Friday, September 13, 2013 267 Comments

Technology, communism and the Brown Scare

It's with mixed emotions that I see the Brown Scare starting to really rise up and kick ass in my own dear field of hackerdom.   "The enemy at last in view, huge and hateful, all disguise cast off..."

Brown Scare?  Or dare I say... #BrownScare?  But what else to name America's ginormous, never-ending, profoundly insane witch-hunt for fascists under the bed?

For there's nothing new here.  At the height of the lame, doomed "Red Scare," the Brown Scare was ten times bigger.  You may think it was difficult making a living as a communist screenwriter in 1954. It was a lot easier than being a fascist screenwriter.  Or even an anticommunist screenwriter.  (Same thing, right?)  And as any pathetic last shreds of real opposition shrink and die off, the Scare only grows.  That's how winners play it.  That's just how the permanent revolution rolls.

Not that valiant philosophical efforts haven't been made, such as this one, to distinguish between witch hunts and witch hunts.   Apparently Popehat, though he claims to be some sort of a legal scholar and definitely has strong and (more unusually) sincere opinions about free speech, has never heard of Red Channels or Faulk v. AWARE.  It's not clear whether he (a) thinks the Hollywood blacklist was a fine idea, (b) believes it was enforced by the FBI, or (c) considers it laudable to purge fascists but horrible to purge communists.

(Update: with eerie, beautiful historical fidelity, Anil Dash channels Red Channels:
There was also a pretty dogged pitch for his film, which will get all kinds of warm huzzahs from the intersection of atheists, pacifists, communists and Jews.  I was pretty amazed that he went for it. He flat out said that he wants his film to be funded and wasn't sure if it'd be possible after all of his, and I replied that it realistically wasn't going to happen without the say-so of someone like me, and I wasn't inclined to give some producer the nod on this. 
On reflection, I'll be explicit: If you're a producer, and you invest in Dalton Trumbo's film without a profound, meaningful and years-long demonstration of responsibility from Dalton beforehand, you're complicit in extending the film industry's awful track record of communism, and it's unacceptable.
It is also wonderful to see the enormous cognitive load which besets the liberal mind when asked to decide whether it's the overdog or the underdog.  All the CPUs max out, the fan goes crazy and the case could cook an egg.  The whole post is worth reading - in the author's own humble words, it's the very image of "positive, ambitious, thoughtful, inclusive, curious, empathetic and self-aware.")

Memo to Popehat: most of what we call "McCarthyism" was a matter of "social consequences."  Besides, the social consequences work for one and only one reason: there's an iron fist in the velvet glove. Being sued for disrespecting a privileged class - excuse me, a protected class - is not in any way a social consequence, but rather a political one.  Hey, while we're chatting, could you remind me exactly how Warren Court jurisprudence derived the "protected class" from "equal protection of law?"  I know the theory, actually - but it'd be fun to see you explain it.

Of course, ain't nothin' new here.  For quite some time in America it's been illegal to employ racists, sexists and fascists, and mandatory to employ a precisely calibrated percentage of women, workers and peasants.  Because America is a free country and that's what freedom means.

But "technology," defined broadly as anything new and cool that happens in California, has been in practice exempt from these restrictions.  The elite, especially a productive elite, always enjoys a special level of tolerance.  I once asked a Googler: which population, from his unscientific experience alone, does Google employ more of?  African-Americans, or Serbs?  "You must be joking," he said.

Google, of course, claims the fact that it would rather hire out of East Bosnia than East Palo Alto is a competitive trade secret.  Well, I suppose.  Curiously enough, Apple, Yahoo, and Oracle share the same secret.  Ha, ha!  Is it a secret to you?  It's not a secret to me!

You know, Goog, once you start lying, there's really no end to it.  For one thing, even if your enemies ignore lying, defensive evasion, and other telltale "beta" behaviors, they still own you.  They've just decided not to eat you just yet, maybe in the hopes that you're still getting fatter.

So in a way I actually like to see the #BrownScare getting big in Silicon Valley, because I think there's a lot of potential for opposing it here.  A lot of wasted potential.  Which will probably remain wasted, but why not try, eh?  Dear fellow geeks, there's no need to get purged.  Your predator, though powerful, is not complicated, and not that hard to hack if you're careful.  Indeed, properly organized, you may even be able to overcome him.

It's actually not hard to explain the Brown Scare.  Like all witch hunts, it's built on a conspiracy theory.  The Red Scare was based on a conspiracy theory too, but at least it was a real conspiracy with real witches - two of whom were my father's parents.  (The nicest people on earth, as people.  I like to think of them not as worshipping Stalin, but worshipping what they thought Stalin was.)  Moreover, the Red Scare was a largely demotic or peasant phenomenon to which America's governing intellectual classes were, for obvious reasons, immune.  Because power works and culture is downstream from politics - real politics, at least - the Red Scare soon faded into a joke.

As a mainstream conspiracy theory, fully in the institutional saddle, the Brown Scare is far greater and more terrifying.  Unfortunately no central statistics are kept, but I wouldn't be surprised if every day in America, more racists, fascists and sexists are detected, purged and destroyed, than all the screenwriters who had to prosper under pseudonyms in the '50s.  Indeed it's not an exaggeration to say that hundreds of thousands of Americans, perhaps even a million, are employed in one arm or another of this ideological apparatus.  Cleaning it up will require a genuine cultural revolution - or a cultural reaction, anyway.  Hey, Americans, I'm ready whenever you are.

The logic of the witch hunter is simple.  It has hardly changed since Matthew Hopkins' day.  The first requirement is to invert the reality of power.  Power at its most basic level is the power to harm or destroy other human beings.  The obvious reality is that witch hunters gang up and destroy witches. Whereas witches are never, ever seen to gang up and destroy witch hunters.  By this test alone, we can see that the conspiracy is imaginary (Brown Scare) rather than real (Red Scare).

Think about it.  Obviously, if the witches had any power whatsoever, they wouldn't waste their time gallivanting around on broomsticks, fellating Satan and cursing cows with sour milk.  They're getting burned right and left, for Christ's sake!  Priorities!  No, they'd turn the tables and lay some serious voodoo on the witch-hunters.  In a country where anyone who speaks out against the witches is soon found dangling by his heels from an oak at midnight with his head shrunk to the size of a baseball, we won't see a lot of witch-hunting and we know there's a serious witch problem.  In a country where witch-hunting is a stable and lucrative career, and also an amateur pastime enjoyed by millions of hobbyists on the weekend, we know there are no real witches worth a damn.

We do not see Pax Dickinson and Paul Graham ganging up to destroy Gawker.  We see them curling up into a fetal position and trying to survive.  An America in which hackers could purge journalists for communist deviation, rather than journalists purging hackers for fascist deviation, would be a very different America.  Ya think?

Whereas the real America, the America in which a journalist little more than an intern, with no discernible achievements but a sharp tongue, a Columbia degree and trouble using MySQL, can quite effectively bully one of the most accomplished hackers of his era, not to mention a way better writer - this is the remarkable America that we live in and need to explain.

This phenomenon of spoiled children systematically bullying their elders and betters reminds us, of course, of Mao.  But still more, of Plato.  Do they still read Plato at Columbia?  Ha, that's very funny.  Plato!  Gawker may not know Plato, but Plato knows Gawker:
Yes, he said; that is the way with him.
Yes, I said, he lives from day to day indulging the appetite of the hour; and sometimes he is lapped in drink and strains of the flute; then he becomes a water-drinker, and tries to get thin; then he takes a turn at gymnastics; sometimes idling and neglecting everything, then once more living the life of a philosopher; often he-is busy with politics, and starts to his feet and says and does whatever comes into his head; and, if he is emulous of any one who is a warrior, off he is in that direction, or of men of business, once more in that. His life has neither law nor order; and this distracted existence he terms joy and bliss and freedom; and so he goes on.

Yes, he replied, he is all liberty and equality.
Yes, I said; his life is motley and manifold and an epitome of the lives of many; --he answers to the State which we described as fair and spangled. And many a man and many a woman will take him for their pattern, and many a constitution and many an example of manners is contained in him.

Just so.
Let him then be set over against democracy; he may truly be called the democratic man.

Let that be his place, he said.
Last of all comes the most beautiful of all, man and State alike, tyranny and the tyrant; these we have now to consider.

Quite true, he said.
Say then, my friend, in what manner does tyranny arise? --that it has a democratic origin is evident.

Clearly.
And does not tyranny spring from democracy in the same manner as democracy from oligarchy --I mean, after a sort?

How?
The good which oligarchy proposed to itself and the means by which it was maintained was excess of wealth --am I not right?

Yes.
And the insatiable desire of wealth and the neglect of all other things for the sake of money-getting was also the ruin of oligarchy?

True.
And democracy has her own good, of which the insatiable desire brings her to dissolution?

What good?
Freedom, I replied; which, as they tell you in a democracy, is the glory of the State --and that therefore in a democracy alone will the freeman of nature deign to dwell.

Yes; the saying is in everybody's mouth.
I was going to observe, that the insatiable desire of this and the neglect of other things introduces the change in democracy, which occasions a demand for tyranny.

How so?
When a democracy which is thirsting for freedom has evil cupbearers presiding over the feast, and has drunk too deeply of the strong wine of freedom, then, unless her rulers are very amenable and give a plentiful draught, she calls them to account and punishes them, and says that they are cursed oligarchs.

Yes, he replied, a very common occurrence.
Yes, I said; and loyal citizens are insultingly termed by her slaves who hug their chains and men of naught; she would have subjects who are like rulers, and rulers who are like subjects: these are men after her own heart, whom she praises and honours both in private and public. Now, in such a State, can liberty have any limit?

Certainly not.
By degrees the anarchy finds a way into private houses, and ends by getting among the animals and infecting them.

How do you mean?
I mean that the father grows accustomed to descend to the level of his sons and to fear them, and the son is on a level with his father, he having no respect or reverence for either of his parents; and this is his freedom, and the metic is equal with the citizen and the citizen with the metic, and the stranger is quite as good as either.

Yes, he said, that is the way.
And these are not the only evils, I said --there are several lesser ones: In such a state of society the master fears and flatters his scholars, and the scholars despise their masters and tutors; young and old are all alike; and the young man is on a level with the old, and is ready to compete with him in word or deed; and old men condescend to the young and are full of pleasantry and gaiety; they are loth to be thought morose and authoritative, and therefore they adopt the manners of the young.

Why not, as Aeschylus says, utter the word which rises to our lips?
That is what I am doing, I replied; and I must add that no one who does not know would believe, how much greater is the liberty which the animals who are under the dominion of man have in a democracy than in any other State: for truly, the she-dogs, as the proverb says, are as good as their she-mistresses, and the horses and asses have a way of marching along with all the rights and dignities of freemen; and they will run at anybody who comes in their way if he does not leave the road clear for them: and all things are just ready to burst with liberty.

When I take a country walk, he said, I often experience what you describe. You and I have dreamed the same thing.

And above all, I said, and as the result of all, see how sensitive the citizens become; they chafe impatiently at the least touch of authority and at length, as you know, they cease to care even for the laws, written or unwritten; they will have no one over them.

Yes, he said, I know it too well.
Such, my friend, I said, is the fair and glorious beginning out of which springs tyranny.

Glorious indeed, he said. But what is the next step?
The ruin of oligarchy is the ruin of democracy; the same disease magnified and intensified by liberty overmasters democracy --the truth being that the excessive increase of anything often causes a reaction in the opposite direction; and this is the case not only in the seasons and in vegetable and animal life, but above all in forms of government.
Or so we can only hope.  I have a bad feeling Plato may be too optimistic here, however.

In any case, from Plato's dialogue we see how the witch-hunter can invert the reality of power and presents himself as the underdog, fighting back against the gigantic and all-encompassing conspiracy of witches.  This fantasy is expertly constructed and appears quite real to the casual observer.

The primary technique is to present the natural order of human society, which the revolution has in fact totally overthrown - an order in which the young respect the old, the inexperienced follow the accomplished, and dogs obey their owners - as the existing order.  The professional witch-hunter, who is in fact a petty bureaucrat, a tool of power and a bully for hire, appears to himself as a sort of daring rebel against the great conspiracy.  Moreover, because this natural order both used to exist, and is always striving to spring up against Horace's pitchfork, it can be portrayed as the ruling order with great fictional nuance and detail - even after a half-century plus of permanent revolution.

Furthermore, if you can present a natural force as a human force, it is possible to attribute almost infinite power to the witch conspiracy.  Jews, for example, cause droughts.  It's easy to see how strong the Jews are - it hasn't rained for a month!  Throw the Jews down the well!

In this particular case, it's an observation only slightly more obvious than that the sky is blue - especially for those of us who are grownups not born in the 1990s, with, like, wives and daughters and stuff - that (a) geeks are born not made, and (b) a Y chromosome is a major risk factor for geekiness.  In other words, we are not equalists.  We'd certainly love it if everyone was equal (hopefully leveling up, not leveling down).  But we're not insane and don't argue with reality.

For example, I'm a geek and I'd love it if my daughter was a geek too.  She isn't.  Not only is she more girly than me, she's more girly than her mother (who has an EE degree).  She's reading Lemony Snicket in kindergarten, but she's not a geek.  A friend of mine has a daughter, about the same age, about as smart, who is a geek.  I wish my daughter cared about numbers, planets and dinosaurs.  For all I know, my friend wishes his daughter was a walking Disney Princess encyclopedia whose dolls can improvise an hour-long soap opera.  We can wish all we want, but that's just not how it is.  If I tried to impose my ideal daughter on the real person who reality decided would be my daughter, I would be a bad person and a bad parent.  And that's why I'm a realist, not an equalist.

When the witchfinder can attribute the consequences of meteorology, biology, or any other department of reality to a human conspiracy, there is no limit to the proto-divine authority which the witch-cabal then assumes.  To rebel against it seems almost as daring and hopeless as a rebellion against God himself.  How romantic!  How empowering!  Smash the great conspiracy of differentness, without which we would all be gloriously the same!  Throw the Jews down the well!

A great technique.  But like all propaganda methods, it wears off.  Most people, most of the time, especially in an old worn-out post-democracy like our own, are extremely tired of politics, political philosophy, conspiracy theories, and the like.  It's not exactly that they disagree with the party line.  But it no longer excites them.  It still excites a ruling minority, of course, and quite vociferously indeed.  (The Gawker comment threads, like those of every other party-line board, are full of amateur bullies who derive great apparent pleasure, if not profit, from piling on.)

What the bully needs is to provoke mild approval, from the vast majority of ordinary, decent people who don't care about politics or power and are really not involved with the game at all.  It's this abuse of common decency that offends me most about the witch-hunting process.  The ordinary observer does not, really, believe in witches - or disbelieve in them, either.  Rhetoric about black cats, third nipples and secret meetings with Satan doesn't make much impression on her at all.

But what she knows is that Goody Hannah is a strange, mean old lady with no husband and a snippy tongue, who smells funny and sleeps way too late in the morning, and once yelled at her when she was a little girl.  Left to her own devices, our decent observer would never think of reasoning from this to the proposition that Goody Hannah needs to be drowned.  On the other hand, when the crowd (consisting mostly of decent observers) is about to drown Goody Hannah, she's not exactly about to speak up and stick out her neck.  For a strange, mean old lady with no husband and a snippy tongue?  That no one speaks up, of course, is no more and no less than the witchfinders need.

Clearly, everyone should be nice and no one should have a snippy tongue.  We often hear the word offensive.  What is an offensive person?  In a word, an asshole.  Everyone who hears this word (including Popehat - especially Popehat) should stop and think: is it illegal to be an asshole?  If so, why should it be illegal to be an asshole?  If not, why should it not be illegal to be an asshole?

Curiously, two thousand years before anyone had even heard of a "microaggression," a bunch of old white guys called "the Romans" considered this issue and concluded: de minimis non curat lex.  Literally: "the law does not concern itself with trifles."  Or metaphorically: no.  No, it is not, and should not be, illegal to be an asshole. 

Think about the logic of a world in which it's illegal to be an asshole.  Or at least, in which one is liable for being an asshole.  Anyone could sue anyone else, at any time, for being an asshole.  In this world, "you dick" isn't an insult.  It's a tort.  It's a factual claim that, if proven true by a court of law, pays damages.

Of course, we know the Romans were a bunch of ignorant heteronormative dicks.  The Greeks, too!  Plato, Socrates, Aristotle... morons!  Ah, how far we've come.  But really, why shouldn't Spicoli be able to sue Mr. Hand?  Who really was a dick, wasn't he?  Why should anyone be allowed to be a dick?  Why should that be okay, in our tolerant society?  To be a dick?

A legal system in which insolence is a tort has never, so far as I know, been tried.  In general, sages and jurists for all the world and time have agreed that, though it is not nice for people to be not nice to each other, the desirable goal of enforcing universal sweetness and niceness is simply not one within the reach of human jurisprudence.

For one thing, the courtroom process relies on witness testimony, and even with eyewitnesses it is often difficult to establish who hit whom.  Imagine a lawsuit between two people, each of whom accuses the other of being a dick, but who were the only people in the room.  It's preposterous.  No, clearly - the problem of giving dicks their just reward, which is neither jail time nor monetary damages, but simply social exclusion, is best left to Popehat's "social consequences."

Or so a bunch of dead old white dicks believed.  I mean, what the fuck, right?  Obviously, dead white dicks are going to believe it's okay to be a dick.  Duh.

But a legal system in which rudeness to certain people attracts the attention of the law... this system is by no means unusual in human history.  Nor is it universal.  But it's certainly the norm.  It's really the Enlightenment system of uniform legal protection that's unusual.

Here's an example of the normal historical approach - from a non-Eurocentric context:


In old Japan, it wasn't illegal to be an asshole.  It wasn't even illegal to be an asshole to a samurai.  But it was illegal to be an asshole to a samurai - if you weren't a samurai.  See how it works?  You might say the samurai were a sort of protected class.  A system not at all unique to old Japan.  Always and everywhere, "microaggressing" against the protected class is hazardous to your health.

There was even a word, dating back to those same Roman dicks who gave us this "de minimis" bullshit, for a system of law that assigned certain people special rights.  This set of rights varied - but in almost every case, the right not to be offended (by those outside the subset) was the first and most basic.  The word, in fact, was privilege.  Meaning, in Roman dick-speak, private law.

Type it into the searchbar.  Somehow, you still get:
A privilege is a special entitlement to immunity granted by the state or another authority to a restricted group, either by birth or on a conditional basis.
I don't think I need to mention what the America of 2013 has done to this word.

Hey, America - just to let you know - the language I speak, English, is actually older than you. (Not even counting the Roman bits.)  Hopefully it'll outlast you as well.  Maybe not.  But when you rape it, you rape my brain.  And you know - unlike some people, I guess - I really don't get off on that.  Just to let you know, America.

As for the actual reality of a two-tier legal system, I don't mind it that much.  Really, it's historically normal.  For an example, consider this now classic tweet:


Whom is it illegal to offend?  Well, for example, Pax (and his 50 re-tweeters - who should all also, of course, be investigated!  Any junior-league Matthew Hopkinses out there?  Gosh, Gawker has interns, don't it?) was satirizing Mel Gibson.

Were Mel Gibson King of America (not my ideal outcome - but perhaps still preferable to present conditions), this would constitute actionably offensive speech in the form of lese-majeste.  (Which is still a thing in Thailand, doncha know.)  Or, if America was a Christian country, this would be actionably offensive speech in the form of blasphemy, because Jesus is the Son of God and wouldn't just let Himself be ambushed from the rear like that.  Or...

But naturally our decent observer, pushing down again on the ducking stool as Goody Hannah struggles for air, cackling and shrieking exactly as a witch would, has no more conception of these power dynamics than a cat of tennis.  All she knows is that someone has said something offensive.  Which is true.  Since she's not interested in the political patterns of who does and doesn't have the right not to be offended, her decent, good-natured desire that everyone should be nice to everyone else gets captured by the strong and used as a weapon against the weak.

The world we live in is an awfully sick, cruel place, isn't it?  Well, we are all basically chimps.  You may not be interested in Power - but Power is interested in you.

But we're still missing something...

Because in any of these absurd hypotheticals, Pax is insulting the governing class - the king, clergy, etc.  It is always a crime to insult Power, and we can take it for granted that Power has been insulted here.  And yet - we know who, specifically, has been actionably disrespected.  It ain't Jesus and it ain't Mel Gibson. It's African-Americans and prostitutes.  Or worse, women who dress like prostitutes - sadly a much larger set.  Fine - African-Americans and women.

But it's really not possible to contend that African-Americans and/or women are American's governing class.  This simply does not compute.

Which leaves us, for all our historical wisdom, at a sort of dead end.  What we're seeing here has never been seen before.  The privilege of not being offended, the most basic and customary privilege of nobility, after centuries of desuetude has been reinvented and regranted.  But the grantees have no resemblance to any traditional noble class.  Not only are they not a ruling class, they don't even seem... especially... noble.

Fine.  We have to go deeper into the rabbit hole.  You know that hit of acid?  The one you've been saving?  For special emergencies?  Yo.  It's time.  Come back in an hour when your tongue gets big.  (Not that there's anything really new here, of course, for the hardened UR addict.)

While I really have no brief for the Wachowski siblings, and the sequels prove there really is such a thing as accidental genius, genius remains genius and The Matrix is its work.  You can't watch this scene too many times, especially if you're on acid:


Out here on the right edge of the sane world, not quite yet in the ocean of madness but close enough to hear its cold black surf, there's a lot of talk about this Red Pill.  We of course live in the Matrix, or rather the Cathedral - I'm glad to see this label catching on, though "Matrix" would do just as well.

But is there actually a Red Pill?  That will cure all this nonsense and explain everything, once and for all?  Acid is great, of course, but alas it does wear off.

I'd like to believe the Red Pill is UR itself.  (There are a lot of blogs that get 500,000 views; there are a lot of blogs that get updated.  There are not a lot of blogs that get 500,000 views while not getting updated.)  But one would have to admit that it's a pretty big pill.  Keanu is going to be here all day and he'll need more than one glass of water.

No. I think I've chosen my candidate for the Pill itself.  And I'm going to stick with it.  My Pill is:
America is a communist country.
What I like about this statement is that it's ambiguous.  Specifically, it's an Empsonian ambiguity of the second or perhaps third type (I've never quite understood the difference).  Embedded as it is in the mad tapestry of 20th-century history, AIACC can be interpreted in countless ways.

All of these interpretations - unless concocted as an intentional, obviously idiotic strawman - are absolutely true.  Sometimes they are obviously true, sometimes surprisingly true.  They are always true.  Because America is a communist country.  As we'll see...

Obviously, as a normal American, or at least a normal American intellectual, this Red Pill strikes you as hilariously and obviously ridiculous and wrong.  You cannot even begin to process it as a serious hypothesis.  It is simply too stupid.  Right?  Right?  Bueller?

I know two ways to answer this laugh: the fast way and the slow way.  The fast way: agree and amplify. "That's right.  America is a communist country.  For workers and peasants, read: blacks and Hispanics."

It may change to rage, fear, denial, whatever - but that laugh will suck itself right back down into the lungs.  That's what happens when you get punched.

You can follow this punch (only punch if you need to, of course) by explaining to your erstwhile mugger why he laughed.  More or less the rhetorical equivalent of kicking him when he's down.  As with the punch, only deliver the full treatment if it's really necessary.  Always be willing to accept surrender.  Ideally, you'll give your man a hand and he'll stand up and switch sides.  But of course, when it's time for the rhetorical ground-and-pound, it's time for the rhetorical ground-and-pound.

The laugh got emitted because one of the simplest ingredients in your standard Blue Pill is a trio of parallel antibodies that convert the Red Pill, in three different ways, into harmless idiotic strawmen.  Obviously, growing up in the Cathedral, we've all received an enormous lifetime dose of Blue Pill.  Before we capture and study these antibodies, we can go no further.

The first and most important antibody converts the RP into the perfect strawman:
America is a Communist country.
Note the capital C.  Generally, the majuscule proper noun implies not the general idea of communism, but the specific entity that was the CPSU - and its various satellite organs, such as the CPUSA.  Hence, today, we read:
America is secretly ruled from a secret Faraday cage under the White House by KGB Colonel-General Boris Borisov, who sometimes emerges in blackface to appear as "Barack Obama."
For example, Nazi Germany was a fascist country.  But Nazi Germany wasn't a Fascist country.  Nazi Germany was a fascist country because Hitler's political system was generally similar to Mussolini's.  But Nazi Germany wasn't a Fascist country - because Hitler wasn't a secret agent secretly working for Mussolini.  Get it?  Come on, of course you get it.

With the small 'f', our sign signifies a political system, ideology or movement, by its objective characteristics.  With the big 'F',  it signifies a political party, organization or regime, by its nominal identity.  You might find it hard to generalize this distinction to an earlier letter in the alphabet, if you are stupid, or haven't taken any semiotics classes.  Otherwise, it ought to be easy to see that though every Communist is a communist (adherent of the political system, ideology or movement), not every communist is a Communist (card-carrying disciple of MOSCOW!!!).  I mean, duh.

This narrative of international subversion is the most effective kind of propaganda strawman - a strawman that you can actually get your adversary to adopt.  An essentially nationalist, and utterly misguided, interpretation of the Communist Menace was the staple of the American right for the entire 20th century.  Indeed it still sells books.  Not bad books - but never perfect.

Historically, the subversion narrative of classical anticommunism is ridiculous as applied after 1989; generally wrong as applied after 1945; accurate in a sense between 1933 and 1945, but still generally misleading. (Alger Hiss is not Aldrich Ames; broadly speaking, the Americans involved with the Soviet security apparatus during the FDR period, including most likely FDR himself, saw themselves, correctly, as the senior rather than junior partners in the relationship - and considered their actions, though technically unlawful, unofficially authorized and the highest form of patriotism in spirit.)

The basic problem with the outside agitator Commie subversion narrative is that it's way too optimistic.  Were communism some exotic pest, it would be easy to eradicate.  Perhaps we could find some kind of microscopic wasp that kept it in check in its strange foreign homeland.  Indeed, the usual pattern with an invasive species is that resistance to it is strongest in its actual homeland.

For example, when we look at John Reed's short dramatic life, we see several epidemiological hypotheses - pick one:
  • The Russian and Mexican revolutions have no connection; similarities are coincidental.
  • There is one revolution, inherently Russian.  It spread, through America, to Mexico.
  • There is one revolution, inherently Mexican.  It spread, through America, to Russia.
  • The Russian and Mexican revolutions are connected via somewhere else - maybe Brazil?
  • Communism is as American as apple pie.
Of course, nationalist rhetoric - of a particularly virulent anti-American kind - was an essential ingredient in both the Russian and Mexican revolutions.  If the origin of these revolutions is essentially foreign to the countries they devastated, it makes perfect sense that the lady would have no alternative but to protest too much.

It's not foreign to ours, however, which explains why communism has only mildly devastated America.  No gulags here!  The home of the screwworm is also the home of the screwworm-eating wasp.  Unfortunately, one can't really rely on the wasp to eradicate the screwworm.  But it keeps the screwworms relatively sane, honest and under control, which is both a good thing and a bad thing.  It's a good thing because it's a good thing.  It's a bad thing because it makes it a lot easier for us to deny we have a communism problem.

When the story of the 20th century is told in its proper, reactionary light, international communism is anything but a grievance of which Americans may complain.  Rather, it's a crime for which we have yet to repent.  Since America is a communist country, the original communist country, and the most powerful and important of communist countries, the crimes of communism are our crimes.  You may not personally have supported these crimes.  Did you oppose them in any way?

The national guilt is especially strong, since our nation is anything but contrite.  Unlike our gelded pet Germans, we still believe in our national ideology of mass murder.  We ourselves are not murdering anyone right now, at least not a large scale.  But we did in the past, and we still believe the same beliefs that made us accessories, before and after the fact, to Soviet atrocities on an epic scale.

If the 20th century taught us anything, it taught us that it's not just the triggerman who's responsible for political murders.  The Schreibtischtäter has also his place in the dock - and behind him stands the howling mob.  And Mission to Moscow was not a flop.  Your grandparents watched it (mine did, anyway), and laughed and clapped.  Across the Atlantic they were laughing and clapping to Jud Süss.  Man is Caliban, everywhere.

Consider one of America's most revered 20th-century writers.  I mean, of course, Ezra Pound.  No I don't - I mean Ernest Hemingway.  According to George Plimpton, Hemingway liked to have a few daiquiris and then go watch Che mow down political prisoners with a machine gun.  Hem and Che both remain cult heroes worshipped by cool people everywhere.  Hey, what national guilt?  It's all cool, right?

Heck, if the Nazis had pulled it out, we'd wearing Reinhard Heydrich T-shirts instead.  Power, victorious power, is always and everywhere adored.  Its crimes?  Well, the winner always has some good excuse.  Who ever was prosecuted for Allied war crimes?  What war crimes?  Bueller?

Cured of that antibody yet?  There's actually a second one:
America is a communist country.
is trivially translated, certainly if you're a communist (and we're all communists), to (in communist jargon):
America has achieved communism.
Achieved!  Who said anything about achieved?  The Soviet Union was a communist country.  Right?  Did it achieve communism?  Did it even claim to have achieved communism?  Of course not.

Obviously, a communist believes that when communism is achieved, social, political and economic equality will be achieved.  In the Soviet Union, there were enormous social, political and economic inequalities.  In America, there are enormous social, political and economic inequalities.

Of these inequalities, a communist would say, with Boxer - we must work harder!  An anticommunist would say: of course you can't achieve these goals.  Communism creates enormous destruction while failing to advance at all toward its stated goals.  That's kind of why communism sucks so much.

Moreover, it would seem obvious that, by taking the stance not that the failure to achieve communism means that communism doesn't work, but the stance that the failure to achieve communism means we haven't worked hard enough to achieve communism - you may not have chosen the best counter-argument against an anticommunist who irrationally persists in calling you a communist.

Yes - America, original homeland and sole remaining capital of communism, is also the nation of hedge-fund billionaires in the Hamptons.  Actually, if you look closely, you'll see that for every libertarian billionaire there are ten "progressive" ones - with about twenty times as much money.  But hypocrisy, too, is as American as apple pie.

But probably the most sophisticated antibody to AIACC is the dualist interpretation of communism.  The dualist believes that there are two kinds of leftism in the 20th century: moderate liberalism, which is as meek and mild as a spring lamb and wants nothing more than to rectify "social injustice," and radical communism, a criminal deviation which sullies the name of the moderates by, you know, murdering hundreds of millions of people.

This antibody is easily recognized as the logician's friend, No True Scotsman.  No true Scotsman would massacre political prisoners.  If Scotsmen are found massacring political prisoners, they are found not to be true Scotsmen.  The fallacy is subtle - it is fallacious only because the distinction is manufactured as a consequence of the test.  For example, if we discovered that Highland Scots committed massacres and Lowland Scots did not, it would not be No True Scotsman, because the Highland/Lowland distinction exists objectively prior to the massacre/no-massacre distinction.

It's an interesting exercise to try to construct a meaningful and objective prior distinction between an American communist and an American liberal of the mid-to-late 20th-century.  For example, we could look for a partition of the social graph.  Perhaps liberals hate communism so much that they never invite communists to their parties?  Or fire them, for communist comments on Twitter?  We do see some partition between the moderate and extreme right - but if anything, it's the extreme left that tends to socially exclude the moderate left.  But not with enough consistency to make a good test.

What, for example, is a "progressive?"  If the anti-communist liberal (as opposed to the anti-Communist, ie anti-Soviet, liberal - a very real phenomenon) was a real phenomenon, and viewed communists the same way he viewed Nazis, for their remarkably similar human rights offenses, we'd expect him to avoid communist political terminology.  For much the same reason that, as cool as that glyph looks, you'll never ever see a swastika in an Apple ad.

Whereas actually, codewords like "progressive," "social justice," "change," etc, are shared across the Popular Front community for the entire 20th century.  They are just as likely to be used by a Cheka cheerleader from the '20s, as a Clinton voter from the '90s.

The dualist constructs his Scottish strawman as follows: Jimmy Carter is a vegetarian intellectual; Felix Dzerzhinsky was a cold-blooded killer.  Therefore, it is absurd to refer to both using the same label, for the same reason it is absurd to imagine Jimmy Carter snuffing out kulaks and reactionaries with a bullet in the nape of the neck.  Thus we create two categories of "progressive," the "nice progressive" (who sounds like NPR) and the "nasty progressive" (with a bad Slavic growl).  And thus, since "communist" means "nasty progressive," and there are no executions of dissidents and hence no nasty progressives in America... it is absurd to consider America as a communist country.

True.  On the other hand, it is also absurd to imagine Rudolf Hess (a rather Carter-like personality) shooting anything larger than a rabbit.  No doubt, if the Nazis had won the war, the whole Holocaust thing would be considered an unfortunate (but understandable) aberration of Himmler and Heydrich.  (Hitler never put it in writing, very much for this purpose.)  No true Nazi would do any such thing.

And indeed, most Nazis never hurt a single Jew.  And nonetheless it does not seem at all illogical to maintain a monist interpretation of both Nazism and fascism, which does not separate fascists or Nazis into "nice" and "nasty" and exculpate the former from the crimes of the latter.  Indeed, much good ink is shed over the guilt of the innocent gullible Hitler voter.  Who'd never even heard of Auschwitz, much less approved of it.  But guilty he remains, eh?

No one at Gawker is shooting anyone in the nape of the neck.  On the other hand, no one at Gawker has the option to shoot anyone in the nape of the neck.  So we can't really know whether they would or they wouldn't, can we?  There sure does seem to be quite a bit of hate out there, however.  My guess is that most wouldn't, but some would.  And isn't some all it takes?

So - now that we know what American communism isn't, let's look at what it is.  Then we'll see what it gets out of purging people.  Then we'll see how to dodge the purge.

Of course, communism is an ambiguous term and we can define it in any way.  One of the easiest ways to see why America is a communist country, for instance, is to define communism as a cultural tradition, essentially a religion, which is transmitted through early nurture like a language.  Although languages are not, of course, encoded in our genes, they have an evolutionary history like that of genetic traits.  Englishmen are related to Germans, English is related to German.

Language and dialect diversity hasn't done well in the 20th century, but political and cultural traditions have taken the biggest hit of all.  Both worldwide and in America, the set of belief systems is far narrower in 2013 than in 1913.  Broadcast technology kind of does that.  Political and military developments have, of course, played a role as well.

What this means is that if you look for Americans in 1913 who have the same basic worldview of an ordinary American college student in 2013, you can find them.  But you can't find a lot of them.  The cultural mainstream of 2013 is not descended from the cultural mainstream of 1913, most of whose traditions are entirely extinct.  Rather, it is descended from a very small cultural aristocracy in 1913, whose bizarre, shocking and decadent tropes and behaviors are confined almost entirely to exclusive upper-crust circles found only in places such as Harvard and Greenwich Village.

What were these people called?  By themselves and others?  Communists, generally.  Though when they wanted to confuse outsiders, they'd say "progressive" - and still do.  But poking at this paper-thin euphemism, or any of its friends - "radical," "activist," and a thousand like it - is "Red-baiting" and just not done.  You've got to respect the kayfabe.

For example, my favorite example of a culturally ancestral aristo-American is Thomas Wentworth Higginson.  Higginson is best known for discovering Emily Dickinson, which may have been the only good deed he did.  But as a young man, he made pioneering strides in terrorist finance as a member of the Secret Six.  (If you have to get your balls groped at the airport, it's because America isn't your country.  It's John Brown's country - you just live here.)  In the 1890s, he worked hard to promote revolution in Russia.  Some friends Russia had!  And as an old man, Higginson helped Jack London and Upton Sinclair start the Intercollegiate Socialist Society; which later became the awesomely named League for Industrial Democracy, which really should have been a band or at least a nightclub; which begat the SDS; which begat (shh!) B.H. Obama...

Clearly, this is the authentic American tradition, unbroken and unchallenged.  Accept no substitutes!  And in fact, you can go to Google and read T.W.'s writing, and observe that for the most part it's fresh as a daisy and could be read on NPR tomorrow, without shocking or even surprising anyone.  In short - this is who we are.  Of course, we can go back to No True Scotsman, or any of our other fallacies, and argue that there's some sort of transcendental difference between a "socialist" and a "communist."
But really, why bother?  It's just obvious that we're all communists now.

But what is communism?  A tradition, sure - but what is in the tradition?  Why does it work?  Why does it rule?

In the terminology of the father of modern political science, Gaetano Mosca, communism is a political formula - a pattern of thinking that helps a subject support the organized minority that governs him.  Typically a modern political formula allows the subject to feel a sense of political power that convinces him that he is, in a sense, part of the ruling minority, whether he is or not (usually not).  Since humans, and in fact all great apes in the chimp lineage, are political animals evolved to succeed in hierarchically ruled tribes, feeling powerful is deeply satisfying.  Communism works because it solves this problem, more effectively than any other political formula in wide distribution today.

When it comes to the formal governance process proper, of course, few are actually in the loop.  Just as pornography can stimulate the human sex drive without providing any actual sex, democracy can stimulate the human power drive without providing any actual power.  But one of the problems with American democracy today is that it's far too constant.  It's like a single page ripped out of Playboy, pinned up in your prison cell.  Fifty years ago it was still enthralling, even though your forebrain may have known it was meaningless.  But eventually even your hindbrain figures out that it's just a piece of paper with some ink on it.  And it sure doesn't help that your forebrain knows the real lady in the picture, while real and actually female, is actually on Social Security by now.

Witch-hunting on a purely informal basis, Popehat's "social consequences," scratches the political perfectly, because of course here is actual power - the power to harm other human beings - being exercised by ordinary people who are not mysterious DC bureaucrats.  Never, ever understate how fun it is to just chimp out for a minute.  If you mock it, it's because you've never had a chance to be part of the mob.  You can condemn it as a vile, base passion, which of course it is - and a human passion as well.  We really all are Caliban.

But we have an angelic nature too, and our angelic forebrains need a cover story while the chimp hindbrain is busy biting off toes and testicles.  Pure sadism is enough for the id.  It's not enough for the ego.  This is why we need communism.

And what is communism?  As a political formula?  Perhaps we can define it, with a nice 20th-century social-science jargon edge, as nonempathic altruism.  Or for a sharper pejorative edge, callous altruism.

What is callous altruism?  Altruism itself is a piece of 20th-century jargon.  We could contrast it with the original word for the same thing, obviously too Christian to prosper in our age: charity.  When we say charity, of course, we think of empathic altruism.

When we think of charity, we think not just of helping others - but of helping others whom we know and love, for whom we feel a genuine, unforged emotional connection.  For whom we feel, in a word, empathy.  Understandably, these people tend to be those who are socially close to us.  If not people we already know, they are people we would easily befriend if we met them.

Dickens, no stranger to genuine empathy, had a term for nonempathic altruism.  He called it telescopic philanthropy.  Who is Peter Singer?  Mrs. Jellyby, with tenure.

So, for example, in classic Bolshevik communism, who is the revolution for?  The workers and peasants.  But... in classic Bolshevik communism... who actually makes the revolution?  Nobles (Lenin) and Jews (Trotsky), basically.  To wit, the groups in Russian society who are in fact most distant - emotionally, culturally, socially - from actual workers and peasants.

Similarly, the most passionate anti-racists in America are all to be found, in early September, at Burning Man.  Everyone at Burning Man, with hardly an exception, is highly altruistic toward African-Americans.  But, to within an epsilon, there are no African-Americans at Burning Man.
 
But wait, why is this wrong?  What's wrong with nonempathic altruism?  Why does it matter to the people being helped if the brains of their helpers genuinely light up in the love lobe, or not?  Loved or not, they're still helped - right?

Or are they?  How'd that whole Soviet thing work out for the workers and peasants?

Heck, for the last 50 years, one of the central purposes of American political life has been advancing the African-American community.   And over the last four decades, what has happened to the African-American community?  I'll tell you one thing - in every major city in America, there's a burnt-out feral ghetto which, 50-years ago, was a thriving black business district.  On the other hand, there's a street in that ghetto named for Dr. King.   So, there's that.  And since we mentioned Mrs. Jellyby, what exactly has a century of telescopic philanthropy done for Africa?

Are Gawker and its ilk genuinely interested in bringing women into technology?  Do they genuinely like either (a) (other) women, or (b) technology?  Because it would sure seem, to the uneducated observer, that the actual effect of their actual actions is to scare women away from programming careers - on the grounds that, if they so much as master MySQL, they will be instantly raped by a pack of Satan-worshipping "brogrammers."

Do you know what women who actually want to help other women learn programming look like?  They look like this.  Sexist, check.  Probably illegal, check.  Recognizing that women are different from men in more areas than the chest compartment, check.  ("Men's rights" activists, shut the fsck up!  If you were real men and not communist pussies, you'd know that no one has any rights, least of all you.  Only one thing makes right - that would be, of course, might - and whining that you're taking it in the tail, though taking it in the tail you are, is anything but a way to create that.)

(UC Berkeley when I was a grad student there had an excellent program, very similar, also (in practice) women-only, called the "CS Reentry Program."  I was ill-disposed to respect this program and the people in it, but reality quickly convinced me otherwise.  It was later done away with, for exactly this reason - communism has to pretend to be gender-neutral.  So it can't actually just help women by, you know, helping women.  That would involve appreciating women for what they are.  Which is obviously illegal in a communist country.  Similarly, once while decoding a Victorian book I told my daughter that in "the old days," many girls went to schools where there were no boys.  She looked at me as though I'd told her that in the old days, the whole world was made of chocolate.)

Can men be assholes to women?  Can women be assholes to men?  Well, actually, it's usually men who are assholes and women who are bitches - though not without exceptions.  But broadly speaking, can everyone be assholes to everyone else?  They can.  They are.  And if you're genuinely mentoring a younger person, with genuine empathy and a genuine interest in their genuine success, what you say in every case is: life is full of assholes.  When someone is an asshole (or a bitch) to you, ignore him and have as little to do with him as possible.)

Once you learn to recognize the distinction between empathic and nonempathic altruism, you'll see it everywhere.  Empathic altruism - charity - is simply good.  Nonempathic altruism - communism - is simply evil.  There's not a whole lot of gray area between good and evil.  Evil motivations can certainly, by coincidence, produce good results - but this is an accident, which has little or nothing to do with the supposed "good intentions."

Consider our late lamented "Arab Spring," a true "spring surprise" that is creeping closer and closer to having killed a million people.  As Stalin said, of course, a million people is just a statistic.  You need a visual.  I like to work with Olympic swimming pools full of blood.

And why did the Arab Spring happen?  It happened because our dear State Department incited revolutions across the Arab world.  And why did State do that?  They did it with the full-throated approval of the American people - all the American people, from left to right.  As far as I can recall, UR and David Goldman were the only two pundits condemning this enormous crime, which has produced exactly the results we expected.
 
And what were the American people thinking?  They were in a pure state of callous altruism.  They thought, we'll help our little brown Arab brothers by supporting them in their enlightened democratic revolution.  Mrs. Jellyby could not have expressed it better.

When you are motivated by genuine charity, and your charitable efforts backfire and actually harm the recipient of your help, you feel guilt and sorrow like nothing else.  You're a witness to a horrific motorcycle accident.  You run over to the man on the ground, pull his helmet off, hug him and give him CPR.  Unfortunately, he would have been fine, except that you just severed his spinal cord.  How do you feel?  Is your reaction: "oh well, at least I tried?"

How did the American people react when their Arab experiment didn't go so well?  I'll tell you exactly how they reacted.  "Oh well, at least we tried."  And then they changed the channel.  And that's what's wrong with callous altruism.

Of course, I'll be guilty of this same crime myself if I harp too much on the "women and minorities hardest hit" line.  What's really wrong with callous altruism?  It's a damned lie, that's what's wrong with it.  It steals charity's good name and makes Randroids condemn charity and communism in the same breath.  And all for stupid political power, with which it does nothing.  I'm a grownup and don't need political formulas.  Order me to respect the Party, I'll respect the Party.

I'll tell you what the real emotion behind the Arab Spring was.  Actually, Beavis can tell you better.  "Fire is cool," said Beavis.  Fire is indeed cool.  Americans were bored and needed some better CNN.  They wanted to see shit burn.  Shit indeed burned, and is still burning.  Which was cool.  So they got what they wanted.  Not too different from the crowd in the Colosseum, just less honest about how they satisfy their very simple chimp/human needs.

And it's not just sadism that motivates callous altruism.  Another source of venal satisfaction is that when you help people, or appear to help them, you become a patron.  You gain ownership over them.  When you help overthrow the dictator of Egypt, for example, you become in a sense the new government of Egypt.  The old dictator was a strongman - the new dictator is a weakman, because he owes his job to someone else.  That someone is you - the collective you, but you nonetheless.  If you decide you don't like your weakman, it's easy to find another weakman.

The fear that someone, somewhere, is exercising power over someone else, is one of the most basic cues of the callous-altruist mentality.  Let me kill the master and free the slave.  Out of altruism!   Not sadism or ambition, of course.  My hands are pure.

But slavery is simply dependence, and the default state of the newly "freed" slave is to be dependent on his new master - you, because you killed the old master.  So your sadism itch is scratched, because you get to kill; and your ambition itch is scratched, because you become a slavemaster.

(A slavemaster?  You may not tell your dependent what to do all day.  But if you pay him to do nothing, he is still your slave - you may not ask him to work today, but you could tomorrow.  He would have to obey your commands or starve.  In other words, he's a slave.  And of course, there's one thing you've surely bought - his vote.)

When Higginson and friends tried this experiment in the 1860s, roughly a fourth of the slaves died as a consequence of the operation.  Not to mention all the other people killed.  Naturally, since America is a communist country, this episode - which might under other regimes be viewed as an outbreak of mass criminal insanity - is considered one of the most glorious in our glorious history.

And this is why you don't want to be a part of the lynch mob.  Even if you think there aren't enough women programmers and there should be more.  It is not your forebrain that lusts for power.  It is your hindbrain.  Forebrain... must... control... hindbrain.

As for the mob's victims, who already understand this stuff - there's an easy way to not get purged.  Don't play the fool.  What is attacking you, though it seems like a frivolous phenomenon, is anything but.   This is an active volcano which has claimed hundreds of millions of lives.  Just firing you is a small, small thing for it.  Just destroying your life - very easy.  Don't mess with it.  If you can avoid a fight with it, do.

And if you can't, don't be defensive.  Attack.  If possible, attack in depth and preemptively.  (What do you think I'm doing here?)  One of the things that this evil machine is capable of, for example, is covering up hatefacts - realities that embarrass it or contradict its narrative.  Your goal in attacking it is to embarrass and contradict it, creating a counter-narrative that it cannot incorporate into its own entertainment product.  If you succeed, you will be covered up as well - which is exactly what you want.  So the purpose of your attack is not to draw attention, but to avoid attention.

And finally, I have one last message for Gawker itself:

At long last, bitch, have you no decency?

267 Comments:

Anonymous Thermo said...

Insightful as usual, but you let your rhetoric run away with you here:

We do not see Pax Dickinson and Paul Graham ganging up to destroy Gawker. We see them curling up into a fetal position and trying to survive.

No, we see Pax Dickinson standing up like a man and refusing to recant or grovel, and God bless him for it.

September 13, 2013 at 2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Are Gawker and its ilk genuinely interested in bringing women into technology? Do they genuinely like either (a) (other) women, or (b) technology?"

I don't know about (b), but the answer to (a) is a resounding "no." You haven't truly known the meaning of the word "frenemy" until you've observed the gossip habits of twentysomething female journalists.

September 13, 2013 at 2:50 PM  
Blogger TGGP said...

I didn't see anywhere where Popehat said he disapproved of McCarthyism.

I've mentioned before that your use of the word "communism" is idiotic, and might as well say it again. There's an expression: "If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it's probably a duck". Stalin's Russia & Mao's China look like each other in many important respects. Such as mass murder, rather than discrimination lawsuits. The United States doesn't. The idea that communism is harmless because it's native is, again, idiotic. Native-born political ideologies are completely capable of fouling up their nations. Your points about determining who has power are fair enough, but are dragged down by being tied to your retarded bilge on "communism".

September 13, 2013 at 4:18 PM  
Anonymous Puzzle Pirate said...

"Stalin's Russia & Mao's China look like each other in many important respects. Such as mass murder, rather than discrimination lawsuits. The United States doesn't. "

The United States is most certainly a mass murdering regime. The pogrom started in 1973 and at last count in 2008 the number was 50 MILLION dead.

The U.S., being more clever than Stalin or Mao, crowd-sources the killings to its civilian population.

You can find my source for the 50 Million number here

September 13, 2013 at 4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah well there was an open letter over on Gawker..
==============================

"I think you will find with the problem with merely writing East Germany into Statute is you know..you have to *BE* East Germany.
It's easy enough to intimidate academics, they selected through generations in America and frankly millennia of History for cowardice and shirking.
Now marching Academia or government off PC Campus-stan into actual real life [which they wisely avoided] and America in particular is going to prove ever more difficult.
What's fascinating is a moment's reflection and you would have known this...but your own internal dynamics [who you are] make this impossible.
Well. This will be interesting....you realize I hope tyranny is the actual peak of governance. It's not like running the campus diversity council. You must you know succeed. Failure will have consequences. "

September 13, 2013 at 5:56 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

September 13, 2013 at 8:16 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

M^2 owes an apology to Communism for comparing it to Western liberalism; that is the ruling liberalism not the silly rump party known as the CPUSA.

FDR's America and Monnet's "Europe" share traits with Communism because of convergent, not divergent, evolution. And it is the Western left's core processes that give them away as a sui generis form of government.

D.C. and Brussels function differently enough from Communism to warrant their being classified as a distinct species of leftism.

Let's count the ways they part with the the Reds:

1) The utopian/millenialist "end stage" of totalitarian bureaucracy (the EU and USG) isn't the same as Communism's.

Communism has the Worker's Paradise where the state melts away and man enters a post-class agrarian state of harmony with nature.

Progressivism's end state is not agrarian; it is a high tech Brave New World-ish future where all facets of society are effectively managed by bureaucrats who risen above politics. This idea was championed by Max Weber and Auguste Comte and all the other sociologists who thought rule by a managerial clique would abolish government corruption.

Naturally, the utopian fantasy government bureaucrats could ever be immune to corruption was as doomed to failure as the belief the prole could become immune to class interests. Both failed, but they do not have the same origins.

2) There is no dictator in dictatorial bureaucracy as there is in Communist dictatorship.

The bureaucracy is the tyrant independent and superior to the actual head of state.

The technogarchy of Weber, Dewey, Monnet, and Comte is an independent branch of government which not even the executive can bring to order.

Under Communism, the civil service merely implements the will of the Soviet Premier, or, if the Premier is weak, the Politburo.

3) Communism's state machinery choked up because of corruption; the Cathedral and the EU are choking because of the complexity of their chain of command.

The AFL-CIO is recoiling at the realization Obamacare will eat their health benefits too.

Their pleas to Obama to be granted an exemption have fallen on deaf ears because Obama is more a figurehead. A real Soviet tyrant would have no trouble carving special exemptions for favored stakeholders by fiat, and any government bureaucrat who said no would be buried under cement.

The stakeholders in the DC and EU apparatus, liberated to act independently of elected political leaders do not have to worry about executive retaliation because they have spent decades building a complex and untraceable line of government agencies in order to create power and jobs for themselves.

With no leader who has the power to tell them he has enough government agencies to suit his purposes, the Cathedral and EU have tangled up the chain of command to the point where it's getting harder to tell who's calling the shots in DC.

Is our Syria intervention being driven by the Muslim Brotherhood? Or Foggy Bottom bureaucrats who want another hopeless third world population to govern over? It's all getting impossible to tell.

September 13, 2013 at 8:40 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

4) The Communist revolutionaries stopped waging internal revolution once they seized power; the Western liberals continue to push the revolution into every imaginable area of life despite having won long ago.

After 1917, the Soviets worked to maintain support for the new system because the new system was their system if for no other reason than they had to provide some minimal level of stability to hold back popular support for a counter-revolution.

Although I can't bring myself to say Brezhnev was a conservative, we must give him credit for accepting his role as caretaker and not pushing the victorious revolution into off the wall directions.

Communist Russia had no time for trifles such as gay "rights".

The Monnet/FDR arrangement is, er, queerer, because their mode of governance is still acting the role of revolutionary despite being in power.

The Western left keeps driving upheaval forward with worse and worser ideas because the bureaucracies have no central command to alert them the Comrades won and now it's time to stop fucking around and start governing.

September 13, 2013 at 8:57 PM  
Anonymous TJIC said...

If you're going to quote Ken at Popehat make sure you also read Clark at Popehat.

http://www.popehat.com/2013/09/11/pax-dickinson-thought-crime-public-shaming-and-thick-liberty-in-the-internet-age/

I note that he actually cites Unqualified Reservations in the second sentence.

September 13, 2013 at 9:50 PM  
Anonymous Ave Maria said...

TJIC, I believe it possible that Mencius began writing this post on 9/10 and before that follow-up post was made on 9/11. (Remember the Alamo!)

September 13, 2013 at 10:39 PM  
Blogger C.J. Caswell said...

As a historian let me tell you: this country has been communist, as you put it, for a very long time.

There is no doubt that a certain breed of this empathetic communism runs through every culture, as concern for other people is a moral tool in any cohesive group. The problems revolve around the scale and the responsibility.

With the scale, good sense should tell anyone and everyone that thinking you know a situation well from a distance is foolish and that people's relationships should be expected to be chiefly parochial.

With responsibility, there will always be a war of perspective focused around who gets credit and blame, but I would be highly encouraged to live among a people who actually had the capacity to acknowledge when authority figures dealt with situations well. As it stands, they seem only capable of rage in the event of things going poorly. Egoism, I guess: when life is good, you take the credit, when it isn't, you fire off blame.

September 13, 2013 at 10:52 PM  
OpenID mukatsuku said...

500,000 hits on UR ... im bout ready for some Dark Enlightenment University. Maybe start as a annex of Singularity U.?

September 14, 2013 at 1:18 AM  
OpenID deconstructingleftism said...

I have said why I think America is not a communist country-

http://deconstructingleftism.wordpress.com/2011/08/11/one-communist-two-communist-red-communist-blue-communist/

http://deconstructingleftism.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/the-evil-heart-of-liberalism/

Briefly, Puritanism is a much older and more sophisticated system than communism. That it makes us of communism for its own purposes does not conflate the two.

September 14, 2013 at 1:18 AM  
OpenID mukatsuku said...

Moldbug: "But one of the problems with American democracy today is that it's far too constant. It's like a single page ripped out of Playboy, pinned up in your prison cell. Fifty years ago it was still enthralling, even though your forebrain may have known it was meaningless. But eventually even your hindbrain figures out that it's just a piece of paper with some ink on it. And it sure doesn't help that your forebrain knows the real lady in the picture, while real and actually female, is actually on Social Security by now."


Betty Boop, what a dish. Betty Grable, nice gams.

September 14, 2013 at 1:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

American Democracy is 1830-1933.

Why do we blame the people for elite sins?

Oh, cuz they're the people. And if elites sinned, they might be accountable.

By said people. Who even in their debauched by popular culture [made popular by elites] can smell..Fear.

The City of Atheist God is rank with it...

September 14, 2013 at 5:40 AM  
Anonymous TJIC said...

@ Ave Maria



TJIC, I believe it possible that Mencius began writing this post on 9/10 and before that follow-up post was made on 9/11.



I'm sure you're right; I'm not criticizing him, merely pointing him towards another point of view.

September 14, 2013 at 6:04 AM  
Anonymous whatever said...

You really need to start making up your own terms instead of reusing the original ones in almost but not quite the original meaning.

Communism has a widely accepted, straight-forward, non-ambiguous definition. It's a system where the government (or public through the government... like there is a difference) owns the means of production. And America is not a communist country.

Can it have a plethora of other Soviet-like features? Sure. Since your write a lot on the topic, you could even get to name them. Why not exercise that privilege?

September 14, 2013 at 6:21 AM  
Anonymous Moses said...

The anger of the Patriots spread up and down the 13 colonies. In New York they were active in destroying printing-presses from which had issued Tory pamphlets, in breaking windows of private houses, in stealing livestock and personal effects, and in destroying property.[8] A favorite pastime was tarring and feathering 'obnoxious Tories.' Recalcitrant Loyalists might be treated to a punishment common in the army, that of making Tories ride the rail in painful fashion.[9]

Expulsion of the Loyalists

September 14, 2013 at 7:51 AM  
Anonymous Steve Johnson said...

Communism has a widely accepted, straight-forward, non-ambiguous definition. It's a system where the government (or public through the government... like there is a difference) owns the means of production.

The United States runs on fiat money. The printer of that money owns everything that's for sale for money.

It only hasn't chosen to exercise the option to take possession of absolutely everything yet.

Even if you don't buy that reasoning the USG clearly controls the means of production through regulation and its privatized forces of thought police and regulation enforcers (lawsuits). How is that not ownership? Because the USG doesn't run the day to day? There's a difference between communism and stupidity.

September 14, 2013 at 9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

May God save us from Nitasha and all the Nitashas.

September 14, 2013 at 9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The U.S., being more clever than Stalin or Mao, crowd-sources the killings to its civilian population.

I thought you meant black-on-white murders and mass displacements.

September 14, 2013 at 10:07 AM  
Anonymous r said...

And of course, long-time Moldy commenters TGGP and TUJ proceed to go straight for the No True Communist line that the Sage of San Francisco demolished at length in the article above.

No wonder Curtis Fūzǐ stays out of his comments these days.

September 14, 2013 at 12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Attack. If possible, attack in depth and preemptively. (What do you think I'm doing here?)"

Good question. What exactly are you doing here? Exposing and attacking an entity that is unjust?

Errr:

"If you were real men and not communist pussies, you'd know that no one has any rights, least of all you. Only one thing makes right - that would be, of course, might"

You fight "communism" because it is wrong, but MRAs are wrong to fight feminism because...because...might is right? Wrong is right? Satan is your pal?

This is a nontrivial error. Perhaps I'm having a spell of goyisher kop, though, so maybe a Moldbugista can entryistsplain to me the apparent contradiction.

Cheers!

September 14, 2013 at 12:29 PM  
Anonymous Puzzle Pirate said...

"The U.S., being more clever than Stalin or Mao, crowd-sources the killings to its civilian population.

I thought you meant black-on-white murders and mass displacements."

That's a good angle too.

September 14, 2013 at 12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That "you won't get funded if I don't give the nod" line chilled me. I'd been hoping that the brogrammer witchhunt that's been going on recently was just something to occupy the Silicon Valley hangers-on, while the real entrepreneurs and investors carried on doing their thing.

I note that the best angel investor in the Valley (Paul Graham) and arguably the best VC (Marc Andreesen) both seem to hold quite non-progressive views, but keep them to themselves. There was a humorous brouhaha a few years ago where Andreesen revealed he was voting Republican and the Valley was shocked - shocked! - that someone with "capitalist" in their job title would do such a thing. And of course Peter Thiel, who's an unapologetic James Bond supervillain and UR reader. (All three are also brilliant thinkers, and any pieces of their wisdom you can find online are worth scouring in depth).

So yeah, I was hoping there was an elite of tech godnerds above the petty squabbles of Anil Dashes, but it seems not. Though I still think Anil might be overconfident about his actual influence. I see two realistic scenarios:

1. The Cathedral has always had an influence in Silicon Valley, but it's metastatized, and the best and savviest entrepreneurs have learned to work around it. Gawker media could tell the world that Mark Zuckerberg is the reincarnation of Hitler, and Facebook would still have a billion users. "It's not the critic that counts" etc etc.

2. The Cathedral is making a desperate push into SV, and the misogyny thing is their beachhead.

Scenario 2 is much worse for Silicon Valley, but potentially better for the world.

It's bad for SV as there's a very real chance the Cathedral will kill it dead. The Cathedral won't intend to kill the Valley, but as it's almost impossible to build a billion-dollar tech company while retaining the mindset of a good little progressive, they're going to scare off the very best people. There will still be plenty of smart programmers and competent founders moving to North California, but the best entrepreneurs - the 0.01%, the Zuckerbergs - will learn to stay away.

Where they will end up is unknown. The dream is that they all move to some neoreactionary seatsead, but that's somewhat unlikely.

September 14, 2013 at 2:28 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

No True Communist

Chill, bro'.

My angle is the Western left's thinking processes are crazier than the old Sickle & Hammer crew. Crazy enough to warrant their being classified as a category of liberalism distinct from Communism.

Don't they qualify?

If Stalin, somewhere, up there in the clouds, is looking down at the West right now, do you think he'd view the Davos oracles as kindred spirits? Or space cadets from an alternate dimension?

I'm betting the later because their platform's nuttiness goes beyond anything Uncle Joe could have dreamed of, no matter how much in the tank FDR was way back when.

For example, Roissy sezzz ze progs have finally come around to "lookism"; discrimination against the ugly in favor of the beautiful.

Would Stalin would have wasted time on something as absurd as this?

WWSD - What would Stalin do? He did many things, but lookism, racial diversity, green energy and all the rest were not among them.

September 14, 2013 at 2:36 PM  
Blogger Marcus Crassus said...

Write a goddamned book. People still hand out Chomsky's brain droppings after all these decades. Unqualified Reservations is due to be shut down as a hate-blog any year now. And linking people to the Gentle Introduction is just about as polite as telling a person to go read Eliezer's sequences, or to f**k themselves.

September 14, 2013 at 3:19 PM  
Anonymous r said...

You're right TUJ I didn't really read your comment closely due to my exasperation with TGGGGGGP's retarded bilge about "mass murder" (which I have carefully reread to confirm that it is, in fact, retarded bilge). My apologies.

September 14, 2013 at 3:36 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

I was about to get to this point M made and which you just brought up:

It's bad for SV as there's a very real chance the Cathedral will kill it dead.

Who says the brogrammers have to intentionally attack the Cathedral?

SV is on track to unintentionally kill it before it can kill the Valley.

Specifically, SV is set to torpedo two core Cathedral processes: the newspaper industry and academia.

The brogrammers have sent newspapers into a revenue death spiral. High quality mini tablets are the final nail in print media's coffin because the over 55 demographic can hold them more easily than the flagship models.

And then there's the decisive strike: Online education.

The tech industry will devastate the university system as soon as online classes are accepted for undergrad credit.

The only barrier to their adoption has been the monopoly power four year schools enjoy to grant college credit.

But the monopoly is about to break. The tuition crisis will drive legislators to mandate public colleges accept online classes for credit.

Introducing lower tuition into the academic ecosystem, even if only at public colleges, will force layoffs of professors because neither public or private schools will be able to lower costs to compete with online alternatives without throwing off deadweight. This means hundreds of thousands of layoffs of tenured faculty.

September 14, 2013 at 4:17 PM  
Blogger Stanislav Datskovskiy said...

Undiscovered Jew: online courses aren't a plug-in replacement for the Cathedral universities for one simple reason: the latter don't really exist in order to educate, or even to indoctrinate - so much as to status-signal.

Asking for a uni degree is done to keep the riff-raff out. You don't need the Red Pill to see this - only a pair of eyes.

Wake me up when the 'MOOCs' are able to charge six figures. Or even five.

September 14, 2013 at 4:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

UJ: Good point.

Going one level deeper, the Cathedral in its current form is adapted to the mass media age. Broadcast technology. One, max two viewpoints for the proles to hear on any given topic.

If TV and newspapers are modernist, the internet is postmodernist - you can find hundreds of ideologies and sub-sub-ideologies, even on a mainstream website like Reddit.

The classic cathedral debating strategy is: "there's two perspectives on this issue. Perspective 1 is held by close-minded bigots. Perspective 2 is held by open-minded intelligent people." That doesn't fly in an age when smart people can read many perspectives on a given topic.

I saw Anil Dash barge into another comment thread recently (this was on Facebook) - the editor of Wired was having a fairly abstract discussion about whether the new wave of internet feminism was poststructuralist or whatever. Anil then barges, tells everyone to check their privilege and (classic prog move) that it's their responsibility to educate themselves. No engaging with the existing conversation at all. It was pretty cringe and makes you realise that progs are not all that bright, they only think that they're smarter and more enlightened than other people. Again, it's a mindset they've learned because they're used to controlling the media and the message, and can't adapt to a platform where everyone gets an actual say.

That said, it's not all peaches and cream. The internet has also bought us Gawker media, Tumblr pansexual demiromantics, and Twitter lynch mobs. New technology changes the game for everyone - there's no telling which side will adapt best. But it's certainly impossible to imagine a purely offline UR getting 500k readers.

Education is another exciting area. I think Peter Thiel knows what he's doing with his 20-under-20 program. Save the Alpha++ Brahmins from Cathedral indoctrination, and very quickly academia becomes *uncool* for regular Brahmin kids.

September 14, 2013 at 4:51 PM  
Anonymous Alrenous said...

I've always regretted engaging Anonymous, but first time for everything right? Gotta give it a chance?

"This is a nontrivial error. Perhaps I'm having a spell of goyisher kop, though, so maybe a Moldbugista can entryistsplain to me the apparent contradiction.

Cheers!"


(Also I'm a fan of this Moldbugista entryistplain thing.)

There's multiple levels here.

-

First, the contradiction is real, not apparent. Moldbug talks a lot about God and how lying is evil and stuff, ("It's a damned lie, that's what's wrong with it.") then runs his mouth about how might = right.

Apparently I have to mention: if you assume might = right, then right and wrong are meaningless. There's only can and can't.

Unfortunately, it would seem Moldbug is not interested in fixing these contradictions. Let me remind you that implementing a contradictory ideology is impossible.

-

Second, no contradiction, not even any apparent one. Moldbug said as much: it's an attempt to be so odious to proggies that it must be ignored.

He's doing it because - to venture too many inferential steps away - he just can't see himself doing it with another guy.

He's said he would be Catholic if he could be. Doubtless, he would also be progressive if that were on the table. It's just not.

-

On the gripping hand, the fact remains that MRAs are full of shit.

It's right there in the name - activist. Activism is evil. It's trying to remedy a theft by revenge-stealing.

They're opposing a fundamentally demotic/communist prospiracy using demotic tactics and strategy. They say that feminism is philosophically bankrupt and evil - only, they don't oppose democracy, which is at least as, if not more philosophically bankrupt. And indeed the founding father of feminism. Even if the MRM somehow miraculously achieved their goals, it would only lay the groundwork for a feminist revival.

Moldbug could probably explain this better than I could. Won't, though.

-

For level 3.5, MRAs, in particular this one's summaries, are a useful source of once-commonly-known facts. Though, I can't safely vouch for the usefulness of any of these facts.

September 14, 2013 at 4:56 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Death tolls aren't the final say in determining a government's sanity or insanity. Kill counts are bound by circumstances. They're a flashing indicator, sure, but they must be viewed in the context of neighboring variables.

The Nazi death toll is lower than Communism primarily because the Third Reich's opportunity to cause mayhem was constrained to a 13 year window.

Had Germany won, the Nazi plan for the colonization of Eastern Europe would have gone ahead. By the time the mass starvation, enslavement and expulsions of Slavs to German penal colonies in Siberia were complete, WWII's killings would approach the 200 million mark. And that assumes a victorious Hitler wouldn't have woke up one day and decided to exterminate another occupied population such as the French.

Take another example; Cold War Chile. Allende couldn't rack up corpses as much as he would have because he was brought down by Pinochet. If Allende's regime had survived, his murders would certainly have exceeded the general's.

September 14, 2013 at 5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MRAs are cute. At least the ones that try and justify themselves (to feminists) by saying: "we just want _equality_. You guys have gone too far and now want women to be superior to men".

It's admirable that they're appealing to a higher principle over emotion, and this argument has intuitive appeal to those of a libertarian/classical liberal bent. But, empirically, "equalist" feminism inevitably leads to socialist feminism. Once you think about it enough, you're either a reactionary traditionalist or a radical feminist. There's no consistent middle ground.

(I cheer on successful career women and female entrepreneurs despite being a gender essentialist. My view is based on the idea that Northwestern Europe has always supported strong, independent women, a consequence of monogamy, small nuclear families, and genetic selection for middle class character traits (thrift, patience, hard work). So there's that).

Anyway, point is there's always a few proto-reactionaries in any MRA community.

Also, another thought on progressives, media and technology.

The canonical personality of broadcast media is patronising. Being patronising doesn't work as well online, where it manifests as snark.

The canonical personality of online media, in contrast, is pedantry.

If you understand the difference between these two mindsets, their patterns of interaction become predictable. 'Derailing', for example, is what happens when "you sit down and let me educate you" meets "let's debate random minutae".

September 14, 2013 at 5:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

online courses aren't a plug-in replacement for the Cathedral universities for one simple reason: the latter don't really exist in order to educate, or even to indoctrinate - so much as to status-signal.

Asking for a uni degree is done to keep the riff-raff out.


The reason every job everywhere requires a university degree is that in Griggs v. Duke Power Company, the Supreme Court ruled that any test that has a disparate impact on protected classes is illegal to use for employment.

But it's still legal to require a university degree.

It's true that in a world without the Griggs decision, having gone to a Cathedralist college might be considered evidence of political reliability. But then again, I was a minor officer in my college's campus Democratic Party.

What to expect the Cathedral to do about the problem of dodging the Griggs decision with cheap MOOCs? I think in a few years there will be talk of how MOOCs need better outreach towards underserved communities. Probably including threats and incentives regarding accreditation.

Oh, and does anyone remember why educators stopped openly opposing integration? It happened because it was illegal for them to. Probably the same language as the hostile environment law under which it is illegal to knowingly employ a racist, but I don't know.

Regarding the legality of employing racists:

http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/practices/harassment.cfm

The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, a supervisor in another area, an agent of the employer, a co-worker, or a non-employee.

The victim does not have to be the person harassed.

...The employer will be liable for harassment... if it knew, or should have known about the harassment and failed to take prompt and appropriate corrective action.

September 14, 2013 at 5:20 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

online courses aren't a plug-in replacement for the Cathedral universities for one simple reason: the latter don't really exist in order to educate, or even to indoctrinate - so much as to status-signal.

They're a replacement for professors. The political impact of wiping out so many tenured positions would be enormous since the left relies heavily on universities to physically organize liberals, brainwash students, and churn out "research" that always promotes ever more progressive social engineering.

As for status-signalling, only the top 20 (more or less) non-engineering schools have enough brand name recognition that they can get away with charging exorbitant tuiton.

Online education won't take down these schools. But they may not have to. If scores of humanities professors and departments below the top ~20 schools are ruined, the remaining schools simply won't be numerous enough to make up for the lost political influence and volume of propaganda generated by lower ranked liberal schools like University Boulder Colorado, UNC Chapel Hill, etc.

There's plenty of non-elite private schools that will be jeopardized.

September 14, 2013 at 5:29 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

That said, it's not all peaches and cream. The internet has also bought us Gawker media, Tumblr pansexual demiromantics, and Twitter lynch mobs.

The liberal websites depend on the reputations of the mainstream liberal house organs. If, like Newsweek, the old Cathedral behemoths go belly up they Gawker and similar must compete on a level internet playing field where the barriers to entry are miniscule.

As far as broadcast media goes, Silicon Valley very much wants to gain control of television programming. Although a la carte programming seems off the table, there is movement towards offering "genre" bundles where similarly related channels, like sports and family, could be bought at a cheaper price without the "all or nothing" bundle we have today.

If the bundle breaks up, the broadcast nightly news will suffer a ratings drop because they only have millions of viewers because of old habits and because the alphabet broadcasters are the first few channels in everyone's bundle.

If consumers can buy smaller bundles, networks will have to tone down the propaganda to keep segments of viewers from cancelling.

Notice that the casts of HBO's shows are much whiter than regular shows because HBO has to convince viewers to fork over extra cash and stay a subscriber.

September 14, 2013 at 5:44 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Silicon Valley's lobbying/bribery might is sufficient to hold off the Cathedral long enough to enter the credentialing and TV markets and, intentionally or not, cause severe damage on the Cathedral.

As MM pointed out, they already get the EEOC to look the other way on their quota mandates.

September 14, 2013 at 5:51 PM  
Blogger TGGP said...

r, there is a definition for "Scotsman". There is not only a definition for "communist", there is a manifesto and multiple political parties. Mencius wants to use the term "communist" to refer to things which do not fit the definition, are not officially capital-C communist, and don't match the duck-type. Even linguistic descriptivists believe you can use a word wrong, and I claim he is doing so here.

I agree with much of what Clark at Popehat has to say, but it's unfortunate he does something similar with the word "Puritan". n/a at race/history/evolution notes (and however dislikeable he may be, I've never found him to be wrong on a factual matter), has a series of recent posts showing that the Puritans and other settlers of New England (along with their descendants) were/are not responsible for modern liberalism. A mitigating factor is that it doesn't seem intended to be taken seriously, but is somewhat akin to Stirner saying "our atheists are pious men" or Marx calling him "Saint Max" in reply. There also is something to David Hackett Fischer's identification of "ordered liberty" with New England and its Puritan founders, but ordered liberty isn't liberalism, and (contrary to Clark) Lincoln wasn't a totalitarian.

September 14, 2013 at 6:18 PM  
Blogger Stanislav Datskovskiy said...

The Undiscovered Jew: perhaps you misunderstand; the status signal in the case of the usual university is 1) "I can fuck around for four idiot years" and 2) "Watch me douse $100K with gasoline and light it."

MOOCs make for decent IQ test replacements (until the results begin to actually matter, and people start paying unemployed Chinese physicists to take the online tests) but there is no substitute for the pyre.

September 14, 2013 at 7:52 PM  
Blogger Nicholas James said...

One omission that warrants raising:

It might have been hard to be a fascist screenwriter, but it wasn't very hard to be a fascist scientist brought here by the OSS.

September 14, 2013 at 8:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think socialist is a much better word than MM's preferred communist, even if for no other reason than the fact that communism and Communism are perhaps more closely associated with each other than MM would care to admit. The statement "America is a socialist country" is a much more plausible one than MM's preferred red pill, though (for that reason) it increasingly lacks the shock value of the latter.

However, this is only a quibble over words, as MM's communism is probably indistinguishable for my (and his) socialism.

The real howler in MM's analysis is his claim that socialism triumphed over against all the other competing ideologies in the 20th century because it did the best job of satisfying certain "chimp" impulses in the masses.

That can't be right.

I have another theory.

Socialism triumphed in the 20th century because its adherents controlled the new instruments of mass propaganda that were coming on the scene, whose true political power was not widely appreciated until socialism had already won. Moreover, the elite adherents of this new ideology were not motivated by some primitive "chimp" impulse but by a sophisticated religious one. Socialism is not simply a political ideology but a politico-religious ideology of sorts. In particular, socialism is what you get once Western Christianity has been thoroughly secularized. Yes, socialists have stopped believing in God, but they have not given up the hope of His kingdom, in which people from every tongue, tribe, and nation will live together in peace and prosperity in a heaven-on-earth renewed world. They have not given up on this hope in the least!

This is why the body count racked up by socialism doesn't phase socialists, who see themselves as trying to realize humanity's ultimate destiny (or at least its highest ideal). In the end, the sacrifices will always be worth it, because the end that they are working towards is so wonderful.

But why then are Blacks are a protected class in the here and now?

They are a protected class because they are an important source of political power for socialism in America and elsewhere. For the most part, Blacks can always be counted on to vote for the socialist candidate with the greatest and highest consistency than any other group. Why? Because they are the group most easily manipulated by the socialists who control the organs of mass propaganda. In making Blacks a protected class, socialists are merely protecting one of their most reliable sources of political power (i.e., one of their golden gooses). In the final analysis, socialists are not interested in advancing the interests of Blacks as such but their own socialist agenda, and that requires power, which Blacks help to provide. Hence, their status as a protected class.

September 14, 2013 at 8:22 PM  
Blogger Martin S. said...

Thanks to Moldbug, I've searched but any thoughts on Rieff?

"For that reason, in Rieff’s view, therapeutic ideology rather than communism represented the revolutionary movement of the age. Communism inverts religion but accepts, at least in theory, the idea of a social order that embodies certain moral commitments; therapeutic society, on the other hand, stands both against all religions and for all religions. That is, it refuses to engage religious claims on their own terms, to take them seriously as a “compelling symbolic of self-integrating communal purpose.” It represents the absolute privatization of religious doctrines, absorbing them as potentially useful therapies for individuals. “Psychological man,” remarks Rieff, “will be a hedger against his own bets, a user of any faith that lends itself to therapeutic use.”

Indeed, compared to the emergent Western rejection of all “moral demand systems,” Rieff notes that communism was, in a certain sense, conservative. Americans, on the other hand, had been released by the anti-cultural doctrine of the therapeutic to be “morally less self-demanding,” aiming instead to enjoy “all that money can buy, technology can make, and science can conceive.” (This comparison helps explains why self-publicists such as Christopher Hitchens have been able so easily to “switch sides” in our culture wars; their fundamental allegiance is to the globalization of therapeutic remissiveness, and they realize that that goal is now best served by Western secular liberalism.)"
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/pieties-of-silence/

September 14, 2013 at 11:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FDR and the New Deal Coalition was anti-Puritan:

http://racehist.blogspot.com/2013/09/new-deal-coalition.html

""The New Deal coalition [. . .] united the many enemies of the old Puritan ethic: Catholic immigrants, Jewish intellectuals, southern gentlemen, black sharecroppers, Appalachian mountain folk, Texas stockmen and California hedonists."

Excerpt from Albion's Seed:

Old Folkways and the New Immigration

Even as the old sectional politics reached their apogee in the 1920s, a major transformation was taking place in the ethnocultural character of American society. As late as 1900 nearly 60 percent of Americans had been of British stock. The old English-speaking cultures still firmly maintained their hegemony in the United States. But that pattern was changing very rapidly. By 1920 the proportion of Americans with British ancestry had fallen to 41 percent. Still, three-quarters of the nation came from northwestern Europe, but other ethnic stocks from eastern and southern Europe were growing at a formidable rate.

As always when threatened from abroad, the four Anglo-Saxon cultures joined together in the 1920s to restrict the flow of the new immigration. Every region voted as one on this question—so much so that the immigration restriction bill of 1921 passed the Senate by a margin of 78 to 1. The House of Representatives approved it in a few hours without even bothering to take a roll call.17

By these measures, Congress succeeded in reducing the numbers of new immigrants during the twenties. But the ethnic composition of the United States continued to change very rapidly by natural increase. By 1980, the proportion of the American population who reported having any British ancestors at all had fallen below 20 percent. Nearly 80 percent were descended from other ethnic stocks. The largest ethnic stock in the United States was no longer British but German. Many other minorities were growing at a great rate.18

In the northeast, the new and old ethnic groups found themselves increasingly in conflict on cultural questions. In a New York referendum on pari-mutuel betting in 1939, for example, communities settled by Yankees before 1855 united in their opposition. The new immigrants were equally solid in support. The lines of conflict between the older communities and the new immigrants were sharply drawn on these issues.19

[19 On pari-mutuel betting in 1939, John L. Hammond found zero-order r values of negative .523 for communities founded by Yankees before 1855; for immigrant populations the correlation was a positive .700 on the other side. He reported similar patterns in voting on state lotteries in 1966; The Politics of Benevolence, 169.]

cont.

September 14, 2013 at 11:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The New Deal Coalition: Ethnic and Regional Cultures

The new immigrants were slow to move into positions of leadership in the United States. A complex system of discrimination by licensing, quotas and covenants kept their numbers small in prestigious professions, the strongest schools and the best neighborhoods. But by 1932 their voting strength made a powerful difference in American politics and produced a major realignment of ethnic and regional groups which put Franklin Roosevelt in the White House.

During the Great Depression, the sufferings of southern farmers and northern workers created the basis for a new coalition which was destined to dominate national politics for nearly twenty years. This New Deal coalition united disparate cultural groups who shared little more than their common revulsion to the cultures, policies and moral purposes of the Republican coalition that had failed so dismally during the Great Depression. The political economy of laissez-faire and the Protestant ethic had been discredited by the Depression. The “noble experiment” of ordered freedom in national prohibition was regarded as a social disaster. This was a period when “puritanism” became a pejorative term in American speech. Descendants of the great migration were ridiculed as absurd and pathetic figures in Sinclair Lewis’s Main Street and Grant Wood’s American Gothic.

The old Republican coalition still remained strong, especially in the northern and midland rural regions which had been settled from New England and Pennsylvania. The states of Maine and Vermont voted Republican in every presidential election but one from 1856 to 1960.20 Republican candidates also ran strongly in the parts of the old northwest (Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin), in the many northern plains states (Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and the Dakotas), and in the Pacific northwest state of Oregon. In the depths of the Depression, the old Republican coalition still remained the strongest single culture in American politics. But the growing pluralism of American society now made it impossible for that cultural bloc to dominate national politics as it had done from 1860 to 1932.

The New Deal coalition was a response to this development. It united the many enemies of the old Puritan ethic: Catholic immigrants, Jewish intellectuals, southern gentlemen, black sharecroppers, Appalachian mountain folk, Texas stockmen and California hedonists. All joined in one movement improbably led by a patrician Democrat of New England stock from New York.

The various groups who supported Roosevelt all believed that the national government should play a larger economic role. But they did not share the same moral values and cultural purposes. The policies of New Deal reflected this diversity of cultural origins. It was an American middle way, “slightly left of center” in Franklin Roosevelt’s favorite phrase—a series of pragmatic experiments designed to preserve the capitalist and democratic fabric of American society by increasing public intervention in the material life of the nation. At the same time, the New Deal also opposed public legislation on questions of private morality. It abolished national prohibition, and rejected the moral activism of the Republican coalition.

Here was the central paradox of the New Deal—material intervention and moral non-intervention. It increased the economic role of government, but diminished its role as the instrument of any single system of ethnic or regional culture. The south received strong material support, but was not required to change its folkways. The ethnic cultures of new immigrants in northern cities were given economic aid in many forms, but legislative challenges to their culture were abandoned. The cultural hegemony of the Republican coalition was finally destroyed."

September 14, 2013 at 11:37 PM  
Anonymous Heraclitus the Obscure (Formerly Anonymous) said...

Alrenous entryistsplained: "yadayadayada..."

Fine, I now have a suitable UR comment section handle, cool?

My reading of the canon of evil isn't what it should be; I've only seen the might is right assertion seriously advanced in, well, The Protocols, that tooootally bogus yet stunningly prescient hoax.

So I did some more googling on the matter & came up with this Ragnar Redbeard fellow - what an amusing entryist nom de plume. Our friends at TOQ have a nice review of his work:
“Ragnar Redbeard” was a pen name, but whoever he was, he was an extremely well-informed, erudite person, albeit with a rather florid literary style which might be off-putting for some readers.

Sound familiar?

September 15, 2013 at 12:53 AM  
Blogger Debra said...

Found on my E-Mail yesterday :

"There is still time to receive your FREE bumper sticker "Love is the law. Support equality in marriage today."

Here is my comment which summarizes my reaction to the above :

What's to say ? In the face of so much folly, perhaps we might try.. humor, the humor of countless Jewish rabbis on the eve of the pogrom, rather than weeping, or gnashing of teeth.
The world has ever been thus. When we were younger, more naive, more utopian, we thought that, thanks to our untiring activism, our good intentions, sometimes even... our faith, we could change it.
But now, we have finally observed and digested that it will ever be equal to itself, and deaf to our efforts to "improve" it.
Let's try cultivating an elegant melancoly, rather than a shiny cynicism...

September 15, 2013 at 4:35 AM  
Anonymous Alrenous said...

Fine, I now have a suitable UR comment section handle, cool?

Just spiffy. It just means the first anonymous I don't (yet?) regret engaging immediately picked a name. The correlation between namelessness and drooling idiocy remains startlingly strong.

-

What's TOQ stand for?

-

"The Protocols, that tooootally bogus yet stunningly prescient hoax."

The British conquer the entire world, twice, and people are still scared of the Joos.

Being scared of ze Germans I kind of understand, since the British are for the most part a variety of German. If Germany wasn't almost landlocked the British might have had to work for their empire.

Who made modern Israel? The British, motherfuckers.

-

"I've only seen the might is right assertion seriously advanced"

It's not even well certain Moldbug seriously advances it. It might just be about knocking fools upside the head when they think right implies might.

September 15, 2013 at 7:01 AM  
Anonymous SMERSH said...

Have you seen the state of Britain recently?

It's dead, Jim.

September 15, 2013 at 8:35 AM  
OpenID mukatsuku said...

Re: Pundits who opposed the Arab Spring, you missed Debbie Schlussel. (Though maybe Israel-bloggers like Caroline Glick and Schlussel don't count in MM's tally).

She's great. Whether you agree or disagree with her in the comments section, eventually she'll call you an anti-semite. It could be a drinking game, but you have to wait a few weeks to drink. Make it a shot of laudanum and absinthe.

September 15, 2013 at 10:27 AM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

due to my exasperation with TGGGGGGP's retarded bilge about "mass murder"

Now, now.

TGGP plays an important role; he serves as UR's calm, zen-like Hideki Tojo to Moldbug's raving Adolf Hitler.

And I mean that as a compliment.

To both of you.

September 15, 2013 at 3:51 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

I agree with much of what Clark at Popehat has to say, but it's unfortunate he does something similar with the word "Puritan". n/a at race/history/evolution notes (and however dislikeable he may be, I've never found him to be wrong on a factual matter),

What is it you find useful in his blog.?

His genetics entries are just copy-paste jobs of already published material with amateur commentary. GNXP and Dienekes provide better analysis of genetics papers and they even do their own original work.

When n/a veers towards politics or history he's been caught lying or wrong on plenty of facts, as all anti-semites are. His count of Jewish CEOs and Jewish representation at elite schools includes partial Jews like Ballmer (half Swiss). Nor does he mention the fact most self identifying Jewish college students are have one non-Jewish parent.

If he wants to include partial Jews as half-Jews then he should be comparing them to the overall population of full Jews + partial Jews; at least 5% of white American have enough Jewish DNA to qualify for Israeli citizenship compared to full Jews being 2.5% of all white Americans.

But since he's a liar, he avoids those inconvenient facts.

And his main historical thesis, Jewish liberals defeated WASP conservatives, was already debunked.

While Moldbug is wrong that a majority of pre-FDR WASPs were liberals, he's right that post-war WASPs were overwhelmingly either liberal or squishy Rockefeller Republicans.

n/a on the other hand is wrong about pre-FDR Jewish elites driving the country left.

They couldn't have because they were rightists.

Before the New Deal, Jewish elites were conservative German American Jews who were assimilated into plutocratic WASP conservatism. The Loeb, Fischer, Warburg, Schiff, Guggenheim and other elite Jewish American families leaned Republican.

It was the minority of progressive WASPs that ultimately corrupted the majority liberal WASPs and pulled post-WWII America to the left by the 1970s. The Jews and Catholics from the Great Wave migration assimilated into a WASP elite that was already leftist by the time they reached the upper echelons of power.

Adlai Stevenson, New York mayor John Lindsay, Nelson Rockefeller and the Rockefeller family, George Walker Bush, George Herbert Walker Bush, Ned Lamont, Senators John and Lincoln Chaffee, Howard Dean III, Ned Lamont, Episcopalian Maine Senator Angus King, Governor William Weld were the leftist representatives of post-war WASPism. Not a Coolidge among them.

In the 1950s, Murray Rothbard recalled how he was shocked at how few WASPs there were in the early National Review movement.

The Supreme Court was majority WASP and Jew free from 1969-1994. From 1994-2009, two WASPs, John Paul Stevens and David Souter, made up 50% of the High Court's liberal justices.

Elite liberal WASPs have been prominent among recent liberal presidential candidates and wildly overrepresented compared to their overall share of the population. The two Bushes, Howard Dean, John Kerry (half-WASP half-Jewish).

Mitt Romney (a Mormon who assimilated into elite norms) is the only remotely conservative WASP candidate, and only because his religion immunized to the loopiness infecting the high Church Protestant denominations.

September 15, 2013 at 6:12 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

FDR and the New Deal Coalition was anti-Puritan:

Heraclitus, the article doesn't quite say what you and n/a suggest/hope it does.

By "anti-Puritan" the excerpts from Albion's Seed mean laissez-faire economics more so than culture.

Secondly, while the voters for the New Deal certainly consisted of those groups, the leadership of the anti-conservative WASP progressives was led by the minority of liberal New Deal/progressive WASPs.

None of those voting blocks, except Jewish intellectuals, were influential enough to provide important leadership to the progressive movement.

And while there were Jewish progressives, the Jewish intellectuals of the time leaned towards pro-WASP conservatism as did most WASP intellectuals.

September 15, 2013 at 6:20 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

The Albion's Seed extract was weak. You're making it all too easy for us.

Keep doing what you're doing, antisemites and paleocons, because you're great for Jewish interests.

As long the "smartest" antisemites, the paleoconservatives, are historical illiterates who think neo-Confederate revisionism will in any way appeal politically to WASP conservatives (What Wasp conservatives??) then you're obviously too stupid to get traction since you don't know you're political audience.

Appealing to both WASP sensitivities with defenses of the pre-war South is sure to generate as much success as Carthaginian apologetics would to first century Roman elites.

Keep talking about issues you know nothing about, keep debating better informed Jewish apoligists on the internet, keep defending Muslims against Israel, keep generating lies that can easily be debunked with a Google search, and anti-semitism will earn the current success it deserves long into the future.

September 15, 2013 at 6:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By "anti-Puritan" the excerpts from Albion's Seed mean laissez-faire economics more so than culture.

The excerpt from Albion's Seed clearly talks about culture, so I'm not sure why you're disputing this:

"Even as the old sectional politics reached their apogee in the 1920s, a major transformation was taking place in the ethnocultural character of American society. As late as 1900 nearly 60 percent of Americans had been of British stock. The old English-speaking cultures still firmly maintained their hegemony in the United States. But that pattern was changing very rapidly."

"In the northeast, the new and old ethnic groups found themselves increasingly in conflict on cultural questions."

"This New Deal coalition united disparate cultural groups who shared little more than their common revulsion to the cultures, policies and moral purposes of the Republican coalition that had failed so dismally during the Great Depression."

"In the depths of the Depression, the old Republican coalition still remained the strongest single culture in American politics. But the growing pluralism of American society now made it impossible for that cultural bloc to dominate national politics as it had done from 1860 to 1932."

"The New Deal coalition was a response to this development. It united the many enemies of the old Puritan ethic: "

"[The New Deal] increased the economic role of government, but diminished its role as the instrument of any single system of ethnic or regional culture."

"The cultural hegemony of the Republican coalition was finally destroyed."

September 15, 2013 at 6:36 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

PS: Alexander Solzhenitsyn in Two Hundred Years Together called for both Russians and Jews to take responsibility for the “renegade” members of their communities who supported the October Revolution.

I agree with Solzhenitsyn that Jews should accept responsibility after the Russians, Poles, Ukrainians, Lithuanians, Georgians and others accept their responsibility for supporting the revolution.

The Slavs and other ethnic groups of Imperial Russia will be apologizing any day now:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_Hundred_Years_Together

The second volume covers the post-revolution era up to 1970 when many Jews left Russia for Israel and other western countries.[8] Solzhenitsyn says that, despite the presence of Jewish Leon Trotsky, the 1917 February and October Revolutions were not the work of Judaism. Solzhenitsyn says that the Jews who participated in revolution were effectively apostates splitting from the spirit of tradition.[1] Solzhenitsyn emphatically denies that Jews were responsible for the revolutions of 1905 and 1917. At the end of chapter nine, Solzhenitsyn denounces “the superstitious faith in the historical potency of conspiracies” that leads some to blame the Russian revolutions on the Jews and to ignore the “Russian failings that determined our sad historical decline.”[9]

Solzhenitsyn criticizes the “scandalous” weakness and “unpardonable inaction” that prevented the Russian imperial state from adequately protecting the lives and property of its Jewish subjects. But he claims that the pogroms were in almost every case organized from “below” and not by the Russian state authorities. He criticizes the “vexing,” “scandalous”, and “distressing” restrictions on the civil liberties of Jewish subjects during the final decades of the Russian old regime. On that score, in chapter ten of the work he expresses his admiration for the efforts of Pyotr Stolypin (Prime Minister of Russia from 1906 until 1911) to eliminate all legal disabilities against Jews in Russia.

In the spirit of his classic 1974 essay “Repentance and Self-Limitation in the Life of Nations”,[10] Solzhenitsyn calls for the Russians and Russian Jews alike to take responsibility for the “renegades” in both communities who supported a totalitarian and terrorist regime after 1917. At the end of chapter 15, he writes that Jews must answer for the “revolutionary cutthroats” in their ranks just as Russians must repent “for the pogroms, for…merciless arsonist peasants, for…crazed revolutionary soldiers.” It is not, he adds, a matter of answering “before other peoples, but to oneself, to one’s consciousness, and before God.”[11]

September 15, 2013 at 6:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Albion's Seed extract was weak. You're making it all too easy for us.

Keep doing what you're doing, antisemites and paleocons, because you're great for Jewish interests.


Are you suggesting that Albion's Seed is some sort of anti-Semitic tract?

The author of Albion's Seed, David Hackett Fischer, is a professor at Brandeis University and he was awarded the Irving Kristol Award from the American Enterprise Institute in 2006. I don't think Fischer would be a professor at Brandeis and receive such awards if he was putting out anti-Semitic tomes.

September 15, 2013 at 6:42 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Albion's Seed clearly talks about culture,

The primary issue was how the culture failed in the runup to the Great Depression. The antidote to this Puritan mentality was New Deal economics, not a cultural New Deal. The cultural changes the New Deal wrought were initially minor compared to the fiscal ones.

September 15, 2013 at 6:46 PM  
Blogger Punditarian said...

Growing up in the sixties, in a communist-sympathizing milieu on the North Shore of Long Island, I was raised on "No True Scotsman."

Point out that the Soviet Union was a horrific hellhole, and we were told that what they had was "not true communism."

Point out that Red China was a sink of famine and tyranny, and we were told that what they had was "not true communism."

And so on. "True communism" could only be established in an advanced industrial society, such as the United States, where when the apparatchiks seized power, everything would be different. That would be "true" communism.

Nowadays we hear the same thing about Islam, of course. Misogynistic honor killing? "Not true Islam." A tribal relic.

Jihad warfare? "Not true Islam."

And so on.

September 15, 2013 at 6:47 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Are you suggesting that Albion's Seed is some sort of anti-Semitic tract?

No, you misinterpreted the passage to make it seem it supported anti-semitism.

Just as you misinterpreted Two Hundred Years Together.

Do you deny the political leadership of the progressive movement was WASP?

September 15, 2013 at 6:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The primary issue was how the culture failed in the runup to the Great Depression. The antidote to this Puritan mentality was New Deal economics, not a cultural New Deal. The cultural changes the New Deal wrought were initially minor compared to the fiscal ones.

The extract is pretty clear that the primary issue was cultural conflict and changing demographics. The dominant culture represented by the Republican coalition was declining demographically relative to the "disparate cultural groups who shared little more than their common revulsion to the cultures, policies and moral purposes of the Republican coalition". This allowed the New Deal coalition of the disparate cultural groups to obtain political power.

September 15, 2013 at 6:54 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

There also is something to David Hackett Fischer's identification of "ordered liberty" with New England and its Puritan founders, but ordered liberty isn't liberalism, and (contrary to Clark) Lincoln wasn't a totalitarian.

IIRC, the early Puritan settlers briefly experimented with a quasi-Communist economic schema before abandoning it because of poor results.

September 15, 2013 at 6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What exactly in the excerpt from Albion's Seed supports "anti-Semitism"?

September 15, 2013 at 7:02 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

The primary issue was how the Protestant ethic affected economics:

that had failed so dismally during the Great Depression. The political economy of laissez-faire and the Protestant ethic had been discredited by the Depression.

September 15, 2013 at 7:06 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

I think socialist is a much better word than MM's preferred communist, even if for no other reason than the fact that communism and Communism are perhaps more closely associated with each other than MM would care to admit. The statement "America is a socialist country" is a much more plausible one than MM's preferred red pill, though (for that reason) it increasingly lacks the shock value of the latter.

Socialism was a less extreme version of Communism. It settled for large scale, but not complete, control of the means of production.

19th century conservatives like Bismarck adopted socialism in some spheres to try to defuse support for full scale Communism.

The EU and New Deal states are crazier than Soviet Russia. They therefore deserve a separate classification.

Limousine liberalism looks more like Huxley's Brave New World with it's emphasis on social therapy and constant state interference and social conditioning by bureaucrats in every aspect of life.

How about "Technocracy".

September 15, 2013 at 7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The primary issue was how the Protestant ethic affected economics:

That's clearly not the primary issue of the excerpt. Anyone who reads the excerpt can plainly see that the primary issue is cultural conflict and demographic change. Most of the excerpt talks about cultural conflict and demographic change. The Great Depression gave an opportunity for the "New Deal coalition [which] united disparate cultural groups who shared little more than their common revulsion to the cultures, policies and moral purposes of the Republican coalition" to obtain political power.

September 15, 2013 at 7:19 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

TGGP,

While the Puritan's were conservative, it is the post-Protestant nations of the Anglosphere as well as Scandinavia and Northern Europe that have been hit hardest by Nanny State liberalism.

The post-Catholic and post-Orthodox Christian states, by contrast, were hit with the, now defunct, hard left revolutionaries.

The evidence that even nanny state liberalism was "transmitted" from the United States to Europe is iffy since there were already nanny state liberals in prominent positions before WWII. Keynes, the British Fabian Socialists, etc were more the cousins of American progressives than the Leninists.

September 15, 2013 at 7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"While the Puritan's were conservative, it is the post-Protestant nations of the Anglosphere as well as Scandinavia and Northern Europe that have been hit hardest by Nanny State liberalism."

Not coincidentally, these are the most outbred populations in the world.

"The evidence that even nanny state liberalism was "transmitted" from the United States to Europe is iffy"

Convergent evolution perhaps?

September 15, 2013 at 10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TUJ,

"Limousine liberalism looks more like Huxley's Brave New World with it's emphasis on social therapy and constant state interference and social conditioning by bureaucrats in every aspect of life."

I respectfully disagree. In Huxley's vision of the future, the world is scientifically managed even to the detail of growing/developing people according to an elaborate system of classification, where people of different types are assigned to different tasks appropriate to their type. Hence, the great difference between Huxley's world and our own is that the former embraced an elaborate system of scientifically informed discrimination whereas ours has (at least outwardly) adopted a radical egalitarian ethic. In short, Huxley's world is more like the one depicted in Gattaca than our own.

However, Huxley did get a number of things right. For example, he correctly predicted that the world would become increasingly technological in its management and hedonistic in its values. In particular, life might seem to be little more than a vain pursuit of pleasure to certain romantic types. Perhaps more impressively, Huxley correctly predicted the eclipse of nationalism and the dividing of the world into regional economic zones.

September 16, 2013 at 8:26 AM  
Anonymous Clark from Popehat said...

@ The Undiscovered Jew said...




I agree with much of what Clark at Popehat has to say, but it's unfortunate he does something similar with the word "Puritan". n/a at race/history/evolution notes (and however dislikeable he may be, I've never found him to be wrong on a factual matter),




What is it you find useful in his blog? ...


His genetics entries are just copy-paste jobs of already published material with amateur commentary. GNXP and Dienekes provide better analysis of genetics papers and they even do their own original work.

When n/a veers towards politics or history he's been caught lying or wrong on plenty of facts, as all anti-semites are.



You're confused about who you're talking about.

I am not,