Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Ruling Class Looked After Tom Hayden

Radical leftist Tom Hayden, founder of the Students for a Democratic Society and author of the Port Huron Statement, is dead.

The New York Times obituary shows what a great gig being a lefty radical was in our times. Given that Hayden was, at least in his early years, a revolutionary, he got pretty gentle treatment from the ruling class.

Which, I suppose, goes to show that Tom Hayden was never a revolutionary, but just the cat's paw of the educated ruling class. Here is how the NYT obit handles this:
Like his allies the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Senator Robert F. Kennedy, who were assassinated in 1968, Mr. Hayden opposed violent protests but backed militant demonstrations, like the occupation of Columbia University campus buildings by students and the burning of draft cards. He also helped plan protests that, as it happened, turned into clashes with the Chicago police outside the Democratic convention.
Isn't that cute: "opposed violent protests but backed militant demonstrations." You have to admire our liberal friends for the way they make their aggressive political activists into peaceful protesters.

But if you are a millimeter to the right of Tom Hayden, don't try this at home. As we have seen with the Trump campaign, when our lefty friends send protesters to attack a right-wing racist like Trump it is the right-wingers that are to blame for any violence. Just for being there.

What is all this about? I boiled it all down a while back when I was having a dialog with lefty Fredrick deBoer. He argued that:
a progressive is “someone who is interested in power, specifically, the empowering of other people.” So, for him, the question is “how far to get the government involved in empowering people.”
You can see the problem. It is government empowering people. Who in the world can think that government can do much in the empowering people department once it takes the shackles off the slave?

Really, government can do two things. It can emancipate the slave, and it can give people pensions. That is all. So the government can successfully free the African slave and eliminate residual servile injustices. But once the government gets into the quotas and diversity business it starts a new arc of slavery.

And then I came up with the notion that the thing about conservatives is that we are people that are not that interested in power. There is a reason for this, and that is that the way the modern economy rewards people that are more interested in serving other people through the market rather than dominating them with political power. And it refuses to believe that government can empower people.

That's the thing about a life like Tom Hayden. Tom Hayden was interested in power, and he thought that government power could be used to empower people. So all his life he was seeking political office and power so he could use it to help people.

The last word on Tom Hayden, I think, is provided by his pal Jeff Greenfield. He writes.
In the Port Huron Statement, Hayden wrote: “We would replace power rooted in possession, privilege or circumstance by power and uniqueness rooted in love, reflectiveness, reason and creativity.”
Do you see what is going on here? It is explained by my reductive Three Peoples theory. Tom Hayden wanted to replace the Patron/Client culture of the People of the Subordinate Self and its power and possession and privilege and feudalism with the culture of the People of the Creative Self and its roots in "love, reflectiveness, reason, and creativity." Charles Taylor calls this attitude "expressive individualism."

But my problem with Tom Hayden and the entire leftist secular religion is that they are missing the middle term, the responsibility culture of the People of the Responsible Self. There can be no love, creativity, reflectiveness, reason and creativity until the power-only culture of Patrons and Clients is mitigated by freedom and responsibility.

And then it why the left comes to ruin every time. They cannot get away from their millennarian faith in political power. They think they can direct traffic into the right lanes with political power.

They are wrong, and millions of people have died because of the left's faith in political power.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Let's Call It All "The Big Fork"

Over at Vox Popoli, I am reading about Infogalactic, which is Vox Day calls the Big Fork of Wikipedia. The idea is to take all Wikipedia content and then remove the influence of the 500 gatekeepers that make sure that, e.g. the notion of "cultural Marxism" is merely a right-wing conspiracy theory. (Really, go read the Frankfurt School at La Wik.)

The Big Fork seems like a ludicrous notion. Replace Wikipedia? What are these people smoking? But why not?

For you chaps and chapettes not familiar with software jargon, a "fork" in a software system is where you divide a software system, with one version going one way, and another version going another. Here is La Wik. And here is Infogalactic.

Also in progress is Brave, a browser project headed up by Firefox reject Brendan Eich, and Gab, a replacement for lefty-run Twitter.

But really, as worthy as this is, it is just bagatelle, and doesn't solve anything. Let's do an Ike and make the problem bigger.

One of painful realities of the Trump phenomenon, for me, is the end of the hope that "we" might reform the welfare state. The reason that Trump has brought the Trumpers into the GOP is that he is pandering to the grievances of the white working class. The old pre-Trump GOP did not pander to the longing for the good old jobs at good wages and so the white working class moldered away in a political no-mans-land. And the white working class is not interested in the Ryan agenda, the privatization of Social Security, or the replacement of Medicare with a premium support program that would give every senior a fixed amount of money to apply to their individual health insurance plan. So don't look for any of that in a Trump presidency.

So what do we do now? It's obvious. We don't propose comprehensive and mandatory reform programs. We demand the right to do a Fork. Right in their unjust liberal faces.

Now any Fork must address itself to the Four Bigs in government spending. That is what usgovernmentspending.com is all about. As I am sure you know, government spending for 2017 for the Four Bigs looks like this:

The Four Big Programs in 2017
Government Pensions$1.3 trillion
Government Health Care$1.5 trillion
Government Education$1.0 trillion
Government Welfare$0.5 trillion

It is pretty obvious how to fork education. We are already doing it with "school choice" and home-schooling. But we need to revamp the education fork in terms of rights. That's the language that liberals understand:
We parents demand the right to educate our children. Period.
There are already minor efforts to fork health care.  Christian churches have developed Medi-share, a health-care sharing cooperative, where members share health expenses. It's a great idea, quietly going off and doing it your way, recreating the concepts of the mutual-aid movement of the 19th century. But I think that something a bit more aggressive is called for.
We demand the right to direct our own health care. Period.
Instead of dutifully going along with Medicare and or Obamacare, or some comprehensive reform which the Democrats will never agree to, we should demand the right to make our own arrangements, while agreeing to pay our share of those who can't afford to do so by-no-fault-of-their-own.

What about pensions? Of course every middle-class person has some sort of an IRA or a 401k account. But that is in addition to Social Security. Everyone has to pay into Social Security. Baloney.
We demand the right to make our own arrangements for retirement. Period.
Instead of dutifully going along with the Social Security scam, or some comprehensive reform that the Democrats will never agree to, we should demand the right to opt out and make our own arrangements while still paying the pensions of people unable to fund retirement through-no-fault-of-their-own.

You can see the point here. It ties into my concept of "Cut the Cringe." We have got to stop the culture of appeasement, of being nice about our principles and our rights. We have got to demand our rights. Period. Because these basic things are too important to be left to politicians and bureaucrats.

The point is that, in the end, the government entitlement programs will all go broke. People that relied on them will be in a world of hurt. But we are Americans; we are not under martial discipline, we are not soldiers in an army. So we should not be forced to send our children to government schools, get our health care from government bureaucrats, or give our savings to politicians to spend and hope that there is money left when we are too old to work.

OK. There is one thing left. Welfare. What do we do about that? I think that we the people need to take the relief of the poor away from the government and do it ourselves. This is, of course, a radical notion, but what is the problem with that?
We demand the right to care for the poor in our own way.
I see an America in which rich Americans set up foundations to provide a way up for the poor, and in which middle-class Americans of all kinds pitch in to help poor people get on their feet again. The mechanical point would be to get the poor out of their current "poverty trap" where every dollar they make at work takes about 50 cents of benefits away. In a world where welfare is private, that wouldn't be a problem, because the question of benefits and work would be completely separate. The cultural point is that we are each our brother's keeper and ought to do something about it.

OK. So all this is crazy radical stuff that would never work. So what? Let us take Vox Day's Big Fork and make it bigger.

Friday, October 21, 2016

What Gods Do the "Three Peoples" Believe In

In my reductive Three Peoples theory I propose that three kinds of people live in the modern world. There are the People of the Subordinate Self, workers and peasants who are clients to some great lord. There are People of the Responsible Self, citizens that work in the city as responsible individuals. And then there are People of the Creative Self, that believe life should be more than just responsible; it should aim for a work of original creation.

But no man is an island; each of us must life in society. That is the point of social animals, that we work together. So what does that mean to each of the Three Peoples?

We humans symbolize this situation with the notion of "gods." Our God is the something to which we surrender and bend the knee, and that is what makes us social and connected rather than alone on an island.

The God of the People of the Subordinate Self is the great lord or patron. In return for his Patron's patronage he must surrender to the power and might of his lord, his political boss, his work supervisor. And the Patron distributes loot and plunder as the mood takes him. I have argued, in my "little darlings" notion, that in the end the People of the Subordinate Self get left by the roadside, for they are, in effect, the soldiers in the great lord's army, and when they are no longer useful, the lord will abandon them, as Napoleon abandoned his troops on the retreat from Moscow.

The subordination to a fickle lord or Patron is not an easy life, and so from time to time the peasants arm themselves with their pitchforks and rebel. But they are always too late.

The God of the People of the Responsible Self is the abstract, though personal, God of the Axial Age religions. He is no longer sitting in the middle of the village or on Mt. Olympus playing power games with the human lives under his charge. Now God is retiring from active rule, and setting forth abstract rules for humans to follow. The problem for humans is no longer to submit to the actual power and might of the ruler, but to submit to the abstract rules of the Law. This was incredibly sexist, for it is men that demand to be told the rules, so the new God came out with a girl concept as well. Now the thing to do was to submit to God's love, for God offered the perfect relationship: love God and God would love you right back. In our latter days, People of the Responsible Self have learned to submit to the market, that remarkable human notion, and offer themselves and the work to the rest of society in return for the hope of reward. Of course, the market also has its girl aspect, as in the long-term relationships between businesses and their customers.

The submission to an abstract God or to the market is a hard and challenging life, for all its rewards. And so the People of the Responsible Self are always tempted to take the easy way and return into the orbit and the protection of some new Patron. But they betray their responsibility when they do.

The God of the People of the Creative Self is the the Creative Self. If the old God was the creator of the universe, or at least in on the design, the modern creative self aims to become as God. The nature and the meaning of life, the universe, and everything is not a mystery known only to God, but a Gordian Knot that creative man himself is unraveling and will eventually master. That is why our modern ruling class is full of plans for improvement and bending the arc of history towards justice. Society is, for them, a creative project.

The relation of the Creative Self to society has almost come full circle to the great lord or the Patron god. It is a temptation that few creative people seem able to resist, to sit on Mt. Olympus and order around the humans under their rule as the mood takes them. But I would say that the essence of the creative life is to submit to the verdict of the creative Muse. The fact of a life devoted to creation is that is is a failure: many are called, but few are chosen. Many people aspire to become artists and writers, but few make the grade. Many people start businesses and tech startups, but almost all of them are failures. If it is hard to be a peasant, and harder to stay responsible in the face of setbacks, it is harder still to aspire to creative notability.

You can see that there is a common theme here. A true and faithful person must surrender and submit to his chosen God, and not to do so is to betray your God and become antisocial and corrupted. A Person of the Subordinate Self has surrendered his life to the pleasure of his great lord, and the subsequent cruel fate that awaits him. A Person of the Responsible Self has surrendered himself to obeying God's laws and the verdict of the market. If it seems hard, well, it is. A Person of the Creative Self must submit to the creative process, and accept that very few people that aspire to works of original creation actually succeed in that Olympian ambition, just as very few aspiring Olympic athletes get to participate in the Olympic Games.

The whole point of this little exercise is, of course, to point out that humanity's Big Problem right now is the globalist Creative Class and its overweening conceit that it is called, like the peerless Lina Lamont, to bring a little joy to our humdrum little lives, so that all its hard work "ain't been in vain for nothin'."

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Zuckerberg in the Pulpit over Peter Thiel

You won't get a better summary of the liberal line this week than this from Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg. He's defending Facebook's early investor Peter Thiel, a gay that has committed the h-heresy of supporting and contributing to Donald Trump.
There are many reasons a person might support Trump that do not involve racism, sexism, xenophobia or accepting sexual assault. It may be because they believe in smaller government, a different tax policy, health care system, religious issues, gun rights or any other issue where he disagrees with Hillary.
Look at that paragraph. What Zuck is talking about is the thoughtcrime of thinking racist, sexist, xenophobic thoughts. Everyone agrees, he implies, that they must be stamped out with the utmost ruthlessness. But hey, on the issues, people have a right to advocate. At least for now.

OK, racism. Think about it. The time to be anti-racist was when government mandated that blacks should sit in the back of the bus -- and the bus companies went along, just as today Silicon Valley companies go along with political correctness. To be anti-racist at the end of the second term of the First/Worst Black President is to be a mind-numbed robot of the liberal line. The only problem with racism right now is that blacks with no jobs are killing each other in the inner cities and blaming the police, and the white victims of 50 years of liberal racist politics are finally deciding that they can't take it any more.

And sexual harassment! Honey, it's a bit late for that. That was the whole point of the sexual revolution, which posited the idea that men and women should get it on, irregardless. The unanticipated consequence was that women felt pressured to have sex on the notion that if they didn't give in they wouldn't get a boy-friend/husband/partner. The whole sexual-harassment game is an attempt by feminists to put the horse back in the barn again, the horse that they helped let out fifty years ago.

OK, let's get all Hegelian about this. Hegel says that opposites are really the same thing, as in the north and south poles of a magnet. If you have the notion of an Ego then you have a notion of an Other. But the Other is just another person's Ego (das Ich in German). So racism and anti-racism are just two sides of the same coin. If you make race into a big thing then you are a race-obsessed, whether you are racist or anti-racist.

Yeah. And what about this Othering of Peter Thiel. First of all he´s gay, so by going after him you are Othering a gay, i.e., you are a hater and a homophobe. Then, on top of that, he's a Republican, which in Silicon Valley is very Other. So Othering a Republican is flat out "hate." But wait! Thiel is gay and Republican! So Othering Peter Thiel must be racist, sexist, hate-ist, Other-ist, homophobic, whatever lefty pejorative you can dream up.

Not to get all sexist on this, although I am a profound sexist, all this Othering is really high-school Mean Girls stuff, as in "I can't believe she said that." It is tremendous fun if you are one of the Mean Girls but not so much fun if you aren't. And, of course, it is punching down, oppressing people that can't answer back. And we know that punching-down is bad, really bad.

But the thing is that high-school Mean Girls stuff is cat-nip for high-statue women. That is why the Trump pussy-tape was such a big hit. Every woman in America is telling her friends: "I can't believe he said that!"

Of course, the woman's culture of complaint, and talking about people behind their backs, is probably the most important human survival trait out there.

So I suppose we should just shut up and let the Mean Girls take over.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

What Comes After Trump

Let us assume that the pundits and the polls are right and that Hillary Clinton is elected President of the United States.

What happens next?

Obviously we will see an intensification of the left's cultural hegemony. I do not mean, as I read in Child of the Revolution, that we will be arresting people for wrongthink and that people will go "pale as ashes" for saying the wrong thing. I do mean that we will all be more careful what we say, and we will get more angry.

I just think that we are probably reaching Peak PC. After the nonsense of the First Black President and the First Woman President we will wake up in four or eight years and ask "what was the point?" And Hegelians like me will say that the thing is really the same as its opposite, as in racism vs. anti-racism, just as, in Hegel's words, the north pole of a magnet is the same as its opposite, the south pole.

What will come next? Well it won't be anything I am thinking, because at 70 I am in the exit lane. It all depends on what aggressive young men in their 20s and 30s are thinking and doing.

And really, what is the point of getting on board the Hillary train at the back of the bus and waiting for all the well-born scions of rich liberals to get theirs first?

Now, I am a profound sexist, and I believe that women are cultural curators, keeping the old ways alive and remembered as long as possible. Men are creators and destructors. Young men are being kicked out of education as it gets taken over by women. Men are being pushed aside as women come into the mature Silicon Valley and dissolve its reckless culture for something more kind and gentle. Good. It couldn't come at a better time.

So men are out there, right now, creating a new world about which we know nothing but nods and winks. Is the future in the fusion power startup the chap across the street is running? Is the future with a young guy I know that dropped out of college to get into a BitCoin startup and general software consulting? Is the future in creating a whole alt-right infrastructure by forking Wikepedia into Infogalactic and Twitter into Gab?

There is a simple answer to that. We Don't Know.

Donald Trump effectively demolished the old conservative infrastructure that had been tottering on since the end of the Reagan era. He could do it because the conservative infrastructure couldn't effectively represent people that were non-progressive, that wanted to be typical Americans and left alone by government and its enthusiasts, and wanted someone to lead them.

There will be life after Trump, and life after Clinton. That's because government is force, and force is injustice, and one of the strongest human emotions is the burning sense of injustice, the rage against the Man. It need not be egregious injustice, just the feeling that we are not going to take it any more.

At some point a bunch of young men show up and determine to put their feelings into action.

In many ways I fear that a Trump win puts off the Turn from the moment of Peak PC, that we need a continuance of Bush followed by Obama followed by Clinton, the dull routine of the old regime counting out its shrinking pile of political authority, until the old ways just cannot continue any more.

The Trumpers are mourning the end of the 1950s good jobs at good wages; the baby boomers are mourning the end of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. And women are mourning the bitter aftertaste of the sexual revolution.

A new world is aborning, but you probably won't like it, and neither will I.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

What About the Victims of Politics?

Conservative scholar Thomas Sowell has a three part piece on The Left and the Masses, essentially arguing that the Left never stops to wonder whether their ideas really do benefit the masses.
[T]he left is so invested in the idea that they are helping the disadvantaged that they seldom bother to check the actual consequences of what they are doing...

Surely the intelligentsia of the left have access to empirical evidence and the wit to understand such evidence. But the real question is whether they have the stomach to face the prospect that their crusades have hurt the very people they claim to be helping.

Examining hard evidence would mean gambling a whole vision of the world -- and of their own role in that world -- on a single throw of the dice, which is what looking at hard evidence amounts to. The path of least resistance is to continue going through life feeling good about themselves, while leaving havoc in their wake.
Of course, this is not remarkable. All humans embark on projects without serious thought about the consequences, and when they fail, and ruin other peoples' lives in the process, they rarely stop and think about how cruel and thoughtless they were to spread ruin and disaster in their wake.

It is obvious why this is so. The show must go on, and so, like sharks, humans must always be going forwards, and so the losers get trapped in the undertow.

But it is the conceit of the left that it is uniquely concerned with advocating for the poor, and morally empowered thereby to force its saving political agenda upon an oppressive and exploitative world.

Now you would think that those that make special claims, as the left does, should be subject to special review, in the same way that the government regulates the way that promoters of financial securities should follow detailed regulatory requirements in the official statements about their projections.

But political projectors are not subject to regulatory review. The only review is history, the record of the victims of political leaders left to rot by the wayside of time.

I have made a special point of "little darlings" abandoned by politicians when the mood takes them in the modern era, going all the way back to the European peasants that were kicked off the land when the nation state disarmed the private armies of the nobles. But then there are the other people that got blindsided by history, that were never the favorites of the politicians, and disappeared, never to rise again. We know all about the indigenous tribes and civilizations murdered by western capitalism and imperialism over the last 500 years, because the left never lets us forget them. But what about the rest: victims of wars, victims of local feuds, or just some group that took a wrong turn?

Who cares about the kulaks eliminated by Joe Stalin, and who cares about the millions that died in Mao's Great Leap Forward?

The temptation for modern man is to believe the promises of the politician and believe that he cares about you. But the truth is that the politician only cares for people that can serve his power project, and only so long as they prove to be useful.

Nobody should think that a pension from the state is any good. There is no substitute for the ability to survive when the state gets into a jam and the promises of the politicians melt into air. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Muddle of Liberal Thinking

What if the Trump Locker-room-gate ends up a damp squib? What if, instead, the voters really don't like Hillary Clinton exposing all our national secrets to the Russians and the Chinese not because they care about national security, but just because they know that they would go to jail if they tried that stuff?

So what about these two Chinese-American women, one who took a lot of abuse as a political prisoner in China and one who has taken a lot of abuse for her conservative views in America? Jeremy Carl:
These women aren’t just Americans, they’re super-patriots — and as you’ll soon see, neither is a fan of political correctness.
Imagine: two women from the culture of Confucius voting for the vulgar Tr\ump!

Conservatives have blathered a lot about political correctness over the years. And I am not sure exactly what good it has done, because the liberals are still here humiliating people with the wrong views, and ruthlessly dividing the country.

And did you know that, over at La Wik, they have deleted their entry on "Cultural Marxism." You can see why in their article on the Frankfurt School. The term Cultural Marxism is an artefact of conspiracy theorizing, don'tcha know. Only, dear liberal friends, the term is appropriate because the Frankfurt School is a change from the economic Marxism of Marx to a cultural Marxism of cultural identity where the helpless victims are no longer marginalized economically, but culturally.

So the term Cultural Marxism is perfectly appropriate.

The problem with cultural Marxism and political correctness and Alinsky tactics is that it is the tactics of war. And the point of social animals like humans is to minimize the occasion for war.

Let's go back to the original Marxism which posited that there was a basic divide between the employers and the workers of the Industrial Revolution. Really? The factories were taking starving people kicked off the land by the agricultural revolution and putting them to work making cheap cotton textiles for other poor people. The employers were organizing the process and the workers were making the textiles that were designed to be bought by people like them. I don't see the fundamental conflict of interest between the employer class and the working class.

Now the original Marxism saw a fundamental exploitative relation between employers and employees. Which meant that class war was the inevitable result.

The new Marxism, inspired by the Frankfurt School that we will call cultural Marxism, saw a fundamental exploitative situation between black and white, between men and women, between gays and straights. So the only solution was culture war.

But humans are social animals. We cannot afford to be at war all the time because war drains society of all its resources in a climactic battle with the other. In fact, in War before Civilization the point is made that primitive tribes could not afford to be having full-scale battles, because it would kill off the men and that would mean that the women and children would have to join another tribe -- no doubt as slaves or concubines like the princess Briseis in The Iliad.

So the idea of all politics all the time is a culture of collapse, because people cannot be at war all the time. They must, most of the time, be doing their daily business of working and earning and wiving and thriving. Because that is how you stay alive and bear children and pass the baton from one generation to the next.

Actually we know what happens with all politics all the time. And it is not a pretty sight. The Soviet Union. Maoist China. Castro Brothers Cuba. Venezuela. Obamacare.

Look, I get it. I get that, in the turmoil of the industrial revolution, some sons of the bourgeoisie imagined something higher and better than the desperate struggle of the working class to scratch out a living. Only their vision did not work, and that is why the Frankfurt School chappies had to come up with another brilliant idea to keep the Marxist flame burning bright.

The only trouble is that the battle of the races and the battle of the genders is just as sterile and destructive as the battle of the classes. We cannot be always fighting. As Voltaire's Candide said: I must go and work in the garden.

To me, the fascinating thing is that the market economy is an astonishing solution to the age-old problem of domination. In the old days you had to subordinate yourself to a powerful lord to survive. But now all you have to do is subordinate yourself to the verdict of the market. Because if you can find yourself something useful to do you will find that the market will pay you for it. Oh, for sure, if you are black, you may have to work for less for a while to prove your worth to a skeptical, racist employer. If you are a woman you may work for less than a man prepared to work 60 hour weeks. But you still get to participate. And the employer willing to risk employing marginalized groups may end up making a killing, because his costs may end up lower. Imagine that!

And all this works itself out in the market without the expensive necessity of well-born activists bullying their way around and humiliating people that dare to object to their ideological hegemony and their cheap idea of enforcing Peace and Justice or else.

So here is the profound weakness of the progressive agenda. It is that we cannot always be fighting, not on the battlefield of armies, and not on the battlefield of ideas. Eventually, the war stops because everyone is exhausted. And then the only thing left to do is to go out and work in the garden.

At some point every religious, cultural, political, economic system must have a notion about how ordinary life goes on, without the clunking fist of power and domination. Because power and domination are all about destruction, not about construction. The longer you keep at war, the more you reduce the human landscape to rubble, so that at the last your power plays do nothing more than make the rubble bounce.

And that is something that our liberal friends are going to have to learn the hard way.