The Museum Is Closed

Imagine you are asked to compete against another person. Let’s say it is a manly contest like boxing or martial arts. The person arranging it talks about the fight in a conventional way, allowing you to assume the match will follow the conventional rules for the sport. Let’s say it is agreed that on a given day, you will show up and box the champion from the other team. You show up on that day, learn that the guy is twice your size and he will be allowed to use a sword in the ring.

That’s a ridiculous scenario, but the point is the only way there can be a fair competition is when both sides abide by the same set of rules. Otherwise you find yourself in the ring with a giant, trying to dodge his weapon of choice. This is something most men learn on the playground as kids. The exception seems to be conservatives, who have been allowing themselves to be clubbed by the Left for as long as anyone reading this has been alive. They still cannot grasp this basic concept.

Michael Anton, who penned “The Flight 93 Election” back when he was hiding behind a pen-name, articulated very well in an exchange with me what millions of conservatives believe to be true:

The old American ideal of judging individuals and not groups, content-of-character-not-color-of-skin, is dead, dead, dead. Dead as a matter of politics, policy and culture. The left plays by new rules. The right still plays by the old rules. The left laughs at us for it — but also demands that we keep to that rulebook. They don’t even bother to cheat. They proclaim outright that “these rules don’t apply to our side.”

I disagree with Anton’s prescription — to surrender to identity politics and cheat the way our “enemies” do — but I cannot argue much with this description of a widespread mindset. Many on the right are surrendering to the logic of the mob because they are sick of double standards. Again, I disagree with the decision to surrender, but I certainly empathize with the temptation. The Left and the mainstream media can’t even see how they don’t want to simply win, they want to force people to celebrate their victories (“You will be made to care!”). It isn’t forced conversion at the tip of a sword, but at the blunt edge of a virtual mob.

Goldberg is not alone in this. Buckley conservatives, neocons and libertarians spend every waking moment prattling on about their principles. This is understandable for libertarians and neocons. The former are outlandishly stupid and the latter are subversively dishonest. Conservatives, on the other hand, are supposed to accept the world for what it is. The starting place for conservatism has always been an acceptance of the human condition. Conservatism is the absence of ideology, in the words of Kirk.

It’s tempting to write-off the Buckleyites as sellouts and grifters. There’s certainly some of that. Being a good punching bag has put Jonah Goldberg into a million dollar home in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods on earth. Being wrong a lot pays really well, if you’re willing to be the Left’s footstool. There’s also the dunce factor. Being a pundit does not require a high IQ. That’s why you don’t find too many math majors in the chattering classes. It is entirely possible that many conservatives think they are right.

To continue to play by a set of rules that guarantees failure and failure guarantees a non-conservative outcome is pretty much the antithesis of conservatism. Fundamental to conservatism is the belief in a transcendent moral order. No matter what political mechanisms it may utilize or the rules it relies upon to operate its political machinery, a society of people morally adrift, living at odds with the natural order, is an immoral and unjust society. Ordered depravity is still depravity. Principles are a means to an end.

That’s why the argument from guys like Goldberg, that conservatism is about means, not ends, is fundamentally un-conservative. Conservatives since the dawn of time have understood that it is the ends that matter. The form of government is only useful in achieving good ends. Custom, convention, and continuity are the proven means for attaining a society in-tune with the natural order, but conservatism does not require a mindless fidelity to the past. If the ends require it, novelty is perfectly acceptable.

Of course, you can make a fetish of rules and your own adherence to principle when you don’t have skin in the game. Much of what plagues conservatism, and has for at least two generations, is the modern conservative is a man who prefers to live in imagination land, rather that the real world. Jonah Goldberg can be on the losing side of every debate, because it has no impact on his life. When he loses to the big guy with the spiky club, it is someone else who takes the beating. Most of us cannot afford to be so principled.

The fact remains, the people now claiming ownership of the label conservative are not actually conservative. Even calling them “northern conservatives” is a crime against the language. They are simply guys who say their lines in their role as foil for the prevailing orthodoxy. They have been nothing more than a collection of cartoon villains for the morality play concocted by Progressives. At the dawn of the demographic age, they no longer even work as props in the morality play. They are museum pieces.


59 thoughts on “The Museum Is Closed

  1. Jonah Goldberg doesn’t lose the game, nor do Buckleyites. They THROW IT. They’re the jobbers and jabronis but they’re all in on the pro wrestling show. Especially Goldberg, for reasons you know damn well.

  2. I’m reading “The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic” by Mike Duncan. He notes that as Roman politics became ever more unstable, the first thing to go were all the unwritten rules. Politics devolved from polite debate to literally murder and war.

    Lefties are idiots and will gladly dive into the mayhem without a thought. I can understand Conservatives reluctance to go there, while despising them for not fighting to win.

    • the real battle is still a ways out there, but will only be visible as it starts in hindsight, and measured by the victors.

  3. Just got back from a drive to the imperial city – or its VA tentacles of wealth and empire.

    The Z-man dictum that ours is an age of ‘the Cloud People” and the “Dirt People” cannot have better illustration than wandering on the lovely, historic streets of Middleburg VA.

    It’s an appealing and historic town, guarded and enhanced by big money, by DC money. Its connection with the past is essentaily a lie; it’s a white community secured against all danger, It’s 1860 but with public water, exotic art collections, and boutique communism, and no blacks.

    Fifty years from now, when we’re like India, Middleburg will look just as it does now, except the homes won’t be worth 1 million, they’ll be worth 15 milion.

  4. I can’t pretend anymore that the ‘conservative’ and the ‘liberal’ pundits aren’t basically the same people. Their supporters differ, but they don’t. They take money and positions from the same financial backers, the same corporations and they switch sides with stunning ease.

    The only difference between them is that they are playing to different audiences. They like to dwell on issues like abortion and gun control because they know there isn’t going to be any major shift in those positions.

    Goldberg knows exactly what he is doing and he knows and wants the defeats that are to be expected from his behavior. He doesn’t want the idiots who believe in him to actually win any more than someone like Donna Brazile wanted the Bernie Bros to win.

    The problem both sides are facing is that both their left and right audience is losing faith in the system. They are becoming radicalized and aren’t willing to compromise anymore.

  5. You cannot live peacefully with someone who wants to kill you… Conservatives haven’t figured that out yet…

  6. In 2016 we all heard about the need to cling to “principled conservatism”. You don’t hear any of that nowadays. It had its day, the way “gravitas” revived memories of high school Latin in the 2000 campaign.

    I’m sorry; many readers of the Z blog may not remember that the concerns of the 2000 race included the “lack of ‘gravitas'” in GWB. The then-existing narrative was that Al Gore had this essential presidential element – ‘gravitas’ – while GWB was noticeably absent in this crucial element. Some binding continuum, unbroken between Scipio Africanus and Al Gore, snapped disastrously when GW Bush stepped up to the plate. Hundreds of commentators across the airwaves and the then-prmitive internet all discovered – through their own deliberative thought and based entirely in their independent reading – that an ancient virtue, “gravitas” – was lacking in the GOP candidate. It was a remarkable convergence of independent and learned minds…

    Now, in fairness to our enemies, they weren’t wrong – GW Bush resembled ancient Roman leaders the way a parrot resembles his trainer. If the pro-Gore media had talked plainly and pointed out that GW is stupid, instead of going all in for this ‘gravitas’ bullshite, Gore would have won – as indeed he almost did. He wouldn’t have been as bad as Clinton – or Bush – or the drug-addled Kenyan usurper.

    But the media doesn’t understand anything about the human heart – I voted for that prick GWB (twice) just because his enemies annoyed me more than he did.

  7. I quit calling myself a conservative a long time ago. The so-called conservatives are court jesters. They are here to distract and be approved. Now I take the moniker Patriot. Patriots do strange and unorthodox and sometimes violent things to protect hearth and home. There are a lot of us.

  8. I’m surprised that at this point you’d feel it necessary to critique Goldberg and his ilk. We all know his game – it’s why we’re reading you, and not Goldberg. This is all established.

    Goldberg isn’t the worst guy out there. It’s true, he’s an egotistical coward and a useful clown to the manipulators; that said – unlike Ben Shapiro – I don’t think Goldberg would gladly accept being a ‘kapo’ to avoid starvation. At the bottom of this man there is some trace of integrity.

    Don’t know the man personally; I could be wrong.

    • Goldberg would be better suited to a pink triangle than a yellow star – he’d gladly offer his ass to survive. Shapiro would diligently lead his fellow Jews to the ovens if it meant an extra ration of bacon.

  9. Jonah Goldberg suffers from coprophagia and a compulsion to surrender to the left. Problem is, he never met a leftist he didn’t want to surrender to. This is because he’s actually one himself and the all pretending results in endless episodes of coprophagia.

  10. Your description of Conservatism, Inc.’s mindless devotion to means over ends ties in nicely with Mark Steyn’s latest column. It’s about William Holden, and Steyn writes that he really admires Holden’s portrayal of Shears in ‘Bridge on the River Kwai’:

    “I like him especially in David Lean’s Bridge on the River Kwai, the lone American in a top-notch British cast – Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, the great character actor James Donald. But Holden is vital in a way that the token Yank in Brit war movies usually isn’t (except for box-office purposes). The film is a kind of meditation on Englishness pushed to absurdity, on what’s cricket and what’s not, and in what service the upper lip should be stiffened: To Colonel Nicholson, commanding the Allied prisoners in a Japanese camp and ordered to construct a vital river crossing, honor obliges them to build the Japs a bridge the men can really be proud of, long after this war is over; a bridge built to English standards even in this rotten heathen jungle. To Major Clipton, the camp doctor, Nicholson is insane: He’s divorced “playing the game” from the object of the game.

    Holden’s character, Commander Shears, is not pukkah. In fact, he’s not a commander, not an officer – just a guy who snaffled an officer’s uniform prior to capture because it would get him better treatment in the camp. Jack Hawkins’ Major Warden knows that, and doesn’t care, because he has Shears in mind for a commando raid to destroy Nicholson’s bridge. En route, Hawkins is wounded, cranks up the stiff upper lip, does the decent thing, and tells Holden to go on without him. The American is not impressed: “You make me sick with your heroics,” he sneers. “You and Colonel Nicholson, you’re two of a kind, crazy with courage. For what? How to die like a gentleman… how to die by the rules – when the only important thing is how to live like a human being.””

    That’s “Conservatism” today: pluming itself on the exquisite taste of the bridge they’re constructing for their enemies to roll over en route to their complete annihilation.

    • Wonderful analogy. Major Nicholson as the “principled conservative”, his last words being: “What have I done?”


  11. I wonder why someone like Goldberg would insist that his side continue to play by rules that even he acknowledges are no longer relevant to the contemporary socio-political situation. It’s a bottomless enigma, an impossible puzzle. Why on earth would someone like Goldberg insist on pursuing such an absurd course. If only someone had the kind of penetrating insight necessary to understand the workings of Goldberg’s mind. Goldberg, how could you believe, let alone propagate such an idea. Oh Goldberg, Goldberg, Goldberg… you leave me at a complete loss.

    • Goldberg is probably giving council that he knows will lead to the defeat of his followers.

    • I’m going to speculate that Goldburg and his self serving morally well mannered ilk are skating around the moral impasse of our age. Further, every age with a similar insoluble moral impasse settled it with a conflict that burned it all to the ground. Not offering a prediction here, just too dark….
      i’d prefer it is not be a thesis antithesis synthesis puppet show with aloof immune puppeteers, but I guess that is my weakness.

  12. You may not be interested in the war of identity politics, Mr. Goldcuck, but it is interested in you.

  13. Decades spent preaching against the bogeyman collectivism and in favor of individualism were bound to have an effect on the psyche . Mix the atomization in with cultural and moral collapse and you have a recipe for zombies

    That said since the Left is outright saying them or us to the death, its either going to come to extermination of the white right in gulags or civil war and in either case the nation with get what it richly deserves

    Learn to organize, learn to thing act and punish collectively and be ready to fight and die or turn in you guns and die since you are too gutless to use them anyway

    And do not I am aware that right now is not the time but as soon as Trump is gone or soon after there will be reprisals on the Right, gun bans, mass immigration , censorship and outright Vegas and Representative Scalisi attack style violence

    How bad this will get, I do not know but the Left isn’t misguided. It hates you and me and itself and that hate always ends up in destruction , self destruction on the Left, destruction of the Right or mutual destruction

    Anyone who is not ready will be a victim

    • Intense stuff. Mr Prosper. Hard medicine, but impossible to refute.

      Except – I hope – on one point. The Left “is” misguided, Not in any particular you mention, or their desired hellish annihilation for us; only in their dismissal of ordinary decency. They don’t see it, because the calmer virtues (or vices) are invisible to them.

      In ‘War of the Worlds’ the invader had every advantage but one; they couldn’t see what was unseen in our survival as a race, as a people; the petty organisms with whom we long ago reached ‘rapprochement’ were on ‘our team’ – the Earth team.

      Liberalism seems uncontrollable; sure, a rapidly-flowering red weed that, as in Wells’ fantasy, consumes and overwhelms all the plant and animal life of the planet. But – let us hope, and I think this is a hope based on nature – the nature of Man will in the end overturn and reject it. Not through our weapons, but through our home-field advantage.

      • Good analysis Nephew, although this would seem to refute your earlier statement about AlGore being a better choice than GWB.
        Wouldnt Gore have spread the liberal infection faster?

        • Al Gore wasn’t always the corrupt and corpulent monster we know today. Back in the 80s, as a young and energetic senator with a nice wife and generally sound opinions on core issues from national defense to abortion, he impressed me – I admit it.

          His eight years with Clinton enriched him as a player, but ruined him as a man; he’s a joke now.

          The Clintons do that to people… I lost respect for Gore just because he went along with these soiled, foul entities.

          Would Gore have spread the liberal infection faster?

          Great question; I don’t know and the reason I don’t know is that I don’t know which ‘Al Gore;’ would have ruled – the Al Gore of 1988 or the Al Gore of 2000, befouled by an 8-year assocation with Clinton filth…

          This too I remember – Gore was prepared to concede that night, even when it was close; then, the lawyers and handlers made him “reconsider”. We then got tossed into a crisis of confdence in our system which has not ended, Call me soft – I don’t blame Gore for this; I think he was talked into defiance of the results by his handlers.

          Oh, and by the way, I DO think Gore was a better man in 2000 than GWB. And no, my guess – and it is only a guess – is that the radicaiization of ordinary morality would have been slowed by the election of what we must now admit was a moderate democrat

          • recall also that Tipper Gore led the charge against ‘immoral’ music with the PMRC. I remember that being roundly ridiculed as contrary to freedom of speech, as if casual immorality would foster the moral development of 12 year old latchkey kids. man, we need to pick our battles better…

  14. There is a lot to be said for this point of view. The problem with establishment conservative types is that they assume that the left argue and act in good faith. They do not. It is not possible to have political debate with an opponent who does not act in good faith. Thus, a more “muscular” approach is required from the right. Establishment conservatism is simply not up to the task that is required.

  15. When a member of the GOPe inner party like Paul Ryan says, “That’s not who we are.”, believe him. He is not a Middle-American, been a swamper forever, etc.

    Trouble is, the guy primary-ing him (and he *does* need primary-ing) is looking more and more like a false-flag operation. That is, Ryan’s most visible opponent is a near-full-fledged Jesse Ventura erratic with an extra-large added helping of German National Socialism, IYKWIMAITYD (if you know what I mean and I think you do).

    Picking out your easiest-to-beat opponent ahead of time is one of the oldest tricks in the book. So that’s probably *why* he’s Ryan’s most visible opponent. So simple opposition is not enough. Jacksonian people must be found and supported.

    Better yet, a Jacksonian intellectual grid needs to be articulated. I propose W McKinley’s platform as a place to start.

  16. “Conservative” has generally meant “supporter of the employer class”. The employer class is conservative only in regard to wanting to remain the employer class. Any change—importing Third World cheap labor, for example—that benefits the employer class, they favor.

    • Add to that succinct definition “supporter of the war party”, which in the post-Vietnam era means Israel and its neocon fellow travelers.

      Conservative = invade, invite, export.

      Everything else is commentary, and bait.

  17. There was recent attempt, here in our little burg located deep in Indian Country to lure conservatives into a facilitated “roundtable” to “work out” differences. The response has been a pretty universal “BFYTW” on our side. Message back to the Progressives, you’re the ones that went batshit crazy, Triple Crowning yourselves on Facebook, stomping on anyone who had the temerity to hold a differing opinion and basically functioning as the local town Basij and you want us to engage in a “dialog”? NFW. I think we’re getting close to a break point here.

  18. Along these same lines, I’ve been starting to regard the phonies of Conservative, Inc. in the same way I regard character actors. An actor gets a reputation for playing a certain type well and whenever casting needs to fill a role of that type the actor will be called to read the scripted lines. It’s not necessary that the actor resembles that type in any way in real life. It’s pretty unlikely that Bob Denver would be silly enough to release the one-and-only escape balloon were he stranded on an island in real life, but when scripted to do so he’ll dutifully do it. Similarly Goldfart and crew aren’t going to show up to an unfair fight in real life, but only as actors if they are handed a script ahead of time and paid to show up and throw the fight.

    That’s why I think Conservative, Inc. must be particularly pole-axed at how Williamson got treated. No one at National Review gives a flying fig about abortion. It probably just still remains the case that pro-lifers contribute a great deal of time and money to the GOP so the character actors employed to play “conservatives” have to read scripted lines about abortion whenever asked to. Since Williamson is an obnoxious loud-mouthed @$$, he of course read the lines in the most contentious and beef-witted way possible when called upon to speak. When he was ready to move to the Atlantic though, he dutifully deleted all his contentious tweets and forgot all about it because the abortion line was only a line in a script – not something he truly believed.

    What he’s learned the hard way though is that the demand for “kept conservative” roles is drying up. You can try to recapture the magic when Gilligan’s Island wraps up by taking your “little buddy” act to Far Out Space Nuts, but if that particular act is no longer in demand then you’re just out of luck. It’s yet another thing that Anton was right about in his pre-election articles. The Left is feeling it’s oats after the Obama years and they’re no longer interested in scripting fake contests between the Left and “Right-wing” tomato cans. Williamson’s fate is probably a warning to all the Conservative, Inc. hacks that the most they can hope for in the future is a once-in-a-decade chance to replay their old roles on a made-for-TV cast reunion special.

  19. The relentless ratchet leftward is easily explained by Television. Television comprises most of the production activity in Hollywood, dwarfing both in monetary and resource terms the movies, generates larger revenue in aggregate, and has a far greater cultural effect as it has far more hours in a person’s daily life.

    I don’t have Cable TV, just broadcast –as both a financial and cultural measure. I’ve scanned through a few of the Heroes and Icons (broadcast network) shows like the 1980’s “Hunter” and by modern standards its shocking … I saw last night’s episode the final ten minutes. The climax was Fred Dryer shooting bad guys with a big gun (full size 1911) and persuading Guest Star Sammy Davis Jr. not to shoot a mobster. It was TV Dirty Harry Lite, written and produced by Steven J. Cannell.

    There was no icky sexual situations between some “hot” chick and an inappropriate partner (her brother, her mentor, some student of hers), no gays kissing, no drama over which hunky bad boy would win over the chick, etc. Nothing appealing to women at all — stuff just for your average White dude who liked Dirty Harry but wanted it less intense for a Thursday Night wind-down.

    TV and advertisers went from roughly balanced male/female to decisively female sometime in the late 1970s to early 1980s. I blogged about this years ago — my methodology was to take the Fall schedule on Wikipedia and enter in the hours each week for female ore male skewing based on descriptions of the show or my own memories of viewing it as a kid or in reruns. And also by genre. Thus St. Elsewhere was female, while Miami Vice was male skewing. I’m sure someone can replicate this and probably do a better job.

    It is an article of faith (though if it is true or not is another question) that female viewers are worth more than male ones as women make or influence 85% of purchases. That’s why male skewing shows don’t exist on TV anymore and these retro TV broadcast networks can exist (no competition at all) and shows like Riverdale which draw a minuscule audience on the CW can survive. Because even if only a million viewers watch that show they are almost all young women who advertisers want more.

    And if men are drawn to conservative values: courage, individualism, duty, honor, protection of the weak, etc. women and especially young women are drawn to liberal ones: the ickiest sex the better (as an expression of female power), endless drama over status/power of male suitors, violence and humiliation of various characters as an expression of male sexiness, and especially sacredness of gays and non-White people.

    Youtube Red of all places might give hope. I’ve seen the trailer and its about as 1980s Rock and Roll as you could get, with the script completely flipped — Daniel is now the arrogant jerk, and the loser from the original is a down and out booze hound who finds meaning in teaching bullied kids to fight back. It does not get more male and more culturally conservative than that. And the whole profitability of the enterprise is based on people paying for the show, not ads.

    TLDR: Advertising the weapon of Mass Poz destruction upon the West and the lack of it for decades in Hungary and Poland and Russia is their secret weapon in resisting the poz.

    • I saw an interview with Dirk Benedict where he said he thought The A-Team was the last fully masculine show on network TV. And even back then the network secretly hated the show b/c they thought it was embarrassing. High ratings kept it on the schedule.

  20. what is the prevailing orthodoxy? the global liestate? these days hard to tell and various color pilled people will beg to differ. if the neocons are really stooges for the progressives, then who are they convincing and why should we care? I have 2 sisters – one is a conservative and the other a progressive. The progressive one reads exactly 3 sources to get her worldview – the NYT, the Atlantic, and New Yorker magazine. Her worldview is based on a naive kind of boomer largesse. The conservative gets hers only from Fox news and the trickling conservative news stream on Facebook. I read, or at least skim over 200 rss feeds from various sources. Nobody I know reads anywhere near as broadly as I do – not in my circles. Are the people who read the NR really significant at all?

  21. Jonah sees guys like me and we scare the chit out of him. I grew up in a family of proggies and one day, I was taking my usual lumps with the spikey baseball bat, and the guns came out. When the smoke cleared I, my wife, and our daughter stopped being a family and we stopped being part of theirs. We were the pebble before the avalanche too; once I finished with them they started squabbling amongst themselves. Divorces started among the middle aged kids my age, and the grown grandkids picked their sides and the feuds left us all estranged and angry.
    When families fall, communities fall. when communities fall, states fall. When states fall, nations fall.
    I have a message for Goldberg and his cucks: if you are going to force ME into that ring with armour plated lefty orcs with swords and spears, I am not going into that ring with them. I am going to burn your stadium, your nation, and YOU to the ground along with your left enablers and allies. And I will laugh like a loon when those lefties turn on you like they did with Sloppy Williamson.
    Screw the conservatives, cucks and leftists. If you are going to look out for number one and that’s it – I will too. We can damned well hang separately; at least I will get to watch you die first.

  22. The ZMan is good for one thing and one thing only.
    He shows the futility of understanding the world using an ideological lens.
    To fully explain what is happening, you must also look at tribal dynamics too.
    Everyone would agree that tribal dynamics were essential motivators for human events 5,000 years ago, 500 years ago, even 50 years ago. What has changed in human nature that would make those dynamics irrelevant today?
    Tribally speaking, different groups have evolved group strategies for surviving and thriving in the human ecosystem the same way that different species & sub-species of animals have different strategies to survive the natural ecosystem.
    A striking example of this is the Gypsies, who have adopted the role of itinerant low-level labor & petty criminal throughout Europe.
    Other tribes have adopted a group strategy that we could call “Market Dominant Minority”. The Diasporic Chinese, Lebanese and Armenians are good examples of this.
    Using a combination of genetic and cultural traits like intelligence, risk taking and clannishness, these groups have a history of entering host nations and concentrating themselves in the commercial sector and dominating trade in those host nations.
    Jews have much in common with these groups, but add a unique twist. Through long co-existence with Europeans, they have evolved an additional strategy that makes them a “Culturally Dominant Minority”. Unlike the Diasporic Chinese in SE Asia, or the Lebanese in South America & Africa, the Jews in the West do not limit themselves to simply commercial dominance.
    They apply the same techniques (intelligence, nepotism & deception/fraud) used to gain monopoly power over a host nation’s industry to dominate their cultural institutions as well.
    In the Modern West, this means the Universities, the Media and political movements.
    Once there, they use their positions to demean Jew-unfriendly ideas (nationalism, Christianity, traditionalism, respect for the majority) as evil, stupid & low status. And Jew-friendly ideas (embracing strange people & practices, worship of the minority) as moral, smart & high-status.
    If you use this tribal lens to understand why so-called Conservatives are powerless to stop the so-called Liberals, it makes much more sense. They are all products of a culture which has been shaped by the same tribal group.

  23. The insanity that you describe in this post is an artifact of our affluent society and the demise of ancestral fitness selection drivers. Our current social/economic structure handsomely rewards people like Goldberg for this type of conduct, hence it will continue to flourish. In this model, Goldberg’s value is that he is useful in persuading the losers that they still have hope and therefore won’t be inclined toward more drastic countermeasures. Bread and circuses.

  24. Lots to think about from this post. One thing I wonder is just *why* the left racks up so many victories, not just in politics, but in “hearts and minds.” Moldbug was famous for talking about the leftward ratchet of modern culture, but I still wonder why for so many people leftism seems to make sense. The alt-right likes to think that facts, science and reason are on their side, but it doesn’t feel that way in the larger culture. Try saying that maybe letting two gay men adopt a child isn’t a good idea and see lots of middle-of-the-road normies freak out at how bigoted that sounds. Ultimately I think it does go back to the “long march through the institutions” thing. It just seems/feels like “all” the smart people are down with celebrating gay (and now trans) culture, multiculturalism, “anti-racism” etc.

    The general image of conservatism is Sarah Palin; the general image of liberalism is Anderson Cooper, Bill Moyers, or any number of verbally skilled professors and Ivy-educated journalists. Lots of ordinary people do like Palin because she’s so down to earth, but most smart young people gravitate towards the “cool” realm of city-based intellectuals and shun their kin who eat at Cracker Barrel as embarrassments. So we get a brain drain away from the right side of the spectrum. This is also why cucking out is so tempting. Lots of peer pressure in journalist circles to grant the Left the moral high ground. The latest libertarian-to-alt-right defection has changed this somewhat with lots of smart Neo-Rx and alt-righters, but I wonder if it is enough.

    • Good comment.

      As to the Left being a magnet for hip, smart types. This is why they went after Mylo so hard. He was making it cool or edgy to be on the Right. This was a greater threat to the Left than anything he actually said.

    • The right does not have an upper class component. It is a headless army of disaffected middle and working class people without any of the requisite power and influence to translate their frustration into policy.

      • Sad but true. However, what seems to have fueled the rise in the alt-right in 2015 is that many young, white men realized that there is not enough remaining affluence to coopt them. That is, due to mass immigration, outsourcing, and more explicitly anti-white messaging, many talented, young, white men are realizing that they won’t be within the gates of the gated communities.

      • I don’t know enough about the situation in conservative colleges, but I wonder if places like Pepperdine or Hillsdale can/could produce dissident Right people, or if they are as cucked as the rest of Conservatism Inc.

    • People aren’t horrible – not even liberal people. They’re lonely and they’re scared. They drift toward the happy and the well-lit corners of life. This is natural. The desire to be “one of the gang” is something I sympathize with completely; an enduring image of my juvenile reading is of Hurstwood, in Dreiser’s ‘Sister Carrie’, scraping the frost off the window of a warm and stylish restaurant, glimpsing the laughter and conviviality of the people inside – as he was freezing to death.

      In a post-Christian universe, all that matters is being inside that restaurant.

  25. “You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately… Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!“

    Oliver Cromwell to Parliament, 1653.

    While one may despise the Roundheads, I wish that our side would summon up some of the steel in Oliver’s soul.

    • “Mr. Cromwell, you are impertinent”
      “The issues, your Majesty, are beyond “good manners””

      I know they never actually met, but the scriptwriters caught Cromwell’s character well in the namesake movie.

    • Bravo. I could not have said it better than that. The Puritans were one of the worst things that ever happened to Planet Earth but Cromwell was a man of power and its impossible to disrespect that

  26. “I think The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates is a brilliant and talented writer…” This is why I can’t stand Goldberg and the NR/Weekly Review crowd. Coates writes gibberish. To praise him this way is the ultimate suck up.
    Definition of prostrate. 1 : stretched out with face on the ground in adoration or submission; also : lying flat. 2 : completely overcome and lacking vitality, will, or power to rise.

    • Imagine being the person tasked with editing Coates. Given the edited copy is gibberish, imagine what the raw product was like reading. Acid trips are probably more sobering than reading his unvarnished thoughts.

      • It’s quite possible that someday we’ll hear a red pill story from a guy saying what opened his eyes was editing the writings of Genius Coates.

        • Reading – much less editing – the thoughts and reflections of Mister Coates cannot be a pleasant experience, at any rate if you value thinking and writing; with some fairness to Coates, the fuss over his ‘work’ has no connection with him; he’s just another strategic hill on top of which the globalists have planted a flag. He’s their boy now…

      • Great point. Driving through PA today, I noticed warning signs of horse-drawn buggies, pictures in silhouette of “typical” Amish people… in future, when native African tribes are settled en masse in our hinterlands, new warning signs will be needed; the problem will be, how to craft signs that don’t ‘promote stereotypes’? A sign showing some puffy-haired man taking a shit on the shoulder of the road? A sign warning that a goat might be getting roasted by some strangely-African looking tribesmen on the next ‘rest exit’?

        How to capture this sort of thing on a road-sign without ‘stereotyping’ the concern? It’s a real problem.

        Editing Coates must present the same challenge to a normal man assigned to edit prose. The traditional standard, the English language, being racist, cannot be the standard. But, lacking a standard, how can a white person ‘edit’ the lucubrations of a man of color? How, in the same way, can a sign-maker working for the highway department make a sign that doesn’t ‘stereotype’ some standard danger. Remember, we can’t just do English anymore – all the buttons in our automotive interiors attest to this – so we have to do pictures.

        But pictures, to convey broad information, must resort to stereotypes.

        What to do? What to do? I’ll let the enlightened figure it out. I’m not being flippant here; this constitutes a real issue for our leaders as they carry us into their shining and caring new world.

        For instance: Signs on ‘red’ county lines showing… a stereotype: A yellow diamond sign with a lynching in silhouette, like those signs showing curvy or slippery roads ahead.

    • Holy smokes; did Goldberg say that? Did he cite examples of Coates’ brilliance, or talent?

      OK, I know – of course he didn’t. Goldberg is on his surfboard here, riding the wave.

      Coates is the Maya Angelou of prose. America once produced James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, Langston Hughes… not always agreeable in their attitude or message, but they wrote well, they read deeply… and now, Coates.

      And Goldberg can’t see the difference.

      Thank you, Mr LePore.

  27. Zman

    It’s good to see you making this point. Most people who are called Conservatives are of course Liberals.

    Free Trade, Open Borders, Freedom of Capital to move, Freedom of people to move, Liberty at any cost….these things are all Liberal ideals and the people who believe in these ideals call themselves Conservatives. Because Liberals, no matter of what stripe, Classical, Left, Right, Neocon, Libertarian, always foul their own nest. Thats why Left Liberals keep changing their name between Liberal and Progessives and why Right Liberals call themselves Conservatives.

    Mark Moncrieff
    Upon Hope Blog – A Traditional Conservative Future

  28. Yes. Deneen is clear about that; today’s “conservatives” are actually 1790’s Liberals, who took their cues from Locke. Actual Conservatives, on the other hand, take their cues from Aristotle and his ‘need for polis’ vision.

    Yes, that older Conservatism sees ‘ends’ rather than ‘means,’ which is why both sets of today’s Liberals (the Progressives and the faux-conservatives) fail. Both of them set man as the measure of all things.

    Real Conservatives know better.

  29. So what you are saying is that Conservatives are the Washington Generals. Bill Kristol and George Will are the coaches.

  30. This was too profoundly good to sully it with further comment. Just going to sit back and re-read and admire.

  31. The “Demographic Age”. Brilliant, and perfectly descriptive. Useful if one means to be a ferryman, guiding people to see the world as it is, that they might preserve the things they love.

    And Jonah Goldberg is still a jelly-faced dicksucker.

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