The Motive is Power

Francis addresses an important point from Orwell’s 1984The Unaddressed Question Of 1984.

Read the whole thing, it’s a very important point to understand. The motive is always power. If casting Rightists as Nazis will help them obtain power, they will do it. If casting them as people who like cats will do likewise, they will do that too. The point is to find a lever which moves you; to find something that that will get under your skin and force you to obey them. Francis references this point in a quote from the book:

‘You are ruling over us for our own good,’ he said feebly. ’You believe that human beings are not fit to govern themselves, and therefore-’
He started and almost cried out. A pang of pain had shot through his body. O’Brien had pushed the lever of the dial up to thirty-five.
‘That was stupid, Winston, stupid!’ he said. ‘You should know better than to say a thing like that.’
He pulled the lever back and continued:
‘Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others ; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power.

O’Brien has the virtue of honesty in this scene, at least. But then, he is in a position where the truth will actually serve better than the lie, at least for that one moment. He will lie as readily, if not more so, if the lie will serve his purpose. We are currently in a time when tyrants wish to justify their rule over us in terms of our own good. We are not wise enough, you see, to govern ourselves. More and more functions and decisions must be made by the Party.

But the time will come when the O’Briens of the world will be more truthful about it. It is about power, no more, no less. Trouble is, this will only be admitted when the usefulness of the existing weapon has expired. When saying that we are governed by our supposed betters, for our own good, no longer produces a benefit, the claim will be discarded. By the time this truth is admitted, it will likely be too late to do anything about it.

When SJWs discuss oppressive power systems, they are really lamenting the fact that they have not been able to fully impose such systems of power themselves. If and when they do, the mask will come off readily.

There have, however, been a few radical Leftists who have admitted these things semi-openly when it suited their purposes. Saul Alinsky is a great example. Reading his Rules for Radicals exposes a man for whom causes are merely weapons in the pursuit of power, not articles of genuine belief. Now, true believers do exist, of course. And one difficulty a Rightist has today is separating the true believers from the power seekers. One is to be pitied, perhaps. Not the other.

As Francis points out, however, this pity of the true believer can actually be a weapon, too. Our desire to be nice to such people is used against us by the power seekers behind them. Useful idiots form a sort of ideological human shield to protect tyrants. The practice has a long history in physical warfare. Place innocents in a target likely to be bombed, and then accuse your enemy of killing civilians. This helps a tyrant gain a moral high ground position in the eyes of the mass media. We should not be surprised that in politics, a similar tactic is used.

But it is important to understand who you are dealing with, regardless. A deceiver, or the deceived? Some folks may have noticed the arrival of new Leftist detractor in the comments section of The Declination, and might be wondering why I am permitting him to air his inconsistent spew. They come from time-to-time of course. And I continue to maintain that if you do not have enemies, you’re doing something terribly wrong. But it is interesting practice in spotting the difference between the deceiver and the deceived. It is tough to say with certainty yet, but I lean toward the former in his case.

The difference is in directing your own attacks. Don’t waste time on the deceived, that is a mistake. Find and neutralize the deceiver instead. Behind every batch of gender-confused, rainbow haired crazies ranting about the oppressiveness of eating Chinese takeout is an Alinsky-like figure (or perhaps more than one) using such idiots for his own personal gain.

Pain is a Teacher

Earlier, I spoke of hardship, and the notion that our world is a fallen world; that a utopia of man is impossible. But the philosophical principles that hold up this view are much more fundamental than all that. It boils down to something Nassim Nicholas Taleb discusses in his books rather frequently. A certain degree of hardship produces resilience in a man. It tests him, teaches him, makes him stronger. Like how building muscle requires a certain level of pain to achieve. Without this pain, strength is impossible. It’s related to the concept of antifragility, something that gains from disorder, something that benefits from stress and pain. Human life is like this.

This is a fundamental bone of contention between what we account as the political Left and the political Right. Ever notice how many Leftists are opposed to the very concept of punishment (save for their political enemies, of course)? Spanking your child is child abuse, to them. Imprisonment of criminals is unfair. Some have even come the view that prisons ought to be closed; that nobody really commits a crime, for free will and choice do not exist.

Poverty causes crime, in their view. So if fault is to be assigned, it must be pinned on the evil rich people who took the wealth from the poor. Redistribution will fix it, they say.

This goes against not just human nature, but Mother Nature. Hardship produces strength. Or maybe it kills you. But either way having everything provided for you, having the eternal safety net, the assurance that no matter what happens, you will be safe, winds up sucking away human potential.

Unfortunately, this is an unpleasant truth. The child doesn’t want to be spanked, even if he must be. People don’t want to suffer through pain to gain their reward. And so they are often receptive to the charms of folks who say that all is possible without this pain. Just give the poor man some money; just give the sick man some care, and the hungry man some food. It’s so simple, so easy. And it’s so difficult for the mind to reject the idea. The simplistic morality of it is clear and easy to grasp. And it’s hard to look at person suffering, even if the suffering was his own fault, and say “no, let him suffer.”

Get rich quick schemes pop up all the time, and for all the evidence that they do not work, people still fall for them. Every diet plan on the TV is about some way to lose weight without exercise and while being able to eat things that are tasty and satisfying. Hunger and pain from a day of hard exercise… these are the prices paid for achieving the goal.

Deep down, this belief separates people rather obviously. One sees a man in pain, a man dealing with some terrible problem, and thinks immediately that society has failed him; that his pain can be taken away by waving a government wand. And sometimes, the government wand can do exactly that. It can remove the pain from that man. But at what cost, not only in dollars, but also in the soul of the man so “helped?”

Some years ago, I recall watching all of the old Milton Friedman Free to Choose videos, and there was some interview conducted with some welfare recipients in Britain. They were ordinary folks, a small family just trying to get by. But they lamented that welfare was actually holding them down. Getting a job would take the welfare away and, paradoxically, result in them making less money. But without long job experience, they could never rise up the ladder and make more money. Their poverty was made easy for them, escaping it was made difficult.

In such circumstances, I would take the job anyway. I would take the pain and the hardship of making less and doing more in an effort to escape. But the unpleasant truth is, many folks won’t, because they’ve been given an easy path. A path with less pain, less overall hardship. Good intentions or none, this path destroyed that young family. It sucked something out of them.

When you spank a child, he’ll look up at you in pain, in anger. In that moment, many parents melt. They can’t stomach that look, that moment of suffering, the tears. And so the punishments stop. But this is to the long-term detriment of the child. It’s a good way to raise a spoiled brat, a child who does not understand consequences.

The problem is that the benefit of pain is not immediately apparent, whereas the benefit from the cessation of pain is immediately apparent. Take this quote from Frank Herbert’s Dune:

“You’ve heard of animals chewing off a leg to escape a trap? There’s an animal kind of trick. A human would remain in the trap, endure the pain, feigning death that he might kill the trapper and remove a threat to his kind.”

This requires a certain amount of forward-thinking. The child does not yet possess this thinking, and so the spankings are a way of temporarily providing it to him until he gets the idea on his own. Pain in the now may be beneficial later.

It is also true at a meta level, at a civilizational level. Something that utterly horrifies us may, in fact, be to everyone’s long-term benefit. Consider what would have happened if the first refugee boat floating over to Europe had been sunk on sight? Some would die, this is true, and it would feel horrible. It would cause great pain. But the migrations would have stopped. Maybe there wouldn’t have been dead Syrian children washing up on the beach, because they’d have known not to get on those damned boats to begin with. Now, I suspect the future of Europe is much darker, even, than a few dead kids on the beach. Something very sinister is brewing.

America herself made a similar decision in World War II, to commit what might be seen objectively as a great atrocity: the dropping of nuclear weapons on Japan. We paid a moral price for doing this. But it was the right decision. Accepting the pain of that decision in the near-term prevented worse in the long-term.

Tom Kratman often touches on this theme in his books, where acts that might be seen as barbaric and utterly cruel on their own are actually a form of mercy when measured in the long run.

Don’t take this as an ‘the end justifies the means’ argument of the sort espoused by Communists either, however. Communists assured folks that the revolutionary utopia was just a few more piles of bodies around the corner. But it never was. The promised utopias never came, the payoff never arrived. In the end, we are forced to conclude that, to the Communist leaders, the piles of dead bodies were a feature; an end, not a means. The utopia was a lie.

In the end, the possible utility of pain is a fundamental point of contention between the political Right and the Left. The Left can’t look past the first boat of refugees to see the chaos and conflict beyond, they cannot see past Hiroshima, filled with civilians, to the piles of bodies required to force the war to a close via other means. They cannot see past the poor person struggling to make ends meet financially to the soulless culture of dependency beyond.

They are the children recoiling from a spanking, wondering why their loving parents would ever do this horrible thing to them. They don’t understand that pain can be a benefit.

Mean Words and Fake Jokes

The recent kerfuffle over Clay Travis and his trademark phrase “I like the First Amendment and… boobs” has flooded social media these last few days. And it brings up a fascinating amount of cognitive dissonance. Keith Reed, who immediately white-knighted on behalf of poor, offended Brooke Baldwin, posted frequently on the subject of boobs, ass, and attractive women on his public social media pages. Brooke herself frequently wears things that accentuate her breasts and has ‘suffered’ references to boobs many times before. The outrage over the mere mention of boobs is all fake.

The thing of it is, today people often take things out of context deliberately in order to feel the rush of being offended; to get attention and sympathy from others. Being offended supplies a person with increased social status. Being offended makes them powerful for a moment. So any opportunity that presents itself, even if deliberately taken out of context or obviously exaggerated, is quickly embraced. Brooke and Keith both saw golden opportunities to be offended by Clay Travis mentioning boobs.

Note that he didn’t refer to her boobs, or any specific boobs, but merely that he liked them in general. This is hardly a great secret, the notion that men like boobs.

At the same time, Leftists will lob accusations of Nazism and white supremacism at Donald Trump and his supporters. Boobs, apparently, are offensive. But calling people Nazis, effectively the scum of the Earth, is totally okay. If challenged, Leftists often attempt to retreat with “oh, I didn’t mean he was literally a Nazi” or “I’m just joking around.” We know they aren’t, of course.

Fact is, most people know when they’ve been insulted, and when something is a joke, even if word-smithing can make either seem indistinct. The reaction to an insult is visceral. You know it. For a man who has less formal education, perhaps, an insult might even go over his head in a technical manner, yet he still knows he was insulted because of context, tone, and body language.

Now, I’m a First Amendment guy, like Clay Travis, so I don’t care even when I am insulted. Folks have a right to be offensive, to insult, even to hate (so long as they don’t act on it, anyway). But what does get irritating is when someone claims that I am insulting them, or offending them, when it is clear that I had no such intent. Or, vice-versa, when someone insults me, and we both know it was an insult, but he denies it and claims he was not with some seemingly-clever word-smithing.

Leftists gain a lot of power from feeling insulted when no insult was intended, and offering insult and then pretending no insult was offered. It’s a form of framing that we see very often in the media. And it’s absurdly common on social media outlets as well, where hashtags like #KillAllMen trend for a time, and then its authors attempt to escape by claiming it was a joke, and they didn’t really mean it. A woman might say “I hate men” and when challenged says “I don’t hate men.” But when a man says anything negative about any woman whatsoever – Hillary Clinton for example – she will be offended on behalf of women everywhere.

It’s a combination of Mean Girls and Clueless. It’s the sort of juvenile high school girl behavior we expect of a 90s teenager, only this is now often used by adult men too.

A hint for SJWs and media talking heads who find themselves reading this: we know. We see through it, okay? It’s not hard. Everything from tone to body language to snobbish airs of superiority you put on give it all away. We know when you’re being sincere, and when you’re being false, and you’re not fooling anybody. In fact, I’d respect you more if you just came out and said what you honestly believed. If you insulted us and didn’t bother to hide it, if you were truthful and claimed you wanted us all dead, I could at least respect your honesty. Your patronizing tone is, quite honestly, more offensive than your ideals (and those are often bad enough on their own). Your assumed airs, your narcissism and self-worship, your solipsistic attitudes… we know them, we see through them, and the only folks you manage to fool are your own kind.

Such Leftists want us to assume that they are acting in good faith, and then treat us as if we are acting in bad faith. This gives them a sort of social arbitrage in open debate, a sort of home field advantage, if you will, that the Rightist must overcome. And given the reach of the modern media, that advantage has become quite substantial. It’s time to deprive them of it. Assume no good faith. If you believe a Leftist is truly acting in good faith; if you don’t get the sense that he is lying and attempting to reframe everything to his advantage, then all is good. But be on your guard. The Leftist who avoids this tactic is becoming an endangered breed.

For the rest, treat them as you would an unruly, lying teenage valley girl. Even, paradoxically, when they are grown men. Keith Olbermann certainly has more in common with a teenage mean girl than any real grown man, after all.

Orwellian Nice Guys

We live in a time, dear readers, when things are becoming rather Orwellian. Yes, yes, I know. It’s cliche. Everybody says that, even the Leftists I often excoriate. Hillary Clinton herself suggested that Nineteen Eighty-Four was about people being convinced to distrust their leaders. The absurdity of this is obvious, but in the minds of those who read her book, it is already fact. Donald Trump is Big Brother. Or maybe he is Goldstein. It doesn’t matter. None of it matters. Objective reality is an oppressive illusion of the white cisheteropatriarchy anyway.

How many genders are there? However many they desire. All is subjective, all is tied to their will. It’s a convincing illusion for people who believe themselves to be wise, for they can imagine no limit to their knowledge. Such are not atheists, not in the sense that they do not believe in God. Rather, they hate God. They loathe the idea that somewhere, somehow, there is a force greater than they, someone more powerful.

For them, any absurdity can be true if enough minds can be made to believe it. And any truth can be made false by their fiat. It’s not about ending racism, sexism, or some other -ism or -phobia. It is about their power to shape your beliefs with whatever lever will move you. Long ago Xerxes learned, as many tyrants throughout history have discovered, that there is a limit to the power of arms alone; that they inspire resistance and resolve in an enemy. So much the better if the resolve can be broken before it can take shape. Break the mind before the body, and you will not have to fight your way through the 300 or worry about those famous words: molon labe.

Nice guy disease infects our society like a bubonic plague of the mind. It is there when a man refuses to discipline his child for fear of being seen as mean. It is with us when the TV sputters on and some talking head lectures us about the evils of white privilege. And with weaponized empathy, it is in every politically-charged photograph shared on social media. It is the Syrian child washed up on the shore, it is General Nguyen Ngoc Loan shooting a Viet Cong captured near a mass grave of civilian victims, a context lost on those for whom the picture was a mere weapon.

My friends, I’m not much of a theologian. I have my faith in God, but I struggle with it as any man might. One truth, however, I believe in totally and absolutely. Our world is a fallen world. While it is full of good things, good people, and pleasant times, such are always bounded by suffering, evil tyrants, and pain. There will be no utopia of man. Protesters out in the streets holding their signs “love wins” are delusional fools, or worse. Only God could ever make such a thing come to pass, and God is the one thing they hate the most.

Let me say it again: there will be no utopia of man. Not now. Not ever. Any man out there making such utopian claims ought to be dismissed as a liar, or committed to the asylum for treatment. It is an insane belief. Everything must begin with the assumption that men are flawed, sinful beings who will make terrible mistakes. We are no angels, and no angels may be found among us.

It is not as bad as folks might think, reading all that. There is good in man too, I’ve seen it. A spark of the divine. I don’t care what social “scientists” say about the falseness of free will. They will tell us all day that free will doesn’t exist; that choice is an illusion, that all is predetermined in probabilistic or even fatalistic fashion. We are passengers in our bodies, mere observers. No. I don’t believe this. Even if their data was true, even if every experiment they’ve conducted was accurate, they are making an assumption as to the nature of man. They assume that the flesh is all there is, and all that ever will be. That no part of us is greater; that there is no divine.

If such were true, morality would be irrelevant. Nothing would be anybody’s fault. If a man walked out and stabbed another in the face, that was fate. That was determined some billions of years ago in the Big Bang. There would be no agency, no purpose to existence. No, that too is a lie, or at least another assumption on the part of the scientists that they have all the answers; that no part of man is beyond their understanding. Fools, all of them.

That’s what it comes down to, dear readers. The tyrants are concerned only with power, the useful idiots are in their thrall because they want so badly to believe that they are smart, that they have the answers, a fiction the tyrants find useful to their cause. And then there are those of us who just don’t know. Maybe we’ve faith in something, maybe not. But in the tradition of Socrates, we know we are not wise. And what a difference that makes on a man’s outlook on life.

Do you know why I believe the free market is superior to a command economy? Because in a command economy, those doing the commanding think they have all the answers, and they damn well don’t. In a capitalist economy, it’s every man trying to figure out his own little corner of things, trying and often failing. Some eventually figure out what people want, what they need, and deliver it. It’s trial and error as much as anything, but that’s a branch of human knowledge that is given too little attention those days. Even within most companies, these days, it’s all about bureaucracy and five year plans; it’s an HR meeting about why making jokes is racist. Even what we consider to be nominal capitalism is, in fact, merely a different form of command economy; another set of technocrats playing at godhood.

Even the insults on social media reflect this. It’s all about being perceived as more intelligent and posturing as more moral. It’s all appearances and no substance, as if all of these people are frightened to death that people will pull the curtain back and everyone will know they are tyrants and morons. Even competitive victimization is now a thing, where people compete for social status by claiming they’ve suffered more than another. People in First World countries who do this need to be committed. While some RadFem is complaining that a man whistled at her on the subway, people die in job lots all over the world. Slavery proliferates. War rages on. Genocide is a fact of life for millions.

It is proof that such people can never be made happy. Even at the pinnacle of technological society, in the richest, most peaceful places in all of human history, they complain about perceived imperfections because even still, their utopia is not here. And idiots everywhere cater to their delusional fantasies in an effort to be seen as nice. In so doing, they are throwing away everything our forebears labored, fought, and died to create for us. Look at Venezuela for a glimpse at the future that might await us, should they hold on to the levers of culture, media, and political power.

I’m tired of nice, my friends. I’ve no use for it. Nice is why we are here; how we got to such lunacy. I don’t have all the answers, folks. I never did, and I never will. But one thing I know is true: since we live in a fallen world, the idea that we can nice-guy our way out of every problem is a category error. It cannot be. Anyone who demands this of us is either a tyrant, or one of their stooges, and deserves our contempt.

At least O’Brien tortured Winston terribly to break his mind, to force him to acknowledge untruths; to create in him a love of Big Brother. The nice guys today do so whenever someone accuses them of not being nice enough. They are like Peter, denying Christ, but never repenting of the denial, never realizing their own failure and moral cowardice.

To close, I offer this semi-famous quote from The Princess Bride:

“Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”

If you want to read a little more on what inspired this post, I suggest visiting Liberty’s Torch.  Specifically, this: Nice-Guyism And Ethical Imperatives.

Patriotism is Now Evil

As I get everything squared away from the hurricane, and catch up on missed work, you’ll have to excuse the short posts.

Catching up on my usual haunts in the blogosphere, I came across this gem from Francis. Pay particular attention to item number four. After 9/11, there was an outpouring of patriotic sentiment, even from many of those normally accounted as Leftists. The country united, for a time, against the attack, and put partisan behavior aside for a while. Of course, it was too good to last.

Francis (and the authors he cites) asks an important question: could that happen today? If there was some terrifying attack, could Americans unite again, fly the flag, and express pride in our country? The answer is no. Patriotism, today, is now racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and a thousand other ills. During the tenure of Barack Obama, the preeminence of identity politics over any other consideration was established. If you proudly fly the flag, say that you love your country, and, God forbid that you want to “make America great again,” you are a racist bigot. Now, “make America Mexico again” is perfectly acceptable, though.

I thought about that for a while, and it occurred to me that this is effectively the death of the America I knew as a kid. It’s just gone and I’ve no idea where it went, or if it can ever come back.

Even some of the smarter Leftists are becoming aware of the fact that something is terribly wrong. Check out this scathing opinion piece on Liberalism, by a liberalTHE IKEA HUMANS: THE SOCIAL BASE OF CONTEMPORARY LIBERALISM.

The money quote is this:

Therefore, to be precise, the class of people of whom I am speaking are “cosmopolitan” neither in the idealized nor in the demonized sense of the word. They neither bridge deep social differences in search of the best in human experience, nor debase themselves with exotic foreign pleasures. Rather, they have no concept of foreignness at all, because they have no native traditions against which to compare. Indeed, the very idea of a life shaped by inherited custom is alien to our young couple. When Jennifer and Jason try to choose a restaurant for dinner, one of them invariably complains, “I don’t want Italian, because I had Italian last night.” It does not occur to them that in Italy, most people have Italian every night. For Jennifer and Jason, cuisines, musical styles, meditative practices, and other long-developed customs are not threads in a comprehensive or enduring way of life, but accessories like cheap sunglasses, to be casually picked up and discarded from day to day. Unmoored, undefined, and unaware of any other way of being, Jennifer and Jason are no one. They are the living equivalents of the particle board that makes up the IKEA dressers and IKEA nightstands next to their IKEA beds. In short, they are IKEA humans.

These IKEA humans the author describes have no pride in their country, because they don’t really have a country. If they are American citizens, that it is only an accident of birth. Culturally they are unmoored to anything. They float from fad to fad without any grounding in anything, and they regard such grounding in other people as passe. How provincial, they think, that a man would fly an American flag. Who does that? Better to save up for the latest Gucci bag and iPhone X, while protesting the evils of capitalism.

They don’t genuinely believe we are all racist bigots. Rather, being seen as anti-America is merely the latest trend, and they wish to signal their social superiority over the provincials by eschewing such things. When they say “you’re a bigot” what they are really saying is “you’re not part of the cool club, like us.” It’s all just in-group jargon to them, to signal their membership in the IKEA class. Flying the American flag is an obvious sign that you are not trendy and hip, as they are. And, thus, you must be excluded from their circles. You are not politically or socially useful to them, so they’ve no use for you. In fact, it would be most convenient if you didn’t even exist, or if you could at least have the courtesy of remaining invisible to them and not making a nuisance of yourself.

The very notion of patriotism is foreign to IKEA humans.

Political debate with them is useless, because as Francis tells us, they don’t desire the same ends as we do. They don’t live in the same world that we do. Largely, we don’t even speak the same language anymore. Their social justice jargon has altered the meaning of words so dramatically that they can say, with a perfectly straight face, that all white people are racist, and no “person of color” could be racist against a white person. When challenged on this, they will produce their definition of racism, rewritten to support their position.

And when debate is pointless, when talking no longer gets the point across, war can’t be far off.

 

Hurricane Irma Update

All is well at my place today. The hurricane came through my area as a Category 2, which isn’t too bad. Certainly, it is much better than a Category 4 or 5. Damage was minor. One of our trees came down, and the fence was damaged. Some minor cosmetic damage to the house, and certainly some of the usual debris cleanup. Overall, it was no big deal, nothing a day of hard work couldn’t fix. Already have the tree handled, the fence repaired (except for one post which needs to be recemented), and the debris and boards removed. The cosmetic details I can deal with later.

My brother-in-law is headed back down to the keys to inspect his house. The keys took it much harder than Tampa, so we can probably expect some damage there. My father’s home in Daytona suffered a broken window when a tree limb came through the boards. But it was only one window, and he managed to get up an inside board before the house could be significantly damaged. A friend in Miami lost his roof. It was an older home, and it was pretty much expected that it would happen. Still, that’s a lot of work and a lot of money. Overall, Irma was a lot less damaging than it could have been. It basically brought Category 1 winds to the entire state, except the far-west panhandle. We took a direct hit here (I am actually somewhat east of Tampa, and we got the west eyewall), but it had already weakened some from landfall in Naples, and my home is newer, so resisted the winds better than most.

Irma was touted as another Katrina, or another Andrew, but with the exception of the keys, it wasn’t. It was rather amusing seeing the media trying to hype the storm as the worst thing ever while it was over central Florida. With them, it’s almost like they wish for people to die in job lots, so they can look like heroic journalists braving the terrifying storm or something. One Twitter follower suggested that it’s like they orgasm whenever a natural disaster strikes. Time for Chris Cuomo to pretend he’s the chosen of the gods, or something. You can almost sense their disappointment as they tried to exaggerate the storm on TV.

Either way, the doom-and-gloom quasi-apocalypse they were spouting failed to match the reality.

Still, the keys took it hard, and Naples bore the brunt of it on the west coast. So folks in those areas are going to have a hard time of it, and we shouldn’t lose sight of that. And the entire state got hit with Category 1 level winds, which while not the destructive terror of a Category 4 or a 5, is still no picnic. So a lot of Florida is in cleanup and repair mode for a while. And there is a lot of cumulative lighter damage all over the state.

Irma was a nasty hurricane, to be sure, but not the world-ending superstorm of death the warmistas and journalists would have wanted.

Hurricanes, Nightclubs, and Logic Traps

Oh what a week. You know, I had a long post planned on the effects of Hurricane Harvey in Texas. The general optimism was palpable, at least compared to Katrina, which delivered a similar impact to New Orleans. Come to find out, the storm behind it, Hurricane Irma, is probably headed my general direction, and Irma doesn’t look like a walk in the park either. So if you don’t hear from me for a while, it’s probably because I’m dealing with that.

Folks these days have just lost touch with reality. It’s almost as if, for each of these crazy SJWs, there’s a movie playing in their heads. A movie complete with a soundtrack, a narrative, moments of bravery and heroism, and moments of terrifying despair. Such fantastical internal monologues don’t really line up with reality which, in the advent of general prosperity and high technology (in the First World, anyway), has lost some of the dramatic presentation of ages past. Fact is, most of these people wouldn’t be the main characters in stories about their own lives. They are boring, predictable, trite, and any drama that attaches itself to them is probably self-inflicted. But in their own minds, they are heroes of legend, punching Nazis, freeing slaves, defying incredible odds, and fighting The Man.

When a real disaster strikes, such folks are the first to scream for someone to save them, to cry out for care and succor; to demand immediate government aid, and refuse to do anything until it is provided for them. Even the tiniest of inconveniences is too much for them. If Donald Trump showed up, and parted the storm with his toupee, they would still grumble that he once said something mean to somebody on TV, failed to cure global poverty, and was still therefore the literal reincarnation of Adolf Hitler.

Fortunately, such people are rather more rare in Texas than in many other parts of the country. And so you saw everything from rednecks floating down the flooded streets in giant rubber duckies to Texans pulling out National Guard trucks with lifted 4x4s. The damage to Texas was tremendous. The complaining was rather minimal, by comparison. If Hurricane Irma does indeed visit my own state, I can only hope we weather it with half as much dignity and ability. They went out and did what needed to be done, and didn’t wait for someone else to save the day. Nor did I see a whole lot of braggadocio. Remember Sean Penn going to save the victims of Katrina in boat he forgot to plug.

The thing that you must understand about SJWs and other assorted far-Leftists, is that they are all talk. They cannot harm you by themselves. They will threaten your job, your business, your person, but they cannot hurt any of these without your cooperation. The moment they meet real resistance, they fold. Everything they say is a bluff. They must always solicit someone else to do their dirty work. They must bluff you into apologizing, into caving in to their demands.

While a polite man might question his behavior, might wonder if he did, indeed, do something wrong and worthy of condemnation, that path leads to defeat. SJWs exploit the politeness of good men. They leverage the natural desire of folks to be generally thought of as good and decent people. They use our better natures against us, because they could not defeat anything without our cooperation. This can be seen in their reaction to genuine disaster. They scream for help. They fold immediately. They’ve no strength of character, ability, or talent, save that of deception (and its close relative: self-deception).

All a good man has to do is fight. But so often, good men do not fight them. When disaster strikes, it is comparatively easy for him to jump in a boat and go rescue and help out. This is because, for him, the greatest challenge is knowing his cause is just. Once assured of that, the rest is mere execution. This is why SJWs attack people the way they do. They plant doubt, they try to create cognitive dissonance, to make him see his cause as somehow unjust, or to create enough conflict that he is pushed to the sidelines.

Most often, these doubts are created via kafkatrapping (see a brief primer here), creating morality paradoxes that are impossible to resolve. Media and education sectors are generally complicit in the creation of such moral kafkatraps. One popular kafkatrap is the assumption that it is impossible to be racist against white people, and it is impossible for white people to not be racist. Therefore all white people are racist, and any action is permissible against them, because as oppressive racists, they probably deserve it. If a white person complains, then too bad, because it is impossible to be racist against white people. If someone elevates the argument above this field, and asks why white people are automatically racist, a list of crimes committed by white people will be listed off, and links provided to sympathetic media and education outlets who agree with the operator of the kafkatrap. The operator, of course, will not accept sources that are not friendly to his point of view.

The way out is to understand that such operators are full of shit, and their sole purpose is to prevent you from coming to your own conclusions about morality and what actions are right and just. This manifests as a sort of general malaise, a vague sense of taboo and guilt whenever any sociopolitical issue touches upon a Leftist idol. Such guilt is effectively a form of mental paralysis, because the kafkatrap has been internalized, and is not resolvable, because it has designed to be so.

So where a man might be able to jump into his boat, risk his life, and save people without hesitation, he might be paralyzed into near-complete silence by even the most elementary of Leftist kafkatraps.

There are many ways out of kafkatraps. But for me, the easiest is this: the operator is a liar. The operator has his own agenda, and is attempting to use you to achieve it. Whatever he claims to care about, be it the plight of poor black people, or the children, or religious liberty, or economic equality, the claim is a lie. Either it is his own lie, or he is in service to someone else’s lie. Whatever the case, the entire kafkatrap can be dismissed on that basis.

How do you know it is a lie? Search the media, or the curriculum of some SJW educator, on a subject you are very familiar with. Something you’ve spent your life in, and know very well. For me, this is Byzantine history (and by extension Islamic history). The number of lies they spew on this topic is staggering. No, not just mistakes (though there are plenty of those as well), but outright lies. I also see this locally in my other life as a club DJ. I’ve worked in one particular local club off and on for many years. Recently the SJW crowd has bandied about accusations of Nazism infesting the club in the media. I know this to be false. I know the people who are involved. I can’t go into gory detail on it for reasons of business. But suffice it to say, this is a lie.

But don’t take my word for it. Look up something you know. Look up your local hangouts, your people, a subject you are expert in. Find an instance of SJWs or Leftists inserting themselves into those things. See how often the accusations are bald-faced lies. Now, multiply this times everything such people say. They are full of shit. So whatever kafkatraps they are trying to operate, whatever guilt or taboos they are attempting to force, you ought to dismiss them.

Now, the operator will claim to be a badass, fighting The Man, taking it to those evil straight white males, fighting the Patriarchy, and bashing the fash. But when the hurricane comes, he will be the first to clamor and scream for someone else to come save him. He possesses no courage, he is not a warrior, a fighter, or a member of the resistance. He probably couldn’t even change his own tire. This is also observable. It is own fantasy, perhaps, a story playing out in his head about how he’s the hero. When reality rudely intrudes, he will expect you and I to fix reality for him, and will express his displeasure if we fail to do so. In this, he assumes we care about him. Which, up until now, most people have cared. Like the angry customer, we have, as a society, tried to make this man happy with concession after concession. But it has only emboldened him, only fed his personal fantasy of relevance and inspired further kafkatraps to paralyze us and loot us of wealth. The customer is not always right. Sometimes the customer is a liar and an asshole.

In this case, the entire life of an SJW is one big lie.

There is no reason to serve him or his interests. There isn’t even a reason to listen to his lies any longer. Get in your boat, and do what has to be done, and to Hell with the SJWs, or the talking heads complaining in the media. You’ve got work to do. If someone wants to call you a racist, shrug it off and eject him from your life. The more liars you rid yourself of, the better your life will be.

Collective Insanity

Yesterday, I wound up getting dragged into another political “debate” on Fecalbook, and as is customary for such arguments, the bulk of my opponent’s replies were dedicated to implying that a mutual friend of ours is a Nazi. Of course, since I rose to his defense, that would then imply I was also a Nazi. All of this was because both of us supposed Nazis were ragging on media sensationalism. According to our intrepid Leftist, since Goebbels didn’t like the media, and we also didn’t like the media, we must be secret admirers of his.

At this point, I made it clear that I was sick to death of this incessant exaggeration and hysteria. It is like our country has gone collectively insane, seeing Nazis everywhere, and in everything. I’ve ranted about this issue before, but as I am wont do, at times, I decided upon some colorful invective. Observe:

Look, I don’t know your relationship to [our mutual friend], but this shit is fucking disturbing, man. Calling someone a Nazi is one step removed from calling a person a murderer. You better be damned sure you’re right before you open your talk hole.

“Somebody said the media sucks. Guess who else didn’t like the media? HITLER!” This is a stupid reason.

“Somebody said the media is more dangerous than a small group of nutjobs with tiki torches. He must like the tiki torch guys!” Also a stupid reason.

My man, if you want to fix the problems with this country, the divisive identity politics shit, the hate, the racism, you gotta start here, with people you know. I’m so tired of it, man. Nazi, racist, bigot…

Do you *really* think you’re helping the situation?

This is getting out of hand. No, it’s been out of hand. Now it’s gone straight to the loony bin. These people are acting insane. Keith Olbermann is a great example. Take a look at this tweet (which he subsequently deleted. Edit: it’s been pointed out to me that the top one *could* have been faked, if any of my readers have an archive.is link for it, I’d appreciate it. The rest are current on his Twitter feed), and a series of similar of recent tweets that are still extant on his Twitter account. He’s losing his mind.

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These are the ravings of a lunatic. A madman. Keith Olbermann has lost all touch with reality. And I suppose this wouldn’t bother me, except that his readers are likewise going insane. The Nazi hysteria has reached ludicrous levels. It’s like the Salem witch trial writ large, where everyone is presumed to be a secret Nazi on the basis of nothing. When will the burnings commence?

Our intrepid Leftist finally backed off after that reply. Perhaps because he realized I was in no mood to indulge his insanity. I doubt it will effect any permanent change in his hysteria, though one can hope.

We live in very bizarre times, where Marxists march in the streets calling themselves anti-Fascist, while acting rather like Fascists themselves. Where Nazi LARPers shop at Wal Mart and buy out all the Tiki torches. Where the media assumed that there are Nazis hiding under their beds at night, and where any difference of political opinion, no matter how small, invokes Godwin’s Law.

I would be surprised if Richard Spencer’s merry band of LARPers and the entire Ku Klux Klan and their hangers-on constituted one tenth of a percent of the American population. And yet here we are, where everybody suspects their neighbor of being a secret collaborator, a would-be Quisling, because they think CNN sucks, or deny that Hillary Clinton is some kind of demigod.

In better times, we’d have them all committed. And we could all have a good laugh watching Keith Olbermann get Baker Acted live on the evening news.

Alas, we do not live in such times.

Why Everybody is a Nazi

It’s been a crazy week, dear readers. I’ve overloaded myself with too many contracts again, and they are proving difficult to manage. Ah, but every extra dollar I make shrinks that mortgage balance. Soon I shall dispense with that last, and most mountainous of debts. And, naturally, I’ve been worrying over the troubles of my Texan friends and readers. Don’t misunderstand me, I knew that my Texans friends would survive this thing. They are a resourceful and independent-minded people. But things are going rough for them. Spare a prayer for them, and keep an eye out for your own people out there. They’ll probably need some help rebuilding.

Over the course of this week’s general craziness, I’ve been thinking rather deeply about this sudden upsurge in usage of the word “Nazi.” It’s everywhere. It’s headache-inducing. Without exception, now, I see the word “Nazi” in my social media feeds every single day. Witch hunts are approaching levels unseen since Salem. Flip on the TV, should you dare (I usually don’t), and you’ll see journalists insinuating that some Rightist is a secret Nazi or Klansmen. Many are even rather open with the charges. Some time ago I gave up defending myself against the charge. If a Leftist wants to compare me to them, then there is no reasoning with him.

But it did get me thinking. Why the sudden focus on Nazism? What is the root cause of this obsession?

In short, Nazism has been equated with Evil, and I use the capitalization here for a reason. You see, evil as a word has a rather specific (if sometimes difficult to quantify) definition: “profound immorality, wickedness, and depravity, especially when regarded as a supernatural force.”

But Evil, as conceived by Leftists, means something rather different. Let’s go back to history for a moment to understand why. The Third Reich was one of history’s most blatantly evil regimes. Between genocide, wars of world conquest, and notions of racial superiority, Nazism amassed quite a body count, and did so in a cold, almost industrialized manner. Nazis created what might be regarded as factories for death. Such cold efficiency of murder was new and terrifying, and it scarred the countries who witnessed it forever.

Those who witnessed first-hand the fruits of Nazism were horrified beyond our capacity to fully understand. To them, Nazism was the most pure strain of evil they had ever personally witnessed. Over time, it became synonymous with evil itself. When one conceived of evil, the first thing that came to mind was Nazism. Media of the post-war period reflected this. Nazis were the quintessential villains, both the spiritually evil pagans of Indiana Jones, and the comical drunk chimpanzee baddies of Hogan’s Heroes.

Somewhere along the way, America slowly came to forget that Nazism was merely one strain of evil among many. Soon, most villains were Nazis, even when not explicitly stated as such. In the recent Disney expansion of the Star Wars franchise, we see this illustrated:

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Red banners, a shape vaguely reminiscent of the Swastika, the general dressed in black standing in front of throngs of banner-wielding stormtroopers; it is all very Nazi-esque. The Star Wars Empire already drew many parallels with Nazi Germany, but they were amped up to the eleven for The Force Awakens.

Less obvious parallels also exist, and are perhaps more common. In Star Trek: Beyond, we saw the villain as a sort of human supremacist. In something of an ironic twist, the villain was a portrayed by a black man. But the references to Nazi ideals of racial supremacy were obvious to any who cared to look. Star Trek: Into Darkness carried a similar theme, wherein the genetically-engineered Khan considered himself a representative of the superior race, a theme carried over both from The Wrath of Khan, and the original TOS episode, Space Seed.

Racial supremacy as the ultimate evil is an absurdly common theme in Hollywood today. And while that doesn’t bother me, per se (Star Trek II remains my favorite of the original movies), what does bother me is how synonymous evil has become with racial supremacy. Almost as if other forms of evil have been forgotten. Americans have forgotten the evils of censorship, the sort of mind-numbing gaslighting of Nineteen Eighty-Four. They have lost touch with the evil of the French Revolution, of unrestrained collective madness and murder-lust that, unlike Nazism, lacks a clearly defined target. The guillotines just fall, day-after-day, until the piles of skulls reach monstrous proportions. The evils of Stalin and Mao are swept aside. Their constant search for ideological purity (as distinct from Nazism’s focus on racial purity) even managed to exceed the body count of Nazism, which to my reckoning only reaches #3 on the most murderous regime list. They forget the rapine and murder of conquerors since the dawn of time, from Xerxes to Genghis Khan.

If there is any alternative to Nazi-esque evil in media and culture, it is Salem-esque Christian totalitarianism, such as The Handmaid’s Tale. At least Nazism was a real evil, a thing which actually did exist, and actually did threaten civilization. The imagined Christian theocracy has never existed outside of isolated villages. Even Salem was not so bad as they portray (though don’t sign me up for 17th century New England, please). No truly threatening Christian theocracy of such a sort ever existed, and only one Christian theocracy ever even managed any kind of real longevity at all, and that was the Byzantine Empire (edit: we may wish to add the Papal States and modern Vatican City to that list as well).

Byzantines, meanwhile, were nothing like The Handmaid’s Tale. Oh, they could be murderous and treacherous, when they wished to be. They killed each other in job lots over iconoclasm, so they were certainly capable of evil (one empress blinded and murdered her own son to take the throne). But Puritans? No. After all, the most famous Byzantine Empress, Theodora, spent her early life as a prostitute before catching the eye of Justinian. It was scandalous, even at the time, but it wasn’t that big of a deal. The sort of woman-hating, frigid, anti-sex Puritans were an exaggeration of an absurdly small minority of a Christians from a very specific time and place. And not even that long of a time, or that big of a place.

Today, we see the two more or less combined. The villains of The Handmaid’s Tale are not dissimilar from Nazis themselves, after all. One of the more bizarre accusations to be leveled against Donald Trump is that he is a Nazi theocrat, as if he is some kind of Puritan Hitler himself. Those who study the rise of Nazism know that Hitler was rather irreligious himself, and had a distaste for Christianity. Like Nietzsche, he regarded it as a religion of weaklings. Hence the almost quasi-pagan feel of Nazism, with its peculiar form of symbol-worship. Either way, the idea of Donald Trump as a theocrat is, itself, rather laughable.

Thing is, Evil, as conceived by the Left is Nazism. Or, more charitably, a combination of Nazism and a fanciful version of Puritanism. In such a way, the evils of Communism and other murderous regimes throughout history are, if not excused, then at least somewhat ignored, because they are not Nazism. The myth of Communism as good intentions that maybe didn’t work out so well in practice continues to hold sway to this day. Nobody believes “real Nazism has never been tried” or “the Nazis were just misguided.” So why are such excuses accepted for Communism?

In this way, the current obsession with Confederate statues is easy to explain. Besides being another two-minutes hate pushed by a complicit media, the Leftists are told that the Confederacy was Evil. And since Evil = Nazism, then the Confederacy must have been run by Nazis. And since the Confederacy was run by Nazis, those who fought for the Confederate side must have also been Nazis, thus Evil. Thus Robert E. Lee was a racial supremacist and a genocidal Nazi (and I’ve had a number of detractors try to argue with me that slavery is the same thing as genocide). Any attempt to explain to them that the Confederacy, despite its various evils, was not Nazi Germany is doomed to failure. Robert E. Lee was literally Hitler, so much so that a sports announcer of Asian descent who shared his name had to be taken off the air to avoid offending people, as if his name had been Adolf Hitler.

Meanwhile Mongolia can erect a 130 foot tall statue of Genghis Khan, who was quite the aficionado of mass murder and world conquest himself, without so much as a peep of protest from anybody. Did people forget his exploits? Or did they just fail to care because Genghis Khan was not a Nazi?

In this way, the Left has come to suspect all Christians of being neo-Puritans, and all white people of being neo-Nazis, because they don’t like Christians and white people (even when, paradoxically, the Leftist is white himself), and the easiest way to justify the hate is to label them as Evil. Evil, of course, is Nazism. Thus, in their quest to be seen as not-Evil, they must constantly virtue-signal how opposite of Nazis they really are. Nazis idolized a self-declared “Aryan race”, which Leftists have conflated with white people in general (hint: Hitler didn’t like the Slavs much more than the Jews), and so the Leftists have taken to hating white people and idolizing non-white people as superior, because it is, in their minds, as far from Nazism as one can possibly get.

A more unbiased observer might think that they have merely traded one form of supremacy for another, but that’s a conversation for another time.

The point is, as humans are occasionally wont to do, Leftists have come to see different as evil, in direct opposition to their claimed love of so-called diversity. And in their mind, their definition of evil is Nazism. Thus, all that is evil is Nazi. If this were a Venn Diagram, evil and Nazi would be the same circle. Puritanism would, perhaps, be a smaller circle entirely within the other two.

When us Rightists point out that Nazis were indeed evil, but we must be wary for other forms of evil, also, they see this as evidence of Nazism. To the Leftist there is no other form of evil. All evils must somehow stem from Nazism.  When we say to watch for other evils, likewise, they hear something very different.

We say: “Nazism isn’t the only form of evil, but it is an evil. We should apply the same diligence we use to keep Nazism out of power to other ideologies like Islamism, Communism, and otherwise.”

They hear: “Nazism isn’t the only form of Nazism, but it is Nazism. We should apply the same diligence we use to keep Nazism out of power to other ideologies like the Religion of Peace, the Ideology of Fairness, and otherwise.”

It is nonsensical to them. In their minds, we are defending or excusing Nazism, and attacking belief systems that are good and righteous. Thus we must be thinly-disguised Nazis, and so Evil.

They are so wrapped up in their Nazi obsession, their constant witch hunts, that they fail to see how they are becoming an awful lot like the thing they hate. And they fail to see the absurdity of what actually passes for a Nazi these days.

Let’s get one thing clear: Nazis do not exist anymore. No, not even the Swastika-bearing Stormfronters are proper Nazis. They are more akin to Nazi LARPers, role-playing or reenacting an ideology that died a long time ago. Even if they suddenly multiplied by several orders of magnitude, and became a real threat, their ideology while still being evil, would not be actual Nazism, no matter what they may claim. Their evil is not Nazism. It’s like an absurd parody of Nazism. I mean, come on, Tiki Torches? They are the JV backbench of evil. And if they ever gained any measure of power, they would spend most of their time arguing who was whiter than thou while pretending they didn’t all have fetishes for Asian women.

Make no mistake, they are evil. But, again, evil is not coextensive with Nazism. Even though the Antifas are becoming a lot like the Nazis in some ways, they aren’t really Nazis either, though like the Stormfronters, they are evil. They, too, are a farcical form of evil. Unlike the Stormfronters, they have a measure of funding, media support, and popular support, which may make them a more prominent threat. And they are much larger, as a group. Quantity, of course, has a quality all of its own. Still, my suspicion is that if you put the Stormfronters and Antifas in a gladiator fight to the death, you would need two or three Antifas per Stormfronter to balance out the betting odds. Your mileage may vary.

Point is, Nazis don’t exist. They are dead. Other forms of evil exist, including one that has a sort of nostalgic love for the Nazis, and including another that claims to hate Nazis, but may be rather closer to them than the first group. We need to be vigilant for such evils whenever and wherever they may crop up. But when a man out there calls you a Nazi, he is merely demonstrating his ignorance, his conflation of evil with Nazism alone. He is showing you his utter lack of imagination and the brevity of his historical knowledge. He is also showing you that, for now at least, he is unreachable. You can’t reach him, you can’t convince him of anything, because you aren’t even speaking the same language.

Perhaps one day he will realize something is wrong with his worldview, and you can reach him then. But he has to figure that out for himself, because in his mind, the notion that evils might not be Nazi-related is not only akin to heresy or political wrongthink, it is quite literally not possible to say in his language. His form of NewSpeak does not allow the conception of the thought as anything but a vague category of political incorrectness, and to him this is a warning to stop thinking entirely.

Another Sunday Morning

I don’t have a lot to say today. It’s a pleasant Sunday morning, and I’ve little desire to sully it with excessive politicking. It’s a cigar and whiskey kind of day, where I consider myself fortunate for the blessings in life. There are a few Cubans sitting in my humidor, and a bottle of bourbon with my name on it. I’ve long maintained that hard times are coming. Tomorrow maybe, or the day after. No man can know exactly when the hammer will fall. But until then, enjoy the luxuries while you have them.

A Twitter follower of mine reminded me of this old song:

Just some easy listening on a Sunday morning. I hope your Sunday is as pleasant as mine.

Numbers 6:24-26

The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:

The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:

The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

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