The Wrong Side of History

Steve Sailer has a snarky post up about the European elections. Everyone on the authentic Right, as opposed to mainstream Right, is celebrating the results. For lack of a better way of phrasing it, the authentic Right is the national populist types, who reject post-modern cosmopolitanism and multiculturalism. The mainstream Right are just libertarian cosmopolitans. They support the cultural project of the Left, but would like to rig the market to achieve it.

The joy is understandable to some degree. On the one hand, it is clearly a rejection of the open borders, white replacement strategy of the elites. In France, a vote for National Front is a vote against immigration. No Frenchman voted for National Front thinking they were anything other than hostile to immigration. They are also hostile to non-French people, as in those not biologically French. The National Front rejects paper citizenship, as does all authentically right-wing parties.

Then there is a strong anti-elite element too. Farage and UKIP are old school populists as much as they are anti-immigrant. The Tories have wandered off into some weird ideological place in search of a constituency. Their old voters have no other place to go so they are voting for Farage. UKIP is probably just the old Tory party bursting forth from the dying husk of the new Tory party. Still, it says that old populist instinct is still alive in the heart of the average Englishman.

It is easy to think the tide may be turning, but that is probably not true. UKIP is the real deal, but the leadership lacks the sort of professionalism needed to make them a legitimate mainstream party. They are building a party from the ground up and will have the boots on the ground to make noise in subsequent elections, but they have a lot of weirdos and kooks as well. Those kooks and weirdos can easily topple over the whole thing before the next election.

The Continent is a similar story. These elections were low-turnout symbolic actions by the most highly motivated part of the anti-elite electorate. There’s little evidence FN can build on to this and become a player in French politics. Syriza is the real deal in Greece, but let’s not kid ourselves about the importance of Greece. In Germany, the only country that matters in Europe right now, anti-EU forces have not made much noise at all. In short, one election does not mean much.

There’s something else. The march of human history is toward larger and larger organizational units. For about 35,000 years, modern humans were in groups no larger than about 150. That was the practical limit for a hunter-gatherer people. Once the group got too big, it split up. We can’t know for sure, of course, but the current science suggests trust beyond kin was not well developed at this stage. Once you get beyond 150 people, you start having unrelated males thrown in together, which is going to be trouble for obvious reasons.

Once humans began to settle, the organizational groups got bigger. Farming naturally brings trading and property ownership. That requires more complex relationships. It also requires trust between unrelated males. The traits and customs allowing for unrelated males to trust one another and adjudicate breeches in trust probably developed in tandem as human settlements grew larger.

Hierarchical relationships also had to develop as someone had to be in charge to enforce the rules. If you look at early British history, for example, ruling families were the dominant hierarchical relationship. The descendants of Ida ruled parts of Britain for generations. This was not an ideal solution, but it was a solution that was workable for the people at the time. Extended family rule was a solution to getting distantly related people to cooperate and keep the peace.

Over time city-states developed and they were replaced by combinations of cities that eventually became principalities. Most of the European history we learn in school is the battle over the consolidation of lands into nations. From the 100 Years War through World War Two, the people of Europe battled to figure out the boundaries and relationships of the nations of the continent. The end point of this was the nation-state as we came to understand it in the 20th century.

Post-War Europe has been an extended debate over how to build a Europe-wide organizational unit. Eliminating trade barriers eliminates a key role of national government. The free flow of people eliminates a reason for national borders and even national governments. Combining currencies further erodes the rationale for national governments and the very idea of a secular nation.

It is not just Europe. Relationships between countries over trade and property are now managed through supranational organizations. When the US has a dispute with China over trade, it goes to some international body for adjudication. Congress has no say and the people are not consulted. Treaty agreements are being crafted to get around pesky legal problems like the US Constitution. The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty is an attempt to junk the Second Amendment through international agreement.

Then we have the interlocking central banks and shadowy financial institutions that control the world’s financial system. The high level of coordination between the main banks and the IMF very well may be the main peace keeping organization now. Look at how they have been able to keep Ukraine from turning hot. Russia is so tied into the financial system, they cannot afford to get in a fight with the West.

If you’re wondering where the “right side of history” lies, history seems to be saying it is bigger and bigger government. The argument against all of this is language, culture and genetics. That’s a good argument and we may have reached a natural limit of human organization. But that’s not the way to bet. A Paleolithic Steve Sailer probably thought human settlement or agriculture was a loser, too. The right side of history has always been bigger and bigger organizational units. The rise of nationalist parties in Europe could very well be a last gasp effort to resist the inevitable.

The Media

Something most right-wing people don’t get is the true nature of the media. They think the media is biased, but otherwise reasonable and accurate. They may promote some stories over others, but the stories are mostly true. In reality, the mass media is just the marketing department for the ruling class. Like a marketing department, they are not afraid to make up stuff when it suits them. A good example is in this article about the  Obama presidency.

The CIA’s top officer in Kabul was exposed Saturday by the White House when his name was inadvertently included on a list provided to news organizations of senior U.S. officials participating in President Obama’s surprise visit with U.S. troops.

The White House recognized the mistake and quickly issued a revised list that did not include the individual, who had been identified on the initial release as the “Chief of Station” in Kabul, a designation used by the CIA for its highest-ranking spy in a country.

The disclosure marked a rare instance in which a CIA officer working overseas had his cover — the secrecy meant to protect his actual identity — pierced by his own government. The only other recent case came under significantly different circumstances, when former CIA operative Valerie Plame was exposed as officials of the George W. Bush administration sought to discredit her husband, a former ambassador and fierce critic of the decision to invade Iraq.

There we have it. Nothing in that last paragraph is true, but the person who wrote the piece wants you to think it is true. The editors certainly know it is nonsense, but they don’t care, just as long as it promotes the cause. More important, they found a way to attack someone on the official opposition. They don’t really hate the other side, but they are the foil in the political show. The whole point of which is to keep people from noticing who really runs the country and for what purpose.

The Phallus Palace

This story in The Week is a writers dream. Anytime you get to write the word “penis” in a non-medical way you’re going to have a good time writing the story. When the reason to write the word “penis” is because the subject of your story is someone who collected penises, it’s like hitting the lottery. Everyone suddenly has penis envy.

“It’s my morning ritual,” says the collector. “I get a cup of coffee and open up eBay and Etsy. I’ve bought two or three penises before most people’s alarm clocks have gone off.”

The collector, who wishes not to reveal his name, lives in an $850-a-month rent-stabilized apartment on the Upper West Side — the same place he’s resided since 1977. The spacious, railroad-style abode has seen its fair share of collections come and go over the past 24 years. First, he collected various versions of the five of spades, from playing card decks. Then, it was misters — anything to do with the word “mister,” be it Coffee, Clean or T. There was also the series of devils and a collection of Nancy comic strip paraphernalia — that androgynous, hollow-eyed, Brillo-haired girl made famous by Ernie Bushmiller. But in the end, one collection stood high above the rest: penises.

Lost in all the penis talk is the fact that this guy is paying $850 a month for an apartment in Manhattan. The average rental is $3800 a month right now. In most cities in America, a sump is going to cost at least a grand a month. Most likely this guy was grandfathered in under rent control or some similar scheme.

There are well over a thousand pieces of penis-related art in his home, and yes, the collection is growing on a daily basis.

Upon entering the apartment, the first penis you will most likely notice is a winged phallus hanging from the entrance to the living room. After that, your eyes may settle upon the upward curve of a bronze coat hanger, the drawing of a little boy peeing into Humpty Dumpty’s mouth, or the statue of David above a toilet. The collector’s apartment is a cacophony of cocks. A deluge of dicks. A plethora of penii.

Standing 6’2″ with snow-white hair, the collector, age 58, admits that even he has to be careful not to hit his head on some of the low-hanging fruit when moving about his apartment.

“You should see the faces on the delivery guys when they come up. I open the door to get my food, and they get a glimpse inside. Dicks everywhere! You can see their eyes widen, and then they always take this tiny step backwards. I live for the day when a hapless religious proselytizer makes the mistake of knocking on my door.”

Alas, the rest of us will most likely not have a chance to see the apartment. The collector chose to remain anonymous for this article not because he is embarrassed of the sexual content of his collection (“I have no shame, and I love the shock effect,” he says), but because he would like to avoid having random people tracking him down for a viewing.

“I like that it’s a private collection. It’s just for the people I choose,” he says. “I can’t help it. I’m an elitist.”

Back in 1977, the collector was a sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll party animal who hung out at music and dance club icons like Danceteria, The Mudd Club, and CBGBs. These days, he’s more of a homebody with 25 years of sobriety and an extensive collection of independent films.

Although he makes a good living, most of his money goes to his collection. As such, he sometimes has trouble making ends meet. He supplements his day job as a concierge in the Garment Center, which he’s held for more than two decades, by working “mad hours of overtime” running a freight elevator.

This is why the power centers of the Empire are nothing like America. In the hinterlands, a concierge lives in a small apartment on the seedy side of town, not in a tony apartment building with members of the elite. He’s not building a collection of dicks and getting written up by some hipster snob either. The lands of our rulers are nothing like where the rest of us live.

2014: The Amazon War

A popular joke is that in the future, people will identify based on their loyalty to one of the global corporations dominating society. People will self-identify as Google or Apple or Amazon. If you are a reader, Amazon is the default bookstore. Google has your email and personal information, which they share with the state. Apple is a weird cult of people who fashion themselves tech-savvy so they insist on products requiring zero technical skill. Brand loyalty is now personal identity.

Anyway, lost in it all is Amazon is not a healthy business. By the standards of finance, the stock is over priced by a factor of 24. That’s right. They have a P/E of 487 as of right now. For a bio-tech startup, that’s OK, but for a mature business it is staggeringly high, unless they have some new invention in the works. That stock price would have to fall to $13 for the stock to be prized at a typical P/E. But, nothing about modern finance makes much sense, based on the old economics.

Amazon’s power over the publishing and bookselling industries is unrivaled in the modern era. Now it has started wielding its might in a more brazen way than ever before.

Seeking ever-higher payments from publishers to bolster its anemic bottom line, Amazon is holding books and authors hostage on two continents by delaying shipments and raising prices. The literary community is fearful and outraged — and practically begging for government intervention.

This is the sort of thing a business does when they have run out of other options. They have squeezed every cent from their supply chain. They have automated everything that can be automated. They have baffled the markets with their drone stuff, but no one is buying that much longer. They either start posting better results or there will be a rush for the exists. That does not mean they are the new Enraon, but it suggests they need to find a new thing to keep the plates spinning.

“How is this not extortion? You know, the thing that is illegal when the Mafia does it,” asked Dennis Loy Johnson of Melville House, echoing remarks being made across social media.

Amazon is, as usual, staying mum. “We talk when we have something to say,” Jeffrey P. Bezos, the founder and chief executive, said at the company’s annual meeting this week.

The battle is being waged largely over physical books. In the United States, Amazon has been discouraging customers from buying titles from Hachette, the fourth-largest publisher by market share. Late Thursday, it escalated the dispute by making it impossible to order Hachette titles being issued this summer and fall. It is using some of the same tactics against the Bonnier Media Group in Germany.

One of the under discussed facts about the “new” economy is these tech giants are mostly skimming operations and rentiers. A book from Amazon is the same as a book from Fred’s book shop. You’re not saving money on the production of the book or getting anything extra from Amazon. They make their money from convenience and that has a small premium. Much of their success depends on using networks developed by other firms, for which Amazon pays nothing.

That could be what’s coming next for Amazon and NetFlix. The ISP’s will begin throttling their services unless they pay for their usage. Those costs will be passed to the customers of these services instead of financed by everyone else. That’s the theory, but these giant firms have a lot of power, so they can probably avoid it. Money may not buy happiness, but it can buy a lot of politcal power.

But the real prize is control of e-books, the future of publishing.

Publishers tried to rein in Amazon once, and got slapped with a federal antitrust suit for their efforts. Amazon was not directly a party to the case but has reaped the rewards in increased market power. Now it wants to increase its share of the digital proceeds. The publishers, weighing a slide into irrelevance if not nonexistence, are trying to hold the line.

Late Friday afternoon, Hachette made by far its strongest comment on the conflict.

“We are determined to protect the value of our authors’ books and our own work in editing, distributing and marketing them,” said Sophie Cottrell, a Hachette senior vice president. “We hope this difficult situation will not last a long time, but we are sparing no effort and exploring all options.”

The Authors Guild accused the retailer of acting illegally.

“Amazon clearly has substantial market power and is abusing that market power to maintain and increase its dominance, which likely violates Section 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act,” said Jan Constantine, the Guild’s general counsel.

The trouble for Amazon is they have a monopoly on things that can be duplicated, to some degree, by smaller players. Producing book, digital or analog, is not an art exclusive to Amazon. Further, Amazon does not do much to promote book sales on their platform. Further, the rest of supply chain is becoming easier to replicate on the small scale. Small business can ship just as cheap as Amazon. In other words, lots of people can start selling books on-line if Amazon becomes a problem.

When I lived in a Real Country

When you live in a real country, the government is a reflection of the people. It is also an extension of the people. Discussions about democracy and representative government are all fine and dandy, but they are worthless unless the government actually represents the people. On the one hand it must attack those who wish to harm the people and defend against those who attack the people. Otherwise, it is not a government. It is just a way to keep people occupied with busy work.

Consider Finland. In 1939, the Soviet Union attempted to invade Finland. The Finnish government organized a defense, despite being grossly outnumbered. The Finns faced both the 9th and 14th Soviet Armies, and at one point were fighting against as many as 12 divisions— about 160,000 soldiers. Also at one point in the same area, there were only 32 Finns fighting against over 4,000 Soviets. Imagine that.

The Finns were ferocious and brilliant fighters. The Soviets were not well organized and the soldiers spoke many different languages. That’s what you get when you are not a real country. The Finns, being greatly outnumbered, employed a strategy they called “Motti.” This was a form of guerrilla warfare, taking advantage of the weather and their knowledge of the local terrain. Simo Häyhä killed over 500 men in the winter campaign, the Soviets called him the “white death” for his prowess at killing Soviets in the snow.

Now, since this is Memorial Day weekend, consider Belleau Wood. This is a part of France made famous by the United States Marine Corp. On June 1, 1918 the Germans mounted an offensive against French and American lines in France. The French fled, as they had no reason to fight anymore. The Americans refused to flee. When ordered to retreat, Marine Captain Lloyd W. Williams of the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines uttered the now-famous retort “Retreat? Hell, we just got here.”

Over the next two days, despite being outnumbered, the Marines held their ground, repelling the German advance. The next month proved to be one of the most ferocious battles fought by American soldiers since Appomattox. The Marines eventually pushed the Germans out of the forest, earning the nickname “Devil Dogs” for their ferocity and courage. The French, once they came out of hiding, renamed the wood “Bois de la Brigade de Marine” in honor of their defenders.

Real countries not only defend their borders, they have the will and energy to take the fight to the other guy. The Finns were outnumbered and out-armed. They fought heroically in defense of their lands. Those Marines at Belleau Wood, swelling with the pride that comes from being citizens of a great country, made the ground shake. Their French counterparts could barely be moved to defend their own lands, because they no long had a reason to cared who ruled the land.

Now, let’s look at something from today’s news.

Two frightening incidents of vandalism in El Paso near the Mexican border in Texas have been interpreted as warnings from drug cartels.

In both instances, a mannequin wearing a suit and tie was tied to a billboard with a noose and messages were scrawled over the placards.

Local station KHOU reports that one of the signs reads ‘Plata o Plombo’ which translates to ‘silver or lead’, a threat used commonly against police officers effectively warning that if they do not accept the cartel’s bribes then they will be shot.

‘This symbol has historically been used by Mexican drug cartels to threaten or intimidate Mexican citizens, business owners and government officials; however, we have never experienced this in El Paso,’ local police said in a press release about the vandalism.

Our ruling class has been working overtime to keep these problems from the American people, because they know their polices toward mexico are without support. The claim that this is something new is nonsense. Mexico has been exporting their problems to America for decades. They dump their excess people into America and with those people come all the problems. Those problems include drug cartels.

The fear now for many is that the ‘warnings’ shows that the drug cartels- which have not been identified by name- are willing to bring the violence from Mexican border towns into Texas.

‘Maybe the problems in Juarez are coming over here,’ El Paso resident Javier Padilla told KHOU.

Mr Padilla and his wife Maria Ramos know the terror of drug cartels on a personal level after two relatives were murdered in the area of Juarez in 2009.

The second instance of vandalism had a more obtuse warning, but the theme ran through since the message was written on an existing Drug Enforcement Agency billboard.

The message was different this time, as the paint read: ‘Dying for drugs’ was written over a wanted poster calling for the capture of drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero.

This second mannequin was dressed in jeans rather than the suit and tie from the other instance.

The mannequins were a particularly jarring image for many familiar with the drug war, as some of the most violent drug lords south of the border regularly hang offenders off highway overpasses.

While a warning from drug lords seems like one of the most likely prospects, KHOU reports that prosecutors have another theory that the vandalism also could have been caused by activist groups working against the war on drugs.

Let’s not consider the obvious. Instead, let’s launch a manhunt for elves and leprechauns. This is why America is no longer a real country. In the 1950’s, the government rounded up 170,000 illegals in one summer and shipped them back to their home country. They had nothing like the technology we have today. The government had to drive around and pick people up. Today, we can’t even throw one guy out after he went on TV and proclaimed he is here illegally


Always Attack

This is a good example of a few things. The video itself is not all that interesting, other than the fact Sharpton appears to have amnesia. What is interesting is the value of being on offense in the culture war. Sharpton is a a ridiculous person, who should be back preaching in a ghetto church, but he is always on offense. That’s what prevents him from being ejected from the media. Even so-called conservatives like Sean Hannity, treat the guy with respect.

As soon as you concede ground to these guys, you lose. That’s why you always have to be on the offensive.Of course, it helps that Shaprton is protected by the people in charge, because he is useful in the war on white people. That’s another important point about Sharpton. Pointing out his hypocrisy of the hypocrisy of the media for embracing him does nothing. It’s just another form of groveling. Worse still , it confirms the morality of Left by claiming Sharpton is violating it.

The Cowardice of Ta-Nehisi Coates

The big Ta-Nehisi Coates case for reparations has finally hit the web. There is a soft case in favor of reparations. By soft case, that is a general nod in favor the argument of reparations with lots of qualification. We have tried for at least two generations to relieve a certain segment of the white population of their unfounded guilt over slavery and discrimination. The only way to do that is to settle up with the blacks. We hammer out an agreement, write the checks and close the books on the issue for good.

The Coates story has been anticipated for a while, since he is the latest novelty on the progressive circuit.  Right out of the shoot we get a Biblical quote and a snippet from John Locke. Then the whole thing falls apart. Instead of making the case for why reparations will solve the problem, he spends thousands and thousands of words bitching and moaning about whitey and how rotten it is to be black in America. Anyone over the age of ten has heard it all before and has no interest in hearing it again.

It’s not just laziness, it is cowardice. Look, reparations in the abstract are easy. It is when you get to nut-cutting that things get tough. How much does each black person get? How do we determined who is eligible? Who pays? How do we figure that out? More important, how do we then de-construct the previous efforts at reparations like affirmative action? That’s tough and it takes skill to make the case. It also takes a degree of honesty not popular in the comfy lefty confines.

Coates, of course, is really just a grifter. He’s not well read or educated, but he knows how to game white liberal elites into giving him stuff. He reads enough to drop references and book titles with some skill. That pleases liberal whites. He does the authentic black guy bit by living in Harlem. He’s checking off all the boxed for his benefactors. This article is aimed at them. It allows them to weep and wallow in their self-inflicted misery. They get to feel good over feeling bad about their privilege.

Maybe he lacks the wherewithal to make a sensible argument in favor of reparations, so maybe that’s part of it. He’s another victim of affirmative action. Even so, he could make the old black demand for free stuff. He can’t even do that as the free stuff would have to come from his Jewish benefactors. That would risk his place on the gravy train, so he just goes with emotive pap. That’s what makes him a character.

The Dishonesty Society

An underappreciated truth of the Obama years is that all of the things the Left accused Nixon of in the 1970’s have been done by Obama with enthusiasm. The Articles of Impeachment makes for an interesting read forty years later. Some are narrowly specific, but the misuse of the IRS, CIA and Justice Department sound like the daily schedule at the White House. That’s just what we know about thus far. They have no doubt abused the FBI and NSA as well.

The other irony is that during the Bush years, the Left warned that Dick Cheney was rummaging through your phone records and library activity. They warned that the new surveillance powers given the state would be abused for political reasons. Thus far, no evidence of that has emerged, but it seems pretty clear that the Obama administration was abusing at least some of these powers. A good example of the gross corruption of government is right here in this LA Times story.

The Obama administration has quietly adjusted key provisions of its signature healthcare law to potentially make billions of additional taxpayer dollars available to the insurance industry if companies providing coverage through the Affordable Care Act lose money.

The move was buried in hundreds of pages of new regulations issued late last week. It comes as part of an intensive administration effort to hold down premium increases for next year, a top priority for the White House as the rates will be announced ahead of this fall’s congressional elections.

Administration officials for months have denied charges by opponents that they plan a “bailout” for insurance companies providing coverage under the healthcare law.

They continue to argue that most insurers shouldn’t need to substantially increase premiums because safeguards in the healthcare law will protect them over the next several years.

Let’s first start with the fact Congress gave the Executive carte blanche to hand out cash to whoever they like at the moment. This is pretty much the opposite of republican self-government. This is closer to the temporary dictatorships the Ancients were fond of in times of trouble. Instead of it being a temporary state, it is a permanent state with debates about who will play dictator every four years.

Then we see the casual dishonesty of the administration. They’ve obviously been lying about what they are doing, but no one seems to care. Another day, another lie. Of course, they are not even bothering to hide the fact they are hoping to game the insurance rates to avoid answering for it at the polls.They have no fear of being called on this stuff by the media, so they just lie anyway they like.

But the change in regulations essentially provides insurers with another backup: If they keep rate increases modest over the next couple of years but lose money, the administration will tap federal funds as needed to cover shortfalls.

Although little noticed so far, the plan was already beginning to fuel a new round of attacks Tuesday from the healthcare law’s critics.

“If conservatives want to stop the illegal Obamacare insurance bailout before it starts they must start planning now,” wrote Conn Carroll, an editor of the right-leaning news site

On Capitol Hill, Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee began circulating a memo on the issue and urging colleagues to fight what they are calling “another end-run around Congress.”

Obama administration officials said the new regulations would not put taxpayers at risk. “We are confident this three-year program will not create a shortfall,” Health and Human Services spokeswoman Erin Shields Britt said in a statement. “However, we want to be clear that in the highly unlikely event of a shortfall, HHS will use appropriations as available to fill it.” OK, but how will we know? Well, how would we know? If they will lie about all the other stuff, why would anyone expect them to be honest about this?

The stakes are high for President Obama and the healthcare law.

Although more than 8 million people signed up for health coverage under the law, exceeding expectations, insurance companies in several states have been eyeing significant rate increases for next year amid concerns that their new customers are older and sicker than anticipated.

Insurers around the country have started to file proposed 2015 premiums, just as the midterm campaigns are heating up. Obamacare, as the law is often called, remains a top campaign issue, and big premium increases in states with tightly contested races could prove politically disastrous for Democrats.

If rates go up dramatically, consumers may also turn away from insurance marketplaces in some states, leading to their collapse.

The total disregard for truth by the ruling class is like a tidal wave of sewage. The foulness of it makes it hard to focus on anyone bit. We have no idea how many people signed up through these websites. We have no idea how many actually bought insurance. We have no idea how many had insurance, but were canceled due to this silly law. We don’t know how many went on Medicaid.

No one knows because the government refuses to publish the numbers for examination by the citizens. The lefty media, however, takes whatever the rulers say on faith. I guess all that talking truth to power stuff was just more bullshit.

This is the central feature of the Custodial State. The government is never going to be very good at tending to the needs of the citizens. The abuses coming out of the Veterans Administration are just the beginning. The response will be habitual lying by the ruling elites to the point where no one knows what is truth and what is fiction. This, of course, trickles down to the rest of us.

Ours is now a dishonesty society. Nothing is on the level. Everything is a deal. No deal is too small or too outlandish. And, it is only going to get worse.


The Prog Jester

The court jester is a familiar image in western culture, serving a specific role in both politics and the culture. He’s the guy dressed in the weird leotard, juggling while telling jokes at the local Renaissance fair. Historically, the jester would tell jokes about the ruler, the people in charge. Maybe he would do it in the public square or maybe he would do it in court. In court, his role was, in part, was to bring a bit of reality, in the form of popular sarcasm, to the self-serious couriers.

Modern times brings us the Prog jester. This is a person, who says and writes foolish things that flatter the Left. The modern fool fool is the comedian or satirist. Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert and Bill Maher are examples of guys, who pass themselves off as clowns mocking greater society, but they are really selling flattery to the Left. Similarly, the satirist does not mock the ruling class, but rather his job is to flatter them by mocking the common people and enemies of the elite.

The licensed fool is a different thing. These are the people hired by the big propaganda organs of the Left. Thomas Friedman is an example. His career is all about ingratiating himself to elites. He passes himself off as a intellectual, writing books on big topics and columns on hard topics. Yet, it is clear he has only a cursory understanding of the material. It is a balancing act. He reports detailed findings from experts and then ruminates in broad generalities about the implications. The latter is always a pitch for some fad popular with his keepers. As a result, his work is perpetually sophomoric.

David Brooks is a slightly different take on this role. He holds the William Safire Chair at the NYTimes. The Times likes to keep a “conservative” around to maintain the facade of objectivity. It is never a flame-thrower like Mark Steyn or Ann Coulter. Instead they prefer the refined musings of non-threatening guys who happen to hold a few unconventional opinions. Brooks, like Safire, is first and foremost an elitist. That’s never in doubt. That means his eccentricities on a narrow range of public policy debates can be safely broadcast.

It’s now clear that the end of the Soviet Union heralded an era of democratic complacency. Without a rival system to test them, democratic governments have decayed across the globe. In the U.S., Washington is polarized, stagnant and dysfunctional; a pathetic 26 percent of Americans trust their government to do the right thing. In Europe, elected officials have grown remote from voters, responding poorly to the euro crisis and contributing to massive unemployment.

According to measures by Freedom House, freedom has been in retreat around the world for the past eight years. New democracies like South Africa are decaying; the number of nations that the Bertelsmann Foundation now classifies as “defective democracies” (rigged elections and so on) has risen to 52. As John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge write in their book, “The Fourth Revolution,” “so far, the 21st century has been a rotten one for the Western model.”

At first blush, this seems reasonable, but the cultivated lament is distinctly elitist and progressive. The failure to ram through more and more regulation and the public failure to love the state fully is what has Brooks sad. It’s a form and humble bragging, in that he is saying things are a mess because his side has not done more to impose their will on the little people. What looks like criticism is really back handed flattery of the friends and neighbors of David Brooks.

The events of the past several years have exposed democracy’s structural flaws. Democracies tend to have a tough time with long-range planning. Voters tend to want more government services than they are willing to pay for. The system of checks and balances can slide into paralysis, as more interest groups acquire veto power over legislation.

Across the Western world, people are disgusted with their governments. There is a widening gap between the pace of social and economic change, and the pace of government change. In Britain, for example, productivity in the private service sector increased by 14 percent between 1999 and 2013, while productivity in the government sector fell by 1 percent between 1999 and 2010.

These trends have sparked a sprawling debate in the small policy journals: Is democracy in long-run decline?

This is where the poseur makes his appearance. Again, to the untrained it sounds like Brooks is up on the serious intellectual debates. Yet, he provides no evidence, other than he maybe read a review of the book, The Fourth Revolution, by two reporters from The Economist. That’s called signaling. He’s letting his tony readers that he hangs with the swells who read The Economist.

A new charismatic rival is gaining strength: the Guardian State. In their book, Micklethwait and Wooldridge do an outstanding job of describing Asia’s modernizing autocracies. In some ways, these governments look more progressive than the Western model; in some ways, more conservative.

In places like Singapore and China, the best students are ruthlessly culled for government service. The technocratic elites play a bigger role in designing economic life. The safety net is smaller and less forgiving. In Singapore, 90 percent of what you get out of the key pension is what you put in. Work is rewarded. People are expected to look after their own.

Actually, there’s nothing new about any of this. China’s “iron rice bowl” has been with us for seven decades now. In the West. corporatism has been kicking around for a century. Positive Liberty, embraced by the American ruling elite, has been with us since the fifties. Outside the cloistered places Brooks travels, the Custodial State has been a hot topic for two decades. My goodness. It is as if the man has been living in a cave.

These Guardian States have some disadvantages compared with Western democracies. They are more corrupt. Because the systems are top-down, local government tends to be worse. But they have advantages. They are better at long-range thinking and can move fast because they limit democratic feedback and don’t face NIMBY-style impediments.

Most important, they are more innovative than Western democracies right now. If you wanted to find a model for your national schools, would you go to South Korea or America? If you wanted a model for your pension system, would you go to Singapore or the U.S.? “These are not hard questions to answer,” Micklethwait and Wooldridge write, “and they do not reflect well on the West.”

So how should Western democracies respond to this competition? What’s needed is not so much a vision of the proper role for the state as a strategy to make democracy dynamic again.

The answer is to use Lee Kuan Yew means to achieve Jeffersonian ends — to become less democratic at the national level in order to become more democratic at the local level. At the national level, American politics has become neurotically democratic. Politicians are campaigning all the time and can scarcely think beyond the news cycle. Legislators are terrified of offending this or that industry lobby, activist group or donor faction. Unrepresentative groups have disproportionate power in primary elections.

As we always see with the Prog Jester, they always end up flattering their keepers. Our ruling class would love to transform our societies into a neo-feudal one like we see in Asia and South America.

The quickest way around all this is to use elite Simpson-Bowles-type commissions to push populist reforms.

The process of change would be unapologetically elitist. Gather small groups of the great and the good together to hammer out bipartisan reforms — on immigration, entitlement reform, a social mobility agenda, etc. — and then rally establishment opinion to browbeat the plans through. But the substance would be anything but elitist. Democracy’s great advantage over autocratic states is that information and change flow more freely from the bottom up. Those with local knowledge have more responsibility.

Finally, hilarity ensues when even his keepers realize Brook has the IQ of a goldfish. What he proposes has never worked, but it has been tried many times in many places. The results have either been laughable failure of monstrous bloodbath. An elect working for the volk is an old tune Herr Brooks.

Where the Center Is

Yesterday, the Boston talk radio host Howie Carr was reading this old column. It is from 1995, the year after the GOP swept the midterms. Jim Webb was considered a star for the new Democratic party in the 1990’s and 2000’s. Even though he worked for Reagan, he was a Democrat and allegedly one of the new breed of Democrat, the post-liberal Democrat. He supported Bob Kerry in 1992 and opposed both Bush and Kerry in the 2004 election. Anyway, it is interesting to read what Democrats were saying two decades ago.

Those who debate the impact of affirmative action and other social programs are fond of making distinctions among white Americans along professional and geographic lines while avoiding the tinderbox of ethnic distinctions among whites. But differences among white ethnic groups are huge, fed by cultural tradition, the time and geography of migrations to the country, and not insignificantly the tendency of white Americans to discriminate against other whites in favor of their own class and culture. In 1974, when affirmative action was in its infancy, the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center published a landmark study, dividing American whites into 17 ethnic and religious backgrounds and scoring them by educational attainment and family income. Contrary to prevailing mythology, the vaunted White Anglo-Saxon Protestants were even then not at the top.

A Greater Variation

The highest WASP group – the Episcopalians – ranked only sixth, behind American Jews, then Irish, Italian, German and Polish Catholics. WASPS – principally the descendants of those who had settled the Midwest and the South – constituted the bottom eight groups, and 10 of the bottom twelve. Educational attainment and income levels did not vary geographically, as for instance among white Baptists (who scored the lowest overall) living in Arkansas or California, a further indication that these differences are culturally rather than geographically based.

Imagine any Democrat using these words in a sentence.

Family income among white cultures in the NORC study varied by almost $5,000 dollars, from the Jewish high of $13,340 to the Baptist low of $8,693. By comparison, in the 1970 census the variance in family income between whites taken as a whole and blacks was only $3,600. In addition, white Baptists averaged only 10.7 years of education, which was almost four years less than American Jews and at the same level of black Americans in 1970. This means that, even prior to the major affirmative action programs, there was a greater variation within “white America” than there was between “white America” and black America, and the whites at the bottom were in approximately the same situation as blacks.

Anyone, regardless of party, who says anything like the above will be forced to leave the country.

These same less-advantaged white cultures by and large did the most to lay out the infrastructure of this country, quite often suffering educational and professional regression as they tamed the wilderness, built the towns, roads and schools, and initiated a democratic way of life that later white cultures were able to take advantage of without paying the price of pioneering. Today they have the least, socio-economically, to show for these contributions. And if one would care to check a map, they are from the areas now evincing the greatest resistance to government practices.

It would be folly to assume that affirmative action has done anything but exacerbate these disparities. The increased stratification and economic polarization in American life since 1974 is well-documented. In the technological age, with the shrinking of the industrial base, the decrease in quality of public education, and the tendency of those who “have” to protect their own and to utilize greater assets to prepare them for the future, the divergence in both expectation and reward among our citizens has grown rather than disappeared. The middle class has shrunk from 65% of the population in 1970 to less than 50% today. Its share of aggregate household income declined by 5% from 1968 to 1993, while the top five million households increased their incomes by up to 10% a year. A similar rift has occurred in the black culture, with dramatic declines at the bottom and significant gains among the top 5%.

Because America’s current elites are somewhat heterogeneous and in part the product of an academically based meritocracy, they have increasingly deluded themselves regarding both the depth of this schism and the validity of their own advantages. The prevailing attitude has been to ridicule whites who have the audacity to complain about their reduced status, and to sneer at every aspect of the “redneck” way of life. In addition to rationalizing policies that hold the working class male back from advancement in the name of an amorphous past wrong from which he himself did not benefit, the elites take great sport in debasing the man they love to call “Joe Six-Pack.”

This sounds like a speech from a different country. No public person talks or writes like this, even the so-called extreme right-wing conservatives.

And what does “Joe Six Pack” make of this?

He sees a president and a slew of other key luminaries who excused themselves from the dirty work of society when they were younger, feeling not remorse but “vindication” for having left him or perhaps his father to fight a war while they went on to graduate school and solidifies careers.

He sees a governmental system that seems bent on belittling the basis of his existence, and has established a set of laws and regulations that often keep him from competing. His ever-more-isolated leaders have mandated an “equal opportunity” bureaucracy in the military, government and even industry that closely resembles the Soviet “political cadre” structure, whose sole function is to report “political incorrectness” and to encourage the promotion of literally everyone but him and his kind.

He sees the meaning of words like “fairness” cynically inverted in the name of “diversity,” while groups who claim to have been disadvantaged by old practices, and even those who have only recently arrived in the country, are immediately moved ahead of him for no reason other than his race. In one of the bitterest ironies, he is required to pay tax dollars to finance the special training for recent immigrants even as he himself is held back from fair competition and the “equal opportunity” bureaucracies keep him from receiving similar training, gaining employment or securing a promotion.

He sees cultural rites buttressed by centuries of tradition – particularly the right to use firearms and pass that skill to future generations – attacked because many who make the laws do not understand the difference between his way of life and that of criminals who are blowing people away on the streets of urban America.

He watched the Democratic Party, once a champion of the worker-producer, abandon him in favor of special interests who define their advancement mostly through the extent of his own demise. To him “diversity” is a code word used to exclude him – but seldom better-situated whites no matter the extent of his qualifications and no matter the obstacles he has had to overcome, The Republican Party, to which he swung in the last election, has embraced him on certain social issues, but has yet to support policies that would override the tendency of elites to simply protect their own rather than reverse the travails of affirmative action and the collapse of public education.

Out of the Casualty Radius

Finally, he sees the people who erected and continue to enforce such injustices blatantly wheedling and maneuvering themselves and their children out of the casualty radius of their own policies. A smaller percentage of whites in academia and the professions is acceptable, so long as their children make it. The public school system is self-destructing, but their children go to private schools and receive special preparatory classes to elevate college board scores. International peacekeeping is a lofty goal, so long as their children are not on the firing line. Continuous scrutiny is given to minority percentages in employment, but little or none is applied to how or why one white applicant was chosen over another.

The Left likes to say the Right has gone way right while they have tried to move to the center. Putting aside the lunacy of a linear political landscape, this is 180 degrees out of phase with reality. In just two decades the political class has gone from where Jim Webb was roughly between both parties to a point where Jim Webb is a wacko. Imagine where we will be in two more decades. Nancy Pelosi will be a right winger and people will fondly recall the conservatism of Ted Kennedy.