Questioning Reality

There is a growing sense that there is a crisis in science, with science being broadly defined to include the soft sciences. The reproducibility crisis, as pointed out by the statistician W. M. Briggs, is close to universal. Across the academy, there is a plague of faulty and fraudulent studies being produced. Worse yet, the systems for controlling fraud seem to be encouraging it. Peer review now means nothing more than politically acceptable in the soft science fields.

Briggs offers one reason for what is happening. He notes that engineering is not having this problem. The reason is the bridge has to actually work as predicted or the engineers suffer a heavy price. Engineering is not science, but it relies upon the sciences to produce practical things. Those practical things must hold up to reality, which controls what comes out of engineering as accepted theory. In other words, everything in engineering gets tested against reality.

The academy, on the other hand, never has to face reality this way. Even in the hard sciences, reality avoidance is common. Theoretical physics has entered a world that is beyond the ability to test. Math is still math, but much of what is done is purely speculative or requires unproven assumptions. In the soft sciences, the rules have collapsed entirely and most of what comes out is narrative framing. The “science” is limited to providing cover for current fads.

Another reason for the crisis in the sciences is modeling. Anyone who has worked with models knows that the model maker can quickly become a god. He creates a model of the world based on what he would like it to be rather than as a reflection of the bit of reality he is trying to understand. Of course, model makers often have a boss who needs to be pleased. That boss could be in a corner office or the boss could be an angry mob of blue-haired harpies patrolling campus.

The point is you can make models do anything. The model maker is like a script writer in that he can make the rules do what he needs to reach his desired end. Bad script writers use clunky plot devices to solve problems for their characters. Bad model makers create a set of rules and data selection methods to close the gap between theory and reality. Since the model will never be tested against reality in the soft sciences, bad model makers can quickly become stars.

Here is where the question of causality comes into play. Is the corruption of the academic domain a symptom of larger societal trends? Has the steady decline of standards in society dragged down the academy or has the corruption of institutions subverted society, including the people in the sciences? Is it simply the natural product of multiculturalism, which needs narratives to hold it together, due to the lack of natural social bonds found in homogenous societies?

You can model this many ways, depending upon how you as the model maker feel about these topics. The last bit is a clue to the problem. The rise of narratives in social discourse tracks with the rise in diversity. Read anything from a century ago and it is free of the narrative structures we find common today. A story about an athlete was mostly the facts about his life. He was not cast as a character in a drama about social justice or the fight against exploitation.

The ubiquity of narratives gets lost in the flood of them. There is a real war going in Europe and the political class speaks of nothing but narratives. They have meetings followed by press conferences to inform the public on the status of their latest narratives and the battle of narratives surrounding the war. Meanwhile, the Russian army slowly grinds down the Ukrainian army. The same can be said of the energy crisis, which is ignored in favor of narratives about climate change.

You get the sense that the people talking about their narratives and messaging, a subset of narrative framing, think that if they get enough people to believe their story, reality will bend to that story. Put another way, if they can model reality with a set of rules and assumption in such a way that only their preferred conclusions are possible, then reality will have no choice but to comply. Like the model makers, the narrative creators have become gods in their creations.

This does not answer the question of causality, but it is clear that the problem of modeling in the sciences has a related problem in the public realm. In elite society, the focus is no longer on the things that are true, like the axioms of mathematics, but rather on the things that are true within the context of accepted rules, like the equity in the distribution of advanced degrees in the sciences. One is true whether you believe it or not, while the other is only true if you accept the assumptions.

A century ago, smart people understood this difference. Models of realty had to account for those things that are axioms of the universe. Over that time a steady shift has gone on where objective reality is excluded from the discussion of the narrative and at the same time, the narrative challenges objective reality. Put another way and getting back to the Briggs post, models are no longer tested against reality, but reality is being tested against the models.

This helps explain why supposedly serious academics sit in front of congressional committees and claim to not know the definition of a woman. They are not simply clinging to fashionable politics. At the heart of it is the claim that reality simply does not comport with the new model of society, so we have to dismiss that bit of reality, in this case biological sex. Just as the model makers can feel like a god, the narrative makers believe they can bring reality to heel.

There is a lot here that deserves further examination, but it is clear that the crisis in science correlates with the crisis in the West. The causality is not clear, but what is clear is that what passes for the smart fraction is no longer willing or able to accept that there are things that are true regardless of opinion. They are questioning the very basics of reality by claiming there is no difference between relations of ideas, their models and narratives, and matters of fact and observable reality.


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.


War With Iran

Note: My Taki post is on different topic from today’s post. Sunday Thoughts is up behind the green door. It is also on Substack for paying members there. Going forward, I will post the pay-per-view material on both sites. Some people prefer Substack and other people prefer SubscribeStar.


The Middle East has been quiet of late, mostly due to the fighting in the Ukraine and the economic war being waged against Russia by the West. The endless squabbles in the Levant have had to take a backseat to events in Europe. That may be about to change as the looming war between Iran and Israel inches closer to reality. Some see Biden’s trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia as a prelude the coming conflict as both countries have been allies with the United States against Iran.

The main reason to suspect war is closer now than ever is a leaked document about Israel’s plan to attack Iran. There is a great deal of mystery around who leaked it and why, but the assumption is that it is real. The main reason for this is the Israelis have been actively practicing for an attack on Iran. They have demonstrated that they have the technical ability to operate long distance missions deep into Iran to conduct attacks on targets related to the nuclear program.

Another clue is that the Saudis have started to allow Israeli commercial aircraft to operate over their airspace. If you look at a map, the best way for Israel to attack Iran is through Saudi airspace. The other route is through Syria and Iraq. One reason the IDF keeps attacking Syria is to test their air defense systems. Syria uses the same Russian SAM systems as Iran. Ideally, the Israelis would bypass those systems and only have to deal with the Iranian air defense system.

Of course, the Israelis have been trying to get the United States to attack Iran since the launch of the crusades against Islam in the Bush era. Long forgotten, but the scheme advanced by the neoconservatives was to use Iraq as a staging area to launch a full-scale invasion of Iran. This made a lot of sense as the United States had a huge army right there looking for work. The trouble is that army was losing the war with Iraqi insurgents so the scheme collapsed.

Even since the Israelis have mostly been working to prevent the United States from cutting a deal with Iran over their nuclear program. They strongly opposed the deal made by the Obama administration. Most of the foreign policy establishment opposed it as well, which is why they had Trump cancel the deal. Biden tried to revive it but his efforts have been stalled by incompetence. With negotiations off the table, the other options to stop the Iran nuclear programs are back in play.

This is where events in the Ukraine may play to the advantage of Israel. It is clear that the Russians will eliminate the Ukrainian army in the east. It is also clear that the economic war with Russia is a disaster. The Biden administration could use a change of scenery with regards to foreign policy. They are looking for some way to put pressure on the Russians and an attack on her client states in the Middle East could do that and shift attention away from the Ukrainian debacle.

From the Israeli perspective, an attack on Iran is not cost free, but the benefits clearly outweigh the liabilities, assuming it works. If they can destroy Iranian nuclear facilities, the response from Iran will be worth it. The Iranians could launch missiles into Israel and unleash their militias in Lebanon and Syria, but they have no way to inflict corresponding damage to Israel. They would eventually run out of missiles and the net effect would be a big win for the Israelis.

Washington would most likely use this as a way to pry the Saudis away from any deal to join BRICS. Iran would know that the Saudis let Israel “violate their airspace” to conduct the attack so any rapprochement would come to an end. Washington has used the threat of Iran to keep the Saudis onboard. An Israeli attack would force the kingdom to renew cordial relations with America, which would require them to get onboard the sanctions regime against the Russians.

This may sound like 4-D chess but recall how every TV news anchor was chanting “Keev” and wearing a Ukrainian flag on their costume in February. The neocons think long term and they never give up on a project. They probably have a disinformation campaign ready with claims about how Iran plans to close the Persian Gulf and attack Saudi oil supplies. Even if it does not lead to war with Iran, it would shift the focus from Ukraine and justify the economic war against Russia.

To a normal mind, this is crazy but the people running American foreign policy thought staring a war with Russia was a good idea. The people who were sure Russia would run out of missiles after a week are sure an attack on Iran can work. They are the same people who thought occupying a place called “the graveyard of empires” for a quarter of a century was a great idea. In American foreign policy, the more ridiculous the idea the more likely it is to be embraced.

The other piece of the puzzle is the fact that the United States has emptied out the warehouses for the Ukrainians. A war involving Israel would spur Congress to throw billions at the military to restock the shelves. War is big business and the business of the Global American Empire is war. It is not hard to imagine a consensus forming around letting Israel attack Iran when all the people in the room think they can get rich from the fallout of such an attack.


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.


Managerialism

Arguably, one of the most important political concepts to come out of the 20th century was James Burnham’s theory of managerialism. It is important mostly because it is a set of accurate observations that allow for a further understanding of what is happening in Western societies since the Second World War. Once you understand that our society is organized like a corporation, with senior management and a large layer of middle-management, things make much more sense.

The trouble is most people do not want to see this. Instead, they indulge in reductionist theories about secret cabals manipulating the system. Others pretend that the system is what is advertised and you just have to vote harder. Still others insist we have drifted into something randomly called socialist, Marxist or communist, not because the system possesses these qualities, but because those words are epithets. Despite being incredibly useful, the concept is hardly used.

One reason for this is the managerial class controls access to that which has value in modern society. If you want your ideas to get heard, you must pass muster with the people who keep the gates of the system. Just as in a corporation, you are not going to get to speak your mind around the bosses if they are not going to like what you have to say about them. Management always gets conservative about its position within the organization which means it is naturally defensive.

Another reason this idea languishes on the fringe is that most political commentary comes from mediocrities excluded from the elite track. The commentariat is populated with people unqualified to run a hotdog stand. As you see in the dreaded private sector, middle-management tends to be a cheering section in this system. Unlike a private company, the managerial class never has to worry about making a profit, so the cheering section can be stuffed to the gills.

There is also the fact that the commentariat is devoid of people who have experience in the dreaded private sector. Someone like Sohrab Ahmari struggles to understand managerialism because he never read the source material and he has no idea what goes on inside a company. He cannot see the parallels between the corporation and the corporate state. It is extremely hard to use a concept when you do not understand it and lack the capacity to comprehend it.

Interestingly, the people at the top of the managerial class and especially those seeking to reach the top are ignorant of the concept. They have achieved class consciousness to the extent that they naturally identify with the others in their class. They mark themselves with their dress, their language and political beliefs. The latter jumps out at the lower ranks where they tend to embrace the most extreme versions of elite opinion as a way to gain attention from the bosses.

The idea that animates the people in the system comes from Gramsci. They seek to control the centers of cultural production and they are aware of it. They want to control official truth in all areas of society. They do not see themselves as controlling access to and the benefits that are derived from property, capital or information, even though that is exactly what they are doing. Controlling institutions is about controlling access to what is valuable within the domain of the institution.

This means the managerial class has achieved class consciousness, in that they consciously identify with those in their class. They see themselves as distinct from the rest of society. On the other hand, they suffer from false consciousness in that they think they are motivated by altruistic reasons, like the spread of liberal democracy, individual freedom and equality. In reality, these social causes are a defense mechanism to protect their power over society.


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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

  • Background
  • The Terms
  • Marxism
  • Burnham’s Innovation
  • Managers
  • The Managerial Class

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Full Show On Spreaker

Full Show On Odysee

Shark Sightings

The sharks are begging to accumulate off the coast of the Biden administration, as his popularity falls along with his cognitive functioning. The current polling has him at or near the lowest ever recorded for a sitting president. His party is in a panic over the upcoming midterm elections. There is an obvious shift going on in the media where they signal that it is time to think about what comes after Joe Biden. Now the first dorsal fins of potential replacements are showing up in the water.

The first fin to pop up was that of Gavin Newsom, the current governor of California and former mayor of San Francisco. He recently ran an ad in Florida telling the locals that their state is terrible, they smell like feet and the smart ones should leave the filthy place and come to California. Presumably, his team thinks this is a way to pick a fight with Ron DeSantis, who has become a bogeyman for his cult. They seem to have forgotten that Florida is a critical swing state in elections.

Newsom turning up at the White House while Biden is visiting Israel suggests that the people in charge wanted to send a message. A child of extreme privilege, Newsom got richer by partnering with the fourth so of oil tycoon John Paul Getty. They started a winery and then a private equity firm that targeted entertainment properties catering to the managerial elite. Newson got bored with that and bought himself a mayoral office and then the governorship of California.

To his credit, he is one of the few politicians alive today who has ever signed the front of a paycheck and done any sort of real work. Granted, these are silly businesses that look like they were underwritten to make his resume look good. Boutique wineries and hipster restaurants are different from making car parts or fixing refrigeration units, but it at least looks like real work. He will no doubt run as a self-made man who knows how businesspeople struggle in these difficult times.

Another fin in the water is Gretchen Whitmer. She is up for reelection and has been getting lots of favorable news coverage. She gets to speak to important Democratic party groups and was on Biden’s short list of VP choices. He passed on her as she is too ambitious. The people around Biden had him select Harris as a form of life insurance policy. Just as no one would take out Obama with Biden as VP, no one is going to take out Biden with Harris as VP.

Whitmer’s resume is the dreary stuff we have come to expect. She has been on the dole her whole life. Her biggest claim to fame is the kidnapping hoax, which may have started as a campaign trick. It is hard to know, but so far, we know it was orchestrated by the FBI and not the patsies they put on trial. Her former lawyer seems to be involved with the FBI handlers. The whole thing is a seedy example of FBI corruption but also how big a role they play in politics.

The final fin in the water of Kamala Harris. Up until a few weeks ago, she was programmed to chant about how she looked forward to running with Biden in 2024 whenever asked about it. Someone swapped out her response code with a new response designed to give the impression she hopes Biden dies soon. This is probably the only way she ever becomes president. Even with support from Biden she stands little chance of winning the nomination on her own in 2024.

The main reason for looking at this is to note the long term planning that goes on with presidential candidates. Rich people thought Newsom could be president twenty-five years ago so they have been grooming him for this moment. That is a long term commitment to a project. The same is true of Whitmer. The kidnapping hoax is the sort of thing you do when you think she can run ten years hence as a tough independent female who stood up to the patriarchy as a governor.

The other interesting thing about the fins sticking out of the water is the Democrats are going to look for a white person in 2024. Harris ticks the brown boxes, but the wrong brown boxes as far as Democratic voters are concerned. Look around at other potential fins in the water and they all look like great whites as well. The Left’s commitment to diversity is like Pelosi and Biden’s commitment to Catholicism. It is a ceremonial item that has no bearing on how they live or think.

This is something the dullards in conservatism, which is pretty much all of conservatism, never seem to grasp. The chanting about white supremacy, antiracism, diversity and so on is a uniform these people wear to signal their commitment to their class. Fifty years ago, they walked around in brand new work clothes to signal their solidarity with the working man. Today they wear the language of diversity, inclusion and equity to show their solidarity with the swarthy fellows tending their gardens.

Putting all of that aside, the next six months promise some good political entertainment as the number of fins in the water reaches critical mass. While there is no reason to vote for Republicans, there are enough people mad at the economy to switch both the House and the Senate this fall. That will lead to a public debate about what to do with the aging Joe Biden. Do they let him serve out his term or do they push him down a flight of stairs after the election?

A year ago, the way to bet was on the unexpected tumble, but Harris has been so bad that swapping Biden for her is probably a bad bet. The people running the White House need Biden in place as they secure new places in the next regime. That means they put out word that Biden is re-thinking his 2024 plans. Sometime in the winter he announces his retirement after his first term in office. That also shifts the focus from the failures of Biden to the future failures of the next regime.

On the other hand, the 2020 election says that anything is possible so Biden running and winning in 2024 is not unthinkable. The beautiful people love firsts so he can be the first man in a coma to win election. Maybe the first man with a single digit approval rating to win reelection. After all, he was the first man to lose the first four primaries and still win his party’s nomination. He also got eighty million votes in the general election, which says that in America anything is possible.


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 Culture of Deceit

A recent Gallup survey reports that confidence in institutions has fallen to an all time low among Americans. The only institutions trusted by a majority of people are small business, the military and the police. The last two are dropping quickly, which makes sense given the behavior of these institutions. A military full of drag queens and a police force siding with barbarians does not inspire confidence. Faith in small business simply reflects the fact that people continue to trust good people.

The normal reaction from the usual suspects is to blame their favorite bogeymen for the collapse in social trust. They will not use the term “social trust” as that risks entering a forbidden zone, but that is the topic. Trust in institutions is a proxy for social trust, how much people trust the people they do not know in their community. A big driver of the collapse in social trust is a generation of open borders. When your neighborhood is full of strange aliens, it is hard to trust anything or anyone.

As is often the case, the flood of aliens into your neighborhood is a symptom of a much bigger problem that lies at the heart of it. The people in charge simply cannot stop lying, which reflects on the institutions they control. The obvious example is the news media, which is approaching single digits in the Gallup poll. The fact that anyone trusts the media is an argument against universal suffrage. Many people, at least ten percent based on the survey, are too stupid to vote.

Putting that aside, the media has become a torrent of lies. Since the very beginning, the media has been partisan. In colonial times, newspapers were known to be advocates for one faction or another. This is what you should get in a society with a free press, free speech and a culture of debate. The partisans in the media make their case for their cause, often cherry picking the facts that work best for them. This is no different from what happens in a courtroom or a business meeting.

That is a vastly different thing than what we see today. Only a complete idiot trusts anything he reads or hears in the media. The starting assumption is not only that the facts are wrong, but the people behind them know they are wrong. It is not partisan zeal or human error, but a deliberate effort to deceive. The people endlessly going on about disinformation are the primary source of disinformation. They either promote the lies of government or they create their own lies.

This story about the war in the New York Times is a good example. Some version of this story has been floating around since the start of the war. It was cooked up by the usual suspects who have been championing war with Russia. The central claim is they have inside access to Putin’s inner circle is obviously false. His one source is not an independent Russian analysist, but a paid anti-Russian activist. The source makes this clear in his own bio.

The author of the New York Times piece is a notorious liar who runs interference for the neocon cult. Despite being a proven liar, he maintains a spot at the main news site in the empire. Certainly, his bosses know he is an activist and a liar. They keep him on because he tells the lies they like to promote. The point is, they know they are lying, they know we know they are lying, we know they know we know they are lying, but they are still lying. No wonder trust has dropped to zero.

The media is an easy example. They are simply mockingbirds mimicking the sounds from the institutions they allegedly cover. Notice trust in medicine has dropped over the last year, which should surprise no one. They willingly went along with the Covid farce and the vaccine mandates. When people raised reasonable questions about the side effects of the vaccine, Big Medicine was right there to tell the media that those doubters were hooligans and troublemakers.

The fact that those concerns were legitimate and proven correct is a big reason people are now more skeptical of medicine. More important, telling the truth would have served the interest of medicine. Medicine is nothing but trade-offs between the risk of disease and the risks that come with the cure. Chemotherapy is terrible, but it is better than dying from cancer. Instead of being honest about this, they chose to lie which suggests these are people who simply enjoy lying.

No one expects the institutions to be honest all the time. Men are not angels and as long as the institutions are controlled by men, they will have all of the vices that are part of the human condition. What is new in this age is the culture of lying that has taken hold of the managerial class. They seem to take pleasure in lying to the general public, as if it is a status marker. If you cook up some outlandish whopper you get points in the social credit system of the ruling class.

In this regard, it makes sense why they selected Biden for president. In addition to his stupidity, Biden is a notorious liar. A big part of his affable simpleton routine while in the senate was his penchant for telling outlandish whoppers. Of course, he was always the hero of his tall tales. He is a man who has done nothing useful so he made up for it with glorious tales about himself. In a system increasing defined by a culture of deceit, it makes sense to have a notorious liar as the figurehead.

There is a cost to lying. The drop in trust is one consequence. The main cost is that a society low in social trust is harder to maintain than one with high trust. The cost of keeping America together is reaching a tipping point. Then there is the transaction cost of everyday life. In a world where no one trusts anyone, the cost of doing even simple things goes up. A big part of the drop in the standard of living is due to the collapse in social trust due to the constant lying.


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 Deep State Interface

One of the weird things about this phase of liberal democracy has been the normalization of conspiracy theories. Thirty years ago, everyone, regardless of their political inclinations or what they thought of the other side, dismissed the claims of the conspiracy community. At best the deep state conspiracy was a plot device for a fantastical Hollywood script. At worst, it was a sign that the person may be struggling with mental illness.

Today most people think there is a deep state. In fact, the phrase deep state has become a normal part of discourse. In conventional politics it can mean anything from the leaders of both parties to nefarious forces controlling the institutions. George Soros is part of the deep state, even though the deep state is supposed to be a shadowy group of people unknown to the general public. Even secret societies need to be personalized, so the deep state has many public faces.

You do not have to line your clothes with aluminum foil to wonder if there is not something going on off camera that explains what is happening. For example, the berserk effort by Western government to “decarbonize” the West looks like a suicide pact by a collection of cult leaders. How can these people really think it is good idea to shut down Dutch farming to save Gaia? How does returning Germany to using wood for heat make any sense? There must be something else.

Of course, we all know that there is no such thing as a deep state but it is not hard to see why people are open to it. It is sort of like the concept of space-time. That is, it is an invention of mankind to help explain the universe. The fact that it does not exist is not really important because it allows physics to explore the universe. At some point it will be abandoned for a deeper understanding. The same may be true of the deep state in that it works for now, even though it is not real.

For example, when you see an ad for something like plant based milk you are supposed to think, “why yes, I would prefer this over actual milk.” Then your brain reminds you that we have no need for plant-based milk. We have plenty of actual milk. The reason we have lots of real milk is we invented refrigeration so that we no longer have to rely upon things like almond milk. That is when that concept of the deep state fills in the blank and you begin to wonder what they are up to with this.

This is when someone chimes in about lactose intolerance, but you do not build a church for Easter Sunday and you do not build an industry for people who cannot digest milk enzymes. Similarly, you do not invest billions on meat made from twigs and bugs that “tastes almost like real meat!” Similarly, you do not bother inventing eggs made from grass that are almost like real eggs. These are solutions in search of a problem, perhaps a problem contemplated by the deep state.

Now, solutions in search of a problem are not new. The e-book was supposed to replace the real book, but there was never a need to replace the book. It was the result of two thousand years of evolution starting with the early Christians. By the 20th century it was the ideal solution to distributing the written word. That did not stop smart people from pushing the idea of the e-book. Innovation is as much about bad ideas and it is the few good ideas that are genuine improvements on the old ideas.

In the present age, the managerial class plays an outsized role in picking winners and losers, so there is money to be made exploiting their hopes and fears. This has always been the genius of Elon Musk. His projects all tap into the boutique beliefs of the managerial class. He is a futurist selling futuristic solutions to the problems of the future to people haunted by the prospect they will not see the glorious future. They are willing to spend your money to achieve their dreams.

Klaus Schwab is working the same grift. The World Economic Forum is a crackpot idea that appeals to the vanity of the managerial class. It did not get much traction until he was able to hook a few billionaires to attend his event. That was the validation needed to turn the thing into Burning Man for the managerial elite. They go to be seen with their analogs in the other parts of the managerial class. The deep state vibe is part of the appeal to people who spend their days in committees.

What has happened over the last thirty years since the end of the Cold War is the Western managerial class has evolved both a class consciousness and a messianic religion that binds them together. It is why they have become so paranoid about the people over whom they rule. A big part of being a Cloud Person is thinking about how much you disdain the Dirt People. Displaying your cloudiness is often just expressing your contempt for dirtiness.

This is why the concept of the deep state has caught on. From the perspective of the Dirt People, it looks like there is a secret set of hands guiding the movement of the clouds and the people inhabiting them. When all of a sudden, every chattering skull on television is chanting “keev” you cannot help but think it is scripted. The ads for food made from bugs make a lot more sense when you imagine a secret cabal plotting to kill off farming to please Gaia.

Like space-time, the concept of the deep state works because it allows for the further exploration of the environment in which we find ourselves. The fact that it is not a real thing, at least not in the way it is used, does not matter right now. Blaming Klaus Schwab or Bill Gates for the current crisis is fine. Waging war on the people profiting from the system is almost as good as attacking the system itself. For most people, raging against the deep state is comforting.

Just as the reality of the universe lies beyond the interface of space-time, the reality of the managerial state lies beyond the deep state. It is not a collection of super villains controlling the world. It is a system that produces the super villains it needs to control the population over which it rules. If Klaus Schwab did not exist, the system would simply invent him just as physics invented space-time. These bad guys are a necessary interface to the managerial system.

There is another aspect to the deep state interface. It is comforting. The people invited to the soiree’s like WEF and Davos get to think they are influencers, shaping the mind of the deep state actors. The Cloud People can be sure there is a powerful force guiding their hand. The Dirt People get the comfort of knowing there is a rational actor behind the movement of the clouds. Perhaps he is amenable to reason or perhaps he can one day be defeated by the Dirt People.

Maybe like space-time, the deep state interface will be useful in breaking the system open to expose its internal workings. On the other hand, it may come to be a great impediment to understanding the world. There are some who think space-time has inhibited our ability to understand the universe. Regardless, the deep state does not exist, but it is useful. Like electric cars and milk made from bugs, it has a purpose, even if we cannot be sure whose ends it serves.


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 Death Of Twitter

Note: My Taki post is on different topic from today’s post. Sunday Thoughts is up behind the green door. It is also on Substack for paying members there. Going forward, I will post the pay-per-view material on both sites. Some people prefer Substack and other people prefer Subscribestar. There was also a rare Saturday post, which was going to be a Taki post but I changed my mind.


The Elon Musk versus Twitter drama is now heading to the litigation phase, as Musk has decided to pull out of the purchase agreement. The usual idiots have taken to social media to offer their hot takes on the issue. Critics of Musk think he made the great blunder they have been predicting. The far-left thinks this is a victory, when in fact it is the death knell for the platform. It is this fact that led Musk to pull out of the deal and take the issue into the litigation phase.

The basics of the dispute are simple. Twitter claims Musk is the breaching party and they intend to force him to abide by the agreement. They argue that they have given him everything he has asked. That means they will go into a Delaware court and ask a judge to compel compliance. Musk will tell the same court that Twitter is in breach of contract for falling to disclose information about their user base, which they are required to do as part of the sale.

No one really knows if the court can actually force Musk to go through with the purchase agreement and buy Twitter. In contract disputes, courts rarely compel one party to perform against their will. Instead, a monetary judgment is levied against the breaching party. In most cases, a settlement is reached before the court has a chance to decide the issue. In contract cases, litigation is a part of the process of negotiating the final settlement of the dispute.

In most contracts, especially complex ones like this, there is a liquidating damages clause that spells out the cost of breaking the agreement. In this particular case, we know there is a liquidating damages clause. Both parties agreed to a billion dollar fee if they break the agreement. There are conditions and the interpretation of those conditions will be part of the litigation. Musk has not offered to pay the billion and Twitter is not asking to be paid the billion so far.

All of this will make for good drama, but it obscures the fact that Twitter is a dead man walking, regardless of the outcome. That reality was made clear when Twitter agreed to the Musk offer. They were under no obligation to accept his offer. The board could have refused the deal. Management initially tried to add a poison pill in order to make it difficult for Musk to buy shares but relented after consulting with the board and the largest shareholders. They wanted this deal.

Musk said he made his best and final offer. He was a large share holder and had access to their public filings but also access to their management. In other words, he knew the peak value of the company and made a premium offer. Twitter had been saying their target price was $70 per share, but they quickly accepted the offer from Musk at $54 per share. In other words, everyone concerned knew that the $54 price was the best Twitter would ever get from anyone.

For its part, the market never bought the $70 claim or the $54 offer. The stock ticked up on news of the offer, but then traded down to below its prior level as news of the agreement got into the public domain. The day before Musk cancelled the deal, you could buy shared of Twitter at 60% of what Musk agreed to pay. The fact that no one was doing this says that insiders smelled problems. They knew Musk would never follow through on the $54 offer.

One reason for the skepticism is that Twitter does not make money and is unlikely to ever make money. The platform is useless for advertising so its only source of income is selling user data. There are plenty of players in that market. The big fish are Google and Apple, who control the mobile market. Since most Twitter users operate on their mobile device, Twitter data is mostly phone data. In reality, Twitter is just a derivative data stream that is rooted in the mobile data streams.

The bigger issue for Twitter and all social media is the barrier to entry has collapsed and disaggregation is upon us. Gab has proven this. They not only have a stable platform that is better than Twitter, but it was done on a shoestring by one committed guy, in the face of massive resistance by the usual suspects. The future is bespoke platforms of like-minded users. People are looking to be free from the blue-check harpies who have ruined the large social media platforms.

Those who have been on-line since the early days saw this coming. It is part of a natural cycle on-line. The first bulletin boards were big central places. They gave way to small places of like-minded people. Usenet splintered into a million sub-channels once it was possible to do so. The first message board communities were much like the big social media sites, but then over-zealous mods ruined them and the sites splintered into a million small communities.

This is why Twitter remains eager to sell to Musk. They have an inside view of what is happening and they know his offer is the best offer. In fact, they know half his offer is the best offer, which is why they will seek to cut a deal. Twitter is basically worthless as they own little in the way of unique infrastructure and their core product is now a commodity anyone can create. Their main offer is access to emotionally unstable people who want to lecture the rest of us.

Elon Musk may be a monorail salesman, but he is an extremely talented one who has worked the most sophisticated marks in the world. He is also the richest man on earth which means he owns the best legal talent on earth. He did not choose to enter the litigation phase because it is a sure loser. He understands that Twitter will have to disclose things in court that they would prefer to keep private. The fact that he is boasting about this on Twitter is a clue to his thinking.

Many assume this is just a way for Musk to lower the price, but he may be using this phase to bleed the company into bankruptcy. His people looked at the user data and probably saw that Twitter is past its peak. Like centralized internet platforms before it, Twitter is about to die from a thousand cuts. If anyone can put up a similar site for people of the same mind, then what is the point of Twitter? Musk can wait out the answer to that question in a Delaware court.

The fact is, Twitter should never have existed in the first place. It was just a novel implementation of the same old idea that has been with us since the dawn of the internet age. The dream of the virtual agora where the demos can debate the issues of the day and find a consensus has been tried many times. In every case, the demos discovered they did not like it and moved back into their own private warrens and subcultures to be free of the masses.

Familiarity breeds contempt and what the big socials have done is make everyone familiar with everyone else. The solution is what was there all along. The various communities build fences between themselves and the others. That way they do not have to be reminded of their unpleasantness. They can also pretend that those people on the other side are good people who mean well. Good fences not only make good neighbors they make human society possible.

This is why Twitter and the other big socials are doomed. Twitter is the most ridiculous and silly, so it will be the first to go. Facebook sees the writing on the wall, which is why they are betting on their virtual realty scheme. Sites like Instagram are just public bulletin boards that offer little interaction, so maybe they stagger on, but the days of big social media platforms are ending. The looming death of Twitter is just the first big step into the inevitable demise of the concept.


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.


An Angry Return

One of the strange things about the mass media age is that you stop noticing the awfulness after a while. Lots of people have taken a break from watching sportsball, for example, and then found they could not go back. When they tried to watch a game or show related to the game, they suddenly found it intolerably stupid. The same thing happens with the infotainment side. Once you take a break from it, the stupidity jumps off the screen when you return to it.

The last week of June and most of this week I have been tackling some changes in my daily routine. As a result, I have been unplugged from the new cycle. Normally, I check a dozen main sites every morning. Every Sunday there is a news show behind the green door. I also try to catch the opening of Tucker most nights. The last two weeks I have done little of that due to time constraints. That and change can be tiring so when I had some free time I just relaxed.

This week I wanted to do a casual show so that means going through the news items and commenting upon them. My goodness. The short time away was enough to break the spell it seems. The ridiculousness of the people on these mass media platforms takes over the screen. The over the top language, the exaggeration and the paranoia is intolerably ridiculous. Going through the various news sites my myötähäpeä was pegged at eleven the entire time.

A while back I did a Taki post on the macaroni men. This was a fad in the 18th century in which men would dress like clowns in public. The only thing is their absurd costumes were not intended to be funny. These were serious people and their ridiculous outfits were proof of their seriousness. The same thing exists now. Instead of silly hats, the Cloud People don silly ideas. They decorate themselves with overwrought opinions about small things made up to be important.

Of course, the absurdity of it all reflects the absurdity of the people behind it and to a great degree the target audience. The mass media is created by flakes and weirdos for people who want to be like them. The days of a newspaper seeking to inform the readers about the events of the day are long gone. Cable chat shows are just the modern freak show and animal act. Out mass media is an essential part of a ridiculous system run by ridiculous people.


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

  • Sloppy Williamson (Link)
  • Disinformation (Link)
  • Greg Sargent (Link)
  • Gerrymandering (Link)
  • The Administrative State (Link)
  • Eye For An Eye (Link)

Direct DownloadThe iTunesGoogle PlayiHeart Radio, RSS Feed

Full Show On Spreaker

Full Show On Odysee

Bad Choices

Note: I was once again interviewed by a recovering libertarian. This time it was Peter Quinones and you can find it here and here.


Word from Britain is that Boris Johnson has agreed to step down as Prime Minister as soon as his party finds a replacement. His party will have an election to pick his replacement in October. According to the news, the main reason he is resigning is that his party worries that his personal scandals will drag them down in the polls and risk their majority in Parliament. This is one of those stock answers that the news supplies when no one wants to use the right answer.

The right answer is that the plutocrats who control British politics never liked Johnson and they seized this chance to get rid of him. In many ways, Johnson is like Donald Trump in that he represented the unhappiness of the Tory voters, even though he never really sympathized with them. Trump rode popular discontent into the White House but was obsessed with gaining elite approval. Johnson rode a populist wave into power, but never seemed to understand any of it.

There are, of course, lots of different opinions on the two men, but the one thing everyone agrees upon is the best people hated them. The reason the best people hated them is they appeared to side with the rabble against their betters, which is the one unforgivable sin in this age. Just about any degenerate act can be forgiven, but if you go against the family, you will never be forgiven. Like Trump, Johnson never seemed to understand this for some reason.

Another parallel to Trump is that the British ruling elite now faces the same trouble as the American elite in that a replacement is not obvious. In 2020 the selectors in Washington settled on a bumbling old simpleton because the other options were terrifyingly incompetent. No matter how angry you may be at the orange dirt monster, the thought of Elizabeth Warren in charge is a bridge too far. Bernie Sanders was literally their next best option.

For the Brits, the options are only slightly less ridiculous and that is only because the Brits tend to like the ridiculous. According to the European press, the favorite to replace Johnson is a Hindu bugman named Rishi Sunak. His great accomplishment in life was marrying the daughter of a Hindu billionaire while at Stanford. His other big accomplishment was wrecking the British economy as Chancellor of the Excheque during the Covid panic. You cannot make this up.

The other option for the selectors is Jeremy Hunt, who is something like the British version of Mitt Romney. He is a blend of oleaginous mendacity and obsequious rumpswabbery that would make him an ideal Republican. He represents the fink-on-the-voters wing of the Tory Party. He also looks like a character from a Mr. Bean sketch that gives him something Rishi Sunak lacks, which is some connection to the country over which he wants to rule.

The third likely option is Liz Truss. She should be a favorite as she is in many ways the most representative of the modern political class. Truss is noisy, self-aggrandizing and as dumb as a goldfish. As Foreign Secretary she encouraged Brits to volunteer to be killed in the Ukraine. She confused the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea while making bizarre threats against the Russians, while in Moscow. The woman is the poster child for the modern professional woman in the managerial class.

Interestingly, two other options, both considered longshots at this point, are Sajid Javid, from Pakistan, and Nadhim Zahawi, from Iraq. That makes three of the top contenders who are clearly not British. Further, they represent the party that claims to represent the traditional British nation. One could argue that the traditional British nation is a polyglot mishmash of people from the empire, but it is unlikely that most Tory voters think of Mumbai or Lahore when they are feeling sentimental.

This is the problem of empire. For an empire to work, the people at the top must eventually reduce their own people to the same level as the conquered. Initially force and grandeur is enough to keep the subjects in line but over time that no longer works so the imperial leadership must incorporate the conquered. This means granting them the same status as their own people, which can only be done by reducing their own people in terms of their place in the empire.

This is why the Tories and the Republicans have come to be the great champions of diversity and multiculturalism. They are the conservatives, but in the imperial sense, not the national sense. They are defending the empire, which means they defend the system that raises up the various people absorbed into the empire at the expense of the core population of the empire. This is why Tories and Republicans are sure their opponents are the real racists.

The final parallel to the Trump phenomenon here is that Johnson will end up being an unheeded warning because the people who could hear it lack the ability to respond to it with anything but anger. Trump was a sign of disgust by the white population of the country toward the political class. Similarly, Brexit and the dynamics that it unleashed, leading to Johnson becoming PM, was a warning shot. The British people were unhappy with their political class.

The trouble is, there is no answer for this. Like America, the British political system is controlled by people who hold the core population in contempt. Even if they could get past that, their options within the political system are terrible. The system has become a weird carny act, selecting for increasingly ridiculous people. Replacing a gasbag like Trump with a dementia patient was not an upgrade. Replacing Johnson with a simpleton like Liz Truss will not make life better.

What Johnson and Trump will come to represent was the dead end for a political system that evolved to its logical conclusion. When politics became theater, the stage was soon filled with carny acts, rather than serious people. In easy times, picking between the bearded lady and the sword swallower was fine, but in difficult times, these are not acceptable choices. That is where the British elites find themselves now, left with nothing but bad choices among terrible actors.

Individualism

One would naturally assume that a book about Western individualism would start with a definition of the term and then provide some examples of how this concept exists in the West, but not in other civilizations. After all, it is a term that is used in various ways and it also carries moral connotations. That is not the case with Kevin MacDonald’s latest book, Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition. Instead, it is left to the reader to figure out what the author means by individualism.

There is the first challenge in understanding the main assertion of the book. The claim at various points in the text is that individualism is unique to the West. This is the result of the people who settled in the lands we now think of as Europe. They possessed qualities that made it possible for them to adapt to the harsh climate of Europe, but the climate also selected for those qualities. These behavioral traits are also the basis for what we think of as individualism, however defined.

It is an established fact that the variations in climate and geography create different selection pressures on the life in different regions. Cold climates select for life that can survive in cold climates. Rainy climates select for life that can exist with extremely high average annual rainfall. These selection pressures apply to humans, which is why we can observe the great diversity of people. East Asians were selected for, so to speak, the climate and geography of East Asia.

The first three chapters of the book cover the migration of people into Europe and what we know about the organizational structures. Europe was initially settled by hunter-gatherers with an egalitarian culture. Then nomadic people with an aristocratic warrior class came in from the east. MacDonald argues that the genetic basis for egalitarianism and meritocracy is in these original people. This is not an argument from science, but rather an argument from inference.

It cannot be emphasized enough how marriage patterns and family formation helped define what we think of as the West. The rapid decline in cousin marriage, for example, is arguably the great leap forward for Western people. It naturally lead to the evolution of alternatives to narrow kinship in human cooperation. MacDonald does a good job summarizing how these mating patterns were brought to the West with the aristocratic people who migrated from the East.

In the next chapters the focus shifts to culture and history. Chapter four is about European family formation. The focus is entirely on Europe, so the reader is left to guess why this differs from the rest of the world. Chapters five and six are about Christianity in Europe. Chapter seven focuses on British idealism and then chapter eight focuses on moral communities. These chapters are a long summary of how individualism, however defined, shaped Western history.

Chapter eight is an interesting chapter in that he finally gets around to providing a definition of individualism. He states at the opening that individualist societies are based on the reputation of the individual. Group cohesion depends on the members judging other members on an individual basis. Each member also accepts that he will be judged by society as an individual. This contrasts with other societies where membership in a tribe or clan is the basis for judging people.

This gets to the major flaw in the book. It needs an editor. The parts are here for a straight line argument that individualism has genetic roots and that it was selected for in European people. As humans adapted to the harsh northern climates, they adopted social structures that rewarded the behaviors necessary to survive as a group in the areas we now call Europe. While we cannot locate an “individualism gene” we can infer it through things like marriage patterns and family formation.

This would make for a nice, crisp two hundred page book. Instead, these bits are spread over five hundred pages, mixed with material that is highly debatable. People familiar with the history of the early church, for example, will scratch their head at the assertions made in chapter five. The section on Puritanism often seems to contradict what he said in early chapters about individualism. A professional editor could have pointed this out and forced a rethinking of these chapters.

Another problem with the book is that it is not really about individualism so much as a way to support his theory of group evolutionary strategy. As a result, he reduces group behavior to individual motivations. This sort of reductionism is common among older right-wing writers for some reason. That generation has always had a fetish for assigning base human desires to the behavior of groups. For some reason, emergent behavior lies beyond their intellectual event horizon.

The final criticism of the book is that it fails to explain why individualism has led the West to the verge of self-extinction. It has become an article of faith in certain circles that Western individualism is the cause of decline. Some argue that it makes it possible for tribal minority groups to exert undue influence on society to the detriment of the majority population. If so, then why now and not a century ago or five centuries ago when the West was far more fragmented?

The counter here is that this is not the point of the book. Others will need to pick up from where the book leaves off to make those arguments. The trouble is the book ends with a chapter on individualism versus multiculturalism. That and the intended readership is the sort of people talking about how individualism is at the root of the current crisis in the West. Given the bulk of the book is a review of Western culture, it is logical that this topic should be addressed.

The question in every book review is whether the book is worth reading. Just as every child deserves love, ever book deserves reading. Despite the structural flaws, the book does a good job describing early Europeans. The section on moral communities is probably the best chapter in the book and the most relevant. That is a good reward for slogging through the chapters on religion. The final chapter is a good summation of the White Nationalist worldview, for those interested.

Overall, it is a mixed recommendation. The first three chapters are well worth the time, even though they could use some editing. The chapter on moral communities is another good use of reading time. The chapters on religion will be exasperating for those who have a good religious education. Overall, it fails to deliver on the main topic and its role in the current crisis, but it provides a lot of interesting material that is being carefully avoided by mainstream writers and thinkers.


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.