Five Dollar Friday: The Elites and a Giant Clock

Today’s post is an exclusive for $5 and higher subscribers to my SubscribeStar page.  Five Dollar Fridays will be a regular feature heading into the 2020 election, with unique analysis of and insights into the presidential and other national, State, and local elections.

America’s cities are aflame, in a more ghoulish, pointless reenactment of the upheavals of 1968.  The organizations behind various protest movements and rioting all parrot the same meaningless platitudes:  “Black Lives Matter,” “Abolish the Suburbs,” “Wake Up Motherf**kers, Wake Up,” etc.  There even seems to be an attempt to normalize pedophilia—the logical, horrifying next step for the LGBTQ2A+ set.

Despite Republicans enjoying official political control of the presidency and the Senate, the Left clearly dominates the culture, the media, academia, Big Tech, and more.  The question is, how much of this dominance was deliberately orchestrated, and how much of it is the result of various organic left-wing movements?

Most conservatives are familiar with the radical Left’s “long march through the institutions,” in which ’60s radicals and former hippies gained cushy sinecures in government and academia, and began dribbling their Marxist dogma into the political and cultural thought of the country.  The anti-war movement and the sense of restlessness among post-war youths offered fertile ground for anti-American ideas, especially when swaddled in terms of “peace” and “love.”

But how much of that was intentional, and how much of it the result of happenstance?  Perhaps an answer rests with a Jeff Bezos-funded, ten-thousand year clock hidden in a Texas mountain.

H/T to photog at Orion’s Cold Fire and Z Man for the idea for this week’s post.

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Fifty Years of Radical Violence

On the Right, we tend to point to the 1960s as the decade when everything went wrong—the rise of the counterculture, the anti-war movement, the radicalization of campuses.  Or we’ll look back to the Progressive Era of the first two decades of the twentieth century, or the Frankfurt School that introduced “Cultural Marxism” to our universities.  Deep students of ideological infiltration will point to the American infatuation with German Idealists and the German model for higher education.

But in focusing so intensely on the 1960s, we overlook the following decade—the sleazy, variety show-filled 1970s.  Of course, what we think of as the cultural and social upheaval of the 1960s really occurred mostly in early 1970s.  Indeed, I suspect that so much of the romanticizing (on the Left) of the 1960s is because of the Civil Rights Movement, which now holds a place of uncritical holiness in our national mythology.  It probably also has to do with the dominance of early Baby Boomers in media and the culture for so long—they built the counterculture, and they still idealized their youthful misadventures as tenured radicals.

Regardless, good old Milo posted a link on his Telegram feed urging followers to “Read this.”  “This” was a book review, of sorts, of Days of Rage: America’s Underground, the FBI, and the Forgotten Age of Revolutionary Violence by Bryan Burrough.  In his review of the book, author Brian Z. Hines writes that

Days of Rage is important, because this stuff is forgotten and it shouldn’t be. The 1970s underground wasn’t small. It was hundreds of people becoming urban guerrillas.  Bombing buildings: the Pentagon, the Capitol, courthouses, restaurants, corporations. Robbing banks. Assassinating police. People really thought that revolution was imminent, and thought violence would bring it about.

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Progressivism and Playing God

God Bless the weirdos at Quora for asking the questions the rest of us are too afraid to ask.  Regular readers know that I relish Quora fodder, as questions range from the ridiculous to the thought-provoking, but usually fall into some kind of bizarre no-man’s land.

Such is the case with this question:  “Do humanzees (half-human, half-chimpanzee hybrids) exist, or have ones been recorded in the past?”  It’s the kind of question that’s both fascinating and lurid, like reading about a baby raised by wild animals.  Like allowing a human baby to be raised in the wild (what was once called “the forbidden experiment“), such a horrific, cross-species hybrid would be a disgusting mockery of Creation—so, like the terrible car wreck, we want to see more.

The top answer to the humanzee question is from Belinda Huntington, who explains how various species within the same genus can crossbreed, such as a horse and a zebra, or a lion and a tiger.  The more mundane example is the humble mule, the result of a male donkey and a female horse.

Huntington then goes on to detail the many differences between humans and chimpanzees physiologically, and how such differences would make any offspring, if possible, extremely vulnerable and fragile—differences in spinal structure, arm and leg length, cranial capacity, etc.

She doesn’t get into the more interesting metaphysical questions, much less the moral ones—should we interbreed humans and chimps (answer:  no)—but she does link to a piece about Soviet experiments to interbreed humans and chimps.

Leave it to a dangerously progressive, atheistic ideology to play God.

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Nevada Feels the Bern

Well, the Commies and “natural conservatives” in Nevada have spoken, and it looks like Bernie Sanders is going to sweep the state’s caucuses.  That means he’s currently leading in Democratic delegates heading into South Carolina’s primaries this Saturday.

Joe Biden appears to be in second place, somewhat surprisingly, with l’il Pete Buttigieg in third.  That’s going to make South Carolina a big showdown between Sanders and Biden.  Biden is banking on blacks in South Carolina to buoy his flailing campaign.  Buttigieg will likely flame out (no pun intended) in SC, and the rest of the South, because of those same voters—blacks do not like homosexuality.

All that said, Bernie appears to be in the driver’s seat.  While folks are predicting Trump will mop the floor with the ancient socialist, a Sanders nomination is a very dangerous development.

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Rudyard Kipling’s “The Mother Hive”

To start yesterday’s History of Conservative Thought class, I had students skim through Rudyard Kipling’s 1908 short story “The Mother Hive.”  I stumbled upon the reading in our class text, Russell Kirk’s The Portable Conservative Reader.

It is a grim little fable that warns about the perils of progressivism infiltrating a proud but weakened nation.  In the story, a deadly wax-moth sneaks into a large but bedraggled beehive during a moment of confusion.  She quickly steals away to the cell of the youngest bees, who have yet to take their first flight.  There, she fills their impressionable heads with gentle words and promises of a glorious future, all while covertly laying her eggs.

One young bee, Melissa, who has just returned from her first flight, is suspicious of the beautiful stranger’s soothing words, but the wax-moth plays the victim and insists that she’s only spreading her “principles,” not the eggs of her hungry future children.

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Sailer on Progressive Split

Demographer and statistician Steve Sailer has a piece up at Taki’s Magazine entitled “Bernie vs. Ta-Nehisi,” detailing the major split within modern progressivism between old-school Marxists and social justice warriors.  Naturally, there’s a great deal of overlap between those groups, but Sailer looks at the major wedge between them:  their views on race.

First, let’s define our terms here:  the “old-school Marxists” like Bernie think race is a tool of the upper classes to divide the social classes.  Part of this approach, as Sailer points out, is electoral pragmatism:  align the have-nots against the haves, regardless of race, to maximize voters.  There are more non-rich people than there are rich, so promising Medicare for all and to “soak the rich” Huey Long-style can bribe voters of all stripes.

The other side—what I’ve referred to broadly referred to as the “social justice warriors”—are the ones obsessed with race, and who see racial injustice everywhere.  For Sailer, the symbolic leader of this group is racialist mediocrity Ta-Nehisi Coates, the former blogger made good because white liberals feel good about themselves when reading his rambling essays.

(I imagine it’s a sensation of righteous self-flagellation that isn’t too dangerous or life-altering for the reader:  they get the sadistic satisfaction of acknowledging their own implicit bias, racism, and privilege, while feeling like they’re making a difference because they breathlessly show their support for an erudite-sounding black guy.  But I digress.)

The former group wants to buy off all voters with as many publicly-funded goodies as possible; the latter wants to buy off minority voters with reparations and other publicly-funded goodies, all while chastising white voters (and gleefully awaiting the approaching day that whites are a minority, too).

Sailer, who refers to Coates as “TNC,” sums this division up succinctly:

The war between Bernie and TNC pits the old Marx-influenced left, with its hardheaded obsession with class, power, and money, against the new Coatesian left, which cares more about whether Marvel’s next movie features a black, female, or nonbinary superhero.

The rest of Sailer’s essay focuses on the obsession with racial identity and representation that dominates “Coatesian left.”  It’s not enough that everyone, black or white, share in Sanders’s redistributionist schemes; rather, blacks specifically must benefit at the expense of whites as a form of payback for slavery, alleged “redlining” in during the Depression, and “institutional racism.”

Further, the Coatesian/social justice Left demands “representation,” because a black superhero will magically improve the lot of black Americans.  Another Sailer quotation:

Coates’ notion that mass entertainment culture has been devoted to stereotyping black people as undeserving is, of course, absurd. But it helps explain some of his popularity in an era in which it is considered sophisticated to argue that Will Smith shouldn’t be cast as Serena and Venus Williams’ tennis dad because he’s not as dark-skinned as Idris Elba (while others argue that Smith, unlike Elba, deserves the role because he is an ADOS: American Descendant of Slaves).

Can you imagine what Socialist Senator Sanders thinks of these energies devoted to which millionaire should get richer?

Unlike Bernie, Coates is concerned with the old-fashioned comic-book virtues that appeal to 9-year-old boys: honor, status, representation, heredity, antiquity, and vengeance.

Revenge is a dish best served cold.  Maybe that’s why so many prominent Democratic presidential hopefuls are reheating such a tired idea.

Neither Sanders-style Marxism or Coatesian racial grievance will repair the United States’s fractured culture, but it will be interesting to see which side wins the Left.  Demographics suggest the latter will prevail over time.

Regardless, at bottom, both of these movements are redistributionist, and seek to plunder accumulated wealth and productivity to unprecedented degrees.  One might be traditional Marxism and the other Cultural Marxism—but they’re both Marxism.

Saturday Reading: Communist Infiltration is Real

Thanks to fridrix of Corporate History International for sharing this piece with me a couple of weeks ago.  Check out his excellent blog, then read the piece linked below.  Happy Saturday!

Former British radical Peter Hitchens offers a lengthy, eye-opening account of alleged Communist infiltration into the highest ranks of British academia and government.  In particular, he admonishes readers to forget about socialist Jeremy Corbyn, and instead argues that the real Marxists were New Labour Blairites.  You can read the full piece here:  https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-6197097/amp/PETER-HITCHENS-reveals-REAL-truth-Communist-infiltration-Britain.html

Hitchens’s account is riveting for several reasons.  For one, it further confirms the fact of Marxist infiltration of the institutions.  That story is best told in Roger Kimball’s The Long March: How the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s Changed America, which made my popular Summer Reading List in 2016.  As a reformed social justice radical of the 1960s, Hitchens knows the figures involved—and he names names in this piece.  It’s not as conclusive as the declassified Venona cables, but he demonstrates the likelihood of widespread Cultural Marxist infiltration.

For another, I was struck by how much tougher the old-school, Soviet-style Communists were.  Hitchens writes about the true-believer, 1930s Commies who were fighting in Spain against Franco, and engaging in cloak-and-dagger espionage.  Sure, they were misguided, or even willfully wicked, people, but they were men and women of action.  Contrast that with today’s generation of snowflakes and safe-space seekers, and it seems that modern-day Communists have lost some of their luster.

Finally, Hitchens details that the “Deep State” is not a uniquely American phenomenon.  In the 1990s, British intelligence destroyed most of the documentation detailing who was involved in Marxist organizations in key positions in British society and government.  He suggests this destruction was a willful act of obfuscation, undertaken in part to shield the Blair government from suspicion of Marxist ties.

I could quote many sections of this lengthy piece, but in it’s better to read through it yourself.  Hitchens writes as a journalist, with those mildly annoying one-sentence “paragraphs,” and since it’s The Daily Mail, there are YUGE pictures of 1960s radicals that load-up slower than a porn site on dial-up, but it’s worth scrolling through to get to the meat.

That said, here’s one representative excerpt among many that demonstrates the chilling nature of Communist infiltration:

‘Moscow Gold’ was never a myth. Well into modern times, Soviet Embassy officials would leave bags of used banknotes at Barons Court underground station in London, to be collected by the Communist official Reuben Falber, who stored them in the loft of his bungalow in Golders Green, North London.

At times this rather shameful secret subsidy, direct from a police state, reached £100,000 a year – in an era when that was a lot of money.

Who knows what it was used for? But the Communist Party spent a great deal on its industrial organisation, which fomented trouble in British workplaces and strove to get Communists and their sympathisers installed in important positions in British trade unions.

This enabled Moscow to wield huge, indirect influence over the Labour Party, especially on Foreign and Defence policies.

Labour’s embrace of unilateral nuclear disarmament in the middle of the Cold War, for instance, was greatly helped by the covert Communist machine in the unions.

That machine could be incredibly unscrupulous and hard to fight.

Hardly anyone, alas, now remembers the way the tough ex-Communist Frank Chapple took on, exposed and defeated blatant Communist ballot-rigging in the crucial Electrical Trades Union (ETU) between 1959 and 1961. Much more was at stake than who ran the ETU.

How deeply we were penetrated at that time we shall probably never know, and it is certain that many of those caught up in the pro-Stalin wave of the 1940s quietly peeled away after the Soviet invasions of Hungary in 1956 and of Czechoslovakia in 1968.

But 1968 did not kill off Communism.

It began a new movement – Eurocommunism, which renounced Soviet methods but kept the key aims of transforming our society.

It would seem that the European Union, rather than being a bulwark against Marxist influence, was almost deliberately conceived as a way to advance “Eurocommunism,” a means by which to foist Cultural Marxist pabulum on the peoples of a “united” Europe.  That makes Brexit all-the-more crucial.

Happy reading, and Happy Saturday!

Democrats Show Their True Colors

Over the weekend, Democratic congressional nominee Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appeared on a video with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.  The two self-styled democratic socialists were campaigning for Brent Welder in Kansas City.  In the video, the telegenic young Marxist boasted that “We’re gonna flip this seat red in November,” accidentally confusing the Republican Red for the Democratic Blue.

A minor gaffe, to be sure, but it’s interesting to consider the political party colors, which were reversed not too long agoRed has traditionally been the color of Communist, Marxist, socialist, and other leftist movements since the nineteenth century.  According to a piece from The Smithsonian (linked above and here), the media’s first usage of different colors to demonstrate presidential election results occurred in the 1976 race, in which Democratic candidate Jimmy Carter won when Mississippi went “red.”  Apparently, media outlets used the colors interchangeably until the 2000 election; we’ve stuck to red for Republicans and blue for Democrats since then.

In retrospect, though, the red coloring fits more with the ideology, goals, and history of the Democratic Party, and particularly its progressive wing (which, I would argue, is most of the party at this point).  Lately, Democrats have been flaunting their true colors unabashedly.

Take Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, for example.  She won a much-discussed upset in the Democratic primary for a New York congressional district against a powerful incumbent, Joe Crowley.  Her politics are stridently Leftist:  she supports Medicare for all, the abolishment of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the forgiveness of all student loan debt, and a plethora of other unrealistic, expensive causes.

She’s also a much more appealing—and, therefore, more dangerous—face for “democratic” socialism than its other ubiquitous standard-bearer, Bernie Sanders. Senator Sanders is an aging, old-school socialist of the Trotskyite variety, much like his British counterpart, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.  He’s never held a serious job outside of politics (which he entered in his forties), and he now looks like a kooky mad scientist who could disappear in a pile of dust and bones if a strong wind hit him (or if the deal he made with that necromancer is broken).

Ocasio-Cortez, on the other hand, is 28, and has the sort of Millennial profile that is common for my confused generation:  she worked as a bartender until a year ago; she’s passionate about many subjects, but not well-versed in any of them; she’s over-educated to the point of uselessness (see the previous phrase).

She’s also super telegenic and—except for some unfortunately-timed photos—a babe, and a Latina at that.

That’s a combination that Democrats can’t resist.  Like President Barack Obama—who was cool, African-American, a community organizer, and had a messiah complex—Democrats want a candidate who parrots radical ideologies while also validating them emotionally.  The hope is that an attractive young candidate will help them in future elections; thus, the constant touting of Ocasio-Cortez as the “future of the Democratic Party.”

Never mind that NY-14 congressional district that Ocasio-Cortez will soon represent (there’s not much chance of a Republican challenger succeeding in this district, which is a +29 D district) is nearly 50% Hispanic.  “Hispanic” is a tricky term, because it covers a number of different groups, but these aren’t your third- or fourth-generation Texas Hispanics (the ones who make up about half of the ICE agents Ocasio-Cortez wants out of a job); these are likely recent immigrants who, regardless of race, traditionally vote Democratic.  Some of them no-doubt originate from countries accustomed to leftist populist politicians.

Regardless, the Left is stripping down the last pretenses of being “moderate” or in favor of “common sense,” although you’ll still hear some use that phrase.  In the wake of President Trump’s election and administration, the Democratic Party has become increasingly open about its desire to soak the rich, redistribute wealth, take on a host of burdensome social and economic responsibilities, and generally move the nation further along toward socialism.

Outside of some parts of the South and the Midwest, the idea of the old-school “conservative Democrat” is long dead; it’s only now that the Democratic Party is showing its true colors.