Better Human Capital

Are people better today than in the past? The answer to that question, more often than not, says things about the person answering than anything else. The cosmopolitan globalists and their attendants will argue people are better today, overall. The cynical critics of the current arrangements will go the other way, pointing out that people are dumber. In other words, the answer usually has to do with your view of the neoliberal order, rather than any factual considerations. The winners are happy while the losers are unhappy.

There are practical ways to think of the question. Steve Pinker looked at interpersonal violence over the ages, using it as a proxy for human progress. His assumption is that coming to a violent end is bad. Therefore, if fewer people are coming a violent end, it means there are fewer violent people in society. His analysis shows that violence within western societies has been in steady decline. He also points out the decline in the celebration of violence in society. The conclusion is we are getting better.

The trouble with that sort of analysis is it starts with a subjective definition of better, when nature may have other ideas. The point of life for all creatures, including humans, is to reproduce. As the saying goes, life is built for speed. Get to sexual maturity as quickly as possible, reproduce and after that it is all gravy. It’s why humans evolved some brutal responses to diseases that strike the young. Malaria is the obvious example. The risk of an ugly death in adulthood is worth the risk in order to reach sexual maturity.

Therefore, fertility rates are a pretty good proxy for measuring the health of a species, which is why biologists use them all the time. If a type of finch stops laying eggs, biologists will assume something bad is happening to the species. Whites, the engine of human material progress, have seen their fertility rates collapse. The fertility rate for Africans is rocket high. A biologist would look at those realities and conclude that the former is in trouble, while the latter is flourishing. Better may not be better after all.

Another way of looking at the question is from the perspective of the emerging data from ancient DNA. Until recent, what we knew about the intelligence of people in the past was speculative. Aristotle was obviously a brilliant person, but how smart were the guys growing olives? Were they smarter than the people working at one of Amazons distribution centers? The SAT scores for Athenian farmers have been lost, so we have no way to compare their scores to those of their analogs in our society.

The assumption has been the modern people must smarter, as we live in technologically advanced societies. The data coming in from genetics says the opposite is most likely true and there is a very good chance the data from ancient DNA will confirm it. As Cochran says, we have known for a while that people are getting dumber, but no one has been able to point to hard evidence of it. Now there is hard evidence for a relatively recent decline in European IQ. We’ll soon know where moderns stand on the IQ scale.

Of course, this all leads to the question of what defines “better” when it comes to human capital. Those Africans breeding like bunnies are a bit smarter than previous Africans due to better nutrition and medicine. They are still a full standard deviation dumber than Europeans and Asians. From the perspective of biology, their fertility rates suggest they are more fit than their childless counterparts to the north. Maybe nature is telling us something about what really matters in the game of natural selection.

On the other hand, maybe the selection pressures in the post-scarcity world are different in ways not yet understood. If the correlation between education and low-fertility is what we’re told, it would have showed up a long time ago. It used to be smart people got rich and they had a bunch of kids. Now, rich people claim to be smart and they avoid having children at all. Perhaps in a highly automated, post-scarcity world, general intelligence is not much of an asset at either end of the social structure.

Interestingly, if this is even somewhat true, it supports the observation that cognitive abilities did not evolve equally around the globe. This would explain the differences in measured intelligence. In a place with lots of naturally available food, but lots of predators, being smart is not as big an edge as being quick. In a world of high-scarcity, low time preference and the ability to plan ahead are important. The post-scarcity, technological society is a grand experiment demonstrating this in real time.

That brings us back to the initial question. Is the human capital of today better than the human capital of the past? The answer is probably yes and no. The populations with low fertility could be obsolete, to be replaced with low-IQ Africans. Alternatively, they could be in the midst of a change to better equip them for the post-scarcity world. On the other hand, maybe the formerly high IQ populations unleashed environmental changes that will keep lowering intelligence unto this high tech society collapses.

Maybe what’s really going on is a weird race to the finish line. On the one hand, human intelligence is declining as automation takes over more and more tasks. On the other hand, the robots are getting smarter and will one day function as our caretakers. The race is to see if the robots get to that point before we run out of smart people able to create the artificial intelligence and super-intelligent robots. If we get too dumb too fast, the future may be primitives living in the wreckage of formerly high tech societies.

The America Problem

Way back when the West was pressuring the apartheid government to commit suicide on behalf of its people, they did a remarkable thing. They sequestered their nuclear program, making sure the information and material would not fall into the hands of whatever came after apartheid. It was remarkable, because no other state has voluntarily abandoned its program for the good of the world. Governments just don’t do that, but the South Africans did and a huge potential problem down the line was averted.

The reason this is worth thinking about is there are other unstable states, with lots of military technology. Pakistan is an obvious example. There is a better than even chance they have sold nuclear technology to other Muslim governments. They have most certainly been working with North Korea. Israel has nuclear weapons and they have advanced delivery systems. These are two countries that could fall into chaos or have their government overthrown. It’s not likely at the moment, but it is possible.

A bigger concern is America. There’s no getting around the fact that America is in bad shape in many important ways. The wizards in the Federal Reserve have been able to use creative ways to maintain the debt bubble, but everything comes to an end eventually. The demographic changes going on in the country are creating very serious fissures regionally, ethnically and economically. Just look at how aggressive and radical the political talk is these days. America looks very brittle right now.

If you are doing long term planning for the EU or a European government, you have to be looking at America and thinking about the Crisis of the Third Century. It’s not a perfect analogy, but it is a pretty good one. Like the Roman Empire, the American Empire is militaristic, the dominant military power and politically fragile. Like the Romans, America appears to be critically short of intellectual firepower in its ruling elite. Who knows, maybe Washington has a lead pipe problem, but it does have an IQ problem.

You have to think China, Japan, Europe, even the Russians are looking at America and wondering how it keeps teetering on without some serious reform effort. Further, you have to think the failure of the Trump administration to get anything done is another data point suggesting the American political class is malfunctioning. A healthy political elite would have made sure to co-opt Trump, given him some easy victories and made sure he turns his talents and political support toward defending the system.

Instead, the result of the Trump years is likely to be further confirmation that the system is hopelessly broken. Maybe the Democrats have some great reformer in their ranks who will rise in the primaries this year. It seems unlikely, but the funny thing about greatness is no one ever sees it before it becomes obvious. Still, what the political class has favored, guys like Bush, Clinton and Obama, suggests they have managed to create a system that selects against, at an early stage, anyone with the any amount of talent.

Now, America is probably not going to fall into a period of military anarchy as happened to the Romans in the third century. America is a sea-based empire, while the Romans were a land-based empire. Chaos, if it comes, will first be in the possessions. Perhaps that’s why the Trump administration is so eager to get out of Afghanistan and Syria. It could be that the defense establishment has finally realized they are being bled dry by these commitments. In order to preserve the empire, they must shrink it.

On the other hand, in an age when controlling the financial system is worth more than controlling territory, the chaos will show up first in the economy. We’re two months away from “hard Brexit” with no signs of a soft resolution. The EU had to compromise with the populist Italian government on their budget. The Yellow Vest riots, which everyone is told to ignore, are becoming a serious issue in France. All of these problems in Europe are being driven by the impossible realities of their economics system.

Whatever your favorite collapse scenario, all of them assume that the American political class will not be able to keep the plates spinning. At some point, the divisions in American society, be they cultural, racial or economic, become so large that the core of the empire becomes ungovernable. If you are on the outside looking in right now, America certainly looks like a continent wide version of 1970’s New York City. The difference being, New York City was not armed with nuclear weapons and a massive military.

How the rest of the world could “manage” the entropy of empire is hard to know. China could simply work to reduce its exposure to the empire and wait for it to withdraw from the Pacific Rim. South American governments seem to be using the current chaos to export their troublesome populations. They are using the techniques of Progressive urban gentrification to clean up their underclass. A weakening and chaotic America could very well be a good thing for them, at least from a demographic perspective.

European elites are suffering from the same disease as their American counterparts, so it is unlikely they are thinking too far ahead. On the other hand, the demographic situation in Europe is salvageable, so they have more time. France is not condemned to becoming a majority-minority society. No European country is assured that fate. America is guaranteed, short of something completely unexpected, to become a multi-racial, multi-ethnic country, with a large white minority. That’s a mathematical guarantee.

If it turns out that the model of the American empire cannot function with a majority-minority core and the core becomes ungovernable, then the world is going to have a very serious problem. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Europe fell into the dark ages for roughly a millennium. On order to avoid that fate, the world, particularly Europe, will need to start planning and preparing for life after America. That means figuring out a way to manage the inevitable decline of the American empire.

Rugged Individual Sociopaths

Imagine in a discussion about the sex abuse that goes on in Hollywood, someone said, regarding the victims of the abuse, “I guess I’m meant to cry tears of sympathy for all of these people who were molested. Somehow I just can’t muster a single tear. You made your choices. Nobody put a gun to your head.” That would no doubt elicit gasps and a good deal of the familiar point and sputter. If nothing else, people are expected to show a little empathy for the victims of predators, especially when it is kids or young adults.

Empathy is essential to a high-trust society. It allows people to cooperate, rather than spend their time defending themselves from others in society. Empathy allows people to engage with others, trusting that the other side is acting in good faith and not trying to cheat the other party. It makes it possible to engage in things like charity and social improvement. When you can put yourself in the mind of a person outside your kin-group, share their feelings about things, cooperative society is possible.

It’s why liars and cheaters can never be tolerated. Their actions put the trust of society into question, which means their lack of empathy costs everyone. In some respects, the lack of empathy is worse than the crime itself. A man who kills another man in a dispute, but feels remorse, can be rehabilitated. A man who steals from another man and is unable to understand why it is wrong or celebrates his act, can never be rehabilitated and can never be a part of society. He can never be trusted, because he lacks empathy.

This basic insight into the nature of society has been a central element of the Western Right since de Maistre. It was always the radical that imagined human society as based entirely on self-interest. Humans would either cooperate because it worked to their advantage or not cooperate because it was to their advantage. Humans were infinity selfish and altruism was just a consequence of society and culture. Therefore, set the conditions of society just right and people will cooperate with one another.

The Right has always rejected that, until recently. The quote at the start of this post is a variation of this tweet from Matt Walsh. He is, according to his handlers, “a writer, speaker, author, and one of the religious Right’s most influential young voices.” In addition to that, they claim “He is known for boldly tackling the tough subjects and speaking out on faith and culture in a way that connects with his generation and beyond.” In reality, he is reproducing official dogma for the Official Right, what remains of it.

What that tweet reveals is that Official Conservatism™ thinks it is perfectly fine for sophisticated parties to prey on unsophisticated parties. In his case, it suggests the religious Right would be OK with the strong preying on the weak, as in the example at the start of the post. After all, pederasty is by definition a crime because one party, the adult, is sophisticated, while the other party, the young person, is not. Therefore, it is assumed they cannot bargain in the sexual marketplace on fair and equal terms.

Now, there is nothing in the writing of Matt Walsh to suggest he is in favor of pederasty, but there is no reason to think he would oppose it. After all, if he is so utterly lacking in empathy that he cannot muster even a bit of sympathy for people saddled with egregious school debt, his fitness for society is in question. His brand of flamboyant sociopathy is what we would expect from a serial predator or maybe a banker. You have to wonder what is wrong with someone who is so proudly callous toward his fellow citizens.

This is exactly why Official Conservatism™ is headed for the dustbin of history. It no longer offers a philosophical alternative to radicalism. Instead, it embraces the same callous and materialist view of society as the radicals. It starts from the premise that we are just random strangers flung together by serendipity, ruthlessly trying to advance our self-interest. The only difference between the radical and the so-called conservative is the former still thinks this can be remedied, while the latter embraces it.

A civil society is one in which the individuals naturally balance their interests against the interests of the whole. Popular government assumes this to be true. The people will debate and persuade one another about the proper balance. A democratic society composed of sociopaths quickly descends into gang warfare, where ever-shifting alliances of individuals makes war upon one another in a zero-sum game, ruthlessly exploiting the available resources. That’s a prison yard, not a high-trust society.

That’s why people with a soul should look at the student debt problem with sympathy and horror. It’s not just that these kids are saddled with debt. It’s that they and their parents are being preyed upon by sophisticated parties, with the aid and protection of the state. It is a form of economic piracy, in which the crown is quietly supporting the pirates, at the expense of the people’s commerce. Conservatives have always rejected this. Christians have always rejected this. Today, the “religious right” embraces it.

This inability to comprehend the basic building blocks of Western society is also why they cannot understand how open borders are a disaster. For someone like Matt Walsh, people are interchangeable, not only with one another, but with other economic units. In the materialist world view, social capital matters only in that it can be exploited for economic gain. In the zero-trust, Hobbesian world of the modern conservative, the greater the diversity, the greater the openness, which makes exploitation easier.

Authentic conservatism has always understood that Western society is built on trust and trust comes naturally to the familiar. Our greatest natural empathy is toward our family and then our kin group. From there is extends, but weakens, to those who look and sound like our kin. It breaks down entirely when it reaches those who are alien in appearance, speech, and custom. Therefore, high-trust societies can only exist in societies with a shared heritage and a shared biology. Diversity and trust are mutually exclusive.

Normal Is Not Forever

If you watch a movie from the 1970’s or maybe look at old family photos from the period, you’ll notice that people dressed funny. The men wore tacky looking polyester suits in odd colors, like lime green and powder blue. Women were also in polyester. They liked high-waisted pants with a bell-like shape to the trouser leg. Both men and women would wear denim or suede jackets on purpose. From the perspective of our age, the fashion of the 1970’s is quite hideous, but the people in that age thought they looked great.

Fashion is a form of public morality. We don’t think of it that way, but public morality is just a set of rules and customs that everyone assumes to be true. Some parts of public morality are informed by religion. In America, rules governing when and where it is acceptable to drink alcohol have their roots in Christian ethics of the 19th century. In the case of other rules, no one knows the source of authority. Like fashion trends, they just seem to be the set of rules everyone accepts at the moment.

If someone turns up in your office, dressed in a denim leisure suit, you’re going to assume they are crazy or maybe going to a costume party after work. It’s not that wearing a denim leisure suit is against the law or causing anyone harm. It’s that is so far outside of present sensibilities, about how people are supposed to dress, that you would assume there is some motivation other than taste. If it was just a bizarre sense of fashion, or lack of fashion in this case, the wearer would exile himself by doing it.

Fashion changes quickly and for no obvious reason. Why did people suddenly decide that velour jogging suits looked great and then suddenly decide they looked silly? Most likely, some famous person was talked into wearing a velour track suit on television and all of a sudden everyone had to have one. Maybe some clothing maker just took a shot and all of a sudden it was a trendy thing. A big part of the fashion business is simply trying to figure out how to create a new trend, so people will rush out and buy new clothes.

Just as fashion can change on a dime, other parts of public morality can change quickly for no obvious reason. It used to be that homosexuality was known, but best kept out of public view. It was perfectly acceptable to mock homosexuals. Today, of course, lack of reverence for homosexuals is on the list of unforgivable sins. Mark Steyn was purged by National Review, because he repeated an old Dean Martin joke about homosexuals. His crime was not being properly offended by a decades old gag.

In this area of public morality, it is popular to assign nefarious motives to the people pushing these changes in public morality. Some of it is true, for sure. Just as famous people wear strange costumes in an effort to signal their trendiness, people pushing trendy social fads are hoping to signal their virtue to good whites. Some of it though, is just the weird way in which trends change. Hollywood has been littered with homosexuals since the start, but it was OK to mock them, then all of a sudden it wasn’t.

Of course, even though something like wearing a denim leisure suit was fashionable in the 1970’s, you can still get mocked for it after the fact. John Derbyshire thought he looked great when he was taking on Bruce Lee, but there’s no doubt his kids still tease him for the hair and clothes. A stock part of family life is the parents showing their kids old pictures and the kids making sport of their parents for their weird costumes. The hideousness of the 1970’s is a nightmare from which the people of that era will never awake.

Would the people in the 1970’s have been more discriminating if they knew their future selves would so ashamed of those outfits? Most likely. If you know that in twenty years, heretics will be made to dress like you dress now, and be treated as pariahs, will you change things up? Most people would certainly like to avoid that sort of humiliation. They would absolutely want to avoid being associated with people being ostracized from future society. That knowledge would certainly change present behavior.

The same applies to other areas of public morality. The Left now goes through the social media time lines of newly famous people looking for blasphemy. Every once in a while an athlete has to issue an apology for something he said in high school or college. The whole “me too” movement was about traveling back in time to find things that were in violation of present morality. Thirty years ago, the casting couch was a fixture of Hollywood. Today it is a crime against humanity, at least it was until it stopped trending on Twitter.

Today, the fickleness of public morality regarding a wide range of issues has created a culture of fear. It’s not just that people are afraid of saying something blasphemous by today standards. They fear holding an opinion that will be blasphemous by tomorrow’s standards. The assumption is that the current trends with regards to human nature, human organization and politics will keep going in the same direction forever. Today it is immoral to laugh at a man in a dress. Tomorrow it will be immoral to not be a man in a dress.

As we saw with the fashions of the 1970’s, public morality can head down a cul-de-sac and then reverse course. Into the mid-60’s, fashion trends were fairly consistent, then all of a sudden they went off course. By the late 1970’s, people were dressing like clowns and goofballs. Then all of a sudden, the trend reversed and people quickly abandoned those goofy styles and got back to dressing like sane people. The fever broke and public morality regarding sartorial sensibilities returned to normal.

Something like that can happen with other areas of public morality. The residue of the cultural revolution is still with us, but the bellowing and shouting we see today could very well be a rear guard action to hold off the inevitable retreat. Antifa enforcers patrolling social media could very well be the velour track suit of this period. The people sporting those ideas today, will be mocked mercilessly in the future. Amy Harmon will be the William Jennings Bryan of this age, a symbol of primitive obscurantism.

It is impossible to know, of course, which is why our old picture albums are full of men in hats and women wearing weird outfits. Public morality, like fashion, does change and in unpredictable directions, because we are not good at seeing the future. With regards to public morality, covering things like science, reality is the ultimate check on these spasms of fashionable lunacy. The same is true of human organization. Multiculturalism is the decorative cod piece of this age. It has no utility and will eventually fall out of style.

Eat The Rich

Elizabeth Warren is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, so she is out making the rounds, boasting of what she would do as president. She’s planning to run as the weepy champion of the middle-class, so you can expect her to say the “middle class is getting hammered” six million times over the next year. She can’t be a culture warrior, now that her fake Indian cover is blown, so she is going for the bourgeois populism that used to be a thing on the Left, before they discovered anti-whiteness.

Warren’s first salvo is a wealth tax, which will be some sort of levy on those with assets over $50 million. This will be in addition to the regular income tax and she says it will raise $2.75 trillion over 10 years. That’s like saying the plan will allow Big Foot to finally get the unicorn he always wanted. Politicians love making ten year projections, despite the fact no one believes them. It’s just a way for the actors, our rich people hire to run for office, to sound like they are something other than actors. It’s part of the role.

Portly polemicist Kevin Williams was ready to lead the charge against this new communist assault on the rich people who pay him to sing their praises. That post is a madhouse of nonsense, but it is also like reading National Review from 1985. That old crowd is still lighting candles, hoping the Left will get back to talking like socialists, so they can get back to pretending to be conservatives. Comparing what Warren is proposing to the Soviet collectivization programs is dumb even by the standards of Kevin Williamson.

It’s also completely backwards. Historically, the radical position on taxes is all about restructuring society and making it more egalitarian. The Right took the position that the state was primarily in service to the rich, so the rich should pay for it. Sure, the rich tax the poor, that’s why they are rich, but they pay for the state, because it serves their ends. The Warren plan is hardly radical. Every state in America has property taxes. Some have inventory taxes on business and asset taxes on individuals. Asset taxes are common.

Of course, Warren’s game here is to pitch herself as the champion of middle-class white women. Kamala Harris will get the black vote. The question is whether she is black enough to get enough of it. Warren is betting she can scoop up the Sanders vote and the box wine auntie vote, in order to counter the black vote. That’s why she is pitching this idea, which she knows will never happen. It’s a form of virtue signaling in order to shape the narrative of the 2019 election season, heading into the primaries next January.

Still, it is an idea that should be discussed. America has many problems and is probably headed for a very bad end, but if reform is possible, it starts with reigning in the out of control plutocrats. Everyone talks about the racial and ethnic hostility, but one big problem is the degree of inequality. You can make all the libertarian arguments you like to explain why this is not a bad thing, but history says otherwise. Throw in the outright hostility of the rich toward their duties to the nation and it is a dangerous brew.

A debate about an asset tax also does something else that is needed. It raises the issue of why taxing income is acceptable, but taxing other things is taboo. Why do we treat investment earnings as sacred, while the working man’s paycheck is fair game? Take this further, why are we using an industrial age tax philosophy in the technological age? The world is a very different place economically, compared to a century ago when income taxes were invented. It’s time to think about modernizing taxes.

Another thing worth debating is how tax policy changes the behavior of office holders in a neoliberal democracy. Every shabby economics expert in Conservative Inc. can lecture on tax policy and market incentives, but no one thinks about how tax policy changes the behavior of public officials. Income taxes encourage government to attract earners, not builders. Countries become flop houses for stateless economic pirates. That’s what countries are in the global age. They are a pirate’s cove for global capital.

Asset taxes could motivate politicians to attract investment that creates wealth in the nation. After all, if the money available to the politicians is pegged to the asset value of the nation, nationalism makes a lot of sense. That’s why the flunkies and coat holders for the globalist class will be howling in agony at any attempt to debate this idea. Income taxes serve the interest of the post-nation future. Global capital is just a renter, always looking for the cheapest rate, with no stake in the port where they find shelter.

Make no mistake, Elizabeth Warren is as dumb as a goldfish. She’s proposing this because the script writers hired for her told her it will get applause from the demographic she is courting. On this side of the great divide, it offers a chance to talk about bigger issues in practical terms that disgruntled whites can follow. It also offers another chance to be the thoughtful, intellectually serious alternative to the sad clown show that in conservatism. The politics of the future, will need a tax policy to match it.


After a week of outrages, more than a week actually, I thought it would be good to do something a little lighter this week. I have been getting requests for Xirl Science, so this week we have that and some other weird stuff I found. Sometimes, you need to take a break from the serious stuff. Otherwise, you become one of those rage heads, who is constantly lecturing people all the time about how the world is going to hell. This week is a show featuring weirdos, goofballs and people I like to mock.

The thing that often gets lost on this side of the great divide is that we have one thing working in our favor. We’re right. More important, the people on the other side are not just mistaken. Most of them are crazy. That coalition of fringes, as Sailer likes to put it, is actually a freak show where morality is inverted. They have power, but reality is undefeated. Their battle against reality can only end one way. It’s okay for our side to take some pleasure in watching that freak show..

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


  • 00:00: Opening
  • 02:00: Paying It Black (Link) (Link)
  • 12:00: Xirl Science (Link) (Link) (Link)
  • 22:00: Pumping (Link)
  • 32:00: Libertarians (Link)
  • 42:00: Talk Like A Weirdo (Link)
  • 47:00: The Religion Of Disbelief (Link)
  • 52:00: The Noise of Lagos (Link)
  • 57:00: Closing (Link)

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Full Show On Spreaker

Full Show On YouTube

The Egalitarian Pill

There are many reasons to hate libertarians, all of them valid, but the most compelling reason is their totally misplaced self-assurance. Libertarians walk around sure they have gained access to the book of secret knowledge, while everyone else is staggering around in primitive darkness. In reality, modern libertarianism is mostly just window dressing for the oogily-boogily that comes from the Left. Libertarians start from the same misplaced beliefs about the human condition, but seek a different end.

A good example is this post from Reason Magazine (clown horn) celebrating the start of National School Choice Week. According to their website, it is “a week of celebration to raise public awareness of the different K-12 education options available to children and families while also spotlighting the benefits of school choice.” Reason Magazine is a big fan of school choice, so they are doing some celebrating of their own, promoting various studies about the glories of school choice.

Nowhere is the magical thinking of modern libertarianism more evident than in the area of education. While they don’t go so far as to embrace magic dirt theory, like their Progressive counterparts, they do believe in the magic of location. For example, the first bullet point of that post says, “Eighteen empirical studies have examined academic outcomes for school choice participants using random assignment, the gold standard of social science. Of those, 14 find choice improves student outcomes.”

Without reading a single study, anyone with the least bit of math and science knows that these studies are nonsense. There’s simply no way to net out certain immutable facts about the human condition, to isolate the effects of choice. For example, smart parents, who invest in their children, are much more likely to take advantage of school choice programs than dull or indifferent parents. Parents who like learning and value knowledge, will have kids who like learning and value knowledge.

The only way you could really test these various education theories, including school choice, is to do a twin study. One twin is ripped away from his parents and placed with some dullards, who are happy to send him to the local public school. The other twin is ripped from his parents and placed in a home with high parental investment and access to school choice. Then maybe you could get some useful data. That’s monstrous and no one would ever agree to anything close to it, so it will never happen.

Another point on the list states, “Ten empirical studies have examined school choice and racial segregation in schools. Of those, nine find school choice moves students from more segregated schools into less segregated schools.” Since we know the number of parents seeking to send their kids to majority black schools rounds to zero, this is actually a point against school choice for most people, but the modern libertarian has slugged down the multicultural ambrosia, so they can’t follow their own arguments here.

Look. Education is a function of biology. Smart kids tend to have smart parents and dumb kids tend to have dumb parents. Intelligence correlates with things like parental investment, peer selection, community involvement and so forth. The reason the kids at the school in the white suburb do better than the kids at the ghetto school is they came from better parents. Their parents built a stronger community, invest in their children and passed on their intelligence and social fitness to their kids.

The amusing part of the whole school choice debate is the Left fully understands what’s really going on here. Middle-class white parents want to avoid subjecting their kids to vibrancy. They will accept some of it, as long as the vibrancy has to pass through a filtering mechanism to weed out the really vibrant. The Left gets this, while libertarians and conservatives are drunk off their own fumes. If there is such a thing as “systemic racism” it is school choice. Everyone gets this except for the advocates.

This highlights the fundamental flaw of libertarianism. It’s the same flaw that has made Buckley-style conservatism utterly worthless. They accept the Progressive premise that there is no such thing as biology. People come into the world as amorphous blobs that can be shaped into proper citizens with the proper public policies and civic institutions. Once you take the egalitarian pill, the world stops making sense. From there it is an endless search for the right set of policies to make everyone equal.

The fact is, there is no fixing the schools. John Derbyshire brilliantly made this point in his global best seller We Are Doomed. Tens of billions have been poured into every conceivable education scheme. None have done anything to address the achievement gap and none have done anything to mitigate the inheritance gap. The best way to become a smart, educated person is to be born to parents who are smart and well educated. The schools can do nothing to make this happen.

That does not mean schools should be ignored. Public education, like public health, is a thing we expect government to manage. Instead of flushing billions down the drain fighting biological reality, vocational schools and the availability of jobs for people on the left side of the curve is the answer. No society can tolerate an excess of idle men, so fixing the schools in the ghetto means giving all those idle men something to do other than make babies, who will follow in their path. Three generations of imbeciles are enough.

The Tyranny Of The Stupid & Mendacious

The great Greg Cochran will often point out that a smart person is someone who says smart things, but more important, they don’t say many dumb things. Everyone, no matter how smart, will get a dumb idea in their head or get carried away and say something stupid on occasion. It’s just not common with smart people, at least not as common as it is with dumb people. Being smart is as much the absence of stupidity as it is getting right answers or having a long list of brilliant insights.

This comes up often in public discussion of the human sciences. It is remarkable how often an allegedly smart person will say things that are laughably wrong about something in biology or human evolution. A favorite example is Cordelia Fine. She is a Full Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at The University of Melbourne, Australia. That is quite impressive, but she writes books that are full of nonsense about biology. Cochran’s review of her book, Testosterone Rex, is a great read.

Is Cordelia Fine stupid? Well, if you look at her credentials, you have to think she is pretty smart. She has a degree from Oxford and PhD in psychology. It’s not physics, but it’s not nothing. She has advanced in her career to a very high position. Presumably, she is a smart woman. Yet, she routinely writes and says things that are wrong and not just a little wrong either. As Cochran pointed out in his review of her book, she makes the sorts of errors one expects from undergraduates. That’s not smart.

The point is not to pick on Mx. Fine. She’s probably a delightful woman, who would be a pleasure to know. It’s just that she is a great example of the plague of incredibly stupid smart people we see in public life. In fact, it seems to be a requirement of the modern public intellectual to have a long list of credentials and an equally long list of statements that are obviously wrong. We live in an age in which the greatest barrier to success as a public intellectual is not having enough mistakes on your record.

In fairness, you can be smart and have a lot of crazy ideas in your head. The Unibomber was a genius. Ted Kaczynski graduated high school at 15 and was a professor of mathematics at Cal Berkeley at 25. His tested IQ was 167. There’s no denying he was a brilliant man, but he also sent bombs to people in the mail. The old line about there being a fine line between genius and madness always comes up in these cases, but the truth is, you can be both a genius and have a head full of nutty ideas.

Similarly, you can be a genius and be extremely weird or unpleasant. Richard Feynman was a brilliant physicist and a terrible human being, by most accounts. He was often described as ruthless and amoral. Another brilliant physicist was Paul Dirac, who is counted as one of the weirdest people in the history of science. He was so strange that someone wrote a book about him called The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac. Smart people can be so strange, people confuse them for stupid or nuts.

The problem we have today, however, is not an excess of evil super-geniuses or even a glut of eccentric ones. There’s no doubt that many of the pseudo intellectual posers we see in public life are mendacious and immoral. Ben Shapiro says things all the time he has to know are false, but mendacity serves his agenda. Like the Unibomber, he graduated high school early and zoomed through college in three years. He is not sending bombs through the mail, but he says a lot of ridiculous and dishonest things in public.

Everywhere you look, we have people with credentials that strongly suggest they are quite bright, yet they advocate for things that are quite dumb. Even after all these years, we still have “foreign policy experts” demanding we stay in Afghanistan and the Middle East, in order to turn them into democracies. Like Shapiro, they could be saying these things because they are paid to say them. That’s been known to happen. Still, it means our public intellectuals are smart people without scruples.

It’s also possible that the credentialing system we have been using for generations has gone horribly wrong and it now selects for charismatic sociopaths. Not to keep picking in Shapiro, but he is mostly a Hollywood creation. Perhaps the vetting system of college and graduate school has been corrupted to select for the sorts of people, who fit a role in the propaganda machine. Whatever the case, the people who are supposed to help the public sort through things are mostly stupid, crazy or mendacious.

Humans are by nature inclined to look to authorities, in order to understand the world around them. At least it seems that way. In every society that we know of, there were people in positions of authority to whom the people looked for solutions. The shaman or witch doctor may have been nuts, but he knew more about curing ailments and appeasing the gods than anyone else, so everyone looked to them for answers. To put it in modern terms, being less wrong used to count for a lot in human societies.

In the current age, “being smart” automatically bestows authority on someone. It even grants them authority on topics well outside their area of expertise. Yet, our shamans and witch doctors seem to have been selected for their propensity for error. As a result, people are walking around thinking there’s no biological difference between boys and girls, because they heard it from Cordelia Fine. They think James Watson is history’s greatest monster because some enlightened dingbat said so in the New York Times.

Maybe it does not matter that the public is made dumber by the new class of stupid, dishonest public intellectuals. The Aztecs made it a long time thinking human sacrifice was a good idea. Perhaps it really does not matter that the public is clueless, just as long as the people in charge are not clueless. The Iraq War, Bill Kristol, open borders and a whole host of recent public polices suggest the ruling class is suffering from the same malady as the intellectual class. Rule by stupid liars can’t possible end well.

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 licenses 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.