Friday, May 24, 2019

Villainous: Nancy You Made My Day

One of the things that our Democratic friends are learning to do beautifully is to provide folks on the "far right" with wonderful memes.

First there was President Obama and his "bitter clingers." He was speaking to some educated, evolved folks in San Francisco.

Then there was Hillary Clinton and her "basket of deplorables." She was speaking to a group of gay activists. Remember that glorious moment? The next day some wag put up a meme with "Les Deplorables" playing off a poster for Les Miserables, the musical.

And now Our Nance has come out and branded President Trump as "villainous."

Nancy, I love it. I don't know if I've been so jazzed since... Oh, I can't remember when.

It made me think about who really is villainous. Not Hitler or Stalin or Mao. They were just evil.

Because when you are talking "villainous" you are talking about some cartoon villain twisting his mustache with a villainous grin on his face. Villain is the other side of Hero, and you gotta have both in a good story.

And anyway, I thought you lefties only dealt in "hate." Either you are a woke lefty that believes in Activism and in Peaceful Protest -- not forgetting the occasional situation where the rage for social justice creates a situation where the peaceful protest is Mostly Peaceful Protest -- or you are a "hater." Period, full stop.

Anyway, Nance, you made me think about who really is "villainous."

And the answer was not long in coming. Of course! Matthew Compeyson in the BBC Dickensian series! Dickensian, for those of you that haven't yet streamed it on Amazon, is a prequel to a bunch of Dickens novels, from Christmas Carol to Bleak House. The villain of the piece, without question, is Compeyson. And believe me, Compeyson has some competition in the villainous stakes, because the series includes all our favorite Dickensian villains, from Fagin to Scrooge. And even Bill Sykes.

The reason that Compeyson -- the beast -- is villainous is that he is trying to win the love of the young rich heir Miss Havisham of Great Expectations so he can strip her of Daddy's money. And knowing what we know about what will happen to Miss Havisham by the time she turns up in Great Expectations we have absolutely no sympathy for the villainous plans of Matthew Compeyson.

But is President Trump really "villainous" in the mold of Matthew Compeyson? Because he wants to tempt the Dems to impeach him in the House of Representatives? Come on Nancy. You grow up, girl. Remember? Politics ain't beanbag.

Look, I grant you that Trump is being a bit of a naughty boy for riling up the Democratic faithful with his "hateful" tweets. And everybody knows that hateful tweets are solely a problem on the right, and that when anyone on the left proposes doxxing the kids of some pro-life protester that is an understandable reaction to the unadulterated "hate" of the "far right," which Twitter and Facebook know is completely against their Community Standards.

But Nance, honey. This current problem is Your Fault. It is Your Fault for a simple reason. You chaps and chapettes in the Democratic Party violated Rule One of democratic politics.

What is Rule One?
Rule One: When you lose a change election, you concede the election. Period, full stop.
A change election, in my book, is any election after one of the parties has won two in a row. So, if you are the party that was in power for the last two presidential terms, you concede the election if it looks like you lost.

Why is that? Because the whole point of democratic politics is to be able to Throw the Rascals Out without resort to violence and armed conflict, otherwise known as civil war. And it seems, according to the scientists, after about a century or so of democratic politics and/or universal franchise that the voters tend to want to Throw the Rascals Out after about eight to ten years of one party being in power.

And to start whingeing about the popular vote, or voter suppression, or whatever, is missing the point. Even if the Out party stole the election, you still concede. Rule One. Period. Full Stop.

Remember 1960, Nance? That was the election that the Dems probably stole in both Illinois, Richard Daley, proprietor, and in Texas, Lyndon Johnson, proprietor. Remember what happened, Nance? Richard Nixon -- Richard Nixon -- conceded the election.

No, Nancy Pelosi. President Trump is not "villainous." The problem in America right now is that you Democrats, liberals, lefties, whatever you call yourselves, are fools and knaves. You are fools and knaves because you have forgotten Rule One of democratic politics.

And President Trump is giving it to you straight, Nance, right in the solar plexus. I don't really know what the solar plexus is, but I know it is something you aim for in boxing when you are not aiming to punch your opponent in the jaw. And I know that nobody likes being punched in the solar plexus.

By the way, Nance, I expect you know that Bill Sykes' girl-friend Nancy makes a significant appearance in Dickensian. Unlike you, Nance, Dickensian's Nancy was not born to a prominent Baltimore political family that then married up by marrying money. She was, by her own admission, dead poor, and would have died if Fagin had not picked her up and fed her. Of course, Fagin didn't do that out of the kindness of his heart. He pimped Nancy out, including to the violent Jacob Marley, junior partner of the world-famous moneylending partnership of Scrooge & Marley. But Nancy seems to have been grateful to Fagin for rescuing her, even if there was a price for his assistance.

Makes you think, Nance, doesn't it. There are worse things in life than having a President of the United States twirl you around his little finger, and twist his mustache, and dare you to impeach him.

I know. The Noive! The nerve of a low-rent real-estate guy presuming to mess with the noble scion of the noble political famiglia Pelosi. There oughta be a law!

But I am going to be dining out on this "villainous" thing for months and months.

And for that, Nance, I shall be eternally grateful!

Thursday, May 23, 2019

When Prophecy Fails: The Muellerites

In another proof of God's existence, I have just obtained the book When Prophecy Fails by Leon Festinger, Henry W. Riecken, and Stanley Schachter. It's about a millennarian group prophesying the end of the world in the early 1950s.

These researchers were investigating end-of-the-world groups when all of a sudden a report of an actual group prophesying the end of the world got reported in the paper. How could they get so lucky! Now they were not just researching second hand using other peoples' reports of historical end-of-the-world movements. Now they could get the straight scoop. They could get right into the middle of a millennarian group and see how it worked. And, most important, they could see what happened when the prophecy failed.

But first researchers Festinger, Riecken, and Schascter treat us to the story of an earlier group predicting the end of the world: the Millerites, who predicted the second coming of Christ in 1843, after the prophecy of William Miller, a New England farmer.

Let us call these Millerites the Muellerites.

The interest of the researchers in When Prophecy Fails is this: What happens after the predicted Second Coming of Christ or Day of Judgement comes and nothing happens? When, as we would say, the Mueller Report is published and No Collusion?

The answer is perfectly simple. The fervor of the Muellerites is doubled and redoubled. That's because they all talk to one another. They agree that, well, good old Bob just got the day wrong. Hey! Maybe it wasn't Collusion, but Obstruction. Yeah! That's it!

But now, you'll notice, we are onto the third possibility, offered by Our Nance, prophetess extraordinaire. It's "Cover-up." Yeah! That's it. At her age, it is easy to get confused by all those C-words and O-words. I know, 'cos I'm only 5 or 6 years younger than Speaker Nance.

What is going on here? The researchers tell us. What we have is "disconfirmation" and the disconfirmation produced "dissonance" in the minds of the believers: the dissonance between the predicted End of the Trump and the fact that he is still here!
[T]he central belief and its accompanying ideology are usually of crucial importance in the believers' lives and hence the dissonance is very strong -- and very painful to tolerate.
At some point the believers are going to have to abandon their beliefs. But not yet. So what happens in that the Muellerites talk to one another and tell each other that all educated and evolved people like themselves cannot be wrong. Why everybody who is anyone agrees that there must have been Collusion -- no, Obstruction. Wait! It's Cover-up! Yeah! That's it! Cover-up!
If more and more people can be persuaded that the system of belief is correct, then clearly it must, after all, be correct.
The point is that increased proselytizing after the disconfirmation of the prophecy puts off the evil day when the whole world of the Muellerites collapses in ruins.

So you can understand what is going on in Muellerville. We are in the early stages after the first disconfirmation of the prophecy. And so the Muellerites are doubling down.

Of course, when the original Mueller prophecy was disconfirmed back in 1843-4, the scoffers had a grand old time.
The world made merry over the old Prophet's predicament. The taunts and jeers of the "scoffers" were well nigh unbearable. If any of Mueller's followers walked abroad, they ran the gauntlet of merciless ridicule...

The rowdy element in the community would not leave them alone.
You'd have to say, in another proof of God's existence, that President Trump is just the "scoffer" or the "rowdy element" needed in our national hour of need.

And I am afraid that it is not likely that he is likely to leave Our Nance at peace in her dissonance. He is going to continue scoffing. The naughty boy.

But for the True Believers, there is still Climate Change. Only 12 years to go, says Prophetess AOC.

Fortunately, the Climate Change Believers always predict the End of the World about 10 years in the future. So the future never comes.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Take Your Pick: Impeachment or Infrastructure?

So now President Trump has kiboshed the glorious $2 trillion infrastructure pork-fest because Our Nance insulted him with an accusation of "cover-up."

Yah Boo Sucks! Or whatever angry politicians yell at each other these days.

The amusing thing to me is that "collusion" and "cover-up" is an apt description of all politics-as-usual. Politics is the game of cutting deals by colluding with your political pals to carve up the loot. What is the difference between  colluding with Putin (over what exactly?) and the renewable energy subsidy barons? And of course it is essential to cover-up the gory details of the collusion because, well, every politician is supposed to be a man (or woman) of the people, and innocent of all collusions and cover-ups. I believe that the universal procedure for hiding collusions and cover-ups is the cut-out. If you want to gin up a dossier of sensational accusations you don't hire someone to gin them up; you hire someone to hire someone else to hire another guy to gin up the accusation dossier. That way, like Sgt. Schultz, you know nothing!

But, of course, every politician is always sniffing around for the despicable goings-on of the colluders and cover-uppers in the other party. Because.

To which one has to say: it takes one to know one.

I suspect that the bigger picture is that Our Nance is batting on a bit of a sticky wicket. After riling up the partisans for three years of collusion and conspiracy theories, the Democratic faithful expect blood. How to let them down gently?

I wouldn't know, because I'm not a politician and I don't know how the experts do the riling-up and the riling-down.

I suspect though, that the job of Hillary Clinton on the day after the November 2016 election was to concede the election, rile-down her supporters, declare that we are all Americans, and wait until next time.

But she didn't, and now Our Nance and Our Chuck are stuck with figuring out what to do with the riled-up partisans with still 18 months to go before the 2020 election. Do you tell them to take a nap for 6 months and worry about waking them up again for the election? Or do you keep them all at fever pitch for the next 18 months and hope that they don't fall asleep from exhaustion on Election Day 2020?

Honestly, I have no idea, none at all. All I know is that President Trump seems to have a certain instinct about how to play this game, and so far, he has come out ahead in the Trash-Talking Stakes.

And there seems to be a certain low cunning in the notion that we can't talk about handing out the loot from infrastructure spending until you chaps stop harrying me with your investigatory yap-dogs.

Mind you. I am very uncertain about this infrastructure spending idea. I am afraid it will all be spent on mass transit and bike paths for gentry-liberal twenty-somethings, renewable energy and subsidies for electric cars and replacement blades for wind farms. Instead of good old roads, bridges and freeways for the deplorables and bitter clingers driving to work in their SUVs.

But what do I know.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Think of Big Tech Censorship as an Opportunity

Everyone is worried and riled up about social media censorship and data harvesting. Not to be endured.

It's a problem. But not the one we think it is. For instance, I am coming to think that the mindless censorship of conservatives by Facebook and others is a strategic mistake for Facebook and its pals in the ruling class. It puts the question of free speech on the radar. And since, right now, it is hurting us deplorables, then it is likely to enrage more of us deplorables to the point that we might do something about it.

I was reading about the inclusion of Candace Owens on a mid-level Facebook "hate agents" list. The article shows her hate list entry on a secret screen image. Really, Facebook censors? Really? The anodyne center-right Candace Owens? She is a threat to our "community standards?" Hey, Facebook: I gotta bridge to sell you. And Owens was suspended for a message where she says that "White supremacy is not a threat. Liberal supremacy is." You think?

Look, I get that you Facebook censors are young millennials that have never read a book, and that, in the words of Ben Rhodes, "literally know nothing," But you really could do a better job of hiding it.

But in accordance with my maxim, that "there is no such thing as justice, only injustice," I say: Get it on. The more you dumb-as-posts SJW millennials censor and marginalize us the angrier we will get. And the more elections we will win.

I've been thinking about free speech, partly in response to reading Voltaire's Bastards, a flawed book that really doesn't get it. Author John Ralston Saul (a fan of IPCC founder Maurice Strong) knows that there is something wrong with the faith in reason bequeathed to us by the Age of Reason. But so far, he is flapping around at page 425 and counting and completely missing the point. Rather like his hero Maurice Strong, the real author of "we only have 10 years to live before the climate kills us all!"

The thing about free speech in the age of Voltaire was that the Enlightenment intellectuals needed free speech to get their message out and to cow the ruling class into letting middle-class scribblers acquire more status. They were a rising class and they thought that they didn't get no respect from the nobles and the courtiers in the ruling class of the age, that were as dumb as posts. Reason was a club with which to beat the nobles and the courtiers into admitting the scribblers to polite society.

Fast forward and what do we have? Ordinary middle-class deplorables that don't get no respect from the gentry liberals and the Democratic operatives with bylines in the media. We notice that the first reaction of today's educated ruling class is to censor our speech and marginalize us as the "far right."

Of course they do. The natives are restless and the first response of every colonial governor is a show of force to teach the natives who is boss.

But what our ruling-class pals have not done is think about their responsibility as rulers. Like most rulers down the ages they cannot think very far beyond the notion that, by golly, the purpose of society is identical to the class interest of us, the rulers. In our day this class interest of the rulers is the class interest of the educated class and their political clients. Back in the day, our evil slaveholder Founders recognized that the continuance of their rule involved accommodating people that didn't agree with them; there should be a public square in which all views could get heard. But they were slaveholders; what did they know?

A similar problem is the erosion of privacy due to big media data harvesting and government surveillance, discussed by the Zman.

Let's not think of privacy as a problem, but as an opportunity.

Think about privacy this way. Back in the day, when everyone lived in agricultural villages, there was no privacy. The women knew everything that was going on, and they used their knowledge to control things. But there was an out. If you got in trouble, you could always leave and disappear. Because there was no global online database of miscreants. If you were in New England back in the day, you could just disappear and head "out west."

Then came the industrial city and its anonymity. The telling point is that, in response to the social chaos, society invented the urban police force to control the uncontrollable youths and gangs that were terrorizing honest citizens. You can read Dickens to get a flavor of the colorful mixture of anti-social characters that urban anonymity set free.

Now we are returning to a society where everyone knows everything about you. OK, fine. That means that we are going to have to codify rules about privacy into law and into the unwritten law of the culture. I don't know how it will end up, but it is coming, and it is coming because various victims of the lack of privacy will get riled up and demand justice.

Of course, we won't get justice, but we might get a reduction of injustice.

Monday, May 20, 2019

And Now the Aussies

First Brexit, then Trump, now Oz. And every time the polls had it wrong. And every time the ruling class was insulted, outraged.

What is going on here?

I think it is the fundamental division between the ruling class -- any ruling class -- and the people it rules.

What the people want is to be protected. First of all, they want to be protected from enemies foreign and domestic. Second, they want the space to wive and thrive: to have a job; to have a home; to marry and raise those kids. And they expect a bit of free stuff in return for their votes. And you'd better not ever take that free stuff away. 'Cos we paid for those bennies with our taxes.

But the ruling class is different. It wants to imagine itself in a higher sphere than merely guarding the borders, or punishing the local ruffians. Actually, our pals Gilbert and Sullivan pointed out over a century ago that the policeman's lot is not a happy one.

So the policing classes like to cloak their constabulary duties in finer robes than you would think is strictly necessary. Kings like to think of themselves as descended from gods; nobles like to imagine their blood finer than the coarse blood of the common folk.

And the priests: they like us to think that their pronouncements come direct from God.

And when constabulary duty's to be done, the rulers also like to think that they are not just defending the border but saving the world from disaster.

And, really, if we are talking about saving the world -- usually within the next 10 years -- then the present emergency justifies the rulers accessing extraordinary powers for themselves and their supporters. Because we have only 10 years to save the world!

You can see that there tends to be a certain distance between the rulers' idea of government's role in the world and the notions that the ruled-over have about government.

In the case of Brexit we see the distance between the Euro elite's idea of their role, which was that the bloodbaths of the first half of the 20th century were caused by nationalism. Thus, according to the Zman, "The lesson learned by Western elites was that nationalism leads to competition, which then leads to war." -- unless wisely controlled and managed by themselves. But to the average Brit White Van Man, it looks like the toffs have created a nice little privileged world for themselves while the ordinary British bloke gets to touch his forelock and say "morning, squire," or "yes, master" like Igor.

Then with Trump we have the divide between the educated elite and the average US deplorable or bitter clinger. It's telling that the deplorable meme was launched by Hillary Clinton addressing a gay group and the bitter-clingers meme was launched by Barack Obama addressing a fundraiser in San Francisco. These two politicos exactly demonstrate the distance between the urban elites and the folks in flyover country.

The point to understand is that the deplorables and the bitter clingers are the white working class that Democrats looved back in the day and that Democrats promised to protect from the evil robber barons and employers and corporate honchos. The workers don't want airy-fairy notions of the good society or saving the world from racists, sexists, homophobes, and climate deniers. They just want a decent job and freedom from layoffs. And education for the kids.

Now the rot has spread to Australia where against all the predictions and polls the Liberal-National coalition has won the recent election against the Australian Labor Party. Just like our Democratic Party, the Oz Labor Party is an urban sophisticate's party, worrying about intersectionality and about saving the world from climate change. The homeland of the the Liberal-Nationals is in the natural-resource state of Queensland where coal mining is a big deal. The homelands of Labor are the gentry fiefdoms of Sydney and Melbourne.

Melbourne, when I visited a few years ago, is an urbanist's wet dream, complete with heavy rail, light rail, buses, and bike lanes. Used to be that Melbourne was a manufacturing city, making cars and such. Not any more.

Notice that the green energy revolution proposes to subsidize the places where the educated ruling-class lives in urban enclaves with subsidized electric cars and rooftop solar panels. Not to mention that the educated class also gets the well-paid careers in corporations and government and education. And the ordinary deplorable that lives in the cheaper areas on the edge of town gets to pay full price.

The final nail in the coffin is that the educated ruling-class represents its self-dealing politics as a moral crusade to save the marginalized of the world and the very planet itself.

But, of course. Rulers have always wrapped themselves in the robes of God.

But sometimes the rubes rebel and tell the kings and the priests to get lost.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Fighting Social Media Censorship

I understand why social media censors conservatives. It just makes life easier, because the left has activist groups up the ying-yang belaboring corporations for whatever. Activism is what lefties do. It's the modern equivalent of the medieval flagellants. So if social media wants to stay out of trouble, toadying to the left is good policy. Plus most of the youngsters working for social media are haters and fearers that have been carefully taught to hate and to fear anyone that does not agree with them.

But in the last couple of days we have seen Facebook censoring Trump 2020 advisory board member Jenna Ellis Rives for sharing a "pro-life post from blogger Matt Walsh, pointing out how transgender activism undermines key pro-choice arguments. Facebook flagged the post for 'hate speech.'"

And now it is Michelle Malkin's turn. What did she do? She protested the deplatforming of Gavin McInnes and Laura Loomer. So Facebook deleted her post.

UPDATE: And Blexit activist Candace Owens. Because you can't say that welfare state has screwed black families. And Heritage Foundation. Because you can't say that trans men in women's sports is ridiculous.

Therefore: Censored. Straight up. Because thou shalt not blaspheme the liberal narrative.

It's pretty obvious what is going on here. Anything that protests or disagrees with out ruling-class notions of right and wrong is vile extremism and is not to be endured.

So now the White House has launched "a website that asks people who think their viewpoints have been censored by social media platforms to share their stories" oh, and, the New York Times adds,
"their contact information." See? It's just a cynical fundraising play from the racist sexist homophobic Commander-in-Chief.

Funny how conservatives all think that the Southern Law Poverty Center is nothing more than a cynical fundraising operation and its hate-group map is nothing more than bubba bait for liberals.

Whereas the liberal watchmen at The New York Times see cynical fundraising operations in completely different places. I wonder why?

Hey, maybe The New York Times is right about this. Or maybe the Trump social-media censorship reporting website is part of a strategic plan to rile up the deplorables in advance of the 2020 election.

You know. Just like the Democrats have been riling up the base for the last two years over Trump Russia Collusion. Or is that different? Because Yellow Hair?

Christopher DeGroot has something to say about all of this today.
[I]t is extremely difficult, in the effectively post-Christian West, for people who have incompatible values to coexist without profound and intractable struggle. For where Christianity, through a common belief system, once provided social order and cohesion, today there is endless conflict and, in many cases, no rational solution is available.
The point is that, in Christian times, at least we all lived under the same God. But now in post-Christian times we have the ruling class believing in another God. And it is not surprising that the new believers are enthusiastic about their beliefs and believe that the old beliefs are superstitions and bigotry, trying to take us back to the bad old days of the Inquisition and witch hunts.

The obvious example of this is abortion. If you are pro-life you believe that children and posterity are the meaning of life, the universe, and everything. Thus abortion is a vile attack on everything you hold dear. But for the pro-choice people an unwanted pregnancy prevents a woman from reaching her true potential. Where is the common ground there, where the possibility for tolerance and compromise?

DeGroot quotes Chesterton: "Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions."

Notice that my reductive Three Peoples theory is a deep and wise understanding of the human condition, that there are at least three kinds of people: subordinates, responsibles, and creatives, and this is natural and physical. If you accept the world view of my theory then it is a simple step to understand that the moral framework for our society must comprehend the different moral universes of the three different peoples.

See, my theory is that there are a lot of People of the Subordinate Self around -- the helpless victimsn for whom the left advocates -- and they will find that a society that does not accommodate their need for social programs to support people like them is simply unjust. Similarly, there are a lot of People of the Responsible Self around -- deplorables we call them -- and they want a world of definite rules and roles, and will find a society without clear rules and roles that values the solid citizen a society that is simply unjust.

Then, of course, we have the People of the Creative Self -- mostly well-born scions of the ruling class. They expect a society that encourages them and congratulates them on living creative lives, extending to creative lifestyles. To them, any society that enforces rigid rules and roles is simply unjust.

So what do we do about it?

Well, I'd say that we need to start with the notion of true "diversity" shining out of my Three Peoples theory. Once you understand that people are different, and likely to remain so, then your values and your political agenda will naturally reflect that world view.

At least there is this. My Three Peoples world view can't be any worse than the lefty world view that wants a Great Reaction towards socialism or neo-slavery, the welfare state or neo-feudalism, and identity politics or neo-tribalism.

And one thing we have learned from our lefty friends is that they cannot even begin to understand why anyone would think differently than they.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Even President Xi Knows Rule One

Everyone knows Rule One in the good old US and A.

What is it? You know what it is:
Rule One: Blacks cannot be racist.
But then there is Rule Two:
Rule Two: Except for black conservatives.
But what about black conservative women?
Rule Three: Maybe not black conservative women.
Really? You serious?
Rule Four: No. Forget it. 
So when Trump State Dept. official Dr. Kiron Skinner talks about China, and the fact that we need to realize China is not a great power competitor like the USSR:
[Reagan] said I just don’t see the signs that it [the USSR] can survive a technology race with the West. So, in China, we have an economic competitor, we have an ideological competitor, one that really does seek a kind of global reach that many of us didn’t expect a couple of decades ago, and I think it’s also striking that it’s the first time that we will have a great power competitor that is not Caucasian.
What? "not Caucasian?" Are you kidding? Raacism, straight up! The Outrage! The Horror! Fire the Trumpian racist! Now!

Why even President-for-life Xi got into the act.

Which shows that that inscrutable Oriental ain't so inscrutable after all.

But wait! Dr. Skinner is an African American! So she can't be a raacist. Right?

Oh yeah. Rule Two. Black conservatives need not apply for Rule One.

Of course, Dr. Skinner makes an important point. We need to get into the minds of the Chinese Commies. I dare say such a notion goes all the way back to the World's First Strategist, Sun Tzu. A Chinese.

Now, I believe that the Chinese Commies under President Xi are making a big mistake, and are trying to re-imagine a Chinese empire under a Son of Heaven just like in the old days. It is their version of the Caucasian Left's Great Reaction against the modern era.

In other words, like the Caucasian Left, the Chinese Commies believe in a Return to Force, a powerful China that will dominate its tributary states with force, just like in the good old days. And the Belt and Road Initiative exactly symbolizes that mindset, imagining that the trade routes and power structures of the ancient world can be resuscitated.

But I think that the fundamental thing to understand about the modern world is that the old ways of conquest, of accumulating wealth by looting and plundering the neighboring state -- not to mention picking up a nice little Dis-e-ney princess like Briseis on the way -- is as dead as the Dodo. That's because a prosperous neighbor making stuff for us to buy is much more useful to us than plundering the neighbor.

Put it this way. If you plunder your neighbors, they are left poor and starving. No use to anyone. But if the neighbors are busy wiving and thriving, then they are contributing to the wealth and prosperity of the world.

The truth is that we humans prefer to learn our lessons the hard way. We always come up with some nostalgic notion like socialism that looks backward to the supposed good old days of the equality of the village community.

In China's case it is the nostalgia for the good old days when China was the No. 1 country in the world, the Middle Kingdom, and the axis of the world went north to south right through the middle of the line-up of Gates in the middle of the Forbidden City -- like the Gate of Supreme Harmony. And all the gates had a middle gate, through which only the Son of Heaven himself could go.

Think of Brit Nostalgia for the good old days of the British Empire, squared.

In other words, modern humans are never going to solve their problems with more political power. The way of the future is to walk away from political power and surrender only to the power of the market.

But everyone has to learn that the hard way, whether it is the workers, the feminists, the Black Lives Matter racists, and especially the lefty SJWs and woke-ists. Now it's the Chinese Commies learning the hard way, although you would think that they would have already learned enough from the incandescent Mao Zedong.

Still, I still don't appreciate them learning the hard lessons in the School of Life on my dime.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Trump Russia: Is It 9/15/1864 or 8/1/1944?

Know the significance of those dates?

September 15, 1864 is the start date of Gen. Sherman's march from Atlanta to the sea. It was the military action that told every loyal son of the South that the game was up, that the hated Yankees could drive through their homeland, loot and plunder, and there was nothing they could do about it.

August 1, 1944 is the date of the creation of Gen. Patton's Third Army that spearheaded the march to the Rhine. La Wik:
The Third Army simultaneously attacked west into Brittany, south, east toward the Seine, and north, assisting in trapping several hundred thousand German soldiers in the Falaise Pocket between Falaise and Argentan.
Now I am reading about the Trump march to re-election in November 2020. The battlespace preparation is over, according to Brian Cates. Because now that Rod Rosenstein has resigned from the Department of Justice both he and Jeff Sessions are available to serve as witnesses to the CIA/DOJ/FBI spying operation on the Trump campaign and administration.

See, for the last two years we rubes have been thinking that Rod Rosenstein was a snake in the grass that was part of the cabal to take Trump down. But suppose we were wrong? Suppose Rosenstein is our guy and has been metaphorically wired for the last two years to listen in on the plots and plans of the Obama administration appointees that were spying on the Trump campaign?
For the past two years, Rosenstein, far from being the snake in the garden, has actually been helping Trump prepare the battlefield for what’s going to unfold over the next few months. Two years of careful, stealth planning will begin to pay off.
So it could be that Gen. Trump is about to kick off his March Through the Swamp that will expose the deep staters and their willing accomplices in the media and their conspiracy to spy on and ctl-alt-del Trump and all who sail in her. It will show the deep staters that they are mere cannon fodder and they better make their peace with the new regime now while there is still time.

Or not.

Of course, for racist sexist homophobes like me, this is almost too good to be true. Really? Is the Barr John Durham John Huber team really going to drive its coach and horses through the deep state that conspired to spy on the Trump campaign? Will deep staters go on trial? And go to jail, do not pass Go? And is Rod Rosenstein "one of ours?"

It is a reminder that the Watergate investigation was not the heroic journalism of Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. They were just publishing leaks they got from W. Mark Felt, acting associate director of the FBI. And, of course, Felt was the Deep State in person, anxious to deep six a president that was threatening to disempower the worthy and valiant Deep State.

The Deep State won that one. And how.

Brian Cates' line is that
As Rosenstein makes his long-anticipated departure as deputy attorney general, the final pieces are moving into position on the battlefield that President Donald Trump has been carefully preparing for more than two years.
Is he right? Only time will tell. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Tlaib: Playing the Blame Game

In a way, I think that our Democratic friends deserve the Terrible Twins, Congs. Omar and Tlaib (D-Ummah). As thoroughly modern Muslims they are anti-Jewish, and especially anti-Israel.

And I get it. It is humiliating and monstrous that the Jews returned to what Nassim Nicholas Taleb calls the Levant in the 20th century, in consequence of the Zionist movement, and have shouldered the Muslims aside.

I'd be mad as hell too if I were a Muslim from "Palestine."

But hey, you win some and you lose some. My dad was born in Russia and left in 1918 as a refugee (I actually never thought of him as a refugee until about a week ago, but hey...). And my parents had to leave India, the country of my birth, on account of the British Raj winding up business and handing the subcontinent over to the inhabitants thereof -- or at least the folks surviving after the various invasions and Mughal empires and British Rajs over the centuries.

Truth is: history is hell, and rape and pillage and slaughter of the innocents, and the Levant has seen more than its fair share of that down the millennia.

We all know about the monstrous Trail of Tears, native Americans forced from their homelands into the West. And the massacres of the Armenians and the Kurds. And the Ukraine famine. And the Great Purge. And the Holocaust. And the Great Leap Forward.

Hey, did you know that in France after the Liberation in 1944 there were probably more people massacred than in the monstrous Reign of Terror? Or that about 2 million German soldiers mysteriously never showed up after World War II. Or that maybe as many as 10 million Germans died of starvation in the Allied occupied areas after 1945? I didn't either, and it may all be revisionist conspiracy theory. You tell me.

The point is that the winners write history and the losers are lucky to be alive.

Which suggests that if the Left ever really takes over the US their current hegemonic narrative, the removals of statues and paintings, will be a walk in the park compared to what comes next.

But back to Tlaib and Omar, in the context of my belief that all identity politics, from globalism to nationalism to racism to Muslimism is "fake tribalism."

There are no tribes. Never were. It is all made up by political leaders and priests and government teachers and Mean Girls and criminal-gang homeboys to enlist the people into the rank-and-file of their power plans.

And in the modern era, we could say that fake tribalism started with the national idea. Totally fake. Before the nation state people were organized into smaller political and cultural units and knew that was the way of the world. Or, with Mohammed, they got organized into the Ummah, the worldwide community of believers. Except that the Muslim world is divided into Shia and Sunni, each of which is descended from the Prophet and the sole representative of Islam on Earth.

Now, our liberal masters want to de-emphasize the national idea in the US, because they experience themselves as the global educated elite that is going to create a global society that will end war and racism and sexism and homophobia and climate change.

But isn't it interesting that they way they are doing this is to sow discord and division in the US, between race and race, gender and gender, religion and religion? Well of course they are. Politics is division and to divide you have to order people into different fake tribes than the fake tribes of the old days. So if you want to break up the idea of America and Americans, you must set American against American and get people to identify with something other than America. Since most ordinary people aren't ready to identify as global humans, and our lefty friends have condemned the American nation out of hand, that means that some lesser group identity must be created to replace the American national identity: fake identity politics tribes to replace the old fake American tribe.

Really, this is not rocket science.

And you can understand the liberal rage at President Trump. He is out there reviving the old fake American national identity: Make America Great Again. How dare he! Why even Nietzsche, the "Nazis' favoriate intellectual," knew that nationalism was a bad thing.

And your Congs. Tlaib and Omar are pushing the Muslim identity. There's a risk there, in that it might encourage millions of Americans who never thought about it to identify more strongly as Americans.

And it might even scotch Slow Joe Biden's cunning plan to paint Trump as a racist. Compared to what? Congs. Tlaib and Omar? How does that work exactly, Joe old chap.

Hey, Joe! Keep your arms off my wife, you creep!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Voltaire's Bastards: Blaming It All on the Staff

I'm still not quite sure what to make of John Ralston Saul's Voltaire's Bastards. A good way to illustrate this is his chapters on the military staff culture: "Learning How to Organize Death" and "Persistent Continuity at the Heart of Power." What began as an attempt to infuse a bit of reason and knowledge into military affairs, "marshaling reason to organize armies in order to remove mediocrity and allow the competent soldiers to command," has ended in the "transformation of reason into a bureaucratic sea."

And as we know, anything organized as a bureaucracy eventually becomes all about the interest of the bureaucracy and not the noble purpose for which it was founded. The original purpose of the administrative system is transformed, in the end, the continued existence of the bureaucracy.

The problem with the rationally organized army, Saul realizes, is that it creates just the instrument needed for a Napoleon to lay waste to the whole of Europe. So maybe it is better to have an army as "a bureaucratic sea designed to drown Heroes" rather than a shining sword ready to be wielded by a genius Hero.

So let me try to lay out Saul's argument. First, there were the young officers "disgusted by having to fight in unprofessional armies under the orders of unqualified aristocrats." So, under Guibert and others, they organized the profession of arms on a rational basis. But that led to Napoleon co-opting the shining new tool and destroying everything, and so there emerged the staff bureaucracy that was suspicious of genius -- from Marlborough to Guderian to Patton -- and substituted war by the book that did not need genius to succeed. Problem is war by the book led to gigantic bloodbaths, of which World Wars I and II are Exhibits A and B.

And the problem is that the disorganized guerrilla band can very often tie the organized army up in knots. So should not armies be organized on the guerrilla model, learning how to appear out of nowhere to land a nasty blow right in the solar plexus and then disappear into the hills?

Maybe, or maybe not.

Maybe the ponderous bureaucratic staff-led army is just what we want, and especially just what the politicians want, because the genius Hero is likely to become a threat to their power, as Gen. McArthur to President Truman. So what if millions get killed in the wars? As long as the state goes on, what's the problem, except for the mothers of the slain?

But Saul proposes to unleash genius:
Surely it would be wiser today to hand our defence to those able to defend us in the belief that we are capable of controlling them. Better the risk of honest genius than the impossibility of controlling manipulative and unresponsive mediocrity.
I wonder. If we apply my reductive Three Peoples theory, I'd say that most people approach defense as People of the Subordinate Self, and are happy to serve as serfs and let the bosses take care of things, reserving the right to criticize them when things go wrong. The People of the Responsible Self would step up to "do their bit," as the Brits say, but really would be uncertain about letting self-professed geniuses loose on the world. And as for the People of the Creative Self, I suspect that they would be all in favor of themselves being empowered to lead the nation to glorious victory, but not at all certain about the other so-called geniuses.

The thing is, we know all about the geniuses that actually got to be successful geniuses, the Pattons, the Maos, the Castros. But the guys that thought they were geniuses, and led their irregular band of guerrillas to ruin? We never hear about them.

And then there is the little problem that the successful guerrillas -- the Maos and Castros -- like to convert themselves into the boss of a great big beautiful non-functional bureaucracy, of which it might be said that the cure was worse than the disease.

The point is that when creative people are on the loose -- as in Schumpeter's creative destruction -- they disrupt an awful lot of lives with their creative endeavors. And average people don't like that.

But is the creative change "good for them" despite the negative aspects? Sure. Unless you happen to be one of the buggy-whip makers.

Friday, May 10, 2019

"Intelligent Design" Just Means "We Don't Know"

Lefties and the like have liked Darwin's theory of evolution because it demolishes the notion of God creating the world, and the fishes and the animals. And Uncle Tom Cobbley and all.

The lefty religion stands or falls on the verdict that pre-lefty religion is all superstition and bigotry. And that lefty prophets have come down from the mountain with tablets of justice and equality that will save the planet.

So Darwin must be true.

But now it is becoming pretty clear that random mutations to DNA cannot explain the emergence -- or creation -- of new species.

So there must have been "intelligent design." Some-thing or some-one or some fill-in-the-blank must have designed things. So says Stephen Meyer of the Discovery Institute in Seattle.

There's a good piece by David Gelernter in the Claremont Review of Books that goes into the whole question of "Giving Up Darwin."

Intelligent Design is a good way of describing the notion that the way that living organisms develop make it seem as if there were an intelligent designer in his organism shop assembling new ideas for organisms and sending them out into the universe care of Galactic UPS.

But I propose: why not just say that God Did It. And I have a deep and sophisticated philosophical reason for saying so.

In my view, the notion of God is an astonishing and deep and sophisticated philosophical way of dealing with the primary fact of human life.

We want to know the "meaning of life, the universe, and everything" as recited ad nauseam in Douglas Adams Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books, but we don't.

We don't know the meaning of life, the universe, and everything. So we make it up, and the author of this universe kit is a chap we call God. This is because we humans like to gin up a reason for the things we do and thereby justify both our noble acts and our unspeakable crimes. And ordinary wiving and thriving.

Making God the author of some mystery in the universe works like a champ until our human knowledge expands enough to understand the mystery in question.

But there are always millions of unexplained mysteries left over. Let's say that God is in charge of all those mysteries.

For instance.

Back in the day we humans reckoned that the gods on Mt. Olympus ran everything, including the day-to-day battles of the siege of Troy described in The Iliad. If one group of gods thought the Greeks had been having things too much their own way they would insist that the other gods let the Trojans win the next one.

But by the time that The Odyssey got written, humans had a lot more personal agency, and were not above tricking the immortals so they could get their human way. The lovely Penelope was responsible for keeping those Suitors at bay, and young Telemachus knew that he had to do something about the Suitors. What was that all about?

Close to our own time, we had the mechanics of Newton, which seemed to suggest that everything in the world was determined by the relentless billiard ball determinism of Newton's equations. So where did free will or mere chance come in? Did God do it?

Well, we sorta solved that one with quantum mechanics which developed the math to show that, until some event happened, the so-called sub-atomic particles existed in a fuzz of probability. Things didn't know what they were going to do until they did.

OK, so let's say that the fuzz of probability is where God exists. And, of course, there is the curious fact that the universe doesn't crystallize out of probability in just any old way, but according to clearly defined rules that can be represented mathematically, once we can figure out the math.

Right now, the easiest way to understand the creation of species and major mutations is by the notion of "intelligent design" or, less politely, God. But I expect that in the near future the "scientists" will discover some mechanism or probability function that explains how species creation works.

But the day after this magnificent discovery we will realize that underneath it is yet another mystery.

I say: why not just call that unfathomable mystery God and get on it.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Is Google "Thinking Strategically?" I Doubt It

Yesterday I wrote about Google's suppression of the Claremont Institute as an example of foolishness. But Glenn Elmers at American Greatness sees a Google strategic vision at work.
A military mindset is at work behind Google’s action—which represents the censorship and propaganda agenda of the whole social media conglomerate...

Google’s claim that it had made a “mistake” is a transparent falsehood. They were testing the perimeter.
Well, maybe.

See, I don't think that Google really knows what it is doing. Actually, I don't believe that the identity politics Left really understands what it is doing.

I think that the Left is merely executing on the 150 year-old playbook invented by Marx. He ginned up the notion of smashing the bourgeoisie by riling up the working class. Today's left is merely executing on new plays to smash the bourgeoisie. Real original, guys and gals.

I explain that by reference to my reductive Three Peoples theory, where I propose that the whole game for the Left is to form an alliance between the People of the Creative Self with the People of the Subordinate Self against the People of the Responsible Self.

The People of the Subordinate Self are people that want someone else to solve their problems for them. And that is what the left proposes to do. For the workers: Yeah! It's the bosses' fault! For women: Yeah! It's the patriarchs' fault! For black: Yeah! It's the whites' fault! For gays: Yeah! It's the straights' fault!

And so on.

And it is all a lie, including "and" and "the." The workers? Hey, workers, you need your employer more that he needs you. Hey, women, you need a husband to keep the resources coming so you can care for your children. Hey, blacks, you need the modern economy that whites invented so you can take advantage of its blessings. Etc.

Now, it my view that we are now in the terminal stage of the left's 150-year war on the People of the Responsible Self. I think that the folks on the left are now dull routinists, trying to slot into the concepts that Marx invented and trying to give them one more college try.

So the young millennials operating the controls at Google's social media supervision control room? They are ignorant fools that are just doing what they have been carefully taught. And I think that goes all the way up the administrative chain to foolish women like YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki.

Look: these tech billionaires have been doing tech. They have not been studying the classics, or the importance of Kant, or even the notion from lefty Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno in The Dialectic of Enlightenment that
Enlightenment behaves toward things as dictators toward men.
I wrote all about it in "The Twilight of the Educated Gods" a while back.

These people do not really know what they are doing; they are just reciting what they have been carefully taught.

At least, that's what I think.

No, I think that everyone, up and down the lefty supply chain is just doing what they have been carefully taught, and really don't know what they are doing.

It's just like the world stumble-bumming into World War I: They were idiots: from Kaiser Wilhelm to sir Edward Grey.

I believe that the Googles and the Facebooks and the Twitters are just taking the easy way out, for now. They know that they need to keep the lefty activists and peaceful protesters down to a dull roar, so they supinely go with the flow.

Indeed, since all they have ever been carefully taught is some diluted and easily-digested leftism, they might even think they are doing the Lord's work by purging social media of the "far right," or whatever the pejorative term of art is this week.

But in my view they are fools and knaves, as the sequel will prove.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

What Does Google-the-Censor Think It Is Doing?

In the growing catalog of tech deplatormings of ordinary conservative discourse, the late great deplatforming of the Claremont Institute by Google is merely ordinary in its mindlessness.

Claremont has been advertising to its supporter base
the danger to the republic posed by multiculturalism, identity politics and politically correct speech restrictions. Google decided that our writings violated the company’s policy on “race and ethnicity in personalized advertising” and prevented us from advertising to our own readers about our 40th-anniversary gala dinner this Saturday.
Well, now, after an article in the Wall Street Journal, Google has reversed its ban.
Google’s Acting Director of Political and Stakeholder Outreach got in touch with the Claremont Institute to notify us that the labeling of The American Mind as a “racially oriented publication” was a mistake. 
What is going on here?

I will tell you, based on my own experience with millennials in tech.

They know nothing! Except what they have been carefully taught, to hate and to fear, by their lefty teachers in school and their lefty instructors in university. They have absolutely anodyne opinions that conform eerily to New York Times conventional wisdom.

Correction. I was talking to a millennial yesterday who had actually taken some philosophy courses. He sounded like he had his head on straight. Or maybe he was just being nice to an old geezer.

So when these foolish, uneducated millennials are given jobs to moderate internet speech they have no understanding of politics except what they were carefully taught by their lefty instructors.

So of course, the uneducated millennials are outraged by a chap like James Damore that produces an anodyne essay on women in tech. How dare he? Really, how can any man produce stuff that goes against the narrative that they have been carefully taught? A la lanterne! As the French said during the revolution.

And of course the uneducated millennials are outraged by an outfit like Claremont that exists to challenge the lefty conventional wisdom, and particularly the lefty conventional wisdom on sex and race.

Because the whole point of the "education" they received from their lefty instructors from K thru grad school is to make them into ideological foot-soldiers for the lefty march through the institutions.

Just saying. The whole point of classical studies in the university, what they used to call "Greats" in Oxford and Cambridge in Limeyland, was to educate the scions of the ruling class in politics and philosophy and the Greek and Roman classic texts so that they knew all the angles of governance before they entered the political arena. The ruling class of that era knew that to merely indoctrinate their young scions of privilege in ruling class ideology wouldn't do the trick -- wouldn't keep the ruling class in power. The next generation had to know the ground. Of course, come the day they would know how to advance the agenda of the ruling class. That goes without saying. But they also knew how the world worked.

Now I believe that the purely ideological training -- what you might call ideological boot camp -- that the left propagates in the university and in the tech censorship bureaus -- is a strategic mistake.

See, I think the reason for free speech and the tolerance for crazies on the other side of the political spectrum is that if you censor and deplatform the opposition you are merely creating a head of rebellion that will eventually come and bite you.

That is the meaning of my maxim: there is not such thing as justice, only injustice. To put it another way, justice is merely the situation after the removal of an injustice. Until the next injustice comes along.

But the young millennial good little boys and good little girls at the tech censorship bureaus know nothing about that. Because all they know is the moral and ethical rightness of erasing all "hate speech" and racist sexist homophobic horror from the world. To make it a safe-space. As they were carefully taught.

And apparently it takes the intervention of a quasi-adult "Acting Director of Political and Stakeholder Outreach" to stop the millennial crazies in the tech censorship bureaus from their mindless Inquisitions and auto-da-fés before they get the tech parent into serious trouble.

But it shouldn't take an article in the Wall Street Journal to get the tech censorship bureau to curb its enthusiasm for ideological totalitarianism.

Unfortunately, it is getting to be pretty obvious that we are not going to put an end to this foolishness, these cadres of mindless millennial ideological shock troops, without a train wreck.

And that's a shame because it means that tons of people are going to go over the side before we get to right the ship of state.

And I think I may be finding a helpful angle on it from John Ralston Saul's Voltaire's Bastards. He proposes an opposition between reason and Heroes. I think he means that the suppression of of human agency in the notion of reason, a flatland of calculation and logic, brings forth the egoistic Hero -- the Napoleon, the Marx, the Marcuse, the activist -- as its Hegelian antithesis.

And that is a bad thing, because in the land of myth that has been revived in the last 100 years by Jung and others, the Hero is supposed to be a sacrificial hero, who goes down into the underworld of the unconscious to learn about the borderland between Order and Chaos and only returns to the everyday world when he has become sadder and wiser.

It is clear to me that our peaceful protesters and activists are Egos that have not experienced the necessary descent into the underworld. And therefore they are monsters that threaten to destroy everything good and true.

Because they are dumb and stupid.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Poor China. It Is Stuck Playing Yesterday's Game

Hey, even the New York Times is publishing a piece that says President-for-life Xi of China has missed the point. "Xi Jinping Wanted Global Dominance. He Overshot."

Back in the day, even under Mao, China wanted a good relationship with the US. But Xi thought he could play superpower.
Mr. Xi has been aggressively hard-line. Under him, anti-American rhetoric has spread in official media. The Chinese government has been explicit about wanting to challenge the United States’s military presence in Asia. It has made aggressive moves toward Taiwan and in the South China Sea.
Then Xi has tried to "co-opt members of China’s vast diaspora, hoping to develop a network that will facilitate political infiltration into other countries and high-tech transfers out of them."

And now it looks like China will have to agree to a trade pact with the US that represents a loss of face to President Xi.

Then there is the attempt by Russia, China and some bit players to keep President Maduro in power in Venezuela. And your point is? To show the US that you can play the game?

Look, I get it. All these second division players have watched the US global hegemony over the past century and dearly want to play that game too. They want a navy like ours. They want to tell tin-pot dictators whether to come or go. They want to sit by the energy spigot and make a mint out of energy production.

'Cos that's what great powers do! Yay!

One little thing, fellahs. The whole idea of the US imperium was to push back at totalitarian players like Hitler and Stalin, and the tin-pot versions like Castro and Chávez, who didn't believe in a world of commercial reciprocity, but in political and imperial dominance and hegemony. Because equality.

But that was the old world, and that is the world that the left has been trying to revive for the last century in its Great Reaction: socialism as neo-slavery, welfare state as neo-feudalism, and identity politics as neo-tribalism.

Thing is: the military domination of land doesn't matter any more, not much. What matters are the monster 200,000 ton container ships plying their trade across the oceans of the world. Great nations are no longer interested in conquering and plundering their neighbors for riches and for slaves. Why? Because there is no money in it!

What good did it do for the Stalinists to conquer eastern Europe? It just made the eastern Europeans as poor as the Russians. What is the point of China colonizing Third World countries with unpayable Belt and Road debt? Because the West did it 150 years ago? And Robert McNamara did it with the World Bank 50 years ago?

And what good will it do to keep Maduro in power in Venezuela so the Venezuelans can starve a little more.

What is needed is for the great nations of the world to do what the men of the West did in the 19th century: trade the warrior's sword for the sportsman's trophy.

That's the remarkable thing about our age. Just when men stopped being combination peasants/medieval soldiers along came football and tennis and cricket. And basketball and baseball. So now men could compete for the honor of the city, and teach the guys in that other city with the lousy team a lesson.

And very delightful and harmless it is. Same goes for careers. What better use is there for male aggressiveness than to challenge your fellow corporate road warriors into a fight to the death -- for market share?

What is needed is for the natural competition between nations to be channeled into equally harmless pursuits. But what?

Well I have an idea. Remember the race to the moon? Yeah. That was a harmless way of channeling the Cold War into harmless pursuits.

I propose a global competition, A Race to Mars.

Which nation will be first to put a man on Mars? It goes without saying that the first nation to put a man on Mars has hair on its chest. Its people are clearly the wave of the future.

And all the rest are cry-babies.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Starting into "Voltaire's Bastards"

 I ran across a reference to Voltaire's Bastards by John Ralston Saul a week or so ago and thought I ought to read it. Now I'm about 70 pages in and the bastards seem to be "reason" and the "Hero."

This is comfortable for me because I have been influenced by the Jungian movement for which the "unconscious," the pre-rational, is the basis of human life -- even in an age of reason -- and the proper kind of hero is the sacrificial hero, living on the boundary between order and chaos and bringing an understanding of chaos to his fellow humans even at the cost of his own life.

That is not to say that reason is not a remarkable and beneficial tool for humans to understand the universe, and that heros -- Saul means the egoistical Hero like Napoleon and Hitler -- can't make a contribution to life.

But the point is to understand that reason takes you only so far, and does not answer the questions we really want to ask, which is the meaning of life the universe, and everything. Likewise, the hero is an equivocal human. His creativity can be a force for good or a force for evil. The wise and noble hero understands this, and it reluctant to impose his creations upon the world. The egotistical hero is bound and determined to show us the brilliance of his creations, even at the cost of millions of dead.

So then I thought that the combination of overweening reason and the Hero is the lefty activist. Empowered by his faith in reason -- actually the theology of progress -- our lefty friend confidently leads his "peaceful protest" against oppression and inequality, secure in the knowledge that he is pushing the world one step closer to its destiny as a realm of peace and justice.

But it is all really about him, the progressive Hero, and his Ego.

On the other hand, Saul has some curious notions, such as, writing in 1992, that we had been through a 20-year depression, masked only by credit expansion. OK. I'd say that more important were the tax-rate cuts and deregulations and de-feudalizing and de-unionizing of the economy under Reagan that launched the start-up age that continues to this hour.

But then Saul writes about Pascal Paoli, the leader of Corsica in the 20 years between its freedom from Genoa and its conquest by France. Napoleon Buonaparte was one of the young Corsican lords sent to France after the French invasion who, we may say, learned his Age of Reason lessons to a T.

Saul likes Washington, dislikes Hamilton, and likes Jefferson. But it's early days in a 600 page book.

Friday, May 3, 2019

NYT Writer: "Women Did Everything Right"

Back in the day I had a boss that complained about his underlings "going off at tangents." Instead of putting our shoulders to the wheel, and getting on with the job at hand, we would annoyingly engage with side issues. In software, of course, there is always the temptation to polish up the code and make it more elegant.

Of course, there is one little problem with polishing up code. You introduce new bugs into the code. Not good.

So now a good little girl at the New York Times is writing about a 35-year-old lawyer married to a 35-year-old lawyer that is now lawyering 21 hours a week and looking after the kids while hubby works insane hours, 60 hours a week. Says the headline "Women Did Everything Right: Then Work Got Greedy.'"

Then follows a thousand words of feminist conventional wisdom.

Let's put the whole thing in black and white.

The job of women -- human females -- is to put babies on the ground. Everything else is "going off at tangents."

The job of men is to protect a woman and her babies until the babies leave the nest. Everything else is "going off at tangents."

And boy, do we moderns go off at tangents these days. We do it, of course, because we are rich and can afford it.

What sort of tangents? Oh, women like the idea of careers. Men like the idea of a creative life. Women imagine themselves as politicians; men imagine easing off from work. Women like to fluff up their nests; men like to have hobbies. And both sexes are learning to mess about with sex.

All of this stuff is a distraction. Because if women don't have babies, then humans go extinct. If men don't protect their women and their children, then the little ones don't survive to adulthood.

If the last few days I have seen a couple articles about how the decline in religion goes hand in hand with decline in fertility. I wonder if humans need religion to keep them from going off at tangents?

I was talking with acquaintances the other day and one of us was talking about women and careers as if it was the default thing for women to do, and that to hinder a woman in this interfered with the whole meaning of her life.

I said nothing, because what can you say? Folks living in the liberal bubble have no idea. And they won't appreciate someone popping the bubble, especially a racist, sexist, homophobe like me.

I dare say it will all end with a movement of well-born women going back to religion and children and family.

Because even though we humans have a constant itch to go off at tangents, we still know in our heart of hearts what we should be doing.

Notice the headline "Women Did Everything Right." Does that not exactly align with my notion of the woman's Culture of Complaint? For the instinct in every woman is that if she does everything right then, of course, her life should be happy and perfect; and if it is not, someone is to blame.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Yes, Secularists Do Too Have Religion

Over at the Australian Claire Lehman's Quillette they are having a set to about whether secularism is a religion. John Staddon says they sorta do.
My argument is simple: religions have three characteristics: spiritual, mythical/historical, and moral. Secular humanism lacks the first two and is often quite critical of these aspects of religion.
See, I think that the secularists do too have the spiritual and the mythical/historical.

Oh sure, the secularists don't have a "god" but they certainly have sacred objects. Principally, the sacred object is the Victim. The point about the sacred is that it is beyond criticism, and analysis, at least not by you, chum. Now, you tell me that, for the Communists, the "worker" was not a sacred object. Or that the suffering woman is not a sacred object for the feminists, or the African slave for the blacks. Etc. In addition, the prophets of secularism have attained almost to the status of saints, as a first step towards identification with the immortal. Think Lenin's tomb. Or Mary Wollstonecraft. Or Martin Luther King, Jr.

It is not stretching things too far to suggest that the secularists worship The Victim.

And as for "mythical/historical!" The whole point of the secular left is to construct likely Three Stage stories about the Victims. Back in the day humans were innocent and equal. They lived, you might say, in a veritable Garden of Eden. But then came the Fall. Once innocent humans fell upon each other, stripped of their innocence, and became divided into Exploiters and Victims. Or Patriarchs and sex objects. Or Lords and Serfs. Or Masters and Slaves. Or Capitalists and Proletarians. But now, with the blessings of activism and the holy sacrament of peaceful protest there is dawning a new age that will save us from oppression and exploitation and we will enter into a new Eden of Heaven on Earth.

I am not making this up.

Of course, I come to this from an appreciation of chaps like Jung and Joseph Campbell and Jordan Peterson. They are saying that myth is universal, and just because we moderns say we have "grown" beyond religion doesn't mean that we aren't lying to ourselves. Jung, of course, was consciously trying to found a new religion, and for that got criticized by chaps like Richard Noll in The Jung Cult.

I believe that it is essential to establish that modern secular beliefs are religion in everything but name. There is a very good practical reason for this, that if modern secularism is a religion then the dicta of the Bill of Rights apply, that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." If secular cults are religions then they should not be privileged as science and should not have the power to deplatform people that disagree with their expressions of faith and their orthodoxies.

We can expect that our lefty friends will insist, to the last faggot on the auto-da-fé, that their systems and their ethics and their programs are not religious, no sir, not nohow.

Because under the current regime lefties hold a huge tactical advantage. Their ideas and proposals are noble "issues" and "settled science" rather than the crazed doctrines of a whacky religious cult.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

If Not Progress, Then What?

After reading of the deplatforming of Polish intellectual Ryszard Legutko at Middlebury College I thought I should buy his book, The Demon in Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies.

Demon starts with the argument that both communism and liberal democracy have a progress theory of history: we are progressing towards a better world. Thus more communism, or more liberal democracy, equals more progress.

Obviously this doctrine is pretty reductive. How do you know, lefties?

Obviously, they don't. They have a religious faith, and their faith is faith in progress, as defined by them.

In fact, we all believe in some version of this faith, whether it is faith in economic growth, in more freedom, in more creativity, in more godliness.

In fact, returning as always to my reductive Three Peoples theory, we could say that the People of the Subordinate Self believe in progress towards a level playing field in which the government distributes free stuff more equally; the People of the Responsible Self believe in progress towards a world that rewards people that lead responsible lives obeying the law, going to work, and following the rules; the People of the Creative Self believe in progress towards better opportunities to live a creative life.

What do I believe in? I believe in a government that defends us from enemies foreign and domestic. I believe in social institutions such as churches, and civic associations in which we can develop our faith in the meaning of our lives.

The problem with the faith in progress is that it combines the need for safe spaces against invaders and robbers with the need to act according to a faith in the meaning of it all. "Progress" is, after all, a thing that armies do, as in advancing towards our inevitable victory.

There is a name for this sort of belief system that conflates the political and the moral: totalitarianism.

But, hey, everyone of us is tempted by the opportunity to use force to advance our notions of the just and true, and the meaning of life. There is, after all, no fixed, sure boundary between the need to repel boarders and the passion to elbow all the competing visions of the meaning of life to create breathing space for our own vision.

I suppose it comes down to drawing the line between "must haves" and "nice to haves." We must have protection against what I call existential perils. But not so much against things that would be nice to have, like bike paths that are separate from roads with cars on them.

But what about welfare for the poor? You could argue that it is a "must have" because it keeps the poor down in the ghetto and not peacefully protesting in the streets in what used to be called "bread riots." Or you could argue that it is better for our souls for each one of us to be engaged in relief of the poor instead of letting the government do it.

Here's a notion. Let us insist that nothing the government does relates to progress or the advancement of humanity. Let us merely say that government is there to protect us from existential perils, and it usually and probably forever will do the job badly. But as to progress, to the improvement of the race, to the question of justice, of enlightenment, of creating a better world, that is up to people in their voluntary social groups to work on. And it is up to each one of us to persuade other people to join our voluntary community, rather than force them by government edict or by naming and shaming.

Of course, the problem is that people instinctively know this, and so they cheat. They invent existential perils so that they can get the government to force each of us to enlist in the government's war on whatever: poverty, ignorance, climate change.

And as for curbing the naming and shaming: good luck with that, pal.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Liberals Legislating Liberal Morality

One of the really frustrating things for a conservative these days is that our liberal friends are so busy "legislating morality."

Yeah. Remember the days when liberals were howling about conservatives "legislating morality?" The morality they were objecting to was what we would now call "Judeo-Christian" values: things like banning pornography and public nudity.

Today, of course we are drowning under a tidal wave of left-liberal attempts to legislate morality, from recycling and banning plastic bags, to the marginalization of Christian bakers that don't like gay marriage, to the whole ethos behind the Green New Deal that fossil fuels are eevil.

How do we get away from this universal rage to instantiate our values and morality into the statute book and utterly object to the other guys doing the same?

The answer is: we can't. That's because, as Jordan B. Peterson says, we see the world through the lens of our values. Our values imagine a world as it should be, not as it is, and humans are inclined to fight to the death to be able to fight for the world as it should be.

After the last great Wars of Religion, back in the 16th and 17th centuries, that culminated in the Thirty Years War that devastated Germany, the various parties agreed to ease back on the legislation of morality, and then, as the Enlightenment proceeded, various thinkers proposed devices such as religious toleration -- for other religions -- and the separation of church and state as means of avoiding the religious war of all against all.

Great idea, and it got instantiated in the US Constitution that was ratified in 1787. But right before Congress passed the Bill of Rights in Sepetember 1789 the French Revolution began with the storming of the Bastille in July 1789. The Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791 and guaranteed the right to free speech and denied the state the power to found a state "establishment of religion." That was two years before the beginning of the French Reign of Terror and Virtue in 1793 which established the cathedral of Notre Dame in September 1793 as a Temple of Reason not with fire and the sword as in olden times, but with guns and La Guillotine.

And as we know, the French Revolution was just a walk in the park compared with what came after it in Russia and China and Eastern Europe and Vietnam and Cambodia.

Of course, all these new secular religions are adamant that their beliefs are not religious but founded on reason and logic.

Actually everyone thinks that their beliefs, their world view, their religion -- call it what you will -- is founded on reason and logic. St. Thomas Aquinas deduced the whole of Christianity with Aristotelian reason and logic. Marx called his notions "scientific socialism." Our modern cult of environmentalists call their opponents "science deniers." Your alt-right chappies are also firm in their attachment to reason and logic.

What's the answer? Well, I would have everyone admit that their attachment to reason and logic is really their adherence to their religion, their faith in some cult leader's attempt to understand "the meaning of life, the universe and everything." But I don't expect that to happen any time soon.

The best that I can hope for is for all parties to sit down and ink out a peace treaty, that only the very worst acts are to be subject to the criminal law and the power of government. And that most anti-social -- or immoral or unethical -- acts be regulated by social disapproval.

It's the difference, if you like, between peacefully protesting the campus speaker you don't like and physically preventing the speaker from speaking on campus.

But what will it take for our SJW pals and campus safe-spacers to back off their current attempts to deplatform anyone that makes them feel "unsafe?"

It will take a Trumpian renaissance that starts shutting down universities that don't allow free speech. So that our liberal friends will start worrying about "legislating morality" again.

For nobody objects to their own side legislating morality. They only object to the other guys doing it.

And that is why I say that there is no such thing as justice: only injustice.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Melinda Gates Validates My Theory of the Sexes

Over the course of a rather sheltered life, I have come to believe two things about men and women. Men have a Culture of Insult; women have a Culture of Complaint. That is to say: men and women are not equal; they are different.

The men's Culture of Insult is obviously related to the question of Honor. As related by James Bowman, in Honor: a History, honor among men is the reputation for courage, the courage to stand in line with his brothers in battle. To publicly doubt a man's courage is an insult that must be defended. Thus the Culture of Insult, in which men cunningly doubt each other's courage, but below a threshold that must be defended by force of arms.

Women, as I said, are not equal; they are different. Honor among women is the reputation for chastity, and I mean this not just in the sexual sense, but in the larger sense of being a good little girl that never does anything wrong. Thus the women's Culture of Complaint, in which one woman complains to a second woman about a third woman's behavior.

Don't doubt me on this. Just go abroad with an open mind, and see how often I am right.

Enter good little girl Melinda Gates, wife of the billionaire. She's a feminist, dontcha know. (But not so much of a feminist that she has forsworn hypergamy). Oh no. Not that!

According to Nicholas Kristof (H/T Steve Sailer) Melinda found the office culture at Microsoft toxically masculine.
One of Melinda’s first challenges came in the harsh, male-dominated techie culture at Microsoft. “It was just so brash, so argumentative and competitive, with people fighting to the end on every point,” she writes.
See what I mean? Culture of Insult, going full throttle, pedal to the metal. And Melinda as a woman didn't like it.

So what did she do? She complained to another woman.
Then she found a woman colleague, Charlotte Guyman, who felt the same. “It’s not O.K. for women to cry at work, but it’s O.K. for men to yell at work?” Guyman once asked.
Or, as I like to put it, Charlotte complained to Melinda, "I can't believe the way that the men yell in meetings."

Believe me, I am not making this up.

Which brings me to my Georg Simmel gambit, that women coming into the public square would adapt it to suit "a more feminine sensibility." That is exactly what Charlotte and Melinda proceeded to do at Microsoft.
With other women employees, they began to create oases in Microsoft where courtesy was not seen as a sign of weakness. A critical mass of women employees helped civilize the company.
Am I right or am I right?

Now my second-hand take on Bill Gates -what I have heard -- is that he was a holy terror in meetings. If you brought some idea or project to him that wasn't up to snuff he would say that it was the most stupid thing he had ever heard. I dare say he is still like that, unless the fair Melinda is in the room.

But here is the question. Was it a good idea for Charlotte and Melinda to "civilize" Microsoft? I'd say: it depends.

The point about Bill Gates and also Steve Jobs is that they were both impossible people heading up tech startups that changed the world.

Bill Gates' effort with MS-DOS enabled IBM to put its PC into every office. I was there; it was transformative. And then Gates did it again with Windows. What about Microsoft in recent years? Well I'd have to say that it is steady as she goes. In the 15 years from 2000 to 2015 the stock went sideways. Now it is going exponential again, under South Asian management.

What about Apple? Under the turbulent leadership of Steve Jobs, it produced amazing products, and magnificent failures, but ended up with the earth-shattering technology in the iPod and the iPhone. All the evidence is that Jobs was impossible to work with: not "civilized" at all. And since Jobs' death? Well, right now it is doing fine under the civilized leadership of Tim Cook.

What does it all mean? I think it means this. If you are talking about business startups, you are talking about men. If you are talking about steady as she goes, you are talking about introducing a more feminine sensibility into corporate culture.

Then there is this. Joseph P. Schumpeter described capitalism as a process of "creative destruction." In other words each technological revolution that transforms our lives is built on the wreckage of the old technology and the old ways.

If women had been in charge we would not have experienced the Great Enrichment of the last 200 years.

In my view men are adapted to the creative destruction aspect of things, and women are more adapted to the preservation of things. This is unremarkable, since the job of men is to defend the border, even unto death, and the job of women is to bear children, to stay alive and keep the home fires burning until the children leave the nest.
“Bill and I are equal partners,” Melinda Gates said. “Men and women should be equal at work.”
That is not what Charles Dickens thought. His Mathew Bagnet, former soldier, basically deferred to his wife -- "the old girl" -- in all things. But never admitted it: "discipline must be maintained" he told his army pal Sgt. George in Bleak House.

And frankly I think that Chuck knew a lot more about the world than Good Little Girl Melinda Gates whose main claim to fame will always be that she married the richest man in the world. The old-fashioned way.

Friday, April 26, 2019

The Limits of Free Stuff

Our Democratic friends are having a real festival of free stuff these days, offering the voters Medicare For All, free college for all, minimum wage, reparations, you name it.

Of course that is all in accordance with the principle enunciated in my aphorism:
Government is an armed minority, occupying territory and taxing the inhabitants thereof to reward its supporters.
Doesn't matter what the government is, as you can see from the following table:

Robber gangYour money or your life
City gangNice little business you got here. Pity if something should happen to it.
Lefty guerillasKill the capitalists!
Center leftMake the rich pay their share.
Center rightCut taxes now.
TrumpMexicans pay for the wall.

If you want a more philosophical take, there is the doctrine of Irving Kristol that if you want to help the poor, as with Social Security, you must deal in the middle class. That is why Social Security is called the "third rail" of US politics.

As I said, back in 1993, the problem with HillaryCare was that the middle class already had health insurance, so there was no way they could be included in the loot handed out to the folks that were suspended between Medicaid and employer-paid health insurance.

Then, with Obamacare, the Obama guys had to flat out lie, and tell us that we would save $2,500 and if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. All lies.

Now, the question is: Does the free-stuff program still work? Put it this way. Is there still something that government can give away for free for which the majority of people will think they are getting free stuff?

OK. Look at this chart of government spending in the US since 1900, expressed as percent of GDP. Do you see what I see?

Apart from the spending surge in response to the Crash of 2008 government spending in the US has been rocking along at about 35 percent of GDP since the early 1980s.

I wonder what that means. I wonder if it means that the majority of voters do not want any more government spending because they suspect that any increase in government spending is free stuff that will go to other people, and not to them.

Anyway, it seems to me that in 2020 we are going to get a test of my notion. The Democrats are out in full force offering free stuff to their primary voters. But will they be able to sell the general election voters on their free stuff?

Will general election voters think they will benefit from Medicare For All?

Will general election voters think they will benefit from free college, and college debt forgiveness?

Will general election voters think they will benefit from the Green New Deal?

Will general election voters think they will benefit from reparations to the descendants of slaves?

And so on.

My guess is that the average voter will think that all these ideas are going to cost them.

I wonder if I am right.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

What the Three Peoples Should Reach For

There is no doubt that my reductive Three Peoples theory is as good as it comes. But what should the Three Peoples reach for? Of what should they dream? What should be their goals?

I'm glad you asked that, Senator. The answer is pretty simple. They should reach for what comes next.

Now, for the People of the Subordinate Self, workers and peasants, they should strive for responsibility. And there happen to be convenient religions all over the place to help them with that. Evangelical Christianity is one such. The whole point of the religions that emerged in the Axial Age is that they propose a god that does not get involved in daily life like the gods of the Iliad, but set up the world with rules and roles, and you are supposed to live responsibly in the world that god has created for you, or else divine judgment.

For the People of the Responsible Self, the great middle class, they should strive for creativity. It is not enough just to go to work, obey the law, and follow the rules like a good bourgeois. Step out a little! And try something new.

As always, the big problem is with the People of the Creative Self. That's because they think so highly of themselves. I was thinking about this today, as I was reading about the Muslim terrorists that organized the terror bombings of Christian churches and slaughter of "Easter worshippers" in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. These were not helpless victims, according to Terry Glavin in The National Post.
At least two of the suicide bombers had law degrees. Two were brothers from a wealthy Colombo family, one of whom attended university in the United Kingdom and earned a postgraduate degree in Australia. There were nine of them altogether, eight men and a woman. Most were “well-educated and come from (the) middle or upper-middle class,” Ruwan Wijewardene, Sri Lanka’s deputy defence minister, told reporters.
Well, well. Now there's creativity for you! And it is a creative act, to think up and plan a series of terror attacks on Christians and their churches. But obviously it is wrong.

Obviously, also, our Educated Youth has a problem with the problem of good and evil. In fact, one might even start to think that Nietzsche had it wrong when he wrote about the world Beyond Good and Evil. It is precisely when you are starting to think about what lies beyond good and evil that you need to get a grip on yourself about good and evil. Because obviously, some creative things are good, and some creative things are bad.

Obviously the key question here is power. Without power the question of good and evil does not arise. But with power, the question of good and evil does arise, and it becomes more important the more powerful you become.

Nietzsche railed against "the priests" for teaching us to hate ourselves with their notion of good and evil. But I think that it is natural that as people started to throng to the cities that the issue of good and evil should become more salient.

It's just that as we rise even further from mere city life to creative life we do not get beyond good and evil, but even deeper into the question of right and wrong. With great power comes great responsibility, as Ben Parker told Peter Parker, the Spider-Man. Power, responsibility.

Now, we might say that the People of the Subordinate Self have no power, and therefore have no opportunity to do evil. They can, I suppose be the unwitting agents of evil by subordinating themselves to an evil lord, and becoming his agents.

We might say that the People of the Responsible Self have little power, since all they do is follow the rules and act responsibly. But, of course, the responsible course of action is not always so obvious. And as Dickens makes clear in Bleak House, even the lower parts of the middle class like the Smallweeds can lord it cruelly over their one and only servant girl, Charley.

Obviously, when we come to the People of the Creative Self the issue of power and agency becomes overwhelming. The whole notion of Creativity is to hack a new path through the jungle. The new idea might work; it might not work. It might be a good idea; it might be an evil idea.

What is more, there is the temptation to think your idea is a good idea. Of course it is, a good plan, a most excellent plan; it is bound to succeed.

But, in fact the originator of a plan is not the best judge of its potential, or its value. In the marketplace ideas are judged by the market. In crime, the accused is judged by the jury. In politics the politicians are judged by the voters.

Of course, this is nothing new. It is right there in the aphorism of Juvenal: who will guard the guardians?

And so we may say that the People of the Creative Self should beware of power, and accept the verdict of the deplorables. They should turn away the offer of power, to listen to the verdict of the underlings.

It is all very well for Google to cry "Don't Be Evil," but who is to determine how and when Googlers might be evil?

The modern age is really the first era in which the People of the Creative Self have attained battalion strength, the ability to spread real damage. And so it comes to the deplorables to insist that our glorious betters -- the creatives, the artists, the writers, the activists, the generals, the politicians, the geniuses -- establish as their faith the importance of humility, and the need to refuse, and more than thrice, the kingly throne offered by Mark Anthony to Caesar.

Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac, said Henry Kissinger. And so Jesus, the creative Son of God, must refuse the offer of power over all the kingdoms of the world.

The People of the Creative Self must reach for humility.