A celebration…

Hailing from Israel, reports tell us of a cure for cancer.

A complete cure.

Nothing minor.

And yes, of course it is related to the most advanced in genetic research.

According to Dan Aridor, chairman of the board of Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies Ltd. (AEBi) and CEO Dr. Ilan Morad, their treatment will not need time for the body to acculturate to it before it works. Aridor stated, “We believe we will offer in a year’s time a complete cure for cancer. … Our cancer cure will be effective from day one … and will have no or minimal side-effects at a much lower cost than most other treatments on the market. Our solution will be both generic and personal.”

As the Jerusalem Post reports, “An estimated 18.1 million new cancer cases are diagnosed worldwide each year, according to reports by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Further, every sixth death in the world is due to cancer, making it the second leading cause of death (second only to cardiovascular disease).”

The treatment is called MuTaTo (multi-target toxin), and works much like antibiotics do in targeting bacteria. MuTaTo is based on SoAP technology, which works by finding, binding and removing bacteria by utilizing bacteriophage-derived proteins. Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria.

Hank Berrien, “Still Want To Boycott Israel? Israeli Scientists Find Cure For Cancer, Report Says,The Daily Wire, January 28, 2019

Maybe it is time to head off to a celebratory, feel-good Cher concert.

Taking the Great Mutato to see Cher in The Post-Modern Prometheus.



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My pistol.

Here in the Evergreen State, where the motto is “al-ki” (by and by), local sheriffs are basically telling big city voters that their gun legislation (enacted by initiative) is unconstitutional and unenforceable — and that they will not try to enforce the new restrictions.

So what are those restrictions?

Washington’s voters passed initiative I-1639 in 2018, which by-and-large regulates semiautomatic rifles. Since January 1, 2019, purchasers of such weapons must be 21 years of age or over, must undergo an enhance [sic] background check and complete a safety course, and must wait nine days to take possession of their weapons. Further, weapons must be stored properly, or their owners will face felony endangerment charges.

“Washington State Sheriffs Refuse To Enforce New, Strict Gun Laws: ‘It’s Unconstitutional On Several Grounds’,” Inquistr, January 27, 2019

I live in a very rural county, one completely lacking in intersection lights — no red lights, yellow lights, or green. Alas, I just missed a meet-and-greet at the local watering hole where the local sheriff made his opposition to the new gun regulations all clear, publicly.

Rural sheriffs are rebelling. And there is a legal challenge in the works. One sheriff explained that “until the National Rifle Association’s (NRA’s) lawsuit against Washington’s new laws is resolved, he won’t be enforcing the laws, either. And if the NRA fails, he’ll consider whether or not he wants to remain in law enforcement.”

Predictably, some denizens of the out-of-the-way utopia I live in challenged our sheriff’s prerogative of selective enforcement.

I bet those folks would not challenge him if they disapproved of the law. Were the law to require that Jews be rounded up and shipped off to concentration camps, I bet they would say they’d join me in supporting any resistance the county sheriff could mount. But I also bet they do not have the wit to see the problem, here.

But perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps they are principled conservatives. Whatever the established legal authority says, I have heard conservatives argue, must be followed to the letter. No matter how gruesome.

Amusingly, the ideologues most likely to take this conservative position today are progressives. And not just on this issue, where they have demonstrated a 60 percent statewide majority on gun regulation. As I have been elaborating for years now — for decades — today’s ideological alignments are not what they seem.

Conservatives today are mostly the progressives of a century ago, but with a fantasy of liberty sprinkled in to leaven the lump. Progressives today, by defending all the progressive institutions enacted this last century, and because they push for more of the same — nothing really very radically different, even when advanced under the gonfalon of socialism — find themselves, willy-nilly, as the actual conservatives in this mix, conserving progressive tradition.

Progressives leaven their goofy partisanship with scarcely believable nonsense about “marginalized communities,” of course. But that is mostly for piety. Fake piety, Pharisaic piety, for show.

In truth, in this “Evergreen State,” as in all so-called Blue States, the overbearing centrists yearn and work mightily to marshal state power and the tyranny of the majority to make society less liberal.

A free society is an armed society, for, as I have argued before, no state can protect its citizens (subjects) in time of crisis. The state is an engine for the regulation of retaliation. Self-defense is absolutely central to a liberal state.

But the State as imagined by progressives? There is nothing liberal about it. Limiting the power of citizens is what progressives do. They are top-down, professional management-oriented through and through, our progressives. They have always been sympathetic to tyranny — witness the love of centralization, the hatred of the Constitution, the sympathy for the Soviets — and they aim to get their totalitarian state some day, by and by.

First step to get over their next hurdle to total adminstrative state supremacy? Curb Americans’ gun ownership.

twv

Contemplating buying another gun.
Gustave de Molinari

The economist must not confound interest with selfishness, still less with the satisfaction of such needs as are purely material. It signifies rather the sum of the requirements of human nature, material as well as moral. A man does not impose upon himself the sufferings which are inseparable from effort, nor abstain from enjoying the fruits of his toil, for the sole purpose of satisfying selfish wants, whether present or future. Altruistic intention is a frequent and often the more powerful factor in determining labours or abstentions. Altruism includes the love of family and the race, of truth and justice; and its scope is only limited by that of the moral sentiment. Under its spur men have died for each other, a cause, even a cherished idea. There is no real warrant for the opposition between interest and duty, a contradiction that has been too often reiterated. Duty is no more than the obligation to act in conformity with justice, the criterion of which is the general and permanent interest of the species. The sense of justice — in other words the moral sense — naturally predisposes us to conform action to duty. This sense is, no doubt, distributed most unequally. Certain individuals find that obedience to its dictates yields a joy which outweighs any pain, and such men pursue duty at all costs and in face of every obstacle; others are less conscious of the stimulus. A sense of obligation is often disobeyed, but every lapse is followed by that feeling of pain which is called remorse. Finally, there are many persons whose moral sense, the sense of justice, is quite rudimentary; they commit every kind of injustice or immorality to satisfy their passions or vices, and are a menace to society and the race. Mere self-defence compels society to supplement such enfeebled sense of the obligations. It therefore imposes penalties, regulating their incidence in such a way that the amount of pleasure obtained by comitting an injustice is more than neutralised by the punishment which follows.

Society’s first duty is, therefore, to foster the sense of justice — the moral sense. And it is equally imperative to define the distinction between just and unjust, moral and immoral, since the hurt or benefit of society and the species is bound up with the opposition between these two ideas. The interests of the individual and the species are, in their regard, identical.

Gustave de Molinari

The Society of To-morrow: A Forecast of Its Political and Economic Organisation (1904)

from the Preface, third footnote (to the passage in the title on this page)

James Branch Cabell

But it is not merely that our private lives are given over to mental anarchy. . . . We live under a government which purports to be based, actually, on the assumption that one man is as good as another. No human being believes this assumption to be true, of course, nor could any form of polity that took it seriously survive a week: but the imposing statement serves well enough as the ostensible cornerstone of democracy. And we must all regard the laws of this government, since to one or another of these laws must be amenable every action of our lives. Thus you may well spare time to visit a legislative body in session, and to listen to the debates, and to conjecture whether each participant is really an imbecile or for ulterior ends is consciously making a spectacle of himself. However, it may be an excess of modesty which induces the self-evident belief of every public speaker that the persons who have assembled to hear him cannot possibly be intelligent. And if you will attend a State Legislature, in particular, and look about you, and listen for a while, and reflect that those preposterous people are actually, making and unmaking laws by which your physical life is ordered, you will get food for wonder and some perturbation. But of course, poor creatures, they too are trying to do what seems expected of them, very much as Sheridan attacked Warren Hastings: and many of the most applauded public speakers conserve an appreciable degree of intelligence for private life.

When you consider that presidents and chief-justices and archbishops and kings and statesmen are human beings like you and me and the state legislators and the laundryman, the thought becomes too horrible for humanity to face. So, here too, romance intervenes promptly, to build up a mythos about each of our prominent men, — about his wisdom and subtlety and bravery and eloquence, and including usually his Gargantuan exploits in lechery and drunkenness, — so as to save us from the driveling terror that would spring from conceding our destinies in any way to depend on other beings quite as mediocre and incompetent as ourselves. . . .


Yet perfection graces few human subterfuges. Thus very often does the need arise for romance to preserve us yet further, from discovering that this protective talk of “statesmanship” and “policies” is nonsense clamorously exploded. For sometimes nations come to fisticuffs, just as inconsequently as the plumber and the baker might do, and the neighbors take part, very much as a street-row intensifies, until a considerable section of the world is devastated. Then romance prompts us, in self-protection, to moralize of one or the other side’s “aims” and “plottings” and “schemes,” and so on, as the provokers of all this ruin, rather than acknowledge the causes to lie disconcertingly deeper, and to be rooted in our general human incompetence, and in our lack of any especial designs whatever. . . . Never at any time is man in direr need of disregarding men as they are, than under the disastrous illumination of war: for then actually to face the truth would forthwith drive anyone of us insane. We are then all shuddering through a disrupted Vanity Fair of mountebanks who have come to open and ignominious failure: and our sole hope of salvation lies in pretending not to notice. For it sometimes happens that among these so cruelly exposed mountebanks are our own chosen overlords, chosen as such, for the most part, on account of their real superiority to the run of men: and when this happens, the more perspicacious among us prefer not to recognize our overlords’ incompetence, because we know that these pathetic muddlers and blusterers represent, upon the whole, the best our race is yet able to produce. . . .

So it is rather sad when war breaks out, and honored subterfuges unaccountably collapse. Everyone was letter-perfect in what seemed expected of him under the old order: but when that is upset overnight, and there are no standards to conform to, nobody anywhere has any notion what to do. It breeds a seizure of dumb panic which is unbearable. So — kings and cabinets and generalissimos being at a nonplus, and even presidents (in Mexico and other Southern republics) falling a shade short of omniscience, — the nations flounder, and gabble catchwords, and drift, and strike out blindly, and tergiversate, and jostle one another, and tell frantic falsehoods, and hit back, like fretful children; and finally one by one fling aside the last trammeling vestige of reason and self-control, and go screaming mad (with a decided sense of relief) in order to get rid of the strain. And so spreads steadily the holocaust. . . .

Yes, it is rather sad, because you cannot but suspect that whatever befalls a race of such attested incompetence cannot very greatly matter if the universe be conducted on any serious basis. Yet even in war-time men worry along somehow, desperately endeavoring still to live up to notions derived from romantic fiction, such as is provided by public speakers and newspaper editorials and the censored war-news, — and liberally ascribing “plans” and “policies” to every accident of the carnage, and revising these explanations as often as seems expedient. We play, in fine, that human intelligence somewhere either has the situation in hand or at least foresees a plausible way out of it. We are thus never actually reduced to facing the truth: for however near we may blunder to the verge of such disaster, the demiurge protects us by means of that high anaesthesia which we term “patriotism.”


Now patriotism is, of course, something more than a parade of prejudice, so flimsy that even at the height of its vogue, in war-time, anyone of us can see the folly, and indeed the wickedness, of such patriotism as is manifested by the other side. For with our own country’s entry into war, it is generally conceded that, whether for right or wrong and in default of any coherent explanation by our overlords as to what we are doing in that fighting galley, we can all agree to stand together in defence of our national honor. In large part, this is another case of doing what seems to be expected: and the vast majority of us begin by being patriotically bellicose in speech out of respect to our neighbor’s presumed opinion, while he returns the courtesy. So we both come at last unfeignedly to believe what we are saying, just as men always find conviction in repetition: and a benevolent wave of irrationality sweeps over towns and cross-roads, with the most staid of us upon its crest excitedly throwing tea into Boston Harbor, or burning effigies of Lincoln and Davis (severally, as taste directs), or trampling upon Spanish flags, and organizing parades and passing resolutions, and even attempting to memorize our national air. . . . Doubtless, all this is grotesque, upon the surface, and is of no especial use in settling the war: but it prevents us from thinking too constantly of the fact that we are sending our boys to death. . . . The demiurge, in fine, to soothe bewilderment and panic administers patriotism as an anaesthetic. And as has been pointed out, elsewhere, we find that ardent patriotism can even be made to serve as an exhilarating substitute for lukewarm religion whenever the two happen to be irreconcilable. . . . Each war, in short, with its attendant outlets for new energies, arouses a fine if not quite explicable general sense of doing something of real importance, in all save the emotionally abstemious, to whom any war must perforce appear in its inception a gloomy error, and in its manifestations a nuisance.

And probably these thin-blooded people are wrong. Aesthetically, at any rate, there is a deal to be said in favor of patriotism, and of this quaint-seeming faith in the especial merits of one’s own country and in all the curious customs of one’s country, however inexplicable, even though this faith occasionally convert Earth into a revolving shambles. For patriotism is, of course, not merely an anaesthetic: to the contrary, it is, like all the other magnanimous factors in human life, a dynamic product of the demiurge. Thus patriotism (as Paul Vanderhoffen has put it) can ascend to lofty heights without depending upon logic to give it a leg up. To prefer your country’s welfare to your own is rational enough, since it is but to assume that the whole is greater than the part: but when we proceed to prefer our country’s welfare to that of any and all other countries in the world, — as we unanimously do, with tho glowing approval of conscience, — we must progress by high-mindedly reversing the original assumption. So that patriotism is undefiled by any smirch of “realism” or of that which is merely “logical,” — and must always be kept thus in order to stay vigorous, since patriotism is a product, and one of the most generally commended products, of the demiurge.

And I, for one, find nothing unreasonable in the irrationality of patriotism. . . . The other animals munch grass and paw at unconsidered dirt, where man not all unconsciously gets nourishment from his mother’s bosom. For we know ourselves to be born of that coign of Earth we cherish with no inexplicable affection. Not only in spirit does our habitat conform us, since the land we love, that soil whereon our cattle graze, goes steadily to the making of plants, and thence becomes incarnate in our bodies: until we ourselves seem but a many agglutinate and animated particles of that land we love, with such partiality as we may not rouse toward those cool abstractions, equity and logic, but reserve for our corporal kin. Thus patriots may rationally justify the direst transports of their actions, if not the wisdom of their public utterances. For in battling for the honor of one’s birthplace each hand is lifted in defence, not merely of opinions, but of the very field in which it once was dust: and he that is slain does but repay through burial a loan from his mother. So it is with actual and very profound reason, that we are not reasonable about the display of our patriotism: for no man, of whatever nationality, is called on to be reasonable where his mother’s welfare appears concerned or, to however small degree, her honor seems impugned. In such a quandary he strikes. The merits of his cause he will defer for later consideration. And meanwhile wisdom and philosophy may speak with the tongue of angels, and be handed to them: for the noble madness of patriotism pleads at quite another tribunal, and addresses the human heart, whereover neither ear nor brain has jurisdiction. Our mother seems to be molested; and we strike to requite all those who trouble her, no matter what be their excuse. That only is the immediate essential: long afterward, when there is nothing better to do, we may snare time to reason. Meanwhile we know that, here also, the romance is of more instant worth than the mere fact.

James Branch Cabell

Beyond Life (1919), “The Mountebank” (VII, last three sections)

Maybe we should pH balance our political vocabulary.

There should be fascism and phascism.

Fascism would be what actual fascists supported. You can read about their doctrines in Giovanni Gentile, for example. People who have actually read Gentile and Rocco and Mussolini would get to refer to fascism. And spell it right.

Everybody else would spell their understandings of the term, in their preferred loosey-goosey ways, without any historical justification (just like most uses), as “phascism.”

This would especially be the case for Marxists, who have always mischaracterized fascism for their own political advantage, and social justice warriors, who cannot explain the term in any plausible way, and libertarians, who think it makes sense to tar neo-mercantilism with the f-word.

Oh, and especially those people who spell Adolf Hitler’s name not with an “f” but with a “ph”: phascism is for you!

Democracy, explained Karl Popper, is valuable not because it expresses a “general will” — it does not and cannot — but because it allows citizens to remove officeholders from power peacefully.

The problem that democracy does not solve is the problem of the populace. Voters have power — not individually, but en masse, in interest groups. And when they become corrupt, democracy provides no way to remove them from power.

For they still have votes.

They can learn, or change their minds — but so can tyrants. We cannot rely upon education for voters corrupted by power, dreams of power, and patterns of dominance and submission. 

This is the main problem of democracy. Once corrupted by the power democracy provides, a people tends to remain corrupted.

Democracy‘s power base in the populace cannot even be term limited. 

Only the deaths of the corrupted provide a way out — with the tiny hope that younger people will see corruption and avoid it. Trouble is, the institutions of governance and politics tend to suck every generation further into folly.

And injustice.

New English Review Press, 2018

as reviewed on Goodreads

This is a peculiar book. It is also a delightful book. The subtitle suggests a scholarly treatment of the subject, but the title adequately scuttles that expectation, and we get a memoir of ideological development and conflict, with a sketch of the bizarre noösphere that is postmodernist social justice.

Michael Rectenwald hails from the left. The far left. We read of his apprenticeship with American poet Allen Ginsburg, his introduction into the world of postmodern philosophy and literary theory, his travails as a teacher and husband and divorcé and suitor, his work as an academic consultant on TV news as well as his work in writing scholarly articles and books, and, most importantly, his meteoric transit at his college and in the general culture as Twitter’s “Deplorable NYU Prof.” 

For many, that may be the sole delight this book provides, darting through the Twitterstorm and the following academic scandal that he initiated by daring to criticize the social justice cult. It is the first book I have read with an appendix of Tweets.

But I most enjoyed his concise explanations of the differences between Marxism, cultural Marxism, post-structuralism, post-modernism, Deconstruction and, yes, that strange cult, “social justice.” And his conclusion is interesting, too: he says we must treat social justice as a religion, and dethrone it from setting any policy — drive it from university administrations, where it now dominates — but not from its intellectual place in the Academy. Probably reasonable. But disappointingly modest. For social justice and the postmodernism it hails from are worse than mere cults, they constitute an insurrectionist cadre that demands more than the just a Cultural Revolution of virtue signalling and callouts (and doxxing). As far as I can tell, the crazed cult really does want to do what Barack Hussein Obama said he wanted to do: radically transform America.

I want freedom, not totalitarianism, whether mob-based or statist. So if we rush towards any form of radicalism, I suggest another direction.

But this book might be helpful in changing course. For, after all, the author himself has changed hos whole persoective — he was almost forced to, he explains, by the betrayals of nearly all of his colleagues and friends . . . and comrades. He is no longer a communist or socialist or advocate of that mirage, social justice. He wants freedom and individual rights, now, too.

If a one-time Marxist/postmodernist can undergo such a metamorphosis, may not a whole culture, as well? 

twv


For some time I have been speculating as to when we will reach Peak Progressivism. What with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez barelling into American political culture like a Trumpian stampede of bullish memes, we have reason to think it is a long way off, far into the future. The Democrats have at last found their anti-Trump, a masterful manipulator of minds who gains attention by setting aside factuality, practicality, careful morality, or political etiquette — all irrelevant! With AOC the Democrats seem prepared to “run train” on the American system of government. But that is probably wrong.

Peak Progressivism hit its high point last Saturday, with the social media paroxysms over Nick Sandman’s “smirk,” his red hat, and his and his buddies’ “obvious” racism and sexism.

And Progressivism has been plummeting since.

Can it recover?

Pride Goeth Before the Fall

I do not always get these viral manias right. 

A few years ago, I pretty much took the progressive side on police shootings, for instance. And though I do think cop culture is in a pretty bad condition in America — it cannot be good, with the unconstitutional War on Drugs corrupting everything — the infamous Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown brouhahas fizzled from scandalous injustices and into justified shootings lickety-split. Progressives just did not notice, so em-bubbled were they.

Now, I never really believed the Trayvon story, and I think I may have got the Brown shooting not wholly wrong from the beginning — but I must surely have taken the wrong side in some of the other hysterias that led to the rise of BLM and BAMN.

The point is this, regardless: repeatedly since Obama the Corrupter took office, and even unto the present moment, the big race/sex-gender/bigotry scandals almost invariably turn out quite unlike how the progressives tell the tales. The stories do not pan out. The oppressor-victim narrative of social justice usually proves brummagem. Progressives somehow prove prone to invert the truth, in both facts and values.

My instinct, these days, is to take the opposite side of whatever progressives are angry about.

And, unlike Scott Adams, I never believed that Master Nick Sandman was in the wrong last Friday. It seemed easy for me to see that Nathan “Respect Me I’m Old and Native” Phillips was the aggressor. I could tell by his stance and the nervous look on Sandman’s face. I was sort of surprised that this was not universally understood.

I was surprised that Adams was taken in.

Maybe I got this right because of my “Finnish-American” cultural angle — when I see someone pounding a drum in someone else’s face, I regard the Drummer, not the Smirker, as the aggressor. It was not likely that Phillips was “defending himself.” Or interposing himself between the kids and the Black Hebrew Racists, I mean, Israelites. People need their personal space. The kid did not look like an aggressor at all. I am sort of dumbfounded that anyone would judge otherwise, even with Sandman “smirking.” 

Do folks not know what a nervous smile is?

And do you remember Orwell’s 1984? We are talking, here, about “facecrime,” a subset concept of Newspeak.

The other day Adams apologized. I am watching his apology video, below, as I type this. Next up I will watch his latest, “a rip in the fabric of reality” lecture. I am told it blows the social world wide open.

Mr. Sandman, Lend Me Your Ears

Again, I dare say that Peak Progressivism hit us square in the face on Saturday. It has been all downhill from Sunday on. And will continue, if not quite so precipitously.

Why? Well, we can only trust social justice mobs so many times only to be repeatedly betrayed . . . before we realize that social justice is pure moral poison. It clouds minds. It destroys judgment. And it becomes precisely what SJWs say they hate.

The indecency of the Blue Checkmarks on Twitter was breathtaking to behold: death threats; calls to burn down the Covington high school with all the students in it; offers of blowjobs for punching Sandman. Cray cray crazed nonsense. Vile slander. Evil wishes. Murderous rage.

The femme fatale used to be a prominent and popular literary and cultural trope. But it dropped out of the culture decades ago, with the rise of feminism. But the reality of it did not.

Justice is what matters. Justice. No modifier needed. “Social justice” is not sociable, is indeed anti-social — it is worse than a mirage, it is mob-based tyranny.

And my prophecy is this: if Democrats nominate a candidate for the presidency who sticks to the social justice lingo, as Hillary Clinton did in 2016, that candidacy will fail to oust Trump, or whoever in the GOP winds up replacing him. (There is still the possibility that Trump will not run again. I know: unlikely. But how likely is Trump in the first place? He is, as I said several years ago, The Mule. Straight out not of Central Casting but from Isaac Asimov’s Second Foundation.)

The demise of a party may be at hand — and because of racism, the Democrats’ racism! Anti-white racism. Their need for an excuse to rag and rage on heterosexual white men, in particular, is ugly and stupid.

And now almost everyone can see it.

I really thought, ten years ago, that it would be the GOP that would implode. Right now my money is on the Democracy. 

What remains to be seen is if the cultural hegemony that leftists lord over the rest of us goes along with the current idiotic brand of social justice. It might. It just might.

“I’m an intersex girl with right-leaning libertarian views. Is there any place for me in the conservative or libertarian spaces on Quora?”

as answered on Quora

So, let me try to break this down.

Though the term “intersex” is quite common in some circles, most people do not know what it means. My dictionary defines it as a person or animal with both male and female sex organs or characteristics. A very, very uncommon condition.* Which would lead most folks to ask questions, if they dared — questions like “how is ‘intersex’ different from ‘hermaphrodite’?”

I say “dared” because when one does not fall into a common category, any discussion of one’s status seems uncommonly personal, and so, well, prying. The issue becomes tricky in terms of manners.

Now, consider libertarians.

Though the term “libertarian” is common in some circles, most people do not know what it means. When I was young, it was a very, very uncommon social philosophy. Espousing its ideas led people to ask a lot of questions. And they still do.

Political divergence seems to anger people even more than sexual subjects do. Why? Maybe because while most people do not act with most others in a primarily sexual way — we interact in “spaces” like markets, communities, educational institutions and the like, and for production, spiritual support, learning — our interactions all materially intersect with the political. And to hold a divergent view is to challenge others. Cannot be helped.

Indeed, the reason questions of “gender” have become such hot topics recently is not primarily that they are especially challenging to others in normal interpersonal situations (though they certainly can be) but because they have been made political by demands that differently gendered people be treated in certain specified ways, under threat of state force and mob action.

And the reason that libertarians challenge conservatives and progressives and most other ideologies is that libertarians insist that the scope of coercion be severely limited. And folks do not like being told that they should not readily resort to coercion. People depend upon coercion, set much store in it. And, what with politics being largely a matter of directing the awesome coercive power of states to favor some and disfavor others in various ways and situations, it is not shocking that folks would tend to take challenges to their reliance upon coercion as an affront.

That is how the political becomes the personal.

Libertarians might be called “interpolitical” people, because they do not fit the main accepted categories of party and cultural group — or “tribe.”

Example? Well, are libertarians “on the right” or “on the left”? They themselves disagree on this. And non-libertarians disagree on the matter, too. I have often been called an evil leftist by conservatives, and an evil right-winger by progressives. The whole left/right issue is a matter of contention. So, to mimic current gender-identification trends, I might aptly describe myself in political terms as an “interpolitical trans liberal.”

Conservatives, on the other hand, are part of a major political group. As a political philosophy, conservatism is much less coherent than libertarianism, mainly because by a common definition it is more attitude and approach than program. Conservatives often do not know what they stand for as much as what they stand against — which is “progressivism.” But, as I have explained elsewhere, conservatives today are largely, on substantive policy matters, merely the progressives of a century ago. What we now witness in this tumultuous age of ideological turmoil is two branches of progressivism vying with each other for power.

It gets confusing in part because of this goofy popularity of the left/right political spectrum. To today’s leftists, they see everything that is “not left” as “right-wing.” But the political animal is not just two wings: there is a head and tail, torso and feet. You might guess, I do not think of libertarian ideas as either “right” or “left.” Indeed, I hazard that the core attitudes of both rightists and leftists are defensible and even praiseworthy, but because both sides leap to policies of mass coercion, demanding that states engage in extravagant displays of force, it seems to me that both conservatives and progressives are very dangerous to themselves and others.

So, I am neither a right-leaning libertarian nor a left-leaning one.

This puts me in an ideological situation not unlike many of today’s young people who identify themselves as intersex despite being, biologically, not really all that ambiguous. It has become a matter of how one “identifies.” I find this confusing in matters of sex. But I note the parallels with my philosophy. Outwardly, I look like a normal person. But once one asks me a few questions, my normality evaporates faster than a puddle on a hot August day.

As for “spaces,” I just ask and answer questions on Quora. I get very few upvotes, and I am prone to providing arguments that do not fit into standard categories, are perhaps quirky or challenging. I actually do not worry about “spaces.” I find myself interacting with a very few other Quorans. I guess a map of our interactions would define our “space,” but I do not worry about it much.

Because of this, I suggest making a space for yourself by honestly asking and answering questions on Quora, and, on occasion, rethinking your positions. Which is especially appropriate for young people. You call yourself a girl. That indicates youth. It is when you are young that you learn the most, and — rightly — change your mind most often.

It is the metaphorical space between your ears that matters most, here

twv

N. B. (*) As far as I know, every male has some female sex hormones and every female has male sex hormones, and surely we would say that most people have some traits that are regarded as “of the opposite sex.” But these facts surely are not what people are talking about when they talk about “intersex.” Surely?

My collection of the “Storisende” Edition of The Biography of the Life of Manuel

I wonder what James Branch Cabell would think about the library that bears his name.

As far as I can tell, it is a library without any physical books.

Of course there are books . . . at least in the Cabell Room:

By the way, who actually believed — as the narrator to this video presentation states — that Cabell’s books are “thinly veiled commentaries on the manners of his times”? The books have universal themes, and better qualify as Menippean satires than as comedies of manners.

Oh, OK: his books set in his contemporary Virginia (Sil.) might qualify as comedies of manners — The Cords of Vanity seems to fit. But The 
Rivet in Grandfather’s Neck
aims for more universal themes, and by the publication of The Cream of the Jest, Cabell was well on his way past the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

Cabell did not “thinly veil” his “commentary”: he explicitly linked his characters to a tripartite schema of universal types, and explored how particular instances of these types differently dealt with ideals and compromise and romance and dissillusion in a world not quite up to snuff, but always suggestive of grandeur and romance and many other fine things, eternally just out of grasp.

I know, Mencken asserted that Cabell’s “gaudy heroes . . . chase dragons precisely as stockbrockers play golf.” But this was not to satirize then-contempprary life, but to satirize (and cherish) universal humanity. The drolly pleonastic title for his multi-volume series The Biography of the Life Manuel suggests this more than adequately, for Cabell has written a biography (an “anatomy”) of the Life of Man.

The Commonwealth of Existence Itself — that is Cabell’s target.

twv