Everything But The Obvious

I’m relaxing after a tortuous week and catching up on some reading. For some reason I still get the Weekly Standards  and there is at least a few month’s worth on the shelf so I decided to power through them tonight. The first article to catch my eye is this one. It’s not a great read, but it is an interesting subject. The rise of the e-cigarette is one of those things the tobacco people sort of knew was needed, but never could figure out how to create. Their best effort was the smokeless cigarette, that smelled like fertilizer.

Like thick walled tomatoes, electronic cigarettes are a great example of suppliers finding a novel way to meet the demand of customers. Way back in the olden thymes, the government cracked down on illegal immigration (no, really) and there was a shortage of farm hands. In one sector, tomatoes, science was the answer. A breed of tomato that was engineered to have slightly thicker pericarp solved the problem of machine harvesting. All of a sudden, farmers no longer needed an army of hands to bring in the crop.

The e-cigarette is another fine example. It is just about impossible to smoke anywhere these days. The days of sitting at the bar with a pack of Marlboro Reds, a beer and your thoughts are long gone. The screeching lunatics that haunt our daily lives have turned smokers into a class just north of child molesters. The taxes and harassment have forced smoking rates down below 20% and dropping fast. Still, Short of public flogging, there’s not much else to do to stop people from trying to enjoy the benefits of nicotine.

As the article points out, the anti-smoking fanatics see it otherwise. They have invested everything in being an anti-smoking crusaders. They will not give it up easily. They are trying to harangue government into banning these things or at least treat them as unpredictable explosives that cannot be safely handled in public. Hilariously, the author of the linked piece is totally stumped as to why this is the case. He dances around it at the end, but he remains the man in the room searching for the elephant.

That elephant, of course, is culture. The beautiful people see smoking as low class. It is what you do at NASCAR events or while hunting. Good people, moral people, the people like them, don’t indulge in such vices. It’s an odd thing, given Jewish hostility to WASP morality, that the writer does not see the reason for the hostility to vaping. On the other hand, Jewish intellectual are prone to the most hilarious myopia. There’s often a narrowness, along with a lack of self-awareness, that blinds them to the obvious.

As with so much of American history, the war on smoking is really a proxy for the war on proletarian white people, particularly southern white people. Like the abolitionist movement, the anti-smoking movement started in the northeast. The first place I recall seeing a ban on smoking indoors was in Cambridge Massachusetts. Even then it was obviously not about public health. That’s just an easy excuse to push people around and take away their freedom. It was always about cultural hegemony.

This is another example of the strange cultural blindness that has settled in on our intellectual class. Read old books or even old magazines and newspapers and even the low-brow commentators understood the regional, class and racial divisions that drove public debate in the country. Today, the public intellectual is someone who is studiously unaware of the country’s history and its divides. You would think that people who line up to sing songs about diversity would be keenly aware of it, but you would be wrong.

Higher Ed

One of the more frustrating debates in modern America is the one over student debt. It seems like the mere mention of the subject turns smart people into blithering idiots. The president has come forth with a “new” proposal to address student debt. The gist of it is a laundry list of government created metrics that schools will have to post for public view.  The assertion is that this will “empower” students to make better choices, thus avoiding debt for worthless degrees.

That sounds nice and maybe would impact student choices at the fringes. Without proof that students are making mistakes because they lack this knowledge, it falls into the realm of wishful thinking. I think it is easy to prove that this information is easily attainable. Thirty years ago when I was a student we were regularly given information about future earnings, job prospects and debt consequences. Only willful ignorance kept English majors from knowing they were not going to get a six figure job out of college.

Today, the Interwebs makes it easy to know just about anything about everything. Not only can you easily learn what you can expect in salary with a given degree, you can break it down by region and get some sense of lifetime earnings. Granted, that takes effort and it people have a way of gaslighting themselves on these things. But, they would do that with whatever the government is going to provide. You cannot get around the fact that white people have to be brainwashed into believing college is a requirement.

Now, it would be nice, if like calorie counts on menus, the realities of college were printed on the front of the brochure. Everyone loves convenience. Like those calorie counts, however, there’s no evidence it changes behavior. That’s what makes this post from the former Half Sigma blogger so weird. His enthusiasm is misplaced. His casting it as a “conservative idea” is the sort of sloppy thinking we see on the Left. There are plenty of dumb ideas with the conservative stamp of approval.

Yuval Levin offers some good questions in this posting at NRO. He does not mention it, but government standards turn the regulated into rent seekers. It is axiomatic. In this case, the universities suddenly need to bribe politicians to get the standards they want. As Levin points out, it is not clear what should be measured and by whom. That opens up the door to all sorts of shenanigans. The best way to ensure rational markets is to eliminate the number of intermediaries between the supplier and consumer. Another government agency to set standards is just going to make this more dishonest that they are now.

That’s the fundamental problem with higher education debates. Everyone is trapped in the old paradigm of government financing. No one ever asks why tuition has risen at five and six times inflation since the government got into the student loan business. The two markets that have seen the greatest amount of government intervention are higher ed and health care. In both prices have rocketed up, basic service levels have declined and massive amounts of debt have been accumulated. That’s called a clue

Orwell Was Wrong

When it comes to the dystopian future, George Orwell is the undisputed champion for most people on the Right or Left. It is just assumed that the bad future is something like the cartoon version of Nazi Germany or maybe East Germany after the war. The assumption is, failure to craft the glorious egalitarian future will only lead to the hellish Orwellian future of 1984. The truth is though, the future imagined by Orwell requires a physical courage our rulers lack. Instead, the future will more like Brave New World.

It will not be an exact copy of what Huxley imagined, as his vision of the future was an exaggerated version of what he saw evolving in his time. Instead of genetically engineered class of stupid people to performed manual labor, robots will do much of what is now done by low-IQ people. The ruling class will not go to the “feelies” in order to get emotional fulfillment. They will instead perform public acts of piety and provide testimonies to their victimization. Being seen as both noble and helpless will be the highest honor.

A glimpse of this is in this very strange personal affirmation statement in Slate. The short version is that the author, having been shot because he foolishly walked into the wrong area, learned nothing from the experience. A less noble person may have noticed the race of the shooters and the fact that America has no-go zones. The noble hero, in contrast, can come close to death, having been shot by blacks, but he steadfastly refuses to notice any of it. Instead he noticed the race of the surgeon who removed his spleen.

The frightening part of Orwell’s vision of the future was the brutality. Getting tortured or killed because for drawing outside the lines touches man’s basic fear. Huxley’s future is more frightening, because life is pointless, yet the people in it will fight to maintain a pointless existence. While Orwell’s future is cruel, Huxley’s future is inhuman, because it lacks the basics human quality of having a reason to live, beyond getting high, eating and fornicating. It is the celebration of this degraded existence that troubles people.

There’s a hint of that in the Salon article. The writer is celebrating himself and his willingness to adhere to a mode of thought that could very get him killed. In fact, his absurd acceptance of anti-racism almost got him killed. The future our rulers imagine for us is one where people steadfastly adhere to a set of beliefs that are dangerous to their well-being, when they could acknowledge reality and have a happier life. It is a strangely anti-human existence that makes a mockery of sacrifice, in order to promote an inhuman ideology.

The reason people prefer Orwell’s version of the future is because it is rational. The people in charge benefit from the system, so they ruthlessly impose their will on the population. Presumably, the people at the very top have the luxurious material existence that comes from sitting atop the system. That aspect of it is just assumed and the privations of the population is proof that a system without freedom is unable to provide material abundance. Orwell confirms the materialist belief of modern people.

In the Huxley version, everyone benefits in the material sense, but everyone suffers in the spiritual sense. Huxley’s hellscape is a world lacking in spiritual fulfillment and that is what frightens people. Generations of preaching about the primacy of economics has convinced modern people that there is an economic answer to cultural and spiritual needs of people. What Brave New World reveals is that the fantasy of economic man has always been a lie. In other words, Huxley being right is what’s frightening.

An Incompetent Empire

American foreign policy has been a mess since the end of the Cold War, which was a useful restraint on the naive and delusional in the ruling elite.The threat of nuclear annihilation forced the sober minded to keep a firm hand on the tiller. That was a long time ago and now feckless ninnies like those in the Obama administration are in charge. No one notices just how jumbled and incompetent foreign policy has been under Obama, mostly because the media ignores it, for fear people will notice the wrong things.

Syria is a perfect example of the thumbless handling of foreign policy. Russia has a long history in Syria and they have strong ties with the Iranians. That means the neocons think America should side with the Islamist rebels trying to depose Assad. This ignores the fact that Russia is there fore purely economic reasons. The Russians are not motivated by ideology. It’s pure geopolitical politics. They seek to control the flow of energy into Europe, as that gives them money, but also keeps them in Europe, which is vital to their psyche.

The alleged gas attack is a great opportunity to strike a deal with the Russians that would put some limits on Iran’s ability to cause trouble and remove support for the Jihadists, but this administration has bungled it. The only hope may be the French. They are making noises about using the recent gas attack as an excuse to intervene. That’s ironic for many reasons, but it is what it is. The opportunity was there to shame the Russians into considering some sort of brokered settlement. Instead, the US is now backing Islamists.

In a perfect world, the US is out of the region entirely and it is left to the Europeans figure out how to get oil and gas out the place. That’s not in the cards, so the next best thing is a deal where the oil and gas in the region is controlled by parties willing to keep the peace locally and do business with the West. No one really cares about the religious inclinations of the locals, just as long as it does not spill outside the region or endanger the supply of natural resources. Otherwise, the locals can live as they please.

The worst result is having a Russian puppet in charge with a massive gas pipeline from Iran into Europe. That gives the Iranians the cash to pay for Russian arms, finance lunatics and become the dominant power in the Gulf. It also would give Russia the whip hand over Europe, as they would control their energy supplies. There’s lots of room to screw it up, but it gives the wrong parties greater access to power. The French seem to get this and want to prevent it, even if it means squaring off with the Russians.

The problem, of course, is that American foreign policy is controlled by a combination of naive and possibly deranged Progressives and neoconservatives, who have a messianic vision of the future, built around Israel. The result is American foreign policy is torn between support for Muslim radicalism on anti-Western grounds and opposition to radical Islam in support of Israel. Eight years of the latter is now been followed by four years of the former. The result has been a collapse in credibility.

As Spengler put it, “As long as the United States declares its support for the humbug of Muslim democracy in Egypt and Syria, the rest of the world will treat us as hapless lunatics and go about the business of securing their own interests without us.” That may be the least worst option, as America recovers from almost two decades of incompetent managerialism. If the rest of the world figures out they are better off without out us, maybe the next President will be happy to let the rest of the world sort their own troubles.

The Dullness Of James Pethokoukis

Everyone gets that mass media aims for the lowest common denominator, which means it is aimed at the dullest people in society. That means having some not-so-smart person reading their parts, pretending to be something other than a bubble-head. Having a blond airhead do the weather is fine as everyone including the woman knows the score. Having an ex-beer league jock do sports is OK, because he is a fan talking to fans. The point of the performance is to be fun and pass on a few bits of useful information.

Where things go wrong is when these actors and actresses start pretending to be actual experts in the field. In sports, there is a flood of fake nerds jabbering about statistics, despite not being able to do basic math. They watched the movie Money Ball and started reading fangraphs. Pablo Torre is a good example. He has a degree in sociology from Harvard (Yeah Affirmative Action!) which means he maybe took statistics for liberal arts majors and probably has no aptitude for mathematics.

Another example of this type is James Pethokoukis. His job is to cover economics as a reporter. That’s a perfectly useful role, until he starts opining about economics as if he knows something about subject. He also carries on like the “E” in STEM fields stands for “Economics.” The guy has never run a lemonade stand and has no training in math, statistics, finance or economics. He went to school for journalism, which is right up there with majoring in gym, and has worked exclusively as a reporter.

What in the world is he doing offering opinion on tax policy? It’s fine if he is asking people who know something about tax policy for their opinions. That’s perfectly reasonable and something expected from modern reporters. He could opine on the fact that there are many experts with different opinions on tax policy. Again, that’s a useful hing for which he is qualified. He is not a tax expert. To make it more ridiculous,  he quotes another fake nerd, Ramesh Ponnuru, who has been wrong about everything for two decades.

So, what about his opinion?

Declining fertility rates in the West are a major problem. There’s not been a lot of research into the subject as our elites have been obsessed with ending child birth for as long as anyone has been alive. Going back to the early part of the last century, Western elites have been predicting a Malthusian moment when population numbers exceeded earth’s ability to support us. The Population Bomb was a famous book that predicted doom for mankind unless population was controlled. The prediction was all wrong, of course.

One thing we know is that tax policy has nothing to do with declining fertility rates in the West. Fertility rates plummeted in Poland after the end of the Soviet Empire. Fertility rates plummeted in Quebec after taxes were lowered. In America, white fertility declined, while black fertility remained constant. There’s simply no evidence to claim a causal relationship between taxes and baby making. Yet, Pethokoukis. sees a pretty graph and thinks the answer is a return to Bush Era social engineering through the tax code.

That’s always been the problem with libertarian conservatives. An article of faith among libertarians is that taxes need to be efficient. That means tax policy should not reward one activity over another. Ideally, taxes effect all goods and service equally. Imposing special taxes on the childless is pretty much the opposite of libertarian dogma. So-called conservatives have ingested this argument and now embrace the materialist assumptions of libertarians and Marxist. They’re all eating at the same trough.

That last bit gets at the heart of what vexes the West. Progressives wage a culture war, while the so-called Right responds with economic arguments. The Left starts from the assumption that people are infinitely malleable. They can get the culture they want, by use of the right incentives. The so-called Right starts from the same assumption as argues that they can get the corresponding results with the right economic incentives. It’s the two faces of the Janus that rules over us. It’s two heads with one body of thought.

Not a Hate Crime

There’s talk of charging the three animals who hunted down and shot a white kid in Oklahoma with a hate crime. Obviously it is coming from whites tired of hearing blacks whine about fake hate crimes like Trayvon Martin. It is the good for the goose/good for the gander tactic. I’m sympathetic. I’m tired of hearing rich black people like Obumbles and Oprah piss and moan about racism. Frankly, I’m tired of race as a subject entirely. The magical thinking is just too much. As long as we keep pretending it is still 1955 in the South, we will never have a meaningful conversation about race. In this case, the animals did not kill the kid because he was white. They killed because they are black. This demographic constitutes 1% of the population and commits 27% of the murders.

The Opiate Of The Elites

A topic that will come up here regularly is that the American Right has never understood the nature of the American Left. In fact, using the terms Left and Right in the political context is a category error. The American Left is nothing like the European Left . It is a radical religion that seeks salvation by purifying the community of heretics. That’s why they are immune to facts and reason. There’s not talking a fanatic out of his fanaticism, anymore than you can talk a Muslim out of his religion. This post is a good example.

Nevertheless, the president of the United States is not amused. We read our government is secretly “reviewing” our support of Egypt. They are urging the Egyptian military to negotiate with the Brotherhood, the same religious fanatics who evidently just told 24 Egyptian policemen to lie face down in the Sinai desert and summarily executed them, the same madmen who are running all over Egypt burning down Christian churches.

What is the explanation for this absolutely self-destructive, even idiotic, policy on our part?

There can be only one — the president of the United States is actually psychologically disturbed. He does not react in a normal manner. I know that’s a vicious and importunate thing to say, but the reaction to Egypt (and to Benghazi, for that matter) is not one of a psychologically healthy human being.

It’s more than the narcissism of which he is often accused, as bad as that is. It’s a form of extreme neurotic attraction to (notably Islamic) religious fascism. Obama is not a Muslim, but he has these deep feelings about it (some of them related to imperialism, others to his absent father, no doubt) that allow him to overlook, or rationalize, all that hideous misogyny, homophobia, and jihadist fanaticism, that loathing of democracy and freedom, even when it could not be more obvious. To Obama, those abhorrent — monumentally illiberal — behaviors and ideologies almost seem irrelevant. But they are the most relevant of all.

There you have it, The President, in the face of all those facts and arguments still embraces radical Islam, so he must be crazy. What passes for the Right in America is trapped in this mode of thought that says the Left is rational, so if they embrace rationality, it’s not their liberalism, but some mental disease or possible diabolical plot that has yet to be revealed. In other words, Simon simply rules out the possibility that Obama believes what he says and is motivated by a moral framework that structures these beliefs.

The Left in America is a religion. They have decorated their religion over the years with stuff from Continental radicalism and, of course, Jewish radicalism, which is the source of the rabid anti-nationalism. That was the lesson from the two last wars, allegedly, was that nationalism, German nationalism specifically, but nationalism in general, is the source of war on the continent. The American Left imported that idea in the 1960’s, first as anti-colonialism and now as a hostility to the very basics of citizenship and country.

Obama is a prime example. Every normal person has a copy of their birth certificate out of necessity. They have a social security number issued in their youth that they used for an ID number since kindergarten.  They know their religion, even if they never have attended church. Of course, they know the place and circumstances of their birth. Obama has none of those things. He has never seen a reason to have them. He is a citizen of the world and his identity has nothing to do with his nation of origin. His tribe is his class and status.

It is why Obama struggles so much with odd subjects like how many states there are in America. He has said Hawaii is in Asia. He has mistakenly said he is a Muslim. These are not things that have been important to him. He was raised to eschew these proletarian interests. To American liberals like Obama, the idea of a nation and a national people is as outdated as the buggy whip. He sees himself as a holy man, whose task is is to usher in the age when there are no borders and no national governments.

Therefore, when he looks at the anarchy and chaos of Egypt, he does not see the things Simon thinks are important. He sees people he generally admires, engaged in the same task in which he is enraged. Islamist dream of world after the fall of countries. Their vision of the future is not a lot different from some Italian fascists, who imagined their political cause was linked with the restoration of the Catholic Church in Europe. For the Islamist, “Egypt” is an outmoded concept, so toppling it over is a service to their cause.

For dilettante like Obama, and he is fairly representative of the modern Left in that regard, he has not thought much about what comes next. The post-national paradise is just going to be better. Further, his innate hatred of white people and what he imagines as white culture, motivates him to oppose those things he associates with the West. For Obama and the modern Left, the glorious future is something like a college campus run by women and non-whites, with white males on the lowest rung of the social ladder.

The point here is that there is no reasoning with these people. That’s where guys like Roger Simon slam into a brick wall. He simply cannot accept that Progressivism is free of rationality. it is a secular religion that is esoteric and mystical, especially to the adherents, who are drawn to it out of self-loathing. Marx allegedly said religion was the opium of the masses. Progressivism is the methamphetamine of the American ruling class. The more they use it, the less rational they become and their craving for the drug only grows.

The Republican Party Ghetto

There are many reason for the ineffectiveness of the Republican Party, but the primary cause of their failure is they are not a real political party. Instead, it is the off-Broadway version of the liberal party. Instead of offering a compelling alternative to the liberal party, based in real ideological differences, the Republicans assume the liberal moral order is the correct one. They just try to work within it to placate different constituencies. Their first instinct is to bend the knee to the Left. You see it in this post at National Review.

“The group is there, believe me, and it’s growing by the day, maybe by a factor of 50 times more than what it was in 2011,” Langone tells me. “He’s getting traction with people because people want to win. After 2012, it dawned on a lot of us that we need to have a better candidate, somebody who can connect, and Christie is the person who can do that.” Langone doesn’t make much of criticism of Christie’s handling of Hurricane Sandy: “I know some people say [Christie] got too close to [Obama], but it wasn’t a time for politics and pandering. It was a crisis! I saw it firsthand at NYU’s medical center, and people who get that aren’t unhappy with him.”

This is why the Republicans have been called the “stupid party” for decades. The people in it always make unforced errors. Almost always, those errors stem from their habit of taking advice from the liberal party. A Democrat uses a crisis like a hurricane to attack his political opponents. Republicans use a crisis to embrace their opponents and concede all sorts of things to them in an effort to make friends. That’s Chris Christie. He thinks hugging on Obama will score him friends among the Democrats, but it never does.

This is why the Republican Party always loses. The other guys never permit one of their own to wander off the reservation. They never excuse it. They know that only encourages disloyalty. That’s a basic organizational technique. You enforce all of the little rules dogmatically and the big stuff takes care of itself. The young liberal knows he is done for if he does not toe the line. By the time he gets to leadership, he is invested in the cause completely. So much so he is willing to ruthlessly impose those rules on the junior guys.

The Republican Party has it backwards. Their junior members are always competing with one another for who can get a pat on the head from Lefty. In fact, it is how they rise through the ranks. By the time they become senior guys, they are invested in nothing but stabbing their fellows in the back to score points with liberals. The party is like a life boat and the game is to keep tossing people over the rail to make room for new people throw off the liberal cruise ship. The result is guys like Christie becoming Republican leaders.

“His early moves have been good,” says Steve Schmidt, a veteran Republican operative who managed the McCain-Palin presidential campaign. “He’s now looking at a decisive reelection victory this year in a blue state, and then he becomes chairman of the Republican Governors Association next year, which will enable him to build all of his relationships to an even greater extent than he has done already. There will always be commentary about [the Sandy controversy], but I don’t think a photograph from five years ago will be an issue in a primary that’s driven, as almost all Republican primaries have been, by electability over ideology.

In 1992, every said pat Buchanan was not electable, even though most conceded he was right about things like immigration and trade. In 1996, the argument for Bob Dole over Buchanan and the libertarian Steve Forbes was electability. In 2000, Bush was electable and he ushered in eight years of government expansion and endless war. In 2008 McCain was the electable choice and was crushed by Obama. In 2012, Romney was the electable guy and it was his turn to lead the party. He lost to a badly wounded Obama.

That means in the last two decades the GOP is 2-for-5 and their one winner was a complete loser in terms of policy. If you are a small government conservative, a social conservative or a libertarian, the success of the Republican Party means you lose in a slightly different way than when the GOP loses an election. To people on the Right, and let’s face it we’re are talking about white people here, politics has been a heads they win tails you lose proposition for a couple of generations, maybe even longer.

Frankly, I hope that Christie wins the nomination and gets clobbered by that old crook Hillary Clinton. The problem we have is that about 40% of the voters want something not offered by either party. About 80% of whites would prefer something to the Right of the most extreme conservative. In America, the GOP keeps these voters in a ghetto, so they can make deals with the Democrats. The way forward for the American Right, and again, we’re talking about white people here, is to destroy Conservatism Inc. and the GOP.

Magical Thinking

Karl Denniger is a good example of the wacky thinking we see in discussions about health and fitness in modern times. Denninger has posted at length about his conversion from fat out of shape guy to skinny less out of shape guy. He is a true believer when it comes to diet and exercise. He is also convinced the medical business is out to get him. He spends a lot of time railing about the corruption of the medical business. He makes good points about the financial aspects of the health system, but he tends toward the conspiratorial.

Regardless, the basis of the American health care system is that health outcomes are tied to morality. That is, you can control your health outcomes if you do the “right” things, which generally means aping the personal habits of our betters. Self-denial is a big part of the regime, so you need to suffer in the gym and avoid eating food you like. Being thin is better than being fat, because being thin is hard and often unpleasant. The “science” backing these claims is mostly just wishful thinking tarted up with factoids and assertions.

The truth is, genetics control most of your health outcomes. This fantastic blog entry by JayMan is a great example. Yes, smart people can improve the utility of their intelligence through education. Fast guys can get faster with training. Ussein Bolt spends a lot of time working on various aspects of his sprinting. He maintains a special diet and works his muscles in specific ways. None of it makes him a world class sprinter. He was born with it. His training and diet allow him to move from 1% to .0001% in the 100 meters.

For the rest of us, diet and exercise is not going to significantly alter your health. Yet, “medical science” insists having an egg for breakfast or a cheeseburger for lunch is going to kill you. They insist we go in for regular physicals, despite no evidence that prevention does a damned thing. Supplements are a billion dollar industry, even though 90% are nothing more than pica. Outside of the extremes, like drug taking and dangerous activities, behavior is not going to make much difference in your healthy and life span.

On the other hand, exercise and diet can mitigate some genetic issues. Avoiding tobacco, for example, is not going to lesson your odds of getting Alzheimer’s Disease if that runs in your family. It will lesson your odds of getting lung cancer, even if it runs in your family, but only by a very little. Just as physical training and education can only enhance (slightly) what your genetics afford, a healthy lifestyle can (slightly) benefit you over time. Again, it’s mostly about risk avoidance, rather than health promotion. Avoid danger is a good rule.

The question, of course, is the trade offs. If you like to get face down drunk once in a while, that’s fine as long as you do it in a safe place and avoid doing it every day. On the other hand, if you like wine with dinner, you’re not altering you health outcome one way or the other, so enjoy your wine and your dinner. Life is for living. You don’t get to start over if you sacrifice your enjoyment in this life. Even if you believe in the after life, no religion assumes God will judge you based on whether you denied yourself good food.

That’s probably why magical thinking about food is so pervasive. This natural urge used to be channeled into conventional religion. As Christianity has receded, people have found other ways to satisfy their need to belief in the magical. Instead of thinking a Christian life will lead to salvation, people now think hours at the gym will bring grace.Of course, magical thinking about food is as old as human civilization. It’s why Bronze Age cults like Judaism came equipped with an approved diet. People have always sacralized their food.

The Slow Detroitification of America

Whenever the topic of America’s decline is raised, it is almost always in the context of the size and scope of the state. That usually leads to the stats on dependency. A sad aspect of the modern age is everyone has been conditioned to think happiness can be quantified by some government statistic. It’s not that these numbers are unimportant. It’s that they always assume that material well being is the only thing that matters. The white suicide rate in America is the highest ever, despite the country be rich and at peace.

Putting that aside, there’s another aspect to what is happening in America, one that the great Sam Francis often discussed. That is the government gets so large, promising so many things, that it is no longer capable of doing much of anything. In the 1960’s, when the Federal government was a third of its current size, adjusted for inflation and population growth (Yes that’s right), the government could start a space program and put a man on the moon within a decade. Today, the government struggles doing the basics.

This institutional failure would no doubt happen in a country with a non-diverse population, but it seems to accelerate in diverse societies. Look at Detroit. It was the envy of the world in the middle of the last century, when it was a white city. As the white population fled, in the face of a growing black population, basic services like crime control, water treatments, sewer systems and so on went into decline. The reason Detroit became Detroit is the city government could no longer perform basic government services.

The Motor City is one example, but it is hardly an outlier. This story about Baltimore shows it is something we will see more of as we slide into the abyss. Baltimore, like Detroit has had half of its citizens flee to the suburbs. The primary reason is crime and failing schools and the reason for that is racial. Whites don’t want their kids getting stabbed in the public schools, so they either put the kids in private schools or flee to the suburbs. Either way, they are unwilling to support a city government that does not serve their interests.

The assumption has always been that white flight was mostly driven by quality of life stemming from declining government services. People got tired of being mugged and seeing trash pile up on their street, so they left. Others will claim that white racism is what drove white flight. It really does not matter, as the whites fled and will flee again if the state tries to transport blacks to the suburbs through public housing schemes. The cause is unimportant. Whites flee diversity and take their tax dollars with them.

This is an issue of academic curiosity as long as America has a relatively low population density and is majority whites. Places like Detroit and Baltimore are disasters, but they are avoidable ones. For most people they function as urban reservations where the uncivilized are kept away from the rest. Large swaths of these cities are no-go zones that are clearly identified. The cops even patrol the borders, warning off the lost and the curious. In other words, in small doses, failures of diversity and institutional failure are tolerable.

The question that no one wants to face is what happens when America is a diverse country, where whites are a minority? Detroit scaled up to the country level is what we see in Africa. California is a great example of what happens to a white state that gets turned into a brown one. Whites can flee, the brown tide is threatening to swamped the whole nation. What happens when the managerial state that rules America is asked to rule a population that is majority non-white? It’s Detroit at a continent level.

A curious thing you can find, if you dig around in newspaper archives from the 50’s and 60’s is that white Americans used to be very different. In the 60’s, when black riots broke out in Baltimore, the cops were just as worried about white mobs taking matters into their own hands, as they were black mobs. Of course, in Los Angeles, when the blacks rioted over Rodney King. the roof top Korean was born. In other words, people used to be more tribal and territorial, but suburbanification provided an outlet.

What happens when that is gone? The most likely outcome when the managerial system tries to regulate a highly diverse America is a combination of the anarcho-tyranny predicted by Sam Francis, the collapse of local institutions we see in places like Detroit and a rapid return to tribalism and territorial defense. The unknown is just how the anarcho-tyranny will impact it. So far, this ruling elite seems determined to set the world on fire, so that could mean the future gets chaotically violent as a result.