Sunday Ramblings

On libertarian sites, I’ve seen the following quote attributed to Gandhi. “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” I took it on faith that Gandhi said it. I don’t care that much about Gandhi so his sayings don’t move me in any important way.  I looked it up and found that Gandhi never said it. Instead it was some middle management type named Nicholas Klein. But hey, it could have been said by Gandhi….

I was web surfing and stumbled onto this post by Rod Dreher. I have vague recollections of Rod Dreher writing for National Review and then going crazy for a while about environmentalism. I may have the facts wrong, but I recall reading a column by Jonah Goldberg saying goodbye to his crazy former friend. He did not call him crazy, but it was implied. According to his Wiki page, he wrote a manifesto, which is the sort of thing you do if you’re the Unabomber or starting a cult.

His views don’t strike me as unusually weird, but maybe I have a very generous definition of what it means to be weird, at least in the realm of politics. Dreher is now a regular at The American Conservative, which is a fairly mainstream site, even if they are shunned by Conservative Inc. Unlike the National Review crowd, they are not on MSNBC all day, but their writers turn up at establishment sites once in a while, so Dreher is not exactly wring for a fringe publication now.

The point, I think, is that dissident thinking, as in the general questioning of the status quo on the Right, is making headway into respectable places. To be clear, I have my doubts about how much realism can be tolerated. What John Derbyshire calls race-realism has plenty of merit, but there are too many people in the race-realism club who are just racists. At some point, the immune system of Conservative Inc. will kick in and start purging anyone with incorrect opinions on the blank slate and egalitarianism…

While I was over at TAC, I consumed this story about the schism on the Conventional Right. One of the things I want to go into more one day is the ridiculousness of the right-left model of framing political philosophy. In America, Progressiveness is a well-defined cultural, political and economic movement. Putting American Progressives on the Left, using the European model, is informative, but not authoritative.

On the Continent, the Right-Left dynamic is centered entirely on nationalism. Marxist-Leninism in an internationalist creed. Socialism, particularly Fascism, is a nationalist creed. Hitler is on one end, Stalin is on the other. Their disagreements on economics were trivial compared to their cultural differences. With the collapse of communism, even the Left in Europe is now pro-EU, while the Right is slowly forming into a populist and nationalist bloc. Same divide, different roles for each side.

Using the old Left-Right model for America is ridiculous. Putting the Reason Magazine crowd on the same side as Hitler is laughably ridiculous. In America, it has been the Left that has embraced fascist economics. Communism never got much of a purchase, other than the cultural variety after the war.  A political spectrum that somehow has American Progressives at the opposite end of people with whom they largely agree is a pretty weird spectrum. It’s not very useful, other than for partisan rhetoric.

Then you have the people who are not Progressives. Pat Buchanan and William Kristol agree on very little. They also hate one another. Putting them on the Right together is a category error. In the American Conservative article you see how the Right-Left model falls to pieces. Paul Gottfried remains trapped in the model, which fouls his assessment of Strauss. He’s spending so much time trying to make sense of the model, he mangles Strauss in the process…

Steve Sailer thinks the Open Borders crowd is carrying the day. That’s true for now, but it is a long game. Politics is the portion of the culture war above the waterline. Sometimes, it looks like one side is winning, but underneath the water a massive force is building that will become public. That’s what the immigration looks like right now. The people pushing open borders control the media. They think they are winning, but in reality they are building an opposition that will crush them at some point…

Someone took me to task for grammar and spelling mistakes on this blog. My response was that I don’t worry too much about those issues as this is a blog. Spelling should always be correct in public writing. I really should run these post through a spell check before posting them, but I’m often writing on the fly, so I miss stuff. This is a blog, which means it is like a public diary. I doubt anyone has ever spell checked their journal or their personal diary. Maybe they do, I’ve never kept a diary.

Now grammar is another story. My first contact with a rigid grammarian was when I was in college. He had, as far as I could tell, nothing to offer the curious mind. Instead he occupied himself with grammar, particularly the grammar of others. Ever since I’ve thought writers should feel free to go wild with the rules of grammar if that allows them to easily make their point. The point of grammar is to make communication easier, not more difficult. That means some degree of flexibility is required…

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6 years ago

I certainly didn’t intend to take you to task. I compare spelling errors to a bit of spinach stuck between one’s teeth. It can become too much of a focal point and take away from the bigger picture. Some people care about the spinach, some don’t. As for your grammar, I see no problem. In fact, I appreciate flexibility if it is effective.