Post-Christian Liberalism

During the French Revolution, radicals made no bones about attacking the Church as a source of oppression and an obstacle to progress. Marxists, of course, were hostile to religion of all types, but they really hated Christians. In America, direct attacks on Christianity started in the early 20th century, as progressives abandoned the Social Gospel, in order to bring Jews into their movement. The point being, the Left has always had it in for Christianity.

We no longer have Jacobins. We still have a few Marxists kicking around, but they are mostly museum pieces. Exactly no one in a position of authority in the West embraces Marxism or communism. As for progressives, we have plenty of them in America, but their thing has morphed into a weird identity cult that hates white people. Of course, there are precious few Christians around, at least in the ruling classes. In fact, it is hard to find any Christian leaders in the West.

The West is post-Christian now. Leaders of all Western countries agree that Christianity has nothing to offer, in terms of public affairs. You never hear any of them make appeals to the deity or make references to Christian teaching. Every Western nation embraces some form of liberal democracy. Some nations lean toward social democracy, while others embrace neo-liberalism. American leaders will occasionally mumble something about freedom of religion, but otherwise, we are ruled by non-Christians.

The thing is, Christianity brought together certain cultural and political elements that made liberalism possible. There is a reason that things like equality before the law and representative government never took root in Africa. The Roman Republic and ancient Athens had some features of liberal democracy, but they were largely ruled by a collection of families of equal rank. While the Greeks were produced great genius, they did not produce liberal democracy.

To understand this, we need to start with God. The ancients were sure the gods picked sides, played games with man and did so without a grand plan. That means the gods did not see all men as being equal. Jews, of course, were really sure God picked sides, their side, as they are the chosen people. It was the Christians that refined the idea that all men were in equal in the eyes of God. That is the foundation of equality before the law and egalitarianism, at least as far as natural rights.

Another idea, essential to liberal democracy, is the concept of an ordered universe with fixed rules. This was a concept borrowed from Greek philosophy and carried through Europe by Christianity. Not only is an orderly universe essential for the development of science, but it is also essential for the development of rational government. If God has created an orderly universe, governed by immutable and discoverable laws, human society should follow those rules.

You cannot have a free society without contracts. The bargain between men certainly predates Christianity, but it was the Jews who produced the idea of a covenant, a contract that even God would abide. Christians inherited this. The idea that making a contract and sticking to it, because it would displease God to do otherwise, makes it possible to enforce contracts. You cannot have anything resembling liberalism without contract law.

Finally, morality without the divine is just a set of man made rules. Christians were certainly not the first to ascribe the moral code to the supernatural, but they expanded on the Jewish concepts to create a whole body of morality that elevated humanity in the eyes of God. Doing the right thing by your fellow man, even when no one is looking, because God will judge you in the afterlife, allows for the development of the hidden law, a moral code. It allows orderliness to spring forth organically.

That is an extremely broad overview, but the point is that what we take for granted about liberal democracy, has its roots in the Christian past. Within one lifetime ago, Western people expected to be ruled by Christian men. Even when the rulers were not very Christian, they kept it to themselves. It was just accepted that public character tracked with Christian morality. Now that we are ruled by post-Christian women, how long before all of these ideas wither away?

We certainly see some unraveling with the modern notion of egalitarianism. We have gone from men being equal before God, to all people being equal to each other. Lacking the limiting principles that come with religion, progressives are a click away from demanding that all of us pretend we are exactly the same. The story Harrison Bergeron has gone from satire to divine scripture. The Christian regard for the complexity of God’s creation has been completely lost in the post-Christian age.

We are seeing the return of occasionalist magic in the modern era. When the Left talks about “institutional racism” or “white privilege”, they are not talking about definable things that one can measure. These are mystery forces acting on man in the same way Old Scratch used to play the role of trickster. The difference is they assume humans lack the agency to resist these mystery forces. In many respects, Norse pagans were more empirical than the modern progressive.

This is a big topic, but it is something that is worth examination. It is assumed that the stock of human knowledge is always growing, but that does not mean nothing is lost. Western people have abandoned a large chunk of knowledge that had been formalized in Christianity. Some of it can be replaced with science, but the parts underpinning civil morality and our moral philosophy are not easily replaced by secular alternatives. Like the game Jenga, we may have removed a vital peg from liberalism.

Things Are Looking Up

A pretty good rule of politics is that your enemies will always give you terrible advice. It is a lesson the so-called conservatives and Republicans have never learned. The Left offers them advice and they jump at the chance to take it. The corollary to this is you know you are doing something right when your enemies try to steal your issues. The Tories figured out that UKIP was getting traction on immigration, so they moved right on the issue and offered a referendum on Europe. It worked, even though it tanked Cameron’s career.

We have not seen much of that since the start of the populist revolt led by Trump in the GOP primaries. In fact, the GOP went the other way. The higher Trump’s polls rose, the more they rejected Trump’s issues. It was a weird thing, but the Republicans are not called the stupid party by accident. Even after he won, his own party is struggling to come to terms with the new reality. The Left, in contrast, is good at politics, so seeing some rumblings on the their side about adopting nationalist themes is interesting.

Across the Western world, center-left parties are in trouble: In Germany, Austria, France, and the Netherlands, social democrats have suffered historic electoral defeats. Right-wing populists, meanwhile, have scored a series of victories, including Trump’s election, the vote for Brexit, and the continuing erosion of liberal democratic institutions in Hungary and Poland.

But while many people take for granted an inherent contradiction between nationalism and left-wing politics, there simply isn’t one, either historically or philosophically. Throughout the 20th century, progressives mobilized for social justice most successfully when they spoke in the name of national solidarity rather than focusing exclusively on class-based interests or on abstract notions of justice. Left-wingers often cite the adage that patriotism is the last resort of the scoundrel — and with good reason. But it is important to also remember that a deep sense of national commitment underpins the egalitarian institutions we hold dear.

The historian Michael Kazin put it mildly when he wrote that patriotism “is not a popular sentiment on the contemporary left.” The influential British left-wing commentator George Monbiot has equated patriotism with racism: To give in to patriotism, he writes, is to deny the plain truth “that someone living in Kinshasa is of no less worth than someone living in Kensington.”

Yet in giving up on appeals to national solidarity, the left has forgotten the basic political argument that served it so well in the past: that out of the ties that bind together our national communities emerges a deep commitment to the well-being, welfare, and social esteem of our fellow citizens. This recognizes a basic moral intuition: We have deep and encompassing obligations to those we consider our own, based on a shared sense of membership in a community of fate — or more simply, based on our shared national identity.

American Progressives are pegged as fanatical ideologues, but that misses an essential feature of the American Left. They can turn on a dime and reverse course if it has practical value. In the Clinton years, Bill Clinton scoffed at homosexual marriage. Even Obama seemed to be revolted by the idea. Yet, they spun around on a dime and embraced the whole rainbow collation of sexual deviants when it suited them. Hillary Clinton ran her 2016 campaign on the not so subtle theme that she was an old lesbian.

Bernie Sanders did a lot of damage in the 2016 primary because he had a reputation for left-wing populism. You can be sure that he regrets abandoning his closed borders position that he held for decades. There’s a good bet he would have done much better if he had embraced a halt to immigration as a way to help the working class. The alt-right guys will tell you that some of guys came to their thing from the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democrat coalition. You can bet Democrats have noticed this as well.

None of this should suggest the Left is about to go alt-right, but when old liberal warhorses are on the ropes, because the “New Americans” are voting for their own, you can be sure there is some soul searching going on now. The math says the coalition of fringes only works if the fringe types are just a supplement to the core white vote that has always voted Democrat. Once the fringes decide they want to be in charge, and they have the numbers to make it happen, there’s no room for whitey at the top of the party.

It’s hard to know where this will go. The Left is committed to identity politics and to open borders, but that does not mean they cannot find a way to adopt populist and even nationalist language. On the other hand, the Left has pivoted on issues when practical politics demanded it. Regardless, It really does not matter from the point of view of populists and nationalists. If the other side is trying to figure out how to steal these issues, it means these issues are working. It means we’re doing something right.

This Way Be Monsters

An analogy I am fond of using to describe my efforts is of a ferryman, taking people over a river. One side is the political, social and moral arguments based on the blank slate and egalitariansim. On the other side are the arguments based in biological realism. When people finally grow dissatisfied with the failure of the old arguments, the ferryman takes them over the river to the other side. What they do once across the river is their business. I just take them over the river.

Now, this way of stating things wildly overstates my role and influence, but it is useful in describing the whole body of writers, bloggers, podcasters and so forth, making the sorts of arguments I make here. The analogy serves another purpose. It helps frame the intellectual conflict in our current age. The people on our side know all the arguments on the other side. We were there once. The people on the other side, however, are wholly ignorant of what is happening over here.

This came to mind when perusing National Review the other day. I was sure they would have some posts slobbering over the Black Panther movie. No group is as enthusiastic for anti-racism as the modern conservative. They turn into a puddle of emotional goo whenever they see an even a mildly successful black person. It is why CPAC was just a long line of white people taking selfies with the four black people at the event. Instead, I found this review from Jim Geraghty with a very promising headline.

It was the subhead that got my attention, because the last thing I would expect to see at National Review is the mention of human nature. The place is stuffed to the brim with foaming at the mouth blank slaters. Normally, I would skip a Jim Geraghty post, because he is not interesting. Of course, his movie review was his normal banal nothingness. Even by the standards of movie reviews it is bland. What was striking though is there is no mention of human nature.

I re-read the thing a few times thinking I may have skipped over a line about race realism or even the reality of Africa. Nope. The closest he gets is a throw away line at the end about governance being about trade-offs. Unless you were in a coma for the month leading up to the release of Black Panther, you had to know the movie was explicitly about race. Somehow, Geraghty missed that and never mentions race once in his review of a film about race.

Thinking about this, it occurred to me that the so-called conservatives have turned a strange corner. Back in the olden thymes, the paleocons were sure that their wussy compatriots knew the score but were just too frightened of Lefty to be honest about human nature, especially with regards to race. Maybe it was wishful thinking but listen to some of the old guys, many of whom worked for outfits like National Review, and they used to talk about these things with the wuss-right types.

Maybe it is isolation, maybe it is a platonic form of assortative mating, but the remaining husk of Buckley Conservatism is stocked with people lacking the cognitive toolkit to understand the human condition. It is no longer about avoiding taboo subjects with these guys. They are now true believers in the blank slate, so whole swaths of knowledge are no longer available to them. They are forced to conjure solutions from a limited inventory of information about the human condition.

I mentioned this in one of the podcasts, but it is worth repeating. Sometime ago, I was chatting with a woman and the topic of Somalia came up. I mentioned that Somalis have some of the lowest IQ’s measured. Her question was “Is it the lack of schools or is it how they are taught in their schools?” In other words, nature was no longer in her set of possible answers. Like so many, she had fallen so far down the rabbit hole of nurture, it is all she knew. It is all there is.

This also helps explain why so-called conservatives are baffled by the sudden collapse of their movement. They moan and groan about Trump, using the language of the Left, which sounds rather silly to the rest of us. They cannot see that. They do not know what is on the other side of the river, the side we are on, because they do not know there is another side to the river. For them, biology is the edge of a vast ocean, because they believe there is nothing on the other side, not even monsters.

The Long Play Episode

This week’s show is T-rated. That means it covers taboo subjects that may not be appropriate for all audiences. Listener discretion advised. That means I’m tackling one of the most taboo subjects in our age and that is the JQ. Specifically, I’m breaking down the alt-right argument with regards to Jews in America. Since I want to be fair and it is a big subject, this episode is twice the normal length. Think of it like a double album.

The reason for getting into this is a debate I saw between Mike Enoch of The Right Stuff and a person calling himself Halsey English. The debate itself was terrible, but it got me thinking about the arguments these guys make about Jews and white identity. In fairness to them, I had never seriously thought about their arguments, so I thought I should and that’s why it is in this week’s podcast. I look forward to correction if I made any mistakes.

This week I have the usual variety of items not in the now standard format. Spreaker has the full show. I am up on Google Play now, so the Android 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. Of course, the Hitler Phones are so slow now, you may never finish. YouTube also has the full podcast. Of course, there is a download link below.

This Week’s Show


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Imagination Land

All of us live in a silo of our own making to some degree. We read news sites we like and we like them because they tend to cover the stuff we think is important, in a way we hope is accurate. We admire opinions with which we agree. We spend time together with people who share our interests. That is normal. It is also normal to know it and know others have different opinions and interests. Most normie conservatives get that Fox News is biased toward the Republicans, but they know all of the other stations are heavily biased to the Democrats.

This self-awareness has never applied to the Left. Every normal person has had a conversation with a Progressive friend where they claim the news is biased against them or is too easy on some conservative they currently hate. They will argue that Fox News is poisoning the minds of the public. When you point out that 90% of the mass media is run by hard left true believers, they scoff and say you are nuts. The hive mind of Progressives has always allowed them to pretend they are surrounded by a sea of their enemies.

One point made by some on the Dissident Right is that this blinkered view of the world has infected the so-called conservatives. They are blind to the intellectual revolution going on over here, because they stare at Lefty all day. Like people looking directly into the sun, they are blind to everything else. As a result, the legacy conservatives carry on like it is 1984 and Dutch Reagan is riding high. Much of what so-called conservatism is these days is just a weird nostalgia trip, celebrating a fictional past with no connection to the present.

There are many reasons why so-called conservatives are becoming irrelevant, but the main reason is that their good friends on the Left are racing off into a fantasy land of their own creation. Listen to a modern Progressive talk and it is a weird combination of echolalic babbling and paranoia about dark forces that are imaginary. Replace “Russian hacking” with “work of the devil” and their howling makes more sense. Things like “foreign meddling” and “institutional racism” are just stand-ins for Old Scratch.

This increasingly weird disconnect between the Left and this place we call earth shows up in their main propaganda organs. Those old enough to remember reading English versions of communist newspapers can recognize the unintended humor on the front pages of the New York Times and Washington Post. This front page item from last week is a good example. Everything in that “news” story describes a world that only exists in the fevered imaginations of the Left. It was a fictional account of present reality written for believers.

This Andrew Sullivan piece bumps up against this reality a little bit, but from a different angle. His argument is that the fantasy land of academia is casting a long shadow over American society, so it is imperative that the college campus be reformed to look something like reality. His framing of things is mostly wrong because he is just a slightly less berserk member of the hive he is trying to analyze. His description of the dynamic on campus, though, is correct. It is a world untethered from reality.

The fact is the college campus is the apotheosis of Progressive spiritualism. It has been dominated by the Left for as long as anyone has been a live. The constant flow of credit money into American higher education has removed all restraints on the people in charge. They are free to indulge whatever fantasies they have at the moment, as no one ever gets fired and the money spigot stays open. As a result, the American college campus is the full flowering of the Progressive imagination. It is Wakanda for cat ladies.

This lurch into madness is the result of plenty. Up until recent, the threat of nuclear annihilation and the lack of universal prosperity has reined in the excesses of the Left. In order to win elections, Progressive politicians had to focus on better economics and expanding opportunity. Of course, the Cold War kept everyone focused on practical reality, as a mistake could have set off a nuclear exchange. That is no longer the case as prosperity is near universal, in human terms, and there are no looming threats.

Progressivism has always been a spiritual movement. It is the quest for cosmic justice based on the notion that we are only as good as the weakest among us. That is a fine and noble sentiment, as long as it remains a sentiment. The reality of scarcity has always kept this spiritualism in check. As we enter into what appears to be a post-scarcity world, Progressives are free to explore the far reaches of their mysticism. The result is a ruling class that is looking more like eastern mystics, than pragmatic rulers.

It is why civic nationalism is a dead end street. You see it in the Andrew Sullivan piece about the campus culture. What he is arguing in favor of is the same things we hear from civic nationalists. They all agree with Progressives that we need a unifying religion. They just want a debate about the contours and end points of the religion. The fact that no one has ever pulled this off without ushering in a bloodbath never gets mentioned, Instead, all of these folks prefer to frolic in imagination land, where all their dreams come true.

Rule By Sociopath

In the modern vernacular, the sociopath is someone who lacks empathy, remorse and an understanding of right and wrong. The sociopath sees no difference between the truth and a lie, only their utility. Additionally, they never think about the consequences of their actions. A sociopath sees no harm in telling people that his brain juice will prevent concussions. The veracity of his statements are meaningless. What matters is how well it moves product. People ending up with brain damage as a result is never considered.

The key thing about the modern sociopath is the ambivalence toward the truth. They think saying something is the same as doing something. What matters is if the words get the listener to do what the sociopath wants them to do. Standing in front of crowd, making false claims, is fine if it causes people to buy product. If the truth sells more product, then the truth is better. From the perspective of the modern sociopath, the difference is about the results, not the accuracy of the statements. The truth or a lie, whichever works.

Now replace “sociopath” with “politician” and “product” with “votes” and you have the modern managerial democracy. It’s not that our politicians lie. It’s that for them, a lie is indistinguishable from the truth. That’s why they seem so utterly shameless. Shame requires a sense of right and wrong, a knowledge that what you said or did is intrinsically wrong. For the people who rule over us, right and wrong only exist in the context of their own ambitions. Something is “right” if it benefits the person in the moment.

An example of this is both the story of Mayor Megan Barry and the coverage of her by the managerial media.

On Jan. 31, the mayor here, Megan Barry, called a news conference to announce that she had been having an affair with Robert Forrest Jr., a police sergeant who was the head of her security detail: “It was wrong, and we shouldn’t have done it,” she said.

Along with this confession, the mayor offered the kind of full-throated apology we almost never get from public officials: “I accept full responsibility for the pain I have caused my family and his,” she said. “I knew my actions could cause damage to my office and the ones I loved, but I did it anyway.”

She ended her statement with a pledge: “God will forgive me, but the people of Nashville don’t have to. In the weeks and months to come, I will work hard to earn your forgiveness and earn back your trust.”

This promise did not seem like an act of damage control. This is the way Megan Barry really talks. The language of full emotional availability is her native tongue.

Perhaps that’s why this city loves her. She hugs schoolchildren. She looks genuinely joyful at city parades and festivals. She grieves that too many Nashville teenagers are slain by guns. When Max Barry, her own son and only child, died suddenly last summer, the people of Nashville wept with her. When she spoke openly about the drug addiction that killed him, we marveled at her courage and admired her resolve to bring addiction out of the shadows of shame.

But in a red state like Tennessee, this liberal mayor also has powerful opponents, and they are not idiots. An editorial in the conservative Tennessee Star wasted no time in calling for her resignation: “Barry and the fawning, liberal Nashville media are trying the Clinton defense.”

Notice that saying you are taking responsibility is now the same as actually taking responsibility. The normal way in which one would seek forgiveness is to confess, demonstrate contrition and atone for the crime. In other words, usually you suffer for having done wrong. It is the willingness to accept punishment that demonstrates your acceptance of right and wrong. What we have here is a soulless effort to turn bad behavior into a political asset by fooling people about her contrition.

This sort of thing has become a feature of the managerial class, as it has become increasingly feminized. The writer of that Times piece is a typical feminist, lacking anything resembling a rational mind. That’s why she celebrates Mayor Sociopath. The great writer Theodore Dalrymple touches on this in his last Taki piece. In a world of emasculated liars, lying becomes the most noble of qualities. That means everyone is now trained to lie about themselves and their intentions. Mendacity is the coin of the managerial realm.

There is another aspect to it. The Mayor is out there performing a one women play intended to let you know how she feels about herself. The expectation is the voters will reward her for being able to tell them how she feels about her own lack of moral scruples. It is a deranged form a solipsism, where all that matters is how one feels about one’s own mind. It’s why the expression, “I feel” turns up in so much of our public discourse. Truth is defined by how one feels about it at any one moment in time.

As Theodore Dalrymple pointed out, the meritocracy has been warped by this self-absorption, so this habit of mind is being forced onto the younger generations. If you want to get into a good school, you better be good at expressing how you feel about it, in a way that lets the admissions people know you really care. Listen to millennial males talk and it often sounds like girl’s night after one of the coven had a fight with her boyfriend. They endlessly yammer on about how they feel and demand a reward for their good intentions.

I’ve often pointed out that the arrival of women in positions of authority is the death knell of the organization. It means the smart money has moved onto greener pastures, leaving the enterprise to the vultures, who will pick over the corpse for the bits they like. Feminists will get their stuff, homosexuals will make their demands, minorities will air their grievances. In time, the organization collapses under the weight of its own absurdity. That’s what’s happening in the West. It’s a scramble to strip the carcass of civilization.

This will not end well.

How Long?

There are two rules of modern life, with regards to public debate. One is the Opposite Rule of Liberalism. Whatever the Left is howling about at the moment, imagine the opposite and you are probably getting closer to the truth. The other rule is that the cops rarely arrest a first time offender. Usually, someone caught in some sort of skullduggery has been at it for a long time. The law of averages simply caught up with them and he was arrested for the first time.

The first rule is an easy one, as we see with the FBI corruption case. Progressive fanatics accused the Trump people of colluding with Russia to undermine the election, but it looks like it was the Democrats who were doing deals with foreigners in an effort to subvert the election. It’s hard to know if this is just a very elaborate cover for the Uranium One deal or simple sedition, but the FBI, CIA and at least one Democrat Congressman were willing to cut deals with the Russians.

The second rule is now central. What is clear at this point in the FBI scandal is that Comey, McCabe, Strzok and Page were dirty. They cooked up a scheme to game the FISA court, so they could spy on Trump and his people. What is unknown is the complete narrative and the role of each player in the scheme. Another thing that is clear is they were exceedingly cavalier about what they were doing. Their recklessness is astonishing for people in their world.

Maybe they were just true believers who became increasingly berserk with passion for the task. Despite their titles, these people are career middle managers and this was their first taste of real action. On the other hand, the image that emerges from the texts between Strzok and Page suggests they did not see this caper as that big of a deal. There is no trace of a guilty mind. Instead, even in their cover-up efforts, you see just the bureaucrat’s concern for petty office politics.

Then there is the General Flynn issue. The whole case has been weird from the start, as Flynn is a guy thought to be a straight shooter. Yet, he gets charged with lying to the FBI, over something innocuous. Now we are are learning the FBI and possibly Robert Mueller sandbagged Flynn, using fake FBI records to compel a guilty plea. This “new information” used by the Federal judge does not appear to have come from Mueller, but rather the Inspector General.

Even if Mueller is just a dupe, and that seems increasingly implausible, it means he staffed his team with dirty cops from the FBI. It also means he staffed his team with dirty lawyers and political hacks from the former administration. After all, those lawyers had to be aware of what the FBI was doing to entrap Flynn. The picture emerging here is of an FBI and a DOJ stocked to the gills with people who struggle to understand the difference between a lie and the truth.

That brings us to the title of this post. How long has this sort of thing been going on and what other scandals are there? We know the Obama administration weaponized the IRS in an elaborate scheme to undermine Republican groups. We also know the whole thing was broomed by the FBI and DOJ. Knowing that those two organizations have been corrupt for a long time now puts the IRS scandal in a new light. What we may have seen was a cover-up in plain sight.

What about the 2012 election? We know that Team Obama was nervous about re-election after the debacle of the 2010 midterms. There were meetings immediately after to figure out how to get Obama a second term. One result was the overt use of the race card that eventually led to the plague of murders carried out by black lunatics, under the banner Black Lives Matter. How do we know the Feds were not also playing games with Team Romney. Maybe that computer crash was not just bad design.

Then there is the one story that has never made any sense. That is the case of Judge Roberts reversing course in the ObamaCare decision. He writes an opinion striking down the individual mandate, circulates it around and then suddenly changes course and supports the mandate. It was a such a bizarre turn of events that the dissent just used his brief as the basis of the dissenting opinion. People who investigate blackmail and extortion schemes look for these sorts of anomalous changes in behavior.

One of the lessons of Watergate is that the sort of shenanigans the Nixon people were doing had become so commonplace, they were getting reckless and brazen. The Kennedy clan loved wiretapping opponents. Hoover, of course, was basically the official blackmailer of Washington. The brazen disregard for law and order by the Obama people and the Clinton people suggests a culture of corruption that started long before Strzok and Page decided to become the Bonnie and Clyde of the FBI.

What was needed after the election was a truth a reconciliation commission. The point of this commission would be to clear the air. Everyone in the government class would have a chance to come forward and admit to their crimes, in order to receive a pardon for those crimes. It would allow the public to finally see the full scope of the corruption and begin the public debate over how to reform a very corrupt political class. That is looking like a good idea now.


It used to be that conservatives held one piece of high ground in the long running intellectual civil war in the West. For all their faults, they maintained that the ruling elite of any society had a duty to safeguard the interests of the people. That was the check on social experimentation and overturning of traditional institutions. The interests of the people demanded prudence and a deference to the people’s traditional ways of living, in order to guard their interests.

Looking back at the intellectual battles in the West, the one thing the sides were forced to agree upon was that the duty of the state, the ruling class and social reformers, was to safeguard the interest of the people. After all, what would be the point of establishing a dictatorship of the proletariat, if it immiserated the proletariat? It was not just a material argument either. Much the critique of communism from conservatives was on cultural and moral grounds.

That is probably why libertarianism was always on the sidelines, more of a commentary than a serious political philosophy.  It was a set of running commentaries on the great works of political economy produced by socialists, communists and Marxists. Frédéric Bastiat does not make a lot of sense in isolation. His significance is only in contrast to 19th century industrial socialism and the reaction to it from the Right. Libertarianism is the peanut gallery of the Enlightenment.

It is why, in the fullness of time, the story of the collapse of mainstream conservatism will include a chapter on the error of fusionism. By grafting onto the Right, libertarian arguments about economics and individual liberty, the Right invited a cancer that gnawed away at its legitimate claims to proper elitism and traditionalism. In other words, they forfeited the one piece of high ground they held. You see this in the debates over immigration. The so-called conservatives no longer have the tools to argue the issue.

This piece at Reason Magazine is a good way of understanding the problem. Nick Gillespie is not a serious person, but he is one of the leading voices of American libertarianism. He is embraced by the so-called conservatives a fellow traveler, even if they have minor quibbles. His response to the immigration debate is a dog’s breakfast of mendacity and incoherence. The most charitable way to view his article is that he has never bothered to examine the issue, so he is pulling this out of his ear.

Of course, this is mostly true. Libertarians have not spent a lot of time thinking about immigration and that is because they long ago embraced the materialist view of humanity that animated left-wing ideologies since Marx. From the perspective of modern libertarians, people are just interchangeable meat sticks with no intrinsic value. The measure of a man is his economic utility. A factory worker from Bangladesh is no more or less useful than one from Bangor Maine. Whittaker Chambers was right about them.

It is when they are forced to address an issue like immigration that something else is revealed about libertarians. They are not honest. That which contradicts the faith is denounced or discarded, Gillespie’s first point is an example of this. It used to be an article of faith that the laws of supply and demand apply to everything, including labor. Therefore, the only reason business would want foreign labor is that it is cheaper. The reason they like illegal foreign labor is that it is even cheaper than legal foreign labor.

The innumeracy is one thing, but Gillespie is also conjuring a straw man. Yes, wages are one element, but no one makes that the focus of their brief against open borders. He also relies on two logical fallacies that gets a college sophomore flunked out of class. “Virtually all economists, regardless of ideology, agree that immigrants, both legal and illegal, have little to no effect on overall wages” is not an argument. It is a recitation of a spurious Progressive talking point that has shot down many times.

The mendacity is on full display when Gillespie addresses the rule of law. The very core of the libertarian critique of socialism is that it does not abide by the orderly administration of the law. Socialism is an ends justifies the means philosophy, so it cannot, by definition, respect the law. It is why flouting the law can never be tolerated. If a law is found to be unjust or improper, then there is an orderly way correct the error, a lawful way to address the natural mistakes that arise in any social organization.

Gillespie’s argument, with regards to illegal immigration is an embrace of anarchy. In this case, he thinks the immigration system is inefficient or incompetent, so that justifies the wholesale abrogation of the law. No reasonable person would argue the immigration system is logical or coherent. That is the reason for this reform effort that is at the heart of the national populism. By cavalierly rejecting efforts to reform the law, embracing a form of deliberate chaos, Gillespie reveals libertarianism to be nothing more than anarchism.

This gets back to the original point. The legitimacy of any ruling class lies in its execution of its duty to its people. A monarch loses his crown, and maybe his head, when it becomes clear that he is serving a narrow interest over the general good. The current managerial class is losing its legitimacy as it becomes clear that it not longer sees itself as having a duty to the people. A stable society is one that embraces a bi-directional hierarchy of duties. There is no place for selfish, materialistic creeds like libertarianism.

This is something the alt-right gets that no one bothers to notice. They often talk about this duty that a people have to one another and their posterity. It is something that the Founders understood, which is why they wrote this in the preamble of the US Constitution. This is why so many of the alt-right started out in libertarianism. They learned all this stuff about the Founding and natural rights, then figured out that modern libertarians really do not believe it. It was just a sales pitch to move product. That is why we have an alt-right.

The New Druze

In the late 10th and early 11th century, a form of mysticism evolved that incorporated elements of Islam, Greek philosophy, Gnosticism, bits from other esoteric faiths, which existed in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. The person credited with spreading this new faith was a guy named Muhammad bin Ismail Nashtakin ad-Darazi. He came to Egypt in 1017 and began preaching and attracting converts. He was branded a heretic and executed in 1018 by the sixth Fatimid caliph.

The Caliph, al-Hakim, was not hostile to the new faith, so much as hostile to ad-Darazi, who he thought was suffering from megalomania. His move against ad-Darazi was to put Hamza ibn ‘Ali ibn Ahmad in charge of this new religious sect, which would eventually be known as Druze. Despite not being a member of this new religion, the sixth caliph became a central figure for it. His decision to kill ad-Darazi changed the nature of the religion and allowed it to spread.

This is an interesting bit of serendipity, but it has a connection to our own age in a few important ways. The most obvious, if you are a fan of the period, is al-Hakim is often blamed for starting the crusades. His decision to persecute Christians sent ripples through Europe, eventually leading to the call to recapture the Holy Land.  There were other forces at work, but it is generally accepted that al-Hakim played a crucial role in the clash with Christendom.

Eventually two main strains of Islam came to dominate the Arab world, while Christianity dominated Europe. The Levant has remained a place with lots of diversity. The Druze live mostly in Lebanon. The Samaritans are in the Palestinian territories. Maronites, Eastern Orthodox and Melkite Catholics exist in Lebanon. Syriac Christians and Alawites exist in Syria. Of course, various flavors of Judaism dominate in Israel. It is not an accident that instability is the only constant in the Levant.

That is an obvious lesson when examining this part of the world. If one wanted proof of the axiom, Diversity + Proximity = Violence, the Levant has more than enough for any argument. The pathological zeal of Western leaders for inviting the world into Western lands, can only have one end. That is the what we see in Lebanon, a country blessed with a great location, abundant natural resources and natural barriers. Yet, it is a land riven by sectarian violence and the lack of a unifying identity.

There is another lesson from the history of the Levant and that is the cauldrons of diversity tend to create more diversity. The reason this part of the world was popular with schismatics is its diversity attracted these people. Diversity turns the culture into an open are market for every idea imaginable. The openness to new ideas is constantly destabilizing society, open the door for new cracks and crackpots. Diversity rewards diversity, which makes stability impossible.

That is something to keep in mind as Europe works to invite the world. Throw a bunch of people together with a wide range of beliefs and inevitably it spawns a bunch of new combinations. The flow of Muslims into Europe, a land that has abandoned Christianity for various secular passions, is going to spawn new spiritual movements. The recent conversion to Islam of an AfD leader is the sort of thing that is happening with increasing frequency. Islam is now a thing in Europe.

The other aspect to this is the West is now an open country, when it comes to the religion business. Just as Catholicism faced a dying collection of pagan beliefs, Islam is now flowing into a world held together by pointless social fads. The soul of Europe died a long time ago. To be a European today means to be a deracinated stranger in a land that is increasingly unfamiliar to you. That makes Europe fertile ground everyone looking for converts..

That does not mean Europe will be Islamic. Islam always adapts to the local environment. Islam in Asia is Islam with very Asian characteristics. Islam in the Caucasus is a mountain man version of Islam. Biology is the root of everything and that means cultural items like religion flow from it. The Islamification of Europe will inevitably result in something that is very European. The Germans will have their take, the Danes will have theirs and the French will do something French.

It also means all sorts of other permutation that result from mixing Western empiricism, Oriental mysticism and traditional Christianity. The Druze we started with in this post combine Ismailism, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism, Pythagoreanism and Hinduism. It is an esoteric faith that is also an ethnicity. The Druze do not accept converts and they do not allow out-marriage. A person who marries outside the faith is no longer Druze and their children will not be Druze. Imagine something like that happening Bulgaria.

The point of this somewhat disjointed post is that Europe is dead. The civilization that was created by the culture born of the Enlightenment carries on, but the culture that is the West is dead. Something will come to replace it and that something will, in whole or part, be carried by the people now attempting to replace the Europeans. The resulting culture that rises next will be some combination of the ingredients being tossed into the cauldron, but it will look nothing like the ingredients.

The Polymath Podcast

It is a bit of slow news week, so this week I went hunting around for odd stuff I find interesting. There’s always news to discuss, but not all of it interests me. I can only follow politics for so long, before I’m overcome with dark thoughts. The big story, as I go to post is the Florida shooting, but those stories are always the same. The lunatic slipped through the system, people wonder how it happened, the usual suspect say the same things they said the last time. It’s a terrible thing, but there’s nothing to be done about it.

I’m also of the mind that we have plenty of people doing topical stuff. John Derbyshire does a one hour podcast on the news from a Dissident Right perspective. Fash the Nation does several hours each week on the news from an alt-right perspective. Then you have all of the YouTubers and periscope doing news stuff. I’m probably better off sticking to the topics that strike my fancy, even if they don’t fit neatly into a thematic show each week.

This week I have the usual variety of items in the now standard format. Spreaker has the full show. I am up on Google Play now, so the Android 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. Of course, the Hitler Phones are so slow now, you may never finish. YouTube also has the full podcast. Of course, there is a download link below.

This Week’s Show


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