In the book Tales of New America,there is a scene which stuck with me. In it, an intelligent, educated man of some stature is attempting to sneak in to the “red state” half of a Balkanized America. The man is wealthy, powerful, and possesses the self-confidence of such folks.
He is outsmarted by a lowly, unattractive border guard. The border guard explains that he was not a good-looking man, nor was he privileged to attend great universities. But that didn’t mean he was stupid. The assumption that a man employed in a lowly, backwater job is dumb is a mistake. In this story, it caught the interloper by surprise, and cost him his life.
Laymen, you see, are not necessarily in their station because they are stupid. Modern media talking heads push college education on us, as if to say not attending college means one is stupid and uneducated. It is saying that colleges have a monopoly on education, and graduating from one is proof of intelligence.
This, of course, is utter bullshit. The average IQ of college graduates has been decreasing for decades. And this shouldn’t be surprising to anyone. Pushing more people into the system is likely to reduce the average IQ simply by increasing the number of lower-IQ individuals applying in the first place. Second, affirmative action has resulted in a push to bring in individuals with lower test scores and GPAs into prestigious schools and scholarship programs. This, too, results in a decline. Even the military is starting to take notice of the trend.
So no, the degree doesn’t serve as proof of intelligence. And insofar as it once suggested above average intelligence, it now fails that test too.
Now, one might say that construction workers are still likely to have lower IQs than, say, Harvard graduates, and that is likely to be true. But the difference is narrowing. Furthermore, the disconnect between folks of the Ivy League world and the regular Joe has never been greater. While Yale students are worrying about microaggressions in Halloween costumes, average Joe is worrying about whether or not he will even have a job tomorrow.
The anointed, of course, find this utterly amusing. If average Joe loses his job to a bunch of illegals, this is supposed to be funny. Folks like Movie Bob suggest that not only are the Joes stupid, but the stupidity ought to be treated as evil. See if you can spot the horrific implication he’s making here:
Eugenicists would love this. Of course, they would probably send Movie Bob to the ovens for being an obese idiot, along with sending us to the same place for being politically unreliable. But never mind that. The point is, people like this consider themselves to be fundamentally superior to the laymen. It’s an attitude that even infects people nominally on our side as well.
Hillary Clinton outspent Donald Trump by more than 2-to-1. And when analyzing a breakdown of their spending, her strategy becomes clear: blanket everything. It was the sociopolitical equivalent of telling all of your soldiers to blindly charge the enemy’s position, because you have superior numbers. The tactical stupidity of this ought to be self-evident (but apparently it isn’t because people keep trying it).
Donald Trump, on the other hand, carefully targeted his resources for maximum effect. You see jumps in types of spending based on time. For instance, in the last months before the election, he outspent Hillary by far in polling. Trump’s campaign knew exactly where to target last-minute ad buys and rallies based on this data. The anointed were calling Trump stupid for spending his last month campaigning in places like Michigan and Wisconsin.
Turns out he wasn’t.
For all their vaunted education and intellectual credentials, the intelligentsia was outsmarted by a boorish real estate developer. Note also the difference in payroll expenditure. The way things work in the anointed world, and I’ve seen it first hand, is everything is accounted in terms of the size of your demesne. The more people you have, the more powerful you appear. Their first instinct is always more. More money, more people, more media exposure.
Even a regular old construction worker can tell you that at a certain point, more people and more money won’t buy you a damn thing. In fact, in many cases, adding more people just means there are more folks getting in the way. Most laymen have an instinctive distrust of committees, and for good reason.
So what is the difference between the layman and the anointed, anyway?
It isn’t precisely college education, though that is related in some fashion. There are laymen who hold advanced degrees and do excellent work. And there are laymen who hold no degree, and nonetheless do great work, also. The primary difference may be the focus.
Laymen are job-focused. You have to build a building, or fix a car, or write software to do something. The anointed are power-focused. Whether or not anything gets built is of no concern. Indeed, it may even be the opposite, in that if an organization they control ever achieves its primary goal (like, say, eradicating breast cancer), then their power would be diminished. So often times, their goal is to prevent the work from being completed. This is heresy to the layman.
Working-class voters came out in droves for Donald Trump, and the primary reason for it is that Trump at least acts like a layman in his thinking. His goal is to build buildings. His focus is the work, or at least it appeared to be to millions of American voters. At least Trump has towers with his name plastered on them. What did Hillary have?
The promotion of the anointed as superior to the hoi polloi is an illusion designed to grant them power over the laymen. If the layman genuinely believes the Yale grad to be his superior, he might override his instincts, and obey. If enough laymen are fooled, the anointed keep their power.
It would seem that the average Joes are exhausted of the game, however. Somewhere along the line, they realized the anointed were lying to them. Or, at least enough of them were to cast doubt on the whole lot. But they continue to double down on what caused the problem in the first place. Observe:
We, as a culture, have to stop infantilizing and deifying rural and white working-class Americans. Their experience is not more of a real American experience than anyone else’s, but when we say that it is, we give people a pass from seeing and understanding more of their country. More Americans need to see more of the United States. They need to shake hands with a Muslim, or talk soccer with a middle aged lesbian, or attend a lecture by a female business executive.
We must start asking all Americans to be their better selves. We must all understand that America is a melting pot and that none of us has a more authentic American experience.
The anointed don’t like rural America, and that much is clear. The advice is always for rural America to become like the coastal cities, never the reverse. The author of that piece isn’t telling his coastal elite compatriots to go shake hands with a farmer in the flyovers, after all. Rural America is seen as backward and populated by idiots and troglodytes, whereas the coastal elites are rich in culture and intelligence. And those backward hicks need to start doing what they’re told.
But it goes beyond merely rural and urban. Rather, it goes back to the notion of the Brahmandarins. The anointed think of themselves as Brahmans (or Mandarins – they contain features of both). And everyone not of their caste must obey their dictates. They don’t need to sully themselves with work. Whether or not they are truly more intelligent, or better in some way, doesn’t really matter. All that matters is that they have power.
The thing is, intelligence isn’t the exclusive purview of the anointed if, indeed, they even still have all that much intelligence. When I see them executing Orwellian doublethink live on Twitter, I wonder how much intelligence truly remains in their caste:
Notice the rapid backpedaling. Once someone mentioned GamerGate, Peter Daou had to immediately change his opinion, because of wrongthink. The anointed are hyper sensitive to perceived political shifts. This has, in recent years, been used to embarrass them with planted political issues, like 4chan’s push of free bleeding, which led women around the world to bleed in their pants to protest the patriarchy.
And this shows the absurdity of it all. These people propose to rule the laymen, and yet no layman would have been fooled by such an obvious political ruse. He’d have said something like “well, if you want to bleed in your pants, that’s your own business, I guess. But seems kinda stupid and gross to me.” Even a construction worker with an IQ of 95 wouldn’t be quite that gullible.
This, of course, has led to colossal flip-flopping on political issues as the anointed try to gauge how best to play the power game at that particular moment.
So an anointed can believe, simultaneously, in an extreme example of doublethink, that evolution must be true, and evangelical Christians are stupid for believing in Creationism (and thus must be accounted as science deniers), while trying to tell us that biological gender doesn’t evenexist. The fact that kindergartners can tell the difference, but Yale grads can’t, is telling. So much for the Party of Science, eh?
When a layman tries to point out the obvious logical holes, he is shouted down by accusations of stupidity, and told to go “educate yourself.” The assumption is that the layman can’t understand the subtleties of the argument. For instance, in the gender example, an “educated” man might reply with “well, we are talking about gender as separate from biological sex. Gender is a social construct. Since you don’t know that, you must be dumb.”
Granted, this is what they teach in schools these days. But it’s also a ridiculous argument. A casual observation of animal species in the wild is sufficient to prove the whole thing to be utter rubbish. We don’t have genderqueer dogs, after all. Insofar as gender can be a social construct, it is in direct and conscious contravention to nature.
The argument they make is along similar lines of the feminist view of the patriarchy, as some kind of all-powerful system of privilege holding back (or oppressing) certain classifications of people because of biases, both unconscious and conscious. If the patriarchy is holding you back from being a tri-gender fartkin, then logically it must be that your nature was to be a tri-gender fartkin, you were meant to be one, and the social pressure (gender as a social construct) prevented you from it. But this can’t be true. Tri-gender fartkins observably do not exist in nature. So someone made it up, and then demanded the fantasy be accounted as true, and when resistance to the idea was presented, said the fantasy proves gender is a social construct.
It’s all circular rationalization. It doesn’t actually go anywhere.
The layman doesn’t necessarily go through all of the rationalization hoops to arrive at a similar conclusion, he just looks at the person claiming to be a tri-gender fartkin, and thinks the guy is a loony. That’s what we used to call “common sense.”
But you will see peer-reviewed papers on the subject of gender as a social construct, with jargon-laden studies and complex, long-winded rationalizations and rebuttals… and some SJW will cite one and say “you are uneducated! Go to school!”
Winston tells us in 1984 that water is wet, and 2 + 2 = 4. Even if someone were to out maneuver him with superior logic chopping, he needed to hold on to these truths. Winston was the layman trying to keep his common sense amid the intellectual brutalization shoved down his throat by O’Brien and the Inner Party. You can almost hear O’Brien telling us that gender is a social construct, because the Party demanded it to be so.
And, as O’Brien explained, it was all about power, nothing more. Truth was irrelevant and could be manipulated anyway. Accomplishment was meaningless. Everything served the feeling of power. There was no other reason to exist. This is how our anointed elites feel. Their entire lives are an endless pursuit of power over their fellow man, and the emotional high this provides.
Whether they really are more intelligent in some way or not may be irrelevant, because in the end it doesn’t matter if the person asserting that 2+ 2 = 5 is smarter than you. He is still wrong, and is trying to deceive you (and often himself, too). Sometimes greater intelligence only provides a man with a greater capacity for deception.
Go cautiously and armed amidst the Black Live Matter demonstrations and riots and remember, whitey, that although their lives matter, yours does not.
There are people with whom you cannot get along without surrendering your soul. Insofar as possible, bury them where the bodies will never be found.
In these days, speaking the truth is a revolutionary act; shout it from the rooftops. If it sends SJWs into apoplexy or cardiac arrest, or makes their heads explode, so much the better, since that will stop their continuous and inevitable lies, and nothing else will.
Avoid large conglomerations of people carrying banners and shouting slogans. Do not take to heart their exhortations and entreaties, for they are fucking lunatics.
Never apologize for anything.
Do not bother keeping a close eye on the stock market, the unemployment reports, NASDAQ, or crime figures. These are lies and frauds, start to finish. Keep careful watch, however, of your neighbors, marking down all those you believe you can trust when the fecal matter hits the rotary impeller.
Aim with care.
Do not fire warning shots, for this shortens the time between “fire” and “reload.” The dead cannot testify in court; the wounded may only be feigning death. Hence, double tap always and be careful to finish off the wounded.
Old age and treachery will always beat youth and ignorance. Never surrender without a fight. Do not go too easily on yourself, either, for the world is waiting in ambush.
You have nearly no natural rights. Anyone who tells you that you do is peddling vacuum. One right you do have is the right to try to use violence and hard work in your own behalf. Nothing guarantees you success.
If you have turned your back on God, don’t expect him not to turn His back on you. He’s loving, generous, patient, and kind, but modern man and woman has pretty much worn those qualities to a frazzle.
The shams, drudgeries, frauds, and stolen dreams have worn the world out as much as they have God’s patience. Civilization is collapsing. You can give up or you can fight. You will be happier if you fight.
It’s worth noting that Tom Kratman’s piece comes to us on the same day media talking heads have been emphasizing the 25th Amendment as a means for getting rid of Trump. At this point, they will do or say anything to get rid of him and restore control of all branches of government to the Left.
I doubt this will gain any more traction than the other hair-brained schemes peddled by the Left since the election, but if any of these underhanded tactics does manage to work, it will come to war. The media attacks haven’t let up. Indeed, with each passing day they grow more openly hostile to the right wing, to the point that they may provoke such a conflict without Trump’s removal.
We live in dangerous times. The illusion of stability and peace is very fragile, tilt it but a little, and the whole thing will fall. Keep your ammo dry.
Social Justice Warriors often tell us that games are not just games, and books are not just books. Everything must be political with them, from the movie theater to the arcade. Naturally, I’ve long disagreed with them on this matter. Sometimes, the political impact of a thing is minimal, if even present at all, and it is merely entertainment. After all, where is the grand political metaphor in a battle between giant robots and giants monsters? If you want to tell me that the new Quake Champions game being peddled by Bethsheda is somehow a matter of politics, please take this moment to laugh at yourself in my stead.
And yet, there is a grain of truth to their statement, if not precisely in the way SJWs mean it. I was pondering this the other day, when a friend and I were talking about the latest Star Wars flicks. Yes, we all know the prequels were generally atrocious, and what little was interesting was contained only in the last installment. The new Star Wars movies were at least a little more entertaining, but even they were shallow, ephemeral things. They were strictly popcorn-and-soda flicks.
So what did the original trilogy have that the successors lacked?
In this writer’s opinion, it was an enduring mythos, a sort of cultural memory embedded within it. A farm boy took to the stars and became a warrior, trained by what amounts to a religious monk of an ancient, dying order. A princess was trying to save her world, and an evil wizard hunted them all in the name of Imperial power. You could have stripped the story of high technology, and set the whole thing in the middle ages, and it still would have made sense. Yes, even the all-powerful superweapon. Replace the Death Star with Urban’s great cannon, throwing its weight against the walls of Constantinople, or something.
Now try that with the other stories, and you will find that they are utter disasters. They don’t operate on their own anymore. Now it’s a franchise cashing in on nostalgia more than anything.
Of all the cultural myths, the farm boy who became something greater may have been the most powerful. Ye gods, we once practically worshiped this idea. It was one of the enduring features of American culture, as distinct from the various European cultures that spawned it. You see, if our farmers and fishermen could throw out the British, of all people, was there anything truly beyond us? We didn’t need noblemen, you see. We had farmers. We didn’t need warriors, we had soldiers. There was no need for great nobles, or learned men of haute culture. We could bootstrap it all ourselves.
The farm boy might become a great philosopher, or an astronaut, or a general. He might become a President or a Congressman. Perhaps he would be the next great scientist or engineer. He didn’t need the pedigree of an aristocrat, or the brand name of some noble house. He didn’t need to go to the grandest of colleges, or know all the right people. He didn’t need to have the correct political opinions if, indeed, he even bothered much with politics at all. If you could do the job, you could do anything, and it didn’t much matter what dusty mid-western farm you crawled out of.
Of course, in practice, this idea was never quite so solid. Connections still mattered, credentials still mattered, and a rich man of the city would have an easier time than a poor man of the country. So it has always been, and so it likely always will be. Nonetheless, American culture remained very resistant to the idea of rule by a cultural elite, an embedded aristocracy who could heap disdain upon the peasantry from their lofty towers. The farmer still stubbornly believed that he could make it, and the academic knew not to be too haughty, lest he be toppled from the ivory tower.
Today, that’s all backwards. Heaping disdain upon the peasants of the flyover states and the South is all the rage among our supposedly-learned castes. There can be no more Luke Skywalkers in Star Wars, that is to say no more farm boys who ascend to the highest levels. If Star Wars was written by today’s establishment, Luke would have to be a girl who suffered oppression by the bigoted farm boys, then escaped to the Empire (which was, of course, politically correct and ruled by wise, learned Socialist oligarchs) to wield its military might against the hicks and unlearned morons of Planet Redneck.
Such disdain is everywhere, now. It’s not hard to find in the media, in entertainment, or social media. Some time ago, I remember watching a Youtube video where a man with a strong Southern accent went to great lengths to demonstrate his education and intelligence, discussing complex matters of science, history, and philosophy in an effort to disprove the notion that a Southern accent somehow implies stupidity. I remember wondering why this was even necessary. I’ve met many intelligent, educated individuals in the South, and I’ve encountered no more idiots here than in the other places I’ve been to. Why would this even have to be disproved?
Then it hit me. The new American myth, carefully constructed by the SJWs and their ilk, is that farmers are stupid. Mechanics are dumb. Plumbers only ply their trade because they are too stupid to take gender studies courses. And since they are all idiots, of course their children must be idiots too. Indeed, they are all far too stupid to be permitted a say in how their own lives are run. As Tom Nichols once explained to me: Americans are too stupid to read maps, so why bother informing them about terrorist incidents? Being something of a Centrist, Tom is more charitable than most of the Leftists, whose disdain is much more direct. To those folks, America (and by extension, Americans themselves) is nothing more than a backward nation full of bigots, greedy thieves, murderers, and utter morons in desperate need of extinction.
Sometimes I wonder if the British once thought this way, too. Before the Revolutionary War, did they consider Americans to be stupid hicks? Did they see us as rednecks too dumb to manage our own affairs? Did they send their ships, soldiers, and mercenaries thinking the victory would be easy, because, damn, are those farmers stupid? We all know how that ended up.
But now, a two and a half centuries later, we’re back to where we started. The anointed, ivory tower aristocrats telling us what’s good for us — when we all know it’s a steaming pile of horse manure constructed solely to fool enough good people to keep the nobles planted atop their wobbly thrones. Their underestimation of the regular folks in the world, the farm boys and plumbers, may be what saves us, in the end. After all, it’s worked for America before, time and time again. It’s why, despite all the agitprop to the contrary, today America still remains the most powerful nation on Earth.
Whether it will be so tomorrow, I can’t say. All I can say is the politically-connected elite may soon be getting a refresher course in America’s most enduring and powerful cultural mythos. And that, my friends, is a story I’d pay money to read.
There’s a great clip from the game Far Cry 3 which explains the definition of insanity:
This isn’t a new definition, though the game’s villain definitely puts a colorful spin on it. The original quotation is commonly attributed to Albert Einstein, though it may be apocryphal. Nonetheless, the basic concept has been with us for quite some time.
Thing is, in the world of politics, this is almost exactly what we do. The same thing, over and over again, expecting the situation to change. Francis explains over at Liberty’s Torch:
We returned a group of legislators to Congress who could best be described as “pusillanimous time-servers.” There’s very little courage to be found among them; they cower at the lightest criticism from the press, to say nothing of the way they shrink from the barbs of their political opponents. Their highest ambition is to die in office; by their behavior we must conclude that they believe the best course toward that end is never to offend anyone. Was it really imaginable that they would follow any bold course, regardless of the topic or their supposed positions on it?
We consistently expect more honesty, candor, and respect for our rights from politicians than they provide in practice. We keep “throwing the rascals out” and electing a new set, “insanely assuming that they are better than the set turned out. And at each election we are, as they say in Motherland, done in.” (H. L. Mencken) How is it that we have not yet confronted the fatuity of our expectations?
The greatest need of our time is for realism about politics, governments, and the behavior thereof. Will it come? If so, from where – or whom?
Here we are, us Americans, doing the exact same thing, over and over again, expecting things to change. We say to ourselves, “no, no, no, no, this time, it’s gonna be different.” And it never is. Not really. Maybe Trump is a little different, as we’ve never tried electing someone like him into high office before. But even that may be a stretch, and he may turn out to be more of the same. Certainly the rest of our politicians have nothing new about them.
Where does that leave us, then?
Well, as the quote tells us in so many words, you have to try something new, something different. Donald Trump was a peaceful something different. If that doesn’t work out for us, the options on the table grow fewer. At that point, the non-Marxist must ask himself if there are any peaceful options remaining. It may be that there are none, because Marxists don’t respond to peace any more than militant Islamics respond to peace.
It may be that Marxists view peace as a weakness, and thus violence truly is all that remains to us should Trump fail. I don’t know. I’m just a regular guy on the Internet, whose opinions may or may not have value in this context. But one thing I do know is that doing the same thing over and over again… that is crazy.
Judicial Tyranny is, of course, nothing new. The courts have long found excuses to rule on things which the Constitution grants them no power over. The most recent, of course, being gay marriage. Now, wherever you stand on the matter of gays getting married, it is factual to say that the Constitution is absolutely silent on the matter. There is nothing in it which grants or denies the act.
Therefore the Supreme Court should not be able to rule on it.
There have been many other such instances, such as abortion, education, etc… and always, it seems, the courts rule on these matters anyway. But Francis explains how this can lead to a sort of twisted judicial tyranny, or, as he puts it, anarcho-tyranny.
If you’ve been a Gentle Reader of Liberty’s Torch for a goodly while now, you’re probably familiar with the late Sam Francis’s coinage anarcho-tyranny. For those who haven’t yet made the acquaintance of this useful term, here’s the original formulation:
“What we have in this country today, then, is both anarchy (the failure of the state to enforce the laws) and, at the same time, tyranny – the enforcement of laws by the state for oppressive purposes; the criminalization of the law-abiding and innocent through exorbitant taxation, bureaucratic regulation, the invasion of privacy, and the engineering of social institutions, such as the family and local schools; the imposition of thought control through “sensitivity training” and multiculturalist curricula, “hate crime” laws, gun-control laws that punish or disarm otherwise law-abiding citizens but have no impact on violent criminals who get guns illegally, and a vast labyrinth of other measures. In a word, anarcho-tyranny. [From the essay Synthesizing Tyranny, written shortly before Francis’s death.]”
The longer I live, the more I come to view anarcho-tyranny as the terminal state toward which all governments tend as they mature and degenerate.
This is essentially the state in which we live today. Think about it, the state will tax you, the state will regulate you, the state even consider disarming you. You are punished by being lawful. You may utter a word that offends someone, and for this you may be fired, or your privileges taken away from you, or otherwise ostracized for this. No laws have been broken, but this is allowed because it is deemed private.
Yet the criminal may get away with less punishment from the state because of his race, or religion, or because someone makes an excuse for his behavior. Consider that each state has arcane and difficult-to-navigate firearm restrictions. I’ve a 32 round magazine for my Ruger P95. That mag is perfectly legal in my home state of Florida. If I were to cross into New York bearing it with me, I could be arrested for a felony even if I didn’t know better.
Meanwhile, the guy who stole my friend’s car and drove it into a ditch didn’t even serve jail time for the offense.
Now, consider the concept of justice here. What society-at-large is telling us, regardless of the source of justice, is that carrying a 32 round mag, even if you don’t have the firearm it goes with on your person, is objectively worse than stealing a car and crashing it into a ditch. It is saying that the person who says a bad word should suffer more than the person who breaks into your home.
Just as Leftists dream of redistributing the wealth, they also want to redistribute the justice. The law-abiding white guy in the suburbs must pay the price of his entire livelihood for, say, calling a woman fat. The criminal with a record as long as my arm, meanwhile, must be forgiven his crimes — even if he charges a police officer and tries to kill him.
It’s okay for Black Lives Matter protesters to set their own city on fire. It’s not okay for me to own a means of defending myself.
But I digress. Francis was talking about a much more specific miscarriage of justice, a case where the courts have divorced themselves utterly from the purpose of their existence:
James Madison, often called “the father of the Constitution,” regarded the courts as “the least dangerous branch” of government. The widespread belief is that that was because the courts were allowed no enforcement arm, apart from the bailiffs allowed for keeping order during a court proceeding. However, this reverses cause and effect. The courts were allowed no enforcement arm because of the danger they would otherwise pose, as is well established by English history.
The great majority of judges in pre-Industrial Revolution England, from which much of our legal tradition derives, were not government employees, neither elected nor appointed nor hired. They commanded deference on the basis of their personal qualities and their willingness to sit as judges; in other words, from popular respect for their wisdom and diligence. If you’ve heard the term “circuit judge” and have wondered about its provenance, it comes from the time when a judge would routinely “ride a circuit:” i.e., he would regularly travel a known route from place to place, hearing such cases as were presented to him in each place and ruling on them according to the “common law,” another American inheritance from England.
To make this a workable living, a judge needed to be known and respected in each of the stops along his circuit. A judge’s enforcement arm was the willingness of the commoners whose cases he heard to enforce his rulings. Thus, he had to have a reputation for fairly and consistently applying both the common law and what precedents might exist for its enforcement. For a judge to become known as capricious or arbitrary – e.g., for promoting his personal views over the common law as English commoners knew it – would spell the end of his career.
Amazing to think of, right? A judge who rode from town to town, dealing justice based primarily on his own reputation, not any appointment from up on high. The king did not command him thusly, he did the thing on his own.
Ironically, an equivalent does exist in modern American jurisprudence: arbitration. Have you ever seen those bizarre court shows on TV? You know, Judge Judy and the like? Before entering the “courtroom”, the parties sign an agreement to abide by Judy’s arbitration. She’s not really a judge anymore (she used to be).
But she is, in essence, a circuit judge of the old style, albeit with a heavy does of entertainment to go along with it. I imagine, however, it may have been similar in old England. Perhaps that was a form of entertainment for the villagers as well, their equivalent of Jerry Springer, or something. The circuit judge would ride into town, and people would line up to hear the arbitration, and perhaps laugh at the loser if he was particularly stupid.
Point being, though, that Americans are accustomed to thinking of judges in a sort of top-down manner. As deriving authority from the government, and not from popular reputation. Thus can a miscarriage of justice happen. What the King wants is usually not what the commoner wants, regardless of what is actually just.
England’s problems with “star chambers” and the like came about because of courts whose authority descended from the Crown – i.e., whose enforcement arm was the force commanded by the King. Common-law judges posed no such problems, precisely because they had no enforcement power of their own. Indeed, it was often the role of a common-law judge to prevent a lynching or other variety of mob “justice:” something only a very well known, well respected jurist could do by force of character.
Even though American judges are government employees, the essence of the English common-law judicial system – that the court have no enforcement arm of its own – was largely preserved by the Founding Fathers. The courts’ authority is essentially one of popular consensus concerning the probity and wisdom of the courts: i.e., that the courts are assessing the laws faithfully rather than whimsically or capriciously.
But by innumerable capricious judgments: both failures to uphold the black-letter law and usurpations of jurisdiction that in no way belong to them, the courts have destroyed that consensus. Where, then, do we stand?
Today, we stand in a strange place. I remember some time ago that a woman was on the news for having ordered a coffee from McDonalds, and then spilling all of it over ah… shall we say, a very sensitive area.
There were lawsuits, and media talking heads discussing it. At a high level, the assumption was that the woman would gain a respectable settlement, at least several hundred thousand dollars, for her pain and suffering.
The consensus on the street was that this woman was a fucking idiot, pardon my French, and that if you order hot coffee, putting it between your legs is the height of folly. This was common sense, as distinguished from the sensibility of the aristocracy. The working stiffs were irritated, because everyone thought McDonalds would lower the temperature of their coffee, and that now their drinks would be cold by the time they got to work, the extra temperature being useful for keeping it warm long enough to get to the office.
High courts and commoners can no longer even agree on what justice is, much less how it might best be applied.
The term “court of public opinion” is interesting here, too. For these days, there’s an entirely different court which may preside over you. Not the respected justice, travelling from place-to-place, ruling on matters according to the will of the people. No. This is different. This is government, media, and entertainment celebrities agreeing on what justice is, and what it ought to be, and then telling you that if you do not comply with it, they will sic their hordes of Social Justice Warriors on you. They call it a court of public opinion, but it’s really a court of aristocratic opinion.
We don’t have much of a lower court anymore, for even the lower courts are starting to act like high courts.
This is, as Francis put it, part of a much larger cycle:
Why, right where we are today, of course: enmeshed in a steadily deteriorating, ever more anarcho-tyrannical context. At the moment, the only escape is to even less desirable places. That might change; developments in space flight and workable space habitats are ongoing, and it’s impossible to say if or when they’ll mature. But the cycle itself appears to be embedded in human nature. If that’s the case, then no matter where men go, the cycle will go with them.
And there you have it. I wish there were viable starships and space habitats today. I’d be off this rock in a heartbeat. Let the Communists and Islamists eat each other. I want out.
But, failing an escape route… we will have to fight.
This quotation from Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four is a frequent citation on The Declination, for very good reasons:
The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command. His heart sank as he thought of the enormous power arrayed against him, the ease with which any Party intellectual would overthrow him in debate, the subtle arguments which he would not be able to understand, much less answer. And yet he was in the right! They were wrong and he was right. The obvious, the silly, and the true had got to be defended. Truisms are true, hold on to that! The solid world exists, its laws do not change. Stones are hard, water is wet, objects unsupported fall towards the earth’s centre. With the feeling that he was speaking to O’Brien, and also that he was setting forth an important axiom, he wrote:
Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.
One of the harder lessons in life is understanding how little you know, and how small you are in the grand scheme of things. The Dunning-Kruger effect describes the great confidence utter morons often have in their conclusions, and the corresponding uncertainty possessed by those of more advanced intelligence. The idiot often has greater certainty than the skilled and talented.
This uncertainty is commendable in many ways. A man might remain mentally flexible, able to modify his opinions and beliefs as new information is revealed to him. But this uncertainty can also be cynically exploited. You can lob facts at a moron all day, and nothing will pierce the dense armor of stupidity that surrounds him. But you can do likewise with carefully-calculated lies and expert debating techniques, and convince a smarter man that lies are truth, and truths are lies.
Water is not wet. Stones are not hard. Objects unsupported do not fall towards the earth’s centre.
Let us review this part of the quotation again:
His heart sank as he thought of the enormous power arrayed against him, the ease with which any Party intellectual would overthrow him in debate, the subtle arguments which he would not be able to understand, much less answer.
One thing became clear to me in the 2016 election. The enormous power arrayed against anyone with right-of-center views is too great to defeat in a framed debate. Questions were leaked to Hillary’s campaign, so as to give her an advantage. The media went from suspected bias to openly siding with Hillary’s campaign. Media collusion was revealed in the Podesta emails. The hatred of Trump was constant, the tears flowed from journalists live on television as Trump’s victory became certain.
Trump was accounted to have lost the first debate, and if he won the second, it was by a nose hair only. The third was accounted a Trump victory, though not one based on substance as much as style. Trump has a talent for pulling one-liners out of nowhere and landing surprising blows on his opponent. But it was more rhetoric than dialectic.
In a framed debate, the argument is seen only from the Leftist perspective. For instance, if we were to talk about welfare payments, the Left would demand that any Right-wing alternative should give even more to the poor. Otherwise, they say, you must hate the poor and want them to suffer. When Milton Friedman proposed a negative income tax as a replacement for welfare, Leftists loved the idea… so long as it wasn’t actually a replacement for welfare. Negative income tax plus the welfare state was something they considered to be a great idea. Milton Friedman, of course, was advocating no such thing. He wanted the massive welfare bureaucracy to go away and be replaced with a more efficient system with less overhead.
Nobody can even discuss the opportunity cost of the welfare state. For instance, could we have colonized Mars with that money? Or perhaps could we have cured cancer with it? What else could those billions have been used for, what benefits might we have realized? And how does that weigh against the results of the welfare system? It is entirely possible that America without the welfare state may have actually elevated the poor relative to their current position. But we’ll never know any of it. We can’t even discuss it without accusations of greed and hate being lobbed our direction.
Those questions cannot be asked in a Leftist frame. The welfare state is axiomatic. All that is allowed the discussion of how much more may be given to the poor, and where the money might come from. In the same manner, discussion of whether or not illegal immigrants should be permitted to stay, and which countries we deign to accept legal immigrants from, are not allowed in the Leftist frame.
All illegals must be given amnesty — citizenship would be most ideal — and as many immigrants from any country on Earth must be permitted to come to America. That is the Leftist frame. All that is open for discussion is how we can give them more money, more benefits, and how we can best elevate their lives. The lives of the existing citizenry are irrelevant. Nothing is allowed to be discussed, except how America can best give up its wealth to everyone else.
Government, media, entertainers, academics, and most of the gatekeepers, from HR departments to publishers all agree that no discussion that takes place outside of these bounds is to be permitted. The debate is framed this way, and so framed, it is nearly impossible to obtain victory. The argument essentially becomes a moral superiority contest within a narrow Overton window that is exclusively Leftist.
Try arguing, for instance, that individual choice and responsibility means anything to Leftists. To them, this is meaningless. Nothing is choice. All is fate. A Rightist might say, for instance, that homosexuality is a choice. Sure, he might say, there are probably genetic predispositions, and consequences from upbringing that make it much more likely. But ultimately, it still remains a choice.
To a Leftist, this is not only a point of disagreement, it is considered outright hatred. Of course a gay man was born gay, and has no choice in the matter. Of course the trans person was born trans. Everything is fate. To say otherwise is hateful and evil.
“It’s not my fault,” is the rallying cry of the Leftist.
Note that the Rightist point-of-view is not that homosexuality is necessarily an evil, but rather that it is a choice. In contrast to the common Leftist view of Rightists, individual freedom is paramount, but it comes with individual responsibility, too. In other words, if you want to be gay, then be gay. But if being gay means a church down the street doesn’t want to conduct a marriage ceremony for you, then too bad. It’s not like you didn’t know, it’s not like you didn’t have a choice.
See how that works? Leftism subtly removes choice from everything, then only permits debate within a framework that doesn’t allow for individual choice. It becomes mental masturbation at that point. It’s utterly useless, like my old back-and-forth debates with Merkur, to which I’m sure most of my readers can relate. We’ve all had a persistent Leftist or two in our time that argued this way.
As Orwell explained for us, the vast power arrayed against us is impossible to defeat conventionally.
And yet water is still wet! Truisms are still true. At least, insofar as one believes objective reality actually exists, insofar as one avoids the trap of solipsism, and the resulting descent into nihilism.
I’ve learned in recent years that to defeat this trap, you cannot allow the Leftist to frame the debate this way. You must force them to acknowledge that reality exists beyond their narrow, self-determined bounds. That not only do their decisions have consequences in the strictest sense, but they also have opportunity costs.
And if they can’t acknowledge this, they are either fools or liars. Oftentimes, they will be both.
But above all, you cannot allow yourself to fall into the moralizing trap, because their system of morality permits no free will on the part of any participant except the Leftist himself. It is solipsism.
Here is a great example of this in action. In my neighborhood, there is one village/street that was opened up to Section 8 housing some years ago. That one street quickly became full of ruffians, drug dealers, thieves and a number of such undesirables. Almost all crime in the neighborhood originated from this one place. Given the demographics of Section 8 usage, most of the offenders were blacks.
Now, we’ve some good blacks in the neighborhood. There’s a good family down the street, real nice folks. And a few others in the village across the main drag. So far as I can tell, none of them wanted the Section 8 people either. The phase I CDD managed to get it isolated and restricted through legal means (I’m not quite sure how – I’m no lawyer – I’m just glad it happened), so that the cancer would not spread. Meanwhile, an effort to remove the existing Section 8 allowances was pushed, to which even the black residents agreed (after all, blacks are more often victimized by other blacks). My own phase II CDD has never allowed it, thank God.
I remember discussing with Tom Kratman as to why things like this happened. If it wasn’t the blacks in the neighborhood agitating for Section 8 to be adopted in a good area… who was doing it? He said “it’s always the white liberals.” And he’s right. White liberals get stuck in this solipsistic do-gooder trap, wherein they don’t even see the Section 8 blacks as real people. They don’t even see their neighbors, white or black, as real people. They are seen, rather, as something akin to an NPC in an role playing game. A static thing which can be manipulated for personal political purposes, or just outright amusement. Chess pieces, only.
They have an image of what the demographic balance ought to be in their minds, and they go about making it happen, without any regard for the fact that all those involved are human beings, possessing free will of their own. And if you presume to debate them on the wisdom of this, you will be called a racist, or forced to debate the issue in the framework of what’s good for blacks who need Section 8 housing instead of what’s good for the neighborhood’s existing residents (white, black, and otherwise). In such a framework, only one answer is possible: cede the neighborhood to criminals and thugs, and let it become a ghetto. After all, it’s easy to argue that giving them nice houses for free is good for them.
All because a Leftist got it in his head that he wanted to change the demographics of his neighborhood, for whatever reason, personal profit, virtue signalling, do-gooderism, or just for the lulz.
Now extrapolate this to immigration and the welfare state as a whole, and you start to see how allowing Leftists to control the frame is not only stupid, but quite possibly suicidal. After all, if the CDD hadn’t struck down the Section 8 crap, I could have sold my house (probably at a loss, but hey, I could still sell it) and moved someplace else. But if your entire country is rendered into a third world cesspit, as are all other first-world nations, where will you go?
Taking the frame away from them right now is exceedingly difficult. I’d be lying through my teeth if I told you it was easy. Vast powers are arrayed against us. But in the end, Truisms are True.