Thursday, January 31, 2019

My Three Peoples vs. the Left's Three Peoples

As you may know, I divide people into three parts, as Caesar did with Gaul. It's a very human thing to do: Past, Present, Future; Garden of Eden, present misery, future Heaven; past perfect society, present injustice, future heaven on earth. The Rule of Threes is all over the place.

My Three Peoples are: the People of the Subordinate Self, workers and peasants; the People of the Responsible Self, middle class individuals; and the People of the Creative Self, artists, writers, and activists.

The left has a different Three Peoples. There are: the historically marginalized helpless Victims, that lack agency. There are the Creative Activists, dedicated to bending the arc of history towards justice. And then there are the vile Deplorables, racists, sexists, and homophobes, that are responsible for all the world's wrongs.

Do you see the big difference? In my Three Peoples theory the question of Right and Wrong has not already been determined. In fact, it seems to me, the big point about my Three Peoples is that each People is living life according to their lights. Sure, my People of the Subordinate Self choose to minimize their responsibility, but this is a sensible decision based upon their understanding of the world and the disadvantage of living as a subordinate peasant or a worker. But the subordinate peasant or worker still lives in a responsible, if subordinate, way.

The People of the Responsible Self accept the suzerainty of the market, and do their responsible best to respond to its demands, while living according to the Word of God or other fixed menu of how to live. Obviously, for the responsibles everything hinges on how well you have followed the rule book. Good and Evil, Heaven and Hell, follow from that.

The People of the Creative Self accept the hardness of the creative life; how creative acts are not available by signing up for a course, or for following the rule book, but found in a perilous life on the border between Order and Chaos, ending perhaps in the death of the Sacrificial Hero.

In the Left's Three Peoples, the world is much starker, and simplified.

The Helpless Victims have no agency. They are not to be judged, for they are innocents, crushed under the wheels of oppression and injustice. Their only hope is to be led by activists in mostly peaceful protests to demand their rights.

The Deplorables have agency, and they have used it for ill by oppressing the Helpless Victims with racism, sexism, hate, homophobia, and all the other -phobias since whenever. And their very culture is poisonous: white supremacy and toxic masculinity.

The Creative Activists have agency, and they have used it for good, by rooting out long-buried oppressions and injustices visited on the helpless and the powerless, particularly in the capitalist age, because profits and patriarchy, and by advocating for the helpless and the powerless, and leading them in mostly peaceful protests to bend the arc of history towards justice.

Well? Am I right, or am I right?

I think that I am exposing the absurd moral drama that the left conjures up. It can't be true that the noble activists are always the good guys. Are there really no bad apples? And if there is an occasional bad apple, how could we tell? It is an insult to present the Helpless Victims as incapable of agency, forthat makes them subhuman. And it is a vile injustice to present the whole middle class -- as Marx did -- as evil.

Now, in my admittedly reductive Three Peoples system, the agency is understood to be graded, with the People of the Subordinate Self practicing the least amount of agency, and the People of the Creative Self practicing the most amount of agency.

And one of the most important things to understand is that the more you act in the world whether as a simple bourgeois that follows the rules, goes to work, and obeys the law, or as a creative artist or start-up businessman or as a political activist, the first thing you should grapple with is that, when you make a mistake, people will be hurt. That is the argument of the environmentalists' Precautionary Principle. In other words, the more talent you have, the more creative chops, the more ambition, the more lofty your goals, the more you should think about who gets hurt if, as the Brits say, you get your sums wrong.

Ain't it cute? When it suits the left to stop the capitalists and their projects dead in their tracks, the Precautionary Principle is front and center. But when we are talking about, e.g., a government takeover of health care, then nothing but crickets.

The reason for this little problem is quite simple. The left does not have the basic decency to look at itself in the mirror and ask: am I really helping the helpless, or am I merely flattering my conceit as history's gift to the helpless?

And that is worse than a mistake, worse than a crime. It is a blunder.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

So, Kamala Harris Won't Axe Private Health Insurance. She Says

In her triumphant presidential campaign kickoff, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) promised Medicare For All. And when asked by an interviewer a couple days later, she said that it would be the end of private health insurance.
“Let’s eliminate all of that,” Harris said when asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper if, under her proposed “Medicare For All” proposal, Americans with private insurance plans could retain them.
Now she has backed off. Of course she has.

Let me rehearse the reason why.

Way back when, neoconservative god Irving Kristol said that the only way to help the poor with social programs was to deal in the middle class.

If you wanted to help the workers in their old age with government pensions you would have to create a comprehensive and mandatory program that would also give benefits to the middle class. Thus the popular Social Security.

If you wanted to help the elderly poor with medical care you would have to enroll all the elderly, including the billionaires. Thus Medicare.

So when HillaryCare emerged in 1993-94 I thought to myself that it can't work because the average American worker already has health insurance at work.

I still remember where I was, in the summer of 1994, when a bewildered NPR woman reporter told us Seattle liberals that the American people were against HillaryCare. Of course they were: Because of the Kristol Rule. The average American already had health insurance, so HillaryCare would do nothing for her.

The Democrats had learned their lesson when pushing Obamacare. President Obama lied, and lied again when he insisted that, "if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor." Oh and keep your "health plan." He had to lie, otherwise Obamacare would never have passed.

But, of course, after Obamacare was passed the voters wised up and elected a Republican House of Representatives on the spot, and a Republican Senate four years later.

Because, Senator, the voters were damned if they were going to give up their private health insurance to help the 30 million or so marooned between Medicaid and workplace health insurance.

So now comes Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) with a brilliant and wizard wheeze for BernieCare, or KamalaCare or whatever, and her first step out of the gate she says "let's eliminate all that" private health insurance.

Which, I think, tells us that Willie Brown's best girl is not yet ready for prime time. Because, Senator, you can only pass new government programs if you deal in the middle class. Or brazenly lie about it.

The problem for our Democratic friends is that there is almost nothing left in the loot-and-plunder department in which the middle class has not already been dealt in. Yeah, you can propose Medicare For All, but the middle class already has health insurance. You can increase taxes on the wealthy but guess what: you ain't gonna collect much new revenue because all the tippy-top rich are going to get their money out and that means that their money ain't gonna be creating much in the way of middle-class and working-class jobs. You can pass your glorious program to save the world from climate change, but the ordinary yellow-vest middle class isn't going to stand for paying swingeing energy taxes to get there.

Hey, it's not just Democrats that have a problem here. I'd like to reform Social Security and make it into a real savings program: but today's workers and grandpas basically say "over my dead body." I'd like to reform Medicare so that it provides a basic decent health program for the elderly poor, and get everyone else to pay for their own end-of-life health care. But grandma says "they'd better not touch My Medicare." I'd like to reform government education, but the teachers and administrators say: "over my dead body."

So that's why we have a deadlock in US politics today. The Democrats are becalmed because the middle class doesn't want to pay for somebody else's benefits. The Republicans are becalmed because the middle-class doesn't want to give up a dime of the benefits that they "already paid for."

What's the end game here? I have no idea. Maybe, when the crisis arrives and the government runs out of other people's money we will elect a leader that will propose and administer the bitter medicine that will repair the government's finances. Or maybe, as in Venezuela, the government will flush the whole country down the toilet rather than admit that it was wrong.

Hey, maybe the wonders of 5G will unleash such a tidal wave of prosperity that the deficits and the debt will disappear. But I doubt it.

All I know is that when the crash comes, minorities and women will be hardest hit. Just like last time.

And you can take that to the bank, Senator Harris.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

My Pure Theory of Politics - Table of Contents

The Educated Class Have Had It Wrong Since Before World War II

I am reading Stefan Zweig's The World of Yesterday which features a pretty big helping of "we intellectuals" were the good guys, back before World War I, who were building trans-national friendships and understanding and creating the idea of a united Europe, so how come the haters and the narrow-minded gave us World War I and the haters and the fascists gave up World War II?

Well, Stefi, I will tell it to you, straight. But I warn you, you won't like it.

You don't found political entities on the basis of international friendships and hoity-toity rich-kid writers all getting together in a cafés in Paris -- or in meetings up in Magic Mountain land.

You found political entities, Stefi, in the crucible of war. That's the only thing that can create the experience of unity that persuades people to give up their old allegiances for a new one.

Sometimes the sense of unity is created by the agony of defeat. Take France, within which was the semi-independent Duchy of Burgundy taking up about half the land area of modern France. La Wik.
[W]hen Charles the Bold died in battle without sons, Louis XI of France declared the duchy extinct and absorbed the territory into the French crown. The daughter of Charles the Bold, Mary of Burgundy... refus[ed] to accept the loss of the duchy. The War of the Burgundian Succession took place from 1477 to 1482. Eventually, King Louis XI of France and Archduke Maximilian I signed the Treaty of Arras (1482). Maximilian recognised the annexation of the two Burgundies and several other territories.
So, the King of France said: That's it, Burgundy is part of France, and after a couple of wars, the Burgundian rulers capitulated.

When did Britain arise as a nation? Probably as a result of the Civil War of the 17th century, and certainly by the end of  the Second Hundred Years War against France from 1688 to 1815.

The US? Obviously the sense of US nationhood was forged in the Revolutionary War, and then, for those that didn't get the message, in the Civil War. Did you know, by the way, that politicians that had served in those wars were always referred to by their Revolutionary/Civil War rank? As in Colo. Hamilton and Major McKinley. Those guys were brothers-in-arms forever after.

Now, Germany is the example that proves the rule and that, after many years of confusion, made the whole matter clear to me.

See, Germany was a collection of more-or-less independent states, ruled over by a collection of princes  and bishops, and nominally joined together in the Holy Roman Empire of the German nation. But the empire was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire. And you can imagine what the various princes would say about being subsumed into a Prussian-dominated German nation.

So what was Bismarck to do if he was going to unite Germans into a single nation that could take on  the French nation that had been trampling Germans underfoot for the last two centuries, and very likely more?

Answer: fight and win three convenient little wars against Germany's neighbors, starting with the easy one, against little Denmark in 1862, continuing with the medium one against a decliningAustria in 1866, and finishing up with the big one against France in 1870. With each war Bismarck got more and more German princes to send their hometown troops to contribute to the effort. You can see why this worked: with each victory, the prince that kept his troops out looked like a pansy. And so the German Reich was announced in 1871 in Versailles.

Now, the reason that there is no European nation is that Europe has never fought a war as Europeans against some eevil anti-European foe. It really doesn't matter that elite Europeans all have friends across Europe, or that elite Europeans can get together in Brussels and cook up various bureaucratic dodges to force the nations of Europe into a European nation. Without the unifying experience of a war it will never happen.

Obviously, the only candidate for eevil anti-European foe is Russia. But somehow, I don't think that a nice quickie war against Russia would be a very good idea.

And then, assuming that the Europeans did unite against some dastardly foe, what about the aftermath? Who is going to be the Big Cheese? The French or the Germans? If you have the brains to solve that problem, you probably should not be in politics but working on the next Physics revolution that will make quantum mechanics look like a walk in the park.

Look, I think that Stefan Zweig is a great writer, and he can evoke the Zeitgeist of intellectual Europe magnificently. But in important ways, Zweig & Co. are idiots, the kind of idiots that have got Europe to its present state of dysfunction, where in various ways the people are rising up against the clueless cultural and political leaders that have led a continent whose women aren't much into having children, and whose men aren't much into shouldering manly responsibilities, and that think that the solution is to import millions of Muslims.

Our ruling class has got three things wrong during its dynastic domination of the past century. First, it has betrayed the migrants to the cities by encouraging them in their tribalism and by failing to teach them the ways of the responsible bourgeoisie. Second, it has failed to be tolerant of the great middle middle class, imposing its own religion and culture in a kind of soft Reign of Terror. Third, it fails to understand that the only way to get a united Europe is by a war.  And, by the way, the only way to get global governance is through an interplanetary war. Think of that!

Other than that, our educated ruling class is tops. In other words, no better than any other stupid ruling class down the ages.

I admit I am prejudiced, but I think that the only ruling class that had more than half a brain was the US Revolutionary generation. If you ask me, the Washingtons, Jeffersons, Madisons, and Hamiltons were so miraculous that they constitute a proof of God's existence.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Explaining Hate: My Pure Theory of Politics

So what are we going to do, Americans? How are we going to heal the divides in our beloved country?

Here's the thing. The only time people in a country come together is when they are threatened by an existential peril. The rest of the time they are free to argue and quarrel, and they do.

Example #1: World War II. The divisions of the 1930s were all healed and all Americans were united in fighting and destroying the threat of Nazism. But after the war we went back, not to our old divisions, but new ones.

Notice that there are two kinds of existential peril. There is the threat of an army on the border threatening invasion. It's amazing how people can bury the hatchet when the Nazis or the Mongols are massing on the border.

Then there is the existential peril of a natural disaster. If your barn collapses in a storm you'd be amazed how your neighbors will rally round to help.  And if you neighborhood is flooded by a hurricane, you'll be amazed by all the fishermen launching their bass fishing boats to help out.

It is pretty obvious why this is so. It's a question of survival. Down the ages, humans have rallied together when faced with an existential peril -- and survived.

Notice that there is another kind of evil that humans combine to fight against: a moral evil. So whereas it is political leaders that bring us all together to fight an existential peril, it is moral leaders, the priests, the bring us all together to fight a moral evil.

In the present fight over The Wall, President Trump is making the existential case to keep out dangerous foreigners, while Speaker Pelosi is making the moral case that a wall -- or at least This Wall -- is immoral.

A vital part of every appeal to unity to fight the existential danger is: Hate. The political leader always teaches us to hate the enemy on the border. And the moral leader teaches us to hate the Evil One that is threatening the moral order. The best thing is to represent the Hate you generate in your supporters as a rage for justice and to represent the Hate in your opponents as Literally Hitler. Because we wouldn't want anyone to think that we are all Haters at heart.  No, no. We are the good guys, and the other guys are the Haters.

So, if you want to get anything done in politics, you have to conjure up an existential peril, and rally your supporters to fight the foe. In normal times this means that the two political parties will be rallying their supporters to fight the other guys over some existential issue. Sometimes the issue will be physical, such as an army on the border; sometimes the issue will be moral.

In the good old days local political differences were resolved by civil and dynastic wars. But we are above all that, at least for now.

The idea of democratic politics with a legislature and all is to convert actual civil war into a fake civil war called an "election" and then continue the sham fight with lively debates in the legislature where elected politicians throw verbal barbs instead of real ones at each other, and then defuse the natural tendency to fight endlessly over some real or imagined issue by splitting the difference with half a loaf, or by shifting the costs of the issue on some third party that isn't at the negotiating table.

It really is very clever. Instead of plundering the losers by sacking their cities and robbing them of all their worldly goods right then and there, you plunder them gradually with taxes laid by democratic votes in the legislature. Instead of grabbing the loot and passing in out among your supporters in the smoking ruins of your opponent,  you pass out the goodies to your  supporters every month with a check. This is not that hard to understand. Any shepherd will advise you not to kill the sheep to get its wool, but rather to shear the live sheep every year.

Obviously it is not good when the political parties can't agree to disagree and instead insist on all or nothing. But it is not surprising. After all, if we are facing an existential crisis, it obviously will not do to compromise; we are talking life and death here!

Going back a couple centuries or more we had a bunch of political thinkers here in the West who invented a politics that would try to dial down the natural enmities among men. That was what all the fuss and feathers about democratic elections, dual-camera legislatures, and separation of powers was all about. These chaps decided that politics and conquest was not the best way to resolve human differences. So they attempted to mew up politics and politicians with a web of rules and opposed institutions to discourage squabbling and reward fair dealing in the corridors of power.

But then came a bunch of political thinkers that invented a politics that made political power into the very salvation of mankind. There are still a lot of them around, and this kind of politics is taught to all our young people in the government schools and government-funded universities.

It becomes very tricky to conduct politics when one side thinks that politics should be confined in a zoo and the other side thinks that their particular brand of saving politics should roam free and unconstrained -- while the other side is nothing but privilege and hate.

But that is where we are.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Attempting a Scientific Explanation of Elite Hate

The last couple months have been definitive, if you ask me.

First, our lefty friends utterly abandoned all the principles of our Anglo-Saxon legal tradition in their hate-filled attacks on a nominee to the Supreme Court. "Believe all women" they cried.

Second, our lefty friends utterly abandoned all principles of decency when they took out after a white Catholic teenager wearing a MAGA hat in the face of a Native American mostly peaceful protester.

I think the two events show our human propensity to go with our faith rather than the facts. And I think that this is both natural and physical.

In other words, I propose that to "keep the faith" with your tribe or your religion, or your family, or the place you work is a fundamental part of being human. I propose that the reason we humans are alive today is in part because of this blind allegiance to "our" side, and our blind hatred for the "other" side.

And I like to say that the big reason for humans "keeping the faith" has been the necessity of defending our own little patch of food-growing land from other people. Nothing wrong with other people. It's just that only one tribe or village at a time can occupy a patch of land and harvest its food. Same thing goes for chimpanzees where the males defend their patch of food-growing land from the males in the neighboring troop. If you don't defend your patch of land from competitors then you soon will be out of food. Curtains, according to philosopher Bugs Bunny.

But then came cities, and then the industrial revolution, and the world changed. All of a sudden, it didn't really matter who owned the patch of land. Because now humans could trade for everything. Now the only thing that mattered was deploying a skill that you could trade for the necessaries of life.

I don't think we really appreciate what a staggering change this is.

By the way, do you remember that "H" word chap? One of the basic principles he propagated in his book was the obvious fact that a people needed to live on their own food-growing land.

Formerly, what humans needed was a firm tribal solidarity so that, at a moment's notice, its young men could be mobilized to defend the border of its patch of land. I dare say that the whole panoply of tribal culture that involves worshiping the same god, loving our tribe, and hating the next tribe over, is all a part of the human need, right until yesterday, to defend the patch of land.

But now everything has changed. Now the question is not how do we figure out new ways to defend our patch of land from other people. Now the question is how do I figure out new ways to increase my skills and create products and services, all so that other people will buy my labor and purchase my products and services.

Do you see the difference? Formerly, other people were a danger. Today, other people are an opportunity.

So, the world has changed.

But, obviously, there are bound to be people that don't get it. And there are bound to be people that, after repeated demonstrations of fundamental transformation, still don't get it. That, after all is what religion and culture and politics is all about. You hold onto your religious, cultural, and political faith even though you are getting signals that everything has changed.

So when Marx and Engels said, in the years when the industrial revolution was starting to hit Germany, that nothing had changed, that the old domination of feudal lords over agricultural peasants would be replaced by the domination of the bourgeoisie over the industrial workers, they had a point. It stood to reason that once the rising bourgeoisie had achieved political and economic hegemony it would rule and dominate just like the feudal barons of old.

Only Marx and Engels were wrong. The bourgeoisie did not become a new feudal elite, and exploit the workers into the ground. They were willing to dilute their power by giving the workers the vote. I like to say that the reason this happened was because the bourgeoisie was not that interested in power.

Too bad, because by the time that the facts on the ground indicated that Marx and Engels were wrong, the two agitators had been transformed into the prophets of a new religion, a religion of believers in the holy commitment to advocate for the wretched of the earth and lead them in a political movement against the bourgeoisie and its program of domination and exploitation that the prophets had foretold.

But I don't want you to think that this disinterest in power demonstrated any particular virtue in the bourgeoisie. It is just that in the bourgeois religion and culture and experience it pays to get along with other people as co-workers, as customers, as clients, as lenders, as borrowers. So that is what bourgeois people do.

The problem is that the movement that Marx and Engels created is based on the old principle of implacable opposition between my group and your group. It didn't matter that the facts on the ground belied the lefty faith in class conflict. Humans live by faith. And when our human faith is challenged we tend to redouble our faith rather than question it. By the time that facts on the ground indicated that Marx and Engels were wrong the new religion was in the saddle and propagating its faith all over the world.

And just in time a new generation of prophets arose. When World War I demonstrated that the old class conflict theory was problematic, because the workers identified with their nation before their class, a new generation of prophets prophesied the white male exploitation of women and minorities.

OK, so in the Sixties, the males and the whites were persuaded to accede to Civil Rights Acts to guarantee rights for women and minorities. Once again, the broad middle class demonstrated that it was not that interested in power. It was perfectly willing to allow women and minorities into the charmed circle of male white privilege. (Dirty little secret: it is not power that makes the world go round, not any more; so the evil white male monsters were not giving up the philosopher's stone or the Ring of Power).

But the Faith! The Faith in the power of educated enlightened activists to Smash the Power! Just because the world has demonstrated that Power is not the only thing, or not even much of a thing at all, that has nothing to do with the Faith of educated white ruling-class activists of good family in the sacred calling of activism to save the wretched of the earth from oppression and exploitation with the Ring of Transformative Political Power.

And this is what we are seeing. People, especially white liberal ruling-class people, are interpreting the images of the day in the light of their faith. In the affair of Brett Kavanaugh the faithful did not see the monstrous injustice of using un-corroborated accusations from high-school days. What mattered was their faith in abortion and their terror that their abortion rights might some day be reduced -- and this from women mostly beyond their child-bearing years. People, especially white liberal ruling-class people, are interpreting the Covington Kid as a smirking toxic white male oppressor. They do not see the vile racism of black religious cultists that had spent a hour yelling vile racist, sexist, homophobic slurs at the kids. They do not see the vile bigotry of a Native American forcing his drumming culture in the faces of people that maybe weren't all that interested in Native American drumming culture. They saw nothing except what their faith taught them to see: a white male kid in a MAGA hat "smirking" at a helpless Native American victim.

My point is that the faith of our liberal masters believes in a world in which racism sexism and homophobia are everywhere. It is not surprising that, in faithful observance of their faith, our liberal masters do in fact find racism, sexism, and homophobia everywhere they expect to find it. That is the whole point of faith.

And our liberal masters are utterly oblivious of the fact that their program of Affirmative Action that became diversity and inclusion is racism and sexism, straight up. Their program uses government power to privilege people according to their race and gender.

But have some compassion for these poor deluded ruling-class folks. They are merely believing and practicing what they have been carefully taught, to hate and to fear the people that their teachers have told them are racists, sexists, and homophobes.

At some point, I think, our liberal masters are going to experience a crisis of belief, when the world will start to crash in on their walled garden of faith, and it will suddenly start to dawn on them that everything they believe is a lie, including "and" and "the."

In my view these crises of belief occur in witch-hunting events that we also call a Reign of Terror, a Great Purge, or a Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. The crisis occurs because the saving faith of a revolution is not quite delivering on its promises. So the faithful amp up the voltage, because obviously the only way to bring on the millennium is to start eletrocuting the heretics.

And then the whole thing collapses in a Thermidorian Reaction.

Of course, this natural and physical process of purging might take years, even decades. But you never know. It might all be over tomorrow, or possibly November 4, 2020.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Why Don't We Normals Have Anti-left Pejoratives?

When someone calls you a racist, sexist, homophobe what do you do?

I mean, here in America, the land of the free and the brave, any blue-check lefty-liberal can get up on Twitter and call anyone a Nazi, or "literally Hitler," and we normals have nothing to say, except  "No I'm not."

Which as we know basically concedes the cultural stage to the lefties.

In a nation with civil rights laws, it shouldn't matter if I'm a racist or you are a homophobe. The point is that the government and a corporation can't discriminate against you on the basis of race or sex or sexual preference.

Or, to use a lefty meme, if the principle of non-discrimination occupies the commanding heights of  culture and politics, then a group of racist tiki-torchers really don't matter; they are, as we say, too marginalized to matter.

Of course, in reality, according to the mendacious concept of "diversity and inclusion," the government and corporations actively discriminate in favor of woman and minorities, so the tiki-torchers are even less powerful than you might think.

And the lie that some kid in a MAGA hat is a danger to shipping is a bunch of baloney. But then, what notion from the left, ever since the marginal revolution blew up the classical economics in Marx's Capital in 1870, hasn't been a bunch of baloney?

Still. It would be nice to have some delicious pejorative to sling at lefty-liberal Twitter thugs. It is not so much the ability to insult that I am interested in, but the ability to signal that we normals occupy the high ground and the lefties better watch out.

The problem is that we normals are not really in the business of cultural warfare. We are People of the Responsible Self and we are not organized in para-military fashion ready at a moment's notice to descent on some lefty cultural thug to teach him a lesson. We just want to live our responsible lives, obeying the law, going to work, and following the rules. We just wish that the lefties would mind their own business and stop bothering us.

If you have been reading my stuff you may know that my brilliant, though reductive, Three Peoples theory tells us what should be the cultural norm in America.

In my book, People of the Responsible Self should be tolerant of the groupishness of People of the Subordinate Self. The point is that People of the Subordinate Self,  the workers and peasants and traditionally marginalized groups of which we've heard tell, have not yet developed the cultural and economic skills to experience and live modern life as competent People of the Responsible Self do. So we should cut them some slack.

The germ of truth in the left's pejoratives about race and white supremacy and toxic masculinity is that white males are perhaps the most adapted to a responsible life in the city and therefore ought to be understanding and tolerant of people that have not yet achieved those economic and cultural skills.

But in my book, the People of the Creative Self should be tolerant of the responsibility culture and the rigid rules of the People of the Responsible Self. As Nietzsche pointed out, the life of a genuine creative person is hard: many are called but few are chosen. Most people really don't have the chops to be a creative artist, or writer, or journalist, or start-up businessman. So it is monstrous and vile to attack the normies because they don't quite measure up to the lofty creative standards of the creative elite, which most of the time our lefty friends cannot live up to, because they don't have the creative chops and the Nietzschean hardness to make it as a creative.

OK, great. So our lords and masters of the educated ruling class should be more understanding, more tolerant -- hey, even compassionate -- of us dull routinist normals.

But how do we recover a cultural space and the right to our dull routinist cultural beliefs and "make" the lefties respect us?

I can think of a lot of clever retorts to the accusation of racism, sexism, homophobia, or toxic masculinity, such as:
How's your Two Minute Hate going today, precious?
Look, diversity/ inclusion is racism, straight up. 
Where's the toxic masculinity if colleges are 60 percent female? 
What white supremacy? There is nothing more shameful and low-rent today that being a white male in a MAGA hat.
But that falls short of a one-word insult. And let's face it: it took a while for liberals to make "racist" the most shameful insult ever.

Maybe the way to deflate the "racist" insult is to say: "Of course, and how about you?"

But there is still a problem.

I'm not sure that developing a quiver of cultural arrows that we can launch at a moment's notice on Twitter is "who we are."

I think that more realistic is getting ordinary middle-class women -- wives of men and mothers of boys -- to be saying to each other in their kaffee-klatsches: "I can't believe (some lefty activist or Democratic politician) said that."

One little problem with the Trump rebellion is that nice suburban women were offended by the macho insult methods of Trump. I get that. Trump lives the male Culture of Insult, and women prefer the action indirect: "I can't believe she said that!"

But shouldn't suburban women be just as offended by the Twitter thugs that could descend on their husbands and children at any moment with a vile and insulting accusation that could ruin their lives?

Nietzsche, after all, writes in Ecce Homo:
Woman...  after all, the state of nature, the eternal war between the sexes, gives her by far the first rank.
So take it away, ladies! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

The Great Reaction - Table of Contents

The Great Reaction: The Left's Fight Against the Double Revolution of Physics and Market

Table of  Contents

1. Communism Week: The Real Revolution of the Modern Age
Two revolutions, in physics and the economy

2. The Counterrevolutions of the Modern Age
Communism-socialism and environmentalism for a start

3. The Two Heads of the Forces of Lefty Reaction
"Activism" and neo-feudalism, for a start

4. The Two Heads of Reaction: How Do We Deal With Them
Against neo-tribalism of identity politics the nation state; against neo-feudalism the corporation

5. The Great Reaction Also Includes Neo-Sacrifice
Neo-sacrifice is what totalitarianism is all about

6. Great Reaction: Plus Neo-Guilt
we are talking about guilt for white privilege and the patriarchy

7. Great  Reaction:  The Left's Neo-Tyranny
The tyranny of political force is needed to create the left's better world

8. The Grand Narrative of the Postmodernists
And a grand narrative to oppose their grand narrative

9. Whither the Culture War Now?
We need warriors saying the world is more than masters and slaves, or activists and victims.

10. The Power of Nostaglia
People get all nostalgic when the old order is already breaking up

11. Great Reaction: The Story So Far
A recitation of all the Neo-isms

12. Great Reaction: Slavery and Scapegoating
The left takes us back to the slavery of the agricultural age and the scapegoating of the tribe.

13. What Will it Take to End the Progressive "Great Reaction?"
When educated-class white women realize they have been had.

14. Egalitarianism is Neo-Meat-Sharing
Modern wealth is shared every day, so no need for taboos against hoarding.

15. Now the Psychologists Come Out Against Traditional Masculinity
Creatives have no tolerance for Responsibles

16. The Left's Religion of Political Power
It's the old way of protecting yourself, before the Industrial Revolution.

The Left's Religion of Political Power

They say that Lenin's question -- Who? Whom? (кто, ктого) -- is the central question of politics: who gets to do what to whom?

But let us try to understand this at a higher level. The question for social animals like humans is how disagreements are to be handled, and the basic question is how to minimize the expensive and risky resort to force. That is the meaning of Jordan B. Peterson introducing the lobster into his 12 Rules. The lobster is a creature that goes back 300 million years, yet it is programmed to avoid force by use of the concept of hierarchy. In other words, lobsters know their place in the hierarchy and accept their place most of the time. This means that not every lobster conflict -- usually having to do with sex -- is settled by force.

The same thing, Peterson wanted us to understand, applies to humans. We have hierarchy to minimize the incidence of violence. And incidentally, the incidence of violence has gone down from 500 violent deaths per 100,000 per year in the hunter-gatherer age, to 50 per 100,000 in the high Middle Ages, to 5 per 100,000 today in the US.

But today we have a completely new way of reducing violence than mere hierarchy. It is the market system. Instead of the hierarchy among males in the village, or the hierarchy among landowners in a hierarchy of feudal vassalage, we have the interactions of market buying and selling. The guy that satisfies the demands of the consumers at the sweet spot of price and quality preferred by the consumers makes more profit and gets to mate with a more beautiful girl than the guy that is not quite as attuned to the choices of the consumers. No need to resort to fisticuffs. 

We do not appreciate just how much of a staggering revolution this represents in human social cooperation. Let us look at it through the lens of the Indian caste system. Here, everyone inherits the caste status of their parents and their means of livelihood: priest, warrior, merchant and artisans, laborers, and untouchables. But suppose things change and society needs more merchants and artisans and less laborers? Or suppose the prince Gautama Siddhartha wants to become a priest? Sorry, Charlie, no can do. Thus the unfortunates either submit to the caste system or they bust it up.

We moderns would regard such social rigidity as a recipe for revolution. But, most likely, down the centuries of the agricultural age it didn't much matter. Things didn't change much except for the odd invasion and the periodic famine, so what else were we going to do?

But the thing about the market system, we have learned, is constant change and constant economic revolution. This constant change and constant economic revolution, scientists say, is the basis of the extraordinary economic growth of the last two centuries: there has never been anything like it before, not ever.

But think of it. If there is going to be an economic revolution every generation -- machine textiles; steam power; steam transportation; oil illumination; electric power; internal combustion engine transportation; cheap steel; airborne transportation; computers; internet; smartphones -- then in every generation there is going to be an upheaval in the economic lives of the people. And the people that were doing very well just yesterday will find that the new thing has utterly cut their livelihood to ribbons. We know that when this happens to people they are not happy.

In the old days of agriculture there wasn't much the average person could do if the weather or the climate or the ruler changed. You died or survived; if you could you migrated in the knowledge that to stay put meant starvation. If you had a bit of military might you might try to resolve your problem with a spot of conquest and loot and plunder.

But today? Today there are two strategies for dealing with economic change. You can keep your eyes open and respond to the changes in the market for labor and skills by adapting when things go against you. Or you can depend on the political system to bail you out of trouble. You can follow the market or you can follow a political leader.

In my view the strategy of adapting is the new and the revolutionary way of dealing with the world; and the resort to politics is the old and the dysfunctional strategy. If you use the adaptation strategy in your life you are likely to weather the inevitable changes and revolutions in the economy; if you use the political strategy you will likely end up like the white working class that is reported to be dying of despair. If you adopt the adaptation strategy you are surrendering to the verdict of the market and its price system; if you adopt the political strategy you must surrender to some political leader that promises to lead you to safety and justice.

This is why I have declared that the leftist movement is a Great Reaction. It is a reactionary faith in the power of politics and force to put off the challenge of economic change.

It's all very well to allow combinations of workers in restraint of trade. But nothing is going to save a mature corporation where the workers are organized into a labor union and the labor union leaders refuse to countenance pay cuts when a recession bites or the market changes. But if there had not been a labor union then there is a chance that the corporation might have weathered the recession or adapted to a change in the market. The truth is that union workers are trapped in the walled garden of their above-market union wages and benefits. Everything is great until the market rings down the curtain.

It's all very well to legislate a pay-as-you-go old-age pension scheme funded by taxes, but what happens if life expectancy changes? Or the birth rate changes? What happens as, over the years, the politicians rejigger the plan to reward various political supporters? What happens as, year after year, the politicians put off adjusting the workers' contributions to the plan and the beneficiaries' benefits from the plan?

It's all very well to interpret the Civil Rights Acts as demanding Affirmative Action of hiring by race and sex or "diversity and inclusion" which is the same thing by a different name. But how are you ever going to bring the system of reverse discrimination to an end when the people benefiting are going to raise holy hell if you try to cut back on their benefits?

Our lefty friends believe that political power is the way to resolve the problems of the people: legislation to protect workers from the bosses. Government pensions to assist people in old age. Hiring quotas to assist people marginalized in olden times. But I say that this political faith is a reactionary return to a philosophy of force. And I say that the whole point of social cooperation from lobsters to humans is to reduce the costly and destructive incidence of force.

I say that when a new idea comes along that allows the resolution of millions of economic transactions through the market and prices and avoiding the indirect power of hierarchy, it should be understood as an astonishing miracle. And it should be a signal for our modern advanced and evolved citizens to educate the people and lead them to the promised land teach them to worship the new god, and they should be the first to abandon the worship of the graven images of the old god and his philosophy of force.

And my faith is that we are living through the last tempestuous years where the lefty reactionaries are making their last desperate efforts to cling onto their crumbling faith in political power and government force.

Hey, it's not really that surprising. Humans live in the past as much as the present, and many of us long for a return to an imagined golden age. The current market economy is a brutal and unimaginable destruction of all old and venerable customs and culture. Of course there are many of us that long for that wondrous time in the past when everyone lived in communal bliss.

But I am here to say that the left's Great Reaction back to the old faith in political power is a monstrous lie: for socialism is neo-slavery; the welfare state is neo-feudalism; and lefty identity politics is neo-tribalism.

They way to the Promised Land flowing with the milk and honey of the market economy is the way of a new god, and his Ten Commandments begin with the command that thou shalt have no other gods, such as the gods of political power, before him.

Don't doubt me on this.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Interpreting a Smirk in 2019

Hey Catholics! Any of you guys planning to vote Democrat any time soon after the Covington kids free-for-all?
Considering that liberal Democratic senators now want to apply religious tests on Catholic judge nominees. 
Considering that your average Twitter leftie looks at a clean cut Catholic high-school kid trying to be polite to a mostly peaceful protester drumming right in his face and sees a racist sexist white supremacist smirk.
Yeah it's interesting. Your average Twitter mobster looks at a clean-cut white kid trying to be polite and sees a monster. Not to mention having nothing to say about a bunch of African Americans spewing racist sexist homophobic bile at a bunch of white kids.

Yeah it's interesting. It's nothing for a bunch of leftie mostly peaceful counter-protesters to insult pro-lifers at the annual March for Life. Nothing to see here.

But imagine if a bunch of MAGA-hat wearers showed up at the sacred (and anti-semitic) Women's March. I am not talking about them showing up and shouting "build the wall," or marching around with fife and drum playing Yankee Doodle and singing "Baby Ir's Cold Outside." I am talking about some MAGA folks just showing up at a sacred lefty mostly peaceful protest. Imagine the outcry! Imagine the doxxing! Imagine the vile threats! Imagine the foaming lefties throwing themselves on the ground in a rage about white supremacy and toxic masculinity!

If you are a mom, what do you think about the possibility that your polite teenage son could be traduced from one end of Twitter to the other? Imagine mostly peaceful lefties interfering with your son's college applications. Whaddya think of that?

If you are a dad, what do you think about the American Psychological Association deciding that the normal masculine traits that you are teaching your son are an expression of "toxic masculinity?" Whaddya think of that?

Now, I believe that my reductive Three Peoples theory explains the whole procedure. What we have in America and on all the ships at sea is a natural tendency among the special People of the Creative Self to regard the ordinary People of the Responsible Self as less than human, or at the very least, limited, rigid, superstitious and bigoted.

This is a natural tribal instinct, and that is why certain wise heads developed the notion of tolerance, the separation of church and state, or belief systems and force systems. The idea was to keep our natural tribal instincts down to a dull roar, and let other people live according to their lights, even if there lights were rather dim.

You see, when you are a creative person the basis of your world view is that the established cultural memes are there to be broken. Nobody, you think, should just accept the mores and the beliefs of yesteryear. The meaning of life, the universe and everything, you believe, is to break the mold, to create something new: break old sexual roles, both in bed and out of it, break old ways in art and literature, etc. Transvaluation of all values, baby. And if you don't agree you are a racist sexist homophobe.

Well, I say that such an attitude is great among People of the Creative Self. But I say it is utterly wrong to insist that everybody else believe in and practice your religion of creativity. Because, as my Three Peoples theory explains, there are also in this world People of the Responsible Self and their belief system says that you should live your life as a responsible individual according to well-established religious and cultural rules about how men should behave, how women should behave, and how children should be raised. You think that your religion of creativity gets to impose itself on all the other religions of the world? Just between you and me, pal, I think that your attitude is a recipe for religious war.

And suppose that you chaps of the Creative Self lost that religious war? What would you do then, poor things?

My warrant for my belief is the lesson that the People of the Creative Self, the Educated Youth of the 19th century, taught the People of the Responsible Self, the bourgeoisie way back when. Educated Youth -- like Marx, Engels, and the British Fabians -- said that it was monstrous -- not to mention unjust -- of the bourgeoisie to insist on a society of individualism, markets, and laissez faire, and impose it on the working class. The working class wanted the protection of labor unions, of wage-and-hour laws, of government-run social insurance, and they had a right to insist on it, and pass laws to institutionalize it. Maybe some day they would want to become People of the Responsible Self, but right now they wanted society to protect them from the harsh winds of corporate power and market prices.

And you know what? The bourgeoisie basically accepted this critique; they gave the workers the vote and the workers voted for government benefits and the combinations in restraint of trade implied by organizing into labor unions.

Speaking as an upper-middle-class person I am perfectly willing to be taxed to support social insurance programs for the workers-- not to mention widows and orphans. But I don't want to be forced to be enrolled in them. In other words, I want the right to be a responsible person and take care of my own retirement income through personal savings and investment, and I want to be responsible for my own end-of-life medical and custodial care.

But the Educated Youth of the 19th century and the educated ruling class of today deny me the right to be a responsible individual in these central issues of life. The educated rulers arrogate to themselves and their supporters the right to dominate and control the People of the Responsible Self and make them march to their idea of justice; they deny ordinary responsible people the freedom to organize their lives in their own way according to their own lights.

See what I mean? Back in the day lefties demanded that the middle class adjust the political system to accommodate the workers. Today the lefties demand that the right to adjust the political and cultural system to suit themselves, and to hell with the People of the Responsible Self as mere "deplorables,"

So I say that the lefty People of the Creative Self are cruel and unjust, and violate their own sacred principles of inclusion and diversity and compassion for those less fortunate, less educated, less evolved than themselves.

And that is why I think that ordinary Catholics -- not to mention ordinary moms and ordinary dads -- are slowly coming to see that the Democratic Party and the Twitter thugs are not their kind of people and that it is not likely that they will be voting Democratic much in future elections. Because justice.

Monday, January 21, 2019

What Do We Know About Sex in the Lower Classes?

If you think about the sexual revolution of the last century, you soon realize that almost all you know is about the educated class.

I was reminded of this as I read Stefan Zweig's excellent memorial, The World of Yesterday, of his adult life from about 1900 to 1940.

Zweig tells us all about the horror of girls in high bourgeois cities like Vienna being trussed up in girdles and corsets that completely disguised their real bodies, and mourns their utter ignorance about sex. That was upper-class bourgeoise girls. Whatabout the tidal wave of prostitutes that the young men of the era patronized, given that they couldn't sample the wares of the well-born girls that were being chaperoned out of all recognition.

How much better it was, he writes, after World War I when young people could freely mix and match, and actually be friends with the opposite sex.

Well, Zweig died in 1942 so he couldn't have known about the "sexual revolution" of the 1960s arising out of the pill and abortion on demand. And he couldn't have known about today's confused backlash against the sexual revolution in the #MeToo campaign and the demand for safe spaces and the Age of  the Cat Lady.

But one thing that struck me was that apart from prostitution, we folks in the Olympian world of the educated class really have no idea how sex goes down in the lower classes.

The only thing I know is the progress of the Irish Americans from "shanty Irish" and 50,000 "nymphs of the pave" in the New York City of the mid 19th century to "lace curtain Irish" by the turn of the 20th century. I translate this to mean that in 1850 the potato-famine Irish were dumped on the streets of New York and Boston and had to make their way as best they could. But by the turn of the century, with the help of Archbishop "Dagger" John Hughes and the slogan "first build the school, then the church" the Catholic Irish had achieved an astonishing and remarkable ascent to middle-class respectability.

So, what was going on with the family and sex in the world "below" the middle class all this time? What was the effect of the cultural transformation between the Edwardian era and the inter-war period on the European and North American working classes? We know all about hippies and feminists in the Sixties, but what was going down in the households of factory workers and policemen and firemen? I doubt if All in the Family exhausts  the possibilities.

And what did the welfare revolution of the Sixties do to the lower classes? We know that premarital childbearing went up and marriage went down. And thanks to Charles Murray and Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960-2010 we know that, in upper-class households, career and merger marriages reign, while career and marriage aren't that firm in the middle. And that the bottom 30 percent don't work much and don't marry much.

And that is just for white people!

See, my feeling is that back in the day liberals were drenching us with narratives about working-class life and then African American life, in service to their lefty politics, but what did we really learn?

And in the aftermath of the civil rights era, I'd say that things aren't going so great that liberals want to talk about them.

All I know about lower-class life is from visits to Rudy's Barbershop where I encounter the tattooed and the pierced at first hand. Or I interact with the aides that attended upon Lady Marjorie's mother at her end of life. Just between you and me, I feel that life ain't so great if you live outside the charmed circle of the educated class.

That's because the educated class is great at making a society fit for the educated to live in, but really doesn't have a clue about anyone else, except as a vehicle for activism.

Of course, you know me. I blame liberals for everything. For demolishing the unions and fraternal organizations and mutual aid societies of the 19th century. For demolishing the Catholic Church with Vatican II in the Sixties. For demolishing the lower-class family with welfare on demand. For sending women on a wild goose chase of "career" which was society's amazing solution to the problem of how to socialize aggressive men. For devaluing sex with abortion-on-demand and divorce-on-demand and the attack on bourgeois respectability.

See, I wonder how kids are socialized about sex and marriage in the lower classes today. I wonder how all the ruling-class obsessions about non-binary genders and the rape crisis and #MeToo and safe spaces plays by the time it has filtered out of the educated class out onto the street.

It may be just me, but I don't believe that the obsessions of well-born women and carefully-taught activists has any relevance to the lives of ordinary people that work at "jobs."

I guess that I should keep a weather eye out for writing that would give me a clue about life outside the charmed circle of ruling class privilege and ruling-class obsession. I'll bet it's out there, for anyone willing to pay attention.

And Stefan Zweig has reminded me that to learn anything useful you have to pay attention and look away from the endless rubbish of ruling-class propaganda.

I better get to work.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Little Darlings - Table of Contents

Little Darlings of the Ruling Class

Table of Contents

1. The Dance of the Three Peoples
Some of the subordinates get to be Little Darlings.

2. The Cruel Fate of the Ruling Class's "Little Darlings"
Eventually the ruling class casts them aside like an ageing lover.

3. Real Critical Theory: How About a Critique of Leftism?
Little darlings always end up in the garbage can of history.

4. The Plague of Fake Politics
When rich kids advocate for poor kids, watch out.

5. When a Lefty Comes to Visit
How to tell him that his Little Darlings would do fine without him.

6. One of These Victim Groups is Not Like The Others
But which one? Oh, of course: the deplorable white working class.

7. The Power of Nostaglia
Don't get all nostalgic for the Good Old Days. The nostalgia could kill you.

8. Why I Think Jordan Peterson is Important
He says what I say, only better.

9. To What Do the Three Peoples Subordinate Themselves?
To earthly gods, to divine gods, and the creative process.

10. The Knotty Problem at the Center of Western Politics
How does the ruling class keep its old little darlings happy while romancing the new ones?

Friday, January 18, 2019

The Knotty Problem at the Center of Western Politics

I've been reading the autobiographical look at the glory days of Vienna before World War I by Stefan Zweig: The World of Yesterday. The book depicts the glorious summer afternoon of bourgeois luxuriance, before working-class politics took over and built the welfare state, and before the Great War and its ruinous post-war inflation unleashed Bolshevism and Nazism.

Well, there was the terrifying day that the workers staged their first May Day parade and marched to the Prater, the great public park in the center of Vienna -- and nothing happened! The workers and their wives marched "four abreast" singing the Internationale and their kids sang school songs. Just a Sunday afternoon at the park!

Zweig and all his buddies in high school were absolutely transfixed and intoxicated by the ongoing revolution in the arts, from Nietzsche to Hofmannstahl to Mahler. But at the same time, there was this young chap, son of a customs official, who experienced fin de siècle Vienna as a mortal threat to ethnic Germans because in the Austrian-Hungarian empire ethnic Germans were a divided minority fighting against all the other ethnic nationalities: Czechs, Hungarians, Jews, you name it. You may know his name; it begins with an "H."

The point is that the Hapsburg imperial regime had been playing mild ethnic politics with all the various ethnic identities for decades, and thought it had the whole thing pretty well in hand. No doubt it did, provided it did not get into a losing war and lose most of its revenue and therefore find itself unable to reward its supporters in the manner they expected.

In many ways we are in a similar position all across the West. Our ruling class successfully marshalled the working class into the bourgeois state decades ago by rewarding it with a broad array of neo-feudal benefits while warping the bourgeois state of individual rights and limited government almost out of recognition -- and dealing itself lots of lovely sinecures.

Then our ruling class brought high-born women and blacks into the room with the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960s. This was a great idea except that the supporters of political parties are not really interested in rights: they are interested in loot, which was delivered first as Affirmative Action, then diversity, and now diversity and inclusion. Hey, handing out loot and privilege is what politicians do, whether they wear kingly crowns or merely facelifts.

The problem is that, first, people are insatiable: what have you done for me lately; second, at some point you run out of other peoples' money; and third, the ruling class tends to forget who deserves what loot and why.

That's how I understand the rage of the white working class here in the US, of the gilets jaunes in France, and of the White Van Man in Britain. Was a time when these folks were the little darlings of the ruling class. Well, when you are a little darling you are supposed to get regular presents from your sugar daddy, right? How come the presents stopped coming?

Of course, from the ruling class things look different. Hey, pal, you are still getting your Social Security, your Medicare, your health insurance, so what's yer problem? Well, any little darling knows the answer to that. How come you don't look at me the way you used to, Daddykins? And it's Sugar-Puff, not "pal."

But the thing is that the ruling class promised a perfect world of safety and justice and benefits, and that the working class and the gilets jaunes would live happily ever after. And the little darlings, starting to get lonely in their love-nests remember every loving word, every promise, every gorgeous present of jewelry from Sugar Daddy as if it were yesterday.

The answer, to chaps like me is to tell the little darlings that their first mistake was that first date with the married Sugar Daddy. Sooner or later, you have to get with the bourgeois program,  and stop believing in the blandishments of every damn politician to show up on the hustings.

But, as Stefan Zweig points out, all good things come to and end. That long-ago glorious summer of the Viennese bourgeoisie, particularly including the Jewish bourgeoisie, came to a crashing end -- through no fault, really, of the bourgeoisie. The Hapsburgs got reduced to Dukes. And after the crash, you have to suck it in, and get with the program.

So I dare say that the knotty problem at the center of  western politics: how does the wise and worthy ruling class take care of the ageing stable of little darlings while beguiling the pretty new faces at  the same time and still keeping a credit balance at the bank?

I  don't  know. I just don't want  to be the fall guy that has the pay the bill for the ruling class's many follies and injustices.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

To What Do The Three Peoples Subordinate Themselves?

One of the delicious things about my reductive Three Peoples theory, that there are three kinds of people -- People of the Subordinate Self, People of the Responsible Self, and People of the Creative Self -- is that it makes me think.

For instance, the whole point of the People of the Subordinate Self, workers and peasants, is that they consciously subordinate themselves to some loving -- or not so loving -- lord. If you are a peasant you hope that the landowner from who you rent your land, or whose serf you are, will protect you from the usual looters and plunderers that range across the fertile plains you farm.

But will he come to your aid when you do call him? Obviously, he will come -- if it makes sense to him. But what if he does not? What recourse do you, a lowly peasant, have to ensure that he protects you? It is pretty obvious that the serf only gets protection from his loving lord if the mood takes him.

What about the workers? Same thing. Their employers tend to make all kinds of comforting promises in their employee manuals. But when the profits turn to losses, then the bosses will start cutting costs, doing the tough job of management that maybe they had been neglecting in the fat years. Yeah! But what about the labor union? Yes indeed. The union does make a difference; it makes it much more difficult for the management to manage and make hard decisions about laying off the workers. But the result of that difficulty is that the employer will fail to take tough action until his back is up against the wall. So probably the whole enterprise will go down in one big implosion and bankruptcy. And instead of a trickle of workers getting laid off over a period of time, they will all be laid off together, making it much more difficult for them to get a job.

OK, so the People of the Subordinate Self are screwed, any way you look at it, because they have trusted themselves to employers and union leaders that cannot protect them when the going gets tough. I have memorialized the unenviable position subordinate people with my notion of "Little Darlings."

What about the People of the Responsible Self? They experience themselves as individuals, responsible for their lives. So, strictly speaking they should be wary of landlords, knowing that the landlord doesn't care about them, but only about his rents. They should be wary of employers, knowing that employers are going to save the corporation, not the workers, when the going gets tough.

It seems to me that the responsible person must subordinate himself to the will of the market. Let us just think in terms of work skills. If our responsible worker sees his wages increasing that is a sign that the labor market is bidding up the wages of people like him. But if he sees that his wages are stagnant, that is a warning signal. Look out, pal: Red light ahead. And so our responsible person would set about improving skills, or maybe acquiring new skills.

The point is that the responsible person does not imagine that anyone cares about people like him. All they care about is that he can do the job, and does his work to benefit the company.

Now we come to our friends the People of the Creative Self. They experience themselves, as Nietzsche pointed out, as the Übermensch, the "overman," or "superman," or however you want to translate the untranslatable word from the German.

Then there is Joseph Campbell and his Hero's Journey, where the hero, if he is up to scratch, returns sadder and wiser from his journey into the underworld of his unconscious to deliver a boon to mankind. Or if we prefer, we can use the concepts from Jung, lately popularized by Jordan Peterson, and see the creative person as the Sacrificial Hero exploring the boundary between Order and Chaos.

It seems to me that the creative person, the truly creative person, surrenders himself to the creative process, knowing that, in making the journey into the unconscious, into the exploration of the boundary between Chaos and Order, the chances are he will never come back. Because in creativity, many are called and few are chosen.

I think that one of the great facts of our current era is that many people that think of themselves as evolved and creative are not really willing to make the sacrifice needed. They want their cake and eat it too. They want to be creative, but at the same time strut their stuff as if they were already returned from the Hero's Journey with that creative boon to mankind. Sorry Charlie. If you want to be a true creative, you must surrender yourself to the creative process, and accept that you will probably disappear into the trackless waste of the underworld of your unconscious, never to return.

Now, this does not exhaust the possibilities. What about people that are living on the borderlands between the Three Peoples? What about the people, for instance, that are half way between being People of the Subordinate Self and People of the Responsible Self.

It is my notion that the whole point of religion since the Axial Age is to guide people that are making the perilous journey from subordination to responsibility. That is the whole point of the Divine Lord with his Divine Law and his Divine Justice and his Divine Love. He is saying, go forth into the world and take up the Cross of responsibility. Here are the Rules you need to guide you. And know that, as you struggle in the world, my Divine Love is there to keep your spirits up. But don't think you can run off the road into the weeds, because at the end of the day, St. Peter and I will be judging your life from the Book of Divine Justice at the Gates of Paradise. The person on the border between subordination and responsibility is subordinating himself to God, and also to his representative on Earth, the priest whose job it is to make the Divine comprehensible.

OK, what about the folks living on the border between responsibility and creativity? How should they live?

In my view this question is the Big Question we are all struggling with. I think that the Big Error is to think that a life of creativity replaces the life of responsibility. This is the Big Error of the left, from Marxists to intersectionalists and safe spacers. They are saying that there is only subordination and victimhood on the one hand and creative activism on the other. Do you see what they are missing out of the equation? Yep: The Big "R."

I think that the creative life can only be lived in humble acceptance of the responsibility of the creative person. To borrow the environmentalists' notion of the Precautionary Principle: don't impose anything new on the rest of society unless you know that it is not going to make things worse. Funny how our lefty friends never apply this principle to their activism and their government programs and subsidies and confident predictions of the End of the World unless we act now.

Yes, on the border between responsibility and creativity, the watchword is that the creative process can only succeed if the creative ego accepts the awful responsibility of creating something new. The creative person must live a life of tolerance for those who choose to be merely subordinate, and those who choose to be merely responsible.

And the Great Fact about our era is that our lefty friends do not get it, that every creative person must practice tolerance for the merely responsible.

Because what our lefty friends have been carefully taught is to hate and to fear is people that merely live lives of conventional responsibility, as responsible workers, heterosexual husbands and wives and parents, and as responsible citizens.

And that is a monumental error.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Obama Administration Spied on the Opposition

The marvelous thing, to me, about the  whole Trump-Russia thing is that our liberal friends don't see what is sitting there right in front of us.

The Obama Administration Spied on the Opposition.

In 2016 the Obama administration decided to spy on the opposition party's presidential campaign. And when it went to the FISA court to get permission for spying it justified this surveillance on the basis of cooked-up opposition research paid for by the Hillary campaign.

The Obama Administration Spied on the Opposition.

Can you spell police state? Do you liberals not understand what was done? Using the national police force -- the FBI -- and intelligence agencies -- CIA etc. -- to spy on the opposition? Hello liberals! That is what F-A-S-C-I-S-T-S do! Not to mention right-wing authoritarians, totalitarians, communists, tin-pot dictators, caudillos, etc. Let's replay this in words of one syllable.
In 2016 the Obama administration spied on the opposition's presidential campaign, using the government police force and the government's spy agencies.
And what did they use to justify this oppressive and illegal action? Cooked up oppo. research paid for by the Hillary campaign.

The Obama Administration Spied on the Opposition.

And then, for the last two years, the FBIs and DOJs and ruling-class media have been kicking sand in our eyes to cover up what was done. That's what that Friday night New York Times piece about the FBI investigating Trump for possible illegal motives in firing James Comey was all about. Way down in the article it comes out that the FBI did't really have any evidence of wrongdoing: just a suspicion. Yeah! Round up the usual suspects, as the saying goes.

The Obama Administration Spied on the Opposition.

Way to go FBIs and DOJs and CIAs. Just open an investigation on anyone, based on a suspicion! Hey, why not the president? Just defending our national honor, or national morality, or whatever it is you chaps are defending today.

The Obama Administration Spied on the Opposition.

Hello liberals! This is as bad as bad can be! Remember Watergate? That was about some campaign operatives, ex-intelligence employees, doing a bit of freelancing to place a bug in headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. Why, that was innocent joy-riding in the family car compared to actual spying, by actual government agencies, on the political campaign of the opposition party.

The Obama Administration Spied on the Opposition.

Oh I know why you liberals don't get it. It's because you live in the ruling-class media's walled garden, where you never get to hear a discouraging word about the ruling class and its governance. And even if you did accidentally hear some bird trilling outside the garden, you still know not to believe a word, because racist, sexist, homophobe, xenophobe, or whatever.

The Obama Administration Spied on the Opposition.

Now I know that there are people out there saying that, if you liberals get away with it this time, then the way is open for Republicans to return the favor and spy on the opposition.

The Obama Administration Spied on the Opposition.

Won't happen, because the moment that any liberal gets word of some eevil Trumpist using the FBI or intelligence agency to massage the opposition the whole sky will explode in a fireworks display. Every gorgeous big-breasted newsreader from Nome to San Antonio, from San Diego to Bangor, Maine, will be expiring on a fainting couch wailing "I Can't Believe Trump Did That!" And as for the Soros-funded activist groups! Imagine their fury!

The Obama Administration Spied on the Opposition.

So we are left with trying to explain to the two or three liberals in late-stage administrative-state America with half a brain why it is not a good idea to use the government to spy on the opposition.

The Obama Administration Spied on the Opposition.

It is because when the government, any government, uses the police and intelligence agencies to spy on the opposition then the opposition starts to realize that, in the words of Shakespeare's Cassius, "speak, hands for me." The opposition starts to think that there is no way it is going to get a fair shake, and that the only option is armed resistance.

The Obama Administration Spied on the Opposition.

And you know, liberals, you  really don't want to go there. You know why? Because you chaps are soft, scions of the regime, wafted aloft because of your well-connected parents, and tutored in left-wing folly at the university, but knowing nothing else. If things start to go south you will discover that, out of the bushes, a whole generation of hard men will appear that will eat you chaps for breakfast.

The Obama Administration Spied on the Opposition.

Back in the day, young men of ruling-class family went to Oxford to study "Greats," or Greek and Roman classics and philosophy in the original language. The idea was to educate the young skulls full of mush in the great political and philosophical issues of governance as experienced in the days of Ancient Greece and Rome so that they would enter Parliament with
half a brain.

The Obama Administration Spied on the Opposition.

Then rather later, young men of ruling-class family went to Oxford to study "Modern Greats," or philosophy, politics, and economics, so that when they went into Parliament or the Civil Service they would have half a clue about how to govern a modern state.

The Obama Administration Spied on the Opposition.

When Calvin Coolidge went to Amherst in 1890ish, it was understood that graduates of Amherst needed to be prepared for careers in politics and government. La Wik:
While at Amherst, Coolidge was profoundly influenced by philosophy professor Charles Edward Garman, a Congregational mystic, with a neo-Hegelian philosophy.
The Obama Administration Spied on the Opposition.

When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez went to college at Boston University, it seems that the only thing she learned was activism. So that is what our ruling class thinks that young skulls full of mush need to know to prepare them for a life of politics and governance.

The Obama Administration Spied on the Opposition.

Do I make myself clear?

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Is China' s President Xi Dumb or Something?

I've been wondering about China lately; well doesn't everyone. Because it seemed to me that President Xi's promotion to President-for-life seems to indicate that the rulers of China don't get it.

Then I wondered about the Belt and Road initiative, which seemed to me to be a return to the ancient Silk Road and imperial China's policy of having tributary states. And given that it is a big government infrastructure initiative, I figured it was bound to be a bottomless pit of waste and fraud. Like all government programs.

Now I  read that under President Xi, who gained power in 2012, Chinese domestic lending has switched from mostly private sector to mostly state sector.
In 2013, 57 percent of loans went to private firms and 35 percent to state-controlled firms. By 2016, there had been a stunning reversal; state firms received 83 percent of loans, compared with 11 percent for private firms. Much of this lending came from state-owned banks.
There are reports that Chinese growth is declining rapidly, maybe to zero. And I recently saw a graph showing Chinese energy consumption flatlining since 2013.

I wonder what President Xi is thinking.

Well, obviously he is thinking about his power. Maybe he thinks that his power depends on maintaining the state-owned companies and their jobs because otherwise he will face too much opposition from disappointed lifers in the state industries. Maybe he thinks that state economic power translates into regime power.

Maybe widespread unrest and the 5,000 or so annual violent protests that we sorta hear about have taught the Chinese Communist Party to hunker down and stick to regime defense.

Maybe the stock market decline in third quarter 2018 was about factoring in economic decline in China.

Maybe the political hunkering down by the Xi regime may have the reverse effect and provoke anti-regime protests.

Maybe the Belt and Road initiative is turning out to be a staggering mess that is bleeding Chinese wealth into stupid boondoggles that don't have a hope of profitability.

Maybe the next big challenge for the US President is to bail out China from a Xi-provoked nose-dive.

OK, I know that my view of this is colored by my maxim, that
government is an armed minority, occupying territory, and taxing the people to reward its supporters.
In my view what this maxim tells us is that you can't expect a damn politician to understand anything more than getting power and keeping it by plundering the people to reward the supporters. Given how long loot and plunder has been going on in human history it would be naive to expect that your average politician would grasp that to head up a big and powerful world-conquering state today requires first of all a world-conquering economy, and you don't get a world-conquering economy unless the state keeps its cotton-picking debt-drenched hands off the private sector.

And it would be even more naive to expect lefty politicians to grasp such a notion, when they have been carefully taught to hate and to fear the market-based economy since they graduated out of their red diapers.

It's a wonder. In the last 200 years we have seen a Great Enrichment all across the world whereever the market has been allowed to work its magic. And 97.2 percent -- my crude estimate -- of people in the richest countries don't have a clue about that.

All across the USA we are shaming people for not being sufficiently lefty and woke. When we should be shaming them for not knowing where their prosperity comes from.

And it would be a global tragedy if China's present rulers dump its excellent people back into the toilet, back to the days of the genius Mao Zedong.

Monday, January 14, 2019

The Liberal Equivalent of Fancy Cars

If you are a upper-middle-class political professional these days, you need to be something other than white. That's what Victor Davis Hanson argues in "The Game of Pseudo-Authenticity." It's like cars for successful guys:
Minority identity has become a brand for the upper middle class in the manner of a luxury car. One strives to drive a Mercedes or Jaguar not because it is more reliable or even all that much more drivable than a Toyota or Honda, but because it signals a particular cachet. And so too wealthy suburbanites often find emphasizing non-white identities useful even if it means occasionally constructing them.
Hey Victor! Whatabout Hyundai drivers? I mean, there is a sense in which Toyota and Honda drivers consider themselves a cut above Hyundai drivers -- not to mention, er, Kia.

But when you think about it, it all makes sense. We all use ways to sort ourselves into the hierarchy to demonstrate "where we are" -- as opposed to "who we are" -- and just as rising corporate stars seem to gravitate to Audis and BMWs it seems eminently sensible for rising political and academic stars to emphasize their specialness with ethnic identity, as everyone from Elizabeth Warren to Beto O'Rourke does.

But my claim to specialness is the conceit to see around the corner, to be wise to epiphenomena like rich kids appropriating minority status -- or luxury car brands, but seeing beyond all that to the real data. I remember, years ago a colleague at work winking that his father, an accountant, reckoned that 90 percent of Mercedes owners couldn't afford it. On the other hand The Millionaire Next Door that owns a few small businesses probably lives in an unexceptional house and drives an unexceptional car. So, if you look at the Mercedes driver, you are probably looking at a faker. I wonder what car Jeff Bezos drives.

The fact that ambitious liberals in politics are faking minority identity is nothing new. I am reading Winter King: Henry VII and the Dawn of Tudor England by Thomas Penn and the truth is that Henry VII made it all up. He was an upstart that got lucky and won the Battle of Bosworth, and then set about creating the notion that the Tudors squared the circle between Lancaster and York to create a new, glorious Tudor dynasty. Actually what Henry did was root out and eliminate all possible claimants to the throne of England and repress anyone that dared to challenge him.

I had known before that Henry VIII nationalized the armed forces of England and thus disarmed the nobles. But it is clear that his father started the process of, shall we say, neutering the power of possible noble rivals. Also, it is clear that Henry VII understood that in England the City of London was where the money was.

What I am interested in is digging up true narratives that lie buried beneath the fake narratives of the ruling class. Obviously, the rise of populist nativists in the US and Europe is one such. The ruling class lost interest in the working class/lower middle class fifty years ago, and has inadvertently, through its celebration of minority rights, visited injustice upon the old working class for whom the welfare state was built. And now, finally, the old working class is revolting, probably too late.

Then just today I read iconoclast Ron Unz declaring that illegal immigration is a lot less of a problem that we are all led to believe, and thus that The Wall is a pseudo-issue. Moreover, Hispanic crime is a lot lower than people think, almost indistinguishable from white crime if you allow for the fact that the overall population of Hispanic males is younger (and thus more criminal) that the population of white males.

Which means..

Which means that probably Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) is right, that a politician should aim to win the support of any and all voters on the premise that all voters want a job, an education for their children, and a safe community.

And that if a politician works hard on that angle, it doesn't matter what car he drives, or what ethnic identity he impersonates.

However, there is this. People don't go into politics to watch the grass grow. The whole point of politics is to rally the people against an existential threat. And if there isn't a genuine existential threat, we can invent one, can't we, climate change activists?

And maybe this is a requirement for a successful Homo Sapiens. For maybe if we all got our wish, and got jobs, and good education for the kids, and safe communities, we would all get weak and flabby, and then, when a true existential threat appeared, we wouldn't have the cojones to deal with it.

On this notion, we need to have troublemakers stirring us up to action and inventing fake existential threats. Just as an army needs to train for war in peacetime, maybe we humans need to live as if Armagedon was just around the corner.