Sheep and Goats

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The left is more social than the right.  In general.  By which I don’t mean they’re more socialist (they’re that too right now, and therein lies their danger, in embracing an anti-human and destructive philosophy) but they’re more social.

Humans are social apes, just just because we are that, it doesn’t mean all of us are all that social.

I used to discuss this with Dave Freer who is a real biologist and has observed primates (and other mammals) in the wild, and he says there is a range from really social, needs to follow the group to extremely resistant and even solitary/weird.

I’m not going to say the right — in the US, it’s different in Europe — is all composed of these “non conforming” Oddities, but it’s closer to them in the continuum.  And perhaps the right as it exists in the US only exists in the US because we’re a relatively recent (in genetic terms) frontier, which always attracts non-conforming humans.  And there is a genetic component to your degree of sociability.

I think if you have a two-party system, you’re always going to have a system that is more responsive to those who want a group and to really fit in well with the group, and those who just want to be left alone.

It is permissible to think of the future, should Marxism be as thoroughly discredited as it would be in any world where the human race survives, as having the “I wan to care for you with the power of my regulations” party and the “Leave me alone party.”  And of us who are leave-me-aloners thinking through and sometimes voting for the other side, because, well, on things like borders or say outlawing murder they (sometimes) have a point.

The fear of course is that when international Marxism outwears its shiny and its value as a social-positioning aid, the left will find a belief just as poisonous, such as say the European right’s national Marxism, or the weird kind of “individuals must be subdued” religious fervor I’m seeing more and more often from Europeans on line. (Often flying under the flag of Catholicism, mind you, but it could be any religion.)

And it could happen startlingly fast.

Because these are creatures of the band, creatures who want to ape those they think have “high status” and get some of that on them.

This is how revolutions happen over night.  And they’re not happy making. I am not 100% sure I’d be any better under that kind of regime than the current one. Yay for borders being defended and some pride in our nation, but … even leaving aside most Americans decide I’m not quite white, there’s …. the mind and the tendency to poke holes in narratives.  I mean, I left Europe ONCE already.

But we also have to accept that this “follow the band” instinct is probably the majority of the human race.  Fortunately, like every other human trait, it’s a sliding scale, so most humans aren’t SLAVISH followers.

Of course, in a society where communication is mostly achieved en mass (“mass media”) the influence of the slavish followers of whatever is in power is going to be disproportionate.

Which is why leftists did so well under a mass media/top down entertainment and art/mass education regime.  They will. Saying “But we should have” is ridiculous.  Yeah, someone should have, early on, but the leave-me-aloners just wanted to be left alone.

The thing is, the species can’t survive with just “followers”.  Not for long. There’s too much chance to careen down blind alleys that make no sense.

Or blind alleys that work but are utterly static. It could be said, over time, that is the fate of humanity.  Look at our really old civilizations, like China.  “Oh, I have an idea. Let’s burn all the books and kill 2/3 of the population” seems to recur.

I suspect the west is different only because of the black plague.  It broke the social structure and allowed a new (and weird) one to flourish.  In many ways, as a species, we’re still processing the Great Death. (I wonder, and this is idle thoughts of an sf/f mind, because there’s no way to prove or even investigate, but we know some genetic traits are linked to both psychological traits and susceptibility to disease, if the Plague killed more sheep than goats, in general terms. If more followers than loners died — perhaps because of course, it was more transmissible in close proximity — enough that hereditarilly it flipped the genetic balance of the west.  This might be possible to study in terms of more/less affected countries and the subsequent ideas of freedom.  Who knows. And it makes no difference. It’s just an interesting thing to poke at, and how my mind tends to work. And no, it’s not my job and definitely not today. Still half-sick and working at short story, and we had a bunch of weird “household” stuff to deal with this morning.)

But it’s important to remember that sometimes just because a strategy works really well with Mass Media, it doesn’t mean the left is doing it by design or really consciously at all. It could just be the reflex of people who really, really, really are good at “follow the leader.”

The current “Go back where you came from” trend illustrates both how this works on the left, and the dangers of letting the followers have sole control of ANY asylum, no matter its organizing principle.  They are sort of like a distributed mob.

Look, some of you have met me. A lot more have heard me in recorded podcasts, readings, and interviews.

I swear my accent HAS to be getting worse, too. Because I used to be able to go to the store without someone asking me if I was from Russia. Or perhaps my body language is now more native and sets people off when they hear the accent. Or perhaps because I lived in a small area, and saw the same people every day and they talked to each other, they stopped asking.

Anyway: no one listening to me is unaware I wasn’t raised here.

Number of times ANYONE in any political circles has told me to go back where I came from: ZERO.

So, why, since the left decided that’s what Trump said (it’s not) are all sorts of democrats (Including severely heterosexual Cory Booker) claiming to have been told to “go back where you came from.”

Look, if no one tells ME to go back where I came from, why would they say this to Cory Booker who looks and sounds completely American?

They wouldn’t. There is no sense in it.  Not even Trump did that. NOBODY does that.

So are they lying?  Some, I’m sure are.  Some are hearing it.  Because it’s the new hotness in victimhood. And victimhood is hot, hot, hot.  And they want to be victims in the new, hot, socially approved way.

There are, heaven knows, lots of situations where people can imagine they heard something. Or remember hearing something. And if they’re by nature followers, they hear what “everyone is hearing.”

This is how #metoo went off the rails in a second.

This is how the left gets obsessed with things, and all pile on them/imagine it happened to them/see them everywhere.  They have a mob mentality, and they become a “distributed mob.”

It’s all ape-signaling up and down the line.

It’s baffling for us, who aren’t part of it, or inclined to it, and we tend to think it is on purpose, it’s a strategy and that it was planned.

Oh, sometimes, perhaps. But most of the time it doesn’t need to be.  There is no conspiracy, just everyone wanting to be seen as being right and smart and good.

This is a huge danger.  Honestly, given the centralization of communications in the 20th century, perhaps its huge butcher bill was light, compared to what it could have been.  Because mobs got to mob.

Distributed/individual communications and entertainment are best.

We can — even us — long for a mythical time of “everyone believed this” but the truth is there was never any such thing. Just the appearance of it.  And the appearance of it puts us in extreme danger as a species.

When the entire country (or the entire Western World) becomes a band, we’re all likely to go careening after the “new way of signaling we’re the best” which unfortunately more and more tends not to be innocuous stuff like “we all wear purple outfits and hats five times taller than we are” but truly dangerous stuff like “Believe ALL women” (Hell, I wouldn’t even tell you to believe all Sarahs. Sometimes you shouldn’t even believe all me. I’ve times of being feverish, for instance, and hearing things.) or “Let’s erase borders.”  Or of course “Let’s kill all x.”

We on the right need to remember that, remember it’s not always intentional, even if it’s irritating, and that the only way to counter it is to make communications/entertainment/etc. distributed. To make sure there is never, ever again a single “respected voice” that commands discourse.

And what the left needs to remember is that they’re band followers by nature.  This is masked, because the hotness for the last 200 years has been to be “unique” and “rebels” so they often imagine they’re rebels.

There’s nothing wrong with being highly sociable and highly socially adaptive.  You’re more like to be very successful than us goats, for one. And more likely to have more offspring (which is why we Odds need frontiers.) You are also more likely to survive upheavals, revolutions and invasions, by adapting to the invader VERY quickly.

The problem is that when you utterly dominate, it’s also easy to careen from totalitarianism into totalitarianism.  And it could flip on a dime.

And the rest of us don’t feel like being victims of your enthusiasms, along with you.

And if the species is going to survive, we need both sheep and goats, and neither utterly dominant.  (Though goats survive better in high change and frontiers.)

As for me, for us, let’s go out and work on this culture thing, and create alternate channels and alternate modes of being.

Do it for humanity.

192 responses to “Sheep and Goats

  1. *considers family*

    I don’t think it’s genetic. Although sure, there are inherited things that can shape it– which I’ll call high functioning autism for lack of a better way of describing it– but cultures that are forced out of their comfort zone and have the tools to deal with it seems like a better fit.

    That does mean we can get infected with bad ideas easier, though. Our “chesterton’s fence” type defenses are not as effective as “no! Only the one true way!”

    • *wags paw* I’m going to incline toward a propensity being stronger. Barry Cunliffe argues that one of the unusual things about the Proto-Indo-European speakers was how they kept moving west. Things would still be good, but some would shift west and others follow. Over, and over, and over. So if you have a culture with a very deep strata of “west, away, go look,” then you have something that just slightly tips the macro balance in favor of those who prefer a little distance from their neighbors, North American might well end up with more of the independent and drifting sorts. And a culture that is more likely to support independence. *shrug*

      • Could be genetic – there are variances within a family, after all. I am one of four and the only one who is a Person of Rightitude. I am also the one my parents always counted on to be marching to a different drummer … although I am sure that must be wrong because my rhythm sense is so bad I cannot march except by watching somebody else to keep in step. “Just listen for the beat of the bass drum” assuredly counts amongst the most useless advice I’ve ever received.

        Or maybe it is simply I am the only one of the kids with Rh-negative blood, who can know? I don’t think it is because I am Gemini, with Jupiter in the Seventh House and Mars ascendant (only the first is true — I once knew where all the planets fell in my horoscope but that was long, long ago and never taken seriously; the whole horoscope interest was primarily a tactic for engaging persons of the desired sex … as what isn’t, in the late teens?)

      • Or you could just go with Heinlein’s idea that the availability of “somewhere else to go to” acts as a sorting device towards initiative and intelligence.

  2. On the Right, I suspect, there are more groups marching alongside one another, in part because there is less demand for conformity in all aspects. Social conservatives, libertarians, fiscal conservatives, etc. could all agree that restricting government authority, interpreting the Constitution strictly, were meritorious goals.

    The Left, because of various factors, tends to impose greater social conformity, particularly now they’ve developed the Intersectionality cudgel. It has seemed that I have heard Leftists make the If, then argument — if you are a good feminist then you must support a woman’s right to choose; if you’re a good trade unionist you must support the rights of public sector workers to form unions — since I first became aware of public political debate. It seems to be in the nature of the Left that it endorses social conformity, that it finds reassurance in social confirmation, that it requires broad social agreement to justify and push forward its purposes.

    On the Right there is much less such need, perhaps because people on the Right tend to be more likely to have identities outside the political milieu, tend to base their concepts of authority on God, Natural Rights or other loci not derived from the popular madness of crowds.

    The Right tends to bring greater tolerance of individuality, the Left on conformity.

    As always, there will be those groups ostensibly on the Right or Left which test this tendency, Fascists (which while of the Left tend to march on the Right) and Anarchists (who march on the Left while denying the legitimacy of the Left’s centralizing principle) but that is because humans are complex critters and prone to perversity in all realms of behaviour.

    • Now, Liberals would say it’s the opposite. That liberals are about everyone having the freedom to be themselves and that conservatives require conformity. And I don’t think they’d be wrong, entirely. Depending on how much of a temporal shift we give the thing. There are certainly people on the “right” who value conformity and definitely value a very traditional form to conform to! And the argument that society works better if we all understand the same set of rules has a lot to recommend it.

      There’s a reason that many conservatives today identify themselves as Classical Liberals.

      What’s hard to figure is how the “left” has lost all concept of individual freedom and traded it for fiercely enforced limits on what is acceptable for anyone.

      • Not all that hard really. What you first described is the classic liberal philosophy. What the left has morphed into is something entirely different, a socialist progressive religion in which dissent of any sort must not be tolerated. The thing is, when those of us in opposition to their dogma simply ignore them and go about our business it infuriates them. You get escalation of violence such as we see with antifa, increasingly wild and ridiculous demands aka Green New Deal, and eventually the movement eats it’s own in endless purity tests.
        And popcorn futures soar.

        • From a historical POV, the European Intellectual Left jumped to Socialism because A) it wasn’t the doddering Aristocracy and B) it wasn’t the new Capitalist class…with whom the Intellectuals quickly found they couldn’t compete. I may be wrong here (my knowledge of History has gaps) but my impression is that in Europe the Capitalist class never really rose to the top of the social heap. It did, for a while, in the US (here the Intellectual Left seized on the Great Depression as an excuse to discredited it). But not in Europe.

          In the last several decades we’ve seen cycles of the Political Left struggling to assimilate one wave of entrepreneurs after another. And they’ve done pretty well, but we still get the occasional Cathy family going their own (Christian) way. But until recently we haven’t seen self made men out of Europe telling the Left to pound sand much.

          • The Titans of Business in Europe tended to work very hard to get into the nobility, then stay there. England was a little different for about fifty years or so (1750-1800), then the class system started closing the doors again. If you made your fortune through business, you were out. It carried the taint of being a Nonconformist, as well as not having landed wealth.

            • They wisely maintained a method of laundering wealth, however, by permitting intermarriage between impoverished gentry and wealthy industrialist families. Not something to brag about, but a few generations of good behaviour would render mocking their descendants a faux pas (although discussions of “U and Non-U” would remain a noble diversion.)

          • my impression is that in Europe the Capitalist class never really rose to the top of the social heap.

            Might have some disagreement here — Europe is a very big place, with plenty of variation all about. Britain had a strong Bourgeois class following the Industrial Revolution (one reason it may have taken greater hold there than on the continent) and such people as Disraeli and Thatcher ascending the political pyramid. Their role as a naval power also permitted “commoners” to ascend, to an extent. I don’t know the biographies of Cook and his ilk, so cannot develop that line. But clearly there was opportunity* for some to rise.

            I also think the Scandinavian nations may have been less aristocrat-bound, but that is merely a vague impression. I don’t know about the Eastern Europeans, but would speculate that when education is critical to ascension and only the gentry can afford the opportunity cost of getting educated we have somewhat of a chicken/egg quandary.

            *Certainly room during the interregnum when Oliver Cromwell oversaw the empire. Afterward, having imported their king from the Dutch city/states they may have retained an acceptance of non-royal blood.

            • > bourgeois class

              Britain had the Parliament, which controlled the exchequer, going back around a millennium. Any schmuck could get elected to Parliament, which meant that Those With The Gold could dictate terms to Those Of The Blood. And also why the throne of England was the booby prize of European nobility; English monarchs were *poor* with only limited personal income, and Parliament controlled funding for big projects like making war, as more than one English king ran into.

            • For those with more time than sense, I highly recommend the book _The Enlightened Revolution_. It is a tome about all the reasons why England got the Industrial Revolution first and ran with it. Things we usually don’t consider, like only England had civilian engineers. Europe’s engineers were military, and looked at everything through that frame of reference, even when they left the military. The English rewarded success and encouraged the poor-but-smart to develop their skills and then pass that along (Josiah Wedgwood).

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                Don’t you mean The Enlightened Economy by by Joel Mokyr?

                • Thank you. I’m operating under the influence of anti-sneezing medications, and probably should not operate a heavy keyboard.

                • Ah, the Wedgwoods. My late Father came to know the (then) head of the family when he was researching for what became his book THE LUNAR SOCIETY OF BIRMINGHAM. When Sir John died in ‘89 the connection lapsed.

      • “Now, Liberals would say it’s the opposite”

        Two points;

        The Progressive Left (especially those who CLAIM to be Liberal) would say it’s the opposite.

        And

        I won’t say that’s automatic proof of the premise, but it is a strong indication.

    • Fascists (which while of the Left tend to march on the Right)

      While there are some right wing (for European definitions of Right) fascists, I think they only march along with the American right because

      1. We let them, just as we let nearly anybody. Until we absolutely can’t
      2. Sometimes the “other lefties” the Fascists are fighting are the same lefties the right is fighting
      3. Quite a lot of time “fascist” just means “having one or more lefty-heretical beliefs”. Like Jordan Peterson.

    • Some of the social conservatives are only in the leave-me-alone camp because the current government is not regulating in the direction they would prefer. There is a very slippery slope when you try to enforce conservative social behavior with laws … (for example, easy availability of divorce and abortion are both strongly disfavored by those “social conservatives” and they’d love to change the law back in their direction again usually)

      • Yes, some people do consider classifying some humans as non-persons to be killed at will, and the government declaring that a contract can be unilaterally dissolved, to be a thing which is against the concept of “leave me alone.”

        The idea of “if we give the government this power, how is it going to be used against me” is usually involved.

      • Easy availability of divorce and abortion have destroyed the nation in several and detailed ways. We’ve run the experiment.
        Note that I’m not in any way, shape or form a social conservative. I am for SSM and was way before Obama, for ex.
        BUT those two things have worked badly in EVERY society that had them. (Exposure after birth with no consequences, instead of abortion.) EVERY one of them.
        So, will you take empirical evidence?

  3. Running into “There is only one reason that you would disagree with me and the reason you state is not good enough.”

    • Their narrow minded attempt to disparage your opinions simply because they do not agree with theirs is nothing short of bullying on their part. It is manipulative and there is no good reason for any adult to suffer such treatment.
      A bit more polite than FOAD, but equally valid.

      • I think that this person probably considers himself conservative. But really, it’s very narrow minded. “That doesn’t make sense to me,” and so what is said is ignored as invalid. It’s very self-referential.

        I do think it’s the most common way of thinking for the activist left, though. When you’re trying to force everyone into compliance, the existence of other points of views that are honest, no matter how much you disagree with them, is a problem. Better to redefine those points of views as dishonest so they can be disregarded.

    • N.B.: this is different from, “You have not proven your argument – the logic is flawed and the evidence does not lead to the conclusion you claim” which we so often have cause to mutter when debating Received Wisdom (e.g.: AGW)

      • Example of the latter: “If we limit how many copies of an e-book libraries can buy, their patrons will get tired of waiting and buy the book, or force the library to buy multiple hardback copies of the book.” Or thinking that if e-books are priced higher than print books, and e-book sales go down, it means that people have given up on e-books and are about to start buying even higher numbers of print books than they did before.

        • Donald Campbell

          I have found it effective to browser search ebooks with the search “amazon digital services llc” instead of using the Kindle as it filters out Hatchette, McMillian and Tor and their overpriced drek.
          Not an ideal solution, but by also “follow”ing authors I like it doesn’t allow the Big 5 waste my time.

      • And the instant response is “No, I proved it, but you won’t admit it because EVILE RAAAAACIST!!!”

    • As referenced on Prison Planet this morning – ‘If you vote for Trump in 2020, you’re a racist.’ Doesn’t matter what you say your reason is for voting for Orange Man Bad, really all it means is that you’re a racist.

  4. TheOtherSean

    I wonder if in the US the non-comformity of some of the “right” toward progressive mores is partially conformity to something else. For example, conformance to the values of their church community. Or just having been raised with strongly-instilled values at odds with what their progressive “betters” say is the right way.

    • You may have something there, but I think even more of it is a gut reaction to assertions they KNOW aren’t true. Example; the entire Left Establishment has been waging unsubtle war on the idea that illegal aliens are, ipso facto, criminals. Now, there’s an argument for immigration law as it stands being bad. But that isn’t the argument the Left is making. The non-conformers know goddamned well that the illegal immigrants are lawbreakers, and it offends them that the Left expects them to pretend otherwise.

      Similarly; anyone not caught up in the Leftist romance of it all knows goddamned well that intermittent power sources like wind and solar aren’t going to replace steady sources and that if they could itmwould involve turning over HUGE tracts of land…which the Greens will eventually oppose. So being told otherwise smells.

      • The Greens have no problem with the Golden Eagle going extinct, along with other flying species, because of their beloved wind turbines. [Yes, I’m a little bitter, why?]

        • Actually, some cracks are showing in the Green passion for ‘renewables’. Especially if it looks like a wind farm will be build where they can actually SEE the eyesore.

          I admit, it’s taking longer than I expected. But I stand by my definition of ‘renewable energy’ as ‘any form of electrical generation that is in no danger of proving practical’.

          • > SEE

            …much less *hear* one. The “whop-whop-whop” sounds like a giant helicopter, and it’s annoying just being around one momentarily; living next to one would suck.

            “How often does the train go by?”

            “So often you’ll never notice.”

            Their penchant for shedding blades or going up in flames would enliven the boredom of life, though…

        • Sure you don’t mean little biter?

      • I don’t mind solar for backup power, provided one understands the cost per kilowatt hour and doesn’t much mind soinking cubic dollars into a system that will be matched (for a short time) by a box-store generator.

        OTOH, is things go pear shaped, a few kilowatts not tied to the grid for petroleum availability strikes me like a good idea. I’d much rather maintain a solar PV system than even a smaller wind powered cuisinart. (Saw my first Golden of the year today; Balds are much more common here, but it’s easier to birdwatch on wheels when I’m riding shotgun.)

        • Given that the state-granted-monopoly power utility out here in the Glorious Bear Flag Peoples Republic (Northern Administrative Division) has stated it has the right to stop actually delivering power at it’s whim, within a polity opposed to building any new NewKewLar plants (and closing the one we have left), or eeevul natural gas generating plants, or super-eeevul hydroelectric dams, or of course ultra-eevul coal plants, that leaves wind (“Nope, you can’t open the fridge today – it’s too calm out there” plus as a bonus “Oh, we’re also sorry about all those dead endangered raptors…”), big-damn-thermal-solar (“Why, yes, we are in fact killing everything that flies through the death-beam volume between the mirrors and the tower concentrator, and yes, we’re killing off the natural ecosystem of acres of land by shading it with the mirrors and then spraying it all with herbicides for safety – It’s OK, it’s for Gaia.”), or lastly, solar PV roofing.

          As the only one that has any whiff of private property, given spare cash I’d pick PV roofing. With a big red disconnect lever and some batteries for the overnight, I might actually have reliable power. Unless there’s an eclipse. Or some clouds.

          The aristos response could go one of two ways: If a lot of folks go solar, see the situation in Hawaii, where they have so much grid-tied solar PV that the grid goes all kafloozy when solar output plummets and then zooms back as those puffy Pacific cumulus float by in the Trades, in which case they’d start banning it; or alternately, if Nancy Pelosi’s house needs more electric power to run the pressure-washers cleaning the poop from out on the sidewalk out front, the CalGov might force the homeowner to feed the grid even were they to not in that instant choose to do so – kind of a power eminent domain, along the lines of how I understand Colorado views rainwater runoff.

          • On the Colorado rain-barrel law– fwiw, it has been fixed, and it was a result of people being dicks on purpose to violate water-rights, not actually about rainbarrels.

            • Why, no, Edge, I did not want you to post that. I was correcting a word before continuing.

              Short version here:
              https://www.denverpost.com/2016/08/05/colorado-household-rain-barrel-law-takes-effect-tuesday/

              and from what I remember, the cases that caused it were pretty dang obvious attempts to take water-rights they didn’t want to BUY, although at best you could guess that folks were ignorant of the idea that they DIDN’T automatically get water-rights with their property.

              • Seriously, don’t trust the DP. There’s a reason I stopped subscribing to them, long before the internet was viable.
                You have no idea how crazy water rights are here. Which would be BEARABLE if we didn’t know it was all going to CA to be wasted in the ocean.

                • I’ve got a decent idea of them– ranch kid with direct knowledge of California, Oregon and Nevada.

                  They’ve actually TAKEN water rights from NorCal to send to the smelt, too. I believe that case is winding through the courts…..

                  • AND have tried to take water rights from Oregon. It’s a crying shame crime that the McKenzie, Willamette, and Columbia, basin water flows actually reach the Pacific at Astoria, let alone the systems further south as in Siuslaw, Umpqua, and Rogue rivers; don’t ya know?

                    I’d list the Klamath, but I think CA already gets some of that …

            • Er. No. It was the result of our water having been signed away to California in the early 20th century and our having to let it run to CA, so they can pour it into the ocean “for the delta smelt.”

      • Timothy E. Harris

        Yup, absent the invention of Shipstones we’re going to need reliable power generation . Wind & Solar aren’t reliable at all.

    • Donald Campbell

      I think the non-conformity attitude is not conformity to something else as much as it is a rejection of the progressive demands of their worldview. It looks like conformity to say, church community values only because those values make sense and work.
      Take Southern Baptists for example. They don’t drink, some don’t dance, they only believe in the King James Bible, and, yes, everytime I eat a meal with my Aunt, we all join hands and pray before we eat. None of these things are required in my worldview, but my worldview does include courtesy to others, and Southern Baptists reciprocate this behavior [mostly].
      The progressive worldview is filled with nonsense. Every man is a rapist, children with male naughty bits are allowed in little girl’s dressing rooms, America is bad, progressive run cities are rat and feces infested, and have high crime. Why should I listen to them. Unlike Southern Baptists, they are most certainly not courteous to anyone.
      The right only conforms to existing social norms because they work. Imperfectly work certainly, if for no other reason than we suffer to allow progressives to live. But the important part is that we conform as a courtesy to others and expect them to reciprocate. That especially includes that we tolerate their beliefs, but we do not *demand* they conform to ours.

      • With rare and regrettable exceptions, Southern Baptists have the skill ‘getting on with the neighbors’. Progressives, for the most part, don’t.

      • Hey, Southern Baptists and the cultural equivalents pretty much single handedly sustained domestic auto manufacturer’s full size SUV production runs through the recent years of higher gas prices – there’s a reason the Chevy Suburban and Ford Expedition are generically termed Southern Baptist Assault Vehicles.

        When you buck the generational trends and actually have children, you gotta haul them around somewhere.

        Since the people who will decide the future are those who show up, it looks to me that a big chunk of that future-deciding-cohort will be religious big-family full-size-SUV owners.

  5. This is masked, because the hotness for the last 200 years has been to be “unique” and “rebels” so they often imagine they’re rebels.

    Not the biggest Ayn Rand fan, but I love this quote about all those “rebels”:

    There is a level of cowardice lower than that of the conformist: the fashionable non-conformist.

  6. Topical case in point is the recent tearful wail by a woman charging that a white man had cussed her out and told her to go back where she came from.
    She’s black with startlingly blond hair and was in the express lane at the grocery with something like 20 items. The guy, who it turns out was a Cuban immigrant, asked to go ahead of her with his three items. When she refused he cussed her out. Funny thing though, an independent witness swears that it was the oh so entitled woman who actually told the guy to go back where he came from.
    Apparently the cops were called and it made local news which fed the MSM with the story the woman concocted about her victimhood, which of course made the evening news while the later true account got buried if told at all.

  7. Donald Campbell

    Certainly an interesting question. Perhaps with the bubonic plague about to resurface across the west coast we will have additional data points. The US is especially target rich environment. First the plagues increased the goat to sheep ratio, and then the goats up and left for the new world.
    Unfortunately, any research would be snuffed out [even aborted] at birth because of the very dangerous idea you are suggesting. First, that Europeans are somehow genetically different. Second, that there is a personality trait called ‘independent’ that could be desirable somehow. About as successful a research project as examining if there are more redheads in Scotland than in Japan.

    The other metric beyond the instinct to follow, is the instinct to blend in. Some of the Left’s really stupid ideas catch on because the sheep certainly don’t want to stand out by saying something contrary. If only we could somehow have a new colony in the Oort cloud.

    • I’m a big fan of there being a strong genetic component to human behavior, but… I’m not sure I would buy into this, in terms of being an actual “thing”.

      I think that if you want to posit something realistic, you have to think of this in terms of one of those weevil-wobble deals that you can hit and knock off balance, but which inevitably returns to the centric state of equilibrium.

      If there were something to the Black Death changing things hypothesis, I suspect that it is probably more along the lines of a methylation sort of thing, where the adaptation isn’t really a permanent one, just one of there being a certain, ah, emphasis on specific behaviors, which would make adaptive sense because of the changing conditions. It may be that the “independence” thing is a bit of a programmed response to something like the Black Death happening, and intended (in evolutionary terms…) to drive the survivors into new environments that would make them more likely to survive. The genes just want to make more genes, and continue to perpetuate themselves…

      If this is the case, and the post-Black Death European expansion was driven by something genetic, then we should be seeing it start to damp down in the population as the stress gets further into the past. Which may be what we’re seeing, TBH. It could be that the stress of modern life is doing something else interesting to the methylation processes, and there are different genes getting expressed vs. suppressed than they were in the past.

      All of this is highly speculative, and I don’t think we even have the beginnings of a rudimentary understanding of what might be going on with behavior at the genetic level. About all we can do is observe, and see if we can eke out some understanding, but the raw fact is, we don’t even know what genes do what, in terms of influencing behavior. I don’t think we know enough, in any way, shape, or form. What’s worse, I’m not sure we ever will, unless someone starts doing some really long-range longitudinal observations, paying attention to what happens when specific gene sequences are methylated vs. not, and figuring out which genes control what.

      I don’t think it is going to be at all easy, either–From my reading in the area, I think that the behavioral genes are scattered all over the place, and if you want certain behaviors, you’re also going to get certain changes to the biology. Look at the congruencies that keep cropping up in domesticated animals, in terms of coloration and neotenous features. Domesticated foxes demonstrate a lot of the same coloration patterns and behavioral quirks of domesticated dogs, which also show similarities with cattle and the like. I doubt seriously that it’s any different in people.

      • Donald Campbell

        I think the first thing about genetics is we are fools if we think we understand it. Methylation does have a genetic component, the enzyme MTHFR, and feeling good does have a behavioural impact. Imagine how many more books we would have if Sarah had one of those never been sick metabolisms. Likewise, Scotland does have more redheads than Japan, although that probably preceded the plague.
        Equally [more?] likely are social constraints, memes not genes. The black death was immediately followed by the Renaissance into the Age of Enlightenment. A group of occurrences almost unique to Western Civilization, and the importance of humanistic values.
        Recently, I noticed the failure in our society of one of those black death behaviors; medical quarantine. It was still around in my childhood memories of mumps and measles, but many millennials seemed astonished in the recent measles outbreak that either the sick or non vaccinated would be excluded from areas for general health.

    • Plague may have increased the ratio of goats, but it still needed the right gene pool to select from… turns out the plague came to Europe from Persia.

    • I’ve seen enough anime to know there are plenty of redheads in Japan.

  8. Your Great Death as a redistribution of followers vs individualists sounds like a great doctoral theses for your son striving for the medical profession.

    I’m sure there are people who say, “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog” is both racist and sexist and sexually abusive, merely because it contains the words “brown” and “lazy”, “fox” and “jumped”. it only goes to show that people don’t really need any reason to be offended by anything, they’ll invent it if that’s what it takes to allow them righteous self-indignation about anything. When they do it deliberately, that’s lying. When they do it sub-consciously, they’re either delusional, or insane. In no case is it acceptable.

    The bottleneck is getting the Left to understand that the Right, with our alternate channels and modes of being, have value and shouldn’t be eliminated per Marx & Engles. Heck, if the Right can tolerate Suzy coming out of the closet as a lesbian, and Tommy coming out as Tina, without shooting them, disowning them, or even kicking them out of the house, then, by God, the Left needs to learn to tolerate us Bible and Gun-clinging individualists.

    • Dan Hamilton

      But the Left will not see that the Right has value. It cannot have value if it stands in the way of the Left. Also the Right cannot disagree with the Left because ONLY EVIL PEOPLE disagree with the Left.
      So the Left MUST destroy the Right because of the Left’s inherent Goodness and the Right’s inherent Evilness. Also because the Left MUST succeed at ALL COSTS and Nothing will be allowed to stand in the way!
      It is a simple thing, the Right can exist with the Left but the Left cannot exist with the Left. As always the Left Blames the Right, because the Right, by definition (the Left’s), is EVIL.
      The Left IS coming to get you, you will conform or die.

      • There’s also a strong component of ‘the Left needs the Right because without it, how will they know what they oppose?’. Wolfe touches on this in his books about Art and Architecture; the Left’s sensibilities are strongly dependent on being ‘not the popular taste’. They define themselves as being the cutting edge so thoroughly that they cannot back down even when the cutting edge turns out to be the edge of a rusty can.

        The Popular Taste may be trite, but far too much that the Left embraces to get away from it is tawdry and annoying…and damn little else.

        • They made the “fascists” up pretty much from nothing, and they’ve moved into “criminal” in their efforts to oppose something that doesn’t even exist.

      • Hence the criticism of Conservatives as provoking attacks. They cannot accept the idea of a military being necessary and therefore blame the umbrella for causing the rain.

        See: Omar: The ‘Blame Is on Us’ for ‘Acceleration’ of Suffering in Iran, Venezuela

  9. Your Great Death as a redistribution of followers vs individualists sounds like a great doctoral theses for your son striving for the medical profession.

    I’m sure there are people who say, “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog” is both racist and sexist and sexually abusive, merely because it contains the words “brown” and “lazy”, “fox” and “jumped”. it only goes to show that people don’t really need any reason to be offended by anything, they’ll invent it if that’s what it takes to allow them righteous self-indignation about anything. When they do it deliberately, that’s lying. When they do it sub-consciously, they’re either delusional, or insane. In no case is it acceptable.

    The bottleneck is getting the Left to understand that the Right, with our alternate channels and modes of being, have value and shouldn’t be eliminated per Marx & Engles. Heck, if the Right can tolerate Suzy coming out of the closet as a lesbian, and Tommy coming out as Tina, without shooting them, disowning them, or even kicking them out of the house, then, by God, the Left needs to learn to tolerate us Bible and Gun-clinging individualists.

  10. Rich Rostrom

    “And perhaps the right as it exists in the US only exists in the US because we’re a relatively recent (in genetic terms) frontier, which always attracts non-conforming humans.”

    It occurs to me that this does not apply to one substantial American sub-population whose ancestors were not attracted here – they were brought in chains.

    It may also apply less to another substantial American sub-population whose ancestors were substantially or mostly not attracted here – they already lived here (or nearby).

    This might explain some differences in behavior and culture. (But I would be very wary of turning this into a “Just So Story”.)

    • In your second case – still descendants of Odds who crossed the land bridge (or, if you prefer, paddled their seal skin boats across the eventually Beri9ng strait) several thousand years before the Europeans arrived from the other direction.

  11. I think it’s a mistake to look at this from the standpoint of left/right or Democrat/Republican. Those viewpoints are actually orthogonal to what you’re talking about (to my mind, anyway…), and only at this particular moment do they seem to be aligned along the left/right axis.

    I think the real difference isn’t really social, in terms of “work together” collective actions, but is actually along the “control” axis. The current lot of people who we’re mis-identifying as “Left/Democrat” aren’t actually collectivists, although they do use the same language: What they really are, and what the problem actually is, would be “controllists”. They want to run everything, all the time, and be the ones in charge. They don’t actually listen to anyone else, aside from maybe the voices in their heads. Note how the leftoids keep talking about people who are “brown faces, but not brown voices…”; what that is would be a perfect example of what I’m talking about. A true “collectivist” would be willing to take in and listen to anyone who was a part of their identified collective, yes? But, these people we’re discussing are actually more concerned with imposing their own views and beliefs than they are in listening to those they represent, so they’re really not actually all that “collective”, are they?

    It’s the control-freaks. They don’t care what it is they control, they just want to be the ones in power telling other people what to do. Under different circumstances, they’d be Gauleiters or Commissars. Today, in America? They’re Social Justice Warriors. They could just as easily be Inquisitors.

    • They could just as easily be Inquisitors.

      Not helping the argument with that one– I know the pop culture meaning you’re going for, but in reality the Inquisitors were nothing but investigators. They even pioneered the whole idea of needing evidence and that confession that’s forced isn’t valid. Yeah, they used some horrible means in their investigations. There’s a reason folks would deliberately blasphemy so that they got put into the Inquisition system instead of the normal criminal justice system.

      It’s like looking at the most obnoxious climate change activists and thinking that’s a decent summary of scientists.

      *****************

      The biggest problem I can find with this idea is that they never seem to want to go into stuff where it’s, well, annoying that you have to tell folks what to do. Where having to tell stuff to do things means work. So if they’re a cop, they’re not the one who is stopping drunks from walking into traffic after the bars close, they’re the ones pulling over people who annoy them.
      If they’re an officer, they’re the one who has 500 meetings and a sign that says “a bitching sailor is a happy sailor,” they’re not the one who volunteers to stay late so the rest of the shop gets off 59 minutes early.
      If they’re a parent volunteer, they want to be the one telling people what to do, not the one actually DOING anything.

      Maybe it’s more… power? Desire for power without responsibility? Privilege without the matching responsibility?

      • Well, I was kinda going for the popular definition and understanding of the Inquisition, which I know isn’t accurate in the least. Poor choice, there.

        I think you’re right, though–Most of these types don’t gravitate towards positive expression of control over others. They’re not the sort to want to be traffic cops, and if they become such, they’re martinets stopping people for having one bulb out on the trailer marker lights, and actually writing the ticket vs. giving a warning.

        Power is probably the real “thing” for them, and the petty control mentality is the way they get off on it.

        I remember two girls from when I was little; they were both “ringleaders” among us kids, but one was a control freak that had to detail every minute aspect of play, and the other was all about everyone participating. Guess which one went into local politics…?

        I don’t think this is necessarily a left/right sort of issue, either–I see a lot of the same dysfunctions on the rightward side of the house, but it’s less tolerated over there. Note the disdain expressed for McCain, by the rank-and-file Republicans, for example…

        There’s a certain amount of historical backing for some of this stuff; the control/power freaks were the ones who mostly drove my ancestors out of Scotland during the Enclosures, and from the family’s perspective, you can read the Revolutionary War as the final denouement of that process, where the English and their Scots catspaws finally got their comeuppance. There’s not a lot of love expressed in the lore for the Scots landlords and managers that decided sheep were better tenants than smallcrofters… And, the mentality that survived that experience was entirely inimical to the wannabe aristos and petty tyrants which made that happen.

        As I said, a lot of this crap actually pre-dates the whole idea of left/right politics. The Democrats are just the current expression of that drive and desire for petty tyranny endemic to all too many human souls.

        I really think we’re trapped by the language, with a lot of this stuff. Left/Right, Liberal/Conservative, Communist/Capitalist… It’s all highly charged and very inaccurate for what is being discussed, and the freighting that these terms have come to possess makes it difficult to do in any real and rational way.

        The group behavior on both sides is disturbing to watch, as the monkey-bands form up to beat on their chests and gesticulate wildly. There’s something fundamentally irrational going on with a lot of the left, and you’re starting to see reflections of that irrationality spring up on the right, mostly in response.

        I would point out something, though, about the idea that all of the stuff in Europe is genetic and a result of the Black Death. Take a look at the history of the region we term the “Borders” between England and Scotland: For generations, that was a quiet area with limited issues. Then, a few generations of endemic suffering, and the place became a by-word for lawlessness and cattle-rustling. Same people, same place… But, the expressed culture was totally different. Then, the Scots and English wound up under the same crown, steady government came in, and Hey! Presto!, we’re back to the bucolic era of peaceful sheep-shagging and so forth. What the hell happened? Same set of people, presumably the same genes, totally different culture expressed for several hundred years…

        One wonders if there weren’t some gene complexes which were methylated, not expressed, or vice-versa, and once the conditions that created that methylation went away, things returned to an equilibrium that had existed before…

        Assuming that that whole thing had anything at all to do with genetically-rooted behavior, that is.

        • Safety probably has a lot to do with it– maybe a tendency to be very tolerant riiiiiight up to where you hit the Hell No line?

          Of course, that’s a Christian philosophy thing, too.

      • Donald Campbell

        I understand the Inquisition often refused to place their prisioners/heretics in local confinement because the local cells didn’t meet the Inquisitors minimum standards.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          “They may be heretics but they don’t deserve THAT!!!” 😀

          I’ve read that the above is a semi-accurate statement from the private records of the Spanish Inquisition.

          Oh, the Spanish Inquisition decided very quickly to get out of the Witch Hunting business.

          • I have this awesome mental image of cranky old guys who are there riding herd on the local heretic hunters and having a hell of a time making them accept that no, you don’t get to just decide the guy who made you mad is secretly lying about having been a Catholic for generations, and then some blanking idiot starts saying you have to go investigate this local kook who supposedly turns into a bat and sends cats to make cows go dry.

            “You want me to investigate what?”

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              LOL 😆

            • Somewhere, I’ve seen a translated set of Inquisition reports that read just like that, with some very dry and sarcastic wit applied to a lot of situations they were forced to investigate. You rather get the impression that the Inquisitors who wrote it would have preferred to prosecute the people making the complaints…

              One of the things about the whole “burning the witches” deal is that you have to remember that it was more often about confiscating property than it was witchcraft. If you could accuse the old widow of being a witch, then getting her good farmland became a hell of a lot cheaper, and the courts might even give it to you for reporting her… Lot of that crap went on in England, Germany, and France. In Spain, you had to go through the Inquisition, and they weren’t usually too fond of people who made false accusations of witchcraft.

              • I would love to read some of those notes– I know they exist, because the Inquisition also created the idea of a legal paper trail…..

                I know Germany has been having a horrible time of witch accusations since way before Christians ever got there.

                • If you are not reasoning from a rigorous, consistent theological background, on what grounds do you weigh evidence and testimony regarding magic?

                  How do we evaluate a claim that Wiccans spread disease? Well, we have a widespread folk belief that magic doesn’t exist. Combine that with the disease models we have, and we would see if Wiccan behavior is significantly different.

                  If Anglo-Saxon common law was heritage of northern European traditions, law applied more impartially with regard to social status, and this was true of Germany… Magical crimes would be an obvious weakpoint of such a system, areas people would seek to exploit. If there were a strong folk belief in magical practices, such exploitation would be hard to prevent.

                  In my mind, that raises questions about the dislocations and cultural mixing that created American cultures, whether magical folklore was erased the way some of the deep oral history was.

                  • Your honor, we have evidence that the Wiccans had an alchemy lab set up in their barn and were producing pathogenic Van Leeuwenhoek animalcules. They further were contaminating and distributing Gideon Bibles in all the expensive homes that George Washington will eventually stay in (according to our resident seer.)

                • Ronald Hutton The Witch — discusses the virtually universal belief in witchcraft.

              • The accounts I’ve read say there was less in England, but more in Scotland and the other two. In Germany, it reached the absurd level of the witchfinder general for Saxony supposedly riding a better horse than the Prince.

                And there it wasn’t little old ladies, it was anyone who owned property, especially the middle class who didn’t have their own troops.

          • Nah. By staying in the Witch Hunt business, they did something to curb the lynchings — a long trial gave everyone time to cool down before the acquittal.

        • I’d believe it.

      • Well, unless you actually were a heretic (or a witch or a fake converso), but yes. Inquisitors started out as pretty swell in the Middle Ages. Where it weakened you were more likely to be falsely accused, and punished.

        I think there are multiple axes. One of them is the Slaver / working-man.

        And it’s a continuum. There are decent Aristos and busybody working-men.

        • It ain’t perfect, but the ‘less likely to be falsely accused’ was major improvement, in a time when being a heretic was step one to rebelling.
          (Which made things make a LOT more sense when I finally found that out.)

          • Exactly.

            The issue is being accurately found out by the Modern Day Inquisition when you really are a Climate, race, or gender heretic. Or witch. Or converso from the Holy Church of the Narrative.

            But that’s because the Catholic Church was a far better institution than, say your average Grievance Studies unit. Or Facebook.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            One aspect of being falsely accused of heresy was that secular authorities would accuse people of heresy for “reasons” and of course the accused would be found guilty and executed.

            The Catholic Church managed to convince secular authorities that “dealing with heresy is Our Business Not Your Business” so the various Inquisitions were set up under Church Authority.

            It was “interesting” how many heretics were found innocent of heresy.

            Many were found to “be in error” and just needed proper education (in the good sense).

            Punishments were often mild compared to what the secular authorities would issue and only a very few were turned over to the secular authorities for execution.

            Oh, the Spanish Inquisition was IIRC the only one not under Church Authority.

            But then the SI was originally set up to find “secret Jews” and “secret Muslims” who were thought to be secret enemies of the Christian Spanish King. Thus it was answerable to the Spanish King.

        • Rich Rostrom

          Re the Inquisition:

          It should also be noted that their jurisdiction extended to what would now be termed “cults” and their methods included forms of “deprogramming”. (The Inquisitors preferred public recantations to executions in most cases.)

          An unfortunate side effect of our present scheme of religious liberties is that it provides a shelter from the civil law which various scoundrels exploit. For instance Scientology.

          To put down religious crime, one would need religious police – and that is impossible now.

    • Dan Hamilton

      Yes, you are right, it is Control vs Leave me Alone. But the Democrats have ALWAYS been for control. The Socialist(Communist) is just the best way they have found to establish control. Those they can’t control must be eliminated. The 2ed makes that difficult, so it must be destroyed or gotten around. The Freedom of Speech also makes it difficult, so it must be put to an end. If the Left thought that Religion was better at keeping control they would switch to that.

      • It is probably useful to consider the insights offered by Jonathan Haidt and his recognition that, of the “Six* Moral Foundations — Care/Harm, Fairness/Cheating, Loyalty/Betrayal, Authority/Subversion, Sanctity/Degradation, and Liberty/Oppression — the Left only perceives three. It is the interaction and balances given each area of moral foundation that determines where any individual will fall in the spectrum.

        Per Wiki:

        Researchers have found that people’s sensitivities to the five/six moral foundations correlate with their political ideologies. Using the Moral Foundations Questionnaire, Haidt and Graham found that libertarians are most sensitive to the proposed Liberty foundation, liberals are most sensitive to the Care and Fairness foundations, while conservatives are equally sensitive to all five/six foundations. Joshua Greene argued however that liberals tend to emphasise the Care, Fairness and Liberty dimensions; conservatives the Loyalty, Authority and Sanctity dimensions.

        By this metric it is clear that engaging a liberal in a discussion of Loyalty is akin to talking four-part harmony with your cat: he just can’t hear it.

        • The one part of that Haidt system at war with reality is the Fairness / cheating one.

          Most of what the Left wants is colossally unfair. They even had to coin a whole new term for what they wanted: Soc-jus, because neither fair play nor justice could be used. “It’s not fair” works a treat on conservatives, but could luck trying that on with a hard-core lefty. Or maybe I’m missing something?

          Maybe an Envy / Contentment frame?

        • Stephen W. Houghton

          While his work is good, he misses some things. The left can use the Sanctity/Degradation thing they just dress it up as Care/Harm, re vegitarianism, the environment etc.

      • America has always been divided into two factions, those who believe the mass of mankind has been born with saddles on their backs, with a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride legitimately while the other insists that SOB ain’t been born yet.

        • I contend all of humanity is divided into two groupings: Those who divide people into two groups, and those who don’t.

    • > control-freaks

      The best line of “WKRP in Cincinnati”, even surpassing the famous turkey episode:

      Union organizers have targeted the station, and the employees are having meetings to decide if they want to unionize. Les Nessman runs into Andy in the corridor.

      Andy: “I thought you didn’t hold with unions, Les.”

      Les: “But Andy, they said I could be boss!”

    • Controllist is merely another word for totalitarian or dictatorial. And the only proper response to those is the grave; because they’ll keep on trying until they succeed, or you eliminate them.

      • But they’re doing it for The Children/Your Own Good/To Save The Planet!

        • Not my children, theirs. Nobody else gets to determine my own good, especially since my father and mother are deceased. And I claim this planet, so I get to determine whether or not it needs saving. But since I’m such a nice guy, you all can keep living on it as long as you keep your rooms clean. 😉

      • Mmmm… Not so much. Totalitarian is one thing, but what I’m talking about is the small-c control freak that loves them some totalitarian politicians, because it gives them free rein and justification to get their controlling busy-bodiness on.

        It’s the difference between Robespierre and that old lady who loved knitting and watching the guillotine at work: Robespierre was the totalitarian, there, and the little old lady who loved turning her neighbors in for un-revolutionary behavior…? That’s the small-c control freak. They populate all the right movements and agencies, like the Stasi and the local SJW outfits. Without them, the totalitarian state can’t function, but they’re the same sort of people who work down at the Republican offices and in the Moral Majority. They’re all of a type, and ideology really doesn’t matter–They’d be equally pleased to be administering things in a nudist colony, demanding that everyone strip down to get in, and reporting deviancy to the “authorities”. The mentality is that of the typical French little-old-lady concierge, monitoring everyone’s comings and goings, reporting transgressions.

  12. And perhaps the right as it exists in the US only exists in the US because we’re a relatively recent (in genetic terms) frontier, which always attracts non-conforming humans. And there is a genetic component to your degree of sociability.

    The US was formed, by and large, from people who came here because for one reason or another they didn’t “fit in” in their origin societies. Then a big chunk of them went a step farther and headed out from the settled colonies to the frontier causing a further filtering: “the cowards never started and the weaklings died on the way.”

    First, if there is any genetic predisposition toward people “not fitting in” it would have been selected for in that process. But also the people not fitting in brought in a culture of individuality, of enshrined “not fitting in” which perpetuated down as part of the American culture.

    As in all things, this perpetuation has not been perfect and has been under attack in the last century or so–partly with a rising parallel culture of globalism but partly with deliberate agitprop from the former Soviet Union (with the irony that the agitprop, the one thing they were ever really good at, has outlasted the USSR itself, continuing to be taught in our schools and universities and spread by the Education and “News” industries).

    At least, those are my observations on the matter.

    • It strikes me there are two components to “people not fitting in.” The first is those who do not fit in; the second would be the cultural ability to accept and find uses for such people in spite of they’re not fitting in.

      It is one thing for the White Wolf to be driven from the Pack, another thing for a Pack to find out the White Wolf can be useful for drawing attention and allowing the rest of the Pack to sneak into position for an attack.

    • Or, like my immigrant ancestor, they came here to get out of an English prison……..

  13. The Yellow Plague, which was probably also Justinian’s Plague, caused a lot more death and a lot fewer survivors, which is why you do not hear about it as much. The Black Plague left survivors who were the beneficiaries of wills and bank accounts, and created a need for labor without killing all the employers.

    • So… the Black Plague plus Christendom / Western Civ?

      • Yup. In Western Europe, it was the end of serfdom in a lot of places, because either Lord X was dead, or Serf Bob and his kids skedaddled, or the new Lord X needed to pay his serfs and turn them into free tenants in order to get them to work.

        The Yellow Plague was a lot more purely destructive, although there were bright spots like the future St. Bede and the oldest guy in his monastery being the two members of the monastery choir to survive. If you live through all that, learn and sing the entire Office and Mass schedule for a year, and don’t go crazy from nursing and burying all the dead, you end up with really good Latin and Bible knowledge. No pressure.

  14. Skipping ahead with a thought;

    “So, why, since the left decided that’s what Trump said (it’s not) are all sorts of democrats (Including severely heterosexual Cory Booker) claiming to have been told to “go back where you came from.””

    Well, for them, ‘go to Hell’ amounts to the same thing.

    *smirk*

  15. There’s nothing wrong with being highly sociable and highly socially adaptive. You’re more like to be very successful than us goats, for one.

    You’re sure as Heck likely to get better grades, all the way through college. When “Expert” merely means “one who has mastered the conventional wisdom” being the unconventional goat who can’t help but poke and ask, “What about this?” tends to annoy teachers and get lots of low grades in the “Plays well with others” category.

  16. perhaps my body language is now more native and sets people off when they hear the accent.

    I confess I have that problem with Bobby Jindal (whom I would support for president in a heartbeat) — the Louisiana “Good Ol’ Boy” voice coming from that face just makes me giggle at the cognitive dissonance it must generate.

  17. … claiming to have been told to ‘go back where you came from.”

    Maybe they were told to ‘Go to [Hades]” and assumed …

    • Maybe. But generally “go to hell” is taken as being threatening to send said individual there. Either way it is Reeeee and Speaker is raaaaast.

  18. Or blind alleys that work but are utterly static. It could be said, over time, that is the fate of humanity. Look at our really old civilizations, like China.

    I’ve said it here before and when I google the phrase, in a few other places:
    “civilizations and species strive towards stasis”.

    It was the same yesterday as it is today and will be tomorrow is a very comforting thought to a lot of people. Especially to those on the top of the heap. And as long as the bottom of the heap isn’t too miserable they can be distracted with “it could always be worse”. Keeping the masses under control with drugs of some kind is a feature of many dystopian stories.

  19. I was going to make a joke but decided it would be baaaaaad.

  20. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Off Topic here but Sarah talked about the difference between China & Europe and mention the Black Death as a “cause”.

    Well, the Black Death was a factor in social changes in Europe afterwards, but there was IMO another major cause of the differences between Europe and China.

    It’s been said that societies often dislike change and in China there was a single government with the power to outlaw (to a degree) change.

    Europe on the other hand had several governments alone with a common language (Latin) used by the educated class. It could be argued that Christianity gave Europe a somewhat common culture (over the local cultural views).

    So Latin and a common “over culture” allow spread of ideas through out Europe and there was no power able enforce a “no changes please” demand.

    If a local monarch disliked some “new idea”, he might be able to enforce a ban but not prevent his neighbors (and possible rivals) from embracing that idea.

    Oh, some people appear to believe the Catholic Church had the power to do something like “suppressing new ideas/ways of doing things”, but too many are blind to the lack of “real” power held by the Catholic Church.

    IE The Catholic Church had no armies to enforce its decrees. 😀

    • Worse, the changes made to avoid it gaining that power– moving folks around between religious centers– actually worked to SPREAD any new ideas or changes! And since they didn’t have kids, YOU COULDN’T EVEN BRIBE OR THEATEN THEIR FAMILIES! (I know there were several instances where siblings were gone after, usually because said sibling then followed up with a variation on “to hell with you.”)

  21. “Leave me alone party.”

    This is the “GET OFF MY LAWN!!!” Party of Canada, of which I am the President and so far only member. There is no cake, in case anyone was wondering.

    As to people being told to go back where they came from, somebody actually said that to me once. In a work environment too. But it was New York, so not at all surprising. New York City and surrounding is one of the most -provincial- places I’ve ever been. Like a backwater small town, just really big.

  22. ““individuals must be subdued” religious fervor I’m seeing more and more often from Europeans on line. (Often flying under the flag of Catholicism, mind you, but it could be any religion.)”

    The hell?

    • Radical environmentalism – I had to fight the urge to back away slowly and reach for a weapon as an older (60s?) lady in a museum urged me to go see the global warming section and how important it was that we all work together to save the planet because the glaciers are dying and didn’t I agree? She had the look of someone in a profound spiritual near-trance as she recited everything. I took a deep breath and made the expected noises and agreed that I would certainly give a lot of thought to the special exhibition. Note, this was in a museum dedicated to “applied arts” and interior design. She scared me. The last time someone turned that sort of expression towards me, I had to get out of the building fast (the person was going to attack me for quoting their holy text and knowing it better than they did, and thus threatening their faith.)

      • Yeah, but given the echo chamber created in Europe, she may be seeing a fresh mutation in communism/facism, that could grow to be able to sustain itself independently of communism, facism, environmentalism, and all those other flavors.

      • The Blogger who shall not be named had commentary on an article about a group of oh so earnest Christian (so they say) leaders striving to stamp out Christian Nationalism.

        Original article from The Hill: https://thehill.com/homenews/news/455157-interfaith-group-warns-against-creating-second-class-faiths-in-us

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          Christian Nationalism?

          I suspect it’s about Christians who don’t believe that the US is the Greatest Evil On Earth.

          And no, I don’t believe that “interfaith group” definition.

        • Before I click, I am going to guess it’s “Christian Nationalism” on par with how the Catholic Church teaches Intelligent Design– ie, if it’s not explicitly denying Christianity, it’s Christian.

        • Wow, they didn’t even have enough details to go THAT far– although the “Christianity be privileged by the State” coupled with the attempt to paint it as racist suggests that my guess was accurate, it’s about allowing laws to single out Christians for punishment. (Bake that cake!)

  23. Hmm. If we ever meet, I just might be guilty of telling you to “go back where you came from.”

    However, that would mean you are once again not looking well, and should go back to your house in Colorado (not quite yet a foreign nation).

    I would leave it up to Dan and the boys (oh, and now daughter in law) to take away your weapons of mass remodeling, pile a large stack of popcorn books next to your bed, and not let you skewer any idiots until you are completely recovered.

  24. Going back to where we came from is the goal of Latter-day Saint theology.

  25. I’m not sure if more social is the term I’d use. More mob-oriented, sure; more group-thinking or even hive-minded, absolutely. But to me, being social is the opposite of that – it’s the ability to get along with people different from oneself; to have an understanding of at least some societal conventions and customs. These are traits the left currently has abandoned wholesale, if it ever had them anyway.

    Most importantly, I find the left has virtually no concept of give-and-take, of the mutually negotiable terms which are the building block of any stable society. Instead, their whole rhetoric is based on looking down on others and enforcing their opinions unilaterally, through whatever means are available. That’s why the only environments they can really function in are strict vertical hierarchies, from school systems to monopolistic social networks – places where the upper floors can stifle dissent with absolute authority.

    That’s also why any policy they bank on, from financial issues to environmentalism, is framed as an absolute crisis, the apocalypse always being a mere step away, so this totalitarian methodology can seem justified. Because, in terms of presented evidence, they don’t really have much to go on. And most importantly, they can’t really offer anything of value for all the effort and resources they demand.

    To contrast, while the right is definitely more individualistic, modern mass communication has demonstrated that we can still get along famously even when various differences are brought to light. I reckon this is precisely because everyone first takes care of their own issues and doesn’t expect the group to do that for them… while statistics show that conservatives are far more willing to give to charity when an actual need arises. All in all, I’d call this attitude a lot more social proper, than the zombie hive-mind on the left.

    • I think Sarah’s use of “Social” in this instance is meant to address that those on the Left seem more prone to define themselves socially, while those on the Right are inclined to define themselves in relation to certain fixed principles. Thus the Left puts a value (but not a definition) on “Progress” and embraces a “Living Constitution.” Theirs is an ever evolving ethos because it is defined by The Crowd, the consensus of “Wise People.”

      Their lack of a sense of give and take is consequent to their lack of any true moorings. Everything is a battle to impose a vision of The Good Life on the crowd in order to retain their status, and because they have no anchoring principles their arguments cannot stand on such foundations and must rely instead on emotion and intimidation.

  26. I observe that there are many on the Left who *want* to be part of The Group, but it doesn’t come naturally to them. In these cases, the political views are (at least in part) an attempt to create a sense of connection which they find lacking in their lives.

    • You know, that might be a route for a genetic basis….a weaker pack-bonding impulse.

      We still want it, but we don’t have either the inborn skills to get it, or the “without it, we wither away.”
      That lack of skill and gut-level need doesn’t stop the advantage of having A Group, both on practical levels and emotionally.

      This would explain why the trait can stop expressing when to survive, you HAVE to pull together…and why folks would want a little space, it’s awkward dealing with people when you don’t know what to do.

      • A simpler explanation may be that one needs a group when one is unable to handle problems alone… and for the average lefty, that’s a low threshold indeed.

        More intriguingly, though, they also tend to suffer from special snowflake syndrome alongside their desire to identify as part of a given group; basically, each of them needs to be the most specialest, bestest, uniquest member of the group, with everyone else serving as ego-boosting cheerleaders. You can see how well this endures, with ever more specific subgroups bickering among the various identity cliques.

        In short, right-oriented people tend to band for specific large-scale purposes or crises, and otherwise scatter, each to their own affairs. Lefties join in groups mostly as a way to deal with identity and self-image issues, and when faced with the same kind of large-scale problems… they blame the right and expect them to solve those. Funny how that works.

        • Part of that is probably a side-effect of destruction of the family.

          • That, plus being alternately spoiled and ignored by Mommy and Daddy, or hanging out too much with people who have Mommy and Daddy issues.

            A lot of lefties are looking for a Mommy to fix their din-dins and tell them how speshul they are, or a Daddy to make everything all right.

        • Some of it may be what scale of problems you expect to solve on your own, or are expected to solve on your own. I’ve recently realized that I’ve been making some mistakes with career planning due to having unrealistic expectations for what I could solve on my own. Those expectations may have contributed to me being to the right of where I would have otherwise been.

          • I guess another way to put it is that the left and right disagree on what is one’s personal responsibility. For some reason, leftists believe that you’re not responsible for negotiating the salary you receive, improving your personal and professional skills, or living a healthy and productive lifestyle… but you are responsible, nay, guilty of what some people who might be your ancestors did centuries ago, or what some corporation does on the other side of the world, or… yeah, you get the point.

            And I suspect the reason for this bizarre division is the same as the above special snowflake syndrome – each of them, individually, doesn’t consider him/her/zirself as fundamentally belonging to the group they criticize. When they say stuff like people are destroying the environment or somesuch, what they really mean is “everyone but me”. Everyone but me is responsible. Everyone but me is to be punished. Everyone but me is to actually, physically, do something about the problem.

            It’s like the proverbial bell on the cat. The left loves nothing more than talking about grand social solutions to grand social problems… so long as the practical part of the solution is enacted by someone else, at no charge, and while taking the further blame for any other consequences.

            To contrast, when you actually have to think about how you’ll do something yourself, in practical rather than ideological terms, and even if you need a bunch of other people to do it with you, rather than for you… you quite naturally start leaning right.

            • “For some reason, leftists believe that you’re not responsible for negotiating the salary you receive, improving your personal and professional skills, or living a healthy and productive lifestyle… but you are responsible, nay, guilty of what some people who might be your ancestors did centuries ago, or what some corporation does on the other side of the world, or…”

              Very interesting point. Reminds me of a passage in “A Canticle for Leibowitz”, only in reverse–

              “And yet, Dom Paulo’s own Faith told him that the burden was there, had been there since Adam’s time–and the burden imposed by a fiend crying in mockery, “Man!” at man. “Man!”–calling each to account for the deeds of all since the beginning;a burden impressed upon every generation before the opening of the womb, the burden of the guilt of original sin. Let the fool dispute it. The same fool with great delight accepted the other inheritance–the inheritance of ancestral glory, virtue, triumph, and dignity which rendered him “courageous and noble by reason of birthright,” without protesting that he personally had done nothing to earn that inheritance beyond being born of the race of Man. The protest was reserved for the inherited burden which rendered him “guilty and outcast by reason of birthright,” and against that verdict he strained to close his ears.”

  27. Redstate has something about the UCLJ finally getting the FOIA results for the immunity deal covering the Clinton investigation.

  28. Speaking of the “believe all women” thing being completely off-the-rails nuts, I very quietly cheered today when my 17 yo son’s NP told him in no uncertain terms that (some) women will lie about birth control to trap a man and that his job (once sexually active) was to use condoms to protect *himself* from the consequences of an unplanned pregnancy. He needed to hear it and he needed to hear it from a woman who was not Mom, since the larger culture currently refuses to face reality as far as any possible duplicity of women is concerned. Admittedly, he has already figured out that his generation is nuts.

    • Sadly, he also needs to practice safe condom use. That means string properly (not in a wallet which he sits on for hours a day), maintain control over it (because some gals have been known to push a pin through the things and, as well, ensure proper disposal — because some gals have been known to retrieve the used condom from the trash and empty their contents into that pace where the condom was intended to prevent their entry.

      Because a) women are crazy (possibly as much or more so than men — it depends on how you massage the statistics)

      and b) good men are hard to find — and a man who exercises care and responsibility toward his partner is probably good, for contemporary values of good.

      For a number of decades now, so I have been led to believe, the NBA provides a training program for its rookies, advising them on how to avoid having their multi-million dollar contracts garnished for child support.

      Of course, as always, it is best to refrain from casual sexual intercourse, reserving that for the context of a committed relationship (and, as my Daughtorial Unit observed, it is only committed if it has committed marriage — and these days, not always even then.)

      Slightly OT: while I do not watch the show (nor its flip side version) this headline gave me pause: ‘Bachelorette’ finale: Hannah had sex in that windmill how many times?
      Ewwwwwww. Thanks sooooo much for over-sharing.

      • Oh, I agree on all above points (and medical + monogamously-long-married-Christian household, so he gets *way* more of an earful than he wants, which is why he doesn’t care if I sit there while his NP talks about sex, it’s way less embarrassing than when I do it). But given how crazy-oversensitive the culture has gotten of even obliquely suggesting that women lie just as much as men, I was really proud of her for coming right out and saying it. And I was glad for him to hear it from someone he considers a female authority figure, without the filtering all teens do when hearing it come from a parent.

        • Agreed – it is a duty of all good women to counter the lies told by bad women, and to alert young men that all who glitter are not golden.

          Just as it is incumbent on all good men to caution young women that the things men tell them, no matter how sincerely, are often like fairy gold: evaporating with the morn.

      • Arrgh!!! Just realized this typo and MUST correct:

        That means storing properly — not, repeat NOT, “string” properly.

        DO NOT STRING YOUR CONDOMS.

  29. Day late, one hopes not a dollar short, (I had to find it again). Corroborative ratiocination of the Goat hypothesis:

    https://wilderwealthywise.com/mental-illness-dunbars-number-and-the-divine-right-of-kings/