Thursday, October 19, 2017

What Do We Know? No, Really!

Theodore Dalrymple, the British doctor writer, keeps bringing up the name of Belgian Simon Leys, the sinologist writer who was born Pierre Ryckmans and died recently in Australia.

So I looked him up and bought Chinese Shadows, his book on the Cultural Revolution in China. The book mostly covers Leys' travels in China in 1972 after the worst of the Cultural Revolution was over and the army and the bureaucracy had regained control from Mao's teenaged Red Guards.

Of course what Leys wanted to look at in his travels, given that the average Chinese wouldn't talk to a foreigner at that time, was museums and temples and rare Chinese manuscripts. Not to mention books. Trouble was that all the museums were closed, most of the temples had been destroyed by the Red Guards, and the bookstores had nothing in them except the collected works of Mao, Stalin, and Enver Hoxha.

And the arts? The great tradition of Chinese opera had been reduced to Madame Mao's (she of the Gang of Four) six utterly dreadful Revolutionary Model operas.

There's a touching scene where Leys talks his guide into getting him to a bookstore that has some ancient manuscripts rolled up in the back room. When he shows up to look at the manuscripts a quiet assembly of other connoisseurs has gathered to look and appreciate this hidden treasure.

But I thought about the utter folly of thinking you can order society and its culture from the top with appropriate buzz-words and directives. There's a page where Leys rehearses a few slogans of Maoist China: "the five stories," the "Tachai spirit," "the four cleanups," "the eight-word constitution," "the three rightisms," and so on. And there is a description of an impossibly foolish irrigation project, that was supposed to have been conceived and executed by the workers, without a lick of help from engineers and technicians -- or earth-moving equipment.

Of course I think immediately about the utter folly of our social justice warriors, and the kiddies being taught Activism 101 at the university. As though the problems of the world can be solved by peaceful protests and political chants.

I mean, after the example of the Soviet Union and Maoist China, not to mention that black hole without electric light at night, North Korea, who can possibly think that activists can remake a country in the image of its revolutionary leaders with the help of chanted slogans?

The answer is, of course, that every new generation of kiddies can easily be taught to go out into the adult world and tear everything up, and they will do it willingly and vigorously without a clue about what they are doing on the strength of a few slogans and a rage to set the world right.

So I woke up in the night trying to think of a word to describe what we think we know.

Because really, we know nothing, and that has been confirmed for my by reading Werner Heisenberg's (he of the uncertainty principle that bears his name) Physics and Philosophy with an introduction by My Guy F.S.C. Northrop. Heisenberg talks about the difficulty of talking about the micro-world when the micro-world is just not like the normal world of everyday life that our brains and our language are programmed to deal with. He writes of the paradox of quantum mechanics:
It starts from the fact that we describe our experiments in the terms of classical physics  and at the same time from the knowledge that these concepts do not fit nature accurately.
We have to do that, because classical physics is merely a "refinement of the concepts of daily life and are an essential part of the language which forms the basis of all natural science." This is a pretty mind-blowing thing. We know that the sub-atomic world is nothing like the everyday world, and yet we use our everyday concepts to describe it. How crazy is that?

But, the thing is that our knowledge about quantum mechanics works. The smartphone in your hand is proof of that. Take this equation:
.
What is it? I don't know. But you can check it out. But I will tell you what I think. I think it is an "incantation." Or even a line of poetry, written in the ideograms of mathematics. The only people that would know what it means are people with a deep and esoteric knowledge of math and quantum mechanics. But that is no different from temple priests in ancient Egypt with an esoteric knowledge of the scriptures.

All equations, all catchphrases, all political slogans, all religious beliefs, all of them are incantations. The question is: do they work? Shakespeare has the last word on this, in Henry IV Part One.
GLENDOWER
I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
HOTSPUR
Why, so can I, or so can any man;
But will they come when you do call for them? 
Do you see what I am getting at? The fact of modern physics is that we cannot imagine what is going on at the sub-atomic level; we only have the equations, which issued from the problem of black body radiation and the discovery that energy is discharged in "quanta" and yet behave like a wave. In other words, it takes two "concepts of daily life" to begin to get a handle of the concept of what is going on. But these two concepts, of a particle and a wave are, for us, contradictory. In our concepts of everyday life, we think that a thing can be either a wave or a particle, but not both. Until now. We talk about the sub-atomic realm using our "concepts of daily life" even though we know it is nothing like the everyday world or earth, air, fire and water.

But the same thing applies to God, to politics, to the economy, to the dance of the sexes. We know nothing, but our incantations: God is love; power to the people; supply and demand; boy meets girl. These are all incantations, they are all attempts to call spirits from the vasty deep. But do they work? Will they come when you do call for them?

You will note that I have my own set of incantations: Government is Force; Politics is Division; System is Domination. The liberals down the street have their incantations in their #WeBelieve yardsigns: Black Lives Matter; Science is Real; Love is Love; Kindness is Everything. And the point is exactly the same as for Glendower or quantum mechanics. Does the concept work? Does it illuminate? Does it help you avoid the big beasts when you walk out in the world?

What is clear about all the incantations of the Maoist Cultural Revolution is that they were all rubbish. The world doesn't work that way, and never did. But this is nothing new. Most human incantations are rubbish, and soon get liquidated and sent to the ash-heap of history, because they don't work.

But some incantations are supported and enforced by political power, and they take longer to prove whether they can summon spirits from the vasty deep. When you have political power you can force people to repeat your incantation, and you can tell them that they better believe it or else.

And most of the people, most of the time, including me, will go along to get along, and even come to believe the incantations that their leaders have commanded them to recite.

But in the end, all knowledge is an incantation, that anyone can recite, and that few ever understand. The question is: does it work?

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

My Bannon Conspiracy Theory

I have a theory, that when Steve Bannon resigned as White House Chief Strategist in August under a cloud, there wasn't a cloud at all.

It was all a strategic play by Trump and Bannon to play the Washington establishment and advance the Trump agenda.

I think that they decided for Bannon to leave under a cloud to provide a mis-direction to the swamp.

And the first thing that happened after Bannon left the White House was that he went 100% rogue, threatening to primary every senator that didn't support Trump. Oh No! How could he?

The next event was that Bannon backed Roy Moore, the chap that put the Ten Commandments up outside the Alabama Supreme Court, and took partial credit for Moore beating the establishment Strange in the primary runoff to win an election to serve the rest of Attorney General Sessions term in the Senate.

The next event was the "best pals"joint presser between Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday October 16. McConnell got in a word to say that we all wanted the same thing, to get electable candidates to the Senate and avoid the Tea Party amateurs of 2010 and 2912.

Conservative radio host Michael Medved was encouraged by this, a return to sanity, because he thinks Bannon is a loose cannon that will lose the Senate in 2018.

But the next day Bannon was pointing out that he is vetting the candidates he supports to make sure they have the smarts and the savvy to win the general as well as knock off the GOPe guys in the primary.

What is going on here?

Of course, nobody can know.

But I think it is a conspiracy between Trump and Bannon to knock off the old GOP establishment and at the same time tame the survivors into supporting the Trump agenda.

Really it doesn't take a conspiracy theory to understand that Trump and Bannon are playing a game of good cop/bad cop. And if you ask me it is working.

On the one hand, it looks like Mitch McConnell is finally working with Trump. Who woulda thunk it? On the other hand Bannon is thundering around in the bushes stirring up the deplorables.

So on the one hand we have an indication that the swamp is getting ready to work with Trump. On the other hand we have his operative making a big noise in the bushes and that forces the swamp incumbents to move right, both now when votes come up in Congress and next fall when they are up for reelection. Just to be safe.

The problem for conservatives, libertarians and every other form of white supremacist is that liberals have created a convenient path of non-resistance for conservative pols that come to Washington. Just get moderate and we won't demonize you as a racist, sexist homophone. Tom Bethell at the American Spectator defined that as the phenomenon of "strange new respect. Once a Republican firebrand put out the fire he suddenly got accepted into the DC in crowd as journalists started to express their strange new respect for the former Neanderthal.

So how to conservatives and libertarians get any conservative and libertarian agenda through Congress? The answer is: they don't, because if they do they get attacked as racist sexist homophobes and they lose their strange new respect props.

The point about Trump is that he has apparently cut this Gordian knot. He has found that his social media skills have conquered the old regime where conservatives and libertarians behaved themselves, or else.

You see this happening all the time, most notably with Charlottesville and the NFL anthem controversies. Under the old rules, a President Bush would have known to only attack the white supremacists in Charlottesville and not the Antifa "mostly peaceful protesters" as well. And he would never have waded into the NFL anthem controversy.

Of course the whole thing may collapse next week, and Trump will then go down in history as a bumptious failure, and his attack on the liberal worldview will end in a glorious victory for the liberal secular religion of political correctness. Of course. But if we normals do nothing we are still dead. That is why there are numerous catchphrases about: do or die, dying with your boots on, nothing ventured nothing gained.

But back to my conspiracy theory. Think about Bannon's title in the White House: Chief Strategist.

Now what do you think is the job of Chief Strategist? I'd say it is pretty obvious. Find recruits for the Trump Army that can win elections in 2018 and support the president when he runs for reelection in 2020. Because without a more Republican Senate the Trump agenda is in trouble and Trump's reelection is in trouble.

So I'd say that Steve Bannon is doing exactly what President Trump wants him to do.

And I'd say that it serves their joint purpose for liberals and NeverTrumpers to think that Trump and Bannon have parted ways. That way Bannon can make mischief and mayhem in the boondocks and Trump can keep a bit of distance between him and Bannon to make it easier for him to make Great Deals with Mitch McConnell and the Democrats in Washington DC.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Why Won't Congress Fix the Tax System?

I had an email from a reader yesterday who asked why Congress won't fix the tax system. He writes:
I have never heard it explained clearly. If all personal income over the federal poverty level, and all corporate income, provided it does not cause double taxation, is taxed at 20% wouldn’t that work? If not, why not? 
Yeah! Why not?

I think the simplest answer to this question is to quote my catchphrase: there is no such thing as justice, only injustice.

For the individual congresscritter there is no percentage in writing wise laws that dispense justice far and wide. That sort of thing won't get a dog-catcher reelected.

What people want, when they are all stirred up about justice, is the removal of the monstrous injustice that is keeping them up at nights. So if you are a middle-class taxpayer and you pay your payroll tax and your income tax you feel the system is monstrously unjust. On the one hand there are welfare recipients in line before you at the market with their EBT cards; on the other hand there are fat-cat corporate lobbyists getting carve-outs from the pols in return for campaign contributions. It's an outrage! There oughta be a law!

Now the right and proper thing to do, when exercised by government injustice, is to say to yourself: wow, if I am pissed off about the government's Harvey hand in my pocket, what about everyone else? If I am suffering; I expect the whole world is suffering too. We should all get together and make the system truly just!

But people don't think like that. We only think about our personal troubles, the cruel spur of injustice in our own side, and we demand that our congressman fix it. We don't care about other people. In fact we are happy for them to pay more, if only we get to pay less.

This sort of thinking is catnip to politicians. because the art of politics is the art of division. To rile up one group of voters against another, and confirm a voter's rage against the system is the very heart of the politician's profession. Because he cares!

And since the clumsiness of government is eternal, for government is force and force is not particular where it lands its punch, there is never a shortage of injustice for people to rage about and for politicians to promise to do something about.

It sometimes happens, of course, that our rage about the injustice of it all actually pays a dividend, and we actually get government to enact our little subsidy or tax loophole. Yay! Then we discover the truth of the old story about the dog in the manger, for hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. No, wait. Hell hath no fury like the beneficiary of a government handout facing the minuscule diminution of that handout. The injustice! The outrage!

Charles Dickens knew all about this when he had David Copperfield's lawyer employer, Mr. Spenlow, cry that if you touched "Doctors Commons" you would bring down the country. Doctors Commons, for you young 'uns, was a cosy little lawyer monopoly in 19th century Britain that had the exclusive right to deal in wills and stuff. No wonder Mr. Spenlow was exercised about his own special little carve-out. Why, if you touched Doctors Commons then Spenlow, who kept a carriage, would have to go out and get a real job! "Keeping a carriage" in the 19th century was the equivalent of "flying private" in today's world. It wasn't cheap then and it ain't cheap now!

And that is the point of all government subsidies and spending and tax loopholes and Uncle Tom Cobbley and all. Every little carve-out allows some worthy citizen, you or I, to ease off a little on the neverending task of making a living. Backed by the government's men with guns. What's not to like?

It's nice work, if you can get it. And thus the whirligig of time brings in his revenges. And the most significant revenge is that government here in the United States has its hands in your pocket to the extent of 35 cents on every dollar you earn. Yes, you get your own little carve-out, that you are determined to defend to the death. But everyone else has there own little benny, and the total adds up to about $3.5 trillion a year, here in these United States, in the frenzy of everyone having a hand in someone else's pocket.

And it all starts with the really big carveouts, $1 trillion a year for grandpa's Social Security and $700 billion for grandma's Medicare. Don't you dare touch that, because we already paid in!

All just because you and I are much more focused on our own suffering from injustice than the sufferings of others.

And that's why nobody is going to pass a simple tax reform that just tax income, corporate and individual, at a simple and just 20 percent.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Exactly Who Calls Himself a White Supremacist?

One of our modern injustices is that our liberal friends seem to think it is perfectly normal for them to cloak their political opponents with pejoratives.

I mean, nobody out there calls themselves a racist, a sexist, or a homophobe. It is liberals that invent these damnations.

In fact years ago I remember reading someone who said that liberals keep changing their name, because it keeps getting radio-active. So the Progressives of the Progressive Era became the liberals of the New Deal, and now the progressives of the 21st century after "liberal" became a dirty word. But if you are on the right, the pejoratives reign. You  are a Nazi, a fascist, a xenophobe, and now a white supremacist.

I  believe there are some folks of the right calling themselves White Nationalists. But "white supremacists?" The left thought that one up and then labeled their opponents with it.

Now, if I remember the article from long ago, the writer recommended that we on the right should not shrink from the pejoratives that our liberal friends have labeled us with. We should step up  and own them. Because that is the way to detoxify the label.

Racist? Who doesn't prefer their own kind? And what is Black Lives Matter if not racism, straight up?

Sexist? Who doesn't prefer their own sex? Or gender. And what is feminism, but sexism, straight up?

Homophobe? Who shouldn't be afraid of the Gay Mafia? (Phobia comes from fear in Greek)

And what about Nazi and fascist? Well, dear liberal friends, you should know, if you ever did any reading beyond the New York Times, that Nazism and fascism are what you get when the usual social democratic squishes fail to keep the economy perking along in a half decent fashion. Because it is natural in every mammal from rats to humans to strike back with desperation when cornered in a desperate situation. It's in the genes, no doubt a natural and proper artifact of evolution and natural selection. Settled Science.

And then we get to white supremacist. What is not to like? I take white supremacy to mean the culture and the people of Northwest Europe that developed the modern citified, market-based, trust anyone that is trustworthy modern culture and economy. And they developed what I call "language nationalism," the utterly fictitious but utterly efficacious notion of the people of a language as the proper basis of political community.

Now I tend to think of the bourgeois culture of Northwest Europe as something close to divine intervention in the affairs of humans and a proof of God's existence. And, of course, I give most of the credit to the Dutch who took over from the Italians and their city states. The Dutch had to do it because the great trading empires of Venice and Genoa were struck a nasty blow when the Muslims took Constantinople in 1453 and mucked up the slave trade from Kaffa in the Crimea to the harems of the Middle East.

And so the Dutch invented the Dutch school in art with nice contented housewives strongly lit by the neighboring window, and even more important, invented central banking so they could drive out the Spanish like Verdi's Don Carlo. But the Dutch knew that driving out the Spanish wasn't enough, so they invaded Britain and kicked out the Scottish Stuarts so that they and the Brits could stand up against the bloody French. Then came the Second Hundred Years War and the end of French hegemony in Europe. And so these Northwestern Europeans ran riot all over the world and utterly transformed it.

What is not to like?

I guess you could call that white supremacy, if you had had a way with words.

And really, how beneficial can you get? The Brits dominated India for a couple of centuries, and that enabled the Hindus to cast off the Muslim yoke. The Brits gave the Chinese the shock of their lives, so that now a Chinese Christian can say that the Chinese now understand that the center of Western power is its Christianity and the Chinese are Christianizing so rapidly that the Commie government is trying to make it illegal. By the way, the fact that Chinese Christianity is characterized by its "house churches" is a clue that it is Chinese women that are running the show.

And let it not be forgotten that it was Northwest Europeans that suddenly decided that slavery was a Bad Thing, and set out to abolish it. The only question that remains is: Why? Was it because they truly hated its injustice, or was it that the average upper-class Brit didn't like the upstart Sugar Barons from the West Indies swinging their wealth around? My own suspicion is that slavery was too much of a bother. Why not free the slaves and make them responsible for their own lives instead of having to guard them and scourge them and feed them?

Hey! Why don't we apply the same principle to the welfare state? Why don't we free the people to get their own education and health care and pensions so we the elite can concentrate on the really important problems like Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming?

So yeah. Let's own the pejoratives that liberals fling at us. Racist? Who is more racist than a black NFL protester? Sexist? Who is more sexist than a Silicon Valley Diversity and Inclusion administrator?

White Supremacist? Who was responsible for the Great Enrichment of the last two centuries from $1-3 per person per day to the present $100 per person per day? The Queen of Sheba?

Friday, October 13, 2017

My Solution is Language Nationalism

In "Myths Die Slowly" the Z-Man looks into the abyss. Or rather, he lists the myths that ordinary white Americans believe in so that they don't have to look into the abyss.

By myths he means everything from cutting taxes, spending, and immigration, to the belief in the "great black hope," the "propositional nation," and patriotism itself.

For instance, he writes, the alt-right is really a post-nationalist identity movement. What does that mean?

It made me think a little about what I believe.

The answer, I think, is "language nationalism."

Now I believe that Politics is Division. By that I mean that any politician, from war lord to presidential candidate down to race hustler, unifies his supporters to fight the existential peril by dividing them from the rest of the world.

The war lord unifies his warrior band by persuading his band of brothers to stand together against the hated enemy over the border. The race hustler unites his race brothers against the threats of the other races. The presidential candidate unites all patriotic Americans against the threat of a horde of immigrants and unfair trade treaties.

Our liberal friends, of course, unite all correct-thinking people plus their identity politics clients against the racist sexist homophobes -- and now white supremacists -- of deplorable flyover country.

The question that the Z-Man raises is whether we can do anything right now to preserve America without going through a maelstrom of politics-as-division that consumes everything in a rerun of the French or the Bolshevik Revolution.

To look at this let us temporarily leave go of the idea that there are good guys and bad guys. Every political culture is a Hegelian dialectic of unity and division. The only difference is where you draw the line between Us and Them and where the bodies are buried.

Our liberal friends like to be horrified by Trump's Make America Great Again nationalism. That's because their Us is a transnational elite nobly and wisely governing the helpless victims while demonizing the Them of patriots and nationalists wherever they may be found.

A Trump nationalist likes to be horrified by feckless and conceited global elites that have nothing to be conceited about and also looks at the liberal identity groups of helpless victims as unfortunates deluded by the local lefty Alinsky practitioner. Steve Bannon, Trump's evil twin, promotes "economic nationalism," of America First, etc., to unite the Trump followers into a sacred American patriotic and economic community.

Here's a chap at National Review that is all worked up with Steve Bannon's references to fascist thinker Julius Evola, a Dadaist and Nietzschean whose whose thought embraced "several schools and traditions, including German idealism, Eastern doctrines, traditionalism, and the all-embracing Weltanschauung of the interwar conservative Revolution with which Evola had a deep personal involvement."

All this rather occludes the basic fact of our modern age that the real principle unifying the modern nation state is what I hereby call "language nationalism," the conceit and myth that the people within "our" present nation state are a language community, unified by their common language and the culture that has existed in its language since the dawn of time, or at least, in the case of Anglo-Saxons, since the time of Shakespeare.

Of course this is all a lie. The United Kingdom and its Britishness were created by fire and the sword. Back in the Good Old Days there were separate kingdoms all over the British Isles. There was for a time a Danegeld in which perfidious Danes lived and were paid for their trouble. Naturally, in the old days, there were a whole cauldron of languages in the British Isles. But as the British Isles were slowly unified by hook or by crook, the number of languages dwindled. Of course, the unifying  process didn't work in the case of the Irish. It didn't matter how many times the Brits sent punishment expeditions into Ireland to teach 'em a lesson; the Irish remained Catholic and determined to be independent.

France got to be a nation by a similar shameful process. French is the language of the folks in and around Paris, not Brittany and not Provence, etc. That's because the lords of Paris conquered and subdued the other folks in France and eventually taught them to like it.

The Germans taught themselves to believe in a German nation for centuries before the brilliant Bismarck figured out how to make the German nation an actual fact by making war on the French in 1870.

So the question with regard to the United States of America, that everyone agrees is sorely divided right now, is: who will bell the cat? Who will make up a story about America and gussy up a narrative about the glory of America that was and that could be, and banish the other guys to "bottomless perdition, there to dwell in adamantine chains and penal fire, who durst defy th' Omnipotent to arms."

In the liberal version of this it is racist sexist homophobes and white supremacists that get sent to bottomless perdition, etc. In the Trumpist version it is Black Lives Matter and Antifa and the fake news media that sat on the Harvey Weinstein story for 25 years.

Years ago I read a story by, I think, a holocaust survivor who used to amaze the guards in his camp by tapping a rock in the rock quarry in just the right place so it would split into two. He turned this into a performance to which the guards brought visiting firemen. But the rest of the prisoners just banged away uselessly at the rocks; they could not bring themselves to transform their labor into an art.

My point is that we are always going to have politicians and activists trying to divide us. Like any stone mason, these guys are experts at finding the crack in the rock that can split it in twain with the slightest tap to the amazement of the suckers.

The point about President Trump is that, all of a sudden, he stepped up to the rock of America and with a modest tap split in along a fault line that nobody had thought of before. Maybe he had help from a cunning Russian stone mason!

The question is whether he can unify the country around a new principle of unity and division that banishes the liberal principle that has been slowly gaining strength in the last decades because movement conservatives didn't know where to tap.

If he is to succeed, then I think he needs to banish the whole liberal culture that we are not one culture but a multiculture, and you should not appropriate other peoples' culture and or assimilate into other peoples culture because every culture is equal and should be respected.

I'd say the opposite is true. America is great because it has been absolutely ruthless in cultural appropriation and also in pretty strongly leaning on immigrants to assimilate to the majority culture even as it appropriated the choice bits out of the immigrants' culture.

Having a language nation allows a continuous process of cultural appropriation and cultural assimilation to proceed 24-7 because the single language makes it difficult for would-be secessionists to hide, and makes the process of appropriation and assimilation irresistible.

And by the way, the biggest cultural appropriation and assimilation going is the economic culture of capitalism and the Great Enrichment. Listen kids! You wanna wive and thrive in the 21st century? Then forget your sacred ancient culture and become skilled and competent in the skills of working and excelling in the market economy. The modern capitalist economy is of course a hurricane of economic appropriation and assimilation.

The big untold story of our time is how, despite all the wailing and gnashing of teeth, people by the tens of millions simply go with the market economy: they may not like it much, but they get jobs, they learn how to make it, and if they don't live happily ever after they do manage to partake of the feast.

All because they live in a language nation where there is no place to hide.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

How to Stop the Campus Shoutdowns

So, yesterday the campus fascists, the ordinary regime thugs, shouted down Charles Murray for 40 minutes at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. Hey, why not? Everybody says that Murray is a racist, so why not?

It happened that yesterday I watched part of a livestream on "Viewpoint Diversity on Campus" conducted by Jonathan Haight's Heterodox Academy at New York University. Of course the discussion of these academics was about freedom of thought and that free speech means giving to people you hate the right to speak.

But I was unsatisfied with that. Here's why. In my view, universities have always been, and still are, seminaries for training priests in the regime's established religion. The purpose was to legitimate the regime and its right to rule. So, in the early modern era, the established religion taught in the universities spent a lot of time talking about the divine right of the present royal dynasty to rule.

I am reading a biography of Jane Austen and her gentry class was clearly the class of ideological and legal enforcers. Bright young sons would go to Oxbridge, take holy orders,  and get a living at some rectory through family influence, where they would preach regime orthodoxy. The local squire would be a judge at the Quarter Sessions to ensure regime legal legitimacy, and most of the Austen sons went into the military and the navy to fight the Napoleonic Wars. Pretty neat system!

This occurred in a period where kings were no longer military chieftains whose right to rule stemmed rather obviously from their military prowess and power to make their rule stick.

Then came a period where a new ruling class started to appear, the new intellectual elite that drove the Enlightenment and wanted to advance a new religion, a secular religion, and this religion would advance the notion that revolutionaries, thinkers and experts were the chaps with the right to rule. One of the ideas of the new secular religion was to educate young men in the humanities and liberal arts -- in Oxbridge, Philosophy, Politics, and Economics -- to prepare them in the arts and practice of governane so they could to enter the charmed circle of the ruling class and keep the dynasty going.

For a while this rising elite had to hide its ideology; even chaps like Hume and Hegel had to pretend that they were Christians, for to teach in a university you had to be a Christian. Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion was published after his death.

What would be a good strategy for the new elite to advance its non-Christian world view? Why, freedom of speech, of course. That way the rising elite could be licensed to advertise its wares and the old elite would just have to sit and take it.

In the United States I would say that this situation lasted until just after the Sixties. Until the Sixties the rising educated elite saw itself as an insurgency needing the camouflage of freedom of speech. But after its Gramscian march through the institutions was complete, then it did not see the need for freedom of speech. Indeed, it was obvious to everyone that the wrong kind of speech was hate speech, more or less equivalent to violence, and thus beyond the Pale.

There is nothing scandalous about this. Nobody believes in freedom of speech, not really. And especially nobody believes in freedom of speech for societal saboteurs and wreckers. You  know who they are.

The only people that believe in freedom of speech are the "outs," for obvious reasons. So right now conservatives and libertarians and deplorables are rather obviously all in favor of freedom of speech.

Of course, it is not just universities that function as seminaries, preparing youngsters to go forth and teach regime apologetics and practice its teachings in their daily lives. There is, and has always been, a whole system of feeder schools, preparatory seminaries, to instruct the kiddies in the right religion.

Unfortunately, the demands of political power mean that education -- rather than rewarding of regime supporters with well deserved sinecures -- in schools and universities comes off second best, and the regime's ideological syllabus ends up wrecking the schools. In the mid 19th century the British universities were still cranking out priests while the Germans had transformed the university into an incubator of young men that would come forth and lead the German nation against the perfidious French. Eventually, the British universities copied the German model just in time to beat the perfidious Germans in World War I.

So now the education system in the US and elsewhere is a pathetic secular seminary inculcating regime orthodoxy on everything from class to race, everything, in fact, that the left has cooked up in order to defeat the most remarkable notion in history, the minimal state, the language nation, and the economic revolution we call the Great Enrichment.

We could fix this with a deplorables' Alinsky tactic, to make the progressives live up to their own rules and all the other poisonous brew of Rules for Radicals and drive them from the temple, but I would prefer something better.

My point is this. The current education system was built in an age when books and information were very expensive, and literacy was still not universal. Meanwhile labor was cheap. So the school system was a good way of making texts available, to be shared in schools, and in forced marching the working class towards literacy.

That was then; this is now.

Now labor is expensive, information is cheap, and most mothers are literate, meaning that children are likely to get literacy in their mother's milk. Moreover, the modern smartphone, which every youth must have and master, requires a basic literacy. Used to be that you could not get some boys interested in literacy until you tempted them with books about guns and motorcycles. Not any more.

So my solution to the campus shoutdowns is to leave the campi to the liberals and build a new world outside it.

On my plan elementary education would be conducted by mothers in their neighborhoods, supplemented by resources supplied by billionaires that the mothers would control.

On my plan teenagers would mostly have jobs, and it would be the responsibility (and the advantage) of their employers to advance their education to make them into more useful, responsible, and creative employees. This is how education worked for most people before the advent of government child-custodial facilities with the apprentice system.

And advanced education? We are already seeing it develop in the notion of the online university. One good thing about the online university. If you don't like your rude, crude lefty instructor cramming his reactionary pre-modern ideas down your throat you can change him for a better one.

The principle of evolution, that our liberal rulers revere as "science" when it serves their purpose, is that all things die out, sooner or later. The things that die out later are the things that learn to adapt. The curious thing about all institutions is that they are designed not to adapt, whether a royal dynasty, a church, or a corporation. Nobody cares much if churches and corporations die out when they fail to adapt; people just invent new ones. But political dynasties are different. They generally do not go peacefully. They try to stay in business by force and prefer to sacrifice the livelihood and sometimes the lives of millions rather than exit followed by a bear. But in their latter daysw they find it very difficult to stay in power because they have to keep paying out pensions to their loyal supporters even if they are useless bureaucrats or tenured faculty in charge of failing institutions.

The question for us today is how to let our institutions evolve to serve the needs of the 21st century. But the first thing to acknowledge is to admit that we don't know what is needed. All of our educational institutions were designed for another age. It is said that automation is going to make the current notion of a job extinct. So we really don't have a clue how to prepare the kiddies for the future. We do not know what the future will look like.

That means that we need to stand back and let a thousand ideas about education and childhood bloom, and let the best ideas take over the world.

Yes, but what about the poor and marginalized? Exactly. The poor are the ones most cheated by the current system, which sends the worst teachers to the worst schools, and prevents poor parents from getting their kids out of the gutter.

On my system, most parents will  be educating their own kids, or sending them off to work as they used to do, and this would free up a lot of money to help the poor educate their children.

And anyway, don't you believe in Change?

And along the way we would solve the problem of little lefty regime thugs shouting down honorable and worthy men like Charles Murray, whose only sin is that he has shone a light on the fact that modern education privileges the intelligent over the less intelligent.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Let's Talk about the Bannon Conspiracy!

Now that Steve Bannon is openly taking on the Republican establishment for the 2018 mid-term elections in open opposition to dear old Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), I am suspicious.

Not about whether Steve Bannon is really going to take on the good old boys of the Senate and the Deep State. Talk about a happy warrior!

No, what I am wondering about is the whole story about his departure from the White House, back in... wow, it was just yesterday, in August! That's when Maggie Haberman and her team at the New York Times wrote their piece headlined "Stephen Bannon Out at the White House After Turbulent Run."
Conservatives groused that they lost a key advocate inside the White House and worried aloud that Mr. Trump would shift left, while cheers erupted on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange when headlines about Mr. Bannon’s ouster appeared. Both the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index and the Dow Jones industrial average immediately rose, though they ended the day slightly down.
Hey kids! When did the Times ever care what the Dow did? But the point is that the Times clearly thought that it was good riddance to bad rubbish, now that someone had rid the White House of its troublesome monk.

But I think that dear old Maggie missed the real story. Here's what I think went down in the Oval Office.
Bannon: Hey, Mr. President, I don't think I'm really achieving much here at the White House playing bureaucratic games with pygmies.

The President: OK, Steve, Big Boy. What do you suggest?

Bannon: I think I would do better getting outside the White House and taking the battle to your opponents out in the public square.

The President: Terrific, Steve, what's the deal?

Bannon: Here's what I want to do. I want to get out and rev Breitbart News back up to ramming speed, and I want to steal all the GOP donors from Mitch and Paul and the rest of the usual suspects. Then we can back a bunch of non-establishment candidates and really turn the Senate.

The President: Outstanding, Steve! Tell me more.

Bannon: See, I think that your problem is that the average GOP senator needs to think twice or thrice before he or she votes against your agenda. And right now, they feel they can get away with voting against you.

The President: Tremendous! When can you start? But you can't just leave with my approval. That would set the wrong tone. Sad!

Bannon: Exactly, Mr. President, you are a genius. I think that I should leave under a cloud, as the mad genius that couldn't quite fit in. Maybe we should tee up Maggie Haberman to do a too-hot-to-handle piece.

The President: Steve, that's fantastic! Then I could be the good cop to your bad cop. Imagine me as the good cop! Incredible! Imagine you running around pissing everybody off instead of me. That would really line us up for an amazing mid-term.

Bannon: You said it, Mr, President. I'll coordinate with Gen. Kelly to choose the best way to get out the door.

The President: Terrific, Steve. Go get 'em!
Is that what happened? We will never know. But let us think about the facts of the case.

In fact what about the Harvey Weinstein case? Rush Limbaugh was complaining today. He said that if Weinstein had been a Republican the whole Democratic-MSM complex would have come out in unison chorus saying that every Republican was a party to this unjust example of white male supremacy ruthlessly victimizing innocent young female and LGBTQ hopefuls in the entertainment industry. But when it's the Democrat's bigfoot contributor and pal, we hear crickets from the GOP NeverTrump chaps.

The whole point of the Trump candidacy and the Bannon phenomenon is that the days of gentlemanly conservatism are over. Now we are going to take it straight to the lefty solar plexus and they ain't gonna like it. Nor are the GOP fossils that learned their politics in the days when it was death to get on the wrong side of the Democrats and their willing accomplices in the media.

And obviously, one of the big jobs is to persuade the vacillators to choose sides. Sen. Corker recently chose the anti-Trump side after deciding that reelection in 2018 might be too hard for him. But if 2018 turns a few of the 21 Democratic seats up for reelection and elects a few Trumpists on the GOP side there will be more senators choosing to go along and get along with the Trump project.

Don't forget my catchphrase: There is no such thing as justice, only injustice. At least not as far as politics is concerned. That's because Government is Force, and anyone on the receiving end of government force experiences it as injustice.

My point is that there are tons of people that have suffered injustice under the cultural and political reign of liberals. Most of them are in the Republican Party, and the white working class is the latest to join the colors. But then there are the cat ladies, the women that believed the feminist rhetoric, and now find themselves single and alone and seeing therapists about depression and wondering what went wrong. Then there are African Americans that have been incredibly loyal Democrats for half a century, for what? So America could pat itself on the back that it elected a black president? So the average black kid could grow up in a single-parent household watching a parade of mom's lovers? So inner-city black kids could go the the worst schools?

For half a century these people have been suffering from liberal injustice but the Republican Party did not know how to talk to them and do something about the injustice. Until Trump.

And Bannon.