Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Soullessness of Sexual Aggression

Here's what gets me about all the liberal pervs exposed in the current Pervnado witch hunt. It  is that once you start going extracurricular you end up doing the most degrading and revolting things.

And the reason is obvious. You cannot just bonk the interns with a blithe disregard for the rest of the world as though you were living in a French movie. The rest of the world includes your wife, your friends, your business associates, and the public in general, and they don't like French movies enacted in real life.

So if you are a Matt Lauer, disgraced host of NBC's iconic Today show, you have to put out a public face of decency and probity. Matt was supposed to be a family man, with wife and children, so he couldn't be conducting open affairs with other women. He was a celebrity in Manhattan, after all.

So his sexual muckings-about had to be done furtively, and quickly. Press the button under the desk; press the flesh, expose the pubes, and on to the next gig.

Now I'm as bad as the next guy, with the most inappropriate fantasies, but I just cannot imagine conducting relations with a woman unless I can see the light of love in her eyes. To me, there is a basic question: what would be the point of a sexual relationship without the love-light in her eyes.

And the basic fact about a relationship with a woman is that the love-light comes from spending time with her, giving her the space and the time to kindle her love for you. You cannot get it in a hole in the corner, not for long, because women want to parade their love before all the world.

Hey, there's a new physics for you. Forget your Newton or your Einstein. Space and time are the necessary and sufficient causes of human female love.

So I now realize that the conventional representations of caddishness, from Don Giovanni to Faust are missing the point. Caddish men do not live a life going from affair to affair, from conquest to conquest. Not at all.

Instead the Weinsteins and the Lauers and the Clintons are married. They have wives and children, and a public persona. Their public profile means that they cannot be reported to be carrying on an affair, and cannot be photographed with their lover by the New York Times legendary photographer Bill Cunningham at some fancy charity fundraiser. So their perving has to be done furtively and out of sight, in good Victorian fashion, to keep up appearances. So they are reduced to discharging their lusts in hole-in-the-corner moments with whatever woman comes in handy at the moment. Assisted by a lock-the-door button under the desk.

Can you spell Double Standard? I thought that was supposed to have gone out with the sexual revolution. Only it didn't.

So let us propose a radical notion. The old rules of courtship and family and fidelity were not monstrous impositions of the patriarchy on a helpless womanhood. They were established because that is What Women Want.

To understand what is going on right now, you only have to realize that women are finally speaking up and saying that the sexual revolution and its hookup culture are not What Women Want.

Of course, I am not saying that women know What Women Want. They are, instead, rather like men in that they want a lot of things, and are a little blind to the fact that they cannot have them all at once.

But that is another story.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

From Appeasement to "ils ne passeront pas"

Jonah Goldberg, at the end of a piece about double standards in politics, wants us all to get along, starting maybe with John Rawls' notion of the "original position," proposing that we imagine we are determining laws and customs from behind a "veil of ignorance," not knowing if we are rich or poor, black or white, man or woman.

It's a good idea, based on the civilized and charitable notion of seeing the other guy's point of view. Only we already tried it.

We tried it in the 1950s when President Eisenhower basically acceded to the New Deal. The result was the liberal pedal-to-the-metal Great Society and Affirmative Action.

We had George W. Bush who proposed a "compassionate conservatism." He was followed by President Obama with his pedal-to-the-metal big-government Obamacare and Dodd-Frank and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Not to mention pedal-to-the-metal identity politics and the utter elimination of non-left ideas and culture in education and the media.

So I don't think that compromise is going to work with our liberal friends. In fact, some might call our attempt to compromise by the less pleasant word: appeasement.

The reason that Donald Trump won the Republican nomination and got elected is that he says, in effect, No More Appeasement.

I'd be all in favor of seeing the liberal point of view if there was a hope in hell of liberals seeing my point of view. Right now, all liberals worth their salt are basically trying to drive conservatives and normals out of the public square, because they characterize any conservative notion as racism, sexism, homophobia or white privilege, and run with a shrieking Twitter mob to teacher with a complaint of micro-aggression or worse.

The only way that I have seen where liberals give  half a look at conservative ideas is after they lose three presidential elections in a row. Then, and only then do they pretend to be New Democrats and send some guy to the electric chair. That's on the day before they take Hillary Clinton off the leash to nationalize health care.

By my way of thinking we are about 50 years after the moment that liberals should have cried Uncle and agreed that their big-government administrative state was a loser. And it is about a hundred years after the moment that liberals should have admitted their their identity-politics model was a vile reactionary return to tribalism that has no place in  the modern world.

It is Conan the Barbarian time (who got it from Genghis Khan). There is no alternative to crushing our liberal friends, and driving them before us. No need to add the lamentation of their women. We already had that in the Fall of 2016.

Hopefully this can all be done in the sham civil war of politics and elections. But it is obviously going to take a vigorous ideological war in which we normals are going to have to challenge every dull and stupid liberal insult and cunning tactic and throw it right back in their faces.

And it helps rather than hinders that President Trump is unafraid to go right up against liberal hypocrisy with his tweets. As in calling out Pocahontas and infuriating every liberal from coast to coast. And that was really pulling punches on Sen. Warren (D-MA). The proper term of art for the inventor of the worst idea in government in half a century, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, would be Fauxahontas. But maybe Trump, a sensitive soul, couldn't bear to hear the lamentation of the liberal women, yet again.

The fact is that the brand of conservatism offered by Jonah Goldberg was a failure, because it didn't redirect the United States towards freedom and responsibility, but just retreated in good order before the liberal advance.

Well, we are now in our own Battle of Verdun, and we want leaders who will say,  as the French did in 1916: Ils ne passeront pas.

After we have won, then we can talk about In Victory, Magnanimity.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Imagine a World Without Totalitarian Moralists

I'm old enough to remember when consumers of conventional wisdom used to opine about the bad old days of religious wars.

I presume that they were talking about the Thirty Years War that devastated the German lands in 1618 - 1648. And maybe the Puritan-driven English Civil War. But I'm not all that convinced about how religious those wars were. The Thirty Years War had a lot to do with dynastic reasons-of-state of the French and Spanish monarchies. And I suspect the English Civil War was not just about Puritanism but the emerging bourgeoisie.

Anyway, I'd say that the biggest religious wars of all time occurred on the secularists' watch. I am thinking of the Napoleonic Wars after the French Revolution, and the Second World War inspired by the secularist Nazi ideology.

Ideology and power have always had a grubby relationship. Back in the good old days when the Franks were pushing eastwards into the Teutonic lands, it is impossible to pull apart the importance of loot and plunder for the feudal supporters of the Frankish kings from the importance of Christianizing the Teutonic tribes.

In our own time we are bedeviled by ideological groups that want to impose their ideology on the rest of us using political power.  Maybe the Puritans were mean to Hester Prynne way back then, so that a Good Little Liberal Girl like Margaret Atwood can imagine a Handmaid's Tale in our future. But we have the reality of liberal social justice groups that can't go home after winning their great victories. Fifty years after the civil rights acts, race and gender civil rights groups want to micromanage the workforce into minute race and gender percentages, and gays want to force people to bake cakes for their weddings.

And we have the delicious irony of progressive political icons harassing women for decades because their right-on politics meant that the Cokie Robertses of the world all knew not to get into an elevator with Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) but didn't do anything about it.

I get what is going on here. To get traction on anything in the political arena, you need to make it into a moral issue. I don't know about the economics of slavery, but the way to end it was by making it into a moral issue. Same with universal franchise. It is unjust not to let everyone vote for elected representatives! Same with with welfare state.

Now, in my view, it is often hard to disentangle virtue and self-interest. If your politics is based on the government provision of pensions and healthcare to your working-class supporters, you need a rationale that is higher and nobler that the crude notion that you got the votes to tax and spend your way to handing out rewards to your supporters. You need to make a moral issue out of it. But what is your real motive? Helping the folks or hacking your way to political power?

We conservatives have a word for the society that mixes up the political, the economic, and the moral. We call it totalitarian. And it is clear that totalitarianism is an eternal temptation, and an eternal fear -- when the other guys do it.

That is the unsung point of Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's Tale. A good lefty-liberal like Atwood can easily see how awful it would be for Christian conservatives to acquire totalitarian power and reduce low-status women to become the concubines of the political elite. But the same people are shocked, shocked that powerful liberal icons do the same thing. So where are the iconic movies anathematizing powerful liberal icons that treat helpless victims as concubines? Or worse, like Cokie Roberts, they know all about it and do nothing.

This is what my catchphrase "There is no such thing as justice, only injustice" is all about. Once a glorious moral movement acquires actual political power and starts to use the state to implement its vision of justice, the people on the receiving end of the movement start to experience injustice. And since politics is division, the art of dividing people, and government is force, the art of the clunking fist, it is not too hard to see that any government program involves the creation of injustice.

And it is not too hard to see that the victorious moralists fail to see how their ideas and programs are viewed by the people on the receiving end of their moralizing.

That is why the present cultural and political elite is in a state of disbelief about the Brexit/Trump/AfD phenomenon. Everything the elite does is justified by its moral framework: to help the workers, to help migrants, to help women, to help gays -- and to stop fascism in its tracks.

So why aren't the people grateful? After all we have done for them, out of the goodness of our hearts?

The answer is that there are very real costs to the political implementation of the moral vision of the educated elite. And down the ages, the elite is usually the last to know.

Is it too much to ask that we confine moralizing to religion and reduce the incidence of government force to an absolute minimum, to reduce the incidence of injustice and limit the scope of political moralizers?

It is too much. For, "if men were angels, no government would be necessary."

Over at The New York Times they are determining that all men are brutes. No kidding, girls. That's what all the cultural infrastructure to control sexuality was all about. It was intended to reduce the opportunities for male brutality, and protect women in safe spaces. Some things never change.

Monday, November 27, 2017

The Madness of "Redistribution of Power"

Over at the New Republic, they have a solution for HarveyFrankengate. Let me give you the full deal from Sarah Jaffe:
Really making our spaces safe will require much more, though. It will require a real redistribution of power throughout the workplace, the campus, the economy, the world. Until then, the blathering class is right on one point: There is no such thing as a safe space.
See the wave of the magic wand? A "real redistribution of power."

But, honey, the problem is not the present location of power; it is power itself. That is the fundamental difference between left and right. The left believes that the solution to injustice is a redistribution of power. The right believes that the solution to injustice is the limitation of power.

Of course, nothing will change in the areas where young female pulchritude is the coin of the realm, in Hollywood and on TV. I think that Ben Stein's comment is dispositive. He says that "Hollywood is and always has been largely about women trading sex for advancement in their careers." Of course it is, because the coin of the realm for Hollywood is putting beautiful faces and bodies on screen. But, writes Ben, "actresses scare me." No doubt. The scariness of the long-distance beauty is recorded in the archaeological record in the symbol of the scary and all-devouring goddesses like Medusa and Kali.

So redistribution of power in entertainment and media is not going to solve anything, because the desirableness of young female flesh is never going to go away. That is why society has always taken a strong interest in what can be done to and for young women. Yes, it is true that young women are uniquely vulnerable to male power. But then it is also true that the women of powerful men also get to wield extraordinary power as the notorious "power behind the throne." And this power, according to The Sugar Barons about sugar plantation slavery in the West Indies, extended to the slave girls that the sugar barons and their underlings took as concubines. The slaves would look to the master's concubine to intercede in their behalf.

The great narrative of our time is the softening of power in human affairs. The rigid social structures of the agricultural age, with its slavery, its serfdom, its feudalism, are breaking up, and nobody knows why.

Well, we do know why. It's because political power is the power of the clunking fist, that knows only to subordinate and control. That is true whether the power is the power of a supervisor in a bureaucracy,  the feudal lord, or the government's regulator. But when you reduce the power of the clunking fist, all of a sudden a hundred flowers bloom. The way you dilute power is by introducing the market and its prices. Then the question is the product or the service, not the subordination of the subordinate to the boss that has the power to hire and fire, and promote those that truckle to his power.

Just to be sure, we humans conducted a planetary experiment to see what would happen if we throttled political power up to max afterburner thrust. We found that the political afterburner burned everything it touched to a crisp.

I have said, and I keep saying, that we are living in a remarkable era, when the certitudes of the agricultural era are falling away like autumn leaves. In a confused way the left understands this in its catalog of evils: racism, sexism, militarism, xenophobia.

Racism is the slow retreat of tribalism. But fighting racism only makes sense in the city, where people interact through the market, and of course it will take time for racism as thing to lose its hold on our minds. It is slowest in the latest arrivals in the city.

Same thing with militarism. I'm reading lefty Michael Mann's Sources of Social Power and he is conventionally weighing in against the militarism of the European powers in the run-up to World War I. Because that is what a lefty does. But I look at militarism differently. I wonder how quickly we should expect rulers to adapt to the new world. If Germany was militaristic in 1910, maybe that had something to do with the French beating them up for the previous 200 years. Enough, already. We can look back from today and understand that Germany is the leading country in Europe, and was bound to be back in 1910. But all the dull German leaders knew was that Russia and France were great powers that had historically always been a problem for the German Nation. In our time we Americans are trying to moderate our own military operations in the light of the follies of the last 50 years, from Vietnam to the Middle East. Today we see China building itself a military on the dividends of its extraordinary economic growth. But what is going to be the point of its military where national power is more a fact of economic power than military power?

We humans are presently in a long experiment to determine how to order our affairs in this new world after the end of the agricultural age. What is the place of power in this new age?

The truth is that nobody has a clue, and nobody is willing to listen to people that do have a clue. So we will blunder on into the future, as we have always done and Good Little Girls at the New Republic repeat the pablum they were taught in school.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Of Course Google Fired James Damore

Over at Takimag, Christopher DeGroot is complaining about our modern culture of conformity and manipulation. This is today's America: where a guy like James Damore, who determines that the diversity emperor has no clothes, gets canned from Google, and Damore has a girlfriend
who doesn’t share his nonconformist views and who “does not want to be identified or directly quoted,” being “keen to remain in the shadows.”
And, so DeGroot complains:
To be sure, it is now very difficult for people to understand the conformity and manipulation that lie behind America’s constant pseudo-moral show... To be a “good person” in 21st-century America, you must be a base dissembler, very eager and happy to carry out all sorts of meaningless and degrading tasks.
Well, yes. But was it not ever thus? Does not everyone, in every time, need to put on a pseudo-moral show? And are we not always humiliated into the performance of "all sort of meaningless and degrading tasks" by the ruling class of the time?

And are not the fearless thinkers and doers usually anathematized and humiliated? Start with the early pre-Protestant religious leaders, John Wycliffe (declared a heretic) and Jan Hus (executed). Then the textile innovators, attacked by the machine wreckers. John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie, hated by all good lefties. Hey, how about smart Jewish kid Michael Milken and his junk bonds. He went to jail for his sins. You don't muck around with the government's bond market without bending the knee, pal.

Of course when the enforcers actually start burning heretics, it is really just a sign that the ruling class is feeling a bit threatened, and needs to make an example of someone, pour encourager les autres. So, of course, James Damore had to be flayed and humiliated. You may not challenge the racism and sexism of the ruling class's "diversity and inclusion" racket if you know what is good for you. And of course James Damore's Good Little Girl girlfriend has made an appropriate kowtow to the household gods to keep her job.

Actually that's an important point. Good Little Girls are even less likely to challenge the status quo than Good Little Boys. There is something in every man that knows that It's All Bullshit, even as he behaves like a "good person" and "gets with the program, Jenkins." But my experience is that women are much less likely to think bad thoughts than men. Nothing remarkable here. Men have always been expected to take the bullet. But women need to stay alive and get their children to adulthood.

The thing about our era that makes it special is that, in between all the suffocating conformity, it actually does have a subculture of creativity and disobedience, in addition to the usual mono-culture of conformity and obedience. Of course, the people that imagine themselves the rebels and challengers of the status quo, your lefty friends, are in fact the most conformable Kates around.

As you know, on my reductive Three Peoples theory, we have a whole class of people, the People of the Creative Self, dedicated to the proposition that the only thing in the world is to be a writer or an artist thinking new thoughts. Of course, most of the People of the Creative Self are doing purely derivative stuff completely approved by the ruling class, and not really creative in any real sense. But at least the idea of creativity and breaking the mold is there.

I suspect, however, that the emergence of women into the public sphere in the last century has made it more difficult and more costly to be a rebel. You can see that on the university campus as lefty women combine to attack "campus rape" and "microaggressions." Women expect safety, physical and emotional, and they will weaponize their Culture of Complaint and make life difficult for you if they do not get it.

But hey. If you are a Real Man then you ought to have the cojones to be a rebel. And on this view, James Damore doesn't belong in an established tech company like Google. He oughta be working for a startup. And I dare say that, what with all the publicity and all, there are startups that are interested in hiring him.

In fact, maybe the whole Damore flap is his cunning plan to get his name out there as a rebel and get hired by some cool startup. How else are you going to get your name out there?

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thank Goodness for Steve Bannon

Naturally, when Steve Bannon reviews the Trump campaign, it all revolves around his contribution, starting out in mid August 2016 at 12, 15 points behind and ending with the upset of the century.

But when you listen to Bannon and Pat Caddell talk at David Horowitz's Restoration Weekend about what they knew and what they wanted to do, you think: Wow, thank goodness for Steve Bannon and his Gen. Patton attitude.

The basis of the Bannon Doctrine is that the natives are restless.

Pat Caddell talked about how his polling showed this.
But what we found from the beginning was the level of discontent in this country was beyond anything measurable, and I believe worse than any time that we have ever seen in our country.  
As in:

  • "the 70-75 percent of people who absolutely believe the country was in decline"
  • "85 percent believe that the rich and powerful have rigged the rules and have the advantage"
  • 81 percent think "Political leaders are more interested in protecting their power and privilege than doing what is right for the American people." 
That is why Candidate Trump could win with his "Make America Great Again." Because it resonated with what people think.

Then Bannon went on to talk about the "nullification project," the attempt that started the day after the 2016 election to nullify Trump's win.
Yeah, this nullification project, which was both from the left and also from, I think, the Republican establishment, started immediately on the morning of the 9th and the 10th. They had to come up with an excuse for why they lost.
In my view, this nullification project, or "Resistance," is the really troubling aspect of today's politics. The whole point of elections is to reframe the natural civil war of all against all into a sham fight of electioneering and then a decision by the spectators as to who won. The key moment is right after the decision, when the losing party accepts with a good grace, says we are all Americans, and says "wait until next year!"

The fact is that in the last two change elections where the Democrats have lost, in 2000 and 2016, the Democrats have not conceded the election. Instead they have encouraged their supporters to believe that the election was stolen, and their supporters have believed it.

In this, as in many things, Democrats are klueless klots, completely misunderstanding the point of electoral politics. It really does not matter who wins the election, for the winner will do stupid things based on the misapprehension that government force can ever do good. What matters is that our disagreements about who gets the loot do not escalate into actual civil war.

Of course, I understand the annoyance of Trump, that he has broken into a nice little protection racket that has been very good to the courtiers of the capital city, just like the Capitol in The Hunger Games.

But really, the educated elite has had a pretty good run for the last 150-200 years, and dynasties typically don't last beyond about 200 years, max. Like all elites our elites have found it easy to believe that what was good for them -- lots of sinecures for the educated elite at the Circumlocution Office -- was also good for the nation. But, of course, as in almost all cases, the ruling-class agenda has not been so great for the great unwashed, and so the deplorables start to believe that the system is rigged against them.

The problem is, of course, that no ruling class ever went quietly. The whole point of power is power, and any outcome that means the end of power is a non-starter for any serious ruling class.

That is why, in China, the interregnum between dynasties is called a Time of Troubles.

So I expect that, sooner or later, the ruling class will come for Steve Bannon, and that the removal of Bannon won't solve anything.

But at least Steve Bannon showed the way.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Of Course Deficits Matter. But...

My man Kevin D. Williamson  has a long thumb-sucker on NRO about that hardy perennial, "Yes, Deficits Still Matter." He writes  that
Deficits matter because, ultimately, debts have to be paid, but also because the reality is that sometimes debts go bad, and the fact and fear of that possibility can lead to chaos.
And then goes off into a long peroration about risks and interest rates on consumer loans.

Actually, Kevin is wrong. At the sovereign government level, debts do not have to be paid.

On my view, the talk about bad debt and risks misses the point.

Now, the basic political situation in the United States is that Democrats are always proposing more spending. That's because Democratic voters are either lower-income people that need free stuff or are professional-class people that want government administrative jobs. Republicans are always proposing tax cuts, because Republican voters in general just don't like paying taxes.

The reverse of this situation is that Democrats are usually pretty careful about raising taxes; they like to say that they only want "to make the rich pay their fair share." Republicans are very careful about cutting spending because they know that hell hath no fury like a beneficiary scorned.

So national politics swirls around the need for Democrats to deliver for their voters by increasing spending, and the need for Republicans to deliver for their voters by reducing taxes.

Everybody knows that government debt is a problem, but not yet. So each side nudges the agenda as far in their direction as they dare. Everybody hopes that the big collapse doesn't happen on their watch.

But surely, sooner or later we are going to have to Do Something about the deficit.

Yes, but we won't do anything until we have a crisis. That's the way of government, and that is why it is foolish to have any government programs. You can never fix things now, because special interests and "the children," not until there is a crisis and the whole world demands that we Do Something.

For instance, take the case of the government policy that forced banks to loan money for home mortgages to borrowers with bad credit. Until there was a crisis and the whole credit system nearly collapsed in 2008, nobody except a few crazies even thought there was a problem. If you didn't believe in granting mortgages to people with bad credit you were a racist!

Yes, but what about Venezuela? Don't we end up like Venezuela if we don't Do Something about the deficit? Probably not. And here is why.

  • Venezuela is an oil state, meaning that the government uses oil revenue to hand out free stuff. That's great when oil prices are high. But if the government assumes that the good times will roll forever, then it is going to run out of money when oil prices are low. Then the only alternatives are spending cuts and/or inflation.
  • Venezuela's leaders are left-wing nut-cases, which means that they don't have the basic smarts to keep out of trouble.
  • The US is the center of the world's economy, at least for now, and that means that everyone is willing to buy US debt, from domestic widows and orphans, to government employee pension funds, to foreign central banks.
  • Whereas Venezuela has bled the country dry trying to service its debts, the US can probably just give its creditors a haircut if things get hairy. That means reducing the interest rate on existing bonds, which the US did in the 1930s. And there are a bunch of other possibilities. Of course the US has already lowered short-term interest rates almost to zero, which really hurts mom-and-pop savers. There is nothing like being the world hegemon.
When we do get to the point that we need to Do Something about spending, I expect that the government will do stuff like applying a means test to Social Security and Medicare. It already does, in a way, by partially taxing Social Security benefits, and by adjusting the Medicare premium based on last year's income. The fact is that the government and its bribed apologists have gotten pretty good at finding ways to fleece the sheep without the sheep really knowing what is going on. The whole point of Obamacare was to increase subsidies for Democratic voters by jiggling insurance premiums and avoiding the necessity of paying the subsidies out of the federal budget.

Of course, all this may not be enough. And there is always the possibility that the president of the day will be even more clueless than President Obama.

The basic fact of life is that there is only one government program that really matters. It is the government's program to sell its debt. As long as people are buying the debt, everything is copacetic. But if the day ever comes when the government has trouble selling its debt, then it is Katy bar the door.

But let us look at the bright side, and imagine a future of bright sunlit uplands. Some day we may enact the Chantrill Program for the 21st Century. On this program Social Security and Medicare would be privatized, maybe in some rigid program that forces people to save for their retirement in private accounts: hello Fidelity and Vanguard. Government education would be abolished, and replaced by on-line learning and associations of mothers getting together to teach the kiddies. Education and healthcare for the poor would be funded by rich people out of their charitable foundations and by health delivery organizations -- doctors, nurses, hospitals -- giving free care to deserving people that can't afford health care through no fault of their own. Really, the only expenditures at the federal level would be for defense, and the only debt issued would be for wars.

'Cos it's a funny thing. The one thing that government can do is shut down defense spending after a war. You could look it up.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Was It Really "Prestige" That Made Our Ruling Class Larger Than Life?

Today Richard Fernandez has a lovely piece about the end of "prestige," how the western colonial regimes used it to dazzle the natives -- right up until the Japanese kicked the Brits out of Singapore in 1942. The colonialists decided that the only way to rule their colonies was to appear magnificent and incorruptible, and so they developed ways of removing the undesirables that didn't quite measure up and might smudge the perfect escutcheon of white colonialist prestige. Fernandez proposes that the 1942 moment has arrived for the colonialists of our own day, the ruling class that rules so magnificently over the deplorables of the modern West.

It's a beautiful idea, and makes a lovely article, but I don't agree. The "prestige" of our ruling class was obtained by force and intimidation, as the whole Harveygate episode has proved. Up till now "don't get in a fight with a guy that buys his ink by the barrel" has been good advice. You didn't attack ruling-class notables because they had the power to banish you to Outer Slobbovia. And the ruling class had the power to take care of their own, like Sixties radicals Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, high-class terrorists that never went to jail and today hold prestigious positions in the academic/foundation world. Ayers is the son of a utility executive, and Dohrn a daughter of the upper-middle class.

No, today's ruling class has maintained its prestige not by culling the chaps that didn't put on the right show but by memory-holing anyone that dared to challenge its prestige. That was why the waitress sandwich between Ted Kennedy and Chris Dodd never had her day with Gloria Allred. That is why the women that accused Bill Clinton were harassed and demeaned. That is why the GOPe learned their lesson and learned to go along to get along as junior partners in the ruling class. It wasn't prestige that ruled over them; it was power.

Look at the presidency of Barack Obama. It had its share of scandals and mistakes, but at the end of it, President Obama looked back on a presidency remarkably free of scandals, knowing that the Democratic operatives with bylines at the New York Times and the Washington Post would scarcely disagree and say that Obamacare was and is a scandal, that the use of the IRS to harass Tea Party groups was a monstrous injustice, and that the president's Middle East policy was a disaster. Hey, better not disagree, else you're a racist.

My line is that all ruling-class power contains the seeds of its own destruction, because government is force and politics is division and system is domination, and so any ruling class, by its resort to government force to tax the population and reward its supporters, eventually cannot distract the populace from the accumulation of injustice with the brilliance of its regime propaganda.

Put it this way. If you tax 35 cents of every dollar, as we do, if you force everyone into one-size-fits-all programs of pensions, healthcare, and education, and if you regulate everything up the ying-yang, it cannot but be that great sections of the people are unjustly treated. You can persuade them for decades that all this is the most wonderful thing since sliced bread, but eventually more and more people will see through the charade. And then they will get angry.

This is what we are seeing, after all, with Harveygate. Lots of people kept silent after being treated like trash, because they knew what was good for them. But they were angry. And then one day the force shield retracted and Harvey Weinstein and every other power abuser was dead meat.

But our ruling class is in trouble for another reason. Eventually the prestige of handing out goodies to the bubbas begins to tarnish.

You do not do people any lasting good by making them into the "little darlings" of the regime. The white working class is dying of despair because for decades it was the little darling of the ruling class, coddled and given special rewards and benefits by legislative ukase, until it wasn't. Today women and minorities are the little darlings of the ruling class, and they have replaced the white working class as the special favorites of the ruling class. The problem for the white working class is that the special coddlings and rewards handed out to them by the ruling class allowed them to ease up and reduce their efforts to make it in the market economy; their little darling status allowed them to hide from the world in union jobs and lifetime employment. Until it didn't.

The same thing applies to women and minorities. All the diversity and inclusion means that right now the world is bending over backwards to make life easy for women and minorities in the public square. Until the world finds a new little darling to shower with love and kisses. Then all the special coddling and rewards will turn out to be a disadvantage to the former little darlings.

So the prestige of today's ruling class is breaking down, probably because it can't intimidate the way it used to, and it can't deliver like it used to.

The question is what comes next. The answer is simple. The little darlings of yore will be fighting to maintain their special privileges, and it won't be pretty. After all, the promise to Make America Great Again is really a thinly veiled promise to restore the white working class to its former glory. Only it won't happen, except if the white working class completes its move into the middle class and learns to go with the flow of the market economy. Meanwhile the new little darlings, women and minorities, will be scrabbling to keep their special status, and in the end they will fail, just like the white working class.

The solution to the problem of the little darlings is simple. Don't be a little darling. Don't accept the protection of some political sugar daddy; learn to make it on your own. Above all, you have to learn to change horses. Just like in the old days of coaches and horses, you have to change your horse at every stage if you want to get to your destination. Right now I have friends that used to be tech writers at Microsoft. Now they all seem to be turning up at Amazon. That is what it takes in the market economy. Jobs and corporations and skills come and go. You have to get with the program and make sure that you don't get left by the side of the road, cold and sick and hungry, with a horse that won't go. And the only way to do that is to take responsibility for your own life and never believe a politician.

It wasn't prestige that kept our ruling class in power; it was free stuff and intimidation. And now the free stuff and the intimidation aren't working like they used to. Which is a problem for all of us.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Why Did the West Walk Away From Slavery and Empire?

One of the attitudes our lefty friends like to pose is that but for them, we would still have slavery and imperialism. Today this survives in the left's anti-racism, which decries the racism and colonialism of the 19th century and imagines that, but for the left, it would all still flourish.

By the way, if you want to talk about slavery and empire, you can't do better than talk about their Last Hurrah in the Soviet Union, 1917-1990.

But my reading leads me to believe that slavery and imperialism were all over bar shouting when the left appeared in the middle of the 19th century. There was, of course, an anti-slavery movement that went back to the 18th century, but no real anti-imperialism movement until Lenin gussied it up.

On slavery I wonder how much of the anti-slavery movement was a pure moral movement and how much of it was just an internal squabble in the British merchant class between the entrepreneurial slave-plantation owners and the scions of the merchant class like William Wilberforce, whose grandfather had made the family fortune in the Baltic trade. Both of these groups were able to enter Parliament and engage in power politics with the old landed class by the end of the 18th century.

On empire my reading of 19th century history is that the western powers, while unreflectingly swinging their military might around the world, really didn't know what they were doing. They wanted to force the Chinas and Japans of the world to trade with them, and especially lower tariffs so that western goods could be imported into every country in the world. But they were not imperialists of the old school, who were merely interested in loot and plunder. They did not say to their conquered foes: you will give us your wealth and surrender your women and children into slavery; they only demanded that western merchants be allowed entry into the country on favorable terms so that trade could flourish and increase. They did, however, manage to capture most of the benefits of trade to themselves.

Then there is the 18th century Impeachment of Warren Hastings, the British Governor of Bengal. Chaps like Edmund Burke didn't like the way Hastings looted the Indians under his charge, especially his mean treatment of the Begums of Oudh. My point is: how come a little imperial loot and plunder had, by the end of the 18th century, become a scandal in the British Parliament?

So my view is that capitalism and the Great Enrichment turned men away from slavery and loot-and-plunder empire and towards the market economy of production for exchange and trading with the whole world.

Suppose we consider the slave plantations as Chapter One of the industrial revolution, with gangs of slaves doing simple repetitive jobs for a capitalized enterprise. But look at Chapter Two, where workers were assembled in factories doing repetitive jobs tending textile machines. Pretty soon they were allowed to form trade unions, become voters, and swing national politics towards their agenda of schooling and social insurance. Don't you think it remarkable that this occurred, and that the capitalists did not use their wealth to lord it over the industrial economy like emperors of old and keep the workers as slaves in perpetuity?

I think there is some truth to Marx's doctrine of base and superstructure. Once you get a market economy going men and women are changed by the new economic order and its "nudges." In this new world, slaves are low productivity automatons -- that might rebel in a slave rebellion! And loot-and-plunder imperialism amounts to impoverishing potential customers. How dumb is that!

It is telling that the last notable instance of loot and plunder in western history was the plundering of defeated Germany in 1945 by the Soviet Union. The Soviets removed to Russia just about every machine that was not tied down. But really, what good did it do? In the end the Soviet Union was an economic failure, basically because it operated on the old top-down model where the sovereign issued the orders and the slaves did what they were told, and the tributary states bowed and scraped whenever the sovereign demanded. In West Germany the western powers pretty soon decided they wanted the economy in Germany to recover so that Germans could become an asset rather than a cost.

OK, Great. This is now ancient history: slavery and empire are dead. What I would like to happen is that the present neo-feudal welfare state would go the way of slavery and loot-and-plunder, because we the people are better than subordinate peasants bowing and scraping to our Lords and Masters of the Swamp.

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 aggression 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.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Communism Week: My Perfect Plan

To round off Communism Week let's talk about what needs to be done.

We have seen that Marx, for all his knowledge of the classical economists, got his economics wrong, because the dichotomy between use value and exchange value was exploded in the marginal revolution, and because he was wrong that the market economy would subside into a steady state with all the profits and opportunities squeezed out of it.

We have seen that Marx's war on the bourgeoisie was foolish because the bourgeoisie is not that interested in power. You want to help the poor, or the workers, or women or minorities? Sure, the bourgeoisie will grumble about it, but it will always listen to reason.

We have seen that socialism and fascism are best seen as nostalgic movements that want to return to a pre-industrial Garden of Eden, but that goes against the eternal truth that once you have eaten of the Tree of Knowledge you can never go back, not unless you forget what you have learned.

And we have seen that the nature of the market economy and its foundational uncertainty bears an uncanny resemblance to the uncertainties and probabilities at the center of modern physics where daily-life concepts cannot be used as a direct understanding of things in themselves.

So what do we do?

Thank you Senator, I am glad you asked that. As a help to policy professionals I have devised the following Perfect Plan to right the ship of state and steer it in the right direction.

In Part One of my Perfect Plan, I propose that the basic fact of our age is the world-wide migration of people from the country to the city. So the question is: how can we help the migrants learn, first, how to cope with their new life in the city, and then learn to wive and thrive in the city culture and economy with the best of them and become city people?

I have said that the French for city people is bourgeoisie, and that the left has declared war on the bourgeoisie. Obviously this is madness. Instead of enrolling the migrants to the city as soldiers in a war on the bourgeoisie, we should be sending the migrants to cultural appropriation boot camp so the migrants can steal the culture of the bourgeoisie root and branch and learn how to become the bourgeoisie.

We know what not to do. Don't teach the migrants that by joining a union they can stave off the sovereignty of the market. Don't entangle them in the nets of the welfare state which is bound to run out of other peoples' money. Don't subsidize failure and give people lifetime pensions for not working or not marrying. Don't poison them with identity politics and teach them to separate themselves from the majority culture and keep their pre-industrial culture.

So what to do? Teach people the culture of The Road to the Middle Class, which means religion, education, mutual aid, and living under law.

There is a lot to learn about how to become a stick-in-the-mud bourgeois. You need to learn to trust other people; you need to learn how to serve your fellow humans with a useful skill and keep updating it; you need to learn to accept the verdict of the market with a good will. Above all you need to live and let live.

Part Two of my Perfect Plan is even more sensible. It is to institute a culture of tolerance among the People of the Creative Self, the artists and writers and activists that presently rule the the culture of  the world. Right now, artists and writers and activists learn that there is nothing worse than the responsible culture of the bourgeoisie unless it is the racist sexist homophobic culture of the white working class. They learn that the stick-in-the-mud bourgeois is the very thing that is preventing the arc of history from bending towards justice.

Now I accept that the People of the Creative Self are the wonder of the age, that their creative culture is what differentiates us from the animals. But not all of us are ready, willing, and able to ascend the golden staircase to the ethereal heights of the creative culture. Moreover, as in many things, many are called to be creative, but few are chosen. What happens to those that would like to be creative but just can't quite make the grade? The answer is obvious. For those of us without the crown of laurels we must live as ordinary people that go to work, obey the law, and follow the rules. And the Olympian gods that wear the laurel should understand that but for the grace of God they would be ordinary people going to work, obeying the law, and following the rules.

You would think that this notion of tolerance for other people would be a no-brainer, but it obviously isn't, not when a presidential candidate can go around telling her creative-class supporters that half the country is composed of racist sexist homophobic deplorables. But I get where this comes from. In the old days, the creative class felt themselves to be an embattled minority that had to defend each others' backs, although even back in those days there were actresses like Mrs. Patrick Campbell that advised creatives not to frighten the horses in the street. But that is no more. Today the People of the Creative Self can swarm around anyone they don't like and get them fired from their job. They have the power, in other words, to dominate the public square.

This power, I suggest, is a Bad Thing. The whole point of laws and tolerance and live-and-let-live is that it is not a good idea for anyone to so dominate the public square that they can deny it to other people. In fact this sort of power is only warranted in times of genuine emergency, when a nation or a people are threatened with an existential peril. The rest of the time we should all combine to name and shame those people who want to name and shame people that don't agree with them.

Imagine a world that does all it can to teach people how to adopt the culture of the city.

Imagine a world in which people do not try to seize political power so they can give the products of other peoples' work to their political supporters.

Imagine a world in which people did not hang on like grim death to jobs and wages and pensions that cannot be sustained.

Imagine a world in which the educated and cultural elite did not sneer at those less evolved and less fortunate than themselves.

Imagine a world that has escaped from the present deplorable situation still riddled with the exploded ideas of Marx and the Bolshevik Revolution and a naive faith in political power and moved forward, with the aid of my Perfect Plan, into broad sunlit uplands.

It's easy if you try.