Narrative Musings

I did not start out this week with a theme for the show, but one sort of developed as I set about putting it together. My habit is to mail it in the first week after a break from recording, so I can ease back into the routine. A one hour show is two hours of recording and two hours of editing. Research adds to the time. A show based on news items requires less research, so it is an easier show to put together.

The news of late has been dominated by a few big items, all of which are driven by the ruling class commitment to their narratives. As a result, the show this week is about how the Cloud People are living in a simulation. Their reality is not only not our reality, but rather an approximation of it. If you imagine the Cloud People playing a live action role plating game of real life, their rantings make more sense.

They just had Mumbly Joe slur through a speech on Covid that sounded like it was given by an alien in another universe. This great emergency he thinks is happening outside the bubble is not happening at all. For most of the country, life is back to normal, except for the annoying interference of these idiots. Team Dementia, however, is sure the peasants are living through a version of the Black Death.

The thing is, they probably sense that it does not exist, but they need it to be real so they pretend it is real. It feels better to imagine themselves defending their democracy from Covid that to see themselves as wreckers cause the food prices to shoot through the roof due to their meddling. Reality avoidance is a major concern for the Cloud people, so they are fully committed to their own narratives.

For the intensely on-line, this simulated reality crowds out their daily reality. In the case of Covid, the Covidian believe all of the Covid porn that the system beams at him on-line and through the mass media. The reality he sees is not the normal activity around him, but the imaginary hospitals overrun with sick people. He is like someone addicted to video games, struggling to discern fantasy from reality.

This week I have the usual variety of items in the now standard format. Spreaker has the full show. I am up on Google Play now, so the Android commies can take me along when out disrespecting the country. I am on iTunes, which means the Apple Nazis can listen to me on their Hitler phones. The anarchists can catch me on iHeart Radio. I am now on Deezer, for our European haters and Stitcher for the weirdos. YouTube also has the full podcast. Of course, there is a download link below.


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Promotions: The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a 15-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 like a tea, but it has a milder flavor. It’s hot here in Lagos, so I’ve been drinking it cold. It is a great summer beverage.

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.


This Week’s Show

Contents

  • 00:00: Opening
  • 2:00 The Game of LARP
  • 27:00 Afghan Narrative
  • 42:00 Imagination Land

Direct DownloadThe iTunesGoogle PlayiHeart Radio, RSS Feed, Amazon

Full Show On Spreaker

Full Show On YouTube

The Need To Believe

Eric Hoffer noted that people who are prone to join mass movements tend to join many of them, often going from one to another. It is not unusual for someone to go from one cause then to another that contradicts the prior cause in some way. The old stereotype of the middle-aged woman driving a Volvo festooned with bumper stickers from various causes does not spring from nothing. The vegan activist will be into saving animals, sustainable farming and oppose nuclear energy.

A good recent example of this is the amazing overlap in people who worship Gaia and those who are now Covidians. The people who carry grimy canvas sacks to the market as a sign of their piety are now wearing three masks in the car as they driver alone to the Whole Foods Market. That does not mean all Covidians were Gaia worshippers, but almost all Gaia worshippers embraced Covid. HBD people embracing Covid suggests their interest in biology is something other than empirical.

What is going on here is that humans are hardwired to believe. Like almost all human traits, the need to believe (NTB) trait operates on a spectrum. At one end is the zealot who is consumed and defined by her belief. At the other end is the skeptic who tends not to accept anything at face value. The reason you don’t see skeptics protesting the latest fads is they tend to think protesting is a waste of time. On the other hand, the zealot is ready to act on the slightest provocation.

For most of human history, the NTB was kept under control by settled society through various means. Religion was the main control. The zealots were funneled into the the shared beliefs of the group. The structure of the belief system kept these otherwise unorganized minds from exploring new ways to express their NTB. When that did not work, the belief system had ways to handle the crazies. Maybe they were declared witches or expelled from the community.

The collapse of Christianity as the unifying belief system opened the door for every sort of alternative belief system. Those with a strong NTB were attracted to these new belief systems like communism. The more utopian the ideology, the more attractive it is to those with a strong NTB. It is not an accident that Marxism, for example, has had a profound influence, despite the fact it has never had a broad appeal. A relatively small number of fanatics can accomplish a lot when unified.

The great geneticist J. B. S. Haldane claimed that fanaticism is one of man’s greatest inventions, even though it was not an invention. In reality, fanaticism is just a cognitive trait like any other. The ancients noted that some men would fight like lions while others were more cautious. It was not a big leap from that observation to cultivating this quality to create elite units of warriors. The berserkers in Norse mythology were not insane, but rather the most enthusiastic of their fighters.

Today, the berserkers are those ready to lecture the rest of us about the latest edicts from the high priests of Covid. These people are irrational or insane. They are the simply most enthusiastic of believers. Their NTB goes to eleven, while everyone else stops at ten. It is why they never notice the contradictions. If you point out that Fauci can never keep his story straight, it bounces right off of them. It is not that they do not understand, it is that their NTB overrides reason.

Even the most fanatical believer, however, is prone to doubt. Since the bulk of believers are not berserkers, this means the bulk of any mass movement is made up of people in need of regular affirmation. Here is an example in the ironically named Popular Science instructing the faithful on how to tease affirmation out of their loved ones. Note that the first item on the list is the justification for trying to convert those who have yet to accept Covid in their life. The religious overtones are not hard to miss.

Note the term “vaccine hesitancy”. They cannot allow for disconfirmation, so the assumed model is one camp are those who have accepted Covid and those who have yet to accept Covid. The latter group is just scared and uninformed, so it is incumbent upon the former group to guide them to the light. All of sudden. being an annoying pest about Covid is transformed into a righteous cause that proves to the believer that she is on the side of angels, saving mankind from evil.

Also note the communitarian aspect of modern mass movements. We have to sit in the dark and walk to work because we all share the same earth. If one person refuses to use those grimy canvas sacks, then we all suffer! Similarly, the vaccine is a community good that only works when everyone is vaccinated. As long as there is one disbeliever in our midst, we will continue to be punished. The only thing missing from the Covidian toolkit is the flagellants whipping themselves in public.

What Covid has revealed is that the only path out of the madness that is infecting the West is to sort out how to manage the fanatics. That is easier said than done, as it means creating a new religion and prying these people out of power. It also means that political power alone is not enough. As long as the fanatic population is left to operate like a hive without a queen, they will keep finding new queens. Usually, those queens will be seeking dominion of the rest of society.


The crackdown by the oligarchs on dissidents has had the happy result of a proliferation of new ways to support your favorite creator. 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.


Abductive Junction

Note: There is new content behind the green door. For those interested in the Western, I have a review of the 1969 classic The Wild Bunch. The role of the Western is something I’ll come back to again. It is an interesting topic.


The fraud trial of Elizabeth Holmes begins this week, and it promises to be an enjoyable bit of theater for those interested in the workings of the Cloud People. Holmes founded a company called Theranos when she was just 19-years-old. She had dropped out of Stanford and promised to deliver miracle drug testing equipment. She attracted the support of all the beautiful people, who saw her as the living example of everything the Cloud People believed about the world.

In reality, the company had nothing to offer other than the promise to fulfill those prophesies the Cloud People cherished. Holmes adopted the Steve Jobs black turtleneck and spoke in a weird deep voice. Like all grifters, she was short on specifics, but long on inspirational flattery. This got some of the most famous men in the world to support her company, giving it an aura of authenticity. As a result, Theranos stuck around for a dozen years before it was revealed as a fraud.

In many respects, Holmes is the poster child for the new religion. The reimagined gender role for women is just women doing the things men normally do. You see this in movies where the normal male lead is replaced by a strong diverse female who does all the same things as a male lead, even the personality. There is really nothing new about the new gender roles. The new ideal female is nothing more than a fraud against nature, a fraud that is eventually undone by observable reality.

That is the story the Feds will tell in court. They will point out that nothing about this company was based in reality. Holmes and her business partner, another unicorn of the Progressive imagination named Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, knew all along that their new technology would never work. They hid the facts from investors in order to swindle them, the textbook definition of fraud. More important, she damaged the cause of women in the workplace, which is her biggest sin.

From the perspective of the Dirt People, the Elizabeth Holmes story is great fun and also a reason to keep fighting. One look at this woman and a normal man in control of his senses could see she was trouble. Many people at the time made this point, but the Cloud People fell for her shenanigans hook, line, and sinker. It is a good reminder that these people are not evil super geniuses. They are frauds like Holmes who now have real power, but they are not unbeatable.

The Holmes story is also a good example of abductive reasoning. This is the type of reasoning that makes a conclusion on what you know or what you think you know, which is always an incomplete set of data. You wake up in the morning and you see the driveway is wet, so you quickly assume it rained overnight. There could be other explanations, like your automatic sprinkler is on the fritz or a pipe burst somewhere during the night, but rain is the most likely answer.

The important thing about abductive reasoning is that the explanation for the given facts does not have to be right to be accepted. After all, the explanation is simply the most probable, based on the data set. This is why in the hands of a good storyteller, abductive reasoning is very powerful magic. Humans are hard wired to accept stories, so a good story that explains what is going on can quickly become gospel. A good story that confirms the gospel is never questioned.

This is what Holmes was doing with her presentation to Cloud People. She presented herself as living proof of the one true faith. She was every bit as talented as the pale males in Silicon Valley. She could do anything a man could do, even sound like them and run an identity cult like Steve Jobs. Apple became one of the world’s biggest companies selling toys disguised as holy relics. Holmes was the female Steve Jobs, but saving the world, rather than entertaining it.

Another interesting aspect to the trial is the plan by the defense to blame her former partner for everything. The old story of gender said that women were always the victims of male oppression. Women who killed their husbands for the insurance would always accuse the dead man of being abusive. That story was being replaced by the new story of female empowerment. The jury will be presented with a conflict of the two absurd visions of womanhood promoted by the Cloud People.

This story is a good example of how facts play a supporting role in life. People are believing machines. Even the most cynical hard cases among the Cloud People believe they are on the side of angels. It is why facts and reason have no effect on these people, outside of the extremes. Once the reality of Theranos was too much to ignore, the Cloud People abandoned their unicorn, but only after it became clear that Holmes was a mockery of their beliefs, rather than confirmation.

That is why the endless presentation of facts and reason falls on deaf ears. The Cloud People will never abandon their faith for mere facts. The only thing that will get them to abandon their faith is a better faith. This was the central insight of you know who back in the last century. His story of redemption covered the observable, and his new facts was the mortar that held them together into a coherent narrative. That is what awaits the Cloud People running the American empire.


The crackdown by the oligarchs on dissidents has had the happy result of a proliferation of new ways to support your favorite creator. 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.


Civic Marxism

Back in the heyday of conservatism, Bill Buckley would often say you can know everything about a person’s politics from their options on abortion and Israel. It was true to the extent that it put them one side or the other of the consensus. By the late 20th century, the ruling consensus in Washington was pro-abortion and pro-Israel, but not publicly enthusiastic for either. These two issues were useful proxies for foreign policy and social policy at the time.

Something similar can be said of race and culture. Those who deny the reality of race are on one side of the great divide, while those who accept biological reality are on the other side of the divide. There is no middle ground. Those who think culture is a manufactured good are on the side of biology deniers, while those who think culture is the product of biology and time are on the side of the realists. Again, these are mutually exclusive positions that cannot be reconciled.

That is what makes this post over at the American Mind interesting. According to their website, “The American Mind is an online publication of the Claremont Institute dedicated to the ideas that drive our political life.” Claremont was founded in 1979 by four students of political theorist Harry V. Jaffa, the man responsible for the second founding thesis. He is also why so-called conservatives preach the glories of Lincoln to their mostly Southern supporters.

The title of the post is the first clue that the writer is not only on the denialist side of the great divide, but in their left-wing camp. The first sentence sounds like something from a grievance studies paper. It is pure cultural Marxism. “The fabricated black race should never have been born. It was confected out of false biological taxonomies by Europeans to justify a system of human physical bondage that, paradoxically, brought black people into the historical process.”

Whenever you see the phrase “historical process” you are almost always dealing with a man of the Left. This is right out of the Young Hegelian view of history that was allegedly rejected by Strauss. If there was any doubt as to the views of the author, the next sentence clears it up. “It was a cruel, artificial construct, and blacks have suffered enough under it.” When someone speaks of race as a social construct, they do so not to clarify, but to obscure the reality of biology in human affairs.

A further example of that desire to obscure reality in the fog of rhetoric is this sentence further down in the post. “A taxonomy that makes human distinctions based not on cultural differences—which can objectively be defined as the set of dominant beliefs, customs, and traditions of a homogenized or non-homogenized group—but based on race, which none of the conceptual markers that allow us to predict or pick out any moral characteristic of a human being, is valorized by most blacks.”

This is another habit of the far-left. They conflate issues so that the easy to defend can be blended with the impossible to defend. In this case, he claims cultural differences can be quantified. This is true to a point. Then says racial differences tell us nothing about moral characteristics of people. This is also true, but it is incorrect to compare culture with morality in this way. It is a false comparison. Further, race helps us explain cultural differences and is quite useful at predicting them.

Then we get this sentence. “Holding a racial identity turns one into a practicing racist. White supremacists of all stripes, either of the North American variety or the Nazi counterpart, have given us ample evidence of the nefarious nature of strong racial identities, especially when they are wedded to a political ideology that demonizes racial/ethnic minorities such as blacks or Jews.” That is jargon right out of the grievance studies department of a state university.

It is tempting to dismiss this as irrational ranting or maybe a display item used by the Claremont people to show they are not racist. The conventional Right has always loved putting the intellectual version of a lawn jockey on the pages of their publications to own the Left by being to the left of them on race. Donald Trump spent a good deal of his presidency celebrating his gifts to people who hated him just to prove that he was not the evil racist his enemies claimed.

Beyond that, it suggests that the path of civic nationalism, the sort preached by people like Ben Shapiro, must end up in cultural Marxism. Once you deny that biology is real and has a real impact on social organization, you are left with a problem. How does culture come into existence, if it is not a function of blood and soil? The answer they are left with is that it is a product imposed on people by other people. Culture is just ideas, and they can be anything you like.

There is nothing more Marxist than this interpretation of culture. The cultural Marxist seek domination of the institutions for this reason. They believe culture is the product of societal institutions. If you control them, you can control the culture. The civic nationalist, like Strauss, believe there is an ideal culture. If you get that right, then the institutions fall into place. In both cases, the underlying assumption is that the nature of man plays no role in the final outcome.

To deny that biology is the prime mover of both history and culture inevitably leads to man declaring himself the prime mover. This is what we see here. The writer assumes humans can be talked out of their racial identity. There is a short hop from there to thinking that humans must be compelled to abandon their natural identity. This is the same path that all such thinking takes. If man is free of nature’s god, then he can recreate himself and his fellow man by his own lights. He becomes man’s god.

The end of most journeys is determined by the starting point. It is why intellectuals of all types talk about first principles. It is that starting framework that lays out the path forward and ultimately sets the destination. When the first principle is a denial of observable and measurable reality, the road suddenly opens up to wherever the imagination can conjure. So far, all of those imaginary destinations have not been the utopia, but rather a hellish bloodbath of murder and mayhem.


The crackdown by the oligarchs on dissidents has had the happy result of a proliferation of new ways to support your favorite creator. 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.


Z In Taki

The Russian evolutionary anthropologist Peter Turchin coined the term “elite overproduction” to describe the condition of a society that is producing too many potential elite members. These potential elites jostle for positions that are declining in number relative to the increase in elite members. This game of musical chairs creates conflict as these elites engage in a struggle for power within society.

His choice of terms is a bit misleading, as his description of elite overproduction in America is better understood as an overproduction of people who see themselves as potential elites, despite being mediocrities. He points to the glut of lawyers as an example of the excess of people who wildly overestimate their ability. The number of people toting around an MBA is another example of this phenomenon.

The primary appeal of Turchin’s theory is flattery. It is human nature to resent the people who rule over you. A theory of history that says the problem with the world is there are too many people like that know-it-all rumpswab at the office is going to strike most people as plausible. All of us imagine ourselves as the most rational person in the room, so elite overproduction turns a conceit into scientific theory.,,,

Link

Bourgeois Fantasy

False consciousness is term probably coined by Friedrich Engels to describe a scenario where a subordinate class embraces the ideology of the ruling class, even though the ideology guarantees their subordination. In the communist view of things, workers embraced the bourgeois values of capitalist society, even though it meant they remained at the bottom of the social hierarchy. It was an interesting bit of projection that has been a feature of radicalism since the beginning.

To be a radical in the conventional sense of Western politics starts with a heavy dose of self-deception. Radicals are rarely from the subordinate class. Almost always they are from the ruling elite. They are intellectuals raised in leisure, but convinced they are the authentic voice of the masses. The rare few from the masses have been elevated because they confirm the bourgeois radical’s need for affirmation. As a reward, the striver gets to live in the farmhouse with the pigs.

A glaring example of radical self-delusion is in this clip from the Jimmy Dore Show in which the host discusses the revolution with Chris Hedges. For those unfamiliar, Dore is a comic who has made himself rich doing left-wing comedy. Chris Hedges is an activist who caters to the NPR crowd. He used to write for the New York Times and got famous trafficking in conspiracy theories during the Bush years. He is the type who claimed Bush was a fascist and Iraq was the Sudetenland.

The clip is interesting because both men are convinced they are opposed to the system, when in fact they are products of the system. This is not an act. They truly think they are the avant garde trying to organize a revolt against the system. Further, both seem to think they are working class heroes, leading the proletariat in their struggle against the bourgeois oppressor class. There are times when they sound like a museum exhibit explaining the 1930’s union movements.

Jimmy Dore is a rich guy who lives in a two-million dollar home in California, while Hedges is a rich guy who lives in a mansion in Princeton New Jersey. That is one of the tonier neighborhoods in America. They owe everything that truly matters to them to the system they pretend to oppose. If there was a revolution, they are the on the first train cars heading to the gulags. The only thing more ridiculous than these two talking revolution is the fact that they seem to believe it.

An amusing sidebar here is that they both have put a lot of effort into retconning their life story to match their roles. Hedges claims to have grown up working class, but his family sent him to elite boarding schools. But hey, the Chaffee school is pretty much a juvenile detention center. Dore carries on like his father was Archie Bunker, but in reality, he was a cop who owned a construction business. The system they claim to oppose has been very good to the both of them.

Other than the entertainment value, the reason to pay attention to these sorts of people is they offer an insight into the people in charge. The typical person in mainstream politics suffers from the same sort of self-delusion. Few have ever done real work or known anyone who does real work. Their entire lives have been inside the world of make believe, where they struggle with other actors, pretending to care about the people outside the bubble.

Just as conservatism is a bone the system throws to middle-class white people to keep them busy; socialism is a bone tossed to upper-middle class white people to make them feel special. One of the remarkable features of the Bernie Bro phenomenon is that it is whiter than a Klan rally. Scroll through the clips of the Jimmy Dore show or the Young Turks and it is nothing but palefaces. In no way does this brand of radicalism look anything like the people they claim to represent.

The self-delusion is not a one-way street. There are cynical people in politics, for sure, but most really believe what they are saying. Elizabeth Warren holds court in her mansion telling the wealthy hens in her circle about how she is fighting for working families and the victims of Wall Street. They all congratulate themselves on being the conscience of the people. All of these people are high on their own fumes, which is what keeps them from facing reality.

The thing about the concept of false consciousness is that Engels was inadvertently signaling what would become a prominent feature of radicalism. It is not the subordinate classes that are the victims, but rather the radicals themselves. Whether it is civic nationalists and their utopian fantasies about the Constitution or the middle-class socialists and their utopian fantasies about economics, radicalism requires the participants to live in a state of smug self-delusion.

Perhaps it is the nature of all political systems to delude the beneficiaries, so they do not have to face the reality of their position. The king can know himself, but his court must believe they are acting in the name of honor. The crafty political operator can be as cynical as he likes, but his supporters must see him as a man of virtue, selflessly serving the republic. In liberal democracy, it is the narcotic of radicalism played out in the comfort of the gated mansion.


The crackdown by the oligarchs on dissidents has had the happy result of a proliferation of new ways to support your favorite creator. 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 Quest For Meaning

When you are living through an age, it is very difficult to see the currents with which the age will be identified. Few people living in the Jazz Age would have guessed they were living in the Jazz Age. In this age, society is whipsawed by one trend after another, so it seems impossible to know which one will be remembered. Maybe this is the geriatric age where aging Baby Boomers ruled the day. Perhaps the democratic age, where mob rule plunged the West into darkness and chaos.

One option may be the age of meaning. This is the time when people are always searching about for meaning and purpose in their lives. They turn the trivial into all-important moments, so they can pretend to be in a struggle. They invent victims of imaginary oppression so they can play the white knight. Every crisis, it turned into a crusade that quickly takes on the trappings of religion. Ours is an age where everyone is on a vision quest and they force the rest of us to play along.

For example, lost in all of the handwringing about Afghanistan is how some became emotionally attached to a place they ignored for two decades. Suddenly, getting our “allies” out was a holy mission. They spent all day on-line playing “digital Dunkirk” as if they were really doing something heroic. All of a sudden, the media was full of stories from people who claimed to working to get their friends out of the country. Of course, those friends were always heroic Afghans, not Americans.

This quest for meaning was not limited to LARP’ing on-line. Two congressmen flew over there against the wishes of the government in order to play hero. They were not satisfied with making noises about it on the House floor. They had to be in the middle of the action. Rep. Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma decided to play Rambo and went over to personally rescue people. These pointless and foolish acts are driven by a need to be seen as men with a purpose beyond the role they play.

Of course, for close to two years we have been hit by a tsunami of this from women claiming they are in the “front lines” of Covid. Just look at the language. They imagine they are in real trenches fighting real monsters. When it started, every nurse and doctor went on-line every day to tell us how exhausted they were, as if they were rescuers working day and night to save people from a collapsed building. Many got swept up in their fantasies on-line for the same reason.

The main reason the Covid panic is not old news is the people swept up in the cause cannot let go of it. For many, this was the first time in their life they woke up in the morning with a sense of purpose. There are nefarious reasons behind the government response, but it is aided and abetted by the quest for meaning. There are many more people who want to believe the stories are true than those who are offended by the assault on their liberty by the state in response to the problem.

The best way to see this quest for meaning is in things that are not driven by a sense of crisis, but by history. Here is the ridiculous governor of Virginia inserting himself and his co-religionists into the history books. They get to feel like heroes for righting a past wrong, that was probably not wrong. The facts are not important. They need to be part of the long gone struggle. Since the line for the Emmett Till ride is way too long, they picked a different event to exercise their quest for meaning.

This is one reason events like the civil right movement are talked about as if they happened yesterday. Part of it is nostalgia, for sure, but a big part of it is a secondhand nostalgia by people who have no direct connection to the events. Instead, they seek to fill the need for meaning and purpose in their present lives with fantasies about having experienced emotionally important events of the shared past. This allows them to feel like they are part of the struggle from the safety of home.

Bourgeoise restlessness is not a new thing. This desire to do something important seems to be the result of leisure. Young men from good homes have gone off to seek adventure since there have been young men from good homes. We live in an age in which large swaths of the population are idle. Poverty is no longer a threat, as even the poor have more than they need. In one respect, the quest for meaning in a post-scarcity phenomenon driven by an excess of middle-class people.

Another driver though is the devastation wrought by liberal democracy. Social capital in the form of family and community has been used to fire the great engines of the technological state. The transactional replacements, on-line community, social media groups and mass media, are a poor substitute. Like emergency meal replacements, manufactured community can keep you going for a while, but it is a constant reminder of the loss of the real thing, as well as a poor substitute.

At the end of the Time Machine, the protagonists realizes that the future he witnessed was not the failure of man, but the result of his success. “It is a law of nature we overlook, that intellectual versatility is the compensation for change, danger, and trouble.” Once those challenges were conquered, there was no need for the sort of men who rush to the sound of danger. Over time those types faded away and were replaced with the type who easily lived a carefree life as food.

We are learning a similar lesson. Like all living things, humans are wired to do what is necessary to reach sexual maturity. What has always made man unique is the desire to live beyond that point. To look into the heavens for purpose and then manifest that purpose on earth for the benefit and admiration of our people. The dream may be small or grandiose, but it is the dream that gives meaning to life. We are not meant to live in adult daycare centers, marking our days consuming the latest products.

Perhaps the tech overlords will make the virtual quest for meaning good enough to keep the species going for a while longer. We will plug into the machine and have our dreams made true by an algorithm. Maybe we simply make ourselves insane in the increasingly chaotic quest for meaning. Whatever happens, there is a good chance that people look back at this age and know that we were spoiled for choice in the material realm but starved for choice in the spiritual realm.


The crackdown by the oligarchs on dissidents has had the happy result of a proliferation of new ways to support your favorite creator. 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.


Christian Zionism

If you were to compile a list of the most influential people in history, you would probably start with the most influential ideas. The people responsible for inventing those ideas or popularizing them would be on the list of influential people. Presumably, without those people, the ideas would not have had the same level of impact. Marx would be on the list because he came up with Marxism. Without Marx, it is hard to imagine that branch of socialism developing as it has over 150 years.

Christian Zionism is an idea that does not get much attention, despite the fact it has cast a long shadow over Western history. It is fair to say that Zionism would not exist if not for the Christian Zionists. As much as people like to talk about the influence of Jews and Judaism on the West, it was Christians and a peculiar strain of Christianity that made Zionism possible. In fact, the modern state of Israel probably owes its existence to the hard work of Christian Zionist.

Christian Zionism has its roots in the Protestant Reformation. The revolts against the Church gave rise to a wholesale reassessment of Christian dogma. The distribution of the Bible in vernacular languages allowed radical Protestants to interpret the scriptures in ways contrary medieval Catholic tradition. Christian Zionism can be viewed as the result of the democratization of Christianity. When every man could read the Bible, ever man’s interpretation of Scripture was suddenly equal.

Restorationism was the Protestant idea that the Jews would eventually return to Israel as part of the flow of history. Here you see the early roots of this idea that history flows in one direction toward a predictable end. With regards to the Jews, their return to Israel was part of the end times. It did not take long before this evolved into a belief that helping the Jews return was an essential part of Christianity. Restoring Israel was the next logical step for this branch of Christianity.

Picking the first Christian Zionist or even the most influential one is difficult as the 19th century had many philosemitic Protestants. Of course, all of them were relying on Puritan interpretation of Scripture, so you can probably credit Oliver Cromwell with making it possible for Christian Zionism to flourish. The British empire then spread the idea around the world. Wherever English speaking people exist in large numbers, you have fanatical support for Israel to this day.

The guy who should probably get credit for the invention of Zionism is an Anglican clergyman named William Hechler. He was a rabid crusader against antisemitism and the sponsor of Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism. He called for the Jews to return to Palestine as a pre-condition for the return of Jesus, which made the unconditional support of Jews and Israel a core Christian belief. Overtime this has evolved into unquestioned devotion to Israel.

Theodor Herzl could also get credit for Christian Zionism. After all, it takes two to make a relationship and Herzl was the first Jewish Zionist. If not for large swaths of the Jewish diaspora embracing the ideas of the Christian Zionist, it is hard to imagine the movement lasting into the 20th century. Even today, secular Jews despise Evangelical Christians, in part, because of their support for Zionism. There are other reasons, but the unbridled support of Israel and the restoration is one element.

Even so, the creation of the Jewish state in the middle of the last century was the product of Christian Zionism. Its existence has nurtured and supported Christian Zionism, especially in America. In fact, much of the spiritual fervor that would flow into Christian identity politics is channeled into Zionism. In the cultural climate of the West, this is one of the few safe ways for white people to cheer for their own side. You can probably argue that Zionism relies on a form of white identity politics.

Christian Zionism and Zionism would not exist without the strange form of empire first invented by the British then perfected by Americans. The British were the first ocean empire. The Greeks dominated the Mediterranean, of course, but that is not the same as dominating oceans. At the minimum, the British Empire was the first modern ocean empire. Today, America controls the world because she controls the seas, which means she controls the flow of goods globally.

It is hard to argue against Zionism as the most influential idea of the 20th century and now the 21st century. The creation of Israel by the British in 1948 has focused the attention of the West on the Middle East ever since. The long Cold War was entangled with Zionism which gave birth to neoconservatism. The last thirty years has kept the American empire obsessed with the fate of Israel. It is not unreasonable to say that American foreign policy is controlled by the Israelis.

Step back and you can argue that Christian Zionism is the result of two main forces unleashed in the West. One is the democratization of Christianity. It is impossible to imagine Zionism flourishing within the Catholic Church. The other is egalitarianism, the very Protestant idea of equality. Without hierarchy, theology was turned over to the entrepreneur, always looking for a novel way to sell Scripture. That is how you get ideas like Restorationism or Mormonism.

Returning to where we started, if one was looking to compile a list of great historical figures, you would have to include William Hechler on that list. Even though his name is unfamiliar to the modern ear, his influence is immense. If not for his tireless promotion of Theodor Herzl, it is possible that Zionism was never born. Imagine what the world would be like if Israel remained a concept, rather than a physical reality. The last century would not be possible.


The crackdown by the oligarchs on dissidents has had the happy result of a proliferation of new ways to support your favorite creator. 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.


Lawless

There are two ways to look at the rules. There is the spirit of the rules, the intentions of the rule makers, what they were trying to achieve. Then there is a narrow interpretation of the rules as written without any thought as to what it was the ruler makers were trying to create. The former option assumes the ability to discern the intent of the rule makers from resources often unrelated to the rules. The latter assumes the ruler makers were without error when they created the rules.

This should be how legal disputes are framed. One side argues intent, and the other side argues the letter. The reason is both sides acknowledge the primacy of the law, but disagree as the its meaning. Their dispute can and often does result in a compromise where the letter of the law side agrees to a change in the wording in order to clarify the meaning, such that both sides can agree on the implementation. The dispute is a form of improvement on the law and its consequences.

That should be the nature of the law in a civil modern society. Instead, the law in modern America is a battle where one side conjures imaginary constructs in which the rule makers could have created law and the other side rigidly defends the last set of imaginary constructs that were miraculously embedded into the law. One side argues for a living constitution, an imaginary framework that is always spawning new legal models, while the federalist side defends the law as written.

An example of the imaginary construct is this ruling by the Ninth Circuit which ruled 7-4 against George Young, a man who was twice denied an open carry permit. The court found that Hawaiian law predates and supersedes the Second Amendment. “Hawai‘i law began limiting public carriage of dangerous weapons, including firearms, more than 150 years ago — nearly fifty years before it became a U.S. territory and more than a century before it became a state”.

In the opinion, they rely upon a philosophical claim that the present is the result of the long march of history. The pro-gun side only goes back to the 18th century and the writing of the constitution. This new theory goes back to medieval English law to argue that the default position has always been a strict regulation of weapons. They also acknowledge that they could go back even further, presumably to dawn of writing, to prove that history moves toward an unarmed society.

To the untrained mind, this sounds like a weird new form of animism, in which the intent of history is discerned by a specialized examination of the historical record. In this view, the law itself becomes meaningless. What matters is the esoteric debates among a specialized class of clerics. They compete with one another to conjure novel theories of history to determine public policy. The assumption is always that some animating force lies behind the movement of history.

More important, the people writing the law cease to matter. In the case of the Second Amendment, we know the intent of those who wrote it. Despite the crackpot claims about it applying only to militias, we know what the Founders meant. They wanted a society comprised on armed men willing to defend society from tyrants. Jefferson imagined a society that had regular rebellions in which tyrants were hanged as a way to keep the tree of liberty properly manured.

The intent in this mystical legal theory does not matter, as the people writing the laws are just flotsam on the tides of history. The Founders may have thought they were on the right side of history, but history clearly shows they were not, so history demands their intent be ignored. They fought the tides of history, with their crazy ideas about liberty, but they and their creations must be swept aside as the mighty river of humanity flows towards its inevitable destination.

Another example of this mystical view of history is the claim that the Second Amendment is the result of racism. You see, the concept of racism may not have existed in the 18th century, but it is a thread running through history. It is the invisible hand that guides the white race. Because everything white people have done can be motivated by this dark spirit force of racism, nothing white people have created can have authority, including their intent when writing laws.

In practice, this shamanistic legal theory is the overturning of law itself. If the letter and spirit of the law are products of history and history can only be understood by the shamans of the faith, then there is no law. The Soviet Union had a constitution that looks like something the modern democrats demand. In reality, everything in that document was interpreted by party theorists. The text was meaningless and so was the political theory behind it, because they existed to serve party goals.

Ironically, history tells us where this must end. The clever use of language by people bred to argue esoteric points of moral philosophy does not alter reality. The law in America is now a tyranny of the invisible hand of history, as interpreted by a shadowy class of clerics that never step into direct sunlight. The law is a conspiracy against the people, as corrupt as every other Western institution. Like politics or economics, the law is a tool. The hand that wields that tool is what matters.

At some point, the hand behind the present madness will become clear.


The crackdown by the oligarchs on dissidents has had the happy result of a proliferation of new ways to support your favorite creator. 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.


Burying The Truth

Note: The weekly post is up at Taki. This week is a cranky rant about wanting to be left alone in a world full of busybodies. Sunday Thoughts is up behind the green door, along with some other things.


Inside the microwave oven there is a microwave generator, which takes electricity and converts it into high-powered radio waves. The magnetron blasts these waves into the food compartment. The microwaves bounce back and forth off the reflective metal walls of the box, just like light bounces off a mirror. As these waves travel through the food item, they make the molecules inside it vibrate more quickly, which generates heat and that is what causes the food to get hot.

It is not only a brilliant way to quickly heat food in the home, but it is also a good way to think about what is happening inside modern America. Instead of a magnetron generating microwaves, we have the mass media which generates lies, fabrications, and propaganda. These waves of false information bounce around within society causing people to act. Since these waves of data are at odds with reality, this causes friction within society and the people inside get increasingly agitated.

As an example, consider this story in the sporting press about mascots. The claim is that a survey was conducted and the Notre Dame mascot, an exaggerated leprechaun, is the fourth most offensive mascot in college sports. The top three most offensive mascots were from Florida State, San Diego State and Hawaii. According to the story, these mascots are offensive to Native Americans. The survey was conducted by a company calling itself Quality Logo Products.

For starters, the whole thing is based on the lie that it is possible to be offended by a team mascot. This is a lie created in the last half century. For ten thousand years of human history, no one thought to be offended by such things. In fact, no one looked for a reason to be offended. Personal offense required intent. The person causing the offense was either trying to insult someone or was reckless in their opinions so as to cause an offense to social norms.

Putting that aside, what are the odds that this company, which sells marketing materials, actually conducted such a survey? What are the odds that anyone knows the name of the San Diego State mascot? Most American sports fans would know the Notre Dame mascot, as their football team is nationally famous. Few people probably know there is a college called San Diego State. The same can be said of Hawaii. In other words, the survey is completely fake.

The way these things work is the company probably thought this was a good way to get attention for their services. If you beam some lies into the college sports oven, you will get some of the fans agitated. In this case, the mass media is the mirror reflecting this stream of nonsense back to the intended target. Other media picked up the original “story” and beamed that back onto the target. In this way, a deliberate lie is turned into another social irritant, agitating the public.

Joseph de Maistre said, “False opinions are like false money, struck first of all by guilty men and thereafter circulated by honest people who perpetuate the crime without knowing what they are doing.” This is the modern age, accept that most opinion is false, and it is produced on an industrial scale. The people are assaulted by a constant stream of lies and falsehoods that comes from all directions. Even the escapism of sports entertainment is weaponized against them.

Some people sense that they are in a sea of contemptuous disregard for truth and unplug as best they can from the system. They don’t consume television and avoid what passes for mass culture. The person who does this chooses to live outside of society, however, so it brings its own challenges. Still, everyone has experienced the peace of going on holiday and unplugging from the system. It is like being unchained from a lunatic for a few days.

Another aspect of this is that the modern age selects for the sort of person who enjoys trafficking in lies and the madness it creates. This is a feature of political systems that claim to express the general will of the people. Communist societies bombard the people with propaganda to break their spirit. By forcing the people to nod along with the lies, they force the people to be party to the lie. As Theodore Dalrymple once said, “A society of emasculated liars is easy to control.”

In liberal democratic societies, this is not a part of the design, but a byproduct of the conflict central to democracy. That conflict is the assertion that all opinion is equal and must have equal weight. Equality is itself a nonsensical term as no two things on this plane of existence are truly equal. When it comes to humans, it is like comparing snowflakes, as everyone is slightly different. In order to maintain the fiction of equality, liberal democracy must paper over reality with lies.

What starts as a polite fiction soon becomes an obsession for the true believer, who becomes obsessed with covering the truth of nature. This creates the demand for people who enjoy lying. At first, the best liars rise in status, as they serve the interests of the system and the people atop it. This inverts the natural moral code of the people, rewarding the falsehood at the expense of daily reality. Quickly, democracy turns into a madhouse of lies and heated reaction to those lies.

Equality is the great crime against civilization. The evidence of this crime is reality, which like the corpse from a homicide, is impossible to hide forever. No matter how hard the perpetrators try to weigh it down with lies, it keeps turning up. This fact drives the egalitarian mad as he becomes obsessed with hiding this truth. His madness becomes the madness of the people over whom he rules, but the reality of the human condition will not stay hidden. It is an immutable truth of life.


The crackdown by the oligarchs on dissidents has had the happy result of a proliferation of new ways to support your favorite creator. 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.