We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

We live in a world where Ricky Gervais and JK Rowling are, to everyone’s surprise, not least their own, ‘right-wing’. The supposed rule breakers such as Frankie Boyle, Nish Kumar and Stewart Lee are crushingly orthodox. Roger Waters has a portfolio of crankery going back decades but remains unbesmirched, whereas a single tweet from Winston Marshall saw him exiled from polite society. (As I write, it seems Craig L Potter of the band Elbow might be heading the same way, merely for daring to criticise trans charity Mermaids.)

Gareth Roberts (£)

48 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Of all of those mentioned here, Roger Waters appears the nastiest. It should not matter, I suppose, but I cannot listen to Pink Floyd music from his era because of my loathing of this man.

  • Roger Waters speciality is anti-semitism, so of course he is protected by (and from) the hate-speech-law-lovers. Mere Jew-hatred is enough to get you protected – Roger hardly needed to claim that Israel was responsible for the death of George Floyd, though doubtless that increased his immunity.

    (To be fair, the Grauniad once conceded that Waters had not just been accused of anti-semitism by ‘firebrand’ rabbis but also by “more measured voices”. And since I do not read the Grauniad with that daily attentiveness they doubtless feel it deserves – or anything like it 🙂 – maybe they’ve said it twice.)

  • The writers of the Great Barrington Declaration were also very surprised to discover that they were ‘far-right’, ‘fringe’, ‘fascist’, ‘nazi’. One of them complained that she liked to think of herself as “left of the left” – and, when briefly not talking about her area of expertise, made a remark or two that had me thinking, yes, everyone is right-wing (or at least ‘right-wing’ to the the left mob) about things they know, even when they do indeed self-identify as “left of the left” about things they don’t.

    Of course, it was a Republican president who warned about it.

    “Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite. … The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.” (President Eisenhower, 1960).

    Part of that captivity is the power to label anyone who points it out ‘right-wing’, ‘fringe’, ‘fascist’ or, of course, ‘nazi’.

  • Paul Marks

    The twists and turns of Frankfurt School “Woke” Marxism can indeed make anyone “right wing” – by the standards of the leftist hivemind. Including socialists – for example I doubt that Prime Minister Atlee was very “Woke”. Did Atlee kill any babies? Did he cut off the sexual organs of any boys? I think not – so Atlee was obviously a Reactionary bigot.

    Mr Peter Hitchens claims that the left does not care about economics anymore and would be quite happy with a world ruled by a super-rich Corporate elite – but I think he is mistaken.

    Firstly, would the Corporate State (Stakeholder Capitalism, Fascism, whatever one calls it) would work as a long-term economic system? I do not think it will work. Fascist Italy (the economic system that Klaus Schwab and the rest of the WEF and U.N. Agenda 2030 crowd are pushing – “Build Back Better”, “Great Reset”, “Sustainable Development Goals”) was a corrupt farce – the United States Supreme Court struck down the American version (the National Industrial Recovery Act and National Recovery Administration, the “Blue Eagle” thugs) in 1935 – nine votes to zero.

    The Supreme Court did not strike down the American version of Fascism (the National Industrial Recovery Act and National Recovery Administration) so because the four “liberals” (read socialists) on the court had suddenly become converted to having a regard for personal freedom (after all these same four “Justices” plus the “Chief Justice” had just voted to rob everyone of their monetary gold and to violate the gold clauses in all private and public contracts – to be blunt five of the nine Supreme Court Justices were criminals – traitors, oath breakers). All nine Justices of the Supreme Court united to strike down Fascism in the United States – because the Fascist system (that had been tried under the name of “the New Deal” since 1933) was so obviously a corrupt farce that it was bringing the government into disrepute. I would be even worse now – a modern Klaus Schwab WEF style Fascist (“Stakeholder Capitalism”) State would again be a corrupt farce – it would bring governments into disrepute.

    Also, contrary to Mr Hitchens, I do not think the left WANT the Corporate State to work – I do not believe they have abandoned their old dream of total collectivism (a dream as old as Plato and before).

    “We are on your side – death to Trump! death to the Reactionaries!” squeak the rulers of the vast Corporations – and the leftist activists smile and nod, whilst thinking of the interesting ways that they will torture to death Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and all the rest.

    It is very hard to care – I certainly not support the leftists, but the corporate types have have backed them so long (now even turning the works of Tolkien into leftist agitprop) that it is, I repeat, very hard to care what the left will eventually do to their Corporate “friends”.

    The Toytown Fascism (“Stakeholder Capitalism” – “do not look at our big houses and private jets, we are WOKE!”) of the WEF “Build Back Better” crowd, would soon be replaced by something much darker.

  • Steven R

    The best part of the whole thing is no one is entirely sure where the line actually is because it moves so far so rapidly. What is perfectly acceptable today may require a political Struggle Session to atone for tomorrow. Even the most beloved of the Inner Party are not immune to being trampled by the shifting sands of orthodoxy.

  • Fraser Orr

    We live in a world where Ricky Gervais and JK Rowling are, to everyone’s surprise, not least their own, ‘right-wing’.

    One thing though that is worth pointing out is that in the past America was a right of center country, and I’d say Britain was a little left of center. Now with the “center” moved way over to the left, we are all right wing radicals, and maybe we will even vote that way.

    FWIW, the left right spectrum is a terrible thing and is a tool used by the political parties to capture people. If you are more of a liberal tendency you are supposed to swallow the whole ridiculous camel, and so too if you are conservative you have to accept that whole ridiculous camel too. I’m a libertarian, so a pox on both their houses, it is just a fact that the democrat party (and labour in the UK) have become so ridiculously woke and leftie that they lost me and I suspect a lot of others. But we Americans will find out in November (or December if they keep trying to fix it for that long.) If Americans don’t go right in a big way in November you have to despair that it is the end of America. Given the utterly disastrous state of the economy and the country in general one has to ask “if that isn’t enough for you to shift your vote, what the hell is?”

  • Steven R

    Like many Americans, I’m of two thoughts on the upcoming midterms.

    1) Why bother? They stole the election in 2020 and can just as easily steal this one since they know we won’t do anything about it. No one ended up in prison, no one ended up hanging from a streetlight, no one even ended up resigning in disgrace.

    2) Why bother? The Mitch McConnells and Paul Ryans of the party have gone out of their way to kneecap so many of the things Americans have demanded the GOP do and they aren’t suddenly going to find religion on the whole Stop The DNC platform. If anything the GOP hates being in charge because it means they have to do more than stand around with their hands out saying, “we’ll get ’em next time, but we need more campaign contributions, so pony up of the Dems will get you!” About the only thing McConnell did was push through Trump’s court choices. Other than that it was business as usual.

  • bobby b

    “About the only thing McConnell did was push through Trump’s court choices.”

    Even if I accepted your entire list, this item in itself was no small thing, and for me would answer the question of “why bother”.

    Plus, even if they have the cheat planned, we should still make them do the work. Please, bother.

    (Honestly, the “why bother” argument strikes me as the most effective and efficient tool in the Democrats’ quiver.)

  • They stole the election in 2020 and can just as easily steal this one (Steven R, September 20, 2022 at 5:04 pm)

    Niall ever-the-optimist Kilmartin wonders (from across the pond, a distance that may leave me ignorant) whether perhaps they cannot just as easily steal the mid-terms. In 2020 there were the pandemic-derived excuses, and the mere element of surprise (that they would go that deep). Do poll-watchers now know not to let themselves be held back from observing, not to let themselves be ejected on claims of polls closing or having water leaks, not to let themselves be bullied into signing off unreconciled totals by worthless promises of later verification, etc., etc.? Are they being recruited in greater numbers, learning to work together, being trained in a not-too-passive resistance to fraud?

    Scams can sometimes be less easy to pull off the second time round. But you guys are there and I’m not.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Steven R
    1) Why bother? They stole the election in 2020 and can just as easily steal this one since they know we won’t do anything about it. No one ended up in prison, no one ended up hanging from a streetlight, no one even ended up resigning in disgrace.

    Stealing elections (depending on your definition of steal) is only possible on the margins. The democrats did not for example win Texas or Florida, just Georgia, Michigan and Arizona. So they could steal if it is close, but can’t if it isn’t.

    The Mitch McConnells and Paul Ryans of the party have gone out of their way to kneecap so many of the things Americans have demanded

    But TBH I think this is a naive view of politics — if my side gets in they will fix everything up. No, what having the Republicans take the Senate and/or House means is two things:

    1. They can stop any more crappy legislation, and use the power of the purse to limit executive action. (They have, for example, promised to deny funding to the new IRS agents.)

    2. They can use congressional power to investigate some of the horrible things that have been happening.

    We are all talking about the Queen and how great it was that she did nothing. For politicians doing nothing, especially if they look busy with other crap so that they don’t feel the need to do things, is perhaps about the best we can expect from them, and that is a good thing. I’m a libertarian, I believe the best thing for the government to do, generally speaking, is nothing — leave us the f**k alone to get on with our lives.

    About the only thing McConnell did was push through Trump’s court choices. Other than that it was business as usual.

    But you say that as if it weren’t anything. It is possibly the most significant positive change that has happened in our government, with the exception of the Trump phenomenon, in probably thirty years.

    Please go vote. Your vote doesn’t count for much, but at least you’ll have done the best you could.

  • The Pedant-General

    “Are they being recruited in greater numbers, learning to work together, being trained in a not-too-passive resistance to fraud?”

    I’m prepared to bet that, no, they aren’t. the GOP is being walked over. We just simply do not know how to organise on this level. But the overall message is correct. Yes – get out and vote. Force them to have to do their fraud. Don’t give them the easy option

  • Martin

    I’m not American so can hardly tell Americans they should vote or who they ought to vote for. However, my observation about Mitch McConnell is he’s worse than useless for the GOP. He’s deliberately undermining many GOP candidates who don’t owe their candidacies to him. You get the impression he’s happy to have a democrat Senate,so long as the GOP minority are largely his flunkies. A godawful detritus of the Bush/McCain/Romney years.

  • bobby b

    “The democrats did not for example win Texas or Florida, just Georgia, Michigan and Arizona.”

    And do we remember how they won Georgia – and thus won just enough Senate offices to keep a VP-driven majority?

    They won because of the “why bother” sentiment that arose around that election.

    Again, please bother.

  • Alan Peakall

    Fraser: One thing though that is worth pointing out is that in the past America was a right of center country, and I’d say Britain was a little left of center. Now with the “center” moved way over to the left, we are all right wing radicals, and maybe we will even vote that way.

    …America was a right of center country, … Britain was a little left of centre

    An exercise for the reader is to implement a spell checker that gets that right!

  • bobby b

    In that same “please bother” vein, remember that the Democrats spent a great deal of money in support of some rather far-right – truly far-right – Republican candidates in the Republican primaries, thus helping to put forth people who will do less well in the general election than their less-radical opponents. Smart tactics.

    Please, hold your nose and vote for these people, even if they are not your cup of tea. They will not be numerous enough to drive policy in obnoxious directions, but they will supply enough right-leaning votes to help maintain the right in some semblance of power.

  • Zerren Yeoville

    Since no-one else has posted it in this thread so far, I’ll add the quote by John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols) to the other recusants named by the article whom the left apparently wish to round up for the Salem Woke Trials:

    “I never thought I’d live to see the day when the right wing would become the cool ones giving the middle finger to the establishment, and the left wing becoming the snivelling self-righteous twatty ones going around shaming everyone.”

  • Steven R

    I’m not saying I won’t vote. I’m just saying South Park got it right. The choice always comes down to a douchebag or a turd.

    I’ll pull the lever for my member of the House, David McKinley, a man who has been there since 2011 and done absolutely nothing. He was elected on a TEA Party platform and immediately abandoned it in favor of voting for pork and SS. But it’s him or the Democrat.

    It’s very easy to get discouraged looking at what goes on in DC, especially when the leadership of the GOP went out of their way to fight the nominal leader of their party when they had both the legislature and White House.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Steven R
    It’s very easy to get discouraged looking at what goes on in DC

    But it depends on the way you look at it. If DC is a complete log jam then that is about the best we can hope for. Libertarians like me look to private enterprise and free markets to solve problems not the government. Almost anything these bottom feeders do will make things worse, so really, on balance, it is better that they can’t get anything done. And especially so if they instead spend their time in investigations and pointless virtue signalling that doesn’t change anything. Let them spend their time naming post offices or calling each other names. That way they don’t screw anything up (more than they already have.)

    It is a gross mistake to think that the GOP are somehow on your side. They are just a little bit less crazy than Cortez and her cronies.

    The only people on your side are the people that love you, and the people with whom you engage in business. “If you want a friend in DC get a dog” doesn’t just apply to people living in DC.

  • Steven R

    Oh I get it. Gridlock is the very best situation DC can find itself in. And I totally get no one in either party care a whit about me, except for how much money they can get out of my pockets to line theirs. I just wish they weren’t so blatant with their total disregard for We The People.

    It’s like George Carlin said, “it’s one big party and you ain’t invited.”

    And there is no place left to go and the only option besides playing along with a rigged game is to do the unthinkable.

    And that just sucks.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Fraser:

    in the past America was a right of center country, and I’d say Britain was a little left of center.

    The problem with this statement is that it implies the unspoken assumption that “left” and “right” actually mean something objective, a constant across countries and elections.

    The reality is that Britain was FAR left-of-center by European standards before the election of Thatcher. But that was by the European standards OF THE TIME. The standards of today are qualitatively different: it’s not just a matter of turning a knob.

    That puts into a different light the quote above:

    I never thought I’d live to see the day when the right wing would become the cool ones giving the middle finger to the establishment, and the left wing becoming the snivelling self-righteous twatty ones going around shaming everyone.

    I have no idea of who John Lydon is, but he obviously assumed that “the right wing” and “the left wing” mean today what they meant when he was coming of age.

  • Steven R

    John Lydon is also Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols.

    He has some surprisingly perceptive political views.

  • Smoo

    Well, he and his band worked a very successful con back in the day, so he knows bullshit when he smells it.

  • Paul Marks

    Steven R.

    “Why bother?” – because the only alternatives to defeating the Democrats in the midterms is either submission to tyranny (total tyranny that would make the present situation look good) or Civil War – and Civil War is not fun, it is very much not fun.

    Think, for example, of Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.

    This man, at great risk to himself, tried to make Early Treatment for Covid 19 known to Americans – many people are alive who would be dead, because they heard the warnings of the medical doctors he invited to the Senate.

    Do you want Senator Johnson to be in charge of an investigation of the terrible evil that has come upon the United States?

    If you do – then the Republican Party must win the majority of the Senate.

    If you, and other good men, sit at home and do nothing – then everything is lost.

    Struggle against the rigging of the elections – the courts of several States have already ruled against mass mail-in ballots and-so-on.

    Civil War can still be avoided – the path of peaceful elections is still open.

    But not if good men sit at home saying “why bother?”.

  • Steven R

    Paul,

    We’ll go through the motions, but it’s the overriding sense of futility attached. If Sen. Johnson gets reelected and has his hearings, is anything going to change? Is anyone going to be held accountable or perp-walked on TV or even go to trial?

    We all know the answer is no.

    Any hearings is just for political theater purposes. The Democrats will push what they want and slowly get it, the Republicans will pretend to fight the Democrats, and the show will go on.

    That’s why there is such a feeling of “why bother?” We’ll vote, but the only thing that might change is the faces of the actors. The play will stay the same.

  • Martin

    Libertarians like me look to private enterprise and free markets to solve problems not the government.

    I don’t look to the government per se to solve problems. However, I think relying on ‘private enterprise’ and ‘free markets’ isn’t that smart anymore. See the latest privatised example of cancel culture.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Martin
    I don’t look to the government per se to solve problems. However, I think relying on ‘private enterprise’ and ‘free markets’ isn’t that smart anymore. See the latest privatised example of cancel culture.

    Private enterprise has brought us modern medicine, the information technology revolution, supply chains that are almost magical in their effectiveness, WalMart with every good from ever corner of the world at low, low prices. I just bought some plastic bowls for my kitchen for a couple of bucks. They were made in Israel. I found that utterly shocking. Think about what it took to make these? Drilling oil from the ground, refining it, extracting the monomers, finding a source for the color, forming it in a press, somehow shipping it ten thousand miles. And that isn’t to mention the expense of building those factories, oil wells, chemical factories, ships, ports and so forth. And it cost a couple of bucks!

    The free market driving specialization, competitive advantage, capital formation and an amazingly complex network of agreements to make it all work so complex that they couldn’t be modeled on the most powerful computers. The free market is the greatest creation of the human species.

    And you are complaining about the free market because of some stupid wokeness. I think you need a bit of perspective.

    In this specific case though it has nothing to do with free markets. The financial system is so heavily regulated it might as well be run directly by the government. The solution to the problem you indicate is that the cancelled person goes to another financial processor. But of course they can’t because it isn’t like I can just go set up my own bank. I have to genuflect to the government and all their cronies to do that. So don’t blame the free market when competition is impossible due to overwhelming government interference in the market.

  • Martin

    I am not complaining about the ‘free market’ per se. You yourself have admitted that the free market doesn’t really exist in banking/payments, and it doesn’t really exist in many other major economic sectors. Therefore my point about relying on ‘free markets’ to solve problems stands. If it doesn’t exist it can’t solve many problems.If government interference in the market is the problem, how do you solve that? You need political action, even if it is solely in the negative realm of removing various government edicts and regulations. Given that most of big business don’t want a ‘free market’ as well you’ll likely need to use political clout to undermine these corporate supporters of the current regime to be able to have half a fighting chance to be able to impose free market reforms. Otherwise they’ll use their own financial and political clout to destroy you.

    As for my example of PayPal’s wokeness, well can you think of many large private enterprises that don’t engage in this kind of craziness nowadays? I’m sure there are some, but it seems pretty endemic. You mention Walmart. Well Chris Rufo and others have revealed that company is completely on the CRT train. It’s a completely woke company. Sure, they have cheap prices. But they ain’t gonna save your ass from leftism and neither are any other businesses. So we ought to really stop simping for them.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Martin
    If government interference in the market is the problem, how do you solve that? You need political action, even if it is solely in the negative realm of removing various government edicts and regulations.

    But to me saying that is kind of like saying — I have a problem so I’m going to polish this lamp and when the genie appears I’ll use one of my wishes to fix this. You can have all the political action you want but it won’t solve your problem. On the contrary, it’ll make it worse. So you have to find a way to use the dynamic power of the free market to circumvent it. In the case of finance the obvious example would be to accept bitcoin and provide your customers or patrons lots of detailed info on how to do that.

    Given that most of big business don’t want a ‘free market’ as well you’ll likely need to use political clout to undermine these corporate supporters of the current regime to be able to have half a fighting chance to be able to impose free market reforms. Otherwise they’ll use their own financial and political clout to destroy you.

    Again, hoping for free market “reforms” from governments that hate the free market is like hoping Putin will withdraw out of respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty.

    So what is the solution? Get clear on your personal goals and find a way to use innovation and lightfootedness to get it done with voluntary trade and to (legally) circumvent as many of the government and big corporate barriers as best as possible. Is this difficult? Sure but running a business is difficult, it is not, for example, more difficult than marketing.

    As for my example of PayPal’s wokeness, well can you think of many large private enterprises that don’t engage in this kind of craziness nowadays? I’m sure there are some, but it seems pretty endemic. You mention Walmart. Well Chris Rufo and others have revealed that company is completely on the CRT train. It’s a completely woke company. Sure, they have cheap prices. But they ain’t gonna save your ass from leftism and neither are any other businesses. So we ought to really stop simping for them.

    Right, so if these big companies are imposing the massive cost of that bs on themselves then you should consider that a competitive advantage. And there is always the option of getting the hell out of Dodge. There are plenty of places in the world where you can go live and conduct your business without many of these burdens. But it is a big balls move. It is much easier to sit around on message boards like this and fantasize that your favorite politician is going to fix things (like I am doing right now 😀). They won’t.

    FWIW, one of the greatest books ever written was Harry Browne’s “How I found freedom in an unfree world”. It is rather out of date now, and many of the ideas he suggests probably don’t work so well any more. But it is the ethos of the book that matters. Stop expecting politicians to fix your problems. Stop complaining about the politician situation. Instead find a way to get what you want in the jungle full of predatory politicians.

    I’ve said it before — Fraser’s first rule of politics — when a Democrat sees a problem they create a regulatory agency, when a Republican sees a problem they create a tax break, when a Libertarian sees a problem they quit politics and start a business to solve the problem.

  • Steven R

    I’ve said it before — Fraser’s first rule of politics — when a Democrat sees a problem they create a regulatory agency, when a Republican sees a problem they create a tax break, when a Libertarian sees a problem they quit politics and start a business to solve the problem.

    Which is all well and good, but what do you do when the free market and private business created the problem in the first place?

  • Fraser Orr

    @Steven R
    Which is all well and good, but what do you do when the free market and private business created the problem in the first place?

    Start a different business to take advantage of their incompetence.

  • Steven R

    You’re assuming the problems are due to incompetence.

    A whole lot of problems can be stopped before they get to the problem stage by laws, rules, and regulations. I know that isn’t the popular thing to say among libertarians and free-market types, but it is sometimes true. It isn’t too much or too few rules, regulations, or laws, but making sure what are in place are the right ones.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Steven R
    A whole lot of problems can be stopped before they get to the problem stage by laws, rules, and regulations. I know that isn’t the popular thing to say among libertarians and free-market types, but it is sometimes true.

    Too vague and handwavy. No doubt there are some good things government can and has done, but beyond a core of very basic things they are VASTLY outweighed by the harm they do by giving them power. But if you have something specific in mind I’d be happy to discuss.

    It isn’t too much or too few rules, regulations, or laws, but making sure what are in place are the right ones.

    And how do you do that? How do you make sure the “right ones” are in place? Even if you were an autocratic King you couldn’t make that happen because of the vast layers of entrenched interests below you. But you aren’t king and never will be. So how do you achieve this goal? All I can say is I hope you have that magic lamp.

    No rather than praying that someone else will fix your problem I suggest that we all take our fates into our own hands and circumvent the bastards (legally of course) as much as possible. Life is full of problems and challenges, government is just another one to overcome. Maybe your chance of success isn’t high, but it is better than the zero chance of government fixing your problems.

  • Martin

    Start a different business to take advantage of their incompetence.

    See your above response:

    But of course they can’t because it isn’t like I can just go set up my own bank.

    Same applies to a huge swathe of economic sectors unless you’re a billionaire or got fabulous connections.

    . On the contrary, it’ll make it worse. So you have to find a way to use the dynamic power of the free market to circumvent it. In the case of finance the obvious example would be to accept bitcoin and provide your customers or patrons lots of detailed info on how to do that.

    PayPal was supposed to be an example of the ‘dynamic power of the free market’. Peter Thiel talked about PP helping to circumvent state power and would stop governments robbing private citizens. It clearly didn’t work out that way.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Martin Contrasts two comments:
    Start a different business to take advantage of their incompetence.
    But of course they can’t because it isn’t like I can just go set up my own bank.

    But don’t you think that lacks imagination? Start a different business that isn’t a bank to solve the same problem. I’m not an expert but to give two examples that spring immediately to mind — start a business that makes it easier for other businesses and their customers to use bitcoin. Host it overseas outside the reach of your government. Start a business that buys amazon gift cards and sell them to people who want to pay and buy them from people who want to be paid, or just make it easy for people to pay vendors with amazon gift cards. That is after three seconds of thought.

    Maybe these won’t work as is, this comment is not meant to be a business plan after all, but innovative thinking allows you to circumvent these problems. Will this fix the problem forever? No of course not. Eventually the government will come around and try to get you. But herein lies the solution. Government is a lumbering troglodyte whereas you and your business is nimble as a gazelle. You have to continuously adapt and change to overcome the monster chasing your down. But this is hardly a problem unique to governments. Your competition will be hunting you down too and you have to be nimble to beat them too.

    Or alternatively stay home, feel sorry for yourself, think your vote is going to make it all better, be disappointed, rinse repeat.

    There are no guarantees, but at least what I am suggesting has a chance of success. Expecting politicians to fix things is the triumph of hope over experience, of pollyanna over the history books. The very idea of looking to politicians to solve your problems is in itself part of the problem. By pretending they can fix things you are just contributing to the massive gaslighting operation they are all involved in whether left or right.

  • Kirk

    When you get down to it, the left/right dichotomy is really entirely illusory and primarily a tool to keep people looking the other way while the idiot class has its way with screwing the rest of us.

    The real political divide isn’t along ideological lines; those are, again, illusory. A left-wing tyrant wants the same thing as a right-wing tyrant: To tell others what to do, usually the exact diametric opposite of what they do in their personal lives. Most ideologues are acting out their personal mental deficiencies in public. There’s zero objective difference between some religiously-motivated nutter like Khameini running Iran into the ground versus Putin: The motivation is the same one, namely “Do as I say, not as I do…”

    No, the real divide is between the people with delusions and those without. I hear the nutjob left these days, and think the exact same thing I thought about the nutjob religious right back in my youth: These people are insane, unable to work within the boundaries of reality. They think that their ideations create reality around them, that their words influence the world that we all live in. They want something to be true, all they have to do is say that it is so. They live in the realm of the diktat, where the things emanating from their minds are made real because they voice them loudly and insistently.

    Unfortunately, that simply isn’t so.

    Opposing these lunatics-who-ought-to-be-institutionalized are those of us who observe things clearly, noting that ideas and idealisms such as socialism only create misery when enacted. We see things as they are, and modify our thinking based on evidence and result. This is rationality, sanity: Ideologues are unable to do this, framing everything through their pre-conceived notions and refusing to see that those ideas are not in accordance with reality around them.

    This is the divide; this is the essential conflict of our times. The delusional against the non-delusional, and the split runs right down the center of everything. I know political party members of every stripe, who look at what their fellows are getting up to and say “Hey… Wait a minute…”, but who are sidelined and ignored. Those are the people who need to recognize that it’s not them, or their political parties that are creating the problem, it’s the nutter ideologues who have taken over the asylum.

    Time was, I could look at members of the Democratic Party in my home state and say “Yeah, he’s OK, he’s a Scoop Jackson kind of Democrat… I could vote for him…” These days? LOL… They’re all delusional nutters, out of contact with any form of objective reality that I can make out.

  • bobby b

    “Expecting politicians to fix things is the triumph of hope over experience, of pollyanna over the history books.”

    Politicians wrote our constitution. That still works well, or at least better than most alternatives I’ve seen. I can think of other things our government has done in the past that have worked well.

    Politicians tend to do what their constituents want them to do. That gets them re-elected. Right now, a slight majority of our voters want stupid things, and so we’re getting stupid things. But the difference in numbers truly is slight, and it doesn’t take that much input to sway it all our way. So I think we can have reasonable hope, even now.

    The progressive agenda is busy eliminating societal knowledge about history and science, because knowing those things makes voters less likely to fall for the completely emotion-driven prog agenda. (“Think of the poor children who will die because of warming!”) So our task is education. And it isn’t a hopeless task.

    So cheer up.

  • bobby b

    “Opposing these lunatics-who-ought-to-be-institutionalized are those of us who observe things clearly, noting that ideas and idealisms such as socialism only create misery when enacted. We see things as they are, and modify our thinking based on evidence and result. This is rationality, sanity:”

    Did We the Sane ever make an independent move to accept and embrace all of the various sexual lifestyles back when we were the PTB? Or was our refusal to accept gay people and muddled people what eventually built the fire under the backlash that we’re seeing now? The extremism of these people, I’d directly attribute to the way they were Othered forever before.

    We can’t blame everything on Them. We have our own blinders at times.

  • Fraser Orr

    @bobby b
    Politicians wrote our constitution. That still works well, or at least better than most alternatives I’ve seen.

    There are of course exceptions to every rule and those men certainly were. There are no Benjamin Franklins in the political class today, in fact there are few that have even had a real job.

    As to “still works well”, I don’t think so at all. It may be a small rock that disrupts the deluge a little, but not much. What we have today would not be recognizable to those men. A government dominated by the central authority? A executive more powerful than the legislature. The complete collapse of federalism. The use of the commerce clause or general welfare clause in the most preposterous of ways. I’m not sure I agree with your conclusion that it “still works well”. It seems pretty broken to me, a rip that is certainly accelerating since FDR and his atrocities.

    Politicians tend to do what their constituents want them to do. That gets them re-elected.

    Do they? They might promise what their constituents want but they don’t actually do them. And they get re-elected because of a deeply flawed system that massively prefers incumbency. If politicians are responsive at all it is to those who screech the loudest or write the biggest checks, not to the average view of the people.

    However, even if they did, I don’t share your confidence that the average view of the people is all that sensible. In fact I think the average view today would have been considered crazy left wing lunacy just ten years ago.

    Right now, a slight majority of our voters want stupid things, and so we’re getting stupid things. But the difference in numbers truly is slight, and it doesn’t take that much input to sway it all our way. So I think we can have reasonable hope, even now.

    I don’t think it is slight at all. I think the number of people who are even mildly libertarian is probably less than 10%. The rest want big government programs of one kind or another. And politicians with the media are very skilled at stirring the pot to get us all up against ourselves. Sure Uncle Joe didn’t get anything he promised done but you don’t want those nasty MAGA people in charge? Sure, George Bush is about as conservative as my teenage goth dressing daughter, but you don’t want Al Gore in charge?

    The progressive agenda is busy eliminating societal knowledge about history and science, because knowing those things makes voters less likely to fall for the completely emotion-driven prog agenda. (“Think of the poor children who will die because of warming!”) So our task is education. And it isn’t a hopeless task.

    I’m curious as to how you think that can be done. It seems to me that great efforts have been put forth there and it seems to have effected very little indeed

    So cheer up.

    I appreciate the sentiment, I assure you I am perfectly cheery. In fact realizing that the politicians aren’t going to save you and that you have to save yourself is actually quite a liberating reality. To say I despair of politics is not to say I despair of life. Quite the contrary. It seems to me that weird reality of libertarian politics — something that is a distinct oxymoron — is that we say government isn’t the solution, and so to make that happen we need to take political action.

    The best we can hope from from these dreadful people is that they do nothing.

  • Kirk

    @ bobby b,

    Does it occur to you that there might be actual reasons that the hypersexually deviant have been cast aside and denigrated, all these years and around the world in nearly every single functional society?

    Rare is the social value or more that serves no purpose; just about everything in every society has roots in practical matters. Why do you suppose that both the Jews and the Muslims chose to outlaw pork? What social function does that serve? What benefit is there to that proscription of pork?

    The answer would be that pork in the Middle East isn’t a good option for protein, what with the ease with which it spoils and the tendency for swine to harbor parasites. As well, when you have a need to separate your society from other surrounding societies, dietary customs work fairly well. So, outlawing pork was an easy choice; observationally, pork makes you sick. Much like the Mormons outlawing coffee and other caffeinated beverages, it served as a marker separating them from other surrounding cultures, as well as being something easy to discard because it was an expensive luxury for them.

    Similarly, you aren’t going to find too many successful societies that go in for unlimited sexual license. Even the supposed “sexual paradises” like Sri Lanka and Thailand look at Westerners going there to enjoy license as being degenerate perverts, irresponsible and corrupt. The various flavors of deviant now reigning supreme in Western society are historical aberrations, and will likely wind up doing exactly what all the licentious deviants of the Regency did: Beget the new Victorians, who’re going to stuff these degenerates back into the closet with a resounding crash. Which will, sadly, take the merely differently sexual right along with the hypersexual deviant that are going to engender the overreaction against them.

    You can see the outlines of what’s coming. It will be led by the victims of all this transgender BS, young women who’ve given up on their chances of having kids because some pervert got their rocks off taking advantage of their pubertal sexual confusion. They’re not going to have anything better to do with themselves, and they’re going to have a lot of anger to work out on those they’ll almost certainly see as having betrayed and conned them into maiming their bodies. It’s a social madness, akin to the Tulip Craze in Holland or the various witch hunts throughout history. And, it will end exactly the same way: The social counter-reaction will take these idiots with it, along with a lot of otherwise innocent who’re merely along for the ride.

    You can usually identify the difference between the sane “alternatively sexual” and the nutters. If you know one of the former for years, and discover by accident that they’re “alternatively persuaded”, then they’re likely at least semi-sane. If the person you’re trying to figure out has been “out and proud”, in your face with their sexual choices, boastful about their deviancy from the norm? Contemptuous of the “breeders” and “normies”? They’re almost certainly among the insane. No sane mind focuses so intently on their sexuality to the point where they have their entire identity wrapped around it and the expression thereof. Sane people merely take their biology in as a fact of life, and then deal with it appropriately, never making it a major issue in their lives.

    The expression of sexuality is not the issue; the issue is the hyperfocused nature of it all. Whether you’re heterosexual or homosexual, there’s more to life than selfish sexual gratification, and the satisfaction of your baser animal drives. Hypersexual heteros are just as bad as any other sort, and can even be worse in some social senses.

    Quick tip: If you find yourself driven to discuss your sexuality and sexual choices with total strangers, and want to bring these things up with preteen children? You might just be someone who is in dire need of being culled from the population.

  • bobby b

    Kirk:

    “Does it occur to you that there might be actual reasons that the hypersexually deviant have been cast aside and denigrated, all these years and around the world in nearly every single functional society?”

    Certainly, but first to narrow things down: there were societal reasons why a child-producing male/female pairing worked best for growing societies up to a point. I think we passed that point some time ago, and we can now very easily accept the presence, and non-harmfulness, of different groupings of sexual attraction among adults, even when they do not produce kids. As a natural tendency, the percentage of people who differ from the norm for non-signaling reasons has always been small enough so that we can easily live with their presence. (All bets are off if it becomes fashionable in high school to become _________ (fill in the blank.))

    But I wasn’t speaking of “licentiousness.” I was speaking of sexual affectional preferences. I was not defending a lack of sexual discretion, or promiscuity. I consider that to be a separate subject. I’m merely speaking of, who is it that turns you on?

    But I think you make my case for me. I know enough gay people – progs, conservatives, libertarians even – to know that most of them wanted to be accepted and unashamed and then ignored (as if they were just . . . normal!) and are now looking on in horror as “their” movement gets co-opted and taken over by people with huge latex breasts with protruding nipples claiming the right to teach in high schools while dressed that way. That’s not what they wanted, and we made it possible by forcing them to construct a movement when we wouldn’t accept them living quietly amongst us. It was the existence of that ready-built movement that the latex breast people could take over that made all of this fun possible.

    I can almost feel Andrew Sullivan’s pain when he says we should remove the “G” and maybe the “L” from the new LGBT movement.

    So, the people defending the licentiousness and promiscuity and the cross-dressers in kindergarten classes are NOT the quietly-gay community. The people moving towards “minor-Attracted” are not the quietly-gay community. We made them form a group to fight for themselves, and that group got co-opted.

  • Kirk

    bobby b,

    I largely agree with you, and I’d be all for the tolerance thing. The problem with that whole concept is that there is growing evidence before us that “tolerance” for the quietly deviant only encourages the extremists. You can’t, apparently, accommodate the one without enabling the other to take the proverbial given inch a few thousand miles past what must remain for a functional society to continue existing.

    Unpleasant fact, but one that is becoming more and more clear as each passing day goes by.

    The idea was, if you remember, that if we were to “normalize” the gay marriage thing, that that would be the humane, the understanding thing to do. And, that it would go no further. The “slippery slope” people were clearly wrong, that things would not go past mere gay marriage rights.

    They’re trying to “normalize” pedophilia now. Huh. I distinctly remember being assured that such worries were mere delusions of the intolerant, that such things would never, ever happen.

    I think at some point, it has to be recognized that the majority of these creatures are simply more gratified by the transgression than they are by the sex; they absolutely have to have the frisson they get from “pissing off the normies”; it’s more satisfying to most of them than an actual sexual orgasm. Everything you do to demonstrate tolerance and acceptance just pushes them to more and more outrageously deviant acts; they have to outrage you, somehow. And, if you refuse to be baited by their homosexuality/bisexuality/transgenderism, then by God, they’ll go after the kiddies, ‘cos that’s a guaranteed path to the joy they can only feel when they’re right properly persecuted.

    Swear to God, I strongly suspect that if we were still back in witch-burning days, a lot of the LGBTQWTFBBQ types would be espousing the virtues of Satan, just to get that ultimate persecutorial high of being burnt alive on a pyre. It’s not about their sexuality, really–It’s all about getting back at Mommy and Daddy, pissing on their belief systems.

    From all this, I think that when the inevitable counter-revolution happens, I’m probably just going to observe the whole thing with an even more jaundiced eye, and while I’m going to decry the likely stake-burnings, I’m also not going to really object to stuffing these types firmly back into their closets. The “love that dare not speak its name” has finally convinced me that the only way to get it to shut up is to again stuff a pillow into it and keep it there.

    Oh, and lest I be labeled a bigot, the so-called “pickup artist” types can take their damn “game” with them, as well. They’re all of a type; immature and excessively focused on the sexual aspects of life. None of them deserve the slightest amount of respect for their deviancies, whatsoever.

  • Reading Kirk and bobby b above indirectly brought to mind Kathleen Stock’s recent Unherd article Liberals have a fetish problem.

    “the attempted assimilation of fetishism into LGBT rights makes a popular backlash against the whole of lot of us more likely too. In the old days, the activist’s aim was to demonstrate that gay people are not sexual deviants. These days, activists seem to want to suggest that sexual deviants are just like the gays.

    Perhaps with a view to motivating such liberals as ever had them to find their former less freedom-hating selves, she asserts that

    if they can’t resist these slippery slopes, there are plenty of rabble-rousers out there who are only too happy to seize the opportunity to push gay and trans people all the way down them”

    I’ve been waiting for the backlash against the hate speech laws for so long that I’m more apt to fear Kathleen’s “rabble rousers” being too scarce than too plentiful, and her “rabble” too hard to arouse on any subject than too easy. When I see the people who went to the capitol on Jan 6th 2021 still in jail, treated as rabble by those who loved the rabble of BLM, “chance’d be a fine thing” is my instinct. Kathleen’s dreaded ‘opportunity’ seems not so immediately ‘seizable’ to me (nor Kirk’s expected ‘counter-revolution’ so ‘inevitable’ within my lifetime). We may yet need vigorous pressure from the whole spectrum of the unwoke just to halt onrushing wokeness in its tracks. (Merely being halted may then be enough to cause it to collapse – but I’m not going to assume that ahead of time.)

  • Kirk

    @Niall Kilmartin,

    I’m reasonably sure that the libertines of the late Regency didn’t see the onslaught of the Victorian era coming, and were likely equally dubious that their activities would ever be seen as socially unacceptable.

    Same-same with the Weimar degenerates. Who could foresee the Nazis, whooping it up in all the Berlin nightclubs of the early 1920s?

    I remember telling acquaintances of mine who were Seattle police officers, that they’d better straighten out their peers. This was back in the 1990s, when I had various and sundry ethnic types telling me of the problems they’d run into while visiting Seattle, how the cops had abused them for being black, hispanic, or in the military. I warned my friends on the force that change was coming, and they weren’t going to see it coming. They’d just go into work one day, expecting things to be the same as they always were, and then it wouldn’t be.

    Which is exactly what happened.

    Exactly none of those cops looked into the mirror and foresaw their actions and inactions leading to what occurred in the aftermath of the George Floyd fiasco, but it happened nonetheless. Overnight.

    Tipping point was reached, and just like a solution reacting to a precipitant, the saturated solution of citizen disgust with the cops and their behavior resulted in the crystallization of the city council de-funding the police, along with all the generalized hatred of the Seattle Police Department.

    Things stay the same, and then they aren’t. Generally, all of a sudden, and “without warning” to those who aren’t paying attention to reality around them.

    Same thing will happen with the current environmental conditions that the idiots in charge are relying on. Today, an Ivy League education is a sure ticket to a sinecure position of authority in society, and everyone respects you. At some point in the likely not-so-very-far-off future, that same credential is going to be meaningless, and a cause for mockery at the very least. At worst, there will be people showing up at your door to round you up for a lengthy stay at the work camps, while you repay society for all the damage that you and yours have done to it. Don’t be too surprised to see a whole lot of people eying what Pol Pot did in Cambodia and thinking “Ya know… He wasn’t wrong about the “intelligentsia”…”

    Of course, just like with those cops back in the 1980s and 1990s, I’m not going to be listened to, ‘cos the people I’m talking to are ever so very smart, and always right about everything, everywhere. Those who agree with them might want to talk to my last friend on the Seattle PD, who has to stick it out for a couple more years to retirement, about what he had to say to me the last time we chatted.

    His words were roughly “Man, you sure called that one…”

  • Snorri Godhi

    Did We the Sane ever make an independent move to accept and embrace all of the various sexual lifestyles back when we were the PTB? Or was our refusal to accept gay people and muddled people what eventually built the fire under the backlash that we’re seeing now? The extremism of these people, I’d directly attribute to the way they were Othered forever before.

    This remark from bobby strikes me as naive.

    I accept that “our refusal to accept gay people and muddled people” got the LGBT+ movement started, just as i accept that lacking the right to vote got feminism started, segregation got the civil rights movement started, etc.

    It seems clear to me, however, that these movements have been hijacked by opportunists, decades ago (at least in the US). Nowadays, wokeness is little (if not nothing) more than a justification for the oppression of men, women, and racial+sexual minorities in the middle+working classes; oppression by men, women, and racial+sexual minorities (but mostly White cis-hetero men) in the ruling class.

    Whatever backlash there is, is mostly a misdirected reaction to this predicament. The correct reaction would be to hit the head of the snake.

    As they say at Instapundit: the demand for hate crimes in the US greatly exceeds supply.

  • Kirk (September 23, 2022 at 9:14 pm), that is interesting and I would not mind hearing a bit more if you know more.

    I talk from time to time to a British-born friend in Seattle. While contemptuous of the how of the local lefties’ approach to ‘defunding’ the police (e.g. getting rid of their first black police chief), she was more nuanced about the abstract idea of reform. She thought that the Seattle police department had in the past (“surprisingly for a place like this”) had the first two faults you mention:

    the cops had abused them for being black, hispanic, or in the military

    If one believed the narrative, that last prompter of Seattle cop abuse would be a non sequitur after the first two. I don’t of course believe the narrative – but although I know that Eisenhower desegregated the military sanely in the 1950’s, well before US universities ‘desegregated’ stupidly a decade and more later, it is interesting. Was this just Seattle’s equivalent of

    It’s Tommy this and Tommy that and “Chuck him out, the brute”,
    But it’s “Please to step in front, sir” when the guns begin to shoot.

    Or is it more Seattle-specific and/or Democrat-specific? The very first Republican elected (to anything at all, IIUC) in Seattle for 32 years won election less than a year ago – and she is an ex-Democrat who joined the walk-away movement. Was what you describe just an open Democrat prejudice uniting to what one might call the Martha’s Vineyard approach to minorities – a great love of them from a distance, and for keeping them distant. I’ve a vague historical memory that Seattle (and its state?) had old form for the latter.

  • Kirk

    Niall,

    The “being in the military” usually took the form of anyone with a military ID being in the wrong whenever they came to the attention of the Seattle PD. Even the white boys from the Pacific Northwest were given grief by the Seattle PD types whenever they got noticed, because a.) they were young, b.) they were at stupid places at stupid times, sometimes in the company of stupid people doing stupid things. And, c.) because they were military, they got singled out for whatever reason.

    I’m a native of the region; I know better than to do some of the things my guys did and got into trouble for. However, I also know how to identify situations where inequity has taken place, and when three of the four individuals involved in something are released on their own recognizance, and the one guy who is kept (and, who had nothing to do with the entire thing…) in custody is a military member? I can pretty much tell you that there’s a problem with the police department. Apparently, rich college kids make for problems when held accountable, and their victim/bystander who’re identifiably working class and in the military is an easy mark to blame.

    Despite the fact that I knew people on the department, I couldn’t get my guy released over a three-day weekend, and he stayed in jail without bail until the following weekday, when he was released on a fairly hefty bail. Charges eventually dropped when the college boys wouldn’t show up for depositions or the trial.

    The problem in Seattle isn’t just with the cops, either. The issue is massive schizophrenia across the entire spectrum of law enforcement from the beat cops up to the prosecutors and judges. It’s interlocking; the cops hate (with, I have to add, some justification…) all the minorities they spend most of their time policing, and the prosecutors and judges are acting in diametric opposition to it all, releasing those same types on a revolving-door basis.

    The weird thing is, it’s even the minority cops who hate the minorities with a passion comparable to a thousand burning suns. One guy I talked to told me of how his partner, a black cop, got his head bashed in by a homeless black guy, and the prosecutors refused to prosecute that at the level it should have been (felony assault on a police officer) while the judge that adjudicated the case let the guy go off of even the misdemeanor offense he was charged with. Same malefactor later bashed the head in of a senior citizen who took offense at his theft of her groceries… Not clear on what happened to him after that, but I rather got the impression it might have included impromptu extra-judicial actions resulting in their departure from the Puget Sound region on a very permanent basis.

    It is interlocking reinforcing stupidities, all the way around. Some of the cops will tell you that they weren’t racist before taking the job, but after ten years on the force and constantly having to deal with the Seattle public, they are now. I really don’t know how all that gets fixed, or even if it can be. I am pretty sure that the Emerald City of my youth is gone, but when I think about it, maybe it was all an illusion, in the first place. First time I went to Seattle on my own and wandered the streets back during the early 1980s, I had a knife stuck in my back only a block or two away from the well-known tourist attraction known as Pioneer Square. I was told later that I was a fool for even going down there at the time of day I did, and that no, the police weren’t interested in getting involved in it.

    So, the collapse of Seattle has been coming for a long time.

  • Kirk, thanks very much for that interesting reply to my question. Sooner or later I will doubtless be discussing your experiences and observations with my friend in the city.

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