Generational War

Note: The first Taki post of the year is up. I start the year off with some soothing words about race. I also have a post up behind the green door on the move The Searchers, which is ranked #96 on the top-100.


Generational politics has been a part of American culture since the middle of the last century when the Baby Boomers started making noises. Youth culture started in the 20’s during the Jazz Age, but really came into its own in the 50’s and 60’s. Today it is just assumed that each generation has its own unique identity. Zoomers, Boomers and Millennials are separate tribes with nothing in common. On this side of the great divide, “boomer” is commonly thrown around as an epithet.

One of the great ironies of our political culture is that whites are never allowed to play identity politics, unless it is generational identity politics. That because generational war is pretty much a white thing. Zoomers can rant and rave about the Boomers, because it is assumed that both groups are white. You never hear the gatekeepers lecture us about the danger of generational identity politics like they do with other aspects of identity like race, sex or even region of the country.

Putting all of that aside, there is a generational aspect to our politics that will be front and center in the near future. The Baby Boomers get grief for the cultural revolution, but in reality, they were just consumers of that revolution. Despite all the radical rhetoric, the Boomers emerged into adulthood with a high degree of institutional trust. The Left has a deep faith in government and the process of government. The Right has a deep faith in capitalism and the process of the marketplace.

This institutional trust is apparent across the political spectrum. The mainstream Left demands absolute fidelity to the institutions they control. For example, skepticism of the mass media is treated as a dangerous conspiracy theory. The mainstream Right was in a constant state of panic over Trump challenging the system. Even dissident Boomers maintain faith in the system. They are sure that getting the right people in the right offices will result in polices rooted in demographic reality.

This is to be expected. The Baby Boom generation came into a world that not only worked, but worked amazingly well. They were raised up in a high trust society with a booming economy. In their youth they got to enjoy a flourishing popular culture and in their adulthood, they were gifted a robust economy. Through their middle years, they got good schools for their kids and great health care for their parents. The system has been great for that generation, so their loyalty is sensible.

This deep trust in the system will only become more intense as the Baby Boom generation gets older. The first wave of Boomers is either on the cusp of retirement or already retired. Right behind them is the second wave that perks up every time an ad for retirement services comes on the television. What old people do not want is for things to change. Despite the obvious problems in politics, the culture and economy, the Baby Boom generation trusts the system. They have no choice.

Despite their vast influence, the Baby Boom generation will soon begin to give way to the next generation, which is the Millennials. Generation X is too small, and they have been shut out by the massive generation ahead of them. The Millennials are now ready to start taking up their place in American society. The first wave of that generation is approaching forty now. Over the next decade, as the Boomers head into retirement, their children will take over for them as the dominant generation.

Unlike their parents or possibly grandparents in some cases, the Millennials have a different lived experience, as the beautiful people would put it. They came into easy times like their parents, but they never had to fear war, recession, or the ideological threat of Soviet communism. They never had to think much about the system or trust in it in anyway, because the system was never under any threat. For them, the current order was just a part of nature, something taken for granted.

One result of this is an unrealistic sense of entitlement. You see this most acutely on the Left, where the new generation of radicals sound like spoiled children. Their demands are those of a toddler faced with a toy that is not working. They look around and demand to know why diversity is not blooming wherever they look or why there are things within eyeshot that hurt their feelings. Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez is a petulant child, but also the face of the new American Left.

Another feature of this generation is an absolute faith in themselves. The doting of their parents and the hours of esteem building lessons paid off. Millennials are a wildly confident generation. This makes perfect sense. Things just worked out well for this group, especially those who entered the managerial class. As long as they ticked the right boxes, the treat came out at the bottom. A generation raised on participation medals reached adulthood highly confident in their ability.

They also have a deep faith in their sense of right and wrong. They start from the assumption that their desires are the moral high ground. Whatever they want is not the right thing in the empirical sense, but the right thing morally. This means they receive criticism and failure as a personal affront. Add in their sense of entitlement and this is not a generation built for struggle. They expect and demand things work the way they want them to work and that’s the end of it.

For Millennials, politics will be intensely personal. They define themselves by their lifestyle choices and the opinions they promote. Personal accomplishment plays a minor role, because everything that matters has always been here for them. Gesture politics is all about moral signaling for a generation that conflated everything into some aspect of their personal identity. This is why mainstream political discourse increasingly sounds like a fight between a divorced couple.

For an aging empire showing signs of decay, this sets up an interesting dynamic over the next decades. As the system begins to break in serious ways, the older generation will want to protect it at all costs. On the other hand, the people tasked with fixing the system will be their overconfident, sanctimonious kids. Compounding it will be the fact that the Millennials have come this far assuming the system is just a part of the natural world, like the weather. It does not require maintenance.

The generational war that is shaping up is not between the Zoomers and the Boomers, but between the Boomers and their kids. One side maintains a deep trust in the system, while the other has a deep trust in themselves. One side will demand the system be repaired and defended, while the other will take this as a personal affront. Meanwhile, the people capable of maintaining the system will be too old to do it, while the people tasked with it will be too self-absorbed to be bothered. Good times.


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


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

The Hindu Lebensraum

The word “colonialism” is like many useful words in the English language, in that it has been tortured by the Left to the point where it is unrecognizable. A generation ago the Left redefined colonialism to mean European success. The backwardness of the third world was the legacy of colonialism. Today colonialism is a synonym for the imaginary white privilege they see everywhere. Their project now is to decolonize everything, by which they mean drive off the white people.

Still, colonialism is a useful concept. Since the dawn of human civilization, those civilizations have been occupying land with settlers and taking control of settled lands in order to exploit them economically. The Egyptians, Phoenicians and Greeks spread throughout the ancient world by setting up colonies. Their people established settlements outside their home turf and used those settlements to establish trade routes and spread their cultural influence in the region.

In the modern day we see a different form of colonialism that reflects the fact that land is no longer the primary source of wealth. Instead of setting up camp in the non-white world to exploit their natural resources, the West now imports the useful portion of these populations for diversity purposes. Instead of importing ivory and exotic woods from Africa, Europe now imports the talented tenth from Africa, who contribute an exotic flair to the professional and university ranks of Europe.

The fastest growing population of the United States is South Asians, primarily people from the Indian subcontinent. The population tripled to six million over the last twenty years and the flow is increasing. Congress takes every opportunity to make it easier for the professional ranks of India to come to America. Much of it is under the guise of temporary worker programs, but like so many words in the English language, “temporary” means something different now.

Initially, the appetite for South Asian labor was driven by Silicon Valley. They wanted cheap labor to undermine domestic labor costs. When they were not colluding with one another to artificially suppress wages, they were colluding to import cheap labor from India, with the support of the Republican Party. Silicon Valley liked Indian labor because they spoke English and India was very accommodating. Chinese programmers are better, but the Chinese government is not easily exploited.

One result of this brain drain to the West is India has fallen behind China both politically and economically. The per capita GDP of China is five times higher than India, despite the fact India is far more open to Western investment. India has been happy to see their best and brightest head to the West, while the Chinese keep their smart people at home and force the West to come to China. Roughly half of India’s top talent now lives in Western countries. That is an enormous loss.

Another consequence of this is playing out in American politics. Indians have come to dominate the management layer in Silicon Valley. The people at the top may be from a different tribe, but the next layer down is getting very brown. One result is South Asians have the highest household income in America. Another is they have increasing influence in the political system. So much so that they essentially bought Kamala Harris a spot on the Democratic ticket. She is grateful.

These Indian colonies in the West have created a magnet for Indians back on the subcontinent, who want to escape their conditions. This opens the door for the Indians in the West to increase their status and power, by getting more and more of their people into their new colonies in the West. It is why both American political parties support unlimited visas for Indians. The flow of Indian money is now significant, so both parties are willing to sellout to this rising interest group.

The current population of India is 1.4 billion. If we assume the talented tenth is able to live and work in the West, that is 140 million people. If half of those think following their countrymen to Europe and America is the right thing to do, that is 70 million people ready to hop a steamer for the West. Of course, we are not just getting the talented tenth from India, so that is a very conservative number. Then you need to add in Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

South Asia has a lot of people living in small spaces. Overall, the countries of South Asia have a population density of 303 people per square kilometer. The United States has a population density of 36 per square kilometer. If you are a people jammed into tight quarters, looking for some elbow room, North America looks like heaven. If that wide open space is begging you to come and your best people are already there establishing thriving colonies, the result is obvious.

One irony of this is that for a generation now immigration patriots have been warning us that the American ruling class is importing a new people. They did not like ruling over the middle-class white people that made the country, so they were bringing in new brown people to break the back of the middle and working class. It also appears that they are importing a new ruling class too. The affluent Indian colonists are ready to take their place at the top of the empire now. Kamala Harris says hello.

This is the ideal moment for this new tribe to flex its muscle as no group on earth is better at playing identity politics than South Asians. South Asia has been nothing but identity politics since the Indo-Aryan invasion of the subcontinent. India has been one of the most diverse places on earth, meaning that Indian ruling class has literally been bred to play identity politics. They now find themselves in an empire convulsed by identity politics and headed to majority-minority status.

If one wants to look ahead to how the American empire finally starts to crack, it may very well be at the top, rather than between the top and the rest. One camp will be the ascendant South Asians, while another camp will be the remnant of the Judeo-Puritan ruling elite from the last century. The former will be rooted in their local economic strength, while the latter will be supported by the Chinese Communist Party. Maybe some oil money from the Middle East thrown in for flavor.


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


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

Observations On The Drug War

Note: I have a post behind the green door on the rile of females in movies. Since this is the end of the year and a good time to be grateful, thank you to the 300 who have signed on as patrons to my efforts.


For generations now, libertarianism has been synonymous with the legalization of recreational drugs. It is probably a bit unfair, as libertarianism has a lot more to it than just legalizing weed, but there is no getting around the fact that they have been obsessed with the topic for a long time. Libertarians take the broadest possible view on what could be considered recreations drugs. Their belief is that people can figure out for themselves what drugs they should or should not take.

The libertarian case rests on a number of assumptions about the human condition and human organization. One is that people are rational and act in their best interests or what they believe to be their best interests. The other is that you are responsible only for you and you have no duty to your neighbors or community. Those unable to sort their best interests may kill themselves with drugs, but that’s their problem. You and the rest of society have no duty or right to stop them.

Again, there is more to libertarianism than the legalization of drugs, but it makes for a useful entry point to examine their claims about a wide range of things. Their arguments about drugs can be applied to many other areas of life. That is the stock response from libertarians when they are chided about their drug obsession. Although they are extremely careful to avoid being explicit, the same arguments about drugs could be applied to speech, assembly, personal defense and so on.

Unlike most of the claims from libertarians, we now have some real-world experiments in the drug realm to test their claims. Not only have we had drug prohibition, we now have a lot of experience with legalization. We even have the unofficial decriminalization of drugs in several cities now. If the cops are told to ignore open drug use in a city, that is de fact decriminalization. Generations of claims about the drug war can now be measured against the reality of drug legalization.

The easy stuff to look at are the claims about crime. In places that have legalized marijuana, overall crime rates have not changed much. Property crime rates have not changed significantly and violent crime has actually ticked up, but that has happened in areas that did not legalize weed. In the cities that have effectively decriminalized drug use, like Seattle and Portland, crime has gone up significantly, but there are other factors at work in these cities driving the rise in crime.

There are fewer people in the court system for possession charges now, but no reasonable person doubted that claim. If we stopped arresting people for murder, the courts would see a drop in murder cases. The argument for or against legalizing drugs was never about courts of prisons. It is about the overall quality of life. If a big robust criminal justice system is what we need in order to have a high quality of life, only crazy people will complain about that trade-off. Life is nothing but trade-offs.

When you look at what has been happening in the country in total since states began to experiment with drug legalization, a pattern emerges. We have seen a sharp rise in taxes at the state level, some owing to taxes on drug sales, but also a sharp decline in the rule of law. The Western states, where marijuana legalization first started, has seen a collapse in civil order. You have massive homeless camps in Los Angeles, anarchy in Seattle and Portland. Anarcho-tyranny is the rule out west now.

Another point worth mentioning is that the states rushing to legalize drugs have also been some of the worst offenders of Covid lockdowns. California is operating under a bizarre form of martial law. Criminals and bums can run wild in the streets, but normal businesses are being shuttered over Covid. Maine has wrecked their tourist industry over Covid, despite few cases. Massachusetts is operating under a curfew. Maybe these states did not legalize weed for libertarian reasons.

 

It is important to underscore that the collapse of civil order in drug legalizing states is not caused by drug fiends running the streets. The bums, drug fiends, petty criminals and bourgeois revolutionaries are symptoms of a larger decline in civil order. The image that is beginning to emerge is that drug legalization efforts correspond with a collapse in the willingness of state government to maintain order. The Covid hysteria is probably just another indicator of this collapse in civil order.

There is another angle to the drug legalization claims. For generations, the image of drug legalization promoted by libertarians was that potheads would be growing weed in their backyards and drugstores would be dispensing harder drugs just as they sell products for foot fungus and allergies. If you liked smoking pot, you could grow some plants in the backyard with your artisanal lettuce. If you had a heroin addiction, your doctor would provide a prescription for safe heroin.

On the latter point we have plenty of evidence that the libertarians were completely wrong about legalizing hard drugs. The opioid crisis in America was created by those benign drug companies. The claim for generations was that business would never try to kill its customer base. It turns out that was false. The Sackler family was perfectly willing to genocide the population for a quick buck. Just imagine if they did not have to work through the legal system in order to deliver drugs to people.

We won’t have to wait to learn what would have happened. The marijuana business is well on its way to becoming the marijuana industrial complex. Companies operating what amount to government monopolies in the growing of pot are now worth billions and growing rapidly. When the business plan for billion-dollar corporations with special access to government is built on getting your kids hooked on drugs, it is not hard to predict what will happen. Let a thousand Sacklers bloom.

As with the breakdown in order where drug legalization is popular, the abuses of global capital in the drug trade are a symptom. Former Speaker of the House John Boehner is a marijuana lobbyist now. Former Speaker Paul Ryan is an off-the-books lobbyist in Washington, as he gobbles up corporate donations in preparation for a 2024 presidential run. Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is Managing Director at Moelis & Company, where he lobbies for business deals.

Taken in total, what we will see from the supply side of drug legalization is the same thing we see everywhere with global capital. Instead of government regulating business, it is business regulating government. The state is always the junior partner. It is a form of post-national colonialism, where global corporations extract resources from communities with the support of local politicians. The opioid crisis was just the first wave of what is about to come in the normalization of drug taking.

There are two takeaways from the first wave of drug legalization. One is the results are nothing like what libertarians predicted. The states that are legalizing drugs are not experiencing empty prisons and courtrooms. Crime has not plummeted as the trade has moved from the streets to the strip malls. There may be fewer people in jail for marijuana possession, but that was always a false metric. Those people are now in jail for other crimes now that they cannot plead down to possession.

The other takeaway is that drug legalization is not the point of the libertarian spear, but the leading edge of anarcho-tyranny. The states rushing to legalize drugs are experiencing the most civil unrest. These state governments are not legalizing drugs because they love liberty. They are doing it because they no longer have the will or the desire to maintain order. In fact, drug legalization appears to be a traveling partner of a growing wave of illiberal authoritarianism.


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

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


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

Fantasy Camp

Note: The Monday post is up at Taki. For those who missed it, the playback of my Cotto-Gottfried interview is up on YouTube.


A popular aphorism on this side of the great divide is a line from the poet T. S. Eliot who wrote “Humankind cannot bear very much reality.” Most of the time it is part of a general critique of the age, with regards to the human condition. Our betters, rather than face the reality of the human condition, concoct comfortable sounding fantasies to explain the inequality of man. The reason Johnny can’t read, for example, is because of some flaw in the schools, not the mating decisions of his ancestors.

Reality avoidance is a modern problem. In recent times it seems to have become something of a plague on society. Movies and television have shifted from fantastical tales of human achievement, like space travel, to comic book tales of god-like creatures saving the child-like humans from reality. Mainstream politics is one fantasy camp screaming at the other fantasy camp over their imaginary differences. The mass media makes fantasy literature look like a technical manual.

The election of Donald Trump has probably been the greatest catalyst for political fantasy in American history. Since he came down the escalator in 2015, few have bothered to look directly at the reality of this phenomenon. Instead, all sides have spent the last five years building elaborate, plausible explanations for what was happening around Trump, rather than accepting it at face value. Our politics the last five years has been a war between competing realities.

Those fantasy versions of Trump are not fixed. Take for example the alt-right crowd that jumped on the Trump train earlier than anyone. They convinced themselves he was the Pinochet they imagined, who would come to power and rescue them from the fringes of political reality. When the reality of Trump turned out to not be something other than the rise of the god-emperor, they turned the other way and created a fantasy world in which they have always been deeply skeptical of Trump.

In this version of reality, we see the use of a scapegoat character that is common to all of the political fantasy camps. The “boomer” is the uncritical believer in conservative politics that is the archenemy of the red-pilled realist. Whatever contradicts the fantasy is boomer politics. They heap onto this character all of the things they think are wrong with modern politics. Even their impotence is the fault of the boomer. For them, Trump is the king of the boomers, who refused to accept the red-pill.

Of course, fantasy has a kernel of reality. The people still convinced that Trump will make some last-minute move to deny Biden the election are delusional. They can accept that the election was rigged, but they cannot accept that this is the result of a deeply corrupt system that is beyond reform. They hold onto the fantasy that somehow, within the rules, there is a solution to the problem. They are now like a UFO cult waiting for January 6th to see the prophesy revealed.

Probably the most deluded people in this age are those fully invested in establishment politics, both Left and Right. The cranks and nutjobs embracing woke politics think they are fighting the man. The fact that the most powerful institutions on earth are backing them is lost in the fantasy. The racketeers of Conservative Inc., in contrast, are sure that once Trump is gone it is back to business. They will be out there selling Reagan and Buckley memorabilia to a new generation of conservatives.

Lost in all of this is the fact that Trump will waddle off the stage next month and no longer serve as the catalyst to these fantasies. The red-pilled crowd will need to come up with a new way to convince themselves they are special snowflakes. They won’t have the MAGA-hat wearing boomer as a foil. The true believers in MAGA world will not have Q or their god emperor to star in their fantasy. Both sides of this relationship will be looking for a new type of escapism.

The mainstream crowd will have it a bit easier, simply because they can plug into mass media and forgot about the world. Still, they will have to come to grips with the fact that they helped install a dementia patient in the White House. The people around the Pretender Biden are not interested in the colored revolution. They just want to steal as much as they can before it is too late. Those longer for a return to the old ways will have to find a new excuse for why things are not working.

Next month will kick off something of a triple witching hour in the fantasy camps of American politics. The three main camps have relied on Trump as a tent pole to hold up their preferred version of reality. With Trump headed off to retirement, those fantasy versions of realty are no longer tenable. The red-pilled will need a new way to pretend they are special snowflakes. The MAGA crowd will need a new banner around which to rally and the blue-pilled will need a new devil.

People may prefer fantasy to reality, but reality does not go away when you stop believing in it. In the coming months, lots of people are going to arrive at the end of a fantasy road. Maybe they come up with a new fantasy. Maybe the ruling class brings back the escapism of sports and consumerism. It’s also possible that people have run out of ways to avoid facing the reality of this age. Like all forms of escapism, the world of fantasy politics may be coming to an end.


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

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


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

The Elect

Note: Lots of additional material this week. Over on Taki I have a post up about the great holiday movie It’s a Wonderful Movie. Behind the green door I have a post up about the YouTube/Livestream subculture. For those looking for some soothing sounds of reasonable analysis and conversation, here is some of that.


A recurring feature of the government Covid efforts is the people issuing various public health edicts violating those edicts. The self-righteous lectures about mask wearing from a sanctimonious politician are followed by pics of that politician going around without a mask at some swanky event. Restaurants all over the country have been closed, but special exceptions are always made for the politicians. These stories of official perfidy have become a staple of the outrage media.

One of the more amusing examples was from Rhode Island where the governess there has been carrying on like an overprotective mother, demanding that everyone stay home for the holidays. Meanwhile she is getting tanked up with other hens at a wine and paint party. The latest is the coordinator of the White House coronavirus response, who has been telling people to stay in hiding for the holidays. Meanwhile, she had a big family bash at one of her mansions over Thanksgiving.

Of course, these stories are waived around as examples of the hypocrisy and sense of entitlement common in the political class. There is an assumption that the people contradicting their own lectures know the lectures are nonsense. They know the mask wearing and other rules are ridiculous. They just like playing dictator. In contrast, these stories are sometimes presented as examples of how these people think they are above the rules, as if they are members of an aristocracy.

The latter is probably closer to the truth. The fact is, few people in elected office have the smarts to know if any of these policies make sense. It is monkey see, monkey do with these local politicians. They see a politician in another state getting noticed for an innovative torment and they race to match it. We live in the age of gesture politics, which means showing you care is all that matters. Covid allows these tiny tyrants to show they care by imposing restrictions on the rest of us.

What we are seeing is the results of the managerial class that formed up in the last century, having become class aware. These people see themselves as more than just experts tasked with managing society, the economy, education and so on. They are now an indispensable class, the fulcrum of society. There is no aspect of society that is off-limits to their machinations, because in their understanding of themselves and their role in society, no area of society can exist without their attention.

Therefore, you never hear any mention of constitutional liberties or constitutional rights when they are holding forth on their latest Covid edicts. You will also note that with some rare exceptions, political alignment has made no difference. Politicians of both parties have been participating in the orgy of rulemaking in response to Covid. What we have seen this year is the mask drop. The political divide in America is no longer Democrat and Republican, but the managerial class and the rest of us.

This new class awareness comes with a strong moral component. They see themselves as an elect, chosen by the people, based on merit, to manage society. It is why they often carry on as if what they are doing is a great burden. Like a mother saying “this will hurt me more than it will hurt you” when disciplining her child, the new elect carries on as if their duties are a great burden. Every new lecture, every new edict, comes with the sense that they are sacrificing for the community.

It is the old Calvinist concept of the predestination of the elect, secularized and democratized, into an obtuse form of entitlement. From the outside, these people look like self-important poseurs, oblivious to the damage they are causing. From inside the managerial class, they see themselves as heroes of a great cause. They are selflessly battling the Covid monster in order to save our democracy. The fact that no one voted for any of this is completely lost on them.

Another Christian element to this is the conflict over free will. On the managerial side, they no longer believe they are accountable in any formal sense. Governor Cuomo can cause the death of thousands of old people, but he is not responsible. On the other hand, some guy tries to keep his business open and he is accused of being a super-spreader, the angel of death. The elect has received grace, while the rest are condemned to suffer the torments that come for the damned.

There is also the old radical sensibility at work too. The radical always imagines herself as the vanguard of the people. She is free from responsibility, because her actions are intended to create the conditions for revolution. She can blow up women and children in a terrorist act, because her intentions are pure. She is not judged by the death and destruction she causes to the innocent, but by her fidelity to the cause and her willingness to sacrifice on behalf of it.

This turns up in the Covid edicts. These petty tyrants take pleasure in punishing the non-compliant, as it provides an opportunity to show how much they care. Like the radical bomber, they rationalize the damage they are doing, imagining themselves as the shock troops of social revolution. The great reset stuff and the build back better jabberwocky is the beacon on which they have fixed their gaze. They are leading us to salvation and nothing can stand in their way.


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

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


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

Lift Up Your Eyes

It is hard to believe, but the British government is now into the fifth year of negotiations with the EU over withdrawing from the union. The Brexit referendum passed in June of 2016 and since then there have been two new Prime Ministers and one national election, all driven by the issue. Of course, there have been lots of promises to get the deal done, but it has been one delay after another. They have just announced another delay in order to keep negotiating a deal that will never come.

To provide some perspective on all of this, consider the Peace of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years War. The war was one of the most devastating and complex events in European history. After all sides were exhausted from war, a conference was arranged for the belligerents to hash out their differences. A total of 109 delegations arrived and it took two years. In other words, one of the most complex treaties in history took less time that these Brexit negotiations.

Of course, as Farage points out, this is all a ruse to prevent Brexit from ever happening, at least not in the way the people expected. They will keep dragging it out until they sense the political winds have changed, at which point they have a second referendum in which the vote is rigged and they get the vote they want. Alternatively, they will cook up a deal that is basically a sham. The Brits will be subject to all the same rules, just administered under the name of Brexit.

This should be familiar by now. The Trump administration was basically just a four-year delaying action as the ruling class engineered the election fraud. There was no legislation on any of Trump’s signature issues. He got no wall money and he got no deal on immigration. Of course, nothing happened with the FBI’s seditious plot to overturn the 2016 election. At every turn, both parties conspired to prevent the Trump administration from moving their agenda forward.

From the perspective of the people who actually run things, these tactics are wonderful displays of democracy. Sure, most people think democracy means the will of the people, as expressed at the ballot box, is enacted in legislation, but most people are wrong about this. In reality, democracy is where the people endorse the preferred option of the ruling class. That way, the people in charge don’t have to take responsibility for their actions and face the wrath of the mobs.

This is not just a right-wing complaint. The Pretender Biden is about to be installed and the Left is already grumbling. Instead of filling his administration with trannies, angry unmarried females and other assorted kooks from the valley of the woke, the new administration will be staffed by flunkies and coat holders there to do the bidding of global capital. All of those people who volunteered for the Colored Revolution in 2020 are going to find out they were conned.

This reality will not matter much, as the Republicans will wave the bloody shirt, demanding their voters support the party. The same people who spent five years penning “Never Trump” columns will shamelessly demand that you vote for some block of wood because she is less odious than the Democrat. You see that in Georgia where all of the usual toadies are claiming that the two Republican stiffs running for Senate are all that stand between freedom and communism.

At a certain level, you have to admire the shamelessness. One of those stiffs is an open borders fanatic who promises to turn the state of Georgia into a mix of Sinaloa and Africa by flooding the state with migrants. In other words, the guy who promises the exact opposite of what GOP voters have been demanding is supposed to be the last line of defense against the Democrats. While the GOP is begging for votes, they are literally promising to genocide their own voters.

All of this, of course, is the reality of liberal democracy. There is an old expression that no people have ever erected a statue in honor of a committee. The point being that it is bold men leading their people who are remembered. The corollary to that is no one has ever faced the wrath of the mob by voting present on a committee. A rule or policy that seems to appear ex nihilo from the liberal democratic system may infuriate the public, but they have no target onto whom they can focus their anger.

Think about it. How did we end up with pornography being pumped into the mobile devises of our children? When was this vote taken? Who decided that pornographers were a protected class, but pro-life advocates were not? How did we end up with tranny story time? You can go down the list of indignities imposed upon us and not find a single name you can attach to it. The truth is, the people responsible for it hide in the shadows of liberal democracy, so they never have to answer for it.

There is an old expression about the gold bugs that goes like this. “If your rulers are so corrupt that you need hard money to control them, your rulers are so corrupt that they will find a way around the hard money.” It is a nice corollary to the old expression, “Locks keep honest people honest.” In other words, good people need rules to help them avoid temptation and channel their good intentions. In contrast, bad people not only ignore the rules, they are constantly seeking to undermine them.

The old Joseph de Maistre line about people getting the government they deserve gets thrown around a lot in democracies, as a way to blame the people for the sins of their rulers, but there is another implication. The people can, if they can lift up their eyes and take a look at who is ruling over them, decide that they deserve better than the ruling class they have and take action. Numbers still matter and if enough of the public has had enough of their rulers, they can get new rulers.

Just as the slave must first look his master in the eye as an equal, before he can revolt against his condition, people must first come to terms with the fact that their rulers are rotten to the core. This is the prerequisite to getting new rulers. People need to see that it is not that they have the wrong rules to control their rulers. The problem is they have the wrong rulers. In other words, instead of focusing their wrath on the system, they focus their wrath on the people responsible.

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

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


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

Conspiracy Land

Note: The Monday Taki post is here and there is a post behind the green door from the weekend.


Something that seems to be a part of every revolution and great period of social unrest is that a cloud of suspicion descends on the society. The people, through distrust and ignorance, no longer understand or trust their rulers. The rulers, because of insularity and obstinance, no longer understand what is happening in their society. There may be factions in the public that view one another with suspicion, so they are not able to properly evaluate one another, adding to the chaos.

One thing that happens when people can no longer trust their rulers is they are ready to believe anything. The French Revolution and Bolshevik revolution, for example, had periods where crazy rumors rocketed around society. We are seeing this today with the QAnon stuff and the election lawsuits. The former was mostly escapism for unhappy people on the left-side of the bell curve. The latter was escapism for the civic nationalists who are one step from exiting the system.

In both cases, the role of these rumors and wild theories is to distract from the reality on the ground. People really wanted to believe Trump was the answer to the failing system, so they were willing to accept increasing ridiculous explanations for his inability and unwillingness to follow through on his promises. The people into this stuff are not sitting around compulsively cleaning their weapons, surrounded by stocks of MRE’s. They are highly engaged citizens who believe in the system.

Suburban civ-nats are not the only people indulging in escapism. The cosmopolitan loyalists have their own Harry Potter version of reality. You see it in this ridiculous video put out by the Tubby Tyrant of the Tidewater. Hogan is backed by the Chinese Communist Party and the neoconservatives, who think they can slither back into power and it will be the Bush years all over again. Republican escapism is built on the idea that everyone will just forget about the last four years.

You see, in this fantasy, Trump is expelled from their midst and the people rally to their banner, prepared to return to a world of old fashioned toadyism. Those sober-minded Republicans will be at the helm again, promising tax cuts for billionaires and endless wars for Israel. After all, that’s what Edmund Burke and Reagan would do. Of course, their masters promote the idea, as you see in this post. Ross Duothat’s role is to promote conservative’s official role in the farce of politics.

You’ll note that no where in that post or any of the writings of these people is there any consideration for why any of this is happening. That Duothat post should have been accompanied by this picture. While lots of white people are no doubt indulging in fantasy in the face of the massive corruption we are seeing, they are doing so for a deeper reason than just escapism. There are real problems that are not going to be papered over by installing the Pretender Biden.

Reality avoidance is not just for the little people. The reaction to the Covid-10 pandemic by members of the plutocracy is another form of escapism. Bill Gates sees himself as a trusted wise man in modern society. He has been out front promoting the latest fads on the coronavirus virus. Why a retired computer executive thinks he is an expert on pandemics is a mystery, but a bigger mystery is why he thinks the world at large trusts his judgement and advice on this issue.

This is probably the most remarkable aspect of the pandemic. The people in charge are completely unaware of the fact that hardly anyone believes them. Even the people wearing their masks to bed think the rulers have botched things. We’re not seeing public surveys on the handling of the pandemic, as it would be a waste of time and it would contradict the fantasy. The people at the top really think they are beloved by the public and it is a small bunch of hooligans causing trouble for them.

To some degree, it really does not matter what anyone thinks, other than the people in control of the institutions. They have the monopoly of force, so they can impose their reality on the rest of us. We see this with the election. The media and tech oligarchs are erasing any questions about the election and will carry on as if the Pretender Biden is a wildly popular hero of the people. They are even trying to sell him to religious people as a “church-going Catholic” who also believes in infanticide.

The thing is though, and this is the great irony of liberal democracy, is that the system needs the fantasy of self-rule to operate. The middle-class has to believe that their votes matter and the market place is always right. These efforts to suppress public debate in order to repress skepticism over the official narrative do more to undermine that fantasy of self-rule than the wild rumors. QAnon believers will keep believing the plan is still real. Take that away and the scales fall from their eyes.

This is why social unrest comes with wild rumors and conspiracy theories. The dynamic of distrust leads to various forms of escapism, which creates a barrier of confusion between the rulers and the ruled. The people at the top, rather than face their own role in the crisis, indulge in their fantasies. The people at the bottom look for explanations as to why things are not as they were promised. The desire to impose an official narrative creates more distrust, leading to more conspiracy theories.

House slaves like Ross Duothat hope that the escapism is a substitutive for real action, but the ongoing street theater says otherwise. The far Left was promised a revolution, so they will not play along with the fantasy. Now the populist Right is getting a taste of street radicalisms and they like it. A new populism is being born in the streets during these election protests. Lots of unhappy people in the streets, feeling the rush or revolt, will have time to share their theories with one another.

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

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


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

The Plague Jab

Note: Last night I watched the classic bad film Reefer Madness. The review and commentary is behind he green door.


In ordinary times in ordinary countries, the prospect of a vaccine for even a nuisance ailment like the Chicken Pox would be welcome news. After all, one measure of society is the technology to improve human health. In a technologically advanced society, members not only live longer, the quality of life is better. An extra 20 years as a feeble old man is not exactly a reward for a life well-lived. Therefore, the promise of a Covid-19 vaccine next year should be welcome news.

As with everything else, it seems, the news of a possible vaccine just reveals how deranged and bizarre life has become in the West. The majority of Americans are highly skeptical of the vaccine. If people were honest, you would find large majorities unwilling to take the vaccine at all. Even in the medical professions, where faith in their own skill is beyond reality, close to half distrust the vaccine. It does not help that the rulers feel the need wrap the vaccine question in their racial madness.

That is the first gate in the vaccine story. Since few people have the knowledge or aptitude to assess the risk involved in a medical treatment, it comes down to how much they trust their doctor, the drug companies and the system. If your doctor has always been prudent and reliable, then you trust his judgement. If your doctor has an unpronounceable name and looks a lot like the guy working at the convenience store, you are less likely to trust his judgement.

In the case of the vaccine, there is no reason at all to trust the government. They have simply lied too often about too many aspects of this virus. Compounding it is their communications organs have been staffed by demented sociopaths who lie for the sheer pleasure of it. The only way anyone we could trust the media is if they are the first to be inoculated. Even then, it would probably be a fake vaccine, so we would need some way to ensure they are getting the real jab and not a fake.

This is why the vaccine will be mandatory. Another aspect of liberal democracy is the rulers respond to well-founded distrust of them with coercion. In this case, we will be getting the Orwellian freedom passes. In the U.S. they will have some bland bureaucratic name because our managerial elite is functionally illiterate, but the Brits retain their pithiness, despite it all. As a result, these new internal passports proving you are up to date on your Covid jabs will be used to compel compliance.

What does this mean as a practical matter? What they are plotting is a system where everyone is issued an innocuous looking card with a vaccine stamp and date. When you get your booster shot, you get a new stamp with an expiry date. Oh, you are unaware of the regular booster shots required? You see? This is why this vaccine is a miracle. It will require you to give Big Pharma a check several times a year. Your doctor at Acme Hospital System Inc. will also be getting her beak wet.

If you think you can just blow this off, think again. For starters, there will be a massive public relations campaign to shame skeptics. Old people will be shown lining up for the jab and famous people will demand you get the jab. Soon, private business will demand proof of the jab before they accept you as a customer. Want to fly on a commercial airline or ride public transport? Papers please. Want to attend a public event like a sporting match? Papers please.

What this will become is the terms of service for citizenship. In fact, it will probably be baked into terms of service edicts. If you want to use Netflix you will have to prove you are up to date on your jabs. Of course, Big Tech will be there to make this simpler with tracking software for your now mandatory smart phone. That paper card they will be issuing will be replaced with an app for your phone that will be required if you want to function like what passes as a normal adult.

If this sounds a lot like fascism, you would be right. This idea vexes the anti-Semites and neo-Nazis, because they demand fascism only mean cool uniforms and camps for people they don’t like. In this age, it will mean dreary clothing styles and camps for the people the managerial class does not like. It’s also going to mean the implementation of technology to control every movement of the population. You cannot organize a proper resistance if you cannot organize at all.

One novel aspect of managerial fascism is the promotion of cranks and kooks to discredit legitimate opposition. Over the next six months, the media will promote kooks insisting that the vaccine is a mind control devise or that it alters your DNA in order to make you docile and compliant. These paranoids will be promoted, because most people will dismiss them. This tarnishes all resistance to the new regime. It is a tool of managerial fascism that works every time.

What the Covid-19 panic has revealed, and continues to reveal, is the managerial elite has no respect for things like the rule of law, individual liberty or any of the other foundation items of consensual government. To protect democracy, they will rig the election process. To keep us free they will strip us of our rights. In the name of inclusion and diversity they will exclude anyone who disagrees. What we are seeing is that the real plague on our society is the ruling class.

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

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


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

The Outsider Moment

For generations, the source of conflict in the American political system is that it represents a small slice of the American people. The Yankee elite that rose up in the aftermath of the Civil War, later joined by Jews in the 20th century, represents not only a narrow cultural slice of American society, but a narrow economic slice as well. Since the end of the Cold War this has become acute. In 30 years, there have been three major reformist movements attempting to broaden the ruling coalition.

It seems like a lifetime ago, but Ross Perot was in many respects the prototype for Donald Trump’s 2016 run. Perot ran as an outsider, on the back of his folksy observations about the federal government. Despite being very rich, he was clearly a man of the lower classes. His picaresque presentation was very appealing to a large portion of the population open to populist appeals. If not for his enigmatic personality, he probably would have won the White House in 1992.

Of course, what opened the door for Perot’s 1992 run was the Buchanan challenge to George H. W. Bush in the Republican primary. When asked why he was running against Bush he said, “If the country wants to go in a liberal direction, it doesn’t bother me as long as I’ve made the best case I can. What I can’t stand are the backroom deals. They’re all in on it, the insider game, the establishment game—this is what we’re running against.” That should sound familiar.

Both of those efforts to broaden the establishment coalition to include the majority of white Americans failed, but they set up the 2016 Trump run. While it is clear that the Perot and Buchanan efforts failed in their mission, it is too soon to know if the Trump effort is a failure. The cracking of important institutions like the media and now the voting process will have consequences into the future. Perot and Buchanan focused on the people, while Trump focused on the system itself.

What we have seen thus far in the 30 years since the end of the Cold War is two of the three ways people can attempt to broaden the ruling coalition. Both are reform efforts that start outside with the desire to end up inside. Perot wanted to bring in new people, who would represent the broader public. Buchanan and Trump both wanted to reform the system by reforming one of the parties. Buchanan wanted a genuine right-wing party, while Trump wanted a populist party.

The third way, of course, is the purely outsider movement. This is when the unrepresented create an alternative outside the ruling coalition. They either peacefully compel the ruling elite to acknowledge their interests or they replace the ruling elite, and the system they rule, with a new elite and a new system. This is exactly what happened with the American Revolution. A new elite replaced the old elite and created a system that worked for them to replace the old system.

This is what makes the current moment so dangerous. Within one generation three efforts to broaden the ruling coalition have failed, while the condition of the unrepresented has declined. Just as important, the number of people feeling threatened by the status quo has increased. In the 1990’s, reformers were speaking for the white working class. Today, it is the broader middle-class that is becoming increasingly radicalized by the intransigence of the ruling class.

Another subtle point of comparison between now and that previous revolutionary moment is the divide between the reform from within crowd and the emerging outsiders, rallying around the election fraud. Ann Coulter took a swipe at Nick Fuentes over his criticism of some things she said. Coulter’s Tory instincts got the better of her and she inadvertently confirms the Fuentes criticism. Despite her reformist rhetoric, Queen Ann has always been a loyalist.

Another little glimpse of this divide is in the Ed Dutton interview of Steve Sailer last week, in which the election was a topic. Sailer strangely says that he has seen no evidence of election fraud. This is something you hear from other old paleocons and it reflects that old loyalist instinct. They cannot question the integrity of the system, as their goal has always been to join the system as a reformer. Therefore, their faith in the system is unshakable. It is civic nationalism in a nutshell.

Finally, the other bit of comparison is that the Founders did not view themselves as radicals or revolutionaries. The Declaration itself is a bourgeoise document filled with objectivist rhetoric explaining their actions.  Even at the point of the break, they sounded like men willing to meet the crown halfway. Certainly, many of them knew this was impossible and saw this moment coming for a long time, but the need to show they were forced into this position was important to them.

That same instinct is turning up in the election protests. The young people out on the streets in state capitals are using the language of reform, but are clearly ready to make a break with the system entirely. They are young and enthusiastic, so they may not see it, but the logic of their arguments can only lead to a rejection of the system as being illegitimate. If the voting system is fraudulent, then the results of it are fraudulent, making this government the fruit of a poisoned tree.

It is tempting to dismiss what is happening as heat of the moment rhetoric that will fade as passions fade. There is some truth to it. The establishment will rehabilitate some former Trump supporters like Coulter, putting them back on television. Others will temper their rhetoric in the hope of being rehabilitated. The media will try to surround the remnant in a cone of silence. The ruling class will apply the same ointments they used the last time they suffered a populist outbreak.

The trouble is, the causes of this last populist outbreak have not gone away and they promise to get worse. The fundamental problem that existed at the end of the Cold War exists today. That is, forty percent of Americans have no representation in either political party and as a result have no voice in government. The number is certainly larger, but blacks and most white liberals are so easily deluded with ceremonial tokens they imagine themselves as vital parts of the ruling coalition.

The Declaration of Independence was at the time and is today a very radical document, which is why our rulers don’t mention it much anymore. A couple of generations ago it was the center piece of civics instruction. Today it has been replaced by critical race theory and other nonsense from the multicultural fever swamps. Even so, the message still resonates today. Whenever any form of government ceases to represent the will of the people, it is the right and duty of the people to abolish it.

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

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


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

The Pretender’s Dilemma

Note: I have a new post up at Taki Mag. This is a regular Monday thing until the end of the year. Perhaps I should forgo the usual post here and cross post the Taki post on Monday so people can comment upon it. Let me know.


Critics of modern liberal democracy often repeat Juvenal’s line about the populace being pacified with bread and circuses. In the modern usage it means the public is easily bought off with free stuff and mindless entertainment. While the average guy is watching television sports and adding to his waistline, he does not care that the political class is looting the country. Just as long as he has a steady stream of new products, he is happy to abandon his duties as a citizen.

Juvenal had a different meaning, as he was writing in the second century. He was criticizing the Roman political class for their lack of heroism and virtue. They cared more for holding office than tackling the challenges of the day. They would corrupt the people with free grain and elaborate public spectacles, if that is what it took to win favor and gain power. The ruling class was mortgaging the civic virtue of Rome in order to get short term profit from the political system.

Of course, the culture of liberal democracy forbids the idea of a ruling class, so the blame must always fall on the people for the problems with the rulers. After all, the people picked the office holders. If they are unhappy with the choices, they should find new ones that they prefer. The civic religion of liberal democracy is like a spell cast on even the most jaded. It prevents them from accepting that there is not a democratic solution to the inherent defects of liberal democracy.

The irony is the cynical will often quote de Maistre and say that the people get the government they deserve. This is ironic in several ways. One is that de Maistre was no fan of democracy or popular government. He also meant that a people, as in a biologically connected people, will get the ruling class that reflects their temperament and talents, regardless of the system. This is something that no modern liberal democratic could possibly accept and remain a liberal democrat.

Putting that aside, the problem with the Juvenal quote is that bread and circuses is the only peaceful and predictable solution to the large society problem. Bringing large numbers of people together under a single ruler, whether it is the farce of democracy or the force of a despot, goes against man’s nature. Humans can only know and trust about 150 people at one time. Once a group breaks what is called the Dunbar number, no one person can know everyone well enough to trust them.

The solution long ago was a code, a set of rules for the group. A set of rules to govern relations between all people within the group solved this problem. The members did not have to trust one another or even know one another very well. They just had to trust that the rules made sense for the group and that the people enforcing the rules could be trusted to predictably enforce the rules. The proof of these two pillars of society would be the peace and prosperity of the group.

Of course, once you get to very large groups, like city-states and countries, you end up with lots of dissimilar people in the same society. A large group of related people will come with the habits of mind to make cooperation natural. Have a large diverse group of people and those habits of mind will inevitably conflict. This is the large society problem and we have just two solutions. One is a great mission to focus the public’s attention and the other is bread and circuses.

The great mission or crusade, like a war, comes with an expiry date. You can rally the most diverse and uncooperating people against some crisis. In a war, for example, people put aside their grievances to fight the common enemy. Yankee New England dropped their secession drive, for example, because of the War of 1812. The trouble is, people tire of war and every crisis losses its sense of urgency. Even the communists figured this out eventually.

This is the fork in the road the American ruling class faces now. The pretender Biden also adds the complication of being seen as illegitimate by most people. Many of those people may be glad Trump is gone, at least for now, but they also know that Biden has no business on the throne. He is just a shuffling corpse, animated by players operating in the shadows. Like all pretenders, Biden will be limited by the fact that the rest of the ruling class is looking to exploit him, rather than support him.

Compounding his dilemma is that the people who engineered his ascent to the throne want to start a new cold war with Russia and start a war with Iran. They also seek to impose the Chinese social model on Americans. Speech and movement will be sharply curtailed with the help of the corporate oligarchs. In other words, the new regime tilts heavily toward a holy crusade to rally the people, like a war against the virus and a war against Iran, rather than a new round of bread and circuses.

This is something that was overlooked in the Trump years. After eight years of the dreary preaching of Obama, Trump’s antics were a relief. His style was not everyone’s cup of tea, but he kept things lively. He also focused on the economy, which did rather well until the Covid panic. The stock market doubled in value during his time in office, which is something that matters a lot to people. In other words, Trump gave the people four years of bread and circuses.

Finally, the other dilemma for the Pretender Biden is that he will have Trump out there reminding people of how Biden got on the throne. In the old days, Biden’s first order of business would be to have Trump assassinated. By removing the old ruler, there was no chance for him to return to power. That’s unlikely to happen with Trump, although one cannot rule it out, so Biden will have to operate in the shadow of what many will view as the rightful President.

This is the dilemma facing the Pretender Biden. He cannot go for the bread and circuses route, as that would be a concession to the hated Trump. That means going along with the warmongers and scaremongers. The trouble there is that requires trust and exactly no one trusts a pretender. The only solution may be to forge ahead with a manufactured crisis like a war with Iran and hope the people are gullible enough to fall for it like they did in the Bush years.

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