In my previous post, I said that historians will look back upon the American Empire and select a date – perhaps one as meaningless as the child puppet emperor toppling from a wobbly throne in 476 – and say “this is when America fell.” It is possible that date is already in the past.
It is possible that the date was mere days ago.
Afghanistan’s fall and our blundered exit are indicative of late stage decline. The Soviets left Afghanistan in 1989, and did long survive their exit. Will we long survive ours? Leaving Afghanistan was necessary, I think – though it should have been done long ago. America is not built to fight wars of occupation in the long run. But doing so in this chaotic manner shows that the ruling caste of America cannot do much of anything right anymore. Chronic inflation, totalitarian responses to a minor disease, poorly-managed withdraws from the outer periphery of the empire… These are not the signs of a healthy domain.
World War II broke the back of Western Europe, and the mantle of Western European Empire shifted to America, as the mantle of the East shifted to the Soviets. It’s a division that dates back all the way to Diocletian splitting the Roman Empire into East and West – only now that frontier of empire had shifted to the periphery.
The Soviets are gone, now. Will we soon follow? And with us, probably the predominance of the West.
Watching Biden play a Kabuki Dance on stage, trying to say that the bucks stops with him, yet shifting blame to his predecessors is just another moment in the rapidly-accelerating decline of the American Empire. China no doubt drools over the prospect of taking Taiwan – would Biden be able to stop them? Would he even try? And if he did try, would it be bungled as badly as Afghanistan? No doubt the Chinese are wondering these same things. Or perhaps they have already made the calculations, maybe they already know when and where they will prod the dying beast next.
At home, Leftists on Twitter lament that the poor women of Afghanistan will no longer be able to pursue gender studies degrees (I do not exaggerate), and that LGBT rights will be rolled back by the Taliban. These things are true, after a fashion, but the complaints demonstrate the true priorities of the modern American Empire: to export its state religion of Critical Race Theory and Open Sexuality to a world that does not appear to want any more of it.
Oh, you thought America was a Christian country? No. Like the late Roman Empire, the state religion is changing. Social Justice is the belief endorsed by the ruling caste, not Christianity. Where the two conflict, expect protests, Cancel Culture mob justice, regulations, and the like. The White Man’s Burden of yesteryear has been replaced with the rainbow flag and Black Lives Matter. Where once the British protested the burning of widows in India, now does America protest not providing gender confirmation surgery to the trans folks of Afghanistan. NGOs in Africa are just missionary organizations bereft of God, and infused with a dose of Marxism.
The State Religion of the American Empire may outlast the empire itself, as Christianity outlasted the Roman state.
Then again, perhaps Islam will extinguish it, as the Taliban have done in Afghanistan. The two great tyrannical quasi-religions compete for domination of the Earth. As the quote goes in the Highlander movies, there can be only one. Or perhaps China will be the final beneficiary of all of this, and stamp them both out – to replace them with their own brand of technocratic tyranny, now more akin to Nazism than to its previous Maoism. Imagine the Gestapo of yesteryear drooling over the Social Credit system, the limitless surveillance and facial recognition.
The wet dream of every tyrant: limitless micromanagement until the pawns in your game aren’t even human anymore. They are just meat robots with homo sapiens DNA acting in accordance with your social program.
Whatever the case, the three great brands of modern tyranny, Islam, Chinese “Communism”, and American Social Justice are all cruel and evil in their own unique ways – and all infused with religious or quasi-religious reverence and loyalties. Frank Herbert told us to beware of times when religion and politics ride in the same cart. In the days of the American Empire’s decline, there appears to be little choice in the matter.
Will the Biden Administration fall soon? Will Kamala replace it? Or will the intelligence agencies run it all from behind the scenes? Will the next elections contain even a smattering of legitimacy, or will the whole thing be as fake as a Socialist election in Venezuela? I have no way of knowing. But I no longer suffer the illusion that our votes mean anything at all, or that the ruling caste contains any remnant of competence. The fools are at the helm of the Titanic, and there is no removing them before the iceberg comes.
God Help Us All.
In the distant future, as Gibbon did, some historian will stick his wrinkled finger on a calendar date and pronounce “and on this date, the United States of America fell.” If by some miracle I were to witness the event, I would not be surprised if that date was already in our past. Historians have the benefit of hindsight, but also of not living in the aquarium they spend their lives researching. Some say Rome fell in 476, as a puppet emperor was deposed and sent into retirement. Did Roman citizens know this was an ending of things? No. To them the real emperor resided in Constantinople. Since they had first drawn breath, all power resided there, in New Rome. Old Rome had been a shadow for generations, and even in Italy, rule had long been pronounced from Ravenna, itself far less important than the economically powerful East.
Justinian the Great thought himself the Emperor of the Romans and ruled over the Mediterranean shores as tightly as many of his predecessors, more than half a century after the fall. What changed, then, on that day historians marked? Symbols changed; I suppose. We see discontinuity, but there was none. We see change, but such change was gradual, the product of generations.
The point is essentially arbitrary. A finger found its way to a date on a calendar, one small event in a sequence of centuries, and thus was it pronounced: Rome has fallen.
Looking back on American history, where lies that point for us? Like the later days of classical Rome, we are two nations, now. Unlike Rome, there is no easy split. We are not East and West, nor are we North or South. Even Urban and Rural does note quite get to the root of the thing, though there at least we finally see some correlation.
Nor is this split limited to America. The entirety of the Western World suffers from it. But here in America we can see its purest form. We try to put labels on it: Left and Right, Liberal and Conservative. But these too fail to grasp the essence of the divide. These aren’t merely two political parties who disagree on some things. Now, they are people who have entirely different viewpoints about the world, who are brought up in different ways, who live and breathe diametrically opposed cultural values.
In America, there are two countries. We might say with some accuracy that they evolved from a single one. But whatever the origins, they are two peoples now. With the rapid influx of unassimilated immigration, we have the seeds of more countries being sown. More than two, someday. De facto, America is broken up into little islands of Red and Blue, and in some cases, completely foreign exclaves.
Each country has its own culture, its own social mores, religious preferences, traditions, and ways of life. For now, a theoretically common law and government seems to unite them on paper, but the days of Trump and Biden show us that each country views rule by the other side as illegitimate. Both sides will claim fraud if the other wins, and it is entirely possible they are correct to do so.
Moldbug once claimed that American Leftists want to count ‘every vote’ because they know that, in the end, they do somewhat outnumber American Rightists in a raw sense. They think it fair that this minor majority means they are empowered to do whatever they wish to their enemies. And American Rightists want rules, procedures, and formalized structure to the vote, because they know that, in the end, their people possess more raw power. The guns are on their side. The countryside is theirs, along with most of the raw productivity. A drug-addled ghetto resident may not be bothered with voting if it requires even a modicum of effort on his part. In this way, both countries cheat. Both countries think their own brand of power should grant them supremacy.
Therefore, Leftists wish to abolish the electoral college, and resist voter ID rules. Their goal is to get as many people to the polls as possible. It doesn’t matter if the voter is a pot-addled loser who hasn’t held a job in 20 years, or an oldster out of his gourd with dementia, or a convicted felon. The more, the merrier. It is the opposite with the Right. Keep the electoral college, institute small barriers to the vote like voter ID. Each small barrier to the vote is some lazy slob who decides it’s not worth the effort to put down the crack pipe for an hour and head to the polls. Deep down, most Rightists would say that their votes ought to count a little more than someone like that.
At a more fundamental level, it is a political power game between two peoples forced to live side-by-side. Each day grows increasingly hostile. Rule by the other is seen as tyranny – and perhaps rightly so. Were we geographically separated, I suspect America would have already given up the fiction of unity. But look around you. Even in a rural area, you will find your share of Leftists. Even in the urban core, there will be closet Trump voters. Suburbs, of course, remain a battleground. Rightists often say the cities cannot survive without the countryside, and that is true after a fashion. But how well does the countryside do without the cities?
This crosses even formal country boundaries. China is an enemy of America – something even most Leftists understand at some level. Yet China and America are interconnected economically to an extremely high degree. It is even stronger still between the Two Americas.
Even so, rule by the other grows increasingly intolerable. In older days, we would probably have already seen Civil War begin. Yet, as prosperity still reigns, few people are truly motivated to risk everything they have to start that conflict. Oh, there is always talk of this. Antifas will cry out that the Revolution has begun, and the Boog Boys will talk about sheepdogs. Social media will fill with memes about helicopters and Communists.
Nobody truly crosses the line, though. Treatment of January 6th participants shows that great punishment will come down on anyone who even creeps up on the line. Now, you might say that Antifas do not receive the same treatment – and that is true, after a fashion. The punishment of the Rightist who creeps up on the line is blacklisting. It is cancellation. It is judicial tyranny. These punishments rarely (but sometimes) catch Antifas. In other words, the system punishes them. For Antifas, the punishment is rather more literal and personal. Each riot incurs upon them a slight chance that a policeman will maul them, or that a Kyle Rittenhouse will come, and they will die. This is much rarer the other way around. Typical punishment differs between the countries.
Regardless, the Revolutionaries do not actually revolt. And the Boog Boys launch no Boogs. Yet always the unspoken threat of both lingers over the political horizon. Both know that, should that day come, the iPhones and vente lattes will dry up. Cheap ammo and plentiful bacon will be gone. And all know that the first movers – the ones who do not just creep upon the line but cross it blatantly – will pay a great price for doing so.
So, the Two Americas engage in a Cold War with its occasional, but isolated, hot spots. Mutually assured destruction has been achieved without nuclear weapons. If the cities go, so does the country. But as the country goes, so does the city. As Leftists go, so do the Rightists. This probably all hovers somewhere in the mind of the average American. Perhaps it is not even fully realized, consciously. Maybe it manifests as a vague unease – a feeling of going too far, a fear of stepping over the line. Each time someone approaches the line, they draw back.
What will their family think? What will friends on social media say? Will they be able to get jobs, buy food, and enjoy the latest Apple devices? No… no they cannot step over the line.
But the Saxon still hates. The Communist still seethes with anger every time he sees an F-150 with a Salt Life sticker on the back. Neighbors nonetheless pretend not to know the affiliations of others. The Democrat lives in peace with his Republican neighbor – but only so long as the other pretends they are living in the same America.
Once, perhaps this is how America remained one country despite ideological divisions, in older days. Peace was maintained so long as the fiction remained that your neighbor was little different, ideologically, from you. With the rise of the Internet and social media, all such polite fictions have been stripped away. You know. They know. Everybody knows. Yet, some remnant of the old peace remains in the real world.
But beyond the router, there is no peace.
Look out of your window and see urban gentrification, perhaps. Or peaceful suburbia. Perhaps you see farm fields, forests, or the unbroken concrete towers of the projects – those never particularly peaceful, but no worse, perhaps, than you recall in your youth. America outwardly looks like America.
On the Internet, however, it is every cyberpunk dystopian hellhole ever conceived. And worse, perhaps. The things that lie beneath on Twitter should scare anybody.
A video was posted the other day of two thieves conducting an armed robbery. One of the victims pulled out a handgun and shot one of the thieves. You could tell the affiliation of every commenter. Their cultural and moral values were so diametrically opposed that nothing could unite them. To the Leftist, this was a great tragedy, and the victim was evil for killing some presumably poor person for the crime of attempting to feed themselves and resist systemic oppression. To the Rightist, the armed robber had forfeited his life the moment he drew that weapon and attempted to steal someone else’s possessions. The shooter was to be commended for eliminating such a clearly deficient specimen.
In a way, it does not even matter which one was right, though I suspect my readers would have a strong opinion. What matters is the diametrically opposed viewpoints, the hatred and vitriol thrown back and forth between people who are theoretically of the same nation, the same cultural stew. Of course, they are not of the same milieu, not truly. We know that now. Was it always this way, and the Internet just exposed it? I do not know. Maybe.
Regardless, there is no peace beyond the wifi.
Yet the fragile peace – with its occasional flare-ups – that holds in the real world cannot hold forever. What will happen if that dam ever bursts? If all the animus, hatred, and vitriol of social media crosses into reality?
Driving down the street, look at the signs. MAGA signs never taken down. Declarations that this house or that house believes in the core tenets of Progressive Faith. Screaming matches over mask and vaccination policies. The peace in the real world stands on the edge of a knife. Everyone fears to cross the line, to admit openly what they know privately: these are not my countrymen. These are not my people. I do not like them, and they never liked me. They do not share my values, and I do not share theirs. We have nothing in common.
What happens when all pretenses are stripped away?
Someday, the historians will look back on our history, and they will find a moment – perhaps one as seemingly-insignificant as the deposition of a minor puppet ruler in Italy was to the story of Rome – and they will say “this is the day America was cleaved in two.”
Perhaps those same historians will say of the Cold War that both the USSR and the USA fell, the former due to economics and the latter due to cultural infighting. Perhaps like the ancient fall of Sassanid Persia and the diminishing of Byzantium. Or perhaps it will be seen as something entirely different. We live in the aquarium they will someday comment on. None of us will live to know.
Regardless, there is no singular America, not anymore. Only the outward appearance still exists – and only so long as the waning pretenses of peace last in the real world. Not forever, I imagine. Perhaps not even very long.
Normally, roundabout this time of year, folks would be BBQing, waving some flags around, and shooting off some fireworks with friends and family. And to be fair, my readers are more likely than not to be doing exactly that. This is true for a good portion of middle America, even so.
It is unclear if it is true for most of America, though.
CNN and the Democrat party both delivered condemnations of Mt. Rushmore in alignment with the protests going on there, and there has been noise on social media to attend to its removal. Proposals ranged from those who wished to give it to the Lakota to do what they wish, to those who wanted to publicly blow it up. The reasoning, of course, is that there were two slave owners on the monument, and four white men. That Lincoln freed the slaves no longer means anything – something I explained to those who wanted to torch the Confederate monuments some time ago.
At this point, I doubt Mt. Rushmore will survive much longer. Trump appears to still support it, given his rally there. But given the Democrats’ position on it, I doubt it would long survive a Democrat administration:
There are various reasons supplied for why the monument must go. It was Native American land (but so was all of North America at one time – is it the intention of the Left for anyone with European ancestry to leave?). Two of them were slave-owners (though Washington provided for the freedom of his slaves). They are four straight white males. Etc… Some of the reasons may even carry some validity – I’m not going to sit here and worship at the altar of these men. They were men, and thus possessed good and bad traits, both. Good Americans, yes, but still men – with all the flaws that go along with it.
Rather, I ask where this motivation comes from. What is the end goal?
In my opinion, the end goal is the erasure of the United States of America. It is to transform America into something else, something Leftists presumably believe to be better, but which has little in common with the America we know. The media, though condemning Mt. Rushmore rather obviously in pieces and clips like this one from CNN, falls short of outright claiming July 4th to be racist. But it comes close in pieces like How Black Lives Matter Transformed the Fourth of July. Likely, the full-scale denunciation of Independence Day will come later. In 2016 CNN reported favorably on Mt. Rushmore when Bernie Sanders went to visit it. Now that Trump is there, the monument must go. So perhaps we have roundabout four years before calls to replace July 4th with Juneteenth begin to be heard in volume (they are already on social media).
In my most recent article, I speculated on the obsession with ever-smaller injustices on the part of the Progressive Left. A few of my readers wondered if, perhaps, I was not giving too much credit to the Left in assuming good faith. And to be fair, I think that the useful idiot side of Social Justice may be acting in a sort of perverted good faith. But the media? No. This became obvious to me when they repeatedly denounced wearing face masks, then explained that if you did not wear a mask, you wanted granny to die of the ‘rona. Or when CNN repeatedly trashed Trump for believing that some medication was going to help with coronavirus, and then a month or so later, reported that the medication in fact did help.
There is certainly no good faith on the part of the media.
So far, the political Right has been ineffectual in stopping this latest wave of anti-American sentiment, and the Progressive Left has moved faster than I’ve ever seen the move in my lifetime. We went from debating Confederate statues to people pulling down statues across the nation – and not just of Confederates, but general Grant, Abraham Lincoln, and other abolitionists. This was never about the Confederates. Rather, the Confederate monuments were the dam holding back this wave, and once the dam failed…
…well, here we are.
Enjoy Independence Day, my friends. America appears to be on borrowed time, though, and it is unclear how many more years will pass before this, too, is cancelled by pop culture. And when Independence Day goes, what will remain of America?
Dear readers, is it just me or does 2016 already feel like a long time ago? I don’t know about you, but I miss the days when Woke Democrat mobs only came after people who posted nationalist memes and ethnic humor on Twitter. Today, you can be cancelled for almost anything – or at least the attempt can be made by nominal Republicans angry that a pizza chain dared to thank a random person on Twitter in 2012. As long as, that is, said random person became an official in the Trump administration 8 years later.
Domino’s Pizza probably should employ more clairvoyant Woke employees.
The Great Awokening means you should be able to accurately predict mob opinion. Failure means Cancellation.
As statues come down across the country – to include Thomas Jefferson – well, it seems like we’ve entered an orgy of monumental destruction. Strippers start twerking and masturbating in public as some kind of protest. And we continue to watch rioters burn down fast food restaurants because, naturally, it is important to target Wendy’s and McDonald’s when discussing police brutality. And while race may be at the center of this issue, it is by no means black and white. Watch as a black man waving an American flag is attacked and his flag destroyed by Antifas chanting that America is a colonialist, fascist state. Said antifas – a good many white – chant that he’s a race traitor, of course.
Cancel culture now includes those who do not directly support #BlackLivesMatter, even if they agree that George Floyd’s death was wrong and police reform is urgently needed. If you don’t believe in the core principles of Social Justice – the current central premise of its most prominent faction being, of course, that if you are white you are guilty – then it is time for you to be cancelled.
The Great Awokening doesn’t care about the cause, only your virtue-signaled submission.
There are so many more incidents I’ve seen lately – and I’m sure my readers have seen still more. This includes people in my personal life, many of which have stated that if you are not protesting with BlackLivesMatter, then you’re a Fascist, and you need to be cancelled. Or, perhaps, you should be reeducated in camps, as Bill Palmer explains:
If you’re right-of-center, well, you should clean toilets or something, or be sent to reeducation camp for ‘rehabilitation’. These views are mainstream on the political Left. Or at least they are among mainstream Leftists I know in my personal life, and see on social media. Leftists who still want to have a peaceful dialogue with Rightists appear to be an endangered species.
The other day, I saw a tweet from a group of armed Texans ensuring the Alamo was protected. A great many Rightists praised them, and while I agree that it was a good thing, I disagree that this means anything in the long run. Eventually Texas will go Leftist. In a decade. Two, maybe. I don’t have a good handle on any kind of timeline, but it will. And then the Antifas will burn it down. Do you think activists have forgotten that Texas was a slave-owning society that took land from Mexico? That’s how they’re going to see it.
You might save the Alamo today. You won’t tomorrow. They will come, one day.
The Great Awokening holds nothing off limits.
Some folks agreed with Confederate statues coming down because some were erected by legitimate segregationists for political purposes. That, and the Civil War meant that Southern leaders and military men were, in effect, traitors. That second one is a position I generally disagree with – I think that, despite the bad motivations behind Southern secession, there’s a lot more nuance to men like Lee, who were in a position to either betray their home state, or the Federal government. But whatever. I get the arguments.
I also told everyone that the mob would not stop with the Confederates. Columbus statues are coming down. Thomas Jefferson too. You may say “well, Columbus did a lot of terrible things.” Sure. You may say “Thomas Jefferson carried on illicit relationships with his slaves.” Also true! Welcome to the wide world of humans are imperfect jerks. Are we honoring them for the bad things they did, or the good things?
Even if you agree with those… what about George Washington, who slowly came to despise slavery, and provided for the freedom of his slaves? What about the statues of prominent abolitionists that have been vandalized because they were white? What about Winston Churchill’s statue in Britain, that was covered with graffiti? Did they deserve it? Well, I’m sure they’ve all done something bad. And in Churchill’s case, fighting actual, real-life Nazis is not worth setting aside his mistakes. You cannot be honored unless you are perfect, it seems.
Are we making the argument that we should have no monuments of people, because the woke crowd will find something wrong or unwoke with every one of them?
The Great Awokening tolerates no monuments to the past.
Watching media talking heads and prominent Democrats (and Quisling-like Republicans like Rick Wilson) celebrating the protests and excusing its spread of COVID-19 while simultaneously condemning Trump rallies for spreading COVID-19 is a hilarious exercise in doublethink. It reminds me of the constant back-and-forth reporting about the utility of wearing a mask. If you wore a mask, you were depriving doctors of them, who of course needed them – even though they didn’t work – and, of course, it wouldn’t work for you. Then all of a sudden if you went anywhere without wearing a mask, you clearly wanted old people to die.
As Zero HP Lovecraft said on Twitter: “The irony of millions of people chanting ‘I can’t breathe’ as they huddle together and expectorate a respiratory virus at each other is a gift from Gnon.”
The Great Awokening has no central truths. Everything is fluid.
If someone with a cell phone captures you on video during a heated political argument, prepare to lose your business… then watch as your spouse is also fired from his job. Say nothing and submit, and hope the Wokists pass over your home on their way to more prominent targets. Woke Capitalism means that almost every major company (except, paradoxically, Domino’s Pizza?) will fire you if the mob asks them to. And you cannot predict with decent accuracy what might trigger that mob, or cause them to notice you. Even the insufficiently-Leftist J.K. Rowling stands at the edge of the Woke precipice. If you’re black, your skin color does not protect you from the mob. If you’re a Leftist, your previous utility to the cause does not protect you. The mob has no rules, except that it demands submission to its tribe.
The Great Awokening might as well call itself Submission. Wait… isn’t there already a religion that calls itself that?
My friends, we are witnessing in real-time the birth of a new religion, and I feel rather like the Symmachi, or Julian the Apostate as Christianity spread like a great wave across the Mediterranean Sea, at last conquering the Roman Empire that, once upon a time, tried so hard to suppress it. Only where Christianity offered forgiveness and eternal life, Wokism brings only eternal guilt and damnation. Only temporary respite may ever be gained from it. Today’s loyal Antifa soldier will be tomorrow’s mob target.
Am I overstating my position? No, I don’t think so. Watch as the Woke participate in the washing of the feet. Watch as they chain themselves together to apologize for things they have never done. And notice, still, that their position at the bottom of the progressive stack – as the eternally damned – is never changed. You may submit, and gain temporary respite from the mob. But sooner or later, racist, you will be judged guilty again. You are privileged. All white people are racist. All men are sexist. All cisgenders are transphobes, and so on. The SocJus claim is that systemic and unconscious bias can never be fully eradicated. By being Woke, you become aware of your sin, but you are never forgiven for it, nor is there any redemption from it.
This unique twist on Original Sin – without the possibility of salvation – marks this belief system as something new, a sort of Post-Christian heresy, shorn of God, torn from the divine – a not-religion that somehow fulfills the same emotional purpose of a religion. A faith that requires no faith, only constant self-loathing. This not-faith gains new adherents by twisting out-of-context Bible quotes and spouting them at people who can summon no moral defense that does not awaken the wrath of the mob. “God is love!” Yeah, God is also the guy who thought the Canaanites sacrificing children to Moloch made them worthy of destruction at the hands of the Israelites.
Again, Zero HP Lovecraft captures it succinctly: “As with any religion, the faith with no name has its different theological schools, which even fight with each other. The major schools are queerism, feminism, and blackism, the latter of which is an ecumenism in which white people worship black people.”
In the current political climate, blackism is the leading denomination of Wokism.
In the Great Awokening, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism has finally found a new god to replace the one they hate so much: a Lovecraftian horror created from the collective virtue signalling of the mob.
In the Great Awokening, Trump is the equivalent of Lucifer. Because, as Satanists heading to the Antifa rallies have explained: Lucifer was the good guy of that particular story. Clearly. He was fighting against the oppressive colonialism of God. But in any case, the Orange Man is now the stand-in, the eternal enemy. Orwell’s Emmanuel Goldstein given real flesh. Someday, they shall distribute the crimethink, the golden book of Trump, containing within it every heresy, every blasphemy uttered by the ancient politician. Itself the only monument to the old world permitted by the Woke.
The ghost of Rick Wilson will smile with pride.
Unless you’ve been living under a very impressive rock – like a bad Brendan Fraser movie about people stuck in a bunker for decades – you know about this George Lloyd business. I’ve seen the video. If you haven’t, you should do so. It is pretty incriminating for the officers involved. I’ve never been much of a thin blue line kind of guy, but I definitely check out here. I know two very good friends who have been screwed over by exceptionally bad police overreach. Francis, over at Bastion of Liberty, surely knows one of them – he is a friend we have in common.
Police petty tyranny has been growing worse in recent years, and we add to that a certain tendency of some urban police departments to engage in soldier-LARPing behavior, well the problem only gets worse. Add to that the condition of various inner-city black communities, the current political climate of race-baiting social justice activism, and the fact that COVID-19 lockdowns have surely driven people mad with boredom and lack of social contact, and you have a perfect storm for this rioting behavior.
It’s hard to blame it on any one thing, save that the poor behavior of the officers in question surely struck a match and stuck it firmly in a powder keg of epic proportions. Personally, I am exhausted of this repeating cycle, which has been a thing since at least the early 90s and the Rodney King riots. Questionable police behavior (sometimes not really so bad, and other times absolutely inexcusably idiotic) leads to racial animus, which results in barbaric looting behavior. We’re all spiraling toward a singularity of stupid, the gravity pulling us deep into a descending orbit, too strong for any of us to escape.
Political rhetoric has become absolutely poisonous. Sure, it was bad in 2016, but this year it grows worse, and I grow weary of it. Every discussion even coming anywhere near a political point is liable to turn into a land mine. Friendships are breaking. Families are cracking. America is burning and creaking at the seams. I don’t know how much longer this dysfunctional system is going to continue to limp along. We may be witnessing its slow death. Or maybe we’ll bounce back again, and our country will be undone at some unspecified point in the future. It’s hard to say.
With the election approaching, I think it’s only going to get worse.
Sadly, I think underneath all the nuclear-level rhetoric, the unleashed ids, the emotional appeals and post-hoc rationalization, both sides of the American political spectrum are clutching a piece of the truth. I’m not sure how many people want to hear that, but I’ve become convinced that it is true. I posted the following summary on Twitter earlier:
- In general, policing has gone very bad in many ways.
- Black communities in most major cities suck.
- At least some of the suck is self-inflicted.
- I despair of any of that changing in the near future.
- We’ll be here again. And again
- Racial profiling is almost certainly a thing.
- It is not without some rational basis.
- Both facts poison interactions between cops and blacks.
- White liberal race-baiting doesn’t help.
- Neither does ‘thin blue line’ garbage.
- No political faction wants to tell the whole truth because it will piss off constituents who don’t want to hear it.
- Both major factions possess at least some components of the truth.
- I feel like some character in Battlestar Galactica. “All of this has happened before.”
The black communities in most major cities are littered with problems. Violence, crime rates, economic depression – you name it. Rightists are right about that. Leftists want to blame white racism, but that doesn’t hold up to investigation. Surely, even if Leftists believe racism to still be bad even they must acknowledge that it is far less bad than, say, the Jim Crow era. Why do these problems continue? Why do we see so little progress? I was rereading Larry Elder’s Ten Things You Can’t Say in America today after a debate with a Leftist on this subject, and it struck me how little had changed since then on matters of race, saving that acrimony continues to worsen. The same issues from 20 years ago are little changed today. What gives?
Police officers know this as well as anyone. Let’s be real, they certainly do racially profile (the Left is right about this); stereotypes about violent crime have a basis in fact, and cops know it. And, from the other direction, blacks certainly are inclined to see cops as the enemy, the attitude leaks into police interactions all the time. Combine those two factors, and the chances of an interaction going bad increase dramatically. And when that happens, prepare for protests that, likewise escalate in severity. Riots, looting, mob interactions – all intermingling with the still-peaceful (but emotional and crazy) main element – while the cops either stay on the sidelines as Rome burns, or escalate the situation even more themselves.
In some ways, it almost doesn’t matter that this particular policing incident really was bad. If it had been a legitimate death, it still had the potential to flare up into what we have today. We are at the point that any police interaction with the black community has the potential of blowing up into a national orgy of combined protest-riots. This one is the worst I’ve seen in my lifetime. There is a protest scheduled down the street from where I live tomorrow – it is likely they won’t bother my neighborhood (it is known that a lot of military folks live around here), but even the potential is strange to me. There were burnings and lootings all over Tampa Bay, especially in the University Mall/Temple Terrace area.
Tampa is not exactly a city known for rioting behavior. I cannot imagine how bad it must be in other major cities.
And we’re not even halfway through 2020 yet. The election looms over us, while the COVID-19 pandemic continues (and may be exacerbated by the riots – we don’t know yet), and political rhetoric has reached levels that make 2016 look like a picnic in the park. We may solve the police overreach issue – though I really doubt it, now – but the broader issue about any police interaction with the black community potentially triggering national riots remains no matter what might be done about that. I think we’re well beyond the ability to solve this in any constructive manner.
I’d like to be wrong. I’d like for someone to pour some water on this fire, to rein in police overreach, to deal with qualified immunity, poor recruiting, travesties like civil asset forfeiture, etc… I’d also like to take us back from 5 minutes until midnight on the racial rioting clock. But I doubt either will happen anytime soon.
Like I said, I feel like it’s an episode of Battlestar Galactica, and I’m reciting the catchphrase. All of this has happened before and all of this will happen again. Again. Again. Again…
Politics has become exhausting to me of late. It is quite difficult to summon the energy required to care overmuch about it these days. Everywhere I look, it’s the same story. When Leftism has the reins of power, they push through plenty of their agenda. When Rightism has the reins, Leftism manages to stonewall, delay, throw up procedural roadblocks, etc… preventing much, if any, claw back.
David Hines is fond of explaining that Leftists are just better at this game. They hustle more, they organize better, they are more ruthless and practiced in the Machiavellian arts. Frankly, it’s all true. Rightist intellectuals – for what utility the term might have – tend to be antisocial to some degree. It’s probably related to our preferences toward individualism. It is difficult, if not impossible, to muster our full strength the same way Leftists do.
And so the Overton Window slides ever-further leftward, and there’s very little any of us can do to stop it. Sometimes, with Herculean effort, we can slow it down for a time, but that is all.
Leftism has won. It won a long time ago. It won before I was born.
Much of the frustration we see from Leftists directed toward Trump is probably because they thought the final demographic victory had come, and even our ability to slow them down was a thing of the past. All that remained, they thought, was the mop up action. Our final bastions, like the Second Amendment (and the First) would be surrendered.
Trump summoned some hidden reserve of Rightist strength for a final defense. American Rightists, and the President himself, are now under political siege, having decided against surrender. Assault after assault has been made against the walls. Tunnels have been dug underneath them to soften them. Quisling traitors from within the gates have been propositioned and tempted into action. It has been relentless. Yet so far that final siege continues on. For how long is anybody’s guess.
Can a repeat of the 2016 miracle happen again? I don’t know. Can Trump stave off impeachment? Can the hung Congress be held another term? Your guess is as good as mine.
But Leftist victory is still assured in the end, eventually. Why? Because our actions are almost always defensive in nature. This means that whatever territory they gain becomes a permanent gain for them. Until recent years, even defensive action was deemed too hasty. Better to voluntarily surrender things to the Left at a relatively slow, but consistent pace. David Hines is right about that much, at least. If Rightist tactics do not change, if they cannot organize, they will fall, no matter how well-manned the walls are against the enemy.
Give the Leftists credit for their unceasing dedication to their cause. When one avenue of attack fails, they immediately seize upon another, and another, and another. They never stop. They are political terminators and we are the collective John Connors. Of course, Girrrrrrlpower Hollywood made sure to kill him, too, in their latest craptastic sequel.
This won’t continue forever, of course. Leftist regimes eventually move too far to the Left (see: Venezuela) and collapse of their own internal contradictions (see: USSR). But does that do any of our generation any good? Does it even do any good for our kids? It will probably be a struggle for generations. And there is no guarantee we will ever claw back to freedom again, though one hopes.
I’m sorry to be such a pessimist, but I don’t see the United States lasting much longer. And I don’t see Rightists winning back their country, not even through bloodshed, for despite all the talk of the boogaloo, and the many arms we possess, we lost the Culture Wars, badly. In any armed conflict, we will be the bad guys. The moral high ground is theirs. Most Rightists know this at some level, that’s why there has been no boogaloo, no one willing to fire the first shot, or light that powder keg like an Austrian Archduke.
That doesn’t mean I think this is hopeless, mind you. I just don’t see any political way to fix this mess, and I don’t see any violent way to do it either. Which means we probably have to wait out the inevitable Leftist collapse; keep something of our views and way of life intact (and arms buried) for the time when the Leftists grow overconfident, when they begin their inevitable infighting and self-cannibalization, when their economic system falls apart like a house of cards.
Maybe then a boogaloo would work. Or maybe then a boogaloo wouldn’t even be necessary (though perhaps some helicopters would be).
Or maybe we just need to get off this rock and colonize space. Leftist lunacy is ultimately incompatible with the natural world, despite their obsession with environmentalism. Sooner or later reality must intrude on their little fantasies, and only our vast wealth and technological sophistication enables them to be so damned wasteful. Ancient tyrants could only marvel at the amazing levels of wastefulness we have been able to sustain.
Waste of that sort is fatal on the frontier. Even the Puritans had to give up their pseudo-Communist fantasies when presented with life on the frontier. Learn or die, those are the only two options. It may very well be that freedom can ultimately only sustain itself on the frontier, where the punishment for totalitarian, utopian ideas is death.
But that is all speculation. For now, exhausted as I am of all this, I suppose I must go back to the walls and do my part to slow the Leftist advance. Damnit, friends… there’s a shitpot lot of them out there.