Escaping The 20th Century

It is 2023 and middle-aged conservative pundits around the country are wondering if maybe today is the day when they bring back the sock tie. Perhaps break out that “Gipper” lapel pin they got in college. After all, it is high time that this country be reminded of the greatness of the Reagan years. Then they think better of it, as they do not want to ruffle any feathers. After all, that is not who they are. Conservative principle requires conforming to current norms.

A bit ridiculous, perhaps, but it is not far off. This post by conservative pundit Jeremy Carl on Twitter is a good example. Ronald Reagan has been dead for close to twenty years and he has been out of public view for thirty years. For the tens of millions of people who entered the country after Reagan opened the border, he is at best a guy in their history books, no more meaningful to them than the other long dead white guys responsible for the scourge of whiteness, they are told.

In other words, Reagan and the politics of his time are about as relevant to this age as those old clothing styles in the closets of conservative pundits. Reagan and his movement were a product of the 20th century, primarily the Cold War. What we call conservatism was just a radical approach to fighting communism. Note that Reagan’s lasting influence is all negative. Corporatism, open borders and a massive military are what he passed onto the 21st century.

It would be unfair to lay the present crisis at the feet of Reagan as he was a man of his time dealing with the issues of his age. He could not know that his military buildup would lead to decades of reckless and pointless violence. No one imagined that his economic reforms would lead to the financialization of the economy. Global capital with the reach we are seeing was unimageable in the 1980’s. The world “trillion” was an abstraction for most people.

Even so, it is not hard to make a case that in the long run, the world would have been a better place if Carter had won in 1980. The neocons would have been cut off at the pass, thus sparing the world of their senseless violence. We most likely would not have got the same currency, banking and regulatory reforms that we got under Reagan, so we may have avoided the blossoming of global corporatism. This is all speculation, but you can make an argument for 1980 being the inflexion point.

Putting that aside, conservatives are not the only ones trapped in amber. The people they pretend to oppose are also spending every night at the museum. After the Cold War, what we call the Left went back to put on their old 1960’s radical outfits so they could relive their salad days, but this time as the man. For the last thirty years it has been a revenge tour by the culture wreckers who thought they got short changed when they rioted in their youth.

It went unnoticed, but in the Obama years, it was if they were working from a list of slights they endured over the prior decades. The Iran deal was about avenging the “arms-for-hostages” issue. The Russian reset that everyone now forgets was about avenging Carter. When they were not revisiting past defeats, they were reviving old causes like black radicalisms and sexual liberation. Just like their conservative buddies, the so-called Left is trapped in the 20th century.

This weird dance through the halls of the museum of the 20th century is most obvious with the war in the Ukraine. This post by Thaddeus McCotter at American Greatness is emblematic of the mindset. The triumphalism following the fall of the Soviet Empire froze everything in place. No one on either side of the political class can think beyond the point when the West declared the end of history. Therefore, nothing can be allowed to change from that point in time.

Alexander Dugin has written about how the end of the Cold War was a disaster, which strikes most Western readers as sour grapes. It certainly was a disaster for Russia, but who cares about Russia? She deserved it for losing. Of course, what he meant is that the Cold War provided a moral framework for the world. When it abruptly ended, that moral framework ended with it. All of a sudden, there were no rules and what has followed has been chaos from the Eurasian perspective.

From the Western perspective, it has been worse than chaos. “If God does not exist, everything is permitted” is a common Russian expression. In fact, it greatly influenced the thinking of Nietzsche. For the West, the requirements of the Cold War filled the role of God, limiting the excesses of the ruling class. When those restraints were removed, what followed was an orgy of excess leading to the current crisis, made worse by rulers who are trapped in the past century.

Max Planck famously said, “Science advances one funeral at a time” and that may be what must happen for the West to escape the current crisis. As the geriatric class of leaders fades from the seen, they will take their antiquated worldview with them, leaving open the possibility for a new world view. Whether the West is governable as currently composed will be the defining question, but it will not be answered by those old men with their sock ties and Reagan memorabilia.

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220 thoughts on “Escaping The 20th Century

  1. To all the people crapping on Reagan here, you guys don’t know what you’re talking about. You son’t know what you don’t know.

    The general mood of the country in the late 70s was that the US was in serious and permanent decline. A lot more so than it is today. Think about how you feel like the country is declining and then multiply it times four or five and that is how “everyone” felt in 79. We’d lost a serious war less than a decade earlier after forty thousand battlefield deaths. We’d had a decade of high inflation – a lot higher than what we are experiencing today, and it had been going on for years and years. Crime was a lot higher than it is now, had been consistently rising for about fifteen years and showed no signs of reversing. Our politicians and media were all crapping all over average Americans – worse than they are now. And we had a serious foreign adversary threatening to conquer us and foist their way of life onto us. Soviet Communism was expansionist and was a serious threat.

    Reagan was all about two things. Restoring American confidence and winning the cold war. He accomplished both to a degree that seemed impossible in 1980. It may all seam inevitable today with hindsight, but it wasn’t and seemed hopeless at the time. All of the other things, rolling back government or balancing the budget and whatever were all ,secondary to his two primary goals.

    And yeah things soured in the following years. America’s confidence turned into hubris. The end of the Cold War meant that other problems came to the fore. That’s just life. Today’s accomplishment create the seeds of the tomorrows problems.

    • And he lowered taxes and restored the economy in a boom that lasted through the 90s.

      To understand the Reagan moment, you had to have been there; like in all things. Too bad it didn’t last. That time and place are over now.

  2. Totally off topic: Scanning headlines before I shut down my laptop, and DeSantis (I an neither for nor against him because I have zero interest in electoral politics) backtracked on his earlier common sense take on Ukraine (i.e. it’s a border dispute with Russia and none of our business). He has now declared Putin a ‘war criminal’ and literally said Russia was a ‘gas station with nuclear weapons.’

    If I did give a damn about elections, he would have lost my vote. I think he’s made his allegiance (and paymasters) very clear by making this u-turn. Turd.

    • DeSantis stole that “gass station” comment from one John McCain circa 2014. You’re done, Ron.

    • All politicians lie.

      If you believe that it’s OK to be white, hold to “old fashion” traditions, Christian values, and you want to get elected then you may not be truthful. The media hates you and will eat you alive.

      Instead, focus on what they do, what they have done. Read between the lines. Take a chance. Maybe we can find a diamond in the rough?

  3. There’s another kind of person that’s stuck in a 20th century time warp, and that’s the classic mid-century blue dog Democrat, pro-Union type of working class white voter. None of those attributes are bad in any way, shape, or form. If I had lived in the 1930s-1960s, I’d have been a blue dog Democrat too. I certainly would have been pro-Union (and still am to a degree).

    The problem is, the Democrats, and even most of the Unions, are antiwhite and anti-working class. As hard as that is to swallow, the big Washington based lobbyists in Unions these days are not there for the Union voter. They’re there for the Union, because Unions are a racket unto themselves. It’s kind of the same principle as to why nobody ever cures cancer. If cancer ever got cured, half the medical and pharmaceutical field would evaporate overnight. Unions are similar in that they don’t really want to create a worker’s paradise. If things ever got that perfect, the Union bosses would be out of their cushy, all expense paid jobs. They keep the pot stirred just enough to appear to have a reason to exist.

    I see it time and time again, voters who are disgruntled with the Uniparty will still often vote for Democrats. Why? Because they’re stuck in the mid-century paradigm of working class, Union politics that really don’t even exist today.

    • FWIW corporations and unions are basically the same thing with different names and connotations. Capital and labor go together. Another fake and gay dialectic.

      Captain Obvious, I’m sure, but I don’t recall ever hearing anybody point it out. Idk.

    • The Democrats particularly the leftist base of the party never forgave those white working class Democrat voters for leaving the party and voting for Nixon and later, Reagan. The left started really loathing the Dirt People/deplorables in the 1960s.

    • I always wonder about my grandpa. He worked in a steel mill from the early 30’s to the mid 70’s. He was a part-time union rep, a Catholic, and a blue collar guy. Setting aside the perfidy of the Republicans, what on earth would he think of the Democrat party that he surely supported his entire life? How would he square his dearly held religious beliefs with the gleeful pursuit of baby killing and sexual mutilation? How would he feel about them selling out his industry and then importing millions of grunts to drive down salaries on the few jobs that remained? How could he stomach being told that he and his friends were actually scum and that his progeny will henceforth be second class citizens?

      There’s no shortage of cope on the right, but any Blue Dog Dems who still make excuses and vote the party ticket are worse in my book.

    • These are my parents in their 70’s. I don’t discuss anything like these topics with them because I’d prefer to enjoy the time I have left them. I hold my tongue when they say things relating to issues of the day, but in fairness to them, it’s rare.

  4. Mccotter may be misled about our goodness, but he does have a point , The fact that our rulers are evil doesn’t make their opponents good. China, cuba , and the old soviet union were awful places to live . China and Cuba still are . Putin is all in on the CBDC, and mandatory Vax . so he is not a freedom fighter. sad to say , I don’t think there are any good guys to root for .

    • Are you sure China is an awful place to live?

      It might be an awful place for you… Or it might not.

      But how do you know it’s awful? Who told you? What’s there (the tellers’ game)?

      See, I live on the Chinese periphery and have some experience of the place. Imagine high speed trains running on time without the Obsolete Farm Equipment making travel on them intolerable… Imagine no Trannies. Imagine the schools teaching your children to respect their parents and to love their country… along, of course with a few comfortable lies and historical omissions. That’s a threefer. I could go on.

      Ultimately, of course it’s China and it’s suited to the Chinese. You may think they’re conformist hive-minded bugmen… They might think you’re an inherently contumacious barbarian. Can both be at least partly right at the same time, you know.

      But, per Cromwell blah blah in the Bowels of Christ etc, etc… at least *consider* that you may at least partly mistaken and that Ye Chinks know a thing or two about the art of living after multiple Civilisational Cycle rinse-repeats. Not just to be cavalierly dismissed in passing.

      • There’s something about living in a homogenous country that allows a Westerner to breath, even if that person happens to be one of the rare outsiders. You cannot believe how much you appreciate the silence that attends to subjects that, in the West, are sources of great friction and anger. Most of us just want our cultural overlords to STFU and leave us alone, and that’s attainable in countries like China.

        At the same time, imagine being seated on one of those trains next to some quasi-parvenu down from the country who still thinks it’s acceptable to expectorate, make an absolute shambles of his surroundings, and yell loudly into his cell phone for hours, with no awareness of or concern for the human beings seated next to him. Imagine knowing that your every move is being carefully monitored by an inescapable web of surveillance cameras and tracking devices. Imagine a generation of thoroughly pampered princelings who are oblivious to value of things, yet whose wealth is often predicated on the mother of all Ponzi schemes.

        A couple decades ago, Chinese subjects still had a little room for devil-may-care inclinations and I’d say the place was better for it. Just as our lands are trapped in an ever-intensifying spiral of negrophilia and degeneracy, they’re plunging deeper and deeper into conformity and subservience. I don’t see them escaping it without the same violent paroxysms that we in the West require.

        Maybe today’s China works for the Chinese, but why should that be any consideration for us? We’re not Chinese. I get your point, but I also wouldn’t argue with anyone here who says China’s an awful place to live. To us, in many respects, it would be.

        • You’ve just made a perfect case for homogeneous societies and the total elimination of immigration. I don’t care that China would be intolerable for me because I would never immigrate there or any other non-white nation. Likewise, the non-white world should stay effing put. Arguing which society is better is beside the point.

      • It’s possible that what we call political oppression is comfortable to them and what most of them would choose. I don’t know, but that’s my suspicion.

        Sure, there a few Chinese who want the ideals of western democracy and individual rights, but they may be as much outliers to the general population as tr@nies are here.

        Aside: As intelligent and orderly as the Chinese are, I always marveled at their unwillingness, at least the older ones, to form lines when a bus arrived in China Town in San Francisco.

        • What’s even more shocking is the gulf between the Chinese and Japanese in these respects. I guess I know the historical reasons for it, but it still seems like they should have some cultural similarities based on their respective evolutions. We really should have stayed the hell out of WWII and let them sort things out for themselves.

        • 50 Cent Army? OK Boomer.

          Well I’m not Godfree Roberts or Larry Romanoff, I can assure you.

          By all means enjoy throwaway disparagement of a civilisation which has persisted through internal strife and foreign invasions for several thousand years now and is presently on the upswing as we Westerners are on the downswing. I mean if that’s your Happy Place.

          They have much to learn from us and we have much to learn from them, even allowing for the fact that we can’t be like them and have different genetic programming. And vice-versa.

          Some fantasised version of China has been an intellectual / political club with which to beat one’s enemies about the had with since at least the time of Voltaire’s Philosophical Dictionary. That’s all good fun, but the reality on the ground is fascinating, instructive, and a useful if warped mirror for us to hold up to ourselves.

      • your first post? defending the system that provides a good life for 90 million CCP members at the expense of 1.31 billion 5th class subjects . As the resident expert here , explain the joys of the HOKU system that keeps the Chinese locked in a small area where they were born to live and work.

  5. Remember when Margaret Thatcher invented multiculturalism (think “Greek Heritage Day” team-building funtivities) for a scheme to break the unions? Pepperidge Farm remembers.

    • Are the Brit normiecons the same way about her as ours are about Reagan? I have wondered

      • Every Briton I know comes from countless generations of unfathomable wealth, so they’re all communists—formerly party-line Soviet, now anti-“workerist” Trotskyist (neocon) champions of Our Democracy, rhetorically indistinguishable from, say, Tony Blair. (I’d have said Christopher Hitchens but they hate and reject him in whole for being anti-Islam.)

        The British conservatives I encounter out here on the tubes blame Tony Blair for everything wrong with England because when he was PM he talked like communists do now, and of course Thatcher did nothing wrong…because she sounded rather like Reagan, who did nothing wrong. Ironically, when British conservatives adulate Thatcher, they do so as unwitting victims of American cultural imperialism.

      • Jeffrey Zoar: When I was there in the early ’80s, my flat mates (British middle class of the time) all detested Thatcher for privatizing companies and impoverishing them/the country. I was pretty ignorant of British domestic politics at the time, and just beginning my journey from left to right, so I didn’t have an opinion to add.

      • “Are the Brit normiecons the same way about her as ours are about Reagan?” I’ll try and find them both and ask them.

  6. One the first times I realized how much my political sense had shifted was when I caught myself wondering if it would have been better had Al Gore won in 2000. Admittedly, there’s got to be some sort of logical fallacy involved since Gore would have likely facilitated some other group of outrages, but that’s not really the point … my entire life, politically speaking, was organized around Democrats Are Bad yet here I was wondering if Gore would have been, if not better, at least less worse.

    The historical counterfactual that I often wonder about it what would have happened if Reagan had picked someone other than George Bush Sr to be his running mate in 1980. Apparently his picking Bush was a last-minute decision and Reagan deep down wanted to pick his good buddy Paul Laxalt, but the whole ticket-balancing thing was still a concern then. Assuming VP choice would have made no difference in 1980, had Reagan picked anyone else, Bush Sr would be a foot-note in history and GWB would be a mid-level manager at some oil company in Texas. In the end, Reagan’s most lasting decision was probably one made without much thought .. picking George Bush in 1980.

    BTW … the *youngest* people to have ever voted for Reagan are now 57 years old.

      • To say the least. That fix was in, and deep. The Bushes are long-time major players in the East Coast cryptocracy. It’s a club, you ain’t in it.

        Nothing even faintly accidental or last minute about Bush’s VP slot.

    • I was under the impression that Rumsfeld was the VP choice before Reagan got talked/coerced into Bush.

      Rumsfeld, being a much more charismatic figure than Bush, could have beaten Clinton in ’92.

      • Rumsfield was a neocon psychopath. God knows who we would have gone to war against. Probably everyone.

    • I will never find myself in this position.

      The “lesser of two evils”, is ultimately, when you distill it down, the lesser of two evils…meaning Gore was more evil.

      Even if MOAR HARDER voting has always come down to voting for cowards who are afraid to grab hold of the titanic’s steering wheel, I can’t ever reason my way into thinking that voting for the Captain EJ Smith to steer me into an iceburg would be a better choice.

      I’d rather be the guy who chooses not to vote. Or vote for Trumplike candidates. “None of the above”.

      Gore was as antiwhite as the rest of the Democrats.

      The only good thing about Al Gore was his wife, Tipper. In hindsight, the effort to require parental warning labels on explicit music was at least, at its heart, a good idea. One that stood against the “libertarian right” in a pro-family kind of way. But that was never a partisan democrat stance, and it wasn’t Tipper who was running for President. Also, we’re not under 5 feet of arctic ice melt yet, so F$?k Al Gore.

      • A lot of times a president being an R or D is just a cover for allowing him to do things the other side couldn’t get away with. Only Nixon could go to China. Only GWB could expand Medicare. Only Biden could go to war in Ukraine. If it were an R president doing that the Ds would become the peace party again, just like the majority the GOP had at that time in congress would have denied Gore a medicare expansion.

        Viewed through this lens, it doesn’t make one damn bit of difference

        • This is true.

          However, and boo me if you want, but while I will agree that having a behemoth military is bad, and getting involved in wars in far flung shitholes is even worse, I’m less concerned with those things, as long as we aren’t drafting people into a meat grinder situation, than I am about the decay of my historic culture, and the surrender of my homeland to globalism and 3rd world immigration.

          I realize the two go hand in hand in our current paradigm (big military and mass immigration), but I don’t think that is a necessary thing. I think we could have a dominant military without inviting the world into our midst.

          So what I’m getting at is this, I’ve always leaned toward the party that least offends my sensibilities. This has typically been Republicans. Though I’m no fool and realize their all cut from different ends of the same cloth.

          I’ll also note that the politicians like Ron Paul, and to a lesser degree his son Rand, who represent alternative viewpoints within a right-leaning sphere, are in many ways still better than even the best “liberals” like Tulsi Gabbard. (Even though Tulsi is also tolerable and looks good in yoga pants)

          If I’m going to vote, and I have a lot less motivation to vote with each passing year, I’m still going to vote for a Republican who at least pats lips service to some things I care about. DeSantis even, is leaps and bounds better than any Democrat.

          Oh, and I’m also not going to ride the “bash Reagan” train. He was the 80s version of right wing populist. He didn’t do everything right, but he did a lot less wrong than someone else might have done.

          I know that’s not a strong testament to his legacy, but I’d be happy living in the 1980s, as far as “conservative politics” goes. My life in a Lily white red southern state was leaps and bounds better in 1985 than at any time since and prior to 1980.

          In other words, if all of a sudden I had to choose between being a diehard progressive liberal or a Reagan conservative, and if these were my only options, I’d say give me the Gipper.

          • False choice, excluded middle, and “giant douche versus turd sandwich.” Take your false dichotomy and shove it. Neither side has ever even attempted to defend our interests, and they can all go to hell and die. Democracy is a con job, and they got you marked as a sucker. Stop being their fool, stop whutabouting and chasing the stick.

          • Good Ole Rebel…Are you retarded? Do you know how to read?

            Nobody said I like Republicans. And I said very explicitly that I understand that they’re cut from the same cloth.

            But that doesn’t mean I’m going to go vote for fucking Beto O’Rourke. So f^cCc you and your sanctimony.

    • lets not fool ourselves into thinking that the figureheads from the uniparty actually sets the direction for the government . gore/bush? would not have mattered. Look at where mitt Romney is now and what he advocates and ask yourself what he really would have done diffrent than Obummer. It’s a big club and we aren’t in it.

  7. “Even so, it is not hard to make a case that in the long run, the world would have been a better place if Carter had won in 1980.”

    Preposterous. Carter was just a standard lib who was all about shaming white people for using their heater and not giving enough gibs to blacks. Naive and best; a vicious prog in truth who would be all for Americans eating ze bugs.

    Look, the NWO took control way before Reagan. It happened at least at the World Wars and certainly at the outright coup that was LBJ/Vietnam/civil rights/welfare era.

    Reagan could in no way turn back the system of dem gubmint programs, welfare, open borders, or deindustrialization to come. He could only slow it. Remember, his VP/CIA almost ASSASSINATED him. There was no stopping the dismal tide that was coming; the permanent powers wanted it and they were going to get it. We all know the Prez isn’t the most powerful person in the world, right?

    But Reagan’s foreign and domestic success were real and greater than nearly every president of the 20th except TR. He united the still mostly white country and he was implicitly pro-white, anti-welfare queen (joggers) amd anti-gay; being explicit on that was impossible. As I said, the rot was in; the system was controlled.

    But Reagan made us believe we could win, we were past the 60s hippie bullshit, and we could succeed within the system. We were quickly disabused of this notion.

    • I have a hard time thinking the CIA considered taking him out. His foreign policy views were indistinguishable from the CIA

    • Several issues with your post. It is generally good and I agree with portions of it, but.

      TR wasn’t a success as far as I’m concerned, he was too eager to get involved with the RoW. Until him we were hesitant to do stuff like the Great White Fleet and certainly stayed out of European squabbles, He made it easier for Wilson to begin the destruction of the country by doing the Bull Moose wasted campaign.

      As far as Reagan goes, he wasn’t able to have a lasting effect on anything positive. His choice (forced) of GHW was terrible for unleashing that disgusting family on the country and he signed the amnesty and began the spending spree that continues today.

      This is an excellent thought provoking Z piece that I’m going to read again. To me the point of a Carter second term thought experiment is maybe that the decline would have accelerated with Carter 2 or the things Carter would have done wouldn’t have been as destructive in the long run. Maybe that was the inflection point.

      My personal point of no return was 2000 when Shrub won. Al Gore was in hindsight crazy but he may have avoided invading Iraq and just made a Clintonesque halfway response to 9/11. Or the attack would have been called off with Gore in office. We would still be in the shit now but with a much lower national debt. Who knows, I sure don’t. I sure wish though that I had never heard of George W. Bush. If hihs name would have been Smith he would probably been living out the movie Clerks.

      • you forget what group of very powerful people wanted Iraq destroyed. nobody in the oval oraface would have denied them that.

        • DeSantis if elected will be Jeb’s first term. In other words, everything we his friends across the aisle get what they want while DeSantis cowers in the White House.

    • I tend agree. None the less the thought exercise, if we’d turned that away instead…, worth the contemplation. What ifs, & could’a beens are useful as long as one realizes and keeps in mind that though you can’t change the past, there’s, of course, a hellofalot one can learn from it.

    • ‘Look, the NWO took control way before Reagan. It happened at least at the World Wars and certainly at the outright coup that was LBJ/Vietnam/civil rights/welfare era.’

      Yes. The LBJ coup and following Identity/Civil Rights kickoff were final puzzle pieces. Then is was just a matter of fifty years to percolate it throughout the populations. And here we all are.

  8. Reagan represented the ascendancy of all the worst type of conservatism. Sort of Breitbart amgreatness or the federalist wing of conservatism.

    These guys are the ones who say things like conservatism Inc while not realizing that conservatism is the problem

    It also tends to attract a certain kind of person I don’t like. Meanwhile the Ron Paul mises Rockwell types tend to attract a more interesting and even open minded type of person

  9. In most college history courses there is a segment (or whole class) called “the long 19th century” which basically views the 19th starting at the American and French civil wars (post-1776) and ending at the close of WWI. I wonder if “the long 20th century” will reach into the 2000s much further. And what will end it.

  10. I’m gonna cut Ronnie a little slack. Had he been able to construct his own regime (“if I were king”) just the way he wanted I think the results would have been a lot better. But that’s not the world he or we lived in. He had to deal with neocons, new world order republicans, mostly D controlled Congress, a morally deteriorating populace, and above all a corporate establishment that was beginning to embrace a mercenary ethos. Aside from which he got shot in the chest at age 70 which is not a small thing.

    His cabinet was infinitely more competent than the clowns we are cursed with today.

    The only unforgivable sin I chalk up against him was the 1987 amnesty deal

    • An important mistake Reagan made from our viewpoint, was not appointing Mel Bradford (paleoconservative, anti-egalitarian, anti-Lincoln, etc.) to head the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and instead picking neocon William Bennett. This was a factor in the neocons gaining more influence and power in the GOP.

    • I agree, but Reagan also failed to veto a lot of bills that should have been deep sixed….

  11. Well put. The world will have no problem abandoning the GAE once its economic leverage ends as a direct result of its passive-aggressive mayhem.

  12. That American Greatness article is utterly bizarre. It reads like it was written in 2002. McCotter literally talks about the “blame America first crowd” like Colin Powell just gave a speech at the UN. It simply ignores the fact that if there is any list of rogue nations on planet Earth, the USA has to be on top of that list, based on all accumulated evidence of the past 25 years or so.

    The disconnect between the conservative “leaders” and the peasants continues to grow. A lot of people are praying for a peaceful end to the American empire, come what may, and the fact that they are praying is evidence they are not on the left. They are more opposed to the American empire and the “Pax Americana” (read: gay disco) than any lefty these days. Until the conservatives begin to grapple with this, instead of ignoring it or just blaming Trump, they will continue their slide into irrelevancy.

    • Not merely a rogue nation, but a rampaging piratical state bombing and slaughtering in the name of every species of criminality, perversion and depravity known to mankind. The Global American Empire is the new Evil Empire.

    • American Greatness is a retirement home for conserative dinosaurs. They still believe we can vote our way out of this and if we only read The Constitution (cue drum roll) very slowly to the lefties, they’ll all leave us alone to live our lives.

  13. “After all, that is not who they are. Conservative principle requires conforming to current norms.”

    I have to disagree with this. It is quite the confusing misdirection to assert that “conservatism” is simply a an attitudinal posture or gesture, and not an idea with any positive content. We can argue about what the content is or ought to be, but there is no doubt that the word definitely refers to something. The two contenders are classical liberalism (the “conservatism” of America’s founding fathers) and throne-and-altar traditionalism. I belong to the latter camp; thus, when I say “conservatism,” I at least have a definite idea of what I mean by it.

    But I think Zman likes to play a motte-and-bailey game with his terminology sometimes, like when he talks about natural law. On the one hand, he is always the first to insist that “biology is real,” which is a natural law argument if ever there was one, but then he just as rabidly insists that natural laws do not exist because you’ve never tripped over a bag of them.

    This kind of stuff needs to stop. I think many on the Alt-Right are afraid of committing fully to natural law either because they confuse it with classical liberalism or because they know that by doing so they are taking the first step along a path that leads inevitably to throne-and-altar traditionalism. This they want to avoid, but it is really the only way forward.

    • I fail to see how the reality of biology leads ineluctibly to natural law and thence to traditionalism. The reality of biology is that there are significant differences between races, and that, therefore, there needn’t be any natural law that comprehends them all. What’s more, it seems to me that traditionalism is an intention rather than a necessity. It really has very little to do with biology and/or natural law.

      • Putting aside your appeal to ignorance, the relevant query is: why do humans so readily firm hierarchical societies? If it’s in our nature, then you can pretty readily construct a system of law that assumes the hierarchical nature of humankind. Rights notwithstanding, a good amount of natural law has historically revolved around the privileges and duties of each hierarchical position, as well as the justification for this state of affairs. The US constitution is not the entirety nor the culmination of natural rights thinking, even if, say, Michael Anton would wish it to be.

        • True enough. But if hierarchical propensity is the nub of natural law, natural law is a rather threadbare concept. There is far more to human society than chains of command, and there is tremendous variation in these other features from one cultural group to the next. What’s more, tribal hierarchy in the Celebes may well be so fundamentally different from the governmental hierarchy of Iceland as to render them different in kind, not just quantity. Natural law, alas, is natural only in the society that founds it.

        • Andrew: Some humans form hierarchical societies, others do not. And you are question begging the form and nature of hierarchy (eg some eastern africans have a big man and everyone else, essentially a two-tiered system; does “hierarchy” require more than 2? Is that the same as the pre-modern english system of nobility? You’de be downright foolish to draw anything but the most superficial connections between the two). Certain Nordic groups and the early puritans were nonheirarchical democratic egalitarians – and that’s just within White protestant Europeans. Your premise fails upon inquiry, thus your conclusion of natural law fails.
          The point, and Zmans point when parsed, is that the system that we call “natural law” (and assume to be universal) is only natural to a very specific, circumscribed, and now-extinct sociocultural group that died out 200 years ago. Calling the founders’ “natural rights” a universally applicable “law” applies with equal farce for some extinct barbarian Amazon tribe’s weird sex stuff with pythons and ancestor worship. Its just goofy to try to make that argument.

  14. Pingback: Escaping the 20th Century | American Freedom News

  15. The folly of “free trade” was obvious from at least the late 60s. From the late 60s to the late 80s, the American electronics industry was utterly decimated. The car industry suffered greatly in this time too. Once the US market was open to competition from Asia, it became impossible to compete with the currencies of Asia and the (lack of) regulations in Asia. Gutting American industry was a bi-partisan effort too. Reagan did not come along and start this process, he came along after it started and enabled ever more of it. It was George W Bush who let China into the WTO for tariff free access to the American market. All traitors.

    • Yes. Whatever you call this current monstrosity–I lean towards “neo-feudalism” although the older version wasn’t nearly as harsh–deindustrialization brought it to fruition. There is some karma, though, with the Empire unable to win wars because of offshoring.

    • Bell Labs licensed the solid state transistor to Sony, in 1955.

      Masaru Ibuka, co-founder of the Japanese firm Sony, was visiting the United States when Bell Labs announced the availability of manufacturing licenses, including detailed instructions on how to manufacture junction transistors. Ibuka obtained special permission from the Japanese Ministry of Finance to pay the $50,000 license fee, and in 1955 the company introduced their own five-transistor “coatpocket” radio, the TR-55, under the new brand name Sony. This product was soon followed by more ambitious designs, but it is generally regarded as marking the commencement of Sony’s growth into a manufacturing superpower.
      JVC was founded in 1927 as the Victor Talking Machine Company of Japan, Limited, a subsidiary of the United States’ leading phonograph and record company, the Victor Talking Machine Company of Camden, New Jersey. In 1929, the Radio Corporation of America purchased Victor and its foreign subsidiaries, including the Japan operations.

      Radio Corporation of America AKA RCA

      • That would have been fine if it weren’t for the export market. Instead of Sony and other manufacturers making radios and TVs for the Japanese market, they exported them to the US.

      • Ironically, Sony’s most profitable divisions in the Current Year are Finance and Insurance.

        Denon is a Japanese electronics company founded in 1910 by an American entrepreneur that returned to American ownership in 2017.

    • Regarding Reagan and free trade, here’s a quote from a Pat Buchanan piece in 2016: “Ronald Reagan slapped a 50 percent tariff on Japanese motorcycles being dumped here to kill Harley-Davidson, then put quotas on Japanese auto imports, and on steel and machine tools. Reagan was a conservative of the heart. Though a free trader, he always put America first.”

      • And that’s why Harley has the same quality issues as the US car industry of the 70’s.

    • The car industry suffered greatly in this time too.

      American cars from (at least) the mid to late seventies into the early eighties were crap, please stop waxing nostalgic about that. A credit to them though that they improved their game against Japanese cars built with the expectation that they would last beyond 30,000 miles (as opposed to the Brits who threw in the towel).

      • The 70s were a bad time for US automakers. Part of what made the 70s such a bad time was all the new regulations Nixon and California put on them. Not to mention the rampant inflation and recessions of the 70s. By the mid 80s, they caught up again.

        For all the grief the big 3 get for the 70s, the imports were terrible too. I couldn’t even fit in one of them. My head would hit the roof.

      • It’s interesting that American automotive aesthetics dropped off the cliff in tandem with quality. Hence, 1972 was the final year of the classic American automobile. Now the quality has rebounded, but the aesthetics remain rather bland and uninteresting.

          • That’s certainly part of it. But it is also clear that aesthetic sense in AINO has completely withered and died. Just give contemporary pop “music” a listen, if you dare.

  16. A parallel view.

    At the root, we became too affluent for too long. This excess spawned absurd consumption, avarice, and degeneracy. We gradually became fatter, lazier, and stupider. And all the negatives cited in today’s posting are attributable to this reversal of the evolutionary fitness process. Instead of purging deadweight (as nature intends), we elevated it to ruling status. As proof, I give you Bill Clinton, George Bush, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden (not one of which ever worked a day in his life). Ditto for the octogenarians ruling Congress.

    And the beat goes on, and will go on, until the collapse. Then, and only then, can we effect a remedy. Both ancient wisdom and hard truth.

    • Spot on. We can wrangle about who did what, and who would have done better, but at the end of the day, it’s the iron law of civilisations. They eventually get fat and complacent and die. There is no fixing the current system. It needs to collapse so we can start building something better to replace it.

  17. 1. Two of Reagan’s three appointees to the Supreme Court were pro-aborts, O’Conner and Kennedy.
    2. It was Carter who started the moralistic foreign policiy nonsense, as by ditching the Shah in Iran and Somoza in Nicaragua, two trouble spots even today. From the State Dept. history:

    “Carter refused to continue the past practice of overlooking the human rights abuses of our own allies, and was particularly tough on South Korea, Iran, Argentina, South Africa, and Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). He also ended more than 30 years of U.S. political and military support to one of Latin America’s most abusive leaders—President Somoza of Nicaragua.

    “Carter clearly defined the foundation of his foreign policy: ‘Our policy is based on an historical vision of America’s role. Our policy is derived from a larger view of global change. Our policy is rooted in our moral values, which never change. Our policy is reinforced by our material wealth and by our military power. Our policy is designed to serve mankind.’”,and%20by%20our%20military%20power.

    • Carter was a sanctimonious prick, to be sure, but moralizing is as American as apple pie and burning Atlanta to the ground.

    • If you described US foreign policy today as a Hellish hybrid of the very worst aspects of Carter and Reagan’s policies, minus any and all good points, you wouldn’t be far wrong.

    • Appointing SC justices who turned out not to be as conservative as hoped hardly distinguishes Reagan from other republican presidents. Any other republican presidents.

      • Yes, each and every one was an abysmal failure who turned coat and sold their country and its nations down the river the moment they finished the swearing-in ceremony. Damn them all.

  18. I’ve already read of the theory that the existence of the Soviet Union during The Cold War was a boon for the Western middle and working classes in that the mere presence of the USSR as a viable ideological adversary chastened the West’s elite and kept them (more or less) honest. The elites couldn’t simply run roughshod over the plebs if there was an alternative, even one as flawed as centrally planned Soviet communism.

    • They kept their people poor for us! Just meant all that much more for the average american. Since they fell apart we’ve been going around the world and starting wars to keep other consumers of “commodities” offline.

    • There’s an echo of that in Clinton’s refusal to have Russia join NATO in the ’90’s- Russia was too valuable as an enemy to have as an ally.
      To be honest, the US doesn’t have allies, it has hostages, Ask rke the Ukes or the newly se-industrializing Krauts.

  19. I’m currently reading a fictional account of Newmerica, the first five years after Antifa/BLM are victorious and Bad Orange Man died escaping the attack on the White House (Blue Dawn by Blaine Pardoe). It’s a fatally flawed book based on that same 20th century nostalgia and civnattery, yet is tempered by a fairly accurate portrayal of the natural schisms in the woke non-White crowd. It includes a mystical reverence for the Declaration and Constitution juxtaposed with the incomplete dynamiting of Mount Rushmore by the numericans. Tits ‘n teeth is the head of the new national gestapo who schemes to root out and destroy the banned terrorist (and Reaganite-nostalgic) “Sons of Liberty” as well as assimilate her competition, the black-run Social Enforcers.

    It’s a really strange combination of recognizing natural female scheming and bitchiness, yet the toughest street fighters are all wahmen beating the crap out of the men. The Sons of Liberty’s newest recruit is a newly-arrived mestizo, on the run after unprovoked conflict with mussulmen policing their turf. Because principles, blank slate, and family values don’t stop at the Rio Grande.

    It epitomizes that 20th century nostalgia and all its devastatingly inaccurate assumptions about human nature and the world, but also devastatingly spotlights the next generation’s endless resentment and hatred for historical norms as well as western civilization. The author accurately depicts their lack of limits (killing off the families of any former authority who wouldn’t get in line) and their natural tribal infighting. Yet his civnattery is so strong that even with almost all few remaining industries idled and free money for all, his dystopian future still produces plenty of electric power and cellphones and fuel for cars on the road. It’s a world of endless surveillance but no real physical want.

    It’s tempting to think this worldview will die out, but the nostalgia for a world that made sense to Whites is still strong – and some of that nostalgia has been passed to the follow-on generations. They marvel at online pictures and films of the old, White world and justly feel cheated of it – while they mumble obscenities and gyrate their asses with their dusky, savage besties.

    Until White people somehow develop a sense of corporate self – who they are, what they came from – along with a natural pride in what their progenitors built – I don’t see any real hope for the future. But that self confidence must be based on reality, not mush-minded ‘principles’ – and it must be combined with a willingness to fight as dirty as necessary to vanquish their enemies. Since the only current enemies they acknowledge are dead White men, I think we’re all in for hard times.

    • “his dystopian future still produces plenty of electric power and cellphones and fuel for cars on the road. It’s a world of endless surveillance but no real physical want.”

      Endless surveillance is the only thing close to reality there. The time of plenty is going away now along with the electricity and fuel.

        • One would hope, but electricity will be rationed for everything else to maintain the surveillance state.

          • I’ve seen a couple of indications that there’s a movement afoot to deny the NSA data grinder server farm in Utah any utilities provided by the state.
            Indolence prevents me from digging them up.

  20. My own epiphany about the turning point came in 1982, when conservative NY Post columnist Ray Kerrison referenced a poll indicating that 76% of Nebraska residents were OK with their governor, Bob Kerrey, shacking up in the governor’s mansion with actress Debra Winger. Note this in conservative, rock-ribbed Nebraska (which is even more conservative today), and not on the Upper West Side, Berkeley, or Kalorama.

    • I wonder how different that poll would have been if she hadn’t just had a big hit with An Officer and a Gentleman, which is probably an even more depressing thought

    • By 1982, the cultural and moral rot had been proceeding apace for close to two decades.

      • Yes, I don’t dispute that, but I was just speaking about when I caught on. Two decades before that I was still in elementary school.

  21. “Even so, it is not hard to make a case that in the long run, the world would have been a better place if Carter had won in 1980. The neocons would have been cut off at the pass, thus sparing the world of their senseless violence.”

    Let’s not forget that it was Carter who started arming Bin Laden and the other Islamic militants in Afghanistan in order to fight the Soviet Union by proxy. We’re still seeing the blowback from that today!

    So I think the neocons were in, regardless (or even because) of Carter.

  22. “As the geriatric class of leaders fades from the seen, they will take their antiquated worldview with them, leaving open the possibility for a new world view.”

    Unfortunately, the farm system is full of people who got their place by playing their elders’ game. The good news is they’re soft, only capable of exercising power as tyrants until the machine breaks down. We’re seeing both happening currently.

    There will be collapse, and then revolution by default— I’d guess not driven by insurrection but by the necessity of material conditions. However that plays out, Americans will be unsuppressed and unburdened, and we’ll have the chance to become ourselves again and restore this nation’s good name.

    (I realize how that sounds in the present, but I also remember when America wasn’t fundamentally weak and easily crapped on, and I witnessed Russia get off her knees over the last quarter-century, or so.)

    • You’re right – Putin turned Russia around, which is why he is so hated by certain “Americans” currently driving our country off a cliff.

      • At least Putin replaced uncontrollable foreign looters with domestic oligarchs. It is easier to curb the excesses of localized pirates.

    • I believe you underestimate just how processed the American populace is. Many tend to use the line that “[w]hen they get hungry, then reality will hit.” Is this true of drug addicts? Does a dose of reality fix them? Or does it make it worse. 75 percent of Americans (my estimate) are completely hooked on dopamine mechanisms. These mechanisms are powered and controlled by TPTB. As conditions get worse, the eloi will become only more dependent on escapism as the conditions deteriorate.
      America is a nation of sick drug addicts. They hope that a dose of reality will help them is, in my opinion, misplaced.
      I will put it thusly: If you have a crack house, and the crack house runs dry, the addicts will tear each other apart in order to get scraps. They will not change and improve. Likewise, Americans are so processed and dopamine riddled (if you need proof, cocaine addicts and cellphone addicts share the same brain damage – a thinning of the cortex caused by excessive levels of dopamine – look it up) that they will beg and plead and do anything for their supplier (TPTB).

      • Eloi: They will eagerly comply – for the inflated moral superiority that comes with that compliance. Government gibs and bennies for snitching are, of course, an additional treat. There was never a lack of apparatchiks in the Soviet Union or East Germany, and even before the constant eye of big tech, China had plenty of women happily ordering others around.

        • Yep. New Jersey housewives during Covid put to shame their East German and Cuban block enforcer counterparts.

      • I’ve had a tendency to do that, yes, but I’m factoring it in from now on. People’s slavishness will never surprise me again lol. You’re right about drug addicts.

        Seriously, it looks like a lot of things are lining up. Military dominance is over, and (caveat: kind of dumb about these things) I can’t see money magic having more tricks to fend off a deflationary crash. Add Suddenly to it all.

        I think a lot of people will die, more will leave the country for greener pastures or be chased out by an angry remnant, and said remnant will have to get serious fast.

        Things I don’t have a clue about: how long it takes, and what role tech plays.

        At any rate, I completely reject the idea of a Wakandan neofeudal surveillance state. Both logically and constitutionally it strikes me as an impossible, even insane, idea. I’ve always had a gut feeling things will work out, and with age I’ve learned to trust my gut (doesn’t mean it won’t get rough, of course).

        But it won’t look like Rome, France, or the USSR. America wasn’t built that way. Get rid of the centralized overlay, and Americans will quite naturally resume self-governing. The people who don’t, tough shit, they probably weren’t Americans to begin with.

        • Probably some wishful thinking involved, but I can picture a lot of illegal aliens self deporting after GD 2.0 arrives

          • Jeffrey Zoar: And I cannot. Even with a depression, America still provides better circumstances – certainly better criminal and/or guilt pickings – than most of their native shiteholes. Until things truly hit home (the severity and longevity of such a downturn), there will be plenty of nice White ladies, young and old, to share their children’s inheritance with aliens.

          • 3g4me, in the GD 2.0 I am picturing, few if any will have much of an inheritance to share with anyone. And that’s definitely not wishful thinking.

          • Things get bad enough, the US starts losing its grip on C/S America. Maybe China moves in, makes a sweet deal back home. Suddenly things look better.

            Remittances are no small part of some economies. Globalism runs both ways. Drugs would be a sticking point.

          • As can I. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that 3rd world immigration ratcheted up when America’s standard is of living rocketed past the rest of the world’s. People don’t uproot themselves for a nickel raise, but they might fit doubling their standard of living. If that standard reverses and declines, returning to their roots will look more appealing.

          • GD 1.0 had voluntary repatriation of immigration rates as high as 80%. But, things have changed so much I doubt there is much substance in such a comparison.

  23. The Reagan era also brought with it a decline in the working class, they went on at the time about how prosperous the 80’s was was but in reality the prosperity was due to the financialization of America, actual wages remained stagnant. The 90’s and early 2000’s saw even more factories and middle income working class jobs moved to Asia the theory was they could continue to sell the products with higher margins back to the Golden Goose of the American middle class.
    Well now the white middle class is in decline and they think that they don’t need us anymore, and maybe they don’t? Question is who keeps the infrastructure maintained and also the pesky question of who fights our wars the neocons stir up?

    • I think Reagan’s legacy will be the destruction of White America and the resulting destruction of the country. It wasn’t his intent, to be sure, but was the direct result of the economic policies he set into motion.

      • That seems kind of like blaming the john for the hooker’s promiscuity. If he wrecked the country, it was because it wanted to be wrecked.

        It was the worship of the almighty dollar above all, above country, that did it. Sending manufacturing to Asia makes more dollars, so it must be the right thing to do, yes?

        • That wasn’t the work of the working class, far from it. Yes, the resistance against this pernicious trend was weak, but given the informational asymmetry, or even the ability to become aware of the scam being run on them by the Wall Street boys with their leveraged buyouts of manufacturing companies, in their active collaboration with the whores on the Potomac, you can’t lay the blame at the feet of the working class. Yes, the comfort first imperative was taking over, and that blinkered working stiffs lusting after that RV and the bass boat, so there is that.

          But the Republic was already dead, long moldering in its grave, and Leviathan was on a tear. Where were the union leaders who could have cried foul? Any of those with any working class consciousness had been done away with because of “anti communism”. The new ploy by the corporates and Wall Streeters was divide and conquer, and the actual Trotskyite/Gramscian communist wreckers were working the race/feminism angles, and with great success, ultimately. They had given up on the proletariat and embraced the March Through the Institutions as the revolutionary vanguard. Disaggregate the old white working class, and along with it all of their societal and cultural institutions. Poison the minds of their children with big lies, and solidify their gains.

  24. This post is thoughtful as usual, Zman. But I’d take issue with the assertion that the moral framework of the Cold War died with the conflict itself. I would argue that the moral framework survived the end of the Cold War—and *that* is the root of so many problems we face now.

    In retrospect, the moral claims emerging from the Cold War May have been untenable without the existential conflict to keep them in check. That’s because many of those claims were promulgated as part of the conflict: to draw sharp distinctions with the Soviets, and to justify the overall conflict in abstract terms. This is a feature of “bipolar” conflicts, I believe: that the adversaries eventually come to view themselves as “the opposite of the enemy”—adopting a negative identity instead of a positive one (“we are the people who live a certain way”).

    To give one example: the idea of America as a “proposition nation” really gained traction, and was widely embraced by the culture, as a response to Marxian critiques of the West as nothing more than disguised self-interests and exploitation. But it was easy to posit that “everyone is potentially an American” at a time when the bipolar rivalry of East and West made actually *realizing* such an idea unlikely, difficult, or clearly dangerous.

    Now, however, the “danger” is gone, but the idea remains—and has been permitted, perhaps inevitably, to advance to its absurd limit and beyond. The “moral” principal that was an effective weapon on the ideological front of a lethal conflict remained intact, but once free from the conflict itself it was allowed to run amok, like the vermin population once its natural predators have been removed.

    I would argue that it’s precisely the Cold War moral framework that has to be overturned; dismantled in favor of something more “natural,” more positive, and no longer rooted in a bipolar ideological contest. The weirdos ruling us now are not cast adrift in a moral free-for- all, but are being obedient to that old framework, and applying its logic to a different world.

    • Great post. You said it better than I did here. That said, Carter’s “human rights” as a polar opposite to the USSR (then) was better than Biden’s “Anal Rights” agenda (today). We are clearly locked into to these Manichaean policy frameworks when something more nuanced and less expensive is required today.

      • “Anal rights”. Yep. That’s where we are. Perverted minorities who will never be happy. No anus left behind!

  25. “Reagan” – what a farce. To see the Repukes fawn all over him at their ‘national conventions’ – former Democrat, unionist, product of Hollyweird.

    First (recent) president with dementia. Open borders crook. Dumbed down his speeches so the 1st graders could get it. Sent soldiers on stupid military adventures just to get their beaks wet. I mean, the stirring invasion of Grenada! Remember Grenada!

    The scam known as the Iran hostage crisis. It goes on and on. The plastic, fake second wife.

    Ladies and gentlemen of the ‘conservative’ wing – I introduce to you YOUR hero, Ronnie.

    Plus his movies sucked ass.

    • Hahaha.

      Every downvote is like free beer, with ‘beer’ measured in tears shed by still-blind ‘conservatives’ – Go Rino, er, Ronnie!

      And don’t forget, a free “I Voted” sticker awaits you.

      • Yeah Joey, I agree that if Carter must suck it regarding Iran, Reagan has to suck it regarding Amnesty, which will end up being a bigger fiasco than anything that ever happened in Iran.

      • If you took the time to read Reagan’s writings and speeches you wouldn’t be so far out in Left field.

      • Can’t speak for any others but my downvote wasn’t for the assertions made within his post but rather how they were phrased. And that goes for the “I love the salty tears of my foes” sentiment, too.

      • You must be new to the internet. A very important rule to follow is to never feed the trolls. This asshat is posting in bad faith to pick an internet fight. There’s nothing to be gained by responding to him.

  26. I think Reagan would be appalled at what has become of his country, and perhaps even ashamed at the extent to which his policies contributed to it. He did live long enough to regret Simpson-Mazzoli.

    That said, Jimmy Carter was an idiot. It was the paleocons like Pat Buchanan (briefly communications director in Reagan White House) who were right all along. But it’s not like their vision was ever going to carry the day. They were too out of step with the culture, even back then.

    This has all been locked in since the Pill, when white women went off the rails.

    • I can’t bring myself to believe that we’d be any better off had Carter won reelection. My suspicion is that things would be, if this even possible, even worse.

      Much time is spent on this site breaking down the latent faults of liberal democracy and how it will inevitably bring us to the point we’re at today. In light of that, I fail to see the point in arguing over whether getting here quickly or slightly less quickly is of any importance.

      • I agree. Now, it’s certainly possible that the fascist fusion of state and economy would not be quite so advanced had Carter won, but the cultural horror, hard though it may be to fathom, would be even worse. Perhaps much worse. Of course, complicating the picture is the role corporate oligarchs are playing in further polluting the culture. Phillips 66 may be a greater force for evil than the 10 best-selling rappers combined.

      • It isnt a question of this policy or that. The issue is that The Gipper and the surrounding lore is all just hopium pablum to suck you back in to arguing about how to fix that which cannot be fixed. If Reagan wasnt there as a pseudo-conservative figurehead, a lot more people would have realized the whole red-versus-blue system is a scam, and much sooner. The move to resist the system by the primary victims of the system was greatly delayed and hindered by the GOP 80s, and Reagan was the biggest bulwark of all against the awakening of the oppressed. The worst torments in hell are reserved for traitors, and Reagan was the sine qua non of judas goats.

  27. “The world “trillion” was an abstraction for most people.”

    Back in the early ’90s, it must have been, I wrote an article decrying the enormous $3 trillion national debt. If present day me could go back to me then and tell him “$31 trillion” I don’t know how I would have reacted after I got over the white hot rage.

  28. ” Note that Reagan’s lasting influence is all negative. Corporatism, open borders and a massive military are what he passed onto the 21st century.”

    Harsh but accurate.

    • Yep. All true. Reagan shanked us with his amnesty stupidity. Most do not understand how damaging that was. That legislation set the precedent for the “temporary Protective Status’ that was applied to uncountable groups from around the globe. It also, in effect, blew the lid off all of the numeric quotas for the various immigrant groups. As Reagan himself said “There is nothing more permanent than a “temporary government program.”

      Everyone who I point this out to says something like ” Oh Ron just made one error with that amnesty stuff.” Excuse me. That was no little error. That legislation has caused this country to become what it is 20 to 30 years before it had to. So it was no “little error.”

      He also set the precedent for deficient spending in the modern era. He also did his part to erode gun rights. Reagan was no friend of conservatives.

      • Using those metrics, one could say that Carter (with help from Nixon) destroyed white America by formally recognizing China and setting into motion the final, utter destruction of our industrial base and our Main Street merchants, with all the attendant socio-political ills. Sure, some might say that it was a necessity of realpolitik but that doesn’t mitigate how profoundly detrimental our relationship with China has been to us.

        • Absolutely. The traitors cut the core out of America and sent it China. Now, among other excuses for war with China, they say Taiwan is a national security concern. This, they say, is because most of our semiconductors are made there.

          Too bad! We should not have offshored our semiconductor industry.

      • While his amnesty deal was unforgivable, if he hadn’t done it, then Bush or Clinton would have. Nothing would be different.

        • SMH. Hey, if Jeff Epstein didn’t kidnap and ravage those 14 year olds, someone else woulda done it! Therefor Epstein did nothing wrong!
          Gaahh. “The inevitability of sin” nonsense is just asinine. He is responsible for his sins; and failure to take responsibility for one’s sins means there is no repentance, without which there is no forgiveness. So if Reagan shares Zoar’s outlook, the gipper is getting boiled in feces by satan for all eternity now.

      • Reagan reluctantly made a deal with Tip O’Neal for one time amnesty in exchange for “locking down the boarder.”
        Then the dems refused to FUND it.
        That’s a fact.
        Re writing history does not change facts.
        The video exists of Reagan explaining why he reluctantly made the deal.
        It’s called YouTube

        • This from the guy who famously said, “Trust, but verify”?

          Pull the other one.

          With way too many of Reagan’s rhetorical flourishes, we got great, thumping words, but then what?

          He wasn’t helpless, he could have refused to sign off on budgets until the funding was there.

        • So your argument in defense is that he was hopelessly stupid and naive? So he was unfit for leadership at the outset, and really was just a halfwit dunce? Some hero, this stupid buffoon of yours.

    • Don’t forget the capstone: No-fault Divorce is California, from whence it inevitably metastasized.

      ‘No-fault’ btw means ‘no daddy’.

  29. Americans like clear-cut, Good v. Evil politics. “Evil Empire”…..”You’re either with us, our with the terrorists”…blah blah. We have always eschewed the slippery Talleyrand/Metternich/Tony Blair style of diplomacy/skullduggery as sorta foreign, fake and gay.

    This is why everything now has to be posed in Manichaean terms. “Putin as Hitler”….”gay rights are human rights blah blah”. It’s very difficult to get Americans fired up over heavily nuanced, distant issues.

    If anything, this was Carter’s failure. He had Neocons – look at Brzezenksi, the OG Neocon. But he also had doves – Vance, Andrew Young. He had technocrats too (Harold Brown). He boycotted the Russia Olympics. But he was also focused on human rights abuses. Meanwhile, people often forget Carter also reached out to Deng Xiaoping and formally recognized the PRC in China.

    In short, he was balanced and complex, he had a lot of different and sometimes competing objectives and ended up confusing everybody and himself too probably.

    His failure is tragic and I think Zman put it pretty well, because Carter attempted complex, sophisticated and balanced policy, in the Nixon style (but less Realpolitik, more principles-based). In the wake of Carter’s failure, we have had 40 years of playground bully stuff, interspersed with the abject chaos of the Obama years (think Carter Admin on LSD).

    • Captain Willard: To repeat one of my comments from the other day, screw principles. Carter’s failure was not tragic, it was the natural consequence of his totally erroneous assumptions about the world . . . and I saw that even as a young shitlib. He was not attempting a nuanced foreign policy out of pragmatism or national interest, but out of vague do-gooder principles. He was the virtue-signaler-in-chief.

      And I loathed his ugly old-man sweaters.

      • Yes, bad sweaters.
        I agree he was naive. Yes, he was a do-gooder and virtue-signaler. He was irritating. I agree that this didn’t help him.
        But I think he was pragmatic about China, got Israel and Egypt to make peace and made trouble for the Soviets where he could (Afghan./Poland). Obviously he screwed up a bunch of stuff. Unfortunately you and I are old enough to remember all of it :).
        I still agree with Zman that his failure was tragic, because we got 40 years of warmongering and MIC expansion in the wake of his failure.
        These “what if” things are always tough to analyze….I accept your critique…I would still trade the Carter Admin for the Biden Admin though…

        • Captain Willard: A gracious reply. Your final bargain – Carter for Biden – is a difficult one. Truly don’t know who I’d pick. Only true ideological difference was a matter of degree. And the neocons were not yet fully ascendant (or ready to flex their power) in the 1970s.

          Now if you’re talking about swapping historical time as well as admins, I suppose I’d rather have had Biden in the 1970s than Carter. He was still stupid and a liar even then, but there were still a few old White guys around to keep him in check, and they could have kept him from pandering to his party’s left wing – I believe he postured as a centrist back then.

      • Jimbo sure got over with that Shucks Ma’am Peanut Farmer shtick.

        He’s a tricksy, two-faced globalista. My favorite was a decade back when he sat on the Board of the Global Elders.

        Global Elders . . . LOL!! Oh yeah Jimmy, the world needs you, Winnie Mandela, and Gro Harlem Brundtland to be its Elders!

        It’s like ole Neil and Stills and Graham Nash, sittin’ around with arms crossed, intransigent in the miasma of triumphant deceased nostalgia.

  30. To yesterday’s topic, Pedro Gonzales swears he is not getting paid by the DeSantis campaign. This reads like he has left himself enough wiggle room that if he was getting paid by a rich donor to bash Trump and not directly by DeSantis people he technically isn’t lying.

    Pedro L. Gonzalez
    Yup. I get a lot of accusations of working for a campaign but I don’t, which is why I repeatedly said in the past I didn’t care so much about 2024 for different reasons. My income isn’t dependent on DeSantis or Trump. A lot of people can’t say the same about the latter.

    • Back in 2015 I was pretty sure the Wilkes brothers paid Kevin Williamson to bash Trump. Payola is not uncommon in conservative punditry. They lack the institutional sponsors to get the phony book deals and speaking gigs that the cool kids from the other side get, so they have to work the payola angle.

      Most of this stuff is now done off the books, using independent expenditures. For example, in 2015 I learned about a boiler room operation in NoVa that paid college kids to post comments on conservative sites boosting Jeb Bush. It was not run by the campaign. It was an independent shop hired by friends of the campaign.

      You can be sure that the political industrial complex is offering their services to the independent supporters of the various candidates in this cycle. If you are a guy with a big following on Twitter, a hundred grand to bash Trump is easy money.

      • That’s happened since the first days of the republic. Davy Crockett was illiterate but was paid to allow his name to be listed as author on a diatribe against Andrew Jackson. What differentiates today is the multiple sources actually have diluted the effectiveness of the technique.

      • It looks like they paid Williamson off in Twinkies and Kit-Kat bars.

        I remember having several “back and forths” on Trump with Williamson on the NRonline site back when they still had comments. My feeling then was that Jeb Bush was paying him off to bash Trump.

        • I heard that Kevin Williamson was the inspiration for Brendan Fraser’s character in “The Whale”

      • Wow, I remember clearly. Has it really been that long?

        Zman, you have been one of the most influential thought leaders (if not the singular most influential thought leader) in what might be considered the new right movement. Thank you. Stay low, and wait for covering fire to advance.

        More Benjamins in tinfoil are due.

      • The amount of dumb rich money wasted…

        As the polls say, bashing Trump has no effect on his support. That’s because after years of practice no one has learned how, or gained the discipline, to thread the needle: How can I be anti-Trump without being pro-globohomo? The paleocons insist we reject Trump because he’s *been* rejected (like paleoconservatism) and the “alt right” just threw up their hands (Romanly) and became antisemitic neocons.

        Serious anti-Trump anons (and the one smart fed) on 4chan can say Trump’s a cultural homosexual who worships negroes and Jews and gays because they’re overrepresented on TV, to which Trump has an effeminate addiction that at every decisive moment overpowers his reason and sense of duty to his supporters. No “principled conservative” or Party man can say anything like that. It’s a persuasively accurate observation that could radicalize society’s designated losers. Buchananite!

        Respectability-seekers going anti-Trump have resorted to gaslighting (in its actual definition): “If you think this anti-Trump tirade made of deep-state talking points sounds like deep-state talking points, *you’re crazy*. Go scratch ‘Deep State DeSantis’ on the walls of the loony bin, loony!” Votes gained for DeSantis: less than zero.

        Only “Trump failed us by failing to cross the Rubicon” evades the trap, but it’s too obviously wrong to catch on. Everyone saw the soldiers pointed out at *us* and got the message, if only unconsciously.

    • Gonzalez doesn’t go a day without several attacks on Trump. This indicates he has a quota to fulfill. He was never that focused on this sort of thing before.

      I am a long-time Chronicles reader going back to the 1980s, and Fleming would not have allowed this type of politicking from his writers. The audience was too intelligent to be interested in this level of political mudslinging.

  31. Seems there is a baby/bathwater problem with “the antiquated world view”. Is it possible to toss out “world view” through the actuarial dirtbath without losing some other essence? As in “who we are”.

    Somewhere in there is the stretched canvas of White America upon which all the stupidity of prog hubris and boomer consumerism was fingerpainted. But that canvas remained in spite of all the clowns playing poker modern art.

    I’m not looking forward to that point in the near future when I start missing the boomers.

  32. I agree that the end of the Cold War was an absolute disaster. When the stakes of policy decisions was lowered dramatically, idiots replaced careful men. The idiots became unrestrained in the use of force and CIA shenanigans.

    Russia has now recovered from the end of the Cold War far better than the U.S. The summit going on with China right now is about the future, which doesn’t involve us.

    • Twice this country has dealt with the aftermath of a sudden and profound existential change in its circumstances, 1865 and 1989, and both times screwed it up beyond belief.

    • Russia is presently led by the strong men the hard times created, while GAE is being run by the weak men that the good times created.

    • I’m of the view that there were two cold wars – the cold war from the end of wwii up until when Khrushchev stepped down and the second was the one during the Reagan years.

      The first one is what most people think of when they think of the cold war. The stupid duck and cover videos. When the cuban crisis was averted, Khrushchev steps down, and the civil rights/antiwar movements get started – opposing communism becomes less of an issue.

      It’s almost like Reagan was the original nostalgia marketing. Do you want to reboot the cold war of the 50s with a guy who used to work with Bob hope? Vote for him!

      • Truthfully, America and the USSR were enemies the moment the Bolsheviks took over. The US put troops on the ground in the Russian Civil War in the hope of reversing the October Revolution, and the Soviets began a massive spying operation–including industrial espionage–in the US directly their embassy was established here (note the Red Scare of 1919). The only real difference between 1922 and 1962 was bipolarity.

        • Yup, you can count on the fingers of one foot the number of Americans who know about the US Marines in Russia in 1918.
          They’ve been fucking around all around the globe from about day one.

  33. I’m not sure the class of leaders coming up behind the fading geriatrics is going to be any better. They may not have been infected by the politics of the latter 20th century, but they’re sure as hell steeped in the “wokeism” of the past decade or so. Perhaps their foreign policies will be less belligerent and confrontational but the domestic side won’t be. Regardless, there’s no reforming the federal system – a complete reset is the only way forward.

      • Look at the top-tier law school recent and looming graduating classes. Throw them in with the Obama-Biden appointments and we are facing a South African judiciary. At the same, national/presidential one-party rule will ensure they all get appointed. It is staggering and frightening.

        The second Democrat run city, New York was the first, just paid huge sums to St. George 2020 rioters. Incentivizing riot! A judiciary that calls that “restorative” justice.

        It will change us too. Electing sock tie guys can’t confront that. We will deal with it. We have to. It looks very different from the 20th century’s status quo.

    • Just compare the Carter Admin – man for man – with the idiots Biden has now. Carter’s people tower over Blinken, Austin, Yellin et al. And Carter still basically failed….

      The next generation looks to be even worse! The smart young people are in the private sector, busily making money.

      • “Just compare the Carter Admin – man for man – with the idiots Biden has now. Carter’s people tower over Blinken, Austin, Yellin et al. And Carter still basically failed…. ”

        I’m reminded of Tony Montana in “Scarface”, who gets killed killed as a consequence of the one time he tries to do something good. The motto of the film might be, “No good deed ever goes unpunished.” The same applies to Carter. He took seriously the idea of human rights and twisted the Shah’s arm to loosen the hold of Savak in Iran. The regime promptly toppled and led to the Iran hostage crisis. On the economic front, the Saudis were complaining that inflation in the USA was eroding the value of the US treasuries they were forced to buy and so Carter had to initiate an anti-inflationary policy that harmed the US economy and put people out of work. This is the way I remember his one-term era: the road to hell being paved with good intentions.

        I also read somewhere — but can’t remember where — that the “deep state” started circumventing and sabotaging his decisions.

        • The supposed egalitarian infected government here will never quit minding other people’s business to the detriment of their own. There’s no reforming the existing system.

        • Yeah. 3G4Me made similar points upthread. I agree that he messed up badly. I guess my point was that those were complicated days and that he tried to be balanced. I agree that he was naive.

          The Deep State, having gotten mistakenly gotten rid of Nixon, proceeded to get rid of Carter too. It’s pretty clear in retrospect that they have been in control since that day in Dallas……..

          • ‘It’s pretty clear in retrospect that they have been in control since that day in Dallas……..’

            Sadly, this is correct. The coup did not take place in 2020, but in 1963. The Executive was locked-up. Those elements have never been out of power since. The U.S. is a managed society.

            America is a nation that still does not know the true reason for its founding, though the past half-century offers ample evidence. For Goddess Columbia had two sons: the elder was named Mason and the younger was named Christian.

        • I beg to differ. Warren Christopher belongs in the same category as Blinken, people living in an alternate reality.
          When they were putting together the ill-fated hostage rescue mission, Christopher warned the guys going that they will shoot any adversary in the leg, not kill them. Anyone who doesn’t will be held accountable upon their return. According to Richard Marcinko (Founder of Seal Team VI) in his autobiography, the brass made such a stink when this was proposed, that Carter told Christopher to butt out and threw him out of the meeting.

        • “to loosen the hold of Savak in Iran.”

          Propaganda. Savak killed 500 jihadist agents whose gangs had butchered 20,000.

          The humanitarian Shah was was leading the Islamic Reformation.

          He was forming a peaceful six-nation Muslim trading bloc of non-Arab nations, larger than the Semitic populations, countering the grip of the petrodollar Arabs and their banker Brothers.

          The Aryan Persians were about to wrest back control of their civilization’s historic area of influence; Cloestes 1 would be avenged.

          Islam- a religio-political creation of You Know Who*, was near dead. Only grannies wore the burka, young women and men were attending college.

          *(“Ebionites” during their evangelical phase, to counter Arab-Roman Christianity and Persian Zoroastrianism)

          Nasserite Socialism (fomented by white men in Russia, note) had crushed the City of London’s Muslim Brotherhood.

          Russia was civilizing its Turkic near abroad, as well; the Russian investment in the ‘Stans was massive, with an eye on Caspian Sea oil.

          The State Dept. neocons and their Intelligence piracy branch resurrected Jihad to recreate the chaos theater in which the We Can’t Say crime syndicate operates so well.

          It was under Carter that the mujahideen began receiving aid and arms.

          The neocons pulled off the bloody Coup of ’63; war theaters on every continent since, and the Mideast Wars, have brought the Reaver Merchants and their Davos satraps to global power.

          The latest twist on their war for the world is bioweapons.
          Carter should’ve stuck with the neutron bomb, it’s more obvious.

          • “Arab-Roman Nestorian Christianity

            (Orthodox, non-Trinitarian: no balance of power afforded the Merchants, the “Father” in the Trinity’s political recognition of Merchant, City, and Province; that is, Merchant, Constantinian Roman, and Traditionalist Pagan suppliers.)

      • Unfortunately, they may be smart, but many have zero knowledge of the things required to govern a nation and lead a civilization – even through good times. Worse yet, many have skills that are honed and work in a specific environment. That environment is usury, hype and negative interest rate driven, “scheming.”

        Clinton’s New Economy on the Information Superhighway dwarfs the damage that his predecessors

        In the end, nobody had the balls to face bankruptcy, get through the crisis and establish a more stable less militarized and financialized system. It may be that dealing with the severe race crisis and racial violence of the 60s and serious economic reform was something they did not have the stomach for. Instead they pretended that everyone was colorblind and erected yet another economic parasite.

        In the meantime, our schools degraded while India and China educated their best and brightest better than we did. They capitalized on that. We got crushed in a pincer movement as jobs moved offshore and low skill labor rushed the border. In the end, dealing with the financial and race crisis properly was something the people in charge at the time didn’t have the stomach for.

        Perhaps that jalopy of race grievance promoters that drove out to the launch pad as our guys flew to the moon landing distills what happened down into one moment. With the cameras running, our leaders should have told them, “We are going to the stars. You are free to put yourself on a footing to participate in our civilization. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we are going to celebrate and track the mission. We are pioneers, explorers, civilizers, and that is what we will invest in. Be happy to ride our coat tails and we’ll be happy if you can invest in yourselves and dazzle us with your contribution. No more gibs.”

        Maybe a lot of this has to do with the age of the camera and the light box. Dealing with the rabble can be a messy business. It must be done even though nobody likes to do it. In what comes next, who holds the power will shatter the moralizing fetters of the lightbox. We must have the conviction and moral conviction to do what is right no matter what it looks like and who objects.

      • I’m sorry, I place Warren Christopher in the same category as Blinken, living in a parallel reality. What he demanded of those taking part in the ill-fated hostage rescue attempt that ended in disaster – “If you don’t shoot your adversaries in the leg, we will hold you responsible when you return” – is sickening. From what Richard Marcinko said about the incident in his autobiography, when the brass putting together the op protested, Carter told Christopher to butt out and threw him out of the meeting.

  34. “He could not know that his military buildup would lead to decades of reckless and pointless violence. No one imagined that his economic reforms would lead to the financialization of the economy. Global capital with the reach we are seeing was unimaginable in the 1980’s.”

    I always liked Carter and never liked Reagan. But to be fair to the Gipper, this tendency towards militarization and foreign interventions had already been baked into the cake decades earlier, perhaps in the quadrupling of the defense budget in 1948. Military keynesianism to forestall another great depression, which was haunting the minds of policy-makers at the time. As for financialization, it followed inexorably from the neoliberal reforms that it was hoped would take the country out of the cul-de-sac of economic stagnation, which had its roots in the decline of international competitiveness going back to the ’60s (as resurgent Japan and Europe returned with a vengeance). In other words, the country was already on a certain trajectory (which we can already see in some of the policy decisions of the Carter Administration). We can argue that Reagan ratcheted up these pre-existing tendencies, but probably no more than that.

    But you are quite right to point out the rose-tinted nostalgia with which many commentators look back to that era. MAGA in another guise.

    • Yes. The United States was born in military conflict. The Civil War laid the foundation for it to be a permanently aggressive state and the earlier Mexican War an imperial one. The country was a mistake at its founding as a secular leftist theocracy. It has produced many great things, to be sure, but those likely are offset by the evil it has done.

    • It’s a little more substantial than nostalgia or “MAGA in another guise”. If we want to consider ourselves a “people” we have to concern ourselves with not just where we’re going but where we came from. What ties us together as dissidents; what shared past motivates us? A clear majority of us feel a deep satisfaction when we think about living in a country that was optimistic, that was confident and cohesive, that not only didn’t hate us but to some degree valued us. We want to make that part of our positive identity.

      If not the Reagan era, then the memory of what epoch in our past binds us together and spurs us to plan a shared future? The 50’s, with Brown v. Board and the nascent counter culture? The Roaring 20’s? Anti-immigrant to be sure, but it also laid the table for the progressive victory of Roosevelt and ignored the gathering storm in Europe. Jacksonian Democracy? Kicked the slavery can down the road.

      Purity spirals should remain the domain of the left. Some here have talked about using a sliding scale when shopping in a sea of woke corporations. We have to apply the same to our historical past. Certain eras will, more than others, whet our appetite for shaping a dissident-friendly future.

      • This thinking is on the right track. I assert that the positive identity must be formed by looking at the totality of Western Civilization. That totality must not even begin with the Greeks though they are a massive pillar. We must also understand our genetic origins with the WHG, the Yamnaya, Bell Beaker, Scythians … … Even our neolithic history is impressive.

        That doesn’t mean not continuing our tradition of objective views of history. Our people’s historians will continue the quest for objective knowledge. However, we will see ourselves as a people from the dawn of time. The first known wheel, horse domestication and more comes before the Greeks as do our languages. Then from Alexander to Caesar and Octavian, to Clovis, Charlemagne, Alfred, Edward, Rollo, Alfonso, Frederick and more we see inspiration. We do the same with our endless list of philosphers, writers, composers, scientists and engineers.

        All of them hold lessons and inspiration and wisdom we can use in varying situations our posterity will face. As Americans, we must correct the incorrect interpretation that we cut the lineage with Europe. That was a mistake and partly a myth. We must, in our hearts and minds, mend those chords. From there, our European brothers and sisters must do the same. Then we’ll ally and form an identity as the Sons and Daughters of Europe.

        That is the path forward in forging our positive identity. We must at the same time, not reject technology as we reject modernity. We must embrace tradition where technology is one piece but not the sole piece and crown jewel of our civilization. We must not be led by merchants. We must be led by men like those I mentioned above.

      • The problem was not ignoring the gathering storm in Europe, but foolishly joining in the fray.

  35. “Note that Reagan’s lasting influence is all negative. Corporatism, open borders and a massive military are what he passed onto the 21st century.”

    Brilliant, Z.

    An estimated 20 million innocents have been murdered by the GAE since Reagan. Add to the mix the deindustrialization of America and millions of deaths of despair, the United States is on par with Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia as far as the death toll. Given the USA is the only nation that has ever used nukes and seems geared to do so again, it likely will surpass both of those states.

    • The Carter years were abysmal. Stagflation, his blundered Iran / Shah / ayatollah fiasco. His creation of the Dept of education. I could go on.
      Z forgets that the Reagan years were good. Economically, socially, a feeling of relief, optimism and wellbeing was restored post Carter.
      I watched the men in my family who had lost their steel plant jobs under Carter, rebound economically.
      I won’t dispute all of Z’s criticisms of Reagan.
      But I think it begins to go off the rails with George Bush the elder. “No new wars,” “not raising taxes” etc… Reagan built up the MIC for the Cold War. Bush took MIC and went to war with Iraq, not Reagan!
      Then came Bill Clinton and you get NAFTA / GATT.
      Reagan had nothing to do with that. Reagan also made a one time amnesty deal with Tip O’Neal, and the democrats screwed him over. Reagan was never pro illegal immigration, and ran on an anti immigration platform as gov. of California, and passed legislation to stop it.
      This revisionist view of history re: Reagan and Carter is simply not accurate.

      • I agree with your assessment of the economy under Reagan. I too have many people in my family who are in the trades and they all say the same thing, “There was so much work under Reagan, we actually had to turn it away.”

      • History judges our leaders by results, not intentions. Temporary financial gain, a boom time of a few years, at the expense of long term penury and decades of oppression was not a good deal. By his fruits you shall know him, and Reagan was rotten.
        I was going to be short… Sigh.
        So this is why we youths loath the boomers. You traded a couple years of good times for the bubble & bust economy, immigrant flooded, white-men-need-not-apply world of the late 1990s to the 2030s. Every year your menfolk prospered was traded for a decade that my cohort suffered as hated debt slaves. You shot our country’s veins full of heroin and had a short blast, followed by abject destruction and lasting, humiliating failure.

  36. ‘All the world’s a stage,
    And all the men and women merely players;”

    It seems the decline is an inexorable force and no matter what we do their is an inevitability to it all. Of course after that the rebirth or rebuilding is part of it all also.

    As for Reagan I was as big a supporter as any but somewhere in the late 90s I conceded that he probably did more harm than good. Sigh.

      • Because he is CivNat G. Normiecon’s John F. Kennedy-an icon for a lost world that exists as a romantic dream of youth and a symbol of What Might Have Been.

        • Right, they had good lives during the 80s and the world made sense to them. It is nostalgia for a lost world.

      • Reagan certainly talked a good game. “The nine most terrifying words, I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”

        He said he was a proponent of smaller government, yet the the leviathan grew during his two terms.

        • “He said he was a proponent of smaller government, yet the the leviathan grew during his two terms.”

          What we should learn from the Reagan and Trump administrations is that Leviathan grows irrespective of who the President might be. The vote-harder crowd plus many dissents seem not to have noticed this.

      • > Never understood why so many Conservatives deify him.

        The same reason we deify Fat Orange Man: Reagan (and Trump) have been the only presidents in our lifetimes that actually loved the USA and openly spoke positively of the American people.

        • In Trumps case he punches back at the left twice as hard as when they take a swing at him. My favorite moment during Trump’s presidency was when he had that meeting on camera with Pelosi and that vile scumbag Schumer regarding a possible govt. shutdown.
          “Go on Chuck, tell the American people why, the camera is on, you have a live audience, go ahead, tell them.” and all Schumer could do was stare at the floor and squeeze his hands together, hoping the meeting would be over and he could crawl back to his office.

  37. From the McCotter post: “if the Left understood human nature, they would not be leftists.”

    Left and Right aren’t useful terms now. The D.I.E.’ing of America, which seems to be what the “Leftists” are stumping for, is a strategy for self-advancement at others’ expense and seems quite human nature-y: idealism as a tactic.

    Jim Kunstler is worth keeping track of. He’s been talking about what the shape of things might look like following the long end of the Long Emergency. For the American peasantry, which will be most of us, a pre-industrial way of life for which some are now preparing as best they can.

  38. History will be kinder to Jimmy Carter, and harsher to Ronald Reagan than our current crop of pundits. Carter was not the first, and certainly not the last, populist to be sabotaged by his own administration.

  39. The neocons would have been cut off at the pass, thus sparing the world of their senseless violence.

    That, and the other items, are maybe a smidge optimistic.
    It reminds of me of overhearing some show my wife was watching and a character exclaiming that “it was just like Doctor Mengele”. The Cult of the Mustache Man (which, alas, incudes a lot of people who are not Jews) is the only thing holding their in-group together apparently, so the 20th century must never be allowed to die.

    • Yeah, the neocons are a drug resistant virus. They would have survived the failure of conservatism by mutating into something else.

      • Yes, but no group seems as stuck in the 20th century as the neocons. They seem truly baffled by the changing world.

        Politically, culturally, economically and militarily, Europe and the US were at the center of the world in the 20th century, and given their influence in those regions, so were the usual suspects.

        That’s fading – quickly in the case of Europe – and the tribe doesn’t know what to do. China, India, Russia, really the whole world is moving on. They don’t want to confront the West and neocons, they want to be able to ignore us.

        For most Americans and Europeans, that’d be just fine, but it’s a death sentence to the neocons. They’re not built for living on their own. They’re a middle-man people, so they fear exclusion more than anything.

        But the rest of the world has figured out their game, and the way that you beat the tribe is not letting them play. That’s what Russia, China and, even, India are attempting to do. The neocons won’t let that happen without a fight.

        • It boils down to Neocons hate people outside of their tribe and barely tolerate their enablers. Killing out groups gives them joy and near-sexual relief. They are sociopaths with nukes.

          Yes, the world has passed them by so they have decided to take it down with them.

          • The world is definitely passing them by. I think that the neocons just assumed that they’d do to Russia, China and India what they’ve done to the US, Europe and many other countries.

            They figured that they’d spin their financial web by getting them into debt and reliant on dollars. When the dollar goes up in value and crushes their ability to pay those loans, the bankers get the assets. Rinse and repeat.

            Instead, we went into the debt to China. But the neocons figured that we fine because the debt was still in dollars and trade was done in dollars. The neocons still controlled access to trade and finance.

            That’s the system that the Chinese, Russians, Indians, Iranians and Saudis are trying to break. We’ll see if they succeed. But what we do know is that the fully understand the neocon game and that’s half the battle.

            The neocons are a bit like a con man. Once the mark realizes that there’s a con going on, it makes it really hard to con them.

            Like you, I worry about how far the neocons will go to stop Russia and China. The closer that they get to succeeding, the more dangerous the neocons become.

            You’d think that the neocons could be happy ruling over the North America and Europe. I mean, that’s not bad. But they seem intent on ruling the entire world. Indeed, twenty years ago, they kind of did, but now that’s fading. How far will they go to get it back?

          • @Citizen:

            Over the last two or three years, the Neocon attitude toward China drastically changed. I imagine that was after Xi told them to piss off. They truly thought their tribe would be the middlemen for the Middle Kingdom.

          • Jack,

            I agree. Something changed. Xi purged the more globalist members of the party and started to move toward a more domestic-centered economy. He also made the bankers take a lot of the hit for the real estate bubble.

            The tribe was always going to have hard time doing to China and Asia what it’s done to the US and Europe. Asians are very ethnocentric and protective of their culture. Even the Japanese who are heavily reliant on the US have never allowed the tribe to have any direct control over their media or banking.

            There was never going to be “My fellow Asians.” Asians would also view the tribe as another people and thus suspect. The fact that the tribe didn’t understand this shows their hubris.

          • One thing I think Rothschild may have been mistaken about (at least for non-western cultures) is not caring about who makes the laws if you control the finances. I could see Xi or Putin taking the bastards’ money and when they demand turnover of assets upon default just giving them the middle finger by nationalizing everything.

        • I’m not so certain the tribe is bewildered. This could be paranoia and lack of people to spitball with. However, looked at a certain way, it looks like preventing the losses from usurious lending, and turning Europe and the US into vassals through third-worldization. It looks intentional.

          Putin’s masterful ascension to power and ingenious trickery followed by his purge to get Russia back onto a more solid footing may be what historians look back on as the master maneuvres in the post cold war era. Euro/American historians may not, as our new, “historians”, are already too busy dismantling our history and lighting the libraries on fire.

    • The Neocons basically are nihilistic proto-Marxists with staying power. Uprooting them would have required extreme measures people would not have tolerated at the time.

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