Bringing an exogenous gun to an endogenous gunfight

October 1, 2015 § 78 Comments

The nuttier side of what is commonly (though perhaps somewhat deceptively) called the right wing of politics has a tendency to believe in conspiracy theories.  (This isn’t the only group with such a tendency, of course, but I can’t talk about everything and everyone all at once). The explanation of why this is the case is fairly simple: nobody wants to believe that there is something broken in their own thinking and the thinking of fellow travelers.  So problems simply must be exogenous rather than endogenous.  Things must be all screwed up because of some outside oppressor: the notion that things are all screwed up because we allow them to be screwed up, and we allow them be screwed up because our own thoughts are broken, simply cannot crack through the walls of denial.

Some skepticism has been expressed about drawing a connection between the Sons of Liberty torturing loyalists for failure to vocally support rebellion, and the Sons of Sodomy forcing Brendan Eich to resign from his job for his failure to express approval of sodomy comprehensively and forcefully enough since the day he was born.  “Social justice warriors”, it is proposed, are mainly products of the Frankfurt School and cannot be tied in any significant way to liberalism.

While I’ll grant that being forced to resign is not as severe as being tortured, I do think that attempts to deny the connection are unfounded.

Before laying the blame for all the world’s ills at the feet of albino monks or perfidious Jews, it is important to observe that powerful groups in society are only powerful because that society grants them power. Sons of Liberty terrorizing and murdering people loyal to England, the Frankfurt School itself, the homosexual activists who tried to get me fired from a job in the early nineties for things I said on the Internet before the World Wide Web even existed, and the Sons of Sodomy forcing Eich to resign, are only tolerated because the larger society tolerates and even encourages them. It is in this sense (and only this sense) that government by consent of the governed is true: not that legitimate authority derives from consent, but that the things which happen in a society are just those things which that society tolerates or encourages.

If you took a poll of average people on the street I expect that less than one in a hundred – maybe one in a thousand – would have ever even heard of the Frankfurt School.  But nearly every one of them would agree that the government should protect everyone’s freedoms and make sure that everyone’s equal rights are respected.

And that is all that is required to clear the grounds for both the Sons of Liberty and the Sons of Sodomy to prosper.

If we don’t want to keep cultivating Sons of Liberty and Sons of Sodomy, we have to stop planting them and tending the fields where they grow. That means unequivocal repentance from the lie that is liberalism, not finding a group of albino monks to blame for all of our woes.

§ 78 Responses to Bringing an exogenous gun to an endogenous gunfight

  • Aethelfrith says:

    I noticed the same thing when talk of the Feminine Imperative sprouted in the manosphere. It’s easier to blame a sinister force/conspiracy than to own up to your inadequacies.

    Likewise, for All The Usual Suspects in what’s wrong with society today.

    I could tell Rightists that they can solve their problems the same way that the early colonists did (move away and/or kill your neighbors) but of course, that would require work.

    It’s all posturing, at the end of the day. And as far as immigration is concerned, the shoe is on the other foot. There isn’t wicked cabal to replace American and Europeans so much as it is that there’s a new breed of people struggling to find a better life for themselves. Are they wrong to do so? I’d say, they’re no more wrong than the Americans were in their westward expansion.

    Illustrative of my first paragraph: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CPuXWSiUkAAsOYS.jpg

  • King Richard says:

    About 2 years ago Prince Jonathan approached me to discuss various Traditionalist, Conservative, and Monarchist groups. He was puzzled by two things:
    They are all very passive, and they all blame ‘them’.

  • Fake Herzog says:

    “He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
    He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
    He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
    He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
    He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
    He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
    He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
    He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
    He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
    He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
    He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
    He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
    He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
    For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
    For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
    For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
    For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
    For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
    For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
    For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
    He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
    He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
    He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
    He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
    He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.”

    Let’s assume for the moment that Jefferson and gang were full of it, a lot of this is propaganda, etc,, etc. Surely some of it is true? There must have been some real discontent based on this list or the previous concern mentioned by Mike T in the other thread? As Zippy said himself:

    “Specific injustices would have to be shown and evaluated on their own terms.”

    Fair enough — assume that some of these injustices are real and King George and Parliament refuse to listen. Then what? How does their indifference, or worse, continued specific harm to colonists, promote “organic subsidiarity”? Again, many colonists left England because they felt alienated and/or persecuted by English society — now the same thing is happening again in America and they are being ignored by their rulers. What to do?

  • Kidd Cudi says:

    “but I can’t talk about everything and everyone all at once”
    except to say that you can’t talk about it.

  • Zippy says:

    FH:

    …assume that some of these injustices are real and King George and Parliament refuse to listen…

    Lots of the things I rant about on this very blog are real injustices, many perpetrated by the government and the governing consensus. At what point do I have moral license to start torturing and killing people?

    When you’ve answered that question you will have answered your own.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @KR

    About 2 years ago Prince Jonathan approached me to discuss various Traditionalist, Conservative, and Monarchist groups. He was puzzled by two things:
    They are all very passive, and they all blame ‘them’.

    This has been my observation as well.

  • Kidd Cudi says:

    Average people will uniformly state that conspiracy theories are ridiculous, yet when explaining why they are ridiculous, their answers are hand-wavy and inspecific, precisely because they do not want to confront the point you raised–the problem is themselves. It’s funny to watch people be able to immediately see the flaws in the reasoning of others, then struggle to take the final step and improve themselves.

  • Aethelfrith says:

    >It’s funny to watch people be able to immediately see the flaws in the reasoning of others, then struggle to take the final step and improve themselves.

    This has been my observation in group therapy.

  • Prof Mattei, in “The Second Vatican Council, an unwritten story,” noted the tendency to dismiss conspiracies before observing that conspiracies not only existed, they have been successful- French and Russian Revolutions.

    It is often the case the few (mis)lead the many.

    Prolly most of us have been exposed to Hofstadter’s “The Paranoid Style of American Politics,” but that is just the sort of polemic a shady leftist conspirator was likely to write anyways 🙂

    Nobokov observed that conspiracies are what normal men tend to generate when they are either denied the truth by the media/govt axis or are being fed obvious lies.

    You know, in 1890, Civilta Catollica published a study of The Jewish Problem in Europe and while it identified the many problems presented by the Jews, it made the common sense observation that the rulers of Christian Europe had failed to act to restrain and retard their advances and use of usury.

    So, from the French Revolution to the Russian Revolution to Bill Belichick, it can not be denied that conspiracies exist

  • Fake Herzog says:

    “At what point do I have moral license to start torturing and killing people?”

    Well, you never have a moral license to start torturing anyone — I learned that from you! But more seriously, are you saying that if the colonists had met the Catholic just war criteria, they would have been O.K. to rebel?

  • Fake Herzog says:

    King Richard — that was an interesting alternative look at American history.

  • King Richard says:

    FH,
    One of the most polite responses so far, thank you.

  • Zippy says:

    ABS:

    it made the common sense observation that the rulers of Christian Europe had failed to act to restrain and retard their advances and use of usury

    Indeed. Talmudic judaism has gained material power precisely to the extent that the Christian West embraced self-indulgent usury.

    Similar observation about feminism: feminism is in fact a result of the failure of men to lead.

    As Dalrock is constantly reminding us, leading does not mean indulging people in their fantasies and co-dependently enabling their wrongdoing. Men and women need each other: without women, civilization only lasts until the last men die; without men, civilization lasts until the next oil change. But the material power that women have comes from power delegated to them by men.

  • Zippy says:

    FH:

    …if the colonists had met the Catholic just war criteria, they would have been O.K. to rebel?

    By definition, yes. That’s what the JWD means.

  • King Richard says:

    “the material power that women have comes from power delegated to them by men”

    Queen Jennifer calls this ‘a fact so obvious it is usually forgotten’.

  • Scott says:

    I think people believe in conspiracy theories because even when they are dark, evil and large forces it at least comforts them to know “someone” is in charge and its not chaos.

    It is very painful to believe that one crazy person can assassinate a leader and change history, or that some world-changing catastrophe might happen by chance. It makes more sense if someone is pulling all the levers.

  • Scott W. says:

    without men, civilization lasts until the next oil change

    Oh you naughty cismale!

  • Slumlord says:

    I agree with the general thrust of this post thought I think the major problem is one of ontological conceptions rather than freedom.

    The whole point of the “red pill” was that once taking it, it allowed you to get outside of the matrix, not simply to drift to the right pole within it. Most “red pillers” still don’t realise how emeshed they are.

    Things must be all screwed up because of some outside oppressor: the notion that things are all screwed up because we allow them to be screwed up, and we allow them be screwed up because our own thoughts are broken, simply cannot crack through the walls of denial.

    So true. Deitrich Dorner, in his book “The Logic of Failure” described this process as “magical thinking” and having a high IQ was no protection against it. Racial supremacists go nuts when you point out that the decline of the West was largely driven by whites.(Especially Protestant ones.) It’s cognitive error which is a result of our human nature.

    Hence the obsession with the Jews amongst the cognitive lite. *Sure, there’s plenty enough reasons not to like them but it’s a mistake to think that just because they’re offensive they’re also, therefore, responsible for the mess we’re in. It’s a conflation error many morons make.

    I believe in the Devil and I recognise that the Jews have been a cognitive distraction for the Right. The right so focused on blaming them for everything that the Right fails to notice the Devil destroying them from within. It’s a trick he’s been playing for centuries.

    In the ages of the faith it was usually that the deformed or retarded kid that was blamed for a town’s ills. In modern “enlightened” times, the Jews have been relegated to this role and have become the modern Right’s “witches”. So much for mental progress.

    *For the record, I’m eusemitic.

  • Peter Blood says:

    Blaming someone–even God–is as old as mankind. “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate” said Adam.

  • Peter Blood says:

    I have noticed some rightists do attribute the prominence of Jews in the West to the West’s love of money and stuff (“Mammon worship”); but other sectors write that off as “blaming the victim.”

  • Zippy says:

    Peter Blood:
    There has always been a substantial body of Christians who wanted to live off of usury or borrow at usury to consume more than they can afford. I think Jewish involvement in usury may be in some sense more ‘accidental’ than intrinsic: medieval Jews engaging in usury were treated with laissez-faire tolerance because they were going to Hell anyway.

  • Mike T says:

    It is very painful to believe that one crazy person can assassinate a leader and change history, or that some world-changing catastrophe might happen by chance. It makes more sense if someone is pulling all the levers.

    Consider the JFK assassination. Much of the documentation was classified Top Secret with a declassification date that went well into the 21st century. Some of it is starting to get declassified, but I believe there are large chunks that will not be declassified until as late as 2050.

    There’s no reason for them to apply that classification to documents pertaining to a lone wolf. That would make significantly less sense than classifying the documents about the assassination of a mere ambassador in Libya because it’s purely a law enforcement matter.

    So while I get what you are trying to say, sometimes the “reasonable” explanation isn’t so reasonable when you consider the context from other angles.

  • Zippy says:

    It isn’t that conspiracies don’t exist at the ‘micro’ level. Of course they do.

    But conspiracies don’t dominate, control, and guide whole societies.

  • Mike T says:

    I think you are holding to a tighter definition of conspiracy than what’s used by a lot of people. The Bilderberg Group would be considered an example by a lot of people because it’s a private meeting of a lot of global power players where they can plan and debate without the public having the vaguest notion of what is being decided.

    There are a lot of groups and events that are conspiratorial even if not formally conspiracies in a strict sense. Much of the outrage is driven by the well-founded sense that the decisions being made are mainly for the benefit of the elite and/or in service of ideologies that are actively harmful to society such as globalism.

  • medieval Jews engaging in usury were treated with laissez-faire tolerance because they were going to Hell anyway.

    And our reasons for not actualisjng the Great Commision today is that all men go to Heaven.

    Well, so much for Luke 19:27

  • actualising, not actualisjng (although that is how the Gabor sisters used to say it)

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    Part of the problem is that I think most folks don’t really grasp the implications of what is and has ever been said and done right out in the open. I mean, look at how many people think they understand something as simple as money, lending, and interest. Most people do not grasp even the simplest social, economic, and political realities in which they are immersed. These things are always (no matter how openly disclosed) only really understood, and even then at best imperfectly, by a small aristocracy.

    But since liberalism despises an elitist aristocracy there has to be some big conspiracy, bookended by the egalitarian utopian delusion that enough education and transparency will solve everything.

  • Scott says:

    These things are always (no matter how openly disclosed) only really understood, and even then at best imperfectly, by a small aristocracy.

    But since liberalism despises an elitist aristocracy there has to be some big conspiracy, bookended by the egalitarian utopian delusion that enough education and transparency will solve everything.

    This is the current guiding principle behind my new found love of constitutional, representative Oligarchy. I want the elite, highly educated movers and shakers to run everything. I do not want the average person anywhere near a voting booth or government. I want them to go to work, consume and make babies.

  • Peter Blood says:

    I want everyone to be well-educated about the issues so they can make responsible decisions when voting. It’s a civic duty for every citizen to be serious about and do his part in government.

    Lol, I’m just kidding.

    To see people who believe that is to laugh, mostly at the embarrassment of having believed it once myself. But once you notice how ridiculous it is you can’t unnotice it.

  • Mike T says:

    It doesn’t help matters that the public has increasingly come to see, quite reasonably, that there is no real distinction between the two major parties. There is a perception, based on a lot of valid fears, that our elites are a lot more unified than we like to think and nominal differences aside, fairly hostile to the people they govern.

    We’re seeing the fruits of this with the German people violently rebelling against Merkel on the migrant issue. The German people are increasingly, and quite reasonably, perceiving that Merkel doesn’t give a #$%^ about what her policies do them, their communities or Germany.

    Fallible human authority may need to be respected, but respect for authority is not a suicide pact either for people or countries.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    Fallible human authority may need to be respected, but respect for authority is not a suicide pact either for people or countries.

    It is a paradox: the underlying justification for our particular elites holding power is that particular elites holding power is intrinsically unjustified. That is why the world has gone mad.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @PB

    I want everyone to be well-educated about the issues so they can make responsible decisions when voting. It’s a civic duty for every citizen to be serious about and do his part in government.

    You joke (and I agree with the joke), but I think that this statement is actually true. The trouble is convincing people that

    1) the beginning of being well-educated is realizing what Zippy said above

    Part of the problem is that I think most folks don’t really grasp the implications of what is and has ever been said and done right out in the open. I mean, look at how many people think they understand something as simple as money, lending, and interest. Most people do not grasp even the simplest social, economic, and political realities in which they are immersed. These things are always (no matter how openly disclosed) only really understood, and even then at best imperfectly, by a small aristocracy.

    specifically that it applies to themselves.

    2) Sometimes, our civic duty is to shut up.

    I don’t have to understand money, lending, and interest to make an educated decision about who would (likely) be good at making economic policy. But I do have to know the person to even begin to claim my vote is educated. Who, these days, knows the members of their local zoning commission?

    Zippy’s point about conspiracies is worth considering (as usual), but the fact is that conspiracies do keep being hatched, and not just in the tin-foiled heads of libertarians. The Global Warming Conspiracy for money, power, and the destruction of Western Civ’s power and wealth is happening as we type.[1] They accomplish it by stacking institutions with co-conspirators who are, in fact, elitist; even if they lie to the public that they are not.

    To my mind, the issue is not enough federation. I vote for this guy I actually know to be on a selection committee. He, in turn votes for another guy one level up whom I don’t know and who therefore I am not allowed to vote.

    Anyways, basically, I think the problem can be summed up in the idea that we don’t care who is on the zoning commission, but we demand to say who can rule the the country because it makes us feel important to pretend to make important decisions. (Zippy’s talked about this make-believe before.)

    I don’t know anything about Catholic teachings of subsidiarity, but what I’ve read sounds closely related.

    [1]Since it’s liberal elitists carrying this out, it brings into question whether or not liberals actually hate elitist aristocracies, but I’m not bent on getting into what we mean by aristocracy.

  • Peter Blood says:

    Cane:

    Other side of Dunning-Kruger effect is smart people thinking that what comes easy (or even doable) to them ought to be easy (doable) for everyone. That is, overestimating everyone else’s competence, because they are so competent.

    Voting falls into this category.

    I’m not even competent to govern. Why do they want me voting??

  • Zippy says:

    Peter Blood:
    I’ve suggested before that folks who think we need better leaders are straining at a gnat. The problem isn’t that the human race under liberalism cannot produce good leaders. The problem is that it doesn’t produce good followers: it produces sociopaths and wimps. What many seem to see as a crisis of leadership I see as a crisis of followership. Because to be a good follower under liberalism is to be something less than human.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @PB

    Because voting isn’t governing.

    It’s not an issue of brains, but sin. Normal people want to be important and over-estimate their judgment not because they’ve miscalculated so much as because they are proud; because they don’t want to admit the fellow right next to them is a better governor. “A prophet is not honored in his own town.”

    The other bad news is that we’re so myopic we can’t see anyone who is not our neighbor; who is not of our town.

  • Scott says:

    I’m not even competent to govern. Why do they want me voting??

    My understanding was that the individual vote was something thrown in at the last minute to appease the more “democratic” crowd. Am I right about that?

  • Zippy says:

    Stock Zippy reply:
    Voting is a way of expressing your personal support for and affirmation of the liberalism under which we are governed.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Zippy

    That’s why I Protest papal conclaves…

  • Zippy says:

    Cane:

    🙂

    Sure, because you reject the authority and legitimacy of the Pope and the Church as understood and expressed by the conclave; so no surprise there.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    😀 There’s that, too.

    If voting is support for liberalism, and if we always mean liberalism is an evil, then, well…I guess we’re gonna need a lot more quas and ipsos and such.

  • Zippy says:

    Cane:
    I’ve devoted lots of words and lots of time to discussion of what I mean by both liberalism and voting in mass democratic elections.

  • Patrick says:

    A couple questions/points:

    Doesn’t the Frankfurt School qualify as a successful conspiracy that now controls whole societies?

    Since pretty much every follower is also a leader, it seems like it makes just as much sense to fault leaders as to fault followers. For example, St. Pius X faults clergy in Pascendi Domini Gregis. To him, they were mainly bad followers; to us, they were mainly bad leaders. Why not attack them, given that they were both bad followers and bad leaders?

    Doesn’t the fact that things are mostly understood only by an aristocracy indicate that conspiracies to control societies are more likely than not?

  • Peter Blood says:

    Cane: it’s of the same mindset that my opinions matter, that everyone’s opinion is important.

    It’s a real problem of scale. In mass society of today, no one matters any more. But maybe I can vote in this Internet poll and make a difference.

  • Slumlord says:

    Doesn’t the Frankfurt School qualify as a successful conspiracy that now controls whole societies?

    The Frankfurt school was a response to the positivists. But it wasn’t a solution to the problems of positivism rather another version of its errors.

    BTW, ‘I not that dismissive about conspiracy theories. Sometimes a conspiracy is real. The trick is to get the facts.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @PB

    Cane: it’s of the same mindset

    I don’t know what you mean by “it”. Do you mean mass democracy? Direct democracy? Universal suffrage? Representational democracy? Trade union rule votes? Whether we should play football or basketball?

    I presumably that RC scholars do not consider papal conclaves to be exercises in liberalism. Yet men vote in papal conclaves. I doubt they do so under the delusion of belief that everyone’s opinion matters.

    However; I do strongly agree with you that there is a problem of scale, and that everyone believes their opinion is important, and that those interfere with voting processes.

  • Zippy says:

    Cane:
    Again, we’ve talked about this endlessly across many blogs. A conclave or board of directors isn’t really the same kind of thing as large scale democracy. And my views about voting in large democracies are not at all secret, nor is there a lack of words clarifying and answering all the different associated questions, etc.

  • Zippy says:

    Setting aside questions about how much they influenced the culture and how much the culture gave rise to them, it seems to me that calling the positivists or the Frankfurt school ‘conspiracies’ is a basic category error. It is like calling Austrian economics a conspiracy.

    Same for aristocracies, for that matter. Maybe people think of them as conspiracies because under liberalism they aren’t supposed to exist.

  • Zippy says:

    Patrick,
    It may well be that there are crises in both leadership and followership. But people complain about bad leadership all the time. Being better followers, and having a non-dysfunctional attitude toward authority, isn’t on the radar.

  • Peter Blood says:

    Cane: “It” is voting.

  • Peter Blood says:

    Bonald on near universal sociopathy. Based on a quote by DrBill:

    Generalized, near-universal sociopathy is the background condition of modernity. You can’t fuck 10 different people without breaking your ability to pair-bond. You can’t move from one neighborhood to another 10 times without breaking your ability to community-bond. The freakishness of modernity can’t be overstated. Everyone is a sociopath.

  • Sunshine says:

    The problem isn’t that the human race under liberalism cannot produce good leaders. The problem is that it doesn’t produce good followers: it produces sociopaths and wimps. What many seem to see as a crisis of leadership I see as a crisis of followership. Because to be a good follower under liberalism is to be something less than human.

    Well, that certainly explains the feminist/liberal antipathy toward the traditional marital hierarchy, doesn’t it. No wonder women who eschew faux-egalitarian marriages are called non-human objects (“Doormat!”).

  • Mike T says:

    Same for aristocracies, for that matter. Maybe people think of them as conspiracies because under liberalism they aren’t supposed to exist.

    It would help if our elites didn’t often behave in a way that is similar to men and women acting in a criminal conspiracy. For example, repeatedly attempting to pass legislation that is wildly unpopular at different times when they think concerned citizens are not watching anymore. You may dismiss that under your general rejection of the consent of the governed as it relates to legitimate authority, but it is almost never prudent for elites to force legislation on the public that the public strongly dislikes.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    It would help if our elites didn’t often behave in a way that is similar to men and women acting in a criminal conspiracy.

    But under liberalism, they have to. That is the point. Liberalism criminalizes aristocracy. The result isn’t that aristocracies go away: it is that all aristocracies become criminal.

  • Mike T says:

    No, they don’t have to. Most people are fine with the idea of their rulers discussing matters in private and doing things without being on some sort of reality TV-like existence of radical transparency and accountability.

    The “conspiracy angle” comes from the suspicion, backed by actual behavior, that the elites do so because the things they do would often be scandalous if brought to light. You have to admit that much of what our elites do is the sort of thing that would not be well received in any civilized society, including our own, if the public fully understood what is being done.

    For various reasons, Benghazi, for instance, looks like a highly illegal operation that went sideways. Same with fast and furious. The secrecy around these is not because the Obama Administration and its supporters in the elite power circles know better than the average person, but because if the full details were public the public would likely demand an impeachment and mass indictment of all of the parties involved.

  • Svar says:

    “But under liberalism, they have to. That is the point. Liberalism criminalizes aristocracy. The result isn’t that aristocracies go away: it is that all aristocracies become criminal”

    Zippy, aristocracy means “rule by the best”. We don’t have an aristocracy, we have a kakistocracy.

    Some civilizations are blessed with aristocracies, usually in their founding, but as nations go decadent, so do aristocracies and they soon morph into kakistocracies.

    In our case, the old WASP elite of America got old and weak and useless and the Jews mostly took their place. Every now and then we may have a non-Jew elite but they are usually on the lower end of the scale.

  • Zippy says:

    Svar:

    aristocracy means “rule by the best”

    No, the term you are looking for there is meritocracy. Meritocracy is indeed a component of some utopian ideologies.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    The “conspiracy angle” comes from the suspicion, backed by actual behavior, that the elites do so because the things they do would often be scandalous if brought to light.

    It is frequently the case that good decisions on the part of an aristocracy would scandalize the ignorant, if those decisions were broadcast on reality TV. So what?

    The problem is actually bad decisions, period, not the furrowed brows of the peasants. And those bad decisions are driven by the entire society’s commitment to liberalism, including the peasants.

    The conspiracy angle comes from the fact that the ignorant have been placed above the aristocracy in the hierarchy of justification: that is, the conspiracy angle comes from the rejection of legitimate aristocracy in favor of ‘consent of the governed’: that is, the conspiracy angle comes from liberalism and its delegitimization of aristocracy.

    But the problem isn’t that we have an aristocracy. The problem is that we have an aristocracy in thrall to Mammon, just like the population over which they rule; a situation which inevitably leads the latter to see the former as a big conspiracy.

    The problem, in short, is liberalism.

  • Mike T says:

    It is frequently the case that good decisions on the part of an aristocracy would scandalize the ignorant, if those decisions were broadcast on reality TV. So what?

    The problem is actually bad decisions, period, not the furrowed brows of the peasants.

    Perhaps I am a cynic, but I would like to see some good examples of “good decisions that would scandalize the ignorant” aside from perhaps you arguing that some of the Fed’s decisions ~2008 fit that category. However many they are, I doubt they stack up well against the number of bad, or rather corrupt, decisions made in a conspiratorial manner.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    Perhaps I am a cynic, …

    I suspect the opposite. I suspect that you see how bad our leaders are, but you have not fully internalized how bad our followers are.

  • Mike T says:

    but you have not fully internalized how bad our followers are.

    You might be surprised.

  • Svar says:

    @ Zippy

    Literal Greek definition of aristocracy:

    “Aristocracy (Greek ἀριστοκρατία aristokratía, from ἄριστος aristos “excellent,” and κράτος kratos “power”) is a form of government that places power in the hands of a small, privileged ruling class. The term derives from the Greek aristokratia, meaning “rule of the best”.”

    All aristocracies derive from the best of the founding population of a society, I might even go so far as to say those with the most merit. But as societies age, these aristocracies grow as decadent and weak as the population at large.

    Right now we have hostile elites who have neither the high-birth or noblesse oblige or the competence needed to rule a nation. There has to be a huge turnover.

  • Perhaps I am a cynic…

    Please, join me! 😉

  • Mike T says:

    The one form of “aristocracy” that seems to be quite reasonable to many people in a liberal society is a technocratic one. It sort of makes sense, when you consider that our elites (by socio-economic standards) are mainly lawyers, businessmen and old money. People from all classes are rightfully distrustful of putting governance matters over things like the regulation of technology (which literally sustains much of our population) in the direct hands of non-practitioners.

    I think that may be a combination of the natural human inclination toward aristocracy and basic self-preservation; no one wants a law school grad deciding how technical decisions are going to be made unless he’s also got some real experience. Our elites may “make the final decision” but often they’re like sock puppets for the technical experts on these issues.

    An older relative of mine was shocked to find that the most fundamental decisions on the future of the Internet are decided by two organizations: the IETF and W3C. They’re both highly technocratic and yet open to anyone who has established skin in the game and technical merit for input. It was shocking to his sensibilities that organizations dominated by engineers, not lawyers, politicians, etc. had such incredible power to set policy on the future makeup of so many fundamental standards without any outside oversight from social groups, governments and “the people.”

  • Mike T says:

    Related to your points about the ignorance of the masses, the two areas where that comes up the most that I see are energy and Internet access. The public has virtually no idea how dependent it is on a concerted policy to ram energy prices into the ground without harming the producers, nor do many understand why the US can’t borrow the energy or internet policies of Denmark and South Korea (we don’t have anywhere near the density they do).

    I often find myself shaking my head at people who should know better on these topics. They think it’s a conspiracy that oil companies basically pay no taxes, but the reality is that raising costs on energy would be similar in impact to imposing a VAT on the US economy.

    What I find sad, though, is that the Pope seems to take a similarly ignorant view of economics here. He doesn’t seem to grasp that the moral mandate is to exploit all avenues of energy for the good of society, while prioritizing renewables and nuclear for the long term. Kind of sad when you think about it, as being from South America he should have an appreciation for what f#$%ing with your energy supply does to the poor given what’s happening in Venezuela.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    the Pope seems to take a similarly ignorant view of economics here

    From my perspective as a Catholic, it is important to keep in mind what does and does not fall under the charism and authority of the Pope and the Magisterium. (This sort of thing comes up in all sorts of subjects, not just economics). The Pope’s authority (the fallible sort, let alone the infallible) is over the operation of the Church qua institution and over the domains of faith and morals. This includes facts of revelation and principles of morality.

    But it doesn’t extend to other kinds of facts and/or principles, like whether Ruby is a better language than Java to use in this project, or whether actual infinities exist in the same sense as potential infinities, or whether fiat dollars are options against tax liabilities or just meaningless social conventions resting on air. Examples of course can be multiplied.

    This is often used by folks to reject Magisterial authority in cases where the facts are clear and the moral principles are well articulated. I’ve often talked about how ‘prudential judgement’ doesn’t mean “I’m right and the Pope is wrong about X”.

    But every rationalization has to anchor itself in some truth to have any purchase at all; and it is true that the Pope is just a man and that his authority and charisms have due limits.

  • Patrick says:

    “Same for aristocracies, for that matter. Maybe people think of them as conspiracies because under liberalism they aren’t supposed to exist.”

    My thought was that under liberalism aristocracies go sociopathic, which means conspiracies are more likely, not that aristocracies are conspiracies. If aristocrats are actually more knowledgeable then they’re probably less likely to be credulous about equality and more likely to understand how things work today and will use that knowledge to assert power. Since they can’t do it openly, conspiracies are more likely.

  • Zippy says:

    Patrick:

    My thought was that under liberalism aristocracies go sociopathic, …

    Yes, that is an interesting insight and an interesting way to put it.

  • Patrick says:

    so I took your insight and phrasing…and the rest?

  • Zippy says:

    Well, we can parse this rather closely:

    If aristocrats are actually more knowledgeable then they’re probably less likely to be credulous about equality and more likely to understand how things work today and will use that knowledge to assert power. Since they can’t do it openly, conspiracies are more likely.

    I don’t think it is right to say that present day aristocrats don’t truly believe in equal rights. They really do believe in it, but because it is rationally incoherent they shape it to mean – in terms of boots-on-the-ground policy – what they want it to mean, which not coincidentally just happens to redound to their own benefit and power.

    Think about ‘climate change’, just to make this a bit more concrete. Catastrophic man-caused climate change as a body of supposed fact simply must be true, because it just so happens that if it is true, the kind of massive global interventionism that people who believe it to be true also support for other reasons would be necessary for the survival of the human race.

    It isn’t that folks don’t believe their own lies though. They do believe them.

    The problem is that in order to govern the aristocracy must assert discriminating authority to enforce their own conception of what equality requires and does not require. Assertion of discriminating authority is what governing is. But this is just what they cannot do openly: it must be done in secret, or when done in public it must be done while pretending that it isn’t being done.

    As Jim Kalb once put it, liberalism has to govern while pretending not to govern. So liberalism has to view its own governance as a big conspiracy, a selfish power grab by elites who profess to believe in equality but don’t really believe in equality. This is why liberals frequently have to eat their own young and sacrifice their own kind to the jealous god Equality.

  • […] And I have no particular reason to believe that we won’t continue to lose; because the problem is us. […]

  • Svar says:

    This article can clear up a few things: http://takimag.com/article/the_fear_of_god#axzz3pgbLSEd6

    Kopff is going a bit too far with this line: “The Founders were traditionalists in law, religion, and politics, and they believed in the coherence of the Christian, Classical, and German traditions, supporting and enriching one another”

    Because most of the Founders were not orthodox Christians (with the exceptions of some Prots and one Catholic) but better a secular right-winger (including ones with some liberal ideas) like Spengler or Maurras than a liberal “Christian”. The former atleast doesn’t lie about God (they merely don’t believe), the latter packages Cultural Marxism in Christian trappings which is the equivalent of selling someone poison while telling them it’s the antidote.

    The modern Church has “depaganized” and has basically excised the heroicism of Heathenism from the Church and has relied primarily on blind hope. And the thing is, hope is not enough in this sorrowful and bleak world, hope is nothing without a sense heroicism. When Christians started to remove the trappings of heathenism from Christianity we basically ended up with two types of Christianity: the dry, bleak sterile Christianity of the Reformed Protestants and the saccharine, cloyingly sappy sentimentalism of Evangelicals and modern Catholics.

    The modern Church has more in common with the SJW than the Sons of Liberty ever did.

  • Zippy says:

    Svar:

    The modern Church has more in common with the SJW than the Sons of Liberty ever did.

    That is like saying that larval flies have less in common with fully grown house flies than fully grown flies of some other closely related species of fly.

    Modern people are modern people, whether they go to Church or hate God. The only ‘solution’ to the errors of modernity is to repent of the errors of modernity.

  • Mike T says:

    Since they can’t do it openly, conspiracies are more likely.

    That the two major parties actually govern almost as though we are ruled by a single party doesn’t help things. The immigration issue is illustrative of that issue; Trump and Cruz are the only two candidates that are hawkish on it despite the fact that the issue is popular with a majority of voters.

    The premise of our system is that the people can elect leaders who represent them, but time and again the system seems oddly capable at either filtering out such people or crippling their effectiveness once in power.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    The premise of our system is that the people can elect leaders who represent them …

    That is the popular conception, but I’ve pointed out time and time again that it is false. The purpose of elections is not for folks to influence how we are governed. The purpose of elections is to get people to make a ritual act of personal agreement with how we are in fact governed.

  • Svar says:

    “That the two major parties actually govern almost as though we are ruled by a single party doesn’t help things”

    We have an Inner-Outer Party System not a Two Party System. Which is actually a good thing, when one parties dies, the other will follow suit. I’m hoping that Trump has laid down the pathwork to completely destroy the GOP.

    “The premise of our system is that the people can elect leaders who represent them, but time and again the system seems oddly capable at either filtering out such people or crippling their effectiveness once in power.”

    My feeling is that will change. Dubya and Obama expanded the power of the executive so if Trump decides to wield Caesar-like power, nothing can be done except an Ides of March situation. Either way, I feel that Trump is going to layout the path for the coming national savior.

    “That is like saying that larval flies have less in common with fully grown house flies than fully grown flies of some other closely related species of fly.

    Modern people are modern people, whether they go to Church or hate God. The only ‘solution’ to the errors of modernity is to repent of the errors of modernity.”

    Well, pointing fingers at the Founding Fathers doesn’t absolve the Church for pushing Cultural Marxism with the trappings of Roman Christianity. The Church needs to take a strong stand for the Faith and let the rest of the world just deal. A show of sheer uncompromising strength is the way to go but the Church is rotten through and through. Atleast with some of the founders like Jefferson and Hamilton we were able to get to conservative principles like isolationism, nationalism, nativism, and agrarianism .

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