Politics

Everyone Likes a Winner

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Among other evils which being unarmed brings you, it causes you to be despised.~Machiavelli

I noticed a change in the political zeitgeist in the weeks following the Russian takeover of Crimea.  Liberals in the media and all over the internet became more critical of Obama, but not merely of his response to Vladimir Putin’s adventurism. After noticing this, I recognized it for what it is: No one wants to be on the side they consider weak. The Left of course is almost always against military intervention, however the human psychology that Machiavelli pointed to centuries ago is still at work even in the minds of those that say they dislike militarism and “bravado”.

 

When President Obama first took office, his opponents criticized him for his Cairo speech, complaining that it showed weakness to the Muslim world and would not have the effect some hoped for. Even though I believe this is correct, the predictions were largely theoretical and difficult to prove.

The confrontations with Vladimir Putin on the world stage on the other hand provided the same stimulus to onlookers as does an athletic competition. While still open to debate, generally people had strong feelings about which leader was winning these contests, and the winner was not Obama. True or not, the perception is that Obama is weaker than Putin, and this may be fatal. The beginning of the end was the Syrian “Red Line”. Crimea sealed the deal.

So what we see happening is the subliminal rejection of weakness, even by those who always argue for the soft touch. No one likes weakness. Putin’s apparent strength is attractive not only to Russians, but even to liberals in America. While America’s initial response  to  the situation in Ukraine may have been tepid, I’ve argued that the recent moves by America’s president were correct, and bolder than Putin expected. But it came too late. When weakness is perceived, former supporters will begin to find all kinds of reasons to dislike their man in Cairo. Even Maureen Dowd laments: 

You are the American president. And the American president should not perpetually use the word ‘eventually.’ And he should not set a tone of resignation with references to this being a relay race and say he’s willing to take ‘a quarter of a loaf or half a loaf,’ and muse that things may not come ‘to full fruition on your timetable.’

“An American president should never say, as you did to the New Yorker editor, David Remnick, about presidents through history: ‘We’re part of a long-running story. We just try to get our paragraph right.’

“Mr. President, I am just trying to get my paragraph right. You need to think bigger…

“Especially now that we have this scary World War III vibe with the Russians, we expect the president, especially one who ran as Babe Ruth, to hit home runs.

Make no mistake, the peaceniks love to crush their enemies, and they want a champion in office. One need only look at some of the tactics of the American Left when it comes to punishing dissent and political opponents. Some may agree that these tactics are justified, but it’s difficult for me to believe they are any less nasty than the supposedly more hawkish Right.  Even in the eyes of liberals, weakness is no virtue.

Where the Fun Times Went, Part 1

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A friend of mine sent me an article which describes in lurid detail the proceedings of campus rape tribunals.  You can read the article here.

My friend quipped that he at one time believed it was impossible to ruin the fun time of the college experience, but now he believes it’s been done. Other people in the past have told me they missed college. Of course, those people are my age, and thus attended higher learning institutions before the advent of Orwellian kangaroo courts.  The Romans had a better legal system back in 400 BC. Really, look it up.

I think the article does an excellent job in explaining what a travesty this sort of thing is, the Faustian world that the Progressives have constructed. I keep waiting to wake up inside the Matrix, because folks, I ate the red pill.  And since the article does such a great job in deconstructing this one aspect of the liberal monolith, I’m going to stick to what this type of thing means to me, and how it affects us all.

Student at Auburn University.
Student at Auburn University.

In essence, this sort of perversion  of justice is exactly what I’m talking about when I say that we as a culture are getting worse. I’ve considered that maybe it’s just me growing older, thinking everything was once better, that every activity we performed back in the day was somehow more noble, that we were stronger.

I’ve considered that, and arrived at the conclusion that in fact, we were stronger, more noble, and that many if not all things were better. Even our technological advances are overrated. About the only thing I have now that I didn’t have in 1980 is a cell phone and a computer, and from the studies I’ve seen, those two things are prone to make us more unhappy.  Per usual, I shamelessly blame it all on the liberals. But we have it so good, some will tell me. Yes, we do. But it’s getting worse than it was a few decades ago in very measurable ways. The Canadian Club ad below pretty much says all I have to say:

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See, I’m not an ethno-nationalist or white supremacist, tribalist, a hater of women or a prude, as some may suspect from my political leanings. I like freedom. I like justice. And precisely because I like freedom and justice, I’m suspicious of democracy. At the very least I see democracy as having all the same flaws as most of the other forms of government, only now the power is split up into a multitude of factions all wanting a piece of me and you. Nope, I’ve spit the democracy kool-aid back in the tankard. The very young experiment that is Western Democracy is crumbling and fast. Let’s not forget that Tyranny is not a form of government, it a disease that can occur in all government’s forms.  It’s democracy that enabled this sort of thing, using the all powerful Managerial State to take almost all the fun out of living. But for a few differences I’d accept the label of libertarian. The closest titles I can find are paleoconservative and neoreactionary.  I like neoreactionary because I hope it brings to mind Conan the barbarian or Kull the conqueror to the people that think that Jersey Shore was a good television show. Sweaty, veins surging with enough testosterone to make Alex Rodriguez’ PED supplier jealous, and carrying a giant sword dripping with the blood of my enemies. I want to go back, just like Eddie Money crooned. I want to go back because I used to be free. Democracy works when it’s filled with well-behaved individuals held in line by internal and universal values. Democracy doesn’t work when you trump up some charges in order to fulfill your political/idealogical Mangina fantasies and ruin people’s lives, like Auburn and Vassar do. And it’s all legal because because Jefferson’s all-knowing, holy people (read: mob) will it.

I still won’t go so far as to call myself a monarchist, yet. But dear readers, what did King George III ever do that was worse than what we put up with from our government and Managerial State now? Don’t get me wrong, I’m with the revolutionary Americans. You know what they wanted? Not ultimate liberty and anarchy. They wanted to be treated like Englishmen. They wanted to be treated the same as the people back in Great Britain were treated, no better, no worse. You can look that up too. They didn’t think all kings were evil. They thought tyranny was evil and I’m inclined to agree.

This is part 1 of an undecidedly long series on where the fun times went, and what we can do to get them back. Next up: When I started noticing the big, bad changes.

Fascist?

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To make the individual uncomfortable, that is my task.~ Frederick Nietzsche

Someone posted my recent blog post, The Feminization of Everything, on Reddit yesterday, and some other people posted a link to my article on other blogs, resulting in the single biggest day of blog traffic I’ve had on any blog I’ve hosted.

I’m not sure if it was done as a joke, as a prod, or as a genuine contribution to a string, but the person posted my article under the “feminism” subreddit. Of course, this subreddit is largely populated by feminists and my article is receiving some interesting comments. Actually, it hasn’t received one positive comment, though some frightened individuals appreciate my article, as it’s received twice as many “like’ votes as dislikes. It is  #3 in the “hot” tab under feminism, and #1 under the “controversial” tab.

I have never posted to Reddit, never used it to increase blog traffic. When I post links to my articles, it is usually because I want honest input from people I trust or know; I’m willing to see others’ views, and I want to know the weaknesses of my own arguments. Many times, blogging is a very inferior way of expressing one’s views on issues, as they tend to be written spur-of-the-moment. A book would be better.  I don’t handle my blog in a professional manner, though perhaps I should.

One comment on Reddit stated that my article seemed fascist. Another called it a “tantrum” and “junk”. One more implored others not to read the article at all, apparently afraid some may find some good in it.  I’m not sure if I should be honored or dismayed by this person’s opinion. I lean towards being honored. The last 5 years of my life have provided ample opportunity for self-examination, a crucible of honesty with myself. I realize my weaknesses, my strengths. I have something to say, I see problems in the world, and every so often a person comes along who can’t help but obsess about the tragedy of it all. Such is my melancholic personality.

Are my views fascist? I’ve asked the same question myself. And I’m willing to concede they are at some level.  But it’s almost meaningless to me. The only reason it’s not completely meaningless  is because I know I’ve made the right people uncomfortable. Change for the better rarely occurs without pain and discomfort.  The term fascism is as meaningless to me as the word “drug”. What kind of drug, aspirin or Methamphetamine? A single word cannot probe the intricacies of reality.

I regard the modern world as incredibly unauthentic, a poseur propped us by the rich daddies of yesteryear who did most of the work.  Acting as children, we play make believe in the mansion built by our forefathers. The mansion is crumbling for lack of maintenance.

I won’t spend time writing about the misuse and overuse of the term, “fascist.” The criticisms of the lazy usage of the word have become as cliche’ as the word itself. I will say however, that if someone wishes to insult me with a commonly misused and misunderstood word, “reactionary” would be more appropriate.  I would not deny the label.

Surprisingly, I found the definition that best suited me, not in Websters, but in the online Urban Dictionary:

One who supports Reaction in opposition to the general progressive Western zeitgeist, often accompanied by a sense that the expansion of democratic politcs has made life in general much worse either in absolute terms, or measured by what should have been achievable with modern science, reason, and technology; usually believes race is a real genetic construct and therefore not surprised at disparate average outcomes across large population groups; often believes human evolution has in part or in toto shaped human nature, which therefore cannot easily, or at all, be changed very much by social engineering and/or conditioning; usually believes heirarchy is imprinted upon mankind by nature and/or God, and that heirarchy is not only not necessarily evil, but desirable and even inevitable and ought not be torn down for any but the most grave reasons; tends to support tradition either as revealed by his religion and/or as successful adaptive memetic developments which usually solve deep and complex problems in human societies; anti-revolutionary; anti-socialist; anti-communist; anti-whig; anti-democratic; anti-globalist; skeptical; (once a term of derision, most reactionaries of late do happily so self-identify)
Tom suddenly realized he couldn’t find a single Republican at the convention who didn’t hail FDR anything less than a great hero. He remembered knowing conservatives in his youth who opposed both FDR and WWII. But where were they now? They had disappeared, but their thoughts and words had not. Tom hadn’t changed his mind about much in the past 25 years, but he suddenly realized he was a Reactionary.
Adequate, though, not of course complete. Years ago a friend of mine, whose opinion i respect, said that my thinking matched that of a gothic king, a pejorative remark that I like to wear as a badge of honor.
My view is generally that the world is worse than it was no more than 50 years ago, not because of technological progress, which serves to partially blind us to the inadequate order that now holds power, but because of the current social order, or more appropriately, disorder, that now reigns.  Just because you have a microwave and an IPhone does not mean the world is a better place than your great-grandfather’s world.  Of course, some things are better,  but in aggregate they are not. We are a deeply unhappy society for reasons the ancients would have easily perceived. But our instincts are dulled by mall shopping. We resort to gulping Zoloft.
I recently explained part of my world view to my wife, who generally agrees with my ideas on how men and women should act.  I said that I did not believe marriage was a democracy. Democracy is possible when there are thousands or millions of voters because it’s easy to find a majority; the chances of a perfectly even vote are practically nil.  However a marriage is made up of two people. A democracy of two does not work well at all. There is a distinct chance that two people will disagree on issues, and when, in a marriage, those issues involve money, sex or other fundamentally important issues, it’s important that there be a system for resolving those conflicts. In my marriage, that system is me. I get to decide if my wife can spend $400 on a new purse. Yes, that’s right, it’s patriarchy,  not democracy. If it were democracy we’d both be angry, me at her expenditure, her at my reaction to it. Carrying on this way results in the the end state of most marriages today: Divorce. We of course have had our problems, like most.  The problems lessened when the rules were states explicitly: She is woman, I am man. Stay in your lane, I’ll stay in mine. Surprisingly she agreed with all of it. I realize that most of these things should have been worked out before we got married, but it is the current social order that demands they not be worked out, that problems be resolved through the magic of democracy.
Instead of the magic of democracy, I told her, that in exchange for me having the power to veto a $400 purse purchase,that should a 250 pound felon with a machete decide, at 1 o’clock in morning, to enter our house to steal our flat screen tv for himself and be willing to  kill anyone unarmed and unable who tries to prevent him from getting it, I will stand and fight while she and the children exit the back door. Also, if we ever take a cruise, as on the Titanic in 1912, and we begin to sink, she and the children can get on the lifeboats before I do.
This all seems a fair trade. See, that’s the way it used to be. Men were not honored simply because they were men, but because they did something special. In our decadent society, we devalue that which was sacred in all societies before ours: The Soldier. I’m not saying this because I am a soldier, I became a soldier because I believed it sacred.  I often comment to my children that one of the most unattractive attributes a person can have is to be ungrateful. No ungrateful species can survive because it can not differentiate between what is important and what is not. Those that cannot appreciate people who protect them are decadent and bound to extinction. Unfortunately, if they outnumber those who respect the sacred, they will take those who are not decadent with them. All cultures before our current one honored the warrior because killing those whom are trying to kill you is better than slavery or extinction. Yes, America is far ahead of modern Europe in this regard. I’ve been overwhelmed by the expressed gratitude walking through airports in uniform. Most soldiers, including myself, don’t want to be patronized or doted over; we consider this to be a departure from the asceticism necessary to fighting wars, un-soldierly. Why I myself want is a worldview that respects that which is respectable.
While it’s tempting–and possible–to connect my worldview to that of the Prussian 2nd Reich, and some aspects of Sparta, (and I would not vigorously argue against you), it’s also possible to connect it with some of our founding fathers and past presidents, most notably, Andrew Jackson. Jackson, undoubtedly, would have been labeled a fascist, had the term been so cliche’ in his time. Yet, he embodies many of my beliefs. Anti-materialist, aristocratic, willing to smack a pie-hole where a pie-hole needs smacking, for small government, understanding the everyone–banks included–is susceptible to corruption. That honor meant something. Jackson said:
Every good citizen makes his country’s honor his own, and cherishes it not only as precious but as sacred. He is willing to risk his life in its defense and its conscious that he gains protection while he gives it. But you must remember, my fellow-citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing.
Passe to the modern liberal and feminist. Arrogant, militaristic in tone–fascist. In other words you’d want Jackson on your side when your cushy circumstances go to hell.  Of course, liberals and feminists can not imagine a situation in which they would not have it easy. They really think the world has progressed, that they have made it much better.
The one thing that may worry these people is that, they, in fact, may be becoming passe, unfashionable. Nothing worries the modern more than what is fashionable. An increasing number of people, including women, are becoming disillusioned with the message of feminism, which they’ve tasted and found wanting. They discovered that it’s a lie. What the feminists and progressives must realize, is that their fashion may end up like the Pet Rock. Feminism and the modern progressive movement is an anomaly, an outlier, never before practiced even in ancient democracies such as Athens.  The feminists and progressives may well look back in 40-50 years and long for days pasts. They may become the reactionaries.

Bread and Circuses

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Americans have cast their vote. And I won’t sit here and type out some cliche’ lines about the wisdom of the American people or how we all just need to get along for the next 4 years, come together, hold hands, and make it all better. Because I believe this was a stupid choice and that the last 4 years were the result of an administration that has no direction and has already weakened the American character.

Our nation is withering, but it is not because of Barack Obama, it is because of that sacred animal of democracy, “The People.” No longer is it the man that fights the good fight, that presses on despite the odds, the strong individualist who sharpens his knife, oils his rifle, and cuts his own firewood, that draws the media’s camera and the adoration of Americans. No, the greatest person in America today is “The Victim.” The man who can’t get things done is our hero. He is a victim of the system, of the weather, of his race, of his gender, of his sexual orientation, of bad genes, and of the evils of corporate empire. It is difficult not to find a victim in every man these days, and so every man is a hero of sorts, unless you run a successful business; a business man is obviously out to make victims of everyone else, and thus he is no hero.

It is not “anti-government” to say that a government can either do a few things well, or a lot of things poorly. We have chosen a government that is involved in every aspect of our lives, and we choose this both locally and nationally. We are well on our way to becoming another Greece. And what happens when a government runs out of money and tells its people that programs have to be cut? Do the people band together in unity and peace and carry on? Some maybe. But the ones that get the media attention riot and spew hatred because their bread and circuses have been taken away.

This is the perfect example of how empires die. They are rarely killed from the outside. With few exceptions, they kill themselves.

And so I do not believe in the sanctity of the people. Democracy works just fine when a democratic nation is composed of intelligent, unselfish, and strong people. We are no longer that. What was Obama’s biggest selling point to the American people? That he will give us more stuff. Is that not the tacit message? We certainly don’t want a president that will tell us we’re too fat, too stupid, and too infatuated with Kim Kardashian. Which we are. As Rush Limbaugh said, “In a nation of children, Santa Claus wins.”

Unlike others, I am not hopeful for America. I have witnessed our decline for the last 20 years, and it has been inexorable. We are teenagers with Daddy’s credit card. The values that held our society together for two centuries are all but gone. Some will say, “times change and we must change with them.” But we are exhibiting habits with which no culture has prospered for long.

As for myself, I’ll continue to cling to my guns and religion, just as did real men like Davey Crocket and Daniel Boone. The rest of America can worry about what underwear Pink is wearing this week and continue shambling toward irrelevancy.

Things haven’t changed much have they?

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This speech by The Great Communicator sent chills up my spine. You can feel the audience is enthralled by words they’re never heard before.

Compromise: A little evil at a time

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There’s a lot of talk about compromise these days.  If you don’t compromise, you’re hard-headed, partisan, or stupid, right?  That’s the message that’s being sent to Americans by President Obama regarding the current budget and debt ceiling.  The President wants to raise the debt ceiling, and raise taxes on the rich; the Republicans are resisting both ideas.  Some people are arguing that the Republicans and Democrats need to compromise; the debt ceiling should be raised and taxes should be increased.  How is this a compromise?  This sounds like the Left winning  both counts and it seems to be the continued digging of America’s grave.   

Should the alcoholic compromise?  Just a few drinks today.  The drug addict?  Just one more needle…This is exactly the kind of compromise that got us where we are.  Just a little more spending…

At some point people of character must stand up to this madness.  The Declaration of Independence was a statement against compromise.  The Emancipation Proclamation, too, stood starkly against sitting the fence. 

all persons held as slaves are, and henceforward shall be free

Studies of countries that have faced budget problems similar to America’s show that the most effective way to balance a budget is to reduce spending, not increase taxes.    

We should not let the perfect become the enemy of the good.  But we are facing an existential debt crisis.  America is dying for all her decades of compromise.  And for that, we’d best put people in power who know how to stop hedging.

 

A Rumor of War

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I picked out the book, ” A Rumor of War”, from the base library yesterday.  It is a well-known Vietnam classic, written by Philip Caputo,  a Marine infantry officer in Vietnam. 

I’m only a short way into the book, but I’d like to make some comments because I sense where the book is going.  First, Caputo is an excellent and powerful writer.  He presents his experience in Vietnam with emotional impact–the best kind of writing.  But there is a cynicism from page one and it isn’t just a cynicism about how the war was fought, it’s  a generalized cynicism which has its roots in the anti-war movement of the time, which Caputo admits he was a part of. 

Caputo begins the book by saying that he joined the Marines as a way to escape the hum drum of life at home, where crossing the street was the most danger he’d face in a day.  I suspect that this is a normal reason that many young men join the military.  However, the best Soldiers and Marines are those whom find in their “job”  a higher purpose.  Soldiering is too difficult and trying at all levels for it to be just another job or a mere source of excitement.  It is also too important.  The higher purpose in everything a serviceman does must remain at the forefront of his mind, or else everything will seem useless and tedious.  It should be apparent to everyone that the Spartans did not stand to the last man at Thermopylae with the same motivation they carried while tilling their fields and the Athenians did not save Western civilization at the Battle of Marathon while merely punching a time card.

In reading some of the reviews of a Rumor of War on Amazon, many reviewers carry on about the horrors of war, and use the book’s theme to reinforce what I suspect they already believe; that Vietnam was a bad war, while WWII was a good war.  To me, the biggest difference between the two wars is that we lost in Vietnam and won WWII.  Our mission was essentially the same in both wars.  We felt no real threat to the American mainland during WWII, though Pearl Harbor set the United States in motion.  Still, our goal in both wars was clear: Prevent a totalitarian regime from crushing free nations.   And there is almost no difference as to the evils presented by the Soviets and Red China when compared to Nazi Germany.  Basically, the Soviets became what the Nazi would have become had they not been confronted early enough. 

Early in the book, Caputo has hinted at terrible changes he saw take place in soldiers over the course of the war.  Some of them lost their sense of compassion and found joy in killing the enemy.  Again, this is no different than in WWII. 

Caputo admits that he came to enjoy aspects of combat, a sentiment expressed by many soldiers, if only in hushed tones.  History bears witness that this is true.  What soldiers truly hate is not war per se, but losing at war.  Soldiers are supposed to fight wars, that’s what they do.  They are also supposed to win wars.  My own cynicism stems not from the Afghan war, not from any sentiment that Noam Chomsky would find heartening, but from the fact that most politicians are liars, idiots and scoundrels.  They have no idea what a good war looks like, no sense of strategic realities, and almost all of them can be classified as careerists worried more about losing the vote of the 21 year old undergrad than the life of a 21 year soldier sent in to battle for the vote the politico worries about losing.  I generalize, and to those government officials who do not meet these criteria, I commend you.  But speak up and be heard. 

The Afghan war has been handled more poorly than Vietnam. Fortunately the jihadists are amateurs compared to the hard corp communists of the 50s and 60s. In Vietnam there were real reasons for not attacking ,directly, North Vietnam.  The Soviet Union and China were very powerful militarily, ruthless, cunning and frankly, both had a large number of political allies in the United States.  In Afghanistan, we let Pakistan kill our soldiers because politicians are politicians.  See above.

As for the behavior of soldiers in war that Caputo speaks of, I can say that I never once saw any actions by US soldiers against our enemy that was illegal or evil.  In fact, our soldiers treated the Afghans better than fellow troops in most cases.  This did appal me.  Because of Hearts and Minds, soldiers shook hands with and smiled at  they knew helped the insurgency to kill fellow Americans.  The Afghans knew no consequences for actions against the US military in most cases.  There were benefits to helping both the insurgents and the Americans, but always the insurgents knew when to apply force and so in most districts, progress was an apparition.  When Americans weren’t around, things deteriorated very quickly.