The Haunted Present

For a while now I have wanted to do a post on the intellectual origins of these rather weird political theatrics we are seeing in the public space. A mistake our side tends to make is to assume the Left is not working from an intellectual foundation. Because the Left never talks about their intellectual history, we just assumed it does not exist, outside of Marx or maybe some feminist writers. That’s not true. What we are seeing today is the culmination of a mode of thought that started a century ago in the interwar years.

It’s only one facet of it, but it is an important one. A point that cannot be made enough is that what we call Progressivism is a religion, a civic religion of sorts, but increasingly an esoteric mystery cult. The attraction for the modern Progressive is purely emotional and temporal. It is all about how the swirling torrent of Progressive fads makes them feel in the moment and how it makes them feel in relation to one another as initiates in the cult. What the show is about this week is taking a look at the sources of this phenomenon.

This week I have the usual variety of items in the now standard format. Spreaker has the full show. I am up on Google Play now, so the Android commies can take me along when out disrespecting the country. I am on iTunes, which means the Apple Nazis can listen to me on their Hitler phones. The anarchists can catch me on iHeart Radio. YouTube also has the full podcast. Of course, there is a download link below. I’m now on Spotify, so the millennials can tune in when not sobbing over white privilege and toxic masculinity.

This Week’s Show


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87 thoughts on “The Haunted Present

  1. I totally agree w the stuff said about non-white immigrants and I do not exactly hate Indians. Asians, south- and east-, are being told they have ‘grievances’ in the US and they lap it up. This is vile incitement. America may have scooped some of the smartest Indians but I prefer the Indian Indians, on average. Most of the Indians I dont get along with are in fact Indians who immigrated to America, and lo and behold, now they have become arrogant (not all of course, some of my best friends are Indian-American but the story gets too long).

  2. Z Man;

    I just finished the podcast and want to explicitly thank you for all the work you do. I particularly appreciate your efforts to deal with the obvious (to me) religious aspects of ‘progressivism’ in a historically coherent manner.

    I never bought into utopian equalism (blank slateism, whatever) even before I returned to Christianity. I returned in part because, given any real-world experience with the underclasses (or upper classes), the Christian doctrine of human depravity is the most obvious thing in the world (and that it applies to me too).

    Yet the Progs. deny it and all historical and observable human reality in favor of some mythical golden age that never was. So complete an obtuseness has to be religious in nature. Your first contribution was to show that ‘the golden age that never was’ slides right into the utopia that never comes and that this construct is common to all versions. It must follow then that only powerful semi-supernatural opposition is preventing that evolution. This much is predictable from any knowledge of the history of the USSR (wreckers and saboteurs are why we fall short of the 5 year plan, comrades).

    Your second contribution is to trace the otherwise unexplainable current Prog anger and nihilism to the idea that whatever utopia their particularly version purports to believe in can *never* come because of the existence of semi-supernatural forces. (The ‘genius’ of the Prog doctrine of ‘intersectionality’ was to settle on *which* semi-supernatural force was blocking all of their various utopias simultaneously, i.e. White Privilege.)

    By contrast, the economic Marxists of 100 years ago were not bat-shyte crazy-angry or Batman/Joker destruction-for-it’s-own-sake nihilistic however deluded they were otherwise: However argumentative, they were serious people settled in their basic theology, not all over the cosmos-of-depravity like the Progs are now.

    BTW, your insights pass my life-long test of good social science theory: Namely, that once it is promulgated everybody says it’s obvious, but nobody was able to articulate it coherently before this happened. So thanks again.

  3. The show’s intro music was Iron Maiden’s “Phantom of the Opera.” Z was a metalhead in the 80s. Very implicitly huwhite.

  4. You actually see a crude alt-right version of “the present that could have been” in the memes that run, “in 1968, we thought that by 2018 we’d have a cure for cancer and flying cars. Instead we debate triskaidekasexuality!”

    I suppose that in the American alt-right mythology the divergence point between the path that should have been and what we actually got was the 1965 immigration bill.

    You could argue that if They are trying to always live in the “next 1932” and nip the next You-know-who in the bud, then the new nationalist movements are also an expression of regret, with the different countries starting to think about how to live back in their respective 1964s.

    Maybe it’s just human nature to always be looking for historical do-overs. But as an ancient Greek philosopher said (I quote from memory), you never step in the same river of blood twice.

  5. Upvote to Z for a commenting system in which a comment can get votes. That feature is fun.

    • His pronunciation of “portmanteau” and “Derrida” sealed the deal for me: he’s now the official intellectual heir to John Derbyshire.

  6. “If confirmed Kavanaugh should step down.” – Jordan Peterson

    A good many on our side suspected and even hated this guy. I always gave him the benefit of the doubt. It seems they were right.

      • Jordan Peterson doesn’t represent Canadians any more than Hillary Clinton represents Americans. Peterson is still very much a liberal from an extremely pozzed environment.

    • Petersen has lost most of his audience with that one. Vox Deus (hehe) was going off on Peterson for weeks, and I thought his efforts were misplaced; but he was right.

  7. OT: Zman, from what you have aid about your extended family, it seems like you have “jumped” a class or two (or something to that effect). How does that affect your views on the world (and your place in it)?

    • I think growing up in the underclass is a lot like growing up in the over class. What I mean by that is you come into adulthood seeing the middle class as a bit phony and ridiculous. Bourgeois sensibilities seem a bit false. That’s even more so with regards to the upper middle, who are desperate to ape their betters and distance themselves from the rest of the middle class. As a result, I’ve always gotten along better with trust fund guys than with middle class guys.

      Another thing that seems to be true is underclass guys have no illusions about the human condition. You see it raw and unadulterated, so you know what people are capable of, good and bad. Of course, there’s always a distance between yourself and others when you move up in class. Your outer self, that character your play in the world, is always going to be out of sync with your inner self. The world in which you were raised imprinted on you and everywhere else will always feel foreign.

      As far as my place in the world, I don’t think about it. Every once in a while I’ll find out a famous person reads me and I’ll consider closing the blog. I’d feel bad if someone blew up the world because they read something I wrote. But, that lasts a minute or two and I forget all about it. I just hope to enjoy the time I have.

      • Have you considered shutting it down because doxxing you is likely among the highest priorities of the ADL, SPCL, Antifa, etc.? They have hundreds of dedicated people, and millions upon millions of dollars behind them. I’ll even wager that they have government contacts to help them with this. You are the most prominent, intellectually astute, well read, persuasive dissident rightist who is still anonymous. I certainly don’t feel comfortable demanding a veritable banzai charge from you. The fact that if we were all arrested and summarily shot tomorrow, even most conservatives would shrug their shoulders and change the channel (or virtue signal in support), is certainly disheartening.

      • I was in my room one night in our third floor apartment when I was thirteen, looking out my window when I saw a cop stop his patrol car, get out, pull his gun and start chasing a guy who seemed to appear out of nowhere. When they got to the corner the cop slipped and crashed into some garbage cans. The guy kept running. The cop twisted around and fired a couple of rounds but the guy got away. My father and I went down to help the cop, who had broken his leg. We waited with him until an ambulance came. I tell this story because it was not a remarkable event in my neighborhood at the time. When I got out into the world I found I had a view of life much different from many, if not most people I met and interacted with, and I thank God for that.

  8. The murderous ideology of the left vilifies the entirety of western civilization as a heinous crime which can only be expiated by the obliteration of it’s progeny.

    In other words, the left is operates under an ideology that endorses extermination, only this time round white men and women get to play the part of the Jews.

    Ironic, no?

    The fact of the matter is that the left has amply demonstrated these last couple of weeks why they can never be allowed to hold the presidency again – they are totalitarians who would use the power of the state to crush their enemies, the rule of law be damned (since, of course, quaint notions like the “rule of law” are harmful and illegitimate vestiges of western civilization which must be torn down, along with it’s supporters, so that the new progressive utopia may dawn). There will be no method short of violence to prevent this from happening, as these people have demonstrated that they cannot be reasoned with, and have no interest in reason.

    • “The fact of the matter is that the left has amply demonstrated these last couple of weeks why they can never be allowed to hold the presidency again – they are totalitarians who would use the power of the state to crush their enemies, the rule of law be damned.”

      Lindsey Grahm’s choice of words during his famous flourish couldn’t have been better. “Boy, you all want power. God I hope you never get it.” Those two sentences carried much foreboding resonance for the white middle class. His cadence was equally good. It’s one thing to have the lines, it’s quite another to deliver them. It’s the rhythm that helps imprint them to the deeper memory. If normal whites have turned into lazy old dogs who’ve heard it all before, well, those lines perked up the old ears. And I have a feeling they’re going to stay perked. This Ford lady did us a big favor.

      • Yeah, some dismissed Graham, but I think (and maybe I’m just projecting) that some of those Conservatism Inc. guys really got a glimpse into the Heart of Darkness, the sociopathy and murderous hatred of their opponents. The media tried to run interference and prevent Normie from seeing it, but I bet a lot of eyes were opened. As Zman commented a while back, even a lot of (married) women probably saw the ghastliness of it, too.

        The memetics of the internet age are bewildering, but I think that we’ve got to just keep banging away–in comments sections, on Twitter, on Gab, on blogs, with buddies, the silly sticker campaigns, all of it. A certain percentage of normies are unawakenable, but we’ve just got to keep chipping away at the awakenable fraction.

        • Scott Adams posits that the Dems explicit anti-maleness is going drive a shiton of men into the GOP’s waiting arms. I agree. welcome home boys, don’t do that again (support Dems).

  9. One thing about the lynching issue. Lynching was a vigilantly justice thing , and suspected criminals black and white were hanged. the fact that is usually wasn’t racially motivated has been carefully flushed down the memory hole.
    I used to read a historical magazine called Kentucky explorer, and there were old newspaper articles about lynching’s for all sorts of criminal suspicions.

  10. maybe at the end of the day, we are trying to find a rational explanation for irrational (i.e. insane) behavior. which is a futile effort.

    • To expand on your thought, that is why all the time and effort we spend to deconstruct their behavior and thinking is worse than useless. It is the application of logical assumptions to infants screaming and banging their highchair trays. It is also why there is no point in doing anything other than ringfencing these people from the rest of us, and let them throw their monkey crap at each other. Once the pukes the likes of Dada and the beat poets were held up and sanctified, rational thinking was thrown out the window. Now we need to round up all of these sorts and quarantine them from the rest of us like the mental virus they represent. My thought is to establish some sort of “civility-dot-com” where everything from the ACLU to Amy Schumer (she’s related to Chuckie, no wonder someone as funny as dog crap on your shoe has a comedy career) can be referenced, so we know what to avoid, so we can economically strangle the shrieking Mimi’s.

    • Jordan Peterson has them pegged as Po-Mo’s with a very strong nihilistic streak and a gloss of Cultural Marxism. It would explain their embracing suicidal policies and their attempts to destroy Western Civilization.

      And their willingness to throw various groups under the bus once they were done with them shows this. First they catered to Blacks, then women, then gays, which they threw under the bus in favor of illegals, trannies and Muslims. We are not dealing with utopians anymore but ruthless and destructive SOB’s.

      Beyond that we just need to recognize them as a fanatical enemy that we cannot negotiate with in good faith. IOW we either curb stomp them or they do it to us. And right now we are losing badly.

      • doesn’t feel like we are losing at all.

        if you have ever body surfed, there is a feeling when a wave starts lifting you up, and pushing you forward. that’s what i feel right fucking now 🙂 Trump is going to take us all the way to shore.

    • Time for white lab coats and psychology? Brain scans and postmortem dissection?

      To me, this is, partly, old religiosity in new garb. As many modern Christians can’t ever be troubled by race/immigration, because “all are one…” and modern Christian thought makes them feel good, provides them with meaning and purpose, so leftists are emotionally attached to visions of egalitarian heaven on earth, reason, evidence, logical consequences be damned. Perhaps also, their psychology is such that conditioning (like the egalitarian conditioning were relentlessly bombarded with) takes more firmly hold, is unbreakable, save perhaps by a massive shift in thinking in nearly all the people surrounding them.

  11. This podcast is a great take on things. I’ve thought along the lines of this “hauntology” myself without having heard the term before. I think in 2008 lots of progressives really thought utopia was right around the corner with Obama becoming president. They thought the Muslim world was just waiting for America to show it was Muslim-friendly and suddenly all the terrorism would stop, etc. When Obama couldn’t usher in utopia, the Left freaked out and has been freaking out ever since, blaming Republicans for standing in the way of the inevitable glorious future.

    • Um no.

      “The Left” believed that conditions would go from shit to not shit.

      Conditions remained shit.

      On top of that, all of the droughts and natural disasters are so bad, the Pentagon is certain that the future is going to be increasingly more dangerous.

      The media eggs on both sides, people are tit for tat these days, it goes on and on.

      “They” are not going to stop till you stop, and you aren’t going to stop till they stop.

  12. asians of any kind are good at memorizing things, and taking tests. but put them in a real world situation that doesn’t have a pre-canned solution (i.e. they have to figure something out on their own) and they fail, spectacularly. Would you go to an Indian doctor? If you say “yes” then you are a fool. Hire an Indian engineer? hahah

    • You do understand that most medical advances on lowering costs and improving care are happening in India right? Did you know people get better treatment for less money in South Korea, that includes the plane ticket over there.

  13. too bad the Wakandans didn’t help the rest of Africa. in fact, I bet they were secretly keeping their neighbors uneducated.

  14. There’s two things (well I guess two among many) to keep in mind with these cretins…

    1. Back in the long-ago when these things started, let’s say 1910 for example, life really was actually very hard; people were genuinely poor, not EBT poor, and they worked really hard jobs under harsh conditions. To get a fairer shake, they really did have to organize and march and get their skulls cracked in. These behaviors and techniques over time got valorized and sentimentalized and cemented as a way of thinking. I dated a girl who did “organizing” for oppressed college-cafeteria workers (sic). She dragged me to the marches, where all these rich college kids sang old Wobblies songs and felt brave. I come from an actual blue-collar/union family, I couldn’t stop giggling.

    2. The champions of the Workers never expect to work themselves; the prophets of Diversity never want to live in Detroit. Back in the 19th century there were different schools of socialist and reformist thought, like Fabianism, that entailed actually breaking a sweat to help the poor. The reason (((Our Fellow White People))) swung to Marxism was that Marx posited a need for an “intellectual vanguard”, viz. rabbinical layabouts who could “toil” by arguing theory. They could seize power without ever entering a factory, and feel all virtuous about it.

    Phenomenon 1 is gentile/Methodist I in nature, comes from what gets called “bourgeois do-goodie risk.” Phenomenon 2, while not entirely Jewish is heavily so, and derives from long-standing and well-attested Jewish tendencies. The purpose of Diversity is not to help blacks, it’s to harm the goyim. The purpose of socialism is not to help the workers (ick!), it’s to wreck the white power structure (it’s somehow a moral outrage for whites who built a white society to have a white power structure, got that?) and transfer power to the (((Politburo))).

    Very convenient cover.

    • Damn auto spell, that should read “bourgeois do-gooder ism”. What would Joyce and Faulkner do on a system like this?

    • I went to the Hoover dam, and they described work conditions. This is just after ww2, was it? The men weren’t issued hard hats and many died of falling rivets. They would dip their caps in hot tar to make an improvised hard hat! It was a government project so if you died on site your widow would receive a pension. If you were severely fatally injured, but not quite dead, they would rush you out into the desert to make sure you died offsite, thus robbing your wife of the pension! Another example of how difficult and unfair life was just for our immediate predecessors.

          • they told you on the tour that badly injured workers on the damn were taken out in the desert to die? were these tour guides invisible by any chance?

      • Thousands were felled by heatstroke building the Yuma Az version of Hoover Dam. Brutal desert heat, working slavelike conditions in another WPA project. So isolated you were pretty much stuck there, as well.

        My beloved neighbor Beulah was 14, raising her 4 brothers and sisters since their parents had died. They were Okies headed here for the field jobs.

        She met a 31 year-old guy just back from a term in the Navy; he was told, “You better marry that girl before you cross the California border, or they’ll arrest you.”
        He did, and four of their six children were born in the fields.
        Things were different then.

        (Goddam I loved that old Baptist.
        Didn’t smile or coddle, same as mom, but us boys adored her.
        Heart of gold. We were on the run, then for $50 a month she sold my mum the old cobbled together house I’m sitting in now.
        This old dump! Every nook and cranny is filled with love and memories.)

    • Are you fucking serious? What did the founding fathers do? They took a bunch of poor people, gave them guns, beat them, shouted at them, beat them more, made sure a bunch of them died of disease, got many of them shot, beat them more, refused to pay them, and then beat them when they said “Please Sir, my wife and children are starving, I need my last six months of pay.”

      And you think the “intellectual vanguard” is a thousand levels lower? What?

      No, fuck no, they’re both just “The Middle”, the people who look up and see power and want that. Or…Or, they want to fix things and then they get that nice plump steak, at which point they think “Well, if I betray everyone, I just get more steak.”

      Merchants replaced nobles, conditions didn’t really improve. Rich scholars replaced merchants, conditions didn’t really improve.

      Anything you want to accuse someone else of doing, your fucking heroes did.

      The early 1900s had people accusing each others of fucking hookers, cheating on their wives, working for the enemy, being anarchists, and spending government funds on gambling. Why are you surprised people are lying or telling the truth now?

  15. I’m surprised they are bringing up lynchings right now. Your example is one where #they believed her.

  16. The craziness of the past few weeks – crazy accusations supported only by faith and dogma and violent reactions to a denial – reminds me of China’s Cultural Revolution.

    Teens who had been completely immersed in Mao’s nonsense went crazy. They tore down their temples and historical monuments. Then they put their teacher’s and professors on trial – literally beating them to death if they didn’t grovel in shame and admit their crimes against Marxism.

    The mindset of the American Left seems to be in exactly the same place right now. The biggest difference is that they can’t pour out of the schools into neighborhoods because we are armed and will shoot them in their crazy heads.

      • If there’s one area in which the right, including the dissident right, is failing, it’s spreading the word on *why* regular people need the right to have a gun.

        Most normies never get beyond “but if we ban guns, less people will get shot!” They don’t get it at all. And since the Establishment sure as hell isn’t going to tell them, that’s our job.

    • I can tell you with a high degree of certainty that is the trajectory we are on in colleges. And furthermore, were there no rule of law I can also tell you that RIGHT NOW most college kids would put their admins and professors on trial and beat them to death in much the same manner.

      There is only a thin veneer of civilization left and its cracking and peeling before our eyes as the radicals flood out into the world at large. They’ve been programmed for Kindergarten to College for about 30 years now so this is not even a bit surprising.

      These are your future leaders by the way. Be afraid.

  17. let’s focus on lynchings, not on the wholesale slaughter going on in the nig community now. fine with me, let the ghetto oven clean itself.

  18. The sloars are against stay at home moms, because they know no man will ever marry *them*

  19. Haven’t listened to the entire podcast yet, so maybe Zman will touch on this later. It seems to me, that the nucleus of the prog mindset is Gnosticism. These cat turd eating cretins genuinely believe to their core, that they possess the secrets of the universe. And wouldn’t their complete dismissal of reality (and its consequences) fit within the Gnostic framework?

  20. Liberalism/leftist/progressivism is a mental disorder. History is like a therapy session for these people.

  21. Coming from a proggie family, one of the ways I was expected to virtue signal the other monkeys in my tribe was to help out at the local battered women’s shelter. I had to walk around the women there like they were nuclear bombs about to go off – as I did chores like run errands, shovel snow off the sidewalks, and do handyman chores under the supervision of my father in law who had a part time/semi-retirement custodial job there that actually paid.

    It was an eye-opener. I lasted a couple months.

    Most of the ‘victims of violence’ were whores, druggies, and shrews. Over the span of a couple months I only saw one who actually showed any real sign of actual violence. The rest were fat, ugly and stupid. In all honesty, they were the kind of women that SHOULD have been horsewhipped by their husbands. Their children were unwanted feral monsters.

    One day I was sent out front. Apparently some guy was out front wanting to talk to his wife in the shelter and everyone was screaming about how violent the guy was. So we went out front to talk to him and get him to leave. He was an older man with a broken heart who just wanted to see if they could talk things out. While we were talking the harpies inside called the cops, and when they showed up the man peacefully allowed the officers to lead him away. The one that remained with us after they were gone put it like this:

    99% of all accusations of domestic violence are false. The vast majority of the time, domestic violence is a case of two idiots fighting, and the smaller or weaker idiot losing.

    After that I packed it in and refused to lift a finger for the shelter, or volunteer to help. I would suggest you guys do the same. If you are supporting a battered women program – at least get involved with it and see how your money is actually spent. You will find that the counsellors in these places are “hormonal cat ladies” and any male supporting these things is a cuck or worse – and they are only enabling the worst in female behaviour. It makes me wonder about all the support and social programs now.

    • Years ago I delivered Meals on Wheels for homebound sick people. That was an eye-opener. Delivering it to healthy young people and their pack of children. I don’t even know if I ever saw an actual sick person

    • Glenn, seriously, you should write a book about your family and their foibles. I think it would resonate with a huge number of people. Continually refer to yourself as a survivor 🙂

    • Worked at a soup kitchen for a while. Seemed to be mostly psychiatric cases, to be honest. Just plain sad. Kudos to the the 60s revolutionaries who “humanely” emptied the mental hospitals.

  22. You see sort of the same phenomenon with the material aspects of race. The left is angry that the promise of the civil rights era has not been satisfied in terms of equality of blacks and whites. I believe many of them actually thought that whites would be displaced by blacks after “oppression” was removed. They can’t stand the fact that white civilization was really right all along.

    At some level they realize that the difference is biological. So the strategy has shifted to fraud; they want to create a black elite through interbreeding, which is part of the fixation on race mixing. They will make cohort of people like Obama with high enough iq to walk the walk and talk the talk. Then they will have been proved right because most whites don’t really make the distinction between blacks and mullattos. It’s a part of a scheme to prove they were right all along and gain spiritual power thereby.

  23. I’m going to drive around town today asking folks if they know where my concubines are stashed.

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