Occupied!

We’ve talked about this before, but in fact, I don’t think there has ever been a country like ours, where our elites are deliberately taught – in our best schools – to hate and despise everything that we are, everything that makes us unique.  I don’t think there has ever been another country where our elites are taught to be ashamed to call themselves by our national name.

Or rather, there have been countries like that – but they were countries who’d lost a war, and where the governing elite were in fact puppets of their erstwhile enemy, sent in to utterly destroy what the country used to be and to make sure that it did not rise again and (maybe) next time win the war.

Did we lose the cold war?  Well, of course not.  Of course we didn’t. The Sov Union fell apart.  Their internal economy was a shambles – communism does that – and they are suffering the fate of the defeated in a material and obvious way.  The name for prostitute in most of Europe (and the Arab countries) is Natasha. Their population is crashing.  Their men are dying of alcoholism and internally they are being taken over by a hostile minority.  Ignore the invasion of Georgia, those are the spasms of the dying bear.  It’s inevitable, in material terms to be aware that when it comes to the si devant Sov union  the applicable Latin phrase is Vae Victis.

But here’s the thing – long before communism had lost the cold war, it had won the propaganda war.

Part of this was their saber rattling and the craven and raw nature of our intellectual classes.  Craven because they know themselves to be weak.  Dueling with your mind might be an exciting sport – it is, I know, I do it – but it avails nothing when confronted by thugs with hobnail boots.  Most of those who labor in the vineyard of words find themselves utterly naked and defenseless in even the most minor physical confrontation.  (Note, I said most, not all.  I would not advise you to pick a fight with most of Baen.  Even myself and Dave Freer who are relatively mild put bite into any fight – he, because he’s a devious bastage and I say that in the most profound affection [if I ever govern anything he’ll be my secretary of dirty tricks.  The man has no bounds.] and I because I’m built like a tank and I berserk.)  So they both turn coward – and justify it in big words – by cleaving to the people they think are going to invade and kick their butts.  Now it’s Islam, but once upon a time it was communism; and they glorify and have a sort of hard on for violent sorts.  Hence, their worship of that despicable, blood tinged psychopath, Che.

And they were really scared of communism.  It also made sense in their minds – communism, I mean – as it can only make sense in the minds of people who live in the sheltered world of academia or the irrational world of art.  And so… they turned.

And they do influence public opinion.

I wonder how much the Sov Union had to put behind the effort.  My dad told me that the Sov Union spent quite a lot on Agit prop in western countries, the United states most of all.

But then there’s the nature of the beast, as it were – most communists in the US were by nature what we’d class as “radical losers”.  They were outcasts, for some reason or another, (the ugly women, the little men – no, seriously, in Europe in the seventies this was as good a predictor as any of who would go commie.) And most of them were not very effective.  There are stories that some guy in NYC got millions from the Sov Union for which he wrote careful receipts, and which he spent in the most bizarre projects imaginable, failing even to enrich himself.  (Whether it’s true or not that they bought the SF magazines wholesale, I’m not equipped to comment.  The rumor does go around and one does wonder how they could afford to play with New Wave and crash their readership.  Never mind.  A lot of others are doing it, so it might be an ideology uber alas thing.  Something to which humans are prone.  I think it was more like most of the media coordination, a matter of people wanting to be “cool” and “with it” – but then there is always journolist.  This might be one of those watchmacallits of history because those who know will take it with them to their unquiet graves.)

So you see, communism doesn’t work, and no one who has ever run a business, or worked for a business that actually depends on selling its products, or in fact done anything productive can believe it does.

But it makes a total conquest of intellectuals, academics, and people who feel the “real” world doesn’t compensate them enough and that they’re way too smart for the common herd.

There was a time back in the eighties and early nineties when the edifice tottered.  There were whispers about how things really were in the USSR and the more moral of the communists distanced themselves.

They’ve gone back now.  Embraced the mantra that it just wasn’t done “right”.

Which of course is the fault – sorry, but it is – of the US when the crash happened.  At the time they were dying for aid.  They must have it, or the collapse would have turned violent.

The price for that help should have been trials.  We should have – in Heinlein’s phrase – Hung the commissars with their own guts. More importantly, we should have exposed it all, and let the effluvium of seventy years of human wretchedness, perfidy, greed and horror wash out over our mass media.

We didn’t.  They were allowed to save face.  They were allowed to recoup – here if not at home.  (Though the reign of Putin means something.)

Few people have read The Black Book of Communism – which should be taught in our schools, in every grade, in grade-appropriate chunks – but our highs chools boast Howard Zin’s People’s History which is the Soviet view of America; Young Hegelians clubs and hipsters decked in Che Guevara.

The “Well educated” are in fact indoctrinated, taught communist propaganda and syllogisms until they’re UNABLE to think.  We now have an administration composed of people like this, who are unable to connect to reality.  They might be our first Marxist administration, but they suffer from third generation blight, not having come to their opinions from their own mind, but having been browbeaten into them.  They are the good kids, trapped in an illusion from which they can’t break out.

But the d*mned ineradicable fact about communism and its cousin “state capitalism” and the hellish hybrid they’re trying out here is that it doesn’t work.  IT NEVER WORKS.  It doesn’t work even when instituted by very bright psychopaths.  It works even less when instituted by people so indoctrinated they can’t SEE reality.

And it will crash here – hard or soft, with a bang or a whimper.  It will crash and it might drag the rest of the world with us into the endless night.

Tell me how would an alien think the Cold War ended?

Is the cold war ended?

When will it end?

Must we fight it here, on our soil, as it turns hot, and hang our own commissars from their own guts?

Vae Victis!

Welcome Instapundit readers, and thank you to Glenn Reynolds for the link.  For those who don’t know it, this is my hobby, not my dayjob, which is writing fiction, so pardon the typos and the general mess of a post written before coffee.

UPDATE: There is an entirely different post at MGC, where I’m Robbing Graves For Fun and Profit!

472 thoughts on “Occupied!

  1. The thing about Putin is that he is actually UNDOING the damage of Communism, while refusing to throw the baby (i.e. the Red Army’s heroic defeat of Hitler’s hordes) out with the bathwater. He’s de-Communising Russa slowly – and thus, effectively.
    The country’s demographic collapse – peaking during Yeltsin’s kleptocracy – has been largely reversed. The economic collapse of 1998 has been reversed entirely. Moscow is a capital of capitalism now, not to mention a haven for U.S. dissidents.
    Meanwhile, the U.S. has become its own antithesis, a global Tranzi empire seeking to destroy the national, religious and cultural – starting with itself. Because “diversity.”

            1. yippee! I shall find a frame to fit and hang it somewhere!.
              I was heading to get ready for work, and didn’t have the time for a more in depth tear-down.

    1. Putin is, effectively a Tsar. While things are better than they were – and immesuably better than they were under communism (if you doubt it play geoguessr for a bit and see all the places in Russia that show up) – the rule of law is not neutral. If you are a Putin buddy you automatically win, if you are a Putin critic you tend to get the sort of treatment that makes the IRS investigations of the Tea Party look completely reasonable. Worse (and I know this from a number of sources) to do almost any large scale commercial transaction in Russia you need to have a fixer to pay the bribes. It is, in many respects, very similar to the PRC albeit with a slightly less blatent jackboot on the throat.

      Everyone that can gets as much money as they can out of Russia. That’s why we see so many plutocrats here on the French Riviera. In fact an acquaintance here said that if it weren’t for the Russians the Riviera would be in serious economic pain because there simply aren’t as many rich Northern/Western Europeans this year (or last year). and the idiotic Hollande tax regime means only people who have a significantly worse one (e.g. Russia – where the regime is way more capricious even if it may on paper look better) will eb willing to invest down here.

      1. Except for Putin having military testicles, how is this different from Obama’s governing style?

        Well, take away his carbon-fueled chokehold on Europe …

        1. We won’t see vice President Obama in an adminstration of President H Clinton …

          Also Obama hasn’t yet caused journalists or bloggers to have suspicious accidents of creative suicides

              1. I think what really got them bent out of shape about the rodeo clown was that everyone in the crowd was cheering when the announcer asked, “who would like to see Obama run down by a bull?”

                1. And when the media talks about how “popular outrage” got the clown canned, THIS IS NEVER MENTIONED! If you don’t read alternate news sources, you would think the rodeo crowd itself reacted with horror.

                    1. Re: Pravda,

                      An American friend of mine who’s familiar with Russia and has been there several times likes to repeat the old joke from the Communist era, when there were two official newspapers: Pravda and Izvestia (those words mean “truth” and “news” respectively in Russian). The joke was, “In Pravda there is no izvestia, and in Izvestia there is no pravda.”

                    2. And in the USA today there is no glasnost of government, only glasnost of citizens’ ‘privacy.’ Oh yes, the government does purvey transparent misinformation, distortions, and outright self-serving lies to its constituency.
                      Government opacity is the mask for its poltroonery, and worse.

                    3. I am so tired of lies. That’s what I kept thinking all day yesterday “I am so tired of lies.” There will likely be post on this. Not today, though. Today is chapter.

                    4. Ok, another old joke, this one from my Russian teacher in high school. (I took Russian from a Hungarian who fought in the Revolution as a teenager. She had lovely horror stories that the peacenik libs in the class apparently couldn’t believe.)

                      This is when the whole glastnost/perestroika thing just started. She kept saying “DON’T trust them.”

                      Anyway, at this point Mir had been up for two years. She kept stressing to us a little vocabulary lesson. When Russians say ‘we want peace’, if they use the word ‘mir’, then…

                      when they say ‘we want peace’ they are saying ‘we want the world.’

      2. For Russia, a Tsar is a step up. Expecting them to blossom into New Hampshire-ian village green democracy is an even rosier view of the world.

        Recall that it wasn’t that long ago that Taiwan, the Philippines, and South Korea were amongst the more repressive authoritarian governments around.

        1. Hmmmmmmmm — that makes me think —

          You know, the Russian aristocracy talked in French by preference. And they and many other countries went out of their way to ape the French as the summit of civilization. It was Napoleon’s invasion that encouraged them to try Russian instead.

          Except now our elites are trying to ape countries that have no visible superiority to us except being more like what the elites want.

          1. It wasn’t just the Russian aristos that spoke French; the English aristos did as well. One of the ways a Romance language was mixed into a Germanic language–

    2. The thing about Putin is that he is actually UNDOING the damage of Communism…

      Well, I guess one could make that case operating under the assumption that the main failures of USSR-branded Communism basically boiled down to being too soft on dissent, and that other than Stalin those softy commies really just diluted the absolute power of the Tsar.

      I mean, really, what kind of absolute rule dynasty of any real worth only lasts just over 70 years?

    3. Putin is making Russia better GF but not to that degree. Life expectancy isn’t stabilizing that much and while birth rates are officially up going from 1.4 to 1.6 does not solve the issue.

      Also the whole thing is based on petro-rubles and may not be sustainable.

    4. Putin is an opportunist. Right now, there’s quite a bit of opportunity to rub sand in the face of America’s political “elite”. He also sees the opportunity for Russia to become a more powerful player in international politics, and is working to achieve those goals. That doesn’t change his background, or who he is.

  2. I know. Communist regimes killed millions of people, created the worst tyrannies of the last century, and if you start criticising them, begin pointing out the blatantly bleeding obvious fact, the other side simply shouts “MCCARTHY!” as if that somehow rebukes reality.

      1. McCarthy might have been a false flag agent* (or dupe) of the Soviet Union; certainly he was a useful idjit.

        By using badly sourced (and invalid) accusations he served to discredit anti-communism in general, allowing “persons of good will” to be anti-anti-communist rather than pro-communist.

        *I forget the term of art for an agent who presents as an activist on the other side, serving to discredit the opposing view.

        1. No, I think he was the wrong guy fighting for the right cause. Sadly, his personal failings have been used to discredit the entire idea of anti-communism.

        2. “*I forget the term of art for an agent who presents as an activist on the other side, serving to discredit the opposing view.”

          Agent provocateur?

          Some blogs use the terms “Concern Troll” or “Moby.”

    1. McCarthy’s biggest crime was being an insufferable ass. That he was pretty much correct is to be completely ignored because of that fact (and the need to cover up the collusion, especially later in teaching ‘history’, was enabled by his over the top actions).
      Also ignored is the Leftiods were the ones enforcing the Black Lists. My great uncle was black listed. He pretty much was a fool commie though I do not think he really belonged officially he did refuse to name names, so for a period he moved back in with Great Grandad, and I have a copy of a very cool illustrated letter to his kids (he was an animator of great talent) from this time. But as Orson Bean points out in his experience of being on the list, it was those on the right who allowed him to get back to work, those who he knew were fellow travelers refused to have anything to do with him.

      1. Because they’re cowards — moral, intellectual and physical craven cowards.

        BTW Heinlein thought McCarthy was right even back then. I don’t know about you, but me and my house we’ll stand with RAH on this.

        As for his actions enabling backlash, we have reason to know they can create “reason” for “backlash” our of thin air. Yesterday I was talking to a friend and he said “What in hell was the whole binders full of women all about, anyway?” Answer there came none except “their need to gin up a faux war on women”

        1. I don’t think the amount of effort the security organs of the Soviet Union can be overstated. As for McCarthy, the deeper you look, the fact that he was essentially right and was not just chasing after innocents, becomes clear:

          1. We did a section on the Rosenbergs about a year after the classified documents showing they weren’t innocent victims came out.

            Did not make myself more popular with the teacher by pointing that out, contradicting the textbook’s “they were victims” narrative…..

            1. While technically guilty they were innocent in the deeper, truer sense because they were forced to do that in order to counter American Imperialism and prevent rapacious capitalist greed from despoiling the world of its precious and beautiful resources, such as the Ural Sea.

              1. Dang, RES, you do that like a natural. Even I can’t channel it that well when I’m doing the whole “reality doesn’t matter because the signifier is more important than the signified” routine.

          2. I have a signed copy of that book on my shelves. I did a little IT work for them, breaking up the FBI archives into short PDFs in an automated way.

        2. During the run=up of the election I was on vacation on a bike ride back home. One morning I chatted with a young girl who was running the desk at a Super 8 in Iowa who was not happy with 0bama, but as a kid who grew up in a union household and from a long line of democrats was “concerned about the radical right wing views” of Romney.
          I just laughed at her and said “You know what they call Northeastern Republicans like Romney in Texas? Democrats. What views of his are ‘radical’?”
          Every one she came up with I either shot down as false, or could name a democrat who was in office who held the same views.
          After I was done, she had to admit that all the hullabaloo was ginned up for the election, and well, even though 0bama was not able to fix things, she was still gonna vote for him because, well, because.

      2. Um, no. McCarthy was a drunken fool who parleyed his 15 minutes of fame into something bigger. He never, ever provided one single name of anyone who turned out to be a Communist.

        But don’t mind me, I think John Brown was a terrorist. 🙂

  3. You know, my lead character practically speaks in malapropisms. I don’t know whether yours are deliberate, but they are gems. “Uber alas.” LOVE it! I’m stealing it.

    ::wanders off, shaking head in awestruck wonder::

    1. My favorite malaprop of recent memory is one whose source is escaping me right now (except that I know it wasn’t Sarah):

      “We’re going to be rich! Rich beyond the dreams of average!”

      Anyone have a clue where I got that one from?

      1. I think I found it — I think I got it from Diana Wynne Jones, who put that “rich beyond the dreams of average” into the mouth of one of her characters in Year of the Griffin.

  4. Reality isn’t important. In fact, I’d say that to some reality is just a trifling inconvenience that should be outlawed in favor of sweeping, wonderful, uplifting and FUN social ideologies.

    Ignore the piles of rotting bodies behind the curtain – they just didn’t believe hard enough.

    1. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, as the late Douglas Adams informed us, contains a disclaimer which could easily stand as the permanent slogan of Leftism:

      ‘The Guide is definitive. Reality is frequently inaccurate.’

    2. Considering how many of those rotting bodies were those of true believers one might think people would have learned to be a bit more wary. Before the wars Finnish communists did slip into the worker’s paradise, they were even being enticed by the Soviet propaganda promising open armed welcome to people being smart enough to head for the country of the future. Those who had contacts on that side might get pretty well treated, but later it was found out that a lot of them also ended up treated mostly as potential spies, or were rewarded with forced labor (that was the punishment for crossing the border illegally – three years of forced labor, and that kind of forced labor many didn’t survive). From what I have read enough information did drip through, though, at that time that crossing the border on the sly did become less common. Although I suppose that didn’t necessarily destroy the faith of the more ardent believers, they just got worried enough that they figured reasons why it was necessary to stay in their own country, for now.

      1. There’s a Don Camilo story where he fakes an invite to Russia for a “good job” for Peppone the Communist leader and that’s exactly what happens. I mean the “I must stay in this country and work for communism.”

      2. I’ve heard that German Communists/Socialists who moved to the Soviet Union after Hitler took power found themselves in Stalin’s re-education camps.

        1. From what I know of the Finnish communists going there, right in the beginning, during the first couple of decades, they did have a chance of being accepted there as comrades – and as said, having contacts there helped – but it got steadily worse with time until the work camps became a far more likely destination.

          And the war prisoners Finns send back after the war – they were treated as war criminals. I got the impression (been a while since I last read about this) they all ended up in the camps. Getting captured alive by the enemy was, it seems, seen as a betrayal.

          1. Oh, yes. Stalin issued a standing order that being captured by the enemy was a crime against the state, and even the Russians that escaped from the Germans were put into the camps if not shot out of hand. I can’t remember the order number.

            1. And if no one could prove you died, your family got the treatment as the family of someone who committed crimes against the state.

              1. Yeah, nice group.

                Still, it has never really been the atrocities which, for me, have been the strongest reason for my dislike of communism. It was the general feel of the Soviet Leningrad I visited as a child. Gray is one word which comes to mind. Gray, and joyless, and old and used. Old and used can sometimes look pretty charming, but not when it’s grimy and looks as if nobody really cares about any of it. Not that much new anywhere, and what there was was ugly. People you saw might be cheerful and seem to be having fun, but that seemed to be more rare than in the western countries. And there was also the constant wariness, even many of the cheerful seeming people kind of gave the feeling they were, at the same time, kind of keeping one eye on their surroundings, and on each other, less the talk turn into something unwise. A feeling of general distrust. And yes, sparse shop shelves and long lines for what was on them too.

                All in all, the whole place seemed so goddamn depressing. And when a big city, all of it, looks depressing there is something very wrong about the place.

                1. Late in life, my father took up vacation cruises with quite some enthusiasm. There was only one cruise stop for which he elected to not leave the ship at all.

                  Murmansk.

                  Took one look over the railing, went back to his cabin and settled in with a pile of books until they left for somewhere (anywhere) else. Just about anywhere else, he was one of the first off the boat when it docked, and near the last back on before they sailed again.

            2. One of my college friends was Lithuanian-American, and he had a chilling story about one of his grandfathers. The Soviets took over Lithuania in 1940, and a year later when the Germans invaded, Grandfather was drafted into the Red Army. He got captured and agreed to join a unit of Lithuanians in the German army. He got captured again, and spent the next decade working hard to convince his Russian captors that he was a German (and thus a POW who eventually got repatriated) rather than a Lithuanian (and thus a traitor to be shot).

              1. Among the really bad things about our war with the Soviet Union, and losing it, was the fact that they demanded that Finns turn over all the Estonians and some other people from now Soviet occupied countries who had come here to fight with us against them. You can guess what happened to them. There seem to have been efforts to smuggle at least some of those men to Sweden or Norway, and a few seem to have managed to get a new identity, as Finns, and so avoided that fate, but far too many got ‘rewarded’ for fighting for Finland by being rounded up and given to the enemy by the people they had fought for. Okay, I guess there weren’t necessarily that much Finns could have done about it at that time, not officially anyway, the country was in a precarious enough a position as things were, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a goddamn shame.

                1. By the way, talking about the Finnish-Soviet wars, some of you history buffs might find this interesting:

                  http://sa-kuva.fi/

                  Finnish wartime photograph archive. Very large collection. The explanations for individual photos seem to be only in Finnish, but if anyone wants a translation for something ask me.

                  1. And yes, one delightful bit about the texts for those photos is that they use the word ‘ryssä’. That is one word which has been quite politically incorrect here for more than half a century. You don’t see it in writing all that often. 😀

                    1. Ethnic slur. The Russians were ‘ryssät’ to Finns, especially during the war (the ‘t’ ending is the normal plural in Finnish). Now of course we don’t use anything like that. It would not be polite (I’m not quite sure what they call us, but I do know that one of the ‘pet’ names Estonians have for a Finn is ‘poro’. Which actually means reindeer. I guess maybe because we live further north. But make no mistake, that is used as a slur, not polite at all. :D).

  5. Indeed. I’ve noticed America’s cultural elites seem to have a strong, thoroughgoing contempt for Americans, whether by trying to expand the definition to the point of meaninglessness or just trashing American history and culture as evil and shameful.

      1. You’re making my eyes cross. Don’t make my eyes cross. I invent bad things when that happens.You’re making my eyes cross. Don’t make my eyes cross. I invent bad things when that happens.

      2. That may be a reason that Putin looks good to some people in the US: at least he’s not ashamed of his nation.

    1. The part that we own is that we accept that they are our elites. If we were to treat them as if they were not and got busy building up our own as counter-elites, they would shrivel away.

      It all starts with an attitude change.

      1. It’s shifting. Part of the huge kerfuffle with SFWA is that for the first time the “peons” talked back. The aristos aren’t used to that, see? The silly gits didn’t realize their power to keep everyone quiet came from the power of traditional publishing. They thought everyone just knew they were “right” and agreed with them.

          1. Yes they’re now the “Select Science Fiction writers of America” — SS for short. I hear they’re thinking of reviving the armbands and the uniforms. (For some reason Phil Dick’s phrase about beautiful SS officers “Saving themselves for their mommas and each other” comes to mind. Never mind. I’m a nasty woman.)

          2. I am sure Vox is appropriately dismayed.

            When they say “Bad dog, BAD!!” it rather disconcerts them when the dog just looks bored.

            1. It’s been happening for a while, but most of the mainstream (hah!) SF personalities pooh-pooh it as the discontent and hate speech of a few extremists. Shocking, I know. The trouble is that several of those “extremists hatery hate-haters” have significant followings, who don’t pay all that much attention to what SFWA does. I’ve read SF since I was seven, and I only found out about SFWA a couple of years ago, and they haven’t done much to justify their existence since then. Or before then, to my knowledge. I hope this doesn’t make me a rabid weasel. Hydrophobia is so difficult to get rid of…

              1. Yes, I understand I’m an “has been” which considering this year if I make deadlines (eh) I’ll make FIVE times the “average” income of a SFWA midlister is a funny thing. (No, it’s not that much.) I’ll take my “has been status above their “I’m so important” status. Mine is built on reality and real fans. And bah — these are my middle fingers. Do weasels have those?

        1. Turns out, at least among my people (“Let my people go!”) — well, one of my people’s — what was holding us in thrall was less subtle: a well-justified fear of being black listed.

            1. An allusion to the fact that SFWA has turned the full power of its awesome gaze to castigate a couple of small publishers for their contract abuses but done zipola regarding known issues of large publishers abusing authors.

              SFWA leadership looks out for themselves first.

                  1. Some of them spend some of their time selling their brethren into slavery. Will they be shocked when they discover Joseph was an exception. Not many are so amazingly forgiving.

  6. The problem with the useful idiots now running things in the US (and Western Europe) is that they are making it harder to avoid joining in with (and paying for) their idiocies. The idea of sea cities or other “tax havens” that can’t be blackmailed by the current nation states is sounding better and better all the time

      1. Which is one reason why I’d prefer to pick an Island – say Sao Tome. Said island has a number of advantages – it’s on the equator +/- 50 miles or so and has oil so it’s almost certainly reasonably self sufficeint and makes a good place to launch rockets into orbit

            1. Sorry, I forgot the “on a mainland, somewhere”. It’s not that I dislike the island idea, I’m just adding optional backups.

              1. A country in the equatorial sun surrounded by salt water? Ugh. Sorry, I’ll have to pass on that one.

                1. My dad said it rained every evening at — I THINK — five pm. People would make appointments for “just before the rain” or “just after the rain.” For some reason the idea charmed me.

                  1. I’m hoping the next decade or two of cooling (AGW will melt us into goooOOOoOOOoOOo) turn Texas into prime territory for homesteading. I has plans.

                    1. No, No. Do not wish for a place that is hospitable. That will make it too attractive to parasites. Wish instead for a place where the ONLY reason anyone would go there is the chance to be a free man and left alone. Look for a God-forsaken place that will require sacrifice and hardy souls, not Southern California. That said, if you can stand the heat yourself mother nature will reward the seeds you sow with three growing seasons a year.

                    2. No, for when we have wrought paradise from the desert they will come to deny us our efforts and declaim the progress as stolen.

                      Look to Jerusalem a century and a half ago:

                      “….. A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds… a silent mournful expanse…. a desolation…. we never saw a human being on the whole route…. hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.”

                      [SNIP]

                      “A fast walker could go outside the walls of Jerusalem and walk entirely around the city in an hour. I do not know how else to make one understand how small it is.”
                      http://www.shechem.org/machon/mtwain/53.htm

                    3. Why would “they” ever go there? It is an uncivilized, impoverished place full of bigoted hicks. There’s no Starbucks or sophisticated art or award-winning theater within a day’s drive. I hear they are cannibals and they have rattlesnakes as big as Oprah’s thighs there. That they handle in church.

                      The former Confederacy and some other areas of fly-over country are protected to a limited extent by this today, although it is fast eroding. An elderly friend insists that rural southwest Texas operated basically under-the-radar of federal authorities up intil the mid 1950s. The people there were terribly poor on paper. Money poor. They were land rich (though the land had a low book value). There happened to have lots of cattle on that land. And lots of food. And relatively free time. And lots and lots of what we would call “social capital.” But they rarely converted their products directly into money or deposited into bank accounts. Transactions were barter, including those made with their Mexican neighbors who would seasonally cross the border to help out (Texas had opted out of the Bracero Program until then and had, according to him, come to their own mutually more benificial arrangments much to DC’s disliking). I wonder how long a region could convincingly appear to be poor and inhospitable in today’s society (at least to certain demographics) while at the same time being actually rich (or perhaps just happy and have lots of nice stuff and free time)…

              1. From the wikipedia entry, it seems kind of coup-ey, but that might be an advantage in the transition to installing our government of benevolent neglect.

                  1. CA county, it is roughly around 10 townships in size, without looking it back up and converting square kilometers to square miles again I think it was something like 370 square miles.

                    1. It is larger than Andorra, but smaller than Multnomah County, Oregon.
                      I suspect it has nicer climate though

                1. Hey! That CIA Factbook entry says it’s “more than five times the size of Washington, DC”. Incidentally, it’s nearly 10 times the size of the county I live in.

                  1. Oops – Just noticed the point about it being kilometers. Well, more than 3.5 times the size of the county I live in.

        1. Still tricky. You’d need your own navy, or a flag of convenience until you could buy off the great powers. All fairly expensive propositions.

          Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of a semi-Libertopia, I just don’t see it happening any time soon (if at all). And frankly, I wouldn’t trust most of the capital-“L” libertarians who’d want to start such a thing. Pie-in-the-sky idealists tend to make poor administrators:-(.

                  1. It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed, the hands acquire shaking, the shaking becomes a warning. It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.

                    1. And guess what. Sao Tome grows Cocoa and Cofee (mostly the former these days but it *could* grow more coffee)

          1. Nah. All you need to do is convince *two* major unfriendly powers that your little island is a) really their territory and b) the other guy wants it. They argue with each other, leave you alone. This happened in Pennsylvania (not a war). Two logging companies each claimed a little hillside way back when. Neither cut trees while they wrangled in court. Ended up the only remaining old-growth forest there, and still exists! Now a park. GINOURMOUS trees!

          2. Might help if one could find one efficient self made billionaire with aspirations. A real life D.D. Harriman. Anybody know any candidates?

            Well, you’d also need luck with that. With bad luck you might end with a small scale dictatorship. If somebody created something with their own money, having the will to let it develop on its own after, without constantly trying to fix things which don’t seem to be working as well as they might, would take a person with pretty strong will.

              1. when folks go all “True Libertarian Society” I ask them to imagine the damage someone like Georgie boy could do. He has already sponsored an overthrow of Georgia and who knows what else.

        2. A couple of problems with Sao Tome (or any island) are:
          1. Any mercenaries will charge you a premium to work there because if things go pear-shaped in a normal country and all else fails they can just slip into the countryside and walk out. Not so on an island. Islands are a death-trap.
          2. If things go pear shaped we won’t be able to just walk out either. Islands are a death trap.

          That said, it sure looks good for a space elevator.

          I wouldn’t worry too much about not having a navy if the place is full of volunteer riflemen. Plus I’d expect a nation of sci-fi readers would quickly develop some very high bang/buck exotic alternatives. 1000s of hydrofoil robots? Area denial by sea aeration?

              1. With this lot? I’m not saying there would be sufficient stockpiles for nightly … most baseball franchises seem to offer weekly post-game fireworks displays, so it ain’t as if there’s no basis in the culture.

                I hear Michelle* detests apple pie: it’s got too many carbs and the cheese and ice cream are high in fat.

                *No, no, not that Michelle. Some other Michelle.

          1. In re 1. If you have to use mercenaries you are doing it wrong. The way to do it is to use honey (or rather judicious distribution of the word that rhymes with it). There are less than 200,000 people on the islands and GDP/capita is $2000 ish (median wages are obviously less than this). So if a billionaire said he’d spend $1billion on the place he could buy the entire thing, all its debts and most of its people in one simple transaction. 10,000 immigrants paying $100,000 each would work as well as the single individual and would be better in that they could then provide much more employment for the locals but wouldn’t absolutely dominate the place.

    1. Keep an eye on blueseed as it seems the most practical of the ideas that I’ve seen and have an actual launch date of late 2014.

  7. So you see, communism doesn’t work, and no one who has ever run a business, or worked for a business that actually depends on selling its products, or in fact done anything productive can believe it does.

    Unfortunately, many of these types of people believe the individual lies put out by the commies, even though, when speaking to them about their personal values, they fall more in line with either Libertarians or Conservatives. I have a friend who I believed was a solid Conservative, who just today posted a picture on Facebook with the words, “If the U.S. can’t afford to protect the Environment, build bridges, or teach children any more, then what exactly is it defending with its military’s budget?” I nearly fell off my chair.

    1. Oh, and government SHOULD BE protecting the citizens’ rights to be left the F alone. (And yes, my middle fingers just went up in reflex gesture. Sigh. I am a bad woman.)

      1. “Oh, and government SHOULD BE protecting the citizens’ rights to be left the F alone.”

        Yeah, should be. Yet we have government bureaucrats telling us we can’t drink the milk from cattle we own.

      2. Funny how the Libtards never complain about “the tyranny of the majority” when they think they’re in the majority. Then they’re all “the will of the people.”

  8. Well, yes. I couldn’t trust myself to reply to that statement in the picture. I couldn’t keep out the profanity.

  9. “Must we fight it here, on our soil, as it turns hot, and hang our own commissars from their own guts?”

    Yes we must! We must fight it as determinedly as Churchill fought WWII until every stinking one of those “ugly women and little men” knows without a doubt that choosing communism equals a painful death for themselves personally. Any who can’t or won’t get this message must be killed. It’s too late for anything else. Our body politic at the federal level is severely infected. This must burned out lest we die of political gangrene–corruption and hatred of our Constitution.

  10. The Left is largely dominated by the classes of people for whom reality is irrelevant (or an obstacle to be overcome.) They retain the Unions as a source of money and foot soldiers, their minority clients are a source of unearned moral superiority, but the leaders are drawn from the professions of symbol manipulators: ad men, lawyers, TV & Hollywood executives and the ilk. These are the people whose careers are based on their ability to manipulate perceptions of reality as opposed to those professions tasked (like engineers) with manipulating reality itself. As a rule, the more abstract the professional occupation the more Leftward the occupant.

    1. This is partly why people in VFX find themselves often at odds with people like directors and producers… VFX is a very technical field. The ‘make it look cool’ button does not exist.

  11. One overlooked factor is the presence of the UN as a source of lifeblood for kleptocrats and commutards (but I repeat myself), providing money, credibility, a platform and semi-legitimacy.

    The communists are also very adept at playing the cuckoo, planting their yeggs in such capitalist nests as think tanks and foundations.

  12. 1. To paraphrase Sarah: Our schools are teaching an American history which a vindictive Soviet Union would have imposed after it won the Cold War.

    That makes more sense than the aggregate of all else I expect to see online today.

    2. It’s my impression that Yeltsin was not personally a kleptocrat, at least by Russian standards, but he was inadequate as a leader.

    3. Joe McCarthy was correct about Communist infiltration, but he was correct in a counterproductive way. I agree with W.F. Buckley that he did more harm than good.

    4. Being correct in a counterproductive way has become a distinguishing trait of the US conservative & libertarian movements. They seem to enjoy it. 😦

    5. Support of Communism has not been restricted to the “intellectual” class. There has been, and remains, substantial support within the Western trade union movement.

    6. IMHO our hostess is too blasé about apocalyptic collapses, be they of the US or the USSR. I hope our country muddles through even though I don’t see how if present trends continue. That said, I’ll repost my opinion of a couple of weeks ago:

    If the ruling class destroys the country, I can visualize something like the Nuremberg Trials afterward. If I were still around, I’d want whatever was left of our armed forces used to hunt those people down and bring them back to face a tribunal.

    1. 7. (Afterthought) …I don’t think there has ever been a country like ours, where our elites are deliberately taught – in our best schools – to hate and despise everything that we are, everything that makes us unique.

      Maybe not to our extent, but here’s a precursor from Disraeli:

      Cosmopolitan critics, men who are the friends of every country save their own, have denounced this policy as a selfish policy. My Lord Mayor, it is as selfish as patriotism.

      Disraeli probably did not visualize that one day the Left would try to turn both ‘self-interest’ and ‘patriotism’ into dirty words. He probably would have regarded that as malignantly insane, which it is.

      During the Obama years and to a lesser extent before them the easiest way to prosper has been to act against the overall interests of the country. Elitist education provides a (false, of course) moral pretext.

    2. “Being correct in a counterproductive way has become a distinguishing trait of the US conservative & libertarian movements. They seem to enjoy it.”

      Amazing how effective the lefts’ propaganda is.

      1. Only relatively effective. Since 1988 I have been stupefied by how shoot-yourself-in-the-foot ineffective the Right has been, either as a governing majority or as the opposition.

        A “conflict of visions” is part of what’s going on, but IMO psychohistorical processes which no one adequately understands are operating.

        1. Speaking of psychohistorical processes, back the economist Joseph Schumpeter predicted that the prosperity created by capitalism would lead to the stifling of capitalism by an intellectual class. For example, go to Wikipedia, enter ‘Joseph Schumpeter’, and then to the section ‘Schumpeter and capitalism’s demise’. I hope he’s wrong but he sounds pretty prescient for somebody writing in 1942.

          (I tried to post an extract with a hyperlink, but WordPress ate it.)

          1. He’s wrong. He was seeing his own time. We’re fighting the ghosts of the past. If they manage to kill our present civilization, they don’t get rid of capitalism. Capitalism is just how business is done.

            1. Yes — what’s called “capitalism” is voluntary cooperation and pooling of resources for a larger goal.

              Anyone else amused that the “we should all work together” crowd absolutely DESPISES the largest examples of voluntary cooperation in the world?

              1. “We should all work together . . . on a project We decide on, under Our control, for Our goals. Your pesky little benevolence groups are just clogging things.” Or something like that.

                1. I’ve seen with my own eyes someone argue that welfare is properly carried out by the state because the state is how we join together to act.

                  I wish I’d known the slogan “Everything inside the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state” then.

                  1. Why yes, that is correct.
                    “Government” is what we call the things we all do together.

                    “Corporation” is what we call the things we all do together voluntarily.

                    1. And charities also serve the needy get back on their working feet — unless the receivers are young children, elderly, truly disabled.

                  2. Oh, that’s the other thing that drove me over the edge at speed “we all have to belong to something. Why not the state?” from the Dem convention. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

            2. Capitalism is just how business is done.

              see Russia. Part of its issue is the best group they had at capitalism are the Mob because they had been running a form of it all through the Soviet era. So when it became the official way of doing things, they set up shop first as they already had the lines of supply set up.

        2. Messaging has never been the Right’s strong point. Not only do they have to contend with a hostile and occupied media many of the messages the Right has aren’t that palatable. Also a great many Americans do not believe they will be better off with Republicans in charge, To win more often the Right has to convince people otherwise and with a good chunk of that party basically anti good pay wage arbitragers in peoples minds its not simple.

          Also this group here is more Constitutionalist and somewhat Libertarian than anything else and its by no means a majority view among Conservatives of any stripe. The belief in individual rights also is not universal among the Right, Ignoring folks that want to be rid of or dock one or more of them there are more than a few who see the belief in such thing as a faith , part of the paleo religion of the founders and something not based in fact. Power is Truth is quite a common ideology and its not compatible with a many societies . It leads to all manner of bad things

          For the Right being a big tent can lead to troubles putting say Robert Ringer in there with James Dobson makes no sense at all.

          The problem is of course if you don’t the Lefts ad-hoc coalition of grievance pushers will eat you for breakfast.

          Also for psyco-history , my guess is a modified Marxian dynamic ,as the natural rate of U6 unemployment globally reaches around 50%-75% as it certainly will (automation is accelerating very fast ) the system auto cannibalizes.

          As we are are quickly reaching a point in which most human labor (over half) and virtually all but the top 10%and the best connected are going to be superfluous. That will of course kill Capitalism stone dead since people with no buying power do not enable the production of wealth.

          It may lead to a resurgence of Socialism in the European Context or some different kind of failing Social Democracy(what we have now, along with mass cronyism) , Social Credit maybe or the ownership society (post Socialism but in a sort of localized phenomenon. None of them will be especially liberating of course but , some pockets of broad based liberty will be but there and as such its preferable to what the elite want, a state with us as serfs.

          As for Capitalism, Capitalism =/= Free Markets. Some kind of market society is almost inevitable, its as our hostess put “How things get done” but Capitalism as we know it is a artifact of production concentration and a historical anomaly.

          Its also nigh impossible for Capitalists to stay that way, they always turn to the State when they start to fail and unless the State can be decoupled from needing them and they can be prevented from lobbying for goodies and from a few people being so efficient they gobble up everything we will inevitably end up with the croynism and oligarchy we have now.,

          The real welfare queens after all are businesses

          1. “Messaging has never been the Right’s strong point.”

            Yeah, Lincoln, T.R., Taft, Harding, Coolidge … Reagan — those guys couldn’t sell ice in Miami. That poor messaging is also why Talk Radio is a Left-Wing institution. It isn’t that the MSM is a resonance chamber for Progressivism, enhancing Liberal talking points while suppressing conservative messages, it isn’t that a typical MSM presidential debate interrogator is as likely to demand of a Republican candidate “when did you stop beating your wife” as they are to ask a Democrat candidate “do you want me to suck on it or shall I just lick it?”

            No, it is the Right can’t express messages. That’s why Republicans represent a minority of the nation’s legislative chambers and governorships.

    3. I’m not blaze. The best outcome would be “and then the veterans had had enough” Now realize it’s a libertarian, pretty close to a Libertarian saying this. When I think that’s the best outcome, the others are truly ugly. And yet the worst is the one in which we go down with a whimper over decades till we forget HOW to get back. I’ll be dead and gone, but I have sons, and I might have grandsons and besides, pardon me, I care about the d*mn human race.

      1. Afaic the best outcome would be for new technologies to rescue us from our folly before the politicians, bureaucrats, and corporatist rent-seekers can control them. Thus saith the Church of the Singularity. I’m skeptical about techno-optimism but not a denier.

        Although the likelihood of my having children is extremely small, I too care about the human race—and I recognize that human progress is not restricted to what happens in America. America’s founding vision is the best that humanity has produced to date, but there are many possible futures.

        1. Yeah, I’m not likely to have kids of my own, but I have nieces and nephews, and they’re starting to have kids of their own. I want them ALL to be free and prosperous, but the route the country seems to be being led down terrifies me.

    4. A mild demurral on point #5: the Trade Unions, unlike the intellectual, bureaucratic and governing classes directly (and relatively quickly) suffer from the toxic waste their infections create. The intellectuals, in particular, are immunized against their toxic effect. (The judge who estopped NY’s “Stop & Frisk” policies doesn’t live in a neighborhood that will suffer the ill effects of rampant lawlessness until long after civil order has collapsed in the neighborhoods where the policy had its greatest effect.).

      1. Stop and frisk is not the solution to crime and lawlessness. A rigorous application of the 2nd amendment bites deep into the problem.

        1. I am not a fan of the Stop and frisk law, it is a real infringement of our freedoms. But with the state of the current laws in NYC removing the stop and frisk law, without changing any of the others on the books is rampant stupidity.

    5. Re #1: You got an Instalanche.

      Oops, I see you already noticed, but I thought I’d, very modestly and of course without a tinge of ego :mrgreen:, mention that I recognized the quality of this post right off the bat.

  13. The “Well educated” are in fact indoctrinated, taught communist propaganda and syllogisms until they’re UNABLE to think.

    Distinguo, Ma’am. The ‘well-educated’ would not know a syllogism if it bit them on the nose. They don’t know formal logic from second base. In fact, they are trained to believe that such things as logic are merely ‘the patriarchy’, ‘the One Percenters’, or ‘The Man’ imposing racist/sexist/imperialist/capitalist dogmas upon the parameters of discourse; which means that those parameters ought to be abolished in favour of ones that favour the officially approved victim groups.

    It would be nearer the truth to say that they are taught propaganda and the official talking points.

    1. “They don’t know formal logic from second base.”

      It no longer shocks me that students in public schools appear to have no grasp of cause and effect. I’ve met too many teachers who don’t understand the concept. Things just happen, by magic or by the will of the gods. Or RAH’s “bad luck.”

      1. I didn’t believe this until my blog was invaded by my son’s — if you please — gifted, advanced class. Their ignorance of logic and reason was matched only by their abuse of the English language (necessary because if you can’t express yourself it prevents thinking clearly.) These were tenth graders and — in proof that it’s regurgitation that’s rewarded — one of them went up to be valedictorian of the class. Meanwhile, if either of my kids had argued — and we argue philosophy and opinions in the classic way, mind — with that lack of logic OR used the language that poorly in fourth grade, I’d have given them a hiding that would have prevented them sitting for a month — and then made them read the classics standing up. I have no clue what the future will bring, but those two can think, talk AND write. Not that it helped them at all in the schools.

        1. I had to explain to the friend from Peru that I have mentioned here before, that there has been a systematic tearing down of both social niceties (politeness and expecting decent behavior) and educational rigor over the past 50 years or so.

          She had been telling me how appalled she was at the way her daughters’ friends behaved and talked, and how where she came from people were taught better manners. I explained that such things used to be taught here, too, but that the self-esteem movement has caused us to stop telling children that they are wrong, no matter what they are doing (yes, I know, that’s not true for the most part on this page, but I was referring to the larger society).

          1. I’ve seen behavior on the part of thirteen and fourteen year olds that would embarrass barnyard livestock, and the adults supposedly teaching them tie themselves in knots to NOT see it. We have to keep the doors of my current middle school’s computer labs locked when not in use because children as young as twelve were using as make-out pits!

            I can’t entirely blame the teachers, though. I’ve also seen the parents of a suspended or expelled student show up at a school office all but licking their chops at the thought of suing the city over the persecution of their innocent waif. There’s a saying that “The teachers fear the Administrators. The Administrators fear the parents’ lawyers. The parents fear their own children. So the children pretty much run the schools.”

            1. No lawyer in our town will touch the school system. It’s too large and therefore too wealthy and litigious as h*ll. Trust me, we tried, and in our case we HAD reason, including egregious abuse of a kid over a disability. So we took kid out of that school.
              I don’t fear my kids, even though they’re both way bigger and stronger than I. Instead, I treat them as a combo reach it tool “Come here, get me that from on high up there” and forklift, “Yo, could you lift this for me” (100 lb cement sacks.) Of course, I cook for them, so it’s even. But seriously, I’m not afraid of them despite size and strength. Why would I be? They’re my kids, and they’re well… nice people.

            2. The problem with the schools is their value system is so radically different than ours that there are very few convergence points. They will at most give kids detention for something I think they should jail them for, and then turn around and expel other kids for actions that I consider perfectly acceptable.

              1. YES. Marshall was going to detention for not stopping by his locker to get a pencil on the way back — late — from a field trip. BUT kids who held people at knife point were ALSO sent to detention. It was mind boggling.

                  1. even if he was trying to use it on you. And people wonder where the perception of not needing to be able to defend yourself comes from.

          2. We’re taught to not judge someone, regardless of their behavior. Acting up and being rude is considered proof of virtue nowadays.

            1. If we were actually taught to not judge someone, nobody would have “racist, sexist, homophobe” shouted at them. They seek to morally disarm us, not render their own weapons impotent.

          3. I agree with you but we have literal stone tablets from before the Bronze age apocalypse making the same complaint, from Sumeria I think.

            1. The only one I’m familiar with is some writing from Rome.

              While it was in a downhill slide.

              “Humanity won’t end– but your entire culture might” isn’t very reassuring.

            2. I don’t see where I made claim that it hasn’t happened elsewhere. I was blaming Progressivism for the destruction of manners and polite society.

        2. I’ve been amazed that some kids don’t understand that if you tile your floors with new tiles that are half the width of the old tiles, you need FOUR times as many tiles as before, not two times as many.

          1. Huh? If they are half the width you should only need twice as many, you would only need four times as many if they are half the width and half the length.

          2. I suspect you mean half as long and wide, rather than just half as wide. Otherwise the kids would be right, you would only use twice as many for the same area.

            12×12 area done with one-foot square tiles: 144 tiles.
            12×12 area done with 1x.5 foot tiles: 288
            12×12 area done with six inch square tiles: 576

            Unless they’re those tiles where you lay to have zero gap and the room is an incredibly precise rectangle, it’s smarter to actually lay down a line along the two longest walls, then multiply one by the other, rounding each number up. You’ll have leftovers, but that’s better than falling short. (Unless there’s something like an island against one wall, in which case you can lay tiles along THAT to measure it, subtract one from each side, multiply the results, and subtract that from the first total. And add a couple as a safety gap….)

            And yes, there are tiles that are rectangular… I spend a lot of time browsing home improvement stuff; someday, I WILL get that doll house made.

              1. I’ve read that thread before – it’s a great remedy for those of us who suffer from low blood pressure, or for those who need a vocal work out to start shouting “Really? Really?” at the screen.

  14. Please stop referring to these hyper-educated jackasses as “elites”. They’re “elitists”. If they were all that intelligent, they wouldn’t believe in Marxism.

        1. You could refer to them as, “your betters”. It makes everyone think, “No-one is better than me!” Maybe one day it might stick.

          1. They are better in the sense that they are prone to stuttering “You b-better, or we’ll d-d-denounce you!”

            I eagerly await the appearance of an emblem on book covers proudly proclaiming “Denounced By The SSFWA!!” Perhaps a brass cannon, or representation of atomic orbits?

          1. So you regularly express your opinion that _______ aspires to emulate Oedipus? (Which name goes in the blank depends on who’s been in the news lately, but there must be a certain number of names that seem to keep on showing up).

  15. For all their so-called cosmopolitanism, elites are surprisingly prudish and monocultural.

    For all their “openmindedness”, they fail to consider the possibility that anyone could possibly disagree in good faith.

    For all their intelligence, they can’t help being functionally retarded.

    The best men of my generation aren’t politicians, academics or scientists. They are contractors, soldiers, plumbers and the like. And the elites, no matter how much they whinge and bitch and hate the proles and the country which gifted them such vast freedom and privilege, can never equal the effectiveness of one motivated man. 11-B.

    1. For all their so-called cosmopolitanism, elites are surprisingly prudish and monocultural.

      For all their “openmindedness”, they fail to consider the possibility that anyone could possibly disagree in good faith.

      Seconded like you wouldn’t believe.

  16. How is it that so many people can live their lives by ignoring or denigrating reality? This absolutely blows my mind. It all sounds like a lead in to The Gods of the Copybook Headings.

    My husband says that people knew that the Civil War was going to happen 11 years before it did in1850. The Missouri Compromise was the last off ramp before the Civil War.

    1. We are dancing on top of thin ice, cavorting on top of an eggshell. We’re marrying and being given in marriage and laughing at those who build arks. And G-d help me, I have sons.

          1. Not even close, though I’ll be in San Antonio for WorldCon in a couple of weeks. It’s one of the places Mrs. Dave and I are looking at as a “settle down” place.

              1. We were planning on Colorado (Mrs. Dave grew up there), but they’ve gotten a little … odd, recently. If they can manage to fix things before the big EAOS, we’ll consider ’em again. Right now, TX is my personal frontrunner.

                  1. I wish. We won’t be going anywhere for a few more years, except to visit. We just started a new tour out here in the East Part. On the other hand, Mrs. Dave’s parents and brother live near Montrose, so there’s some sanity.

                  2. I am a Colorado resident, despite the Navy sending me to live in places non-Coloradan, and I will take action via civic duty.

                1. Colorado has not gotten odd; they’ve gotten downright peculiar. This is evidence of not restricting immigration from the West Coast.

                    1. Hickenlooper was born in Narberth, Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia, a middle-class[2] area of the suburban Main Line. ….. He graduated from the nearby, private Haverford School for boys in 1970,

                      Not much Utah might have done here for one.

                  1. I blame the water deal. When you let the Kalifornicrats take your water, they’re not going to leave it at that. With all due frivolity, just cut off the pumps.

    2. Perhaps it bacame clear to most people that there would be a Civil War, but even President Andrew Jackson could see it coming. After he had gotten through the Nullication Crisisin 1833 he wrote, “(T)he tariff was only the pretext, and disunion and southern confederacy the real object. The next pretext will be the negro, or slavery question.”

  17. Another common trait on the left is the inability to do Dynamic Analysis. they see some economic activity that makes a lot of money, and see it as a source of wealth, and think if they tax the hell out of it, it will be an endless stream of money for the treasury. Then they do it, and the activity stops, the wealth doesn’t appear (but they’ve spent it anyway) and they go “What happened?” and then go looking for something else to tax into extinction.

    Their love of Communism and State Control is because Dynamism confuses and scared them, they WANT Government Control over everything. They want Five Year Plans that work. They don’t want change, they want everything to stand still so they can catch up. When they say that Communism wasn’t done right, what they mean is they want MORE of it, even stronger regimentation of every aspect of people’s lives, so that maybe, just maybe, their “utopian” ideas might trump reality.

        1. ‘Dear’ is the right word, Ma’am. At a cost of one trillion dollars a year in new debt (excluding unfunded pension liabilities and other forms of can-kicking), no leader in history was ever dearer.

      1. Sick fingers in ears, close eyes, shout slogans about others being “Racist, Sexist, Homophobe…”

        Easy

    1. When I hear someone say that “Communism hasn’t been done right”, I think of someone trying to fly by flapping their arms. Never going to happen.

      1. Well, you could flap your arms and fly if you had the skeletal and muscular structure of a bird. In other words, if you weren’t human.

        Which, come to think of it, is the same circumstances that could make Marxism work.

        1. Actually, it couldn’t, even so. I believe it was Hayek who proved that it is logically and mathematically impossible for a command economy to efficiently allocate resources.

          It is, at bottom, a problem of information theory: You cannot use the same channel simultaneously to give orders and to listen for information. Under a command economy, all the normal means of communication between economic actors (such as the price system) are overridden and turned into order-giving mechanisms, which means that no channels are available for the central planners to inform themselves about what is actually going on.

          As Thomas Sowell has often pointed out, the Soviet system tried to deal with this via a clumsy workaround. In their command economy, all prices were decreed by central authority instead of being arrived at by honest negotiation. In order to figure out what prices to decree, they sent official State shoppers to Western countries to find out what the prices were there. In effect, the Soviet system was parasitic on capitalism even for simple information; on its own, it could not cope with a task as elementary as pricing a tube of toothpaste. This problem is irreducible; it will remain no matter what kind of animal you imagine to be running the system.

          1. The Minds in Bank’s Culture series could do it pretty well I think. It wouldn’t be a normal human society though, more like a world full of Paris Hilton’s and the thing that would happen with reproduction. Ugh.

            In any case human politics and the unlimited demand people have for status would screw it up.

            There are more nightmarish scenarios but they all end up as THX-1138

            Cory Doctrow tried to address this issue in his post scarcity novel Down and out in the Magic Kingdom by means of wuffie, a reputation credit that could be exchanged for the ability to do cool stuff. I’ll note its still a market society since say running a club would actually make wuffie for the people doing it.

            I don’t think such a society would work in any meaningful way and again the normal health reproductive signaling would get screwed up. I think it would end with near permanent sub-replacement fertility myself

            1. Any real economy can be improved on in retrospect.

              Insider trading is rightly considered unfair but banning insider trading means throwing information away.

              Time was carrier pigeons increased efficiency but to the advantage of some and the disadvantage of others. Now we have private label news services to get early news releases. Originally intended to make the news – such as government reports – more available to more people reports are given to the press a few minutes before general release. Mostly to allow the press some few minutes to process the information and get it out right and all at the same time – but where there’s a way to game the system somebody will.

              There is no best and arguably many good enough as we all settle for a poor second best at best. Maximizing efficiency doesn’t tend to good results so I’d choose to maximize freedom but than again maybe not in a lifeboat so when in the transition from pre berg Titanic to lifeboat do we switch modes?

              1. I don’t know.Our current system, a mix of crony state and social democracy is at best awful and its not sustainable without killing off the entire middle class and turning the planet into a global favella

                A more pure capitalism like some here espouse is also far too subject to becoming an oligarchy or being gamed for the benefit of a few, not a new problem mind

                “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.”

                Adam Smith Wealth of Nations as early as 1776!

                Often as not a pure profit ideology is destructive to any functioning society. Heck people doing exactly what they should rationally is quite destructive , c.f Japan.

                The behavior of its grass eaters (and others like them) is entirely rational and economically sound. They can’t find way to or even conceptualize how to change society and have no prospects for a better life or any idea of how to get one they want even if they knew what they wanted . Why bother participating at all?

                A lot of societies freak out when this happens but in fact its exactly what man as economic animal should do. When a culture becomes dominated by profit and puts commerce above being part of something, a globally arbitraged consumer unit instead of part of a people it deserves what it gets

                Now in replay guess we could try Distributivism or Social Credit but fat chance of making them happen

                1. The point of capitalism is that people are trying to get an advantage.

                  It works because what’s an advantage for me may not be one for you.

                  1. If Capitalism worked as well as its fans think, there would never have been a call for any kind of socialism or social democracy

                    What i see is that many maybe most people do not in fact always seek advantage and in fact once certain basics are met are often happier with “kinship equilibrium” having a place and roll in life they understand around people like them.

                    Profit or really comfort and some degree of status are always appreciated and a better life is welcome, its simply can’t be the prime basis for any kind o\f society . Its unstable as not everyone is even close to equal and if too few people have too much advantage the entire edifice collapses. Rationally if the system I am in allows me too few outs and I can’t compete, better to opt out.

                    Heinlein as much as I admire the man was only partially correct with his pithy

                    Of course the game is rigged. Don’t let that stop you–if you don’t play, you can’t win.

                    Sometimes real life is a lot more like Wargames

                    A strange game. The only winning move is not to play

                    Optionally what really counts for social survival is continuance of that societies memes more than anything else. The current systems, Capitalism, Corporatism, Leftism and too a lesser degree Social Democracy (it tends to grow the state) all damage the basic family. kin group, tribe arrangement that works for people.

                    lastly while this essay is only partially correct (economies can grow after all)

                    http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/12628-monopoly-endgame-for-the-global-economy

                    the biggest problem with capitalism is pretty much as described , its too efficient

                    Let’s face it, if your opponent in Monopoly scoops up Boardwalk, Park Place, North Carolina Avenue, Pacific Avenue, both utilities, and the four railroads – that’s game over.

                    The other players, all of whom have been relegated to mere consumers instead of property owners, will slowly go bankrupt having to pay higher and higher costs for rent and services, utilities, and transportation. Eventually, one player has all the money and the losers have to clean up the board game and put it away.

                    But let’s assume the Monopoly game doesn’t end there. Let’s assume the broke players keep rolling the dice and keep going around the board. They essentially keep living their lives desperate and broke, using their credit cards and home lines of credit to stay in the game. Maybe they end up in jail. If they’re lucky, they land on Baltic Avenue and can afford to stay a night in the slums.

                    Meanwhile, the oligarch who owns everything can no longer collect any income. The other players can’t afford to pay rent, they can’t pay utilities, and they can’t ride on the railroads. Eventually, without consumers spending money, the Monopoly oligarch goes broke, too. His properties and businesses disappear and suddenly everyone is broke!

                    1. Don’t be more of an idiot than you can help being, please. There is a call for socialism and social democracy not because capitalism doesn’t work but because humans are flawed and have this thing called envy. Oh, yeah, and pride. All of us resent those who do better than us. Those who are aware this is a failing, control it. Those like you, who apparently are not, view it as a virtue and ascribe the vice to the system. Then they demand equal distribution of everything, disregarding unequal capacity and unequal work.
                      You are growing tiresome. Be told. Incoherence will be tolerated, but unless you’re too stupid to walk upright and talk at the same time, this post is unworthy.

                    2. I don’t want to call Mr. Prosper a troll, but he is so incredibly tedious and boring he might as well be. Normally I have to search out Marxists for such extensive and tiresome twaddle, but A. B. is so rectocranially inverted that he manages to make your replies nearly as tedious as his comment.

                    3. No, I think his tendentiousness is contagious. There is no way to rebut such arguments without getting down into the weeds your own self — and when you do that you cannot avoid getting grass stained knees. His premises are so numerous and so invalid (according to my visualization of the cosmic all) that the extensive refutation they require will make anybody’s eyes glaze over.

                      Even for an accountant I have a high threshold for tedium, but discussions in this vein drag us all over the event horizon of massive dullness.

                      I mean, look how hard I am having to struggle to mock it entertainingly.

                    4. Unfortunately Bill says he won’t have his article — on Che. Yes, we’re goring sacred cows — till Tuesday as he got in some urgent work that simply MUST be done tonight. So I’ll probably do something very silly for tomorrow

                    5. I eagerly look forward to your article on methods for goring sacred cows and hope you will include recipes. Perhaps a follow-up on breaking rice bowls or uses for sour grapes?

                      Maybe you could look at reasons why sacred cows need to be gored from time to time, if only to make sure they aren’t bulls?

                      I now anticipate an article about knitting angora sweaters for scared cows.

                    6. No, if capitalism worked as well as, and the way that, the lazy and envious demand that it work, there would never have been a call for any kind of socialism or social democracy.

                      Its fans are perfectly aware that it does not make life a primrose path for the lazy and envious. Then they know that nothing ever will.

                    7. Especially the lazy part. Envy will drive a person to destroy someone else’s stuff as often as it will to steal it, but laziness is what causes people to ask the Powers That Be to steal it for them.

                    8. If we weren’t dealing with people, you’d have a point.

                      Since we are dealing with people, it’s always tempting to force the guy to take what you want to offer for what he has, rather than offering him what he will accept or finding someone else.

                    9. Your post is pure idiocy, but a lot of stems from one wrong assumption. You assume everyone wants and strives for the same advantages. Becoming an oligarch and spending all your time making money hand over fist is NOT the majority of peoples end goal in life. I believe I speak for the majority when I say money is a means to an end, not the end goal itself. Yes some people’s goal in life is to make as much money as possible, if they have a modicum of intelligence they will not do so like your fictional Monopoly player however. They will be smart enough to realize that they will make more money by allowing/creating opportunities for others to make money, so that they can spend it thus have money continually flowing into their coffers. Spending all my time making lots of money isn’t and advantage to me, to me an advantage is to make enough money in as short an amount of time as possible, to live the lifestyle I desire, the less time I have to spend making money, the more time I have to do the things I want to do, which either aren’t generally moneymaking, or make minimal amounts. If your goal is to make lots of money it is to your advantage to hire a person like me, especially if paying piecework. You will get the job done faster, allowing more jobs to be done and thus having more money flowing into your coffers. While I will do the job quickly, if getting paid piecework, the faster and more efficiently I do the job, the more time I have to spend the money I made doing the job on something I want. Very likely providing someone else with an income to spend on something they want; etc.
                      This is how capitalism works. If we were all interchangeable widgets Marxism* would work but since we’re people, not widgets it doesn’t.

                      *Yes, what you are advocating is Marxism, disguised as tribalism, no matter how much you deny it.

      2. Yep. I used to tell the office Marxists that Pol Pot just didn’t try hard enough. Every time I got a, “who?” I think I died a little inside.

      3. Saying Communism doesn’t work is just as untrue as saying gun control doesn’t work. In both cases, they accomplish exactly what they are intended to do: the elimination of any resistance to a totalitarian government and its perpetuation FOREVER. So are we going to fight or are we going to make clever comments online that will be wiped off the Web anyway, once the Communization of America is complete?

        1. This.

          Because the celebration of Che Guevara among the young twit left shows that they admire violence, they admire mass murder, and the idea that previous mass murdering communists were “mistakes” is horse manure.

        2. The only Commie regime still in full operation is North Korea — where they’ve introduced the dynastic principle, a modification in itself.

          The problem with totalitarian government is that you run out of leaders who were raised before it came into control. The sorts of survival skills you need to live in a totalitarian government are not the sorts of skills you need to keep the machinery going once you’re in charge.

          As a consequence, every one starts to compromise with life. Inadequately, to be sure, for any purpose except ceasing to Commie, but it does do that.

          1. I used to be a god. Seriously, the hours just aren’t worth it. And “omnipotent?” Don’t kid yourself. There’s always a bigger deity, and the weird-shaped ones from the next galaxy over throw the worst parties.

            1. One of the Caesars (I forget which, and Google’s not helping) is reputed to have responded to the Senate’s declaring him a god by asking, “And what do I do when a peasant asks me to heal his goat?”

              1. Too often moderns refer derisively to King Canute’s ordering the tide to stay back, failing to realize he was making a demonstration to his court of the limits of his power.

                I think nobody can realize so readily the limits of power as an intelligent person stuck with ruling an organization. HE knows the disparity between what he ordered and what ended up being done. Between the incompetents incapable of pouring sand out of a boot with the instructions written on the sole and the eager-beavers who leap to fulfill His Majesty’s requests before they are even articulated I suspect a very enjoyable comic novel lies.

                  1. The intelligent ruler will be well aware that info reaches him tainted and late. The unintelligent ruler punishes the bearers of bad tidings.

                    1. Well, these days the Internet’s massive info flow of real and unreal events, and variety of opinions, analyses, commentaries, gives the ‘rulers’ all the info they need to at least make well -considered judgements of their own, and to act on them aware of the probable range of consequences of their action. Imperfect? Yes. Sorry lads and Ladies, that’s the nature of our human condition.
                      Not even God is perfect–witness the world’s actions — compassion, hate, healing, brutalization of innocents, happiness, torture, …
                      God and Man have a lot to answer for!

    2. I thought of this after I posted (had to run to work) that the liberal’s love of stasis is based on their inability to cope with the complexity of the real world. It’s too big to get their minds wrapped around it. (It’s why budget numbers are meaningless to them).

      That’s why they like to fight problems, but not solve them.

      That’s why they get behind things like “zero population growth” or the real loonies that think one million is the right human population for the planet. They don’t want anything to change because they are still trying to catch up with now. Fantasyland is so much simpler than reality.

      1. That’s one reason they love academia, where they can set the standards and enforce them.

        Plus, of course, there’s tenure. Which is naturally especially attractive to those who have stronger than normal fear of facing consequences for their words or actions.

  18. GlennDC
    Do a search on Antonio Gramsci, Theodore Adorno, and the rest of the Frankfurt School. It was by design. It really happened. And it has moved so far… Just look at the clown incident… Inconceivable 20 years ago, and yet, here we are.

      1. It’s still inconceivable to free Americans. It’s an action of the Occupiers. Not of the people.

        “And then the Veterans had had enough. Coming home from a war they weren’t allowed to win….” RAH – Starship Troopers.

        1. There are plenty of people who hate Obama out here. Notice that I said “hate.” They don’t hate his policies, they hate him.

          How you respond to the above fact is a pretty good indication of who you are yourself politically. If you say, “That’s true and it proves that we need to eliminate the Republicans,” you are a Leftist. If you deny it, you are a Republican elitist wuss. If you say “Thank God!” you have the right to call yourself an American.

          1. Please defy “plenty” and explain how you know they feel hatred.

            I know of a number of people who detest Obama for his superciliousness, arrogance and policies but few of them personalize that disdain to hate.

            For the record, I very much doubt many would attempt to term me a “Republican elitist wuss” — especially as I am registered independent.

        1. I dunno. Saying what we really think in a (more-or-less) public forum? I can just hear the jackbooted thugs pounding on the door for our rampant terrorism.

        2. Do it, it’ll be cathartic (and not just for you either).
          I’m afraid I’ve been in an Orwellian funk, as news recently has taken a turn for the worse. “Oh, but we’ve known the fourth estate has been acting as the Ministry of Truth for some time now,” you may say, and I agree. My problem is that it seems that there is no longer even the fig leaf of pretense anymore.

      1. You note that disturbing the peace is a crime here, too, and hate crime legislation is intended precisely for that sort of motivation. So why are leftists enraged at a hate crime getting a severe sentence?

        1. IMO “hatred of religion” is something the Left supports so Pussy Riot didn’t commit a “hate crime” in their view. [Sad Smile]

    1. Eric Raymond has a good summary here: http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=260

      I think there is still an excellent chance that the West can recover from suicidalism without going through a fevered fascist episode and waging a genocidal war. But to do so, we have to do more than recognize Stalin’s memes; we have to reject them. We have to eject postmodern leftism from our universities, transnational progressivism from our politics, and volk-Marxism from our media.

      1. And if Mr Raymond thinks ANY of those things are going to happen without a hot war, Mr Raymond is a fool.

    2. Actually the clown incident, I don’t find so inconceivable. Right after Obama was elected, the first “Asterisk” President, where every single criticism of him can be dismissed by his followers and media fellow travelers as (boo hiss) RACIST, I predicted that we would see some form of a modern day racial “Alien and Sedition Acts” where any kind of criticism of any minority public figure would now be a crime. Had the Dems not lost the House in ’10, who knows?

  19. Sarah, I disagree with your assessment of Schumpeter’s prediction.

    I tried posting to that effect three times in the thread, and once out of the thread; WordPress ate them all, as it did a previous post today. On that previous post, I went to another WordPress site, logged in, and used the preview feature without a problem.

    So it has to stay at that. I disagree but am unable to continue the conversation which evolved in a series of posts.

      1. Yay! A cheer for the Sarahson who is doing the work.

        And a thank-you to the fellow commenter who directed me to Textarea Cache freeware. The term yields 1.5M Google hits!

        Which gives rise to a thought: Maybe the problem involves, not just WordPress, but government surveillance. I consider that unlikely, but a few years ago I would have considered it ridiculous.

    1. It helps keep WordPress happy if you sacrifice a black squirrel to it. Leave the squirrel’s heart on a lotus blossom, next to a peachtree branch. It’s a basic technique, but it works for me. Ada as my witness, but it seems to keep the lords of cobol satisfied. 😉

      1. I have peachtrees in my backyard (one even has peaches on it, Yay!) but black squirrels are in scarce supply around here, would a really dark brown one suffice?

              1. No, but the FAA requires a complete documented chain of custody for each serial numbered potential sacrificant goat unit (PSGU) from the PMA-approved goat manufactuary to the end use, and the complete aircraft servicing procedure must be entered in the aircraft logbooks and signed off by an appropriately licensed mechanic who has the coveted SRA(M) (Sacrificial Repair Authority (Mammalian)) endorsement.

      2. To recycle an old tech joke: WordPress is not voodoo; there are fundamental technical reasons why you have to sacrifice a chicken every now and then to keep your site running.

        1. Well, yeah. For some reason electronics closely identify with chickens (something to do with crossing roads), and the chicken serves as an example for the encouragement of the rest.

  20. “Must we fight it here, on our soil, as it turns hot, and hang our own commissars from their own guts?”

    Why, oh why, do all conservatives always talk as if this is a bad thing? Why is it inconceivable that we should fight back? And I don’t mean “fight” in the NRO sense of “construct a really clever argument.” With (no) apologies to Whoopi Goldberg, I mean fight fight.

    1. On the same subject: I see a lot of conservatives today lionizing Martin Luther King, Jr. As long as we’re lionizing black radicals, I’d much rather pick his contemporary Malcolm X, who advocated violence at least in the use of self-defense. (Emphasis on “at least”: he seemed to be deliberately unclear as to whether he endorsed other violence).

      1. They were both necessary to their ‘civil rights movement’ as Malcolm X said, “they talk to Martin Luther, because they don’t want to talk to me.” Martin Luther King Jr. is lionized because he is more acceptable in the current PC environment than Malcolm X, the progressives praise Martin Luther and imitate (poorly, he would despise most of them) Malcolm X, however.

      2. What makes you think MLK, Jr. was against self-defense? As I understand, his home was an armed camp, and for good reason.

        1. He did some foolish things with respect to his own defense because if he didn’t, it would make it easy to Alinsky him. Drove Mr. Heston nuts. (heard an interview with him– obviously, several years ago)

      1. Wouldn’t you rather have your sons die as heroes than being quietly led off to the gas chambers? Or, alternatively, wouldn’t you rather have them fight early on in a war they have a chance of winning, rather than belatedly fight in a war in which the last chance of victory is already gone?

        1. We’d rather there not be a fight, by winning via other means while it’s still an option.

          There’s always those whose first choice is violence. Doesn’t mean that they’re right if it eventually comes to that, and often they’re part of why it comes to that.

        2. You know it won’t just be sons dying. They’ll be mangled, physically and mentally. There will be women raped. Children killed. Starvation. Disease.

          War is hell. Civilized men move heaven and earth to keep it away from their homes, to put an ocean, a border, themselves between it and their families.

              1. Given a choice between being conquered by force or conquered by infiltration, the result remains being conquered. The alternative to being conquered is resistance. Resistance deters would-be conquerors seeking easy prey.

                Our choice is the Renaissance or the cuckoo clock.

                “Don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.”
                (Look it up.)

    2. For me, that question doesn’t mean, “Do we really have to fight?”. Rather, it means, “Why was it allowed to take enough hold here that we may have to fight it within our own borders?” The bad thing is being forced to fight our nominal fellows, because the rot has been allowed to reach so deep.

        1. I’ll say that while I agree with your larger points about the contempt our elites have for ordinary Americans (hence the “Indeed”) on my first response, I don’t endorse any sort of violence in pursuit of changing the culture.

          The sentence at the end about the commissars, especially, is unnecessarily harsh.

          1. In context, I don’t think it is. We’re not talking about simple social and political wrangling here. We’re talking about actually being forced to fight with deadly force simply to defend ourselves from the encroaching darkness of government HERE turning into what we defeated in Germany, Italy, and Russia. Most people of reasonable bent want to defeat it without major bloodshed, but many of the signs are pointing toward not being able to do that, and once it comes to that, it will end with a repeat of the Nuremberg trials, and few of the people on the winning side at that point will think it excessive.

            1. We’re not talking about simple social and political wrangling here.

              I see her point of view, but it sounds too much like Hoyt is angling for a fight.

              1. Sarah isn’t angling for a fight. We are.. A good ol’ boy from AL and his wife. In fact we aren’t angling for a fight, we’re just noting its necessity to reclaim our beloved constitutional republic.

                    1. Nothing wrong with wanting, rawlenyanzi – just understand that your desires and reality won’t necessarily coincide.

                      Took me a while to learn that myself.

                  1. I’d rather the government respect and protect my liberty. If they continue to infringe on that they’re the ones picking the fight. The government is granted sovereignty based on its defense of our liberty.

                    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

                    When the government infringes our rights, what recourse do you offer — that of the scrivener Bartleby?

              2. She isn’t angling for a fight, she is attempting to avoid it much harder than many others here are*, but she is warning that if we don’t change course there will inevitably be one.

                *This goes on both sides, those who do nothing and go along to get along are tacitly supporting the course we are on, which WILL lead to bloodshed. There are also those that advocate bloodshed now, instead of trying to change course to make it unnecessary. Personally I don’t believe we CAN avoid bloodshed, but possibly by some miracle it is possible, and she is attempting to help that miracle along.

            2. I’d like to think that things could be resolved fairly easily, with a firm,resounding NO at the ballot box in 2014. You may have noticed that a lot of the more, um, ‘passionate’ liberals are getting shriller and shriller – they know their period of influence is getting shorter and they’re getting people angrier at their actions, but they don’t care as long as they can do what they think is ‘good’.

              Whether WE think it’s good is another matter and they don’t care. They’ll do good for us if it kills us,

            1. Looking at his usurpation of powers* not granted him in the Constitution, I am inclined to seriously consider referring to his as “The Tyrant Obama.”

              *Don’t make me list them. Whatever list you’ve been keeping, add today’s “direction” of the “independent” FCC to raise taxes on all cell phone users, reappropriate the billions collected, and spend it on “a whole new educational ecosystem.” Said ecosystem to primarily benefit those cronies of our Administration who are happily providing our phone records to our government overlords. Put it on there right after “directing” federal prosecutors to withhold evidence so that the defendant won’t get a maximum or a mandatory penalty.

    3. I entreat you sir, to identify where this fight shall come from and to whom it shall be brought. For I have surveilled the entire landscape from my vantage point and there is no encroaching force to be found. Nay, I am no rank sentry, content to watch the same patch of grass his entire shift, but have instead searched the horizon, from the fever swamps of the government machinery, to the winding tunnels of the vast right-wing conspiracy, to this very blog itself, and find no sign of an aggressor. Instead, I see only two categories of citizens: those whom are (un)witting tools of the Bolsheviks in our midst, and those kulaks for whom said Bolsheviks are someone else’s problem, and only wish to be left to farm in peace.

      What then, o mighty general, of your army which contests the field? To which bugle do you turn to sound the attack? To which men do you send martyrdom on the end of your enemy’s bayonet? And what becomes of me and mine in your plan, those of us young men enlisted in servitude to this enemy you hate so dearly, that you would strike out with deadly force?

      We signed our names likely for the same reasons that you call for bloodshed: for our families, for our country, and for our freedoms. But because of the condition of our employment, we must mouth the words “Befehl ist Befehl”, though we deny it in our hearts and minds. Do you hate us for it? Have we sinned in fighting for our country?

      1. “And what becomes of me and mine in your plan, those of us young men enlisted in servitude to this enemy you hate so dearly, that you would strike out with deadly force?”

        You will have a choice. the same choice that George Washington and every other Patriot who had worn the King’s uniform faced: Will you support tyranny, or liberty?

        “But because of the condition of our employment, we must mouth the words “Befehl ist Befehl”, though we deny it in our hearts and minds.”

        Which is no different than the choice faced by the Deutsche Generalstab in 1933, 1936, etc. They chose Befehl, and we hung them for it. Will you now call that victors justice, and apologize to their descendants? Or will you say that they got their just deserts, and admit that the same fate should be yours? There is a reason for including that little phrase “and domestic” in the oath you swore, Sir.

        “Do you hate us for it? Have we sinned in fighting for our country?”

        Hate you? No. Judge you for the choices you make? Yes. And when your government and the ideals that truly make your country worth fighting and dying for are no longer the same, then yes, fighting for tyranny is a sin. And God will judge you for it.

      2. “Befehl ist Befehl”? Have you sworn an oath to the Constitution or to the government that is rendering it?

        I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

        The pledge to obey orders only covers lawful orders. If ordered to seize the property of an American citizen without due process or just compensation, or to quarter yourself in that citizen’s home, wouldst obey??

      3. “Instead, I see only two categories of citizens: those whom are (un)witting tools of the Bolsheviks in our midst, and those kulaks for whom said Bolsheviks are someone else’s problem, and only wish to be left to farm in peace.”

        Somebody is buying millions of rounds of ammo besides the gov’t. They ain’t buyin’ em to turn em in. At least not assembled. Someones are spending lots of money, and more indicative lots of their limited time preparing to die on their feet. In an organized and coordinated manner. And you can bet that there are some of them reading this very blog today. But likely not this particular post:

        http://sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com/2013/08/i-am-spartacus.html

    4. “Why, oh why, do all conservatives always talk as if this is a bad thing?”

      Because war is horrible. It is destructive, and not just of the monsters. It chews up everything in its path and leaves wreck and ruin in its wake.

      And that’s if it’s done CORRECTLY. If it’s not, it leaves more violence and hatred and anger that just restarts the cycle as soon as everyone has enough kids to feed the beast again.

  21. Regarding the comment that the Soviet Union used propaganda effectively to attack the USA worldwide, two lengthy but excellent tomes written by an ex-KGB agent points that out very well – The Sword and the Shield and The World was Going our Way. These are fact based historical books about the KGB abroad and domestically.

  22. ” I don’t think there has ever been a country like ours, where our elites are deliberately taught – in our best schools – to hate and despise everything that we are, everything that makes us unique.”

    Of course there is: Britain. Britain is our outlier, by about 15 years. Their class system and the inherent bias toward socialism which the gross bias which that class system has engendered don’t have counterparts, but still and all – from the move toward a police state where all things are always under surveillance, to a surrender on immigration, to public health system – we are Britain.

    And it is a sad, sad thing.

    1. And now they are exempting Muslim female medical practioners from basic hygiene laws. Yeah, another reason I really want to avoid British medical care.

  23. Too many people, myself among them, hope and think that rationality will eventually strike people and they will see the insane failure of our increasingly crony capitalist/fascist system.

    It will never happen.

    The elites and their supporters will resort to cannibalism before they ever admit that their ideology is so wrong it is evil.

    Don’t believe me? Read Collapse by Jared Diamond. Not to indulge in his mistaken environmentalist meanderings but to see how societal denial can last until the society (and the people) come to an end.

    Btw, Sarah. My Russian family is passionately patriotic (the ones in Russia). It sends chills up your spine to sail past a warship on the Neva in a little craft (to watch the raising of the St Petersburg bridges) and hear young women do their version of USA! USA! Fr the sailors on board. Never heard that in the USA but for a short few years.

    1. The comparison of parts of Montana to Greenland in Collapse may have some lessons for libertarians who seek a rural small town libertarian community.

      Much the same observations can be seen in better form and fewer words in writings by David Drake – for societal denial see some of the stops in The Voyage

  24. A fight, here? Sure.

    The question is: *What Kind* of fight?

    Myself: I’m looking at a series of knife-fights in dark alleys against Upper-Rogers who have no idea I’m there, much less that I’m there to fight.

    I suppose one could call it “A Night Of Long Knives”…. >:)

              1. David Drake’s version with the numbers filed off is well worth reading especially to include the added ending and his explanation for including the additional material.

  25. … most communists in the US were by nature what we’d class as “radical losers”. ….

    Folks like Paul Robeson?

    Howard Fast[ov] in Being Red describes life among the red diaper set effectively. That might be a good place to begin an I am Spartacus post.

    Sadly there’s a lot of truth in the post. To my eye it happened slowly. I don’t know why and I don’t know why there was never ever a reaction. It was not always thus. Freshman Commons at Yale was a memorial to the dead of WWI. Perhaps another reason to stop serving dinner there as Yale did 20 some years ago. When Yalies (and some Harvard graduates) in 3 letter agencies and out were betraying the men of Brigade 2506 the rednecks of the Alabama Guard inter alia honored obligations to Brigade 2506 – sometimes by dying. At the same time lots of Air Force radio intercept students were eating at the Yale War Memorial in uniform.

    I think I may cut back my Aggie jokes – why is the war on drugs faltering on the Texas border? Too many Aggie war brides – just may be putting down good men.

    Does our hostess have any suggested lessons for the Veterans didn’t like it in the historical reaction to Angola?

  26. George Orwell wrote an essay titled “Notes on Nationalism” in May 1945. It is a MUST-READ. Seriously, change a few names and it could’ve been written yesterday. http://www.resort.com/~prime8/Orwell/nationalism.html

    First he defines “nationalism” in a certain way, and later describes types of “negative nationalism”, one of which is “Anglophobia”:

    “Within the intelligentsia, a derisive and mildly hostile attitude towards Britain is more or less compulsory, but it is an unfaked emotion in many cases. During the war it was manifested in the defeatism of the intelligentsia, which persisted long after it had become clear that the Axis powers could not win. Many people were undisguisedly pleased when Singapore fell or when the British were driven out of Greece, and there was a remarkable unwillingness to believe in good news, e.g. el Alamein, or the number of German planes shot down in the Battle of Britain. English left-wing intellectuals did not, of course, actually want the Germans or Japanese to win the war, but many of them could not help getting a certain kick out of seeing their own country humiliated, and wanted to feel that the final victory would be due to Russia, or perhaps America, and not to Britain. In foreign politics many intellectuals follow the principle that any faction backed by Britain must be in the wrong. …”

    “The average intellectual of the Left believed, for instance, that the war was lost in 1940, that the Germans were bound to overrun Egypt in 1942, that the Japanese would never be driven out of the lands they had conquered, and that the Anglo-American bombing offensive was making no impression on Germany. He could believe these things because his hatred for the British ruling class forbade him to admit that British plans could succeed. There is no limit to the follies that can be swallowed if one is under the influence of feelings of this kind. I have heard it confidently stated, for instance, that the American troops had been brought to Europe not to fight the Germans but to crush an English revolution. One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool.”

    1. The post-World War I intellectual class in England was necessarily heavily weighted toward the pacifists and those who did not think England worth fighting for, for several age cohorts.

  27. The way Soviet propaganda has outlived the Soviet Union reminds me of Fred Saberhagen’s Berserkers. Instead of self replicating and adaptive von Neuman machines that had been created for a long ago war, the Soviets created self replicating and adaptive memes that thrive in the heads of academics.

  28. There is hope, however, in the form of the Internet, which has disintermediated numerous would-be thought police on the Left. Thank you, U.S., taxpayers, for funding its development.

  29. I just hit me, I wonder how much effort it would take to go through a copy of Zin’s thing, and mark up, with references, all of the major factual and logical errors in it?

    Say, but a used copy, mark the blazes out of it, and then sell it back to the local university campus used book store. The poor recipient may fail the class with flying colours, but they may just get an interesting education out of it.

    1. For all of Zinn’s criticisms of private property, I suspect it would be inviting legal action to publish an annotated copy. Might be able to get away with a web-based chapter-by-chapter rebuttal. Spend a week’s worth of blog posts on each chapter …

  30. Ms. Hoyt, your comment about Communism being the refuge of the losers rings so true on a point that I have made about those drawn to the extremes of both sides, especially the violent fringe. I look at the Skin-head, the Neo-Nazi on the far right the same way I do the Black Muslim or the Black Panther seperatists the exact same way.

    I look at the average member of those organizations, decked out in whatever uniform helps them overcome their feelings of inferiority and my only thought is, “Dude, I get news for you. Even if YOUR PEOPLE were in charge of the whole enchilada, guess what? You’re STILL the guy who’ll be scrubbing the toilets!”

    1. The classification of Nazis as “of the right” comes from the perspective of Stalin, BTW.

      The National Socialist Workers’ Party was unabashedly socialist and green; the disagreement they had with the Soviet Socialist Workers’ Party was who would run the new socialist world.

      1. Trying to think of a definition of wings where white separatists and black separatists would be on opposite ends of the spectrum, and can’t find one that doesn’t depend on “liberals excuse these guys but not those guys” or treat skin color as an objective, meaningful measure of something besides need for sunscreen.

      2. Yes, I realize that, and in fact when I taught history, I stressed the forgotten “socialism” part of NAZI, and did mention that the only thing “right wing” about fascism was its ardent nationalism. “My country right or wrong” vs. “Workers of the world unite.” Today’s neo Nazis and skinheads would fall on the right of the traditional and fast becoming dated “left/right” paradigm because they are reactionary, “America was a great place until all these _______ started showing up.” rather than radical or anarchist.

        1. Commies are and were willing to jump on the national bandwagon whenever it suits them. Was Stalin right-wing during World War II?

          1. Don’t forget the USSR itself was (idealistically) to be a transition state into the pure communism of nation-state-less Marxism, so those leaders did what they had to do.

            1. “Don’t forget the USSR itself was (idealistically) to be a transition state into the pure communism of nation-state-less Marxism, so those leaders did what they had to do.”

              Two words to rebut that: Mother Russia.

              1. Yes, pity the fools and vermin who did not realize that Marxism was/is essentially Inhumanism. We will never be equal in our talents, ambitions, devotions, goals, responsibilities, …
                Our infantilism is the source, in adults and adulterers of of our ethics, of our powerlessness against those who want to accomplish something for or against us and our will.

          2. No, Stalin was more left-wing than Hitler murdering his own innocent people by the tens of millions, exerting extreme control of the population, rewriting history to serve his manic tyranny, executing dissenters by the 1000’s, murdering his own Soviet troops returning from captivity, …

    2. Why place these vicious thugs on the far-Right and not on the far-Left? It’s the Left — Stalin, Mao, Ho Chih Min, Castro & Guevara, … that have tortured, maimed, raped, and murdered the innocent in the tens of millions.

      The dhimmis of this world, you and I, blabber and jabber while the activist anal apertures (h/t Jonah Goldberg) continue to pillage, murder, and infiltrate the crumbling bastions? of remaining freedom (free dumb?).
      Look at the decay, rot, and cowardice displayed by the European governments and their supine, religion-despising, Jew-hating citizenry. England, France, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, on and on the slide into spineless slime continues to accelerate.

    3. Please note that regardless of what the leftists try and claim Neo-Nazis are far left fringe elements (fringe because they have the audacity to pick the wrong skin color to support as superior to all others) not far right.

  31. “The fault dear Brutish, is not in our stars, but in our neglect of our civic duties, that we are underlings.”

  32. The great American philosopher Hermann Kahn identified the problem of “Educated Incapacity” in the late 70s:

    http://www.hudson.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=publication_details&id=2219

    “Educated incapacity in the United States today seems to derive from the general educational and intellectual milieu rather than from a specific education. This milieu is found in clearest form at leading universities in the United States—particularly in the departments of psychology, sociology, and history, and to a degree in the humanities generally. Individuals raised in this milieu often have difficulty with relatively simple degrees of reality testing”

  33. McCarthy has been brought up. But not Nixon.

    Nixon was, and is, hated by the liberals for one and only one reason. He was an effective anti-communist politician. I wonder how the world today would be different if in 1960 he had taken the poll results in Daley’s Chicago and LBJ’s Texas to the courts. Back then, a Republican fighting crooked election results would have had a chance.

    Today? Well, Senator Al Franken tells you everything you need to know about courts and electoral integrity.

    The Watergate coverup pales in regard to what is happening under this administration. And the media, as pointed out, is a fifth column.

    1. I had considered Nixon. He told the truth about Helen Gahagan Douglas and they told lies about him, losing the 1950 race* for the US Senate. He brought Alger Hiss to justice.

      He made the mistake of thinking he could play by the same rules as Democrats and, like Garfield before him, was assassinated by a disappointed office seeker.

      *Interestingly, Wiki reports Nixon received financial support in this race from JFK. (Stephen Ambrose, Nixon: The education of a politician, 1913-1962 (1987) pp. 210-211)

  34. Yes, the filth column composed of those with their heads firmly plugging their alimentary canals, resulting in constipated decayed cognitions and a fecal focus on life.
    Regrettably, these media mediocrities have the airwaves to corrupt with their fat-headed flatulence. Where’s the EPA air-quality folks when we need them?

  35. The West’s self-hatred problem predates Communism. Read Kipling’s 1909 poem “The City of Brass” (for a savage attack on the syndrome), or some of Mark Twain’s essays for examples.

    The thing is, this problem arises from one of the West’s greatest strengths: our ability to criticize our leaders, institutions, and traditions, and the value we place on dissent and rebellion against institutionalized wrongs. That ability allowed the West to throw off corrupt and backwards ways, while other societies were held back; and so we came to dominate the world.

    But that pattern mutated into an auto-immune syndrome. The habit of self-criticism became a reflex. Communist agents of influence (such as Willi Münzenberg) promoted the syndrome in the 1930s, but it was already widespread. The actual sins and failures of the West, and calamities such as World War I, contributed too.

    Meanwhile: some years ago, Charles Murray did some analysis on data from the General Social Survey. The GSS had subjects place themselves politically, on a seven-band scale (L3-L2-L1-C-R1-R2-R3), Murray took the data for whites age 30-39, broken into six “class” segments: Traditional Upper, Intellectual Upper, Trad Middle, Technical Middle, Working, and Lower. For each segment, he calculated L3%+L2%-R2%-R3%, for each year from 1973 to 2009. In 1973 all segments were near the center (+-5%). By 2009, all segments had moved about 5% to the right, except Intellectual Upper, which moved over 20% to the left.

    That;s what we’re seeing: the “intellectual” class has become overwhelmingly Leftist, and large spaces in it are exclusively Leftist. The thinking and perceiving organs of society have been captured.

    I thought that the Internet would break down this monoculture, but the reverse seems to be true: the financial squeeze on media is driving out the non-Leftist minority. Nothing will break this except general social collapse.

    We Are Doomed.

  36. Good information; not necessarily so the prognostication.
    The Left-leaning ‘Intellectual Upper’ suffers from an inability and/or unwillingness to accept the results and ramifications of Leftist failures of the last 90 years [since the rise of Mussolini]. Sooner or later the lean will become extreme and intense enough to become a fall.
    Regrettably, when Humpty Dumpty falls he’ll come crashing down on our economy and debased social structures.
    The job: Don’t put all your eggs, dead or not, in one casket.Get off your duff, join like-minded enthusiastic patriots and kick ” Butt I can’t do anything myself.”

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