Never Newark Nights

I cut out of my meeting a bit early, so I could catch the train into Manhattan. I had never been inside Newark Penn Station. I was not entirely sure how to get to it, so I left some extra time to feel my way through. For some reason, I never do well in big metropolitan transit systems. It is not a thing that comes naturally to me. Since I was expected to meet John Derbyshire on 34th Street at 6:30, I gave myself an extra forty minutes. Unless I ended up in Trenton, that would be enough time to correct any mistakes.

I worried for nothing. Penn Station was a ten-minute walk and despite the near total lack of signage inside the place, I figured out the correct track for the train into the city. For some reason no one asked me for a ticket, so I could have ridden the rails like a hobo into Manhattan, but I was happy to pay the $5.40 fare. The trains run every few minutes and it only takes 20 minutes to get into New York Penn Station. I had more trouble getting street side in New York than I did navigating the New Jersey transit system.

If one wants to understand why city dwellers have a peculiarly statist politics, spend time in a big city subway system. For the people in the city, government services are essential for living. They depend on the subway, the trash collection, and the police department. The city depends upon this organic relationship between the state and the citizens. That does not exist in the suburbs or the country. There is a comfort that comes from the daily interaction with the state. Anyone who questions that relationship is suspect.

It has been a few years since I was in Manhattan, so I needed a minute to get used to the rush of the city. In that part of the town, the sidewalks are a crush of worker bees heading home or headed to dinner, along with the summertime tourists. That makes for a carnival vibe, except no one is having a good time. I had some time to kill, so I went to Starbucks to use the bathroom, but it was locked. I went to a bar and had a beer, while listening to three large Dominican women loudly complain about the lack of men in their lives.

I met John Derbyshire just outside the entrance to the Long Island Railroad station and he recommended we head over to a place called the Tick Tock Diner a block away. I must admit, I have met John several times now and socialized with him at events, but I am still a bit intimidated by it all. I am getting used to the reality of what I am doing here, but there will always be a sense that I am playing way above my league. I am grateful that he invited me out and took the long trip in from his estates on Long Island to have dinner with me.

Of course, I am the worst possible dinner guest. I started talking about thirty seconds after we sat down, and I did not shut up until we parted. I can and will dominate a conversation if you let me. Worse yet, I have no filter, so I will ramble on about the many eccentric ideas and interests in my head. When I explained to John my idea of creating a new moral philosophy based on a rational understanding of human nature, a refutation of the Enlightenment, he had the look of a man suddenly finding himself with a lunatic.

Luckily, John is a very gracious dinner companion, so he was not only willing to let me ramble on for hours, but he also picked up the check. When I let him get a word in edgewise, he mentioned that he was recording his novel into an audiobook, He is about halfway through the process. If you can’t wait for the spoken word version, you can buy it here. For those new to all of this, his book We are Doomed is a good place to start understanding the roots of the Dissident Right. John is the man who coined the term Dissident Right.

After talking his ear off, we parted company and I headed down to Penn Station, wondering if I would get on the right train. The thing that struck me about the area around the station was just how nice it was compared to Newark and Baltimore. New York is now a middle-class city, in that the people, for the most part, are urbanites with bourgeoisie sensibilities. It is not a city of gritty neighborhoods run by ethnic coalitions. It is a place for the ruling class, the young strivers of the managerial class and their non-white servants.

The train ride back was uneventful, but it did offer one glimpse of the past. Two guys with Knicks jerseys were sitting up front, drinking tall boys out of paper bags, while talking loudly about something. A black guy was walking up and down the car reciting street poetry about his love for the baby Jesus. He was panhandling, but willing to work for it. I did not give him any money, but I appreciated the effort. These were the kind of people you expected to see on trains and subways, but they are being gentrified away too.

Back in Newark, the area around Penn Station is slated for major development, but now it is mostly abandoned. I saw signs for a condo complex and it looks like they are building several of them. The hockey arena is there, along with the Prudential building, but I saw zero people in the walk back to the hotel. The plan is to gentrify the area, but it reminded me of efforts to do the same in Hartford years ago. It is really hard to inject a cultural life into a dead city, but maybe Newark will be different.

59 thoughts on “Never Newark Nights

  1. I worked in that Prudential Center 20 years ago – they were supposedly gentrifying back then too. There are towns around Newark that have been gentrified – West Orange into East Orange for example – but not Newark. Too corrupt, too many projects. When I worked there, you cleared out and took the shortest route to the highway at sundown.

    Manhattan, on the other hand, is now Disney World fir millionaires. People with normal incomes simply cannot not live a middle class lifestyle. But if you make millions and don’t care to save much of it, the lifestyle is fantastic.

  2. Newark will be different? Nope. Not without some heavy “gentrification” at the point of a gun. I came and went from Brooklyn Heights to Penn Station and the skyscraper across the street during the years that I worked at Penthouse Magazine. Try the same station at seven in the morning when those of darker tans that turn the city on come in from Newark. You’ll get a very different impression.

  3. Z, did you see the magnificent ceiling in the main entrance of Newark Penn Station?

  4. Z, you let Derb take you to some tourist trap diner when you could have gone to Keens Steakhouse (three blocks from Penn) and enjoyed a dissident right meal for the gods?

    (Shakes head….)

    • One of the few places where the mutton chop does not taste the way sheep smell.

  5. I just listened to one of Derbyshire’s speeches. He was asked why we couldn’t substitute culture for race, and I didn’t like his answer. I agree there are heritable differences between races, but the most important of these differences are swamped out by cultural differences.

    If you took 100 Chinese and raised them from birth in a black ghetto, their superior genetic IQ isn’t going to help them one whit when it comes to overcoming the depravity of those conditions.

    Anyone of any “race” is capable of fitting into a traditional Western society when properly acculturated from birth.

    • My own experience and observation directly contradict your assertion. Race and ethnicity are 80% of everything.

    • Not only is that untrue it is manifestly untrue. Of those Afericans who have risen into the middle and upper middle classes, fully fifty percent of their children fall back. When you dump east Asians into a difficult environment but they are within but a few minutes walk of a successful environment, we know they make the walk. The effect of low IQ and poor impulse control cannot be dismissed. You, on the other hand, have no excuses for making a hash of the lives of strangers.

    • You pose an empirical question about whether Chinese genetics would raise a person out of the black ghetto. Presumably, if data demonstrated that Chinese did behave better than blacks under ghetto circumstances you would consider changing your beliefs about the primacy of race. Although there are no controlled experiments to address this question, there is a significant Chinese population in Oakland, CA. I suggest you do a search with keywords: Oakland, Chinese, black, “Chinese Girl in the Ghetto”.

      If you could only know one characteristic about an unknown person, race is by far the most revealing.

  6. I find it curious and humorous that like a Monarch butterfly, you were drawn by some invisible force from your roost in Lagos on the Chesapeake to Lagos on the Passaic…… 🤔

  7. I think this is wrong. Disrespect for law and rules of society only shows who has true power in the society. All these appeals to rule of law, free speech, human rights are a form of slave morality and that’s always how it’s been, as those are pallid wishes and figments of your imagination. Whoever is appealing to such ideals in vain automatically fingers himself as the loser in society.

    Lincoln and Wilson simply jailed their critics. Whites in the segregated south disenfranchised blacks until a stronger and smarter group came along that didn’t want that. Might makes right and all true elites play by that rule.

    • This is all true, but we aren’t elites by birth or status, and in order to have a say in how things are run we have to know who we are and what we can appeal to in order to have our say, which can only be had by acting in concert. Every other class of people is so engaged, and if we are not we will be the only ones disenfranchised.

      Think about it this way: at the time of the French revolution only about 10% of the country was made up of property owning bourgeoise. That’s us. Broken down by class this group had a plurality over all the others, but it was a distinct minority. Those in this class had their disagreements over how they wanted the revolution to be run and what to do with royalty, but they managed to dominate the Estates General and the Revolutionary government. When some of their number went too far in allowing the far left to run things (Robespierre and his allies on the Committee for Public Safety) they were put down. In the end everybody ended up losing out to Napoleon, but his laws reflected the middle class sensibilities of the bourgeoise.

      This is why the bourgeoise is the bogeyman of the communists. When 10% of a country can end up running it well, things are all over for them. That’s why they work so hard alongside the elites to keep us down.

      • This is all true, but we aren’t elites by birth or status, and in order to have a say in how things are run we have to know who we are and what we can appeal to in order to have our say, which can only be had by acting in concert.
        Amen on that…It’s the acting in concert where we fail at the most though and that is what we need to focus on…

  8. I believe current mayor of Newark was elected by residents who didn’t want gentrification of their town. That was his rallying cry. They liked things as they were & were afraid to lose Newark to white interlopers/developers. How else one can explain that a large city, in sight of NYC, a transportation hub with busy airport and marine port is still barely habitable. I go there to watch hockey at Prudential – after 6PM it’s a ghost town, as all workers leave for suburbia.

    • The power of developers requires Herculean strength to resist. Gentrification enriches developers, and creates construction jobs, often unionized. That’s both money and a vote-gathering machine.

      Blacks don’t seem too interested in the real estate business, not considering it glamorous enough. They could be cashing in on gentrification, in the way that White Boomers cashed in on California real estate.

      As with Oakland CA, the real estate of Newark is too valuable to be left to its current inhabitants. There’s a big wave of Chinese capital coming, and soon Indian capital by the mid-2020s.

      • The best thing we could do is control capital and prohibit foreign ownership of anything.

        Turning Americans into renters for globalists is a great way to delete what little remains of civil capital and if you think there aren’t many somebodies out there willing to use it for political leverage, you are crazy

        In the end the economy will probably either be regulated to the gills or die a horrible death , the era of Libertarian chiseling and grfting is going to end

        Well alright it could fall apart into everywhere is either rural Mexico, Detriot, Appalachia or Panem I suppose . Plenty of room to grift there It won’t be much of a Republic though when people are even less cooperative and more tribal than they already are and the central law is weak.

        Not bad for the usual opportunistic sociopaths we breed but terrible for a functional nation with complex technology

        If that happens and Europe does two things (kick out foreigners and has babies) it will end up a European century though not like the last one, more “if you want tech or medicine do as we say”

  9. Hi Z,

    In terms of countering enlightenment philosophy, focus on metaphysics. The left will excuse all kinds of terrible actions by saying “well imagine if you were born a poor black kid in Baltimore.” What the hell does the word you mean in that sentence? It’s not like these people believe in souls.

  10. As city dwellers depend on government for basic functions (I agree, they do), then they should not be surprised when the government will fail them precisely at the time of maximum need (see Hurricane Katrina).

  11. Now if your journey into New York had had a heart-racing existential event that you overcame using your wits and physicality, then you would have enjoyed an opportunity to prove your worth to both yourself and the species. That is a life well lived.

  12. I think “We are Doomed” was my first encounter with the concepts of “Ice Brain” and “Sun Brain.” I’d seen something similar in the John Sayles movie “Lone Star,” wherein an evil toothless white bartender bent someone’s ear about how living in places with long winters “gives the old prefrontal cortex a good working’ out” or words to that effect. It’s an old leftist technique, to put true words they don’t like into the mouths of people who are social pariahs, in the hopes that the ideas they don’t like also achieve pariah status. Another thing I remember from Derb’s book was that some postmodern “artist” was literally selling shit in cans for an astronomical amount of money. After reading that I thought “We are Doomed” was a pretty optimistic title. “We are Damned” might be closer.

  13. “I cut out of my meeting a bit early, so I could catch the train into Manhattan.”

    Topic, cover sheets on all TPS reports.

      • I think the girls were actually owned by Taki. When Derb left Taki’s Mag he had to return all company property including stationery, laptops and of course, women.

  14. The 20 minute train ride to Manhattan is what differentiates Newark from Hartford and is a plus for gentrification. If the libs and developers can keep local Black politicians and residents from realizing they are being displaced gentrification may be successful. Look at Brooklyn and Bed-Stuy. Steve Sailer has written about this.

      • Gentrification is one of the few social trends working in our favor.

        For most of the last half century, automation has helped cull the number of factory workers when the factory wasn’t shipped overseas. But now it is going to cull the number of restaurant/hotel/retail low wage service workers. The wealthier metropolis will be able to run without an underclass.

        More threatening is the gun stuck in the face of several million truck drivers, who won’t be around after 2035. That’s a strong right-wing constituency, and male-dominated.

        • Self driving AI is hogwash for trucks. Addresses are wrong. Construction makes GPS useless. And then there’s the problem with car drivers who can’t drive; talk to a truck driver, once a week at least if he doesn’t take to the shoulder a car will hit him. Lastly, if AI follows the rules of the highway, the right lane will be going 40 all day because of congestion.

          Might be OK for city dwellers.

        • The low wages classes make up most of the population and outnumber the upper classes by like 10-1 . They are also not all stupid and may well decide that hurting or killing off their so called betters is a very good idea.

          This has been all day every in the recent past, Latin American celebs pulled off the street screaming for police or private help that doesn’t come help or regular kidnappings in 70’s Italy . The Man Of Fire novel and mediocre movie is all about that era

          And note robots will not protect you, there are not Daleks you can put into play to kill off the lower classes or even slow them down

          This kind of disemployment is a great way to get a Stalin or Pol Pot, probably someone from the upper classes who values his own power over tribal loyalty.

          In some ways President Trump is the benign version of that

          Its also an excellent way to find out that your nation is suddenly really poor and looks more like African since no one is buying anything other than a decedent elite . Modernity is insanely expensive and the minute wages dip too much as they have in California its starts to crumble

          The Rich are not going opt get to enact the Hunger Games or Elysium without consequences

          • Automation is limited by the cost of capital, and stimulated by rising labor costs. We have been in a capital glut since TARP, and labor costs will continue to go up because of the Healthcare Bubble.

            The underclass is going to follow the trajectory of the USPS, itself an agency maintained because one-fifth of its workers are blacks in an artificial middle class. Attrition ensures that almost no one is hired in today as anything other than a temp.

  15. No more philosophies please, can’t we just polish up an old one.
    Maybe another Vatican council while we’re at it and just rescind a few past mistakes.

    Come to think of it, anything with the word moral ain’t going to get far.

    • I agree, but evert day it becomes clearer and clearer that we need some kind of shared morals and ethics… or we’ll be going to war soon…

    • I think Steve Sailer has hit on a good basis for a “new” philosophy:

      The journalist Steven Sailer recounts an exchange from early 20th-century England: “A hereditary member of the British House of Lords complained that Prime Minister Lloyd George had created new Lords solely because they were self-made millionaires who had only recently acquired large acreages. When asked, “How did your ancestor become a Lord?” he replied sternly, “With the battle-ax, sir, with the battle-ax!”

      The Philosophy of the Battle Ax

    • Works for me.

      I just don’t think we’re up for another philosophy. The last century gave us two stinkers, Post-Modernism(which has blended with Cultural Marxism) and morphed into the culture of death. And then there’s Ayn Rand’s Objectivism which turns white guys into idiots.

  16. “a new moral philosophy based on a rational understanding of human nature, a refutation of the Enlightenment”

    I don’t know what was going on in his head, but I imagine it was something like, “Do we really need another ‘system’?”

  17. Given the nature of your trip, I’m guessing that you took the PATH train out of Newark to Midtown. I’ve ridden that train a time or two and I’ll never forget my first trip. When you leave the city of Newark proper, the train enters this region of total destruction – craters, burned out buildings, trees struggling for life in broken concrete, etc. It looks about 10 times worse than Nagasaki must have looked after we nuked them. So I’m on the train looking out the window at the wreckage and the train slows and stops! I was sitting there thinking “Oh, my God! If the train’s broken down, they’re going to have send a platoon of marines with ATVs through this war zone to get us safely back home!” But then the doors opened and people got off the train! It turns out that there’s a train platform out there next to a little parking garage that’s the only man-made structure still standing for miles and miles. I’ve always been astonished at the idea of people driving through acres and acres of devastation every day just to park out in the middle of nowhere so they can catch a train to take them back to a region of human habitation.

    • That was as elegant a refutation of equality as anything I’ve read in a while.

    • That is the famous “Meadowlands”. A weird sort of No Man’s Land. The Amtrak line through North Philly is actually worse.

  18. Hope Mr. Derbyshire was well. Had the pleasure to meet him a couple months ago at the Amy Wax reception and he was exceptionally gracious to a stammering idiot(moi). Back in ’92 came up through Penn to interview up at Rock Center. Different world then. Seemed to be a short walk on the map (it is), but popped up out of MSG to be greeted by the pack of Muslim/Black Nationalists guys on the corner of 34/8th who had a permanent “hate whitey” carnival set up, then realized 8th avenue was a “no go” about three blocks in–and cut over to 6th. Giuliani cleaned it all up, Bloomberg was just wise enough not to fuck with Rudy’s handiwork and now DeBlowhole is doing his best to bring anarchy back.

    • Full on 70’s style anarchy can’t be brought back to NYC because the demographics have changed considerably in just the last 20 years as a response to Giuliani’s groundwork.
      That doesn’t mean De Blasio won’t die trying, but there are far more Asians and SWPL’s now than there were 20 years ago, so the truly “bad old days” aren’t coming back soon. the worst elements and their families have been sent packing to the South or small, near abandoned towns in Upstate NY and Pennsylvania. According to the census, more Puerto Ricans and Blacks are leaving the city year after year than entering. A lot more South and East Asians, Filipinos and blacks from Nigeria and Ghana.

    • The area around 34th St and 8th is informally known the CHAPS neighborhood. Crap Hole Around Penn Station. I’ll hop on the PATH train from Hoboken to visit friends in the city, when I am there on business, and am always taken aback by the carney like swarm of hustlers, and others, at all hours.

      • And mind you, it’s “nice” now. I’m a GCT snob. And the 4/5 is the most gentrified line in the city. Though occasionally will get a couple folks with some sort of beef going, but since 2/3 of the exchange consists of “m—f—er” (and derivatives) and “n—-r”, you can never discern exactly what the root problem is.

  19. It’s odd that the denizens of NYC would associate the subways and trains there with the necessity for good government. All those transportation systems were built and operated by private companies until well into the 20th century. To my knowledge, the government there has not built any new lines since taking over these operations.

    • The IRT according to wiki was built by the city and operated by the IRT company from 1904-1940.
      When I was serving my time in Sodom on Huson, ’80,s, ’90’,s there were still people around who referred to those lines as that rather than the funny new letters and numbers.
      The 212 area code has long been going the same way : a much prized indicator that you are not some johnny-come-lately.

    • “…the government there has not built any new lines ..”
      They starting building the 2nd Ave line in the ’70s, just finished recently (the Q train)
      In the 1980s they extended the IND Jamaica Line (E & F) onto Archer Ave.
      In the 1990s they built the elevated train over the Van Wick Expressway that links JFK with the subways in Jamaica.
      These are all new lines, i.e. new rights-of-way, new rails.

      Nonetheless, the subway still stinks.

      • There was a piece a few months ago, I forget where now, that detailed the facts and the reasons NYC subway building costs are, literally, several times greater than in all European cities. So, it would seem NYC government is not even giving it’s citizens a wrap around while giving them the shaft, but if the citizen is happy with this arrangement I can only say bend over and enjoy, since they are not doing it with federal funds. Oh wait.

    I don’t know if you’re familiar with this chap but its somewhat similar to what you mentioned in a new moral philiosophy. Anglin mentioned this in a talk in London and in a recent post, that the purpose of a religion is a means for Man to place himself within a Divine Order. It does tie into a post you mentioned in the Eurocast. Its not just that the transactional has become common place, it seems that everything is transient, there is no transcendent. No purpose, so no point. It isn’t strange that a lot of the early adoptors of NRX found commonalities with Traditional Christian denominations.
    I’m not sure but I think it was Russell Kirk who thought that the biggest problem we have in the West is the difference in outlook between those who see nothing bar the temporary social order, and those who believe in a Transcendent Order in the Universe. With us heretics from the one true faith, that order can be not necessarily religious, but partly an acceptance of human characteristics, natural selection, and the recognition of different traits and abilities of ethnicities, races and genders. Eric Voeglin predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union, and predicted some sort of a religious renewal as its an innate Human characteristic. Long term I think our beliefs win out, as Nature doesn’t care about feelz. Its whether we remain around to benefit from it,
    and obviously gloat.
    You could say the struggle for the West is a struggle for its soul. Between us, The Church of Gnon/God, and leftism/progessivism, Moldbug’s Cathedral, The Cult of Dildolech. We have actual Truth on our side, but the other fuckers have money. The Truth is always a harder sell

  21. I’d love to have a drink or two with the Derb and er of course, you too Z. I’m not up there in terms of Dissident Right spokesperson status but every other weekend when having beers, the guys I’m talking to stop silently when they realise that I am talking about the kinds of things they are secretly thinking. When I let them know they can say what they want around me, it becomes like a bit of a torrent. These guys let forth their disappointments with the system, the frustrations of not being able to tell the truth and more than anything else, a sense of relief that someone else out there thinks “like them”. These guys are normies who are the bedrock of Western ciivilisation but have been made to feel like they the bad guys. A change is coming and a lot of it is thanks to guys like you and Derb.

  22. Z Man, regarding your “new moral philosophy based on a rational understanding of human nature,” I’m curious how you move from the facts of human nature to the imperatives of morality (the is-ought problem). Aristotle did it by assuming that the moral actor wants humans to flourish, which is not an assumption made by all.

Comments are closed.