The Peter Principle

A timely passage:

[P]olitics and the pulpit are terms that have little agreement. No sound ought to be heard in the church but the healing voice of Christian charity. The cause of civil liberty and civil government gains as little as that of religion by this confusion of duties. Those who quit their proper character to assume what does not belong to them are, for the greater part, ignorant both of the character they leave and of the character they assume. Wholly unacquainted with the world, in which they are so fond of meddling, and inexperienced in all its affairs, on which they pronounce with so much confidence, they have nothing of politics but the passions they excite. Surely the church is a place where one day’s truce ought to be allowed to the dissensions and animosities of mankind.

– Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution In France, 1790


  1. Kevin Kim says

    “Peter” Principle, indeed. Someone’s getting dicked.

    Posted June 20, 2015 at 5:47 am | Permalink
  2. Whitewall says

    Timely passage indeed. It seems those who have successfully been allowed to blur church and state into a seamless political ideology, are busy accusing their opponents for wanting to blend church and state for sinister purposes. Curious this “Age of Obama”.

    Posted June 20, 2015 at 10:00 am | Permalink
  3. the one eyed man says

    I’m guessing that the “timely” is an oblique reference to the Pope’s encyclical on global warming. Or perhaps it is an even more oblique reference to the terrorist event in South Carolina this week, although I doubt that the massacre of nine innocents by a white supremacist is what Burke had in mind with “dissensions and animosities.”

    It is striking to note the copious digital ink devoted to the harmless Rachel Dolezal, whose weird inability to distinguish between Martin Luther King Day and St. Patrick’s Day (on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone wishes they were Irish) is tortured into a synecdoche for the general collapse of a Western civilization going down the tubes. In contrast, there is not a word about the nine innocents gunned down a few days ago, a few miles from where Walter Scott was gunned down a few months ago – which are actual synecdoches for the enduring and implacable racism and violence which has been perpetrated on blacks since the nation’s founding.

    (One shudders to think of how this event would be portrayed had the shooter been Muslim, or how quickly it would have been extrapolated to all of Islam.)

    Similarly, there was considerable attention paid to the protests and occasional rioting in Baltimore and Ferguson following years of police brutality and (in Ferguson) the systemic deprivation of constitutional rights, but not a word about the far deadlier rampage of bikers in Waco.

    This curious silence about the terrorist event is echoed by political candidates. The only ones to address the massacre head-on were Clinton, Sanders, and Carson. The rest either dodged the question (Jeb! and Paul), spoke about Second Amendment rights instead (Rubio), ludicrously mischaracterized it as an attack on religion (Huckabee and Santorum), made anodyne remarks (Trump), or ignored it (everyone else).

    This is an understandable act of political cowardice by politicians who know better than to discuss the ways in which people of color are systemically disadvantaged with a base that wallows in self-victimization, and believes that there is such a thing as a “war on Christmas” and that it is “open season” on white Christian men (h/t B. O’Reilly). Nor will you hear them discuss the easy availability of guns or the national shame of an obscenely high rate of gun homicides – predictably, the NRA blamed the minister who was killed for his own death. Why Donezal provokes outrage and Wayne LaPierre doesn’t is a mystery to me.

    One has to wonder when the responsible members of the Caucasian-American community will address the demons of their community: not only murders caused by police, white supremacists, and redneck bikers, but also rampant drug use, meth labs, riots after college football games, and wearing pastels and clothes by Lily Pulitzer. If you want to conjure up the decline of Western civilization, this week’s massacre is a good place to start – not some clueless eccentric who is confused about her ethnicity.

    Posted June 20, 2015 at 10:45 am | Permalink
  4. Malcolm says

    You’re trolling again, Peter (and hijacking a thread to whine about a completely unrelated topic, to boot). No ‘digital ink’ on the Charleston shooting? Are you locked in a shipping container?

    The idea that there is a campaign of violence being waged by whites against blacks in this country is a vicious lie; if anything, it’s the other way around. The overwhelming majority of black homicide victims are killed by other blacks. Blacks commit murders (as well as all other forms of crimes, including white-collar crime) at far higher rates than whites do. If you removed gun homicides committed by blacks from the statistics, the USA would have a gun-homicide rate comparable to European nations. (Oh, and by the way, Norway and Finland are among nations with higher rates of rampage shootings than the U.S.) Whites in this country are very much more likely to be assaulted by blacks than blacks are by whites. And when it comes to rape, a topic much in the news lately, black-on-white rape is a commonplace, while white-on-black rape is effectively nonexistent. (Speaking of curious silences, if you read the MSM’s Charleston coverage you’d think there’d never been any black mass shooters.) Most people shot by police are not black. As I demonstrated here, gun homicide shows no correlation with rates of gun ownership, either here or abroad. What it does very strongly correlate with, however, state by state, is the percentage of the population that is black.

    In Waco, a few bikers went after each other, and then several more were shot by police. Meanwhile, in places like Chicago, blacks slaughter each other constantly, and nobody seems to care much. Only on the much rarer occasions when a white person actually kills a black person does the left wing go berserk.

    As for the NRA, which is being tarred as some sort of racist organisation lately, you might look into why it was founded in the first place.

    You wrote:

    One shudders to think of how this event would be portrayed had the shooter been Muslim, or how quickly it would have been extrapolated to all of Islam.

    And yet, here you are, hastening to blame all of white America, and the NRA besides!

    Anyway, the reason there might be a different reaction to an act of jihad is, as should be obvious, that we have enough to deal with right here at home without importing more trouble from abroad; acts of violence committed on U.S. soil by aliens and alien cultures should rightly be a wake-up call about the accelerating demographic devastation we’ve been wreaking on this nation since 1965.

    For a man of the Left to chide the Right for a political slant in the wake of this evil rampage is risible. The Left never even waits until the bodies are cold to use these stories as an excuse to start shrieking for its political aims.

    With hat-tips to LibertyBelle and JK: Colin Flaherty responds to the sort of nonsense you’re peddling, here.

    Posted June 20, 2015 at 12:13 pm | Permalink
  5. Whitewall says

    The Left wastes no time in politicizing a tragedy–“U. Maryland Prof Blames “American Sniper” for Charleston Shooting”. The Trotsky-ites at MSNBC are well down the road on this.

    Posted June 20, 2015 at 12:24 pm | Permalink
  6. the one eyed man says

    What a crock.

    If Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Michael Scott, Rumain Brisbon, Akai Gurley, Ezell Ford, Michael Brown, John Crawford III, Victor White, Yvette Smith, Jordan Baker, Jonathan Farrell, Malissa Williams, Timothy Russell, Reynaldo Cuevas, Chavis Carter, Rekia Boyd, Wendell Allen, Dante Price, Ramarley Graham, Walter Scott, and the nine people in Charleston were white, they would be alive today. And that’s just within the last year or two. If there is a recent case of innocent and unarmed whites being shot by black supremacists, or by the police, I’m not aware of it.

    If that’s not a “campaign of violence being waged by whites against blacks,” then I don’t know what is.

    The issue of black-on-black crime is a smokescreen. The issue is not which race has the greater propensity to murder – or even which socioeconomic class has the greater propensity to murder, as once you use class and not race as the variable, the differences become less stark. Most murder victims are known to their murderers. The issue is innocent blacks being killed at random because they are black, either by police or by the George Zimmermans of the world.

    The killing of Walter Scott by police, or the massacre of nine blacks in a Bible study group by a white supremacist, are far different than a black gang member killing another black gang member. When criminals kill, it is one thing. When the police kill, or when a white supremacist continues the tradition of terror aimed at blacks, it is quite another.

    The issue is not that “most people shot by police are not black” (as one would expect, as most people are white). There is nothing intrinsically wrong with police shootings – there are times when they are unavoidable and necessary. The issue is when police shootings are summary execution for minor offenses or when a black man is shot when a white man would have been left alone. The black guy who was shot at a WalMart last year because he picked up an air rifle, for example, would not have been shot if he had blond hair and blue eyes. That is the issue, not gang murders. If I am a drug dealer, I have a reasonable expectation of being shot in my line of work. A WalMart shopper – or a white one, anyway – does not have this expectation.

    The issue is the legitimate fear which black parents have when their kids are out of the house – not because their deaths by police or racists like Roof and Zimmerman are statistically likely, but for the same reason that people are terrified of shark attacks, despite their improbability. You and I never had to worry about this. Millions of black parents do.

    Needless to say, I never blamed “all of white America.” We live in a deeply racist society, where blacks have never had the same rights and opportunities as whites. This does not mean that all whites are racist. There is plenty of blame to go around – just look at the images of nooses, chimps, and watermelon when Obama started a twitter feed – but there are also plenty of whites who couldn’t care less about race.

    The NRA’s blaming of a dead pastor on his opposition to open carry is beneath contempt. These people are monsters. They care not a fig for human life, as long as they can keep their toys.

    My point, which you ignored, is that Rachel Dolezal has exactly zero significance. She is a bizarre person who becomes fodder for ideologues pushing agenda, who will fade into obscurity like Octomom in a few weeks. The continual murders of unarmed blacks by police, and this week by a white supremacist, have enormous significance. Your fixation on the first and apparent insouciance towards the latter is telling.

    The New York Times puts it best:

    “The factors emerging in the mass murder of the nine churchgoers, who took the shooter into their prayerful midst, are a confluence of some of the nation’s most glaring problems: the empowerment of a steady stream of enraged people exercising their easy right to bear arms; the odious racism that haunts society’s darkest corners; and the public’s general sense of impotence, as needed solutions are left up to a political system undermined by retrograde and timorous officials more interested in their own survival than in the broader welfare.”

    Not that any of this will change. There will never be effective gun control in this country, due to the enormous wealth and power of the gun lobby. Bill O’Reilly and his ilk will continue to insist that it is “open season” on white men, who he will continue to portray as a disadvantaged class. The Confederate flag will continue to fly over the South Carolina capital building, and unarmed blacks will continue to be the victims of summary execution by police. This is perhaps the greatest pathology in the American body politic, and your refusal to acknowledge it starkly illustrates the fundamental weakness and misplaced anger of the ideology you espouse.

    Posted June 20, 2015 at 3:53 pm | Permalink
  7. JK says

    If there is a recent case of innocent and unarmed whites being shot by black[s] … I’m not aware of it.

    We’re just talking, you’re gonna play something on the news, you know I’m gonna be popular, right [inaudible] the right thing. SWAT team just rolled by in army gear. You don’t know where I’m at, but, I don’t know, maybe you can trace it from this phone call. But, yeah, these people here are crazy, they treat me bad from the start here, racist company. They treat me bad, I’m the only black driver they got here.


    It was the second-deadliest mass murder on a U.S. military base, behind only the Fort Hood shooting in November 2009.

    Posted June 20, 2015 at 4:51 pm | Permalink
  8. JK says

    If there is a recent case of innocent and unarmed whites being by the police, I’m not aware of it.

    Posted June 20, 2015 at 4:57 pm | Permalink
  9. nydwracu says

    “Not a word about the nine innocents gunned down a few days ago” — except in the paper of record, by the muezzins of neoliberalism, standing in their minarets that tower over the world, watching eternally for aggressions, whether macro-, micro-, nano-, or pico-, against the Narrative, waiting for an opportune chance to wage jihad against the heathens.

    Imagine an alternate universe where the media went Nazi. Would it need to lie? No — it would have Bernie Madoff, Baruch Goldstein, every true case of a Jew doing something wrong. By telling its readers about every misdeed done by a Jew and remaining quiet on all else, it could form a narrative: “the Jews are a problem — just look at all their misdeeds!” And you, like everyone else who focuses on the individual cases that the media sees fit to make into Events, would be a Nazi. Read the Principia Discordia or something.

    There is, in the world, white violence. There is also black violence, Muslim violence, Jewish violence, communist violence, fascist violence, environmentalist violence, violence about anything and everything that exists. It’s always possible to draw a narrative to cast a group as The Problem: blacks, Muslims, Jews, or — as is happening now — whites. And it’s a dangerous road to go down. Rachel Dolezal means nothing. Dylann Roof means next to nothing. Spree shootings are a tiny and unusually politically intractable fraction of all homicides — and anyway, whites are underrepresented among spree shooters.

    But if you want a pattern, look at the Middle East, look at Africa, look at Burma and Yugoslavia and even Switzerland, and notice what they all have in common. Everyone knows that the problem with the end of colonialism is that the borders weren’t drawn properly: they didn’t correspond to ethnic/religious borders. Everyone knows that this led to war. The same thing happened in Burma, in Yugoslavia after Tito, in the canton of Jura… and then you have the Jewish question, the Armenian question, the Kurdish question, the German question…

    …a question for every minority.

    Isn’t that interesting?

    Whites and blacks can’t get along. This is precisely what we should expect, given that different groups living under the same political unit tend not to be able to get along. Whites and blacks are human, just like the Bamar and the Rohingya and the Arakanese and the Karen and the Shan and the Kachin, the Chinese and the Uyghurs and the Tibetans, the Croats and the Serbs and the Bosnians and the Albanians, the French-speaking Catholics in Jura and the German-speaking Protestants in Bern, and so on around the world.

    Posted June 20, 2015 at 7:55 pm | Permalink
  10. Malcolm says

    Peter (and, readers, this Peter has nothing to do with the title of this post),

    Your comment is nothing more than a farrago of falsehoods, imaginary and calumnious counterfactuals, and ethnomasochistic left-wing propaganda. I could spend an hour rebutting this rubbish point by point — e.g., Michael Brown was killed not because he was black, but because he was a violent hoodlum who, fresh from robbing a store and assaulting a clerk, was so stupid as to attack a police officer and try to take his gun; racially motivated assaults by blacks on whites are vastly more common than the reverse; blacks commit every category of crime at higher rates than whites, even when you control for socioeconomic status (and not just here, but everywhere on Earth); the real danger to black kids is not racist whites, but violent blacks (a fear that is admittedly irrational is not a ‘legitimate fear’); Wayne Lapierre said nothing about this case, (although it is certainly true, in case after case of mass shootings, that the killers deliberately choose “gun-free zones”, knowing they are soft targets); no proposed gun law would have prevented this massacre; and so on (including asking you just what, exactly, you think is the ideology I ‘espouse’) — but I am weary of this game, and I will not be trolled.

    I will say this, though: I am not in the least ‘insouciant’ about this atrocity (unlike your hero Barack Obama, who complained briefly about having to make too many speeches about this stuff, blamed the whole thing on gun laws and white America’s dark history, then went off to a weekend of fundraising and golf in Palm Springs). Nine good-hearted and innocent people were slaughtered in a house of worship by a ruthless killer. It was an eruption of pure evil into the human world, and your suggestion that I would find the silly Rachel Dolezal affair more upsetting than such an unspeakable crime against all that is decent and holy — and that this is somehow ‘telling’ — is a vile and deeply offensive insult. You owe me an apology for that, sir.

    Posted June 20, 2015 at 10:38 pm | Permalink
  11. Your comment is nothing more than a farrago of falsehoods, imaginary and calumnious counterfactuals, and ethnomasochistic left-wing propaganda

    Wow, Malcolm, I need to add that to my notebook of great quotes. That one is very good……… you’re starting to sound like Sir Winston Churchill, lol

    Posted June 20, 2015 at 11:54 pm | Permalink
  12. Whitewall says

    LB…I do believe Churchill would be left trembling…

    Posted June 21, 2015 at 8:11 am | Permalink
  13. Malcolm says

    The issue is the legitimate fear which black parents have when their kids are out of the house – not because their deaths by police or racists like Roof and Zimmerman are statistically likely, but for the same reason that people are terrified of shark attacks, despite their improbability.

    This sums up exactly the unreality of the situation. Like shark attacks, violent racist assaults by whites against blacks occur at very low rates compared to similarly motivated black-on-white attacks, and are vanishingly rare when compared to black-on-black violence. Yet there remains a continuous national hysteria — whipped up at every possible occasion by the liberal media, by Zinn-soaked academics, by celebrity race-hustlers, and by axe-grinding politicians — about the continuing menace of sharks, and the awful things they do to a paralyzed, helpless, and utterly innocent 13 percent of the population, as the greatest threat to the American nation.

    Whenever a non-white community fails to thrive, or sinks into poverty, lawlessness, mayhem, and despair, it’s because of those sharks. Whenever non-white students underperform academically, despite lavish support, it’s those damned sharks again. We’re lectured endlessly about the need to have a national “conversation” about the shark problem — but if we make sensible points about possible sources of the problem that do not have to do with sharks, we are at once revealed, and then reviled, as sharks. Sharks are relentlessly blamed and castigated for all of society’s ills, and the ruling classes now do everything in their power to marginalize, dispossess, and displace them — in academia, politics, and even the national homeland. The prospect of any former shark habitat becoming Haifischfrei is greeted with delight as social ‘progress’.

    While many sharks, presumably infected with some sort of aquatic toxoplasmosis, seem not to mind all of this, there remain a great many others, still hanging on in what remains of their natural habitat, who find it all increasingly worrisome.

    Posted June 21, 2015 at 12:45 pm | Permalink
  14. JK says

    “I’ve learned one thing-people who know the least anyways seem to know it the loudest.”

    Al Capp

    Posted June 21, 2015 at 1:01 pm | Permalink
  15. “You owe me an apology for that, sir.”

    The troll’s whole purpose, Malcolm, is to infuriate his target. Your demand for an apology is what he lives for because it confirms that he succeeded.

    Posted June 21, 2015 at 1:08 pm | Permalink
  16. Malcolm says

    You’re right, of course, Henry.

    Just read an excellent essay by DiploMad – a cable he wrote at the State Department back in 1994 about imposing ‘diversity’ by external force. It concluded:

    Diversity zealots are toying with explosive issues; no matter how “civilized” we think we are, eventually, as we have seen in Yugoslavia and only God knows how many other places, we all will come out to defend our ethnicity, race, religion, etc.–and at times violently. Call it tribalism or whatever you want, but it’s there under the surface. Let it stay there; don’t stir it up with misguided polices.

    Like any animal, no matter how well you may seem to have tamed them, sharks, when pressed, will remember how to bite. Whatever the chances of harmonious coexistence may be — and we should all keep before us the obvious fact that American blacks are every bit as much a part of the nation’s original and historical demography as American whites, and have contributed in essential ways to our uniquely American culture — relentless race-hectoring isn’t likely to improve them.

    Posted June 21, 2015 at 1:15 pm | Permalink
  17. Malcolm says

    Whitewall, nice of you, but I don’t think Sir Winston was the trembling type.

    Posted June 21, 2015 at 1:48 pm | Permalink
  18. Whitewall says

    Malcolm, probably not. Diplomad had been promising to pass along that referenced piece for months now. Way ahead of the times.

    Posted June 21, 2015 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *