SubscribeStar Saturday: Social Peace Requires Social Capital

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Yesterday I wrote (in essence) that this whole coronavirus fiasco is going to clarify a lot of things.  For one, we’re seeing the lethal consequences of open borders thinking and political correctness.  We’re not allowed to say that it’s China’s fault, even though we all know it is.  Every prudent person knows that, for better or for worse, you should avoid Chinese people who are fresh from China.  Similarly, people are going to realize that throwing open our borders to anyone is a bad idea.

What I most fear, though, is what will happen if things get really tight.  Right now there’s a run on toilet paper.  That’s ultimately more humorous than dangerous; there’s always Kleenex, paper, or—if it comes to it—leaves and a hot shower.

But what if people can’t get food?  Or medicine?  The latter is far likelier, given our dependence upon China for ingredients and raw materials necessary for many medicines (a degree of autarky isn’t such a bad idea after all).  But the former could be a possibility if supply chains are seriously disrupted.  Again, I don’t think it will come to that, but it makes sense to prepare for the worst.

In the past, communities could rely on high degrees of social capital to safeguard social peace in times of trouble.

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TBT: The Human Toll of Globalization

One of the more interesting developments in conservatism since Trump’s rise in 2015-2016 has been a reevaluation of our basic economic policy.  Much of the ideas debated originated, in our modern political era, with Pat Buchanan.  For decades, the assumption among conservatism was that economic efficiency was the highest good, as it lowered costs and eliminated or reduced government overreach.

That was a reasonable set of assumptions when our nation shared a common culture, and when the United States dominated global markets hegemonically.  But the goal of reducing the size of government morphed pathologically into the mad worship of Efficiency above all else.  We sold out social capital—stable families, cohesive communities, robust civil society—for quick cash.

That’s the gist of Z-Man’s post today, “Middle-Man Conservatism.”  Tucker Carlson has similarly touched upon the woeful consequences of worshiping Efficiency-for-its-own-sake.  Sure, Americans possess a pioneering spirit—we’ll move to the oil fields in North Dakota if we have to do so—but we’re still motivated by the same things other humans are:  family, community, belonging.  Gutting our communities to save fifty bucks on a washing machine is a ludicrous trade-off.

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Belated SubscribeStar Saturday: Oases of Tradition

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This weekend was full of family time for yours portly (thus the delayed post).  Celebrating my youngest nephew’s first birthday with generations of family members and like-minded friends reminded me not only of the importance of family, but also of how refreshing it is to be among people who share your basic beliefs.

I’ve written about this phenomenon a number of times in my vast archives of blog posts, but it’s a topic that could use a longer treatment.  A major struggle facing conservatives and traditionalists today is a sense of social and cultural isolation that can be downright suffocating at times.  But we should avoid the black-pilled mentality of nihilistic despair, not only because it’s what our enemies want, but because it’s simply not true.

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Lazy Sunday XLIX: Family

It’s been another busy weekend for yours portly.  SubscribeStar readers, I have not forgotten about you, even though I’ve failed to deliver on yesterday’s still delayed post.  I will have a post up this evening, after I’ve logged this edition of Lazy Sunday.

I’m actually on a glorious four-day weekend from school, so you’d think I’d have loads of time to get posts done.  In fact, this Sunday has been anything but lazy, with church, four piano lessons, and a jazz band rehearsal now in the books.

This weekend has seen a great deal of time with my family, however, as my youngest nephew celebrated his first birthday yesterday.  Time with family is always rejuvenating, and helps maintain the closest of bonds and the most basic unit of human organization.  Our excessive focus on the individual has, at times, come at the cost of the older, stronger emphasis on the family as the basic unit of society.

To that end—and in the spirit of one-year olds’ birthday celebrations—here are some old posts, all throwbacks to the original TPP Blogger page, about family:

  • Family Matters” – a lengthy post detailing the decline of the traditional family structure, and arguing for the benefits of family-formation.
  • Family Matters Follow-Up Part I: Divorce and Marriage; Sex Education” – the “Family Matters” post generated a good bit of discussion on Facebook (back when I had the guts to post these to my personal profile page), especially among the sorts that don’t understand what a generalization is.  So this piece detailed some of the questions, comments, and objections that came up in the wake of the original.
  • Family Matters Follow-Up Part II: The Welfare State and the Crisis of the Family” – the welfare state has had an extremely deleterious effect on the family, particularly black families, which are barely anything such, with nearly 3/4ths of black children born out-of-wedlock.  Much of that decline is cultural and social in nature, but it also derives from bad government policy and perverse economic incentives.  Even worse, it’s spreading:  over half of children born to women under thirty today are born without a father present.

That’s it for this weekend, folks!  Be sure to hug your parents, grandparents, children, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc., and keep outbreeding the childless progressives.

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Tucker Carlson’s Platform for Victory in 2020

Tucker Carlson is the gift that keeps on giving.  In a segment from last week, the populist-friendly television host offered up a winning strategy for President Trump—and a warning.

In essence:  while economic numbers are very good, many of Trump’s base of supporters—the working and middle classes—are still struggling, or at least perceive that they are.  In a longer piece from Joel Kotkin (also on Carlson’s Daily Caller website), the author argues that the tensions between the Trumpian lower classes and the ascendant upper class is akin to the friction between the French Third Estate (the commoners) and the First and Second Estates (the aristocracy and the clergy) just prior to the French Revolution.

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God Bless Us, Every One: The Gift of the Trump Economy

Christmas Week is always full of blessings.  Thanks to the good folks at pro-MAGA news aggregator Whatfinger News (and a helpful tip from photog of Orion’s Cold Fire on how to submit links to them), The Portly Politico has seen its best week in terms of traffic all year.  Two pieces, “Napoleonic Christmas” and “Christmas and its Symbols” made the main page, leading both to surpass my previous top post for the year, “Milo on Romantic Music.”  Apparently, people still get riled up about Napoleon.

It’s also been a wonderful opportunity to spend time with family and to overeat lots of delicious, rich foods.  If you’ve never heard of the Appalachian delicacy “chocolate butter,” do yourself a favor and look it up.  Yes, it’s even better than the name suggests.

Of course, all of that good cheer requires a solid financial foundation.  And in his three years in office, President Trump has shattered records for unemployment, wage increases, and economic growth.  Economics isn’t everything, but the Trump economy is something for which we should give thanks.

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Rationing and Abundance

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Thanksgiving and related observations have been a running theme this week.  Thanksgiving reminds us of how much abundance we truly have.  It’s hard not to recognize when there are tables full of fattening, succulent dishes, enough to rival the feasts of medieval kings.

In spite of that marvelous abundance, however, rationing is still very much a reality.  The inescapable fact of economics—indeed, the whole purpose of the field—is that there are only so many resources to go around, and societies struggle to figure out how best to allocate those resources.

This problem is particularly true when it comes to our most valuable resource:  time.

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MILF on a Hot Tin Mic

America’s favorite Dukakis-hugging moon maiden, box wine auntie, and power crystal aficionado Marianne Williamson experienced an endearing epiphany on a hot mic after a recent Fox News appearance: that the Left is really mean!

After being treated civilly by someone with different political opinions—gasp!—Williamson expressed surprise at how kind Eric Bolling was to her. The bigger realization was that her own side can be terribly cruel, even to its own (of course, conservatives have long recognized the tendency of the Left to eat its own).

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Monday Morning Appeal

This post is a shameless but sincere appeal for support.  If you would like to support my work, consider subscribing to my SubscribeStar page.  Your subscription of $1/month or more gains you access to exclusive content every Saturday, including annual #MAGAWeek posts.  If you’ve received any value from my scribblings, I would very much appreciate your support.

If you’ve been keeping up with my blog lately, you know that I’ve been despairing about the state of the world.  I suppose I occasionally go through these phases, and it seems incongruous even to me, as I’ve been trying to lighten up the blog a bit.

Regardless, I’ve been reminded lately how big the gap is between the red-pilled conservatives—the folks that see the world for how it truly is—and the blue-pilled normies, still shuffling about in their state of waking sleep.

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