This Ain’t No Disco

In a recent post I remarked that, with bitterly opposing forces tearing at our rotting social framework, every public shock — in this case, the San Bernardino jihad assault — is a hammer-blow that “strains the joints and widens the cracks”. “Each time,” I remarked in a subsequent comment, “we split apart a little more.”

Commenter “pangur” asked:

Why is this bad? Why is it that we should make common cause with our enemies? A longing for an America that no longer exists is at best sentimental, and at worst destructively futile. Time to move forward, and apart.

The point is a good one. If, as I believe, the rot is already too deep, the disease too advanced, the rifts too wide, the enmity too bitter for the nation to recover, then the only hope for the restoration of something built on the old foundations of Western greatness will require, first, that this tottering edifice — this walking corpse — collapse. Indeed I think this is already underway.

Where I think I part company with many on the dissident Right — in particular, those who call themselves “neoreactionaries”, most of whom are, I think, several decades younger than I — is that so many of them seem to have a kind of breathless excitement about all of this; it seems they just can’t wait for all the fun they are going to have watching the apocalypse, and then rolling up their sleeves to show everyone how it ought to have been done. This seems to me profoundly, childishly, foolishly, heart-breakingly naïve.

When this Fall happens — slowly at first, probably, and then quite suddenly — it will not be fun, and it will not be exciting. It will be awful. There will almost certainly be terrible suffering and dislocation; chaos, violence, plunder, terror, and despair. A great many irreplaceable treasures — our children’s ancient birthright and heritage, that we have so shamefully squandered in little more than a generation — will be forever lost.

Whether we will be able to build something worthwhile upon this rubble is doubtful at best, and even if we manage it, it may take a very long time. High civilizations, and in particular high-trust societies, do not grow upon trees, and they are by no means the default human condition. Whatever follows a general collapse, or a civil war, in the West will not be a swashbuckling plot from a Robert Heinlein novel; it is far more likely to be a time of brutality, poverty, suffering, uncertainty, and fear.

Others may snap their fingers at the noble experiment now coming apart in America, and may imagine, on no practical experience, that they will know how to do it better. Not I. I will mourn and grieve for the great Republic we have, in our great unwisdom, so recklessly destroyed. Perhaps, as is received doctrine amongst neoreactionary sorts, the American system was doomed ab ovo; it carried in its very democracy the disease that would kill it. I have often said the same myself. But the men who framed this system knew this all too well themselves, and they knew and named the essential qualities and principles that might have inoculated us: qualities that we not only have failed to cherish, but now actively despise.

What makes us think we will get it right next time?

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69 Comments

  1. Kevin Kim says

    “What makes us think we will get it right next time?”

    Well… when all is said and done, and everything is flattened ash, at the very least a blueprint will remain—buried somewhere, perhaps, waiting to be rediscovered.

    Posted December 4, 2015 at 10:38 pm | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    We had a pretty good blueprint this time around.

    To be sure, there are lessons we can learn from this experience, and I hope we learn them well. But so much depends on the particular qualities of the people themselves, and on contingencies of time and place, and on continuity with the past. America itself did not spring into existence ex nihilo; it was simply a cutting taken from sturdy British roots, transplanted into the virgin soil of a new continent.

    We of this generation are dwarves standing upon the shoulders of giants. Now that we have slain those giants, how tall will we stand? How far can we see?

    Posted December 4, 2015 at 10:47 pm | Permalink
  3. I must admit, Malcolm, that your vision corresponds with my own, much as I am saddened by it. I have been mostly a pessimist in life, though I have been most fortunate in many instances when it counted heavily to be lucky. This is why I still hold out hope that this great nation and people will muddle through despite the odds.

    In the 1960s, the conventional wisdom had it that our civilization had about a 50-50 chance of surviving into the next millennium. And here we are 15 years into it and counting, albeit pondering once again our demise. What are the odds? I wouldn’t care to speculate, but my sense is that they are not in our favor.

    Posted December 5, 2015 at 12:03 am | Permalink
  4. Musey says

    Please Guys, a little less defeatism. We are not gone, just napping for a while, because we didn’t anticipate this..and some of it we brought on ourselves, most definitely. Despite bad decisions which annoyed loads of people, and set this horror going mainstream, this is not right.

    I know how you people think, but for a moment, put yourself in the shoes of those who have been in the firing line. Bombed by George W.Bush, seeking to finish his father’s job. I’m not saying that these people are right, but just that we should know why. Tony Blair knows only too well.

    As a totally middling person all my life, let me observe, that I understand them and I understand you, and I do come down on your side, but I understand also where the rage comes from. That said, something needs to be done to stop the lunatics who kill innocents.

    Please let us stay sane, and not go after individuals, or cause problems for those that we encounter on the bus or train, who look different.

    Posted December 5, 2015 at 12:03 am | Permalink
  5. Malcolm says

    And where did the “rage” come from for the previous 1,400 years? We didn’t create the eternal and immutable principles of expansion and subjugation at the heart of Islam. We didn’t divide the world into the “House of Islam” and the “House of War”.

    Forgive me, but I don’t think you understand “them” nearly as well as you think you do, Musey.

    Posted December 5, 2015 at 12:16 am | Permalink
  6. Musey says

    No Malcolm, I don’t understand them. Neither do I wish to. It’s just that as a daughter of an Irish man, I do appreciate the notion of collective blame.

    Also, I lived with these people, generally Pakistanis, in my formative years. I remember a woman coming to our front door and offering a sample, giving it to me, a kid, who just took it. You could see the worms slithering about! I think it was just after this that my mother insisted that we move house.

    I do know these people. In my day, they were reasonable and they didn’t touch the doctor’s daughter.

    Posted December 5, 2015 at 12:51 am | Permalink
  7. Musey says

    Oh, and while you sleep, may I reminisce. On a Saturday morning after piano lesson I used to go to the public library. I once had a problem with a man who was lurking (in the children’s section) blocking the aisle between the rows of books. I was offered sweets which I politely refused but he was persistent. In the end, I pushed past him and went to have my books “stamped”. Heck, I am old! Whilst I was there I complained to the librarian and told her that this man was frightening me. She told him to “please stand there Sir” and she told me to run. That was fifty years ago. I know Rotherham, and I know why, and how. This wasn’t Rotherham but not too far away, and these guys were operating back then. I don’t like them.

    Posted December 5, 2015 at 3:11 am | Permalink
  8. My own principal concern is not so much the terrorist jihadis but the Leftists among us who make excuses for them. Many of these derive from the boomer cohort of generations, who I believe will become the last cohort to exceed their parents in prosperity.

    Though I am a couple of years older than the boomers, I consider myself part of those who had exceeded their parents and will likely have prospered more than their descendants. And so I say unto all y’all from the lips of my mouth, “Après moi le déluge.” You can quote me.

    Posted December 5, 2015 at 4:23 am | Permalink
  9. Karl says

    Western Civilization is not just the US. Although the rot is also present in Europe, it is more advanced in some countries than in others. Maybe collapse (and all the horrors that inevitably accompany it) will happen first in the US. But whereever collapse happens first, this will have a sobering effect on the rest of the western civilisation. I hope this sobering will spare other countries from this fate. Whichever country will manage not to collapse can then be a source for rebuilding any collapsed country.

    The sooner collapse happens the sooner the rot is stopped somewhere else and thereby the chance is increased to preserve something of our culture.

    Posted December 5, 2015 at 5:17 am | Permalink
  10. Whitewall says

    Well folks, I can understand the pessimism and worry as we see the fruits of Leftism and its attending rot within our culture and institutions. When Leftists control them, the rot also touches them and their families and friends as well. I have had a lot of dealings with various forms of leftism in my life and not all of it here in the U.S. Demoralization of any and all who oppose them is a key to their game. Don’t play it. They aren’t ten feet tall.

    This year reminds me a great deal of America during the turmoil of 1967-1969. Same doubts about some of the same people, only Soviet Communism was in the mix. Now, the New Left has replaced Soviet Communism and Islam is reawakened as well. First enemy we have is Leftism as it stands amid the rot it has caused and pronounced it good. That won’t sell. Islam will be a longer term threat but it can be dealt with, but first, Western cities must suffer many attacks with casualties. Sometimes the good have to be bloodied up a bit first.

    Posted December 5, 2015 at 8:42 am | Permalink
  11. Whitewall says

    Under the heading of “know your enemy” and his influence on others…
    http://freebeacon.com/national-security/democrats-to-attend-prayer-service-at-radical-mosque/

    Posted December 5, 2015 at 8:48 am | Permalink
  12. the one eyed man says

    Cheer up, conservatives! Life’s not so bad! Take that frown, and turn it upside down!

    Think it’s time for a divorce? I agree! California has had far too many years of paying well over its fair share to support the moocher states, and we’re a little weary of having 65 of our votes for Senator count the same as one vote in Wyoming. We’ll be decent about it: we won’t keep all of the Lagunitas IPA for ourselves. Maybe we can join with Oregon and Washington to form the nation of Pacifica.

    Texas wants to secede? Mazel tov! Humidity, mosquitoes the size of kittens, ugly landscapes, feral pigs: it’s all yours! The last time I went there, I had to go East until I smelled it, and then South until I stepped in it. Maybe Texas can join with the other confederate states and form the nation of Hermetica, in a nod to the right wing media/entertainment/blogosphere industrial complex. Conservatives love their safe zone like a dog loves his bone, so they can have their very own country, which can exist blissfully untethered to harsh or inconvenient reality. What fun!

    It’s true that we are nation of warring neologisms: hoplophobes and ammosexuals, Islamophobes and globophiles, anthropogenicists and denialists. So what? This is hardly unprecedented. It’s not even unusual.

    The sixties were much more divided than today: there were those who went to Vietnam and those who marched against it, a noisily bewailed “generation gap,” and a self-proclaimed silent majority versus the Woodstock Nation. You say you want a revolution? Well, you know. Four dead in O-hi-o.

    The Clinton impeachment, the Florida recount, the Iraq invasion: all at least as divisive as today.

    Splitting up? Sounds great, but it ain’t gonna happen. It’s straight out of Federalist 10 and 51: a large and diverse nation will have factions competing with one another. We live in a time where both sides are convinced that they represent the true nature of American society and ideals; that the other side is irrevocably ruining a proud heritage; and, most important, everyone believes that their side is losing badly against the irresistible march of the other side. So get used to it. This is what it means to live in a free republic.

    Posted December 5, 2015 at 11:37 am | Permalink
  13. ashv says

    Malcom,

    I agree that the eagerness some on the right show for the breakdown of America is foolish. But for many of my generation (I reckon I count as “youngest GenX/oldest Millennial”), there was never any sense that “America” meant anything positive or beneficial. I don’t love America and hope it’ll be gone by the time I have grandkids. Ultimately, there’s little I can do about it one way or the other. But the chaos and brutality you mention are certainly things to avoid, and that’s why I am most encouraged by the elements on the Right encouraging the construction of new social groups and institutions that can survive the changes ahead.

    Posted December 5, 2015 at 12:00 pm | Permalink
  14. Whitewall says

    OEM, a pretty good offering on your part. You must remember the late 1960s as I do. A lot of this sounds familiar as a rerun. Those of you in Ca. do pay more but you keep voting to do so. Pretty soon, Ca. will have more than enough “moocher population” to support than you can imagine. Ca. Oregon and Washington would make a good “Pacifica”. Oceania has been taken.

    Posted December 5, 2015 at 12:31 pm | Permalink
  15. Whitewall says

    ashv…your age makes me want to ask if you have ever visited much of the third world for any length of time? Chaos and brutality are to be avoided if possible. But then you may have no choice in the matter.

    Posted December 5, 2015 at 12:42 pm | Permalink
  16. Malcolm says

    Peter,

    The reason this is a unique point is U.S. history is that the nation has never been so large or so diverse. In prior eras the population was smaller and far more homogeneous than it now is, both racially and culturally. (As recently as our own boyhood, the nation was, to a rounding error, 90% white European Christian, and 10% black.) The sense of commonality and shared heritage (and pride in that heritage) that marked all previous eras is all but vanished now.

    Also, the rise of the Internet and social media is a factor that never existed before; it allows factions to coalesce and reinforce themselves in a way that was never possible when the “national conversation” was controlled and directed by a few major outlets.

    Even more corrosive is the ideoology of multiculturalism. In the past the goal of immigrants was to assimilate to America’s ambient, traditional, and overwhelmingly British culture; all the great waves of immigrants from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century did so. (This was made easier, of course, by the great majority of them being almost entirely European and Christian.) Now the emphasis is on distinctiveness, not unity; on precipitating new compounds out of the American culture, not dissolving into it. Instead of being a privilege, immigration to the U.S. from everywhere seems now to be thought of as a right; instead of a testament to the glory of America’s traditional culture, immigration is seen on the left as a way to punish it for its sins. In the same way that primogeniture laws were in various places altered to break the power of great feudal houses, so does indiscriminate mass immigration, when yoked to multiculturalism, become a weapon for the destruction of a great and hegemonic culture.

    Let’s not forget also that even in the far more homogeneous American past, faction led to civil war.

    Finally, if you want to see what’s different now, look at ashv’s comment, just above. The culture is already so eroded, and the connection to the past so tenuous and devoid of affection, that his generation already sees nothing to cherish or preserve in the American nation, save some security against “chaos and brutality”. But a generation stripped of all the traditional ligatures — language, religion, culture, folklore, common descent — that bind a people horizontally to one another, and vertically in time to their forefathers and their children’s children, has nothing upon which to build the security he hopes for.

    As Edmund Burke wrote, so presciently, in 1790:

    But one of the first and most leading principles on which the commonwealth and the laws are consecrated, is lest the temporary possessors and life-renters in it, unmindful of what they have received from their ancestors, or of what is due to their posterity, should act as if they were the entire masters; that they should not think it among their rights to cut off the entail, or commit waste on the inheritance, by destroying at their pleasure the whole original fabric of their society; hazarding to leave to those who come after them a ruin instead of an habitation—and teaching these successors as little to respect their contrivances, as they had themselves respected the institutions of their forefathers. By this unprincipled facility of changing the state as often, and as much, and in as many ways, as there are floating fancies or fashions, the whole chain and continuity of the commonwealth would be broken. No one generation could link with the other. Men would become little better than the flies of a summer.

    And that’s where we stand: the chain and continuity of the commonwealth broken, our civil society ground to powder, our traditions despised where they are not forgotten, and our children’s generation “the flies of a summer”.

    This time around, Peter, it’s different.

    Posted December 5, 2015 at 12:50 pm | Permalink
  17. The OEM presumes that his “Pacifica” can flourish without protection, provided by good ole’ North Dakota, et al., against external threats. This is the sort of naivete that has led Western Europe to its rot — the good ole’ U.S. of A. will protect them from the Big Bad Bear of the East. But Western Europe never thought they would need (nor was it offered by the USA) protection from their own suicidal importation of jihad.

    An independent “Pacifica” flourishing in today’s world without North Dakota’s protection with guns and nukes? Maybe for a week or two, max.

    Posted December 5, 2015 at 2:58 pm | Permalink
  18. pangur says

    Malcolm,

    Thanks for your thoughtful post; here are a few thoughts in reply.

    Regarding neoreactionaries: I share your concerns about the joys of living through interesting times. The youth and historical ignorance of NRx is well illustrated by their eager attitudes towards such things (this mirrors the historical knowledge of the left, which thinks that nothing happened before 1960). The good news is that NRx is politically without influence, doesn’t have any good ideas, and has reached only a tiny number of people. The political upheaval we’re seeing isn’t coming from internet people with odd/insane ideas about the past (i.e., Mencius Moldbug) but from the white middle class. The latter, having finally come face to face with our elites’ plans for the country, are expressing deep doubts. None if this is happening because of NRx.

    “When this Fall happens — slowly at first, probably, and then quite suddenly — it will not be fun, and it will not be exciting. It will be awful.”

    In “The Collapse Of Complex Societies”, Joseph Tainter illustrates that historical “collapse” typically means a return to a lower level of technology, not a total wipeout of all technology. You may be right about there being a cataclysmic collapse, but another possibility is that there’ll be a de-scaling of political entities (i.e., a breakup of the US into constituent regions). This would probably be accompanied by some loss of technological ability, but certainly not all of it. Since so much of the technology that we use is atomizing and isolating, there are clear upsides to not having a lot of this tech around.

    That being said, there are no doubt possible downsides, many of them involving violence and other unpleasantries.

    “Whether we will be able to build something worthwhile upon this rubble is doubtful at best, and even if we manage it, it may take a very long time. High civilizations, and in particular high-trust societies, do not grow upon trees, and they are by no means the default human condition.”

    Indeed. High-trust western societies are generally the result of small, homogenous, white culture, and in no way are compatible with the left’s views about multiculturalism and immigration. Yes, such things take long labor and are fleeting even at the best of times, but the duty of men like us during times like these isn’t to pine for the past but to move forward. I like Cavafy’s invocation of this spirit in his poem “Thermopylae”.

    “Others may snap their fingers at the noble experiment now coming apart in America, and may imagine, on no practical experience, that they will know how to do it better. Not I. I will mourn and grieve for the great Republic we have, in our great unwisdom, so recklessly destroyed.”

    The plural personal pronoun is inapt here. “They” is the correct formulation.

    Mourn away, because something certainly has been lost, and deserves memorialization. But don’t mourn unduly, for it’s indeed gone and will not be back. What comes next is more important.

    “What makes us think we will get it right next time?”

    Nothing, but uncertainty about being 100% right about everything to come isn’t a good reason for paralysis.

    We’re moving forward, and signs of positive change are with us. For example, contrast what’s happening in Europe with immigration versus what is happening here. The EU is allowing itself to be overrun with Muslims, while here we don’t even want 10,000 of these people, and our petulant president is sulking because 30 governors have said they don’t want any, either. Certainly the taste of Muslim cultural enrichment that both the EU and the USA recently got in Paris and San Bernardino will further drive events in our favor.

    Finally, Malcolm, there is in your attitude a bit of a typical down-at-the-mouth view that got conservatives where they are now. Since that outlook hasn’t worked out, how about something new?

    Posted December 5, 2015 at 3:32 pm | Permalink
  19. Musey says

    Certainly, in the UK, multicuturalism is just a word. Some ethnic groups have taken over particular areas and the local population moved out. There was, and is no mixing, no common socializing, no shared experience.

    When I was ten years old the family sold up our old rambling house and moved to a small village about six miles and a whole world away. It was, and remains, an idyllic Yorkshire village, complete with a post office, a country inn, the village green, beautiful stone houses, a babbling brook, and the tennis club. The residents are all white professionals.

    If anything, the divisions between the ethnic groups are even more stark than they were decades ago.

    Maybe in the USA, in the cities there was more integration? Malcolm, you speak of people assimilating into the culture. I never saw any of that. The richer families moved right out of town and the poorer white families shifted within the old town and created white ghettos.

    Posted December 5, 2015 at 3:34 pm | Permalink
  20. pangur says

    OEM says: “Splitting up? Sounds great, but it ain’t gonna happen. It’s straight out of Federalist 10 and 51: a large and diverse nation will have factions competing with one another.”

    An admission of weakness. Only when the left is threatened does it appeal to principle. Unfortunately for you, we’re hip to the ruse. Care to try again?

    “So get used to it. This is what it means to live in a free republic.”

    You’ll live in a free republic when our side says you can (assuming we let you).

    Posted December 5, 2015 at 3:38 pm | Permalink
  21. Malcolm says

    Musey:

    Certainly, in the UK, multicuturalism is just a word. Some ethnic groups have taken over particular areas and the local population moved out. There was, and is no mixing, no common socializing, no shared experience… Malcolm, you speak of people assimilating into the culture. I never saw any of that.

    That’s what multiculturalism is. Even in the absence of complete disaggregation, what is shared is only the lowest commonalities: the need for transportation and other basic services. (To take a metaphor from object-oriented programming, in a multicultural society we might say that humans must be addressed only through base-class pointers.)

    Posted December 5, 2015 at 4:05 pm | Permalink
  22. Malcolm says

    Pangur, I find much to agree with in your comment. I will part with you in that I find much of value in NRx; in particular I think Moldbug has been very helpful in his critique of democracy and his tracking of the Puritan roots of present-day leftism. (He is mostly a synthesist, but he has done his homework well. Perhaps his best contribution is his emphasis on original historical sources; there are certainly some old books that I have read and benefited from that I might not have read were it not for him.) While much of NRx has the aggressive enthusiasm, and brash overconfidence, of the high-IQ undergraduate besotted with newly encountered and inflammatory ideas, there are also some very sharp (and better-seasoned) minds active in that community.

    As for the form a collapse might take, I’m far from certain that it will be sudden and sharp. Indeed, it might well be just a long, slow descent into mediocrity and the soft tyranny described so chillingly by Tocqueville. Much depends on the temperament of what remains of the traditional American people. Certainly the more ethnically, culturally, and religiously fragmented the nation becomes, while retaining its political borders, the more it will require a dominant central sovereign to hold it all together as its virility and common purpose fade into darkness.

    It’s quite possible that there will just be an gradual, centripetal effect that over time will, as you say, “de-scale” the U.S. into “constituent regions”. Given how far we’ve already come apart, this is probably the best outcome, but carving the nation at its joints won’t be easy, as much of the division is not along regional lines, but along social and urban/rural divisions, with much intermingling. (If this were cancer, it would be a diffuse glioma.)

    …the duty of men like us during times like these isn’t to pine for the past but to move forward.

    I agree, but to move forward productively we must know what it is we are trying to preserve, and the nature of the disease that brought us down the first time round. Most of my work so far at this site has been to present a convincing and accurate diagnosis, and to identify those principles whose neglect has led to our predicament, and that must be carried forward in whatever we hope to build next.

    The plural personal pronoun is inapt here. “They” is the correct formulation.

    I suppose you’re right, but such is my lingering attachment to this civilization.

    Mourn away, because something certainly has been lost, and deserves memorialization. But don’t mourn unduly, for it’s indeed gone and will not be back. What comes next is more important.

    “What makes us think we will get it right next time?”

    Nothing, but uncertainty about being 100% right about everything to come isn’t a good reason for paralysis.

    Of course not. There’s no good reason for paralysis, under any circumstances.

    We’re moving forward, and signs of positive change are with us. For example, contrast what’s happening in Europe with immigration versus what is happening here. The EU is allowing itself to be overrun with Muslims, while here we don’t even want 10,000 of these people, and our petulant president is sulking because 30 governors have said they don’t want any, either. Certainly the taste of Muslim cultural enrichment that both the EU and the USA recently got in Paris and San Bernardino will further drive events in our favor.

    Yes, this is encouraging. We shall see. Europe is clearly in a more desperate situation than we are.

    Finally, Malcolm, there is in your attitude a bit of a typical down-at-the-mouth view that got conservatives where they are now.

    Sorry. I know I do at times sound dour, but I am not optimistic about the near term. I think things are going to get worse before they get better. But don’t confuse that with despair, which is rightly considered a grave sin. I most certainly do not despair, and I will never give in. There is still so much of surpassing worth and beauty in this world, and so much to live for, and to fight for.

    Posted December 5, 2015 at 4:49 pm | Permalink
  23. “…, and I will never give in.”

    Truer words were never spoken, except by Winston Churchill, who repeated the word “never” for more emphasis.

    Posted December 5, 2015 at 5:07 pm | Permalink
  24. Whitewall says

    “but to move forward productively we must know what it is we are trying to preserve, and the nature of the disease that brought us down the first time round. Most of my work so far at this site has been to present a convincing and accurate diagnosis, and to identify those principles whose neglect has led to our predicament, and that must be carried forward in whatever we hope to build next.”

    Malcolm, I am truly struggling with what I read here and on Moldbug vs the Cold War mentality I was taught and trained under years ago. The nature of the disease that has done this to us is easy enough, but there is also another “disease” that played a role–disinterest by traditional minded people as the Left took over Academia–too many on “our” side took little notice and just handed it over. We as a nation are suffering for it. But look who else is now suffering, spineless professors and campus administrators as their Maoist spawn turn on them in fits of power mad demands. As George Will said about this spectacle on the nation’s campuses–“good”. The Left took it over, now is a good time to begin challenging them for control. Fight their weapon of indoctrination with a superior way of teaching. Burst the “sacred bubbles” of leftism. Offer young minds the satisfying challenge of traditional classical liberalism.

    I agree things will get worse before they get better short term. But criminals and terrorists running loose among us will focus the mind. Meantime, as is always the case, the left will continue to turn on itself. It is their nature.

    Posted December 5, 2015 at 8:19 pm | Permalink
  25. Meantime, as is always the case, the left will continue to turn on itself. It is their nature.

    Robert,

    I fervently hope you are correct, but I have my doubts. Consider American Jewish voters — they are overwhelmingly so-called “liberal” Democrats (Obama got 75% of their vote, but not, I repeat not mine).

    I don’t know much about the non-Jewish Left, but I am very familiar with the Jewish Left (as typified by the OEM), much to my dismay. They have by and large been fanatically committed to Leftist causes ever since their own God labeled them “the stiff-necked people”. They do, however, have a habit of adopting self-destructive policies, so there is that going for the 25% exceptions to the rule (like myself).

    Posted December 5, 2015 at 9:38 pm | Permalink
  26. Whitewall says

    Henry, I have always wondered about those lefty Jews myself. When I was a child, the family right next door was the Sosnick family, well known and thought of Jewish folks. My Dad always told me that Mr. and Mrs. Sosnick were some of the finest patriots he knew- I didn’t know what patriots meant. They and my parents and grandfather were Republicans…an oddity way back then in N.C. I didn’t understand how Jews could be living next to me then as I thought they were all from the Bible according to the color pictures I saw in Sunday school.

    Why the left appeals to a segment of Jews is baffling to me even today. A few decades ago when I traveled a lot, I came to know two Israelis, one-Jobi- was a Lt. in the IDF artillery division and his friend “Vic” who as he put it-worked in domestic security. I asked both of them why the Left was no appealing. They couldn’t really explain it either, at least without breaking into Hebrew and flailing their arms around. Basically they said- look Robert-in America our people believe the Left can give them everything they want if they just vote ‘correctly”. That’s all they could tell me.

    Today anti-Semitism is rising again and it is on the Left, especially in Europe with the US close behind. Hopefully some minds will be changed. Frustrating.

    Posted December 5, 2015 at 10:47 pm | Permalink
  27. Musey says

    Don’t worry about it, Whitewall. I married a WASP and I was okay with that. With the benefit of on-line, let’s find out who you really are websites, I now know, that I married into a Jewish family (on both sides of his family) who were passing themselves off as pure English. I could be annoyed, my husband is bemused by the deception.

    My father’s family have had a book written about them! Only by a local historian. Evidently, when most people were moving from Ireland to England, his ancestors were heading in the opposite direction. They started out as three Scottish brothers, looking for a new life, converted to Catholicism, and claimed half a county. Well, that’s the story.

    Really, the lesson is: don’t believe a word of it.

    Posted December 5, 2015 at 11:19 pm | Permalink
  28. Malcolm says

    One simple point to keep in mind when trying to understand the politics of the Jews in America and Europe: as long-persecuted outsiders, they will naturally align themselves with whatever political movements encourage pluralism and multiculturalism, and against movements advocating nationalism, traditionalism, and ethnic solidarity.

    All of this, of course, goes by the board when it comes to Israel. (I approve wholeheartedly, by the way, and believe that the Jews have every right to preserve the particular ethnic and cultural character of their nation. I just wish we were permitted to do so also, over here.)

    Posted December 6, 2015 at 12:27 am | Permalink
  29. Robert,

    Opinions about why Jews seem drawn to Leftist ideology vary and definitely include what Malcolm pointed out above. In fact, opinions about Judaism itself abound and are mostly negative; that, unfortunately, is the cross we bear. David Mamet’s “The Wicked Son” explores some of these issues very entertainingly, if you are interested.

    As the Virtual Talmud points out, “Ask two Jews, get three opinions.” This is a conservative estimate; you are more likely to get five or more. This is why the great climate-change controversy would never have been solved if it had been left to the Jews — they couldn’t possibly reach a consensus on any topic!

    Don’t fret about not understanding “those lefty Jews”, Robert. Even our God couldn’t figure them out. His pronouncement that they are “the stiff-necked people” seems like a cop-out to me (I will try to atone for such blasphemy next Yom Kippur).

    Posted December 6, 2015 at 1:42 am | Permalink
  30. Achillesheels says

    Long time lurker here, I feel like I have to chime in.

    You’re being all too pessimistic. What you are seeing is simply the slow death of a dysfunctional social order, which is entirely healthy for the sake of posterity.

    What is that social order? Why, the conversion of the United States Republic into a pseudo-fascistic society directed by an encroaching federal government into the aspects of every citizen’s life. It has led to decrepit human development which is why it is no longer sustainable, i.e. it has led to more dependents on the state than self-sufficient and productive human beings.

    As for the “chaos”, what I foresee is not social unrest per se unless instigated by the degenerate mass media – itself a product of federal intrusion into academics and therefore the dissemination of degenerate culture – but more blunders in reaction to a Hurricane Sandy or Katrina and deaths from broken infrastructure that went unattended because the masses preferred to vote for goodies instead of investing into the well-being of their society. Even then, I predict, such calamities will be used – politically – to reveal the failures of the state.

    To be sure, there will be enormous resistance along the way, but that friction is what makes the death slow versus dramatic and unnerving. I would argue that it has already been taking place since 2008. Also to be sure, it will be painful for those aligned with, quite frankly, infantilism versus the fullest fulfillment of human liberty.

    And I count every single one of you that plans to live on social security income as infantile and part of the problem.

    Posted December 6, 2015 at 2:15 am | Permalink
  31. And I count every single one of you that plans to live on social security income as infantile and part of the problem.

    I agree though I doubt any of the regulars here are making such foolish plans.

    Posted December 6, 2015 at 3:06 am | Permalink
  32. Achillesheels says

    I doubt any of the regulars here are making such foolish plans.

    Not even the notorious “OEM”? Or does this person communicate from a psychiatric ward?

    (slightly kidding)

    Posted December 6, 2015 at 3:16 am | Permalink
  33. Ramsey Crooks says

    It may be unrealistic to believe the nation can successfully return to its founding principles. Were the US still a homogeneous pre-1965 limited immigration nation, there might be reason to hope we could correct the present course. But those conditions no longer exist.

    While the middle class was working hard and raising their families during the past 70 years, the political leaders they assumed were working just as hard and honestly to build a better nation, were instead rigging the rules of the political and economic games in their favor. Yes the middle class is awakening now. But the courts, the present ruling class, and most of the ivy league students who will comprise future federal officials, benefit from the present corrupt system, and they are set on maintaining its present course.

    At a certain point, it might be best to admit we have become two opposing nations and people inhabiting a single land. We presently have two socialists on one presidential side running against a real estate developer on the other, who essentially differ on every national issue. Regardless of who wins the presidency in 2016, the political war will resume the day after the election. And why should we expect anything different?

    What do the residents of Wyoming have in common with the residents of New York City, millions of whom are foreign born with practically half its population receiving financial aid? What do the residents of Utah have in common with the residents of inner city Chicago or Baltimore, engaged in their own version of genocide? What do native born blue collar workers have in common with illegal alien filled southern California cities who have disenfranchised them? The answer is nothing.

    At 320 million people of mixed race, ethnicity and national loyalty, maybe its unrealistic to think we all want the same things in life. Half the country wants to be left alone to decide their own lives, for better or worse. The other half wants to be provided for, told what to do, and protected. Instead of constantly fighting each other politically, and eventually physically, maybe its time to start talking about a peaceful divorce.

    There were many years of turmoil leading up to the Revolutionary War, and the same was true before the Civil War. Why not consider skipping the killing part, and start exploring reasonable geographic plans for going our separate ways. Nation “A” could have open borders, high taxation, extensive social programs, and total gun control. Nation “B” could have closed borders, low taxation, minimal social programs and no firearm laws. Both nations could write their own constitutions, using our present one as a starting point. If we could decide on the physical boundaries of seperation (the Mississipi River?) and establish a time period for voluntary relocation(3 to 5 years?), maybe we could all get closer to what we want. Obviously some won’t like whatever boundaries are decided upon, but everyone would understand if they chose to stay in hostile territory, they would have to accept the new rules.

    Many people I speak with today are enraged and longing to settle the score, violently if necessary. Especially the young. They feel they have been had by their elected officials. They are intelligent, capable and pissed. They see the present elites benefiting from the current system and they see their nation and their children’s future being sold out from under them for the gain of the elite and non-citizens. If we stay on the present course, I fear an explosion is coming. It might be worth our while to explore a peaceful solution first.

    Posted December 6, 2015 at 8:33 am | Permalink
  34. TimeHasCome says

    We have become a “Dot” nation . Meaning we have hyper liberal large cities or blue dots on the map . And then we have the rest of us. These blue dots have benefited the most in the last forty years with the nation’s bounty have been poured into them.
    Because the cities are home to the media all education , health care and government dollars must flow to them . And as the Hunger Games movie series pointed they cannot survive without the countryside . So the solution is to stop feeding these blue dots and let us go our own way.

    Posted December 6, 2015 at 9:12 am | Permalink
  35. Whitewall says

    Time Has Come, your comments reminded me of an article by Angelo Codevilla some time back which I believe is dead on..
    http://spectator.org/articles/39326/americas-ruling-class-and-perils-revolution

    Posted December 6, 2015 at 9:44 am | Permalink
  36. Not even the notorious “OEM”?

    I don’t know the OEM personally, which is one of the things I gave thanks for a week and a half ago. I gather from his self-satisfaction with the life he leads, however, that he is probably well off financially and not relying on Social Security to support himself in retirement.

    To my knowledge, he is not communicating from a psychiatric ward. But he probably should be. I am not kidding.

    Posted December 6, 2015 at 9:49 am | Permalink
  37. Historian says

    Re Pangur “…In “The Collapse Of Complex Societies”, Joseph Tainter illustrates that historical “collapse” typically means a return to a lower level of technology, not a total wipeout of all technology. You may be right about there being a cataclysmic collapse, but another possibility is that there’ll be a de-scaling of political entities (i.e., a breakup of the US into constituent regions). This would probably be accompanied by some loss of technological ability, but certainly not all of it. Since so much of the technology that we use is atomizing and isolating, there are clear upsides to not having a lot of this tech around….”

    The problem with specific regard to these presently united States is that we are highly dependent upon electrical power delivered through a highly vulnerable grid system. If we lose grid power during this ‘reduction in technology’ we are likely to lose about 90% of the population of these presently united states from civil disorder and starvation.

    Once grid power is offline for more than a couple of days, for any reason, restart of the grid becomes an increasingly difficult task. Unlike the circuit breakers found in many homes, the high voltage circuit breakers on the long haul electrical power distribution system freeze without power, and have to be heated up to operate them. The heaters are electrically powered. About 90% of the US population lives in urban or suburban metropolitan areas, almost all of which have no more than 24 to 48 hours worth of food, with a couple of exceptions.

    Without grid power, there will be no traffic lights, no fuel, no radio or TV, no internet, no heat or air conditioning, no water or sewer service, and no health care. No EBT cards, either. The problem is that we are so dependent on the grid power system that resurrection of the precursor technologies, (mostly steam power) would be virtually impossible. Even facilities such as hospitals which have emergency power systems are only functional within the context of outages of limited duration and scope; the generators have a limited life span and require fuel.

    Posted December 6, 2015 at 10:06 am | Permalink
  38. @Historian

    Not to worry. The wondrous Obama hopes to conjure a solution just as soon as he completes the back nine.

    Posted December 6, 2015 at 11:04 am | Permalink
  39. Asher says

    Don’t underestimate the emotional draw of vengeance. The NRx types who gleefully await the apocalypse are envisioning the opportunity for a major bloodletting.

    Talk of publicly crucifying the thought leaders of the left is pretty common.

    Posted December 6, 2015 at 1:09 pm | Permalink
  40. @Asher

    Please clarify to whom you address your comment about the “NRx types”.

    Posted December 6, 2015 at 1:30 pm | Permalink
  41. Asher says

    @ TBH

    Mainly Malcolm, I suppose. It was just a general observation.

    Also, that’s not an indictment of NRx, at least not in my book.

    Posted December 6, 2015 at 1:33 pm | Permalink
  42. Whitewall says

    Asher, in my studying the NRx types, I don’t get the sense of looking forward to major bloodletting, though I do sense an anger that wants to act instead of talk. Bloodlettings can be pretty easy to start, but ending them is hell. There is more than one kind of “vengeance”.

    Posted December 6, 2015 at 1:45 pm | Permalink
  43. Malcolm says

    Ramsey,

    It may be unrealistic to believe the nation can successfully return to its founding principles. Were the US still a homogeneous pre-1965 limited immigration nation, there might be reason to hope we could correct the present course. But those conditions no longer exist.

    Yes, that was the point of my reply to OEM above.

    Asher, I can assure you I have no enthusiasm for bloodletting.

    Posted December 6, 2015 at 2:18 pm | Permalink
  44. @Asher
    Thanx.

    @Robert
    “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” Also quoted by Tolstoy in the epigraph of my favorite novel, “Anna Karenina”.

    Posted December 6, 2015 at 2:57 pm | Permalink
  45. Old Greek says

    About a third through the comments I got bored.
    A lot of debate and no solutions. The Universe will unfold as it should despite the interventions of men and machines. A few things are certain. Change is the only constant, everything else stays the same. Eventually the rain will wash away the dust of civilizations and once again the grass will grow, the wind will blow and the sky will be blue.
    All of us will not even be a memory and it won’t matter.

    Posted December 7, 2015 at 12:38 am | Permalink
  46. Asher says

    @ TBH

    The command to avoid vengeance solely relates to personal vengeance, repayment for direct personal evils. It is not about exacting recompense for harm done to one’s society.

    I openly tell feminists that when the liberal order falls we will be crucifying them and broadcasting it globally. Really fries their circuits.

    Posted December 7, 2015 at 1:39 am | Permalink
  47. Draco says

    Defining left and right is an exercise of futility in this day and age. Rather, it is the elites who offer the illusion of power to these quislings so as to rubber-stamp their carefully planned initiatives.

    If you want a more freedom based existence going forward, you’re going to have ruthlessly eliminate the elites before they subjugate us into slavery. Forget about the American dream and all the propaganda associated with it. It was a clever lie utilized to mobilize the people to certain end goals.

    Posted December 7, 2015 at 11:29 am | Permalink
  48. Troy says

    Regarding neoreactionaries:

    I think a lot of these young NRx’s a gleeful because they don’t have anything to lose. A youth of today, as opposed to the children of the 60’s, lives in squalor. My dad, a boomer parasite, did not graduate high yet at the age of 26 had a job, a wife, a house, 2 kids, a car, and a boat. And then he and his fellow boomers pissed away an entire fucking republic. Good job. Mojorisen and the age of Aquarius….remember?

    A youth of today has a useless college degree, thousands in debt, living at home, outrageously hypergamous women, child support enforcment, a used car, and a part time, no benefits service job. Why should they care if your nice comfortable life is going to get…. uncomfortable?

    Posted December 7, 2015 at 11:58 am | Permalink
  49. Whitewall says

    “A youth of today has a useless college degree, thousands in debt, living at home, outrageously hypergamous women, child support enforcment, a used car, and a part time, no benefits service job. Why should they care if your nice comfortable life is going to get…. uncomfortable?”

    Troy, I trust you are doing ok though? What you have described is a population ripe for mobilization. There have been many like that in recent western history. Question is-for good or ill?

    Posted December 7, 2015 at 12:19 pm | Permalink
  50. Malcolm says

    A good discussion here, all, and I welcome those of you who haven’t commented here before.

    The questions and opposing opinions are clearly on view:

    — Will it be “slow death of a dysfunctional social order, which is entirely healthy for the sake of posterity”, as according to “Achillesheels”, or must we “ruthlessly eliminate the elites before they subjugate us into slavery”, as per Draco?

    — Do we let the system collapse under its own weight and its unsustainable inconsistencies, both internal and with reality itself, or must we act?

    — If we must act, is political action sufficient?

    — When the collapse happens, will it be gradual, or sudden? Will it involve mere discomfort and adjustment, or will, as “Historian” suggests, infrastructure failure trigger abrupt and sanguinary crisis?

    — Is the American republic too far gone to reverse course?

    As for the last of those questions, my answer is “yes”. Any political change — that is, the result of any imaginable election and realistically possible legislative or executive action — can at best, in a nation so huge, and so deeply divided culturally and, most importantly, demographically, can only delay the inevitable.

    Troy speaks of a “population ripe for mobilization”. I recommend that all of you read, if you haven’t already, Eric Hoffer’s The True Believer.

    Finally, “Old Greek” writes (presumably from his stoa):

    A lot of debate and no solutions. The Universe will unfold as it should despite the interventions of men and machines. A few things are certain. Change is the only constant, everything else stays the same. Eventually the rain will wash away the dust of civilizations and once again the grass will grow, the wind will blow and the sky will be blue.

    As for “a lot of debates and no solutions”: guilty as charged. We are conservatives, after all, and you can hardly expect us to leap into violent action without preliminary circumspection and analysis. There are an awful lot of old fences in the road around here, and you can be sure we will try to understand why they’ve been put there, and which of them ought to remain, before just tearing them all down. But as for the fatalism: not for me, thanks. I still believe in human agency, and that there are things worth fighting for. If nothing else, we have a duty to our children and forefathers to preserve the great treasure, their birthright and legacy, of which our generation has been such shamefully irresponsible stewards.

    Posted December 7, 2015 at 1:50 pm | Permalink
  51. “A few things are certain.”

    Au contraire bored Old Greek.

    “Anything is possible, except certainty.” — TheBigHenry’s Law of Possibility

    Your claim is merely an assertion. My “Law of Possibility” is supported by quantum mechanics, which has never been shown to be wrong by anyone.

    Posted December 7, 2015 at 2:14 pm | Permalink
  52. “Really fries their circuits.”

    Especially if they’re French I bet :)

    Posted December 7, 2015 at 2:47 pm | Permalink
  53. “We are conservatives, after all, …”

    Well some of us are. But in a word, Malcolm, are there enough of us to overcome the Leftist motherf*ckers without resorting to a scorched-earth policy?

    My personal preference would be to avoid scorched earth, which is what Hitler chose when he finally accepted his inevitable doom, which the Red Armies were bringing to Berlin. This is not to say we should not fight to preserve our way of life; that is what George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, U.S. Grant, Dwight Eisenhower, and many others did — successfully.

    To quote another American hero, “We shall overcome”. But perhaps not via peaceful protest. Though who can say? It worked for Gandhi, too.

    Stay tuned. Being Jewish, I am inclined to have many more opinions …

    Posted December 7, 2015 at 3:26 pm | Permalink
  54. Whitewall says

    Henry, “But in a word, Malcolm, are there enough of us to overcome the Leftist motherf*ckers without resorting to a scorched-earth policy?” Consider that the Leftists are mainly a herd population of conformists held together by narrow and restrictive PC themes that resemble large bubbles. Instead of attacking the individuals with larger numbers of people like us, show them a metaphoric “hat pin” and threaten to pop their bubbles. Do that and they become unglued. Also, meet their notions with ridicule. Over time this is effective. It’s better than shooting at them. In time, conservatives, after they grow a pair, on the national stage will do the same. We may be surprised how easily the Lefty shells crack and the contents drain out.

    Posted December 7, 2015 at 8:54 pm | Permalink
  55. Malcolm says

    Robert, Henry,

    Ridicule is good. Simply to refuse to let them define the terms of the discussion is a very good beginning.

    “But that’s discriminatory!!

    “Yes, exactly.”

    Or:

    “But the whole thing smacks of patriarchy!”

    “Indeed it does. But that’s just one of its many benefits.”

    And so on.

    Posted December 7, 2015 at 9:12 pm | Permalink
  56. “Ridicule is good. Simply to refuse to let them define the terms of the discussion is a very good beginning.”

    Well, Malcolm, I appreciate your support in that regard. I think you know that this is my style of choice — I don’t have the patience nor the time and energy to invest for refuting the crap that is hurled at us by the likes of the OEM. I know (and on some level I believe that he also knows) that he is full of shit and a f*cking liar to boot. But I am content to let you deal with him in a serious manner though I still don’t think your efforts will ever make a dent in his thick skull (I know; I know; you do it primarily for the others who may be listening in or lurking).

    Anyhow, we conservatives must persevere in our righteous cause. Honor and good sense can only be lost. What you must fight for is Liberty. That is what I call my own personal truth. (See more at: http://hl98.blogspot.com/p/older-posts_22.html#sthash.i2vSG5cP.dpuf)

    Posted December 7, 2015 at 10:26 pm | Permalink
  57. Certainly some self-described neoreactionaries are positively giddy about watching it all burn and belching a satisfying, “I told ya so”. That is not the prevailing attitude at Neoreaction Central, however. Begin building the institutions now.

    Obviously Malcolm you are correct. High trust civilization is very hard. But it’s easier in smaller and less diverse nations. Pockets of high trust civilization will inevitably survive because that is an advantageous equilibrium. What won’t survive is The Whole. When the Empire falls, I will shed a tear over the loss of the Apollo Missions, but not over 205 million falsely interpreting that experience as a collective accomplishment.

    There never was “an us” in America. In the 1770s, Massachusetts agitated for secession from Britain, with a promise federalism to the less divorce-happy colonies. By 1865, 2% of the American population had died in a war to abrogate that “principle”. Gigantism does not appear to have been baked into the republican cake, but gigantism is exactly what happened. And gigantism works well, until it doesn’t.

    Posted December 9, 2015 at 12:59 pm | Permalink
  58. Malcolm says

    Agreed, Nick. A powerfully centripetal State simply cannot operate at this scale in any way that is compatible with liberty, organic hierarchy, civil society, etc. This was well understood by the Framers, who knew it would be a problem even for the far smaller and more homogeneous nation of the time. For a behemoth like the 21st-century USA it is utterly hopeless.

    Posted December 9, 2015 at 1:12 pm | Permalink
  59. Bluefin Tuna says

    “Perhaps, as is received doctrine amongst neoreactionary sorts, the American system was doomed ab ovo; it carried in its very democracy the disease that would kill it.”

    Sadly true. When a great civilization reaches its apogee of culture and sophistication, the seeds of its destruction have usually long since been sown.

    “Whether we will be able to build something worthwhile upon this rubble is doubtful at best, and even if we manage it, it may take a very long time.”

    Look at post-Imperial Britain. They’ve probably still got a long way to go before they hit rock-bottom and start to recover.

    “What makes us think we will get it right next time?”

    Deep-rooted humility is the only antidote to this pointless cycle. As long as we are willing to blame ourselves, we might stand a chance. If we find lazy excuses or blame our enemies, forget it. Should the Republic’s downfall be swiftly followed by a great revival of religious feeling, allow yourself a faint glimmer of hope.

    “It seems they just can’t wait for all the fun they are going to have watching the apocalypse, and then rolling up their sleeves to show everyone how it ought to have been done. This seems to me profoundly, childishly, foolishly, heart-breakingly naïve.”

    Right. Knowing what’s wrong with society doesn’t mean one is qualified to fix it, any more than being able to identify the signs of advanced terminal cancer makes one qualified to administer chemotherapy. One prevalent problem I’ve noticed in a lot of neoreactionaries (speaking as one in roughly the same age cohort) is their effectively libertine sex lives. If J.D. Unwin is to be believed, political power ultimately always passes to whichever group is willing to submit to strict and unbending monogamy (this, far more than economic factors, was his explanation of why the Victorian bourgeoisie wrested power from the old Aristocracy). Social media posts do not make political power; extended family, marriage networks, and social institutions do. If they really wanted to “rebuild society”, they’d get hitched (despite the obvious risks), RSVP for the next family reunion, and join the Elks Club or a similar outfit. Also, any neoreactionary with the slightest modicum of sincere religious belief should really try to get to church on more Sundays than not, but this seems rare at present.

    Posted December 9, 2015 at 2:57 pm | Permalink
  60. Whitewall says

    Nick B. Steves.. “Begin building the institutions now.” Could this also include retaking some worthwhile institutions as well as some that are so devalued by the left that their only hope to survive is with conservatism, or NRx?

    Posted December 9, 2015 at 7:50 pm | Permalink
  61. Hey Whitewall… well, do you have any mind? Conquest’s Second Law was: Any institution not explicitly right wing eventually becomes left wing. He meant to imply that agnosticism toward politics is insufficient protection. Which is no doubt true… Just try to do Effective Altruism for 5 minutes… then the animal rights people start screeching. But, of course, we have seen a surprising corollary: Any institution whatsoever, irrespective of being explicitly right wing, eventually becomes left wing. Rule by committee is rule by leftism. Polite people defer, insane people do not. Therefore the insane people rule. Polite people are losers.

    Obviously some institutions remain relatively uncorrupted and will be salvagable. Some traditional religions are yet to be thoroughly pozzed; a handful of sectarian liberal arts colleges are robustly conservative; patriarchy, within any given family, is only a patriarch away (fake it til ya make it); and so on.

    The key concept in rightist thinking needs to be a way to avoid hostile ideological entry from the left. Most key… when the cooptation is inadvertent (cf. animal rights people in Effective Altruism). This is not a solved problem. Some hints at the solution:

    1)optional anonymity/pseudonymity freezes leftward holiness spirals (see the comboxes of any mainstream news story)

    2)enforced anonymity (a la 4-chan/8-chan) creates rightward signaling spirals (holiness signalers get driven out of town on a rail, occasionally commit suicide)

    3)formalism: institution AS property, the ideological nature of the institution is solely at the discretion of the OWNER who rules by fiat.

    4)open-source/hacker culture: you don’t get credit for moral signals, you don’t get credit for having a name or credentials, you ONLY get credit for writing the code, and by writing it you own it.

    Posted December 10, 2015 at 3:39 pm | Permalink
  62. Whitewall says

    Nick…thanks. It is good to see there are at least some institutions not yet corrupted. To prevent Leftism, new institutions may need to be a bit less polite, and a bit more firmly political without going overboard. To prevent take over by committee, it seems a well entrenched hierarchy…one worthy of respect..may be in order. Maybe, dare I say it, more masculine and less toward feminine?

    Posted December 10, 2015 at 6:00 pm | Permalink
  63. I think it was Leo Durocher who said, “Nice guys finish last”. That’s been considered a truism by many, especially in today’s world. But there have been many exceptions, among the most notable having been Dwight Eisenhower, who had a remarkable military and political career for a truly likable guy (unlike some other supreme commanders, such as Douglas MacArthur to name an obvious example).

    Some of you may be shocked to hear me say it, but I was once a nice guy too — and for most of my life (so far) it had stood me in good stead. But in this age of Obama, I have had to reconsider the drawbacks of dealing with my fellow man in an honorable and congenial manner. Today, my fellow man (and woman) is very likely to be a miscreant (I think Leftists should be required to wear a red star on their chest).

    This is why I have adopted as my new mantra: No more Mr. Nice Guy.

    Posted December 10, 2015 at 9:00 pm | Permalink
  64. Whitewall says

    Henry, I know what you mean. I try to be somewhat well mannered most of the time. There was a day when I wasn’t. The last 7 years have brought out what I have been suspecting about the Left…when they get the right man and moment, nothing will stop them from getting their way. Not the Constitution, their oath of office, the truth…nothing. I mostly ignore their apologists–remember the link I mentioned the other day and you wrote the money quote.

    Posted December 10, 2015 at 10:14 pm | Permalink
  65. There was a day when I wasn’t.

    I find that hard to imagine, Robert.

    You are the perfect trifecta: A smart guy; a nice guy; and a winner.

    Posted December 10, 2015 at 11:47 pm | Permalink
  66. Whitewall says

    Why thank you Henry. Now if only I could convince my doubting wife.

    Posted December 11, 2015 at 8:19 am | Permalink
  67. Maybe, dare I say it, more masculine and less toward feminine?

    Don’t just dare it… Be proud of it! It is precisely masculine-mindedness (objective, strategic) that is needed. And the fact a majority of women reading that just felt insulted is proof of my point.

    Posted December 11, 2015 at 4:04 pm | Permalink
  68. tz says

    I live in a small town out west. It still has the traditional values. I’m not sure what the collapse would do.
    What most people worry about is the big, integrated, fragile infrastructure of the big cities and things which require crossing the country and world. E.g. Food comes from the grocery store, and I’ll always have my cell phone.

    But I need to raise a very important issue. We are talking “constitution” as if it means something. Today, it means ignoring most of the separation of powers, Abortion on Demand, Obamacare, and Gay Marriage. THAT is the “constitution”.

    When we hear about Muslims wanting Sharia law, we are shocked, but realize that a return to a limited constitutional republic with a small federal government would be just as radical. But that can only happen in a collapse. Ron Paul might have done a controlled crash landing, but we don’t have anyone like that running now.

    I should note we are already “collapsed” given the morals, debt, and the rest going on. We will see how well the zoo does when the animals aren’t well fed and there aren’t enough zookeepers. We will see how well multicultural marxism works in a stress test.

    That said, there are growing enclaves of those who hold to western civilization – the original US constitution, good morals, an independent spirit.

    The answer to collective collapse is personal secession. If you aren’t already somewhere where civilization can be preserved, you should move there. It will be better to watch the collapse from a safe distance, at a defensible location than to be in the middle of it.

    Posted December 12, 2015 at 12:25 pm | Permalink
  69. antiquarian says

    I tend to see things in economic and historical terms. What I am reminded of in all these comments is John Adams’s wish for America to be “a Christian Sparta” and Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Instead of the gong for dinner, let us hear a whistle from the Spartan fife.”

    This longing for Sparta is essentially a revolt against fancy and fantasy, and against the wealth that makes them possible. Even in the late 18th century when Adams was revolted by the fey and luxurious French aristocracy, and in the mid-19th century when the Transcendentalists preached simplicity and knowing yourself, Americans were struggling with the consequences of wealth. It was not wealth as we today define it, of course, but the difficulty in estimating the healthiness of new possibilities and in dealing with enthusiasts for them was the same.

    By extension, I would argue, we should be much more creative in putting forth arguments. We should argue that, sure, the racial and sexual amity and understanding that we’ve enjoyed is good, at least to a point, but that its true basis is capitalism, with the improvements it engenders in communications and other technology and the lowering of the cost of living that it makes almost inevitable. If the basis is understood to be societal wealth, the past is not so easily criticized, because the attack is transformed thereby into an attack on Americans of the past for a lack of technological sophistication that they could not help. We should stand on basic civil liberties with comparisons to the McCarthyism of the 1950s but with the sides reversed. We should appeal to the plain craftsmanship of Maker culture and the libertarianism and meritocracy of the coding community. With satire and entertainment– two things which those right of center traditionally don’t deal with much– we could sell the idea that humanity’s struggles with religion are essentially struggles with morality itself– and thereby show the risk, not only of buying into that of the Left blindly, but of buying into the idea of Progress at the expense of that of human nature.

    Now I have to go to dinner. I hope the above isn’t too confusing.

    Posted December 12, 2015 at 8:15 pm | Permalink