Reality on the Rhine

There are two ways you can concede reality. One is to keep running headlong into it with a bucket over your head until you pass out and are dragged off the stage. The other way is to adapt but pretend that reality has decided to accommodate you. This means an assault on the language or sending an inconvenient truth down the memory hole. This way everyone can pretend they were not the guy running headlong into reality with the bucket on their head.

Angela Merkel’s decision to turn Germany into a province of the Caliphate was based on fantasies popular with our ruling classes. Namely, that all people everywhere are the same and want the same things. All those messy differences we see are just social constructs or the legacy of white racism. Throw open the doors of civilization and we will have paradise!

Instead, Germany now has Muslim rape gangs, migrant ghettos and growing social unrest. Further, this has destabilized the very sensitive political balance in Europe. Britain could very well bolt the EU and it is entirely due to the migrant hoards trying to swim the Channel. Across Europe, xenophobic political parties are moving from the fringe to respectability, even in Germany where they are allergic to such things because of you know who.

While there are few signs that the good thinkers in Germany are ready to take the bucket off their head, the rest of Europe is trying to adjust to observable reality. The Balkan states have sealed their borders with Greece, turning the birth place of western democracy into the Camp of the Saints. Greece is quickly becoming a sort of ghetto for migrants denied access to Germany. If the average Greek did not hate Germans after the financial debacle, they do now.

That, of course, should have been the lesson everyone learned from the show down over Greek debt. The EU may have been a French initiative, but it is a German institution now. If you’re the French or Dutch, this is not a bad deal. Hungarians and Poles are probably fine with it for the most part. But the Golden Rule always applies. The man with gold makes the rules and in Europe, that’s Germany.

This brings us back to reality. Germany, as the dominant nation in Europe, has to accept the responsibilities that come with the position. Europe is best served when led by a Frankish coalition, dominated by the heirs of Louis the German. And yes, I’m being fast and loose with history here, but the point is Germany and France are the heart of Europe and must dominate the politics. There can be no other way.

Merkel’s trip to Turkey and the resulting “deal” to help address the migrant problem, suggests the German political elite is starting to figure out that reality is not going away. A united Europe means a federation of ethnic states led by Germany and France. It can never mean a monolithic super state that has no natural identity. Borders exist for a reason. They help maintain order, inside Europe and outside it.

There’s another bit to this and that is Germany will have to take the lead in defending Europe militarily. History has not ended and that means Europe will have to maintain a foreign policy and a military to back it. Russia will forever make mischief in Europe. That’s what Russians are put on earth to do so that has to be addressed. Then there’s the demographic issue to the south.

That brings me back to the beginning. Fair or foul, the idea of a re-militarized Germany is a tough sell, even if the reality of it is a necessity. The political class of Europe is going to have to find a way to accomplish the goal while pretending reality has given in on this point. The rather obvious lesson of the last 25 years is that the institutions designed for fighting the Cold War are falling away. NATO is operating on borrowed time. Something must replace it.

The bigger issue facing Europe, one no one dares mention, is that the Germans need to put their past behind them. You know who was an aberration and it is long past time for Germans to regain their national pride. They cannot be the leader of modern Europe if they are psychologically crippled by events no one alive remembers. Hitler has been dead for 70 years now. Time to close the books on him.

That also means closing the books on the neutered German too. The Cold War required West Germany to be a super-charged Switzerland full of gregarious beer drinking bureaucrats who meticulously adhered to the latest political fashions. The new Europe requires a confident Germany willing to take on the hard work of defending civilization from threats internal as well as external. That’s going to require retiring the old thinking as well as the old men and women currently in charge.

Call it whatever you like, but the reality of Europe is that it is defined in Germany.

Lawyers and Salesmen

One of the things I’ve learned in life is that the salesmen for a company will be the most honest with you about their company. That’s not to imply that salesmen are all honest in their sales pitch. That’s not what I mean. I’m talking about life inside the company. Ask a sales guy, who is not selling you something, about his boss and his co-workers and he’ll usually give you the unvarnished truth. Often, they are the guys who know the flaws best, because they have to work around them to make deals.

That’s the thing with salespeople.  They work for themselves, even though they take a salary and are employees. Some portion of their pay, maybe the bulk of it, is derived from their performance as a salesman. All salespeople have quotas and have to produce. Otherwise, they get fired. There’s no hiding in the bureaucracy for them. That means self-deception is not of any use to them. They have to know the defects of their firm and its products in order to mitigate them in front of clients.

The weird thing about salesmen is they never assume they are the cleverest guy in the room. Paranoia is a healthy trait in sales, as there are a million little things that can scuttle a deal. Working from the assumption that there could very well be someone in the room who knows something you don’t is a good way to avoid surprises. You ask more questions and you listen better. If you’re walking around thinking you are Wile E. Coyote, a safe could fall on your head.

I used to fish with a guy who made his living selling cars. He got into it as a way to pay for college. He would sell cars on the weekend and at night, while going to school during the day. When he finished college, he found that he could make a better living selling cars than anything else so he kept selling cars. Eventually he settled into selling BMW’s and Mercedes. He was able to make a nice, middle-class living at it, without too much stress.

Making small talk one day I mentioned something about lawyers and he laughed and told me that lawyers are his best clients, followed by stockbrokers. I naturally assumed it was because they made a lot of money and had expensive tastes. That was not it at all. He told me that overselling a lawyer was one of the easiest things to do in car sales. They walk around thinking they know everything and so they fall for every car sales trick in the book.

I’ve been thinking about this watching the political ructions. Donald Trump is a salesman and a very good one so he is doing extremely well as a novice politician, because politics is about sales. His competitors are mostly lawyers, who never took him seriously, because they are lawyers and smart. Everyone knows this so surely the smart lawyers will have no problem with the sales guy and his cheap theatrics.

The commentariat is similarly full of lawyers and people who went to law school. The funny thing about media lawyers is they rarely ever did real legal work. Those that did work in the business got out quickly and signed on for TV work. The other chattering skulls popped out of prep school and then went onto a private college, majoring in a soft field like political science. Like the lawyers, they walk around thinking they are the smartest guy in the room and they have been wrong about Trump at every turn.

To some degree, this is due to the difference between fields that reward the right answer and fields that reward clever answers. There’s no right answer as to why the French decided to attack uphill in the rain against the forces of Henry V at Agincourt. On the other hand, there is only one answer to the question of how many one centimeter spheres can fit into a one meter cube. You either have the correct answer or you do not and you have to show your work.

Where I’m heading with this is that lawyers probably suffer from the Dunning–Kruger effect because they were always the cheekiest and cleverest person in the classroom. They have high verbal skills and pretty credentials so they naturally assume that means they are brilliant. Steve Sailer points out that Barak Obama went from wall flower to social butterfly once he got into Harvard Law. His acceptance letter bestowed on him the sense he was the smartest guy in the room.

Now, the guys in the sales department have a different experience. They also have high verbal skills, but they spend their days losing many more deals than they win. They face the reality of their limitations every day. They also know that if they don’t sell, they don’t eat. There’s no failing up in their business. It’s why the sales guys can feast on lawyers. They have no illusions about themselves.

It’s another reason to wonder if the recipe for the managerial state contains ingredients that poison the stew. Failing up is a feature of the managerial class. They go from one failure to the next, rarely ever answering for their blunders. The economic team that advised Obama on the stimulus, for example, landed cushy positions in the academy. Tim Geithner is making millions influence peddling for Wall Street. This despite being 100% wrong about in their predictions.

A system based on mediocrities walking around convinced they are the smartest people in the room will inevitably become unstable. The unforced errors we are seeing could simply be a feature of a system that lacks a way to police the ranks. Instead, it rewards the most ruthless bureaucratic operators who are skilled at things useless to preserving the system. In many cases, like we saw with the housing bust-out, the most skillful members of the managerial class cause the greatest damage to it.

Throwing Sand in the Gears

One the features of the modern age, something most people think is a good thing, is that armed rebellion is no longer practical, even for the most disaffected. If you were a young man in Serbia just before the Great War, armed revolt was all that was on your mind. If you were a young man in Germany at that time, you may have grown up hearing stories about how your grandfather fought in the 1848 revolution.

Today, a young man would know organized violence only if he was in a street gang, the army or maybe the police. Terrorism is something we experience, but only through our televisions. If you live in the West, the odds that you will experience a terrorist attack are astoundingly low. If you look up some of the stats and do a bit of math, falling off a ladder or drowning in a bathtub are far more likely than being a victim or terrorism.

Part of this drop in political violence is prosperity. Mexico, a poor country by modern standards, leads the world in obesity. It’s hard to ¡Viva la revolución! when your hands are full of churros. I grew up in real poverty, but today’s poverty means basic cable and the low end iPhone, a condition the poor used to think was beyond their grasp. Prosperity, it turns out, is the best weapon against the revolutionary.

That does not mean people are happy with the current arrangements. The political ructions we see all over the West are not without cause. Lots of people are unhappy with their government so they are trying to elect people that promise to change things. UKIP in Britain, AfD in Germany, Trump in America, the Real Fins and so forth are essentially just protests. Supporters look past their eccentricities because they are trying to make a point to the legitimate parties.

There’s also the fact that armed revolts tend not to work. Americans, for example, are not looking to overthrow representative democracy or the Constitutional order. If anything, they want to restore those things. Therefore, burning down the capital and hanging the politicians are not on the menu. Middle-class people in middle-class countries prefer other ways to force change on their political classes.

Of course, there’s also the fact that the custodial state is pretty good at tamping down trouble now. If a public figure gets too aggressive in his vitriol, then he is accused of being Hitler or his private affairs are made public. Maybe some of his professional failures are brought to light. In a mass media culture, it’s pretty easy to find something to use against someone in order to diminish them in the eyes of the public.

Manufactured campaigns are regularly orchestrated against public figures in order to shame them into compliance. In authoritarian hellholes like Canada, they put comics on trial for telling the wrong jokes. That sends a powerful message to anyone who has thoughts about rocking the boat or organizing resistance to the ruling order. Long before a revolutionary leader could get going, he will be shamed off the public stage.

My bet is the assault on Trump, for example, is just getting started. If you look at National Review, it has given itself over completely to spreading every crackpot smear about Trump imaginable. By summer, the party media organs will be talking about Trump as if he was a current a slave holder and member of the Aryan Brotherhood. They are trying to ostracize the man, by ruining his name.

It strikes me that protest is going to have to change in order to be effective in the custodial state. The tools of the state are simply too effective at disrupting anything that resembles armed rebellion. Protest candidates and protest parties are increasingly walled off from having an impact on elections. Fear of being ostracized puts anyone with something to lose on the sidelines.

Revolt in the custodial state, I suspect, will be a loosely organized disruption. The Black Lives Matters is a good example of things to come. They show up and make a nuisance of themselves at some managerial class venue, then leave. They don’t do enough to get arrested and they do their act in such a way that the “name and shame” response is pointless.

Now, Black Lives Matter is stupid and pointless, but the tactic is useful. What’s to stop the Christian working at the courthouse from “accidentally” slowing down the process of issuing marriage licenses to gays? What about people systematically lying on government forms? In isolation, these things mean nothing, but cumulatively they can cause all sorts of headaches for the people in charge.

There’s also the fact that in a mass media culture, things like Black Lives Matter get massive coverage. This invites imitation. When idiotic things like “planking” can catch on in days due to the lubricant of mass media, imagine how cool forms of protest can sprout up and create mayhem. As Steve Sailer points out, the Million Muslim March into Europe is just a big flash mob.

My thinking here is that the custodial state is relying on tools that can just as easily be used against it. The massive bureaucracies needed to manage the inmates are vulnerable to some idiot throwing sand in the gears. The mass media tools used to nudge the population can just as easily be used to encourage ad hoc idiots throwing sand in the gears.

This is not a fully developed idea, but I’m wondering if the current ructions may be due to the inherit instability of the custodial state. Maybe the reason Europe, for example, is not shutting off the flow of migrants is they can’t shut it off. Maybe the reason the main parties are under assault is they can no longer respond to their voters. The feedback loop is broken so the public is migrating to outsiders.

To wrap this up, the custodial state may be good at walling off traditional forms of protest, but it is also good at fostering the sort of protests to which it is most vulnerable. These are the low-tech forms of hooliganism that bedeviled the Soviets but updated to the mass media age. A million white guys ticking the box for “Afro-American Female” is both fun and subversive.

If a million Muslims with iPhones can bring down Europe, imagine what a million smart guys can do when they have time and a full spectrum understanding of how it all works.

The Fury of the Dirt People

Other than libertarians, people of every ideological strip start with the basics of modern civics. All of us have an obligation to our fellow citizens and our government has an obligation to all of us. Your duty as a citizen is not to the ruler, but to your fellow citizens. That means the men and women in government jobs have those same obligations. That’s the foundation stone of popular government. We create among ourselves the apparatus of the state so it can serve our collective interests.

Fundamental to making this work is the idea of fairness. No one gets everything they want and few are deprived of getting something they want. Similarly, no group is getting to game the laws to take advantage of others. The laws in a society under popular government are often aimed at addressing the issue of fairness. Rich guys pay more in taxes than poor guys because the bulk of the people think it is only fair. After all, the rich guy is getting more from the bargain.

That’s obviously a very simple way of putting it, but fairness is the canvas on which popular government is drawn. It is the sense of fairness that is at the heart of reform campaigns and the primary appeal of political parties. Democrats in America have been campaigning on fairness for as long as anyone reading this has been alive. Even Republicans tuck the fairness issue into their appeals for low taxes and open borders. In the West, at least, popular government is nothing but a debate over what is fair and equitable.

I suspect that part of what’s happening to the Republicans, and the Buckley Conservatives, is rooted in the fairness issue. The people fobbing themselves off as conservatives these days are mostly libertarians with some social conservative ideas bolted on as decoration. This is the result of Frank Meyer Fusionism, which was supposed to bring together the free market ideas of libertarians and the traditionalism of the old Right. Today it is just technocratic libertarianism with some hand waving about abortion and the gays.

As I’m fond of pointing out to libertarians, people are not moist robots. Their heads may say that the factory has to close because it is losing money, but they still feel terrible for the men getting pink slips. They may be swayed by free trade appeals, but they still feel wrong seeing jobs being shipped to China, while Americans end up on the welfare rolls. It’s the nagging sense of fairness that leads us to think that maybe we’re not living up to our obligations to our fellow citizens.

Consider this story from a couple of weeks ago.

Union leaders at an air conditioner factory in Indianapolis threatened with losing 1,400 jobs to Mexico said on Tuesday the plant’s owner expects to pay Mexican workers $3 an hour compared to an average of more than $20 an hour for the U.S. workers.

“We haven’t given up the fight yet,” said Chuck Jones, president of the United Steelworkers union local that represents workers at the Carrier Corp plant. “But Carrier has pretty well indicated that the wage differential is too great and there’s not much we can do.”

A spokeswoman for Carrier, a unit of United Technologies Corp (UTX.N), said the company pays a “competitive wage” based on local conditions and could not discuss pay levels.

Union and Carrier officials were locked in talks on Tuesday as a political storm raged around them.

The announcement last week from Carrier that it would shift 1,400 jobs from Indianapolis and 700 from another plant in Huntington, Indiana to Monterrey, Mexico starting in 2017 prompted Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump to say he would tax Carrier air conditioning units for moving to Mexico.

Normal Americans can wrap their heads around the fact that Carrier will save a lot of money by moving their plant to Mexico. They understand that this may be necessary to remain competitive. They also wonder why our government is doing all of these favors for Mexico, when the Mexicans do things like ship us narcotics, gangsters and illegal aliens. In other words, something feels wrong here. Whose interests are being served here? It is clearly not the Americans working at the Carrier plant.

Now, look at this story from Silicon Valley.

Human-resources software company Zenefits had to send an uncomfortable HR email to their own to staff recently following a few incidents within their San Francisco office.

The startup, which launched less than three years ago but was evaluated last May at $4.5 billion, was forced to ban staff from drinking in the office after some wild parties that involved employees having sex in the stairwell of the building, according to emails obtained by The Wall Street Journal.

The emails, sent around last summer by Zenefits Director of Real Estate and Workplace Services, Emily Agin, described the situation of employees having sex at work as ‘crude behavior’.

‘It has been brought to our attention by building management and Security that the stairwells are being used inappropriately….Cigarettes, plastic cups filled with beer, and several used condoms were found in the stairwell. Yes, you read that right,’ the email said.

‘Do not use the stairwells to smoke, drink, eat, or have sex.

‘Please respect building and company policy and use common sense…’

The alcohol ban was officially brought in last week by Zenefits’s new chief executive, David Sacks.

Sacks said it is important to cultivate a more mature work atmosphere in a staff memo that was sent around last Wednesday.

Zenefits is a company that exists because of the financialization of the US economy. Cheap credit means cash to create this firm and keep it afloat while it parties its way through a ton of cash. It’s also the sort of firm that helps business treat their employees like furniture. Americans see these stories and naturally wonder how these rich pricks are allowed to get away with this nonsense. No American can smoke and drink at work, much less get it on in the stairwell.

When the boys and girls of Conservative Inc, cloistered in their taxpayer financed monasteries around Washington, cry out “A furore Lutumnorum libera nos, Domine” they are not thinking about stories like these. They have been insulated from the consequences of the polices they are paid to promote. The Dirt People, however, look at the unfairness they see everyday on their televisions and on-line and wonder why their leaders have forsaken them.

Deep Thoughts on Religion

The best guess of science is that belief evolved as one of man’s first cognitive traits. Most likely it evolved with language, but that’s a guess. Until science is able to pin down the exact spots on the genome that control belief, which will never happen in our lifetime, all we have is speculation. What we know about language and belief says the two most likely evolved as complimentary traits and emerged very early in humans.

In our current age, we tend to think of belief as religion, specifically monotheism, like Christianity and Islam. It’s more accurate to think of religion as a subset of belief, which includes culture, altruism, faith in what others say and so on. There are lots of things we accept as a matter of faith that fall outside the supernatural. Belief is what allows acquired knowledge to be passed around and passed between generations.

Religion, like language, is an incredibly efficient storehouse of acquired knowledge. If you believe the tides operate on the digestive rhythms of the great invisible guppy beyond the horizon and you have jotted them down in the Book of Guppy, your people now have a very useful chart of the tides. It’s also easy to pass this knowledge from one generation to the next by teaching the great faith of the guppy to the children. The fact that there is no big invisible guppy is irrelevant.

The evidence we have suggests that the first religions were naturalistic. When you live off the land as hunter-gatherers, explaining the natural world is an important part of survival. The first “gods” were probably spirits associated with things early man observed in nature. The winds, the rains, thunder, lightning and the changing of the seasons would be things early humans would know and “explain” by associating them with the supernatural.

Fertility gods have been found in human settlements all over the world, which makes a lot of sense when you think about it. What makes life possible is the reproductive urge. Associating human fertility with animal and plant fertility, the fertility of the earth, is just another way of storing what has been learned about the natural world, including the people in it, into a portable set of beliefs that can be passed onto the next generation.

Most likely, religion became more structured and the gods more human, when man began to settle and develop agriculture. Human settlement requires cooperation and that means rules of conduct, enforcement of the rules, ways to deal with free loaders, how to defend property and so on. Religion makes for a very useful way to establish rules and enforce them. After all, if the gods say stealing is wrong, then punishing thieves is pleasing to the gods. Religion, it would seem, is essential to human settlement.

Something people often forget is that a big part of man’s environment is other men. Just as we have evolved to be a social animal, our cognitive toolkit evolved to benefit the social animal. It’s entirely possible that our sense of belief, our religious urge is what drove man to settle. Once man was able to accumulate enough knowledge about the natural world, settling down in one place may have been a natural development.

One of the great challenges of evolutionary biology is knowing which way the causal arrows point. More often than not, they point in both directions. The point here is that belief is one of the more important and powerful parts of the human animal. It lies at the core of what we are and how we went from foraging about in packs like chimps to living as we do today. It also shaped how we settled and how we altered our environment, which in turn helped shape humanity.

Modern people like to think we have abandoned all of those primitive things like gods, superstitions, rituals intended to change the direction of events. Christianity has mostly died out in Europe. About 70% of Czechs never attend church services. Only 44% of Germans say they believe there is a God. Churches in the Low Countries are being auctioned off as they no longer have parishioners. The main area of the Thirty Years War is no longer Christian. Imagine that.

It’s tempting to think humans are losing their religiosity, but that’s not how biology works. We can no more consciously abandon belief than we can will ourselves to be left handed Bolshevism, Marxism, Nazism and Fascism competed for a while to be the new religion of Europeans. Now it is multiculturalism and the nature cults like global warming and environmentalism. If the news is correct, the American cult of anti-racism is finding a home in Europe as well.

In the early years of widespread narcotic trafficking, well organized gangs that operated under strict rules ran the trade. They were violent and chaotic, but the violence and chaos were manageable. Then the cops decided to chop the heads off the drug gangs, thinking the organizations would die or be great diminished. Instead, the bits and pieces of the shattered organizations became block-by-block street gangs, making war with one another over drug corners and sneakers.

The collapse of Christianity in the West has followed a similar pattern. The various national and regional expressions of Christianity provided order and rationality to human belief. The slow motion collapse of these organizations resulted in crackpot death cults like Nazism, Marxism and Bolshevism. Today we have various forms of nature worship and minoritism, which are just as nutty and self-destructive, just less bloody so far.

B. S Haldane identified fanaticism as one of the four important inventions, which he associated with the Judeo-Christian tradition. He was mistaken. The Greeks figured out that men would fight harder when they had a reason to fight. In all probability, fanaticism evolved not long after man had a reason to believe. Like belief, it is something that is a permanent feature of the human condition.

Humanity staggered along through the agrarian age with religions that helped make agrarian life sustainable. Christianity eventually allowed the West to advance beyond sustenance farming and finally became an asset in the rapid technological advance of the West. Whether or not the new religions will be an asset or the undoing of the West is impossible to know from where we sit. What we know is people will keep believing in something with some portion falling for it fanatically.

 

Ruminations on The Shadow Party

One of the favorite gags among the hate thinkers is to mock the Republicans for their indifference to 40% of Americans. Every election, characters from the GOP drama club come out with elaborate plans for lower capital gains taxes, eliminating taxes on carried interest and increasing the pool of cheap foreign labor. How can the under-employed carpenter resist such a platform?

That’s not entirely fair, of course, The Republicans will also drone on about the need to restart the Cold War and drop more bombs on the muzzies. Hilariously, they never put it that way, instead insisting they love Islam and welcome a flood of Muslims into the country, because “that’s who we are as a people.” That’s usually when they launch into promises to expand the surveillance state.

America in 2016 is a three-party system. One party is made up of people who fantasize about murdering white people. The other party is made up of people who fantasize about helping the other party. Then there is this third, unofficial shadow party for normal people who increasing fear voting for either of the two official options. Trump is officially a Republican, but he is unofficially the shadow party candidate.

I find myself in an odd position. I’m enjoying the mayhem caused by the Dirt Monster, but Donald Trump is hardly my idea of a good leader of a rebellion, much less leader of a sane nation. At the same time, either of the two official parties winning the election most likely means something really bad awaits us around the next corner. Sometimes there are no good options.

There’s a Social War vibe to what is happening in that one group of Americans has finally had it with the other group of Americans. The GOP has been a Cavalier/Deep South/Appalachian party for 25 years now, but it still retains a Yankee leadership with a Yankeedom sensibility. The people voting Trump are, whether they know it or not, demanding a place at the table.

This “Open Letter” has been bouncing around Twitter for a few days. The gag among the hate-thinkers is that an open letter is the asshole version a regular letter. The reason is an “open letter” is usually written by a Cloud Person excoriating his fellow Cloud People for not enthusiastically applying the lash to the Dirt People. This is one of those rare occasions when it is a Dirt Person appealing to the Cloud People.

Let me say up front that I am a life-long Republican and conservative. I have never voted for a Democrat in my life and have voted in every presidential and midterm election since 1988. I have never in my life considered myself anything but a conservative. I am pained to admit that the conservative media and many conservatives’ reaction to Donald Trump has caused me to no longer consider myself part of the movement. I would suggest to you that if you have lost people like me, and I am not alone, you might want to reconsider your reaction to Donald Trump. Let me explain why.

The rest of the letter is a recitation of facts and an explanation of why support for Trump is actually a proxy vote sending a message about the Dirt People unhappiness with their masters. Clearly, the writer is hoping his letter will cause the Cloud People to reform and welcome his kind into their midst. The villagers are appealing to the Lord for relief, a phenomenon as old as man.

What’s interesting to me is the Cloud People had not bothered to look out the castle windows at what’s been happening. They finally decided to send out Rubio to suppress the brigands. Yesterday his head was sent back in a box. What comes next is an organized response from both parties to put an end to Trump’s campaign and suppress the Dirt People. National Review is creating a proscription list as a warning to their colleagues about what’s coming.

Pessimists are betting that the Cloud People will agree to let Cruz run as the GOP option and lose to Hillary Clinton. That will allow the Buckley Conservatives, the outer party, to purge their ranks of anyone remotely sympathetic to the plight of the Dirt People. They will rush to help the Democrats, the inner party, pass amnesty and legislation eliminating citizenship. The Brazil-ification of America will accelerate.

Maybe that’s how it plays out. The fact that whites are offing themselves in record numbers suggests they are not all that interesting in fighting the tide of history. The fact that blacks are fine with having 25% of their ranks either in jail or on parole suggests they are fine with being zoo animals for the Cloud People. Latin America makes clear that Hispanics are not going to put up a fight.

Still, the Shadow Party will still be out there for a while no matter what happens in this election. The Social War ended when the Romans welcomed the Italians into the club. The guy who wrote that letter is hardly alone. He represents maybe a third of the population. These events have surely been noticed by men with better political skills than Trump. The string of unforced errors by the Cloud People suggests this insurrection is just the beginning of a period of instability.

The Master’s Servants

Every employee harbors a bit of resentment toward the boss. It’s human nature. The employee sees the benefits of being the boss, but not the burdens. This resentment is amplified if the boss makes a lot more money than his employees. Everyone fantasizes about having a big pile of cash and what they could do with it. If the boss is viewed as undeserving, maybe being an idiot or ill-tempered, it seems unfair so a natural resentment develops.

A stock character in popular dramas is the bitter employee who thinks the boss is a dunce or has lucked into his position. That leads to the bitter employee becoming a Raskolnikov of some sort, committing a crime or treachery. The Simpsons have been doing a version of this with Sideshow Bob for 25 years now. It works because we can all relate to it, even if we are not prone to jealousy and resentment.

I was reminded of this a few years ago, when American Liberals were running around bitching about the 1% and how the bankers were screwing everyone. What struck me at the time is that all of these people were on the payroll of some rich donor or taking bribes from Wall Street. Liberal pols love Wall Street money. Liberal think tanks count on billionaires to fund their operations.

The carping and moaning about the 1%, from someone like Elizabeth Warren sounded to me a lot like what you hear from a bitter employee. Mx. Warren gazes upon her credentials and believes she should be at the top of society. More important, she thinks she should have the wealth of someone at the top of society. Instead, she is reduced to being a servant to rich donors.

John McCain has suffered from this malady in the past. His comical jihad against campaign financing was a just a complicated way of saying he deserved better than being just a servant. These rich bastards he had to beg for money did not deserve their position. They lacked his credentials and gravitas.  His servant’s revolt went nowhere and we have even more rich people buying servants in the political class.

It’s an important thing to understand about American politics. The boys and girls we see running for office are just servants. They could just as well be actors, hired for the role. The Great White Hope of Buckley Conservatives, Ben Sasse, is an extreme example of the exam system we have allowed to develop. He is a man who has never had a job outside government. His resume looks like a spoof of managerial technocracy.

The slobbering over Sasse by Buckley Conservatives is a great contrast to their reaction to Donald Trump. In Sasse they see one of their own, a fellow servant. He works in a different part of the master’s estate, but he is still a servant. He went to the same finishing schools, subjected himself to the same humiliations and made all of the same compromises in order to gain the master’s favor.

Trump, of course, is an unapologetic rich guy who has no respect for the toadies and coat holders in the political class. It’s not that he is from the wrong side of the tracks, which is certainly a big issue here, but that he is a reminder to all of them that they are just the errand boys of the rich people, who pay their salaries. They are not the kingmakers and trend setters they imagine. They’re just servants.

The response from the servants is a sneering contempt for Trump and his voters. I’ve long suspected that this contempt is part of what is driving the Trump phenomenon. To most Americans, the response from conservative media reminds them of the snotty girl at the coffee shop, who carries on like she is better than the customers. She can’t afford shoes, but she sneers at people who spend more on bottled water than she makes in a week.

What’s being revealed now is just how much these people truly despise themselves for living the servant’s life. They can’t take it out on the donors, who they are required to stroke once a month and fundraisers, so they are letting loose on the only guy in the race with a job. Their frustration grows as their assaults fail, because it reminds them of their impotence.

There’s another side to it. The boys and girls of the managerial class look at normal Americans as field slaves. A part of how they have reconciled their subservience is to pretend that they are superior to the field slaves. Now that the field slaves are slaying the overseers and eyeing an assault on the main house, the house servants are reminded of their own servitude. They hate the field slaves for it.

It’s why slave revolts rarely succeed. Ultimately, the house slave will defend his master against the slave revolt. It is his nature. It is what he is bred for and what gives meaning to his life. The field slaves are rarely willing to do what must be done to succeed and that’s wipe out the house slaves fist. In the end, it is the house slave with the whip in his sending a message, on behalf of his master.

The Future of American Democracy

A mistake to which all of us are prone is to imagine that the future will be just like the present, just with more. If you are Gloomy Gus, the future will be more surveillance, more control and less liberty. If you are Suzy Sunshine, the future will be flying cars and hot looking women in Lycra jumpsuits. These are not conclusions drawn from evidence, but the starting point for accumulating evidence.
This is why humans have a fondness for rewriting history. Progressives go so far as to cut themselves off from the past as it tends to contradict much of what they believe. Normal people are content to just pluck the lessons of the past that confirm their beliefs. Gloomy Gus will compare today to the days before a great calamity. Suzy Sunshine will use the same event to point out how much better things are now.
The point here is that the future is probably not going to be better or worse. It will simply be different. The things that are different will feel better to the people of that age, because they will be living in that age. Their customs and solutions will have evolved for the challenges of their age. That’s the thing to keep in mind when thinking about human societies. The social and political arrangements exist as solutions to prior problems. They did not spring from nothing.
Our mass democracy, for example, is no more a permanent feature of life than slavery was a permanent feature in the 19th century. Slavery stopped being useful to human society so it was eliminated. If democracy stops being a benefit, then it will be junked in favor of something thought to be a better fit for the time. Popular elections and self-government are a means to an end, not an end in themselves. The attempt to democratize Iraq is a rather obvious example.
The reason we have popular government is rich people needed an alternative to inherited rule and autocracy, which were ill-suited to commercial societies and dangerous in industrial societies. Allowing the people to pick among acceptable options put forth by the upper classes brought social stability, a thing the rich always want above all else. You cannot maintain your position in a world of turmoil. Allowing the masses to participate, brought stability so it evolved as the preferred option.
The West is now post-industrial. In fact, we are arguably in a post-scarcity, technological society. The growing custodial state is a response to technology and abundance. The old saying about idle hands doing the Devil’s work is true. In the modern West, most hands are idle for long periods of time. One could argue that the explosion of rules on speech, conduct and privacy is a response to this.
The question is whether mass democracy can still work in a mass media culture with a custodial state. In 1992, which is roughly the dawn of this current era, 35 million Americans voted in the party primaries. Both parties had exciting races, but turnout was in line with prior elections. In 2016, more than 70 million people will vote in these primaries. The reason for this is it everyone has a stake in who is in control of the custodial state.
Low turnout used to be a topic of conversation in America. Europeans voted in huge numbers while Americans tended to blow off elections. That’s no longer the case as government in America has become almost as pervasive as in Europe. When everything is political, which is the case in a custodial state, everyone has to be political. In a prison, the inmates know every tick and habit of the guards.
This sounds like a winning formula. The rich people in charge offer up acceptable options and the people come out in huge numbers to confirm one or the other. But what if some nut job manages to win and gain control of the all-powerful custodial state? Barak Obama was able to use the IRS to harass opponents. What is some truly deranged guy gets into the White House? What sort of damage could he do to the country?
In a mass media age where the people interface with everything through TV and the Internet, the guy who wins the election is the best actor on screen. Donald Trump is winning the GOP primary because he is a master of mass media. He’s been doing it his whole life. He’s running a modern, 21st century celebrity campaign and on the verge of toppling one of the political parties.
How many professional Republicans are big fans of democracy now?
Now, I don’t think Donald Trump is a power-mad super-villain, who will seize power once he wins the election. In all probability, he will usher in a few reforms and otherwise be more of the same. That’s not what’s important to the people in charge. They will quietly push their own reforms in order to prevent the next Donald Trump, who may be the charismatic super-villain they fear.
The Democrats have already changed their nominating rules so the party can put their thumb on the scale and block an insurgent candidate. The super delegate system means Bernie Sanders could win every primary from here on out and still not win the nomination. Party officials now control so many delegates, they can pick the winner in spite of the voters. The GOP will surely do something similar after this election to make sure they never suffer another Trump.
Beyond these changes to the party system, we are seeing the adoption of the European habit of removing whole topics from popular consideration. These are transferred to supra-national organizations that operate beyond the will of national governments. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, for example, is about removing trade and immigration discussions from politics. There’s a push to circumvent the US Constitution by signing off on arms control deals that strip citizens of their gun rights.
As an aside, this steady transfer of power from the national government to other entities may be a part of what’s driving voter participation and anger, despite relatively good economic times. People sense that control is slipping beyond their grasp so they are “getting involved” in an attempt to arrest this development. That’s purely speculative, but a byproduct of mass media is a loss of identity. We’re all plankton floating in an ocean of information.
I’ve gone on longer than I like so let me just finish by pointing out that liberty is an anomaly. For almost all of human existence humans have lived in authoritarian systems of one sort or another. The way to bet is that what comes next is closer to the norm than the constitutional liberty we think is the ideal. A generation from now, voting may still exist, but be entirely meaningless, like the result of a football game and no one will think it odd.

The Apostate

Back in the late 1990’s, James Byrd was murdered by three white guys in Texas. It was a terrible crime and the three men involved were quickly arrested and put on trial. It was a quick trial with two getting the death penalty and one getting life in prison. One has been put down while the other lingers in the system. Whatever your views on capital punishment, the fact that it takes decades to administer it says a lot about our society.

Now, our betters should have been congratulating themselves for what they had done. A generation earlier and this crime may never have been prosecuted. Instead, the three white guys were treated like any black criminal in the same circumstances. The real test of equality before the law is not at the admissions department at Harvard. It’s in the courtroom.

That’s not what happened. The Left used this case to tar normal Americans as bigots and later tried to blame Republicans presidential candidate George Bush for the crime. They ran very ugly ads trying to convince people that Bush was responsible for what happened because he was a raging bigot and racist. Naturally, the Republicans howled in protest, calling it a Nixonian smear and dirty trick.

A couple of days ago Jonah Goldberg doubled down on the absurd claim that Donald Trump is a member of the KKK. He’s been doing this carefully choreographed routine where he pretends to merely be curious about the story but is really trying to spread the smear that Trump is a secret Klansman. As I pointed out in the comments, it’s the sort of odious smear David Brock used to pull on Bush ten years ago.

Somewhere else, responding to another commenter, I pointed out that Goldberg lives in a whites-only neighborhood in a wealthy suburb of DC. It’s the sort of neighborhood Steve Sailer says, “home prices discriminate so the residents don’t have to.”  Goldberg, I’ll note, makes armpit noises on TV and his wife was a Bush appointee. If you want to see an example of managerial class sponger, it’s Jonah Goldberg.

Writing that comment, it occurred to me that I used make this point with regards to liberal commentators back in the Bush years. Chris Mathews used to rant and rave about racism, despite living in one of the whitest towns in America. In other words, the one thing to change in the last ten years is the Buckley Conservatives now sound just like the Progressive from a decade ago. Put another way, I did not leave conservatism, conservatism left me.

What was plainly obvious in 2000 when Bush ran for President was that the Left was not upset about his politics. They were horrified that he was a class traitor or more accurately, an apostate. He was from a clan that is the epitome of Yankeedom, yet he declared himself a Texan, abandoned Public Protestantism for Evangelical Christianity and was throwing in with the bad whites.

No man is hated more than the apostate, even more so when the apostate was a former member in high standing. In every mass movement, the apostate is the villain, who must always be found and destroyed. The Scientologists don’t try so hard to ruin the lives of former members because they have free time. Stalin did not have Trotsky murdered because he thought he welshed on bet or left the seat up too many times.

Apostates are hated not because they reject the cause or the group. They are hated because their very existence calls into question the rightness of the cause.  After all, if the traitor is able to prosper outside the cause, maybe he is right and the people in charge have been lying. That’s why he must be destroyed and never allowed to prosper. Otherwise, the logic of the cause no longer makes any sense.

The interesting thing we are seeing with this smear campaign against Trump is that it is a copy of the one launched against Bush. Trump is supposed to be allied with Yankeedom. If he had backed Rubio or Bush, the people at National Review would be holding parties in his honor. They would laud him as a great “conservative” behind the campaign of Jeb Bush! Instead, they are driving around in the broken down progressive clown car from the previous decade.

That tells us something about our managerial elite. The Left side freaked out over Bush the apostate. Now the Right side is doing the same over Trump. Their loyalties are to their class. The Right side is now finding solace in the arms of the Left side as they huddle together in the castle. All the jibber-jabber about party loyalty, conservative principles and fair play from the Right side have been cast aside in order to defend their class interests.

The big difference this time is that Trump is not Bush and Buckley Conservatives are not Progressives. Trump is a very smart guy who is fully aware of what he is doing, while Bush was an amiable nitwit, who just wanted to make the family proud. Similarly, Buckley Conservatives lack the skill of their brothers on the Left. It’s not called the Stupid Party by accident.

At this point, it looks like the Right side may have permanently damaged itself with the people it counts on for support. The Left side was at least able to provide it’s partisans with a chance for a catharsis. They voted for Black Jesus, had a big party and jeered at their friends and neighbors, who had been Bush supporters. Smashing things up is great fun, which is why looters are always willing to mug for the cameras.

It’s tempting to think this is a one-off phenomenon, but the managerial class evolved as a two-headed monster. It is a game of bad cop/worse cop on the voters. If one side is permanently damaged, the other side can no longer function in its natural role. The near total lack of political and intellectual talent on the Left side may simply be what awaits the Right side. How it all holds together is the big question, which is why it is so important to snuff out the apostate.

The Hothouse Flowers

It was never easy for me. I was born a poor black child. I remember the days, sittin’ on the porch with my family, singin’ and dancin’ down in Mississippi…

OK, OK. I’m kidding, of course. I was born into poverty and grew up in what is elegantly described as a white trash culture. There are a number of uninteresting reasons for it, but I was raised with decidedly lower class sensibilities. I still retain those sensibilities, despite a lifetime outside the world that created them. It’s why I live in the ghetto. It’s as close to home as I can get, even though I’m the minority.

The hillbillies have a saying, “don’t get above your raising” which means to never forget where you came from. The Irish like to say, “don’t outgrow your hat.” Those are the two that come to mind, but my guess is every culture has some pithy way of stating the obvious. While there is some random variation in all of us, we are products of the people and environment that made us.

A few years ago, I was at Yale visiting with someone doing work there and I had the chance to spend a long weekend on campus. I don’t do this very often so I come to campus life as a stranger. Most of what the students and professors take for granted jumps out to me as new and different. For them it is just daily life. For me it is a trip to the zoo to see exotic animals.

One night, my friend took me to what I think was a grad student/faculty mixer. I’m not really sure what it was exactly, but that’s what it seemed like. I fell into conversation with some people doing post doc work and I flattered them by appearing interested in their studies. It’s the thing a guest should do and I’m pretty good at it. Sometimes I even learn a few things. One of them was working on currency issues, a subject I enjoy a great deal so I got to pick his brain a bit.

Anyway, one of the things that I found astonishing was just how naive they were about the world outside the campus. One guy was in his early thirties and had never held a job off-campus. The other guy had never held a job at all and he was about to turn thirty. He was expecting to land in a teaching position either at Yale or Princeton. To them, I was a visitor from another planet. They were far more curious about me than I was about them.

We had a good time swilling beer and talking about ourselves, but I came away feeling like John the Savage in Brave New World. These were not my people. They could never be my people. I’m sure they felt the same way about me as they pretty much said it to me. The guy without a job said, “I have no idea how you make it out there. I never could do. I’d never want to do it.”

This is common and why so many end up in fields that are similar to college life. Think tanks in and around DC are pretty much just privately funded faculty lounges. Rich people get tax breaks for funding people to write papers that extol the virtues of rich people. Government, and the companies that live off government, have gone from dreary bureaucracies to self-actualizing, nurturing workplaces, where everyone feels safe.

It is an important thing to understand when watching the political turmoil going on in the West. Everyone in the British managerial class, for example, thinks ever closer Union is the sensible thing to do. They look at Brexit as a sop to the chavs who need to blow off some steam. My bet is Cameron and his cronies just assume they will win. After all, everyone they know is for staying in the EU.

There is another element to it and what I heard that night at Yale. The sneering contempt we see on our televisions is really just the false bravado of the timid. For them, the typical citizen is like a bad odor. They may not be able to describe it, but they instinctively recoil from it.

It’s what’s so horrifying about people like Donald Trump or Nigel Farage. It’s not what these guys say about the issues so much as the working class odor that causes the beautiful people to crinkle their noses and flee the room. The coarseness reminds the hothouse flower that on the other side of the glass, there’s danger.

It used to be that the political class was populated by men, who had made something of themselves in the regular world. Many politicians started out in life by serving in the army and then working as a lawyer or in business. The civil service was basically working class people who were willing to take less pay so they could avoid the factory or field.

Rich people and their children had a dominant place. of course, but they had to rub shoulders with the hoi polloi, often serving in the military or private business. Jack Kennedy served in the military with an eye on a career in politics. He entered the Senate very familiar with and comfortable around normal men.

That’s not the case today. The political class is just the bit of the managerial class above the waterline. Underneath it is this class of people who pop out of the hothouses of academia into the grow rooms of government, thinks tanks and government contracting. Even the people with military service went from law school to JAG and then back to a law firm that does government work.

This separation may be the undoing of the managerial class, assuming mass democracy and mass media are the future. These hothouse flowers look silly to the voters when standing next to Trump on stage at these debates. The reason is Trump lives in the world. He’s familiar to us. He’s normal. That just makes the actors on stage with him look even more ridiculous. Most people say Marco Rubio talking butch the other day and just laughed, thinking, “who is he kidding?”

Of course, the one way to protect the hothouse is to do away with mass democracy.