When you jump out of a (perfectly good) airplane, you free yourself from its trajectory, but on the other hand, you are under the pull of gravity.

Freedom is the right to determine what you will be and won’t be subjected to.

I pursued a comment someone made here about religion making a comeback in urban areas in France.  It is. Most churches are reported to be standing room only.  But it is returning because of something odd.

You see… indulge me.  This is a highly abbreviated history of the psycho-social movements in Europe in the 20th century till now.

Europe had just gotten aware enough of the rights of individuals, the idea of individual worth the rejection (to an extent) of classes to be really bothered by WWI which was in many ways an old Europe war.

To make things worse, it was a war you could commute to by train, and a war the press covered extensively.

And what it was blamed on was… nationalism.  Which was not precisely incorrect though it wasn’t correct either, precisely. Bloody stupid alliances and the state as a tin god was as close.

Coming out of it, Europe thought that it would replace the feel good of nationalism — humans don’t live of bread alone, and they need to feel they’re part of something bigger, the something bigger being usually a big idea, a big group, a tribe, something that goes on after them — with the feel good of Socialism. Or at least Marxism. The idea of the social good, the inevitable progress of humanity, and the shiny new future took over.

There is a reason in many ways the time between the wars was great for science fiction.  In Europe the only time that was good for science fiction.

Like WWI, WWII got blamed on nationalism. It really wasn’t. It very much was about the state as divinity and the infinite improvement of humans as a race. That it took the form of poisonous eugenics was just part of that idea that humans can and should be “perfected” to bring about heaven on Earth.

And WWII should have put paid to that idea.  It didn’t. It didn’t because Marxists, by then, had become all the “smart” people and captured all intellectual institutions.

Socialism just went softer in Europe and took other guises.  Christian socialism. Democratic socialism. Purple socialism with stripes.  Okay. I made the last one up. But it wouldn’t be as crazy as some of the variations I grew up with.

But socialism doesn’t mesh really well with those things, or make them better.  Socialism in the end is the drop of sewage in the barrel of wine. Sure, it adds flavor. It also makes i undrinkable. It doesn’t work with humans, and we’ve proved conclusively humans won’t change to work iwth it. Its end stage is a sort of crazy feudalism.

And it fails.  Part of the way it fails is making the societies it takes over, those where it’s the only alternative, into what I call “occupied societies.”  It — particularly in its international variety. National is stupid, but not that way — turns against its host societies. In the name of eliminating nationalism, and leading things to “progress” towards the perfect and shiny new future, it turns on and hates the societies that establish it, eventually hating humanity itself.

The problem is that we know what happens with occupied societies: the women become whores, the men become craven, and there are very few children, unless they’re the children of the invaders.  It’s how the species eliminates the societies and strains that lose a contest.  Except that in socialism there is no more successful society invading. To the extent that it was believed in, between the wars, and briefly (until the collapse started being obvious) after WWII, the “progressives” took over the children of others and tried to build their shiny future. Part of that was the baby boom, and the bright new schools and indoctrinating kids to hate the old society and build the utopia.

Only it’s been painfully obvious since the baby boom came of age that the things they were indoctrinated in don’t work. That being “compassionate” to the evil begets more evil.  That paying for poverty buys more poverty. That refusing to teach or raise the children doesn’t create noble savages.  It doens’t even create savages. It creates neo-barbs simultaneously predatory and curiously helpless.

People know this. They know it even if the cultural outlets are taken over by people who refuse to let it be seen. It shows in cartoons, in jokes, it comes out in off hand comments even by people who would consider themselves devout progressives.

So the end result is that societies feel they’re oppressed by occupiers. Unreasonable occupiers that don’t bring any hope or future. The society, the “something to believe in” is being exterminated.

After the Soviet Union collapsed and this became obvious there was a period of denial and a period that often happens in cults after discomfirmation.  A period of trying to silence the opposition super-hard. Now, even harder.  We’re still partly in that, or at least segments of society are.  They’re trying to silence any dissent with the “occupiers magic words” (And yes, I found hilarious they named their movement “Occupy”)  “Rascism, sexism, homphobia.” Or, of course “Nazi” which honestly is the enemy they fear, because they can’t conceive of anyone NOT being socialist. So being international (effectively Russian national) socialists, they fear the national socialists the most. And miss that we’re not even i that spectrum, and that it was Bernie who identified himself as a national socialist.  (It’s okay. They know he’s lying, so that’s fine.)

But that’s a side show.  It’s a distraction.  If the after-effects of socialism hadn’t already turned Europe into a vast old age home, the next thing would already be obvious.  Oh, it’s starting here too. Sure it is. And it’s just as crazy and perhaps more poisonous.

The… for lack of a better term call it the culture’s mind knows socialism is poisonous and more importantly socialism is done. It doesn’t bring the shiny. Again and again it brings death, misery and feudalism.

So humanity, which needs meaning beyond our small, restricted individual lives, and people are blindly trying to find it.  In Europe, same as it ever was, they’re going back to nationalism, and the traditional religion. They’re doing it for COMMUNITY and common goals.

When I went down that rabbit hole I got a lot about how individualism was wrong and individuals shouldn’t have rights, and the church is about community.

As many of you know, I’m religious. I believe in community, even. But that doesn’t negate the need for the rights of the individual. France is just making the same mistake it made with its revolution, where it took the rights of the individual and made them communal guarantees.  Not life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but equality, fraternity, liberty.  You can’t have liberty with equality and fraternity. Because enacting those requires other people. They think where socialism went wrong was ‘rights of the individual’ when socialism is all about the rights of the group.

Our own manifestation of this is the same, in a different way. Instead of addressing the central hole in socialism, of treating people as widgets, they just want to attribute different values to those widgets, as though that solved anything.

Which brings us back to freedom — or liberty — and the rights of the individual.  Individualism versus community.

You can only free yourself so far.  At least if you want to be part of something greater than yourself. (And if you don’t you’re either lying to yourself or not human.)

When you let go of the plane, you head towards the Earth.

OTOH sometimes the plane is on fire.  Was talking to an about-to-go-indie midlist friend this morning about the endless compromises, kissing up and begging required to stay employed in traditional publishing and how it was like trading in your soul piecemeal.  Kind of like the French believe to embrace that old time religion they need to renounce individual rights. (Because apparently they missed the part about INDIVIDUAL free will.)

If that were my choice, I’d be happily d*mned.  Fortunately I think they’re wrong.

And fortunately I have other choices than trad pub.  I might starve, yes, but it won’t corrode the soul.  And hell, with two or three year exceptions, I’ve “starved” anyway, if you take in account the amount of work.

It’s a trade.

Sometimes you have to shout “Freedom” and jump and hope the parachute engages.  It beats joining the new cult, same as the old cult.


154 thoughts on “Freedom!

  1. IMO here in the US, “Nazi” has been replaced by “White Supremacist”.

    IE If Liberals want somebody to be hated, then they call that person a “White Supremacist”.

    Yes, some of the “Alt-Righters” can legitimately be called “White Supremacists” but even there IMO its more a reaction to “Whites Are Racist” than anything else.

    Not that I excuse Alt-Right nonsense. 😦

    1. There’s also the desire of the yoots to rebel & shock the people of society at large. For the past few decades, it’s been via radical leftism… but that’s pretty much gone full on mainstream these days.
      The really hip kids are aiming more at the alt-Right, because that does have more shock value.

      1. That explains white supremacy at 4Chan better than any other explanation.

        Shit posting != Alt-right. Shit posting == Whatever pisses the Man off.

        For the classic apolitical example, listen to “music” composed by John Cage, history’s greatest shit poster.

        1. Having survived listening to HPSCHD, I think you’re right.

          OTOH, the University of Immenseness also perpetrated “Talla Obtusities”, in theory based on A Tale of Two Cities. A ring oscillator modulating the soprano’s voice was featured. My date and I agreed on one thing; it sucked. Didn’t get a second date. 🙂

      2. You can tell that hot rods have become an old-man hobby by the disappearance of swastikas. In the 1950s they were plastered on everything.

    2. I might not excuse Alt-right nonsense, but I sympathize with it and think the Ctrl-left is making it more attractive every day.

      In fact, Trump winning was the biggest blow the Alt-right ever took (not that the media will put it that way). Trump’s stance was an embrace of individuals over “it is all tribal politics so whites need to get tribal.” If the Never-Trumpers had gotten their way I suspect the Dems would have made identity so central that “whites need to get tribal” would have been the most rational choice left.

      I’m still worried after Trump they will succeed. They are still shocked that once they made everything about race for non-whites that whites even considered getting into the game. They will have no idea what happens if they succeed. Hell, I still figure even odds they get the race war they want I’ll get shot by the winners as a race traitor.

      1. I won’t go as far as “sympathize” with them but I do understand their reaction to the idiocy of the Left.

          1. The problem is much of them have been raised knowing nothing but “non-whites united” and being the target. They haven’t been taught, intentionally, there is an other way by people who thought they’d just put up with it.

            Hence the sympathy for many of them.

          2. #ditto

            And I’m not white myself as well.

            I fully expect that eventually they’ll turn ‘White Supremacist’ to ‘Not-Socialist’ and we’ll be back to the Cold War. Or Hot War. And the whole ‘Big Brother Is Watching You’ that was very true in Communist and Socialist countries will be well and truly entrenched in the places that weren’t Commie during the Cold War…

      2. That’s the thing, you see. Once the race-warriors have made it all about race … what can those of pallor do, except gather together under the Banner of Whiteness in self defense?
        Last time I looked – and depending upon how ‘whiteness’ is defined (according to the point being proved, wherein the inclusion/exclusion of Japanese/Chinese/Hispanic/other rejiggers the usually depressing point being made) those of us of pallor are still 60-80% of the population.
        And we have weapons, or most of us do – and no inclination to walk into the boxcars.
        *le sigh*
        And I was kind of hoping that the election of Obama would put paid to the trope of America being the most raaaaacist nation evah!

        1. That is the problem. Non-tribal behavior is not the human default and exists by agreement. When even of a society (and enough is not the majority, probably a 1/3 at most) decide not to honor the agreement it rapidly collapses out of self-preservation.

          Leftards think society happens and can just be adjusted. They don’t get it is an agreement.

          1. The Leftards don’t really get much at all. Previous would-be Aristocrats at least had a basis that kinda-sorta worked at one time. The European Nobility had formed semi-functional governments for centuries. The Plantation Aristocracy had run the South, if not very well. The Industrialist Moguls built an amazing Nation, though more as a byproduct of their enterprises than anything else,

            The Progressives? They built little coteries and networks, and took over existing niches (and ran them into the ground). Whenever they’ve reached true ascension in a society, and gotten their hands on the levers, the machinery has begun to grind.

            They are consistent failures.

        2. Your last paragraph fits Pete Buttigieg and Homophobic to a tee. #ObamaInWhiteFace

          (Mayor of South Bend as presidential preparation? Doesn’t even sound like he’s all that popular as one…)

          1. Someone pointed out (paraphrased): All these dozens of Dems declaring their candidacy for the 2020 Presidential race (most of whom have no intention of competing) are in fact doing the latest in Democrat virtue signalling. Declaring you’re in the running tells your fellows that you’re one of the Good People Who Hate Trump.

            1. There’s also the fact that Hillary pretty much poisoned the Democratic candidate nest in preparation for her 2016 run, lest a new Obama arise and steal her seat again.
              Now we have this utter clown show of losers, kooks, nuts, and wackos trying to out Bernie each other (and Bernie). When Gropey Joe Biden looks like the seasoned adult, you know your party is in trouble.

        3. Not yet. Considering African ancestry Americans are 12% of the population according to the census, they need to have 4 more black-ish Presidents to achieve racial parity. How about President Thomas Sowell, President Walter E. Williams, well, maybe they’re too old, being in their 80s. Hmm. Larry Elder? Ken Blackwell? I would have said Colin Powell, but I’m not too sure about him nowadays. Oh, let’s toss Janice Rogers Brown in; conservative, well, libertarian really, black woman judge hated by the Democrats.

        4. Some people don’t consider Jews white. Others think that since some Jews are communists, we must all be. Walk into fire from both sides. I just want to live my life as a law-abiding citizen in a constitutional republic.
          There is a civil war coming. I hope to die before it hits.

      1. That would be the trouble, then… You don’t think, and you obviously don’t read.

        The KKK, as a major example, operates on a doctrinal socialist basis, just as the Nazis did. Their programs are, and always have been, essentially socialist. The only catch was, the only people benefiting from what they proposed would have been the right kind of whites–Much as the Boer-supremacists in South Africa set things up.

        Most socialist schemes that have actually been implemented have had strong racialist tendencies, mainly because the people using those schemes to get power were also leveraging racialist feelings in the populace they were trying to get control of. Whether it’s been South Africa, or the US, the “free shit army” has always been about benefiting specific sectors, typically “the native-born” or the “downtrodden victims of colonialism”. Try being a European immigrant getting a job in many of South America’s socialist paradises.

        The con artists who espouse socialism are almost always willing to use racialist rhetoric and doctrine in order to gain power–The Bolsheviks, for example, were always claiming that the Tsar and his wife were German puppets, and that they, the Bolsheviks, were the only true Russians on offer as leaders of the Russian people. The same line was used by Chavez in Venezuela.

        You have to look at this as a phenomenon that exists mainly to get specific people into power, where they can lord it over everyone else. Most socialists are more akin to those annoying little girls who always want their way in setting up complex play out in the playground, and refuse to countenance anyone else having a say. Watch kids on a playground, identify the “thought leaders” who instigate and set things up, and then contemplate the behavioral similarities to a lot of the jackasses in socialist politics. Not every one of those kids that do this sort of thing are gonna become dangerous ring-leaders for totalitarianism, but that’s where the roots lie–They want total, utter control over what everyone else is going, and usually “for their own good”. “Oh, we’ll have so much more fun if we do it my way…”.

        Exclusion and division are tools used by the socialist control-freaks, and if you don’t see that clearly, then you haven’t done enough observation and research on your own. Nobody ever digs into what the actual platforms are for either the KKK or the various neo-Nazi groups, usually through disgust at their nature. But, if you do bother to go looking, what you’re going to find is that they are very much part of the “free shit army”, it’s just that they want the “free shit” to only go to their own kind, and for everyone else to pay for it.

        I’ve had cause to go look at a lot of this stuff in its original sourcing, and I’ve yet to see a single one of these racialist movements that didn’t incorporate deeply socialist ideals and policies in their programs and doctrines. Black Panthers? Same shit as the KKK… It’s all about free shit for their own kind, couched as “righteous redistribution”, which is gonna be administered by the leadership–For a small fee. Of course.

        It’s how Bernie became a millionaire best-selling author–He wrote a book that his campaign bought, much as Adolf Hitler did. Only difference was, Hitler was able to mandate the purchase of his book by the government, and was also able to work a bunch of fiddles with things like rights to his image. I’m sure Bernie was taking notes, too, observing how Hitler charged the German Post Office a fee for using his image on stamps…

        They’re all crooks and con artists, all the way down.

        White supremacists not socialist… Dear God, the ignorance simply burns.

        Either that, or you’re trying to be a part of the Big Lie ™ that Socialism Is Always Good ™, and never, ever possibly even slightly questionable in its goals, implementations, or intents.

        There’s really only the two explanations, TBH.

        1. Dude, take your Valium.

          There are three explanations, the third of which is “Hasn’t researched white supremacist groups and therefore hadn’t heard about their socialist tendencies.”

          You don’t need to assume malice in everything other people say.

          1. “Hasn’t done the research…” is not an excuse when one makes pronouncements exculpating evil.

            Especially when it’s this egregious. The only way that statement can begin to be construed as even slightly reasonable is if someone were to set the parameters such that “Socialism=MyFantasyIdealDreamSocialism”, and ignores every actually enacted socialist “paradise” in history. Even the small-scale utopian attempts played that game, like the various 19th Century colonies of nutters here in the US. Nearly all of those were racialist to their cores.

            Hell, you start including things like “class differences”, there isn’t a single implementation of “socialism” that hasn’t had a core essence of exclusion, division, vilification, and outright destruction of the agreed-upon “other”, even if it was some internal “class” thing like kulak or “landlord”. In today’s America, that group would arguably be the “white male”, who gets blamed for every possible ill by the activists.

            White supremacist, black supremacist, whatever–You go and actually bother to inform yourself on their policies and programs, they’re all socialist at their cores. And, when you work your way back from socialism, what you find is identically congruent policies of exclusion, vilification, and othering that closely follow the same line as the racialists–If not by race, then by class.

            Meanwhile, the rational and sane people don’t want other people’s stuff for free, and they don’t break the world down into entirely arbitrary divisions based on things other humans don’t have control over.

            1. I don’t know what comment you read, but the first one you replied to did not make any “pronouncements exculpating evil”.

        2. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – remove the naked racialism and German-specific issues like the Rhineland from the Nazi platform, and you have the NDP.

  2. I have long known that any socio-political system which is based on the perfectibility of humans is bound to fail. Humans are not perfect, and cannot be made to be perfect without violence, implicit or explicit, actual or spiritual.
    The best we can do, is to muddle thru the best that we can.

    1. You can make humans perfect. The problem is, once you do, they’re no longer human.

  3. There’s that “Heaven on Earth” thing again.

    That keeps coming up, in every discussion of Leftism…

    1. Socialism is sold to the young and gullible of the West as a way out from the daily grind of the work-a-day world doing something you hate.
      Note Occasional-Cortex’s pandering about giving free money to those unwilling to work. The useful idiots actually believe that they would be able to be lazy, and still be paid to have a nice lifestyle. Just give them your votes, your liberty, and your property.
      That’s not how it works- that’s not how any of this works!

      1. That is not just a failing of Marxists.

        US attempts to spread democracy post Cold War show the same blindness to cultural inertia.

        1. It’s a thing we see in foreign missions- beneficial programs not organic to the people tend to get ignored by the people.
          Lots of missionaries in many different countries tended to have wonderful ideas about this or that way the people could do something to financially benefit themselves. The missionary would then contribute tons of time and money, and the people would then contribute the same amount of labor & enthusiasm as a sullen 13 year old forced to do something he thinks is uncool. Eventually, the whole thing just collapses. It’s not their’s, it’s just some fancy that the expat came up with.
          However, projects that the people themselves set up, run, and take care of tend to work out a whole lot better- because they own it.

          1. Sounds rather like poverty alleviation programs gang violence reduction programs, and similar such programs of improvement. Almost like a desire for self improvement is a necessary condition, or something.

            Thay is, or should be, thr basis for community engagent, but you can’t explain that to do-gooder types unwilling to listen.

            1. It’s the general reason why paternalist programs fail- there’s no ownership by the people it’s supposed to be helping, and thus no real investment in making it work.
              The absolute best thing to get people out of poverty is so common in the USA that most people don’t even really think of it as an anti-poverty program. That’s the local bank making small business & home improvement loans.

      2. Apparently, if you don’t give every demand and change society to their vision of socialism to the people who don’t want to work because doing so would ‘be participating in capitalism’, ‘you don’t care’. Especially if you’re ‘someone who got theirs (what you worked hard for)’.

  4. There’s also the inertia of Culture. Culture is a hard, hard thing to change- whatever ideology you try to use to change it usually winds up changing that ideology instead. Russia instituting Socialism got Russian Culture with a Marxist paint job. China instituting Socialism got Chinese Culture with a Marxist paint job, and so on. The traditional way of how things worked continued.
    In this situation, Marxism is not only stupid because it is a pseudo-scientific 19th Century economic cargo cult, but also was blindly unable to see that it would not prevail against How Things Have Always Been Done.

    1. Damnit wordpress…

      In the right place:

      That is not just a failing of Marxists.

      US attempts to spread democracy post Cold War show the same blindness to cultural inertia.

  5. In my view, nationalism as such is a collectivist philosophy: It calls for putting the needs of the many above the needs of the few or the one, just like socialism, which is its mirror twin. It’s just a different “many”: not a class but an ethnicity or culture. It’s not to be confused with patriotism, though nationalists have had little shame in appealing to patriotism to justify their collectivist ends.

    It happens that in the United States currently, a specific version of nationalism is a lesser evil, somewhat paralleling the way that what Americans call “conservatism” is a lesser evil than progressivism (bear in mind that rather few Americans favor what Europeans call “conservatism”). In fact I have to say that Trump has done more for the libertarianism/classical liberalism I believe in than any politician for a long time, despite his apparent adherence to nationalism, which quite put me off when he was running. And it also has to be borne in mind that the same people not only condemn (actual) conservatism, nationalism, libertarianism, and (if they’ve heard of it) anarchocapitalism, but manage to see no difference between them. But those beliefs are strange bedfellows.

    1. In most societies, western and eastern, this is absolutely correct: When there’s a Sultan or an Emperor or a King and you buy into nationalism, you’re buying into “one for all and all for that dude” concept. But the basic premise here is one of individual sovereignty, of the people as the sovereign in their individuality, with individual rights and privileges and responsibilities.

      That’s why so much is being put into the effort to change that concept through the schools: If it gets swapped to a collective sovereignty that changes everything. And as is obvious to even the most dull observer, exercising collective sovereignty en masse is not practical – there have to be certain people – you know, a priesthood, an aristocracy, a guiding educated class – to help exercise that sovereignty on the behalf of the nebulous collective. And of course that collective is a selective collective – you can’t have just anyone in there contributing to that nebulous sovereignty that the elite are exercising on behalf of the collective. You obviously have exclude wrong thinkers and wreckers and kulaks. The natural progression from there ends up in regrettably having to shoot individuals in the head and dropping the bodies in mass graves in the forest, for the good of the collective.

      And naturally those who have the foresight to see the need for moving away from individual rights to collective rights will be the ones that end up guiding the unwashed masses in that educated elite, not the most ruthless and cold-hearted killers as has happened every single time this whole good-of-the-collective thing was tried elsewhere.

      That’s why the least-bad is the best choice for me – any society that even tries to do the individual rights thing is preferable to all the alternatives.

      1. In the Marshall Islands after WWII, America decided that the Mandate could no longer be governed by their traditional chiefs, or iroij. So, after elections, the islands were governed by ‘Senators’ – who just happened to be the iroij. And as it happened, the President turned out to be the iroijlaplap (Chief of Chiefs). When he passed to his reward, it just so happened that his son (and, subsequently, grandson) managed to be elected President in his stead, with all the graft and corruption usually attendant on that structure in Third World shitholes Developing Nations. It seems that the presidency has recently been reft from the hands of the Kabua family, but it’s still under the control of the same insular group of nepotistic scum.

        In talking to my Marshallese co-workers and fishing buddies, it became crystal clear why the people are disarmed. The derisory term they used to refer to the Leadership was the word for Frigate Bird, a bird that will steal any good thing right out of the mouths of ‘lesser’ birds

    2. Nationalism in the sense of “I love my country better than any other country” is not a collectivist philosophy. And looking after the interests of people in YOUR country is worth it. Because otherwise, you cannot make sure YOUR laws are followed. As a nation of laws, we can’t afford to let in people whose culture almost mandates scoffing at them.

      1. I often see comments along the lines of, “What makes you think that Islam is incompatible Western culture?” Oh, I dunno, maybe the pictures of groups of Muslim demonstrators carrying signs reading ‘Death to Free Speech’ and ‘To Hell with the Constitution’.

    1. It seems to me that the claim that having a regular legal process for entry into a country is the same thing as nationalism is itself a piece of leftist propaganda.

        1. You seem to me to be taking me to be saying the exact reverse of what I am saying.

  6. Instead of addressing the central hole in socialism, of treating people as widgets, they just want to attribute different values to those widgets, as though that solved anything.

    Keep seeing this, and it scares me silly.

    1. And it’s not just society. Businesses see any engineer, or programmer, or other white collar trade as interchangeable.

      1. That’s straight out of Marx; the idea of “labor” as interchangeable. But even in Karl’s day that was demonstrably not true. Sure, “hand them a chit and work them until dark” was fine for digging canals with shovels or unloading ships by hand, but society was already trending toward specialized labor – steamfitters, railroadmen, and the other new trades that had sprung up with the Industrial Revolution.

        Modern management styles still tend to consider labor (anything not “management”) as interchangeable.

        1. ““hand them a chit and work them until dark” was fine for digging canals with shovels or unloading ships by hand, ”

          Actually, it isn’t even fine for those things; as you still have slackers, and go-getters in the mix with wildly different efficiencies and personal capabilities.

        2. Marx actually recognized that—and dodged the implications. On one hand, he stated that the value (what we now call “price”) of a product was equal to the quantity of labor that went into producing it. On the other hand, he acknowledge that where a laborer might make, say, 10 pounds a month, a skilled craftsman might make 30 or so. So, he said, we view the craftsman as doing *intensified* labor, counting as three times the quantity of labor done by the laborer, and then we can see that what the craftsman makes OUGHT to cost three times as much as what the laborer makes, because three times as much labor went into it. A neat bit of circular argument: He used labor to explain market prices, but he used market prices as the measure of how much labor went into something.

          I believe this is what engineers used to call (or perhaps still call) a “bugger factor.”

      2. Heck, “unskilled labor” does this– the “unskilled” means you dont’ need formal training, not that any dope can do it.

        Riding a horse is unskilled labor. And agony if you aren’t taught. say, how to post.

  7. When you jump out of a (perfectly good) airplane

    Some of refuse to do something that foolish.

    In stead, I simply got into ships designed to sink.

    1. Grandpa Carl (WWII paratrooper) swore that skydiving was a lot safer now (1990s). I pointed out that the passengers get unhappy when the pilot departs the plane in mid-air. He conceded that I did have a little bit of a valid point.

      1. There is no such thing as a “perfectly” good airplane. The standard is airworthiness, which is something short of perfection. By the late eighties and early nineties it was common among skydivers to say “I remember when sex was safe and skydiving was dangerous”. Modern equipment and training has made skydiving into a business supported largely by selling carnival rides in the form of Tandem Jumps. These are probably safer than most actual carnival rides.

  8. Apparently in Europe they use different bibles than they do in America, or they just don’t bother reading them.
    In Genesis the first thing G_D does after the creation of man was to give individual choice to either obey or disobey. Nothing in the New Testament changes that. Man, the individual still retains that free agency.
    Since no one can do it all community is necessary, but we are still individuals.
    Of course if it’s a matter of “elites” changing gears to maintain power that would explain how European religion can be rebounding yet suppression of individuality can be happening at the same time.

    1. Heck, half the early female saints were gals who said “no” to an arranged marriage– that is their undeniable right.
      Arranged marriages are as group-rights as you can get.

      1. In my grandmother’s generation one of the few acceptable things for a young woman to do who didn’t want to marry was to become a missionary. I mean, their marriages wouldn’t have been arranged but even choosing a husband themselves, their lives would have been arranged simply because of social norms and biology. Being a missionary allowed a girl the opportunity for global travel and adventure in a time when the alternative was never leaving your home town and babies.

        I’m just suggesting that even back when, choosing the Church may have been a reasonably acceptable reason for saying “no” to an arranged marriage rather than an act of overt rebellion to order. At least as often as not.

        1. Most of those saints didn’t become official religious before their deaths, although a vow of chastity wasn’t unusual.

        2. A lot of the saints in question were killed by either their parents or their intended because of that ‘no.’ A couple of times they took refuge in churches…..

          1. When Roman Christian fathers and mothers had daughters want to become vowed virgins, that usually went pretty well, because it was fairly well accepted and high status, and there were structures to help. But if the entire family was not on board, it was very difficult to get out there. If part of the family was male and pagan, the stuff hit the fan in various ways. (Usually non-fatal, as long as persecutions were not in effect.)

            I think going off to be a monk usually went better, outside of persecutions, because it was more manly than running off to study philosophy. It was not favored in military families; but once the inherited job got forced on all military sons, I think people sympathized with wanting to do something else.

      2. Don’t forget that for every girl sent to an arranged marriage, there was also a boy sent to an arranged marriage, who might not be any happier about it. And those who said No could find themselves sent to the monastery, or the front lines.

        1. Not necessarily. Many of the arrangements were betrothals of young women to older, more established men. QUITE young women, sometimes, by modern standards. But even then, girls were often allowed some leeway to consider the matter. (“It is an honor I dream not of,” for instance.) Unless they were some great high muckety muck, like the daughter of a King or something. Mary Tudor had been engaged how many times, to how many different people, before she actually married one of them?

          And men generally had more options available to them, as well, if they chose not to marry (or chose not to marry a woman, specifically), at least as far as earning a living.

          1. “And men generally had more options available to them, as well, if they chose not to marry (or chose not to marry a woman, specifically), at least as far as earning a living.”

            Actual truth in this regard is not in congruence with the reality of things, and how societies were organized. Men often had as many or more constraints put upon them by “society” as women did–They were just different ones. Yeah, that young maiden had to marry the old disgusting dude, but the fact that the “old disgusting dude” had to saddle himself with a young chit of a girl in order to maintain a place in society and beget heirs is often forgotten. Nobody sees the other side, ‘cos if it’s not your particular ox getting gored, who cares?

            Social pressure is a two-way street, and it’s only in the last few generations that it has started to ease off, a bit. As an experiment, I don’t think we know how that’s all going to work out, but it is significantly different today than it was “back when”. The way things get framed from today’s perspective, the “good guys” back when were all the poor, abused young women “forced” into marriage.

            Flip side to that, though? How about all the men who were “forced” to support and provide for that wife, against their will, ‘cos they wouldn’t be allowed in polite society if they didn’t? We have vestiges of this, even today–Try to be that “single guy” in a company that values “stable, married men…”. You’re always going to be looked at with suspicion, because you’re unmarried and perceived as a potential threat to the wives of the married men, no matter what. And, often, you’ll be overlooked for promotion, because “…you don’t need it…”. Never mind your performance or skill, it’s always “Well, you don’t have a family, you can work the holidays…”. Meanwhile, that incompetent ass with five kids and a mortgage he had no reasonable ability to pay for keeps getting promoted over you, because “…he needs it… Wife and kids, you know…”.

            There are a couple of “mountain men” in my family tree (obviously, not in the direct lineage…) who specifically left their comfortable lives and headed out to the frontier, because Mom and Dad were forcing them into situations with women they didn’t want, along with expectations they did not want to support. So, they left; care to guess how many others there were who lacked the strength of character to chuck it all out the window, and do their own thing…? Is it any less “evil” to force a man into marriage than a woman? Why do we never hear of that side of the story, I wonder? Perhaps because we really don’t give two shits and a damn about the “expendable sex”? This equation is always framed as Snidely Whiplash twirling his mustache as he contemplates ravishing the innocent Miss Purity, but the reality of it all is considerably different, when you look at it with an honest eye.

            You can frame it as “poor little girl, forced into a life she didn’t want” all you like, but the reality of it all was that it was a two-way street that the “beastly men” had to walk down, just as much against their own will, in order for society to keep functioning. Society doesn’t care about individuals, at all: Necessity speaks, and we answer. Refuse, and you pay the price in ostracism and vilification–Which everyone always wants to forget, when it wasn’t their specific class or group that had to pay the price.

        2. Of course, if the boy was the heir to a noble/royal title, he was basically required to marry in order to provide an heir (and one or more spares).

          Note, this fact causes me some degree of annoyance when I read the blurb of “fantasy” gay romances.

          The gay Prince may have male lovers but in anything close to the Real World, he’ll have to marry a female and sire children but the “novels” don’t seem to understand that fact.

          1. This was nicely handled in Game of Thrones where we see the newlywed Renly trying (and miserably failing) to impregnate his queen (can’t remember whether that scene was in the books, I suspect not, but it was sensitively done and well acted, I thought). Historically, such unhappy and childless marriages no doubt occurred from time to time (wasn’t the emperor Hadrian such a case?)

            Of course in certain times and cultures it was not unusual for high-status men to have boy lovers, but those men presumably would not have had any concept of “being gay” in the modern sense (as an identity rather than an activity or inclination), and most had wives and produced children in the normal way.

            1. It’s also noted in season 2 of Versailles, where the Sun King’s (possibly bisexual) younger brother, who HAS an established male lover – marries a German princess, of whom he eventually appears quite fond or at least respectful of, and they do their duty with regards to having a family. (It helps that the German princess was herself accepting of the situation, indeed, refreshingly blunt and open-minded. She seems to have been so in real life, not just in the dramatists’ imagining. Her duty and his was to have and raise a family of children in the cadet line. And that is what they did.

            2. I believe that the usual procedure for a nobleman who shot blanks was to look the other way while milady found someone on the side who hopefully wasn’t.
              In general, the general aristocratic attitude was that once the heir & spares were produced, both parties were free to go fool around with whoever- as long as they kept it mostly descreet.

          2. That means you have managed to successfully avoid the mpreg variations thereof. I commend you on this achievement.

            1. Well, if I see that the blurb talks about a “Prince” in love with a male commoner, then I don’t read it. 😀

          3. In “The General” series, Drake and Stirling specifically pointed that out, when the gay nobleman and his young protege basically rescue/concubine a young woman specifically so the protege “can gain some experience with women” before having to exactly that.

        3. ….you’re not familiar with Saint Thomas Aquinus, Doctor of the Church?

          AKA, the guy whose family kidnapped him away and held him prisoner to try to get him to give up on being a priest?

          Women are the more common because they aren’t actually a 50/50 proposition; it was not just common but admirable to set your daughter up with a successful guy who was interested in her and could take good care of her. You’re thinking of the still around modern arranged marriages, where they’re both kids as representatives of their houses?

  9. I’ve just run into someone snagged by the old con job of conflating “Socialism” with “Scandinavian Social Programs”.
    Which, in regards to Scandinavia, is one of the few times that one can truly say “that’s not REAL Socialism”.

        1. Norway just might fall into the Venezuela trap- use their oil wealth to outsource & offshore all the unpleasant & dirty jobs- then starve when the commodity price drops because you don’t have farmers & fishermen anymore.
          Then there’s the whole immigration thing- importing foreign peons to do all your unpleasant & dirty jobs at dirt low wages is fine and good until those foreign peons start wondering why they can’t get all the nice stuff too.

        2. Let’s not forget the role of immigration in this: their experiment started to obviously collapse when they started importing and not assimilating gobs of foreigners who followed a religion that is incompatible with any society and certainly doesn’t believe in democracy once they “win”.

          1. Yeah but it was collapsing before. Socialism acts like an “invader culture” and invaded populations collapse and go wrong (the women become harlots, the men become either wimps or outlaws, for instance.)
            MOSTLY they imported because regardless of their birth statistics there were no babies.
            Sure, the import was disastrous and based on the idea people are widgets. But socialism was the poison in the vat of wine.

  10. The interwar period also saw the belief that wars were started by munitions manufacturers to drive sales, which always makes me sigh. If only it were so simple . . .

      1. The Hundred Years War was just a ploy by English longbow makers to sell arrows. Wake up, sheeple!

        1. Yup the B&F (Bowyer and Fletchers) union pushed hard for the Hundred years war along with the FAU (French Armorers Union). I mean look at all the new ironmongery that was needed after Agincourt…

    1. The more mainstream version of that, at least here in the States, was that while American arms manufacturers hadn’t started the war, they were the reason we got into the war, because the Allies winning was the only way that they’d end up getting paid.

      1. As an aside, I recommend “Freedom’s Forge” by Herman, which describes how American industry prepared for WW2. FDR estimated the requirements to arm the US and its allies. Industry leaders pushed New Deal bureaucrats aside, making it clear to FDR that he could win the war or have his DC bureaucrats run things, but not both.

      2. We didn’t? I distinctly remember the media telling us the cowboy in the White House was going to push the button himself if he couldn’t goad the Russians into doing it first…

      3. …because the Allies winning was the only way that they’d end up getting paid.

        And that worked out not well: US Government’s loans provided the cash that paid for US arms during WWI, and while repayment plans were negotiated in the 1920s, by 1934 every nation with a repayment plan to pay back WWI US war debt had defaulted except Finland.

      1. Read a blurb of a new book where a scientist created a device that stopped all machinery and electronics.

        The Bad Guys were the Powers-That-Be who wanted their Military Weapons to “start working”.

        IE Nobody else was concerned about the loss of machinery/electronics except for the Evil War-Mongers.

        Needless to say, I’m not buying that book. 😉

        1. Even The Day The Earth Stood Still got that right, years ago – the astonishing EXCEPTIONS to ‘everything not working’ – aircraft, until they landed, life support… and even then it was a just demonstration.

          And sheesh, HOW would ushc a thing work without violating how much physics? Where is the limit to things? Stop ALL current… nerves don’t function. What’s the difference between a doorbell and a telegraph? Is a (POTS) telephoen THAT much more complex? Yeah, it’s story… but even without looking at the ‘politics’ of it, it’s no good.

          1. Stirling’s emberverse series solved those problems by saying, literally, “The gods did it.”
            It’s about the only way to make the scenario work.

            1. Sounds VERY Deus ex machina and very much NOT the way things ever really work. Have not humans advanced by constantly not taking that as the explanation and (eventually… painstakingly) working out WTH was really going on?

              1. Well to be fair when everything in Stirling’s Emberverse series quit working everyone was a bit busy trying to be one of the 0.05% who actually survive, thrive, keep, and protect what is theirs. When possible the new limits were explored. They knew what had quit working, and what the new limits were, if not how it was done, why, or who. The less religious attributed it to ASB or Alien Space Bats. “The gods did it” is accurately incomplete. No one seriously attributed it to changes in natural physics although as pointed out, it could have happened before: How would anyone know before gun powder, electrical, or gas compression, usage? After all the few hundred years these have been in use by humans is a blip in known history, let alone world history.

            2. And well… I suppose… but considering how much smoother thing would have gone had Zeus “kept his trousers up” as it were… I maintain that there are those who seek to be Olympian, and then there are the sane.

          2. Well, the original “Day The Earth Stood Still” had a somewhat reasonable reason for the alien’s actions.

            IE The aliens didn’t want Earth’s wars to spread into space. Not actually realistic but still not bad.

            The stupid remake was another matter.

            1) Why would aliens care if humans “destroyed our environment”.

            2) The idiot destroyed our civilization causing millions of deaths but left us alive to rebuild and come after them. IE They made themselves our enemy. 😈

                1. This.

                  He seems to take on roles based on whether or not he’d have fun portraying the character or whether or not he considers the role a challenge, especially these days. Like the ones where he plays the villain.

                  I wonder how he and Winona Ryder managed to get through that incredibly hilarious and awkward scene in Destination Wedding without just laughing themselves into hysterics every single time they tried to do a take. The role he played there is also anathema to every single romantic lead and badass role he’s ever taken that I’ve seen so far.

            1. yeah the remake needs a sequel called “The Day The Earth Banded Together To Hunt Down And Destroy The Genocidal Aliens” because that’s literally what their actions in the film were.

            2. I refuse to acknowledge a remake. There is the original, with its faults but it at least sort of works. And there is a really bad cover (like too much alleged music). A few remakes, a few covers really do justice to the original and fewer still improve upon them. That… not one of the few. I suspect is of that class of movie that deserves to be transferred TO nitrate stock.

          1. The movie was based on “Farewell to the Master” — a novelette by Harry Bates in the Oct, 1940 Astounding. It’s been reprinted a lot of times.

      2. There was a non-nuclear WW3 in the ’80s, remember? Russians invaded Colorado after the Ukrainian wheat harvest failed. There was a documentary about it, Red Something.

          1. Wait, what? How about all those nearby nuclear missile silos? Won’t they be No. 1 on the Reds’ target list?

        1. Yeah, damn Ruskies took advantage of the chaos of the aftermath of Ming of Mongo’s attempted destruction of the planet to invade the U.S. Unfortunately, Flash Gordon was off planet when they did so; and that’s the reason why Patrick Swayze is considered the modern founding father of the country.

          1. Makes you wonder how many sci-fi/ fantasy stories can reasonably co-exist in the same universe. Part of the wonder of RAH was tying as many of this stories into a future history timeline.

            1. Wanna find some low ball proofs?

              1. Turn off javascript
              2. Duckduckgo mediaminer sic semper morituri > mediaminer evangelion link > daniel gibson author page > bookmark, start SSM
              3. duckduckgo vathara archiveofourown > AO3 link > series > urban legends
              4. duckduckgo eyrie undocumented features > first link, /UF > I’m not sure where to recommend starting, I started at the beginning, but that is rough and shows some of the author’s issues, symphony of the sword maybe also isn’t the perfect place to start. I dunno.

            2. Somewhere I saw a family showing how Doc Savage, a few superheros, and James Bond are all cousins. It took a little stretching, but if you squinted, the worlds depicted could coexist.

  11. I’m currently reading _Clio’s B@st@rds_. The author takes the bad ideas of the SocProgs (sociology Progressives) back to the Sophists and Cynics of classical Greece, then Marx just decided he knew the way to Paradise. I’m not 100% convinced, but it is really well written, and I’m learning a lot.

  12. Kind of like the French believe to embrace that old time religion they need to renounce individual rights. (Because apparently they missed the part about INDIVIDUAL free will.)

    Reminds me of the people who think they can have freedom and liberty without individual property rights. How can you be free if you don’t own yourself? How can you worship, without having an individual walk?

          1. I have problems with the finger print option every, single, time, I’ve tried it.

            Then the one time someone had to fingerprint me (federal job) they complained I was not easy to fingerprint. Do not know why. It isn’t like I have had a lot of experience either before then or anytime afterward in the last 45 years.

              1. 🙂

                Yep. Me too. Which is why I gave up.

                Last phone I could add/remove locking at whim. Current one, not so much. Do not use phone to connect to financial institutions. Pictures are backed up. Nothing to see folks …

      1. THIS! And I believe that the idea of owning yourself is also the most overlooked/scoffed at concept when it comes to property rights. But without strong self-ownership (property) rights, all other rights are pretty much moot.

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