Mencken 2018 Diary

Last year was my first time at the Mencken Club event, which is held every year here in Lagos. I knew about it for years, as John Derbyshire has been a regular there since the beginning and he has written about it every year. Not being an intellectual or an academic, I just assumed it was not for me. A few years ago, a famous person in dissident politics suggested I give these events a try, as I might enjoy it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, so I attended Mencken and AmRen last year, as well as some other lesser known events.

The Mencken Club conference is organized like an academic conference and it is populated with smart people, many of whom are intellectuals and academics. There are plenty of normal people there as well. Academics and intellectuals like to socialize as much as normal people, so even if you don’t play in that space, you can still enjoy fraternizing with these folks over drinks. The social element is what makes these things worthwhile. That’s why our enemies try so hard to shut them down…

This year the event went off without incident and it was a good crowd. Mencken is a smaller event than American Renaissance, mostly because it unabashedly appeals to an academically oriented crowd. Paul Gottfried, the man responsible for it, has written a dozen or so books on politics and political theory. The speakers are all big brained people, who read and write about big brained topics. It’s also an older crowd. I scanned the room and maybe a dozen people were younger than me and I’m no spring chicken.

Last year, I noted that there was a strange nostalgia in the room. It was what I imagined it was like when Confederate soldiers got together after the war, to reminisce about their experiences and the what might have been. There was a lot of talk about old lost battles and old lost friends. There was some of that this year, as it is just part of the deal with an older crowd. There was also a new embrace of the new fight and the new battlefield on which it will be fought. I heard a lot of alt-right-ish stuff from people this year…

It occurred to me that one reason the sober side of the Dissident right is becoming more radicalized is the fact the Left is now otherizing them. When CNN demanded the White House hurl Darren Beattie into the void, it was a Fort Sumter moment for a lot of the paleocons and their fellow travelers. They could live with being purged by the Buckley Conservatives, because they could still live and work in the above ground intellectual economy. The Left is now demanding that end and I think that was a wake up call…

I met a famous legal scholar on Saturday. I’ll not name her, just to be safe, but she is a dedicated reader! In fact, she told me she recommended one of my podcasts to her students, which was quite flattering. It is another benefit, at least for me, of attending these events. To be around members of our intellectual elite is quite humbling and a good reminder that I can always get better. There were people in that room, like the legal scholar, who have forgotten more about these topics than most of us will ever know…

I got to sit next to the great John Derbyshire at lunch. I don’t have to worry about naming him as he has not only been hurled into the void, he is now the pit master. He gave a talk on how the future was most likely going to resemble Brave New World and most people would be happy with it. This rankled more than a few people in the room. A woman from Tennessee stood up during the Q&A and said something to the effect that her people would fight to the last man to prevent such a future. I love mountain culture.

I think John’s talk rankled, because he was mostly right. Look around and you see the signs of the looming World State. People are never vexed by a distopia they know is a fantasy, but they do get upset about a distopia that is possible. I pointed out to John, however, that his vision has one flaw. Utopia always implies genocide, as no perfect world can include the full range of humanity. Marxist relished this truth, but our rulers, like libertarians, lack the guts to face this reality. Therefore, they will lack the will to impose it…

On Friday, I met someone who is in government. He heard I was at the event and came to meet me. I can’t say any more about him, but let’s just say he works for a famous politician. We had arranged to meet in advance, so his name would not be associated with the event. This is not the first time this has happened. I get e-mails form “our people” who work in the system, trying to undermine the enemy from within. I jokingly call it the secret handshake society, but that’s the way it is and it is what I find most encouraging.

You see, people in power don’t waste time and resources hunting down the harmless or harassing the easily frightened. They target the people, groups and ideas they see as threat to them. That has the strange effect of making heresy more appealing to the sorts of people who oppose the prevailing order. The Left’s paranoia is not unjustified, but it is probably our greatest asset. Their lashing out at heretics is making heresy cool. It is the new counter culture and that alone draws support to our banner…

Finally, I sat at Paul Gottfried’s table at dinner on Friday. I have had very little interaction with him to that point, so it was a great treat to finally get to spend quality time with him. He is a wonderful person and exactly what one would expect a college professor to be like, in that he is willing to indulge those striving to learn, but willing to correct in order to facilitate the process. He’s also got a great sense of humor too. Like everyone at the conference, I am grateful that he has created a place for subversives to meet and socialize….

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cynical new york jewboy
Guest
cynical new york jewboy

If i had been there, iI would have talked to be people about Vaclav Smil’s work on energy transitions. Frankly, global warming as a hoax is bad optics, from both an intellectual and social perspective. The climate models are very well defended by the academy, and there is much financial inertia behind the research. Of course, we really have no idea what the climate will be like in 50 or 100 years. The iconic displayed effects of global warming, like the dried up Oroville resevoir, were rendered null and void by a pineapple express storm that no weather model preditcted.… Read more »

Mark Morris
Guest
Mark Morris

megafauna extinction is very real. All the plastic crap in the oceans choking fish – lions tigers apes etc. All caused by massive overpoupulation due to cheap oil subsidized cheap food. thats the problem. Warming who cares

Member

Paul Gottfried is my favorite Jew. If only the rest of them were like him.

TBoone
Guest
TBoone

Thanks for the Info & perspective of/on the Mencken Gathering. Thanks for sharing the Good Fight with us and generating so much food for deep thought. Would you say fewer younger folks this year compared to last?

Lorenzo
Guest
Lorenzo

I’m a fan of Mencken and have read a lot of his stuff (including downloading scans of “The American Mercury” from Unz). He was equally tough on the Cloud People and the Dirt People. Did the Cloud/Dirt people split get any discussion at the conference?

Saml Adams
Guest
Saml Adams

Need to make an effort to attend next year. Thanks for the reportage. Guess its time to get those membership dues in.

PapayaSF
Guest
PapayaSF

I met you there last year, but couldn’t make it this year. I hear from a friend that a good time is being had by all.

Lester Fewer
Guest
Lester Fewer

Hope you had a great time there, sounds like you did.

Question: does this sort of a conference generate something like a consensus position paper or collective statement at the close? Does anyone propose a general policy platform, or is it more intellectual and theoretical?

PapayaSF
Guest
PapayaSF

No papers or collective statements, just presentations and discussions and socializing.

Rod1963
Guest
Rod1963

I would not underestimate the ability of our elites to commit genocide. The fact they’ve had entire countries destroyed during the last several decades shows just how ruthless they are. Now they’ll approach our demise the same way. Have proxies do the dirty work for them,. There are plenty of current and ex-military and intel types who will be happy to organize and execute their plans for the right amount of $$$. On a side note the FDA has just approved a new super opioid that is 10x more powerful than Fentanyl. Now you may wonder why the FDA/Trump approved… Read more »

Saml Adams
Guest
Saml Adams

Nor would I underestimate it. At all. The instructive part of the Progressive freakout of the past two years has been a good view into just how untethered their thought processes are from the morality or ethics that come naturally to the rest of us. Articulate a vision of Proggie utopia that lies just on the other side of those awful, retrograde white conservatives and they’ll do anything (through proxies, of course) to get there.

dad29
Guest

It cannot be a “thought” process given its amorality-is-all basis.

There is good news, of course. Their actions more and more are sufficient for the claim that ‘I feared for my life or the life of others’ in a courtroom.

Rod1963
Guest
Rod1963

Sam, One of the things that concerns me is the blood frenzy whipped up against whites and in particular white males by the Left’s boss class and MSM. They are not just doing for laughs, as their periodicals have stated they want whites dead and gone. It doesn’t take smart people to lead it. Look at Rhodesia and South Africa. And it will happen that way here. A few dozen whites killed here and some there. None of it gets reported in the news. And after a few months, it gets ratcheted up and viola you have a full on… Read more »

Saml Adams
Guest
Saml Adams

Hard to predict which way this breaks. So plan in depth. Know who the like minded are in your AO. Figure out ways to harass the enemy. Stay “gray”. Use PACE planning. And never ever skimp on range time and optics.

Member

My understanding is that it is sublingual/oral, and the plan is to approve it only for use in hospitals. There is some worry about it being stolen and used intravenously. Don’t know for sure, but once upon a time one of the most abused abused drugs, Talwin, was ground down and used IV by abusers and the manufacturer solved this problem by adding Narcan to it, which is not absorbed orally, but is only active when used IV, the effect of which was to block the narcotic effect of the Talwin when injected, and even produce withdrawal effects in the… Read more »

Member

One more thing I’d like to add is that in spite of the fact that many of the pain meds that have come out in the past thirty years or so there are a variety of problems with many of them, and many people have become allergic to them, and manufacturers stop producing them for a variety of reasons (class action suits, anyone?). There is always a need for new analgesics in medicine, especially for docs who engage in in-patient and acute care. There are times when treating pain or infections that almost no alternatives are available. It makes little… Read more »

Rod1963
Guest
Rod1963

If it’s a opioid it will be abused and the big pharmaceuticals don’t care. Purdue Pharma produces far more Oxy than is needed and knowingly ships it to pill mills across the country. Then bribed congress to not look into their activities. Further more given that China produces most of our bulk pharmaceuticals, chances are they’ll have a version to sell to the cartels as they do with Fentanyl. Carfentanyl and synthetic opioids like Pink. All of which can be ordered directly from China. In regards to hospitals. They’ve become drug dealers for drug addicts. What do you call those… Read more »

Robert Pinkerton
Member

I am told that, during Prohibition, ethanol not destined for medical use was adulterated with bichloride of mercury to make it undrinkable.

Rabbi High Comma
Guest
Rabbi High Comma

It used to be sacrosanct that the US military would not fire on citizens. I no longer believe this.

Lorenzo
Guest
Lorenzo

The DDR had soldiers positioned to fire on the crowds at the demonstrations which precipitated that regime’s end. Stories I heard from people there were unanimous that the troops would not have done it. In East Germany 1953, Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968 they could import Soviet troops to do the dirty work. Our cloud people aren’t likely to have foreigners to call in, and I doubt if there are enough of the likes of Farrakhan’s Fruits of Islam to do much damage here.

Stay alert to developments, however.

MAA Shyuejinn
Guest
MAA Shyuejinn

@Lorenzo: I don’t know any specifics, but it seems that non-Americans are being recruited into the US armed forces and being promised citizenship once their tour of duty is up. One of my students, a young man with Asperger’s, told me he was considering such an offer.

Foreign soldiers, especially non-Christians, would probably have far fewer qualms about being ordered to fire into a crowd of Americans. I’m just speculating…

Rabbi High Comma
Guest
Rabbi High Comma

@MAA Shyuejinn
See: Las Vegas. Anyone who believes the glow in the dark boomer, with the FBI employed /Israel connected Flip wife, twisted off is not a serious person.

Shyuejinn MAA
Guest
Shyuejinn MAA

@Rabbi:
“glow in the dark boomer” =??
“Flip wife” = ??
Huh?

Member

You may be right, but if I was in uniform beside that man, he wouldn’t be firing very long. I’m sure many others feel the same way.

Member

Lower empathic response towards natives is precisely why Jews were widely used as secret police in Russia and Poland. What percentage of the armed forces are currently non-white?

Karl McHungus
Guest
Karl McHungus

They fired on rioters in NYC — Draft riots. And of course during the civil war. National guard and army units used to fire on looters all the time (and unruly college students, on occasion).

dad29
Guest

Also in Wisconsin at the Bay View Foundry. Strikers were killed or wounded.

Member

During the Bonus Army incident, they fired on veterans with a legitimate claim against the federal government.

Joachim
Guest
Joachim

I think 4 sections of the left coalition would work together to recreate the Khmer Rouge killing fields if the alternative were defeat. Business oligarchs seeking one-world global market/plantation/sweat-shop network to rule over/profit from (I’m quite certain they’ve had a HEAVY hand in launching countless wars), Jewish individuals and groups seeking their ethnic interests, True Believers in the utopian blank slate/egalitarian heaven-on-earth cult seeking the end of history and the rapture, and “sun-people” non-whites (although I can imagine ethnic-conscious Chinese working with this coalition as well, as leaders (I think people like South Korean Sarah Jeong would join because they… Read more »

John Hinds
Guest

Ahem. So, what’s Stephen Miller like in person?

Tykebomb
Guest
Tykebomb

Him and Clarence Thomas get statue in the ethnostate. The placard will read, ‘They ain’t all bad, but they cant come here.’

KAB
Guest
KAB

There should be a conference on “Defending [Alt-Right] Civil Rights and Liberties” and from there our William Kunstlers will emerge.

TimNY
Guest
TimNY

That’s an idea that could get some traction. I’m thinking of a legal defense group dedicated to protecting dissident right people from attacks on free speech, protecting people in court from biased politicians who promote Antifa violence, hitting social media companies where it hurts, etc. sort of like an ACLU that actually believes in liberty.

dad29
Guest

The Left’s paranoia is not unjustified, but it is probably our greatest asset. Their lashing out at heretics is making heresy cool

I assume by that you mean “the FAR Left’s paranoia”–thus, heresy could be as mild as Kennedy-Democrat ranging to Full Bore Trumpism?

De Beers Diamonds
Guest
De Beers Diamonds

You must be new here. The Kennedys were the start of the trouble in this country.

Member

It started long before the Kennedys.

Member

The void has a pit master? That’s my kind of void.

Chaotic Neutral
Guest
Chaotic Neutral

I bet I know who the legal scholar is, if she comments. She’s very interesting. Hope she has tenure…

Say, the author says that there are some meetings which are good but less well known than Amren and Mencken. Are there any in the Mississippi area, or in reasonable driving distance thither?

Sidvic
Guest
Sidvic

I’m E. Tenn so your description of the TN woman made me laugh. In fact Tenn is turning into quite the hot bed with AmRen and the national front rallies. I honestly think that a sophisticated white advocate candidate could pick up a congressional district here abouts. Certainly the white privilege nonsense goes over poorly in Appalachia. That and my county is 98% white. That’s not to say it is too hillbilly. Its good country. For example, took my kid trick or treating at buddies neighborhood (we are too rural and low density. Nice new houses (~3500 sq ft; 250-350K… Read more »

Member

Sounds like my childhood in the fifties.

james wilsonN
Guest
james wilsonN

I’m sort of sorry to hear that Derb agrees with me. Or is it the other way around? Brave New World it is. Orwell’s coming Stalinist version was inside his own lines in Spain, where Orwell escaped the assassin’s bullet by the closest margin, But Huxley’s vision was a pure continuation of Tocqueville’s greatest fear, the democratic equality– Democratic communities have a natural taste for freedom, but for equality their passion is ardent, insatiable, incessant, and invincible: they call for equality in freedom; and if they cannot obtain that, they still call for equality in slavery. We encounter in the… Read more »

Maus
Guest
Maus

In the battle for prophetic dystopia between Huxley and Orwell, I tend to think Orwell gets the nudge. But not for 1984, rather Animal Farm. “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” Our elite pigs have made this the rule of the farm. There is no jackbooted Big Brother bleating incessantly on the screen. There is no Mustapha Mond, who with his nine colleagues on the World Council commends us to the tender mercies of Our Ford. We are not stupified by either Victory gin or by soma. Instead, like Boxer given over to the… Read more »

Joachim
Guest
Joachim

I think egalitarianism is central, but so is individualism. Paul Gottfried once talked about this idea, referencing Alexander Dugin, to the effect that modernity is hyper-individualism (building upon 19th century classical liberalism), trying to free the individual from any historical social context, family, gender roles, heterosexuality, religion, etc. (I took this down as a note listening to Gottfried, some of this might be verbatim what he said). The world is composed of nothing but individuals, who must be free to live/define themselves in their preferences in where they want to live, consumerism choices, sexuality, etc. I believe Professor Gottfried talked… Read more »

Sidvic
Guest
Sidvic

Oh and I saw what you did with those links, heh.

pyrrhus
Guest
pyrrhus

Thanks to this column, I discovered that David French has blocked me on Twitter! I had no idea…..

Rabbi High Comma
Guest
Rabbi High Comma

Nice report Z. I am always frustrated by people’s willingness to simultaneously ignore the persecution of those to their right, and the inevitability that they will eventually suffer the same fate. When that day comes, their sputtering stunned anger should be met with eye-rolls and yawns. This does not apply to those performing subterfuge inside the beast’s belly, rather to those who were fine with Buckley politically dispossessing those his (((donors))) feared. Hateful Heretic said it best: “The alt-right is a safe space for crimethink. I recognize certain groups are double plus ungood, but as someone who’s already at least… Read more »

Member

Listened to Derb’s podcast from Lagos and hoped you were able to attend the Mencken conference.
The idea that free people can’t celebrate free speech and thought without censure is crazy. Sadly, 2018 is crazy.

Member

Zman – glad you had a good time and got to network and be refreshed. Thanks for sharing your experience, it was encouraging to all of us. It occurred to me that If, according to progressives, all these migrants have to be admitted into the US to escape the shit hole conditions they live in, we can now classify Honduras, Guatemala and these other shit hole countries as shit hole countries. Nice. Keep up the fight. We are making progress. It is inevitable that the existing system is going to collapse – now is the time to plant the seeds… Read more »

De Beers Diamonds
Guest
De Beers Diamonds

The Right can best survive as an embattled, but endogamous, minority that asserts its cultural rights of self-determination. The prospect of regaining self-determination may not appear in our lifetimes, even in South Africa most whites are content to watch their community dwindle in the face of ANC violence, corruption and subversion.

Member

“It is inevitable that the existing system is going to collapse.” This is the prime image of hope for the far right. You hit all the right words for surly physics minded men, “inevitable…system…collapse.” As if it’s as sure a thing as too much snow on a weak roof.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViGg-35d0uo

jaqship
Guest
jaqship

Where you write “Finally, I sat at Paul Gottried’s table”, I gather that you mean “GottFried’s”.

jaqship
Guest
jaqship

Zman, you have his name missing the “f”.

TimNY
Guest
TimNY

Just noticed that gab is back up, but seems a little wonky. I think they’re having a few start up problems with new hosts, but it is very encouraging to see that their website still lives.

Whiskey
Guest
Whiskey

I like Derb but I think he’s completely wrong. I live in California, and I’ve seen the future. Hell I LIVE it. The future is: periodic Black mobs pulling Whites from vehicles and giving them the full Reginald Denny treatment. This has already happened just recently in France with “Purge” style attacks on police, random Whites, looting of shops, etc. All by African males. That “Purge” movie is getting a lot of people killed — acid attacks were common [It happened over Halloween and was promoted on Social Media.] Add in lone wolf White male “payback” attacks and you have… Read more »

Rod1963
Guest
Rod1963

As a fellow Californian I agree. Derb has it very wrong. The violence is already happening at the personal level as the OP explained and worse it is no longer covered by the MSM or given local coverage and then it vanishes, The violence will only increase when the Democrats fully take over in 2020 and it becomes fully state sponsored like Rhodesia and South Africa. It won’t come all at once, they will first systematically de-platform us and then criminalize whites in order to make them targets by the state. It will be easy, the SPLC will issue a… Read more »

BestGuest
Guest
BestGuest

Derb lives on Long Island. If you think they don’t have a problem with Latinos you’d be wrong. (New Hampshire also has a problem, but their problem is Dominicans from Lawrence, MA on the NH border.)

TomA
Guest
TomA

One of the reasons that intellectualism has failed to produce a winning campaign is because it relies predominantly on cranial reasoning and thought exercises as the primary tool of analysis. Sorry to say, but the world became far too complex for that to work beginning about a half century ago. As in current military wargaming, the computer is an indispensable tool for studying modern complex problems. Don’t know if any of those folks have made the journey over to that platform, but if not, they will forever be fighting the last war.

David Davenport
Guest
David Davenport

As in current military wargaming, the computer is an indispensable tool for studying modern complex problems.

What is the computer’s prescription for extracting the USA from Syria?

TomA
Guest
TomA

I think you are confusing problem analysis with strategy implementation. Problem analysis will help you estimate future consequences with some measure of accuracy over blind guesswork. Whereas, strategy implementation is about taking action based upon your goals coupled with an estimation of likely success. And never forget that the military is not a democracy. If you are ordered to do something (even something stupid), you must do it anyway.

Auntie Analogue
Guest
Auntie Analogue

“John Derbyshire…gave a talk on how the future was most likely going to resemble Brave New World and most people would be happy with it.” I think Mr. Derbyshire is correct about the future’s resemblance to ,Brave New World, but is incorrect that “most people would be happy with it.” At present Enemedia-Pravda show endless cherry-picked exemplars of “Diversity Makes Us Strong,” and of course what they show is what I call Potemkin Diversity (of course they show us a neverending scroll of Potemkin Everything Else, from phony “RUSSSIA!” collusion to phony Blasey Ford sex assault allegations, and from nigh-everyday… Read more »

Flair 1239
Member

Here in Minnesota a lot of people like diversity. Yet here in Minnesota there is not much integration.

So the diversity lovers are doing their admiring from a distance. They are not living amongst the Somalis and everyday Black Americans.

Once you get outside of “The Beltway” you are usually in a 90% White situation. I guess my point is, I don’t think you see a real pushback against diversity until upper middle class whites (Not elites) run out of places they can move to.

Tykebomb
Guest
Tykebomb

If you want to see the future, imagine a sub saharan black praying to the tech god for his battered sex bot to start working again while Paris burns in the background.

Karl McHungus
Guest
Karl McHungus

How is a BNW type future that bad from what we have now, or at any other time? Assuming that a real BNW society would not go to the extremes of implementing “decanting” technology to produce different castes of people. Other than that part, it wasn’t that bad.

Member

From Hoffers The True Believer There is probably a crucial difference between a mass movement leader and a leader in a free society. In a more or less free society, the leader can retain his hold on the people only when he has blind faith in their wisdom and goodness. A second-rate leader possessed of this faith will outlast a first-rate leader who is without it. This means that in a free society the leader follows the people even as he leads them. He must, as someone said, find out where the people are going so that he may lead… Read more »

Member

The assumption, perhaps, about Brave New World is that it will be imposed on us by the state. I actually think if BNW comes out, it will be evolution not revolution. For example, in BNW, the different classes of people are manufactured. Do we suddenly start manufacturing children one day to serve various roles in society? Or, over time, does society engage in highly selective breeding which accomplishes the same goal? Do we receive our soma, or do we just decide as a society to give up trying and just make pot legal everywhere? I mean, that’s what that stuff… Read more »

Brooklyn
Guest
Brooklyn

“I pointed out to John, however, that his vision has one flaw. Utopia always implies genocide, as no perfect world can include the full range of humanity. ” Two things: first, the world of “Brave New World” was built on a genocide of sorts. They didn’t get to their World State peacefully but on a combination of death and population replacement. Second, once the World State existed it did have a pressure valve to deal with anyone who might be disruptive to the general social order, which was island exile. (Island exile was possible in the book but its probably… Read more »