Archives for category: Politics

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

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.

twv

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.

twv

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.

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:

Something I just learned: associating the “right” with both “west” and “moral rectitude” (“dexter”) and “left” with both “east” and “evil” (“sinister”) goes back many millennia to ancient Egypt, when the Theban priests expelled and crushed the Amarna pharaohs and their Atenist cult. The worship of the Aten, you see, was a rite directed at the rising sun. The Theban priests who re-took complete control of Egypt under Horemheb reinstated the worship of the setting sun, the worship of Amen.

So Akhenaten’s religious revolution was not an aberration, not a mere foreshadowing. It was a forming feature of our civilization. Well, we can regard it as so if more linkages with our traditions can be found. And I think there are many such linkages.

But regarding directions: the victorious Amenists won.

It is amusing how “left” and “right” in politics has so transformed our values, though, for in popular discourse “right” no longer carries the implication of moral rectitude, “left” does. Right-wingers are generally despised as evil — by our cultural elites, I mean. Yes, these highly influential left-wingers think of themselves as utterly good, their causes wholly just because (they think) for the good of all, while rightist causes are only for the good of some.

Of course, in truth, popular opinion is filled with illusions.

The drollery here is rich, for, as everyone knows, whether something is to our left or our right depends on where we are looking.

But it is fun to see a memeplex sport such deep roots in our civilization.

Which we can watch burn, livestreamed.

twv

We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.

CIA Director William J. Casey, February 1981, Roosevelt Room, White House

. . . descends deeper into depravity by pushing for an unlikely candidate for the Vice President:

Joe Biden’s concern about the national-security impact of the coronavirus has led him to weigh picking the Obama-administration national security adviser Susan Rice as his running mate, according to several people who’ve spoken privately with the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee in recent weeks.

Rice is well known in Washington, but has a much lower national profile than most of the other women being considered, and comes with few conventional political upsides. She isn’t particularly likely to be selected, people inside the campaign say (some who have spoken about her with Biden see her as a more likely pick for secretary of defense or secretary of state), and Rice has told confidants that she knows that.

But the interest Biden has expressed in Rice reflects his concerns that the ongoing economic and public-health crisis the U.S. faces may require him to pick a strong national-security hand as his running mate.

Considering that Ms. Rice both accused Trump of treason and has admitted under oath that she had no reason to believe her charge, her VP possibility is, shall we say, an interesting choice.

Doubling down on treachery must be the new plan.

Read the rest of this entry »