Liberty And Freedom

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Feudalism is a term that either brings to mind serfs slaving away on the land or knights on horseback jousting at tournaments. Neither image has much to do with the socioeconomic system that grew up after the fall of the Western Roman empire and carried on into the 18th century. Both the knight and the serf were real things, but they are not what defined the feudal order. It is the system in which people of all ranks lived that defined what we think of as feudalism.

That system was a series of interlocking relationships. It began with reciprocal relationships between the warrior elite. The leaders of the various peoples slowly evolved rules for dealing with one another. Over time those rules extended to the people over whom they ruled. First it was the vertical relationships and then the horizontal relationships. Most of these rules were not written down. They were the habit of mind that everyone understood and accepted.

What we think of as freedom and liberty come from the feudal era. The two words are used interchangeably today, but it was not always so. Liberty was the right to act within the context of the rules. Freedom was a state in which there were no rules. In the feudal age, liberty was the range of actions for people of a class. Freedman had different liberties than Knights or serfs. Freedom, on the other hand, was being free from those reciprocal relationships that defined the system.

One of the interesting things about the feudal order that has been forgotten is that freedom was a powerful weapon used by kings. Freeing people from their feudal obligations did not necessarily grant them more liberties, but it did weaken the power of the people to whom they no longer had obligations. Freeing the serf from his duties to his lord not only meant he could sell his labor but it meant that his lord no longer had control over him or the proceeds of his labor.

In a system where everyone is defined by their relationship with everyone around them, monarchical power is diffused through the system. The noble who controlled a portion of the kingdom had a great deal of power relative to the king, because all of the rights and duties of his people flowed through him to the king. Once those people were free then they reported directly to the king. A great irony of the feudal order is that individual freedom turned out to be the great centralizing force in politics.

A similar dynamic is at work in this age. As recent as the 1950’s the primary duty of most men was to their family. From there it was their community then the larger political entities like city, county and state. Outside of the draft and the post office, people had no reason to think about the national government. Go back further and the national government played little role in the life of Americans. You could live your life never having had contact with the national government.

As Americans have been freed from the old rules of life, like marriage, family and community, the power of the government has grown. The weakening of state and local government by direct intervention by the federal government has corresponded with the collapse in things like property rights and freedom of association. Young women are no longer dependent on a man, but they are entirely dependent on government. It is impossible to live without interacting with government now.

The conventional conservative critique argues that personal liberty has declined because the power of the state has increased. In reality, personally liberty has declined because freedom has increased. As people have been freed from their particular obligations to one another, their liberties have declined, which is what has allowed the power of the federal state to grow. Each new “freedom” comes with less liberty and therefore a declining ability to resist the state.

In a way, the great progressive reforms of the 20th century were like the king freeing the people from their feudal obligations. It was first and foremost about weakening the intermediaries between the central government and the people. In America this has meant the constriction of state and municipal power. Griswold v. Connecticut was never about individual liberty, but about subverting local authority. It was about breaking those local bonds that preserved individual liberty.

What little liberty remains in modern America appears to most people to be dependent upon the power of the state. It is a perverse form of slave logic. The homely women demanding reproductive freedom in the public square are no different than the slave begging the master for protection. They are no longer at liberty to make choices within the range of options available to them, so they demand the all powerful state provide the freedom they mistake for liberty.

The zenith of every empire features the almost unlimited power of the person who sits atop the imperial system. The decline of empire always features an increasingly inability of the sovereign to impose his will. Factions within his own government collude to undermine his will. New power centers begin to grow up, operating as choke points between the empower and his subjects. Like weeds, those old reciprocal relationships begin to sprout up and eventually overtake the system.

We may be seeing something similar. Corporations now wield more power in the lives of the people than the federal government. For example, if the mobile companies wanted, they could have stonewalled the FBI with regards to the J6 protests. Their swift action in identifying the people in the capitol was a power move. When the federal government needs help dealing with internal threats, they now ask politely for help from their partners in the private sector.

We are also seeing a resurgence of state power. States shipping migrants to Washington is a power move. States challenging the power of the administrative state in the courts is another assault on the king. Of course, the same managerial mindset that crippled the Trump presidency is doing the same to Biden. The real power of the federal state, as expressed through the executive, is waning. Like every empire in decline, this one is suffering from a growing impotence at the center.

In the transition, both liberty and freedom will decrease. We see it today with the abuses of individual liberty from all sources of power. In the long run, the restoration of those old duties and obligations will restore the balance between the two. Being ruled by a local elite personalizes the relationship. The people at the top are reminded of their duties every time they go outside. The people at the bottom have no illusion about the source of their liberties.


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153 thoughts on “Liberty And Freedom

  1. A late comment to say that nothing, I mean nothing, brings home this lesson on loyalty as identity like MSNBC all day today.

    Contrast that to the uncle below who’s loyalties were simple: God, family, country. His priorities were clear from the moment he opened his eyes in the morning, and he got on with his day.

    A Brooklyn Jamaican told me yesterday about multicultural soccer hooligans in Birmingham. He was a Manc, and color didn’t matter. Only the old English grumbled about losing their country.

    MSNBC is telling us the young women fookin’ hate babies, they want to be free to pursue their liberties like the soccer hooligans do.

    They want fun and careers just like the boys! They’ll all have cool titles and late club nights! Democrats offer them Sex In The City lifestyles.

    The old men grumble, wishing for trees under whose shade they’ll never sit. Little trees that look just like them.
    But the girls who bring those seedlings are sold hot jungle fever and glam shoes.

    • ps- I must’ve done something terribly wrong, none of the girls in the fam have the slightest idea about politics or careers because they’re all baby crazy. White babies are the only important thing in their little world. Don’t blame me.

  2. I might as well be the one to say it

    But isn’t it quite something that here we are this far into the day ,yet NO ONE has mentioned the primaries !

    I doubt even one year ago the same could be said

    Progress !!!!

    • Lawsy. The abortion primaries are ALL a certain station can talk about.
      Listen to the excitement, sterile hive workettes!

      ****
      “red, yellow and blue”
      LOL- so, so good

    • Ohio already had its primaries and the GOP stacked its candidates so that weasel DeWine never had any big worries.

      JD Vance is the sort of slimy faux-authentic shitbag they give us to pacify us. I know the Zman thinks he’s asking the right questions, but I don’t believe his shtick for a minute.

      We are not voting our way out of this.

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      • Hey, at least your slimy Vichy candidate is an actual American. I’m supposed to vote for a Turkish carpetbagger named Mehmet Cengiz Öz.

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        • Pickle Rick: Vance is an “American” who wrote revenge/pity porn about his Appalachian family and roots to great east coast intelligentsia acclaim, went off to Yale law school and married a subcon. I think he’s slimier than Oz . . . and that’s saying something.

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  3. “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”

    -Kris Kristofferson

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  4. One thing still holds back Conservatism is their old ball and chain. No, not the wife – the unquestioned faith in the military. Several reasons for this, but in the end it keeps Conservatives from perceiving their true social standing in today’s society, and is a hinderance to the right getting its act together.

    First, many C families currently have relatives in the military. Totally understandable; however, it’s clear that this admin tends to clear all normal, well-adjusted men and women out of the military as soon as possible. These policies cannot be changed anytime soon (until complete failure).

    Also, many families have a tradition of military service. One of the more remarkable things about our Civil War is just how civilly it was prosecuted – for the opposing side and especially civilians. Andersonville aside , in general Southerners did not have to fear for their lives as the North approached, and vice versa. Commemorating statues for the losing side is part of that civilized tradition and today’s left has nothing but contempt for any of this. Compare Civil War behavior with Ukrainian troop actions today toward the Donbass for example. Or Serbia – Americans had never even heard of these kind of atrocities before (not that msm reported it). Germans in WWii vastly preferred to surrendering to US than Russian troops for that same reason. Anyway, the contrast in our 19/20th century behavior to now should be a hint to progressives that, no, man is NOT becoming more moral than in our recent past. But, no ….

    In a nutshell, Conservatives are being given the bum’s rush from their military home and the honorable tradition is being deliberately terminated. To its credit, it was the libertarian side of the right (paleo, not the punk “libertarians” of today) that rejected the Bush wars first. Someone here asked “what happened to the antiwar left during the Iraq years?” Well damn near zero of Official Democrats went against Bush – only Bernie. The left also had NO objection to the state needlessly incinerating Waco to the ground either and that was an eye-opener. Democrats rooted for the mad dog state the whole way. That psychotic violence against dissent is what is replacing the honorable tradition.

    Anyway the upshot is that it is the state that has created the incentives for corporations (and all institutions) to behave as they do. Corporations are not behaving as social justice warriors out of idealism – they go out of their way to demonstrate /announce they are following Civil Rights law to the Letter to avoid legal smackdowns, fines, and endless scrutiny. Repeal Civil Right legislation and the incentive structure would change overnight. However, barring a miracle, we are committed down this path until society is twisted into complete dysfunction.

    We are seeing a parting of the cultural seas where the left fully supports the state and the right still prefers traditional patriarchy (for lack of a better term). As Zman notes, the pink haired blob shrieking about abortion rights is only sobbing for the state to replace daddy, oblivious to the irony.

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    • AnotherAnon: Valid point about conservatars clinging to the legacy of a traditional military BUT . . . I contest many of your other assertions. There were plenty of atrocities (however one chooses to define them) by the North upon residents of the South during the Civil War – against civilians, not armed soldiers. And things were not all sweetness and light in Germany after WWII either – read about the deliberate starvation of German civilians in the American and British occupation zones. Perhaps not the mass rapes that the Russians promulgated, but not the standard propaganda of ‘All-American’ angels, either.

      Finally, while corporations seek to avoid any sort of legal or financial penalty, they are eager to comply with all woke legislation and/or social pressure because of those who finance and staffs them. The assumption that it’s all and only about the money is false and needs to die. Decades of TV and Hollywood have clearly demonstrated that pushing a chosen narrative and ideology is the primary motivation. Directing people’s thinking, controlling their minds, is the epitome of power. Control over their beliefs and thoughts and thus behavior . . . and ultimately their lives and deaths.

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      • Agree.
        The North invented the concept of total war and Sherman was, of course, its leading practitioner.
        Example.
        https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/the-destruction-of-atlanta-begins
        “Through October, Sherman built up a massive cache of supplies in Atlanta. He then ordered a systematic destruction of the city to prevent the Confederates from recovering anything once the Yankees had abandoned it. By one estimate, nearly 40 percent of the city was ruined. Sherman would apply to the same policy of destruction to the rest of Georgia as he marched to Savannah. Before leaving on November 15, Sherman’s forces had burned the industrial district of Atlanta and left little but a smoking shell.”

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      • 3g4me, I don’t doubt the automatons who have floated to the top of management don’t enjoy browbeating half the population with their cultural beliefs every chance they get, but I still say it’s the CRs law that feeds the vindictive and tyrannical behavior. (Like Breitbart said, culture is downstream of politics. – or was it vice versa?) Actually, it’s the power that the government accumulates that makes it attractive to the left. They love having the big guns on their side. (Taylor Swift finally threw in, realizing how much easier her life would be if she became an NPC.) If the government was helpless to prosecute these laws, the left wouldn’t have nearly the zeal they do. They are showing they will do anything to stay in power and on the side of power.

        The Civil War was the worst thing to happen to the US. We went into it as a federal republic (or perhaps federated republic if you like), and came out of it as a centralized state with some surviving federated aspects.

        Bilejones, I’ll grant you that the North was worse to the South than vice versa. Reconstruction was nasty and the North cooked up 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments which were NOT constitutionally adopted (while South was occupied) and have caused enormous unnecessary problems for us.

        The 13th outlawed slavery, but was unconstitutionally adopted w/o any consent or even participation of the former slave states. The 14th conferred US citizenship to slaves and to a large extent, the Bill of Rights was then applied to the states, not just the federal government (as had been intended and originally designed). The byproduct of the 14th became prohibitions formerly prohibited by the fed gov’t were now applied also to the state. This caused very far-reaching problems ever since, because it is used as the basis for antidiscrimination laws. These are just some of the actual nuts, bolts, tools and changes to our governmental Physical Plant that created an important mechanistic structure for this growing progressivism to further itself. (Also, election of Senators by popular vote distorted our political culture, but that’s topic.)

        The South had a more genteel culture than the North (still does, to the extent it survives). Nevertheless, neither side did things to civilians like Croatian soldiers severing all 4 hooves of Serbian farmer’s sheep while grazing, or beheading civilians in Kosovo and other horrors that Americans never had experience with. At the close of our war, honorable service was acknowledged on both sides (for over a century). That’s pretty remarkable. Even as late as the 1970s, popular music still was written reflecting regional animosities but no one wanted to tear down statues over it.

        The Affirmative Action legacy of lowering standards in the academy and elsewhere in order to get minority participation numbers up is 2 or 3 generations old now – and with it comes complete lack of acquaintenship of the subjects “taught” in order to prevent obstructive outbursts and violence in the classroom. 30 years on, after Michelle Obama’s master’s masterful thesis about feeling self-conscious and tens of thousands of similar doctoral weighty contributions to the field, what results is the most common of denominators that “ain’t nothin racism don’t explain”. It’s the best these scholars can do in the simplified historical and cultural vacuum they have been encouraged to “succeed” in. And now they are matriculating into highest echelons across the board.

    • Uh, wasn’t Sherman’s March to the Sea pretty harsh on Southern infrastructure and civilians?

      • The Yankees were pretty brutal in Virginia, too. That was arguably an earlier application of “total war” than that seen during Sherman’s rampage across Georgia.

    • I don’t disagree with the notion that our behavior is on average better than most, but I think this is more at the common people level. The oligarchy, then and now, will commit whatever atrocities they see as necessary to preserve their wealth and power. This was true when they were 100% WASP and it is now even more true when they are an unstable illegitimate multicultural mess. Our mere existence, no matter how quiescent and mild mannered, is a daily reminder of their tenuous grip on power. We will never be a loyal goy/dalit underclass that sees them as legitimate, and they know it.

      https://archive.bookfrom.net/walter-cisco/509678-war_crimes_against_southern_civilians.html

  5. This is one of those things that I’ve thought of for awhile but couldn’t articulate as well.

    I’m of the belief that applying for 50 jobs is not the right way to do things. In the old days you simply had a buddy who’s dad owned a factory and you worked there.

    Sure if you’re a hs girl with a perfect SAT score you have a lot more options than you did seven decades ago. But for everyone else, the default options have all been eliminated.

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    • Costs also play a huge role

      Something I am noticing in Los Angeles is that now that the place is getting so expensive you don’t find the interesting and creative people you used to. Because those people couldn’t be fixated on paying rent while also being creative. Your time and energy go into making enough money to eat. Any kind of creative life has to take a back seat.

      This tracks into business life too. You can’t just be a guy who likes to fix cars and is able to make enough to get by. Or run any kind of small business. The pressure to make money is unforgiving. I think that is what we are seeing now with a lot of guys, they want to do things to get by but they can’t because they need a “job” or they don’t eat. The median house in America is now like $350,000. How can anyone have a creative life and a family and do what he likes and what he is good at and make the mortgage every month for 30 years straight?

      This is a huge change from even 20 or 30 years ago. They want us all turned into corporate drones.

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      • Oddly, I just stumbled on a real-world example creatives being driven from LA in the form of a 90s style alt-rock band that just dropped an album I really enjoy.

        They’re doing album support interviews, and it turns out they no longer live in LA and they all have part time jobs. The two young women in the band are working retail and waitressing while the young man works part-time producing for other bands.

        • As long as they can afford a studio they should be fine

          That’s what killed it here. I know tons of bands who had rehearsal studios or would rent industrial units when these things cost like $300 or $400. They could also live there and many did. You’d be lucky to find anything like that now for under $1,500

          Just renting a bedroom in a house is now $1,000

          Then you add in the fact that waitressing and bartending out here isn’t what it used to be if you needed a side job like that while you were in your band. What I’m saying is you can’t treat a bartending and waitressing job as a kind of semi serious side hustle, you have to be fully invested or they will find someone who is. Pretty brutal conditions out here. There are of course exceptions, but very very few. I don’t know of any come to think of it.

          There have been a few guys around me who went about buying up buildings in industrial areas and converting them on the inside into multiple tiny studio and rehearsal rooms, but they charge a fortune now and you can’t live there. And often they charge by the hour or week. The days of locking one up 24/7 for a 12 month lease are long gone.

        • WG Howard, I’d really like to know the band name. They sound like someone that I would enjoy hearing.

          • Mike-

            The band is called Momma and their new album is titled Household Name.

    • “I’m of the belief that applying for 50 jobs is not the right way to do things. ”

      It never has been. If you find yourself cold-calling for jobs, you fucked up somewhere back down the road.

      Every decent job I’ve ever had has been because I knew somebody. Sorry, but that’s the way of the world.

  6. Corporations now wield more power in the lives of the people than the federal government.

    But that doesn’t necessarily make it more feudal or decentralized. It could very well lead to even more centralization/less feudalism: Blackrock will own everything (or enough piece of everything to control everything). You’ll own nothing and be happy.

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  9. Masterful summary of something I have been said for years. Freedom is a tool to centralize power. The high give freedom to the low to reduce the power of the medium and eventually to the poor This was studied by DeJouvenel in On Power (1946). See also Libido Dominandi of E. Michael Jones to see how sexual freedoms produce tyranny.

    Centralization increases with the age of civilizations until the centralization is so big that the system collapses. Feudalism was a first step in centralization after Charlemagne. Before Charlemagne, there was only lord’s that were independent from one another and the king was only primus inter pares. After feudalism, the king starting centralizing power and this ended up as the absolute monarchies. You see this process applied to the drug traffic on Narcos: Mexico

    After the bourgeois revolutions, the State kept on centralizing more and more. The ideal of Rousseau was that everybody should be independent from each other and dependent from the State. All intermediate organisms were ended and destroyed: neighborhoods, parishes, extended families, nuclear families, couples, etc. New technologies make more centralization possible so there is a new round of freedoms to justify centralization. Freedom from your biological sex, for example.

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    • What’s that old Chinese proverb? That which is separated is destined to be joined; that which is joined is destined to be separated. Rather Spenglerian.

  10. When I lived in USA, I had the impression of having stepped into a prison. I felt suffocated. Stupid rules where everywhere, let alone mandatory patterns of behavior.

    I used to say “Americans say: ‘This is a free country’ because they want to convince themselves”. This was about 15 years ago. Now it must be worse.

    I think one of the tools used to enslave American people is their pride. I used to find people saying that, since USA is the first country in the world, everything is better there. Women, food, everything is better and there is no need to learn about alternative ways of doing things because they are obviously inferiors to the American way. But excuse me: you have lots of good things but your women and your food are of a lousy quality when compared to other parts of the world.

    I couldn’t stand this system, so I left and never looked back.

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    • I’ll probably get downvoted for saying this, but America is not a very pretty country in terms of landscape and seascape. I have been to every corner of this country and I have yet to find a place that rivals or surpasses areas of Europe in terms of pure physical beauty. For me, the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in this country is Crater Lake in Oregon. I learned then what the expression “makes your jaw drop” means; your jaw actually drops and you stand there is complete awe.

      But…. I have seen many such places in Europe. Just driving over the hills in Sardinia toward Olbia with the emerald waters revealing themselves, and a misty mountain in the foreground. Jaw dropping. Places in Sicily too. And central France, and Spain, and Switzerland, and Germany, and…..everywhere.

      In some ways, I have to say, America is a bit God forsaken as a place. It’s just not that pretty. And it’s a bit second rate.

      People are not eager to admit this, but I have to wonder if the lack of extensive beauty has figured into the way the place is operated. Without nature to keep man feeling in awe and humble, all hell has broken loose.

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      • only a provincial rube would down vote you for this comment. if you wanted to give AINO an enema you would be spoiled for choice (as to where to insert the nozzle)…

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        • I am beginining to suspect some of youall need to sit on my deck with a drink.in hand
          Trillions of diamonds reflected, endless colors minute to minute changing.the only sounds wind in the trees and birds.
          My passport pages are full as well & ive been plenty of places i could have stayed.& fondly remember a few ladies that would have made a good wife
          To each their own.
          For me there is no place like home

          • Are you close to vibrancy?

            I’m sure America would look a lot prettier if every few hundred feet you didn’t run into an African

            There may be many pretty places, but the people ruin it. I can’t take blacks anymore and I don’t see myself changing any time soon. They used to not bug me so much. Add in Anna and her tribe and I just want to get the F outta here. I’m at my breaking point.

            But like my kids say, I need a vacation, but I tell them no, I need a permanent change. So by the end of this year I am essentially done with life in terms of working and will get back to living. I’ve done my duty and raised the kids and paid Uncle Sam a lot of taxes, I did the rah rah routine when we went to war, I voted, I was involved, but no more. So from here forward it’s all about me. Going to channel my inner boomer ha ha.

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          • “Are you close to vibrancy?”

            You can live your whole life in my neck of the woods and hardly ever see the vibrant. There’s the Asian family that owns the Chinese restaurant in the county seat, the Indian family that owns the hotel there, the Mexican family that owns the Mexican restaurant there … and that’s about it.

            Wikipedia says this of my county from 2010 (and it hasn’t changed all that much): “The racial makeup of the county was 97.9% white, 0.3% black or African American, 0.2% American Indian, 0.1% Asian, 0.1% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races.”

      • Oh come on – every substantial land mass on earth has multiple OMG places – how about the Grand Canyon for one little example? There’s no place like that in Europe.

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        • Is it fair enough to ask, or at least to contemplate, whether a nation’s beauty can be correlated to how many great landscape painters it has inspired?

          I have always been struck by how America’s better painters would depict the landscape as bleak or barren, if they didn’t veer into sentimentality.

          The Indians were here for a long time, and they didn’t apparently feel inspired enough by what they saw to develop amazing technical skills to memorialize it in painting. But in Europe they did.

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          • I’ve yet to see such revolutionary developments from the Neuveau Francois from southern Africa. Perhaps expecting artistic or technological development from 65 iq savages is unrealistic, irrespective of scenery or time zone.

          • I dont see a fair comparison between stone age primatives & even the lowliest indentured survant from europe when discussing much of anything beyond possibly tracking animals.
            Painting, sketching etc. Are technical.

        • try living there. it’s “ok” as far as landmarks go, but it’s not beautiful. more like God forsaken.

        • Beauty is in the eye of the beholder as they say. What I’ve heard many Europeans upon visiting the USA is to remark on our vastness of expanse. A beauty in itself. Whereas, they might decry the cultural and artistic emptiness of our inner cities.

          Having been to Europe, the opposite is what impresses me. European inner cities and culture and life within is quite impressive to a city boy like me.

          • They have had their gypsies a long while & now they are getting their spades in spades good and hard. Not much time left for em.

        • The Grand Canyon is one awe inspiring spot I’ve actually visited. It’s also an opportunity to segue into an insensitive yet apropos joke that in happier times might have been told at the office water cooler, but in today’s progressive world of Thought Police is an endangered species only rarely glimpsed at outré blogs.

          Q: How did the Grand Canyon come about?
          A: A Jew dropped a penny down a gopher hole.

      • I arrived at the Grand Canyon at sunset and it was magical. I think the Northern States have some impressive nature.

        What is appalling is the architecture. With some exceptions, cities are interchangeable. A downtown of Mcskyscrapers (high boxes) and the rest flat low buildings (long low boxes) with lots of parking lots. This soulless flat architecture that a friend of mine described as “industrial buildings with green zones”. The green zones are nice though.

        In part, this happens around the world: it is the legacy of Le Corbusier and modem architecture. But the flat low building is not so prevalent and historic buildings are preserved. uSA has more than 200 years and even more with the colonial past. But there are few historical buildings. Everything is built not to last. You live in an eternal soulless present when it comes to architecture

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        • I will agree on the architecture for sure. The western US wasn’t really settled until the latter part of the 19th century (not counting the injun cliff dwellings) so the oldest buildings will date from that time. Those that are kept up are nice to see and can be relatively impressive, but don’t rival European several hundred year old stuff.

        • And aesthetic vandals like Frank Gehry have taken “Corbu’s” torch and run with it. He and other brutalists seem to have derived their inspiration from the city of Dresden–after the Lancasters and (to be fair) the Flying Fortresses did their work.

      • On the landscape, maybe. There are some nice places in the US, but not as well juxtaposed to the manmade structures as in Europe. For some reason, European architecture seems to “fit” better with the natural scenery (especially along the Med) than in the US.

        As for women and food – that is simply not true. For one, the US has every flavor of food and women from around the world, so it can’t be true. Perhaps attitudes of some women tend to ruin things, but you get that in Europe too (e.g., Femen). Also, you can’t compare the top 10% of Europe with the bottom 10% of the US. If you look at the top 10% of both, they are pretty comparable. Perhaps there might be an argument that American women have a bigger chip on their shoulders with the accompanying crappy attitude, but Europe is not free of that either.

        • I laugh at the guys who think ANY woman isnt a PITA from time to time. although i do agree “feminism” has been weaponized to destroy the family. Most of the women bitching about how unfair and opressive the patriarchy is have never been where nobody has legal rights especially women.
          Id like to send them all to almost anywhere outside the western world and make them stay for at least five years.

        • I am talking about American women and American food. The vast majority of American people don’t go to an authentic foreign restaurant for every meal. They eat fast food every day. This fast food is not sh*t because sh*t is something natural and biologic.

          I worked in a school and the closest restaurant was 2 miles ago. A fast food restaurant, like any other in the radius of 20 kms. We had 40 minutes for lunch (productivity is paramount in America) and the principal (a Vietnamese American b*tch) closed the parking so we could not get out. Some people left the car outside, drove to the drive through and ate the burger while they drove back to the school. In any other country in the world, this would be a monstrosity, like eating fast food every day.

          But I found a marginal and poor Mexican restaurant about one mile away so I walked every day to eat real food. Mexican food is not that healthy but it is food, not the galactic garbage of Taco Bell or other fast food.

          About women around the world going to America, they get quickly ruined when they get to America. I am an European living in Latin America. I have seen European and Latina women that live in America and believe me: I know what I say.

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          • “The vast majority of American people don’t go to an authentic foreign restaurant for every meal. They eat fast food every day.”

            This is just bullshit. Motte and Bailey. Statement one is true, because who does that anywhere? Statement two is flat out false.

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        • As Bill Bryson once observed, many American women look like elephants dressed in kids’ clothes. European women know enough to push away from the table, obesity is unusual.

      • Possibly. However, the mountains of Colorado rival the Alps, and the austere vistas of Southern New Mexico are beautiful in a way likely not found in Europe.

        I think your argument is stronger if you consider the built environment. AINO has nothing that can come close to touching the ecclesiastical architecture of Europe, Russia inclusive.

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        • A cold winter sunrise in the Sonoran desert among the saguaro cacti is something most people don’t have a chance to see – unfortunately.

          • We went to there this year. Really enjoyed getting to know the flora & fauna. & history. My youngest brought his telescope excellent star gazing.
            I took a black light was able to see a lot of things that fluores
            Partuculary insects scorpions especially.
            One thing that Stood out really brightly are rabbit pellets!
            Yes i picked up a few before i knew what the glowing little oval things were.lol.
            Its so differant might as well be on another planet.

        • Visit the parks of Utah for an example of beautiful vastness, and you can hike there as well.

          • I highly recommend the Wasatch National Forest if one has the opportunity.

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          • Oh yeah. Canyonlands (and Arches/Bryce/Zion) has it all over the Grand Canyon if you want a less touristy experience.

      • Dramatic landscapes are usually difficult to make a living on. Indeed, a lot of boring land in the US, but also rich.

        • Not back in the day (i.e. pre photography)

          In Europe there were local painters everywhere because people wanted to decorate their homes with paintings of the valleys or seascape, and the better ones got better prices.

          In America there was always a well to do class who’d pay for a good landscape painting, but there just weren’t that many. In my own lifetime, I have been to many a rich person’s home, and in Europe you get lots of landscapes/seascapes + portraits while in America you get lots of portraits and little else. Portrait art thrived in America for whatever reason.

          • Apologies, I meant most of the land is rich, if not dramatic. Huge expanses of naturally fertile farmland east of the Mississippi, energy, minerals, etc., all over the place.

      • I’ve been through the Alps and the Black Forest, up Mt. Fuji, in Caribbean bays, Mexico, Brazil, Malaysia, England, Denmark. The Alps were the most beautiful of all. I’m a mountain person at heart and they are a fine range, and the hamlets of Switzerland and Liechtenstein have a cozy antiquity it’s hard to find in the US.

        But I’ve also been at the continental divide in winter, gazing across the peaks from above timberline, and in many of the little towns nestled in the mountain valleys, and they’re quite gorgeous. I live in the Hocking Hills within Wayne National Forest, and I have spent many hours deep in backwoods trails and the lush, sedate beauty of that area is wonderful to me. The winding hollows, the quaint covered bridges. I love it. I regularly travel beside the wide, slow Muskingum River and it is beautiful.

        I’ve been atop Sugarbush, Vermont in midwinter when the evergreens were so thickly shrouded in snow it looked like something out of a Christmas postcard. I’ve stood at the edge of the Grand Canyon, hiked down and rafted at the upper smooth water end. I’ve been in the Badlands of South Dakota and the Black Hills, and many more places. There’s beauty everywhere. I don’t think the US has anything to be ashamed of.

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        • I think in America you find more majesty while in Europe you find more beauty

          Hard to explain the difference but I think with majesty your first inclination is to be amazed at the scale and size of it.

          With beauty, it’s more mesmerizing. You just sit there and don’t know where to begin taking it in, it comes at you from different levels and angles and you don’t know where or how to define it.

          Contrast with majesty where the dominant feeling is just being in awe of the massive scale of it.

          “So Tom, you went to the Grand Canyon, and so what did you think of it?”

          Invariably he will say “I was blown away by how huge it is.”

          “Ok, so what did you think then of the Alps? Ot the river valleys in Italy?”

          “It was just so beautiful. I can’t begin to explain. You have to go see for yourself”

          Make sense?

          • It makes sense to me, Falcone. America is more majestic because the nature is less tamed. In Europe thosands of years have tamed the nature and architecture and roads have been integrated in the landscape.

            In America, there is less integration and the integration is done with modern architecture

          • “in EU you can live in a beautiful area; in AINO you can only visit.”

            Bull. I live in the midst of incredible beauty, and my area isn’t wealthy.

          • I’ve also been to all but a handful of European countries (some several times), Japan, New Zealand, etc. as well as all but 9 of the US states and agree with all of your points. The area I’m lucky enough to live in now rivals the Swiss Alps in drop dead magnificence. The built environment is as crappy as anywhere else in AINO but the mountains and lake astound me every day. I also drove from one end of the US to the other years ago and I can’t think of any other country I’ve visited with the unbelievable diversity (this word really has been ruined even when it fits) of landscapes, all of them stunning and unique in their own way. It’s a big part of what makes the deconstruction of the US so tragic.

        • Damn right !
          Imanobody you are like a lot of other euros, love to trash talk america. Yet you
          left europe to live in south america. Good luck hope you find your forever perfect place.

          • Believe it or not, you can live much better in Latin America than in Europe or USA if you are well qualified and know how to carve a niche. This means more purchasing power, better house, less stress, more free time and a healthier lifestyle. And much less of woke bullshit.

            It’s not about trashing America. As I said, you have a lot of good things. But this does not mean that you are the best in 100% of things. No country in the history of the world has been that.

            You have a robust economy, the most important currency, amazing landscapes and nature, a glorious past. Americans are honest and hardworking people, with lots of civic virtues. Their civic society has been unsurpassed in history. You are creative and innovative and have produced most of the modem world. I am writing in American English on a device made and designed by Americans on the Internet, created by Americans.

            Architecture, women and food are not your strong point, that’s all. Especially women. You cannot always win.

        • Different kind of beauty. There’s nothing like what I told you, standing there looking across the continental divide from above timberline in the middle of the winter.

          In Switzerland you see an ancient accommodation of man with a harsh environment. Some of the little mountain towns predate the US by hundreds of years and I’ve always had a personal appreciation for that joining of man and nature, so it’s just personal preference. I wouldn’t at all want to disparage any of the little Colorado mountain towns, though. You can see the grit and determination of the pioneers in every brick and board of the older buildings and the Rockies are just gorgeous. The best days of my life were spent in the Colorado Rockies.

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          • Hey: The Wild geese Howard.

            PLEASE DO NOT RECOMMEND THE WASATCH MOUNTAINS AGAIN. They are not really that good and it is not worth it for outsiders to visit. They are incredibly boring actually if you are around them enough. Please. don’t tel people to spend any of their hard earned time and money to see them…..

            If you catch my drift…

            please…

      • Falcone: I haven’t seen nearly enough of the American landmass, but I’ve still seen a fair bit – as well as quite a bit of Europe and other parts of the world. If you are referring just to the physical landscape, I think you are dead wrong. There are beautiful vistas in the United States – The Blue Ridge or Ozark Mountains, the lakes in upper NY state, the Everglades in Florida, the deserts of the west, the Rockies, the Atlantic coast of Maine, etc. Everything is a different scale than in Europe. Nature here – where it wasn’t obliterated or built out – is much more untamed than in Europe.

        If you are referring to how well humans and their architecture meshes with the natural environment, Europe wins hands down. Almost everything we’ve built is cheap and ugly or a poor copy of a European original. No American city can rival the beauties of Dubrovnik, or Prague, or Venice, or historical Edinburgh or London (not the present day abominations – the historical versions).

        Fwiw, I haven’t traveled as extensively in Asia or the Caribbean, but I was not impressed with the natural vistas anywhere there. Then again, you have to account for personal preference – I much prefer the story north Atlantic to a Caribbean beach. And that’s even without the people.

        • I hear ya but I think Karl hit on it pretty well. In Europe you can live among the beauty, whereas here you can only visit it.

          You can buy a little stone apartment in Italy for $15,000. That is not a typo. It’s a small room in a stone building but it’s something at least. Larger point being is you can live in a beautiful area, may be a small village, but there would be a lake, or an ocean nearby, or rolling hills and sunsets.

          Anywhere nice in America, if you want those views of the ozarks or sierras, etc, you have to be rich. Or a visitor to a state park. Want a place on the beach in Florida or anywhere for that matter with beautiful ocean views in the morning? Good luck if you aren’t rich.

          So this may also be what colored my impressions of Europe. Is that you could be a regular person and have all of this beauty accessible to you. It could be yours.

          I used to dream of finding a piece of land with a spring on it and a swimming hole. I could think of nothing more I’d ever want. I looked and looked and looked. They have all been sucked up into parklands or owned by the state. So yeah, there are places of beauty, but they’re not mine. And isn’t that a big part of the equation? In Europe the beautiful areas are far more accessible and possible. And there are more of them if you ask me. Abe because it is more condensed so it seems the place is more beautiful on a per square mile basis or something.

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          • Falcone: We’ll just have to agree to disagree. I’ve watched/seen videos of land for sale in Italy (note – not a one room stone home in a mountain village, but old stone homes on a few acres in the mountains) and it’s beyond expensive. The idea of owning not merely a room or home but actual private acreage among European nature is truly something for the top 1%.

            One can very well live amongst beautiful nature in America – it’s not all been turned to public parks – you just have to look for it. Our new property of 80 acres is in the mountains and has incredible vistas (no swimming hole, but there’s a deep well and a creek). The house is really nice albeit rather small, but we’ll happily make do. We are not wealthy – but the ridiculously inflated price of our suburban home is enabling us to pay the equally inflated price for this property (limited housing stock and desirable location among certain people has seen prices literally double in the past 2-3 years).

            Think outside the box – beyond California, Florida, Idaho, or Colorado!

        • -3g4me

          In contrast to yo above, I’m going to encourage you to please keep recommending the lakes in upstate NY as much as possible!

          😉

          • Wild Geese: My parents drove us through that area in 1970 on a family vacation up to Niagara Falls and Montreal. I remember being surprised by how lovely rural parts of New York state were – the mountains, the lakes, etc. You couldn’t get me to live there now, of course, but there is some surprisingly pretty real estate hiding in the east coast states.

    • DeTocqueville noticed the narrow acceptable range of thought, discussion, and behavior in the US when he visited in the 1800s.

    • There’s some truth to this, particularly among the Grillers. Their idea is that, if it’s happening in ‘Murica, it must be okay. This includes mass subsidization of the anti-white terrrorist org BLM, the Covid tyranny, the theft of an election, and the outrageous persecution of the J6 protesters.

      On the positive side, I fully believe the scales are falling from some of the Grillers’ eyes, albeit far too late to save America itself.

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  11. This is a very good, provocative, and surprisingly upbeat piece. And just when I was begging to think Z was incapable of anything but pitchy gloom…

    My only quibble is with something Z implied, but perhaps didn’t necessarily mean; his statement is ambiguous. Specifically, Z argues that in the 1950s man’s first obligation was to his family, and that his duties radiated outward in concentric circles to the city, county, state, etc.

    If this is what Z means, I really cannot agree. In periods such as the 1950s, when patriotism reigns supreme, yes, the primary obligation is still to the family, but the secondary one is to the nation, not the county or whatever. Men in such times are far more willing to go to war for their country than for a somewhat meaningless and emotionally threadbare entity such as the county.

    PS–If I didn’t know any better, I’d think somebody has been reading his Marc Bloch.

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    • I suspect you may be confusing the relative strength of different loyalties. The willingness to go to war for your country doesn’t fall neatly into that tiered system (family-city-county-etc), considering that cities and counties rarely go to war with each other. The willingness to go off to war rests on the faith that one’s loved ones are safe at home. In other words, if the home wasn’t safe, it’s very unlikely that most people would leave them to fight elsewhere.

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      • That is doubtless true. However, nobody has true emotional ties and loyalty to a county. He may very well, on the other hand, have those for his country.

        • Says you, speaking from a modern perspective. I have to think you are part of the new, rootless America.

          In my county, there are family ties to the land that go back a couple centuries in some cases. I have met people who’ve never been as far as the big city an hour away. I know people born here who traveled all over, but they came back here because their roots are here. God knows modernity is doing everything possible to weaken those bonds, but they were still strong in the ’50s. When I first bought my farm in the mid ’90s, there were older people who still called it “The Old Jones Dairy” even though it hadn’t been that since the late ’50s.

          You can read old documents and newspaper clippings from the late 1800s about my area. It was a newsworthy occurrence when a businessman from the county seat visited a town just six miles south. Life was that local.

          • Vizzini: This. Spoke to man about my (or soon to be my) well. His surname is the name of a nearby small town. His ancestors were among the original White settlers of the area. I’ve been reading a book I bought from another resident, written by her father. Certain surnames appear time and again – from people whose histories are inextricably intertwined with the land and its history. That’s something that’s vanishing in America and it’s a tragedy.

          • Yeah, those days are sadly coming to a close

            The people who got here first really had a great thing in this country. They had a good few hundred years to plant their roots and make a home of it. On the other hand, my American roots are in tampa and New Orleans lol. I can’t go back to to either place. My heart cries for New Orleans sometimes, recalling my youth, or Tampa, but I just can’t deal with the blackness.

            So for us late arrivers, the American scene is inherently different. But even the old timers are finding themselves squeezed out after hundreds of years. It’s just a shame.

            But I sometimes joke, playing off the dangerfield line that he would never join a club that would accept him as a member, but if I could make a small fortune here, geez, then how low are the standards? And could a place like this truly last? I’m not picking on myself just acknowledging that making it here may have been a little too easy, and now the piper has to be paid.

            Easy come, easy go

          • Those people are loyal to the land–which is amorphously regional–far more than they are to the county, I strongly suspect.

          • “Those people are loyal to the land–which is amorphously regional–far more than they are to the county, I strongly suspect.”

            You wouldn’t know, would you? You’ve never been here.

    • I know my dad who served in the Marines always used to say he was taught, his obligations were, in order: God, family, country.

      It was understood, even among the military, that you had higher obligations than even to things of a patriotic nature. Can that be said today? I think now your obligations are 99% to the country and lucky if you get a chance to have a family or go to Church.

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      • In AINO’s military, I don’t think there’s any loyalty to anything other than the self. Non-whites, who increasingly comprise the military, have never been patriotic and never will be. And patriotism in general is on the wane, although is still relatively high. Today people join the military for career reasons or because they don’t have any better options. There is precious little idealism.

      • “You can give your soul to Jesus, but YOUR ASS BELONGS TO THE CORPS!”
        Though attending the Sunday chaplain at OCS was “optional in name only.”

    • the only thing Zman knows about the 50’s is what he reads; same for me and I have 10+ years on him. it was a very mysterious time, lots of things brewing…

      • I’ve had the advantage of first person sources for my area. The old couple I bought my farm from had lived in the area all their lives and would regale me with tales of their lives and the history of the area going back to the early 1900s, and we’re fortunate enough to have a society called Little Cities of the Black Diamond that is very good about online archiving of old historical documents, so I can browse through there and see what people were really doing, thinking and talking about at the time.

        Zman is correct, as far as I can tell.

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      • I’ve always wondered if there are some secret tapes stashed away in the library of Congress that is a meeting of people like Allen Dulles Jacob javits and other big name people basically laying out the next 15 years.

  12. Maybe the term Asymmetric Feudalism is a better way of stating the current situation between the government and the people Zman outlines so well.

    We can be taxed, surveilled, drafted, jabbed, quarantined and locked up for no particular reason. The Gov’t doesn’t even have the obligation to protect our homes/lives (just note all the case law around Police and their lacking any obligation to protect you). Unlike the feudal era with its symmetric responsibilities/obligations, this current Era is characterized by “tax serfdom” without any benefits/obligations flowing downwards.

    My only quibble with Zman here is that the apparent weakness of the Central Gov’t is more about the leaders in question (Trump-naive/Biden-senile/Obama-lazy) than the power of the Central system itself. We will likely live to see a very effective Leftist dictator harnessing the full power of the Central State and its techno-oligarch henchmen.

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  13. “Freedom was a state in which there were no rules.”

    I’ve never heard “freedom” defined that way. Did “freedom” really mean anarchy or lawlessness during feudal times?

      • Great post. It shakes up my mind and makes new synapses fire. Well done.

        Captain Willard is on to something. I think to be most precise, the feudal system’s system of obligations was characterized by reciprocal obligations. Thus ruler and ruled had clearly defined obligations to each other. Stated in a more noble language, they were bound by honor to the duties they pledged to faithfully uphold.

        If Lord A wanted to run his estates differently than another he could. Or he could run each of his different estates differently depending upon circumstances. Perhaps we can look at representative democracy not as a legislative system, (easily corrupted by lawyers), but as a means to choose or have a say in the choice of Lord.

        I think Captain Willard and ZMan are hitting on the same idea. The Constitution rendered impotent means that in the degenerate phase of this empire, there is no reciprocal relationship. The rulers don’t even bother to pretend to be representing the will of the people nor to be bound by any obligation to them any longer.

        The currency is in trouble. So, Pippa Malmgren goes to the Middle East and pimps the new CBDC. She offers the sheiks seated before her their enticement – you will have access to the private information of all who use this currency. (Meaning they can monetize this as does Google?) The 4th Amendment goes from dead letter to ashes. In 15 years, when the current crop of kindergartners have gone through the new curriculum, it will have never existed. The white ones will be fully villified. The new sets of obligations and duties will be to set upon them, while the oligarchs helicopter hop amongst their floating cities in the Caribbean.

        This idea was never floated before the public. There was no plebiscite or negotiation between our lords and the supreme lord and king and his councils. Tax cows! You pay taxes to fund your schools and to maintain the roads. We have no duty or obligation to you parents and your children. Our duty is to the unions that feast on the tax money. There is no duty to those who use the roads. The duty is to the 10 men for every 1 shovel union members. All reciprocate in their duty to vote for us.

        It would be interesting to study the role of the guilds in the feudal system of Europe. Perhaps there is a correlation with our public employee unions that is instructive in dealing with them. Food for thought. Perhaps that is the wedge that can drive the oligarchs in our direction. They would have to represent more of an economic liability than their utility as votes before this system would change.

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        • The Constitution is only as good as the people enforcing it. Frankly, I think the Articles of Confederation were better.

        • There is an error there: “Lord A could run his estates as he wanted.” That is freedom, not liberty, that you describe and it did not exist. Enclosures, fallowing and rotation, crop diversity, and all the other modern evolutions away from feudalism all led to serious unrest precisely BECAUSE the lord could not do as he wished: he had an obligation to his vassals, even the serfs, to maintain order and tradition. The “freedom” of experimenting with the sustenance and ability of your underlings to even survive is a modern “anti-reciprocal duty” idea that lionizes the “I gets mine” approach, and the opposite of feudalistic duty and liberty.

          • Interesting. So you are saying that the risk of experimentation failure was too high (large scale starvation and death), to permit experimentation and innovation?

            I can see it playing out that way. It is true that I am ignorant of the facts on the ground of European feudalism. They must have had controlled experimentation. Otherwise how was there ever any beneficial innovation at all?

            Can you clarify, “The “freedom” of experimenting with the sustenance and ability of your underlings to even survive is a modern “anti-reciprocal duty” idea that lionizes the “I gets mine” approach, and the opposite of feudalistic duty and liberty.”

            I don’t quite grok this statement.

  14. How will that square with whites being shoved into a minority. The feudal system and the comparison made here relied on whites being in a majority both in Western Europe and America.

    I’m not all that certain the dusky hordes react the same way to civilizational pressures as whites do (or did).

    Excellent post zman, very thought provoking.

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    • For some reason this bit was excluded from my reply:

      In the long run, the restoration of those old duties and obligations will restore the balance between the two. Being ruled by a local elite personalizes the relationship.

      • There’s a difference in being “ruled” and accepting that someone else is “in charge” and their responsibilities include admin and so forth of the place.

        I think Americans lean more toward the latter in terms of the social arrangements they are willing to accept. Being lorded over and ruled from some dumbass in DC is where the problems are coming from. The people in DC went from being simply in charge to being despots. That’s un-American, and I don’t think it can hold, at least among the white folks. I am clueless as to what to expect from everyone else.

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  15. The ‘Liberty’ and ‘Freedom’ distinction is important. Our rulers have also eroded liberty by constantly changing the rules, and selectively or refusing to enforce most of the rules they create. Acting in accordance with the rules then is nigh impossible. This is what we get for having very disturbed people as rulers.

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  16. Mencken once observed that, before the automobile, an American woman could spend all her life seeing no government agent but the postman.

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    • Jack: And the only time a “lady” had her name appear in print was when she was Christened, when she married, and when she died. Compare and contrast to Tik-Tok slores of today.

  17. The people at the top ABSOLUTELY need to be reminded of their duties every single time they walk out the door – they owe that to everyone in who’s name they supposedly make decisions. We all know the old saying: familiarity breeds contempt – and as soon as that contempt begins seeping into the decision making process, the reminders need to be issued forcefully and punitively.

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    • The people at the top won’t recognize their obligations until something they care about is affected.

      A good example of something they care about are the supply chains for their private jets.

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      • Wild Geese: I’ve often pondered the state of mind of the White private-plane pilots and personal bodyguards of all the sub-Saharan denizens made wealthy by corporate ‘murrica. Sometimes I can see accepting certain moral compromises in exchange for truly guaranteeing one’s own family’s future, but these people are not rich and set up for life – they are still working service jobs for ‘people’ not fit to lick White feet. And there are very definite limits to what I’d do for money. I suppose that’s why I’m not rich.

  18. “The two words are used interchangeably today, but it was not always so. Liberty was the right to act within the context of the rules. Freedom was a state in which there were no rules.”

    If you have the time, I’d be most grateful for the source of these statements. My interest is mainly linguistic (etymology), but also, although to a lesser degree, in the distinction you are making here (which I have encountered before, but always without any source for the distinctions being made between the words “freedom” and liberty”).

    Where does this come from? What is its basis? (IFF you have time)

    • One only needs to look at our Founding Fathers and their discussions in the early days of the organization of the Republic. The Founders were masters of the English language and the most educated of society—and as such, would never use redundancy in their writings. See how many discussions spoke of “freedoms and liberties”. It was common at the time.

      Why would they say “freedoms” and then “liberties” in the same sentence when one word meant the other in common understanding? They would not. In short, my understanding is similar to Z-man’s. Liberties were akin to “rights” as we now understand them. Freedom was the ability to “exercise” such understood liberties of the time.

      Z-man’s understanding is perhaps a bit more nuance (and correct) than mine in his description of freedom as having an obligation component. My general explanation has always been: “Liberty” == “Right”, while “Freedom” == “Ability” (to exercise such right).

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      • Wouldn’t it also be that “freedom” was freedom from “the man” — free of bondage and obligations to the primary authority. Whereas “liberties” were things you could do locally and that were judged locally and more in the realm of ethics and morality? Hence the word libertine.

        As an aside, notice how when these federal guys are in front of congress, they always say “I am not a liberty to discuss anything relating to an ongoing investigation”. Wonder if that means anything, the history behind that expression? Liberty in this sense means something like “license”. I dont have the proper license to say anything.

        I do in fact have a hardback set of the OED. Right behind me on a bookshelf, so maybe I will give it a read on the words license, freedom, and liberty. If I find anything interesting I will report back.

        • I think “liberty” was synonymous with “privilege.” You have the liberty (the privilege) of fishing in the stream on my property, but nobody else does. People were given “the liberty of the town” or “the liberty of the ship” and so on.

          That usage is common in old records that predate the Norman Conquest, “freedom” being an English (Germanic) word, and “liberty” being a French (Latin) word.

          ” … when these federal guys are in front of congress, they always say “I am not a liberty to discuss anything”

          That’s a “stock phrase (and what it means in the context you mention is that the speaker is lying, but you already know that), but the speaker could also say “I don’t have the freedom to [tell the truth or they will add me to that list of the Clintons’ many victims].”

          My question was about etymology and usage (think “ratatouille”), not politics, and I have to apologize to Z and everybody else for having derailed the train of thought. I never intended to highjack the discussion. Sorry!

          • No apologies please

            I am also one who leans toward etymology.

            And the Germanic and Latin roots of the words were lingering in my head in the background and I was wondering if this had any part to play in the evolution of the words.

            Even so, the past was a more serious time, and a more enlightened and educated time, and so there might have been a point where the expression “I am not at liberty to” had a basis in something real, or something the community understood more deeply, before it became a hollow stock phrase.

            OED beckons

        • Falcone: I’m envious. I have the two volume set of the OED that requires a magnifying glass, and thus I use it a lot less than when I was younger and sharper eyed.

        • I am envious of your possession of the full hardback edition of the OED. Had I access to that deep well, I would find it difficult to resist whiling away many hours chasing after etymologies and the drift of meanings and usages over the passage of time.

    • You find it in Montesquieu’s The Spirit of Laws among other places, but the founders would certainly have read it there

    • In the UK, if someone accuses you of “taking far too many facking liberties” you should brace yourself for a punch that is probably on the way

  19. I don’t always see eye to eye with the Z-Man, but I agree very much with the substance of this essay and it comports with my own view, although I would have described it in different language.

    It really aggravates me when some people toss around the word “Neo-Feudalism” as a term of disparagement to describe our current techno-oligarchic dystopia. Feudalism is precisely what the current age is NOT, and few people seem to realize just how good the ordinary person had it within the feudal system.

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    • The propaganda engine against the Middle Ages started in the so-called enlightenment and has been a part of public consciousness for several generations. They must all be backwards hicks back then, since modern enlightened people have things like a cell phone and people with official sounding titles to tell them what to think, unlike Medieval people who listened to the Church and their ancestral traditions.

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      • You’d think people would look at the art and architecture and wonder what great men could’ve produced them.

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          • Yes, indeed, it is a rebuke against the puerility of the “blank slate” nonsense when the connection between such greatness and the genetic and cultural matrix which made these things possible is ranged against leftist blather, and those who produce it and advocate for it.

    • “Feudalism is precisely what the current age is NOT, and few people seem to realize just how good the ordinary person had it within the feudal system.”

      BRAVO! Thanks for pointing out this elephant in the room.

      Feudalism was, above and beyond all other considerations, STABLE. It was based on reciprocal relationships. Everyone knew what his rights and duties were. “Law” was something to be discovered through daily living and through tradition, not “positive law,” manufactured by “officials”
      and almost always to provide some kind of benefit to some undeserving person or group. Feudalism was LOCAL.

      Etc.

      Just as people nowadays confuse “sex” with “gender” (and even confuse women with … well, with whatever it is that people are confused about), people confuse serfdom with feudalism b/c serfdom was a feature of feudalism, but that was because of factors outside of the feudal system, and feudalism could work very well today (although once the usual suspects are through with their wrecking operations, it’s anybody’s guess as to what might or might not work in the future). A resurrected feudalism could be a godsend for us.

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      • How true. I would argue we have serfdom today, but without a well defined set of “rights” for the “serfs”. Is that not what the main societal argument has been for over a 100 years at least? Think about it. The serfs are now typically what we call “wage slaves” and are allowed to live “paycheck to paycheck” and when unemployed or unable to work (sick) are often cast into the void in our enlightened society.

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        • @compsci:

          You are absolutely right. We DO have serfdom today, except that serfs were attached to a given place–to the soil–and nowadays, many of our social ills arise from the fact that a huge number of people are just rootless and without any feeling for the place where they were born. The anonymity afforded by urban life is the source of a LOT of bad stuff b/c it is destructive
          of community.

          Resurrecting feudalism (without serfdom) would set a great many things to rights–things that have been corrupted by the childish notion (I won’t call it an idea) of equality. Feudalism made clear what people’s rights and duties were, and it was LOCAL.

          • Serfs you will always have with you. The issue is that the serfs (wage slaves) have duties, with little to no corresponding rights against their overlords (employers). Even when they unionize, they are more often than not screwed over by their union.

          • @c matt

            Whats interesting about your statement is yes, they do often tend to get screwed over by their own unions. I deal with a couple different unions professionally, and those who often start ascending the ranks often wind up agreeing with management side and their representatives, in that so many of those complaining or causing problems really are just never satisfied malcontents, so they too start tuning them out quickly and simply collecting the benefits of their position, whatever they may be.

            That said I do support them in a fashion I have never before, for the sole purpose of gears in the sand of oligarchy where appropriately large and dominant enough.

  20. “Each new ‘freedom’ comes with less liberty and therefore a declining ability to resist the state.”
    Excellent! The distinction you draw between freedom and liberty is superb, though sadly, and mostly, misunderstood.

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    • You can see the distinction in family life. Lax divorce laws gave people in a marriage more freedom, on paper, but is completely destructive to any sort of long-term liberty.

      It used to be you had assurance your spouse would not bail so household duties could be reasonably delegated, you had assurance that your children could not be potentially used as weapons against you, and, most importantly, is limited the amount of poison bad actors could whisper in your spouse’s ear.

      Now most parents have to live with the reality that anything they do, no matter how much in the interest in the family, could result in their destruction in family court and general society.

      The price payed for this freedom is the chains of a complete hostile and undetermined future.

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      • “The price payed for this freedom is the chains of a complete hostile and undetermined future.”

        The MAIN cost is that of stability. Once there is instability, everything else is in peril. Instability is the mother of a whole laundry-list of trouble. As you have pointed out, the ability to make plans–reliable plans–is one of the first victims of instability. After that …

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        • And of course, we need only consider what we know of White, racial proclivities and how they’ve propelled us to the top via our “time preference” behavior. Other races developing in “unstable” environments have completely different manners in adapting to such instability: environment -> biology -> culture.

          We have written the script for our own demise.

      • Free to smoke pot and dress like a woman came at the expense of something else

        Freedoms always seem to be finite in number, so if you add a new one you have to give up an existing one

        It may not be explicit, but in practice it always works this way. We can’t even protest the government anymore. So we lost that freedom. But we can smoke pot. Fair trade?

  21. Whether to call them gangs or local councils, the decentralized structure of authority will be operating from a base of little capital, supposing an economic collapse concurrent with the political collapse. From necessity, the local “zemstov” may commandeer productive resources, including labor, to facilitate this needed capital accumulation. Your point about the restriction of both freedom and liberty.

    Griswold v. Connecticut was an engineered case, the Supremes overturning a “silly” law with the friendly collusion of the state (CT,) a slap in the face of the Catholic Church whose political power in the state was waning. Same here in Massachusetts where the legislature, not the courts, took the lid off the distribution of birth control devices. Hard to believe that Massachusetts, meaning, politically, east of Woosta’, was once a bastion of conservatism where the Lodges spoke only to the Cabots and the Cabots spoke only to God.

    • “Hard to believe that Massachusetts, meaning, politically, east of Woosta’, was once a bastion of conservatism where the Lodges spoke only to the Cabots and the Cabots spoke only to God.”

      Yeah wtf happened?

      • The WASPs, being WASPs, waffled and wilted and withdrew their whiteness; though they never relented in disparaging white Catholics while hideously hailing the Hebrew.

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        1
        • The only thing I feel confident saying is that they have near-zero natural resistance to diversity. Hence the puritan streak, I imagine.

          • And of course Evil Moustache, so you can’t be puritanical.

            Say what you will about their ethos and methods, but they were effective at maintaining an orderly and decent society. At this point I’d take the ends over the means.

      • Mass immigration happened. But since you asked about MA here’s the link to the General Court https://malegislature.gov/ You can look up state Senators or Reps and struggle to find a WASP. It’s overwhelmingly Irish, Italian, and Jewish. With a few Greeks, Portuguese, and French Canadians. That’s pretty much the story of every state in the northeast. And let’s be honest, even if there were a small plurality of voters in the various immigrant-heritage groups who voted conservatively, the are wouldn’t be deep blue, but it is.

  22. This is a very profound article and brings to mind something I have experienced.

    My son used to say, probably following my lead, that you were more free in Italy than in America. This was just his casual observations. Like the authorities didn’t hound you at every turn, you could do things there, like having a beer walking around, that you couldn’t here. If you were in a fender bender, no one made a federal case out of it. There just weren’t nearly as many laws and rules, and the ones there were were not followed too closely.

    But what it was is that there you didn’t have more “freedom,” you had more “liberty”. And tied to that were much stronger bonds at the family and local level, so it tracks with Z’s thesis.

    Very interesting.

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  23. Like a lot of people I have worked in my career for both a smaller family private company and a national Wall Street corporation. The family company knew most of the employees by their first name, paid their employees decent salaries, and sent flowers and condolences when the employee family members passed.
    They were an elite who fulfilled their responsibilities.
    The Wall Street corporations know the employees by the HR spreadsheet numbers, have no idea when employee family members pass away, and we buy our own flowers.
    The Wall Street elites fail in their role as elites.
    They need to pay the price for that failure.

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    • Frankly, knowing that my GloboBank employer is indifferent at best and likely hates me (if they could, HR would have fired me over vax/booster requirements) is liberating.

      I log in at the required start time, log off at 5:00 and don’t give a second thought to my job after hours or during my full lunch hour.

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