Friday, December 9, 2016

Lunch with a Liberal

I am going to be seeing liberal friends over the next few days, and my mind is thrilling with ways to DESTROY them, as they say on the Comedy Central fake news shows.

But really, I shall be very gentle. I think I shall approach the whole question by unpacking the latest liberal groupthink that Trump won because of "fake news" and an appeal to white supremacists.

Well, of course "fake news" is a problem. The whole point of any campaign is to launch memes and catchphrases into the public mind that have very little to do with the truth. No doubt there are tons of right-wing websites deliberately launching false narratives. But what about David Brock's Media Matters? What about Dan Rather's fake but accurate memo about George W. Bush's service in the Air National Guard? What about Brian Williams fabulism? What about Rolling Stone's fake story about campus rape?

But when President Obama talks about the need to "curate" news on the Internet, what planet are you on? Curation means nothing other than the ruling class molding the news to fit its agenda.

And as for "white supremacists," just what exactly are you talking about? That Trump appealed to the white working class that, according to the Washington Post is dying of despair? Actually, I'd say, people with a need to feel supreme are people that are existentially afraid of going down for the count.

Are we not allowed to advocate for the white working class? Are their concerns not to be counted in the national dialog?

And then there is the bigger question, behind the usual liberal pejorative of "raaacisss." Liberal politics for the last 50 years has been identity politics. Anyone who is not a cisgendered white male is encouraged to identify by race or gender and demand to be privileged by the government on account of previous discrimination and marginalization. Do liberals not understand that, at some point, cisgendered white males would want to get in on this racket?

What would it take for liberals to see that?

Liberals like to think of themselves as open-minded, evolved, and educated. Maybe they are. But I wonder.

  • Is it really a good idea to respond to an election loss by contesting its legitimacy, as liberals did in 2000 and now 2016? Do you liberals not understand where that leads?
  • Was it really a good idea to cram a root-and-branch reform of the health care system with a partisan cram-down, when Daniel Patrick Moynihan argued that you should never pass a big program like Medicare with less than a bipartisan 70-30 vote in the US Senate?
  • Was it really a good idea to dump the filibuster in the Senate when it benefited Democrats? Did nobody think what would happen when the Republicans regained the majority?
  • Was it really a good idea to do the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate agreement without taking them to the US Senate as treaties?
  • Was it really a good idea to put the pedal to the metal on climate policy using executive action rather than legislation? 
All this stuff makes me wonder: have liberals never studied politics and history? Do they know anything beyond today's catchphrases?

And is it really good politics to say that anyone that disagrees with liberals on race is a racist, anyone that disagrees with liberals on women's issues is a sexist, anyone that disagrees with liberals on LGBT is a hater, anyone that disagrees with liberals on immigration is a xenophobe, anyone that disagrees with liberals on Muslims is an Islamophobe, anyone that disagrees with liberals on climate is a denier?

The problem with that kind of politics is that the only response to it is either submission or that of Casca: "Speak, hands for me," as he was the first conspirator to plunge a dagger into Julius Caesar.

Have you not thought of that, dear liberal friends?

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Codevilla Revisits Ruling Class vs. Country Class

Back in the day in 2010 Angelo Codevilla electrified Rush Limbaugh and others in an article titled "America's Ruling Class -- and the Perils of Revolution." He developed the idea of Ruling Class -- liberals, media, Hollywood, education, Democrats -- and Country Class -- that's you and me.

Obviously the idea appealed to folks like you and me because we humans are both social and combative. So we often see the world in terms of Us and Them, especially when we are being ruled by the Worst President Ever, whose method of government seems to be to let all the lefty crazies get whatever they want.
Today’s ruling class, from Boston to San Diego, was formed by an educational system that exposed them to the same ideas and gave them remarkably uniform guidance, as well as tastes and habits. These amount to a social canon of judgments about good and evil, complete with secular sacred history, sins (against minorities and the environment), and saints.
This situation works well for the Ruling Class and most Democratic voters. As Codevilla wrote:
Our ruling class’s agenda is power for itself. While it stakes its claim through intellectual-moral pretense, it holds power by one of the oldest and most prosaic of means: patronage and promises thereof. Like left-wing parties always and everywhere, it is a “machine,” that is, based on providing tangible rewards to its members.
But is doesn't work for the majority: not for a few Democrats, nor for independents and Republicans, who do not feel they are well represented. Ominously, writes Codevilla:
Sooner or later, well or badly, that majority’s demand for representation will be filled... The clash is as sure and momentous as its outcome is unpredictable.
Well, that was then, just before the big 2010 election that flushed the Democrats out of the House of Representatives in a huge wave election. Now Codevilla has sharpened his analysis with a critique of leftist politics, "The Rise of Political Correctness," published just before the 2016 election. Now he is arguing that progressives in the ruling class do not just want power; they want to crush and humiliate everyone else. Instead of taking us through a general history of our present ruling class he writes about the specific plans of total domination, from Marx's program of economic hegemony to Gramsci's program of cultural hegemony.

There are two strategies for achieving hegemony. There is the Leninist way, to crush and extinguish all competing power centers; and there is the Mussolini strategy, exemplified in his 1929 Concordat with the Vatican, what Codevilla calls "forceful seduction, not rape."

Codevilla argues that the the program of cultural hegemony is just as bankrupt as the old program of worker hegemony. In the end it is just a cult thing, of enthusiasts congratulating each other while the broad majority is unimpressed. The original Marxian program collapsed because the workers were national patriots first and workers second. The same applies to all the group identities of cultural Marxism.

Then we come to today's PC elite. For Codevilla, our PC masters have decided on the Leninist strategy. They could have enlisted the leaders of various cultural sectors and seduced them into supporting the progressive agenda. But no. They want to crush and humiliate the country class.
America’s progressives add insult to injury by imposing same-sex marriage, homosexuality, “global warming,” and other fashions because they really have no priorities beyond themselves. America’s progressive rulers, like France’s, act less as politicians gathering support than as conquerors who enjoy punishing captives without worry that the tables may turn. 
Look at the latest outrage,
our ruling class’s very latest demand: Americans must agree that someone with a penis can be a woman, while someone else with a vagina can be a man. Complying with such arbitrariness is beyond human capacity.  
But why can't the ruling class just declare victory on all their cultural offensives and go home? Why are they determined to humiliate pizza parlors and wedding cake bakers? It is because
the point of P.C. is not and has never been merely about any of the items that it imposes, but about the imposition itself. 
The more you get into torture, the more you need to think up new humiliations on your victims.

I am reading The Carolingians by Pierre Richéa history of the Franks, featuring Charlemagne, that made Europe into a thing between 700 and 900. The history is a vast confusion of wars and political family intrigue, of attempts by the politicians to control the Church and attempts by the Church to control the politicians. The relation between the great nobles and the Church was complex, because the nobles needed the wealth of numerous monasteries and abbeys, and would appoint their family members to be abbots and bishops. Meanwhile the Church was always trying to curb the nobles and keep the wealth of abbeys and monasteries from leaking out from control of the Church. But at the beginning of each reign the new monarch would always seem to promise reform of corrupt practices and adherence to the rule of law.

There is a lesson in there. Whatever the politicians and the culture warriors are doing with their grand plans and glorious wars, the people want government to deliver peace and security: a government that serves them and a rule of law that justly adjudicates their conflicts.

And so Donald Trump is to become president, promising to Make America Great Again and curb a globalist elite and its poisonous enthusiasms. He may not make much of a difference, but he has certainly delivered the ruling class a blow to the solar plexus.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

"Skeptical Neutrality" and "Courageous Trust"

I picked up this piece on Dr. Jordan Peterson, psychology professor at the University of Toronto. He is deliberately challenging the PC guys on "compelled speech," on forcing people to use transgender pronouns. Or else you lose your psych. prof. gig.

Go and read it, and also my blog post.

But now I want to go into details on his principled objection to compelled speech. He introduces two notions: "skeptical neutrality" and "courageous trust." Here is how he introduces the terms when he says that you have no right to insist on what I call you, that you have no right to action against me if I call you "he" and you want to be called "xe."
First of all, “he” and “she” are not marks of respect. They’re the most casual terms possible. If I refer to someone as “he” or I refer to someone as “she,” it’s not a mark of respect, its just categorization of the most simple and obvious kind. There’s not anything about it that’s individual, or characteristic of respect. Second, you have no right to demand from me that I do anything with regards to you that’s respectful. The best you can hope for from me is sceptical neutrality and courageous trust. That’s it. That’s what you get from me.
There is an interesting point here. If I am talking to you, then we use "you" and "me." It is only in the third person that "he" and "she" occur, when I am talking to a third person about you. So the gender thugs want to control speech between other persons. Also, of course, there is the culture of honor that says that if you question my honor -- usually expressed as courage in battle -- then I have a right to challenge you to mortal combat.

But let us get back to "skeptical neutrality and courageous trust." I immediately pricked up my ears because of the relevance to capitalism, to action in the market, and also to the Prisoner's Dilemma, which ends up in the TIT-FOR-TAT protocol that I offer trust on the first transaction with someone, and then mirror their behavior thereafter. So let's unpack the two terms.
Skeptical neutrality is ‘you’re a bucket of snakes, just like me. However, if you’re willing to abide by your word, and I’m willing to abide by my word, then we’re able to engage in mutually beneficial interactions, so that’s what we’re going to do’.
This is so clear as to be obvious. Any sensible person treats other people with skeptical neutrality unless they have shown themselves to be untrustworthy. You know, like a lefty activist, operating on Alinsky's rules, who really is a snake, because he takes advantage of other peoples' trust to humiliate and marginalize them.
The reason I said courageous trust is to distinguish it from naiveté. Naive people think that everybody’s good. That’s false, everybody’s not good. But acting in a manner that’s hostile and sceptical and anti-social is completely counter-productive.
Gosh. "Hostile and skeptical" would mean that acting like a lefty and using Alinsky's Rules for Radicals would demonstrate to the world that you are hostile and anti-social and any interaction with you would be counter-productive.
So what you do if you’re a mature person is you say ‘well, yeah, you’ve got a dark side, so do I. That doesn’t mean we can’t engage in productive interactions’. We do that by sticking to our damned word. Honesty simplifies us to the point where we can engage in mutually beneficial interactions. But you certainly don’t get my respect by demanding it. You have no right whatsoever to ask me to mark you out as special in any way whatsoever.
In other words, the TIT-FOR-TAT rules apply. The point is that skeptical neutrality and courageous trust apply to all human interactions between consenting individuals. Every act that I initiate is based on a judgement that I can probably trust you, and so I will, this time, always assuming that you are honest and stick "to you damned word." Because if you don't there will be no next time.

The whole point of the lefty world view is that it demands that the rest of the world act in a trusting and honest manner, but that lefties are exempt, per Alinsky, because social justice.

But the whole point of humans as social animals is that, as far as possible, we remove force and subjection, and substitute skeptical neutrality and courageous trust.

All this completely fits into my Three Peoples theory, because the People of the Subordinate Self are people that only understand force and subjection, and People of the Responsible Self act in the world on the basis of skeptical neutrality and courageous trust. As any responsible person must.

Thank you, Dr. Jordan Peterson, for making this so crystal clear. The good doctor has a youTube channel.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Liberal Memes in the Era of Trump

It is no secret that liberals have taken the election of Donald Trump very badly, and none worse that the Special Snowflakes at the nation's liberal secular seminaries that we humorously call universities.

In response they have come up with a raft of conspiracy theories and rationalizations to prove that "they was robbed."

The question is: what do we normal Americans do about it? What do we say to our liberal friends when they make some remark fueled by government-subsidized NPR or Carlos Slim's blog (that's a joke, son).

I think we should have a few catch phrases handy, just to remind our liberal friends that there is reality outside the liberal bubble.

Let's talk about Fake News. This refers to the cunning of various internet entrepreneurs to gussy up utterly fantastical news items and then launch them on social media. Yes. It's terrible, and the other day a guy actually shot a bullet into the floor of a pizza joint. But then there is all the liberal fake news, courtesy of Kevin Williamson:
Ever heard of Dan Rather's fake but accurate item on George W. Bush's service in the Air National Guard, pal? A memo supposedly written in the 1960s was prepared on Microsoft Word.

Remember the The Little Rascals day-care case, pal, in which fantastical tales of abuse at a day-care sent several people to jail. Liberal psychiatrists coached the kids in their fantastical stories.

How about Jon Stewart's Daily Show. 'Nuff said.

How about all those nice educated middle-class moms that think vaccines cause autism? Where did that idea come from?

What about the liberal-fueled case that Chevron poisoned indigenous peoples in Ecuador? Driven by lefty activists.

Oh, and Michael Brown was shot in the back, or with his hands up. Er, no. That was liberal fake news echoing the line from lefty racist rich-kid activists.

We all know that banksters caused the Great Recession. Er, no. That's a meme put out by the Democrats to hide their responsibility. The problem was government policy -- initiated by Democratic activists -- to force banks to lend mortgages to sub-prime borrowers. You could read Lombard Street by Walter Bagehot if you are interested in getting educated about the credit system.
Enough about that. The bit I like is the the flap about the alt-right and the notion being put about that Donald Trump appealed to "white supremacists." It is a naked attempt to tie Trump supporters to the white political elite of the Jim Crow South. That is odd, because Trump supporters seem to be middle-middle-class, not elitists. No doubt every liberal in the land is already convinced of this beyond redemption, but let's take a look anyway.

  1. The original white supremacists were the defeated Southern whites after the Civil War, particularly the plantation and merchant elite. These elite white Democrats defeated Reconstruction and built a white supremacist state by using government to write race-conscious laws, and they had "activist" groups like the KKK to provide a bit of street muscle. How is that different from today's elite liberal Democrats founding their political power on race-conscious politics and supporting activist groups like Black Lives Matter?
  2. How much longer, liberals, do you think that your frank racist appeal to blacks, to Hispanics, and your frank sexist appeals to women, and your frank heterophobic appeals to LGBTs are going to be a net plus electorally? How long before straight whites discover a white identity politics? Right now, you can usually shame whites into a cringe with an accusation of racism. But for how much longer?
  3. How much longer do you think that your "hate speech" intellectual terrorism is going to work? How long do you think before people just shrug and sneer at you: "We Don't Care."
  4. How much longer do you think that people will believe in "white privilege" that you ram down our throats rather than the real problem in America: "liberal privilege."
Liberals have had a pretty good run with their intellectual terrorism. First it was class identity politics, the idea that the working class were helpless victims of the bourgeoisie. Which was a lie because it was the bourgeois capitalists that were rescuing the workers from starvation, and not rich kids like Marx and Engels and Castro and Guevara. For the last 50 years it has been race and gender identity politics, the idea that non-whites and women and sexual minorities were helpless victims of colonialism and the patriarchy and religious bigots. Which was a lie because straight white middle-class people were open to being persuaded to open up society to groups that had been marginalized in the past.

In the Age of Trump it may be the the Era of the Cringe is coming to an end. For two hundred years, decent middle-class people have not fought back against the lie of class identity politics, and for 50 years decent middle-class people have not fought back against the lie of race and gender identity politics.

But that may be coming to an end. And, if you ask me, it can't come a moment too soon.

Of course, the new post-cringe era is not going to be much fun for liberals. Because liberals tend to think of "liberal privilege" the way that royalty used to think about the Divine Right of Kings.

Dr. Jordan Peterson is ready to go to jail for free speech

Who will bell the cat? That is the eternal question raised by the mice in Beatrix Potter's Tailor of Gloucester.

That is also the question in our age, with respect to the identity politics totalitarians, the gentle folks that I have called ideological terrorists.

Now comes Dr. Jordan B Peterson, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto, to do battle on the question of enforcing lefty norms on gender pronouns. This is the notion, pushed by the left, that people have a right to demand how you address them and refer to them. We are talking about the famous xe/xhe pronouns.

Dr. Peterson has announced that he will not abide by this convention, that is enforced in Ontario by the Ontario Human Rights Commission. He has been warned by his university, but instead has written op-eds and published youTube videos and submitted to interviews.

Peterson says that neither you or I should have the power to demand how other people address us. The reason is "compelled speech," and the US Supreme Court has ruled that compelled speech is unacceptable, and this is to protect not just the rights of the speaker but of the listener. Says Peterson:
The listener has the right to be informed and instructed without being unduly influenced by hidden sources. If your speech is compelled, it isn’t YOU who is talking, it’s some other entity that’s compelling your speech. 
Yes, but don't people have a right to be treated with respect? No, they don't, says Peterson.
[Y]ou have no right to demand from me that I do anything with regards to you that’s respectful. The best you can hope for from me is sceptical neutrality and courageous trust. That’s it. That’s what you get from me. 
 But why not be nice? No reason in the world, providing the niceness is not compelled. But what do "skeptical neutrality" and "courageous trust" mean?
Skeptical neutrality is ‘you’re a bucket of snakes, just like me. However, if you’re willing to abide by your word, and I’m willing to abide by my word, then we’re able to engage in mutually beneficial interactions, so that’s what we’re going to do’. The reason I said courageous trust is to distinguish it from naiveté. Naive people think that everybody’s good. That’s false, everybody’s not good. But acting in a manner that’s hostile and sceptical and anti-social is completely counter-productive. So what you do if you’re a mature person is you say ‘well, yeah, you’ve got a dark side, so do I.
In fact, of course, skeptical neutrality and courageous trust are exactly what capitalism and the free enterprise system demand of us.

Then we get to hate speech laws. If you make hate speech illegal then you drive the speakers of hate underground; you repress them in the strict "psycho-analytical sense." And that's bad.
If you drive them underground, it’s not like they stop talking to each other, they just don’t talk to anyone who disagrees with them. That’s a really bad idea and that’s what’s happening in the United States right now. Half of the country doesn’t talk to the other half. Do you know what you call people you don’t talk to? Enemies. 
And do you know what happens with enemies that don't talk to each other? War.
If you stop talking to people, you either submit to them, or you go to war with them
 So that is the point of requiring people to call kings "your majesty." It demonstrates submission. The person that doesn't call the king "your majesty" is a rebel. Ditto transgender pronouns.

Yes, but what about violent rhetoric that actually leads to violence? The question for Peterson is which makes it worse. He argues that repressing hate speech makes things worse. By pushing people underground you make them paranoid; you put them into a ghetto where the only people they talk to are people that agree with them; you "make them into heroes in their own eyes."

I think that for me the money quote is the idea that compelled speech presents us with an option: to submit or go to war. That is the whole truth about the left, from the French Revolution to the present day. It is all about cultural and political and economic submission. It is Lenin's famous "who whom," his reduction of human society to the bare question of force: who has the power to force others to submit to his power.

And the truth is that most of us, most of the time, would rather submit than fight.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Can Trumpism Survive Trump?

Here’s a piece by RCP editor Emily Goodin that talks about how Donald Trump rewrote the script on how to win in Pennsylvania.

See, Hillary Clinton did pretty well in Pennsylvania,
gaining about 60,000 more votes than Obama. But Trump got almost 300,000 more votes than Romney did.
Trump concentrated on the rural votes while Clinton concentrated on the four suburban “collar counties” around Philadelphia. But the election came down to turnout. It’s not the percentages that we see in the polls. It’s motivating and turning out the raw vote totals.

But Trump did not do well in the suburban “collar counties.” And we know why. He did not appeal to the college-educated graduates in the suburbs, particularly, I should imagine, the college-educated women taught to believe that men should never indulge in locker-room talk.

The next question is obvious.

Can the Trump phenomenon succeed without Trump?

I’d say it could if Trump expands his white working-class base to include the non-white working class. Right now, our liberal friends are fainting in the aisles because Trump is a racist, sexist, homophobe, xenophobe, and Islamophobe. Besides which he is a hater. Plus, he triggers people.

Liberals will obviously keep going at their racist, sexist, homophobe name-calling; it’s what they do. But it seems to me that Trump has a clear strategy to win the hearts and minds of not just the white working class but the non-white working class.

On the one hand there is his Carrier tactics: showcase headline successes in keeping jobs in the US. This is something the man in the street understands.

On the other hand there is the economic policy tactics: roll back taxes and regulations on businesses. Oh, and keep the fracking revolution going with cheap oil and above all cheap natural gas.

Did you know that industries have already been moving to the US because of the collapse in natural gas prices? The point is that natural gas is used as a “feedstock” for industries like plastics, and natural gas is very expensive in Europe where industry is forced to use imported gas from Russia.

Everybody has an opinion about jawboning corporations and “saving” jobs from foreign competition.

But the real action, that few people understand, is in the economic rules. Our liberal and Democratic friends believe in an administered economy, on the Obamacare model. Government will define and mold the commanding heights of the economy and tame the capitalist law of the jungle with beneficial regulation and targeted tax cuts. And government will direct the economy towards beneficial ends like subsidizing the move to planet-saving renewable energy and bike paths.

Everything about the liberal view is false, falsified by science and falsified by history. But that doesn’t matter because liberals naturally believe in their intelligence and the need to have the power to use their intelligence for socially beneficial ends, and ordinary people naturally think in patron/client notions about the big man having the power to protect them from the cruel world.

So the visible Trump policy will be the Carrier-type “deals” and infrastructure jobs while the invisible policy will be the reduction in corporate income tax rates and regulations in the face of liberal rhetoric about Trump acting for the rich and the 1%.

And maybe Trump will convince a slice of black and Latino voters that he cares about people like them.

But I wonder about the college graduates. I worry that college graduates actually believe the lies and the rubbish that their liberal university professors have taught them about race and gender.

And that is the real reason to worry about the future of America.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Let's Not Go Burn Flags, But Laugh at the Liberals

Everybody knows that flag-burning is a sacred right located right underneath a penumbra of the First Amendment. Because when the people peaceably assemble to petition the government for a redress of grievances the first thing they think about is to burn the US flag, just to remind everyone that, as Hillary Clinton once grated, dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

But was President-elect Trump way off the reservation when he tweeted about "consequences" for burning the US flag? Was it his fault for trivializing the flag when peaceful protesters immediately burned a flag right in front of the Trump Hotel NYC?

I don't know, but I certainly get the impression, from reports of a LGBT rainbow flag burning in Rochester, that rainbow flag burning is not quite the same thing as a little peaceful protesting against the US flag. For instance, when a rainbow flag burns, "local LGBTQ community fears rise," whereas US flag burning just gets veterans upset. The only guy that has a license to burn a rainbow flag is the excellent MILO.

And anyway, burning LGBT flags lowers us to the liberal level of conceit and the false consciousness that "peaceful protesting" is peaceful and a protest and not just a show of force by the street thugs of the ruling class.

The best thing is for ordinary Americans to go about their business and leave the liberal trolling to the Life Grandmaster troll, Donald Trump. It's beginning to get through even to a dull old man like me that Trump is a genius. The line that Trump is an impulsive idiot is starting to get a bit thin, especially since the idiot just rolled the GOP establishment into the ditch, in the first half, and then rolled the Clinton Crime Syndicate into the ditch for an encore. Could you do that?

Here something for you grandmaster trolls to deal with. I was just at the Norton Museum in West Palm Beach and they had a video installation called Question Bridge Black Males with black males talking about the black situation and the black experience.

Yes, that is so special for a liberal art museum to put on a patronizing show with black males speaking out of big flat-screen monitors about the black experience. Do you realize, you art patrons, how dull and derivative that is, to inflate the racist Black Lives Matters AstroTurf operation with a patronizing art-show, courtesy of the 1% and the ruling class? It's just what a ruling class would do, to pet their little darlings, in the years and months before they decide to dump the little darlings and all the catchphrases about slavery and marginalization and racism. With nary a word about how ruling class welfare and abortion policy has blitzed the black community like no racist KKK could ever do.

Really, it is no use engaging liberals about their hypocrisy. Nothing of that sort is going to prick their bubble of self-righteousness.

The only thing to do is to troll them. Humor and satire has ever been the way for the ordinary people to make blow the raspberry at their masters.

Let's make fun of the liberals. And then, one day, take over the culture when their little darling women and minorities decide that they have been deceived and used and finally thrown away, just like the white working class, and every little darling down the ages.