Ask Me Anything

I got an e-mail from someone asking me if I would be interested in doing an “Ask Me Anything.” My understanding is that’s a Reddit thing, but maybe the term has morphed into something else. The e-mail address of the person was not Reddit, as far as I could tell, but I’m not an expert on Reddit. My stuff gets linked there a lot and I look, but I have never understood the attraction of Reddit. That’s not a criticism. It’s just that I don’t understand why people like it. I don’t understand why people think Will Ferrell is funny either.

Anyway, it got me thinking. I have no reason to support Reddit, which I think is run by that old witch Ellen Pao. Even if I the query is from them, the answer would not be “no” it would be “hell no.” That said, I get emails on a regular basis asking me stuff about things I don’t cover on the blog of podcast. I’m thinking there may be a lot of topics people are interested in that I don’t cover. So, ask me anything. Post your queries in the comments or you can e-mail me at therealzblog@gmail.com if you are shy.

I’ll do a post answering all of them next week.

A Dark Episode

In addition to being low energy this week, I have been in a dark mood. Maybe it is the season. Maybe it is my breakneck schedule. Tough to know. I’m overdue for some time off, but the demands of building a media career do not permit it. That and the day job, which pays the bills, has been keeping me busy, so I have been burning the candle at both ends. That means this week’s show is a bit low energy and bit dark.

This week I have the usual variety of items in the now standard format. The precision at hitting the mark on each segment is astonishing now. That brings me unlimited joy, bordering on bliss. There is also a bonus track on Gab, where I ramble about stuff after having come home from a bourbon tasting. If you are not on Gab, you should be. Despite their flaws, they are the good guys fighting to keep the lamps from going out in the West.

For this week, Spreaker has the full show. YouTube has the four longer segments from the show. I am up on Google Play now, so the Android phone commies can take me along when out disrespecting the country. I am on iTunes, which means the Apple Nazis can listen to me on their Hitler phones.

This Week’s Show

Contents

Direct Download

The iTunes Page

Google Play Link

Full Show On Spreaker

Full Show On YouTube

Nature Finds A Way

One of the more frustrating things about biological realism is that most people really wish there was no such thing as biological realism. The reason ad makers keep trying to sell stuff using little girl football players or race mixing campers is they know most white people wish all that stuff was true. Those ads and their assumptions are flattering to SWPL-ville types. The studied dismissal of human biology by our ruling elite goes largely unchallenged, because the great white middle class hopes they are right about all of it.

I’m always reminded of this when the topic of African population numbers and the world’s most important graph are mentioned. Putting the racial issue aside, the population explosion in Africa is going to be the defining issue of the 21st century. Inevitably, someone always says something like “that assumes those trends go on forever.” The implication is that population math will magically correct itself. Any effort to explain the math is met with more denial and hand waving. Most people don’t want to know about it.

The fact is, the West is struggling with a sub-Saharan population of about three quarters of a billion people. Those flotillas of Africans crossing the Mediterranean every day are causing all sorts of political and economic trouble for Europe. The number of migrants landing on the beaches of Europe are in the thousands right now. That’s thousands per day. Imagine what happens when it is ten thousand a day. In fifteen years the population of Africa will double. The migrant troubles of today will feel like the good old days.

Nature finds a way of solving these sorts of problems. Thomas Malthus gets a bad rap from history, but he gave us a great concept. It is the Malthusian catastrophe. Once population numbers reach the carrying capacity of the land, society collapses and humans fall back to subsistence level existence. It’s never happened, as agricultural technology has far outstripped population growth, but that does not mean catastrophic risk does not increase with population numbers. Risks like pandemics, for example.

Right now, Africa has a Marburg outbreak and a Madagascar Plague outbreak. The Marburg virus is the most interesting. It kills 88% of the people that contract it. There is no known treatment for it either. The outbreak thus far is limited, but Africa is not exactly a well oiled machine when it comes to managing large scale social projects, like containing disease outbreak. Talk to people who study this stuff and you come away with the sense that Africa has been very lucky and their luck is about to run out.

The Madagascar Plague is a different sort of problem. It is a combination of bubonic, pneumonic and septecaemic plagues. Modern medicine has treatments for all three and they are cheap enough to get to Africa. The trouble is, these diseases spread quickly. African medical service are like everything in Africa. They are a circus of inefficiency, corruption and ineptitude. It would not take a very large outbreak to tip over the medical system, as well as the supply chain from the West, to that medical system.

Getting back to the most important graph in the world, one possible change to it could come from a wide scale pandemic. It’s not inconceivable. There have been plenty of pandemics in human history. The Black Plague not only altered the structure of European society, it altered European DNA. There are some good arguments that the Black Death helped accelerate Europe’s cultural progress out of the medieval period. The relationship of land, labor and status were thrown over by a great die off.

There’s another angle to it. The Black Plague did not originate in Europe. It arrived by sea in October 1347 when 12 Genoese trading ships docked at the Sicilian port of Messina. Most of the sailors aboard the ships were dead, and those who were still alive were close to it. They had The Plague. Even if those ships had never made it to Europe, the strange disease that was killing people along the great trade routes of Asia was on its way. The Black Death came to Europe the same way the first people came to Europe.

Human-like animals burst out of Africa at least twice and probable three or four times in history. We know that modern humans displaced the Neanderthals, who left Africa and settled Eurasia. The Denisovans were probably displaced by Neanderthals, but that’s open to debate. There is the possibility that the out of Africa narrative is wrong in some important ways, but the available data still suggests that there have been waves of humans out of Africa for as long as there have been bipeds on earth.

Maybe that’s how Mother Nature erases the board and starts over. When one wave of humans runs its course, a new batch of humans burst forth from Africa to replace the old, outmoded ones. The new batch being raw and unformed, they adapt to the new lands they inhabit and give the old evolutionary process another shot. Because they bring new diseases or new forms of diseases, they don’t have to be more fit than the indigenous populations initially. Those invisible bugs they bring with them become the great equalizer.

That could be what we are seeing today. The people of Europe and Asia had a nice run, but they have reached a dead end in the eyes of nature. The fertility rates have plummeted, even in China. In Europe, the willingness of the natives to defend themselves and their territories has collapsed. From the perspective of nature, Eurasians are looking a lot like the giant Panda. Humans may think it worthwhile to maintain a species that no longer will reproduce, but nature is unemotional about these things.

Alternatively, a great plague that originates with the swelling populations of Africa and then spreads around the world is another option. Most people who study the current crop of diseases in Africa don’t think they will mutate into something wildly contagious that overwhelms our social structures. They could be wrong about this. It could be that some new bug alters some common bug, like the flu, which then ravages the human populations of the world. Like the Black Death, it would be carried by outsiders to Europe.

Those are all pleasant outcomes to consider, but there is another option. The population of sub-Saharan Africa could reach a point where it exceeds the capacity of the West to subsidize it. Right now, without foreign aid, Africa would fall into famine and civil war. What if as their numbers increase, the per capita aid required to sustain them increases? The ability to manage the problem could have a much shorter time horizon than Western planners assume. Economic crisis could come to the West like the plague.

Let A Thousand Honkies Bloom

When I was at the American Renaissance conference, the striking thing to me was the number of smart and level headed people I met. Just about everyone I met had some college, read books and was familiar with the Western canon. Not everyone was a scholar, but everyone I met was refreshingly open minded. Even the young guys were genuinely curious about the world and our times. I mentioned to J’Onquarious that it was like an academic conference, except everyone was smart and a heretic.

The fact is though, most everyone there was from the same cultural and philosophical place. If you are a fan of American Nations, the crowd was mostly Midlanders, but there were a good number of people from Yankeedom. If I had to guess, the Tidewater was the third most represented nation. My bet is the least represented region of the country was the Appalachia. I did not quiz all 400 people at the event, but I I have a good ear for American regional accents and I did not hear too many hill people or Southerners.

When I cruise around social media, the one thing that strikes me about the alt-right is its Yankee vibe. It is a very northern honky phenomenon. It’s also a very suburban phenomenon too. I’ve made the point for years that libertarianism was a suburban white boy ideology. Most of the guys calling themselves alt-right grew up in the suburbs and started out in life as libertarians. It’s why the alt-right has a greater focus on the JQ than the race issue or even immigration. Jews are simply more numerous in the North.

America is a big place though and there are lots of places where the bourgeois burgher is the weirdo. You see that with the divide between guys like Hunter Wallace and some of the alt-right people over optics. Posts by Wallace here and here, if you are interested in the topic. The gist of it is the alt-right guys think the Southern Nationalists are embarrassing, because they remind people of the old school Southern racists. The Southern Nationalist think many of the alt-right are LARP’ing poseurs or hypocrites.

The thing with whites in the South and Appalachia is that race and heritage are the towering issues, which is not something people from Yankeedom understand. They won the Civil War and got to impose their culture on everyone else to their satisfaction. People outside of Yankeedom care deeply about preserving their culture, which is a unique subset of America. They are also far less concerned about the JQ stuff, as the only Jews they see are on television. It’s just not an issue for them.

It’s not just a North-South thing. People in the Midwest, the hilariously named “cuck belt”, have their own issues. The effects of globalism probably score higher with them than race or ethnicity. Immigration, on the other hand, is the symbol of globalism and resonates more with honkies in Ohio, than with alt-right guys in New York. It’s in the Midwest where the sense of alienation is strongest. Popular culture, politics, and economics are controlled by people who no longer look familiar to the average white Midwesterner.

Of course, the West and Southwest are ground zero for immigration. It’s not an accident that the three most important voices on the issue are based in California. Steve Sailer, Victor David Hanson and Mickey Kaus are Californians. If you have spent your life in Los Angeles, race is not an issue that concerns you. Immigration, on the other hand, is all consuming. It is the most important issue in California politics for over three decades. The same is true to a lesser degree all over the West and Southwest.

The reality is that the emerging identity politics will inevitably have a regional character to it. It’s also going to have a class character. Richard Spencer gets some grief for being a snob, but he’s just a guy from the gentry class. Steve Sailer is white bread middle-class, because he is from the white bread middle class. The Southern Nationalists are going to be working class guys. America has never had a rigid class system, but class still exists and every American is a product of their social class to some degree.

The point of this is that we are on the cusp of a new era. We have had identity politics for a long time, but whites have not been a part of it. That’s changing as the nation’s demographics change. Even as we lurch into majority-minority status, America is a big country with lots of regional differences. It is a land of nations, with unique local cultures, that persist despite the efforts at homogenization. The white identity that emerges will reflect the local culture. That’s just going to be another feature of the new America.

That means the people talking about this stuff will have to respect this reality in order to understand it. More important, the guys into the advocacy side of things are going to have respect the fact that what works for them may not work everywhere. There’s also the fact that cultural movements are inevitably lots of trial and error. Like memes that go viral on-line, for every good protest idea there are thousands that fizzle. In the fullness of time, these regional white identity groups will figure out what works for them or they go away.

We live in an age of firsts. We are the first country to be ruled over by people desperately trying to commit cultural and demographic suicide. We are the first people, with a significant element that celebrates the extinction of our race. These are events so outside the norm of human history, there are no examples in the past to rely upon for guidance and solutions. No one knows what a majority-minority America will be like. No one knows if it is sustainable. What’s coming this century is entirely new.

Let a thousand honkies bloom.

The Deadend Men

When I was a young man, starting out in the world, I took a graduate class on proto-Marxism. I was just a freshman, but the professor was satisfied that I could handle the material, so I was waved into the class. My main interest in taking the class was to get a look at real communists. The Cold War was in its denouement, so I thought I’d better get a look at some real Marxists before the whole thing collapsed into a carnival of finger pointing and embarrassment. It was one of the best courses I had in college.

The two big lessons I carried away were that ideologues always believe their thing transcends time and space. They cannot imagine that there will be a time when their tool set of ideas is no longer relevant. The other thing that seemed obvious, is that observable reality is not enough to shake someone from their ideology. The professor was well aware of the problems inherent in Marxism, but he had committed his life to it. To abandon Marxism, to even seriously question it, would be like erasing himself from life.

I’m reminded of that every time I scan conservative sites like National Review, the Federalist or even The American Conservative. They continue to talk about what they call conservatism as if it is a timeless set of truisms that are universally applicable. The fact that the conservatives of today would have been viewed as alien weirdos by the conservatives of just 30 years ago, is completely lost on them. The fact that the world is an entirely different place than 30 years ago goes unnoticed.

Read a post like this one from National Review, and the thing that jumps out is the fact that these guys still don’t know what’s happening to them. Conservatives have convinced themselves that Trump is Nixon and the current tumult is just a replay of the years between LBJ and Reagan. Rather than look at what is happening in the world, they are treating this period as an interregnum. The Progressive tide that peaked with Obama is receding. Next comes the conservative wave to carry them to the promised land.

There’s no mention of immigration or the changing demographics of America in the article, so that means there is no mention of race either. Look through the source document and it reads like a policy paper put out by people who have been asleep for the last 30 years. It also is written in the grad school jargon that sounds convincing to men who have had no exposure to the dreaded private sector. Apparently, conservatives are convinced that the “way forward” for their thing is to pretend that nothing has changed since 1988.

Conservatives keep getting up on the same horse, an image of Reagan on their shield, prepared to dash into the nearest food co-op, in the name of ordered liberty. The fact that the food co-op closed down years ago and their horse and shield are paid for by a 501(c)(3) tax shelter, supported by a billionaire oligarch, makes no difference. Even the fact that their trusty side kick, the libertarian Sancho Panza, is now hanging out on Gab, posting identitarian and Pepe memes, has had no effect on them.

When Prophecy Fails is a classic work of social psychology, from which we get the concept of cognitive dissonance. It is the study of a UFO cult in the 1950’s led by a charismatic named Dorothy Martin. She predicted the end of the world would occur on December 21, 1954. That did not happen, obviously. The study is about how the group handled this reality. One of their observations is that the group drew closer together and became more committed. They even began to proselytize about their beliefs being correct.

Conservatives seem to be going through something similar. They went into the final years of the Obama presidency with a narrative about how the next phase of their thing would unfold. Their “principles” said they needed to embrace multiculturalism, globalism and open borders. That was the future. Then Trump came along running on the exact opposite of those things. His victory was the nullification of the narrative. Instead of accepting it, they seem to be committing themselves to an renewed version of the narrative.

It’s tempting to write off Conservative Inc as just a bunch of cynical grifters. There’s certainly an element of that to it. Guys like Jonah Goldberg are living one percent lifestyles peddling outdated nostrums and ideological nostalgia. Most, maybe even all of them, don’t see themselves as useful idiots of the donor class. They really believe the conservative jibber-jabber. They think the world has not changed a bit and it is the same old fights over the same old issues. All they need to do is repeat the magic words one more time.

Conservatives, like the dinosaurs seeing the comet streaking across the sky, do not understand what is happening to them. Even as the signs of change become more obvious, they cling to the old ideology. They have a lot in common with those old Marxists of the previous generation. Even when the futility of Cold War conservatism is explained to them, they just can’t accept it. To accept that politics and economics are downstream from culture, means erasing themselves from the ideological map. They just can’t do it.

So, it will be done for them.

Mencken Club Diary Part II

There were three reasons I decided to attend Mencken. One was just curiosity. I’ve been a reader of Paul Gottfried since I was a kid, so I was curious about the sort of people who follow his work. I also wanted to meet Derb again. I’ve been a big fan of his for decades now. I also wanted to hear his views on the alt-right. He was part of a panel devoted to that topic on Saturday. Of course, the normal social stuff was a motivation, as well. You always end up meeting fellow travelers at these sorts of things.

The session on the alt-right is what I was most interested in seeing. John Derbyshire is one of the few in the older generation who seem to get that the alt-right is not a club or even a defined movement. At this point, it is mostly a collection of aspirations, observations and critiques. The second speaker was Keith Preston, who was unknown to me. I was very interested in what Professor Gottfied had to say about the alt-right. He has spent his life in right-wing politics and philosophy so his opinion is important.

John was first up and he used The Dork Tard’s 16-points blog post as the framework for his talk. He made the point that Dork is by no means the leader of the alt-right or the voice of it, but a representative sample that is useful for analyzing the movement. His comments about item number eight were laugh out loud funny, to the empirically minded. What John was doing was introducing the general ideas of the alt-right to a crowd that is not spending their evenings in the meme war. He did a good job presenting the broad strokes.

The next guy up was Keith Preston and I think it is fair to say he is not a fan of the alt-right, but he is not dismissing it either. He took some shots at some of the crazier elements flying the flag, but he gave a good long overview of all the different groups that get lumped into the category alt-right. Preston reminds me of Fred Reed, before Fred went crazy. There is an almost forgotten tradition of Southern populist skepticism that works very well when critiquing political ideologies. As a result, his review of the alt-right was well done.

The final speaker was Professor Gottfried. His talk was interesting for a number of reasons. One is he does not like Richard Spencer very much. He thinks Spencer is just playing make believe and is a bundle of unforced errors. He also said Spencer hates working class people. This is not the first time I’ve heard someone say some version of this. Gottfied did not say it, but the accusation is that Spencer is a dilettante. Having been around enough trust fund guys, I get why people think that, but I don’t share that opinion.

Gottfried’s main theme about the alt-right is that they are not well run and not good at presenting themselves on main stream media outlets. He used, as an example, someone who either writes for Spencer now or used to write for him. Gottfried said the guy was a racist and therefore an embarrassment. He got quite worked up over this point and said you can’t have a political movement without moral standards. Purging racists should be the absolute minimum standard for any political movement.

Gottfried is trying to replay the purges that landed him and the rest of the paleocons outside the institutions. He wants a do over. That’s something you hear from the older crowd a lot and I understand it. There’s a lot of bitterness as to how things played out in conservative politics over the last half century. I don’t blame a guy like Gottfried for looking at a guy like Jonah Goldberg with contempt. Gottfried wrote the book on fascism, but Goldberg got rich off the crackpot idea that Progressives are the real Nazis.

The truth of the matter though, is mainstream conservatism failed to conserve anything, other than the some well paid positions in Progressive media. The reason is they lost the culture war. In the 1960’s, when the Progressives decided to finish what they started in the 1860’s, the Official Right buckled. Instead of fighting to the last man, they agreed to the new moral paradigm, with regards to human relations, that the Left wanted to impose on the rest of the country. When racism became a sin, conservatism became one two.

That’s what the paleos don’t get. There’s no stopping the white replacement project and the systematic erasure of our culture, until the Progressive moral framework is brought crashing down. I’m no spring chicken, but I fully endorse the youthful antics employed by the alt-right. Putting up posters like Identity Europa does on college campuses, helps build a counter culture and draw in young people. The ad hoc guerrilla marketing campaign of placing “It’s OK To Be White” signs is lethal to the people in charge.

Sure, some of it backfires. Despite what anyone says, Charlottesville was a clusterfuck for all involved. In this sort of movement though, you have to take risks and accept some losses. Let’s also not forget that Charlottesville is why the Hispanic KKK ran that hilariously stupid ad in the Virginia governor’s race. It’s not always easy to know if an action worked. Going off the hot takes of Sean Hannity is a good way to keep losing, like the generation of paleos now carping about the alt-right.

One of the crazier things Gottfried said, is that the alt-right is creating a war between whites, when it is claiming to defend whites. He then went onto say that the reason things are such a mess in America is that Christians did it to themselves. I’m a heretic on the JQ issue, but man, that was hard to take. Anyone vaguely familiar with the arguments of the alt-right would know exactly what the response would be to that. I’ll just say it is an example of the vast cultural divide between the Old Right and the alt-right upstarts.

I have a lot of respect for guys like Paul Gottfried, so this should not be read as a condemnation of him or the paleocons. I think in the fullness of time, they will be remembered fondly for having kept the fires burning, despite having been un-personed by the Buckleyites and neocons. The alt-right owes everything to these old guys, even though many of them made the trip from libertarianism. Richard Spencer got his start because of guys like Gottfried and Taki Theodoracopulos,

The difference is the new guys categorically reject the current moral order. If that upsets the Fox New types, so be it. Politics is a pointless enterprise, if rooting for your own team is expressly forbidden. Taking over institutions does nothing, if the price is embracing the morality of the Left. The Old Right always defined itself as defending the existing culture and institutions. That made sense when those things were worth defending. Today, those things are a cancer on our people. They must be replaced or we will be replaced.

Mencken Club Diary Part I

I got to the hotel hosting the Mencken event a little early, so I went to the bar to have a beer and kill some time. This was my first Mencken event and I was having second thoughts about the whole thing. I figured it would be an older crowd, which is fine, but I suspected it would a very libertarian crowd too. I don’t have a lot of patience for libertarians, under the best of circumstances. It had been a very busy week for me so I was especially cranky and I feared I would be something less than my charming self.

As I had my second beer, I was thinking about how best to say “the non-aggression principle is for pussies.” I noticed a middle-aged women at the other end of the bar. She had been at a table, tapping away on her tablet. She relocated to the bar and was making an effort to get my attention. She was sporting a Mao cap, which is popular with cat ladies, so I ignored her, had another beer and played with my phone. Maybe if she had been better looking or I had a few more drinks in me, I would have done her the favor.

The reception was a little like God’s waiting room, assuming the Jews really are the chosen people. The room was old and very Jewish. There was a youngish guy over in the corner, who looked relieved to see me walk in, as that meant there were two people in the room paying FICA taxes. We chatted for a wile and I learned he is a devout libertarian and came to the Mencken event primarily to see Tom Woods. He seemed earnest, so I resisted the temptation to tell him about my plan to send libertarians to work camps.

The formal reception was a sit-down affair with a dinner and drinks. I was relieved to meet some younger people, who share my politics. They were mostly millennials, but one guy was gen X. We were the kiddie table. Keith Preston was at our table and he is an interesting guy. I don’t share his politics, but he is not one of those doctrinaire ideologues, who thinks he has figured it all out and now has to spread the gospel. He’s genuinely curious about what’s going on in the dissident right. He’s a good dinner companion.

That is the value of these events. Going back and forth with strangers using fake names on-line has its value, but meeting and talking in real life has value too. I only had some vague notion about Preston, based entirely on his site. Chatting over dinner and then hearing him speak, I now have a new appreciation for what he is doing. At the same time, I saw him nodding more than a few times as I was making my case for the new counter culture. If not for sitting at the same table, we would remain strangers to one another.

Another big benefit to these things is that you find out that there are more of us out there than is reported. Two of the guys at the kiddie table are college professors. Another is an attorney at a big firm. I know from the comments here, and the e-mails I receive, that a lot men in the professional ranks are “our guys” but they keep quiet about it. That’s a necessary thing, but it also means it is easy to feel like a stranger in the world. Having dinner with a gang of smart, like minded professionals is an antidote to the sense of doom.

At the same time, spending time with a bunch of old guys is an eye opener. Most of us experience our politics on-line, through blogs, social media and videos. The people at the Mencken event experience their politics from network news, the cable chat shows and paper magazines. A lot of what we take for granted, they don’t know exists. What they do know about the emerging counter culture, they don’t fully understand. It’s not simply an age thing. Its that there is a necessary bit of self-ghettoization on out side.

Age is a part of though. Paul Gottfried kicked off the evening with a speech about the state of the Right. He made the point that the average age of Fox News viewers is 60-something and National Reviews readership is around 70. Then he made the error of assuming that reflects the demographics of the Right. The fact is, Stefan Molyneux has vastly more resonance with people under the age of 50 than a Sean Hannity. Sites like 4chan and Reddit have greater political reach than all of the cable shows combined.

Tom Woods, the featured speaker of the night, actually tried to make that point. He talked about how he has built a business on new media, but I don’t think he won any of them over. He also spent a lot of time trying to differentiate between left-libertarianism and right-libertarianism. There’s always been warm relations between paleos and Rand Paul style libertarians and he was well received by the Mencken folks. He’s a good speaker, so I did not run out of the room screaming, even though the whole thing had a 1980’s vibe to it.

Finally, the most important benefit to attending these real life gatherings is that you get to socialize with other like minded people. The kiddie table ended up in the bar, drinking and telling stories. I learned that one of the college professors is connected with a bunch of people in this thing. I also learned that a couple of the others are readers. That’s always an interesting experience for me. I often forget that real people read this stuff. For me at least, the camaraderie and brotherhood is motivating. It gives purpose to my efforts.

I’ll get into the event itself in another post, but people in dissident politics should begin to embrace these events. Co-opting existing institutions is how the New Left won the culture war 50 years ago. It’s a good model to follow. If alt-right people start populating local clubs and organizations, even If it is in a low key way, it helps build the movement. The first step is meeting people at events like Mencken. Two of the guys at my table are local to me, so now we can socialize and conspire locally. That’s how movements grow.

We’re Winning

I’m slowly fine tuning the format as I get used to doing this. I like the four ten minute segments and then the three five minute ones. I may go to a 3-5 format at some point. I’m straddling a few worlds here, as far as audience, so I’m thinking about how to do a little normie politics, along with some dissident politics. This week is a tentative effort in that direction. I like structure so I will tighten up the format in the coming weeks.

This week I have the usual variety of items. The degree of precision in hitting the mark on each segment would make a German blush. That brings me unlimited joy, bordering on bliss. There is no bonus track on Gab this week. I’ll do something over the weekend after I get back from the Mencken Society bash. If you are not on Gab, you should be. Despite their flaws, they are the good guys fighting to keep the lamps from going out in the West.

For this week, Spreaker has the full show. YouTube has the four longer segments from the show. I am up on Google Play now, so the Android phone commies can take me along when out disrespecting the country. I am on iTunes, which means the Apple Nazis can listen to me on their Hitler phones.

This Week’s Show

Contents

Direct Download

The iTunes Page

Google Play Link

Full Show On Spreaker

Full Show On YouTube

A Rambling Car Shopping Post

I have been looking at new cars for a year or so. I started thinking about getting a new car a few years ago, when I realized I was getting to the age where owning a sports car might be a now or never proposition. To enjoy a sports car means driving fast in places where you’re not supposed to drive fast. That means having the reflexes and risk tolerance to take chances. There really is nothing sadder than seeing an old woman driving a Porsche or some old guy putt-putting down the road in a Corvette.

I have yet to pull the trigger on the car buy. The main reason is I hate the hassle of buying a car. The way cars are sold in America has never worked for me. I don’t want to develop a rapport with the car salesman. I don’t want him (her) to help me develop a relationship with the car that will tell the world about me. I’m not interested in having a self-actualizing experience with a car. I guess I’m a weirdo, but I don’t think the way I live my life needs to make a statement. I just want to enjoy the time I have.

There’s also the fact that I can’t seem to make up my mind. I’m not a car guy, in that I don’t get into the car culture. A part of owning a sports car is being a part of the social life around owning it. I think a car is, for the most part, a necessary item of life. I want my car to start in the morning, warm up quickly and have a cold air conditioner.  I never listen to the radio, but Bluetooth is a nice feature so I can listen to my favorite hate-thinkers on road trips.  Otherwise, a car is like the toilet. I only notice it when it does not work.

Still, I feel like I should buy a sports car before I’m too geezerly to enjoy it. I’ve looked at a number of them over the last year. The last sports car I owned was 30 years ago and it was used when I got it. It was fast and fun to drive, but compared to what is on offer today, well, there is no comparison. Modern technology has made affordable sports cars that are vastly better than the most enthusiastic drivers. A modern sports car is not a machine you control. It is a technology platform and the driver is just one part of it.

Something that I did not expect when getting into this is the class issue. I grew up country poor, but I’m not country poor now. I’ve been all over the world and I have been around very worldly people. I retain my working class sensibilities, but I’m not going to lie and say I prefer the proletariat to the bourgeoisie. Whether I like it or not, the car I buy will say something about me. Am I a man who prefers an Audi or a guy who thinks a Camaro ZL1 is the right choice? I never had a reason to think about it until now.

Having driven a number of different cars over the last year, I’ve come to believe that the professional auto journalists are just public relations flacks for the car industry. For instance, I drove a Mustang and a Camaro on the same day. I was in the muscle car mood and they are the two premier options in the category. I read the reviews of them on the popular car sites. I was expecting one model to be refined and the other more brutish, as that is what all of the reviews indicated. Both cars felt pretty much the same.

That’s probably the biggest obstacle to me pulling the trigger. There’s a weird sameness to all of the new cars. A few weeks after the muscle car testing, I did a day of driving European sports sedans. The sameness of the cars, at least in terms of driving them, is the one memory. I found I had to keep a list of the small differences between, say, an Audi and a BMW, as they were otherwise indistinguishable. There’s no quirkiness or originality to set one off from the other. It’s like the car makers are all aiming for the same goal.

This sameness is due to the fact the car makers are global companies now. Instead of the British car makers building cars mostly for Brits and the German makers building cars for Germans, car companies are rootless cosmopolitans, making cars for the world. That means they think they need to avoid the quirky, local flavor, as much as possible. It used to be that America cars were utilitarian and made for the open road. European cars were sophisticated and built for tight corners. Now, they all do the same things and look alike.

This sameness extends to how they sell cars. The last time someone tried to re-think the retail sale of cars was when Saturn was rolled out. Their pitch was the “no-haggle” price and a limited set of options. It never really worked as people have been conditioned to haggle over the price of a car. That and they rolled out the no-frills option idea just when technology was allowing everyone to have a bespoke experience buying everything. The “customized experience” is a great sales tool as everyone wants to feel special.

Look at the car dealers today and they all do exactly the same things. Even their website are cookie cutter. Other than some aesthetics, it appear that maybe one or two website companies have built every dealer’s website. That’s not unrealistic. There is one main software maker for car dealership software. I no longer recall the name of it, but one software package was used by something like 90% of all new car dealers. It’s not unrealistic to think that they or someone else is doing the same thing with the websites.

Despite the uniformity, the other thing that strikes me about the dealership websites is their uselessness as sales tools. I’ve noticed that the cars on the site, often don’t exist on the lot. At the same time, the cars on the lot are often not listed on the site. Dealers are famous for the bait and switch tactic, but this just looks like sloth. Spending time in the dealerships, the vibe I get is that the business remains hostile to technology. They just want to sell cars to the people who walk into the showroom. That’s it.

As far as the car purchase, I’m still weighing my options. I’m down to one of the muscle cars or one of the German sports sedans. I’ve always liked the look of an Audi, but I fear the repair costs. BMW’s are known for sturdiness, but I’m told that is not longer true, so maybe a Mercedes. Having driven enough of them, I’m sure I would enjoy owning any one of them. But, I still cannot get over the thrill of driving that Camaro ZL1. It was like being strapped to a rocket sled. I could get used to that in a hurry.

A Foundation of Nonsense

Math and science are built upon axioms. Very simply, an axiom is something that is always true and assumed to be true. An example is the reflexive property in algebra. A number is always equal to itself. Axioms are the building blocks, from which new truths are discovered. A proof is an inferential argument for a mathematical statement, using other previously established statements. That means a proof can be traced back to the original, assumed truths, those axioms that are the foundation of mathematics.

This is how we accumulate knowledge about the physical world over generations. The proofs based on those building blocks are eventually incorporated into the building blocks of math. The theorems and proofs multiply, slowly building up the stock of things that are known to be true. Calculus was built upon algebra and physics was built upon calculus and so on. It why a student can quickly go from zero to trying to discover new truths about the world. They inherit a supply of things assumed to be true.

This accretive process of increasing our stock of knowledge is not limited to math and science. It is the way human societies evolve over time. We start with basic truths about the human condition and the realities we face as a society. Over time we acquire new knowledge, by building on what we know or that which we think we know. For example, Libertarians rely on the concept of homo economicus. This asserts that humans are consistently rational and self-interested agents pursuing their ends optimally.

In theory, at least, this is the basis of democracy. One side builds a set of policies and proposals, allegedly based on the assumed truths. The other side does the same thing arriving at different policies. After a vigorous examination of the competing claims, a consensus is formed around one solution. If it works out, then that becomes part of society’s truths, from which new problems will be addressed in the future. That’s not really how it works, but people believe it. It is axiomatic that democracy works this way.

What we know to be western liberal democracy, assumes certain things about humanity to be true all the time. The blank slate is the most obvious example. Everything about our politics and culture assumes that humans are infinitely malleable. From school policy to prison reform, public policy is based on the assumption that people can be whatever they choose, because they have free will and a blank slate that can be erased and re-illustrated at any point in their life. You are what you make of yourself.

It’s how our rulers arrived at the idea of importing millions of foreigners. Those foreigners can be re-purposed into tax paying westerners, through education and enculturation, to pay the pensions of the native stock. Those Somali goatherds can be plopped down into Minnesota and over time, develop all of the habits of the average Minnesotan, just by emulation and proximity. Race laws are all based on the assumption that you can train people to stop noticing racial difference and therefore, end racism.

Of course, science is putting the lie to the blank slate. Genetics is everyday filling out the truth of the human condition, which is that we are the result of our coding. The thousands of mating decisions, made by those who came before us, are what make us what we are as people. Everything from our height to our sense of humor is baked into our DNA. Our health outcomes and our life outcomes are the results of that coding. Not surprisingly, the closer our coding is to others, the greater the similarities.

While no one is prepared to say free will is a lie, at least not publicly, no serious person accepts that we are infinitely malleable. The argument that you can change your personality is as nutty as saying you can make yourself taller or younger. This reality used to be a building block of Western thought, but was “discredited” by the blank slate theorists, but it is now being reestablished by genetics. In other words, one of the main building blocks of modern social democracy is about to crumble.

That’s a big one, but it is not the only one. Both Freudian and Jungian psychology still cast a very long shadow over western culture. Freud is no longer taken seriously, outside of his historical importance. The idea that your emotional state is the product of childhood sexual trauma is a click less realistic than phrenology. Jungian psychotherapy is also being overrun by neuroscience. Few people still think they can talked out of their madness anymore. Instead, pharmaceuticals are used to treat diseases of the brain.

It’s not just the quackery. The moral philosophy that underlies our political philosophy is similarly built on a foundation of nonsense. The Enlightenment thinkers all started by considering man’s natural state. It was either a harmonious communal existence or a brutal war like existence. From both starting points, they worked forward to build a model how man went from the state of nature to what was then civilization. The resulting moral philosophy is the basis of our political and legal philosophy today.

Property rights, the rule of law, the relationship of man and state, these are all based on those assumptions about man’s natural state. Libertarians and so-called Conservatives take the Lockean position that society is built upon the social contract. Those on the Left assume Hobbes was right and order must be imposed on society. Marxists further accept the materialist claims about the nature of man. All of the iterations and flavors of political ideology are rooted in one of those two broad assumptions about humanity.

Those assumptions are all wrong. We know that much now. Better archaeology and anthropology is helping illuminate the pre-history mankind. Evolutionary biology is also helping explain the fossil and archaeological record. Genetics, of course, are re-writing the map of mankind, explaining how we spread across the globe. What we are finding out is that man, in his “natural state” was not what Hobbes imagined nor what Locke imagined. Man’s “natural” state is much more complicated and much more local.

The implication should be obvious. Like psychology, as the underlying assumptions give way to new knowledge, the conclusions built on those axioms must give way as well. If tomorrow we learn that two plus two is not always four, everything we know about the world stops making sense. If everything we thought we knew about humankind and human civilization turns out to be wrong, we suddenly don’t know a whole lot about how we should organize ourselves, other than the old rules are probably not going to work.

It seems today that Western societies are painfully re-learning things that were common knowledge a few generations ago. The old axiom, fences make good neighbors, was replaced with “diversity is our strength.” Every time a swarthy fellow blows up in the public square, we inch a bit closer to the realization that diversity is a nightmare. That’s the part we see. The part we don’t see, at least not yet, is the crumbling of the foundation stones of the modern West. That foundation of nonsense is giving way to biological reality