Friday, November 17, 2017

All Politics is Reactionary

Our lefty friends have made a big thing about representing their politics as "progressive" whereas the politics of their opponents is regressive and "reactionary." There are those that actually believe such nonsense.

A lot of people on the alt-right seem ready to take them at their word, understanding that all politics will end up as race or ethnic politics, so why not start a self-conscious white identity politics before it is too late? Vox Day, today, has a cartoon of Uncle Sam trying to put the American eagle back together again from all its broken parts from conservatives to Hispanics. Day's bĂȘte noire is "civic nationalism," the attempt to create a nation out of the constitution, the English language, and a common culture. On his view this is doomed to disappointment, because people keep their ethnic identities unto the nth generation.

The reason why this might be so is not hard to figure out. Politics is division, and the easiest way for a politician to divide is people by religion, race, ethnicitiy, and language. Thus presidential election campaigns to this day know they need to appeal to voters by touching all these idols. It still pays politicians to appeal to the Irishness in Irish Americans and the Italianness in Italian Americans. German Americans, of course, need not apply; their ethnicity was driven underground in World War I. Of course, the contribution of Marxism to this game was to introduce class as a good way to divide and conquer people.

Now, the question is whether the left's identity politics is unstoppable, or whether it will drive us eventually into a war of all against all. Maybe it will. Then again maybe it won't.

Here are my arguments for hope.

Base and superstructure. Marx argued that the economic relations of production are what really defines a society. All the politics and culture is just superstructure. On that argument, the base today is the market economy of millions of prices urging people every day to put their money and their effort into satisfying the wants of the consumers. And in this base we work with anyone that will work with us, because not to do so leaves money on the table. Willy nilly, the superstructure will end up reflecting this reality.

The need for big battalions. The present world of nation states did not come into existence because nations were ordained by God back in the Garden of Eden. They were forged by force. In Britain and France, this forced unification occurred centuries ago. These nations were forged because smaller units were too weak. But German nationhood was forged within historical memory by uniting Germans in three wars, first against the Danes (!), then the Austrians, then the French. The US, of course, was built by flat-out conquest, assisted by a bit of Dutch Finance in the Louisiana Purchase. The reason we see a lot of separatism, from Scotland to Catalonia, is that today people think they can make it without being part of a big fat nation state. I wonder if they are right?

South and East Asians. I had a email from a South Asian decrying the war against the west. The west, she insisted, invented the modern world, and it would be madness to throw it over. I dare say there are more like her. Then there are the words of a Chinese Christian reported by David Aikman in Jesus in Beijing.
At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity. 
I think that the biggest thing going in the world today is the determination of the Indians and Chinese to get back on top after the humiliation of the last 500 years. You get an insight into the humiliation the Chinese felt in the 19th century from Jung Chang's book on the last Dowager Empress Cixi of China. The Chinese ruling class was divided into a conservative faction that wanted to return to the ideas of Confucius and Mencius, and modernists that wanted to modernize. Notice that the modernist efforts began with nationalism of the Xinhai revolution, then Maoist socialism, and now the one-party capitalism (fascism?) of the current regime. Notice how they are flopping around between competing western ideas. Same thing in India, where the Indian National Movement became a sort of Fabian socialism, then reformed into the present reform towards a more naked capitalism.

In other words, if you are not doing some sort of western-invented capitalism with a market-directed economy, you are an idiot, Cuba and Venezuela.

Trumpism. So where does Trump fit in all this? Is he an idiot, as our lefty friends insist, or does he just play one on TV? Clearly, despite his populism, he is a capitalist, through and through, with his appointees ripping out administrative-state regulations by the bushel. He is supporting a tax reform to reduce loopholes and carveouts, to the extent possible. He appeals to the notion of the United States as a nation, not a congeries of identities. Hey, it might just work!

My Take. See, my ground zero is the staggering social and economic revolution of the last 200 years, what Deirdre McCloskey calls the Great Enrichment. It is just as earth-shattering as the physics revolution that has brought us quantum mechanics and smartphones. The key point of the physics revolution is that we cannot imagine what is going on at the micro level; we just have to believe the math. Our daily-life concepts just do not describe the way the world works with electrons and photons quarks and all the rest of the Greek and Joyce-named stuff.

The world of the economic Great Enrichment is just the same. Markets and prices work in a mysterious way, through connections between millions of consumers and producers that magically coordinate economic efforts all across the world. All we know is that, if you try to replace the probabilistic economic state function with a rigid materialist administrative function you get the economic meltdown of the Soviet Union, Maoist China, Castroist Cuba, and Bolivarian Venezuela. No wonder many people want to retreat to the comfort of the face-to-face village community or the tribe of the kindred. The new world is too hard.

And yet. The worst thing in the world is to imagine that your political leaders will "take care" of you. They can't; they won't. As a black state representative said: Politicians don't care about you; they only care about your vote. Ask the white working class about that.

The only thing to do is to get out into the price-driven economy and learn how to swim in its frightening currents. There are no magic tricks, no simple solution, no safe haven. But the results! A thirty-fold increase in per capita income in 200 years! There has never been anything like it, ever.

The modern economy merely says that you should find something to do that other people are willing to pay for. First of all, find a way to be of use in the world; then get your paycheck. Is that not the basis of all the Axial Age religions? Of course it is, because the Axial Age religions all got started when cities got started, and cities are all about buying and selling, prices and credit, figuring out how to make a buck in the swirl of the money economy. Only now, everyone is involved in the city economy, and everyone needs to know its ways, its rules, and how to wive and thrive under its sway. If they know what is good for them.

And so the politicians entice us with their reactionary appeals to tribe and identity. A world that is, quoth the raven, nevermore.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Of Course Elites Spurn Deplorables

In a review of the mid-midterms, in Virginia and New Jersey, Henry Olsen sees
highly educated, upper-middle-class voters are shifting towards voting Democratic up and down the ballot. If this trend continues, it will wipe out most if not all of the political gains President Trump’s shift towards blue-collar populism made, leaving conservatives even worse off than they were before.
 At the other end of the scale I read Ann Coulter moaning that
According to the Pew Research Center, 75 percent of Hispanic immigrants and 55 percent of Asian immigrants support bigger government, compared to just over 40 percent of the general public. Even third-generation Hispanics support bigger government by 58 percent.

So is it all over, bar shouting, as my grandfather used to say?

First of all the educated. It's really not surprising that they are tending Democratic. The whole purpose of universities, on my view, is to indoctrinate the rising elite in regime orthodoxy. If the educated are trending Democratic it means that the regime indoctrination is working. Further, on my view, the whole point of education is to prepare youngsters for a career as specialists in the government's bureaucracy. Because the modern government needs lots of Barnacles and Stiltstockings in its Circumlocution Offices, as per this from Steven Hayward:
[A]lmost all social phenomena have become politicized, and almost all social problems are assumed to have only political solutions. . . Where once the private investigation of social problems was important, public inquiry now dominates, and with public inquiry there is almost inevitably public solution (remedial legislation and the establishment of a bureaucracy of enforcement and control.
Obviously, the public solution of social problems is going to require a ton of educated professionals to make the "public inquiry" and the "public solution." And since, per Ludwig von Mises, socialism cannot work because it cannot compute prices, even more educated people will be needed to clean up the inevitable messes that will issue as night follows day from public solutions.

Listen, all politics is loot and plunder, political leaders paying off their supporters, and one of the ways to pay off your supporters is to dangle lifetime, pensioned government jobs at the educated.

If we want to change this then we have to change the culture, and that means changing the basic moral framework that we teach the kids. Per my Perfect Plan, that means teaching the educated elite to be ashamed of government sinecures, and ashamed of sneering at the deplorables. And it means teaching the immigrants unto the third generation that the cool thing to do is to get off welfare and government entitlements and become a responsible individual in the great American middle class.

It hardly needs saying that such a program requires the demolition of the current education system from K to grad school. Because the little kiddies get taught everything from veneration of big government to the identification of deplorables as racist sexist homophobes from their lifetime-government-job teachers. You can see what this program of demolition requires. It requires the mothers of America to recoil in horror from sending their kiddies to government schools because... Well, I don't know how to get the mothers of America to realize how government schools ruin their kiddies' lives. But that is what it is going to take.

So really, the movement of the educated elite into the Democratic column is not all that remarkable. Nor is the multi-generational devotion to big government.

And it is not surprising that the whole thrust of the welfare state is to erode the culture of the People of the Responsible Self, from family to binary sexuality to entitlement programs for everything. The welfare state is a coalition between the People of the Creative Self and the People of the Subordinate Self and naturally, because politics is division, they need an enemy to combine against.

But the question, to paraphrase Marx, is not to understand the world. The point is to change it, to make the world safe for the People of the Responsible Self.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Problem of Power in a Looter State

The news this morning is that the armed forces of Zimbabwe have apparently ousted the country's president, Robert Mugabe.

The line seems to be that the corruptocrats around Mugabe's wife (and heir presumptive) were taking out the corruptocrats around the country's vice-president. And the armed forces stepped in to stop that -- and presumably the presumptiveness of the heir presumptive.

Now this gives me the opening to talk about my theory of the state, and the ongoing revolution in the nature of human social cooperation.

Because, of course, all political entities are corruptocracies. Period. That is to say, every sovereign political entity is a armed minority, occupying territory, and taxing the people thereof to reward its supporters. You could look it up.

The only question is the natural limit of the armed minority rewarding its supporters. In an industrial society the limit is probably when the government takes so much in taxes and loot that growth grinds to a halt; then you will find that the voters will decide it is Time for a Change. In an agricultural nation like Zimbabwe I would say that the limit is that people are dying of starvation or that they are leaving for South Africa.

Interestingly, in Saudi Arabia, where the current crown prince is embarking on an anti-corruption drive, this commentator thinks it will never work.
The problem in resource-rich states is that corruption is not marginal to political power, but central to acquiring it and keeping it. Corruption at the top is a form of patronage manipulated by those in charge, to create and reward a network of self-interested loyalists.
In other words, whereas patronage and corruption are a significant factor in, e.g., the United States, patronage and corruption are the entire game in places like Zimbabwe and Saudi Arabia.

But there is a complicating factor: the armed forces. When I say that every political entity is an "armed minority" I have to add a qualification. Whereas in the good old days the political leadership was also the military leadership, things have changed. Today the political leadership outsources its military protection to a specialist career military, and the interests of the political elite and military elite tend to diverge.

Specifically, I suspect, the time comes when the corruptocracy starts to loot the military to keep its patronage system going in other areas. You can see that the military might take a dim view of this, particularly if the looting is accompanied by hyper-inflation that makes it difficult to run the military in a good, safe administrative manner. And what about the pensions?

It is interesting to read the statement issued by the military that is taking power in Zimbabwe. It tells the people that Mugabe, the hero of the revolution, is safe and sound. Then it addresses in turn the civil service, the judiciary, the Members of Parliament, the "generality of the people," the political parties, the youth, the rest of the world, the war veterans, the "members of the Defence forces," the "respected Traditional leaders," the other security services, and the media. It tells each of these groups not to worry, everything is under control. So the leaders of the coup have been trying to think around the corner beyond the day of the coup to seize power. Notice who is left out: businessmen and significant economic actors. Maybe that's because they have already been squared and don't need to be addressed. Or maybe it's because they don't count.

It is my contention -- ok, my millennial hope -- that we humans are in a period of transition from the loot-and-plunder model of social cooperation that obtained in the agricultural era to a free-exchange and service model. It is my belief that all use of power and force in economic affairs is a poisoned chalice, and that everyone that deploys political power in the modern economy is cutting off his hand to spite his face. Obviously that is true in the limit cases like the Soviet Union and Maoist China and is proving true in Venezuela. It is less obvious that this applies to a place like Saudi Arabia, because Saudi Arabia gets its money from the oil-export meter, and until the oil runs out the loot-and-plunder game can continue.

Meanwhile, in a country like the United States there are still millions of people -- maybe a majority -- that still believe in the loot-and-plunder game. They will be disappointed.

I am reading volume three of lefty Michael Mann's The Sources of Social Power. He does a good job of describing the late imperialism of the western powers, the British Empire and the abortive American empire with Spanish colonies seized in the Spanish-American War, without really knowing what he is talking about. The British discovered that they needed to rule through local elites, that direct rule was too unpopular. However, their rule was still unpopular because it tended to create an economy parallel to the native economy that did nothing to help the colonial economy. Anyway, as the Brits weren't going to simply loot and plunder the locals, they found that their Empire wasn't really that beneficial to them. The US had the same experience when it seized Cuba and the Philippines. We were not in the plunder business, so what the heck were we doing there?

In other words, the western imperialists found that their empires were a bit of an embarrassment. They got into them often by accident, found that they had no real interest or benefit from good old looting, but could not bring themselves to abandon the whole thing.

That leads to my larger argument, that loot and plunder are yesterday's game. These days, physical loot is not worth that much. The real plunder is obtained by a light taxation of a booming economy. Indeed if you wanted to make the biggest and most powerful country the world has ever seen you would outsource all the usual government activities that we know and love like pensions, healthcare, education and welfare and regulation to remove the dead hand of government from them. But that is something that politicians and activists and most voters don't understand. To them, the economy is like a wild beast that needs to be caged and controlled.

I look forward to the day when they do understand. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Sexual Harrassment vs. Sexual Revolution

I don't know about you, but I've been enjoying the discomfort of Harvey Weinstein and all the sexual predators of Hollywood. But I've also been embarrassed by the apparently revolting teenaged tastes of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.

But the question is what do we do now? If it is bad for male sexual predators to prey on nubile young women, then what do we do about the culture that celebrates let-it-all-hang-out sex? Or was that all a confidence trick by the Hollyweird types so that they could have more access to nubile young women?

I interpret the intent of the "campus rape" activists as making the university campus "safe" for young college women. And this clearly means that young college men should not get young women drunk, should not importune them, should not use any kind of pressure to have sex.

But these "campus rape" activists are not actually saying that a young man should not importune a young woman for sex unless he is prepared to love and honor her forever. In other words, they are not abandoning the sex-without-consequences culture promoted by the sexual revolution.

I think this is popularly called the impossibility of "having your cake and eating it."

I don't know about you, but my limited experience of women is that they are really not into the sex-without-consequences thing. My experience -- and it is limited -- is that the commencement of sex is experienced by women as the confirmation of a love relationship that will continue forever. And indeed the reports of the women that claim to have been harassed by Harvey Weinstein and Roy Moore and Bill Clinton and Uncle Tom Cobbley all seem to agree on the notion that "he done her wrong" and did not treat her as a temple of future life. Which suggests to me that, sexual revolution or not, today's women are still the same women that you might find in a 19th century Trollope novel.

Now, I don't know that much about the world, but the message I get from a Trollope novel is that women were protected from male agression back then by simple rules about when a woman might be alone with a man that is not her father, her husband, or her fiancé. The rule was: never!

Today, as I understand it, men and women are to mix together socially and economically at will, but men are not to use their power or male aggression to pressure women into sex. I assume this is to be achieved by teaching young men a culture of non-harrassment backed up by frightful penalties against harassers.

This is to say nothing, of course, about something like this where a woman is attacked in broad daylight by black gang-members.

But I wonder if the campaign against sexual harassment can work while the culture of the sexual revolution endures, where anything goes as long as it is "consensual."

And I wonder if the campaign can work in the arts and entertainment where beautiful young women are a dime a dozen and there is really nothing to choose between them, and the whole point of beautiful young women on camera is to broadcast their beauty and sexual attractiveness to the world.

And I wonder if the campaign can work in the regular working world, where unequal power relationships abound, and only a saint may be expected not to take advantage of his (or her) power over a subordinate.

My point is: what is the best we can expect when we throw men and women together in the workplace and the university and left-wing fundraising dinners?

I know! Let analyze the whole procedure using my reductive Three Peoples theory.

Let us suppose the young woman is a People of the Subordinate Self, a worker or a peasant. Well, the answer is simple. She will submit to the power of the other person. She will resent it and perhaps share the horrible experience with her women friends, but would not even think of accusing her boss or co-worker of harassment, because in the her world subordination is a fact of life, and the means of obtaining protection from other, more pressing perils. The rule about abuse of power is that nobody does anything until there is blood in the water.

Let us suppose the young woman is a People of the Responsible Self. This means that she believes in herself as an individual and believes in following the rules. So the chances are that she would resist the power play of the harasser, perhaps because of her confidence in herself as a responsible individual, or perhaps because of her culture of following the rules. She would, of course, understand that she might not get hired or promoted if she didn't submit to superior power. But that, she would say to herself, is the price of responsibility and principles.

Now let us suppose the young woman is a People of the Creative Self. This means she believes in what Charles Taylor calls expressive individualism and, of course, creativity. I'd say that she's in a bit of a pickle. Should she pay the price for the opportunity of a creative process? Or should she resist the power play? On the other hand, maybe she is such a confident young woman that she exudes a kind of aura such that men would not dare to interfere with her person. On the other hand she believes in non-binary sex, and the creativity of any kind of sexual orientation. So what's so bad about a minor dalliance? Don't forget that she also believes that rules are for the little people, and people like us are above all such pettifogging stuff.

It seems to me that I have just explained why the whole campus rape/sexual harassment thing is a thing. In the world of the People of the Creative Self there are no real boundaries, no guard-rails. However, young women are still young women, and their approach to sex is still experienced through the instinctive lens of love. So the sexual aggression of the Harveys of the world is bound to be extremely disorienting and likely to lead to social hysteria and witch hunts and attempts to Do Something about the rage that women feel when a man treats them as a sexual object and not as a loved one.

I really like my Three Peoples theory. It lets me understand everything and explain everything. Yay!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Tribe vs. City: Which Will Win?

Everybody seems to agree that it is going to come to a fight. The alt-right says that in a majority-minority nation, US whites will  have to organize on the basis of race.

And the black law professor writing at the New York Times avers that his children really can't be friends with whites. The problem is President Trump.
His election and the year that has followed have fixed the awful thought in my mind too familiar to black Americans: “You can’t trust these people.”
This guy, it should be stressed, is an immigrant.

His message, of course is the basic message of identity politics, and of tribes down the ages. Trust stops at the border of the race, or the border of the class, or the border of the political party, or the border of blood kinship, or the borderlands policed by the marcher lords.

But there is another story, the story of the Great Enrichment over the last 200 years. It says you should trust anyone that is trustworthy. And the record of the last 200 years is that this formula is an astonishing formula for prosperity and peace. You go to work for a business, and the only thing that matters is: can you do the job. You join a church, and the only thing that matters is do you believe. You join a mutual-aid society -- now abolished by the administrative state -- and you imagine yourself the brother or sister of the other members in a community of trust and neighborliness.

In my view we a joined together in a vast experiment to see if the notion of trust beyond tribal boundaries can be made into the basis of human community.

I have said that the old notion of mistrust is natural and physical in an agricultural society, because the only asset of an agricultural society is its land, and the land of the tribe next door could just as well serve our tribe, with the current inhabitants enslaved or massacred. A little loot and plunder would benefit us, and the other guys don't matter, because they aren't our kindred. The Roman Empire did a good job on this looting and plundering line for centuries until it had expanded to the limit of useful land in its neighborhood.

But the basis of the current society is different. For us it makes no sense to plunder the neighboring factory, because every factory or business is a node in the prosperity-generating network, and every time you take out a node you reduce the network and you make everyone poorer.

When people come to the city they still live the culture of the country, and in their first years in the city they live in a ghetto of their fellow immigrants, as the Irish, the Italians, the Jews did in their first years in the United States, and as African Americans and Latinos do today. They understand that their life depends on standing together or falling apart separately.

And you can live like that for generations, in a neo-feudal society in your ghetto, or your 'hood, or your barrio. But you cannot thrive. Thriving means coming out of the 'hood and putting on the armor of the market economy, becoming a node in the trust network, finding a skill or an idea to offer to the world, surrendering to the price system, making the customer king, and trusting anyone that is trustworthy.

To the tribesman or the feudal peasant, this new culture is madness, and so it would be, if the world were still an agricultural world of good rich acres. But in the new world it doesn't matter what you think of the barbaric religious practices of the guy in the next city. It only matters that he is good for his promises.

But all this is still breathtakingly new.

On this notion it is not scandalous that liberals have championed identity politics, a reactionary, nostalgic appeal to people still mostly living in a pre-market economy culture. You would expect that the new era would not appear like a virgin birth from out of the old. You would expect stumbling and bumbling, and wars and rumors of wars, and race riots and class envy and intellectuals dressing up racism in the clothes of anti-racism as all the affirmative action and diversity and inclusion and intersectionality dudes do. What, you expect the world to turn on a dime, in one magical revolution, baby?

Nor should we expect our elites or our ruling class to understand the new world, and to act like wise men and women that grasp the meaning of the age. No ruling class down the ages has been wise or sensible. They have all made it up as they went along and devised ruling-class ideologies to justify their rule and promote their rulers into demi-gods, even as they stumble clueless from one disaster to the next.

But I think that despite the cluelessness of the elites, the internal logic of the new order will have its way in the end. That's because it is an astonishing self-ordering phenomenon, that bountifully rewards people that follow its way, and horribly punishes anyone that ignores it. That is how I interpret the follies of Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, Maoist China, Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela, etc. These  places were and/or are total disasters! Yet here is the dirty little secret that I will reveal to you elitists. You cannot swing your power around in this world unless you have a big healthy economy to back you up.

And the only way to have a healthy economy is to dial down the top-down administrative instincts of the ruling class and discourage the tribal looting of the political system, and calm down the racists and the sexists and the dividers -- because they are bad for business and they will get us all killed! If you do that and set up a good legal system and a moderate tax system then you will find that a hundred flowers will bloom and everyone will live happily and prosperously ever after.

Overarching all this detail stuff is the incandescent radiance of my reductive Three Peoples theory and my new Perfect Plan. They illuminate the world and help it all make sense. The Three Peoples theory shows how people move from the culture of workers and peasants as People of the Subordinate Self and become People of the Responsible Self, and the Perfect Plan is a prime directive to the ruling class to stop their silliness and their damaging promotion of class and race warfare and just focus on helping People of the Subordinate Self become good honest burgers as People of the Responsible Self.

This is not that hard!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Yes, What About Women?

One of my regular correspondents has written to me about women. He is worried that women are more inclined to big government than men, and this is due to the fact that women are more limited, defined more by who they are than what they can do. At any rate, women showed themselves inclined towards big government the moment they got the vote. They seem to be "less accommodating to a liberty-minded, laissez-faire society."

Agreed. My feeling is that this issues from the fundamental role of women, which is not to achieve diversity and inclusion in tech, but to raise children to adulthood. On this view a woman needs a ton of things settled and assured the moment the first kid hits the ground. She needs food; she needs shelter; she  needs protection from males other than her husband. And she needs health care: boy does she need health care. These things need to be available right now and continue to be available for years. Women expect things like child care and schools and stuff to be available, as a matter of right, and they become mortally offended if these things are not available. One thinks also of the good old song: "Why Don't You Do Right," with memorable lines like "Get out of here and get me some money too." Women want a settled, reliable community around them when they get in the family way.

In the old days the only way that a woman could get an establishment to bear and raise children was to marry a man with a farm to whom her father would be willing to pay a dowry. In other words, both families had to provide in order to provide enough resources for a marriage to go through. We are, of course, shocked by this mercenary approach to marriage but it made sense. You didn't get married unless you had the establishment to raise a family. Of course, plenty of people broke these rules, and many of them ended up like Fanny Robin in Far from the Madding Crowd. If we accept the notion of the "downward mobility" that obtained in Britain prior to 1800 in A Farewell to Alms by Gregory Clark, then the reproductive fortunes of the poor were miserable prior to the Industrial Revolution.

The novelty of our age is that we can afford to throw all these rules away and pay poor women to have children without husbands. We do it because we can afford it and because it efficiently wins the votes of poor women. Also we have applied the organizational technology of the factory system to child-raising and assembled the children of the world in government child-custodial facilities where they are taught regime propaganda by government functionaries. In other words, a ton of things that women used to have supplied to them by the marriage system is now provided by government program. And many women think this is a pretty good idea.

The question is whether women are wise to vote to have government assume so many functions related to the care and raising of children. We may say that women are like others that have recently obtained political influence, from the working class that voted for government programs to the minority groups like blacks and Latinos that have voted for big government. It seems really cool to be able to band together and get the political system to shower you with benefits.

My answer would be: probably not. If the government -- or the patriarchy -- showers you with benefits and takes over a lot of the decision-making in your life then you are probably becoming like an animal in a zoo. Like the animal in the zoo you are losing the culture and the instincts of survival that got you where you were up until yesterday. And you are not acquiring the skills you need to wive and thrive in the city.

Now, my line is that we are in the transition period after thousands of years of agriculture where humans are moving off the land in their billions and learning to live and work in the city. It defeats the purpose if you arrive in the city and become the ward of the government, taking a dole and teaching your children not how to rise into the middle class but how the manipulate the benefit system of The Man.

But heck, what do I know. What about Christopher DeGroot on women:
Women, deep down, feel they deserve a chivalrous outcome, since per their psychology, men are essentially branches on the feminine tree of hypergamy, women’s will to power. Women, moreover, largely lack a sense of justice, where the word denotes conscious, abstract duty; they are mostly feeling and caprice, irrational and maternal. Hence, although they are more sympathetic than men, they are frequently effortless vampires, without scruple or conscience.
My interpretation of this is not that women are deficient, but that they cannot afford the time to worry about justice and duty, not when the woman's basic need is to keep herself alive so she can keep her children alive. It really does not matter how she gets food on the table and health care down the street. The only thing that matters is that she gets it and her children get to grow up and, in due time, leave the nest.

What did women do in Berlin in May 1945? In A Woman in Berlin the women became the concubines of the Soviet invaders. But they hid their teenaged daughters in the attic.

I think that the deployment of women into politics and the corporate bureaucracy and "the workforce" is a civilizational folly: women are not designed for political and corporate systems. What they are designed for is the community of women in the neighborhood that creates the culture in which children are born and raised to adulthood. Among their most important contribution is to set community standards and to name and shame anyone that violates them. I am reminded of the joke of the man that asserts that in his household he makes all the important decisions, like whether we recognize Red China, and his wife does all the rest.

In due course, I predict, women will decide that big government is not the answer to their needs. And then, imperceptibly, quietly, the world will change, and we will look back and wonder how it happened.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

So Let the Battle Begin

I suppose that the Trump victory in the fall of 2016 always came with a question mark. Is this what Americans really want? In the last year it has been easy to believe that the liberals and the Democratic Party of Obama's conceit, the Clintons' corruption, and the faith in government force, were a busted flush.

Of course they aren't busted. Not at all. That's because liberalism is a genuine movement of the People of the Creative Self that want, as part of their creative project, to create a new society. And that's because the Democratic Party is a genuinely modern political party that trades votes for plunder, in the good old way that goes back to the Vikings plundering up the rivers of Britain and the young lads of hunter-gatherer tribes launching regular dawn raids on the neighboring village.

When you combine the two, the creative project of the People of the Creative Self and the offer of regular, profitable plunder to people not yet acculturated to the modern city economy, the folk I call the People of the Subordinate Self, you have a great political coalition. And this coalition naturally lines up against the other great coalition of the modern era, the bourgeois People of the Responsible Self that live by going to work, obeying the law, and following the rules of the market economy.

Under President Obama, the coalition of the creative and the subordinate became a little lazy, believing its own bullshit that the arc of history was going to bend towards justice, just because. But instead we got a Republican Congress and, the shock of the ages, in President Trump, a man who had never run  for political office before, and roundly beat all the usual suspects for the presidential nomination of the Republican Party.

With the results of this November's off-off-year elections, particularly in Virginia, it is clear that the Democrats are serious again. Perhaps that's because they have purged all their Obama and Clinton people and are are now getting back to basics and concentrating on getting elected again. And certainly their revival must be because their base supporters are energized again, genuinely hating the deplorable presidency of Trump and everything he stands for.

Some people say that both political parties are in trouble, but I doubt it. I suspect that the parties are merely adjusting their fighting stance and are recruiting new coalitions with which to wage the eternal politics of division.

What is clear is that the old Republican Party didn't really have enough support to form a ruling class in its post-Reagan Bush era. It could govern from time to time, but the ruling class was still the left-leaning People of the Creative Self that believed in their right and destiny to build a just society that would be a comfortable place for creative people to create, and in which the workers and peasants would gratefully accept the plunder acquired by the creative class in their permanent war on the market economy.

Only, of course, the workers and peasants were now the women and minorities of the welfare state.

So all Donald Trump has done is revive the old Reagan coalition, that successfully hijacked the "Reagan Democrats" from the Democratic Party following the tumultuous Sixties in which the working class followers of the Democrats felt abandoned by the party that used to love and adore the working stiff. It is not exactly brain surgery.

The received wisdom about the Trump campaign and the Trump presidency is that it is almost an accident, that Trump is a lightweight that barged his way into the presidency with a volley of insults. But this is always the line on the latest Republican leader: he's an idiot, a B-movie actor, an amiable dunce.

Suppose Trump knows what he is doing? Suppose that the attack on the GOP establishment is based on a strategic appreciation that its globalist, minimal state philosophy just cannot assemble a lasting, ruling coalition? Suppose the appeal to the white working class is based on deep, serious political analysis? Suppose the brashness of the Trump persona is based on a deep understanding that the People of the Responsible Self and the white working class need to feel that they have someone in their corner, defending their culture of working hard, following the rules, and obeying the law?

Suppose that the plan was all along that Steve Bannon would spend six months in the White House planning the next campaign, and would exit at just the right time to launch a party-wide effort to recruit candidates aligned with the new Republican coalition that would include the small-government Republicans and the white working class that wanted a party that fought their corner?

Suppose that the Trump general staff assumed all along that once Trump got elected the Democrats would reenergize their base and fan the hatred of Trump and his deplorables to white heat?

Well, then, there is only one thing to say: let the battle begin.

But, as Andrew Breitbart said, politics is downstream from culture, and the culture war is just as important as the political war. In my view the culture war must be based on my Perfect Plan of culture war.

First, the central human need of our time is to teach people the way of the city, to create a culture that rewards and encourages people that get out of their identity ghetto and enter the full membership of the People of the Responsible Self, the city people, the bourgeoisie. And it is a crime against humanity that the left has battled for 150 years to keep the migrants to the city ghettoized in their pre-city tribes.

Second, the People of the Creative Self need to be taught to be compassionate and understanding towards the People of the Responsible Self. And it is a crime against humanity to wage a culture war on them.

Let us spend a little time explaining what I mean by cultural compassion and understanding.

I mean, on the notions of the developmental psychologists, that advanced people need to understand that less advanced people cannot grasp the wonders of their sophisticated world view, and this is natural and physical, and that it is unjust to force them into subjection to the advanced view. But what does that understanding and compassion mean for advanced people, for the People of the Creative Self in practice? It means understanding that the overwhelming number of people in America and the world do not see the point of the creative life: not at all. If they are People of the Responsible Self, they believe in following the rules, going to work, and obeying the law. If they are People of the Subordinate Self it means finding a patron, a Big Man, to protect them from the dangers of the world. On the detail level, it means understanding of the importance of the Axial Age religions that teach people the culture of the city. It means respect for marriage and family and conventional life styles. And it means pulling back from the current war to force ordinary people to kow-tow to the sexual experimentation culture of the People of the Creative Self: indeed, the creative class should accept the timeless advice of actress Mrs. Patrick Campbell: do whatever you want, but don't frighten the horses. Or, to use the line of Charles Taylor, understand that the culture of expressive individualism of the creative class is not for everyone, however compelling it may be for an up-and-coming creative, and the beginning of wisdom is to understand that.

I think that this simple Perfect Plan is the beginning of wisdom, and that any creative person should be able to get it, and understand it, and learn to live a life of true compassion and understanding. But I realize that many people get a little too enthusiastic about their culture and beliefs, and begin to believe that people that disagree with them are a problem, indeed, dangerous. So I expect that the battle of politics will be combined with a battle of culture, and that we are facing a war to the knife.

And that's a shame. If everyone would agree with me and my sensible ideas we could all live happily ever after.