Why Conservatism is Dead

Political movements have a life cycle. They are born of the particular circumstances of their time. They thrive to whatever extent they can, but then they fade and die. The main reason they run their course is people don’t live forever. That and careers in public life are short, usually lasting no more than two effective decades. There are some exceptions, but twenty years is a good number. That means the people who start the movement and bring it to preeminence are usually half way done by that point.

Liberalism, for example, has gone through a number of reinventions over the last century because the trends run their course and the people move on. Wilsonian Democracy petered out with World War I and was replaced two decades later with the New Deal liberalism of FDR. That ran out of steam and was replaced with the New Left and the sixties counter culture. That fell apart in the 70’s with Carter. The neoliberal movement of today is a replacement for the largely defunct New Left radicalism of the 60’s.

The fact that today’s liberal spasm is sort of a walk down memory lane for aging lefty boomers suggests this phase of Progressive politics is the last. Instead of supplanting the nold movement and old people, with something new championed by new people, the modern Left is more of an echo. It’s a reconstitution of old ideas from past movements into something of a Frankenstein’s monster of politics. Regardless, the point is mass movements have a life cycle and they eventually either die or stagnate.

Conservatism, at least was passes for it these days, has clearly run out of steam and is now just a husk of a movement.  A good example of this is National Review. It was one of the founding publications of the conservative movement, a response to New Deal liberalism. The insanity of the sixties breathed life into the movement eventually leading to Reagan and the conservative reformation of the 1980’s. Throughout those years National Review was the platform for radical conservative thinkers to spread their ideas.

Today, it is a market platform for conventional mediocrities looking for talking head gigs on the cable channels. Anyone that is slightly edgy gets tossed out and the magazine mostly functions to promote dullards like Ramesh Ponnuro and Rich Lowry. Neither of whom have said or written anything anyone has bothered to remember. As John Derbyshire once told me, they are just career men with mortgages and families. He was being nice about that. They are squatter living in the ruins Buckley old mansion.

One magazine is no big deal, but it is emblematic. They have a piece up by that technocrat Newt Gingrich. For two decades now Gingrich has been peddling his brand of right-wing technocracy. He obviously had success with this, as it put him in the Speaker’s chair. The fact that his tenure was a failure and he had to leave under a cloud should be judgement on him and his ideas. Instead, he’s another guy shuffling around the remains of Conservative Inc., repeating the old lines from the old program.

The fact that there’s nothing remotely conservative about him seems to be lost on everyone. Within living memory, the editors of National Review would have been railing against Gingrich and his crackpot ideas. Today, they collude with him to sell books. The gist Gingrich’s pitch is that the state should meddle in your life so you do things Newt things are a good idea. It really is incredible what passes for right-wing these days. In the 1980’s, Ronald Reagan would have labeled Gingrich as a nanny-state liberal.

That’s why the Right is dying. It ran out of ways to jam conservative goals into the Progressive moral framework, so it is reduced to repackaging liberalism as “big government conservatism.”  Young people, we are told, are more libertarian and maybe that is true, but libertarianism is mostly childish nonsense. What they mean by libertarian is what people used to call libertine. Of course young people want to party, fornicate and avoid responsibility, duty and sacrifice. That’s what it means to be young.

Getting high and hanging out with friends is not the foundation of a political ideology or a cultural movement. If anything, it is further proof that the Right is dead and this new thing called neoliberalism is not getting many takers. In fact, what passes for both Left and Right are now just excuses for the people in charge increasing their power and privilege, while not having top fulfill their duties to those over they rule. It’s just a series of complex arguments based only in the authority of the people making them.

That’s why conservatism is dead. It was, at its heart, the promise to create a legitimate alternative to the prevailing Progressive orthodoxy. That’s why it flourished in the 1980’s and carried Reagan to victory. For a lot of reasons, it never fulfilled that promise. Instead, it was co-opted and corrupted into predictable opposition, willing to throw every fight to the Left. That’s increasingly obvious as the demographic changes cry out for a new opposition to the ruling class. The conservatives are instead defenders of the status quo.

The Death of Reactionary Liberalsim?

One of the oddities of the Barak Obama platform was that is was reactionary. Everything he talked about was in reaction to some slight or affront to liberalism over the last few decades. It was if they were keeping a list starting in the Reagan years and were nursing a grudge over each and every failure. His policies were both anti-intellectual and anti-ideological. Most was either the opposite of whatever Bush or Reagan had done or a promise to redress some failure to implement liberal dogma in the past.

Once he was in office that become more obvious. The whole Russian “reset” nonsense was particularly strange. The Russians accepted the fact they lost the Cold War and they were pretty happy about it. After all, it made Russian rulers much wealthier. On the other hand, the American Left was still angry over the end of the Cold War. They resented the fact Reagan threw them overboard and confronted the Soviets. They insisted that they would have ended it better, thus the talk of “fixing” relations with Russia.

The last five years have seen a series of such moves by this administration. In foreign policy, doing the opposite of Bush is the default. They threw away the peace deal in Iraq and tripled up on the pointless Afghan campaign. They threw over every ally we had left in the Middle East and embraced the Arab Spring nonsense. In Europe, all of our traditional relationships were cast aside to the point where even the French hate Obama. The Iran policy is an attempt to vindicate Carter and repudiate the Reagan critique of him.

On domestic policy, we see the same things. ObamaCare is just a re-do of the failed HillaryCare initiative the Left pushed in the 1990’s. The Left was convinced that they were wronged by the Clintons and wrongly blamed for the failure of HillaryCare. Here, the narrative gets weird. The Left argued that the failure to pass an unpopular proposal was the cause of the 1994 election. If only had rammed it through, they would have been fine, so they were determined to ram through ObamaCare.

For the last five years, liberal policy has been driven by reaction to the past or simply doing the opposite of the Republicans. From the stimulus bill forward, if Republicans are for it, the Left is against it. If liberals of a bygone era were thwarted in their past attempts, then now it is time to pass it, even when it made no sense at all. Undermining welfare reform, for example, is counterproductive. That was the one “reform” in the 1990’s that made any sense and was embraced by both parties and state government.

Liberalism today is nothing more than a grab bag of slights and grudges. It’s a strange form of reactionary politics, in that they are not actually protecting the status quo against reforms. It’s as if they think they need to rewind everything to some starting point in the 1960’s and have a do-over. They long for a present that never came to be, so they seek to go back and recreate the past in order to arrive at a new present. It’s a very oriental form of reaction, when you think about it. It’s spiritual and mystical.

Some right-wing Progressives like Jonah Goldberg argue that American Liberalism may be in a final stage and about to expire. The surge of liberal candidates was a rear guard action signaling the end. That’s mostly wishful thinking. A key argument of the ossified Right is that doing nothing will result in victory. It is a weird appropriation of the old Progressive line about being on the right side of history. It an appeal to authority, but the authority is an unmentioned spirit force that is just assumed to exist.

Now Charles Krauthammer is peddling the same idea. It’s an odd thing that all of the neocons have suddenly embraced this weird new right-wing mysticism. They also entangle tangible politics with ideological currents. That’s what Krauthammer is doing with ObamaCare and the Democrats. It is bad for the party, but it has nothing to do with what Progressive is becoming. If anything, the death of the old pragmatic politics of the Left, in favor of this new reactionary mysticism says the Left is reborn.

Maybe this type of politics is doomed. The weirdness of addressing all of these old sins and old slights is too obvious. Politics is about bread and circuses, not mystical trips to the before time in order to recreate a new present. That stuff is for grad school seminars on ontology, not practical politics. Still, the intensity of this new type of liberalism, however, suggest it is just getting started, rather that headed to the dust bin of history. The Left has believed in nuttier things than mystical reaction.

The Opposite Rule of Liberalism

At various times, I’ve rolled out my rule about how to interpret statements by liberals regarding non-liberals. That rule is the title of this post and it goes like this. Take whatever they say, assume the opposite and you will get close to the truth. When liberals said the Tea Party was “AstroTurf” and liberal groups were genuine grassroots, you could flip it around to mean their gang was a rent-a-mob and the weirdos in the 17th century outfits were just regular folks pissed off and making some noise.

That was in fact the case. The Left has well funded “volunteer” operations to bus in protesters when needed. Often they are paid by their union, like we saw in Wisconsin with the teacher unions. It is a form of projection, for the most part, but in politics it is a way to shift the focus away from whatever crooked stuff their doing. One of the oldest tricks in politics is to falsely accuse your opponent of something, so the story is about the other guy denying it, not about whatever you are doing.

A great example of this comes from a post by Steve Sailer. For as long as I’ve been alive, there have been theories about why there is a Left and Right in American politics. All of these theories claim the mantel of science and all of them come from the Left. The reason for this is, at some level, the Left knows they are not working from facts and reason, but rather a set of beliefs. Rather than confront that, they accuse everyone that opposes them of holding irrational beliefs and acting from emotion.

The formula goes like this. They assign to themselves qualities they wish they possessed, but don’t. “Open minded” always makes the list along with “smart” and “unconventional.” Who would not want to be a smart, open minded guy, who is a little off-beat? Gosh that sounds just like the protagonist of every cool TV show and movie! Then they usually assign some bad qualities to the mythical right-winger or conservative. Then they produce a “study” that confirms all of this as science!

I’ll note that liberals have a long list of words for the people on the other side of the hive walls. You never hear liberals talk about the differences between libertarians and paleo-cons or neocons and paleos. To the liberal, they are part of the undifferentiated other on the other side of the wall. Often they avoid this and rely on their cartoon version of the conservative, which is usually a blend of the 1950’s sitcom dad and a prison guard. It’s Ward Cleaver with a closet full of Nazi uniforms.

Once the basic descriptions are established, they lard it up with pseudo-science and rotten statistics. In a prior age, they would have psychiatrists put their stamp of approval on it. Today, the fake nerd is all the rage on the Left so they conjure up a few characters from the social sciences. Almost always a little digging finds that Doctor Nick Riviera relied on a handful of grad students he paid to answer some questions. But, he was kind enough to lard it up with jargon so the left can claim it is science.

It is not just the normal stuff you see in team sport politics. Liberals invest a lot of time and energy promoting things about themselves that are not true. In fact, the opposite is usually the case. Go look at that Sailer post and the qualities listed under liberal.  Liberals are the most dogmatic people with very narrow opinions on just about everything. Open minded is, unsurprisingly, the exact opposite of a liberal. They think that by embracing things that normal people hate, that makes them open minded. In fact, it just makes them dicks.

The fact that they tend to dress alike and repeat the same things is an example of their narrow mindedness, not their willingness to try new things or be unconventional. When was the last time a liberal surprised you with a non-liberal opinion on something? When was the last time the NYTimes or MSNBC was unpredictable? The people running around accusing others of narrow mindedness are always from this hive minded authoritarian cult that is viciously intolerant and anything that smacks of deviationism.

The most glaring example of the opposite rule of liberalism is how they describe themselves as highly individualistic. Put a liberal in a room full of non-liberals and they are a shrinking violet. Reverse the roles and the liberals will harangue the non-liberal like a group of Crips attacking a Chinese delivery guy. Liberals congregate like all herd animals. They seek protection in numbers. It is why they are over represented in politics, soft-sciences and journalism. These are activities best done in groups.They are also high conformity activities which appeal to the hive mind.

The most important facet of this rule is that whatever the Left is ranting about, whatever bogeyman or vice they see as a great threat, is most likely something they are doing or have recently done. For instance, when the Left is accusing Republicans of abusing government power, it means liberals have either been doing it or are planning to it. All of the vices the Left accuses others of doing are habits common on the Left. Properly understood, the hooting from the Left is both a confession and a warning.

There you have an expanded definition of the Opposite Rule of Liberalism.

Econometrics is not Science

Alex Tabarrok has posted a bit of troll bait on firearms and suicide. It’s troll bait because these studies are created to get attention. They do that by confirming some aspect of the narrative and decorating it with the veneer of science. A PhD, claiming a correlation between something lefty sees as a great evil and something that is bad, will get the the usual suspects buzzing about the author. Often, the authors of the paper will put together a cover letter for the media, so they don’t have to read the actual study.

In this case, guns and suicide is the issue. If it were a paper claiming to prove that religion makes you a bigot or lead in the water makes you hate socialized medicine, it would have a better chance of landing on TV, but guns still work in certain quarters of the Left. The paper itself is not worth reading, but the on-line debate is worth a read. The content of the debate is not all that interesting. It’s the nature of the debate. It reveals a lot about the sorts of people who are prone to accepting these sorts of studies at face value.

Everything from the soft sciences starts with statistical correlation between one thing and some other thing. The idea is to create the belief that a causal relationship exists, where only (maybe) a correlation exists. The most famous of which is the claim that marijuana use leads to hard drug use. The fact that people prone to drug addiction would use the most common drugs first is hardly surprising. Claims that weed causes heroine use are easily disproved by the tens of millions of weed smokers who never use heroine.

The statistical methodology in this paper is sound and it is hardly shocking that more guns would mean more successful suicides. Guns are a great tool for killing yourself. It is exceedingly rare for someone to survive a gun shot to the head. People often panic and call for help when taking pills or slashing their wrists. They have ample time to contemplate their act before and during its commission. That and they can always call for help after committing the act. That’s not happening after the hammer goes click.

That said, it does not show that guns cause suicide. That would mean forming metal into a particular shape has some influence over the psychological well being of humans. Only a lunatic would think such a thing. Instead, they modify the claim to, “well the availability of the gun can lead some people to rashly elect suicide when they otherwise would have time to be talked out of it.” That assumes legal gun make gun more available. If you are planning to shoot yourself, you still have to buy the gun and that takes time.

In real science, cause and effect are tested. In fake science like this, cause and effect are inferred or implied, depending on the claim. In this case, the implication is guns cause suicide as the author goes out of his way to make the claim that other forms of suicide declined in his study. Even if the observation is accurate, the way it is framed is intended to lead people to a causal relationship. It’s not an outright lie, but it is dishonest, because the intent is to convince people of soemthing that is false.

That’s the issue with the soft sciences. They are too prone to these sorts of shenanigans by the Left. Much of it never replicates and much of it is politically motivated. The result is nutty ideas are lacquered with the respectability of science, despite being ridiculously wrong or misleading. That’s not to say there is no value in discovering statistical correlations. It’s just that it is a starting point to begin thinking about causal relationships and more complex statistical relationships.

The Politics of ObamaCare

When it was passed, Kevin Williamson predicted that ObamaCare would collapse and either be repealed or drastically altered. His reasoning was that any attempt to rearrange 1/6th of the US economy was going to end in disaster. The public would be furious and the politicians of both parties would sprint to remedy the problem. Throw in the fact that the mathematics never made sense and it could not last and therefore would not last.

This is the classic line of retreat from these guys. Rather than fight, they smugly claim that they can just sit back and wait for things to happen. They are forever sitting in the pumpkin patch, waiting for the Great Pumpkin to arrive and defeat the Left. The fact that the savior has yet to arrive, despite three generations of conservatives waiting in the pumpkin patch, never gets mentioned. It also new promises that he will arrive any minute.

That’s the theme of this article an old warhorse from Conservative Inc., with regards to the coming midterms. We’re seeing a lot of soul searching on the part of Democrats now that the poop has hit the fan with the exchanges, rate hikes and cancellations. It’s hard to know how this is playing with the voters, but the way to bet is the people who show up for midterms are not happy with the results of ObamaCare thus far.

Democrats probably believe the marketing from the Left. That is, this was just part of the plan, a game of three dimensional chess. The argument that this disaster was part of the plan to advance single payer does not hold up though. If these guys were that clever, they would not be running for the hills right now. The people who wrote this bill are not geniuses. They got trapped in a process and created a mess.

Now they have a big problem. Obama and the White House probably don’t care. Obama has always been oddly indifferent to politics. Steve Sailer has thoughts on that, but the better answer is that Obama is just an entitled incompetent. He’s had an easy life, because he ticked the right boxes at the right time in history. As a result, he expects the world to wait on him. When it doesn’t, he just watched basketball on TV.

The Democrats in Congress are learning that they cannot rely on this administration to guard their interests. That means they have to figure out how to cut their own deal with the GOP to avoid owning the whole mess of ObamaCare. It also means they may have to cut Obama loose, so to speak. Inside the party that is going to be very difficult. Obama may be a lame duck and he may be lazy, but he’s still president.

Then there is the natural divide within a party when facing a midterm. Safe Democrats will hold a different view than vulnerable Democrats. Mary Landrieu will have no choice but to become a vocal opponent of ObamaCare if she expects to remain in the Senate. On the other hand, Elizabeth Warren can be the defender of the faith as she has no fear of the voters. The party is a collection of people who planned to hang alone.

Harry Reid can scheme against both sides to help those with a chance to win over those who are in hopeless races. Landreiu, if she is not careful, could find herself getting the cold shoulder from her party in 2014. That sort of stuff makes it very hard for the party to navigate. At some point, they will have to land on a strategy to unburden themselves of this fiasco. It may take one more election for that to happen.

The trouble is they were not prepared for this. The whole game of social democracy is that people like free stuff. If every free stuff scheme has something close to a majority getting their beak wet, then there’s never a majority in favor of getting rid of it. There may not be a majority getting welfare, but there are plenty of others willing to support what they view as riot insurance. Welfare keeps the blacks at home and away from the suburbs.

The middle class goes along with socialism because they fear social unrest more than the tax colector. With massive money creation and borrowing, social democracy looks like the cure to all of life’s problems. The trouble with ObabaCare is there is no benefit to any group the voters think important. No one is getting the free stuff or the protection from those wanting free stuff. ObamaCare is just a wrecking ball through the existing order.

That’s why the theory in the Forbes article seems right, but the Democrats are not there psychologically. Again, they thought this was going to work. They have spent the last year calling Republicans Hitler loving child rapists. That said, the GOP has always been there to help them, so maybe they will deliver this time. The stupidity of the GOP is hard to fathom, so it’s best to assume they have some stupid idea you can’t imagine.

That means collapse may be inevitable, but before that can happen, the GOP will rush into take the blame or find someway to mitigate the damage to the party that created it. The smug pundits of Conservative Inc. can then predict the next time that there is no need to fight the Left, as things will work out in then end. It makes one wonder about whose interest they are protecting, but everyone knows the answer to that one.

Racism in America

Growing up when and where I did, I’m familiar with racism. I never experienced it or witnessed anyone cause harm to another because of their race, but I grew up hearing stories about it, mostly in school. In my home, my parents took the view that treating people of different races poorly was rude. In public, you never aired your opinions about race or other races. It was just rude and we were instructed to never do it.

My first real exposure to a real honest to goodness racist was through a black schoolmate. His father or uncle, I no longer remember, refused to speak with or do business with white people. This was most likely just a boast, as I don’t think it would be possible, even today. My friend told it to me because he thought it was funny and assumed I would think it was funny, which I did. At that age, it was ridiculous.

But, in adulthood I learned like everyone else that race is a thorny subject. All the school lectures remained mythical for someone my age or younger. Only old people now recall when discrimination was permitted. Anyone under the age of fifty grew up watching integrated sports and entertainment, went to integrated schools and worked in jobs with people of other races. Still, race hovers over everything. Jim Crow has been talked to death, but other race issues have been forbidden for so long people no longer know how to discuss them.

One such example is black racism. In America it is OK for a black person to be a public bigot. Al Sharpton has made a career out of being a public bigot. Blacks gladly embrace their racism and think nothing of it. In fact, the people in charge encourage blacks and now the other non-whites groups, to root for their own team and root against whites.  This story buried in the news is a perfect example. Black voters elected a white guy because they thought he was black.

What’s left unsaid, but everyone knows, is he would have had no shot running as a white guy. Despite the fact the voters agreed with him, they would never have voted for him over a black guy. The old white guy obviously knew this and acted accordingly. There’s some attempt to say other factors decided the election, but the fact that the winner actively concealed the fact he is white says he knew what he was doing. He rightly figured out that the incumbent was unpopular, but blacks would never vote against one of their own.

My own view is we would be wise to decouple official racism from personal opinion. Times change and opinions change. Young people today don’t think the word “nigger” has any more emotional value than any other word. I hear young people, white and black, use it amongst themselves. In my day that was a sign of poor upbringing. Whites and black avoided the term out of self-respect. Young people are probably right to devalue it. Some things should be left in the past and archaic racial terms are a good candidate for the memory hole.

At the same time, rooting for your own side or wanting to be around your own kind is perfectly normal. Private discrimination is just a fact of life. Lecturing people about just creates this weird sense of terror. If your private words or private actions are revealed, your life can be destroyed, because you will be condemned as a racist. Unless you’re black or Hispanic or whatever else is washing up in American. Peaceful separation should be the norm and not condemned.

Official racism, however, is not something we should tolerate because it is incompatible with a free society. Even if you think the free society stuff is just nonsense, official racism is unworkable and always fails. As a white guy, I don’t want my government discriminating on racial lines, because it makes my government unnecessarily expensive. That and it gives them an excuse to play favorites within my tribe, not just for my tribe.

That said, I know this will never happen.

Repeal the 19th Amendment

Here is the text of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution:

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

This gave women the right to vote anywhere it had been denied up to that point. It is worth noting that many states had extended the franchise to women to some degree. Most sensible people, men and women, knew this was a mistake and kept fighting the idea long after the Amendment passed. The story of female suffrage has been rewritten to fit the modern feminist narrative, but people at the time, including many women, knew this was a bad idea.

For over 4,000 years, people understood the foolishness of allowing women to directly participate in governance. The play, Lysistrata, was written in 411 BC. Fast forward 2300 years and women’s suffrage in America gave us, to quote Judge Roy Bean, “and everything went to hell. While our boys was overseas fighting the Kaiser, the women got Prohibition put in. Drinking and gambling and whoring were declared unlawful. All those things which come natural to men became crimes.”

A recent example is the election in Virginia. The Republican lost narrowly to former Clinton bag man, Terry McAuliffe. Most sensible people clearly viewed McAuliffe as a sociopathic maniac, who should never have access to government power. Blacks voted for McAuliffe 98-2. Anyone familiar with the history of sub-Saharan Africa or Detroit knows the story here. That was predictable.

The difference maker was single women. They allegedly went for the lunatic by 42%! In contrast, the Republican won married women by 9 points. Anyone having spent a small amount of time on earth knows that married white women are vastly more sensible than single white women. Married women will share their husband’s suspicion of the state, as a natural threat to family life. Single women see the state as their sugar daddy. The gap between the two groups with regards to voting is stunning.

This is nothing new. The democrats have based their rise to power on the vote of barren spinsters and college sluts. In the 2012 election, they ran a campaign based on the argument that Mitt Romney wanted to rape single white women. It worked. It was not just single white women in that case. Many married white women fell for the argument that Romney wanted sew their legs shut. Women, it turns out get less stupid once married, but a large number remain fools even after landing a man.

Democracy is a terrible way to run a society, but if you are going to have it, you have to limit the vote to people capable of thinking beyond their narrow interests. Girls are too hormonal to make rational choices, so they should be spared the burden of voting. It may even make sense to bar single men up to a certain age, like 25. Regardless, taking the vote from single women is the only way forward that can maintain this fragile democracy.

No Country For Men

It’s increasingly difficult to be a normal man and engage in the general culture. One reason is the people in the content business, especially the news business, seem like they are from another planet. They say things that are so at odds with daily reality you wonder if they ever go outside. Of course, most of what they write and say is propaganda. They don’t think of it that way. They are just enthusiastically repeating the articles of faith of their class. The news is just a hallelujah chorus for the cult of modern liberalism.

A good example is the brouhaha over the Miami Dolphins drama. The sports press, despite not knowing any details, has crafted this elaborate narrative into which they are going to force the participants. The “culture in the locker room” is one element. All of those terrible alpha males, you see. Of course, the white guy is pure evil because he used the magic word, despite doing in front of black guys who were laughing and egging him on while everyone is partying. The semi-black guy is the victim, despite no one on his team coming to his defense.

One reason for this weird disconnect is that the sporting press is dominated by beta males who find traditional male behavior threatening and distasteful. There’s a class element too. Football players may have gone to college, but football is decidedly working class. You don’t excel in the sport without being a physically tough man. To be a physically tough man means rejecting a central part of modern liberal culture. Like cops, football players accept the human condition at face value, which means accepting the biological diversity.

Another reason for this is Progressive culture is feminine. Women can be ruthless, but they don’t have the same hierarchical view of social organization as males. Men compete to establish the pecking order in the group. Women compete for the attention of males. That’s how the general culture operates now. George Bush once said, something along the lines that if one person hurts, government must act. That’s the general view of the over class. It is not winners and losers, it is just losers. As long as there are losers, no one can be a winner.

That’s why sports reporting is so weird. Normal men look at this story and just assume the one guys is a pussy and the other guys are assholes. Every normal man knows the world is divided into predators, victims and the men who make the world run. At the fringes, like a locker-room or a prison, the predators attack the weak.  So many of the people in the sports media grew up as victims of the playground bullies, they can’t understand what they are covering.

This Changes Everything (Maybe)

Technological leaps change how humans relate to the natural world and to one another, but they can also change people. The reason is the technological leap changes the environment of people in ways that change selection pressure. The move from hunter gatherer to agriculture is a good example. The sorts of traits that are favored by the former is not the same that is favored by the latter. Greg Cochran and Henry Harpending made this case in the book The 10,000 Year Explosion.

The thing is though, the changes are slow. There’s never been a technological change that has killed off a portion of the population carrying some mutation deemed deleterious in the new technological environment. The changes described by Cochran and Harpending happened over many generations. A person living in the 5th century was not all that different from a person living in the same place during the 10th century. People got a little smarter, a little more peaceful, but people remained essentially the same.

We could be on the cusp of the first great biological revolution introduced by human technological advance. If this is true, and it is most likely is true, the next great technological advance will change humans. If we can alter the DNA of human embryos, we will alter the DNA of human embryos. All the blather about bioethics is just that, as we have seen in every other human endeavor. If people can do it, and see an advantage in doing it, then people will do it, no matter the ethical implications.

Since most of the limits on our life spans are genetic, the most logical use of such technology is to extend our lives. This could be something done on fully formed humans at some point. This would not require changing our DNA, but changing how certain genes express. Of course, “fixing” genetic defects in the embryo could eliminate a wide ranges of diseases. The result of that is a new generation of humans capable of living much longer and living a much healthier than all previous humans.

There may be a hard coded upper limit to life span that is beyond genetics, but curing the diseases of old age would be well within the realm of possible. Aldus Huxley probably got it exactly right when he described a future where humans lived in their prime years right up until death. Since every human culture is based around the inevitability of death, big chunks of it become useless. Why bother developing a relationship with God, for example, if you will never meet him. Immortality redefines mortality.

Of course, another logical step is to improve off-spring. As soon as parents can pay to increase the good traits in their children, they will do it. If we can change our DNA to increase IQ, we will. Getting faster, bigger, stronger, better looking and whatever else we want could be possible if science can alter the DNA. How long before the Chinese create a class of nine foot guys with sprinter speed and near perfect coordination so they can dominate the Olympics? The bet is a week after they figure out how to do it.

Of course, this is still science fiction. The amount we know about the human genome is a drop in the ocean of what can be known. Having a general understanding of genes and gene mutation is a long way from making super men. Still, technology has a habit of moving quickly. It’s also possible we don’t have to know a whole lot in order to make better people or cure some diseases. As agriculture showed, small changes can have enormous downstream consequences of human beings.

It Always Ends The Same

Ken Cuccinelli, the failed gubernatorial candidate in Virginia, is a bit of mystery, unless you live in Virginia or you are a political junkie. He was the attorney general and he is conservative on social issues. No one claims he wants to stone gays in public or horse whip adulterers, so he is probably conventional in his politics. He appears to be the standard issue socially conservative Republican that has been around for years.

Terry McAuliffe, in contrast, is a well-known quantity. He is a sociopath, who spent most of the 1990’s defending the indefensible on cable chat shows.  Political flaks are notorious liars, much like attorneys and boxing promoters, but this guy was unusually slimy. The aging shock jock, Don Imus, told him to his face that he makes him want to bleach his eyeballs after seeing him. The guy’s post-Clinton career was one shady business deal after another, all involving ripping off taxpayers. He’s now the governor of Virginia.

This is why democracies murder themselves, or at least why we say it. There is a large number of adults in every population incapable of participating in public decisions. They are stupid, lazy or criminal. They lack the ability to put aside their narrow immediate interests in favor of the long-term interests of society. In the case of Virginia, a large number of voters live in NoVa and work in do-nothing jobs for the government or for do-nothing government contractors.

In the Tidewater area and around Richmond, you have large numbers of blacks who look at the government as their sugar daddy. Anyone promising more hand-outs gets their vote and the democrat is always the one promising more handouts.  Added to that are South American peasants, who are allowed to vote. That reason is they will gladly vote for the Democrat. In fact, they will let someone vote for them, so they don’t have to show up at the polls. Election fraud and immigration are almost synonymous now.

McAuliffe went around the state promising these folks he would rob the taxpayers and property holders and give some of it to these various welfare cases. Of course, they voted for him. It is a microcosm of what is going in in the country. The number of people in favor of robbing the productive class has grown to a point where you must get some of that vote in order to win. The deadbeats are oddly motivated to vote.The taxpayer is often so discouraged, they don’t bother. 

Then there is the morality angle. The Democrats turn every race into a referendum on the bad whites, those people who oppose immigration, want tom live free of blacks and and think local autonomy is a good thing. They are the bad guys, because they are the bad whites who are not ashamed to be white. That means your choice in an election is often between two good whites or between a good white and bad white. Publicly supporting the bad white is to go against public morality and no one relishes that.

This is nothing new. The Greeks eventually voted themselves to death. Alcibiades was the Bill Clinton of his day. He had no real accomplishments to his name, but he was able to charm the average Greek. In fact, he charmed them into invading Sicily, which brought Greek democracy to a bad end. The Romans eventually abandoned democracy for a dictator, leading to such wonderful guys as Caligula, but even a degenerate lunatic is often viewed as an upgrade of a champion of democracy like Terry McAuliffe.