Tsar Alexander’s Revenge

On the surface, Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan, which has put the Chinese on a war footing, does not make much sense. Pelosi is an old woman who barely knows where she is most of the time. It is an open secret that she will be retiring at the end of the year, assuming her party does not hold the House. If Washington wanted to communicate something to the Taiwanese leadership outside of official channels, they could do it any number of low profile ways.

The White House has tried to sell this trip as the doings of Pelosi and not connected with administration policy. They told their official organs that the military tried to dissuade her from the trip. On the eve of her landing, word has gone forth that there are contacts between the PLA and the US military to avoid an accident. Presumably, this means the American side is sure that the Chinese will not shoot down her plane or launch a preemptive attack against American assets.

If there is no reason for Pelosi to be visiting Taiwan and the administration was opposed to the trip, then why is she going? The most likely reason is that this is part of a global disruption campaign aimed at Russia and her allies. China has sided with the Russians over Ukraine and the sanctions regime imposed by the West. This trip is payback for not going along with Washington. The message being sent is that there is a cost to taking the side of Russia in this war.

Looked at as part of a pattern, this makes the most sense. Washington has been stirring up trouble in Syria. They have recently instigated conflict between Serbia and the breakaway area called Kosovo. It is suspected that Washington is trying to provoke another war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno- Karabakh region that separates the two countries. This provocation of China is just another part of a global destabilization campaign aimed at Russia.

In this context, Ukraine is not a cause of the war waged against Russia by the Global American Empire, but an extension of it. The effort to build a Ukrainian army that could regain lost territory and perhaps threaten Russia proper was part of a long term plan to break up Russia. The recent effort to color revolution the president of Belarus has been forgotten, but it too was part of this larger mission. The current world crisis is part of a plan to break up Russia and reorder Eurasia.

It sounds a bit farfetched but look back to the start of the war. There was a flurry of stories all based around the idea of breaking up Russia. Here is Bloomberg claiming that the only way to end Russian imperialism is disaggregation. Here is something in a British publication on the same theme. The National Interest really likes the idea of breaking up Russia. The Atlantic had its take on the idea. The rather implausible idea of breaking up Russia is an immensely popular idea in certain circles.

This ongoing hybrid was against Russia now taking center stage does explain why so many senior people were taking bribes from Ukraine. People forget the Trump impeachment show, but all of the witnesses against him had weird names, spoke little English and had connections to high ranking Washington players. It was a puzzle at the time, but looked at in the current context, it makes sense. Trump was impeached because he risked the Ukraine gambit.

This also explains the weird stance toward China. It has been clear for a long time that China poses a serious long term threat to America. Donald Trump ran on this topic and as president tried to get tough with China. On the other hand, official Washington fought him at every turn. Most just assumed that bribery was the issue. High ranking people like Joe Biden had been proudly taking bribes from China. Nancy Pelosi has also been on the take. Now both are trying to provoke China.

This schizophrenic relationship with China makes more sense when seen as a secondary issue for the foreign policy community. They opposed Trump for political and cultural reasons, but they specifically opposed his China policy because it threatened their Russia policy. They do not want a cold war with China as that shifts the focus from their war on Russia. This incident is just an effort to pressure China of Russia, not a long term strategy to confront China.

It may also be time to rethink the crusades against Islam. The general consensus was that was part of a scheme to turn Israel into the regional hegemon. That may have been viewed as a convenient narrative. It is well known that conservative white people have a fetish for Israel. The real prize, however, was Russia. The wars in the Muslim world were about targeting Russian clients. Syria, Iran and Iraq have all had strong relations with Russia going back generations.

This all may sound farfetched but consider that American foreign policy has been controlled by the neoconservatives since the Cold War. It has been a revolving door between neocon think tanks and the State Department. Administrations change, but policy does not change very much. This has come into focus under Biden, who is too infirmed to challenge the system. His administration is crawling with the same people who promoted the wars of the Bush years.

The current crisis may simply be part of a long term strategy by the semi-permanent foreign policy establishment to get revenge on Russia. The Cold War ended thirty years ago, but the desire to get revenge for the assassination of Tsar Alexander II transcends the current age for these people. Neoconservatism, whatever it was, is now a death cult organized around the destruction of Russia. As a result, the Global American Empire exists only as a weapon in that war.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Grim Future

Note: The Monday Taki post is up. Not entirely related to this post, but the general theme is the same. Sunday Thoughts is up behind the green door. There is the SubscribeStar version and the Substack version.


Futurism was a social movement that started in the beginning of the last century in Italy and spread around the West in the first decades of the century. The futurists were not content with improvements to everyday life. They imagine a new world brought about the rapid advance of technology. The material advances of the industrial revolution would not just improve our daily lives. They believed the entirety of human society would be reimagined along technological lines.

The Futurists were not entirely wrong. The industrial revolution did usher in a mass reorganization of human society. Trains were not just faster than horses. They changed how we thought about moving people and goods. Wired and wireless communication added an immediacy to society. People were no longer finding out what happened after the fact but following what was happening as it happened. The old culture collapsed and a new culture arose in the 20th century.

A simple mental exercise makes this clear. A man living in 1750 America would have had no trouble navigating 1850 America. Sure, trains would be new to him and industry would be advanced. Otherwise, people lived pretty much the same. Now, take 1850 man and transport him to 1950. He would find himself in a world that was not just materially different, but culturally and spiritually alien. He was not in an improved version of his country. He was in a different world.

The futurists believed that technological progress would lead to human progress and by that they meant freedom from the human condition. The future would be slick, fast and exiting, as humanity explored its potential. One result of this was a rejection of the past, especially tradition. The futurists saw the past as a set of hands grasping at humanity from the grave. Another result is they believed violence was entirely appropriate to break the grip of the past in order to usher in the future.

The futurists were not entirely wrong. The two great industrial wars of the 20th century obliterated the old world. Into the void flowed what came to be known as the post industrial world. The West was not capitalist or socialist in the Marxist sense, but something of a fusion of the two. On the other hand, the human condition was not consigned to the dustbin of history. All of the old problems remained. The West simply had better stuff than in the prior ages.

Fast forward to this age and we have a new round of futurism. You can probably start the clock with Alvin Toffler, a futurist who got famous at the beginning of the microprocessor revolution. His books sold millions of copies and focused on society after de-industrialization. His books were popular in America at a time when the economy was shedding industrial jobs. His vision of the future promised something better than the old grimy industrial lifestyle.

Even though his books sold millions of copies, futurism did not catch on with the beautiful people until the late 1990’s. When technology became accessible to the technologically challenged, the future suddenly opened up to them. Apple products were sold to taste makers as a symbol of the progressive vision. Big tech began to market itself as a lifestyle, rather than as technological advance. Elon Musk went from bald PayPal investor to a futurist with a firm hairline.

The reason operations like the World Economic Forum have become popular with the beautiful people is these organizations are catering to the people who have tied their sense of self with their vision of the future. WEF has been around for a long time, but it was mostly a dull economic conference until they hit on futurism. You see it in this old presentation from a person named Thomas Birr. This is a timeshare pitch tailored for a crowd that believes they are world historic figures.

It should be noted that Mr. Birr promotes himself as a futurist. He labels himself the Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer at a company named E. On. Before that he was Senior Vice President Innovation & Business Transformation at a company with an equally ridiculous name. Mr. Birr is a visionary and we know that because he is paid to have visions, like a shaman. Before he was a visionary, he was an industrial sales rep who worked in the energy business.

One of the appeals of futurism is that it allows the futurist to look away from the present and focus on a blank page onto which he can draw his new world. It is a form of escapism, which suggests futurism is the product of crisis. The futurists of the last century did not see the two great industrial wars coming. In retrospect, the obliteration of the old war was a necessary step toward the new world. Interestingly, the Italian futurists all wound up supporting fascism.

There is a bit of irony. The futurist of this day invests a lot of time looking for potential fascists out among the Dirt People. Yet, it can be argued that fascism would not have been possible without the futurism movement. Once the focus shifted from the present to the future, the debate shifted from how to best to manage the present to who will run the society of the future. The great ideological conflicts of the 20th century were all about who will impose their vision of their future.

We see the same debates in this age. Immigration is about the demographics of future Western society. The antiwhites explicitly state that they wish to overthrow current society, which they call white supremacy, in favor of some new society organized around serving nonwhites. The legacy populations of the West are told by the people at the World Economic Forum that they are on the wrong side of history. Our debates about the future are all about who, not what.

All of this suggests that the futurist is a grim reaper. His arrival precedes some horrible conflagration that obliterates the present. A century ago, the futurists gave us two great industrial wars that reduce the West to ruins. The futurists of this age seem to be obsessed with war and famine. On the one hand they are instigating wars between the great powers. On the other hand, they are attacking the food supply. We will be lucky to live to see whatever futures results from all of this.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


Electric Crazy Land

No one can know what the robot historians will call this age, but a fairly good guess is they will call it the age of outrage. Everything is driven by outrage. Either it is mentally unstable people outraged over the normal operation of the world or it the mentally unstable trying to get attention by outraging normal people. Outrage is the fuel that drives public discourse and politics in this age.

Outrage is like crystal meth for some people. Once they get a hit, they can think of nothing else but the next hit. Before long they are in one of the many intensely on-line subcultures, getting outraged with the other addicts. They cultivate their own outrage and share outrage with others. Who they are is entirely defined within the outrage culture of their new lifestyle. They are outrage junkies.

Sites like the Daily Beast and Huffington Post started out as legitimate new media sites catering to a broad audience. It feels like a million years ago, but both sites used to employ normal people. Until Arianna Huffington decided to rip off her contributors and run off with the cash, the HuffPo covered a broad range of topics. Now these sites simply peddle outrage to the addicts.

Just like other drug problems, the GrifterCons use the plague of outrage to separate normal people from their money. The Conservative Industrial Complex exists to tell normal people about the latest outrages. Instead of showing video of addicts on the streets, it is video of abortion protestors and Antifa rioters. If you send them money, they promise to do something about it. They never do anything about it.

At some point normal people get tired of being outraged by the outrageous behavior of these outrage addicts. You see it with the abortion stuff. The chunky protestors showed up to outrage the onlookers only to find very few people looking on. Outrage fatigue is a real thing and you can be sure that the outrage addicts are outraged by it. Like meth addicts, the outrage addicts always have a reason to get high.


For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation via crypto. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


This Week’s Show

Contents

  • Black & Insane (Link)
  • Getting High of your Supply (Link)
  • Trump Derangement Syndrome (Link) (Link)
  • Fat & Ugly (Link)
  • Concern Trolls (Link)
  • Girl Trouble (Link)
  • Gaia Worship (Link) (Link)

Direct DownloadThe iTunesGoogle PlayiHeart Radio, RSS Feed

Full Show On Spreaker

Full Show On Odysee

Narrative Investment

The sunk cost fallacy is the belief that prior commitment to some action requires continued commitment in order to regain the prior investment. Another way of stating this is throwing good money after bad. You invested in a project that is not going well but you keep putting money into it thinking that success will not only justify the next investment but recoup the prior investment. Despite this being a well know error, even very smart people fall into the sunk cost trap.

That may be something we are seeing with the Federal Reserve. Back when prices started to edge up, they created a narrative that explained the rising prices as the result of supply chain issues. Those supply chain issues were caused by the crackdowns during Covid that closed down the global economy. The narrative said that once the crackdowns ended, the supply chains would eventually return to normal and prices would then return to normal as well.

For reasons that no one has bothered to explain, this narrative was extremely attractive to the political class. They loved this story. The most likely reason it was so appealing is it promised them a triumph without effort. There would be a period of inflation then prices would re-normalize and they could take credit for it. They invested in this narrative based solely on future gains. Maybe this is why the Federal Reserve stuck with this story. It took pressure off of them.

We will never know why they invested in this crackpot idea but we can guess as to why they are continuing to invest in it. Even though they have stopped with the “transitory” messaging, the actions of the central bank make clear they still believe. Raising rates by three quarters of a percent is not a bold move. Given that we have double digit inflation and a global energy crisis, it is a grudging move. They still believe inflation is transitory but are raising rates for other reasons.

Maybe one reason they are sticking with the narrative is the markets seem to be deeply invested as well. Economic history says that these levels of inflation require a monetary shock to arrest them. The way to cure double digit inflation is to radically reduce the money supply, thus inducing a recession. The steep recession clears away the free riders and inefficient elements in the economy. This is like starting fresh with clear signals about the proper money supply.

Even though there are plenty of geezers kicking around Wall Street who remember the 1970’s and the actions of the Volker, everyone seems to be convinced that the rate hikes are short term. They can only believe this for two reasons. One is they think Powel is a coward and will never do what Volker did. Insiders have determined that the politics at the highest level are against a bold move and Powell is not a man willing to challenge the politicians on monetary policy.

The other possibility is they are just as invested in the transitory narrative as everyone in the political class. Wall Street is now hooked on hopium. They are sure that in time everything will work out. China will come back on-line, the war against Russia will come to an end and the flow of free money from the Fed will return to normal. In other words, they are investing in the original narrative because they have come this far, they may as well see it to the very end.

Of course, there are secret reasons that could explain things. Perhaps we are living in a simulation and the people controlling the rules of our universe have changed the rules such that double digit inflation is good. Maybe the ruling class has come to believe that only by making everyone poorer will Gaia be happy with us. It is possible that everyone in power has gone insane. There is a case to be made that we have crossed out of the domain of reason into the world of fantasy.

Sticking with what we can know, the best guess is that the Federal Reserve, Washington and Wall Street are simply committed to the narrative. They may have stopped using the phrase “transitory” for public relations reasons, but they are still committed to the transitory narrative. To change course as economic history suggests would mean abandoning their investment in the narrative. Even though that is the right course, they are psychology unprepared for it.

There is some history here. It has been forgotten that the two Fed chairs prior to Volker were a lot like Powell. Burns and Miller were both doves when it came to policy and they are credited with what came to be known as stagflation. Supposedly, the great lesson learned during the Volker tenure was that bold action from the central bank is the key to heading off catastrophe. The official narrative says that timid policy by the central bank is what caused the Great Depression.

Like a family business run by the third generation, the people running economic policy have no experience with tough times, so they are unprepared to take the bold actions the age requires. These are all men who rose up in good times, when ticking the right boxes is what mattered. Questioning orthodoxy was the best way to end a career, so the careerists in the system are all men who never question orthodoxy. Powel is simply this generation’s Arthur Burns.

The thing is though, the people in the 1970’s were in a world that said stagflation was impossible based on current economic theory. They could be forgiven for thinking that the recession would cure the inflation on its own. The current batch of economic leaders have the benefit of having lived through the 1970’s and 1980’s. They have either come to believe that this is not the same situation or they are so invested in that narrative they are no longer able to change course.

There is always the prospect that they are right. Maybe if given enough time global markets will normalize, energy flows will return to normal and the inflation we are seeing will slowly decline. There is no evidence of this happening in the short term but wait long enough and anything is possible. As the founder of modern economics famously said, in the long run we are all dead. None of us live in the long term, which is what makes this explanation uncompelling.

We may be seeing one of the terrible side effects of narrative politics. This is the belief that a good story often repeated can change reality. Elites have come to believe that saying it makes it real. This is why they invest so heavily in creating narratives and having them repeated by their media organs. Everything is about messaging rather than objective measures. Team Biden is now selling the story that gas prices are falling at historic rates, despite record high gas prices.

In a world where the people in charge are sure that all they have to do is create a really good story and that story will become true, there is no reason for them to ever reconsider the narrative. Once they commit, they are committed. This means anyone questioning the narrative is an enemy. Public policy ceases to be about trade-offs and is instead about the friend-enemy distinction. Friends repeat the narrative and enemies question the narrative.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Lying Game

Note: If you are familiar with Moldbug, who now calls himself Curtis Yarvin, I did a review of and comment upon his work behind the green door. Here is the SubscribeStar link and here is the Substack link.


At first blush, logic says that deception should have been bred out of humans long before humans settled down. Deceiving the tribe would be bad for the deceiver, resulting in exile or even death. That would significantly lower the reproductive success of the deceiver. On the other hand, tribes with deceivers would be less cooperative which would lower their overall success. Given enough time, it seems like deception should have disappeared from humanity.

Clearly that is not the case. We have lots of liars. That means deception has some useful role in human society. At the minimum, deception is not so negative that it would significantly lower the reproductive success of the deceiver. In fact, deception has probably always been an asset on the mating market. Even in the narrow world of the tribe, sweettalking Pebbles into a roll in the cave has obvious benefits. Perhaps lying for sex is enough to make deception a feature of man.

On the other hand, every society has prohibitions against deception. In European cultures, reputation is tied to honesty and trustworthiness. Someone who gains a reputation for deception loses status. In more clannish societies, deceiving outsiders is not so bad, especially if it helps the in-group, but lying to people in the clan can have severe consequences. Someone who deceives his own people can be exiled from the group or possibly worse.

This apparent contradiction has been known for a long time. It is not just humans who display the willingness to deceive others in the group. In many animal societies, like bees and ants, cooperation is rewarded and deception is punished. As with humans, deception should have been selected out a long time ago, but that is clearly not the case which suggest deception has some value. The deceiver gets enough benefit over time to make deception useful in some way.

A new study suggests that cooperation is what makes deception possible, as cooperation involved complex rules. An individual can exploit those rules to gain benefit without having to contribute. The more cooperative a society, the more opportunities there are for free riders to game those rules through deception in order to prosper from the cooperation of others in the group. The less cooperative a society, the fewer opportunities to exploit the rules through deception.

Given that we live in an age of universal deceit, at least by those in positions of authority, the evolution of lying suddenly matters a great deal. Part of it is that we are better able to see the lying of the people in charge. Before the mass media age, it was hard for people to get information on official lies. Of course, it was also much harder to promote official lies. Mass media results in a sense of mass cooperation, which means the communications revolution has revolutionized mass lying.

Even adjusting for our natural recency bias, institutional lying has exploded over the last thirty years in America. Every day someone from the government stands in front of cameras and blatantly lies about things. They know they are lying. The people in the press room know they are lying. Everyone in the room knows that the people watching it know everyone involved is lying. There is the sense that the people in these positions look at lying as a game where the biggest liar wins the day.

This is not a new thing. For twenty years the drug companies have said that serotonin levels are responsible for depression. It turns out to be wrong and the studies they relied upon were obviously wrong. In other words, they should have known their claims were false, but they had a billion reasons to lie, so they lied. This sort of deception has become the norm. Here is a story about a prominent cancer research facility caught faking their research.

Of course, we are still living through one of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated on human society, which is the Covid pandemic. The virus is real, but the claims around it have been nonsense since the start. Mask wearing and social distancing never had any basis in science or reason. Important people not only insisted it was science but forced people to play along. Now we are learning that the vaccines are not what was claimed and may have made things worse.

Many people have noticed the scale and degree of lying from official quarters, but the assumption is always that the cause is degeneracy. That is the people slithering into positions of authority are responsible for the rise in deception. The solution is to round them up, put them on boats and send them out to sea. Put honest people back into positions of authority and we return to the normal levels of deception. That may be just as wrong as the things coming from our leaders.

It may be that we have reached a point where the people in the ruling class of society, this includes the managerial and administrative classes, no longer feel any connection to the rest of us. They lie and willingly repeat lies, because it causes no harm to them and solves immediate concerns. Like people in clannish societies, deceiving outsiders brings no penalty as outsiders simply do not count. The ruling class is now an alien clan that is indifferent to the rest of us.

Alternatively, this evolving class awareness may bring with it a sense that the people over whom they rule are a constant threat. Like the Alawites in Syria, the new class at the top of the social hierarchy now sees their position dependent on keeping the masses confused and disorganized. Israel has always done this with her Arab neighbors, preventing them from uniting against her. Perhaps the explosion of lying is due to fear and hostility by the ruling class.

Another possibility, suggested by that British study linked above, is that deception tracks with cooperation. The more cooperative a society, or at least the more it appears to cooperate, the more deception in the society. This seems counter intuitive as cooperation is about trust and deception undermines trust. On the other hand, the more people experience deception, the more they are willing to cooperate with those who display trustworthiness. Trust and deception rise and fall together.

An underappreciated aspect of the communications revolution is how unity has become the standard of politics. Fifty years ago, people understood that politics was the art of the possible, which meant compromise. You give a little to get a little, but often there was no deal to be had and you just accepted it. Today, politics is all about uniting everyone behind a narrow cause. Every day our rulers demand we put aside our interest for something. Mass cooperation is the norm.

These demands for mass cooperation track with the growth of mass media and they track with the rise in anathematizing of dissent. As communications have increased, the demand for cooperation have increased. As cooperation increases, the deception increases with it. Some of the lying is in an effort to trick people into putting their interest aside for the good of the cause. Much of the lying is just opportunism. The greater cooperation has led to an explosion in deception.

The prisoner’s dilemma game is a classic example of how even simple human interactions can become quite complex. Rational self-interest can lead someone into a trap depending upon the rules in which they are forced to operate. This may be what we are seeing with the explosion of lying. The communications revolution has altered the ancient rules of human cooperation within large scale society. The ability to enhance mass cooperation has resulted in mass deception.

Like that prisoner’s dilemma game, the people doing the lying think they are acting in their self-interest but they are actually undermining their collective interests. The more they lie in defense of “our democracy” the less valuable the system that makes it possible for them to be a ruling class. Their efforts to enhance the value of their position in society is undermining their position. Taken to its logical conclusion, the collapse in trust will bring about a collapse in the ruling class.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


Management Cycle

Anyone who has spent time in a large corporation has lived through at least one period of downsizing, the modern way of saying layoffs. Revenues fall short, so management scrambles to bring costs in line with the new reality. It starts with getting rid of symbolic things like pizza Friday and the company picnic. That never works so the next step is a series of layoffs to “right size” the staff. The British have a great term for this. They say people have been made redundant.

One of the things people often notice about these periods of mass redundancy is that the redundant are also superfluous. That woman who was in every meeting and handed out reports once a month is now gone. No one is asking for her reports or struggling to produce her reports in addition to their own. The reports simply stopped being produced and her chair in the meeting is now empty. It does not take long before no one remembers her name or her job description.

Those who have some years under their belt know that corporate bloat is just one of those things that infects every large company. Even after a company goes through one of these periods, it does not take long before it begins to re-bloat. Profits return, the economy looks better and people start thinking outside the box again. The empty cubicles begin to fill up with nice people who maintain spreadsheets that everyone thinks are vital until the next time there is a downsizing.

In the dreaded private sector, bloat is constrained by the need to make a profit, but in the public sector there is no such constraint. Universities are so bloated with administrators it is hard to find the faculty. Ideally, a university has one administrator for every three faculty members. This is a well-known metric. At least it was well-known until the explosion of administrators happened. Now most public universities have close to three administrators for every faculty member.

In government, the number of people who do essential work is too small to measure, so the ratio of managers to workers is impossible to state. Even in government, dividing by zero is not allowed. This has crept into the private sector through the door of government contractors. The reporting required to work on government programs requires an army of those nice people who sit in cubicles producing snappy spreadsheet reports that no one reads.

Even in something like military procurement bloat is an issue. One of the things that is becoming clear with the war in the Ukraine is that the United States has a massively bloated military industrial complex. They just assumed this was true for the Russians, which is why they assumed Russia would run out of munitions by now. It turns out that Russia “right-sized” their military industrial complex a long time ago so now they can produce much more for much less than the West.

When you step back and look at the American economy as a whole, it is clear that bloat is the way to describe it. It is packed with jobs that have no real reason to exist, other than the rules created by managers. Most people do work that has no utility other than it ticks some box somewhere in the system. It may be a big reason for why people are dropping out of the workforce. Sitting in a cubicle all day doing busy work is not worth the paycheck for many people.

This may be a clue as to where managerialism ends. The Soviets followed a similar path that eventually led to collapse. After the revolution and civil war, a new class began to emerge that took control of the system. First it was party members gaining control of important parts of the country. Then the party itself became the primary mechanism for running the system. After the war and the death of Stalin, this new class exploded to take control of the Soviet Union.

It has been forgotten, but there was a tremendous amount of optimism in the USSR after the war into the 1960’s. Experts were building and rebuilding the Soviet economy along scientific lines. Many people, even in the West, thought that maybe the communist would catch or even surpass the West economically. That collapsed with the overthrow of Khrushchev. The experimentation and optimism were replaced with dull technocratic conservatism. The managers were back in charge.

That is the way to think about the last twenty-five years of the USSR. It was a lot like the American car makers in the 1970’s. The lack of competition meant that all the bad habits of the managers went unchecked. Before long, the workers stopped caring because why would anyone care when the bosses do not care? By the end of the Soviet era, the Russian economy was festooned with people who produced reports no one read and attended meetings where nothing was decided.

There are lots of theories for why the Soviet Union collapse, but one reason is simply that it became bogged down in corporate bloat. The system got so gummed up with layers of managers looking for something to do or looking for a reason to not do anything that the system itself began to seize up. By the end, a country with vast fertile farmland was struggling to feed itself. Events like Chernobyl were embarrassing emblems of a system that are reached its logical end.

The Global American Empire may be near that same point. The liberal democratic system of the empire is purpose build for war. It was created in war and has been at war with the world for generations. It should be incredibly good at war. Instead, it is on the verge of another ignominious defeat, this time in the Ukraine. A system so bogged down with empty suits and cubicle jockeys that it cannot do the thing for which it was designed is not a system with a long future ahead of it.

The one thing unique about America that the Soviets lacked is the ability to create massive amounts of money from thin air. This covers a lot of sins, but that may be coming to an end as well. Once it is no longer feasible to print up enough cash to pay the growing managerial class, downsizing is inevitable. Unlike a company, the managers of this system are not going to exit the premises quietly. Downsizing in countries tends to be chaotic and violent.

One final point of comparison between this age and the dynamics in a corporation is the lack of institutional memory. Many have noted that this age bears a striking resemblance to the 1970’s. One reason for that is the people in charge today have no memory of that time, even though most were alive back then. Just like a company never remembers the last downsizing and starts to re-bloat the ranks, the managerial system never seems to learn from past errors.

Again, the war in the Ukraine is a good example. Backing a puppet government in a civil war never turns out well. The defining event of the current political class was the war in Vietnam, yet they appear to have learned nothing from it. Management induced amnesia seems to be a feature of managerialism. Like puppies, everyone lives in the moment, excited about the next thing. No one can see disaster coming, because no one seems to remember what happened yesterday.

The old line about bankruptcy attributed Hemingway probably applies to the dynamics within the managerial system. Everyone was surprised by the collapse of the Soviet Union, even the people inside it. In retrospect it made sense. The system was going bankrupt a little at a time. Even though that should have been obvious, few people predicted it. In all probability, the same fate awaits the West. First it will be the satellite countries and then the empire proper.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The End Times

Note: The Monday Taki post is up. Not entirely related to this post. The Covid stuff does tie into the new religion. Sunday Thoughts is up behind the green door. There is the SubscribeStar version and the Substack version.


Many commenters have noted that American political discourse is much coarser and nastier today than it was a generation ago. The change can be dated to the arrival of the Clintons on the national stage in the 1990’s. They brought with them a crudeness that has become the norm in national politics. The great interregnum that lasted from the 1980’s into the 1990’s was replaced with an ugly and vulgar brand of politics that eventually led to the nasty and censorious present.

The question that never gets asked is why has public discourse become so nasty and unforgiving over the last three decades? The time for intolerance was the Cold War when mistakes could mean nuclear war with Russia. Instead, it was a time of relative tolerance compared to the present. Technological and material advances have made the margin for error extremely broad, yet the people seeking to shape public discourse carry on like one misused pronoun will end the world.

There can be no denying that the nastiness and intolerance is coming from the people we call the Left. The so-called conservatives continue to carry on like they are at high tea with the queen. The censorship, cancel culture and the harassment of dissenters all comes from the tribes of the Left. They are the ones trying to ruin people for explicitly stating obvious truths that suddenly run contrary to official dogma. The mobs threatening social order are all left-wing.

The funny thing is, the Left should be riding high, given that they control all of the high ground of American society. If the new fad on the Left is for “birthing people” to wear flowerpots on their heads, every news anchor will either have the flowerpot on her head or state in advance that they are not a person of uterus so they are respecting the culture of the birthing people. The Left has never had more power in American society, yet they have never been angrier.

One reason for the nastiness is left-wing politics has always attracted people who are full of self-loathing and have a resentment toward normal society. This was true in the French Revolution and it is true today. The conformity and identity provided by the hive mentality of radical politics is the appeal. Radical politics is by definition anti-social, so it attracts anti-social people. The phrase “happy go-lucky communist” is not a staple of our language for a reason.

Of course, the cult-like atmosphere of radical politics limits the ways in which a member can get attention. To get noticed by senior members of the hive means being more extreme than the rest of the hive. Without a limiting principle, virtue signaling quickly becomes a race to the most extreme position. This is how we quickly went from finding a legal accommodation to cohabitating homosexuals to a world where the Left demands that child molesters in drag have unlimited access to grammar schools.

Then there is the fact that people into left-wing politics tend to live in isolation from normal people. They may interact with normals at work or in daily life, but their political activity is exclusively around fellow believers. These ideas arise in a world insulated from the daily realty of normal society. The people operating like spiritual masters inside these movements are never challenged or questioned. They are never exposed to scrutiny or forced to defend their positions.

Someone like Robin DiAngelo is never going to sit down for a tough interview by a knowledgeable critic of her ideas. All of the thought leaders and influencers on the Left are like stage psychics in that they only ever allow themselves to be tested under conditions that allow for success. This serves to promote their brand, to use a marketing term, but it also legitimizes their ideas to their followers. DiAngelo always sounds authoritative, which serves to give authority to her ideas.

The counter here is that people on the Right do the same thing but the big difference is the institutions are run by the Left. A normal person cannot go about their life without running into left-wing assertions. Watch a TV show and it is full of propaganda about the latest causes. Ads are mostly for cultural ideas, rather than products. The workplace is littered with warning signs about offending the believers. There is no escaping the cult of progressive beliefs.

People on the Left can avoid almost all counter-programming. Normal people are naturally polite and non-confrontational. As soon as they learn that Sarah from accounting is a woke believer, word goes forth to avoid talking current events with Sarah or her friends. On the other hand, if a normal person dead names Barbara, formerly known as Robert, Sarah and her coevals will be all over the poor guy, demanding he be hurled into the void for intolerance.

This tendency toward politeness has the perverse effect of providing social proof to the people in these subcultures. The guy getting thrown into the void must deserve his fate as no one defends him, thus his crime is validated. On the other hand, the lack of pushback from the people around them, plus the intense loyalty of the people inside the subculture, is daily confirmation. There is no social cost to holding extreme ideas so the incentives to holding them are unchecked.

Compounding this is a poverty of information inside these movements. Since the leaders are never exposed to scrutiny, their ideas are never tested. In an environment of conformity, showing any doubt about the ideas risks a loss of status inside the group, so no one dares question anything. In the rare occasion when the members confront someone who directly challenges their belief, it is as if the person is questioning the very nature of reality. There must be something wrong with them.

This leads to the sort of performative confrontation we saw in the Senate between Josh Hawley and Berkeley Law Professor Khiara Bridges. To normal people, the professor came of as obnoxious and unbalanced. To the people in the subculture, she heroically defended the one true faith against the violent attacks of a bigot. In other words, their brief confrontations with reality are quickly turned into confirmation. The normal feedback loop is warped by their general isolation.

All of this explains the increasing weirdness of the Left and the intensity of belief, but it does not explain the nastiness. Fifty years ago, progressives were just as committed to their agenda as they are today, but back then they were prepared to debate anyone in public on their issues. Today, the Left is trying hard to purge anyone from the public square who is not enthusiastic for their cause. Fifty years ago, the Left said you had to be open minded. Today, an open mind is violence.

The most likely reason for this is the focus of belief has shifted from the material world to the spiritual realm. In the 1980’s, lefty was all about economics. Progressivism was a material cause, not a cultural one. Today, the Left does not care about economics or the material wellbeing of people. In fact, they seem to think the material wellbeing of people is a danger to their cause. The evolving assault on food production in the name of Gaia is looking like the actions of a suicide cult.

There is the key to the nastiness. Radical politics has always had a religious vibe because ideology is a secular replacement for religion. Instead of God providing authority to the beliefs, it is the will of the people or the tides of history. Until this age, ideology was rooted in the material world. The door through which mankind would enter paradise was economic relations. Today, the door is cultural relations. Once all cultural barriers are removed, everyone is free to fulfill their potential.

The old ideology of the Left had a tangible vision. They thought that in the future, a man would be able to fish in the morning, hunt in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening and do critical theory at night. He would be free to live as he chose because his material wellbeing would be secure. The new religion offers an image of the present like a haunted house, in which the monsters are normal people. How can you be a happy warrior when you imagine yourself surrounded by spiritual enemies?

What we may be seeing is the end of ideology. Ideology is a new thing in human history, which means it has a beginning and therefore an end. This great replacement for religion as the set of shared societal beliefs may be in an end phase. The reason it is so nasty and violent is the same reason a trapped animal is nasty and violent. Suicide cults choose death over disbelief. This last ideology is looking to destroy this fallen world rather than give up their beliefs.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


News Roundup

Something I did not cover in the show is the fate of the most popular president in human history, who has come down with Covid. This is interesting for all sorts of reasons, not the least of which is that Biden used to angrily lecture us that only unvaccinated people could get Covid. It seems like a long time ago, but he was the leader of the “pandemic of the unvaccinated” chorus.

On a personal note, I was one of the few people pointing out that this mRNA technology had never worked very well in livestock. The boost in immunity was short-lived and tended to have a much higher rate of negative reactions. In livestock, the latter can be counted as a cost of doing business, but we do not do that sort of math for humans when it comes to vaccines.

Now, that does not mean the vaccine was all bad. For someone like Biden who is very old and frail, the risks are worth it. Even with the very mild variants kicking around, Covid is still a killer of the very weak. The same applies to the flu. If you are over seventy, getting a flu shot is a risk worth taking. For everyone else, unless you have a special medical condition, the vaccine was never a good idea.

Putting that aside, you see the problem we have by the near total silence from the Republican party on this issue. They could be using this to hammer Biden, but they were onboard with the vaccine mandates too. The same is true of the conservatives, who forgot all about their principles during the panic. All of these people believe the same things, they just disagree over the presentation.

The greatest boondoggle in human history will be flushed down the memory hole because no one in the managerial class will speak out against it. Most have already forgotten the whole thing. Those who know got the message a long time ago and they keep quiet to keep their position. It is like how everyone knows the reality of crime, but no one ever talks about it in public.


For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation via crypto. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


This Week’s Show

Contents

  • Election Laws
  • Lagos Confederates
  • J6 Committee
  • Indian Polling Company
  • The Census
  • Racists!
  • Gay Republicans
  • Tom Nichols
  • PA Senate Race
  • Black Masters

Direct DownloadThe iTunesGoogle PlayiHeart Radio, RSS Feed

Full Show On Spreaker

Full Show On Odysee

The New Right And Old Enemies

From a dissident perspective, the squabbles between the professional conservatives and their critics in what they are calling the New Right is like see something of a proof of dissident critiques of conservatism. Many of the charges levelled at the professional conservatives are borrowed, without attribution, from dissidents. The main charge, that conservatives have conserved nothing, was a mainstay of dissident discussion before Trump arrived to discredit the conservative establishment.

The term “New Right” itself is borrowed from the old alt-right. Back in 2016 when the alt-right was morphing into old school white nationalism, those not interested in going in that direction were labeled the alt-light. Guys like Mike Cernovich and Jack Posobic started calling their thing the New Right as a way to add legitimacy to their activity on social media. Sohrab Ahmari appropriated the term and uses it to describe those criticizing institutional conservatism.

Putting that aside, the back and forth between various groups is useful in understanding what happened with American conservatism. If there is going to be some new force that rises up to challenge the status quo, it will need to avoid the errors made by conservatives in the last century. The debate also provides an avenue for understanding the much larger trends that have led to this point. Ideas matter and it is the ebb and flow of ideas that animates history.

This post in the Claremont publication American Mind by Michael Anton is a good example of how ideas shape actions. Anton is responding to this post by someone calling himself Michael Watson. Those old enough to recall the purging of the paleocons by the National Review crowd will recognize the pattern. Instead of addressing the criticism coming from their right, the conservatives accuse the critics of being anti-Semitic and thus disqualified from the debate.

For his part, Anton responds in the predictable way. He endorses the central claim that any criticism of certain people is off limits, thus his job is to prove that his ideas do not fall into that bucket. The paleos went down this road back in the 1980’s when they insisted that criticizing Israel and Israeli influence in American foreign policy was not an attack on Jews. The neocons were undeterred and paid off enough conservatives, primarily Bill Buckley, to make the charge stick.

For those interested, Bill Buckley produced a special edition of National Review to condemn the paleos. He then turned it into a book. No doubt that American Enterprise, Heritage and other conservative money machines bought skids of the book as a reward for his efforts. Here is a transcript of Buchanan being interviewed on PBS about the charges levelled against him. Thirty years on and we see the same tricks being used by institutional conservatism to guard their right.

Interestingly, Anton makes no mention of the fact that Watson is a member of the neoconservatism cult. He is the associate director of the Center for the Future of Liberal Society at the Hudson Institute. For those interested in the deep state theory of everything, their wiki page is a cornucopia of material. For those interested in anti-Semitism, it reads like something from Kevin MacDonald. It is a good example of how relentless pursuit of group interest can easily look like conspiracy.

Anton has his reasons for avoiding the elephant in the room, but the elephant is at the heart of the debate. Neoconservatism has never made any sense as a subset of Anglo-Conservatism, as its primary focus is international. Conservatism is the elevation of the near over the far, the local over the distant. The singular focus of neoconservatism is the ancient enemies of the Jewish people, both near and far. Given the lack of anti-Semites locally, it is obsessed with distant enemies from the past.

The temptation is to hang all of this on the Jews, but the fact is neoconservatism has become a weird subculture that revolves around the concept of Israel. Many of the biggest neocons are not Jewish. Watson is obviously not Jewish. Bill Buckley was obviously not Jewish. Large swaths of the Evangelical subculture are obsessed with supporting Israel at the expense of everything. Since the Cold War, this subculture has driven conservative politics, right into oblivion.

For this reason, it is easy to see why many on the so-called New Right are loath to take on the neocons. They have a lot of money and they lack a soul. They will say the nastiest things about anyone who crosses them. Taking on a well-heeled collection of sociopaths with institutional power is dangerous. The trouble is, there is no air for a “new right” until the Right is purged of this pestilence. Neoconservatism has to be read out of politics in general, not just right-wing politics.

There are plenty of easy targets in the neocon space. Thirty years ago, neoconservatism was run by smart and clever men. Today it is populated with cranks and crazies who are easy to mock. More important, their schemes have resulted in an evolving economic and political disaster. Pinning the economic war against Russia on the neocons is easy money. The New Right would be wise to borrow a trick from Saul Alinsky and make the neocons own the Ukraine disaster.

Of course, this comes to the other elephant in the room. Conservatism is a business and the neocons have a near lock on the flow of money. They control the billion-dollar think tank racket. They control access to big donors. The reason that First Things continues to publish a nut job like George Weigel is money. His war mongering lunacy and bigotry is out of step with the site, but institutional conservatism likes him so he is tolerated in order to avoid offending the money men.

The golden rule says that the man with the gold makes the rules and that is the problem that any alternative to institutional conservatism faces. Either it accepts poverty as the price for political commitment or it builds a parallel funding mechanism. Whether or not the New Right understands this is unclear. The only way to achieve the latter is to take Alinsky’s advice and focus on the problem, personalize it and then polarize it, forcing people to pick sides, thus neutralizing it.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


Managerial Morality

Note: There is a new post up on both Substack and SubscribeStar. It appears there are lots of people on Substack who would never sign up for SubscibeStar and plenty of people on SubscribeStar who have no interest in moving to Substack. Green door content will be posted on both so pick your poison.


In the classic comedy, The Jerk, there is a scene in which the main character, played by Steve Martin, is in court. He is being sued because the invention that made him rich is supposedly causing everyone to go cross-eyed. He invented a thing to go on the bridge of glasses that prevents them from falling forward when you look down. In the scene, Martin looks around and sees that everyone in the court, including the judge and the jury, are cross-eyed like the people suing him.

This is what Elon Musk is going to face in the Delaware Court of Chancery Chancellor when his case against Twitter goes to trial. That assumes it ever gets to a trial, as there is a good chance his lawyers see the writing on the wall long before that point and there is some sort of settlement. The Twitter legal team features a former chief judge from the Delaware Court of Chancery Chancellor. No doubt there are others with connections to the small club that is the Delaware bench.

Like the Steve Martin character in that movie, Musk is about to learn that the laws and procedures do not matter. What matters is who decides. Every judge on the Delaware Court of Chancery Chancellor was put there by a politician. Those politicians were selected for their loyalty to a system that many deny exists. That system is the managerial system that governs America. You do not get into office with a chance to wield real power unless you are trusted by the system.

System is probably not the best word for what we are seeing. It is more like a mindset, a set of shared beliefs. The judge in the Twitter case, Kathaleen McCormick, will look out at the players and see that Musk is not her sort. He is not the type of person she thinks should be a winner in this world. She thinks this because everyone she knows thinks this about Musk. She may not be able to say why she thinks Musk is a threat to our democracy, but she is sure of it.

It was not always this way for Musk. He was once the darling of the managerial class, celebrated in popular culture as a modern day Thomas Edison. He was serving Gaia with his electric cars and hyper loops. His battery plants would magically allow us to stop raping Mother Earth for fossil fuels. His reward would be to one day travel the stars in his rocket ships. Musk was the way to the glorious future. When he spoke out against Twitter, he suddenly transformed into the terrible past.

This is what stumps people about managerialism. There was no official pronouncement from the leader of the managers. The supreme leader of managerialism did not read out a fatwa against Elon Musk. There is not even an anonymous memo circulating that says Musk is now on the proscribed list. It is a thing that just happened. One day, people with power were showering Musk with your money. Then all of a sudden, they all agreed that Musk was a threat to our democracy.

Another example of the managerial mindset is in this story about the law firm that won the recent gun case in the Supreme Court. The two lawyers who won the case were met with a termination letter after their victory. The law firm, Kirkland & Ellis, represents the most important people in the most important matters. There is a revolving door between Kirkland & Ellis and the Department of Justice. Former AG Bill Bar was a Kirkland man, as were many on his team.

Why is Kirkland & Ellis dropping second amendment cases? No one has made an official announcement on the issue. The attorneys who won the gun case stated that they were told the firm was dropping their gun clients. No one came to the partners of Kirkland & Ellis and made them an offer they could not refuse. They simply decided that their conscience could no longer allow them to handle these cases. Then they were celebrated for it by their friends down at the club.

This is the first domino. All of the other big forms will drop second amendment litigation because they will all be struck by the same crisis of conscience. Much the same has happened in the insurance industry. Insurers refused to do business with the National Rifle Association. Many banks have also joined the boycott. Again, there was no memo sent out from the secret lair in the hollowed out volcano. No one is forcing these big players to do this. They just think it is right.

It is one of things the paleos got wrong about managerialism. Perhaps wrong is too strong a word for it. More like they did not anticipate it. Burnham, a former communist, focused on the material aspects. He never addressed the culture of managerialism that was evolving along with the managerial system. Later paleos started to approach this topic, but they never fully embraced the idea that this class that rules over American society has reached class consciousness.

That class consciousness is not simply an awareness of their position with regards to economic and cultural relations. It is a moral community now. To be in the managerial class requires accepting a set of beliefs about what is right and wrong. Good people accept climate change. Bad people are deniers. Good people think guns are bad, while the bad people talk about their second amendment rights. The good people saw Trump as a threat to our democracy. The bad people voted for him.

This is what Musk faces in the Delaware Court of Chancery Chancellor. He may have the facts on his side with regards to the fake accounts. He may have the law on his side with regards to the terms of the deal. He has all the money in the world, which should count for a lot. None of that may matter as the people making the decision have all decided that he is a bad guy. Like every issue for the managerial class, Musk is now a moral signifier. Where you stand on him is where you stand on everything.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.