At times, I talk with my wife about Communism, the Cold War, and the like. She is generally uninterested in politics save for the fact that, as a daughter of Cuban exiles, she has an instinctive loathing for Communism. When I talk with her about these things, though, they are always personal. Her family suffered under the Castro regime, and that is enough to prove to her that the Communists are on the side of evil. No further analysis is really required for her. Another acquaintance of mine is a woman of Vietnamese descent. Her opinions of Communism are likewise informed by the experiences of family during the fall of South Vietnam and the long course of the war which preceded it.
America defeated the Soviet Union through near-Herculean economic and technological feats, while the Soviets destroyed themselves utterly trying to push their flagging, hobbled economy to keep up with us, with the boat anchor of Socialism holding it back all the while. Yet already, most of the world was Socialist or at least leaned that way to some degree. Socialism continues to gain ground. The rats of world Socialism bailed from the sinking Soviet Titanic, but did not die. My wife cannot go to Cuba, my friend cannot go to Vietnam. And though the Berlin Wall fell, it’s questionable if the long term future of Germany is improved with millions of migrants instead of Stasi secret policemen.
Movement toward Socialism is one-way and inexorable everywhere. Once a Socialist policy is implemented, getting rid of it is a Herculean feat. I remember when Bush II floated the trial balloon of allowing workers to contribute to private investment accounts in lieu of Social Security. That lasted all of about 5 minutes. The outcry could probably be heard from orbit. Obamacare is still around, despite Trump’s best efforts (at least the tax mandate is gone, though). Look at socialist programs around the West. Once passed, they never die. Its partisans will fight to the death. Its opponents presumably have better things to do.
Earlier today, I was reading a little about the fall of Saigon and the final days of South Vietnam, and it is fascinating to see how fast the South fell apart. Kill nearly a million Socialists and somehow more sprout up from the ground. One gets the feeling that America was simply exhausted at a moral level as much as anything else. Imagine fighting Communists in the bush for years on end, only to watch Jane Fonda do her little puff piece act, and watch popular support evaporate like a fart in a hurricane.
Socialists are good at hacking the human emotional landscape, so to speak. As I stated in an earlier post, the nature of this moral argument stems from a misinterpretation of the Golden Rule, or alternatively, from the optimum play strategy in Game Theory. In the first round, you ought to Keep Faith, in the hopes that your opponent will do likewise, and you may both benefit. If this fails, you should Betray in the next round, to teach the other a lesson, and to avoid being a sucker. Treat the other person how you would like to be treated and all that. However, this has a deeper implication. If the other person hits betray, then it is assumed he likewise treated you as he wished to be treated. So now we play the game by his rules: betray, betray, betray.
Socialists reset the game with each transaction, however. The moral trick of the political Left is to consider every action in a moral vacuum. Keep Faith this time, the Leftist says. And when the betrayal happens, ignore it and reset the game. Keep Faith again, and again, and again… until they march into your headquarters and finally tell it to you straight: “There is no question of your transferring power. Your power has crumbled. You cannot give up what you do not have.”
By doing this, Socialists will win any moral argument. If, for instance, they provide a picture of a poor Syrian child, and say “how could you possibly turn away this poor innocent child,” hordes of people will lose their resolve and agree to allowing millions of migrants to go wherever they please without resistance. The Syrian child doesn’t exist in a moral vacuum. You’ve been betrayed, and the Left reset the game again. Same with illegal immigration in the United States. In debates with Leftists, I have seen them refer to the conditions illegals in our custody live in as worse than Nazi concentration camps. Who believes this? And yet they will defend the point with a thousand rationalizations, and then demand we Keep Faith again because clearly we’re horrible, and the poor innocent kids need us to keep the faith.
If we do, another few million will cross the border. They hit Betray, just as they did to Reagan after amnesty. Again and again.
Socialists are relentless in their political fighting. They are like political Terminators. They do not stop until the whole world is Socialist. For them no lie is too great, nor is any murder too evil, if truth and life stand in the way of Socialism. And once they dig their claws into a place, getting rid of them is a Herculean effort. The Cold War and the defeat of the USSR was, perhaps, the greatest achievement America ever accomplished, and even that was not enough. Socialism continues its long march through the institutions.
My Cuban in-laws lament that, when America falls – as they think it probably will soon – that will be it. America was the last place for them to go and be free. If America falls into Socialism, the rest of the world is sure to follow. I’ve long suspected that fear of America is all that kept many places from openly embracing it, in full rather than in part. Meanwhile, within our borders, the disease festers and grows. I remember Bill Kristol extolling how he was embracing his Socialist side in the wake of Donald Trump’s election. Even the nominal Right has been infected by it.
In a conversation with Sarah Hoyt some years ago, I remember her telling me that she was infected, to some degree, by Marxist thinking. That we all were, myself included. We were raised in it, like a fish in water. It’s in academia, media, culture, and even lower education. The simple moral reset is a sort of brain hack – where otherwise intelligent individuals are somehow stymied from critical thinking by the right picture, the sob story media puff piece, the Palestinian actors (some who forget to stop moving in their body bags when the cameras pan over them).
The gullibility of regular folks, unable to parse that an unpleasant act in the immediate moment may indeed be the correct answer to a moral quandary in the same way medical triage prioritizes some patients over others, enables the Socialists to continue forward, their opposition caught in a Kafka trap. The Socialists are pushing through the ARVN again and again, melting resistance like a hot knife through ideological butter. Donald Trump’s election was indeed a great reversal for them, but that bought us 4 years? Maybe 8?
And 2 of them are already up.
Folks, I don’t know that America has another Hail Mary pass in her like the one we pulled in 2016. I want to believe it does, but damnit… people need to get over this moral trap bullshit. It’s followed us from French Indochina to the steps of the White House. It has pushed from Havana to Miami. Where it was booted out of Moscow, it has taken root throughout the Eurozone. And one wonders if Putin himself desires to resurrect the Soviet corpse. Even in Chile, the land of Pinochetian helicopters, Pinochet has now become reviled, his sins made into the worst thing ever. The sins of Socialists, far greater though they are, are glossed over as mere nothings. One wonders if, had Pinochet never taken power, Chile would look like Venezuela today.
Everywhere I look the Socialist enemy advances, and his chief weapon was the same a hundred years ago as it is today. It is always the moral argument – and a foolish one that people really shouldn’t fall for, and yet do, time and time again. Kill a million Communists, come home, and find the Communist on your television set, lamenting how evil you were for resisting him.
Hanoi Jane should have gone into a wood chipper upon her return. Instead South Vietnam went down the shitter. Batista was terrible, they told us, and so we could not oppose Castro because the optics were bad. That’s another way of saying the State Department was then (as now) infested with sympathetic Socialists playing the moral reset game. Keep the faith with Castro, they said. He’ll see the light – whatever that is.
In the book I Was Castro’s Prisoner, John Martino, an American caught up in the days of the revolution, was betrayed by his very own embassy staff, and left to rot in a Cuban prison. All because the timing was wrong, they said. To be clear: American officials told him to report back to the Cuban prison for political reasons after a sympathetic Cuban doctor helped him escape to the American embassy. John Martino – naive at the time – agreed under the condition they would negotiate his release the following day. That, naturally, never happened.
Do not Keep Faith. They. Will. Betray. Every fucking time. I don’t know how much more clear I can make it: DO NOT KEEP FAITH. John Martino should have followed the advice of the Cuban doctor and insisted he was staying in the embassy, and if they wanted him removed, they would have to do so by force. The optics of that would have looked bad even in the Socialist-infested State Department.
The Long March of Socialism continues. It has suffered reverses at various times – some of them severe – at our hands, but this has made them hate us more. And by our hands, at this point I mean anyone who doesn’t want to see the world fall into darkness and tyranny; anyone opposed to this Communist crap. I am not choosy about my allies, so long as the thought of Hanoi Jane disappearing out of a chopper somewhere over the Atlantic gives them shivers of joy.
This is why, despite the fact that I was never much of a fan of Trump at any kind of personal level, I was did not fall into NeverTrump stupidity. Donald Trump may have a myriad of flaws, but he fights, and he has made his stance against Socialism clear. NeverTrumpers stupidly kept the faith with the Left again. Stop doing this, for the love of all that is Holy it DOES NOT WORK. We no longer have the luxury of picking perfect, upstanding, flawless men to fight this battle. We’re against the wall. If we don’t fight now, at the very end, we’ll die against that wall. Anybody who wants to fight gets a weapon and gets his chance to dive into the fray. If Trump isn’t nice, well then I don’t care. He gets his pitchfork to stick the Socialist shitstains if he wants it.
I don’t want to be nice to them. My Cuban in-laws lost their country. My Vietnamese friend lost hers. I have a friend in Venezuela, trying to flee that place… and for him, the result is likely to be the same. That’s us if we don’t stop this madness, folks. Kurt Schlichter is fond of telling us that the other side hates us. They do. They want us dead, and they lack the patience of their Fabian Socialist forebears. You think, after they gain power, that we’ll be around much longer? Look all around, everywhere, and you see that this is it. We live in the time when fighting Socialism or bending the knee to Socialism are the only two viable options.
My knees are not so good anymore. I don’t like bending them. It’s uncomfortable. In any event, the American knee does not bend easily, or naturally, in the service of tyrants. I’d rather fight. That’s my decision. So I don’t Keep Faith with Socialists anymore. Never again. This shit has to stop. We’re the last line of defense.
What’s your decision? Unlike my wife’s family, there will be nowhere for us if America falls. There will be no helicopters over Saigon to evacuate us to friendly territory. So either bend the knee or take up the pitchforks. Make your decision. If you choose the latter, stop listening to their moral preening. It’s all a bunch of bullshit designed to con you into hitting Keep Faith one more time.
That’s all it ever was. That’s all it ever will be.
Imagine for a moment a common scenario in any major urban area. You’re caught in the morning traffic, stuck a few cycles behind a stoplight. Nobody has moved in a while. A beggar walks between the cars with a faded cardboard sign, hand out for whatever pocket change or crumpled bills you might have stashed in your center console. Maybe you have some this time, or perhaps not. Either way, you don’t feel like giving anything to the beggar. He walks by your car, and you avert your gaze. You feel wrong for giving nothing. A stab of guilt hits you, or perhaps worry that other drivers will see how stingy you are, even though it is likely you will never encounter the other drivers again.
And while there is a fair chance you might encounter the beggar again, for they each have their various territories and haunts, it is doubtful he will even recognize you from the thousands of other drivers wasting their lives away at the intersection.
Where does the guilt come from? Would it not be better to part with a couple of wadded up dollar bills to be rid of it? After all, what are you going to use them for, maybe buying a coke out of the vending machine at work?
I am fond of referencing a specific incident on Twitter that ties into this problem. In it, a woman laments that Elon Musk should have fixed Flint’s water supply, rather than launching a car into space as part of a publicity stunt. It ties in neatly with those protesters, back during the days of the Apollo program, who demanded that the funds given to NASA to do the thing should have been used to improve the lives of poor black people instead.
I wonder if the NASA engineers and scientists ever experienced a similar pang of guilt, if they drove past the protesters and refused to make eye contact with them out of misplaced guilt. Certainly, I’d hope they didn’t feel such guilt, but human nature being what it is, it would not surprise me if they did, at some level.
We live in a strange time, perhaps. Or maybe it isn’t strange, and things were the same thousands of years ago. Who can say? Today, Americans – and probably Westerners in general – go deep into debt keeping up with the Joneses. Having done this, they drive past people who, in many cases, actually have more net worth than they do (for many possess negative net worth – zero is a financial improvement), walking down the street, hat in hand, grabbing the wadded bills and worn pocket change.
Sometimes I’ll listen to Dave Ramsey on Youtube. He’ll get callers who are deeply in debt, trying to claw their way out of financial stupidity. Yet to causal eyes, such people would appear to be wealthy – certainly more so than a street beggar. Do those who are deeply in debt still feel a stab of guilt that they haven’t given their last few quarters and pennies away? Perhaps folks like that shouldn’t buy a $70k BMW on a wage-earner’s salary. That would be sensible, I think. Yet… if they can afford the car, could they not afford to give away wealth instead?
Should they mortgage the house to pay beggars instead? Should they take a $70k note to donate to charity, or pay high taxes to the government for some social welfare program?
If this sounds confusing, that is because none of it makes any sense at all.
In the bizarre moral calculus of the modern West, people view each interaction in a moral vacuum. You are driving a nice car, therefore you should give money to the beggar. This is near to universal in the thoughts of most Americans, this is why the stab of guilt reaches them, despite their own respective situations. You could be one step from bankruptcy, but it doesn’t matter. At that specific moment, your lifestyle is greater, so you should give up something.
When an illegal immigrant hops over the border and the Border Patrol catches him, only that specific moment matters at all. The Border Patrol agent’s lifestyle is greater – indeed, all of America’s lifestyle as a whole is greater – thus the illegal should be permitted entry. It is morally wrong, to many, to think otherwise. Yet at some level, people are aware of the contradiction. This is why many do not give their last dimes to the street beggar, and do not want the illegal to enter.
Ask a Leftist if he is an open borders advocate, and most will say no. Ask them to judge every single case of illegal entry, and each individual case would be allowed on charitable grounds, creating a de facto open borders situation some Leftists may not even be consciously aware of (others certainly are, and desire this). Ask a Leftist if he thinks every person should have an absolutely equal standard of living, and almost every single one would say no. Yet each individual incident will be judged on the basis of who has more wealth, or who appears to have more wealth, and thus the flow of wealth must invariably go in one direction only, until no such inequality remains. It is de facto support of identical standards of living for all.
I know a man who is deeply in debt, hovering on the edge of bankruptcy, and his wife constantly argues to take in poor, unfortunate people off the street in order to help them. Such people will undoubtedly be held up as heroes to most. And yet, is this right? If your husband is working multiple jobs just to keep the creditors away a little longer, should you give away his money to strangers you don’t have any connection with?
I am told of another man, a father-in-law to another friend, who has been robbed, wronged, and stolen from by the folks he purports to help, over and over again. He declines to do anything about the thefts and the wrongs, and takes in more such people, who consistently use him for freebies. Such people aren’t getting their lives together, they are merely mooching off a gullible man, easily conned out of his money and possessions.
No doubt, if confronted, the thieves would couch the thefts in terms of their needs, and their mark’s relative high standard of living. He has more, you see, so it is just to take from him.
As I mentioned in my previous post, we have a modern interpretation of every incident in life according to a very strict and stupid set of moral requirements. They are as follows:
- Each incident must be considered in a complete vacuum. You cannot take into account the wider implications, or the future, or past actions, or even larger contexts. Only that individual’s circumstances, in this exact moment, matter at all.
- The one whose standard of living appears greater is automatically the quasi-oppressor. Moral obligations flow from the individual who appears to be more wealthy to the individual who appears less wealthy. Moral obligations in the other direction do not exist.
- Various exceptions may be permitted according to racial/religious minority status. In such cases, moral obligations flow from the caste perceived to be more privileged to the caste perceived to possess less privilege. Moral obligations in the other direction do not exist.
- Relative privilege is assigned by a sort of popularity contest.
Only the appearance matters. If you drive a BMW, and the other person does not, he has no moral obligations to you, but you have every obligation to him. If he steals your car, it’s probably because you were privileged. You probably deserved it. If the beggar spits on your car because you did not part with your pocket change, that is your fault. If you take in a poor person, and he steals your stuff, that is because you were privileged. Shut your mouth, loser, and take in someone else. If the illegal crosses the border, he should be admitted even if he’s a crackhead and wanted for robbery in his home country, merely because in that particular moment, his circumstances appear worse than yours.
The true-believer Leftist will brain-lock in any of these incidents (the Deceivers won’t – but that’s a matter for a different post). He will be unable to rationalize himself out of the moral problem. And so, if he doesn’t give up that last dollar to the street beggar, he will feel guilty for it. He will be unable to escape the Kafkan moral trap without either doing what is desired (giving up his money) or feeling guilty. The guilt, of course, is equally useful to power-seekers, for it can be used to craft social policy.
Many Rightists will also be caught in the trap, because quite frankly, most of us have grown up in a world that follows the moral demands I’ve outlined. The four points can be summarized further:
The Lie: GOOD IS ALWAYS NICE
It’s a lie. Furthermore, it’s a lie that even Leftists are aware of at some level. They are fond of referring to Rightists as Nazis, and then becoming violent and very not-nice toward us. Are they thus evil because they are not being nice to us? They escape the trap by saying that we are so bad (they have said we are Nazis, after all), we deserve it. We have it coming.
That is tacit admission that the good must be nice policy is bullshit. Yet the rule is still applied to all others. Leftists will often consume themselves in an orgy of self-destructive behavior to arrive at who is at the bottom of the stack (and thus truly at the top of the stack). Moral obligations are one way and flow from privileged to not-privileged, in every individual situation.
Now, real, actual charity can be a good thing, provided a few conditions are met:
- You know that your actions are likely to help. Handing a crackhead more money will not improve his situation. It may make it worse. Welfare programs suffer the trap of not necessarily helping the supposed beneficiaries. This is why charity usually works best if you know the other person, and are in a position to judge whether or not your charitable actions are actually helping.
- The receiver of the charity acknowledges his own responsibility. For instance, if you decide that some money will help a poor person, and you give the money to him, he now has an obligation to both himself and you. He must use the funds responsibly, to fix his situation, because that was why he was given the money. He should not, for instance, go buy beer with it.
- The charity is personal, and not pressured. You want to do it. You weren’t forced to do it by government, or peer pressure. Otherwise it’s just a form of theft. If you feel guilty about the situation, you should avoid the situation, because that pressure is coming from somewhere else.
- The charity should cease if the beneficiary doesn’t acknowledge his own responsibilities. If he buys beer with your money, he should receive nothing else from you. If he steals your stuff, he should be reported to the police.
- You don’t screw over other people in order to do it. Ruining your family’s finances to help a stranger is not a net good. This includes yourself. Ruining your business, your own life, and all that… these are not net gains either.
Good doesn’t have to be nice. The concepts are not linked. Nor do moral obligations flow in only one direction. In all interactions in society, moral obligations are two-way, and if the other participant flouts them, you are under no obligation to continue to use them yourself with regards to him. In simple terms, if he hits you, you hit him back. One-way moral obligations constitute a form of slavery.
In this way, modern Leftists are slavers. Being nice exclusively, and without reciprocation, is an invitation for evil. It is a bright neon sign casting light far into the distance that says “please come and use me.” Leftism enshrines its notion of all interactions as effectively one-way moral transactions. It cannot even understand the notion of a mutually beneficial exchange. Capitalism must be exploitation, says the Leftist, because he can’t understand two-way interactions.
The Eurythmics track Sweet Dreams contains a line to this effect:
Everybody’s looking for something.
Some of them want to use you
Some of them want to get used by you
Some of them want to abuse you
Some of them want to be abused.
Some of the Leftists are abusers, looking to abuse you, to steal from you, to mooch off you, to use you. Others want to be abused, to be stolen from, to be used, in order to trumpet their supposed superiority over the rest of us. These are all one-way interactions. The correct answer is: none of the above. All interactions are either two-way, or you should get the fuck out of that situation.
Truth: GOOD IS NOT ALWAYS NICE
Enshrine that and live it.
Also, if you see a street beggar, unless you know the guy and his situation (in which case, do as seems best), just say no. And don’t avert your eyes when you do it.
Some time ago, Tom Kratman explained to me that pacifism is, at its core, a form of moral cowardice. The reasons for this are many and varied, but we can summarize it by considering that, were the pacifist to see a gang banger beating the crap out of an innocent old lady, the pacifist would consider intervening to be an injustice. After all, the pacifist would say, being violent in turn only brings us down to the gang banger’s level. In the mind of a pacifist, both the gang banger and the defender of old ladies are equally evil, for both resort to violence.
Leftism is full of moral paradoxes like this. I have, of late, taken to calling the phenomenon a form of brain lock. Leftism resembles, in part, a form of philosophy sometimes called moralistic therapeutic deism. It fits in neatly with this “I’m spiritual, not religious” nonsense espoused by a number of indecisive morons. I’ve seen this phenomenon called “post-Christian”, or a number of other similar terms. It is assuredly post-modern, for it has no obvious antecedents in our recent history. Whatever we call it, it is the dominant belief system in the Western world, even with many who consider themselves to be Christians.
In essence, it is a dumbing down of Christian morality combined with a form of pseudo-scientific Marxist absolutism. The pacifist will say that all violence is bad, but in his absolute devotion to this overly-simplistic principle, actually prevents himself from doing anything to stop the very violence he theoretically decries.
Good, the MTD adherent will say, is being nice. It is the Golden Rule, or something very much like it. So the adherent will countenance importing many not-nice individuals, in the name of being nice. Consider how Angela Merkel and her enablers like to guilt Germans about the atrocities of their anti-Semitic Nazi past, and use this guilt to import hordes of anti-Semites.
This is the kind of contradiction that infects adherents of this overly-simplistic worldview. Equality is their god, because equality is nice. If you have more, you should give it up until you don’t. Elon Musk shouldn’t shoot cars into space until Flint’s water supply is fixed. It is an inversion of Game Theory. The more your opponent punches up betray, the more you keep the faith. If Muslims blow your buildings up, write sympathetic pieces about the religion of peace, give them tons of money, and yell at folks who are skeptical of the religion.
In the pursuit of absolute justice, they propagate injustice. If a man cures cancer, should he be allowed to keep the millions that would surely flow to him? Or should he have to give it all away because of equality? Surely the unemployed crack addict should have the same standard of living, right?
This form of morality is both absolute and simple, and it does not work at its stated goals. Want more terrorism? Do this. Want more crime? Want more people to be on welfare? Do this. Want more violence, war, and hatred? This, this, and more this. Pacifism leads to more violence, not peace. Welfare leads to more layabouts, not more productive people. If you genuinely dislike violence, you must be prepared to do violence to those who violate the peace. If you value productivity, you must allow poverty to be uncomfortable.
The world does not conform to the MTD view. Being nice doesn’t make people be nice to you in turn. The Golden Rule contains an implicit condition: at some point, the rule should be reciprocated. You don’t apply the rule to a known genocidal maniac. In Game Theory terms, the Golden Rule means that, in the first round of the game, you select keep faith hoping that the other player will see the value in selecting likewise. If he fails to do so, and betrays instead, betray him in the second round since he cannot be trusted. Perhaps the betrayal will convince him that you are not a sucker, and he will learn to keep faith. Or maybe he’ll just keep hitting betray, and you will at least have avoided being a complete gullible moron.
Leftists can’t do this. They recoil from the necessary duty of being not-nice, of employing violence on the violent, of quid pro quo economics. They can’t see past this and encounter a form of brain lock in which they cannot comprehend how being not-nice in this moment could lead to a nicer society down the road. They cannot understand how violence can make the peace.
Or, if they do understand, they are merely too cowardly to carry out their duties as such. Perhaps for some, this is all post-event rationalization for why they did not intervene to save the old lady from the gang banger. “I am too good, too moral to fight,” says the pacifist, “someone else should do it for me.” Whether that someone else is a Rightist they loathe – but secretly need to keep from being turned into a bloody pulp – or a god they don’t really believe in (but hey, they are spiritual, not religious) doesn’t matter.
In fact, the distant not-really-extant god that they crawl to only in dire need is a great example of this. Fuck you, you don’t exist, says the adherent to God. He’ll drop a cross in a jar of piss, call Christians retarded and make fun of their stupid sky wizard. The next day when he loses his job and gets dumped by his gender-confused housemate he’ll expect the universe – or his god-like spirit – to intervene on his behalf and fix all his shit. And if that doesn’t work, he’ll crawl to the government, hat in hand, and expect the money cribbed from the rest of us to put humpty-dumpty back together again.
And if you don’t, you’re not nice, you big meanie. Now obey or I will apply social peer pressure to you!
The insidious side of this belief system is that it only works if the non-believers cave in to it, in sufficient numbers. That is the problem we have here. Go talk to a liberal on social media and try this experiment. Say something morally complex, like the first boat of
refugees invaders to Europe should have been sunk, and that doing so would have actually prevented the loss of life the ensuing mass migration incurred. Or, if that is too spicy for your taste, merely state that illegal immigrants should be deported back to their birth countries.
Immediate brain lock will occur. You are a big meanie. You are evil. You are immoral and inferior to the Leftist, who is, of course, nicer than you! You can extol the virtues of self-defense, and a fair number of them will dispute the morality of even that much. You should run away, you should not stand your ground, for how could you be so mean to the violent criminal?
There is no breaking through the brain lock. The notion that good does not mean nice is foreign to them. They are sheep thinking sheepdogs and wolves are the same, because both have sharp teeth.
Once a Leftist has brain locked, the only possible expression is fury. How dare you question orthodoxy, infidel! This is why moralistic therapeutic deism may be a good description for the phenomenon, because despite often atheistic pretensions and its Marxist genealogy, it acts like a religion. It is merely that the religion is not well developed and is extremely over-simplistic.
Christianity spent many centuries arguing about its tenets. The nature of Christ, the Trinity, things like just war theory and just what was meant by the commandments… these were all theological debates (some of which went much further than that) that occurred in Christianity’s long history. Christianity largely solved the moral dilemmas and contradictions throughout the ages. And it did so through rigorous debate and practical application. It wasn’t always pretty, either, as Leftists often harp on.
Point is, though, it was done. And in so doing, answers to moral problems were arrived at, and a history was forged with guidelines for how to handle certain moral issues. MTD has none of this long history or debate. Its principles are simple and absolute. They lack even the forgiveness mechanism Christianity provides for those (all of us at some point or another) who fail to live up to its tenets. For them, guilt is eternal. Guilt lasts even past death – this is how white Americans can be held responsible for slavery long after all slavers and all slaves are dead. The guilt is never excised. Forgiveness is never granted.
Lacking such mechanisms for exploring the answers to complex moral problems, and lacking even the ability to forgive those who fail, MTD is, in fact, the opposite of nice.
It is an evil belief system in the same way pacifism is a cowardly belief system. And the reason for this is that the system allows and even encourages evil to flourish in the same way pacifism encourages violence. The fact that its adherents are unable or unwilling to see this is tragic. It doesn’t change the outcome one whit.
It is also prone to ever-greater heights of extremism. Vegans are often telling us that eating animals is violence against animals, and in turn, since niceness is the only virtue, we are evil for being omnivores. PETA once went so far as to cheer when a shark bit the leg of a little boy (IIRC, he lost the leg), because the boy and his father had been fishing, so the boy clearly deserved it for practicing violence against the fish.
They saw cheering as virtuous in the same manner as a Leftist celebrating that his country’s culture and history will be flushed down the toilet by waves of migration – much of it illegal and little of it assimilated – that dwarfs most migrations in human history. There is no higher cause, no greater positive sacrifice in the mind of the Leftist than cultural self-destruction.
And yet, having determined that all that is Western, or white, or male, or Christian – whatever – is evil and must be destroyed, they do not make the final rational leap: they are (usually) white themselves. Brought up in the West. At least vaguely post-Christian. Some are even kinda-sorta male. Shouldn’t they kill themselves, too? You know, set an example and all that.
No, of course not, says the coward. That’s for someone else to do. They are the anointed elites, you see.
They ain’t got time to save the old grannies. They are better than all that. It is a much better use of their time to rant about how an old Christmas song is sexist, or something.
This morning, I was browsing the usual suspects before heading out to work, and I came across an interesting article on [H]ardOCP, one of the tech sites I frequent. Silicon Valley is showing greater wealth inequality over time. Individual incomes are dropping, save for the top 10%. Housing costs are driving out service workers like firemen, retail workers, etc… Only the wealthy can afford to actually live in the communities they serve. Normally this would not be news on The Declination. If a place is expensive and hoity-toity, don’t live there. Hell, don’t even work there – go somewhere where your work is actually appreciated, not looked down upon as icky or plebeian.
However, this is California, land of Socialism, Progressivism, and wonderful hopey-changeness or whatever. This is where every lunatic environmental wacko can hold up production of a solar power plant. This is where some idiot governor once thought to charge everybody $1,000 a year registration fee for being permitted to own an automobile. California, land of high gas prices and terrible air. Environmental land of litter and gang shootings. And don’t forget San Francisco with free human feces on every downtown sidewalk.
To say California is a mess is an understatement. We on the Right often assume this is due to incompetence. And while I acknowledge that possibility, I ask my readers to entertain an alternative: this is quite probably intentional.
On Drudge this morning, I found a brief snippet about Jack Ma, richest man in China, being a member of the Communist party. Does this surprise you? Communism has never been a ground-up, grassroots movement from the lower classes, despite the popular reputation as such. Rather, it is an ideology led by the second-tier wealthy scions who fancy themselves to be intellectuals. Thomas Sowell had the right of it:
Most people who read ‘The Communist Manifesto’ probably have no idea that it was written by a couple of young men who had never worked a day in their lives, and who nevertheless spoke boldly in the name of ‘the workers.’
Marxists merely presume to use the lower classes against their enemies in the middle and upper classes. Ultimately, they don’t want to deal with the dirty, teeming masses in their living rooms, or even their zip codes. Socialists have had the run of California since the early 90s, and yet their vision has resulted in the second-highest poverty rate in the United States (adjusted for cost-of-living – something Leftists rarely bother with). A quote from the original source:
“Do we want to be a community where our firefighters and teachers aren’t living with us, they’re living separate, in far off communities?” Hancock said.
Yes, that’s exactly what they want. They are better than us, you see. They are our intellectual betters, our moral betters, in all ways that matter, they are superior. They are the elite, they are the experts aggrandized and celebrated by Tom Nichols as the proper rulers of this planet. Why should they tolerate a firefighter in their midst? If nothing is on fire, then he shouldn’t be seen or heard. Icky dirt-under-the-fingernails workers need to stay far away. And while they are at it, let them eat cake if the bread is gone.
Socialism is Feudalism repackaged and rebranded as some peasant-friendly, wonderful ideology of plenty.
In reality it’s California writ large. It is haves and have-nots… with a lot more have-nots than haves. It is starvation for the masses and cake (hey, you can have it AND eat it too) for the experts. It is maximal separation between those that do and those that pretend to think. Leftists tell us that Capitalism is to blame for all this, and yet how can that be when, where they rule, there is greater separation, greater inequality?
I don’t pretend to care overmuch about relative wealth. There will always be haves and have-nots. Yet they do make mouth noises about this, then do the exact opposite. We are accustomed to calling them hypocrites, assuming that the mistake is accidental, a consequence of hubris, perhaps, or merely of ignorance. Consider the possibility that it is intentional, that this is what they wanted all along, and all the mouth-noises about the proletariat is just a cloaking device for sending us back to the age of Feudalism and rule by nobility – without even the courtesy of noblesse oblige this time around.
I’ve discussed many times how Progressives use guilt and Weaponized Empathy to shame people into supporting their agendas. How does this find purchase in the minds of normies, however? The answer to that is found in one of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals:
4. “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules.
Buried in this rule is an implicit assumption: every rule must be obeyed perfectly and completely. If a person fails to live up to the rule, he is shamed and made to feel guilty for his failure. As Alinsky tells us, no rule can be obeyed to this level.
Growing up, I had an evil stepmother who shall serve as a good example of how this behavior works. Yes, yes, cliche, but I learned a lot from the experience. She was fond of pronouncing rules like “if you see a mess, clean it up!” That rule sounds reasonable enough, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, it contains no upper bound, no condition, upon which, I may consider my duty satisfied. This gave her carte blanche to find fault in everything I did. If I walked past an errant dog hair on the carpet, I technically violated the rule. I saw a mess, I failed to clean up. Therefore, she was justified in punishing me. If I did not see the supposed mess, I was still guilty, because my failure could only be due to either negligence or dishonesty. If I cleaned up a room, invariably I would miss a spot, or fail to eliminate a streak, or some other such thing, and that was deemed evidence of laziness.
The end result of the “if you see a mess, clean it up” rule was that I had two options: be cleaning at all waking hours of the day or accept constant punishment and abuse. The purpose of the rule and the strict interpretation thereof, of course, was merely to provide an excuse for the abuse, an excuse for her to have additional power over me. However, if challenged by my father, she could always escape by saying that I violated the rule.
Progressives use this tactic on a much larger scale. In America, we have largely eliminated the sort of poverty you find in a Charles Dickens book, or in the Third World. Exceptions exist, of course. They do not change the rule. The major mess, so to speak, has been thoroughly cleaned up. Yet some people have much less than others. There are still spots in the room, hairs in the carpet in places. It’s not perfect. This is deemed evidence of racism, sexism, x-phobia, bigotry, hatred, or a just plain greed. That absolute equality is, like absolute cleanliness, an impossibility actually serves the Progressives.
In a debate, the Progressive can always escape by saying that we violated the rule. The implicit rule, of course, is that “if you see poverty, make it go away.” Or, put more generally, “if you see x-ism, clean it up!” Again, it can be made to sound perfectly reasonable to those not attuned to what it really means, and yet it results in a choice of either serving the Progressive agenda at all times, or being punished and abused by the long arm of Progressive media and social justice mobs.
Over the years, many have been converted into the service of social justice and Leftism by such guilt and shaming tactics. This includes many on the nominal Right who, even if they still proclaim the virtues of limited government, military service, and self-reliance, have implicitly accepted the Left’s rules for how the game is played. Watch a debate on social media, and you will see the Rightist claiming that Capitalism serves to elevate more poor than Socialism. Completely true, but like telling my stepmother the bathroom was cleaned, the Progressive will invariably find a spot, and declare the whole thing to be a failure. You didn’t eliminate poverty, you see. Therefore you failed. Therefore you need to be punished (usually by social shaming, but sometimes mobbing, threats to your job, etc…). Unless, of course, you accept Progressivism as your Lord and Savior, and work to advance its agenda at all times.
Always be cleaning. Always be practicing activism. The parallels between a wicked stepmother and Leftist thought is utterly disturbing, at times.
If there is anything I regret from my childhood, it was not punching the manipulative little tart in the face. If anyone I’ve ever known deserved it, it was her. But there again, she would hide behind her gender. Sure, she could chase me around the house with a knife and threaten to stick me with it, but if I even raised my voice at her… I was an evil woman-beater in training.
Even in this, Progressivism is similar. They will justify violence, assault, property destruction – even violent, murderous revolution. They are fond of catchphrases like ‘speech is violence’ to justify themselves. If you have the temerity to even publicly dispute this – with words, no more – you, naturally, are Hitler-incarnate. The purpose behind all of this is just power. Nothing more. They want it, using guilt as a political pry bar has worked for them for many years (Trump’s election was a sign that the tactic may be weakening from overuse, however), and so they will continue to do it until someone pops them in the mouth.
They’ve set the rules and standards for long enough. They set them maliciously, to entrap their political opponents in an endless guilt-shame cycle. This gains them some converts, and weakens the resolve of those who continue to fight through a constant wearing down process of media and social bombardment. This is what must change if are to free ourselves of them.
That, and like my stepmother, if anyone in history deserves a metaphorical (or perhaps literal) punch to the face, it is these cretinous, manipulative asswipes.