Monday, June 23, 2014

Hell is Other Americans

We have a problem here. Way too much to say, at the same time that conditions are hostile to saying it. Can't even organize my thoughts with the whirlwind of remodeling around me. Look for a suspension of blogging activities in the forthcoming week, or at least patchy moonshine.

To be conservative is, among other things, to follow the evidence where it leads. It should be the very opposite of ideological pneumapathologies, which superimpose secondary realities on the first and expect reality to fall into line. But reality always has the last word, which is why leftism is bound to fail.

To be American is to love freedom (including free markets), limited constitutional government, and rule of law; and to respect the individual, private property, and natural law more generally.

How about the purpose of education, especially in the context of the principles outlined above? In order to be capable of self-rule, one must be capable of ruling oneself. In other words, before you presume to dominate others, might you not want to be capable of dominating yourself? Just a thought.

Only such a minimally mature person is in a position to influence "the public toward responsible freedom and limited government by the state" (Moore). Conversely, people who are incapable of self rule are precisely those who will support an ever-expanding (and anti-American) state to control and dominate them.

This is seen in its extreme form in the African American demographic, which is responsible for such a disproportionate percentage of crime, while at the same time, provide such disproportional support for the criminal enterprise known as government (in its un- and anti-American forms).

Why does this happen? One obvious reason is the absence of fathers. The father is a necessary source of order in the male soul, so we shouldn't be surprised by the cultural disorder that results from their widespread absence. One cannot simply wish away the father principle just because the father is physically absent, any more than one can wish away God, aggression, or sexuality. Rather, they simply return in disguised and transformed ways.

Thus, the void created by the absence of black fathers is filled by the prison system. The welfare state is overall a form of feminine fascism, but the prison system is its masculine consort. One hand swaddles, indulges, and forgives, while the other hand persecutes and punishes.

The IRS is not a proper masculine entity, since it is so sneaky, unprincipled, and arbitrary. Rather, it is more like the female enforcer. It is either Big Mama Lois Lerner or this creepy pervert. Whatever it is, it has no honor, no courage, no virtue. Imagine putting citizens through such hell, but scurrying for the nearest rathole at the first hint of accountability.

I don't really like the term "self-domination." True, success in life is predicated on an element of will directed toward the self, especially in the early phases of growth (which is true of any endeavor, from sport to music to writing). However, this should be preparatory to integration, otherwise one is at permanent war with oneself.

Which one is, or at least one must always have a strong military presence so as to pacify mind parasites and other internal saboteurs and pneumatic troublemakers. Weakness is provocative, whether in geopolitics, national governance, or intra-personal harmony.

Obama is a curious combination of weakness before enemies and hostility toward decent Americans, with predictable consequences. On the political plane he is repeating the pattern of a weak or absent father and a domineering, flaky, arbitrary, and crazy-making mother, with no appeal to reason or law or consistency. I suppose he wants to inflict his hellish childhood on the rest of us -- a hell that was papered over by the indulgence of racial preference and low expectations in general.

Back to integration. One thing we want to integrate is the mother and father principle, but that is difficult to do if you never experienced them. We also want to integrate adult and child, knowledge and wisdom, body and soul, and other complementarities. Moore writes of the "integrated person, in whom the head, heart, and spirit, the rational, affective and spiritual, are educated and developed."

Which is precisely what public schools do not do, because integrated citizens would be fatal to the leftist project.

Rather, statism simultaneously relies upon and creates the atomized, shriveled, and disordered souls who are its primary constituents and clients. There is no defensible or articulate "idea" at the heart of leftism, which is why it cannot be defeated on the cognitive plane. Reagan knew this about communism. Why argue with a communist? Rather, just kick him in the nuts.

Can you imagine tying to have a rational conversation with Harry Reid? The problem there is that you can't kick a eunuch in the nuts. Nor can you shame a leftist, since they are always shielded by their intrinsic moral superiority.

As we have suggested before, leftism is a conspiracy between the overeducated and the uneducable, the policies of the former driving the latter into such hopeless dysfunction that then becomes the pretext for ever-expanding and intrusive rule by the overeducated.

Who are these overeducated? Probably 75% of the people who have attended college, since colleges have had to so drastically reduce their standards so as to accommodate those hordes of uneducable. As a result, getting a PhD in the liberal arts is easier than it used to be to graduate high school. But since these people are credentialed beyond their intellectual station and have no real-world skills, they really have only two career options to exercise their uselessness: education or government. Or maybe journalism, which combines the worst of each.

Which is how we end up being ruled by ungovernable savages and educated by indoctrinated mediocrities.

"The problem in our Progressive (not Libertarian) Age is this: those at the center of the Pew scatterplots are not a class of temperate philosophers. Rather, they’re the politically disengaged and ideologically inconsistent. This is perhaps the part of the American citizenry least suited for popular government—one that acts politically, if and when it acts politically, primarily from impulse and passion. Ideational ignorance and material need are its calling cards, often mixed with a bit of sanctimony for being above the political fray. This combination makes it the group most susceptible to the demagogue and the one least willing to do the hard work (thinking) necessary to cast a responsible vote."


julie said...

To be American is to love freedom (including free markets), limited constitutional government, and rule of law; and to respect the individual, private property, and natural law more generally.

Once upon a time, to be a "law-abiding citizen" in America it was possible at once to live within Judeo-Christian law - or more broadly, natural law - and the law of the land, and find little to no dissonance between the two.

That is changing; now, to live a Christian life is to live outside the law. Or rather, to live according to the Law is truly to live above the law.

julie said...

...integrated citizens would be fatal to the leftist project.

Rather, statism simultaneously relies upon and creates the atomized, shriveled, and disordered souls who are its primary constituents and clients.

I was just reading this morning about how Harvard's endemic grade inflation in recent years makes it likely that all those students who believe themselves to be brilliant recipients of a superior education have been duped. The arguments made in favor of the practice amount to, "they've been told all their lives they are great. Who are we to disillusion them? If they discover they are stupid, they might stop forking over the dough!"

Anyway, it's not just that education today creates stunted souls and minds, it's that the crippling happens in such a way that the minds and souls in question may have no idea - possibly ever - that they are anything but perfect. They are prevented, again and again, from being healthily dis-illusioned, because too many people are invested in keeping them stupid.

Peyton said...

Interesting case here in Ohio: we are worried that some percentage of third graders(!) will fail the statewide reading proficiency test. It appears that we don't really care if they can actually read at third grade level. Perish the thought that they might have to try again actually to read at the third grade level.

Gosh, when I was in third grade, the teacher merely marked "F" and the child got to try again.

Joke: Last week I couldn't spel tenyoured, and today I are won.

Rick said...

Did somebody say joke?

...then not so OT after all:
Letterman interviews Seinfeld about The Making of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee


mushroom said...

The funny thing is that my dad was kind of an outlaw himself. I suppose what he taught me was that you can only live outside the law if you have enough self-control and righteousness to live above it.

steve chandler said...

so clear Bob, your writing is a GIFT...many thanks.....I KNOW somewhere in me this great poetic insight will be USED by me to overthrow something...just don't know where or when.....

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I don't really like the term "self-domination." True, success in life is predicated on an element of will directed toward the self, especially in the early phases of growth (which is true of any endeavor, from sport to music to writing). However, this should be preparatory to integration, otherwise one is at permanent war with oneself."

That is very good advice.

Magister said...

How's the word "integrity" doing these days? It used to be a virtue.

I suspect it now sounds antique, or even risible. Imagine the visual mockery of a square-jawed businessman/father, for example, by Roy Liechtenstein.

The dominant feeling I sense is that "everyone is compromised, everyone is dirty, no one is better than anyone else." And instead of looking for a savior, the consequent feeling is "so f*** you, leave me alone!"

I'm not sure what Obama's failure as President will do. He has spiked the office. With a hardened socialist press, it will be difficult for a good President to inspire anyone. Public cynicism (well-deserved) is as deep as I've seen in postcommunist eastern Europe, and it cuts across party lines.

This prevailing attitude is why hard leftist activists are going for broke. What or whom have they got to lose, really?

Magister said...

Here's an interesting story about one "weak attachment":

"Though Arlo prizes his father’s farm enough to feel jealous of whoever its future owner might be, he feels no personal calling to carry on its legacy. He demonstrates an understanding of the farm’s tenuous situation—but wants no part in the responsibilities it carries."

Being confined in this way to the libertine present is, I think, now perfectly typical.

Van Harvey said...

Magister said "I suspect it now sounds antique, or even risible. Imagine the visual mockery of a square-jawed businessman/father, for example, by Roy Liechtenstein."

Yep. And in further dis-support of Integrity, there's been an accelerated push in recent years against the trait of Earnestness, have you noticed? Especially in commercials, the way to make a 'humorous' selling point is to have someone come on with Pattonesque gruff directness, earnestly making a point as if it is the be-all, end-all of importance, when the point and its purpose is ridiculously trivial. After that a wary female or Milquetoastish guy will, with sidelong glances, will chime in on "Yeahhh... that's right... so... get Acme X for all your needs..."

"This prevailing attitude is why hard leftist activists are going for broke. What or whom have they got to lose, really?"

Yep. My kids often tell me 'Dad, don't worry so much, no one's buying what the teachers are selling... we laugh at them.' Which is true... but for most they aren't buying something else in its place, either. Or even shopping. That's a dangerous situation, and especially fertile ground for those peddling cynical poses to promote their aims.

Reminds me of something I read the other day while looking into Helvetius, a proto-Utilitarian contemporary of Rousseau (on a different side of the same fense), this lady's comment is similar to what youths are saying today:

"Madame Roland read the celebrated book in her romantic girlhood, and her impression may be taken for that of most generous natures. “Helvétius made me wretched: he annihilated the most ravishing illusions; he showed me everywhere repulsive self-interest. Yet what sagacity!” she continues. “I persuaded myself that Helvétius painted men such as they had become in the corruption of society: I judged that it was good to feed one’s self on such an author, in order to be able to frequent what is called the world, without being its dupe. But I took good care not to adopt his principles, merely in order to know man properly so-called. I felt myself capable of a generosity which he never recognises. With what delight I confronted his theories with the great traits in history, and the virtues of the heroes that history has immortalised.”[114]"

The French Revolution followed not so long afterwards.

julie said...

Magister, that was an interesting link. Thanks.

It strikes me as resonating a bit with this post today over at Ace's, too.

The key, it seems to me, is less about whether the Arlos of the world carry on the traditional family businesses then it is about people who have lost all sense of direction and motivation. I could be wrong but get the impression that if aimless Arlo didn't have to work to support himself, he'd be perfectly content to fritter away his days playing treehouse (his true calling, apparently), and is thus likely to be exactly the sort of person to gripe about "inequality," in the hope that the income of those who have might facilitate his chosen lifestyle.

Magister said...


"I felt myself capable of a generosity which he never recognises. "

Now there's wisdom. It reminds me of a young man I met in college who refused to bend in the PC wind. He said its only object was to make talented young people doubt their feelings, and so doubt their (fragile, emerging) selves. To look inside oneself and say "No, I have better angels, I'm not that" is to be clear-sighted, strong, and to exercise integrity. So much conspires against that exercise...


Bingo. That's exactly the hollowness I tried to suggest. Young people can have internal compasses but spend too much time testing and calibrating them -- such that they don't commit to walking in any particular direction. Amusing themselves unto death, and then resenting the rest. I love this by Greg Gutfeld:

"Without the uncool, the cool wouldn’t exist. Why is that? Because cool contributes nothing to ‘how things work.’ Oh, something that appears cool can work (see everything made by Apple). But making such products does not rely on its makers being or appearing cool, but thinking and working hard."

Rick said...

Speaking of Apple, I'm not buying the whole Steve Jobs bit.

Robert said...

...integrated citizens would be fatal to the leftist project.

Rather, statism simultaneously relies upon and creates the atomized, shriveled, and disordered souls who are its primary constituents and clients

Many additional comments on just the kind of characters who would aim to do such a thing, including Scriptural prophesies at:

Pareisago - Clandestine Conspiracy

Pull quote:
“Jealously envying and envisioning an abundant quantity of (echo ophthalmos mestos) adultery (moichalis), they cannot refrain from (akatapaustos – are unable to stop or cease; are never satiated, and cannot find rest from) wandering away in error (hamartano – missing the mark, being wrong, sinning, and being evil), beguiling and entrapping (deleazo – using bait to entice, allure, delude, and catch; luring people into sin; seducing) vacillating and unstable (asteriktos - weak and vulnerable) souls (psuche).” (II Shim’own / He Listens / Peter 2:14) Sin never satisfies. The sinner always craves more.

"Whether moichalis was speaking of the multiple virgins of Allah’s paradise or of the adulterous lives lived by most Americans, this form of immorality is a symptom of the reprogramming both cultures have endured. The offer of free sex has served as bait, seducing billions to their doom—the demise of their souls. The reason unrestrained sexual indulgence outside of the marriage covenant Yahowah established is so destructive is that it makes society and the individual unstable, weak and vulnerable. [emphasis mine] Each of the universal constants apparent in the fall of civilizations have been delineated here. Sexual deviance that leads to the breakdown of the family, gluttony, effeminate lifestyles, and self-delusion are all present when a society falls. They are all prevalent in America today."

Yahowah prophesied that we would have these sleazeball statists, deliberately trying to make people weak, unstable, and vulnerable (or atomized, shriveled, and disordered) in a bid to control those people just like slaves. The statists are outright satanic. They are every real human being's sworn, unalterable enemies, and we should recognize them as such, and treat them as such.

Anonymous said...

One obvious reason is the absence of fathers.

Sounds plausible, but unfortunately contradicted by the facts

The IRS is not a proper masculine entity

Do tell us more about your ideas about the proper gender identity of various bureaucracies. I guess the DoD is pretty butch.

julie said...

Well, duh! Single motherhood doesn't cause homicide - this graph clearly shows it probably has something to do with honey production.

Anonymous said...

Another genius. Correlation does not prove causation, which is the truth underneath all those amusing graphs. But lack of correlation does in fact disprove causation, all else being equal.

julie said...

Oh, goody; is this the part where we all pull out our Mensa membership cards to prove we're smart enough to make fun of anonymous?

But lack of correlation does in fact disprove causation, all else being equal.

Oh, okay. So I'm sure a survey done of the prison population - in DC or anywhere else - would reveal that the vast majority of inmates were raised in intact homes, and hardly ever by single mothers.

As I understand it, crime rates in general have been going down all over the country over the past couple of decades, and nobody is sure exactly why. Personally, I blame Fox Butterfield.

But back to the topic of single motherhood and how it couldn't be any worse for kids than traditional marriage, I'm sure this is meaningless, too...

In point of fact, if these studies are to be taken seriously, one wonders why it is that in custody battles, kids almost always go to the mother, when it seems they'd be so much better off with their biological fathers.

Captain Obvious said...

Fatherlessness correlates with most every serious social pathology, including pathological denial of the importance of fathers.

Captain Obvious said...

Then again, to be fair, perhaps if Barack Obama had had a father, he wouldn't have been so driven to transform the US into this leftist paradise.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Good points Julie, although I would bet that crimes committed by bureaucratic govt. agencies have risen exponentially in correlation to govt. growth.

Certainly there hasbeen an obvious lack of accountability by bureaurats and, with the politicization of the dept of (in)justice (all to the left) and leftist court appointees we will only see more crimes by these unelected, anti-liberty, fascist borg.

Collectively and individually. Corruption has gone through the roof.
And, they are aided by leftist politicians, media, public education and entertainers.

Of course, destruction of stable families is a big part of this.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

And, not least, a nation that has steadily been moving away from God.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Capt. Obvious hoists Capt. Oblivious by his own petard.

Jack said...

In leftist bizarro world single mothers *must* be good, and fathers *must* be optional, or they would risk having to realize just how much damage they and their policies have done over the past 50 years or so.

Answer: A lot. Way too much, in fact.

ted said...

Just checking out some new music, and I came across the country artist Sturgill Simpson, who appears Raccoonish to me (not to mention some damn good songs). Gotta love the album title "Metamodern Sounds in Country Music". And this is coming from someone who has a phobia to this sort of thing.

Van Harvey said...

Julie, sorry you got stuck pulling hall monitor duty on the short bus.

It was fun to watch though.


(We really have been pulling a lower quality of aninnymouse of late)

Magister said...

Ah, statistics, how we love to abuse thee.

Homicide rates vary by neighborhood. I'd like to see historical data on single motherhood and murder rates in neighborhoods with the highest murder rates. I'm guessing the correlation is strong and positive, but I'm open to being wrong.

The destruction of the biological family creates pervasive, permanent damage at every level.

Magister said...

Anonymous, I did some quick searching for you during the morning coffee routine. You can thank me later.

Consider the neighborhood of Austin, Chicago:

- Homicides since 2007: 254 (highest in the city)
- % of married couple families with children: 9.5%

As intelligent people, we don't conclude from that the absence of married couple families in Austin *causes* homicides. We try to look at the whole picture and think about all the factors.

Here's what I think, though I don't have much time. The average size of a household in Austin is 3.1, well above the Chicago average. We know that 90% of these households don't have a married couple in them. I'm guessing "extended families" living together are the norm. The working adults (almost none college-educated) are in service and sales, i.e. hourly/shift workers. Many are functionally illiterate.

So use your imagination, Anonymous. What kind of home environment is a young boy likely to have there? Is Mom going to be around to help him with his homework after school? Could she, even if she were? Does he have a father around the house to give Mom a break? Does he suffer any consequences for bad behavior? Do his parents have time to take get him into organized activities that are positive and up-building?

You know the answers to these questions.

For my part, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the adults in those households are failing to raise their kids well, even if some of them are struggling to do so.

It doesn't take a "genius" to conclude that the family in Austin has broken down to the point that its typical socializing forces (discipline, literacy, educational aspiration, moral formation, etc) don't have sufficient strength to move young males away from a vulnerable, vacant, and violent future.


Magister said...

Oh, and the neighborhood with the next-highest murder rate appears to be West Englewood, with 164 murders.

% of married-couple families with children: 10.3

Magister said...

One of the two neighborhoods with zero murders is Edison Park:

% of married-couple families with children: 35
% of married-couple families: 48.1, vs. Austin's 20

So I'm guessing that in those neighborhoods, family type is statistically significant.

But I'm no stats guy.

julie said...

Seeing as how there's no new post today, I thought I'd continue the discussion of parenting and crime by linking this pdf of the speech given at Hillsdale by Theodore Dalrymple a month ago, on the topic of crime and family circumstances. Spoiler - it contains no surprises:

"In the course of my duties, I would often go to patients’ homes. Everyone lived in households with a shifting cast of members, rather than in families. If there was an adult male resident, he was generally a bird of passage with a residence of his own somewhere else. He came and went as his fancy took him. To ask a child who his father was had become an almost indelicate question. Sometimes the child would reply, “Do you mean my father at the moment?” Others would simply shake their heads, being unwilling to talk about the monster who had begot them and whom they wished at all costs to forget."

Magister said...

So the boys naturally look for substitutes for missing male leadership. David Mamet:

“I remember as a young man looking at my father, a successful businessman, and thinking, ‘I don’t know anything. How am I going to matriculate into society and become self-reliant?’” Mamet said. “A healthy society helps a young man or woman matriculate. It says, ‘Off you go into something in which you’ll be judged.’ Then, the fear of matriculation is gradually replaced by the physical memory of accomplishment. So, little by little, it gets easier.”

It is the well-intentioned, but destructive attempt to assuage the fear of matriculation, and the lack of incentive to prove one’s worth, competence, and skill, that have created a culture of conformity, weakness, and banality."

Or crime. Mamet was talking about Pajama Boys, but he could just as easily have been talking about the boys of Austin, Chicago.

julie said...

Dalrymple does have one very interesting observation in there, right toward the end, with regard to the murder rates in England as compared to the past:

"Incidentally, the homicide rate, it is said, would be five times higher than it is if we used the same medical techniques as were used in 1960."

Suddenly, I can't help wondering if there hasn't been some new technique used in various hospitals that might be changing previously fatal attacks to merely injurious ones...

Magister said...

Sure, "homicide" is a subset.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Ha! Here's a funny, but true tweet from everyone's favorite Iowan, Iowahawk:

"Apparently, the leading cause of hard drive failures is subpoenas."

Magister said...

Laughing instead of crying. Our political class is worth bupkis, and we need some way of holding them accountable. Lose accountability and you lose everything.