For Great Triggering

Here is a selection of inauguration All Your Base highlights.

From Tom Kratman at EveryJoe:

If I didn’t make it clear enough eleven days ago, Donald Trump’s re-election campaign begins now. Moreover, the SJWs, the special snowflakes, the thumb suckers of collegiate campuses, and the legion of the perpetually outraged are all going to help us get him re-elected.

For those who don’t like Donald Trump, think of it as the campaign to keep unutterably corrupt Democrats who hate you because you’re either white or an Oreo/Uncle Tom or, in any case, a doubleplusungood male, or a conservative or other than lesbian female, or at least someone who hasn’t embraced victimhood status, away from the White House silver and china. We all have a part to play in this and we can have great fun, fantastic fun, while we play our parts.

From Vox Day at Vox Popoli:

#GamerGate didn’t die, it evolved and expanded. And now it is Making America Great Again.

From Emperor Misha of the glorious Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler:

Thanks to LC & IB Angry Webmaster (whose website you’re already visiting on a daily basis unless you really are into missing out on shit), we find this absolutely full of awesome sauce Youtube vid that he stated we must post tomorrow.

Tomorrow?, we say. Why not get the beat going ahead of time? We hate being behind the curve and, besides, the wondrous sight of Prozi heads exploding tomorrow will only be made better this way. It will be GLORIOUS!

So here it is. Share, spread, make it go viral, memeify the fuck out of it, as our Heirs would say, shitlord it all over the Innertubes until it crushes under the weight of it.

And the great news is that it’s already starting to trigger some Progs. Go forth. Spread the message further. All Your Base Are Belong to Us. Obama is out, Trump is in, and my Schadenboner is taller than the Washington Monument.

As for the inauguration speech itself, Trump said the following, which resonates pretty well with the usual subject matter at The Declination:

Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today, we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another.

But we are transferring power from Washington D.C. and giving it back to you, the people.

For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered, but the jobs left. And the factories closed.

The establishment protected itself but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories. Their triumphs have not been your triumphs. And while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land. That all changes starting right here and right now. Because this moment is your moment. It belongs to you.

I can only say that I truly hope he means it. Trump carries with him the potential to reverse a great deal of Progressive damage. But even the mighty Ronald Reagan was only able to arrange a delay in our decline, he wasn’t able to arrest it completely, or turn it around.

And as I said before, this was a Hail Mary pass of epic proportions. It is a thing we are unlikely to see again in our lifetimes, so we cannot count on it happening again. We must keep our momentum. The one thing Trump did, love him or hate him, that no Republican has done since Reagan, is mobilize the Right in a Culture War. Other Republicans routinely cede control of the media, the narrative, education, entertainment, and all other such cultural matters to the Left.

And the Left then uses these things to browbeat us into submission via what amounts to peer pressure and virtue signalling. You’re a big nasty meanie racist (or Uncle Tom) unless you agree with the Left politically.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the only two Republicans in living memory to counter this force were entertainers, actors, people able to mobilize support on a cultural level, not just a political one.

And so we see the tactic that works. We must not just ignore the mainstream media, we must destroy it. We cannot merely have Republican meetups on college campuses, we must dominate them. When Antifa thugs show up to your event, mobilize the Bikers in retaliation. Every dirty tactic the Left has embraced for years is now ours for the taking.

Yes, yes, many of you will find such tactics disdainful. But if an enemy country nuked your major cities, would you not strike back in like fashion, if you were able? If the enemy deploys a tactic against you, and is defeating you with it, it is permissible to counter-attack in like fashion. If you don’t, you merely hand the enemy a weapon they can utterly dominate you with. That is what has happened over the last several decades. So as far as I’m concerned, the gloves are off now.

Trump said no more ceding of the culture to the Left. Now it remains to be seen if he lives up to his immense promises. If he fails, then this will be but a temporary respite. If he succeeds, he could very well be the greatest president in living memory. Some, like the esteemed Nicki Kenyon, are very doubtful of him (but she nonetheless hopes that he can do it). Others are very confident in his abilities. I’m probably somewhere in between those positions. I’ve grown more confident as I’ve seen his cabinet picks, and seen how he adeptly manhandles the media.

The ultimate choice, I suppose, is his. God Bless America, and our new President.

Flag

 

Trump: All Your Base Are Belong to Us

Trump: All Your Base Are Belong to Us

Without further ado, here it is:

And here is the Imgur gallery:

ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US

This morning The Declination was subject to a DDoS attack, I think. It’s hard to tell, but the server was very unresponsive. So if it goes down again later, that’s probably why. I have no idea if the attack was related to my release of this meme, or if it was just a coincidence. Attacks on The Declination are not entirely infrequent. Bookmark the Youtube video and/or Imgur album and share those.

No need to credit me or anyone else. Keep an eye out for Tom Kratman’s column tomorrow…

This was certainly a fun project for me, even if a lot of work to remix and remaster the song. I had some help in the form of Jim S., the “Basilisk”, the Dread Ilk, Marina F. and, of course, Tom Kratman himself.

Share it, spread it, and trigger a liberal today! For Great Triggering!

Do You Want to be Right, or True?

It is New Years Day, and in the tradition of the New Years Resolution, I thought it prudent to do a little self-reflection:

You know, the older I get, the less I care about being right. I remember when being right was everything. You wanted to win every debate, to brutalize your opponents in any kind of argument, to force them to acknowledge your superior knowledge and experience. It was, in essence, a matter of narcissistic supply, of the confirmation of self-worth through demonstrating superior intellect.

In that fashion, I understand the SJWs completely. I know them, for I was once like them, in my own way.

Something changed over time. Call it maturity, or wisdom, or understanding of self. Or call it, as I do, a certain intellectual exhaustion. Whatever it is, I just stopped caring about appearances. I didn’t care to prove myself right, or to prove the other wrong.

I wanted to learn. I wanted to understand. I wanted to know truth — regardless of whether or not anyone believed me. It came to the point that I wanted to be proven wrong, in fact, for that would mean I would have discovered a new truth. My own knowledge would have been expanded. I was still emotionally invested in the outcome, per se, but not in the same manner. If the debate granted me no new knowledge, no new perspectives, it was useless. It was a waste of time. It didn’t matter if I had demolished my opponent’s argument. It was still a nothing.

SJWs are still caught up in the first stage, where everything is about rightness, and not rightness in the sense of truth, but rightness in the sense of appearance, in the sense of acknowledgement from the audience. When a flurry of Twitter tweeters or Facebook posters come in with likes, and messages of solidarity and support, they feel alive, they feel important. Their narcissistic supply is greatly enhanced. But truth doesn’t matter. Knowledge and understanding are irrelevant. To them, a debate is worthless if they do not receive adulation.

I’m much too old for that sort of thing anymore. It is exhausting, chasing after perceived rightness. It is a path to madness. All I want to know is what’s true, and what’s false, so that I might live my own life by those truths, and share them with those I can reach.

Technocrats and the Worship of Intelligence

Consider this post to be something of an expansion on the concept of the Brahmandarins. Technocracy is one of those things which sounds perfectly good on the surface, but can lead to absolute tyranny in short order. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, technocracy is, in essence, rule by technical elites. For instance, your media would be run by trained, credentialed journalism experts. Politicians would be groomed and educated to be leaders from an early age. You could not, for instance, be President if you did not attend the proper schools, earn the proper certifications, and demonstrate a certain set of requirements, like IQ, or perhaps an impressive set of grades in your debating classes.

Climate scientists would run the departments dealing with weather and climate change. Rocket scientists would own NASA, and determine how it should be funded in consultation with the banking experts. The bankers, of course, would run the monetary system and determine appropriate levels of taxation and redistribution.

shape_of_things_to_come_dust_jacket

In The Shape of Things to Come, H.G. Wells describes the Dictatorship of the Air, a prototype for technocracy. He was rather more bullish on the idea than I am.

Naturally, none of these technical elites would need to consult with you and I on these matters. If you are not one of the elite, you would need to be quiet and accept the rulings of your superiors.

The flaws in technocracy are very obvious, to any who care to see them. First and foremost is the matter of trust. Even if we were to concede that the trained, technically-minded elites were better than the hoi polloi, how could one be assured that they were not pulling the wool over the people and taking advantage of them? After all, just because you’re intelligent doesn’t mean you’re honest.

Similarly, being able to design and build rocket ships does not confer upon you the ability to manage and run organizations of rocket scientists. It’s a known problem among STEM folks, and a problem I suffer from personally, that technical ability and management ability are often mutually exclusive. I couldn’t manage brothel in Thailand with a US Navy aircraft carrier in port. But I can write and engineer software all day long. The intelligence and talent I possess is suited for certain things, and ill-suited for other tasks. Nobody would ask me to be a therapist, that’s for sure.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, technocracy denies a voice to the peasantry. We’ve tried that before. We call it feudalism and those feudal elites were called nobles. They knew themselves to be more intelligent and better-suited for leadership than those dirty plebs. Why, they could afford a costly scholarly education for their children, when desired, and the rag-wearing farmhands could not. And there was the Divine Right of Kings to consider, also.

What prompted this screed? Tom Nichols posted a long-winded series of tweets about how he is irritated that the Internet exists, and gives voice to people he regards as stupid. Observe:

I can’t really escape the conclusion that for most people, the internet has been a bad thing. In many ways. I was in my 20s when the internet arrived, and I loved it. Especially the way it could link me to other scholars and resources. And the internet, like gunpowder or nuclear energy is a boon. Except in the hands of people who misuse it. Which is nearly everyone.

His Twitter series begins by explaining that while scholars like him can properly use the Internet, it’s bad in the hands of nearly everyone else.

It’s made the world smaller, sure, but mostly to create less distance for bad information to travel and nuts to find each other. It’s also been the spark for an epidemic of relative deprivation that is destabilizing our democracy. It’s also encouraged our worse impulses. The internet’s dark side has likely broken up more relationships than whiskey and cards. And instead of democratizing information, it’s created a buyer’s market for stupidity delivered at the speed of cable.

Tom explains that the Internet has broken up more relationships than whiskey and cards. This is something I find fascinating, because so far as I can tell, no evidence exists for that. Surely, if Tom is right, we would see a spike in the divorce rate around the time Internet usage became widespread. Take a look at this chart, do you see a spike around that time?

us_divorce_and_marriage

If Tom’s hypothesis is true, we should see divorce rates skyrocket around the late 90s to early 2000s. We see nothing of the sort. I’m just armchair quarterbacking here, but my thought is the phenomenon Tom talks about, things like pornography, cheating sites like Ashley Madison, social media leading to the reigniting of old flames… all of that is counterbalanced by easily-available marital and relationship advice, dating sites that allow people to select from a wider pool, and other boons. Thus the trend that already existed before the Internet more or less continues.

This makes you wonder. Is it possible Tom is then wrong about the proliferation of bad information? Or, rather, that the bad information is counterbalanced by easier access to good information?

Do I think people were better off having to read a book and only having 4, 10, or even 15 channels? Yes. It’s even made us (including me) phobic about being out of touch with each other for just minutes. (WHERE’S MY PHONE?!) No quiet time. So, while I love the internet, I think it’s been a dangerous, anti-social development in an affluent society that can’t handle it. And yet, here I am, because this is the new public space. For better – or mostly – worse.

Tom is telling us that the world was better when a few media giants had exclusive control over the flow of information. Major publishers decided what books would be published, and what was permissible for authors to say. Major media outlets decided what was news, and what wasn’t. They decided which opinions were sanctioned, and which ones were wrongthink. Everything you saw, read, or heard was carefully screened by technocrats.

However, the phobia he speaks of is a real phenomenon, mind you. This obsession with being constantly connected has had detrimental effects. People can’t put their phone down. They can’t close the social media window. This is the trouble with folks like Tom Nichols, and technocrats in general. They are right about some things, even a great many things, and so stock is placed in their opinions and expertise. The best lies contains elements of verifiable truth, the better to hide the lie. But is it possible this flaw, like the others noted above, might also be counterbalanced by something else?

Fact is, the Internet is my area of expertise, not his. I’ve been writing software and building websites and applications since the mid-90s. I see the user research data. I built user interface layers by the hundreds (maybe more? Hard to remember them all now). So by the logic of the technocrats, by Tom Nichols’ own commentary on the death of expertise, he ought to listen to me on this.

The Internet is a vast and complex system, and its ad hoc nature makes it very difficult to make the kind of judgments he’s making. It would be like saying cars are bad, because of stupid drivers, car accidents, pollution, etc… Cars certainly impose costs, but they also supply benefits. Would people be driving them so often if the costs were truly greater than the benefits?

The same holds true for the Internet. I once opined that Gibbon had to spend a lifetime travelling Europe to do research for his opus The History of the Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire. It was, quite literally, a life’s pursuit. Today, the research for such a work could be conducted on your Kindle. You could find, purchase, and download books instantaneously. Many of those books may have been denied by major publishing houses for various reasons. Perhaps the author was not politically correct, or perhaps his particular conclusions were not in vogue at the present moment. Or perhaps they were blatantly incorrect, but the researcher wants to highlight the bad data so as to better show the good.

Either way, Gibbon would have loved the Internet.

Tom Nichols can pine for the restoration of the old gatekeepers, the highly-placed technocrats who determine what may be said, and where. He can imagine himself as an arbiter for the flow of information. But all the pining in the world will not bring them back. They are gone, and for better or worse, Tom needs to get used to this idea. And truly, it’s not a bad thing, overall. At worst, it is neutral. But I, for one, believe it to be a great boon.

The Brahmandarins

A friend of mine has posted a penetrating analysis of the clerisy and the political class of America on Facebook. In it, he coins the portmanteau “Brahmandarin” to describe these cretins, and their sort of hybrid Mandarin and Brahmin nature. They have the permanent bureaucratic nature of the Mandarins, with a large infusion of Brahmin nepotism and in-class favoritism.

Observe:

Consider America’s “New Class”: academia, journalism, “helping” professions, nonprofits, community organizers, trustafarian artists,… Talent for something immediately verifiable (be it playing the piano, designing an airplane, or buying-and-selling,… ) or a track record of tangible achievements are much less important than credentials — degrees from the right places, praise from the right press organs,…

 
In principle, the New Class is more like the Mandarins rather than the Brahmin caste, as in theory (and to some degree in practice) 1st-generation membership is open to people of all backgrounds. Heck, that includes even an electrician’s son with three advanced degrees (this blogger, a professor by day).

 
In practice, however, this class is highly endogamous, and its children have an inside track on similar career paths. Thus one finds 2nd and 3rd generation New Class members, whose outlooks on life tend to be more insular and collectively self-centered than that of their 1st-generation peers. (It is important not to over-generalize about one’s fellow human beings: some of the greatest fellow ‘renegades’ I know were to the manor born.) In that manner, the New Class resembles the Brahmins. Hence my portmanteau “Brahmandarins”.

The takeaway from this is that the hostility to Donald Trump doesn’t really come from his status as a Republican, for as a Republican he is generally accounted relatively moderate, and not even a “true” conservative. Only on matters of immigration is he seen as anything heavily right-wing. On most other issues, he is either ambivalent or sometimes outright liberal.

So why the hostility? It’s driven by caste. Donald Trump is a Vaishya, not a Brahmin. As a real estate guy, he could act as slumlord to the Brahmandarin elite. As an entertainer on TV, he could conceivably entertain the Shudras and the Dalits. All of these things were fine, and so long as Trump “stayed in his lane” (a favorite phrase of the political Left), all was well.

But then he went against an anointed Brahmin in the form of Hillary Clinton. This was not to be permitted. He was jumping caste. This is also why Jeb was the initial favorite of the Establishment GOP types. He was also a Brahmin. Yes, not the chosen of the Left, perhaps, but his running was not a caste jump.

It’s very worrisome that India’s caste system has an almost one-to-one relationship with America’s own unofficial castes, or that the relationship is so readily observable. India is, after all, not exactly a bastion of freedom and prosperity.

Nitay provides more:

While the D party used to be one with which particularly Shudras could identify, over time it has increasingly become a patron-client coalition of Brahmandarins and Dalits. Kshatriyas overwhelmingly lean R, while Shudras and Vaishyas (other than high finance) became increasingly disaffected from D and either moved to the R column or tuned out of politics.

The current iteration of the Democrat Party is an alliance between Left-leaning Brahmins (which is most of them — I wonder how long it will take for the Bush family to switch sides?) and the Dalits, who are fed with their table scraps.

But the election of Donald Trump was in large part possible because the Shudras defected. They were once reliably Democratic, but the Democrats have spent the last few decades maligning them, impoverishing them, taking their jobs, homes, and prospects… and then blaming them for every racially-charged incident. They, apparently, have had enough.

Unsurprisingly, Brahmandarin presidents tend to appoint cabinet and senior aides from among the Brahmandarin caste, while Trump’s appointments came almost exclusively from the Vaishyas (Exxon CEO Tillerson for State, and Kshatriyas (Mattis, Flynn, Kelly). It doesn’t matter that most of these people have real-world achievements to their names than a Robbie Mook type can only dream of: they are “ignorant” (read: insufficiently subservient to New Class shibboleths), “hate-filled”, etc. — All short-hand for “not one of us”.
For those same people who keep on prating about how open they are to foreign cultures (the more foreign, the better to “virtue-signal”) are completely unable to fathom the mindset of their compatriots of a different caste, who might as well come from a different planet as from a different country.

Donald Trump has explicitly denied the Brahmandarins a seat at his table. He isn’t merely disagreeing with them, he’s actively flipping them off and telling them that he will not consult with them in any capacity. And to the Brahmandarins, this is the ultimate sin. The table, you see, is supposed to be theirs exclusively. But if Trump forced himself a seat, well… so be it, but the rest of the seats should still go to the anointed ones. At least, that was their thinking.

The riots? The Faithless Elector ploy? The Russian “hacking” stuff? All of this is nothing more than the Brahmandarins throwing a temper tantrum because they are now required to share power with the others. And as Nitay tells us here, they can’t even be bothered to try and understand people from other backgrounds.

They make a good show of loving foreigners (but really, they just want foreigners to come here in order to vote for them), but they don’t even understand Americans of different castes and classes. After all, one of the most amusing mistakes Hillary made was assigning a man from Brooklyn to run her Midwestern rural outreach campaign, as if the under-employed ex-factory worker was going to listen to a carpetbagger from New York City and say to himself “yeah, I can totally see myself voting for her.” For better or worse, Trump at least spoke their language.

Humanity at the Margins

At the top of my list for inspirational science fiction, you will find Frank Herbert’s magnum opus, Dune. On the surface, it is a story of loss and revenge set in a feudal-futurist, almost anti-cyberpunk setting. It’s an interesting concept, but not, perhaps, worth the acclaim it receives. But underneath is a deeper story about human nature, and the way in which a human mind is awakened. That is what most fascinates me. That is what makes the book worthy of critical acclaim.

Paul Atreides, son of a powerful nobleman, may have been blessed with favorable talents and genetics, but he was not awakened. He had to go into the desert, and be forced to live on the margins, in order to become the Kwisatz Haderach and unseat the ruling Emperor.

There’s a truth buried in that that deserves some attention. The very poor of the world seldom have the opportunity to become self-actualized. Their lives are so consumed with survival and basic needs that all else fades in importance. A Somali living in his third-world toilet would kill you for your shoes. Everything that has been invested in you would be lost because he wants your Nikes. Civilization cannot long survive such activity.

On the other side of that coin, you find the very rich and powerful. There’s a peculiar breed of stupidity that can only be found among wealthy, famous, or otherwise insulated individuals. Call it Jane Fonda disease, in which the most blatant and obvious contradictions can be believed by these people because they will suffer no consequences. A wealthy celebrity can say “nobody needs guns” precisely because she lives in her mansion, far removed from criminal elements, with guards willing to die for her posted outside. “Let them eat cake” is the mantra of such people. They cannot self-actualize because they face no real hardship in life. Xerxes may whip the sea, but he gains no obedience, or insight, from doing so.

It is in between these two extremes that the mind can awaken. When you are close enough to failure to feel it and know it, you cannot ignore reality without consequence. Yet, at the same time, you have enough of a margin against complete failure that you can afford time and luxury to genuinely think about the world around you. You don’t need to kill a random stranger for his shoes to avoid having your own fall off due to disease. Instead, you might talk to him, learn from him, and advance yourself accordingly.

If you are Paul Atreides, living the good life, you must go into the desert to find the risk needed to awaken yourself. But note this also applies to the special college snowflakes carefully insulated from the consequences of their own actions. There’s a reason tenured professors are often utter madmen, completely at odds with any notion of objective reality. SJWs, of course, are even worse. Participation trophy culture has prevented any form of self-actualization from developing in these people.

If you’re a regular middle-class American, you’ve no worries… the rapacious Obama economy has already provided you with all the risk you need to become fully aware of the world around you. If you haven’t been awakened yet, there is little I can do to convince you.

The problem you see in America today is that special snowflakes are in increasing abundance, and in their stupidity, they are impoverishing the rest of us. If America crosses a certain threshold of poverty, it will become a country of “I’ll kill you for your shoes.” That also prevents the awakening of the mind.

Which may, in the end, be exactly what the people running things want.

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