09 June 2017


Okay, so there’s this thing that very few have been able to nail down.  Some call it “Marxism”, some call it “Neo-Marxism”, most call it “Social Justice” and just leave it at that.  Without definition or any consequence that would follow from defining such an ideal.  Well, I’ve found someone who has defined this, free of charge, on YouTube (for fuck’s sake, I mean, who knew such a thing was possible?!) 

The name of this philosopher is Jordan B. Peterson.  I’ve taken to watch him on an almost nightly basis, and for good reason.  He offers the most effective counter arguments to what I’ve been crying out against for the past twenty-five-or-so years.  Giving credit where it is due, and to point all of you in the direction where I’m headed, this guy is seriously legit, on several different levels, and has managed to actually get me to question many of my own paradigms (and we’ll get into that below).

Dr. Peterson is a clinical psychologist who is a professor at the University of Toronto.  His screed was weaponized when the Canadian Parliament chose to pass a law that mandated that he use gender pronouns other than “he” and “she”, thus crossing, in his mind, over into tyranny.  He reckoned that his government had passed over telling him what he could not say, into a territory of what he MUST say.  So, the guy went feral, became famous for it, and it brought to light the most sane intellect that I have read/seen/listened to since I sat down with Locke’s Treatise on Government, lo these twenty-five years ago.

Those who know me well will note that this is perhaps the highest praise, indeed hyperbole, that I can heap upon anyone.  As one might expect in this day and age, Dr. Peterson has a YouTube channel, where he has cached his college lectures and some other material.  It can be found here:


Because of the length of many of his discussions, he set up another website that is intended to make his arguments a bit smaller and thus easier to digest and share.  Those arguments can be found on this channel:


So, now you know of Dr. Peterson, I have done my duty to give this man credit for his ideas, and it is time, gentlemen, for me to get to the fucking point.

Sweetheart, this ain’t no party, it ain’t no disco, it ain’t no fooling around.

It’s…

BILE

Post-Modernism and Why We Will Win

Okay, so maybe you’ve clicked through the links offered above, and maybe you didn’t.  While you should do so, at some point, it is why the hell I offered them up in the first damn place and if you don’t, the terrorists win. 

So, there’s that.

What Doc Peterson is after is actually very simple: in the late 1960’s, those who were enamored of Karl Marx were running into a difficult moral conundrum:

They were shown to be full of shit by a man named Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.  Alex wrote several tomes that showed the Marxist experiment to be a complete moral, economical, and political failure.  I’ve recently read the third volume of his Gulag Archipelago, and I highly recommend it because in that volume, Solzhenitsyn demonstrates exactly how Marxism convinced an entire country to turn on itself, for the greater good.  He explains in fantastic detail how blaming Lenin and Stalin (et al) is a convenient argument, but that, when it came down to it, the Soviet people came to a calm and reasoned conclusion that the imprisonment, torture, and slaughter of their fellow citizens was the proper decision, in the name of “the people”.

One can see why the Marxists of the late 1960s came to understand that the downfall of their ideology was at hand.  Many of them had unwittingly entered some sort of logical guillotine not of their making.  They seemed to wish that the good will of humanity was in reverse correlation to the sheer tonnage of human suffering in the name of utilitarian good.  That the good of the many might outweigh the misery of the few or the one, and that the misery of those poor bastards wouldn’t end up as the realization of tyranny so profound and so disgusting so as to make Kafka’s worst nightmares as common as the fucking TV Guide. 

So, they met, the fiends, in Paris.  Of course it was Paris.  The City of Lights, for the love of God, would inexorably be the birthplace of the “repository of the most repulsive coterie of intellectuals ever seen”.  People such as Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Jean-François Lyotard, and Richard Rorty.  Along with those inane and self-deluded dwarfs, individuals such as Stanley Fish and Frank Lentricchia, Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin in feminist legal criticism, Jacques Lacan in psychology, Robert Venturi and Andreas Huyssen in architectural criticism, and Luce Irigaray in the criticism of science also surfaced in that slowly roiling oast of offal.  This wasn’t just Mos Eisley on Tatooine, this was Paris, France on low grade weed and sautéed Psilocybin mushrooms and shitty foie-gras.

In short, it was a terrible idea for all involved.  We’ve been suffering from its result ever since.

Because, what these vipers decided upon, as the moral high-ground of a united workers’ paradise crumbled beneath their $200 Italian loafers, was to deny the “old” ideal of a class struggle.  Yes, sports fans, those cocksuckers decided, in those heady days of the late 1960s, that the elite and the bourgeoisie were no longer at war against the proletariat.  They had a better idea. 

Modernist thinking hearkens back to the renaissance.  A golden age when men were fierce (those who had managed to survive the plague), women were fancy, and “reason” was the order of the day.  Michelangelo was painting ceilings, while Gutenberg invented the printing press, Luther explained why man needed no intercession of holy men to be heard by God, Adam Smith explained why things and labor had value, and Locke described in detail why Hillary Clinton was a fascist.  Good times.

Fast forward to the late 1960s, when LBJ, methaqualone, Bell-bottomed pants, and the New York Mets gained their prominence.  This later set of theories, ushered in by the above mentally retarded coterie of french intellectuals, has been called “Post Modernism”. 


What they decided was that the righteous path of civilization was to group people in to ever smaller identities, each race, creed, color, gender, and sexual orientation, each at war with every other.  Ignoring the common tragedy of human existence, but noting only the harm that has been done to each of us in turn.  This is Post Modernism. 

When one extrapolates “Post Modernism” (or “unpacks it”, as our stunted media has coined), one sees that each individual has some motive against some group, and all claims are legitimate as if the gavel of God himself has struck the sound block of everlasting doom.  Of course, according to Post Modernistic dross, there is no God, no judgement, nor any logic.  These gifts of reason and republican government that have come to us through millions of years of discovery learning, hardship, and dying at the hands of tyrants has been claimed to have been “tools of oppression” (no, I’m fuckin’ serious.  “Reason” has been recently shoved in my own face as a “tool of white, cisgender privilege”.)  Further, as we extend the list of types of people who have been “oppressed”, we effectively keep any mandate from assembling on any issue.  Look around.  You can’t swing a cat on a street in any urban area without hitting several “people of color” who identify as one of fifty some-odd “gender groups” (or who can’t even make a decision in that realm and refer to themselves as “gender-fluid”) and who are suffering from some sort of “post-traumatic stress” brought on by channeling oppression from another group that took place several hundred years ago, of people they don’t know, by people of their own race.  According to the Post Modernists, this is optimal.  They’ve been doing this for almost fifty years.  Urging us to divide ourselves in these ever-multiplying identities, precisely to provoke a violent and visceral response between each and every one of those hostile identities.

The problem with this argument has become manifest now, just as simply as it was forty years ago, when Solzhenitsyn exposed the soul-crushing cruelty of the original Marxist farce in Soviet Russia.  We see the ramifications of this Post Modernism almost daily in Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Sweden, the Netherlands, every conceivable Western European country where this moral/political philosophy has been put into practice.  We’re near the end of its sad example.  As with every philosophy that is not grounded in the rights of individuals to life, liberty, and property, this new brand of tyranny is smoking and limping into the pits.  It cannot sustain itself nor the people that it claims to protect.  The reason why is almost mathematical.   

The solution here is to casually as possible, disregard the stoned, french, post-modernist fellows in the corner.  To survive as a people, none of us has a “duty” to defend the state.  Rather the state has a duty to defend our rights against tyranny.  Those rights, and none others, are outlined specifically in the Amendments to the US Constitution.  We don’t exist to provide the government with a purpose, rather the government exists to provide each of us with the freedoms endowed upon us by the Creator.  For, in the eyes of the Creator, we are all human.  We have a duty to defend a way of life. 

“So,” you ask, “what in the hell can I do to stop this insanity?”

Well, think about it this way.  With modern technology and social media, each of us will end up talking to or interacting in some way with about 1000 people.  Do the math.  1000 x 1000 = A million goddamn people.  That’s only two orders.  This is why we’ll win.  These ideas can’t be unfounded.  They can’t be unlearned.  In a manner similar to what Gutenberg did with regards to communication that set the conditions for the enlightenment, the internet is in perfect position for each of us to let loose our barbaric yawp and claim our rights.  Think, write, read, and don’t keep that shit a secret.  Inform those around you.  Teach the young, for Chrissake.  Grab them by their pointed little heads and explain our story.  Get the word out. 

Consider that the practice of Marxism lasted less than a hundred years in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.  What China is doing isn’t Marxist, despite Mao’s murderous attempts at the contrary.  Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea are abject failures after less than fifty years of Marxist practices.

The concept of Republican Democracy and Capitalism has not just endured, but EXCELLED for more than 240 years, and finds itself only recently in danger from external forces. 

I have faith that we will win this.  Keep talking, people.

 

Immundus, In saecula saeculorum

Unclean

   

05 March 2017

Dr. Thomas Sowell: "Is Personal Responsibility Obsolete?"

Is Personal Responsibility Obsolete?  Part I

By Dr. Thomas Sowell


Among the many disturbing signs of our times are conservatives and libertarians of high intelligence and high principles who are advocating government programs that relieve people of the necessity of working to provide their own livelihoods.

Generations ago, both religious people and socialists were agreed on the proposition that "he who does not work, neither shall he eat." Both would come to the aid of those unable to work. But the idea that people who simply choose not to work should be supported by money taken from those who are working was rejected across the ideological spectrum.

How we got to the present situation is a long story, but the painful fact is that we are here now. Among the leading minds of our times, including Charles Murray today and the late and great Milton Friedman earlier, there have been proposals for ways of subsidizing the poor without the suffocating distortions of the government's welfare state bureaucracy.

Professor Friedman's plan for a negative income tax to help the poor has already been put into practice. But, contrary to his intention to have this replace the welfare state bureaucracy, it has been simply tacked on to all the many other government programs, instead of replacing them.
It is not inevitable that the same thing will happen to Charles Murray's plan, but I would bet the rent money that there would be the same end result.

Just what specific problem is so dire as to cause some conservatives and libertarians to propose that the government come to the rescue by giving every adult money to live on without working?


Poverty? "Poverty" today means whatever government statisticians in Washington say it means — no more and no less. Most Americans living below the official poverty line today have central air-conditioning, cable television for multiple TV sets, own at least one motor vehicle, and have many other amenities that most of the human race never had for most of its existence.
Most Americans did not have central air-conditioning or cable television as recently as the 1980s. A scholar who spent years studying Latin America has called the poverty line in America the upper middle class in Mexico.

Low-income neighborhoods suffer far more from social degeneration, including high rates of crime and violence, than from material deprivation.

Welfare state guarantees of not having to work, however the particular policies are applied, are not a solution. Relieving people of personal responsibility for their own lives, however it is done, is a major part of the problem.

Before there can be a welfare state in a democratic country, there must first be a welfare state vision that becomes sufficiently pervasive to allow a welfare state to be created. That vision, in which people are "entitled" to what others have produced, is at the heart of the social degeneration that can be traced back to the 1960s.


Teenage pregnancies, venereal diseases, dependency on government and murder rates were all going down during the much disdained 1950s. All reversed and shot up as the welfare state, and the social vision behind the welfare state, took over in the 1960s.

That vision featured non-judgmental rewards and non-judgmental leniency toward counterproductive behavior, whether crime or irresponsible sex and its consequences. But relieving people from the responsibilities and challenges of life is doing them no favor. Nor is it a favor to society at large.

American society has become more polarized under the welfare state vision. Nor is it hard to see why. If we are all "entitled" to benefits, just by being present, why are some entitled to so little while others have so much?

In an entitlement context, all sorts of "gaps" and "disparities" automatically become "inequities," and a reason for lashing out at others, instead of improving yourself. Only in a society in which rewards are based on contributions is there any reasonable reply to the question as to why Bill Gates has so much and others so little.

The track record of divorcing personal rewards from personal contributions hardly justifies more of the same, even when it is in a more sophisticated form. Sophisticated social disaster is still disaster — and we already have too much of that.

Is Personal Responsibility Obsolete?: Part II

By Dr. Thomas Sowell

Too many social problems are conceived of in terms of what "we" can do for "them." After decades of massive expansions of the welfare state, the answer seems to range from "not very much" to "making matters worse."

Undaunted, people in a number of countries are coming up with new proposals that are variations on the theme of government-provided income — which amounts to relieving people from personal responsibility.

Yet even some conservatives and libertarians are coming up with proposals for more "efficient" versions of the welfare state — namely direct cash grants for life to virtually all adults, instead of the current hodgepodge of overlapping bureaucratic programs.

Charles Murray recognizes that "some people will idle away their lives" under his proposal. "But that is already a problem," he says, and therefore is no valid objection to replacing the current welfare state with a less costly alternative.

Everyone recognizes that there are some people unable to provide for their own survival — infants and the severely disabled, among others. But providing for such people is wholly different from a blanket guarantee for everybody that they need not lift a finger to feed, clothe or shelter themselves.

The financial cost of providing such a guarantee, though huge, is not the worst of the problems. The history of what has actually happened in times and places where people were relieved from the challenge of survival by windfall gains is not encouraging.
 
In both England and the United States, the massive expansion of the welfare state since the 1960s has been accompanied by a vast expansion in the amount of crime, violence, drug addiction, fatherless children and other signs of social degeneration.

Maybe that was just coincidence. But there have been too many coincidences in too many very different times and places where people were relieved from the challenge of survival by windfall gains of one sort or another.

In 16th and 17th century Spain — its "golden age" — the windfall gain was gold and silver looted by the ton from Spanish colonies in the Western Hemisphere. This enabled Spain to survive without having to develop the skills, the sciences or the work ethic of other countries in Western Europe.

Spain could buy what it wanted from other nations with all the gold and silver taken from its colonies. As a Spaniard of that era proudly put it, "Everyone serves Spain and Spain serves no one."

What this meant in practical terms was that other countries developed the skills, the knowledge, the self-discipline and other forms of human capital that Spain did not have to develop, since it could receive the tangible products of this human capital from other countries 
But once the windfall gains from its colonies were gone, Spain became, and remained, one of the poorest countries in Western Europe. Worse, the disdainful attitudes toward productive work that developed during the centuries of Spain's "golden age" became a negative legacy to future generations, in both Spain itself and in its overseas offshoot societies in Latin America.

In Saudi Arabia today, the great windfall gain is its vast petroleum reserve. This has spawned both a fabulously wealthy ruling elite and a heavily subsidized general population in which many have become disdainful of work. The net result has been a work force in which foreigners literally outnumber Saudis.

Some welfare states' windfall gains have enabled a large segment of their own citizens to live in subsidized idleness while many jobs stigmatized as "menial" are taken over by foreigners. Often these initially poor foreigners rise up the economic scale, while the subsidized domestic poor fail to rise.

Do we really want more of that?

British historian Arnold Toynbee proposed the "challenge and response" thesis that human beings advance when there are challenges they must meet. The welfare state removes challenges — and has produced many social retrogressions.
Those with the welfare state vision often want to remove challenges even from games by getting rid of winning and losing. That is consistent with their overall assumptions about life. But it seems very inconsistent for conservatives and libertarians to support plans whose net effect would be to reduce the inherent challenges of life for still more people.

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His website is www.tsowell.com. To find out more about Thomas Sowell and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

05 February 2017

Out Here, My Friend, We Deal in Lead...



Got a load on and got a little retrospective about just how long and how hard we all have fought these past twenty-five years.  Went on Facebook and vented my spleen.  Went a little like this:

I'm a Marine. I've been one since 1994. I have retired from being responsible for deploying to fight, but I am still responsible for training Marines in the art and science of combined arms in my civilian job. "Retiring" from the obligated service entails an age, and a level of experience (I think) that provides me with a perspective that is (I flatter myself) worth at least heeding.
It occurred to me today, about two hours ago, that I am happier at this point of my life than any other. I have become accustomed to being the "loyal opposition", for the past 28 years. As a young man, growing up in my formative years under the Reagan Presidency, my assumption was that the guy in that office, doing that job, wanted the best for Americans and wished for the country to be awesome. Slowly, Reagan's successors have eroded that assumption. I've slowly come to understand, in the fullness of time, that Smedley Butler was right, that War IS a racket, and that Reagan was the exception, not the rule. Reagan was an outsider, he had a cup of coffee as the governor of California before becoming the President, but he had not spent a lifetime of becoming the heir-apparent to the throne of the Chief Executive of the US as his successors did. Those individuals compromised the legacy that was genuinely aimed at making America stronger and more successful.
The current President seems to have the same motivation that Reagan once did, and the freedom of interaction to do so. He doesn't have a list of contributors to mollify as he goes about his business. He doesn't seem to be as likely to get us into a war to benefit the business interests of those who have contributed to him sitting in that office. This leads me to list the things that I realized, just now, that I do not miss:

*I do not miss being told by the President that I should feel bad about myself because I'm white.

*I do not miss being told by the President that I should be ashamed of my country, the oath I took to defend it, or the actions that I took in doing so.

*I do not miss worrying about the fact that my CinC wants to destroy the culture and tradition that I've adopted as a Marine Officer.

*I do not miss the daily press conference where the designated member of the White House staff decries almost everything I hold dear as vicious, while maintaining every vice that I've ever known is a virtue.

These are a few things that give me genuine happiness. I know that many of you find the President offensive, without any precise reason why, except for what the mainstream press is publishing out of a fit of puerile rage because they didn't get their way. The process of electing a new President was carried out, and we've got a new guy doing exactly what he said he would do. You might not agree with him or his decisions. God knows that I can sympathize, since the vast majority of what has come out of that office since 1992 has resulted in my own disagreement and outrage. Throughout that period, twenty-five years in duration, I have ever urged whomever would read my tripe to understand the constitution and the intent behind its adoption. I did not call for the head of any of the usurpers that had been elected. I did not urge violent demonstration against them. I only urged folks to be aware of what was guaranteed in the founding documents and to demand that they were either returned or maintained.

Now we finally come to it. Those that simply cannot accept what I have accepted for many years are calling for open rebellion. That is their right, and they are free to seek such redress for whatever slight of their rights that they perceive. But to those individuals I say this: I've gotten pretty good with my long gun out to 1000 yards, and I can knock the ass out of a barn cat with my lever gun anywhere inside 300 yards. If your sense of outrage makes it within a mile of my place, you're not going to be able to cash that check from MoveOn or whatever Soros exchange you work for. Out here, my friend, we deal in lead.


Unclean