I like his final analogy of a supersaturated solution crashing out. Must be the nerd in me.
“All that said, it seems that a society can tolerate only so large a gap between reality and its official truth. Whether or not we are reaching some sort of breaking point is probably impossible to know. A year ago, no one imagined the North Koreans offering to make peace. Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, no one saw it coming. Maybe people just get used to the disconnect until one day, the number of people who notice it reaches a critical mass. Then like a precipitate falling out of solution, the whole things collapses.”
The Reality Gap
It’s always nice to reflect on the surprises of world events and the death of the Great Khan saving Europe was one of the great bits of serendipity to come our way. Read the article. It’s fun and interesting even if you are aware of the facts. He writes well.
The ZMan has a post today ( The Narcotic of Minor Celebrity ), that should be of interest to most of us who are the audience for the right wing blogs and sites. All of these judgements are extremely subjective and it definitely matters whose ox is being gored but there are some good points being raised. It’s the nature of modern web commerce that drama increases web traffic and so we get a lot of drama. But attacking each other turns it into a zero sum game where someone wins and someone loses. That doesn’t build a community. I guess the question comes down to what the right wing web presence will look like in the future. And it’s an important question. Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are shutting down conservative content providers and Google has demonstrated its willingness to selectively hide right wing content. Assuming that nothing changes another method for promoting right wing messages and businesses will be needed. With respect to this I have a little bit of interesting data. I tried out Google AdWords for about a year. I determined that the clicks from that source had an almost 100% bounce rate and almost never returned. So chances are they are click-farm zombie hits. And this highlights the necessity for growing our own stuff and supporting an ecosystem on the right. This will require a certain amount of cooperation and also a reasonable amount of tolerance for people with at least slightly different ideologies. I see the bickering and purity tests as counterproductive. I don’t espouse locking hands and singing kumbaya with the SJWs but I don’t think there is any danger of that anyway. I think that attacking people who are more or less on our side is slowing down the coalescing of a consensus that is occurring on the right. What seems to be missing is a framework that allows all these disparate elements to engage and allow for synergy. I imagine the Republican party should be that framework except it’s not. It’s part of the problem instead. It’s more or less occupied territory. I’d say we need a new party except that’s a recipe for disaster. What’s needed is a cultural/commercial enterprise to give the right a space to interact. The closest thing I can think of is a right wing version of Amazon. That’s a tall order. Maybe Peter Thiel could get to work on it. In the meantime we all should do our part to support anything that halfway looks like a step in the right direction. But boy it’s hard to find.
The Z-Man discusses how the bow tie crowd (and Williamson in particular) think of themselves in relation to the Left. An interesting if depressing discussion of these champions of the noble loss.
Learning From Present Reality
The Right-Wing is awash in Kevin Williamson opinion.
“Schaedenfreude,” “Christian condolence,” “there but for the grace of God,” “I told you so,” “a cautionary tale.” I guess I’m not sure what I think. Probably a little of each. But it really doesn’t matter what I think about Kevin and his troubles. But what I think would be interesting would be an interview by someone farther out on the right side of the spectrum who could explore how he thinks this fits in with his ideas about the just desserts for the dirt people. I wonder if some intrepid blogger might call him up and find out if his recent experience may have impacted his feeling about the great unwashed. That would interest me.
The ZMan has a very interesting post, “Day Walkers.” He makes an analogy between the Alt-Right and the zombie-vampires in I Am Legion. He equates right wing speakers going on campus to vampires attacking humans in the daylight, basically a vampire suicide scenario. I haven’t had a chance to think this whole analogy out completely but I definitely see what he is talking about and it is worth thinking about.
The Dissident Right has a generous contingent of people who spend a very large amount of time discussing the JQ (Jewish question). The ZMan decided to define his stance on and explain his ambivalence toward anti-Semitism. Essentially, he doesn’t share the belief that all the world’s ills are attributable to a Jewish cabal. But by the same token he doesn’t consider those who do believe it to be literally Hitler. He makes a comparison to show how he ranks anti-Semitism in the universe of possible conditions. He asks which would you prefer as a neighbor, an anti-Semite or a methamphetamine dealer?
This is an interesting stance. He has split the difference between the Alt-Right and the Establishment GOP. I’ll explain. The Establishment GOP would alert the media that they were beginning the crusade to make the world safe from anti-Semites. On the flip side the Alt-Right would debate whether the worst offense of the Jews was engineering 9-11 or the fluorination of water.
So that’s the take. He won’t join them but he won’t spend his time attacking them. Seems reasonable. I think the point is that the Left’s stance on anti-Semitism is that it is both the greatest sin and the one they get to define. It’s like the race card. If you criticize the BLM movement because they are irrational black supremacists that use violence and arson to blackmail cities into handcuffing the police and allowing unfettered crime in black neighborhoods and the adjoining areas then you are a racist. If you think that Jewish liberals spear-head many of the movements and activities that have damaged our country or you notice that they make up a large part of the left-wing media and Hollywood then you are an anti-Semite. The funny thing is you can be an anti-Semite even if you are a conservative Jew! And so, this allows the Left to divide the Right by constantly separating off a part of the group as anti-Semitic and shaming the rest of the Right into shunning them. This recalls William Buckley declaring the John Birch Society beyond the pale. Meanwhile the Left is never required to divorce itself from BLM, Antifa or any of the really crazy types under their umbrella.
So I think the ZMan is more or less correct on this stance. You can disagree or even dislike their views but that doesn’t make it your job to police their beliefs. Just as the Left doesn’t sort out their problems between Sharia Law and Homosexuality. Basically the enemy of my enemy is not someone I have to go after just because my enemy says so.
I would say that I’m probably quite a bit less accommodating of anti-Semitism than the ZMan. Although aware that a large majority of Jewish Americans are very liberal and Democratic voters I don’t feel that they are any more or less at fault than all the other liberals and Democrats in the country. And I know of some very conservative American Jews that are fully aware of the harm the Left is causing. My next-door neighbor as a kid growing up in Brooklyn was a Sephardic Jew who had lived in Israel, served in the IDF during the early years, worked in the Italian Merchant Marine and got along in a neighborhood full of every kind of people. He was a proud American and a religious man who was friendly with his Italian American neighbors almost to a fault. So, I prefer to take people one at a time.
But by the same token I see the harm that is caused by allowing the Left to define what is allowable belief and what must be condemned. That should be up to us and anti-Semitism doesn’t need to be our overwhelming concern while currently confronted with the constant harangue from the left about “white privilege” and “transphobia.” We have more pressing concerns than “actual Hitler” jumping out from behind every “Bush.” Basically, to the Left we’re all “actual Hitler” already.
Vox and the ZMan both look at this situation and address different aspects. Vox says if you don’t build your own platforms you will be destroyed. Zman sees the current situation as a Public Utility, no different from the electric company discriminating against its customers.
Both good and valid points. But I think Vox is speaking to right now and Zman is pointing out something for the justice department to look into. As someone who use Google for various services it brings home the point that having your own support system and not depending on liberals is a good idea. But a hard one to achieve.
What happens to post-Christian society when it forgets why it does what it does? Good presentation of the underlying situation. but as he says too big a subject for a blog post. Requires a book.
I was listening to the ZMan’s Friday Podcast today. In one segment he raised the question whether people like Jordan Peterson helped or hurt the right-wing cause. Peterson is a psychologist academic who is battling the politically correct behavior codes in Canada’s universities (and other areas of life). He is a civic nationalist who does not espouse any ethnic nationalist leanings and in fact specifically rejects any white nationalism as the flip side of the identity politics on the left that he rejects. ZMan concluded that for the most part the civic nationalists were a detriment. This he said was because they tended to position themselves barely to the right of leftists. And moreover, they were programmed to lose every fight. Their only function was to register each new veer to the left with an ineffectual protest. This response was their only function (other than being paid).
I found this interesting from a few different angles. First off did I agree with this analysis? Secondly was I in the same compromised position? Was I my own enemy?!!!
I’ll address this question first. I think the answer is no for two reasons. First and most importantly, I haven’t changed my opinions over time to keep up with the changing societal position. My moral and social point of view hasn’t shifted to the left, over time. If anything, it has moved to the right. For that reason, I am safe from the charge of being a right guard of the left wing. The question of mercenary status is easily answered by my lack of any site monetization. Check and check.
So back to the first question, do I agree with his evaluation? I do agree that there are lots of shills. There seem to be a number of guys doing their act to collect pennies. This actually doesn’t bother me. We all have to make a living. But what is more important is the claim that these guys are just barely staying to the right edge of the leftists and that they maintain this position by constantly shifting leftward over time. Well, I don’t know. Some of these guys are not so much moving left as much as they started in the center and seem to be gravitating rightward bit by bit as the Trump train rolls along. In that case, I guess I give them the benefit of the doubt. The folks the ZMan seems to be describing are the never-Trumpers. This includes guys like Jonah Goldberg, Bill Kristol and Kevin Williamson. These were folks who were willing to embrace Hillary Clinton rather than deal with Donald Trump. To me that’s the kind of position that precludes being an actual conservative. At least with Trump you had some chance of saving the country. But are there any never-Trumpers in the Alt-Lite? If anyone knows any let me know. I’d like to look them up and see if the ZMan had this thing right or not.
So conditionally, I’m gonna say that the Alt-Lite ranges from neutral to helpful. Some of them are moving along to a useful supportive position that reinforces the appeal of the movement to include some of the slow-moving center. And the worst are just parasites feeding off attention in the wake of the Trump Train. And even that isn’t such a bad thing from my point of view since I’m even enjoying my piece of that action too. After all Trump is now the greatest show on earth and what would the circus be without the vendors selling the popcorn, the program notes and souvenirs?