The Deadend Men

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

The two big lessons I carried away were that ideologues always believe their thing transcends time and space. They cannot imagine that there will be a time when their tool set of ideas is no longer relevant. The other thing that seemed obvious, is that observable reality is not enough to shake someone from their ideology. The professor was well aware of the problems with Marxism, but he had committed his life to it. so he could never accept that it was mortally flawed.

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

Read a post like this one from National Review, and the thing that jumps out is the lack of self-awareness. Conservatives have convinced themselves that Trump is Nixon and the current tumult is just a replay of the years between LBJ and Reagan. Rather than look at what is happening now, they are playing make believe. The Progressive tide that peaked with Obama is receding. Next comes the conservative wave to carry them to the promised land.

There is no mention of immigration or the changing demographics of America in the article, so that means there is no mention of race either. Look through the source document and it reads like a policy paper put out by people who have been asleep for the last 30 years. It also is written in the graduate school jargon that sounds convincing to men unfamiliar with the dreaded private sector. Apparently, conservatives are convinced that the “way forward” is to pretend it is 1988.

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

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

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

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

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

So, it will be done for them.

127 thoughts on “The Deadend Men

  1. Apparently, you have no idea what classic Conservatism is. Some of the stuff you wrote about what the gop establishment wanted or expected is no where near a fart of conservatism. I am past 70 years old. I have been a conservative all my life. I was right of the John Birch Society. And whereas most of my current peers talk about appeasement with the commies, I want to see all the commies dead! I don’t want a wall on our Southern Border. I want two electrified fences about 20 feet apart, with land mines in between. I don’t want to just stop musloid immigration, I want every musloid rounded up and put on rusty barges and towed out to sea and turned loose. Oh, and the blacks who survived the commie purge…they had better straighten up, or they will become hog meal. A true conservative doesn’t compromise everything away. Any compromise has to be loaded in the Conservatives favor.
    Our Constitution is toast, has been since 1913 really. A war is coming. Many will perish. I have already given up on my offspring, they are commies and “dead” to me. I doubt the coming civilization will ever see anything as good as I have seen it. At the very least, I am not giving in to anyone.

  2. The fear that I have is that all of these ‘progressive’ people will be successful n reducing our nation to rubble and replacing it…with something that they really do not understand. Society will be replaced with something, and usually that ‘something’ is orchestrated by rich and/or powerful entities that have absolutely no desire to implement the utopian ideals of their ‘useful idiots’. “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss…”

  3. it’s the medium, not the message that matters here….the message peddled by the conservative propaganda outfits is a message that serves the financial interests of those at the top of society–the big corporations, the plutocrats, the rich, the upper class….and that is how these conservative outfits like National Review, et al., got their funding…but the only reason these outfits were ever useful to the upper class was because the channels of communication were centralized and controlled by the elites….that is no longer the case…now there is the internet and a much larger palette of choices available… now their propaganda message is exposed for what it really is… the medium was constricted and controlled, a bottleneck of ideology transmission…. now that bottleneck has been removed, and their propaganda is exposed…

  4. I didn’t even bother to read the authorship of the piece you linked. It read just like the stuff that came out of the PNAC group in the late 90’s which was a retread itself. I’ll bet some of the same people are involved. One of the major problems Reagan had was that he thought the opposition was negotiating in good faith. They weren’t then and they aren’t now. Of course they love bi-partisanship, they get exactly what they want.

    I’ll give Conservative Inc the benefit of the doubt that they are merely stupid for not learning better by now as opposed to being mendacious. Either way it’s time to go.

  5. Why is it that Clinton’s foes drop like flies- over a hundred now and the Michael Hastings of the world have, like Seth mysterious deaths and the Goldburg’s, Levine’s and Rove’s continue to plague the planet?

    • Hillary’s existence is a kind of living death. She must be on a dozen different medications, plus a quart of vodka every day. Probably wears diapers all the time, and needs help wiping her gigantic ass. Paging Mephistopheles, pick up on aisle 4!!

  6. This is too much attention (and emotion) spent on a subordinate subject. It seems like Zman´s war on Conservatism, Inc. is too personal to be rational. But, if it is really necessary to dissect the thought processes inside the NR, let me play an advocatus diaboli here.
    1. The Reinsch guy whom this post bashes actually acknowledges most of the Buckleyite failures committed prior and during the last presidential campaign, the same ones that Trump himself and the dissident right generally made fun of a thousand times. One can take most of the individual statements in this NR article in isolation and mistake them for an excerpt from, at the very least, and Alt-Lite rant, maybe even an Alt-Right one of a more cultivated variety.
    2. The NR authors write under their own names, not as shitlord nicks. So, if this particular one does not mention race, identity, the JQ, demographics, etc., could it, by any chance, simply mean that he is currently not yet prepared to take up his private Charlottesville, preferring instead to make some points he deems relevant and still keep his standing for a while? More than half of what he writes is about economy, anyway, and most of the rest is about tactics. Cultural issues only appear as a necessary lip service to the ideological convention he neither invented nor ever controlled.
    3. I have seen nothing in this text that would betray deep attachment to an obsolete creed, conservative or otherwise. It is written on a distinctly pragmatic note. There are no calls for a war on Pepe or any explicit denouncing the ugly alt-right “raycists”. So, even if the dissident right may be dissatisfied with the choice of topics and vocabulary, it does not in any way infringe on the space that the Pepes currently claim for themselves. Reinsch and the alt-right can go their separate ways in peace.
    4. Again, Reinsch dedicates most attention to economics and practical policies, including majority-building and judge-appointing. These things have to be taken care of. Sorry to say, neither is the area in which the alt-right have ever demonstrated high competence. But, even to sit at their keyboards and shitpost, dissident right-wingers need an economy that feeds them (including some cheap imports they so much bitch about) and lawmakers-cum-judges that do not take all the intellectual breathing space away from them. If outlets like the NR contribute at least something to this state of affairs, they should be left alone to do what they deem important.
    5. There are undoubtedly many issues on which the traditional conservative articles of faith are outdated and inadequate, but Reinsch´s article is not about them. For instance, it does not address either foreign policy or security. Maybe there was no time, but maybe there was no interest in starting additional battles, either, who knows.
    Altogether, there are worse things in life than an NR author pledging to take Trump voters seriously, and Pepes ought to turn their attention in that direction.

    • “I have seen nothing in this text that would betray deep attachment to an obsolete creed, conservative or otherwise.”

      It seems to me that the whole damned thing does. I guess that we just have different viewpoints, or maybe read different articles.

        • OK, l´ll try again: why react to a piece that has but a (necessary, considering the outlet it is published in) minimum of ideology and plenty of pragmatic considerarions, with a diatribe castigating the wrong ideology? Do you belong to those altrightists that expect to defeat all enemies, big and small, in a single war? Funny, but persons with such views often turn out to be government agents. At least in Europe, it is a very reliable rule.

          • Conservative Inc is the candy coating of the Progressive nut inside the prevailing orthodoxy. It needs to be destroyed, along with the prevailing orthodoxy. Your problem is you don’t understand the material, so a site like this is confusing to you.

  7. Anybody listen to the Jordan Peterson lectures on the Bible? I’ve found his interpretation of the stories to be the most accessible, at least for me, of anything that I have heard.

  8. ‘For everything to stay the same, everything has to change “.

    Seems that Guiseppe de Lampedusa called it right in ‘The Leopard’.

  9. Excellent article. It brought to mind this off-topic memory:

    As an undergraduate in the seventies, I took a Modern European history course from a popular prof. Didn’t do very well in it, but one thing that was seared on my brain was the prof saying that all the countries outside of Europe that we think of as enlightened were once British colonies, founded upon British sensibilities and British law.

    A few years ago, I coincidentally went to a lecture series featuring this prof, now retired of course. There were no tributes to John Bull this time.

    So the prof adapted to the political correctness of our times. And of course, the Britain that gave rise to the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand is itself being colonized beyond recognition. As, apparently, are its descendants.

    As Z says, times change.

    • ” all the countries outside of Europe that we think of as enlightened were once British colonies, founded upon British sensibilities and British law.”

      I really don’t remember if the prof added “and with British people,” but it seems applicable.

  10. The challenge Conservative Inc. faces – that’s what this column is really about, Conservative Inc. – is that they’re just frauds. The jig is up, and now everybody knows it. Much as his supporters might be frustrated with him, they know that Trump has been frustrated mainly by REPUBLICANS and neverTrumpers.

    Like I said almost 2 years ago, “If Trump wins, he will sign everything the GOP puts on his desk. Either they’re going to deliver on the promises (I doubt it), or they’re going to fight him harder than Democrats (I expect it).” Nothing has changed my view of this.

    Conservative Inc. has been providing a facade to cover up for the GOP for 25 years. The jig is up.

  11. Trump in many respects is a repudiation of the conservative movement. The thing is, prior to Trump the conservative movement was anything but conservative, it was destructive to people, communities and the country. It only cared about the rich businessman/chamber of commerce man and his needs. Citizens were reduced to consumers and the destruction of the middle-class and industrial heartland were necessary for progress. Immigration was needed to suppress wages and skew the labor market .

    Even back in the 80’s, I could see the GOP/Conservatives were mostly Gordon Gekko types who didn’t give a rats behind about anything except if it made them money. People voted for them only because they were the lesser of two evils. Not because they offered anything for the average American except a kick in the teeth.

    In short the modern GOP/Conservative movement was a sham, a cover for a bunch of rich white guys to set the rules. You compare them to a WWII conservative and they look more like a bunch of anti-American POS.

    • Unfortunately, there’s some truth in what you say, if a bit overwrought. Lots of us more blue-collar types of Conservative just put up with that in order to hold back the Soviet Union (which was indeed, as you say, the greater evil). With the USSR gone, there is really not much of a constituency left for the GOPe. They refuse to recognize this, whereas Trump has very successfully reached out to what Nixon called “The Silent Majority”. If Conservatism has a future, it lies with the Trumpists and the Alt-Right.

    • The GOP/Conservatives used to be aligned with the vested interests of the little guy. They pretend it is still true, but that all went away a long time ago. I believe Eisenhower saw how things were going when he warned of the “military-industrial complex”, as his tenure as president came to an end.

      • As noted above, everybody has flaws, but Eisenhower deserves a lot more credit than he gets, if only for “Operation Wetback”.

        • Even in 1952, Eisenhower was not the “conservatives” choice. He was a compromise, and an outside, relatively apolitical alternative, offered to break a deadlock and mollify a bunch of Republican delegates.

  12. I wrote “All I Know is that Gentlemanly Conservatism is Dead” during the Trump convention.

  13. This anecdotal story is a good example of the power of habit. During our early formative years, we humans are wired with foundational beliefs that embed as mental habits. And these habits not only remain fixed throughout our lives, but also persist despite rational contrary evidence or change. That we are built this way must mean that evolution has determined that this trait has been advantageous to us at some time in our past.

    • It’s called instinct, and the problem is this–all advances in civilization are anti-instinctual. We keep returning to socialism despite it’s dreadful record because it is the first instinct formed in the survival of small groups. Learned experience–tradition–takes over from instinct only when it is so successful that we come to think it natural, instinctual. But instinct will re-assert itself in time. We love socialism.

      • Bottom-up socialism at the family and neighborhood level is very effective and valuable. It takes many forms. When that tendency is perverted into a top-down regional or national level (or, God forbid, the international level) version of socialism, that is where the local accountability breaks down and it becomes a big free-for-all for power and assets.

  14. “I’ve read the New Testament a couple or three times”. I’d like to call bullshit on that. The Bible’s not an easy read. I suspect anyone that has actually read the New Testament knows how many times they have unless they are actually biblical scholars and have been through it hundreds of times. This guy is analogous to what Limbaugh calls a “seminar caller.” He’s had a shallow exposure to a small portion of the text along with his teachers’ interpretation. Thanks for playing, bud, but you’re not up to the game.

  15. As Ann Coulter said, the immigration issue was the $100 bill lying on the sidewalk, that Trump picked up and ran with. Any of the Conservative Inc. candidates could’ve grabbed it long before Trump came along. Polls always showed that Americans were in favor of reducing immigration levels.

    • But they couldn’t actually pick it up and run with it because of their DONORS. Scott Walker briefly flirted with Trump-style immigration hawk comments, and he got shut down hard. Many of the others either couldn’t (Bush) or just came across as disingenuous (Rubio), or burned up what little charisma they possessed trying to win over “evangelicals” by preaching “constitutional conservative values” (Cruz).

      Trump was literally the only person rich enough to pick up the $100, and be able to do something with it.

  16. Well … so …. what is actually coming up next. If conservatism and collectivism are dead … what’s left? … other than tribalism. … which is actually starting to look viable.

    • What’s next is some version of what China is doing. A large central state that controls the flow of information, and which siphons off the revenues of industries in exchange for providing them with protections. Probably not as overtly brutal and totalitarian on a large scale. Market Marxism with a smile.

      • Or perhaps instead of large central states we shall have smaller states competing with each other. I find Uber and Ebay interesting. Uber does not sell rides to people. Uber sells governance. If a person is not satisfied with the ride, there is a system for redress of grievance. Ebay provides a framework for buying and selling goods, and is more effective than the court system in seeing that you get what you paid for.

        Thanks Mr. Obvious. Of course these businesses are governing bodies of a sort, but they are not sovereign. Ebay will not hang a man by the neck until dead for selling stolen motorcycle parts. (Although they should–bike thieves are scum.)

        What if for profit governing bodies were sovereign and had to compete with one another? The leadership of these governing bodies would actually have an incentive to provide good governance. I’m not a monarchist, but I can certainly see why a King has an incentive to improve the quality of the Kingdom that he owns. If Ebay owned the USA, or even just Detroit, we would almost certainly be better off.

        The big problem with Moldbug’s patchwork as I see it is that there is always an incentive to cheat. If patch A has good governance, and patch B has poor governance, patch B can always go to war with patch A. Even a currency war would disrupt the patchwork unless some sovereign sat above all the patches. (or am I missing something?)

        What may really happen is a period of break up, followed by consolidation. Nuclear proliferation is a real game changer. If the cost of war is much higher than the cost of cooperation…

      • There are many who’ve foretasted this, but I remain skeptical. The Chinese system is about as alien to America as Democracy was to Iraq and Afghanistan. Even with massive amounts of Progressive command and control, the sheer number of legacy individualists + unruly and incompatible minority tribes would make the Chinese model highly unstable. If the Progressives were dumb enough to attempt this, as the EU appears to be doing, they would fail miserably (as the EU will).

        • Like I said, some version of it, not Red Capitalism like they have over there. Much more of a corporatist model, I think, where it’s hard to tell where Google/Apple end and the US Government begins. (as is becoming more apparent over time!)

  17. As Generals are always preparing for the last war, Conservatives are always preparing for……either Calvin Coolidge’s or Ronald Reagan’s last “golden age”.

  18. It was all about what they oppose. Nothing of what they advocate, which I take to mean the advocate nothing but continued paychecks.

    I’m not even sure these idiots pose any sort of challenge worth honoring. They’ll most likely follow Bush Sr. into the Democrat Party, then wonder why the rest of the country didn’t follow them.

  19. “The fact that the conservatives of today would have been viewed as alien weirdos by the conservatives of just 30 years ago”

    I can vouch for that. I was a Reagan Conservative thirty years ago, and I do indeed see conservatives as alien weirdos. Of course, I can now see that there was a lot more wrong with Reagan conservatism that we could see at the time, but even so; if you had told your average ReaganCon back in 1985 that conservative “values” now included open borders, sodomite marriage, multiculturalism, and “humanitarian” wars of choice, he would have thought that the Commies won the Cold War. And he may have been right…

      • I can’t say whether he would have been or not, but most of his followers back then certainly would not have been. And yeah, Reagan was wrong about a lot of things. So is Trump, whom I also support. Regrettably, no one is perfect.

          • Yes. That was the first “Bait and Switch” deal, amnesty now, in exchange for “enforcement” that never happens. Reagan fell for it because it was the first time that they pulled it. No excuse now…

  20. The Cold War was in its denouement, so I thought I’d better get a look at some real Marxists before the whole thing collapsed into a carnival of finger pointing and embarrassment.

    If only it had. Oh boy, if only it had. Thirty years later you’d have no idea the right won the Cold War and the left lost.

  21. karl rove has no ideology, he is the bagman for the Bush/cheap labor/ neocon lobby . He is certainly not a conservative . and he doesn’t care about the good of the country. .

    • Interesting. A look at how narcissistic nihilistic nastiness can be applied to bad juju car-ism cultural accusations instead of bad juju raaayysissm cultural accusations withe the same effect. IOW, ‘spit, you are your problem, not me.’

      Can the producer of this clip actually think that grossly over-troweling on the techno-scorn about some mediocre car from the past makes him look hip_? Just move to Brooklyn and do whatever. My condolences to your ex-family. Sad_!

      • You could make a case for the Accord or Camry too, amongst a more wealthy part of the Boomers back in the 80s. And then it just went nuts with Lexus in the 90s, all Bommers ever did was watch TV and they knew it too, couldn’t get away without seeing at least 10 Lexus commercials at a sitting.

  22. “Their “principles” said they needed to embrace multiculturalism, globalism and open borders. That was the future. Then Trump came along running on the exact opposite of those things.”

    This is where I see things from a bit of a different angle. Those people aren’t running on their principles, they’ve been sold a bill of goods by virtue of living in the Imperial Capital all these years; they were told they needed a “big tent” in order to capture voters, when in fact, what they needed to do was to teach, explain, and to convert. So they don’t actually *have* any principles – they have a few ideas which they believe they must protect by doing anything necessary to avoid being called “racisssss.”

  23. NR: Government, government and even more government, but this time OUR kind of government, that’ll do it.

  24. It amuses me when the establishment RINOs use Reagan as their patron saint.

    I’m old enough to remember how much they hated Reagan. The hated his guts in ’76 when he challenged their establishment vanilla guy Gerry Ford – and blamed their general election loss on Reagan Hillary style.

    The hated him 1980 and managed to saddle him with an establishment VP. In ’88 they ran as the party of Reagan, then Bush dismantled everything Reagan did as quickly as possible.

    Their fake embrace of Reagan goes with their whole shtick of campaigning conservative and governing liberal. I wonder if the alt-right is nothing but a reaction of people fed up with the lie.

    • Does no one remember in the 1980 GOP convention when the establishment was floating the idea of a Ford VP “co-presidency” for Reagan?

    • Back when I still read and commented over at NR, I would respond to a lot of their confused posts about Trump’s support with, “They like HIM, because HE is not YOU.”

      A big chunk of what might be called alt-right is nothing more than people searching for a new place to hang their hat. Conservative Inc. was the place to do that for many years. A lot of people still hang their hats there, but not nearly as many as before.

      The alt-right that was there before all the ex Conservative Inc’ers showed up is having trouble adapting their brand accordingly. A lot of trouble…because there’s no ideological underpinning to it that holds much appeal. “I’m white, you’re white, let’s all be white together” isn’t gonna win a lot of converts, and by definition excludes a hell of a lot of people who aren’t white, but who think the country under Progressives has been utterly f**ked.

      • ” “I’m white, you’re white, let’s all be white together” isn’t gonna win a lot of converts, and by definition excludes a hell of a lot of people who aren’t white, but who think the country under Progressives has been utterly f**ked.”

        While its undeniable that alt-right messaging can’t limit itself to “we’re white,” as thought that were a sufficient argument, one must be careful not to pretend that the stats are not available showing that “people who aren’t white,” choose “Progressives,” between 7.5 and 9.5 times out of 10. It makes sense to argue the American right should be implicitly, rather than explicitly, pro-white; however, one cannot seriously argue that being totally race-neutral will do anything but provide a brief reprieve before the Progressives jump right back in to finish what they started.

        • Yeah, but again, no better alternative = nobody changing teams. Trump is an explicit opportunity to completely shake that up. That’s why the Government Party hates him so. Their whole existence rests of the whole phony red team / blue team setup they’ve created.

  25. I feel their pain. Having gone from belief to atheism and back again, I can tell you it’s a pretty harrowing experience to realize you’ve been wrong about not just an important thing, but THE important thing. And I don’t have it nearly as hard as the Buckleyites — as the only (deep cover) conservative in our football conference, I’m used to dealing with people I disagree with on every conceivable level. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when the alt-right goes mainstream — Goldberg will land on his feet, Williamson will shoot up the ranks of the new Gestapo, but what of Charlie Cook and his sweeeet scarf?

    • Goldberg is already on the scrap heap, rusting away. Williamson better have a nest egg as fat as his ass, ’cause he’s got no audience for his brand of betrayal. But at least he will be able to come out of the closet once his writing career is over.

    • They’ll continue to follow the money, and the big money will continue to flow inward towards the levers of power. That’s not going to change.

  26. Any intelligent retail operation knows better than to publicly write off part of their customer base. Hillarys’ remarkably stupid “bag of deplorables” will shine on for some time. The “cutting edge/fashionable right will need everyday conservatives in order to prevail. The establishment Republican politicians and their lavish beltway talking heads brethern are headed to the trash bin. We need each other. Ideological purity isn’t working for the Progressive Democrats. If I may say “we” need to find a bit more common sense road. We can, and should, argue about ideas along the way. “If it isn’t perfect, I’m not interested” is great for people still living with their parents.

    • You don’t have to get the normies on board; and wouldn’t want them actively engaged in any event. Just avoid scaring them about their incomes and investments, etc. and they will munch grass contently all the day long.

      • Karl, forgive me, but it appears if you are looking for the no investment/no income group, you may be relegated to the Poor Ass Poet types. The make it up on volume principle would be in effect. You have the last word my friend.

    • When I first heard Clinton’s “Basket of Deplorable’s.”- and it was basket not bag btw.
      I rejoiced. My first thought was, What an astonishing example of insular stupidity?
      From that point onward she was done, even if she hadn’t been previously.

  27. Seems the problem is getting one or two things right then sticking around too long and trying to make a career of it. Take Churchill. Brilliant guy. Had the strategy right at Gallipoli, execution sucked. Called the Hitler thing when everyone else thought he was just a funny guy with a mustache. But then wins WWII and believes, “hey we’ll just go back to the old Empire thing”. Didn’t realize the game had changed. Fundamentally. Trump produced a shitload of post WWII Churchills on the political scene. And the path out of the desert isn’t always clear. Witness the Democrats. The Clintons are over, but like the Brits with Socialism after the war, the Democrats have headed left to full stupid. Republicans being less the herd animals, are sorting it out in a everybody against everybody melee. I was a historian by training. The trick is figuring out what is “different” in each of these cycles.

    • Don’t blame Winnie – After the war, Britain was broke and
      Labor won control of Parliment.
      While Churchill kept his seat in Parliment, he was no longer PM.

      Also, don’t forget that Churchill also called the ‘the Stalin thing’
      with his ‘Iron Curtain’ speech in Fulton, Missouri.

    • Sam;
      Re Gallipoli: If you don’t know that your forces will be very hard pressed to execute a combined-force amphibious assault on a (lightly) defended, 2nd world coast, then you are not a good strategist to propose doing that.* It’s the difference between having clever strategic ideas and having sound, executable strategies.

      W.C. was an outstanding, dominating, war-time political leader, but he used to drive his senior commanders nuts because he had new strategic ideas every other week, many of them clever, but nearly all of them requiring radical changes in the all-important logistical arrangements. In W.C.’s defense, he was right to suspect the competence and mental acuity of many of his WWI curated commanders. Any competent woodworker learns early on that he must adjust the raw-stock feed rate to the inherent capacity of the machine he is using or there are bad results, some of them dangerous. It is that way with organizations too.

      *See Sun Tzu for classic McKinsey-type 2×2 aphorisms about knowing your enemy and knowing yourself should you ever want added Powerpoint material that sounds good in abstract.

      • Churchill’s original idea was to simply bombard the coast and make the Turks believe it was a softening up operation for an invasion. The committee ran with it and everything got out of hand. This is one reason why Churchill insisted on documentation of where every idea originated and how every directive ended up when he was PM in the successive war.

        • Doc;
          Yes and no. Studied the subject in War College as what not to do in a joint-forces amphibious campaign. IIRC, you are correct that the original concept was a naval (only) raid by expendable obsolescent battleships. Their object was to grab the capital and enforce regime change to open the straits to Russian re-supply. Plus, of course, to add the oil regions in Iraq to the British Empire later.

          This attempt failed because the minesweepers needed to pass the entrance forts couldn’t do their work under the fire of German supplied mobile field artillery. So the German supplied sea mines and coastal artillery sank an unacceptable number of those battleships.

          The obvious antidote to the mobile batteries was a land invasion of the Gallipoli peninsula (which was narrow and could be blocked on the landward side), and move in counter-battery artillery. But the Brits had not prepared for this eventuality, supposing that the appearance of the Royal Navy alone would paralyze the much-despised Turks. That their fleet might be trapped once in, much less fail in the attempt, simply did not occur as a possibility.

          And by the time they did prepare (in a half-assed, we can just muddle through against the Wogs, manner) the Turks, under German guidance, were able to sufficiently fortify the obvious landing zones and build up reaction forces. So the Turks were able to (just barely) halt the initial push.

          Since the Brits, still disrespecting their foe, had not held back any ready reserves, they were unable to make any follow-up efforts to exploit their initial gains. By the time they assembled such forces, it was back to positional warfare. Hence the high casualties for little gain.

          W.C. was, as you say, scapegoated for the combined clusterfark. But he must bear the blame for the arrogant and faulty, naval only, initial concept of operations which greatly underestimated the enemy.

  28. The beltway conservatives have always been wrong. They are just more wrong that ever now. (and more dated as is pointed out in the article) It is the same with the beltway “libertarians”. All the “think tank” organizations are, in reality, just government creatures and they are every bit as useful as employees of the local DMV.

    Rothbard famously said that the answer to one question would tell us if a person was “on our side” or not. “Do you HATE the State?” I think if he had lived he might have amended that question to; “do you hate socialism of all kinds?” I think the “cultural Marxists” and other left-wing fools have done their best to destroy western civilization. Can it be repaired? I honestly don’t know.

  29. Excellent! Trying to explain these things to normie conservatives with their dead, glassy eyes and closed minds takes a whole lot of patience.

  30. David French (upon realizing the game has changed): now what I am going to do with this damn African kid?! Can’t even house train the bugger.

  31. There’s no going back. Conservative inc remains convinced that the election was fought on the economy, when in actual fact it was fought and won on culture. And the economy is downstream of culture which is why all African nations are economic disasters. The Z Man is right; they will never wake up. The only thing that matters is not falling into the same trap in the future.

    • “And the economy is downstream of culture which is why all African nations are economic disasters”

      Anyone who has any remaining doubt about this should watch “Empire of Dust” on YouTube

    • I am not relating too well to all this categorization and definition of who and what. Most philosophical starting points seem to limit one’s ability to see what is really going on. In my experience, I come across individuals, groups, and movements. They are fundamentally correct, redeemably incorrect, or irredeemably incorrect. I respond accordingly, and pick my fights carefully.

      The rest of it is interesting, watching and listening where people are coming from in their positions. I get the feeling that we are seeing things happening in our culture and world that we haven’t quite seen before. Or maybe that is a conceit, and people always think that, even though it is the same old story. Most of all, I like quietly being a fly on the wall, because things have gotten very fascinating lately.

  32. It’s fashionable for people like Vox Day and the author of this blog to criticize “conservatives”, and then they go on to cite examples of people who are either neocons, RINOs or centrists. Open borders, globalism and multi-culturalism are not part of a conservative platform. Two examples of well-known true conservatives are Mark Levin and Dennis Prager.

    • Well, that’s the debate. The linked NRO article keeps talking about Conservatism as if it’s some kind of holy scripture that doesn’t need describing.

      Whenever they do describe it over there, it sounds nothing like my ideas of conservatism.

    • Open borders, globalism and multi-culturalism are not part of a conservative platform.

      You’re supposed to say, not part of a true conservative platform.

      I went trolling through the last few months of Shapiro writing. Lots of anti-Trump pearl clutching. Zero articles on immigration. That’s the TruCon act in a nutshell. They want you to spend all of your time focusing on nonsense items. That lets the Progs run wild on the important items. The neocons are at least honest in their hatred for white people and traditional America. TruCons? Not so much. Their main focus is keeping their place at Lefty’s table.

    • Did you know Mark Levin is an actual homunculus? I just can’t get into weird shit like that; freaks me out.

    • Mark Levin is one of the biggest neocons going…he never met a Middle Eastern intervention he didn’t like.

  33. I had a psychology professor who told us a similar anecdote about disconfirmed expectancy/cognitive dissonance. I’m sure it’s apocryphal BS but I enjoyed it: Three schizophrenics are convinced they’re God, and the shrinks on the ward finally hit on a solution to cure the men of their delusions: Put all three of them in a room together, and when they see that each says he’s God, they’ll be able to perceive how delusional their own thinking is. So the shrink leaves the three men in the room together to hash out their god complex, and he comes back twenty minutes later. One of the three patients says, “We figured it out,” and points to himself, and the other two men in succession. “I’m the father, he’s the son, and he’s the Holy Ghost.” It’s more logical at least than blaming Vladimir Putin buying facebook ads for Hillary losing the election.

    • Tangential to your point, I realize, but this is actually true of schizophrenics – lock two guys who think they’re Napoleon in a room and they’ll agree, they are BOTH Napoloeon. Julian Jaynes made a lot of hay out of this in The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. A more Seventies book is hard to imagine, but if he’s even half right, it explains a lot about our Liberal friends.

      • That book’s a fun read. Jaynes liked to have students for sherry before dinner and I enjoyed listening to him. Sadly, too dumb at that point to really plumb his mind. But a very nice guy. Tim

        • Cool! I really wish I had the neuroscience to know if his evidence has been added to since the 70s. Jaynes (and to a lesser degree the fate of William Sheldon) opened my eyes to how far the rot has gone in academia – even into the sciences. Here’s a fascinating theory, seems well supported, but… nothing. I don’t even see references to Jaynes as a crank (which, of course, I don’t think he was). There’s just not much out there at all, except for a few small fan groups. Ditto with Sheldon’s somatotypes — large parts of that just seem obviously right, but Sheldon was a weird guy who didn’t play well with others, so we’ll stick with the old’n’busted, thanks. (PS trying to think what would happen if I invited a student to dinner. Gosh, it must’ve been nice to be in college when it was actually collegial)

  34. “They cannot imagine that there will be a time when their tool set of ideas is no longer relevant. The other thing that seemed obvious, is that observable reality is not enough to shake someone from their ideology.”

    Christianity has a similar problem, but more long term. Luther rocked the House 500 years ago with a simpler and broader insight into the faith: Sola Fide and Sola Scriptura.

    The great problem now for the Church is that Sola Scriptura no longer stands up to scrutiny and reality. The Central dogmas of even the Protestants don’t explain or convince either, and very intelligent people are called to apologize for them through loyalty to faith.

    These things no longer hold up:
    1) God doesn’t choose one people over another.
    2) Adam and Eve never were. Death and Sin were built into life from the start. Monkeys can lie, dogs can deceive, too.
    3) God doesn’t write books. People do.
    4) What difference would it make that Mary was not a virgin inseminated by God?

    There are two great basic lessons or themes in the Bible.
    In the OT: God is God. You’re not him.
    In the NT: Death is not death.

    Until a somewhat wholesale re-envisioning of Faith comes about, the Church is a stagnant backwater without much social influence. It cannot form a foundation for civilization (the cultus) which is necessary for a white renaissance.

    • I’d argue the only central problem with Christianity is that the overwhelming majority of Churches have become anti-white. If that can be fixed, all the rest is commentary.

        • I’ve read the New Testament a couple or three times. The thing that stands out to me is that, if you follow Christ’s teachings, it seems very, well, inclusive. And unavoidably diverse.

          The Sermon on the Mount, love your enemies, turn the other cheek, numerous admonitions to give away all your stuff to the poor if your really want to follow Christ.

          Taken on it’s face it just sounds like Jesus is all about a brown planet.

          I know this will not be popular here.

          Let the downvotes roll!

          • I believe the statement was “Christ never visited Africa” which according to scripture is a false statement.

            The Egyptians were well aware of Ethiopians, for example, as they had conquered/ruled Egypt for a lengthy stretch of time. This is also in the bible. Whether Christ was aware of these teachings in the oral histories of the Jews is unclear to me, but it is not unrealistic to believe that if his family lived in Egypt that they came across quite a few different cultures there, and that they passed down many of these oral traditions about distant Ethiopia/Cush.

            Besides, to the commenter’s original point, Christ accepted whores, tax collectors, lepers, gentiles, and just about anybody else who wanted in as long as they followed his teachings. These were the most wretched and outcast of society at the time. I think it is nothing short of sinful pride and arrogant presumption to second guess the Son of Man on this matter.

          • I have read nothing in the New Testament which would indicate to me that Christ gives a rat’s butt about a brown planet. The Sermon on the Mount and those other “admonitions” to which you refer are ideals that Christ uses to indicate how man should treat his fellow man. It’s not real deep , bad guest, just hard to do regardless of your fellow man’s color.

          • It’s why using the Bible as your only source material is a mistake. The authorship of the Gospels is a mystery that will never be solved, but we can be sure they were not written by Jesus. Most scholars think Mark, Mathew and Luke were written by second generation Christians. John presents all sorts of trouble for Bible scholars. Then you have the obvious fact that there are missing texts. The Q document(s).

          • I’ve read the bible twice, the Book of Mormon and the Koran once each.

            By far the most barbaric god is that in the Old Testament.

          • A person can cherry-pick the Bible and prove almost anything, but read the whole thing and tell me that it’s overall message a liberal/leftist/pacifist manifesto. All that stuff is in there for a reason.

            I’m a Protestant, but it’s easy to see why many Catholics at the time of the Reformation worried about Holy Writ being placed in the hands of the people. Its a very easy book to misunderstand, even easier to misrepresent…

          • It is very clear now that authors put words in Jesus’ mouth in the NT. What he may or may not have said is pure speculation and uncertain.

            That puts the Church in a difficult position since religions generally depend on having certain and absolute dogmas.

            And societies depend on a spiritual cultus to bind its members closer together or any group succumbs to centrifugal forces.

            How then does Christianity then proceed.

            I would suggest it adopt a framework closer to Buddhism in style, a focus on its mysticism, prayer, and practice of virtue, while maintaining sacramental worship for the hoi polloi.

            A focus on God as he is and not analogies of him.

          • No one accepts literary criticism as being relevant to discerning biblical authorship anymore, Z.

    • Given that the European Renaissance of about 1400-1600 was made of various Renaissances in the plural (Italian Renaissance, English Renaissance — well, I don’t think I’ve heard the labels “French Renaissance, German Renaissance, Spanish Renaissance” used, but the German painting of those centuries is certainly different from the Italian), it seems likely that an overall White Renaissance would be made up of separate Slavic, Balkan, Scandinavian, Dutch, Scottish, MiddleAmerican, etc. Renaissances.

    • JM;
      Your evaluation of the *five* Sola’s seems subjective and a-historic. Neither your or my evaluation based current cultural norms is all that relevant to handling any or all five of them. One main point of this well-thrased-out doctrine set (which many Catholics now agree with some/most of) was to *remove* the element of human subjectivity and current thought from theology. At least this was Luther’s original stated intent, not schism.

      I’d argue that wholesale re-visioning of the faith is how the mainline protestant denominations became the stagnant backwaters that we agree they are now. Think about it. If Holy scripture is *not* the unchanging, eternal Word of God dictated to various human authors, some of whom wrote allegorically and some of whom wrote literally, what’s the point of Christianity in any form_? And if it is the unchanging, eternal Word of God, then the main-line idea that God’s word can be *improved* upon based on current cultural norms is the height of prideful effrontery: Not to mention spiritually dangerous. And, as you say, the results are there for all to see

      Now, there is room for interpretation of how to *apply* the eternal, unchanging Word of God to current circumstances. But the Word must come first, not the circumstances.

    • “Sola Fide and Sola Scriptura”

      Well that’s where it all went wrong. Those are both absolutely terrible ideas. The first cuts people off from their rituals and traditions. The second cuts people from the accumulated knowledge of their culture. If we want to rebuild the west, it starts with a strong and coherent explanation of just how wrong, scientifically and ethically, both those concepts are.

      • Ryan;
        Good luck with that. Historically, the Sola’s *were* corner-stones of the previously dominant N. European Western Civilization. You know, the one that took over most of the world starting in the 16th century. Home of the Protestant Ethic and all that, etc.

        It’s almost like when our beloved ancesterial elite gave up those Sola’s along with the rest of Christianity, starting in the late 19th century, they lost the plot and so had no confidence to resist the onslaught of Cultural Marxism in the ’60s.

        Now, it may well not be possible to rebuild the Western Cultural past in aid of having a future, but the past Western rituals and traditions you speak of most definitely included, and were in many cases, based on said Sola’s. It is the current rituals and traditions that need to be reformed. One could do worse than using the Sola’s against them now.

    • I am a conservative independent. a former democrat, who since 1972 has voted for George McGovern, jimma carter twice, Reagan once (from my hometown BTW) billa bubba Clinton twice, because I couldn’t stand preston ,George H.W. or “W” and certainly jeb. so I voted for scum like gore and Kerry, and also held my nose and voted for mitt Romney in 2012. but karl rove needs to go. he is a sickening as any Bolshevik like Obama’s crowd.

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