Cake or Death, the Grudge Match

Years ago I was talking to a colleague from Sweden, and he was complaining about their insane tax system which makes it impossible for anyone to really consider more than two kids, unless they’re very rich or destitute.

Being a libertarian and all around evil person, I took the opportunity to point out that’s what socialism does.

And then he surprised me by coming back with “Yeah, but capitalism doesn’t work either.  My great grandparents remembered cannibalism in famines.”

At which point I tried to explain that his great grandparents had never experienced anything like free minds and free markets, but, in the 19th century (he was about my age) lived under an absolute monarchy.  Which is not the opposite of socialism, but its close cousin (as well as the end stage of every communist experiment ever.)

I couldn’t get it through his head.  I just couldn’t make him understand the opposite of socialism is NOT absolute monarchy

I see this kind of dichotomy EVERYWHERE, and it’s crazy.  It’s not just that they want you to choose between cake and death, is that they seem to assign cake and death arbitrarily.

For instance a colleague of mine (no, you don’t have to think very hard who) on a panel referred to the confrontation between Stalin and Hitler as the confrontation between socialism and capitalism.  My reaction (after my head had spun around and I’d spit up pea soup in sheer shock) was “Those words don’t mean what you think they mean.”  I mean, it wasn’t just that he was WAY maligning capitalism, he was even taking a hit on normal, run of the mill socialists, who are deluded and economic illiterates but not — as a normal thing — homicidal maniacs.

Then there is the snowflake in my comments yesterday.  Apparently the opposite of “be an idiot national-socialist, who thinks that America belongs to anglo-saxons and capitalism is evil” is “be like Sweden and force people to accept unending hordes of unassimilated hostiles.”

Part of what makes my head hurt in that kind of statement is not even the distortion, it’s the simplification.

In fact, both of the behaviors are a subset of socialism, which assigns people a value at birth, which is dependent on the group they are identified with.  Both national socialists (with extra racial identification sprinkles!) and international socialists think human beings are widgets.  The ONLY difference is the values they assign to the groups. If you’re born with skin in a certain paint chip range, and you have hair and eyes this color, then you’re either extra evil or extra good.  What you actually ARE as a human being doesn’t matter.  It’s either cake or death, and what you do, what you think, what you choose don’t matter.  Cake or death, and stay in line, and do what you’re assigned, peasant.

And this is why I’ve been sounding the alarm about kids being so maleducated in our schools they rebel against the status quo by embracing what is pushed as its opposite, but which is ACTUALLY another facet of the status quo.

Whenever people start saying they’re revolutionaries and what they’re actually doing is inverting the categories that the government “should” assist, instead of doing away with government assigning people “value” according to color, creed, orientation, I hear the refrain from A Canticle for Leibowitz  “Yes, we’re simple.  And we shall have a great simplification.”  This of course ushered in a millenia long dark ages in the book.

As it does.  Because it’s another of those things where if you’re not seeing reality and what is inside your head is so at odds with reality as to be another world, you’re not going to get the results you expect.  And then you have to come up with conspiracy theories to explain why the world doesn’t conform to the pretty picture inside your head.

QUITE my “favorite” of those for lunacy as well as longevity is “the Jews done it to us.”  It’s a hoot.  And a  scream, when you see what it leads to.

BUT my second favorite, far and above, is that “The US done it to us.”  I first heard it expounded in ninth grade, while a classmate’s father, who was driving us somewhere, took it upon himself to explain to me why Portugal should throw in with the USSR.  I can’t remember the entire chain of logic but it went something like this: Portugal doesn’t have its own computer manufacturers because the Americans won’t let us.  We didn’t invent the computer because IBM put it in a treaty we weren’t allowed to.  And then with America controlling the price of rice, the USSR is our only choice.

I wish I could assure you I’m exaggerating, but I’m actually not.  It was the above, with a lot more shouting, and exclamations.  It devolved into how the evil Americans were keeping Portugal from being the leader in scientific research.

It’s easy and simple to blame an “enemy” particularly when it’s one the press hates.  It’s much more complex to analyze the real reasons, which in Portugal for a long long time are that regulation, bakshish and nepotism corrupt all possible good in the country and stifle all possible development.  It has nothing to do with innate capaciy (Portuguese abroad tend to do very well) but with how screwed up the culture and government are and — alas, if you read history you find — since long before the US existed.

In the comments we got into the “US made us do it” part 194, give or take a million, in which we’re APPARENTLY forcing Sweden to open its door to Muslim refugees, give them full benefits and believe they’ll become Swedes without a century or so of concerted integration.

How and why we’re responsible for that, is a perfect puzzle, since you know, last I checked the most we’d do is give or cut subsidies, and frankly, if you’re a grown up country you should have moved out of the US basement long ago.

I could have taken an argument based on Obama said because heaven knows, the man does say the stupidest things. I could even take the “the influence of American media which is fundamentally socialist is distorting people’s thinking abroad” — though the solution to that is, of course, to have a media industry of your own.  Again, take your Star Trek posters and move out of our basement.  We’re tired of paying for your music and toking lifestyle anyway.

BUT the argument seemed to be “the USSR no longer exists to force them to do stupid things, so it must be the US.”

To quote an old friend long ago “The US doesn’t generally force people to do things.  Not with weapons.  Because you can’t sell to dead people, and that’s the source of our power.”

Also, ignored int he great simplification is that Russia seamlessly took up the agitprop that the USSR had implanted/arranged in… well, most of the west but particularly in Scandinavia.  The fact that Sweden and the rest of the Scandinavian countries were uniform enough prior to the current lunacy that they could ALMOST make socialism work, because it was a great big family.  (Almost.  The immiseration happened slower and people didn’t seem aware of it or thought it was cool, hence “enough” or “just right” being praise in Scandinavian countries.)  Other things ignored: those countries have been socialist for many years, and don’t actually get the concept of free minds and free markets and a government that is used to treat people as widgets doesn’t understand it can’t bring in more widgets and make them like other widgets.

But what we get is the crazy dichotomy: if you think Western civilization was built by people of many skin shades, that humans are far more mixed than anyone gives them credit for BUT that nonetheless however created Western Civ is the last greatest hope of man kind and should be preserved, then you want unlimited Muslim immigration, socialism/communism, and to destroy Western Civ.

This makes so much sense, that I feel tempted to run down the street with my underpants on my head, as a way to understand it better.  “This thing you love and must protect at all costs, you really want to destroy, because you think individuals can swear allegiance to principles and also that what is inside your head has nothing to do with skin color.”  Hey, it’s crystal clear and amazing reasoning.  Cake or death?  Want some Qaalude with that?

And meanwhile what the frigging marching morons are actually doing is forwarding the things that ARE actually destroying western civ: tribalism; group think; large government; government defined minorities.  All the while patting themselves on the back for having rejected socialism and the errors of the 19th century mind.

Can you argue with people stuck in this dual mode?  Sure you can.  But like arguing with liberals, whose mental frame work they stole, it’s exactly the same as arguing with a wall.  You can hope to salvage the uncommitted who can still think and listen to it.

But as Kate Paulk is fond of pointing out, 99% of the population would rather die than think. They like their simple dichotomies.  So, cake or death.  If you’re not with us, you’re against us.

They lurch through history repeating the mistakes of the past under another name, but utterly convinced this time will be different.

And they insist on taking the rest of us along for the ride.

Teach your children well.  What can’t continue won’t.  And changing the names and hierarchies won’t make this big government hierarchy thing work any better.

In the end we win, they lose.  BUT the water is going to get mighty choppy on the way there.

This ain’t no pleasure cruise.  Prepare whatever you think you need in the way of a life vest, and hold on.

Be not afraid, but be wary.  The over-trusting do not survive.

313 thoughts on “Cake or Death, the Grudge Match

  1. We are of course somewhat responsible, at least in part, for European socialism. After WWII did any European country say “we must never let that happen again! We must massively increase our investment in our military!”
    No, what they actually did was say they could spread the load, share the costs, with this little thing called NATO. And quietly whisper amongst themselves “those rude ugly Americans, they’re all far too rich, let them bear the brunt of the cost.”
    So, for the most part most European military are just a nationalized police force with a few really cool tanks and planes and a ship or two with guns. You know, armed and trained about as well as the average US big city police department.
    So they hate us for what they think we are in their pointy socialist heads, but gladly spend the bulk of their GDPs on social programs like government run health care, free education, and months long vacations.

    1. Because of America’s dominance of global markets, European nations were forced to sacrifice some portion of their autonomy in forming the Common Market and later the European Union. Having formed the EU they were then compelled to cede monetary authority to the Central State. This in turn caused them to adopt common labor and immigration policies, all in an effort to counter the market power of the US.

      Thus Sweden’s unlimited, unfiltered admission of immigrants can be traced back to a response to America’s policies. It is the natural result of reliance upon the kindness of strangers … and some of those are very strange indeed.

        1. Sure we are — the same way in which people willing and able to lay 100 bricks an hour are forcing those who only want to lay fifty to have to work harder, and the way kids who read the assignments and do their schoolwork are forcing those who’d rather play stick-ball to put more effort into their school work.

          Rate busters are always and everywhere hated. They don’t want to have to work harder so they find ways to trip up those who are willing. Competition is harder than collusion.

        1. Some people are confused about the meaning of “forced”. If only they could experience the difference between a whip and a dollar on their own backs, as Ayn Rand once wrote.

          Plus, in RES’s alternate reality Japan and the Asian Tiger nations were ‘forced’ to form a Common Market blah blah blah “because of American dominance of global markets” blah blah blah.

      1. Of course, America’s dominance of global markets was due to Europe bombing its economic infrastructure back to the stone age along with wiping out a large chunk of its labor force during the first half of the twentieth century.

    1. Does that include the cake for gay weddings and for guys’ Quinceañera festivities?

      1. No, of course not. Not making cake for gay people is homophobic. There must always be cake for designated victims, even if you don’t make cake you must find a way to provide it for them.

      1. No cake, sorry about that, but we do have cookies. Really good cookies.

    2. The Swedes are out of cake, too. Germans soon will be. The real question is why people who force their way in believe their arrival immediately entitles them to cake. WUST?

      1. Because they have no idea of economics, and were taught the Marxist math of “Victimhood ENTITLES you to compensation.”
        Of course, if Marxists could do math, they wouldn’t be Marxists.

        1. I think it’s more if ‘Marxists would do math.’ I’ve met many a marxist who excels at math in everything BUT economics. It’s like there’s a switch in the back of their brain where handwavium takes over the moment it comes to socialism.

          1. Even people who are good at math tend to go with gut feelings when things are being described that CAN have numbers attached, but aren’t being described numerically.

            Unfortunately, humans cannot truly comprehend the numbers involved in modern economics, so our gut can be vastly wrong about such large quantities.

          2. I think its the religious belief aspect of Marxism kicking in. There are some contradictions that must be ignored for comfort, and since everyone KNOWS that it will work if given a chance, most Marxists ignore the math.

    1. Well, actually, we can murder our way to solvency. Historically, murdering those to whom the debt was owed was an effective, if short-sighted option. (Future loans become much more troublesome to obtain.)

      Occupying valuable provinces and killing all those who objected and replacing them with your own people has also been popular throughout most of history.

      These days, with the majority of the debt being generated by welfare payments to those who will not produce, there exist two groups of potential victims who might be eliminated for the greater good. Those being the recipients of said welfare payments, and the political classes who keep promoting and expanding the system of wealth redistribution.

      This does not in any way address the morality of such actions, simply the short to medium term economic incentives.

      1. I suspect the hidden costs of such murders might tend to eat away much of the gains.

        1. How about keeping the handouts comming, but to receive one, you and your daughters have to get your tubes clipped?

            1. A little extreme, but there is a procedure to stop fertility without major removal. Unfortunately, when a single mother has a baby, who necessarily knows who the father is? DNA testing perhaps?

              1. Why limit it to the biological father?

                How about every man she’s slept with in the past 24 months– even if they didn’t manage to conceive, they took the risk.

                Beats the heck out of maiming children in a manner that can cause death, simply because they’re female and their mother asked for help. (there are cases of an egg being fertilized outside of the womb, usually found out in post-death exam)

                1. How are you going to prove he did? Sounds like a formula for a petty revenge to me.

                    1. It sounds like maybe ‘hidden’ costs, in this case you’ve shown the evil and the difficultly of implementation, make this method of ‘murdering our way to solvency’ impractical.

                    2. It’s amazing how often it works out that way– or maybe I mean “reassuring”?

                      It’s not like it’s required to show it won’t work to refuse to cooperate with evil, but it does help if you can show that it wouldn’t even work very well. 😀

                    3. “It’s the proposal I was responding to.”

                      And that’s what you proposed as an alternative.

                2. I’m actually going to have to side with Foxfier although for more utilitarian reasons then concern about the children.

                  Most welfare mothers rarely get into the double digits. It seems at least one a year we get news stories about baby daddies in that world in the 20 or 30 range.

                  Sterilizing the men is just plain more effective for the same reason that in tribal survival situations keeping a large number of breeding age mothers is more important than a large pool of breeding age fathers. Men can do their part much more often and are out of commission due to pregnancy.

                  1. The problem with the entire notion of sterilizing anyone (except, maybe, the people creating the situation these people are in), is that it caries with it, whether stated or not, that the tendency to be the type who stay on the system forever and lead their children to it as well is genetic. It’s not, unless you count the tendency of 80-90% of the human race to exert the minimum effort required to survive, and to arrange the world around us to maximize, as well as we are able, the comfort provided by that minimal effort.

                    What is needed is a reform of the way benefits are delivered (food stamps, EIC, what have you), and the structure of exiting from the situation. Adding some requirements that merely make it more annoying to receive benefits, such as reporting to a center of some sort for some number of hours per week, as if they were employed, would help immensely. And reducing support payments by only HALF of what the person makes if they get a job, would help another tremendous amount.

                    We don’t need to start extincting genetic lines just because we have a screwed-up system that strongly resists people leaving it.

                    1. Well said. Sterilization-slash-eugenics programs are addressing a symptom rather than a root cause. Limiting the number of stipends a family on assistance can receive, limiting the length of time such stipends are available, installing work requirements (screw public employee unions — the purpose of such requirements would be to instill such work skills as showing up on time, following instructions) and numerous other alternative ways to communicate that nobody is entitled to raise the price of a free lunch.

                    2. More broadly, absent social programs keeping a human alive is cheap, especially so thanks to high volume cheap food and cheap energy. It doesn’t necessarily take much productivity to make keeping a person alive profitable.

                      People who are super productive, in that their profit can cover quite a few besides themselves, are fairly common. Excepting murderers, such as successful eugenicists, and extreme abusers, such as maybe SJWs, there aren’t many people so destructive that it matters much in the calculation.

                      Murdering the unproductive implies some way of telling the difference. On the scale of society, we don’t have a way of targeting murders that would supply the necessary accuracy. You don’t have to murder very many super producers to more than offset killing a lot of people who will never be profitable.

                      In conclusion:
                      1. Eugenics is messed up.
                      2. In some cases, Eugenics doesn’t even address symptoms of real problems.
                      3. Our society pretends that it dislikes such arguments when people making them say ‘because it is wrong’ or ‘Jesus’. I am very biddable.

                  2. The number of fertile males does not affect births, as long as there are some. Eliminate one, and you get another. (I note that it’s still news when there are 20 or so.0

        2. *typing with a straight face* Yeah, can you imagine the funding the EPA would want to investigate all those cases of lead poisoning? *best “concerned cat is concerned” expression*

      2. I think History has proven the Spanish Method the best for this: borrow up to your eyeballs then repudiate the debt, denounce the lenders and drive them out of the country.

        Wait a few generations, stir and repeat.

        If it was good enough for Ferdinand & Isabella, it’s good enough for the USA.

          1. Yes.

            What is frightening is that is arguably the most realistic plan a leader in either major party has proposed in recent years. The other plans all boil down to “we will pass abill requiring our successors 20 years down the line to fix it.”

              1. I didn’t say it was realistic as in doable. I said it was the most realistic of the plans on offer.

                Yes, the results would be the same if we keep implementing, “today we promise in writing our successors in 10 years will fix things” plan but Trump’s plan has the virtue, small as it might be, of defaulting on purpose and at a time of our choosing instead of just letting it happen by crisis or letting our creditors force it on us.

                I’m not sure doing it eyes wide open will make the outcomes of the US defaulting (and at this point I think the US will inevitably default on many of its promises, starting with Medicare and quickly followed by Social Security) any less destructive or any easier to survive but eyes wide open at least has the virtue of honesty.

                1. You mean “we will increase the services provided while magically decreasing their cost” isn’t realistic?

      1. The reason they don’t have enough worth stealing is worth examining.

        Different cultures can lead to wildly different levels of productivity. Our society’s can be absurdly high. This, in several ways, allows and forces us to make a military that is absurdly costly.

        External looting, thanks to the productivity differential, mostly isn’t enough for the cost of our soldiers.

        Internal looting has limits, especially as the system overloads and productivity contracts.

  2. My eldest daughter keeps re-posting news items and graphs showing that life is harder for her generation than it was for previous ones, and there is a lot of truth to it. A single earner household of modest means had the ability to secure a home and a lifestyle in 1970 that is beyond the reach of all but the wealthy today.

    However, she then goes on to say that the solution to this is more government control of the economy. Higher minimum wage, more taxes on corporations, more regulations, more bailouts of student loans, more socialized medicine, etc, etc.

    I try to explain to her that if she wants a return to the standard of living enjoyed by the majority of Americans forty years ago, acceleration of the forces that destroyed that standard of living is going in the wrong direction. Life was not easier for my generation because my generation lived under a more Socialist system than today, it was because we lived under a less Socialist system than today.

    It doesn’t matter. The definition that has been pounded into her head is that Capitalism is the source of all poverty, and if we can just get rid of Capitalism then poverty will magically vanish. She will complain that she can’t keep enough of the money she earns to build a life for herself, and then go on to blame “Big Corporations” for it, completely ignoring the parasitic cost of government that is strangling this country.

    Like you said, “I do not think that word means what you think it means.”

    1. She might be right about the “big corporations.” Well at least a little. Big corporations though, are creations and tools of the government these days. They don’t make their money by trying to please the customers so much as manipulating and being manipulated by the government.

      1. I’m going to add that poverty is the default. It’s what you get when people by and large can’t do very much to change their lives. Poverty was the North American continent in 1605. Poverty and emptiness. There weren’t even any cities. And don’t tell me that it was all because of the disease spread by evil Europeans.

        1. Corporations go evil when it becomes easier to buy profits from government than earning profits through pleasing customers. Government regulations never protect the consumer. Their purpose is to protect the profits or the from the crony capitalist corporations.

        2. “Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

          This is known as “bad luck.”
          You Know Who.

        1. Yep, crony capitalism is a perversion, in fact the antithesis, of true capitalism. Under the crony model big business partners with government to craft legislation that protects and insulates those businesses from new startup competition. The businesses get a certain security and government gets compliant subjects, and incidentally really quite massive campaign contributions.

              1. Remember all the screaming during the Bush years about allowing Big Business to sit in the rooms in which regulations were written? The outrage was not over principle but over seating at the table.

                At least when Big Business writes the regulations there is somebody there who will have to find ways to operate under the subsequent regime.

              2. More than the EPA. Everyone in banking is smarter than banking regulators. We eventually hire the exceptions to help manipulate their former colleagues.

          1. Bu… but who will protect us from the hazards of having our hair shampooed by folks with under 100 hours of training?

    2. I once knew a city councilman who lamented that he was surrounded by friendly people who wanted government favors of some kind. There were few people anymore who he could trust to like him for himself, without having to look for an ulterior motive. The sad fact is that Big government and Big corporations are not angels versus demons, but good buddies who look out for each other.

      Scratch the surface of higher minimum wage, and you will find “Make our employer pay us more than the market thinks our job skills are worth.” Scratch “more taxes on corporations,” and you will find “Our taxes are too high, make somebody else pay more”. Scratch “more regulations” and you will find “Make them be good!”, Scratch ” more bailouts of student loans” and “more socialized medicine” and you will find “make somebody else pay for it, not us!”.

      Ya, Ya, and what do the ordinary self-centered people you vote into office to get these for you want for these for these favors? Besides endless mounds of paperwork to prove that you aren’t a moocher or a thief, they also expect you to surrender control of your own life and decisions.

      1. Scratch most of those a second time and you will find: “Create income opportunities for Trial Lawyers.”

        I do not disparage lawyers as a class — they are a necessary evil created by a regulatory maze, and as essential to modern man as the gunfighters were to folks in the Old West.

        When they employ Jack Palance, you’ve little choice but to rely on Alan Ladd.

        1. When they employ Jack Palance, you’ve little choice but to rely on Alan Ladd.

          Or George Peppard et al 🙂

            1. … or perhaps a little …


              Apparently this is a long-running meme for entertainment media.

              1. Of course it is. The vigilante with a conscience is a popular theme. That most vigilantes don’t operate that way is irrelevant. It’s the fairy tale that sells, not reality. Even our ‘reality’ shows key in on the fairy tale factor in order to survive.

    3. Would she find an extra $13K a year useful?

      Why we still don’t have flying cars: After regulation exploded in 1970, innovation hit a sustained speed bump.

      Back when I was in college, circa 1974 Beloved Spouse & I were out partying of an evening when we ran into a friend who complained he was having a bad trip and had dropped more acid in an attempt to repair this problem. (We later learned we had become a member of Narcotics Anonymous, demonstrating a capacity for growth not often found in those who’ve attended college.)

      We are not surprised at such logic from those on drugs, but hold rather higher expectations of those lacking such extenuating circumstances.

      1. Oops – from professor Reynolds’ column:
        “Of course, excessive regulation isn’t just slowing technological progress, it’s also making us poorer. A recent study from the Mercatus Center found that the increase in federal regulation since 1980 has reduced economic growth by 0.8% per year — which over time means that the economy by 2012 would have been 25% larger, adding up to about $13,000 more for every American. The number would be much bigger, if they’d used 1970 as their baseline.”

      2. And who started the regulatory bandwagon? Why that evil progressive Nixon!

        Why change Dicks in the middle of a screw. Vote for Nixon in ’72!

        1. I thought it had a bit to do with Johnson’s “Great Society” nonsense which helped destroy the black family.
          I was about to post the Instapundit bit and Res got there first. Economic heat death by internal friction.

          1. The Great Society programs certainly jump started the subsidised underclass in the sixties, but Glenn cites 1970, the middle of Tricky Dick’s first term. He was a Republican president saddled with a Democrat congress. No one back then thought the Republicans would ever capture the House again. That only came two decades later in reaction to Billary.

            1. It was Nixon that created the alphabet soup. He did have a LOT of help from Democrats and the country club set Republicans. At that time anybody who said that the nanny state wasn’t a good thing was discredited. It took a decade or so of getting it good and hard to figure that out.

          2. I don’t know when it started, but the EPA under Ruckelshaus in the Nixon admin was who banned DDT. He reported to Nixon that no credible research had indicated that DDT was a concern. Nixon told him to ban it anyway.

  3. I think that the most purely stupid and delusional piece of “Blame America” that I have heard lately, are news reports that Iraqis are claiming that the US is behind ISIS/ISIL. Oh, and some are blaming it on Jews, also.

    This makes my head hurt, to even begin following the pretzel-logic necessary to even find that credible.

      1. Toppling Gaddafi and casting Libya into chaos seems to have been Hillary’s effort to earn a presidential-worthy foreign policy legacy.

        Syria … so many have pissed in that pot that a DNA analysis would be futile, but leave us not forget that to Republicans he was a necessary evil and to Democrats he was “My dear friend” (John Kerry) and a “reformer” (Hillary Clinton) while Speaker Pelosi declared, ‘The road to Damascus is a road to peace.”

        1. The results of a sane foreign policy are no more clear and certain than that such a policy was politically viable enough to be chosen as an alternative to Obama’s.

          I would be unsurprised if Obama had done something with proxies that had directly contributed to the rise of ISIS. I am confused as to the purpose of his foreign policy, and have trouble imagining something he may attempt that is so insane as to be improbable.

          1. I won’t argue with that, although in the rants I’ve read are also definitely dripping with stupidity.

            The comment was more in regards to those who see the US as behind ISIS. Sure our moronic policies created the conditions for it to rise, but to believe that that was the result of mustache twirling villainy rather than hamfisted, blundering stupidity is rather far fetched, as well as giving far more credit than is deserved to the architects of our so called foreign policy.

            1. I think the more probable Obama models are ignorant, crazy, incompetent and evil*, but I haven’t ruled out the possibility that some of that is camouflage. I don’t remember ever formally ruling out the possibility that Obama is motivated by what I would consider good intentions.

              Basically, I haven’t been following foreign policy as close as I was during the Bush years, I figure certain details of Benghazi imply unknown to me covert activity**, and I am concerned by the efforts to close Gitmo.

              If you intervene heavily enough, and there is a disaster, you may earn part of the blame even if you didn’t cause it. Obama could have directed covert intervention to follow a course of action that was malicious to US interests.

              *Models described by all of the four, not a model for each.

              **I always rely purely on open source information. Because I’ve never had access to the other stuff, and would probably shut up if I did.

    1. Y’all thing it is a coincidence that ‘moderates’ and ‘extremists’ are fighting each other in Syria with US produced anti-tank weapons and used pickup trucks from Texas????

      1. and Russian-produced anti-tank weapons, and local copies thereof, and Russian-produced rifles, and copies thereof, your point is?

        1. And those pickup trucks mostly seem to be the ever popular, ever dependable, and ever reliable Toyota Hilux ( “Regrettably, the Toyota Land Cruiser and Hilux have effectively become almost part of the ISIS brand.” Which is odd, considering the Japanese stance on weapons exports.

          1. You will probably find the ISIS Toyotas to be the special, simplified, no-nonsense diesel version that Toyota sells to the 3rd world, not the version marketed in the USA.
            I find it utterly hilarious when some prog starts up some nonsense about the evil USA merchants of death supplying arms to whomever… and they’re using AKM’s, RPG-7’s, DShK’s, Migs, and T-55/72’s.
            Mass weapons recognition fail.

            1. Progs have this totally subconscious pride in American arms manufacturers. Terrorists and other enemies must be using evil American arms. No one else would be evil enough. Besides why would they use the crap from other countries?

            2. Well, the Democrats did illustrate their support for US armed forces with images of the Russian Black Sea fleet and Russian air force.

  4. I was thinking something along similar lines when I came across an old FB post of someone that I’m in a group with regarding a meme of support of Syrian Immigration contrasted with Abortion. The arguments are bat guano crazy, but they seem to swallow the offal whole.

  5. Save us from those who think that the world can be neatly defined in choices between such binary opposites. Anyone who thinks as much will be forced to come up with false premises.

    1. Usually the only real binary distinction they draw is “with us” or “against us.”

      1. Which makes it funny when they accuse us of thinking in terms of “Good And Evil”. 😦

      2. If they are religious zealots, or vile progs (see also: Morlocks)? Certainly.

        If “they” are some segment of the alt right… maybe? I’m trying to wrap my brain around the idea of this model fitting: Milo & the cultural libertarians, the America-first nationalists, Gamergate, the Men’s Rights movement, the White Race tribalists, AND the neo-monarchist Catholics (to name the ones with which I have a passing familiarity) … and I’m drawing a blank.

        I can just about see the straight up Nordic branch of the “white” tribalists fitting that description, but all the rest are more of a “..if you’re giving aid and comfort to our mortal enemies, you’re against us.”

        I can sympathize with that sentiment, even as I quibble with the definition of “aid and comfort”

        And so long as their mortal enemies are the vile progs, I can even count them as allies in the fight.

        If the Worst Foe is the ‘groids and the Jooooooooooooos, or the Catholic Menace? Not so much.

        1. Except that a significant number of that group has been buying into pseudo scientific racial bullsh*t. And coming up with reasons why “whites” are the only true Americans (for a definition of whites. Depending on day of the week.)
          I agree with them on a lot of things like “demand assimilation” and “don’t admit known enemies” BUT then they come up with crazy crap in the middle of an otherwise sane conversation, and that’s where I tear all my hair out.

          1. I’ve noticed this pattern too — and when one person pointed out that, by their logic, it should be possible to identify the defective genes that are driving the dysfunctional behaviors and develop the technology to correct it, they used a “man as artifact, offensive to God” argument to shut him down. Basically, made it clear that if anyone pointed out any unacceptable facts, that person would be humiliated into silence.

            And these are the same people who claim that “men argue about facts, but women argue to win, by any means necessary.” The projection could equip a whole cineplex of movie theaters.

            So it’s probably no surprise they do the same thing with gender — they go from yeah, modern feminism is crazy-dangerous to “women’s suffrage and the end of coverture was a mistake,” which frankly terrifies me. There’s a reason that so many of my characters have had to fight free of significant family dysfunction in their backstory. Legally and socially enforced coverture makes it very easy for an abuser to use marriage as a cage to imprison his victim. At least as things are now, abusive men have to work to cut a woman off from the resources that would allow her to flee when the sheep suit comes off, and spend significant effort to groom the authorities into viewing her reports of abuse as delusional, or manipulativ whining.

            1. There is probably a natural law awaiting expression here, something along the lines that we become our enemies the longer we fight them.

              The tendency is to reflect the tactics of one’s opponents. Add to this the element of the longer a battle goes persists, the more hard-line the continuing participants become. The tendency to increasingly dehumanize foes exacerbates both sides.

            2. Eh. In a real patriarchy, couverture is only fair. The law tends to be reactionary, and slow to adapt, which may be a feature, rather than a bug.

              Women’s suffrage probably was a “mistake” in the sense of “pointless fight for trivial symbolic victory” vs. fighting for property rights, self defensive rights, and the like. To the extent that any group of people become a self-identified victim/client class, of course, their suffrage is an error.

              So, as things have gone with the mal-education of young folk in colleges, female suffrage may be doing more harm than good. Maybe.

              These folks are so close to getting it right, it IS frustrating when they miss the mark so widely. Though I usually only yell about it to my husband 😁

              What interests me is trying to figure out how to get them back on track. I do think it’s both possible and worthwhile, as we need all the allies we can against the SJWs in this culture war.

            3. So it’s probably no surprise they do the same thing with gender — they go from yeah, modern feminism is crazy-dangerous to “women’s suffrage and the end of coverture was a mistake,” which frankly terrifies me.

              Perhaps if you understood where the “women’s suffrage and the end of coverture was a mistake” argument comes from, it wouldn’t terrify you. Concern, yes, but not terrify. The indisputable correlation between the rise of collectivism in the West and woman’s suffrage begs to examine whether or not there is also causation. The vicious combination of radical feminism entwined in government and powerful institutions along with a family law system that is a mockery of justice gives rise to wistful thoughts of a time when a woman that destroyed a man’s life on a whim wouldn’t be celebrated. Am I exaggerating? Sometimes, but simply look at Gamergate, look at the Duke LaCrosse case, the UVA/Rolling Stone rape hoax, the suicide rates of men, etc. Is the answer a revival of coverture?

              No, but acting just like radical feminists and dismissing the concerns of men TODAY because of the paradigms and culture of the past is a pretty damn good way to screw things up further.

          2. The definition of whiteness as far as I can tell is the SJW one used in “interrupting whiteness” reduction camps, pardon me, colleges.

            The lack of self-awareness is painful, and sad. But I have hopes.

  6. It is like the Jimmy Buffet song “Wasting Away In Margaritaville”
    Some people claim that there is ato blame;
    But I know, it is my own damn fault.

    Conspiracy theories are all you have left when your people have been Balkanized and each group given excuses as to why it is not their fault. Accept responsibility for your actions is neither taught nor allowed to be considered.

    1. OOPS using the less than greater than for emphasis doesn’t work;
      there is a Insert preferred hate group here to blame. Is how it is supposed to read.

  7. Last “killing famine” in southern England, 1598; France, 1610; Germany, 1770-72; Finland, 1866. That’s from McCloskey, Bourgeois Equality.

    Golly, I wonder what would have been putting a stop to those famines… The socialist Tooth Fairy? Last famine in Russia, 1930s; in China, 1957.

    1. There were famines all over Europe and Russia in 1946, even with massive support from the USA. Besides the war and the loss of manpower and infrastructure, 1946 was a freakishly cold year.

  8. I remember back in ’68 when a friend’s dad said that there really wasn’t a lick of difference between Nixon and Humphrey. I thought he was crazy. Now I look back and can see how ‘Progressive’ Nixon was. I had been convinced that they were complete opposites.

    I tell people now that I believe in freedom not capitalism. Capitalism, the word, has been totally corrupted into a synonym for evil. Free people should be free to make individual economic decisions for themselves.

    Socialism is predicated on the belief that the vast majority of people are total morons who must be directed by their betters. Unfortunately, thugs like Stalin always take over the leadership. And bureaucracies always follow Pounelle’s Iron Law.

    1. I try to emphasize that there is a difference between the free market economy, what is currently called capitalism, and socialism. Not sure if it gets through, but my students do NOT refer to “capitalist” anything prior to 1848 on their term papers anymore.

    2. There were differences well beyond that nickel, such as who they would appoint to subordinate offices and to the Supreme Court, and how they would handle foreign foes, but domestically they were mostly arguing not about the intended destination but about the rate of speed at which we’d travel.

      1. BTW, because Democrats’ hatred of the red-baiting anti-Communism of Nixon invoked foaming at the mouth, many ober look that as Mayor of Minneapolis Humphrey made his bed driving out the reds and pinkos:

        Humphrey helped found the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party (DFL) in 1944, and in 1945, became the DFL candidate for Mayor of Minneapolis for a second time, winning with 61% of the vote. Humphrey served as mayor from 1945 to 1948, he was reelected and became the co-founder of the liberal anti-communism group Americans for Democratic Action in 1947.
        During his tenure [as the Democratic Majority Whip from 1961 to 1964], Humphrey was the lead author of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, introduced the first initiative to create the Peace Corps, sponsored the clause of the McCarran Act to threaten concentration camps for ‘subversives’, proposed making Communist Party membership a felony and chaired the Select Committee on Disarmament.

        History is often edited but more commonly simply forgotten.

      2. I can never forgive him for OSHA & EPA. EPA was started by executive order. Of course EPA wasn’t captured by industry. It was captured by ecofascists.

        1. Who seem quite happy to work with certain favored individuals and businesses *coughTeslaSoylandracough* that also donate to politicians and pet organizations.

        2. Nor can I … but I doubt Humphrey wouldn’t have done at least as much. It was in the Zeitgeist and likely to come about whoever was appointed by the Trilateralists elected.

    3. Capitalism, the word, has been totally corrupted into a synonym for evil.

      Wasn’t it only invented as a strawman to make communism look better?

      It’s like someone calling a rhino a unicorn– yeah, there’s some points of similarity, but the details!

      1. We should all be familiar with the model from last year’s Campaign to End Puppy-Related Sadness: SP3 ‘s nominees and methods were expected to measure up to perfection. The corrupt system we were opposing only had to compare favourably to the worst SP3 writer’s work.

        Same old, same old.

        1. The past 48 hours has reminded me that applies pretty much anytime people make comparisons…even in realms as small as deciding to side against one of their friends in favor of another.

      2. That’s something that I realized a while ago, too. Just recently, however, and by “recently”, I mean within the last few days, I realized how vacuous “Control of society by the people who own the capital” really is. By any definition of Socialism, we have an idea that some sort of community is controlling the Capital of a society, rather than Individuals…and since these Community Members are people themselves, by the definition of Capitalism given by Marx, we *have* to conclude that any Socialist society is just as “capitalist” as any so-called Capitalist society.

        I had a sense that Marx’s definition of Capitalism was deeply flawed (at the very least, we live in an Individualist society, where every person has the rights to life, liberty, property, among other things, and we have the power we do because we are captains of our own destiny, rather than because we can amass “capital”; indeed, sometimes we can gain power by *refudiating* property, and renting for most of our lives, moving where the work is…but when we do this, we do it because we’re free to do so…), but it was only in the last few days that I realized how nonsensical the definition of “Capitalist” really is.

        As an aside, once I understood that our society is based on Individualism, it was easy to see that all other attempts to organize societies — Monarchism, Fascism, Communism, Socialism, Ba’athism, Democratic Socialism, Democratic Republic Socialism, National Socialism, National Democratic Republic Libertarian Anarchic Socialism, and so forth (no matter how many “free-ish” adjectives one tries to use to differentiate Socialism from, well, Socialism, it’s still Socialism) — are merely Collectivists of one form or another, the difference between them being “What is the best way to force Individuals to bend to our Will, which is, of course, the Will of the People, up until the time that People rise up and destroy us?”

        1. I’m not sure that “individualistic” is quite right, either– but it’s a lot closer than any of the other descriptions!

          There’s an element of inherent moral worth that gets left out a lot; communism and such, the group is supreme. Radical individualism, the self is supreme– they’re both dead. It’s like the apples in a math question– have you ever tried to divi up apples? Or any other thing where the unit is different than the actual size? There’s a balance that’s required– and the kind of balance changes depending on if you’re balancing for usable raw material, or for making all parties involved happy. (I will gladly take a bit less to have less peeling; my eldest will take less total cups of apple to have more individual apples. My second daughter might decide that she’s happy with just one medium sized one, but it has to be the ONE that she wants, my son chooses for how well it fits in his hand for eating or throwing, etc.)

          It’s not “the individual,” it’s whole bunches of actual individuals, and they have to respect that they really are individual, not just ‘unique like everyone else.’

          I’m not saying it very well; can you get any idea from that mess of what I’m waving at?

  9. The ONLY difference is the values they assign to the groups. If you’re born with skin in a certain paint chip range, and you have hair and eyes this color, then you’re either extra evil or extra good. What you actually ARE as a human being doesn’t matter. It’s either cake or death, and what you do, what you think, what you choose don’t matter.

    Yes, for these true believers value is not based on the individual as an individual.

    Much of your value is assigned by physical characteristics – but forbid they should be seen as retaliating to sexual attractiveness. On the other hand choices regarding sexual identification can override your prior bad racial identification markers moving you into a protected victim column.

    Frankly some of this is entirely subject to whether or not you are identified as part of the proper political persuasion. Thus you get accusations of race and sex traitors.

    1. No… there’s two overlapping sets there. The description above only applies to the current round of intersectional race and gender theorists and their mirror-images among groups who are trying to play the same crook game with themselves holding the House cards.

      Most folk’s identify the tribe’s of which they’re a part by clues that include the physical. If you’re ever in a town hosting a librarian’s convention, you can spot the attendees by a common look, no question.

      Most tribalisms, like nationalisms are a good thing. The problem comes when people make a God of it. Then it becomes a demon

  10. Because my Type II Diabetes requires a low carb diet, there is NO distinction between Cake and Death, other than Cake allows me to perish piecemeal while Death permits an option for a meaningful demise.

    As John Ringo has written: “When death is inevitable, do it with style.”

    The only true thing truest thing ever written by John Maynard Keynes was: “In the long run we are all dead”

    1. In my native culture, Ringo’s saying would come across as “Hold my beer and watch this!”

  11. And this is why I’ve been sounding the alarm about kids being so maleducated in our schools they rebel against the status quo by embracing what is pushed as its opposite, but which is ACTUALLY another facet of the status quo.

    Whether you are herded through the gate on the Left or the gate on the Right, the ending place is always the abattoir.

    1. It’s like the old hippie T-shirt; “No matter who you voted for, the Government got back in.”

      Usually illustatrated with uniforms beating someone to the ground with nightsticks.

    2. If it’s on the Right, no-one’s herding you.

      It might be a khreppe gate, and some of them lead to Hell, but you went through it from your own fool willfulness.

      Side note: the new kindle’s auto correct dictionary has neither willfulness nor Hell in it. Huh.

      1. Depends on whether you’re dealing with the individualist or collectivist right–which, by the way, is one of the reasons why the “left-right” spectrum is annoying as anything. Even within Europe, the resemblance between the FDP and AfD is remarkable superficial.

              1. They’re both German parties. FDP is the Free Democratic Party, while AfD is Alternative for Deutschland. As near as I can tell, the Free Democrats are somewhere between Jeb Bush and Kasich, while Alternative for Deutschland is a straight-up nationalist party.

                1. True, but that’s because you get anyone who disagrees with any one–and sometimes it is only one–thing that the current left wing group in power advocates called “right wing” Talk about your big tents!

                  It is becoming the case over in America as well. Nuts.

  12. “the opposite of socialism is NOT absolute monarchy”

    Actually, it was — in the 19th century. The original split (French Revolution) was between populists and monarchists/the Church, HOWEVER, that time has passed and now the dichotomy is between the controlled economy (statism) versus the free-market economy. The old populism/monarchism cake or death is now the controlled/free market cake or death.

    Another 19th century anachronism: Marxism, which purported to address an evil which even back then wasn’t as bad as Marx painted it (except in Russia, always an outlier). But that’s a discussion for another time.

    1. Marx wasn’t talking about Russia but Germany and Britain, Only very superficially similar economies. And Marxism is simply Socialism/Socialism is simply Marxism in any measure of real actions and effects.

      1. Before Marx, Socialism was another heresy of Christianity. Many adherents stuck to commune ‘experiments’, and mostly only harmed themselves. Marx was the Martin Luther or Mohammad of Socialism. Ever after it sought secular power.

        1. In one of her essays, Rose Wilder Lane once described how she was visiting a little village in Russia, which she realized was running pretty much perfect Christian Communism. She was surprised when the village Patriarch complained about what was going on in Moscow. His complaint was that it was too big; that communism is basically limited to a village level.

          There are all sorts of reasons why village communism can work just fine, perhaps even for generations, while State-run communism will collapse eventually collapse. I would propose that the reason why small villages will work just fine, is that it’s about the right size for everyone in the community to be able to haggle and discuss and vie for position, and if things don’t go your way, it shouldn’t be too difficult to leave for a better place (or even make an improvement so that the village could be a little better off). In other words, each Individual still has power over his own life, rather than having his life dictated by some faceless bureaucrat living in Moscow.

    2. On one side we have Free Markets, the idea that people ought be allowed able to make most decisions for themselves, so long a the harm to others was immaterial, and that by suffering the harmful effects of bad choices be encouraged to make good decisions. This is the side arguing Cake or Brownies or Lemon Bars or Broccoli or Meat or Rye Whiskey, rye whiskey, won’t you leave me alone…

      On the other side we find those who think people might make poor decisions if allowed to learn from those decisions — or at any rate, decisions not profitable for those advocating this position. Monarchists, Aristos, Marxist (of whatever stripe), Trade Unionists, Oligarchs, Cartelists, Crony Capitalists — they all agree on the answer and merely dispute who is to be in charge of divvying up the Cakes. These view humanity ass a herd and themselves as the herders.

      1. There’s apparently also a lot of free market economic theory that got studied by the Salamanca university teachers. (Mostly because Spain’s government did some really dumerazel stuff with all that gold and economic power.) I haven’t read it, but the Acton Institute put out some translations under the title Sourcebook in Late Scholastic Monetary Theory, with works by Azpilcueta, de Molina, and de Mariana. It sounds interesting. There’s also a book they do by the theologian Thomas Cajetan, and a lot of other stuff, under the general series title: Sources in Early Modern Economics, Ethics, and Law.

    3. Ahh…That would not appear to be the case. At least not if M. Le Marquis de Custine & Alexis de Tocqueville are to be believed. If you haven’t time to ‘re-read Democracy in America, City Journal has a first-rate article on the second volume.


      It might make the two populist revolutions: first the tea-party and now the alliance of the alt-right for Trump more understandable.

  13. A writerly acquaintance of mine (a retired university professor) rather often proffers an opinion of libertarianism, which makes it clear that in his mind libertarianism is either A) mere anarchy (as in ‘Somalia is a libertarian’s paradise.’) or B) a criminal enterprise. It’s gotten so I can’t tell if this is intended as humor (to tweak our resident defrocked Libertarian) or if he actually believes this.

    (His own politics are liberal Democrat. So his other favorite topic of political comment is Evil Republicans.)

    1. To a dedicated statist (liberal Democrat) anything that stands in the way of progress to absolute statism is, by definition, evil.

  14. “You can hope to salvage the uncommitted who can still think and listen to it.” This is the ONLY reason I try to argue in the comments.

    Even if they were listening, arguing with the “committed” progressive means dealing with at least 20 inaccurate presuppositions per post and I don’t have the time for that.

    By the way, my sister married a Swede and lives in Sweden. I am going to copy the link to this post to her. Thanks, Sarah.

    1. Arguments in the comments rarely persuade anybody to alter a position … but they may serve to embarrass them into keeping their stupid and insupportable arguments to themselves, and they certainly encourage other, sympathetic, folk to speak up and acknowledge that the Emperor’s pants are without a sharp crease.

  15. Please be mindful that people do not think stupid thoughts because they are evil. Socialist ideas were inculcated in them as children and became hardwired without their consent or knowledge. They cannot change except under great duress and motivation (because habit is an important evolved trait in all living things).

    As such, we cannot talk ourselves out of the problems that we face when dealing with misguided sheeple. Scandinavians became a strong and robust people because the natural hardship of their harsh winters forced them to evolve high intelligence and innovation skill. These innate behaviors will re-emerge after the next long winter (or they will become extinct). That is nature.

      1. How can a child be evil if these stupid thoughts were indoctrinated into them by adults (or at government schools), and they merely absorbed them as an “education” imposed by others? The evil deed here is the systemic corruption of our young by bureaucrats with covert agendas.

        1. Am I less dead if tortured to death by someone who was taught that’s OK? Is it less wrong?

          No, because some truths are sufficiently obvious to reason that “but someone said” isn’t a reasonable excuse.

          1. So what do you plan to do with these indoctrinated children who have been programmed to favor socialism? Conscript into your re-education camp or simply dispose of them? How does that make you any less evil?

            1. MOST people outgrow it. Lifts arm. No one was more indoctrinated than MY generation in Portugal. they’re also widely known as “the most rightwing generation ever.”

              1. Hyperbole aside, we’re testing that theory with the boy soldiers reclaimed from Somali warlords. And the results are mixed.

                My grandma used to say, “ the twig is bent so grows the tree.” You’re being distracted by the social Darwinist claptrap in Mr. A’s comment. Cultural attributes are real. From Thomas Sowell’s book, Immigration and Culture, one can be pointed towards the prevalence of certain ethnic groups in certain professions around the world: such as ethnic Germans making beer. The bit in the Bible about. “… Unto the third and fourth generation” isn’t a curse but a prediction.

                To make long story short, if you are willing to give Mrs A’s claim a fair shake, (and if Mr A would like a vivid real-world account of the scenario he’s describing) I recommend Never Fall Down. It’s short, too, and a local library can easily procure you a copy.


                The child will NOT outgrow the terrible ideas with which he is indoctrinated without outside intervention. Like most Muslims, (at least according to my Dad, who worked with more than I have personally known), very few of the useful idiots who support and read Feminist Frequency are evil Sarkeesian-level dishonest, exploitive, greedy tools. They just worship an evil God.

                1. What you’re talking about is actually sub-racial PLUS cultural attributes. They sort of are real. If you read Sowell, you learned it was a lot of case of “friend pulls friend” or “relative pulls relative” too.
                  For instance, I was shocked to find Portuguese were known as green grocers in South Africa. It would shock the hell out of Californians, too, who would know that Portuguese were Fishermen. Or for Larry C.’s community dairy farmers. Or in the North East Grocers.
                  None of these “define” Portuguese or are encoded in the DNA. It was a matter of who immigrated first to that region, and whom he brought in after him.
                  And it has nothing or very little to do with ethnicity, other than “people who are related tend to be the same” and almost nothing to do with “culture” as anthropologists know it (more as “corporate culture.”) For instance, when we came to Colorado from South Carolina, where computer programming was having a crisis, there was an exodus following us. It seemed like every other week a friend called and asked if MCI (which Dan worked for at the time) would have a position for him. We were neither related nor had been brought up the same, but if we’d happened to all grow up in the same village, Coloradans would be excused for thinking “Ahah, South Carolinians are good with computers.” That effect overwhelms both genetics and culture. Sowell was using it to explain why affirmative action doesn’t work, not to claim there was some mystical link between culture/genetics/propensities.
                  As for somali child-soldiers… Hobbit, have you been reading crazy sites? You’re better than that.
                  There is the same similarity between our indoctrinated youth and Somali child soldiers as there is between “total immersion” an hour a day five days a week and growing up speaking and living the language. If you don’t understand the difference in results that would dictate, you probably think someone can emerge from “one hour five days” total immersion speaking like a native.
                  What Somali child soldiers go through is more like what ADULTS in prisoner camps go through, and it is literal brain washing. What our kids go through is CALLED brain washing, but you’d be amazed how much even a child sees behind the curtain. By five, most of the kids I knew already had figured out that against all cartoons and all teaching, no girls were not exactly the same as boys with different external fiddly bits: girls were NOT as interested in risky things, girls were not as strong, girls placed a higher value on being clean, etc. (Yes, the clean thing MIGHT be cultural. Wouldn’t bet, though, as it seems to extend between ALL cultures.)
                  Now, the kids don’t SAY that. They’re not stupid. Adults have power over you. You have to be a trusted adult to hear their musings. BUT it’s there. and sooner or later, the cognitive dissonance comes to a point most have to decide. I submit that the ones who become SJWs sell their souls for societal “approval” and “Status.” MOST OF US walk away. Some openly, some covertly, and yep some of us have weird bits of unexamined Marxism stuck to us. BUT we can and do walk away.
                  I never said culture doesn’t affect people or that there isn’t a confluence, in a highly inbred area (eh, where I came from. We keep track of cousins for a reason. To the returning eye all my neighbors look like relatives) between culture and genetics. My kids like me have a tendency to be unorganized. How much of that is culture and how much genetics? Well, culture here has pushed them to organized since first breath, so despite growing up with me, they shouldn’t struggle so hard. It’s entirely possible that the spladash nature of Portuguese culture builds on genetic components. That said, it is “overcomeable” or I’d never get anything done. And the kids struggled harder and are better at it than I am.
                  That said, yes, acculturation is very hard, and that old chestnut of Solomon’s very relevant in teaching a religion.
                  Yes, Islam is “evil software” as it’s practiced now in most of the world, and the community enforces conformity to its evil dictates.
                  I’m not sure what Islam and culture and child soldiers have to do with the price of squash, though, when we’re talking people indoctrinated in our schools and overcoming the obviously false, patently bizarre narrative we are given? Surely you understand you’re comparing apples and peacocks?
                  If overcoming the education establishment were as impossible as you’re claiming, we’d have an actual, permanent democrat majority. And don’t say we do. They wouldn’t have to cheat.
                  Instead what we have is a core of maybe 25% who have drank the koolaid, and then 50% who know they were lied to and decided all politics are lies. They do what they have to to get along. And then 25% who have set their backs against the establishment, some in very stupid ways.
                  That’s it. There’s no genetics involved — certainly not in the US — and no “culture” just the fact that “total immersion” in crazy cakes indoctrination is not the same as living in NK.

                  1. Look at the behavior of the current crop of college students (young adults) who actively (and forcefully) suppress free speak. This behavior is utterly contrary to the American spirit of loving liberty and it is no trivial act of indoctrination to have warped these children to this extent. Perhaps some will grow up and see the light, but is wishful thinking an adequate strategy?

                    1. At 20 I was just fresh out of bootcamp.
                      At 21 I was a student watchstander at ground based nuclear reactor less than 20 miles from the capitol of Connecticut.
                      At 22 I was an actual watchstander at sea on a submarine.
                      At 22 I was a qualified submarines and engineroom supervisor.

                      Yes, I remember being a kid and I handled more responsibility then than I suspect a lot of these screaming garbage babies will ever even attempt.

                    2. within two weeks of turning 18 i was toting a machine gun around fort jackson

                      That doesn’t mean everyone is like that.

                    3. Yes, consider that most of them have never been given the opportunity to do anything BUT go to college.
                      Wait. They’ll get over their indoctrination.

                    4. Ample evidence of these being a minor component of the student body (in many case, not enrolled at all) exploiting the pusillanimity of administrators already sympathetic to their agenda.

                      This is not to suggest they are not reflective of overall student attitudes, merely that we cannot draw such a conclusion based on limited evidence provided by a corrupt media.

                  2. the clean thing MIGHT be cultural

                    It seems likely that boys are less susceptible to certain types of opportunistic infection (they generally have no idea what a yeast infection is) and have lesser need to pay attention to the direction employed when wiping the solid waste dump portal.

                    Boys also seem less susceptible to UTIs and bladder infections — additional experiences encouraging careful hygiene.

                  3. Too long to reply using a touch screen, and the yard ape has the computer for homework.

                    Short answer, however: yes, but 😁

                    Longer answer: Figuring out how hard cases of indoctrination have been mitigated / overcome is valuable. The born contrary have a huge advantage in resisting, not so much in understanding how to help normals cope.

                    They know something doesn’t mesh, but they don’t know why. Hence the reactionary crazy we’re seeing across the spectrum. Yes, they will possibly figure it out in time, it how many Trump candidacies (or Bernie) do you want while they’re doing it.

                    And I did say to leave out the social Darwinist nonsense, because it was a distraction, not because it wasn’t blocks.

        2. To an extent. The thing to remember is that all of us here unless over 65 were raised on that pap. Some of us outgrew it. A lot of people out there EMBRACE it. At some point we’re all responsible for ourselves.

      2. Actually, it’s dialectical. Doing evil inspires you to think stupid thoughts, to blunt your conscience, and then your stupid thoughts inspire you to more evil.

        1. I’ve finally figured out what this is, and perhaps how to argue against it.

          The Warmists want to prevent the climate from changing. Ever. For any reason.

          “Arguments” (read: Accusations) to throw at them:
          They want to stop the natural cycle of global heating and cooling, so that everything stays just the way it is.

          They want control over nature itself, rather than taking it as it is and adapting to it.

          In other words, they have taken the “Climate Control” labels on their HVAC systems far to seriously.

          (Personally, I haven’t seen this level of hubris since Xerxes beat and chained the Bosphorus,..though I’m sure those better versed in more current history can find other examples)

          1. Liberals in general, for all their talk of things like “Change you can believe in”, are really, really terrified of dynamism, if they can even conceive of it at all. They LIKE the status quo to stay quo, and they can’t understand the interconnectedness of things. They think they can raise taxes, for example, to harvest more money from the economy for the Government, and that it will not affect anything else. (For a very dramatic case in point, the 10% “Yacht luxury tax” that killed the boatbuilding industry, which didn’t come back after they realized their mistake).

            1. Yeah. Rich people bought other status symbols while blue collar shipwrights got laid off. Their next job was probably for lower wages. Way to stick it to the man!

      1. If your ends do not justify your means you have insufficiently described your desired ends.

      2. My issue with that latter statement is the notion that ends can never justify means, which is also untrue. Some ends justify some means. But people are imprecise and unwilling to use their judgement. They don’t want to consider if their proposed end is even desirable, let alone consider the ethicality of the proposed means.

        1. Wrong kind of “justify,” I think– just put together… “The ends do not justify the means” is a religious statement. Catholic, specifically– that’s not “justify” like “explain,” it’s “justify” like “makes it just.”

          A better way to say it might be “a just cause does not give you a right to use unjust efforts.”

          1. For a change, then, progressives are doing it right, because the hallmark of a progressive lynch mob is that the rightness of their cause makes their unkind, unfair, or even wicked actions, intrinsically moral. See: punching up.

            On the other hand, for any stripe of non-progressive the actions are still undesirable: if you stop trying to rape me, I will stop trying to empty a clip in your centre mass and call 911 instead.

            The trick, if I recall correctly, is not to allow a progressive to sucker you into allowing him to bully you. He’ll claim you have to since nothing short of an even more aggressive response will stop him, or deter further assault, and hurting someone on purpose is a bad thing.

            It’s the iterated prisoner’s dilemma: Start kindly, but hit back hard; be forgiving and not greedy about making the other guy pay if the bully stops bullying. Existential justice is for gods and SJWs with inflated ideas about their role in the scheme of things.

            1. The trick, if I recall correctly, is not to allow a progressive to sucker you into allowing him to bully you. He’ll claim you have to since nothing short of an even more aggressive response will stop him, or deter further assault, and hurting someone on purpose is a bad thing.

              Isn’t that the tool kit of abusive relationships?

              For that matter, isn’t the Alinsky text (and the Left’s Manual of Tactics, generally) a textbook for establishing and exploiting abusive relationships?

              1. I remember going through a checklist of “things that warn that a man may be an abuser” and thinking how many of the things I had seen in feminist writing.

            2. Is there something intrinsically immoral about emptying a clip into someone? If so, then paintball is immoral. Is cutting people immoral? Someone better tell surgeons.

              So it can’t be the method used that makes it bad– it has to be the idea of “I want to kill you” (with various permutations– you don’t get out of it by only wanting to maim, but “harm” is a hard to pin down word).

              That has the advantage of encompassing Asimov’s famous “I didn’t hurt him, I just let go of a brick…over his head” work-around.

              The immorality isn’t the emptying a clip into someone’s chest, it’s the trying to kill them– the clip is just a means to that end.

              But doing it to stop them? Well, the side-effect of probable death makes it definitely wrong to use to stop them from humming show tunes. Even if it’s off key.
              To stop them when they are attempting or credibly threatening to physically harm you? Not so much. (this would include breaking into a house, or armed robbery; there is no way to know, as the obnoxious sometimes put it, that they will ONLY take you stereo.)

              An intrinsic wrong can’t be made OK; but stuff that has bad side-effects can, if the good achieved is more than the harm done. (Such as the surgeon cutting someone open to do heart surgery, or my favorite example of gutting a pregnant woman…. c-section. 😀 )

              Thing with the howling mobs is, they will take the route that is definitely do a harm, for a possible good, and they frequently directly aim for the harms– “destroy that guy’s job,” rather than “provide needed information to those who need it, which might cause the guy to lose his job.”

              1. Erm, I believe what I wrote was “hurting someone on purpose is a bad thing.”

                And it is. But we live in a sinful world, (or entropic if you prefer) so sometimes all the choices are, to some degree, “bad.”

                Shooting a would-be rapist is good, but that’s because you’re stopping him, not because turning a man’s chest in a bloody hole is intrinsically noble. If you could stop him cold (and keep him from repeating his crime) without hurting him THAT would be I Good. Especially since he might profitably use his time to repent his evil and Mirabile Dictu, become the man God created him to be.

                But we don’t live in a perfect world, and most of us don’t have the strength to be merciful. So we do what we can.

                One of the hellish things about progs is their determination to weaken good men, rather than turning their strengths forward virtue. Everyone loses.

                1. You did; I was pointing to the way that there’s good, and bad, and then over in an only slightly related area is good and evil; me having an extra slice of cake is probably bad, but it’s not evil, or intrinsically wrong. 😀 The enjoyment of the cake can justify the side-effect of having to exercise, bemoaning “oh, I’m so fat” and such, without even getting into the secondary good of “it won’t go to waste.”

        2. What typically happens is that you wind up with people doing evil things to bring about an end that never quite comes around.

  16. So… I heard (on Facebook) someone use the term “truthy” in a non-ironic manner today.

    Thought I’d share. 😛

      1. IIRC, Colbert was a Democratic ‘comedian’ who posed as a Republican. He had a show that a lot of youngsters watched as news. I think that is where ‘truthy’ comes from.

        1. I’m not sure of the origin of the term, but ‘Truthy’ used to be a tongue-in-cheek way of saying ‘Presented as unshakable truth, actually almost complete bunk.’

  17. “I couldn’t get it through his head. I just couldn’t make him understand the opposite of socialism is NOT absolute monarchy”….IIRC, even Karl Marx has a better understanding of social evolution than this: first feudalism, then capitalism, then (he was hoping) socialism.

    1. [sigh]

      OK, David, I’m not really directing this at you, but… For the love of God, please don’t frame everything in the dialectic manner that Marx created. To use the terms “social evolution” and “capitalism” as you are is conceding that that delusional parasite’s thinking has some basis in reality, when the truth is, it emphatically does not. If you adopt their terminology and their paradigm, you have already lost the battle. And, let’s be clear on this: The entire discussion that’s been going on since Marx first published Das Kapital has been on his terms, with his reasoning and framing going unquestioned. That needs to stop.

      Capitalism, as he defined it, is a straw man; there is no such “system”. There is no “social evolution” going on with regards to this stuff, because the whole idea is a crock. Societies don’t “evolve”, because they don’t have any form of mechanism by which to enable such a thing to happen. Where’s the memory mechanism, the DNA? Where are “social norms” coded, and what is the basis for this theory? If you dump a dozen toddlers onto a desert island, with no social conditioning from their parents or surrounding society, what the hell happens? Are toddlers from a “capitalist society” going to recapitulate that, and are toddlers from a “socialist society” going to recreate that milieu? No, they are not–Because this is a fundamentally flawed paradigm to use when discussing these issues, let alone thinking about them.

      The whole framework is a perfect example of a series of false dichotomies built on a latticework of fraudulent, specious reasoning. Marx was a lazy-ass parasite who never produced a single thing of real value in his entire life; is it any wonder his theories appeal to the same class of human being? He postulated this “capitalism” idea as being somehow real, when the reality is that it’s no more real than the rest of his fatuous fantasies were. “Withering away of the state…”. Yeah, right–Like we’ll ever see that happening, without the first necessary step of having to kill off all the parasites who’ve fastened on to it, and grown fat from serving it. Socialism is a perfect fraud, intended to accrete more and more power as time goes on, concentrated into the hands of the “enlightened ones” who are running everything. Only problem is, human beings aren’t prescient enough to even run a minor aspect of an economy, let alone the whole damn thing.

      The real facts of the matter are that there is no “capitalist system”. Never has been, never will be–There’s just the natural flow of human commerce that’s been going on since Oog first figured out that he could parlay his superior skills at knapping flint into getting Gug the hunter to kill for his meat, while Oog kept knapping flint. Whether or not we’re talking that scene, or some nightmarish scenario in the old Soviet Union where the factory “fixers” had to go out and find raw materials available for trading the factories products for, the same sort of natural exchange has been going on–What one can produce a surplus of, that another wants, the first guy can exchange for something else that he’s not good at providing for himself. Whether it’s done through the medium of barter, cash, or some nebulous Soviet-theorized “social capital”, the same crap is going on. What Marx termed “capitalism” happened under Communism at least as much as it did here in the West, or the whole system would have ground to a halt.

      The only real difference between the “systems”? In Communism and Socialism, everything that naturally has to occur for things to work happens behind the woodwork, hidden away: The factory needs raw materials, that a mine was supposed to produce? Why, the miners can produce it, but they’re diverting it somewhere else because they need the food the collectivized farms are producing, so the factory goes short. To fix it? The factory has to send out fixers to find desirable materials and products with which to “unofficially barter” with the miners, which takes time and diverts efforts away from what the factory is meant to be doing… Under “capitalism”, or more accurately, under the natural order of things, that factory can simply and openly pay the miners to mine the raw materials, who will then use that money to buy what they need…

      All Socialism and Communism do is insert an entirely unnecessary and parasitical layer of bureaucracy into the whole thing, and thus, we see things like Venezuela happen as those incompetent parasites kill their host.

      Marx had his economic theories tried out multiple times, and they’ve never, ever worked–Venezuela is a perfect real-time example, going on right now for the world to see and deny. All Marx managed was to come up with a perfect pretext for people like him, social parasites all, to seize power and then enrich themselves. It’s not a damn accident at all that the richest woman in Venezuela right now is one of Chavez’s daughters.

      The natural order of things is that free exchange takes place between people, whether the markers are barter or cash. Any attempt to mediate that crap, in order to make it “fair”? That’s the disaster, whether you’re talking a feudal baron seizing the wealth of his banker, or Maduro demanding that the economic laws of reality conform to his whims in Venezuela.

      Capitalism, as such, only really exists in the twisted and inadequate ideas of Marx and his followers. The reality is both simpler, and a lot more complex. We’ve never had truly unfettered capitalism here in the US, even back in the “bad old days”. It’s always been about cronies enriching themselves at the expense of others, and insofar as getting shit done, that’s almost a necessity. Nobody is digging a canal or building a railroad, unless they see a way to make money from it, and the only way to guarantee them to make money from it requires government intervention on the scales we’re talking about. Even using the term “capitalism” is bad framing, because that automatically buys into the assumptions that Marx et al baked into their various idiocies.

      1. As I once told a friend, Capitalism is a description of what people always do. Two school kids swapping lunches is Capitalism.

        The other linguistic contamination we see is calling what the Northern Europeans do “Socialism”. It is more akin to living in a gated community that provides a lot of amenities, and charges a lot of money in fees. Sure, they are generous toward those who “have fallen on hard times” and will basically let those folks live there for free.

        True Socialism is more like US Government Public Housing.

        1. Yes on the Scandinavian countries. I read recently that Denmark has a freer economy than the US. It’s NOT socialist, though it has a generous welfare state. Getting less generous, though, now.

          And opposite of Sanders ideas: Corporate income tax rates are lower than ours. Middle classes pay a lot more taxes. Marginal personal income tax rate is ~56% IIRC once you add up the various levels of income tax, and kicks in at ~$80k. It’s not at all a progressive tax rate scheme.

      2. Of course societies evolve, we can watch it happen – just ask any German or Japanese over the age of 80. As for where the information for society exists, that’s easy. it’s in our books and stories, our traditions and what “everyone knows.” The fact that Marxists make the common error of assuming that evolved systems have an arrow – societies are no more destined to become socialist than species are destined to become sentient – in no way disproves the fact that societies change in predictable ways.

        1. Societies “evolve”, eh? Please show me the mechanism. What are the analogies that make this work, as a metaphor and model for conception? Can we say that social structures behave anything like a biological organism? Are there DNA-like features of a society, that serve to form the backbone of such a metaphor, ones that aren’t subject to the members of a society willy-nilly changing things as they decide to?

          Evolution is a term of art in biology. It has a specific technical meaning. There are precisely zero valid correlations between a biological system subject to evolution, and a society. As such, use of the term is at best sloppy thinking, and at worst, deliberate speciousness.

          Societies change, but the mechanisms through which they do so bear no relation whatsoever to biology, unless you’re a believer in Lamarck. In biology, there are mechanisms that hard-code lessons learned–The unfit don’t survive to reproduce, and are removed from the breeding population. In societal terms, bad ideas come back again and again and again, regardless of how successful they were in the past. So long as a particular idea, or social feature possesses allure for the members of a society, it will never die. That’s why we keep reinventing aristocracies, even in putatively egalitarian societies. What were the Soviet Nomenklatura, except an unconscious recreation of the old feudal aristocracies of the past, dressed up in the clothing of the proletariat?

          You can keep using the word “evolve” in relation to societies, but the term is totally unsuitable for discussion of the way societies change. Evolution implies that change happens as adaptive modification to the organism in response to the environment. Social organizations do not do this, and their behavior is of an entirely different genus, with its own logic. To use the terms of biology is to start off with an error of truly impressive magnitude; nothing worthwhile can flow from that.

          1. There’s more the evolution than the Darwinian kind, you nincompoop. And yes, cultural evolution is rather lamarckian. The rest of your questions have either already been answered or are obvious.

        2. Of course societies can evolve. Ask any American over 60. I was in the first grade when the teacher took the Bible used for daily readings off the lectern and put it on a shelf, never to be opened or read from again.

          The biblical knowledge gap between people 60 and older and 57 and younger is huge. And I believe that gap applies to all morality tales. Aesop’s Fables. The ant and the grasshopper. The turtle and the hare. Whatever. If it’s a story of old that contains any value judgment, it isn’t taught, and hasn’t been for a while.

          1. Society changed. It did not “evolve”. Use of that term would indicate that there was something going on with regards to the social organism interacting with the environment, when in reality, nothing really changed in that regard. What happened was that we collectively changed our minds about the meaning of religion, and the place it had in society. That’s not evolution, because if it was, then the negative effects from having made that change would have had direct and observable repercussions in society, ones that in an actual evolutionary setting would have directly affected the ability of that society to reproduce and succeed.

            It’s a piss-poor model, and one that enables people to throw up their hands and say “Well, it just happened, and it’s a process we can’t do anything about…”. Bullshit–We changed our minds, one day, and decided to make those changes. We could change them back tomorrow, but because we’ve framed them as some sort of natural phenomenon, we’ve granted these changes a power and a permanence they simply do not have. Nothing has evolved; it’s not like we’re Smilodons suddenly bereft of large game, and doomed to go extinct because our oversized front fangs don’t work well with smaller prey. We could, were we to have the will, change things back such that religion again had a role in public life. There is no mechanism by which all the godly were suddenly killed off, taking that particular set of genetic adaptions with them. We changed our minds, not our damn genes. As such, to use the term “evolve” in relation to social changes is specious thinking. Evolution implies that you really can’t go back, without having to recapitulate the entire flow of selection that led to that adaptation appearing in the first place. Societies don’t work like that; we could institute a monarchy here in the US tomorrow, if enough of us willed that so. No matter how hard you try, you’re not turning your housecat into a Smilodon without going through the entire process that created that creature in the first place. Not through evolution, in any case.

            1. “We” didn’t change our mind. As with many other societal changes involving morality and religion, it was ordered from the top by the black robed priests of the Supreme Court.

              Judges have assumed the role of ancient day priests, determining what is allowed and what is not allowed in public discourse. Anything related to older standards of morality that existed before 1960 is for forbidden, and support for such is hate speech.

              Hate speech – a non-existent concept in the Constitution, right next to hate crimes.

              1. You lost the battle the moment you allowed your opponent to frame this as some sort of event akin to biological determinism. There is no such correlation in social structure or development, because there is no hard-coded equivalent. It’s all software, not hardware.

                You don’t like the way the Supreme Court decided things? Well, you allowed that to happen. If you truly objected to their choices, you would do whatever it took to change that–And, there is nothing stopping you, except your own internally-generated limits. Are you going to do what the Jews of Germany did, when your neighbors came to you and said “Get on the trains…”? Or, are you going to reach a point where you say “Enough…”, and start taking actions?

                That’s the difference. When evolution in biology takes place, the maladaptive genes die out. They’re gone. They’re not coming back. When human societies change, there’s no reason at all that they can’t change back–The only difference is your will. By allowing your opponents to frame this as some sort of social Darwinism, where once the assholes force religion out of daily life, you can’t go back, you’re the reason it won’t. Social systems are far more malleable and plastic than purely biological ones, and it’s a mistake to frame them as being at all alike. You do so, and you’re conceding defeat before you even really begin.

                In the final analysis, nothing the other side does is really permanent. Just as they forced change, change can be forced upon them. And, it will be–I see a very high probability that the pendulum has reached the end of its swing, given the increasingly irrational things these idiots are trying to force. The bathroom issue? The “Hell, no, we’re too good to be drafted, ‘cos we’re girls…” thing? Yeah… The counter-reaction is going to come, and it won’t be at all pretty.

                Frankly, having read what some of the leading lights of the feminist movement have been writing about the draft issue, I think it’s entirely within the realm of possibility that women could wind up losing the right to vote, and participate in public life. They keep this crap up, and they’re going to wake up one morning and find out that all those disenfranchised males they’ve been so enthusiastically gelding have converted over to Islam, and decided to enforce their version of Sharia law. Would that be an example of “evolution”?

                You’re framing it wrong. Evolution isn’t a valid model, at all. Biological systems don’t demonstrate the capability to self-design, that we’ve been able to discern. They don’t possess the ability to do what human social institutions do, and remodel themselves on fundamental levels almost overnight. As this is the case, your use of the terms “evolution” and “evolve” in this context is fundamentally erroneous. Smilodons didn’t become saber-toothed cats because a bunch of them were somehow convinced that big canine teeth were a great idea–They became what they were because all the other options were closed off as being maladaptive, and their great big teeth were super-successful in dealing with mega-fauna. And, then they died out because the mega-fauna died off. That’s how evolution works–Bad ideas, as encoded in genes, die out. Good ones live on, as expressed by success in dealing with the local environment. Human social organizations have no such equivalent process going on, and to model their behavior on how such things work in biology is a huge mistake.

        1. Indeed. Very refreshing.

          But it does go to the level of non-sense with which we are indoctrinated at every turn: entertainment, education, art: anything that might transmit culture.

          It’s probably why all the culture war battles are so gruesome. Yet so necessary.

  18. This post, like many of my posts it seems, is only obliquely related to this topic. But when I read your blog, I’m often reminded of other things that have been percolating in my mind for a while.

    I wonder how much of our culture (well, ‘ours’ for any value of ‘us’, and everyone else’s too for that matter) is actually exceedingly harmful to health, sanity, and development as a person.

    What proportion of the ideas and mental software we inherit from our parents, our schools, and our peers (and these each provide distinct programming/emphasis) are actually useful ideas about how to engage the world, and what proportion of that are actually randomized gibberish, and Dawkinsian mental parasites that exist because they’re good at hijacking human minds, and nevermind what they do to their hosts. (Dawkins is mainly concerned with religions, and structured his argument in a way that will annoy the religious, but I think it’s still a very valid thing to ask about a great many patterns of thought.)

    One of ESR’s posts, on autism and genius prompted this line of thought. I don’t fully accept all of his arguments, and I think autism might be way overdiagnosed in any case, but there is something very important there.

    Some people, due to damage sustained in life, or due to disability, or due to their minds not working quite normally, cannot effectively absorb the mores and culture of their society. It doesn’t translate. It doesn’t compute. It doesn’t slide easily and automatically into their brains, and so they have to compensate as best they are able and make sense of the world themselves. And because of this, some of them end up wildly, outrageously successful in some domain, or even in general. If normal was good, if our culture really was mostly beneficial knowledge and accumulated wisdom, you *wouldn’t see this*.

    We know of fairly obvious examples of cultures/traditions/worldviews around the world that are vastly crippling to the people that they are inflicted on. They *spread*, all right, and they’ll persist in time, but not because they’re true or beautiful, or helpful to the people whose minds they infest. Our own culture has been varying degrees of insane and harmful in the past for various reasons.

    The west only really started to take off when they started criticizing their own culture. When they started being skeptical, when they started fighting for it being socially acceptable (and *survivable*) *not* to chant the local tribal dogma. To hold the culture off at arms length and look at it with a skeptical eye, to come up with your own ideas about the world and look at the world with your own eyes. (Of course, other fanatical mental parasites also promote skepticism, of everyone else but their own worldview. Yes, comrade, sweep aside the accumulated dogma of the old world, so that you can chant our dogma!)

    I think the following might be useful:
    1. All human minds have modes of thought that are extremely vulnerable to being hijacked by certain kinds of mental malware. Political ‘thought’, tribal ‘thought’ isn’t thinking in the same sense as problem-solving thought. You don’t think about immediate problems that you personally have to come up with concrete solutions to (that have to work in the real world) the same way you think about political problems. You don’t relate to your friend who is having a plumbing emergency, and needs to know how to close his house’s main valve the same way you relate to someone you’ve never met in some abstract class of people having some problem that for all it’s apparent political immediacy, really doesn’t have anything to do with your life. I wouldn’t be surprised if entirely different parts of the brain were responsible for each.

    2. Odds are your brain is already hijacked (or was hijacked) by all sorts of crud that your culture pushed on you (in childhood, for reasons that might not be *reasons*, or might not be for *your* benefit). What sort of careers are acceptable, what sort of people are ‘good’ people/okay to associate with, have anything to teach you. What you ‘should’ do with your life (in fact, ‘should’ in general is suspect – a lot to say on that later…)

    Emptying it all out and examining it piece by piece is probably a good exercise. Stealing the good bits from other people’s cultures (something that the Enlightenment west is notorious for) is good. But don’t just let any ‘culture’ grow in your brain just because of peer pressure. Clean it out! Only let in the bits that pass stringent tests for usefulness.

    3. Real knowledge almost always translates into being able to *do* something. Junk knowledge and cultural programming just ‘informs’ you about stuff that doesn’t have any application to your life (but seduces you through flattery and emotional manipulation, ‘explains’ things with explanations that don’t really translate into working models, etc.)

    1. TLDR version:
      If disabled people (high functioning autistics, mild sociopaths, etc) end up going asymptotically successful because they *can’t* absorb and process culture, then culture is probably not an unalloyed good. In fact, it’s probably extremely treacherous for the *individual* even if it is good at propagating the *culture*.

      People could probably be helped a lot by consciously (when they reach an age where they can do this independently) developing a “cultural antivirus”. Enlightenment skepticism and freethought movements are probably good examples of this.

      1. Any time there is a pattern, some people who are going against the pattern will benefit by standing out, and some will be harmed severely as a result. Often they are the same person.

        For example, I could figure out as a child that choosing a normal book report or topic report subject would be boring for both me and the teacher. What I failed to predict was that some teachers would not enjoy the unusual subject I chose, or that it would not be perceived as something I should be doing. However, enough teachers did enjoy the unusual that I often received grades that were perhaps better than I should have received; and of course, I also have a store of unusual information as a result.

        (Although I do feel guilty about the Leif Ericson report in 3rd grade, because I never found any copies of Greenlanders Saga and the Saga of Erik the Red, and so I missed out on a ton of good material. Primary sources! Why are they so hard for kids to find!! How much I wish we’d had the Internet!!!)

        Similarly, some teachers and students enjoy having a student make funny side comments. Some do not, and make their displeasure known by social and educational pressure. The class clown or person with a sense of humor may benefit overall from his strategy, but he may also experience catastrophic consequences on many occasions.

        There’s no particular moral or psychological superiority to doing something different, and there’s no particular nastiness in most of the common patterns that develop. It’s just one of those things, you know?

        1. I probably am overstating my case/overemphasizing something that has been bugging me.

          1. Yeah, but it was an interesting post!

            Foxfier and I (independently) jumped on it out of love, I’m pretty sure. We don’t jump on boring posts. 🙂

          2. Keep poking at it; there’s got to be something to what you’re sensing, and you won’t find out what unless you keep messing with it.

            And this comment section is really good to burn off the cruft and put in some possibly useful parts, to mix my metaphor.

      2. Someone should invent an anti-Islam brain virus that forces them to seehow horrible Islam virus is.

        1. Oikophobia is just a fresh paint job on the ‘racial’ hatred of the Scotch-Irish that has been popular among the people of the big settlements since the colonies.

          Which means SJW bitching and other techniques can be used.

        2. Why not? For it to do so would require the prior unified culture (such as it was) shattering into many smaller ones probably including a political shattering.

          I think those embracing oikophobia would be happy with that. Remember the “United States of Canada” and “Jesusland” (or the more popular “Dumbassistan”) maps going around in 2004?

    2. None of it is randomized jibberish.

      It may be carefully select jibberish, and it may be jibberish if it’s in the wrong system, but people do things for a reason.

      Do we have any evidence of mental parasites?

      If normal was good, if our culture really was mostly beneficial knowledge and accumulated wisdom, you *wouldn’t see this*.

      Why not?

      A machine isn’t broken just because some parts don’t work in it.

      1. Toxoplasma Gondii in humans. There are some really nasty ones in other species.

        1. That’s brain, not mental. And the support for it working in us like it does in mice keeps failing to be repeatable.

      2. Do we have any evidence of mental parasites?
        Well, there’s international communism for one. It’s easier to point out if it’s something that is obviously and directly harmful to the people propagating it, like death-cults (but those burn out fast, for obvious reasons).

        An example is the Edward Snowden affair. You probably have an opinion about it. I have an opinion about it. But wait a minute and consider what an absurdity it is that we all have strongly held opinions about a guy we’ve never met, and who none of us can do anything about. The only things we know about this guy are the things we’ve been told by the news (which is in the business of feeding us stories). I’m not saying that the opinions are *necessarily* irrational either: some people are evaluating the affair in terms of other bits of philosophy of theirs, or may have done actual research, or listened to the actual speeches of this guy. But it isn’t the same sort of opinion you have about someone you actually know and work with.

        But five minutes after the news broke, people across the internet had strongly held opinions about this guy. They had one of a small discrete number of strongly held opinions about this guy, and they were justifying/shouting/trolling about it using the exact same language as everyone else with opinion X. In unison. Something was going on there, and it had nothing to do with millions of people independently thinking about the subject.

        A lot of news reactions are like this. Political thinking is often like this.

        1. PS – in case it didn’t come across: I’m talking about sets of beliefs and ideas about the world – ideas that adherents can even hold over the direct evidence of their own senses sometimes: They propagate via proselytizing (or via “education”, indoctrination, etc).

          The “mental parasite” thing is more of a colorful metaphor, but it’s not extremely off the mark.

          1. Worldviews that make people behave in ways they wouldn’t have ever behaved if they were dealing with the world on their own, or with purely pragmatic knowledge.

            (Like, for example, dressing up in suicide vests and blowing themselves up halfway around the world, killing people they don’t even know for reasons that are delusional.)

        2. Well, there’s international communism for one.

          I asked for evidence of mental parasites, not people preferring a nice-sounding version of “give me their stuff.”

          But wait a minute and consider what an absurdity it is that we all have strongly held opinions about a guy we’ve never met, and who none of us can do anything about.

          Assumes the conclusion.

          I have family and friends put in mortal danger because of that little bastard, and that’s before the people who risked their lives for good lost their lives, horrifically, because he wanted to posture.

          Maybe you are only capable of having non-absurd views about situations involving people you don’t happen to have met; it’s not a problem I have.

          They had one of a small discrete number of strongly held opinions about this guy, and they were justifying/shouting/trolling about it using the exact same language as everyone else with opinion X. In unison. Something was going on there, and it had nothing to do with millions of people independently thinking about the subject.

          Again, assumes the conclusion. I am not wrong just because 500 other people agree with me when I say “2+2=4.”
          The more obvious conclusion is that a large number of people looked at the situation and formed the same formulas, and when they solved it they got the same result. Even the differences are obvious, since people are forming the equations from similar but not identical data.

          A lot of news reactions are like this. Political thinking is often like this.

          And? Because you find it strange that people can draw conclusions, and care about them, even though they aren’t personally familiar with someone involved? Because you think it’s strange that people don’t draw uniquely different conclusions from the same data, depending on what they know and what they accept?

          1. I have family and friends put in mortal danger because of that little bastard, and that’s before the people who risked their lives for good lost their lives, horrifically, because he wanted to posture.

            If you know people who have been personally effected by this, then you know more about it than I do.

            As I said, all I have to go on (and all most people on the internet, I imagine) are what has been reported secondhand in the news, which isn’t much.

            1. If you know people who have been personally effected by this, then you know more about it than I do.

              I get my information from public sources– at least any information that I’d talk about; the family and friends put in danger follow opsec enough that they wouldn’t tell me even unclassified stuff. It’s out there, for those who care to find out and who know enough to recognize good information.

              Now, back to the topic–
              You were offering evidence for mind parasites?

        3. “An example is the Edward Snowden affair. You probably have an opinion about it. ”


          1. Whistleblower who defected to the Russians by way of China. His father apparently made statements endorsing him.

            I know we have laws against attainder and corruption of blood, but it does get tempting some times.

            1. If we modified the Constitution to allow Bills of Attainder the GOP would fight against them on principle while rolling over as people on the right were taken out by Dem Congresses.

    3. “Emptying it all out and examining it piece by piece is probably a good exercise. Stealing the good bits from other people’s cultures (something that the Enlightenment west is notorious for) is good. But don’t just let any ‘culture’ grow in your brain just because of peer pressure. Clean it out! Only let in the bits that pass stringent tests for usefulness.”

      What do you recommend in making a test for usefulness?
      I probably have some bad programing I could find (Find being important because I have no idea where to start looking.) and fix using it, I’m just not sure how to go about making myself a test to see what’s worth keeping.

      1. My ideas about this are still a bit disorganized:
        1. Always ask “How do I really know this?”.
        2. Does it translate into actionable information of some sort? I think we fool ourselves less about things we actually attempt to do in the world, than we do about things we think we know about the world.
        3. Are there quantitative details? Are those details actionable? The world is full of narrative stories purporting to explain or provide information about events, usually too vague to do anything with. You can lie with statistics, but actual ranges of numbers suggest that someone somewhere actually did try to measure something, and thought about the problem beyond blowing smoke.

        Is it a strategy about how to go about actually solving a problem of a given type, or is it one of those “someone should do something” narratives?

        1. Example: I know stuff about aircraft and flying from taking flying lessons. This is all actionable information (things I know about aircraft, airport procedures, instruments, how they work, how flight works, etc): I use it to make sense of the world when I’m flying an airplane.

          Contrast this with ‘political knowledge’, or moral exhortations about how this or that class of people (or you) ‘should’ be living.

    4. “Only let in the bits that pass stringent tests for usefulness.”

      I’m reminded of a client of a friend who decided to delete all the .dll files on his computer. He never had any reason to open those files, so he came to the conclusion that they were useless and just taking up space. Thus, he turned his perfectly good, functioning computer into a very expensive paperweight. Moral of the story is that just because YOU can’t see the use of something doesn’t mean its not useful or even essential.

      There’s a parable about the difference between a conservative and a liberal. The liberal says, “I can’t see any use for that fence. Tear it down!” The conservative says, “If you can’t see any use for that fence, I’m certainly not going to let you tear it down. Go and think about it. When you’ve figured out the reason that fence is there in the first place, then I’ll think about letting you tear it down.”

      1. Chesterton’s Fence.

        In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.”

        This paradox rests on the most elementary common sense. The gate or fence did not grow there. It was not set up by somnambulists who built it in their sleep. It is highly improbable that it was put there by escaped lunatics who were for some reason loose in the street. Some person had some reason for thinking it would be a good thing for somebody. And until we know what the reason was, we really cannot judge whether the reason was reasonable. It is extremely probable that we have overlooked some whole aspect of the question, if something set up by human beings like ourselves seems to be entirely meaningless and mysterious. There are reformers who get over this difficulty by assuming that all their fathers were fools; but if that be so, we can only say that folly appears to be a hereditary disease. But the truth is that nobody has any business to destroy a social institution until he has really seen it as an historical institution. If he knows how it arose, and what purposes it was supposed to serve, he may really be able to say that they were bad purposes, that they have since become bad purposes, or that they are purposes which are no longer served. But if he simply stares at the thing as a senseless monstrosity that has somehow sprung up in his path, it is he and not the traditionalist who is suffering from an illusion.

        ― G.K. Chesterton

    5. > 3. Real knowledge almost always translates
      > into being able to *do* something.

      True, but the problem is worse than that.

      I occasionally audit a subforum where people ask questions of professionals or experts. In almost every case, whatever they asked about was in the first or second search engine result if I didn’t know the answer offhand.

      Most of the people asking grew up with the internet and had broadband all their adult life. Yet they won’t use it.

      “You can lead a fool to a library, but you can’t make him think…”

    6. ” Real knowledge almost always translates into being able to *do* something.”

      Real knowledge has a wonderful tendency to translate into inability. Travel faster than light. Square a circle. etc.

  19. Try as hard as I might, since I was young, this has been why I was “independent,” politically. It’s also why I dread the world we (this “generation”) is passing on. The “Boomer’s” like me (not me, but my “peers”) rejected _everything_ in favor of untried, and *untriable* theories. Even when infants cried, “those in power” are as naked as a *jaybird,* no one listened.
    At worst, we are about to enter a real “Dark Age,” or at best, a “Twilight” that will last a few decades. In parts, it will depend on *where, _specifically_* you live. Large parts of Europe, and the NE coast of the U.S., along with much of the West Coast, will probably endure a “Dark Age.” The Middle of the U.S., parts of the Eastern “Evil Empire,” and Western Asia, will have a “Twilight/Age of *difficulty*” times. Survival will be “difficult,” but doable for most.Many, like me, dependent on technology//advanced pain killers, will not.
    That’s why I try so hard to see “knowledge” spread My skulls/knowledge won’t make it, but maybe I can “clone” enough to make a difference.

    1. I think it is important to consider the size of the population required to keep expanding technology. A theoretical physicist doesn’t actually add any immediate value to society, but if you let them putter around enough, a breakthrough will occur.
      But it is more than the mere cost of having the physicist. If you have a few, then you need more truckers to bring them stuff, more cooks to feed them, more janitors, more farmers. This can only happen when you have each generation ‘more productive’ than the former. Yes, a massive population boom may eventually afford the same benefits, but it has a severe lag time for bringing the babies up to the tech level.

  20. It is getting harder and harder to agree with the we win in the end. For years Rush Limbaugh has talked about the yearning of the human spirit to be free.

    I don’t think for most people it is. Most people aren’t yearning to be free. Most people are yearning for chains as long as the chains leave them within reach of the food and water dish their masters provide. In fact, they’ll pass up better quantity and quality food and water for the gruel provided by their masters if they have to expend energy beyond back following instructions to do better.

    Freedom and liberty require constant reinforcement by their champions to be desired by enough of the population to sustain them. The nominal champions of freedom and liberty have, during my life and I suspect at least 30 years before, more often than not decided selling out freedom and liberty for power, prestige, and lucre is worth.

    I suspect it was inevitable. The US is an exception in human history and our freedom is an outlier. We are now reverting to the mean.

    With the reversion to the historical mean coming and having been sold out more often than not by the champions of liberty is it any surprise that those who the progressives want to make the bottom rail when the reversion hits have given up on liberty and freedom and are instead adopting the framework of the left (which is embraced by the nominal right in action if not in speech) and the tactics of the left with the goal of themselves being the top rail instead of the bottom.

    In the end, not enough of us stood up for liberty and freedom when it would have been easy. It makes it impossible to convince those not naturally inclined to do so when it becomes hard.

    Donald Trump and the embrace of racial nose counting and spoils is the as much the path those of us who voted one more time for the lesser leftist provided they pretended to be willing to roll back socialism. Then we got Bush and gave him a GOP Congress and they proved once and for all that rolling back socialism was just a con they were running in order to get in charge of socialism. And we let them run it.

    Now the bill is due to cover what the con artists stole.

      1. Every generation has to fight the conflict. (There is no such thing as a permanent government.) We’ve racked up some losses these past few generations, but also have some wins.

        When I take counsel of my fears, I’m not optimistic for the next generation. (Sure, the SJW are bad enough that those looking at them with fresh eyes can see them. I really don’t like recreational drug use.)

        When I cold-bloodedly shut out as much emotion as possible, I have to admit that I do not know.

        I’m not exactly great at reading the inner hearts of others, and then using that to forecast where they will be in five or ten years.

        1. If we take the widest and wisest view of a Cause, there is no such thing as a Lost Cause because there is no such thing as a Gained Cause. We fight for lost causes because we know that our defeat and dismay may be the preface to our successors’ victory, though that victory itself will be temporary; we fight rather to keep something alive than in the expectation that anything will triumph.

          ― T.S. Eliot

        2. all conservatism is based upon the idea that if you leave things alone you leave them as they are. But you do not. If you leave a thing alone you leave it to a torrent of change. If you leave a white post alone it will soon be a black post. If you particularly want it to be white you must be always painting it again; that is, you must be always having a revolution. Briefly, if you want the old white post you must have a new white post. – G.K. Chesterton

        1. I did not say Trump et al was the historical mean.

          However, liberty and freedom are not either. Nor are the rule every bit of your life dictatorships of the 20th century from Lenin to Stalin to Hitler to Mao to Pot to Amin.

          Some degree of enforced conformity and hatred of those outside that conformity is. The corrupt dictatorships that didn’t bug you as long as you paid tribute (under whatever name) and kept your mouth shut that are common in Latin America and Africa are.

          And the likely world of Trump is, by your own statements, one likely to crush those who offend the ruler while he and his buddies skim off the top.

          That’s a lot closer to the historical mean than the Founders or Stalin.

          1. But most of humanity has been pinched and poor for most of human history. And THAT leads to enforced conformity. you’re assuming the conclusion.

            1. And you are assuming our prosperity will continue despite the enemies arrayed against it. Looking around it is distinctly possible that prosperous societies are inherently unsustainable…not proven but the few examples we have all have the same diseases.

              I’m not saying I want this or that it will happen but I would argue most people who 20 years ago would have been pro-liberty but have turned their back on it are operating from these assumptions (perhaps unconsciously).

              1. I’m assuming we’re away above the danger point. For now. And that technology and knowledge is harder to suppress permanently than most people assume.

                1. Admittedly I only know of one circumstance of successfully unringing a technological bell: Japan eliminating firearms after the Shogunate closed off the country. That requires an easily isolated country where a very small number of people had the knowledge and whose culture was still very opposed to that knowledge. Even then it only lasted until foreigners decided it was time to end.

                  What is troubling is how the Shogun did it. He didn’t just outlaw or hunt down those with the knowledge. He made it more profitable for them to not use it or pass it on than not. Thus, he used an iron fist in a velvet glove holding a bag of gold approach.

                  Our current educational system is starting to resemble such a system especially when combined with the use of credentials to limit job access. As STEM programs get corrupted with PC and AA how long before the knowledge starts to whittle back? Could a concerted effort move us over several generations from 2016 to 1616? Are the elites so satanic (in the Miltonian sense) that they would be willing to live as King James I did as long as they have at least as much power?

    1. John Keegan once pointed out that for many, the loss of freedom is paradoxically, a freeing experience. People tend to like order and structure- if they know what’s coming, when, how, ect, they adapt. They’re good.
      Loss of established order is the real trigger for revolutions, not loss of freedom.

      1. I personally, would rather have Free Speech and the right to own a gun than money I didn’t earn for myself.

    2. For many people, chains offer security and relative comfort. When you’re clinging by your fingertips even their chafing can be very comforting.

      If we want people to grasp for liberty we need to create an environment in which they no longer fear removing one hand from the ledge in order to reach for a higher grasp. Reducing the regulatory overhang and putting an end to the punishment of success are critical.

    3. Some people don’t necessarily want to be told what to do. They just want to know that whatever they’re doing is the right thing. So they search out a clearly defined rule set.

      The thing about the libs is they’re all about telling you what to do and what not to do. By force if needed. After all, it’s all for your own good…

      For a lot of people, “freedom” is being able to choose what to have for dinner, not what to do with the rest of their life. Their life has always been someone else’s responsibility, and they’re perfectly happy with that.

      1. For a lot of people, “freedom” is being able to choose what to have for dinner, not what to do with the rest of their life. Their life has always been someone else’s responsibility, and they’re perfectly happy with that.

        This…a much pithier version.

        We demanding those people embrace freedom while showing them:

        1. Nothing but the costs associated it with, which they are acutely aware of already.
        2. Showing them none of the upsides which are unnatural to them.
        3. Following leaders that more often than not don’t really care about freedom.

        1. Yes.

          For #3, I propose the main interest for leaders isn’t freedom, but followers.

    4. Winning does not quite mean what most of us would like, my friend. Them losing, oh, that is quite the forgone conclusion. In all of history, time and again, the revolutions eat their own. With one brilliant exception, I’ll grant- a special case. But their loss is quite certain. Their winning conditions are impossible as I understand them. Perhaps even as they understand them as well.

      And when we win? My friends, the only thing *worse* than a battle won is a battle lost. Bad things will happen. They will happen to the good people as well as those who bring misfortune on their own heads. I don’t need to number the ills that will befall us, those things have happened before and will again. When the founders said “our lives, our fortunes, our sacred honor…” they were telling us what things we’d lose. What could be worth all that? Freedom? Is freedom worth spending these precious things like water, dare we set above all we now hold dear?

      It is.

      Look again at history. The left so often talks about progress, about being “on the right side of history.” Why do they do that? It’s more than moral wishcasting. It’s easy to see that things have changed when you live in the most prosperous nation in the world. Clean water is not a problem (even Flint can get clean water, it just takes a while). Sleeping warm and dry is not a significant problem, either. We have entertainment and time sinks in abundance, more than any other time in history. Compared to even one generation ago, we’re rich beyond the dreams of average.

      When I was little, eating garden grown beans and bartered cheese, washing my clothes in a tub with a washboard through winter freeze ans summer boil, I had no clue we were looking at the poverty level from the wrong side. I knew other folks had things we did not, like a color television set.

      And things were bad back then- the cold war was still going strong, and those crazy russkies would nuke us in a heartbeat if we so much as blinked. Locally (you’d have to know Appalachia well), we were screwed. I think our mayor got arrested in office, we had drug-related violence just starting to take over where the moonshiner rebellion left off, and the new gov’t housing project the state had crammed down our throats was turning… problematic.

      We paid a cost to turn most of those problems around. Race relations then were about what you’d think of Ferguson now. Today, not the case. We’re no longer a stopover on the weed and coke line from Miami to New York. Nearby larger city’s now having issues with it’s city council, but ours has stood firm.

      One tiny town is not the country. We’re a part of it, but so small some shopping malls in big cities might edge us out for size. The key point is it took years- decades, really- to fix, and the fixing meant a good lot of hard work. That hard work ain’t pleasant, either. It’s sitting in at town council meetings. It’s paying debts, yours and your useless brother’s, too. It’s talking to people, which for the screamingly anti-social is just about torture, and finding the good people out there. It’s actively helping them out when they need it.

      TL;DR: Bad things will happen, despite our best efforts. Despair is a sin. They will lose. We will win- if we earn it. I intend to earn that win.

      Free soapbox for the taking! Apologies for length. Sleep deprived and slightly ill.

        1. Sorry. Misspelled it. “Þæt wæs god rede.”

          Signed, Ellen Fremedon.

          But seriously, that’s really good advice, Mr. Lane, and a good example to us all.

    5. Problem:
      what are chains bindings, and what are chain-link fences, and what are chain bridges?

      Generally, when someone is yelling at me to cast off my chains, they mean “stop doing what you’re doing, the thing you want, and do what *I* want you to do.”

      1. Generally, when someone is yelling at me to cast off my chains, they mean “stop doing what you’re doing, the thing you want, and do what *I* want you to do.”

        Yes, but doing what they want spares you the thinking…and thinking is hard. It is why so many people hate math.

        I just think those of us liberty minded need to realize we are a major and our time in the sun may have been an accident of history. We laugh at the libs for their “right side of history” arguments but as I’ve said about slavery it is much too early in the game for anyone to claim abolition is the right side of history. It might be the morally right one but it is an aberration historically and barring a transhumanist leap none of us or our children will live to see that change. If the roll back continues to the time when my theoretical great-great-grandchildren would be alive then we can say we moved the mean.

        Liberty as an ideal isn’t that much less recent than abolition. We haven’t moved the mean and maybe we aren’t going to do so.

        1. Yes, but doing what they want spares you the thinking…and thinking is hard. It is why so many people hate math.

          Problem being that when folks say I’m not thinking, they mean that I’m not agreeing with them. (not always, but often enough that I feel like a fool when in inevitably do check my facts; sometimes I can find why we differ)

  21. I fear that current events in Venezuela might be pointing the way to North America’s future, no matter who wins the election.

          1. This is the other problem of our narrative-infused age. We tend to think of the future as the end of the story. It’s not. The future goes on forever. And things take amazing turns.

  22. So, I was reading along, and nodding until I got to this bit:

    “… the crazy dichotomy: if you think Western civilization was built by people of many skin shades, that humans are far more mixed than anyone gives them credit for BUT that nonetheless however created Western Civ is the last greatest hope of man kind and should be preserved, then you want unlimited Muslim immigration, socialism/communism, and to destroy Western Civ.”

    Who thinks this? Everyone gung-ho for “…unlimited Muslim immigration, socialism/communism,” and the destruction of Institutionalized Oppressions, I.e. the various institutions of Western Civ (IOW one’s average SJW) rarely seem to think that:

    –Western Civilization is “the last great hope of mankind” (and not just because words like “mankind” are problematic wrongthink microaggressions 😁);

    –humans are pretty much mongrels;

    –or that the builders Western Civ (which = Institutions-O-Oppression) were people of various skin shades. It was ALL whiteness, all the way down. Or, if it’s something a prog likes that’s a part of West. Civ (never called WC, mind) it was only ever brownish victim-heroes whot done it.

    The SJW world view is Ancient Aliens-category stupid, but it’s still consistent once one accepts the starting premises. Completely reality-challenged premises e.g. “people are born naturally moral and infinitely perfectable” granted. Most progressives have never thought twiice about these premises, if they even realize they exist.

    And their mirror-image, it’s all brown-ness-all-the-way-down Storm Fronters, are a natural reaction to equally mal-educated folk even more removed from the starting point: they’ve just flipped the winners/losers in the rigged game. If we had thousands of displaced Sons of Odin at our doorstep, they’d be fine with the imports.

    All the other varieties of alt-right believe different stuff about where Western Civilization came from, and how to preserve it.

    All they really have in common is an enemy sworn to destroy it.

    One size fits all is not your friend here. And it doesn’t help that so many on the alt right have at least one point of commonality with the Intersectional Whiteness peeps. Nor that we’ve all been marinated in the White Supremicist Cultist bogeyman for half a century. Nor that it’s the go-to explanation for any anti-establishment rebel for any left-leaning (or just useful idiot calibre) blogger or journo.

    It makes it dawned hard to separate the sheep from the goats, I’ll tell you. But do remember the bit about “Hanging separately.”

    And all that verbiage above is probably moot, since in trying to understand the confusing graphs (like the one that reads ” This thing you love and must protect at all costs, you really want to destroy, because you think individuals can swear allegiance to principles and also that what is inside your head has nothing to do with skin color.”) I have to consider I got the sense of it dead wrong.

    1. I think that first paragraph you block-quoted (“The crazy dichotomy…western civ”) was in reference to the alt-right. Having been accused of being down with what happened in Rotherham because I do not support specifically targeting Muslims instead of just enforcing the laws as written for everyone equally and not squealing “racism” if the accuser is white and the accused not white, I can see where she’s coming from.

      As to the rest of the alt-right, I’ve said it before and will say it again: VD and Bradford, Hines, Jemisin et. al. are mirror images of each other, which is why they hate each other so very much. Hoyt, Torgersen, and Correia are equally dangerous to both, in the long run. In the short run, VD needs the SPs, because he doesn’t have the commanding heights of the media–much like the SJW faction of SFF will need them in a couple of decades, to try and keep VD’s crew from hunting them down.

      If the law-and-order types gave Rohrshach’s answer at that point, I wouldn’t blame thm.

      1. just enforcing the laws as written for everyone equally

        Oh, sure — what kind of world would that leave us in?

    2. Well, I was accused of wanting unlimited Muslim immigration, because I don’t think that Western Civ is the exclusive property of Anglo-Saxons.
      I was accused of being an invader-American because I can tan.
      People who think “Halfrican” and “cuckservative” are self-defining witticisms created those dichotomies. They believe what you’re born and where you’re born define you.
      Does it make no sense? Of course it makes no sense. Take it up with them, not with me.

      1. Suppose that Mediterranean and Catholic cultures really are a lower order of Western Civilization. What would that imply about someone who likes, say, Italy?

        Suppose that xenophobia and doing something about the Mexicans are the only rational basis for voting in the GOP primary. Texas is one of the few states that is close to the Mexican border, cares about Mexican border issues, and has a sound opinion on them. (Excepting leftist/squish Texans of course.) If one is a Texan, or close to being a Texan, other parts of the country can look mighty foreign.

        1. Erm.. that he likes Italy? I love cheesy cop shows, even when infested by SJW tropes, but that doesn’t make them not lower order of TV shows.

          The hang up comes when you follow up with–and what should you do about it?

          Not 100% sure how it relates, but, Californians certainly ought to have an opinion on the Mexican immigration / La Rasa question, and any other state ditto, on the grounds that the border states are all interesting laboratories for social experiments. Genius of Federalism, and wholly relevant in the national elections.

          1. More Mexicans live in LA than any city in the world save for Mexico City. They founded it. They named it. They are taking it back.

          2. Texans remember that they fought a war to be apart from Mexico. White Texans and Hispanic Texans fought in that war, so they aren’t hung up on it over the race angle. Hispanic Texans aren’t necessarily all that fond of Hispanic Mexicans. Texans can see what difference that war bought for them in terms of prosperity and security.

            California, in comparison, is the land of fruits and nuts. Yes, the native Californians are sounder, but the state can’t even combine the foresight and political power for water and electric supply, much less issues of sovereignty.

            I have the impression that New Mexico and Arizona are essentially in between.

            Ohio, Florida and New York are far away from the border.

            Thinking xenophobically, Perry and Cruz would’ve been the most reliably anti-Mexican candidates. Because the other ones lived their lives in places that gave them a different culture.

            Of course, making the primary a contest of regional cultural purity going to make sealing the deal more difficult.

          1. I move that we eschew discussion of anybody’s “but,” either facing it or otherwise.

  23. This was quoted on No Pasarán today:
    10 years ago, I wrote a similar post,
    Americans Anonymous
    …/… The most common frequently-asked question newcomers [to the organization for expatriates who are ashamed to admit that they are U.S. citizens when in the company of a group of self-righteous foreigners] ask is:
    How do I respond to a group of smug foreigners submitting me to a barrage of irony-laden questions, asinine comments, and demented accusations concerning my government, my country, and/or the type of society I live in? …/…

  24. “But as Kate Paulk is fond of pointing out, 99% of the population would rather die than think.”

    She got it from Bertrand Russell, philosopher and mathematician: “We all have a tendency to think that the world must conform to our prejudices. The opposite view involves some effort of thought, and most people would die sooner than think – in fact they do so.”

    He was a pacifist in WWI and was put in prison for it.

  25. Every generation rebels against their parents. My Boomer generation embraced sex, drugs, rock and roll. Anyting not Western Civilization. Let’s try to get the younguns to rebel against their multi-culti, socialist, feminist parents.

    1. Not so sure that’s true. Every generation of Americans after the invention of the “teeenager”, mostly. But otherwise…

      I know I never did. I was tickled pink the day my husband said to me, “When you said that, you sounded just like your mom.”

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