had nothing much to say about Russia, other than some observations of the fact that she had not been homogenized into generic American culture. The Visegrád nations have also come in for admiration from nationalists for resisting the cultural decline. Otherwise, nationalists have not had much to say about the East. Now, they are obsessed with Russia and swear they have always been at war with Eurasia.

The most bizarre example of this is Finland. The tiny country tucked away in the northeast of Europe has long been a neutral player in European politics. This was how she maintained herself as an independent country. Finnish nationalism was built on a nuanced understanding of her neighbors, especially Russia. Today, Finnish nationalism is nothing more than unthinking hatred of Russia. They repeat Washington talking points and sound like unhinged neocons in support of empire.

What is happening in Europe is opposition to Russia is now an acceptable outlet for the natural ethnic pride of Europeans. The West is underwriting literal Nazis in Ukraine, but that is acceptable because they oppose Russia. Nationalists now feel they can come out of the shadows, as long as they too hate Russia. In fact, many nationalists have signed on to fight in Ukraine. Every day there are reports of foreign mercenaries being killed or captured in the Donbas.

Just as being a Zionist is an acceptable outlet for nationalist impulses in America, being anti-Russian is an acceptable outlet for nationalism in Europe. The nationalists have even picked up on the idiotic claim that Russia is a multi-racial empire, which is a staggeringly ignorant argument. It is one thing for provincial clodhoppers in America to say such a thing, but Europeans should know better. Their emotional need to be a part of something, however, has overrode their intellects.

That is another interesting piece to this. In America, most white people are as ignorant of Israel as they are everything else about the world. Americans are famously provincial, so the Zionist-White Nationalist parallels are not obvious. Ukraine is in the backyard of European nationalists. Many are anti-Semites. Despite this, they fully support a puppet regime of Washington run by a Jewish comedian, doing the bidding of the neoconservative cabal that runs American foreign policy.

What is happening in Europe is what we have seen in America. The nativism and national pride of the heritage population is being channeled into activism on behalf of the Global America Empire. In America, this energy goes to support Israel, while in Europe it will be channeled into hatred of Russians. It is no surprise that Yoram Hazony is trying to attach himself to this new anti-Russian sentiment in Europe. Look for his next conference in your country this summer.

The usual suspects, of course, will claim that this is the work of the usual suspects, but there is another example of this that says otherwise. In the Covid panic, many in the HBD community, who had been living in the shadows of the biological sciences, jumped on the Covid madness with the zeal of a lunatic. People who spent careers criticizing media claims about biology suddenly accepted everything the media had to say about the Covid pandemic, no matter how ridiculous.

The driver in the HBD-to-Covidian lane was the fact that smart people who had been excluded from polite society suddenly sensed an opening. Instinctively they sensed they could join the conversation, as this was their wheelhouse. They tackled the issue with all the enthusiasm they could muster. Inevitably they signed onto the most draconian measures by people who say sex is a social construct and demand you announce your pronouns when entering a room.

Of course, this never provided a lane back to respectability for them, which should be a lesson for both Christian Zionists and European Nationalists. The morality of the Global American Empire is the morality of the Western managerial elite. That morality is entirely situational, based on partisan concerns. Today, certain nationalists are acceptable because they serve present needs, but tomorrow their supporters will be thrown in dungeons, because it serves the elites.

In the end we are left with two parallel phenomena. The contradiction of American Zionism serves the interest of empire. It was Christian Zionist who supported the wars in the Middle East. Now European nationalism is being retarded to oppose Russia on behalf of the empire, which explicitly rejects European nationalism. In the former case, a distant enemy is used to conceal the enemy at home. In Europe, a local enemy is used to conceal the enemy across the sea.

Finally, and most importantly, a kernel of truth lies at the heart of the deception. In the case of American Zionism, the truth is that people naturally want to be organized around their racial and ethnic identity. In the case of this new European Zionism, the kernel of truth is that people naturally resist empire. In the former, the truth is channeled away from questioning the logic of empire. In the latter, the truth is channeled away from opposing the empire. In both cases, it is seeds cast among stones.


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.


Turn The Page

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 America, what is called the political Left operates within a few modes of thought tied to seminal events on the Left. One if the civil right era, another is the Watergate era and the other is interwar Europe. All events are framed by this period. If they do not fit these models then they are usually ignored. Of course, their framing of these periods is cartoonish and absurd. It is all easy to understand heroes and villains, who are stripped of moral ambiguity and nuance.

What passes for the Right has always been an echo of the Left, so they have evolved similar framings. It took a while but the 1980’s is one of their primary frameworks for talking about current events. They are always looking for the next Reagan, Thatcher or Bill Buckley among the current mediocrities. Their answer to almost every issue is a slogan from the high water point of conservatism. Modern conservatism is a cargo cult where current members ape the members of the past.

Like their friends on the Left, the Right also has an obsession for the interwar period in Europe, but with a different emphasis. While the Left checks under their bed every night to make sure Hitler is not waiting for them, the Right is always sure Neville Chamberlain is lurking somewhere, ready to give away the Sudetenland. Like the Left, their understanding of that time is cartoonish and absurd. All the players are exaggerated heroes or villains with crude moral choices.

This can be traced to the Reagan years. His innovation in the Cold War was to call the Russians the “evil empire.” This may be the first example of a politician convincing adults by using a reference to a children’s show. Everyone dealing with an affluent white female liberal (AWFL), who quotes Harry Potter all the time, can thank Ronald Reagan for that bit of cultural innovation. Ever since, the right has sorted the world into extreme villains and themselves as the heroes.

Of course, the most extreme villain is Hitler. Reagan stopped short of calling Gorbachev the new Hitler, but that generation knew their history. Those that followed have thrown around the Hitler language as recklessly as the Left. Saddam Hussein was Hitler and his party was “islamo-fascist.” In fact, every Muslim with a complaint about bombs dropping on his head was called an “islamo-fascist” by conservatives. Even the Taliban got this label from conservatives.

In this framing, every Hitler needs a Chamberlain and Churchill. In conservative framing, Chamberlain is not a man who wished to avoid another horrible European war, but a foolish sissy unwilling to face reality. Churchill is not a reckless warmonger known for his alcoholism and lack of judgment, but a heroic visionary who could spot Old Scratch coming before anyone. Of course, every conservative sees a bit of Churchill in himself, so he is always ready for another war.

We see this with the undeclared war on Russia. Putin is Hitler, despite the Russian role in defeating the real Hitler. The Russians are the Nazis invading Poland, even though the guys on the other side are extreme Hitler enthusiasts. Biden has to be Chamberlain, even though he barely knows where he is most of the time and it is his administration that launched the war against Russia. His failure to take it to the nuclear level is proof that he is too soft on the new Hitler.

You see this deranged mental state in this American Conservative post about a warmonger convention held in DC. Those who point out the massive failure of thirty years of pointless wars of choice is now called a neo-isolationist. Note how not supporting aggressive imperial wars of domination is isolationism. Note also that the people who say this love quoting the Founders, except the part where Washington warned about entangling alliances.

Part of this framing is the lack of scruples by modern conservatives. The warmonger events are sponsored by the war machine and they pay well. Sites like National Review are now wholly dependent on money from Big Tech and the Military Industrial Complex, so they are happy to sell endless war, foreign and domestic. Conservatism is now just the public relations arm of the security state. It is why they never expose themselves to pushback on these issues.

That aside, it still leaves the obsession with Hitler. In the middle of the last century, the men who actually fought real Nazis rarely mentioned Hitler. The occasional joke about the old enemies was as much as they did. Their children and now their grandchildren, who grew up insulated from all of life’s troubles, are obsessed with events that happened almost a century ago in another country. The war on Russia reveals that this derangement is getting worse.

The answer may simply be that the so-called conservatives are just boys and girls playing a role, wearing costumes too large for them. Like children in their parent’s clothes, modern political actors are midgets compared to the men who created the roles they are now asked to play. To make up for the fact that they are fleas on the society they inherited, they exaggerate their role in it. A similar phenomenon drives the Left, which also operates like a cargo cult.

Another factor is cultural inertia. The Global American Empire was born in the Second World War and its evolution was in the context of its shadow. The Cold War was driven by the energy of the war against fascism. The energy from the initial creation of the empire was channeled into the Cold War. The residual energy that now gets channeled into endless wars of choice is just cultural inertia. It is the old rationale for existence looking for a place to go in post-Cold War age.

Regardless, the only way forward for America and the West is to finally close the books on the 20th century. That will require a lot of funerals and retirement parties, but Father Time is undefeated in this regard. Once the people defined by the endless fights over old ideas like nationalism, fascism and communism are gone, then the new fights over civilizationalism can begin. The question is whether the actuarial tables can do their magic before it is too late.


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.


Another New Right

Note: The Taki post is up. This week it is a discourse on the modern partisan and the impact it has on our politics. The Sunday Thoughts podcast is up behind the green door for subscribers.


The term “New Right” is one of those phrases that has a long life but has never had much meaning in American politics. Bill Buckley was a member of the New Right when he got going in the middle of the last century. Later, various efforts were made to create a New Right as an alternative to the Buckley Right. As conservatism collapsed over the last decade the term has become a popular one with failed alternatives. Members of the alt-right even tried rebranding as the New Right.

The long life of the term in America, without much meaning, says more about the overall state of politics than the various efforts to create an alternative. In Europe, the term New Right has meaning, because it is a real school that has been trying to create a new politics that reflects the current age. In America, the popularity of New Right reflects the fact that there has never been a genuine Right. What passes for the Right is just a foil for the prevailing orthodoxy of the ruling class.

That reality is clearer now that at any time in the history of the empire, but there are those giving the term another shot. There are several groups competition to be the new Right to replace the rubble that is mainstream conservatism. There is a lot of interest in the mainstream in these projects as the prevailing orthodoxy works best when it has a foil to operate as a gatekeeper. Channeling popular frustration into a sterile alternative is the secret to maintaining order.

The least promising of the alternatives is whatever Curtis Yarvin, known as Moldbug, is calling himself these days. Yarvin got famous blogging as a neo-reactionary who criticized democracy in various ways. He would write awfully long essays criticizing liberal democratic system from the perspective of a royalist. His style was something like a stream of consciousness while playing an on-line role playing game. It was elite condescension for those who imagined themselves elite.

After a break from his Moldbug character, Yarvin is back, but playing himself, a retired software developer, who has a lot to say about the present order. Instead of demanding the creation of a monarchy, he advocates a rejection of politics entirely. According to his analysis, any participation in politics ends up supporting the system, so the only way to oppose the system is to drop out entirely. His approach is not much different from Rod Dreher’s Benedict Option, just without the religion.

The basic argument Yarvin makes is that participating within the rules of the system supports the system. If you organize a new party, for example, you are legitimizing the party system and the rules that govern it. On the other hand, if you protest against the system, your protest is either crushed or permitted by the system. Either way, this legitimizes the power of the system, because the system only acts in ways that add to its power and legitimizes its power.

While there are bits of his critique of liberal democracy that are accurate, his alternatives are best described as incoherent label shopping. He has tried out “clear pill”, “grey mirror” and now “deep right” as marketing phrases. None of which mean anything on their own. Instead, they work like insider language for his fans, a way for them to feel like they have special knowledge. Yarvin writes in riddles, so these secret phrases can mean whatever the fan needs them to mean.

A more robust option in the New Right talent contest is the pan-Zionism offered up by the Israeli political scientist Yoram Hazony. He is probably the most complete of the alternatives and has the best financial support. The oligarch Peter Theil has been backing him for a few years, primarily by financing his conferences on nationalism in America and Europe. These have become networking events for the people hoping to win the New Right lottery.

Hazony’s argument, put forth in his book The Virtue of Nationalism, is that the West needs to re-embrace nationalism and reject empire. His argument for nationalism is pretty much the argument for Zionism. In fact, his case seems to be more of a defense of Zionism than a genuine case for European nationalism. In his book, he goes to great lengths to argue that things like fascism and apartheid are not nationalism, which of course are claims made against Zionism.

The problem for all nationalist movements is the elephant in the room. Once you make the claim of exclusivity, that is a people has an exclusive right to determine their composition, it means certain people can be excluded. For European nationalists, this brings obvious comparisons to unfortunate incidents. For Zionists, this offends the donor base which lives primarily in the Global American Empire. The solution is a watered down and exception-riddled nationalism.

In both of these efforts, what plagues them is an unwillingness to address the core defects of liberal democracy directly. The crisis in the West stems directly from the anti-human notions of egalitarianism and the blank slate. This is what underpins multiculturalism, universalism and globalism. Without addressing the twin tap roots of liberal democracy, the critic is left to whack away at the leaves. It means these flavors of the New Right are doomed from the start.

Another entrant in the New Right derby is what is sometimes called common good conservatism and sometimes called integralism. This reflects the two camps that operate within the movement. One camp takes a secular view of politics, primarily focused on the law, while the other camp is explicitly religious. The former seeks to reform the law in order to achieve their ends. The latter is a revival of antidisestablishmentarianism from old Europe.

The secular camp is best represented by Josh Hammer, who is busy creating what he calls common good jurisprudence to replace originalism and textualism. His critique, like many on this subculture, starts with the dissident observation that conservatism has never conserved anything. He repeats the century old observation by Robert Lewis Dabney about conservatism being yesterday’s progressivism. He then proposes an alternative he calls common good jurisprudence.

On the integralism side, the face of that wing is a Harvard academic named Cornelius Adrian Comstock Vermeule. He advocates for a robust state that will act in the best interests of the common good. The common good is largely defined by the teachings of the Catholic Church. He wants a return of throne and later rule, in which the state, however composed, is unconstrained by individual rights. In other words, he wants the current system to be guided by medieval Catholicism.

Like Yarvin and Hazony, the various figures flying the common good conservatism banner have no interest in taking on egalitarianism and the blank slate, even though their hierarchical worldview should demand it. A state that acts in the common good requires someone with the power to decide what is the common good. There is no room for a monarch or an enlightened despot in a world where all men are equal and their equality must be respected by the state.

The problem with all of these attempts to create a New Right is they are limited to a critique of the present order. They refuse to ponder the central questions of all political morality and that is “who decides?” and “by what authority?” The one who comes closest is Hazony and he stops at the water’s edge for obvious reasons. Otherwise, the New Right is pretty much a social club of people who are unhappy with the present order but cannot face the reality of it.

That may be what is preventing a New Right from forming up and taking the place of Buckley-style conservatism on the big stage. The specter haunting the West is demographics, which is animated by those two central questions. There is little need for a New Right unless it is willing speak to demographics and everything that flows from it. When the only question that matters is off the table, everything else is idle chatter that makes for a fun conference, but not much else.


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.


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.


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Expansionist Ideology

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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.