Obituary Thinking

Elite over production is a concept invented by Peter Turchin, a Russian born academic, which argues that social unrest is often caused by too many potential elite members for the number of elite positions. These extra potential elites are under-employed and thus gravitate to things like radical politics. Over time, these excess elites chip away at the social order and eventually the order begins to falter. He claims that crises throughout history were due to the overproduction of elites.

It is an elegant theory, in that it is simple, not necessarily beautiful. It also seems to explain the present crisis in the West. Look around at any large corporation or government facility and you will see lots of credentials. Look around the local coffee shop and you can see many of the same credentials. America has far too many people with advanced degrees than it needs. Look around at radical politics and it seems to confirm that too many elites leads to trouble.

There are several counter arguments to this claim. The first is that our elite appears to be getting dumber. We assume that intelligence correlates with social status and in a healthy society it should, but we have a lot of insanely stupid people in positions of authority and influence. If the insane and stupid are occupying elite positions, then it suggests the excess elites are even more insane and stupid. A few hours on social media seems to confirm this observation.

This conforms with the observation that humans are getting dumber, and the process may be accelerating. Again, anecdotes abound. Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, is struggling to get a rocket to the moon, a feat accomplished by men half a century ago using materials from their garage. The Concorde achieved supersonic speeds as a passenger-carrying plane last century. We now struggle to keep the slow airplanes in the air and from smashing into one another.

Another counter to the Turchin theory is that what he terms an overproduction of elites is what fuels the dynamism of the West. Those extra elites may go off into radical politics, but they also go off to invent new stuff. The computer revolution was driven in large by people excluded from the elite. As the elite becomes more exclusive, the smart and capable form their own elite outside the system. In time, they are able to challenge the old elite and even replace it.

Then there is the issue of how one defines elite. Elizabeth Warren, for example, is as dumb as a goldfish, but she is in the Senate, which classifies her as elite. John Fetterman, a man unable to communicate with his fellow humans, was just released from a lunatic asylum into the Senate. Even before his trip to the asylum, he had never held a job, but he qualifies as an elite. When your elite contains brain damaged lunatics you have to rethink how you define elite.

As Ed Dutton has shown, many of the people who circulate inside and just outside our elites are people with deleterious genetic mutations. In lean times, these people are excluded from elite society, often excluded from society as a whole, because they pose a risk to the fragile order. In times of plenty, they are tolerated and therefore proliferate over time until they reach critical mass. These people spend their days on social media bombarding the normals with their madness.

Of course, all of these observations can be right. We may be producing too many potential elite members, while at the same time the elite becomes increasingly deranged, owing to the proliferation of spiteful mutants. Selection shifts from the willingness and ability to compete with the best to the willingness and ability to navigate a world populated with spiteful mutants. This would explain why it feels like our elites have gone mad all of a sudden.

Another factor is the commodification of elite perception. A century ago, it was rare to encounter someone with an advanced degree. Most Americans could live their life never having met a college professor. College degrees were rare, and many people never finished high school. Today, everyone is expected to finish high school and then attend college. Even advanced degrees are becoming common. Most college sports coaches now have a graduate degree.

In other words, a marker for elite status has been turned into a commodity that has value only to the diploma mills selling them. This is obvious when you look into the people promoting social causes. You see lots of credentialed lunatics. By lowering the barrier of entry to college, the system has been flooded with the mentally unstable, who ultimately fall into areas that promise to provide clarity and structure. Political causes are a form of self-medication only found on campus.

Then you have the fact that the material difference between most people who see themselves as the elite and the rest of society is quite small. A century ago, a Senator was a rich person who lived a life that was clearly different from the average person, not just materially by socially. Rich people went on holiday and had hobbies, while the average person had to work and spent what little time off they had doing inexpensive local things with friends and family.

Today, people on welfare go on vacation. If you are Elizabeth Warren, it must seem outrageous that Spirit Airlines exists at all. She is a member of the world’s most exclusive political club and she spends time every day begging for money, often having to fly commercial to do it. The psychological impact of this narrow gap in standards of living between the elites and the rest leads to some of the craziness. They have to have some way to signal their elite status.

This commodification of elite markers, things like education and display items, is made possible by the credit economy. The proliferation of highly credential public nuisances is only possible because of the student loan system. Remove this from the equation and half of the colleges go bankrupt in a month. The surviving colleges contract dramatically in order to remain solvent. The college diploma quickly goes back to being a symbol of privilege or unusual individual talent and commitment.

The same can be said for the material side of things. The reason that the middle-manager and his wife can live in a McMansion in a new suburb is the flow of cheap money into the housing markets. When every man can live like a king, every man begins to see himself as a king. Before long he is taking hormones and demanding you call him a queen. This is where elite over production comes back into focus. Cheap money produces an excess of people who think they are special.

All of these explanations for the present madness are interesting and they seem to hold up under scrutiny. The cafeteria of social decline offers something for everyone, so you can indulge yourself according to your inclination. In the end, it may be that Spengler was right to think of civilization as an organism. It has a life cycle. The American empire has reached its old age and therefore is riddled with many of the maladies that eventually kill off a civilization.

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181 thoughts on “Obituary Thinking

  1. Collegez and Student Loanz;
    Starting this fall Diversity shall ascend to the Ivies in force. I applaud this, it’s the best thing for the country in my lifetime. The Bantu ascend to the Clouds and shall cast the Titans into the pit wherein they cast us mud people. No touching the student loans until Harvard is Lagos.
    We cannot have Justice, we can have this revenge. I look forward to the Drama and sweet satisfaction.
    Bantu Lives Matter; 100% Diversity for the Cloud Peoples Towers.

  2. I love the irrational but intuitively reasonable and comedically solid conflation between McMansions and transgenderism. But in the end, refering to our civilization as an elderly person near the end of its life-cycle is a really great analogy. As my grandmother used to say about her age spots and skin tags, ‘as you get older, the critters start growing on you!’ We have end stage growths and cancers that are nearing a maturity level of maximum damage, plus arthritic wear and tear reducing the flexibility and resilience of the organism. Not to mention the cognitive decline! Entering a 4th turning with geriatrics at the helm, steering the ship right into the rocks is a fitting end to this cycle.

  3. So a little OT here, but I wanted to share this with this group…

    About 2 weeks ago, a friend invited me to join a FB group of “patriots”. Most of the people I knew, and some I didn’t. They would share news stories and other things. They would all talk about how scary things are, and how Trump is going to need to win, we need to win the moderates over, blah blah blah. So naturally, I posted my opinion about how voting at the federal level is a complete waste of time, and that there is no political solution to the crisis we face. I mentioned how the America they knew is gone and its not coming back.

    Today, I was removed from the group…

    There is no fixing normie. When faced with the truth, they have no interest in hearing it, and I have found them to be not much different from leftists. This was the second and final attempt I made to get along with conservatives. I have found that I am at odds with them nearly as much as I am with the crazies on the left.

    The one thing that is so very disconcerting about this is that it has ensured me that there is truly zero hope of ever fixing our country and it is truly lost.

      • Yeah I know.

        I wanted to see what was being discussed in normie conservative circles so I figured I’d get a glimpse. It’s far worse than I thought.

    • I’ll bet $20 there was nobody in the group under 60. I’ll bet $100 there was nobody in the group under 40.

      I don’t think the younger right wing harbors such fantasies very much. But they are relatively few.

    • Not hard to believe, but sad. I was once on FB, but found it consumed a tremendous amount of time for *no* purpose, or rather personal benefit. I never thought I could convert the world to any particular point of view I hold, but I expected I might profit from other’s perspectives and knowledge. I was dead wrong.

      There were perhaps any number of groups that I encountered with sharp thinking people, but their thoughts were drowned out by shear numbers. By the time I saw a thread, there were often 10’s of thousands of postings—most inane. The “noise ratio” was intolerable.

      Perhaps inevitable given the growth and size of the platform.

    • This reminds me of how people reacted last year when I concluded that the risk of nuclear war was sufficient to want to prep by storing dry food and drinking water. When I pointed this out to people they just got angry with me, like it was somehow offensive that my rational conclusion was they had a nonzero chance of their eardrums bursting and eyeballs melting while their corrupt flesh sears off as they writhe on the ground in screaming in exquisite pain, begging an uncaring and distant God for the gift of death.

      Frankly I didn’t want to go to their stupid eight year old’s birthday party in the first place.

      • Ploppy – Even among the ostensible ‘prepper’ community there is an overwhelming contingent of boomers/normies who still exhort one another to call their congressmen and vote harder. Interspersed with instructions about making various tinctures and past military service, of course. Very strange mix of self reliance and rah-rah patriotism.

    • voting harder is also the conservative solution in my area. They’re not always for their guy as often as they’re against the other guy. It appears that they only want to think 27% more than the left, ymmv.

  4. It should be obvious that “advanced education” in non-technical subjects is no such thing. It is a fraud. The only form of higher education that would exist in a rational society would be STEM.

    • Supremely ironic coming from a guy whose nom de plume is that of a famous medieval professor of philosophy. Can’t get much more “non-technical” than that.

    • You have it precisely backwards, sir.

      STEM is a practical matter that should be learned by apprenticeship, not in university. Higher education should be reserved for theology, philosophy, aesthetics, history, pure mathematics, and contemplative research—the things which do not turn a profit but without which society loses the light.

      The whole idea of shuffling everybody off to college to “make money” has destroyed the life of the mind. It is a rare human being who would rather strain himself after the heavenly spheres than pursue fortune and glory, and the university belongs to him. But the philistines, not content with the other 98% of the world, have poisoned the one environment that the genius could ever call home. It is a great crime against humanity that the universities should ever condescend to have anything to do with “real life.”

      A truly rational society would understand it that way, not the other way around.

      • Well at least the TE of STEM should be by apprenticeship. Bell Labs turned out better “TE” than a university ever could.

    • Lindsey, I suspect I tout “STEM” more than any other poster to this group, but I must differ with your assertion. I respect the “soft” sciences, but I also acknowledge their corruption in the 70’s and 80’s.

      The hardest class I perhaps ever took was in Social Science! Yep, it was a graduate course by a noted sociological statistician. His course taught his techniques and their application in the Social Sciences—and he was a bastard first class. He despised us (students) and brooked no slackers. I barely passed.

      It is possible to teach soft sciences in a rigorous way. There might be less of a need for graduates—however knowledgeable—but that’s a story of supply and demand, which I believe is different from mediocrity and low (no?) standards in the field of study, which is obviously the case today.

      And by the way, as I note with dread, the STEM sciences are following the same path in their DIE efforts today.

  5. Everybody loves their stupid family members and attempt to provide for them as much as we can. The elites can provide for their morons. This allows the morons to prosper and proliferate. They get tucked away in cushy little jobs doing very little in NGOs and government agencies. They send a lot of emails and eat lunch at interesting restaurants and that’s about it.

    However, they are slowly eating away at the efficacy of the ruling class, because they try to exert their influence regardless of whether they’re stupid or not. This is how we end up where we currently are. They are creating the crisis that will fitness test themselves for their positions and when they fail it will mean they lose everything maybe even their lives. They will be replaced by competent leaders who will have less competent children and the cycle will repeat.

  6. “As the elite becomes more exclusive, the smart and capable form their own elite outside the system. In time, they are able to challenge the old elite and even replace it.”

    Reading this I immediately thought of Dutton–and then you mention him a little further down. Ed has discussed the cycle in the great English universities where a place like Oxford is founded by brilliant minds, the mediocre eventually gravitate to it because of the prestige, and then, by inflicting their own rules and requirements on the place e.g. you must be a good Anglican they exclude the geniuses. The big brains then go elsewhere and start their own thing. Hence all those Victorian gentleman scientists, archeologists, etc. The uni meantime goes downhill, and eventually the cycle starts all over again. Ed says this has happened several times over the centuries.

    A similar thing is happening now in the business world. Companies are heavily into training because they have discovered through bitter experience that their ne wcollege grads are often barely literate, numerate, and capable of logic.

    Home schooling is booming and those kids are supposedly noticeably brighter than the ones in the school system.

    Just wait and see if Elon doesn’t launch Musk University soon. And then on to the Moon.

  7. “When your elite contains brain damaged lunatics you have to rethink how you define elite.”

    I thought that calling them Elites was pure mockery? They’re actors, puppets, spiteful perverts elevated to power because the Deep State has blackmail on them.

    The powerful have always been running things, but they used to understand that they’d get the guillotine if they were too greedy or cruel. Today, they’ve learned to use cutouts & proxies to get away with their agendas.

    Giving the puppets the “respect” traditionally reserved for the puppetmasters feels good. “You’re just a banker, not an Elite like Creepy Joe.”

    • I prefer the term leadership class. Elite implies they are something special, and perhaps their ancestors who build whatever edifice they currently stand on was. Leadership class simply states they hold a position of leadership, deserved or not.

    • Thing is they never believe it will happen to them until the blade falls or the chair is kicked out from under them.
      I doubt this time it’ll be different.

    • They were always greedy and cruel. They would get the guillotine because there were people willing to round them up and pull the lever. It’s not the “elite” that have changed their ways (although they may be dumber now), but the people they rule.

  8. When I was a young lad, I got dragged along to my father’s Yale reunion. That was a meeting of the elite. Senators and Congressmen, oild tycoons and CEOs. Every last one of them a white man celebrating the traditions of the old school.

    I can’t imagine what it would be like now.

    • In the faculty lounge of Princeton’s history department there are two photos, side by side, on a wall. The first, in black and white, is a picture of the history faculty in 1962. Every professor is a white man. The second is a photo of the history faculty in 2002. There are still a few white men, but there are also a large number of women and PoC. The implication, which radiates from these pics, is that the bad old days have been banished, and that diverse Nirvanna is upon us. The ironic thing is there was doubtless far more intellectual diversity in 1962 than there was in 2002. And this tracks Kozelskii’s Iron Law of Academia, which reads, “Intellectual pluralism is inversely related to cultural diversity.”

      And needless to say, scholarship was the helluva lot better in ’62 than in ’02.

      • I’m stealing your Law! Brilliant. I will quote you though if I’m sober…….

    • It’s not good. I remember when I was young going to watch The Game with my Dad at the local University Club. Same experience you had. Now he refuses to consider giving them money and still hold it against the school for removing ROTC (he was in one of the last classes that had it) during VN.

      Now its mostly grasping Asians, various perfect SAT ethnics, and a few of the old breed that seems to be on a mission to destroy itself. Good riddance,

  9. Neoliberalism, feminism, automation and the end of the draft all contributed to the culture of overcredentialization. I know, I was there — I graduated high school in 1983 and you couldn’t get a decent paying job in the Rust Belt if you were willing to kill for it. Layoffs and plant closings were a daily occurrence. NAFTA and MFN for China exacerbated the problem in the 1990s.

    My dad worked in an auto plant for 42 years and supported three kids and and a stay-at-home wife with UAW job. By the 1980s those jobs were being offshored or automated. When he started in 1964, the plant had 6,000 employees. Today it has 1,200 — and produces more product than ever. When I was a freshman in college I met a girl who told me her dad made $65,000 working at IBM with a high school diploma. I almost fell over (that’s the equivalent of about $200k today).

    Guys who were drafted in the 1960s and 1970s learned marketable skills. If you chose to join the Navy instead of the Army, you could learn to be a machinist, a welder, or an electrician and start working the day you were discharged.

    By the 1980s, forget it.

    I fully admit I kept going to school for lack of decent-paying alternatives. I would have stopped after my Master’s if I could have gotten a job as a lecturer at a local state college or community college (at half or less the pay my dad made) but I couldn’t, so I continued on and wrote my dissertation. By the time I was actually able to get hired, I discovered that the community college was full of political patronage and affirmative action hires with M.A.s — or less; I got canned after objecting to the dean’s proposal to hire a black kid to teach college-level African-American History with only a B.A.

    As more women entered the workforce in the 1970s and 1980s, they began to compete for jobs that had historically had a number of males working in them (teacher, professor, clerk) and minimum credentials increased. Whereas it was once possible to get a job as a public school teacher with a Bachelor’s, a Master’s was now required. Women were able to get paper credentials for attending classes easier, while men still needed to have paid experience to be considered for what few blue-collar jobs remained.

    The labor shortage of the past 4-5 years is still difficult to fathom, I have never seen anything like it in my life. Even so, a lot of the jobs that employers are begging to fill just plain suck in inflation-adjusted dollars, benefits, and security. Gone are the days when a fairly average schlub could raise five kids, take vacations, buy new cars and retire from Kodak or GE or GM after 30 years.

    • When men had families, or the near certain prospect of one, it made sense to devote oneself to a good paying job that wasn’t necessarily fulfilling, interesting, or rewarding in any other way besides the money. To sit in a cubicle or work an assembly line all day to support them, with his family providing the meaning to his life since his work couldn’t or wouldn’t.

      Since the family situation is no longer present or looking promising for millions of men, why should they bother with work like that?

    • “I fully admit I kept going to school for lack of decent-paying alternatives.”

      That’s most people going to college, not just you. They’re egged on by shithead politicians whose knee-jerk response to the lack of well-paying jobs is “Go get yourself a college degree.” As if that will make a difference.

      After WW1, more students started staying on after middle school. Why? Paucity of jobs. Eventually more high school grads started going on to college. Why? Paucity of jobs. Eventually more college graduates went on to earn graduate law and business degrees. Why? Paucity of jobs. Just spending more and more time and more and more money doesn’t solve the collective problem that there are not enough jobs in the economy to go around. Everyone is trying to earn a credential that will set him apart from everyone else. But when everyone is doing that same thing, most everyone ends up where they were before, except more in debt. I have acquaintances in their fifties who earned their Ph.D.s twenty and thirty years back and have never had anything better than starvation wage adjunct jobs, themselves prone to evaporate away from one semester to the next.

      Two British academics came out with an interesting study a couple of decades ago, which they published as a book, “The Mismanagement of Talent.” This was in the British context but their conclusions hold, mutatis mutandis, for the US situation. Successive British governments have been pushing university degrees as the panacea for unemployment and low-pay service-sector work. But as the authors make clear, increasing the number of university graduates does not magically increase the number of graduate level jobs. Consequently British graduates have been flipping burgers and sweeping streets. If you want real graduate level work, you need a decent degree from Oxford or Cambridge.

      • “…the authors make clear, increasing the number of university graduates does not magically increase the number of graduate level jobs. Consequently British graduates have been flipping burgers and sweeping streets.”

        Ali, this is a cause and effect mixup. I suspect there are *more* than enough graduate level jobs for those that are really up to the “graduate level”—at least as it used to be before standards were lowered to allow 50% attendance of the population admittance.

        As I’ve pointed out already, the general IQ for a rigorous degree program would be at least 1 SD above the mean. That would be about 14% of the population—not 50%. As it is, even Dutton I believe has acknowledged that with standards as abysmal as they are today, an individual with an IQ 103-106 can matriculate and earn a diploma from a 4 year accredited tertiary school.

    • Unions and collective bargaining, for all their faults, are 1000% better for the average blue collar worker than “trickle down economics “ or voting for whatever party best pretends to be a champion of the little man.

      FU, pay me is not so bad a thing.

  10. “When every man can live like a king, every man begins to see himself as a king. Before long he is taking hormones and demanding you call him a queen.”

    Ha! That’s as hilarious as anything you’ve ever written for this site. Kingly behavior sure ain’t what it used to be.

    • Indeed. It takes “The emperor has no clothes!” to a whole new level.
      We’ve arrived at a level of depravity (all being kangz) that it’s time for a modern Diogenes to tell Alexander to stop blocking the sun. That seems right up Zman’s ally.

  11. In current year AINO, being an intellectual means you have to believe (or at least espouse) the same things as all the other intellectuals. Intellectual and “elite” are not the same thing, but for our purposes pretty close. Indeed, to be recognized in AINO as intellectual confers elite status. Yet all one must do to attain such status is first conform, and then be cutthroat, to elevate yourself above the other conformists. Since, being a conformist, there is no other way to advance.

    So that’s what our “elite” are selecting for: cutthroat conformists. Not intelligence (although some may seep through), certainly not innovation, and definitely not vision.

    When such an elite class falters, wobbles, totters, the only way it will know to react is to lash out. To “cut throats.”

    • True, I had to give a dog & pony show to some of them this morning. Company drones, so tiresome.

  12. Top notch column, Z-man, one of your best….The same could be said of British society, where Michael Woodley and others have documented the decline in intelligence from the extremely smart and capable, if ruthless, early Victorians to the modern era…Woodley thinks IQs have declined about 15 points in the last 200 years…The present ruling class being near idiots…

    • Yes. The British elites fucked up big time by entering two continental wars in the 20th century which they had no need to fight and imperiled none of their imperial territory.

      After they got 750,000 of their young men killed for nothing in Belgium and France (their historic enemy), the interwar elites were almost entirely corrupt and decadent. The British intellectuals and literati of the period — Virginia Woolf, Lytton Strachey, and people like that — were almost all weirdos, swingers, homosexuals and mental cases of one sort or another. The “respectable” establishment types like Chamberlain were stupid enough to go along with the League of Nations farce and offer a war guarantee to Poland despite having no troops or bases there and no real interest there.

      They were ruled by morons, they deserved to lose their empire.

      But they didn’t have to.

      • Entering wars they had no need to fight and which imperiled none of their imperial territory…. with an intelligentsia of homos and weirdos…. making military guarantees to some eastern european nation where they had no interest

        seems familiar

      • “The British intellectuals and literati of the period — Virginia Woolf, Lytton Strachey, and people like that”

        The Bloomsbury Group. A bunch of faggots. Interesting how effete fag culture got defined as “high culture.”

      • Germany had no designs on the UK?

        Germany in the late 19th century tried to provoke the UK into war twice.

        Why,in your opinion, did the Germans develop such a large navy?

        Did the Germans desefrve what happebed to them or are they always the perennial victim in all of this? Poor,poor Germans always being manipulted into war.

  13. Come now, we’re not the most educated people to have ever lived. No other people in the history of the world have have an average of 16 years of formal education. Think of our greatness with an average of 20 years of formal education? We will surely solve world hunger then.

    • The conflation of “education”, where in this era it’s almost impossible to fail courses, and intelligence has never been more apparent…

      • It’s the egalitarian/affirmative action nexus and effect. All peoples are fundamentally equal, and if equality in educational outcomes does not exist, it must be created. To do that, standards must be lowered to such a degree–so to speak–that even negroes can reach them. Voila! Educational equity.

    • Chet: we did solve world hunger! There are plenty of crops. Any issue of local shortages is due to poor logistics and local “diverse” dictators screwing things up.

      Now, I’m cognizant (and acknowledge some) of the arguments against GMO etc. But the problem is basically solved.

      • So? What has the abundance of food wrought? It’s creating a population boom of the most ignorant and violent that Africa can offer. This in turn will eventually result in a lot of starvation and death. Our technological solutions only breed more complicated problems that require even more complicated technological solutions.

        • Not to mention the lifestyle diseases that have surged with the flow of high fructose corn syrup and soy protein. Nothing Big Pharma can’t fix with a pill or a shot that only costs a few thousand dollars monthly for life and a list of potential side effects that frequently make the cure sound worse than the disease.

  14. The proliferation of highly credential public nuisances is only possible because of the student loan system. Remove this from the equation and half of the colleges go bankrupt in a month

    But would that really happen? I would like to think so, but I have my doubts. There are more than enough wealthy people around the world who would send their kids to our colleges and universities. Instead of having the intended effect, it might just price our kids out of our own university system.

    Any attempt to rein in the student loan scam and shrink our bloated universities would need to be accompanied by a cap on foreign students. The colleges would love all these foreign non-White students.

    • No..most foreign students who are self-funded only to to top-50 universities for the credential, whereas those actually trying to get useful skills are often funded by the same loan schemes as Americans…But since the majority of American colleges don’t teach anything useful, they would go under very rapidly….

    • “There are more than enough wealthy people around the world who would send their kids to our colleges and universities.”

      A few would continue to send their offspring to US universities — but usually the Ivies for their cachet. Not to Dogdick College in Arkansas. Most of the foreign students — typically Chinese or Indian — come as graduate students in STEM areas, with their tuition waived and a modest stipend for serving as teaching assistants. US universities can’t survive just on them. They need the vast bovine herds of American undergraduate students to fund them. These herds are taught calculus by some Indian grad student with an execrable accent. These herds are taught English composition by some American adjunct with a Ph.D. who is barely paid enough to keep body and soul together. This is the current model of US higher education

      • The good news is that many take Business. Perhaps they will learn our model, go home, financialize their economies and blow themselves up like we have with debt.

        • Actually the US government encourages foreign students to take degrees in economics and business for exactly the reason you specify: to brainwash them into IMF/World Bank orthodoxy so that can serve as stooges of the Chicago school (of neoliberal junk economics). They then go home and become a comprador local elite, with whom US political and business people can converse on the same wavelength. But, well, these days are drawing to a close as people can see that the US model is getting flushed down the toilet and the tides of history leave nothing unchanged. There’s a feeling that the US model is no longer one to be emulated.

    • Tars, I don’t have a citation for this assertion, but my gut feeling for a lifetime of experience is that these “rich” foreign parents that send their children to our schools are really (most cases, some exceptions) providing an educational outlet for children who can’t make it in their own country’s institutions. Most other countries don’t allow the second tier applicants to enroll, not do they believe in post secondary education for all. There are only so many slots and if you don’t make the cut, go away.

  15. Been saying it for some time: we have the worst “elites” @ least since 1914 possibly/probably in recorded history. When everyone is “special/credentialed”, no one is. Back even in the ‘60’s/‘70’s, people like Warren/Fetterwoman/Biden would have been laughed off the stage (Biden was every time he ran for prez; dude was/is a joke & everybody knew it. It was only until the advent of the Bad Orange Man that the system decided to prop him up & drag him across the goal line.)

    A former talent agent friend (in L.A.) also runs a bike shop. He’s told me repeatedly that these Betas come into the shop with simple bike issues not even knowing how to use a ratchet set. That’s how bad it is. These people have zero practical skills.

    If they can’t use a ratchet set you think they know the business of a firearm? If society implodes the betas are going to be the first ones culled.

    • “He’s told me repeatedly that these Betas come into the shop with simple bike issues not even knowing how to use a ratchet set. That’s how bad it is. These people have zero practical skills.”

      I have a former friend, don’t know if he’s gotten his PhD yet, but he’s taught in several countries. Worldly, sophisticated guy, you know? One summer he’s home visiting, shows up at my house on a bike while I’m out pulling weeds or something. We talk for a while, he says it’s getting dark and he needs to go because his brakes aren’t working right. I asked him which one and to pull the lever while I looked.

      The bike had cantilever brakes, and the cable had slipped the bracket, so there was no tension on it. I popped it back in, said There you go. Kind of felt like dunking on him, but whatever, guy shouldn’t be riding around with one brake 🤣

    • Can’t even use a ratchet, eh? Well, mechanically inept me now doesn’t feel so bad, after all.

    • not even knowing how to use a ratchet set.

      Here’s the aggravating thing with that, if I go to Youtube there are countless videos on fixing and adjusting bikes, and yet these types don’t even bother to look. Now, ask them how to get a piece of pie of off a shelf in a video game and they’ll send along a Youtube play-through link.

    • Self-sufficiency is a rural value, and therefore declasse and to be avoided at all costs by anyone with elite pretensions.

      • Fine and dandy while the gay american empire continues to shamble along. Not so much once the SHTF, which it will in due course.

  16. Pingback: Obituary Thinking | American Freedom News

  17. there was a member of congress I had known about for a few years but that was only because I follow politics. I feel the worst type of lefty (the vox/journo-list set) were the most into her which was a red flag to me. That being california congresswoman Katie Porter.

    The events of the past couple months (the disclosure that she could be sadistic to her staffers and her divorce records) has only confirmed what I suspected. If Feinstein is forced to resign, there is no way Newsom would appoint her.

    I’m not entirely sure she went to the ivies but assuming she did – I think she’s from the rural midwest and is about 50. So she would have been accepted into college in the early 90s. So a white person from the rural midwest getting accepted into an ivy in the early 90s means the person must be pretty smart and not an AA hire. Yet she seems to be one of the least impressive and least self aware member of congress.

    Maybe IQ isn’t the only factor. Ted Cruz is indisputably intelligent but he also is dumber than a brick when it comes to street smarts.

    • Porter somehow got into Phillips-Andover, which I would assume is why she got into Yale. Her dad is described as a “farmer turned banker,” a phrase I don’t believe I have ever previously read. I doubt her childhood would be anything the average middle class Midwestern farm kid could relate to. I wouldn’t assume high IQ is the reason she was accepted into the Ivy League.

      • Her mom being co-host of a long running tv show is another departure from the standard midwest farming family

      • No, the father being a banker is a major tell…Katie could be dumber than a goldfish and still get into elite institutions….

      • Anonymous Conservative often comes off as being ever-so-slightly hyper-paranoid [possibly in need of spending some quality time with L’il Miss Thorazine – JUST KIDDING!!!], but the career arc y’all are describing for this Porter chick [& her fambly] jibes almost perfectly with AC’s theories of “Cabal”.

        Heck, let’s go ahead and call it a perfect agreement.

        I’ve long been warning folks that the reason we see uniformity of personalititties in the Passive Aggressive Industrial Complex [i.e. the bureaucracy] is because the behavioral psychologists have perfected the pre-employment examinations to choose for precisely the “not-a-loose-cannon/will-not-rock-the-boat” personalititty type.

        [PRO-TIP: If you want one of them choice gubmint jobs with the lifetime sinecures, then learn to fake the correct & proper Bug Man answers to the psych tests.]


        I’ma add an addendum here: He ain’t exactly in the good graces of Dissident Thought anymoar, but way back in the day [it must have been back circa 2008-ish], Steve Sailer posited that Stanley Ann Dunham’s father, Stanley Armour Dunham, an apparently shiftless layabout worthless sack of manure, kept moving the Dunham fambly around the country, coincidentally near Army bases & Air Force fields & Naval ports, precisely because Dunham was an agent of what we would now call “The Deep State”, assigned with the task of hanging around the near-base bars & lounges & massage parlors & whore houses, in order to pick up any gossip of subversive or seditious intent on the part of the soldiers or airmen or sailors or marines.

        Subsequent to that hypothesized career in Defense Intelligence, his wife, Madelyn Payne Dunham, got a choice job in banking management in Hawaii.

        I hate to praise a Boomer, but I think Steve Sailer nailed that one.

        The Dunhams were 110% Deep State.

        Plus they were known unitardians, and their unitardian church in the state of Washington was known as, “The Little Red Church on the Hill.”


        • Sailer’s lifetime of insights more than make up for whatever present day quibbles we have with his…hmm, “lack of ideological forcefulness”.

        • Even wikipedia lists Ann Dunham’s Ford Foundation, World Bank, and USAID connections

          Her dad’s postwar studies at UC Berkeley seem incongruous with the rest of his story

        • I’ll admit to reading AC every day. I can’t manage to subscribe to a lot of his stuff but sometimes you have got to wonder. Without a doubt there is a deep state/cabal, they may not be as powerful as he says but they are there. He also has good links to stiff you may not see elsewhere without digging too deep in the internet.

    • White people are not evolved to be Street Smart. That is a feature of a low-trust, concentrated society where every other person is a potential predator, keeping your head on a swivel and maintaining situational awareness is not natural to White people. For others, it certainly is. This is why people like AOC, Hank Johnson, and others seem smarter than they truly are as they just operate on the assumption that everyone around them is a predator.

      • If you count Italian as white (I do) that’s not the case. Ol blue eyes/chairman of the board is what I think of when I hear the word “street smart”

          • I’ll try that again without the abortive attempt at pithiness.

            We generally like the outdoors, the wilder and more dangerous the better, yet we’re doormats. We have a great civilization, but we’re naive in some ways. It’s a paradox.

            I don’t think it’s because of evolution and group survival. I think it’s much more recent, and I think it’s a great effort to repress our latent savagery. Probably beaten into us for the sake of building a great civilization, which is why whites are so afraid of being mean.

            Street smarts, like sarcasm, are somewhat indicative of domestication and broken-spiritedness imo.

        • Exactly. The fact that it hasn’t yet, doesn’t mean that, one of these days, it won’t.

      • Re: wiffo and street smarts: Rubbish!

        I speak as a fifth generation “recently (self) disenfranchised” white urbanite. My animal (street) smarts are as sharp as…well, you know…

  18. Here is a great example of elite thinking. The daughter of an immigrant gets a job with Uber and discovers a major barrier to getting women to drive for them is lack of child care. Instead of contemplating the madness that is women doing a menial, low paying job paying a significant portion of their income to have other low paid women watch their children, she tries to figure out a way to get the cost of child care subsidized. Her dad left her mom, so obviously doing anything to strengthen families is out of the question. Elizabeth Warren’s name was put on a book pointing out the fallacy of pushing young mothers into the workforce. I don’t know that she has ever disavowed it, but there is no way she wrote it. They don’t even have the ability to question the system and consider the possibility the people they have been taught to hate might have a better way to do things.

  19. I can’t tell you how many people I talk too who take out or have taken out student loans either themselves or with their kids. I work with two guys with huge student loans, one of the guys over $75,000.
    It’s just another way to drain the middle class.
    The new elite are also debtors

      • It’s reached the point that it’s just a glorified tax on all future earnings; people who complain about union dues but think nothing of paying 5-10% of their post-tax take to the University’s financier every year for the rest of their working lives.

    • When one year of “higher ed” typically costs 30 Gs, it doesn’t take long for those student loans to mount to stratospheric proportions. I currently owe ca. 30K. Thank God I went to college before the costs became truly outrageous.

      • Ostei Kozelskii: “When one year of “higher ed” typically costs 30 Gs, it doesn’t take long for those student loans to mount to stratospheric proportions.”


        Around here, one year of private pre-K costs $17K.

        One year of primary skrewl costs $27K.

        One year of secondary skrewl costs $31K.

        A year at an Ivy will run you $75K to $100K or moar.




        For no more than maybe $2500s’ worth of textbooks, you can teach yourself a bachelor’s & a master’s & a PhD & an MD & a JD & a CPA & a WTFE degree you want.

        • Even cheaper you can get pdfs of the books for free online with a little searching.

          I did a whole master’s degree and spent maybe $100 total on books.

          • you can print it yourself, and hang it on your office wall from the job interview you aced with your bogus resume.

            seriously, who is loyal to a system that hates them?

        • Bourbon, if you’re a smart guy/gal, you can teach yourself a lot if you are dedicated. However, a lot of folk are not so dedicated and require a bit of push—hence the structure of faculty and classrooms.

          However, teach yourself for such advanced degrees runs into problems. For one, most universities will not grant degrees without coursework from their institution. Som States such as ours now require a law degree from an accredited institution before applying for bar and testing.

    • Giddy, it’s not the loan amount, it’s the job’s salary that counts. I have daughter-in-law who had *double* your figure and it was paid back in four or five years. Of course, we’ve all agreed that the average “college student” is dumber than the typical pre-WWII HS grad, so they can’t hack a high paying degree curriculum, hence the numerous faux degrees offered today.

  20. Elites without legitimate skills in the day-to-day, without access to minions and servants to do their bidding, aren’t very likely to survive past their food storage. When they can’t get that last chopper out to their bugout spot, they will have to fend for themselves. Nobody will want to help them.
    They sowed, soon they shall reap.
    Twas ever thus.

  21. There is a larger proportion of the population with a college diploma or with an advanced diploma than was the case in 1950, let alone 1900. The number of people with such diplomas is greater than the number of cushy white-collar jobs by at least an order of magnitude. At the same time educational standards have declined so much that I would contend that a high school graduate in the year 1900 was more intensively schooled and knew more than the majority of college graduates today. Probably more than most people holding master’s degrees as well.

    Furthermore, it’s also true that because of the collapse of educational standards and the concomitant collapse of rigorous admission requirements, the holders of diplomas today can hardly be distinguished from those not holding such diplomas. The diploma has become a “hunting license” rather than an admission ticket to an exclusive club. In other words, holding a diploma, or more likely an advanced diploma, has become a precondition for a cushy job, but no guarantee for it. As a consequence one sees college graduates doing jobs previously done by high school graduates, and holders of master’s degrees doing work previously done by college graduates.

    Of course, in passing I should also mention that where the degree comes from makes a difference: a degree from Princeton has higher value in the job market than a degree from Dogdick University. There is a hierarchy of universities. Harvard beats Duke, which beat U of Wisconsin, which beat Cal State University. Holding an MBA from Stanford means more than an MBA from Iowa.

    I find it difficult to agree with Turchin a propos the US case. Holders of US diplomas are docile. If not docile when they start their “studies”, they certainly are by the time they complete. The rebellious are usually weeded out. The system is designed to produced docility. Furthermore, usually they’re not selected for any particularly exacting intellectual ability (leaving out exceptions like MIT and CalTech). For these reasons I currently think that despite the high level of underemployment and unemployment among holders of diplomas, we’re not seeing much restiveness. These people have invested a lot of time and money in their qualifications, are often deeply in debt, and want desperately to become part of the crumbling status quo. To have the ghost of a chance they have to be compliant and docile.

    The people I’m describing above are not the people on this forum. The ones here are mostly rebels, misfits, outlaws, outcasts. From this lot will rebellion come.

    • I think their restiveness, as you put it, is directed against Whites and manifests in “punching down” against perceived “dirt” people. I agree with you that it’s not directed against the system. Yet. These things play out in funny ways.

      We may be at the Vendee’ Revolt suppression stage rather than the Jacobin phase. Who knows?

    • “From this lot will rebellion come.”

      Yes, but not a run-of-the-mill conventional militia type rebellion. That way lies way too much death of innocents and duped alphas (see Ukrainian forced-conscripts death toll approaching 250K and twice that grievously wounded). The best solution is a marriage of stealth, innovation, and focus. God bless modern technology!

    • “ The people I’m describing above are not the people on this forum. The ones here are mostly rebels, misfits, outlaws, outcasts”

      Yeah, but in addition, there seems to be a substantial portion that really got their figure nails dirty at some time in their lives, or at least had a humble family back ground ala “dirt people”. I’ve not sensed that we have any “old money” types here.

  22. Ironically, you’ll know that the American Empire is over not by watching the military but by keeping an eye on the bond market.

    If banks, institutional investors or other central banks ever collectively start to move away from treasury bonds, the game is up. The greatest danger to the American Empire isn’t Chinese missiles or Russian artillery, it’s positive real, i.e., above inflation, interest rates. Paying an interest rate above inflation for any length of time would bring the US govt to its knees.

    It would be the end of the cheap money that Z is writing about, and all of this insanity is fueled by cheap money.

    For now, there’s no sign that investors as a group are moving away treasuries, though central banks have to a degree. But how long will investors accept negative real rates on treasuries? Maybe forever, maybe not.

    • We’ll see as it looks like the Omnibus Bill passed late last year will spend Covid levels of debt. If that gets reflected immediately into the economy (probably a year or so from now) then we’ll know the game is up, but if it gets absorbed into the global economy like the current debt then there is still some gas in the GAE can.

      • Ah ha, someone is beginning to understand. What you state is also why they will not lower interest rates anytime soon or “pause”. The rest of the world is finally challenging the dollars status and ole J Powell is going to have to keep raising to keep the money coming in.

      • With recession on the horizon, the world is preparing by loading up on dollars via treasuries, so plenty of buyers at the moment.

        But longer term, it will be difficult to convince investors to buy something that is guaranteed to lose money after inflation. Yes, treasuries are used for many things besides just pure investments, but having interest rates below inflation is a major drag on even those investors.

      • Maybe, but that sucks liquidity out of the market, which will push down prices of other assets and potentially cause a credit to slow down, which would cause serious economic damage.

        The more likely path would be for the fed to return to QE and buy what needs to be bought to keep the interest rate below inflation. Japan has been doing this for years, but it avoids inflation due to running a big trade surplus and by being a net creditor, both of which bring in dollars to offset the yen produced to buy Japanese govt bonds.

    • If the whole world is willing to prop up the US, doesn’t that mean the whole world is full of slobs?

      The risk- and pain-aversion is astonishing. I can’t get my head around it

      • Nope. It’s just the outcome of the Eurodollar system that emerged in the 1950s and 1960s. The dollar is the global currency, much like English is the global language.

        Something like 70% or 80% of trade is invoiced in dollars. Around 2/3 of global debt is in the dollar. It will be extremely difficult for countries to move away from the dollar and will take decades.

        There’s just no alternative. The US treasury market dwarfs everything else. Nobody trusts China enough to hold their bonds, and, besides, they have capital controls and thus a very small debt market accessible to foreigners.

        The irony of countries trying to move away from the dollar is that it could very possibly make the dollar get stronger. If countries start using fewer dollars to trade, that means fewer dollars floating around to service all that dollar-denominated debt, push up the price of the dollar.

        Businesses, banks and central banks buy our treasuries because they need a way to store dollars for trade, debt service and emergencies. What else are they going to hold? Maybe gold, but they’ll still need someone to trade dollars for gold when the time comes and who knows what price they’ll get at that time. It’s a gamble. Treasuries aren’t – except that we’re going to force everyone to earn less than inflation, which is why they’re trying to come up with a different system.

        But like trying take down Amazon or Twitter, it’s hard to take down the dollar because of the network effect and the sheer size of the Eurodollar system that exists.

        However, the Chinese, Indians, Russians and Saudis are fully aware that US power rests way more on the dollar being the global reserve currency and treasuries being the global reserve asset than on aircraft carriers. Building alternatives (not even destroying the dollar system, just having workable alternatives) will end massively trim US power to point of us being more or less a regional power and no real threat to China or Russia.

        Btw, the neocons know this as well, and I just can’t see them letting that happen without going to war.

  23. Yes, it’s becoming blindingly obvious to many Americans that the halcyon days of excess are coming to an end and some sort of consequence will likely befall us before too long. This is manifest in the rising anxiety and impromptu rage fits that now appear everywhere on the internet. The spring winds tighter with each passing day and an explosion of madness (like the rioting in France) is a real likelihood here in US big cities this summer (see recent Chicago riots as an example). What should we anticipate?

    Whether our decline is fast or slow, there’s really nothing to stop it. Voting harder will persist because the alternative is too much hard work and sacrifice, but that chimera will not fix DC nor change our course. The coming demise of the dollar will seal our fate as hyperinflation eats away at accumulated wealth like a Stage 4 cancer. This angst will produce an endless spasm of protest tantrums and common folk will strike out against each other in random acts of malice and violence. This will make the elites smile because that is the exact outcome they desire, as they sit in their protected enclaves feeling invincible. And that smug sense of invincibility will breed complacency.

    Therein lies the insight that can lead to effective remedy.

    • Couple bell weathers to watch for: ILWU (west coast dock workers) and Teamsters contract negotiations. Any prolonged strike/work stoppages will be…less than satisfactory.

  24. “The first is that our elite appears to be getting dumber.”

    This, in spades.

    In my journey living near one of the largest shitlib blue cities – one that has crept outwards into our once rustic environment… “dumber” is an understatement.

    What I find is that the highly credentialed, affluent persons I interact with KNOW NOTHING. Color of their incoming car, “Blue Mist Sierra Metallic”, maybe some sportsballer names. Otherwise, zip.

    Can’t turn a screwdriver. Don’t read, never read. Practice no faith. Know zero history.

    Literally the ‘Know Nothings’ and their collections of things and ‘experiences’.

    The most boring people ever. Plus fucking dumb.

      • A charge that will infuriate them.

        In their minds what they choose to consume makes them blindingly fascinating. It’s why most ad campaigns focus on living life “your way”. It’s flattering to them and absolves them from having to stand out through actual creativity.

        • Agreed. However, what one purchases can be an indicator of taste, and good taste is something to be admired greatly because it makes the world fractionally more attractive, and because it is increasingly rare.

    • When I was young I was surprised that the daughters of privilege who made it back to my place found my ownership of useable things (books, tools, etc.) so offputting. Rich-men propaganda always had them showing off their libraries and hobbies, but it turns out that’s a specific kind of rich man, approximately royalty. The attainable upper class, the one you can school your way into, is “institutionalized” in the prison sense. They’re *in school*. When not assigned to do anything, they don’t do anything. They order food.

  25. I know a lot of rich people and they all drive $100,000 plus cars but it is a lot harder to separate the super expensive cars from the mid price cars now. The mid price cars are very nice and have all the bells and whistles so now the expensive cars just have to add all these insane extras that make them incredibly complicated and hence break down all the time which results in only the relatively poor having reliable transportation. But at least everyone knows you’re rich while they’re towing your Tesla away.

    • Here’s the thing: If a middle class “schlub” (I prefer griller) like myself can swing an entry level Mercedes Benz for $4K down and $540/month, that rather tarnishes MB’s cachet and exclusivity.

      (Ask Cadillac how chasing volume worked for them.)

      Not that I’m going to do that, as I have no need for a Mercedes Benz.

      So “Elites” are going to have to get something even MORE exclusive. Or force you to give up driving by saddling you with an ultra expensive EV that needs to be recharged overnight two to three times a week.

      Those virtues don’t signal themselves.

      • Now that you mention it, I have seen the helluva lot of Benzes on the streets the last several years. Less an indicator of increasing prosperity, and more a sign of greater accessibility, I spose.

    • I’m not much of a car guy but I’ve seen a few videos pointing out that current BMWs and Mercedes are piles of crap because they’re using plastic components close to the engine. Plastic being noted for totally not becoming brittle when repeatedly heated…

  26. …”The cafeteria of social decline offers something for everyone, so you can indulge yourself according to your inclination”….
    Excellent analogy, although ‘cafeteria’ conjures something a bit too glamourous. I think of it more like a Saturday night at the Golden Corral all you can eat buffet line.

  27. On top of all that, we need to Make Bullying Great Again. The worst kind of overproduced wannabe elite, in my view, is the Very Clever Boy, also known as the “jailhouse lawyer” — the guy who sees a set of rules and conventions and immediately starts gaming them, simply for the hell of it. In grade school, this noxious little pest is always working the teacher, in the way bad ballplayers work the refs. Back when, the jocks would deal with this kind of kid via the wedgie, the swirlie, or shoving him in a locker. It worked then, and it can work now. Imagine what could’ve been, if the defensive line had done their f*cking job and given, say, Kevin Williamson the dreaded “rear admiral.”

    • i’m skeptical of that. If you’re talking about the Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman type – those were the class clowns in school.

    • Something tells me giving Williamson the rear admiral would have had the exact opposite effect of that intended, wot…

  28. “Imagine if you will, a society that worships its most violent and detrimental members. Where the negro can murder and rape at will and his victims are imprisoned for defending themselves.” Yeah, Rod, imagine…

  29. I saw the video of Fetterman “getting back to work” in the senate – wearing a hoodie, knee length basketball shorts and sneakers – JHC…

    As far as the over production of supposed elites, the flooding of college campuses by women in the ‘60’s, ‘70’s and beyond no doubt explains a lot of the mess we’re in. Prior to that development, it was largely men in positions of power – and there were plenty of F ups in that bunch to keep everyone on their toes. Now double that with emotional females and it exponentially increases the possibilities for disaster. Further, medical technology has allowed mutants who, in prior generations, never would have survived, to increasingly pollute the gene pool.

  30. This is a great companion piece to yesterday’s “Woke” essay. So the Elite overproduction goes hand in glove with the Woke plague. The excess Elites have to invent ever more ridiculous membership signals and rituals to show they are Special. Private language is part of the ritual.

    This is nothing new. Linguists estimate that fewer than 20% of the French population could speak or understand court French during the reign of the Louis XIV-XVI. The same was true in reunited Italy in the Savoy period (1860s). The Romanovs spoke French at court for a long time. Castilian Spanish has a funny lisp for similar reasons.

    These Woke clowns are basically Courtiers, currying favor with their betters. Turchin in his book is very careful to label them “soi-disant” or self-styled Elites because, as Zman points out, they are often manifestly incompetent and violent.

    It should not be shocking that the US – a bloated, late-stage Empire – has excess Courtiers. As Jack Boniface observed below, they used to be sent off to colonize or terrorize the natives. Unfortunately, ours are terrorizing our own White citizens. That said, these processes have weird, unpredictable outcomes. Just ask Marie Antoinette and the Czar.

    • You beat me to it, Cap. Substandard elite overproduction and the new retarded religion are directly related. A good example of the interplay is the in-flight airline magazine. Most now are digitalized, very dumbed down, and spread the good word of Woke like a ham-handed version of Gideons, featuring near-illiterate banalities, non-White faces, and sermonettes, assuring someone has read something incredibly stupid, if they read at all, before Shaneeka in the cockpit loses control of the plane and it plunges to their death. The only difference between the First Class and coach versions are the consumer items pitched.

      The modern Marie Antoinettes are more likely to die in a completely avoidable accident than knelt before a guillotine.

  31. Watching old television shows like ‘Modern Marvels’ and ‘How Things Work’ feels like a glimpse into a bygone era. The aptitude and competence displayed by the people who actually keep civilization running will be sorely missed.

    Society will not miss the Elizabeth Warrens, or Joe Bidens. It will be the wastewater sanitation engineers, the oil rig workers and master electricians who will dictate the future.

    • Future “Americans” will play with our water treatment pipes the way the apes toyed with animal bones in “2001: A Space Odyssey”.

    • To unashamedly quote myself immediately above, the modern Marie Antoinettes are more likely to die in a completely avoidable accident than knelt before a guillotine. Also, look for food poisoning to make a big return as inspectors and operators at facilities become darker and dumber.

      • We don’t eat a lot of fast food, and I don’t consider myself an anxious person, but food joints aren’t staffed by up-and-coming humans anymore. They are staffed with people who have peaked in their careers and should not be trusted with items which others ingest.

        • Mr C,

          Another aspect of how things have changed is the idea that these jobs in the FF industry were ever supposed to be living wage careers that should be able to support the average family. I’m in my 40’s and recall not too long ago (1990s) that these jobs were either stepping stones for teenagers entering the workforce, or dead-end jobs for burnouts. Maybe for the managerial positions it could be considered an ‘adult’ career, but not for the majority of the employees.

          • Well, wait just a minute now, haven’t you heard about the “living wage for all” movement? Equity!

        • These days I eat fast food only on my occasional road trips. Otherwise I almost never eat out at all. And when I pull up to a fast food joint, and it’s staffed by vibrants, I move on. Because I have learned the hard way.

  32. Great time to be alive, right? A front row seat to the greatest fall by the most powerful empire ever. Early stages for sure going somewhat slowly but look out for the all of a sudden part.

    If you stay on your smartphone or tablet too much and add social media it feels like one is Alex DeLarge in Clockwork Orange with his eyelids forcefully pulled open to see all the resulting madness.

  33. “The American empire has reached its old age and therefore is riddled with many of the maladies that eventually kill off a civilization.”

    Your channeling Oswald Spengler Mr. Z

    Great post, thanks

  34. Using SpaceX as sn example of decline doesn’t really work. Musk is building a bigger, better rocket than the Saturn V for a faction of the money NASA had back in the 60s

      • I don’t think it was meant as a criticism of Musk. Rather, of the talent or lack thereof available today to Musk.

    • considering the elapse of 60+ years, Starship is a miniscule advance from the Saturn V. both rockets use(d) technology from the 1930’s, so one can make the argument there has been no real progress in rocket *science*.

      • “ from the 1930’s…”

        From our dopey gubermint (
        “Not an invention of modern times, the electric car has a long and storied history.”

        From the leftist foofs at Wikipedia (
        “Also in 1794, Robert Street patented an internal-combustion engine, which was also the first to use liquid fuel (petroleum) and built an engine around that time.”

        So, uh, yeah.

      • ER, no.
        You must have missed the fact that the Saturn V was 100 percent expendable, whereas Starship is brand new technology and meant to be 100 percent rapidly REUSEABLE. On top of that, this rocket was always intended to enable the settlement of Mars and the rest of the habitable inner solar system. To get some NASA money Musk has agreed to build a “lunar Starship” to operate as vastly improved lunar lander as NASA’s big rocket the “SLS” can’t land anything on the moon, but the main idea of Starship is to decrease the cost of going into space by 100 or more times thus finally opening up space as a commercial frontier and for human habitation. Musk is thinking big. Meanwhile, our Author here, picked a piss poor example for decline in intelligence.

        And Musk, unlike just about any billionaire or ‘tech titan’ of the past 40 or 50 years actually BUILDS things with his companies.

        • I am a big fan of Elon Musk. He is really pushing the envelope in a number of industries. He is not hostile to our side either, unlike the rest of the tech titans.

          Musk is brilliant. Watch Tucker’s interview with him.

        • what does the Starship use for propulsion? when was that technology invented?

          i would say that you don’t know the difference between science and engineering.

        • I’m neither a fanboy nor a Musk detractor, however he has a cult-like following and they seem to ignore/accept a lot of the BS he spouts unquestionably—or perhaps it’s the stupid media that misinterprets what Musk says.

          Someone mentioned his space program and his vision of Mars colonization. Big ideas, big dreams, but where is the basic research to make such an “idea” work? Recoverable rockets and a quick return trip to the moon are stunts. A cart before the horse so to speak.

          Here’s one basic problem that needs solving before any of the Mars colonization project gets accomplished—a self sustaining human habitat. We have one failed experiment with such, BioSphere. Where on earth is a self sustaining human habitat demonstrated—no where. Do you know that the climate in Antarctica is milder than any spot on Mars? But we have no self sustaining habitat there.

          We might reach Mars someday (with Chinese help?) and walk around and plant a UN flag, but it will be an expensive stunt. A self sustaining colony not in the offing.

          • “Recoverable Rockets” are “stunts”?
            That , right there, tells me you don’t know what the hell you are talking about.
            The International Space Station is self-sustaining on the time period of MONTHS.
            Biosphere was from the freaking mid 90’s, and failed as much due to human factors and external funding issues as from technical issues. It’s amazing you think that we didn’t learn anything from it, and that it proves the ‘impossibility’ for sustainable off-world colonies. As for the rest, it was nice of you to try and educate not only lifelong space geeks like me that Mars isn’t Earth and space is dangerous with radiation and lack of breathable air and things, but to tell that to Space X, which – in many ways- has a Space Program that already exceeds the capabilities of any nation on Earth. You should go work for them, Mr. Brilliant!

            I see someone with big opinions but very little knowledge and certainly no accomplishments (like say, creating two classes of commercial orbital rockets, Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, which was, for awhile the most powerful rocket on Earth) to back up such big, bold declarations. I guess it must suck being a Elon Musk “Short Seller”.

    • Agree.

      SpaceX is building rockets that make “astronauts” about as exciting, and useful, as a sack of potatoes.

      Beyond an “abort mission” button, the humans on board don’t do anything except smile for the cameras and pretend to be just as cool as Neil Armstrong when he manually took over Gemini 8 and saved the mission, then again when he took over the Eagle landing during Apollo 11 before it crashed into a rock.

      But, you know. Stunning and brave for the intrepid, plucky, diverse NASA Artemis crew who’s mission planning book is one page long and only says “Under no circumstances, touch a g-damned thing!!”.

      The old saw in the airlines goes like this: “The plane of the future will have a computer, a pilot, and a dog. The computer will fly the plane, the pilot smiles at the passengers, and the dog bites the pilot if he tries to touch anything.”

      SpaceX is like that, only with rockets. In space.

      • Of course the “pilot” is the token negro who you sure as hell don’t want touching anything…

  35. The surplus elites used to be sent off to conquer, or die, in colonial wars. I don’t see any of ours in Bakhmut.

    • That and we used to send them off to proselytize to the savages. Many of the people spending their days reporting mean tweets would have been missionaries in another age. Of course, the higher rates of interpersonal violence helped thin the herd too.

      • It is worse than that. We import them, then put them into powerful positions where the spite for us we taught them can be put to good use. I am thinking specifically of Krish O’Mara Vignarajah. No, she isn’t Irish the way Jordan Peterson thinks she is. She runs The Great Replacement for the Lutheran Church after being a longtime DNC and Obama operative.

        This was an amazing essay ZMan. You really tied it all together. I think one last piece is the classic failing of democracy. Democracy bends away from consensus building and toward animosity filled clashes. In the end, the party that is doomed to lose will stoop to anything to ensure winning. I think of Portugal and Joacine Katar-Moreira telling white people her Europe is not their Europe and then the white communists clapping. They will bring in a hostile enemy population to garner the votes they need to see their cause through as the victor. At least Caesar brought the Gauls into the Senate directly. That is probably the thing he did that got him killed by the Senate while he was beloved by the people he did not replace.

        In any case your recipe is right on but lacks democracy as a key ingredient. I also think you nailed that the free/cheap money is the great enabler. Without that, by the 70s the pain would have been intolerable and real reform enacted. As it is, the printing press led to our demographic decline while also subsidizing the sinecure class – worst among them, the great replacement managers.

        • Btw, I propose that the Sinecure Regime is an appropriate term for what we used to call The Elite.

          There are competent and properly credentialed people, but given that none of them have effectively renounced and destroyed the sinecures and the system that creates it, they can’t be called an elite. An elite would have done this instead of been off in the mines of Moria hoarding their gold.

          In any case, the Sinecure Class or The Sinecures is what I propose as the term for them. Can’t you just see Ketanji Brown-Jackson, Henry Kendi and Hakeem Jeffries and the the others squirming when they are rightly called what they are?

          • They’d have to know what a “sinecure” is, and further, why being characterized as members of a “sinecure class” is disparaging. I’m guessing that neither of these things would happen.

        • I have one more thing worth adding to the discussion today. This piece is intelligently connected to yesterday’s. Today’s piece is an example of an older, more intelligent mode of analysis. Instead of a narrow single cause thesis it shows that the problem is vast and has many contributing factors.

          This is great work. It far outstrips Lindsay who is trying to create a single explanation and a single cause. He is an academite so he wants to target the academy. The problem is far bigger than the academy.

          He also is frightened to admit that in base of all of this, is a racial/tribal/ethnic conflict. That isn’t our fault. It is the tribes/races that want to vie for power and control that are racially focused. He is deathly afraid of violating his creed – to remain colorblind.

          That is like going to battle and assuming that because you are fighting a gentleman’s war your enemy will do the same. That is why ZMan and his ilk are the future and Lindsay and Peterson and Walsh … … are just a stopgap selling books, college tours and YT ads. They are Nero’s orchestra. Meantime, keep up this kind of analysis and tying it together. The real battle and the real army to fight it is still forming up. That army is going to join the field in the same reality as the ones who are currently marauding unimpeded thanks to impotent, egalitarian leftists like Lindsay.

      • We still do that, Z. The world is full of NGOs and United Nations organizations preaching woke religion and directing the policy of developing countries. Missionaries and colonialists. Even in the most traditional Muslim country, there is a Karen preaching wokeness.

    • The British sense of noblesse oblige did transmit to the colonies, but it seems to have died out around the mid 1800s

  36. Well said, especially the last points.
    It implies that the effects BRICS alternative currencies will likely have dramatic impact here. It’s long overdue.

  37. Z man,

    Stuff like this is what keeps me coming back: “When every man can live like a king, every man begins to see himself as a king. Before long he is taking hormones and demanding you call him a queen.”



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