Archives for category: Personal Strategies

On Not Being a “Tribal”

When I first heard that many/most economists argued the minimum wage law cannot help low-skilled workers, I was working 25¢ above the legal minimum wage rate.

I was intrigued. I had never heard of this notion before.

So I read quite a bit about it. I even started to read economic theory.

I tried to understand.

Here is something odd, though: when most people hear about this notion, they reject it as “stupid” or “obviously wrong” or “capitalist propaganda” or some such. I have encountered this reaction many times, in conversation on the Net and off.

Very rarely do people who say they are concerned about the working poor and the unemployed raise an eyebrow and honestly look into the matter. Mostly they look for some way to “debunk” the idea. They look for “studies” (Card?) that back up the program they favor.

Why?

My theory is that while I cared about a class of people to which I belonged, or nearly belonged, most people say they do but do not.

They care about their policy. They care about seeming to care. They care about using force through government.

But actually helping the poor? Not likely. If they did they would approach the subject differently. If they cared, they would earnestly seek to learn if the challenge were true.

I investigated these matters in 1980. It was one of two policies that weighed heavily on my mind at the time. I probably read a dozen relevant books on this subject, and a few on the other. I began to read economics and the old political economy, as well as continue my course of social philosophy and the social sciences.

And since then I have developed a deep suspicion: most people have very little interest in the things they say they have interests in. They have interest in belonging to this tribe or that — to the tribe that is associated with the causes they talk about. They are tribals. That was the term I used way back when: tribals. (Imagine my surprise when Crocodile Dundee used the term, later.)

I believe most people to be these “tribals.” And I have always striven to avoid thinking tribally. It is why I have often criticized my own kind.

For I do have my own kind.

But I am so uncomfortable with tribal thinking I adopted a moniker that that my fellow tribesmen and -women do not use: LocoFoco.

A little distance. I define. Let others scramble to understand. They could use the mental exercise.

So that’s my general perspective. I do not really think most people are earnest about their politics, not on a philosophical level. I think most are ooga-boogas.

twv

Once every week or so, on SoundCloud, Apple, Google, Pocket Casts, and Spotify.
Why are many libertarians not marching in the BLM protests?

…as answered on Quora….

Many?

Any?

I cannot speak for others. I know why I regard the movement with deep suspicion. 

And would not join their marches, sit-ins and riots.

I am very concerned about the police abuse of citizens. I made most of my family members deeply uncomfortable with my views on the subject for the past ten years. But I am against unlawful killings regardless of the races of the victims or the perpetrators. Black Lives Matter activists seem only interested when the victim is black. So, we are not simpatico.

But mainly I despise initiated violence, disruptions of the peace — whether done by the police or by mobs. These protests have turned to riot all over the United States. Burnings, looting, assaults — despicable actions, largely against innocents. I am against all this. “Categorically,” as we used to say, we who lived through the Nixon Era.

Now, for one thing, the evidence from social and political science is that rioting reduces support for the cause over the long haul. Rioting in the late Sixties led to Nixon’s two wins, which was surely not what the rioters wanted.

Or was it?

But it is more basic than that. Rioting is evil, and a protest is OK only if it is lawful and obeys the rule of law. In America, we make much of the right to PEACEABLY assemble, and rightly so. Well, rioting is not peaceable assembly, and the protesters’ commandeering of private and public property without permission (license) is not covered in the right we know and love. And think about it, earnest protestors: you may not throw a brick, a punch, or a Molotov cocktail, but if after nearly every one of your protests others horn in and wreak havoc, committing mayhem, then you are doing it wrong.

Libertarians are smart enough not to get caught up in this mess.

Why aren’t the protesters?

Well, they get caught up in a mania. And they follow cues: from the corporate media, from a few politicians, from race hustlers, and from the madness of crowds.

Libertarians have many faults. Sometimes I wonder how a group of people with the highest average IQs among all the major political cohorts can be so uniformly ineffective. How dumb can smart people be?

Well, not dumb enough to fall for the major media push for a race war.

twv

To be able to destroy with good conscience, to be able to behave badly and call your bad behavior ‘righteous indignation’ — this is the height of psychological luxury, the most delicious of moral treats.

Aldous Huxley, attributed — on the Web and in many books it is cited as from his first comic novel of ideas, Crome Yellow, but it is not in there.

Current leftism is a Cult of the Other. The outsiders must be “included” at the expense of in-group hierarchies — right up until they become insiders, then they can hate on the outsiders that don’t buy their dichotomies or rationale of hatred.

Matt Walsh refers to this as a “religion of self-loathing.” But is that on point? It seems to be, I grant him. His examples, beyond race, are anti-Americanism and opposition to western civilization and its norms (and therefore shame at being even a part of American or western history), hatred of the male sex, period, and the feminine sexual role.

These do exist. Indeed, recent attempts to cajole white folks to “bend the knee” for “the cause” of “#BlackLivesMatter” are examples of a huge power play in our culture. Submit, whitey!

The girl who lives in that ramshackle house sporting that weather damage is not “privileged” by any common-sense standard.

A sickening display.

What we have here, though, is not so much self-loathing as self-abnegation. It is a religious act. Cultic, if you must. But religious, and almost all religions foist it as part of the essential attitude. Bow down to the Archons, mortal!

If you have not encountered this strain in the asceticism of Christianity, or in the very worship services of Islam, then you have not been paying attention.

The proper response to a mere mortal commanding us to kneel is at the very least a “Fuck Off” . . . but this also applies to churches and temples and cults with strange abnegation agendas.

But the ideological spur of self-abnegation in Christianity is the doctrine of Original Sin. In woke racist anti-racism, it is collective racial guilt.

While I do not “believe” in Original Sin, it is at least plausible, and I can even find an evolutionary version of the doctrine that makes some sense.

But there is nothing even plausible about collective racial guilt.

One way to counter the “self-hating” aspect is to get people to stop “identifying” by their group affiliation. If you are you not because you are white, or male, or what-have-you, then when they tell you some allegedly white, or male, or what-have-you qualities are bad, even if you exhibit some, you can take a step back and roll your eyes at the cultists.

I’m not who I am because I’m “white.” “White” isn’t my “identity.” White is my COMMONALITY with other white people. But it is only one commonality.

The whole language of “identity” is idiotic.

If you “identify” primarily by your race or sex or “gender” or even politics (which, as is often noted, you can easily change), I am deeply suspicious. Our commonalities are great things. But they are only commonalities. And many of them are not the relevant ones. To cooperate with someone else, I don’t need to fret overmuch about their commonality or lack thereof on racial or sexual or other grounds. I need to attend to their ability to communicate, abstain from aggression, commit to agreement, and to follow through on agreements.

Which brings us out of the realm of the cults.

twv

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 am halfway through the four-part Netflix documentary series on Jeffrey Epstein. It is very good. I think all girls should watch it, perhaps everybody should.

Epstein was an Enchanter. He behaved like an Archon: manipulative, resting much of his power on being charismatic and very smart. He not only got about a hundred teenage girls to service him sexually, he gained their compliance as recruiters, and as “hostesses” to service others — Mata Hari harlots — and he used both fear and benefits to ape legitimate contracts, which means, also, the threats and enticements functioned as post-transactional loyalty inducements.

I call him an Archon not just because he reminds me of the Principalities and Powers of ancient lore — the angels, devils, Fallen Ones, Anunnaki — but also the charismatic leaders of States, indeed of the State itself. States behave almost exactly like Epstein did, combining abuse with benefits, in a context of fake contractual arrangements.

But Archon in a third sense, too: Epstein was almost certainly in the employ of some state spy group, or two, or more. He operated a sophisticated sexual Honey Trap to catch illustrious men and blackmail them for … information? influence? So, Epstein was a Deep State player, and thus the worst kind of Archon.

Alas, I do not think the series will go on long enough to cover all of this. One episode has to be devoted to his last few months alive, right? Which means that there is only one episode to delve into most of what I discuss here. Episodes one and two make the case against him that was developed in Florida and by the DBI up to the mid-2000s.

Preparing to be disappointed.

Still, this is must-see TV.

twv

In the 1990s, I judged Bill Gates’s business practices to be more than a little dodgy, even creepy.

A friend informs me that his philanthropic education initiatives were ridiculous but thankfully short-lived.

His current population-reduction obsession lurking behind his vaccination obsession is creepiest yet, and seems of a piece with his business ethics.

The man appears to be earnest — but like a socialist dictator is earnest.

I used to mock anti-vaxxers. But the likelihood of me accepting to be vaccinated by a concoction Gates were pushing is getting close to zero.

twv

Here is a man whose place in history demonstrates something different than what he intended. John Flammang Schrank (March 5, 1876 – September 15, 1943) shot Theodore Roosevelt in the chest during a speech on October 14, 1912, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. TR survived. 

Schrank claimed to have had nothing against TR the man (I do: TR was a lunatic, as many of his contemporaries testified), but, instead, TR “the third-termer.” 

A good grudge, on the whole. But . . . not a good act.

Schrank’s claim that former President William McKinley, himself famously fatally shot by Chuckles the Anarchist, had come to him in a dream instructing him to do the deed got him into a nuthouse instead of prison.* And, as a warning to future presidents not to seek a third term, Schrank proved spectacularly unsuccessful, considering that another Roosevelt survived a third term in office and got part way into his fourth.

TR went on to make a terrific speech — one that I largely disagree with for a variety of reasons, but it was quite good rhetorically. This part still carries some power:

When the Republican Party — not the Republican Party — when the bosses in the control of the Republican Party, the Barneses and Penroses, last June stole the nomination and wrecked the Republican Party for good and all; I want to point out to you nominally they stole that nomination from me, but really it was from you. They did not like me, and the longer they live the less cause they will have to like me. But while they do not like me, they dread you. You are the people that they dread. They dread the people themselves, and those bosses and the big special interests behind them made up their mind that they would rather see the Republican Party wrecked than see it come under the control of the people themselves. So I am not dealing with the Republican Party. There are only two ways you can vote this year. You can be progressive or reactionary. Whether you vote Republican or Democratic it does not make any difference, you are voting reactionary.

Note, however, the pure demagoguery of stealing an election ‘from you.’ Such men as TR, alas, are almost impossible to keep away from power. 

Trump seems a bit like that, though far less tyrannical and murderous than TR. I mean, Trump doesn’t have TR’s death count and deeply racist version of American imperialism and eugenics.

It is common among today’s Democrats to admit to admiring only one Republican, Teddy Roosevelt. This does not reflect well on them, in my opinion, and as much as I shrink from murderous violence, my mind not rarely drifts to Schrank.

That admission being made, and daydreams acknowledged, I make no more outrageous confessions: though in my dreams I may or may not follow others’ instructions, and I may or may not commit crimes, I insist that I do not take Dream Time commands and put them into action during Waking Life.

Further, my support for term limits itself is subject to certain limitations. One of them is: I will not kill for them.

twv


* Wisconsin, the state in which he shot TR, did not have the death penalty — indeed, Schrank followed TR state to state, waiting to pull the trigger until he got to a Progressive state lacking the death penalty.

Is it the wise man or the fool who offloads his folly onto his politics?

What if most of us suffer from responsibility homeostasis? That is, we have only so much capacity for responsible action: the more responsible in one area of life, our irresponsible daemons must burst out in some other domain, like imps of the perverse.

This might explain the hordes of competent people, successful folk, supporting insane social policy and political programs.

But the worst ideologues are themselves foolish every which way. Responsibility homeostasis cannot explain them, can it? 

Perhaps their mastery of video gaming or hackey sack or farding face is where all their sense of responsiblity winds up.

Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) doesn’t just affect masses of far-left students and protestors and media ambulance chasers.

It may have affected Joe Biden.

At a New Hampshire campaign stop, this weekend, he fielded a “good question” from a young woman studying economics, who challenged his electability. As he turned away he denied she’d ever been to a caucus before, and, chuckling, called her a “lying, dog-faced pony soldier.”

Bizarre.

Biden’s old, and it is possible that his unhinged loopiness is the result of some sort of dementia or swiftly decreasing mental capacity. I wouldn’t want to make fun of that any more than I’d want to vote for someone even plausibly diagnosed with a brain malady.

But it’s possible that Biden’s been spooked by the incomprehensible-to-him success of Donald Trump.

Trump seems to say whatever he wants, breaking normal bounds of decorum and accepted standards of linguistic prudence, and get away with it.

Could Biden’s increasingly frank and unguarded statements make sense in this context?

Maybe it’s not diminished capacity in the pre-frontal cortex, but a license to say damn near anything.

Can Biden afford such a strategy? Whatever it is that Trump does, successfully, has not been duplicated by any of his would-be competition. Not without seeming clumsy and kind of stupid.

The Biden camp says the current bizarrerie, “lying, dog-faced pony soldier,” is from a John Wayne movie. Apparently it’s from a Tyrone Power flick.

Hollywood scriptural references aside, Biden’s substantive answer to the electability question is that he has more black support than his competitors, and that you have to take the first four primary states as a whole.

A reasonable answer and not suggesting dementia.

TDS remains a possibility, then.