Thursday, February 28, 2019

Free Spirit vs. Fettered Spirit

Having read the later Nietzsche -- Zarathustra, Beyond Good and Evil, The Genealogy of Morality, etc. -- I have gone back to the start of his thinking, specifically Human, All Too Human: A book for free spirits.

I realize, as I read Human, All Too Human, that this is where Nietzsche first develops the ideas that are tossed around like fireworks in his later work. And by the way, the guy that was publishing his later work was encouraging him to amp up the controversial in order to improve book sales. Titles like Thus Spake Zarathustra sold about 125 copies out of a print run of 1,000.

My interest in Nietzsche derives partly from my project to read and understand the German Miracle, from Kant to quantum mechanics, and partly a project to mine him for ideas with which to broaden and deepen my own Three Peoples notion: that We Humans can be divided, admittedly in a reductive manner, into People of the Creative Self, artists and writers; People of the Responsible Self, the solid middle class; and People of the Subordinate Self, workers and peasants and victims.

For it is obvious to me that Nietzsche's basic aim is to prophesy the transition from the responsible life of good and evil to the creative live of imagining something new.

So, about a quarter of the way through Human, All Too Human, Nietzsche prophesies the "free spirit:"
He is called a free spirit who thinks differently from what, on the basis of his origin, environment, his class and profession, or on the basis of the dominant views of the age, would have been expected of him. He is the exception, the fettered spirits are the rule[.]
Pretty obviously, this aligns with my idea of the People of the Creative Self. Then Nietzsche anathematizes the "fettered spirit" through its accusations against the free spirit: that the free spirit wants "to shock and offend... in actions incompatible with sound morals." Or maybe the free spirit arrived at his correct ideas by wrong paths.
As a rule, though, [the free spirit] will nonetheless have truth on his side, or at least the spirit of inquiry after truth: he demands reasons, the rest demand faith.
You can see that in the time that Nietzsche was writing, the free spirit was clearly the creative artist or thinker, and the fettered spirit was clearly the ordinary bourgeois trapped in the coils of good and evil; that is what Nietzsche assumes when he rails against "the priests" that taught us to hate ourselves and fetter ourselves in the prison of good and evil.

But, for the 21st century, I propose a different analysis. In my view the People of the Responsible Self are not fettering themselves with the notions of good and evil, they are instead putting on the armor of light that protects them on the journey from subordination to responsibility. That is why enthusiastic Christianity is the religion of emerging Africa and the populist movement in Brazil. And why it was the religion of the hero and heroine of George Eliot's Adam Bede: Adam, the worthy carpenter exploring his way to responsibility; and Dinah Morris, the Methodist lay preacher; both children of the farm making the journey from agricultural idiocy to middle-class responsibility.

No, today the fettered spirits are the believers in progressive or lefty orthodoxy, that imagine they are creative and contrarian, but in fact are merely the rank-and-file of the secular religion that superseded the God-based religion of Christianity. Your progressive thinks and believes exactly "what, on the basis of his origin, environment, his class and profession, or on the basis of the dominant views of the age, would [be] expected of him." Or Twitter will know the reason why.

The free spirit has been further developed by the Jungians to be the sacrificial hero who, in the Hero's Journey into the underworld of the unconscious, learns how to benefit mankind by a perilous adventure on the border between Order and Chaos.

So I propose to define the free spirit as the creative person truly trying to think new thoughts and ideas, and the fettered spirit as a fake creative that really is completely fettered by the conventional wisdom of the age.

So I would divide the People of the Creative Self into two parts; the free spirits or true creatives living on the border of Order and Chaos; and the fettered spirits, or fake creatives living in a fantasy world.

But then I would, wouldn't I.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Leftism is a School of Hate

Mulling over the fake hate crime craze, I finally realized what it is all about. Hate.

Well, of course. But then in the middle of the night I realized what it is all about, why lefties are convinced that the world hates them.

It is because lefties teach their supporters to hate. Leftism is a school of hate. Let us begin at the beginning.

With Marx, the left began by teaching the working class to hate the middle class. That's because the middle class, the bourgeoisie, according to Marx, were the chaps responsible for exploiting the workers, just as the feudal lords had exploited the peasants. Because labor theory of value.

In fact in the textile revolution, followed by the steam revolution, the middle class gave the workers jobs; thus the landless laborers that were being thrown off the land because of mechanical threshing machines got to live. And when lefty activists demanded that the middle class give the workers the vote, son-of-the-middle-class Benjamin Disraeli was the prime minister that expanded the franchise. By the turn of the 20th century, in Britain, the working class was enjoying a modest, but robust prosperity. So how about that middle-class! Maybe they were willing to accommodate the just demands of the working class. So middle-class classists were willing to do this?

Then came feminism, and the left taught women to hate men. And marriage and babies. That's because men represented a patriarchy that had exploited and oppressed women since the dawn of time. So I suppose that when noble widows got to enjoy up to three dowers (income during widowhood) during the Middle Ages, and no attempt was  made by the patriarchs in the legal profession to deprive these women of their income that was often a substantial drain on the wealth and the political power of noble estates, somehow this was exploitation of women. On the fiction front there is the curious case of Helena, the heroine of Shakespeare's All's Well That Ends Well first produced around 1600. This young woman seems to have agency, and bravely acts to win the hand of the noble -- but contemptible -- Bertram, the man who spurns her as the daughter of a middle-class apothecary far beneath him in status. How come the patriarchy put up with this?

But men were perfectly willing to give women the vote, and in due course no-fault divorce, and abortion on demand. How come they allowed this, if they were sexists and fierce patriarchs determined to keep women down? So male sexists were willing to do this?

Then came civil rights, and the left taught blacks to hate whites. So the blacks were slaves. So was almost everyone, slave or serf, until the day before yesterday. So Jim Crow denied blacks civil rights in the South. So did Hitler and Stalin and Mao deny civil rights to everyone in their power. So does Maduro in Venezuela today. Why, President Maduro even detained lefty journalist Jorge Ramos and then deported him for asking him an impertinent question.

But whites in America were willing to be persuaded in the civil rights era that blacks should receive full civil rights in specific legislation that defined those rights. So white racists were willing to do this? And ever since they have put up with being stigmatized as racists without rioting in the streets?

Then came gay liberation, and the left taught gays to hate straights. Over the past generation, the supposed implacable homophobes have acquiesced to decriminalization of gay sex, permitting gays to openly live as gays, and seen the legalization of civil partnerships and gay marriage. And the homophobic straights put up with this?

Now we have the left teaching Muslims to hate the West, illegal aliens to hate borders, and millennials to hate carbon dioxide and the evil fossil-fuel industry that spews it into the air. Of course they are. Because leftism is the school of hate.

But why? I will tell you. It falls naturally out of my maxims, that politics is division and government is force.

If you believe that politics is a necessary evil, then politics and elections are minor events that stir the voters up for a season, and after the election the passions subside. Because no big deal.

But if you believe, with the left, that progressive politics is a saving truth, then the Other must be Evil for opposing you. You must mobilize your supporters as if for war: hey, it's a matter of life and death! How do you mobilize your supporters for war? You teach them to hate the enemy. That is what Orwell's Three Minute Hate was all about in 1984. That is what war propaganda is all about.

But why now?  Why all the hate now, hating white supremacists, toxic masculinity, gay bashers, Islamophobes and xenophobes? And why the fake hate crimes?

It is because to continue the revolution you must re-up the enthusiasm. And obviously, fifty years after the civil rights era, that gets to be harder to do. But if you are a good little girl learning all about toxic masculinity in Gender Studies, you need to find actual evidence of toxic masculinity, and, by hook or by crook, you do. If you are a good little boy learning all about racism in Race Studies class, you need  to find actual racists out there, and prompted by your teachers, you see red MAGA hats behind every tree.

The fact is that the left has been wrong all along. The middle class are not implacable exploiters, determined to keep the working class down. Nor are men determined to keep women down, or white  determined to keep blacks down, or gays in the closet. It is not that we are angels, but just that the middle class is not that interested in power, and therefore not that invested in hate.

So it is probably time to wind down all the lefty movements -- except the anti-borders movement and pro-Islam movement -- because workers got their rights, women got their abortions, blacks got their civil rights, and gays got their gay marriage.

Well, that's not how politics works, and especially lefty politics. The left taught the workers to hate the middle class. You think they are going to call off the hate? The left taught women to hate men. You think those man-haters are going to wash away their rage? The left taught blacks to hate whites. You think they are going to give away the black vote to Trump without a fight?

From the day that Marx declared war on the bourgeoisie, the left has been a school of hate. You think they are ever going to change?

Tell me why.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Hey Xi! Maybe Your President-for-life Notion is Rubbish

Golly. Who could have seen this coming? The New York Times (H/T Powerline) says that China's President Xi has declared an emergency. A year ago, wrote the Times,
Mr. Xi triumphed at China’s national legislature, abolishing a term limit on his presidency, opening the way for another decade or longer as both president and party leader, and shaking up the government to become a more compliant tool of party power.
But now,
China’s leader, Xi Jinping, abruptly summoned hundreds of officials to Beijing recently, forcing some to reschedule long-planned local assemblies. The meeting seemed orchestrated to convey anxious urgency. The Communist Party, Mr. Xi told the officials, faces major risks on all fronts and must batten down the hatches.
Funny, isn't it, that a politician's solution for all problems is more politics.
“The central leadership’s assessment of risks to China has officially expanded from the economy to every sphere,” [Beijing analyst] Mr. Wu said. “This year will put policing and security to the forefront.”
Ain't it amazing, that the tough Chinese  government needs to get tougher? Who could have seen that coming?

It's an endless problem. Politicians put themselves in charge of the economy, and screw the economy up. And then they have to give the economy political shock therapy to deal with the problems they have created, and bring "policing and security to the forefront."

Hello President Xi. You make yourself President-for-life, head of a monopoly single-party state, where all direction comes from the top. And then you start a Belt and Road colonialist policy, lending money to developing countries for port expansions, etc. And then you have an economic policy that frankly steals foreign technology etc. And then foreign countries start to penalize you for your predatory policy. Well, hey, Mr. President: Things are likely to get into a bit of a mess. And all the time you have maintained your vice-grip on political power, so you really don't have a clue about the manifold injustices that your hegemonic and dominatory rule has created.

What could go wrong?

The situation in the West is illustrative. Here we have had a kind of soft dictatorship where the so-called Progressive movement has run the administrative state for about 100 years. All the best minds, etc. Except that the natives are restless. Because the wheels are starting to fall off all the brilliant centralized administrative solutions that the best minds conjured up for us.

The reason is obvious. The best minds conjured up government programs -- to deliver pensions, health care, and education -- that they could comprehend and codify into legislation, and sell to the voters, and administer and control.

Notice what is missing. Things that the best minds could not comprehend, or did not approve. Things that are too complicated and changeable to be codified into legislation. Things that the voters would like but don't want to pay for. Things that would benefit people but which were not thought of in the original legislation. Things that are not of interest to the best minds. Things that reduce the power and influence of the best minds. Things that are going to cost existing program beneficiaries because of mistakes made in the original legislation and in subsequent administrative regulation. Failure to project program costs and benefits. Failure to modify the program to reflect unanticipated costs and benefits.

The point is that all the Things that I have suggested in the paragraph above are very difficult to do right in politics and government. The reason is simple. It is very difficult to do anything complicated or change or adjust anything in politics and government. Indeed, one of the purposes of government is to set up important things and make it very difficult to change them. Because some things -- such as the presumption of innocence in criminal law-- should be very difficult to change.

But here is the thing. The notable thing about the Great Enrichment, an increase in per capita income of 3,000 percent in the last 200 years, is that it features staggering waves of economic change, completely unanticipated change that took even the best minds -- especially the best minds -- by surprise, when old ways of doing things were radically changed. If government had been in charge of all this economic change it probably would never have happened,  not without remarkable political convulsion.

Please, stop and think for a moment. Imagine politicians and activists being in charge of the textile revolution: whatabout the handloom weavers? The railway revolution: whatabout the hostlers at the coaching inns? The illuminating oil revolution; whatabout the sperm-whale hunters and the candle makers? The electric revolution: whatabout the lamplighters? And so on. The point is that any politician worth his salt, whether democratic or totalitarian, would think it his job to save the jobs of the whatabouts. And he would have helped to organize the whatabouts into whatabout coalitions to provide them with lots of lovely subsidies and retraining and government handouts.  And where would the Great Enrichment be then poor thing? I will tell you. Venezuela.

And if the politician -- say President Xi -- was a far-sighted leader of his country and had committed it to a menu of top-down prestige projects, whatabout if he turned out to be wrong?

The point is that almost every glorious plan for anything turns out to be riddled with mistakes and unanticipated problems. These problems need to be solved if the plan is to succeed and to benefit anyone. But politics and government are the system of one more Big Push. This is because they are, in the first instance, a human project for defending the border. And the obvious strategy for defending the border is that, if you seem to be failing, you pour in more young males. The only problem is that almost everything else in the world is not suitable for the one more Big Push treatment. It needs the people on the sharp end with the authority and the responsibility to fix things on the fly.

So when President Xi calls for a Big Push, putting "policing and security to the forefront," he is probably wrong. Not that that will hurt him. He is President-for-life. But his one more Big Push will probably hurt the long-suffering Chinese people.

Politics is about power, and the one thing that political people do not understand is that almost everything in this world is not best organized and solved by politics.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Yes, Why Fake Hate Crimes?

Why so many fake hate crimes? I mean, really! Why go out and manufacture an incident of evil white crackers hating on a helpless person of color?

Jonah Goldberg makes the obvious point that real victims of hate, like Jews in Nazi Germany, aren't going to be faking hate crimes. Nor blacks in the Jim Crow South. Because that would be "incredibly stupid."

Actually, I think Jonah misses the point. If you are a Jew complaining about some local yokel brownshirt, what do you think is going to happen to you? You think the local Gauleiter is going to invite you in for a friendly Kaffee? Or if you are a black complaining about the local KKK Kleagle? Are you Krazy?

When there is real oppression, and real targeting of a marginalized group, you as an ordinary person are going to keep a low profile. The last thing you want to do is to draw attention to yourself. You hope that, by being invisible, the regime thugs will not notice you and you will get to live another day. Moreover, you will instinctively know that the most likely outcome of your fake hate crime will be to make things worse for your regime-targeted group. The regime may wish to make an example of you. Or, as Stalin's thugs used to tell people, you will disappear and no one will even know your name. That is how the world works when you are a genuine victim of regime-sponsored hate.

That is why the activist culture and its "peaceful protest" is also fake. In the modern West well-born activists are pampered and lionized by the regime and the regime media. Of course they are, because they are advancing the ruling-class's agenda. White nationalists, Brexiteers, and German AfD activists need not apply. They know they will be made to appear in the worst light.

That is the first problem with fake hate. The lefty fakers knows -- even if unconsciously -- that the local regime thugs are not going to descend on them when they go public with a fake incident. And they know, like Jussie Smollett, that the local police are going to put on their kid gloves and treat the fakery as genuine, because if they make a wrong step every lefty activist in town is going to jump all over them. Everybody knows that the worst thing in America is to brush off an accusation of hate by a Person of Color. Indeed, the lefty faker knows that, with a little bit of luck he may become a media darling and get sympathetically interviewed on TV. Every faker knows that, at least initially, he/she will get sympathetic treatment from government officials and media.

The second problem with fake hate is that discrimination against all the little darlings of the left -- racial, gender, and all the rest -- is actually illegal, and is vigorously enforced by government law enforcement. People are social animals; they know which actions are approved of by society and which actions are disapproved. Only really exceptional -- and really crazy -- people go up against the status quo and against regime power.

The third problem with fake hate is that there is no organized political faction that wants to undo the civil-rights revolution. This means that the overwhelming majority of people just go about their business and interact with other people according to established norms. They are just not going to be making trouble for themselves. Put it this way. There is no equivalent on the right of AntiFa, which is a genuine street-thug group and seems to be funded and supported by the usual left-wing establishment funders. If there were a right-wing version of AntiFa it would be roundly condemned by all respectable regime supporters and its funders would be expelled from polite society.

No, the fact that is staring us right in the face is that the civil-rights movement has succeeded beyond all imaginings, and there is literally nothing left for activists or for government to do. But every year brings up another crop of well-born activists that desperately yearn for a moral crusade and battlements of injustice to storm.

Hey, I know lefties. How about you start protesting the injustices of socialism, and all the failed government programs that hang around our necks? How about education reform that empowers parents rather than activists? How about health-care reform that de-cartelizes and de-credentializes the health care industry?

Somehow, all the activists of the world want to increase government power, with them at the controls, rather than decrease government power. What is with these people?

And what is with their willing dupes, that keep coming up with obviously fake hate crimes?

Friday, February 22, 2019

We Must Bring the Past Back to Life

I was down in the Peoples Republic of Fremont, Seattle -- you know where we Seattle-ites have our statue of Lenin -- and I went by Ophelia's Books, because Lady Marjorie had given me a gift card.

Truth is, I had put off going to Ophelia's for months, because Fremont, but I found that it was not a hopeless lefty tract store, but an excellent little used-books store. I got a book about Trollope's later novels, and also The Death of the Past by J.H. Plumb.

Really, it was another proof of God's existence, because I have been needing to encounter such a book for months, if not years.

The book argues that the old kind of history, that is really an ideological justification of the current ruling class, has gone away because now we have professional historians that are dedicated to telling us how it really was, as opposed to how glorious our rulers are and how they are descended directly from Moses or Achilles.

The book was written in about 1968, from a series of lectures that Plumb, a Cambridge don, had given in NewYork. It was, I propose, about the last moment that anyone could talk about the end of history as regime apologetics.

Plumb was the son of a factory worker in Leicester, England, but went to a "grammar school," a kind of school in Britain that was famous for plucking talent out of the masses and giving it an education and that was murdered by lefties in the Sixties. But Plumb was a faithful lefty all his life. In his book he celebrates how the Enlightenment substituted facts and research for the naked special pleading of history down the ages. But, he admitted, something was lost when the narrative of where we came from gets abandoned for facts, facts, facts.

To say that the past has died, I think, misses the point. The past was deliberately murdered,  and murdered by chaps like Plumb, who sneered at Macaulay for spicing up the Enlightenment faith in  "progress" with Whig history and jingoism.
In doing so he provided the bulk of the British nation with a usable past, by which they could ease their consciences in the present and look with optimism towards the future.
But the professional historian will have none of that:
Crude ideological interpretations, Marxist or nationalist, conservative or liberal, religious or agnostic, providential or progressive, cyclical or linear, are a violation of his discipline and an offence to his knowledge.
Many conservatives take a parallel view, when we talk about our "facts and logic" as opposed to liberal "emotion." We imagine that we are the reality guys, and the left is the fantasy department.

How is that strategy working out? The fact is that, since 1968, the left has seized control of the past and murdered the old narratives of Christianity and of nation. And that is why I wrote in 2016 that my "gentlemanly conservatism" was dead.

Now the left dominates the landscape with its narrative of good and evil: the good and noble activist that is engaged in a life and death struggle with the racist sexist homophobes in order to lead the helpless victims of racism and the patriarchy and hate to the Promised Land.

If professional history has a role today, under the unjust rule of the left, it is to fill in the blanks to prove just how oppressive and unjust the old religious, white, oppressive patriarchy was. Indeed everyone in the academy knows that they had better echo the ruling class narrative about activists and victims, or else.

Notice how the Jussie Smollett hate crime hoax fits into this culture. The activism/victim culture is hungry for tales of hate, and young heads full of mush are only too glad to supply them.

It is noticeable to me that Plumb's history of the world ends with Marx and Darwin. There is nothing about Nietzsche, or Freud and Jung, or the quantum mechanical revolution in physics. That makes him ill-equipped to deal with the modern world in which the certainty of Newtonian mechanics is replaced by the uncertainty principle, and the facts, facts, facts, of Gradgrind are replaced by the notion of Jordan B. Peterson that you see facts through the lens of your values. Or the notion that the primary function of the brain is to filter out all the non-essential signals coming in and only notice the important stuff. You hope.

The future belongs to those that own the past, just as George Orwell said:
Those who control the present, control the past and those who control the past control the future.
So we cannot let the past die;  we cannot let  the left murder our past. We must revive our narrative of the past, and it must be a narrative that takes the narrative of the left head on and demolishes it.

Of course, I realize, most of my writing is precisely about that. My reductive Three Peoples theory is a narrative about the present world as a natural and cooperative combination of creative people, responsible people, and subordinate people that directly takes on the left's narrative of conflict and oppression. My Great Reaction maxim is an attempt to marginalize the left's narrative by stating that socialism is neo-slavery, the welfare state is neo-feudalism, and identity politics is neo-tribalism.

In taking up Jung I am embracing a narrative that the experience of the past through archetypes is programmed into our unconscious, and that a narrative about the past is the most natural thing in the world. Indeed, the whole notion of the unconscious is a narrative that says that the past lives in us a lot more than we think.

In taking up Nietzsche I am advancing the narrative that the creative life is a lot more than the crude and narrow option of creating new and just political order, as the left thinks, but an incredible difficult hero's journey of stumbling around in the unconscious on the border between order and chaos hoping for inspiration.

And Plumb's The Death of the Past helps me see the desperate crudity of the left's oppression narrative: the insulting idea that America is a cesspool of racism, and sexism and hate, the America that legislated special status for non-whites, non-males, and non-heteros. Really, what planet are you living on, lefties?

The truth is that our lefty friends are living a lie. We might adapt the old nursery rhyme:
The south wind doth blow
And we shan't have snow
So what will th'activist do then, poor thing? 
This is not the worst of times; it is the best of times. But unless it is the worst of times our lefty friends have nothing to do: no-one to blame, no victims to lead, no injustice to protest.

Except the many injustices that lefties themselves have visited upon the innocent deplorables of this land. 

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop on Russia-Collusion

OK, so the smoke signals say that the Mueller probe will not be coming out with a smoking gun that will put President Trump away for good. The latest I have heard is that Mueller will make a confidential report to the new Attorney General Barr and nothing to see here.

On the other hand, the Pelosi Democrats seem to want to be able to harass the president with House impeachment investigations all the way to the 2020 presidential elections.

So I am thinking about what President Trump and his White House are planning to do after the Special Prosecutor Mueller winds up his investigation. As they say, Trump is like a cobra: he always strikes back. But how?

Here is what strikes me. It has been pretty obvious now for weeks that 1) the Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign in "collusion" with the Clinton campaign and 2) the DOJ and FBI conspired to gin up a pretext, first to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove the president, and second to sicc a Special Prosecutor on him to see what he could find.

I would think that the Donald Trump we know and love would want to raise the roof on all this. So why hasn't he?

I suspect that the reason is that he doesn't want to raise the roof until the Mueller report is in the can.

But it seems to me that the president has every reason to fight back against a monstrous abuse of federal government power.

For me, Trump would have two reasons to fight back. The first reason is a defensive reason, where Trump says to Our Nance that if you House Democrats want to spend the next two years investigating me then I am going to spend the next two years prosecuting Hillary Clinton -- oh and the various liars like Brennan and Clapper. The second reason is an offensive reason, where Trump spends a lot of time in the 2020 election campaign accusing Democrats and the Deep State of epic levels of corruption, therefore vote for Trump who is the only guy in the room willing to take on the slimy Deep State.

Notice that the defensive option would be private, a quiet word to Our Nance that it just isn't going to be a good idea to sicc her lefty idiots on the president. The offensive option would be public, but it wouldn't work to start on it now, because the media would wrap it in a blanket and refuse to report on it. Republicans only get their narrative out during an election campaign when they are using paid media to communicate with the American people. So the president would not want to start on his offensive campaign until next year.

I mean, the two scandals are perhaps the most egregious abuse of federal government power in my lifetime. Are we going to brush the whole thing under the rug? Are the American people not to be allowed to give their judgment on the whole thing?

Like I say. I am waiting for the other shoe to drop on the 2016 election shenanigans.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

OK, So Bernie and Donald are Both Corporatists...

One thing that the failure of gentlemanly conservatism has taught me is that there are only about five people in America that believe in the classical liberal position, that is,
the... regime of property rights, free enterprise, free trade, individual rights, and a worldview based on well-ordered liberty emphasizing cooperation within and between nations.
I guess that Kevin Williamson would be one of the five.

But then, what do you say, if you are an elected politician, to the average sorts of people that believe that the job of the government is to protect them?

Do you say to the people of Rust Belt America, well, chum, everything goes in cycles, and so your lifetime jobs in big manufacturing corporations were never going to last forever. And so, chum, you'd better suck it in, take your losses, and move on?

You don't, because the role of a politician, whether an elected politician of the 21st century or an absolute monarch of the 18th century, is to protect your people. Otherwise you are just a tax-sucking parasite.

So, it makes complete sense that both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are singing the same song, though admittedly to different tunes. Even if that scandalizes Kevin Williamson, who hates both the lyrics and the tunes. If you are running for elective office you are not going to get elected on the platform of promising to enhance "the well-ordered liberty emphasizing cooperation within and between nations."

What "Trump and Sanders — and, to a considerable degree, figures such as Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez" — believe in Kevin calls corporatism,
the subordination of private business interests to the “national interest,” something formally short of the Marxist-Leninist model of outright appropriation of the means of production but functionally similar to it.
Well, they would think that, because they are running to be president of the government of the United States -- the head of the apparatus of force and coercion in this land -- and thus naturally promise to protect its citizens from the Winds of Change using the means at hand.

Now it is my belief that 97 percent of the ways in which governments promise to protect their citizens are pure horse-pucky. But put yourself in the position of the politician running for election. You just aren't going to get elected by telling everyone to cool it, believe in the Great Enrichment, and wait for the next round of prosperity to roll in.

No, the internal logic of politics requires the candidates to promise a quasi-military campaign to lead the nation forward to peace and prosperity. That is why the Democrats are all climbing on board the Green New Deal. It promises a quasi-military campaign to save the US from the just-around-the-corner calamity of climate change. That is why Donald Trump ran on the platform of Make America Great Again. The Democrats' slogan promises to save us from an existential peril; Trump's slogan evokes the image of a quasi-military campaign to restore America to its former glories.

I would go so far as to say that if you are a politician and are not running on a platform to reenergize the nation and lead it forward to the Promised Land, you really don't understand elective politics.

Now, if you are a politician with half a brain you know that all the horse-pucky about glorious victories is rubbish. What matters is "regime of property rights, free enterprise, free trade, individual rights, and a worldview based on well-ordered liberty emphasizing cooperation within and between nations."

But how are you going to explain that, e.g., to the followers of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who literally know nothing? What if the redoubtable AOC herself literally knows nothing? Is the agenda of Bernie and Warren and AOC better than Trump's? Do they really understand the facts of life, or do they believe the horse-pucky?

What we know about Trump is that, in the event, he has negotiated trade deals that don't seem to be outright protectionism, but do seem to renegotiate things a bit in our national interest. And by lowering tax rates -- especially on  corporations -- and throwing out a bunch of regulations the president seems to have kicked the economy into high gear, which some may say amounts to governing with "worldview based on well-ordered liberty emphasizing cooperation within and between nations."

In other words, Trump ran as an unapologetic nationalist and protectionist, but seems to have government almost as a classical liberal. Who predicted that?

On the other hand it may well be that his policies, which have raised wage rates in the US, and his browbeating of the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates low, and his failure to rein in spending, may unleash a bout of inflation which will inevitably lead to higher interest rates and a recession. Right now it is about ten years since the trough of the last recession, which is about the record for an uninterrupted economic expansion.

So it may be that the Democrats, despite their Medicare For All and free college for all and Green New Deal will govern like President Trump and, despite the rhetoric, encourage "well-ordered liberty."

But my money says that the Democrats really believe their rhetoric. Or at least they had better, because their party base has been carefully taught to believe all the horse-pucky about glorious administrative government programs and Green New Deals, whereas nobody in America's education system is teaching MAGA hat-wearers how to be more effective activists for racism, sexism, and homophobia.

Just saying.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Socialism is About One Thing Only

This word from the nation's leading political philosopher:
We know that socialism is not about justice, it’s not about equality, it’s not about lifting up the poor.  Socialism is about one thing only: power for the ruling class. (Applause.) And the more power they get, the more they crave.  They want to run healthcare, run transportation and finance, run energy, education — run everything.

They want the power to decide who wins and who loses, who’s up and who’s down, what’s true and what’s false, and even who lives and who dies. 
Wanna know who wrote that? I dunno: some speechwriter. But President Trump spoke it at Florida International University in Miami, Florida, yesterday February 18, 2019.

Of course the president made these remarks in respect of Venezuela -- before an audience of mostly Latin Americans -- and you can imagine that the cheering Latin Americans from Venezuela, from Cuba, and from Cuba in his audience would have rather firm views about socialism.

But I think that the president is also noticing that the Democrats are regressing towards socialism, and why not dig 'em in the ribs. That's what all the kids are being carefully taught in the schools and universities, so it stands to reason that America is Ready for Socialism.

Unless they really aren't, once you explain the whole procedure to them. I was reading a day or so ago that Americans are all in favor of Medicare For All until you explain the details to them.

I gotta say, I love  the president going all Ronnie Reagan and making Reaganesque -- or even Thatcheresque -- speeches about socialism.

Someone has to do it.

And the reason is exactly as the president said in his speech:
Socialism is about one thing only: power for the ruling class. (Applause.) 
Gee, I wish that *I* had come up with that line. It applies, liberals, to chaps like you. If you are a well-educated professional then chances are that you get to dabble your toe in the ruling-class power game. As a university professor. As a research scientist. As a government adviser. Nice work if you can get it.

If you wonder why the educated class seems to be friendly towards socialism that is the reason. There is money for the educated professional willing to hire out for government.

Actually, we should be compassionate towards the educated. If you get advanced degrees it does not necessarily translate into money and status. And after you have made the substantial investment in an advanced education you are looking for a payoff that, at least, will pay off the substantial investment you have made.

In the old days, of course, universities were mostly churning out priests for the state's established church. Then the Germans invented the research university to churn out research that would beef up the German state and help it fight against France. In our own day the university and the educated understand exactly that their job is to support the ruling class in all its endeavors, from the courts to the science supporting the war on climate change to the social science needed to support the far-flung activities of the administrative state.

And it makes sense that a chap like me that never got beyond a Bachelors in Civil Engineering and never really had an interest in power, corporate or otherwise, should be a Trumpist deplorable. Your deplorable is a guy that just wants to be left alone to get on with his life. He is not that interested in money, not that interested in power, not that interested in status.

But if you are educated, and you are interested in money, or power, or status, then you are likely to be attracted to the doings of big government. You could, of course, become a businessman, or an artist, or a writer, or invent some other creative project.

But you will probably choose government, because the other routes to fame and fortune require imagination. Government is just force; we all understand that. No imagination needed.

Yay President Trump! Keep up that socialism talk, pal. I love it!

Monday, February 18, 2019

NYC Amazon Fail Shows Divide in Democratic Party

Amazon's recent decision not to build an office in New York City illustrates the fundamental divide in  the Democratic Party.

There is the old feudal wing, -- represented by  Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) and Mayor Bill di Blasio (D) -- where the feudal lords look after their serfs by bringing home the bacon, what used to be called Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. Then there is the priestly wing -- represented by the saintly Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) -- which is on a divine quest to bend the arc of history towards justice by propitiating the progressive gods, that is to say by activism and the peaceful protest. For her, Amazon is the incarnation of the Foul Fiend.

Of course, for a chap like me, both approaches are rubbish. The taxes and regulations in a great  metropolis should not be so high that the politicians have to sweeten the pot with tax abatements and subsidies. Still, I understand that politics it is all about the hustle. Making politics into a religion is of course a recipe for disaster and 100 million deaths, because moral questions are not negotiable like economic questions. But I get that politics and religion have mixed it up forever.

Still, it is comforting for me that the Democrats are divided like this, between the feudal wing and the priestly wing. It creates a space in the middle where deplorables can roam.

To me, the feudal barons are playing a zero-sum game of privilege and tribute. Play the game with us, they tell Big Business, and we will protect you from the mob. Vote for us, they tell their subordinate voters, and we will deliver the Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. Only, of course, the magic of capitalism is its constant churning, its creative destruction. So the idea that the feudal lords are providing jobs, jobs, jobs, rather than the robber barons is baloney. What is needed is the next generation of business startups to great new industries by innovation that will lead in time to jobs, jobs, jobs, for the feudal retainers.

The activist priests, on the other hand, are worse. Really, we should consider the priestly SJWs as a kind of death cult -- 100 million dead, don't forget -- that are leading their peaceful protesters to economic Armageddon. As Stalin, Mao once did, and now Maduro is doing. But, of course, the college-educated whites that are devotees of the progressive left are not worrying about economic issues like the feudal retainers that respond to the old cry of jobs, jobs, jobs. They are educated and expect that the world will always provide for them; they do not experience life as a existential struggle to put food on the table.

History doesn't repeat itself, they say, but it rhymes. The last lefty enthusiasm here in the United States was  the Sixties, when the radical Baby Boomer children of liberal parents thought they were going to fundamentally transform America. Only the American people elected Richard Nixon, to the disbelief of the special people.

The solution to the monstrosity of the Nixon presidency was, of course, impeachment on a phoney-baloney pretext that persuaded the Goldwaters and the Scotts of the 1974 US Senate to drive down Pennsylvania Avenue and tell Richard Nixon that he had to go. But I don't think that the old game is going to work this time. Just saying.

If history rhymes again we will see Donald Trump reelected and the usual suspects desolated  by another epidemic of Post Election Stress Disorder.

Strange, isn't it, that an epidemic of PESD only occurs after a Democratic loss. Why is that?

Friday, February 15, 2019

Now the Lawyers Want to Do Diversity and Inclusion

About 130 years ago Friedrich Nietzsche imagined a world Beyond Good and Evil.  He railed against "the priests," starting with Zoroaster in what we now call the Axial Age. Nietzsche thought it was a very bad thing to repress our natural and healthy tribal hate for the other and instead turn the hate against ourselves, as in Original Sin.

Now, I have to say that I disagree with Fritzi on this, because I think that the idea of Original Sin and Divine Justice was pure genius, because it taught humans living in cities not to blame the other guy all the time and stick a knife in his ribs just to make sure, but to think that maybe the problem starts at home! For city life depends on getting along with strangers, giving the stranger the benefit of the doubt, giving him a chance to prove his good faith before deciding to stick him in the ribs.

Nietzsche prophesied the Overman, the creative chap that rose above good and evil and realized that the real meaning of life, the universe, and everything was to boldly go where no man has gone before, to coin a phrase.

But in fact in many ways the opposite has happened, as government force and religious doctrine have combined in various totalitarianisms to force a single truth about Good and Evil on all humans or else. And you had better not boldly go anywhere without checking with the local SJWs.

You know what we are talking about. There was one totalitarianism that prophesied Workers Good, Capitalists Evil: 20 million dead. Then there was the totalitarianism that prophesied Aryans Good, Jews Evil: six million Jews dead. Now we have the totalitarianism that prophesies Activists Good, Deplorables Evil. There is no telling, yet, what the death toll will be.

So it is clear that we have not got Beyond Good and Evil. Not yet.

Nietzsche prophesied the Death of God, and maybe he was right, but it seems, at the very least, that God has been replaced by a whole underworld of demons. I'm not convinced that the change has been beneficial.

Put it this way: the God of the Bible may have died because fashionable educated people that write books stopped believing in Him, but the need for religious belief has not died.

Don't believe me? Then what in the world do the #WeBelieve yardsigns that sprouted in every liberal front yard after the Trump win in 2016 mean?
These are all religious beliefs, from racist and sexist religious beliefs to immigration religious beliefs, and a curious superstition that the realist world view that went out in the Enlightenment is still valid. Earth to liberals: we have had about three scientific revolutions since the realism of Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas went out of style!

Now I have no problem with liberals believing anything they want. What I don't like is that today liberal secular religious dogma is enforced as a kind of orthodoxy of the State Church of the Educated Class, where you had better bang your head on the floor, as the Chinese used to do in front of the Son of Heaven, or else no job for you.

Put it this way. In the bad old days of "the priests," there was at least a nominal separation between the political sector and the moral/cultural sector. But in our modern world, where the enlightened and the educated fondly believe in an "ethical" community, the enlightened and the educated are stupid enough not to understand that they just mean by "ethics" that people like them will make the rules about good and evil, and you'd better not be caught on the wrong side or else.

So, a friend sent me a couple of links here and here about bar associations in the US and Canada instituting professional requirements for "diversity and inclusion," so that law firms would be required to hire lawyers in accordance with some sort of notion about race and gender representation.

Guess what, counselor. That is racism and sexism, straight up. And since it diversity in lawyering will not be Good for the Jews, it is also anti-semitism, straight up.

Back in the good old Sixties when we passed the Civil Rights Acts, Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-AZ) got into hot water because he refused to vote in favor, on the grounds that the acts did not merely require government to stop discriminating, but private individuals too. As a libertarian, he believed that ordinary citizens have a right to discriminate. The problem was and is government that has and always will discriminate in favor of its supporters and against its opponents.

So if you are going to have a Civil Rights Act, it would be a good idea for it to state that government shall not discriminate on the basis of race or gender, period.

We can see that Barry was right, because the de-facto situation in the United States today is that government discriminates all over the place in favor of its racial, gender, and illegal alien clients in a blatant program of discrimination, whereas ordinary citizens are forbidden to discriminate on pain of administrative harassment by liberal-dominated Human Rights Commissions. And that is unjust.

The dirty little secret about discrimination is that most eevil businessmen will set aside their prejudices if the price is right. They may not like black homeboys, but if the homeboy works for less than a nice little teenage white girl, well... And who knows? If the homeboy puts his shoulder to the wheel and learns how to charm the customers the racist sexist homophobe of an employer might even hire one of the homeboy's buddies. By the way, businessmen also hesitate before hiring a minority because firing minorities can end up costing an arm and a leg if the minority decides to protest the firing by filing a complaint to the local civil rights commission. Just saying.

The only good thing is the historical record. It suggests that the kind of moral panic we are experiencing today is bound to be short lived. The various manias that flesh is heir to tend to exhaust themselves because humans cannot live forever at fever pitch. Eventually they instinctively return to wiving and thriving, which is their real life work.

And here is my idea on Good and Evil. The really bad stuff, like murder and mayhem, we punish with the criminal law. But lesser evils, like first trimester abortions, we deputize to priests and counselors selected by the sinners themselves, as in a church community. We do not give the priests of a conservative church the power to punish members of a liberal church. And we do not, as now, give the activists of the liberal Church of Progressive Wokeness the power to punish disreputable Deplorables.

Now that is what I call civilized.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

The Inevitability of Identity Politics

Steve Sailer explains our Democratic friends as the Coalition of the Fringes. Or the Margins. It is really simple. As I say, politics is division, between Us and Them. We know who We are, so the only question is to decide who They are. Now, imagine that you have constructed a Coalition of the Fringes, of blacks, women, LGTBs, Jews, and Muslims. OK, fine we know who We are. What about They?
While our society’s growing hate hysteria against straight white men may seem a bit demented, it is actually a logical requirement of the fundamental strategy of the Democratic Party: to mobilize a Coalition of the Margins comprising identity groups—such as blacks, transgenders, Muslims, and Jews—who don’t have much to unite them other than their resentment of old-fashioned Americans.
As they say, this isn't rocket science. Tribal politics is as old as the hills, and it has a very good and ancient purpose, to unit Our People to defend Our Food-giving Land.

As I keep writing, all this ancient tribal instinct and wisdom was swept away by the industrial revolution that made the "patch of land" sneered at in Fabian Essays in Socialism as the horrid forerunner of today's awful property system into an afterthought.

It's an odd thing to ponder. The origin of our modern property fetish was the survival importance of land, and yet now, when food-growing land is no longer a matter of life and death, we have planted its seed and grown a whole tree of property rights and culture to take its place.

In the old days of the "patch of land" there was a simple division between Us and Them. Us is the tribe of people occupying our patch of land. Them is the tribe next door that might challenge Us for possession of the patch of land. Them was the people We might have to fight to hold onto Our patch of land and its life-giving food.

But didn't the We ever descend into fratricidal conflict? No doubt We did, but as the anthropologists point out, We have hierarchy to discourage the war of all against all. In the old days, society was clearly defined by its order of rank, and so internal conflict was kept to a necessary minimum. It had to be if the society was to preserve its strength to defend its patch of land from the dangerous Them next door.

The thing is that now, with the old order of rank demolished in favor of equality, the social hierarchy is much more uncertain; it makes sense that more people than before would be tempted to challenge the hierarchical status quo to find out where they really stood in the hierarchy and how they might rise through a little strategic conflict.

And there is another thing. If the old conflicts over the patch of land are no longer, would not humans maintain their old instinct to defend themselves and their kind from existential peril, and negotiate their place in the hierarchy in a new way?

This is how I am starting to try to understand identity politics. It just makes sense that if the old order of rank has broken down with the modern notion of equality then people will renegotiate hierarchy in a new way.

When you think about identity politics the question of the Jews comes up immediately, because Jews have, down the centuries, tended to maintain themselves as a separate religious and tribal entity even while living as minorities all over the world. Think about it. Jews have managed to survive as a cultural and religious identity even though they have not had their own state since Roman times.

How do you do that?

We tend to view the Jewish question through the lens of anti-semitism, in the way we have been carefully taught, as a scandal of hate and fear. But I think we should realize that it makes complete sense that a nation or other political entity would turn on an identifiable minority in a time of crisis. In a crisis you need unity, and the way you get unity is by defining and mobilizing people against an enemy.  An  internal enemy is  very convenient because you don't have to go to war with them as  you often do with an external enemy. At the other pole, it makes complete sense that a minority group would maintain its identity and unity with a culture of siege, that the whole world is ganging up on it.

That is what our liberal friends do to mobilize their Coalition of the Fringes for political warfare. They mobilize their folks by whipping up anti-white-male-ism. Each member of the Coalition of the Fringes is encouraged to believe that any moment the whole white-male patriarchy might descend on them.

Of course, for the moment our liberal friends maintain their anti-white-male-ism culture by making it a vile hate-crime for any white male to object to his ghettoization and fount of all evil. This is immensely cunning, since it makes it almost impossible for any white male to object. And this is similar to the Jews and anti-semitism. It is extremely effective to marginalize anyone that criticizes Jews as a vile anti-semite until the moment that it doesn't work anymore.

Put it this way. Once you have demolished the old feudal order of ranks and substituted the current political culture of identity politics then you are living in a world where everyone is taught to be terrified that if the Other Guys ever get power then it is "curtains" for Us and people like us.

Hey! That explains the #Resistance against President Trump. Our liberal friends have been taught to hate and to fear everything about the racist sexist homophobe deplorables who were, every one of them, poised to descend on the helpless victims of the Coalition of the Fringes as soon as they got the  dog whistle from their racist sexist homophobic leaders. So of course, when Donald Trump won the  election our liberal friends panicked!

I  suppose you could say that the old feudal order of ranks has been replaced by an economic order  of ranks. In the market economy you are ranked by your net worth as a measure of your value to other market participants. No doubt that explains why our lefty friends have made such a point over the last 150 years of attacking any notion that the verdict of the market is right and just. The whole point of the left is to contest the current order of ranks as injustice, and to keep their Coalition of the Fringes in fear and trembling. The left wishes, through a battle of the identities, to renegotiate the social and economic hierarchy.

Remember in the good old  days when our liberal friends castigated us for our inordinate fear of Communism?

All good clean fun, but I worry about the day when those notorious white males no longer agree to carry the sins of the world on their shoulders.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Nietzsche Liked Europe; Zweig Liked Europe, So...

So here we are with the Brits facing a March 29 deadline on whether to bail out of the European Union.

Really, anybody who is anybody has been pro-European for over a century. So what is the deal? Europe good; nationalism bad! Get with the program, deplorables.

Yeah. Bad boy Friedrich Nietzsche -- the chap that good little girls in the media know was "the Nazi's favorite intellectual," because... Yes, because they have been carefully taught, from year to year, in their good little ears -- was pro-European and sneered at German nationalism.

And I have just finished a memoir by Stefan Zweig, a smart (and rich) Jewish kid and mid-20th-century writer from Vienna, who writes proudly that his "ideas have always been European and not nationalist" and about "the belief in intellectual unity".

But suppose that this notion of a European intellectual community shared by all the great and the good is the root of the problem? Think of it.

First of all there is the language problem. The nations of Europe all speak different languages. I don't know how you create a political community out of communities that don't speak the same language.

Then there is the top-down problem, the conceit of the "European intellectual community" for the last several hundred years that they are the smart people in the room. Really? How would we tell?

From my perspective, I would say about intellectuals: Locke good. Rousseau bad. Montesquieu good. Hume good. Marx bad. But I realize that millions in the "European intellectual community" disagree with me. So who is right?

Well, there is the advice of St. Matthew warning about false prophets: by their fruits you shall know them. I'd say that 100 million dead is a pretty good verdict on Rousseau and Marx. I'd say that the US of A is a pretty good fruit for the Lockes and the Monesquieux and the Humes.

Just sayin'.

One of the key factors in the amazing Great Enrichment of the last 200 years when real per capita income in places like the US increased by 30 times, is that the successive economic and technological and financial revolutions were not decreed from above. They were the result of nobodies with a good idea that, against all probabilities, made it to the big time.

What they were not, almost always, were fashionable ruling-class pet plans offered as a national goal to which all heads would bow. I am thinking Green New Deal.

The basic mindset in the notion of the European intellectual community is that big changes are born of big minds with big ideas. It stands to reason, doesn't it, that we can't just blunder into the future; we need well-worked-out plans using settled science and the best minds in the world.

Quite. Except that was the line of the Marxists and the Fabians. They had a horror of people just going out and doing stuff without the proper forethought.

Except that the grand plan of a California bullet-train just got shelved by uber-liberal California Governor Gavin Newsom. Because all the grand planning added up to a big fat zero.

We humans long for a world of perpetual piece, where hardship and struggle have been eliminated, where people can finally live together in harmony.

We imagine the perfect community where people all work together for the good of all.

The joke is that while the great and the good of the last two centuries have been conjuring up grand plans to transform society and usually filling the graveyards with victims, the market economy, of individuals conjuring up new ideas and submitting them to the verdict of the market, has transformed human life beyond recognition. And all it takes is for the great and the good to get the heck out of the way and stop trying to boss everyone around.

And nobody saw it coming.

And yet here we are, raising up good little girls like Sandy the bartender and carefully teaching them the ideas that have yielded poverty and death every time they were tried. And because they are good little girls they believe everything they were taught.

We don't need a European idea. We  don't need a planetary idea. We just need people to go about their business and accept the verdict of the market -- as modified by common-law judges trying to pick up the pieces after something goes wrong.

But what would the European intellectual community do then, poor things?

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The Left's Power of Silence

Here's a piece by a teacher in New York City's public schools that finally couldn't take it any more. As I understand it the problem is that the refusal of school officials to enforce discipline has led to a culture where the students passively resist any and all learning. They talk among themselves; they don't do homework; and they punish students that do want to learn. And the teachers are unable to do anything  about it.

Of course,  the Obama administration's policy of stigmatizing high discipline rates among minority students has a lot to do with this problem. Education bureaucrats found themselves under a mandate to reduce discipline numbers for minorities and so they did.

But where are our journalistic truth-seekers on this?

We see endless media about the sorrows of  poor LGBT sufferers but not a word about the collapse of marriage and work in the underclass. Remember, Charles Murray's Coming Apart noted merely that among white people the lowest 30 percent of men didn't work much and the women didn't marry much. Losing Ground was about white people because Charles Murray had been ritually humiliated by making the point in The Bell Curve that in a knowledge economy that rewards intelligence any racial groups with sub-par IQ was going to lose out. To write this was accounted the worst racism in the world. So in his next book Murray wrote about how white people below the salt were getting screwed. No racism here, no sir. Now the only people that talk about it are racist sexist homophobes like me.

Where are our journalistic truth-seekers on this?

We have had full-on interest that amounts to mob action in respect of a possible sexual assault by a teenager in connection with a Supreme Court nomination. But we do not see much passion in defenestrating Ralph Northram, Democratic Governor of Virginia and other Democratic state officials in Virginia.

Where are our journalistic truth-seekers on this?

The fact is that today's journalists follow along on the latest left-wing activist enthusiasm, and nothing else. We are seeing breathless coverage of Lefty's Green New Deal, which would basically put the United States on a war footing, with the entire economy drafted into the ruling class's war on fossil-fuel energy. You can see the effectiveness of the campaign. CampusReform sent a cameraman out to interview students about the Green New Deal. The kids were all in favor of the Green New Deal until they found out what was in it. So, in their day-to-day lives these youngsters had heard about the Green New Deal, but not what was in it.

Where are our journalistic truth-seekers on this?

It's a big problem. The only thing we get to hear about are the left's current enthusiasms, for racial justice, for gender justice, and environmental justice. We don't hear much, e.g., about how minimum wages hurt low-skilled minority youth.

But we don't hear a discouraging word about the cratered public schools.  We don't hear a peep about the cultural and economic wasteland of the underclass. And we don't hear a peep about corruption in the left-wing ruling class.

There is a perfectly simple reason for this. Our journalists are mostly left educated, and they basically go with the left agenda -- for instance the #WeBelieve agenda of race, environmental, gender, and immigrant rights. All other matters in the world are uninteresting or embarrassing, so the journalists don't cover them.

Most ordinary people -- including the educated classes -- don't encounter anything outside the day-to-day media. And they don't actually "read a book." Stacy McCain, who keeps an eye on LBGT madness so we don't have to, inadvertently scored a bulls-eye on this:
Incidentally, here’s something about me: I don’t watch YouTube videos. If you want to tell me something, write it. For any literate person, reading is far more efficient than listening to the spoken word. I am an extremely fast reader, and could fully comprehend the transcript of an entire 15-minute video in less than two minutes, and why should I waste that additional time? 
I agree. But the fact is that most people are more comfortable with the spoken word. They don't read books!

But, if people don't read books then all they know is what is pumped into their brains from various media. So if they are kids, they just know that the Green New Deal is a cool idea. They know that racism is the worst thing ever. They know whatever is being pumped out, courtesy of the various activists and publicists.

And whatever the left is not advocating about doesn't get discussed. Nobody even knows about it.

And that is a problem.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Donald Trump Pivots to "Father of His Country"

They say there are only two kinds of presidential elections. There is "Four More Years" and there is "Time for a Change." And that is all.

When you are fighting a Time for a Change election you are necessarily running as a heroic band of insurgents against a corrupt, cruel ruling class. You are admitting that you are an embattled minority, but by God, you have justice on your side!

It must be admitted that Donald Trump did a super job of winning a Time for a Change election in 2016 by sticking it to the ruling class, first in the Republican Party and then in the nation at large -- and living to tell the tale. I think that each of the two parts of this equation are just as important -- sticking it to the ruling class as well as living to tell the tale. If you can do both it implies a superhuman power or amazing luck or the special favor of the gods. All of these notions are very powerful and convincing to  humans. We like to follow people like that.

But now the president is running as the Four More Years guy, and that is completely different. Now he wants to make like he is the Father of his People, a Uniter not a Divider. He wants to make like he unites all Americans under his paternal aura and that it would be unthinkable for any brash upstart  to challenge him and the larger American community and sow dissension across the fruited plain.

So that is what all the stuff in the President's SOTU speech is all about. He is celebrating everyone, Jews from the Holocaust, blacks let out of jail, brave Hispanic servicemen. Even women! Getting more jobs than ever before! Because we are all Americans. We are all in it together. We all love our beautiful land and our beautiful people. Don't let anyone spoil it.

And then there is Borders and Babies.

Personally, I think that the Democrats are fools not to give the president his way on the Wall. It would be much better for them if The Wall and Defending Our Borders were not an issue any more. Why? Because the Number One job of government, any government from the village Big Man to the Nation State, is protecting The People by Defending the Borders. This is deep enough that it ought to be a Jungian archetype. It probably already is.

And Babies. One notable consequence of socialism and big government is women having less babies. My guess is that any political community that expects to endure is a political community that values babies very highly and that names and shames anyone that is deficient in the baby-making department. We all love babies; they embody our hope for the future. Of course, the modern swerve away from babies, including the sexual revolution, divorce, and abortion, is a trend that cannot long endure.

I explain the move away from babies in my Three Peoples theory by the notion that for People of the Creative Self meaning is created by the original creation in art, science, letters, business, politics. And not in the more primitive creation of babies, darling, like any common deplorable.

Yep. President Trump is in favor of Borders and Babies, and the Democratic Party is not. I think that this is a monumental divide that may result in President Trump getting the first 60-40 popular vote since Our Ronnie.

You know, Barack Obama could have done that as president, because everyone wanted to be part  of the First Black President. But Obama is a fool, his mind warped by lefty ideology, and so he threw away the opportunity for the Democrats to become America's party.

See, my idea is that you play identity politics when you are in the minority, by trying to hive away various races and genders from the great American community. Once elected, Obama, the fool, practiced identity politics when he could have strutted and fretted his hour upon the stage as the glorious and bountiful harvest of the civil rights era, the Great Uniter that represented everything good and great about America.

But lefties think that America was never great. Really? The nation that had a civil war to end slavery? That fought wars to conquer Nazism and Communism? That enacted civil rights for all Americans? That became the city on a hill that everyone wants to call home? The richest country in the world. That America was never great?

But what do I know?

Friday, February 8, 2019

The Problem of Creative People and Power

The problem about being a creative person, our People of the Creative Self, is that it is hard. And what do humans tend to do when something is hard? We get tempted to take a short cut.

I think that this fact tells us a lot about the educated ruling class of the last 100 years. Oh yeah! Poor old working class, having a tough time in the factories and the sweat shops of the industrial revolution! Let's transform the political system to give them justice! 

Good idea, creatives. Now it happens that the working class of the 19th century was well into developing their own solution to the problem, with labor unions, fraternal associations, mechanics institutes: bottom-up human associations run by the people themselves. So why not help them raise their game with their own authentic institutions?

Somehow, that thoughtful and compassionate project got lost in the enthusiasm for what our last  president called "fundamental transformation."

You can see why. Where is the starring role for what was called in the 19th century "Educated Youth" in a mild project to recognize and support the authentic institutions of the workers? Intolerable! So now we have a massive administrative state that features lots of lovely jobs and power for educated people. And we have an activism culture in which educated people get to pretend like the rioting "lower orders" and call their riots "peaceful protest." Because justice!

But I would like to ask: what is creative about the administrative state? And what is creative about the activism culture and its "peaceful protests?" If you ask me, the love affair that the People of the Creative Self have with politics and protest is about 90 percent the love of power and merely 10 percent the love of  creating a new world of justice.

Because anyone with half a brain understands my maxim that there is no such thing as justice, only injustice. The obvious illustration of that truth is when someone goes to law after being tortiously harmed by another. There is obviously nothing the legal system can do to erase the harm and the injustice of the tort. The only possible outcome is some recompense that the victim will rightly say is a poor substitute for never having suffered injustice at all.

When I last discussed the Three Peoples and power I did not mention Nietzsche. That half-mad philosophizer has been carefully pigeon-holed as "the Nazis' favorite intellectual." So don't pay him no never mind, if you are a good little boy or a good little girl that has been carefully taught to hate and to fear anything that our ruling class finds uncomfortable.

I can see why. I interpret Friedrich Nietzsche as the prophet of the People of the Creative Self. He is saying that if you want to be creative you have to be hard. You also have to cast off the Christian culture of Good and Evil. That's because the creative project necessarily goes Beyond Good and Evil. It accepts the basic fact of all living things: the will to power; my life and my posterity over your life and your posterity. If I am to create something new, well, I will have to break some eggs to make an omelette. This is perhaps better understood in the Jungian notion that creation and destruction are two sides of the same coin; if you are working on a creative project then you are also involved in project to destroy something else.  This was made obvious for the economic sphere when Joseph Schumpeter wrote about capitalism being "creative destruction."

It's curious that our educated ruling class makes a big deal about protecting people from the ravages of the capitalistic creative projects of businessmen but never confront the issue of protecting people from the ravages of their creative projects, in art, in politics, and in culture.

If you seek examples of this problem, just look around you. There are plenty of people in the ruling class that insist that Donald Trump's program of higher tariffs is a destructive disaster. It's a good point. Does his program protect the American people from Chinese economic aggression, or does it beggar us all with the kind of economic war that made the Great Depression worse than it might have been?

OK. So what about Medicare For All? Does it deliver good health care for all Americans, irrespective of  wealth and income, or does it demolish the health care system by making it into a rigid bureaucratic hell? 

What about the Democrats' Green New Deal? Does it get us off the road to disaster by ending "carbon pollution?" Or does it destroy the economy by assuming that increased carbon dioxide (presently a trace gas at 0.4% of the atmosphere) will end life as we know it? And does it ignore that in a century we will likely have found new, presently unimaginable, forms of energy, that makes our current worries seem ridiculous? Do we really know enough about the Earth's climate to justify the gigantic political and economic project of completely transforming the energy economy in a decade? What are the creative possibilities, and what are the destructive possibilities? And what about the Precautionary Principle?

You can see that it doesn't take too much intellectual horsepower to see that the driving force behind all the creative projects of the educated ruling class is the delicious rush of the creative process. Let's make the world anew! And let's put People Like Us in charge!

And they understand my maxim that the only warrant for government power is existential peril. I saw a tweet yesterday making exactly that point, that climate change is an existential challenge. Of course it is; otherwise no warrant for a nice big government program.

Now I've been reading my Nietzsche and I have a point to make about his project to get Beyond Good and Evil. I say: Fine, Fritzi. You creative chaps want to transform the world in your orgy of creative power. But I don't. I think that the regime of Good and Evil is more than a dirty trick of "the priests." I think it was one of the most astonishing human achievements ever.

See, in the old days, people lived around their close blood relatives, and it is clear that humans instinctively tend to trust people the closer their blood relationship. But what happens when people move to the city and have to deal, day to day, with strangers that are not related by blood. Hey! How about Good and Evil and God's Law and God's Divine Justice! And all the rest of the Axial Age Religions. I think that the Good and Evil menu served as an immensely creative way of dealing with the problem of how to get people to live in peace in the city when nearly everyone is unrelated by blood. It is probably a good thing that we teach good little boys and good little girls not to hate on other people whenever something goes wrong, and to think first that "maybe I have a problem."

So I say that the license that Nietzsche gave the People of the Creative Self to go out and create without thinking about  the possible destructive effect on other people is a problem. I think that the creative culture should be mounted on the shoulders of the Good and Evil culture, and should abandon its project of replacing it.

But how do we teach the People of the Creative Self to have some compassion and understanding for the People of the Responsible Self when they have been carefully taught to practice compassion and understanding only for the workers and peasants and victims of the People of the Subordinate Self?

That is a problem for another day.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

A Public Square with a "More Feminine Sensibility"

Some years ago I read the prediction of German sociologist about women in the public square:
Obviously, Simmel wrote, the public sphere, the world outside the home, in the short term would still be defined by men for men, but in the long term women would transform the public square to suit "a more feminine sensibility."
Of course, I said to myself, that makes complete sense. But what exactly would a public square with "a more feminine sensibility" look like? Ever since I have tuned my cultural antennae to be looking for signs and portents.

I last took a look at this in December 2017.

Let us examine the question again, and let us start with the question of honor, from Honor: a History by James Bowman.

According to Bowman, honor is very different for men and for women.  Honor for men is a reputation for courage, in particular the reputation for standing in line with your brothers-in-arms and not breaking line and heading for safety. Honor in women is a reputation for chastity, and I do not mean just sexual chastity, but the broader question of never doing anything wrong, never having made a mistake.

In my view, the notion of chastity in the public square is a problem, because the only way to avoid making a mistake is never to do anything.

And there is another thing. Men bring their masculine sensibility to the public square, both the good and bad. For instance, men have an insult culture, by which they playfully insult each other. This can be good, if insults are truly playful, or bad, if the insult hits a bit too close to home and leads to fisticuffs or the blood feud of the Hatfields and the McCoys.

It stands to reason, therefore, that women bring their feminine sensibility to the public square, both for good and for ill. For instance, women have a complaint culture by which two women chatting together will impugn a third woman: "I can't believe she said/did that." This can be good if the complaint is true, or bad, if the complaint escalates into a mean-girl ganging up on some individual woman in the kind of operation that has come to be called a witch hunt.

It seems to me that these two cultures, the insult culture and the complaint culture, represent two very different ways of dealing with social conflict.

I would say that the political system, with its eternal exchange of insults, is almost irredeemably male. How do you modify it to suit "a more feminine sensibility?" and the underground system of complaints about third parties?  The legal system, with its process of prosecution and defense, is as male as can be.

You can see "a more feminine sensibility" in the politically correct culture of today's university campus, where the students -- and I suspect  the administrators -- are now majority female. It is clear to me that the notions of "microaggression" and "safe spaces" represent "a more feminine sensibility" on campus. Women on campus are saying that it is unacceptable for a woman ever to be offended or challenged by another person. But notice that the effect of the microaggression/safe space" culture is to eliminate any discourse that might be construed by sensitive souls to "give offence."  How, for instance, does a group of people on  today's campus represent their experience of injustice if the feminine powers-that-be determine that their "peaceful protest" "gives offence?"

It seems to me that the male insult culture accepts that there will be disagreements between men that need to be publicly acknowledged and worked out. But if you ask me the women's complaint culture will tend to marginalize disagreements, and has no way of resolving disagreement. The mean girls rule, because they monopolize the air waves, and too bad for the rest of us.

For instance, all the women Democratic representatives dressed up in white at the recent State of the Union speech by President Trump. So how does that make the Republican women feel? Isn't this kind of behavior a microaggression that would make non-lefty women in Congress feel unsafe? Doesn't it send a message to all and sundry that you are either with us or against us?

And if we are talking about white uniforms, what about the KKK? Are we to understand these Women in White as the new street-thug department of the Democratic Party, just like the KKK was in the Jim Crow South?

I think the whole question of women in the public square is a huge issue, and we have just begun to scratch the surface.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Government: Is Plunder All There Is?

As I slowly read through Thomas Penn's book on Britain's Henry VII, Winter King: Henry VII and the Dawn of Tudor England, I can't help comparing it to today's America. Henry VII was implacable about nosing out conspiracies and collusions with foreign powers. He was brutal about extracting revenue from the merchants of London and the powerful aristocrats.

Basically, King Henry would sicc his finance guys on some unsuspecting rich guy on some pretext or other and order the rich guy to pay up. Plus, he would force his target du jour to post a bond to guarantee future good behavior, and the bond would be big enough that the target would have to raise money from his friends, so the friends were put at risk too. Sound familiar?

What did Henry VII do with all this money? As far as I can make out he used it to build more palaces and hunting retreats, more gorgeous jewel-encrusted clothing, and more displays of regal magnificence.

Which shows how small-minded the little kingie was.

As you know, my line on government is that it taxes the people to reward its supporters. But Henry only spent money on himself. No wonder the Brits couldn't wait for the guy to die.

There is not a whisper in Winter King about economic growth. All Henry thinks about is extraction: loot and plunder. But there was one thing in his favor. He didn't go to war. Sure, he played international power politics with the Frenchies and the Castilians and the Hapsburgs, and was always trying to line up a nice dynastic marriage for himself. But he couldn't bring himself to throw the dice and go to war; he wanted to spend all that lovely revenue on himself.

Fast forward to today. If you listen to our Democratic friends they are talking about nothing except lovely loot and plunder for their supporters: Medicare For All. Free College. Student Debt forgiveness. But they also want to go to war -- on climate change with a Green New Deal. Not a word about growing the economy to create jobs, jobs, jobs.

In my reading, the first evidence of government thinking about the benefit to itself from  economic growth is this statement by a notable just before the Glorious Revolution that I read in 1688: The First Modern Revolution by Steven Pincus. Observing the early effect of manufacturing in England, Carew Reynell wrote in 1685:
Though we are a nation already pretty substantial... yet it is easy for us to be ten times richer.
Imagine you are a politician and have the strategic vision to see what "ten times richer" means to you in respect of tax revenues and rewarding your supporters and strutting your stuff on the world stage. You would think that the thoroughly modern Millies of Big Government would be all over the economic growth gambit because of the glorious potential to increase the pot of loot and plunder. But in fact they don't. They just talk about new spending programs and increasing taxes on the rich; they don't talk about making the pot bigger.

Is this a problem with today's voters? It is clear that there is a major divide between the political parties in America. Obviously President Trump with his Make America Great Again slogan is playing the Reynell notion, that with economic growth we can all be richer. The Democrats are playing the Winter King dirge of Henry VII: they are going to extract revenues from their hated enemies in the white supremacist and toxic masculinity sector and then spend all the lovely loot on a war on climate change, plus free health care and college for all.

OK. You already saw what was coming. How does this play out with our reductive Three Peoples theory? Obviously the People of the Subordinate Self are interested in whatever loot gets tossed their way: Yay! free health care! Obviously the People of the Responsible Self respond to Make America Great Again; they just want to go to work, obey the law and save some money for a rainy day.

What about our pals, the People of the Creative Self? Obviously, they want something on which to exercise their creative talents. What better than working on the science and the policy analysis and the activism and the generalship of the climate wars?

So what the 2020 election will lay out for us is where the American people stand on all this. Do they want to get a share of the loot and plunder? Do they want to participate in the growth and the jobs, jobs, jobs?  Or do they look forward to looking down from the commanding heights of climate activism and generalship?

Do you know what? I have absolutely no idea how it will turn out. But it is pretty obvious how the two political parties are lining up for the tournament to come.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Tribalism - Table of Contents

The Internal Contradictions of Our Rulers Political Faith

When CNN's Don Lemon interviewed Gladys Knight, who sang the National Anthem at Super Bowl LIII, he ran a tape of Colin Kaepernick's lawyer making the lefty activist case against the National Anthem and then basically asked Knight how she could descend to singing the National Anthem at a public event and didn't she worry that such an act could hurt her career.

Knight returned evil with love, and said there is "a better way to do this than to be angry", and basically said that if you are not going to honor your country what are you going to honor.

Meanwhile, President Trump is going to honor a rainbow coalition of ordinary folks at his State of the Union speech tonight, from the
family members of an elderly couple killed by illegal immigrants and the father of a seaman killed in the U.S.S. Cole attack... [to the first] Americans released from prison as a result of the First Step Act, a woman recovering from opioid addiction, and a border enforcement official.
And also a kid getting bullied at school because of his unfortunate surname.

Hello liberals! Do you not get that if some kid called Joshua Trump is being bullied at school, then You! Did It! as Col. Pickering has it in My Fair Lady.

While the Democrats accuse President Trump of being a racist, anyone with eyes to see can tell that the president is openly making a bid for minority votes. Indeed, that is a part of the whole idea of Make America Great Again. It's not just for the forgotten white working class, but for the African Americans that have failed to thrive in the 50 years since the civil rights era, not to mention low-skilled Americans of every stripe that are forced to compete with legal and illegal immigrants.

Stop-Press: wages for manual workers are presently rising faster than wages for white-collar workers.

Now I don't know if Trump's  populist nationalism counts as "civic nationalism" or some other nationalism. But I do know that if Trump can't create a political culture where all Americans, whatever their "diverse" origins, can celebrate being Americans and members of the American nation, then we are heading for a very dark age.

Because if nationalism fails then we will revert to narrower, meaner forms of identity based on race and religion.

The basic fact is that humans must belong to a tribe. My Tribalism series explains the whole procedure.

In our modern age we have two competing tribalisms. There is the tribalism of "nation," the notion that all people living in some unified political territory are all members of the nation.

Then there is the tribalism of the current western educated ruling class that issues from leftist thinking based on the international class war imagined by Marx. Its notion is "anything but nation." It imagines itself free of the taint of tribalism, especially of nationalism-is-a-dirty-word-because-Hitler.

But, of course, since the educated ruling class believes in its divine right to rule, because the Enlightenment, and believes in politics as a salvific, or at least beneficial, quest, it has to invent its own form of tribalism. Because all politics is based on a tribalism.

If you believe in politics, then you believe in tribalism. If you don't understand that then you'd better stop reading now.

The two forms of tribalism that our rulers have invented are "identity politics" and "supranationalism." There is nothing remarkable about this. If you decide against the tribalism of nation then you are going to have to find another tribalism that works for you.

Identity politics is a sub-national tribalism. Because all politics is based on tribalism it is necessary for rulers to appeal to voters based on some sort of tribalism. In the 19th century big-city machine politics was based on ethnic and religious origin: Irish, Italian, Jewish, Catholic: identity politics. By the New Deal era this was blended with the class politics of socialism/welfare-statism: identity politics again. In the post civil rights era identity politics has meant anti-white-male-ism: identity politics. So our rulers use identity politics to manipulate and divide the electorate. Divide and conquer.

The other tribalism is the actual tribe of our supra-national leaders. Their identity group is the transnational educated elite that studies and works and conferences with itself all over the world. To this tribe the tribalism of nationalism is mean and narrow. You see it already in Ecce Homo in Nietzsche, who sneers at German nationalism as having "deprived Europe itself of its meaning... into a dead-end street." Napoleon is his guy. And Stefan Zweig, writing in 1940, echoes Nietzsche, wondering why all Europeans could not get together like he and his writer friends from Austria, Germany, France, Italy,  Britain have done.

Well, echoing Enoch Powell, "Europe" cannot work because there is no European demos, no European people. The intellectuals and philosophers don't get this because they experience themselves and their brothers-in-arms in the global intelligentsia as a tribe of brothers, and therefore why can't we all get along as they do? Because, dear intellectuals, just because all you writers and intellectuals feel like brothers doesn't mean that the rest of the world feels the same, especially since you chaps are working overtime to divide us all with your supranational political dreams. Indeed, you chaps make it perfectly clear that we "deplorables" are outside the charmed circle of intellectual brotherhood and we'd better get with the program or, as Don Lemon so aptly says, it could be curtains for your career.

My point is that we humans are tribal: our politics is going to be tribal. The question is which tribalism  works best? In my view nationalism is the best thing going thus far. It unifies a diverse population into a single national idea, based on a fake unity of language and a historical unity based on the war that founded the nation.

Yeah, that last thing is key. All nations were founded in a war. So there cannot be a Europe until the Europeans fight and win a war. Think about the meaning of that!

Our rulers' divide-and-conquer identity politics is a Great Reaction back to the tribalism of the agricultural era; the supranational notion is a non-starter because there is no supranational demos, except among the elite.

So my prediction is that Trump's Make America Great Again nationalism will win despite the united opposition of the better sort of people. And it is going to drive them mad.