Post-Christian Madness

I’ve written a lot about the religious aspects 0f modern liberalism. The idea is not my creation. Rousseau wrote about Civil Religion in the Social Contract. His was a compromise between a religion of the state, the Catholic religion, with which he was most familiar, and Christianity in general. Later writers picked up on this theme. HG Wells pitched socialism as a universal religion. American Progressives in the early 20th century argued for a social gospel that was a fusion of Continental socialism and American Protestantism.

This concept was fairly well known and understood amongst leftist writers and thinkers into the 20th century, then it sort of disappeared. Talk to a modern liberal today and they will think you’re nuts if you compare their thing with religion. This is especially true of economists and fake nerds. They have it in their heads that their thing is a model of dispassionate logic, the very opposite of religion. That post the other day where I called Neil deGrasse Tyson a circus clown is a good example. To the people worshiping Tyson, religion is the opposite of science. In their binary world, the former is evil and the latter is good, Satan versus God.

Back in 2000 when Al Gore wandered off to Mt. Sinai to get the good word on climate change, I pointed out to the amazing number of new converts in my peer group that Al Gore was falling back on his religious training. He was playing the role of Old Testament prophet. It was pretty obvious that he was having a breakdown during the campaign. His bizarre behavior in the debates was later explained by his wife as him cracking under the pressure. She went onto to say that losing the election to Bush sent Gore into a tailspin and she thought he was having a breakdown. Instead, he came back as a convert to a new religion that looked a lot like the Old Testament.

Anyway, there’s a long piece in The Weekly Standard from a month back that comes at modern liberalism from the religious angle. I’m behind on my magazine reading so I’m just getting around to it. The fact that no one on the Right in the chattering classes has mentioned it says a lot, I think, about the general dimness of modern conservative movement. It’s well worth reading. The writer comes at it from a slightly different angle than I do, but it is a good take. Bottom, despite being a Catholic, really gets the messianic quality of 19th century American Protestantism.

I would quarrel with him on the apocalyptic section of his piece. I’m not so sure the Zero Hedge crowd is preaching doom because they think the gods are angry. They simply think they are right about the current economic arrangements.  Similarly, the preppers and doomsday types building bunkers in the woods have always been with us. They think the fragile nature of society will inevitably lead to collapse. That and many of them are just nuts. They are not motivated by religiosity. The various end of times fads on the left, however, are a part of their over all religious impulse.

The lack of interest by the professional Right in this way of looking at the American Left has always puzzled me. Reagan, having gone head to head with commies in Hollywood, knew they operated with a religious zeal. He was a big fan of Eric Hoffer, from whom I got my understanding of the Left. Reagan is practically worshiped by the professional Right, yet this part of Reagan’s thinking is never mentioned. That Bottom article should be the sort of thing to get the chattering skulls on the Right going as it is easily quotable. But, they skip past it.

There’s a reason for it, but I don’t know it.


Pulling on the boots, and threading up the laces

I thought the smarter ones would have reigned in the mob by now. The cop killing and the time of year makes this sort of stuff bad for business.

Over a thousand anti-cop activists tried to shut down Fifth Avenue in Midtown and the Upper East Side on Tuesday– defying Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s call for a moratorium on the demonstrations after two Brooklyn police officers were slain.

Many of the activists took shots at the mayor.

“The mayor says stop that, we say fuck that!” yelled activists, while jumping in place. The group started on 59th Street and 5th Avenue, went down to 53rd Street, and then marched up the Upper East Side.

Activists said they planned to march up to East Harlem, and then protest at a local precinct.

Tarik Grand, 25, of Brooklyn said he was out there because of de Blasio’s words on Monday. “We’re protesting tonight, because the mayor specifically said not to,” he said. “They asked for a moment of silence for the cops, but not for Garner.”

Most of the agitators chanted angrily at the police. “How do you spell murderers? N-Y-P-D!” said the agitators.

“NYPD, KKK, how many kids did you kill today?” other protesters chanted, who started on the sidewalk before moving onto the streets of Fifth and Madison Avenue.

The activists choked the traffic– and left an ambulance from New York Presbyterian stranded on 54th Street and 5th Avenue.

They moving downtown on 5th Avenue from 59th Street about 5:30 p.m. The demonstration has been organized by the Act Now To End War & Stop Racism Coalition, which has blasted de Blasio’s words as an effort to “chill the expression of free speech rights.”

The activists are using the hashtags “jailkillercops” and “winter of resistance” to organize their activities.

It’s real hard to find anyone from normalville that is not very angry about this stuff. The only positive is that the young can’t lace boots or strap on braces. Maybe it will not end like the last time.

What the End of the Left Looks Like

Apparently, the end of the latest progressive awakening will be queer Nazis, perverts and low-IQ black people making war on old Jews, for their racism. Or something. The increasingly laughable ornament over at the Atlantic was promising to hold his breath and turn bluer if the queer Nazi running The New Republic did not right the wrongs committed by those dastardly Jews that ran the magazine for so long. “Black lives matter,” by the way, is code for “kill the blue-eyed devil.”

I’m not going to go into the Apostrophe Coates article because it is incoherent schlock written by a man with a tenth grade understanding of the world. I used to post about Coates, but then I started to feel bad for making sport of him. He can’t help it. The people who decorate their magazine with guys like him are to blame. It’s the person hanging the ornament, not the ornament.

Anyway, the new editor of The New Republic seems to agree with Ornament.

Gabriel Snyder issued his first editor’s note as head of The New Republic on Monday, promising that the magazine will survive the latest turmoil and be home to more ambitious and diverse journalism.

“The New Republic has always been both in love and at war with its prior self,” Snyder, a former editor of The Atlantic Wire who replaced Frank Foer earlier this month as the editor, wrote in the note. “The magazine’s early decades were marked by abrupt ownership changes, unceremonious dismissals of editors, shifting policy positions, and uprooted headquarters, all accompanied by masthead upheavals.”

The majority of The New Republic’s masthead resigned en masse during the first week of December after the owner’s decision to force out the editorial leadership, move the magazine to New York and rebrand the venerable, century-old publication as a “digital media company.”

Yeah. What we lack is “digital media” companies. All this time we have been waiting for this guy to come along and give us a reason to have the Interwebs. My goodness.

Snyder also announced a crew of new contributors to upcoming issues including Ann Friedman, Batya Ungar-Sargon, Cathy Park Hong, Inga Safron, Jazmine Hughes, Jeff Ball, Thomas Rogers, Jen Doll, William Giraldi and Jeet Heer. Snyder wrote that these new voices and experts will “be diverse in race, gender, and background.”

“As we build our editorial staff, we will reach out to talented journalists who might have previously felt unwelcome at The New Republic. If this publication is to be influential, and not merely survive, it can no longer afford to represent the views of one privileged class, nor appeal solely to a small demographic of political elites,” Snyder wrote.

You can be sure they will be diverse in how they look, but not in how they think. If any of them dare say something nice about Jews or something mean about queers, they will be sent off to an internment camp. It’s why I call them ornaments. They are there to make it look like a lot of new and different stuff is going on, but in reality it is just the same old drab display with new ornaments.

In his note, Snyder recounted the many years of turmoil and change at the magazine, defending owner Chris Hughes and CEO Guy Vidra’s plans.

“[I]f our founders sat down today to settle on the best way to achieve this mission, they would not have picked a weekly printed magazine and ignored a vast array of digital publishing possibilities. And just like any publication with hopes of success in the world of 2014, they would want The New Republic to be better at welcoming into our fold readers, writers, and editors who reflect the American experience as it exists today,” Snyder wrote.

People who know Chris Hughes say he has great social skills, but is as dumb as a brick. He got rich by hitting the lottery so now he is a pissed off blockhead with money to burn. The proof of that is what we see going on here. The New Republic was a magazine of the ruling class. It was never intended to reach a general audience. What he’s done is buy a Bentley and then equip it with spinners and a fur interior.

But, there may be something else other than rank stupidity. Walter Russell Mead has a post up on the cresting of the liberal wave and what comes next. The past says the final denouement is an orgy of violence as we saw in the 60’s and 70’s. The trouble with that is the young people today are too soft and silly to riot in the streets or plant bombs in public buildings. Instead they have Twitter rants.

That may be what we’re see with Hughes and the New Republic. It is a tantrum. Frustrated by reality not yielding to wishful thinking, this generation of radicals will take it out on their cult leaders and each other. Instead of burning down your neighborhood, they will burn down their own stuff. The gays will make war on the Jews. The blacks will make war on the gays. The one-legged lesbian Elvis impersonators will make war on the transgendered.


There’s Somethin’ Happenin’ Here

What it is ain’t exactly clear.

PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against Islamisation of the West) has grown rapidly since its inception in October, a peaceful ‘strolling’ movement opposing the exceptional violence seen in street battles between Salafist Muslims and ethnic Kurds seen in many German cities this year and enormous immigration. Now on it’s tenth ‘evening stroll’, it has grown from a couple of hundred people, to 15,000 last week, to more than 17,500 last night.

In addition to the hundreds of banners with slogans such as ‘Against Hatred, Violence, and the Quran’, ‘Against Religious Fanaticism’, and ‘No Sharia in Europe’, the thousands attending brought song sheets which had been distributed online and sang favourite Christmas carols.

Despite the essentially ordinary character of many of the people taking to the streets for the peaceful strolls, and the admission by senior government and police figures that a great many of those joining in are families bringing their children, the organisation has come in for stiff criticism and rejection by the heights of the German elite.

I think it’s time we stop.
Children, what’s that sound?
Everybody look what’s goin’ down.

There’s battle lines bein’ drawn.
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong.
Young people speakin’ their minds
A-gettin’ so much resistance from behind.

Chancellor Merkel has suggested the leadership of PEGIDA have an ulterior motive, despite their focus on non-violent protest and apolitical principles. She even went as far to warn people thinking of going on the weekly stroll to “watch out that they are not instrumentalised by the organisers”. The SPD, Germany’s Labour-party equivalent have gone as far as calling PEGIDA “Nazis in pinstripes”.

This is despite a report by the German police that there are significantly more known troublemakers in the counter-protest movements, than in PEGIDA itself.

It is not only German politics which is putting its weight behind the counter-PEGIDA movement. Apparently dismayed that 17,500 people had turned out in bad weather to sing Christian carols, the Protestant Bishop of Dresden said PEGIDA were trying “to exploit a Christian symbol and a Christian tradition” for political ends.

Germany’s art elite also showed their disapproval last night. The directors of Dresden’s Bavarian State Opera house, outside which the protests take place turned off the lights on the building, cloaking it in darkness during the stroll. Colossal 50-foot banners were draped in front of the building reading “humanity, respect, and diversity”.

The irony of it all. The people peeping outside their office windows, cursing the people in the streets used to be the people in the streets. Now they are pigs on two legs.

The Foolishness of Tyler Cowen

Tyler Cowen has a post up arguing that Cuba could be the next Singapore. I used to be a regular at his site, but then I made Alex Tabarrok cry and he asked me not to post there anymore. My pointing out that he has arranged his life in such a way that he avoid all contact with minorities was a bridge too far. I still read the site once a week, looking for material, but that’s it. Libertarian economics are a bit silly for an adult my age.

I’m not one of those who thinks Cuba is the next Singapore or even the next Puerto Rico.  Why not?

I’m willing to assume that the end of the American embargo will mean some kind of economic liberalization over the next ten years.  But how much good will that bring?

We could start by looking for relevant comparisons.  We could ask how well have non-British-ruled, non-Dutch-ruled, non-American-ruled Spanish-speaking Caribbean islands done?  There is a fairly clear example of such a country with some ethnic, cultural, historic, and linguistic similarities to Cuba, namely the Dominican Republic.  For non-PPP-adjusted gdp per capita, the D.R. clocks in at about $5800 per year.  And that is about where I think Cuba will end up, after a good bit of turmoil.

He goes on to list a bunch of things that probably have nothing to do with what comes next for Cuba. I like how he skirts around the biological aspects and simply makes a rosy comparison to nearby Dominican Republic. The reason a guy like Steve Sailer is not allowed out in public is he would simply say Cuba is not going to do well because it is full of Cubans.

I’ll go further and and say it is full of the worst Cubans. The best Cubans got the hell out of Cuba when Castro took power. Those who hung around hoping the terror would pass found a raft eventually and took their chances with the sharks, on their way to Miami. All the smart, industrious Cubans are in Miami now, living the middle-class American dream. The same thing happened in Lebanon, which is why that country never got off the mat.
That’s the central defect of liberals and libertarians. They never bother to stop and wonder why things are the way they are now. They just seem to assume the facts of life were placed around so they can change them. In this case, Cuba has been a totalitarian police state for fifty years for no particular reason. The fact that there are no riots in the streets or populist protests against the status quo does not turn on any lights for these folks. Nope, Cuba is now a blank slate on which they can draw their utopian future.
Cuba is the way it is because the Cubans living there prefer it that way. Not all Cubans everywhere, but a majority of the ones living in Cuba. Most of the dissenters now live abroad. Those remaining are small in number and are easily suppressed. The idea that they will create a Singapore is so laughably ridiculous you have to wonder if Tyler is not sniffing glue in his office.
That’s another thing libertarians have in common with liberals. No, not glue sniffing, although that is a problem. No, both cults look at people as things, in the same way a socio-path looks at people. People are just bits of machinery to be arranged in whatever way suits the ruler. Culture and biology are looked upon as obstacles that can be yanked from the garden like weeds. Of course, if that means yanking out a few people along the way, so be it.
I think if Cuba joins the rest of the world they will probably continue to be Cubans. That means a country somewhere between Haiti and Puerto Rico. The things that will change are the cars. American collectors will swoop in and buy the old relics on the Cuban roads and sell them our old jalopies. Global tourism will snap up the prime real estate for the global ruling class. Otherwise, Cuba will continue to be Cuba.

The Future is Null

For as long as any of us have been alive, the default assumption is that humans are not the only self-aware beings in the universe. Everyone just knows that out in space, there are intelligent life forms that have evolved on some planet somewhere. Libraries of books and countless movies and TV shows have been created around the belief in life beyond earth. Not just bugs and plants either. Intelligent life along with all the stuff that comes with it.

Further, the life is almost always imagined to be more intelligent than earthlings. Everyone just knows that the aliens are our intellectual superiors. Most assume that means they have evolved to be our moral superiors. That lets our scolds project onto the aliens features and attributes they wish we possessed. Others go the other way and the aliens are an out-sized version of our worst features. That means the aliens roam the universe consuming natural resources like locusts or enslaving minorities.

I’m not sure where I saw this, but it fits the pattern.

If and when we finally encounter aliens, they probably won’t look like little green men, or spiny insectoids. It’s likely they won’t be biological creatures at all, but rather, advanced robots that outstrip our intelligence in every conceivable way. While scores of philosophers, scientists and futurists have prophesied the rise of artificial intelligence and the impending singularity, most have restricted their predictions to Earth. Fewer thinkers—outside the realm of science fiction, that is—have considered the notion that artificial intelligence is already out there, and has been for eons.

Susan Schneider, a professor of philosophy at the University of Connecticut, is one who has. She joins a handful of astronomers, including Seth Shostak, director of NASA’s Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, or SETI, program, NASA Astrobiologist Paul Davies, and Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology Stephen Dick in espousing the view that the dominant intelligence in the cosmos is probably artificial. In her paper “Alien Minds,” written for a forthcoming NASA publication, Schneider describes why alien life forms are likely to be synthetic, and how such creatures might think.

The fact that all of this was thought up by science fiction writers a long time ago is lost on all of these folks. I guess when you have letters after your name, dreaming up crazy nonsense is grant worthy, even when it is someone else’s crazy nonsense. Regardless, the Borg was thought up when they rebooted the Star Trek series for TV. That was ripped off from the first Star Trek movie when Voyager returns after having acquired all knowledge in the universe.

People who take a new spin on this bit are always heralded as futurists, people with grand imaginations that think up out-of-the-box scenarios. The reality is it takes little to no imagination or intelligence. What’s tough is imagining a world where we are are the dominant life form. That’s what pushes the envelope of imagination. It’s what made Asimov’s Foundation series so great. Asimov had an uncanny grip on religion and science, without have strong emotions for or against either of them.

It’s why I find the singularity stuff so dull and stupid. It is just a blend of mysticism and science fiction, without a lot creativity. Instead of reaching a higher consciousness, we end up on a hard drive somewhere on a core Internet server. Great. Living out eternity as CPU cycles would cause a truly intelligent being to unplug one’s self from the grid.

That’s the error in the singularity argument. Life is not driven by survival. It is driven by reproduction. Reproduction, even amongst the lower species, is driven by hope. When times are good and the future is bright, we get lots of reproduction. When the opposite is true, we get the opposite. Put another way, if there’s no tomorrow, there’s no need to reproduce. If there’s no need to reproduce, there’s no need to live. The singularity, therefore, is the nullification of life.

Neil deGrasse Tyson is a Clown

I must admit I have zero interest in Neil deGrasse Tyson. He’s a magical ornament for the Cult and the fake nerds. He bills himself as a scientist, but he makes his living as an amusement park manager. That and doing the trained monkey bit on TV. There’s nothing wrong with it. Lots of people enjoy planetariums. Everyone loves TV and you can’t have TV without trained monkeys. But, it’s not my thing so I have not paid much attention to Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Lunatics are passing this video around so I watched it. My goodness. The guy is a complete and total clown.

I get that his audience wants validation so they come to hear the magical black guy tell them they are the bestest. My guess is there’s not a single person in the audience that could count their balls twice and come up with the same number so that means he can’t actually talk about real science. It’s all theater, a morality play, of sorts. He mocks the bad people in the familiar way and they arf like seals at the right time. It’s the Jon Stewart routine, but with high school science as the straight man instead of politics.

The thing that surprises me about this video is just how buffoonish he is during his act. The time or two I’ve caught him on TV he was pretending to be a serious scientist, but in that video he one step from dropping his pants and spraying his junk with seltzer. It’s rather embarrassing to watch, particularly since the premise is so absurd. If I did not know better, I’d think he was cleverly mocking the rubes in the audience.

Black versus White

When Barry Soetoro was elevated to Primate of the Cult of Modern Liberalism, many people outside the faith thought it was a good sign. Maybe putting a black guy in the White House would close the books on America’s race history. After all, how could guys like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson get any traction when the leader of the free world was a living rebuke to their agitations? Jacksons discomfort with Obama winning election seemed like proof of the concept.

I was always skeptical of it. I remembered the last Chocolate Jesus to come along and that guy was brighter and more sensible than Obama. If Kurt Schmoke could not resist the call of the past, this jug-eared clodhopper from the academy was not going to do it. I know too many black people to think that most do not harbor a fair number of revenge fantasies. I also know a fair bit about post-colonial African history. If blacks can think that the CIA invented crack, they can certainly believe there is a conspiracy to kill black people.

My hope for Obama was that he would be a dreary scold that largely followed the policies set in place by his predecessors. While not a big fan of the Bush-Clinton policy, I could live with it for another decade. Letting a nitwit like Obama try his hand at public policy sounded like a bad idea, but Obama seemed like a guy perfectly willing to do nothing but give speeches. That and I was sure the Cult knew it was insane to try and start a race war. That failed in the 60’s and nearly ended their cult, making “liberal” an epithet for two decades.

But, here we are. The Cult has black mobs harassing white people at suburban malls. They have members of the Black Guerilla Family “executing pigs” on the streets. The Black Guerilla Family, by the way, is a creation of the New Left forty years ago. Fay Stender, a radial lawyer, helped create the BGF while she was working for the Black Panthers. The BGF rewarded her efforts by shooting her five times in front of her son. That should have been the lesson all of them learned from the last liberal awakening. Radicalizing blacks leads to death and the monster will always destroy its creator.

It’s natural, of course, to look the other way and just hope this is a temporary fit of madness. I suspect that’s why bright guys like Ross Douthat put so much effort into looking away from the truth that is staring them in the face – even while they are writing about it. There’s fear of losing a way to earn a living, but there’s also the hope that things are not what they appear to be, even when the facts are so clear.

For a while the media has assumed that this kind of identity-based politics inevitably favors the left, because 21st-century America is getting less white every day.

But that’s too simplistic, in part because the definitions of “white” and “minority” are historically elastic. If a “white party” seems sufficiently clueless and reactionary, it will lose ground to a multicultural coalition. But as African-Americans know from bitter experience, “whiteness” has sustained itself by the inclusion of immigrants as well as by the exclusion and oppression of blacks. That history suggests that a “multicultural party” may always be at risk of being redefined as a grievance-based “party of minorities” that many minorities would prefer to leave behind. (And leadership matters, too: A protean figure like Barack Obama can put together a genuine rainbow coalition, but it’s not clear how many other politicians can do the same.)

The fact is you can’t built a political party around black identity. Everywhere it has been tried the result has been a bloodbath. If you’re going to build a party out of the dispossessed and disaffected, that party has to preach revolution and it has to promise vengeance. You can pretend otherwise, but the servants will never forgive their masters and the master will never trust their former servants. One side has to win completely, which is why violence is the logical end of what Obama and Democrats are doing.

The fact that the party of opposition, the White Party in Douthat’s parlance, is unwilling to face this reality just guarantees the result. The Black Party may hold delusions about a peaceful revolution of the fringe, but they seem perfectly willing to accept a violent result. The White Party just refuses to accept those choices. To the Black Party, it is a sign of weakness and that’s what guarantees the violent conclusion.

We need someone willing to speak to and for the silent majority or we will end up in the same place we landed the last time this lunacy was allowed to play out.

Blood in the Streets

Two cops executed by lunatic as revenge for Eric Garner.

Two uniformed NYPD officers were shot dead Saturday afternoon as they sat in their marked police car on a Brooklyn street corner — in what investigators believe was a crazed gunman’s execution-style mission to avenge Eric Garner and Michael Brown.

“It’s an execution,” one law enforcement source said of the 3 p.m. shooting of the two officers, whose names were being withheld pending family notification of their deaths.

The tragic heroes were working overtime as part of an anti-terrorism drill when they were shot point-blank in their heads by the lone gunman, who approached them on foot from the sidewalk at the corner of Myrtle and Tompkins avenues in Bed-Stuy.

“I’m Putting Wings on Pigs Today,” a person believed to be the gunman wrote on Instagram in a message posted just three hours before the officers were shot through their front passenger window.

The post included an image of silver automatic handgun with a wooden handle. Another post showed camouflage pants and blue sneakers which matched the clothing the dead gunman was wearing as his body was carried from the scene on a stretcher.

“They Take 1 Of Ours … Let’s Take 2 of Theirs,” the post continued, signing off with, “This May Be My Final Post.”

The gunman was a fugitive who had just murdered his girlfriend in Baltimore Saturday morning, sources told The Post.

Minutes after shooting the two officers, he, too, was dead.

He fled to a nearby subway station, the G-train station at Myrtle and Willoughby avenues, where, as pursuing cops closed in, he shot himself on a crowded platform, sources told The Post.

“They engaged the guy and he did himself,” one investigator said of the gunman’s demise.

Both shooting scenes — above and below ground — were scenes of blood and terror.

“I heard shooting, — four or five shots,” ear-witness Derrick McKie, 49, told The Post of the cops’ tragic murder. “It sounded like from a single gun,” he said. Ambulances and police cars rushed to the scene, he said.

“I seen them putting the cop in the ambulance. He looked messed up,” McKie, a barber, added. “He took a high caliber weapon to the face. He was lifeless…I couldn’t see where the holes was that, all I could see was blood. His body was lifeless.”

Modal Trigg Carmen Jimenez, 32, a social worker from Bedford-Stuyvesant, was on the subway platform when the gunman ran inside, pursued by officers.

“Everything happened so quick,” said Jimenez, who is eight months pregnant. “We were standing waiting for the G train. We heard arguing from the other end of the platform.

It looked like two cops came in there was lots of yelling and they said, ‘Everybody get down.’

“We tried to get out of there, and there was a lot of shouting, people were screaming, people were trying to run.

“I threw myself on the floor. I was afraid for my life and afraid for my baby.”

I hope when the “white community” comes together in an orgy of violence they go over to Bill de Blasio’s place and strangle him with one of those “I can’t breath” shirts the idiot ball players like to wear these days.

Update: Watching the news, it is not hard to see where this is going. The cops are furious with the Marxist nitwit mayor. Some pajama-boy on Fox is blaming the “atmosphere” in NYC, basically blaming the cops for causing the blacks to go wild. The Cult never takes the blame. It is always someone else.

That’s how it goes in an ideocracy.