Insight From a Reader

A reader of The Declination by the alias of fslenentine had this to say on the matter of Padraig and others like him.

The question of Padraig’s intellectual insecurity is more consequential than is generally realized.

Today, intelligence is increasingly the most important attribute one can possess. No longer are there multiple avenues to social worth, just the one.

The problem is that most people aren’t smart enough to be special, and two thirds of the population is average to below average.

This has produced a culture of lying. Everyone has to pretend to be smart, and we all have to pretend that they are so in order to avoid being called out for our own banal mediocrity. After all, the average IQ in this country is 98 but the average self-reported IQ is 118, more than a full standard deviation away.

The internet makes it incredibly easy to give the superficial appearance of intelligence. Consider the old tactic of “link-storming” in which someone would just post, in place of an actual argument, links upon links which often only have passing relevance.

The end result of this is that most everyone is pretending to be smarter than they are, and thus live lives of deceit. They are wracked with insecurity and it manifests in malice.

Psychologically speaking, they’re angry and resentful at the world because they aren’t as special as they’ve been told and/or imagine themselves to be.

I call it the “American Idol” problem in which a competent but unspectacular singer is turned down and leaves in utter shock, having never considered that he/she might not be good enough. After all, everyone told them how great they were.

People who live fraudulent lives are prone to resentfulness and then true malice.

I suspect that this has much to do with the embrace of postmodern marxism.

Universities, in a classic sense, challenge students with truly difficult material from truly remarkable minds. The brutal truth is that most people aren’t intellectually equipped to deal with Kant, Aquinas, Jung, and so on.

Bringing in more students means lowering the bar, intellectually speaking (and please, this is no comment on gender or race because that’s the first place Padraig will go. It’s a pure numbers game), not just for students but teachers.

Now we have generations of failed intellectuals with delusions of grandeur and wracked with resentment, unable to solve the immensely complex problems that society presents. As such, they retreat into pseudo-intellectualism, i.e. postmodernism.

It demands no rigor and affords them the ability to create what is the equivalent of fan theories about movies. Clever, fun, but meaningless. More so, they bury it in opacity. They abhor clarity for it exposes the vacuity of their efforts.

Increasingly mediocre teachers combined with even more increasingly mediocre students means a ripe environment for pseudo-intellectualism.

This affliction affects the slightly above average person the most because they’re smart enough to know that they’re above average, but not smart enough to be insightful or special. Thus, what’s their intelligence worth? To them it should entitle them to a place of status. Instead it just means that they can be a mid-level accountant or marketing manager. That’s simply not enough. They expected more. They were promised more. Now they feel angry and betrayed which causes them to lash out.

My rambling point is this: we overvalue pure intelligence and thus we create a situation in which many, many people have to pretend to be smarter than they are, and that produces psychological resentment, which is the foundation of malice.

Enter Padraig. He’s not here to discuss, which is what intelligent people generally do. They recognize the limits of their intellect and enjoy discussing with people who see the world differently. He’s not here for that. He’s not even here to lecture. He’s not even here to show-off his superior mind. He’s here to establish his bona fides as a true intellectual by attacking. That’s all he has: malice.

The all-too obvious problem is that he’s not particularly impressive. I don’t think he’s stupid but he seems perfectly average to slightly-above average. He offers no original thoughts of substance and I think it’s because he doesn’t have any, and he knows it, which is why he’s here, attacking a small blog.

Dystopic is, in his mind, an easy target. He wouldn’t risk going after someone who’s a heavyweight. Hell, I doubt he’d even risk attacking a minor leaguer like Ben Shapiro. He has no intellectual heft and he knows it. He just thinks Dystopic and his viewers don’t either.

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This is a very important concept to understand. I’ve said for a long time that many Lefties are motivated by a desire to appear intelligent and moral, to be superior to those knuckle-dragging, hateful Republicans, or whatever the Leftist boogeyman of the day might be.

The question is why?

Fslenentine answered it succinctly. I frequently tell people here that I’m just a regular guy trying to work through the political ratfuck of our age. But the fact is, I could have been a Padraig myself, were circumstances a little different. I recognize in him certain character flaws that I once expressed, though not quite so obviously. Two things conspired to prevent that. First off, while I was probably the smartest kid in my high school (and it was not small), when I began writing software, I realized that much smarter men existed. I soon had the notion that I was uniquely clever or special beaten out of my skull.

Second, and perhaps most importantly, I began gaining recognition for genuine intellectual accomplishments. Nothing too big, nothing that would make me famous or land me a chapter in the history books, but real nonetheless. I started seeing my work out in the world – you’ve probably seen it too, though you’d never know it. And once you accomplish something real and meaningful like that, the sort of false ego-stroking you get from winning Internet debates on meaningless shit feels hollow and fake.

Nonetheless, it’s easy to become a cruel, angry person when reality doesn’t kiss your ass the same way all the fawning idiots of your youth did. I don’t blame a man for going through that period. But I do blame him for never exiting it.

What Do You Want?

Usually, when you encounter an item with no definitive price tag, it is because the item is significantly overpriced. When a customer must ask for the price, the salesman can estimate wealth, gullibility, and many other things before finding a way to screw the customer. It also provides an opportunity to sell the customer, rather than merely counting on the item and its price to convince the buyer.

In simple terms, forcing another to be open about his wants, and being closed off on your own, gives a man a decided bargaining advantage.

Lately, we’ve seen this at work with Antifa, BLM, #TheResistance, and other assorted left-wing groups. Grievances are produced, from slavery, to the plight of Native Americans, to American foreign adventures in the Middle East. Being honest with ourselves, some of these grievances have at least a historical merit to them. But for such leftist groups, the price for burying the grievance is obfuscated behind buzzwords and jargon. We must dismantle the cisheteropatriarchy, we must check our privilege, we must become a positive advocate for change. Everything from microaggressions to cultural appropriation are cited as examples of these things.

But I ask, what change?

Allow me to step into the shoes of one of Babylon 5’s villains, Mr. Morden, and ask the question: “what do you want?”

Well, leftists? What do you want? What is your price for putting away identity politics and your incessant portrayals of right-wing racism, sexism, homophobia, and islamophobia? These portrayals have silenced some of us, enraged others, and sent many conservatives running for the political closet. And once there, they still voted right-wing. Thus we now have one Donald J. Trump, despite all predictions to the contrary.

Some of us, like the esteemed Francis at Liberty’s Torch, have made peace with the incessant accusations and said something to the effect of “if you think that means I’m a racist then fine, I’m a racist. Now what?” Others, like myself, maintain that the portrayal of racism as the greatest of all evils is a mistake, dredged up because of the relative historical freshness of Nazi evil, and America’s own struggles with slavery. These evils most Americans are familiar with, but judging from the proliferation of Che Guevara t-shirts, the evils of Communism are less well understood.

And so racism becomes the number one evil in America, a sort of 21st century red scare, except there are even fewer to play the part of the reds (and many more actual reds).

All of that is immaterial, however. What is the end goal of the leftist? What does he want? What does his ideal America (or world, for those of a globalist persuasion) look like? Who gets to live there? What becomes of us and others who do not fit this progressive vision of the future?

When asked, leftists are often quite silent on the price. Just today, one explained that I should google the matter (never mind that I’ve exhausted google as a resource for this) because she didn’t want to “perform free emotional labor” on my behalf. Naming the price is now something that, in itself, costs money. Imagine if you asked the salesman what the price of a thing was, and he replied “you have to pay me to find out.”

Like the little psychological trick of decreasing sticker shock with slick salesmanship, the left understands that by hiding the price, they increase the possibility of ripping off some gullible idiot. Namely, us. And it works well enough on some. Enough that the thought of being accused of racism or prejudice is enough to elicit outright fear in many, not just an answer to the question.

Once an accusation of racism is leveled, very little is sufficient to dismiss it. Do you have many friends of the race in question? RationalWiki tells you that this is insufficient (after all, Hitler liked one Jew). You’re still a racist. What if, instead, you married a black woman, loved her and her family, and had a child with her? Well, you’re still a racist, because as some Puppy-kickers explained on Facebook (they have since deleted the posts in question, but I saved a screenshot, and Brad Torgersen can confirm it), black pussy doesn’t mean you aren’t racist. The Puppy-kickers even made this into a t-shirt. This argument was recently resurrected on Twitter by Talib Kweli Greene where he explained that if you marry an Indian woman, you’re still a racist, you just like Indian pussy.

So your friends, family, and relationships are dismissed. The accusation still stands. And remember, you are guilty unless proven innocent. And to prove your innocence, you must embrace leftist politics. That is the only accepted coin. And even by doing that, you would still have to abase yourself thoroughly and completely. Meanwhile, a woman who murdered her own 4 year old son applied to Harvard, and was denied. Naturally, this had something to do with racism, according to Vox.com. Of course it has little or nothing to do with being a convicted murderer of a child.

Ultimately, the choice is this: convert to leftism, or risk being tarred as a racist with no possible way to prove otherwise, because you are guilty until proven innocent, and all evidence except leftist political sentiments will be summarily dismissed as insufficient.

Meanwhile, a reasonable man might be inclined to ask the price of buying this weapon off the left. What would it take for them to put it away?

Their rants and raves on this matter are difficult to parse. Ta-Nehisi Coates penned a long piece in support of reparations, and when I first read it I expected a concrete answer to the question “what do you want?” Instead, we were treated to a historical lecture on the plight of blacks in America. We already knew this. Everybody knows about slavery, Jim Crow, and discrimination against blacks. How can anyone not know? The media has been bombarding us with these things for as long as I’ve been alive. And if the media wasn’t, BLM sure has been making a rather more raw effort at doing so. We get it. These things happened, and blacks got a raw deal.

What I want is a price. What are the demands? What do they really want?

I suspect the reason the demands aren’t named is that the sticker shock is likely to be quite mighty. I recall reading some time ago (and I can’t remember where presently, but if any of my readers know, please reply in the comments) that one black leader suggested a one-time payoff of $1 million to each black citizen. That bill would come out to approximately $36 trillion, approximately double the GDP of the United States, and likely an impossible sum. But to be honest, I suspect the left’s real demands would be much more expensive, and involve something much more Marxist than a massive one-time payment. The left would probably want to ensure the racist right-wingers never got to express their racism again, and would need to be actively suppressed. Somebody has to be the kulaks when things go bad, after all.

In the end, it’s just like Barack Obama’s campaign of hope and change. What change? How much will it cost? Hopeful for whom? These are questions the left leaves unanswered. There are never any (accurate) price tags on their merchandise. And so, I’ve no interest in buying.

Pain is a Teacher

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Everybody is a Nazi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Deleted Post on Laci Green

I don’t usually delete my posts, even if I’m in error. And in this case, I’m actually correct, except on one point, which has proven to be of significance. But I have removed a post in which I gave Laci Green a whole lot of shit. There’s a reason for this.

I still hold that during her time as an SJW, she was completely off the rails, and all that I said was true and correct. But, as many may know already, Laci has, of late, abandoned the SJW community. Or, perhaps more charitably, she has been booted from it. And she has a fascinating story to tell about how oppressive and twisted that community can be.

Read this Tweetstorm.

There are times I fear for the future of America, and the entire Western world. Because Marxism, in its Social Justice form, has taken the moral high ground. It is seen (not by us, but by a sufficiently large number of folks) as morally superior. Peace, love, tolerance, equality, fighting poverty and injustice. Who could have an issue with those things, right?

Well, as Laci’s own story demonstrates, the peace-love-tolerance bit is largely a sham. Laci explains:

it’s…fkng sad. i feel proud of sex+. i wish i’d had support and guidance from my allies. instead – shame, guilt, very conditional warmth

Everything is conditional with them. Say the right things, or you are made to feel shame and guilt for things you have never done. There is no tolerance. Quite the opposite, there is rigorous conformity.

TL;DR my experience taught me that others who are called a *BIGOT!!* may hold the capacity to do good when given a chance (and maybe a hug).

She’s beginning to see through the lies, the accusations of bigotry, of racism-sexism-homophobia. Why? Because she, herself, was called a bigot, merely for deigning to choose a politically incorrect boyfriend.

truth: all the years ive done sex+, i absolutely loathed myself. i felt i was never good enough, always failing to do social justice right.

I’ve spoken at length on this subject before. In fact, in the post title The Weight of the World my words sound like an eerie (and much more verbose – but y’all know how it is with me) echo of what Laci just said. Observe:

Being a supposed ally means nothing to them. It neither alleviates your guilt, nor mitigates the punishments due to you for the supposed crimes of Jones…

 

Talk to a Leftist, and he will complain that dead people who looked vaguely similar to you perpetrated horrific crimes against humanity (while ignoring similar crimes perpetuated by people who didn’t look much like you). The Trail of Tears was your fault, so was slavery, the Holocaust, colonialism, why Somalia sucks today, and why it sucked 500 years ago, and why an overweight lesbian couldn’t get a taxi cab in Manhattan at 4 in the afternoon on a Friday – whatever. It’s all your fault. Carry the sins, accept the punishment, give up your wealth (there was a hashtag running around social media some time ago called #GiveYourMoneyToWomen), shut up and stay in your lane.

 

Christ could carry the weight of the world, the plethora of sins committed by mankind. I, however, am unable to do so. I’m just a man, a regular Joe. I work, I pay my taxes (I’d rather not, but it’s not like the IRS gives us a choice in the matter), I have a family, same as any other. I screw up a lot, and the weight of my own responsibilities is, on occasion, rather crushing on its own. I am not Atlas, and SJWs can sit there and try to put the weight of the world on my shoulders, but it’ll never work. It’ll never do any good.

 

Folks, I don’t know how much of your thinking has been wasted on the matter of social justice and progressivism. A good man might ask himself if, perhaps, he really ought to carry these chains, if you are Jacob Marley to their Ebenezer Scrooge. But the question is moot to begin with. You can’t carry these chains, whether you wanted to or not. They are too big for you. They will destroy you. When you look into the face of an SJW, you are seeing someone who was already destroyed by this weight. Their psyches cracked under the pressure. They are no longer sane, or even themselves. It is almost like they are all possessed.

So the main reason I have deleted the post on Laci Green is simple: she actually managed to prove me wrong about one thing. I’ve often lamented that reaching the other side is impossible. That once someone goes down the path of SocJus and Marxism, they are lost to us.

Laci, whatever her other failings, managed to summon the intellectual courage (perhaps with the help of her boyfriend) to escape that intellectual and emotional prison. And for that, she has my respect.

It makes me wonder how many others are trapped behind the SJWs, questioning and wondering, but too afraid to speak up for themselves, too afraid to disagree or be caught exercising wrongthink.

Is there a possibility that a preference cascade could be lurking behind all of this, one that might sweep away the tides of extreme Leftism? Or was Laci merely a little stronger (and more fortunate) than her fellows?

The question bears more thought. In the meantime, welcome to intellectual freedom, Laci. I do hope you enjoy it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That is the real challenge here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“You’re sexist,” says the Marxist.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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