Puritans and Progressives

If you were going to put together a list of major mass movements in American history, a good list would look like this. Women’s suffrage, Social Gospel, Abolitionism, Temperance Movement, Efficiency Movement, The New Deal, Civil Rights Movement, New Left and maybe Neoliberalism. There are others, but that’s a pretty good list of the major ones. What’s remarkable, even looking at only the major ones, is the number. America is the land of reformers and proselytizers. It’s no wonder that Europeans think we are moralists.

The movements in the 20th century, starting with the Efficiency Movement, would usually be called Progressive. They usually get its own stall in the American mass movement bizarre, but Progressive is a good umbrella term for them. In fact, you can lump earlier movements in with the latter movements. All of them trace some of their roots to the Puritan founding of New England and all of them are spiritual movements. Unlike European mass movements, American movements are about communal salvation.

For the American Left, it always starts from some version of “a society is judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members.” This is part of its inheritance from the Puritans. While the Puritans that settled in America believed in predestination, only God knew who was chosen. Clues about one’s fate could be found in good works, church attendance and prayer. Part of that was making sure others did the same things, as they sought to discover their destiny. It’s why church attendance was mandatory for Puritans.

Similarly, this individualized concept of grace, meant an individualized reading of and interpretation of Scripture. That led to tensions, even open hostility, within the church. The solution was a strict hierarchy and consensus. If one could only find clues to their own salvation in a thriving community of believers, maintaining the community becomes paramount. That resulted in a forced consensus within each community. Dissidents were persecuted and even banished. A Puritan community functioned like a single organism.

It’s a good example of how the practical application of belief can result in practices that appear at odds with the belief. The Puritans rejected the concept of free will, but they still judged one another’s action, because leading a righteous life might be an indication of God’s grace. The righteous, of course, would never tolerate an obvious sinner in the community of believers, so policing the ranks for sinners was a potential sign of God’s grace. Everyone, even Puritans, wants to hedge their bets when it comes to grace.

Of course, anyone paying attention to the modern Left understands that forced consensus is at the heart of their beliefs. The constant cries for “unity” and the railing against those who “divide” or “polarize” is an effort to enforce consensus. It’s also why northern conservatives, like the Buckley crowd, are so fond of purging people from their ranks. It is a purity test, but also a way of removing trouble makers from the community of the righteous. Instead of Quakers, it is racists getting run out of the community.

Another thing that you see in all Progressive movements, rooted in Puritan New England, is the hunt for Old Scratch. The Puritans, like all Christians of the age, believed that Satan was a real thing and played a role in human affairs. They saw Satan as a creation of God, that punished the wicked, but also gave purpose to the pious. After all, if your deeds had no impact on the disposition of your soul and there was no price to be paid for sin, what would be the point of virtue? Satan solved half that problem for Puritans.

The post hoc fallacy is not new to this age. If you believe that bad things happen because of a lack of piety, then the only reason for the bad things happening to the community is someone cavorting with Old Scratch. The Puritans were uniquely susceptible to the witch panics, because they saw a direct causal link between sinners in the community and bad things befalling the community. The hunt for those working with Satan makes obvious sense. Combined with the forced consensus, Puritans were unusually paranoid.

Even though modern Progressives no longer explicitly talk about God or Satan, they still carry with them a fear of supernatural influences. The endless search for racists, for example, is just the same old hunt for Satan. If the community is not unified, it must be due to those polarizing types, who are responsible for white privilege, the glass ceiling or the rape culture. Now, suburban white mothers are fretting that their sons may be cavorting with alt-right people on-line. Everywhere they look, dark forces are tempting the righteous

Communal salvation, forced consensus and the fear of Old Scratch inevitably means a sense of alienation to the outside world. Read any description of Puritan life and you see a hostility to outsiders. This is another thing you see with all Progressive mass movements and you certainly see it today. The modern Left is consumed with defining who is inside and who is outside their thing. The people inside are the righteous, while the people outside are all evil. In fact, maintaining the boundary is what defines the modern Left.

Like the Puritan communities of the past, Progressives are inward looking. Those outside the movement are assumed to be hostile others. It’s why they have so many words that simply mean “people outside the walls.” The phrase “right-winger” is used interchangeably with the word “Republican” even though they are almost opposites at this point. To the Progressives, they both mean outsider. Puritans did not waste a lot of time understanding the difference between Quakers and Episcopalians. They just had to be chased off.

This binary world view has another effect. For Progressives, there are only two possible answers to any question and they are mutually exclusive. There is the righteous answer and the false or evil answer. It’s why they spend all of their time “debunking” human science. If they can defeat the evil answer, it means the righteous answer triumphs and, by extension, they are the righteous. It’s also why the concept of casual indifference is alien to Progressives. In a world of good and evil, there can be no compromise.

This is a good place to note that a generation ago, Progressives smugly put Darwin fish on their Subaru. Today, they shake their fist at the “scientific racists” using new finding in genetics to reveal the origins of modern people. Because unity is the promised land, anything that divides people is the work of Satan. It’s why racism is the great bogeyman of the Left. The growing mountain of scientific data revealing the diversity of modern humans, is seen as a gathering storm, threatening the righteous. Science is now Mordor.

There are other Puritan aspects to modern Progressives, things like conformity and an affinity for black clothing, but the important influence is the spiritual one. The Puritans were utopians, when you strip away all of the mythology and lore. They came to the New World to build their ideal community. When Reagan spoke of the “city on the hill” he was speaking to a spiritual sensibility that started at Plymouth. It is a spiritual sensibility that is the animating force of northern conservatives and America Progressives.

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David+Wright
Member
2 years ago

comment image

Oh well, hoping photo would display here. Perfect example of your assessment of the progressive nitwits is David Hogg with fist clenched saying we are changing the world.
I wonder where he got that from?

Saml Adams
Saml Adams
Reply to  David+Wright
2 years ago

When does he release his rap-style cover of “Tomorrow Belongs to Me”?

TomA
TomA
2 years ago

At the heart of Progressive zeal is existential fear. A parasite lives in dread that the host will someday reject them. Lacking the skill to be self-reliant, they must be extreme in their demands or face extinction.

Drake
Drake
Reply to  TomA
2 years ago

That’s what’s different now. People have been running away from the Puritans since they got here. First they escaped to Rhode Island, then the started heading ever further west.

Now we are out of real estate to run to and we have to fight or submit.

Saml Adams
Saml Adams
Reply to  Drake
2 years ago

Yep. My direct line came in the 1629 fleet. Then several years later fled to found the Hartford colony so they could be the tormentors rather than the tormentees of the Winthrops. Finally moved west, mixing in enough Scot & Scots/Irish blood to transform into hard drinking “is this a private fight or can anyone join in?” types. But they learned to stay out of other people’s business. But there is no frontier anymore. So here we put our stake in the ground, tie the rawhide rope on and fight.

TomA
TomA
Reply to  Saml Adams
2 years ago

Now this story is true Americana. As long as we have these kinds of folks in our tribe, there is hope and there is redemption.

Zeroth Tollrants
Zeroth Tollrants
Reply to  Saml Adams
2 years ago

Was it your people that brought my Scots-irish ancestors here as slaves?
Thanks, I guess.

Dr. Dre
Dr. Dre
Reply to  Saml Adams
2 years ago

The “William and Mary”? Hi, Cuz;-) Left Mass Bay after a brief stay in Newtown aka Cambridge and founded Hartford CT. Also, part of Rhode Island’s founding with Roger Williams. Up to VT during Am Rev. then into upstate NY, some to Michigan in time for Civil War service. On to riches — ha! — in California in late 1800s. And hear I am today. One half of me, that is, the rest being escapees from the 20th c. Russian Revolution. Weird blending.

S18-1000
S18-1000
Reply to  Drake
2 years ago

I can’t remember where, but someone had an article in which they said:
“There were probably a not insignificant number of pioneers, headed west to flee government busybodies, who despaired when they came to the California coast; and then yelled ‘Start swimming! They’re right behind us, swim damn you!'”
At some point you have to plant your feet and declare ‘Not one step back!’

Severian
2 years ago

“The people inside are the righteous, while the people outside are all evil. In fact, maintaining the boundary is what defines the modern Left.” Which is interesting, because the logical endpoint of their thing seems to be the complete extinction of self. They lead off their every declaration with a full list of their hangups, like a medieval monarch’s herald listing all His Majesty’s titles: “I’m a pansexual genderqueer dominatrix who identifies as a black lesbian cisgender narwhal. My pronouns are xym, xyr, and Steve.” How do they manage to maintain consensus in a group that officially recognizes 38 different… Read more »

Dutch
Dutch
Reply to  thezman
2 years ago

Their arguments are always about the “whattabouts”. Clever tool, annoying as all hell.

Corn
Corn
Reply to  thezman
2 years ago

“Think about the homosexual marriage debate. It was never really a debate, as the Left never offered an argument in favor of it. Instead, they demanded everyone explain why they opposed it. ” I never heard it put that way but that’s pretty much what happened. Another thing that chafed me during the the whole homo marriage “debate “ was how Obama would dismiss the anti- side as a “distraction”. Anyone else remember that? The antis weren’t trying to change the laws, weren’t even marching in the streets all that much, but they were the ones doing the distracting, even… Read more »

bilejones
Member
Reply to  Corn
2 years ago

My response was always
“Two sodomites playing house cannot make a family”

Turn the justification back on them.

Herodian
Herodian
Reply to  thezman
2 years ago

“Left never offered an argument in favor of it”

Well, they sort of did, but they quickly abandoned it. I remember them initially selling it as a property rights issue. In the case of separation, they could have the ability to go through divorce court, arbitration, etc. Of course civil unions fixed that but it wasn’t enough, clearly.

Saml Adams
Saml Adams
Reply to  Severian
2 years ago

It may be their undoing. Just trying to make sense of “intersectionality” is like reading a modern defense of strict Creationism. Right now they keep a form of consensus by having “Old Scratch” at hand…take that away and it falls apart. Already seeing that. Some of Jews are waking up to their demotion from “worlds most persecuted”. Standard issue gays who have not altered their parts in any way are discovering they’ve become part of the power hierarchy. Guess it’s a question of who cracks first, them or us.

Dutch
Dutch
2 years ago

I am reminded of “The Monsters are Due on Maple Street”.

Issac
Issac
2 years ago

I find this aptly describes Christians in general. Only a few orthodox sects have been spared the wrath of progress or communism. Every major church has fallen to poz from top to bottom. Only the sedevacant catholics and frontier calvinists retain the old patriarchal order.

Observer
Observer
2 years ago

Per usual, the ZMan gets it almost right. Also, per usual, he neglects to mention the factor of his Hebrew friends he loves so dearly. Here’s the whole story: The Puritan/Progressive tic is a part of White people’s operating code. To summarize, White people strive for higher status by demonstrating greater morality. It’s annoying, but not debilitating. Mostly because we also have a counterbalancing code of orneriness & stubbornness against people who act too holy to be believable. Left alone, White societies will swing back & forth between periods of greater & lesser public piety, without spiraling into fatal holiness… Read more »

Rod1963
Rod1963
Reply to  Observer
2 years ago

The Jews didn’t hack squat. We killed Christianity via the Enlightenment, Darwin and Galton became the new gods of the Western educated man. Hell they are still considered gods by many in the alt-right. Besides the nobility and merchant classes wanted to be rid of the churchman condemning their behaviors Christianity only lived on in the lower classes. Hell the white educated classes let a handful of atheistic nutjobs purge Christianity from our schools and public arenas. Starting in the late 40’s when the WASPs were still dominant in our society. The Ivy League schools went bad because those WASPS… Read more »

Observer
Observer
Reply to  Rod1963
2 years ago

Right, bro. It was Darwin & the French who did it. Got it.

Whiskey
Reply to  Observer
2 years ago

Not true all Whites strive for status by morality. Examples Renaissance Italy, Hapsburg Spain and Austria, Russia, Napoleonic France, the Romans and Greeks. Alexander promised Glory not morality as did Napoleon.

Moreover inter White hatred is a historical record. Caesar killed nearly a million Gauls. France allied with the Sultan allowing Turkish fleet to Winter in Toulouse against Spain and the Holy League.

And some guy named Nietzsche had quite a lot too say about master and slave morality.

Hence your assertions are all wrong.

Observer
Observer
Reply to  Whiskey
2 years ago

NAXALT is a bitch’s argument, Pisskey.

Tekton
Tekton
Reply to  Observer
2 years ago

Hear! Hear! Excellent observations, Observer. (Your detractors are probably “replacement theology” ((Judeo))-Christians who MUST find fault with any socio-analysis mentioning the Unmentionable). But, you too have got it *almost* right… If you would just replace “White people” with “White Israel”, you’d be closer to the mark. Whiskey’s points would be less relevant if he knew that not all Adamites (Whites) are descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and therefore have the Promises of God (and curses for disobedience!) etched into their very DNA. Puritans were part of a SUBSET of the White race, and the only set to which the… Read more »

Tax Slave
Tax Slave
2 years ago
David+Wright
Member
Reply to  Tax Slave
2 years ago

You know, he does look like a little Heinrich Himmler

Dutch
Dutch
Reply to  David+Wright
2 years ago

But does he have only one ball?

David+Wright
Member
Reply to  Dutch
2 years ago

I doubt he has any the little fag.

bilejones
Member
Reply to  Dutch
2 years ago

I’ve not seen that fine little ditty referenced for a long while, well done,

Tax Slave
Tax Slave
Reply to  David+Wright
2 years ago

You realize, the phrases taken from Hitler’s speech he’s ranting about the Jews. Now watch the negative votes accumulate.

Karl McHungus
Karl McHungus
Reply to  David+Wright
2 years ago

He looks more like this one: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolf_Hess

james+wilson
james+wilson
Reply to  Karl McHungus
2 years ago

Good call, and I didn’t have to link.

RLhunter
RLhunter
Reply to  Karl McHungus
2 years ago
A from da Nort
A from da Nort
Reply to  Tax Slave
2 years ago

T Slave;
Damn, that’s an uncanny, not to mention diabolical meme. The dead-eye look ought to be frightening to anybody normal. Hogg’s expressions and face shape also bear a more than passing resemblance to his schoolmate N. Cruz. What is it with south Florida_?

You’re right, the ranting about die Juden is the diabolical aspect.

It’s Al, not A, BTW.

Ivar
Member
2 years ago

ZMan, this is one of your best.

ApoloDoc
ApoloDoc
2 years ago

Sadly, each time you put forth your atheist viewpoint and seek to attack classical Christianity, you alienate a part of your audience. But even worse is the inaccuracy of your caricature of the reformed faith of the Puritans. You clearly have no clue about what “grace” entails nor of the classical doctrine of predestination (that is clearly found throughout the NT). The ignorance of your idea that Satan is here to “punish” people is bizarre! Where in the world did you come up with such a notion? Punishment will be meted out BY GOD upon Satan and those whose sins… Read more »

Sceadugengan
Reply to  ApoloDoc
2 years ago

If Jesus enjoyed Hypostasis doesn’t it mean that this is the true natural state of every man, waiting to be realized, actualized? That would be a grace not often embraced by Christians.

David+Wright
Member
Reply to  ApoloDoc
2 years ago

I believe Z was raised and educated Catholic as was I. Ignorance is not likely but I will grant that Satan wasn’t put here to punish us. Actually very little about the fallen angel in the bible. For me, still a believer, I am not going to worry about alienating an audience because of a belief or lack of. The man is insightful and I can sift through all the writings and find a lot that I agree with. As for atheists most aren’t born that way and may have just as good and understanding of religion as you do.… Read more »

james+wilson
james+wilson
Reply to  David+Wright
2 years ago

There are two distinct types of atheists, the anti-religionist, who are their own religion, and the non-religious, who are often more prone to the better Christian sentiments than the Christian may be.

RJL
RJL
Member
Reply to  ApoloDoc
2 years ago

I agree. This is a juvenile, grade school caricature of the Puritans that is completely out of line with the best historical and theological scholarship concerning the Puritans. As well, the theological position of Puritan and Reformed Theology concerning free will is nothing like that presented in this article.

Karl McHungus
Karl McHungus
Reply to  RJL
2 years ago

Well, start from the facts: they did indeed believe in witches, and hung a bunch of people they were convinced were witches. Also keep in mind they were basically driven out of England because they were irritating a-holes.

Kendoka
Kendoka
Reply to  Karl McHungus
2 years ago

The Puritans hunting and killing of those believed to be engaged in witchcraft was a small part of the much larger trend one saw throughout Europe between 1500-1750, whether in Catholic or Protestant territories. Estimates vary but the generally accepted figure is that during this 200 war period some 40,000 to 60,000 people were accused and executed for practicing witchcraft. Witch hunts in the medieval period were far fewer in number and that is because there were complex sociological, religious, ideological and other forces as play in early modern Europe that did not exist in the medieval centuries, or at… Read more »

Karl McHungus
Karl McHungus
Reply to  Kendoka
2 years ago

“This is a juvenile, grade school caricature of the Puritans that is completely out of line with the best historical and theological scholarship concerning the Puritans”

The fact that Puritans were in fact believers in witchcraft — which BTW is no where in the bible — refutes the above statement. That other groups also believed in witchcraft is not relevant to this post.

Kendoka
Kendoka
Reply to  Karl McHungus
2 years ago

First, the Old Testament Bible specifically demands that witches be put to death (Exodus 22:18 “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.”). That text and others in the Bible were the theological basis for the Catholic and Protestant church leaders who led the witch hunts in early modern Europe. Second, the whole point of your rant (and Z’s) was that somehow Puritans were believers in witch craft and therefore were somehow deficient in some ideological way. They were no more deficient than others in their time, or in the years after the witch hunts ended. I would also add… Read more »

Ivar
Member
Reply to  thezman
2 years ago

The Puritans were the original, blue nose, self important busybodies, eager to display their virtue and general superiority over the unwashed. They loved minding other peoples’ business. They also loved using the Hellfire as a whip. “Sinners at the Hands of an Angry God”, anyone? The attitudes carried on long after the religious aspect dropped out. ZMan is not the first one to make this argument but he did it very well, IMO. By the way, if you want to find a hive of Politically Correct Right Thinkers, the Unitarian Church is a great place to look. The Unitarians are… Read more »

Epaminondas
Member
Reply to  thezman
2 years ago

They not only imposed their will on the rest of the country, they also imposed their wacky religion(s) on us. My Baptist family members have no idea where that ridiculous cult originated. Nor are they curious.

Tekton
Tekton
Reply to  Kendoka
2 years ago

Looks like Karl got the facts wrong. Kendoka is spot on… Also frequently overstated is the so-called Puritan witch hunts. It really was a small part of their history and quite mild compared to what had (and was) going on in Western Europe. People seem to think it was a mini reign of terror with “blood up to the horses bridles”, but only 20 people were hanged during the Salem trials. But also overlooked is the fact that there was indeed some weird shyte going on during that time. Among all the other very odd occurrences and hysteria, Anne Hutchinson… Read more »

black flag corsair
black flag corsair
Reply to  ApoloDoc
2 years ago

As one who has spent some time studying classical
Christianity, and fundamentalist doctrine, I am not offended at all by our host’s take on the subject. Other opinions or analyses are useful in clarifying or challenging my own perspectives, and some very good analyses are presented here.

The idea of Satan being an instrument of punishment is common, even in Baptist churches where the preacher knows better.

Sceadugengan
2 years ago

Actually the duality goes waaaay back, long before the Puritans. Christianity itself is the culprit. It posits perfection in an unreachable sphere, above and beyond our sphere here below. God, the “good”, is in the realm of the stars, forever beyond our grasp, in heaven. So, its really Aristotelian. We are forever frustrated reaching for an ever receding perfection, salvation.

Bunny
Bunny
Reply to  Sceadugengan
2 years ago

Any discussion of Christianity should at least be as accurate as possible in stating what the faith actually professes. Christianity teaches that “For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man, ” Nicene Creed, 325 A.D. “This (the incarnation) teaches us that He became man, body and soul, participating fully in human life, and remaining incarnate to unite humanity with God forever. ” http://www.catholicfaith.org.uk/Home/Catholic-Faith/The-person-of-Jesus-Christ/Incarnation-Divinity Of course, we do not “grasp” God. We are able to have a relationship with God… Read more »

Al from da Nort
Al from da Nort
Reply to  Bunny
2 years ago

Bunny; Excellent terse summation of basic Christian Doctrine, and it is one Evangelical Protestants can and mostly also do agree with.* Progressivism is indeed a heresy, a double + one. Progs. are apostate Unitarians historically, having a religious faith that denies Unitarian Deism and adds Gnosticism with Utopianism, supposedly enabling elite thinkers to bring about heaven here on earth. Unitarians are apostate Congregationalists historically, having a faith that denies the universal depravity of man hence the urgent need for Christ’s substitutionary atonement for the sin he can’t escape. Unitarianism relies on magic-good-thought, kumbayah universalism + Deism. Congregationalists (and I was… Read more »

Sceadugengan
Reply to  Sceadugengan
2 years ago

I’m talking about estrangement, alienation, being rooted not only in puritanism but its precursors. Christian guilt would not exist without humanities estrangement from the outer sphere, heaven, the abode of the fixed stars. The immutable. The puritans merely did what they were taught. I don’t think the Rabbinic Jews have this alienation.

Heaven is not a destination. It is a point of origination.

fredcdobbs
fredcdobbs
2 years ago

Jeez, Z……I hate to use the term “best ever”…….I’ve been reading your stuff well over a year now…..but this one ranks. Why, your mind is aglow with whirling, transient nodes of thought, careening thru a cosmic vapor of invention.

dearieme
dearieme
2 years ago

“It’s no wonder that Europeans think we are moralists.” They are more likely to think you moralisers.

dearieme
dearieme
2 years ago

“Dissidents were persecuted and even banished.” And even executed.

Cloudswrest
Cloudswrest
2 years ago

“Now, suburban white mothers are fretting that their sons may be cavorting with alt-right people on-line.” That article appears to be a case of guilt by association Pavlovian conditioning of the public. The globo-media is associating the “alt-right” with a random psycho stalker who killed his ex-girlfriend’s parents. What that has to do with the “alt-right” is beyond me. The only association appears to be that he read/surfed “alt-right” sites. “Her troubled [17 year old] son had been up for two nights straight, inconsolable over a breakup, ***when she pulled him into her bed to soothe him***. She never meant… Read more »

Shane
Shane
2 years ago

Very interesting post Z. As luck would have it a very interesting essay was posted recently on Counter Currents regarding the Alt/Dissident Right and the the nature of of Progressive hegemony which it likens to a Theocracy https://www.counter-currents.com/2018/03/the-listing-vessel-of-the-right/
It raises a lot of the the points that you have previously made such as an Identitarian/Ethnic ideology needs to be one that has positive or aspiritational attributes. The author also has an interesting previous essay about the irrelevence of the Republican party and its contribution to the creation of the Alt Right.
https://www.counter-currents.com/2018/03/how-the-gop-establishment-created-the-dissident-right/
Are you moonlighting on a grand scale?

Rofl
Rofl
Reply to  thezman
2 years ago

First time i heard progressive & puritan mentioned in the same sentence was way back in 2010…. in the comments at a libertarian blog,..
https://www.samizdata.net/2010/11/they-are-not-li/

Berty
Berty
2 years ago

The desire of many of the left to make this election about guns instead of Trump may end up saving the GOP after all. It seems to me that since Trump’s election there’s been a complete collapse in tact and restraint among the left. Before they would be careful about their words, avoid controversial statements and stay away from issues that could derail them. A good example is when Harry Reid immediately dismisses gun control after Aurora. Now it’s become a general push. They are enraged that whites elected Trump and won’t ever forgive them now. Leftists inside and outside… Read more »

LineInTheSand
LineInTheSand
Reply to  Berty
2 years ago

Remember the howling insanity of Bush Derangement Syndrome (“Chimpy McHilter”)? Today’s Trump Derangement Syndrome makes BDS seem mature and considered.

Although with Trump’s refusal to build the wall, I’m afraid I may catch it myself.

I remind myself that if Hillary was President we would be on our way to hate speech legislation and some of my friends would have been visited by the FBI by now.

Berty
Berty
Reply to  LineInTheSand
2 years ago

Trump deserves to take his lumps for such a spectacular failure. I’m not going to abandon him but he needs to take a hit in the polls after that. For something that supposedly meant so much to him he didn’t try nearly as hard as he could have to fight for it.

el_baboso
Member
2 years ago

I’d add the hygiene movement, Z man. If you were in high school or college c. 1910-1930, it was kind of a big deal. A lot of parents weren’t really happy about their kids hanging out in communal showers, supervised by PE coaches from dubious backgrounds. And it is almost a direct projection of the Puritan mindset.

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
2 years ago

I think that this is the conflict between what Rodney Stark calls “informal social control” and “formal social control.” Formal social control is done with government and law. But people still long for the moral drama of the village informal social control. I discuss this on my blog.

Zeroth Tollrants
Zeroth Tollrants
2 years ago

I’d like to address the severely mentally ill boy who murdered his Jewish GF’s parents, and is being called “alt-right,” merely to tar alt-rightists. 1) the article goes into great detail about the boy’s alienation, inability to make friends, severe depression, years of mental health care 2) the article notes the boy said he was posting spicy memes as a facade because he was so unhappy. They even post a photo of a hand-written paper where he states he did it JUST because he wanted to blow his brains out, nothing about an adherence to an ideology. This kid is… Read more »

Al from da Nort
Al from da Nort
Reply to  Zeroth Tollrants
2 years ago

Z. T.; About your #4: People have started noticing that there are *a lot* of strange coincidences of close associations between the FBI and mass shooters. Particularly with the latest revelation that the gay nightclub mass shooter’s dad was a long-time FBI informant. People may have forgotten but Putin really got his political career launched by a series of false flag bombings he blamed on the Chechens so he could stage a country-unifying war against them. Many Russians are pretty sure his KGB bud’s did it. They specialized in that sort of thing in the USSR days. By analogy, TPTB… Read more »