March 11, 2018

That Train's Not Coming

Art by Pochi (A.K.A. Poti1990)

Not unless and until it's fixed...and that's going to take some work. 

The train is civics, we don't seem to have it anymore.. 

Civics in a republic requires that a polity come to each other in good faith and hash things out peacefully, without threat of intimidation. 

Milo is absolutely correct to point out that this is a two way street....

Mr. Yiannopoulos is not always my cup of tea. I think that his bombast and vulgarity are counter-productive in persuading the middle and he's pushing people into the other camp. 
I also think that he's frequently right on the merits, particularly with regard to free speech, for which he is a tireless advocate. He has also been  and his frustration here is understandable and largely justified...

He also has a companion piece up, which deserves to be read in full. I get his frustrations and I think that he is correct that a big chunk of the professional Republican thought leaders see the issues of the day as a game of debate where style points are unusually weighted. 

Nevertheless, I strongly urge you to read in full  this response from the object of the piece's ire, David French

French is frequently maligned in certain sectors of the Right as a shiv and a "cuck" because he works very hard to be a gentleman and try to persuade the middle  that we are the sane ones. 

There is a practical reason for this. 

We will never be able to compete with the left on emotional pathos because reason is often non-intuitive and the left is the party of the mean girls, who own outrage and emotional manipulation. Milo can go many rounds giving as good as he gets but some time ago  he went toe to toe with very wealthy and powerful celebrities who largely won in the court of public opinion because Milo, who was right on the facts,  was seen as 'picking on girls'. That many of these women are monstrous totalitarian bullies was rather lost to casual observers in the fusillade if catty remarks from Milo. 

The casual observers...They are consequential as they are the one's we're trying to persuade. The true believers the people who live and breathe this stuff. are unlikely to be moved by invictive, even if it is true, as they are wary of extremists. Unfortunate delivery can cause one's message to be rejected...even if one turns out to be right regarding the issue in question

There's a more abstract reason that goes beyond the tactical. Here are some thoughts along those lines from some people who are, I guess, just a bunch of "cucks".

 He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you. 
— Friedrich Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil

The best revenge is not to be like your enemy. 
— Marcus Aurelius: Meditations

 As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy. 
— Christopher Dawson

 The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which. 
— George Orwell: Animal Farm (Last line)

There has to be something to rally around with greater meaning than a flag.

Now, let's be clear, the intersectional left are totalitarians. Milo knows this better than most. They're a dagger aimed at the heart of western civilization. 

With that in mind, this is the part of French's otherwise excellent editorial that misses the mark. 

 I once told a conservative gathering that the "two greatest threats to America were jihadists overseas and university radicals here at home.” Shortly after I made that idiotic statement, I deployed to Iraq and saw jihad up close. I’m deeply opposed to campus intolerance, but to mention university activists in the same context as al-Qaeda was silly and offensive, and it undermined my credibility.

A campus radical, pushing intersectionality is every bit as primitive in outlook as the jihadis. The Jihadi might have a more coherent philosophy, and the campus radical might be less overtly bloodthirsty and far less tactically competent, but the fact that the campus activist who works tirelessly to censor and intimidate views that dissent from their feral view that there is nothing in society but power relationships is just as opposed to the values of the enlightenment, and is a more subtle, hard to deal with and potentially dangerous threat to our society simply precisely because they are CAMPUS radicals. They control our centers of learning.

Western civilization is more than a mere political movement and the far left is not completely without merit in seeing something aberrant in it. The value set of the enlightenment is indeed an aberration in the history of humanity. Despite their protestations the SJWs have a world view more in keeping with the thousands upon thousands of years of human history. 

We've been on this path for a bit over 250 years, and in earnest for just about half that.

Whether this short time is but a brief interregnum in the reign of misery and totalitarianism over humanity will be determined by whether or not we can fight off the primitives, or if the world returns to the mean. 

Yiannopoulos is right that we must face this head on honestly and understand that our foes wish for nothing short of our subjugation, but French is correct that if we become them then we defeat the purpose of the exercise.

As to how we thread that needle,  Sarah Hoyt has some thoughts on that 
 Sell your cloak and buy a sword.  Mere deflection will stop working.  I know I told all of you if you’re not comfortable coming out as conservative/libertarian, don’t do so, because I don’t want to jeopardize your livelihood, or your ability to make a difference.

But I predict you won’t long be left alone.  The left has lost the plot and become a rabid beast with no sense or proportion. .... 
....Study history, study philosophy, study civics and the constitution.  Be ready to defend yourselves. Start a side business if you can so your livelihood is not something the left can take away.

Most of the reconquering of society is and will be ideological, a war of ideas.  Moving out of places where the cold civil war will go hot, if you can, is also not a bad idea

Read the whole thing.

I remind you that this is Sarah Hoyt, who, for those of you who don't know, is generally pretty upbeat.

Things may well get rough.

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