The Citizen In A Democratic Empire

When most people think of citizenship, they think of their nation’s constitution or the rights guaranteed to them in the law. They will think of their obligations to their country, like paying taxes, obeying the law and defending the nation. In the West, a citizen is pretty much as the dictionary defines it, “a native or naturalized person who owes allegiance to a government and is entitled to protection from it.” It is a reciprocal set of obligations in the law, animated by a sense of duty by both the rulers and the ruled.

Additionally, at least in America, citizenship comes with a belief in equality between the people and the office holders. Every American grows up hearing that anyone can be President. The House of Representatives is known as the people’s house, because it was designed to not only represent the people, but be populated by representatives from the people. In other words, the citizens are ruled by their fellow citizens, not strangers or hired men paid by strangers. You can only be a citizen in your nation.

In the post-national world, that old definition of citizen no longer works. In a world where foreign people can just move in, claim the benefits and protections from the government, citizenship loses all value. At the same time, the state is increasingly alien to the people over whom it rules. In the European Union, the people are no longer ruled by their national governments, as all of the big decision are made in Brussels. In America, political offices are increasingly being filled by exotic weirdos with no connection to the natives.

The question then is what does it mean to be a citizen in a democratic empire?

The most obvious thing about the new citizen in the new post-national world is that the relationship between the citizen and the state is transactional. The state looks at the people as assets and liabilities. Theirs is a custodial role. The people that serve the interests of the state are treated differently from the people who depend on the state for their existence. It is a corporate relationship, except that people cannot be fired, so the useless ones will be stashed away while the productive are put to work.

Similarly, the citizen looks at his government in terms of what it can provide to him. He owes the state no more than he owes the coffee shop. The rules promulgated by the state are to be navigated around, rather than respected. If the rules work for the citizen or his group, the law is supported by the citizen or his group. On the other hand, if the law is an obstacle, then the law is subverted or ignored. In a post-national world, respect to the spirit of the law makes no more sense than having loyalty to a country.

This means that patriotism has no role in the democratic empire. Loyalty to your country only works if you actually have a country. The residue of patriotism will last for a while, as people will still think of their neighbors and friends as their countrymen, but in time, as those people are replaced by strangers, patriotism will disappear. In a transactional world populated by stranglers, your primary loyalty cannot be to the state, as it is just as much a stranger to you as the new neighbors, who just moved in from over the horizon.

The sterile transactionalism is already evident. Consider the change in relationship between employers and their workers. Everywhere in America, employment is at-will, which means an employee can be dismissed by an employer for any reason. Further, local business is atrophying as global enterprise monopolizes the marketplace. It used to be local business was a part of every community, sponsoring little leagues and charity drives. You’ll never see your kid’s little league sponsored by Google or Amazon.

Of course, this will have unforeseen consequences. For example, the military will no longer be able to rely on patriotism for recruitment. Since no one is a citizen in the old sense, the military stops being a citizen military. Instead, it takes on the characteristics of a mercenary army. The decision to join is no different than the decision to take one job over another. This will also apply to the police. The cops will no longer be citizens protecting and serving their community. They become free range prison guards.

Humans are social animals so the loss of national and regional identity means something will replace it. In a transactional world where everyone is a civic stranger, the old fashioned loyalties will become more important. Family, community, and tribe will be the only identities that have meaning. Again, we see the beginnings of this with the administrative layer of the managerial class. Those FBI agents plotting to overturn the 2016 elections were motivated by the emerging new identity politics.

That’s the thing that gets overstated in discussion of identity politics. The old identities will surely play a role, like race, ethnicity, and religion. New tribes resulting from the post-national relationships will emerge. The managerial state will begin to fracture and balkanize, as the rival power centers begin to jockey for power. Again, this can be seen in the obstruction of the Trump agenda by career bureaucrats in the government. They have become their own tribe and they have become class aware.

This paradise comes with a cost. Nations hold together for the same reason communities hold together. The social capital, those invisible bonds between people, breathe life into the organizing structure. Patriotism and civic duty are what animate the republic. Duty to king and the people is what animates a monarchy. This social capital is what binds the rulers to the ruled. In a highly transactional world, where social capital has been monetized or pushed to the margins, something else must animate the system.

That something else must be force driven by the self-interest of the people occupying positions in the power centers. We see some of that with the censorship campaigns by the tech giants and banks. This will become more overt until everyone has a natural hostility to everyone outside their social group. The cost of maintaining order will increase, but the means for imposing order will increase the cost of imposing that order. The empire will have no choice but to become more ruthless in its dealings.

If one wants to a preview of the post-national world, look at Lebanon. Every hill and every valley is its own nation, so to speak. Groups of the same religious sect or political persuasion can form temporary alliances, but Lebanon is not a coherent country with a common purpose. It’s just a place on the map with meaning only to those completely removed from the realities of Lebanese life. The future citizens will highly local and covetous of the small benefits he and his group can extract from the whole.

The Radical End

Usually, when you seek to take over something, you try not destroy it in the process of acquiring it. For example, if you’re trying to rise up the ranks of an organization, you don’t want to discredit the organization in the process. What’s the point of rising up the ranks, if the post you finally attain has been made worthless? This “conservative” instinct becomes stronger once you have gained control of whatever it was you were after. Now it is yours and you do what you must to protect and increase its value.

For example, when the Left took over the institutions of the American ruling elite, they were careful to not destroy them in the process. They destroyed the people in their way, for sure, but they were careful to avoid damaging the institutions too much. In fact, they worked to increase the power of the government, the schools and the colleges once they gained power over them. Today, logic says the Left should be extremely conservative, not wanting to alter anything, for fear of diminishing the power of what they have.

That’s the curious thing about what we are seeing from the Left. They have a firm grip on all of the institutions of the empire. They control the mass media. They control the administrative state and the education system. Global corporations are now run by people deeply invested in virtue signaling. The days of the Left having to pressure big business to do their bidding are long over. Big business is the vanguard of the Left now. Despite this, the Left is running around trying to scramble all of the rules.

When you’re in charge, the rules are your friend. After all, you get to write the rules, pick the people who enforce the rules and pick the people who interpret the rules. That is one of the best perks of being in control of the institutions. The people in charge of the empire should be the great defenders of law and order, as the rules work in their favor. Instead, everywhere you look, the Left is trying to destroy the authority and legitimacy of the things they control. It’s as if they are trying to burn down their own house to spite us.

A good example is the two big fake news stories this past week. The first one was an obvious put up job by some hack political operators. There was no way it could hold up under scrutiny. Left-wing media should have attacked it in order to maintain what little credibility they have on these issues. Similarly, they fell for the story about the teenagers and the Indian protester. Official media should have been all over debunking that story, as that would have made them look responsible and humane.

Instead, they helped egg on the feeding frenzy. Even if the facts were as originally presented, normal people will always take the side of a kid over an adult in a situation like this. It’s not as if the kids were a gang of blacks attacking an old man in the subway. They just stood their ground and peacefully protested on behalf of their issue. More people were red pilled by that story than by all the alt-right internet memes combined. The media frenzy was suicidal, self-destructive and avoidable.

Now, it could simply be the case where their fanatics on social media make it impossible to put the brakes on these feeding frenzies. A left-wing idiot posts fake news on Twitter and within hours it is retweeted a million times by other left-wing idiots. The speed of the process makes it impossible for the more sober minded media operations to react in a timely fashion. Before they can react, the fake news has rocketed around the internet and the debunking of it is well under way.

That’s not the case in other areas where you see the Left damaging their own cause. For example, they are undermining the law in an effort to swat at flies. Two years after Charlottesville, left-wing lesbian lawyer Roberta Kaplan is asking the court to manipulate Federal law so she can harass alt-right activists. Her scheme relies on reinterpreting old laws aimed at the KKK to terrorize people who attended the rally. Kaplan is a billionaire and she is suing people who don’t have two nickels to rub together.

This is not strictly an American issue. In Canada, two left-wing professors are suing a student, because the student shared a Jordan Peterson video. This video was so upsetting and triggering to the professors, they went on a crazy rant about Peterson on social media. They now fear he may sue them, so they are suing the student in an effort to shift the blame onto her. That sounds insane, but given the state of the courts in Canada, it is not out of the question that the student loses the case.

The only possible outcome of this sort of lawfare is to convince people that the law is a fraud. The only way a legal system can function is if the people think the law is both rational and predictable. Even if people don’t like the laws, they will obey them as long as the law is predictable. If left-wing lawyers manage to subvert the law by getting left-wing judges to sign off on what amounts to state terrorism, the law becomes the enemy of the people. The value of controlling the law and the courts declines.

Even if you want to put this sort of stuff aside as the actions of rogue individuals and mindless idiots on-line, think about some of the policies the Left is championing. One big item on their list is the normalization of open borders by debasing the value of things like driver’s licenses. States with left-wing government are in a rush to issue driver’s licences to illegals. This will result in so much fraud that the picture ID will lose its value. All levels of government count on those ID’s being mostly accurate.

It’s not just for the benefit of foreigners. New York State is now offering a third option for biological sex. A big part of how the state keeps tabs on the citizenry is having their personal information, usually through the driver’s license process. How long before the body dysmorphics start demanding they can describe themselves as they feel they should be described, rather than their actual description? Cops will be looking for people claiming to be dinosaurs, having licenses with pictures of a T-Rex on them.

When you start to tabulate the radical agenda and the ad hoc activity of the Left, the most obvious conclusion is there is little coordination. The people at the top have lost control of the monster they created. They dream of creating a coalition of non-whiles, over which they will preside, so they can control the empire. The trouble is their coalition is always reminding the other side that such an arrangement will be a catastrophe. Again, the Left is mostly just radicalizing white people now.

The other conclusion is the radicalism of the Left has no limiting principle, so it has to spiral out of control. Like the Khmer Rouge, the logical end of this new radicalism is an orgy of self-destructive violence. That means it will not burn out on its own as happened in the 1970’s with student radicalism. This round of radicalism is for keeps and the Left will not stop until they are stopped. That’s going to put an end to civic nationalism and any thoughts of restoration. Whatever comes next comes after the final conflict.

The Conquered Man

Way back in the mists of time, alt-right pranksters on social media came up with the term “cuckservative”, which is a combination of cuckold and conservative. They started calling the National Review type of conservatives this on Twitter and Facebook. It was one of those amusing episodes that revealed the gap between the fantasy world in which conservative writers live and the real world outside. None of them initially got the joke or they assumed it did not apply to them, so it made for a week of good gags.

The reason the term was so effective is that is crystallized a reality of the modern conservative intellectual. They are toadies of the Left. Just as a cuckold is a man, who is so completely dominated by his woman that he allows her to carry on with other men, the conservative intellectual is thoroughly dominated by the Left. So much so he willingly submits himself to humiliation on cable chat shows. Worse yet, like the cuckold, the modern conservative endorses and defends the relationship.

What made the gag even more effective is that once these conservative opinion makers were informed of what it meant, we got the old familiar sneer from them. This is where they crinkle up their noses like they caught wind of a bad odor and pretend they are offended by the mere presence of the people mocking them. David French was the most hilarious, as he was one of the last to figure it out. When he did, he went full-on Daffy Duck. The poster child for cuckservatism managed to agree and amplify the insult.

The worthlessness of conservatism, the professional variety at least, is one of the first steps people make along the way toward the dissident right. Today, someone who listens to Ben Shapiro is someone you know is trapped in a forgotten age. They may as well be wearing denim leisure suits and listening to disco. As far as a political movement, it was always a sham, but as a cultural force it at least served as a rallying point. Today, to be a conservative is to be, at best, the house slave who relishes his servitude.

The thing about the cuck label is it implies there is a possibility for the cuck to wake up from his degraded condition and reclaim himself. He literally stops being a cuckservative, as soon as he lifts his eyes and stops bowing and scraping to the Left. There are, after all, a lot of former cucks in the alt-right. There are lots of former conservatives in the dissident right. These are people who saw where they were headed, gathered themselves, and made the trip to this side of the great divide.

The thing is though, there are some people who cannot be saved. They can never reclaim themselves, because they have become so degraded there is nothing left to reclaim or they never had the will to stand alone. There is safety in being a supplicant, so they habituate themselves to that life until they can no longer imagine any other. For them, it is the only way they can live. That’s what you see with the sad spectacle of so-called conservative opinion makers attacking the Covington High School kids.

To normal men, what those boys did is inspiring. It shows that there is still some life left in our people. That old degenerate with the tom-tom thought he could just show up and force the white kids to submit. Instead, they stared the old crook down, refusing to play the role of conquered men. The smirks and MAGA hats are a great touch, but the mere act of rebellion among young people is the inspiring part. It says all the anti-white rhetoric and the endless assault on white men is having the opposite of the intended effect.

To the conquered men, the house negroes of Conservative Inc., this is frightening, so their first instinct is to run to their masters and condemn the insouciance of these boys. The only thing missing from the Frankovich piece was a few lines about how this is “not who we are”, as in “master, this is not who I am.” It is a revolting display of cowardly groveling, but so common with these worms that it has become a meme. Social media is full of “the conservative case for [fill in liberal cause]” one liners.

Nicholas Frankovich is a horrible person, but he is a useful example for explaining why there are acts of retribution after every revolution. In every race of people, there are people like him, who would rather crawl on their bellies to the service of a conqueror, than risk a hair on his head in defense of his people. These are the people found swinging from light posts after the conquerors are overthrown. For a victorious and proud people, there can never be any quarter given to the conquered man.

The Fifth Columnists

Imagine you are an antiquarian who specializes in obscure books. You like the odd stuff that focuses on folktales and legends. After a while, you start to notice some similarities between legends that should not be connected. Maybe they came from different time periods are different parts of Europe. You get curious and after years of research you establish four main categories of this particular legend. There’s overlap between all of them, but none of them are exactly like any of the other three.

One possible explanation is that each set of authors borrowed from the previous authors, but added and removed material to fit their audience. On closer inspection, you can’t see how any of these authors had access to one another’s work. That and two were contemporaries, but separated from one another by a great distance. While it was possible they borrowed from one another, it is highly improbable. Instead, the most likely answer is they were working form a common source, some unknown body of work.

Those familiar with biblical scholarship will recognize where this is going. Most Bible scholars have come to believe that the solution to the question of the specific literary relationship among the three synoptic gospels is they relied upon an as yet undiscovered source or sources. They have constructed what that source would look like by careful comparison of the three Gospels, to catalog their similarities and differences. The term they use for the source is the Q Document, that may or may not have existed.

Discovery through inference is a useful skill for understanding the world, because we are usually presented with incomplete evidence. In the case of biblical scholars, their understanding the provenance of the Gospels would be simple if the writers had used end notes, hyperlinks and direct quotations. That’s not the case, so they have to “recreate” the missing data in the same way one figures out the shape of the missing pieces to a jigsaw puzzle. You fit everything else in place and examine the gaps.

That’s a useful way of thinking about these waves of fake scandal stories that are becoming a feature of the Trump era. On the surface, they look like what we used to call tabloid news or what we now call fake news. The “reporters” take some information and frame in such a way it takes on a whole new sinister meaning or they salt some fantasy they are peddling with unrelated facts to make it seem plausible. The headline makes one claim, but the body of the report fails to deliver the goods.

There’s some truth to that, but there are facts that don’t fit that narrative. For example, the main organs of the media are often silent on these things until they run their course. For example, instead of running with the BuzzFeed story, the main stream sites showed a great deal of wariness. Even CNN was skeptical. Part of it had to do with the fact that the authors were, as Columbia Journalism Review out it, “serial fabulists.” Still, CNN has never been afraid to make up the news, so it was odd that they were skeptical.

Then there is something else. The NeverTrump loons dropped all of their other subversive activities in order to push this story on social media. Confirmed plagiarist Jonah Goldberg was still pushing it even after the Mueller people knocked it down. As far as Goldberg is concerned, the story is true, even if it is false. The odious carbuncle John Podhoretz was working his greasy little fingers raw pushing the story on Twitter. Of course, the pope of the neocon fifth columnists, Bill Kristol, is still pushing the story.

There’s also the ham-handed nature of this caper. Giving the story to a serial liar like Jason Leopold was bound to raise suspicion. Giving it to the tabloid like BuzzFeed is just asking for scrutiny as to the accuracy of the sourcing. If you’re trying to push a rumor, this is the wrong way to do it. The way to drop a story in the media is to find a low level reporters at the Washington Post or the New York Times and give them the scoop of the year. That’s how the professionals put a rumor into the system.

The one guy capable of being comically ham-handed when trying to undermine Trump is Bill Kristol. This is the guy with some sort of weird attraction to bald gentiles. He first pushed the mentally unstable David French as a primary opponent to Trump and then landed on Evan McMuffin, the guy with comically bulbous head. One has to assume that Mitt Romney is loading up on Gillette products so he can run as the bald alternative to Trump in the 2020 primary. Yes, Romney is that obsequious.

The point of this rambling post is that when you start to think about these endless waves of fake news about Trump, there seems to be a missing source. That is, the patterns suggest there is a piece of the puzzle missing. It’s just assumed the neocons all share the same thoughts about foreign policy for the obvious reason. Maybe what we are seeing is an active conspiracy. Maybe these guys are coordinating their efforts, while working at various news outlets and government posts.

It is certainly a cliché to call people like Bill Kristol a subversive, but clichés don’t spring from nothingness. They have some truth. We know he was involved in the fake dossier the FBI used to spy on the Trump campaign. How unrealistic is it to believe that this crew is the source of the endless waves of fake news about Trump? Further, how unrealistic is to think they are actively conspiring with one another? In other words, the missing piece to this puzzle is a wide ranging conspiracy of people with a shared interest.

The Winter World Tour

When you start doing something like a podcast, you quickly discover that there is a whole new world of technical skill that you have taken for granted. Audio engineering has been around since the dawn of radio, but no one thinks much about it. We just expect radio to sound a certain way and audio for TV and movies to sound a certain way. Probably the closest we come to thinking about it is when stetting up a home theater or adding a sub-woofer to the sound system. Otherwise, there is no reason to think about it.

Start doing a podcast and you are suddenly made aware of this hidden world. One of the things on my 2019 list is to learn more about this dark art, in order to make the show sound better and more professional. I just acquired some new gear this week and this is the first show applying some new skills. Removing background noise or “room sound” is something I have added to the skillset. I also got better at removing those little breaths you can sometimes hear as I’m reading something from a news story of post.

Doing the editing with quality headphones was a learning experience. When I did that, I realized that the final product sounds a lot different to what comes from the speakers on my computer. They say headphones give a better sound quality, but I’ve never liked listening to anything through headphones. It’s why I use bone induction headsets for travel. Most people probably consume podcasts through headphones, so I figure I should optimize the sound for that way of listening to audio.

Another thing I’ve learned by listening through headphones is the stinger, that little explosion sound at the end of segments, sounds terrible. Through speakers, it sounds fine, but through headphones ti is awful. This weekend I will be auditioning new stinger clips for the show. Since the software I use allows for the creation of sound effects, I’ll use this as an opportunity to figure out how that works. There’s free stuff on YouTube, but not all of it is high quality. I can figure out how to make my own sounds this way.

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. The anarchists can catch me on iHeart Radio. YouTube also has the full podcast. Of course, there is a download link below. I have been de-platformed by Spotify, because they feared I was poisoning the minds of their Millennial customers.

This Week’s Show

Contents

  • 00:00: Opening
  • 02:00: End Parliament To Save Democracy (Link) (Link) (Link)
  • 12:00: Yellow Vest Evolution (Link)
  • 22:00: Good News From Italy (Link) (Link)
  • 32:00: Bad News From Venezuela (Link) (Link) (Link) (Link)
  • 42:00: El Desastre (Link)
  • 47:00: Defending German Democracy (Link)
  • 52:00: The Bongos Of Gabon (Link)
  • 57:00: Closing (Link)

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Dissident Diversity

Back in the 1980’s, something often remarked upon by conservative writers was the diversity of opinion on the Right versus the Left. By that point the Cold War version of the American Left was on fumes. Their policy ideas had a threadbare feel to them. Most of their leading figures struck people as anachronism. They would talk about labor issues, as if men still worked in factories and women were secretaries. The Right, in contrast, seemed to have a great wealth of ideas and idea makers in tune with the age.

Since the end of the Cold War, the Buckley Right has declined into a dull recitation of lines from a catechism that is no longer relevant to the age. The only thing interesting about the legacy Right is watching the neocons figure out how they will rejoin and subvert the Left side of the political class. There’s also the death watch for their legacy publications like National Review. Those are interesting for amusement purposes. Otherwise, there has not been an interesting idea from that crew since the Contract with America.

For its part, the Left has evolved into a weird spirit cult chasing after bogeymen like racism and white supremacy. From an anthropological perspective, that is an interesting thing to observe, but it is entirely without intellectual footing. It’s also infuriating to see bellowing primitives point and sputter at a heretic so the rage heads of their cult can attack the person. The sad spectacle of the House voting to condemn Steve King as a blasphemer speaks the madness that has gripped our ruling class.

What’s remarkable about the emptiness of the intellectual class is that the West is faced with problems that are unique to this age. Automation, for example, promises to reduce the need for labor to a point where the majority of adults will be idle. The demographics of the West, where populations begin to decline and age is an entirely new problem. The only country working this problem is Japan. These are complex and novel challenges, but the intellectual class is mostly silent on these and other pressing issues.

If you are looking for intellectual diversity and depth, the action is all on this side of the great divide. As the James Watson story reveals, the only place you can find honest discussion of the human sciences is on this side. Whether it is evolution, human cognitive ability or population genetics, the dissident right is the only place where people are discussing the amazing breakthroughs in the human sciences. The most interesting writing and commentary is now on outlaw blogs and podcasts.

Of course, it is politics and current events where you find most people on either side of the great divide, but again, the interesting stuff is all on this side. That’s where you see the great diversity on the dissident right. Jared Taylor, for example, is working the same material as Steve Sailer, but arriving at entirely different places politically. In fact, the two of them have debated in the past. When was the last time anyone debated anything on the other side? The closest we got is Tucker Carlson slapping down Ben Shapiro.

There’s also an aesthetic diversity to this side. The tone and material of Counter Currents is completely different from what you get at The Right Stuff. Greg Johnson is more in tune with the trans-occidental intellectual movement, so his material and commentary is more meta-political. The TRS guys are casual, appealing to an earthier audience. Their primary focus is on domestic issues and identity politics. There is plenty of crossover, but they are clearly appealing to different temperaments and a different aesthetic.

That’s the other thing you see on this side that is missing from the other side. There is an irreverence and a joie de vivre on this side. Say what you want about the TRS guys, but they are having fun being bad. RamZPaul is having a blast interviewing curious people on his YouTube channel. The people on the other side always look like they caught whiff of a bad odor. What passes for humor is a host saying wooden gag lines about Bluermpf. “Orange man bad!” Applause sign lights. Audience cheers. Rinse. Repeat.

When people talk about the political divide in the West, they often focus on practical matters like nationalism versus globalism. In reality, the divide is between the search for factual truth versus the search for moral truth. Not only are the goals different, but the methods are different. Both sides look at the human condition and wonder why things are as they are, but one side seeks to explain the great diversity of man, while the other side seeks to exterminate these differences, in order to reach a moral end.

That’s why there is so much more diversity of thought and opinion on this side. There can be only one moral framework, one set of moral truths. If two men say they’re Jesus, one of them must be wrong, thus the ever narrowing of our intellectual class. As the free thinkers and the curious are cast out, they find their way to this side, having to first cross the river of the damned, accepting biological reality. Living outside the favor of the popular gods is not always a lot of fun, but it vastly more interesting than the other side.

The Post-Citizen World

Steve Sailer likes to promote an idea he calls citizenism, which is the general idea that a government should place the interests of its current citizens ahead of the interests of non-citizens or potential future citizens. It is pretty much what we call civic nationalism now, but a dozen years ago that meme did not exist, even though the concept has been with us since the founding of the country. The Founders certainly thought the point of government was to serve the interests of the current citizenry and their posterity.

Civic Nationalism is largely a reactionary idea today. Like various forms of socialism, it lacks a root system in the soil of the current culture. In a world in which people of European heritage are a tiny minority and increasingly minorities in their own lands, bourgeois notions of fair play and orderly debate are anachronism. We see that whenever a populist candidate or party wins power. The rules go out the window and the ruling elite goes to war with the rebels, using any means necessary to stop them.

An orderly debate about what is best for the citizens of a country is impossible because the people in the ruling elite of the West define themselves in opposition to the notion of citizenship. That’s what it means to be a post-nationalist Progressive. The whole point of it is to oppose those antiquated notions of citizenship. Those are exclusive and the new global person is open. Worse yet, citizenship is hierarchical, placing the interests of some over the interests of others. That’s probably racist.

You can get a sense of this in the response to Tulsi Gabbard’s decision to run for the Democrat nomination in 2020. Civic nationalists are programmed to think she is bad, because she makes unapproved noises about economics. They will no doubt says she is a socialist. That’s the result of being trapped in a forgotten era. None of that will matter to the people in charge, particularly those involved in Democrat politics. They see her as a threat to their conception of the new global citizen. Here’s an example.

“But Gabbard’s almost singular focus on the damage these wars inflict domestically, and her comparative lack of focus on the carnage they wreak in the countries under attack, is troubling. It is nationalism in antiwar garb, reinforcing instead of undercutting the toxic rhetoric that treats foreigners as less deserving of dignity than Americans.”

You’ll note two things that turn up in the Progressive criticism of Gabbard. One is her roots are inauthentic, as far as they are concerned. She does not have the appropriate struggle narrative. An essential element of the left-wing mindset is the assertion that only the oppressed have authenticity. Therefore, to assume a leadership position in the forever revolution of the oppressed, the leaders must have overcome oppression. Gabbard has lived the standard American middle-class life, so she can never be trusted.

The salient issue lies in that highlighted section. Gabbard’s opposition to fighting wars in the Middle East is pretty much the civic nationalist view. Those wars are not good for America or Americans. They may have some benefit to the ruling elite of the empire, but they have no benefit to Americans. Further, the people being sent to fight these wars are suffering for a cause that has no benefit to them. In other words, to sacrifice for your people is noble and heroic. To suffer for strangers is pointless.

To the ideological core of the ruling elite, this is an abnegation of who they are, which is why you will hear lots of “this is not who we are” in response to her over the coming months. Just as the Left refused to defend Sanders against attacks from the Buckley conservatives in 2016, the Left will stand silent as the warmongers of neoconservatism hint that Gabbard is an alt-right anti-semite. Her assumption that citizenship is a real thing implies that nations are real things and that’s unacceptable in a post-nationalist world.

This is why civic nationalism is a dead end movement. It’s trying to reanimate an Enlightenment concept that was killed off by the post-war cultural revolution of the last fifty years. Reviving the old notions of civic identity is about as promising as reviving the monarchy in Germany. Thinking about it is a nice escape for those struggling to face the reality of identity politics, but that’s all it is, a fantasy. The world created by the Left is a post-nationalist world and therefore a post-citizen world.

In fairness to the cosmopolitanism globalists, they are not wrong about citizenship having no place in the future West. It can continue on in the Visegrad countries that have escaped the migrant invasion, but even there it is more of a tribal response, an identity politics of an ethno-state, than civic nationalism. Otherwise, citizenship makes no sense in multicultural, multi-racial societies. Tribalism is not just part of the human condition, it is part of our biological reality, and therefore the future is some form of tribal politics.

Another glimpse of this will come from the alt-right, who will be enthusiastic supporters of Gabbard this year. They see her anti-war rhetoric as a sanitized version of their own opposition to Israel. In other words, there remains a great shallowness to the alt-right in these matters, but that shallowness is a glimpse of future politics. That is, who you are will be as much about who you oppose as who you support. Anyone familiar with the politics of Lebanon has a sense of what comes next for the multicultural democratic empire.

Who And How Many

The immigration debate in America, and maybe the West as a whole, is not much of a debate, at least as far as public policy. Instead, it is something of a meta-debate, in that the facts and important decisions are talked about indirectly. For example, in the US, everyone sort of thinks it is about Mexican immigration, but no one ever explicitly speaks to the facts about Mexican immigration. Details about who is actually coming over the border or gaming the anchor baby system remains a mystery.

As is always the case with big issues in America, immigration is debated on purely moral terms and even there, the morality is not explicit. No one ever bothers to explain why America is a “nation of immigrants” or whether that’s salient. For that matter, no one can seem to wrap their head around why immigration of any sort is morally good. Even immigration hawks go to great lengths to speak well of legal immigrants. Ours is a meta-debate about the morality of undefined policies stripped of facts and details.

Imagine a public debate over building a bridge across a local river. The salient facts would be the cost, where to put it and who benefits from the bridge. Instead, one side talks endlessly about the morality of building bridges. It’s who they are. By extension, those who oppose bridge building in the abstract are immoral in some way. The other side, in contrast, spends its time trying prove they are not opposed to bridge building, but simply have questions about where to put this bridge and how much to spend on it.

Even when someone tries to talk about the economics of immigration, putting aside cultural preferences and demographic reality, the debate soon veers into a weird sort of romanticism. It’s just assumed that jobs are going unfilled due to the lack of labor. There’s never any examination of the claims. Further, it is assumed that temporary labor shortages in one area of a continent sized country are immoral. Rising wages are treated like an insult to the economy, this vaguely understood thing we must worship.

The fact is though, the reality of all public policy is that it is and will be a debate over the facts of the issue. That reality can be wished away for a long time, but eventually the reality comes home. That’s what we are seeing with the stand-off between Trump and the Cult of Brown Ascendancy. We’re slowing creeping up on the fact that immigration is about who and how many. That is, who will we accept and how many of them will we accept. Immigration has always been about who and how many.

Those are not a questions most Americans are equipped to answer. The how many part is the easiest, especially if you start with zero as the default. No one is walking around thinking to themselves, “We really need more Eritreans around here.” If immigration was capped at zero, no one would notice. In fact, if there was a moratorium and the government started to aggressively deport people, even those in the system, most people would not care. In other words, the how many number is a small number.

The tougher question is what sorts of immigrants will we accept, even in limited numbers. In the Mid-Atlantic, where a large Korean community exists, most people would be fine with Korean immigration. Unlike the Chinese, Koreans are not fleeing political oppression or economic uncertainty. Koreans come here for lifestyle reasons, so they assimilate rapidly. They also take pride in being the model minority, despite what what some lefty advocates claim. Koreans came here to be Americans.

At the other end, no one would want any Muslims from the Middle East, as they simply don’t fit a modern Western country. Everywhere Muslim migration has been high, we see terrorist barriers, armed patrols and absurd security measures. In fact, most Americans could be convinced that we make an exception to the First Amendment and ban Islam, maybe even deport all Muslims. It has not worked and it can never work. The Western policy toward that part of the country should first be containment.

Similarly, sub-Saharan Africans are a no-go. America has a long history of trying to integrate Africans into a Europeans country. It does not work. Most people can accept the moral obligation to the descendants of former slaves, even if their ancestors were not slave holders. Bringing in a new population of unassimilable people, with a natural hostility to Europeans makes no sense. Again, no one is walking around wondering how things are going in Chad. That and American blacks don’t like African migrants.

One of the interesting things that happens when you start to think “from where and how many” is the how many becomes an easier question the more you think honestly about the “from where” part. For Americans, the real issue is how many South Americans we will accept. That quickly reduces to a much simpler question. Do we need any of them? For most people, the answer is no, we don’t need more people. Therefore, the only question left is are we morally bound to take anyone in for permanent settlement.

That, of course, is why the open borders crowd prefers to keep this a meta-debate about meta-morality. Once you start thinking about the facts, the default on immigration swings 180 degrees. The default becomes zero and building a massive barrier to entry makes complete sense. The debate is over the exceptions and more important, the conditions for those exceptions. The moral authority becomes the will of the people, rather than a self-selected cult of true believers divorced from daily reality.

Enemy Of The People

There has never been a time when normal people did not know the media was biased and biased in a predictable direction. For every non-liberal in the media, there were at least ten liberals. The ratio was probably higher, but then, as now, some lefties liked to pretend they were independents or some third option. The media used to invest a lot of time denying they had a bias and an agenda, but the only people who believed them were on the Left, which had the odd effect of confirming they had a bias and an agenda.

The thing is though, the media seemed like it was biased in a predictable way. In the 1980’s, for example, the newspapers featured stories about the so-called homeless crisis on a weekly basis. That’s when we went from calling them bums to pretending their only problem was a lack of shelter. Once Clinton assumed power, the homeless stories disappeared. It was a running joke for a long time, because it was so obvious, but also because it was so predictable. Everyone got the joke, except Lefty.

As many have observed, the mask began to drop during the Clinton years when so many media members quit their jobs and went to work in the administration. It’s hard to maintain the illusion of independence when there is a revolving door between the media and left-wing political operations. That’s when CNN became known as the Clinton News Network, because they were so hilariously in the tank for them. Some tried to maintain the ruse, but any pretense of objectivity ended in the 1990’s.

Again, there was still a sense that it was just bias and that it was predictable and therefore you could adjust for it. Today, that does not appear to be the case. The mainstream media has become advocates, but not necessarily advocates for the Progressive base of the Democratic coalition. They seem to be serving the agendas of private parties operating off-stage. For example, sites like the Huffington Post and Daily Beast are about moral enforcement than news and current events.

The recent harassment of Alex McNabb by Antifa member Christopher Mathias is a great example of the phenomenon. The Huffington Post provides him with a cover identity as a reporter, but in reality someone else is paying his way. His job is as a witch hunter, looking for anyone in violation of the blasphemy laws. This is a strange new phenomenon that does not have a corollary in the past. Even Woodward and Bernstein were legitimate reporters, even if Woodward had deep connections to the intelligence community.

There’s an argument that this sort of religious advocacy is the natural result of the narrative journalism that evolved in the 1960’s and 1970’s. If you are going to report stories, the point is to inform. If you are going to spin tales, then the first goal is to entertain and there is nothing quite as a gripping as a morality tale. These doxing stories are just campfire tales for the hard thumping loons of the far Left. The point of them is to tell the reader that they must be vigilant, as heretics are everywhere.

That’s probably true, but what about stories like this one, where it is clear the New York Times now has a whole department involved in explicit political advocacy. That is a highly organized effort to alter public policy. More important, it is a long term project, going back to the Obama years. The New York Times posted a database of gun owners, with an accompanying map, in a campaign to terrorize gun owners. This goes well beyond bias and even past the morality tales spun by the Huffington Post.

It does not stop there. This story about the death of Saudi national Jamal Khashoggi takes advocacy to another level. As an aside, the story is written by Lee Smith, who was fired from The Weekly Standard by Bill Kristol. His crime was having uncovered Kristol’s involvement in the fake dossier the FBI was using to subvert Trump. The story of Khashoggi’s life and death reads like a Hollywood spy thriller, but it was not a CIA caper. It was an operation apparently run by the the Washington Post.

We’ve come a long way from simple bias. The same media that can’t stop talking about Russian efforts to trick voters into voting the wrong way, was running a covert operation to trick the government into supporting Iran over Saudi Arabia. Unlike the Russians, the Washington Post actually killed someone or at least got someone killed. Unlike the Trump team, the Washington Post was actually working with a foreign country that is often viewed as hostile to American interests.

Trump started calling the media the “enemy of the American people” but he seems to have dropped it for some reason. Maybe the media threatened him. Given what we are seeing, how long before Washington Post reporters are planting car bombs and spiking drinks with polonium? Whether or not they see Americans as the enemy is hard to know, but they certainly don’t see themselves as on the same team as Americans. While they may not be the enemies of the people, they are a short bus ride to that position.

Winter Comes To Lagos

Winter finally arrived in Lagos, with cold temperatures and snow last night. It was not a big snowstorm, but it is still snowing as I type this. The local weather people say we will get 5-8 inches of snow today, in addition to the four or five that came last night. It’s hard to know with weather forecasts these days, as they exaggerate everything. They name every storm so they can talk about it like it is a monster from a 1960’s Japanese monster movie, “Mothra is attacking Lagos with snow and freezing temps!”

I’m a big fan of winter and I like snow, so I look forward to it snowing. I had some errands to run this morning, so I was out at sunup to shovel the truck out and clear the walk. I’m one of those people who enjoys shoveling snow. There is a limit to my enjoyment, but as long as the snow is not three feet deep or super-heavy, I enjoy the exercise and the satisfaction of seeing a clean walk. So, I was out first thing to shovel and then run some errands. I did not see anyone else out and about, so it was more quiet that usual.

That’s something I’ve observed in different parts of the world. When I lived in New Hampshire, the locals all seemed to love shoveling snow, almost as much as they loved complaining. The distinguishing feature of the New England Yankee is complaining about the weather. I recall the first snow storm when I moved to Manchester. I went out at first light to see all my neighbors out shoveling their walks and driveways. By breakfast, all of the walks were clear on my block and most drives were clear as well.

In contrast, Lagos may never clear the snow. My first snowstorm here was my first year, so I was unfamiliar with the local customs. We got a big snowstorm, over 30-inches, and the city was shut down for a week. I drove to the office to shovel the walk and found I was the only person out shoveling his walk. In fact, that whole winter the sidewalks were an obstacle course of frozen boot-prints, patches of ice and snow boulders. In theory, there’s a fine for not shoveling your walk, but I never heard anyone mention it.

That explains a weird thing you see here in Lagos, as well as other vibrant areas. When it snows, the locals walk in the streets. They will do this even when the walks are clear. I think it is just years of conditioning that has turned into a custom. You will see this in the county when it snows. People go out and walk in the streets. Here in Lagos, it means driving gets even more adventurous, as the locals could very well attack you while you are trying to navigate around them on the snow covered streets.

The other thing you see in places like this is how differences in time preference turn up in city planning efforts. My first storm here I learned that no one had bothered to service the city’s snow removal equipment. In fact, much of it was either disabled or missing. I recall that half the plows were either broken or unaccounted for, so snow removal was a comical failure. When your focus is on today, that is you have a high time preference, planning for even predictable eventualities is beyond your scope of interest.

This, of course, is a great way to introduce people to evolutionary concepts regarding human diversity. A thousand generations in a place without snow and inevitably the humans will adapt to a life without snow. It’s not just learned behavior at work. Nature is always tinkering with her creations. As Nick Wade put it, evolution is local, recent and copious. Put people from the real Lagos in a place with variability in the environmental conditions and their biological limitations will be exposed.

Of course, something that seems near universal is the panic that comes before every snowstorm, even in the snowiest places. I went to the market this morning and it was stone silent. The reason is everyone piled in yesterday. I saw this in New England when I lived there, so it is not just an unfamiliarity with snow. This seems to happen everywhere, so maybe the sense of something happening triggers the preparedness instinct in people with low time preference. The itch to prepare always needs to be scratched.

That said, there seems to be a strong desire among some pale folk to never have to deal with winter. I have friends who talk every winter about their desire to move south and never see another snow flake in person. The number of pale retirees in the Sun Belt says a large portion of pale people may be built for winter, but they really hate it. I’ve always found this baffling. I love winter and love the snow. It’s peaceful and beautiful. There’s a simplicity to it that appeals to me. Even in Lagos, I welcome old man winter.