Must Watch

Francis posted this Mark Steyn video this morning, and I believe it is a must-watch, so I am reposting here. What’s fascinating is that it was recorded only hours before the attack yesterday. As always, Mark Steyn is something of a prophet.

Developing News: House Majority Whip Shot

Take a look for yourself over at Fox News: Steve Scalise, aide shot in Virginia.

Reports on my Twitter feed are indicating that witnesses claimed the gunman asked “where are the Republicans” before going on his shooting rampage. So while unconfirmed, given the target and that possibility, this is likely a politically motivated attack.

Yesterday, I got into a long-winded war on Facebook with a number of former friends who decided to take issue with a post in which I told people I was no longer going to censor my politics in public. One of the fascinating things, as it relates to this news, is that one Lefty made the claim that I was “exaggerating oppression.” I.e. he felt that there was no anti-right wing bias, and that I was making it all up. He claimed that the Kent State shooting was proof that it was more dangerous to be a Leftist, than a Rightist.

And then he dared me to come up with a single Right-winger shot for his politics by a Leftist.

It appears his wish came true.

More to come as we learn more.

Tuesday Afternoon Errata

I had a long successor post on Marxism planned for today, but the workload is too much for that, presently. So enjoy a few little tidbits before we move on to Part 2.

First off, if you’re a regular reader of The Declination, you are no doubt familiar with Francis over at Liberty’s Torch. And today, he has reminded me in rather amusing fashion that he is, in fact, an engineer. After all, only an engineer would use a term like PDOOMA (Pulled Directly Out Of My Ass). He goes on at some length to discuss the problems with climate simulations, and why the ones currently utilized are likely to be about as accurate as a crystal ball at a trailer park psychic’s home. This would be amusing enough, but then he resurrects an old post from Eternity Road to tell us, at some length about PDOOMA, and how to tell when a bad actor is doing exactly that with his statistics.

I highly recommend both pieces. Between both posts, it explains almost every objection I have to the notion of “man-made climate change.”

Second, this morning I became aware of an interesting tizzy going down on Facebook. Jon Del Arroz, an up-and-coming conservative author, managed to rustle the jimmies of Mike Glyer, of Vile 770 fame. Larry Correia and Brad Torgersen soon joined in, with Mike Glyer periodically slinging insults at Larry, to the effect of how stupid everyone else was, and how smart and special Glyer himself was. Mike Glyer often tries to hide under a veneer of respectability, but his SJW instincts steered him badly off kilter today.

It’s all rather amusing stuff. Feel free to peruse and laugh. Naturally, I had a few contributions to the thread as well. Vile 770 is, in effect, an intellectual equivalent of a sewage treatment plant, where Mike Glyer tries to put a nice face on some very nasty Progressive characters, whose primary reason for posting at Vile 770 is to sling hate on conservative authors.

Francis talks about Garbage In, Garbage Out. Well, there’s Mike Glyer’s place for you, in a nutshell. Here is a reliably-informed diagram of the inner workings of File 770:

sewage_Treatment_plant

I’ll leave you with my own estimation of Mike Glyer’s intellectual prowess:

Also, it’s worth noting that Mike Glyer’s insults basically boil down to “neener neener, I’m smarter than you.” It’s the sort of childish taunting you’d hear in an elementary school playground. It’s also projection in its pure form.

You see, Mr. Glyer probably spent most of his youth getting smoke blown up his ass about how special he was, how beautiful and unique he was, like some kind of special snowflake. Now, reality came and ran over his puffed-up dreams like a goddamn freight train. Here men like Larry Correia and Jon Del Arroz do good for themselves, and Glyer has to be thinking “why can’t I be that good, I’m special, I’m smart, I’m a snowflake?”

Here’s a life lesson for you, sir. The people who blew smoke up your ass when you grew up were liars. Every damn one of them. All of the buttslurping pond scum at Vile770 are as useless as you are, sir. You’ve contributed nothing of value to this planet, certainly nothing worth getting paid the kind of money Larry makes. You are the architecture critic who never built a building, the movie critic who never held a camera, the political pundit who can’t even be bothered to crawl his lard-filled, twinkie-stuffing ass to the voting booth.

Socrates once explained that he couldn’t find a wise man, and he himself was not wise. But he was wiser than some for knowing this. And every time you crawl out from whatever cesspit you hail from and insult your betters, I am reminded that though I’m no great shakes in the success department either, compared to the likes of Larry, I’ve got one up on you for at least not being a pretentious, delusional fuckwit staring at my own reflection like Narcissus, with his face plastered and drunk in front of a toilet full of his own vile spew.

PDOOMA indeed.

On Marxism and Morality, Part 1

Many Americans have a near-instinctive loathing for Communism, both the word, and nations and leaders who have put it into practice. How many can articulate why it engenders such disgust?

SJWs and other assorted Marxists use the battle-cry “educate!” The assumption, of course, is that anyone who disagrees with Marxism is either uneducated or, somewhat less charitably, just so stupid as to be unable to grasp its nuances. Marxism, some have claimed, is itself something of a misnomer, for Marx did not expressly construct the ideology. He was, they say, merely a philosopher.

Whatever. Call the ideology whatever you wish, it still remains the same. My own familiarity with the ideology comes from a lifetime of learning from those who lived under it, including my own in-laws. In this, my education in Marxism has been rooted in practicality. What does this ideology produce when its adherents are granted power?

This is how most Americans approach the subject, for we are nothing if not a practical people. You can sell us on a shiny, stylish new car, and claim it is the greatest thing ever invented. But if it breaks down frequently, is expensive to maintain, and generally fails to do the job for which it was purchased, we account it as a shitty car. We treat Communism the same way. One might claim it is more fashionable and trendy, that it is a greater and more moral ideology than our own. But when we see it fail, in every time and place in which it has taken hold… Well, it doesn’t matter how good of a salesman you are, or how many times you say it wasn’t real Communism. The American will look upon it like the worst of lemons on the Buy Here, Pay Here lot.

Our intrepid, plaid-clothed salesman may claim that we are merely uneducated, for the car is loaded with the latest in technological progress, but the American pays him no mind. It’s not as if we haven’t heard that line a dozen times before. But when pressed, the American often has difficulty articulating precisely why views it as a lemon. “It just doesn’t work right,” might be the response. Or perhaps he will say “the sales guy sounded like a weasel, no thanks.”

The claim of uneducated has a ring of truth to it, which is why the dig is often so effective. An American might think “well, you’re right, I don’t know an awful lot about it. I just know it doesn’t work.”

So let’s pry the lid off Marxism a little bit and approach it from an everyman’s perspective, and see what we might find. Let’s dig in and see precisely why it is such a lemon. Where its failures are, and how we’ve come to the point where Marxism, despite being seemingly defeated in the Cold War, has come dangerously close to complete control over most of the Earth.

This will be an ongoing series, where I will select a passage from Marx’s Das Kapital and go over in detail what it means, and how it relates to our current situation. And rather than this being some kind of long-winded sociopolitical scholarly treatment, it will be plain, and written for the layman. There’s enough loaded jargon on Communism festering around on the Internet these days, after all. I’ve no desire to add to that particular landfill.

Here are two quotes for today:

“In reality, the laborer belongs to capital before he has sold himself to capital. His economic bondage is both brought about and concealed by the periodic sale of himself, by his change of masters, and by the oscillation in the market price of labor power. Capitalist production, therefore, under its aspect of a continuous connected process, of a process of reproduction, produces not only commodities, not only surplus value, but it also produces and reproduces the capitalist relation; on the one side the capitalist, on the other the wage-laborer.”
― Karl Marx, Das Kapital

And:

“The essential difference between the various economic forms of society, between, for instance, a society based on slave-labour, and one based on wage-labour, lies only in the mode in which this surplus-labour is in each case extracted from the actual producer, the labourer.”
― Karl Marx, Das Kapital

Here Marx is attempting to sell the reader on the notion that workers are slaves, or at least have a relationship fundamentally similar to slaves with their masters. The worker may choose a different a master, says Marx, but he is still in economic bondage. It is still, in his words, a man conducting “the periodic sale of himself.”

In the days of the Industrial Revolution, this undoubtedly appealed to a great many workers. Let’s face it, life in the factory was hellish. They were dirty, dingy, disgusting, and undoubtedly dangerous. The hours were long, and the toil would have felt as close to slavery as anything could be. And then some Socialist agitator would come and explain that he had been granted insight into the ideology of Karl Marx, a man who said that one day they would escape this bondage.

Except the notion of this difficult labor as slavery is incorrect. It is the foundation upon which the rest of Marxism rests. That it is truly unjust for a man to work so. Let’s look at that notion more closely.

What would happen to a man in the stone age who refused to do the equally difficult and dangerous labor of hunting and foraging for food? Naturally, he would die. Was he thus a slave? If so, he would be a slave to Mother Nature. Before the Industrial Revolution, what would a man generally do for work? Most likely, he would be a farmer. Farming (especially back then) was also a hard, risky business. It is telling that people left the farms to go work in the factories, and never thought to go back.

You see, while the relationship between a factory owner and his workers may superficially resemble that of master and slave in some fashion, it really isn’t one. The worker can choose to do whatever he wishes, and whatever someone will pay him to do. He could be a farmer, or a servant, or a factory worker. He can choose who to work for, which is also very powerful.

Periodically, Facebook will fill up with comments about how evil and terrible Walmart is, as a company. They pay very little, it is said, and the work is demanding. Costco, they often claim, is so much better than Walmart in this respect. They pay their workers a living wage, provide healthcare benefits, and so on. The implied question is “why isn’t Walmart as good as Costco?”

That is a question I can answer, for many moons ago I worked at a Costco as a stocker and occasional cashier, when the dotcom bust hit in the early 2000s (no jobs for programmers back then). I would unload trucks, haul pallets around, and otherwise. And sure enough, they paid a great wage. Over $12/hour, and back then, it was good money for that kind of work.

So how was it that Costco could afford this, and Walmart couldn’t? Well, Costco is very picky about who they hire. And their expectations for work were very lofty. They worked me to the bone, let me tell you. And if you didn’t work to the bone, you didn’t last very long. Out of my crop of hires (over 20 new people), after three months I was one of only three still left. Some were fired. Most left on their own accord, because the work was too much for them. Walmart is much more lax about such things. When I go to a Walmart, I often see workers just lounging about, or slowly shuffling from place-to-place without any fanfare. Cashier lanes are much slower, too. You just didn’t see that at Costco. Or not for very long, anyway.

This gives the worker a choice. Go to Costco, where you’ll work very hard, but get paid pretty well to do it. Or slack off a little and make do with the Walmart wages. Otherwise, these Walmart workers would all be knocking on Costco’s doorstep for a job, rather than protesting in the streets, or posting rants on Facebook why Costco is great and Walmart stinks.

Is that really the choice of a slave?

Often times, the political Left will tell you that hard work doesn’t really get you anywhere. You’re exploited, you see, by the greedy Capitalists. But how many of them would really choose the higher-paying, but hard-working Costco job over the easier, lower-paying Walmart one? They want to have their cake and eat it too. Most folks have choices like this in their lives. You can almost always work more or harder, if you really want to. Whether the additional work is worth the payoff is another question entirely, but you do have a choice. And choice is precisely what separates you from slavery. If you take the choice away, i.e. embrace Marxist thought, you might be comfortable (probably only for a little while – see: Venezuela), but your lack of choice means you’ve effectively embraced enslavement.

And all of this presumes that you can’t, in fact, also acquire capital of your own. You can, and many folks do. Then you are no longer just a worker.

This notion of the worker as a slave is one of Marxism’s most important foundations, and it is built upon a lie. It is a lie designed to sound plausible, for after a long day of hauling pallets and paying rent, life can seem rather slave-like. Especially when you see the owner chugging up the hill in his fancy new Benz. But take it from a man who could afford pretty much any Benz he wanted, now, if he was inclined to be stupid with his money: you won’t always be where you are, and you do have a choice.

Nobody ever said that just because you aren’t a slave, life will be easy, full of plenty, and without dangerous, difficult struggles. A hard life doesn’t make you a slave, and an easy life doesn’t mean you aren’t one. Choice, not labor, is what determines your status as a slave or a free man.

Marxism: A Cross Between Mean Girls & Lord of the Flies

The right wing has a serious problem culturally and socially, and it goes beyond the fact that Marxists have claimed education, media, and entertainment. Consider the reasons why the Marxists wrangled control of them. Every organization they infiltrate either falls to them in short order, or survives only by becoming incredibly intolerant and explicitly rightist. Even a few of those organizations eventually fall, too.

Yet once Marxists claim an organization, their dreadful mismanagement of it soon results in the organization either failing completely, or requiring subsidy and support from the outside for its now implicitly Marxist mission.

Greater minds than mine have determined how this happens, how SJWs and their ilk manage to subvert and dominate organizations. The question I want answered is why we continually allow them to do this.

A large portion of my writing on The Declination has been devoted to discovering the underlying problem and defeating it. Weaponized Empathy is one such concept, and yet it seemed somehow incomplete. Correct, but insufficient.

Marxists live and breathe power politics. This is the whole of their existence, their singular purpose: to seize the property of others and redistribute it, setting themselves up as the fulcrum by which society is measured and weighed. I know better, says the Marxist, you must obey me.

I am smarter than you, says the Marxist, thus I know better how to utilize your property, you must therefore relinquish it to me.

Of course, if they said it outright this way, nobody would support them, for the tyranny would be obvious. Yet, despite the many failures of Marxism in the last century, support for it continues to claim moral superiority in every visible way.

Let’s not kid ourselves. Communism still retains the moral high ground in the minds of men, even in the minds of many conservatives, who struggle with accusations of racism, sexism, hating the poor, etc… People know Marxism doesn’t work. They know it is wrong. But it doesn’t matter, because as soon as the accusations are slung their way, they feel guilty.

When Trump opposed Obamacare, the rhetoric was that poor people were going to die if the program was cancelled or modified (toward the right) in any way. Of course, this was not quantified in any real way.

But it didn’t have to be quantified, or even true, because the rightist now faced a choice: defend himself and look guilty, because as you know, if you are defensive, you are seen as guilty. What are you hiding, they ask, that you would be so defensive about it? Or you could ignore the charge, and let yourself be blasted in perpetuity for it. Without mounting a defense, you may be left wide open for rhetorical attack.

That is the real challenge here.

An analogy is possible. Go back to high school, when “burning” other students was considered the norm. If someone called you a name, or insulted you, you did not defend yourself. If, for instance, someone called you stupid, you did not rattle off your IQ and GPA to prove the person wrong. You would be laughed at for doing that. “Lol, did you see that kid? John called him a pinhead, and he said he has a 140 IQ. What a lameass tool.” Being defensive is a fast death in the high school world.

Furthermore, while ignoring the insult was somewhat preferable to getting defensive about it, that didn’t always work either. You could keep ignoring it, and others would keep saying shit about you, chipping away at your reputation without fear of suffering any damage themselves. This was a slower death, in that the damage did not immediately destroy you, but enough attacks would eventually do you in.

The sole method for victory was to immediately burn the other kid back. And if he, in turn, had a response, you had to do it again. This would go on until one or the other would win. But even a loss in the burn contest imposed a price upon the winner. He had to consider that next time he might lose.

This may be the biggest problem with how the right wing addresses politics. We tend to think of it as serious business (because, in truth, it is). Economics, foreign policy, poverty, freedom… these are all real world issues to us, things that, though we may disagree on, we genuinely want to solve. We’re adults, trying to fix a problem.

Marxists, meanwhile, are high school kids. Nobody really cares about your GPA, your beauty, your wealth, your IQ, or even how much you can bench. Popularity is all that really matters. It is the coin of the realm. And while some stats can be of assistance in this regard (you don’t want to be the poor kid at a rich school, for instance, or the reverse), it’s really an amorphous blob of power politics that truly sets one apart from another.

Many rightists were probably pretty good at the burn game in high school. But they also left this behavior behind and grew up. Marxists never did. If anything, they regressed. They continued down that trajectory while we became out of shape, lame, and stodgy, in their eyes.

The only reason Marxists haven’t obtained victory, for they have completely dominated the burn game, as only Donald Trump has really given them a run for their money in this, is that rightists control the weapons. We’ve become dorky, lame, and are the butt of all jokes. But at the same time, we are still stronger and are much better in a fight.

And that was the one great equalizer in the high school world. If you lost the burn game, escalation was on the table. Instead of insulting him back, you might just punch him in the face instead. The Marxists fear this. This is why they always pull back just short of the point at which the right wing would revolt and beat the stuffing out of them.

If the disrespectful puke insulting you took a hook to the jaw, he instantly lost, regardless of who had the better insults. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

What our side needs to understand about politics is that when the leftist says “you’re a racist” this isn’t any more likely to be true than a high school kid saying “you’re stupid.” If a kid calls you a pinhead, the answer isn’t to pull out a tape measure and declare that your cranium has normal size characteristics. That is what we have done on the right for far too long.

“You’re sexist,” says the Marxist.

Your reply should be something on the order of “you’re an economic illiterate.” Don’t reply with how your policies are actually good for women, even though this is probably true. You can articulate that elsewhere. Write a blog post, or build a website to discuss the truth of the issue. But don’t respond directly to the Marxist with this, it won’t work.

The Marxist may then reply with a counter of his own, and so on and so forth. If a Communist calls you “fat” reply with “yeah? At least us capitalists have food.” If the Marxist calls you greedy, reply in turn that he is jealous because he is poor. If he’s a rich Marxist, ask him when he plans to donate his billions to the NAACP, because he’s just another white liberal racist trying to put poor black folks on a Democrat-run voting plantation.

And if the Marxists ever wind up winning the burn battle anyway, and fully takeover the country and want to come for us… Well, then escalation is on the table. Believe me, they fear it. Deep down in their bones, they are afraid of us. Because that is the instant reset button. They immediately lose the second it comes to that.

With Marxists, it is perpetual high school politics. View them through this lens, and a lot starts to make sense. Their tactics, their methods… it’s all straight out of school. Moral high ground, in their world, is straight-up popularity, and nothing more. You wonder why mountains of bodies surround every major Marxist regime? Imagine if you gave a bunch of catty valley girl teenagers absolute power over life and death. What would happen? How many would die?

Weaponized Empathy? Almost every teenager knows how to use this weapon. It is merely that we’ve forgotten because we grew up and moved on. They are stuck perpetually in a world that is a cross between Lord of the Flies and Mean Girls. Where everything is about a false idol of fairness, and personal popularity. Where sick burns outweigh anything right or true. If Karl Marx was a prophet, he must have had visions of American high schools. And as for the Marxists themselves, one might rightly suspect they just want revenge for all those wedgies and swirlies they got as kids. They never forgot. They never let go, or grew up.

Too many rightists fear losing their principles and their maturity by falling into that cesspit to do battle with them. Why? Marxists are immature idiots. Crush them and put them in timeout. And if they get too far out of line, spank them. We can play their own game better than they can if we ever bothered to try.

And perhaps that gives us the best burn to deploy against them: “shut up, the adults are talking.”

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