Wednesday, January 31, 2018

SOTU: Trump Celebrates Middle America

I understand the rage and the confusion that our liberal friends are feeling this morning. Last night President Trump gave a State of the Union speech that had absolutely no shout-outs to the liberal agenda. Nothing about protecting gays from Christian bakers; nothing about transgender bathrooms, nothing about the innocence of the Dreamers.

I agree with the liberals: what was advertised as a unifying speech was in fact a clever and cunning attempt to divide the American people.

Let us analyze the speech in the light of my reductive Three Peoples theory. Was there a word for People of the Creative Self, artists and writers and activists? No there was not. Was there a word for People of the Subordinate Self, workers and peasants and victims? No there was not.

Instead the whole speech from beginning to end was a riotous celebration of the People of the Responsible Self, the ordinary middle class that follows the rules, goes to work, and obeys the laws.

If you are a well-born white liberal living in some urban ideopolis, Trump doesn't care about you. If you are a helpless illegal immigrant brought here as a child, Trump doesn't care about you. But if you are an ordinary middle-class American, with a job and a house and a family, then Trump absolutely loooves you.

Oh, and if you are a legal immigrant, that went through the process step by complicated step, then Trump is speaking to you.

Trump's love was made manifest in the call-outs to the human props in the gallery, the tradition that Ronald Reagan started in the 1980s. Everyone of his props, from the kid planting flags on the graves of veterans to the black parents of two girls killed by MS-13 to the couple that adopted the baby of a drug addict to the North Korean defector with the crutches, everyone of these people were and are ordinary middle-class people doing the right thing, and they were, of course, every color of the rainbow. There were no "activists" and no "victims." And, of course, Trump finished with his memorable celebration of the Capitol itself, which stands under a statue, standing atop the Dome, of Freedom.

Wow. I didn't know that. But now I do.

So what Trump was doing was encouraging more Americans to identify as good ordinary Americans doing the right thing, rather than identify as specials, whether special snowflakes or special activists or special victims, which is what you get night and day from the mainstream media and the Hollywood media.

So no wonder the usual suspects were flummoxed last night, and no wonder Joy Reid complained.
Well, exactly. The whole point of the Sixties and political correctness and identity politics is to marginalize and eventually eliminate the tropes and the culture of the middle-class nation state. The whole point of what Donald Trump is trying to do is re-valorize the middle-class culture that most non-elite Americans identify with and that "we" want lower-class Americans to aspire to.

And let us now mention my Perfect Plan, which is a set of marching orders for the Ruling Class, people like Joy Reid.

Part One of the Perfect Plan is for Joy Reid to help and encourage the lower-class to rise up into the middle class, on the notion that to live a happy life in a nation state of the exchange economy you need to get with the bourgeois culture or you are going to be miserable. In fact, of course, Joy Reid does the opposite.

Part Two of the Perfect Plan is for elitists like Joy Reid to act with compassion and understanding towards the ordinary middle class, like the folks that the president called out in the gallery. In fact, of course, Joy Reid sneers at people like that as evidenced by her tweet.

See what I mean? President Trump's speech was completely aligned with my Perfect Plan. Strategically he is trying to put the Joy Reids of the world on the back foot, by encouraging all Americans to identify as patriotic responsible middle class Americans, the People of the Responsible Self, and by giving to ordinary middle-class American identity and dignity and respect that the liberal elite is determined to deny it.

The liberal ruling-class strategy is designed to marginalize and demean the ordinary middle class, by celebrating the upper-class creative culture of artists, writers, and activists, and by celebrating the world of the victims. This was brought out by the Democratic response to the SOTU by Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA), who talked about marching and protesting in support of the Dreamers. And about transgenders.

Yeah. Marchin' and protestin'. Not a word about that in Trump's speech.

Here's my bottom line. Trump is obviously making a mega-play for the ordinary middle class, the people we saw in the gallery in the House chamber. Will he succeed in bringing the ordinary middle class, the "working families" that the Democrats talk about, into the Republican tent?

The answer is: We Don't Know. That's why we have elections.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Great Reaction Also Includes Neo-sacrifice

I've been quietly minding my business developing my ideas of the modern Double Revolution, in physics and in the market economy, and the Great Reaction, in the left's return to the old world, pre-revolution, in reaction to the unbearable force of the Double Revolution.

But this morning I happened on a piece by David Gornoski, who reports on his YouTube interview with Jordan B. Peterson. Gornoski raises the issue of sacrifice, specifically the Christian abolition of sacrifice, the culmination of a process that begins in the Old Testament with the substitution of a ram in the place of Isaac in a sacrifice that Abraham makes to God.

In other words, it used to be that humans would sacrifice their most precious possession, the son or the livestock, in order to propitiate the gods. But now God sacrifices his own Son, so we don't have to.

The concept of innocent sacrifice is developed by René Girard in his concept of the scapegoat. The idea is that human communities avoid the descent into the chaos of the war of all against all by picking out an innocent scapegoat, and in sacrificing that innocent scapegoat they end the war of all against all by collectively turning their rage against the scapegoat.

It is this that Christianity attempts to end, but only tentatively, as we can see in the eruptions of witch-hunts down the ages. It is this that the left has returned to in its scapegoating first of the bourgeoisie in which the rage of of working class is to be resolved, and in the demonization of racists, sexists, and homophobes to resolve the rage of the traditionally marginalized.

Of course I have been writing about this for years, as in "The Left Returns to Sacrifice" back in 2004. I said:
The lefty twentieth century exhibited a return not just to real sacrifice but human sacrifice, the kind that went out when God told Abraham to sacrifice that ram instead of his first-born son.  Wherever left-wing regimes held sway, whether in a socialism-in-one-country version or in a national-socialist-German-worker version, millions of humans were sacrificed to atone for the sins of the world in the most gruesome manner imaginable.
Then, in March of 2016 I wrote that "The White Working Class is the Designated Scapegoat of the Ruling Elites." Yeah, and that was way before Hillary Clinton had spoken about "deplorables." Here is what I said:
Let us turn to René Girard and his Violence and the Sacred. On his theory humans have learned to end escalating violence between factions by sacrificing a victim, a scapegoat. All of the hate and the rage of a divided community is diverted from hating each other and onto the newly selected victim. Somehow, at the civil rights revolution of the Sixties, the white working class got selected as sacrificial victim. Thus the necessity of Archie Bunker, racist, sexist, and bigot, that Norman Lear wanted to teach us all to hate.
Actually, now I think of it, the scapegoating by the left is a tactic to avoid internal violence between factions on the left and directing all their rage on an external scapegoat: the white working class, the patriarchy, racists, sexists, homophobes.

Here's a Google Ngram chart to make the point.

Notice that all these lefty insults took off after the civil rights revolution? Hey kids! Surely 75 percent of the problem of racism and sexism would have been solved by the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960s. And yet there was a mere ripple of "racism" before 1965, and almost nothing about "sexism" and the "patriarchy."

How could this be? Well, I don't know. But it all makes sense if you think of the left as a Great Reaction, and a reactionary return to scapegoating and witch-hunts in a movement of neo-sacrifice.

So, as of right now, we can say that the left represents a Great Reaction characterized by the neo-tribalism of identity politics, the neo-feudalism of the welfare state, and the neo-sacrifice of totalitarianism.

Because that is what the sacrifice of the scapegoat is all about, it is the clarification of all social and tribal rivalries into the fascist dictum of "all within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state." To make that work, to totalize everything into the state, you have to unite the mob against a sacrificial scapegoat.

Notice how Donald Trump is completely against the Great Reaction. Is he a feminist? No. He is for women, he is for men, he is for everyone. Is he a racist? No, he is for the American nation state, to make America Great Again. And he is removing the stake from the heart of the white working class.

It is obvious, in retrospect, to realize that the astonishing Double Revolution of our era, in physics and in the Great Enrichment, should have provoked a Great Reaction in the neo-tribalism of identity politics, the neo-feudalism of the welfare state, and the neo-sacrifice of totalitarianism.

The point is that the exchange economy removes the need for bloodthirsty tribalism, because the means of existence no longer depend of the food-growing land that must be protected against all odds, because the need for a great lord to shelter us from the Vikings no longer applies, because the society that interacts through the exchange economy no longer needs to vent its rage on designated scapegoats.

But it takes a while for everyone to learn the new ways and get with the program.

And that is why I propose my Perfect Plan for the ruling class. First, it should gently teach the workers and peasants how to wive and thrive in the market economy and learn its ways. Second, it should treat the ordinary middle class with compassion and understanding rather than contempt and marginalization.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Yes, What Is Education For?

I guess that my take on education is simple: "bring back child labor." Because after all, nobody is going to be sending the kiddies down the mine or tending textile machines any more. Hell no. We got adults for that.

So just what is child education for?

In The Case against Education: Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money economics professor Bryan Caplan says that all education does it provide a signaling function. It tells an employer that here is a person that follows instructions long enough to actually graduate.

There's a good interview with Reason editor Nick Gillespie here.

What's to be done? Here's what the blurb says:
The first is educational austerity. Government needs to sharply cut education funding to curb this wasteful rat race. The second is more vocational education, because practical skills are more socially valuable than teaching students how to outshine their peers.
 Hmm. The first one will never fly because the one thing that government cannot do is cut spending. See Venezuela.

The second one will probably be useless because what does a government bureaucracy know or care about what practical skills to teach kids? Almost certainly the schools will end up teaching skills that will end up being no use in five years to job applicants. Schools are incredibly conservative. I learned Latin when I was a kid, and actually quite enjoyed it, although I never got to e.g., reading Caesar's Commentaries on the Gallic Wars. The reason that Latin was still in the curriculum in the mid-20th century was that way back, at the time of Erasmus, pretty well all educated writing was done in Latin. The Bible was in Latin. Then came Luther in 1522-34 translating the Bible into a fairly colloquial German. And the King James Bible in 1611 translating the Bible into English. Newton wrote his laws of motion in 1687 in Latin: Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica. But then scientists started writing papers in their native languages. David Hume's Treatise on Human Nature was published in 1740 in English.

But 300 years later private schools in England were still teaching Latin. Go figure.

Meanwhile there is the home-schooling movement. I read this movement as a typical movement of women getting together to educate their kids in common. In other words, some of home-schooling is kids working at home on basic literacy and numeracy. But another part of it is mothers getting together to provide enrichment for their kids and their friends' kids.

So my Education Plan is this:

  • Bring back child labor. The reason for child labor laws is to protect adults from low-wage competition. Most kids should quit school at 12-13  and go to work.
  • Force employers to subsidize skills education for their employees. This would be courses for which employees could quickly get certification in various skills.
  • Allow inner-city schools to continue as dysfunctional hell-holes where the purpose of the school is to provide jobs-for-life for the employees. Until it becomes such a national scandal that Something Must Be Done.
  • Create a cultural movement so that all Good Little Girl mothers will be afraid that if they don't home-school and stay home with their kids they are Bad Mothers, and that their friends will be saying nasty things about them.
Modern education started partly with the ruling class wanting to indoctrinate the kids, and partly from the workers wanting free education for their kids to learn their letters and numbers. Naturally, the whole thing just growed, so that now the only thing the schools do well is indoctrinating kids in ruling class ideology.

Way back then, say in the early to mid 19th century, this approach had a point. But now most people are functionally literate and could easily figure out how to get their kids literate. Hey! Liberals wanting to be activists could run literacy schools in the inner city. You don't need a government program to make sure kids are as literate as their parents. There is a program inside kids that wants to grow up and be independent and know everything their parents know.

And if you ask me, the last thing we need these days is to give the ruling class access to our kids and teach our kiddies the vile ruling-class ideology of neo-tribal identity politics and neo-feudal entitlement politics.

I know. You moms are all horrified at the notion of kids going out to work. Well here are a couple of counter-narratives.

First, in 1913, in "Why Children Work" schools inspector Helen Todd found that working children preferred to work rather than go to school. See, the kids reported that their employers treated them much better than the teachers at school. Of course, these were immigrant children that the teachers knew were dumb and stupid.

Second, I read a narrative by a woman years ago that recalled how she loved going to work as a kid. It was a family thing: the whole family walked to work every day. I don't recall the details of what work the kiddies did. But it seems that child labor was not the horror story that the activists like to tell.

Yes, education all comes down to the mothers. And so I have this to say to the world's mothers. 

You send your kids to school because that is what you have been taught to do. By sending your kid to the government school you get a star as a Good Mother. But suppose your kid gets damaged by school? Suppose that it is mostly a waste of time? Suppose your kid gets traumatized by the bullies  and the lowlifes at school? Suppose she gets indoctrinated in ruling-class propaganda that will make her into a hopeless snowflake? Suppose she gets out of college with a useless gender studies degree and ends up working as a barista at Starbucks? Well, then I would say that you were not a Good Mother, but what the Jungians call the Terrible Mother, the one found so frequently in Grimm's fairy tales. What then?

Yep. Let's all get a clue and send the kids out to work. They might learn something.

Friday, January 26, 2018

The Real Corruption in FISA-Russiagate

What are the fundamental factors that have led to the folly of Russia-gate and the foolish Special Prosecutor investigation of "Russian Collusion" in the 2016 election?

I'd say it is a combination of Clinton corruption of the Democratic Party, President Obama's weakness, and Hillary Clinton's strategic blindness and incompetence.

Let's work backwards, starting with the decision at Clinton HQ not to concede the election.

It really was very stupid of the Clinton people to raise the Russia collusion narrative. Why? Because it has put the Clinton e-mail issue back in play.

Look, if Hillary Clinton had simply conceded the election and gone home to Chappaquiddick then the Trump administration would never have reopened the Clinton e-mail scandal. It would have left sleeping dogs lie.

There are always hot-heads in the tent of the general telling him to keep up the fight even after the war is lost. But it is the job of a wise general to know when the game is over and tell his hot-heads to cool it. Hillary Clinton didn't do that, because she is a fool that doesn't have a strategic mind.

Instead she did the one thing that could end up causing her real harm. By raising the Russia collusion issue she allowed the whole question of the use of the FISA court to spy on the Trump campaign to be opened up and the whole question of the corruption of federal law-enforcement agencies.

So now there is the question of just what the Clinton campaign was trying to do with the Steele Dossier and the FISA spying on the Trump campaign. I suppose that the campaign -- and the Obama administration -- needed to know what the Trump people "had" on them.

Of course they did, because the Clinton operation is a profoundly corrupt operation that has infected the whole Democratic Party. Let us leave aside the petty corruptions of the Clintons when they were back in Arkansas: Whitewater, cattle futures and all. The problem the Clintons had when Bill Clinton stepped down in 2001 was how to keep the Clinton political operation running at full steam so that it could elect Hillary Clinton president in 2008. And then with the failure in 2008, where Hillary was beaten by a political neophyte, the Clinton political operation needed to keep going for another 8 years before the next presidential opportunity. That costs money.

So the Clintons set up a pay-for-play operation with the Clinton Foundation. They needed a fair amount of money to keep all their operatives on-side, and they did that, during the 2010s, using Hillary Clinton's influence as Secretary of State. That meant, among other things, that Hillary Clinton needed a private e-mail system that she could control.

Then we come to the weakness of President Obama. I think that, as the years go by, we will come to understand President Obama as a profoundly weak man. Benghazi, Syrian "red lines," the Iran deal. These are the actions of a man afraid to wade into the messy struggles of power. So he allowed Hillary Clinton to have her e-mail server and compromise national security, big time. Really, how weak can you get?

Do you see how the president's weakness plays out in the whole mess? In 2015 the Clinton e-mail server issue comes out because the private e-mail arrangements were exposed by the House investigation of Benghazi. That ended up putting the FBI in an impossible position. Obama could hardly allow his heir-apparent to get mewed up in a prosecution for violation of classification regulations. So his administration got the FBI to pass on the whole affair. The president got the FBI and the Justice Department tangled up in shenanigans to let Clinton off the hook.

And in an administration characterized by a weak leader at the top you would expect weak and malleable functionaries all the way down. So there was nobody with the cojones to stick up for the law. You would expect to find, in such an organization, a foolish couple like Strzok and Page texting each other as though their indiscretions would never see the light of day.

"Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive."

They said that Bill Clinton was an extraordinarily good liar. But most of the rest of us are not. That is why it is best, wherever you are, not to lie, not to duck your responsibility, not to engage in corruption. Probably you are not up to the challenge of dealing with the tangled web you create.

I am beginning to think that the corruption of the Clintons, the weakness of Barack Obama, and the stupidity of Hillary Clinton is turning into the perfect storm that is going to create enormous damage to the Democratic Party through the rest of the Trump administration.

The problem for all political parties is that the base always wants to take you into the weeds. And this is certainly true of the Democratic Party with its identity politics and its extreme position on immigration, and its fantasy on climate change and its faith in the wonders of the administrative state. The lesson of the 20th century is that the secret of politics is to occupy the middle, and represent the nation. That is why even the socialists and communists have always practiced "socialism in one country." But our present ruling class believes in anything-but-nationalism, because Hitler. So it keeps running off into the ditch of globalism or sub-national tribalism, until sternly brought back to reality by the election returns.

I'd say that by 2024 we will see the mainstream media bringing us the New Democrats that are as patriotic and pro-American as any damn Republican ever was.

Meanwhile, it's going to be a struggle for the Democrats to clean up the corruption that Clinton and Obama and identity politics have created. That's because every woke activist and Good Little Girl raised to ideological idiocy by our university finishing school system is absolutely blind to the mess that their leaders and teachers have created.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Women's Marches, Cathy Newman, and the Culture of Complaint

This morning my sister sent me a photo of a woman in a woman's march wearing a t-shirt and tights covered with glam shots of Hillary Clinton.

You know what I think? I think that women's marches are all about: what clothes do we wear? Pink pussy hats? Oh no, that is so last year.

And then we get Cathy Newman, the BBC Channel 4 slasher presenter who got all frightened when on-line trolls started reacting to her "So you say that women are less intelligent than men" journalism. Which is to say that even for the pugnacious Cathy Newman, Women Need Protection. They just are not programmed to be reckless about their physical safety.

My gal Sarah Hoyt has a piece out on women's marches, answering the question of why? Why are all these women out marching when we really don't even know what they want? Sarah says that's just the way women are.
You see, just like testosterone boosts your self confidence and your ability to feel good about yourself, female hormones boost your ability to bond, your desire for group cohesion, and your not-perfectly-rational wish to belong.

So you get a group of women, and it’s easy to get them all to march out for no particular reason and with no end in sight.

You’re invited by friends, because “we’re all doing it.”  And you go, because your children or your mom or stuff.  Because your friend told you “we have to do it so the children don’t have to” or because “isn’t your mom homeless.”

And unless you’re rock bottom stupid (some people, male and female, are) you know it doesn’t make a wit of sense.  But your friend is so sure.  And if you ask questions or point out it makes no sense, they’re not going to talk to you again.  There’s going to be a rift, and who are your kids going to play with?
OK, now let's blend this in with my notion that men have a Culture of Insult, and women have a Culture of Complaint.

The male Culture of Insult is a sham fight that is communicating the possibility of something much worse, a real fight, in which the men involved will not be throwing insults but actual blows against each other. This is why, for instance, legislatures have rules that forbid the members to insult each other on the floor of the House. In the House of Commons they have to refer to the "member from Barsetshire" and in the House of Representatives they have to refer to the "gentleman" or "gentle lady." Members are not allowed to refer to each other by name and they are not allowed to insult each other. It is understood that insults can easily become fighting words and that the whole point of legislatures is to conduct civil war by other means, jaw-jaw intstead of war-war, in Churchill's felicitous phrase.

The female Culture of Complaint is a sham fight of a different kind. The threat in a woman's complaint is that down the road there lies the withdrawal of affection or the expulsion from the mean-girls clique. I like to say that the typical complaint is the complaint made to a woman in a one-on-one chat about a third woman not present: "I can't believe she said that."

The problem comes, I believe when we advance the two cultures from the bar-room brawl or the kaffee-klatsch to politics. To men politics is the Culture of Insult writ large; to women politics is the Culture of Complaint writ large.

But there is a problem. Politics is the division of the people in a community into two sides for a sham fight that always threatens to escalate into real civil war. That's because government is force; every Act of a legislature is an act to force some people to pay money to other people, and the people of the receiving end of government force don't like it. Politics is in fact an instantiation of the male Culture of Insult.

But now we have women voters and women live in the Culture of Complaint. When a woman complains about something she expects her best friend or her husband to do something about it. And woe betide the person that pushes back against the complaint. As Sarah Hoyt says:
And if you ask questions or point out it makes no sense, they’re not going to talk to you again.  There’s going to be a rift, and who are your kids going to play with?
But hey girls, government is not the same as your husband that responding to your complaint because he wants a quiet life, and government is not the same as you and your neighborhood friends that accommodate each other to keep the neighborhood content. Government is force; government is men with guns.

Now scientists have noted that the big expansion of government in our era commenced, pretty well, upon women getting the vote. And indeed, beyond government pensions, which certainly issue from the time when government was exclusively a man's thing, the great sweep of modern government is providing things that women want, most notably health care, welfare, and education.

But you see, I think it is one thing for a woman to complain to her husband that he needs to get another job so she and the kids can go to the doctor. It is another thing to force everyone to fund government-run health care.

And in my view most women don't get this. Perhaps this is because of the eternal situation of women. It doesn't matter whether you have a patriarchy or the final glorious destination of the arc of history fully bended towards justice. Women Need Protection. Yes, even mad-dog presenter Cathy Newman. And as soon as a woman has a baby on the ground she needs help. This means that women are eternally subject to whoever provides protection. Despite all the talk about the patriarchy, women expect men to protect them, and that makes women subordinate to men -- or to the government of men with guns.

And what do women do when they want something? They complain. Women don't earn as much as men? Complain. Women aren't getting all the cool tech jobs? Complain.

Now I believe that we should limit the use of government force to situations where force is the only option. I do not think that government should Do Something in response to peoples' complaints.

But how do we get out of the present situation where the ruling class is glad to have women complaining and identity politics victims complaining and poor helpless crony capitalists complaining,  all so that government can force the rest of us to pay up and hope that the complainer just shut up for a month or two?

As the song "The Panic is On" goes,
How could he?
What is the reason?
I don't know.
Yes, it's a very sad situation about a woman whose lover has left her. And a really great song.

I don't know how we solve the problem of women's marches, Cathy Newman's need for protection from internet trolls, and most of all the escalation of the women's Culture of Complaint into ruling class ideology.

The only thing to do is to believe in Jung's "collective unconscious" and hope that One Fine Day a political ground-swell of deplorables will arise out of the bowels of the Earth and solve all our problems. 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Suppose It's the Democrats That are Behind the 8-Ball

One of the stumbling blocks to an undistorted understanding of US politics is the default elite conventional wisdom that Republicans and conservatives are barely legitimate. Thus our liberal friends and their willing accomplices in the media are always just one step away from saying: Now those GOP yahoos have done it! This latest screw-up should finish them!

But now that Trump has won the government shutdown another possibility emerges. It is the Democrats that are the ones in a tight spot.

Take the fabled DACA issue. It has been the focus of the immigration debate for over a year, ever since President Obama issued an illegal edict to suspend deportation of the foreign-born children of illegal aliens. We have been told, again and again, that these young people are veritable American "Dreamers" and their legal uncertainty is monstrous and unjust.

But the situation right now is that Congress has until March to "do something" about the Dreamers; otherwise normal law respecting illegal aliens resumes. It is the Democrats that have raised the Dreamer issue, and it is they that are the targets of Dreamer rage now that the shutdown failed, and it is they that are in a weak position; they must do anything to get their beloved Dreamers safe to shore.

In other words, Democrats have been promising something to the Dreamers and it is starting to look as if the Democrats can't deliver on their promise. Not good. It's the reason why the Republican base has been so angry for the last several years: they elected a Republican Congress and nothing changed. Democrats promised the Dreamers the moon and stars, and they haven't delivered.

Now, in my view, elite liberals have a basic world view that they are the world. They are in charge; their faith is the faith that should guide us; their agenda is the one that matters. For the last 15 months they have been, as the liberal psychologists say, in "denial." It can't be true that the deplorables actually elected Donald Trump! Look under the sofa cushions! There must be some skulduggery there, or at least Russians under the bed.

But in the last couple of months it is starting to look as if Trump is getting his stride. He has won a notable tax-cut victory; he has won a government shutdown fight. And now Democrats are going to be under the gun to ink a deal with Trump that will pacify their left-wing activist base. Remember. On DACA, Trump has the whip hand. He doesn't care if the suspension of actual law-enforcement action on the children of illegal aliens in March expires without Congressional legislation to replace it. It is the Democrats that care.

Democrats are running around chanting "we are the lions, we are the chosen," when it is starting to look as if the opposite is true.

The left has always insisted that its "activism" of the last 200 years is the Voice of the People, and that the left represents the Forgotten Man, the exploited, the marginalized. In reality, a lot of left-wing activism is AstroTurf, well-born youths financed by billionaires that are in fact the running dogs of the ruling class. They are organizing the lower orders in fake grass-roots movements in order to bolster the power of the progressive ruling class.

On this view the unexpected rise of the Tea Party in 2009, the extraordinary emergence of Donald Trump in the Republican presidential nomination process in 2016, the rise of nationalist political parties in Europe, are something like the Jungian "collective unconscious," of something happening politically beneath the level of human consciousness, and beyond the horizon of ruling-class understanding: a sort of hive mind that is responding to an existential peril.

There is a profound change in our western culture a-building, and we ain't seen nothing yet.

Here's another thing that I want to blend into this: the phenomenon of Canadian clinical psychologist Jordan B. Peterson. Of course, he is in the middle of his 15 minutes of fame because of a stunning interview on BBC Channel 4 with mainstream feminist journalist Cathy Newman. Almost more interesting is his take on the interview, where he marvels that 80 percent of the on-line reaction was anti-Newman. This, he says is almost unheard-of.

Now the thing about Jordan B. Peterson is that he is a Jungian. That means that he views the issue of good and evil through the lens of Jung's persona and Shadow. And he sees the good life for a man as the Hero's Journey, including the journey through the underworld. He says that maybe the point of evil is that it creates a reason to be good. Peterson has also produced a series on the Christian Bible, available on YouTube, which answers Jung's desire to reconcile modern psychology with ancient myth and the Axial Age religions in a unified faith and worldview that would reset Christianity on a new foundation. Then, as Cathy Newman complained, Peterson is having an extraordinary impact on young men in the West. I wonder why. Could his Jungian hero-myth approach be exactly what young men need and want in order to become strong and worthy and good?

But back to the surly bonds of Earth. We are starting to see a veritable Hegelian antithesis:  FBI corruption and collusion with the Clinton campaign that is starting to compete with the ruling-class thesis of Russia collusion in the Trump campaign. Who knows what the synthesis will be? We deplorables would like to see the scandal brought out into the light of day right now, but I am starting to wonder if Trump and the Congressional investigators are smarter than we are. If you were a political pro, you would want the scandals of gross Obama administration malfeasance in the intelligence community to come out when they would have maximum influence on the mid-term elections.

And if that happens, then Ronald Reagan might be right, that you ain't seen nothing yet.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Lefty Activist Groups are Really, Really Angry About #ChuckUp

I think that the only appropriate reaction to the Donald latest #Winning on the failure of the Democrats' ploy to shut down the federal government over the DACA immigration issue is the Instapundit post.
WHAT IS BEST IN LIFE, DONALD? “To pass a tax bill, to stop a shutdown, to see the Schumers driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women.” link
That Glenn Reynolds sure has talent.

But it appears that all the lefty activist groups are really, really angry that Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) threw in the towel. Of course, conservative activists were livid after the GOP lost the last two (or was it three) government shutdowns.

Look, fellahs: Chuck did what you wanted: he took your pet issue (which does not have broad support among average people) and bet the whole Democratic Party on a government shutdown. Then, presumably, he looked at the polls and decided to break off the battle before his troops suffered a rout.

Let's admit it. Immigration is a huge issue, and it is one on which the ruling class and average people are divided.

The ruling class wants immigration, because it is doing the right thing, because nationalism leads to Hitler, because it's a global economy, because we need to keep US wages from increasing enough to make US products non-competitive, because American women aren't having enough babies, because Democrats understand that they need  to import more Democratic voters to keep it fair.

But the fact is that the immigration wave of the last half century has been pretty rough on below-average American workers, in particular I suspect, African Americans. Also, recently arrived immigrants tend to separate themselves into ethnic ghettoes for a generation or two, which increases the divisions in society.

So immigration is a big issue, and it needs to be resolved in a way that gives the broad majority of the American people what it wants and what it voted for. That is the meaning of democracy: the people get to choose their rulers, and the rulers accommodate the views of the voters as far as possible. The American people in 2016 elected a candidate that promised to "build a wall" to keep illegal aliens south of the border.

In other words, we have come to a point in American history where "something must be done" about immigration. But what?

I will tell you. We apply the Moynihan Rule. Here it is, according to David Frum:
In 1993, Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan warned President Clinton against trying to ram his healthcare proposals through Congress on a party-line vote. "Anything that big and important," Moynihan predicted, "will pass the Senate 70-30 - or not at all."
Let me propose a corollary. If your issue can't get a 70-30 vote in the Senate then it isn't "big and important" enough.

In other words, it is not a good idea to try to cram through an issue like DACA on an ordinary funding bill and then hold up the whole country. DACA is a big thing only for lefty immigration activist groups.

If you want to pass a Big Thing then you must assemble enough bipartisan support that the measure passes 70-30 in the Senate.

Why is that? It's because the point of democracy is that it is not just civil war by other means, but a method of avoiding civil war. That means that democracy should not be winner-takes-all -- hello Obamacare -- but that when you pass legislation you try to sweeten it enough so that the losers do not pick up their dollies and go home in a huff.

On this theory you pass an immigration bill that stops chain migration, that mandates E-verify, that restricts immigration to well-educated people that are not going to form a new underclass, and then, at the last minute, you throw in a few sweeteners like giving residency to "Dreamers," kids brought to the US by their illegal alien parents. Hopefully, that gets you to 70-30 in the Senate.

And, need I remind my liberal friends, Donald Trump was elected on a platform of restricting immigration. To block his mandate by procedural shenanigans is to nullify the votes of the people, to spit in their faces, and to set up a shop of horrors.

So why did we get to this pass, and why are the lefty activist groups besides themselves?

Naturally, I can explain the whole procedure with my critique of lefty "activism culture." You can get the full story here in "A General Theory of Leftist Politics." The point is that the left's activism culture is young well-born kids looking  for an excuse for revolution, and the only excuse for revolution is the injustice experienced by people "outside the system." In 1850 the schtick was to riot for the unfranchised working class. But  pretty soon the bourgeoisie gave the working class the vote, and  the workers were inside the system. So now what? Votes for Women! Civil Rights for blacks! Marriage for gays! And now legalization of illegal aliens. See, once people have the vote and are inside the system then their concerns are naturally and inevitably accounted for in the two-and-fro of elections and legislation. Thus,  if you want to be an activist then you must find a group "outside the system" and be their shining knight fighting against the system for Justice. Otherwise  you are nothing.

Lefty activism culture is a conceit, the conceit of well-born sons and daughters of the bourgeoisie that want to put some relevance into their hum-drum little lives -- starting with the well-born Marx and Engels. It is the fantasy that in this age, which attempts to look after ordinary people and redress their grievances like never before in history, we need the extreme resort to force, to riots in the streets, and the silly rhetoric of Skip Marley:
We are the lions, we are the chosen
We gonna shine out the dark
We are the movement, this generation
You better know who we are, who we are
Yeah, yeah. Except the truth is that after 1850 the dreaded bourgeoisie did not keep the working class  in the dark, but let it into the system where its grievances could be redressed. Ditto African Americans after 1965.

I wonder if it is part of God's plan to use Donald Trump as His instrument to deflate the conceit of the lefty activism culture, and to drive the Schumers before him, and hear the lamentation of the pussy-hat women? 

Stranger things have happened.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Real Critical Theory: How About a Critique of Leftism

In a review of Jordan B. Peterson's interview with Cathy Newman on BBC Channel 4, Uri Harris makes a point that drove home with me.

We need a Critical Theory of leftism, he proposes, on the same principle as the left's Critical Theory of the bourgeoisie. Following Marx, the left has conducted a nearly two-century critique of capitalism's claim to universalism.
Critical Theory draws heavily on Karl Marx’s notion of ideology. Because the bourgeoisie controlled the means of production, Marx suggested, they controlled the culture. Consequently, the laws, beliefs, and morality of society reflected the interests of the bourgeoisie. And importantly, people were unaware that this was the case. In other words, capitalism created a situation where the interests of a particular group of people—those who controlled society—were made to appear to be universal truths and values, when in fact they were not.
I think that this is an excellent point. It's all very well for the comfortable middle class to think that everyone should be like them, hard-working, responsible, assuming that the market economy that is so good to the bourgeoisie is also good for, e.g., the working class. The argument at the center of Marxism and now identity politics is that the market economy and "middle-class morality" is not good for the traditionally marginalized, and not good for creative types that want to live a live higher and better than mere responsibility and service. The market exploits the working class and constricts the creative class.

So I say, go for it, lefties. Critique capitalism and the middle class all you like.

But there is this. It turned out that the market economy, that Marx said would "immiserate" the working class, did nothing of the kind. The capitalistic economy, in the event, lifted all boats, and lifted the working class into the middle class. So maybe the claim of universal truth was not far off the mark. Nor was the market economy the enemy of traditionally marginalized groups. There is no doubt that white males have done best with the market economy; but everyone else has benefited too. If you wanted to keep blacks and women down you had to write laws to do so, because the market economy doesn't care who you are, it just cares what you can produce. And there is the bottom line to the market economy, the Great Enrichment. Per-capita income in the capitalist countries has risen by 3,000 percent in the last 200 years.

But now let us do a bit of Critical Theory on the left. Let's call it Real Critical Theory, and let us rephrase Uri Harris's words quoted above.
Real Critical Theory turns Karl Marx’s notion of ideology on its head. The problem is no longer the ideological superstructure of the capitalistic productive forces, but the ideological structure of the educated ruling class that not surprisingly privileges the creative pursuits and the power project of the educated class, from the arts to sexual experimentation to identity politics, as the highest and best form of life. Because the educated class controls the arts, the media, and education, we propose that they unjustly control the culture and marginalize all voices that might oppose their agenda. Consequently, the laws, beliefs, and morality of society reflects the class interests of the educated class. Increasingly, people are becoming profoundly aware that this is the case. In other words, progressivism creates a situation where the interests of a particular group of people—those who control the public square of ideas and approved thought—represent their selfish and unjust class interests as universal truths and values, when in fact they are not.
Of course my entire work and world view are intended as a critique of the left's world view and its selfish and unjust power project.

My reductive Three Peoples theory is intended to show how the educated class, the People of the Creative Self, stand in relation to the other main experiential groups in society, the People of the Responsible Self, and the People of the Subordinate Self, and how their whole project is designed to oppress and exploit the People of the Responsible Self.

My critique of the left's activism culture is intended to show the bankruptcy of activism, always searching for a reason to apply political force and "peaceful protest" to a society that really does not enforce injustice and can be easily persuaded to reduce injustice by the ordinary political process of elections and legislation and a peaceful discussion of the issues.

My notion of "little darlings" is intended to publicize the dead end in store for those that are today's beneficiaries of progressive identity politics. Like the white working class, the educated ruling class may loove you today. But the day will come when the ruling class casts you aside, like wounded soldiers have ever been cast aside by armies on the march.

My "left's errors" is a catalog of the errors and the human misery that left-wing and progressive ideas have caused in the last 200 years. 

My Perfect Plan is a solution to the murrain of leftism, for it proposes solutions to the two main evils of leftism. Against the policy of encouraging pre-urban cultural norms in its little darlings -- first the working class and now women and minorities -- I propose that our society should encourage, by all kindly and gentle means, the traditionally marginalized to acquire the middle class culture of individual responsibility that is the key to a productive and meaningful life in the exchange economy and the urban society. Against he left's culture war on the middle class I propose a culture of compassion and tolerance in the People of the Creative Self towards the People of the Responsible Self lately anathematized as "deplorables."

And failing all else, there is always my Communism Week, a blow by blow critique of the left and everything it stands for.

But the big thing is this. You can criticize capitalism and the mean and narrow-minded bourgeoisie all you like. But the middle-class culture has produced the Great Enrichment, a 3,000 percent increase in real individual income in the last 200 years. The fact is that leftism, communism, socialism, progressivism has failed every time it was tried. Most tragically it was tried and it failed in Russia, in China, and in India, by educated elites that thought that Marx's ideas were the secret ingredient to the west's dominance. Over a hundred million human deaths later, each of these great nations has realized that the opposite is true. Communism, Marxism, socialism, progressivism is the fastest route to national ruin ever devised by a canting intellectual. Hello Venezuela.

The reason that capitalism has worked is this. It extends the truth of social cooperation one step further. In the old days, animals and humans learned that social cooperation is beneficial, indeed, necessary for successful life on Earth, because it reduces the incidence and crippling costs of violence. In both animal and human society this social cooperation was achieved by a status and hierarchy culture that reduced the incidence of costly and destructive violence substituting force with shows of force. But we moderns have discovered another dimension to social cooperation: private property and the price system. These remarkable inventions allow social cooperation to proceed without the cost and pain of hierarchy systems, but simply through the daily fluctuations of prices in the exchange economy that tell everyone what to do. It is the most astonishing discovery ever.

And yet our educated ruling class wants to return to the good old days: a neo-tribalism with identity politics, and neo-feudalism with the welfare state.

What is wrong with these people that a Real Critical Theory that exposes their errors and self-satisfied assumptions won't set right?

Friday, January 19, 2018

What Do #MeToo Want?

The eternal plaint of men is "what do women want?" I think the answer is easy. Women want to be protected so that they can do their work of caring.

But in the last half century or so women have entertained a fantasy of something different, the notion of "the independent woman" advocated by Simone de Beauvoir in The Second Sex. Look, everyone does stupid stuff, and imagines things that can never be. So Simone de Beauvoir was a fool. So are we all.

There is no such thing as an "independent woman." Not no how.

But women believe what they have been carefully taught, more so than men, in my sexist imaginings. An example is the BBC interview of BadThinker Jordan B. Peterson by Cathy Newman, where she castigates him for 40 minutes for not having received opinions on women and transgenders as approved by North London luvvies.

Right through the interview, I felt that Cathy Newman never deviated a millimeter from the received left-wing party line on men and women and women in the workplace and transphobia and Uncle Tom Cobbley and all. I thought to myself, this woman has never read a book. Because if she had, she would deviate, somehow, somewhere, from the narrative. Her natural conceit as a Someone who reads books would lead her willy-nilly to parade that in front the eevil transphobic interviewee Jordan B. Peterson. But she did not. So I assume that she is an idiot that knows nothing: only what she picks up from the lefty mean girls clique at the BBC.

But women are troubled. Because they are Good Little Girls that learn their lessons well they get to college, or into their careers, or into the twenty-something dating scene and it doesn't compute. Or rather, it feels all wrong.

Well, yes, it would, girls. Because what we -- or rather I should say you lefties -- have cooked up is your fantasy of the "independent woman," who maybe does not get married, maybe does not have children, lives as though she were a man battling through life as a sexual and/or economic predator.

But women are not like that, or at least the vast majority of them. And so that is why poor "Grace" feels shame and distress that when she signed up for a date with comic Aziz Ansari and found out that all he wanted was sex, and that he didn't want a relationship etc. So nothing has changed since Monica Lewinsky wanted Bill Clinton to tell her that their dalliances were about something more than sex. Or since Hollywood invented the casting couch.

People-that-don't-read-books like Cathy Newman may believe that the "patriarchy" has kept women barefoot and pregnant since the dawn of time, and they may be right. But I rather prefer to learn from the haunting message of A Woman in Berlin by Anonymous about the two months in Berlin in the spring of 1945 when Berlin was occupied by Soviet troops of the Red Army and there were no German men to protect German women from the sexual aggressions of the Red Army soldiers. Or there's the message from The Year 1000 by Lacey and Danziger. Back then the Vikings would sail up the rivers of Britain every autumn, kill all the men, take all the grain and the women and children and sell the women and children at the main slave market in northwest Europe in Dublin.

Women need to be protected from sexual aggression: indeed they expect it. And a society has failed  that fails to protect its women from sexual aggression. And that is why Good Little Girls like "Grace" are feeling betrayed and abandoned that nasty cruel men out there seem to regard them as booty.

Obviously the solution to the current problem is to reassemble a culture from the ruins of bourgeois culture trashed over the last century by the left. In this culture it will be accepted once more that the default answer from women is No. In this culture cads and bounders and the like will once more be marginalized and named and shamed.

But the solution is not to write more laws. The criminal law is a very blunt instrument. Of course it is, because government is force, men with guns. The whole point of humans as social animals is to resolve 99 percent of problems by cultural norms that every young person learns as a child rather than by police action.

So we have to build a new culture around sex. Unfortunately the social and cultural world is dominated right now by lefty never-read-a-book people spouting lefty talking points as though they know what they are talking about. What is needed is for a gentle, thoughtful culture of the middle to arise that gently revises the common culture of America to revive courtship and respect and banish the sexual revolution's assumption that women are just like men when it comes to sex, that there can ever be such a thing as "just sex."

Oh and we need to revise the notion that the highest and best course for a woman's life is a career. No. The center of a woman's life is her relationships, her marriage, her children, her role as the center of social life, and above all her devotion to caring for those nearest and dearest to her.

I like to remind my readers that "career" comes from the French "carrière" or racetrack. It's a perfectly sensible way to socialize men away from war and loot and plunder and into the harmless work of business. But women don't need to be run around a racetrack. They are already socialized to the work of daily life, and it is an insult to treat women as though they are aggressive, testosterone infused men.

Honestly, I don't know how we get to the sunlit uplands of the new culture. Because if there is one thing obvious to me it is that the left-wing cultural elite, the present ruling class, are the last people on Earth that should have anything to do with this project.

What I hope for is that a spontaneous movement will arise among women to move towards this sadder, wiser culture. But I do not expect it in my lifetime.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Politics is Not About Issues, But Status

Why have Republicans and conservatives failed to reverse the tide of leftism? The answer is simple, according to Joe Katzman. Politics is not about ideas, or issues, or justice. Politics is about status.
Analysis: Leftism is a status machine. A very, very successful status machine. Conservatives have lost status battle after status battle, often because they fought it as a policy battle. It rarely is.
In other words, if you parrot left-wing talking points you gain status. If you try to argue the merits of an issue, you lose status. But if you are sensible you read The New York Times or any women's magazine. These are all about communicating status clues to the status conscious.

That brings us immediately to Donald Trump. Trump's whole shtick is to humiliate "Chuck and Nancy" and the Fake News media. In other words, his game is to lower their status in the eyes of his supporters and possible supporters.

Status and hierarchy are chemical and go all the way back to lobsters, or rather the common ancestor of humans and lobsters. You could say it is part of the basic equipment of social animals, the reduction of conflict by status and hierarchy negotiation.

So that means that status is upstream of religion is upstream of culture is upstream of politics.

Now do you understand why Donald Trump won the support of the white working class and other deplorables? He proposed to raise their/our status by attacking the status of liberals, lefties, Democrats, and the mainstream media.

Yes, I suppose that's a corollary of the lobster status argument. You may not be able to play the status game yourself, but you sure can vote for a guy that does, or at least support the lobster that has high status.

This forthright argument, put forward by Joe Katzman, helps me understand what I am trying to do with my writing. I want to put everything lefty and liberal in a bad light by insulting it, i.e., reducing its status.

(Hmm. So the male Culture of Insult is really a status game, reducing the other guys status by a sham fight of words. And is Trump good at insults. But, of course, women hate it, because their status game is the woman's Culture of Complaint.)

So when I deploy my catchphrases, from Government is Force, to Politics is Division, to System is Domination, to Identity Politics is Neo-Tribalism, to the Welfare State is Neo-Feudalism, all I am trying to do is to reduce the status of government, politics, and lefties on all the ships at sea, by insulting their ideas and their sacred objects as cheap tricks and second-rate rubbish: false idols.

But to get to the bottom line: is Trump's campaign working? Well, according to Katzman,
American belief in the credibility of their news media is now at about 32 percent. That’s the lowest ever polled, and an 8 percent drop from the lowest point of the 2008-2015 period. The media has lost audience, and a lot of power. 
And even noble Facebook has taken note.
Facebook has tried to fight these trend lines by flagging items as “fake news.” Recently, the social media giant decided to stop. Too many people sought out flagged articles. 
Notice an interesting thing here? Back in the day, liberals were the spunky outsiders speaking truth to the establishment. But now that they own the media, the universities, the schools, the culture, they are the establishment, and so plucky outsiders are now the ones that speak truth to liberals.

And they don't like it.

OK, so why didn't anyone think of this before? Well, they did.
In fairness, Newt Gingrich had some success in the 2012 primaries, and Ted Cruz has also tried. But they lacked the full array of tools. Worse, they didn’t understand how to make the media their enemy.
In other words, they weren't good enough at the game of insult.

And that leads directly back to my catchphrase Politics is Division. The art of politics is to find your enemy, and rally the people behind you to attack the enemy and reduce their status by beating them in an election. Hey, you could use a Rule or two from Saul Alinsky.
Rule 5. "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon."
Rule 13. "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." 
Just saying. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Solving the Immigration Problem

America needs about 1.1 million immigrants a year, experts say, because American women aren't having enough children. Thus we have a labor shortage on the one hand and too many people needing end-of-life entitlements on the other.

However, writes Kay Hymowitz, whereas a century ago America could use millions of unskilled immigrants, today it ain't so.
Poverty and lack of skills didn’t stop newcomers from finding work because there was plenty of it—on the piers of New York and Philadelphia, the meatpacking plants of the Midwest, and in the factories that were spreading to cities all over the country. In 1914, over 70 percent of the factory workers at Ford Motor Company were foreign-born. Immigrants and their children were over half of all of American manufacturing workers in 1920.
 Today, she writes,
Automation and offshoring to Third World countries have seriously eroded the number of blue-collar jobs... Today’s immigrants are more likely to be hotel workers, agricultural hands, bussers, janitors, and hospital orderlies. They may be earning more than they could have in their home countries, but their wages—assuming they work full-time—are enough only to keep them a notch or two above the poverty line in the United States.
That's why other countries, like Canada and Australia, have implemented a skills-based immigration system. It is much harder for low-skilled immigrants from sh*thole countries to make it in First World countries than it used to be.

However, I know a Haitian immigrant, a health-care aide, who is raising two boys to go straight into the professional middle class. But she's insulted that Trump calls her homeland a sh*thole.

The problem is, of course, the population problem. What is wrong with American women that they are not having enough children to replace our population?

There is nothing wrong with American women; they have been doing what they were told to do.

American women have been told to get and education and a career.

American women have been told to approach sex the way that men do.

American women have been taught to abort an inconvenient child.

American women have been taught to divorce annoying husbands instead of nagging them into obedience.

American women have been taught to devalue suburban housewifery.

American women have been taught to experiment with lesbianism.

All these things may be wonderful and progressive but you can see that each one of them tends to reduce the number of children born into the world. And each of the items that women have been carefully taught are cultural trends that happen to appeal to the educated class that aspires to a higher, more creative life than mere childbearing and childraising.

Hey, if American women average 2.5 children per lifetime then we could start exporting a few folks as immigrants to other countries and see if they like it.

Actually, I am not totally against immigration. I feel that if a country does not experience a certain influx of foreigners then it gets old and staid. Or it descends into childlessness like the Roman Empire.

And really, civilizations rise and fall all the time. In their youth they are brash and expansionary. In their prime they bestride the world. In their decline they get overrun by barbarians.

I just don't want the barbarian invasion on my watch. Or my children's watch. Or my grandchildren's watch.

We talk grandly about assimilating immigrants even as our liberal friends celebrate diversity and divide the races with identity politics. Anyway, we none of us agree on what immigrants should be assimilating to. The descendants of the 1900 wave of immigration are still significantly different from each other in political and cultural orientation.

Meanwhile there is the underrated influence of the market economy, which has its own culture of service and of getting along with anyone that is trustworthy.

But I tell you what. The stories that are coming out of the #metoo movement show that women really don't want agency; they don't want responsibility. They want to be princesses in a world that just understands their needs and provides them. Hey, they might decide they don't like the meat market of the sexual revolution. They might decide they don't like a life in a cubicle. And so they might start a movement back to hearth and home.

They might even decide that everything that liberals taught them was a lie, including "and" and "the." But I think that women are too trusting for that. Only guys, and few enough of us, understand that everything we are taught is "bullsh*t."

Oh yeah. I wonder what men could do to help get more children on the ground and solve the immigration problem.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Understanding Initiation from the Ancients

I was down in the Bay Area last week and got out alive with my skin and a book from Copperfield's in Petaluma. The book was Mircea Eliade's Rites and Symbols of Initiation.

Very good, but the whole book revolved, for me, around the Introduction, where Eliade asserts the basic difference between us and the ancients. Why is it, he asks, that we do not practice "initiation" into adulthood, whereas all the ancients did? The answer:
Modern man's originality... lies precisely in his determination to regard himself as a purely historical being, in his wish to live in a basically desacralized cosmos.
You could say that we moderns orient ourselves by reading history, by gradually building up a knowledge of the world, by the gradual accumulation of innovation and discovery over the decades and the centuries. But ancient man had no history, no libraries of knowledge and sacred books. And yet ancient man needed to know the meaning of life, the universe and everything just as we do.

So ancient man devised the initiation, a process whereby the youth was indoctrinated in all the tribe's knowledge of the world. Ancient peoples do not have a history, but a "sacred history" in which all events are projected back into a primordial time of gods and heroes. Let us put this out in long form:
[T]raditional societies tend to project every new acquisition [of knowledge or history] into the primordial Time, to telescope all events in the same atemporal horizon of the mythical beginnings.
Thus the point of initiation of boys into manhood:
It is to this traditional knowledge that the novices gain access. They receive protracted instruction from their teachers, witness secret ceremonies, undergo a series of ordeals. And it is primarily these ordeals that constitute the religious experience of initiation -- the encounter with the sacred. 
You can see that for a traditional, preliterate society the transmission of the Knowledge to the new generation is a vital task, intimately connected with the survival of the tribe. Indeed, the smaller the tribal unit the more critical is the transmission of knowledge, because if any one young man or woman fails to get the message it may mean the end of the tribe. In our larger societies, this urgency is not so immediate. A significant fraction of a generation can twirl away into folly without bringing the survival of society into question. These fools will just fail to wive and thrive, and drain away into the sand. Or perhaps, occasionally, some one or two of them will discover something transformational, and the new knowledge will be incorporated into the sum of society's understanding of life, the universe, and everything.

Of course, the idea that we have abandoned intiation is crazy. We still have initiation, only we call it "school" "university" and "education." That is how we teach the young the Knowledge, the right ways of thought and action, all the right things approved by our ruling class. So nothing has changed. And as for "ordeal," we now have mandatory classes for the young in diversity and inclusion and white privilege.

Naturally, I want to use this information in my quest to understand and demolish the reactionary culture of the left, where I identify identity politics as neo-tribalism and the welfare state as neo-feudalism. It seems to me that the culture of activism, against which I rail with frequency, is a process of initiation, similar to the ancient practice, that teaches the young the left-wing knowledge, and all the correct faith and action in connection with the ancients like Marx and Engels, particularly the faith in the sacred practice, the "ordeal" of "peaceful protest."

Yes, because public protest is not something that people naturally do. The good old "riot" much feared by our bourgeois ancestors was, or tended to be, an instinctive outbreak of madness in response to hard times. But our lefty friends have institutionalized the riot into the sacred observance of the peaceful protest with its very well developed chants, responses, liturgies and processions.

We are, after all, not so very different from our ancestors. Evolution and genetic changes are measured over millennia, according to scientists, and the agricultural age is no more than several thousands of years old, whereas our modern era is no more than hundreds of years old.

And that is why I maintain that our modern lefty reaction is as natural as the birds and the bees. Of course the modern era, with its call to abandon tribe and subordination, has inspired a vast movement of rejection. We are still tribal, feudal, and need to be initiated into the Knowledge in order to take our places as adults.

But for us radicals and revolutionaries that want to introduce our fellow humans, ever so gently, to the new ways and ideas, the lefty reactionaries are a heavy burden to bear.

Monday, January 15, 2018

How To Prepare for the Next Downturn?

Really, poor President Trump has barely got the ink dry on his Tax Cuts and Jobs Act before his supporters are worrying about inflation and bubbles.

Here's Ben Stein worrying about his money.
You cannot have an economy at full employment, with severe labor shortages, without having inflation. When you start to get that inflation, the last thing you want to do is goose the economy with huge public works programs and lowers taxes and fantastic money creation at the Fed. You, Mr. and Mrs. America, are NOT going to like severe inflation. It hurts like hell. The usual way to fight it is by buying and holding good real estate.
Well, yes, except that real estate is already pretty high and, after a bubble pops, real estate goes down with everything else.

Or there is Steve Sailer. He's not worrying about inflation but about what will cause the next crash. Stocks could do it, as in 1929. Or Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is obviously a brilliant innovation, but even the smartest new innovations in currency often cause problems initially.
As in John Law, who wrecked the French economy with his brilliant paper money scheme backed by shares. Or maybe it could be China. Or Enron-type corporate scandals, or Student debt. Or mortgages again.

The problem is that prices, for stocks or houses or gold or just about anything, are already pretty strong. So what do you do?

I'd say the first thing is that you can't time the market, whether it is stocks or real estate or Bitcoin. The bubble is only obvious after the crash. Personally, I felt that real estate was overvalued for decades. Yet you could have made good money all through those decades, and would have done all right if you had debt levels in 2008 low enough to ride through the bust.

Everybody says that stocks are too high. Maybe they are, and maybe if there is a downturn you are going to see your stocks underwater for several years.

My feeling is that I don't want to be in paper money or bonds. Bonds have no upside, only the downside of higher interest rates and/or inflation. That's because the way that governments deal with bubbles and crashes is by printing more money. So if you hold dollars you are charitably helping the high-fliers recover by reducing the value of their debt. Some years ago I read an article about the German hyperinflation. If you had stocks or gold you lost money, but you still survived. But if you held Reichmarks you were wiped out. And that means that if you were a good solid 19th century bourgeois with your 5 percent government bonds you were wiped out.

The other thing is that you don't want to be sold out by debt. If you have a mortgage on your house then you have to keep paying the mortgage, otherwise you lose your house and its equity. If you have borrowed money to buy stocks or Bitcoin then you can be sold out if your stocks or your Bitcoin crashes.

The main thing to avoid is "ruin," according to Black Swan guy Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

My experience in the 2008 crash was the realization that I could not be wiped out -- i.e., ruined -- because I did not have any debt. So stocks went down by 50 percent. So they came back again, because the stock market is the present value of all future profits from the nation's public corporations. If economic growth resumes after the crash then the stock market recovers.

Of course, if the economy does not come back, as in the Soviet Union or in Venezuela, then you need to get your money/assets out, and the government will do everything it can to stop you from doing that.

What will happen with the Trump economy? Nobody knows. But we do know that nobody can repeal the business cycle. There will be a recession in our future, and the government will fight it by printing money.

Friday, January 12, 2018

What Do We Do About Big Tech's Big Left Bias?

Well, it's a scandal for President Trump to talk about s***hole countries, but it's on the up and up for big tech to censor "shitty people," as Facebook has censored a chap for writing a book called The Scandalous Presidency of Barack Obama. And as Google has allowed lefty employees to "blacklist" white conservative employees on their corporate media.

I must say that I feel a bit flummoxed by this. I mean, haven't we all been subjected to decades of liberal drivel about how there is no way to objectively determine what speech is OK and what speech is bad and that censorship is just about the worst thing in the world.

Yeah, I know. That was when liberals felt in their bones that they would lose in a game of speech censorship. Now they seem to have persuaded themselves that there is no downside to an aggressive campaign to censor conservatives, alt-rightists, "haters" and "shitty people."

Look, this is nothing new, nothing remarkable. Humans are social animals and one of the things that social animals do is control lower-status animals by methods short of outright violence. So high-status animals use their social power to beat up on low-status animals.

Right now liberals are the high-status animals, and they have wonderfully indoctrinated the tech billionaires and their bribed apologists to join their social set, or else. So big tech is unreflectingly beating up conservatives with AI algorithms and by denying ads to conservative YouTube videos.

There is a word for this: injustice. It is also, I suspect, bad business, because if there is one thing that business tends to do it is to avoid riling up the customer. I believe this has to do with the settled science that a happy customer will tell three people but an unhappy customer will tell ten people about her experience.

And so I repeat: there is no such thing as justice, only injustice. My target audience for this notion is not ordinary mortals like you and I. It really is directed at people that think they have a divine -- or secular -- mission to bend the arc of history towards justice. My argument is that anyone that is trying to make the world a better place with the kindly help of government is probably a person that is creating injustice. Further, anyone that is proposing a magnificent system of justice that will save the world from oppression and injustice should look very hard at his program to tease out the many ways in which his perfect plan would in fact increase injustice rather than create justice.

That is why my Perfect Plan would merely have as its first overarching goal a desire to help immigrants to the city rise up into the middle class. I do not think that government programs are likely to help in this; I rather suspect that non-governmental assistance and guidance, particularly from evangelical churches, is the better way. My second overarching goal of my Perfect Plan would be to instruct the educated elite, the People of the Creative Self, not to use their cultural and status power to beat up on ordinary middle class Americans and stigmatize them as "shitty people." Or deplorables.

I am only saying this to be kind and generous to our liberal friends. In my judgement the "political correctness" culture of the liberals is going to prompt a huge movement of rage against the monstrous injustice of liberal cultural hegemony.

Because that is the point of my catchphrase. What people feel and get angry about is being on the receiving end of injustice, i.e., government force. So don't spend any time thinking up glorious plans for justice. Just chip away at the odd egregious injustice. And avoid the temptation to think that "we are become as gods."

Thursday, January 11, 2018

No, Filibuster and Balanced Budget Amendment Won't Do It

Christopher C. DeMuth is one of the grand old men of conservatism, having served at the American Spectator and run the American Enterprise Institute think tank for years.

As we all are, DeMuth is disturbed about our "fractured politics" and longs to do something about it. In a speech at AEI he proposes, 1) to end the modern filibuster, and 2) to enact a balanced budget amendment.

I'm sorry, but to me Christopher DeMuth is missing the point. Politics is about bigger things than the petty obstructionisms of the filibuster and the glorious goal of fiscal rectitude. It is about what happens after the welfare state.

And if we want to play the blame game then, yes, conservatives are to blame for the current mess. You can see that in the deficit numbers over at usgovernmentspending.com. The federal deficit started up in the messes of the 1970s and continued high in the Reagan years of the 1980s. That's when conservatives decided we were not going to continue as dutiful tax collectors for the welfare state.

Not surprisingly, Democrats hate this. The neo-feudal welfare state is a great way to capture the votes of those new to the city, the immigrants that first came from Europe and now come from pretty well everywhere else. Rural people look to a strong benevolent master to look after them. Anthony Trollope defined the type in Cousin Henry, although his master is a woman:
The tenants had known her as the future owner of the acres which they cultivated and had entertained for her and shown her much genuine love. She had made herself acquainted with every homestead, landmark, and field about the place. She had learned the wants of the poor, and the requirements of the little school.
 That is how Democrats think of themselves, as kindly proprietors of the poor and the marginalized. Only, in truth, the federal budget is not all about the poor, but the middle class, for 50 percent of the federal budget goes for middle-class Social Security and Medicare. We conservatives say, great: everyone wants to help the poor, but not if it means that 50 percent of the federal budget goes for Social Security and Medicare. It stands to reason that, whatever the benefits of pension and health care programs for America's seniors like me, middle-class entitlements should not break the budget. It stands to reason also that the political system would always want to avoid facing up to the huge obligations of these fixed and immovable middle-class entitlements. Until it is too late.

As the old New Deal consensus has broken down the Democrats have responded by tightening political discipline. The meaning for me of all the political correctness is that Democrats need to frighten their supporters in order to get them to the polls. Obviously the 90 percent Democratic votes from African Americans is proof of that. The whole point of President Obama's race thingies, like support for Trayvon Martin and the race incident in Ferguson, Missouri, is to keep African-Americans strong in the fear that we are one election away from a return to Jim Crow. The only way to get 90 percent of any group's vote is to scare the stuffing out of them.

That is why we seem to be in a kind of a witch-hunt/reign of terror. Political hysteria is a natural step in the political process when things aren't going too well for your side. Earnest partisans ask themselves why the movement has not reached the Promised Land. The answer is obvious: saboteurs and wreckers, or in our modern parlance, racists, sexists, and homophobes.

And obviously, when an idiot like Donald Trump can become president, then it is time for the Resistance!

Now, I am a peaceable kind of guy, and I really don't like bust-ups. But nice, responsible reform is not the way that politics works, not now, not ever. That's because government is force, and the total assembly of government programs are nothing but a testament of force, enacted by the ruling class to reward its supporters. The revenues for Social Security pensions are obtained by forcing the American worker to cough up about 12 cents of every dollar earned. The Medicare benefits are obtained mostly by forcing wealthy Americans to cough up a substantial part of their incomes, so that the top 1 percent of federal taxpayers supply 40 percent of income tax revenue.

I don't see that any fiddling with the filibuster rules, or balanced-budget amendment is going to fix this problem. If you look at history the only way that any governmental problem gets solved is when it runs out of other peoples' money, and maybe not even then.

The reason that Donald Trump was elected is because the white working class finally woke up to the fact that the Democratic Party regards it as deplorables and expendables. And has done so ever since Archie Bunker was launched on TV in 1971 as the quintessential working-class racist sexist bigot. But the white working class still wants its Social Security and its Medicare. So nothing will change.

In my view, so long as the great middle of the American people want to be looked after by a kind land-owning squire rather than band together in non-governmental forms of social assistance, so long will the present neo-feudal big government welfare state continue. Until it breaks.

It might break because the non-white majority prefers the neo-tribalisms of modern Africa over the nation-state capitalism birthed in Northwest Europe. It might break because it runs out of money and the leaders of the time prefer to destroy the economy, as with Venezuela, rather than admit its errors. It might break because we got into a war and tried to continue the middle-class entitlements while waging global war on the Russians or the Chinese.

But one thing is sure. The present "fractured politics" will continue until somebody cries "uncle."

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

That James Damore Guy!

I'm still marveling about the central notion in James Damore's suit against Google. That Google has, as policy, a system of blacklisting, to allow its employees to cut themselves off from employees they don't like. (Is this just in political discussions, or does it extend to business as well?)

But you can understand it, if you listen to YouTube's Susan Wojciki, "part of the team at Google that decided to fire Damore." She talked to her kiddies at dinner. I think that her kids were asking her if it was true that women just don't quite cut it at face-to-the-monitor techie stuff.
I’ve spent so much time, so much of my career, to try to overcome stereotypes, and then here was this letter that was somehow convincing my kids and many other women in the industry, and men in the industry, convincing them that they were less capable. That really upset me.
Don't look now, Susie, but if you say something "upset" you, then you are promoting the stereotype that women act upon their feelings and not upon the facts. You are also promoting the stereotype that all upscale Bay Area notables are empty-headed morons without a idea in their heads except to advance the liberal party line. Oh, and by the way, have you ever investigated the original Greek meaning of "stereotype?" Before liberals got in charge, the Greek word "stereos" meant solid.

Of course, it is not really that scandalous that Google would discriminate against white male conservatives. Corporate types are always rumbling about "corporate culture" in corporate-speak, and I'd say it is only a couple of steps from promoting a corporate culture to rooting out dissenters. The whole point about a corporation is that it is, as its name implies, a body of people in which hierarchy and top-down management rules, and not the prices of the market.

But here is my bigger point. It starts with the notion of German sociologist Georg Simmel a century ago about what would happen when women came out of the home and into the public square.
Obviously, Simmel wrote, the public sphere, the world outside the home, in the short term would still be defined by men for men, but in the long term women would transform the public square to suit "a more feminine sensibility."
I must say that when I wrote this three years ago I was still "questioning" about what women in the public square meant.

It means that corporate culture is moving away from the male notion of the brotherhood, in which the question of feelings are subordinated to the goal of the operation, towards a culture in which feelings and relationships are more valued and enforced. The whole point of military training, for instance, is to train natural fight-or-flight instincts into fight-only instincts. The idea is that the rank-and-file soldier -- and therefore corporate warrior -- should risk his life in the service of the brotherhood or corporation. This is male culture. It is not female culture.

Any social unit that is governed not by a male sensibility but by a female sensibility is going to produce a corporate culture very different from the "once more unto the breach" mentality of the warrior band. It is going to produce a corporate culture much closer to the Google model than the model of Henry V's army in front of Harfleur.

There are other differences. I remember a woman friend complaining that the men wouldn't listen to her on a non-profit board she had recently joined. That's another difference between the male sensibility and the female sensibility. Men assume that they get a right to speak only when their deeds show that they are worthy of respect and that they have something to contribute. A woman expects to have the right to "share" from the moment she gets on the board.

Now I am a profound admirer of women. And I firmly believe that the feminine sensibility has its place in human affairs just as the male sensibility has its place.

But here is a heretical notion. Just as the male sensibility of smash through to victory is not the only way to do things and is wildly inappropriate in many cases, so the female sensibility of sharing and of replaying the high-school-mean-girl culture is not the only way to do things, and is wildly inappropriate in many cases.

However, you better not say stuff like that at Google. Because diversity and inclusion and stereotypes.

Hey, how about doing something about the liberal stereotypical behavior of lock-step political loyalty and unfriending anyone that disagrees with you, as this gay guy from a liberal, Jewish family experienced when he started to become conservative? What about diversity, inclusion, and stereotypes?

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Could We Stop This Game of Removing Presidents?

In my political lifetime I have seen four efforts to remove a President of the United States from office: for Nixon it was Watergate; for Reagan it was Iran-Contra; for Clinton it was Monicagate; and now for Trump it is Russiagate. Note that each effort has involved Special Prosecutors.

I think it is about time we stopped this dangerous game, because sooner or later somebody is going to get hurt.

The fact is that Democrats were mortally offended when Richard Nixon was elected president. They had all convinced themselves that he was an evil Commie witch-hunter (my first liberal boss had a Nixon three-dollar-bill coffee mug) that had been sent to proper oblivion in the stolen election of 1960 (yeah, stolen for Kennedy by the Democratic Chicago machine: you could look it up).

If anything, Reagan was worse. Democrats persuaded themselves that Nixon was evil. But Reagan was an "amiable dunce," per Clark Clifford. How could a man like that be elected president? So they made hay with Iran-Contra, the diversion of funds by chaps like Col. North using money from selling weapons to Iran to fund the Central American anti-communist contras that Congress wouldn't fund.

Then the Republicans got back on the Dems by impeaching Clinton over lies he made in connection with young White House intern and daughter of a donor Monica Lewinsky. Only they couldn't convict him in the Senate: it takes a two-thirds majority to remove a president in the United States Senate. This effort rebounded on the Republicans as the Democrats won a few seats in the 1998 mid-terms, almost unheard of for a midterm election in the second term of a president.

Now we have the Democrats running their third removal effort in the last 50 years, against Trump on the strength of the Steele Dossier that was opposition research funded by the Clinton campaign.

I will tell you what is going on here. It is all about the end of the Democratic dominance from 1933 to 1968, and the refusal of liberals to understand that the world has changed. Liberals think that they have been ordained by some secular god to bend the arc of history towards justice using government programs and political power and activism. For 50 years it seemed that they were right, doing wonderful things like pro-union laws, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Civil Rights. Then, the day after all this was complete the American people turned away from the liberal project and elected Richard Nixon in 1968. The liberal world has never been the same since, and liberals can't understand why all those deplorables fail to agree that liberal governance has been the best thing since sliced bread.

OK, if you are a liberal then the world looks like the result of your wonderful wisdom. Imagine an America without pro-union legislation! Well, I can, and we maybe would not have lost all the jobs in union-dominated steel and auto if unions hadn't gotten special privileges. Imagine a world without Social Security! Well, I can, and the result would probably be that many more Americans would be saving with Fidelity and Vanguard and dying with a nice little nest egg for their children. Imagine a world without Civil Rights! Well, at least we wouldn't have the vile race and gender politics of Affirmative Action followed by Diversity and Inclusion.

In fact, a survey has shown that ordinary Americans really don't hate rich people much these days. But they really have a problem with the educated snobs in the administrative state that regulate them and order them around. Thus Donald Trump.

Now I have a proposal to my liberal friends. And that is: Give It Up. Your golden age is past. These days we are dealing with the unintended consequences of your wonderful ideas: with government spending that is all mewed up paying pensions to old people while young people get into ruinous student debt; with vile race politics encouraging the kind of tribalism that the nation state was designed to marginalize; with top-down administrative government that is bound to fail because Mises: that socialism cannot work because it cannot compute prices, and because Hayek: that no bureaucrat from Washington DC can outperform a million producers and consumers interacting through the price system. Also, of course, liberals have gravitated from enacting policy by legislation to administrative regulation by the bureaucracy. It is just too hard to pass beneficial legislation these days.

I encapsulate all this in my catchphrases: government is force, politics is division, system is domination. In the best society you want as little of these three wonders as possible.

It is telling that liberals in the last decades have been hard at work on a cultural project to deny their opponents a voice in the public square, by calling them racists, sexists, homophobes, and haters. Thus we have AntiFa that regards any non-liberal gathering as a fascist hate rally. Now we learn from James Damore's suit that Google has a policy that allows its lefty employees to blacklist co-workers on corporate communications whose opinions they don't like. Denying your opponents a voice is not going to end well, liberals.

I encapsulate all this in my catchphrase: there is no such thing as justice, only injustice.

Here's a brilliant idea, liberals. The whole idea of democracy is that, instead of having civil war, like in the good old days of Shakespeare's Wars of the Roses plays with Prince Hal facing off against Harry Percy and may the best man win in single combat, we have the sham war of elections. Instead of battling barons, or even mobs in the street, we have politicians battling it out in rallies, in political commercials, and in debates -- and latterly in insult tweets. It is the nature of this repeated sham fight that power alternates between parties, so that when our side is defeated we can say that while we are all Americans and should go home after the election, well, "wait until next time." Sean Trende has written that it is extremely unusual for one party to win the presidency more than twice in a row.

(Notice that after 1968 that Republicans won five out of six presidential elections. I wonder why?)

Democrats have basically not conceded the last two change elections that went against them after a two-term Democratic president. In other words, they object to the Sean Trende two-term rule. In 2000 they contested the Florida results, and Al Gore never properly conceded and never told his people to go home. So we had Democratic activists hopped up right through the two terms of Bush. Now we have had Hillary Clinton who failed to come out on election night and concede the election, and her supporters have responded with their "Resistance" and the various hysterical notions that Trump was colluding with the Russians, or that he is "mentally ill," or something.

The point is that if one side decides to stop observing the rules and habits of the democratic fake-war game then the other side is going to cotton on, and you are not going to like the results. That, to me, is also the lesson of Trump.

The conservative movement of the mid-to-late 20th century operated on the assumption that politics was a game of ideas: each side pitched its ideas to the electorate and may the best ideas win. But that ended in part with Bill Clinton, who ran as a moderate and then pushed government-healthcare Hillarycare on us. He got his hat handed to him in the 1994 midterms when the first Republican Congress in 40 years got elected. Then we had Barack Obama, elected in a normal change election, who decided that Americans had voted for "fundamental transformation." No they hadn't, and the Republican Congress and the Trump presidency are the result. Now we have the anti-Trump Resistance that seems to think it can use the deep state to spy on its opponents and run President Trump's troops through the ringer of a special prosecutor. In a vague way, even anti-Trumper David Brooks can see there is a problem with this.

Look, the point of democracy is that government power goes to the chaps that can persuade the electorate that it is either Time for a Change, or Four More Years. That is all. Democracy says nothing about justice or arcs of history, or the wonders of a compassionate educated elite that graduated from all the right elite colleges and scored all the right internships. In fact, because of the fact that democracy is just a trial of strength: my millions of voters vs. your millions of voters, we should not assume that any democratic government is elected to do anything more that reward its supporters for their votes. I like to remind everyone about this with my catchphrase that They are all Idiots. That's why we have change elections, when the voters get tired of the old idiots and decide to elect new idiots. Call it Rotating Idiocracy.

You may think that Trump is an idiot, and you may be right. Only one thing: he is hatching what amounts to the full conservative agenda, the ideas that conservative thinkers and think tanks have been incubating for the last 50 years, from reduced tax rates (because settled-science marginal economics, vintage 1870), to rollback of administrative regulation (because settled-science "regulatory capture," vintage 1955). But one thing is certain. Chaps like Barack Obama and the crazy-cakes gender studies professors are the real idiots, because they are going against the settled science of the last century, that big government is a real problem, because it cannot compute prices.

I add, in addition, that big government does not work because government finds it almost impossible to do reform. Once you have set up a program that distributes benefits to the voters it becomes almost impossible to reform or reduce it, for the simple reason that people adjust their lives to take advantage of the free stuff offered by government and strongly resist the notion later on that they should get onto their bikes and go get a job so they can pay for the benefit themselves. That is the difference between government and the private sector. In the private sector businesses and consumers must adjust their plans every day, based on the signals from the price system. But the whole point of government is to sidestep the price system, to set up a rigid regulatory system that grinds on with the same rules, year after year, rain or shine. Until the whole thing breaks down.

It is a vile conceit that my party has a monopoly on virtue, or that your party has a monopoly on hate. Politics is simply division, the game of demonizing the opposition and getting 51 percent of the vote in the next election. Conceit aside, the probable truth is that the administrative state and its one-size-fits-all government entitlement programs is past its sell-by date.

The only question is whether we will transition to the new order peacefully, or through the wringer of inflation and riot and revolution. Removing the other guys' president ain't gonna get us to those sunlit uplands, I guarantee, so stop it you crazy-cakes.

That is all.