But Next Week

One thing that is continually frustrating to people with principles (whatever they may be) is how vulnerable the public at large is to Events. What difference, the rational person might ask, does it make if your fellow says a stupid thing? His policy positions remain the same. The Other Guy still has his policies, and they’ll be the same even if he comes across as stupid in some interview, which he inevitably will.

So, much of the election cycle comes down to people who have their minds made up watching in horror as the curling match plays out. What sort of arcane maneuvers are necessary to slowly move the puck to your side? How does the substrate respond to this or that?

It’s a load of nonsense. If the election were held last week Trump would have won. If the election were held this week Hillary will win. But the election wasn’t held last week, and isn’t held this week, and yet you have people on both sides acting as if it is.

It ain’t.

Spiders

Spiders of some sort–I lack the academic credentials to identify them– had recently taken up residence in the stairwell of my old apartment building. I sweep the dirt from this area, since I sometimes track it in from the construction sites where I work.

But the spiders, I decided, could stay. They looked harmless enough. I’ve never been particularly afraid of them, and I find the things they predate on far more annoying in general. In the following weeks I noticed the spiders appearing, occasionally, in my apartment proper. I never disturbed them.

Once, an old girlfriend of mine spoke of the jumping spiders in her rented home in Amakusa in Japan. Naturally being afraid of them, she eventually happened upon a method to kill them with ease: a vacuum cleaner. I thought she was quite clever, at the time. Later she spoke of a new infestation, a round of much more horrible bugs, which the jumping spiders had evidently been keeping in check. Not so clever after all.

At the time I thought nothing of it, but now I realize that I came to understand that spiders are our friends more than they are our enemies. Very seldom, upon hearing this story, have I killed any of them. If I can, I always spare the life of a spider. I’ll even live alongside them if they aren’t obviously dangerous.

I think of this as something of a metaphor for tradition. Tradition is like a spider–unappreciated, perhaps even disgusting, until you kill it and see for yourself every nasty thing it has kept at bay.

Magnets have two poles

At the root of my hatred for critical theory and modern progressivism is the simple fact that they are tearing the nation apart at the seams, and their motives for doing this are laced with a vengeful spirit. One gets the impression they don’t care what happens to any part of civilization as long as they take down the mythical Patriarchy, as embodied by white men.

In attempting to dismantle MLK’s vision of the multiracial society and denigrating the concept of colorblindness as another form of racism, the left believes they can institute race-consciousness and tribalism in all populations except white men. That is akin to creating a magnet with one pole.

As David Marcus notes in The Federalist, only an utter fool will allow people to mobilize and act against him without responding in kind.

A big part of the reason white Americans have been willing to go along with policies that are prejudicial on their face, such as affirmative action, is that they do not view themselves as a tribe. Given the inequality of resources favoring whites in our society, it is a good thing that white people view themselves as the ones without an accent. Should that change, white privilege (whatever one views that to be) will not be eviscerated—it will be entrenched.

As I white male, I refuse to wear a crown of thorns, and I’m not so wealthy as to be able to afford to fashionably act against my interests. I’m not responsible for the sins of the world any more or less than someone with darker skin.

I have privileges of various sorts, but so do many others–and we all have our own struggles as well. The particulars of this or that white man no longer matter. Did he come from a poor background, did his ancestors struggle under an oppressive yoke? Doesn’t matter. He’s as guilty as if he were the descendants of slave owners. Aren’t there privileged blacks? No, never. The sublimation of the individual into racial tribes is integral to leftist ideology. Always with collectivists.

The problem is the people

While I like to rail against the federal government as much as the next warm-blooded wingnut, I know the heart of the problem isn’t our elected representatives.

They actually are doing their best to give us what it is we’ve asked for, which is nothing less than our collective ruination. Observe this specimen, as reported on by the Daily Fail:

‘My main job is to keep my job, to get reelected. It takes precedence over everything.’

‘Fundraising is so time consuming I seldom read any bills I vote on. Like many of my colleagues, I don’t know how the legislation will be implemented, or what it’ll cost.’

Apparently he stops fund raising long enough to walk through the door and read the executive summary, and wham. I can’t find it in me to get angry at the fellow when he has such a foolish and decadent nation to tend to. We are getting exactly what we deserve.

Legitimizing talk of secession

Mother Jones reports on the whispers being made in Texas:

On Wednesday, the Platform Committee of the Texas Republican Party voted to put a Texas independence resolution up for a vote at this week’s GOP convention, according to a press release from the pro-secession Texas Nationalist Movement. The resolution calls for allowing voters to decide whether the Lone Star State should become an independent nation.

When I lived in Texas I found the natives to be quite proud of their unique history and enduring potential to secede. It doesn’t help that the Feds regard their duty to secure the Texas border with such a criminal lightness. Defense of ones borders is a–perhaps the–core function of government, if anyone is keeping score.

Note how gently the writer from Mother Jones treats the issue, which is crying out for the kind of patented cheap shots on conservatives the liberal media engage in. I suspect the writer from Mother Jones doesn’t want to be in a union with those people any more than they want to be in a union with him, so it doesn’t make sense for him to hold the idea in contempt. Go with God, right?

Secession, which was once unthinkable to your average American, is now thinkable. The sound you are hearing is an Overton Window slowly being dragged into place.

“Hate crimes”

In Scotland a man has been arrested for posting a video of his attempts to train his girlfriend’s pug to respond to Nazi sentiments. The video is here, by the way, and gave me quite a laugh. The man isn’t a neo-Nazi, he’s using the admitted status of Naziism as the most offensive, least cute thing to get a laugh. In that way he’s no worse than the people behind The Producers. Perhaps they should go to jail as well? Or the tens of the thousands of people who have turned to the Third Reich as a source of humor?

It’s extremely counterproductive to start arresting people for making fun of national socialism. Hitler himself would definitely have taken extreme offense at someone teaching a dumb looking dog like a pug to make a Nazi salute. When you arrest someone for that, all you do is make Nazis look cool. If they weren’t, why are you so afraid of them?

Britain was also recently in the news for electing a Muslim, those famous lovers of freedom, to the mayorship of its largest city. I’m really looking forward to the day when the people who are complaining about pug dogs doing Nazi tricks are living under Sharia.

White flight

Even though the Mizzou protesters were able to wring a number of undeserved concessions from the institution they supposedly joined voluntarily, and even though they largely succeeded in silencing any sort of official sanction from authority figures or the media, one thing they do not control (yet.) is the decisions of their fellow students and alumni who no longer have the stomach for their divisive theatrics.

Of course it will never bother them to know how much damage they’ve done to their school and the other people going to it. In their fantasy land, in the rhetoric they’ve chosen to deploy, a black person attending Mizzou is like a Jew paying to go to Buchenwald.

Authoritarians always fail to comprehend that they can use all of the carrots and sticks in the world, but they can’t force a man to accept something he knows isn’t true. Affirmative action is a clear cut example of this. By making it easier for a minority to get a degree, what happens afterwards is that employers will look askance at all degree-holding minorities. On the flip side of this, an Asian’s degree is worth more than normal because college is more selective of them than of whites. Would anyone ever say this? No, because it would be illegal to say that.

All that ConcernedStudent1950 would have accomplished, were all their demands met, would be to lower the value of an education at Mizzou and for minorities at Mizzou specifically. That’s exactly the opposite of what they wanted. They believe that if they structure the surface world in a certain way–its institutions, its language, its culture–the people living in it will naturally fall in line. Many do, but a great many also do not. A man is still (unfortunately) permitted to think his own thoughts, whatever restrictions are placed on his actions and speech.

One of the ways these heretical thoughts manifest is when there is abundant plausible deniability. No white person needs to explain why they aren’t living in a certain area, or why they aren’t going to a certain college, or why they aren’t dating outside their race. There is still freedom of association, and many perfectly upright liberals express their preferences in this way.

And so it goes:

Compared to last year, 1,470 fewer students had paid their $300 enrollment fees by the May 1 deadline—and with cancellations rolling in over the weekend, the numbers may be even more grim, the local TV station KMIZ reports. That’s a drop of about 25% from last year’s freshman class of about 6,200.

Mizzou also reported a three-year low in grad-school applications, down 1,140 from two years ago. The number of new students shrunk even as the university has embarked on an aggressive effort to drum up interest in the school, using text messages and Skype and deploying more out-of-state recruiters.

So thousands of prospective students, who if you asked them directly about the events at Mizzou would likely have sided wholly with the protesters, have never the less made a curious decision not to attend the institution.

People will say and even believe lots of things to be popular, but if they feel their interests at stake their brain stem will seize hold of them long enough to make a reasonable decision. They might still cling to their worthless opinions, but watch how they act.

Because of this, the next depressing chapter in the West’s march towards tyranny is an intensification of the campaign against free association. People who make the wrong choices should not be allowed to choose.

Anthropology sucks

I once took a course offered by the Anthropology department. I figured it wasn’t going to go well, knowing in advance the field had been seduced to the easy path of post-modernism, but after watching the madness play out in person I decided that there was simply no way I was going to survive if I took it seriously. You’ll have more luck having a reasonable discussion with a rabid dog than a critical theorist. That’s what they are, essentially: intellectual (and I use that term loosely) mad dogs. Once they catch the bug they abandon all reason and attack, attack, attack.

What I wound up doing in the class was invent a parody of a barely-coherent radical and attempt to get to the left of the professor (and everyone else in the class) on every single issue. This proved to be far, far more difficult than I first imagined, but I think I managed. I got an A in the class, and I can’t say I did much to deserve it. I must’ve said the right things.

That was years ago. What I did then would now be impossible, because everyone has actually become the preposterous man I was pretending to be. Are they all pretending? We can only hope.

Anthropology in particular, as a discipline, can be summed up in this simple way: all cultures are equally valid, except for yours, so just castrate yourself. Peter Wood goes into detail about this wretched cult of irrational anti-Western traitors:

Many anthropologists busy themselves attacking Western ideas about objective knowledge, but they don’t go far enough. You need radical Black anthropologists to finish the job of destroying the West.

Allen and Jobson are perfectly explicit about their larger goal.  Their essay, though turgid, is clear enough in its lament for the fall of Soviet communism:  “The fall of the Soviet Union was of interest—and destabilizing—to anthropology.” That’s because the end of “state socialist projects […] foreclosed a moment of revolutionary optimism.”

These people are silly court fops pretending to be academics. They don’t research the human condition; they simply exist to powder their wigs and slander the values of decent men.

Gimme shelter

I pointed out before that, at the current rate which citizens are alienating themselves from each other and losing faith in federal power, the US will eventually break up into smaller entities. Tears in the national fabric have appeared before, however, and been forcibly mended by sufficiently strong central authorities–think of Jackson threatening to hang the first South Carolinian nullifier from the first tree, or of Lincoln refusing to compromise on the integrity of the Union. (By the way, what is it with South Carolina and rebellion? Thank God I live in North Carolina, where we are completely sane.)

The difference between ye olden days and now is that, now, there are no men of principle left in the halls of power. If and when the rebellion starts, there will be hardly any resistance to it.

This is a bold theory, but what I hadn’t realized is that it’s already true, albeit in a way I hadn’t considered or anticipated. At least, according to VDH, America’s most perspicacious crank. He writes on the subject of the breakdown of federal law over at PJ:

Yet the idea of a sanctuary city is Confederate to the core, reminiscent of antebellum Southern states picking and choosing which federal statutes they would abide by or reject. Even before the Civil War, the Nullification Crisis of 1832-33 pitted South Carolina against a fellow southerner, President Andrew Jackson, as the state declared that federal tariff laws were not applicable within its confines. Jackson understood the threat to the union, and promised to send in federal troops before South Carolina backed down.

The problem with legal nullification is always the enduring principle, never just the immediate landscape, of its implementation.

You also have states refusing to enforce federal drug laws, and encountering little push back on the issue. In many places the feds are starting to lose their grip on power, even as it appears to be approaching its zenith. The monster is becoming too big and lethargic to respond to threats. Prominent state officials such as Hillary Clinton break the law and nothing happens to them. Why should it? A modern day Nixon might have kept his office.

Our fondness for law and order, for our fellow Americans, and for obeying the federal government is breaking down. What inevitably happens next might take time, as a wasting disease, but–if you ask me to make a bet, it will happen quickly. Some precipitating event (for example: the election of a ridiculous man or a literal criminal to the office of the President) will make everyone who is paying attention realize that the seemingly omnipotent federal government is, in actuality, a brittle entity which is incapable of enforcing its will on the states. They’ll see at once–the liberals in their blue states, and conservatives in their red, and Mexicans in Aztlán–that there is really quite a lot about federal law they’d like to ignore.

The purge

Rename your schools, change the logo of your restaurant, tear down the memorials to your heroes. Every day a new demand for submission and erasure, and the beaten dogs eagerly comply more often than not.

Having more or less won the culture war, the left is doing what the left does best and executing a purge. What’s the point of winning a revolution if you can’t, afterwards, destroy all your enemies?

What’s happening now is nothing new. During the Roman Empire this practice was called damnatio memoriae, and–worryingly–first became popular during the death of the Republic. In the Soviet Union they had a saying: ‘the future is always certain, and yet the past is always changing.’

It’s an authoritarian tic. The one who believes in freedom has nothing to fear from history, because he isn’t trying to control others with a manufactured narrative. He has nothing to fear from symbols he disagrees with, because there is no one he is oppressing who might cling to them.

It doesn’t matter to them that there are many people who admire Robert E. Lee, who think that Confederate soldiers were often brave and worthy of a memorial, or that the Rising Sun and the Confederate flags aren’t synonymous with Nanking and slavery. The victorious Union contented itself with a material victory over the South, but the people who attack it now want to rip the very marrow of pride out of Southerners.

It is evil to demand that any people live eternally in shame. Not when the history of the world is so bloodstained that you couldn’t find a single person with a thousand years’ worth of innocent forebears. It is wrong to demand, as the price of forgiveness, a man’s pride. Not Japanese, not Germans, not Southerners, and certainly not white people as a whole. It is wrong to demand it, and it is cowardly to submit to such a demand–that’s my opinion of all the people who give in day in and day out in the hopes of making their lives just a little easier. They’re selling us all out.

To authoritarians, only their opinion matters. Only their feelings matter. Only their interpretation of history should be told. Only their icons should be displayed in public spaces. That perspective is not worthy of an American.

I suspect the reason that this embryo of intolerance and instability continues to grow is that there are fewer and fewer people who believe the old values. There are fewer people who are, in any sense, Americans.