It Is Later Than You Think
“We thought we ranked above the chance of ill.
Others might fall, not we, for we were wise—
Merchants in freedom. So, of our free-will
We let our servants drug our strength with lies.
The pleasure and the poison had its way
On us as on the meanest, till we learned
That he who lies will steal, who steals will slay.
Neither God’s judgment nor man’s heart was turned.”
-Rudyard Kipling—”The Covenant”
It is only lately—and, I think, in conjunction with many others on the Right—that I have properly ascertained both the magnitude and the severity of the threat we as a civilization face. I choose my words carefully, here—as a civilization. Not just as a nation, but all of us in the broader western world. We have all fallen prey to something pernicious. And it is both exactly what Glenn Reynolds discussed in his USA Today column here—and then again it is something slightly different.
I’m not seeking to present anything new to you today. I will consider myself to have done well if I present what you already know together, without the soporific effect of lengthy times between stories, or the calming effect of great distances. This is not about the future. I am not even sure it is about the present, though I remain optimistic. But see it, and judge it, for yourself— and recognize it for what it is, because I’m lately afraid our time is much dearer than we’d suspected.
It is later than you think.
The world’s seven largest economies, in ranked order, are the US, China, Japan, Germany, the UK, India, and France. Traditionally, China, Japan, and India are considered Eastern nations. Therefore in a practical sense—and probably also, arguably (albeit at more length than I care to go into; I have bigger fish to fry), in a pragmatic and philosophical sense— the heavyweights and current stabilizing poles of the Western world, writ large, are the US, Germany, the UK, and France.
It would be troubling for me to write that there had been a coup in any of these. Yet increasingly it looks like there has been a silent coup—or certainly an attempted one, at all events—in all of these. Not because of grand conspiracy, but because of a kind of monoculture among what Glenn Reynolds refers to above as “the new class”. They are easy to identify, by their smug certainty that they know better what ought to be done with and for you than you yourself do. And they are beholden—as often as they can possibly make this so— to nobody, and are guided by nothing except their doctrinaire beliefs in what might charitably be called academic Marxism, and might more aptly be called simple totalitarianism.
Angela Merkel was the bellwether. Guided not by the desires of her citizens, nor by any apparent concern or understanding of its ramifications, but solely because it was pleasant to pretend that Germany could accommodate them, she opened Germany’s borders to vast hordes of impoverished denizens of the third world. As tends to happen with people imported from backwater nations using absolutely no filtering process to guarantee they are even aware of their host nation’s values— let alone support said values— they brought the cultures of their native motherlands along with them instead (not that this is topical in any way). And on New Years Eve, in 2015, “For all of Germany, police estimated in a document leaked in 2016 that 1,200 women were sexually assaulted and that at least 2,000 men were involved, often acting in groups”. These crimes, largely by ‘men of “Arab or North African appearance”,’ were the gratitude Germany got for its attempt at grandiose humanitarian aid.
A heavy price was borne for Merkel’s arrogance, though Merkel herself remained comfortably distant from what she caused, as is usually the case in these “for your own good” schemes. Her only meaningful punishment is that she is not planning to seek re-election as leader of the CDU or Germany—and even still, she fully intends to stay chancellor until 2021. Though not before making German politics decidedly more—interesting. In 2017, along with her ouster, suddenly the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party was a significant force, and her own party was on the back foot—to her shock and dismay. Her citizens chose the “wrong” answer, and the international press was sure to tell everyone as much. (As an aside: the “quality” reporting in the US and UK makes it utterly impossible for me to tell whether AfD is actually a concern in its own right, or just a correction to an overwhelmingly idiotic decision by the ruling party. Insofar as the MSM can’t tell the difference between Trump and Hitler and have reportedly been axing foreign correspondent positions for years, I tend to assume that the AfD would get called Nazis purely for holding stances the Left disagrees with. Actually being German is just icing on the cake. By the way, to any leftists reading, here’s a hint: Hitler probably wouldn’t even recognize Israel—given that a lot of the radical islamic groups in the middle east were originally funded by the Nazis in part because they both hated Jews. He would therefore be decidedly unlikely to favor Israel over “Palestine” by moving his embassy to Jerusalem. Oh, and he probably wouldn’t be Grand Marshall in a Salute to Israel Parade. But I digress. On the other hand, 2017 is also the year “Mein Kampf” got back on the German bestseller’s list, and you can spin that how you like, but it doesn’t strike me as a good sign. I would love it if someone who is near Germany could weigh in with their thoughts in the comments.)
Turn now to the case of Brexit. In a complete surprise to the British elite, a referendum on leaving the EU came back showing that the British don’t like absentee landlords from the rest of the continent telling them what to do. This had recently become especially important since, well, Germany had just attempted to commit suicide by taking a massive overdose of immigrants.
Now the EU was telling the rest of its members that it was no fair not also attempting suicide, and immigrants should be able to move freely into England from Germany. Not that the British press said it this way. No, the British press, curiously, decided to frame their opponents as being “anti-immigration”—which they say in roughly the same way you or I might say “satanist”—thus demonstrating that between Germany and Scandinavia, professional leftists the world over don’t really have a problem with rape, as long as the victim is a blond white chick.
Moreover, the elite in Britain were outraged, since many of their close personal friends happen to be absentee landlords from the rest of the continent, and their favorite hobby to bond over is making up absurd things and telling people to do them. Think of it as “Simon Says”, except to stop playing you have to emigrate—and you have to wait for Simon to say you can emigrate.
But, driven by a resolute belief in the power of democracy, they boldly decided to— not comply with the result. The people, you see, had once again gotten the “wrong” answer. So the British elite dragged its feet, and the EU threw an outright tantrum which made it easier for them to do so. (Not that the EU doesn’t have its reasons—England leaving is an existential threat to the EU, since it essentially destroys the current “rob from the rich and give to the dysfunctional” model it operates on by taking a massive cash source away. If you wonder why the EU is trying to rob Britain blind in Brexit “deal” negotiations, it’s because they can’t afford not to.). This culminated in a “deal” by Theresa May that was so ass-backwards many people think it was intentionally designed to be broken—and it went down in flames by a massive margin. The rest of this story hasn’t even been told, yet, but the smart money is that Britain’s elite is going to try to push another vote on Brexit, and this time encourage people, by hook or crook, to choose the “right” answer.
Say, do you notice a pattern?
Well, how about this story, one you know well. The MSM, to give the First Woman President (TM) the best possible chance, openly prayed for the person they considered the worst, most back-number conservative candidate, to run against her.
And when they got him—good and hard, as you might say—they proceeded to attempt to destroy him the way they’d always done with Republican candidates. EG, they called him Hitler (I always wonder how many Leftists who instantly played the Nazi card on Trump even remember that we endured probably six solid years of the “Chimpy McBushHitler” slander from them, personally, before Trump was even a major national candidate. If the Republicans could nominate Anne Frank to a major position, the Democrats would trip over themselves to call her literally Hitler—and a gender traitor, to boot.)
Trouble was, first, they didn’t factor in that they were still running one of the most unlikeable people on the planet—a person whose tagline rapidly became a single derogatory term for opponents, “deplorables”—that applied, essentially, to everyone from far right to moderate middle.
Secondly, they assumed that running footage of Trump discussing his beliefs and campaign promises would hurt him. To be honest, to the extent that I was skeptical of Trump at the beginning, it was because: A- Given that he was from New York and had pictures taken with virtually every notable Democrat you can imagine, I didn’t think he believed in or would even attempt his campaign promises; and B- I was partially caught up in the media response on the right, from outlets like National Review that, in retrospect, I think were themselves mostly people who couldn’t bring themselves to doubt there had to be fire behind the massive MSM smoke-bomb, and later felt they’d be seen as inconsistent if they changed their minds.
But for anyone else who was in my boat, I can’t imagine that seeing what Trump actually said was especially off-putting. There are things like tariffs I’m not in love with—but most of the platform is solid. Tax reform, an emphasis on border security (of any kind, actually, compared to the import-a-voter Left), reforming (rather than, as the single-payer advocates like Hillary would have it, further deforming) healthcare, deregulation, taking the boot off the face of American energy producers—there’s a lot in there that most of the right and many in the middle can agree on. Meanwhile, Hillary “Adult Fun Camps” Clinton basically offered European governance, except more corrupt. This rather extreme position, the MSM explained, was “moderate”, and they estimated that Hillary had a 99.9999999% chance of winning, with the remaining 0.0000001% being their estimated odds of her being tragically hit by a meteor.
But insofar as this was about five months after Brexit, where it turned out that even Britain had had enough of European governance, this went over about as well as you’d imagine.
Actually, it went over worse. Hillary Clinton went from impossible-to-lose to impossible-to-win so fast it had much of the MSM exposing their true colors that very night. You remember the tears and shocked faces?
That alone should have put middle America on notice about media bias. And to the Democrats, this seemed like some kind of terrible miracle. I’ve talked about that before, and I won’t belabor it now, but I suspect that’s in part because the upper echelons of Democrats know they rig the game in their favor.
And if you don’t think they know it, first, I offer the examples of Arizona and Florida in the 2018 midterms. And second, I offer the very first bill the new House brought to the floor. And third, as an extension of their, shall we say, morally challenged ways, note the willingness to use the FBI on a fishing expedition against Trump, starting before the election and continuing, now, a full two years in. I’d say there’s very little that shows off to better effect that they want to win at all cost.
Because there patently isn’t any there, there. There never was any. At best it was about using Russia as a convenient excuse to find something, anything, real, with which to take down Trump and thus reverse the election results. At worst, they didn’t even want something real. They may well have simply wanted a string of tantalizing accusations that would then be immediately disproven. Note the unending barrage of Headlines in 30 point font and retractions in 6 point font a week later (if, indeed, any retraction materializes at all), which the media collectively calls “ethical journalism”. In fact, look at what has happened this very week—as we saw a “bombshell” about Trump so stupid it was dissolved by Mueller’s office within a day, followed by a “bombshell” about catholic school-kids disproven by more extensive video evidence than a murder on a movie set, some of it taken by the professional protesto—I’m sorry, I mean “victim”, himself. “You can bury a person just as effectively with potting soil, as you can with real dirt. You just need to buy enough of it,” is the new MSM motto.
And what is all of this ultimately for? Why do it?
Because you, American voter, chose the “wrong answer”. And your elites are here to “educate” that tendency out of you. But first, they need to violate a ton of laws, and take us well into banana republic territory (What else do you call government officials, many from the last administration, rebelling against a duly and legally elected leader and actively fighting everything he does, exactly? Contrary to what the Left likes to say, that is extremely unextraordinary behavior—from Leftists, no less—in those lovely South and Central American countries that are so well run, we need a wall in part to keep their people from coming into the US en masse. What it is not a legitimate part of, is the tradition of Western Democracy.).
Not because they want to, you understand. If you had simply surrendered like good boys and girls and submitted to your rightful masters, they could have done everything they wanted without breaking any laws. It was you, ungrateful peon, who forced them to use extra-legal means to continue upholding the status quo, and only because they are deeply #principled are they continuing to doggedly fight to ensure your rights are abrogated for your own good. And by the way, as with the EU in Brexit, the Left is fighting Trump tooth and nail because he’s threatening their nest egg.
They know that people from South of the border vote Democrat. If at all possible, the Democrats would like to integrate them into their welfare web (Because on closer inspection, it’s oddly reliable how the “safety net” seems designed both to trap people and make them prey to eternal predation by Democrats. One might begin to suspect LBJ knew what he was about, no?), and keep them voting Democrat for, well, forever. People call them out about flip-flopping on their stances, but of course in their mind they haven’t flip-flopped at all. They were willing to support border security only when there was virtually no chance of it being enforced. That’s why the Trump administration has noted that there are extant laws calling for barriers on the Southern border pre-dating his administration, which were curiously unenforced. Now that there’s a chance of border security being enforced, the Democrats are openly opposing it. But their position is consistency itself.
The only thing that changed is that before they were lying to keep you happy, and now you ungrateful oafs have forced them to acknowledge their actual beliefs.
And so, after all that, what do you do with a place like France? Macron, by all accounts, is only the proximal cause in a long string of abuses on the French people—and more specifically, its middle class.
You see, in pursuit of various personal goals—forcing people into carpooling and mass transit, environmental posturing, good old fashioned money and power—apparently France’s elites have, for some time, been enacting increasingly insane laws that benefit themselves while inconveniencing the populace. At some point, a tipping point was reached, and the people of France donned yellow vests and started protesting—say have I heard this song before? Sounds like it’s being done by a French cover band. At all events, the French government—apt students of history that they aren’t—have responded in the way any reasonable oligarch would: they’ve started talking about banning unsanctioned protests. Yes, this will go well. Obviously. How could it possibly not?
The people of France were successfully talked out of voting for Le Pen, but, mon dieu, they have still somehow fallen backwards and now, malheureusement, have picked the “wrong” answer. It is up to their betters in the elite class to make this gauche and ill-mannered display impossible by outlawing it, because outlawing behaviors the government dislikes has an excellent historical record of causing them to vanish, especially when those behaviors include protesting said government.
But you appreciate that, while we can laugh at this because it’s better than crying, it’s a sign of something deeply unhealthy and vastly widespread?
Every pillar of the Western world, it seems, has revealed itself to be infected with an extremely dangerous political class, formed of people who believe implicitly in rule by the enlightened, by the right people, even while mouthing obfuscating lies about “democracy”.
They believe in populism until someone plays the game of populism better. They believe in democracy, the more direct the better, as long as they think they’ll be in power under it. But mostly what they believe in is power.
The rest is window dressing. They are aristocrats in modern suits, and the government changes around them, but they remain the same. They believe in grand, stupid, and impossible visions that benefit them, and actively harm their people, and pursue them to the exclusion of all else. Oh, certainly they are the “new class”.
But they are more than that. They are a sign that Western Democracy has unofficially become Western “Democracy”. Now that the opinions of the people—in Germany, in England, in the United States, and now in France—have become inconvenient, the governments are finding they would like to dissolve the people and elect another. And they will do anything to achieve that end—”we let our servants drug our strength with lies”. France and England sound poised to commit to these brave new social experiments in their own ways, and the US won’t be far behind if the Democrats ever get enough funding to run a few more fraudulent investigations.
So look around you, while you still can. The sun is high in the sky. The last day of rule by the people—by the actual people, rather than by a “bolshevik” (literally, majority) minority— is half gone already. We’ve all been living in a very pleasant world, but it’s one that’s enabled us to relatively disregard politics, and that has let some very unsavory characters slip in while we were living in a dream. “The pleasure and the poison had its way”.
It is later than you think.
I have said before that I am unsure whether America will have another civil war, even though many of her people are—foolishly, to anyone who has seen one— spoiling for one.
The factors are myriad, but king of them all is geographical emulsification and the lack of clear battle lines. I’ve been trying, for ages, to think of how that might change. Now, I realize, it won’t.
What’s happened in France and is happening in Britain has made me realize that the conflict is fundamentally between normal people who are getting pissed on, and people who sympathize with—and often someday hope to become—the unelected or unremovable power brokers who are pissing on them.
I know of no true historical model for a civil war in a country that looks and acts demographically like America does now.
But—as Angela Merkel learned, and as I suspect France will soon discover—history is wall-papered, end to end, with examples of leaders uninterested in the well-being of their people who eventually faced deposition of one form or another.
I pray that somehow, the leaders of America allow the peaceful and existing processes that could allow that to happen to advance unabated. It will take surviving a bitter old guard and defanging a particularly idiotic new guard of Democrats. It will take acknowledging earnestly that whole departments of our government, just like our press, have largely fallen into the hands of people who hate the nation and its people, and re-evaluating our goals on who to elect and what to do in elected office from that perspective.
But we must rise, face the day, and try. It is later than you think—and getting later. Because, I maintain, part of America’s ability not to become the bloody quagmire that France did during its revolution was down to the people it was revolting against being on the other side of an ocean.
I think we are— all Western nations, and we, no exception— more at more risk than I had initially thought of our own French revolution, and that’s a thing we decidedly do not need, and a place we decidedly do not wish to go. The name might survive—but I fear that nothing else of value in our country would.