For those who aren’t yet aware, prominent second amendment defender Bob Owens took his own life. It’s not apparent why he chose to this. A cryptic and short message was left on his Facebook wall: “In the end, it turns out that I’m not strong. I’m a coward, and a selfish son of a bitch. I’m sorry.”
I don’t know him personally, so I’ve no idea what prompted this action. All I can say is, the Progressive trolls are out in full force celebrating his death. Indeed, one posted on his Facebook page (in full view of his family) that it would be great if all of them killed themselves. Tolerance truly is a one-way street in the minds of the Progressive. My good friend Nicki has a great deal to say on that, among other things.
There’s not much I can say in comfort to the folks who knew him, some of whom may be readers of The Declination.
Some years back, I lost a good friend to suicide. His death was unexpected. He left no notes, no reasons why. To this day, it bothers me. I wonder if there was something I could have done, something I failed to notice. I’m never able to latch on to something, and that’s maddening in itself. I can’t imagine how Bob’s wife and daughters feel right now.
I don’t understand suicide. Oh, intellectually it’s a simple enough concept. But it’s not a thing I can really wrap my head around, partly because I’m stubborn as all hell. I can’t imagine the level of resignation and depression that would trigger such a thing, because for me, I’m much more likely to get angry than depressed.
But I know it’s not that way for everyone, as it clearly was not for Bob Owens. So all I can really say is, if you feel as he did, if you are resigned and depressed, don’t bottle it all up. Don’t hide it from everyone. If I would have known something was wrong with my own friend, I would have done everything in my power to help him. But your friends and family cannot do this if they don’t know you have a problem. Speak up. Tell those who care about you. Perhaps it may embarrass you, perhaps you may be afraid of admitting your problem. But no help will be forthcoming if nobody knows.
In many ways, the world has turned against folks like us. If you’re white, male, Christian, straight — or any combination thereof — you are bombarded constantly with how evil, terrible, and guilty you are because of things you did not do. Atrocities you did not commit, nor would ever allow if you could prevent them. And if you crack under the pressure, the people trashing you will celebrate your demise. Indeed, they will clamor with joy and tell your family that they should follow you into death, because you have committed the great crime of wrongthink.
I don’t know if any of that has any connection with why Bob chose to take his own life. I can say it most assuredly didn’t help. In the end, the decision was still his, and his alone. And it is sad that he made that most irrevocable of choices. As they say, it’s a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
It’s been a busy week for me… and in between the goings on, Tom Kratman’s column on EveryJoe came to an end. There’s not much to say on that, except that this does not mean an end to his writing career, which is good, because I’ve been following his Carrera series for quite some time, now. And The Rods and the Axe left us hanging, for sure. As an aside, if you haven’t read his Carrera series, definitely put it on your list. The first book is free on Kindle. Start here and get back to me.
But as to his column coming to an end, there’s very little to say. I will repeat what I posted there:
Your column will be missed, sir. It’s helped me understand a lot more about the military, among other things (I’ve also learned a great deal that may be of use if Antifa ever comes to my town…). I will, of course, eagerly await the next installment in the Carrera series, and I’ll continue to follow you on the bar and on Fecalbook.
It’s hard to know what to say when a favored column goes off the air. When Thomas Sowell recently put down his pen, I was both saddened that he was retiring, and respectful of the vast body of work he had left behind for us. It is with a similar thought that I take in the end of your column.
I’m proud to have played a small role in it, and eagerly await your next writings, even if they might be somewhat less frequent.
I posted this on Fecalbook, in reply to a long string of liberal Democrats gushing about the joys of Universal Healthcare. I presume I will be flamed for the response below:
Universal Healthcare sure does have a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Everybody gets care, we get to remove a greedy middleman, the insurance companies, and democratize the medical system. No sick person left behind, and all that. It’s hard to argue against it from any kind of moral standpoint, because of the simplicity of the concept. It’s very seductive that way.
Thomas Sowell explained the problem with it in a similarly simplistic way.
“It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.”
Some folks are old enough to remember when healthcare was much more reasonably priced, when most common injuries and illnesses were relatively inexpensive to treat. Oh sure, things like cancer were still very expensive to deal with, but if you broke a leg or got bronchitis, it was cheap enough that even the poor could generally find a way to pay for it, perhaps with some assistance from charities and pro bono work.
These days, even a broken leg will typically cost around $2,500 at a minimum. Much more, if you use the emergency room. Strange, that it costs so much, or that healthcare cost increases have outpaced inflation for as long as I’ve been alive.
You see this in another industry, these days. Post-secondary education. Yes. College tuition and fees have exploded in cost over the last few decades. In fact, it is one of the few industries where the cost increases have outpaced healthcare.
Note, too, the drive to make college free for everybody. Universal Education. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
The common element to both is government involvement. Administrative costs in healthcare have exploded. Sure, doctors get a great salary, but most of the cost increase has actually been due to administrative burden. They have exploded since the late 70s, constantly outpacing the increase in doctor salaries.
Similarly, government involvement in student loans and college subsidization has exploded. Demand has gone through the roof, driven partly by the elimination of metrics like IQ testing, and their substitution with college degree requirements, and partly by the availability of government funds.
Healthcare, of course, has seen increasing regulation, subsidies, Medicare/Medicaid spending, etc…
To put it simply, government has created the problem as it exists today. And now it proposes to solve it by granting itself complete authority over the industry. It proposes to do likewise with education. Eventually, I have no doubt we will see similar in other essential areas like housing and transportation. Housing will become too expensive for everyone (it already is in many metro areas), and government will need to run that too.
In the end, the moral argument is a way for the government to hide behind its real goal: power. Control.
Maybe it even delivers somewhat on its promises. Maybe a lot of folks will get the care they need. Or maybe it looks something like the Cuban healthcare system, where only the politically connected get what they need. Who knows?
Passive-aggression is among the most irksome of all human behaviors. Most individuals I’ve conversed with about the issue agree that it is both profoundly insulting and utterly cowardly. But why is that, exactly? What about this behavior makes it so reprehensible?
The laws of war are instructive on the matter. Generally, it is understood that wearing the uniform of the enemy, or clothing a combatant in civilian dress, is a violation of the laws of war, and the perpetrator may thus be treated as a spy. Passive-aggression operates under a similar principle. Somebody intends to do you harm, or may even be in the process of doing you harm. He is your enemy. And yet he disguises his actions as a sort of non-combatant so as to avoid retaliation. He may even pretend to be your friend.
Naturally, this is a favored tactic of the Political Left, at least when it possesses insufficient power to work its will more directly. Leftists are able to wear your uniform as a good, concerned, moral citizen, and do you harm in this disguise. A Progressive might say that he is merely concerned with accessibility of healthcare for the poor, downtrodden folks of wherever. In truth, his main concern is personal power. As the arbiter of wealth redistribution, he may decide who to rob, and who to pay, and how much he might take for himself.
Dinesh D’Souza explains:
The relevant quote is this: “…[Obama] holds a gun to your head and says ‘Michael, turn your sandwich over to Dinesh’. And so you do. And then he puts his gun back and rides away. Now, the outcome is the same, I have the sandwich. But the moral content of that transaction is completely different. You deserve no moral credit, you didn’t give willingly. I don’t even feel a sense of gratitude, I feel a sense of entitlement. I feel that you actually owe me seven sandwiches, but you only gave me one.”
The thing to note about this transaction, is that the guy with the gun gets to take all the credit. He gets to say “if I didn’t do this, he would have starved.” And yet the guy with gun didn’t give up his sandwich. Me merely stole it from another man. So how is it that he gets any moral credit either?
So a “concerned citizen” might point out that one person has a sandwich, and somebody else needs it, then appoints himself to be the arbiter of sandwiches. The “concerned citizen” aspect is a ruse. It is a lie. He put on your uniform, and then uses a form of passive-aggression to bully you into nominating him for power. The implication being, of course, that if you disagree with his redistribution of sandwiches, you are a bad person and you want everybody to starve.
Unfortunately, unlike spies caught in time of war, we are not permitted to hang these cowardly cretins.
It goes further, however. Selective statistics are another favored weapon. During the Obama years, many of us on the Right mentioned that the reported numbers on unemployment and the economy didn’t add up. Obama claimed to add millions of jobs, and claimed a massive reduction in unemployment, and yet individuals would look around their communities, and still see the effects of terrible recession. They weren’t getting jobs. Their friends weren’t getting jobs. So who was getting all these jobs?
Of course, the unemployment rate figures have been bogus for as long as I’ve been alive. It’s a manipulated statistic. Aside from not including those who are no longer seeking work, it fails to account for underemployment. So it is easy for the government to move numbers around, change the definitions of those seeking work, and otherwise manipulate the figure. In terms of jobs added, one might fail to mention the jobs lost in the same period. “I added 1 million new jobs!” Well, great, how good is that if, in the same period, 2 million people lost their jobs?
It’s absurdly easy to do this with any statistic. You can find statistics telling us that Soviet economy was just fine. This article cites many. You can find the same telling us that Cuban health care is great. Yet my father-in-law, who escaped from Cuba, explains that if you get a cut, you need to bring your own needle and thread to the doctor to stitch you up, because you are lucky enough if the doctor even bothers to help you. He certainly won’t supply you with anything.
Now, the Leftist might claim something like “well, that’s anecdotal evidence, and anecdotal evidence is the weakest form of evidence.” Perhaps that is so in a formal debate, where the objective is to convince others. But in truth, it is among the strongest forms of evidence for you, personally. It is precisely how you can avoid someone telling you that 2+2 = 5, even if that person is more educated or intelligent. It is how you avoid being gullible.
It is telling that the Leftist essentially tells you to ignore the evidence of your own eyes, and trust him, because he is the expert.
Like the man who wishes to be the arbiter of sandwiches, these sorts of people want to be arbiters of knowledge, and decide what is true, and what is false, by fiat. They are a collective Xerxes, whipping the sea for disobedience.
Again, the objective is control. These people want power for its own sake, and merely dress themselves up in the uniform of reasonable intellectuals so as to avoid triggering resistance.
Marxism has always operated this way. It is the ideology of cowards and spies. It is passive-aggressive behavior turned into a code of political conduct. And were the full power of Western civilization ever deployed against it, it could be wiped out entirely with relative ease. So the objective of the Marxist is always to clothe himself as your friend, as a concerned citizen, as a reasonable intellectual, as anything but what he actually is, so as to avoid retribution. Never let the Marxist fool you into believing otherwise.
Well, if you’ve been a regular reader of The Declination, you are no doubt aware that I’m not exactly in the Tom Nichols fan club. Some folks might be under the impression that my disdain for him is rooted in his status as a NeverTrumper. But that isn’t the case. My good friend Nicki is a NeverTrumper, and I take no issue with that.
The difference between Tom and Nicki is instructive. Nicki merely disagrees with a political choice, which is part of a long tradition in America, whereas Tom actively disdains Trump voters, and views them as something akin to a teeming mass of idiots ruining his intellectual utopia. Consider this article:
Just the title of this article is sensationalist clickbait. Tom pulls no punches in his disdain for the Trumpist peasantry. But if you expect the article to take a more moderate tone, you’re about to be disappointed.
President Trump’s record in his first 100 days, by any standard of presidential first terms, is one of failure. Aside from the successful nomination of the eminently qualified Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, there are almost no accomplishments — and a fair number of mistakes.
Now, don’t add me to the “Trump is perfect” fan club either. I’m rather irritated at his handling of Syria at the moment. But Tom wants us to believe that by “any standard” (he really means by his standard), Trump’s record is terrible. Worse, probably, than any other President. Yet he admits right away that Trump nominated a qualified and decent candidate to the Supreme Court.
That, in itself, is an immense thing. Many of us viewed Trump as a lesser evil precisely for this reason, because we were very concerned about what another liberal justice would do to the Court. Irrespective of his other failures, this was a huge achievement, and Tom just brushes it aside as an afterthought.
The president’s first national security adviser had to quit after a record-setting tenure of only 24 days. The administration’s first major legislative initiative, on health care, crashed and burned in a spectacular political wreck. Foreign policy has lurched from alienating China to relying on China to help us with North Korea. A rain of cruise missiles on a Syrian air base led to a brief moment of hope for those who care about humanitarian intervention (and a moment of despair for Trump’s isolationist base); less than a month later it is all but forgotten by supporters and critics alike because no actual policy emerged from this stunning use of American force.
So he held his National Security Adviser to account when the man screwed up, and this is deemed as a failure. Tom is misunderstanding how a man like Trump thinks. Trump is not thinking of political image (indeed, the idea is laughable), he is thinking in business terms. If you don’t trust a subordinate, dismiss him. Tom’s experience as a former Senate aide may be clouding his view here. If one of Obama’s advisers screwed up, Obama’s first inclination would be to cover it up. When one of Trump’s advisers screws up, Trump’s first inclination is to fire the idiot.
As for China, this is partly a recognition of a geopolitical truth: China is a “frenemy.” In some situations, we must treat them as something akin to an enemy. In other situations, we are best advised to work with them. This isn’t rocket science.
Lastly, the idea that Trump’s supporters suddenly forgot about his attack on Syria is absolutely ludicrous. My feed absolutely exploded with Trump supporters who were angry at him for this and it hasn’t stopped. No, Trump’s supporters may still be largely behind him, but they were not happy with this.
Meanwhile, almost every day produces a cringe-worthy moment of messaging failure, from spokesman Sean Spicer’s bizarre comment about how Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons on his own people to Trump’s claim that his ratings on a television news program were bigger than 9/11.
A spokesman makes a messaging mistake. And Tom puts this on Trump. But this is a Catch-22, because if Trump fired Sean Spicer for doing something stupid, Tom would undoubtedly call that a failure, too. “Trump had to dismiss his press secretary, he’s such a failure!”
Not surprisingly, Trump is at this point the most unpopular new president in the history of modern polling. What is bewildering is that at the same time, 96% of Trump voters say they have no regrets about their choice. How can this be? Is it just partisanship, with Americans so divided that they will simply cheer on their own team and stay loyal beyond all rational thought?
You’d think people like Tom would have learned to take these polls with a huge grain of salt, at this point. I mean, it’s not like they were all wrong about the election in the first place, right?
Anyway, Tom again is misunderstanding what’s driving the support for Trump, what’s been driving it all along. People are sick of being lied to by Washington. They know they are being lied to. They know 2+2 is not 5. You can tell them that water is not wet until you’re blue in the face, but they know you are lying.
Now, they may not be geopolitical geniuses. If you asked them about the capital city of Zimbabwe, or something, they probably won’t know. But they are intelligent enough to realize that they don’t want to send millions of their taxpayer dollars there.
The wide disagreement among Americans on the president’s performance, however, is more than partisanship. It is a matter of political literacy. The fact of the matter is that too many Trump supporters do not hold the president responsible for his mistakes or erratic behavior because they are incapable of recognizing them as mistakes. They lack the foundational knowledge and basic political engagement required to know the difference between facts and errors, or even between truth and lies.
They don’t know the difference between truth and lies, facts and errors. They have no political foundation. So, perhaps, they ought to just let their betters run things, right? If other Senate aides have this much disdain for the American people, it would explain an awful lot about DC.
As the social psychologist David Dunning wrote during the campaign, “Some voters, especially those facing significant distress in their life, might like some of what they hear from Trump, but they do not know enough to hold him accountable for the serious gaffes he makes.” In other words, it’s not that they forgave Trump for being wrong, but rather that they failed “to recognize those gaffes as missteps” in the first place.
I’ve about as much confidence in the pronouncements of a social psychologist as I do in the local astrologist, delivering palm readings out of her trailer home.
This was most evident during the campaign itself, when candidate Trump’s audiences applauded one fantastic claim after another: that he saw Muslims cheering the 9/11 attacks, that the United States pays for over 70% of NATO’s costs, that he knew more than the generals about strategy. When he became president, he continued the parade of strange assertions and obsessions.
NATO documents show that a majority of NATO members fail to meet NATO’s guideline, established in 2006, that defense expenditures should amount to 2 percent of each country’s gross domestic product. The median spending in 2015 is just 1.18 percent of GDP, compared to 3.7 percent for the United States, NATO says. Just four other countries currently exceed the 2 percent guideline.
“The volume of the US defense expenditure effectively represents 73 per cent of the defense spending of the Alliance as a whole,” NATO says in a discussion of indirect funding. “This does not mean that the United States covers 73 per cent of the costs involved in the operational running of NATO as an organization, including its headquarters in Brussels and its subordinate military commands, but it does mean that there is an over-reliance by the Alliance as a whole on the United States for the provision of essential capabilities, including for instance, in regard to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; air-to-air refueling; ballistic missile defense; and airborne electronic warfare.”
NATO concedes this imbalance has been an issue since the start of the alliance: “The combined wealth of the non-US Allies, measured in GDP, exceeds that of the United States. However, non-US Allies together spend less than half of what the United States spends on defense.”
It depends on whether one is discussing the direct contributions to NATO, or the overall share of military expense by members of the alliance. Of course, Tom knows this too. So I’m not sure why he’s being dishonest in this respect.
To be sure, some of Trump’s voters, like any others, are just cynical and expect the worst from every elected official. Others among them grasp Trump’s failings but fall back on the sour but understandable consolation that at least he is not Clinton. But many simply don’t see a problem. “I think I like him more now that he is the president,” Pennsylvania voter Rob Hughes told New York Post writer Salena Zito.
So Tom picks a single quote by a single voter to a single publication, and then sees this as some indication that Trump voters are somehow blind to his mistakes. Clearly, Tom travels in different circles than I do, where Trump supporters are angry about Syria, and very impatient for the Wall. It’s all over social media, easy for him to see if he even bothered to look. Ann Coulter even publicly chastised him for this, and she was among his most ardent supporters. No, Trump voters are watching him like a hawk. There are exceptions, of course. But does anyone really see Trump getting a second term if he doesn’t produce the requisite Wall? I sure don’t.
There is a more disturbing possibility here than pure ignorance: that voters not only do not understand these issues, but also that they simply do not care about them. As his supporters like to point out, Trump makes the right enemies, and that’s enough for them. Journalists, scientists, policy wonks — as long as “the elites” are upset, Trump’s voters assume that the administration is doing something right. “He makes them uncomfortable, which makes me happy,” Ohio Trump voter James Cassidy told the Toronto Star’s Daniel Dale. Syria? Korea? Health care reform? Foreign aid? Just so much mumbo-jumbo, the kind of Sunday morning talk-show stuff only coastal elitists care about.
The elites, the journalists and policy wonks have very strong disdain for the hoi polloi. It’s utterly obvious. I remember when GamerGate first became a thing, and gamers were shocked about the articles from game journalists explaining that gamers were racist, sexist, homophobic monsters. And then said journalists were surprised that the people they were insulting suddenly didn’t like them very much.
The American news media, policy wonks, some scientists (most notably involved in climate change research) and otherwise have been doing this for decades. And now Tom is surprised that some Americans who may not even like Trump very much are nonetheless not overly concerned when he attacks those people.
In my own circles, I’ve seen a number of people who didn’t even vote for Trump nonetheless sprouting “schadenboners” at seeing how the Left and the news media are collectively melting down over his election.
There is a serious danger to American democracy in all this. When voters choose ill-informed grudges and diffuse resentment over the public good, a republic becomes unsustainable. The temperance and prudent reasoning required of representative government gets pushed aside in favor of whatever ignorant idea has seized the public at that moment. The Washington Post recently changed its motto to “democracy dies in darkness,” a phrase that is not only pretentious but inaccurate. More likely, American democracy will die in dumbness.
Who defines the public good, Tom? That’s always the question. We haven’t had a representative government for as long as I’ve been alive. It’s been an oligarchical farce, masquerading as a democracy. Occasional exceptions like Ronald Reagan were never enough to right the ship.
Tom’s fascination with calling everybody who disagrees with him stupid may be a rather extreme form of projection.
Those of us who criticized Trump voters for their angry populism were often told during and after the election not to condescend to our fellow citizens, and to respect their choices. This is fair. In a democracy, every vote counts equally and the president won an impressive and legitimate electoral victory.
Even so, the unwillingness of so many of his supporters to hold him to even a minimal standard of accountability means that a certain amount of condescension from the rest of us is unavoidable.
In every election, we must respect the value of each vote. We are never required, however, to assume that each vote was cast with equal probity or intelligence.
So the conclusion of your whole rant is exactly nothing, Tom. All it serves to do is provide you with some rationalization for why you can act condescending to Trump voters, and call them stupid.
Look, I’m not exactly Trump’s number one fan, Tom. In fact, I said some months back that in better times, I’d want to keep a man like Trump as far from the levers of power as humanly possible.
But what you’ve been missing, while putzing around political circles, is that middle America is falling apart. And the whole time it’s been falling apart, the media, the policy wonks, the politicians, celebrities, and talking heads kept telling us: “you need to sacrifice more, you need to give up more.”
Stop driving cars so much, they said. Pay more taxes, they said. Give up your nice home and comfortable energy budget. Black Lives Matter and yours don’t. You’re racist, sexist, homophobic, hateful, and bigoted. You’re stupid, they said, and so we’re going to tell you how to live. We’re going to micromanage your life for you. Then, if we decide to get in a war in some third-world shithole, you need to go die for us. And if we feel like throwing away the victory bought with your blood, too bad, because we’re smart, and you’re stupid.
After decades of this mistreatment, men like Tom are surprised that the American electorate flipped them the bird and said “fine, fuck you, enjoy Donald Trump, assholes.”
Tom, you sit there talking about how American democracy will die in dumbness. You’re wrong. American democracy is already dead. It was dead when the Democrats cleared the field for Hillary Clinton’s anointment. It was dead when the GOP tried to force Jeb down our throats. It died as the GOP establishment gained all major levels of federal power and still surrendered to the Democrats on almost every point of contention they thought they could get away with. What the people want is irrelevant to Washington. There is no democracy here. Not much of a republic either.
What the layman in the street sees is a steady expansion of government power, and a steady erosion of his fortunes. He sees more of his liberty disappearing, and more of the politically-connected getting whatever their hearts desire.
He may not be learned in the way some of us are. He may be a regular Joe, scratching a living, who never had the time and money for college. But that doesn’t mean he’s stupid. That doesn’t mean he can’t see what’s going on right in front of him. He may not necessarily understand why this is all happening or be able to articulate the exact mechanisms behind it. But he can nonetheless see the effects.
You’re pissing down his back and telling him that it’s raining. And then you’re wondering why he doesn’t trust you anymore.
Social Justice Warriors often tell us that games are not just games, and books are not just books. Everything must be political with them, from the movie theater to the arcade. Naturally, I’ve long disagreed with them on this matter. Sometimes, the political impact of a thing is minimal, if even present at all, and it is merely entertainment. After all, where is the grand political metaphor in a battle between giant robots and giants monsters? If you want to tell me that the new Quake Champions game being peddled by Bethsheda is somehow a matter of politics, please take this moment to laugh at yourself in my stead.
And yet, there is a grain of truth to their statement, if not precisely in the way SJWs mean it. I was pondering this the other day, when a friend and I were talking about the latest Star Wars flicks. Yes, we all know the prequels were generally atrocious, and what little was interesting was contained only in the last installment. The new Star Wars movies were at least a little more entertaining, but even they were shallow, ephemeral things. They were strictly popcorn-and-soda flicks.
So what did the original trilogy have that the successors lacked?
In this writer’s opinion, it was an enduring mythos, a sort of cultural memory embedded within it. A farm boy took to the stars and became a warrior, trained by what amounts to a religious monk of an ancient, dying order. A princess was trying to save her world, and an evil wizard hunted them all in the name of Imperial power. You could have stripped the story of high technology, and set the whole thing in the middle ages, and it still would have made sense. Yes, even the all-powerful superweapon. Replace the Death Star with Urban’s great cannon, throwing its weight against the walls of Constantinople, or something.
Now try that with the other stories, and you will find that they are utter disasters. They don’t operate on their own anymore. Now it’s a franchise cashing in on nostalgia more than anything.
Of all the cultural myths, the farm boy who became something greater may have been the most powerful. Ye gods, we once practically worshiped this idea. It was one of the enduring features of American culture, as distinct from the various European cultures that spawned it. You see, if our farmers and fishermen could throw out the British, of all people, was there anything truly beyond us? We didn’t need noblemen, you see. We had farmers. We didn’t need warriors, we had soldiers. There was no need for great nobles, or learned men of haute culture. We could bootstrap it all ourselves.
The farm boy might become a great philosopher, or an astronaut, or a general. He might become a President or a Congressman. Perhaps he would be the next great scientist or engineer. He didn’t need the pedigree of an aristocrat, or the brand name of some noble house. He didn’t need to go to the grandest of colleges, or know all the right people. He didn’t need to have the correct political opinions if, indeed, he even bothered much with politics at all. If you could do the job, you could do anything, and it didn’t much matter what dusty mid-western farm you crawled out of.
Of course, in practice, this idea was never quite so solid. Connections still mattered, credentials still mattered, and a rich man of the city would have an easier time than a poor man of the country. So it has always been, and so it likely always will be. Nonetheless, American culture remained very resistant to the idea of rule by a cultural elite, an embedded aristocracy who could heap disdain upon the peasantry from their lofty towers. The farmer still stubbornly believed that he could make it, and the academic knew not to be too haughty, lest he be toppled from the ivory tower.
Today, that’s all backwards. Heaping disdain upon the peasants of the flyover states and the South is all the rage among our supposedly-learned castes. There can be no more Luke Skywalkers in Star Wars, that is to say no more farm boys who ascend to the highest levels. If Star Wars was written by today’s establishment, Luke would have to be a girl who suffered oppression by the bigoted farm boys, then escaped to the Empire (which was, of course, politically correct and ruled by wise, learned Socialist oligarchs) to wield its military might against the hicks and unlearned morons of Planet Redneck.
Such disdain is everywhere, now. It’s not hard to find in the media, in entertainment, or social media. Some time ago, I remember watching a Youtube video where a man with a strong Southern accent went to great lengths to demonstrate his education and intelligence, discussing complex matters of science, history, and philosophy in an effort to disprove the notion that a Southern accent somehow implies stupidity. I remember wondering why this was even necessary. I’ve met many intelligent, educated individuals in the South, and I’ve encountered no more idiots here than in the other places I’ve been to. Why would this even have to be disproved?
Then it hit me. The new American myth, carefully constructed by the SJWs and their ilk, is that farmers are stupid. Mechanics are dumb. Plumbers only ply their trade because they are too stupid to take gender studies courses. And since they are all idiots, of course their children must be idiots too. Indeed, they are all far too stupid to be permitted a say in how their own lives are run. As Tom Nichols once explained to me: Americans are too stupid to read maps, so why bother informing them about terrorist incidents? Being something of a Centrist, Tom is more charitable than most of the Leftists, whose disdain is much more direct. To those folks, America (and by extension, Americans themselves) is nothing more than a backward nation full of bigots, greedy thieves, murderers, and utter morons in desperate need of extinction.
Sometimes I wonder if the British once thought this way, too. Before the Revolutionary War, did they consider Americans to be stupid hicks? Did they see us as rednecks too dumb to manage our own affairs? Did they send their ships, soldiers, and mercenaries thinking the victory would be easy, because, damn, are those farmers stupid? We all know how that ended up.
But now, a two and a half centuries later, we’re back to where we started. The anointed, ivory tower aristocrats telling us what’s good for us — when we all know it’s a steaming pile of horse manure constructed solely to fool enough good people to keep the nobles planted atop their wobbly thrones. Their underestimation of the regular folks in the world, the farm boys and plumbers, may be what saves us, in the end. After all, it’s worked for America before, time and time again. It’s why, despite all the agitprop to the contrary, today America still remains the most powerful nation on Earth.
Whether it will be so tomorrow, I can’t say. All I can say is the politically-connected elite may soon be getting a refresher course in America’s most enduring and powerful cultural mythos. And that, my friends, is a story I’d pay money to read.
The case is interesting. An electrical engineer was involved in a dispute with the government regarding the timing of yellow lights, and in the course of his complaints, did a rather exhaustive amount of research on the matter. Upon presenting his findings to the state’s engineering board, he made reference to his employment as an electrical engineer (for which he also had the suitable degree). This offended the sensibilities of the board which, apparently, has a monopoly on the use of the word.
Now, it’s one thing if you claim to be a certain kind of professional engineer, the sort that stamps architectural and civil documents (especially in government employ), as these are licensed, board-certified individuals. Whether they ought to be is another question altogether, but never mind that. It’s quite another matter to say “I am an engineer.” Many in my general line of work bear the title of software engineer. Engineering titles are applied to many disciplines not involved in the board’s business.
Whatever. The legalese of the use of the word is beyond the purview of this post. The point is, however, that Oregon didn’t want to have to consider this man’s exhaustive research into yellow light timings, and the system of camera designed to catch offenders (which the engineer argued was broken). Rather than even consider his point of view, they merely looked up a suitably arcane and nitpicky regulation, and used it to fine him. In essence, an engineer was fined for saying that he was, in fact, an engineer.
I imagine the bureaucrats felt pretty good about themselves for this.
This ties into a point I made previously about cowardly Ad Hominem tactics. This is a very literal case of Ad Hominem, where rather than dispute the man’s findings, they merely attacked him through regulatory hoops. Perhaps if he didn’t mention his engineering background, they would have dismissed him by saying he was unqualified. And if he was board-certified to bear their official titles, they might have first dismissed him (or whatever the practice is for getting rid of his certification), then said he was unqualified. The government finds a way to dismiss arguments it doesn’t want to hear, regardless of the truth.
In essence, it’s a bureaucrat’s way of saying “I’m better than you, so shut up.”
Meanwhile, of course, the matter of Oregon’s red light cameras remains unaddressed.
Here in my home state and county, there was a red light camera program that went on for some time, and after some research by many individuals, irregularities came up. First off, the red light cameras were installed, run, and maintained by a third party given license by the government. The government and the third party company then split the revenue. One or the other, or perhaps both (that matter was never conclusively settled, so far as I know) decided to shorten the yellow light timings at some busy intersections in order to boost revenue. Also, those who were ticketed, and said they were not driving the vehicle, and could not be identified in the photo (i.e. a friend or family member was driving it), were then forced into a position of either giving up the other person’s identity or paying the fine anyway. That had plenty of legal consequences that were rather unpleasant, and perhaps even unconstitutional. It was also demonstrated that one could enter the intersection through a legal right turn at just the wrong moment, and the camera system would count it as a violation anyway. People were soon afraid of making legal right turns at red lights, and this lead to an increase in traffic and road rage.
The program became extremely controversial, because the entire justification for it was to curb Florida’s problem of excessive red light runners. To be fair, this is a legitimate problem around here. Florida has an awful lot of these folks compared to most places I’ve lived. But the red light camera program merely changed the type of accident. Less actions occurred inside the intersection, but many more rear-end collisions were reported. In the end, the program proved unpopular and was mostly abandoned.
Of course, I don’t know if Oregon is facing the same issues Florida had with red light cameras. Indeed, I don’t know if the engineer’s report was correct or completely bogus. But given the government’s track record with honesty, and the fact that they went out of their way to nitpick the regulations in order to attack him personally, I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to think that they’ve got something to hide here.
There is a type of person in this world who will grate on my nerves long before he ever speaks, and will only exacerbate the problem when he does open his mouth. Over time, I’ve come to recognize this almost visceral reaction to some people as a some kind of basic human instinct. Now, I’m not one to speak on my personal feelings very often. Truly, most of the time folks would be understandably bored by such. And if SJWs are lurking about, ready to pounce on admissions of racism/sexism/whatever, you are likely to be disappointed, as most (but not all) of such individuals are actually white guys.
Yeah. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, SJWs.
If I can describe the feeling with a metaphor, it would be like that moment you walk into a car dealership, and the salesmen lurking near entrance are circling, like a pack of vultures waiting to pounce upon hapless, vulnerable prey should it show any sign of fatigue or weakness. They have lemons, and you’re a mark. You get a feeling in the pit of your stomach, your gut telling you that these people are wrong, somehow. That they are not to be trusted, and indeed, their every action much be carefully watched and calculated against.
Over the years, I’ve recognized that some folks engender this automatic response outside of car dealerships. You don’t want to deal with them in any way, but circumstances may be such that you feel the need. Perhaps that are gatekeepers, and you must get through the gate. Or perhaps they control personal fiefs that intrude on yours in some fashion. Whatever. The point is, you have to deal with them.
I’m sure most people have felt this one way or another. What I’m about to explain is why. Many of my readers, often wiser folks than I, may already know this. But for some, this may be new.
The type of person I’m talking about is the one who thinks he is better than you. No, not better in some specific capacity. The pilot may justly say “I’m a better pilot than you.” Sure. I don’t know how to fly, at least not outside of a simulator, anyway. The pilot flies better than I do, because I do not fly at all. Nor am I talking about the person who has a higher IQ, or can bench press more weight, or is a better basketball player. Again, folks in each circumstance can justly say they are better than me at those things. Whatever. The specifics are immaterial here.
I’m talking about the man who thinks he is better than you in general.
The reason this is so insidious, is that every action by such an individual is designed to elevate himself above you in general. Your opinions are irrelevant to him, because he considers himself better in all things. So if you talk to him, the response invariably becomes an exercise in establishing his authority over you. After all, if you are better than another, should you not rule over him? This has been the excuse of tyrants since the dawn of time.
Folks may remember an old troll here named Merkur. And while I don’t want to delve too much into him, since he is no longer here to defend himself, he did demonstrate this sort of air. At one point, he explained that I should read a book called You Are Not So Smart. Now, normally a book recommendation wouldn’t be untoward. But this “recommendation” occurred during a debate in which Merkur was attempting to convince me that I was biased (something I never denied — all humans are biased, I am human, QED), while taking a position of authority on the matter of cognitive biases.
In simple terms, rather than address the central point of my arguments about Islam and Weaponized Empathy, he would nitpick minor points, then accuse me of being biased, more biased, in fact, than him. Then he chose to recommend said book. Do you see it? His implication was I am smarter than you. Not “I know more about psychology than you” which I would have likely accepted. Not even “I know more about specific cognitive biases than you,” which again would have specificity and plausibility. It’s not my field of education, for sure.
The implication was you are biased, I am smarter than you, therefore I can disregard your conclusions. It’s a slippery form of Ad Hominem, because it distracts from the original conclusions. At that point, we were no longer talking about Weaponized Empathy, or the role of Islam in terror attacks. We were, instead, talking about how biased one Dystopic was (hint: I’m sure I’m pretty damned biased – whether I’m wrong, however, is a different matter altogether).
Of course, when pressed, Merkur denied this. He just wanted to educate me about specific cognitive biases, you see. It wasn’t a personal attack. He just happened to do this in a thread about Islam, and it just happened to derail the original topic, and he just happened to avoid the original point, except to call attention to minor nitpicks.
Folks may wonder why I brought up Merkur again, since he has kept to his word and not returned. The reason is that I encountered the same behavior from Tom Nichols today. He posted a link to the following article: Working-class whites can’t handle their status as ‘the new minority’. The article is full of some rather pointed dreck about Trump supporters, blue collar white folks, and racism. Nothing we haven’t seen before from a dozen other outlets since Trump became a political force.
Now, Tom has spent a lot of time since beginning the writing and promoting of his book The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters more or less insulting common folks. In our last Twitter flame war, he indicated that most Americans shouldn’t be informed by the government about the non-classified details surrounding terrorist attacks, even after the fact, because he thought most Americans were too stupid to read maps.
He then compared trust in the alphabet agencies to trusting pilots who fly airliners. Why, he thought, if people trust airline pilots do they not trust government intelligence agencies? This was evidence that the common man was an idiot. The fallacy in this line of thinking should be pretty obvious to most of my readers. It is rather easy for a man to know whether or not airline pilots are generally reliable. Despite big crashes hitting the airwaves, from time-to-time, you are generally safer in an airliner, than in your own car. The general reliability of airline pilots is data that is readily available to us. Not so much with the alphabet agencies. Indeed, we catch them in egregious lies and screw ups with frightening regularity. Consequences from their geopolitical screw ups can certainly dwarf a mere airline accident.
But my beef with Tom wasn’t just over this issue. It’s an issue that folks might reasonably sit down and chat about, because God knows there are some dumb voters out there (just look at all this Antifa business right now). What bothered me was the original tweet to him was respectful and reasoned, and his response was basically you and everyone like you is stupid, and I’m smart! This is a variation of I’m better than you. No, not “I’m more educated than most on foreign policy matters”. It was I’m better than a sizable fraction of America.
At the time, this attitude was mildly irritating, but I ignored it. We got into it again, and then again today. Now, today, I was definitely not respectful and gracious to him. My patience with him has worn thin. I was downright hostile, and that came through well enough in my tweet to him. I was fully expecting another I’m smarter than everybody else tactic from him. What I got was arguably worse. Instead, he accused me of not reading the article I was responding to, or even knowing who the author was.
This is about as dishonest and cowardly a tactic as a man might use. On the internet, his statement was unfalsifiable. There was no way I could prove to him that his statement was wrong. But we also both knew it was a total lie, invented for precisely this purpose. He debates exactly like a Progressive would. This I recognized immediately as an Ad Hominem, similar to what Merkur did, but without the modicum of decency that Merkur at least attempted to display. He didn’t want to talk about the article in question, he wanted to shift the argument away from it. And meanwhile, he chose to use an exceptionally ridiculous version of I’m better than you. The implication being that other people don’t read articles, or understand them, and so he doesn’t have to defend his posting of this drivel on his own Twitter feed.
Then, when challenged on that, he explained that it wasn’t an Ad Hominem, because he was just innocently trying to teach me about the importance of reading articles. Cue a back and forth discussion with some of his followers about the definition of Ad Hominem, and why I should have posted links to the definition in my reply to Tom (does anybody on Twitter even do that?).
Yeah, pull the other one.
This is a form of passive-aggressive behavior, hidden behind airs of self-righteousness and some kind of superiority complex. Tom is invested in himself as the smartest guy in the room, but his argument essentially boils down to I’m smarter than everybody else, so I’m automatically right. No defense of his positions are necessary, unless you prove yourself worthy (and nobody is worthy, unless they agree with him).
And what I’ve come to realize, is that these individuals produce a natural desire in most humans to punch the smug asshole in the face. Perhaps this is nature’s way of informing the individual that, like Merkur’s book recommendation, You Are Not So Smart. A punch in the face can do that well enough sometimes. Maybe the book is good (and I may very well read it – I am morbidly curious), but cold, hard reality is often better. God knows it’s happened to me more than once.
That feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when these folks are around? That’s your body saying “this guy is an ass, and it might be better if you just punched him in the face, but if that isn’t an option for whatever, well just be careful.” After all, he could be a salesman trying to sell you a lemon, or Tom Nichols trying to establish himself as the wisest technocrat in the universe. As far as we have come from the elementary playground, the argument still essentially boils down to the same thing a pair of first graders might say to one another: I’m better than you! Neener Neener!
Socrates would know him for the fool.
As an aside, I’d really like to see a debate between Nicholas Taleb and Tom Nichols. For Taleb has warned us repeatedly about intellectual idiocy, and Tom is a proponent of why the intellectuals must be trusted. The two positions are diametrically opposed. Of course, there might be a worldwide shortage of popcorn should such an event come to pass.
In the meantime, Merkur might say it’s bias, and he’s really not wrong, but sometimes, biased or not, your gut knows exactly what kind of person you’re dealing with. God, and countless generations of natural selection, have granted us a finely-honed sense for people who are trying to bullshit us. Often times, it’s worth listening to.
“Cars and other vehicles “have turned into deadly weapons”, and should be banished from cities to stop attacks like the one in Stockholm from happening in future, according to Aftonbladet editorialist Eva Franchell.”
If you have ever wondered, dear LCs, why it is that His Imperial Majesty can’t say “Swedish” without at least chuckling derisively, this should serve as a rather good example.
Apart from the sheer monumental stupidity in demanding that cities be cleared entirely of motor vehicles (who will deliver goods to your stores, Einstein? You’re going to get them there on bicycles?), what is it with this whole “have turned into deadly weapons” retardation? They’ve been “deadly weapons” since they were invented although we have to point out, in all fairness, that so has pretty much everything else. That Number 2 pencil of yours? Don’t make us demonstrate what we can do with that thing, because you won’t like it.
It is a perfect example, so very emblematic of everything that is wrong with the “progressive” nanny totalitarian society: You can’t eliminate danger by banning “dangerous” stuff, because everything is potentially dangerous, from ICBMs to your favorite organic juicer, on to your kid’s pacifier. Do you really want to know how many beautiful babies choke on those things every year? No. No, you don’t. Because if you truly knew just how many things were potentially lethal weapons, then you’d all end your pointless lives immediately. Which, come to think of it…
Of course, I’m sure most of my readers have already heard about Bill O’Reilly getting tossed out of Fox. Now, I’ve been trying to ascertain just what the charges were against him, that Fox would take such drastic action. The worst I’ve yet found, is one woman claiming that Bill told her to “show more cleavage” at some point in time.
Of course, I’ve no idea if it’s even true, and as is common in these scenarios, suddenly several other women have come out to claim that Bill sexually harassed them. The whole thing smells like trumped up bullshit, to be honest. And if the worst claim they have is that he said something mildly inappropriate once, Fox is utterly stupid to can him for it. Is Fox becoming an SJW-converged organization, now?
And I say all this as a guy who really doesn’t even like Bill O’Reilly. If they canned him because he was predictable, plodding, and boring, I’d buy that, and wouldn’t bat an eye at it. But instead, they do this. It’s just like when Trump commented jokingly about “grab ’em by the pussy.” Suddenly everyone is offended, and people have to lose their jobs, and it’s some kind of huge scandal.
This is utterly ridiculous, and Fox should be ashamed of themselves.
Lastly, an Antifa who hit a Trump supporter over the head with a bike lock, nearly knocking him out (you can see him stunned and confused) and drawing massive amounts of blood, has been outed. And in this case, said Trump supporter was doing nothing violent. He was just standing there talking, and the Antifa used a momentary distraction to get away with his assault. Of course, he thought he was safely anonymous. Turns out, he wasn’t. Internet sleuths identified him as San Francisco State University Professor Eric Clanton.
He is now being charged, and has already been scrubbed from the University’s website. He’s done. For reference, here is the original video:
Taking responsibility is part of being a man. It’s an age old axiom. When a man fails, when he screws up, it behooves him to admit his failure and to endeavor to repair it, if he is able.
But no man is responsible for another. To steal a concept from Francis, if Jones commits a crime, and Smith does not, how can Smith be held responsible, even in part, for the crime of Jones?
Yet generalities exist to muddy the waters for us. Islam has proven itself to be more militant and prone to terrorism than any other modern religion (unless we were to call Marxism a religion). Islam has always had bloody borders, and the religion has changed little since the seventh century. Clear answers to questions like these are often difficult, and can lead to excessive moralizing.
Excessive moralizing is one of the greatest sins of our age, for Smith is made to question his own culpability in the crimes of Jones. If both Smith and Jones share a skin tone, and Jones has done some evil deed, what is Smith’s share in the deed? What if Smith tried his best to stop Jones from committing his crime?
Today, having white skin often means being held as somehow generally responsible for the ills of Indians, Black folks, the sufferings of the Jews, and so on. Yet, like Smith, most of us have not done these things, nor would countenance them. Additionally, many of our ancestors fought to prevent such things. If you account men who fought the Nazis among your ancestors, how could the deeds of the Nazis be weighed against you?
Social Justice Warriors, of course, do not care. You are white, thus the crimes of Jones fall upon you, and you are advised that you must take responsibility for them. You must pay the weregild, you must give up your success and step aside, you must bear Jones’s punishment too. Some fools even suggest that reading to your own children is unfair to other children, for it gives them a leg up in the world.
Such punishments can include your own death, and that of your entire civilization. It is not difficult to find SJWs musing on the utopian world that would come to pass should white Christian males be made extinct. Indeed, Huffington Post publishes columnists who argue that they should be deprived of the vote, so that it may be made easier to “redistribute” their wealth (oddly enough, this was a hoax, and HuffPo fell for it – wishful thinking, perhaps?). #KillAllMen, of course, is also acceptable and amenable to the SJW authorities.
If you dare to complain, you are tarred as racist scum. Carry the burden of another man’s sin, in addition to your own. Suffer the punishments for another man’s mistakes, in addition to your own. You are supposed to check your privilege every moment of every day. When a progressive feminist speaks, you are to be silent and listen. Good allies should be seen, and not heard. They are not shy about this, as the aforementioned article explains:
As McKenzie puts it, “Shut up and listen.”
As someone striving to be an ally, the most important thing we can do is listen to as many voices of those we’re allying ourselves with as possible…
…Sure, your privilege may afford you the spotlight sometimes, and there are times when you can use that spotlight to talk to people who share your identity (see #8), but whenever possible, allies turn that spotlight away from themselves and to the voices that are so often marginalized and ignored.
Being a supposed ally means nothing to them. It neither alleviates your guilt, nor mitigates the punishments due to you for the supposed crimes of Jones. Being a proper progressive doesn’t mean you won’t get stabbed on a train for being a chump.
Talk to a Leftist, and he will complain that dead people who looked vaguely similar to you perpetrated horrific crimes against humanity (while ignoring similar crimes perpetuated by people who didn’t look much like you). The Trail of Tears was your fault, so was slavery, the Holocaust, colonialism, why Somalia sucks today, and why it sucked 500 years ago, and why an overweight lesbian couldn’t get a taxi cab in Manhattan at 4 in the afternoon on a Friday – whatever. It’s all your fault. Carry the sins, accept the punishment, give up your wealth (there was a hashtag running around social media some time ago called #GiveYourMoneyToWomen), shut up and stay in your lane.
Christ could carry the weight of the world, the plethora of sins committed by mankind. I, however, am unable to do so. I’m just a man, a regular Joe. I work, I pay my taxes (I’d rather not, but it’s not like the IRS gives us a choice in the matter), I have a family, same as any other. I screw up a lot, and the weight of my own responsibilities is, on occasion, rather crushing on its own. I am not Atlas, and SJWs can sit there and try to put the weight of the world on my shoulders, but it’ll never work. It’ll never do any good.
Folks, I don’t know how much of your thinking has been wasted on the matter of social justice and progressivism. A good man might ask himself if, perhaps, he really ought to carry these chains, if you are Jacob Marley to their Ebenezer Scrooge. But the question is moot to begin with. You can’t carry these chains, whether you wanted to or not. They are too big for you. They will destroy you. When you look into the face of an SJW, you are seeing someone who was already destroyed by this weight. Their psyches cracked under the pressure. They are no longer sane, or even themselves. It is almost like they are all possessed.
This man is broken. The woman next to him is damaged, also.
You see this sort of smug, superior grin in the face of an SJW. But behind it is utter madness. These are broken people, whose actions are no longer rational in any sense. Some can only gain satisfaction from submission, from emotional and intellectual (and sometimes physical) masochism and self-flagellation. Some can’t even gain it from that, anymore. Some have surrendered completely to animus possession. These people are no longer free-thinking individuals, capable of making decisions. They are, rather, individuals who have completely lost touch with reality. Unable to cope with the weight of the world, they seek to unload it on others. It’s your fault, not theirs. Nothing is their fault, they are perfect, you are to blame for everything.
Animus Possession gone completely off the rails. This woman hates you for existing. Everything bad in the world is your fault, because you exist.
Underneath it all, of course, they hate themselves. This has given rise to people who say things like “I won’t have children, because they would be white.” Or other folks, like Rachel Dolezal and Shaun King, who desperately wish to be black, perhaps because they could escape the weight of the world by identifying with the oppressed instead of the oppressor.
Weaponized Empathy has destroyed these people, body and soul. They mutilate themselves, hate themselves, rail against the very society that created them, and then seek to unload their shame and self-loathing on to others. Look at this before-and-after comparison of the woman who was punched in the face, while trying to hit Trump supporters with a wine bottle:
This woman made a mess of herself.
This is what happens to people who try to carry more mental weight than they can handle. A man who does this will be destroyed utterly. It causes you to question your worth as an individual, and once you have deemed yourself worthless, it is easy to do as these people have done. Now it doesn’t matter if you degrade yourself, objectify yourself, attack people, and destroy lives.
Nothing else matters except some short-term pleasure, just a bit of petty satisfaction at attacking an easy target. And then the target decides to fight back, depriving you of even that pleasure.
In some way, I pity the SJWs.
I’m going to be very real with you for a moment, and take off my hat has a blogger, an author, and whatever else I may be, and just speak to you as a man.
This could have been me.
Does that surprise you? There was a time I skirted so close to falling under this spell, it would shock you. I felt the guilt, the social pressure, the desire for conformity. Despite the terrible weight such ideology carries on the mind, it is absurdly easy to fall into it. Every day we are assaulted by the agitprop. It is so easy to just say “yes, it’s all my fault, I will submit and obey.”
It will bring momentary relief, because you will no longer have to fight a narrative that is bombarded upon you 24 hours a day. That mental effort is, itself, rather exhausting on the mind. But if you accept the chains, that is a far greater weight, one that will destroy you. The chains are seductive. They call, because of the enormous weight of social power behind them.
The pressure is both great and subtle. Imagine a conversation about the weather, innocent enough on its own. A friend might say “wow, that global warming sure is kicking in today!” You’ve a few choices here. You can challenge him, but the immediate counter is likely to be something like “well, 99% of scientists agree, sooooo….” The implication, of course, is that you are stupid for disagreeing with 99% of scientists (whether or not there is any truth to that claim, either). You could remain silent because it’s easier. Or you could just give in, regardless of the truth of the matter, because it’s easiest. Meanwhile, if you counter your friend successfully, you may be down a friend by the end of the night.
So whether or not a lot of folks believe this thing, soon consensus is reached, as much to peer pressure as anything else. Then it is, further, easier to agree on welfare, tax policy, affirmative action, black lives matter, social justice, etc… Each one has a superficial rhetorical argument which sounds nice, and which has enormous media programming and social pressure behind it.
A thousand such chats happen every day, both in the real world, and the social media world. The sum total of which is designed to move you, via peer pressure and Weaponized Empathy, toward self-hatred, and intense personal guilt for things which you neither did, nor were capable of preventing.
Soon a man might find himself agreeing with lunatic propositions that all Republicans are literal Nazis, and Donald Trump is worse than Hitler because… well, nobody really knows the reasons.
Submission is always the easier short-term choice. Long-term, however, it just destroys a man’s soul. Sooner or later he’s just a meat puppet. And who might he be a meat puppet for? Who pulls his strings?
Tom Kratman’s Class Ones, self-centered and semi-incompetent oligarchs, run the show. They are the ultimate beneficiaries of all this. The Clintons and other corrupt political dynasties. A handful of Leftist executives and corporate cronies are also among them. Celebrities, media talking heads, etc…
They talk out of their asses, and wrap themselves up in flags, but they believe in nothing. You think Chelsea Clinton gives a fig about a black thug shot by a cop? You think she cares about the plight of an illegal Mexican family, crossing into the country?
No. Deep down, I doubt even the SJWs really believe this. But it doesn’t matter. They have been destroyed by the weight of the world, conveniently offloaded by politicians and leaders around the world onto hapless people who are incapable of carrying such moral weight. It’s never a Clinton’s fault, after all.
It’s your fault. Or, perhaps, some semi-anonymous Islamophobic videographer. Whatever.
Look, I’m fond of saying that I’m just a regular guy. And there’s a reason for that. There are some very strong-willed, intelligent people out there who can resist this agitprop and social pressure without much effort. For some, it is easy to shrug it off and pay no mind to it. But that’s not most folks. Marxists are great psychological manipulators. It is their one great talent, and it is enough that it nearly makes up for all their other intellectual shortcomings, which are legion. Most folks are vulnerable, at some level.
And resisting psychological manipulation is not easy for most people. It’s not enough to just say “don’t be brainwashed.” Folks need to know how the brainwashing works, how it can be identified and resisted, how you can avoid going down the path that leads to people who can’t even figure out what gender they want to be, or what ethnicity they are, or what pronoun they feel like using today. These are people who can’t even say “hey man, how’s it going” without being triggered. They are constantly on the look out for the most minor of violations against the political narrative, their entire mind, body, and soul hijacked to serve political figures who care nothing for them (indeed, who probably laugh at their gullibility behind closed doors).
You owe them nothing. You aren’t responsible for the crimes of the world, except those in which you have directly and willingly participated. Anyone, and I do mean anyonewho says otherwise is attempting to manipulate you, and place chains upon you. It is, often times, difficult to resist the allure of just giving up the fight. It’s so much easier to throw in the towel, and jump when someone else tells you to. When damn near everyone accuses you of something, to just say “yes, I’m guilty.”
But you can’t. I can’t. And even if I could make such a choice for myself, I cannot make it for my family, for my country, for my civilization.
You are not Atlas, and you do not need to suffer his punishment. You are not Christ, and you will never be morally perfect, and can never carry the weight of another’s sins (you will have enough trouble with your own).
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.