The economy surprises the “experts” – again
Huge numbers of people are living high on the idea that it is better to live on the government dole than to work. Anything that cannot go on forever will stop. This will stop. When it does, and people have to work and pay off the idiotic nonsense the Dems have been selling for the past few decades, the money will need to come from the middle class, the lower class, and the unproductive. The current taxpayers are already paying too much.
More from Sebastian Haffner on the Nazi transition
Originally from this Latin statement: Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum.
It is time to water the tree of liberty.
Here’s another excerpt (you can find an earlier one here) from Sebastian Haffner’s Defying Hitler, his 1930s description of what it was like to watch the Nazi takeover of Germany:
Many journals and newspapers disappeared from the kiosks – but what happened to those that continued to circulate was much more disturbing. You could not quite recognize them anymore…Old-established broadsheets such as the Berliner Tageblatt or the Vossische Zeitung changed into Nazi organs from one day to the next. In their customary, measured, educated style they said exactly the same things that were spewed out by the Angriff or the Volkischer Beobachter, newspapers that had always supported the Nazis. Later, one became accustomed to this and picked up occasional hints by reading between the lines…
To some extent, the editorial staff had been replaced but frequently this straightforward explanation was not accurate. For instance, there was an intellectual journal called Die Tat (Action), whose content lived up to its name. In the final years before 1933 it had been widely read. It was edited by a group of intelligent, radical young people. With a certain elegance they indulged in the long historical view of the changing times. It was, of course, far too distinguished, cultured, and profound to support any particular political party – least of all the Nazis…[After the Nazis came to power everyone on staff but the editor] remained in post, but as a matter of course became Nazis without the least detriment to their elegant style and historical perspective – they had always been Nazis, naturally; indeed, better, more genuinely and more profoundly so than the Nazis themselves. It was wonderful to behold: the paper had the same typography, the same name – but without batting an eyelid it had become a thoroughgoing, smart Nazi organ. Was it a sudden conversion or just cynicism? Or had [the editors and writers] always been Nazis at heart? Probably they did not know themselves.
As with so many of Haffner’s descriptions of that time, this resonates. The details are different, of course, but the sense of relatively sudden and extreme change for the worse remains, as well as the phenomenon of shifting sands and editorial – as well as political – hypocrisy. This hypocrisy has occurred on both left and right, and I’m not just saying this in the name of some sort of vague even-handedness. I see it more on the left, among what used to be liberals or even some self-styled moderates, who have voted unhesitatingly with the most radical elements of their party. But I see it on the right in those such as George Will who for decades called themselves conservative – in fact, champions of conservatism – who took up with the left without seeming to miss a single beat because they were offended by the style of Donald Trump.
In 1930s Germany, at least we can say that the threats against people in that country by the Nazis were more severe than what we see today in this country. But the specter of Twitter mob cancellation or job loss seems to be powerful enough to effect change, as well as abject groveling. Then again, it’s getting worse, because dawn raids and prosecution (a la Rudy Giuliani) or investigation of witnesses who would dare to speak on the side of an unpopular defendant (a la Dr. Fowler, the Chauvin expert witness who is now being investigated by the state of Maryland) have a certain chilling effect.
It’s been sobering, to say the least, to learn how few people are actually dedicated to things they used to claim allegiance to such a freedom of speech, freedom of religion, or liberty in general. The response to COVID has brought that out as well. The number of supposedly moderate Democrats who watch Biden speak and read about his policies and say something like, “Finally the country is in good hands and I can relax!” is astonishing.
Back in 1941, journalist Dorothy Thompson wrote a provocative piece in Harper’s entitled, “Who Will Go Nazi?” It bears reading today, and when doing so one isn’t limited to speculating on who would follow along if Nazis took power. The larger question is: who will go tyrannical? The answer now, as then, is: a surprising number. We see today that some will do it for protection, some will do it for advancement, some will do it to virtue-signal, some will do it out of ignorance, and some will do it for revenge, or for fun, or for spite, or just to be trendy.
Or as the Woke like to call it Birther's Day.
If Mother's Day is Birther's Day to the Woke, what is Father's Day?
Happy Mother F~(ker's day? Oops, Birther F~(ker's Day?
One has to love the Woke if for nothing other than their hilarious triviality.
Our Country Was Founded by Geniuses, but It's Being Run by Idiots
Five years before John O’Sullivan was drafting these ideas, I was noticing the same thing present in the student bureaucracies funded by the Student Government at Oregon State University. I ran the Educational Activities Committee and was a voting member of the Student Fees Committee. Budgeting required holding open meetings to take testimony pro and con as to each of the entities funding. The deeper I delved, the more I realized that most of the entities were fundamentally socialist cabals designed to sluice money to the student bureaucrats' desired outcomes, not to achieve the stated goals of the entity.
That experience sluiced me into becoming an avowed and permanent Classical Liberal desiring only the smallest possible, least intrusive, and most restricted government at every level.
At the same time, I became aware of and began to adopt the "generations and saeculum" idea that history is cyclical that would later become the foundational idea driving the book The Fourth Turning: What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America's Next Rendezvous with Destiny
"The eminently quotable Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana said sometime back: "Our country was founded by geniuses, but it's being run by idiots." I heartily agree, and the problem is not self-correcting.
The principles behind the formation of America's government were and are exquisite, but the American government, like all forms of government, is corrupt as hell. This isn't an extraordinary statement. Exquisite things often break, and even the noblest of institutions become distorted over time until the original purposes for their creation are eclipsed (and often contradicted) by the personal motives of the men running those institutions into the ground.
This phenomenon is apparent anywhere there is power.
John O'Sullivan, a senior policy adviser for Prime Minister Thatcher, wrote a short essay thirty years ago that should have made freedom-minded conservatives rethink any lingering attachments to institutional authorities.
He asked a question we often ask ourselves: how is it that almost all institutional bodies — whether governmental agencies or purportedly "nonpartisan" scientific academies or even religious groups and charities — transform over time into left-leaning entities? In grappling with what might seem inexplicable, he corralled three insights about organizational behavior: (1) Robert Michels's Iron Law of Oligarchy asserting that all forms of organization, regardless of how democratic their foundations, will come to be run by an elite group of people; (2) Robert Conquest's Second Law stating that every organization behaves as if "headed by secret agents of its opponents"; and (3) O'Sullivan's very own First Law positing that "[a]ll organizations that are not actually right-wing will over time become left-wing." In other words, Michels tells us that the key to understanding any institution is its leadership, not its charter. Conquest argues that the leadership will always have objectives at odds with the organization's intended purpose, if for no other reason than that the leadership's continued employment and future power paradoxically depend upon never completely succeeding. And O'Sullivan takes this insight farther by noting that the type of person who staffs such organizations tends to disdain private profit and the historic composition of Western civilization's free-market culture.
Note also that these three observational laws explicitly take as a premise that the organizations have not been actively infiltrated by Marxist saboteurs or actual enemy agents, but rather evolve over time by the weight of natural sociological tendencies. When we add Occam's Razor into the mix, it is just as persuasive to suppose that all institutions become increasingly socialist over time at the rate of success that Marxists have in quietly but persistently insinuating themselves into the hierarchical ranks of absolutely any institution with power, whether those with legal teeth such as the FBI and CDC or those with cultural teeth such as Coca-Cola and Major League Baseball. Hence, if Gramsci's "long march through the institutions" seems to have succeeded, it's probably because the political left has never stopped marching."
This letter from Thomas Jefferson is important because it defines the idea that liberty is not static but must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. There can be no doubt that it is time for patriots to marshal, for the tyrants are here to destroy the Great American Experiment in Liberty that the founding fathers so carefully built more than 240 years ago. The tyrants arise every 80 years or so and seek to overthrow the institutions and kill the people supporting liberty. It is time to fight these tyrants and water the tree of liberty with their blood if necessary.
To William Stephens Smith
Paris Nov. 13. 1787.
I am now to acknolege the receipt of your favors of October the 4th. 8th. and 26th. In the last you apologize for your letters of introduction to Americans coming here. It is so far from needing apology on your part, that it calls for thanks on mine. I endeavor to shew civilities to all the Americans who come here, and who will give me opportunities of doing it: and it is a matter of comfort to know from a good quarter what they are, and how far I may go in my attentions to them.—Can you send me Woodmason’s bills for the two copying presses for the M. de la fayette, and the M. de Chastellux? The latter makes one article in a considerable account, of old standing, and which I cannot present for want of this article.—I do not know whether it is to yourself or Mr. Adams I am to give my thanks for the copy of the new constitution. I beg leave through you to place them where due. It will be yet three weeks before I shall receive them from America. There are very good articles in it: and very bad. I do not know which preponderate. What we have lately read in the history of Holland, in the chapter on the Stadtholder, would have sufficed to set me against a Chief magistrate eligible for a long duration, if I had ever been disposed towards one: and what we have always read of the elections of Polish kings should have forever excluded the idea of one continuable for life. Wonderful is the effect of impudent and persevering lying. The British ministry have so long hired their gazetteers to repeat and model into every form lies about our being in anarchy, that the world has at length believed them, the English nation has believed them, the ministers themselves have come to believe them, and what is more wonderful, we have believed them ourselves. Yet where does this anarchy exist? Where did it ever exist, except in the single instance of Massachusets? And can history produce an instance of a rebellion so honourably conducted? I say nothing of it’s motives. They were founded in ignorance, not wickedness. God forbid we should ever be 20. years without such a rebellion. The people can not be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. We have had 13. states independant 11. years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century and a half for each state. What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure. Our Convention has been too much impressed by the insurrection of Massachusets: and in the spur of the moment they are setting up a kite to keep the hen yard in order. I hope in god this article will be rectified before the new constitution is accepted.—You ask me if any thing transpires here on the subject of S. America? Not a word. I know that there are combustible materials there, and that they wait the torch only. But this country probably will join the extinguishers.—The want of facts worth communicating to you has occasioned me to give a little loose to dissertation. We must be contented to amuse, when we cannot inform. Present my respects to Mrs. Smith, and be assured of the sincere esteem of Dear Sir Your friend & servant,
Abolish the FBI movement begins
Once gutted, shrunk, and reformed, we should permanently move all federal agencies out of Washington DC.
We can live with the federal government, the state governments, and the local governments limited to no more than 10% of GDP. When we are done with the Crisis of the Fourth Turning, this needs to be the result, tightly limited government, the elimination of the income tax, and replacement with a national sales tax (the only way the government can get more $$$ is to grow the economy), return to the Constitutional mechanism of selecting Senators, and an end to the Federal Reserve.
Or we can accept our serfdom. The choice is yours.
Some Sensible Black Voices Are On To The "Antiracism" Scam — Manhattan Contrarian
We live in times so free of racism it is difficult to find the real thing anymore, and when we do, it seems silly and contrived, lacking any power or vitality. Yet, the masses are enervated by the idea that racism is a serious problem that they can cure by doing nothing more than holding a sign and demanding obeisance from the productive people in society who are not racist and don't have the time to worry about that particular nonexistent problem.
Some of us are old enough to remember what racism actually looks like, feels like, and sounds like.
The only significant pockets of racists left in America are the progressives, Democrats, and elite Republicans who want to keep blacks and coloreds on the poverty and entitlement plantation. All of their policies smack of "blacks are not intelligent or capable enough to to be treated like adults, with adult expectations, so we, the anointed, must look out for these poor, incompetents." The modern progressive and Democrats are little different than the parochial 19th-century paternalists who sought to enslave coloreds with segregation "for the Greater Good."
"As Critical Race Theory and “antiracism” have swept through academia and the media and corporations over the past few years, seemingly almost no one in those institutions is able to see the thinly concealed and vile racism embedded in these ideologies. Here is Ibram Kendi’s famous articulation of what he calls “antiracism”:
“The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”
So in other words, simply treating black people as adults and expecting them to make it on their own in a non-discriminatory world is not an acceptable remedy. Instead, blacks are to be permanently dependent on assistance from the government and/or whites. As I put it in a post back in April 2019, the “antiracism” agenda evidences:
the utter contempt in which the self-anointed elites of our country hold members of minority groups, most particularly African Americans. Somehow, these elites — or at least some very substantial number of them — have decided that African Americans are not capable of accepting personal responsibility in life or of being treated like adults.
Meanwhile, Kendi gets rich off peddling his neo-racism, and plenty of others make various sorts of comfortable livings off the trendy ideology, whether as teachers or as diversity deans at colleges or as corporate diversity officers. But are there any black thinkers who are seeing through the smokescreen of Orwellian “antiracist” verbiage and calling out the ideology for just how destructive it is for the supposedly intended beneficiaries?
The answer is that there is a small but growing number, and they are deserving of greater exposure. So let me give a small shout out to some of the more prominent examples.
John McWhorter. McWhorter is a Professor of Linguistics at Columbia University, and thus not really a political commentator in his day job. Nevertheless, he has become increasingly outspoken on the subjects of Critical Race Theory and “antiracism.” In January he started a new blog at Substack called “It Bears Mentioning,” which has been substantially devoted to these issues. In a post in March, I linked to a McWhorter column from February 28 with the title “Is it racist to expect black kids to do math for real?” With the passing weeks and months, McWhorter has been mincing fewer and fewer words. On April 22, it was “Attention to detail is white?” But my favorite, and the most emphatic yet, is his recent column from April 28, with the title “Do black people enjoy being told they are weak and dumb?” Excerpt: “This KenDiAngelonianism, in its infantilization of black people for purposes of white self-congratulation, is racist, as I have discussed in this space recently. Perhaps the only way to discourage its takeover of our educational institutions will be for black people to start protesting against it on those terms, because abjuring being racist is what The Elect consider a paramount, dealbreaker reason for living.”
Glenn Loury. Loury is a Professor of Economics at Brown, and a frequent collaborator with McWhorter on podcasts. On April 28, Bari Weiss published on her Substack a symposium on “systemic racism” to which Loury made a contribution. Excerpt: “Denouncing ‘systemic racism’ and invoking ‘white supremacy,’ and shouting ‘black lives matter,’ while 8,000 black homicides a year go unmentioned — these are maneuvers of avoidance and blame-shifting. The irony is that so many of us decry ‘systemic racism,’ even as we simultaneously demand that this very same ‘system’ deliver us.” He’s using gentler terminology than McWhorter, but the point is not very different.
Deroy Murdock. Murdock is a political commentator frequently published at outlets like National Review and Fox News. In a piece at Fox News yesterday, Murdock denounced the Democratic Party for not standing up against the racism of Critical Race Theory and “antiracist” ideology: “The Democrat Party has become America’s headquarters for racism and anti-Black bigotry. . . . To see what racism and race-baiting look like, peer no further than today’s Democrat-Left. From relentless obsession with critical race theory, baseless claims of ‘systemic racism,’ critical race theory brainwashing sessions, to delivery of health care based on skin color, Democrats and their ideological brethren see everything through black-and-white glasses.”
Robert Woodson and 1776 Unites. A long-time civil rights activist and author (although not affiliated with any university as far as I know), Woodson has his own organization called the Woodson Center to promote his ideas. In 2020 he founded something called 1776 Unites, which describes itself as follows: “Radically pragmatic and unapologetically patriotic, we hope to speak for Americans of all races, creeds, and political convictions who oppose the efforts to demoralize and demonize our country and its foundations from within, and to turn its people against one another with false history and grievance politics.” The website of 1776 Unites lists some nineteen scholars affiliated with the effort, including names like McWhorter and Loury and also many others you may have heard of like Carol Swain, Coleman Hughes, Jason Hill and Wilfred Reilly.
Unnamed young black woman. Steven Hayward at PowerLine today links to a video clip of a young black woman (I don’t know her name) reacting to a self-righteous video from progressive activist Alissa Milano. Milano begins her video saying “For those of us who are not black men, imagine watching the news and seeing . . .” The young black woman responds with remarks that include: “Imagine being told by some white lady with a microphone that you and the criminal on TV are one and the same because you look alike. Imagine being told by society that white people can be all that they can be, but you as a black man the content of your character is completely irrelevant and you are the color of your skin and that is all you will ever be. Imagine being told that you can’t figure out how to vote because of the color of your skin. . . .” Well done, young woman!
For now, the “antiracists” and Critical Race Theorists may seem to be ascendant. But that’s only because most of the normal people haven’t been paying attention. It will only take a critical mass of opposition to push back, and the whole thing could crumble rather quickly."
America the Mini-Series
It is all done but the shooting.
Church of the Covidian
We are in the Fourth Turning; the war is soon upon us. Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum.
Biden, the progressive Governors and Mayors, the Democrats, the progressives, the left, and the elite Republicans are totalitarian. There is no living with that alternative; that way lies the descent into madness, the loss of one's morality, and one's soul. Para Bellum.
America's First Infantada
"Instead of reasoned and mature debate, a Gallup poll similarly found that Americans wildly overestimate the likelihood that a Covid patient will require hospitalization. “The U.S. public is deeply misinformed about the severity of the virus for the average infected person,” the poll’s authors concluded.
In a mature society, we would have had a debate, once the crisis was upon us, to see how best to deal with it. Yet instead we have grown accustomed to accepting the latest “science” proclaimed by the CDC, even when it seems calculated more by political issues, changing advice, for example on masks, in order to preserve supplies, then changing definitions of herd immunity to discourage openings. The media, generally in lockstep, has been loath to confirm progress, in part due to fears that their readers, essentially children, will misbehave if things might seem better.
The rush for conformity is so great that the social media firms have felt free to censor open discussion about how best to deal with the pandemic. A recent conference of leading virologists—not nutcase Covid deniers—was censored on YouTube for breaking what designated opinionators deemed inappropriate and misleading information. Given that some Biden appointees appear skeptical about the First Amendment, this signals trouble ahead.
Climate: The New Children’s Crusade
However terrible, Covid will hopefully fade in the decade ahead. But the next imposed apocalypse is at the ready: climate, where, even before Covid, attempts were made in mainstream media to exclude anyone not adopting a catastrophic scenario, or questioning “the science” as decided by the oligarchs and their academic establishment. There are even warnings from climate activists that the stay-at-home lockdowns associated with Covid will need to be imposed to deal with a perceived “climate emergency.”
Here, too, we need not official doctrine but spirited, informed debate. Yet dissenting academic experts, like Judith Curry and Roger Pielke, are routinely ignored, attacked, and marginalized. Some skeptics are threatened with jail, and companies with being dispossessed of their assets or, perhaps, simply dropped into the media memory hole. All this despite clear evidence that draconian regulation, whether in California or Germany, has had a negative impact on middle and working-class families. For many prominent advocates, even the actual truth of climate change—even however “phony,” as one advocate suggested—is less important than the opportunity to reshape the future along utopian “green” lines. As longtime climate activist and former U.S. Senator Tim Wirth explained, “even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.”
Instead of mature reason, and a search to balance impacts, we get puerile posturing. The student movement around Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, funded by “green” business interests, recalls the youthful fanaticism of the “holy children” who rampaged through Europe in the thirteenth century, or Mao’s Red Guards unleashed during the Chinese Cultural Revolution in the 1960s. Ecotopian shock troops, couched in semi-theological chanting of “follow the science,” seek to enforce ideological conformity against climate skeptics of any kind—even those who agree that climate change poses a serious challenge.
The problem, ultimately, is not that of the children, but the adults who encourage their dread and moralizing hysteria. Greenpeace founder Robert Johnson suggests we are moving from legitimate rational concern to a state of “climate hysteria” openly promoted by a scientific and political establishment which sells ever more extreme scenarios justifying a progressive expansion of dictatorial powers and rule by experts. Even climate scientists and figures like physicist Steve Koonin, former science advisor to President Obama’s energy department, are openly warning that these exaggerations and dire predictions threaten the credibility of the movement itself.
As with the Covid lockdowns, climate obsessions threaten mental health. Climate scientists, notes the left-leaning magazine Oz, are unprofessionally embracing emotion and salesmanship as part of their job description. The constant assertions of impending doom, Canadian psychologists suggest, have already found elevated levels of anxiety among young people, who, after all, have been told that their world could be coming to an end no matter what we do."
The political left are totalitarians who demand total power to control the lives of the common man. It is time to stand and fight against this coup, not appease or acquiesce. The longer we wait to fight the totalitarians, the greater will be the damage and destruction.