The Internet as a Small Town

This is fascinating, and to my mind explains much. From The Assistant Village Idiot on Chicago Boyz.

A lot of 20th C American fiction was about a small-town boy leaving his oppressive upbringing. It is one of those themes that combines truth and untruth. Small homogeneous communities have pluses and minuses. David Foster recently postedabout how the internet in general mimics those small-group interactions, and social media accentuates those negatives.

Gavin Longmuir gave examples of peer-pressure groups that believe in Political Correctness, in contrast to the rest of of the society, which is less in sympathy with it. Academia, the media, the politically active, the bureaucracy. I would add in students, which while part of academia, are not who we usually think of when we use that term. Those groups have a strong tie-in with each other that might not be immediately apparent, and that is the social competitiveness of youth. Bear with me for a moment on that. That high school students care deeply about what is fashionable and who is cool is well-known. There is something about this that is developmentally normal, as each age cohort must learn to get on together to take on responsibility in the future. This used to be more limited, as children coming of age did not spend so much time exclusively with each other. They were in larger families, and those families were together more (not always a good thing, but generally so). They had more contact with extended family, multigenerationally. They worked at jobs earlier, went to churches, and had more contact with physical neighbors, all putting them in contact with people of different ages more than is common now. As the years of education increased, children spent increasing time with each other. Since, say, the 1950’s, high school and college students increasingly have their own world.

And they have money, or parents who will spend money on them for things like, oh, college. Suddenly there are lots of people who care what the opinions of 16-26 year olds are. High-turnover entertainment targets that group: music, movies, video games, youtube, sports. Political activists are disproportionately young. Unless they can get jobs doing activist work, they stop having time once they get jobs, spouses, or (gulp) children. Even for Trump rallies, lots of people who might go just can’t, because

The rest is just as good, do follow the link, and read the thoughtful comments as well.

True, isn’t it? The activists on the left are almost uniformly young or from academia. But the converse holds (mostly) as well. Most of us on the right (especially those of us who have been mugged by reality, otherwise known as live in the real world) tend to be retired.

Couple reasons I see for that, firstly the mob can’t touch us, we can no longer be fired, and so can speak the unvarnished truth. And we might even know what unvarnished means. Another reason is that we, like college kids, have time. Mostly our kids are grown and out of the house, we’re no longer working 60 hours a week, and just maybe we miss it. I do, boredom is why I started blogging.

But in many ways, we are different, we learned long ago that while good and evil really do exist, there are infinite gradations, the devil is as rare as the archangels. It’s essentially another bell curve. Most are in the middle.

That’s why we can call George H. W. Bush a good man even as we excoriate many of his policies. We’ve also learned to expect incompetence rather than malevolence, even sometimes when it should probably be the other way around.

The points made about Facebook and Twitter are valid. I’m on both, for about 5 minutes o day on average. It’s a means of publicizing the blog, not an enjoyable activity for me. My experience of blogging is that, overall, it is a much more intelligent form of communication. Here we can take real ideas, and formulate them well, and if we have good commenters, we can refine them as well.

To extend the small town metaphor, which is something I know well, I’ve lived all my life in them, and all that the writers here have said is true, both good and bad. But if Twitter and Facebook are the greetings and knockdown brawls of the streets and playgrounds, which is pretty close I think, then blogging is the neighborhood coffee shop and the pub, where things get done in a small town. Not the fake kitsch of Starbucks and a lot of fake English pubs, but the local place where the sign says EAT or BAR, and normal people flow in and out, and most know each other. Every small town in my experience has one. In fact, I know of one, where when the owner decided to retire, they formed a coop to keep running it. It’s that essential. Informal, persuasive, sometimes passionate, sometimes earnest, sometimes even funny, depending on the writer. A mosaic really, of actual life.

And perhaps that explains why most stand-alone blogs that last are moderate to extremely conservative. That’s what living in the real world, as opposed to academia/government does.

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UK vs the Reich

James Lewis had an article on American Thinker yesterday. In it he does a remarkable thing, he tells the truth. Let’s have a look.

Europe has a neurotic compulsion to repeat the past.  This is bad news, because nobody wants to repeat five (count ’em!) East-West wars exploding out of Europe over the last two centuries.

But – the E.U. now has a better idea.

It wants European nations to surrender to the German-French axis without a shot being fired.”Countries must give up their sovereignty and join the one-world government,” German chancellor Angela Merkel remarked generously the other day.  The E.U. Times, of all places, remarked that “[n]o, this isn’t something Adolf Hitler said many years ago.”

Everybody in that part of the world knows who runs the E.U.: the Germans, fronted by the French.  So when the charming Frau Merkel said that, most of her listeners filled in the rest of the story.  But the Brits were not laughing.

Just to keep the historical record straight:

  1. Napoleon beat the German-speaking provinces around 1800, arousing a century of vendetta wars.
  2. Otto von Bismarck used Prussian robo-militarism to invade Paris in 1871.
  3. WWI started as an enormous German-French meat-grinder, finally ended by the United States entering the war.
  4. In the 1920s and ’30s, Hitler arose in revenge for WWI, leading to thirteen years of industrialized massacres of innocent human beings and ending with catastrophic Axis aggression in World War II, including the Japanese Rape of Nanking and all the rest.
  5. But…Europe’s world wars did not end in 1946.  They just moved to the Soviet Empire, which included East Germany.  Korea and Vietnam were proxies for the U.S.-Soviet struggle.

And now we have Reich Number Six, called the “European Union.”  But the only “union” in the E.U. is the unelected ruling caste, which rules with an iron hand, while the left-out voters are getting sick and tired of the scam.

This may be why Emmanuel Macron, the German vassal in Paris, just called for an E.U. army – to use against NATO, of course.  These little voters can’t be allowed to resist Das Sechtse Reich (the sixth! in 200 years!), so we gotta get an army, now.  Because both the U.K. and France have nuclear weapons, the E.U. army is bound to inherit nukes.

Spot on, although many of us refer to it as Das Vierte Reich, because we for whatever reason do not count the proxy wars. He may be correct.

So once again as always, it comes down to that small fog-shrouded island off the coast. Can they once again, prevail? As the did against Napoleon, against the Kaiser, and against Hitler. All of those struggles have hurt them, and the Reich’s fifth column has as well, as it has America. But once again the British people have lined up on freedom’s side, as they always have. This time (as has sometimes happened before) Her Majesty’s Government is not on side. That is a problem, but it is not a new one, the British have solved that before, perhaps they will again.

Because as Britain goes, Europe goes.  Mr. Lewis finishes this way, he is correct.

Or, as Victor Davis Hanson warned about Monsieur Macron:

The French president suffers from the usual dreams of some sort of European “empire” – Caesar, Napoleon, Hitler … Brussels? He probably envisions a new Rome steered by French cultural elites whose wisdom, style, and sophistication would substitute for polluting tanks and bombers, and who would play Greece’s robed philosophers to Europe’s Roman legions: “It’s about Europe having to become a kind of empire, as China is. And how the U.S. is.”

Two years ago, more than 17 million Brits voted to leave the E.U., but the last two years have been an imperialistic E.U. campaign to stop an independent Britain from ever rising again.

The biggest embarrassment is that Britain has allowed its own swamp to be penetrated and bought off by the Franco-German Axis.

In that process, the voters of the U.K. have been lied to and betrayed many times. The allegedly conservative prime minister, Theresa May, is now seen as the biggest back-stabber in the land, and it looks as though Labor will repeat her betrayal as soon as they get a chance.

I know you did not want to hear this. Neither did I. Welcome to the real world.

Meaning What You Say

From Ace:

Because the US Stood Up to the Border Rushers and Refused to Let This Tactic Win, No Matter How Much Bad Press the Administration Got For It, Migrants Start Saying They Regret Joining the Caravan and Start Heading Home

Hey NeverTrumpers — tell me that your precious Maaaario or Jeb! or John Kasich would have faced the fire and simply said, “NO.”

TIJUANA, Mexico–After fleeing tear gas shot at the U.S. border, Carlos Gonzalez confessed confusion and second thoughts about the caravan that carried him to doorstep of his dream: life in the United States.The 40-year-old corn farmer from Honduras, wearing a pink breast cancer awareness hat and an orange work vest, had hopped on the caravan of Central American migrants figuring it would facilitate his entry into the country. It set out from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, on Oct. 12 and for five weeks he could hope and dream–especially as the caravan pushed past police barricades and crossed through closed borders in Guatemala and Mexico.

But the U.S. border has proved impossible so far for the more than 7,000 migrants anxiously arriving in Tijuana, where they’re waiting in the squalor of a small baseball stadium-turned-tent city. It’s just a stone’s throw from the border they hope to cross, which many could not imagine would be so difficult.

“I thought it would be easy,” said Gonzalez, who traveled north with his wife and two children, ages 4 and 3. He said his family was planning to sign up with Mexican officials for voluntary repatriation.

Hey Erick Erickson — he’s going back home and all we needed was to defend the fence. We didn’t have to fund authoritarian regimes dropping dissenters out of helicopters. We just had to say “NO.” We just had to stop pissing our pants and bowing to leftist media pressure as our cucked party always does (due to the cuck pants-shitters who lead it and fancy themselves as real stalwarts).

The migrants freely admit their tactic is to front their columns with human shields go garner sympathy:

Women and children were walking at the front of the march, he said, “to see if they would let them enter.”

But saying “NO” to predictable and tired tactics, and the hand-in-glove cooperation of leftwing NGOs, “protesters,” and media operations all working to achieve leftwing agenda points, has changed some minds:

Corrales, wearing a yellow soccer jersey, expressed few complaints with the camp, where he sold single cigarettes to fellow migrants. He thought the caravan’s experience crossing into Guatemala and Mexico would prove the template for the U.S. border.But now, “I’m done with the United States. I’ll stay [in Mexico, which offered him asylum].”

More to that post that is on point, and amusing. You really should read it.

Funny how that works, isn’t. All we had to do was to say what we mean and mean what we say. There’s still plenty trying of course, but the word is filtering through. Uncle Sugar isn’t playing word games anymore. He means it.

And even better, it starts to look like Mexico means it as well. The ones identified trying to jump the border are now on their way home, they’ve been deported from Mexico.

I’m no hard ass really. Many of these people I feel sorry for, and wouldn’t mind a bit if they came to America (not including the animals of MS 13, the terrorists sponsored by Hamas, and other assorted dregs). There are a lot of poor suckers in that caravan, just looking for a better life, and who can blame them.

Although it would be better for all of us if they worked hard to improve their own country. You know, like generations of Americans have.

They are likely not really asylum cases though, the actual rules are pretty strict, ask Elian Gonzales down in Cuba, thanks to Bill Clinton. But there is no reason why many of them couldn’t apply to emigrate here.

Not as easy as jumping an open border but a lot safer for everybody. It’s the right way to do it.

Mandarins and Admirals

I seem to be a bit under the weather, not really sick, but instead of my normal 4-5 hours of sleep, all of a sudden, I’m sleeping 7 to 8. No bad thing, really, but my schedule doesn’t allow for it. So my posts tend to be late. So sue me. Enjoy.

We’ve talked about the ruling class fairly often, sometimes in passing, sometimes deliberately. Here some more, from Chris Bray at The Federalist. Well thought through.

In the first days of July, 1940, the American diplomat Robert Murphy took up his duties as the chargé d’affaires at the new U.S. embassy in Vichy, France. Coming from his recent post in Paris, he was as impressed as he expected to be by the quality of the Vichy mandarinate, a highly credentialed class of sophisticated officials who were “products of the most rigorous education and curricula in any public administration in the world.”

As the historian Robert Paxton would write, French officials were “the elite of the elite, selected through a daunting series of relentless examinations for which one prepared at expensive private schools.” In July 1940, the elite of the elite governed the remains of their broken nation, a few days after Adolf Hitler toured Paris as its conqueror. Credentials were the key to holding public office, but not the key to success at the country’s business.

DeGaulle, both a Catholic and an army officer, was the ultimate outsider. Well, you know that story.

In any society, the right to authority is derived from some origin everyone understands: education, bloodlines, swords in lakes. What gives the people who run the place the right to run it? Why are the leaders the leaders?

More importantly, how well does the gatekeeping work? Do the steps for choosing leaders in a society put it on a path to peace, power, and prosperity? If everyone who runs Freedonia gets to hold a position of authority because she found a magic dingleberry on the hidden path, does finding a magic dingleberry on the hidden path demonstrate that a person has consistent and effective forms of practical knowledge?[…]

Historical shifts, changes in technology and the structure of global power, undermine old knowledge and credentials. An elite status group highly gifted at X may turn out, in a new day, to lack gifts for managing Not X. Yesterday’s talent may not matter today.

Today a well-entrenched class of professional thinkers largely understands expertise as the product of formal education and relationships to elite universities: You become an expert, or start to, by acquiring academic credentials. Extra points for grad school, and more points still for being a professor like Paul Krugman or Jonathan Gruber. Like the administrative class in Vichy France, or the scholar-officials of imperial China, you’re smart if you go to school a lot and excel on your exams, so you get to be in charge of some piece of the political or cultural mechanism.

But is it working? Are our credentialing instruments producing people who are capable of practical action? To borrow a question from firefighters, can our credential-holders put the wet stuff on the red stuff?

Nearly a decade ago, Angelo Codevilla noticed the calcification of the American ruling class, a thing we sometimes pretend not to have. Our elites, he wrote, are “formed by an educational system that exposed them to the same ideas and gave them remarkably uniform guidance, as well as tastes and habits.” Thoroughly enculturated, the American elite gathers itself around a “social canon” that one does not question. Speaking of societal controversy with the wrong words puts a person outside the circle, out there in flyover country with the deplorables.

It’s even more true in Britain, as near as I can tell, and more stifling as well. This is, of course, one of the causes of ‘politically correct’.

For 40 years, with gathering uniformity of purpose, our credentialing institutions have taught postures rather than skills, attitudes rather than knowledge. This isn’t invariably true, and many fine scholars have taught many excellent practitioners, especially outside of the humanities and social sciences. But the overarching trend is toward training in intellectual and psychological uniformity, toward the world of excellent sheep. […]

Staffing up a new administration, Barack Obama hired Power, professor Cass Sunstein, professor Steven Chu, professor Christina Romer, and so on. Donald Trump hired generals, CEOs, and governors, people who were credentialed by lives of action and management. This isn’t disagreement; this is a difference of foundational premises.

In short: Trump declines the authority of the cultural sectors that most assertively claim it. That’s the conflict, and that’s why it’s being played in a relentless tone of hysteria. There are credentialing authorities — and credential-holding elites — who can see the path to their own obsolescence. Like the empress dowager, they will not go quietly.

But if we are to remain America qua America, go they must.

There’s much more, all of it very good at Our Culture War Is Between People Who Get Results And Empty Suits With Pristine Credentials

Monday Videos, UK, France, US

Have you been paying attention to Europe, at all? The east is holding firm, but the west seems to be coming unglued. Let’s have a few videos.

Boris Johnson spoke to the DUP recently

A lot of my British friends have reservations about Boris, especially for Prime Minister (I would as well, just as I did with Donald Trump) but what they need more than anything is optimistic leadership that is not owned by Brussels. That pretty much defines Boris.

In my quick read of the so-called agreement, my read is that what it amounts to is the surrender of the UK’s sovereignty, almost completely. Not to mention giving Spain a voice in Gibraltar, which Gibraltar has steadfastly voted against.

He’s a bit out of touch, I think. It IS about Theresa May, although it is based in her policy. But she has clearly lost the confidence of the people.

Meanwhile, in France

Yes, I know, RT. But they all say much the same thing. Except, of course, the BBC, which doesn’t know it is happening, which you’ll understand if you’ve watched their coverage from Washington in the last two years. $7/gal gasoline tends to concentrate the mind, it seems.

If you’re curious still about the witchhunt, here’s Dan Bongino to lay it out

An amazing story isn’t it. And this is fascinating, Steve Bannon at the Oxford Union.

Handcarts to Hell comes to mind, doesn’t it? Well, we’ll see.

 

The Day After….Thanksgiving

Well, Thanksgiving Friday. It’s sort of a weekday, but kinda silly, isn’t it. Not to mention that I ate considerably too much, and even drank little more than necessary. In other words, I got no great thoughts for today. So, here’s Katie Hopkins with a talk entitled Our Final Stand for the West. I agree with her, no surprise.

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