Major Changes Coming

The Declination has long been a sort of philosophical dumping ground of sorts. Sure, I comment on current issues, but I’ve usually spun them around larger points surrounding the decline of the West, the culture wars, and otherwise. This has been good and well – and some of the concepts, such as Weaponized Empathy, have gained traction. They’ve helped at least some folks understand why the Left acts as it does, and how the manipulation really works.

But more is needed. So to my regular readers and commenters, I’m asking for volunteers. For what? Well, some of y’all write some pretty long and involved comments. Very well written material. You could post it on the front page instead of buried down a few levels in the comments.

Before anybody asks, no. There’s no money involved. I do NOT run ads on The Declination. I don’t receive one cent from anything here. I did this deliberately. Despite higher traffic to the site of late, I have a loathing for news and editorial sites that load up with dozens of browser-freezing ad banners for Chinese crap nobody wants. What you get if you volunteer, and I like you enough, is an editor account. You can write posts as frequently or infrequently as you like. You can leave whenever you wish.

No more, no less.

Obviously, I have to know you. So if you I know you in meatspace, or in one of the various forums I am a member of, that will suffice. Alternatively, long-time commenters may be accepted as well. So if you’re interested, either comment below, contact me with the form, or hit me up in meatspace or one of the forums/groups. Also, don’t be offended if I say no. It’s probably because I don’t know you well enough. Very few of my readers are idiots – and most of those are Leftists coming to troll me – for which I am profoundly grateful.

Also, the site design is going to be changed significantly, and may even be rebranded. One thing Rightists generally don’t do very well, much to our detriment, is marketing. Think about it, if Leftists can make Communism seem sexy, they can market just about anything. Beto is challenging Ted Cruz mostly due to marketing. His real name isn’t even Beto – that, too, is a calculated marketing ploy. Colin Kaepernick and Nike… marketing. The trumped up charges against Brett Kavanaugh? Marketing – no conviction would even be possible, even supposing any of it was true.

It’s all about image, marketing, brand identity – they did this with Obama, a relative unknown. Suddenly he’s at the forefront of everything. Ocasio-Cortez is likewise a constructed brand. A lie. She’s not working class, and in her photo ops, she’s wearing a $3500 outfit with only the best brands. Marketing, marketing.

Now I won’t lie, I won’t sell you bullshit – I don’t do that. We cannot, however, escape marketing. If anything, for us it should be easier – we actually believe what we say, and they generally do not. But Rightists just aren’t inclined to do this sort of thing, generally. Getting a bunch of individualists to cooperate on mass marketing is like herding cats.

Nonetheless, like a soldier slogging through mud, we have to do it, no matter how unpleasant. So many changes are coming. I’ve thought this for a long time, it’s time for me to get some skin in the game.

Feminists, and the Motte & Bailey

Going through my old posts this morning, I was reminded of this one, from a year and a half ago: RedFems, Cenobites, and the Lament Configuration. It was probably the darkest post I’ve ever penned on The Declination. But it remains quite poignant.

Go on social media, and you will see SJWs telling us that Nazis are everywhere, that they are evil, and foul, and legion. They are in the White House, they are on Youtube, they are on Twitter, they are in Video Games. Nazis, everywhere. And so they march out into the streets, the Black Bloc, Antifascists engaging in what Tom Kratman calls a bit of political theater (not unlike Fascists once did).

But at the end of a long week of fighting the cisnormative heteropatriarchy, they come to be beaten by men dressed as Nazis, to the gritty beats of loud Industrial music in the depths of an Industrial park.

And what’s more, RadFems have come to resemble these very same Cenobites, covered in piercings, dyes, and tattoos, such that the difference between Hellraiser’s Pinhead and the average denizen of Slut Walk is minimal at best.

Radical Feminism is a death cult, both figuratively and literally. In their man-hating quest, they are, in effect, arguing for the voluntary extinction of humanity. Oh, it never starts out that way. It’ll start out in an argument about equality. It’s a traditional example of the Motte and Bailey Doctrine.

Motte: “Feminism is about equality, it is about women having the same rights as men, it is about better relations between the sexes!”

Okay, that doesn’t sound so bad.

Bailey: “Now DIE cis male scum! #KillAllMen #YesAllMen Lol @ Male Tears. Men so fragile.”

Hmmm. Maybe I don’t like this Feminism thing.

One of my favorite tech outlets, Hard[OCP], had a quick commentary on Riot Game, and some of their employees vigorously defending an event at PAX West that excluded “cis men.”

League of Legends developer Riot Games has fired at least one longtime employee for defending a PAX West event exclusive to women and “non-binary” people: systems designer Daniel Klein, who revealed he was terminated for “violating social policy,” had evidently upset his employer by calling complainants on r/leagueoflegends “manbabies” and comparing the subreddit to a “toxic landfill.” Communications associate Mattias Lehman is also out for having similar views.

It’s fascinating to note that a white man is, in essence, defending his own exclusion in the name of inclusion and diversity. I’ve said it before and I will say it again. Diversity has become an idol to these people. A golden calf before which all good sense is sacrificed. It is heresy to even question the belief. No, it is worse. It is heretical to even be insufficiently enthusiastic about it.

In any event, if somebody created a male-only event, the Feminist shrieking would probably be heard even in the vacuum of space. That some individuals (probably not all of them men, either) would even critique this is considered worthy of collectively referring to them as a “toxic landfill” and as “manbabies”.

The Motte and Bailey Doctrine is a perennial favorite of the Left. A frequent detractor of mine who used to comment here on immigration matters would often explain that he wasn’t an open borders supporter. But then he argued for no restrictions on immigration, no refugee screening unless it was purely a formality, no border wall, and no deportation of illegals. It was a de facto open borders policy without having to suffer the social and political penalty of being truthful about his aims.

Motte: “We just want to be humane, and make sure these poor people are helped, and show empathy to fellows of different races and creeds.”

Okay, that doesn’t sound so bad.

Bailey: “If you support a border wall you’re a racist, whiteness so fragile, #YesAllWhitePeople. Fuck Whiteness. The future of America is brown, and you better get used to it!”

Hmmm. On second thought, no thanks.

Radical Feminism is an example of the Motte and Bailey Doctrine writ large. They want to exclude men, they want to replace men, they want to hold down men, and at its most extreme adherents want to imprison or exterminate them. They want revenge for perceived injustices to women. But even most women would find this abhorrent, and so they fortify themselves in the Motte when stating their views publicly. The Bailey is for social media and friendly media. But still, it is not difficult to find.

Go back to my first piece, though. You will find something very interesting – an observation that has stuck with me over the years. Red pill sites often refer to a concept known as “shit-testing”. A woman may periodically test a potential (or existing) mate for fitness. She might cop an attitude or be bitchy, even if you don’t really deserve it. What she really wants is confirmation that you’re not a total wuss, can stand up for yourself, and thus are worthy company for her.

This is neither good or bad. It simply is. This exists outside of manosphere context, too, in the phrase ‘testy’. Regardless, it happens, and most women I know will admit that they do this from time-to-time. It’s about as normal as men being generally boorish and staring too long at a nice pair of boobs.

What happens, though, when you fail a shit test? No, when all of society fails thousands of shit tests? What happens when women don’t just suspect, but know that most men are wusses, worthless, and completely unable to stand up to them in any way whatsoever?

I’d suspect it would look something like what we see today. Feminists running roughshod over men who aren’t even sure if they are men any longer. Wil Wheaton is their role model, instead of Conan the Barbarian.

Women on the Right generally don’t act this way, but I suspect this is because men on the Right generally aren’t sniveling wusses who, like Daniel Klein, gleefully extol the virtues of their own exclusion and abject submission. In other words, Rightist men are probably more likely to pass a shit test.

The key, then, is to recognize the Motte & Bailey when it occurs, and to tear down the Bailey, and pay very close attention to the Motte, in case it spawns another Bailey in its place or retakes its previous position. It also means being unafraid to challenge the protestations of women, or other various “oppressed” groups, even if you pay a social penalty for the same.

Leftist politics in general is all about the Motte and Bailey, these days. Using oppressed/minority status as a way to deflect criticism away from the Bailey and toward the stronger Motte is a tactic that has paid dividends for them, despite its fundamentally dishonest nature. It’s also a shit test, and if the West doesn’t pass the shit test… more barbaric societies will.

Put another way, deprived of positive masculinity, women will seek out the negative, barbaric variety over sniveling wusses and ‘my gender is an Oscar Mayer hot dog’ folks. And we can’t blame them for this. After all, what would men do if the only options were ugly hags who hated men, and hot – but dangerous – uncivilized barbarian women? The result would be much the same, I think. It should be noted that Feminism may eventually accomplish that, too. It certainly has multiplied the number of man-hating ugly hags, in any event.

Principles and Moral Cowardice

When it comes to principles, I can really only speak for myself, but I suspect what I’m about to discuss is something that holds true for most people. We naturally hold having principles to be higher, that is to say morally superior, to not having principles, or to violating them arbitrarily. However, this can lead to absurdities such as guilt-ridden, suicidal cultures (see: most of the West right now).

Most people, I imagine, would agree that non-aggression is generally a good principle. Indeed, Libertarians and Anarcho-Capitalists have this enshrined as a core principle. Violence can only be used on someone who, in turn, has violated the non-aggression principle. This sounds well and good on the surface, but is subject to complexities. Imagine for a moment that you are sure – absolutely sure – that someone is about to commit murder. But he has not made his intentions to do so clear to others, nor has he actually done it yet. By the non-aggression principle, are you allowed to preemptively deal with him accordingly? Or must you wait until the violence has been committed?

Must, for example, a society of Libertarians allow hordes of Communists into their borders? Communists, I might add, who express a desire to kill them and take their property for redistribution, should they obtain sufficient numbers. Taken to its logical endpoint, strict adherence to the principle may well result in the extinction, both of the society in question, and adherence to the principle itself.

It goes much deeper. Pacifists would appear to favor peace as a principle. However, many of them take the principle to absurd lengths, such as not even fighting back when said murderer starts killing people. Without restraint on murderers, without defensive action against them, soon there are many such murderers. Violence increases when pacifism is used, for the violent are no longer restrained by fear that they may suffer consequences for their actions.

Pacifists are moral cowards. If their principles incline them toward peace they, seemingly-paradoxically, must be willing to fight for that peace.

Libertarians, I suspect, are not this bad. I think many of them have merely failed to understand how virulent Marxists really are, how easily they infiltrate and subvert whole societies. They haven’t articulated a principle that will satisfy their disdain for unjust violence, that can simultaneously protect them from the unjust violence of those who are willing to game the system for their benefit. Some say that if you eliminate the welfare state, the impetus for Marxists to come will end. That is true on an individual level, but it fails on a meta level. Conquest, you see, is a motivation all on its own.

Yet nonetheless, principles still carry with them greater moral weight, and a lack of principles – being completely arbitrary, in other words – results in the very same tyranny we seek to avoid. Marxists are quite arbitrary in the application of their own beliefs. A rapist may be excused if his politics are correct. A murderer may be pardoned if he is useful to the Party. Their only real principle is a constant striving for power. Power is good, with them. Nothing else really matters.

When one group adheres to principles – or at least tries to – and another does not, the one that does not is often granted political advantage. This is something we have seen with the Left (though sometimes on the Right, too) for many years. It has created a House advantage, so to speak, for the Left. Consider how every close election that resulted in a recount almost invariably resulted in mysterious piles of Democrat ballots being discovered. Or how Hillary won every coin toss against Bernie Sanders.

The principle for them is power. No more or less than that.

I don’t argue for us to abandon principles, however, for then we become like our enemy. The challenge, rather, is to articulate them – to ensure that they do not become a noose around our necks. For like pacifists leading to more violence, so too will poorly articulated principles ensure the extinction of our own principles.

One current example is when Rightists come out and champion the censorship campaigns of Facebook, Twitter, et al. The usual principle given as justification for this view is that private companies may censor speech on their property as much as they like. Having discovered that Rightists will often adhere to this principle even against their own obvious interests, Leftists have concentrated much of their recent efforts on subverting the Right from within businesses. Every day, more businesses declare open support for the Left, and disdain for the Right. Indeed, Nike’s use of Colin Kaepernick’s face in their advertisements has been boiling over the airwaves today. Papa Johns recently declared their affiliation with Social Justice. And the position of Starbucks on guns is known well enough. Most companies have a decidedly Leftist bent, these days. Exceptions exist, but not that many – at least not at the large company level.

Leftists realized that the Right would fight to the death if the government was openly used to suppress the Right (see the IRS scandal), but the Right would stand by passively if the same was done through businesses, due to strict adherence to the principles of private property. This is being used as a weapon against us.

I don’t have a specific fix for this problem in mind, though some ideas have come to mind (one may or may not involve helicopters – I plead the Fifth on that). In actuality, I would ask my readers how they would solve the principle problem here. This cannot be permitted to continue, or else we become moral cowards – and soon, not even that much, for the weapon will be bludgeoned over our heads until we are broken.

And let’s not kid ourselves. If this weapon is defeated, the Left will find another. They have no moral restrictions on what they may use against us, for their only principle is power. All else falls before that.

The Myth of Equality

This post just kind of popped into my head this afternoon after some rather hefty reading. There is an absolutely immense misunderstanding of the concept of equality, and it infects every level of our society down to the educational cartoons for preschoolers, or reaching as high as the summit of world political power.

Equality in humans categorically and completely does not exist. Nor can it ever exist. It is an utter impossibility short of every single human being being an identical clone of every other, with identical experiences and memories. In short, impossible.

Humans are not equally tall, or equally beautiful, equally good or equally evil. They do not possess the same intelligence, the same ambitions, the same passions or the same desires. They do not have the same wants, the same memories, or the same experiences.

This has created two concepts that should be mutually exclusive. The “special snowflake” syndrome, and the myth that equality is not only possible, but desirable too. The SJW will spout some boilerplate about diversity and everyone being special, and then relate it to absolute equality. Consider a catchphrase in the “body positive” movement. “All bodies are beautiful.”

No. They aren’t. The implication is that if a woman is skinny, obese, tall, short, curvy or otherwise, she is equally attractive as every other woman. Reduced to a logical construct, they are saying “difference = same.” It is nonsense. Word salad. It means absolutely nothing, save for an intense desire for people to feel equal when they are not equal, and for politeness to be determined by how much you go along with their delusions.

SJWs are obsessed with this contradiction. It infects every level of their thinking. Yes, they may acknowledge indirectly, people are different. But if you say this out loud you are a racist/sexist/whatever. Or if you imply that the differences are anything but superficial, you are rude. Impolite. Politically incorrect.

It is ridiculous, and it stems from a misinterpretation (probably deliberate on the part of outright Marxists) of two concepts that are fundamental to Western civilization: equality before the law and equality before God. Yes, like it or not, Social Justice is like a Christian heresy, stripped of God, stripped of the divine, and shaped into an ugly, evil parody.

Let’s look at the Declaration of Independence for a moment:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Did the founders mean that all men are the same? That “all bodies are beautiful”, metaphorically speaking? No. The context of this was within an implied legal framework of basic rights. All men have equal rights granted by God, and a government is unjust if it seeks to deprive a man of these God-given rights. Among these rights are life (I’m not allowed to murder you), liberty (I’m not allowed to compel you by force to do my bidding), and the pursuit of happiness (you can try to find it – whether or not you get it is up to you).

This level of equality is both the basis for a legal framework limiting the power of government, and a reference to the fact that we all have souls; that God may judge them. God, being omniscient, can be an absolute neutral arbiter of justice, having all the facts, and thus may treat us with absolute equality. No man could ever do this, though justice is often better served by man at least making a passing attempt at neutrality (hence the concept of justice being blind).

This has absolutely no bearing on whether or not people are equally beautiful, smart, tall, short, talented, good, evil, or anything else. Equality of those types is not only impossible, any attempt to force them into being (still impossible to achieve) will, in turn, violate the God-given rights referenced in the Declaration of Independence.

Yet for some reason even admitting that you notice differences in people beyond the superficial (and even that, sometimes) is considered beyond the taboo, the most rude and evil a man can possibly be. “What, you don’t think I’m equally hot as the woman voted sexiest woman of the world? YOU SEXIST! ALL BODIES ARE BEAUTIFUL!”

This extends to wordplay all the time. Use of the word “retarded” has been banned by polite society even when used as a biological description. Indeed, the manuals themselves have been altered to remove the word. Instead we use a variety of stealth codewords for the same thing. He is “special” or “touched”. Yet those, too, have now absorbed the meaning of “retarded”. Shall we ban them, too? Or, perhaps, can we stop with this nonsense? We don’t have to pretend a retarded person is equally intelligent as a non-retarded person. It simply isn’t so.

None of this, and I reiterate in bold letters, none of thishas any implication whatsoever on your value before God, the value of your soul, the worth of your being. No man is fit to judge these things. Only God may do so. A retarded man is no more or less valuable before God than I am. This is because God knows all, God can judge us accordingly.

But beyond that, there is no equality. You, dear reader, may be smarter than I, or not. You may be better looking, or less attractive. You may be taller, shorter, more emotional or more rational. You may be stronger or weaker, faster or slower. We are not equal, and there isn’t a damn thing wrong with that. That is as it should be. That is how we were meant to be.

Pretending otherwise changes nothing about who we are, and the notion that we must pretend in order to be polite, and that impoliteness is worthy of political purging from society is pure evil. It is so evil that, so far as I know, widespread adoption of this behavior almost always results in heaps of dead bodies. Whenever people are not only encouraged to lie, both to themselves and to the world, but made to lie by force, it categorically must result in mass graves.

For how shall you compel the honest man to lie, if not through threat of death? And how is he supposed to believe you are sincere about dealing death if you have not dealt it before? After all, you have already demonstrated that you are a liar.

Beyond all this, SJWs expect you to finish the Orwellian conclusion that 2+2=5. That smart is stupid, that tall is short, and that all bodies are equally beautiful. Their whole heretical religion is based on the premise of seemingly-polite, nonsensical lies.

Quick Headlines

A few quickies for today. The first is a piece I found buried a few pages down on Instapundit. It accurately describes the zeitgeist of our age: celebrity worship:

We hear a lot about white privilege from liberals, but no one on the Left wants to talk about the most glaring privilege infesting our nation today: celebrity privilege.

Let’s start with football players who use company time to protest — what? I’m not quite sure what they’re protesting and what it has to do with football or the flag, but they’re out there raising their fists and bending their knees. While they’re being paid by their bosses to play football and abide by team rules, they inject their politics into the sporting experience and alienate customers.

Only someone with celebrity privilege could get away with that. The lowly office worker can’t speak his mind whenever and however he wants. The cashier at Chipotle can’t spout off about his political views and drive customers out the door. The assembly line worker can’t walk off the job to protest his latest beef with society.

Read the whole thing. It’s unvarnished truth. Celebrities lecture us about societal ills few of them ever experience. They have no skin in the game.

The second headline of the day: South Africa farm SEIZURE HORROR: List of white farmers facing expropriation ‘exposed’.

Let’s be honest. We all knew this was coming, at least anybody who has been paying attention. The (somewhat-but-not-really) peaceful interlude since the end of apartheid has come to an end. South Africa has gone full Zimbabwe. You never go full Zimbabwe.

But never mind that. An important point for Americans is that this is a ‘coming soon to a country near you’ event. Make no mistake, the SJWs would love to expropriate your property, too. They salivate over the opportunity.

Lastly, Sarah Hoyt has opined on a topic that bears considerable exploration. It has long been assumed that creative personalities are liberals. I mean, look at the first article a moment. The author of that piece assumes that almost all celebrities are Leftists. He wasn’t wrong. Sarah asks the question why?

Yes, I know, even great men are allowed to have a blind spot, but his is a doozy and three miles wide: even through everything he’s gone through, he still believes that the preponderance of liberals in the arts and creative professions is because “liberals are creative personalities, willing to take risks.”

Dear Lord.  What is wrong with that wouldn’t fit in a library filled with books the size of the Oxford dictionary, in tiny print, the kind you need the magnifying glass to read (yes, I always wanted one of those.  Nope, don’t have one.)

It starts with the fact that most “liberals” aren’t even capable of taking risks in thought.  They want everything regimented, and directions from above about what to think about every minute subject or portion of a subject.  And if you question any of their shibboleths, they call you racisss sexissss homophobic, even if what you’re discussing is taxes, or the price of books.  These words are the equivalent of their putting fingers in ears and going lalalalala, then running away screaming for mommy/government/twitter mob.

It continues with the fact that the arts are dominated by liberals because they’re dominated by liberals. Of course liberals only hire/promote/give legitimacy to other liberals.  Look, if you believed your opponents were evil incarnate, what would you think?

Leftists in positions of power are so certain of their innate rightness that they do not permit Rightists to share the limelight if it can possibly be avoided. Now, some few exceptional individuals on the Right manage to crack that glass ceiling once in a while. But in the other shaft, Leftists get a glass elevator to the top, and probably a couple of man servants to feed them grapes and fan them with palm fronds on the way up.

And, rather stupidly, the Leftists complain that we are the privileged ones. But in any event, Sarah is right. To infer that Leftists are more creative simply because more of them are famous is a category error. Milo once explained that creatives are more likely to rebel against the current order of things, whatever that order may be. If that is the case, which it may be, then we should expect a surge in creatives on the Right, because the Left controls polite society. The Left is the Establishment against which rebellion is necessary.

I don’t know that Milo is right about that. Sarah suggests that we’ve seen a rather more general decline in the recognition of creatives:

Fortunately the true artists and crazy people haven’t gone anywhere.  They’re just not getting recognition which means a lot of them will die young and in despair, because yes, creative people are neurotic.  But some won’t.  And with the new tech some will find a way to reach the public.  Their public.

I imagine in the days to come, we will see who is right on the matter. If Milo is, we should expect a resurgence in the following years, primarily on our side, for the Left will be bankrupt. If Sarah is right… well, we probably won’t. Not without a great deal of societal change.

Change that, I should note, probably needs to happen anyway.

 

 

Sympathy is Not Respect

Sympathy is often conflated with respect. This insight popped into my head during a conversation with a friend. What do I mean by this? It’s difficult to articulate, but I will try. Most folks I know have a relative or two who frequently uses guilt trips to get what they want. If, for instance, you got caught behind a bad traffic accident, and were a few minutes late meeting one someplace, he would be offended by it. He might say “you don’t care about me” rather than merely inquire as to why you were late. The idea is to elicit a sense of guilt, and then a corresponding sense of sympathy for him as the victim of your mistake. You’re a bad person for not doing what he wants. You should try to be a good person by obedience. It’s kind of like a weird form of Pavlovian conditioning. He controls your behavior through conditioning.

Such people are deeply unpleasant to be around. Always, they are on the lookout for ways to be offended, to take things personally, and bludgeon you with guilt in an attempt to elicit your sympathy. Some will even burden you with their other problems, completely unrelated to you, in the sense that they will complain about things in an effort to make you feel sorry for them, and then use that to get things from you. If you deny them their requests, the guilt trip will be applied. “You don’t want to help me? You don’t care about me!” They always portray themselves as victims. They rarely take responsibility for anything, but demand that you take responsibility even for those things you have not done.

It is as if they have conflated sympathy with respect, and strive for the former over the latter without really realizing it. They do not understand that you can feel sorry for someone you do not respect, and you can respect someone you don’t feel sorry for. Since they crave your sympathy, they are on constant lookout for ways to obtain it. Such a man can deliberately take your words out of context in order to cast himself as the victim. He can deliberately misinterpret your gestures, ignore context, dispose of nuance. He can even mishear what you say completely, or make something up. A common method of the latter is to say something like “well, someone told me that you said X, how could you?” Naturally, this is done without inquiring whether or not you actually said X. Sometimes the statements are completely fictitious, in that no one even told them anything of the sort, but it is useful to solicit sympathy by making the claim anyway.

Of course, in order to get back into the good graces of a person like this, you must prove your worthiness. This can be done by doing what they want you to do, by giving them things, by obeying their every whim. Such a person might ask you to denounce people he doesn’t like, even if those people are close to you. You may be required to buy things, give them money, or do work for them. It may be more emotional nature, where you have to constantly manage his own feelings, such that he can outsource responsibility for his own emotional state to you. The price for that person not treating you as if you were a bad, hateful person has a tendency to rise. Eventually your whole life must revolve around him, or else you don’t care. And you want to care, don’t you?

Does this sound like a good many political activists these days?

Weaponized empathy works much the same way, just on a much larger scale. Groups of people can burden you with their failings and blame you for them, then demand that you take action or you don’t like them, you nasty racist you. You’re a bad person for not doing what they want. The price similarly has a tendency to constantly rise. Today X is demanded. Tomorrow X, but also Y.

The real goal of such people is power over you. Power to make you do what they want, to be made to obey. And they use your own desire to be seen as a good, caring person to do this. Guilt only works on someone who is not a sociopath. But guilt is an effective weapon for a sociopath to deploy on others. Such people find sympathy more useful than respect, perhaps. Of course, you don’t have to be a sociopath to use it. For some, I suspect, it is confusion which drives this behavior.

Such confusion may begin in our education system, which has been infected by victim politics for as long as I can remember. The sanctity of the victim is absolute with them. Is it any wonder people can so readily confuse sympathy and respect? Too many people want to be victims, thinking that sympathy will grant them power that has been denied them otherwise. In this they are correct for the nonce, given our political climate, but in accepting this, they have thrown out legitimate relationships with people built on respect. Again, it is very possible to feel sorry for someone and to still lack any real respect for them. Respect is more enduring the sympathy.

Consider the racial animus present in today’s political environment. Many others feel some sympathy for the historical wrongs perpetrated upon American blacks. They may wish to help them. But when demands are made upon wallets, and when not acceding to these demands is declared prima facie evidence of racism, good will is extinguished. The possibility of earning respect is lost. Sympathy may still be forced by peer pressure, but genuine sympathy is replaced with grudging reluctance forced upon others at metaphorical gunpoint. This grudging reluctance is then declared further evidence of racism. It all spirals out of control.

With the possibility of mutual respect taken off the table, all options become progressively worse.

The use of weaponized empathy may rip this country apart. It is extraordinarily divisive. It makes people hostile and defensive. And for good reason. After all, if you have a relative who does this to you frequently, do you really want to hang out with him? Do you really enjoy his company? Do you respect him? Clearly he does not respect you, if he blames you for things you didn’t do, and demands that you right wrongs you have not committed. The terribly irony of it all is that if he didn’t make demands upon you, you might very well offer to help him right the wrongs of your own free will, regardless of who was at fault for them. You might possess both sympathy and respect for him. And that could become the basis for a real relationship. But his attempt to make himself out to be the victim, and his assumption that you must pay the penance for being a victimizer, destroys any potential goodwill.

This problem is everywhere in modern America. It crosses lines of race, gender, sexuality, religion, and a thousand other such things. And at some point – probably in the near future – the demand for sympathy will come up dry, such that not even peer pressure and a metaphorical gun held to your head will be sufficient to compel it. Only the literal variety of gun will be work then, and that is when it will descend into pure madness. Weaponized empathy is a sociopolitical weapon of mass destruction. It almost assuredly will result in the deployment of something equally nasty. It needs to be put away before it is too late.

But I have no expectation that it will. After all, “victims” want their sympathy, and the power it brings them. That there is a price for this hasn’t really occurred to them yet. And by the time it does, it will likely be too late.

Using the Truth to Lie

Picture in your mind a political debate between acquaintances, perhaps on social media, or in meatspace. You make your point, your opponent makes his. Demands for evidence are made. Your opponent cites a media piece. Perhaps an article on CNN, or a reference to a study on The Atlantic. The onus is on you to prove that the item is now incorrect. Yet you cannot do so, for the citations within it are true, even though the spin has rendered it into something it really is not. How do you articulate that?

Consider this CNN headline: Children found in New Mexico compound were training for school shootings, prosecutors say.

What is wrong with it? The headline is true. The children were indeed in a compound in New Mexico, and were indeed training to commit school shootings. Ah, but it omits that this was linked to Islamic terror. Now the article itself sort-of admits this in the last section of the article.

Hogrefe said FBI analysts told him the suspects appeared to be “extremist of the Muslim belief.”

Compare this to how the same event is reported on Fox News: Investigators raided New Mexico compound on tip from terror-tied New York City imam, cleric claims.

Note the difference in spin. One emphasizes ‘school shootings’ and the other ‘terror-tied’ and ‘imam’. This is how the tone of a thing is subtly changed, depending on the journalist’s preferred viewpoint. Of course, aside from Fox News, most media outlets are Left-leaning. So the spin is much more weighted toward the Left, and furthermore Fox News is usually casually dismissed by any Leftist. It is, in essence, banned from the court of polite opinion. And yet, both articles are fundamentally true.

I’ve been on a Tolkien kick of late, for which I blame my friend Francis. And so I caught the connection quite readily when I read the above headlines:

The Stones of Seeing do not lie, and not even the Lord of Barad-dûr can make them do so. He can, maybe, by his will choose what things shall be seen by weaker minds, or cause them to mistake the meaning of what they see. Nonetheless it cannot be doubted that when Denethor saw great forces arrayed against him in Mordor, and more still being gathered, he saw that which truly is.

Denethor was shown nothing but truth by the palantir. It could not be made to lie to him. But Sauron could spin what was shown, and cause Denethor to mistake the meaning of the things he saw. This tactic is readily employed by the media, and in the past it has been extremely effective. The journalist, if confronted on his spin, could escape with the excuse “but everything I have said is true!” We know there is a wrong here, we can sense it, but to prove it unequivocally is difficult, and essentially impossible if the instances are few enough.

Over time, with many such incidences, we can begin to notice the pattern. The old saying “if every bank error is in the bank’s favor, get a new bank” applies here. If every coin toss is in Hillary’s favor, get a new coin tosser. If every media article from your chosen outlet slants Left, get a new outlet. Note, too, that whenever an election is close and we have to start digging for uncounted ballots, the count always favors the Democrat. This is happening right now in Ohio. But it likewise happened in my home state of Florida in 2000. Every time a pile of uncounted votes was discovered, it invariably favored the Democrat.

And they have the temerity to accuse us of election fraud.

We are told to ignore the evidence of our eyes and ears, that we are being paranoid, perhaps. Or conspiracy-minded. Yet, every bank error is favoring the bank. Why is that? Has Sauron hijacked the palantir? I should think the answer is obvious to my readers by now. The question is what to do about it? Denethor made the mistake of thinking he could control it, that he could bend it to his will. The effort drove him insane.

So how does one deal with that debate, where links to CNN are lobbed out like candy on Halloween? The short answer may be to do as they do when they dismiss Fox News. Your source is extremely Leftist, go away. This, however, contains a weakness. The spin, the rot, has infected academia as well. So many of the academic sources for information are similarly contaminated, though again they may be perfectly true in the sense I’ve described above. The real answer, though anything but short and simple, may be to go find the information out for ourselves; to document it and record it ourselves.

In other words, we may have to give up the expedient of looking into the palantir, and just find the answers on our own, the hard way.

Hypersensitivity and Race

The other day, I was talking with a good friend about hypersensitivity to racism, and other forms of discrimination. And just last weekend I had a similar conversation with my father-in-law while we were driving back from a funeral. Those events, combined with reading this piece of drivel, which appeared on my wall this afternoon, inspired this post.

Drew Habersang, the author of that screed, had a rather long story to tell about what was, in essence, a friend of his using an ethnic slur (I’m sure you can guess the one from the title) in his presence. Note the slur in question wasn’t directed at him, or about him, or, in fact, directed at much of anything in particular. It was used as a stand-in for a generic curse along the lines of “fucking shit” or “damnit asshole” during a tabletop game. If you’ve ever played a particularly rousing game of Monopoly, you’ve probably heard worse.

Now, before I tear this apart, let’s discuss an old tradition in my household, to which my close friends can attest: smoking cigars, drinking whiskey, and making tasteless jokes on my front porch. This wasn’t consciously started, except to say that my wife generally loathes the smell of cigars and has banished them to the front porch. So when I have friends over, I invariably go to smoke a cigar, and hand out stogies to anyone else who wants one. Soon, all the men are on the front porch while the women do… well, whatever women do during small social gatherings. I presume it is something intensely boring. But whatever.

Now, a bottle of whiskey is a prerequisite for cigar-smoking, in this blogger’s opinion. So that enters the mix, also. When you mix smoking, drinking, and several dudes bullshitting about random topics, you are sure to get something roughly similar on your front porch, I imagine. We insult one another in jest, and the insults are almost always ethnic and/or religious in nature. One friend of mine is of Irish ancestry, so the drunkard jokes write themselves. I have some Armenian in me, and so comparisons to Kim Kardashian’s rather… large assets are common. Certainly the jokes about cheapness abound, too. But no demographic group is spared the treatment. You will hear Polack jokes, Asian jokes, French jokes… and so on.

Well, except for one. For many such gatherings, there are two groups that are off limits: blacks and Jews. As it so happens, I have many Jewish friends. A great many, actually. So in my circles, Jewish jokes are generally permissible in the spirit of things – for they will rag on my ancestry with equal gusto. But those are still somewhat touchy in a way say, Italian jokes generally are not. Black jokes, of course, remain completely off limits. And judging from the reaction of Drew, the author of the aforementioned drivel, it is well that they remain off limits. This has all the hallmarks of a powder keg waiting to explode.

So why is this? Francis opined on it a few days ago. And full disclaimer (for again, this is a touchy subject, and I’m sure my readers can feel this almost instinctively), Francis is married to a Jewish woman and is a vociferous and frequent opponent of anti-Semitism. So let the hairs on your back settle back down, if you please. If they did go up, though, file that away for later in this post. You’ll need the observation.

There is a hypersensitivity at work here. A heightened and overactive threat-detection mechanism, perhaps. Whatever the mechanics of the thing, it is understandable. Jews did indeed suffer mightily in history, and are watchful for a future pogrom. Blacks did indeed suffer slavery and segregation.

And yet, this hypersensitivity is absolute and complete social poison.

Read that again, please. This is a poison pill. When you read Drew’s piece, you will notice how everything is colored through the lens of racism. He literally cannot see anything without suspecting secret racism behind it. And, furthermore, I have no doubt his friends are fully cognizant of this. They, not wishing to anger him or appear racist themselves (who does?), almost assuredly feel a constant social pressure to micromanage their words, gestures, and behavior around their friend. This, in turn, makes interacting with him less pleasant. This becomes self-reinforcing. Drew detects his friends act different about him, which fuels an assumption that the difference is due to racism, which in turn is detected by the friends, who now act even more different in an effort to avoid this very thing.

Everybody gets caught in a spiral of stupidity that no one can escape from.

All until somebody, in the heat of the moment, not thinking, breaks out a slur. Whether driven by bad luck, too much to drink, or some other mechanism, the micromanagement of offense is broken. And not even knowing how to handle this, the relationship of the man and his friends entirely breaks down, requiring him to write a letter to his friend, and considering abandoning the friendship altogether.

See how this works? Drew, like many American blacks, has a wall between him and the rest of us. Piercing that wall takes extra effort. He may even be entirely justified in how he arrived at the notion that the wall was necessary, just as a Jewish person is quite justified in worrying about pogroms and other such things, given the course of history.

However justified, though, the hypersensitivity works against healing and normalization of relations. It poisons relationships.

One thing I’ve noticed in the offensive front porch cigar conversations is that, despite a prolific use of extremely offensive things, everybody is closer together! There is no stepping on eggshells. My Jewish friend can call me a fat-assed Armenian, I can reply with a joke about cheapness, then I can turn around and say to my Irish friend, “damnit, we’re out of whiskey, who invited the Irishman?” Everybody laughs, has another round of drinks, and talks about some other thing. There is no micromanagement of behavior, no walking on eggshells.

If an SJW stuck a microphone on my front porch, he would die of apoplexy.

I don’t know how we solve this problem, or if it even can be solved. The story my father-in-law told me goes something like this. A dwarf he knew was working with a black woman, and the black woman called the dwarf a ‘midget’. The dwarf was angry at this, and the black woman was confused. She asked what she should call him, what the correct term was. Was it dwarf? Little person? And she asked why midget was so offensive to him in the first place.

The dwarf explained that calling him a midget would be like calling her a nigger. She immediately blew up at him. How dare he call her that! He explained that he did NOT call her that. He merely explained that the word ‘midget’ offended him in the same way. But like the incident in Drew’s screed, the context of the word didn’t matter. It didn’t matter that it wasn’t directed at her, that it was a mere explanation, that no offense was intended toward her. The word was uttered. The genie could not be put back in the bottle.

But it was likewise for the dwarf who was offended by her use of ‘midget’ when she intended no offense by it.

It is similar for some Jews finding out that the Pope Emeritus had said something that someone else had interpreted as anti-Semitic (it turns out it wasn’t anti-Semitic at all). No offense was intended, and it was pretty clear that was the case, but that did not matter. It felt wrong. The fact is, words are a mechanism for communication. You cannot divorce the word from the intent of the speaker, because the word is a mechanism for conveying intent.

I started to think if I suffered this condition myself. And truth is, I probably do. When the aforementioned Irish friend makes an Armenian joke, or an English joke, I laugh. But would I laugh as much if a Turk made that joke? Fortunately that’s a rare enough event that this has never been put to the test yet, but I hope I could take it. Still, how many such tripwires are in all of us? It would be best if we disarmed them, instead of erecting new ones as is the modern fashion.

I started thinking about how this goes in relation to the new darling of The New York Times: Sarah Jeong, and her tweets about white people. What’s the difference between her saying these things and my friends and I making fun of one another? Intent. Sarah doesn’t like white people, she makes it clear that it is her intention to insult them. She means it as an insult, not an off-color joke. Yet various media outlets have come to her defense to excuse her behavior. Ironically, the headline of that article is about not coming to her defense, and yet the author does so with gusto. The excuse given is that she was imitating someone else’s behavior. Again, what was the intent?

If Sarah was on my front porch, smoking a cigar, and made a Polack joke, it’d be funny. Read her tweets, though. Is there an undercurrent of good humor here, or an excuse made for bad intent?

We’re all becoming hypersensitive to matters of race, religion, etc… we have created minefields in our society, such that we have long divorced intent from perceived offense. Americans are looking for ways to be offended, or at least enough of us are. Once offended, one is granted a license to act as Sarah did (presuming one has the correct ethnicity, religion, or what have you), trash people with bad intent and get away with it. Many people covet this license greatly. They are permitted to be deliberately insulting assholes, and get treated as heroes for acting so.

I don’t know that Drew is this way. Actually, if anything, I sense a little bit of hope for him. I don’t know why precisely, but I get a vague sense that he is at least generally aware of how his hypersensitivity is coloring his viewpoint. It doesn’t change his behavior any, but realization is worth something, at least. Sarah Jeong, of course, is entirely unrepentant. She quite likes using her ‘I get to hate white men’ license to great effect.

However, the hypersensitivity is not just present in the traditionally “oppressed” classes (really, no one is oppressed in a First-world country, but whatever). It is also present in those of us who try to tiptoe around offense minefields. My friends and I are probably never closer together than when we’re saying things that would horrify SJWs. I think, once upon a time, Americans kind of bonded this way. Even, paradoxically, with historical immigrant groups. Italians and Irish, Polish and Jewish, etc… I suspect the ribbing went this way with all of them, and served to blend the new group with the old, eventually. It diffused actual inter-ethnic tensions, which are a matter of historical record. People used to loathe Irishman. Now nobody gives a shit. Why is that? It was actually an integration mechanism; a way to break down tribal barriers and meld into one people.

If you’ve ever seen the movie Gran Torino, you may have some idea of what I mean by this.

Yes, I know, for many groups it will be difficult to let go of the hypersensitivity, to let it rest. But before you write it off as impossible, remember Eva Mozes Kor, a Holocaust survivor who was experimented upon, who nonetheless was able to forgive one of her captors, shake his hand, and put the matter to rest. If that can be done… what excuse does a man like Drew really have? How can Sarah act as she does when she has suffered comparatively little?

Christianity is centered around forgiveness, and beyond the spiritual reasons for why this is good, there’s a practical one too: it can break down this wall of hypersensitivity to perceived offense, this lurking notion that harm is still intended, when it is not.

As a corollary, it may also expose the genuinely hateful people for who they really are. Deprived of her Marxist license to hate, Sarah Jeong would be outed as the disgusting individual she really is. And there are many more like her who, likewise, would be seen as such.

And then you too can enjoy a rousing discussion of bad jokes on your own front porch, fueled by cigars, whiskey, or whatever vices float your boat. And maybe then, men like Drew can actually enjoy being around their friends.

It’s probably all wishful thinking. The market for racism has never been better. The advantages the license to hate confers upon its wielder are tremendous. But if we don’t put a stop to this behavior, it will tear our country apart, and then we’re all pretty much screwed.

Purity Spirals Into Evil

Today, I wish to discuss something that’s been on my mind off and on for a very long time. Pardon me if I stumble around it, for sometimes it is difficult to put a concept into words. I’ve discussed it on The Declination on more than one occasion, though perhaps clumsily. Nonetheless, I suspect it will be of vital importance in the days to come.

Leftists often compare Rightists to Nazis. It’s beyond cliche, these days. It is tiresome and it hinges on the most flimsy of rationalizations. Yet it begs the question: how do you know if you are becoming a tyrant? How do you know if your ideology has slid into evil?

Surely, even Nazis were once children, cared for and loved by someone. No doubt their parents had hopes for at least some of them. Dreams for them. As Tolkien explained for us in The Lord of the Rings, nothing is evil in the beginning. Not even Sauron himself. So how did they become evil? What led them there?

If you analyze tyrannical ideologies and the sort of mass mob insanity behind them, you will see a common thread: purity. Nazis obsessed over purity of race. Stalinists obsessed over purity of political beliefs. Jihadists obsess over purity of religious belief. But purity is always there. And purity can twist good into evil, or render a lesser evil into a far greater evil.

What is purity? The dictionary tells us that it is “freedom from adulteration or contamination.” For our purposes, we may use the synonym ‘perfection’ with some utility. The point of purity is to identify impurities and eradicate them. The Nazi will eradicate the racially impure, the Communist will eradicate the impure Capitalists, and so on.

The utility of quests for purity to a tyrant should be obvious. For what is more impure than man? A quest for purity is carte blanche for never ending power over others. Progressivism itself admits this even in the content of its own name. Progress toward what? Purity. Progress toward the perfect society, in which poverty, disease, war, and a thousand other such ills have been eradicated.

Never will you hear the Progressive say “this is good enough, we can stop now.” For them, there is always a new impurity to eradicate. The movement is like the terminator of movie fame:

Kyle Reese: Listen, and understand. That terminator is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.

Social Justice is like the terminator in other ways, too. It cloaks itself as one of us. It wears the skin of our institutions in an effort to disguise itself. But always, its mission is to eradicate us. We are the impure. We cannot be permitted to exist.

And when a round of impure are disposed of, new impure are found. Today, it is Rightists. Tomorrow, Centrists. The day after that, Trotskyite Leftists. The terminator never stops. Ever-greater demands of purity are made. Like the Third Reich, the gas chambers never stop. The ash falls from the skies, forever. At least until someone puts a stop to it all at gunpoint.

Purity spirals work so well because fault can always be found with man. Every single human being in the history of our species, save one, has done wrong; has sinned. We all deserve death. That is a fundamental tenet of Christianity. It is also true even if you are the most ardent of atheists. Man is imperfect. And so it will ever be.

Yet, is it the SJW’s responsibility to act as the judge, jury, and executioner? Shall the Nazi do it? Shall the Stalinist? The Jihadist? Not only is there no one among us who could ever make demands of purity upon us, these cretins are the worst of the worst, the most evil among us. And it is they who always lead the charge to purity. The nuts are running the nuthouse.

Rationalizations always exist for why we are bad people. Why we should be punished, why we should give up everything, why we shouldn’t even exist. ALWAYS. Here we are, in America, the most prosperous nation to have ever existed in the history of our species. This is a place where starvation is virtually unknown. Where even the poorest among us possess wonders. And yet our debate constantly shifts toward America as an unjust nation that loves reducing its citizens to poverty, as if we were like Somalia or Haiti. Similar arguments are made for racism, sexism, homophobia, etc…

There are some poor people in America (though they do better here than in most places), thus we are impure. And in the minds of the purity-seekers, this means there is no fundamental difference between us and Haiti. Disagree? You want to push granny off a cliff, you Nazi! Ironic, I think, that the Left names us the Nazis when the modern purity-seekers are almost invariably Leftists.

Purity spirals are how evil manifests itself in its most concentrated human form. It is where humans go collectively insane, where they can rationalize the most hateful and destructive things. When the SJW says that you are a racist for X, he is almost always saying you are impure. They even police their own, thusly. They are always on the lookout for manifestations of impurity even among their own. They are political cannibals, as purists necessarily must be.

Had the Third Reich been permitted to continue, it would have invariably turned its genocidal hatred upon its own, sooner or later. Indeed, we saw signs of this even during its short life. Just as the Soviet Communists ate their own, and the Maoists, and the Jihadists killing other Muslims… this is always how it goes.

The terrifying aspect of it is that before purity-seekers consume themselves in an orgy of hatred and death, they bring us down with them. At least, if they are not stopped first.

That’s what our conflict is all about, underneath it all. Purity, and those who use purity as an excuse for tyranny. Far from being the good guys, they are the most evil among us (though we all have at least some evil in us). Far from being those who will usher in an age of peace, love, and tolerance, they are those who will usher in an age of death, war, hatred, and intolerance.

It is always this way with them. When they call you a Nazi, remember that though they have little or no political connection with them, their underlying drive for purity means that, of all modern political ideologies, they (and perhaps the Jihadists) most closely resemble the behavior patterns of Nazis. For all of them are, like the Nazis and Stalinists before them, seekers of power through purity spirals.

Idiot of the Week: White People Have No Culture

Self-loathing white people are some of the most disturbing people to have ever drawn breath. Drama queens might be the best way to describe them, for they obsess endlessly about things they haven’t done, they elevate petty problems to the world stage and bury major ones behind a veneer of political correctness. A white kid wearing dreadlocks is the end of the world. But recognizing that ISIS lobs gay people off of buildings for amusement is probably racism (even though, paradoxically, Islam is not a race). Sanctimony is their religion, Social Justice their crusade, and endless self-hatred their spiritual diet.

Here’s a window into the insane mind of one of these cretins: White People Have No Culture. And it cries out in the darkness of colossal ignorance for a proper fisking. Let us begin our descent past an event horizon of stupidity, a singularity of dedicated ignorance…

I traveled to Standing Rock in November of 2016 with my friend, hauling over 5000 dollars worth of winter tents, clothing, food, and gear. My full time job allowed me to stay barely a week, and my ego, mixed with a hefty dose of white savior mentality, convinced me that my training as an EMT, and my lifetime of experience with direct action and social justice, would make me useful. Fast forward 5 days, and I was crying in the driver’s seat of my car, while my amazing friend listened quietly as I grieved for something I didn’t know I had ever lost.

First of all, our intrepid SJW makes sure to inform us that she was once possessed of the white savior mentality but, apparently, no longer possesses it. She is reformed, made more pure through the enlightenment of social justice, presumably. And then, after taking a vacation from her job, spends her time crying about it. This is Social Justice compressed into the most simplistic and yet still-accurate analogy I can think of: it is distilled, purified, bad-feels. If you want to have a bad time, if you want to feel like shit and cry after taking a vacation, by all means, have yourself a helping of Social Justice.

Standing Rock is an incredible place. An indigenous led prayer ceremony, populated by resistance movements from every corner of the globe, many of them bound to each other by shared and distinct traditions of dance, song, storytelling, and way of being in the physical world. Like any indigenous and overwhelmingly powerful place, white people had decided to take it. White people, like me, were arriving to SR in droves, some of us even dressed like it was Burning Man, forcing our way to seats right next to the sacred fire, putting our pasty faces too close to elders and demanding that they teach us their culture, clumsily mimicking centuries old dance traditions, jostling for position in the lines for free food, taking up so much space that the medicine tent had to be guarded 24/7, and young Dakota men were placing themselves in front of elders to protect them from the onslaught of questions and poking and consumption an demands for emotional labor and reliving centuries of trauma. By the time we arrived, SR elder organizers had begun holding twice a day orientations, where each of these things was addressed, and indigenous folks were demanding that white people stop colonizing their space. Yes, colonizing their space.

Fun fact: I didn’t colonize their space. Neither, I suspect, did any of my readers. I don’t stay up late at night worrying about the rituals of others, or figuring out ways to justify crashing their party. Social Justice Warriors do this all the time. They’ll push aside the very people they claim to cherish in an effort to seek out media attention, or some such thing. Look, if you want to go to some sacred event, and the practitioners are okay with you doing it, by all means, have a good time. It’s not my barrel of monkeys, mind you, but you do you. But here’s a hint… if you feel like crying in your car and writing articles about how people like you suck after you attend the event, you did not have a good time. So maybe, I dunno… do something else next time you get a week off from work? And here’s a bonus: you won’t be colonizing their space. I mean, I hardly even know what that means – SJW parlance is a strange and foreign language – but you can’t do it if you don’t go, I presume.

“White people have no culture.”

This is partially true. It is also untrue. This statement is a form of denial, and also a source of grief.

White people do have culture. Our culture is that of colonization. Of genocide. Of taking. Of envy and of fear. The majority of white people can name no more than two generations back in their families. The majority of white people barely know where their grandparents were from, much less who their ancestors were.

Okay, cupcake, I’m going to stop you right there. I can name generations of my family going back to the 12th century. I know where my family came from, what they were about, and have some idea of the kinds of people they were. My father’s family descends from the British Raleigh family (yes, that Raleigh family), and has been lurking around the Virginia area since the 1600s, living on the old land grants all the way until the time of the Civil War. We’re distantly related to Thomas Jefferson, and the Randolph family as well. We were tied in to many of the First Families of Virginia. My mother’s family traces back to Armenia, where they escaped the genocide and fled to America. I still have my great-grandfather’s naturalization certificate and some of his effects. I know that my great-grandmother came from the Trebizond area, and probably had some Greek in her, too. My great-grandfather, on the other hand, came from a family that lived in Cilician Armenia since Byzantine times. Of course, no Armenians live there anymore – all who stayed were exterminated. There are many other family stories I could share, but this post would get extremely long. In the South, most of us take special pride in our family trees, though. It is, dare I say, a cultural thing.

So speak for yourself. That your family is so dysfunctional you have no connection to your roots doesn’t mean it is that way for all of us, or even most of us.

The majority of white people have no traditions, and the ones we have, are rooted in consumption and the superficial application of organized religion, both of which are steeped in histories of violence. Christmas is about a severed tree dropping dead needles on heaps of plastic crap, grinding the gears of our capitalist economy, a formerly pagan ritual that has been bastardized and twisted into a stressful display of wealth and excess. Easter is about disposable plastic balls full of processed sugar, many of which are left for years to mar the sterilized landscapes and rigidly decorated city parks and backyards. Valentine’s Day was created exclusively by the greeting card industry to make you spend money on disappointing gifts and unhealthy treats for your unsatisfied monogamous partner. Independence Day is a too long period of time where daily explosions and worshipping of war trigger people and animals with PTSD, and create an alarming amount of pollution, maimed limbs, and death. Thanksgiving? Don’t even start.

Let’s analyze a few of these points. Christmas, they say, incorporates elements of pagan beliefs. There is some truth to this. As Christianity swept the late Roman Empire, people who converted often kept some of their preexisting traditions, where those traditions did not conflict with Christian belief. The same happened when Christianity spread to the Germanic peoples and the Slavic peoples. So this wasn’t a case of white people having no traditions, it was a case of white people practicing cultural syncretism, deciding to keep some preexisting traditions when they converted to Christianity.

The author then complains about superficial consumerism invading these holidays. This is true, to a point. There are those people who have forgotten the cultural origins of these things, Easter in particular. But again, the author is assuming it is this way for white people in general, and not merely this way for her. My friend Francis is quite a sincere Catholic, I am sure if you told him that Easter was about sugar and plastic eggs, he would be quite confused by the idea.

I’m not even going to go into Independence Day as a worshiping of war, maimed limbs, and death. The idea that fireworks ought to be banned has been discussed to death elsewhere. The author definitely exaggerates her points for dramatic effect, though.

The closest thing white people have to culture is our disturbingly fanatical obsession with sports, which we use to justify things like property destruction, vitriolic hatred for people we don’t know, and even accidental deaths. These are the same things that we justify with our constant military assault on developing and impoverished communities, at home and abroad.

Lolwut? What does enjoying sports have to do with property destruction, or vitriolic hatred for people we don’t know? The author then tries to make this a military issue? She’s delusional, or on some very interesting drugs.

Which brings me to my main point: The culture of white people is the culture of death. It is a culture of endless war, desensitization to human suffering, and the upholding of a brutal individualism fueled by greed. It is a deep, dark hole of grief and of loss. We don’t even know what we lost. We don’t know our ancestors. We don’t have stories of creation and hope and family; only stories of destruction and genocide. Our coming of age ceremony is a school shooting. Our song is a ballad about rockets and explosions. Our elders die alone surrounded by their stories of family members who no longer visit them. Our cities were built by the blood of slaves, on top of the graves of native people.

For a moment, I almost felt sorry for the author. While I generally feel quite secure in the knowledge of where I come from, who I am, and the history and culture of my ancestors, she clearly does not feel this. I could discuss this topic for hours. Today’s modern urbanite “cosmopolitans” have only the most superficial understanding of culture and history. The author knows that her knowledge of “indigenous” culture and history is woefully lacking, but she doesn’t stop to consider the possibility that her understanding of European cultures and history is similarly lacking. Imagine standing beneath the Hagia Sophia and saying “white people have no culture.” Imagine walking into the Pantheon in Rome and suggesting that white people have no understanding of their history.

Some years ago, I took a trip to Europe with my wife. We visited some friends in Cologne, and then explored much of the surrounding area, including Aachen, where I took a tour of the Palatine Chapel – Charlemagne’s old church, partially decorated in Byzantine style. There is a throne there with stones sourced from Jerusalem, it is said, and upon which many of the Holy Roman Emperors sat. That evening, we headed back to Cologne and found ourselves stopping for a quick bite to eat. By the bathrooms in this restaurant there was some ancient Roman ruin, a stone which had once marked the center of their coliseum, upon which the cleaning lady had set all of her cleaning supplies. This was strange to American sensibilities. People walked by it without noticing, the cleaning lady couldn’t have cared less that it existed. But over there, many things are thousands of years old.

I’ve often noted that the “cosmopolitans” who claim to love all cultures are really more like cultural tourists. And in a moment of guilt, they look in the mirror and realize how much they don’t understand – but the admission is brief and fleeting. It is an SJW crying in her car, blaming everyone who looks like her – perhaps thinking that she can push off some of the weight of her guilty feelings by diffusing it across “white people” instead of just herself.

And remember, too, that “white people” implies unity where none exists. There is no unified “white people” culture, to which all adhere. Spaniards practice something different than English, who are different than Icelanders, and so on. If the author is looking for a white monoculture, she is bound to be disappointed. That is a fool’s quest to begin with.

“Violence pervades this culture. Americans not only engage in violence, they are entertained by it. Killing takes place in America more often than the Sun rises, currently at an average of 87 times each day. Going to war in Afghanistan is less dangerous than living in Chicago.

At this point, I feel I should point out that Chicago is run by Leftist cosmopolitans. Her people, not mine. If there is a culture encouraging violence of this sort, it comes from the Left.

Romans went to the Coliseum to watch people being killed. In major cities, Americans just look out their windows. Baseball, once America’s national game, a benign, soporific sport, has been replaced by football which is so violent it destroys the brains of those who play it. Violent films, euphemized as action flicks, dominate our motion picture theatres and television sets. Our children play killing video games.”

Baseball hasn’t been replaced. What kind of crack is this guy smoking? It is possible for someone to like baseball and football. Or, in my case, to have little affection for either sport (I prefer racing and hockey, personally – yes, the latter is heresy for a Southerner, but the former is well-respected enough). Also, while football does indeed lead to many injuries, the players are generously paid for the risks they take. How many people would take that money in exchange for a risk of personal injury? Violent movies are usually produced by Leftist Hollywood, and video games aren’t real. The idea that there is a connection between real-life violence and video games has been dunked more times than I can count.

We do not get to achieve enlightenment; we lost that privilege centuries ago. We buried it in graves on land upon which we were strangers. This loss is real, palpable, and painful. There is a profound level of fear inherent in white people and the way we desperately grasp that which is not ours. This hole cannot be filled by our self delusion, and it represents generations of isolation and grief. It is our own generational trauma that we carry with us and pass on to our children. It hurts, and we do not know how to assuage that pain.

There wouldn’t be a national trauma if these people would shut up. Also, if she feels he is living on stolen land, then she should leave. I’d be happy to pay for a ticket to somewhere else – anywhere else, really – provided it was one way.

So we take. We take the traditions, costumes, dances, songs, and agency of marginalized groups after we have decimated their populations and destroyed their homes, and we polish these items so the suffering cannot be seen. We take their words out of context, and we use them to make money and to fake solidarity. We take their circles and stories and we wash them with our whiteness, and we struggle to fit them into our bloody box. We take their lands, their trails, their mountains, their rocks, and we climb and walk on them, snatching frenzied glimpses of what we want to call connection, enlightenment, transcendence, and wondering why they slip through our grasp. So instead, we get high on endorphins and call that “good enough.”

The rocks, the mountains, the trails… these things have exchanged hands since men first set foot… anywhere, really. My grandfather used to speak of Mt. Ararat. This is sort of like the national symbol of Armenia. And it lies just over the border in Turkey. The Greeks lament the loss of Constantinople to this very day. The world is full of places that once belonged to one people, and now belong to another. Put another way, we all live on conquered land. So why is America uniquely singled out for this offense? Even among the indigenous peoples, this was true. Before the white man came, they fought wars, conquered, and took lands from one another. We can say this is wrong, that it’s a part of human nature that pretty much sucks ass. It doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t rewrite the firmware in the human brain that leads to this sort of thing. Above all, why is America singled out for this – and the actions of all others whitewashed away (pardon the pun)?

I imagine most SJWs would lament the Spanish Reconquista. Christians taking land from Muslims, they’d say, and damn those barbaric and evil Christians for doing that to the poor enlightened Muslims. Ah, but the Muslims took the land from the Christians seven centuries prior. So who has rights to it, in the social justice world? In their world, the rights are owned by whomever can best deploy Weaponized Empathy. Bombs, guns, swords, and bows… these have been replaced with weaponized guilt, at least for the time being. I imagine sooner or later, the guns and swords will make their appearances. SJWs are not ending conquest, colonization, and such things. They are encouraging more of it. They feel miserable, and seek out someone to put them out of their misery.

And I guess that wouldn’t bother me… if it wasn’t for the fact that we were living with them as neighbors.

We want to learn something about ourselves that we lost, and so we keep taking the tokens and lives of other communities. But that one doesn’t fit, so, you know…on to the next.

The cycle needs to stop. It is the responsibility of white people to face our history and to fight the culture we have created. Stop hiding behind the stories and tokens of other people, and be accountable for the brutal ways we have consolidated our power and privilege. Stop pretending like you can hike or climb or meditate your way out of this power dynamic. You are not enlightened. Let’s stop with the excuses. You are powerful, and it is time to own that and to use it to fight back against the culture of death and violence that has left us spiritually and morally bankrupt. Call out the bullshit when you see it, in yourself and in others. Stop colonizing the lives and land and stories of others. Stop perpetuating the culture of death, and instead fight for the living.

“You are powerful…” Yeah, no. Power these days is possessed by whomever shouts “I’m offended” the loudest. That may be changing, slowly, but the effort to climb that mountain is extraordinary. If you’re a straight white Christian male (or even a couple of those things) you are the devil. You must walk on eggshells every minute of every day. You never know where the next accusation of racism, sexism, Nazism, or some other such thing will come from. You don’t know if the accusation will cost you your job, your friends, your family. You can’t jump, you can’t dance, you’re square, you’re probably a loser (look at every TV commercial with a white man in it), and, like this SJW says, you are violent, evil, and have no culture. Everything bad in the world is your fault. Every political conversation is about how you suck. And if you do get past all this and achieve something anyway, you’re told that you had life on the easiest setting, and so should get no credit for any of it. Indeed, you should feel bad and give it all up for a ‘person of color.’

In the face of all this, I can kind of understand why some folks crack and wind up crying in the car, conflicted and self-loathing. Why they pen turds like this one. They hear this shit every day, and through sheer repetition, come to believe in it. They don’t have the anchor of family and history to keep them from being blown about, ideologically. The author herself admits this. Her mistake is believing that we are all like her, or that even most of us are. She conflates her personal shortcomings with societal shortcomings, her own superficial understanding of history with our understanding of the same. She believes that because she, personally, has no culture that none of us do.

To describe my own culture would take too much of my time. But if some SJW stumbles upon this post and wants to know where to begin, I recommend starting here:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…

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