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Tag Archives: politics

New Balance Hysteria Shows Us Meaning Beyond Markets

The burning of New Balance shoes in reaction to the culturally charged 2016 election tells us something about human nature that secular society resolutely ignores.  Markets and productivity are not ends unto themselves. In the secular enlightenment paradigm it’s irrational to destroy a perfectly good pair of shoes, or an expensive NFL licensed Kaepernick jersey, avoid a restauarant like Chic Filet, or a store like Target.
But in real life people intuitively understand that the flow of wealth represents the lifeblood of cultures.  We do not pursue commerce just for its own sake.  Without context production and the accumulation of wealth has no meaning.  We are taught to think in terms of just getting rich and selfishness is a strong motivator, but that’s not the whole story.  Getting rich as an individual means nothing if your civilization is about to get sacked and plundered and the culture you rely on subjugated.  Only by living in splendid isolation with our own entire continent to grow into could we ever have grown so naive.  Without your culture of people who believe in the dollar, it’s worth nothing.
So we can see in the right context that the economy isn’t some entity that we serve, it exists to serve us. It’s the mechanism by which a group uses wealth to its advantage.  You may be the richest empire on earth, but if all that wealth does not grow the group’s resources and power it is worth less than nothing at all.  Impoverished Somalis have clans they know will back them up no matter what.  Atomized Americans live every day knowing they are one slip away from falling through the cracks and if anyone cares to even notice, it will be to ridicule them.  In this we see the insanity and irony of the religion of enlightenment trying to treat production and wealth itself as mathematical goody points to be tallied up on a sheet.
With the age of neo-tribalism dawning, we see the supposedly monolithic economy being divided up by tribe just like land and culture.  Wealth too is territory.  

2016 Election: Why I Actually Care

Most of the time I have been politically apathetic.  In 2008 I voted for Obama since McCain was another neocon and showed no enthusiasm for ending the Iraq debacle while Obama made it a central plank of his campaign.  Making a bimbo cheerleader his VP pretty much disqualified him as well as his endless pablum about being a “war hero” when he got captured and humiliated instead. (Trump reminding us what a war hero really is was a great moment!)  As bad as Obama has been, I have a feeling if McCain had won, we’d still be there wasting trillions of dollars.  17th “surge” anyone?
My first big clue Obama wasn’t going to change much was when he made Hillary secretary of state.  Pretty much set the tone for everything else. He finally got out of Iraq and Afghanistan but took him almost his entire first term while he and Hillary ineptly destabilized much of the Islamic world.
Once it was clear Obama was slow poison as opposed to fast poison like the idiotic W Bush or McCain, I sat out the lame 2012 election with little intention of ever voting again.  Giant Douche vs. Turd Sandwich perfectly described it.  It was clear by the end of Obama’s 1st term he was just establishment (sort of) lite and Romney was a kleptocrat corporate robot with magic underwear.  Every time I saw Romney’s repulsive apologetic teary-eyed smile and salt and pepper leading man look, I would see in my head the scene in Pretty Woman where Julia Roberts tells Richard Gere he has a “sharp, useless look” about him.  That summed him up pretty well.

I had no intention of paying much attention to the 2016 election but as soon as Trump got traction by saying what would get most people blacklisted, he had my undivided attention.
It doesn’t even matter if he’s completely useless once he gets into office.   I’m actually perfectly OK if he just burns it all down.  The main thing is he’s busted open that PC pinata for good.  That alone makes it worth my while.  I know all too well how his working class affectations are like nails on a chalkboard for SWPLs with all their hollow holiness signalling, so of course nothing would amuse me more than to see Trump shoved down their throats as they choke and sputter with righteous indignation.
The thing is though, I’ve watched this guy in action for a year now and he seems to have outstanding instincts.  Even where he majorly screwed up attacking voters like the Khans or Curiel, he surrounded himself with people who guided him through his natural faults, learned from his mistakes, and changed his strategies accordingly.  It’s been a delight to watch him grow.
I say this after I’ve spent my whole life watching fools like W Bush drawl on incoherently about “staying the course” or Obama/Hillary making up organic granola excuses like “human rights” to make terrible foreign policy blunders.  I’ve hardly ever actually seen leaders do anything well.  Trump shows that he’s far more adaptable and can think outside the box.  So I’m eager to give him a chance and see what he’ll do.  If he turns out to be another dud, the system won’t last that much longer anyway.

I also can see where history is pointing by now.  Just like Thatcher and Reagan were in power at the same time, we see a present trend of no nonsense populist/authoritarian reformers all over the world.  Rightward movements are ascendant in Europe.  India has Modi, the Phillipines has Duterte.  Effete elites are getting replaced with alpha workaholics who eat the polished debaters for breakfast. Population pressure is increasing worldwide and the economy isn’t as good as it used to be.  As populations feel the pinch, sharp useless types are getting forced out of power and replaced with people who just get shit done.  In the past, people were pretty easily manipulated when they were poor and desperate because it was easy to limit education and control information.  The trend of populist reformers is the result of internet as the new printing press enfranchising ordinary people.  If I were looking at a raven’s matrix of colored in shapes and had to choose what shape comes next, I’d choose Trump.  He fits nicely into the emerging zeitgeist.  The future of world politics more resembles Singapore than it does Sweden.

I care about this election because everyone bloc votes against non-elite whites, especially white males.  In a democracy, this is more or less a declaration of war.  One of the tacit rules is that one has to participate in good faith as a citizen and not as factional members out to loot and plunder everyone else for short term advantage.   Thus I am forced to respond by supporting any white party that manifests.  If there is to be war then I must fight back until sufficient security is achieved to pursue other goals.  The social contract has been broken and the balance of power has been upset.  I suspect a Trump who succeeds in deporting some millions could restore a workable balance of power, preventing a second civil war.  The first civil war was also caused by a tipping point of shifting demographics within a democracy.  A group that sees its electoral power eroding every passing year starts to behave like a cornered animal.  If the ethnic group that sees itself as dominant is challenged for its place at the head of the table, bloodshed follows.
Obama’s relentless irresponsible race-baiting has made deteriorating relations between the races even worse.  From Trayvon to Kaepernick, it’s been one long disaster.  His obsession with race has just helped to fuel the obstructionist congress he despises so much.  To be a successful president, he needed to be half-white and not bring it up.   Instead he saw fit to remind everyone every day how African he is and how diverse everything should be.  I’ve heard the “bitter mulatto with daddy issues” explanation for his neuroses and it rings true.  At this point there may well not be a peaceful end to an “Obama’s third term.”

I care because it looks like it could be a conclusive end to the Reagonian period.  Every president since Reagan has done ever dumber versions of the same stuff:
-Free trade
-Open borders
-Trickle down economics
-Financial deregulation
-Anti-union, low wages
-Runaway military spending when conventional armies just sit there and it costs millions to take out one guy on a donkey.
-A paranoid focus on singling out “evil” nations.  Self-destructive foreign policy that leads to self-fulfilling prophecies.
-Ideologically motivated foreign interventions that squander money and political capital for low value or uncertain objectives.
To name some of the major culprits.

I find myself bewildered as  a tone-deaf elite continues to stick to these failed policies.  The Soviet Union fell 30 years ago!  Didn’t anyone send them the memo?  Why do all the establishment types want a war with Russia?  It doesn’t even make sense.  Why do they want to give themselves ever more advantages until it kills the golden goose and leads to a civil war or revolution when they’re already quite comfortable?  They’re incompetent buffoons unable to successfully pursue their self-interest in even the crassest most cynical sense.  That’s why the power they love so dearly is now being ripped right out of their hands despite their furious tantrums.

Until Trump showed up, it was hard for anyone to even imagine a politician with a non-Reagonian platform being taken seriously.  And now, all of a sudden, we’re out of that miserable rut with an opportunity to try something different.  Trump seems to be a moderate but he opens the way for those who will follow him.  Everyone out there with heterodox beliefs smells blood and that’s the real appeal.  Trump is making it possible for those forced to live in the shadows to come out in the open and exert power within the normal bounds of society.  A gate has been opened into the demon realm to the horror of the denizens of the light.
The established order is tired and complacent while the shadow creatures are vigorous and hungry.  Go to the comments at any large alt right/manosphere blog right now and we hear the frenzied yips and joyous howls of thousands of coyotes closing in on their quarry.
With the last escape routes being cut off tactics of desperation become ever more apparent.  The president comes out to campaign for an absent presidential candidate.  Then the president’s wife.  Then former presidents come out of the woodwork with their endorsements.  Then former department heads and cabinet members.  And today we see actors who play superheroes revealing themselves in their desperation to move the needle somehow back in their direction.  All the while black athletes are revealing they hated whitey all along even though white society has bestowed on them its greatest rewards.  It’s unraveling quickly now.  Every empty day with Hillary barely showing her face, all the other faces of the accepted order are forced to show themselves to fill that void and we see who was who all along.  It’s like the T-1000 showing all its forms while convulsing and screeching in its death throes.  As all the gods and angels in society’s heaven strain themselves, their kingdom only tumbles earthward all the faster.  Those who seemed moments before like inapproachable deities are reduced to a swarm of ants rushing to defend a dirt mound smashed underfoot.

Related Video:

Politics is Changing Because of Internet and Social Media

It has been a delicious spectacle to watch new competitors not only messily shit all over business as usual in politics, but actually take over the existing party machinery for themselves.  There’s something poetic about that since the established parties protected their mediocrity by rigging the system against competitors.  It ends with their own weaponry turned against them.
I have been typically apathetic towards politics, but it has been a particular fixation of mine to watch the consensus that has existed all my life begin to finally burn down.

There’s a lot of talk as to why this movement is finally happening now even though people have complained about “choosing the lesser evil” for decades.
It’s simple.
a) enough people are getting desperate enough.
b) more importantly, the internet is maturing as a technology and we are beginning to feel its true impact.

The internet is the new printing press. It changes society by dramatically increasing people’s access to information. The original printing press set up the right circumstances for the emergence of mass literacy. The trouble with mass literacy was that traditional monarchy, religion, and social mores were predicated on most people having very little access to information.
The change was slow but steady and sure. Over a few centuries, more abundant information made kingdoms and empires non-viable. In the age of the railroad and telegraph, nation-states began to replace the old kingdoms in earnest and WW1 settled the matter.
The emergence of radio and television provided more access to information but ended up bolstering the power of nation-state because both mediums were very easily controlled from tiny centralized sources.
The internet as a decentralized medium was always going to be a challenge to the order of nations.
It was already beginning to destabilize things as a minority of curious people browsed nerdy websites on their PCs. This was the printing press. Then “mass literacy” began to take hold with the advent of social media that involved ordinary people in online discourse. In 2008, Barack Obama soared to victory as the candidate of the internet. Around 2011-2012 we saw twitter riots in Tunisia and Egypt spread to the Western World as Occupy Wall Street. This spate of activity was startling but not enough to upend business as usual. One more development was needed. The spread of smartphones has finally sealed the deal. No longer can “soundbites” on TV and radio, or “experts” in the newspapers decisively control public opinion.
It took over 300 years for the implications of the printing press to be felt in full. The internet in 30 years is making an impact much faster since it is
a) orders of magnitude beyond previous breakthroughs—even the printing press at first just gave people access to the bible, a few classics, and public posters and pamphlets.
b) starting off with a society that already has orders of magnitude more information and wealth than was available in 15th century Europe.

Even so, we are just beginning to understand how big the implications are. I’ve already guessed that nation-states and their political systems will be replaced altogether by more cohesive “tribe-states” steadily over time just as a literate public inevitably led to empires being replaced by nation-states. Each increase in access to information has made possible finer gradations of mass political organization:
Empires – Political associations decided by force of arms.
Kingdoms – Association often decided by some precedent of cultural cohesion at least in a core region, with subjugated peoples surrounding.
Nation-states – Association decided by common language, culture, and in varying degrees, ethnicity.
Tribe-states – Affiliation by one’s natural proclivities and values within a larger population. Ordinary people with incredible logistical capabilities and access to information allows cohesive bands to avoid being subjugated by massive bureaucracy-bound states. The development of politics goes full circle from small tribes that were subjugated by empires based in the first cities.

Politics has always been about “choosing the lesser evil.”
Empires/Kingdoms – The ruler taxes people to bare subsistence, but if you don’t back him, his competitors’ armies will destroy what little you have.
Nation States – Any sort of republic leaves most people mostly unsatisfied but properly implemented can maintain a tepid status-quo.
Tribe States – Most people get the society they want; that’s what defines this type of association.

Each upgrade in access to information enables people to pursue their interests more effectively. This is why the ruling classes have always wanted the masses to remain hobbled by ignorance but once a major new advance spreads, they can only struggle to contain it until they finally cease to be relevant.

There has been a growing inability of US political factions to reach compromises as each insists on fully realizing its agenda. When representatives have tried to behave more moderately, their constituents have denounced and abandoned them.
Not only is a shrinking pie making people more urgent, fewer are satisfied with getting only a part of their demands met. The masses begin to intuitively sense that it is now viable to associate more finely to more effectively get what they want. There’s no more Soviet Union, nukes make conventional wars unlikely, and internet allows people to associate with those most like them and pursue their shared objectives.
From now on, the alignment of tribes, not of entrenched parties will be the shaping force in the politics of nations.

Democracy At Its Worst: Why Athens Fell

For years, Athens had two dominant men, the conservative Nicias and the flamboyant Alcibiades who countered each other’s designs at every turn.

Nicias wanted to mostly focus on defending Athenian territories and ending war with the Spartan alliance if possible.

Alcibiades wanted to take the fight to the Spartans.

Had either of these men gotten their way, it seems likely that Athens would have survived.

The combination of both fighting for power at every turn destroyed Athens.

When Nicias succeeded in making peace with the Spartans, Alcibiades sabotaged the peace.

When Alcibiades wanted to fight in Sicily, Nicias tried to sabotage him.

The ultimate worst case scenario of democracy followed:

Nicias made a public speech in which he proposed an absurd force both in size and composition that would be required to invade Sicily.
His intent was to discourage the public from supporting the expedition.

Instead: the masses loved his idea. They loved it so much that his absurd proposition became the actual Athenian force.
Nicias, who wanted to halt the entire operation was elected to be one of the generals commanding the expedition against his will.

Things could still have turned out alright.

But even as the invasion fleet was headed for Sicily, Alcibiades was recalled to Athens for accusations of treason and sacrilege.

They were still arguing over who was in command and sabotaging one another while on the way to battle!

Alcibiades had to go back home to stand trial: he was the guy who had wanted a Sicilian Expedition in the first place!
And Nicias was now commanding an expedition he had actively opposed!!

Knowing he would likely face death and disgrace back at home, Alcibiades escaped and actually defected to the Spartans.

Now not only was the huge Athenian invasion force already a confused mess, Alcibiades was in Sparta giving the Spartans valuable military intelligence and advising them to send their own expedition to counter the Athenians in Sicily.

Even now things might not have been a total disaster but bad decisions continued to combine to create the perfect storm.

Not only did the Athenian invasion force fail: it was wiped out.

And so an enormous amount of wealth and a large portion of the entire male population of Athens had just been flushed down the toilet.

Athens was doomed.

LINK

Also most of what I’ve written here I got from reading Donald Kagan’s Peloponnesian War.

Nicias

alcibiades

Alcibiades

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