I often say “the Left has gone crazy.” But what this amounts to may be just this:

  1. the left has purged itself of almost all good ideas
  2. the left has become more cultic and tribal
  3. the left has tribalized itself into a corner, by which I mean it can no longer engage with ideas outside its own ideological bent, and
  4. is now panicking at the realization that huge swaths of the American public no longer cede leftists a high moral ground, now readily plying arguments against leftism that leftists have great difficulty addressing.

The left is not liberal any longer, so all leftists are left with is collectivist garbage — that is the first point.

Being more cultic and tribal means that they behave like I, in my youth, thought defined conservatives, by exclusion and marginalization, the constant and hysterical defensiveness — that is the second point.

But it gets worse, for in point 3, above, we witness leftists retreating so deep into their protective bubbles that they no longer even understand arguments that do not move them. They cannot, generally, explain their opponents’ notions without mangling them. This means they are constantly burning straw men. And are impossible to debate rationally, for rationality has left them. All they have left is rationalization.

And their panic at their own possible, likely future irrelevance — or merely at their newfound lack of impregnability — has driven them into a deep madness, as can be seen in their ideological support of lockdowns and now riots.

This is not to say that the right is irresistible, immune to the political psychosis. Right-wingers find it difficult not to go overboard for order, and lash out fecklessly when attacked. But they are not the ones left intellectually vacuous, ready for a grand implosion.

To witness leftists rushing towards their humiliation is to witness a horde under the guidance of the Imp of the Perverse.

twv

Arthur Rackham illustration of the Poe story, “The Imp of the Perverse.”
Do commies support mass immigration? Ah, what a question!

. . . as deliberately not answered on Quora. . . .

I did not click “Submit” because I never submit to Marxists, or to socialists of any kind.

twv

I don’t want to die but I ain’t keen on living either. What do you think of a statement like this one?

…as answered on Quora….

I don’t want to die but I ain’t keen on living either.

What do I think of that?

It would be helpful to know how old you are. If young, I would counsel caution. It is probably a passing phase. And if you make irrevocable decisions in your current condition, you may prevent the flowering of future values and life options. Pushing through a time like this, taking hints from traditional virtues as promulgated by most common sense folks from our species’ long past seems wisest.

I thus suggest a Stoic ethic.

But much may be said for a pared-down hedonism, as well: finding little to live for in this world is no great tragedy, the trick being to take control of your options and make the most of the little you find enjoyable. And meaningful. This is the Epicurean way: minimax. Avoid the worst pains and accept as more than adequate that which is enough. Savor what you have. Be at peace with it. And certainly do not fret about what you cannot change. Including your past. Including your itches and hankerings or lack thereof.

The great danger of your predicament is to fall downwards to the next level: nihilism. Seeing no value in anything, one chooses to act in ways that in turn yield little of value, and in your wake you can scuttle goodness in the future, for you or others. Nihilism is a self-fulfilling prophecy. What begins, perhaps, in mistake, if acted upon can make all too real the initial error.

One should avoid making errors that compound upon themselves.

The condition you identify, of ennui and perhaps consequent anomie, is not too far from melancholy or sadness. And, in such a condition, what to do? I have taken the Epicurean plan, as described by T. H. White in The Once and Future King:

“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.”

The world is a curious place, and curiosity is the apt response. It provides for many of us who are not far from your condition a source of harmless and even utile pleasure. Self-education. The first step to take control of one’s life is to take control of one’s education. And once one does this one steps above mere Existence and into the status of self-actualization, up to the level of Historical Man (or Woman). And then many more options open up.

And here is a truth that the philosopher Herbert Spencer expounded upon: a course of action set upon to the point of habit conjures up its own pleasures.

Acting as if life mattered makes life matter.

I think this is true despite seeming like a kind of magic — and no matter what your age.

Epicurus said that as well, in his epistle to Menoeceus:

Let no one be slow to seek wisdom when he is young nor weary in the search of it when he has grown old. For no age is too early or too late for the health of the soul. And to say that the season for studying philosophy has not yet come, or that it is past and gone, is like saying that the season for happiness is not yet or that it is now no more. Therefore, both old and young alike ought to seek wisdom, the former in order that, as age comes over him, he may be young in good things because of the grace of what has been, and the latter in order that, while he is young, he may at the same time be old, because he has no fear of the things which are to come. So we must exercise ourselves in the things which bring happiness, since, if that be present, we have everything, and, if that be absent, all our actions are directed towards attaining it.

And if you wonder why bother with wisdom, consider: its opposite is folly, and folly provides its own punishment. If you embrace folly, ruin is most likely. And with it, misery.

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Left: Harry Brown; Right: Epicurus.
A doctored photo of Hitler, by the way.
He was not holding a Bible in the original photo.

The willingness — actually, eagerness — to equate Trump with Hitler is amusing. Folks have a fantasy life far stronger than their waking life rationality. Hollywood twitterers like Debra Messing, especially.

That being said, all political leaders have a little Hitler in them. The Führerprinzip is one entelechy among several. Trick is: don’t allow the Inner Hitler to dominate. And the other trick is: do not set up situations where our leaders feel compelled to let out their Inner Hitlers.

One of those situations is mass street violence.

Don’t be idiots, “protesters”! Only you can turn Trump into Hitler.

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A Threat to Civilization?

Now up on YouTube, the twelfth episode of my podcast:

LocoFoco #12, featuring Kevin D. Rollins

It is also available as a podcast on Apple, Google, and Spotify, and other podcatchers, as well as at LocoFoco.net:

When you are in a cult, its dogmas seem like Truth and its rites seem Profound.

Outside it? They seem stupid: full of falsity and triviality and gaucherie.

Human beings aren’t handling modernist secularism very well. So the postmodern response has been to replace religion (which educated folks generally think quite stupid) with politics.

But not just any politics — a cultish, ludicrous statism, swapping nearly every feature of the west’s dominant religion, Christianity, with some brummagem analog. But it has obvious spiritual consequences, as it must, it exhibiting itself in the acolyte as a personal and quite strident commitment to an ideology with enough internal contradictions to make the doctrine of the Trinity the very acme of Aristotelian clarity,

Libertarians have been talking about this for years. Calling statism a religion and progressivism a cult is something my friends and I have been doing since . . . well, how long, exactly? Decades, for me, since I first walked into a rented house in north Portland, Oregon, and was greeted by Tonie Nathan, the first woman to receive an Electoral College vote, rogue as it was, and introduced me around to the very smart people milling about talking about the complexities of the simple system of natural liberty.

Regardless of who makes the case, Michael Tracey or a myriad libertarians, the charge sticks.

But this is not exactly a happy judgment. Replacing God with the State and Sin with Racism has sad aspects. The saddest may be that self-righteousness has not been replaced, but doubled down upon.

Or, worse yet, group-righteousness. You can see it in the glare of the eyes as refracted in the spittle on the lips of people who, just a week before, screamed at us heathens for not wearing masks.

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In the first three years of Donald John Trump’s presidential tenure, one thing we often marveled at was his ability to get his enemies to shift gears and focus on something else. Well, “shifting gears” is too anodyne a phrase: Trump derailed his opponents and set them on utterly orthogonal courses, careening out of control.

Can we be forgiven if we wonder whether other forces are now doing that?

Take 2020. At the start of the year, media focus shone almost solely upon Trump’s impeachment and trial in the United States Senate. All eyes gazed upon that steaming pile of compost.

Then, the “novel [China] coronavirus.” SARS-CoV-2 took over not merely the national focus, but the world’s. A most amazing turn.

Then, a few weeks ago, it became obvious that the lockdown policies were not going to hold: the people had had enough. Further, knowledgeable opinion was marshaling plausible scientific arguments against the lockdowns’ rationale. Progressives and Biden voters, overwhelmingly for the lockdowns, were seeing diminishing returns for their obsessions about the subject.

As if to save public ire against Trump, then came the execution of George Floyd by a Minneapolis policeman, on camera. An eruption of horror, almost unanimous. The cop was fired and charged with a crime.

Yet protest rallies and marches ensued, despite the apparent working of justice to redress the problem.

And then the riots. Which may have included some infiltrators spurring on the violence.

If you think this might all be a conspiracy to channel public attention, in mad hopes of ousting Trump in the next election, you are probably wrong. But I think you should be given some license to express the idea. You might be right.

Public obsessions turning so quickly on a dime sure look managed!

Illusion, probably. Natural action and reaction, likely. 

But smart people resist being caught up in manias outside their control. Super-smart people place others under their control.

In any case, it seems the case that Trump has lost some of his mojo. He no longer controls the news cycle; he no longer controls the focus of our attention.

twv

Why is not more made of the fact that the supposed Trump economy is really just a chimera based on a loan against the future that serves the rich very well, while mortgaging the middle class’s future and especially that of their children?

…as answered on Quora….

Is that a fact or a theory?

I am not saying it is not true. But the likelihood of a default on the debt is very high, so who ultimately pays may be a bit of an open question. The incidence of the burden shall shift.

Why is not more made of this, though? Great question.

The answer is easy: it is not just about the “Trump economy.”

Economic policy madness is a truly bipartisan effort. The recent and quite unhinged “stimulus” bills that Trump signed ran through the House of Representatives under control of the Democrats, as well as through the GOP majority Senate.

Fiscal irresponsibility is the basic position of both major parties.

Any attempt to characterize this as a mere partisan or personal failure is a nonstarter. The truth of our predicament is that our rush into the future is chaotic and crazy and by consensus. Confronting the truth of government today? Americans simply cannot handle the truth.

Which is perhaps the real reason our politics is so . . . mad. The double bind we have collectively embraced must have some effect. The effect is a kind of schizophrenia. All Americans are implicated. All. And thus politics is basically the drivel of madmen.

…from the last few days on social media….

As anyone may have noticed, I’m not very big into “protests.” I turned on the idea of mass protest pretty thoroughly when I stumbled into Seattle’s 1999 WTO protests by accident, and then watched (from a safe distance) as the protests spiraled into mass violence.

Since I also opposed the WTO, you might think I would have been simpatico with the protesters. But no: they were mainly left-anarchist poseur hippie boys and their earnest, professional girlfriends, spouting contradictory and incoherent gibberish, unlearned and anti-factual and rather stupid.

The biggest difference never receives official attention: “right-wing” protests almost never lead to violence, “left-wing” protests almost always do. 

This wasn’t always the case, and much depends upon how you define left and right, which I blogged about once again today. But in recent memory, left-wing protest tends to lead to rioting.

Remember just a few months and then weeks ago normal Americans — mostly but not all white — were promoting the Second Amendment in Virginia and then protesting the lockdowns in Michigan? In both cases the major media freaked over the weaponry on display. But there was zero to scant violence, during and after.

The main complaints were “I saw a Confederate Flag!” and “They aren’t social distancing!”

But media folks — they don’t mind seeing commie and anarchist flags, pointing their cameras elsewhere, and I haven’t heard any umbrage taken about the protesters in Minneapolis not wearing medical masks.

There were mask-wearers, of course, but those appeared to be rioters — and the Men in Black who were instigating mayhem.

So, one reason there may be violence associated with left-wing protests is that right-wingers sabotage them. But that isn’t the full story, for the anarchists at the WTO riots, and antifa and BAMN at more recent protests, are very, very left-wing, and very, very violent. 

And do a lot of instigating.

While being institutionally supported by George Soros.

Further, masses of leftists seem more violent than masses of rightists.

The lack of objective reporting by the press is interesting. 

It could be ideological: we rah-rah our side, we boo their side! 

But it may be more craven: the media likes to cover violence, so encourages the protests that give corporate heads the stories that help with the bottom line.


I have never denied that SARS-CoV-2 is extremely dangerous. Why, it makes even the uninfected go mad.


Does it need to be said? No matter who instigates a destructive riot, riots are bad. No matter who casts the first stone, so to speak, does not let off the hook the second thrower, or the third, or the fourth. We can make judgments about people who attack innocent people and their property. Condemnation is the standard, traditional, and quite justified judgment.

“Outside instigators of violence” should worry those who think their protests are legitimate. If they go ahead and protest, and do not patrol their ranks, and their peaceful protest breaks out into looting and arson and street violence, then that’s a tragedy. If, however, every time a protest of your cause ends up that way, and yet you organize protests, you become complicit (to some extent) in the horrors of the crime wave.

I have seen credible (but not certain) accusations of instigation to violence in Minneapolis and elsewhere of undercover/off-duty police and of antifa and other anarchist groups, and much speculation about criminals, political groups, etc. What if it were a perfect storm of influences, from left, right and center?

Would it matter to protesters? If what they do is set off violence, then what they do is at best counter-productive.

Something other than protests need to be thought. I have suggestions.

But because they are rational suggestions, irrational people will not engage in them, now, will they?

Defending “peaceful protest” is fine, but if it always ends up violent, the defenses are inapposite.

Remember Martin Luther King, Jr.? Somehow, he took a lot of care to make his marches peaceful.

Today’s protests generally repudiate the principles of MLK. Yet everyone claims to admire him.

Par for the current course, though: seemingly earnest pieties are regularly repudiated in action.


Were you aware that notorious pick-up artist Roosh V. has repudiated his past and now preaches traditional Christian ethics?

I first became aware of him as he began undergoing his transition. It has been interesting to watch. I was of course aware of “the game” for many years, but had never really followed it. Roosh, however, is an interesting case.


So, the challenge is here: the famous anti-HCQ study is probably a fraud.

I had seen someone else make the case yesterday. On Twitter or Gab. Somebody else other than this linked author who deals with data on a regular basis was utterly incredulous about the data set described:

If you’re following at all the search for COVID-19 treatments, and possibly even if not, you will have seen the flurry of media coverage for the observational study in The Lancet ‘Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis. It made the news not least because hydroxychloroquine is the drug President Trump says he is taking in the belief that it will reduce his chance of catching COVID-19. This view is not backed up evidence until some randomised trials come in. Getting in before the trials, the Lancet study used propensity score matching to try to control for the non-random treatment. It found that taking hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine were associated with an increased risk of heart problems.
I am highly skeptical of the powers of hydroxychloroquine with relation to COVID-19 (‘skeptical’ in the sense that I have suspended judgement for now – there simply isn’t evidence either way). But I want the test of its properties to be done properly, with random controlled trials. And if we are to use observational studies (which I do not object to, they just aren’t as useful as an experiment where you can manipulate the treatment), they have to use real data.
The data in that study, and in at least one preprint on a second treatment, were provided by an Illinois firm called Surgisphere. Allegedly the data represents the treatment and health outcomes of 96,032 patients from 671 hospitals in six continents. However, there is simply no plausible way I can think of that the data are real.
I’ll say that again – I believe with very high probability the data behind that high profile, high consequence Lancet study are completely fabricated.

Peter Ellis, “A health data firm making extraordinary claims about its data,” free range statistics, May 30, 2020.

So, a major journal accepts a study on a highly politicized subject and — if this charge holds — scandal ensues.

This is par for the postmodern course, from what I can tell. We do not have as much actual science going on as we are led to believe. Much of it is scientism — pseudoscience. I assume you are aware of the replicability problem that has been dogging the heels of institutional science for the last decade. Many journals have also become corrupt or, at best, inefficient. (I just read the abstract of a paper co-authored by Dan Klein about “the paucity of theory in the Journal of Economic Theory.” Hilarious.) Much of the academic world has lost its way. The “scientific method” is not in practice when the “public testing” element is institutionally scuttled.

The problem, I believe, is government funding. For that puts science into the whorl of special interest incentives, and makes the subject area liable to something very much like “regulatory capture.”

Whole domains of science seem untrustworthy to me:

climatology
paleontology
ancient history
economics

. . . I could go on and on.

Only when academics are held accountable on objective grounds can they be saved from corruption by politics and funding. And since the academy is by definition an exclusionary institution, accountability has to be imposed. It is imperative that non-academics speak up. 

And let us be frank: this case is in part about TDS.


To what extent is COVID-19 panic driven by class insecurities? Most illnesses the well-off can avoid or pay for. The panic began when being rich did not seem to help, while lockdown mania grew as it became clear that the well-off were less negatively affected than the proletarian middle and lower income groups.

twv

The startling horror of wearing stripes with plaid made me go crazy with the filter. Still: stripe v. plaid!
SARS-CoV-2

Last week I published another episode of the LocoFoco Netcast, but forgot to link to it here. So, a little late. . . .

LocoFoco Netcast #11.

The podcast version is on SoundCloud, findable with the domain name LocoFoco.net: