Archives for category: Ideological currents

The enduring appeal of destructive utopianism

I know, let’s take from some folks and give the loot to others, turning the most deserving into — millionaires!

This variety of political reasoning is so popular that, instead of being laughed out of the public arena, add in a dollop of “race” and it’s a headline.

At least in California.

“San Francisco’s reparations committee has proposed paying each Black longtime resident $5 million and granting total debt forgiveness,” explains the Fox News Digital story. 

But why just “Black” residents? 

Oppression. Racism. The Usual Suspects of the woke: “due to the decades of ‘systematic repression’ faced by the local Black community.”

What happened to “systemic”? Why “systematic”? Maybe the inconvenient fact that there was no long tradition of chattel slavery in California requires that extra syllable. 

The San Francisco African American Reparations Advisory Committee’s notion is, we’re told, “to address the public policies explicitly created to subjugate Black people in San Francisco by upholding and expanding the intent and legacy of chattel slavery.”

So Blacks in former slave states should get ten million each? 

Or fifty. 

Do I hear $100 million?

Fortunately, the report will likely be shelved, as feared by its supporters.

Unfortunately, sufferers of commonsense deficit syndrome don’t realize how their all-too-familiar program negatively affects the actual people they say they serve. When you look at San Francisco’s mass lootings, which group of people do you see stealing garbage bag loads off Walmart shelves? 

The looters are mostly racial minorities who’ve been encouraged to believe they “are owed.” 

So they steal.

But any person — man or woman, black or white — who resorts to open theft throws a monkey wrench into his or her future. It’s no way to get ahead.

Which increases the wealth and income gap.

The utopians themselves make sure the cycle of dysfunction never ends.

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Ah, word choice: “been with.”

And “trans canine” is indeed a gruesomely hilarious result of the gender movement, and the left’s desperate anti-natalism which I see lurking behind its insane forms of trendy identitarianism.

Shakespeare’s Polonius advised: “To thine own self be true.” But few seek this kind of individualistic humanism any longer, and the cultural path led us to a place where fewer and fewer bother cultivating their own selves with any degree of success. So, as if to turn poor Polonius on his head, they have reversed day and night to become false to all people.

“I just want friends and a crowd” — this does capture the group categorization frenzy that youngsters seem unable not to engage in. Though this statement would have been more apt had she used “pack” instead of “crowd.”

Bestiality farded up as “trans caninism” is at least funny.

I haven’t been reading many satires recently since the artless satires of our reality appear daily for our amusement.


The cult of freak-flag sexuality seems to be approaching stefnal bizarrerie. And I confess: I am not in the least interested in coercing her not to fuck her dogs. I assume that if a male dog will eagerly go at it with her, it is consensual enough for me. But it remains absolutely vital for the main run of society to mock this bitch and laugh at her antics, and warn children from becoming as horrific as she is eager to become.

Of course, this could all be a joke: a sick, twisted joke. A parody of leftist transgenderist identitarianism. Or some come-on for an OnlyFans account. Hers is the first naked pussy I have seen on Twitter, so the chance that this is some form of put-on is quite high.

If so, congratulations? Made us look:

But the best part of all may be “her” claim to be a scientist, and thus smarter than the rest of us:

Would a practicing scientist say such a thing?

Not likely. Though Fauci came close. But that merely proved he was a trans scientist. Not a real one.

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My late friend Noel used to say that the real division in society was between those who thought “we should pay and pay and pay for sex” — by which he meant sexual intercourse — and those who thought that “sex should be ‘free.’”

The first time I heard him say this, I minimized its profundity. I immediately translated this maxim as being about sexual responsibility, and I did not see why one couldn’t be free and responsible.

Of course, I was thinking as an individualist, and most people are not individualists. The “right,” by and large, thinks responsibility can only be inculcated in society by limiting sexual freedom, while the “left” seeks to reduce the burden of sexual responsibility in the pursuit of freedom. Individualists, on the other hand, tend to find both attitudes a bit hard to take.

The sexual revolution was launched as a liberatory enterprise, but chiefly succeeded in reducing the bite of responsibility with a handful of innovations:

1. improved contraception and prophylactics, decreasing the pinch of natural consequences for multiple-partner sexual activity;
2. increased frequency of abortions, through legalization, which made it easier for sexually active members of both sexes to avoid the burden of taking care of the natural by product of heterosexual unions; and
3. extensive “welfare” benefits given to women without spouses but with children.

These three things allowed the sexual revolution to really take off. But the political elements of these three developments — and the second and third are largely political in nature — were not demanded by the masses. They were pushed by the elites, who themselves, historically, tend to lean left on cultural and sexual matters. 

But driving this idea was not merely that perennial and quite ancient temptation, freedom-without-responsibility. Deep in the heart of modern life another idea lurked, hidden just barely: over-population worries. 

The sexual revolution has been pushed by elites as part of an anti-natalist agenda, a frank and sometimes cruel demand for general population reduction. Pushing the ideology of hedonism and the legal policies that helped help thrive served to curb population growth. Especially among whites, which allowed post WWII eugenicists to feel less Nazilike and more racially altruistic. Many elite thinkers and politicians frankly pushed an anti-Caucasian agenda as part of their neo-eugenics.

The arc of the implementation of this agenda has been breathtaking to watch, but I do have two predictions.

1. I think that now, with trans, we’ve arrived at the penultimate absurdity — the ultimate having been described by Aldous Huxley in Brave New World, but which I don’t think we can advance towards at present, because of limitations of current biotech. And trans will seal the end of the sexual revolution. It is too ridiculously absurd as well as manipulative of decadence: it too frankly defies the basic habits that maintain the civilization that encourages it. In ten years it’ll be worse than a deep embarrassment. There will be a crisis of consequences, yes (I predict suicides and mass revenge murders), which will lead to no longer being promoted. And the politico-cultural left will have suffered its second major comeuppance, after the fall of the Soviet Union (which itself echoed the post-socialism of the late 19th and early 20th centuries — see David Ramsay Steele’s book on Orwell).

2. But the elites will not give up. Their commitment to population reduction is classist and a matter of “identity.” So they will continue to support their agenda in the revolution that is now following the sexual revolution: the death revolution. Canada has already taken it up in a big way: the promotion of medically assisted suicide in a big, bureaucratized way.

We’ll see a lot more on encouraging suicide. Time to read Gore Vidal’s Messiah again, or watch, for the umpteenth time, Soylent Green.

Decadence is not just a matter of sex. It is food and death, too. Cannibalism and entomopophagy, and a whole lot more, too, will likely feature large in the near future. Our civilization seems to sport a death wish. And it is going to get ugly before it turns around.

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Most of the reviews on Goodreads of Gore Vidal’s Myron miss the point. These reviews have apparently been written by leftists who do not understand that Vidal points most of his satire not rightward, in this novel, but at leftist sexual [tranny] tyranny. The title character of the previous book, Myra Breckinridge, rapes and castrates her way to cultural power on a Club of Rome de-population agenda, made quite explicit. This is not “sexual liberation” but sexual tyranny and . . . propaganda by the misdeed. But Vidal does croak out the last laugh at conservatives in the final pages. Myron, Myra’s alter ego (they share the same body), literally has no idea that the world has changed and that he has lost his battle of personal identity and identity politics with Myra, hung up as he has been on defending Nixon.

The clue to the interpretation is that leftists seek to emasculate America and rightists have no “powells” (Vidal’s term for testicles — it’s a long story: see below).

Vidal spins a Lewis Carroll-like fantasy to make a grisly point about left and right in America, and straight-left readers would be too clueless to suspect such a thing from the pen of socialist Gore Vidal.

It is a Menippean satire, perhaps. The caricatures that are Myra and Myron make an almost allegorical tapestry, but with no reverence or piety or patriotism whatsoever. This is as thoroughgoing satire as I’ve read from an American. It tops James Branch Cabell’s Hamlet Had an Uncle (if not Jurgen), anyway.

Vidal employed similar technique — that is, a satire based on fantasy and gloriously fabulisitic and ultra-silly sci-fi — in his later send-up of early Christianity, too, Live from Golgotha . . . the best thing about which were the two pages explaining the Cleansing of the Temple in terms of loose and tight monetary policy.

These usually ignored fictions by Vidal are, from what I can tell, the novelistic stand-in for satyr plays. I could perhaps write more persuasively about this literary diptych had I read Myra Breckinridge (1968) a few years ago, not, as is the case, a few decades ago: my memory is not reliable about the first book. I have just finished reading Myron (1974) today. But I can offer advice for those who choose to read Myron: read the first edition, where Vidal uses an amusing set of euphemisms for the traditional set of naughty words. In later edition he jettisoned this comic apparatus. Pity. It is indeed funny. Vidal explains, in his helpful prefatory note to the first edition, which I read:

This Funny or Die production is an interesting attempt to be both relevant and funny. Interesting — because it’s an astounding failure. It only succeeds in being an object lesson in ideological witlessness:

There is no mystery about the difference between a protest and a riot. A riot inflicts violence and damages property. A legitimate protest does neither.

Or, more properly, a protest may or may not include rioting and a riot may or may not include protest. Riots can happen for reasons irrelevant to politics or any attempt at persuasion or pressure. Some riots happen because the participants just want to engage in mob mayhem. Sporting events have spurred mob violence, as have sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll.

David Alan Grier, here, engages in a weird pretense that blacks during the BLM riots were the same as the Charlottesville tiki torch guys in terms of rioting activity — or that the 2016 Charlottesville event was more a riot — only (it is more than merely implied) anti-black racism prevents people from recognizing this putative deep truth.

But the real truth is that this is a blinkered falsity, and probably a lie. (I don’t really know what Grier believes. I can only guess. I think he’s a liar, but he may be just another bigoted race hustler or witless anti-white leftist.) The tiki torch parade of neo-Nazis did not engage in mayhem — I can remember no instances of it. They had gone through a (tumultous and duplicitous) permitting process, as is required by law. The only violence I saw was initiated by leftists protesting the neo-Nazi “protests.” I don’t remember what the pathetic neo-Nazis were trying to prove, but I do remember the gauntlet the police made the neo-Nazis run through — a gauntlet of their angry, violent enemies — and I do know that the kid charged with and convicted for murder had just been attacked by a mob of “protesters” before he drove out like a bat out of hell.

The rally/protest of the neo-Nazis didn’t seem very violent to me, in other words, and was not a riot. But the protests against them did turn a bit violent, though I’m not sure I’d use the word “riot” to distinguish them. It was mostly white people that I remember engaging in the anti-Nazi violence, as is the case with most leftist protests.

Now, I partook of protest marches back in the ’80s and early ’90s. But there was no rioting. Then I moved to Seattle in time for the infamous WTO riots, and that’s when I began really turning against the left — and Grier might note that those were lily-white mobs engaging in violence in that debacle. The protesters were also not good at arguing or making propaganda: I was there for the initatory “parade” in Capitol Hill, which was illegal (unpermitted) and stupid, childish — and the propaganda leaflets were not at all persuasive, though I WAS AND REMAIN OPPOSED TO THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION. But while I merely laughed at the parade, I was angry at the rioters in the days following.

Before the weird Trump epoch — or, more accurately, sparking the Trump epoch — BLM, BAMN and antifa engaged in riots to protest speech they did not like. They were violent and they were criminal and they were appallingly “un-American” (at least insofar as that they were explicitly anti-free speech). I would also call each and every one of the many mobs that destroyed Confederate statues also riots, and I saw a lot of white skin peaking around iconoclasts’ masks.

I judge Grier worse than a liar. He’s furthering the cause of racial tribalism in America, pushing prejudice and bigotry of a leftist variety against what he likely thinks of as “right-wing” “structural racism,” but in so doing is actually attempting to solidify an anti-white racism and a demoralizing “pro-black” excuse for violence. Grier is fanning the flames of the ideological divide and blowing smoke up our assessments, encouraging Funny or Die’s mostly white leftist audience to think that there is racial prejudice where none is in evidence.

And let me reïterate: I hate mob violence, and don’t approve of it when white people do it any more than when “people of color” do it. Back in 1999, I shocked my friends when I lashed out at the mob violence as well as stupid arguments of the WTO protesters. Because my friends, I gathered —most of them libertarians — bought the old romance of leftist protest. I gave up on leftist protest at that time, because I despise violent mobs.

Exception? Yes, I make an exception. I am against mob violence unless the violent mob overthrows a violent state and sets up a peaceful society. Only then will I support mob action: when it actually decreases State terrorism.

I have never seen that happen in America, though. Never in my life. It always seems to play into the hands of the statist elite. But if it did — if direct insurrection against the State has led to less state violence, then hey: I’m on board.

The point of race hustlers, though, and all this racial special pleading, is not to decrease state violence — though they sometimes bring it up as an excuse for their violence. They are really trying to excuse mob violence for their cause, and when they do this the State takes the cue to increase its power over the people. Tyrants historically love mobs, at least those that serve them. The left knows this, seeing that they ascribe to Trump an “authoritarian” plan to rally his mobs to engage in “fascism.” But so far, it is Trump crowds’ protesters who’ve engaged in the bulk of the violence. No Trump rally that I can recall ended with dead store owners and burnt-out police stations smouldering storefronts — and all the rest associated with the BLM riots of 2020.

I turned on the left because I am basically against violence against innocent people, and the left most evidently is not. And Grier is just another shill for the myths that excuse mobs and (in a back-handed way, via anarcho-tyranny) encourage states to terrorize peaceful people.

Also, for Funny or Die to promote this witless video — isn’t this a bit too on the nose? I mean, it’s not funny. So….

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To repeat: anarchy is either a good name for something bad, or a bad name for something good.

The problem with “anarchism” is that it is defined, first and foremost, by utopians like this Twitter user:

When Belgian economist Gustave de Molinari invented what today some call “libertarian anarchy” or “anarcho-capitalism,” he pointedly did not call himself an anarchist. He saw himself as a kind of liberal. “Anarchist” was reserved for the first people to homestead the term anarchy as a non-pejorative: Proudhon and Bakkunin and that ilk. Folks like “The Anarchist Turtle.”

Today, let’s respond to the propositions of this Twitter user:

  1. There is indeed human nature, and one of its chief features is its ability to adapt to the environment, though with varying degrees of success, individual by individual, group by group.
  2. Capitalism comes in several forms, but the core element of private property and market interaction does not teach people to be “evil and inconsiderate,” while the neo-mercantilist, statist versions do sometimes do that. What private property and markets encourage is service to others: if you don’t meet consumer demand, you fail.
  3. “Take away capitalism” — how? By getting rid of private property and market cooperation? If you want to see the struggle of existence — society red-in-tooth-and-claw — have at it. One of the odd things about left utopians is their blindness to the basic temptation of human nature, to “defect,” to exploit or “get one over” on others, and that this is ultra-common where many people share a common resource. It’s not called The Tragedy of the Commons for nothing. And while humans do concoct and discover ways to avoid this tragedy sans private property or the State, these social mechanisms are not exactly free-wheeling “anarchy.”
  4. What is it we really need “liberating” from? The need to work? Social pressure? Religion? Capitalism allows for human cooperation to flourish in the most astounding ways. Under expanded markets, whole blocs of the Third World have been brought up from dore poverty. I want more of that, not less.

But what’s my main beef with The Anarchist Turtle? “Human nature” doesn’t change, human behavior does. If you want to understand how our behavior changes according to circumstance and situation, study human nature. Don’t ball these concepts up. Which leftists like to do because, at bottom, most are Blank Slate/Tabula Rasa fantasists. They inhabit a world too irreal for me.

When I got interested in anarchism, in my teens, it was primarily to prevent warfare and mass exploitation. It wasn’t as a means of “liberating” “the People” from work or responsibility or all the difficulties with life. I was indeed concerned with bullying and tribal conflict, but I knew enough Big History to realize that getting rid of The State along with private property would just set us back to tribal and chiefdom organization: not my idea of liberation at all. And though I was fascinated by utopian experimentation, I never wanted to join any particular commune or “intentional community.” Families were enough along those lines.

But I did then and do now distrust and hate the Archons — the rulers behind the scenes and those in front of podia. They are liars and tempters [almost] all. They are always looking for ways to gain our servile compliance with their schemes, and they do so by enticing us into thinking we can both gain a special advantage and see ourselves as Good and Righteous.

I have much more to say about fighting the Archons — the dominations and powers — without falling into the goofy utopianism of “the anarchists.”

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A criminal bullies an old man, defending an act of theft by his loser girlfriend. He aggresses against the old man. Who, in self defense, stabs him. He dies.

That is a good story. Not a great story. Not exactly uplifting. But justice prevailed. Aggressive criminals who commit crimes lose the right to life in violent situations they themselves cause. The righteous must defend themselves, and when criminals die in such cases, only their families should weep. The rest of us? Our sympathies should be muted. Extremely muted, if existent at all.

But it was the aging Puerto Rican store clerk who was arrested and charged with murder.

Thus it is that thugs possess more effective legal rights than peaceful people do, the aggressed-against have fewer legal defenses than the aggressors. And the government and social media corporations? Why, they side with the thugs — GoFundMe denied the store clerk access to its fundraising mechanisms, so he is basically thrown back into the old days of the poor being poorly served by the judicial system.

Why, you ask.

The idea of self-defense — upon which rested the old liberal justification for government — is anathema to the dominant, ruling ideology, statism.

Statism’s a technical term for a whole swath of government ideologies, including fascism, social democracy, modish and old-fashioned Progressivism. And of course socialism. But caution: all these statist ideologies provide cover for what is really going on, which could be called technocratic class tyranny: Rule by the cognitive elites and plutocratic backers who control the Deep State and the Wide State, and who gain great advantages by leveraging their insider status.

And these elites use criminals and unthinkingly violent mobs to hold onto power. The policy that is key to their success is anarcho-tyranny. And that depends upon unleashing criminals and would-be criminals (illegal immigrants, for example) against normal peaceful people.

Here is Tucker Carlson getting close to the the core issues:

Tucker fingers a villain behind the scenes — George Soros — and this man, Soros, is indeed quite the villain, subsidizing local campaigns in major cities around America to put in progressive, pro-criminal prosecuting attorneys. Not liberal prosecutors, who stick to liberal principles, but actual pro-criminal attorneys. But we should wonder who’s behind Soros. For there may indeed be a cabal of the very rich who do indeed select and nurture a few wealthy investors and entrepreneurs and then make them perform their most unseemly moves in full light of public.

But one should doubt that, too, for we do not know the secrets of those who play behind the façades of “democracy.” For what really is going on here may be just the contagion of really bad ideas. These ideas infect people low and high, and those ideas are so constructed to reward most of their adherents in ways that the adherents never quite acknowledge, for it might make them feel a bit icky. Being rewarded doesn’t. So they continue the exploitation system.

But here’s the big deal, in America: a government that denies the right of self-defense is a revolutionists’ tyranny, illiberal and quite un-American. It has negated any plausible claim to the authority to govern.

And if you have read the Declaration of Independence, you know what that means.

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N.B. It is worth mentioning that the mayor of New York has shown some public sympathy for Alba, according to the New York Times story linked above:

A number of city officials have criticized the decision by the Manhattan district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg, to charge Mr. Alba with murder and to ask initially that he be held on $500,000 bail. The emergence of surveillance video that showed Mr. Simon shoving Mr. Alba raised the specter that Mr. Alba was acting in self-defense.

Jeffery C. Mays, “Adams Shows Support for Man Charged in Bodega Killing That Caused Outcry,” July 8, 2022.

But a politicians expressing sympathy is just a politician begging for forgiveness, not stopping governmental misdeeds. It is cheap. He wants cheap grace. Anything else? Probably not.

Craven Corporate CEOs Kowtow to BLM and the Woke-Left Mob

The long list of letters we receive from the heads of major corporations, genuflecting in the general region of the woke mob, is disheartening or hilarious or both. But Airstream’s missive is especially idiotic:

The Road Ahead: A Letter from Airstream’s CEO

Jun 11, 2020

As I’ve watched the events of the last two weeks unfold, I’ve wrestled with how to respond. I resisted the urge to simply react, to post about our horror and outrage at the killing of George Floyd, choosing rather to take the time to figure out what concrete actions we can take to catalyze real change. 
The killing of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many other Black people has rightfully brought an intense focus to the issues of social injustice and racial inequity, and also much-needed clarity about how Airstream can be part of the solution. Though Airstream is a small company, we’re a big brand, and I feel both the undeniable responsibility to continue to use our voice for good, and optimistic that we can actually make a difference. 
Airstream was founded to inspire people to connect with each other and enjoy the outdoors. We know that, all too often, the prejudices and inequities that pervade society as a whole also keep people of color from feeling at ease in these natural spaces. So what can we do? 
* First, we can support those organizations whose aim is to combat inequities in our criminal justice system. To that end, we are making a multi-year financial commitment to the non-profit Equal Justice Initiative, whose work is at the front lines of challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.
* Second, we are listening to people of color in the outdoor and camping space through feedback sessions. This is the next step in our important work to learn how Airstream can positively impact change and better understand how we can create a more welcoming and inclusive environment in the outdoors. 
* And finally, in addition to conducting justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion training for our employees, we are listening to and learning from all Airstream associates who may have experienced discrimination so that we can better understand how those forces manifest themselves in our local community and our ability to counter them. 
As calls for real, systemic reform grow louder around the nation and the world, we are hopeful that this is the time for meaningful, positive, and lasting change so that all people can enjoy a life free from injustice and inequality. We know we have work to do.
Be well, be safe, and be compassionate.

Bob

Bob Wheeler
President & CEO
Airstream, Inc.

The idea that a travel trailer company has any business being “part of the solution” to a problem of which it is not plausibly the cause, is not “woke,” it’s dopey.

Why is it happening?

Perhaps because of the ‘race hustle,’ the shake-down process perfected by charlatans like Al Sharpton, on-the-make provocateurs who approach corporations, tell them they are racist and warn them that their status as racists can be publicized, and then accept hush money in the form of grants or programs to conduct “justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion training.”

On the Other Hand…

I am open to the “systemic racism” notion.

But what could it be? Individual and in-group racism is fairly easy to understand; organizational racism is not difficult to understand.

But what would “systemic racism” be?

Well, it would be patterns of discrimination resulting from human interaction within institutional frameworks but not of direct human intention or design. Perhaps it would be racist effects without racist intent.

The trick is not to be confused or hoodwinked by the words we like to use.

Relative prices in a market could be called “systemic.” The whole “invisible hand” process element could be called systemic. Economists have investigated the “spontaneous order” of the price system for centuries now. It is a fascinating social science paradigm.

The “systemic racism” notion would be parallel.

But merely to assert “systemic racism” and then pretend that it is “just the same” or even worse than standard forms of racism — or, at the very least, worth getting really, really exercised about — while not explaining the processes by which systems of subconscious or non-conscious adaptation might skew in a seemingly racist manner, well that’s sub-intellectual and makes you look like a hectoring idiot.

While I am open to such discussions, I don’t see them as showing a great deal of promise. Why? It’s not because there is nothing to them. It is because the chief use, these days, for the idea is as a hectoring tool, and this suggests to me that people leap to word ”systemic” because they’ve run out of really bad forms of racism, and they still want to get worked up.

Besides, it is a word that makes them look smart — to dumb people.

And the main reason to focus on racism? Because most of the left’s ideas are such nonsense and dangerous poppycock that they have to find something with a little meat on it. Something to throw into the dog pit and get the contestants snarling.

Ah, politics!

Its usual effect is to lower displayed intelligence.

And I remind Americans that racism was selected by Soviet propagandists as the most efficient angle to undermine American values and society and thereby government. Anti-racism was, among other things, a Soviet psy-op. (Keyword: Bezmenov.) Today’s anti-racist racism — as in castigating a white man for holding a non-white child on his lap — might best be explained as a propagandist-designed meme to infect and destroy a people, preparing the way for . . . communism? Maybe. But since communism doesn’t work, what you get is totalitarian tyranny over the people by the elites and for the elites.

So we might want to take caution in handling a psy-op and running with it. It’s like running with scissors. You had better be careful how you hold that tool. Do you really want to stab yourself and others?

The Key Concept the ”Systemic” Pushers Ignore

When it comes to racism, it is astounding how rarely the chief theorists of Anti-Racism mention the relevant concepts from ethology and anthropology: positive and negative ethnocentrism. Here are some passages from Edward Dutton, ”The Jolly Heretic,” to explain the basic concepts:

I was introduced to these concepts by reading Sumner (who was primarily a sociologist, not an economist) and Herbert Spencer. It is a testimony to how narrow-minded the neo-Darwinian the dominant paradigm had become to re-introduce these ideas of group-centered altruism that were a common theme in these two early evolutionists. Nowadays evolutionists talk about this all the time, but it was much less on the explanatory agenda in the first half of the 20th century. But the ideas were in those early evolutionists.

The concept that anti-racists prefer over negative ethnocentrism is xenophobia. But that has a real problem: fear is not hatred is not distrust is not, even, general antipathy. And an aesthetic distaste for another culture is quite distinct from an aesthetic distaste for another race, and both of these are distinct from moral disapproval and approval. A lot is covered up in the usual yammering about xenophobia.

There are many levels to the problems here, and my point in quoting Dutton is not to side with him, but merely to show a research program that the anti-racists don’t commonly consult.

Ethnocentrism is a natural human propensity. It may be useful to see it on a spectrum, with hatred on the extreme ends:

Racism, as I understood it in my youth, is a philosophical error, the making too much of matters of race. But in-group sympathy and cooperation are not ”making too much” of one’s own race. The evolutionists are likely correct in viewing positive ethnocentrism as a cross-cultural adaptive trait.

But negative ethnocentrism? That can lead to horrific destruction of the in-group because of excessive violence and retaliation and vendetta traps. Racism used to be associated with this. But instead of attending to principles and the rational appraisal of threats from inside as well as outside a community, today’s anti-racists seem to repeatedly and even consistently lurch to xenophilia and oikophobia (synonyms may work better, but these are in somewhat popular use). That is, they tend to reflexively over-value outsiders to compensate for the negative ethnocentrism of some insiders, and then even come to oppose fellow members of the in-group merely for their insider status.

These developments of anti-racism thus become racist by inversion, ”making too much” of race by making too much of racism, and by excessive support for those of genetic-ethnic groups unlike ourselves.

It would be helpful if people remembered the wisdom of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics: virtue lies in the middle, with vice exhibited at the extreme ends of each spectrum of traits, and with vice characterized by both the lack and the excess of the beneficially adaptive trait.

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Passages from this book were quoted above.

. . . from Facebook two years ago. . . .

The self-fulfilling prophecy often rests on a more basic trap: the self-reinforcing policy.

You support a policy because you are alarmed at how awful x is, so you support policy A, which you say fights x. But policy A increases x. So when x increases, you double down on policy A. Demand more measures of an A-ish nature, and continued support of policy A. Because x!

This makes you a fool, of course, but most of us are fools about something, and it is impolite to call each other foolish, since there never would be an end to it. So, in politics, folly increases.

Here are some examples:

1. Low-skilled worker unemployment is bad, since it leads to crime, drug-use, family breakdown, and, of course, more unemployment. So, policy A: Raise the legal minimum wage rate! This of course increases unemployment, as economists have explained for two hundred years, requiring more state aid. But most people don’t listen to economists except when economists back up their prejudices. And since state aid is obviously designed to help the afflicted, we are not unreasonably distracted from noticing that policy A is responsible. Now focused entirely on intentions, not on means or results, when someone like me suggests getting rid of A, oh, the outcry! Raise A instead! This ensures more unemployment, more state aid, and a great deal of Pharisaic posturing. Forever and ever amen.

2. Terrorism is bad. Terrorists often come from foreign lands. So policy A: ‘let’s fight terrorists over there, not here!’ But bombing innocent weddings and children and the like in the War on Terror increases resentments that lead to terrorism here and elsewhere in the First World. But terrorism spurs resentment here as well, thus increasing support for policy A, the War on Terror. Which ramps up the violence, and. . . .

3. The latest contagion is bad. Undoubtedly. The standard way to deal with this is to quarantine the infected, isolate the at-risk population, and let the healthy part of the population get infected and handle the disease with their immune systems, and then build up herd immunity. But that is not a very woke way of doing things, so a new policy, let’s call it . . . A . . . would isolate the healthy population. Now, that is taking x seriously! Of course, we are now on a new course, and we aren’t concentrating on the at-risk populations, like those in nursing homes, and are even sending those who should be quarantined into nursing homes, leading to alarming death rates. This panics the proponents of the new policy A, so they demand . . . more of policy A, not the older policy, which is so passé — or should I say ‘pass-A’? The panicky folk demand evermore A, which prevents herd immunity. But when suppport for A diminishes, and a return to normalcy occurs, the number of cases of infection increase. Entirely to be expected, but it is ‘proof’ of a need for more A! So, A is re-introduced. Sure, it’ll decrease herd immunity and mean that more people will die later on, but hey: ‘at least we tried’!

Policies that reinforce themselves by their ‘failure’ are the favorite kind of policies of fools. Whole ideologies congeal around them. And certain unscrupulous people encourage them in full knowledge.

It is so easy to manipulate fools.

And since it is folly to tell fools of their folly — what is the percentage in that? — folly is self-reinforcing.

And it is my own folly that I persist, since there is a good chance that when they come to take me away to the new concentration camp — let’s call it camp A — many of the people I have called fools will shout huzzahs.

Making me the biggest fool of all.

So folly is bad. . . .

twv, July 3, 2020 (Facebook)

The election of Barack Hussein Obama was the triumph of virtue signaling — specifically, leftist virtue signaling, for Obama was not only “representative” of a “marginalized group” (though there is hardly a plausible case for his personal marginalization), his name itself was also the ne plus ultra of The Other, in that it was of a culture that Americans had been warring with for decades, and quite earnestly for eight years. (Remember that his name was self-chosen. In early years he was called “Barry Soetoro.”)

At the time, I found it hilarious that “Obama” rhymes with “Osama,” “Barack” rhymes with “Iraq” and “Hussein,” his middle name, was identical with the last name of the former dictator whom the U.S. military had just executed less than two years before BHO’s election in 2008.

Now, in light of this astonishing selection — one that I had suggested to my Democratic friends early on in that presidential election cycle upon the Anyone But Hillary rationale — I think we can better understand the nature of left-v-right in modern politics, and the extent to which the Republicans had lost their grip on the culture.

First, it shows the essential power of the “leftward gesture,” that is, the reach outward beyond the in-group to gain moral weight to perform a revolution (or consolidate power) in the State (change the hierarchy) by upholding the outsiders, the others. The Other, Barack the Pumpkin God.

It also shows how badly George Walker Bush/Dick Cheney had managed their war footing towards the mid-East. Americans had ended up hating them in particular as well as American foreign policy in general.

Now, let me interrupt the story, a bit, here. I confess: I may never have actually hated a politician as much as I hated the Bush/Cheney duo. I remember all the hatred Democrats had harbored for Nixon, back in the 1970s, and I thought at the time it was overblown. I had followed his strange ascendancy to the presidency, though very young, and spent a summer watching his fall, on daytime TV (the Watergate hearings were televised). Even so, I saw Nixon as a less repellent figure than his immediate predecessor in office (and recent reading has more than confirmed my youthful intuition). And Reagan, whom Democrats pretended to hate as much as Nixon, I determined to be less obnoxious than Nixon — though I was no fan of either (and never voted for Reagan, though I could have). It was the political success of George Herbert Walker Bush that I saw as the most appalling thing to come out of the Reagan period (other than Iran-Contra and the Social Security pseudo-fix), and my distrust for a CIA man extended to his witless son who surrounded himself with Nixon men. So that slightly unhinged Democratic hatred for Nixon I allowed into my own soul, but directed with greater cause (I reasoned!) to the warmongers and liberticides Bush II and Cheney. Though I am frankly and unapologetically anti-Islamic, I thought their doubling down on the mid-East wars was foolish as well as evil, and I blogged in opposition to their wars from before they began.

But back to the pumpkinification of Obama.

Republican voters themselves were vexed by the politics of Obamafication. Whenever they took an even mildly alarmed note at Barack Obama’s peculiar outsider persona — and it was a persona, not a deep personal truth — they were called “racist.” Not fair, of course, but this predicament set up the current left-v-right antagonism, and why Democrats have in this later epoch lost their once-vaunted moral high ground. They overplayed that particular hand. They got addicted to cheap, philosophically indefensible accusations just as Republicans, in the aughts, had let themselves get addicted to expensive, diplomatically indefensible warfare.

I cannot sympathize with either of these. Warmongering of the chessboard gamesmanship variety is appallingly evil, and a people (Republicans) who supported it committed themselves to that evil. But witless accusations of immorality are perhaps even more corrupting, for they affect the “homeland” society — the nature of the in-group community — in such a deep way as to de-stabilize it, perhaps forever. There may be a way to repair it, but since the federal government itself is de-stabilized by insane finance, I say: disunion. There is no reason to keep the charade of “coming together” (the slimy pols’ favorite slogan) going. America is over as an experiment. It failed. It failed because instead of trying for a union, its political class tried to create a nation, and instead created two. Or more.

Barack Obama was a horrible president, and much of what he did, especially in his second term, set the way for that Asimovian Mule, Donald Trump, and for the civil war that is coming. He also carried on most Bush Era warmongering campaigns, and with his foreign policy “blunders” set up the stage for the invasion of Europe by illegal migrants.

Now, I think the civil war could be civil: we could get excited about disunion — or, more exactly, a receivership in place of Congress, and several smaller unions of states and territories where there now exists the ungainly mess of the Fifty States+Empire We could see it as an achievement to work towards rather than a consequence of failure.

But that’s unlikely.

Either way, we can thank Bush and Barack and The Donald for making this more likely. Biden, there’s no reason to thank him. Somebody that corrupt and that demented needs something other than thanks.

One of the funny things about current politics is the degradation of leadership. Barack Obama is revered as a statesman, but the Democrats, otherwise, have no one. We wound up with Biden not because he was good but because he could be made, with psy-ops in play, to look like a calming figure. But he’s not. He’s actually quite unhinged and radical, and his handlers are more radical yet.

Meanwhile, the Republicans: what have they got? Donald Trump screwed the pooch in his last year, and is unfit for service. And he has the stink of failure about him. De Santis could come out of Florida to lead, but is he ready? He seems about right for a post-Trump, but no one else does. Who?

The reason the leadership pool is so shallow is that none of these mainstream figures have a clue how to navigate between the Scylla of financial collapse and the Charybdis of postmodernist political correctness. Nothing really makes sense in the old terms. The American people themselves — the electorate — were deeply wounded by the pandemic scare, and managing their manias and regrets and suspicions regarding that scare could upset the world order. The elites — those Wardens of the Earth? — don’t even know who to put forward. They have trouble keeping Klaus Schwab from giving away their whole game.

We live in fascinating times.

Perhaps the next president should change his/her/zher name to something that rhymes with (or at least references) COVID, mask, and hyperinflation. Just to pull off an Obamification trick. Ovid Diaperdump Trask? Diaper was actually a British name in past centuries. It could work.

twv