The recent kerfuffle over Clay Travis and his trademark phrase “I like the First Amendment and… boobs” has flooded social media these last few days. And it brings up a fascinating amount of cognitive dissonance. Keith Reed, who immediately white-knighted on behalf of poor, offended Brooke Baldwin, posted frequently on the subject of boobs, ass, and attractive women on his public social media pages. Brooke herself frequently wears things that accentuate her breasts and has ‘suffered’ references to boobs many times before. The outrage over the mere mention of boobs is all fake.
The thing of it is, today people often take things out of context deliberately in order to feel the rush of being offended; to get attention and sympathy from others. Being offended supplies a person with increased social status. Being offended makes them powerful for a moment. So any opportunity that presents itself, even if deliberately taken out of context or obviously exaggerated, is quickly embraced. Brooke and Keith both saw golden opportunities to be offended by Clay Travis mentioning boobs.
Note that he didn’t refer to her boobs, or any specific boobs, but merely that he liked them in general. This is hardly a great secret, the notion that men like boobs.
At the same time, Leftists will lob accusations of Nazism and white supremacism at Donald Trump and his supporters. Boobs, apparently, are offensive. But calling people Nazis, effectively the scum of the Earth, is totally okay. If challenged, Leftists often attempt to retreat with “oh, I didn’t mean he was literally a Nazi” or “I’m just joking around.” We know they aren’t, of course.
Fact is, most people know when they’ve been insulted, and when something is a joke, even if word-smithing can make either seem indistinct. The reaction to an insult is visceral. You know it. For a man who has less formal education, perhaps, an insult might even go over his head in a technical manner, yet he still knows he was insulted because of context, tone, and body language.
Now, I’m a First Amendment guy, like Clay Travis, so I don’t care even when I am insulted. Folks have a right to be offensive, to insult, even to hate (so long as they don’t act on it, anyway). But what does get irritating is when someone claims that I am insulting them, or offending them, when it is clear that I had no such intent. Or, vice-versa, when someone insults me, and we both know it was an insult, but he denies it and claims he was not with some seemingly-clever word-smithing.
Leftists gain a lot of power from feeling insulted when no insult was intended, and offering insult and then pretending no insult was offered. It’s a form of framing that we see very often in the media. And it’s absurdly common on social media outlets as well, where hashtags like #KillAllMen trend for a time, and then its authors attempt to escape by claiming it was a joke, and they didn’t really mean it. A woman might say “I hate men” and when challenged says “I don’t hate men.” But when a man says anything negative about any woman whatsoever – Hillary Clinton for example – she will be offended on behalf of women everywhere.
It’s a combination of Mean Girls and Clueless. It’s the sort of juvenile high school girl behavior we expect of a 90s teenager, only this is now often used by adult men too.
A hint for SJWs and media talking heads who find themselves reading this: we know. We see through it, okay? It’s not hard. Everything from tone to body language to snobbish airs of superiority you put on give it all away. We know when you’re being sincere, and when you’re being false, and you’re not fooling anybody. In fact, I’d respect you more if you just came out and said what you honestly believed. If you insulted us and didn’t bother to hide it, if you were truthful and claimed you wanted us all dead, I could at least respect your honesty. Your patronizing tone is, quite honestly, more offensive than your ideals (and those are often bad enough on their own). Your assumed airs, your narcissism and self-worship, your solipsistic attitudes… we know them, we see through them, and the only folks you manage to fool are your own kind.
Such Leftists want us to assume that they are acting in good faith, and then treat us as if we are acting in bad faith. This gives them a sort of social arbitrage in open debate, a sort of home field advantage, if you will, that the Rightist must overcome. And given the reach of the modern media, that advantage has become quite substantial. It’s time to deprive them of it. Assume no good faith. If you believe a Leftist is truly acting in good faith; if you don’t get the sense that he is lying and attempting to reframe everything to his advantage, then all is good. But be on your guard. The Leftist who avoids this tactic is becoming an endangered breed.
For the rest, treat them as you would an unruly, lying teenage valley girl. Even, paradoxically, when they are grown men. Keith Olbermann certainly has more in common with a teenage mean girl than any real grown man, after all.
We live in a time, dear readers, when things are becoming rather Orwellian. Yes, yes, I know. It’s cliche. Everybody says that, even the Leftists I often excoriate. Hillary Clinton herself suggested that Nineteen Eighty-Four was about people being convinced to distrust their leaders. The absurdity of this is obvious, but in the minds of those who read her book, it is already fact. Donald Trump is Big Brother. Or maybe he is Goldstein. It doesn’t matter. None of it matters. Objective reality is an oppressive illusion of the white cisheteropatriarchy anyway.
How many genders are there? However many they desire. All is subjective, all is tied to their will. It’s a convincing illusion for people who believe themselves to be wise, for they can imagine no limit to their knowledge. Such are not atheists, not in the sense that they do not believe in God. Rather, they hate God. They loathe the idea that somewhere, somehow, there is a force greater than they, someone more powerful.
For them, any absurdity can be true if enough minds can be made to believe it. And any truth can be made false by their fiat. It’s not about ending racism, sexism, or some other -ism or -phobia. It is about their power to shape your beliefs with whatever lever will move you. Long ago Xerxes learned, as many tyrants throughout history have discovered, that there is a limit to the power of arms alone; that they inspire resistance and resolve in an enemy. So much the better if the resolve can be broken before it can take shape. Break the mind before the body, and you will not have to fight your way through the 300 or worry about those famous words: molon labe.
Nice guy disease infects our society like a bubonic plague of the mind. It is there when a man refuses to discipline his child for fear of being seen as mean. It is with us when the TV sputters on and some talking head lectures us about the evils of white privilege. And with weaponized empathy, it is in every politically-charged photograph shared on social media. It is the Syrian child washed up on the shore, it is General Nguyen Ngoc Loan shooting a Viet Cong captured near a mass grave of civilian victims, a context lost on those for whom the picture was a mere weapon.
My friends, I’m not much of a theologian. I have my faith in God, but I struggle with it as any man might. One truth, however, I believe in totally and absolutely. Our world is a fallen world. While it is full of good things, good people, and pleasant times, such are always bounded by suffering, evil tyrants, and pain. There will be no utopia of man. Protesters out in the streets holding their signs “love wins” are delusional fools, or worse. Only God could ever make such a thing come to pass, and God is the one thing they hate the most.
Let me say it again: there will be no utopia of man. Not now. Not ever. Any man out there making such utopian claims ought to be dismissed as a liar, or committed to the asylum for treatment. It is an insane belief. Everything must begin with the assumption that men are flawed, sinful beings who will make terrible mistakes. We are no angels, and no angels may be found among us.
It is not as bad as folks might think, reading all that. There is good in man too, I’ve seen it. A spark of the divine. I don’t care what social “scientists” say about the falseness of free will. They will tell us all day that free will doesn’t exist; that choice is an illusion, that all is predetermined in probabilistic or even fatalistic fashion. We are passengers in our bodies, mere observers. No. I don’t believe this. Even if their data was true, even if every experiment they’ve conducted was accurate, they are making an assumption as to the nature of man. They assume that the flesh is all there is, and all that ever will be. That no part of us is greater; that there is no divine.
If such were true, morality would be irrelevant. Nothing would be anybody’s fault. If a man walked out and stabbed another in the face, that was fate. That was determined some billions of years ago in the Big Bang. There would be no agency, no purpose to existence. No, that too is a lie, or at least another assumption on the part of the scientists that they have all the answers; that no part of man is beyond their understanding. Fools, all of them.
That’s what it comes down to, dear readers. The tyrants are concerned only with power, the useful idiots are in their thrall because they want so badly to believe that they are smart, that they have the answers, a fiction the tyrants find useful to their cause. And then there are those of us who just don’t know. Maybe we’ve faith in something, maybe not. But in the tradition of Socrates, we know we are not wise. And what a difference that makes on a man’s outlook on life.
Do you know why I believe the free market is superior to a command economy? Because in a command economy, those doing the commanding think they have all the answers, and they damn well don’t. In a capitalist economy, it’s every man trying to figure out his own little corner of things, trying and often failing. Some eventually figure out what people want, what they need, and deliver it. It’s trial and error as much as anything, but that’s a branch of human knowledge that is given too little attention those days. Even within most companies, these days, it’s all about bureaucracy and five year plans; it’s an HR meeting about why making jokes is racist. Even what we consider to be nominal capitalism is, in fact, merely a different form of command economy; another set of technocrats playing at godhood.
Even the insults on social media reflect this. It’s all about being perceived as more intelligent and posturing as more moral. It’s all appearances and no substance, as if all of these people are frightened to death that people will pull the curtain back and everyone will know they are tyrants and morons. Even competitive victimization is now a thing, where people compete for social status by claiming they’ve suffered more than another. People in First World countries who do this need to be committed. While some RadFem is complaining that a man whistled at her on the subway, people die in job lots all over the world. Slavery proliferates. War rages on. Genocide is a fact of life for millions.
It is proof that such people can never be made happy. Even at the pinnacle of technological society, in the richest, most peaceful places in all of human history, they complain about perceived imperfections because even still, their utopia is not here. And idiots everywhere cater to their delusional fantasies in an effort to be seen as nice. In so doing, they are throwing away everything our forebears labored, fought, and died to create for us. Look at Venezuela for a glimpse at the future that might await us, should they hold on to the levers of culture, media, and political power.
I’m tired of nice, my friends. I’ve no use for it. Nice is why we are here; how we got to such lunacy. I don’t have all the answers, folks. I never did, and I never will. But one thing I know is true: since we live in a fallen world, the idea that we can nice-guy our way out of every problem is a category error. It cannot be. Anyone who demands this of us is either a tyrant, or one of their stooges, and deserves our contempt.
At least O’Brien tortured Winston terribly to break his mind, to force him to acknowledge untruths; to create in him a love of Big Brother. The nice guys today do so whenever someone accuses them of not being nice enough. They are like Peter, denying Christ, but never repenting of the denial, never realizing their own failure and moral cowardice.
To close, I offer this semi-famous quote from The Princess Bride:
“Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”
As I get everything squared away from the hurricane, and catch up on missed work, you’ll have to excuse the short posts.
Catching up on my usual haunts in the blogosphere, I came across this gem from Francis. Pay particular attention to item number four. After 9/11, there was an outpouring of patriotic sentiment, even from many of those normally accounted as Leftists. The country united, for a time, against the attack, and put partisan behavior aside for a while. Of course, it was too good to last.
Francis (and the authors he cites) asks an important question: could that happen today? If there was some terrifying attack, could Americans unite again, fly the flag, and express pride in our country? The answer is no. Patriotism, today, is now racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and a thousand other ills. During the tenure of Barack Obama, the preeminence of identity politics over any other consideration was established. If you proudly fly the flag, say that you love your country, and, God forbid that you want to “make America great again,” you are a racist bigot. Now, “make America Mexico again” is perfectly acceptable, though.
I thought about that for a while, and it occurred to me that this is effectively the death of the America I knew as a kid. It’s just gone and I’ve no idea where it went, or if it can ever come back.
Therefore, to be precise, the class of people of whom I am speaking are “cosmopolitan” neither in the idealized nor in the demonized sense of the word. They neither bridge deep social differences in search of the best in human experience, nor debase themselves with exotic foreign pleasures. Rather, they have no concept of foreignness at all, because they have no native traditions against which to compare. Indeed, the very idea of a life shaped by inherited custom is alien to our young couple. When Jennifer and Jason try to choose a restaurant for dinner, one of them invariably complains, “I don’t want Italian, because I had Italian last night.” It does not occur to them that in Italy, most people have Italian every night. For Jennifer and Jason, cuisines, musical styles, meditative practices, and other long-developed customs are not threads in a comprehensive or enduring way of life, but accessories like cheap sunglasses, to be casually picked up and discarded from day to day. Unmoored, undefined, and unaware of any other way of being, Jennifer and Jason are no one. They are the living equivalents of the particle board that makes up the IKEA dressers and IKEA nightstands next to their IKEA beds. In short, they are IKEA humans.
These IKEA humans the author describes have no pride in their country, because they don’t really have a country. If they are American citizens, that it is only an accident of birth. Culturally they are unmoored to anything. They float from fad to fad without any grounding in anything, and they regard such grounding in other people as passe. How provincial, they think, that a man would fly an American flag. Who does that? Better to save up for the latest Gucci bag and iPhone X, while protesting the evils of capitalism.
They don’t genuinely believe we are all racist bigots. Rather, being seen as anti-America is merely the latest trend, and they wish to signal their social superiority over the provincials by eschewing such things. When they say “you’re a bigot” what they are really saying is “you’re not part of the cool club, like us.” It’s all just in-group jargon to them, to signal their membership in the IKEA class. Flying the American flag is an obvious sign that you are not trendy and hip, as they are. And, thus, you must be excluded from their circles. You are not politically or socially useful to them, so they’ve no use for you. In fact, it would be most convenient if you didn’t even exist, or if you could at least have the courtesy of remaining invisible to them and not making a nuisance of yourself.
The very notion of patriotism is foreign to IKEA humans.
Political debate with them is useless, because as Francis tells us, they don’t desire the same ends as we do. They don’t live in the same world that we do. Largely, we don’t even speak the same language anymore. Their social justice jargon has altered the meaning of words so dramatically that they can say, with a perfectly straight face, that all white people are racist, and no “person of color” could be racist against a white person. When challenged on this, they will produce their definition of racism, rewritten to support their position.
And when debate is pointless, when talking no longer gets the point across, war can’t be far off.
All is well at my place today. The hurricane came through my area as a Category 2, which isn’t too bad. Certainly, it is much better than a Category 4 or 5. Damage was minor. One of our trees came down, and the fence was damaged. Some minor cosmetic damage to the house, and certainly some of the usual debris cleanup. Overall, it was no big deal, nothing a day of hard work couldn’t fix. Already have the tree handled, the fence repaired (except for one post which needs to be recemented), and the debris and boards removed. The cosmetic details I can deal with later.
My brother-in-law is headed back down to the keys to inspect his house. The keys took it much harder than Tampa, so we can probably expect some damage there. My father’s home in Daytona suffered a broken window when a tree limb came through the boards. But it was only one window, and he managed to get up an inside board before the house could be significantly damaged. A friend in Miami lost his roof. It was an older home, and it was pretty much expected that it would happen. Still, that’s a lot of work and a lot of money. Overall, Irma was a lot less damaging than it could have been. It basically brought Category 1 winds to the entire state, except the far-west panhandle. We took a direct hit here (I am actually somewhat east of Tampa, and we got the west eyewall), but it had already weakened some from landfall in Naples, and my home is newer, so resisted the winds better than most.
Irma was touted as another Katrina, or another Andrew, but with the exception of the keys, it wasn’t. It was rather amusing seeing the media trying to hype the storm as the worst thing ever while it was over central Florida. With them, it’s almost like they wish for people to die in job lots, so they can look like heroic journalists braving the terrifying storm or something. One Twitter follower suggested that it’s like they orgasm whenever a natural disaster strikes. Time for Chris Cuomo to pretend he’s the chosen of the gods, or something. You can almost sense their disappointment as they tried to exaggerate the storm on TV.
Either way, the doom-and-gloom quasi-apocalypse they were spouting failed to match the reality.
Still, the keys took it hard, and Naples bore the brunt of it on the west coast. So folks in those areas are going to have a hard time of it, and we shouldn’t lose sight of that. And the entire state got hit with Category 1 level winds, which while not the destructive terror of a Category 4 or a 5, is still no picnic. So a lot of Florida is in cleanup and repair mode for a while. And there is a lot of cumulative lighter damage all over the state.
Irma was a nasty hurricane, to be sure, but not the world-ending superstorm of death the warmistas and journalists would have wanted.
Oh what a week. You know, I had a long post planned on the effects of Hurricane Harvey in Texas. The general optimism was palpable, at least compared to Katrina, which delivered a similar impact to New Orleans. Come to find out, the storm behind it, Hurricane Irma, is probably headed my general direction, and Irma doesn’t look like a walk in the park either. So if you don’t hear from me for a while, it’s probably because I’m dealing with that.
Folks these days have just lost touch with reality. It’s almost as if, for each of these crazy SJWs, there’s a movie playing in their heads. A movie complete with a soundtrack, a narrative, moments of bravery and heroism, and moments of terrifying despair. Such fantastical internal monologues don’t really line up with reality which, in the advent of general prosperity and high technology (in the First World, anyway), has lost some of the dramatic presentation of ages past. Fact is, most of these people wouldn’t be the main characters in stories about their own lives. They are boring, predictable, trite, and any drama that attaches itself to them is probably self-inflicted. But in their own minds, they are heroes of legend, punching Nazis, freeing slaves, defying incredible odds, and fighting The Man.
When a real disaster strikes, such folks are the first to scream for someone to save them, to cry out for care and succor; to demand immediate government aid, and refuse to do anything until it is provided for them. Even the tiniest of inconveniences is too much for them. If Donald Trump showed up, and parted the storm with his toupee, they would still grumble that he once said something mean to somebody on TV, failed to cure global poverty, and was still therefore the literal reincarnation of Adolf Hitler.
Fortunately, such people are rather more rare in Texas than in many other parts of the country. And so you saw everything from rednecks floating down the flooded streets in giant rubber duckies to Texans pulling out National Guard trucks with lifted 4x4s. The damage to Texas was tremendous. The complaining was rather minimal, by comparison. If Hurricane Irma does indeed visit my own state, I can only hope we weather it with half as much dignity and ability. They went out and did what needed to be done, and didn’t wait for someone else to save the day. Nor did I see a whole lot of braggadocio. Remember Sean Penn going to save the victims of Katrina in boat he forgot to plug.
The thing that you must understand about SJWs and other assorted far-Leftists, is that they are all talk. They cannot harm you by themselves. They will threaten your job, your business, your person, but they cannot hurt any of these without your cooperation. The moment they meet real resistance, they fold. Everything they say is a bluff. They must always solicit someone else to do their dirty work. They must bluff you into apologizing, into caving in to their demands.
While a polite man might question his behavior, might wonder if he did, indeed, do something wrong and worthy of condemnation, that path leads to defeat. SJWs exploit the politeness of good men. They leverage the natural desire of folks to be generally thought of as good and decent people. They use our better natures against us, because they could not defeat anything without our cooperation. This can be seen in their reaction to genuine disaster. They scream for help. They fold immediately. They’ve no strength of character, ability, or talent, save that of deception (and its close relative: self-deception).
All a good man has to do is fight. But so often, good men do not fight them. When disaster strikes, it is comparatively easy for him to jump in a boat and go rescue and help out. This is because, for him, the greatest challenge is knowing his cause is just. Once assured of that, the rest is mere execution. This is why SJWs attack people the way they do. They plant doubt, they try to create cognitive dissonance, to make him see his cause as somehow unjust, or to create enough conflict that he is pushed to the sidelines.
Most often, these doubts are created via kafkatrapping (see a brief primer here), creating morality paradoxes that are impossible to resolve. Media and education sectors are generally complicit in the creation of such moral kafkatraps. One popular kafkatrap is the assumption that it is impossible to be racist against white people, and it is impossible for white people to not be racist. Therefore all white people are racist, and any action is permissible against them, because as oppressive racists, they probably deserve it. If a white person complains, then too bad, because it is impossible to be racist against white people. If someone elevates the argument above this field, and asks why white people are automatically racist, a list of crimes committed by white people will be listed off, and links provided to sympathetic media and education outlets who agree with the operator of the kafkatrap. The operator, of course, will not accept sources that are not friendly to his point of view.
The way out is to understand that such operators are full of shit, and their sole purpose is to prevent you from coming to your own conclusions about morality and what actions are right and just. This manifests as a sort of general malaise, a vague sense of taboo and guilt whenever any sociopolitical issue touches upon a Leftist idol. Such guilt is effectively a form of mental paralysis, because the kafkatrap has been internalized, and is not resolvable, because it has designed to be so.
So where a man might be able to jump into his boat, risk his life, and save people without hesitation, he might be paralyzed into near-complete silence by even the most elementary of Leftist kafkatraps.
There are many ways out of kafkatraps. But for me, the easiest is this: the operator is a liar. The operator has his own agenda, and is attempting to use you to achieve it. Whatever he claims to care about, be it the plight of poor black people, or the children, or religious liberty, or economic equality, the claim is a lie. Either it is his own lie, or he is in service to someone else’s lie. Whatever the case, the entire kafkatrap can be dismissed on that basis.
How do you know it is a lie? Search the media, or the curriculum of some SJW educator, on a subject you are very familiar with. Something you’ve spent your life in, and know very well. For me, this is Byzantine history (and by extension Islamic history). The number of lies they spew on this topic is staggering. No, not just mistakes (though there are plenty of those as well), but outright lies. I also see this locally in my other life as a club DJ. I’ve worked in one particular local club off and on for many years. Recently the SJW crowd has bandied about accusations of Nazism infesting the club in the media. I know this to be false. I know the people who are involved. I can’t go into gory detail on it for reasons of business. But suffice it to say, this is a lie.
But don’t take my word for it. Look up something you know. Look up your local hangouts, your people, a subject you are expert in. Find an instance of SJWs or Leftists inserting themselves into those things. See how often the accusations are bald-faced lies. Now, multiply this times everything such people say. They are full of shit. So whatever kafkatraps they are trying to operate, whatever guilt or taboos they are attempting to force, you ought to dismiss them.
Now, the operator will claim to be a badass, fighting The Man, taking it to those evil straight white males, fighting the Patriarchy, and bashing the fash. But when the hurricane comes, he will be the first to clamor and scream for someone else to come save him. He possesses no courage, he is not a warrior, a fighter, or a member of the resistance. He probably couldn’t even change his own tire. This is also observable. It is own fantasy, perhaps, a story playing out in his head about how he’s the hero. When reality rudely intrudes, he will expect you and I to fix reality for him, and will express his displeasure if we fail to do so. In this, he assumes we care about him. Which, up until now, most people have cared. Like the angry customer, we have, as a society, tried to make this man happy with concession after concession. But it has only emboldened him, only fed his personal fantasy of relevance and inspired further kafkatraps to paralyze us and loot us of wealth. The customer is not always right. Sometimes the customer is a liar and an asshole.
In this case, the entire life of an SJW is one big lie.
There is no reason to serve him or his interests. There isn’t even a reason to listen to his lies any longer. Get in your boat, and do what has to be done, and to Hell with the SJWs, or the talking heads complaining in the media. You’ve got work to do. If someone wants to call you a racist, shrug it off and eject him from your life. The more liars you rid yourself of, the better your life will be.
Yesterday, I wound up getting dragged into another political “debate” on Fecalbook, and as is customary for such arguments, the bulk of my opponent’s replies were dedicated to implying that a mutual friend of ours is a Nazi. Of course, since I rose to his defense, that would then imply I was also a Nazi. All of this was because both of us supposed Nazis were ragging on media sensationalism. According to our intrepid Leftist, since Goebbels didn’t like the media, and we also didn’t like the media, we must be secret admirers of his.
At this point, I made it clear that I was sick to death of this incessant exaggeration and hysteria. It is like our country has gone collectively insane, seeing Nazis everywhere, and in everything. I’ve ranted about this issue before, but as I am wont do, at times, I decided upon some colorful invective. Observe:
Look, I don’t know your relationship to [our mutual friend], but this shit is fucking disturbing, man. Calling someone a Nazi is one step removed from calling a person a murderer. You better be damned sure you’re right before you open your talk hole.
“Somebody said the media sucks. Guess who else didn’t like the media? HITLER!” This is a stupid reason.
“Somebody said the media is more dangerous than a small group of nutjobs with tiki torches. He must like the tiki torch guys!” Also a stupid reason.
My man, if you want to fix the problems with this country, the divisive identity politics shit, the hate, the racism, you gotta start here, with people you know. I’m so tired of it, man. Nazi, racist, bigot…
Do you *really* think you’re helping the situation?
This is getting out of hand. No, it’s been out of hand. Now it’s gone straight to the loony bin. These people are acting insane. Keith Olbermann is a great example. Take a look at this tweet (which he subsequently deleted. Edit: it’s been pointed out to me that the top one *could* have been faked, if any of my readers have an archive.is link for it, I’d appreciate it. The rest are current on his Twitter feed), and a series of similar of recent tweets that are still extant on his Twitter account. He’s losing his mind.
These are the ravings of a lunatic. A madman. Keith Olbermann has lost all touch with reality. And I suppose this wouldn’t bother me, except that his readers are likewise going insane. The Nazi hysteria has reached ludicrous levels. It’s like the Salem witch trial writ large, where everyone is presumed to be a secret Nazi on the basis of nothing. When will the burnings commence?
Our intrepid Leftist finally backed off after that reply. Perhaps because he realized I was in no mood to indulge his insanity. I doubt it will effect any permanent change in his hysteria, though one can hope.
We live in very bizarre times, where Marxists march in the streets calling themselves anti-Fascist, while acting rather like Fascists themselves. Where Nazi LARPers shop at Wal Mart and buy out all the Tiki torches. Where the media assumed that there are Nazis hiding under their beds at night, and where any difference of political opinion, no matter how small, invokes Godwin’s Law.
I would be surprised if Richard Spencer’s merry band of LARPers and the entire Ku Klux Klan and their hangers-on constituted one tenth of a percent of the American population. And yet here we are, where everybody suspects their neighbor of being a secret collaborator, a would-be Quisling, because they think CNN sucks, or deny that Hillary Clinton is some kind of demigod.
In better times, we’d have them all committed. And we could all have a good laugh watching Keith Olbermann get Baker Acted live on the evening news.
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:
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.
I don’t have a lot to say today. It’s a pleasant Sunday morning, and I’ve little desire to sully it with excessive politicking. It’s a cigar and whiskey kind of day, where I consider myself fortunate for the blessings in life. There are a few Cubans sitting in my humidor, and a bottle of bourbon with my name on it. I’ve long maintained that hard times are coming. Tomorrow maybe, or the day after. No man can know exactly when the hammer will fall. But until then, enjoy the luxuries while you have them.
A Twitter follower of mine reminded me of this old song:
Just some easy listening on a Sunday morning. I hope your Sunday is as pleasant as mine.
The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
Every day some facet of American culture will bear the brunt of media attention. There will be protests, and riots, and celebrities opining on the oppresiveness of whatever thing has aroused their wrath. We will discover, perhaps for the first time, or perhaps for the ten-thousandth, that someone or something is offensive. Let us take a moment and recall a few recent issues worthy of national attention. We had the terror of people who took up too much space on the subway, and after that we had to worry about oppressive gender politics in North Carolina’s bathrooms. Today, Confederate monuments are the cause célèbre.
My stance on Confederate monuments is a matter of record, and I see no reason beat a dead horse by repeating myself. It is farcical to even discuss this manufactured issue. Yesterday, nobody cared about Confederate monuments, save for a few fringe jobs who clamored on about slave ownership somehow contaminating history, as if America was somehow uniquely evil for having continued the practice for a time.
Indeed, most folks probably weren’t even aware of the existence of Confederate monuments, at least not specifically. If they were noticed, it was as passing distraction. Oh look, a statue of somebody. Presumably he’s notable for some reason. Whatever. I recently discovered that there was a statue of Lenin in Seattle when the pictured popped up in my Twitter feed. How many people even knew that? Ironically, the statue is currently for sale for the price of $250,000. Sounds like a tidy profit for some enterprising capitalist.
Nobody cares about these things. At least, not enough to take special notice of them. Lenin will not possess his statue and steal my pocket change for the proletariat. Neither will Robert E. Lee clamber down from his bronze horse and march to D.C. with an army at his back, though we can certainly wish he would. This Southerner would even sign up for raising Sherman back from the dead and convincing him to march North this time. Eventually, the paladins of Social Justice will get around to pulling down Grant’s statue, and Sherman’s will follow. After all, Grant was a phallocentric cishet misogynist drunk, or whatever buzzwords are in fashion among the SJWs, right?
It’s all manufactured outrage. The process is simple and transparent. Any man can see it for himself if he chooses to look.
First, an issue is identified by somebody with some level of popularity, wealth, or political power. The issue can be anything, you understand. Perhaps the issue will be the cultural appropriation of taco Tuesday by white Americans. Or maybe it will be how men belching is a dog whistle for misogyny. The man, you see, is demonstrating his contempt for any females within earshot when he burps. Anything can be rationalized this way. Anything can be argued to be hateful or discriminatory.
Once it is identified and pushed in some small way by someone with reach, a few genuinely angry people will protest it. Understand that for anything in the world, someone can be found to hate it. You could make your issue the color blue and be assured that someone, somewhere, would be offended enough to protest its existence.
Now, once a few legitimate protests spring up about the thing, the media will give it 24/7 news coverage. Perhaps there are only a few dozen people who hate the thing enough to come out on their own to protest it, but that doesn’t matter. Clever editing, camera angles, and constant coverage can multiply the perceived numbers and create the illusion of a much bigger movement. Note, too, that this can be used on political enemies as well as allies. When a few dozen Klansmen get together somewhere, the editors can make it appear like the Nuremberg rally.
Once news coverage is established, various wealthy and powerful Leftists can bus in supporters, pay some protesters to show up, and deliver canned protest signs and messages. Distributors of pussy hats may be found. T-shirts made in Chinese sweatshops for a few pennies will arrive, all because of happenstance, you understand. College professors will send their students to the protests, and various Left-wing organizations under the loose control of the DNC will bring in their own people who, like most folks, did not originally care about the issue, but have been convinced by the virtue signals to do so.
Now the issue is trendy. It is a hashtag, an exciting event with news cameras everywhere, a chance to be seen on TV to claim your 15 seconds of fame. Masses of people show up, more because it’s a cool, trendy thing to do than any real belief about the issue. It’s a good time at the protest, it feels nice for them to be part of a big crowd, fighting the injustice of whatever. And Madonna, or some other screeching hag trying to restore her lost relevance, will come to soak in the adoration of the crowds.
Once the protests are large enough to obscure them, bad actors soon show up to make it exciting, or to just loot some free shit and burn down a few buildings. The ritual smashing of windows and burning of trashcans commences. People in black handkerchiefs wave Soviet flags and proudly sport their all-black fashion sensibilities.
Celebrities lament the terrible tragedy of the issue, and condemn the thing as racist, sexist, homophobic, or some other buzzword of bigotry. Every media outlet runs stories on it. Perhaps Fox pushes a counter-narrative, but perhaps not, too. Most conservative politicians won’t touch the issue, and certainly won’t defend it, out of fear of being tarred alongside it. When in power, Leftist politicians will push for legal remedies for the manufactured issue, which will either involve a suspension of some liberties, or an increase in taxation. Preferably both. When not in power, the burning, screaming, and looting will continue until the Republicans cave in, or until a newer, shinier issue is presented.
As the Confederate monuments come down all across the country, remember this: in a year, few of the participants will even remember that it happened. They will be too busy tearing down the statue of, say, General Grant, or George Washington, or some other “dead white male.” Or perhaps they will lament the sexism inherent in men’s bathrooms having separate urinals, so that men can pee standing up when women cannot.
My crystal ball is fuzzy on the specifics of our future ‘issues’, but it is quite clear on the methods and tactics used to manufacture them. This tactic will be repeated ad nauseum until there are no more freedoms left, until the taxation reaches truly Marxist proportions. And when the last issue is gone, and the media has fallen silent on them, the purges will begin. After issues, it will be people. Reactionaries, perhaps, or kulaks. Like the fake issues, the specific groups of people do not matter. All that matters is that people have their perpetual two-minutes hate, for all time.
Every good capitalist is on the look out for imbalances in the market, opportunities to earn a profit off of a thing that either the market lacks completely, or current businesses do very inefficiently and ineffectively. You can consider it a form of arbitrage.
Today’s politicians, media talking heads, celebrities and the like are moral capitalists, even though they are economic collectivists. That is to say their morality is a form of arbitrage, always for sale to the highest bidder, where each statement they issue is calculated to profit them personally.
Take Marco Rubio, who today issued a series of tweets condemning Donald Trump for suggesting that the Charlottesville attack, and other similar incidents between Antifa and White Supremacists, was equally the fault of both parties. Donald Trump’s position is that both are hate groups, and both are quick to resort to violence to further their political goals, and that putting them together like that was surely going to stir up violence.
Personally, I think Trump is somewhat understating the case. White supremacists are exceedingly rare, even if they’ve received a shot in the arm from SJWs harping on white people all the time (hint: that tends to manufacture more supremacists, not less). What happened in Virginia may very well represent peak white supremacism, the very most such groups are capable of. Antifa and militant Marxists, meanwhile, enjoy far greater support from media, financiers (oh, the irony), and society-at-large. Antifa dwarfs Klansman and Neo-Nazis. Militant Marxists are, by far, the greater threat currently.
But that being said, Trump did put his finger on the central point: both groups espouse violent ideologies that are incompatible with freedom.
Marco, meanwhile, in his own words, pins 100% of the blame onto the supremacists.
This argument is remarkably similar to Antifa and other Marxist groups saying that mean words justifies violence, that speech they don’t like justifies burning down cities and attacking people. It is okay for them to violently shut down anybody right-of-center on college campuses around the country, but it is not okay for anyone right-of-center to speak.
Marco is on a continuum with the SJWs on this matter. He concedes the central point, that violence is an acceptable response to speech deemed offensive. Yes, in the case of Neo-Nazis and Klansmen, the speech actually is offensive. But it is still speech. Until it isn’t, anyway.
But if you’re a regular reader of The Declination, you already know my position on freedom of speech, and how speech alone does not justify violence.
To be fair, a lot of people are saying this, though, so let’s analyze this a little differently. Why does Marco denounce the white supremacists so readily, yet lets militant Marxists off the hook? As a man of Cuban ancestry, he ought to be very familiar with the depredations and dangers of Marxists. Why is he so willing to assign them 0% of the blame?
There is moral arbitrage here. When some politician or celebrity denounces Neo-Nazis, Klansmen, and other assorted white supremacists, he is cheered. He is called stunning and brave. He is bashing the fash, taking a brave stand against the most evil ideology of man. In other words, he gets a huge moral bonus in the eyes of the media. It is easy to denounce white supremacists, who probably represent less than a tenth of a percent of the population. And it is profitable to do so, as well.
If it’s cheap and profitable, expect everyone to jump on the bandwagon. The explosion of Nazi denunciations is like the proliferation of those little fidget spinners that cost 10 cents to make and sell for $7.99 in every convenience store from here to Seattle. Everybody wants a slice of that action.
Meanwhile, taking a similar stand against Marxism is expensive. If a politician or celebrity stands up and denounces Marxism as a hateful, murderous ideology that is at least as evil as Nazism, he is often shot down. Real Marxism, of course, has never been tried. Real Marxism is a good theory, a good idea that maybe just hasn’t been implemented quite right. It’s morally true and righteous, and even if it has some problems, surely bashing the fash has to take precedence, right?
Except Marxism has a much higher share of the population. Marxism is celebrated openly on college campuses around the country. Marxists trash cities, riot, commit acts of violence with frightening regularity, and Marco assigns them 0% of the blame, because somewhere, there is an inbred Neo-Nazi off his meds tweeting from his mother’s basement.
Marco obtains a moral profit from denouncing white supremacism. He incurs a moral cost from denouncing Marxism. Playing the moral arbitrage for profit thus demands he pin the blame for political violence on only one participant. Then he is “stunning and brave” in the eyes of the body politic.
Marxists have been doing this as long as I’ve been alive. It is correctly seen as stupid and disgusting to wear an Adolf Hitler t-shirt. Yet somehow Che Guevara t-shirts are absurdly common. The Nazi swastika is correctly seen as a hate symbol, yet the Soviet hammer & sickle is given a pass. It is a historical tragedy that Communism was not discredited with the same vigor as Nazism was.
It is socially cheap to oppose Nazism. It is socially expensive to oppose Communism.
Donald Trump, whatever his other faults, possesses enough moral courage to speak the truth: both groups are hateful. And he paid the price for speaking that truth. Marco Rubio, meanwhile, lacks the stones, even though as descendant of Cubans, he ought to know better than most.
I’m very disappointed in him. I expect this from Democrats who have lacked moral courage as long as I’ve been alive, I even expect it from Republicans who have no history with Marxism. But I do not expect it from a Cuban Republican. Of all people, Marco, YOU should know better. Stop playing the moral arbitrage and speak honestly.
After all, even Donald Trump is showing more honesty and integrity than you are, right now.
I'm a DJ, developer, amateur historian, would-be pundit, and general pain in the ass. I still cannot decide on the wisdom of the Oxford Comma. These are my observations on a civilization in decline, a political system on the verge of collapse, and a people asleep at the wheel as the car turns toward the jersey barrier.